Sunday, March 30, 2008



Do you consider the Sovereignty of God important? Do you consider this a harsh doctrine? Many do, and it may surprise these to know that our Lord Jesus Christ taught the absolute Sovereignty of God! That’s right — Christ taught this doctrine. You may not believe that He did, for you may say that He was too meek and lowly, and just taught love to everybody, so therefore man’s total depravity and God’s election were not taught by Christ. But, has it ever occurred to you that your belief just might be wrong? Has it really? It is true that the “Jesus” of today’s popular songs, and the one taught about in the average church, evidently knew nothing about this teaching! But, the Christ of the Bible sure did! This is sufficient for me — what about you?

We will only examine one chapter of the Bible for our proof that Christ taught the Sovereignty of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. You are asked to look at the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Here we find all the evidence we need for our case. In verse 37 Jesus Christ said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Notice please, the Sovereignty of the Father:ALL THAT (meaning certain individuals) THE FATHER GIVETH ME (meaning by His election of them) SHALL COME (by effectual grace and power) TO ME.” This certainly does away with the modern terminology, “give your heart to Jesus.” The heart is not the sinner’s to give to Jesus! It belongs to the Father. If not, how could He give anyone to His Son?

The same 37th verse will be our verse for the Sovereignty of the Son Himself. He said, “And him that cometh to ME I will in no wise cast out.” How wonderful is this promise! So many have claimed this promise as their very own. Have you? You surely may, if you have come to Christ in TRUTH. Notice though, this verse implies that Christ Jesus has the power to cast one out. Otherwise, why should He even say, “I will in no wise cast out?” It is obviously not a lack of power to do no. He has ALL power! See Matthew 28:18. Christ has the power to cast the devil’s children into hell (Luke 12: 4-5). He could REFUSE to accept a vile sinner such as you and me, and be perfectly just and righteous in doing so! Why? For none of us deserve to be accepted by Christ, for He is Sovereign and we are sinners! But, He will NOT reject you if He has placed the desire in you to come to Him. Oh, praise His name! Christ has promised freely, in His sovereign mercy, NOT to cast you out — BUT YOU MUST COME TO HIM! Not come just to an altar, or to shake some preacher’s hand, but to Christ! He ALONE can save you!

Men talk so much of free will and man being willing to be saved. But, it is God’s will that counts. Hear these words of Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), from a sermon entitled “God’s Will and Man’s Will:”

“Salvation hinges upon the will of God, and not at all upon the will of man. So saith our text — “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Romans 9:16), by which is clearly meant that the reason why any man is saved is not because he wills it, but because GOD willed it, according to that other passage, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ (John 15:16).”

“The whole scheme of salvation, we aver, from the first to the last, hinges and turns, and is dependent upon the absolute will of God, and not upon the will of the creature......Oh! How happy are we when we come back to the old-fashioned doctrines, and cast our anchor where it can get its grip in the eternal purpose and counsel of God, who worketh all things to the good pleasure of His will.” I must say AMEN to Mr. Spurgeon, dear reader!

Let us look now at the Sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Notice that Christ said here in our verse, “ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL come to me.” How shall they come? Jesus has given us the answer in this same chapter, John 6:63: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Naturally, men are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), totally unable to save themselves (see Romans 3:9-10 and Titus 3:5). If the Holy Spirit did not make a sinner alive (spiritually), the sinner COULD NOT come to Christ. No one CAN come unless he is drawn (John 6:44), and the sinner is drawn irresistibly by the Spirit’s power! Only God the Holy Spirit can bring life to a dead sinner. NO GIMMICK CAN DO IT!

There can be human pleading, human effort, human tricks, and yet, no matter how sincere these may be, NO MAN CAN TURN A SINNER TO JESUS CHRIST. When it is all analyzed the true “soul winner” is the Holy Spirit! Let’s don’t try to do His job. Let us that are saved, pray that we may be used by the Spirit, but not to try to use Him! Let each of us point men to the Savior, but let us trust the blessed Spirit to do the saving!

Yes, God is Sovereign. Jesus Christ said so. If you are not yet convinced, please, in Christ’s name, do further study on this vital subject. Read John 4 and tell me why Jesus “MUST needs go through Samaria?” Read John 10 and tell me why He spoke of “other sheep I have,” which He had long before the Gospel was carried to the Gentiles? Yes, just simply sit down and read anywhere in the word of God, and with an earnest open heart, seek to be taught of the Spirit concerning God’s Sovereignty!

Hear these sobering words from A.W. Pink (1896-1952):

Before God saves a man, He convicts Him of his sinnership.By this I do not mean he says with everybody else ‘Oh yes, we are all sinners. I know that.’ Rather do I mean that the Holy Spirit makes me feel in my heart that I have been a lifelong rebel against God, and that my sins are so many, so great, so black, that I fear I have transgressed beyond the reach of divine mercy.”

“Have you ever had that experience? Have you seen yourself as totally unfit for heaven? For the presence of a Holy God? Do you now perceive that there is no good thing in you, nothing good credited to your account, that all the way through you have loved the things God hates, and hated the things God loves?” From a tract—“The Way of Salvation.”

D.James Kennedy says in “Truths That Transform:”

“There is no man, nor group of men, who could oppose, frustrate, or limit any purpose of God” (see Psalm 2:4). ---“God is God, and not man; and He doeth whatsoever He pleases in this earth, and there is none that can speak against Him.”

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

John Wycliffe, the first man to translate the Bible into English, has given us some of these simple rules as follows:

“It shall greatly help you to understand scripture, if you mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, and to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goes before and what follows”

For more on “The God who is Never Frustrated”, see an excellent article by W.F. Bell at:

Friday, March 21, 2008



“Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15: 12-14).

Once again I am drawn to 1 Corinthians chapter 15. The first ten verses of this chapter are often called “the gospel in a nutshell”. Because Easter Sunday is near, we are hearing many things in the media and elsewhere regarding the subject of the resurrection. I recall that in 2006, one of the things that caught my ear was a radio skit on the PBS program, Prairie Home Companion. In the comedy skit, a man and wife were talking. He brought up going to church tomorrow since it was Easter. He said “after all, that’s when He rose from the grave”. Her answer was “Well, I have my doubts”. While this was a radio play, this is the position so many take on this subject -- “I have my doubts”.

If you doubt He arose, you doubt the core of the Christian faith. You might as well not claim to be to be a Christian if you haven’t settled this issue. I am not speaking here of someone that is very new as an inquirer in the faith, or one who has never heard the gospel. But there are some, who have attended church for years and been involved in many church activities and events, may have graduated from a Christian school, got married in the church, and even professed faith, yet doubt the resurrection!

Well, you are not alone. The apostle Paul, who wrote the letters to the Corinthians to help them with the same problem, spoke from experience. He had doubted. As Saul of Tarsus, had even hated Christians and persecuted them for teaching that Jesus was alive again. He thought he was serving God by doing so. Yet God revealed the truth to him! On the Damascus road he was knocked down and blinded for a time. He knew it was the Lord whom he had fought against that brought him to his knees. The same Jesus he persecuted had been crucified, dead and buried. At first, he wasn’t buying into “the myth” some Jews were preaching that Christ was raised. Now he knew He was alive! Later when his eyes were opened he became the mighty apostle Paul. Now he is writing to the people of Corinth, and all of us in this magnificent chapter on the resurrection.

He questions particularly why some in the church say there is no resurrection of the dead. We could ask this today. One of the doctrines that all Christendom claims to believe in their various creeds is the resurrection of Christ. Catholic and Protestant, Orthodox and Coptic, Fundamentalists, Evangelicals and Liberals, Calvinists and Arminians -- All claim to believe this! Yet like the wife in the skit, many doubt it.

You see the doctrine of the resurrection is not a ritual just to be remembered at Easter time. We observe the resurrection every Sunday, really every time the local church meets to worship Christ, who is risen from among the dead. When I was in Russia. I saw some of the colorful ceremonies of the Russian Orthodox Church, which generally does not preach the true gospel, but has a formality. One of their rituals on Easter is when the priest says several times “Christ is risen”; the people give a response “Christ is risen indeed!” It is their ritual. Yet this must be our heart response if we are real Christians!

Paul says in verse 13-14, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain.” (KJV with phrasing modified). Can you grasp what he is saying? If the teaching of the resurrection is untrue, Christ is not risen, and He is still dead! That also means that all the apostles preaching and all the preaching before and since is vain! In other words, as it says in the Amplified Bible, it amounts to nothing! For those who were preaching in the Old Testament times who were looking for Messiah, and Christ and his disciples who preached with Him while He walked on the earth, as well as those who now preach of his saving grace and his glorious return in the future, are all deluded if He is not risen.

To summarize: Paul goes on to say in verse 15 we are false witnesses because we testified that He lives.

He says in verse16: if the dead stay dead forever, Christ is still dead.

Verse 17: if that is so, you are still dead sinners.

Verse 18: all those who have died before now, believing in Christ are deluded too- they are still dead.

He sums up this line of thought so marvelously that we ought to remember the following verse every day!
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Most miserable! Jean Valjean in the great Victor Hugo novel Les Miserables was not as miserable in all he went through as the apostle would be, or as you and I would be, if there was no resurrection.

But, thank God, Hallelujah! There is a resurrection. Christ is risen, and we who have been born again will also be raised from the dead
(If indeed we must keep our appointment with death). “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Some will not have to die, but will be alive when He comes as Paul points out in verses 51-55 of this glorious 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. I urge you to read it all. I trust and pray it will bless you.

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of them that slept” (1Corinthians 15:20).

For further study I recommend:

Who Moved the Stone? – Frank Morison – Zondervan reprint-1987
Originally published in the 1800’s. Mr. Morison had been himself a skeptic, a doubter. He set out to prove the resurrection false and proved it true instead! A valuable resource!

Evidence That Demands a Verdict- Josh McDowell -Nelson References 1999. A more modern apologetic originally written for college students. It has become a helpful tool. Get the most updated edition if possible.

Why I Believe- D. James Kennedy- W Publishing Group 1999
Dr. Kennedy was the well known pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He passed away on September 5, 2007. He is remembered as a scholar and defender of the faith. He was a gracious man and I fondly remember he came on the board of ECL/ Door of Hope after I invited him to do so when I was Field Director of the mission. It was after Bro. Haralan Popov was with him in Ft. Lauderdale in the 70’s. Bro. Simion Motz and I also were there at Coral Ridge Presbyterian in the 80’s, and were treated well and received warmly. He wrote later a nice preface for the proposed next edition of On the Way of the Cross in the King’s Service by Simion Motz. We hope it will be reprinted soon. You can find used copies online here and there. The three other books are available at

Also, please don’t forget to read 1st Corinthians 15 this Easter. I suggest that you read in KJV, then perhaps in the Amplified Bible as a study aid.

Matthew Henry is helpful on these verses also, as he usually is.

God Bless all who read this, remembering that every Lord’s Day is resurrection day, but if you especially observe Easter Sunday, may this writing strengthen and help you in your love for Christ.

Monday, March 10, 2008


"Hate evil, you who love the LORD" (Psalm 97:10). "Therefore I hate every false way" (Psalm 119:104).
Christians are truly thankful people! The glory of Christ has been revealed to us; we understand and know the majestic sovereignty of our holy God over all things, including evil. Romans 8:28, Ephesians 5:20, and I Thessalonians 5:18 are all precious Scriptures which we are "thankful" for. Yet, the Word of God is balanced, where we also read, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess" (Ephesians 5:18), and "See that none render evil for evil unto any man" (I Thessalonians 5:15). Even our Lord Jesus Christ (in righteous indignation) "made a scourge of small cords," driving out the money changers from theTemple, and overturning their tables. Yet, though physical violence, this caused no riots or political uproars in Jerusalem. The disciples quoted Christ's actions as fulfilling Psalm 69:9, "Zeal for Your house has consumed Me" (John 2:13-17).
We are commanded to be joyful Christians, ever giving thanks and singing to the LORD in all circumstances of life (Psalm 97:12; Psalm 98:1), yet the same Bible tells us we are to "hate evil" if we love Jehovah. "Every false way" is not something to be thankful for abstractly and passively, but actually hated, and never tolerated. Remember, if this passive attitude toward sin was according to the holiness of God, there would have never been the agonies of the cross. Sin was certainly not tolerated at Calvary.
We are absolutely eaten up with "toleration of evil" in America, and nobody wants to be guilty of being accused of bigotry or being narrow-minded. (In our day the words "toleration" and "intolerant" have taken on new meanings.) But, note carefully this great slogan someone has put on a T-shirt: "Truth Is Hate To Those Who Hate Truth." Clearly, it is NOT wrong to hate! We must never hate people, but indeed we MUST hate all evil. Even the wicked "hate truth," so we as God-fearers must "hate evil."
Here are ten things I am not thankful for, and for which we must continually strive against, hating with all our power (the list is purposely short):
* WAR.

"Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy" (Psalm 99:9).