If no one seeks after God unless God draws him and grace is always effective, then how can some folks be in the church (the tares) and not be saved?
I think the key may be that there are different kinds of seeking spoken of in Scripture.
The unregenerate person in a Christ-centered church is easier to understand if we compare to a nominal Buddhist or a Muslim or Mormon or Christian Scientist. They may be sincere, and they may be seeking and they certainly may do any number of works in the name of their religion. They may even live as “better people” as a result. But not only are they not saved (they don’t know Jesus), they are not even “true Mormons” or “true Muslims,” but only ...
Some people do not become Christians, and if God knows what people are going to choose regarding their salvation, why does he let them choose hell? How is that fair? Especially since God loves them. Doesn’t that contradict the plan that God has for humankind? How could that make God not be a failure, allowing people to go to hell.”
This is a classic question, and you are not the first to propose it. The answer is two-fold, one from God’s view, and one from man’s view. However, let me first say that the only place God ...
Truth is rooted in the eternal God who’s all powerful and unchangeable. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is Truth” (John 17:17).
Truth is far more than facts. It’s not just something we act upon. It acts upon us. We can’t change the truth, but the truth can change us. It sanctifies (sets us apart) from the falsehoods woven into our sin natures.
As Christ the living Word is truth, so his written word is truth. Though heaven and earth will pass away, God’s truth never will.
Over half the New Testament ...
Sam is not this writer’s real name, but he is a real person. Many Christians have read his books, and many will likely read the one referred to here. My letter follows one in which he confirmed he is still writing this book. It’s followed by his brief response.
We don’t know each other that well, but I know we both remember our long conversation about God’s grace and the question of hell. I can live with people disagreeing with me, and I with them. But this one weighs heavily on me. So please ...
When their son died unexpectedly, Joseph and Mary Lou Bayly received comfort and help from a poem sent to them by the young woman their son loved and planned to marry. The poem was "New Year, 1945," written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, imprisoned by the Nazis, had written the poem for his fiancée—just three months before he was executed.
Then, thirty years after Bonhoeffer's death and 12 years after their son's—Joe and Mary Lou received a letter from a young Massachusetts pastor. He told of frequently visiting a woman seriously ill in a Boston hospital ...
Queston from a reader:
What is true repentance? My pastor committed immorality and says he is truly sorry. But I question if he is really repentant. He is an eloquent speaker, can be very persuasive, and is now being critical of the church leaders who are “not showing grace” as he says. This is causing dissension in our church body.
Surprised by Grace
That first century Jewish culture understood truth far better than grace. Grace comes first in John 1:14 because it was more surprising.
When Jesus stepped onto the world’s stage, people could not only hear the demands of truth but see Truth Himself. No longer fleeting glimmers of grace, but Grace Himself. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
When God passed in front of Moses, He identified Himself as “abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). The words translated “love” and “faithfulness” are the Hebrew ...
The thing I could have done to my father was what I was tempted to do—water down the truth. It would have made it easier on me for the moment. But withholding God’s truth from my dad would have been withholding from him God’s grace.
What if we could reduce Christ’s attributes to just two qualities that we could wrap our minds around? John 1:14 does exactly that. It describes him as “full of grace and truth.”
To be Christlike is to be full of what He was full of: grace and truth.
Truth-oriented Christians ...