On Saturday, June 1, G220 was joined by Equip Ohio for outreach at the Cleveland Pride Festival at Public Square in downtown Cleveland. I have been to Public Square many times for evangelism with my friend and mentor, Ricky Gantz, but this was by far the rowdiest bunch of individuals we preached to there. With that said, I’d like to structure my review of the event around three topics: why we were there, the general rowdiness of the crowd, and some encouraging aspects of the day.
Why We Were There
One of the questions that kept popping up is, “Why are you here?” Many accused us of
specifically coming to target homosexuals there “they weren’t hurting anybody.” Others claimed we just came out to rain on their parade pairing that with the notion that the only time we preach is when we want to harass the homosexuals.
The Bible demands that those changed and redeemed by God act as agents for seeing that the Gospel goes forth to the ends of the earth in Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus tells us that those who do not put their hope and trust in Him are already condemned in John 3:18. Those that are condemned will be judged by Christ on That Day according to Acts 17:31. Finally, those that are condemned will be tormented eternally in the fire prepared for the Devil and his angels in the presence of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 25:41, Revelation 14:10-11. The biblical command to love our neighbors as ourselves demands that we do all that we can to prevent this fate from befalling our neighbors. The Bible promises that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, but Paul asks in Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”
Since our neighbors must hear the Good News, our beautiful feet go wherever crowds of unbelievers are found that we might preach to them. One gentleman told me while I was preaching that I needed to “meet people where they are at,” to which I responded, “You’re here, so I am meeting you where you are at.” This year I have also been to New York, Louisville, Canton, Akron, and Cleveland to preach Good News. Many faithful street preachers are diligent in their own localities. Therefore, the claim that we only come to preach when there are homosexuals gathered must be seen as patently false.
Many times, our approach to spreading the Gospel is questioned, not only by the unbeliever but by those who name the name of Christ. However, there is strong biblical precedent for the work we do, Proverbs 1:20 says that Wisdom raises her voice in the noisy streets and at the city gates. All of the Old Testament prophets had a robust open-air ministry. The apostle Paul reasoned with and preached in the open air to those in the Agora and the Areopagus in Athens according to Acts 17:17-19. Even Jesus was an open-air preacher, read Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:17-49.
Each of these had false teachers who opposed them and who were upset that the status quo was being threatened. So too with us. There were many in the crowd heckling us claiming that Jesus loves homosexuals just the way they are. These though, are labeled by the prophet Jeremiah as those who heal the wound lightly and cry, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace, in Jeremiah 6:14. We instead are there to preach the only hope for true peace with God, a message many poor souls would not hear if we weren’t.
The Cleveland Pride event was one of the rowdiest crowds to whom I have preached. I have preached in places with a higher volume of people, but the crowd here was by far the most hostile. Sexuality, in particular queer sexuality, is one of the greatest idols of our day. Preaching before this crowd left me with a flavor of the hostile crowd faced by the Apostle Paul in Acts 19. In that part of Paul’s story, the crowd in its uproar chanted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The crowd at the Cleveland Pride event similarly chanted in unison the praise of their god. “Love is love!” was a chant they were prone to burst forth into in unison attempting to shout down those who were preaching.
Although “love is love,” is a true statement on its face according to the logical law of identity, it doesn’t tell us much of anything because of the circuitous nature of the phrase. Love is indeed love, but the term must be defined for us to have any meaningful understanding of what love actually is. Since God is love, we must understand that His word is the standard for determining what love is and what is loving. For example, 1 Corinthians 13:6 says that love doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness but delights in the truth. Therefore, those who trumpet and praise homosexual pride are not actually being loving, since praising unrighteousness violates God’s standard of love.
It was very difficult to convey a logical argument like this to the crowds because sin by its very nature is illogical, and when we sinners gather together for a common wicked purpose we lose all capacity for rational thought. There were a few times when the crowds pressed in on us to the point of us being overwhelmed. There was a squadron of bicycle policemen gathered nearby and they used their bikes to form an ad hoc barricade between us and the mob to whom we were preaching. It was a such an encouragement to see Romans 13 in action. The governing authorities, the policemen, were God’s deacons to protect us as we preached, from those who would otherwise be prone to do us harm. It was neat to get a momentary glimpse of biblical governance.
There is always opposition when we do evangelism and especially when we preach. The Gospel is an extremely controversial and offensive message, whether you preach in a pulpit, in the public square, or finally get around to telling someone they are ruined and need to repent from their sins and trust in Christ after ten years of hot dog cookouts.
It does help to know that their controversy is not with the messenger but with the message and the One who sent it. There is encouragement from other believers who happen upon the scene and hear the proclamation of the Gospel. I experienced some major encouragement from a Christian woman who had come over to hear the preaching as I finished the first sermon of the day. As I concluded preaching and began to descend our makeshift pulpit, she called out, “Don’t stop! Keep going! That’s why we came over here!” So, although I had just finished preaching through 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, I re-ascended the stool and preached on Ephesians 2:1-10. It is so encouraging to know that God used the feeble preaching of one such as myself to benefit others. I was also encouraged by a fruitful conversation I had with a man after another time I had been preaching. I had noticed him thoughtfully paying attention as I preached and interacted with the crowd, though I didn’t immediately approach him after I was done. One of our sisters and co-laborers called me over a little later and I was able to talk with him more about the Gospel. His trouble was that he didn’t fit in with the so-called LGBT community because of their obvious lack of scruples but he also had trouble fitting in with the Christian community because of the nature of his sinful desires. I was able to explain to him that as we come to repentance and faith in Christ, God will give us a whole new set of desires to love and honor Him. Yet, I was also clear that there is a necessary mortification of sin and sometimes God doesn’t remove all temptation to past sin at once. I explained some of my own struggles and how I often must put to death the deeds of the body by relying on the Holy Spirit. I encouraged him and prayed for him, putting my arm around him as I did. He said it had been a very long time since someone had done that. There are a great many sins that the church is too afraid to speak frankly about, that we churchmen are neither good at confronting nor good at showing empathy as someone falls prey too temptation. Not only homosexual temptation, but drug use, pornography use, abortion, and sexual immorality of all types, just to name a few. Perhaps we even lack the same ability in “smaller” sins such as slander, gossip, gluttony, greed, frivolity, and malice. The body is one of the means God uses in His sanctification of individual believers and evangelism of the unbeliever. So, though we must confront sin, and we must, we must do so with the proper demeanor so as not to further mar the image of God in another. We must encourage one another every day, as long as it’s still called today, so that our hearts aren’t hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
All in all, it was a very fruitful day. There were more encouraging conversations that each of us had than I have space to reproduce here. Every single person we encountered was led to Christ, it is now up to God to give the increase and bring repentance, faith, and all other saving graces. God uses preaching. God uses faithful men and women. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing.
One of those ways in which they seek to discredit God's Word is by claiming that the Bible is full of contradictions. One such foolish contradiction is that of the two creation accounts. The claim is that we have two different creation accounts between Genesis chapter one and Genesis chapter two. Genesis seems to be the most attacked book of the Bible, at least since Darwin and his theory of evolution, many claim that science disproves God's word and that instead of being created in the image of God, we are left with being pond scum that evolved over billions of years. Instead of life having value and meaning because God has created us with value and meaning, we are left with having no purpose but only coming into being by some random chance with no sense of value. And who is to say that since the claim is that we evolved from a common ancestor that we do not evolve back into that common ancestor or become like planet of the apes.
So the argument is that we have two creation accounts, and atheists use this argument to say that the scripture is contradicting itself. Any one who does any true research on this would see just how ridiculous this argument is and probably not waste anytime on dealing with it. However, I thought it might be helpful to some who are new believers and possibly even those professing atheists (again no such thing as an atheist) who would want to actually examine the claims made and not make the same foolish claims in their arguments.
Is there two creation accounts? The answer is... NO! Genesis chapter one gives a broad outline of the events of creation which begins on day one through day 6 with the creation of man in the image of God being the climax. Chapter two begins with the seventh day in which God rests. Some atheists make the claim that because God rests here on the seventh day and then in verse 4 we see the creation of man that there is an eighth day creation in which God creates Adam and Eve. This is really just another ridiculous attempt to discredit the Bible and shows a lack of understanding in their own arguments on the topic at hand. Chapter division in the Bible were developed by Archbishop Stephen Langton of Canterbury around A.D. 1227 and the first Bible to use them was the Wycliffe English Bible of 1382. In A.D. 1448 The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish Rabbi named Nathan. Stephanus used Nathan's verse divisions of the Old Testament and was the first to divide the New Testament verses in A.D. 1555.
This is where we have a first problem when you attempt to read it as if there was these divides and it somehow starts a new account or a contradiction. Now knowing this we can look at the end of Genesis chapter one and see here in the beginning of chapter two that after this broad outline of His six day creation on the seventh day He rested. Now beginning in verse four of chapter two, we see the writer Moses, going into a more focused view of God's creation with the emphasis on His creation of man and the garden in which God placed man along with the creation of Eve the first woman ever created out of the rib of Adam. So this is a more detailed account of God's creation of man in His image.
So as you can see and I hope you see clearly here that this is not a contradiction but rather flows perfectly as only God The Holy Spirit can do as He moved in inspiration on Moses to pen this account of God's creation.
Now let me move in a little closer on some of these verses that atheists use in their attempts to support their erroneous view that we find two different creation accounts.
As taken from the Skeptics Annotated Bible online making this claim that the Bible contradicts. They state this... "In the first creation story, humans are created after the other animals." citing Genesis 1:25-27
25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
They compare this passage of scripture with Genesis 2:18-19 and state this... "In the second story, humans were created before the other animals."
Lets look at Genesis 2:18-19 and see if this is a contradiction.
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
What they would like you to believe is that leading up to verse nineteen we see the creation of Adam and then we see another creation of the land animals. Honestly, this should be obvious to the reader, especially if you understand that chapter one was a broad outline and chapter two is coming in and putting the emphasis on man. Verse nineteen is not saying that God created the animals here but reminding you of His creation of the animals which were created before man which was laid out in chapter one. Remember the emphasis being on Adam here in chapter two, if you continue to read verse twenty, Adam names the animals that God brings to him and in naming these animals in which God brings to Adam it is made clear to the reader that there was not found a helper that was fit for Adam. So the Lord causes Adam to sleep and God takes one of his ribs and creates woman. And Adam declares in verse twenty three.... "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Now you would think that should cover it completely but there is one more aspect of this story that is connected and ties together with what has already been said, I feel I am repeating myself but for the sake of being thorough I will continue just a little further.
The also make this claim on the skeptics bible under contradictions... "In the first creation story, the first man and woman were created simultaneously." citing Genesis 1:25-27 then state... "In the second account, the man was created first, then the animals, then the woman from the man's rib." citing Genesis 2:18-22.
Again what we have here is the broad outline of chapter one into the more focused emphasis on the creation of man in chapter two. Not two different creation accounts, not contradictions between the two chapters but a perfect cohesive account of God's creation.
My prayer for you atheist or those who claim to be a Christian but seek to dismiss God's word by making claims such as this one, is that you would repent and believe in Jesus Christ. He is God in the flesh, the creator of all things, the very one you are arguing against when you attack His creation account. He is Lord and deserving of all glory, honor and worship. Bow the knee to Him today, repent and believe in Christ, who changes the heart of stone and gives you a heart of flesh, changing your desires, that natural desire to rebel against Him because we are born sinners because of Adam's sin, which if you continue to read in chapter three of Genesis, has been passed on to us which is why we need Christ to save us.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and fools despise wisdom, don't be a fool in your self professed atheism, turn to Christ who is the wisdom of God.
by Ricky Gantz
For seven years I have been attending the Kentucky Derby Evangelism Outreach with Sports Fan Outreach International ( see sfoi.org/ ). It was at this event, with this ministry in 2013 that I preached the gospel in the open air for the very first time. Up until that point I had been a Christian and regularly sharing the gospel since 2008. So evangelizing wasn't new to me but proclaiming the gospel in the open air was a desire that I could not shake for almost a year before that first trip with SFOI to the Kentucky Derby.
I remember that first time when I was asked to get up and preach at the derby, the fear that came over me, I was nervous, terrified in fact and yet I knew that this desire to preach had been there for a long while leading up to this very moment and I knew that I need to take this first step out in faith and not let this fear keep me from proclaiming the truth, I was prayed for by members on my team and I was in constant prayer in my mind with the Lord to help me overcome this fear and give me the courage to preach.
Here is the very first time I ever opened air preached at the Kentucky Derby.
What seemed like forever while I was speaking to the crowd was actually only seven minutes.
Going back home from the Derby Outreach that first year I was so excited and couldn't wait to get on the streets in my local area and proclaim the gospel. Although, I couldn't find many others who were willing to go out with me and so I continued handing out tracts and engaging in one on ones.
After a phone conversation with Bill Adams ( Head of SFOI ) who gave me some encouragement and wisdom in how to go about preaching in the open air when I didn't have anyone else willing to go out with me.
It is wise to go out with others on the streets, going alone can be dangerous, which is why you must exercise wisdom if you desire to preach but have no one that is willing to join you. For example, don't go in a bad part of town by yourself to preach the gospel. A college campus, an open public area ( like a sporting event ) with lots of people passing by would be a better option. It's wiser to have someone with you but that might not always be an option, therefore, planning and being wise about where you go is necessary for your own safety.
It would be a few years before I began to see others out preaching the gospel that I was able to connect with and build friendships and partner with out local events. Every year I would encourage them to join me at the derby, knowing the impact it had on me and has help me grow over the years by learning from all the brothers who attend that can impart their knowledge and wisdom onto others has been a valuable part of my growth over the years in theology ( from the discussions among the brothers ), and ways to improve as an open air preacher.
Finally, after attempting to encourage the other local guys to attend, Adam Wright ( of Made For This Ministries ) joined me and has just returned from his fourth year at the Kentucky Derby Outreach.
I share all that to give you an idea of what it is like the first time you attend the derby and preach in the open air for the first time. There can be a tendency to leave the outreach on a spiritual high, longing to be around the brothers and preach with many others who are like minded but that is not always the case when you return home. Even so be faithful, continue to press on.
I caution you that while it is a great feeling and experience to be around so many like minded brothers who have a passion and desire to preach in the open air as you do, when going back home you might not experience the same atmosphere with brothers in your community or in your local church. Don't become disheartened but love on them and be gracious and kind. Should the Lord will, He will bring others along with you.
Here is Adam preaching to the crowd, this brother has been a huge encouragement to me and a good friend over the years and together this has been our favorite outreach away from home to attend. From the fellowship we have driving down to Kentucky, staying at the camp grounds and the drive back home. Adam is a great brother in the Lord and I am truly thankful to have him with me over the last four years going down to Kentucky.
This year Adam and I had two brothers from our area join us for the first time. They contacted me in July 2018 looking to do evangelism. Nathaniel and Seth Porter began joining me at evangelism outreaches I had planned throughout the months of summer, into fall and winter. I told them about the Kentucky Derby and SFOI and they were on board wanting to join us. We were blessed to see these two brothers come out and experience the derby outreach for the first time. Here below is a picture of the two brothers sharing the gospel on our first day out at Churchill Downs for the Oaks.
We often say, it is not the derby if it doesn't rain, well it rained! Day one it rained early and the rest of the day was nice. But day two the day of the derby race it rained on and off throughout the day. If you ever been a part of an SFOI event, then you are aware that the weather doesn't stop the preaching.
The crowds will keep coming....
And the saints come prepared to evangelize....
And preach regardless of the weather....
Like the rain every year at the derby, you can also expect these things to happen.
Large Crowds will come to the races.
The gospel will be preached.
Above pictured, Jaycen Saab of AppalachiaCry Ministries
Preaching draws conversations....
In this photo above Adam Wright is preaching
Photo by Pastor Adam Cutshaw who also pointed out this...
"6 evangelists-green (#3 is difficult to see)
10 interactions-red (#7 is difficult to see)"
This lady above came up and told me she was a Christian and that we were pushing people away from Jesus by the preaching. She told me that the way to reach people is through relationships, every objection she raised I simply took her to what the scriptures say and by the end of the conversation she shook my hand and said thank you for the conversations.
Praying is vital to the ministry and happens throughout the day.
Pastor Steven Stanley praying for John Coble before he preaches.
Dan Davis praying for Jamie Hall before preaching.
Ken Hisle praying for an individual who heard the gospel.
And gospel tracts go out.
Do people get upset and angry with us..... YES! Not because of our method, truthfully, it's because they are angry at God, and in rebellion against the one who created them. Therefore, they take out there frustrations on the messengers. Many walked by and called us names, and cussed at us.
Standing behind this barrier, when I was preaching a young man came up and flipped the stand over and walked away, after I finished and Heath (standing talking to the man in the dress coat and pink shirt) began to preach, a young man drunk and angry came and kicked the barricade into the inside of my left leg, then he walked away.
I've often said, if you want to experience the hatred people have for God, go stand on a street corner and preach the gospel to them and the majority of the time you will find out first hand.
And yet we must remember that but by the grace of God we would be no different, we may not have acted out in hatred the same way as these few examples given but we were just as much at enmity with God as those who vocally or physically make it known.
It is the love of Christ though that compels us to proclaim the gospel to the lost and dying world that they may experience new life as we have received in Christ.
God is good and merciful and I pray that His grace will be given to those mentioned above and the many others which heard the gospel at the Derby this past weekend.
May they be granted salvation in Christ!!
I want to thank all the brothers who came out this year to proclaim the gospel at the Derby. Also a huge thank you to Bill Adams and SFOI for hosting this event every year and bringing out speakers to teach us and taking care of the logistics to house and get all the preachers to the track.
I also want to say a special thank you to all of you who have supported us financially to attend this event, Adam Wright, Seth and Nathaniel Porter and I truly thank you, those who donated to the ministry gave generously and provided our way down and covered the entire cost of our trip this year.
Thank you to all of you who prayed for us while we were out at Churchill Downs preaching the gospel. You were just as much a part of this mission trip to the Kentucky Derby through your prayers.
Continue to pray for all those who heard the gospel, that God would grant them salvation and that He would raise up more brothers to come and preach the gospel at the derby next year.
All glory belongs to the Lord!
by Ricky Gantz
Recently, during an interaction with a local Hebrew Israelite, the passage of Isaiah 42 was brought up more than once. I was asked, who is this chapter referring to? One of the things Hebrew Israelites like to do is point to Old Testament scriptures that reference Israel as a proof that God has come to save His people Israel, which as someone who holds to Reformed Theology, I wouldn’t disagree. Although, I would disagree on their understanding of what that means. This creates many problems for Hebrew Israelites because they fail to see the differences between the type and the antitype in the scriptures.
What we are examining here is what is known as the “Covenant of Redemption” by reformed theologians. The covenant of redemption is the covenant made between the members of the Trinity (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) before the world was created. I will only be touching on chapter 42 of Isaiah, with a few looks at connecting scriptures, but I would strongly encourage you to study out this covenant of redemption in greater detail. However, let me briefly explain what this means.
Let’s look at Isaiah 42.
The first seven verses are where I want to spend my time but let me quickly give an overview of the rest of the chapter.
In verses 8-9 the LORD makes it clear He gives His glory to no other, which is another clear refutation to the Hebrew Israelites who deny that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, who shares in the same glory with His Father. (John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.) He speaks on how former things have come to pass and declares new things.
In verses 10-13 the psalmist writes of singing a new song to the LORD, which will reach a gentile people, Kedar being referenced which is from the line of Ishmael, and the people of Sela, which was the capital of Edom. This is yet another clear refutation against the Hebrew Israelites.
In verses 14-17 is a passage of prophecy, those whom God brings in through the right way, by His gospel message, through Christ, He will guide and be a light in the darkness leading the blind, but for those who blaspheme and reject the gospel, they will be put to shame. Hebrew Israelites should repent and turn to Christ and pray that He will grant them genuine repentance and that they will not be like Israel as we are about to see here in the next section of scripture.
In verses 18-25 we look upon the failure of Israel to hear and see, listen to how God refers to them in verse 22, But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, “Restore!”, Israel did not take it to heart as stated in verse 25, and I plead with the Hebrew Israelites not to make the same mistake and reject the true gospel of Christ.
Now going back to verses 1-7.
I was told by the Hebrew Israelite I was in a conversation with that the servant here being referred to is the nation of Israel. Which is incorrect, this is not the nation of Israel being referred to, but the servant is Christ, the Son of God!
God the Father is speaking here to God the Son.
Christ will faithfully bring forth justice and establish it in the earth and bring His law to the coastlands (Isaiah 42:3-4).
We see the same spoken of Christ in Isaiah 49:1-7 as the servant of the LORD, called from the womb (v.49:1,5), mouth like a sharp sword (v. 49:2), will gather the preserved of Israel, and a light for the nations, meaning gentiles also (v. 49:6), who is the redeemer of Israel (v. 49:7).
In Isaiah 50 verses 4-9 the servant of the LORD who is Christ, speaks to the God the Father, as the prophesy about Himself in verse 6 says, I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard, I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
Christ was beaten with the cat of nine tails and the flesh ripped from His back, hit on the cheek and His beard plucked from His face, and spit upon.
This suffering servant is God the Son, who is coming to judge you Hebrew Israelites and every other false worship of an idolatrous god. Do not be like those who we see, in Isaiah 42:18:25, who fail to hear and see. Open your eyes before it is to late, cry out to Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh to save your soul. Do not stay in the darkness but come to the one who opens the eyes of the blind and brings light into the darkness.
Turn to Christ and live!
For those in Christ
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
As one who spends much time evangelizing out on the streets, you often run into interesting people who believe a variety of different views about God and His Word.
From the atheists to the religious, you pretty much run into them all.
One group of individuals I have run into and will focus upon in this series of articles addressing their teaching is the Hebrew Israelites also known as Black Hebrew Israelites.
Every Saturday towards the evening we would head down to the city to preach the gospel in the open air and hand out tracts in the public square. One afternoon, we had the opportunity to get down there earlier than usual. While walking to meet up with others who were evangelizing with us we walked by a group of men who were standing near one of the bus stops holding up signs and proclaiming a message of some sort. They had a sign with a white Jesus who had devil horns on his head, a sign with a twelve tribes chart (which claimed only the Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans were the true Hebrew Israelites, and had them broken down into twelve tribes), another sign with RFID microchips as the mark of the beast, a sign about how America was going to be destroyed, and they were proclaiming how the white man is the devil they called Edomites, which they claimed were descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob. They used this reference because God says in the scripture, “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated” (Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:13).
We stopped and engaged with them for a little while and attempted to have a dialogue, however, it wasn’t an easy task to do, because the group of men seemed more inclined to shout over you and weren’t really interested in hearing you out, only reading passages of scriptures that weren’t necessarily dealing with what they claimed it to deal with while shouting white devils at us. We preached the gospel to them and then went on our way to meet up with the group we came out to evangelize with.
This would be the first of many encounters with this group over the years. With more interactions picking up in 2017 until this day, as the group has grown on the streets and the encounters have been not only on the streets but also on YouTube (which is the main platform they use to spread their message).
>>>Just type in Ricky Gantz or G220 Ministries into the YouTube search engine and many videos will show up of either interaction with them or videos they made about me and the ministry.<<<
Not only has this group of men who I ran into about four to five years ago grown in number, but other groups were starting to come together in the city as well. Different camps holding to many of the same things with some distinct differences that divide them from one another. Sometimes you hear them refer to their camp as the true Hebrew Israelite while they call out other camps.
Now that we have a little context of the background in how I became aware of the Hebrew Israelites, let me explain why I feel this is important to address. There are many false religions that claim they have the truth and many cults who claim to be Christian and are not. The Hebrew Israelites are no different than other false groups that claim they have the truth. While they claim they are not a religion but a nationality, the real Hebrew Israelites the Bible speaks of, the reality is they are using the Word of God to promote their hatred and racism against others who do not fall into the list of their twelve tribes chart (Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans), especially their hatred of white people in which they claim are Edomites.
Not much has been written against the Hebrew Israelite teachings, which I believe is due to a few factors:
Why I believe we should address them.
Now that we have established a basis as to why I believe this is important to address we can move on into the main body of what I want to deal with in this first article on the topic of blessing and curses.
I have heard Hebrew Israelites say that you must first know who you are in the Bible before you can understand it. They make it more about a nation of people then about Christ. Which is why I can honestly say that I have never heard them preach the good news of the gospel of Christ, they preach what they believe is good news, which is them having the white man as slaves in the kingdom, but never preach Christ crucified on the cross and raised from the dead. They deny Jesus is God in the Flesh and teach he is a created being.
I would agree we need to understand who we are, we are totally depraved by nature, separated from God because of our sin.
I submit to you Chapter Six of the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith:
So, I agree it is important for us to recognize our state before a Holy and Righteous God.
Hebrew Israelites though are not referring to the nature of man but rather the nationality of man which they believe is the Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans and they come up with this based upon some proof texts that they believe support their claim.
One such text is Deuteronomy 28.
In this chapter of Deuteronomy God is laying out the blessings and the curses.
In verses 1-6 we see the blessings laid out:
Hebrew Israelites believe they have come into the truth and must keep the commandments of God because they are still in effect (Now to be fair this may not be all camps but from my interactions, there is a strong emphasis on keeping the law). My question is are you keeping ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS? Because it clearly states in verses 1 and 2 (underlined above) that you must be careful to do all his commandments and you will receive the blessings if you obey the voice of the Lord. If you violate in any point of Gods law you are a transgressor of the law.
As stated here in James 2:8-13:
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.
13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Consider the underlined and highlighted scriptures above, verse 9 if you show partiality, you are committing sin! There is no getting around the fact that Hebrew Israelites promote and build a whole system around showing partiality for which they must repent. Now look at the next verse, if you fail in one point you are guilty of it all. There is never anytime in which you can keep the whole law perfectly, never has been and never will be in this life a time when you can keep the law perfectly. Which is why the need for Christ, who is God in the flesh come down to take upon Himself the sins of all those who would believe in Him. The righteous laying down His life for the unrighteous. No man was ever justified by the keeping of the law as the scriptures say.
So, you see law keeping cannot and never has saved anyone, through the law comes the knowledge of sin which again was stated above that if you have violated in one point you are guilty of being a covenant breaker a transgressor of the law.
Which would bring us to the curses, if you are careful to do all Gods commandments and obey Him you receive the blessings laid out in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, however, from verses 15-68 God lays out the curses for the covenant breakers, those who do not obey His commandments.
Verse 15 says, “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
Sadly, the Hebrew Israelites claim to be the people of God is based upon how disobedient and a rebellious people they are to God and His word. Verse 45 says, “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you.
They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed according to the scriptures.
Chapter 28 is filled with many curses and I just want to look at a few as we seek to refute the position of the Hebrew Israelite teaching that this applies to them.
I have often heard from Hebrew Israelites that they are far more superior to all other nations in the world, meaning the Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans. I have heard them say things about sports athletes who dominate their sport, whether it be boxing, baseball, basketball, or football. I have heard the claims that the reason the athletes who dominate their sports do so is because they are Hebrew Israelite. I believe this is a bad argument for their position and I will explain why.
First many of these athletes (who are Black, Hispanic and/or Native American) who are extremely talented in the field (sport) in which they are in, do not claim to be Hebrew Israelites, many of them do not adhere to the teachings of the Hebrew Israelite movement.
So, based upon their own logic about the blessings and the curses, how is an individual who is viewed and more superior in the eyes of the Hebrew Israelites because they claim they are truly Hebrew Israelites prospering in the field or sport they are in if they are not being careful to do all the commandments and obey the voice of the Lord?
Verse 20 says “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.
If Michael Jordan, who I believe to be the greatest basketball player to ever play in the NBA does not obey the Lord and is not careful to do all His commands and yet he is considered a Hebrew Israelite by nationality (using Jordan as an example, but you could fill in the blank with a name of any successful athlete), how has he prospered so much and not experienced what is mentioned in the verse above, confusion and frustration in all that he has undertaken in. Again, this is just an example, there are countless other examples of athletes who have won championships and done well in their field. Do the curses not apply to them even though they do not adhere to the commands to obey and worship the god you claim to serve. The one who brings the curses upon His people here in Deuteronomy 28.
How does verse 28-29 apply to these successful athletes, movie stars and entertainers.
Verse 48 is used as a proof text because it mentions a yoke of iron around the neck. Which they use to say that this is a mention of their people who suffered under slavery.
I believe it is important to point out that slavery in America was a horrible atrocity which took place in this nation and is not supported by the scriptures, even though there were men who tried to justify slavery by using proof texts within the Bible trying to fit their wicked theology into the scriptures by twisting the scriptures and not properly exegeting the Word of God.
In this verse is says, “therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.”
We must let the scriptures interpret the scriptures, we see this reference used elsewhere in scripture.
Jeremiah 28:14 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put upon the neck of all these nations an iron yoke to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him, for I have given to him even the beasts of the field.’”
Is this a literal yoke of iron around the necks of the people of all the nations? Well, NO! It is referring to them serving the king of Babylon as we see with supporting scriptures such as in Jeremiah 25:11, 27:6.
Another curse that is almost unimaginable to even think would come upon a people, yet do to their wickedness and rebellion against God, He says this curse will come upon them in verse 52-53.
This is not an easy passage to consider that someone would eat their own sons and daughters, but this is what is stated in this verse. During a time of distress under a siege, which I will mention here shortly concerning AD 70.
This is also referenced in Leviticus 26:27-33 which says:
Again, if you will not listen to God and walk contrary to Him, these judgments will come upon you, such devastation that it would cause the wickedness of man to eat his own children. Which is recorded for us by Josephus the Jewish Historian about the events in AD 70 when the LORD brought His judgment upon Israel. In His writings on The Siege of Jerusalem, AD 70, he wrote:
I struggled to read that honestly, but I wanted to point out how these curses against a rebellious people have been brought to pass at the end of the age in AD 70 on the covenant breakers of Israel.
Finally, I want to address verse 68, this verse is used by Hebrew Israelites as a proof text in which they claim is speaking of the transatlantic slave trade. Let’s examine verse 68, which says:
Three things I want to touch on with this closing verse.
As Christians, we can rejoice in the blessing of God that He gives to His people the Church, those who are the true Israel of God. Knowing that all the curses for the true believers have fell upon Christ.
And we who belong to Christ are not saved by the works of the law but have been justified by faith in Christ.
I point you back to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith chapter 11:
This will not be the last of articles written to address and refute the claims made by those who hold to the Hebrew Israelite movement. And I pray that those who are caught up under the teaching of the Hebrew Israelites would come out from among them and turn to the one who can free them from the bondage of their sins and the bring them from death to life, the only way is through the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Who gave His life as a ransom for many, if by grace you believe by faith that Christ is who He says He is and has done what He says He has completed, salvation is only found in Christ alone.
May this also bring glory to the Lord by bringing Hebrew Israelites out of this movement, and for the edification of the true saints in Christ as they grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and His Word.
For those in Christ
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
If the title of this article seems shocking to you, it should! Not shocking that I would title this article, "Abortion is Premeditated Murder", because it is, but that you may be more offended by the title or thought that I would make such a claim rather than shocked by how many babies are actually murdered daily in this nation, at the predetermined and willful desire of mothers and fathers who request to have abortionist murders end the life of their child.
I would encourage you to listen first to what I have to say before you just dismiss it.
Life comes from God, it's valuable because we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). The Psalmist writes, For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16).
God said to Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5) and Paul writes to the church in Galatia, "even before I was born, God had chosen me to be His" (Galatians 1:15).
Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3) to be valued and loved and cared for, not to be murdered on the alter of convenience, simply because the mother or father says they are not ready for a child, or can't afford a child, or want to finish school, start a career, whatever excuse you want to come up with never justifies murdering your own child in a place that should be the safest for a baby, their mother's womb!
God says, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13), that you are "not to shed innocent blood" (Jeremiah 7:6), and that He hates the "hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil" (Proverbs 6:16-19). What is more wicked and evil then shedding the innocent blood of your own child?
Premeditated Murder describes a murder that was planned in advance and was carried out willfully. Which is exactly what happens every time a mother goes into an abortion provider to schedule an abortion and then follows through with ending the life of the baby.
Every abortion is murder and every mother who has had an abortion is a murderer, every father who has participated or cooperated in the death of a child through abortion is a murderer, every grandparent who has forced their grandchild to have an abortion or encouraged and assisted in it is a murderer, every doctor who performs an abortion is a murderer, every escort who walks women into the clinic to shield them from the Christians who are pleading with them to come to Christ and not have an abortion is a murderer, and everyone who is pro choice is an accessory to murderer because you advocate for it.
And sadly, many professing Christians and pro-life organizations are complacent in their stand against the murder of babies in this nation.
Over 65 million babies have been murdered by legal abortion since Roe v. Wade.
Christians cannot be silent on this issue, because it is not a political problem but a sin problem that manifests in the murdering of millions of babies in our nation every year.
The Word of God says you shall not murder (Exodus 20:13) and no murderer will inherit the Kingdom of God, But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).
We are all sinners and children of wrath by our nature (Ephesians 2:3), at war with the very God who created us, in constant rebellion against Him. The scary thing is that if you continue without Christ you are storing up His wrath for the day of judgment. Worshiping creation over the creator (Romans 1:25), And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)
However, there is forgiveness in Christ, by the grace of God through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). So that even those who have murdered their own baby or participated in anyway through abortion can receive complete forgiveness for the murdering of these precious babies by the only savior Jesus Christ.
Christ died on the cross, taking upon Himself the wrath of God, for those who believe, and He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. He was buried and rose from the grave defeating the power of sin and death. And for those in Christ there is no condemnation, Jesus paid the debt that was owed for the sins of those who believe and He commands you to repent and believe.
Have you repented for the premeditated murder of your baby through abortion? Have you repented for the assisting of or participating in the murder of a baby through abortion?
Christ can and will forgive you if you come to Him by repentance and faith, He heals the brokenhearted and brings you peace with God.
May the Grace of God be with you
Have you ever had that conversation with someone who tells you they are a Christian BUT.... you leave thinking they might not actually be saved?
For me this is far to often the case. One such instance that comes to mind, is when I was in downtown Cleveland at Public Square handing out gospel tracts. A young man came out there a little ways up the street from where I was and began to open air preach, I was excited, and thought to myself this is great, I need to talk to this person before they leave, thinking how nice it would be to have another brother in Christ to labor with on the streets in Cleveland. I was already engaged in a conversation with an individual when this young man stopped preaching, so I sent my son to go let him know I wanted to talk. After I wrapped up the conversation I was already in this young man and I began to talk and everything started off great until I asked him what church he belongs to. He responded by saying "he goes back and forth between two churches", going to Bethel Cleveland one week and a local Baptist church the next. To him that was not an issue but for me it was and lead me down another line of conversation with him. I expressed my concerns over Bethel and the many false teachings that come out of there, however, he did not see those as problems that he needed to be concerned about. When the conversation ended, I went from being excited at the possibility of having another brother to minister with, to being saddened by the fact that this young man may very well be a false convert.
That was not the first or last of the many conversations I've had with individuals that were not exactly the same things I discussed with the young man above but similar in the fact that I walked away with no sense of assurance that the profession of faith they initially made was valid.
Ultimately, I am not the final judge and my prayer is that if these individuals were true believers they have grown in their faith, and if they were false converts as I perceived them to be, they would come to repentance and genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Why is this such a problem? Let me try to explain some reasons why I believe this is all to common.
1) They are goats
We need to be honest and say that many who profess Christ today are not His sheep, they are goats, they are tares and not the wheat. True and false converts alongside one another in the church. These false converts are goats and while pastors and elders do their best to minimize the amount of unbelievers who become members of their local churches, there will still be those goats who convince others they are among the sheep. The Lord will in the end be the one to separate the goats from His sheep.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
2) The are a new convert
We need to be gracious with those who may be new to the faith. If they are a new convert they may still be trying to figure things out within Christianity. While we believe there are some essentials to the Christian faith, some brothers and sisters may not be fully aware or even understand some of these essential doctrines yet. For example, they may say they believe in the Trinity but not understand the dangers of modalism and may make statements that sound as if they were a oneness pentecostal and not even know it, until someone points it out to them. This is why discipleship is so important for a new believers life. They need a biblical church and solid believers around them to hold them accountable and point them to truth.
>>>1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
3) They are in an unbiblical church
Most professing Christian's in questionable churches (although they do not see them as questionable) have no desire for the truth. They may say they love Christ, they may say they are a Christian, but care little to grow in their understanding of the scriptures and conformity to what is true but rather desire to stay biblically illiterate and under happy go lucky, make me feel good about myself churches. And the majoirty of the time they are more offended that you would challenge the teachings of their church than they are offended that their church would teach contrary to God's Word.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
4) They are in a church that preaches the gospel but has poor theology
This is a tough position to be in because there are some churches that get the gospel right, and they don't teach things that would deny what many would consider the essentials of the faith. They may affirm the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, Justification by faith alone, hold to a biblical view of the atonement, and yet still have very poor theology. This could be because the pastor and/or elders in the church aren't doing a good job of training up their people, along with teachers in the church teaching a very basic Sunday school class that just goes through the same teachings every couple of years and never digs in to deep theological studies on the scriptures. I was once in a church where the pastor kept his sermons short and never to deep because he would say he needed to bring it down to where he believed his people were at rather than preaching and teaching at a level that would bring his people up to a stronger theological standing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
This is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, but I do believe these are reasons why we see so many who profess Christ but do not really know Him. These four reasons are not exclusive from one another but intertwine with each other.
A major indicator that one may be a goat is when they are in an unbiblical church and after being warned that their pastor is a false teacher time and time again with evidence given on the false teaching being taught, they get mad and disregard the warnings and continue to support and follow these false teachers.
A new convert may be under a false teacher in an unbiblical church, but because they are in Christ the Spirit will lead them into all truth, so when they receive correction they will over time come out from among them.
Honestly if you are a true believer and someone challenges something you have always been told or believed regardless of how long you have been a Christian, you response should not be well my pastor said this or my favorite preacher said..... it should be what does the Bible say.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Our first desire should be to honor the Lord and give Him glory, which means we must conform to the truth found in His word.
Not everyone who says they are a Christian is truly a Christian!
Let us remember that even those who may be a false convert may one day be brought to saving faith, so preach the gospel in season and out of season. Everyone from unbelievers to believers need to hear the gospel, unbelievers that they might be saved and believers that they might walk in accordance to the gospel which Christ used to save them.
Grace and Peace Be With You
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.<<<
For the last four years G220 Ministries has hosted a College Evangelism Tour in which we visit local college campuses seeking to engage with the students and bring to them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The glorious gospel is that Jesus came into His own creation, never once sinned, lived in perfect obedience to the Father, and willfully went to the cross, died, was buried and rose again on the third day and God commands all to repent and believe in Him. All those who by grace through faith in Christ alone receive eternal life while those who reject Christ will receive eternal death.
>>>1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,<<<
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God<<<
One of the things we have observed over the last few years, is a growing surge in the LGBTQ+ community and those who would affirm it. So much so that it appears to be a quickly growing percentage of the student body. Those who openly profess to be homosexual and proud to call themselves such, as well as those who embrace and celebrate this with them who would claim to be heterosexual. Almost as if its the cool new fad among young people today. And anyone who disagrees is unloving and intolerant.
In one conversation with a male student at Cleveland State University who told us his name was "Jenny", claimed to be transgender. Our first encounter with "Jenny", he walked passed with a couple female students that took gospel tracts from us and then "Jenny" proceeded to rip up the tract, tossed it in the air and kept on walking. He stopped and came back with one of the tracts that another in his group received and asked me what was this about. I began to share the gospel with "Jenny", however, he didn't really seem as if he desired to engage in a meaningful conversation but rather mock. Even though every argument he brought forth we showed his inconsistencies and pointed him back to the scriptures.
He left but kept coming back to talk with us throughout the day. One of those times was with my wife, who came in the afternoon for a few hours before we ended the day at CSU.
While talking to my wife, he started with the premise that everyone should be left alone to live in a way that makes them happy. My wife went back and forth with him for awhile using scripture and talking about the foundation for morality, which he did admit that there had to be a standard for morality or you're just left with total chaos. Yet, continued to be inconsistent with what logically he knew to be true.
This just goes to show you that regardless of the evidence of something being true unless God does a supernatural work in the heart of an individual they will continue to suppress the truth for a lie and good they call evil and that which is evil they call good.
>>>Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.<<<
>>>Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!<<<
This young man in the same five minutes of the conversation denied the existence of God, while claiming that God had created him wrong. Do you not see the problem with that thinking? In one breath, he says God doesn't exist, while in the next breath lashes out in anger at the same God he is denying for creating him as he believes, he is a woman in a man's body.
This is the sad state in which we find ourselves today, if we are truly honest and believe the scripture in Romans chapter one, we would have to say we are definitely living in a nation that is not awaiting God's judgment but rather we are currently experiencing it as we see God give them up to the lusts of their hearts in impurity.
As you can see in the picture above college students are willing to engage with you. Most of the time they believe themselves to be wise in their own eyes and think they will put the Christians in their place, which they often seem to think is back in the first century as if truth has evolved and changed over time.
>>>Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!<<<
Interestingly enough most of the time if not all the time when we are preaching the gospel at the college campuses in the open air or passing out tracts and engaging in conversations with students we don't even mention homosexuality. They are the ones who bring it up in questions they ask us, and from there we take them to the scriptures to show them what the Word of God says.
While at CSU a student named Patrick came up and was looking at our free materials we brought to the campus to give away. I asked him if he had any questions and he said yes, then he ask if we were zealots? Wanting to be informed about what it was he was asking, I inquired saying what do you mean by zealot? His reply was not exactly what I thought it was going to be, I thought maybe he was asking if we were like the angry street preaching crowd that goes around from campus to campus making it hard on the true biblical Christians who preach the truth, and not those who spend the day yelling at students and calling them names preaching law with no grace.
Patrick went straight for homosexuality, he asked do you preach against gays? I said that we preach the gospel and stand on the Word of God. Pointing out to Patrick that the scripture says all those who die in their sins will not inherit the kingdom of God but rather eternal damnation, homosexuality is one of many sins that God calls us to repent of. Expressing to Patrick that we were not out there to single out homosexuality but rather to point people to Jesus Christ because we are all sinners in need of a savior unable to save ourselves.
He walked away, but like "Jenny" kept coming around as if to hear us but not engaging in more conversations.
These students and many across the country who have the same kind of mindset, one that says there is no absolute truth, some of which will actually tell you there is no absolute truth. They embrace the lies of the world and worship creation over the creator. There is no fear of the Lord in their hearts and they are not seeking after God, which is why they need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ which is our hope and prayer for them. The gospel is the means by which God brings dead sinners to life, releasing the captives and setting them free, opening the blind eyes that they may see and it is only by His grace.
We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ, so preach Christ on the college campuses to these young students, preach Christ to family members, preach Christ to your friends, preach Christ to your co-workers, preach Christ and Him crucified, risen and coming again. Christ changes stony heart to flesh, so trust in Him to bring others to salvation, and let us stay faithful to the proclamation of His gospel message.
Even when it seems that homosexuality and those who support it is ever increasing and anyone who speaks out against it is viewed as unloving, intolerant, and hateful bigots, we know that God can bring these individuals to repentance and faith. We find great comfort in the writing of the Apostle Paul when he says in Corinthians, and such were some of you.
>>>1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.<<<
All those sins listed can be forgiven in Christ, not that one who comes to Christ can continue in their sinful lifestyle, regardless of whatever sin that was, but we repent and believe in Christ and He changes our desires and where sin still remains in the flesh we are called to die to ourselves and obedience to Christ. Too many today who want to preach and teach that you can be a homosexual Christian, when Paul is clear in the passage above that such were some of you, you were but you are no longer identified by the sins which kept you in slavery but you have been set free in Christ.
We have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives but Christ who now lives in us and the life we now live by faith in the Son of God who died for us. What comfort we have in Christ we are no longer enemies of God, we are now at peace with God.
So let us remember the grace of God that He poured out on us and extend that grace to the lost by giving them the gospel in truth and love that they might experience the same grace and say, such was I but I have been washed.
May the Grace of God be with you!
Ricky & Elesa Gantz
Election is really a remarkable view of God's grace, that He would chose His elect before the foundation of the world, not arbitrarily, but in His wisdom to bring about His purpose to fulfill His will. So often we hear from those who oppose God's sovereign election stating that it is not fair that God would elect or chose to save some but not make it possible for all to be saved. Some even go so far to accept a universal atonement, that God would ultimately save everyone because of His love for all. Now to be fair, not all those who hold to mans free will, meaning it comes down to man making the choice as to whether or not God will save them, ascribe to a universal atonement. They reject that God will save everyone, and do not deny that some will go to hell. Thankful for these inconsistencies, because ultimately with the idea that Jesus died for everyone, past, present and future, when taken to its logical conclusion leads you to universalism. Like I said, thankfully there are inconsistencies.
Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
This verse does not say He will make it possible for His people to be saved from their sins, does it? No, it says He will save! That is a one hundred percent guarantee that God will do exactly what he said He will do, because we know that God does not lie. (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18, Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29)
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Again, not to sound redundant, Isaiah 53 which is used so often by many Christians as this is a wonderful prophetic passage pointing to Jesus, completely miss the point that because He took upon Himself the curse of being hung from a tree (Galatians 3:13), He was pierced, crushed, chastened, and scourged and by this we are healed, not that we have the potential to be healed but that we are healed. He did this for His people not only of the Jews but also of the Gentiles, for the world. I can say world without fear because when it is rightly understood in context, you will see that often it is referring to both Jews and Gentiles, and not meaning every single individual on the earth, but from every tribe and people group God is saving from them His elect.
Here is the link to a previous article looking at the word world as used in scripture, looking deeper to understand the context behind world in different passages to help you see that it is not always referring to everyone. does-world-mean-everyone.html
We can not say that Christ did not accomplish His purpose and fulfill His plans to redeem His people if He only made it possible and is now sitting on the edge of His throne waiting to see if people will accept and choose to be saved, relying on man to be the deciding factor in salvation. Which is ultimately what one is saying, even though they will strongly argue that salvation is of God, they fail to see how they are being unbiblical in their position by making salvation a work of God plus man, and man being the determining factor. This type of thinking along with the many inconsistencies lead to many errors in properly expounding the scriptures as we will see with Ephesians 1:4, they simple continue to miss the mark. Thinking they hit the bullseye but in reality are not even hitting the target.
Let me first just look at this verse alone without the context around it and see if there is anything that stands out and is clear and easy to understand.
The scripture says just as He chose us, who is the He, this is referring to God choosing us in Christ, so God chose us to be in Christ, that is pretty clear and simple to understand, now comes the hard part, well it's not really hard to grasp but for some they attempt to make it harder in order to fit their free will theology into the text by eliminating election. However, the verse goes on to tell us when He (God) did this electing or choosing, the scripture says, "before the foundation of the world", and goes on to say that we would be holy and blameless before Him. This choosing by God that we would be in Christ before the foundation of the world is not something that we should be so quick in twisting the scriptures to avoid the plain text simply because we don't like what it says. It says what it says, whether you like it or not this is plain and clear that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, any other means of interpreting this verse differently to avoid the truth is either because one is being outright deceptive or just plain ignorant of the scriptures. We cannot allow our opinions or ideas about what we think God says in His word to dictate what God actually says in His word simply because it doesn't fit with the theology we hold.
Here is an example of someone doing just that, trying to make this passage say something it is clearly not saying.
Do I really even need to respond to this foolishness? I mean honestly think about what this guy is trying to say, the inconsistencies and mangling of the scripture is so bad that this is the best you can come up with to explain away the fact, yes fact, that Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. As I said above when someone clearly hates the doctrine of election they will go to such extreme lengths to avoid the clear truths of scripture, that are so plainly seen right before our eyes in this verse and we haven't even looked at the context yet.
Look how bad this argument is, he says that when you use proper hermeneutics you will see God is not choosing individuals but all believers, both Jews and Gentiles meaning the church. The church is made up of individual believers who collectively make up the church or body of Christ. It's like saying God elects the church but not those who are in the church. Basically what this individual is saying, is ridiculous, yeah ridulous! This is the outcome though when one tries to explain away truth, they claim to use logical arguments and have those who properly exegete the text scratching their heads like...WHAT?
This individual loves to point out the IN HIM phrase in this verse and argue that we are not in Christ until salvation, however, what this individual fails to understand is that regardless of when God chooses to bring one of His elect to the point of conversion, this does not the fact that the one being saved was elected before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world yet this take place before the beginning of the world but at the appointed time God had set forth. the same applies to salvation of God's elect, which God brings about at the appointed time for that individual He has predestined unto adoption.
Basically this man is arguing that God set in eternity past to bring about the church but doesn't choose the individuals He will save to be part of the church, which is the typical free will position, but is contrary to Ephesians 1:4.
At this point I have some serious concerns about this individuals understanding of scripture and even more concerned that this individual claims to be a teacher of God's word. He goes on from there to end the post by saying you are not elect until you are in Christ. The ridiculousness of this argument shouldn't be overlooked and the error needs to be pointed out. First the elect doesn't become elect because they believed, they believe because they are the elect. Also even by this mans logic only the elect are saved, how so? Well if the elect become the elect because they believe and only those who believe will be saved then that would mean that only the elect will be saved.
Let's look at the definition of election from Websters Dictionary 1828.
ELECT', verb transitive [Latin electus, from eligo; e or ex and lego; Gr. to choose.]
1. Properly, to pick out; to select from among two or more, that which is preferred. Hence,
2. To select or take for an office or employment; to choose from among a number; to select or manifest preference by vote or designation; as, to elect a representative by ballot or viva voce; to elect a president or governor.
3. In theology, to designate, choose or select as an object of mercy or favor.
4. To choose; to prefer; to determine in favor of.
ELECT', adjective Chosen, taken by preference from among two or more. Hence,
1. In theology, chosen as the object of mercy; chosen, selected or designated to eternal life; predestinated in the divine counsels.
2. Chosen, but no inaugurated, consecrated or invested with office; as bishop elect; emperor elect; governor or mayor elect But in the scriptures, and in theology, this word is generally used as a noun.
ELECT', noun One chosen or set apart; applied to Christ.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth. Isaiah 42:1.
1. Chosen or designated by God to salvation; predestinated to glory as the end, and to sanctification as the means; usually with a plural signification, the elect
Shall not God avenge his own elect? Luke 18:7.
If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect Matthew 24:24.
He shall send his angels--and they shall gather his elect from the four winds. Matthew 24:24.
2. Chosen; selected; set apart as a peculiar church and people; applied to the Israelites. Isaiah 45:4.
As A.W. Pink is quoted above, election is all throughout the Word of God, the only reason it's argued against is because man wants to say he had a part in his own salvation, again to be fair that may not be what they actually verbalize but when you get down to the root of the issue, that's it, man wants to be in control of his own soul.
If you would like to know more about the doctrines of grace, especially the doctrine of election please visit Monergism here>>
Verse 3 says, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
We who are believers have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places even though we are not yet with Christ we have every spiritual blessing given to us in Christ.
Now for Verse 4 which we have already discussed says, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
This verse ends with In love, which is the beginning of the next verse and this is why the idea that this is not referring to election is absurd because Paul reiterates it here in verse 5 with predestination.
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
God predestined us as sons by adoption through Jesus Christ, He chose us and predestined us before the foundation of the world, scripture is clear, those who continue to deny the clear and plain reading of scripture only continue to prove their ignorance of God's word due to their hatred of the doctrine of election.
Verse 6 says, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
All that God does is to the praise of the glory of His grace, why would we argue that anything that God chooses to do would be anything other than to His glory.
Verse 7-10 says, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him.
Verse 7 says, according to the riches of His grace.
Verse 8 says, He did this in His wisdom and insight.
Verse 9 says, He made known the mystery of His will, which if you are following along closely, Paul is speaking to the saints in Ephesus about this mystery that this is for both Jew and Gentile believers and this was His will which again we see He chose us before the foundation of the world and predestined us to be sons by adoption through Jesus Christ. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get around the clear reading of scripture unless you flat out deny the truth in order to hold tightly to the lies.
Verse 10 says, suitable to the fullness of the times, and summing up of all things in Christ, in heaven and on the earth. Again as I said in the beginning, God elects man to come to salvation and then works it out throughout time at the appointed hour that He decreed it to come to pass.
In Him continuing onto verse 11 says, also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
Once again predestined appears to plainly make it know that this is Gods Sovereign election and it is all to His praise and His glory and He is working it all out after the counsel of His will.
Why would anyone want to find themselves on the opposite side of God's sovereign plan in which He will bring about His purposes. As Romans 8 verses 28-30 so plainly lays out in the order of salvation, it says, 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
To the praise of the glory of His grace
Racism is Sin!!
Racism in the body of Christ by those who hold to a teaching or preaching position, the level of accountability for you will be much higher.
Let's just be honest.... If you can't have unity with the brethren because of skin color ..... Do you really have unity with Christ?
They will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another!
Not they will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another as long as they respond in the way you want them to or how you feel they should, but because of the unity in Christ among His own they will have love for one another!
It seems the more the world claims to be woke .... there are those in the church that instead of pointing the woke ones to the Hope found in the one that is Christ Jesus, they just join them.
Instead of responding from a biblical worldview seeking restoration through Christ, some seek restoration through reparations.
Probably wondering, what I mean by that??
It seems unless you are willing to agree with those who are seeking more of a social justice approach to our faith when it comes to racism you can't say anything about it or even ask the questions without being labeled, unaware, privileged, and/or racist.
If you challenge prominent men who may have been used by God to bring about some needed changes in our society like Dr. Martin Luther King who held to unbiblical views of Christ and other theological errors, the same type of labels are used against you.
God has used ungodly men at times to bring about His graciousness to His people throughout history. While we can appreciate the work in which God used these men to bring about change, we should never worship these men or esteem them higher than they are.
And we should not have to fear or be labeled falsely for examining the theology of these ungodly men in which God has used to bring about His purposes.
There is also a serious problem within the professing body of Christ when a Christian is told they aren't able to speak to the issues of racism because they are white.
When I see posts like that, which imply that unless you are the same skin color then you can't really speak on it, unless you agree on it, truly grieves my heart.
What is happening within the body of Christ?
Christ revealed a mystery to us of bringing Jew and Gentile together and it seems like there are those who want to separate over ethnicity.
The above statement was made by Thabiti Anyabwile, a prominent leader in the church today. Link here>> https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/await-repentance-assassinating-dr-king/
Another well known pastor, Eric Mason said this on twitter. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? As I stated above, if you pushback (Mason's words) or disagree, well you are just out of luck because you wont even be able to engage due to your privileged position.
Does racism still exist today? Yes
However, this is not the way the body of Christ should be responding to one another. This type of response only causes division in the body and not unity, as Christians we should know and understand that better than anyone, yet it seems that so many are falling for the same type of thinking of the world.
What should be the response? Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that changes the hearts of men. Heart change is the only true change that will bring peace, hope and restoration to man. First to the one we all need to be restored to, which is Christ Jesus, then to our fellow man. Brothers and sisters in Christ should be in unity with one another, seeking to grow in sanctification, not perfection but growing in sanctification and where there is the sin of indwelling racism in a man, whether he is black or white, repentance is needed.
1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We look to the scriptures to see that the gospel goes forth to both Jew and Gentile, the dividing wall has been torn down by Christ, we should not be seeking to build a wall of hostility back up among other brothers and sisters based on their ethnic background, nor on the basis of their so-called privilege or lack of, regardless of social status that society may put us in based on your income, where you live, or any other area by which they try to make divisions, for those that are in Christ Jesus they are one!
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Does that mean only preach the gospel? No, preach the gospel, and love your neighbor as yourself, that may mean get involved and love those around you. Be a light in the darkness as an ambassador for Christ.
Let us as believers not seek to tear down those in the body but build one another up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Exercising the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
My heart in this is not to add to or cause more division, I already see to much division over this as it is. My heart is grieved by what I am seeing and my only desire in this is that it will cause us all to think through the issues at hand and grow deeper in our love for one another. Starting with the body, which is not ours but belongs to Christ.
When a brother has experienced racism towards himself as a body regardless of color we should grieve when that saint grieves and rejoice with our brethren when they rejoice.
Racism is sin! It's not going to go away, there will always be a form of it until the LORD returns for His bride. As the bride for which Christ will return let us walk in a manner that brings glory to His name by being united in Christ and not divided in the same manner and way in which the world divides.
May the grace of our Lord bless you and keep you until He returns for His bride.
Soli Deo Gloria
Doesn't world mean everyone when it is used in the Word of God? This is often a debated topic among professing Christians, often the very famous John 3:16 is quoted as a go to passage to say, the reference to world means everyone. However, is that truly the case or could there be more to it. Let's start by looking at this passage in John chapter 3.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.-John 3:16
The Greek word used here for world is κοσμον. A noun - accusative singular masculine
kosmos kos'-mos: orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively (morally) -- adorning, world.
We can see by the understanding of this word that it can be used in a wide or narrow sense, which is important to note and we will see as we look at other passages of scriptures using the word world.
I want to start by looking at this word from the Gospel of John since that is where it comes into question the most for those who are advocating that world means everyone.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!-John 1:29
Ask yourself, does world here mean everyone? I don't want you to take that question lightly with this passage or any other passage we look at going forward in this article. If this literally means the world in the sense of everyone, then everyone has their sins taken away. Because the text literally says, "takes away the sin of the world!" If Jesus' death, burial and resurrection takes away every individuals sin, there would be no one who would be cast into the lake of fire because Jesus would have taken away their sin.
I honestly don't want to sound like I am continuing to make the same case or argument throughout this article but I do believe this is truly important in helping others see clearly in order to be consistent with the scriptures and not make the same arguments that say it means the entire world, meaning all people.
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”-John 4:42
Here again we see the implication in this verse that Jesus is "the Savior of the world". Does that mean He saves everyone? No, there are many references in scriptures that speak of those who have not believed in Christ will face God's wrath. So the idea that this means everyone is reaching for something that just is not there.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”-John 6:33
If world means every individual and you want to be consistent with that you will find yourself as a universalist, because there is no way then of arguing against universalism when the scripture above says about Jesus that he, "comes down from heaven and gives life to the world," this doesn't mean that I believe everyone who says that world means every individual is a universalist, however, I am only trying to demonstrate how you are being inconsistent by trying to apply that to the word when as mentioned already it can mean in a wide sense or in a narrow sense.
So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”-John 12:19
Now this cannot clearly be meaning every individual has gone after following Christ.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.-John 12:47
Here is an example as to why context is key when it comes to interpretations of the scriptures. One who holds to a universal atonement could easily try to say this verse is teaching that Jesus doesn't judge anyone (the world) but saves everyone (the world).
Again, I don't want to come of sounding like a broken record but it seems that where we fail in understanding the text of scriptures is because we try to impose our own presuppositions onto the text, twist the text and misinterpret the passage.
Please consider that when reading the Word of God!
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.-John 14:17
Thought this was an interesting verse to add, especially in light of this whole discussion comes about due to those who believe in a free will theology that limits the atonement of Christ in its effectiveness by saying it only makes it possible for man to be saved but ultimately comes down to mans free will choice. John 14:17 says the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Context is important brothers and sisters.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.-John 15:19
We see here the word world used five times in this one verse, now truly think about this passage because there is much to glean from it.
The obvious stand out here for one holding to the Doctrines of Grace is the fact that Jesus says, " but I chose you out of the world," clearly world there does mean out of all the world but the next line states, "therefore the world hates you." Which is not in the wide sense but a narrow sense, not every individual is an unbeliever, and we know that Jesus said, "they will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another."
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.-John 17:6
Let's really discuss this verse in the Gospel of John. Jesus says, "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world, " What a beautiful portion of scripture pointing to the fact that these individuals where given to Jesus by the Father and that it is they who keep His word. Ask yourself, if everyone in the whole world has been given to Jesus why do they not all keep the Father's word?
Let me just add some more scriptures here from Jesus' pray to His Father in John 17 to hopefully help you understand why it is so important to be consistent with how you interpret the scriptures.
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.-John 17:9
And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.-John 17:11
But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.-John 17:13-16
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.-John 17:18
that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.-John 17:21
Now this last verse here (v.21) is another used to say that Jesus is speaking about the whole world again with the idea of including every individual. Which is way I put up so many verses from this chapter to give a better understanding of the context of John 17. Back in verse six Jesus tells us these are those whom the Father has given Him and that He is not praying for the world but for His own and those who will believe because of their preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not every individual on the entire world.
Which is further explained here in the next three verses.
I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.-John 17:23-25
Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.-John 18:20
Lastly in the Gospel of John we see Jesus say, "I have spoken openly to the world." The Mormons might like the idea of making that use of world to mean the entire world being as they believe Christ came to the Americas. However, that is not the meaning of the passage, Christ was using in the narrow sense.
I will leave you with one last passage of scripture from the Apostle Paul concerning the world. Which hopefully if you are consistent with the scriptures you will see how this is referring to the known world at that time and not to the very ends of all the earth.
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”-Romans 10:18
Romans 10 is another section of scripture that gets thrown out there when those who want to argue against Calvinism speak about whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord, which I would say, amen! The whosoever is the elect, but that would take us into a much longer article which might comes at a later time. However, in this verse, as stated above, Paul is saying that they have heard the and that their voice has gone out to all (side note there is that word all, which you could apply the same principles being used to understand the word world), the world. Clearly Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles did much of his missionary work in Asia Minor. Paul did not travel across the world neither did the other disciples at this time, he was speaking of the known world to them.
My prayer in this is that it would help you to understand and see the importance of rightly dividing the Word of God. Being consistent with the scriptures and doing our best to not be inconsistent. Honestly, there are some with good intentions and a desire to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ that may not fully grasp this but that doesn't give us the excuse to be sloppy with the scriptures and impose our traditions and/or presuppositions into the scriptures. We must look at the context of scripture and allow the scriptures to speak for themselves.
Yes, I am aware that man is fallible, which is why we must study hard the scriptures and dig deep into the passages and have good exegesis.
My prayer for you is that this will draw you closer to Christ, and that this would be encouraging and edifying to the body of Christ and help you answer some of those objections about John 3:16 referring to world as meaning every individual.
May the grace of God richly bless you and draw you even closer to Him in your walk.
Soli Deo Gloria
These artists and bands are some of the most popular artist out today in the Christian Contemporary Music scene. However, despite being popular with many professing Christians today these groups are not Christians.
Bethel Music/Jesus Culture/Kim Walker (pictured below) are directly connected to and hold to the teaching of Bethel “Church” lead by Heretic Bill Johnson (pictured on the left) which has been misleading people and teaching doctrines of demons for a long time now, yet many professing Christians still continue to promote their music.
Hillsong probably the most popular of the groups listed us the most albums out and many professing Christians sing a great many of their songs in their Churches. Hillsong is also connected to Hillsong “Church” lead by heretics Brian Houston (pictured on the left) and in NY Carl Lentz (pictured below).
And then there is Matt Maher (pictured on the left) who is a Roman Catholic, which has performed for the Pope and is a dedicated Roman Catholic which is not Christian, yet as like the others, he is promoted, supported and loved by many professing Christians.
The biggest problem with these groups is the fact that they are so closely aligned to their churches and the theology that comes from them. Christians we are called to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Please exercise discernment, Satan is deceptive and he doesn’t come into the Church with a pitch fork and a red suit with horns and a tail, he comes in as an angel of light, he is crafty, churches that are no longer churches didn’t die over night but over time because they let their guard down and allowed Satan to bring in his false teachers and prophets to destroy the church from within.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
As Christians we must be on our guard against these false teachers who use their music as a way of getting their hooks into churches and church goers using it to bring many under their teachings.
All truth is God's truth and I know that not every song these heretical groups sing are without truth. They do have some songs that are sound and/or convey truth in which we could apply to the one true and living God, however, as already stated Satan uses false teachers to bring in their false teachings masked as truth. Just look at the garden when the serpent deceived Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Was everything the serpent said to Eve a lie? Spurgeon once said something along these lines about discernment, that it is not a matter of knowing right from wrong or truth from error but discerning between truth and almost truth.
Take for instance modalism, which is a heretical teaching that denies the Trinity. Someone like TD Jakes is careful how he says things when it comes to this topic, while Jakes is a heretical word of faith modalist teacher, he never comes right out and says that he denies the Trinity. What he does is make statement about the Godhead in such a way leading you to the conclusion that there is no Trinity and that Jesus is actually the Father and the Holy Spirit. That's modalism!!! That's heresy!!! Now if he just came out and said he denied the Trinity it wouldn't be so deceptive, but since it is concealed in the teaching and very carefully spoken about when teaching on it, unless you are aware of the modalistic teachings and have a firm grasp of the doctrine of the Trinity, well it can be easy to be deceived into heresy.
Which is why this matter is not just about some preference over a style of music or likes and dislikes of certain bands but rather a care and concern for the body of Christ. For those who are being lead astray by these groups and supporting them, by purchasing their music and attending their concerts and yes, even singing them in their churches sadly.
This is not out of hate for these groups or an attempt to be divisive but again out of love for those whom call themselves brothers and sisters in Christ to be aware of these false teachers and artist who promote the false teachings from the churches they are connected to regardless of the fact that some of their songs have good lyrics and may contain some truth.
When it comes to false teachers this is what they Word of God says...
2 Timothy 4:3 - 4:4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 Timothy 6:3 - 6:5
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 2:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Deuteronomy 13:1 - 13:3
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].
2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
1 John 4:1-6
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1 John 2:26-27
26 These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Why do we think there is a different standard for artists and musical groups who hold to and promote the false teachers mentioned above? There is no difference!!!
Do not be deceived by these false teachers and by they music that comes from their churches. God is serious about how He is to be worshiped, therefore, as believers in Christ we should be also. If you think God is pleased by supporting musical groups of heretics and this article hasn't convinced you to avoid such people, well that will have to be something you will have to give an account of before the Lord. Whether you think I am right or wrong in this the obvious truth is this wouldn't even be a problem if the professing Christians in America were discerning because if they were, these groups would get no air time on Christian radio and in churches.
If you honestly have never heard about these groups and the churches they come from and the false teachings they promote. Well I want to encourage you to look up "Clouds Without Water" by Justin Peters. He lays out the false teaching of these and many others to help inform you of what it is they teach and why it is so dangerous.
I care about the truth and desire to glorify the Lord, while I know I am not perfect, my desire is to give Him glory in every area in my life and when it comes to music, especially music that claims to be Christian, my desire is to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and I fail to see how music from those who blaspheme the Lord with their false teaching brings Him honor and glory.
Soli Deo Gloria
What does it mean to be unpopular? The definition is to be not liked or popular, and synonyms are: disliked, friendless, unliked, unloved, loathed, despised. As for a Christian none of these should be an issue among professing believers and yet it is.
For instance, as a open air preacher, much of the push back I receive from people about how I am doing it wrong or that it doesn't work comes from professing believers. Who believe it is unpopular to "push" religion on others, as they say.
Other instances of being unpopular among professing believers is over doctrine. Being an open air preacher I have sadly had the opportunity to speak to multitudes of people who say they are believers, however, when it comes to knowing sound doctrine, they simply fail to know what the Word of God actually says about many issues and tend to actually go against truths from the Word of God by accepting them, such as woman pastors, homosexuality, abortion denying the Deity of Jesus and the denial of the Trinity. These individual still believe they are Christians and for you to say otherwise based on doctrine makes you extremely unpopular.
In a similar fashion, concerning doctrine, music is another area in which I find myself unpopular among other professing believers. I am not legalistic when it comes to music, I don't only believe in Hymns. In fact, I listen to many genre of music from Christian Rap, Hymns, The Psalter, Psalms by modern day artists, and more. But since I speak out against Christian Contemporary Music mostly played on family friendly radio that makes me also unpopular. It isn't popular to speak out against someones favorite band or "worship" song despite that many of them come from groups or bands that are heretical and while you may not catch the heretical teachings in all their music, it still introduces people to it and they go to the concerts and by the music and begin to follow their favorite artists. They watch them on YouTube and listen to them and are exposed to the false teaching behind these "Christian" artists. Which comes down to sound doctrine. Having good theology truly keeps you from falling into the deceitfulness of false teaching. Many music groups such as Hillsong, Bethel/Jesus Culture and Elevation Worship know full well what their intentions are, they want to reach people through their music, and it works. millions of people buy their albums and many people follow the "churches" they come out of by the same names as I mentioned of the music groups above.
It doesn't seem very popular these days to speak out against anything that goes against the Word of God. You get labeled as a legalist, or a Pharisee, simply for desiring to seek holiness and honor the Lord God by holding to sound doctrine and exposing that which is contrary to it.
I know this is why some people avoid me.
I am unpopular because I desire to seek truth in all things. Not that I am always right about everything because I am not, but because my heart desires to please the Lord and to worship Him. And the Word of God says we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. And when your beliefs go against the Word of God that is not in the Spirit and Truth, but contrary to the truth.
As Jesus prayed for His own as recorded in John 17, 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
My prayer is also that God would sanctify us in His truth and that those who profess faith in Christ would grow deeper in their understand of God's Word and stand on sound doctrine and be brought into agreement with the Word of God.
To God Be The Glory
The Gospel--Sin separates us from God, we all have sinned, we were born sinners, Adam sinned in the garden and due to his sin against God it has past down to all being born with a sin nature. JESUS CHRIST who is God in the flesh, the second person of the Trinity, came into His own creation born of a virgin without a sin nature, lived in complete obedience to God the Father, not once did He sin. Willfully went to the cross and laid down His life so that sinners like you and I could be reconciled back to God, JESUS died on the cross was buried and rose again the third day. JESUS said you must be born again or you cannot see the kingdom of God. Repent ( which means change of mind, turning from ) of your sins and believe in JESUS by grace through faith and you will receive eternal life.
Many unbelievers in this world need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sadly many professing believers don’t know the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Which is one of the reasons I hosts evangelism outreaches, to help teach people how to share the gospel, in some cases, those who have come out to share the gospel have realized they weren’t Christians and got saved, others have grown in their faith and understanding of Gods word by being around others to learn from and grow.
Don’t be comfortable in your Christianity, if you can’t articulate or explain the gospel ask yourself why? Could it be you don’t know it? Could it be no one around you is helping you develop by discipling you? Could it be you are pretending?
A Christian is a disciple of Christ Jesus, a disciple is a learner, a learner is always seeking to learn. Don’t just be comfortable with a once a week Christianity on Sunday mornings, Christianity is not just church attendance on the Lords day, its a life style of worship lived out daily.
Some people sit in churches for 30-40 years and are as lost and dead in their faith as the unbeliever who never attends a church their whole life, because salvation is found in Christ not church attendance, and Christ radically transforms the heart of a believer, a Christian doesn’t stay in a state of dead faith they have a living faith and active faith and they will be a witness for their faith in Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote to those in Corinth to examine themselves to be sure they are truly in the faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
There are many people who are trusting in their church membership as proof of their salvation and as I have already said salvation is found in Christ not church attendance nor membership. This in no way is to take away from the importance of being in membership to a local church, that is vitally important to the life of a believer in Christ, the point here is not to base your salvation upon the fact that you hold membership at a local church.
Far to many people that we talk to on the streets while out sharing the gospel have said, "I am a Christian, I belong to such and such church", and when asked what the gospel is they fail to articulate it or to even give it in a basic understanding.
During our college evangelism tour, we began a conversation with a student who said he was a Christian and in fact, he was studying to go into the ministry as a pastor, he was from a Methodist church in our city of Elyria. When we asked him how is someone saved, he literally could not give us an answer. Is this the type of men we want to bring in to the pulpit to teach and preach the Word of God and have no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ is? I say, absolutely not! A man must first be a believer before he is called in the ministry to preach, and if a man be called to preach, he better take that calling seriously, because that is a high calling on a mans life from God.
2 Timothy 2:1-2
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
The man called to preach God's Word will be held to a higher standard for expounding upon the Word of God and teaching those under his preaching.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
We cannot assume that just because someone attends church or says they are a Christian that it means they truly are a Christian.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
How do you know if your a Christian, ask yourself these questions.
1. Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? (1 John 1:3)
2. Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? (1 John 1:6-7)
3. Do you admit and confess your sin? (1 John 1:8)
4. Are you obedient to God's Word? (1 John 2:3-5)
5. Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? (1 John 2:15)
6. Is your life characterized by "doing what is right"? (1 John 2:29)
7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? (1 John 3:3)
8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? (1 John 3:5-6) [Note: this refers to not continuing in sin as a way of life, not a total absence of sin.]
9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? (1 John 3:14)
10. Do you "walk the walk," versus just "talking the talk"? (1 John 3:18-19)
11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? (1 John 3:21)
12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? (1 John 5:4)
If they seem to be a believer but just lack knowledge than our goal should be to help them along the way in truth.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Being a Christian is not based on good works, church attendance or membership. It is based upon being in Christ, which will produce Christ likeness, you will desire to do good works because we were created for them.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Also you will desire to be in a local church body of believers and not forsake it.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
The Lord works through and has given gifts to the Church by those whom He has called to lead and teach His Church to grow and to protect us from false teaching.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
And seek to be in membership, active and utilizing your spiritual gifts for building up other believers.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
I write this out of love for the LORD and care and compassion for the lost and/or deceived, who believe themselves to be right with God based upon the things I mentioned other than in Christ alone.
Grace and Peace
Everyone it seems is talking about NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem at the start of football games around the United States. Even the President had something to say about it recently.
As a man who served in the United States Army sacrificing much to serve this nation, and serving alongside those who lost their lives in service to this country, I can understand how some view this as a sign of disrespect towards the military, the flag and this country. In fact, in the past, whenever I would attend a sporting event (which hasn’t been many times), I have shed a tear as the National Anthem has been played, remembering those whom I have served with and the many others who gave their lives while serving this country.
However, as someone who has served I understand that the very reason I and so many others have served, currently are serving and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life in service, have done so for the freedom that everyone in this country has.
Freedom..... supposedly we have it in America.
Freedom of speech!
Freedom of religion!
Freedom really isn't freedom if it is only freedom when it lines up with what you believe.
Freedom will vary over time and as leadership in the nation changes.
Freedom that is forever is only found in Jesus the Christ!!
Freedom from the bondage of sin!
Freedom from the wrath of God that abides on all those outside of Christ!
The truth will set you free... !!!
Jesus said' "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life"
You see the freedom we have in this country allows men the freedom to protest peacefully, preach the gospel on the streets, and believe what they choose to believe whether it is right or wrong, true or false, freedom gives us the right to do so.
Colin Kaepernick felt the need to protest peacefully by taking a knee during the Nation Anthem at the start of a football, while others stood for the singing of the Anthem Kaepernick took a knee in protest to what he believes and many others believe they have seen with police injustice in this nation.
Which has caused many people to speak out, the left speaks out in favor of Kaepernick, unfortunately it always seems to be for political gain, and the right standing against Kaepernick, showing their patriotism and also I believe for some in an attempt for political gain as well.
Regardless of where you come down, either the left or the right, if you are honest, you’d have to admit that racism still exists in this country. And many people may come up with ideas and ways in which they believe we can combat racism, but the truth is racism has been around for a very long time and will not end until Christ returns, because racism is a sin problem and the only way to take a sinner from his sin nature to a new nature is through Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Growing up I played a little football in Junior high and seen a few high school games over the years and numerous pro football games on television as well to know that when another player is hurt or suffered an injury the other players out of respect would take a knee for the injured player.
We need to admit that honestly are nation is hurt and injured in a sense, because of sin, we have roots of slavery in this country and racism still exists today and as I already stated will continue, we as a nation have murdered millions of babies in the womb of their mothers through abortion which as a nation we have made it legal and call it a women’s right to choose if she wants to murder her baby or keep her baby. Homosexuality is becoming more popular through television and movies and more and more are embracing it, and as a nation we legalized same sex “marriage” which is a redefining of what God created as marriage, and now as a nation accept and embrace transgenderism, where the woman of the year award was given to a man who believes he is a woman.
We are living in Romans one.
(18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (21) For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (26) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; (27) and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (28) And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (29) They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, (31) foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (32) Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
After watching so many people being upset with the NFL players taking a knee, many of which were professing Christians, my wife wrote this:
“Just some thoughts:
I am thankful for the right that we currently have in this country as Americans to stand and speak freely. My husband and many others over the years have served, fought and many have died for that freedom. Today we see those freedoms slipping away day by day. But what is it that is truly worth speaking for?? As so many are upset and riled up about some football players who fail to stand for our Countries National anthem how many of those same people who are upset by this are using our current freedom to stand and speak up for what counts in eternity?
Are you upset by the lost and dying that are on their way to an eternity in hell separated from Christ, are you upset about the millions of babies who have been murdered by abortion in our country and the thousands more who will be murdered tomorrow, are you upset at the state of the church and the easy Christianity that costs you nothing that so many "Christians" ascribe to today? The right to stand and speak and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is given by no man, and if the freedoms we hold as AMERICANS today are gone tomorrow how many of us will still stand and speak??”
So many professing Christ seem to be more upset over some football players on a Sunday afternoon who take a knee before a game during the National Anthem rather than being upset over the many other issues that as a nation we should be grieved over.
As Kaepernick has been grieved over the racism in this country and what he believes to be injustice by the police he took a knee, what are you willing to take a knee for.
Especially as Christian, are we standing up against the evil of abortion in our day, racism, injustice, watered down false gospels being preached in the name of Christ, are we taking a knee in protest over these evils.
Now please hear me, I am not calling for a social gospel nor do I believe that we should support groups that may stand against some of the things listed above who hold to a anti biblical worldview. My point is as Christians are we really that upset over a football player peacefully protesting over a conviction he has and yet we as Christians aren’t upset with abortion enough to go and stand in front an abortion center to preach the gospel, hold signs and seek to help woman to not murder their babies, are we not that upset to speak out when we see injustice happen in our country.
Are you upset about the protesting at NFL games this past Sunday?
Here's an option for you:
How about going down to your local NFL stadium each week there is a home game and stand outside with signs pointing to Jesus, handing out gospel tracts and preaching the gospel in the open air.
Want to see change in the people of this nation.... starts with a changed heart by grace through faith in Jesus, by which he uses the preaching of the gospel
Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
(14) How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (15) And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” (17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
So are you willing to take a knee? To take a stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Because here is the thing, every knee will one day bow and confess that Jesus Christ is LORD!
for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
(10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Are you willing to take the gospel to the lost and dying world that they might bow the knee with you in submission to Christ now while we have time? Or are you more upset over NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem of a football game, which while be entertaining has no eternal value whatsoever.
If you have less concern over the things of God and taking the gospel to those in need than you do over NFL players protesting, what does that say about your Christianity?
To the Glory of God
by Ricky Gantz
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