A Brief Review of Calvinism

We are not to believe everything we hear. John warned, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). We test the spirits (teachers and their teaching) by the inspired, infallible word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17; Psalm 119:160).

Some of the most common doctrines in the denominational world fall under the heading of Calvinism. Calvinism simply refers to the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin and his followers. Calvin was a theologian from the 1500′s who greatly influenced the Reformation movement. He was a brilliant man, but brilliance does not always translate into faithfulness to God or one accurately handling His word (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27). These doctrines are accepted by many, but are not taught in the word of God.
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Doing the Will of God

Man at Sunset

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus described the character of one who would be a citizen of His kingdom. The kingdom is open to all; but sadly, not all will choose to enter. Who is it that will enter the kingdom? Jesus said, “He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Do we want to be a part of God’s kingdom? If so, we need to do the will of God.
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The Love of the Truth

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10).

Those who do not possess a love of the truth will be lost. Their fate will be the same as the “lawless one” – the one who acts contrary to God’s revealed will who will be slain by the Lord. Why is it that we need to have a “love of the truth” in order to be saved? What will a love of the truth cause us to do?
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Was Jesus a Liberal? (Part 2)

[Last month we began this study to examine the claim that Jesus was a Liberal. We identified what “liberal” means and examined how Jesus approached Scripture to see if He had a liberal mindset in doing so. This month, we will consider certain events in Jesus’ life and how the teachings of the gospel compared with the precepts of the Law of Moses.]

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Restoration Principles

King Josiah and the scroll

A movement began a couple hundred years ago in this country to try to restore New Testament Christianity. In this period, men discarded the creeds and churches of men to return to the pattern found in the New Testament. In 2 Kings 22, a similar restoration began. The goal was to return to the pattern found in the Law of Moses. The principles in this chapter show how faithful service to God can be restored and maintained. These principles were held by those who worked to restore New Testament Christianity in this country. The same principles can help us today to restore and maintain faithful service to God. Let us examine some lessons from the restoration of King Josiah’s day.
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Saul’s Mission Against Amalek

Death of King Agag

Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:3).

The Lord gave Saul, king of Israel, a mission. While it may not have been an easy task, it was a simple one. It was not one that Saul could misunderstand. The Lord wanted the nation of Amalek to be punished and He sent Saul on a mission to do it. Again, this was a simple task: Destroy everything. Yet Saul’s actions in carrying out that task caused him to be rejected from being king (1 Samuel 15:26) and caused the Lord to regret even making him king (1 Samuel 15:35). Let us look at some lessons we can learn from Saul that relate to our obedience to God.
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What Shall We Do?

Shortly after Jesus had ascended back into heaven, the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem. Being the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), a Jewish feast day, there were many Jews from different regions who had come to Jerusalem (Acts 2:5, 9-11). It is at this time that Peter delivered what we often refer to as the first gospel sermon. In a sense, the gospel had been preached before. It was preached in promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). When Jesus began His public teaching, He taught the “gospel of God” (Mark 1:15). But this was the first time the gospel was preached in its fullness. The gospel was the good news of salvation from God made available by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead which gave us hope of eternal life. Before, this was said to be coming. By the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, it was a reality. This was the first time the gospel was preached since all these things were fulfilled.
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