Burning Bridges
July 17, 2012, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Ivory Towerism, Self righteousness, Tolerant Calvinism

by Scott Price

“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe unto the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39

When a person is given spiritual life and is converted to the truth of the gospel he has a great change of mind. Things he used to hold dear to himself such as his religious seniority and his boasting of those years of service are not looked upon as something to be cherished but rather to be thrown out forever. Paul called his religious service before conversion “dung” (Phil 3:8).

We should not view our conversion as coming into a higher knowledge of doctrine, in that we are just a little smarter than the person who still holds to his self righteous works but we should have the biblical view that we were serving idols and now we are serving God for the first time. This means those you worshiped with in the false gospel are STILL serving idols and are lost, dead in trespasses and sins, needing to be evangelized.

 After we believe the only true gospel we must call ALL other gospels false gospels, which means they are not used by God as the power of God unto salvation. This means those that believe these false gospels are lost and in need of evangelism. The offence of the cross is the fact that the gospel concerning the grace of God reigning through the righteousness of Christ imputed is OPPOSED to all other ways of salvation. This should be something often spoken of in the testimony of every believer. There is only one way. To hear the average person who claims to hold to the message of sovereign grace you would think there is more than one way of salvation, especially when it comes to their family or close friend who hold to a false gospel.

“And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” I Kings 18:27

Repent of your former religion and idolatry otherwise it is not former. We need not look to our old religion with pride but with shame. Burn that bridge (dung is a good fuel).

It is the duty of those who preach, defend, and promote the gospel to expose false prophets, false gospels, and false gods. God’s glory and His character is at stake. The truth must be upheld and defended. It is not enough just to declare truth but lies must be exposed. Many professional preachers compromise when it comes to these issues because they must keep the money coming in. If they offend with the truth they fear financial ruin. The ecumenical movement is fueled by this compromise along with the spirit of antichrist.

The prophet Elijah was not worried about compromise. He felt it was his duty to go as far as mocking the false god of Baal. He was not worried about his peers, prestige, or fame. He knew the only true and living God Almighty. He believed God and trusted Him. He had complete confidence in the success of God’s work. Elijah also knew that the god of the false prophets was a failure who could not get the job done.

The god of today that is preached about at 99% of churches is a miserable failure also. False prophets talk of a god who loves everybody without exception but lets the majority of them go to Hell. They talk of a “christ” who died for all without exception and the majority in up in Hell. They talk of a spirit that wants to save everybody but just cannot seem to convince most and the majority end up in Hell. This god spoken of today that fits this description is a god of people’s imagination. It certainly is not the God of the scriptures. This means people are committing idolatry by forming a god in their mind that does not match the God of the Bible.

The false god of today’s religion must be mocked as often as he is mentioned by false prophets. Pray for the deceived people but mock their god. A false god deserves no respect at all. Give people the truth of the gospel, how that Christ came and established a perfect righteousness by His obedience and death in satisfying the demands of God’s holy law and unbending justice. Upon the ground of that righteousness established and imputed to God’s people He can be both a just God and a Saviour. He is just when He justifies. All that God the Father chose will come to Him through the God-man Mediator, Christ Jesus the LORD. The Holy Spirit works mightily in the elect and gives them spiritual life to believe on Christ for their salvation. Not one for whom Christ died will be in Hell because He successfully put away their sin forever by His person and work. This God will ALWAYS accomplish His purpose and He is the only God available that can save at all. Worship Him or perish.

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I Corinthians 5:20—“we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

As ambassadors FOR Christ, we command all who hear, “’be ye reconciled”. Even though II Cor 5 is addressed to Christians only, the message taken by Christians to the lost is not for the elect only. The “be ye reconciled” is for those who have not yet been already justified.

Some “high Calvinists” don’t have a category for lost elect people. They would tell you that you were never lost, but that you only didn’t know you were already saved.

Many pastors (who are not Calvinists at all) like to say to people who are still legalists: some of you didn’t know the motives and how reconciliation worked, but you were already reconciled.

The elect have already been judged at the cross; everybody else will be judged, since all will be judged. But not all who were judged at the cross have been “baptized into that death” yet by God’s legal imputation. Since this is so, we should NOT talk to people assuming that they are Christians even though they don’t know the gospel yet.

To those who are still ignorant of the gospel, we don’t talk only about gratitude and freedom. Yes, we tell them that those for whom Christ died are thankful and free and pleasing to God. But we also tell them: if you don’t know the gospel and believe it yet, then you should be shut up to nothing but legal fear.

If Christ did not die for you, you should be afraid. Being afraid won’t save you. But legal fear is the reasonable response to not knowing the gospel. Because not knowing the gospel means knowing that you are not yet justified.

I do not want to preach terror to Christians. But we must not assume that people are Christians.

Do we address the people in church as if we are all elect, who have been believing some form of the gospel all along? “Close as in horseshoes”? Or do we say: some or all of you may need to be reconciled. Nobody is born reconciled. Let’s not presume. Let’s not beg the question.

Jerry Bridges, p34, Transforming Grace—“if you are trusting TO ANY DEGREE in your own morality, or if you believe that God will somehow recognize any of your good works as a reason for your salvation, you need to seriously consider if you are truly a Christian.”

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