Saturday, October 20, 2007

“YOU JUST NEED TO LISTEN CLOSELY”


You will hear this kind of statement when a preacher’s critics either do not want to, or cannot, bring a particular charge against his preaching. This is not the Scriptural way to “try [test] the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). We are commanded to listen to every man’s message very closely and test it by the standard of God’s written Word -- “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Any who add to or subtract from the teachings of God’s word are not sent of God (Revelation 22:18-19).

The Lord instructed us, “Take heed WHAT you hear” (Mark 4:24), and “HOW you hear” (Luke 8:18). Only a fool refuses to listen closely and carefully to any preacher who claims to be preaching THE Gospel of Christ which is either the savor of death unto death or life unto life (2 Corinthians 2:16).

When you listen to messages closely and carefully, I hope you hear the message of God’s grace that glorifies God so as to inspire worship in spirit and in truth, exalts Christ both in His Person and His finished work so as to leave you with no hope of salvation but in His blood and imputed righteousness alone. I hope you hear the message that God uses to save His elect and edify His children to grow strong in grace and in knowledge of Christ. So, please, please, listen closely, and see if what you are being told is true as it stands on the perfect, inerrant Word of God.


By Bill Parker

Friday, October 19, 2007

"TAKE HEED THEREFORE UNTO YOURSELVES"


Take Heed Therefore Unto Yourselves (Acts 20:28)

Throughout its history, the New Testament church has been attacked by Satan through such wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29-30). They always speak “perverse things, to draw away disciples after them,” and they do not care how it affects the people of God as long as they get their way – “not sparing the flock.” Their heresies come in many forms, always disguised as truth. Some of the more popular perversions are:

LEGALISM – A legalist is one who supposes salvation, or some part of it, is based on his attempts to keep the law. He will not preach that Christ’s blood and righteousness imputed ALONE is the ground of sinners being accepted before God. He must add something he does by God’s enablement or something God does within him as forming some part of the ground of his salvation. (Luke 18:9-11)

GNOSTICISM – “Gnosticism” comes from a Greek word meaning “knowing ones”. A Gnostic is one who boasts superior knowledge. He claims to see deeper and beyond what others can discern. His supposed knowledge is either beyond or opposed to God’s revealed Word in Christ. (1 John 4:1-3)

MYSTICISM - A mystic is one who looks within himself to find righteousness, holiness, peace, and assurance. He majors on the subjective, the inward, the unexplainable, all based on emotions and experience, not on the Word of God in Christ. (Colossians 1:18)

ELITISM – An elitist sets himself up as judge over the hearts of others. He has revelations and knowledge about the salvation of others that are beyond the Word of God in Christ. His goal is to gather a circle of people unto himself so that he can think and judge for them. (3 John 9-10)

As the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, we must take heed, watch, and beware of such heresies, or any teaching, that avoids, denies, or confuses the clear teaching of salvation by God’s grace in Christ Jesus and based on His finished work alone.


By Bill Parker



Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

WE PREACH NOT OURSELVES, BUT CHRIST


2 Corinthians 4:5
"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."

There are many, many ways in which false preachers preach themselves and avoid preaching Christ and the Gospel of salvation conditioned on Him alone.


When does a man preach himself instead of preaching Christ?


(1) When he preaches salvation, any part of it, conditioned on the sinner in any way to any degree instead of salvation conditioned totally upon Christ.


(2) When he preaches justification before God based upon any other ground but the blood and the righteousness of Christ imputed, and when he makes no efforts to exclude any contribution from the sinner's best efforts as to the ground of salvation.


(3) When he removes the offense of the Gospel by refusing to say that any who are ignorant of or not submitted to Christ's righteousness imputed are lost and their deeds are evil. When he speaks peace where there is no peace to gain the praise and admiration of men.


(4) When he refuses to preach repentance clearly and let sinners know that everything before justifying faith, no matter how moral or religious, is dead works, fruit unto death, and acts of open idolatry as they are the fruit of self-righteousness.


(5) When he seeks to motivate his hearers to obedience, worship, love, good works, and godliness based on something other than the absolute certainty of salvation conditioned on Christ alone, the assurance of true faith. When he seeks to motivate them with legal fears of punishment and legal doubts as to the certainty of their final glory.


(6) When he begins to consider more what men will say and do if he preaches the clear Gospel and its doctrines rather than the glory of God and the pre-eminence of Christ in these matters of salvation. When he is more concerned about the reactions of sinner than with the glory of God.


(7) When he seeks to build a following for himself and establishes relationships built on personality rather than in the Gospel of Christ. When he will compromise the Gospel and hold back the truth in order to open up opportunities to preach.


(8) When he defends his own religious experience, and the experiences of other, whether it is consistent with God's Gospel or not, and refuses to judge all things by God's word.


(9) When he seeks to intimidate people to get them to agree with him and follow him based on anything other than "thus saith Lord," the clear testimony of God's word alone.




These are just a few of the ways men preach themselves rather than Christ. But there is only one way to preach Christ.


We preach Christ when we preach ALL OF SALVATION conditioned on Him alone.

We preach Christ when we tell our hearers that it is what HE ALONE DID FOR SINNERS, HIS DOING AND HIS DYING, that makes the only difference between saved and lost, heaven and hell.

Bill Parker

Monday, October 01, 2007

BILLY GRAHAM'S STRANGE FIRE


Numbers 26:61
And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD.

“I fully adhere to the fundamental tenets of Christian faith for myself and my ministry. But, as an American, I respect other paths to God–and, as a Christian, I am called on to love them”

(“Our Task Is to Do All We Can, Not to Sit and Wait,” Parade Magazine, Oct. 20, 1996, p. 4).

“Each time a President has asked me to lead the Inaugural prayer, I have argued that I should not do it alone, that leaders of other religions should be there too....We are all brothers and sisters in our hearts. We ought to love each other.” What about other Christian leaders who do not share this view? “Well, I don’t agree with them”

(ibid., p. 5).

At San Francisco Crusade, 1997 Billy Graham stated: “There are other sins. Why do we jump on that sin [homosexuality] as though it’s the greatest sin?...What I want to preach about in San Francisco is the love of God. People need to know that God loves them no matter what their ethnic background or sexual orientation. I have so many gay friends, and we remain friends”

(“Graham Welcomes Gays at San Francisco,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 7).

There are those who think that Billy Graham is the next best thing to God here on earth but his theology stinks and is full of errors including his acceptance of Gays.

In his autobiography Just As I Am," Graham talks more about the people he knew than about Jesus Christ. Graham does make a few theological comments but they seem more from hell than heaven including:

“The heart of the problem for men like Bob Jones, Carl McIntire, and John R. Rice was the sponsorship of the Crusade [1957] by the Protestant Council of New York. The council, they contended, included many churches and clergy who were theologically liberal and who denied some of the most important elements of the biblical message. It was not the first time some of them had raised their objections to my growing ecumenism, of course, but the New York Crusade marked their final break with our work”

(Just As I Am, pp. 302-03).

“My goal, I always made clear, was not to preach against Catholic beliefs or to proselytize people who were already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church. Rather it was to proclaim the Gospel to all those who had never truly committed their lives to Christ”

(ibid., p. 357).

“Ken [Strachan of the Latin American Mission] held the same view I did: that there needed to be a coming together in some way and some form between Catholics and Protestants”

(ibid.)

“During the past ten years my concept of the church has taken on greater dimension....I an now aware that the family of God contains people of various ethnological, cultural, class, and denominational differences”

(“What Ten Years Have Taught Me,” Christian Century, Feb. 17, 1960, p. 188).

“I am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran, and other leaders...has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction”

(“I Can’t Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978, p. 158).

“I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant....We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me”

(“A Lutheran Looks at Billy Graham,” Oct. 10, 1961, p. 12).

“I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost–were going to hell–if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God–through nature, for instance–and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying ‘yes’ to God”

(“I Cant’ Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978, p. 156).

“I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance....We only differ on some matters of later church tradition”

(ibid., p. 158).

Terry Mattingly to Graham: “Is the pope an evangelical?” Graham: “This one is”

(“Billy, Catholics, and Evangelicals–A Flashback,” Current Thoughts and Trends, Jan. 1995, p. 24).

“We can talk to one another as Christian brothers”

(“Catholics Laud ‘Dr. Graham’,” Christianity Today, Dec. 8, 1967, p. 41).

Graham upon receiving an honorary doctorate from Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey: “The gospel has built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation”

(“Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree,” The Gastonia Gazette, Wed., Nov. 22, 1967).

“There’s no group of people in the world I’d rather be with right now than you” [the National Council of Churches staff members]. I think of you, I pray for you [and] follow with great interest the things you do”

(“The Graham Touch: Salvation and Unity,” The American Baptist, Jan./Feb. 1992, p. 11).

“When I hear the Pope plead, ‘Come to Christ, come to Christ,’ he sounds like me when I invite people at the end of my services to come forward and make a decision for Christ”

(“The Split-Up of Evangelicals,” Newsweek, April 26, 1982, p. 89).

Speaking to Hispanics and Roman Catholics at the San Antonio Crusade (1997), with special reference to Archbishop Patrick Flores: “The Devil has separated us, and a crusade like this is used of God to bring people of all denominations together. We need one another”

(“Latino Catholics Boost Graham Crusade Attendance,” Christianity Today, May 19, 1997, p. 51).

In an interview with Robert Schuller, Graham speaks: “I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ.... He’s [God] calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.” Schuller: “What, what I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?” Graham: “Yes, it is, because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived..” Schuller: “I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.” Graham: “There is. There is”

(“Graham Believes Men Can Be Saved Apart from Name of Christ,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 15).

THE BIBLICAL PRESCRIPTION FOR DEALING WITH FALSE TEACHERS


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.


Romans 16:17

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.


Titus 1:13

This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;


Ephesians 5:11

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.


2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.


2 Timothy 3:5

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


2 John 1:10-11
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: {11} For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


2 Thessalonians 3:14
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.


Titus 3:10
A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;


2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,