Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050522.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part IV: Christ's All-Sufficiency Offered To Wean Us From Evangelicalism's Two Factions To Himself
B. Christ's Great-Cross-Before-The-Crown Solution Detailed And Applied
1. Christ's Offer To Use CALVINIST Persecutors To Wean Us From The Calvinist Faction
a. Christ's Offer To Use Calvinist Persecutors To Give Us "Gold" Of FAITH And Heavenly Rewards
Lesson: Christ urges pastors to ASK Him to ARRANGE for them to be CORNERED into taking SCRIPTURAL stands favoring free will that COUNTER Calvinism's view. This leads to their being slandered by Calvinists to be alleged [pagan Stoic] Pelagians, a charge true only of Arminians, and that from fear these pastors' stands might undermine their Calvinist institutions and hence their security. CHRIST USES this trial to MOVE such pastors from leaning on the Calvinist wing's SECURITY to TRUST in Him! The reward is God's NURTURE and "rich" heavenly reward for slander, Matt. 5:11f!
- In offering His cross-before-the-crown solution for Evangelicals, Christ suggests pastors ask Him to arrange for them to be badly persecuted by Evangelicals to wean them from Evangelicalism's corruption.
- Rev. 3:18b[a] is His offer to wean them via persecution from relying on the Calvinistic Evangelical wing:
- Christ's Offer To Use Calvinist Persecutors To Give Us "Gold" of FAITH And Heavenly Rewards.
- Jesus counseled us Evangelicals to "buy from Me" first "gold refined in the fire," Rev. 3:18b[a] NIV.
- The way Scripture uses this phrase shows this theme entails persecution by Calvinists to wean us from relying for security on the Calvinist branch of the Evangelical establishment to rely on Christ instead:
- Besides Rev. 3:18b[a], the sole other N.T. reference to a test that produces "gold tried in the fire" is 1 Peter 1:7, cf. Moulton & Geden, A Concordance To The Greek Testament , p. 1019.
- That context with the other closest context dealing with a similar spiritual poverty-to-wealth theme (Rev. 3:17-18) in Rev. 2:9 reveals the Rev. 3:18b[a] trial to be slander by Evangelical Calvinists:
- The 1 Peter persecution initiated from pagans who were roused by Jews who said Christians were against the Emperor by their loyalty to [a competing King] Jesus, Acts 17:7-8; B.K.C., N. T., p. 838.
- This slander expanded until Neo-platonists like Porphyry opposed the Church to defend old pagan traditions from falling to Christianity; believers in that (Smyrna) era became "rich" via the slander (Rev. 2:9), E. M. Burns, West. Civ., 6th ed., p. 235; Camb. Anc. His., 1971, v. XII, p. 207, 630-648.
- Well, Calvinistic theology is impacted by Augustine's pagan Neo-platonism to counter belief in free will is verified even via the pro-Calvinist scholar, Benjamin B. Warfield in his work, Calvin and Augustine, 1956 [repr. 1974], p. 375, 378, 395-397; cf. Edward McNall Burns, (Ibid.) p. 272.
- So, Christ in Rev. 3:18[a] calls pastors to let Him let them be cornered into claiming man has free will and so be slandered by long-established, Neo-platonist-impacted Calvinists for being (falsely called) self-meritorious Pelagians (as Arminians are for holding man's free will contributes to his salvation [Boettner, Ref. Doc. of Pred., p. 47-48]), which Pelagian concept in Arminianism is traced back to pagan Stoicism [Williston Walker, A Hist. of the Christian Church, 1959, p. 168]).
- Just why and how this all occurs and what is its edifying RESULT we summarize as follows:
- Christ urges pastors to ask Him to arrange for them to be cornered into getting into conflict with long-standing, Neo-platonist influenced Calvinists so they must assert either what Scripture teaches [that man as free will] or what Calvinists hold; if these pastors opt to do the former, they critique Calvinists who hold a long-established but errant Neo-platonist impacted error, 1 Peter 4:3f
- Neo-platonic-impacted Calvinists, like ancient Neo-platonic Porphyry, fear this stand may hurt their long-standing, Neo-platonic-impacted establishment (Gal. 6:12)]; so, to defend that establishment in which they feel secure, they slander pastors who hold to the truth that man has free will, saying they are pagan Pelagians in theology (as they judge Arminians) (1 Pet. 4:4-5; John 15:18-22; Gal. 4:29).
- Yet, if these pastors keep holding this Scripture truth, Christ leads and edifies them (1 Pet. 2:25 and John 14:21, 23) to build up their faith in Him (1 Peter 1:7) and to love Him (1 Peter 1:8). That results in these pastors' no longer relying on the Calvinistic wing of the Evangelical establishment for their security, but on Christ and gaining "rich" heavenly rewards for being thus slandered, Matthew 5:11-12!