Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050529.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
b. Christ's Offer To Use Calvinist Persecutors For "Garments" Of SUSTAINED MINISTRY HOLINESS
Lesson: Christ calls pastors to ask Him to arrange for them be cornered into taking upright stands that lead to their being slandered into having to PULL BACK from Calvinists! The result is a SUSTAINED HOLINESS in MINISTRY as he avoids ERRANT (and eventually errant ECUMENICAL) ministries!
- 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[b] is His offer to wean them via persecution from unholy union with Calvinist Evangelicals.
- Christ's Offer To Use Calvinist Persecutors For SUSTAINED MINISTRY HOLINESS.
- Jesus counseled us Evangelicals to "buy from Me" second of all " . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear . . ." Revelation 3:18a, b[b] KJV.
- Examining Scripture's context on this segment of Revelation 3:18 reveals what He meant by these words:
- Christ's offer of "white raiment" calls us to look to Him for preserving holiness in our ministries:
- Aside from Rev. 3:18, only at Rev. 16:15 in the Revelation does a warning exist for (Tribulation era) believers not to let others see their "nakedness", (Moulton & Geden, Conc. to Grk. T., p. 179).
- That Rev. 16:15 context reveals the need for believers to avoid abandoning godly works (white garments are godly works, Rev. 19:8 NIV) by not yielding to strong demonic deception to join the earth's kings [ecumenically] to counter Christ's return at Armageddon, Rev. 16:14-16.
- So, the white raiment Christ offers in Rev. 3:18 COUNTERS the failure of believers to persevere in good works by their sinfully yielding to influence to associate with the godless in errant works!
- [Note: Christ offers "white" raiment opposite the "praised and prized" "glossy black wool" made by breeding at Laodicea, Sir Wm. Ramsay, Letters To The Seven Churches, p. 416f; Rev. 3:18b[b]].
- [We also recall that to "buy" anything from God as in this Rev. 3:18a,b context involves acquiring His blessing by grace as opposed to carnal human merit or effort, cf. T.D.N.T., vol. I, p. 126.]
- This insight with Rev. 3:18a,b[b] shows Christ calls us to trust Him to let us to be cornered into taking stands that lead to our withdrawal of ministry associations with Calvinists who slander us so that we keep godly ministry efforts free of their corruption (white garments), 2 Tim. 3:3, 5b. We thus pull back without being errantly divisive via (stylishly) slandering others (black wool) as do Calvinists:
- The three items we are to "buy" from Christ in Rev. 3:18 (gold "tried in the fire", white raiment and eyesalve) are each connected by the repeated particle, "kai " ("and"), UBS Grk. N. T., p. 845.
- Since the next lesson will show that the third item, eyesalve, is gained by persecution as is the first item, gold, and that all three items are connected by "kai" ("and"), they are each gained by grace through (interrelated) trials of persecution from carnal Calvinist Evangelicals (our last lesson).
- We learned (our last lesson) that Christ calls us to ask Him to arrange for us to be cornered into taking stands that lead to our being slandered by Calvinists, stands that expose their failure to hold to the truth [that man has free will] by their using pagan Neo-Platonic infected beliefs that yield a false spirituality; this tempts them to shield their long-set institutions by further slandering us.
- Thus, Christ's advice re: "white garments" is His offer to let a pastor be "cornered" into taking a stand and thus facing slander by Calvinists [who (stylishly) claim the stand that upholds man's free will authorship of faith to be (falsely called) "Pelagian"] so he NEEDS to PULL BACK from Calvinists in LIFE and MINISTRY and so heed God's Word re: such abusers (2 Tim. 3:3, 5b).
- This all forces such a persecuted pastor properly to withdraw ministry fellowship (white garments) without himself adopting a slanderous and divisive posture as do Calvinists who fashionably (black garments) persecute him! Thus, the pastor sees Christ PRESERVE his MINISTRY as holy!
Application: May we ask God for "white garments" to RETAIN a HOLY MINISTRY before the Lord!