Caution: This work of non-fiction is written at a mature level. It contains decidedly contradictory claims opposed to "populist" Christianity. It contains no objectionable language. However, a few carefully selected photographs of well-known religious and historical art, belonging to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, might possibly be considered objectionable by the unappreciative individual. Blame Microsoft for the photos and God's Word for any disagreeable claims. Blame me for not agreeing with a "another gospel" and explaining why.
Thank you, for opening this 1st beta copy of my effort to put forth a non-denominational argument of that which God would have "all men" know in relation to His Son and His grace. The unsaved and Christians, both, for the most part, have been led to believe that they must observe all the commands found in the Bible in order to be worthy of salvation and God's love. Religion and politics are the two most powerful forces used by men to dominate other men. Each system manipulates prevailing ideas that are used to influence opinion. And, in turn - support for people at the top of the food chain from the people at the bottom. The word "religion" has its roots in a Latin idea of obligation. Politics has its root in the Greek idea of a city, polis. The two taken together, may be said to encompass the idea of an obligation to a city.
Many self-appointed evangelist claim to say only what the Bible says. Nonetheless, the truth remains, that Christ and Christians have no stated obligation to any earthly city. A future heavenly city, entirely of God's creation - not made by men - is the future home of everyone who trusts in Jesus for deliverance from obligation to an earthly city: "For he [Abraham], looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" and, "For faith is the substance (substantiating) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen" (Heb 11:10, 1).
Christianity is not contained in a "Salvation Army" and a bogus "social gospel." This gospel was imported from England in the early 1800's. It is enforced by the counterfeit claim of probationary salvation: "turn and keep on turning or burn" (viz., Arminian salvation as adapted and originally preached by John Wesley). At bottom, one may readily see, that this manipulation is religious-political in character. Thus, an obligation to an earthly city is made to be the religious requirement for final salvation.
This is far removed from God's grace and the gift to men of His Son for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The New Testament contains not one moral obligation addressed to the unsaved. Also, there is no published New Testament command for believers to tithe. Most importantly, there is only one commandment for the entire unsaved world - to believe on His Son. God's "Great Commandment of Grace" given to the unsaved, and His children, is to be found in 1 John 3:23: "And this is his [God the Father's] commandment, That we [all men] should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one [believer] another, as he [Christ] gave us commandment" (cf. John 12:50; 13:34; 15:12).
The purpose, the objective of God's grace is not to make society Christian; but to call out believers from society who can then relate to each other and love Him through His divine Word. God's love is typically interpreted and instructed to be directed towards a neighbor - the unsaved world in general. This is a misdirection, as it may only apply to the Jewish world of neighbors who were born into the commonwealth and covenant of God before the death of Christ.
God's Word is commonly used for knowledge as power; but God's living Word is not made for empty knowledge. Appreciation and application is everything. The Law of Christ fulfills the law perfectly, namely: I love only because Christ loves His own (Gal 6:2; 2 John 5).
This love is commanded to be directed towards other believers who are united and born together in the living Christ. God loved fallen humanity, yes, but only in a past tense did He express this love. His "much more" love may now be expressed by His grace through the completed work of Christ on the cross.
A cross that has divided time and has purchased a much greater present love and unity between God and those who believe in His Son for the gift of His forgiveness, and His righteousness, and His eternal life.
When I began this effort, I had a small income that I was sure to be enough to complete what Christ had me begin. I had hopes of possibly printing a short book that I could give away. The work grew day by day, with no end in sight. I prayed many times: Is it finished?
My intention is to freely distribute, on a few CD's that I can afford, what I've completed to date. I have the sense this effort is ready for a good editor and the body of the work has been filled with all that Christ would have it contain. I apologize for the approximately 5% untidy content and uncorrected mistakes within these three books and 1200 pages. Which hold almost 450,000 words and many photographs. The better part of this thesis is the quoted commentary of highly respected authorities. I consider this a benefit to the reader. I've only provided a readable framework and discussion to carry the arguments against "another gospel." A gospel that is not the gospel of God's saving grace.
To those who hold dearly to the instructions preached from a view of probationary salvation based on the saving value of personal goodness, I ask: Did God give two conditions for spiritual death - or one? Does God give two conditions for eternal life or one? Did God really say that the addition of Eve's human rationalization, "neither shall ye touch it" (Gen 3:3), would cancel the curse incurred by the act of eating the apple?
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death (spiritual) unto (eternal) life. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish (in no wise ever perish), neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one" (John 5:24; 10:28-31).
God be blessed and thank you for reading this. Enjoy the book. The subject is fascinating.
May the "much more" blessings of Christ be with you.
The following is a statement of salvation which is the eternal life of Christ Jesus, from www.westernseminary.edu. Mr. Randy Alcorn, who has written many Christian books, teaches at Western Seminary.
We believe that the death of Jesus on the cross is the perfect sacrifice for sin. His substitutionary work satisfied divine justice and is the propitiation of the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world. (Isa. 53:1-13; Jn. 10:27-29; Rom. 3:24; 5:8, 9; 8:38, 39; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 1:7; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Jn. 4:10) Through his death and resurrection, we are redeemed from sin, reconciled to God, justified by grace alone through faith alone, adopted into the family of God, and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is appropriated by personal conversion, consisting of repentance from sin and trust in God’s provision in Christ, resulting in full forgiveness of sin and new life with Christ. (Jn. 1:12; 3:5, 7, 16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 8:1-4, 29, 30; 10:8-13; Eph. 1:4, 5; 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; Heb. 11:6) Salvation results in righteous living. Believers will grow in Christ-likeness as they keep in step with the Holy Spirit and live in obedience to the Word of God. They are kept by the power of God through faith and will persevere to the end, culminating in their glorification at Christ’s coming. (Jn. 5:24; 10:28; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:10; 5:17-21; Phil.2:12, 13; Col. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:3-10; 1 Jn. 3:2, 3)
What is the historical background of this statement of faith and why are there two salvations preached among Christians? One guaranteed by Christ and the other dependent upon a lifetime of character.
Dr. C. Matthew McMahon writes:
An historical overview of the life, theology and heresy of Pelagius, and its affect on the church both in its raw form, and more refined form of Semi-Pelagianism.
THE PELAGIAN CAPTIVITY OF THE CHURCH
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon
Error spreads from one person to another. It is like the plague, which infects all round about it. Satan by infecting one person with error infects more! The error of Pelagius spread on a sudden to Palestine, Africa, and Italy. -Thomas Watson
Along with Pelagius, Evangelicals today believe that salvation is by character. They believe that men, by faith, before God actually affects a change in their nature, must exercise their will towards that which is good and believe the promises of God without coercion because they are able to do so. This is what Pelagius believed: a notorious heretic (heresiarch) of the fifth century who was condemned by the councils, synods, theologians and pastors of the day, and subsequent synods and councils to that day. It may be said that the Evangelical church today is held captive by Pelagius’ heretical theology though they are unaware of it. But to assert this charge is by no means a warrant to believe it. It must be proven. First, it is important to outline the historical background to Pelagius’ life and ecclesiastical interaction. Then, second, it will be helpful to outline and refute his doctrine, and its Semi-Pelagian subsequent affects. Thirdly, there will be an examination of Evangelicalism and its continuation of Pelagian and Semi-Pelagianism. Fourthly, there will be a brief conclusion to the findings.
The History of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism
First, historically, Pelagius is known on the historical scene as a blue-eyed British monk, with the surname of Morgan, whose fame emerged from Rome in the beginning of the fifth century. He studied the Greek theology, especially that of the Antiochian school, and early showed great zeal for the improvement of himself and of the world. Warfield says, “He was also constitutionally averse to controversy; and although in his zeal for Christian morals, and in his conviction that no man would attempt to do what he was not persuaded he had natural power to perform, he diligently propagated his doctrines privately, he was careful to rouse no opposition, and was content to make what progress he could quietly and without open discussion.” This, however, would not last long. Pelagius, already advanced in life, demonstrated that his exegetical skills were rather shallow, and appear in his Commentary on the Epistles of Saint Paul, which was written and published in the year 409. In this work he gives the essence of his system, but it is not the result of sober exegetical work, rather, it is indirect and a result of answering the common teaching of the day to propagate something new. He labored quietly and peacefully for the improvement of the corrupt morals of Rome, and converted the advocate Coelestius, of distinguished, but otherwise unknown birth, to his monastic life, and to his views. Pelagius was the moral author of the system and Coelestius was the intellectual author. continue reading @ www.apuritansmind.com/HistoricalTheology/McMahonPelagianCaptivity.htm