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A Study of Dispensationalism
by Arthur Pink

"But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation."

Philosophy

Becoming Free

Geoff Thomas


One of the most disturbing sentences in the entire Bible is this: "the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin."* Imagine it! The planet we live on is one great prison and everyone held down on it by the force of gravity, and having to breath its air and drink its water to live is a prisoner. The Queen is a prisoner. Mike Tyson is a prisoner. Bill Gates, the richest man in the history of the world, is one too. And Madonna. The children who consider themselves to be 'wardens' in any role-play are in fact prisoners too. So is the one who has got to play the part of the 'prison governor.' Bosses and management, white collar and blue collar workers alike are in chains. Karl Marx was also bound in more profound ways than he ever realised when he described men in chains. His diagnosis of a captive proletariat simply did not go deep enough.. Those who boast of being free-spirits are in fact prisoners. What are they free from? They are 'free' from keeping their marriage vows, 'free' from being sober, 'free' from self-control, 'free' to take drugs, 'free' to lie and steal. The country-singer says, 'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.' That one single person in the world who is most offended by what this verse in the Bible is saying - maybe that is you - is still a prisoner, though an outraged protesting one. The Word of God is not prepared to make any exceptions: "the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin."

How are you a prisoner? In this, that you can only do what you want to do.

That is the confinement within which you must live your narrow little life. You want to be free of God, and you are. You want to have nothing to do with the Bible, and you have it. You will not pray, and you do not. You refuse to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and you don't. You will not go to a gospel church and you never do. You are so restricted to that unreal world where the prisoners do not acknowledge their Creator, his Son Jesus Christ nor his Word, the Bible.

Who has got you imprisoned? That sentence tells us it is 'sin'. A few questions will prove it. When sin says, "Don't think about God!" do you obey? Yes. When sin tells you to spend your life ignoring the Bible what is your response? You ignore the Bible. When sin tells you not to consider the death that is coming up to you nearer and nearer, what do you do? You say to yourself that thinking about your certain death is morbid, and so you live as if one day you were never going to die. But you are, and by the time you have read these words you are that minute nearer to it than when you started - if sin will let you read one word more. When sin tells you to change the direction of the conversation when a Christian is talking to you nervously and humbly about someone she calls her 'Saviour' - what do you do? You obey sin, even though the words you may hear are the most beautiful life-enriching words anyone can hear - words like these - "When the Son of God - Jesus Christ - makes you free you will be free indeed." Sin tells you then to think automatically, "That is religion." Sin wants you always to say to yourself, "I have settled that long ago," but you know that you have never read one of the gospels all the way through. Mark's gospel takes just an hour to read, but the prisoners of sin never read it. Sin won't allow them. Every prisoner ignores Christianity because of prejudice. But sin says, "Call your prejudices 'freedom'." But you are not free to read the Bible, nor listen to sermons, nor think seriously when someone talks to you about Jesus Christ, nor pray to God very earnestly and continually, "O God, if you exist, let me know you for myself as the living God!" Because you are a prisoner to sin.

Read these words of Taki's who writes a column called 'High Life' in the 'Spectator' each week and ask yourself is this written by a free man or a slave: "My mother who died last week, was a true Christian. She forgave those who transgressed, starting with my dad, who sure did transgress. She never retaliated, always forgave and forgot, and prayed for her husband's soul until the end. Some modern thinkers among you might see her as a fool, a doormat, even a victim. She was nothing of the kind. She knew she could not change my father because human nature simply does not change. She made the best of it, and my dad treated her like the saint she was ...My mother's death last week made me feel awfully guilty, however. Looking at her for the last time while she was being lowered to sleep forever next to my dad, I wished he hadn't been as promiscuous as he was. I guess the same thing goes for myself, but, like him, I can't help it, and don't really want to help it!" (Spectator, 15 August 1998, p.48). Taki the slave. "Be promiscuous," said sin to his father, and his dad obeyed. "Be promiscuous," said sin to the son, and Taki obeyed.

What can Jesus Christ do for you? He can make you free from the prison of sin. He can free you from loneliness, depression, anxiety, guilt and fear of death (sin is saying to you now, "Only words: pay no attention"). The real living Jesus Christ whom we learn of in the Bible rose from the dead (read the narratives yourself), and now is Lord over death and sin. He is willing to become the Lord of those who come to him and who ask him very earnestly that he become their Lord, deal with their guilt and deliver them from the power of sin.

Find freedom. There is something desperately undignified in men and women created unto freedom living their entire lives in chains while boasting to one another of their liberty, and saying, "Poor deluded followers of Jesus Christ! What slaves they are to loving God with all their hearts and loving their neighbours as themselves." "Yes," we say, and in that happy service we have found the meaning of being free." Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to make you free. Plead with him. Who knows? He may have pity on you and give you your first experience of liberty.

*Galatians 3:22

 

Geoff Thomas writes and selects the majority of items in the news and articles section of the Banner of Truth web site.

He has been pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church (Independent) in Aberystwyth since 1965. He was a student at Cardiff University until 1961 and then spent three years at Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia. He has three married daughters.

He has written the book 'Daniel' published by the Bryntirion Press of the Evangelical Movement of Wales.

 

A special thanks goes out to Banner of Truth for permission to reprint this article on our site.

 
REVIEWS

By Nat Carswell

When confronted by the type of inanity which so dominates the Modern Evangelical New Testament American Christian (MENTAC) landscape today, one is tempted to become cynical and angry-sins as grievous as the inanity itself.
 
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Rev. Paul Alexander
Christopher Alexion
Rev. Greg Bahnsen
Nat Carswell
Gordon H. Clark
Edward Dalcour
Rev. William Einwechter
J. C. Evans
Kenneth Gentry
Perry A. Hess
Michael S. Horton
Ronald Kirk
Amanda Krystaponis
Rick Martin
Charles A. McIlhenny
Larry J. Michael, PhD.
Wil Pounds
Eunice V. Ray
Colonel Ronald D. Ray
Ernest Reisinger
P.Andrew Sandlin
Steve M. Schlissel
Geoff Thomas
Sarah Thomas
K. Cody Vest
 
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