Robert Morris - Whosoever Will
So, we're beginning a new series called, Eternity: Your Choice. So, the title of today's message is, Whosoever Will. Now, I'm going to do something a little differently, and I'm going to go through a teaching to show you why I believe that the Bible teaches Whosoever Will, but there are other people that don't believe this way. And, I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm not trying to set us apart from other churches, I want us to come together. So, it's okay if someone believes a different way than us. That's okay in the body of Christ.
So, I just want to say that. The reason I have to say that is cause I'm gonna talk about Calvinism and Arminianism, and I don't want to be branded. Just let me just say that, all right? John Calvin lived from in the early 1500s. Jacob Arminius lived in the late 1500s. And, what people do today is they say, well, you're a Calvinist or you're an Arminianist. I'd rather be a Christian, if that's all right. So, I follow Christ, okay? But I am gonna have to talk about some things, and I want to talk about actually the five points of Calvinism to show you why I believe in Whosoever Will, but I'm not trying to start a fight. Okay? I'm not trying to get more e-mails. The very fact that it makes us angry and we argue about things should show us that there could be something wrong.
So, I'm not trying to argue, and I think that there are certain beliefs that could hinder us from sharing the gospel with everyone, so I'm going to talk about that. Now, before I get into the first point, I've got to explain the difference between doctrine and dogma. The word doctrine comes from two Greek words. It comes from the Greek word didasko, which means teaching, but it's didaskein, which is it adds another element, it's the Master's teaching. Doctrine means the Master's teaching, and the Master's teaching never changes, but our understanding of the Master's teaching changes.
So see, when I teach this, some people might say, Oh, you attacked doctrine, but your doctrine and my doctrine changes; our understanding of doctrine. Are you following me? So, actually what we're talking about is dogma, which is belief. By the way, dogma is where we get our word dogmatic, which a lot of people who have strong dogma are dogmatic about it. Have you ever met someone like that? Okay. So, we're talking about the Master's teaching, and I'm telling you what I believe about it, okay? You follow me?
So, don't say, Well, if you're not a Calvinist, you're an Arminianist. Again, those are students of the Master, and I'm not the student of any student, I'm a student of the Master as well, even though I respect men and women of God that God's used through the ages through churches. All right. So, when you talk about Calvinism, there are five points to Calvinism, and you use the acronym TULIP, T-U-L-I-P. So, those will be my five points, all right? And I'll show you what I believe and what I believe the Bible teaches. The first one is, number one, total depravity. So, the T in TULIP stands for total depravity.
Now, what many believe this means is that we are so depraved, we have such a fallen sin nature, that we can't even choose Christ, that God just kind of zaps us and we get saved one day, but that we don't even have the ability to choose Christ. I disagree with that. I believe that what it means that we're depraved is that we're born with a sin nature, that we all have a sin nature, and yet, God still gives us the ability to choose. I really believe you determine where you spend eternity, and that God is a just and merciful God, and gives every person a chance to accept Jesus Christ. Whatever belief you have has to be consistent with the nature and character of God, and a God that would love the world so much that He would give His own Son for the world, I believe, gives everyone an opportunity. So, but I do believe that we're all born with a sin nature.
Romans 3:23 says, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It's very simple. I've asked you this before. If you want to know if we have a sin nature, simple question: did you have to teach your children to be bad? Or, did it come naturally to them? I actually saw a thing on the internet a while back that said, Funny Signs, and I thought, this is a perfect sign to represent a sin nature. Let me show you the sign. Caution, this sign has sharp edges. Do not touch the edges of this sign. Also, The bridge is out ahead. How many people do you think, and how many of you are actually thinking, I wonder how sharp those edges are?
So, the first point of Calvinism is total depravity, and some believe that means that we can't even choose God. I don't believe it takes away our choice, but I believe we're all born with a sin nature. Everyone understand? Okay, the second, the U in TULIP is unconditional election. Unconditional election, and what this belief is, is that God chose some people to go to heaven and God chose some people to go to hell. Again, did you all hear me say I'm not trying to pick a fight? I just don't believe that about God. I believe that God wants everyone to come to Jesus Christ, and God is not willing that any should perish, but wants all to come to repentance. So, I don't believe God chose some.
There are too many Scriptures to take the gospel to the whole world. Now, let me read you some. Matthew 24:14, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. What kind of God would have the gospel preached, but not allow people to receive the gospel? Mark 16:15, And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. John 1:21, The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. John 3:17, God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20, watch this carefully. That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins to them. We're gonna come back to this word, imputing. And has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. God's pleading with us, to the whole world, be reconciled to God. God was in Christ reconciling the world - not the elect, the world to Himself, and now we are ambassadors. But here's what it says about the world, not imputing their sins to them.
This word, imputing, in the Greek is an accounting term that literally means depositing in an account, to make a deposit into an account. Here's what it's saying. God is not depositing the world's sins into their account. Through Christ, He has taken care of everyone's sin. Please hear me. Everyone in the world, Jesus has already paid for their sins. If He hasn't already paid for their sins, He'll have to die again. He's already paid for the whole world to be saved. This is why it's so easy to witness, because we can tell them, Your sins have already been paid for. God's already reconciled you. It's up to you whether you receive Jesus or not.
Now, I'm going to make a bold statement, and there's a lot of theology, and there's no way to cover all of the theology that you should cover in a 32-minute message. There's just no way to do it, so I just have to kind of hit tidbits here. So, I'm going to say something' pretty strong. People don't go to hell for sin, because of sin. They go to hell because of unbelief. Jesus did not say the ones that don't sin go to heaven, and the ones that sin go to hell. Let me read you exactly what He said. John 3:36, He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life.
See, people go to hell because they don't believe, but Jesus had already paid for their sins. That again is why it's so easy to witness, because there's a check. Jesus has already written the check for all of your sins. It's just up to you whether you endorse it and deposit it. And when you deposit it into your account by faith, then all of your sins are paid for, your debt is paid in full, and the righteousness of God is deposited in your account. That's what happens when we get saved. But, it's up to you. You have a choice. God created you in His image with a choice.
Here's the third. This is the L in the word TULIP. If you want to remember these five and you know, for some reason, the third is limited atonement. Again, I don't believe this. It basically means that Jesus died only for the elect, for those that God chose, and so some He didn't choose, but He didn't die for the world. I think there's just way too many Scriptures that said He died for the whole world. I've shown you some Scriptures, but let me show you a couple that have a phrase, once for all. I love this and I only chose two of them, but watch this.
Hebrews 7:27, this is talking about Jesus. Who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once, now watch these words, for all. He did it for all, everyone, when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 9:12, Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
The reason that I'm sharing this is because I'm not trying to again separate from people who have a different belief in the body of Christ than we do. I'm not trying to do that at all. I have a desire, as the pastor of this church, for you to have a desire to win people to Christ. And I think if we were to believe something like this, that God chose some people to be saved and others not to be saved, and we'll see in a moment that part of this belief is they will be saved no matter whether they even accept Christ or not, they'll just be saved. That's the extent, that's the far extent of this belief, and you'll see it on the next point. They just will accept the Lord.
If that's the case, why witness? Why tell anyone about Christ? Why pray for the lost? Why pray for people? When you look at the whole of Scripture, that's what we're to do. Jesus says, Go, and go now! You can hear an urgency in His voice. Go out into the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in, that My house may be full. Please go tell them. My desire is that we at Gateway Church, every time we meet someone, we're thinking about how to talk to that person about Jesus, every time. My wife will tell you, I talk to people everywhere we go, and I have an ulterior motive. I am trying to get that person saved. Everywhere, I'm trying to strike up a conversation. I'm trying to talk to people.
We went down to Austin and spent our family vacation, and it's where Josh has moved, and Hannah, and he'll be planting the church, you know, in January down there. And so, everywhere I go, they say, Are you visiting? Yes, visiting from Dallas. I pastor a church there. My son moved down here, and to plant a church. Okay, so I'm telling' everyone that, because I want them to say, Oh, really, what kind of church, when's it gonna start? You know, I'm trying to get em. Okay, so we go down for family vacation and we've been down there, like three days, and my son, James, said, Dad, I have proof positive that we need to plant a church in Austin, cause we've been here three days and no one has recognized you yet.
So, I'm not saying anything bad about Austin, but just between us, there are a lot of heathens, okay? Just between us. Don't tell anyone I said that, just between us. It's okay. They don't read my Twitter accounts either anyway, so it's okay. It was amazing. I would tell people, Hey, you know, my son's planting a church, and they would go like, Oh, and that'd kind of be the end of the conversation. We need to tell people. Everywhere we go, there needs to be a driving force in you to win people to Christ, and that's the only reason I'm preaching this message. I felt very strongly.
Okay, here's the fourth point, and it's the I in TULIP, irresistible grace. What this means in the Calvinism teaching is that those who are chosen cannot resist the grace of God. They will accept Christ because it's just irresistible. I disagree with that. I believe that you can resist God. I believe God gave you a will. See, I think that this teaching basically means that God created robots, and He created us without a will and a choice, and I think you have a will. Let me say it this way. Your belief, and I may share on this the next few weeks some - your belief determines where you will spend eternity, and your behavior determines how you will spend eternity.
So, it's very important. You have a choice. Acts 7:51, You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in your heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. He's saying you resist, you're resisting the Holy Spirit. Okay, now watch how again, Jesus tells us we have a choice. Matthew 7:24, Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. Then, go down to Verse 26. Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand. Doesn't it sound like you have a choice? When you hear My sayings, you can do em or not do em. If you do em, you're wise, if you don't, you're foolish.
Here's another verse showing Jesus saying you have a choice. Matthew 10:32-33, Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Look at that! Jesus is saying this. He's not saying, We got it all worked out, and We got some We chose to live with Us and some that are gonna just be tormented forever, no matter what they do on earth, even if they were to cry out to Us and asked to be saved. He's saying, If you confess Me, I'll confess you; if you deny Me, I will deny you. In other words, He's saying it's up to you. It's up to you.
Well, after I got saved, I remember going back to nearly all of my drug friends and sharing the gospel with them. And one of those, I just kept sharing with him and he kept saying to me something like, I just want God to prove Himself to me. I said, What do you mean, prove Himself? He said, I just want Him to prove that He's alive, prove that He's real, prove that He knows me, you know, stuff like this. And, I guess it was probably 30 minutes or so and He said, I just want Him to do something spectacular. I said, He did something spectacular. He sent His son for you. He said, No, I just want Him to do something spectacular, like right now, today, and show me that He's real.
And I was just a young Christian. I just kind of got, I guess fed up, you know, so I just put my hand on him and I said, God, I just pray that You'll show him that You could kill him, but You're not going to. I don't know how theological that was, but. But the next night, he got drunk, went off the road in his truck. Somehow his door came open. He fell out, he rolled in a ditch. He didn't get hurt because, drunk, probably just rolling around. His truck went into a tree and did catch on fire, and burned up. And the police officer said to him, which he told me this later. The police officer said to him, Son, God was looking out for you. God is trying to tell you to get your life straight. Here's the sad part. He still didn't get saved, because you can resist. It's what the Bible even says. Even if someone did something amazing, they wouldn't believe. Even if someone rose from the dead, which Jesus did rise from the grave. So, irresistible grace.
Here's the fifth point, perseverance of the saints. This means that if you're one of the chosen, you're going to persevere to the end, no matter what. I think this takes personal responsibility out of it. Again, I think it takes our choice, even after we get saved, out of it. And I'm not saying whether we can lose our salvation or not, but the way I believe this is a little differently. Perseverance starts with P-E-R. I'm gonna change those first three letters to P-R-E. I believe in the preservation of the saints. In other words, I believe that God preserves those whom He loves and who call on His name.
Psalm 31:23, Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints, for the Lord preserves the faithful. Think about how you would preserve something. Psalm 37:28, For the Lord loves justice that does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever. Psalm 97:10, You who love the Lord hate evil; he preserves the souls of His saints. And then, this is the way Paul said it in the New Testament, 2 Timothy 1:12. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
See, this doesn't focus on my strength, it focuses on His strength, that God is able to keep that which I have committed to Him. Here's what I've committed to Him. I've committed my faith in the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ. I've committed my faith to Him. He's able to keep that until the Day. If you notice in that verse, Day is capitalized. It means the Judgment Day.
Now, here's the reason that I named this message, Whosoever Will, okay? I want to show you some Scriptures, but I'm going to read them in the Old King James. The reason is, in the New King James and all the other versions, which I use the New King James, it says whoever, because we don't use the word whosoever, but I remember hearing the words growing up, whosoever. So, it just came to me as I was praying about which message to start this series with, whosoever will, whosoever will.
So, I'm gonna read em in Old King James so we can see the whosoevers in the Bible, all right?
Matthew 16:25, For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. Notice again, the onus is on you. You have a choice.
Mark 8:34, And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
Acts 2:21, And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 10:43, To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Revelation 22:17, and this is just... Verse 21, it's the last verse of the Bible, just four verses here before the end of the Bible. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will...this is how the Bible ends, let him take the water of life freely.
And the most famous verse of the Bible, John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but shall have everlasting life. Whosoever will. Here's what I'm telling you. I'm telling everyone that's hearing me right now or looking at me. You determine where you go for eternity. You can't blame God. You're going to determine it. You give your life to Jesus Christ, put your faith and trust in Him, you go to heaven. If you don't, you go to hell. It's up to you.
Whosoever will, some of the greatest words in the Bible, and here's what it means. You have a choice about where you're going to spend eternity. You have a choice about how you're going to live your life. And I remember when I made that choice. I was 19 years old, I was in a motel room, and I had grown up in church. I knew about God, but I'd never really given Him control of my life, and I want to ask you to do that right now, right now. Right now. You are not watching today by accident. You're watching today because God loves you, God knows you. He knows you specifically and you're watching today because God wants to change your life for the better. Obviously, He's not going to change your life for the worse, and you know that, and you're feeling that conviction in your heart. Even though you believe in God and maybe you've made a commitment in the past, I'm asking you to make a total commitment of your life to Jesus Christ today.
So right now, just as I'm here talking to you, will you just simply say, Jesus, I give You my life today? Just tell Him that, I give You my life. Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and we would love to help you any way that we can. You can call the number on the screen, you can go to the website. Somehow, let us know, I'm making a commitment to Christ and I want to send you some material to help you in your new life with Christ, and I want to tell you, I am so proud of you for giving your life to Jesus today.