The Gospel

What’s the Problem With Joel Osteen?

The Thief on the Cross & Purging Purgatory

An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory. Ludovico Carracci, c. 1610

By Eric Davis. Reposted, with permission, from The Cripplegate.

For the most part, the problem which moved Martin Luther to post his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517 had to do with indulgences. Much could be said about that issue. But the doctrine of indulgences is inextricably linked to the doctrine of purgatory. The word “purgatory” comes from the Latin word, “purgare,” which has the idea of “make clean,” “purify,” or “purge.” The doctrine refers to the purging of remaining guilt and unrighteousness after death.

Purgatory is not hell, but the place of conditioning and preparation for heaven. It is unsure exactly what purgatory is like or how much time people spend there. It could be thousands upon thousands of years, perhaps.

We could go many places in Scripture to address the Roman Catholic teaching on purgatory. But one of my favorites is the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43).

719 reads

Saving Faith and Assurance

When considering assurance of salvation, sooner or later we come to the question of saving faith. The ultimate issue concerns the nature of my faith, is it genuine or spurious? If I didn’t have some kind of faith, I wouldn’t be concerned with assurance at all. I wouldn’t even consider it.

However, if I have made a profession of faith in Christ, but am troubled about the reality of that profession, what I want to know is whether my faith is true saving faith, or something less. At some point I thought I believed in Christ, but is my faith now genuine or not?

Many refuse to allow questions about the nature of faith, at least in the heat of evangelistic efforts. Just ask Christ to save you, and if you are sincere, you will be saved. Never doubt it. To doubt that God saved you is to call God a liar, or so we are told. Some go so far as to assure people that “if you ever made this decision before, you don’t need to make it again. But if you have never before made this decision, you need to make it today, and if you do, you will be saved, never doubt it.”

795 reads

Is Romanism Christianity?

(About this series)

CHAPTER VI — IS ROMANISM CHRISTIANITY?

BY T. W. MEDHURST, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND

I am aware that, if I undertake to prove that Romanism is not Christianity, I must expect to be called “bigoted, harsh, uncharitable.” Nevertheless I am not daunted; for I believe that on a right understanding of this subject depends the salvation of millions.

One reason why Popery has of late gained so much power in Great Britain and Ireland, and is gaining power still, is that many Protestants look on it now as a form of true Christianity; and think that, on that account, notwithstanding great errors, it ought to be treated very tenderly. Many suppose that at the time of the Reformation, it was reformed, and that it is now much nearer the truth than it was before that time. It is still, however, the same; and, if examined, will be found to be so different from, and so hostile to, real Christianity, that it is not, in fact, Christianity at all.

1721 reads

Look & Live! John 3:16 as a Universal Gospel Invitation

Some may not think I’m a Calvinist when it comes to John 3:16. Actually, I’m a John Calvinist when I interpret this verse (double entendre intended). I don’t think the verse (and its larger context) is simply designed to teach people biblical doctrines or facts, such as “God loves sinners” or “believers go to heaven.” It has a larger aim. Namely, God through the apostle John wants to solicit a faith-response on the part of the reader.

When a Little Greek Is Not Enough

Some Calvinists with a little Greek under their belt are quick to tell us that the reading of the AV, “whosoever believeth in him,” is mistaken. The Greek features a participle in the nominative case (ο πιστευων) modified by the adjective “all” (πας). Hence, they argue, John is simply stating a fact: “all believers [i.e., the elect] go to heaven.”

3329 reads

From the Archives: 10 Mistakes We Make with the Gospel

1. Referring Rather than Declaring

It’s one thing to say “the gospel is central to all we do.” It’s another thing to declare that Jesus Christ died for sinners and rose again. It’s yet another thing to integrate the gospel into how we look at every part of ministry. Note the difference between these statements:

Statement 1: We have a children’s ministry to further the gospel in the lives of children

Statement 2: We have a children’s ministry because we all come into this world as sinners in need of rescue by a living, sinless Savior. It’s never too soon to start learning this freeing truth (Matt. 19:14, John 8:32).

13185 reads

Pages