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LOAD-ship is a sinking ship.
This is something that came of a discussion on Facebook probably about 8 years ago, then I posted it in one of my first articles here when I first subscribed to WordPress about six or so years ago. See if any of you can relate.
For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Matt 23:3-8
Have you ever feel accused by ‘better Christians’ than you?
These are the ones that generally let you know they are better, or maybe that you are not even a Christian in their ‘humble opinion’. 🙂
- Are you weary? Discouraged?
- Afraid you may be doing it wrong or thinking the wrong way?
- Tired of all the conversations of different doctrines we hear about? (and the new sects within the factions coming up all the time)
- Confused with the self aggrandizing terminology they love to use?
- Is what they know and say important? (Does it line up with His Word really?)
They can be bullies. Some will tell you it is, that you need to listen to them or read one of their favorite (heaped up) teachers. (Recent addition: One commenter over at expreacherman actually suggested we needed a religious institution, or some logic and philosophy — huh? 🙂 ) Often they’ll point you to one of the reformed or apostolic confessions. Others may share how long they have been a believer (as if this equates to maturity – I speak from my own long life as a believer not counting for much in the beginning). Or some may dangle their title as a teacher, author or even pastor (one told me to go get my deceased husband before he’d speak to me any longer concerning Rick Warren). They may tout their education or even amount or types of degrees they have. Some adorn their names with these titles. This seems to solidify for them (in their own minds), that they have more knowledge of these important things than you. But do they? Or is it their twisted interpretations, Scripture taken out of context, or just plain doctrinal proof texting?
What does the Bible say about holding yourself up?
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2 Cor 10:12
Is this what what we should look for in a man/woman and their doctrine? Do you need a degree to understand His Word? Or much time learning with men such as the ones they post daily above God’s Word itself? (i.e., Pink, Spurgeon, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, R. C. Sproul, etc.)
WARNING: If you detect a proud or haughty teacher, one that loves to use theological mumbo jumbo more than the Word itself — RUN in the opposite direction, God is resisting them, of that you can be sure.
Some are railers — others not so still may be condescending, patronizing, or dismissive. Some of those railers may even call you names such as Jezebel (seems to be a favorite name for these men to call me (one was a KJVO pastor). Another Arminian famous pastor called down Christ’s swift condemnation on me (for daring to question his views and usage of midrash). They will continue to foam at the mouth even when you use the Word of God to answer them-but continue in His Word). The Bible instructs us that we are not to keep company with one like them.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 1 Corinthians 5:11
If they (or their friends) are elevating themselves, their special knowledge or extraordinary understanding (they’ll throw around their type of hermeneutics, or suggest you have poor eisegesis or exegesis) — just be very wary, they are likely puffed up. If someone just “loves” this pastor or that pastor, with no willingness to examine this same pastor’s teachings to God’s Word, be careful, be wise.
If you rarely hear someone speak of their LOVE for God’s Word, but they often speak of these men they love — be concerned for them, pray for them, but guard yourself, as they may (or may not) drag you into their error. If not, think of the one(s) that may cause to stumble. Walk wisely, be gentle.
Don’t hold up men above God’s Word, remember — none of these men/women died for us. We are told that He will teach us from His Word and His Word is true. They are trying to seduce you to their way of thinking. Let’s spend time there in His Word first before anything else, studying to show ourselves approved to HIM. If we’ve missed, then get back in there. If we make a mistake doctrinally speaking, then hold up your mistake in the light next to His Word so that others might see what the Word says. Don’t be afraid to admit wrong, and don’t be afraid to receive criticism if it is done with the Word, and spoken in love. A person who is correcting you in the right manner will be known to your conscience (2 Tim 2:23-26; 2 Cor 4:1-2). But don’t be fooled because they seem mild in manner. Take heed to the doctrine (Acts 20:25-32; 1 Tim 4:16), save yourself, deliver others from error too to the best of your ability.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 1 John 2:26-28
I had a conversation with someone about Lordship doctrine (loadship – the load too heavy to bear) the other day — it didn’t last long, as it usually does not. They don’t seem to see how often they point to >self — what >THEY do, what >THEY are not doing, what >THEY never did. They completely miss pointing others >to Christ (alone) and >His work on the cross, It is >HIS cross by the way. It is >HIS preservation of the saints, not our perseverance. HE keeps us. If someone is not pointing a lost person to the right gospel, or pointing a struggling saint to spending time with the Lord in His Word, then they are pointing you in the wrong direction. Flee…
I suggest this title regarding the difference between the RC and Calvinist/Arminian teaching of Perseverance of the Saints (although they all have a different take on it) or the Preservation of the Saints. Available for both kindle or paperback. Barnes and Nobles, or you may order the book on amazon.com, or possibly Northlandchurch.com sells it directly.
This is something that came to mind while I was praying, I wasn’t even thinking about Lordship salvation at the time, but these passages made me think. This is not at all intended to be a doctrinal discourse on the Word, just some verses that came to mind I thought I’d share for your own consideration.
What happened to Thomas?
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; And reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:27-28
At that moment, Thomas was fully convinced, persuaded.
He believed Jesus had risen from the dead (Thomas was already saved/declared clean … And Jesus WAS already his Lord and his God WHEN he believed earlier.
But wait a minute? When was that? When did Thomas believe unto eternal life?
When did Jesus declare His 11 disciples ‘already clean’ because of the Word He spoke’?
Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. John 13:10-11
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. John 15:3
Thomas was already sanctified, a believer. So, we all need time learning, hearing His Word to grow in faith. And for them, they were pre-, during and after-cross, so they had a unique position in time — faith looking forward, faith in the present, and faith looking backwards to the cross.
People frequently bring up the demons believing and trembling when they discuss Lordship Salvation in trying to qualify different kinds of beliefs. And they also try to say we ‘don’t want Him to be Lord of our lives’, which is false presupposition. Prayerfully we yield more and more of ourselves to Him over time with the Lord in His Word. But I do not see it as “making” Him Lord, or about the amount of submission or surrender or how much sin you have turned from. This comes through time with Him in our walk and growing in His grace. We are also fed as we show our love by feeding His sheep. We are discipled by remaining in the Lord and His Word (as He told us to do). This is our practical or progressive sanctification.
He is our Lord and our God no matter what. He is our Lord and God (personally) the moment we believe. We begin to recognize it if we submit more and learn more of Him. It is not about we are ‘just accepting Him as Savior and not as Lord’ (their way of mis-characterizing those of us who disagree with their faulty doctrine).
He is Lord of all!
Again I believe the fact that He is Lord (kyrios; the title means literally we believe He is GOD, the Messiah). This is inextricably linked together with who He is, central to our belief on Him as Savior. How can it be otherwise? Only God is Savior (Isaiah 43:11), Jesus is God the Messiah. We are either a new creation in Him or we are not His. But do not look at my works or external performance and say, “you are not a new creation” or “you are a false convert“ or ‘you are a reprobate’ (made up loadship terminology that has all been used on me). He made us a new creation the moment we believed. Perfected forever (Heb 10:10,14).
Some are slower to learn, more stubborn, need more time — and yet others become blinded, shortsighted, barren & unfruitful, because they do not add to their faith. Not following this exhortation in 2 Pet 1:5-9 will hinder an ‘abundant entrance’ into heaven. But if He began the work when we believed, He will finish it by His Spirit. So walk in the Spirit so you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Jesus will keep us and He is able to present us faultless on that day (Jude).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17
Again, He makes us new, and the passage above is not another proof (by their fruit inspection) of whether is someone is “truly” a Christian. (Although they frequently use it incorrectly along with Matt 7:21-23) It is the second nature that we receive when we are born again.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt &:21-23
(All non-believers are workers of iniquity, children of disobedience, the unrighteous).
Answer questions regarding the passage in Matthew 7 above. Also refer to vs. 15 on to know it is false prophets being spoken about. See this article too.
- What do you see to be the works God wants us to do in Jn 6:28-29? (vs. the one they justified themselves by). These people were asking what works they could do. Rather Jesus told them to believe. In Matthew 7 please notice that Jesus never denies that they did wonderful works.
- What do you see to be the will of the Father in the passages provided above? (or find some of your own.) It is to believe and to know He will keep you.
- Note that He NEVER KNEW them (Look up John 10:9-14, particularly note 14, they were not His). They had never believed on Him to save them, (like the rich young ruler trusting his goodness and riches, they were trusting in something else (their works).
- Sadly they call Him Lord, Lord… (Load-ship teachers certainly do that, and they accuse the sheep falsely by saying we don’t want to submit to His Lordship. Not true, we just do not submit to their false definition of what it means in relation to receiving the free gift of eternal life.)
- Ask yourself, who did these false prophets in Matt 7 glory in? What was their claim to enter? Is it about what God did in their life? Or about how radical or authentic a disciple they are? Aren’t they glorifying what THEY had been doing?
Here is the passage some misuse about “just believing” when it comes to salvation.
They quote: You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? James 2:19-20
Ask yourself a few more questions: What is the difference between the demon’s belief in our God who is real, and Abraham’s “work”? What was his work? Obedience? Trust? Belief? Faith in God as being Lord and God for eternal life??? When were demons ever offered eternal life?
Is THAT when Abraham was finally declared righteous when he offered up Isaac? I don’t think so, re-read. Abraham was already justified eternally before God while he was still uncircumcised (Rom 4:9-12). James 2 is about justification before men, demonstrating to others a working, useful faith — instead of looking just like the world and essentially being of no help to another.
No doubt there is a different type and object of belief between Abraham and demons. Demons do not come to a saving faith and are not offered eternal life in Christ. It still remains that we are not saved by works — not before, and not after either (finishing in the flesh). We also know that scriptures do not contradict other scriptures. We cannot work for our salvation, but we SHOULD want to do what God asks, it is an outward sign to others of our working faith in Him.
Who are we to judge another man’s servant? (Rom 14:4-5) if you doubt their sincerity, use the only remedy. Preach the gospel, or the Word. Ask them WHAT they believed. THAT is the ONLY gauge to test them by, NOT your fruit inspection…
In Acts 26, when Paul spoke in front of King Agrippa, he shared about the story of how he became a Christian. He asked Agrippa if he believed the prophets, but answered for him, saying he knew he did. Right after, Agrippa said the saddest words… “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” (vs 28) So Agrippa believed the prophets who spoke for God before, but didn’t place his faith in Jesus the Messiah who God has spoken through in these last days. (Heb 1:1-2)
I believe in His Word, the gospel, which was the power of God unto salvation when I believed. What Jesus did for us, when He died for our sins, was buried and rose again (as we will too). His power to take His life back up again, proved He is God and that He had the victory over sin and death. That in believing, we believe He is our Lord and our God, and His Word works in those of us who believe. So get into the Word!
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. I Thess 2:13
Are you self-righteous, or holier than thou — a hypocritical judge? — you cannot know their hearts, do not judge another man’s servant, to his own Master he stands or falls…(Rom 14). The first works they should be doing are loving and spending time with Him (Lk. 10:38-42). But YOU do not know their hearts, but the Lord knows your heart, so humble yourself under His mighty hand if you know Him, and feed His sheep if you love Him.
POINT THEM TO CHRIST!
Stop accusing them!
Preach the Word if they don’t know it (or are carnal).
Preach the Gospel if you do not believe they are saved.
Or is it possible you yourself have not believed the foolish message? Or is it that you adding to it and have become hypocrites, no longer being straightforward about the truth of the gospel? (Galatians 2:11-16). PLEASE, ask yourself, have you believed upon Him as Your Savior? That is adding NOTHING that you can do, NOTHING you can bring.
REPENT!! (Change your mind about thinking you can do something for your salvation!
Change your thinking about your works contributing before, during or after!) BELIEVE! Only He can be your righteousness, and God will give no man His glory so consider whether all your books and your boasting of what you are doing for God (in public) is truly a God-centered gospel… Refresh yourself in the book of John. God bless some eyes to be opened.
I also believe as we are sanctified over time (progressively/practical or ongoing cleansing) and filled with the Spirit (ongoing) much happens in our walk, which starts with faith in Christ. It grows from there, if we do the needed thing — to abide in the Lord and in His Word. (Lk 10:38-42)
Commend others to the Word of His Grace… (Acts 20:32) Do not offend the little ones by your words of accusation.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet 1:5-8
HERE ARE SOME VERSES FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GROW IN THEIR WALK WITH JESUS CHRIST TO CONSIDER.
We are tried, our faith increases, we read His Word, our faith grows. Rom 10:17; 1 Peter 1:6-8
If we fellowship, we can grow in grace and His knowledge together. Phil 2:1-3; 2 Pet 3:18
We learn to submit under His mighty hand and to each other, as we increase in knowledge and understanding of Him by studying His Word. Knowing He will establish us. (I Pet 5:5-11)
We humble ourselves, (or ask Him to) because we don’t want to be resisted and we do want to draw near to Him. James 4:6-8
As we are in the meat of His Word over time, we are able to understand the differences between good and evil (Heb 5:15).
And as we spend time learning about His goodness, His forbearance and longsuffering towards us, that goodness leads us (believers) into repentance in areas we are struggling in. (Romans 2:4; 2 Cor 7:8-11)
His Word cleanses us, keeps us from sin, sanctifies us, counsels us, gives us direction, lights up our way, revives us, replenishes us and more, so we need to HEAR His Word. (Eph 5:26; Ps 119:9-11; Ps 119:24; Ps 119:30, 105, 25, 28; Rom 10:17).
Through all that and much more, we realize how much more we want to be His servant, how grateful we are that He is our Lord. But He IS Lord. We don’t make Him Lord, He IS. He is the One able to present us faultless. If He began that good work in the Spirit, it is a good work, and He will complete it by the Spirit not the flesh (Gal 3). We can have confidence in His workmanship.
As Jesus showed Himself to Thomas, to His disciples, they believed, even though they had lost their faith, they were already His. And the ones who believe? They have believed He is Lord. I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord. Confession doesn’t give me eternal life, believing does (Jn 12). I am not saved because I made Him Lord by anything I did or will do, but because He IS Lord, (kyrios: God, the Messiah) and always will be to any believer, submissive or not, carnal or not, He is their Master, and He is able to make them stand. He is Lord of all, even the unsaved demons. But He is not their Savior.
I believe in my heart and I am righteous only because of Christ. Because He is the resurrection and the life (eternal).
Do you believe?
Once we are saved, He dwells within us. This was His plan to dwell us from the beginning. Jesus Christ is MY LORD and MY SAVIOR because I placed my faith in Him to save me. He will do the work in me. We need to spend time with the One who transforms us by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). If the Word increases our faith, do we not need to read His Word to grow in faith? How much time do we spend in “Christian” activities, books, music, movies, service, etc.? Or even secular activities? Not trying to make anyone feel guilty, but if you are not growing, ask yourself if you are drinking from the right cistern. Are you being a good Berean (Acts 17:11)? Are you REALLY proving all things (1 Thess 5:21)? Do you check out the Scriptures to see if what your teacher says is really so?
Let’s examine ourselves prayerfully and not forget to spend time at His feet first and foremost, “hearing His Word”, the one thing that won’t be taken from us.
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
God bless those He will to hear what He wishes, whatever is shared here that is of use.