Pilgrim’s Keyboard

August 25, 2009

Saved from Hell or Your Sins?

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:18 pm

Studies on Saving Faith

Arthur W. Pink

Is a simple faith in Christ sufficient to save a soul for time and eternity? At the risk of some readers turning away from this article and refusing to read further, we unhesitatingly answer, No, it is not. The Lord Jesus Himself declared, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is just as essential to salvation as is believing. Again we read that, “will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). A “simple faith” which remains alone, a faith which does not purify the heart (Acts 15:9), work by love (Gal. 5:6), and overcome the world (1 John 5:4), will save nobody.

Much confusion has been caused in many quarters through failure to define clearly what it is from which the sinner needs saving. Only too often the thought of many minds is restricted to Hell. But that is a very inadequate conception, and often proves most misleading. The only thing which can ever take any creature to Hell is unrepented and unforgiven sin. Now on the very first page of the New Testament the Holy Spirit has particularly recorded it that, the incarnate Son of God was named “Jesus” because “he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

… To ask a person if he has been saved from Hell is much more ambiguous than to inquire if he has been saved from his sins | [p. 131-2].

 

What of you dear reader – Have you been saved from Hell or from your sins?

 

ba

August 18, 2009

The False Gospel of Prosperity Theology

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 2:22 pm

Dr. Albert Mohler  

http://www.albertmohler.com  | August 18, 2009

   

It Promises Far Too Little — The False Gospel of Prosperity Theology

   

“God knows where the money is, and he knows how to get the money to you.” That was the message of Gloria Copeland as she was speaking at the Southwest Believers’ Convention recently held in Fort Worth, Texas. The event drew the attention of The New York Times and reporter Laurie Goodstein contributed a compelling report about the meeting and its message.

The Southwest Believers’ Convention drew a crowd of more than 9,000 to hear an “all-star lineup” of preachers deliver the message of the prosperity gospel. One by one, the preachers and the speakers enticed the gathered thousands by offering them the assurance that God wants them rich — even fabulously rich.

As Goodstein reports, the preachers were not shy about drawing attention to the luxurious lives they lead. “Private airplanes and boats. A motorcycle sent by an anonymous supporter. Vacations in Hawaii and cruises in Alaska. Designer handbags. A ring of emeralds and diamonds.” According to the preachers of the prosperity gospel, these are merely examples of the riches and rewards that come to those who have sufficient faith — and invest sufficient funds in the ministries of the prosperity preachers.

The New York Times took note of the fact that the current recession and financial distress did not keep the crowd from attending the Southwest Believers’ Convention. The event is part of the ministry of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, described by Laurie Goodstein as the “current patriarch and matriarch” of the prosperity gospel. The paper summarized their message as the promise that if an individual has sufficient faith in God and donates generously, God will reward that generosity by multiplying the offerings a hundredfold.

Those who might curtail their donations during the recession were warned of the spiritual consequences. “Fear will make you stingy,” said Kenneth Copeland.

Goodstein’s report included the story of Edwige Ndoudi, who attended the meeting with her husband and three children. Pointing to the prosperity experienced by the Copeland’s, Ndoudi asserted: “If God did it for them, He will do it for us.” Similarly, Stephen and Millie Biellier brought their family from Missouri with the confidence that 2009 could be their “overcoming year,” even though they are $102,000 in debt. They credit the Copelands with rescuing them from a financial crisis two decades ago, and are now among the Copelands’ “partners” in ministry. The Biellers spoke of their excitement as they participated in an effort to buy the Copeland ministry a Citation X airplane. They joined the “Elite CX Team” after Mrs. Biellier said she heard the Holy Spirit tell her, “You were born to support this man.” The couple gave $2,000 toward the airplane and recently gave $1,800 toward the ministry’s purchase of high-definition television equipment. She is proud that the Copelands fly on a private jet, explaining that “trashy people like Hugh Hefner” also have private airplanes.

Prosperity theology is not new, and it comes to the attention of the secular media again and again. In 2006 TIME magazine published a major cover story on prosperity theology, documenting its development and tracing its influence. As David Van Biema and Jeff Chu explained, prosperity theology “is a peculiarly American theology but turbocharged.” This “turbocharged” theology offers a false hope, presents a failed message, and is a False Gospel.

The prosperity gospel usually comes packaged in terms of the word-faith or faith-promise theology developed early in the 20th century by preachers such as E. W. Kenyon. Kenyon drew from the tradition of New Thought associated with movements such as Christian Science. In one sense, he attempted to bring elements drawn from positive thinking movements into his message, mixing New Thought with Christianity. Kenyon promoted his “new type of Christianity” and found a ready following, especially among those who were experiencing financial distress or poverty. Kenyon, who died in 1948, exerted a significant influence on prosperity preachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, and Kenneth Copeland (who was once Oral Roberts personal pilot).

Prosperity theology is now preached by a wide assortment of televangelists and local figures who assure congregations that God promises to make them healthy and wealthy, if only they will possess and demonstrate adequate faith. A significant number of these preachers have departed from Christian orthodoxy altogether, adopting Trinitarian and Christological heresies. The entire movement presents the Gospel as a message that is primarily about earthly rewards — a theology that turns God into a heavenly banker who is obligated to invest His people with material riches if they possess adequate faith and claim these blessings for their own.

Sincere believers in Christ are found among both the impoverished and the wealthy, but the vast multitude of Christian believers throughout the ages have experienced nothing that can be described as material wealth. Their hope was and is established in Christ, who accomplished their salvation from sin and secures their hopes for eternal life through His death and resurrection.

Prosperity theology is a False Gospel. Its message is unbiblical and its promises fail. God never assures his people of material abundance or physical health. Instead, Christians are promised the riches of Christ, the gift of eternal life, and the assurance of glory in the eternal presence of the living God.

In the end, the biggest problem with prosperity theology is not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little. The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers salvation from sin, not a platform for earthly prosperity. While we should seek to understand what drives so many into this movement, we must never for a moment fail to see its message for what it is — a false and failed gospel.

ba

August 11, 2009

Repentance & Faith | A Twofold Turn …

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 2:55 pm

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REPENTANCE AND FAITH: A TWOFOLD TURN

Repentance and faith are in fact the constituent elements of conversion, when viewed from the standpoint of man’s experience. For what is conversion but “turning,” and what is “to be converted” but to turn? The Greek verb is often used in the New Testament in secular, non-theological contexts to describe someone’s action in turning round from one direction to another or turning from one place to another. When used in more technical, theological passages the verb has the same meaning. “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” “You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Thes. 1:9, 1 Pet. 2:25).
 
Conversion involves a twofold turn, a turn from idols and from sin on the one hand, and a turn to the living God and to the Savior of Shepherd of souls on the other. The “turn away” the New Testament calls repentance; the “turn toward” the New Testament calls faith. So repentance plus faith equals conversion, and no man dare say he is converted who has not repented as well as believed.
[— John Stott, “Must Christ Be Lord and Savior?” ETERNITY (September 1959, Evangelical Ministries, Inc.), p. 5.]

 

Over and over again in the Old Testament, God told his people to forsake their idols and turn to Him. Through the prophets the LORD warned the people of Israel, “I will not share my glory with another or my praise with idols” (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11). Jesus taught, “You cannot serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). He demanded singular and complete commitment. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a clear reminder from pastor/scholar John Stott about the “two turns” that are necessary for true conversion. Authentic Christian worship reminds believers of these crucial “turns”—repentance and faith.

  [Carl Stam | (Professor of Christian Worship – The Southern Baptist Theological Seminay) | wqotw@wqotw.org – August 11, 2009]

 

ba

August 1, 2009

Dutifully Just Thinking …

Filed under: Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:25 am

Have you ever just wondered about God? Does he really exist? If he does exist is he involved with the creation personally or has he just made it and left it to chance since that time? If God does exist how can I know him? Does he want to know me? 

These are fair question to be asked. God does not mind it when humans ask about him. Psalm 19:1 says – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. I know that many scientists tell us of how great our universe is and how minute our atomic world is. It seems amazing to me that they can talk about so much of its consistency in both scientific aspects and not see God as the source of its very being. – It seems to me that they are missing an excellent and good testimony of how God’s creation is declaring his glory. Is God personally involved in his creation? Colossians 1:15-17 states that Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God … for by him [Jesus] all things were created in heaven and on earth visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Jesus told Nichodemus that unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God | John 3:3. The bottom line is that each of us as individuals must recognized that we are sinners by nature and through our daily sinfulness need to humbe ourself before God. My friend have you seen yourself in this place in your life? Do not know where to turn? – Turn to Christ he will save your soul – John 14:6; 1 Timothy 1:15; and 1 Peter 1:18-21. Later …

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