Sunday, November 30, 2008


I've been working on my first book for about the last 5 months. In these last few weeks my focus, and the amount of time to work on it have both increased. That's not a bad combination is it? :)

Well, I'm at the point now where I have to seriously consider which publisher to go with. Being a first time author I do not have great expectations of being published in the more traditional ways. So I will be self-publishing, and using a company that will print-on-demand and drop-ship my book.

Brother Lou uses Xulon Press, to print his book In Defense Of The Gospel and they are currently my first choice. However I'm going to leave my options open for a bit longer. Do you know of a better option?

UPDATE: I've decided to go with Xulon Press. I hope to have the book completed over Christmas and submitted by January. So it should be available in the March time-frame. If all goes as expected. ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Asking Christians to pray for the people of India

Hi all, last year I promised to pray for India for a year. Tonight that nation is facing what looks like an incredible terrorist attack. Please, get face down before the Lord God Almighty and pray for these people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zane Hodges home with the Lord

Zane Hodges has gone home to be with the Lord. My prayers are with his family and loved ones. Please read the statement at

The Gospel Delusion - Part 4

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 4: Tall Orders

Please begin with Part 1 of this series.

Part 3 responded to Dr. MacArthur's claims that it has become popular to leave the lordship of Christ out of the Gospel presentation in modern times as a way of making the salvation seem as pleasant and easy as possible. We discussed how in the Bible the Lordship of Christ was only ever proclaimed in a Gospel presentation as a qualification of Christ to save people and never as a requirement for the sinner to attain Salvation. But it's not just the Lordship of Christ that the Doctor says is missing.

Dr MacArthur writes “The cost of discipleship; the need to hate one's own sin; Christ's call to self-denial; His command to follow Him; and (especially) every mention of submission to Him as Lord were systematically expunged from the message Christians proclaimed to unbelievers.”(1)

The message Christians proclaimed to unbelievers Dr. MacArthur is talking about is the Gospel as per his discussion on page 10 of his book. In Part 3 we looked at three clear Gospel presentations given by the Apostles that God sent to the world and gave to the Church to proclaim the Gospel. We know that the Gospel Paul preached was received directly from Christ Himself, not through man, and that this is the same Gospel that Paul preached and every other Apostle preached as well. Gal 1:1, Gal 1:11-12, 1 Cor 11:23, 1 Cor 15:11

Since we know there was perfect unity in the Gospel presentation by all the Apostles and since we've previously looked at these presentations in Part 3 we can without doubt state that the Gospel never included these things that Dr. MacArthur claims have been “systematically expunged” from it.

This is all well and good, but the title of his book is “The Gospel According To Jesus” (TGATJ) so did Jesus preach a different saving message to sinners than the one He had His Apostles preach? Hardly. I can not tell you what Dr MacArthur's motives in choosing a title were. But there is an intense emotional blackmail that comes with the statement that “Jesus said” this or that. What Christian would dare contradict Jesus, or even be seen in the appearance of contradicting Him? Surely not this believer.

So what did Our Lord preach as the Gospel? Well first we must recognize that the Lord first preached and sent His disciples out with the Gospel of the Kingdom. Which was not a salvation message at all. The word Gospel means “glad tidings” or “good news” not “salvation message” though if you were telling the good news of salvation through Christ that would be a gospel, because that IS good news. But it is also good news to some, though surely not to the same degree that there's a sale at WalMart. The book There Really Is A Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology by Renald E. Showers is one of the few books that will whole heartedly recommend to any and every believer. I highly suggest the reader pick this book up (which you can conveniently purchase by clicking on it's link at the top right of this blog) for a much more complete discussion of these things.

The Gospel of the Kingdom, or the Good News of the Kingdom can be found in Mat 9:35, Mat 10:7, Mark 1:14-15. It was simply, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” We see that the Disciples were sent to Israel with this Gospel. In Mat 10:5-33 we read that the Lord sent them to the “lost sheep of Israel” and explicitly not to the Gentiles and Samaritans. Pay attention also to the preparations to be made, and the provision to be brought with them. They were to supported by the people they were sent to.

But Israel rejected this Gospel. She did not believe it. So the Lord then began to show His disciples the Gospel that He told Paul to preach directly. We read in Mat 16:21

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. NKJV

Now this Gospel message was to be preached to all the world, not just the lost sheep of Israel. Mark 16:15. We also know that though they had been sent out to Israel previously with the Kingdom Gospel that this information was new to them because Peter reacted strongly and immediately to the idea that the Lord was going to die. Mat 16:22 It would hardly make sense for Peter to have gotten so upset about this information if he had already been preaching it all over Israel. Besides the fact that the Scriptures say that “From that time Jesus began to show His Disciples that...” As for the preparation and provision the Lord instructed the Disciples to make and take we can read in Luke 22:35-36 that hostile opposition was expected and that they were to provide for themselves, not have the world provide for them. The Gospel of Grace, that of Christ's death, burial and resurrection on our behalf is free. The Kingdom on the other hand is rewarded to those who work. It is so even in Christendom. Salvation is absolutely free, but we will each be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will be rewarded or suffer loss based on the things we do whether good or bad. 1 Cor 3:11-14, 2 Cor 5:10

I bring all of this into the discussion to show the importance of knowing what the Lord is saying when He's saying it. As this series progresses we'll be discussing some of the quotes Dr. MacArthur uses to justify his assertions in depth. I'm confident that the reader will come to a strong awareness of the dangers of Proof-Texting theology.

In John 3 we read what the Lord preached about salvation directly. He preaches that one must be born again, and this is accomplished by seeing your sin held up as the serpent was on Mose's staff in the wilderness. He explains that He, the Son of Man, must be lifted up as the serpent was and that those who believe will be saved, and those who don't will not be. There is no mention of discipleship. There is no mention of submission to His lordship. There is just the explanation of His qualification and the example of satisfaction, or God being propitiated for the sins of the world. When we see our own sin judged as per the Scriptures requirements and Christ raised up from the grave as effectual for us then we are saved.

We've seen that the items Dr. MacArthur claims have been “expunged” from the Gospel were never part of the Biblical Gospel at all. We've shown, albeit briefly, that it's easy to misinterpret Scripture when we think we know what it says before we read it. The example given was that the Lord God wasn't always talking about how to be saved. In light of this example we ought to be all the more careful how we read the Lord's words to be sure we are not applying His explicit teachings on another subject to the subject of the Gospel of Grace. For to do such is great error.

Before I close off this installment I ask you to consider these few thoughts.

When a student is applying for a school they are told what the requirements are in order to graduate. The student is not expected to be able to fulfill these requirements at that moment. He is not told to pledge to fulfill them. He's told that he'll be paying for the education that will enable him to be able to fulfill these requirements. Big difference. He's being told what he's going to be able to do, not what he has to do or even be willing to do to get in.

When a person considers joining a profession he is not told to accept and declare that he will fulfill all the complicated tasks that the profession will absolutely require. For example I have been employed as an Avionics Technician for nearly 18 years. It would have been completely unreasonable for the person who hired me to have asked if I would be willing to diagnose and repair the airborne SONAR system that I am now (after these 18 years) a “subject matter expert” on. I simply would not have been able to even conceive of what such a question would mean, let alone be able to honestly answer him. Any mention of my future employment was to show me the opportunities choosing this profession would offer.

When a person applies to the Canadian Forces (and I suspect any military) they are not asked if they would be willing to give the “ultimate sacrifice.” The person is not required to be willing to serve for years on the front lines of a war. No these are the things that the individual gets trained in. The military builds the soldier they want out of the person they get. See the parallel here?

In each of these three examples the person is accepted in and then taught how to, and given the skills to actually be able to perform the basic requirements for the job, school or profession. The Gospel is similar though not exactly the same. Salvation is absolutely free. There is no agreement to perform included in the Good News that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and was risen to life to be seen in the flesh by more than 500 people on the third day. The Good News of Salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ Jesus is a declaration of His performance on our behalf. This is received and one is saved, or it is rejected and one is in the end cast into the Lake of Fire for all Eternity.

Christians are justified apart from works. Rom 4:4-8 but we are created as new beings in Christ Jesus for the purpose of Good Works so that the Father will be glorified. Eph 2:10, Mat 5:16 But we are discipled by the Body of Christ and more importantly by the Holy Spirit Himself so that we are conformed to the image of Christ and become fruitful. This fruitfulness, this discipleship or our willingness to be discipled is not a condition of salvation. The condition for salvation is to repent to believe that Christ carried out the Gospel on our behalf. Then Discipleship begins, whether we like and agree to the idea or not.

Please read Part 5: Well if you have to ask...


All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

  1. Pg 10-11

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to work tomorrow

I've had three weeks (broken) of Sick Leave and tomorrow is my first day back. I'm told that the environment is going to be somewhat improved. Things will be far from ideal, but I hope it will be tolerable. I'm hoping to maintain my witness.. as best as is possible.

I would appreciate prayer for favor in the workplace, and with replacing my current career if that becomes the only option.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fossilized Toy Car Is At Least Millions Of Years Old

When you're walking on the beach are you walking on stones that have taken millions of years to form? Billions maybe?

You've just got to check CMI's article out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remembering our need

A thought occurred to me today that no matter how much God helps us our need for Him and His help does not diminish.

We are always strongest when we are weakest because it is those times that we recognize our need for Him and have no choice but to depend on Him. I've heard many men express, and have experienced it myself, that God keeps us in a place of need so we will learn to depend on Him alone.

Today God gave me help, and I thank Him for it. Yet, I will keep my continued need in mind. That one symptom is dealt with does not change the fact of the disease. So today God helped me, and I rejoice, but I will not forget my dependence. God willing, this time I will not forget.

Of course there are obvious things like my need of employment that will keep me on my knees. But, in the past, I've often experienced the illusion of independence right after He has helped me in some way. I think it is this independent notion in me that has brought me to much of the pain in my life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Money Matters

I'm asking you friends of the Gospel to join in prayer with my ministry, family and I. The Cross Current, which is a uniquely positioned out-reach ministry, has reached the point of requiring true expansion. Please visit to find out more about the ministry it's self and how we help Pastors develop the Saints in their care. And visit to see and hear the hub of our ministry, The Cross Current Radio Show.

Here's what we need.

To bring Cory (Founder, Radio Show Host, Speaker) on full time and fund the support of 12 churches we required 250 people each giving $25 each month.

Then to bring me on full time and to fund our growth into major cities nationally we need an additional 250 people each giving $20 a month.

To bring TCC to full funding and have the ministry operating fully staffed and assisting Pastors in all the areas we envision across Canada we only need a total of 750 people each giving $25 a month.

TCC is incredibly efficient and has been designed from the ground up to be reproduced in city after city.

If you will, please pray with us for these goals to be met. If you can help please contact us and let us know.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Gospel Delusion - Part 3

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 3: That Old-Time Modern Gospel

Please begin reading the series with part 1:The Obligatory Introduction

On the 10th page of his work Dr. MacArthur states “Long before The Gospel According To Jesus (TGATJ) was first published, it was popular in certain circles to exclude any mention of Jesus' lordship from the gospel message.” (1) Oddly enough, (considering the incredible amount of red ink I have used on his book) I can find nothing to argue with Dr. MacArthur on this point. In fact, let's look at how the Gospel “message” was presented some 2,000 years before TGATJ was first published.

1 Cor 15:1-11

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The observant reader will find that the Apostle Paul is declaring the Gospel which he had preached to these Christians who had been saved through having received that same message. Another important observation will be made by the same reader, that this is the same message that was preached by all the Apostles. In light of Dr. MacArthur's comments most shocking observation... or lack there of, however is this: There is absolutely no mention of Jesus' lordship in this presentation of the Gospel “message”, and since it is the same message that all the Apostles preached, none of them presented His lordship. I guess it really was “popular” long before TGATJ was ever published.

Dr. MacArthur's explanation of why Jesus' lordship is excluded is that lordship implicitly demands obedience and that is seen to mean preaching a works based salvation.(2) I really couldn't say it better myself. But I suppose the Apostle Paul could.

Gal 1:6-7

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. NKJV

Gal 3:1-3

1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? NKJV

Check out Paul's question. Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Obedience. There's that word again. What kind of obedience does the Gospel demand for salvation to occur? I submit the following.

The Gospel it's self actually is something one must “obey2 Thes 1:8, 1 Peter 1:17, Rom 10:16. This is the “truth” that Paul wonders about the Galatians not obeying.

Rom 10:16

But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” NKJV

Obeying the Gospel is “believing” it, as per Rom 10:16. Obeying the Gospel is not following it's instructions and commands, for the Gospel has neither instruction nor command. The Gospel is the “Good News” of things accomplished by God on our behalf. This news is “received1 Cor 15:1 in so “obeyed” or “rejected” John 12:48, Acts 13:46 and therefore disobeyed.

I submit that it is Jesus Christ's lordship that allows Him to justify the ungodly on the basis of faith apart from works. Anyone can declare a man who does good is good. But it takes the LORD God to justify one who is ungodly. Rom 4:5-8 This is why our submission to His lordship, as right as that submission would be, is not a requirement for salvation. His lordship is proclaimed to all the universe as He does justify the ungodly on the basis of faith in Him as per the Gospel. Sinners can be saved by Grace through Faith apart from works only because Jesus is Lord. He does so justly and righteously because He does it on the basis that we are baptized into that payment He made through faith so thereby that payment is accounted to us. Rom 6:3

Peter gives a Gospel presentation in Acts 10:34-43, and those who received his words were immediately saved Vs 44. The beginning of this presentation shows off Jesus' lordship but in the same context as I have shared above showing that Jesus is qualified by being Lord of all, not requiring submission to His lordship. In fact at the end of his presentation the Apostle says in Vs 43.

...all the prophets bear witness that every one that believes on him will receive through his name remission of sins.” NKJV

In much the same way, Peter's Gospel presentation in Acts 2:14-40 also shows Christ's ability to save by His lordship, not a requirement for a sinner to respond to His lordship. Acts 2:41 shows that those who received his message were saved that moment.

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. NKJV

I don't want to give the impression that Christians are not to work. We are created in Christ for good works. And its by our good works that people will glorify the Father. Eph 2:10, Mat 5:16 But our salvation is not dependent on obedience to anything except the Gospel. Though, as I'm sure every believer reading this is aware, if we are not obedient the Holy Spirit will work on us to make sure we become so. Heb 12:1ff, 1st John, Peter's epistles come to mind immediately.

In Acts 17:22-31 The Apostle Paul preaches the Gospel to intellectuals. Once again the call is to believe, and proof of Christ is offered. The Gospel presentation is always aimed at bringing about belief, it proves God. It does not force the sinner to prove himself.

The word “repentance” gets tossed around a lot in the culture of the Church today. Dr. MacArthur's definition of the word is not fitting with Scripture or the Greek language. It is in fact a “change of mind” an “after-thought.” It is not a turning from sin or a becoming more godly. It is going from disbelief to belief. This is done by the convincing and convicting by the Holy Spirit through revelation. John 16:8-11

You will notice that in the Gospel presentations quoted above, the Apostles attempt to get the listeners to repent by offering proof and information to believe in. They did not call for submission. These preachers knew well that the Holy Spirit would work those this in anyone who did believe unto Salvation.

The preacher of Lordship Salvation may well ask about Paul's defense of himself in Acts 26:19-23.

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me . 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” NKJV

We must first understand that Paul is not declaring or even presenting a “Gospel message” here. He's giving a defense of himself for the actions he'd taken. He was not explaining how to be saved. He was recounting what he did in obedience to a “heavenly vision.” It is SO very important when we handle the Word of God that we do so with the greatest of care. As this series I've entitled “The Gospel Delusion” continues I will show again and again how the Word is not handled with care at all by some men.

What is this “heavenly vision” Paul is talking about? It's found in the preceding verses, the entire account of Paul's encounter with the Risen Lord, Christ Jesus on the Damascus Road is found in Acts 26:12-18, but my purposes require quoting only Vs 17-18. The Lord says to Paul;

17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ NKJV

Again even the Lord shows that we are sanctified by faith in Him. But the Lord tells Paul to do more than just preach salvation, but to also make disciples who will have an inheritance, earned reward in Heaven. And so Paul preached to the Gentiles to repent, turn to God and do good works. The whole package. Of course the Jews were upset that Paul was doing this among the Gentiles because they had not believed the Lord's words in Isaiah 55:1ff In that chapter the Lord details a free salvation, freely given to everyone both Gentile and Jew.

So yes, Dr. MacArthur is correct to say that long before his work was ever published it was popular in certain circles to leave out submission to Jesus' lordship from the Gospel. I guess in this installment of The Gospel Delusion I am forced to agree with at least this much of what he says.

Part 4: Tall Orders


All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

  1. Pg 10

  2. Pg 10

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God's will for all men?

1Tim 2:1-7
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Now I know Calvinists will redefine the word "all" used three times here. They will also talk about the idea that to want something is not to "will" it. However the Text is clear the word is "all" not "some out of all the world" and the word "desire" is θέλω or thelḗsō and it means "To will, i.e., to have in mind, purpose, intend, please."

What this does not say is that God has willed that all men are going to be saved. It does mean that when Christ gave Himself it was for all people, the purpose was to provide ransom for everyone.

Imagine, if you will, that if "all" didn't mean "all" here that God would in fact have been ordering Christians to lie in Mark 16:15
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Notice the content of the Gospel, declared by the Apostle Paul.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Now if we are told to preach this message to every created being on the planet, and if God didn't really die for all of our sins, then we have been told to lie which is just not possible because God cannot lie.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Gospel Delusion - Part 2

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 2: Not Just Hard, Impossible.

Please read Part 1: The Obligatory Introduction first.

Dr. MacArthur argues for a salvation that is hard on the believer. His work talks about all the requirements, “strings” perhaps, of true Salvation. He goes on about the demands that Jesus makes on a sinner that must be met in exchange for Salvation. As though Salvation is some sort of barter system(1) In his preface he says that modern evangelicalism has aimed at making the the Gospel sound as easy and appealing as possible and then describes Jesus' way of presenting the Gospel as “making salvation sound well-nigh impossible” (2) and quotes Mark 10:17-26 as his support for this, and then continues with “because for fallen sinners who are trying to save themselves, it is impossible.(v. 27)” Which is funny because it is the truth of his continued thought that impeaches his point. Jesus doesn't make salvation sound hard, He tells people that it is impossible for a man to be saved by or through his own effort. This does not contrast what Dr. MacArthur says about modern Gospel presentations making salvation sound easy... it actually agrees with it. In the Scripture cited the Lord shows “The Rich Young Ruler” that no one is “good” except God, that even though the man thinks he's kept the Law from his youth he can not actually do good enough to be acceptable to God. No matter how he prepares and presents himself, he'll never be “good enough.” His astonished listeners ask “then who can be saved?” Answering, the Lord says what is impossible for man is possible with God. The Lord isn't suggesting that Salvation is hard for a man. The Lord isn't attaching “strings” (see Part 1) to the deal. In fact when some, who thought Salvation was to be earned, asked the Lord what they must do He told them to believe. John 6:28-29

A portion of Scripture that will play prominently in the minds of those who evaluate Dr. MacArthur's work using Scripture is Romans 4:5-8. Why? Because in this short section the Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that faith/belief is not a work, and that salvation is totally and completely separate from works.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “ Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” NKJV

It is absolutely clear that we are Justified without works. Not that works don't just enter into the earning of Justification, or the process of Justification but that Justification happens totally and completely without works. This means that if one believes unto salvation and never does a good work but dies that he in fact was saved. His faith may have been “useless” or unprofitable as in James 2:1ff, and he will will be judged under the Law of Liberty and suffer loss of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ but he will have been Justified and accounted just as Righteous as any other Saint who ever has or ever will live. Rom 8:1, 2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:11-14

Salvation isn't just hard for a sinner, it's impossible. Jesus doesn't make it “sound well-nigh impossible” as Dr. MacArthur would have us believe. Jesus states that actually is impossible for us. Would it be the Lord's council to try or earnestly strive for something that He, the God of the Universe, clearly states is impossible? I think not.

But the Lord doesn't stop at telling us that it is impossible for us to be saved by how we prepare and present our selves to Him. Thankfully, He went on to say that what is impossible for us is easy for Him because He is all powerful. Mark 10:27

But why is Salvation impossible for us? Is it because we are hopelessly fallen, “totally depraved” beings? When the Lord presented the Gospel that saves, He began to show His followers that He must suffer, die, and be raised from the grave to life again. Mat 16:21 For this is what is required of the sinner if they are to live again. For every one who doesn't continue to do all that is written in the Book of The Law is cursed. Everyone who is not perfectly righteous is cursed, and bound for Eternity in the Lake of Fire. Deut 27:26, Gal 3:10. In fact since sinners are under a curse, if we wanted to attain Eternal Life apart from Christ's full provision we would have to die and raise to life again ourselves. And all would agree that this is impossible for a mere mortal man to accomplish. The mortal part kinda makes the concept absolutely clear doesn't it? And we read the very same thing in Rom 6:23 with the added clarity that salvation is a “gift” not something that is worked for.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

The Apostle Paul tells us that we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. This is how Salvation is accomplished for the sinner. Christ became sin for us, He was cursed, and He died for us. So the sinner positionally dies and raises to life again when we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. The Law is then established, as the just requirements of it are fulfilled in the sinner's death. Rom 6:1ff, Rom 3:31, Rom 8:1-4, Rom 2:25-27

As Dr. MacArthur's argument progresses he surmises that the sinner needs to become worthy of salvation to actually be saved. But sin doesn't require a change in the way we behave. Sin requires us to die. The sinner who comes to God with the slightest thought of saying “I'm trying to be worthy Lord” does not yet understand the Gospel. We present ourselves as wholly needing the Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the Cross to atone for our sin. When we come to God with that as our only reason for confidence to stand before Him, so that we can come confidently before the Throne of Grace expecting mercy, then we will be saved. Heb 4:14-16 Just like “The Rich Young Ruler” we can not ever be good enough to approach God. We come baptized into Christ's death and resurrection by Grace through our having received the Gospel or when we come before Him we will receive only destruction.

Part 3: That Old-Time Modern Gospel


All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008


  2. Pg 10

The Gospel Delusion - Part 1

The Gospel Delusion

A review of John MacArthur's The Gospel According To Jesus 20th Anniversary Edition

Part 1: The Obligatory Introduction

The preface of Dr. MacArthur's work states that his understanding of the Gospel, as gleaned from a very long intensive study of the book of Matthew, is the “backbone of everything (he) preach(es)”. (1) Of his position and it's presentation in this edition of his work he says “This edition makes no significant revisions to the 1994 edition but includes one new chapter – chapter 1- which amplifies and sums up the book's main point.”(2) These two statements are the reason my review of his work, and therefore his theology, will be based solely on the preface and first chapter of this edition of his work. His main point is the backbone of everything he preaches, and this one chapter is his presentation of that point. The rest of the book, though it may well build on and/or argue more completely, will stand or fall on the fidelity of Chapter 1 based on the author's own description.

As I sat down to dig into The Gospel According To Jesus (TGATJ) this past summer I did so with just a bit of fear in my heart. I had to be honest before God, and in my hands was the highest writing on the subject of Lordship Salvation. My honesty before the Lord demanded that I approach the work with an open mind, fully ready to throw out everything I have believed in favor of Truth if it truly was to be revealed to me. There is simply no other way to approach theology with honesty. So I prayed that the Lord would give me the courage to make known my convictions if they were in fact changed. See I have made no secrete of my opposition of Dr. MacArthur's theology in the past. If I were to be converted to his way of thinking by his strongest work on the subject then I would have to be equally as open about this as I was about my opposition. After prayer... and with a serious sense of caution I opened the book and began to read. Moments later I grabbed the red ink pen that over the next month would end up covering much of the free space in the pages of the book. It had begun, and so let's also begin.

The premise for writing the book is Dr. MacArthur's opposition to the idea that “Jesus is a kind Savior who patiently waits for sinners to accept Him and that He offers eternal life – no strings attached – in exchange for anyone's decision to do so.”(3) I could end this review ever so quickly, and really save myself much work if I were to quote verses such as 1 Cor 15:1-2, Acts 16:30-34, Rom 2:4, Rev 22:17 and/or many others but that would spoil the fun. And really, if I just responded to that statement Dr. MacArthur's followers would say that I didn't actually read his arguments... or that I am misrepresenting him or something...

But before I leave this quote I ask that you read it again, and then read what the Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” NASB
The stark contrast between what Dr. MacArthur writes and what the Apostle wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is hard to miss.

Describing the book Dr. MacArthur writes that it “offers simple, clear, straightforward, unflinching biblical answers to some crucial questions that desperately need to be dealt with and settled.” (4) As the parts of this article progress I will explore if he does give these kinds of answers to the questions surrounding Lordship Salvation, or if something else altogether happens.

You may rightly guess that I was not converted to his way of thinking by my study of his work. The simple, and sad, answer to the question of if he provides the kind of answers that he himself describes, can be found by examining a quote from the same page. “...this book still expresses what I believe Jesus said about the gospel in the best way I know how to summarize it.” (5) Well, Dr. MacArthur's book offers a 282 page “summary” of the Lord's presentation of the Gospel when the Lord's entire life and ministry was recorded 4 times over in only 189 pages in my NASB Scofield III Study Bible which includes extensive notes. And in 155 pages in my Darby translation with limited translation notes included. It's clear that Dr. MacArthur's “summary” is much longer than everything God saw fit to write about the Lord's entire earthly ministry. That fact alone ought to lead a person to question the idea that his answers will be simple, straightforward, and biblical, but we'll well begin dealing with that in Part 2.

As I write this introduction I have just finished the first few installments, and I'm realizing that my review of Dr. MacArthur's work could easily get to be as long as his book. Somewhere between 10 and 15 installments. So, I believe I will end up covering much less than I intended to, but I'm going to leave this series of articles open so that I can keep building on it as long as is required. That means that I will be posting the beginning of this series long before it's completion. And that ought to make things interesting, if not down right complicated for me.

Important Notice!

I do not question Dr. MacArthur's Salvation and will not tolerate comments that do. Dr. MacArthur has drifted into serious error. I trust his intentions were honorable in the beginning and I realize but for the Grace of God there I would go also. I recognize the many good contributions that this man has made in Christendom. My intentions with this work is not to disparage the man but to rebuke theology that is in error.

I believe that the earnest reader of this series needs to purchase TGATJ. I will quote from his work to show his statements but it would be impossible, and illegal, for me to present all that the man writes. I do do not fear adding to the sales of this book by suggesting you purchase it. After all I purchased it myself and believe me it is a very popular book. The few sales my suggestion will add to it will not make much difference. The lack of sales that this review could result in would not be noticed. My intent is not to deny Dr. MacArthur profit for his work, it is to protect the Brethren from it.

I categorically and without apology state in the clearest possible way I can think of, that the Lordship Salvation gospel is no gospel at all and that it does not save. However, be sure of the Lord's Grace. If one were to receive what truth is presented by the Lordship Salvation gospel then God Himself will ensure further revelation is given until the true Gospel of Jesus of Christ is either received or rejected by the individual. It is my prayer that God would use this work for just that purpose.

Please go on to read Part 2 of The Gospel Delusion Not Just Hard, Impossible.


All references (unless otherwise stated) are from The Gospel According To Jesus: What is authentic faith? Revised & Expanded Anniversary Edition By John MacArthur Copyright 2008

1. Pg 9
2. Pg 11

3. Pg 11

4. Pg 11

1 Timothy 5 in action at our Communion service today.

1 Tim 5:17-25 NKJV
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
24 Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
You may remember my post about how spontaneous repentance broke out at one of my church's recent Communion services. Well God again did something amazing today. One of our Elders publicly announced his resignation from his position due to sin. He is repentant and has been restored to full fellowship as a congregant in our church. In response to this man's confession the Lord has cleansed him of all unrighteousness. That sin is not just forgiven, it has been cleansed from him.

I now stand with my Brother in the Lord and will walk with him through this season into God's promise.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Spurgeon the Free Gracer

Brother Robb sent me an email this morning that I've just got to share with you.

November 8

Morning Verse

"As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord." Colossians 2:6

The life of faith is represented as receiving—an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams, they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation. The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us—a person who lived a long while ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Saviour, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of Him. All this is to receive Christ—to take Him as God's free gift; to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine.

Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

—Morning and Evening

In an hour dark, and a moment sad.

The Apostle Paul said "when I am weak I am strong." It's a tougher message when you read it in context.
2 Cor 12:7-10
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Well I am feeling very weak. I'm tired of being embattled. Tired of weakness in my walk. Tired of asking to be restored yet again. Tired of needing escape from the traps and nets set by the enemy's minions and my own failings. Tired of not being on the front lines needing nothing more than revelation and provision for the war. I'm tired of having to remind myself that I need to forgive people even if they don't deserve it. I'm tired of having so much I want to do but being distracted by flaming arrows bombarding my family. I guess with all this tiredness one might say I'm weary.

Jesus said.
Mat 11:28-30
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Would you pray with me that I would enter into that rest. I know I need to stop being my own protection. I need to lay down the sword of my own might. I know these things. Yet it is a vicious circle I'm walking in these days. Exhausted from the fight, which makes me so vulnerable that my defenses are going up instead of letting my faith be a shield.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congrats Barack Obama

CNN just predicted that Barack will be the next president of the USA. I know that many Christians won't be happy with this, while many others likely will be.

Friends and Brethren, the election is now over. Please now put down the campaign slogans and pray earnestly for this man, the country, and that the Church would lead the USA into godliness.

*Update: Brother Robb, host of Good Morning Jesus Christ! has more on this subject.

*Update 2: Robb shared this YouTube video. I've never heard of this guy before but after watching his video I surely find the guy fun. And he's got a lot of the same opinions as I do. That means he's GOT to be good right? :) Check it out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family Study

I'm sitting at the kitchen table with my lovely wife. We've each got identical MSI Wind netbooks and we're each about to do a course at BBNI.

What a lovely time.