Convictions are something like coffee. Many people want to be a little watered down. They don’t want to hold their opinions too strongly because they are afraid of offending others. As a result, their lives, like milky coffee, are pretty bland. They don’t have an identity. Instead, like a chameleon, they just try to fit in wherever they are.
Let’s think about it closely. What we are saying is the Holy Spirit must change a man internally before he will embrace Jesus Christ for salvation. In our sinful state, no amount of altar calls, revivals, soft piano music, or fiery preaching will persuade us to believe in Christ. You and I, alone, cannot persuade anyone to be saved. This is a work only the Spirit of God can do.
Houston, we have a problem! Based on these responses, at least half of Southern Christians deny the Gospel they claim saves them.
Logically, Calvin argued we must conclude that God chooses whom he will save and passes over the rest. For those chosen for salvation, God provides every means – primarily preaching and prayer – to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those God passed over he permits to remain happy in sin until the day of judgment. And, he made this choice before he created the world.
And, there is no such thing as “terrible twos.” What you observe as children grow they get better and better at demonstrating the sinfulness of their minds and hearts. No, children are not born innocent.
God declares that he is the one and only God. He proves this by “declaring the end from the beginning.” Before God spoke life into being, he declared everything that would come to pass in heaven and earth (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). Therefore, he knows everything (Psalm 139:2-6).
The Church cannot exist apart from the Bible. The Church’s definition and mission come from Scripture, not vice versa. Scripture teaches us that Christ came announcing the arrival of his kingdom (Mark 1:15). He came to reign over the lives of his people. He rules over us when we obey his commands in Scripture, which requires believing that the Bible is God’s Word.
Does God accept Muslim worship when they perform the Five Pillars? What about other religions? Does he approve of all worship? If you answer “Yes,” congratulations, you agree with 58% of Southern Evangelicals. In fact, 39% of survey respondents indicated they “strongly agree” with the statement: “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.” Unfortunately, this is a case in which the majority opinion is badly wrong.
Unlike the impersonal, unknowable force of Star Wars, God the Spirit intimately relates to God’s people. In our devotional life, the Spirit helps us pray and assures us we are God’s children (Romans 8:12-17), enables us to understand the Bible (John 17:15-18, Hebrews 10:15), to bear the fruits of righteousness (Galatians 5:22), and minister to others within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).