The Election?

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 The Election and the Will of God? 

The Election is now finished. My comments regarding this Election will be centered on what God’s will may be. God has allowed us in this country to elect those who rule over us. Just as God allowed Israel to select a King to rule over them. Samuel, the Prophet was very disappointed with the people demanding a King to rule over them. However, God’s response to Samuel was “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from ruling over them.” I have often said that God many times punishes us by our own choices. We often times get the rulers that we deserve. At the time the Apostle Paul wrote Romans 13:1 and 1 Tim 2:1-4 Nero was Emperor of the Roman Empire. Did Paul actually expect Christians to be obedient to such an evil ruler. Yes, he did.

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Romans 13:1-6 (KJV)

Also, we should be reminded of Rev. 13 in which two extremely wicked men will come to rule the world. Romans 13 is not saying that all government is intrinsically good, but as a basic principle God has ordained civil government for the benefit of mankind.

1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim 2:1-4 (KJV)

There are numerous other Scriptures that teach the same principle. However, he did not expect Christians to disobey God’s principles and commandments in the process. When we are asked to do something truly and clearly contrary to the will of God we must refuse and resist but at the same time be willing to suffer whatever consequences may come. This may come to Christians in the United States in the future since we are seeing a progressively anti-Christian, anti-biblical agenda. In terms of Civil Disobedience, I believe that the Mennonites have the a correct view. In our Church we did an article on this issue. I asked a Mennonite group at the Home Schooling convention about their pacific resistance to war and killing. They told me that they believe in non-violence not pacifism. Example: If someone broke into their home and attack their wife or family they would not use lethal force like a gun or other weapon which would kill the intruder. However, they are allowed to use whatever physical force they could to restrain and subdue the intruder without lethal deadly damage to the intruder. In terms of War, they would serve as medics and doctors or other positions that did not require them to kill others. Is this biblical? I am not sure. I do not know if a nation could be defended on this basis if all were of a Mennonite conviction.  Mennotites interpret the Sermon on the Mount and other like principles in terms of Christian Social ethics.  I believe that the Sermon on the Mount is personal Christian ethics.  Carl F. H Henry in his book Christian Personal Ethics deals well with this issue.

The Jewish nation indeed defended its nation militarily and currently does the same which I believe to be totally justified by Scripture.

The Roman Catholic Church has a teaching as to what is a “Just War”. I have not fully read this issue. But if confront with civil violence, I would probably not kill a person. Do I believe God would protect me? Not necessarily! But as I say, “God has already protected me. He has given me eternal life and nothing can ultimately harm me. Things my hurt me, but because of eternal life nothing can harm me.” Remember we will all die, it is just a matter of time.

The question at present is should we actively defend our Constitution?  At present, it is one of the major “Powers the be” if not the primary “Power that is”.  Are we to physically fight for the rights of our Constitution?  Personally, God’s will may be that we defend our Constitution much as we did when we separated from England.  We must use every legal means to defend and protect our Country’s Constitution rights.  In fact, the Framers of our Constitution included the Second Amendment just for times that the use of arms would be needed to defend and protect our Constitutional Rights.  The Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

This Second Amendment clearly meant that all persons had the right to keep and bear Arms.    If you read the statements of the Framers of the Constitution you will clearly see that this Amendment clearly granted all persons the right to “keep and bear Arms”.

The Second Amendment is needed to protect the First Amendment.  There have been many that have perverted the meaning of both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment.

Since our Country is still under the law and rule of the United States Constitution, God’s will is that we obey and protect it.  We are not currently obliges to obey the dictates of a tyrant and subverter of our Constitution.

One of the major things that every tyrannical leader or government does prior to subverting a sovereign nation is to pass a law of Gun Control to takes away the right of the citizen to protect themselves from a tyranical government.

Notice that Romans 13 says the ruler that God ordains is for our good.

 “For he is the minister of God to thee for good.”

Notice that the concept of the ruler being a minister of God occurs 3 times in Romans 13 with the statement ” For rulers are not a terror to good works”.   

Obviously, Paul was speaking about good rulers who reward the good and punish the bad. We may not like leaders but that is not the issue.  Leaders may not be liked but still reward good and punish evil.

But if you will read the book of Daniel you will see that God rules in the Kingdoms of men. I have taught the book of Daniel several times, but this is one of the major themes in Daniel. God is providentially in charge of all things, but he does not necessarily protect us from all things. The four young Hebrews truly had the proper understanding and attitude when King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that they worship the Image which he had set up. In fact, their very words are an inspiration to me.

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Dan 3:16-18 (KJV)

These were indeed godly Jewish young people. I am not certain how old they were at this time but they were not yet old. Daniel was not present, but I am sure he would have responded exactly the same way. Many people have not personally studied the Bible regarding the Pre-Tribulational Rapture theory, but only cling to this teaching because they do not want to think of suffering for Jesus Christ. From my in depth study of this theory, I find that there is no biblical support or historical support for this teaching.

Personally, I believe we are in what is called the End-Times. Daniel’s Seventieth week is not far away. There was a time when I would not purchase any book that was not pre-trib, premillennial. My conviction regarding premillennialism remains solid and firm. This was taught clearly by many of the early church fathers, but no concept of rapture was taught. What I call Classic Premillennialism is both biblical and a part of church history. My convictions on these matters may turn some people off, but I am convinced that it is the Will of God that I do not withhold or agree with teaching that I consider incorrect and ultimately destructive. Through the years I had imbibed all of the teachings of Dispensational Pre-Tribulational Premillennialism. I personally suspended judgment on the rapture question because I did not have time and enough information to make a clear and informed judgment on the rapture issue. In approximately 2004 I came to a full conviction that Pre-Tribulational Rapture was a false teaching which had taken root in most fundamental evangelical churches. I still believe there is essential truth in Dispensationalism and I am a firm Premillennialist.  There is a clear divide between the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is no longer in force and Gentiles are in no way under the Mosaic Covenant which was basically for the Jewish people. Messianic Jews are not under the Mosaic Covenant either except I would respect their right to celebrate some of the great feasts and principles of biblical Judaism.  Read Acts 15 where this issue was discussed and settled at what is called the Council of Jerusalem.  The Mosaic covenant was a conditional covenant which God made with the Jewish nation.  Hebrews 8:8-13 & 10:9 states that the Mosaic covenant is being replaced by the New Covenant.

8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith,

A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Heb 8:8-13 (KJV)

He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. Heb 10:9 (KJV)

It appears that the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts celebrated many of the official Jewish feasts. But this was not for salvation, but like a memorial observance. We should not be surprised. The Roman Catholic Church has continued to add non-Scriptural teaching for years. Are the Protestants exempt from adding unscriptural teachings? There are a number of Golden Calves that Protestants worship. At present I will not name these Golden Calves but will possibly write about some of them later.

I cringe when I hear pastors and famous teachers say, “We do not have to worry about the Tribulation because we absolutely are not going to be here!”   They speak so dogmatically as though that Pre-Tribulational Rapture was an unequivocal established fact without any questions.  The best of Fundamental Evangelical Preachers do this.   They essentially leave no room for question.  But if asked closely to provide one unequivocal verse or passage of Scripture from the Bible they cannot produce such and verse or passage.

God’s will is for us to continue to do His work of evangelism, discipleship, and carrying out of the Great Commission:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power  is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matt 28:18-20 (KJV)

Rev. Thomas Clark – Phil. 3:14

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The Carrot and the Stick!

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There are two methods by which God, the Father, assists his children to be motivated to loyal and faithful service.  I call them the “carrot” and the “stick”.  In psychology this would be called positive and negative reinforcement.  Personally, I believe that positive reinforcement in most cases is much more effective than negative reinforcement.  

The Carrot and the Stick!

1) The Reward – The Carrot!

My example is from the life of my son.  My son may not be characteristic of all children, but he is a good example of positive reinforcement.   During the rearing of my son, I never had to use physical discipline.  I am not against physical discipline when it is appropriate and administered properly.  There was only one time I spanked my son and after I did it I found out that I was wrong.  My son had received a spanking at school and I had told him that if he ever got a spanking in school he would also get one at home.   When he told me that he had received a spanking in school, I hastily took off my belt and told him to bend over my knee.   He did but was trying to explain which I ignored.   After I had spanked him, he explained why he was spanked at school.   I do not now remember his explanation, but I believed his explanation.   He was not at fault so I felt very bad and I apologized to him.  He said, “O that is alright Dad, I have needed a spanking anyway for a long time.”   I was one of his baseball coaches for about 5 years.   We went to almost every baseball card show in the Chicago area.  He collected baseball cards.  I was indeed very close to him.  I am still close to him.   He became a Christian at the age of seven and has served the Lord since that time.  He is now married to an excellent Christian wife and they have five wonderful children.

 

 

God likewise wants to use positive reinforcement with us.   He holds out wonderful rewards both in this life and the life to come to his children who are faithful and obedient to Him.

 

One day I had two Jehovah Witnesses come to my door.   I engaged them regarding eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.  The leader was a gracious black man.   Since I understood almost all Jehovah Witness teaching, I engaged him on the areas which are weakness for Jehovah Witnesses.   I asked him if he knew he had “eternal life”.  If I remember correctly he respond that no one could know that.   Then I took him to 1 John 5:13 and explained to him that the Apostle John had written 1 John in order that believers could know that they had eternal life.  I pointed out to him that “know” was in the present tense and meant “know now”.  He started a typical response, “If I knew that I had eternal life now and could not loss it, I would be able to go out and sin as much as I wanted.”

 

Then I asked him, if he had children.   He stated that he had two children.   To which I asked him if he allowed his children to run up and down the block and cause all types of trouble of his block.   He responded “No way!”  To this I asked him a question, “Do you think that you are a better father than God the Father?”  To this he responded that he was indeed not a better father than God.  I then explained to him God, the Father’s, two methods of assisting His children in being faithful and obedient children of God – the carrot and the stick.  He was surprised and went away with something to think about.  My mistake was not to take his name and phone number.   I was indeed a serious person about the matter of salvation and I should have tried to follow up.

 

Most Christians do not understand the teaching of God’s Word about God as Father and the assistance he gives us in living the faithful and special life.  The reward and chastening concept is taught in both the O.T. and the N.T.  A true Christian cannot lose his salvation, but he can indeed lose his reward.  Many of the passages in the New Testament which believers think teach loss of salvation are actually teaching about loss of reward.  After years of studying Holy Scripture God has guided me to specific persons who have unlocked these difficult passages of Scripture for me.   The five problem passages of the book of Hebrews have been the most difficult of all the passages of Scripture.  That is why I recommend the article in the Hebrews Challenge to readers.  This is a unique set of biblical interpretations of the book of Hebrews.

 

What are these rewards?  In the next life the rewards will be varied.   One reward is that we will be give authority to serve with Jesus Christ.  I first learned about this concept of “rewards” through the ministry of Dr. M.R. Dehaan founder of RBC Ministries.  There is a bibliography of those who hold to this view of “No loss of salvation, but loss of rewards”.  I believe that this is the best contribution of our website. You should read every article of this subject on our website www.bibleresourceman.com

 

Any Christian that believers he can loss his eternal salvation will generally be weak in evangelism because if he is not sure about his own salvation why would he want to offer it to others.   Also, he will present salvation as a faith plus works type salvation which is synergistic and seriously non-biblical.

 

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

 

Matt 10:39-42 (KJV)

 

41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.   Mark 9:41 (KJV)

 

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

 

1 Cor 3:11-15 (KJV)

 

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  2 John 1:8 (KJV)

 

One of my friends asked me what are good works.  I responded the Bible gives a long list of them.   Good works can only be perform by a true Christian.  Also, God will evaluate our motives for our good works.  However, I do not set around worrying about whether I have good motives, I just go ahead and do them and presume that God can best discern my motive even when I cannot.

 

I hope I have adequately explained the biblical concept of “rewards”.

 

2) The Stick – God’s Child Training

 

The next biblical concept of God, the Father’s, assistance for Christians to lead faithful and godly lives is “The Stick”.  This the matter of God’s chastening.  Actually the word “chastening” means “child training”.  The biblical concept of child training is clearly taught in Hebrews 12:5-11. The word “corrected” in verse 9 also comes from the same root word as all the words for chastening.

 

 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Heb 12:5-11 (KJV)

 

In 1 Corinthians 11:30-32 it states that Christians who seriously sin are chastened of  the Lord.  Some Christians suffer weakness, sickness, and death because of their disobedience to the Lord.

 

If a Christian cannot be reclaimed by the Lord unto an obedient life God may actual take him to Heaven with premature death.  This is called the “sin unto death”.   There appear to be several of these incidences in Scripture.

 

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  1 Cor 11:30-32 (KJV)

 

God, the Father, if you are a Christian will allow you to live just anyway.   He is your Father and He will correct you for your own good.

 

My hope and pray is that as a Christian you will chose to live an obedient and faithful Christian life.

 

Rev. Thomas Clark – Phil. 3:14