Hi to my Forum Friends,
For over five years, I have been doing apologetic writing on the Religion Forum of our home town newspaper, the TimesDaily. I initially joined this forum because it was inundated and basically controlled by a handful of atheists, in alliance with a small number of other non-believers.
My purpose in joining the Religion Forum was two fold: First, to refute their non-Christian teachings. And, second, to make sure that readers (currently 11,000 plus loosely registered members -- and an untold number of folks who only come to the forum to read) get to read the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
On the TimesDaily Forums, there are ten forums of differing interests. So, I will have to extrapolate to say that, on the Religion Forum, this being Alabama (belt buckle of the Bible Belt), we must get our share of readers.
One of the hot-button issues which immediately draws the ire and stones from my non-believing Forum Friends -- is my contention that salvation is by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ -- plus nothing else.
Another "ire and stone attraction" is my belief that once a person has sincerely invited Jesus Christ into his/her heart, i.e., has become a true Christian believer -- that person has the personal promise of Jesus Christ that he/she HAS eternal life in Christ. In other words, the sincerely confessed believer HAS eternal security in Jesus Christ -- and will never lose that salvation. On most platforms this is loosely referred to as "once saved, always saved" -- or, on the Religion Forum, OSAS.
My non-believing Friends on the Religion Forum continue to challenge me to prove these beliefs. And, when I do offer Biblical foundation for my beliefs -- they refuse to hear it, they deny it, and they keep asking me, "Bill, you are always preaching OSAS. Prove it!"
Wee, gee whiz, fellows and gals -- I have shown you practically every Scripture verse in the Bible -- supported by commentary writings from many very knowledgeable pastors, theologians, and Bible scholars. Yet, you still demand, "Prove it!"
Of course, we all know that, "There is no so blind -- as he who will not see!"
Today, on the Hope Bible Institute Facebook page (a ministry of the Church of Hope, Laguna Woods, California, pastored by my long time Friend, Pastor Freddy Cortez) -- I viewed an amazing video about Free Grace Theology and what this means.
The video is from the Free Grace Alliance and the speaker is Dr. Charlie Bing -- one of the best speakers I have heard in a long time. Dr. Bing, Founder, Director, and past President of Free Grace Alliance, earned his Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He pastored Burleson Bible Church in Texas for 19 years before transitioning to GraceLife full-time in 2005. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies for LeTourneau University since 1992. He is active as a speaker for churches and conferences in the United States and abroad and has published a number of books and articles on the gospel, salvation, evangelism, and discipleship
In this video, Dr. Bing gives one of the best explanations of Free Grace and Salvation Through Faith Alone, plus giving Biblical support for Eternal Assurance in Jesus Christ, that I have heard. Immediately, I realized that I want to share this video, this eternally important message -- with all my Friends. The video is about 48 minutes long; so, get a cup of coffee, kick back, and grow in your faith and assurance of eternal life in Christ.
Intro to Free Grace: Dr. Charlie Bing
From Free Grace Alliance
And, visiting Dr. Bing's ministry web site, GraceLife Ministries http://www.gracelife.org/aboutus.asp I find that his Statement of Faith aligns perfectly with my own Statement of Beliefs and, what I have been writing for the past twenty years -- what I have presented during the past twelve years in my Friends Ministry enewsletters -- what I shared on The Conservative Voice for three years -- and the message I have shared for over five years on the TimesDaily Religion forum.
GraceLife Statement of Faith:
We believe that there is one God eternally existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Bible is God's authoritative written revelation to man. We believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and that they are without error in the original manuscripts. Scripture should be interpreted according to its historical, grammatical, and normal sense.
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that he also took on humanity at His virgin birth, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross to provide for the redemption of all people, bodily rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and presently is making intercession for us.
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, that He performs the miracle of new birth in an unbeliever and indwells believers enabling them to live a godly life.
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but because of sin was alienated from God.
We believe in the Gospel of Grace, that by simply and only believing in Jesus Christ alone for the eternal salvation made possible by His death and resurrection that our alienation can be removed and eternal life received.
We believe that once saved, the believer can never lose that salvation, and that it is therefore the privilege of everyone who believes to have assurance of salvation, which is not based on works but on the promises of God's Word.
We believe that we are not only saved from the penalty of sin by grace through faith, but we believe that we are also empowered by the Holy Spirit for daily living and victory over sin by grace through faith.
We believe in the Premillennial Return of Jesus Christ to earth in power and glory when He will establish the kingdom.
We believe in the Imminent Pretribulational Rapture of the church. We believe that following the rapture of the church, all believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ where believers will appear to give an account for how their lives were lived as believers. We believe that faithfulness will be rewarded by Christ Himself and that special privileges in the millennial kingdom and eternity will be given to those believers who have lived their lives faithfully while loss of reward will be accorded to those who have not.
We believe those who reject Christ's offer of salvation will suffer eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels.
Do yourself a favor and view this complete video. As I said, get a cup of coffee, you may want to also have your Bible handy, sit back, relax, and truly listen to the message presented by Dr. Charlie Bing. His message is powerful.
Why should you take my word for this -- what are my credentials? I am only a born-again believer who opened the door of my heart to allow Jesus Christ to enter in 1987. Shortly after that, I began to do Christian writing -- in my own snail-mail newsletter "The Good News" -- writing tracts and church bulletin inserts -- and sharing wherever God presented the opportunity.
Twelve years ago, I began to study and write full time, sharing messages of Christian encouragement and being pulled more and more into apologetic writings. At the time, I did not consider myself an apologetic writer; only that I was responding to comments and questions sent to me by Friends.
My Friend, Pastor Ed Dacio, told me one day, "Brother Bill, you are an apologetic writer." Hmmm, I had never given any thought to a label of any sort -- just that when a Friend had a comment or question which needed an answer -- God had made it possible for me to have the time and resources to probe, research, study, contemplate, and seek an appropriate response.
Have I ever been wrong? You betcha! But, when I have found that my response was, in any way, erroneous or misleading -- I have sought to find the correct answer and submit that to my Friends.
I will say this. There have been times when I have been wrong in my interpretation of Biblical passages -- and, I pray that when this has happened, I have been, or am, able to correct that and move on. However, I do not believe I am wrong in my Doctrinal Beliefs, or my Statement of Beliefs -- which, as I said earlier, align very well with those shown above.
So, I pray that you will get as much from Dr. Bing's video message as I did -- and, that you have a better understanding of why I feel called to share such resources, along with my writings, to all my Friends.
If you find this useful, please feel free to share it with your Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors -- all your FRANs. Let's keep sharing God's Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world -- until He returns.
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,