Questions And answer Session

defendtheword,

Questions again!

Question 1) Do you practice as some other so called pastor that just by accepting Jesus Christ you are already saved? Why?

Defend the word’s Answer: No I don’t. I do however believe that change needs to be evident in us when you accept Christ as your saviour. Just saying I believe but not showing the fruits of the spirit is like me saying I believe but can’t be bothered to listen and I’m not bothered about my witness to the world. Our actions are linked to our faith; people on the outside will recognise that we belong to Christ as we will behave differently from others. In other words, there will be a big difference.  You will be considered different by showing things like Patience, Love, Kindness, and Gentleness and so on. This however does not mean that we will be perfect, well not yet. One has to repent of his/her sins and that means that you will look back and revile your past life. You will look to Christ and want to copy him in every way possible. You will depend on his grace and his Holy Spirit to guide you as you go through this life, in everything you do.

Question 2) Do you also believe as a Baptist in the doctrine of OSAS? If you do, what is your basis for believing that?

Defend the word’s Answer: This is incorrect as not all Baptists believe in OSAS. This is what Calvinists believe and Baptists are kind of split 50 / 50 between Armenianism and Calvinism. If you need to compartmentalise me (put me in a category / or in a box)  then I guess you would call me an Armenian (Jacob Arminius or James Arminius). If we have to polarise believers I will say fine, but I don’t believe I should now force others to believe my way as that is totally unacceptable.  Both systems use scripture and both make good logical sense to those who stand by them. I don’t believe that they are both correct but I think they are inconsequential to our salvation. So let me clarify this for you on a personal note, no, I don’t believe in a Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. I know I have loads of material displayed on my blog by Calvinists which is because I consider it a minor issue and not a problem at all. If we concentrated more on the issues of those who are atheists and in a great need to find Christ I think our energy would be far better spent.

Note that I don’t believe that you could lose your salvation as I think the Bible is clear that He who is in us is stronger than he that is in the world but I do believe that on very rare occasions people will walk away from Christ.

John 10:29 My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.

1Corinthians 15:1 And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and in which you stand;  2  by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

Hebrew 3:6 But Christ was faithful as a Son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Matthew 25 If you look at the story of 10 virgins also seam to suggest that onus is on us to keep watching.

That is also what we find in the story of the sower that Jesus brought us in Matthew 13. However, note that this can be explained differently by Calvinists who would say that those who walk away were never saved in the first place. I don’t see that explanation either as a big problem.

Matthew 13:18 Therefore hear the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown by the wayside. 20 But that which was sown on the stony places is this: he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 But he has no root in himself, and is temporary. For when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, he immediately stumbles. 22 And that sown into the thorns is this: he who hears the Word; and the anxiety of this world, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But that sown on the good ground is this: he who hears the Word and understands; who also bears fruit and produces one truly a hundredfold; and one sixty; and one thirty.

1Corinthians 10:12 So let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling.

I base my views on John 3:16 and the fact that the problem of suffering is hard to explain if you believe in predestination. However, these are not major problems that should divide me from my brothers in Christ who may believe in predestination or for anyone who has learnt to love from his Master and Lord. He is our God, our Lord Jesus.

John 3:16 – 17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.

Also how do you explain the origin of Evil if God created Lucifer who was a light bearer and then became a fallen angel. If God planned this does this mean he is not a God of love? So if Lucifer can fall away so can we; we are free to choose. What is clear from the very beginning of the Bible when we read the story of Adam and Eve is our freedom.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

1 Timothy 1:18-19 “Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.”

2 Timothy 2:12 “if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us”

Hebrews 3:12-14 “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”

I can give you plenty of reasons why Calvinists believe in Predestination and Once Saved Always Saved but I’m sure you will find plenty of that material even on some blogs in my blogroll.

Note however and I say it again that this is not a problem that we as Christians should fall out over, this is a peripheral theological difference and not an essential doctrine for our salvation.

Question 3) Do you know any verses that will tell us how to recognize a Pastor that is sent by God? Can you give us at least four verses?

Defend the word’s Answer: Personally I think that 4 verses is too small an amount as if you need to find out if someone is sent by God you need to know the word of God.

We should also pay great attention to false pastors too. See 2 Peter 2:1-4

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who secretly will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their pernicious ways, and because of them the way of truth will be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness they will use you for gain with well-turned words; for whom judgment from of old does not linger, and their destruction does not sleep. 4 For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment.

Today too many people will preach all kinds of things that are just nothing like what the Bible is actually teaching. Things such as the prosperity Gospel, such as feel good and have a great time right now, such as things that are newly revealed to them and are not found anywhere in the Bible. This is why this world has David Koresh (August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993), born Vernon Wayne Howell, was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch outside of Waco, Texas in McLennan County. Koresh, 54 adults and 21 children were found dead after the fire.

Another good example is Jim Jones, who deceived many by starting a commune. He preached well and with great enthusiasm with a great deal of sympathy for the oppressed and a supposed desire to see all human kind live together as equals etc, but what he was really after was obedience, domination and a desire for others to worship him.

James WarrenJimJones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 death of more than 900 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana along with the deaths of nine other people at a nearby airstrip in Georgetown.

Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple in that state in the 1950s. Jones and the Temple later moved to California, and both gained notoriety with the move of the Temple’s headquarters to San Francisco in the mid-1970s.

The greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001, the tragedy at Guyana also ranks among the largest mass suicides in history.

See Matthew 7:22-23 and compare how that may apply to people who you know who may be famous TV evangelists. As they say, not all that glitters is gold.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? 23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!

What is frightening is that church today may be caught sleeping, and we don’t known right from wrong. I would suggest that the first 3 chapters should be studied from 1 Corinthians as this will help us analyse what is being preached in our churches. I would suggest that our understanding of the 1 and 2 Timothy is essential and even Titus.

So let me outline some characteristics of a good Shepherd Pastor for that is how it translates into English. We should look to Jesus as our primary source of fatherly instructions.

  1. Loves his sheep and is prepared to copy Jesus in his selfless sacrifice for the benefit of the congregation. This means not profiting from but benefiting the congregation. See John 10:11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
  2. Obeys God’s word, and is in sinc with his word see

John 10:1 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who does not enter into the sheepfold by the door, but going up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber.

  1. He leads them to God as per the example of Jesus:

John 10:4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him. For they know his voice.

  1. Good Shepherd has his parishioner’s interests at heart. See

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

  1. You can recognise a bad pastor when he runs when the trouble just starts.

See John 10:12 But he who is a hireling and not the shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away. And the wolf catches them and scatters the sheep. 13 The hireling flees, because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep.

  1. Good Shepherd uses discernment and guidance for his congregation, the same as Jesus did.

John 10:14 I am the Good Shepherd, and I know those that are Mine, and I am known by those who are Mine.

Question 4) If you do and still practice using the Old Testament especially it’s commandments in preaching, don’t you think that it is contrary to the teachings of the Apostles and of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Defend the word’s Answer: First let me answer that with scripture but don’t confuse me with someone who claims that we should be doing loads of good works in order to be saved which are two different things. As I said before in my previous answer, many things in the Old Testament are aimed at Jews and not at people like me who are Gentiles. We see in Acts 15: 8-22 that we should stick with the basics of obeying Jesus. However, all the principles of loving your neighbour, not coveting what is not ours etc. still apply to us today. When Jesus said if you follow two simple things you will obey all of them he was very precise in his instructions to us see Matthew 22: 36 – 40 below.

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit even as to us. 9 And He put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you tempt God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples, a yoke which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, according to which manner they also believed. 12 And all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring what miracles and wonders God had worked among the nations through them. 13 And after they were silent, James answered, saying, Men, brothers, listen to me. 14 Even as Simon has declared how God at the first visited the nations to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And the words of the Prophets agree to this; as it is written, 16 “After this I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen down; and I will build again its ruins, and I will set it up, 17 so those men who are left might seek after the Lord, and all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the Lord, who does all these things.” 18 All His works are known to God from eternity. 19 Therefore my judgment is that we do not trouble those who have turned to God from among the nations, 20 but that we write to them that they should abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses from ages past has those in every city proclaiming him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men from them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; Judas, whose last name was Barsabas; and Silas, chief men among the brothers.

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18  For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. 19 Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.

1Timothy 1:9 knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous one, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10  for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11  according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who strengthened me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry–

Question 5) In your belief, what is the actual day of Sabbath for Christian? And why?

There is no such day as Sabbath for Christians which is a wrongly formulated question. We as Christians worship on the first day, not the day of rest which is for Jews and their law, as I said before. I’m guessing that your questions are linked, in order to guide me to conclusions that you want me to reach. Christians always worshipped on the first day (Sunday) not on the Sabbath. Sabbath is for Jews not us. The early church fathers state that they stopped keeping the Sabbath to worship on Sunday and this started with the apostles.   They partook of the Lord’s Supper (communion) every first day. They called the first day (Sunday) the Lord’s day. They called the day Jesus rose from the dead, the Lord’s Day. The reason they worshipped on the first day was because it was a weekly memorial of the day Jesus rose from the dead! Augustine actually stated that Christians were bound to keep nine of the Ten Commandments [because the New Testament repeats and re-introduces them in a different form] but are free to break the Sabbath! The earliest Christians never considered Sunday to be a rest day or the Sabbath. You will observe that the first mention of Sunday being a day of rest was in 220AD by Origen. However, some of us believe that this is wrong and that Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath, as taught by some churches today. However, this has infiltrated our minds today and we are therefore susceptible to attack by Seventh Day Adventists who then use this to make others go back to Saturday as the day of worship.  While Sabbatarians will quote 20th century authors who guess about what happened 1900 years earlier, we should look to Christians whose writings are 1900 plus years old and spoke of what they witnessed!

First of all, of the 10 commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17, only 9 of them were reinstituted in the New Testament: (six in Matt. 19:18, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, honour parents, and worshiping God; Rom. 13:9, coveting. Worshiping God properly covers the first three commandments) The one that was not reaffirmed was the one about the Sabbath. Instead, Jesus said that He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8).

Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Acts 20:7 On the first day (First day is Sunday) of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.

Regards

Defend the word

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