Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easy-Believism: Who Gets The Glory?

In thinking more about Decisionalism or Easy-Believism salvation, the plague that has infected Evangelicalism, I began to wonder just who do these proponents of this error think they are glorifying in teaching that “God has done His part, now it is up to you to do your part?”

With the Bible being crystal clear that salvation is “not of yourself lest any man boast,” just how do they explain this? Are these Easy-Believism advocates saying that when you get down to brass tacks, it is man's fallen volition, a will that is dead and enslaved to sin, that is the final determiner in bridging the gulf that separates God and man?

I would suggest that this is straight from the fallen will of man. It is a direct response from man's hideous total depravity to say, much less think, that man has some island or spark of righteousness left in him that enables him to respond favorably to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an attempt to glorify himself. It is taking away from God the glory when He acts to save His people or His elect.

In discussions with Easy-Believism proponents, I have actually been told that the reason someone is saved while his neighbor is not is that the saved one made the right decision. If that is so, then is it not of works that a professing believer comes to faith and trust in Christ? Is it not then the result of a good work that the professing Christian is saved? To believe unto salvation certainly is not a non-work or a bad work, is it? Therefore, in the minds of those who believe this error, that which makes the difference between them and their lost neighbor is that they make the good and right decision whereas their lost and hell-bound neighbor did not.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."(Ephesians 2:8,9)

I can't begin to count how many people have told me they are “born-again Christians” and yet they are very publicly ensconced in lives that would, in some cases, make the Devil cringe. A young man who is on his second or third sexual lover told me he is a born-again Christian. His mother told me the same thing about herself, that she is “born again,” and she lies every time she opens her mouth, pirates satellite signals for free, and makes sexual advances toward men other than her husband. A woman in our church is 44 or 45 years old and tells everyone she is 27. She makes no connection between her profession of the Gospel and telling the truth.

This horrid and damnable false doctrine creates the idea in the heads of its advocates that to have forgiveness of sin they think their volition wrought for them means that there is no obligation to obey the commandments of God. This horror creates in their minds a license to sin and to sin freely.

I was listening to a YouTube video in which a famous Reformed Baptist preacher was telling the story of one of his parishioners who admitted to him in a counseling session that she was involved in a long-term sexual affair with a married man. She herself was also married. She saw nothing wrong with this. The preacher told her she would go to hell if she did not stop this. Her response was that she was heaven-bound and that God had to forgive her of this sin because of the decision she made twenty years prior. “Once saved, always saved” is what she chanted to him.

Some take 1 John 1:9 as a kind of permission to sin and get away with it. They have chronic sin practices in their lives but believe as long as they confess it they can get it forgiven and get by with it.

In the Bible, to know someone includes close communion and love. To “know Christ” means to keep His commandments. This knowledge of Christ is called a “perfected” love of God (v.5), not because it makes us perfectly sinless, because it is irrevocably established in those who live by it. Anyone who presumes to have received forgiveness from God but spurns the gift of obedient love as unnecessary is a “liar.” Instead of receiving “Jesus Christ the righteous” as Savior, such a person manufactures a false christ , a savior who is indifferent to righteousness.”1

Easy-Believism glorifies man's totally and absolutely depraved nature. This theological system is man-centered and makes man's fallen will the final determiner in salvation. It is not the salvation of the Bible and is, in the long run, rank and file heresy.

New Geneva Study Bible; NKJV; Nelson Publishing; pg. 1987; 1 John 2:1-6 footnote

Immutability: God Never Changes

The thing that sustains me through the trials and tribulations of life is the fact that my Lord and Savior never changes. No matter what horribleness is thrown into the path of my life, no matter how hard life is and gets, no matter how painful it seems, the one unmovable constant in my life is that His immutability is there for me to cling to.

I hate change. Some people actually like it, I know. However, I am talking about the death of loved ones, getting fired from a job, or the car breaking down. That is what I am talking about: the many things that can go wrong and rock you from your secure little perch. I know I can spend so much time trying to get my life on a tranquil plane of existence and just when I think I have made it, boom! The rug is pulled out from underneath me and my prideful self takes a heavy fall.

But, everything eventually changes, does it not? Disease strikes you or a loved one and death is sometimes the result. Loved ones grow old and die. Friends and family have tragic events and accidents. Creation itself, its very existence, is not forever without decay reaching its doorstep eventually. There is only One who is immune to the inevitable change of mortality.

It is that One to whom we must cling in this tribulation-filled world as the only unchangeable Anchor for our lives on this earth and for our souls in eternity. His forever-unchangeable person is where we have to rest when changes vex us so.

With Christ there is not nor ever can be any rotating or changing variables. Eternally constant, He is the anchor in which our souls find stability, comfort, and peace in the stormy seas of change. His eternal attributes dwell not just in the heavenly realm but are also here now in the weary hearts of His chosen to sustain us today with His eternal unchanging (immutable) power, wisdom, love, comfort, and peace.

The unchangeable Christ is the irrepressible and invincible fortress to shelter His elect in the day of changing problems and trials.

I am the Lord; I change not,” (Malachi 3:6)