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For God so Loved the World, Inclusiveness and Pharisaical Living
Inclusiveness - Can the entire world be saved?
Is Everyone Going to Be Saved?
Can God save the entire world? Sure He can. But will the Holy Ghost reach everyone's heart before they pass into eternity? No. There are those that a betting eternity that there is no God. I would not take that bet. Someday they will stand before a Righteous God and give an account. God help them.
Does the Bible contain the Theology of Inclusiveness?
Does the Bible contains the “theology of inclusiveness?” Regardless of your race, social standing, economic situation, and socio-religious preference God can save one. But again, can one find inclusiveness with God’s openness? Does He save all? Read on.
My heart goes out to those that do not believe. Romans the first chapter tells the reasoning behind the why I feel for them so deeply. The Bible says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1.18-20) When is the last time you have heard this preached in your church?
If you commit rape then go before the judge and expect the honor to let you go scot free you would be foolish. The same is true when you go before God a lying, cheating, stealing, adulterer you cannot expect God to forgive a lifetime of sinning and ignoring Him either.
If you have ever told a lie you are a liar. If you have ever cheated on taxes or a test you are a cheater. If you have ever taken a pen that didn't belong to you then you are a stealer. If you have ever looked on anyone in lust you have committed adultery in your heart. You need to humble yourself, ask God for forgiveness, be forgiven and accept His Son Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord.
His Word also says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3.15) Jesus was talking to a religious leader among the Jews at night when He told Nicodemus, He told him, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' (John 3.6-7) Paul told the Corinthians, "For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6.2)
In case you did not know Luke is recorded as the only Gentile author of the New Covenant. He certainly was the only Gentile who was included to write one of the Synoptic Gospels. An arch friend of the prolific church planter the Apostle Paul, Luke often accompany him on the Apostles missionary work. There is every indication that Luke was even with Paul during his martyrdom. (2nd Timothy 4.11)
The “theology of inclusiveness” can be stated as “God so loved the world that He gave His own begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16) The keyword is “whosoever.” Strong's Concordance 3748 shows the word in Greek English: hostis, hétis, ho ti or whoever, anyone who is a relative pronoun. The original word is written as ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅτι with the phonetic spelling hos'-tis. Everyone who repents of their sin and turns their life control over to the Holy Ghost.
There is no color requirement, no socioeconomic and no socio-religious standing requirement at all. God created the opportunity for any man to give his life over completely to Him. After all, this is why God sent His Son to the earth, to save those that are lost and without salvation through the Son to gain eternal life in a new eternal body, new earth, and new heavens for anyone to explore. The more I read the confessions of those that do not believe, the more I am sure of my being saved by the Lord Jesus. They scoff and make fun of us who believe. But someday they will stand before a righteous God.
I sincerely believe in John 3.16 and wish that everyone would believe in the salvation that God offered to mankind through Jesus Christ. However, we live in the age of deceit and the age of relativism. This states there is no God and man is the end of himself. Meantime, the fastest growing religion or man’s attempt to reach God (MATRG) is Islam. Islamic Arabs do not and cannot believe in John 3.16. To do so would admit that Muhammad is wrong. They state that Jesus did not die on a cross for the sins of the world. In Islam you have to work your way into heaven, a theology that Paul hated and inspired him to write the letter to the Galatians about justification by faith alone, and nothing else.
Is Inclusiveness what Jesus Christ taught? John 12.47 says “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” Again, the “if” is a conditional verb in Greek meaning “on condition that,” which precludes those that ignore the Lord’s call. So those that openly reject God’s offer of salvation by faith have openly made the choice to spend eternity in hell. My Father also said, “For judgment, I came into the world so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be blind.” (John 9.39) Jesus Christ did not come into the world for judgment but it inevitably resulted in such occurring because then and now there are those that decide against receiving eternal life as a gift from Him. (cf. Mark 4.12 and Isaiah 6.9)
Writer Gary Amirault says, “Oftentimes, this great faith, especially during these end times, has been ridiculed as ridiculous when in fact it's (more) ridiculous not to believe plainly stated scriptures.” I agree with his premise that “plainly stated Scriptures” are ignored when the choice is eternal life, but it comes down to where are you going to spend eternity.
Colossians 1.18 is where Paul states “He is also the head of the body, the Church, and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” Continuing with Paul, “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross; through Him, I say, whether things on the earth or things in heaven.” As Ricky Ricardo once said, “You’ve got some explaining to do!” if you do not Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Christians of Paul’s day were not as free to move about in the real world as we people of today. It is still relatively easy for a Christian to worship in the brand name church of their choice without fear. Remember, you are a Christian first regardless of the brand name church you attend. There are clashes beginning in America between the evil forces of Satan which are flaunted as good and those who oppose them including Christians characterized as bad. We need to pray and plead with God to change the hearts of those that are deceived.
You will never change a man’s head until you change their heart. Ideological debates mixed with theology will not change anyone's heart. Paul told the Christians of Colossae, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2.8) America children are taught the lie that the origin of the species came through evolution. God takes this personally. Man being an end unto himself God takes personally. The age of deception and of relativism is what we encounter every day.
Will everyone be saved? Of course not! There are millions of atheists in America who at least have made up their minds. Then there are the millions who believe relativism and are the god of their own lives. Unless the Holy Spirit somehow captures them, they are hell bound for not believing that God created the heaven and the earth and that He sent His Son to save those that are lost.
Then there are the millions who have not made up their mind even though God has put into each one of them to seek him so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1.15-32) There is no doubt that the Gospels clearly shows a loving Jesus Christ who went to those that the religious hierarchy either overlooked or did not care enough to notice.
At the time of Jesus, there were certain groups: the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees that held positions of authority and power over the people. Other groups were the Sanhedrin, the scribes, and the lawyers. Each of these groups held power in either religious or political matters. The Herodians political power and most scholars believe that they were a political party that supported King Herod Antipas, the Roman Empire's ruler over much of the land of the Jews from 4 B.C. to A.D.
We Do Not Want To Live Like the Pharisees
What is Pharisaism? Pharisaism is making a value judgment on someone else based on one’s own assumed secure position with God. (re. Robert L. Deffinbaugh) Making a value judgment on someone else based on one’s own assumed secure position is a fairly common problem today. I think we all may participate in Pharisaism from time to time. It is true that I did not specifically name any know atheist or agnostic in my example of some who will not be saved, but we must be careful not to make base value judgments that are reserved for our Father the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me also say that it is not always wrong to make a value judgment either.
I have previously published that we live in a cultural environment with strong secular humanism firmly entrenched in all levels of education, the federal government, and the courts, industry, religion, and even down the street today. Secular humanism as a general rule exhibits strong opposition towards charismatic Christianity. In these environments, we are probably safe to make value judgments. Here is a good guideline in making value judgments. Before we make value judgments on others we must be certain about our own position. That is particularly true as Christians where we are to be loving, humble, and nonjudgmental about our brothers and sisters. The very word Pharisaism brings up the Pharisee’s of Jesus time who were the religious leaders as the Lord walked the pathways of Judah.
The very word Pharisaism brings up the Pharisee’s of Jesus time who were the religious leaders as the Lord walked the pathways of Judah.
The Pharisees were successors to the Assideans, a party of Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes whose members led the revolt against Epiphanes heathenizing policies. Josephus was the first to mention them in a description of being one of three schools of which the Jewish faith was divided. The other two were the Essenes and Sadducees.John tells us they were a popular party. (John 7.48) They were a precise and to the letter about observing the Law both oral and written. (Matthew 9.14; 23.15; Luke 11.39; 18.12) Paul called himself a Pharisee. (Acts 23.6-8; 26.4-5) Their entire religion, or man's attempt to reach God (MARTG), was purely for a show to others and Jesus Christ called them on it. They were lax when it came to morality. (Matthew 5.20; 15.4, 8; 23.3, 14; 23.25; John 8.7) They displayed the sin of false pride and self-righteousness. (Matthew 9.11; Luke 7.39; 18.11, 12)
Dr. Deffinbaugh states the philosophical term Pharisaism comes from the root word Pharisees. Jesus called the religious leaders of his day “vipers and snakes.” (Matthew 23.33) The religious leaders came from a position that what they said and did was right in the eyes of God. They sincerely thought what they were doing was right. But all along they were sincerely wrong. Instead of serving God they were serving the god of this world, Satan.
The Pharisee’s were a religious party in the time of our Lord. The term Pharisee means “Separatist.” It seems the opponents of the Pharisee sect gave them the name because of the haughty spirit and holier than thou attitude they possessed. Their ultimate aim was to strictly follow both the written and oral law. When we read in the Bible about the Pharisee sect this does not necessarily jump off the page now does it? They had a tendency to look down on others who did not have a chance of fulfilling the complexity of the written law much less remember the oral requirements. The average person on the street looked up to the Pharisees who they thought perfectly followed the Torah. Jesus obviously knew they did not anymore than anyone else.
Jesus, being fully God and man on the earth He created, condemned them in the strongest of terms as hypocrites. They appeared to others in their fancy garb and pious attitude as outwardly observing the law while inwardly doing no better than those they looked down on for not following the law. We do not want to follow in these guys footsteps.
Would you believe that not all the Pharisees were actually bad people? Dr. Diffinbaugh states, “Many of them actually tried to promote true spirituality and piety. Some of the well-known men of the New Testament were Pharisees such as Nicodemus (John 3), Gamaliel (Acts 5:34), and Paul himself (Philippians 3:5). Some of them became members of the early church (Acts 6:7). Paul used the title of Pharisee with great respect and as a title of honor (Philippians 3:5).”
As you know the Pharisees accused the Lord of committing blasphemy. (re. Luke 5.21) Other Pharisees said the Lord was even in cahoots with the devil. (re. Matthew 9.34) Jesus was accused of breaking the Law in doing good deeds on Sunday. (Matthew 12.2) He even prompted them to destroy him even though their ears could not hear the truth. (Matthew 12.14)
The Scribes of Jesus day were those that studied and wrote what they learned down in expounding on the texts of the Torah. Some Scribes belonged to the Pharisaic Party and wore long and very expensive robes as well. However, not all Scribes were Pharisees. You will recall they were strong opponents of Jesus because they claimed he did not follow the written Law they wrote. (re. John 5.10; Mark 7.7-13) They were the ones who kept a close eye on the Lord to catch him in any error of the Law. (re. Mark 2.16; Mark 1.22; Luke 5.30; 15.2)
Totally unlike the Scribes and the Pharisees were the political party called the Sadducees. They were the group who had favorable attitudes towards the occupying Roman government. Dr. Diffinbaugh says about the Sadducees “They accepted only the written law and rejected the traditions of the Pharisees. They denied bodily resurrection (Mark 12.18; Luke 20.27; Acts 4:1-2; 23.8), the existence of the angels (Acts 23.8), and the sovereignty of God over human affairs, and believed that man is the master of his own destiny.” Does this sound very much like the so-called Secular Humanists of today? Because of theological differences, they were not friends or even to go the extent of having cordial relationships with the Pharisees. However, you will recall they joined forces with the Pharisees when both came against the Lord. They both confronted Him asking the Lord to show them a sign from heaven. (Matthew 16.1) They had the clear sign of heaven standing before them. Of course, they differed with the Lord about the resurrection as well. (Matthew 22.23)
Interestingly, most of Jesus Christ criticism went towards the Pharisees. However, you may recall on one occasion the Lord cautioned His disciples of the leaven of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6, 11) I previously have written that "leaven" in the Bible, 22 times in the Old Testament and 17 times in the New Covenant, represents sin. The disciples in the Matthew 16 account knew exactly what the symbol of leaven represented.
The Scepter Departs from Judah? The Sanhedrin
In A.D. 6-7, King Herod's son and immediate successor, Herod Archelaus, was dethroned and banished to Vienna, a city in Gaul. Archelaus was the second son of Herod the Great. The older son, Herod Antipater, was murdered by Herod the Great, along with other family members. The joke being it was safer to be a dog around King Herod rather than a family member. Archelaus' mother a Samaritan (1/4 or less of Jewish blood) was never accepted. After Herod's death (4 B.C.?), Archelaus had been placed over Judea as "Ethnarch" by Caesar Augustus. Broadly rejected by most everyone, he was removed in A.D. 6-7.
His replacement was a Roman procurator named Caponius. The Sanhedrin's legal power was restricted immediately and the adjudication of capital cases was lost. You could say this was normal Roman policy. Josephus and the Talmud mention this transfer of power: (This transfer of power was recorded by Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 8, also, The Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, folio 24.)
After procurator Festus death, Albinus was set to succeed him. Before this could take place the high priest Ananias considered it a favorable opportunity to assemble the Sanhedrin without Roman's knowledge. He caused James, the brother of Jesus Christ, and several others, to appear before this hastily assembled council. Without Roman authority, the council pronounced upon the group the sentence of death by stoning, the Jews form of capital punishment.
In doing this Ananias immediately received strong opposition from a number of wise men and strict observers of the law who were at Jerusalem. Some of those who opposed this breach of the law even went to Albinus himself in Alexandria, to let him know of this breach of the law without his approval. They also informed him that Aranius had acted illegally in assembling the Sanhedrin without the Roman authority. (re. Josephus, Antiquities, 20:9)
Josephus not only mentions Jesus Christ and His brother James as historical figures, it also underscores that the authority of the Sanhedrin had already been passed to the Romans.
When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right to adjudicate life and death, they covered their heads with ashes and their bodies with sackcloth, and bemoaned, "Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come!" (Babylonian Talmud, Chapter 4, folio 37; also, Augustin Lemann, Jesus before the Sanhedrin, 1886, translated by Julius Magath) To the Sanhedrin, they even thought the Torah, the very Words of God, had somehow failed! They should have known better. God never fails.
Judah had lost the scepter, but Shiloh had come. While the Jews were literally weeping in the streets of Jerusalem, nearby a young son of a carpenter was growing up in Nazareth. He would present Himself as the Meshiach Nagid, Messiah the King, on the very day which had been predicted by the Angel Gabriel to Daniel five centuries earlier. (See Daniel 9.24-27)
Last is the Herodians (Mark 3:6, 12:13; Matthew 22:16; cf. also Mark 8:15, Luke 13:31-32, Acts 4:27) who cannot be identified as either a political party or religious group. These were the Jews who supported and were part of the Herodian Dynasty, a Judean dynasty of Idumaean and Edomite descent all the way back to Esau. The Herodian dynasty began with Herod the Great, who assumed the throne of Judea, with Roman support, bringing down the century long Kingdom of the Hasmoneans. As the Sadducees, the Herodians joined with the Pharisees in trying to trap Jesus Christ by asking Him if were proper to pay tribute to Ceasar. (Matthew 22.15-22; Mark 12.13-17; 3.6) A fascinating study of those in power, appointed by the Romans, at the time of Jesus Christ. The Edomites cheered the Babylonians on when they were taking the young Jews captive at the start of the 72 years captivity.
In summary, the differences between these groups were numerous. They include sociological, theological, and political. In addition, they also hated each other for the dissimilarities. Nevertheless, they overlooked their differences and united in a common cause against Jesus Christ. However, our Lord reserved his most scathing rebuke for the Scribes and the Pharisees who joined together as a group in hatred and strong opposition to Him. A similar kind of mixing of nations is to come against Israel eschatologically.
The Age of Deceit
“Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott.
If Jesus were here today theoretically he would be instantly against the Sadducees of today the relativists, religionist, and rationalists. He does not change, we do. We live in the Age of Deceit and many have fallen for the lies. The movie "In Age of Deceit: Fallen Angels, and the New World Order," they investigate why the New World Order and the Global Elite are tirelessly working to form a One World Government and who they are getting this instruction from. One of my teachers Dr. Chuck Missler says, “Our entire society is totally driven by many myths, none more basic or insidious than the convictions of Evolution, the religion of our age. Dismissing for this discussion the observations of microevolution, the variations within species, but rather using the term in its connotative sense, referring, in fact, to biogenesis: the notion that we are all the result of a series of cosmic accidents.”
The complexity of the human body alone makes biogenesis untenable. Then add the DNA and RNA strings of complexity and information pushing the odds of the humankind a cosmic accident at 1 to the 152 power. Write that string of zeros sometimes when you are on vacation.
Pilate asked the maker of the heavens and the earth "What is Truth?" with the absolute Truth standing in front of Him. Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ did not answer Him? I suspect that it was because Jesus Christ judged Pilate's heart unable to handle the truth. When speaking of Satan "His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and wickedness." (Psalm10.7) Soloman said, "Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil. But councilors of peace have joy." Isaiah speaks of "the offspring of deceit." There is nothing new about deceit among both men and women of the world. The Psalmist said, "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue."
Where are the deceitful tongues of today? They are in the highest echelons of government, in the sciences, education at all levels, the local governments, and down the street truth is hard to delineate. Surround yourselves with those of like minds: brothers, and sisters that can strengthen and support one another. The Bible states:
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1.5 KJV).
And ye shall know the truth, the truth shall make you free (John 8.32 KJV).
Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being… (Psalm 51.6 NASB).
Speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ. (Ephesians 4.15 NKJV).
Being Born Again
2 Thessalonians. 2.9-12
Matthew 3:1–7,Luke 7:28–30
Conclusions on the Topic at Hand
Conclusion on the Topic at Hand
As a Professor and Ordained Preacher of the Word I wish we could some way and somehow save everyone. Education in the last 50 years has abandoned God's Word as the basis for success in every field. Thank God for the Christian schools that have popped up all over the country. I thank God for the Bible Studies that have formed and are learning the Word of God.
I hope you learn from these short essays about issues and advice for the Christians of the world. God's blessings to you and your family, Dr. Gary E. Hill
Greetings: I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on the topic. I thank you in advance for your time and comments. Gary
Eastern America from 18,000 feet
Do you practice Pharisaism?
Do you practice Pharisaism in your life?
© 2017 Dr Gary E Hill