I expect my next article on the topic of the Law of God to address Gentile governments and natural law, but as a prelude to that post, I thought it would be helpful to share some conclusions by Dr. Sam Waldron from his helpful lecture series, Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment. Dr. Waldron’s work is available in three parts by lecture at Christian Library Australia, or in written format at The Reformed Reader.
On the “Non-Theocratic Character of Civil Authority till the Return of Christ”, Dr. Waldron states (bold emphasis mine):
The first conclusion reminds us that with the expiration of the partially restored Theocratic order all civil authority ceased to be Theocratic in the sense in which we have defined that word in this paper. God is no longer the unique king of any civil entity. No nation is now mandated to adhere to a divinely…
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Recently, there have been a few events in our lives and interactions that have brought some issues to the forefront once again. We have seen more and more Christians are being duped by what appears to be good theology, but is actually dangerous teaching.
One of the dangers that is assaulting the true church of Jesus Christ is in the area of contemplative prayer, also referred to as contemplative mysticism. In a nutshell, this teaching is based on a combination of New Age and Roman Catholic mysticism.
The danger of overrunning the evangelical church is immense. This teaching is heresy with many well known evangelicals touting this as biblical theology. There is NOT ONE Scripture that teaches the emptying of our minds.
Here is an example of what contemplative mysticism/prayer is according to one of the main teachers of this system known as “Spiritual Formation.”
“In your imagination…
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Personally, I have no issue with either the concept of hell nor the concept of punishment. It is, after all, actually an act of grace to separate from God for eternity those who despise God. The torments of hell aren’t so much, then, in the common images of fire and sulfur; those images simply strive to hint at the sheer hopeless misery of those separated from God by their own choosing. The wailing and gnashing of teeth comes from the everlasting realization that the worst decision of all decisions was made when God was despised.
Having all eternity to contemplate one’s folly and ‘enjoy’ the consequences of that folly… that will be the real torture.
On the other hand, were the misguided universalists correct and everyone forced to spend an eternity with God when they despise and hate God, then those people would not be given the grace they thirst…
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The epicenter is on fire. Radical Islamic jihadists are pressing their offensive in Syria and Iraq. Iran continues marching towards nuclear weapons. Hezbollah briefly attacked Israelis on her northern border yesterday. U.S.-Israeli relations are frayed. Anti-Semitism is rising.
And amidst all his national security briefings and strategy sessions, Israel’s premier is studying the Bible.
Indeed, one of the most interesting but least known aspects in the life of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he has developed quite an interest in studying the Bible in recent years. The premier was not raised in a religious home growing up. But as he has gotten older, he has developed a noticeable curiosity in the ancient Scriptures.
- Netanyahu occasionally quotes the Bible in major speeches (such as the time he spoke at Auschwitz and said Ezekiel 37 had come to…
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Take a look at the views of some of these Democrat candidates for the Senate.
First, North Carolina Senate candidate Kay Hagan:
The Weekly Standard explains:
North Carolina senator Kay Hagan’s position on abortion is the target of a new $620,000 TV ad campaign that is being launched today by the Women Speak Out PAC.
In the ad, a husband and wife, Becca and Ned Ryun, tell the moving story of how doctors saved the life of their daughter Charlotte who was born prematurely at 24 weeks into pregnancy. Photos of their daughter in the neo-natal intenseive care unit flash across the screen, and it isn’t until the end of the minute-long spot that the viewer gets a political message.
“For those who are advocating late-term abortions, look at my daughter,” says Ned Ryun. The ad concludes with a narrator conveying that North Carolina’s senator thinks it should be legal…
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Blistering criticism of the President’s handling of the ISIS threat — as well as much of his approach to the Middle East — is mounting rapidly. But it is not coming merely from conservatives. The criticism is coming from the President’s own former senior advisors, as well as from journalists typically sympathetic to the White House.
Key insiders and supporters of Mr. Obama now say the President:
- Created the vacuum in the Mideast that ISIS is now exploiting.
- Has largely ignored Iraq and botched his much-heralded exit strategy.
- Is not taking decisive action to defeat ISIS.
- Has imposed severe limitations on the U.S. military hampering our commanders’ ability to prosecute the war effectively.
- May soon hand ISIS a major victory if he allows the strategic city of Kobane — near the Syrian-Turkish border — to fall.
Consider the latest:
- Leon Panetta, the former CIA Director and Defense Secretary — who served in both positions under President Obama — said this…
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Baptismal regeneration is the belief that baptism is necessary for salvation, or, more precisely, that regeneration does not occur until a person is water baptized. Baptismal regeneration is a tenant of numerous Christian denominations, but is most strenuously promoted by churches in the Restoration Movement, specifically the Church of Christ and the International Church of Christ.
Advocates of baptismal regeneration point to Scripture verses such as Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, and 1 Peter 3:21 for biblical support. And, granted, those verses seem to indicate that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, there are biblically and contextually sound interpretations of those verses that do not support baptismal regeneration. Please see the following articles:
Does Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Does John 3:5 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Does Acts 2:38 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Does Acts 22:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Does Galatians 3:27 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?
Advocates of baptismal regeneration typically have a four-part formula for how salvation is received. They believe that a person must believe, repent, confess, and be baptized in order to be saved. They believe this way because there are biblical passages that seem to indicate that each of these actions is necessary for salvation. For example, Romans 10:9–10 links salvation with confession. Acts 2:38 links salvation with repentance and baptism.
Repentance, understood biblically, is required for salvation. Repentance is a change of mind. Repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejection of Christ to acceptance of Christ. It is not a separate step from saving faith. Rather, it is an essential aspect of saving faith. One cannot receive Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, without a change of mind about who He is and what He did.
Confession, understood biblically, is a demonstration of faith. If a person has truly received Jesus Christ as Savior, proclaiming that faith to others will be a result. If a person is ashamed of Christ and/or ashamed of the message of the gospel, it is highly unlikely that the person has understood the gospel or experienced the salvation that Christ provides.
Baptism, understood biblically, is an identification with Christ. Christian baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3–4). As with confession, if a person is unwilling to be baptized—unwilling to identify his/her life as being redeemed by Jesus Christ—that person has very likely not been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) through faith in Jesus Christ.
Those who contend for baptismal regeneration and/or this four-part formula for receiving salvation do not view these actions as meritorious works that earn salvation. Repenting, confessing, etc., do not make a person worthy of salvation. Rather, the official view is that faith, repentance, confession, and baptism are “works of obedience,” things a person must do before God grants salvation. While the standard Protestant understanding is that faith is the one thing God requires before salvation is granted, those of the baptismal regeneration persuasion believe that baptism—and, for some, repentance and confession—are additional things God requires before He grants salvation.
The problem with this viewpoint is that there are biblical passages that clearly and explicitly declare faith to be the only requirement for salvation. John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In Acts 16:30, the Philippian jailer asks the apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” If there was ever an opportunity for Paul to present a four-part formula, this was it. Paul’s response was simple: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). No baptism, no confession, just faith.
There are literally dozens of verses in the New Testament that attribute salvation to faith/belief with no other requirement mentioned in the context. If baptism, or anything else, is necessary for salvation, all of these verses are wrong, and the Bible contains errors and is therefore no longer worthy of our trust.
An exhaustive study of the New Testament on various requirements for salvation is not necessary. Receiving salvation is not a process or a multi-step formula. Salvation is a finished product, not a recipe. What must we do to be saved? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will be saved.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.