Reformed Theology

A Place Prepared for the Devil — Revelation 20:7-10


A Place Prepared for the Devil -- Revelation 20:7-10 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

What is the Lake of Fire? The Sea of Fire is a place so big, that there are no shores. No islands of refuge. No stable footing and no reachable surface. There is sulfur. Gunpowder is made with sulfur to increase the heat and explosive nature of the compound. Sulfuric acid has lots of sulfur. Sulfur boils at 850 degrees.

Ancient civilizations understood that volcanoes have lots of sulfur in the magma. The Old Testament tells us that God rained down brimstone, which is a synonym for sulfur, on Sodom and Gomorrah.

So God is asking for us to imagine a sea of boiling sulfur into which the Devil is cast and sinks. That’s not a comforting thought, unless you hate the Devil.

And this experience of the Devil is permanent. There’s no end to his torment. He is lost under the billowing waves of God’s wrath. He will forever feel like he is burning up. He will forever feel like he is drowning. He will be forever lost to God’s love.

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California Makes It Illegal to Try and Convert Gays Under the Age of 18


Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB 1172 which prohibits sexual orientation change efforts for anyone under 18.

Conservative religious groups and some Republicans have argued that banning conversion therapy would hinder parents’ right to provide psychological care for children experiencing gender confusion.

The Encino, Calif.-based National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality said in August that the bill was a case of “legislative overreach,” and Lieu’s claims of harm to children were based on politics, not research.

The effect of the law, in brief, makes it illegal to try and convert any gay person under the age of 18 if your goal is to free them from the sin of homosexuality.

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Do Rocks and Fossils Take a Long Time to Form?


From grade school to college, we are taught that rocks and fossils take a very long time to form and that they are proof that the earth in hundreds of millions of years old. Part of the process of creating fossils is for the soil, dirt or sand surrounding the object to harden into rock.

According to evolutionists, it takes a very very long time, thousands to millions of years for the rocks and fossils to form, or does it?

How long does it take? Can they form quickly? Are there any examples of rocks and fossils forming quickly?

Let’s take a look and see:

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The Powerful Legacy of William Tyndale


A hundred years ago a comet made of frozen gas entered our atmosphere and made impact in Russia, in a swampy forest in western Siberia. When an ice comet travels through Earth’s atmosphere, the friction melts and atomizes the frozen gas into a trail of flammable vapor that spreads from the Earth’s crust all the way back to the highest parts of our stratosphere. When the explosion happens on the surface of the earth, the fire ball has the potential to reach thousands of miles high with the explosive power of a thousand atomic bombs.

The shock wave from that explosion flattened 80 million trees over 800 square miles. The center of the impact left all the trees standing straight up with no branches.

The fireball stretched back into the outer atmosphere, as high as there is burnable oxygen to ignite the trial of gas left in the wake of the comet’s path. This produced so much light that a day later Londoners could read their newspapers under the night sky.

The comet struck at 7:17 am on June 30, 1908. Just over a hundred years ago.

But the energy from that event pales in significance to another explosion that happened 500 years ago in London, an explosion of light that set the world ablaze, and still shines today. That light is the glory of the Son of God shining forth from the pages of Holy Writ. That light wasn’t shining very well for a thousand years before Tyndale.

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Why Does the Apostle's Creed Think Pontius Pilate is Central to our Faith? — Luke 1:1-4


When the early church pieced together the Apostle’s Creed, they were using the baptismal formulas previously in use by the actual Apostles. We don’t know which Apostle coined each phrase of the Apostle’s Creed, but one of the twelve was baptizing converts in the name of Jesus Christ who suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Which begs the question, “why are we confessing anything about a secular Roman governor?” This morning I am going to explain why Pilate’s name is in the creed, and I am going to suggest that it is necessary for a sound faith.

During this time period in Rome there were mystical religions that taught a variety of strange ideas. These false religions didn’t claim their teachings were real in a historic or scientific sense, but their teachings were spiritually real.

Lots of Christians understand their own faith within this context. My sermon will try to convince you otherwise.

Let me illustrate this with a true experience of mine. I visited a seminary in the late 1990’s where I considered enrolling. Before I enrolled I wanted to discern what kind of an education I would receive so I asked a professor this question. “Do you think the virgin birth really happened historically or is it just spiritually real?” The teacher knew what I was asking. I wasn’t being a smart-aleck. I was trying to size up the orthodoxy of the school.

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Louisiana College Wins Legal Battle for Inerrancy — Lessons for the ARP Maybe?



Liberal professors “candidly testified [before the court] that their errant view of the Bible was in conflict with the inerrant beliefs of the [school] administration.”

The professors filed suit in 2005 against the school amid a growing furor over the school’s movement away from Baptist doctrine. The professors fueled the controversy with statements they made during class, including voicing skepticism over the bodily resurrection of Jesus and Mary’s virginity, school President Joe Aguillard said.

In response to complaints from parents and students about how liberal the small college in Pineville, La., had become, the Louisiana Baptist Convention appointed a new slate of conservative trustees to oversee operations, Aguillard said: “Their goal was to bring the college back to its biblical roots.”

They have now won the mandate to finish those goals.

Result? During the last five years enrollment has grown by 89 percent.

What are the lessons for the ARP?


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Should We Still Believe in a Historical Adam?


 

by Bryan D. Estelle

My thesis is simple: by questioning the historicity of Adam, one must revise the doctrine of original sin with serious modifications. Even recent purveyors of theistic evolution, who question the historicity of Adam, recognize this to be the case.(1)  

In fact, one Christian scholar goes so far as to say, “Once the doctrine of original sin is reformulated, the doctrine of the atonement may likewise be deepened.”(2)

Such serious modifications will carry entailments for other areas of theology as well. Here I want to take up the question of history and Old Testament exegesis.

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"All Mankind, Descending from Adam" . . . Is It a Necessary WCF Doctrine?


by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.

Every Christian who is truly submitted to the Bible’s authority needs to be alert to this recent development [i.e., that the descent of all human beings from Adam has been increasingly called into question by scientists, biblical scholars, and others who consider themselves evangelical or even Reformed Christians] and clear about the consequences of these doubts and denials. No matter how well intended, they undermine the gospel and will lead to its eventual loss. If it is not true that all human beings descend from Adam, then the entire history of redemption, as taught in Scripture, unravels. The result is no redemptive history in any credible or coherent sense, and so the loss of redemptive history in any meaningful sense.

The title above, as many readers will recognize, is from answer 16 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (and Larger Catechism 22). It expresses a central truth of Scripture and reflects the universal confession of the church about Adam.

Why then the added question mark? Not because non-Christians widely reject this truth, as they have for a long time, but because more recently it has been increasingly called into question by scientists, biblical scholars, and others who consider themselves evangelical or even Reformed Christians. Moreover, they are persuaded that their doubts about this truth should be accepted as compatible with their Christian commitment.

Every Christian who is truly submitted to the Bible’s authority needs to be alert to this recent development and clear about the consequences of these doubts and denials. No matter how well intended, they undermine the gospel and will lead to its eventual loss.

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The Six Day Creation Debate Just Heating Up in the PCA


The Progression of the PCA Creation Debate — Told with 6 Recent News Stories

What Does The Westminster Confession Mean By ‘In The Space of Six Days’by R. C. Sproul

“…In the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.” (WCF IV=1)

In the Genesis account of creation, we read; “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5). This narrative proceeds from the first day to the sixth, each time referring to “the evening and the morning” and numbering the day. On the seventh day, God rested (Gen. 2:2).

In our time a considerable number of theories have arisen denying that the creation, as we know it, took place in twenty-four hour days. Common to these theories is the acceptance of the dominant scientific view that the earth and life on it are very old. Many consider the biblical account to be primitive, mythological, and untenable in light of modern scientific knowledge.

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A Primer on the Ten Commandments: The Broken Law Magnified and Made Honorable – By Ebenezer Erskine


By Ebenezer Erskine
The select writings of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine: Doctrinal sermons, Volume 1

There’s a variety of opinions within the ARP regarding Sabbath keeping.

Reverend Tony Locke preached a very liberating sermon on the Sabbath while preaching through the Ten Commandments. He posted his sermon online.

His view was blasted by other ministers who used the historical position of the Puritans, like this article from Ebenezer Erskine. This debate is far from over.

This post is intended to resource the Church to have an educated debate.

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Erskine College Sophomore takes Christmas break mission trip to Kenya

Written by Erskine News During the mission, the team conducted “a fantastic worship service,” Putnam said, in which two members of the mission group spoke, “and there was very lively music and joyous praise.” Some 250 people responded positively to the gospel message during the mission, she said, “which is pretty amazing.” As the fall…

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Commissioned to Share the Gospel

By Rev. John Kimmons   “Theology is worthless unless we live it.” Erick Metaxas says he learned this in his study on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was from a wealthy family of prominence and chose to go against popularity and the liberal theologians of his day. “The Cost of Discipleship for resisting Nazi…

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What Day is Evangelism Day?

scroll all the way down for the answer =) By now you have been through a blitz of various holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years –  and now you’re looking towards Easter. But when is Evangelism Day? The obvious answer is: every day is Evangelism Day, because we have an opportunity to celebrate the grace,…

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Sowing the Seed for Church Growth

Rev. Sam Roper   Jesus teaches about the kingdom of God, using two parables. We see Jesus employing farming imagery in order to teach us that the kingdom of God is a growing kingdom. The kingdom of God on earth is imperfect and incomplete, so growth is very important. The analogy of farming, then, is…

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God CAN'T Leave Your Salvation to Chance


God can’t keep Himself from knowing the future and determining it’s outcome. It’s an unstoppable consequence of His sovereign power and omniscience.

And don’t begrudge God’s electing love. Don’t criticize God’s sovereign mercy which saves.

Without God we won’t come to faith. God makes the difference. We should thank Him, not criticize His choices.

Christians need to stop grumbling about election.

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Is Inerrancy A Bible Doctrine?


Inerrancy is not an intellectual construct that we build in our mind after we make a careful analysis of the data. Jesus considered the Bible to be without error. Inerrancy is a Bible doctrine.

To not embrace the doctrine of inerrancy is to pervert the Gospel and put your soul in danger.

We do not prove the Bible to be God’s word by labeling it inerrant as a matter of reason or logic. The Bible claims this for itself.

We should close the debates and refocus our collective energies.

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Why Use the ESV Bible?

From WTSBooks.com   The ARP Denomination has selected the English Standard Version (ESV) as the translation of choice for Synod Christian Education materials. The First Presbyterian Church of Tucker has also embraced this Bible version. Below is a page from http://www.wtsbooks.com/content/about_esv which explains the benefits of this English version. Blessings to you as God transforms your life with His…

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