Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Day of Judgment

The myth of gunslinger evangelism

“I would like you to meet brother Wyatt. Wyatt has got to be the fastest draw in the west with his Bible. Do you see all those notches along the spine of his Bible? That’s how many souls he has personally led to the Lord.”

Have you ever met a Wyatt, someone who could tell endless tales of soul winning? Are you trying to be a Wyatt? Do you feel that you need to be a Wyatt in order to be a “real” Christian?

Singing “Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?” can give you that feeling. “Must I meet my Saviour so? Not one soul with which to greet him: must I empty-handed go?” Kind of makes you feel guilty and useless if you don’t have any notches on your Bible, doesn’t it?

Will it shock you if I say that I want to be empty-handed when I meet my Saviour? I don’t want to be found among that crowd at His left hand who are pleading: “Lord, Lord, don’t you remember all the wonderful things I have done for you? Didn’t I win many souls for you?” Jesus is going to tell those people: “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.” I definitely don’t want to be part of that crowd.

According to Matthew 25, those at the Saviour’s right hand will have no awareness of having accomplished anything useful for the Lord. If we are followers of Christ, living in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we take no credit for the things we do. I tend to be more aware of how unwilling I have been to obey the prompting of the Spirit, and of how often I have messed up when I thought I was doing the right thing. I find no assurance in trying to keep a record of the good I have done, I am not really capable of discerning whether I have done any good at all. My assurance is found in the fact that I am still on speaking terms with the Spirit; He is still asking more of me.

Looking back on my life, I know that a great many people have each played a little part in leading me to where I am today. Each one, in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, did or said something that affected in some small way the course of my life. I doubt that any of them were even aware of the impact their words or actions had on me.

So I stumble on in life, trying in my bumbling way to pass on the blessings I have received. If some good results, it is the Lord’s doing, not mine.

“ As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes 11:5-6).

Waldensian Confession of Faith of 1120 AD

1. We believe and and do firmly hold all that which is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, which is called the Apostles Creed, accounting for heresy whatsoever is disagreeing and not consonant to the said twelve articles.

2. We believe that there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. We acknowledge for the holy canonical Scriptures, the books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicle, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Here follow the books Apocryphal, which are not received of the Hebrews. But we read them (as saith Jerome in his Prologue to the Proverbs) for the instruction of the people, not to confirm the authority of the doctrine of the Church: 3 Esdras, 4 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch with the Epistle of Jeremiah, Esther from the tenth chapter to the end, The Song of the Three Children in the Furnace, The History of Susanna, The History of the Dragon, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees.

Here follow the books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of the Apostles, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, #1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation of John.

4. The aforesaid books teach us that there is one God, Almighty, all wise and all good, who has made all things by his goodness. For he formed Adam in his own image and likeness. But that by the envy of the devil, and the disobedience of Adam, sin has entered into the world and that we are sinners in Adam and by Adam.

5. That Christ was promised to our fathers who received the Law, that so knowing by the Law their sin, unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ, to satisfy for their sins and to accomplish the Law by himself.

6. That Christ was born in the time appointed by God the Father, that is to say in the time when all iniquity abounded, and not for the cause of good works, for all were sinners: but that he might show us grace and mercy, in being faithful.

7. That Christ is our life, truth, peace, and righteousness, as also our shepherd, advocate, sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all those that believe, and is risen for our justification.

8. In like manner, we firmly hold that there is no other mediator and advocate with God the Father, save only Jesus Christ. And as for the virgin Mary, she was holy, humble and full of grace, and in like manner do we believe concerning all the other saints, that they wait in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the Day of Judgment.

9. We believe that after this life there are only two places, the one for the saved and the other for the damned, which two places we call Paradise and Hell, absolutely denying that Purgatory imagined by Antichrist and taught contrary to the truth.

10. We hav always accounted as an unspeakable abomination before God all those inventions of men, namely the feasts and the vigils of saints, the water which they call holy, and to abstain from flesh upon certain days, but especially their masses.

11. We esteem for an abomination and as anti-Christian all those human inventions which are a trouble and prejudice to the liberty of the Spirit.

12. We do believe that the sacraments are signs of the holy thing, or visible forms of the invisible grace, accounting it good that the faithful sometimes use the said signs or visible forms if it may be done. However, we believe and hold that the faithful may be saved without receiving the aforesaid signs in case they have no place nor any means to use them.

13. We acknowledge no other sacrament but baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

14. We ought to honour the secular powers by subjection, ready obedience and paying of tributes.

%d bloggers like this: