Making the Gospel Great Again
by Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold
When Christ commanded his disciples to go into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature, it must have been a message that the creator of all the world wanted everyone to hear. Whatever the gospel message was, it must be delivered just as it was given, without change.
You will notice in these two verses, that the serpent, (through his subtilty) wishes to corrupt your minds from the simplicity of another Jesus, another spirit, or another gospel.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
If you knew the true gospel, it is very easy to recognize the wrong, false, or another gospel. WE should always establish the reason for the good news first.
The bad news:
All have sinned.
All must be eternally separated from God in Hell.
Nobody can save themselves (impossible) by their works.
The good news:
The true gospel states that God loves the whole world.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world,
The true gospel states that God’s Son, Christ, paid for All our sins.
John 3:16 that he gave his only begotten Son,
The true gospel states that We must only believe that he did this for us.
John 3:16 that whosoever believeth in him
The true gospel states that We cannot go to Hell. (Guaranteed)
John 3:16 should not perish, (Guaranteed)
The true gospel states that We will go to Heaven. (Guaranteed)
John 3:16 but have everlasting life. (Guaranteed)
If salvation is by Grace, then it cannot be by works.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
If the true gospel is by grace through faith alone, then “another” gospel must be adding works to the gospel.
Rom 11:6 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.
If salvation is by grace, then it cannot be determined by how we live. Another gospel must be a false gospel.
Gal 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Perversions of the gospel
Any teaching that gives the idea that there must be a pre-determination of the will that something more is required than just simply believing, is a false gospel. If more is required, what is the more and how much more?
Repent of your sins to be saved.
Now, before you get on your high horse, think, think, think! What do you believe the lost man thinks when this is mentioned? Wouldn’t this mean to stop being bad in his mind? What does this mean to you? Do you really believe the Bible says for a man to stop sinning to be saved? If you know your Bible, you know also that there is no verse in the Bible that commands a lost man to turn from sin to be saved.
A man must repent to be saved, meaning, he should change his mind from unbelief and believe. If a man must turn from sins, could you honestly tell which ones. Who decides? Is it some or all? Be specific because a man’s soul depends on it being right. Have you turned from all of yours? Would you ask a lost man to do what you haven’t done? Doesn’t this addition cloud the main issue of free grace?
Make Christ the Lord of your life to be saved.
Many are teaching that a lost man must commit his life to Christ when in reality, it is a commitment to keep the LAW. Why do so many preach, “If Christ is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all?” Because that is what the LAW demands.
Mark 12:29-31 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Notice, this is your tulip guarantee of perseverance, meaning, if you are really saved you will persevere until the end. Where in the scriptures does the Lord promise to save us if we promise to serve him? I thought it was a free gift.
Gal. 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Requiring a lost man to make Christ the master of his life to be saved is a slick way to poison the truth of the gospel. This is placing the lost under the keeping of the LAW. Lordship salvation is not the gospel. It is false. If one is saved, he must immediately put on his magnifying glasses to examine his life to see if he really is saved. We call these “fruit-inspectors”.
Does bad works proved you were never really saved because it would prove you never really turned from all your sins?
Doesn’t it appear that the simplicity of the gospel has truly become corrupted by these add-ons. If anyone believes they can lose their salvation, isn’t it true that something more than grace must be needed? Can you tell me what it is exactly what is needed and how much more of the more is required? If grace means grace, how can anything other than faith be required?
If good works are required after you are saved to determine (prove) that you are really saved, would the bad works you find proved you were never really save at all? Remember, the way you live will never prove that you are saved, but it will prove that you are not saved if you must turn from your sins or make Christ the lord and master of your life.
See how complicated it gets when you add works to the gospel instead of just believe? Which would be simple for a child to understand?
I do not make Jesus Christ a savior and I do not make him a Lord that is who he is and saving people is what he does. When I trust Christ as my savior that was my decision to trust him for what he did on the cross for me. When I decided to serve the Lord after I was saved, I wanted Christ to be the Lord of my life but not to be saved, stay saved, or prove I am saved.
Remember; To be saved is a decision to TRUST Christ.
To be a disciple is a decision to SERVE Christ.
To trust Christ is to be born into God’s family forever. To serve the Lord is a decision to be made after one is born. Keep the two separate or risk total doubts and confusion. A believer is free to choose obedience or disobedience.
For the sake of the gospel, every preacher, missionary, evangelist, Sunday School teacher, and every child of God should commit themselves to the pure free grace gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe it’s a shame that so many preachers have compromised the clear gospel of GRACE with such corruptible terminology.
Making the Gospel Great Again
It is the power of God unto salvation
It is the only hope for mankind
It is true Eternal Security
It is Once Saved Always Saved
It is by Faith alone in Christ alone for the Glory of Christ alone
SO, LET’S KEEP THE GOSPEL
CLEAR, WITHOUT WORKS, SIMPLE AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL THE WAY IT IS, AND DON’T BELIEVE IT NEEDS TO HAVE ANY MAN-MADE ADDITIONS TO PERVERT THE GOSPEL OF GRACE.
Personal Evangelism Guide for The Gospel Driven Man
by Ralph “Yankee” Arnold
Chapter 1 (Preview)
A DECISION FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN
Every life has a purpose, and the purpose of every person is to find it. One may live for money, power, or fame. But whatever it is, that is what constitutes the purpose for life. The question to ask is “What does God say should be my purpose for living?” Mark 8:35 plainly states the purpose for a Christian’s life. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35)
John 3:16 is a promise to “whosoever” that is lost may be saved and that “whosoever” believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. This means that anyone who trusts Christ as Savior will have everlasting life. It is a lost person’s choice whether to trust Christ or not for salvation. The wise person will decide to trust Christ as Savior.
Mark 8:35 promises that “Whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, shall save it.” It is a promise that ‘whosoever’ is saved may serve Him and clearly states the purpose for a Christian’s life. The ‘whosoever’ ’refers to believers–those who know Christ as Savior. This means that believers who will live for Christ and the gospel will save their lives. This scripture does not refer to salvation but to discipleship. It states the purpose for one’s life after accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. So it is a believer’s choice whether to live for Christ and the gospel or whether to live for oneself. It is a decision each believer must make. God’s purpose for us as believers is clearly stated…”live for My sake and the gospel’s, shall save it.” (Mark 8:35).
What was the purpose of Christ’s life? “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). Christ lived and died for the lost. So to live for Christ’s sake is to live for the sake of the lost.
We should live for the sake of the gospel. The gospel is good news. But good news for whom? It is good news to lost people so that they may know they can have eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ alone as Savior. The lost person is the one who needs to hear the gospel. So to live for the gospel’s sake is to live for the sake of the lost.
How Do our Lives Profit Those That Are Lost? Is our purpose in life to reach lost souls with the gospel? That is God’s purpose for the Christian’s life. This is the gospel driven life.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, (that you might win souls) by the mercies of God, (that you might win souls) that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, (that you might win souls), holy, (that you might win souls) acceptable unto God, (that you might win souls) which is your reasonable service”. (Rom. 12:1).
And be not conformed to this world, (that you might win souls) , but be ye transformed, (that you might win souls), by the renewing of your mind, (that you might win souls), that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (that you might win souls). (Rom. 12:2)
Satan, the enemy of man’s soul, will seek to sidetrack every Christian from this one main purpose. If he can keep a person from centering his life on lost souls, he can hinder the spread of the gospel. Satan seeks to keep the lost captive within his kingdom. Therefore, he would rather see a Christian live for any other purpose than seeking the lost.
Riches, power, fame, (or even more, subtly) prayer, Bible study, or edification of believers are some of the purposes for living that Satan would like one to substitute for soul winning. A Christian’s life is made up of many areas: Bible study, prayer, finances, family, work, and church. However, none of these areas are to be the main purpose for living.
Instead, each area is to help accomplish one’s purpose. Each area is to revolve around Christ and the gospel. A flagpole needs guy wires to keep it from falling. That flagpole is Christ. The flag is the gospel. The guy wires represent the areas of a Christian’s life. Take away the flag and the flagpole and there is no purpose for the guy wires. If we take away Christ and the gospel, there is no purpose for prayer and Bible study. Prayer and Bible study are to make Christians strong to win souls to Christ. And if we take away Christ and the gospel, then there is no purpose for a good disciplined life. Good disciplined lives will make Christians effective at winning souls. Prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and edification are all important and necessary. But the purpose is to keep the flagpole from falling. These guy wires will keep Christ and the gospel the purpose for living. We must decide if that is our purposes.
It is a wise decision to live for Christ and gospel because:
- There are rewards in eternity
Christ Himself promises that in living for Him, we will save our life. When we lose interest in our own desires in life and gain the interest and desires for those of Jesus Christ, (the salvation of lost souls and the training of soul winners) it will last for eternity. Anything else we live for such as riches, power, or fame will be lost at death. Then none of our labors expended will profit us anything.
King Solomon, a man who turned away from God and decided to live for himself, realized this when he wrote, “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” (Ecc. 2:11).
This was the conclusion of one of the most famous, rich and powerful men in the world. All the wealth, power, and fame did not satisfy him, and they did not last. There is something we must give up if we decide to live for Christ and become soul winners. We give up wasted lives.
Paul, the apostle, lived his life for the sake of the lost man. “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (I Cor. 10:33).
What was his conclusion? “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21). Living for the Lord Jesus Christ brought Paul peace and satisfaction in this life and eternal rewards later in heaven. So what did riches of this world have to offer him? “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matt. 6:19, 20).
The souls that Paul won to Christ would be his most precious treasure in heaven. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” (I Thess. 2:19, 20). Paul’s life was ‘gain’ because he ‘lost’ it for Christ.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (II Cor. 5:10).
‘We’ refers to Christians. Every Christian must appear before the judgment seat, not to determine salvation, but rewards.
“Only one life t’will soon be past, only what’s done For Christ will last
- The lost have a need for the gospel
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me: yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” (I Cor. 9:16). Preaching the gospel is a necessity because there is no other way for the lost to hear it! “…how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). If they do not hear, how can they believe and be saved? If they do not hear, they will not have the opportunity to escape a literal fire burning hell.
All people are born into this world lost and don’t know the way to heaven. A person lost in a dark cave needs someone to shine a light and reveal the way out. The lost people in this world need Christians to shine the light and reveal the way to heaven. That light is the gospel. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ…should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4).
Satan, the god of this world seeks to hinder the shining of the light of the gospel. Thus he will seek to hinder those (Christians) who are supposed to shine with the light. “For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Cor. 4:6). It is every Christian’s responsibility to give this light to the lost. If the Christian does not shine the light, the lost will not know how to go to heaven. Heaven is real and so is hell. In Luke 16, Christ speaks of two men who died: a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus.
What happened to the rich man? “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” (Luke 16:23). He was in conscious torment.
The place mentioned in Luke 16 is Sheol or Hades, the place of the departed dead. It was for believers and non-believers. Non-believers entered the place of torment. Believers (before Christ’s death on the cross) entered a place of comfort, a waiting place for them, until Christ would die for their sins so they could enter heaven. The rich man looked over and could see two believers, Lazarus and Abraham. He had two requests. His first request was for Lazarus to be sent to him. That request was denied.
“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:24).
His second request was for Lazarus to be sent to his brothers. The request was also denied. “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” (Luke 16:27, 28). People in hell are more concerned about the salvation of their relatives than are most Christians. The rich man, fully aware of the reality of hell, wanted Abraham to send Lazarus as a witness to his brothers. However, this request was also impossible to grant. Lazarus could not be sent, but Christians alive on earth could be sent. We are sent by Christ into the world for the same purpose the Father sent Him into the world. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” John 17:18. Christ was sent to seek and to save the lost, and so are we.
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (II Cor. 5:11). The fear of the Lord should motivate us to live for Him. The first moment in heaven will reveal to us what the lost will miss by not being there.
The most important thing revealed at the judgment seat of Christ is: did we or did we not persuade men? The question is whether we will go. Unless Christians give the light of the gospel, how will the lost know how to get to heaven? The answer to this question makes it plain that preaching the gospel is a necessity. Those who are wise will decide to live for Christ and the gospel.
- Christ loves us
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” (II Cor. 5:14, 15). We should live for the one who loves us and gave Himself as a voluntary sacrifice for our sins. Paul was a voluntary ‘love slave’ (bond servant) of Jesus Christ. He declares in Ephesians 4:1 that he is “prisoner of the Lord”. Paul speaks of being free but a prisoner of the Lord.
His love for the Lord made Paul a prisoner to the desires of the Lord.
After Christ’s resurrection the disciples had become disheartened, so they went fishing. John 21 tells of how Christ appeared to them again. He asked this question of Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15) Do you love me more than the things of the world? Christ then asked Peter, “Lovest thou me?” (John 21:16) After Peter said yes, Christ said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17) Christ never asked Peter if he loved the sheep. We can’t love the sheep without loving God, and if we love God, we will love the sheep. There are lost sheep to win (I Pet. 2:25) and saved sheep to train (I Pet. 5:2-4). Christ doesn’t want us to serve Him because of our love for the sheep, but because of our love for Him, the Shepherd. Whether or not we feed the sheep depends on whether or not we love the Lord.
If we love Him, then we’ll feed the sheep. “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Love commands us. The love we have for our spouses will command us to do the things we need to do without being asked such as laundry, house-cleaning, yard work, etc. Our love for each other will motivate us to do the things we should and much more.
Our love for Christ will command us. The question is not whether we love the lost, but whether we love the Lord. If our answer is the Lord, we will reach the lost because God loves them. We will not just tell them the gospel message. We will do much more. We will devote our lives and souls to reach the lost. God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts. The lost don’t believe that God loves them. The message that God’s free gift of eternal life is offered to the world is the proof that God really does love them. Let God love the lost through us and our words.
No one can force us to serve the Lord. But we don’t belong to ourselves. We have been bought and paid for by the Lord. Our trouble comes when as a slave to the Lord we try to break away. Satan will then use us. Who will make a better taskmaster? The Lord who loves us? Or Satan who wishes to destroy us?
Everyone’s problem is a love problem. We will not serve the Lord if we do not love Him. But why should we love the Lord? “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). Jesus’s love compelled Him to sacrifice himself to suffer the anguish and reproach of the cross. Because of this Paul could declare that he was a love-slave of Jesus Christ, “…separated unto the gospel of God” (Rom. 1:1).
We should separate ourselves unto the purpose God has for us which is spreading the gospel. It is a wise decision to live for the one who loves us.
(4) God commanded us from above
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). Christ told his disciples to go, and that was a command. Preaching the gospel is a command of God, not a leading. Paul didn’t feel like witnessing. It was not what he wanted to do. “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is still committed unto me.” (I Cor. 9:17 ). Sometimes we may preach the gospel unwillingly. We know we have the ‘dispensation’ (stewardship or responsibility), so we do it because we should. If God says to do it, and we do it because he said to, that is a good enough motive.
A father’s conversation with his son may be something like this:
“Son, go mow the lawn.
“I really don’t want to mow the lawn. I’d rather go meet my friends…but praise your name, most holy righteous father, what is your perfect will for me?”
“Mow the lawn!”
“But I can’t mow the yard, my motives are wrong. I don’t want to, so I won’t enjoy it. But praise your name, father, what is your perfect will for me?”
At that point, the father would most likely force his son to mow the lawn. Whether he was willing or not, he needed to mow the lawn.
Whether we are willing or not, we need to tell the gospel. Soldiers don’t stop fighting just because they don’t feel like fighting. Every Christian is a soldier in the Lord’s army, battling for the souls of people.
When we feel like it and when we don’t, we need to spread the good news of salvation. We don’t base our actions on our feelings, but on what God says in Scripture. Our attitude should be that we will preach the gospel because God tells us to do so. If we do it unwillingly, we still have results and feelings will often follow. Our joy should come from fulfilling our responsibility. Rewards are given based not only on what we do, but why we do them. A lost person can still be saved, regardless of our motive in sharing the gospel.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). The disciples had walked with Christ three and one-half years before he sent them out. They had gone out locally, but not into the world. Christ had given them three and one-half years of Bible training first. There should not be one place they would not go, or one person they would not reach. We may think that just a few people couldn’t win the world. But God has given us a plan in Matthew 28:19,20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
If we only win people to the Lord, our complete responsibility has not been fulfilled. The Bible says, “Teaching them.” (Matt. 28:19) and is referring to those we have won to the Lord. We teach them“… To observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:20) The command was “…Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) So we need to teach those we have won to the Lord to do the same.
The Great Commission was given to the apostles and they gave it to us. Being a soul winner is a command and was for everyone.
We should pass the command along to every one of God’s children. If soul winners do not pass it on, the whole process will stop when they die. This has happened on and off through centuries. No one has followed God’s plan in 2,000 years for the world has not been reached.
The Great Commission was given before the Church Age. The church is the body of Christ and is composed of all believers. The command given in Matthew 28:19-20 was given by Christ before the church age and was to begin. “And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49). ‘Tarry ye’ means that we are commanded to go, but we are also commanded to wait. There was a time for them to go, but the time was not yet. He told them when to go. “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.” (Acts 1:4).
The ‘power from on high’ they were to receive was the Holy Spirit. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”. (Luke 24:49) The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian and gives the power necessary to be a soul winner. Every Christian has the ability to win souls. In most cases it is not that a Christian can’t win souls, but that they won’t. God says He has given us the power we need to accomplish the job He has commanded us to do.
The decision to live for Christ and the gospel is one each individual believer must make. And we should live for the sake of the lost person instead of ourselves. Just as we had to decide to trust Christ as our Savior, now we must decide whether or not to live our lives for the salvation of lost souls. We should remember the rewards for eternity, the need of the lost, the love of Christ, and the command from above, as we consider this most important decision in our Christian lives.
The command was given for the Great Commission before the Church age began. But the disciples were told not to begin until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers (Acts 1:5). “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Pentecost is the day the church was born and was the day the command was to begin. The command was given to the church and that is our job. How have we done?
It is my prayer that this will provide the knowledge that will help everyone become effective servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord placed this treasure in earthen vessels.
- The gospel is the lens through which we see God.
- To mar the gospel is to deface the portrait of Christ.
- To veil the gospel blinds the minds of those we seek.
- Our love & loyalty to Jesus Christ is revealed by our love & loyalty to the gospel.
The Five Dangers of Calvinism
By Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold
In the book of Ephesians chapter one, look there in verse four, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
I’m reading that verse because there are some people who take these verses out of context. They give it a different meaning than what’s really there and some of those people have a name. They are called Calvinists, and so, I want to explain some things to you why I believe there are five dangers of Calvinism that are taught, and if you don’t know what it is, it will result in believing the poison without knowing it was there. At least if I tell you, you may have an understanding and some discernment that if you listen to the radio or watch TV or even go to another church, you’ll be able to discern this because this is so important.
Now, look there in Ephesians chapter two in verse eight and nine. These are two of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says here in Ephesians in chapter two and verse eight, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
It’s a very simple, straightforward verse. You get the impression that you’re saved by faith alone, but there are people who will take that word and say faith is the gift and you can’t be saved unless God gives you the faith to believe.
So, once again changing the meaning of a verse, just like in verse four when He talks about choosing us before the foundations of the world and they forget there’s a couple of other words there that give it a totally different meaning.
Second Thessalonians chapter two, look at verse thirteen “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”
They will teach that God has chosen, before the foundations of the world, who He was going to save, and the choice is not really yours, it’s not mine, it was God’s choice.
So, God chose to save who He wants to save and the rest of them cannot be saved because God did not choose them; therefore, they are the chosen, or the Elect of God. Does it affect anything? It affects everything!
Now, I want you to see this. So, right there in your notes, one of the things that I want you to understand, some of the things, because it doesn’t apply to all, it’s with limitations; therefore, but when He gets to the point of perseverance of the saints, it’s that perseverance immediately requires fruit inspectors, because perseverance, if it’s true, must be from the day you trust the Lord to the day you die. You must persevere in the faith.
So, there is a teaching that says, well, if you are saved, you must live like you’re saved, and if you don’t live it then you don’t have it.
They teach that very strongly.
So, then, if there must be this automatic change in your life, because it’s got to be guaranteed, if you get saved it’s guaranteed, you will persevere in the faith, and if you persevere in the faith, then there has to be evidence in your life that you have done one of two things. Therefore, so many preachers must preach that you must turn from your sins to be saved. In other words, you are a sinner. I am a sinner. So, if you want to be saved, you must promise you are going to turn from your sins. Therefore they have to get you committed to live a different life. Turn from your sin means stop being bad, and you must also promise to be good by making Christ the Lord and the master of your life.
So, you must stop something and then start something. Both are promises to God. If you save me, I will do this. So, your salvation is dependent upon this turning from your sins and making Christ the Lord and master of your life.
That is a works salvation. That is not by grace. The gift of God is that salvation has nothing to do with the sins in your life or how you live.
Now, this blows most people’s minds. They cannot believe, “You mean to tell me I can trust Christ as my Savior, have eternal life, and go to Heaven when I die, and live like the devil.” Yes! That’s what I’m saying! You absolutely can! Any preacher that tells you differently doesn’t understand the gospel.
Now that I got that off my chest, I want you to look at the notes. Can a man be forced by God to accept Christ as his savior against his will and call that grace? If God gives a man the faith to believe, He has taken away man’s freedom to choose. Perseverance must be automatic for the person God chose and the evidence man needs to prove he has really been chosen. Man’s ultimate assurance cannot be God’s Word, but man’s works, because he has to look at his life to prove that he’s saved. If his life says that he’s not saved, (because he is not living the perfect Christian life) it doesn’t matter what the Word of God said. He’s not saved because he’s not living it, and this is what causes so many questions and doubts about where a man’s going to spend eternity.
You can ask a lot of people, “Where are you going when you die?”
“Well, to Hell if I don’t change.”
“Well, I used to be saved, but I’m not saved anymore.”
“Well, I quit my drinking and my smoking, but then I started drinking again”.
So, they hang their salvation upon the things in their life, what they’re either doing or not doing.
“Well, I used to go to church but not anymore.”
“Well, I was baptized when I was 10 years old.”
Now, you’re trusting that to get you to Heaven? A man has to understand this because your eternal destination depends upon you getting it right. You’ve got to get this right of all the things in this world you have to get it right. Where are you going when you die? Then, how do you know? You see, if you make this promise to God and commit your life to Christ for God to save you, that means you’ve got to perform, and if you don’t perform you have every reason to question and then to doubt whether you’re really saved. This is why some people don’t know where they’re going when they die.
They become these fruit inspectors because, see, if I must turn from my sins, well, now I have to have evidence that I have turned from my sins.
What if there’s no evidence that you turned from your sin, and if you’re still living like the devil? Well, must be a sign you’re not really saved. Well, what if I don’t go to church and I don’t read my Bible and I don’t pray and I don’t do the things I’m supposed to do? Well, that’s a sign that you’re not really saved. This is according to the Calvinist teaching.
See, if you’re really saved, you’re not going to want to do all those bad things, and every one of you sitting here know that you do.
You say, “No.” Well, the rest of us got it, and we know that you are still a sinner. You sin in your Christian life. We know you still have bad thoughts. We know you still do things wrong. We know you still lose it. We could go further, but we won’t.
Look at the next paragraph. I would like to give you my position on the Five Theological Positions of Calvinism. This intellectual position is not of God but of man. The following simple acrostic TULIP is the classic reformed five-point Calvinist viewpoint.
Now, the “T” stands for the total depravity of man. The “U” stands for unconditional election. The “L” stands for limited atonement. “I” stands for irresistible grace and the “P” stands for perseverance of the saints.
Now, you may not hear the preacher get up and quote these, but listen to what they’re saying, and you’d be surprised how many preachers are telling people they must turn from their sins to be saved. Just think about what that means.
Let’s pretend that I’m the lost man, and I do every sin in the book, and the preacher tells me I’ve got to turn from my sins to be saved. All right, which sins do I have to turn from; just the real bad ones or all of them?
Well, I got to turn from all of them. What if I forget one? How long do I have to turn from it? I stopped it for a week, but what if I go back to it next week? Well, I was saved for a week, but now, I am not saved: confusion, confusion, confusion.
Now, if you ask Yankee Arnold today, “Where are you going when you die?” I’m going to Heaven. I couldn’t go to Hell if I tried. I haven’t tried. I have eternal life. Christ died and paid for all my sins. How many? He paid for all of them. The reason I don’t have to go to Hell today or tomorrow is because I don’t have any sins to pay for; He paid for all my sins.
He put that payment to my account. I’m going to Heaven on what He did for me. He gets all the credit. “For by grace are you saved through faith not of yourselves.” It’s not your turning from sin. It’s not your dedicating your life or how you’re going to live. It’s by grace; grace means free. Now, what part of free can’t people understand? It’s unmerited.
Now, look at the next statement. I believe it is a sin to teach that a man is so totally depraved that he does not have the ability to choose, act or believe on what God says.
I believe I am totally incapable of saving myself, but not that I can’t reason and think and act and make decisions or choices. We can do all those things, and God holds us accountable because of it.
For those who teach that God has chosen from the foundation of the world a select few to be saved, (predestination fixed beforehand,) and go to Heaven while most people remained lost, condemned to Hell, without the possibility of ever being saved. This position is to be in total denial of what God said and what Christ did.
That is not what the Bible teaches, but there are some people who have become so intellectual with pure human reasoning they have exalted themselves above the Bible. They believe they are so special that God chose them out of everybody else to save. In their arrogancy, they believe there must be something special about them that He saved them and didn’t choose to save you.
I believe that God so loved the world, everybody, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever choose to believe of his own free will has everlasting life. The Lord has chosen to save everyone that choose to be saved.
Look there in the next paragraph. The Lord has not authorized any man to alter His clearly stated word that He commanded the entire world to hear, to limit the payment that Christ made for sin to a select few, makes the claim that God did not so love the world or that Christ did not die for all men.
In other words, what they’re saying is that God doesn’t love everybody, just the ones He chose to save, and that Christ didn’t die for everybody, He just died for the ones He chose to save. Why should He waste His time paying for the sins of people that He’s not going to save anyway?
The Bible says salvation is to be preached to every person in the world because when Christ died, He died for the sins of the world. So, you see, I don’t believe the teaching of Calvinism. I strongly oppose it. I despise the teaching. I believe it’s heresy to teach what they teach.
To teach that God’s grace is so irresistible that the man whom God has chosen to be saved is helpless to resist is to also teach that no man can be saved whom God has not chosen. This damnable teaching denies to every man the choice of Heaven or Hell; leaving every man with no responsibilities for his destination.
Here you are. You’re all lost. I’m God. I like my part. You’re all lost. I’m God. So, you’re all lost. You’re all going to Hell. So, if I choose to save, you know, say twenty-five of you, that’s still grace. Isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better than not saving anybody? Well, if God can save twenty-five why didn’t He just do it for everybody? Did He create everybody? Well, why doesn’t He just go ahead and save everybody?
To teach that a believer in Christ, called a saint, will persevere in the faith until death or until the Lord comes causes one to focus upon the works of man and not the Word of God. No man who observes his own personal life as a basis for his salvation can ever be certain of salvation, but if he looks closely to his ways, his thoughts, and his motives, he must conclude that he has every reason to doubt his own salvation or ceases to be honest.
If you had to live this righteous life to prove that you’re really saved by turning from your sin and by making Christ the Lord and the Master of your life, you’d have to doubt your own salvation. You must conclude that you are not as holy as you think you are.
So, how holy would you have to be? Well, I’m pretty good. I mean how pretty good would you have to be? You know the Bible says you must be perfect. You’d have to turn from all sin. One sin would be enough to cause you to question or doubt your salvation.
I mean if there is anything God wants you to do and you didn’t do it, well, how do you know that one thing wasn’t the one that kept you from being saved?
How would you know you are really the one that God chose? God chose me and I’m one of the elect. Yeah, how do you know. Well, because I believe it. Yeah, but what is the evidence? What are you trusting in? How you live?
What if you lived good for forty years, and then blew it one day before you died? That one day proved you never were saved because you didn’t persevere to the end, my friend.
I don’t believe that because that’s what causes so many people to question their own salvation. They have doubts. When you give a person ten reasons on how to know you’re saved, you also gave them ten reasons on how to doubt their salvation.
Everybody is a sinner. Everybody has sinned.
What right does any man have to cause any person in this world to believe that God doesn’t love him? Because, if God has hand-picked a few people, you can’t really tell everybody that God loves them because you don’t know if He does or not.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to say, “Well, I can’t tell you if God loves you or not because I don’t know if God chose to save you? I can’t tell you that Christ died for you because I don’t know if you’re one of the elect or not.”
That’s a terrible thing, but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to believe anybody can be saved. Everybody can! I believe that any man who hears the gospel and believes, it can be saved.
The following verses are often used to prove the case for the teaching of Calvinism. Ephesians chapter two verse eight and nine. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. When it says “For by grace are you saved” I believe that’s the point. That’s the point. “For by grace are you saved.” But how? Through faith. And, you’ll read that all the way through the Gospel of John. Just believe
What is by grace? Salvation. What is through faith? Salvation. What is not of works? Salvation. What is not of yourself? Salvation. What is the gift of God? Salvation. You see, it’s the gift of God.
Now look at the next verse or the statement. They will use Ephesians chapter two verses eight and nine to try to prove that faith is the gift of God. The Word of God states over and over that faith can produce works but nowhere does it ever state that works produce faith.
The Calvinist must find works to prove to himself that he has faith. See, that’s the perseverance of faith. How do you know you really believe? You must see the works. So, the works become the evidence that I really got faith. It’s backwards. See, you’re saved by faith, and as He says in Hebrews, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
If I’m saved by faith, there doesn’t have to be the evidence that people can see to prove that I’ve got faith because faith is the evidence that you can’t see. There are no works to prove that I’m saved because the lost man can do that. Well, if you’re really saved you read the Bible. Well, the lost man can read the Bible. Well, I’ll give money. Well, the lost man can give money.
What can you do that a lost man can’t do? See, that’s why God’s the one who knows who is saved, and He saves every man that believes His Word. How do I know I’m saved? Not by my life but not the Word of God.
God said if I trusted Him, He would give me what kind of life: eternal life. “He that believeth on Me hath” present tense, hath right now everlasting life. I believed that sixty-two years ago in a little ole living room, God saved me. That very moment I had eternal life, and I didn’t look at my life to see whether or not I had it. I knew it then; I had it. I did not have to wait six months or a year to see if I had enough works in my life to give me confidence that I was really saved. No. No. The Word of God doesn’t change. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life….” He did not say, “Did you turn from your sins? Did you commit your life to Christ that you may know that you have eternal life? Or, we go by what was written, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”
Look at the next statement here. Faith is not the gift. Every man has the ability to trust, to believe or not to believe. Where you put your faith is your choice. If God gave special faith to a man to believe in Christ, did God also give a man to special faith to believe in Buddha, Mohammed and Confucius or any other of the false religion? If He gave the faith to believe in Christ, well, who gave them the faith to believe in the other? Where did that come from?
Every man can place his faith wherever he chooses. “How do you know you’re going to Heaven?” Because Jesus said I was. See, you go by what God’s word has to say.
Now, look at the next verse. In Ephesians 1:4 through 5, as we read this verse a while ago, “According as He hath chosen us in Him.” See those two little words that are bold there because the Calvinists have a tendency to want to leave out those words, and He says, “chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
In other words, when God designed this plan of salvation, He did not ask into Heaven to seek our counsel. He didn’t need it. God’s the one that designed this, and He says, I’m going to save a man by faith. I’m going to send my Son into the world and He’s going to pay for the sins of all the world, and whosoever in the world that will believe in Christ will be placed in Christ. God, from the foundations of the world, chose to save all of those who believe and not save those who don’t believe.
You and I are the ones to determine whether we’re in Christ. See, when I trusted in Christ as my savior sixty-two years ago, I was placed in Christ and God has chosen all those that are in Christ. But how do you get in Christ? By your personal decision to accept Christ as your Savior. God has, from the beginning, chosen to save all of those who believe in Christ and predetermined the adoption of His children into the family of God. One of these days these bodies of ours are going to be changed and into Heavenly glorified bodies. That day is coming. 1:13 talks about believers being sealed until the day of redemption: the redemption of these bodies.
Romans chapter eight talks about us groaning within ourselves waiting for the adoption of these old vile bodies that would be made like unto His glorious body. That day is coming!
God chose or predetermined from the foundation of the world to save all those who chose to trust Christ by faith alone. He chose those that are in Christ so that when you hear preachers try to twist this verse, you’ll know that isn’t true, and that he has a limited atonement theology.
Yes, God has chosen from the foundation of the world to save all those that are in Christ to be holy and without blame before Him. The Lord has chosen to save all those who believe on Christ alone for their salvation. It is your faith in Christ that puts you in Christ. So, there’s no problem with that verse, but if you try to make it say something different, you’ve got to change a lot of verses in the Bible. You must take away the plain meaning of John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8 and 9 because they can’t mean what Calvinists say because they got to put their twist on it.
Second Thessalonians 2:13 and 14 says, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, they read that part, where it says God hath chosen you from the beginning to salvation and, there must be some people God didn’t choose. Don’t you feel special? That’s not what He says. That’s leaving a lot out of what this verse says.
Here’s the error of how you can take a verse and try to make it say something it doesn’t say. God chose to save me from the beginning without any decisions being made on my part. Since God knew who He had previously elected, He only had to die for those whom He knew would believe because He only gave the gift of faith to those He wanted; therefore, this irresistible grace dictated that the will of God would be fulfilled.
Hah, isn’t that wonderful? But it’s not true! Look at the truth. The rest of the verse tells you how God chose to save. The Lord chose to save all those who were made pure and holy by the Holy Spirit and our belief of the truth; you can’t leave that out.
God’s Word tells us that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God; not as a gift, faith cometh by what? Hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. It didn’t come as a gift apart from the Word of God and that’s why He said, preach the word to everybody.
So, He says in verse fourteen that God called us by the gospel. He says to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Notice the word propitiation, meaning payment, and the words, for the sins of the whole world in first John chapter two in verse two. Look what it says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
He is the propitiation, the payment, the satisfaction for our sins and not for ours only, that’s the believers, but also for the sins of what? The whole world. That’s in the Bible. I didn’t write that verse. I’m not the author but the author said this, that not only for my sins and your sins, but for the sins of the whole world.
Now look at the next verse or the statement: why anyone would want to change what God so clearly states is beyond me. What right does any preacher have to stand in judgment on God and alter His Word? The message of the gospel is how a man goes to Heaven. Think about the people that have been blinded because they don’t think God can save them. We’re putting a requirement upon people. You’ve got to turn from your sins. Well, I’m not ready to do that yet. Well, you’re just not ready to be saved. When you’re ready to be saved, you’ll have to be ready to do this.
Listen, I travel across this country, and I’ve listened to preachers preach that the lost must turn from their sins to be saved. You’ve got to repent. They said repent means to turn from sin. Repent does not mean that. Repent is a change of mind. It means that, if you are an unbeliever and you’re supposed to be a believer what do you need to do? Change your mind from not believing to believe. So, when you believe on Christ you repented. You changed your mind.
They say, well, repent means to turn from sin. Wait a minute. God repented, but God didn’t have any sins to turn from.
Now notice this. Matthew 23:37-38, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” You see those in the bold and what? Ye would not. How often God said I would have but you wouldn’t. Everything’s the will of God. No, it’s not. God is not willing that any should perish. So, does that means nobody’s going to perish because it’s not the will of God?
It’s the will of God that every person hears and believes the gospel to have eternal life, but some of God’s children are always trying to find a way not to do the work God called us to do, and one way to eliminate our responsibility is to believe that God has already determined who’s going to Heaven and that our witnessing is not going to change it. Since, (according to the Calvinist) God already knows who’s going to Hell and all my work, sacrifice, and giving is not going to change one thing. See, now don’t you feel better? You don’t have to do anything: Whatever will be, will be….
I don’t believe that. It’s not the Bible. If God has determined everything, whatever will be, will be. The truth: The Lord blames the people of Israel for their decision to kill the prophets, that was not the will of God, and He held them responsible for their decision. The words, “how often would I have”, show that things could have been different.
He held them accountable for their rejection. They could have made a different choice. Christ says, “Ye would not.” He did not say, “You could not.” Verse thirty-eight showed the result of their wrong decision. Your house is left unto you desolate.
Look there in Romans Chapter 9:21-22, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He had afore prepared unto glory”.
Now, here is the error. God is the potter. We are the clay. God has the right to do with the clay whatever He desires. The decision is not ours. We have no say in the matter. We cannot judge God. So, whatever will be, will be. See there, God is the potter and we are the clay. So, the potter can do with the clay whatever he wants, but God says in His explanation, yes, He is the potter and, yes, we are the clay, and He uses it as a great illustration there in Romans chapter 9, and He says that there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. So, during our life, you and I, by the hand of God, are being shaped and molded. By your decisions you’re yielding to the Lord, and He’s shaping you. Or, if you rebelled against the Lord and He’s shaping you based upon how you yield to God.
So, God says because He’s a God of love and grace and mercy, He’s also a God of wrath and anger. So, the vessels that hardened themselves against the will of God, God says these will be the vessels of dishonor, and those individuals who choose to yield themselves unto the hand of God, God’s going to shape and mold them into vessels of honor.
So, whether you are a vessel of honor, or a vessel of wrath is your choice by the decisions you make. See, when you accept Christ as your Savior, you became a vessel of the Lord. You accepted His will. You become His child, and even as a child of God, is it possible that a child of God can harden themselves to the will of God?
So, as a Christian, if you harden yourself to the will of God, stiff necked, hard-hearted, then God can use you as a vessel to show His wrath upon. He can chasten you. Discipline you. But, if you, as a child of God, will yield to the Lord and do what God wants you to do with your life, then God can use you to demonstrate His blessings upon. God can use you.
So, you see there’s no problem in the book of Romans in chapter 9. Sure, He is the potter and I am the clay but how He worked with the clay depends upon the will of man’s response. Will you submit yourself to the Lord? As a child of God, we should, and so God is going to deal with us.
Yes, God is the potter. We are the clay. God had the right to do with the clay whatever He desired. God had chosen before the foundation of the world to take vessels of wrath to show or demonstrate His wrath or His dishonor upon. God has chosen before the foundation of the world to take vessels of mercy to show or demonstrate His blessings upon. God has allowed us to make the decision to be a vessel of honor or dishonor. If we yield ourselves to the Lord, we will be a vessel that God will use to display His blessings upon, and if we choose to rebel against the will of God, He has chosen to use us as a vessel to display his wrath upon.
You are a child of God. Can you live any way you please? Absolutely, but there’s consequences. You can’t live as you please and get away with it. You will reap what you sow. Your Heavenly Father, who loves you so much, He’s going to beat the tar out of you and maybe take you home before your time.
I’ve seen many people over the years, make wrong decisions. They know they’re going to Heaven, but they think they’ll just have a little folly while they can. Play the fool while they can. Buddy, there is a price to pay, and you cannot escape. God will chasten, and maybe even take you home before your time. So look there now in John 5:39. This verse says, “Search the scriptures;” Jesus says this to these Pharisees, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” You will not come to Me that you might have life.
Notice they could have come, and they could have received eternal life. Wouldn’t you get that out of that verse? The reason you don’t have eternal life is because you won’t come to Me. It’s not that you can’t come, you would not. You would not believe. That’s what it says.
So why do they say what they’re saying? They’re blind of the simple truths of what God’s word has to say. See, when you begin to believe one lie, then that lie leads to another lie, and that leads to another lie. See, they’re using human philosophy or psychology but not the Word of God. It’s against man’s human nature to think, “You can’t tell me it’s free. That’s too easy! You got to do something. It can’t be just believe and go to Heaven.”
Well, what do you believe? You must believe what Christ did and what He said. Well, what did He do? He died on the cross and paid for my sins. Well, what do I have to do? Believe He did it for me. Well, there’s got to be more to it than that.
What if God in Heaven says only believe? There’s got to be more. Then how much more of whatever the more is that you must do to be sure? No, no, no, no. That’s the human part of you that says, “I don’t agree with God.” So, you’re going to make your own way. So, you make up religions and add to it. Yeah, you can believe, but you, but, but, then they butt it all over the place. They don’t get it.
The error: God’s grace is irresistible; therefore, all those that God has chosen to save will have no choice but to respond because His grace is irresistible. That’s why once God gives you the faith you can’t resist it; therefore, if you really get it, then persevering in the faith is automatic, and if you don’t persevere and it’s automatic, it just proves you really didn’t have it and you really didn’t have the faith and God really didn’t choose you. Wasn’t that a bucket of bolts?
So, look what it says there. The truth: Why is Christ rebuking these Israelites for not coming to Him if they had irresistible grace? Evidently, they could resist God’s grace. Christ says, “Ye will not come to me.” He did not say, “You cannot come to me.” Notice how they resisted the will of God in the following verse.
Now, look at this following verse (Acts 7:51), “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,” get this, “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:”
You did it! You did it! Well, whatever will be, will be. You know it’s not their fault. Did God hold them accountable? Are they responsible? The reason Christ never set up His kingdom upon the earth when He came the first time: they rejected Him. Why didn’t He just give them this irresistible grace? It didn’t happen.
Look at the bottom of the page. Am I a Calvinists? After all of this, would you classify me as a Calvinist? You, better not! No, I am NOT nor should anyone be. Just for the record, please do not send me any books to read, emails or phone calls in order to straighten me out. My view is in concrete and will not be changed. I pray that you have been enlightened to the dangers of believing in Calvinism or believing that Saints will or must persevere in the faith until the end.
Calvinism, gets you to temporarily change your life, but it will not, nor cannot give you assurance that you will go to Heaven. Christ saved me, holds me, keeps me, and yes, Christ will preserve me until the end.
If you have enjoyed this lesson share it with a friend or better yet share it with a pastor. Make a copy of it and give it to some preacher. You know, the Bible says go into all the world and preach the gospel to every preacher, uh, creature.
Now, look up here: Letting this hand represent you and me. This wallet represents sin. We all have sin on us. God said there is no difference, no difference. We are all sinners and none of us can go to Heaven because we have an old sinful nature. See, if we went to Heaven the way we are, and we sin down here, what will we be doing in Heaven? We would sin there. Then Heaven wouldn’t be Heaven anymore. So, God won’t let you in unless you’re perfect and nobody’s perfect. So, by your good works you’ll never be perfect. So, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into this world, had no sin, had no sinful nature, never did anything wrong, went for thirty-three years and then chose to die (because He was God in the flesh) for our sins.
He could have called ten thousand angels, but the Bible says He loved us, hated our sin, because our sins separated us from Him. So, Jesus Christ, who had no sin, didn’t have to die. So, He took all the sins of all the world and paid for them on the cross. He came back from the dead. He says go into all the world and preach this good news. He paid for your sins and tell them all they have to do is believe it and I’ll put this payment to their account, and they’ll get to go to Heaven on what He did. Not on what they do. So, what He did, it’s not because, well, I’m going to Heaven, why, because I stopped sinning? Why are you going to Heaven? Well, because I lived a good life. It has nothing to do with me. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” But you see, it’s not because I persevered in the faith, and owe it all to my wonderful dedication.
If you trusted Christ as your Savior and Him alone, you’ll go to Heaven because He gives you, as a free gift, eternal life. If it’s eternal life, how long will it last? It lasts forever and if all your sins are paid, where would you go when you die? So, can you know you’re going to Heaven before you die? Yes. It has absolutely nothing to do with how I live. My going to Heaven was God’s way of showing me how much God loved me. Do I want to live like the devil? Oh, a part of me does, but there’s also this new birth that God gave to me and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and I made up my mind years ago that I’m going to serve the Lord. But I don’t serve in order to get to Heaven. I serve because I want to. I want to please the One who died for me, and I’ll give Him my whole life. I want to serve Him. I tried to clean up my life and there are things that I don’t do, but that’s not to prove that I’m saved. That’s just to show that I love the Lord. Well, see I’m doing it for totally different reason. They must do it or go to Hell. Then it becomes a question or doubt that they’re really saved. If I mess up, I still know I’m saved. I can’t go to Hell. The best news in all the world, why, because I’ve got God right where I want Him. He’s bound by His word. He means what He says. He that believeth on me, the Son, hath, that’s present tense, right now, everlasting life. I have everlasting life. I’m going to Heaven when I die.
If you’ve never trusted the Lord, maybe you’ve heard a lot of different messages, but friend, I hope that you’re not one of those that’s been looking at your life and worrying about whether or not you’re going to lose your salvation or even question as to whether you ever really were saved. Because you know there’s times in your life when you didn’t live like you should and you really messed up.
God loves you so much He made it free. He doesn’t ask you to stop anything or join anything. You don’t have to join any church to go to Heaven. You don’t have to be baptized in water to go to Heaven. You don’t have to give any money to go to Heaven. All you need to do, and it’s the only thing you can do is, is believe that when Christ died, He died for you?
He paid for your sins because He didn’t want you to do it, and He wants to give you that payment and He is the payment. The scars in His hands and in His feet: He’s that living proof of payment, and you’ll have Him forever.
Your sins are paid.
God loves you so much and if you’ve never trusted the Lord would you do it right now? I’m not going to ask you to stand up and come forward, but I’m going to ask you, in just a moment, to raise your hand. Raising your hand doesn’t save you. It just lets me know that what I said made sense to you. It says preacher that made sense to me, and I will trust Christ as my savior this morning and I’d like you to pray for me. Would you just slip your hand up very quickly and put it right back down? Is there any one at all?
If you’ve already trusted Christ as your Savior, you have eternal life. You’re God’s child. He’ll never cast you out and never lose you. A lot of people don’t know this, but let everybody know, God loves them. Christ died for all of them. Eternal life is free.
Father, once again we thank you for loving us, loving us so much, all of us, that You sent Your Son into the world to pay for our sins and Lord, by faith alone in what You did for us, You would guarantee us as a free gift eternal life because You determined before the foundation of the world You’d save all of those that believe and we thank you for that. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.
Broadcast: Jesus, The Greatest Of All Time
Guest(s): Yankee Arnold
Air Date: January 07, 2019
NOTE: This is a rush transcript and may contain minor errors and/or discrepancies from the audio. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Dr. Dobson: Thank you everyone, for tuning into our program today. You may know that Family Talk is a listener-supported program. And we remain on the air by your generosity, literally. If you can help us financially we would certainly appreciate it. God’s blessings to you all.
Announcer: Today on Family Talk.
Roger Marsh: Welcome everyone to this Monday edition of Family Talk, a radio production of the James Dobson Family Institute. I’m Roger Marsh, sitting in for your host, psychologist and best-selling author Dr. James Dobson today.
Roger Marsh: A few weeks ago we celebrated the magnificent birth of Jesus Christ. And with that in mind, today’s broadcast is focused on his greatness as both God and man. Jesus’ willingness to leave the glory of heaven and die afforded us the gift of eternal life. The penalty for our sins could only be pardoned by his blood.
Jesus is the only person in all of human history with that power.
Roger Marsh: In a moment you’ll hear from Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold as he explains the awesomeness of Christ’s authority. Dr. Arnold is the lead minister at Calvary Community Church in Tampa, Florida. He also hosts the Bible Line radio show, which is the outreach of their church. Dr. Arnold founded the Colorado Bible Church as well, along with the Arvada Christian School and the Colorado Bible College.
Roger Marsh: Let’s listen now to Dr. Arnold’s presentation titled ‘Jesus, the Greatest of All Time’ here on Family Talk.
Yankee Arnold: Let’s look In John chapter 1., A person can read can go through a lot of scriptures and he won’t find a better portion of scripture concerning who Jesus is than what is written in the first six verses.
Yankee Arnold: God says what he means and means what he says. And he says in verse 1, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also. And whether I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said unto him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest. and how can we know the way?” Jesus said unto him, “I am the way. the truth. and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me.” Nobody gets to heaven, to this place that he’s going to build, these mansions, whatever it looks like, unless that person comes by Jesus Christ.
Yankee Arnold: And He is going to build this perfect place of many mansions. It’s a literal place and it’s not a state of mind. And Jesus says, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, you may be also. Then he makes a really bold statement. He says, “I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. No man comes unto the Father except through me.” You can’t get there any other way.
Yankee Arnold: We have a statement that we say often, which is: ‘faith alone in Christ alone.’ But what makes Jesus Christ so unique, so different? Every human born of man, at their best, at their best, is still only a man, and a sinner at that. But not Jesus.
Yankee Arnold: I was thinking about this. Isn’t it wonderful, that we have in the Bible the story of the wisest man that ever lived? Solomon, was the wisest, smartest man, and no one has ever been smarter than Solomon. Then you have a story about Samson, the strongest man that ever lived, much stronger than I am. The strongest man that ever lived, but He was still only a man, and Solomon, in spite of all of his wisdom, was still only a man.
Yankee Arnold: I thought about this, years ago, when I heard Cassius Clay make this statement: “I’m the greatest of all time! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Do you remember hearing him say that? The greatest of all time! He was still just a man, still just a man, and a sinner at that.
Yankee Arnold: There’s a debate going on right now about who is the greatest golfer of all time … Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Yankee Arnold … It’s still going on. The final answer is still out. But I don’t care how good they have been, they’re still just men. There’s nothing unique about them, only that they’re maybe the best of men. You can compare anybody in the whole world. We, at our best, are just sinners. And we’re all going to die.
Yankee Arnold: So what makes Jesus Christ so different, so unique? Jesus Christ was born differently from you and I. He was born into this world by a virgin birth and nobody else can claim that. He was unique. By the way, do you know how you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on ’em. Lots of smarties in here.
Yankee Arnold: But Jesus Christ was unique. There was no man ever like this man. I don’t care who you can compare Him to. When it comes to Jesus Christ, nobody is in the same class with Him. You see, He was wiser than anybody, any man, who has ever lived. Nobody can compare with him.
Yankee Arnold: And when it comes to strength, did you realize that Jesus Christ has all the power in all the world? He could just say words like, “I am, that I am,” and the people in His presence fell backwards. He could just say the word and give a person the ability to see. He could just say the word and raise the dead. Have you seen anybody else lately doing anything like that? He was different. He was unique. There’s nobody like him. Jesus Christ was something else.
Yankee Arnold: You see, there’s no one that can compare to him. The Bible makes this statement: “In him was no sin.” Get that! In him was no sin. That separates the man from the boys. He was different. He was unique. He was special. He was the greatest man that has ever been born into this world, and there’s no person that can compare to him. Nobody is like him, because He had no sin in him.
Yankee Arnold: I want you to take your Bible, look in John, chapter 8. Just look at this. When Jesus was speaking, He said this in verse 44, to some people who didn’t believe on him: “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because,” … and you ought to underline this phrase … “there is no truth in him.” So, you have the devil and there’s no truth in him. He is a liar. There is no truth in the devil. When it comes to Christ, there is no sin in him. The devil, there’s no truth in him. This is a big difference.
Yankee Arnold: Jesus is different. And so when we say, a person must put his faith in Jesus Christ, He narrowed it down further and says, “I am not a way of many ways. I am the only way.” There is no other way. There is no other name that saves. There’s no other savior. He is different. He is unique. And He claims something that you and I could not claim. He was the only begotten son of the Father. He’s different from you and I. He was God manifested in the flesh. So Jesus Christ was able to do something that no other man on the face of the earth could do.
Yankee Arnold: Well, what was that? I knew you were going to ask. He could die and pay for the sins of another. He could die and pay for everyone else’s sins, because He had no sins to pay for. In him, was no sin. The Bible says, “For God hath made him, Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us.” Nobody else can claim that. He was different. He was unique. He could become sin for us. You or I can’t do that for anybody else. And nobody else can do it for you. Only one person could. That’s why, when we say ‘by faith alone, in Christ alone”, it is because there is no other. There is no other way of salvation. There’s no one else that could pay for your sins, except Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God.
Yankee Arnold: That makes him a little different from you and I. He was perfect. I know you may think you’re close, but you’re not perfect. We have all sinned and come short of the perfection of God. But he did not come short of the perfection of God. He was God. That’s why we have a very unique Savior. He was the perfect man, the perfect God-man. Nobody else was like him, because he was the Lord. He was able to do something that no other could; He could die and pay for the sins of the world. You can’t do that. Cassius Clay couldn’t do that. I can’t do that. Nobody can do that. Only Jesus Christ could do that. That is why we say salvation is by “faith alone in Christ alone.” There is no other Savior.
Yankee Arnold: Do you know what else He could do that nobody else could do that makes him really unique? He could come back from the dead of his own power. He could come back from the dead. And he did! Jesus Christ did something that nobody else could do and that is to pay for all the sins of all the world. He’s a man’s man. He’s really a man’s man. If there’s anybody I want to be like, then I want to be like that Man, because He’s different. He’s really unique.
Yankee Arnold: That’s something that everybody can desire. And believe it or not, it can happen. You see Jesus Christ had the power, not only to pay for the sins of the world, which nobody else could do, but He could come back from the dead, which nobody else has ever done. And he was able to come back from the dead, never to die again. When Lazarus and some of the others rose from the dead, they would die again. And they didn’t come back to life by their own power. Only Jesus did this. This man’s different.
Yankee Arnold: God cannot lie. That’s why when you read the word of God, think about what it says. God cannot lie. So if he makes you a promise he has to keep it. The Bible says, in First John 5:13, God promises us eternal life. And if He makes a promise, He has to fulfill it. Since He said that if I trust him, he will save me. He has to do it. He cannot lie. In him is no sin. He is truth.
Yankee Arnold: Jesus Christ came back from the dead, ascended into Heaven, which nobody else has been able to do on his own power. And the Bible says he’s going to come back again someday. I am so thankful that I had a man one day who came into my life. I guess you could say he was like a lighthouse. And I finally saw the light. My father-in-law, who at one time was going to blow me away with a gun because I married his daughter. Well he could have, but I wasn’t ready for eternity. Has God been gracious to me!
Yankee Arnold: My father-in-law sat down with me and opened up the Bible. He explained to me how to have eternal life. I’ll never forget it. There are a lot of things that have come and gone since then, but I can remember that day. I remember sitting there in the living room. I remember how bored I was upset because they didn’t have a television; they didn’t have a radio or if they did, I never heard it. And I wanted something to do because I was bored stiff. I don’t handle boredom very well.
Yankee Arnold: But this man, my father-in-law, brought me the Bible. And I said, “I don’t know what to read in the Bible.” He said, “Turn to the gospel of John.” When I said, “I don’t know where it is,” he opened it up to the gospel of John and he gave it to me and I started reading. I read the first three chapters. I even read John 3:16, but I didn’t understand it. I stood up and I took his Bible and I threw it on the couch. I can see it now; I was so rude. I was so unkind. But he was so patient with me, so nice.
Yankee Arnold: I threw his Bible on the couch and I said, “Don’t make a bit of sense to me,” and I started toward the door, was going to go outside. But he said, “Yankee, sit down.” I thought it was a little rude myself at the time. But I was living in his house and eating his food. So I sat down, and he showed me John 3:16 and he sat there and he read it to me and explained it to me. And I got teary-eyed. I had never been to a church or seen anybody get saved. I didn’t know what the rules were. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I wasn’t raised in church. I’d never seen my mom or dad in a church. I never saw them read a Bible. I never saw them have prayer. I never heard the words “I love you,”, not from my parents, never.
Yankee Arnold: Then all of a sudden, I’m hearing that God loves me… God loves me,,, God loves me. And that I can have eternal life and I can go to Heaven when I die. And I just knew that what he said was true. I knew I was going to Hell. I kept thinking, “I’m going to Hell. I’m going to Hell.” And it just overwhelmed me. I got up and I walked over to the door. It was nighttime and my father-in-law was still sitting there on the couch. I didn’t want him to see me with tears in eye because I didn’t cry about anything.
Yankee Arnold: So I did the only sensible thing a man could do; I turned off the lights. My father-in-law was sitting there in the dark. He asked me what was wrong. I started just sobbing. I couldn’t go outside where the ladies were and I couldn’t turn the light on. I was trapped. I mean I was trapped. I had a little pride and then I just started bawling like a baby. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I never saw anybody get saved. He hadn’t told me yet. All I knew is that he I was going to Hell. And that tore me up.
Yankee Arnold: For so many years, I thought I was good enough, to go to Heaven when I died. ‘ I didn’t drink. I never had a drop of drink in my life. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. I’ve never sworn a cuss word in my life. I thought that if anybody ought to go to Heaven, I ought to make it. I’m good enough, I thought. I’m better than everybody else that I knew. But regardless of how good I was and the best I had I was still just a sinner. And it all just came out and fell apart on me. And I sobbed like a baby.
Yankee Arnold: My father-in-law could hear me sobbing. He said, “What’s wrong?: He had set me up. This was his plan. He was a soul winner. He’d won hundreds of people to Christ and he knew what he was doing. But he wouldn’t tell me what he was doing. He let me go through this misery. And I said, “I want to be saved.” He said, “Well then you need to turn on the light.” So I turned on the light and I was just a bawling, 18-year-old teenager. I walked over to the couch and my father-in-law got on his knees in front of the couch and I just joined him.
Yankee Arnold: He put his arm around my shoulder and explained it a little bit more to me. He said, “Yankee, can you trust Christ as your savior?” I said I would. And I bawled a little bit more. Then he said, “Now listen. God says that if you trust Him he’d save you. True?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Do you trust Him?” Yeah. He says, “Are you saved?” I said, “Yeah. Yeah I’m saved. Yeah. Uh-huh. I’m saved.” I was as excited as I could be. I did not know that this was the beginning of the greatest thing that could ever happen to any man ever born into the world. I had passed from death unto life.
Yankee Arnold: I had become something that, by my human efforts, I could never have been. And no man could do this for me. But Jesus said, I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. I am eternal life. So when a person accepts Christ as His savior, Christ is the way there. You have the truth. You have eternal life.
Yankee Arnold: This was the best news I had on ever heard in my whole life. I was 18 years old and September the 17th it’ll be 50 years ago. I trusted the Lord about three months later after I married my wife. I am so thankful. God has been so good to me. Did you know you can go to church all your life and never understand that to go to Heaven is not by your works. It’s not because you go to church. You can’t earn your salvation; you can’t work for it.
Yankee Arnold: That’s why Jesus Christ is so unique; he’s so different. God says that none of us can earn salvation. None of us can work for it. That’s why Jesus Christ says, “I am the way.” So when I accepted Him as my savior, it was a done deal. So when I trusted Christ as my savior when I was 18 years old God promised to give me what kind of life?
Yankee Arnold: Everlasting life. Eternal life. Well if he cannot lie and he gave me eternal life, almost 50 years ago, would I still have it today?
Yankee Arnold: Yes. And he’ll never cast me out and he’ll never lose me. That’s a promise. God cannot lie. He is truth. And you can trust him. The only way you’ll ever know if You are going to go to Heaven, is to believe the one that can’t lie. And when you trust him as your Savior, He gives you, as a free gift, everlasting life. He will never cast you out and never lose you. This is why I know I’m going to Heaven when I die.
Yankee Arnold: Some people try to add their own good works to get them to heaven. But despite the best works of any man, he’s still a sinner. And he can’t save himself. So we say it’s “faith alone, in Christ alone.” There is no other way. Nobody else qualifies. There’s nobody else to trust. He is the only way. I’ve trusted him as my Savior and I pray that you have, too.
Roger Marsh: What a powerful reminder of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and our desperate need for a savior. You’ve been listening to a message from Pastor Yankee Arnold here on Family Talk. You can go to today’s broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org to learn more about Dr. Arnold, his church, and the various ministries he’s a part of. That’s drjamesdobson.org and then click onto the broadcast page.
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Roger Marsh: I hope you’ll join us again tomorrow for a classic broadcast featuring Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. They’ll talk with Dr. Dobson about the adversities that many single adults face. That’s coming up next time right here on Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.