Excuses Are Not Erasers!
How many times have we had to listen to folks make excuses for why they did or did not do something? In fact, it is almost a national obsession to excuse ourselves by blaming others for our mistakes! This attitude, unfortunately, is nothing new.
Consider Adam and Eve. They are the world’s first excuse-makers. After they had sinned, Adam blamed Eve (and God, Gen. 3:12), and Eve blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:13) for their sin. Yes, Satan presented the temptation, but yielding to that temptation was a decision they made on their own. They were responsible for their sin and no one else! They were guilty, and their excuses did not make the act any less sinful.
When King Saul sinned by offering the sacrifice that Samuel was supposed to do, he offered many excuses for his sin. He said the people were scattering, that Samuel was late in arriving to offer the sacrifice, and that the Philistines were gathering for war and he feared they would attack before the sacrifice to God had been offered (I Sam. 13:11-12). Yet, for all of his excuses, that did not stop God from punishing him for his sin (I Sam. 13:14).
When people offer excuses for their sins today, that does not erase the guilt of sin from their souls. The only thing that can do this is the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5). We come in contact with the cleansing effects of that blood when we are baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16). Friend, stop making excuses and come to Christ and have your sins cleansed (blotted out, Acts 3:19). Have Christ erase them today!
Is One Born Guilty Of Sin?
The teaching that man is born a sinner is fairly common in the religious world. Is this true? What does the Bible say?
In the 18th chapter of Ezekiel, God devotes the entire chapter to disproving the teaching that man is born a sinner. He tells His people, “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4, 20). I think that it is interesting to note that if these people had listened to God in Deuteronomy 24:16, perhaps God would not have had to devote an entire chapter to inherited sin. Deuteronomy 24:16 says, “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.” Please read Exodus 32:30-33 also.
In the New Testament, we also see that man does not inherit the sins of his father. In Colossians 3:25, we read, “But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done: and there is no respect of persons.” To say that infants possess inherited sin is to say something the Bible does not say.
In Romans 9:10-11, Paul discusses Jacob and Esau. Paul says, “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad -- in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.” This verse is very clear in showing us that man does not inherit sin or righteousness from his father. We are responsible for our own sins and no one else’s!
Can One Fall From God’s Grace?
In many of our articles, we have talked about what one must do to be saved. Inevitably, someone will ask, “Can a Christian sin and fall from God’s grace?” This is a good question. What is the answer?
Some say that one can never fall from grace once they are saved. Wayne Camp, Samuel Morris, and other famous preachers have said this. However, our focus is to be, “What does the Scripture say?” (Rom. 4:3).
Paul, speaking to the Roman brethren (saved people), said that if they were to live after the flesh they would die (Rom. 8:12-13). In other words, they could pass from life to death as a result of their sin. Paul warned that some Galatian Christians had “fallen from grace” when they tried to keep the law of Moses (Gal. 5:1-4). The Hebrew writer said, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12). James, when he wrote to the Christians, said that it is possible for one to “fall under condemnation” (Jas. 5:12). The Bible warns us in other places that a child of God can sin and be lost. Friends, why are these warnings given to Christians if it is not possible for a Christian to sin and be lost?
A believer in Christ can become an unbeliever. People that are converted can be lost (I Tim. 4:1, 5:8) It is possible for a child of God to fall from grace. Therefore, let us heed God’s warnings and live faithfully for God while we live upon this earth (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10).
A few weeks ago, I published a work by brother Bill Crews. Here is another article he wrote some years ago. Let us read it and benefit from it.
“What Man Says Vs. What God Says”
- Man says: “The important thing is whether or not one loves God, not the keeping of commandments.”
- God says: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I Jn. 5:3).
- Man says: “Thank God for the many churches so that man may find the one that is best suited for Him.”
- God says: “There is one body” (Eph. 4:4). “He is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18).
- Man says: “Join the church of your choice, but join a church.”
- God says: “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). “Every plant, (religious) which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). “...and that there be no divisions among you” (I Cor. 1:10).
- Man says: “Each person should follow the way that seems right to them and that honesty and conscience direct.”
- God says: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
- Man says: “Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort.” “Ye see that by faith only a man is justified.”
- God says: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24). “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6).
- Man says: “Baptism is not necessary to one’s salvation.”
- God says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
- Man says: “Baptism is an ordinance that can be administered by sprinkling or pouring on of water as well as by immersion in water.”
- God says: “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4). “They came unto a certain water: .... and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water …” (Acts 8:36-39).
Predestination is a popular doctrine. This doctrine basically states that God has predetermined who will be saved and lost eternally before the world was created. Therefore, one cannot change his eternal destiny. “What saith the Scripture?” The Bible teaches that Christ died for all people, not a select, predestined few. Jesus came, “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). In Hebrews, we read that Christ, “should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Peter told Cornelius, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). God’s predestination is not something forced upon certain people without their knowledge or consent!
The word “predestinate” means to set boundaries or limits beforehand. God’s predestination is seen in that He has already established the way by which people can come to Him in order to be saved and remain His children. Paul said the predestinated people are the called people (Rom. 8:30). How are men called? They are called through the gospel (II Thess. 2:14)! Hearing the gospel produces faith (Rom. 10:17). This leads to repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Yes, the Bible teaches predestination, but not what the denominations teach! God has predetermined the way by which man can be saved. He has not predestined certain ones to be saved or lost eternally without their knowledge or choice! (Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 22:17)