This webpage will expound upon one topic of systematic theology and two topics of eschatology.
The topics concern the following diabolical heresies, and I will briefly expound upon all of them:
1. The Heresy of the Imminent Return of Christ
2. The Heresy of Pre-Tribulation Rapture
3. The Heresy of Anti-Law/Not-Under-Law Saved-by-Faith-Not-Works Salvation
1. According to both Testaments of canonical Holy Scripture, it is - of course - not known precisely when the Lord Jesus Christ will return, but instead is known when He will not return.
The non-certainty of when He will return is indicated by the following verses:
Matthew 24:36 But that Day and Hour no human knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only.
Matthew 24:44 Therefore you all be ready, because in an Hour you all do not expect, the Son of Man comes.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, because you all know neither the Day nor the Hour when the Son of Man comes.
First Thessalonians 5:4 But you all, comrades, are not in darkness, that that Day overtakes you as a thief.
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore what you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. If therefore you will not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know which hour I will come upon you.
Such non-certainty of the Lord's exact timing of Return (both at Armageddon to slay the Beast and False Prophet after the 42-month Great Tribulation . . . and after The Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth before the Heavens and Earth dissolve in "fervent heat with a loud noise" as stated in Second Peter 3:10-12) is plain and obvious.
Second Peter 3:10 But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall disintegrate with fervent heat. The Earth also and the works which are on it shall be burned up. [Sorry, anti-porn Jack van Impe, who presumes this Earth will last forever]
Second Peter 3:11 Knowing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you all to be in all holy manner of living and godliness,
Second Peter 3:12 looking for and accelerating the coming of the Day of God, in which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved and the elements shall disintegrate with fervent heat?
As previously stated, it is known when the Lord will not physically return to Earth, which plainly and logically is not before the coming and appearance of the Lawless One (i.e. or ones, who are the Beast and False Prophet spoken of in Revelation chapters 13 through 19).
Obviously, if there is no Beast nor False Prophet presently on the scene for the Lord to slay (which slaying will happen according to Revelation chapter 19), nor the human-like Ultimate-Graven-Idol Super-Robot Image which the Dastardly Duo and their Hell-destined techy conspirators have concocted and network media lauded, requiring all persons worldwide to be voluntarily numbered [i.e. branded like cattle, perhaps with a tattoo-like RFID microchip implant] on the forehead or right hand), the Lord will not physically return until those phenomena actually occur.
Such has NOT occurred yet, at the time of this writing. Obviously then, the Lord will not physically return for at least 3.5 years (i.e. 42 months) from the date of this writing.
That delay, related to happenings which (as of this writing), again, have not yet occurred, does not mean that any one of our souls cannot - before that time, at any time - be promptly and imminently transported either into Paradise or Hades . . . because of (for example) a sudden heart attack, a massive stroke, fatal gunshot or explosion or accident, etc.
2. There is no definitive proof in all of Scripture of either Testament that The Rapture will occur before the catastrophic and cataclysmic Final Event described above in Second Peter 3:10-12.
It has been said that all humans must die, which will also include those righteous saints yet alive but lethally incinerated in the Event described in Second Peter 3:10-12 as they also are instantaneously resurrected and raised up to Heaven "in the twinkling of an eye".
First Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, comrades, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
15:51 Hey, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all "sleep;" but we shall all be changed
15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at THE Last Trumpet [and note the word: "LAST"]. THE Trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
It is obvious that those "left alive until His coming" will be those not-able-to-ever-die-again resurrected and thus always-living saints mentioned in:
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones and those who sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the Beast, nor his Image, nor had received his Mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
20:5 But the remainder of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the First Resurrection.
20:6 Blessed and holy are they raised to life in the First Resurrection. For those the Second Death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The "remainder of the dead" will come alive . . . not before nor at Armageddon immediately after the 42-month Great Tribulation mentioned in Revelation chapter 13 . . . but rather after the Millennial Reign of Christ, and The Final Resurrection will consist of righteous dead saints (of "the church" both B.C. and A.D.) and all the wicked dead -- the entire group being in that Final Judgment when the Almighty King will separate the proverbial [good] "sheep" from proverbial [evil] "goats" according to:
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.
25:32 And in His presence shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd segregates his sheep from the goats [never destined to forever coexist together in culturally-diverse unity].
25:33 And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
25:34 Then shall the King say to those (not "them") at (not "on") His right hand: "Come, you all blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world . . . because you all did the good works of giving provision to the persecuted and wrongly-deprived hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and injustly imprisoned."
25:41 Then shall He also say to those at His left hand: "Get out of here, all you cursed, into Everlasting Fire prepared for the Devil and his angelic demons . . . because you did not do the good works of providing for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and imprisoned."
25:46 And the latter shall go away into Everlasting Punishment, but the righteous into Eternal Life.
Second Thessalonians 1:9 They shall be punished with Everlasting Destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power . . .
They would not be happy being perfectly obedient morally in God's 100%- morally-pure Heaven, and would rather choose to never again be reminded of nor disgusted by anything relating to the holy Creator God and His sacred religious-right saints, by being forever confined to and suspended within Outer Darkness in the invisible flames of the Lake of Fire.
Again, WILL there be a "harpazo" Rapture?
Indeed, but ONLY after the Millennial Rule of Christ on Earth before all is incinerated as revealed in Second Peter chapter 3.
First Thessalonians 4:15 This we say to you by the Word of the Lord: that "we" who are alive [sorry Paul, you are dead and did not stay alive, so do not include yourself in the "we"] and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who are "asleep."
First Thessalonians 4:17 then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in "the" "clouds" [clouds of disintegrating Earth on fire? Special Clouds of Heaven?] to meet the Lord in the [being dissolved with fervent heat] "air." And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There are many not-having-been-beheaded-for-resisting-the-666-antichrists, now-dead-and-will-stay-dead, righteous saints not currently alive, who will not be alive again until they are resurrected in that post-Millennial Resurrection prior to being judged as "sheep" rather than "goats" . . . as, for instance, Eve, Noah, Moses, Elijah, Samuel, David, Nebuchadnezzar, Job, David, Cyrus, the Old Testament prophets, the apostles such as Paul and Peter and John, Erasmus and Luther and Scrivener, Jerry Falwell and many more.
But what does Scripture mean where it states:
Luke 21:36 Therefore you all watch, and pray always, that you all (or "ye" - if you prefer) are to be deemed (rather than "counted") worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand (not "sit") "before" (or rather: "in the presence of") the Son of Man.
All what "things?"
Revelation 3:10 Because you have "kept" (i.e. retained and obeyed) "the" "word" (i.e. commands) of My patience I will also keep you from THE Hour of Temptation, which shall come upon all the world to "try" (i.e. test) "them" (i.e. those) "that" (i.e. who) "dwell" (i.e. reside) upon "the" "earth" (i.e. planet Earth).
What "hour of temptation?"
Were the Hebrews in the land of Goshen (in stark contrast to the oppressive Egyptians) bothered by flies and hail, according to Exodus chapters 8 through 10? Was the LORD then and thus legally-or-informally discriminatory in favor of the Jews, accommodating their survival and well-being? Did they "escape" such environmental disasters?
WILL the saints during the Tribulation be plaged with foul sores, drink bloody water, be scorched by the Sun, and blind in Unusual Darkness, along with all impenitent wicked blasphemers?
Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels: "Go your ways, and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God upon the Earth."
2 And the first went and poured out his bowl upon the Earth; and grievous sores afflicted humans who had The Mark of the Beast and upon those who worshiped his Image.
3 And the second angel poured out his bowl upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living thing died in the sea.
4 And the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say: "You are righteous, Lord, who are, and were, and shall be, because you have so judged,
6 because they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink, as they deserve."
7 And I heard another out of the altar say: "Even so, Lord God Almighty, for true and righteous are your judgments."
8 And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the Sun; and power was given to him to scorch people with fire.
9 And [seriously-sunburned] humans were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God, who had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give Him glory.
10 And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the Beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues from pain;
11 and they blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their [legal or non-legal] "deeds" (i.e works).
15 "Wow, I am coming like a thief! Blessed are they who are awake, keeping their garments that they go not naked and be not seen exposed!")
16 And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew: Armageddon.
Citing the verses:
Second Thessalonians 2:1 Now we implore you, comrades, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together to Him,
2 that "ye" (i.e. you all) be not soon shaken in mind nor be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if from us that the Day of Christ is "at hand" (i.e. here and now).
3 Let no human deceive you by any means, "for" (i.e. because) that Day shall not come, unless there come a falling away first, and THE Man of Sin be revealed, THE Son of Perdition,
4 who opposes God and exalts (i.e. promotes) himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, claiming himself to be God.
5 You all remember not, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now you all know what holds him back, that he "might be" (i.e. will be) revealed in his time.
7 because the mystery of iniquity does already work: only He who now restrains will hold him back, until He is taken out of the way.
8 And then shall That Wicked One be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming
9 even [the two Antichrists of Beast and False Prophet], whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all the deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they be saved.
11 For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they believe a lie,
12 that they all be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, comrades, beloved of the Lord, because God has from the beginning chosen you for salvation, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,
14 for which He called you by our Gospel, for obtaining the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
. . . pre-Tribbers [antisemitically] purport that the "restraining power removed" necessitates the pre-Trib Rapture of "the" Gentiles-only/non-Jewish-Christian "church."
Not so. Media-influential Christians have gotten older and died (Cliff Barrows, Jerry Falwell, D James Kennedy, Rex Humbard, Oral Roberts, Dwight Moody, William B Riley, Barnhouse, Walter Maier, my own dad, soon Billy Graham, many more) have died, along with their substantial financial and real estate resources. Thus the Restraining Power has somewhat been removed.
Genuine Christians get laid off. Genuine Christians do not get hired. Genuine Christian politicians do not get voted in. Genuine Christian educators do not get teaching jobs. All because of anti-Christian prejudice. Hence, Restraining Power has been removed even more.
The ACLU and "People for the American Way" and "American United for Separation of Church and State" and "Poverty Law Center" and GLAAD homosexual humanists plus NOW sexist feminists and NARAL abortionists and anti-creationism-in-schools evolutionists and ISIS antisemitic islamic have gotten into power positions of influence, sued and stifled genuine Christians proselytizing and witness. Restraining Power is hence removed even more.
It has gotten worse.
Feminists and homos have taken over leadership in mainline Protestant churches. "Tolerant-love-only/be-kind-and-patiently-never-hate" religious-heretic apostates thoroughly have infiltrated and dominate "christian" churches nationwide.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you [such as "palestinian"-term-uttering jewish Markell, wannabe-president Bachmann, and feminist Pre-Tribbers who flock in mass to them], when all men and women speak well of you [sexist chauvinists], for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
Philippians 3:18 Many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even with weeping, as enemies against the [anti-Pre-Trib] cross of Christ.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise who are planted on stony ground who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness;
4:17 but they have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a while. Afterward, when affliction or persecution comes for the Word's sake, immediately they are offended.
4:18 And these are they which are planted among thorns, such as hear the Word,
4:19 but the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things enters in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Second Timothy 1:8 Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in [anti-Pre-Trib] suffering for the gospel in the power of God,
Second Timothy 2:3 Share in [anti-Pre-Trib] suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Second Timothy 4:5 As for you, always be steady, endure [anti-Pre-Trib] suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw (or shrink) back to perdition, but of those who believe, to the saving of the soul.
James 5:10 As an example of [anti-Pre-Trib] suffering and patience, buddies, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
First Peter 2:19 One is approved if, mindful of God, they endure [anti-Pre-Trib] pain while suffering unjustly.
First Peter 5:9 Resist [pre-Trib-propaganda Satan], firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of [anti-Pre-Trib] suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.
Not preparing for inevitable death with a cowardly-escapist, pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by, never-never-land presumption of pre-Trib-Rapture illusion will result in confusion and despair and apostasy when pre-Tribbers during incarceration or worse during the Great Tribulation in shock exclaim: "this cannot and is not supposed to be what is happening to me."
Those cowardly escapists who presumptuously and fearfully crave being whisked away upward in some presupposed He-will-fly-by-before-He-physically-returns Rapture rather than being willing to suffer for the cross of cross, perhaps martyrdom, and bravely give courageous testimony thereof will not be prepared for the following (sometimes imposing an irrationalization of dispensational Gentiles-included/Jews-excluded antisemitism):
Revelation 13:2 And the Beast who I saw was like a leopard, his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion. And The Dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority.
5 And there was given to the Beast a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given to him to continue forty-two months.
7 And it was given to him to make war with (i.e. against) the saints and to overcome them; and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that (i.e. who) dwell (i.e. reside) upon the Earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.
10 He that (i.e. who) is taken captive shall go into captivity. He that (i.e. who) kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is opportunity for the patience and the faith of the saints.
Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice: "If anyone worship the Beast and his Image, and receives his Mark on "his" forehead or on "his" hand,
10 the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out unmixed into the cup of His indignation; and they shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever; and they have no rest day or night (time periods), who worship the Beast and his Image, and whoever receives the Mark of his name."
12 Here is manifested the patience of the saints: those who "keep" [retain and obey] the commandments of God, and faith in Jesus
13 And I heard a voice from Heaven, saying to me: Write: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they rest [not: "may rest"] from their labors, and their works follow [not: "do follow"] them."
3. There is a certain pastor in a large Baptist church in Plymouth Minnesota named "Matt" who incessantly bellers out his disgusting and deplorable mantra that: "We are not under Law but under grace" -- strongly inferring that we are not saved by obeying the Ten Commandments nor any civil laws.
Perhaps then we are saved by NOT obeying the Ten Commandments, or saved by DISOBEYING the Ten Commandments and other moral and civil laws?
Perhaps it does not matter if we occasionally or capriciously obey them or not, or even want to obey them perfectly or not.
I wonder what he does when he comes to a red stoplight at an intersection in Minnesota . . ..
. . . resort to merely considering it a "helpful-but-not-required guideline" and "take-it-or-leave-it option" related to his actual physical actions in his vehicle?
How about this, Matt: "If we are truly Americans and "born-again"-new drivers, we will automatically stop for red stoplights - whether we know the Law (or is it instead Driving-Manual "suggestions" or "recommendations") -- that we "can" or "might" or even "should" -- but certainly not must -- stop at red stoplights?"
Matt might argue that we would not get a Drivers License in the first place, during our Driving Road Test, if we did not stop for red stoplights - particularly after having read the Driving Manual before the Road Test . . . reading the Moral and Civil Law before attempting ANY potential-moral-or-immoral activities.
Aha: "reading the Driving Manual before the Road Test." Indeed. So then, reading the Law, yes?
He not only implies that "if we are really Christians, we will automatically obey the Law" and "we use the Ten Commandments not as mandatory requirements but merely suggestions or guidance how to please the Lord" -- but also insinuates that: "we will do it of love for Him."
I wonder how many real Christians have purchased and posted 2018 license plate stickers on their license plates (1) "out of love for the goverment" or (2) fearfully believe that if they do not do the new stickers, they will be arrested, ticketed, and fined by the police?
Maybe Matt does not understand that part of our salvation (even regarding eternal salvation) of not getting arrested and ticketed by police in marked or non-marked squad cars consists of not merely trying to but in fact perfectly obeying the Minnesota Civil Law of stopping at all red stoplights and purchasing up-to-date license-plate stickers before the expiration deadline -- and not simply claiming "Christ's righteousness" is our substitute for our own works righteousness of stopping for the red stoplights or purchasing license-plate stickers, and/or that our faith abrogates the necessity of us having to do good works of obeying traffic rules ourselves by ourselves (no matter who we claim empowers us to so do . . . whether the Holy Spirit, Satan, illegal aliens, or cheerios)?
Perhaps to Matt the grace of God through faith overrides, negates, and abrogates Civil Law and the consequences of sin?
Well, Joni Earickson Tada is yet a quadriplegic from her presumptive diving accident. David the adulterizer-with-Bathsheba and indirect-Uriah-murderer had serious family problems of lethal violence and extreme sexual aberration from his sons. I can tell you stories about my own life concerning the consequences of my own occasional faithless impetuous non-self-controlled deviances.
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him: "Hey, you are made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come to you."
First Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not, because some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Maybe to sing a few Baptist hymns during church service, participate in choir rehearsals and performances, incessantly and repetitiously ingest "sacred" appetizers for sober-faced "communion" to prove that we are saved, and especially contribute money to offering plates, plus other sacrificial attitudes and actions, are also optional and not required for salvation?
Clearly, the ceremonial laws of sacrificing animals or intending to re-start the sacrificing of animals is not what the New Testament advocates:
First Corinthians 5:7 Purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened, because also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.
Matt apparently sees no need for us to obey Civil Law for salvation -- which need both the now-deceased people of ancient Israel, and yet-alive people of modern-day America on the roads and highways, were and are obligated to obey if the latter do not want to get a police ticket or get into a disasterous vehicle collision -- and, eternally speaking, worse?
Matt gets an "F" in systematic theology for inferring that we are not now obligated to obey all of the Moral Law for salvation, being that:
Luke 6:46 "Why do you all call me: `Lord, Lord,' and do not the things which I say"?
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God, but their works deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and for any good work, worthlessly reprobate.
I know, I know, the wearisome and misapplied Scripture-cited excuses based upon a gross misunderstanding of the mechanics of the Gospel:
Romans 3:24 . . . being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from [doing good] works of the Law.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Galatians 2:16 knowing that a person is not justified by [doing good works] of the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we who have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by [doing good works] of the Law, because by [good and not evil] works of the Law shall no flesh be justified [so instead doing evil works against the Law justifies us?].
Galatians 3:24 Therefore the Law was our [archaic and legalistic and now obsolete?] schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith [and to hell with the Law?].
Galatians 5:4 Christ then becomes of no effect to you, whoever of you claim justification by Law; you all have fallen from grace.
Titus 3:7 that, being justified by His grace, we be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life
And HOW does that stack up against:
Romans 7:22 I delight in the Law of God, in my inmost self . . .
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by [doing good] works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
James 2:24 You all understand then how by [doing good and not evil] works [of the Law] a person is justified, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise also, was not [lying] Rahab the harlot [whore, prostitute, slut] justified by [doing good] works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?
The problem of whether or not "justification" occurs by doing good works of the Law (as opposed to the ultimate logical alternative of doing evil works against the Law rather than "breaking" it, which "breaking" is impossible as to its annihilation)
. . . or simply claiming "faith" ( "faith" in what or who? belief only - which even the demons do? Trust only with intention to live like the Devil in grace through faith according to the desires of the sinful flesh?) . . .
. . . appears non-resolvable, and what Matt (and others of similar immentality like him) despicably omit relates to the one verse:
Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
. . . involving Matt's wrong-systematic-theology misstatements concerning his failure of utilizing the word: atonement.
Of course, Matt might refer to the verse stating: "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" the response to him could very well be: "And exactly WHAT in the duce is "sin?" Merely not participating in "communion" or even not attending church at all on Sunday evening?
Without the Law, sin "lies dead" even though people did sin way before the Law was given, but when the Law was given, "sin" was properly and adequately defined along with the consequences of punishment explicitly stated for committing and not performing sins of various types.
Note that I said: ". . . of various types. We would not know WHAT "various types" of sin were "sin" unless the Law had told us exactly what those kinds of sins were.
And ignorance against (not "of") the Law is no excuse for running red stoplights at intersections.
Admittedly, intention to obey (or even disobey) all of God's moral Law 24/7, and having obeyed (or even disobeyed) parts of it which we have obeyed (or even disobeyed) and are obeying (or even disobeying) now, is not enough nor sufficient for us ultimately and finally to be saved.
In other words, our past sins of occasionally disobeying parts of the Law (even under non-solicited temptational duress and on the grounds of being sexually-or-financially deprived) are not absolved nor atoned for by us having obeyed whatever parts of the Law we have obeyed, at times (nor even by us having disobeyed whatever parts of the Law we have frequently or occasionally disobeyed).
Another pastor [this one an Apostolic Lutheran Jew in Plymouth MN) blurted out in his sermon that: "we cannot work to earn our salvation" after which I told the church secretary that: "we can be lazy, then."
Our (frequently-unreliable) faith (in whoever and whatever, even "in Christ" whatever that means instead of does not mean) does not atone and has not atoned and will not atone against our sins, and our (frequently-errant-and-sinful) works do not atone, and have not atoned, and will not atone against our sins, but only Christ's bloody sacrifice of Himself on a cross atones against (not "for") our past sins and even present and future sins (which past, present, and future absolutions cannot occur if there was nor is nor will be no repentance).
So, Matt, and others of your similar theological deviancy, do NOT blatter that "we are not under Law." We, sure as sht, ARE yet under Law - and if you do not believe that, ask any cop BEFORE you get behind the wheel of any vehicle! QUIT misleading people by advocating lawlessness, and if you cannot, shut the fk up!
Both the wicked and the righteous have been, are being, and will be confronted by non-solicited temptations to sinfully give in to wrongfully and impulsively attempt to fulfill non-fulfilled cravings with mindless non-authorized curiosity exploration resulting in sinful intentions and actions. The difference is that the wicked have not, do not, and will not repent concerning such . . . while the righteous have, do, and will repent.
Eve's statement of: "I have gotten a man by the help of the Lord" obviously indicted her repentance against her sin of grabbing and eating the Forbidden Lethal Fruit in The Garden.
The wicked seek to be tempted, while the righteous try their best to avoid temptation.
The petition in the Lord's Prayer for God to "lead us not into temptation" does not infer that God is normally in the business of sadistically and diabolically leading people into temptation, or is ruefully forgetful and has to be constantly reminded by our petitioning to not lead us into temptation.
The petition is, instead, our (NOT His) request to and for the Lord (NOT Satan) to not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to endure (not simply withstand) temptation (or testing) until the temptation passes for the time being . . . and He simply wants us to say it repeatedly for our own good and for His pleasure.
That atonement resulting in absolution against the sins of us who are authentically penitent was and is exclusively accomplished by Christ alone pertaining to the lethal bloody sacrifice of Himself on a cross.
And what is true "repentance?"
a) admit that whatever is termed "sinful" is, in fact, sinful
b) admit that we have committed (and not "performed") whatever sins are sinful, if we have committed them
c) ask the Lord for forgiveness concerning sins we committed
d) believe that Christ's death on the cross has atoned for our past, present, and future sins, and
e) fully intend to never commit such sins ever again
One good work we must [again: NOT "can" nor "might" nor even "should"] do, relating to atonement, to enable our overall and eternal salvation, is believe that that fatal crucifixion of Jesus Christ does in fact atone against our sins . . . along with our earnest and honest desire to completely obey all aspects of His moral Law:
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, God, you will not despise.
Matthew 5:48 You all be perfect, even as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.
The lame excuse and irrationalization of:
"I cannot be perfect, I'm only human. No one is perfect, nor can be perfect."
. . .does not matter. You (and I) still have to be [absolutely] perfect anyway."
Unless you believe that your trusting spouse will not mind it if you - even once - throw feces-and-urine-laden toilet water into their face, nor stab them in the gut but only once just for kicks, or blatantly sexually screw the neighbor and then brag about it to your spouse besides.
The retort of:
"Christ was and is my perfection, so I do not have to be perfect myself."
. . .brings the sensible response of:
"Christ's perfection applied to Himself. You yourself must also be perfect by yourself, and not presume that you have proxy brownie points imputed to you from Him."
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him: "If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven; and come follow Me."
But to inform those of you who would indiscriminately waste your money donated to lazy-bum beggers who should instead go get a job, the following is a required warning:
Matthew 7:6 "Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither you all toss your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn to rip you."
Romans 7:22 Inwardly I delight in the Law of God . . .
"Once saved, always saved?"
First Corinthians 9:27 But I keep my body in subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself become a castaway.
Hebrews 10:26 [paraphrased, again] [Pertaining to those of us sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ, and thus perfected for all time]: If we sin willfully [even once, not merely habitually more than once, remembering the feces-in-the-face sexual-screwing-the-neighbor examples] after having received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins [including Christ's sacrifice for us on a cross],
Hebrews 10:27 but certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all persons, and holiness without which no one shall see the Lord.
First Peter 2:8 They stumble at the Word, being disobedient, to which they were appointed.
Second Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the injust for the Day of Judgment to be punished,
Second Peter 2:10 especially those who walk in the fleshly lust of uncleanness, and despise governance (authority).
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, disbelieving, abominable, murderers, [fornicating/adulterous] whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the Lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death.