FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
1 March, 1998
Now before we get started I just want to say thanks to two folks who have recently helped out with the Childrenís Club. First of all thanks to Mr. Sal for his assistance in helping us reduce our copying cost. Itís only because of his involvement that we should be able to cut our cost of making copies in half, and believe you me over a period of 52 weeks thatís a bunch of money. And secondly, thanks to Mr. Pate for the donation of his second Childrenís Picture Bible, the one I finally put in place at the childrenís ward of the Thomason Hospital.
But having said all of that good news Iíve got some bad news to go along with it. Iím saddened to say that we lost another reader last week, and he was one who really needed to hear the truth... but it really didnít come as a surprise. This reader who is no longer with us is someone you would consider a die hard Catholic; one who loves his religion more than he loves the Word of God. So quite naturally when I wrote the sermonet on Mary worship (see The Virgin Mary: Goddess Or Human?) he got extremely upset. You see everything had been going very well between him and me and the letters until I hit on that one subject that he so desperately needed to hear. And because he wanted to believe only what he wanted to believe, and not what the Word of God has to say, he has returned all the letters since the sermonet on the Catholics. He is so sure that what he has been taught is the truth that he doesnít even want to consider the thought that it could be wrong. What a shame. So Iíll take the hint and drop him from the mailing list but I will continue to pray for him.
And speaking of praying, how many of you have been praying for my next door neighbor? Well Iím sure a lot of you got rather upset that I even mentioned the incident in last weeks message (see My Christian Neighbor And The Sweepstakes!) but the truth of the matter is that he desperately needs to ask God to forgive him... but he continually refuses to do it. So for those of you who feel sorry for him then show it by doing the only logical thing you can do: pray for him! Pray that his eyes will be opened and he will have the strength and courage to overcome the problem thatís blocking his pathway to God.
Now even though my next door neighbor knows and understands the truth (that Christians can turn away from God through unconfessed and unforgiven sins) heís still having a hard time dealing with the one problem that God wants him to deal with. And itís just as I showed you through the Word of God last week, Satan can connive (trick) us into losing what we once had if we ainít careful. And that one very special thing that none of us should want to loose after we struggle so hard to get it is our salvation. So if itís hard for this man (my neighbor) to confess his problem, even though he knows that once saved doesnít necessarily mean always saved, how hard do you think it would be for someone who doesnít even believe that you can loose it (salvation)?
Well thatís the subject I want to talk about this week and it all began one night as I was watching the 700 Club. I donít even remember what the discussion was about when Mr. Pat Robertson proudly announced that he was a Baptist, and thatís about when I fell out on the floor. Now donít get me wrong because I think very highly of the Baptist people. They are very strong in their faith and they donít whimp out to the rest of the world when it gets down to the nitty gritty. You see they say what needs to be said when it comes to issues such as Disney Worldís overwhelming involvement with the gay community, and they donít even back down or cower when it comes to those who oppose them. You could almost say that I agree with everything they believe in with the exception of one.
So what do you think it is that they say God says that I just canít say Amen to? Well the best way for me to answer that one is to once again show it to you from the Internet. Reading from the Baptist web page The Baptist Faith and Message which was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on May 9, 1963, section V entitled Godís Purpose of Grace: "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of Godís sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the State of grace, but persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."
What a nice thought but oh how wrong it is. And it was because of Mr. Pat Robertsonís admission to being a Baptist, and my awareness of their (the Baptist) one very wrong belief in Ďonce saved always savedí, that I got just a little bit ticked. How in the world could such a spiritually intelligent man buy into such a false and damnable belief as this? You see itís because of his world wide TV coverage that he has many loyal followers who trust in his teaching of the Word of God. And it is through this admission of being a Baptist that he likewise (as far as Iím concerned) admitted to believing in what they believe, which just so happens to be that you can never loose your salvation once you get it.
And you see thatís the problem Iíve been telling you about for so long... and itís called religion. And itís these religions that all too often try and put into the Word of God things that ainít of God. And probably the best reason most religions do this is so they can keep the people happy. I mean who could ask for anything more? Get yourself into the most fantastic thing that has ever been brought about (salvation/Baptist) and you donít ever have to worry about being kicked out. You see itís a known fact that if you give em what they want (the people) they will keep on coming back (to church). But my question is and has been for some time now, if you ainít getting the whole truth (no matter how good it may feel) then why risk your life on lies.
OK, but letís get back to the story. After becoming aware of Mr. Robertsonís chosen denomination, it was only a short time later that I found an amazing thing on the 700 Club web page. Now keep it in mind that the 700 Club was founded by Mr. Pat Robertson, so you would think that any and all information found on their web page would reflect his way of thinking (his beliefs). And guess what I found? Reading down the list of the many options and subjects available for review I found what they call their Teaching Sheets, and one of them was entitled Backsliding.
And this was what I read: "Backsliding is when a born-again believer in Christ turns back to sin or becomes stubborn in his heart and refuses to submit to the will of God in his life. The outward actions are only symptoms of the real problem -- the attitude of the heart -- which must be dealt with in order to change the actions." And he goes on to say, "Does God Condemn Backsliders? God does not condemn us -- our own wickedness and backsliding do that (Jeremiah 2:19). Nor did Jesus come to do so, but to give us life abundantly (John 10:10). Therefore, if you will confess your sins, God will forgive you (I John 1:9). Accept His forgiveness and then forgive yourself. Forgive those who have wronged you. Go to anyone you have wronged or resented and ask their forgiveness. Make restitution in whatever ways you can for any wrongs your backsliding has caused. If not baptized with the Holy Spirit, ask for and receive it (Luke 11:13). Then grow in Jesus and the way of the Lord. The Holy Spirit gives a Christian the ability to overcome sin. He gives power to be a Christ-like person. He guides, comforts, teaches spiritual truth and equips with the gifts and qualities of God (Acts 1:8; John 14:16; I Corinthians 12; Galatians 5:22,23)."
And in closing this particular Teaching Sheet, he goes on to say, "As You Pray Thank God for His compassion and mercy. Thank Him for taking you back into His loving grace now that you are returning to Him and restoring peace, joy and happiness to you as you become His servant again." And that was all I needed to read to start the shouting: Glory!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Glory be to God!!! Shout hallelujah!!!
Now you tell me, does the information from Brother Robertsonís web page sound like a Baptist to you? Does what you just read come anywhere close to the statement we read earlier by the Baptist? They said, "All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the State of grace, but persevere to the end... yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." But he said, "As You Pray Thank God for His compassion and mercy. Thank Him for taking you back into His loving grace now that you are returning to Him and restoring peace, joy and happiness to you as you become His servant again."
So are the two the same? I donít think so. Not even close. You see one says that a Christian can never fall away or loose his or her salvation while the other gives details on how to get it back once youíve lost it. So my question is to Brother Robertson, "If you donít believe what the Baptist have to say (what they believe is the truth) then why donít you tell the whole world about it?" Please Brother Robertson, say it loud and clear and do it over world wide TV. You must do it because there are so many people who depend on you for the truth. Everybody needs to know the truth about this error in the Baptist Faith so what better person than you to do it. And the reason why itís so very important that everyone knows this truth is because there are already so many poor old unsuspecting souls who have already bit the bullet and fallen into itís trap of deception (once saved always saved). You see there are many who have already been unknowingly led down this pathway to Hell and only after their death discovered the truth. And the truth of the matter is that the truth learned after you die is just a little bit too late. There is no way out of Hell once you get there!
Now this whole issue of Ďonce saved always savedí is nothing new because it started way back in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. You see they were both saved from the clutches of Mr. Slimy Serpent (Satan) because salvation was all they had ever known. They didnít have a problem and they were pretty well convinced that things wouldnít change... until that infamous point in time when they took that earth shaking bite... and thatís when they too lost what they once had. And of course even though they had lost it they still could have gotten it back if they would have only told God they were sorry and meant it. And believe you me this one thing called repenting (asking forgiveness for oneís sins) is just as we discussed last week; itís very hard to do. And likewise, thatís why thereís a very good chance that these first two perfect humans who walked in the heaven on earth (Garden of Eden) never made it back into the Kingdom of Heaven. From what we know there is a chance that they both died lost, without ever turning back to God, and therefore ended up going straight on into Hell. They were once saved, until they sinned a sin that probably never got confessed or forgiven, and then they became lost.
Now Iím sure you all want to see some kind of proof from the Word of God on this matter. So to back up my statement (that we can have our one way ticket on the Holy Ghost Airlines made null and void if we donít follow Godís plan) I offer you the following Scriptures... and might I add that Iím tickled pink to do so.
And turning to the book of Exodus we will pick up the never ending story (or so it seems) of Godís chosen people rebelling against Him and their resulting fair share of punishment for it. You see the book of Exodus tells the story about when God finally decides that the nation of Israel should have learned their lesson. It was only about 400 years earlier that God got fed up with their misbehavior, and as punishment (to help them see the Light) He allowed them to be taken as slaves into Egypt. You see they had been so very bad that they finally got punished... and boy was it punishment.
For 400 years they lived in the worst kind of conditions imaginable, until God decided to give them one more chance. And this is where Moses steps into the picture. You see he was called by God to lead this great nation of many people (approximately 3 million) out of the land of Egypt and into the promised land of God. They were about to start on their journey out of a Hell on earth and into a Heaven on earth and Moses was in charge of making it happen. And it was after they made their great escape that we find them in chapter 19 being ever so willing to do exactly what God the Father demands that they do.
So reading from Exodus 19:1-8, "In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eaglesí wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD."
So this is that special moment in time God had been waiting on for so long. This is when He finally hears his once rebellious children say "All that the LORD hath spoken we will do." These were His chosen people who had been lost in the ways of Satan for so long but now they seemed sincere about dedicating their lives to Him. You see it was only after they finally got what they had been asking for (they wanted to live like the Egyptians) that they figured out it wasnít really what they wanted. You see they wanted to be like the Egyptians but they ended up as their slaves... and this was when they started crying out to God for help. But it was almost 400 years later that God decided that just maybe they were ready to try it again. You see they got what they wanted (to live like the Egyptians) but then they decided it really wasnít what they wanted. And after they decided it really wasnít what they wanted they had to repent and ask God to forgive them of their sins. And it was only after they had done this that God sent in the help to get them out of the mess that they were in. And by the way, this is how God still does it today.
So if after being saved (after becoming children of God) we sin against God (disobey God) we must then ask God the Father to forgive us before He can take us back. Because even though we might have once been saved (such as the children of Israel) but later decided to sample what Satan has to offer (such as the children of Israel did) it is the sin of rebellion against God that makes us no longer considered one of His... until we ask for His forgiveness.
So as the story goes, the Israelites were sorry for what they had done, they asked God to forgive them, and He did. But if we turn over just a few more chapters we will find that their promise was very short lived. In other words they started their backsliding down the slippery sides of the mountain of God right on into the deep dark valley of Hell. Because in verse 18 of chapter 31 we catch the tail end of what has just taken place. Reading, "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
You see these tables of testimony were the rules and regulations that the people of Israel had just so recently agreed to obey. They had agreed to follow the will of God, and God the Father was even going to give them something in writing just so they wouldnít forget. But even before the ink had time to dry on the paper (not really; it was carved in stone) we see the same old sin problem coming right back out again. You see they were already getting homesick for Satan (Egypt) and thatís their excuse of why they did what they did.
And just what did they do? Reading on into chapter 32, "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play."
Wow!!! How stupid can we get. You see God had just gotten through giving them the Ten Commandments (Exodus chapter 20) and one of them was "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me..."
And just to make double sure that Moses understood the importance of this law God went on to say in verses 22-24 of chapter 20, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. And altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will bless thee."
And then in chapter 24 verse 3 we see where Moses made sure that everyone was plugged into all these things that God wanted. He did just as God had commanded him: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do." And of course they said they would do everything that God had commanded them... but they didnít.
And that takes us back into chapter 32 verse 7, after the golden calf had been made and right there in the middle of this get-down party in honor of their new god. Reading, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffneck people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation."
At this point in time I think it would be safe to say that God was upset. It was only a matter of time before God was going to take care of these stiffneck (redneck) people in such a way that they wouldnít have to worry about committing this sin again. But Moses had a better idea. Moses thought he could handle the problem better than God so he boldly spoke up: "And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and a mighty hand?... Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people... And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand..."
Now when the Scripture says "And the LORD repented", it does not mean that He told Moses that He was sorry for what he was thinking of doing. When God repented He only allowed Moses to do as he had requested, but He didnít change the way He felt about this entire event. You see God was going to allow Moses to find out for himself (the hard way) just how rednecked (stiffnecked) these people really were... and it didnít take him too long to find out.
Because in verse 19 we read, "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Mosesí anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it into powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it... Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORDíS side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."
You see Mosesí attitude changed quite a bit once he saw the uncontrolled idol worship that was taking place right there in front of the mountain of God. In fact thatís when he got so hot under the collar that he went right on out and made sure that those who were too redneck and stiffneck to say Ďforgive me Lordí were taken care of for good. Three thousand stiffnecked rednecks died. Three thousand who had once been saved from the slave conditions of Egypt but then later decided to return to it (the slave condition of Egyptís idol worship) finally ran out of chances. Now remember that they could have been saved once again if they would have only turned away from their sin and said Iím sorry... but they didnít... and they died.
And that takes us on into the ending of this little message. Reading from verses 30-35, "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made."
As you should be able to see, Moses was starting to get just a little bit big headed (as most of us humans tend to do). God had chosen Moses to do a very special job, and likewise it meant that he would spend a lot of time with God, but God was still God and Moses should have remembered that he was still Moses. And thatís where Moses makes his little threat when he says, if you canít forgive these people of their sin then donít even plan on forgiving me... You can just take my name off the reservation list for Heaven too (the Lambís book of Life). And what was Godís reply? He told Moses in no uncertain terms that He was in control and only those with unconfessed unforgiven sins would be erased (blotted out).
So you see even way back then Moses knew that the Book of Life could have names added to it and removed from it. Now the only way we can get our names on the list is by following Jesus (trusting in and believing in Him). And the only way we can have our names removed from it is to turn away from following Him after we have first accepted Him. (For more on Pat Robertson and "Once Saved Always Saved" see Charles Stanley: "In Touch" Or "Out Of Touch"? (1/3/99) and CBN'S Pat Robertson Is Not Saved! (11/11/01))
So until next week: keep on reading, keep on studying, and most of all keep the faith!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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