lost in the wilderness is an experience most of you have never experienced. But,
many times we have been lost in a city, having had poor directions, or having
turned right instead of left.
are some aspects of being lost in the wilderness which parallel spiritual experiences
in an uncanny way.
is how to get hopelessly lost in the wilderness:
Do not tell anyone you are going into the forest or hiking some trail. That way,
they won't know you went hiking nor where you went, so they cannot find you.
Do not take a compass or map. If you do take a compass and map, and when they
do not agree with your instincts, you must assume the compass is wrong, and so
is the map.
Do not follow the well marked trail. Take off into the woods when you see something
more interesting. Wander around like that until you do not know where you are.
When you feel you have gotten lost, do not go back where you came from. Keep going
on under the assumption that you will find your destination just over the next
Spend your time, as you hike, picking flowers and berries and looking for nothing
but thrills and novel wonders. Do not bother to notice various landmarks along
Once you believe you are lost, panic. Run around in a frenzy looking for things
that are familiar. Climb hills and yell a lot. Do not go back to the point at
which you first realized you were lost.
Do not stop, whatever you do. Keep yourself totally exhausted as you keep chasing
objectives you imagine will lead you to civilization.
Finally, make a nice place to rest, lie down, and die.
it or not, Search and Rescue people have stories of people who just lay down and
died with fire starting materials, plenty of water, and three weeks of survival
do any of these eight steps to disaster sound a bit like your life? Hmmmm
through them again, asking the question, "Is this how I am living?"
is the last emotion of a hiker who is lost and has gone through all the wrong
steps to being rescued or getting home?
finally comes to the supreme conviction that no one will ever see or care about
him again. Just about the only way to have this totally destructive emotion is
to get yourself lost in a huge forest. A Search and Rescue team may be busy tracking
down a lost hiker, but he cannot visualize this. A four wheeler may come buzzing
over a hill in the next ten minutes. But, he has totally lost all bearings, he
has failed to find any signs of people or life, and his final conclusion is that
he is eternally condemned to oblivion.
is what Satan wants YOU also to think. Because you have backslidden so badly,
you must have lost your salvation. He wants you who have wandered off from Christ
and his Church to believe that no one misses you. No one will ever look in on
you. No one even thinks about you anymore. Meanwhile, someone may be weeping over
your folly every night as they go to sleep. A local church prayer meeting may
be praying their souls out every Wednesday evening over you. Your pastor may scan
every crowd, while he is shopping, to catch a glimpse of your face.
you threw your map (Bible) away long ago,
and you do not believe your compass (The Holy Spirit) anymore. You are frantically
trying to make order of your life, running up this hill, and into that valley,
believing that soon you will be happy and find order in your life. Finally, Satan
has told you, in the words of Lot's wife, "Curse God, and die."
are the kind of Lost Sheep that Jesus wants back in his fold. You have been caught
in some wicked sin, like the woman caught in adultery in the Gospels, and you
just know Jesus and his people will stone you if you return to his sheep fold.
This Jesus you fear is the one who told that woman caught in adultery, "Neither
to I condemn thee, go and sin no more."
your map, check the compass, and sit still. God will speak to you again. Your
friends from long ago will still love you and welcome you home to Christ's Church.
4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD
will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with
your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices
of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
I lived in the California Mojave Desert and pastored a church in a town called
Yermo, we had many hoboes and drifters get off the the trains that came through
our town, and they would come to our church to seek food and hand outs. I always
fed them, and I talked to them about their lives and the Gospel.
day a young man came to the church who said he had been on the train. I talked
with him, and he had quite a story. He told me he had been saved in Moody Church
in Chicago a couple years previously. He also said he had been a sodomite, and
he was greatly moved when he told me that the people at Moody Church accepted
his profession of faith in Christ, and they started him on the road to victory
over sodomy, and they helped him find work and prosper.
he got dejected for some reason. He told me he had gotten thoughts of the old
life of sodomy, and he decided to take a trip to San Francisco and see what the
sodomite life was like there. He went by bus with enough cash in his pockets to
have a good time. He visited some of the attractions of sodomte wickedness, and
he was loved by the sodomites for his money. He soon fell in with several sodomites
who convinced him they really loved him and cared about him. They also got him
drunk one night and stole all his money. They then threw him out on the street.
Sodomites are so special and caring, right? Bah!
no cash to speak of, he hopped a train and rode the rails to our town. I told
him he could repent of sin in our local church, and the people would forgive him
and accept him as a brother in the Lord. But, I also told him the story of Abraham.
Abraham lived in a semi-desert world as a herdsman. He also had an altar under
a tree at a place called Bethel where he worshipped God.
soon decided Egypt would be a fun place to live with all its modern ways and wealth.
So, he migrated there. Abraham found himself playing tricks, making morally bad
choices, and getting into trouble with the Egyptian leader. He finally repented,
took his family back home, and he worshipped again under the tree in Bethel.
asked the young man where his Bethel was. He told me, "In Moody Church in
Chicago, down at the altar of the church." He sure figured that out, and
I told him he needed to finish his trip home and do just that. I gave him food
and water, we prayed together, and off he went. I will learn in Heaven if he made
it home and to the altar and victory.
14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
you also fallen by your iniquity and sin?
were is YOUR Bethel? Remember the rule about being lost in the woods..... As soon
as you realize you are lost, back track, watching for familiar landmarks your
mind collected before you wandered.
HOUSE OF ISREAL
are two blasphemous teachings about the Jews, the House of Israel.
and all Reformed churches teach that the Covenant of God to Abraham and Israel
has been cancelled forever. They claim that the Jews will never fit into God's
plan in any special way in the future. This is false in two ways. First, the Jews
fit into the plan of salvation given in the New Testament. Jesus told us to preach
the Gospel to the whole world, "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Secondly, the prophecies of the Old Testament make it very clear that Israel will
be restored under their Messiah in the future. The book of Daniel, and the Revelation,
also tell of the re-establishment of Israel, tribe by tribe. In the coming Kingdom
of Messiah, a highway will one day run from Cairo to Nineveh, and the following:
8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten
men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold
of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard
that God is with you.
who claim God is not keeping his covenant with the Jews are blasphemers.
Two: John Hagee
and others teach that the Jews do not need to be converted by faith in Jesus Christ.
They claim that the Jews have a special relationship with God through their blood
line. This too is blasphemy:
10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the
way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But
go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
was lost when Jesus walked in Gallilee, and they are still lost.
11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite,
of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away
his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how
he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed
thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek
my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself
seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even
so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election
of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace
is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work
is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh
for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
today are blinded. The only exceptions are those who are elected by the foreknowledge
of God in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1). And, salvation
by grace is the only salvation Jews can receive today, just like the Gentiles.
A relationship with God cannot result by claiming a Jewish blood line, as some
blasphemers today claim. Any Jew who is born again had to confess faith in Jesus
Christ to receive salvation (Romans 10:8-11).
said this, it is also true that the Jews once had a relationship with God. They
lost it, and Jesus came to earth to seek those lost sheep back. This is indeed
a special relationship that Jews had with Jesus. Jesus' parable of the Good Shepherd
is all about Jesus seeking Jewish lost sheep. It is not about the saints of the
Lord's Church seeking lost Gentiles.
15:3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having
an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in
the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when
he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he
cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them,
Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you,
that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than
over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
reason this is all about Jews being brought back to zeal and faith in Christ the
Messiah is very obvious. The lost sheep BELONGED TO the shepherd. The sheep had
once been in the fold and had wandered off. This was not the conversion of a goat
to become a sheep. It was also not about the shepherd rustling maverick sheep
off of another shepherd. You Fundamental Baptist preachers are too lazy to seek
souls who are really lost. You go about the neighborhood rustling Baptists from
other local churches.
there are two ways to be lost, as with the Jews. During Jesus' ministry they were
considered lost sheep who needed to be restored to God their Shepherd. During
the Church Age, the Jews have been cut off of the tree and are now totally lost
and in need of salvation the same as any other sinner.
in this story, being "lost" was all about a believer wandering off from
the fold. A GOOD Sherperd goes out and looks for the backslidden saints. He is
NEVER satsfied with "churching" them, as in excommunication. His instincts
are like Christ his Lord, and he never gives up on the back slider. Way too many
of you slop hog preachers seem to rejoice in "churching" backsliders.
I have heard you myself, in pastor's rallies in the foyer, bragging on how you
"churched" some rebel. Your instincts are devilish, and I personally
consider you damned to hell hirelings. Real shepherds are never satisfied to run
their sheep off.
is a passage which is prophetic and speaks of the coming Kingdom on earth of Messiah
Jesus Christ. This text answers both of the herecies I discussed above about the
Jews and Israel. Here, the Jew is seen as having a dead heart and in need of a
whole new regeneration. This is the regeneration accomplished through Christ on
the cross. You also see in this text the literal restoration of Israel and Jerusalem.
Those who claim God has pitched the Jews into prophetic oblivion are heretics,
and that is my final verdict on them:
36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all
your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart
also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take
away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes,
and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the
land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call
for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will
multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive
no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31 Then shall ye remember your
own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves
in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Not for
your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and
confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. 33 Thus saith the Lord GOD;
In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also
cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. 34 And
the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all
that passed by. 35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become
like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become
fenced, and are inhabited. 36 Then the heathen that are left round about you
shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate:
I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. 37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I
will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I
will increase them with men like a flock. 38 As the holy flock, as the flock
of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks
of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
you are a Jew reading here, you need to underestand that you have NO relationship
with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You have a stony heart which needs
to be replaced by Jesus Christ with a living heart. You may read at the following
link about the Gospel Jesus preached and how you can be truly restored to Jehoveh.
are all those in the world who are not Jews. That is what is implied in all Bible
texts. The Gentiles could come to the Temple in Jerusalem, but they had to remain
in the outer court. They are "made nigh" by the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and Christ ordered all Bible believers to preach the Gospel to the Jews first,
and also to the Greeks. The Greeks are an alternate usage for Gentiles. The world
if Jesus' day was dominated by the language Greek, and the Greek Helenist culture
dominated the known world, including north Africa.
2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who
are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh
made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from
the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having
no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes
were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
a Jew, receives revelation from God about Messiah Jesus Christ.
Luke 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten
the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
died for the Gentiles just as certainly as for the Jews. He said he would build
his Church, and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. As we read the
New Testament, we see that Paul, and other evangelists, went throughout the whole
Gentile world they knew preaching the Gospel, and local churches resulted in many
we see that "nations or Gentiles" are distinct from Israel.
Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom
thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the
people of Israel, were gathered together,
were just as guilty of killing Christ as the Jewish leaders were.
the Gentiles are a distinct group from Israel. Here "Gentiles" are non-Israelites.
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he
is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and
the children of Israel:
Apostle Paul was specially chosen by Christ to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.
We have several denominations today who do not feel compelled to take the Gospel
to anyone. They are all Calvinists. The idea is, if God wants them bad enough,
he will find a way to get them. The Primitive Baptists, Reformed Baptists, and
all the Reformed denominations, fall into this category. I have known these people,
and when I speak of the Gospel, they go silent.
of these disciples of that theologian from the Kingdom of France are not even
born again. Born again Bible believers have a God-given instinct to speak to the
lost about Jesus Christ and the Gospel. The Primitive Baptists actually believe
that the concept of sending missionaries to the lost is wicked. People who despise
the Gospel and have a go-to-Hell attitude toward lost souls, ARE NOT BORN AGAIN.
They are hirelings.
of the Reformed church movements have become bored stiff with the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. If the conversion of the Gentiles were up to them, Gentiles could just
go to Hell. When I got into a duscussion on Facebook with some Lutherans about
doctrine, I asked them when was the last time they talked about Jesus Christ in
the market place. At that point, they raged on me with quotes from theologians.
These rebels believe that God is entirely responsible for souls going to Heaven
or Hell, so the creeps think they will not answer for their rebellion against
the command of Christ to preach the Gospel.
was to take the Gospel to the "nations" and to the sons of Israel.
Acts 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest
all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought
not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Jews who were converted by Paul's witness were "among the Gentiles."
This means that the early Church was made up of lost Jews and lost Gentiles who
were born again. They then became "brethren" with one another, and Paul
taught the churches to have no tribal or racial distinctions. The Jewish religious
leaders hated this because, like most Reformed Church people today, the Jewish
leaders believed all Gentiles should go to Hell.
we have Jews who are among the "nations", two separate groups.
Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest
be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of
Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be
my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Jew who is lost and then found by his faith in Jesus Christ is at once to become
a light, or a soul winner, of Gentiles he knows. Any Jew who claims to be born
again, while he totally avoids Gentiles, is a rebel whom Christ will chasten,
that is, if that Jew is really born again.
was going to use Jacob and Israel to be a light to the "nations."
Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,
which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek:
and his rest shall be glorious.
the line of David would come a Savoir, and his Church is indeed glorious. He,
Messiah will finally return to earth, and he will set up a Kingdom and rule all
the Gentiles. These Gentiles will then have the opportunity to worship Christ
and be converted.
"nations" non-Israelites, would then seek the Lord, when Ephraim and Judah were
Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of
Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Jews from all the earth will be gathered back into the Kingdom territory of Israel
again under Messiah Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate finding of lost sheep.
the Old Testament era, both Jews and Gentiles were equally lost and worthy of
Jeremiah 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that
he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith
the LORD. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all
them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; 26 Egypt, and Judah, and
Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners,
that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all
the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
26 makes it clear that Judah went into rebellion against Jehovah right along with
the other Gentile nations.
should be clear here that "nations" or "heathen" does not mean Israel.
Isreal is in dispersion now, as in "lost," and they need to be found
and gathered back to their land.
Ezekiel 28:25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have
gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and
shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell
in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
Ezekiel 36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had
profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
"nations" and Israel are at times two distinct peoples. The spiritually lost includes
the house of Israel but also refers to the non-Israelites.
Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went
both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude
both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews
stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
term "Gentile" or "nations" is used of non-Jews. The "nations," non-Israelites
coming to faith in Messiah, was foretold by the prophets:
Deuteronomy 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that
which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will
move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to
anger with a foolish nation.
as a Gentile (non-Jew) you are lost because you have not confessed faith in Christ.
It cannot be assumed that Christ has not found you..... he has. He knows everything
about you. He is not willing that you should perish, and he asks you to come unto
him by faith.
staying lost is really a sad thing because you have already been found by Christ.
But, he insists that you confess faith in him in order for you to go from being
lost to being found in the sense of salvation and being born again.
Japanese soldier, Shoichi Yokoi, during World War II, hid in the jungle as the
American forces retook the Phillipines. This soldier was told by local Phillipinos
that the war was lost by Japan and had ended. He refused to accept this fact,
and he stayed hidden in the jungle until 1974. He believed that accepting defeat
would be a disgrace. Only after being formally relieved of duty by his former
commanding officel, did Shoichi Yokoi surrender and return to Japan.
why are you willing to stay lost?
have a section in this journal for you to read to learn how to change your lost
state to one of belonging to God through Jesus Christ. FIND
Cochrane lived in Michigan in Newaygo County near Grant. As a young man he was
a fighting Irishman, and he knocked out many a tooth for the sheer joy of educating
some trouble maker.
idea of a good time was to head for the bar in the evening and pick a fight with
anyone he could. He had fists the size of hams, his hands were gnarled and leathery,
and he was famous around Grant, Michigan for his hot Irish temper.
was not a big man, but he was all steel and grit. Sinners feared him and saints
avoided him-- well, all except brother Uhe. Brother Uhe got to Orrie somehow,
and lead him to faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.
changed in that his fists got sanctified, but his zeal just moved over to become
rode through the countryside with Orrie one day. He loved old Cadillacs. I think
it was a little latent Irish philosophy. No one could argue with his Cadillac,
which was helpful, because the more excited Orrie got, the more of the road and
right of way he used as he herded the Cadillac down the road. One time he got
so involved edifying his wife on some great biblical doctrine that he ran right
off the road and over a wall.
we rode through the farm land that day, at about 30 miles per hour, Orrie had
an editorial for every farm house we passed.
talked to him about the Lord last week. He listened and said he needed to get
saved, but not yet. I'm going back pretty soon to see if he's ready."
"That guy told me to go
to hell, but I ain't going to do it" (Grinning from ear to ear).
"I had to work on that fella
for ten years. He didn't want to listen, but he finally gave in. He's a deacon
at the Baptist church now."
haven't been to this guy's place yet. I wonder if the Lord is mad at me for not
trying to get him saved?"
method was very direct, and he had a quality that is nearly gone from the Lord's
Church today-- He feared God. He absolutely believed that God would shorten his
life or chasten him if he didn't go witness. Add one more quality-- Orrie loved
those folks intensely. He thought that there was no bigger favor he could do for
them than to give them the Gospel.
came to a farm house which had been sectioned off from the original farm property.
The man there had an electric motor winding and repair shop. Orrie pulled
in, and he dug an old greasy motor out of the floor of the back seat. He carried
it into the shop, and told the man he needed it fixed and cleaned up. The fellow
showed real affection for Orrie. Everyone in the area did. The sinners viewed
Orrie as a sort of legend. Remembering his Irish fire and fists before he
got saved, they knew that Jesus' power had changed Orrie.
took the conversation to Jesus with an ease I have seldom seen. The Holy Spirit
used Orrie's understanding of the old life to help him wiggle in right next to
these old country boys. Pretty soon, Orrie sensed he had said enough, and we said
good bye and got in the car and drove off.
we went down the road, Orrie turned to me with a sly grin, and said, "I'm going
to get that fella for Jesus pretty soon." What a blessing and what an inspiration
Orrie was-- except that we were half way into the ditch. I yelled, then Orrie
yelled, "Wooooa," corrected, and we flew all the way across the road to the other
ditch and used it for a while. We got home safely, and the coffee pot was on.
It was good to know Jesus in Orrie.
by the way, Orrie specialized only in witnessing to men. He left the ladies
to the Christian ladies. I am getting sick of these fornicating Gospel hustlers
from Hammond, Indiana who seem to specialize in getting ladies saved. Too
much Max Brand, I say. They like to "take them by the hand and pray for them."
Orrie knew how to stay with the men. A real man in Christ gets a genuine
delight in being a sinner-man's friend.
went to be with the Lord he loved so well in January of 1996. Praise God
for his faithful example!
will not add much to that account of a real soul winner. He knew how to find lost
souls, and he loved them for Jesus' sake. He never gave up on a sinner. Orrie
had a very clear understanding that Hell is hot, and his lost friends were going
to burn there forever if they did not repent and confess Christ as their Savior.
A friend being lost and not found, to Orrie, was the supreme tragedy.
you fear God? OK, I will take your word for it. But, do you believe that God might
chasten you and send you some serious trouble if you do not talk to sinners about
Jesus and his salvation? It is a horrible thing to be lost and unable to find
your way home. Those unsaved friends of yours are LOST, and their only change
of being found is when you finally bring them home to Jesus.
Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant
unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew,
that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law,
that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without
law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,)
that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak,
that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all
means save some.
is the teaching that God determines a point in a person's life where he, God,
will no longer seek the conversion and salvation of that person. At that point,
the person can no longer repent or believe and be saved.
is gracious. His grace accepts and loves us as we are; it calls and invites us
to change. Every instance of renewed grace is an opportunity for renewed repentance.
But eventually the clock will reach midnight and time will be up. There will be
no further opportunities to repent. Is that dead end only at death, or does God
sometimes walk away from unrepentant sinners and let them start on their way to
eternal damnation while they are still living? In other words, God pulls the plug
on the offer of the Gospel.
and some Reformed men, cannot accept this possibility. They may talk about, "Your
time may be up soon," but they do not really want God to give up on anyone.
That seems unloving of God. Maybe we need to learn to agree with God instead of
is a church addressed by Christ in The Revelation, Chapter 2, the church at Thiratyra.
They were strong in many ways, but they tolerated a Jezebel to participate in
their lives, and Christ was very angry over this:
2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the
Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like
fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and
thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding
I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which
calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication,
and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent
of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into
a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they
repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all
the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and
I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you
I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which
have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other
key text in this study of Terminism is verse 21 through 22:
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into
great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
is clearly a limit to the offer of repentance. Here, it is referred to as "space."
Space is limited in
this context, and verse 22 shows that Christ had reached the terminus of his tolerance
of the wickedness of the Jezebel church. From this point on, though the members
of the Jezebel church are still alive and active, they are doomed and damned and
with no further options to repent.
Apostle Paul, on Mars Hill in Athens, warned lost sinners of their urgent situation.
They had come to this moment in ignorance, but Paul tells them that they are henceforth
gambling with the terminal possibility of grace:
17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that
the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men
every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he
will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof
he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Paul says to the Corinthians:
Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the
day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold,
now is the day of salvation.)
keep pushing back the "now" is up to God, NOT YOU. You may think that
you will one day find God when you are ready for whatever he offers you, but it
is God who is finding you. You are lost and dead in sin. Your reasoning is cutting
God out of the whole picture, and he clearly reserves his divine right to call
off the search for your lost soul. You are gambling eternity on this game you
are playing with God.
choice you make to live up to the edge of eternity, reclining on your death bed,
and at the last minute run to God, is damned folly at its worst.
9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog
is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but
the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory
of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy,
is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that
is done under the sun.
death may be your experience, and God will not save you on the mistaken notion
by you that he is desperate for your company. He will not do you the least small
favor, let alone save your soul, just because you let him out of the wood shed
at the last minute. You may find that God is not there anymore, and you cannot
it is quite possible to be lost from God for your whole life, totally reject the
mercy of God and his salvation, and one day find that you have no opportunities
left, for the rest of your life, to become "unlost".
you who are born again need to understand that there are sinners out there whom
the Holy Spirit is no longer calling to salvation. What is the solution to this,
especially if such sinners happen to be your sons and daughters or parents?
your unsaved friends and family, "given over"?
1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to
corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own
hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the
truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the
Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up
unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that
which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural
use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working
that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error
which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,
God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness,
maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things,
disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without
natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of
God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same,
but have pleasure in them that do them.
Paul says that God "gave them over". What does this mean? The Greek
implications are even worse than the English. The idea is to surrender or give
up. Now, God in no way is limited in his power to do as he pleases, but God also
will never force himself on lost sinners. He wants them to choose to come to him
and be converted and saved from damnation.
there is a real possibility that, while your lost friends and family are still
under God's attention, and while the Holy Spirit is still calling to them, you
are waiting or worried about what they will think of you if you really give them
the Gospel as Christ commanded you. Then, one day, you will get your nerve up,
speak to them about Christ, and God will be GONE. The Holy Spirit will no longer
be calling them. They are damned, and it is too late for even you to talk them
are standing on a rock upstream from Niagara Falls. You see a man, on an inner
tube, merrily floating slowly toward you from upstream. You have a lifeline in
your hand, but the man is busy playing with his I-phone. You do not want to upset
him or be laughed at, so you decide to wait until he is closer to warn him he
is heading toward destruction. Finally, you start yelling warnings to the man.
You throw the lifeline. But, he is too far along and he cannot grab the rope now.
Finally, you watch as he is swept over the falls.
man is terminal and out of reach of God in spite of your wimpy concern.
are you waiting in idle plight? Won't you go forth and do what's right? Millions
are dying your Savior to know; Won't you say, "Lord, I'll go"?
you go forth to speak today, To your own neighbor or those far away? Many
are ready to hear the call; Won't you say, "Lord, I'll go"?
19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying
in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the
mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion,
making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the
fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is
able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence
of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory
and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
discusses how to relate to lost people. In verse 22 we see that the lost need
compassion. This temperament is found in all soul winners who produce fruit. The
feeling that the lost have a terrible destiny, and that the lost are experiencing
a miserable life now, is the emotion which moves saints to talk to sinners about
Jesus Christ. If you have no such compassion, as with most Reformed Christians,
you are worthless as tits on a boar hog. The first duty of a Christian to the
world is to preach the Gospel to them.
Jude tells us to make a difference. The Greek implies that this means we are to
discriminate, judge, or show partiality. There are sinners who are wretched and
hateful toward the Gospel and Christ. They have made this clear by their conduct
and their speech. These sinners, while we may have compassion on them, must be
left to proceed toward Hell unmolested. They are a waste of time.
I was writing this article I had a Muslim sending me email in which he was complaining
about my web site where I posted my book on Islam online. I have had many emails
from Muslims who were troubled by the book, but they were willing to have an intelligent
discussion. Some Muslims have been born again after reading the book. But, the
present fellow is pouring out loads of hate and rage. He ordered me to take the
book off the web, as if he is some sort of official with that authority. I have
had this from Muslims several times. They have been acculturated by Islam to believe
they can boss the world around, and we Kaffirs must obey them.
is no way I can help this fellow, even though I feel bad that his mind and soul
have been so warped by the Mullahs of Islam. I asked him if he had a copy of the
Hadith, the sayings of Muhammed. He refused to answer me, and I know he will not
bother to check my quotations in the Hidith. Perhaps 95% of all Muslims have never
read the Hadith all the way through.
the man is now blocked. He even made other email addresses so he could keep nagging
me. This is a classic case of "making a difference." God is not pleased
when we keep spending time on hateful people who just want to blaspheme Christ
and hate the Gospel. Move on to someone who will listen.
am reminded of Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus did not go looking for Pharisees
to give the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Pharisees had to go looking for Jesus.
He taled with them, but in nearly every case he verbally slapped them and stood
them down. On the other hand, Jesus seems to have clearly gone out of his way
to minister to the devil possessed man of Gadara. Jesus ended up in spiritual
warfare with the devils in the man, and it was a bit messy. But, the devils were
sent out of the man, and he followed Jesus. Jesus clearly knew how to "make
a difference" between hateful self-righteous fools and people who would receive
you are not called to win all the lost to Christ. There are some people who are
lost and intend to stay lost.
A backslider is a believer
who has turned back into the old ways of sin in which he lived before being born
again. It is very common for pastors and church members to speculate that a backslider
was never born again in the first place. This is blasphemy, for if the person
confessed his faith openly in Jesus Christ, he is still saved. It is not possible
for a born again person to lose his salvation.
10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any
man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater
than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
is blasphemy, and a gross sin against Jesus Christ, to try to wrest a born again
believer out of the hand of God and Jesus, and that is true regardless of how
horribly backslidden that person is. In fact, if your pastor regularly tries to
build a case for making a formerly born again believer a lost sinner again, clear
out of that church. Your pastor is a blasphemer who does not believe Jesus can
keep a soul saved for eternity.
we "church" the lost, or shall we search for them?
instincts of a Good Shepherd, as Jesus taught here:
15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not
leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost,
until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders,
rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and
neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which
is a story from the writings of the early Church fathers about the Apostle John.
This story is reported by Early Church Fathers in their writings. In his old age
John lived in Ephesas. John had gotten to know a notorious bandit, and through
John's witness, the bandit confessed his faith in Jesus Christ. John then left
the area for a while, perhaps during his exile to the Island of Patmos where he
received the book of the Revelation of prophecy. When he returned home, he found
the bandit had backslidden and returned to his old gang of thugs in the hills.
John at once prepared to leave and go to the hills to look for the man. The church
people begged John not to go looking for the man because they were sure the bandit
would kill John. John went anyway, and when he found the bandit he wept for the
man and begged him to repent and return to a victorious Christian life. The bandit
became broken hearted by the love of John, and he did repent and return to victory.
ONLY instinct of a godly pastor is to look for the backslider and beg him to return
to live for Christ again. If your pastor's instinct is to excommunicate the backslider
and command you to shun him, your pastor is really a hireling, and I suggest you
find another church right away. Your pastor's instincts are Satanic, not like
BY THE BROOK CHERITH
you ever feel like God put you in some place, and then he went out to lunch and
abandoned you? Elijah had a problem like that.
Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said
unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall
not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2 And the word
of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward,
and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 And it shall
be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed
thee there. 5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he
went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6 And the ravens
brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening;
and he drank of the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook
dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
for friends (the lost who have no spiritual instincts) are feeding Elijah. Have
you ever been so short of Christian friends that the unsaved seemed to be your
you living in the wilderness? God is taking care of you, but you are going nowhere,
right? Well, that may very well be exactly where God wants you. God is providing
for you, but you feel whipped and lonely.
is the lost feeling, like when a hiker enters the wilderness and gets lost going
where he was supposed to go. But, in this case, God has not left you. You are
not alone. It will end one day, but until that day, you are right where God wants
you. Stop counting you sorrows, and start counting your blessings. The ravens
are there feeding you, and the enemy cannot touch you as long as you are where
God wants you.
sovereignty of God is still operating. God is standing there with you, but even
more important, he is on down the road around the bend where you cannot see. Only
God can live in the future, and only God takes total responsibility for the future.
Stop trying to take on yourself the responsibility for tomorrow.
are not forgotten. God is not punishing you. You have not really lost your way.
You may well be exactly where God wants you.
Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye
are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may
be able to bear it.
wife and I were assigned to help develop a youth camp at Lake Langano in Ethiopia.
No sooner had we gotten there than the camp ran out of cash. Everything stopped.
The other missionary with us, who was the director of the work, decided to return
to Canada on furlough. He and his wife stayed there for quite a long time. We
were alone on the camp site, and we did not know much of the national language.
We realized we were there only to keep the camp from being vacant. So, we planted
a garden and settled in to be keepers. We had no serious work to do, and it was
discouraging. I ran the bush clinic, or at least I gave out medicine for the things
I could diagnose, like malaria, dysentary, and wounds.
we determined that the other missionary might return to the camp if there were
funds, and we asked the mission if we could go on furlough early and see if God
would help us raise the funds. They agreed, and off we went back to the USA. On
that short furlough the Lord moved a Christian publishing house to set up a matching
fund. We went to work speaking to churches about the matching fund, and when the
time was up we had the donations to finish the camp and build a new medical clinic
which was needed badly. We went back to the field, and the other missionary came
back to finish the camp and clinic.
for nine months during that process we were nothing but baby sitters. Was anything
accomplished? We concluded we had been doing nothing but killing time. We were
wrong. The local Africans of the Galla tribe were watching us, and when I planted
a large garden I had no idea how this affected the Africans' view of us. They
decided we liked living there, and we were their kind of people. When we left
for furlough, we left all of our possessions in the care of the chief's son who
worked for us. He watched over the whole station, and when we returned everything
was right were we had left it. The Africans again were watching, and they condluded
we trusted them like family. Other missionaries usually packed up their possessions
when they went on furlough and stored them.
were not told these things until months later. While we were at Lake Langao the
other missionary and I were made elders in the Galla tribe, and we were told that
all protection by them was ours. I had no idea how rare this gesture was at the
time. When we returned from furlough the mission asked us to go to language school,
and we left Lake Langano. Soon, Marxists overthrew the government of Ethiopia,
and everything became uncertain. We were about to go to work at a youth center
down country, but instead we were asked to go to another field. The mission had
decided to drastically downsize so that the American missionaries would not cause
Aftican Christians in the church to suffer for being friends of Americans. We
went to Kenya and joined another mission and continued there until our next furlough.
were we at Lake Langano. Our missionary partner, after building the clinic, and
after the coup caused much trouble, reslized that the youth camp idea would look
subversive to the Marxist government. So, he turned to the local Galla tribal
people. He called a meeting of all the tribal chiefs and leaders. He then told
them that they had seen us living with them, and they had heard the Gospel. They
had seen several of their young adults become Christians, and God caused these
new Christians to never get sick. The Africans had been watching, and the leaders
had a long discussion. They concluded that they would confess faith in Christ,
and suddenly our partner missionary had to form a local church and start teaching
this time, we were in Kenya, but a missionary leader from Ethiopia visited us
in Kenya, and he told us that the nine months we lived alone with the Africans
in the bush, and the fact that we trusted them with our worldly possessions, and
the doctoring I had done all were used by God to move the hearts of those African
leaders to Christ. Our fellow missionary had done much the same thing, and his
wife was the nurse who ran the clinic.
months doing nothing? Not on God's schedule. He was using us while we felt we
were accomplishing nothing.
are not lost. You are right where God wants you. Start counting your blessings,
and be patient. One day, down the road, you will learn what God is doing with
have discussed several ways to be lost, and we have identified different groups
of lost people. Are you in one of them? If so, the chances of you being found
depend on you. We talked about being lost in the wilderness. The first step to
being found is to stop wandering and imagining you will find you way out of peril
by moving on. Stop, and meditate on how you got where you are now. Back track
to the place where you first knew you were lost. Try to see landmarks which you
saw before you were lost.
a person who never knew Christ as their Savior: The
last you may remember is someone, or some event, which caused you to understand
that you were lost. Is that person who confronted you still available? If not,
who can you find who will give you the same message you once heard? One clue would
be to try to recall a Christian who spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ, maybe
a Christian whom you thought of as a fanatic. Perhaps you read something in the
Bible that got your attention. See if you can find that text again, and start
your journey back to being found at that text.
important thing to remember is that Jesus Christ is eager to be your Savior. If
these things make sense to you, and if you feel a longing to belong to Christ,
that is the Spirit of God who has opened your mind to receive the truth. I have
posted the Gospel message here on this journal. I would like you to go there,
read the Bible book of John, and you will find your way to Jesus Christ.
word of caution is in order. We talked about "Terminism." This is a
point at which God stops looking for you. This will only happen if you push God
away over and over. God may step back and stop trying to find you. Please start
your journey to Jesus Christ now.
the Christian who has known Christ, but you walked away from him: You
know very well where you were when you were not lost. By "Lost" I mean
back slidden. You cannnot lose your salvation no matter who told you you could.
Your feeling of being lost now is due to the way you are living. Confess this
to God, and name the sin..... rebellion. Then, go back down the trail to that
point where you had victory, and get right with God and his people.
someone has taught you that God will throw you away, and you can lose your salvation,
THEY LIED. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus Christ, AND God, will not
let go of you once you confess your faith in Christ. The liars you have heard
teach that you can lose your salvation are servants of Satan, and they teach doctrine
of devils. Here is what Jesus said:
10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I
give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than
all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
you feel lost, it is simply that you went away from Christ. He did not leave you,
and he did not decide to send you to Hell after all. You need to get right back
to walking with your Shepherd Jesus just as fast as you can.
you want to rebel and keep wandering around in the wilderness feeling lost, go
right ahead. The choice is yours. Maybe one day soon you will get tired of "Sittin'
on the Dock of the Bay."
church members: There
are thousands of people who are members of churches, some large and some small,
who are actually lost. The Roman Catholic Church, and all Reformed churches, have
a practice which dooms millions to Hell. They baptize infants. You may wonder
how this can damn a person to Hell. The problem is, baptism is not the way God
told us to go from being lost to being found by Jesus Christ. Here is the ONLY
plan for salvation in the Bible:
10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with
thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth
unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
baby cannot confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus. The best confession he can
get out is to wail for his mother's breast. But, it takes a conscious mind, with
a good measure of maturity, to confess faith in Jesus Christ. This is because
a lost person must come to the place where they understand they are lost. That
is the only way you can become found and cease to be lost.
you may have been comforted as a child to learn that you were baptized into your
church. You may even have gone through catechism classes, made a "Confession,"
and you were "Confirmed" by your church's leaders. This process probably
had nothing to do with you becoming aware of your sin, and you probably never
felt like you were lost. You were processed by a system of religion which gave
you comfort. But, you have never confessed openly your faith in Jesus Christ.
You see, standing in your local church and answering some questions corrrectly
has nothing to do with the Gospel and salvation.
test of your zeal for Jesus Christ is that you talk about him to people outside
the church who are lost and need to be found. Here is what Jesus said:
12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the
Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me
before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
you have no urge to talk to lost people about your faith in Jesus Christ, or if
you make excuses about being "the silent type," you are lost. Your instincts
are not those of a born again "found" believer in Jesus Christ. You
need to first confess your faith in Jesus to him first, and then you need to start
talking about Jesus Christ to people you meet or work with. No amount of church
attendance or religious activity will save you if you have never openly confessed
your faith in Jesus Christ.
a warning is needed to Baptists, Charismatics, and other groups who seem to be
on the Narrow Way. You can go through all the motions, walk the aisle, get baptized,
and keep all the picky little laws of your church and pastor..... and go to Hell
anyway. The issue is whether of not you confessed your faith in Jesus Christ,
or did you simply like the company and the pretty girls?
had married lady friend who thought she was born again, and she was keeping all
the Baptist Standards she knew about very legalistically. She and her husband
were good friends of ours. She read my presentation of the Gospel in this journal,
and she was a bit offended. She called her husband and told him that I was teaching
that the only thing a person needed to do to be born again was to confess their
faith in Jesus to other people and believe the Gospel in their heart. Her husband
went into a bit of a panic, for he realized his wife did not know that the Gospel
was by faith alone plus nothing. But, he was patient and caring, and he told her
my teaching was exactly right. Then, the lady panicked. She realized she was trying
to keep herself saved by good works. She confessed Christ as her Savoir, and she
became a different person. All of her law and "standards" keeping were
modified or totally abandoned. She was lost and was found by Christ.
this, dear reader, Hell will be full of good loyal Episcopalians, Methodists,
Fundamental Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, and many more.
These will be people who were zealous for a human institution called a church,
but they never confessed Jesus Christ before other people. They trusted in their
you stand before God to answer his question, "What did you do about my Son,
Jesus?" If you did nothing, you will say, "AIN'T
NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MINE." Talk about "The Blues," my friend......
Ain't nothing bluer than that.