SOUND DOCTRINE – ALWAYS DIVIDES AND OFFENDS
With a zeal to cast away everything which the Roman Catholic Church holds, many have suggested that true Christians should have nothing to do with Doctrines and Creeds as well, seeing that the Harlot Church holds to such.
In fact some Christians when asked WHAT their doctrine is, count it a mark of humility and maturity to say – “It is just Jesus Christ”!
Beloved, it does not help to say that one’s creed is just ‘Jesus Christ’. For there are MANY Christ’s! We have the Romish Christ, the Mormon Christ, the ‘Christ’ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and every other cult which defends its authority by Scripture claims to believe in ‘Jesus Christ’.
So it behooves us to define the Christ we believe in by Sound doctrine! This is why every Church worth its name has what they call their ‘Statement of Faith’!
Our LORD was concerned much about DOCTRINE and directly asked those who claimed to believe in God how THEY understood the Scriptures. “He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest THOU”? [Luke 10:26]. In other words, “How do YOU interpret it”?! He not only taught the right doctrine but fought against false doctrine and was ultimately hounded to death for His doctrine! ‘And they sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people were ASTONISHED AT HIS DOCTRINE’. [Mark 11:18]
The early disciples not only centered their lives around THE RIGHT DOCTRINE but admonished the church not to entertain those who DIFFERED DOCTRINALLY. ‘And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers’. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not THIS DOCTRINE, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed’ [Act 2:42; 2Jn 1:10]
Much more could be said on the importance of creeds and doctrines. But suffice it to say, it is not enough to say that your creed is JUST ‘Jesus Christ’!
There are those who complain, “Oh but doctrine DIVIDES”! Oh yes it does! IT DIVIDES BETWEEN THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS, AND THOSE WHO ARE ELECT AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT!
Is the Jesus I believe in the third person of the Godhead?! Is He very God of very God and one substance with the Father!? Is He the Absolute Sovereign who hath mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will!? Is he the frustrated saviour who desires the salvation of all men hoping that they will choose him of their own ‘free will’ or is He the Omnipotent Lord who makes His people willing in the Day of His power!? [Psalm 110:3]
The right answer to just the above questions will eliminate and expose the myriads of false Churches that pervade the land!
The Apostle warned of ‘false brethren’ which would creep into assemblies [Gal 2:4,5]. How does one recognize them? For these are not outright wolves that can be easily spotted, but Goats who have learned to bleat like sheep.
They are strangers to God’s Sovereign Grace! Oh they speak of ‘grace’ all right! But grace according to THEM is the REWARD God gives to all those who have EXERCISED THEIR ‘FREE-WILL’ TO ‘ACCEPT HIM’! If they COULD they would go back and change John 6:44 to read “No man can come to Me, except they exercise their own free-will and choose Me”! And while they are at it they would also rewrite Romans 9:16 to read “IT IS of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, NOT OF GOD that showeth mercy”!
According to THEIR theology (theology if you could call it) goats can become sheep anywhere, anytime they choose, by exercising their ‘free-will’ and a sheep can change back into a goat any day anytime by that same ‘free-will’! The sheep according to them are not KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD, as the Apostle affirms [1Pet 1:5], but by their own whimsical free will, determination and resolution!
They have a great disdain and abhorrence for the milk of the Word, not to mention strong meat. They are afraid of the very word ‘DOCTRINE’. To them anything rich in the Word and doctrine is a ‘lecture’ at best or a ‘Churchy sounding statement’ at worst. They have been raised on short little stories and sermonettes all their lives, so anything which makes them think or search the Scriptures is too much for their unregenerated carnal minds!
So whether you are a newly born again child of God looking for a Church to join, or an Elder (Pastor) considering admitting someone into the Church or opening the pulpit to them – don’t just give them your right hand of fellowship just because they say they believe in Jesus. Ask them to DEFINE the Jesus they believe in. If they say they are new to the faith and would love to learn the right doctrine then teach them with love and patience, but if they are already established in damnable heresies, then after the first and second admonition REJECT THEM! [Titus 3:10,11]
This is Scriptural!
Even when deciding to marry someone you might be in love with, it is of great importance to find out where your ‘spouse to be’ stands theologically. Don’t ever be deceived into thinking that you can win them over to the truth AFTER marriage! It rarely ever happens!
For two CANNOT walk together except they be agreed! And a believer hath no part with an unbeliever or an infidel! [2Cor 6:15]
The Bible in itself is NOT a work on Systematic Theology, but only the QUARRY out of which the stone for such a temple can be obtained. If you preached the ‘WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD’ AS IT IS IN JESUS CHRIST, you will find to your dismay that MANY who say they ‘love Jesus’ or believe in the Bible will be AGAINST YOU! I speak this from sad experience!
This is the dangerous error of the Ecumenical movement! Those who adhere to the mindset of THIS movement say – “Doctrine does not matter. All that matters is that ‘you love Jesus’ and just believe the ‘Bible’!
A lie from the pit of Hell!
GO OUTSIDE OR STAY INSIDE?
So which is it – go outside or stay inside?
Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me . . . outside the sword bereaveth, at home it is like death. . . . [Lam 1:20]
This isn’t just a joke my friend. There have been times when I have been truly torn apart like this – not knowing WHERE to go.
It is then the Lord speaks to my heart saying,
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matt 11:28]
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” [Psalm 116:7-9]
Praise ye the LORD!
WHATEVER VIRUS OR PESTILENCE, DO NOT BECOME FEARFUL OR PARANOID, BUT TRUST IN THE LORD
“Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” [Mark 4:40]
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” [Phil 4:5-7] Amen!
THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN HELL
How will unbelief look in the flames of hell?
There are no infidels anywhere but on earth!
There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell.
Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for “the devils believe and tremble.”
And there are some of the devil’s children that have gone beyond their father in sin, but how will it look when they are forever lost?
When God’s foot crushes them, they will not be able to doubt His existence!
When He tears them in pieces and there is none to deliver, then their sophistical syllogisms, their empty logic, their brags and bravadoes, will be of no avail!
Oh, that they had been wise and had not darkened their foolish hearts, but had turned unto the living God!
JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN HEAR AUDIBLY IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND SPIRITUALLY (2020)
Just because one can audibly hear a preacher does not mean that he understands his message. Time and again the Bible echoes the words, “he that hath ears to ear let him hear!” This is not a reference to the audible hearing capabilities of men but rather the spiritual. On one occasion our Lord said, “Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word!” [John 8:43] That did not mean that they could not hear Him audibly, in fact they heard it so clearly that they wanted to kill Him for what He said. But they could not perceive the spiritual meaning of His Words! They were not His sheep as He asserts – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [John 10:27] They were not His sheep! [John 10:26]
“What a sad thing it is that so many are rich in all things except the one thing necessary. God has given them abundance of earthly possessions, but He has not given them eyes to see His bounty, nor ears to hear His voice of love, nor a heart to perceive His Presence in the mercies which they enjoy. Such see the harvest, but not the Great Farmer! They enjoy the fruitful seasons, but take no delight in the Giver of the rain and the Sender of the sunshine! What a sad condition to be in! Alas, poor rich man! He has so much and yet so little! And what a lamentable sight is the educated man of this world who is learned in all the lore of the ancients and versed in all the science of the moderns! He, who has pried into the secret chambers of knowledge and has observed the skill of the Eternal in the starry heavens and in microscopic life–and yet, with all his attainments, has no knowledge of his Maker–and will not accept the evidence of His Presence!” – C.H. Spurgeon
“The word “hear” [an Hebrew idiom] signifies to receive and believe — compare John 9:27; 10:3; 12:47; Acts 3:22, 23, etc. And why was it that these Jews “could not hear” His Word? It was because they were children in whom was no faith [Deuteronomy 32:20].
It was because they had no ear for God, no heart for His Word, no desire to learn His will. Proof positive was this that they were dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore not children of God. Unspeakably solemn is this. Hearing God’s Word is an attitude of heart. We speak now not of the Divine side, for true it is that the Lord Himself must prepare the heart [Proverbs 16:1] and give the hearing ear [Proverbs 20:12].
But from the human side, man is fully responsible to hear. But he cannot hear the still small voice of God while his ears are filled with the siren songs of the world. That he has no desire to hear does not excuse him, rather does it the more condemn him. The Lord grant that the daily attitude of writer and reader may be that of little Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth!” [1 Sam 3:10] “And when He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE! And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF STRANGERS!” [John 10:4,5]” [A.W. Pink]
The Psalmist wasn’t born deaf and yet he thanks the Lord saying, “mine ears hast Thou opened!” [Psalm 40:6] Oh what a blessing it is to have our spiritual ears opened to hear the things of the Spirit! As it was with Lydia whose heart the Lord opened, so beginning at regeneration all through the life of the child of God the Lord graciously (as seemeth good unto Him) openeth both the eyes and ears of His child to perceive the things of the Spirit, and without this ‘opening’ the Book of God and every minister whom he hears will make little sense to him.
And hence the prayer – “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!” [Psalm 119:18] And again, “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust!” [Psalm 143:8]
JESUS NOT THE ANSWER!
Almost every evangelistic meeting in our day advertises this promising message- Jesus is the answer! You’ve tried everything else, now try Jesus! Or Pick Jesus and He will solve your problems, etc.
We are here to tell you that Jesus is not ‘the answer’ for the social, moral and financial evils which plague mankind.
Christ is not here to deliver the alcoholic or the drug addict or cure the cancer patient or solve someone’s financial woes! His mission always was and still is in His own Words – “To seek and to save that which was lost!” [Luke 19:10]
Yes, Jesus IS the ‘answer’ but only to them who are truly ‘lost’ and subsequently ‘called’, but to the rest He is as the apostle said, “a stumbling block”! [1Cor 1:23,24]
Jesus came not to set right the moral and social evils of the world, or for that matter to solve men’s financial problems and give them a prosperous life. He came to seek and to save that which was lost!
WHO are these ‘Lost’?
They are those whom the Father chose from before the foundation of the world and permitted to be lost through the Fall only to be sought, found and be redeemed by Christ. They are those whom He calls sheep as opposed to goats! [Matt 25:32] It is for these and these alone that Christ came, and of all these ‘lost’ He loses NONE! “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day!” [John 6:39]
And unlike Darius “who would gladly have saved Daniel, but could not” (Dan. 6:14) the Lord Jesus seeks and saves every single one of God’s Elect whom He came to save!
The plain fact that many die in their sins and go into a Christless eternity ought to tell us that not ALL are ‘lost’ as most Christians presume! For if they were truly the ‘lost’ and belonged to Christ’s fold, then they would be found and saved by Him before they closed their eyes in death. Amen?
These lost sheep are those for whom Christ came! And all the sheep that Christ owns in time He owned from eternity. No one ‘becomes’ a sheep in time and joins Christ’s fold. Those who are brought into His fold in time were always a part of His flock from eternity, and as we said above they were in the wisdom of God lost through the fall. All that the Great Shepherd does is seek and save that which originally belonged to Him by divine decree!
One of the important facts which many miss out when studying the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son is that in all three cases the ‘seekers’ sought for that which was ALREADY THEIRS! [Luke 15:4-32]
The Shepherd HAD a hundred sheep, and the woman HAD ten coins and the father was looking out and patiently waiting, not for a stranger but for HIS OWN SON!
God’s elect do not start out as goats and later become sheep by accepting Jesus! The sheep are sheep from ETERNITY! They are KNOWN and loved by the Father from BEFORE TIME BEGAN!
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN!” [2 Tim 1:9]
And here’s the kicker – No man knows he is ‘lost’ until Christ finds Him!
In his hymn Amazing Grace, John Newton wrote – “I once was lost but now am found!”
LOST is the condition of ALL whom God saves. Lost, that is, in such a condition as to not be able to know God, save ourselves or find the way to God, to please God or come to Him. Why are there so few that are saved in our day? Maybe it is because nobody’s really lost. Nobody actually see themselves in this desperate condition – LOST.
Fact is, “If you’ve never been lost, then you’ve never been saved!”
THIS is whom Christ came to save and this is whom He saves – the LOST! Lost means helpless, hopeless, and unable to save ourselves. Lost in sin. God’s people are described as “LOST SHEEP” and in need of the Shepherd’s seeking and saving.
Those who are truly “lost” must be found. When they are found by the seeking Shepherd, they attribute all of their salvation to Him and say as Newton, “I once was lost but now AM FOUND!”
Praise the Lord!