THE TWO RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

two-religions

THE TWO RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

by John G. Reisinger

There are basically only two religions in the world. One says, “IF YOU WILL do such and such, God will graciously bestow His blessing upon you.” The thousand and one varieties of this religion differ only on what the “such and such” is that you must be willing to do. One variety says bathe in a sacred river, another bids you kiss the sacred rock located in the holy city, still another says be baptized or some similar rite, and in distinctly evangelical circles this religion emphasizes, “IF YOU WILL OPEN YOUR HEART, THEN GOD . . .”

Notice carefully the three key words IF YOU WILL.
(1) God’s forgiveness is possible IF …..
(2) God’s forgiveness is possible if YOU…
(3) God’s forgiveness is possible if you WILL. . . .

The ultimate success or failure of this religion is determined solely by the will of man. Everything depends on an “if,” and on “you,” and on “your willingness” to do your part. Redemption is always CONDITIONAL since it depends on man’s cooperation for success. The great work of salvation is not actually accomplished until God can find someone who is willing to “cooperate with Him.” Our forefathers called this “if you will” system the “religion of works.” It was also called “Arminianism” and “semi-Pelagianism” since these were the men who originally caused division in the church by introducing this error of free will. Regardless of the name attached to it by friend or foe, the distinguishing marks are always the same — the IF, the YOU, and YOUR WILL are the decisive factors that make the plan of salvation work.

This religion offers a wonderful plan of salvation that is able to do mighty things if YOU WILL ONLY LET IT. The God of this free will religion can only desire and offer to save sinners. He is helpless to secure, by His own power, what He longs to do. The goal of redemption cannot be reached unless man, of his own free will, chooses to permit God to accomplish His purposes.

The false religion of free will, or works, is based upon several unbiblical doctrines. The most basic of these is THE UNIVERSAL AND INDISCRIMINATE REDEMPTIVE LOVE OF GOD. God is said to love all men in the same way and to the same degree. He loved Judas the same as Peter, Esau like Jacob, and the goats as much as the sheep. Since His love is universal then the greatest gift of His love, Jesus Christ His Son, must have been given to provide a universal atonement, meaning for every individual without exception, in His death. The objects of the Son’s atonement must be equal to the objects of the Father’s love, so both must include every man. If the Father loves all men equally, and the Son redeemed every man without exception, it follows that the Holy Spirit must convict every man or else the Trinity is not working together toward the same end in the task of redeeming lost men.

It should be amply clear that this religion of works, or free will, based on a universal love and universal atonement, makes God’s whole scheme of redemption depend on man for its success. God’s love will prevail IF MAN will let it. Christ’s atonement will actually redeem only IF MAN will let it. The Holy Spirit will apply redemption’s purchased benefits IF MAN will allow Him. No wonder C. H. Spurgeon, that great soul winner, called free will “utter nonsense,” and universal atonement a “monstrous doctrine akin to blasphemy.”

Now the second religion is the message of the Bible. It is the gospel of FREE GRACE. It does not look to God for the PROVISION and then turn to man for the POWER, but it boldly proclaims that the same sovereign grace that planned salvation for helpless sinners also furnishes them with the ability to desire and receive it. This second religion not only starts at a different place, it works on a different principle, and moves toward a different goal. In short, it is a totally different religion. The religion based on free will (Arminianism – If you will …), and that based of free grace (Calvinism — God makes us willing …) are two very distinct and opposite religions that differ on every theological point at which they meet.

Any individual who piously says, “It is really not important, it is merely a question of EMPHASIS,” is either deliberately dishonest or completely ignorant of Bible doctrine in church history. The Synod of Dort and the Council of Trent clarified forever the vital importance of the issue once and for all time. I challenge any man to read Dr. J. I. Packer’s introduction to the DEATH OF DEATH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST by John Owen, and then talk about emphasis. Packer clearly shows that free will and free grace are totally different religions, and furthermore, that they are irreconcilable enemies.

WHO WEARS THE CROWN?

As you can see, the real battle ground is the nature of man, and the prize to be won is the Crown of Credit for making redemption’s plan actually work. Is free grace, given sovereignly by the Father, the decisive factor that causes the elect to believe in the first place, or is man’s will, exercised sovereignly by the individual, the decisive factor that causes God to choose these whom He “foresees” are willing to believe? Who wins the right to wear the crown of glory, God or man? And by what power was that right won — free will or free grace?

The basic difference between these two opposing religions can also be summed up by asking another question, a question vitally related to the first one. Instead of asking how any man can perish, and being told that, “the man would not do his part which was to simply believe,” we now ask, “Why are SOME men saved?” How is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s work able to succeed in some cases but not in others? The religion of free will humbly (?) answers that “MAN MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE BY BEING WILLING TO OPEN HIS HEART AND GIVE GOD A CHANCE!” It does not matter if we are speaking of those who perish or those who are saved, we always come back to that IF YOU WILL.

Actually, the gospel based on free will can never be more than a gospel of mere POSSIBILITY. It is a plan of redemption that cannot truly redeem by its own power, but can only effect real salvation when it finds someone who make themselves willing to do “their part.” It is not a question of whether a man must, or does, become willing before he can be saved, we all believe that, but WHO AND WHAT POWER makes the sinner willing? Does man, of himself, choose to become willing, or does God, by His sovereign power, make His elect willing “in the day of His power” (Ps. 110:3)? It seems both logical and judicially necessary to crown with glory the individual who made the plan of salvation actually work, and the free willer does not hesitate to reach for the crown and place it on the head of the sovereign and free will of man.

Some folks may feel we are laboring this point to an extreme, but actually this is the heart of the matter. Who really deserves all the glory for man’s salvation? It cannot be both God and man, nor can it be, as many would imply, half and half. Either God saves sinners by “making them willing in the day of His power,” or they save themselves by making themselves willing in the “day of their free will decision.”

Read the full sermon –
http://www.the-highway.com/2religions.html

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One thought on “THE TWO RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

  1. Yes indeed, the ‘free will’ theology is false and is a doctrine of demons. It’s interesting to note this from A.W. Pink – “In the year 1563 by the order of the Pope, there was a council held at Trent. And Rome then and there defined her theological position on the points that had been made by the Reformers, and one of their decrees read thus [now the decrees of the Council of Trent are their standard today on controverted points], “If anyone shall affirm that since the fall of Adam man’s free will is lost, let him be accursed”. I want to read that again, what I am reading now is Roman Catholic Doctrine according to their own standards the decrees of the Council of Trent 1563, “If anyone shall affirm that since the fall of Adam man’s free will is lost, let him be accursed”. So that those who insist on man’s free will place themselves side by side with Rome on that doctrine! That is Romanism, and it only goes to show how terribly Protestantism is honeycombed by Rome. It only goes to show how the leaven of Romanism has been working in the meal of Protestantism.” from ‘studies in the Scriptures’ April 1926.

    I also want to note this from Michael Bunker’s out of print book ‘swarms of locusts’…
    The following quote came from a Jesuit, written in 1628 to the Jesuit Rector at Bruxels, to calm his nerves about an ensuing parliamentary call. The Jesuit writer tells the Rector that he has nothing to worry about, because the Jesuits have planted the seed “arminianisme” and it will certainly come to fruition:

    “March, 1628. Father Rector, let not the damp of astonishment seize upon your ardent and zealous soul, in apprehending the sodaine (sudden) and unexpected calling of a Parliament. We have now many strings to our bow. We have planted that soveraigne drugge Arminianisme, which we hope will purge the Protestants from their heresie; and it flourisheth and beares fruit in due season. For the better prevention of the Puritanes, the
    Arminians have already locked up the Duke’s (of Buckingham) eares; and we have those of our owne religion, which stand continually at the Duke’s chamber, to see who goes in and out: we cannot be too circumspect and carefull in this regard. I am, at this time, transported with joy, to see how happily all instruments and means, as well great as lesser, co-operate unto our purposes. But, to return unto the maine fabricke:–OUR FOUNDATION IS ARMINIANISME” [Hidden works of darkness, p. 89, 90. Edit. 1645.] (emphasis added)
    The young man Arminius lost his family during a war with the Spanish in 1575. As a fifteen year old orphan, he entered the University of Leyden, and under scholarship by the government of the City of Amsterdam, he was sent to the Theological school in Geneva for studies at the feet of the great Protestant reformers. At Geneva, Arminius studied under a professor named Theodore Beza, the man who had assumed the leadership role of the Protestant movement in Switzerland from John Calvin. For some reason that seems to be lost to history, Arminius immediately took a disliking to Beza, and found his forceful defense of the Doctrines of Grace to be harsh and unyielding.
    Here is where our mystery gets increasingly interesting. Back in Amsterdam there was a movement of “counter-reformation” begun supposedly by a rich merchant named Dirck Coornhert. Coornhert was a Dutch humanist who was enamored with the teachings of the Catholic humanist Desiderius Erasmus and a Spanish Jesuit monk named Luis de Molina.
    Erasmus has been rightly identified by Martin Luther and others as a “Pelagian in Catholic clothing”, so we can readily trace the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian heresies as they traversed their way through Amsterdam while Arminius was away in Geneva.
    Dirck Coornhert disdained the Reformation teachings on the Doctrines of Grace, and sought to confront them wherever he found them. Coornhert had read with growing affections the teachings of Luis de Molina regarding Free Will and Predestination. The Jesuits had hit on a brilliant way of dismantling the debate. They would preach that BOTH “free will” and predestination were true and that a good God who was truly sovereign surely might have given his creations a freedom of the will in order to allow them to choose to be saved. Luis de Molina was creating a doctrine that would eventually be called Media Scientia or “Middle-Knowledge”. Eventually this heresy would be known as Molinism.
    In an article on Luis de Molina entitled, Contending for the Faith, Rev. Bernard Woudenberg said of the Jesuit Luis de Molina,
    “Being a Romanist, he was forced to honor the theology of Thomas Aquinas with its acceptance of divine sovereignty, but at the same time, as a Jesuit, he was committed to defending the papacy against the growing influences of Calvinism. And so de Molina set forth to steer between these by proposing his original and highly influential concept of the media scientia, or “middle- knowledge.” In this he proposed that “between God’s knowledge of the cause and effect relations which He had implanted in the universe, and that of divine freedom whereby He remains free at any time to do what He wills, there is an area of middle-knowledge which God provides for man in which man is granted freedom to do whatever he chooses without outside necessity or predetermination of any kind.” (emphasis added)
    The Catholic lie on co-operative Justification had been countered by the true Grace doctrine of Salvation by Grace through Faith, so now an evil “compromise” was offered to the world, and by deceit and subterfuge the compromise would eventually become the predominant teaching in all the churches of the world.
    Back in Geneva, Theodore Beza had a growing suspicion that his student Jacobus Arminius was not who he proposed to be. Questions were being asked about comments that Arminius was making to fellow students, and there were still questions about his financial support from the rich, aristocratic merchants of Holland. Apparently Arminius was able to lie well enough to get past Beza’s questioning, a skill that would come in handy years later when he would be looking for a teaching job in Amsterdam. Beza then asked Arminius to answer and publicly refute the teachings of Dirck Coornhert. Although Arminius completed the task, he later claimed to be convinced by Coornhert’s arguments, and he became ardently opposed to the teachings of the Reformers. Please do remember that Coornhert had developed his ideas from the writings of the Catholic humanist Erasmus and the Jesuit Luis de Molina.
    In 1586, Arminius was released from Geneva, but instead of heading back to Amsterdam where he was under contract to the City to labor in order to pay back his tuition, he headed to Rome for a “vacation”.

    Most Calvinists believe that it was during this vacation in Rome that Arminius was recruited by the Jesuits to their point of view. I believe that there is enough other evidence that Arminius was compromised long before his pilgrimage to Rome, particularly in that he had already embraced the Jesuitical writings of Dirck Coornhert. By this time, Arminius had become a private student of the writings of Luis de Molina, and in 1588, the same year in which Arminius was ordained a minister (by the strange endorsement of Theodore Beza), de Molina published his treatise on the will entitled A Reconciliation of Free Choice with the Gifts of Grace, Divine Foreknowledge, Providence, Predestination and Reprobation which is commonly referred to as the “Concordia”.
    What the Jesuits were loathe to admit, was that Molinism was nothing more than a rebirth of the ancient “Semi-Pelagianism” heresy, which contends that man cannot be saved apart from God’s grace; however, fallen man must “cooperate” and assent to God’s grace before he will be saved. The Jesuits recognized that the Protestants would never embrace the teachings of a Catholic Spanish monk, so they capitalized on the growing and open debates taking place within Protestantism. Molinism would be recast as Arminianism, and eventually, it would take over the ecclesiastical world.
    A famous quote from de Molina eerily foretells of the Jesuit lie that proceeds from the mouths of “evangelical” leaders today:
    “all human beings are endowed with equal and sufficient divine grace without distinction as to their individual merits, and that salvation depends on the sinner’s willingness to receive grace”. (Concordia, 1588)
    The Catholics say of Molinism:
    “Molinism is an influential system within Catholic theology for reconciling human free choice with God’s grace, providence, foreknowledge and predestination. Originating within the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits) in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it encountered stiff opposition from Bañezian Thomists and from the self-styled Augustinian disciples of Michael Baius and Cornelius Jansen.” – [Alfred J. Freddoso, Catholic Professor at Notre Dame.] (emphasis added) It is clear from history that the Society of Jesus readily accepted Molinism as an effective and efficient tool in the war against Protestantism. That fact has never changed.” from https://elijah1757.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/swarms_of_locusts.pdf

    Lyn

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