The Savior Is Waiting??

Time after time, He has waited before
And now He is waiting again.
To see if you’re willing to open the door
Oh, how He wants to come in.

Growing up in the typical Southern Baptist Church, one of the popular “altar call” songs is The Savior Is Waiting.  Yep, nothing like the slow, emotional song that gives people the picture that Jesus is standing by with a sad, puppy dog look on his face for the umpteenth time just waiting for you to answer His pleading for you to accept Him as your Lord and Savior.  This song is the epitome of “easy-believism, free will” salvation.  It makes Jesus out to be a beggar.  “Jesus wants to save you.  He’s waiting in anticipation for you to accept Him and ask Him into your heart,” many pastors say.  Hmmmm…..what’s the problem?  Is our stubborn will just too much for Jesus to handle?

If you’ll take one step towards the Savior, my friend
You’ll find His arms open wide.
Receive Him and all of your darkness will end
Within your heart He’ll abide.

This verse puts the outcome of a person’s salvation into their hands as noted by the first line:  “If you’ll take one step towards the Savior”.  This is basing a person’s salvation on something THEY have to do, not on what Christ has ALREADY done on the cross.  What kind of Savior can’t save us unless we do the work ourselves?  That’s like a lifeguard standing by the pool and yelling to a dead corpse at the bottom of a pool to swim up to the side so he can pull him out:  “I can save you but you have to swim up here so I can pull you out!!!”  No, a lifeguard goes in and pulls the dead person up, performs CPR, and brings that person to life.  If they could swim, they wouldn’t need a lifeguard.

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Romans 9:16

Any effort done by us is the result of God acting FIRST!  We cannot respond until God has regenerated us (made us alive) and given us the faith to believe.  Regeneration is just another word for being “born again”.  Pastors give people the impression that if they repeat some rote prayer, that Jesus will save them.  There are innumerable false converts in churches the world over who think they’ve been saved because they repeated a prayer when in actuality their heart hasn’t been changed.  They’re basing their salvation on something THEY did but the Holy Spirit has done nothing to change them.

The God of the Bible has chosen BEFORE the foundation of the world whom He would save (Ephesians 1:4).  The God of the Bible doesn’t WAIT to see who would be saved, He has predestined those whom He will save and that includes WHEN and WHERE they will be saved.  God has declared the end from the beginning and that what He has declared WILL come to pass (Isaiah 46:10).

I used to sing that song with passion and emotion until I learned that God knows who His sheep are and that His sheep WILL be saved at HIS appointed time and not a moment too soon.  Salvation rests in the finished work of Christ and not on us saying a prayer or walking an aisle or anything else.  It’s all Christ.  We contribute nothing to our salvation but the sin that caused Jesus to go to the cross.





Seek God First


31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

These verses are important because they tell us that as God’s children, He knows our needs AND He will make sure we have those needs:  food, clothing, and all the other necessities that we require to live.  The birds of the air and the lilies of the field are all taken care of, and if God takes care of them, He will surely take care of us.  As one who knows what it’s like to be single and lose not one, but two jobs within a year and a half, it’s scary because all you can think about is “how am I going to pay for these things?”  It’s so easy to be anxious and afraid because we always look to ourselves for our provisions because we can’t see 1 second into the future.  Life can change for better or for worse in 1 second.

But, God brought me through all that and it’s taught me that He will take care of us.  The Bible PROMISES that.  And it also promises that God is FAITHFUL.  It doesn’t matter how faithful we are to Him, God keeps His promises to us.

Our life is in His hands.  And while we may go through times that it seems like He’s abandoned us, He hasn’t.  We may go through job losses, not as punishment or retaliation for something we’ve done, but because He wants us to learn to be dependent up Him instead of ourselves.  Or, it could be that He wants to put us in some place better and that He wants us to learn patience while we wait for that new and better opportunity.  Or, He could be teaching us to be content with less.

The important thing to remember in this is, we must continue to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness FIRST over everything else and He will give us what we NEED.  And it’s important to make the distinction between NEED and WANT.  You may think you NEED a 3,000 square foot house, but God only gives you a 950 square foot apartment.  Your NEED is actually a WANT.  You may think you NEED a 700 hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, but God only gives you a Ford Fiesta.  Your NEED is actually a WANT.

The anxiety we face in times of uncertainty is due to the knowledge that our life is not in our control.  It doesn’t matter how many resumés we put out there, we have no control over who will hire us.  It doesn’t matter how hard we work to stay on top of our game, we could still lose our jobs.  The ultimate control of our lives is in God’s hands.  When we keep our focus on God and His righteousness, He teaches us to be patient; He teaches us to be dependent upon Him; and, He teaches us to be CONTENT with what we have no matter how little or much it is.  Because, at the end of it all, all of this stuff we have now will be destroyed anyway and all we’ll have left is our relationship with Christ.





There’s a popular saying that I’ve heard/read that people say whenever they’re faced with a trial or obstacle in their life and that is “God’s got this!!”  They put every ounce of trust that God will get them through the next job interview or through the next bout of cancer or whatever it is they’re going through.  They have confidence that God will bring them through with flying colors.

But, when it comes to salvation, many pastors and churches think that God needs a little bit of help.  God says in Isaiah 55:10-11:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there, but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

It seems that we think the burden of the salvation of others fall upon us.  We can BE burdened over the spiritual condition of others, which would compel us to pray for them, but it has never been our duty to save them.  Pastors, it’s not your job to save anyone.  Your job is to preach the gospel without compromise.  That’s it.  Quit stressing over the fact that people aren’t walking the aisles of your church, or repeating a rote Sinner’s Prayer, which by the way doesn’t save anyone, or getting X number of baptisms each year.  Your only task is to preach the true gospel, and if you’re doing that, you’re doing right.  Also, stop trying to come up with gimmicks and programs that only do nothing but bring in the “goats”.  If you bring in “goats” with entertainment, it’s entertainment that will have to keep them there because the gospel sure won’t do it.  They don’t want to hear it.  Sadly, a lot of churches are filled with “goats” who were drawn in by “fun activities” and as long as those activities are taking place, they’ll keep coming, but they will never be saved through the preaching because, well, they are goats.  Goats won’t become sheep, and sheep won’t become goats.

God knows who His sheep are and He has predestined when and where they will be saved, and He WILL accomplish what He has decreed.  God really doesn’t NEED us to do His job, but He allows us to take part by DOING our part in being faithful in prayer and in faithfully giving the message to those who will hear it.  By doing so, we get to see God’s power at work in people’s lives.  I Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul says:

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

So, in essence, all of the efforts apart from preaching the true gospel mean nothing.  Paul planted the seed by starting the church in Corinth, Apollos came behind him after Paul continued on his missionary journey and kept giving the gospel, but it was God who caused the growth in the church through the faithful and continuous preaching of the gospel.

It was God who Created the universe.  Nothing is too hard for Him.  If He can speak everything into existence, the salvation of mankind is not a problem at all for Him.  If you can trust God to get you through your trials and sufferings, shouldn’t you trust God with salvation?  I mean, it was HIS plan from the beginning to bring salvation, I think He can accomplish that plan.  So, don’t stress over why your church is not seeing a great number of baptisms.  If you are true to the gospel, you are on the right track.


Don’t Fear Failure

Don’t fear failure.


I’m not talking about failure to accomplish some goal you’ve set for yourself. I’m not talking about fear to live up to someone else’s expectations….or even your own. The failure I’m referring to is the failure to live up to God’s law or His standard.  All of us at some time in our lives have looked at our sins and faults and thought, “Man, I really messed up this time. How can God love me after everything I’ve done now?”

Through the centuries, mankind has lived with the belief that becoming a Christian means we have to live perfectly without sin. That keeping the Ten Commandments was required or we would lose our salvation or that we were never saved at all. Salvation has never been about what we accomplish, but rather, it is about what Christ accomplished when He went to the cross, died, was buried, and then was resurrected.

Now, I’m not saying that we can’t be sorrowful over the sins we commit.  When we do sin, as Christians, it’s supposed to grieve us.  It grieves the Holy Spirit, so because the Holy Spirit dwells in us as believers, it, too, should cause us to grieve when we sin.  And people grieve differently.  C. H. Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher from England, battled depression through most of his life, mostly over sin in his life.  Others may just deal with grief over their sin privately and no one notices.

When I say “don’t fear failure”, I’m saying that when we sin, we shouldn’t be fearful that our sin will change our standing with God one iota.  God KNEW we would sin.  God KNEW that we will continually fail even after our conversion experience.  That is exactly why it required Jesus to die on the cross for our sin.  Christ had our sins, past, present, and future, placed upon Himself, and when He cried “It is finished” from the cross, He was saying that all of those sins were paid in full.  The word “tetelestai” is a Greek word that means “to fulfill or to bring to completion”.  It was a banking term that was used when someone came and paid the remaining balance of a loan.  The loan was declared “tetelestai” or “Paid in Full”.  The loan was now completed.  Because of our sin, we had an outstanding debt that we could never, ever pay.  Christ, in His perfection, was the Ultimate Passover Lamb.  It took His sacrifice to pay that debt completely.  Our debt to God was paid in full.

So, when we sin, we should not fear that those sins have any adverse effect on our standing with God.  When Christ paid for our sins, we were declared “not guilty”.  While it’s true that our sins do cause a sense of distance between us and God, at no time will those sins revoke our salvation.

As Christians, we should not fear God’s wrath for it was Christ who bore the fury of God’s wrath on our behalf when He died on the cross.  Those who do not have Christ have no protection from God’s wrath.

Because God knows we’ll fail Him over and over again, He took it upon Himself to remedy that situation through Christ’s righteousness.  In exchange for our sin, Christ imputed His righteousness upon us.  So, even though we still sin, it’s not our sin that God sees, but Christ’s righteousness because His blood has covered over those sins.  He has cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, and into the sea of forgetfulness to remember them no more.

So, while we may sit around and mourn over our failures and believe that those sins have somehow changed our “not guilty” into “guilty”, God wants us to not look at our failures, but look at Christ because it was HIS accomplishment that SECURES our salvation.  No amount of sin can nor will reverse that.  God doesn’t want us to wallow in self-pity.  He wants us to get back on our feet and live in the “joy of our salvation” because our salvation doesn’t depend upon our feeble attempts.  Our salvation is secured in Christ’s work and His work alone.


Let’s Talk About Laws

For what seems like half a decade, our daily news has been flooded with news of mass shootings and terrorist attacks.  Our local channels almost without fail will start their news cast with the latest homicides in the city.  It’s to the point of absurdity.  Of course, there is a reason WHY they do this.  They are trying to push us to the point to where we say that we need to get rid of guns.  They push these stories out to the point that we are exhausted of hearing about it so the only logical thing we can do is make laws banning guns.  The weapon of choice for the anti-gun control crowd is the AR-15.  The media calls this an assault rifle.  By the way, “AR” does not stand for assault rifle.  The official name is ArmaLite, so that is where the AR comes from.  Oh, and on a side note, I’ve heard some anti-gun people call the AR-15, and AK-15…..sorry, but if you’re going to be “anti” anything, you might want to be familiar with what you’re against.  Just sayin’.

First of all, we have laws pertaining to the buying and selling of guns.  We have background checks in place.  We have cities and states that have passed some of the strictest gun laws in the country.  But guess what?  CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY THE LAW!  And, I’m not even sure if the government is enforcing the current laws.  A lot of our elected officials, it seems, have a problem with following the law themselves, so what makes us think that they have any desire to uphold the laws in place for the buying and selling of guns?  I mean, look at Chicago.  They boast of having the strictest gun laws but, yet, their homicide rate is ridiculously high.  So, tell me.  How are those laws working out for them??

So, here is the point of my post.  The purpose of “laws” are to tell people what is right and what is wrong.  What behaviors are acceptable and what are not.  Let’s look at the Ten Commandments (the Mosaic LAW), shall we.  How many of us perfectly keep all Ten Commandments?  Be honest.  NONE of us can keep every single one of them.  There are Christians who take the LORD’s name in vain.  I’ve heard it.  We’ve all lied at some point in our life.  We’ve all experienced envy over something someone else has, or committed adultery (remember just lusting about someone else in your mind is adultery).  And none of us keeps our civil laws perfectly either.  Any Christian reading this ever got a speeding ticket?  What about recording a pirated copy of a movie or song even though the law states that to do so is a federal crime?  So, if none of us can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, and none of us follow our civil laws perfectly, what makes you think that every single person is going to follow new gun laws??  Like I said earlier, the law is there to tell us what is right and wrong.  But the law CANNOT force us to obey the law.  I know this because my house is on a one-way street and at 4:30 in the morning, there is no one else driving on my road, so one morning, to keep from having to go the long way around to get to where I was going (work), I drove down my street going the wrong way because I knew there would be no one else who was going to be on that street that early in the morning.  Well, guess what?  That morning there just happened to be a police car sitting in the church parking lot around the corner from my house at 4:30 AM and he gave me a ticket.  Even though there’s signs on either end of my road that says “One Way Street”, those signs did not keep me from driving the wrong way on my street.  Know what keeps me from driving the wrong way on my street now?  A $288 ticket!!  I suffered the consequences of my actions and that is what keeps me going in the right direction now.  I just wish Mr. Po-Po is there when everyone else drives the wrong way on my street… the afternoons… broad daylight.  But, no, he was there at 4:30 in the morning when no one else is driving that road.

Back to my point……laws can’t force people to obey.  You can scream about needing more laws all day long but those new laws won’t suddenly make people righteous and law-abiding citizens.  If people aren’t obeying the laws we have now, they’re not going to suddenly obey the new ones.  What needs to happen is for our officials to ENFORCE the laws we have now!!  And when someone gets caught breaking said laws, make them pay the consequences.  I could get on a tangent about our justice system but that’s a whole other can of worms for another day.

We need to use common sense about this.  The law has no power in and of itself.  The power comes from the ones making the laws when they enforce them.  And right now, they’re not doing a very good job of enforcing the laws we have now.  Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but my guess is the government doesn’t WANT to enforce them so that they can persuade us, the people, that what we have now isn’t working.  Well, of course, they aren’t working because the government isn’t doing THEIR job in enforcing them.  It’s time to wake up and make our elected officials do their job and enforce the current laws we have now.  More restrictions just make it harder for the normal, law-abiding people to obtain guns.  These laws that our government wants to make are supposed to target the criminals, but I believe they are wanting to make it harder for the rest of us.  To paraphrase a quote I saw the other day, “The answer to stopping crazy people with guns are sane people with better aim.”

Stop being afraid of guns.  Be afraid of a government who wants to take away your right to defend yourself because if they take one right away, they will start chipping away at other rights.  Anything can be used as a weapon:  baseball bats, kitchen knives, an axe, speeding cars, a truck full of fertilizer.  But they’re targeting guns because a group of patriotic citizens with guns are enemies of a government who wants to become totalitarian.  If you don’t like guns.  That’s fine.  That’s your right.  If you choose to defend yourself with a can of mace or pepper spray, you have every right to do so.  But for those who want to defend themselves with a gun, and they prefer an AR-15, that is a right that should NOT be taken away.




This past September, my family experienced the death of two loved ones in the same week.  The first being my brother-in-law who was tragically killed in a car accident on his way home from work in the wee hours of the morning.  The accident that took his life was on Tuesday, his funeral that Friday, and the next day, my mom passed away after nearly three weeks of being in hospice care.  Today, we got the news that the mom of one of our friends passed away.  Then, I read on Facebook a post from a woman who nearly lost her 17 year old son in rollover accident that was no fault of his own.  In her article, she posted how, after her son came home from the hospital, she was folding laundry and she began weeping realizing that she still had a son whose clothes she could still fold while there was another mother somewhere who just lost her child and would never have the pleasure of being able to take care of his/her clothes.

It’s amazing at what the smallest, most vague things can seem so important after you’ve lost a loved one.  But, it also can make you think about what things we’re doing that, at the time, seems so necessary and important, but in reality, it’s keeping us from spending quality time with our loved ones.

If we were given the choice of spending the day with our spouse and/or family members sight-seeing and going places we’ve never visited and making memories, or staying home and trying to make our home look like the front cover of Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens, how many of us would choose the first over the last?  Or, how many of us would choose to get as much overtime as possible, all for the purpose of getting more money so that we can get more toys, but never being able to take advantage of those “toys” because we’re always working just to pay for them?  To some people, they believe their worth is in how hard they work, or in how immaculate they can make their homes, or in how much stuff they can accumulate, but see no value in the time they spend with their loved ones.  Then they wake up one day and that person is gone.  They look back and see all the times they could have spent with them, but instead, their focus was on things that have no value.  Don’t get me wrong!  I like a clean, well-organized house.  But that’s just something I haven’t yet mastered 🙂 Because, let’s be honest.  We can have the most clean, immaculate house on the block, but we could come home one day and that house is burnt to the ground, or a tornado can come through and wipe it off it’s foundation.

Or how about that hobby or that job we spend so much time at?  We could be one of the top employees in our company, but still come in one day and be told, “Sorry, we’re downsizing and we don’t need you anymore.”  Been there, been told that!!!

We could lose our house, we could lose our jobs, we could lose our cars, we could lose any number of possessions we own, but all of those can be replaced.  Our loved ones cannot!  The very people that God has put in our lives deserve our attention because one day……they’ll be gone.  Our time on earth is limited.  Some have more years than others.  My mom lived 74 years.  My brother-in-law, 42 years.  So, not all of us have as many years to enjoy as others.  We can’t know that we’ll wake up tomorrow morning or that our loved ones will be there the next day.

Treat your loved ones better than you treat your house.  Give your loved ones more attention than you give your job or hobby because tomorrow they could be gone, but your job or hobby, and your possessions will still be there.  Because, when you think about it, your possessions are just inanimate objects.  They couldn’t care less.  It’s your spouse/family that needs your attention more than that sticks and bricks you live in.  Spend time with them because that time is more valuable than the time spent doing laundry and dishes.  Those can wait a little while longer.  Your family may not be there tomorrow.

It’s God’s Judgment, Not His Absence.


Okay, so where do I start with this thinking?  First… you seriously think that WE can prevent God from being anywhere???  REALLY??  The last time I checked God is OMNIPRESENT.  If you don’t know what that big word means, it means that God is EVERYWHERE.

Second… you seriously think that WE can boss God around and tell Him He’s not allowed anywhere???  REALLY??  Because the last time I checked, God is OMNIPOTENT.  That big word means that He’s all powerful and us puny humans don’t control God, HE controls US!!

I know I harp about God’s sovereignty a lot and apparently NO ONE IS LISTENING!!  To say that God is SOVEREIGN means that He is SUPREME RULER and that He possesses “ultimate power”.  We say that God is ALMIGHTY.  To be “almighty” means that He possesses ALL the might.  We say that God is all powerful which means He possesses ALL the power.  Which means there is nothing left for us……zero, zilch, NADA!!

So, let’s set the record straight here.  At no point in time has God not been ALLOWED in schools.  WE don’t have that kind of power to keep Him out.  He’s there.  But, God has been pulling back his Hand of protection over our country over many years because we’ve turned our backs on Him and because of the sins we’ve allowed to become prevalent in our country.  All this that we see happening in our country and in our schools is NOT because we have kicked Him out of our schools.  All this is happening because we are under HIS JUDGMENT!

If YOU believe that you serve a God who can be prevented from being anywhere, you serve a PUNY god….and a false one at that.  I feel sorry for you that you serve a god who can be controlled by man’s will.  That is a weak god.  No wonder you live life in fear.  The God of the Bible cannot be controlled by man’s will but He does as HE PLEASES.  The God of the Bible has everything under HIS control and none of this stuff that is happening is taking Him by surprise.  He is allowing it to happen as a means of judgment.  Just as He judged Israel for their sins, He is judging our nation for ours.


Valentine’s Day

The holiday of LOVE is upon us.  For some reason, I’ve never been too keen on this holiday.  Not because I don’t have someone I love or who loves me, but because it seems like this holiday puts an obligation on people to spend a lot of money just to show someone they love them and for whatever reason, it seems the guys get the bad end of the deal.  They go out and buy huge bouquets of flowers to be delivered to their wife or girlfriend just so she could be the envy of all the other women in her workplace.  Add to that a outrageous sized box of chocolates with “secret” fillings.  Or, if he was blessed with a good sized bank account, he could get her a piece of jewelry with all kinds of bling attached to it.  That would definitely open the green eyes of envy among those at her workplace.

I told my husband from the get-go of our relationship I don’t care about the flowers (they die), I don’t care about the chocolate (unless it’s a bag full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), all that matters to me is that you spend time with me.  I always said that I would be happy with McDonald’s or Hardee’s for dinner because that meant that he wanted to be with me.  For me personally, the amount of money he spends on me is not a measurement of how much he loves me.  It’s how much time does he want to spend with me that matters.  Just going somewhere for dinner to be able to sit and spend time with one another is more valuable than a bouquet of roses or a box of chocolate or an expensive piece of jewelry.

Conflict in the Church


Growing up in the church you experience different types of conflicts among those who belong to that particular church.  Granted, the church is made up of humans and where humans are concerned, there is going to be conflicts.  Some conflicts are due to real, serious concerns, while others are due to pettiness over things that shouldn’t matter.  It’s in these conflicts, whether serious or petty, that the devil takes delight.  Nothing gives him more satisfaction than to see believers quarrel with one another, especially over trivial matters.

Let’s talk about conflicts that take place over petty issues.  These are the conflicts that have split churches over what color of carpet they would buy, or what color fabric to upholster the pews, or what color paint to put on the walls.  I heard of a church split up in Tennessee where the conflict was over whether the softball team should put the players’ names on the back of their jerseys.  It’s rather sad that these folks let something so minute in importance divide a congregation.  Sometimes all it takes is ONE person being the dissenter and then others will follow.  People have left churches over issues that have no bearing whatsoever on the gospel.  These are the types of conflicts that causes the church or just a few people in the church to be ineffective in their faith.  They get so hung up on their opinion about how THEY think things should be that they would rather forego fellowship with their fellow believers than to admit that they are being petty.  There may be those who will use some petty grievance as an excuse to leave the church.  Either way, nothing gratifies the devil more than to make a person ineffective in their faith by getting them hung up on trivial/petty issues to the point that they stop worshiping or leave for another church because they don’t agree with certain issues.

The matters I spoke about in the paragraph above this are conflicts based on human opinion and, sometimes, pride.  These are issues which should never divide a church or cause someone to leave.  If there’s one issue that should always be of upmost importance, it’s the doctrine that is being preached from the pulpit.  If a pastor or Sunday School teacher is teaching doctrine that doesn’t line up with Scripture, then, by all means, someone needs to confront (in a loving manner) that pastor or teacher and question them about their doctrine.  Dangerous doctrine is of much more importance than what color of paint, upholstery, or carpet is being used in the place where the church assembles.  Churches have split over what is being taught in the pulpit.  It could be the pastor is preaching a false gospel and members call him out on it and he doesn’t relent, those members have left for another church that does preach sound doctrine.  Or maybe the pastor IS preaching sound doctrine and a certain number of his congregation stirs up dissention to get rid of him because they don’t like his interpretation of Scripture, but the pastor and the other members hold their ground and cause the dissenters to leave.  It is that kind of conflict (the defense of the gospel), while it does cause much disappointment and heartache among the congregants, that will separate the sheep from the goats, and in the end, God will bless those who will take a stand for the true gospel.

We must be careful of what we focus our attention on.  If we get too hung up on the aesthetics of the building or on the activities of the congregation, but won’t defend Scripture against those who twist it and misinterpret it, then we should question why we’re there in the first place.  There’s no such thing as a perfect church because imperfect people attend there, but when it comes to the gospel, there is no room for softening the message or watering it down for the purpose of having a large congregation.  The preaching of the hard truth of the gospel will always cause conflict, but it will also cleanse the invisible, universal church (the church as a whole, not just the local body) of those who are false converts.

Conflict is no fun no matter what setting it’s in.  But when it comes to the gospel, we as believers, must stand firm and ready to defend it no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel or who abandons us for our stance.  We shouldn’t go around looking for conflict, but when someone’s teaching doesn’t line up with Scripture, we have to be ready to defend it.  Defending it doesn’t mean bashing people over the head with the Bible, but presenting the necessary Scripture and it’s correct interpretation and then letting the Holy Spirit do His work to help them understand.  It is His job to give them understanding, we just stand back and pray that He will.



John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life”  John 3:16 (King James Version)

“For God loved the world in this way:  He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (Christian Standard Bible)

Okay, let’s do a word study on John 3:16.  If you read the two versions up above, you’ll see there’s a bit of a difference in the wording.  The three words we want to focus on are “so”, “world” and “whosoever” in the KJV.

The first word is “so”.  In the original Greek, the word used was “houto”, which means “in this manner”.  So, the original translation is more like what the Christian Standard Bible has for that verse.  Most folks read the verse as “For God SOOOOOOO loved the world”.  The word “so” is not used to describe to what degree God loved the world (He loved the world sooooooo much), but it explains “HOW” he loved the world.  Imagine showing someone how to do something like icing flowers a cake.  You may say:  “You put the icing in the bag, twist it closed, and then you squeeze it like so” (in this manner).  So, in this verse we’re being told HOW God loved the world (by giving his one and only Son).

The second word is “world”.  When people see the word “world”, they’re assuming this means that EVERY single person will be saved, but that is not the case.  John’s epistle was written to the Jewish believers.  This verse was controversial to the Jewish people because THEY were God’s chosen people and all others were dirty, filthy Gentile heathen and were not qualified to receive God’s promise of salvation.  So, for them to hear that God extended His love to those outside the Jewish faith was a bit of a shock to them.  But this use of the word “world” demonstrated that God intended for His free gift of salvation to be offered to every tribe, nation, and tongue, not just the Jews.

The third word is “whosoever”.  In the original Greek, the word used is “pas”, which means “any, all, each, everyone”.  When you read the verse as a whole in the Greek language is goes like this:  “God loved the world in this manner: that he gave his one and only Son in order that all those who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  “All those who believe” are referring to God’s Elect.

The word “whosoever” gives people the impression that just anyone can believe, but that goes against Scripture when it says that only those who are chosen are those who will believe.  Romans 9 talks about “vessels of wrath” and “vessels of mercy”.  Vessels of wrath are those who are “prepared for destruction” (Romans 9:22) so we know that these are people who will never believe.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t given an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.  But it means they will reject the gospel despite hearing it preached to them.  Matthew 22:14 says, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”  This statement comes after the Parable of The Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) where the King sends out his servants to gather the wedding guests, but they all refuse to come, using different excuses as to why they can’t/won’t come.  Then he sends his servants to those out in city to bring them in.  When the king came in to inspect the guests, he found one not wearing wedding garments and he told his servants to throw him into the outer darkness.  The “wedding garment” spoken of in this verse is referring to Christ’s blood that covers our sins.  You could also say it is Christ’s Cloak of Righteousness that he imputed to us when he took our sins upon himself.  Revelation 19:7-9 speaks about The Marriage Supper of the Lamb in which the Bride of Christ (the church) will gather and she will be arrayed in “fine linen, clean and white” and the fine linen is the “righteousness of saints”.  So, you can see a parallel between the parable of the Wedding Feast and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

The gospel message is to be preached to everyone.  But, not every person is going to answer the call of the gospel just like those in the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22.  Then there are those who, just like the guest not wearing a wedding garment, will THINK they are saved and try to get into heaven by his own works or by some other way apart from Christ, but will find that he was not “chosen” of God and will be cast into outer darkness.

We don’t know who the Elect are.  Our duty is to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”, but it is the Holy Spirit who gives the lost sheep the ability to hear and respond to the call of Christ, and all those who believe will have eternal life.