May 292010
 

What did you teach?

What did you learn?

Did you hear the Gospel?

We continue in the Heidelberg Catechism

Question 127. Which is the sixth petition?

Answer: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand a moment; (a) and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil, (b) the world, (c) and our own flesh, (d) cease not to assault us, do thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, (e) but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we obtain a complete victory. (f)

(a) John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Ps 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (b) 1 Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (c) John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (d) Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (e) Matt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (f) 1 Thess 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Question 128. How dost thou conclude thy prayer?

Answer: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever”; that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to give us all good; (a) and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but thy holy name, may be glorified for ever. (b)

(a) Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 2 Pet 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (b) John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Jer 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. Jer 33:9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Ps 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

Question 129. What does the word “Amen” signify?

Answer: “Amen” signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of him. (a) (a) 2 Cor.1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Tim.2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

  No Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. M*B i hope you feel better i am finally going to sleep now, up w one of my asthmatic furry children, was slipping into no breathing episodes, having some type of allergic reaction to some plant budding w spring

  2. John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

    brian asked the other nite (last nite?) what about the Faith was unresolved in your minds… or something to that effect…

    it seems that we can ask an awful lot in Jesus’ name that is not done (given to us)… is it because we ask amiss? OR because He was just addressing 11 of the Apostles here? OR what we ask will not glorify the Father’s Son? OR???? (not abbr for Oregon BTW)

    so many little things happen (like Sarah’s unending supply of cold water at the flood clean-up) that whisper His presence and concern – but why is it that waiting on the Lord feels so much like He’s left us “dangling in the wind” so often? Even when not doubting the reality of Him (even in the midst of enjoying it), not seeing His merciful answer is a big Faith-test.

  3. Em,

    That is a struggle for me as well…the more you read the Gospels the more you realize we seem to have a short in the wire…

  4. Just finished watching Pastor Dave Rolph’s message from this morning…

    Many good take-aways.

    1. I am not God.
    2. I can’t fix anyone.
    3. The Bible still calls for pastoral accountability and to tell it to everyone when they sin and don’t repent.
    4. ODMs should really listen to this message.
    5. Rolph is one laid back dude.
    6. I think he smokes pot before he preaches. 🙂
    7. I wish I lived closer and could attend in person.

    Gonna go relax after that message…have a cold one…and chill…and get out of God’s way for awhile. 8)

    Some areas of repentance…I shouldn’t call into question professing Christians’ salvation. Only God knows.

    Life really is but a Vapor…and we have eternity to look forward to…and relationships are important. Grateful for the new friends I’ve made on here.

  5. Michael and Em,
    I caught a bit of Michael Youseff’s program this afternoon and he was talking about unanswered prayer. He was using the passage about how Jesus performed no miracles in a place because of unbelief. He spoke with such confidence and seemed to have it all wrapped up, and that was just in the 5 or so minutes I heard. Nothing against Youseff, but I’m just not sure we can wrap up the problem of unanswered prayer in such a neat package. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

  6. “…have a cold one…and chill…and get out of God’s way for awhile.”

    I think we all need to do that!

    “Grateful for the new friends I’ve made on here.”

    Believe, it’s nice to have you aboard!

  7. unanswered prayers probably have something to do with unbelief, not willful, “premeditated” unbelief… i know that unanswered prayer involves at least 1 of 2 things: we’re not “there” yet or God isn’t…
    in the bigger picture faithful, trusting souls for 2,000 years have prayed for our Lord’s return and we “explain” that it will happen… someday… that’s an easy one – all those prayers will be answered in God’s time and the hammer will fall with no going back, no more grace for the race of mankind…
    but the prayers for the here and now? Lord, help us to see the clog, the break in the wire, the disconnect that hinders Your work on our behalf and our prospering in service. I think most of us now would say that we’d be content with food and raiment and health and safety for those we love and … one day at a time is very difficult to arrange a life around Lord…
    help us in our weakness…increase our knowledge of Truth, our focus on You and increase our confidence.
    Lord, You are so beautiful, and Your salvation is our reason for living

  8. OK…been chewing and chewing on Pastor Dave Rolph’s message from yesterday…

    Trying not to pass judgment…but having some interesting thoughts about mainstream Evangelicalism today…

    We are not God. We do not affect people as much as we think we do. The Universe does not revolve around us. God’s work will be fine without us. We can’t fix anyone. We shouldn’t judge other Christians. Pride is a/the major culprit in warring and fighting.

    The balance was that pastoral accountability is Biblical…(I believe he was alluding to 1 Timothy 5). And, that those who are pastors and civil Judges…and parents…meaning certain roles in our society and within Christianity…the essence of this Scripture doesn’t apply to…as part of their function is to judge.

    Meaning…it is personal judging of others…outside of an established functionary position like pastor, judge or parent…that is wrong.

    OK.

    I don’t like the line of thought I’m going to articulate here…but it is sticking in my mind…and it would be good to get some hash-out in community…

    Who, then, determines “judgeship” in the sense of a “pastor”…the civil Judge as judge and the parent as judge are pretty darn cut-and-dry…

    The pastor as judge…not so much.

    ODMs believe they are called of God to ODM…in essence…they are pastors.

    Then you’ve got certain “pastors” who believe they are called and “make it happen” (a subjective interpretation on my part)…and because they have butts in seats are validated as “being called”…because “where God guides…He provides”…(which is extra-Biblical…is it not?)

    Pastor as judge is a pretty important and influential position in the lives of people…it can be a very good influence…or a very very bad one that hurts people.

    My “judgment” is that we, as a Body of Believers, need to spend more time learning (and applying) what the Bible says about being a pastor.

    This would help with the rogue pastor situations…and the ODM situations…

    But, ultimately…each individual will do what they want to do…regardless…that’s just reality.

    We are not God…but the greatest sin of our Vapor (making a general judgment here)…is that we sure think we are…P.R.I.D.E. (I know it’s true for me…and I can judge myself!) 🙂 8)

  9. Continued on with 1Timothy 6.

    The dangers of desiring to be rich.
    Where do we get our real security.
    The stuff that we seek after weighs us down.

    But you, man (or woman) of God.

    Flee the trap, pursue righteousness…

    See yourself as a man or woman of God, then just do as His nature in you compels,

    because He is the only Potentate, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords…

  10. Just watched Pastor Gene Pensiero’s message from yesterday (CC Hanford)…it is so cool that we live in this Vapor where we have the technology to received the Word from the Holy Spirit from a variety of voices.

    Gonna chew on this message for awhile as well. I believe I was to hear both Pastor Dave’s message and Pastor Gene’s message…

  11. A E A…good message. Riches are a trap…they build one’s house on the sand…and one begins to believe they are in control of their destiny and that they are god.

    Riches can be fleeting…and one can quickly be broken by the Lord when the storms come and the riches that were once a security blanket…get washed away…and one is left naked in their impotence…with the stark realization that they are in fact not god…but that He is God.

    I pray for not too little and not too much…yet, in all things content.

  12. Believe,

    Unfortunately, in the less developed parts of evangelicalism, it’s like the Wild West — whoever talks the loudest and shoots off the loudest gun (read: activity/piety/butts in seats) wields the biggest authority stick.

    Pastors need to be accountable just as much as nonpastors, IMHO. That’s why you have denominations — most have accountability structure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, does it? We’re saints and sinners and as such, need accountability down here.

    Pastors should not be judges…in fact, a pastor, biblically, is an undershepherd for the Great Shepherd. Jesus took our judgment, did he not?

  13. Luth…yes good point.

    Just wish there was a CC-type denom…that had some of the accountability of the reformed denoms.

  14. Believe,

    I understand.

    But the two things you desire seem mutually contradictory…in a church where they pride themselves on having no membership, where pastoral accountability is nonexistent or optional at very best, and where if you don’t like something, well, there’s the door…that just isn’t how established churches/denoms do things.

  15. I would submit that instead of contrasting, picking the best parts of, or trying to find a balance between the unaccountable, feudal pastor/executives and the denominational, hierarchical, parliamentary or monarchy systems, that we do away with human authority positions and jobs entirely. We don’t need people “in charge,” unless it’s for coordinating special events or ministry operations, and that for only a limited period of time.

  16. I think it would be far more accurate and more respectful to say that Dave has a relaxed and engaging manner of sharing the Word.

    Lets drop the grass referent.

  17. Holly,

    I know that, but not everybody that reads here is necessarily a friend…

  18. Didn’t intend any offense…Pastor Dave examples a lot of peace from the pulpit…I just used a modern day reference to illustrate and emphasize the point…but with ODMs lurking everywhere…your point is also well taken.

    My post and your response actually drive home a key point made in Pastor Dave’s message (ironically).

  19. Michael, “not everybody that reads here is necessarily a friend…” Really? Yikes! Who knew??? That’s kind of scary. I thought everyone here was wam and fuzzy. hmm….

    M*B “Whenever I listen to Dave Rolph it has the effect of a calming influence on my relationship with God” I can hardly think of a higher compliment to pay a pastor. Not everyone here may be Dave’s friend, but with friends like you he is truly blessed!

  20. I know it’s what CC teaches, because C. Smith taught it — but it goes against the entirety of Christian history and what the Church has always believed, everywhere and by all men.
    ———————————————-
    Whoa…that is a little off. Chuck didn’t invent this aspect of eschatology.

    As to membership, a few CCs have membership. We don’t and I don’t see how it would make a difference in our fellowship (having also ministered in a non-CC that had membership)

    I am open to hearing SPECIFIC benefits of membership

  21. Membership confers certain rights. Moses did not grant any of those.

  22. AV asked, “I am open to hearing SPECIFIC benefits of membership”

    The Board of Elders would have to respond to a request to a Matthew 18 hearing of allegations of Child Abuse against the sitting pastor…(along with many other allegations)…

    Without “membership”…the pastor “tells” them that he doesn’t want to do that…and the non-member family member and non-member members have no recourse within the local church governing body. The pastor has all the power…no check and balance…

  23. Believe, membership is meaningless to the sort of Board action you describe. What matters is the by-laws, and if the pastor violates those he is breaking the law.

  24. AV…membership allows the opportunity for input from official members to incorporate by-laws that are specific to my situation…it’s the culture of membership that allows for healthy checks and balances.

    You are a good guy…so you are self-checking…and have a conscience…a membership culture and clearly defined checks against pastoral abuse should be there for the few that aren’t as full of Character.

  25. We’ve had this discussion for years and have yet to deal with reality.

    Reality is that the majority of people don’t give a rats ass whats going on if they get what they want and they really aren’t concerned about “collateral damage”.

    If people cared about such things they could get up and leave and then the pastor isn’t a pastor anymore.

    They don’t… and no form of church government can stop people who willfully decide to prop up a jerk.

  26. Michael,’Reality is that the majority of people don’t give a rats ass whats going on if they get what they want and they really aren’t concerned about “collateral damage”

    kind of like eating dinner out at your favorite restaurant … if they only knew what was going on behind the kitchen door…

  27. Em,

    That’s an excellent analogy.

    For about 40 years here in Southern Oregon there was a large Chinese restaurant that was a local landmark.
    Everyone ate there at least once a month…Friday and Saturday nights you waited to get in…despite the fact that the place was shutdown every year or so for sanitary violations.

    We all knew the place was dirty and the food was so loaded with MSG that it made you sick for a week.

    We still ate there…because everyone else did.

  28. ma bell,
    “I think Dave smokes weed before he preaches, too. He is like the quintessential Californian! He even taught once in a sermon a year or so ago that if people want to smoke cigarettes during his service, he’s OK with that. (I think it was during the Galatians series.) AMAZING! ”

    lol!!! there are times I wanna smoke weed after I teach…..

    I don’t think it would be legal to smoke cigarettes in a public place in California 😉

  29. I think Dave was just trying to make me feel better as he saw me choking a couple down in my truck between services… 🙂

  30. bella:

    I agree with you about church membership, but I think the failure is two fold.

    1. There is no economic or sociological reason to belong to a church any more. In the past church membership in a community meant more than agreeing to a doctrine it was part if the community of people and therefore provided access to others, both for economic support and friendship.

    If you read the history of Johnathan Edwards, credited with preaching that started the “Great Awakening,” he was removed from his pastoral position for requiring members to have confession of faith in Jesus. The issue wasn’t the confession it was not being allowed to be a member of the church and the effects it had on that person in the community.

    2. The second and most important factor is today we get our “community” outside of church. There are so many outlets today for community and interaction with others, why bother with church? PP has proven we church goers will argue till we’re blue and upset about doctrine so why would the rational person, who really doesn’t care about such things, want to put up with such behavior.

    Like the TV show said, “sometimes you want to go where someone knows your name…” No threats just acceptance and a beer or two.

    My thoughts and no doctrine.

  31. No one? As many pastors and theologians as there are here? 🙂

    I’d like to know myself…and what I have to look forward to on that day…

  32. I was resting… 😉

    I think the “bema seat” concept is difficult to prove .

    My understanding is that we all get a full reward…either salvation or damnation.

    It’s really simple.

  33. Bella:

    The issue I have with “Bema” seat is people have taken a Greek word and made it sound like something special. Here is what I know scripture teaches:

    All peoples will be judged.
    For followers of Jesus, there appears in scripture to be a reward or payoff for faith fullness and the pursuit of God led service to others.
    Now the problem lies in the idea God gets to decide on what the rewards are and you and I (at least I) may not get what we think is due us. The good news is He is absolute just and fair, it is His reward to give out and not ours.

    Personally I will be happy to be a sheep and not a goat.

  34. I’ll save myself the typing…

    http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/bema.html

  35. Michael’s statement about a “full reward” would hold true with the parable of the Fair and Generous Land owner. Matt 20:1-16

    And I think people like to say “Bema” because it makes them sound smart.

  36. Michael said, “If people cared about such things they could get up and leave and then the pastor isn’t a pastor anymore.
    They don’t… and no form of church government can stop people who willfully decide to prop up a jerk.”

    But in my situation…people are leaving…and the continual warning and persistence is having an affect. I am receiving more and more emails and other communication from people who are just finding out…and are leaving…many have left already…more are pointing their friends and family who are still there to the Topix forum…some who have been going for nearly 30 years…others are staying there and trying to influence from the inside…money is getting tighter…

    In these kinds of matters…you can’t give up…you have to persevere…you have to do what you believe is right no matter how unpopular or how discouraging it can be at times. I know it’s the right thing to do…and I’m receiving confirmation from a lot of people connected to this situation…it is snow-balling.

    1 Timothy 5 does work…people do take warning…you just have to keep at it and fight through the spin…relentlessly.

  37. Bob,

    In this instance I think you’re right.
    I’ve heard much nonsense teaching about the “bema” judgment as opposed to the “white throne” judgment by those claiming insight into the Greek.

    Any works that I do are the works that God set before me and it is Him working in and through me to accomplish them.

    Therefore…who gets the credit?

    Thank you, I rest my case.

  38. “I totally concur with almost all the author’s premises.”

    That’s because you’re smart and have good taste in men. 🙂

  39. “At the time of being told you are in the Book of Life, you also get rewards for faithful service? Or is the “reward” salvation?”

    This isn’t the Kiwanis Club…salvation is the reward.

  40. MB. You would like interaction with your statements on the judgment seat of Christ. I will bite. Just got back in and have a few moments. I will share thoughts that come to mind as I consider what you wrote previously in this thread.

    Christ described in the gospels a judgment that would be rendered on the basis of stewardship. A son who was to share in an inheritance would face such a judgment in terms of his prior actions as as a steward and whether he was capable for greater responsibility. We will be evaluated on the basis of how we worked out our salvation in fear and trembling within the saving grace of God in Christ.

    From what I see in Scripture those outside of Christ will be judged from the vantage point of their works because their works will paint a picture of their unbelief and rejection of the man Jesus Christ.

    As children of God we have the assurance of our salvation and the privilege of remaining under the rule of His redemptive love and within the protection and care of His Kingdom forever.

    However, as stewards of the manifold grace of God we do not have carte blanche assurance of Him looking us in the eye and saying to us “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

    He is more than glad to interact with us graciously,powerfully and patiently in spite of past performance to enable us to understand and live after His good pleasure and fill us with a growing confidence that we will be found faithful as a steward in His Kingdom.

  41. “We will be evaluated on the basis of how we worked out our salvation in fear and trembling within the saving grace of God in Christ.”

    If I’m judged on anything other than the imputed righteousness of the life and death of Christ in my place, I’m going to be damned.

    Period.

  42. Michael. Evaluation of stewardship rendered towards a beloved son is vastly different in it’s purpose than a judicial sentence handed down to a criminal.

  43. Different not only in it’s purpose but also in it’s severity. We are evaluated by a discriminating love that is gracious as opposed to reaping what one deserves while facing the severe justice of a Holy God. Christ bore that latter type of judgment for us once and for all.

  44. Centy said, “I don’t think it would be legal to smoke cigarettes in a public place in California”

    LOL..that’s for sure. You’d have a better chance of going to jail in Cali for smoking in public…than you would for violating Federal Law regarding immigration status.

  45. Vic,

    You probably hold the majority opinion on this one.

    To me, it’s little different than the Catholic concept of merit.

    You know how we Reformed think about that… 🙂

  46. Believe,”But in my situation…people are leaving…and the continual warning and persistence is having an affect. I am receiving more and more emails and other communication from people who are just finding out…and are leaving…many have left already…”

    had to pop back in – not to pontificate or sound smarter than i am (i only know what i read…)
    the situation which Believe has described over time here appears to go beyond the typical chicanery of men who don’t fear God and exploit the Church…
    exposure is good and called for; but every time it comes up here it calls for ongoing, serious prayer cover for all who are involved…
    we all know this, but felt the goad to remind us tonight – this one has no joy

  47. Michael I understand the concept of merit. In Christ I gain by His grace a return (as a new creation) into the privilege provided in Eden. To be renewed, restored, regenerated whatever soteriological term used to describe such a privilege is pure grace and not merit.

    It is the grace of stewardship that arises out of and sustained by fellowship. When seeking the good pleasure of God in terms being fruitful in good works we have set aside the merit of being under law and are simply living out the freedom provided for us in grace.

    The manifold grace of God imo includes a dimension of grace that does not have to always be described and understood only as that which is opposed to merit.

    That being said we will be surprised by the grace of our Father on that day and I think also understand with greater clarity and comprehensiveness the grace of Christ that was at work within us as we worked out our salvation in fear and trembling.

  48. I’ve never bought the idea of the Bema seat. I’ve heard it argued on here…it always kind of reminded me of a dispensational version of purgatory. 🙂 Plus, again, it’s focusing on us and what we have or haven’t done, and not on the Lord Christ.

    Michael, thank you for that link. Most helpful.

  49. ‘You and Believe bring up an interesting point I’ve oft wondered about … why doesn’t CC have membership? It’s one area I think they’re dead wrong about. Just because the word “membership” isn’t found in Scripture doesn’t mean the principles aren’t there’

    M*B,

    The early church certainly would have had no truck with the idea of a membershipless congregation. You had to be taught for 3 years before you would have been accepted into fellowship — that’s how important doctrine and catechization was. You had to be on the same page theologically.

    I doubt membership is a word they would have used…but the concept of allegiance wouldn’t have been. If you have an allegiance to a church and what it stands for, membership should not be an issue. I think it would be an unspoken given.

  50. Here’s what RC Sproul thinks.

    When you die and go to heaven, God will give you a reward for whatever degree of obedience you have rendered to him in your Christian life. The reward that God bestows upon you in heaven will be given according to your works but not because your works are so righteous and meritorious that they impose an obligation upon God to reward them. God has graciously given us the promise that he will reward whatever obedience we give him. He doesn’t have to, but out of his goodness and grace, as Augustine said, he crowns his own gifts. Our entrance into heaven is strictly by the righteousness of Christ. Our reward in heaven will be granted according to the works of obedience that we render.

  51. Lute, consider this. Whatever I do through “CHRIST” who strengthens “me” focuses on Christ in this phase of life and will retain it’s rejoicing and focus on Christ with an even greater intensity as we face our evaluation of this phase of life in Christ and move on into the next.

    How can that even be honestly compared with the concept of purgatory where one is put on hold from enjoying the blessings of God while somehow paying off the last remnant of their deb to God?

  52. Uh oh. Is Sproul now Neo_Reformed? 😉

  53. Calvin agrees with him:

    “Now we see that there are three reasons [that God rewards good works]: The first
    is: God, having turned his gaze from his servants’ works, which always deserve
    reproof rather than praise, embraces his servants in Christ, and with faith alone
    intervening, reconciles them to himself without the help of works.The second is:
    of his own fatherly generosity and loving-kindness, and without considering their
    worth, he raises works to this place of honor, so that he attributes some value to
    them.The third is: He receives these very works with pardon, not imputing the
    imperfection with which they are all so corrupted that they would otherwise be
    reckoned as sins rather than virtues.”

    There’s no notion of a “bema seat” but Calvin indeed has a nuanced idea of eternal reward based on works.

  54. I’m afraid to find out what Packer thinks… 🙂

  55. Hey great conversation with excellent thoughts, and opinions. But what happened to MB?

    Good night everybody.

  56. Dr. Packer:

    “There will be different degrees of blessedness and reward in heaven. All will be blessed up to the limit of what they can receive, but capacities will vary just as they do in this world. As for rewards (an area in which present irresponsibility can bring permanent future loss: I Cor. 3:10-15), two points must be grasped. i] The first is that when God rewards our works he is crowning his own gifts, for it was only by grace that those works were done. ii] The second is that essence of the reward in each case will be more of what the Christian desires most, namely a deepening of his or her love-relationship with the Saviour, which is the reality to which all the biblical imagery of honorific crowns and robes and feasts is pointing. The reward is parallel to the reward of courtship, which is the enriching of the love-relationship itself through marriage” (J.I.Packer, “Concise Theology,” Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, 1993, p.266).

    I recant in sackcloth and ashes…back to the books for me.

  57. Believe,

    Calvin on 1 Cor 3:13

    “The darkness will not always remain: the light will one day break forth; which will make all things manifest.” That day, I own, is God’s — not man’s, but the metaphor is more elegant if you read simply — the day, because Paul in this way conveys the idea, that the Lord’s true servants cannot always be accurately distinguished from false workmen, inasmuch as virtues and vices are concealed by the darkness of the night. That night, however, will not always continue. For ambition is blind — man’s favor is blind — the world’s applause is blind, but this darkness God afterwards dispels in his own time. Take notice, that he always discovers the assurance of a good conscience, and with an unconquerable magnanimity despises perverse judgments; first, in order that he may call back the Corinthians from popular applause to a right rule of judgment; and secondly, for the purpose of confirming the authority of his ministry.”

    I’m printing that one out for future reference…

  58. ‘Not having a church membership – and instead having this sort of “attendee” philosophy – lends itself to a very casual ecclesiology and, by default, a very casual view of the holiness of God.’

    M*B,
    Yes. I think even the concept of ‘membership’ is perhaps a Western, post-Luther, as you said, Zwinglian concept.

    But you know what’s interesting? As a teenager, I was confirmed in a Zwinglian church. And guess what? THEY HAD MEMBERS! LOL. It’s the norm in Protestant churches except the low church Prots.

  59. salvation is the reward.
    ————————————-
    Michael, after the Sproul discussion last night, is this a slip of the tongue? 🙂

  60. What is the problem with bema seat?? It is the word used in Rom. 14:10 and 2 Cor. 5:10

    Do you all balk at the word agape too?? 😉

  61. AV,

    I have had my butt handed to me tonight. 🙂

    This is a very good lesson…I knee jerked my Reformed template over a question without much thought and no study…and my two favorite teachers rebuked me.

    I thought I knew better…

  62. Vic,

    OK, so I exaggerated a bit. Never done that before. 🙂 So the bema seat doesn’t have the same emphasis as purgatory.

    However, it fits well into evangelicalism’s focus on the self — “What have I done? What have I not done?” Etc. “God does not need our good works,” Luther said. “But our neighbor does.”

    Everything we do as Christians is tainted by sin — Luther said that we are in curvatus in se — turned in on ourselves — in everything we do. He said sin is like a man’s beard — you can shave it but never eradicate it.

    Instead of worrying about the bema seat, let’s get out there and live! Help our neighbor! Sin bravely!

  63. MB,
    Isn’t that a bit like saying that we should not teach grace because it will lead people to sin?

  64. Thanks for sharing that Michael…

  65. As to membership. Bella makes the point most clearly that it helps form a proper culture for the church. I think there is a strong point there, but because I find myself in disagreement on how the point gets there, I find I can’t agree.

    My belief is that I have an equal responsibility to ANYONE and EVERYONE the Lord brings my way – and I have ministered in that fashion all my life. Sure, it means sometimes taking the time to write a letter or make a visit for someone who is relatively a stranger and then disappears right afterwards. But since the alternate is to say “members only” or to lie and say I don’t have the time….I leave that in the Lord’s hands.

    As far as the extent to which the church might assist, say financially, I and the others who make those decisions all know who is really an active “member” and who is not – even without official membership.

    The main point I want to state on this is that what matters LEGALLY is the by-laws. Your membership is meaningless in areas like accountability if the by-laws don’t grant that authroity. And if the by-laws grants similar authority to congregants, then being an official member doesn’t add a thing.

    I also see Bella’s point (but don’t fully agree) that no membership (quote) ” leads to freelance Christians who hang out at the church for it’s benefits and associated blessings, without giving anything back in terms of giving of their time in ministry, not giving financially, and not being committed to the work of God IN THAT SPECIFIC FELLOWSHIP”

    If something as manmade as membership is needed for the congregation to get involved in giving and serving the Lord, then I am sure doing a lousy job.of edifying the body in Christ. And I have that experience of being at a membership church and saw quite a few of the same hangers-on that were also members. So membership didn’t change a thing there.

  66. Holly,

    I ‘ve never seen that judgment omitted, just one added to it.

    You’d know that if the phone was upstairs…

  67. Bella – I as a dispensationalist would disagree with you that the Great White Throne is a believer’s judgement.

    (I think I have SOME company besides Chuck) 😉

  68. MB: “…it’s intended means of creating purity in the Christian and holiness of life.”

    Are you able to show chapter and verse for this thought? Isn’t it the Lord’s kindess that leads us to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

  69. I didn’t say that…

  70. the great white throne judgment sounds scary…but for some reason I keep picturing a rainbow when I think about it.

  71. I’ve judged that it’s time for bed… 🙂

  72. Bema me up Scotty. Ey Captain I agape me some more power to the transporter.

  73. How about what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 about those who already judged?

  74. Bella said, “…the fact that ALL of us will stand before God to give an account of our lives, and be judged according to our works. That IS a scary thought, and it SHOULD create trepidation, fear and trembling, and purity in the believer…”

    I kind of agree with what you are saying, but I tend to lean more toward the thought that our love for God should be what moves us toward purity.

  75. Bella, I agree that we will give an account for our lives, deeds, words…or lack of…

    do you think that the great white throne judgment happens for everyone all at the same time/day(individually or group)?- like how the rapture is described, or will this happen as each of us dies we go before the throne?

  76. Bella, are you saying we can’t have assurance of being saved?

  77. “…at what point is the believer to be told whether or not he/she made it in?”

    Do we need to be told? Paul was confident that when he would be absent from the body, he would be present with the Lord. When we die, I don’t think we will need to be told. If we live until the rapture, we will be present with the Lord instantly. We will know.

  78. Bella – first, forget CC and Chuck and your experiences in the movement when it comes to doctrine.

    May I suggest you secure ‘Things to Come’ by Pentecost. This is a scholarly work written in 1958 that lays out dispensational eschatology in great detail. We are talking about a huge puzzle with many pieces (Matt 25 for example being one of them). It is impossible for me to reply in detail in one area without writing a book of explanation as to how this fits into the overall doctrine. For example – there are eight judgements noted and discussed by Pentecost, found in Scripture. (Not all being eschatological of course).

    And by scholarly work, here is what I mean. I don’t care if someone disagrees with every word. The man wrote a 600-page book, that has a Bibliography of at least 300 sources (many of those with opposing views – and many of the heavy hitters like Strong, Calvin and Hodge being represented), and a Scripture index that goes on for 23 pages in very small font.

    I don’t agree much with Karl Barth. But obviously the man was a tremendous scholar.

    So to this work by Pentecost.

  79. Rev 20 is worth a careful read, the sequencing of resurrections and the subsequent judgements are laid out very clearly – the Book of Life is differentiated from a collection of books which contain works – things like that… course that’s only if you take the book literally, eh? 😉

    logic (mine) says that the blood of the Lamb was sufficient to wipe out the sin penalty and, therefore, we, those who’ve accepted the offered redemption, won’t be giving an account of all our embarrassing past transgressions. rewards? logic says whatever the Master deems fit… and no regrets… i hear it’s a place of much joy and satisfaction

    the world’s noose is tightening around Israel – do we pray for them or say ha! i told you they weren’t anything special? whatever the case, that blockade-running “mercy ship” was such a set up, but it’s clear that the Israeli “boarding party” wasn’t ready for it and that’s strange … IMO

    NOW i’m sleepy – finally! 😆

  80. Since Ryle is being quoted…this is a good word on the topic of the assurance of the believer as he saw and taught.

    http://www.the-highway.com/assurance_Ryle.html

  81. I meant that even though guys like Missler and others in the CC movement believe much as any dispensationalist does in these areas – it is the poor manner in which these issues are taught by most in CC (in my opinion) that should be forgotten. Frankly, that is why we have so many parrots in the movement that just repeat the guys they hear on the radio. I’m pretrib and premill and yet I have met others in the CC movement that I could probably argue the amill position from Scripture and defeat in a debate (that is not meant as a boast – rather an indictment of the lack of education among many in the movement)

    Whereas Pentecost will give you detailed Biblical reasoning, and then give you alternative views (in their own words) from those who disagree so at least you can come to a studied conclusion.

  82. My Heavenly Dad just likes having His kid home and loved it when he took his first wobbling attempts at walking, youthful attempts at running without the wisdom for endurance, and of course desires the mature steady walk of one ready to run to the battle in and out of season for the cause of the Father’s anointed One, The King, His Son.

    He desires nothing less than to share all that is His with us. We are His hearts desire. He’s given us a new heart and spirit. Made available all that is His, to continue the work of His Son. And we’re stuck on sin? Why? Have faith in God that He has made us a new creation. Present ourselves to Him as vessels for use. And walk in the Spirit.
    This is Paul’s pattern in Romans 3-8:1

    Knowing this/these things- what things? what Jesus accomplished. Ultimately, new creations.

    Reckon them/it to be true – have faith that God is faithful to His word and what He says IS true. So act upon it.

    Present yourselves to God- we are now as new creations, vessels fit for His use. So we must now/daily/moment by moment keep presenting ourselves. Abiding, praying without ceasing, denying the flesh (remnants of the old nature) and presenting again and again.

    Walk in the Spirit – This is what we want and desire in the new heart. But we allow the filth of the world, and of the accusations of the enemy and our own flesh to build up as we get touched by them. Somehow we have developed this view of the Father who is one who would punish his children for this. But it is the accuser who will do this with his children.

    The Father desires that His children come to be cleansed and healed, restored to a right heart once again, their minds being renewed, that they may be bold and strong in proclaiming the Good News through both word and the Life they lead. That His Son saved the whole world. And those that are His will come. And those that are not of God will deny Him and follow their own father into eternal damnation. All of this I cannot and may not ever fully understand. I am not nor ever will be God.

    But this is what He has done, not only saved us, but allows us to be a part of the work of salvation in continuing as His Body in completing His ministry/work in the lives around us in which we have influence. It is this that the Angels are in awe and wonder of in His salvation plan.

    At the Great White Throne we stand in Jesus as children of God. And there is therefore no condemnation.

    Before the Bema Seat we will be rewarded for how we invested what we were given. Did we invest in the works He had set before us or hide it away and get bogged down in accusation, guilt and sin thinking Him a harsh master? And I believe like the 24 elders we will just simply lay whatever crowns He gives us right back at His feet. Because it is ALL just of His grace that is beyond measure.

  83. dewd. good words brother.

  84. Preached the third in a series of 4 mssgs from John 14 and the HS. A few who were there appreciated it…I m sure but most could take it or leave it.

    I feel I am preaching more substantively and relevantly than I ever have before and we have excellent leadership and focus. But from where I sit, , it appears we live in a church culture where growth is determined by “the goods and services” . If I am correct then many a CC, or small church is like the corner mom and pop store competing with Walmart for customers.

    What we/I value and offer at our church is, Biblical literacy, Community, God directed and good I might add Worship, and opportunities at Missions. But what I am peddling people aren’t buying. I think an independent analyst would say we do what we do very well ; but that our problem is these things aren’t enough; it’s not what a majority of people are looking for in a church.

    I love out church and the folks there. The values I stated above reflect the leaderships heart for a church But the Christian culture has changed. People choose churches and expect things from their churches that we didn’t think of just 20 years ago

  85. For the record I have never liked Missler’s thing. He lost even more respect when he went to a mill to get the title “Dr”. Missler

  86. Thanks for clarifying — I thought you were saying to throw out ALL CC doctrine; but you are speaking only of the eschatological parts of the doctrine they teach. That makes more sense
    ————————————————–
    Even that is not really my point. I am in line with the eschatological doctrine (remember I am a CC pastor) – it is just that so many in CC have no idea why they are pretrib, why a bema, why they aren’t at the great white throne etc. – they just assume only a heretic thinks otherwise because the exegesis is often quite weak.

    Pentecost is the sort of guy to read to know why many like myself believe this way. I could teach it all here, it just takes too much time.

  87. Pastor Steve said, “If I am correct then many a CC, or small church is like the corner mom and pop store competing with Walmart for customers.”

    That is an accurate observation, IMO…and a good metaphor to illustrate the dynamic.

    Pastor Steve…keep doing what you’re doing and don’t give in to the temptation to deviate from your integrity and Character to “compete” for butts in seats.

    It can be discouraging…I know that…I know another CC pastor who has been in the shadow of a much more savvy “businessman” in his area for many many years…I’m sure he has been tempted to compete with the “Wal-Marts” of his area…but he’s stuck to his principles and hasn’t tried to “Big-Time” it…he’ll receive his reward not on this earth…(Bema Seat alert…Beam Seat alert).

    Remember…butts in seats does not a healthy church and ministry make…butts in seats is not necessarily the Holy Spirit “moving”…it can be largely man-made…there are mosques packed with people in some countries…

    Doesn’t mean God doesn’t use the “businessmen” who cater to the desires of the masses…the Gospel still finds its way out despite them…and the Holy Spirit often overcomes their fleshly deficiencies…but, you will answer to God for the Talent you’ve been given in our Vapor…so keep doing what you know is right to do in your ministry.

  88. The ONLY way that I believe God will honor SH’s (and his buddies) call for “Riptide: Another Wave is What We Need” or something like that…meaning Revival…is if the Leadership at CC and all the CC’s look in the mirror and begin with the person looking back at them.

    Character, being honest, repentance of sin, showing the masses…the public by EXAMPLE…I believe that God will greatly honor that…and that the Holy Spirit just might woosh in like the roaring wave that SH is calling for…

    Show me…and tell me…but SHOW ME the Revival…from the Leadership.

  89. MB…he outed himself some time ago 🙂

    I have my guesses…and now the little visitor map to connect the literal “dots”… 8)

  90. Steve:

    I’m with you on your feelings. Quite frankly church today is about growth in numbers and maybe it always has been. The difference is to reach the post-Christian culture, which surrounds the church today, you have to have more than a “contemporary” service.

    A new young pastor in my city is using a movie theatre instead of the old stand by, a school, to meet at. I love the man, his family, message, and heart but he has chosen to have seriously LOUD music. It is so loud my ears hurt for hours after. The scary thing is those who attend love it.

    Even though the music is LOUD this church is attracting people who have never ever been to church, praise God. They aren’t interested in the Bema or white words they want to see if Jesus is the real thing! Interesting enough the most difficult part of the church is finances. The people going are also learning to give, which is something new to them.

    Now the really big churches that are growing are full of church transferees in my area so real growth in the church is nil in these cases.

    Just some thoughts.

    PS. I really don’t get the importance of know the specifics about the judgment day. I really believe the “Kingdom of Heaven” starts the day Jesus sets up shop in one’s heart and His return will be the coup de grace of the whole thing. Death will no long have a foothold in this world, blessed be His name!

  91. MB, your assertion is that we ‘can’t know’ if we’re saved until we’re dead… have i got that right? i hope that what you are basing that on is the fact that we are fallible and our hearts are ‘deceitful.’ and i suspect that your desire to check yourself daily and do good is due to your love for Christ and the Faith, not an attempt to be safe and saved by works…

    thanks for making it clearer and more in our faces that we have an obligation to live like we’re born again…

  92. Believe

    “”…keep doing what you’re doing and don’t give in to the temptation to deviate from your integrity and Character to “compete” for butts in seats.”

    Thanks for the encouragement. For the record I have no intent of deviating and trying to compete for “butts” in the seat. First off, I can’t…it’s not me…I am what I am and I preach and lead thru the integrity of my heart…Those few who attend appreciate my commitment to teaching the intended meaning of scripture in a creative and usually interesting and relevant way. But for most “church shoppers” what CCS is “selling” people ain’t buying

    I want church growth. It’s healthy…and I need to see it. Our problem may be something as simple as location. We are back from a major road a 100 yds or so and in the NE part of town which is not the most desirable in some people’s eyes.

    It just may be a combination of a lot of things; church attendance across the board is down, church commitment; and the desire to hear the word. Many churches who once had large mid-week Bible Studies have seen a decrease in attendance.

    I am no scholar so don’t misunderstand me when I say tend to be more academically sound in my preaching and not play “loosy goosy” with the text. I mean no critique of by brothers but I haven’t listened to a CC pastors sermon in years. My wife tells me I should…maybe she’s right…I dunno.

    I think we have much to offer in the way of connectivity and worship…but we don’t seem to attract that want to involve themselves. Most seem to be looking for the once a week Sunday morning “experience”

  93. I don’t mean to come of arrogant with this statement: “I am no scholar so don’t misunderstand me when I say tend to be more academically sound in my preaching and not play “loosy goosy” with the text. I mean no critique of by brothers but I haven’t listened to a CC pastors sermon in years. My wife tells me I should…maybe she’s right…I dunno.”

  94. Bella – not knowing that about me, I can see where my remarks were quite confusing. I assumed the regulars like yourself knew that – but I should have clarified. Sorry.

  95. So Madison…you know who I am…but who are you? What can you tell us about yourself? You may have already done that at some prior time but I don’t know much about you

    Yes, I am a CC pastor but CC probably wouldn’t claim me!

  96. MB
    “All I know of you, Steve, is that you’re a CC pastor and have cancer (which I’m really sorry to hear about). That’s the extent of my knowledge. ”

    Well, that’s more than I know about you!

    My church is in Oregon; before going into the ministry I was a police officer, before that a college student at Vanguard University (then known as So. Cal. College). Been married to the same woman for 35 years (this August); I have two daughters who I love dearly.

  97. Thanks for the tip AV…

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