ER2 and the Race Card

by Mike Ratliff

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NASB)

As Dr. Voddie Baucham said today here, “What are the boundaries of our associations? What role does “race” play in modern evangelicalism (btw, I always put quotation marks around race because it is an unbiblical concept in itself… there are but two “races”: the race of the first Adam and that of the Last)?” As a Christian, we must look at our theology as one. There is not a version for different “groups” of people based upon “values” or “race” or any other cultural set. No, genuine Christianity overrides all man-made boundaries. As Dr. Baucham said, there is the race of the unredeemed and that of the redeemed and that is all. Continue reading

Additional Reading on Apostasy

In last night’s post, Apostates, I tried to summarize for you a great deal of very ugly things going on right now in the visible church. Despite what the enemy of your soul tells you, the best thing for you to know is God’s Truth, have a clear statement of belief that is based upon our Lord’s good doctrines, and to know the Word of God clearly without the fog of sentimentality and the intrusion of culture.

In keeping with this push to keep you informed of what is really going on in these things I have two links for you that I suggest you follow and read both articles in full. I assure you that if you do that with a heart open to hear the truth from God that you will be blessed.

The first one is something I have been trying to find a way to express myself for quite some time. I have found it very difficult to understand why anyone would take the likes of Steven Furtick seriously. He is immature and unqualified to be a Pastor and proves it continually with his mixing of “ministry” with pop-culture and his childish reactions to doctrinal criticism directed to his methods and message. Here is the link.

The second one is directed to the sad case of Elephant Room 2. It is by Dr. James White. It is both thought provoking and convicting. Please read it with a heart ready for repentance. Here is the link.

That’s it for now.

Soli Deo Gloria!


by Mike Ratliff

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. (Deuteronomy 13:12-15 NASB)

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. 3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. 7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, 8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, 9 WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. 10 “THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’; 11 AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'” 12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:1-13 NASB)

It must have been about four or five years ago that I was in a discussion on this blog after I had written a piece about some of the confusing things coming from the ministry of Dr. John Piper and others. I made the comment to one of my friends that I thought that Dr. Piper needed to show the fruits of repentance for some of the things he had said and done or he would eventually be considered an apostate. Someone not in that conversation (a bottom feeder or troll??) jumped all over that statement and condemned me for calling Dr. Piper an apostate which he refused to consider because (according to him) an apostate is one who drops all pretense of Christianity and walks away from his faith. Using that reasoning those who continue to claim to be Christians even though they preach heresies such as Modalism (T.D. Jakes for instance) or deny the necessity of the Atonement and Justification by Faith alone and the reality of Hell (Rob Bell for instance) or those who insist on Christianity that is forever changing according to whatever society demands or wants (pragmatism) and insist that doctrine is not needed, but works is what God wants (Rick Warren for instance) are Christians along with the Roman Catholics, Mormans, and anyone else who claims that they are. Of course then there are those fellas (Steven Furtick, and James MacDonald for instance) who are all about erecting “cool” idolatrous worship which is really all about themselves and they sell this product to other wannabe preacherboys who want to be rich and famous like them. Do you see the common denominator in all this? Is any of what these people do about God and his glory? Is it about the edification of the Body of Christ through the genuine worship of God for his glory alone? No, it is about making money and becoming famous while fleecing the sheep who have been duped into thinking its all about the gospel. Have you noticed that these people never talk about the gospel without talking about money? Continue reading


I will be offline and traveling through Sunday the 29th as I will be attending a funeral in Oklahoma. One of my younger cousins who was in the last stages of Pancreatic Cancer died Saturday the 21st. Please pray for her family and the safety of our trip.

Why Did God Choose the Elect?

by Mike Ratliff

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6 NASB)

I listened to an attack on “Reformation Theology” today in which the preacher based his entire case upon one single charge. He said that a Monergistic interpretation of the Bible is based upon a faulty presupposition. That presupposition is in two parts. The first part is that we say man is dead in trespasses and sins and incapable of obeying all commands to come to God in his own ability. The second part is that we say God takes the initiative and regenerates those whom he has elected before the foundation of the world enabling them to repent and believe and come to Christ and be justified by faith. This fellow totally ignored the fact that this theology is based upon God’s free choice before the foundation of the world and the redemptive work of Christ in the obedient life and keeping the Law and going to the cross to the become the propitiation for those elect. That’s right, he totally ignored what was actually accomplished at the cross. Instead, his interpretation of all those “difficult” passages like John 6:44 are best to be seen as God’s people being those who come to him in repentance and then he saves them. So, totally ignoring all these passages about election and imputation, he says salvation is a totally Synergistic system which man kicks starts by coming to God in repentance first and then God takes over from there. He gave examples of genuine converts he had seen who came in brokenness and he could tell they were saved because they grasped the truth and walked in repentance, et cetera. He contrasted that with false converts who were simply religious who never walked in repentance. Right, could it be that he is confusing the order of things? Could it be that those he is seeing coming in repentance have been regenerated by God first and now are able to believe because they are the elect of God? Continue reading

The Light of the Gospel

by Mike Ratliff

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV)

Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post (1 Corinthians 4:1-6). What is the Apostle Paul saying here? The Gospel that he preached, the other Apostles preached, which was passed on to them from Christ himself, is understood and obeyed only by those whose hearts have received the light which God has shone into the darkness in their hearts to give light to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

The Discipline of God

by Mike Ratliff

3 ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ τὸν τοιαύτην ὑπομεμενηκότα ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἀντιλογίαν, ἵνα μὴ κάμητε ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν ἐκλυόμενοι. (Hebrews 12:3 NA27)

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such opposition against himself that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:3 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1)

I invite you to look back on the last Presidential election in the U.S. in which Barak Obama was elected and how so many of us were devastated by that. When I was born the President of the United States was Harry Truman. Yes, that’s right, I’m getting old, but it also means that I remember what its like to be both a non-Christian living in a Christian home under a Government that is not liberal enough for me, but too liberal for my parents and at other times having a Government that my was too liberal even for me causing social change in such unbalanced and inequitable ways that could only be explained by our leaders being bent on changing us into a Communist state. Remember, I grew up during The Cold War and had the Draft and Vietnam waiting for me as I went through High School. All through that, I was convinced that it really did not matter who was in The White House or who was in Congress or the Senate. They were all inept with an agenda that made sense to no one but them. Continue reading

Salt of the Earth

The following article is taken from the January 2012 issue of Tabletalk Magazine and is from the “For the Church” column. The author, Phil Johnson, is executive director of Grace to You in Panorama City, California, and he edits most of John MacArthur’s major books and has contributed to numerous books himself. He is also the owner of the blog Pyromanics and other very useful websites. Enjoy and be blessed my brethren – Mike Ratliff

Salt of the Earth

by Phil Johnson

“You are the salt of the earth… . You are the light of the world… . Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13–16).

That text is often cited as if it were a mandate for the church to engage in political activism — lobbying, rallying voters, organizing protests, and harnessing the evangelical movement for political clout. I recently heard a well-known evangelical leader say, “We need to make our voices heard in the voting booth, or we’re not being salt and light the way Jesus commanded.”

That view is pervasive. Say the phrase “salt and light,” and the typical evangelical starts talking politics as if by Pavlovian reflex. Continue reading

Are Spiritual Disciplines the same as Spiritual Formation?

by Mike Ratliff

[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV)

The very last thing I want for my own Christian walk is to get off the narrow way and fall into some form of deception following after some sort of false teacher that promises a way to get closer to God if we only follow him (or her) only to find out that we are like the blind following after blind guides. Any who is truly born of God is in Christ. They are new creations. They were once dead in their trespasses and sins and now they have been made alive by God himself (Ephesians 2:1-9). All through the Bible we are commanded to draw close to God, to repent, to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is Holy, et cetera. This is for the mature in Christ, not the immature. How do we grow from new Christians into those who are those living sacrifices Paul spoke of in Romans 12:1? Continue reading

In Defense of the Gospel According to Jesus

by Mike Ratliff

[35] Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. [36] But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. [37] All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. [38] For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. [39] And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. [40] For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40 ESV)

I received a heads-up email from my friend Ken Silva today about this post. I read and reread the points on that page several times and, to be honest, I am convinced that the author has some basic theological problems. He does not understand God’s Sovereignty and because of this makes many category errors in his theological understanding, as you will see. The first and foremost one is that he takes verses like John 6:40 out of context to support his thesis, while ignoring the immediate context (which I gave you at the top of this post). As you can see, put back into context, John 6:40 is actually a subordinate clause of what Jesus was saying in that statement. The point of what Jesus was saying to those people who wanted to follow him, but he ran them off with hard preaching, was that those who are truly his disciples are those given to him by the Father and each and every one of them serve him as Lord in faith and each of them will be raised up on the last day. Continue reading