Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jesus Christ on Same-Sex Marriage

Last week, for the first time in 236 years, an American President has endorsed the idea of Same Sex Marriage. Today it seems the media, the entertainment world, and much of our public school system is on his side. Sodom and Gomorrah are also on his side. On this issue our President has been said to be on the side of history. Better to be on the side of God. 

Often it is said Jesus never spoke on homosexuality or Same-Sex Marriage. That is not true. 

First, Jesus endorsed the entirety of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17; 26:56; Luke 16:31; 18:31; 24:25; John 5:46; 17:17; etc.) , and the old Testament speaks clearly on the issue of homosexuality. There is no doubt it proclaims homosexual behavior as sinful (Leviticus 18:22; Genesis 19; Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:6; etc.).

I remember Dr. Roy Fish at SWBTS saying you could fill up a paper saying the Bible is infallible, inerrant, inspired, our supreme standard of faith and practice, truth without mixture of error, completely true and trustworthy - and Jesus would sign it every time.

Second, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples into all truth. Part of that covers the way the Holy Spirit inspired Paul and the other biblical writers in writing the New Testament. The New Testament also speaks clearly on the issue of homosexuality (Romans 1:21-32; ; 1 Timothy 1:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7).

Third, Jesus spoke of marriage as being between one man and one woman for life (Mark 10:6-9). He referred back to Genesis where God made them male and female. Where God made Adam and Eve, one man for one woman in marriage. God did not make Adam and Eve and Mary and Sarah and Lisa. It was never God’s ideal to create polygamy. Neither did God create Adam and Steve. In the Garden of Eden God created them male and female, marriage is intended to be one man and one woman. According to Jesus, marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

Fourth, Jesus is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13) and as such He inspired the entirety of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). In a very real sense, when it comes to the Bible, Jesus said it all. He inspired it all. When the Bible speaks on morality, Jesus inspired it, Jesus said it.

In multiple ways, Jesus did speak of the immorality of the homosexual lifestyle. It should also be remembered Jesus offers grace and mercy to all sinners, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Churches should be welcoming to homosexuals; but not affirming of the lifestyle. True love and compassion will warn of a sinful, destructive, dead-end lifestyle.

To the homosexual:
Jesus Christ, God the Son loves you as much as He loves me or anyone else. Jesus gave His blood, His life, for you; and He rose again. No man is beyond God’s love and grace. No one is too big a sinner for God to save.

How does a homosexual get saved? The same way the rest of us dirty rotten sinners get saved. By admitting our sin, believing Jesus died for our sins and rose again, and trusting Him as our Lord (Boss) and Savior.

Did you know the New Testament church of 2,000 years ago included ex-homosexuals? 1 Corinthians gives a long list of sins, including homosexuality, and then says such were some of you, but you have been justified (made just as if you never sinned in the eyes of God) by Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Yes, sometimes those recovering from whatever, slip and fall. But stay close to Jesus, His Word, and His church. If you fall, ask His forgiveness and get back up.

You are not the only one. A couple of examples from Baptist Press (BP):
Study: Gays can change sexual orientation
No longer lesbian

-David R. Brumbelow, May 15, AD 2012.

Other articles:
The Roman Road of Salvation
The God of the Second Chance
Other articles in lower right margin.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 3 of 3

16. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God.  Romans 8:25-39

17. God will keep what we have committed to Him. 2 Timothy 1:12

Notice once again that it is God who does the keeping, not us. 

18. Jesus said He would send a Comforter that would abide with us forever. John 14:16

Forever means, well, forever. The Holy Spirit will not be abiding with those in Hell.

19. It is impossible for one who was saved, if he were to lose his salvation, to ever be saved again.

Why? Because Jesus would have to be crucified again. Hebrews 6:4-6

Christ was offered once for all as a sacrifice for our sins. Hebrews 9:28; Romans 6:10

20. The Bible says we can know that we have (present tense) eternal life. 1 John 5:13

How could we know that if we could lose it? If we had to keep ourselves saved, we could never know for sure if we had eternal life. We would not know until we died if we were going to Heaven or Hell.

21. Jesus said He will tell false professors, “I never knew you.” Matthew 7:21-23

He will not say, “I used to know you, but you lost your salvation.” Rather, He said I never knew you in the first place. They were never saved to begin with.

Objections to Eternal Security

1. That would mean a man could get saved and then do anything he wanted to do.

1. God changes our desires when we get saved.
I sin all I want to; in fact, I sin more than I want to.
2. Not everyone who claims to be saved, really is saved.
There are those who claim to be saved and live like the devil. Maybe they weren’t really saved in the first place. 1 John 2:19
3. God disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:5-11). God even kills some Christians, because of their disobedience (1 John 5:16; Acts 5:1-11). I believe in such a case, God takes them home to Heaven. Much like an earthy father would call a child inside the house for fussing and fighting with his friends and giving the family a bad name (see illustration in The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow).
4. There is a danger, however, of trying to judge who is and isn’t saved. Sometimes someone says, “A man may do this and be saved, but he can’t do that and be saved.” We try to determine how far a man may go who is a Christian. Salvation does not make us perfect and we still sin. We can’t always separate the wheat from the tares (Matthew 13:24-30). That is God’s job.
5. On the other hand, it is certainly valid to say of some individuals, “He sure isn’t living like a Christian.” Or, “I don’t see any evidence of that man being a believer.“ But the individual and God are the only ones who know for sure if the person is truly saved.

2. It would cause people to get saved and then do nothing for the Lord.
1. The greatest motivation for serving God is not fear of losing your salvation, but because of God’s love for us.
2. Because of the security we have, we can stop worrying about whether we are going to make it to Heaven or not and get on with the business of serving God.
3. The percentage of mediocre Christians does not seem to be greater among Baptists than among Christian groups who teach falling from grace. We all have mediocre disciples of which we are not proud!

3. What about the Scriptures that seem to teach falling from grace?

If you study them carefully and without prejudice you will find:

1. The person referred to was not saved in the first place.

2. The Scripture does not definitely say that the person was lost and went to Hell after he was saved.

3. The verse is not talking about salvation at all.

4. The verse has been taken out of context.

Belief in eternal security may not solve all the difficult passages. But I am convinced you will have a lot more problems (biblical interpretation problems, and a greater number of difficult verses) if you do not believe in eternal security.


The story has been told of two men on a plane to San Antonio, Texas. Someone asks the first man, “Are you going to San Antonio?” Nervously he replies, “I sure hope so. I think I got on the right plane. Man, I’m in big trouble if I don’t make it.” He nervously fidgets throughout the flight.

The second man is asked, “Are you going to San Antonio?” Confidently he replies, “Yes.” There is no doubt in his mind. He leans back, drinks a Diet Dr. Pepper® , reads the newspaper, and enjoys the flight.

Which one made it to San Antonio? Both of them did. But the second man enjoyed the flight a whole lot more than the first man.

That is the difference made by believing in eternal security. Those who, based on God’s Word, know they are going to Heaven - can enjoy the trip much more than those who never know for sure.

Note: This message on Eternal Security was originally put together in 1992.
Note 2:  The book, Fights I Didn't Start, and Some I Did (Round 2) by R. L. Sumner has a good chapter defending Eternal Security; Foreword by Bailey Smith.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 14, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 1 of 3
The Roman Road of Salvation
Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
About the Church Covenant
What Legalism Really Means
Why We Don't Use Alcohol For The Lord's Supper
Other articles in lower right margin

Monday, May 7, 2012

Evangelist Billy Graham on Charles G. Finney

I grew up hearing good things about Charles Finney (AD 1792-1875), an evangelist from the early 1800s. I heard sermon illustrations about him. I saw books by and about him in my dad’s library and other preachers’ libraries. My heart was stirred hearing how he was part of a great revival in America and was instrumental in leading multitudes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Today I see Finney attacked time and again. Some Calvinists in particular seem to have a visceral distain for him. Finneyism is by them used almost as a curse word. They call him a Semi-Pelagian, another of their favorite pejorative terms. According to some Finney is the reason for virtually all problems, real and imagined, in the church today. Curiously, these same folks usually do not so criticize the great evangelist of our time, Billy Graham. Perhaps because it would not be so accepted?

It's refreshing to hear something good about Finney.  Back in 1982 Evangelist Billy Graham had some very interesting comments. Hear them:

“Few men have had such a profound impact on their generation as Charles Grandison Finney. Through his Spirit-filled evangelistic ministry, uncounted thousands came to know Christ in the nineteenth century, resulting in one of the greatest periods of revival in the history of America. In addition, he became one of the most widely-read theologians of his time through his lectures and writings. His concern for education influenced whole generations of students.”

“But most of all, Charles G. Finney was a deeply-committed Christian. More than anything else he wanted to serve Christ and be used of Him.”
-Evangelist Billy Graham *

Graham goes on to call Finney a “remarkable man,” and “one of history’s greatest evangelists.”

So don’t be intimidated by the criticism. Get Finney’s books; get Drummond’s book on Finney. And next time you hear someone running down Charles Finney, you might share with them Billy Graham’s view of this great evangelist.

* From the Foreword in The Life and Ministry of Charles G. Finney by Dr. Lewis A. Drummond, Bethany House Publishers; 1983. Drummond was a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 7, AD 2012. 

Update:  Additional endorsements of Charles G. Finney by Christian leaders. 

“[Charles G.] Finney won multiplied thousands of souls.  Although he preached in a smaller area, and though he was handicapped by some errors in theology, Finney probably had as powerful a manifestation of the power of God upon his ministry as did D. L. Moody or any other preacher since the days of Paul, and in the smaller area which he covered in his revival work a larger proportion of the population was saved than has been true, we suppose, in the ministry of any other great evangelist.” 
-John R. Rice, “The Power of Pentecost;” 1949, 1979.  Rice was founding editor of “The Sword of the Lord.” 

Robert L. Sumner refers to the “noted and greatly used Charles G. Finney.”  
Sumner was an evangelist, author, Associate Editor of “The Sword of the Lord,” editor of “The Biblical Evangelist.” 

“While giving instruction it is wise to appeal to the understanding. True religion is as logical as if it were not emotional. I am not an admirer of the peculiar views of Mr. [Charles G.] Finney, but I have no doubt that he was useful to many; and his power lay in his use of clear arguments. Many who knew his fame were greatly disappointed at first hearing him, because he used few beauties of speech and was as calm and dry as a book of Euclid; but he was exactly adapted to a certain order of minds, and they were convinced and convicted by his forcible reasoning. Should not persons of an argumentative cast of mind be provided for? We are to be all things to all men, and to these men we must become argumentative and push them into a corner with plain deductions and necessary inferences. Of carnal reasoning we would have none, but of fair, honest pondering, considering, judging, and arguing the more the better.” 
-Charles H. Spurgeon, “Lectures to My Students.” 

“One of the tremendous affirmations of the great evangelist and preacher Charles G. Finney is this; that it is the truth of God that convicts and that saves.”  
-W. A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX, author, SBC president. 

For a positive treatment of Finney, see:  “The Life and Ministry of Charles G. Finney” by Dr. Lewis A. Drummond, Bethany House Publishers; 1983. 
Drummond was a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Also see, Robert W. Caldwell III, “Theologies of the American Revivalists,” IVP Academic; 2017.  
Dr. Caldwell is professor of church history, SWBTS

Both Caldwell and Drummond explain some of Finney’s theological views, views criticized by some who do not understand them.  They also explain some of the “out of context” Finney quotes that are often used against him.

I do not agree with all of Finney’s theology, but he was a great evangelist and greatly used of God. He is undeserving of much of the modern criticism against him. 
-DRB; 1-7-AD 2018.  

Other articles:
Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
Scofield Bible, First 100 Years
Baptists on Tithing
Young Preachers - Finding a Place to Preach; Part 1
Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
Other articles in lower right margin

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 2 of 3

8. We are kept, not by our power, but by the power of God.  1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24; Psalm 37:24.

If you were to say, “I will give you salvation, but then you will have to keep yourself saved,” I would have to say, “That kind of salvation will not do me much good.” I could’t keep myself saved five minutes.

God does the saving and God does the keeping!

9. If we could lose our salvation, we would never be secure.

We would always be wondering if we would slip up. Always wondering if we will end up in Hell instead of Heaven. Wondering if a former child of God would be burning in the fires of Hell. Without eternal security, there is really no security at all.

10. If we could lose our salvation, what would cause us to lose it? How would we know when we had lost it?

A little sin? A big sin? A lot of little sins? If so, how many little sins? Five, ten, 20? If 20, then could we get away with 19 little sins?

Once again, it would be impossible to know if we were really saved or lost.

11. If we could lose our salvation, then would we need to be baptized over and over again?

This especially applies to those who teach that baptism is a part of salvation. When they lose their salvation, why do they only have to believe again? Why do they not have to be baptized again? Are they not making the baptismal waters more powerful than the blood of Jesus?

Of course their problem is that they would have to continually be baptized. If I believed that way I think I would just stay in the baptistry. Maybe we should just baptize them and shoot them! Send them straight to Heaven!

12. If we could lose our salvation it would mean that God had failed.

It would mean God had tried to keep us, but could not.

It would mean that children of God would be cast into Hell.

13. “Falling from grace” is a contradiction in terms.

Falling from grace is really an oxymoron. Grace means unmerited favor. How can you no longer deserve what you never deserved in the first place?

There is a reference to falling from grace in Galatians. It refers to the point that the Galatians once believed in grace, but now believe in works. They have left the idea of grace behind, hence they have “fallen from grace.”

Galatians was written to refute those who believed you must believe in Jesus and be circumcised in order to be saved, or believe in Jesus plus do good works to be saved. Paul taught that faith in Jesus plus nothing equals salvation.

14. John 10:27-29

In this passage Jesus teaches once saved always saved in four different ways:

1. “I give them eternal life” v. 28a
2. “They shall never perish.” v. 28b
3. “Neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” v. 28c
4. “No one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” v. 29b

Jesus added, “My Father…is greater than all.” v. 29a. If we are in the Father’s hands, we are secure.

A boy had a nickel in his hand, back in the day when a nickel was worth a lot. He challenged his friend, “If you can get the nickel out of my hand you can keep it.” He closed his hand tightly around the nickel as his friend tried to open it. Finally the friend pried one finger up and started on another. The boy jumped up from the porch and ran inside to his father. He asked his dad to put his big hand around his hand with the nickel. The father did so, and try as he might, his friend could not open his dad’s hand. That is what Jesus and God the Father do for us.

15. Galatians 5:1-4

The problem with the Galatians is that they started out believing in Jesus, but then they began to teach that you must also follow the law to be saved. This is really a form of what those teach who believe you can lose your salvation. In this sense, Galatians is one of the best arguments in favor of eternal security.

-to be continued.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 2, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 1 of 3

Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 3 of 3
How to Get a Life When Ministry Drains it Out of You
Flee Immorality
Other articles in lower right margin