Hebrews 5:1-10

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 30, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’
And he says in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
-Hebrews 5:1-10

The theme of Jesus as our great high priest is one of the main themes of the book of Hebrews, and it’s one that’s only found in this book - nowhere else in the Scriptures. This topic was introduced in last week’s passage of Hebrews 4:14-16 and continues through today’s passage.

Though the concept of a high priest would have been very familiar to the author’s original audience, he still explains it for the reader’s benefit and to make sure everyone is on the same page with what that role looked like. His description points to the ideal high priest, not one of his contemporary high priests who were likely falling short of this ideal.

We see in verse 1 that the office of the high priest has a component of mankind and a component of God. He is selected from the people and represents the people. He is their link to God. He is the one who is able to offer sacrifices for the people’s sins – something that only God can do, but the high priest is His appointed earthly mediator for that role.

Verse 2 describes some of the moral qualities of this ideal high priest. When dealing with those who do not obey God and His rules for them, he does not have an uncaring attitude of indifference but rather he “deals gently” with them. This word in the Greek refers to a middle ground between being angry and being apathetic. He recognizes that is not the perfect model of obedience, so he’s able to use his own weakness to relate to the people. He, too, needs God’s forgiveness for his own disobedience, just as the people do.

Similarly, verse 3 explains how he is in need of sacrifices for his own sins, just like the rest of the people. The high priest was chosen from among the people and is still one of them in standing before God. Leviticus 16 provides the detailed guidelines that the people were supposed to follow for the annual Day of Atonement, and Leviticus 16:11 tells how Aaron (the first high priest) also needed that atonement: “Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering.”

No person can choose to be the high priest; he must be appointed by God (verse 4). The pattern for this appointment was set by Aaron in Exodus 28:1-3. Aaron’s appointment is the only specific one recorded in Scripture, but his calling also included his sons and their descendents. There are examples in Scripture of people who were punished for trying to appoint themselves to this office; see Korah in Numbers 16, Saul in 1 Samuel 13, and Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:16-23.

Now that the author has established what the earthly office of the high priest looks like, he turns his attention to Jesus Christ in verses 5-10 and how He fulfills that same office. Jesus goes way beyond the human qualifications for high priest because He is also God.

Jesus Christ, of course, has the qualification of being called and appointed by God. In verse 5, the author references Psalm 2:7, which was a messianic prophecy that had not been fulfilled when that psalm was written. We see this being fulfilled in the life of Jesus both at His baptism (Matthew 3:13-17) and at His transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13). In both of those situations, God verbally declared Jesus as His Son.

The next Old Testament quote, in verse 6, is from Psalm 110:4. You may be wondering who Melchizedek is; that’s a very good question, and we’ll get to him more in Hebrews 7, so stay tuned. It’s important to note here that this prophecy refers to Christ as a priest “forever.” Every earthly priest was limited by his lifespan, but Christ lives forever, so He is a priest forever.

Remember how the office of the high priest has a component of mankind and a component of God? We just saw how Jesus fulfills the God components, and now in verse 7 we see the mankind component. We see how Jesus was a genuine human; He prayed, He cried, and He was heard. Jesus lived a life in the flesh, just as we do.

Just as we humans need to learn obedience through discipline and suffering, Jesus did too (verse 8). This does not mean that Jesus was ever disobedient; He wasn’t. But He learned obedience by actually obeying God, and He did suffer in the process of being obedient even unto His death on the cross. Similarly, verse 9’s phrase of “once made perfect” does not imply that Jesus was ever imperfect; rather, His perfection was manifested in the suffering and obedience that He accomplished. Because of that perfection, He is the source of eternal salvation for all.

Verse 10 concludes this passage by wrapping it all up. Jesus shared our human life with us. He was qualified to be a high priest because of His calling by God. Because of His perfect life, He is qualified to not only be A high priest but THE high priest - the one who lives forever and perfectly fulfills the requirements of the high priest’s office.

What does this mean for us? It means that the system of annual sacrifices that the high priests of Israel had to perform is completely unnecessary. Jesus was the one perfect sacrifice, the only one that is ever needed for full repayment of the sins of all people at all times and in all places. He is the perfect high priest, and He has already fulfilled His duties. All we need to do is put our faith and trust in Him!

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Apologetics 4: Skill in Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 27, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

"To be an effective warrior in the battle for truth today, several old fashioned, Christlike virtues are absolutely essential: biblical discernment, wisdom, fortitude, determination, endurance, skill in handling Scripture, strong convictions, the ability to speak candidly without waffling, and a willingness to enter a conflict."
~John MacArthur: The Truth War, page 146

When we deal with apologetics, there is nothing more important in terms of your knowledge than skill in Scripture. The rest of the virtues have to deal with character and mindset. This one is the only of MacArthur’s list that deals with actual content. When I opened this series, one of the statements I made is that apologetics must have one of two goals if not both: 1) to proclaim from Scripture or 2) to show the reliability of Scripture, then in all that to reveal Christ. If we aren’t doing these two things, we may be able to present truth about the existence of God or good political talk, but we’ve completely missed the point of doing apologetics. If our apologetics point to and praise the works of men over God, we preach a false position. As much as I love listening to men who preach the truth, I must be careful about idolizing them. While I can learn truth from those who speak it, the only value they have is when they speak the truth of Scripture. The same is true about me. The only thing of true value that I know is that which has its source in Scripture, in the words of God. As much as I love science and I love to talk about science, that is a very weak source when compared to the Holy Scriptures.

Voddie Baucham gives an excellent analogy for this issue. He describes two knights going head-to-head in a duel. Knight 1 draws his sword. Knight 2 proclaims, “I don’t believe in your sword.” Knight 1 has three options: 1) put his sword away and don’t use it b) put his sword down and explain why his sword is dangerous to the other knight, or c) hit Knight 2 anyway and ask, “Do you believe in it now?” What is Baucham addressing here? He is answering the ludicrous idea that if someone doesn’t believe in the Bible, you can’t use it as your authority. Why? Why let them dictate the “rules”? I reject the principles of naturalism and uniformitarianism. I reject the premise that “science” is the only valid way to know if something is true. I reject the premise that ANY authority that man has discovered or contrived has any influential say on what Scripture states nor can it override what Scripture states.

So, what does that say about the person who rejects these things? If someone rejects the Bible, perhaps we should throw their own argument back at them. “I don’t believe in your ‘scientism.’” Make them answer for their own standards. In all, the Bible is our authority as Christians and it saddens me how few actually use it as such, especially in apologetics. When I first tried my hand at apologetics, I thought I could prove a young earth without the Bible (and I parroted Kent Hovind’s presentations). Needless to say, I didn’t get far because I didn’t understand how the arguments or authorities worked. The Christian apologist needs the Bible as their primary authority, and then they need skill in using it.

As I’ve written about the Armor of God, when I talk about the “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace,” I describe how in any sport or activity, footwork, proper footwear, and having grip of the ground are the most important thing. If your feet are in the wrong place, if you don’t have traction, if they are heavy and don’t move, you are toast. The same is true in the spiritual battle field. You must know the Scriptures, and you must be able to “rightly divide” the Word of God. No one on this planet today is ever going to get it 100% correct, nor will anyone ever exhaust the mine of truth it contains, but we must know what it says and how to use it.

We must have proper exegesis. The Bible is not a book you “interpret” based on what you think or what you know. The true Christian doesn’t “read the Bible.” The Bible reads the true Christian. It’s the instruction manual for life. It’s the mirror that shows you who you truly are. It’s the lens through which we can see reality. If you want me to tune out of anything you have to say about the Bible, open with “I think.” The Christian is not to operate that way regarding the Bible. When we put our opinions about things to the Bible, we are putting our intellect and our ideas and our thinking as the authority over Scripture; enabling us to pick and choose what we like, and what we don’t like. Instead, we must submit to Scripture. We don’t dictate what it says; it tells us what it says.

We must have more than mere surface level understanding of Scripture. I need to make this clear: different does NOT mean deeper. In a debate between Kent Hovind and Hugh Ross, someone in the audience suggested that “day” meaning ordinary day is the initial meaning, but then meaning long period of time is a “deeper meaning” and offered that as a solution to the YEC/OEC debate. The true answer to this suggestion is that any deeper meaning MUST be in perfect agreement to the initial meaning. Just as calculus is a deeper level of math than addition and subtraction, if the calculus denies basic arithmetic, it’s not math. Likewise, ANY model that suggests “day” is not a normal day (as the language commands) is not a deeper understanding of anything. It’s an entirely different construct.

I have had conversations with some people who proclaim Christ, but their knowledge of the Gospel is very superficial and surface-level at best, and they are trying to “educate” me about theology and tell me that I need to listen to the Holy Spirit. If someone picking your brain on a topic can only get to the surface level and not get further, then you don’t know it well enough. My former pastor told me after hearing me speak that if someone were to pick my brain, they would not be able to hit the bottom in Bible knowledge and general apologetics. But there are fields where I am not afraid to admit that my knowledge doesn’t go very deep on that field. I also don’t talk about those fields very much. On the other hand, I have had people tell me that their theology is far more important than their studies of geology, yet when they talk, they are extremely articulate in geology and can’t or won’t dig into the theology of their claims. Which one have they really studied?

We must be skilled in Scripture. Jesus was a master of it. He didn’t merely have it memorized; He knew precisely what it said, what it meant, and how to use it. We should learn from His model. Study Scripture and keep studying Scripture. Get to know the author through Scripture. It will not merely help you through defending your faith; it will help you live your life. Next week, I will conclude my study of this MacArthur quote with the last phrase: “having strong convictions, speaking candidly, and being willing to enter a conflict.” After that, we’ll take a thorough examination of 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and the surrounding context.

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Just Cheat a Little

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, August 25, 2021 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

Near the end of 2017, I had a massive life-threatening stroke and was given life-saving brain surgery. The dead part of my brain was removed in an emergency surgery, and after about 8 days in the Neuro ICU, I was moved to a step-down unit for 2 days, and then I went home. Even though the doctors would not use the term miracle to explain my incredible recovery, they would use terms like “remarkable,” “incredible,” or “better than average.” One nurse, seemingly from fear of being ridiculed, leaned over my bed before my final test and whispered in my ear, “You know you're a miracle, right?”

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe I did around 5 or so sessions of physical therapy and 2 sessions of occupational therapy, with one of those sessions being a test to see about how much occupational therapy I would need to do to help my recovery. The person giving me the test said, “Well Jason, I'm going to send out these test results to be confirmed, but I can tell you before sending them out that I can't help you out with your recovery any more than you already are.” It was quite an incredible time for me, my wife, and my whole family. Family and friends were astonished as well. To this day, we are still thankful and amazed at my miraculous recovery. Plus, many people helped our family in so many ways. I know we are all thankful for that. Before I move on, please note that I am still healing and recovering to this day, and I still deal with things from this whole ordeal. In our current society, one of those things that is I cannot wear a mask over my mouth and nose.

I choose not to go into all of the gory details of why I cannot wear a mask. Suffice it to say that back in the spring of 2020, God allowed me to see what was coming around the corner in society. At the beginning of all of this craziness, my wife and I needed to get somethings at a local store, so like “good citizens” we both masked up and we went on our way to get what we needed. In less than 5 minutes it was obvious that the lack of oxygen I was receiving was affecting my body and my brain. I told my wife at the time that I wasn't sure I could do that again. So, I went to my primary doctor, an MD who was in practice for over 20 years, and I told him what took place. One of the main types of patients he dealt with were patients like me who have had strokes. It was one of the main reasons I chose him to be my primary doctor.

He told me, “Oh, that doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, it makes sense that this happened to you.” This was very early on in this “pandemic.” So, I chose very early on that I would not mask up; not because I was mean or selfish but because I needed to live the life God had given to me in liberty and freedom. It became quite apparent to me by about June or July 2020 at how “crazy” masking up was going to become. So, in September of 2020, I was able to secure a medical mask exemption from my primary doctor, even though some of the nurses in the office thought I was being over the top in trying to get this piece of paper.

This is the part of the story I really want to convey to the public and just one of many reasons why I was done with this whole situation back in September of 2020. What happened made me realize how non concerning this whole thing really was. Please bear with me. After going into the office and asking to get this medical mask exemption, one of the nurses, well-meaning as she could be (I do not fault this person at all and truly love her as a person made in the image of God), looked at me as serious as could be and made the suggestion, “Oh Jason, you can wear a mask. Can't you just ‘cheat a little’ by just twisting the elastic that goes around your ears to make a little pocket here on the side of your face so you can get a little more oxygen in through here?” As she pointed to the sides where an obvious gap was made on both sides of her face to allow the mask to be basically rendered useless because the “seal” that was to be made by the mask against this virus was truly broken. Now, this is a medical professional and not some “wanna be” or novice saying to do this.

That was the day I truly realized what was happening in our nation and world. Now, before anyone attacks me, I am not, in the least, saying this virus isn't real or that people are not dying. They are, but like it or not, death, disease, and dying have been here since Adam sinned against Almighty God. It is a part of this world. If your immune system is compromised, by all means, take the necessary precautions to live the life God has given to you. But don't expect to force those who are healthy or are not affected by this virus to stop living their lives or change what they are doing because you don't like it or might be scared. God Almighty does not call us to that. He calls us to live in this world without fear and worry.

As I started out this post, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. My family and I had no idea how much that verse was true until we experienced how God could take an absolutely horrible situation of a massive life-threatening stroke and use it for good to help set people free in their mindset. My wife and I have already spoken many times before 2020 in public about what took place in 2017; praise God that many people have been encouraged in their faith in Jesus Christ and in their situations by the account. It amazes me how even 4 years later, God is still using this for His good and for His glory to help set people free in Christ. God works all things together for the good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose!

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Hebrews 4:14-16

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 23, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Hebrews 4:14-16

Because the word of God is what it is as discussed last week in Hebrews 4:12-13, the author now moves to discussing Jesus as our high priest, which we’ll look at for the next few weeks. This is one of the primary themes of the book of Hebrews, and it’s the only book in the Bible that addresses this specific topic.

But first, since this is a topic many of us today don’t think about regularly, what exactly is a high priest? The first person appointed as the high priest was Moses’ brother Aaron (see Exodus 29). The high priest wore certain clothing, and he was the only person permitted into the Holy of Holies in the temple (where the presence of God dwelt), which would only happen once a year on the Day of Atonement. On that day, the high priest would wear all of his priestly garments when entering the temple, then in secret he’d take most of them off until he only wore a simple linen garment. He would enter the Holy of Holies alone, make expiation (reparation, making amends) for the sins of the people, sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on the mercy seat, and offer incense. When done, he would put his priestly garments back on and go back out in front of the people (Leviticus 16). Other than that one special day of the year, the high priest would serve in the same temple duties as the other priests.

To summarize this, in the culture of the people of Israel, the Day of Atonement was the one day each year when their sins would be forgiven. It was the work of the high priest to make this happen according to the instructions God had given.

Hebrews 4:14 specifically calls out Jesus as our great high priest. The title of “great” singles Jesus out as being greater and superior to all of the high priests that the nation of Israel had for generations. Jesus was not just an earthly priest, but He had ascended into heaven as well, again noting Him as superior to the other high priests who had lived.

It is because of this role that Jesus holds that we can “hold firmly to the faith we profess.” We can have confidence in our faith because of who Jesus is and the work that He has done. Remember how the regular high priests had to perform their work every year on the Day of Atonement? Jesus is greater than those high priests because His work only needed to be performed ONCE. Period. The high priest’s work would remove the sins from the nation of Israel for the past year. Jesus’ work on the cross removed the sins from all people, everywhere, past, present, and future – forever! This work is so much greater than what the high priests did each year, and because of that, we should hold firmly to our faith in Jesus.

Verse 15 tells us more about Jesus and why He can be given this title of the great high priest. He was tempted to sin in every way, just like we are all the time. All of the high priests of the nation of Israel were also tempted to sin, too. The difference is that Jesus did not sin – not even once, ever! He can relate to us and empathize with our weaknesses, but He also lived the perfect life that was required so that His sacrifice would be worthy to forgive the sins of all people. He entered into our sinful weakness, yet He remained without sin. It’s easy to think that Jesus living a perfect life was easy for Him since He is God, but the author of Hebrews makes it clear that wasn’t the case. Jesus was still tempted in every way, just as we are, but He resisted each and every one of those temptations. His sinlessness was hard-earned.

So what does the sinless life of Jesus mean for us? Verse 16 tells us: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Earlier in Israel’s history, only the high priest could enter the presence of God in the Holy of Holies, and even then, only once a year. But because of the work of Jesus the great high priest, we can approach God with confidence! God has extended His grace to us because of the work that Jesus did. Jesus’ life and death paid the penalty for our sins, so that we are now able to approach God with confidence.

While we may feel unworthy to approach the Almighty God of the universe, we must remember that He does not see our sinfulness when we approach Him; rather, He sees Jesus’ perfect life. We know that we need God’s mercy and grace, because by ourselves and in our sinfulness, we are not worthy to be anywhere near Him. But because of Jesus the great high priest, we may approach God whenever we find ourselves in a time of need, and His grace and mercy will always cover us.

Jesus was fully successful in His work as the great high priest, and then He approached God’s throne in heaven so that we, too, may have the opportunity once we put our faith in Him. Hold fast to that faith and approach God with confidence, thanking and praising Him for the work of Jesus, the great high priest!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Apologetics 3: Fortitude, Determination, and Endurance

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 20, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

"To be an effective warrior in the battle for truth today, several old fashioned, Christlike virtues are absolutely essential: biblical discernment, wisdom, fortitude, determination, endurance, skill in handling Scripture, strong convictions, the ability to speak candidly without waffling, and a willingness to enter a conflict."
~John MacArthur: The Truth War, page 146

Last week, we looked two of these critical virtues in the defense of the faith: discernment and wisdom. Today, we will look at fortitude, determination, and endurance. All three of these work together. Fortitude is an old-fashioned word for strength. It’s the noun form of the verb “to fortify.” The verb means to make strong; the noun means to have strength. Determination is a mindset – it’s the heart, interest, and focus on the task at hand. Endurance is the ability to stay with it for the long haul. Let’s take a look at how these play a role in apologetics and being an effective warrior in the battle for truth.

If someone has “fortitude,” it means they have a position of strength. It’s the “high ground.” Unfortunately, Christians have long surrendered this position in the face of those who think they have “educated” themselves out of the necessity of belief in God. There are many atheists and quasi-believers who are quick to challenge a Christian on any topic (doesn’t matter what it is), and they are just waiting for you for bring the Bible into the discussion. Their response is often, “I don’t believe in the Bible, so you can’t use it.” Or they will say, “The Bible is what is making that claim, therefore you can’t use it as evidence.” It doesn’t matter what the topic is. Their target is to get you to remove the Bible from the discussion. Voddie Baucham compares this to two knights going to duel and one knight says, “I don’t believe in your sword,” expecting the other knight to set it down. It’s foolish in a duel, yet it has succeeded so many times with the Bible. Baucham continues to show what should be done. You can either set the sword down and explain how swords work, or you can hit him with the sword anyway.

To the Christian, the Bible is our ultimate authority. It’s our high ground. It’s our position of strength. We don’t need to defend it. It can defend itself better than any of us ever could. (Check out this resource for more on that.) Instead, we need to attack with it. The Bible is more than a shield; it’s a sword. But let us remember that our war is not against flesh and blood, but against ideas and arguments and spiritual forces. A Christian who has fortitude knows his Bible and knows what it says and knows its strength. There are many verses in Scripture which tells the believer to stand firm, hold your ground, be strong and courageous. The Hebrew word for this is chazak, and it’s part of the Israelite War Cry that I wrote about way back in 2014. Be strong! When you engage with lies from the enemy, hold your ground. Don’t let them advance. Don’t let them pull you aside for a “discussion.” Nehemiah saw that tactic and would not let a discussion with an unbeliever that had no chance of getting that unbeliever saved detract him from his mission. Nehemiah had fortitude, and he needed every bit of it.

We must be determined. The Christian must not have “quit” as an option. Now, there is a difference between being stubborn and trying to force something to happen and determination. Determination is the other part of the Israelite War Cry: amats. It’s the unwavering, unyielding, relentless charge that refuses to say no. Determination in this war sees that teaching is a lie and it is destroying us. It must be exposed and brought down. It also sees that the truth must be defended, and we must not allow our walls to be compromised. Determination refuses to stop or slow down until the objective is complete. Determination may back off when pressing forward in one direction proves to be futile, but determination always comes back from another angle or approach.

We better have determination in our stance for truth because the enemy has the determination to tear it down. And he is relentless. One of the enemy’s goals is to wear us down so we quit fighting. So we have to be as Eleazar, one of David’s mighty men, who fought so hard to the point where his hand stuck to his sword. Eleazar physically could not let go of it after the battle was won. That’s the kind of determination we need to have. Or that of Jashobeam who single-handedly fought off 800 men in one battle. That’s determination. In our apologetics and our defense of the faith, it doesn’t matter how many people come at us, it doesn’t matter how many credentials they have, and it doesn’t matter what arguments they have; we are to stand firm and not quit. The truth is worth fighting for. Without truth, we lose everything. We need tireless, unrelenting determination to fight for it until the battle is won.

This also calls for endurance. As I mentioned, the enemy is determined, too. And the enemy does not relent and does not quit. So, we need endurance. I heard a statistic that the average pastor only lasts a few years before quitting. Why? Because he lacks endurance (among many other reasons). Endurance means we are in it for the long haul. To defend the truth is not a quick sprint; it’s a super marathon. MacArthur gives a case of who had this from The Truth War: Athanasius. Athanasius led the charge against Arius and his heresy of Jesus not being the actual son of God. Much of the church bought into his lies, and Athanasius refused to give this up. He was so determined and so strong on his point that Constantine called him saying, “The whole world is against you.” Constantine was talking about the church. Athanasius said, “If they be all against me, then I am against them.” The phrase Athanasius Contra Mundo came from that encounter. This battle raged on for decades and because of Athanasius’ determination and his fortitude, he built up the endurance to the end. In the end, Aruis’ teachings fell away, primarily because truth had a soldier who would not let go and would not quit.

We need such soldiers today. But unlike Athanasius’ day, I don’t believe some of these false teachings are going away until Christ returns. The lies have proven to be false and weak, but they aren’t going way. I do wonder if Athanasius thought the same thing. After the Council of Nicaea when Arius was proved a heretic, he still went about teaching his lies, all the while proclaiming the same truths as everyone else, even agreeing with the very council that refuted him. All he did differently was redouble his efforts in making his language and terminology closer to the sound doctrines. Arius didn’t quit teaching his lies after being refuted. Likewise, we should never quit speaking the truth and refuting the lies. Next week, I’ll have a full post on how we must have skill in Scripture to defend the truth.

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Vaccination: The Christian Dilemma

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 17, 2021 1 comments


by Eric Hansen

Editor's Note: The following post is not a pro or con position regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. What we are hoping happens with this post is that Christians will not only be objective in their research of this situation but to make certain they are reading God's Word, listening for the Holy Spirit's leading, and following that leading.

It’s been many months now since the vaccine for COVID-19 became publicly available. Since the start of that, there is no shortage of (mis)information, opinions, etc. about it. This post isn’t looking to tell you to get it or not to get it, but instead it will tackle this issue from the perspective of Christianity without fear.

Should I Get It?

It is a good thing to constantly ask this question. With much about the virus and the shot being new, there will be new information coming at you from every which way. No one but God can tell you to get it, but there are some ways to help navigate this question healthily.

Ignore the Noise

One thing, especially if your social media experience has been like mine, is to remove yourself from it. Take a step away from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and just give your brain some time to relax. The decision to get it or not is not simple, and the more influence you get from either side of the fence is only going to impact your health. If you don’t get the shot, but then get the virus and tell your Facebook “friends” you listened to them and now you’re in the hospital, what is the likelihood they will take responsibility for it?

The fact of the matter is that even if we want to point the finger, it’s our own decisions that lead us to where we go. All anyone else can do is influence you. If this wasn’t the case, then we would also be responsible for others’ salvation. So take time away from the platforms. If you have to, even take time away from friends and family to just collect yourself.

For me, I realized I needed to do this if I wanted to think about what was best for my family and me, and not just what I thought was right because people whose opinion I value said so. I’ve gone to the extreme of deleting my Facebook completely, but I would only suggest this if you find yourself constantly slipping back to it. Otherwise, just give yourself even a week or two of no social media.

Read the Bible

Most people will tell you to pray (myself included) when it comes to making any sort of big decision. That is only part of the solution, however. Often, we already look at prayer when we’re asking ourselves if we should get the vaccination. The more important piece now is what the answer is. This is where we need to keep ourselves quiet and let God speak out of His authority over us.

If we look at the situation literally, then we won’t find many verses that center around man-made chemical warfare viruses. We do have stories from the Old Testament, however, talking about how God gave plagues to the Israelites for their rebellion, but also how God gave them the cure as well (see Numbers 21:4-9). What we can gather from this is that our focus needs to be on God. That’s it. We don’t need to look at our news feeds, TV, etc. to know that God is the answer to this situation. Really, we just need to trust in His sovereignty. To know this requires us to read the Bible with a softened heart, opened eyes, and a real desire to know the truth.

When I started just focusing on the Bible, everything slowly became more clear. But I also had to remember that God doesn’t always speak to me directly. There were other things that happened during this time of me asking God for His guidance. One of the biggest things I can say was this: when the vaccine first came out, my wife and I agreed that until her aunt (who is a respected nurse) gives confidence one way or another, we won’t be getting it. During the time of reading the Bible, her aunt told us what her answer was.

We also need to consider if we feel peace with a certain decision. This is a sort of peace you know once you have it, because there’s a confidence that God is telling you so. It was through much conversation and discussion that we really started realizing what God was telling us to do. During this time, we also both agreed that if we were to get it and die, that we were confident in our salvation.

Feedback

By this point if you feel comfortable with separating fact from opinion, it wouldn’t hurt in the slightest to get others’ opinions. I asked a few friends who got the shot about why they got it, and I asked myself why would I ever get it. I still stayed away from YouTube videos about it as much as possible, and I kept trying to keep my focus on Christ. There were days that I slipped, but there were also days I rebounded with grace holding onto me.

Conclusion

I don’t see the shot being something everyone should get. I also don’t want to be part of that influence either way. What I do want is for people to look at the situation with objective lenses and understand the impact it has solely on them. If you have a partner, then feel free to get their feedback as well, it’s an important decision, but ultimately it impacts only you.

Ultimately my wife and I decided to get the vaccine, and here’s why:

  • After weeks of prayer and time with God, it slowly started bringing more peace to me.
  • We are looking to serve God overseas in the coming years, and this will likely be mandatory by then (we already see this happening now).
  • After realizing my decisions had been fueled more by the voices around me instead of the voice inside (the Holy Spirit), I took a big step back.
  • God is in control of everything. I’m going to die regardless, and if it’s something God wasn’t wanting me to get personally, then the experiences I went through wouldn’t have happened.

If you would’ve asked me even 3 months ago, my opinion would be “no, never” to the shot. But that was fueled by man, not by God. Again, I’m not saying God is going to tell everyone to get it. This post is written more so to help people understand how to approach this from a Biblical Christian view. Above all else, please put God first!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Hebrews 4:12-13

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 16, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” -Hebrews 4:12-13

While I wrote last week on Hebrews 4:6-11, verse 11 is really a transition verse between the following section and these important verses we’ll discuss today. Verse 11 says, “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” This summarizes the previous section, where the author instructs us that our main goal as believers is to obey God with our lives.

Why should we obey God? Because of the description we get of His word in today’s verses. It has been said that a person is only as good as his or her word, and that is true of God as well. God’s Word in the Bible and Jesus as the living form of that Word are how God has specifically revealed Himself to us. While there is more to God than what we can comprehend from His word with our simple human brains, if His word is not valid, then neither is God.

While our English version quoted above splits verse 12 into two sentences, it’s really all one sentence in the original Greek. The structure of the verse has the word of God as the subject, and then the rest of the clauses describe it. The word of God is alive, active, sharper than every double-edged sword, penetrates to dividing, and able to judge. All of those phrases are equally joined into one sentence. That would make for a long sentence to read in English, but it’s important to note that each of those attributes of the word of God are portrayed equally in one grammatical piece, rather than a little more separated like we see in English.

Does the word of God here refer to the written word of the Bible, or the person of Jesus (as in John 1? Yes. Some scholars believe that this phrase in this context means anything that God has spoken, which would include the Bible and the words spoken by Jesus. Other scholars believe this refers to the person of Jesus also. However, the specific distinction is not very important, as the whole Bible points to the person and work of Jesus, so they are essentially one in the same.

The idea of the word being “alive and active” means that the revealed word of God is actually doing things, not just passively sitting there in a book gathering dust. Have you ever had the experience where you re-read a passage of the Bible, and it almost feels like you’ve never read it before? That’s the dynamic, living, and active essence of God’s word; when we give it the opportunity to work in our lives, transform us, and help us to mature as believers, it will definitely do so!

What specifically does the word do? It is sharper (literally “more cutting” in the Greek) than a double-edged sword, and it penetrates to our inmost being. The word of God is unique, and nothing else can do what it does. The author is not referring to the sword as dividing or splitting our body apart by saying “even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.” Rather, that refers to it being able to reach deep inside of us where nothing else can. We have absolutely no secrets from God, and there is nothing that we can keep to ourselves; His word will be able to reach there! Our whole person is open to God, and there’s nothing we can do to prevent that.

The word of God “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Again, we see that the word can see fully inside us, even to our very intentions. No one can fully discern our thoughts and attitudes except God. Not only does God know them, but his word judges them. We cannot keep any secrets from God; everything we think and even our very attitudes are scrutinized by God.

Verse 13 echoes this same idea but with a different metaphor. Rather than a double-edged sword digging into the core of our very being, we now see that it is impossible to hide anything from God. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before Him. There is nothing in all of creation that can ever hide from God’s knowledge and presence! Even our thoughts and our attitudes cannot hide from Him, and they will be exposed to Him.

The last phrase of this verse, translated in the NIV as, “before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” makes sense in context and is a good translation. But, it causes us to miss that the final Greek words in this verse are ha logos, which means “the word” - it’s the same phrase used at the start. The word essentially bookends these two verses, at the start and the end. This further shows the all-encompassing nature of the word of God.

Is the word of God active and alive in your life? It will be active and alive no matter what our thoughts or opinions of it are, because we do not control the word. But we do control our attitudes and the thoughts of our hearts; are those aligning with the alive and active word of God? Or are we disobeying God even with our innermost beings?

How does it make you feel that the word of God penetrates to your inmost being, and that even your thoughts and attitudes are exposed to God? If we recognize the evil nature of our ways as fallen humans, then that will likely make us feel pretty uncomfortable and anxious, knowing that the perfect God of the universe knows every evil little detail about us. But, that is why Jesus is so important! The sacrificial death of Jesus and His resurrection have covered all of our sinful thoughts and attitudes when we put our faith in Him. What was uncovered and exposed to God has been covered by the blood of Jesus, so we need not worry.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, seeing the word of God in this way is a comfort and not a threat. If you feel uncomfortable about the word of God knowing and judging every little detail about your life, it’s time to put your faith, hope, and trust fully in Jesus Christ today!

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Apologetics 2: Discernment and Wisdom

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 13, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

"To be an effective warrior in the battle for truth today, several old fashioned, Christlike virtues are absolutely essential: biblical discernment, wisdom, fortitude, determination, endurance, skill in handling Scripture, strong convictions, the ability to speak candidly without waffling, and a willingness to enter a conflict."
~John MacArthur: The Truth War, page 146

If we are to be effective warriors in this battle for truth, there must be Biblical discernment and wisdom. I am going to focus on those two today. Discernment is a difficult line to walk, because on both sides of the line are two equal and opposite fallacies. The first fallacy is legalism, where fear of breaking a law becomes so strong that you end up adding to what was actually said. The other fallacy is antinomianism, the idea that you basically have a free-for-all. The dangers people fall into is that they fear so much of one that they fall into the other. As I am wired to be rule oriented, I recognize my propensity to fall towards the legalistic side of things. But our culture as a whole, both church and secular, has gotten so afraid of legalism that it’s turned to madness. I’ll echo Eric Ludy’s quote on this below. (As I put this together, I noticed that MacArthur and Ludy wrote both these books on defending the truth at the same time).

"Why is it that quite often the only person who gets rebuked, confronted, or called out in metrotheistic Christianity is not the sinner, but the one taking a stand against sin? … On the other hand, one of the greatest revivalists of yesteryear once responded to similar criticism by saying, "If the church were half as afraid of sin as it is of legalism then she would be a perfect and holy bride without spot or wrinkle."
~Eric Ludy: The Bravehearted Gospel, pages 200-201

There is another problem I have to deal with: confusion of these ideas. I can see the danger of confusing proper discernment with legalism. But I find more often that it’s not me confusing the two, it’s the others I’m talking to. But Jesus gave us commands and He drew the lines quite clearly on what we should be doing and how. One of my upcoming studies will be on the commands of the New Testament. There are a LOT of commands that we as Christians are supposed to be following, and yet Jesus said that they are not burdensome. They don’t weigh us down when we submit to Jesus’ yoke. The problem we have is we don’t want to submit to them, and we kick against them. That’s when we run into problems. And in the U.S., our culture is inherently in defiance of sovereign politically authority. It started out good, because we were submitted to a much higher authority (at least morally), but when this country rejected submitting to God’s authority, it’s been pure antinomian anarchy ever since, and we still haven’t hit rock bottom.

We need discernment in the Church and in our culture today. One of the things God hates in His priests and prophets is when they refuse to teach the clean from the unclean, the holy from the unholy. There MUST be discernment in the pulpit. There is so much blending and mixing in the church that hardly anyone recognizes genuine truth anymore. In the Southern Kingdom of Judah, idolatry was so entrenched into the culture that when Hezekiah removed the high places and idol worship shrines (something that hadn’t been done since Jehoshaphat), the people though Hezekiah went apostate against God, when he was the one obeying God. How did that happen? No discernment was being taught or exposed. The priests and prophets weren’t doing their jobs. While they proclaimed their worship and praise of God, they let that which is contrary to Him run amok. There must be discernment and teaching about what is of God and what is not of God.

But doing so takes wisdom. Wisdom is not mere knowledge; it’s also how to use it. Proverbs defines the beginning of wisdom as the fear of the Lord. It also describes the fear of the Lord as the hatred of evil. Those two go side by side: you cannot fear the Lord without hating evil. You cannot love God and love what He hates. This is not a matter of personal preferences like being rivals fans on sports teams. This is about God. If you love children, you cannot support abortion without some serious misinformation or flaw in your thinking. You cannot love your spouse and then have an affair with someone else. When you love and fear God to the point where you love what He loves and hate what He hates, that is just the beginning of wisdom.

One of the spiritual gifts Paul speaks of in Romans is that of teaching. Teachers in the church tend to be focused on definitions, sound doctrine, accuracy, and correction of error. That is my spiritual gifting. Now, everyone is called to do this is some way, but others are more focused on that. Those who are not as focused on truth and sound doctrines MUST listen to the teachers, especially those whose spiritual gifting is showing mercy – they love to give grace and the benefit of the doubt and love on everyone. Yet, that extra gift of love for others can easily lead someone into danger by welcoming that which is not of God into the fold. That said, teachers need the encouragement of those who show mercy to know when and how to apply the tests of sound teachings. We all need each other. While teachers can fall into legalism, those who show mercy can fall into antinomianism. We need each other to walk the line together. There are other spiritual gifts as well, and we need those also, but I emphasize these two because they can easily fall into the two extremes.

When dealing with apologetics and defending our faith, we also need to be aware of the tactics involved in the “game,” both on our side and on the opponent’s side. Paul said we should not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices. We should not be ignorant of the tactics used to discredit the faith. I’ve been at this for a long time and it’s the same playbook, same arguments, and rarely does the wording even shift. And note this: the Bible has every argument an unbeliever can use in categorical form. You don’t have to be afraid of these arguments, because they are all smoke and mirrors. They are deceptions.

Yet, especially in our age of intellectualism, there is something unique that has come across. The enemy has been able to tie his deceptions to something concrete: “modern science.” It is not science, though. They are still deceptions, but now they are no longer merely metaphysical. So be aware – it takes both wisdom and discernment to be able to pull the layers apart and see what is at the core. We must stay alert and be on guard against such things. By studying the truth, we will be able to discern the genuine from the counterfeit. The latter will have many points in common with the former, but the two will always point in different directions. Look at the direction the claim is pointing, and you will know if it is real or not. We must have discernment and wisdom. Next week, we will look at fortitude, determination, and endurance.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Hebrews 4:6-11

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 9, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.’
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”
-Hebrews 4:6-11

The previous sections of this book have been discussing the people of Israel and how their disobedience to God prohibited them from entering the “rest” of the Promised Land, and how that relates to our obedience to God and our faith in Jesus. The previous passage told us to live out our faith in Jesus Christ so we can enter God’s rest – eternal life with Him. Now, this section starts with a “therefore” that builds on all of that.

Some will not enter that rest, but some will enter it because it would go against God’s character for His plan for humanity to go unfulfilled. God prepared His rest for humanity, so that means at least some will enter into it. Nothing can stop God’s promises from being fulfilled. But, we should also have a healthy fear of God’s promises; just because they will be fulfilled does not mean that they’ll always be fulfilled for us if we choose disobedience over obedience and faith.

The author of Hebrews is focusing on two specific generations in this passage: the generation of Israelites that wandered into the wilderness and was prevented from entering the Promised Land, and those alive in his own generation in the first century. That early generation of Isrealites set the pattern for disobedience even after God did miraculous works for them. The word used here for disobedience could also mean disbelief, and the two are tied together. The only reason Israel would disobey Almighty God was if they didn’t fully believe in His provision for them, in spite of seeing it with their own eyes.

The author is using this example of the people of Israel to encourage the believers in his own generation to believe in God and obey Him in all things. He quotes Psalm 95 yet again, encouraging the people to not harden their hearts but to obey God when He speaks to them. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” (For more on this, check out this post.) There is always time to repent and begin a life of obedience to God, as long as the day is called “Today”!

The use of the name “Joshua” in verse 8 is very interesting. The names Joshua and Jesus are very closely related; Joshua is the Hebrew form and Jesus is the Greek form. The two names both have the same meaning – one who saves. Using the name Joshua in the English brings back memories of the people of Israel, as Joshua was their leader right after Moses, and Joshua led them into the Promised Land. The Greek text, however, says “Jesus” here. What’s up with that?

The original readers of this text would have gotten the connection between the two. Joshua brought them into God’s rest of the Promised Land, but he could only go so far. Jesus is the one who truly provides salvation and will bring us into God’s rest of eternal life! Joshua could only go so far in the physical world; Jesus saves our souls as well.

In verse 9, we see the author clarifying this “rest” a bit. There are different kinds of rest that people would experience – the sleeping kind of rest, rest as in peace rather than a time of war, etc. It appears that the author of Hebrews made up this term for “Sabbath-rest” to explain this a bit more. It’s like when we don’t have a word for what we want to talk about, so we make one up; Biblical authors did that, too. It is likely that the author was referring to the rest that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This rest is for the people of God, which refers to all believers in this New Testament context.

The author explains this idea of Sabbath-rest a bit more in verse 10. To enter this rest means to rest from our works, just as God rested on the seventh day of Creation (Genesis 2:1-3). In our productivity-driven culture, we often think of resting as lazy and it has a negative connotation. We need to keep striving and doing all the things, right? Wrong! If the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, could take a day off, then so can we. We often forget that taking a day of rest each week is actually a command from God; for more on that, check out this post and Exodus 20:8-11.

There is some question as to whether this verse refers to taking a Sabbath day’s rest while here on earth, or whether it refers to eternal life as has been implied previously. I believe it is both. Taking a Sabbath rest while living on this earth is being obedient to the command that God has given us and the model that He set for us, which will lead us to living out our faith in Jesus Christ that will get us to God’s rest of eternal life. It’s a both-and situation, not an either-or.

Finally, the author wraps up this section by exhorting people to do just that: “Make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience” (verse 11). The example he is referring to is that of the people of Israel; don’t follow their disobedience, but instead live out God’s commands in order to demonstrate your faith in Jesus Christ.

What pattern are you following in your life? Are you following the Israelites’ pattern of disobeying God? Or are you following the pattern of living out your faith in Jesus Christ through obedience to what God commands you?

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Apologetics 1: Defining Apologetics

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 6, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

There is a fierce battle going on today. It is the same battle that has been going on for 6000 years ever since the Serpent first questioned what God said. It is a war for truth. It takes very little time to be around me to see that I am an apologist pretty much by default. I can hardly write even a social media post without doing some kind of apologetics, without giving something about why we believe what we believe and what we must mark and watch out for error. The Bible commands believers to defend the faith and to protect the truth. This is all over the place, but two of the “famous” verses are 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3.

I recently read the book The Truth War by John MacArthur. It’s an expose on the book of Jude, the need to content for the faith, and how to spot and identify false teachings. I picked up quite a few quotes from the book, but this one stood out:

To be an effective warrior in the battle for truth today, several old fashioned, Christlike virtues are absolutely essential: biblical discernment, wisdom, fortitude, determination, endurance, skill in handling Scripture, strong convictions, the ability to speak candidly without waffling, and a willingness to enter a conflict.
~John MacArthur: The Truth War, page 146

I immediately wanted to do a blog series on this quote, and I’ve been saving it for now. Worldview Warriors did not start out as a specifically apologetic ministry, but it’s almost impossible to carry out the vision and mission of this ministry without addressing apologetics. So, what I plan to do with this series is to define apologetics, who should do it, and what should be required to do it. Then, I’ll analyze this quote and deal with a few other topics related to apologetics. I will make clear that while I am well-experienced in apologetics, by no means do I have all these details mastered. In some of the posts of this series, I am going to be aiming the lesson to me specifically because I lack what I know is needed for that task. So, let’s get to work.

What is apologetics? The term comes from the word “apologia” which is not “apologize” but rather “make a case.” Why do you believe what you believe? This is not just what do you believe, but why? This is a command given to all believers. Again, see 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3. We must contend for the faith and give a reason for why we believe what we believe. But in 1 Peter 3:15, there is the hard part: “in meekness and love.” It’s not easy to do that when dealing with false teachings. Jesus said we are to go make disciples of all nations. So when sharing our faith, we are bound to be asked: “Why do you believe that?” Right there, you are forced into an apologetics scenario, especially in our intellectually driven society. It’s actually not any different than Paul’s time. The Greeks were also known for being an intellectually driven society, so Paul had to be in position to give a reason for why he believed what he believed. The same is true for us.

Who should do apologetics? The answer is simple: everyone. Everyone is called to give a reason for why you believe what you believe. There is a “job” or “ministry” of apologetics which is different. Everyone is called to preach, but not everyone is a preacher. There are big name apologists for the Christian faith. Ken Ham and Henry Morris are known for apologetics in Creation. Frank Turek and William Lane Craig are known for defending the Resurrection and the existence of God. Josh McDowell is known for defending the reliability of the Bible as a whole. However, I bring a caution.

Because these names have become “big” and they have large platforms, there are many people who want to do apologetics because of the prestige that comes with the name. While everyone is called to do apologetics, not everyone is qualified to do it, especially on larger platforms. The appeal to the “big name” is enticing, but it comes with a big target on your back and a high level of responsibility. As a result, there is no reason any person on this planet should be in a spot-light position without being under the direct authority of a local congregation where proper church discipline is carried out. That’s one thing I love about my new church. They treat church membership seriously, and it’s for the purposes of church discipline and the protection of both the church and the person. Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, and Justin Peters are big name evangelists/preachers, but all three have submitted themselves to a local congregation who supervises them and sends them out with proper authority. Not all of the big name apologists have done that, and we have only recently seen the fallout from that.

Now, it is very important to study. The least qualified apologists are those who are self-taught, and they are the most dangerous ones too. While you should not be required to have a formal piece of paper that says you passed certain classes in a seminary (none of the original apostles did), you still need to be trained. You still need to be equipped. To what extent you are going to have a platform will determine how intensely you need to study. If you are going to engage on technical debates, you need to be studied on technical details, which may include taking formal courses. But everyone who engages in apologetics needs to be rooted in their theology first and foremost. I would recommend getting teaching or a book on systematic theology, which should perhaps be your #1 book besides the Bible to study. If you are not grounded in your theology, whether origins, theology proper (study of God), soteriology (study of salvation), eschatology (study of the end times), Christology (study of Christ), or the other major “systems” of theology, then you will end up dealing more damage than doing good.

Be careful, because being wrong on one of these areas can impact all the others. If you are wrong in an area or unsure about a major field of theology these are your options: 1) Don’t talk about it, or 2) Don’t be an apologist. You need to be well-rounded. You can focus on particular areas, but you can’t afford to teach error. An apologist should be “sent out” from their congregation for that job and should never launch their own “ministry” without such a backing. So what about me? I am part of the ministry of Worldview Warriors, and one of the things I am looking for at my new church is a home church that will truly have my back and “send me out” as I do what I am called to do. This church will do that and as of writing this, I am in the membership application and approval process.

Finally for this post, what is the point and purpose of apologetics? There should always be three primary goals in apologetics: 1) To proclaim Christ, 2) To proclaim from the Bible on the issue, and 3) To showcase the Bible’s position to be the ultimate authority. As the Bible’s primary purpose is to reveal Christ, how you view Scripture is how you view Christ. However, Christ should always be our end goal. If you only go to argue about the existence of God or even just the reliability of the Bible and don’t go to Christ out of it, then you have missed the whole point and purpose of it all. I have done this and often missed Christ in defending my faith – too often if I am honest.

So, to wrap up this post, we are all called to defend the faith, but we must do so correctly. Over the next four posts, I will go over each qualification to be a warrior for truth from John MacArthur, and then I will address 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and its surrounding context because it all relates and that passage has hit me hard. Stay tuned.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Why the Church Needs to Split

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 1 comments


by Chad Koons

“Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

These were the words of Jesus to Peter. They echo in my ears daily; perhaps they also speak to us during these dark days. Sifting has come, and it’s far from over. Who among us will remain faithful, and who will fall away? Whatever the fallout, we’ve really had it coming…

Unity! Grace! Love! Social Justice! Acceptance!
Sounds real good, doesn’t it? God help us, we have tolerated a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It’s time that we call some things out and humble ourselves before a holy God.

Many have abandoned their faith in order to devote themselves to deceitful spirits and sit under the teachings of demons. They are actively being influenced by the hypocrisy of liars, whose consciences have long ago been burned to a crisp.

Oh, I’m not being sensational or intentionally shocking. When you read something like this, perhaps the “crazy” alarm rings in your head? Yet this is not crazy; I’ve actually just quoted Scripture. Click here and see for yourself that I am in fact speaking the truth. This is far from crazy; this is the stark reality of our times.

We live in a time when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears. They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and they will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. And these false teachers are easy to find; suffering from deception themselves, they have become blinded, sincerely making shipwreck of the faith of millions. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself right here.

As a result, the Church as we’ve known it has split.

Waves of false doctrine have openly and proudly infiltrated the Church. The devil has steamrolled over us. I can’t tell you how many of my friends and ministry associates have tragically fallen to demonic false teaching. Many Christians have outrightly abandoned their faith, while others have left Bible-teaching churches in order to find a church that will agree with their sin. Many former Christians have given themselves over to a homosexual spirit, gone trans, deconstructed their faith, or have adopted a woke mindset, and quite frankly they may never return to repentance. They have split away from the Lord to their own peril.

The devil has sifted many within my own sphere of influence. Has he done the same in yours?

Entire denominations have fractured or are in the process of dividing, while many others have given up entirely, having freely traded the truth of God for a lie. We have opened our doors to destruction, for our pastors and leaders have neglected to protect the flock by allowing these false doctrines to grow:
Progressive Christianity
Liberal Christianity
Critical Race Theory
Queer Affirmation
Pro-Choice
Universalism
Rejection of the Inerrancy of Scripture

These are just a few that are popular at the time of this writing. Run from these; separate yourself from those who believe this way. God is not and never will be supportive of the sin contained therein.

It needs to be said… this separation was and is necessary.
We need the denominational splits.
We need the fractures in relationships.
We need the purge of the evil from among us.
Why? So that the Church may come out from among them and be separate. You cannot unite sin with holiness. The separation must occur.

To produce the best crop, sometimes the Gardener will need to lop off a few branches or remove a few diseased vines. He will throw them into the fire to be burned. Let Him work; do not attempt to stand in His way, even if He’s pruning you. Our Gardener is ready for any size job. The shears have been sharpened and even the axe is being laid to the root of the tree.

False teaching may rear its ugly head within your church. Should you listen to it, counsel it, or be patient with it? NO. Do as the Lord has commanded us to do and destroy every argument and lofty opinion that dares to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ! Do not be tolerant, for it will deal death both to yourself and to your people.

Offense comes for the Word’s sake, therefore do not be surprised by it. While I write this, I am wondering who will be offended by these words and who will separate from me because of it. Yet I must speak what the Lord has given me in this hour. Speak the truth in love. You will know when to be gentle and when to be firm. By the Spirit you will know how to answer everyone, but do NOT be silent nor tolerate the demonic teachings as outlined above. A little leaven will leaven the whole lump every single time.

Remember this: if comprise is necessary to prevent the separation, then you must permit the separation and go with God.

While Satan is busy sifting the Church, I hear the echo of Moses crying out, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” Are you?

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Hebrews 4:1-5

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 2, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
‘So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’’
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘On the seventh day God rested from all his works.’ And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
-Hebrews 4:1-5

The previous passage in Hebrews ended on a bit of a depressing note stating, “So we see that they [the people of Israel] were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19). But fortunately, this passage starts out with a “therefore” that brings good news - we don’t have to follow in their footsteps!

Because of Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross through His death and resurrection, the “promise of entering his rest” is still available to us. “Entering his rest” likely refers to eternal life in heaven, where we will be fully at rest and at peace with God for all eternity. Before Jesus came to earth, the people of Israel did not obey God and did not believe in Him as they should. But now that Jesus has come, the promise is open to all who believe.

But in spite of this, the author is still warning the readers to be careful and not become complacent. The phrase translated as “let us be more careful” in verse 1 more accurately means “let us fear.” We should have a healthy fear of falling short of God’s standards and falling away from our faith. The generation of Israel that wandered in the wilderness missed out on the fulfillment of God’s promises because of their disobedience; we should have a healthy fear of missing out due to disobedience as well.

The people of Israel had God’s marvelous acts to save them from slavery in Egypt. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ and how His marvelous act saves us from slavery to our sins. But, simply having the message of salvation is not enough! The message must be acted on in faith. Israel did not act in faith but rather they disobeyed. Are you acting in faith and living out the gospel message in your life? The message is of no value if it’s not being acted upon and lived out. We must share the faith of those who obeyed, not following in Israel’s footsteps of disobedience in the wilderness but instead being obedient to God out of our faith in His message.

In verse 3, the author again emphasizes faith by addressing “we who have believed.” It’s no longer about being part of the chosen nation of Israel; it’s about faith in Jesus Christ, which is accessible to all regardless of their nationality. The author again quotes from Psalm 95:11, part of what he quoted earlier in chapter 3. God had made an oath that if the people disobeyed Him, they would not enter His rest, and God fulfilled that oath by not letting that generation into the Promised Land.

The author quotes from the Old Testament again in verse 4 - this time from Genesis 2:2 at the end of the Creation narrative. This verse speaks of God resting from His work of creating the world, which ties into the theme of entering God’s rest that the author has been discussing. This rest is not to say that God has become idle but rather that He is resting in the satisfaction that comes with a big accomplishment, like creating an entire universe and all that is in it!

One more time, just to get his point across, the author repeats the quotation of “They shall never enter my rest” in verse 5. This sets up the author’s argument that is coming in the next verses, which we’ll look at next week.

The main focus of this section of Scripture is that we need to live out our faith through obedience to God’s Word. We will never live it out perfectly, but we should still strive toward that as much as possible. It’s not about our scorecard of what we did right versus what we did wrong; it’s about our heart’s attitude of following God. Are we desiring to follow Him with our lives, or are we being obstinate and only doing the minimum to get by?

Today, we can learn from the example of the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They had a bad attitude about what God had done for them. They forgot His works and they disobeyed Him. Because of that, that generation did not get to see the fulfillment of God’s great promises for them. Are we being like Israel and forgetting what God has done for us? We need to make sure we do not have “a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12) as Israel did.

If we desire to “enter God’s rest” – eternal life with Him – we need to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and the saving work that He completed for us. How are you doing with that in your life?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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