Elections & Destinies

Every four years or so, we have the pleasure of seeing an election campaign here in Canada. This is a time where candidates from various parties participate in a political crusade where they spend months flicking their credentials at us in a lengthy brag-a-thon. There are waves of signs along the roads and lots of not-so-well thought out slogans to draw your attention. These contenders for the crown attempt to show us how competent they are and there is little holding them back in immersing you with all the wonderful accomplishments. That, of course, and sharing through nasty tv adds how their opponents are going to burn down the country. At some point, they’re forced to give a plan as to how they will run the government and how they view the future of the country, province or small town they are hoping to manage.  In recent elections, especially on the federal front, there has been little concrete planning except to spend a lot of money on programs. What is shocking is that they peddle plans that demonstrate little to no fiscal responsibility, comparing our hard earned tax dollars to a personal credit card to fund all their activistic endeavours. Their pitch focuses largely upon what they will give to the people in return for their vote. In the olden days, this was considered the equivalent of buying votes and was frowned upon but in our enlightened generation, well, this is now perfectly acceptable. But now try to imagine an election where YOU are the candidate. What would you say to the public about your achievements and competencies? What pitch would you make to convince them to commit to voting for you? How would you view the destiny of the constituents and government that you potentially could be appointed to manage? How would you view your own future in this role? Now, while you think about this, let us consider God’s election and His view of our destinies in terms of the divine revelation.

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Jeckyll & Hyde Spurgeon

It doesn’t take long to recognize in examining the content of this website that we have an admiration for Charles Spurgeon. While I know some would shudder at our gushing over him, I really have no issues with accepting this torrential admiration of a man whom God used mightily. I have personally read all his sermons and many of his books including several biographies on this prince of preachers. It would be an understatement to say that as a Reformed Baptist that he has had a massive influence on my life. He was a man of incredible depth and he made his life count in never wasting his time with pettiness but always looking on ways to advance the kingdom of Christ. He went to the grave at the age of 57 years of age and left us with several large body of works, a college and an orphanage that are still with us today. I could only wish to have his depth and his courage to stand for the word of God.

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The Cultural Revolution & The Sons of Issachar: A Recommendation

The recommendation section on this website is not one that we use often. We always attempt to write our own materials and point to others who are bringing the fight to the world or who are edifying the saints with something special. We generally prefer using Twitter to share this type of content. With that said, my wife & I had the privilege last evening of watching the below sermon on the cultural revolution and the sons of Issachar by Douglas Wilson. I’ve yet to hear such a timely sermon dealing with our current cultural dilemma with such balanced and solid biblical thinking. I honestly wish that I could put this sermon in the hands of every Canadian Christian and have this shown in every church. Pastor Wilson really brings out the way that we should approach this new revolution and where the church dropped the proverbial ball. Whatever you’re doing today, take a moment to listen.

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An Open Letter To A New Calvinist

To Whom It May Concern:

In 2005, after a couple of years of deeply wrestling with it, I came to embrace with much enthusiasm what is commonly called the doctrines of grace. It was without question a pivotal moment in my Christian life since, from that point on, it seems that the bible began to really make sense to me. It was as if I had entered a whole new phase of my Christian life. I began spending most of my time examining all the relevant biblical passages dealing with this issue in quite some detail and I read as many articles and books as I could get my hands on. I probably spent more money than I had intended, but it was unquestionably all worthwhile and at times we can be more satisfied with reading than eating. I watched debates between Calvinists and non-Calvinists, listened to lectures and discussed this topic with anyone who was willing to bring up the subject. I just couldn’t get enough of TULIP! Everything I read was to further my understanding of this acrostic and this brought joy to my life.

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Fishing like a Calvinist (6) -Finale

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with completing a challenging task. Seeing the result of your efforts brings a certain joy to the soul.  For the evangelist, this bliss takes on a whole new meaning. It’s certainly not something that a person can say that they can experience in any other area of their lives. This isn’t just any work like a paramedic saving a life in an emergency (which I appreciate by the way), but a life that is saved through the gospel has effects in both this world and in the next. The grace that the believer embraces is an efficacious one that will bring about a true salvation from sin forever. It’s the feeling of having witnessed the salvation of a soul through the work of God and His using the gospel preacher as a means to accomplish this. You’ve witnessed the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit work through you!

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Fishing Like a Calvinist (5)

While it’s a little cliché (but certainly true), no revival can happen without an intervention from the Holy Spirit. Spiritual revivals in history happen because of an outpouring of the power of the Spirit. This was the case during the spread of the gospel in the 1st century or the Great Awakening. But when we’re talking about that mighty work in a revival, we’re focusing upon the scope and hence the quantity on conversions. What I would like to focus upon in the outburst of God’s salvation is the quality. What role does the Spirit play in salvation? To some, the Holy Spirit is nudging people towards Christ in an attempt to work gently in their hearts to believe (Prevenient Grace). To others, such as yours truly, the Spirit doing something much more radical in changing the person’s disposition and giving a new heart so that they can believe (Effectual Grace). On which side you fall in your definition will determine the quality of grace that is empowering your evangelism and, let’s face it, will largely affect your evangelism as well.

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Fishing Like a Calvinist (4)

While we experience the call of the gospel in history, we should recognize that something happened long ago to influence this calling unto salvation. We need to develop a prehistoric mindset when thinking about the path of salvation. You see, prior to heralding away, it’s good to come to a realization that there are things that happened prior to that moment, prior to the individual’s birth, prior to the fall of Adam and even prior to the founding of this world. Before all these things, God had a plan! We call this plan the decree of God and sharing the gospel is much easier if we remember this!

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Fishing Like a Calvinist (3)

Our intentions in sharing the gospel should have the same aim as our Lord Jesus. There should be no deviation from this purpose of God. Sharing the gospel has as its end to see sinners saved and freed from their sin. Of course, the fish, who don’t want to get caught in what they perceive as smooth talking’, will ask the logical question; saved from what? And the sharp evangelist will respond that they need to be saved from the penalty of sin, from the power of sin, and from the judgment for sin. Presenting the seriousness of sin is crucial to communicating the gospel but we must also demonstrate the means by which God deals with them as glorious. God has chosen to throw them a proverbial life preserver in the proclamation of the gospel. That gospel finds its meaning in what God determined in Christ. This means that the rescue mission will succeed! If Christ is the essence behind the gospel, then it must be proclaimed that He accomplishes the works of the Father perfectly. The salvation of a sinner is perfected in Him. The Father’s purpose in this salvific work is clearly identified in sending His Son. That principle is that laid out in Luke’s gospel: The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10) and indeed He did. The apostle Paul shared this truth in his epistle to Timothy It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). This was the intention of God for Him. He didn’t come to try to save anyone, but to actualize salvation in them.  The goal wasn’t just wishful thinking but was assured in the words He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:20). Christ does actually save his people and He does so perfectly.

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Fishing Like a Calvinist (2)

It’s quite valuable to do a little background check prior to entering into just about any situation. Police officers generally do a substantial amount of investigating prior to making a successful arrest and a military campaign without background on the situation, the terrain, and especially the enemy would prove to be dangerous. But this is also true in delivering a message. If the message is going to be successful, knowing the background of the situation and the recipients is essential. In the task of evangelism, it can be very useful for you to know to whom you’re heralding the good news. Understanding someone’s background can help deliver the message in a unique way especially in different contexts. We may have a different approach to preaching the gospel to a young university crowd than to the good folks at Aunt Marguerite’s crib club. But, with that said, there are traits that we can presuppose in all men. There’s a background that is common among all men.

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Fishing Like A Calvinist (1)

I want to establish from the offset that I’m not some great evangelist nor have I travelled the seven seas in the name of the Kingdom of God. I have done some work in this field locally and perhaps this writing is meant more for your truly rather than for my readers. When gathering His apostles on the shores of the sea of Galilee, the Lord Jesus chose many who were by trade fishermen. Fishermen knew quite well the challenges that come with fishing. You can run into problems such as navigating a boat through a turbulent storm, dealing with the damage or loss of equipment, and, of course, fish that simply won’t bite. These were realities that they faced daily, and they needed to be prepared to meet these challenges. His appointment of these fishermen wasn’t so that they could gather fish from the waters of Galilee but men from among the whole world (Matthew 4:19). They would gather men out of the sea of nations and help them become truly human. Fishing humans wasn’t going to be any easier, in fact it was going to present them with far greater challenges and dangers. These fishermen needed to recognize that the response from the fish wasn’t going to be welcoming. The Lord was clear “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you (John 15:18). Nonetheless, these apostles went out to the nations and gave their lives to proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of their Lord.

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