1. Little ones have no knowledge of good or evil
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
2. The law is the knowledge of sin
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
3. Where there is no law, there is no sin
Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
4. There is a category of people whom God will not impute sin
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
There are two movements with a similar end goal today, and yet somewhat diametrically opposed to each other, concerning the Church.
One is called Reformation and the other is Revivalism. Both terms have been defined incorrectly and confused with each other many times.
Reformation is a result of the punishment of the Law.
I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
Reformation is ultimately based on the Law and Works. In the Law, there is little Grace. The Law punishes, and with the threat of punishment the Lord begs Israel to stop their sin, lest they be destroyed. Reformation is not a bad thing, but it is not the best thing.
The above passage is the only mention of the word "reform" in the Bible.
Revival is a result of the blessing of Grace.
Psalms 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Here, the people of God willingly humble themselves before Him. There is a relationship. The passage talks about the blessings of Grace instead of the horrible punishments of the Law. The chapter first starts with a blessing of God's favor on the land and forgiveness. In contrast, the only chapter that mentions reform starts with a commandment. Praise God for Revival!
Reformation is Traditional.
Promoters of Reformation always point to the Reformers and their theology. While they give lip-service to going back to the Bible, ultimately, the Reformer's theology is often the final word, instead of the Word.
Revival is Biblical.
Proponents of Revival, however, point to the Bible as their final authority. So make note and beware if one is claiming to be a Revivalist and yet base their revivalism on experience rather than Scripture. True revival comes along with the Bible hand-in-hand.
Reformation is for the Jews.
Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
One mark of reformed theology is covenantal theology, where Christians take place of Jews in the whole of history. A careful and literal reading of the Bible disproves this view, contrasting both, and notes that reformation is only for the Jews and Israel. This further proves that reformation only concerns itself with the Law and not Grace. (This is the only time the word "reformation" appears in the Bible)
Revival is for the Christians.
Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Revival is arising from the dead, which our spirits have done in salvation. Regeneration is revival. It is Christ that gives light.
Reformation is a result of human works.
Reformation is equal to "turning over a new leaf". Turning over a new leaf morally is not revival. Other definitions of the word render it "to be instructed", "chastised". These are soulical actions, that is the unregenerated mind and will, not spiritual.
Revival is a result of God working.
Revival is the act of making one alive, to be awakened. Only One can make something alive, and that is God. Revival results in salvation (Psalms 85:7). It is an action of the spirit of man, the part of man that is born again and regenerated.
Reformation is dead.
The Church of Sardis in the Bible is equated to the Church of Reformation in the eschatological system of Dispensationalism (Revelation 3:1-6). And rightly so. A study of the history of the Reformation reveals no great missionary movement, only the start thereof. It has a name that livest, because it did change history by the reintroduction of the Bible to the masses, but it is dead.
Why is it dead? For one, the Reformation did not fully comply with the teachings found in the Bible, but retained some of the tradition of the Catholic church and thus compromised with its leaven. For example, the reformer Luther did not remove infant baptism from his theology, even when a man pointed out that it couldn't be found in the Bible.
Reformation churches were also mostly state churches. A union of state and church produces a dead church. The practice of voluntary belief is found only in the Age of Revival. AS one remembers the letter of the Baptists to Thomas Jefferson concerning the separation of church and state.
Revival is alive.
Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
The Church of Philadelphia, on the other hand, is equated to the Church of the Revival Awakenings (Revelation 3:7-13). It was only in the Awakenings that a great missionary movement to reach the world. It was at that time great men of God came and went. Even the men that the Reformed today see as heroes came from this age, such as A.W. Tozer and Charles Spurgeon, not the age of the Church of Reformation. It was also at this era that the purified church, was its strongest, boasting the most massive congregations. The world was in a fervor of the preaching of the gospel. We look at these time as the most moral in our world's cultures, which spans from the Victorian Age to the 1950s.
Those that are spiritually living are revived.
In conclusion, the Bible and history proves that Revival is better. Reformation is not a bad thing, but Revival is simply better.
The recent Burlington Revival, while not a massive awakening we all had been hoping for, still proves that God is on the throne and still moves His people.
Editor/Author's Note: Updated and expanded from the original post.
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I appreciate this recent article posted on this website for taking a stand against homosexuality. I agree wholeheartedly that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible is very clear in its position in this regard. From the Old Testament Levitical law (Leviticus 20:3) to New Testament Pauline epistles (I Corinthians 6:9), there is no argument against that homosexuality is a sin against nature and against God.
Our world today has experienced a paradigm shift of even more evil. The recent decision to "fix" the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana was telling. The law itself had no reference to
homosexuality. The bill only was made to reiterate support an already existing law. And yet it lost.
President Obama has called an end to any attempt or therapy to reverse a sexual orientation. In
other words, he has made it illegal to counsel someone that what they are doing is sin. It seems the
tide has turned against us. Homosexuality seems to be accepted by the society-at-large.
One thing we Baptists seem to get twisted about is how to treat a homosexual. Jesus told us to love sinners and our enemies. How do we do that? We always repeat the slogan "Hate the Sin, Love the
Sinner." but what does it actually mean? I will be using the word "homosexual" to cover all non-
heterosexual sexual sins, covering all of the so-called LGBTQ.
1. Lead Them To The Lord And Disciple Them
Homosexuality is simply one of many sins Jesus can forgive. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has the power to save homosexuals from homosexuality! It just might be that a homosexual's lusts for the same gender will be one of the sins that would disappear when a homosexual becomes a born-again believer. If so, rejoice!
Whether the sin disappears completely or not, encourage them to attend a discipleship class, such as the Reformer's Unanimous addictions program. Reformer's Unanimous is attended by those who have any addictions, from gluttony to alcohol to drugs to lust. It is a Biblically-based program to get closer to Christ, rather than believing on oneself and a deceitful heart. If your local church does not have one, no matter, the point is, disciple them, somehow.
If you are a pastor or leader or one who has been in the faith long enough, it is an option to
disciple them yourself. Get them to be baptized by their own conviction. Get them to read the Bible
for themselves and pray. Make sure they attend every discipleship session, and every time the church doors are open. If they refuse to work on their homosexuality, focus on the "smaller" sins: lying, stealing, coveting, pride, and so on. While one sin may overshadow others externally, as sinners, we have many sins. But even more, focus on getting closer to Christ through His Word. Before you know it, his old lusts of the flesh will be replaced with new convictions.
We cannot eradicate this sin ourselves. We must rely on Him Who created our bodies, sexuality, and marriage. It may take fasting and prayer on our part and the homosexual's part.
2. Determine How To Handle Each Person Individually
As much as one wants to broadbrush every homosexual into one large homogenized group, we cannot if we want to claim them for Christ. He that winneth souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30), and we would be wise to study the demographics of the homosexual population.
There are some that are outspoken defenders of their sin. The gay lobby, the gay activist, the gay paraders, the media - these are the voices that ring out against us. To use a "heterosexual" analogy, they are the equivalent of the porn industry or prostitution defenders. It is their identity. There are those that have homosexual lusts and thoughts from time to time. They do not act on it, but they may have fear and confusion.
To classify every homosexual as a defender is inaccurate at best. Just as not all fornicators and
adulterers are outspoken and rabid, homosexuals can also be quiet, stealthy, or ashamed. This is not to lessen the sin, but to refine our method of reaching them.
We can crudely split homosexuals into three groups:
A. Identifying as a homosexual: These are those that have identified themselves as homosexual, and
are unashamed of it. They parade themselves and flaunt their sin. It is their lifestyle, and they
see no evil in it. This is usually what we think of when we hear of the word "homosexuals".
B. Struggling with homosexuality: These are those that have acted on or planning to act on their
homosexual desires. They may not identify themselves as homosexual, however, they have an addiction
to the sin. They may have shame, or are just quiet about it. Make no mistake, they are engaged in
immorality, as much as a heterosexual adulterer is engaged in sin.
C. Attracted to homosexual desires: These are those that have homosexual desires and attractions,
however, but have not acted on them. They probably do not identify as a homosexual or are
confused by the desires. It is a much, much larger group than both of Group A and B combined.
The point is, not everyone who has this sin is in Group A. Those in Group A, and to a lesser extent, Group B, must experience church discipline as both Groups A and B are actively committing the sin. Open immorality cannot continue in our churches. Those in Group B and Group C usually are ashamed to speak of their sin to get help, for fear of backlash. Those in Group B and Group C are rightly ashamed of their homosexual proclivities. If they want to change in Christ, you must have a willing and open ear. Listen.
We must identify in which group a homosexual resides in. Ask them questions. Do not load those questions with accusations. Use the answers they give you to win their soul effectively to Christ.
3. Do Not Have A Double Standard
Before one looks down on homosexuals, remember that lusting after the opposite sex is the same sin as lusting after someone with the same sex. Both that do commit adultery in their hearts. We cannot have a double standard.
Is it possible to be a "gay Christian"? Is that an oxymoron? I ask, is it possible for a
heterosexual adulterer, fornicator, porn addict, or someone who lusts after the opposite sex to be a
There are clearly Christians in Group C, as there are arguably many Christians who have heterosexual lusts. If you believe there are Christians that can sometimes or secretly fornicate and commit adultery, then it follows that there are Christians in Group B. If you believe there are completely hellion and backslidden immoral heterosexual Christians who prostitute themselves openly, then it follows that there are backslidden Christians in Group A. It is unlikely, however.
Those that claim to be saved in Group B and Group C sometimes do make fruit, despite the temptations. Some of those who has struggled with desires have remained celibate, or have married opposite sex spouses to stave off their desires. If we pride ourselves with standards that prevent sin, then actions like these should be commendable.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 6:9-11 that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, those that are fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind. It also lists thievery, coveting, drunkards, revilers, and so on.
Such were some of you. Such were some of you! We have a tendency to pass over heterosexual sexual sins more than we do homosexual sins! This must not be so, brethren.
Church discipline brings up another issue. If we treat homosexuals engaged in sin one way, and yet treat better a heterosexual couple engaged in sexual immorality, it will sow seeds of our downfall. If we deliver the homosexual outside our church, we must deliver up the sinning heterosexual couple in adultery or fornication, as well.
If the homosexual repents, we must treat him as we would treat an heterosexual adulterer or fornicator that repents. Likewise, if we hold up those who have heterosexual lusts but have committed to celibacy or marriage by conviction, we should hold up the same standard on those who have homosexual lusts that committed themselves to celibacy and heterosexual, traditional marriage. Consistency is key.
If you have heterosexual sins and lusts yourself, repent. If you have committed adultery against your spouse, repent. If you have fornicated outside of marriage bounds, repent. If you have touched the opposite sex to inflame them, repent. If you have looked on a woman to lust and committed adultery in your heart, repent. Are you not the same as a homosexual for lusting and committing these sins?
In this issue, we cannot be hypocrites. We must be blameless ourselves. Our double standard will be our downfall.
4. Some Practical Actions to Show Love
If a homosexual was hungry, feed them.
If a homosexual was thirsty, offer them a drink.
If a homosexual was drowning, save them.
If a homosexual was lost, offer to help them find their way.
If a homosexual asks for prayer, pray for them.
If a homosexual needs help, help them.
The principle on how to love sinners practically should be evident and intuitive by those examples.
5. Withhold Actions That May Seem To Promote Or Participate In Their Sin
One would say, if we can do the above things, it follows that we should attend and celebrate gay
weddings because we love them, right? Right?
Attending a wedding means you approve of the wedding between two people. We do not approve sin, nor its celebration. In addition, it might be tricky when it is asked who would object to the marriage. It would be the same if a Christian was invited to attend a murder. We will love the person, but we will not participate in the sin.
This is why businesses that refuse to bake cakes for gay weddings should be allowed not to bake cakes. It is against their consciences to bake a cake, as if they were participating in the sin.
There are times when we need to judge with holiness, and there are times when we need to have grace. The Bible gives us a rule of thumb to use which. They who sin willingly despite knowing the truth must be judged harshly. Those are ignorant must first be taught. Rely on the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
Like a parent of a wayward child, to homosexuals, we can say, "You're wrong" and "I love you", simultaneously without contradiction. We must be firm in both statements.
The following is not structured well, I will fix that in a future post:
1. Old Testament Salvation: Faith in what God said as shown by and resulting in works (Adam to Noah to John the Baptist, as shown by James, Hebrews Hall of Faith resulting in works. It's not faith automatically in the coming Son of God, but what specifically God said to that specific person, which included statements of the coming Son of God. For example, Noah was saved not because he believed specifically on Jesus the Messiah, but he believed God's pronouncement of the Flood, faith, and built an ark, works resulting in faith. Adam simply had to obey )
2. Before Jesus was on Earth: Faith shown by water baptism of repentance by John the Baptist
3. When Jesus was on Earth: Faith in His physical Person, and water baptism (his disciples baptized)
The believing dead on times before this went to Paradise, Abraham's bosom under the Earth (Lazarus and rich man)
The believing dead on times after this went to the Third Heaven, above the Earth
4. When Jesus resurrected but before the Pauline letters were written: Faith as shown by water baptism of repentance (Acts)
5. TODAY: Pauline letters written until the Rapture: Grace through faith, works need not to be shown, no water baptism needed (Romans and rest of Paul's letters)
6. In the Tribulation: Faith as shown through keeping the commandments and refusing the mark of the Beast (most like the ten commandments,
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.)
7. During and after the Millennium: Allegiance to the physical Son of God that can be seen. There is no faith in the Millennium or afterwards, as "faith is the substance of things not seen". This only applies to the Gentile nations who are left after the Tribulation. (refer to Old Testament prophecies of the Kingdom and the judgment of Sheep and Goats, a judgment of nations, not the Church)
I Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
Signs and Miracles and the Word (Wisdom)
1. Old Testament before the Law: God appeared Himself, with all the trappings of miracles (Creation, Flood, plagues, pillar of fire and cloud)
2. Old Testament Israel: God appeared to the High Priest in the temple and prophets did miracles
3. Intermission, Silent Years (Malachi-Matthew): No Biblical records of signs or miracles
4.. Gospels: Jesus showed miracles to Israel, and made exceptions to only two Gentiles (the woman and the centurion)
5.Pentecost: Tongues and other miracles primarily a witness to the Jews
6. Pauline Letters: Tongues and other miracles started to cease, being replaced by the witness of charity/love (I Cor. 13)
7. Once Revelation was written, and the canon set: Wisdom was fully written down
8. TODAY: The entire Bible spreading this current Church age: God's primary mode of showing Himself is through the Word of wisdom. Where the Bible is, it takes precedence over miracles. Once a society is saturated with the Word of God, miracles completely cease. That's one reason why formely "Christian" nations today turn atheistic and secular, once the Bible is plentiful, overt spiritual activity that can be seen ceases, and secularism is a threat. (2 Pet. 1:19) False science tries to replace godly wisdom (1 Tim 6:20)
9. The Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium: Signs and wonders, both holy and devilish, come back in full force primarily for the salvation of Israel, and to turn the Gentile nations into aiding Israel.