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(2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:7) = Controversial topics addressed and their silly myths put to rest.

 

1. God has a limited knowledge of the future.

How can God be all knowing (omniscient) and yet not know every aspect of the future?

1.1. The Bible never communicates that God is all knowing (omniscient) in the sense that He knows all aspects of the future. Instead, the Bible teaches that God possesses perfect knowledge and wisdom in relation to the past and present. This includes the present state of every person’s heart which means God also knows every person’s next decision since the present state of our heart is the determining factor in what we do next (e.g. Mat 12:34 w/Jam 3:2). That however is very different from saying that God knows every aspect of the future. Never does the Bible communicate that God knows such things. Instead the Bible communicates that:

1.1.1. God is responding/reacting to our present actions/decisions and doesn’t know with certainty much beyond that (Jer 18:7-10; Exo 13:17; Isa 63:7-10; Jer 3:6-7, 19-20, 26:1-6, 36:1-3; Eze 12:3; Mat 8:10).

1.1.2. God’s knowledge of those things far in the future is limited to His plans (promises and prophecies) which is therefore more of a reflection of His omnipotence (not His omniscience). Isaiah 40-48, that portion of Scripture dealing w/God’s knowledge of the future (as proof that He is the true God of heaven and earth) is not ultimately about His omniscience, but rather His omnipotence – i.e., that He has the power to see His will come to pass exactly as He declared it (Isa 42:8-9, 46:8-11, 48:3; Rom 4:17) = God’s omnipotence is what guarantees His specific knowledge of future things. Such omnipotence includes the ability to influence or direct people when necessary (e.g. Gen 50:20; Pro 21:1 w/Isa 10:5-15; Isa 44:24-28 w/Ezr 1:1-12 and 2Chr 36:22-23 = God accomplishes His purposes thru influence not coercion/violation of our free will).

1.2. Believing that God knows every aspect of the future – including every future decision we are going to make, makes you guilty of three heresies:

1.2.1. Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism

If God did know everything about the future then that would include our decisions which means none of our decisions would be free or real. Though it may seem that way, in reality, they are all predetermined (or fixed) according to what God has already decided. This is not what the Bible teaches but instead the Greek heresy known as Fatalism, the Atheist heresy known as Determinism, or the Evangelical heresy known as Calvinism.

1.2.2. God as unjust

If Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism were true, it would also mean that we are not responsible for our actions. We are instead victims. Such thinking makes a mockery of Scripture which establishes our responsibility (and therefore free will) through God’s commands, the conditions and consequences of those commands and the pleading of God and His prophets to keep those commands. Why plead for something we have no control over fulfilling? This kind of thinking also impinges on God’s most important attribute, His justice (Gen 18:19; Deu 16:20, 32:4). For God to be just in His judgment of us at the end of time, then it requires that the majority of our wills and the future be free and unknown since, “How can God commend/condemn us if the majority of what we did/did not do was out of our control because the future was pre-determined or fixed?” It is important to note that this view (Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism) was condemned by the early church:

“Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions…We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is in our own power. For if it be predestinated that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise or the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for th eir actions—whatever they may be.” (Justin Martyr)

 

 

1.2.3. God as incompetent

Calvinists (the Christian version of Fatalism/Determinism) think that if God doesn’t know everything about the future, then He cannot be counted on to accomplish His various promises or prophecies. IOW: Without the ability to pre-determine everything, God would become incompetent. This belief however, is not only alleviated, but exposed as unintelligent once we consider that what God does know is more than enough to anticipate possible problems, establish contingency plans and ultimately steer the future in the direction He needs it go to accomplish His purposes. Possessing perfect knowledge and wisdom in relation to the past and present is all God truly needs to perfectly shepherd/manage the future – especially given the fact that the future is always the result of the past and present. IOW: perfectly know the past/present and you can perfectly control the future without knowing it or destroying the free choices of those living in it (e.g., Exo 13:17) (Pro 5:21; Gen 6:5; 2Ch 16:9; Mat 12:34b; 1Co 4:5; Isa 48:8; Isa 65:24; e.g. Deu 31:16 w/21). An illustration to drive home the point: a 300 qubit quantum computer (a computer possessing more information than there are atoms in the universe) playing chess w/a three-year old (the age a child is able to grasp the basics of chess). Is there any chance that baby could ever do anything the computer wouldn’t anticipate? How much more would this be true in relation to God? (Isa 55:8-9)

1.3. This view is known as God the Great Shepherd (GTGS) and is NOT the heresy of Open Theism: B/C God doesn’t know the future, He makes mistakes (VERSUS Perfect knowledge/wisdom of past/present = Perfect mgmt of the future).

 

2. Hell will be filled with false teachers including women pastors and their churches.

Why are women pastors false teachers and their churches on their way to Hell?

2.1. Because God not only prohibits women from being pastors but also claims they will not be saved if they take those roles (1Ti 2:11-15). Consider also (1Co 14:34 “speak” = Act as judges [see v29]. The judges in Scripture are the priests/pastors – Deu 19:17; Isa 66:21). Any woman therefore who is a pastor is false and on her way to hell.

2.2. As it relates to their church and those in it, the same is true for them as well. Why? Several reasons:

2.2.1. B/C it is a church preaching a false gospel, the key factor for determining whether someone is a true or false Christian/church (Gal 1:6-9). How you can be sure a church with a woman pastor is preaching a false gospel = By possessing a woman pastor they are boldly preaching their rejection of obedience to Christ as necessary to salvation.

2.2.2. B/C it is a church that also does not meet the criteria necessary to be a saving church – i.e., a church where Christ’s authority/blood can be extended/offered thru her priests and her sacraments (Act 20:28 w/1Pe 3:21; Joh 13:8-17 w/Mat 26:21-23 w/Mat 16:18-19 w/Joh 20:21-23). What that criteria is according to (Act 11:19-26): 1) Jesus is followed/obeyed/imitated – v26 “Christians” = Little Christs”, 2) repentance and faith are necessary to gain salvation/receive initial forgiveness – v21, 3) you need a qualified/ordained man – v23, also 1Ti 3:2 [“husband”], 4) it preaches a gospel of gain thru baptism – v24 [“added to the Lord” w/Act 2:41, 5:14; Mat 28:19] and maintain [“remain”] – vv23-24, thru obedience – v26 [“taught” obedience – Mat 28:20].

2.3. The early church affirmed the necessity of the church for salvation: “There is no salvation outside the church” (Cyprian)

 

3. The thief on the cross was no exception.

If baptism is needed for saving faith and must be coupled w/faithful obedience, then what about the thief on the cross?

3.1. The thief on the cross was literally baptized into Jesus’ death (what baptism represents – Rom 6:1-3).

3.2. Jesus referred to His death as a baptism (Luk 12:50).

3.3. The thief also demonstrated repentance (the first act of faithful obedience) before exercising faith in Jesus (Luk 23:39-43): 1) repentance – vv39-41, 2) faith in Jesus (as God’s Son and Savior) (v42 “when you come into your kingdom” = Would not have said this unless he believed Jesus to be Who He claimed to be).

3.4. The thief did not continue to sin so as to lose/forfeit what he was about to gain in his baptism (of death) (or, he maintained his obedience until his death – hence v43).