14 thoughts on “Always Better

  1. Very true Manfred. So many times I have asked someone, “just show me scripture…that’s all I ask”, and they show me a preacher, or a quote, or something that man has said. It’s a symptom of a bigger problem, and that problem was well described by Paris Reidhead when he called it Utilitarian Christianity.Unless we as Christians stop all of this, “I think, I want and I believe”, we will never even begin to grow like Christ. Christ Jesus did only that He was given permission for. His words, thoughts and deeds were God’s. How many of us go about our walk with this mentality?

    And the consequences are quite apparent in the church.

    Speaking of which, anyone follow that ‘Together 2016’ in Washington? I never heard of it until the other day. Talk about deception! Whew. Any thoughts on it from y’all?

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  2. Amen, Paul! When I was fired from being the elder of a small Baptist church, the deacons told me (even though we had agreed predestination was biblical) they would not TOLERATE that being taught in THEIR church! I told them I could show them myriad places in Scripture beyond the reference to Rev 13:8 in my offending sermon wherein this doctrine was taught. One deacon told me he would not be convinced from Scripture. Billy Graham didn’t believe in it and neither would he!

    As for the Together 2016 thingy, they had Hillsong and Francis Chan! What else could ya want?

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  3. It saddens me when anyone trades the Bible for a preacher, especially an apostate like Graham. Yeesh…there’s far too much of that in biblically saved Christians who place far too much value on what the old timers said rather than sticking with Scripture.

    As for the Together 2016 thing, the line up was eye-opening:

    Confirmed guest speakers and artists include: Hillsong United, Kari Jobe, Francis Chan, Lecrae, Passion, Crowder, Kirk Franklin, Ravi Zacharias, Jeremy Camp, Andy Mineo, Michael W. Smith, Lauren Daigle, Christine Caine, Mark Batterson, Tony Evans, Matthew West, Jo Saxton, Mike Kelsey, Casting Crowns, John K. Jenkins Sr., Josh McDowell, Luis Palau, Tasha Cobbs, Lacey Sturm, Trip Lee, Samuel Rodriguez, Jennie Allen, Christine D’Clario, Matt Maher, Sammy Wanyonyi, Lindsey Nobles, and others.

    Plus they had an online sermon by Pope Francis. the whole event was ripe with the occult, from its message to the symbolism used…all coming together in so called unity.

    Those of us who have eyes to see and ears to hear, know that this will result in nothing but trouble.

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  4. Tell me about it, Mark. On my bog, I run into people who claim to be Christians, yet they are so mixed up. They believe that God is mostly sovereign, man has a right to decide his own destiny and they live their lives as though they have no one to live for.

    I remember one man bragging about watching Jaws. he said he couldn’t wait for summer to hit. We all know what that means, and I confronted him on it. He thanked me and said I was right, but within minutes, we saw on his Facebook page that he was bragging about a movie he was going to watch. The movie was reported to be filled with violence, nudity and everything else that should cause a true Christian to run the other direction.

    There really seems to be a hybrid of sorts that I keep running into. They know what to say and can answer any question you throw in front of them, except the sovereignty question. This, I find is the acid test for genuine Christianity. Sinful man will rebel against the sovereignty of God. A truly saved, humbled and broken slave of Christ will embrace and find much comfort and peace in its reality.

    Mark, please take this to heart. I have been reading Def Con for about 7 years now, and I must say that your witness, heart and fruit speaks for itself. I thank you for standing up for the truth and confronting error wherever you see it. yes, we will be attacked, but that’s a good thing. That means we are on the devil’s most wanted list and we obviously are a threat to him. So be it. If it brings God glory, then bring it on!

    Press on brothers, in the shadow of the Most High!

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  5. “There really seems to be a hybrid of sorts that I keep running into. They know what to say and can answer any question you throw in front of them, except the sovereignty question. This, I find is the acid test for genuine Christianity.”

    Paul-

    Can you tell me what the sovereignty question is so I can see if I am saved or not. Can you direct me to where I can find this ‘sovereignty acid test’ in the pages of the New Testament (not general scriptures about God’s sovereignty, the specific verses regarding sovereignty being used to test the salvation of others).

    In Christ

    -Jim

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  6. Hi Jim,

    You seemed to misunderstand me. I did not say that there is a question contained in the Bible about the sovereignty of God that proves someone is saved or not.

    What I said was, with any Christian, he MUST believe and embrace the absolute sovereignty of God or he CANNOT be saved. For if a man believes that he and God worked out his salvation together, then he is claiming that he is on the same level as God and God needs him in order to get him saved.

    Also, if man believes he has a free will, then he can make decisions that God has no authority to override. We read in many places in Proverbs where God directs man’s path, words, destiny…etc.

    This boils down to man, through the power of the Holy Spirit understanding that God is sovereign, that He saved man because he chose to, and man is under the complete and total control of God’s will.

    Any biblically saved Christian will know this, embrace this and accept this. Otherwise, how can the man be saved if he thinks he can push around God?

    Romans 9 tells us this. Can we stand up against God and demand He answer for His actions?

    We should know this, but it seems many “Christians” don’t.

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  7. “What I said was, with any Christian, he MUST believe and embrace the absolute sovereignty of God or he CANNOT be saved”

    Paul-

    You didn’t include any scripture, just your opinion. The reason is because a full understanding of God’s sovereignty is NEVER laid out in the NT as a requirement to be justified. I’ll warn you that anyone who places man made requirements/laws/rules on top of justification by faith is in far more danger of hell than a young convert who hasn’t come to a full understanding of the depth of God’s sovereign grace. The gospel message is that men must repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15, Acts 16:31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). We are saved by grace through faith and not by having a perfect understanding of God’s sovereignty at conversion. To dismiss the all sufficient atoning work of Jesus Christ which imputes to us justification by faith is heretical (and usually rooted in a prideful spirit). I trust that is not your heart though it certainly sounds that way. Would be better to simply teach the fullness of the scriptures on God’s grace then make up your own scheme to judge things by. God gave us the entire book of 1 John to examine ourselves by, not calvinism.

    Paul (the apostle) wasn’t afraid to acknowledge man’s belief (which is in itself a sovereign means by God ordained for us to be saved). By what your saying these Ephesian believers wouldn’t be counted as true brethren for simply believing what Paul told them (that they believed and trusted – GASP!).

    In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise – Ephesians 1:11

    A couple of loose quotes to close with:

    “Better to have and not be able to perfectly explain it than to not have it but be able to explain it perfectly”- Paul washer talking to a bunch of religious hyper calvinsts about a young convert who didn’t have the doctrines of grace right

    “I’ll take one Ravenhill over a hundred dead calvinists any day”. – Paul Washer

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  8. Yet another one takes Finnegan’s place. Sigh…this gets tiring, it really does. I have explained and explained until I am blue in the face, and when I use Scripture, word for word, folk such as you still don’t accept it. To say that the idea of sovereignty isn’t laid out in the NT is utter blasphemy, not to mention sovereignty as a requirement for salvation. Who’s saving whom?

    Have you read Romans 9 at all? Does this not say sovereignty to you?

    You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

    Rom. 9 19-21

    “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

    Luke 1. 37

    “…but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

    Acts 5.39

    “…which He will bring about at the proper time–He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,”

    1 Tim. 6.15

    And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

    Rev. 15. 3

    Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

    Rev. 19. 6

    At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

    Luke 10. 21

    “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

    Acts 17. 24

    ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE?

    Acts 7. 49

    But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.

    Heb 1. 8

    Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

    Heb. 8. 1

    Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

    Rev. 4. 2

    “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

    Rev. 4. 11

    …but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.

    Acts 18. 21

    Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

    James 4. 15

    “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

    Matt 10. 29 and 30

    …also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

    Eph 1. 11

    This is NOT a battle about Calvinism. Let’s put that old bone to rest, shall we? I have given you scripture from the New Testament that proves God is sovereign. If you need anything else, then you are in sin, not me.

    You just can’t stand having Calvinism verified through scripture, and when someone mentions certain scriptures, ideas or theology that “sounds” like Calvinism, all you-know-what kits the fan.

    The problem I see with the likes of you and Finnegan and others of your cut is you are proud and want God and your way at the same time. You want Jesus, but you want to make your own rules. You want to claim that God is sovereign but embrace to the death, man’s free will.

    You can only serve one master…self or God.

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  9. PS- TO better explain, the Ephesian believers were saved previously to this letter having been written when they trusted/believed in Christ. Paul then goes on to better explain Gods sovereign grace, its means, and practical workings all through this epistle. They were saved and later instructed. It is very common for a man to believe in Christ, be justified, and later learn the deeper truth of how God was the first cause. To condemn such believers seems far more concerning than to not understand sovereignty perfectly at regeneration. Hope you will think about these things bro.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Paul (the apostle) wasn’t afraid to acknowledge man’s belief (which is in itself a sovereign means by God ordained for us to be saved). By what your saying these Ephesian believers wouldn’t be counted as true brethren for simply believing what Paul told them (that they believed and trusted – GASP!).

    In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise – Ephesians 1:11

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  10. The recent comments were brought to my attention and I want to see if I can bring some clarification as to my own position here at DefCon regarding salvation.

    1. Salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.
    2. See #1.

    I do not think this is what was meant, but I do want to make sure. A person does NOT have to come to the full understanding and belief of the absolute sovereignty of God in order for the work of salvation to take place in the heart. I do believe that just as a Catholic cannot and will not remain a practicing Catholic as they grow in their faith, so too, a person who has been regenerated will (as they study and grow in their faith) realize that salvation is all of God and none of man.

    When a person comes to faith (like the woman at the well, the Ethiopian Eunuch, etc.), they do not know the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God. They can understand that apart from Christ that they are lost. In that regard, I would agree that they would believe, but to say that all people must be able to state that they believe in the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God in order to be saved would be to go further than I believe Scripture details for us.

    I have friends who do not consider themselves Calvinists, nor even hold to the doctrines of grace. However, I also believe they are true believers in Christ and are growing in their faith. Each of us is at a different position in our walk, but we must be careful that we not either add or subtract from the truth of Scripture.

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  11. Yes and Amen! Think of the thief on the cross next to Christ. First he mocks, but then he recognizes his sin and rebukes the other thief.(from 2 books) He couldn’t get baptized either…

    The issue is being born from above and then the process of sanctification. Even St. Paul is seen through scriptures as he changes through his sanctification process.

    Now, it appears that the responding Paul read far more into Flee’s comments then was there, and built a form of straw man in the process. Paul you should re-read these comments and both clarify your position as well as correct what amounts to treading close to slander of Flee.

    If you are a regular here you would not have placed Flee and Finney in the same category.

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