Friday, July 31, 2009


Here is another article received through Andrew Strom’s mailing list. I would be interested in what others have to say about this message. I have a couple of reservations about parts of the article (which I intend to address in the comments when I get the opportunity).
I agree with the overall message that the true gospel is missing from the “church” and its agenda; that other things have been given priority to the point that the “gospel” has been redefined to suit those changed priorities.

Also see Andrew Strom's own article found here:
We've lost the gospel

WHERE DID the GOSPEL GO?? -by Peter Hansen.

A Desperate World in Need of the Pure Gospel!

The world is in deep trouble!

Billions of people are living in poverty around the world. About 2.8 billion people are living on less than two dollars a day. Millions are dying from starvation and diseases in the Third World. The global financial crisis has caused millions to lose their home and the world has probably just seen the beginning of a major global crisis that not even the financial experts could have foretold. The threat of nuclear war is hanging in the air and the most powerful nations of the globe are fighting for the last reserves of oil.

While some families can’t even afford a single meal on the table each day, others are addicted to drugs, gambling and alcohol. Millions in the west are so mentally depressed that they try to escape this world of loneliness in alcohol, drugs, perversions and suicide. The world is screaming for help and solutions for a messed up society that has nothing to offer but endless talk shows and online entertainment.

People are seriously desperate for finding a deeper meaning, hope and inner peace. This world seems to have everything to offer, but in reality is more out of control morally and spiritually than ever. I can boldly say that this world needs the full gospel message of Jesus Christ. Not another sermon or conference about self happiness, but the pure full gospel of salvation. That is the one and only thing that can bring peace to the mind and restore the soul.

But how sad it is that the preaching of the full gospel has been downgraded to some cultural light gospel show with fancy stage performance and blinking lights! Where are the full gospel preachers who dare to stand up for the truth, who dare to preach salvation, hope, hell, holiness and grace. Where are those who proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?

The problem is that millions of people have been deceived and blinded with a feel good gospel, a light lukewarm message that only talks about happiness, prosperity, self-development and “me, me and me” instead of “Him, Him and Him!”

Where did the gospel go?

Is today’s modern church really afraid of teaching the full living gospel? Is it afraid of being politically incorrect and offending the masses? Many churches are on a very dangerous path. A path that will only lead to possible destruction. Let me point out, that if there is no gospel message of sin, grace, repentance and salvation there is zero!

And while thousands of churches are playing “seeker sensitive churches” and being politically correct, millions of non-believers are screaming for spiritual truth that can give them real hope and reality based on the word of God. The truth of the gospel will set them free, but if there is no one preaching the truth of the gospel, many will go to hell, believing in a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) (Galatians 1:6-7) . That is the hard facts. A very good place to read and study what Jesus is saying is in Matthew chapter 24. Jesus mentions here in chapter 24 that many will be deceived by false prophets and teachers.

It is so easy for self-proclaimed prophets to make up weird crazy doctrines and get thousands of followers, because in many churches there is a great lack of Christian discipleship based on the word of God. The focus on Jesus and his teaching and
discipleship has been replaced with “feel-good teachings” that totally lacks the important teachings about repentance, sin, hell, grace and holiness.

On a five week mission trip to Ethiopia recently I was scheduled to speak in different churches. In my sermon preparation I felt a deep conviction to preach and focus more on the gospel that Jesus taught and His life, more than I had ever done before. And the
pastors and local evangelists were amazed and almost shocked by the clear gospel teaching, because they were not used to that!

We have to remember that the gospel is what sets us free. We need to bring the full gospel back in our churches, mission fields and to a desperate seeking world. There is only one hope and that is Jesus Christ. We have to renew our passion for being in the
presence of Jesus. We must take up our cross and lay down our lives and follow Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We must renew our minds daily in God’s presence. We must study the life of Jesus and the Word of God and let it become part of us, inside out.

The living word of God will change your life and you will see its powerful effects, and not only will you be empowered by his Word, the world around you will experience the saving and healing power of Jesus Christ. Make the gospel the focus of your life and ministry and tell others as well.

-Peter Capili Hansen.


YES! - You have permission to post these emails
to friends or other groups, blogs, boards, etc. Go for it!

To subscribe, please send a 'subscribe' email to-

See our website and discussion board-

Andrew Strom,
32 Coleridge Cres,
Swansea, SA2 7DJ,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The article linked below would be worthwhile just for the title alone. But don’t stop there, read the whole lot!


This part at the beginning immediately stood out:

“According to John Piper, typically, certain types of people are prone to accepting Calvinism. "What types of people are these?" you ask. These, according to Piper, are the intellectual types…”

After reading some of the Calvinist arguments I’ve seen lately, that statement does not surprise me. The arguments have paid little regard for scripture but have been centred on “reasoning” the “truth”. For example, if God really wanted all to be saved, then all WOULD be saved. All are not saved, therefore the atonement is limited. This application of reason results in an outcome that is totally contrary to clear scriptural statements.

I have also found that the Calvinist obsession with election and predestination is based on particular interpretations being projected into various texts. However a clear leap in logic needs to be taken when references to predestination and election are assumed to be referring to “unconditionally elected for salvation”.
That leap of logic is not warranted, and in reality it leads to an entirely false conclusion that contradicts many CLEAR and CATEGORICAL scriptural statements.

(See 1 Corinthians 1: 17-29 regarding man’s wisdom and intellect.)

Monday, July 06, 2009


In the comments section of my previous article (Election, Salvation & God’s Purposes) I was asked the following (relating to John 10):

I have a question; I am curious as to how non-Calvinists will understand a text that (I think) plainly teaches a distinction between those for whom Christ died for and whom he didn't die for. You claim that Jesus died for everyone in your post, so I suppose it is relevant.

How do you interpret the text from the Gospel of John where Jesus is recorded as saying the following:

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me,
26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30 I and the Father are one.”

And prior to this Jesus claims that he lays his life down for the sheep.

Here he clearly, it seems to me, describes two different group of persons: the sheep, for whom he lays his life down, those whom the Father had given him, who will never die (because they have eternal life); the non-sheep, who don't believe in him because they are not a part of his flock, for whom he does not lay his life.

This text seems clear to me; it may not teach exactly what I understand it as teaching however.

What sense can you make of it?


I see that the question above specifically relates to the Calvinist doctrine of “Limited Atonement” but a second Calvinist doctrine is also inferred due to its close relationship to the first. It is that of Unconditional Election: that God unconditionally elected some to be saved, and that Jesus laid down His life ONLY for those whom God had unconditionally elected for salvation.

Firstly, before considering the portion of scripture quoted, I again draw attention to the fact that scripture as a whole is a revelation of God and His purposes. Any interpretation of a PORTION of scripture MUST be compatible with the revelation contained in the rest of scripture. If an interpretation contradicts the clear meaning of the rest of scripture, that interpretation is clearly wrong.

The excerpt from John, taken in isolation, could be seen to give some support for the Calvinist doctrines that are alluded to in the question. However, should that inferred support lead us to ignore very CLEAR statements elsewhere in scripture that categorically say that God desires ALL to be saved and that he provided His Son to die for ALL and not a limited few?

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”(1Ti 2:3-4)

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance.” (2Pe 3:9)

"For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that THE WORLD MIGHT BE SAVED through him. (John 3:16 -17)

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself." (Joh 12:32)

“For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on ALL.” (Rom 11:32)

Could any statements about God’s will be CLEARER than those? Are they in any way compatible with the view that God has already chosen an elect few to be saved, and by His will and His will alone has determined that the rest will be damned for eternity?

Therefore is it even remotely possible that John 10 is promoting those Calvinist doctrines of limited atonement and unconditional election when it is made blatantly clear elsewhere in scripture that He desires ALL to be saved and that he gave His Son for THE WORLD and not for a pre-elected minority?
Clearly not without some very creative redefining of what is meant by some very simple words such as ALL, the WORLD and WHOEVER.
Unfortunately, that is exactly the approach taken by those who choose to protect their theology from the exposing light of scripture. When scripture reads “ALL” the Calvinist sees “All of the elect”, and therefore changes the meaning of scripture to enable him to justify his theology.

So how do we reconcile John 10 with the broader view of scripture, as demonstrated above? Who are the sheep according to Jesus?

The answer is given half way through the excerpt from John 10.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

His sheep are those who hear His voice and follow Him. Those who do not hear His voice and follow Him are not His sheep. We see elsewhere in scripture that there is a relationship between hearing Jesus’ word and faith.

Rom 10:17, tells us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”.
Within its context, this quote from Romans 10 addresses Israel’s disobedience to the word they have heard. They heard the word but remained disobedient and contrary. They heard the word but did not HEED the word.
Faith (belief) will not come to those who do not hear (give heed to) the word of Christ.

This is exactly the picture of those to who Jesus is speaking in John 10. They are people who have witnessed the miraculous works Jesus has done and have heard His teaching, and yet remain contrary in nature – refusing to accept the clear evidence readily available to them, they ask for more.
They refused to heed what Jesus had already said and done and therefore were not His sheep. They did not hear his words so they were denied the faith that comes through the word of Christ.

See another passage also loved by Calvinists that Calvinists assume limits the redeemed to a group specifically chosen and given to the Son by the Father.

Joh 6:37–39 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

But the following verse adds the qualifying statement of :

Joh 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that EVERYONE who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

EVERYONE who looks on the Son and believes in Him.

Compare with the famous John 3:16 (and especially note its context)

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (Joh 3:14-18)

In the wilderness everyone who LOOKED UPON the serpent were saved from the poison of the snakes. Those who chose not to look upon the serpent were not saved.

Likewise, it is the will of that Father that EVERYONE who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life. Those are the ones who the Father gives to Jesus, those who look upon Him and believe in Him.
Who are those able to believe in Him?

Those who hear and give heed to His word.

Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.'
As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.'"
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?
And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. (Heb 3:7-19 )

Relationship with Jesus is conditional upon BELIEVING in Him. Belief (faith) in Him comes through hearing (giving heed to) His word and acting upon it.
Who are the sheep that are able to believe in Jesus? Those who give heed to his word and follow Him.

How can they give heed to his word? Because there is POWER to SAVE in HIS gospel.

So who are you going to hear and heed? Jesus and HIS word? Or the word of man's theology?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


(A brief summary in the form of some personal thoughts)

Salvation is CONDITIONAL. Those conditions are revealed in scripture. And include repentance and faith. God does not choose specific “elect” individuals to be saved. The elect are those who are IN CHRIST, those who are IN HIM.
The redeemed are the elect and all references to people being “elect” are directed towards the redeemed. Election does not occur apart from Christ – that means Christ comes before Election. Election does not precede our being In Christ. Whether we are in Christ or not determines whether we are part of the elect. It is NOT election that determines whether we will be In Christ.

God’s salvation plan was already established before He started His creation. Man’s fall was already factored into this even before Adam sinned. God KNEW what would happen and used that to His purposes. God did not ordain Adam’s sin but He knew the outcome before it happened. God’s salvation plan is NOT a compromised way of salvaging something good from His creation. God’s salvation plan has ALWAYS been directed towards the creation of a new heavens and a new earth to be populated by a people who willing serve Him.
The new heavens and new earth where only righteousness will dwell is the pinnacle of revelation that God has given. He has revealed nothing beyond that.
To be part of that new creation, mankind has been given a way to be freed from the sin that would prevent it. That way comes through faith in Jesus. Through turning from our own ways and turning to God (repentance), that results in fruit that is evidence of their repentance.

I understand this current creation to be a “testing ground” where our response to God in this life, in this creation, gives us the opportunity to become part of His new creation.

“Regeneration” and “born again” are terms that are used very little in scripture but some traditions have created major doctrines around those terms. At their very simplest, they describe the new start and new life we are given through Christ.
Many Calvinists teach that someone needs to be born again before they are able to believe and repent. To those people it is regeneration that changes man from a totally depraved creature and makes him capable of repenting. That prior to regeneration man is entirely incapable of reaching out to God in any way.
Scripture teaches that new life in Christ comes through faith and repentance – not vice versa.

God does not force salvation upon anyone and he does not prevent anyone from coming to Him in repentance. He has given mankind enough free will to allow each individual to respond according to the light they have received.
The preaching of the gospel is God’s way of approaching the human heart. It is the power of God that leads to salvation for those who believe. The Holy Spirit brings conviction to the hearer of the gospel and that hearer has the responsibility and opportunity to respond to the gospel. That response will either be to repent or to remain in rebellion. Eventually, those who continually resist the gospel will be hardened to its message and God will give them over to the decision they have made and will finish off the hardening process. Romans 1 & 2 describe God handing people over to those things they desire. Likewise 2 Thessalonians describes how God will send delusion to those who refuse to receive a love of the truth. Note it is up to the individual to RECEIVE the love of the truth. God does not force such a love onto anyone. To the contrary – those who don’t want to receive the truth will be given exactly what they have proven that they want: a lie, deception, delusion.

Jesus died for everyone. The atonement is not limited by God. Its benefits are for everyone but they are only received by those who receive them through faith in Jesus.
God chooses no one for salvation. His salvation is freely available to all who believe and act on that belief by repenting.

God has not preordained everything that happens. He has given mankind the freedom to act within certain constraints. The overall destiny of His creation is determined but the determination of man’s place within that destiny depends upon the individual and their response to God’s grace.
The presence of sin within the world and the fact that the world is under the influence of Satan also has an effect on events within the world and among those who have not turned to God.
God allows Satan’s influence to continue in the world because He is patiently given mankind the opportunity to repent. However that patience will one day come to an end and God will deal with the evil that has corrupted His creation.