One More Try

1 Corinthians 14:8

            It would really be nice if those who oppose the gospel would at least be fair and honest in reporting what they think we believe; but that is too much to expect. For the sake of you who may be somewhat confused by the attacks of others, let me make one more effort to be perfectly clear in stating what I believe concerning the vital necessity of gospel preaching.

            I was asked this week, “Do you believe that a person who does not believe the doctrines of grace is lost?” Often I am accused of preaching that a person must be a Calvinist to be saved. Nothing could be further from the truth. I could care less whether a person is a Calvinist or an Arminian. It is quite possible for both to be lost. Believing a system of doctrine never saved anyone. Saul of Tarsus was as orthodox as a man can get; but he did not know God.

            The issue is not what do you believe, or how much do you know, but who. I am thoroughly convinced that anyone who believes in a god whose will or work can be thwarted or hindered by either men or devils, a christ whose blood was shed in vain for even one who ultimately perishes in hell, and a holy spirit whose gracious operations can be successfully resisted has an idol for his god. Such a god has been carved our of the trees of the dark forests of depraved minds. Such a god, such a christ, such a spirit no more resembles the triune, glorious sovereign God of Holy Scripture than sin resembles holiness.

            The Word of God is crystal clear. There is no possibility of saving faith apart from a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the Scriptures; and there is no possibility of a sinner obtaining such knowledge apart from the revelation of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. Read Romans 10:9-17 and 1 Peter 1:23-25.

            I am weary of men attempting to justify Arminian, free will, works religion. They do so only to the eternal ruin of their own souls and the eternal ruin of those who follow them. It does not matter in the least what the opinions of great men in past ages have been. If those great men speak contrary to the Word of God, they must be rejected and the Word of God received (Isa. 8:20). It matters not that our doctrine is not in conformity with mainline religions. We never claimed such conformity, and would be embarrassed to call ourselves Christians if we wore the garments of Babylon and drank of the wine of her fornications, conforming to her ways.

            Until it can be shown from the Word of God that a sinner can be saved while trusting an idol, clinging to the filthy rags of his own righteousness, and worshipping at the altar of his own, imaginary free will, we will continue to insist that there is only one God, one Savior, one Holy Spirit, and one gospel; and that all others are damning delusions (Gal. 1:6-9; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 7-10).

Don Fortner