The Sermon on the Mount Part 16

by Mike Ratliff

14 And having come to the crowd, a man came to him kneeling down before him 15 saying, “Lord have mercy on my son for he is an epileptic and suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples and they were not able to heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered saying, “O faithless and depraved generation, how long with you will I be? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out from him and the child was healed that hour. 19 Then the disciples approaching Jesus privately asked, “Why were we not able to cast it out?” 20 And he said to them, “On account of your little faith. Amen I say to you, ‘If you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain move from there and it will be moved and nothing will be impossible for you.’” (Matthew 17:14-20 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

We have reached that part of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7-11) that has been used by the Word of Faith preachers and the Health, Wealth and Prosperity hucksters as a “proof-text” of sorts for their agenda. In fact, in some Study Bibles with outline headers, this section is often labeled with something like “Ask and it will be given…” All through this sermon we have seen how our Lord has drawn the distinction between those truly in his Kingdom from those who are not. Some of those who are not may very well believe they are and may even look like it to most of us, but these distinctives do indeed mark the genuine one who is of the Kingdom of heaven from those who are not. Continue reading

The Traditional Southern Baptist View of Salvation?

I had to work late last night so I had no chance to post the next in the Sermon on the Mount series. However, it is so odd how God works things out isn’t it? In my last post, The Sermon on the Mount Part 15, I wrote it after church on Sunday in which my pastor, Rick Holland, preached on persecution based on John 16:1-4. This was after his return from a trip to visit churches in England, Germany and Russia. In Russia he met a man who, when he was 13, his father, who was a pastor, was arrested and executed on the spot by the Soviet Union secret police for refusing to recant. I reflected on this and agreed with Rick that the worst persecution I have ever experienced in my walk has amounted to figurative arrows in the back from professing Christians who have a problem with my theology and my insistence on being very precise in teaching it and upholding God’s truth in its entirety. Continue reading