Only God knows what unspeakable heaviness of heart I have suffered since God providentially displayed judgments upon one who spoke against the truth. One would think that when a person’s bowels start spewing out of their mouth, after they had spewed blasphemies, that those still in rebellion against God would take heed. But, so far, it seems that God’s warnings have not been humbly heeded to.
Jonah could not have been more reluctant to confront Nineveh than we have been in confronting those that we dearly love, who have been deceived by false religion and all the worldliness that goes with it. If our flesh was to speak, we would’ve almost rather have died than to do it. I’ve even prayed many times that the Lord would take me home before it came to this point. Yet, if I am to be faithful to God, my own soul and the souls of others, I cannot in good conscience stand neutral.
As much as I love those who are CoC captives, I cannot be partial by showing favoritism (Jas 2.9), which would be inconsistent with my duty to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This plea will no doubt lose many friends, and for this cause perhaps God has laid this grievous task upon me, to see whether I am willing to forsake all for Him or not. So, from such heart-rending considerations as these, I will try to continue to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, while leaving all the consequences to God.
Recent events have only increased our concerns for our CoC family and friends. Given that some cannot even exhibit the common courtesy of remaining silent when a dying loved one is being pleaded with and prayed with, by my son and me, I cannot help but to question such a slight, for it seems to further confirm a grudging unwillingness to acknowledge the truth that we live and die for daily.
Imagine how God may have dealt with anyone who tried to drown out men of God, including women of God, such as Anna, the woman at the well, or Jesus’ mother when they were speaking of God and His redemption (e.g. Lk. 1:46-55; 2:36-38). And imagine God’s reaction if anyone had tried to suppress their words from being published abroad, just because they were women.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
But what more could one expect from among those who have joined in with Satanists in their threats to have a bonfire for my testimony in Christ and the true gospel that I stand for. Rudely attempting to talk over and drown out those who are urgently pleading with their dying loved one, in their last moments of life, is not only nauseating; it indicates that God and His Word are not important enough to them to justify any reason to listen as well as they can hear, when God is quoted and prayed to on behalf of a dying loved one who had just been warned weeks before, by my son, that they were on dangerous ground with God.
Such passive-aggressive behavior is very disturbing, especially when the decent and godly thing to do would be to simply be in awe of God’s dealings, rather than exhibiting a stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge God’s direct hand in all of life’s circumstances. Putting on a superficial show while trying to avoid the obvious by indulging in phone addiction and worldly, empty chatter that distracts from the reality of what is really going on, reveals a desperate attempt to deny biblical facts.
“But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16).
If CoC’ers cannot tolerate meaningful and biblical dialogue during the most crucial times of life without having such rebellious reactions, and such a slavish fear of becoming a “robot” if they surrender to God’s absolute sovereignty in all things, then according to Scripture it’s necessary to try to avoid those who love to prey upon the vulnerable, for they are self-condemned due to being hardened for continuing to disseminate deadly error, while condemning and mocking the only way a sinner can be justified before a holy God.
Though they cannot endure sound doctrine, they seem to have no problem with philosophical, pagan fables during such times, such as the Native American concept of a “happy hunting ground” in the afterlife, which is not even hinted at in Scripture. But, in all honesty, if someone cared more about hunting than they did about living and dying for the cause of Christ, then they would probably rather be in a pretended “happy hunting ground” in the sky (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Because in Heaven the whole focus is on the true God and Savior of the Bible. So Heaven would not be suitable for those who try to create a god in their own image, and it would not be desirable for those who tolerate and defend the wicked who are leading them to Hell, while perceiving that heavenly things are being pushed on them by those who are trying to prepare them to meet the Lord.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:10-11).
Heaven is not for those whom God has not given ears to hear and eyes to see the truth (Deut. 29:4). Heaven is not for those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous (Ex. 23:7, Deut. 25:1, 1 Kgs. 8:32, 2 Chron. 6:23, Isa. 5:23, Psa. 94:20-22, Lk. 11:48; 6:26). It’s not for those who hate the gospel and fight against it, while supporting the promotion of a false one (Mt. 13:9-13).
Arminianism perpetually breaks the first three commandments of God by pushing a different God and a different gospel. The true Jesus of the Godhead fulfills His Father’s will and loses none of those the Father has given Him (Lk. 22:32, Jn. 6: 38-39, 10:29, 17:2, 9, etc.).
Jesus warned, “if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins (Jn. 8:24).
The false Jesus of Arminianism failed to fulfill prophecy (e.g. Isa. 53) and went against the Father’s will and continues to do so. Arminianism presents a different Jesus who suffered, bled and died for all without exception, even those who are in Hell, those that the Father never predestined or elected to be purchased by the efficacious blood of Jesus before time began. And counting His blood to be such an unholy, common thing is extremely dangerous ground to be on (Heb. 10:29).
The Bible makes it clear that God’s people are bought at a price… the price of Jesus’ precious blood, which was NOT shed in vain (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23, Rev. 5:9). These verses are soteriological, for the payment price is stated. But Arminianism attempts to use 2 Pet. 2:1 as a proof text for its heresy, which is not a soteriological verse at all, for the word “bought” here is not salvific. For one, no payment price is even listed. Instead, it is an allusion to Deuteronomy 32:6, for God also “bought” the temporary deliverance of many reprobate Jews from Egyptian slavery (Jude 5). Scripture interprets Scripture.
2 Pet. 2:1 is actually a sobering reminder that God’s sovereign Lordship is over all people, even unsaved, false prophets and teachers who slip into Christendom. This is why the wheat is mixed with the tares. No wonder we just recently had to sit through a prayer for the dead, but we refused to be in agreement with it.
Nowhere in Scripture is it even hinted that we should pray for God to “open the gates of heaven,” etc. etc., …. for those who are already dead!? For one, if a person had rejected the only gate through which one can enter Heaven, which is by faith in Christ alone (not baptism, works, etc.), then no amount of praying for the dead can open up another way.
But it should come as no surprise that the CoC would now be picking up even more pagan practices that distract from this truth. The saddest part is that most didn’t even seem to notice, which makes us wonder what else they are now being duped into. We knew the CoC was headed to Rome in a handbag, but we didn’t realize that it was already getting this far gone, which causes us even more concern for them now than ever.
Jesus warned, “Take heed that ye be not deceived” (Lk. 21:8).
In reality, CoC captives can’t sincerely pray for God to do anything on this earth, if they are consistent with their belief system, for it dictates that God would never divinely intervene and over-ride anyone’s “freewill.” So maybe their system has now invented a loophole where God can do this as long as a person is dead, which would mean people have a second chance in the afterlife??
The Bible is clear, that our prayers have no bearing on someone once they have passed away. At the point of death, one’s eternal destiny is fully consummated. Either they are saved through faith in Christ alone, and are in Heaven, or they are in torment in Hell (Lk. 16:19-31). There is no middle “happy hunting ground.”
We should fervently pray for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, rather than trying to pray someone into heaven after they die. No one should ever deceive people into believing that they can still be prayed for after death! The Bible teaches that the eternal state of mankind is set in stone after this earthly life is over.
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
A change in one’s spiritual condition cannot be made following their death—not by themselves or by the efforts of others. So how could prayer for those who are already dead be beneficial, since there is no post-mortem plan of salvation?
The time to pray for a person is while they are still alive, and while there is still the possibility that God will make the means of prayer effectual in their life. However, sometimes God uses such means to harden people in their sins.
For instance, many of God’s people in the Bible had a ministry of hardening, for God told them ahead of time that the wicked would hear their words, but would not listen and obey. As a result, the wicked would become a monument to God’s righteous wrath. But those, whom God has given spiritual ears to hear, will listen and respond in true repentance and faith, while trying to lead others to Christ.
Whatever God’s secret purposes are, we are still commanded to pray and the boundaries of prayer are revealed in the Bible, for it is the only official prayer manual, and it teaches that prayers for the dead are futile. It also teaches that those who have been saved (Heb. 5:8-9) enter directly and immediately into the presence of the Lord after death (Lk. 23:43; Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:6, 8).
So we must bear in mind that “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Therefore, if a deceased loved one was perceived to have been unprepared to face death and the judgment that follows (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:26), then no amount of praying will avail them of the free and saving grace that they may have rejected during their earthly life.
On a more positive note, God led my middle son, Cody, to read Psalm 39 loud and clear at the funeral home, for it really put recent circumstances into perspective. And he ended his speech on a glorious note (1 Thess. 5:16-18), the same way that I ended the last chapter of my book…. that God’s people are to rejoice and be thankful in all of life’s circumstances, even if a thousand fall on one side, and ten thousand on the other, our salvation is sure and sealed in the blessed will of God in Christ Jesus, for we don’t have to rely on our own fallen and fickle “freewill,” for our blessed assurance is in Christ alone and His perfect will.
Then, on September 7, 2020, my son Cody was water baptized as a testimony of what God had already done in his heart when He granted him the gifts of repentance and saving faith in Jesus Christ, for he has been truly born again by the Holy Spirit! Jesus described this phenomenon by using the analogy of the wind. For, like the wind, the Holy Spirit is invisible, but one can discern the sure evidences of His indwelling presence, by His out-workings in those that He has made into a new creation (Jn. 3:5-8).
All glory and praise goes to God alone!!
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).