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Archive for February, 2009

A Great Test (Thanks Lisa)

ExamSet a side a few minutes to take the following test. Don’t skip any… you’ll miss the point:

1. In the creation of the whole universe and of man in particular,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose to create everything including man.

b. Man chose to be created, and God knew ahead of time that man wanted to be created, so on that condition He created man according to man’s wishes.

c. Man decided he wanted everything including himself created, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

2. In the account of Noah and the flood,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Noah and his family to be rescued from the coming flood.

b. Noah wanted to be saved from the coming judgment, so God knew ahead of time that Noah
wanted to be saved, so on that condition He rescued Noah and his family according to their wishes.

c. Noah decided to build the ark on his own, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

3. In the account of Abram,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Abram to be the father of His people and the father of many nations.

b. Abram wanted to become the father of God’s people, and God knew ahead of time that

Abram wanted to be the father of His people, so on that condition He called Abram to be the father of the Hebrews and of many nations.

c. Abram decided to leave Ur to go to Canaan to be the father of a new people, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

4. In the account of the twins Jacob and Esau,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Jacob and not Esau even before they were born.

b. Even before he was born, Jacob wanted to be chosen by God, and God knew ahead of time
that Jacob wanted to be chosen, so on that condition He chose Jacob instead of Esau even before they were born.

c. Even before he was born, Jacob decided he wanted to be chosen over his brother Esau, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

5. In the account of the tribe of Judah,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Judah and not the other eleven tribes to be the tribe from which the Messiah would come.

b. Judah wanted to be the tribe from which the Messiah would come, so God knew ahead of
time that Judah wanted to be chosen, so on that condition He set apart Judah as the chosen tribe from which the Messiah would come.

c. Judah decided to be the special tribe from which the Messiah would come, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

6. In the account of Joseph,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Joseph to be sold into slavery by his brothers so that Joseph could be the one to rescue his family from a coming famine.

b. Joseph wanted to be sold into slavery by his brothers, and he wanted to go to Egypt and be
separated from his family for many years, so God knew ahead of time that Joseph wanted
to go through all that, so on that condition God chose Joseph to be the deliverer of his family.

c. Joseph decided to do everything mentioned above, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

7. In the account of Moses,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Moses to be the deliverer of His people who were in bondage in Egypt.

b. Moses wanted to be the deliverer of God’s people, and God knew ahead of time that Moses wanted to be the deliverer of God’s people, so on that condition God chose Moses to be the deliverer who would lead His people out of Egypt.

c. Moses decided to become the deliverer of God’s people, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

8. In the account of the tribe of Levi,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose the tribe of Levi to be the tribe from which would come all those who would minister at the Tabernacle.

b. The tribe of Levi wanted to become that tribe from which all would come who would minister at the Tabernacle, and God knew that the tribe of Levi wanted that distinction, so on that condition God chose the tribe of Levi for that purpose.

c. The tribe of Levi decided to be the tribe from which all would come who would minister at the Tabernacle, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

9. In the account of Joshua,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Joshua to lead His people after the death of Moses.

b. Joshua wanted to become the next leader of God’s people, and God knew ahead of time that Joshua wanted that position, so on that condition God chose Joshua to lead His people after the death of Moses.

c. Joshua decided to become the leader of God’s people after the death of Moses, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

10. In the account of all the judges in Israel,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will chose which people He would raise up to be judges to lead His people.

b. Certain people volunteered to be judges, so God knew ahead of time they wanted to serve as judges, so God chose those people to be His judges.

c. Certain people stepped forward to be judges, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

11. In the account of David,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose the shepherd boy David to be His king over Israel.

b. The shepherd boy chose to be King, and God knew ahead of time that David wanted to be King, so on that condition God chose David, son of Jesse, to be King over Israel.

c. David decided to leave the sheep and become King over Israel, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

12. In the account of Jeremiah,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Jeremiah before he was born to be His prophet to His people.

b. Jeremiah while he was in his mother’s womb chose to become God’s prophet, and God knew ahead of time that Jeremiah wanted to be a prophet, so on that condition God chose Jeremiah to be His prophet.

c. Jeremiah decided to become a prophet, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

13. In the account of Jonah,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Jonah to be His prophet to Ninevah.

b. Jonah wanted to become a prophet to Ninevah, and God knew ahead of time that Jonah wanted to be a prophet, so on that condition God chose Jonah to be His prophet.

c. Jonah decided to become a prophet, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

14. In the account of all the other prophets,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose which men would be His prophets.

b. Certain men wanted to become prophets, and God knew ahead of time which ones wanted to become prophets, so on that condition God chose them to be His prophets.

c. Certain men decided to become prophets, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

15. In the account of Mary and Joseph,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose out of all the people in Israel which ones, Mary and Joseph, would be the earthly parents of His Son.

b. Mary and Joseph wanted to be the earthly parents of God’s Son, and God knew ahead of time they wanted to be the parents of His Son, so on that condition God chose them above everyone else to be the earthly parents of the Lord.

c. Mary and Joseph decided to become the earthly parents of God’s Son, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

16. In the account of the place of Jesus’ birth,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Bethlehem to be the birth place of His Son.

b. The town of Bethlehem wanted to be the birth place of God’s Son, and God knew ahead of time that it wanted to be the birth place of the Messiah, so on that condition God chose Bethlehem to be the birth place of His Son.

c. Bethlehem decided to become the birth place of the Messiah, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

17. In the account of the twelve apostles of our Lord,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose which twelve men would be the apostles.

b. Twelve men wanted to become the apostles of Jesus, and God knew ahead of time which ones wanted to be His apostles, so on that condition God chose those twelve to be the apostles of Jesus Christ.

c. Twelve men decided to become the apostles of Jesus, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

18. In the account of the apostle Paul,

a. God out of His sovereign pleasure and will unconditionally chose Paul (Saul of Tarsus) even before he was born to be an apostle.

b. Saul of Tarsus, before he was even born, wanted to become an apostle of Jesus Christ, and God knew ahead of time that Saul wanted to become an apostle, so on that condition God chose Saul to be His apostle.

c. Saul decided to become an apostle even before he was born, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

19. In the account of the love of God,

a. God unconditionally loved us, His people, before we first loved Him.

b. We wanted to love God, and God knew ahead of time we wanted to love Him, so on that condition He loved us.

c. We decided to love God, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

20. In the account of a great number of sinners who would be saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for God’s glory alone,

b. A great number of sinners wanted to be saved, and God knew ahead of time who those people were who wanted to be saved, so on that condition God chose those people to be saved.

c. A great number of sinners decided to be saved, and God stood by and said “okay” and gave His stamp of approval.

So, how did you do on this multiple choice test regarding the Master’s choice? Wait just a minute. . .I think I hear a word of protest.

Maybe most have figured out by now that one of the multiple choice statements is missing one important possible answer.

I venture to say that much of the current stream of Christian thought seems to think that answer does not exist anyway, even if scriptural consistency demands it to be there.

But, on a more hopeful note, if more believers begin to have their eyes opened to the truth of God’s uncondtional election all the way from eternity past to eternity future, then the word of protest will not be directed at what is missing in one of the statements on this man-made test. Instead, it will be directed toward what is vitally missing in the individual’s Christian life, teaching and practice today, and what is missing in the church’s life, teaching and practice today.

While I saw this on Lisa’s Facebook page, it was originally posted by Chris Humphreys.

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MacArthur’s Latest Book

right-thinking-book-picture John MacArthur and the Leadership Team of Grace Community Church have done it again. “Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong” is the latest book everyone should add to their library. A description of the book can be found here. The last several articles on the Shepherd’s Fellowship blog have been dedicated to chapters of the book. For those of you looking for graduation gifts this year, this is a great idea. Just my opinion of course.

PS Fools Gold, also by MacArthur, would be a good companion.

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The Gospel

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mpj030939700001Dr. Mohler responds here to a recent Gallup Poll that will most definitely be quoted on many blogs and from pulpits in the weeks to come. I have included an exerpt followed by a brief commentary by yours truly.

What are we to make of this? Well, a closer look at the question Gallup asked reveals the limits of the data. The people Gallup interviewed were asked: “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” There was no definition of “religion” offered, and certainly no test of doctrinal understanding or commitment. The responses from the Bible Belt surely include those generated by cultural Christianity. In the South, being “raised right” includes knowing how you are supposed to respond to a question like that posed by Gallup.

Still, the radical difference between the 85% marked by Mississippi and the 42% of Vermont point to real and challenging distinctions in how we should conceive our Great Commission challenge in those states. In Mississippi (and Arkansas), the challenge is to reach persons who think they are Christians with the reality of the genuine Gospel. In Vermont, reaching a secular population is the main challenge. Both represent important and vital Great Commission challenges.

Having been in the west and the Bible belt, I believe reaching people “who think they are Christians with the reality of the genuine Gospel” is a much more difficult task, humanly speaking of course. Thankfully, reaching them is not a matter of our ability to persuade or convince, but a matter of making sure we remain unashamed of the genuine Gospel, “for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). We must never forget that a person is “born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God.” (I Peter 1:23). Let us heed Paul’s instruction to Timothy,

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, (4) and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (5) But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:2-5

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