Volume 7, Number 1 (Spring 1996)

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  • by John F. MacArthur

    John 3:16 declares God's love for the whole world, but in recent times some have insisted that God does not love everyone. The OT and the NT repeatedly indicate that God's love extends to everyone. The immediate context of John 3:16 supports this fact. Further, no grounds exist for questioning God's sincerity in showing mercy to the non-elect. Though difficult for humans to understand, God can love and be the Savior of those whom He does not save. His love for the elect may be somewhat different from that for the non-elect, but His love for the latter is still genuine. God demonstrates His love for all people in four ways: through His common grace, through His compassion, through His admonitions to the lost, and through His gospel offer to them.

  • by Richard L. Mayhue

    Guarding Christ's flock of believers from spiritual danger remains one of the most neglected pastoral duties in today's church. In addition to commissioning spiritual sentinels to watch over His flock by directing them into truth and righteousness, God has charged these sentinels to protect the flock from doctrinal error and personal sin. Ezekiel 3, 33 and Acts 20 provide clear instruction on the "why's" and "how's" of being a "pastoral watchman." Christ's shepherding example and pastoral exhortations through church history urge today's shepherds to undertake their watchman responsibilities faithfully. Undershepherds of the flock will be good servants and obedient imitators of the Chief Shepherd when they regularly watch for and warn of encroaching spiritual dangers.

  • The Only Sure Word   (53-74)

    by John Sherwood

    In the face of challengers in his second letter, the apostle Peter makes it clear in 1:16-21 that God's word is his source of authority and spiritual knowledge. In doing this, he shows that the knowledge gained in God's written revelation prevails over that gained anywhere else. Because of its superiority, Scripture deserves concentrated attention. All other conceivable sources of knowledge must bow the knee to God's Word.

  • by Robert L. Thomas

    Evangelicals have reacted strongly against the conclusions of the Jesus Seminar. Yet their methodologies in studying the gospels fit the pattern of methods employed by that Seminar, particularly the assumption that the composition of the gospels involved some form of literary dependence. Ten Scriptures illustrate how this assumption leads inevitably to assigning historical inaccuracies to various portions of the Synoptic Gospels. Only one alternative avoids a dehistoricizing of the gospels, that of concluding that the synoptic problem does not exist and is therefore unsolved because the writers did not depend on one another's works. They wrote independently of each other but in dependence on the Holy Spirit who inspired them to compose books that were historically accurate in every detail.

  • by David C. Deuel

Volume 7, Number 2 (Fall 1996)

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  • by Robert L. Thomas

    Six of the seven messages of Christ in Rev 2:3 contain references to His coming. In three instances He promises to come and deliver His faithful from persecution, and in three He threatens to come and judge the unfaithful. In all six His coming is imminent, whether for deliverance or for judgment. The only way this can happen is for the deliverance (the rapture of the church) and the judgment (the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week) to occur simultaneously. The two chapters provide three more passages that refer to His coming indirectly. The forecast in these too is for His return at any moment. A survey of other relevant NT passages reflects the same dual imminence for the two events. The phenomena surrounding these predicted comings lead inevitably to the conclusion that Christ's return for His church must be pretribulational, because this is the only way to explain satisfactorily how the two future events can be simultaneous.

  • by Dennis M. Swanson

    The notoriety of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has caused many since his time to claim him as a supporter of their individual views regarding the millennium. Spurgeon and his contemporaries were familiar with the four current millennial views-amillennialism, postmillennialism, historic premillennialism, and dispensational premillennialism-though the earlier nomenclature may have differed. Spurgeon did not preach or write extensively on prophetic themes, but in his sermons and writings he did say enough to produce a clear picture of his position. Despite claims to the contrary, his position was most closely identifiable with that of historic premillennialism in teaching the church would experience the tribulation, the millennial kingdom would be the culmination of God's program for the church, a thousand years would separate the resurrection of the just from that of the unjust, and the Jews in the kingdom would be part of the one people of God with the church.

  • by Stephen J. Nichols

    Progressive dispensationalism has departed from one of the historical distinctives of normative dispensationalism, that of the offer, rejection, postponement, and exclusively future fulfillment of the Davidic kingdom. It has also failed to include a related distinctive, the church's separateness from the Davidic kingdom. Dispensationalists from the successive periods of history have repeatedly emphasized these distinctives, an emphasis that nondispensational critics have also noted. Progressive dispensationalism, on the other hand, has not advocated these distinctives, raising the question of whether that movement deserves the label "dispensational" or whether it belongs more in the category of nondispensational historical premillennialism.

  • by Benjamin B. Warfield

    A growing misconception in training preachers has been the idea that appearance is a substitute for substance, that methodology is more important than content. On the contrary, the preacher's main responsibility to his listeners is to present the truth as expounded in Systematic Theology. To do this, he must himself have a firm grasp on Christian doctrine. This is not to say his preaching must manifest a chilly intellectualism, but that his knowledge of doctrine must combine with a warmly evangelistic spirit. The universally acknowledged principle that what a person believes will determine how he behaves underscores the importance of preaching correct doctrine. Whether he admits it or not, every preacher communicates a set of beliefs, so it is urgent that he know correct Systematic Theology. Theology is the best cultivation of the devotional life of both the preacher and his hearers.

  • by Richard L. Mayhue