Gospel Truth or Blatant Blasphemy?

by John G. Reisinger

I have not always been convinced that Limited Atonement was a biblical doctrine. I saw the other four points at least five years before God taught me the truth about the nature of the atonement. I well remember tearing in half Arthur Pink’s booklet on Was the Sin Question Finally Settled at the Cross? and throwing it into the wastebasket saying, “I will never believe that!” I think the last three issues of Sound of Grace prove beyond question that I now not only believe the truth of Limited Atonement, but, along with J.I. Packer, I affirm that this truth is the very heart of true Evangelical faith.

A few readers have tried to convince me that I could not have been saved when I tore Pink’s booklet in half. One man has vehemently urged me to repent of my false conversion and admit I did not become a true child of God until I became a five point Calvinist. I say all of this at the beginning of this article so you can “brace yourself” for what is coming next. By the way, we published a booklet many years ago entitled “Decisional Regeneration.” We were trying to show that Arminianism really teaches that a sinner’s decision has the power to regenerate his heart and make him a child of God. “Doctrinal Regeneration” would be a good label for the brand of Calvinism that insists only five point Calvinists are truly saved. In reality these people give correct theology the same power that the Arminian gives to his decision. We insist that neither the sinner’s will nor correct theology can give a dead sinner life.

When Peter said, “Not so, Lord” our Lord rebuked him and said, “Get thee behind me Satan,” but at that very moment Peter was a saved man. J.C. Ryle correctly observes, “Just because God has sanctified your heart does not mean that He has totally sanctified your brains and taught you all the truth in one instant.” A true child of God can be awfully mixed up both theologically and emotionally and still be in Christ. If you think it through, I think you will agree that it is better to be a confused and emotionally upset saint on their way to heaven than to be the best-adjusted and theologically correct unregenerate person on their way to hell. Holding firmly to the truth of sovereign grace is not absolute proof that a person knows the sovereign Lord in a way of saving faith.

I am not at all minimizing the importance of understanding the doctrines of grace. Our theological understanding does not save our soul but it does shape the way we understand and preach the gospel. Some sincere Christians have made some awful stupid statements because of bad theology even though their hearts were right with God. That was my problem while fighting Limited Atonement for over five years.

The following statement is part of a Christmas sermon preached and printed over forty years ago by a man named Noel Smith. He was a professor in a Bible Baptist seminary in the mid-west. I never met Mr. Smith but I know quite a few men who studied under him while at seminary. Without a single exception, they testify that he was a very godly man and a good professor. However, Noel Smith hated Calvinism and embraced universal atonement. I suspect his first contact with the Doctrines of Grace was with a Primitive Baptist. Be that as it may, his statement is either gospel truth or close to utter blasphemy.

Knowing God as I do through the revelation He has given me of Himself in His Word, when I am told that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, I know it means that the Triune God has done, is doing, always will do, all that the Triune God can do to save every man, woman, and child on this earth.

If it does not mean that, then tell me I pray you, what does it mean?

What is hell? It is infinite negation. It is infinite chaos. And it is more than that. I tell you, and I say it with profound reverence, hell is a ghastly monument to the failure of God to save the multitudes that are there. I say it reverently, I say it with every nerve in my body tense; sinners go to hell because God Himself cannot save them. He did all He could. He failed.

I am aware that Noel Smith’s candid statement is shocking. Few preachers, no matter how Arminian they are in their theology, will say publicly that they believe “hell is a ghastly monument to the failure of God.” However, no other honest conclusion is possible if Noel Smith’s understanding of II Peter 3:9 is correct. Mr. Smith is an honest and consistent Arminian. The only difference between this man and preachers like Billy Graham is that Smith is both honest and totally consistent with his view of universal atonement.

If such a great effort on God’s part does not accomplish His intention then what other word can be used to describe the situation but failure. What is wrong with clearly and publicly stating that “God Almighty failed” to accomplish the thing His heart desired the most. If, as Smith concludes, “sinners go to hell because God Himself cannot save them” then God indeed failed! If God “did all He could” and still was not able to accomplish His heart’s desire, then on what grounds is Noel Smith to be faulted for concluding, as he logically does, that “He (God) failed!” If the premise is correct then the conclusion must also be true.

If you sincerely believe in universal atonement and interpret II Peter 3:9 the same way as Noel Smith, you should rejoice that Smith had the courage to state clearly and logically what your system dictates that you must believe! If (1) Christ endured the wrath of God for “every man, woman, and child on earth,” and (2) if it was God’s heartfelt purpose to save every man, woman, and child on this earth, and (3) God has done, is doing, always will do, all He can do to save every man, woman, and child on this earth,” then I agree with Mr. Smith’s correct conclusion. God indeed failed in such a miserable system.

C.H. Spurgeon also clearly saw the same logical truth as Noel Smith. Spurgeon made almost the identical statement that Smith did except he was ridiculing Smith’s position. Here is a classic statement from the prince of preachers:

Once again, if it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption [the view advocated by Noel Smith – JGR], were brought with His blood.

The only difference between Smith and Spurgeon is the fact they are on different sides of the “if.” Spurgeon is heaping scorn and ridicule on the very doctrine that Smith is holding up as the greatest of supposed gospel facts. My, my, how the Baptist gospel has changed in one century. Isn’t it amazing that Spurgeon could openly ridicule as nonsense the very same doctrine that men today preach as the foundation of their whole system of theology. At least no one can accuse either Spurgeon or me of burning “straw dummies.” The zealous and honest Noel Smith took care of that with great clarity.

It may be embarrassing, and men may try to run in denial, but the only alternative to Limited Atonement is either (1) universal salvation, which is at least consistent with the belief that God is all powerful, or (2) the failure of God as Mr. Smith’s legitimate application shows. There are really only three choices. Either (1) everyone is going to be saved, (2) God miserably failed, or (3) particular redemption is true.

To those thoroughly brainwashed in universal atonement and free will, the doctrine of particular atonement based on God’s sovereign electing love seems to be unfair and even cruel. The doctrine of universal atonement seems to magnify and broaden God’s love. Actually, the exact opposite is the case, and Mr. Smith, by being consistent, honest, and courageous enough to blurt out the ever present, but never spoken, legitimate conclusion and application of universal atonement has proven the point better than any Calvinist ever could.

Magnifying man and so-called free will as the determining factor in God’s plan of salvation is the true expression of universal atonement. This magnifying of free will and extolling of universal love may at first appear to magnify God, but it will ultimately be seen as the first blow at dethroning God and corrupting the very spring of grace from which the gospel flows freely to sinful man. It is a hollow victory that proves that God is all love by reducing Him to impotence before man’s almighty will and declaring that the God’s greatest act in history, the cross of Christ, was a colossal failure because man’s almighty free will refused to “give God a chance.”

It is not my intention to labor this point to an extreme, nor am I trying to make Noel Smith a whipping boy. However, any sane Bible believer should want to ask, “What ever possessed that preacher to make such statements?”

The answer to that question is just as clear as the statements themselves. Mr. Smith, was, I believe, “possessed” with a burning desire to exalt the love and grace of God. The title of his sermon was “The Middle Man,” and he was extolling the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. Smith was exalting the amazing love of God in giving His only begotten Son to die on the cross. It was Smith’s purpose to so exalt this great display of God’s love that his hearers might be gripped with the glory of the birth, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. Noel Smith was setting forth Christ as the “Middle Man” who alone could stand between a holy God and sinful creatures and perform the ministry of reconciliation.

No preacher ever had a more glorious subject and I doubt that any preacher was ever possessed by a higher motive. I am personally persuaded that Noel Smith loved God and wanted to exalt His amazing grace. Unfortunately, Noel Smith was also possessed with the error of universal atonement. It is tragic but true that pure motives are not sufficient to correct either bad theology or its tragic results. I agree that Mr. Smith sincerely attempted to exalt the love and grace of God. All will have to agree that he attempted to do so in perfect harmony with his Arminian doctrine of universal salvation. I leave it to the reader to decide if this sincere attempt to glorify God’s grace achieved its purpose, or if this consistent and conscientious man came close to out-right blasphemy. The obvious answer should go a long way towards fixing the correct view of the nature of Christ’s death in our minds.
Copyright 2004 John G. Reisinger

22 thoughts on “Gospel Truth or Blatant Blasphemy?

  1. Pingback: Gospel Truth or Blatant Blasphemy? - Reformata

  2. ooh this I will have to peruse more deeply. I ran across (for the first time in my completely Lutheran upbringing and adulthood (brief stint in the Evangelical Covenant denomination but otherwise Lutheran) their doctrine of Objective or Universal justification. Do you know anything about it? I have a hard time grasping what Lutherans are trying to say with this particular one. It sounds similar to universal atonement but they would never agree to Noel Smith’s universalist sounding theory either… so I am at a loss here.


  3. With all due respect to Mr. Reisinger it is time to stop leaving such blasphemy any wiggle room and call it what it is in fact: ANOTHER GOSPEL. You will not find Paul giving way to an “errant brother” in Galatians, rather he stated the truth boldly and without reservation that such a person is to be accursed.
    There are many who have a command of the English language and are able to produce emotional arguments that will cause many to believe their tales. Satan was and is a master at twisting God’s Word so why would it be so hard to believe that his messengers could do the same? The very premise of Mr. Smith’s argument is straight from the pit of hell—that God could fail at anything [Isa. 46:10]. The premise is bad, so is every conclusion based upon it.

    Not only is his premise wrong, but the whole of his speech is an insult to our God and smacks of “I will exalt myself above the heavens, I will be like the Most High”.

    The Holy Spirit will not be a party to such deception, insults, lies, and blasphemy. Will you?


  4. Paula,

    Are you a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Missouri Synod? I attended churches in both denominations. I actually was confirmed in the Missouri Synod (before I understood the doctrines of grace) and have since left the denomination. The Evangelical Lutheran church is seemingly very liberal and many do confirm universalism.

    However the Missouri Synod seems to be going that way as well. I was holding a bible study in my neighborhood (after leaving the Lutheran church) and one of the ladies was Lutheran. We got on the discussion of election, because we were talking about joy in the Lord and I happened to mention that most of my joy comes from knowing that the Lord sought me and saved me. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a controversial topic. Well to say the least she was very offended, called her Pastor (and her brother-in-law who was also a Lutheran Pastor) and they both told her to run as fast as she could from my bible study. Her Pastor told her that I had been brainwashed and that she should NOT attend any more of my bible studies. I actually did go and talk to her Pastor. He basically kept repeating the “anyone” and “all” verses.

    If I might add that the reason I did leave the Lutheran church was over the dispensation of grace. They still hold that grace is dispensed through the sacraments and that the Holy Spirit is given to the individual at Baptism. I couldn’t square that with scripture so I had to leave the church.

    I am not an expert but if I can help in any way let me know.


  5. Paula,
    I attended a Missouri Synod church for about six months. In reguards to your confusion about thier doctrine of universal atonement you are not alone. Having talked with the pastor, members, and reading the Koehler systematic theology I can only conclude that they also are confused. They accept this doctrine on a few verses and disallow any further consideration of it on the basis of ” trusting in God’s Word instead of logic”. While I respect the perspective of trusting in God’s Word I have less respect for trusting in a singular interpetation of a verse or two and then disallowing any discussion of other relevent texts on the basis of “that is using logic”. This is an ace in the hole to stop any serious challange to their distinctive ideas about the atonement. That said, I really do appreciate a lot about the Missouri Synod and hope that they do not fall prey to the worldly influences that seek to destroy them. So then, as near as I can discern, they hold to a universal atonement that involves a receiving action on the part of man to specifically apply the benefit of the atonement to themselves. This receiving action is somehow exempt or better put, a mystery beyond the reaches of logic, that leaves the saving all to God yet prerequisite upon man’s receiving. I do not hold to this and I believe it is Biblically unsustainable.


  6. I have wondered about this as well. From what I have read, historic Protestant Christianity says that there are means of grace: by preaching, by baptism, by Lord’s Supper. While I don’t believe they are the only means of grace, do these specific means conflict with the gospel of grace?

    I don’t see how, but I don’t see a lot of things sometimes until someone points it out. It does not seem strange to me that those things instituted by Christ Himself may have extraordinary power – but I don’t know if that belief is just leftover from my childhood faith or what.

    I never saw the gospel of grace as something different than historic Protestant Christianity but maybe I am missing something significant. I don’t know the Lutheran Church’s teachings but I respect Luther’s teachings — and maybe I am conflating them when they are not the same. I have to talk to my pastor today about the lack of gospel in his sermons and my hopes were to go to a Missouri Synod if things did not work out, since there are no reformed churches in my area. I guess I was hoping against hope that there was a place for me to go — but may be there is not. Thanks for any insight you have.


  7. Wow. A thoughtful and challenging post.

    My Dad and I used to sit up until the wee hours of the morning when I was a teen debating Calvinism and Arminian doctrine. He simply could not accept that a just and loving God could purposefully choose those who would be saved and those who would not. In my honest moments, I struggle with this as well, but I cannot agree with Arminian doctrine in light of the Scripture and remain intellectually honest.

    My Dad and I still have these debates and I have found that they help to sharpen my theology and my ability to share what I believe with others.

    My ultimate desire is to know the truth as the Scripture reveals it!


  8. To those of you who asked about my Lutheranism … well I was born in 1970 and raised in the LCA and shortly after it became the ELCA we left. For a long time my dad was feeling the compromise coming on. He was a member of the Gideons and through that he found a very small home mission church for the AFLC (aflc.org) in our area and we began the transition to going there. He started mostly by playing piano for them and as he started to hear the more pure message there, we all started going. They really are still a good denomination for the most part, although I am finding cracks developing courtesy of seeker sensitive/purpose driven. But hey what denomination HASN’T been affected by that? I know that the leadership disagrees with PD/SS but that there are some pastors in the field who are promoting it. I have encouraged the seminary leadership to take a stand against this philosophy, but they say they can’t because of the congregational polity structure. (I say this is important enough, much like their resolutions on abortion and literal 6 day creation, to take a stand. But they won’t listen to little old me..) They recently had a large influx of ELCA pastors who were finally giving up the fight in their previous denomination… so they really have got to work hard to weed out the man centered stuff that is surely being dragged in as baggage. I don’t see how these former ELCA pastors can possibly have the best conservative Lutheran theology if they waited until homosexuality was on the doorstep to see it was time to leave. My thoughts are I want to leave when Jesus is no longer welcome rather than when homosexuality is welcome. It’s not as if Jesus leaves one day and homosexuality comes in the next. There’s a LOOONG time of transition between the two and I would THINK I would miss Jesus before that much time passed. Ya know?

    So anyway we started attending the little AFLC church, and
    we also eventually moved to that town as it was the same town in which my mom taught public school.

    So, no I wouldn’t even consider attending an ELCA church, except maybe for a funeral or wedding!

    Missouri Synod is decent, as Lutheran churches go. I understand their wanting to leave the paradox of the universal call and the individual call alone. It has to do with God’s revealed will and his inscrutable will which we are not permitted to know and which Luther in the Bondage of the Will advises against speculating into.

    BUT the LCMS is in major turmoil right now. The arminians are gaining ground and IMO because of that the seeker sensitive/purpose driven bunch are corrupting the message. Consider the sudden inexplicable cancellation of Issues Etc which is a VERY good biblical radio program. If all or most LCMS churches were like that show, I would not be so hesitant to recommend the LCMS. I believe that WELS is not so far down the road to error as the LCMS. Many Lutherans believe in something like Baptismal Regeneration, and i never have, UNLESS you define Baptism as something Jesus does at the moment of faith, possibly synonymous with regeneration, rather than something we do at whatever point in life.

    My dad was much more Arminian than me and it showed in how much guilt he was plagued by. It was so hard to watch him suffer through fear when he was dying. I just kept telling him (somehow I knew) that it was not up to him, that Jesus was the one who will carry him through, despite his feelings of fear… our faith was not dependent on how we feel, but on what Christ has done for us. Back then to me I was on autopilot at that point… and only now do I realize how important those words were to someone struggling with an arminian mindset in trials, clumsily as I may have stated them.

    However, I confidently rode that fence between free will/doctrines of grace for a long time, from childhood until in 2005 I found myself confronting the purpose driven nonsense in my Evangelical Covenant church. The learning curve came really fast then and I found myself leaning far more toward the reform Presbyterian point of view… thinking it was traditional Lutheranism. On exploring it further with my husband’s AFLC pastor brothers, I was shocked to find out how few of the five points of Calvinism Lutherans won’t accept. I was sure the AFLC was more Calvinistic since they had gone through a huge fight in the 1990s which ended up very clumsily booting a bunch of very good consistent Arminians who were teaching prevenient grace along with free will. It is really hard to find out what exactly the issues were in that fight, because no one wants to talk about it. I suppose for fear more people might flee in confusion. But that (numbers) is no reason to avoid the truth.

    I read through Bondage of the Will and agreed with it, while not rejecting any of the TULIP. So I don’t get what the problem is. This was the first time, even through my two years of doctrine classes at the AFLC Bible School, that I really ever heard of objective or universal justification and subjective justification.

    Sometimes I think the Lutherans are just objecting to something that is really semantic in nature. But anyway…

    I dunno if that makes it any clearer… or…


  9. Pingback: Decisional Regeneration Versus Doctrinal Regeneration « Jesus Christology

  10. I grew up Missionary Baptist and at 7yrs old I confessed Christ as my savior. Now I’m 33yrs old and a conservative Baptist pastor who holds to the doctrines of grace. At what point was I saved, or when should I have realized my salvation?
    I was asked to come to Christ by a man who didn’t believe in election. Does that mean I’m lost? I think not! I have learned from the errors that pastor made. How did I learn? Who taught me? I learned from the Bible, in the light of the Spirit. HE is the Seal of my salvation. I was drawn by the Spirits call and once there I looked back to see I was choosen before the foundations of the world to the glory of God. So am I lost in sin? Shuold I be re-baptized now that I’m a Calvinst?


  11. Harold,

    Your journey sounds a bit like my own. I honestly believe that God saved me in 2004, but I know I “made that decision” like you did in 1986 when I was 34. I was baptized then, but I haven’t been re-baptized. I know that the Holy Spirit is my seal. I know that I belong to my Lord. We are not saved because of doctrinal beliefs any more than being saved by decision. No, we are saved when God regenerates us and we believe and repent and trust in Christ alone to save us.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  12. Pingback: Five Points of Interest (09-10-08) | Cal.vini.st

  13. I’m so thankful for this post. The faithfulness of God to His elect brings great joy and hope to my heart.

    I was raised in an assembly of God church and called myself a Christian, but wasn’t “converted” until 97. I basically mouthed off to God about how He couldn’t be that big if He wasn’t able to come down and show Himself…. and before you knew it He entered my apartment. I hit the floor and trembled in fear and love. I woke up a completely different person.
    That being said, after the first year of being enamored, in love with Jesus, I subjected myself to the teaching of the church, believed every proof-text I was given by my “leaders”, and quickly slipped into the role of a proud armenian. This lasted for about 5 years. I would do all I could to explain away any other notion and (shamefully) I was good at it.
    Then at the end of the 5 years I suddenly received a love for the truth and began to study the Bible. The Holy Spirit taught me about election/predestination as well as the “set-up” in the garden. Since then, I’ve stood strong on the fact that “salvation is of the Lord”.

    My point is that God is faithful. If He has truly elected you, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth concerning Christ, be it 5 or 10 or 100 years. This undoubtedly includes the gospel of grace.
    We may believe in another gospel and therefore another God for a time (and this is truly false), but if we are His, He won’t leave us there. He will correct our error and chastise those whom He loves. It is the illegitimate children that are left in their false belief.

    I can say that God used those 5 years for my good as I’m sure He did for you. But I can equally say that I was a false convert believing the false gospel of a false (and very weak) God, of which I am now ashamed. Noel Smith is truly false in what He said. Not only his message, but he himself, as I was. However, this is not to say that he has not been elected. He simply has not believed in the gospel as of yet. (if he’s still alive) And biblically, if at the end of his life he still believes in the sovereignty of man (free will/armenianism) or even partial sovereignty (free will/armenianism) he has never believed in the sovereign God of the Bible, nor his gospel and he is damned. If he repents from DEAD WORKS as we have, we will all know that he was truly elected.

    I learned much from A. Pink on this matter and my favorite point is that we believe we DESERVE an opportunity to be saved. With our pride and self-centeredness we almost demand it as a right.
    What is so hard to realize is that we DESERVE only hell and we forget that God has A RIGHT OF CREATOR. He can do what He wants with his own creation and doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
    It is like having someone take me to court for destroying my own sketch. Rediculous!
    It would do us all good to understand that God is worthy of our whole-hearted devotion even if He sends us to hell. This is the God-centered gospel.

    As far as baptism goes, I’ve considered it myself. I’m not sure when regeneration took place in me, but I am absolutely sure that my Faithful, Sovereign God will let me know what He wants me to do.

    So brother, I appreciate what God has done in you and I am encouraged by your humility.

    Keep walking in the Light!


  14. I find this discussion very interesting. Like many of you, I was raised in the Church (AOG), indoctrinated with what I was assured was the way, the truth, etc. It took many years and much pain and suffering for the Lord to un-indoctrinate me, and I am still work in progress. It has only been recently that I even heard the term Armenian. Some time back I began hearing a lot of flack against ‘Calvinism’… and since I didn’t know (specifically) what that was either, I did some research. I found literally hundreds of sites bashing Calvin, making all manner of accusations etc., but I finally found some of his actual writings. To my surprise, when I read what he really said, I found no fault with his teaching. In fact, it was much more in line with what the Spirit has been showing me in the Word. The Lord started me out with all the verses pertaining to the ‘potter and the clay’…and left no doubt in my mind that God can do as He pleases with us, and we have no say in the matter. Man is man-centered… no question about it. It takes the operations of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds to bring us to the place of being God-centered.
    This is something that is basically abhorrent to our flesh, and universalism is a glaring example of the lengths man will go to in order to absolve himself of responsibility.

    Some of my family members have ‘chosen’ to go the way of universalist beliefs. We have gone round and round, to the point of we hardly have any communication anymore, because they refuse to ‘believe’ that a loving God would send ‘innocent’ people to eternal damnation. While I believe that God is to be reverentially feared… for a good reason. HE IS GOD. He can do as He pleases and we can not manipulate or influence Him by our will. Since Jesus spoke more about hell than all the other mentions in the entire Bible, aren’t we calling Him a liar when we say that there is no such thing?

    I am not clear on the stand of Mr. Pink. Over a year ago a brother I had met through the internet sent me some of Pink’s writings, and asked me what I thought. I made myself read it all and then responded to him that though most of it was ‘good’… there were a couple of things that I had a problem with, laying out what he said and how I saw it differently in the Word. He literally came unglued on me, I had never heard him speak in such a hostile way, and terminated our communication… just because I did not praise this guy and applaud his every word. So I really don’t know how Pink’s figures into all this. I do know that we are in an hour when we are all being tested and tried, when it is imperative that we “know that we know what we know”… and that we will all be held accountable for what we have ‘chosen’ to believe in. I don’t believe that we were ever ‘called-out’ in order to develop a ‘theology’.. I believe that we are ‘called-out’ to enter into and partake of the ‘life of Christ.’ Which is a way big difference! I do appreciate these discussions, they make us think, they cause us to examine our own hearts, which is something that the status-quo doctrinal statements fail to achieve.

    Great post!


  15. Amen Cathy! We are in a critical time right now. I’ve found throughout this last 6 years that this one subject is the dividing line for most people. I hadn’t been truly persecuted (verbally at least) by anyone up to that point. The brothers and sisters I fellowship with daily have all come to agreement on this subject and we are even considered a cult for this belief among many groups in our city. I found that to be very odd until the Lord led me to John 15:19

    “If you were of the world the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, BUT I CHOSE YOU OUT OF THE WORLD, BECAUSE OF THIS THE WORLD HATES YOU.”

    It’s good to see that you are testing Pink as well as others to the Word. I have only heard his point on this subject and have no idea where he stands otherwise so that’s good to know.

    I’m glad to see you are being un-indoctrinated from AOG. I’m in that process myself and give glory to God alone for His faithfulness and patience. We could be in the process for years, but praise GOD we are on our way!

    Keep seeking and trusting, sister!



  16. Well, I must say it’s a nice change to post on a blog and not be attacked for it. Experience has taught me to generally avoid posting on forums and blogs like the plague, but I have been following Mike’s site here for some time, and am in support of and agreement with the messages he is setting forth. Last spring it was brought to my attention that a certain ‘brothers’ new book was thinly disguised ‘Universalism,’ and I wrote a paper titled “With All Deceivableness’ and posted it on my blog. That is when I learned first hand what it was like to be attacked for speaking the truth.

    The problem as I see it, is that we (people in general) have some kind of ‘need’ to organize our thoughts and beliefs and be able to put them into neat little ‘storage boxes,’ maybe even build walls with them to keep out those who have ‘different’ thoughts (ideas, beliefs) than ours. Although I felt that this original paper was an excellent one, and posted it myself on my site as well, I still think that we are all in danger of falling into the trap of picking one side or the other… which is a logical step, but is it really where we should be going with this…? By that I mean, we can go back and study the historical periods of the Church, the development of the many doctrines and theologies, but aren’t they today’s problem? Aren’t all these different teachings and interpretations the very thing that have splintered and divided the Church… one from another? My feeling is that we need to go even further back… laying down all the teachings of men, and go straight to the source.

    The majority of those who call themselves believers in this country could not tell anyone what the Doctrine of Christ is…. They could recite the creeds of their denomination, but they are ignorant of all that Jesus said. They are illiterate of the Bible as a whole, having had it reduced to select verses and diminished to stories. There are those who would vilify the Holy Spirit, who use the name of Jesus for their own ends while refusing to keep His commandments. We are seeing the fulfillment of every warning found in the Bible concerning the last days… we know that we are in the midst of them. So let’s go straight to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, seek the Lord with all our heart and soul and mind. We have the Holy Spirit to lead us into what is truth and keep us from error. There were 12 disciples in the boat in the storm, but only one stepped out and walked on the water. As the resistance to God’s truth and God’s way increase, so will increase the power of God in those who have lain down their lives to follow Him. We will pay the same price as that paid by Paul, and Peter and Stephen and every unnamed man and woman of God down through the ages. We won’t win any popularity contests, but we will know the ‘peace that passeth understanding’… and find that promised ‘rest’ from all ‘our labors.’ Just as it states in Isaiah 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

    We do have a free will, like it or not, … its our turn now, will we hear?

    God Bless,


  17. I like to compare our relationship with God, to a child’s relationship to a parent. I have an adopted brother who refused to accept the love of my parents. Contrary to all their efforts to love him and “save” him, my brother followed a path that landed him in prison. He’s been in and out of prison for the past 25 years or so.
    God too wants to keep us out of prison. All we have to do is accept His love.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post.


  18. I tend to to be a “Gods grace is universal” person but realizing not all take hold through faith their salvation and not wanting to lean on free will to gain my understanding of scripture. Still leaning reformed

    Took me years of wrestling with this one and I still wrestle with it. JS


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