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It was about a year or so ago that I began to see a number of posts on Facebook stating that, "all our sins have been forgiven—past, present, and future."
To be honest, I had never thought about future sins being forgiven in advance of a person actually committing them. I have always been of the belief that, if a person sinned after they were born-again, repentance and confession were required to receive God's forgiveness. The concept of "pre-forgiveness" was a new one to me. Certainly, I don't know everything, and I feel I'm open to be taught, but, with the knowledge of Scripture that I have, I've had trouble reconciling this and some other teachings with God's Word.
In the last few months, I have witnessed an marked increase in the number of declarations and discussions (and some ugly arguments) about forgiveness of sin, judgment and condemnation, law and grace, among other things. The matter has exploded on numerous websites, blog sites, and in Facebook posts. At times, the discussion has gotten quite heated and, sadly, has been the cause of much division in the Body of Christ.
As I began studying this teaching, I discovered that much of this "new doctrine" was being promoted by Joseph Prince, in his book, "Destined to Reign." (He also deals with this subject in his subsequent book, "Unmerited Favor," which, is pretty much a re-write of his first book.)
So as not to be ignorant on this matter, I spent about six weeks reading, studying, marking, and highlighting what Prince wrote in regard to God's grace and forgiveness. What I found were some liberating truths that I, myself, have been teaching over the past 35 years. But, I also found many questionable statements and some things that clearly contradict the teaching of Scripture. I also have spent considerable time reading a variety of articles and blog posts, both pro and con, and watching and listening to messages from a variety of folks.
I will be addressing some of my concerns primarily in audio messages posted here on my devoBlog. It is not my intent to attack a particular person or ministry, even though I felt it was necessary to refer to Prince's writings.
The Word of God warns us, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1), and, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3,4).
True freedom only comes by continuing in the Truth of God's Word. I pray that as you listen to these messages that the Holy Spirit will speak Truth to your heart. I might add that, if in anything I speak or write I am found to be in error, I pray that the Spirit of God would open my eyes to the Truth, also.
think on these things...
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all* who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~Romans 3:21-26 (NKJV)
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~Colossians 2:13,14 (NKJV)
“And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ~Acts 26:14-18 (NKJV)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. ~1 John 1:5-2:2 (NKJV)
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~James 5:13-16 (NKJV)
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. ~Hebrews 3:12-13 (NKJV)
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~Hebrews 10:26-31 (NKJV)
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." ~Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)
"The Question of Forgiveness"
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"Unselfish love, generosity, brotherly affection and sincere kindness is just as much a manifestation of the Spirit as healing or miracles. In fact, powerful signs and wonders are more likely to happen in an atmosphere that is bathed in Holy Ghost love.
"Could this be the reason we don’t see as many supernatural manifestations today? When we are smug, hypocritical, bitter, harsh, judgmental and hateful, we totally short-circuit God’s power." ~J. Lee Grady
"If we have seen nothing before God, then we have absolutely no authority before men. All authority depends on what we have learned and known before God." ~ Watchman Nee, "Spiritual Authority"
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"...we must shift our strategy from trying to call a once-Christian nation back to God and refocus our efforts to thinking of ourselves and our ministries as the early Christians did under Roman domination. The former leads to shrill cries of prophetic judgment against a people who once knew God and should still. The latter acknowledges that the culture has long since ceased to be Christian and determines to win the hearts of those under its influence through love, grace, demonstrations of miracle power and service. Fail to make this shift and we will find ourselves ever more marginalized and ineffective in the days to come.
"The promise: For those who will receive it, a determined remnant is about to experience an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will prepare and propel us into these coming days as a people ready to shine as lighthouses of hope, healing and salvation in the midst of growing darkness. It is a season of equipping for signs and wonders, of character change in the deepest reaches of our hearts and lives, of learning the ways of God and of refusing compromise at any level. It is a time for awakening."
~ R. Loren Sandford, founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver.
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“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
“Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! —Revelation 3:14-19 (MSG)
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"To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You..." —Psalm 251,2a (NKJV)
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on
the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves
roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those
things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be
shaken.Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your
heads, because your redemption draws near." —Luke 21:25-28 (NKJV)
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Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. —1 Peter 5:8-10 (NKJV)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." —Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)
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"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" —Hebrews 10:24,25"A lot of people are in the habit today of not meeting with other Christians. What a mistake this is! Some say, 'I don't have to go to church to be saved,'and they're absolutely correct. But that's not the point of gathering together. We gather together to encourage one another for starters. If you were to read the two preceding verses you would find out that it's to encourage one another,' to hold fast to our confession of hope,' and, 'to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.' Wow! Those things are vitally important to our growth as Christians.
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"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." ~1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." ~Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" ~Luke 18:8 (NKJV)
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won't take it away from her.” —Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
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A few years ago, I was awakened early on a Sunday morning, picked up a notebook and pen, and began writing. Maybe something here will speak to your heart.
It’s true that the mind is a spiritual battleground. But it could be thought of as a playground, too—and the devil has his favorite rides.
Be aware of the times in which God speaks to you. For me, it is often in the waking moments.
God loves you, not for what you do, but for who you are.
The devil is not a creator—he is a perverter of the good things God has made.
It took the Apostle Paul a while to figure this out, too—it’s all about trusting in the grace of God.
Just about the time you think you’ve arrived...
Without God, you can do nothing of eternal consequence.
Find one person consumed with a vision for God and I’ll show you a thousand who couldn’t care less.
Seek not sympathy from the crowd. The suffering of others is great sport for the masses.
There’s always at least one Judas in the crowd—that’s true of Jezebels, too.
You’ll not know if your life has been successful until you hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
True faith is not a leap in the dark, or a step out onto thin ice. True faith rests firmly on the unchanging, eternal Word of God.
Make sure your dreams are God's dreams for you—your thoughts, God's thoughts about you.
It’s not only what you do for God that's important—but why you do it.
If you are led by the Spirit of God many will not understand you, some will applaud you, a handful will admire you, and a few may want to kill you.
There are some things that God will speak to you or show you that are for you alone. Treasure them in your heart.
If God has spoken it, He will bring it to pass—but most likely not when or how you think He should.
As you grow with God, you will be amazed that the more you come to know, the more you’ll realize how little you really do know.
The world buys opinions—the wise seek Truth.
Following Jesus is an adventure of faith.
It’s true...if you don’t use it, you will lose it.
To grow, eat. To grow strong, eat and exercise.
The most profound truths are really very simple.
“If” is the biggest word in the Bible.
There’s always a reason people act the way they do.
One of the scariest thoughts for the public speaker is, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Give most of your time to the most important things.
Being led by the Spirit is the surest way to success and prosperity—and persecution, too.
There is one sure guarantee in this world—God’s love.
It’s one thing to believe in God—another to trust Him.
Many people find the way—only a few walk in it.
Criticism can hurt—but praise can prove deadly.
There’s always time to do the things God wants you to do.
The two most important things in life are knowing God's will and doing it.
Never make lists of pros and cons. Instead, be led by the Spirit of God.
God is not influenced by opinion polls—and you shouldn’t be, either.
If you think God’s not watching or listening, well, you just don’t know God.
The gifts that God has given you are not for you—they are for you to give to someone else.
The highest calling in life is that of a servant.
It’s not how you learn, but what you learn that’s important.
There’s nobody else in the world exactly like you—and that’s probably a good thing!
Change is not always for the better.
Things that seem of little importance to you may be very important to someone else. Take time to listen.
I am convinced that nothing in life happens when you think it should or ever turns out the way you imagined it would.
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The upstate New York pencil pusher made their point by stamping the slogan, "Too cool to do drugs" on their writing sticks, and they were sent throughout the land. This was thought to be a noble idea. But, alas, 'twas not.
One day, an observant fourth-grade student noticed that as he sharpened his pencil, the message changed from "Too cool to do drugs" to "cool to do drugs" to"do drugs!"
This is a great example of "The Law of Unintended Consequences"at work.
In an article from The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Rob Norton defines the law this way:
"The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or 'unintended.' Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it."Yes, choices have consequences. Take those pencils for example—what a wonderful way to get a positive message into the hands and in front of the eyes of young, impressionable children. Uh, erase that! Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all. Maybe somebody should have thought this through a little more. Just maybe...just sayin'.
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