Bad Doctrine - the Disease of Easy Believism.
Your Enemy is Hidden in Plain Sight.
A Familiar Verse Heralding Christmas.
Pronouns: So Few Pay Attention to Them.
Unto Us, Not Them, a Savior Is Born.
Being that the world is preparing itself to celebrate Christmas, a great deal of which is more pagan than Christ centered, this is a great verse with which to begin my point.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. Isaiah 9:6
- Unto us – the question becomes – to whom does the “us” apply? The majority, whether Christian or not, immediately assume it means every person alive. Considering that the Word is foolishness to the carnal mind and can only be understood by one who is spiritually minded; the Bible, including the Old Testament, is clearly written to believers only. The proof lies in the fact that Israel rejected the fulfillment of this prophecy and by God’s decree, remains in a blinded state until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
- To the lost and those currently residing in hell, having rejected the Gospel; their judge, jury and executioner was born.
- It is the birth of Christ, “…a child is born…”, His death, “…a son is given…” and His resurrection, “…His name shall be called…” is the saving power of the everlasting Gospel.
- One must keep track of the use of pronouns in all of Scripture. Remember, all of the Epistles were private letters written mainly to churches and a few individuals, speaking and admonishing Christians only. Revelation 5:10 is an important example of a pronoun difference that changes the rapture from a pre-70th week event to a post event. The vast majority of texts use “us and we’’ in verse 10, which is found in the KJV. Strangely only one text out of more than a hundred uses “they and them” and this is found in almost all the modern bibles and paraphrases. You change a pronoun and you can change a doctrine at the stroke of a pen.
Soundbites Ignore the Whole of Scripture.
Soundbites – Pick and Choose Believers.
A soundbite mantra of far too many Christians is: “…He is not willing that any should perish…”. This is the use of bad grammar to support a false doctrine that God loves everyone - sacrificially. The non-soundbite version of 2nd Peter 3:9 is: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
- The antecedent to the determiner any is us-ward. Change us-ward to a proper noun like Egyptians and verse would read, “…not willing that Egyptians should perish.” The question again becomes, who are the us-ward? This is a private letter (epistle) from Peter to “…them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” This is a letter to Christians alone, not comprehendible by the lost.
- The us-ward in this case addresses the believers to whom this was initially written and all future believers as this letter by God’s direction is part of His Word which we now hold so dear.
- How many doctrines are held because one does not consider the context or other scriptures that may either support or deny the doctrine. i.e. God is love but also a consuming fire; Jesus wept but He shall also laugh with derision at the wicked; His yoke is not heavy, but He shall rule with a rod of iron; He is Savior and Judge; in Him is life eternal and He has the keys death and hell. Soundbite belief is not a life built upon the Rock.
So, You Believe in One God; Great – So Does the Devil.
Semantics: the Study of Meanings.
How many times have you heard someone say; it is only a matter of semantics? What one is actually saying is, you believe your way and I will believe my way. If two person’s beliefs are polar opposites, then one must be wrong. I will attempt to prove a point with the following statement.
Not one person has ever accepted Christ as Savior to the saving of their souls.
You may ask; how can I make such a bold statement? Or you may think that I am just splitting hairs and it is just a case of semantics.
How does the bible approach and use the doctrine of acceptance?
- The word accept is used only once in the New Testament in Acts 24:3, as part of an opening statement by Tertullus in the trial of Paul.
- You will not find the word acceptance in the N.T. at all.
- God acceptest (Luke 20:21) or accepteth (Galatians 2:6) no man's person; your station in this life means nothing to Him.
- The words accepted (9 times - 6 in 2 Corinthians) and accepting (Hebrews 11:35) deal mainly with accepting our lot in this life, except for two very important verses.
Acts 10:35 - "But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him" and Ephesians 1:6 - "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved"
We, the chosen, the elect of God are the ones who need acceptance, for as Romans 3:11 states, "There is none that understandth, there is none that seekth after God." We who were once totally unacceptable have been made acceptable by our Lord's grace alone.
How many are on death row today in our churches because they have bought the lie of easy believism? They went forward, prayed an acceptance prayer, maybe got dunked and yet the conviction by the Holy Spirit of their sinful state along the overpowering need of forgiveness was never present. Again, one may argue semantics but is this case it determines who is the Author of salvation; you or God. It is either I accepted Him or praise God, He accepted me. As Jonathan Edwards once stated; “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” It is a rare occasion these days when someone gives their testimony and it includes the burden of sin left at the foot of the cross.
We will be held personally accountable, this includes preachers and teachers, for neglecting the understanding of the Scriptures by our lack of attention to detail. We will not be able to use any argument as to our personal laziness in seeking out the whole Truth, either through private study or mentoring by trustworthy teaching and preaching. If it is too difficult on your own, seek out those who will come along side you. Remember, where two or more are gathered...; we need each other desperately.