(October 11, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares in-depth on what can be a distracting issue…
Here is a topic that has often distracted Christians and divided home Bible study groups – Did God select in advance those who would be saved or is the exercise of our free will to accept Jesus as our Saviour the deciding factor? How many fruitless hours have been wasted in argument that has often been dogmatic, hostile and divisive!
The ‘Big Question’ which often stirs people is this: Is our salvation determined by God’s decision or by ours? The problem is finding an unambiguous and unequivocal answer because there is an apparent conflict between the biblical concepts of God’s sovereignty and human free will. Does God decide in advance who will be saved and who will be lost?
This is a massive theological issue that has been addressed in multiple books by many profound theologians so I admit that my comments here are most inadequate. However I hope that they may be of some help.
(June 12, 2021)Robert McQuillan responds to a question that comes up occasionally…
Dear Dr Robert I think I heard a preacher mention briefly that not all Israelites are Jews and not explaining. Did I hear correctly? Maybe I just heard wrongly… or can you explain a bit more.Stan
No, you heard correctly. But, let me share some background…
Old Testament characters such as Abraham are often referred to as Jews (especially in old movies). The reality is that Abraham was originally aHebrew (Genesis 14:13), and the term ‘Jew’ was not used until after the return of the exiles from Babylon (Ezra 4:23).
This term – Jew – is from the Hebrew word Yehudi, meaning from the ’Kingdom of Judah.’ It indicated a ‘worshipper of one God’ and related to returning exiles – Israelites, mainly from the tribe of Judahbut also including some Benjamites (In Esther 2:5, Mordecai is referred to as a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin). This was years before the other ten tribes of Israel had been taken to the old Assyrian empire.
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile’ declared Paul in Romans 1:16.
Is it difficult for you to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus?
Does fear of ridicule stop you from sharing?
Maybe you don’t share because you think only your pastor, or an evangelist like Billy Graham, can be successful in the quest to tell others about the greatest news ever.
Well… you’re not alone!
God isn’t looking for all-stars
After her father passed, Anne Graham Lotz described her daddy, Billy Graham like this: ‘When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat, who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. He wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap, loved lukewarm coffee, sweet iced tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s.’
Continuing, she added, ‘God is not looking for all-stars. He already has an all-star, named Jesus. He is just looking for ordinary people who will follow the all-star, Jesus, with unwavering hearts. That’s you and me!’ (more…)
(May 14, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, encourages us to enter every fruitful door of gospel opportunity…
In Revelation 3:8 (MKJV) Jesus declared: ’I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept my word and have not denied my name.’
He know our works too!
Jesus knew the situation of the local church in Philadelphia, their faithfulness, their testimony to people where they worshipped and where they lived.
And he told them that he had set before them an open door that no one could shut. A door of opportunity, witness and fruitfulness. He did this because he knew their works; he had watched and seen their faith at work and knew they could achieve even more.
I feel it is appropriate to apply this challenging word of encouragement given by the Lord to that early church to every Christian today, to every church because…
He knows the works of every one of today’s churches.
He knows the works of every servant of God.
He rewards faith, hope and love.
He trusts those who trust him.
There are doors and there are doors
Some are basic, providing simple access to a room or place. Others are designed to be beautiful and even, magnificent. Others to secure valuables, treasures, money, gold ingots crown jewels and the like. (more…)