EDGAR LEE PASCHALL
NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH
1661 Griggstown RD
Calvert City, KY 42029
ARTICLES FROM THE PERSUADER - VOLUME 2
The articles in this book appeared in our bi-monthly paper, THE PERSUADER, from 1993 to 1995. They were written by Edgar Lee Paschall, Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, unless otherwise designated. These articles are designed to persuade one to take a fresh look at TRUTH and to RIGHTLY DIVIDE God's Word. If we can be of help in any way, please feel free to call or write. If you need more copies of this book or any of our other books please write to the above address. These books are free as long as funds are available to keep printing them. Use the material in this book any way that brings honor and glory to our Lord.
Because of Calvary,
Edgar Lee Paschall
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CAN A PERSON GO YEARS IN SIN AND BE SAVED?
SALVATION IS OF THE LORD
PREACHERS WILL HAVE A LOT TO ANSWER FOR!
SALVATION IS OF THE LORD
CAN A MAN BE SAVED BY A TRACT ALONE
-SALVATION-DIFFERENT IN EACH DISPENSATION-TRUE OR FALSE?
CONSIDER OUR WAYS
WHEN AND WHERE DID LOT GET SAVED?
CAN A PERSON GO YEARS IN SIN AND BE SAVED?
To answer this question may we take a look at what God's Word has to say. I John 3:9 states, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." The word "commit" means to practice naturally and habitually with the tense indicating continuous action. Therefore, God's Word states plainly that a person cannot go years with a continuous lifestyle of sin.
Some say, "But preacher, even after we are saved we can still sin, because we are still in this body of flesh." This is true. In fact, I will go so far as to say a saved person can commit any sin a lost person can, except blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. But I will have to go on to say that he cannot get by with it.
The Lord chastens His own (the saved). Heb. 12:5-7 states, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" Chastening involves first of all speaking. When a saved person sins, immediately the Holy Spirit who lives inside that person is grieved and He speaks to that person in his heart. Eph. 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." To grieve the Spirit is to hurt Him deeply and that is exactly what happens to Him when He is grieved. At this point all an individual has to do is to confess his sin and the Lord forgives and cleanses that person as I John 1:9 states, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
If a saved person refuses to confess his sin, the Lord takes a second step in chastening, that of spanking. Spanking may come in various forms. It may be a loss of something near and dear to that person, or it may be a trip to the hospital or a car wreck or whatever the Lord may use to get His child's attention. The spanking may be gentle at first because, after all, the Lord is just wanting His children to confess their sin.
The spanking will become more severe if the saved person refuses to confess his sin. Then there will come a point in his life that the Lord says, "That's enough. If you are not going to confess your sin then you leave Me no other choice. If you commit that sin one more time, then it will be slaying time."
This is what the Bible refers to as "a sin unto death." I John 5:16 states, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." When a child of God crosses that line it will be a willful sin. Heb. 10:26 refers to this, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." This willful sin is not a sin of ignorance or a sin of weakness but sin that a person voluntarily commits. The tense of Heb. 10:26 reveals this is a continuous habitual action that one has set his course on. Therefore God says, "I cannot permit you to head on down that road of sin. I will take you on home." He will not let that person go years in that particular sin without dealing with it.
Let me give you an example. I can remember, when I was about 5 years old, going to a neighbor's house to visit. Of course as my nature was, I showed out and disobeyed my Dad's instructions, which he had clearly stated before we went visiting. At first Dad would speak to me with his eyes. I knew what that meant. This is what the Psalmist said in Psa. 32:8, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." If I failed to obey my Dad's eye language, he would speak firmly and sternly. When I failed to heed his voice, the next action would be a spanking. At first lightly and if that failed there would come a harder spanking with a warning of something like, "If you do that one more time I am taking you home. You are embarrassing your dad." And if I did what he had specifically told me not to, then we went home early.
I believe the Lord operates pretty much the same way. In fact, He is a more righteous father than my dad was. If my dad did not let me get by with sin, I do not believe the Lord will let His children get away with willful sin. In fact Heb 10:28-29a states, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
The Lord speaks and if His children fail to confess their sin, then He will spank and warn with a warning something like, "If you commit that sin one more time, I'm going to take you home early. You're embarrassing your Father and you know better." Then if that person commits that sin one more time the Lord says, "That's it, I told you," and turn the key of death in that person's life and he goes to heaven, because he was saved but he will be saved so as by fire. (I Cor. 3:11-15) And this whole process will not take years to complete. This is what the Bible says.
I know we are living in a day when people have tried to develop doctrines to justify all their kinfolk and friends by saying, "I know they are saved but they are just backslidden." Folks, I beg you look at what the Bible says, not what man is teaching contrary to the Bible. Men are giving many a false hope by teaching you can go years in sin and still be saved. The Bible does not teach that. In John 10:27 Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." He also said in John 10:5, "And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers."
The Bible says in Mat. 7:22-23, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." This is referring to preachers, so called "good" people by the world's standard, and many of "the faithful" in our Baptist churches. Note, that verse says many are going to call him Lord and be cast in the lake of fire. Can a person go years in sin and be saved? We conclude from the word of God that the answer to this question is NO! DEFINITELY NO!!
I beg you listen to what God says. II Cor. 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" Please examine yourself to make sure that what you call salvation is what God's word calls salvation. Do not wait until it is too late and you wake up in hell.
I write this truth in hope that it might help just one. I welcome your comments. I love you and am your friend and would be glad to help in any way I can.
THE PERSUADER - June-July, 1993
SALVATION IS OF THE LORD
WHAT IS OR WHAT SHOULD BE, THE INFLUENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE UPON MEN?
(Copied from 12 Sermons On The Plan Of Salvation by Charles H. Spurgeon, pages 18-20)
A. The Sinner
Why, first, with sinners, this doctrine is a great battering-ram against their pride. I will give you a figure. The sinner in his natural estate reminds me of a man who has a strong and well-nigh impenetrable castle into which he has fled. There is the outer moat; there is a second moat; there are the high walls; and then afterwards there is the dungeon and keep, into which the sinner will retire. Now, the first moat that goes round the sinner's trusting place is his good works. "Ah!" he says, "I am as good as my neighbor; twenty shillings in the pound down, ready money, I have always paid; I am no sinner; I tithe mint and cummin; a good respectable gentlemen I am indeed." Well, when God comes to work with him, to save him, he sends his army across the first moat; and as they go through it, they cry, "Salvation is of the Lord;" and the moat is dried up, for it if be of the Lord, how can it be of good works? But when that is done, he has a second intrenchment--ceremonies. "Well," he says, "I will not trust in my good works, but I have been baptized, I have been confirmed; do not I take the sacrament? That shall be my trust," "Over the moat! Over the moat!" And the soldiers go over again, shouting, "Salvation is of the Lord." The second moat is dried up; it is all over with that. Now they come to the first strong wall; the sinner, looking over it, says, "I can repent, I can believe whenever I like; I will save myself by repenting and believing." Up come the soldiers of God, his great army of conviction, and they batter this wall to the ground, crying. "Salvation is of the Lord. You faith and your repentance must all be given you, or else you will neither believe nor repent of sin." And now the castle is taken; the man's hopes are all cut off; he feels that it is not of self; the castle o f self is overcome, and the great banner upon which is written "Salvation is of the Lord" is displayed upon the battlements. But is the battle over? Oh no; the sinner has retired to the keep, in the centre of the castle; and now he changes his tactics. "I cannot save myself," says he, "therefore I will despair; there is no salvation for me." Now this second castle is as hard to take as the first, for the sinner sits down and says, "I can't be saved, I must perish." But God commands the soldiers to take this castle too, shouting, "Salvation is of the Lord;" though it is not of man, it is of God; "he is able to save, even to the uttermost," though you cannot save yourself. This sword, you see, cuts two ways; it cuts pride down, and then it cleaves the skull of despair. If any man say he can save himself, it halveth his pride at once; and if another man say he cannot be saved; it dasheth his despair to the earth; for it affirms that he can be saved, seeing, "Salvation is of the Lord." That is the effect this doctrine has upon the sinner: may it have that effect on you!
B. The Saint
But what influence has it upon the saint? Why, it is the keystone of all divinity. I will defy you to be heterodox if you believe this truth. You must be sound in the faith if you have learned to spell this sentence--"Salvation is of the Lord;" and if you feel it in your soul you will not be proud; you cannot be; you will cast everything at his feet, confessing that you have done nothing, save what he has helped you to do; and therefore the glory must be where the salvation is. If you believe this you will not be distrustful. You will say, "My salvation does not depend on my faith, but on the Lord; my keeping does not depend on myself, but on God who keepeth me; my being brought to heaven rests not now in my own hands, but in the hand of God;" you will, when doubts and fears prevail, fold your arms, look upwards, and say,
"And now my eye of faith is dim,
I trust in Jesus, sink or swim."
If you can keep this in your mind you may always be joyful. He can have no cause for trouble who knows and feels that his salvation is of God. Come on, legions of hell; come on demons of the pit!
"He that has helped me bears me through,
And makes me more than conqueror too,"
Salvation resteth not on this poor arm, else should I despair, but on the arm of yon Omnipotent--that arm on which the pillars of the heavens do lean. "Whom should I fear? The Lord is my strength and my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
And this, may be grace, nerve you to work for God. If you had to save your neighbors you might sit down and do nothing; but since "Salvation is of the Lord," go on and prosper. Go and preach the gospel; go and tell the gospel everywhere. Tell it in your house, tell it in the street, tell it in every land and every nation; for it is not of yourself, it is "of the Lord." Why do not our friends go to Ireland to preach the gospel? Ireland is a disgrace to the Protestant church. Why do not they go and preach there? A year or so ago a number of our brave ministers went over there to preach; they did right bravely; they went there, and they came back again, and that is about the sum total of the glorious expedition against Popery. But why come back again? Because they were stoned, good easy men! Do they not think that the gospel ever will spread without a few stones? But they would have been killed! Brave martyrs they! Let them be enrolled in the red chronicle. Did the martyrs of old, did the apostles, shrink from going to any country because they would have been killed? No, they were ready to die; and if half a dozen ministers had been killed in Ireland, it would have been the finest thing in the world for liberty in future; for after that the people dare not have touched us; the strong arm of the law would have put them down; we might have gone through every village of Ireland afterwards, and been a peace; the constabulary would soon have put an end to such infamous murder; it would have awakened the Protestantism of England to claim the liberty which is our right there as we give it elsewhere. We shall never see any great change till we have some men in our ranks who are willing to be martyrs. That deep ditch can never be crossed till the bodies of a few of us shall fill it up; and after that it will be easy work to preach the gospel there. Our br ethren should go there once more. They can leave their white cravats at home, and the white feather too, and go forth with a brave heart and a bold spirit; and if the people mock and scoff, let them mock and scoff on. George Whitfield said, when he preached on Kennington Common, where they threw dead cats and rotten eggs at him, "This is only the manure of Methodism, the best thing in the world to make it grow; throw away as fast as you please." And when a stone cut him on the forehead, he seemed to preach the better for a little blood-letting. Oh for such a man to dare the mob, and then the mob would not need to be dared. Let us go there, recollecting that "Salvation is of the Lord," and let us in every place and at every time preach God's Word, believing that God's Word is more than a match for man's sin, and God will yet be master over all the earth. C.H.S.
THE PERSUADER - Aug.-Sept., 1993
PREACHERS WILL HAVE A LOT TO ANSWER FOR!
Right after I came to New Hope Baptist Church in 1987, I spent some time with one of our members who had been diagnosed with cancer. As we talked, we discussed specifics concerning the doctrine of salvation. After hearing these specifics this man said, "You know, preachers will have a lot to answer for!"
This is true because Luke 12:48 says, ". . . Unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required. . ." Much is given to an individual when God calls him to be a preacher of the gospel and as a result much responsibility is laid upon that preacher. Preachers will have a lot to answer for! James 3:1 states, "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." Masters or those in a place of leadership with a responsibility of instructing others shall receive the greater condemnation (judgment).
If a doctor instructs his patient wrongfully to the extent he dies, that doctor will have to answer for the patient's life. But if a preacher instructs those under his leadership wrongfully, to the extent they die without being saved, then that preacher will be more accountable than the doctor. Why? Because if one dies physically, that is only life of the body, but if one dies without being saved, he will go to hell for an eternity. Therefore, that preacher will have that man's blood upon his hands.
Preachers, we must find out what God says about salvation and stand for that truth no matter how much criticism other brethren make. We are not to seek to please man but God. Gal. 1:10 states in principle, "If I seek to please men then I am not a servant of God." Therefore, we need to practice what II Tim. 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We have to answer to a Holy God.
What will preachers have to answer for?
THE MESSAGE WE PREACH
We will have to give an account for the message we preach. Gal. 1:8 says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." The gospel Paul preached is the good news of what Christ did for fallen man. We usually define the gospel as the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:3-4) This is true but it involves the virgin birth. (John 1:1,14) If Jesus had not been born of a virgin then mere man died on the cross. If that was the case, He wouldn't have qualified as our Saviour. But He did qualify because Jesus was virgin born. (Luke 1:26-35)
This message involves not only the fact that Jesus died but that He died for our sins. Thank God, He took my place and bore my sins and paid the penalty of sin for me.
The empty tomb lets me know that Jesus arose, overcoming death, hell and the grave. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for His own. (Heb. 7:25) When He was about to leave this earth, He promised to send the Comforter (Holy Spirit) who would reprove (convince and convict) the world of three things; sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:7-11) This means salvation is of the Lord; He initiates it, He produces it, and He consummates it.
The message we preach should include the fact that the Lord Jesus will one day bodily come back to deliver all the saved from this world of sin. This is what is referred to as the rapture, a word not in the Bible but there in principle. (I Thess. 4:16-17)
Preachers, one day we'll have to answer for the message we preach. Oh, may we be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and always be caught preaching the truth out of the Word of God as He enlightens us. May we not follow tradition and what others have said, but follow God.
THE METHOD WE PRACTICE
We also will have to give an account for the method we practice. Many today preach the right message but they err in their practice of dealing with people and short circuit the work of the Holy Spirit resulting in many being deceived, thinking that they are saved when in reality they are made "twofold more the child of hell." (Mat. 23:15) Brethren we will have to answer for what we practice when dealing with people concerning their souls.
Many practice what I call easy believism. Preachers will ask those in the congregation who are lost or those who don't know for sure they are saved to raise their hand. Then they will tell them to repeat a prayer after him. After praying and giving them time to repeat the prayer, the preacher will tell those who prayed the prayer that they are saved. Brethren, this is causing many to be deceived into thinking they are saved when in reality, they are not.
Some say, "Well, one out of ten may have gotten saved." That may or may not be true, but if it is, what about the other nine? They may die and go to hell because they depended on the preacher they thought was a man of God and what he said, for their assurance. Preachers, if you practice this form of easy believism you will have to answer to God for your practice because there is coming a day when that deceived lost person will point his finger at you and say, "Why didn't you tell me the truth. You told me that I was saved when I was not. I had confidence in you. I trusted you. Why didn't you practice the truth?" Then that person will be cast into the lake of fire. Preachers will have a lot to answer for!
You may say, "But look at the one that was saved." Let me say, if one was saved when he prayed that prayer, it was because the Holy Spirit had worked a work of conviction and godly sorrow which worked repentance. (John 16:8-11, II Cor. 7:10) Also faith had been produced so that the individual could repent and believe that he might be saved. Therefore, if you had practiced the truth that individual would have been saved anyway, because of the work of the Holy Spirit. Also, the other nine would not be deceived and on the road to hell. I know you had rather go on practicing your easy believism because ten professions sound better to the brethren than one. But, what does God think? Preachers will have a lot to answer for!
There is another group of preachers who say they are against easy believism but still they practice it in another form. Oh, they would never have sinners to repeat a prayer after them but they deceive in another way. When a sinner comes to the altar, they quote Romans 10:13 along with other scriptures they use. Then they will ask the sinner to pray. They try to get the sinner to pray out loud so that they can hear him. Next they ask the sinner if he is saved. If he does not give a positive answer, they get him to pray again making sure they instruct him to call on the Lord. They ask him the second time if he is saved and if he does not give a positive answer they will take the Bible and ask him to read Rom. 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Then comes the question, "Did you do that, did you call?" The sinner will usually say, "Yes." Next, comes the question, "Are you saved?" And if the sinner still does not give a positive answer they will take the Bible, point to Rom. 10:13 and say (usually in a forceful tone), "Are you calling God a liar? God said if you call He will save you. Don't call God a liar."
Pressure is placed upon the sinner by man that usually causes him to say he is saved, when in reality many are not. Why? Because they called with their mouth and not their heart. Rom. 10:10 says, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." I Cor. 12:3b states, ". . . and that no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." A work of the Holy Ghost must be done before one can be saved.
Brethren, if you are practicing this method when dealing with sinners, you are being used as an instrument of the devil to deceive people into thinking they are saved when in reality they are not. This is also another form of easy believism that is making many "twofold more the children of hell."
Lord, help us as preachers to preach the truth and also to practice the truth because we as preachers will have a lot to answer for!
THE PERSUADER - Oct.-Nov., 1993
SALVATION IS OF THE LORD
Jonah made the statement, "Salvation is of the Lord" from the fish's belly after he had been there for three days and three nights. He had come to the conclusion that if he was ever to be delivered (salvation) from the fish's belly the Lord had to do it. Every person who has been saved, or will ever be saved, has to come to the same conclusion: Salvation is of the Lord.
The Father Thought It
Ephesians 1:4 states that the Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Back in eternity past long before the earth was created and hung upon nothing (Job 26:7) there was a council meeting of the Godhead. The Father revealed His salvation plan which was through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. He has always had one plan even though man has come up with different plans for each man-made dispensation.
There is only one way to be saved and that is through Jesus Christ who said in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He also said He was the door in John 10:9 and stated very plainly in John 10:1 that any man who entered not by the door is a thief and no thief will enter in. (I Cor. 6:9-10)
Jesus was no afterthought in the mind of God but was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), therefore salvation 6is of the Lord because the Father thought it.
The Son Bought It
In that council meeting in eternity past the Son volunteered to be the sacrifice for man's sin. He, being God (John 1:1), was willing to lay aside His manifested glory and be robed in flesh through a virgin's womb (John 1:14) so that He would be qualified to pay the price for man's sin. John 10:15-18 states plainly that Jesus Christ gave (lay down) His life willingly for mankind.
Even though Christ laid aside His manifested glory to be robed in human flesh, He did not lay aside His deity. Jesus, God Himself, died on the cross shedding His blood for the sins of man (Heb. 9:22) and in so doing fulfilled the prophesy of Gen. 22:8. Jesus Christ paid the price to redeem fallen man. (I Peter 1:18-20) Salvation is of the Lord and the Son bought it.
The Church Taught It
When Jesus walked upon the earth He established His church upon Himself the Rock. (Mat. 16:18) He also gave His church the keys (authority) to transact business between heaven and earth. (Mat. 16:19) Before He ascended He commissioned His church (already in existence) in Mat. 28:19-20 to go forth and teach which means to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all things. The first teach involves preaching the gospel (I Cor. 1:21), giving the sense like Ezra did in Neh. 8:8, and guiding lost men so that they may have the understanding they need to be saved. (Acts 8:30-31)
The church is not a building as some think but a local, visible body of baptized believers. Thus a church is the human instruments God uses to cross the path of the lost so they can be saved. (Rom. 10:13-15) Salvation is of the Lord and the church taught it.
Man Fought It
Rom. 5:8 states "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Being a sinner means we were actively engaged in sin against a holy God and this was by choice. Rom. 5:10 states we were "enemies" of God. A person begins to fight the message of salvation when that message starts to break light on a darkened heart.
When Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, one of the things He said was, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." (Acts 9:4-5) Saul was fighting the message, "Salvation Is Of The Lord." He had heard Stephen (human instrument = church) preach, heard him pray, and watched him die. The message he had heard pulled the props out from under his man-made religion. He did not like to hear that salvation is of the Lord. Man fought it.
The Holy Ghost Wrought It
No man is saved without the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost. (II Thess. 2:13; I Peter 1:2) This is called by some people, Holy Ghost conviction, which is necessary in an unbeliever's life to bring them to the point of repentance and faith so that they can repent and believe unto salvation.
Jesus called this a work of reproval in John 16:8-11. Notice He said the Comforter (Holy Ghost) will, not might, but will reprove of three thing: sin, righteousness, and judgment. The word "reprove" means to lay blame on sharply and sternly with authority, with the purpose of correction, persuading by argument using the evidence at hand to convince and convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. This He will do, and that of all three: sin, righteousness, and judgment before one will be saved.
One may ask, "Why does He persuade by argument?" Because a sinner argues with God about his condition, his need, and the way of real salvation. Remember, man fought it. But the Holy Ghost will complete His work of reproval in a seeking individual's heart.
When one is brought to this place, repentance will be worked by Godly sorrow (II Cor. 7:10) and faith will be produced by he Word (Rom. 10:17) which enables that individual to repent and believe, thus, obeying the gospel which is necessary if one is saved. (I Peter 1:2)
This is a work of the Holy Ghost and man has no part in it. Thank the Lord for the Holy Ghost who is faithful to finish what He has started. (I Thess. 5:24; Phil. 1:6) Salvation is of the Lord and the Holy Ghost wrought it.
THE PERSUADER - June-July, 1994
CAN A MAN BE SAVED BY A TRACT ALONE?
For one to answer this question we need to hear what the Bible has to say about the subject. It is not enough to hear what man has to say, myself included. We have listened to what man has to say so long that we have traditions and philosophies of men that we are following instead of God's word. Paul warned us of such in Col. 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." May we disregard what man says and turn to the Bible for our answer. The word "tract" is not used in the Bible but it has some things to say about the matter.
First, what we need to realize is that no one will be saved until they have some understanding about sin, righteousness, and judgment. John 16:8-11 tells us this is the Holy Ghost's job to reprove (convince and convict) a person of all three: sin, righteousness, and judgment. Jesus made it very clear in the parable of the sower in Mat. 13:19-23 that understanding was necessary to be saved. Those on the good ground are the only ones who had understanding and also the only ones saved. From this we conclude that a person has to receive enough information (Word) for the Holy Ghost to use to convince and convict man of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Can a three or four page tract give this much information to someone who has never been to church nor heard the Word of God preached? I think not.
Next, the Bible says in I Cor. 1:21, "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." God chose human instrumentality to be used in His salvation plan. Paul said in Rom. 10:13-15a, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" Jesus on the way to the garden of Gethsemane prayed in John 17:20 for all those which shall believe on Him through their word. I emphasizes their word because Jesus is referring to the apostles, human instruments necessary for one to be saved. Paul verifies this in I Cor. 3:5, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" Note: the Lord gives ministers to every one who believes--human instruments.
A good example is found in Acts 8:26-39 where the eunuch got saved. The eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53, the best tract a man could have (the Word of God), but when asked by Philip, "Understandeth thou what thou readest?" He replied, "How can I except some man should guide me?" If a tract is all that is necessary for a man to be saved, why did the Lord tell Philip to leave the revival in progress in Samaria and go out into a desert place to meet one man? I will tell you why! A human instrument was necessary for the eunuch to be saved and also for you to be saved as well.
I am not saying God cannot use a tract to plant and water but I am saying, based on God's Word, that a human instrument must cross an individual's path for them to be saved. Also, I am not saying that the human instrument must be present when one is saved, but they must cross their path and preach to them Jesus just as Philip did in Acts 8:35. This can be one on one or from the pulpit in a public assembly.
Therefore I conclude that a man cannot be saved by a tract alone. In fact, most tracts are designed to lead the reader in some prayer and to give mental assent to the facts presented. This type of tract will lead a man to make a "profession" thus becoming a "tare" because a tract alone will not lead a man to repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, without which no man will be saved.
Brethren, it is time we "contend for the faith" (Jude 3) and "persuade men" (II Cor. 5:11) with truth and not tradition. My intention in writing this article is not to hurt anyone but to help the blinded see truth. I would like your comments on this subject. If anyone can show me from the Word of God (not what man says) where I am wrong I will apologize and print a correction in the next Persuader.
If this article makes you mad, you just might ought to check out where you really are spiritually. You may be in the group our Lord spoke about in Mat. 7:22, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out many devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?" If this be the case then you will hear Him say as He did in Mat. 7:23, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The Pharisees got mad when Jesus attacked their tradition. You are not my enemy but Satan is, the one who is the master deceiver as he comes as an angel of light. (Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 11:14).
If only one person can come out of error into truth, out of darkness into light as a result of this article then it will be worth all the ridicule and persecution I receive. Let me say this to conclude. I do not expect this article to change your mind concerning this issue any more than I expect a tract to get someone saved, but it could be a "seed" that will cause someone to seek truth and if one seeks truth, the Lord will send a human instrument across your path. Then the Holy Ghost will take their word based on the Word of God and you will be convinced of truth.
Can a man be saved by a tract alone? To this question based on the Word of God I would have to say NO!!!
THE PERSUADER - Aug.-Sept., 1994
REPORT ON LAST ARTICLE
The responses I received concerning the article CAN A MAN BE SAVED BY A TRACT ALONE? were four to one in agreement with the writer's position. I quote again Paul in I Cor. 3:5, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" God's Word is very clear that human instruments are necessary in the Lord's salvation plan, therefore a man cannot be saved by a tract alone!!! ELP
SALVATION-DIFFERENT IN EACH DISPENSATION TRUE OR FALSE?
The word "dispensation" means administration and is first found in I Cor. 9:17, "For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me." A dispensation is defined as a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and man's responsibility. Man has divided the Old and New Testament into seven dispensations: Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, Grace, and Judgement. As we look at these dispensations a questions comes to mind. Is man saved differently or the same way in each dispensation? To answer this, let us look at the Bible.
How was Adam saved? Some would say he just took the coat of skin God offered (Gen. 3:21). That is not all there was to it. We need to look deeper than that. First the gospel was preached in Gen. 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The "seed of the woman" refers to the virgin birth. "Shalt bruise his heel" refers to the seed of the serpent inflicting a temporary wound on the seed of the woman which occurred when Jesus died on the cross. "It shall bruise thy head" refers to the fact of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and in so doing placed a fatal wound (it is as good as done) on the devil. He is a defeated foe due to the gospel of Christ which is defined in I Cor. 15:3-4, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." When Adam received the coat of skin, he believed the gospel preached to him that there was a coming "seed of the woman" who would be innocent but had to die for the guilty just as the innocent animal died to clothe the guilty, and would overcome the evil one by His resurrection. Therefore, Adam received the coat of skin by grace through faith, believing in a coming Redeemer.
Noah was told to build an ark, a type of the Lord Jesus, to escape the flood (wrath to come). Gen. 6:8 says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." He found grace and he believed God, thus built an ark and got in the ark, a picture of getting in Christ by grace through faith.
Abraham was saved in Gen. 15:6 when he believed the promise of God. This promise involved a "seed" singular, yet would be as the dust of the earth (Gen. 13:16) and the stars of heaven (Gen. 15:5). This referred to more than a single son Isaac. Therefore, Abraham had to come to a time in his life where he believed in a future seed, which is Christ (Gal. 3:16). He did this in Gen. 15:6, "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." This is verified by Paul in Rom. 4:3 and Gal. 3:6 and also by James in James 2:23. Thus he was saved by grace through faith in a coming Redeemer.
In Moses' day, God gave the law and required sacrifices to be brought to the tabernacle and be slain. The law was never given for men to be saved which is made clear in Rom. 3:19-20, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The law brought condemnation and death. Really it backed man into a corner and showed him his sinful, helpless condition and then showed him the door, the Lord Jesus (John 10:9). Then by faith man offered sacrifices, the innocent dying for the guilty, as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that it is not the blood of goats and calves but with the precious blood of Jesus whereby man is saved (Heb. 9:12; 10:1). Man under law had to offer the sacrifices believing in a coming Redeemer to be saved. Therefore, he was saved by grace through faith.
Since the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and arose we have entered into the dispensation of grace (Eph. 2:8-9). But salvation has always been by grace. It took the Grace of God to reach down to fallen Adam, to choose Noah out of a world filled with sin, to call Abraham out of the Ur of Chaldees, and to give Moses the law so man would seek the "door," just as it does since Christ's resurrection. Salvation is of the Lord and that is the grace way. Man has always had to believe in a Redeemer whether it was before Christ's resurrection or afterward.
Salvation has always been by grace through faith and not of works. For a person to preach that in OT time salvation was by works he has to overlook what Christ said to the Pharisees in John 5:39-40, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." He was saying these Pharisees were not saved, yet they offered their sacrifices and kept the law (to their thinking). The problem was that they did not offer the sacrifices believing in a coming Redeemer.
Those who teach man is saved different in each dispensation use the rich young ruler for an example. The Lord Jesus told him to go sell his material possessions and give to the poor. The Lord was dealing with his gods, which must be dealt with before one will be saved. By the way, Jesus did not tell him to do this to be saved. In Mark 10:21 He said, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." After selling his goods, the Lord required whole hearted reception of Jesus as his Lord for him to be saved. Salvation is by grace through faith and has always been that way.
In conclusion, it is true that God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and man's responsibility in each dispensation, but salvation is the same in each dispensation, by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I John 5:12 states, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Those who teach otherwise are preaching another gospel and deserve to be cursed as Paul said in Gal. 1:8. Also they deserve the labels Paul put on the Judaizers in Phil. 3:2: DOGS, EVIL WORKERS, AND CONCISION (mutilators).
Therefore in answer to the title of this article SALVATION-DIFFERENT IN EACH DISPENSATION- TRUE OR FALSE? I would have to answer FALSE!!!
THE PERSUADER - Oct.-Nov., 1994
CONSIDER OUR WAYS
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." Haggai 1:7
We need to understand the context of this verse before we can make a proper application to ourselves.
Haggai is probably the human instrument who wrote this book by inspiration of God. (II Peter 1:21). The date is in the second year of Darius (Hag. 1:1), king of the Persian Empire, approximately 520 B.C. This date was about 16 years after Zerubbabel with a small remnant of Jews had come back to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity for the purpose of rebuilding the temple which had been destroyed in 586 B.C.
It was easy to get the work started when they first arrived, because everyone was dedicated, enthusiastic, and excited about building the temple so they could worship God. But as they begin to build, their adversaries tried to stop the work by: 1) The Samaratians desiring to join up with them (Ezra 4:1-2), 2) By weakening the hand of the people of Judah by stopping supplies from coming into Jerusalem (Ezra 4:4), 3) By accusations against them (Ezra 4:5, 12-13). These things continued until about 521 B.C. when the King of Persia at that time ordered them to cease the work. It probably was not too hard a task to get them to quit, because in reality they were not getting much done because they had become weary, worn, discouraged, sidetracked, and very unconcerned about the things of God.
As a result, God raised up Haggai along with Zechariah to reprove the people for their neglect and to arouse them to immediate action. Haggai had his work cut out for him, but he got right to the point in Hag. 1:5, 7 when he says, "Consider your ways." "Consider" means to set or fix your whole inner being on what you are doing: your ways, your actions, and your attitudes.
For them to consider their ways Hosea in essences said: 1) Consider your excuses (1:2). They said "The time to build the Lord's house has not come." 2) Consider your houses (1:4). They were finished on the inside and the house of God was not even built yet. 3) Consider your lack (1:6). 4) Consider the work to be done (1:8).
In Hag. 1:12-15, we see the people's reaction to the messages: (1) They received the message with reaol heart conviction (verse 14). 2) They repented thus having a change of mind and action, because they obeyed (verse 12) and came and did the work (verse 14). 3) They reverenced God (verse 12). 4) They made preparation (verse 15).
The result was that the temple, the house of God, was completed about 516 B.C. thus fulfilling the dual prophecy of 70 year captivity of the Jews by Babylon (608-539 B.C.) and 70 years the house of God lay desolate (586-516 B.C.; Zech. 1:12).
Now let us apply this to ourselves. Just as the prophet said "Consider your ways" may we as preachers and leaders in the Lord's churches apply this phrase to ourselves and say, "Consider our ways."
Motive for our Participation
First, we need to consider the motive of our participation. What is the motive for our participation in the ministry? Many so-called Christians and even preachers are motivated by lust and are walking in liberalism. Some are motivated by law and are walking in legalism. But the motive for our participation in the ministry should not be lust or law, but love which allows us to walk in liberty (Gal 5:1,13).
Love is the motive: 1) His love for us (John 3:16). Paul said in II Cor. 5:14, "The love of Christ constraineth us." "Constraineth" means to urge, to impel, and to press on every side. The tense reveals a continuous action. 2) Our love for Him. This does not come until we are saved and that "love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Rom. 5:5). We would never love Him if He had not loved us first (I John 4:19). 3) Our love for others by reaching out with compassion to those who are on the verge of hell (Jude 22-23).
Love is the motive for our participation, and Jesus said that all the law and prophets hang on two commandments: loving Him and loving others (Mat. 22:37-40).
Message of our Preaching
Second, we need to consider the message of our preaching. What is the message that we preach? 1) The truth or the Word is what we should be preaching according to Paul's charge to Timothy in II Tim. 4:1-4. The Word of God will get the job done (Heb. 4:12). 2) The gospel should be preached, the one Paul preached. He defined it in simple form in I Cor. 15:3-4 as the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It involves the virgin birth of Jesus, His sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming back for the saints in the rapture. 3) The whole counsel needs to be preached as Paul said he did in Acts 20:27. "Counsel" means advice or purpose. To preach the whole counsel means to deliver the advice and purpose God has for a particular congregation on a given day.
Method of our Practice
Thirdly, we need to consider the method of our practice. What should be the method of our practice? Let me say if our method is wrong, it will negate the message. To find out the method we should use, let us look at some methods being used to day which we should not use.
1) Some practice having sinners pray "the sinner's prayer." They base this on what one man prayed in Luke 18. What did the woman at the well pray? or the eunuch? or the Philippian jailer? There is no prayer recorded. Salvation is not in a prayer but in a Man, Christ Jesus (John 1:4; I John 5:12). If you practice this method as I have heard some who say, "We had 25 pray the prayer," then you are negating the message of the gospel. Paul said in Gal. 1:8-9, "Let that group be accursed."
2) Some say raise your hand and repeat after me. If you practice that, you are making men "two-fold more the child of hell" (Mat. 23:15). Wrong method! I don't care how many of the "so-called big preachers" practice that, it still is the wrong method. Consider our ways.
3) Some use Rom. 10:13 to pressure people in the altar into saying they got saved when in reality the Holy Ghost has not finished His work of reproval (John 16:8-11). They even go to the extent of saying if you ask Him to save you and He did not, you are calling God a liar. Wrong method again. The Holy Ghost is the one who gives assurance (I Thess. 1:5). By the way, I Cor. 12:3 states, ". . .No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." He can call all day long with his lips, but will not be saved until a work of Godly Sorrow has been worked in his heart (II Cor. 7:10).
4) Some say, `Just open your heart and let Jesus come in.' Only God can open ones heart just as He did Lydia's in Acts 16:14. Wrong method.
5) Some say, `Take Jesus as your Saviour.' Wrong method. You must take him as your Lord. He is Lord of all or will not be Lord at all.
What is the right method to practice? The answer: the method that Jesus used. When you study the Word of God, you will find that Jesus never dealt with any two the same. For example:
1) Nicodemus in John 3:1-21: He said "Ye must be born again." But He never told anyone else that. Why? Because Nicodemus was depending on his first birth, his being Abraham's descendant, for his ticket to heaven. The Lord said your first birth is no good, you must be born again or born from above. Jesus knew what Nicodemus was depending on and He pulled that prop from under him.
2) The woman at the well in John 4: He told her to go call her husband knowing that she had had five and shacking up with another. He dealt with her sins trying to get her to see her unbelief. She quickly changed the subject to worship, which she knew nothing about. He slowly revealed Himself to her, and she got saved. You will never find another person the Lord dealt with like He did her.
3) The rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-27: He came to Jesus asking a good question, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" The Lord said to keep the commandments, of which He named six that had to do with man's responsibility toward his fellow man. The rich ruler spoke up quickly that he had observed them from his youth. Then Jesus said, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor,. . . and come, take up thy cross, and follow me." (Mark 10:21). And the man went away sorrowful but lost, because he had great riches. Why did he go away? Because the Lord put His finger on his problem--he had other gods such as money and possessions. Jesus then made a statement in Mark 10:25, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." The disciples understood that it was impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle. So they asked the question in verse 27, "Who then can be saved?" And the Lord said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." The Lord Jesus never dealt with anyone else exactly like the rich young ruler.
4) The disciples in John 6: In verse 53, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." To which they said it was a "hard saying" (verse 60) and walked away from Him never to return (verse 66). They were following Him, because they had eaten of His fish and loaves (wrong motive), but Jesus said you must eat of Me which means a wholehearted reception of Jesus as Lord.
5) Many of the Jews which believed on Him in John 8:30: In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They became angry at His words. Jesus later identifies them as children of the devil in John 8:44, which proves that they only believed with their head and not their heart.
The method our Lord used is the right method to practice. What method is that? He dealt with their problem and brought them or least tried to bring them to Himself. He was God, and He knew their problem. We are not God, and we do not know another's problem. That is why it takes time dealing with some, because we must allow the Holy Ghost to put His finger on the root problem, deal with it, and bring them to Jesus. The Holy Ghost does this as He works the work of reproval of John 16:8-11.
When we practice the same method on each person, we will short circuit the work of the Holy Ghost and make those we deal with two-fold more the child of hell. If this occurs, we will have their blood on our hands. May the Lord help us to "Consider Our Ways" by taking inventory of the: 1) Motive for our participation, 2) Message of our preaching, and 3) Method of our practice.
THE PERSUADER - Dec., 1994-Jan., 1995
WHEN AND WHERE DID LOT GET SAVED?
When we look at what the Bible has to say about Lot in the OT, we would say he was never saved. But II Peter 2:6-8 declares plainly that he had a righteous soul. Therefore, he was saved. This brings us to the question, when and where did Lot get saved?
We cannot go to a definite scripture that says when or where he was saved, but we can apply some Bible principles concerning salvation and come up with a proximity of when and where he was saved.
First, we have to conclude that Lot did not have as much light (truth; understanding) as Abraham; therefore, he could not have been saved until after Abraham. With this principle being true, we must establish when and where Abraham got saved before we can begin to pinpoint Lot's salvation.
It is not hard to establish when and where Abraham got saved if we would just look at scripture. Paul said in Rom. 4:3, "For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Paul stated this same basic verse in Gal. 3:6 and James quoted it in James 2:23. The scripture they quoted is Genesis 15:6 which clearly reveals the time, because Genesis 15:1 says, "After these things."
After what things? After God appeared unto him in Mesopotamia and said, "Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and go into the land which I shall shew thee (shew thee as you go)." (Acts 7:2-3) After he had dwelt in Haran for a number of years (unable to establish the exact number of years; may have been from 5 to 32 years). After God spoke to him at Haran when he was 75 years of age in Gen. 12:1-4. After he had entered Canaan and God had spoke to him again. (Gen. 12:5-7) After he had built altars and worshipped. (Gen. 12:8, 13:4) After he had gone to Egypt due to famine in Canaan. (Gen. 12:10-20) After he had separated from Lot. (Gen. 13:5-13) After God spoke to him the fourth time (recorded) in Gen. 13:14-18. After he had defeated Chedorlaomer and his league of kings with 318 trained servants. (Gen. 14:1-16) After he paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Gen. 14:17-24)
Gen. 15:1 then says, "After these things," God spoke to Abram, for his name had not been changed to Abraham yet. At this time and place, approxi-mately nine years after Abram entered Canaan when he was 84 years old, he believed God and got saved. (Gen. 15:1-6) The Bible tells us when and where Abraham got saved.
Since Lot did not have the light and understanding that Abraham had, this means that Lot was not a saved man when he "pitched his tent toward Sodom" in Genesis 13:12. It is hard to tell exactly how much time elapsed after Lot left Abraham until Abraham was saved. Six or seven years may have elapsed. During these years Lot, being a lost man, was controlled by the course of this world (anti-God and rebellion) and the prince of the power of the air (the devil and his demons) as shown in Eph. 2:2. As a result of this control he as well as his family, became entangled with the affairs of Sodom.
When Abraham got saved, he no doubt became concerned for his nephew Lot, and made several trips down to Sodom to speak to him so that he might believe God exists and desire Him as his God. You may say, "That is not in the Bible." I know it is not, but the principle of a human instrument is a must for one to be saved. (Acts 8:31; Rom. 10:13-15; I Cor. 3:5; John 17:20) This took some time and probably several trips due to Lot being caught up in materialism, and the sins of Sodom. One must come to the end of self before he is saved. Man's nature is to fight against God. He does not want to submit to the Lord; therefore, God is good to forbear (hold off) the wrath that abides on every lost person thus giving him a space of repentance. (Rom. 2:4; John 3:36) Salvation occurs in an instant but coming to the end of self usually takes some time especially in Lot's case, because he was so entangled in the affairs of Sodom.
It was approximately 15 years from the time that Abraham got saved till God destroyed Sodom. He was about 84 years of age when saved and 99 when Sodom was destroyed. Therefore, it was sometime during these 15 years that Lot was saved. More than likely he was saved when Abraham was about 97 or about 2 years before God destroyed Sodom.
You may ask, "How did you determine that since the Bible does not say distinctly?" Again I go to a Bible principle to declare my position. I John 3:9 declares plainly, if one will rightly divide the Word of truth, that a saved person cannot practice sin naturally. If one claims to be saved yet lives in the sin of the world for a period of time without the chastisement of God, he is not saved. (Heb. 12:8) You may ask, "How long a period of time?" We cannot say exactly, but I do not believe one can go five or more years in sin and live if he is saved. In saying five years I am giving the benefit of doubt.
Any earthly father who desires to do right will not go five years without correcting a son who is wrong. The heavenly Father, who always does right, will not let His children get by without correction. First, He will speak, then rebuke, and if one will not repent He will scourge. Then if one refuses to repent, he commits a sin unto death. (I John 5:16) God takes that individual home, because he is embarrassing his Father. He will suffer loss, but be saved so as by fire (sin unto death for one saved). (I Cor. 3:15) This whole process will not take five years to be completed!!
Tradition has taught us one can be backslidden for years then get right with God. If you are one of those whose testimony is that you got saved early in life and lived like the devil for years and then got right with God, you had better check your experience closely where you say you got right with God to see if that is salvation. And if it is not salvation, you need to get honest with God and let Him show you that you have never been saved. This is a Bible principle. I had rather stand on a Bible principle than man's tradition.
Many want to excuse their years in sin by referring to Lot. You need to quit that, because Lot may not have been saved over two years before God took him out of Sodom, then destroyed the city. The moment Lot got saved, he became a new creature (II Cor. 5:17) and his righteous soul began to be vexed (annoyed; disturbed; tortured) at that instant. (II Peter 2:8) He could not have stood the pressure of this vexing had it went on for the approximate 22 years he was in Sodom. This is Bible principles applied.
Therefore, I believe that Lot was saved in Sodom about 20 years after he went there and 13 years after Abraham was saved. You may agree or disagree, but one thing you had better not do--use Lot's life for an excuse for your years in sin after you said you were saved. That is foreign to the Word of God.
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
THE PERSUADER - April-May, 1995