Curtis Dahlgren
November 13, 2015
The Future must not belong to those who slander the Prophets of old (and won't!)
By Curtis Dahlgren

"People love new things like Snap-chat and computerized eyeglasses. But they want to know that some things will remain exactly the way they were when they were children . . [like] college students protesting injustice while getting incredibly drunk." – Joe Queenan (Wall Street Journal, 11/22/14)

[NOTE: Once again, this isn't the column I'd planned to write. This isn't a column for everyone. But it should be a column for YOU! I stumbled upon a column on my desk I had forgotten that I posted nearly 10 years ago (8-27-06). The original title was "Amazing Grace: Charlie Darwin nominated for a 'Darwin Award'"]

"O Lord, grant us a faith that keeps us, not a faith we have to keep." – author unknown

THE "PASTOR" who wrote that prayer, bless his well-meaning heart, must have gone to the Karl Marx school of post-graduate theology ("God grades on the curve, and gives out social promotions automatically"). Maybe he just never read past the first half of that sentence in Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace are you [being] saved through faith . ." Two verses later it says that God created us for "good works" (we're just not supposed to "BOAST" about it, v. 9). Yes, Grace is amazing, but it's high time, I say, that we defined accurately the word grace in "Amazing Grace."

No one in the Bible ever said, "I am saved" or "he is saved" or "she is saved." The correct translation in Ephesians 2:8 is 'BEING' saved – as we are all a work in progress – and even the apostle Paul admitted that he could fall away if he let it happen (I Corinthians 9:27). Therefore, let's define a few words, because WORDS MEAN THINGS!

I. "FAITH"
    A. Faith is something you "keep." -Rev. 14:12

    B. Faith is something you "obey." -Acts 6:7

    C. Faith is something that determines how you live. -Romans 16:26, 1:17, 20

    D. Faith is a fight! -I Tim. 6:12, 1:18-19

    E. Faith is something for which we "contend." -Jude 3

    F. Faith is something to which you ADD. -II Peter 1:5
II. "Grace"
    A. Grace is for obedience to the FAITH. -Rom. 1:5

    B. Grace is not a "new testament" invention. -Genesis 6:8, Exodus 33:12, Jer. 31:2

    C. Grace is for "service." -Hebrews 12:28, Ephesians 3:8

    D. Grace is something from which we can fall. -Hebrews 12:14-15
III. "WORKS"
    1. Good works do not circumvent "faith"; they SHOW faith. -I Thes. 1:3, II Thes. 1:11, James 2:17,18 and 26

    2. Works do not substitute for "faith"; they REQUIRE faith. -Hebrews 11:7-8
IV. THE "LAW"
    A. "No new commandment wrote I unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning." -I John 2:7

    B. "My righteousness shall not be abolished. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law." -Isaiah 51:6-7

    C. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God, AND THE FAITH OF JESUS." -Revelation 14:12

    D. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt – which they broke – but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel [and Judah]:
"After those days [latter days], saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts." He will put WHAT in their heart? ANSWER: "THE LAW"! -Jeremiah 30:24, 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:10

CONCLUSION: The ceremonial "law" was a whole 'nother topic, but bottom line, the Bible is consistent from beginning to end.

The end of the first "testament" includes the following word of warning: "REMEMBER THE LAW OF MOSES MY SERVANT, WHICH I COMMANDED HIM IN HOREB . . WITH THE STATUTES AND JUDGMENTS." – Malachi 4:4

The Apostle Paul said, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God [is what really matters]." – I Cor. 7:19, Acts 21:20-24, Romans 2:25-26

In other words, that "Amazing Grace" didn't "SAVE" a wretch like Paul – it CHANGED a "wretch" like Paul (well-educated though he had been). We're talking "the Laws of Nature" – which are scientific as well as theological. Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) said some surprising things:

"Education is the instruction of the intellect in the laws of Nature, under which name I include not merely things and their forces, but men and their ways; and the fashioning of the affections and of the will into an earnest and loving desire to move in harmony with those laws . . . [but] one who plays ill is checkmated – without haste, but without remorse." – "A Liberal Education," 1868

A constantly "evolving" religion is all the rage these days. Therefore, I'd like to nominate Charlie Darwin himself for a Darwin Award (given to those who contribute the most to the extinction of the human race).

Utopian Darwinists in science, and in post-Christian Christianity, have one thing in common: they deny the evil in human nature and believe that society is "EVOLVING" toward one global world of peace and bliss. Boy, are they ever in for a surprise!

P.S.
Scientists get so excited. They talk about black holes and wormholes. They get so excited about possibly finding flowing water on Mars, or life elsewhere in the

universe. IS there intelligent life out there? True believers found out the answer to that one hundreds of years ago. Millenia ago. "Amazing"!

"O that men would praise the Lord for all He does for the children of men . . .

"The righteous shall see it and rejoice,

"And all iniquity shall stop her mouth."
– Psalm 107

PPS: I just googled "Barack Obama" and got 184,000,000 results in 4/10 of one second. If Google is that good, you think GOD can't hear YOUR prayers?

I recently saw a physicist's quotation and he said that the physical laws of nature would say that a wormhole is impossible, so if they do exist it would mean the existence of a higher form of life than we ever anticipated. A spirit world?

Other scientists have said that the odds are so stacked against the universe as we see it happening by "accident" that a multitude of universes would be required. There are scientists who believe in God just as in any other occupation, by the way.

God can reveal Himself to anyone He wants to, but He's waiting to see who's looking if you know what I mean.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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