Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Did He Purchase Us on Layaway?

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
(Act 20:28)

When I bring up the topic of God’s predestination, and the Lord Jesus Christ dying only for His elect, I routinely run into quite a bit of opposition. The problem is that Arminianism is alive and thriving within our culture today. After all, that seems more “fair,” doesn’t it? An Arminian makes the claim that the Lord Jesus Christ died for every last man, woman, and child on Earth. All we “have to do” is to accept Him, and we are automatically counted among His people. I have taught my children that “fair” is a socialistic concept. To counter that idea of “fair” one need not read further than Matthew 20:1-16.

The problem with the Arminian doctrine is this: If Christ died only to give the possibility of salvation to everyone, but did not actually secure the salvation of any, then His blood did not actually make any sort of “purchase” at all.

If you go to the store and purchase an item, you don’t have to wait for that item to “choose” to jump in your basket. Even if you are purchasing a live animal, your purchase is not contingent upon the animal’s will. The item is selected by the purchaser and it is purchased at the agreed upon price. The only time a purchase is made and possession is not granted is if you are doing a layaway plan. In a layaway plan, only part of the purchase price is paid. Delivery of the item does not occur until the price is paid in full.

So, did Jesus’ blood pay the price in full? Or do we need the sinner to come along and add his part as well?

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
(1Pe 1:18-20)

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
(Joh 19:30)

Jesus paid, in full, the price for His elect. The price was His own blood. His blood paid all the cost for His elect, and none beyond that. We know that not everyone is saved. Even the Arminians admit that. Only heretical universalists teach that all are saved. So then, we see that Jesus died for an actual chosen elect foreordained from the foundation of the world, not for some theoretical possibility of a group of people consisting of some arbitrary number. For no one would “choose Christ” without the Spirit drawing him. Thus, Christ would have died in vain.

God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
(Psa 53:2-3)

So, if you are in His Kingdom, praise God! He has chosen you, for you never would have chosen Him of your own accord.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Jamestown – Here We Come

The excitement is building at the Southerland residence. Exactly one month from tomorrow, we are heading to Jamestown (by way of Dallas) in order to celebrate our nation’s 400th birthday.

Our travel arrangements are still somewhat ambiguous. We were going to borrow a travel trailer, but after discovering that it would drop our gas mileage in our van from about 10 mpg down to about 6, I’m thinking that wouldn’t be a smart move.

I do have reservations, though I am continuing to explore better options. In spite of the costs and the long trip ahead of us, we are really looking forward to meeting up with like minded families across the nation as we join Vision Forum in their “celebration” of 400 years (unlike the official “commemoration” sponsored by government officials). For more information, check out

We hope to visit with a few friends in Tennessee on the way to and from Virginia. We also hope to be coming home with 400 gold coins, the grand prize of the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt sponsored by Vision Forum. But most of all, we hope to learn more about history (as we have since starting this contest back in October), and to make history by participating in a once in a lifetime centennial celebration at Jamestown.

I have learned so much about so many characters from American history. John Smith, Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Rev. Robert Hunt, Richard Hakluyt, George Washington, Elias Boudinot, Christopher Newport, and on and on. I was familiar with some of these names before this hunt. Yet, I stand today much more informed about my history than I ever was taught in my government school (elementary, high school, *and* university). I rejoice that I am able to teach these things to my children. Actually, they are learning it for the first time, right alongside me. This trip to Jamestown is going to be the biggest “field trip” we’ve ever taken.

Why are we going to Dallas first? Well, I’ve got a 20 year high school reunion there. I’m looking forward to seeing many of my friends whom I haven’t seen for at least 10 years (at the 10 year reunion), and some that I haven’t seen for 20. I wonder if any of them have discovered the path of homeschooling. I wonder if any of them are learning any of the great things I have discovered in the past 7 months. I’m sure I’ll talk about it a bit while there. For that weekend will be the penultimate summer event for 2007. Later that week will find us as a family of eight, so far, walking the sod where America was founded 400 years ago and celebrating with other Christian, homeschooling, and child loving families. Jamestown is likely to be overrun with 15 passenger vans in a celebration where our family size is typical. If you’ve never been to a Vision Forum sponsored event, it’s a blast. We had a great time last August at the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. I expect the Jamestown Celebration to be even better.

I hope to see you there. If you see us, flag us down and say, “Hi.” I’d love to meet in person some of you who read my blog.