Beliefs

What is Decision Theology?


Many church denominations today push the idea of “Decision Theology”. Maybe some who are reading this blog post do not know what Decision Theology means. It is possible also that many who are reading this do know what it means and feel or have been taught that it is the only way to heaven.

The purpose of this post is to define “Decision Theology”, state the truth, and most importantly, to offer comfort in the knowledge that the way to heaven does not depend on anything we do, say, or feel of our own decision. Salvation is a free gift of God’s love and mercy for lost sinners.

 

Decision Theology

Catechism

(Luther’s Catechism, Anniversary Edition pg.186)

Can people decide, by the power of their own wills, to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

Unfortunately, many today speak about faith in Christ as a personal decision. They believe that people must ultimately decide whether or not to accept what God has to say and whether or not to invite Jesus into their hearts.

The Bible doesn’t teach this. Rather, it teaches that we are all by nature spiritually dead. Our human wills, in any spiritual sense, are also dead. What is dead cannot contribute toward becoming spiritually alive. Those who view faith as something brought about by a human decision are placing confidence for salvation in something other than God. Such misplaced confidence opens the door to uncertainty and doubt, leaving them to wonder if they truly believe or if they are sincere. We place our trust in God, who alone has the power to work the miracle of faith through the gospel.

There is no need for anyone to make a profession of faith to any church body or pastor, or make a personal decision to accept or receive Jesus into his heart or follow Him. No; it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

So take comfort dear friends and be confident in the knowledge that Jesus did it all for you. There is nothing you can do on your own to come to Him. It is the work of the Holy Spirit through the Word. No one can say, Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

I urge you to pick up your Bible and begin reading. Let the Holy Spirit take it from there. You will be blessed!

Gloria Dei!

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Categories: Beliefs, Faith, Grace | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WISDOM’S CALL


Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 8: 10)

The topic of transgender bathrooms came up recently in our weekly Bible Study. Many of our WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) schools in Wisconsin are schools of choice. This means that they are government funded. This is a wonderful blessing in most instances, but it can also cause serious problems.

The blessings are manifold. The most significant blessing is that the children who attend our Lutheran schools receive food for their souls. They receive the bread of life when they are exposed to God’s Word on a daily basis. This earthly life is not the end. It is only a journey that we must travel to reach the goal of eternal life with Jesus. Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28: 19, 20).

Secondly, the blessing of supplemental support from the government makes our schools affordable for all children no matter what walk of life they come from. The cost of operating a school is immense. Without government funding students must pay tuition which is not affordable for many families.

The problem with government funding is that when our federal government provides money for operation, they expect us to follow their rules and guidelines regarding all aspects of life. For the most part they have the best interests of the children in mind, but when our government’s rules and regulations go against God’s Word, this becomes a serious issue.

Our federal government just passed a law stating that a transgender person should be able to use the bathroom of his/her choice. Transgender and gay life styles go completely against God’s Word. So while we are teaching our children the truth from God’s Word, our government is telling us to allow/promote this kind of lifestyle in our schools, which totally against what God teaches us in His Word.

Aside from it going against God’s Word, it is also a privacy issue, not only in schools, but in all public restrooms. Should a 5-year-old little girl witness a grown man using a urinal? What about the teen girl, or any woman for that matter, who is having her menstrual period? And of course there will always be those who will take advantage of the situation in inappropriate ways.

The lingering question for all Christians out there is; what if we refuse to comply? Will the government then take away our funding? Every Christian School or organization that receives funding from the government will be severely impacted when/if they refuse to comply and then lose government funding.

The answer is really quite simple. The apostle Peter gives us the answer in Acts 5: 29, We ought to obey God rather than human beings! We must refuse to obey the authorities when they go against God’s Word. “But what if we lose the funding?”, you ask. If we lose the funding, we must trust in the Lord. He knows the needs of each child and will provide an answer.

It is easy to spread the Word to children and families by teaching it in our schools. But couldn’t we work a little harder at spreading the good news in our neighborhoods, by inviting families to church and building a bridge of friendship to them? We are God’s instruments. There are many ways we can shine the light of His grace in our lives to help lead others to Him.

In the end the only decision we can make as true followers of Christ is to refuse to accept the funding if, or when that becomes our only option. Allowing our children to accept this lifestyle as appropriate, will harm their souls and possibly lead them into sin.

In the end do not fear to make the right decision. Doing the right thing is never wrong. Stand strong in the Lord. He has promised; And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20 b). Trust in Him, not the pockets of the government. Satan has crept in with his lying deceiving tongue to desensitize and corrupt our Christian morals and beliefs in order to try and tear us from our heavenly Father’s loving arms and weaken our faith. We must take hold of the Lord’s knowledge and wisdom in the matter and make the decision to refuse funding. We may lose financial assistance, but our children will gain so much more. The Lord promises and He keeps his promises.

Gloria Dei!

by Robert Pocza

Edited by Christine Pocza

Wisdom’s Call (Proverbs 8)

8 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[b]
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[c][d]
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30     Then I was constantly[e] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”

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A Fairy Tale?


Jesus

Jesus, God’s gift of love

Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him. Philip said, Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us. Jesus answered: Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  (John 14: 6-9)

What is a fairy tale? One could say that a fairy tale is an imaginary story of good versus evil with an, everyone lived happily ever after, ending. Stories like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc. would be considered fairy tales.

Recently a discussion came up between me and a friend regarding religious beliefs. I realized that we do not share the same beliefs regarding The Triune God, life and death, heaven and hell, Satan and Demons. She explained that she believes in God the Father (or at least that there is a “higher” power ruling the universe) and the Holy Spirit, but she doesn’t feel that Jesus is true God along with them. She feels that the accounts in the Bible (His-Story) are fairy tales – too good to be true.

We remain friends, and in the end we agreed to disagree. We respect and accept each other for who we are regardless of beliefs. But every day I pray that the Holy Spirit will touch her heart and soften it, so that she will be able to experience the gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and share in the hope that I have for eternity.

In actuality “His Story” is the “History” of the world from Creation through the life and death of Jesus and up until about 90 years or so after he ascended into heaven. It is God’s revelation of who we are as humans, where we came from, and where we are going when we die. Much of ancient history coincides with the accounts recorded in the inspired Word of God.

Many times in life we do find that when things seem too good to be true, they more than likely are. But, is that true with the Word of God and His wonderful grace, mercy and love? It really does seem almost too good to be true.

We each ask ourselves, why would God love me? No matter how hard I try I am not able to be the person He expects me to be. Or we may think to ourselves; there are so many people in this world. How can He know and love each of us personally? It is difficult for our human mind to comprehend, but it is true. You can believe it. He does love each and every one of us as if we were His only child.

There are many things in Scripture that we as humans are not able to understand, but we simply believe with our eyes of faith. Everything we need to know for this life and for our salvation however, is clearly written so that even a child is able to understand it.

In the verses above from the book of John, Jesus is expressing that He and God the Father are one and the same. In other words, if we don’t believe in Jesus, we are also rejecting God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Without Jesus’ perfect life, innocent death, and resurrection, there would be no hope for humanity.

God expects holiness and perfection. Because of our sinful human nature we are unable to be good enough to spend our eternity with God. But through Jesus’ perfect life and his suffering and death, all who have faith in Him are washed in His blood and covered in His holiness. He paid the debt we owe to God for our sin, when He took our place on the cross. By God’s never ending grace (undeserved love), the sacrifice of His Son, and the gift of faith ignited in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we are assured of a place in heaven when we die. It’s a gift offered free to all who believe.

Do I believe in fairy tales? No, but I believe in Jesus and what He did for me. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s the truth. It’s faith. It’s a wonderful release from the bondage of sin and the shadow of death that hangs over each of us from the day of our birth. If you happen to be a doubter, stop a minute and set aside your human reason. Pick up your Bible and let the Holy Spirit work in your heart through the Word. You will be blessed.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25)

“Yes, Lord. I believe.”

Gloria Dei!

By Christine

Categories: Beliefs, Eternity, Faith, Fellowship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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