God Has Chosen you from the Beginning – Election Podcast

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Hello and welcome to our podcast on the Election!

Week 3 of the Election Podcast (Chosen You!)

Today we are in week three of our special podcast on the decree of election and Calvinism.

The key takeaway of the reading today in John MacArthur’s “Biblical Doctrine” book is the reference to 2 Thess. 2:13:

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. – 2 Thessalonians 2:13

An amazing statement that God has chosen us from the beginning. This sentiment was also discussed in last week’s Podcast.

The thought that God chose us for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit is both amazing and reassuring. We were chosen to be apart of God’s elect from the beginning of time. We have been saved by no working of our own. The saving grace that has saved us is solely from the work of God.

A Beautiful Bride to Christ

electionI also discuss today the importance of being a beautiful Bride of Christ. The Church today is the Bride. We need to strive to be a beautiful and Holy Bride to Christ as He has saved us.

We cannot simply begin to understand or grasp why Jesus Christ died for us and bore the wrath of God. Jesus Christ took the punishment. Jesus Christ has saved us through His love. Why would we not want to strive to be a great Bride of Christ?

We must diligently study and be stewards of the Holy Bible. The Holy Spirit flows through us and we must continue to study the Scriptures for God’s Will. I am not sure of the Will God intends to do through me, but I can take comfort in knowing that I am apart of His Elect!

God bless

 

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Todd Friel’s Twitter Feed – What We All Need

creepy parks and recreation GIFFriel’s Twitter feed is on fire and I use the term “fire” on purpose. If you have been a listener of Wretched Radio for any length of time you will understand the fire reference and the feeling that Friel gets when it is used.

His Twitter feed as of late has been spot on discussing self esteem and the destruction that it has led to among evangelicals. I am a perfect example of the self esteem destruction that can root in the church and our hearts.

‘But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ” God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble .” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ‘ -James 4: 6-8

There has been a recent push for self esteem and to be proud of you and your accomplishments. This movement has rooted itself in body image discussions and how it is important to love your body no matter how unhealthy you may be.

Self esteem is also destroying evangelicals. My biggest battle against my sinful body and mind is pride. Pride lurks around all of my earthly “accomplishments” and “acknowledgements”. I pray for God’s Will for this podcast and blog, but how often to I check my stats after a post? How much do I yearn for more views, likes, and comments? I say it is for God’s Will, but do I mean it? My pride is interfering with my full submission to His Will.

When we read the gospel it should be clear to us that pride is a deadly sin. It can even lead us to a multitude of sins. The gospel should also show us that there is no reason for us to be prideful in anything as we are wretched, wicked souls.

If you want to hear how wretched you really are, listen to Paul Washer. If you want a false sense of earthly self-esteem, listen to Joel Osteen.

There is absolutely no reason for God to love my wretched self. There was absolutely no reason for God to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me so that I may have eternal salvation. The love that God has for all of us sinners is beyond amazing and infinitely great. He has the power to forgive any sin that we may commit and still loves us unconditionally.

The only question that remains: Why do we hold back from serving him unconditionally?

This is a key fact that should be fully understood. There is a movement that has taken root alongside of the self esteem movement regarding the “trigger” for salvation. The mainstream push is to say that we have “accepted” Jesus Christ into our hearts. –As if it was our choice to allow Christ to save us–. There is absolutely no work that can grant us eternal salvation.

Instead of asking Christ into our hearts, we need to understand that we are dropping and letting go of our sinful nature. We are saying no to continuing a life of un-repentant sin. Christ saves us from our sinful nature and gives us the seed (Holy Spirit) to win the battle against our sinful natures. We still sin, yes, but with the Holy Spirit embedded in us we are unable to live shackled to sin.

Our self esteem and our pride pushes us into the thought that we invite Christ into our hearts. We do not have a “Jesus shaped hole” in our hearts, but an eternal need for Christ to come rescue us from our sinful, wicked ways. He saves us from an eternity in a conscious, eternal damnation. He adopts us into His Eternal Kingdom.

Pride, as show in James 4, opposes us to God. This is a strong statement that should alarm all of us. It alarms me. How prideful am I? I find pride lurking behind me, waiting for me at every turn. I repent and weep at the thought of my wicked pride.

God bless

The Road to Righteousness is Loneliness

My journey through a false salvation and some "life tips"?

Journeying Through a False Salvation

to go GIF

I’m not sure when I was truly converted, but I remember the day I recited the Sinner’s Prayer. Easter 2018.

For most people saying the sinner’s prayer on a holiday it is a reaction to the convicting message you might have received after not attending church since Christmas. Maybe you were caught up in the atmosphere and decided that maybe today is the day that you straighten up your act and ask God into your life. To fill the “God shaped hole” that is in your heart.

But what happened next week? Were you convicted when you were sinning? Convicted when you hung out with your atheistic friends?

For me, I have been truly converted into a son of Jesus Christ, but it has not always been like this.

I lived my whole life in a false salvation. Falling for lusts of the eyes, flesh, and wallet. I did not care how I got it, but I always did. I hurt many people and many people had hurt me in return. It was a vicious cycle that God finally saved me from.

What was worse is that I knew the law and the ten commandments. I grew up in church and fully believed that I was truly converted. Even though I lived in sin, un-repenting sin, I still believed that I was a true son of God.

Verses Dealing with False Salvation

‘You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. ‘but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'” Matthew 15:7-9

‘If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.’ James 1:26

‘No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. ‘ -1 John 3:9-10

Do any of these verses describe you? They described me… each one of them. Whatever verse or passage you find dealing with false salvation described me in my life. What drove me out of it? The work of God.

dove

There is nothing that I did to bring me out of my false salvation but the work of the Holy Spirit in me. The last passage highlighted above is very important. It is important because it highlights the fact that “His seed abides in him”. The seed that abides in us is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us in our daily walk and would not allow for us to be living in constant sin. This does not mean that we do not sin but it simply means that we would not continue to live in a constant, unrepentant sin. An unrepentant sin that we lived by that would lead us to eternal damnation would be described in this passage:

‘Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ‘ -1 Corinthians 6:9-11

This command is also continued in Revelation:

‘But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” -Revelation 21:8

Driven to a True Salvation

What a glorious feeling, that God chose me to be apart of His Holy Kingdom! I have been washed clean of my lustful sins and I cannot sin anymore under the Holy Spirit. My continuous lusts for earthly desires have vanished. What a glorious feeling!

My passions to be a better husband and dad engulf me. My passion to stay away from earthly lusts and television shows that would make me stumble is greater than ever.

repent

God has blessed me immensely with the gift of the Holy Spirit. My spirit is now on fire for God and His Will to work through me, whatever the cost. Praying for His Will no matter the cost for me can be unnerving, but what an amazing feeling to know that one day we will be face to face! His glory will drive me to my knees when we meet and His Glory no drives me to fall to my knees and pray for repentance. To be washed clean and anew. My spirit for God is great and my love for His lost sheep is great as well.

We are called to go and make disciples!

The Truth About My Journey out of a False Salvation

The journey to getting here has been troubling. The Holy Spirit has turned my life upside down and now coming out of it I feel amazing. I have left most of my friends besides just one or two because of my commitment to Christ. I had friends that led me to stumble and it was important for me to distance myself. I have had to quit watching all of the shows that I had once loved.

Sons of Anarchy. Vikings. Etc.

tinder GIF

All of the earthly repugnant shows were in my Netflix feed. Joe Rogan was on my podcast subscription list. I loved the earthly lusts of this world and put Jesus Christ on the back burner.

I was an awful husband and father. I put other wants above them and put them way back on my list of priorities. I blamed all of our problems on my wife and made her feel horrible. I was a hypocrite as I talked about Christ but never lived like I knew him.

I was destined for hell until the Holy Spirit saved me.

Too often people use their testimonies to show how great they are. To show how they accepted Christ into their lives. The only chance that I have for eternal salvation is through Jesus Christ. He saved me and by no work of my own. I am a wicked soul in need for a savior and He saved me.

God bless

Evangelicalism in the Trump Era

Before I start with this blog posting I want to make one thing clear: I voted for Donald Trump to become the President of the United States.

I wanted to throw that statement  out there because I will automatically be labeled a never-Trumper with this posting, but this viewpoint is coming from an evangelical perspective.

The Loyalty to Trump

Trump loyalty started in the middle of the Presidential campaign race before his election in 2016. The world has been forever changed after he was seen headed down his escalator to announce that he was running for President. No one truly believed him, which might have been why he was so eager and focused to run and win.

donald trump shrug GIF by Election 201617 people from all different backgrounds decided to run for the Republican nomination for President. Even the governor of my home state of Ohio, Governor Kasich, was attempting to win the nomination. Looking back now, allowing 17 different candidates could have very well been the reason that Trump won the nomination.

theresa may GIF by alexa kerrThere were 16 different political and business leaders vying for the nomination over Donald Trump. 16 different faces but seemingly one voice coming from all of them. Sure, the field was diverse, but there was no diverse opinion among them. 8 years of Barrack Obama left the Republican party tired of political correct garbage and hungry for a fresh face and voice.

Insert Donald Trump here.

As evangelicals we overlooked the personal flaws that Trump carried with him. His personal past with women, his treatment of Fiorina, Bush, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich was all overlooked to overcome the political norm.

We were all ready for change and we received it. We elected a non – Christian New York democrat who tells it like it is.

Trump secured the evangelical backing because he had announced Mike Pence as his Vice President. Pence is an evangelical conservative from the state of Indiana who most likely will become a President in his future based on his popularity among evangelical conservatives like myself.

A year and a half into his presidency Donald Trump is shaping up to be the most conservative President we have had in decades according to some political commentators. His brash Twitter interactions are overlooked because of his middle of the road common sense views on various issues. His “shoot from the hip” style was portrayed during the campaign and has not wavered from that during his Presidency.

Some of us voted for Donald Trump and some of us did not. We should not, however, waver from praying for the man’s success and for God’s Will to be brought through Donald Trump.

Brothel Owner Wins NV Primary

dennis hofDennis Hof, the famed “pimp” from the HBO series, “Cathouse”, won the NV Republican primary and will probably win the House seat in November. Hof has even written a book titled, “The Art of the Pimp”, which is a play on Trump’s famed book. Below is a quote from his interview with Rolling Stone:

“He’s the Christopher Columbus of politics in my mind. All I’m doing is following him to the new world”

alex jones sudden realization GIFHof’s campaign was also helped by the infamous Roger Stone who you might know from watching InfoWars. Stone has also been all over mainstream news as one of the faces of the Russian investigation.

As I have written and talked about before in my podcast, Pastor Victor Fuentes is backing Hof and will be putting his full support behind the candidate. Fuentes came out with a statement, which is posted below:

“We have politicians, they might speak good words, not sleep with prostitutes, be a good neighbor. But by their decisions, they have evil in their heart. Dennis Hof is not like that”

Politics v Our Faith

I find it interesting when people are so eager to put their political beliefs above their faith and values. Tribal politics has reached a boiling point in this country.

Donald Trump is not a Christian, but from recent reports and an interview from Mike Pence, Trump is very eager for them to pray before meetings. This is a good sign as it signals that President Trump might indeed be converted. Let’s hope that God leads him into a true salvation!

As a Republican I can agree with the sentiment that we have been led by spineless politicians who are more worried about re election than they are about making an actual difference for this nation. This anger and belief overflowed during the 2016 Presidential campaign and we decided to vote for the “outsider”.

Since being elected, Trump has actually led us down a very conservative path. The economy and economic confidence among citizens is booming. Unemployment rates are dropping steadily and he seems to be pioneering the movement to a more protective view on international trade with other nations.

But at what point are we going to put our faith before political victories? I thought that Donald Trump was a far enough stretch for us, but now we nominate a brothel owner? At what point is it too far for us?

God has complete control over everything that has happened and will happen in our political environment. Things may be murky during the storm, but God will bring His Will through it at the end. If we are truly in the last of days as so many of us believe, then we better buckle up and pray because things for this nation will only get worse! God is in control with everything that happens in our great nation and I think we have fallen too far into secular thinking in the political realm. Sure, we should not disengage with politics altogether, but it is as important as ever that we have strong evangelicals in Washington. If we lose there, there will be no hope for us on Main Street.

God bless

Are we Headed for a Civil War?

I cannot be alone in the feeling that everyone is excited for the pending Civil War that seems to be swirling in mainstream media. The economy is booming, plagues are almost eradicated in the developed world, and we have more personal wealth on average than any other time in history. People living in apartments are technically living better than the wealthiest people did when Jesus walked this earth.

So why the hooplah over a pending Civil War?

founding fathers

Fighting is seemingly coded into our DNA living in America. We were founded in bloodshed so we could live in freedom from an oppressive government that controlled every decision we made. The founding fathers, a group of ordinary men, banded together to dedicate their lives for the chance that we might be able to live in freedom.

God had a great role in the founding of our great nation and he has a role in everything that happens on this Earth. (Which brings me to my main point)

There has been a lot of press revolving around the recent election of a 28 yr old Socialist in New York. A pretty face to a booming movement, the socialist left is hoping they can change the face of their movement from Bernie Sanders to this young woman. God has a role in this.

michael moore america GIF by Michael Moore's WHERE TO INVADE NEXT

Michael Moore is going around stating that it is the time to fight Trump. He has stated that this is the hill to die on if it means keeping Trump from appointing a Supreme Court Justice that could overturn Roe v Wade. This might be a way for Moore to get more publicity, but we should take it as a legitimate threat. God has a role in this.

freedom GIF

I have a lot of freedom-loving friends that are discussing what would happen if we were in a Civil War. I love freedom, but I feel as if I am the only one here talking about how we should avoid a Civil War? God has a role in this.

I worry about the thought of a Civil War. With an eight month old son, I feel as if his life will forever be altered if we allow him to grow up under a Civil War. It seems as if the collective population that wants a Civil War has given up on civil discourse. The democratic republic that the founding fathers fought for should be able to withstand this. We survived our first Civil War, but could we survive a second?

The nation is extremely divided of issues that cannot effect their salvation. Sure, the decisions that our elected officials make can alter and change the lifestyle that we had hoped and worked hard for, but it cannot take our salvation. We have to remember that God is sovereign and everything is working for His Will.

dietrich

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an amazing Christian, growing up and thriving in Nazi Germany during Hitler’s reign. Not necessarily thriving on personal wealth or professional power, but thriving in his pursuit to stand with his beliefs and values while the nation plummets into Nazism. If you have not studied this great man, I suggest you do, as his lifestyle and what he went through can help navigate the waters of today. I know it is commonplace to compare Trump to Hitler and I want to make it clear I am not doing that. I am just stating that we can learn from this man to stand tall in our faith while everyone around us degrades into filth.

I remember reading in his book where he was discussing war with his rival in the class. Dietrich was for war while his rival was not. The “check mate” comment that his rival said — and I am paraphrasing here — was, “If a Christian kills another Christian based on the disagreements of the country, is it okay?”

This causes Dietrich to stumble as it did for me as well. What is the point of all of this if you are going to kill another Christian? What is a more important battle, the battle for lost souls or for your side to win?

God bless