Many years ago I was a Free-willer. I ignorantly believed then that man had a ‘free will’ to accept Jesus, to choose God, or to make a decision for Him to be saved. I also believed in a universal atonement, wrongfully believing that Christ died for “all men without exception.” That my friends, is a dangerous combination that led to my false conversion, as I was awaiting my dispatch to hell.
But later after the Lord saved me, and as I grew in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, it became clear that my Arminianism was in fact a damnable heresy. But by the grace of God, He chose to save me in spite of my man-centered beliefs. Albeit once the Lord gave me discernment in this area, repentance was inevitable and inescapable.
Today two things I often pray for, are more sanctification and more discernment. But not just for me, I also pray for this specifically for others.
In his fifth chapter ‘Responses to objections against Christ’s particular death,’ Dr. Sonny Hernandez explains this lack of discernment.
“Learning the Bible requires scrupulous hours of subjugating oneself to fervent prayer, biblical discernment, and absolute dependency on the Holy Spirit. These disciplines cannot be earned in academic institutions. They are divine gifts that God dispenses to those whom He provides saving faith to. Without these three, comprehending the Bible and believing it is an impossibility. This is critical to understand because Scripture does teach that God does not reveal truth to all. In fact, God intentionally hides it from many. Christ made this known in Matt. 11:25: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” And Paul provided an additional caveat in 1 Cor. 2:14: “But the natural man receiveth (“δέχεται”) not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are (“ἐστιν”) foolishness unto him: neither can (“δύναται”) he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (“ἀνακρίνεται”).”
The doctrine of election, and Christ’s limited particular atonement are essential doctrines that I must be divide over, and contend for. Throughout the Scriptures professing Christians are repeatedly warned “do not be ignorant brethren,” or “do not be deceived,” etcetera. But today we see so much ignorance and deception amongst Christendom. Why is this? As Sonny puts it, they “are either begging the question, ill informed, or blatantly lying.” I was the “ill informed,” but by the grace of God so go I.
Over the years I’ve read many books on this subject, including some of the books that Sonny cited. But some of the others were either too wordy, lacked academic stamina, lost my attention, or simply fell short. I don’t trust many postmodern scholars. But the Lord has gifted Sonny with a Christ-like character, integrity and a brilliant mind, so the Lord’s church can surly benefit from his intellect.
In this book Sonny does a great job capsulizing these truths. Including but not limited to. He does a comprehensive analysis of the many verses that Free-willers and Universalists will ignorantly (or maliciously) use out of context. Through an exegetical contextual teaching of the Scriptures, Sonny demonstrates what it means to contend for the faith (Jude 3), to rightfully divide the word of truth, even for our own personal training (2 Tim 2:15-16), to convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Tim 4:2), to prepare us to give a defense (1 Pet 3:15), to destroy unbiblical arguments (2 Cor 10:5), to identify and know sound doctrine (Titus 1:9), to correct our opponents that they might repent not repeat (2 Tim 2:24-25), to silence the ignorance of foolish people (1 Pet 2:15), to expose their unfruitful (hurtful) works of darkness (Eph 5:11). And he does so while teaching us Biblical Greek. And all of this for such an unreasonable low price (the book’s worth much more).
Not only do I recommend this excellent must read book, I have already purchased many more of these books as gifts for others. This book can be purchased from Amazon here or below.