4/27/07 - "Altar Call Minus the Gospel" by Stephen the Levite
Category: The Role of the Church and God's Ultimate Plan | Interesting Excerpts
Monday, May 22, 2006
Alter call minus the Gospel...
When did this become the thing to do? It's one thing if the message of the gospel has been mentioned clearly, (in which case it wouldn't be "minus the Gospel") earlier in the evening by someone else, but that's not usually the case. It bothers me how often I go to events and open mics, and some either immature, traditional, or miseducated brother or sister gives a weak, gospel-less alter call, and then quickly move into the "does any one want to rededicate thier lives to the Lord?" spill. Have they not read Rom. 1:16 which plainly states that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation? (In other words, people get saved when they hear the gospel). I have more to say but not the time. Any thoughts?
10:14 AM - 12 Comments - 12 Kudos - Add Comment
from Stephen the Levite's Myspace Blog
4/27/07 - Did You Know...
Category: Holy Scriptures | Interesting Excerpts
Did you know...
1) Psalm 118 is the middle chapter of the entire Bible?
2) Before Psalm 118, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
3) After Psalm 118, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible?
4) That there are 594 chapters each before and following Psalm 118?
5) That if you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get a total of 1188 chapters.
6) And incidentally, 1188 or Psalm 118 verse 8 also happens to be the middle verse of the entire Bible.
The central verse should have a fairly important message don't you think?
"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man."
4/24/07 - Hazakim -Theophanies Part 1
Category: Theology and Holy Scriptures | Video
This is an excellent thought provoking video made by Hazakim - two Messianic Jewish rappers. To visit their website click HERE.
4/23/07 - Predestination vs. Free Will - A Possible Explanation
Categories: God's Relationship to Man and God's Ultimate Plan | My Writings
First things first. I realize that we will never know and understand everything as humans. This would make us omniscient, and only God is omniscient. If we knew everything, then we would not be less than God.
But that should not keep people from exploring. Humans have been uncovering the rules to God's universe for quite a while, and in doing so have seen the complexity of creation. This does nothing short of show God's amazing infinite intelligence and power, all because God is a logical God.
Here is the best way to word the problem: Who is in control of my life?
With this issue, place a certain degree of emphasis upon free will and some a degree of emphasis on predestination.
Some people believe free will and predestination are just a mystery, trusting in the fact that they do not contradict each other, and this is an honorable position. Especially due to what the Bible, logic, and mere existence say concerning the matter for both sides. But when some say that it should be left a mystery and that no one should try to figure out how it works, then I have to disagree. Because God is a logical God, and He created everything, one would think that most things could be explained logically.
I was always intrigued with the fact that whatever we believe concerning the matter, we all seem to live out our lives in a similar manner. I am reminded of the lyrics of Christian rap artist Curtis Allen aka "Voice,"
"If I tell you that He's Lord over history, and if I tell you that the Christian life a mystery; if I tell you that He's sovereign in your life right now, does that make to you any difference how you walk things out?"
-Voice from the song "Mysterious" on "The Crucible" album.
Could it be true that we understand how it works in the back of our heads, but when we try to break it down into its components and logical premises, something gets lost or distorted? Im not sure if this is true or not, but Im going to give it my best shot without losing anything. So here is how I think about it.
I will begin from a purely logical standpoint and demonstrate Biblical harmony later.
1. God is an all knowing God.
2. God created everything.
3. Man can make choices.
Therefore if God initiated creation knowing how everything to turn out, he caused everything to turn out how it did. There is not a section of the human mind that is unknown to God, He cannot be suprised. Then very act of creating while knowing how everything will go, is deciding how to end everything as well.
God is sovereign. Nothing to debate here.
But wait, if He chose how everything will turn out from the beginning, including what decisions I will make, then I am not responsible for my actions. Is this correct?
Imagine God, before creation in His perfect triune fellowship. He decides to create. But before he does, in His infinite mind he sees all sorts of possible creation plans, in these plans are all causes, effects, and even choices made by humans laid out over a timeline. For simplicity sake we will call these totalities. He sees all of them in his infinite mind and naturally chooses the absolute best and most beautiful one. Each one could be different, let's say, in minute differences in the initiation process.
But let's back up. In a totality called A, you choose to reject Christ. In totality B, you choose to accept Christ. Either one, you are still choosing. So if God chooses totality A, the element of you doing the choosing was not taken out. So this means that God chose the totality in which you will choose what you will do.
It appears that we could say that the "choose" is nested.
God is sovereign because his "choose" is on the outside, but we are totally responsible because our "choose" is on the inside.
Now multiply this simple concept across everybody in the universe.
But if you dont understand, I have one more illustration. Let's imagine that reincarnation was real, and at some point in your life you come across a box with a red, yellow, green. purple, and blue ball in it. In your first life you choose to pick the blue ball. You die later and are reincarnated (not remembering your previous life) and this time you choose to pick the purple ball. In your next life you choose to pick the red one, and in your last life you choose to pick the blue ball again (even though you dont remember the first time). You are the one doing the choosing in all of these scenarios. You yourself would not argue against this. That would be silly. But let's say that God wanted to pick one of those lives you lived as the only life that you actually live, and it is the one where you choose the purple ball (Totality 2). He is therefore totally sovereign because he chose that you would (choose to) pick the purple ball.
The fact that he chose which life you would really live did not take out the element of you choosing the purple ball. How could it?
God is totally sovereign.
You are totally responsible.
Logical Objection #1
If God created everything knowing how it would end, then he caused everything. He therefore causes me to make my decisions, and I am therefore not responsible.
No, this is a rewording of the original problem and another attempt to drive out man's ability to choose. God leaves human choice independent of the laws of the universal cause and effect, (we are not robots, this is the essence of free will) although he does know what will be chosen. He does not cause us to choose things. He decided how things were to be, so it could be said that he did them himself. It is almost necessary to use past tense to get this idea across...
He caused everything to happen by what he decided long ago but did not intervene with your choosing "mechanism".
Now for the Biblical Evidence of this theory.
This would clearly allow for an elected, predestined Bride of Christ as mentioned in Scripture:
This would make total sense of the troublesome passage of Romans 9: