Archive for the ‘Moral Government Theology (MGT)’ Category
I was reading a book written by a moral government brother and he stated that he did not believe that the atonement of Christ did away with the wrath of God since the New Testament states that God’s wrath remains even after the atonement of Christ. He cites the following passages:
Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. – Luke 21:23
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. – John 3:36
Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. – Acts 12:23
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. – Romans 1:18
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. – Romans 2:5
On account of these the wrath of God is coming. – Colossians 3:6
For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand? – Revelation 6:17
He also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. – Revelation 14:10
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. – Revelation 16:19
He goes on to write:
We are not saved from the wrath of God at Calvary, but we are saved from the wrath of God, because of Calvary, at conversion. Though our penalty can be withheld, God will only turn from His wrath when sinners turn from their sins. Those who stay in their sins are those who stay under God’s wrath despite the atonement that was made for them. Those whom Jesus died are still under the wrath of God and are going to receive the penalty of hell, unless they repent of their sins and believe the gospel.
Obviously there is much truth to what he states in the above. I do not deny that the wrath of God still abides on those who do not repent of their sins. Some Calvinists hold that the wrath of God was appeased at the cross for the elect of God only and thus a penal substitutionary is seen as satisfying God’s wrath for His elect at the cross. The problem I have with both views is that the wrath of God is appeased in Christ’s atonement only when it is received by faith. This is the key (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Notice one of my favorite Bible passages in Romans 3:21-26:
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
You will notice the passages I underlined. The atonement, our propitiation (1 John 2:2; 4:10) through the shed blood of Jesus (v.24) are made only for those who appropriate the work of Christ. John Wesley preached,
Whosoever thou art, O man, who hast the sentence of death in thyself, who feelest thyself a condemned sinner, and hast the wrath of God abiding on thee: Unto thee saith the Lord, not, “Do this,” — perfectly obey all my commands, — “and live;” but, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”The word of faith is nigh unto thee:” Now, at this instant, in the present moment, and in thy present state, sinner as thou art, just as thou art, believe the gospel; and “I will be merciful unto thy unrighteousness, and thy iniquities will I remember no more.”
A sinner must appropriate, by faith, the atonement of Christ in order to be saved and to remain saved. Our salvation, from first to last, is entirely dependent upon the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. Our salvation is not our faith, our works, our righteousness but rather our salvation is complete faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 3:18). Scripture clearly presents the atonement of Christ as a vicarious atonement in our place (Isaiah 53:4-6; Matthew 26:28; Galatians 1:4; etc.).
Arminius wrote this about the satisfaction of God’s wrath at the atonement for the sinner:
[God] rendered satisfaction to his love for justice and to his hatred against sin, when he imposed on his Son the office of Mediator by the shedding of his blood and by the suffering of death; and he was unwilling to admit him as the Intercessor for sinners except when sprinkled with his own blood in which he might be made the propitiation for sins…In this respect also it may with propriety be said, that God rendered satisfaction to himself, and appeased himself in “the Son of his love.”
As Vic Reasoner writes,
The biblical doctrine of propitiation is based on the premise that we can do nothing to compensate for our sins or turn away God’s anger. Therefore, God takes the initiative and Himself provides the propitiation in the person of His Son.
Reasoner then quotes Wesley,
The purpose of the propitiation was to appease an offended God. But if, as some teach, God never was offended, there was no need of this propitiation. And if so, Christ died in vain.
Christ faithfully died for God and He satisfied the wrath of God against sin. He shed His blood to atone for our sins and He was condemned for our sins against the law of God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 3:13-14). Christ died for God and with a view on pleasing the Father. Jesus willingly laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:11) which would be all those whom would be saved through faith in His blood (1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:1-2). All can come and be saved in Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:16).
My point in all this is to simply show that Arminianism correctly teaches the penal substitutionary view of the atonement. In my estimation, the penal view teaches that Christ died for God and not merely for our sins. The focus of the cross was upon God and not humans. The purpose of the atonement was the satisfy the just wrath of God against sin. However, I believe that the atonement is only sufficient for those who appropriate His work. The cross saves no one apart from faith (Romans 5:1). Those who reject the cross by their unbelief remain under God’s wrath (John 3:36; Romans 1:18-32). God’s wrath will be poured out upon those who reject Christ and they will be eternally condemned (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10). The fact that Jesus died on the cross saves no one. The work of Christ only saves those who place their faith in His saving work (Romans 10:14-17).
I read recently a Calvinist speaker who stated that the Assemblies of God held to moral government view regarding the atonement of Christ. In reality, this is not true. Granted, the Assemblies of God can be diverse in their views since the Sixteen Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God simply states that Christ is our substitute. It does not define what is meant by that. Yet in the official Assemblies of God theology text, Systematic Theology edited by Dr. Stanley Horton, the text clearly lays out why the Assemblies of God holds to a penal substitutionary view regarding the atonement.
In fact, the text states that the moral government view has its problems and lists them (p. 341). To be fair, the text also states three main objections to the penal view (pp. 342-343).
I do wish the text-book spent more time on the atonement (and other theological issues) but the statement it makes regarding the atonement, no Arminian nor even Calvinists would have an issue.
The text then gives three aspects of Christ’s saving work. They are:
- Sacrifice for our sins. In this is included propitiation.
- Reconciliation (Romans 5:11).
- Redemption (Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24).
The text then looks at the extent of the atonement. In this, the Assemblies of God are Arminian. The text, after examining various passages of Scripture showing the atonement to be for all people, concludes: “We conclude that the atonement is unlimited in the sense that it is available for all; it is limited in that it is effective only for those who believe. It is available for all, but efficient only for the elect” (p. 354).
No Arminian should disagree with the above. Clearly the Assemblies of God, from their theology text at least, are not to be associated with moral government theology. While it might be true that some Assemblies of God pastors have taught the atonement from a moral government view, the stance of the official systematic theology text would stand for the penal substitutionary view while still recognizing that not all Christians even agree with that view.
The following is a video done by Jesse Morrell. Brother Morrell holds to moral government theology but his video is interesting. I cannot say whether I agree or disagree. I know so little of Augustine and his theology. I am aware of some of his teachings but have not read his works nor any books on him. I am aware that Calvin gleamed much from Augustine and I know that many Calvinists today hold that Augustine was a champion of orthodoxy in his battles with Pelagius.
Morrell argues that Augustine was wrong in his views on mankind. He argues that the early Church held to free will and that man was not born with a sinful nature.
Watch the video and judge all things by the Word of God. The Word of God alone is the inerrant and infallible truth of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I hold to the penal view but here is a PDF file from John Miley on why he rejected the penal view. I think its well worth reading even if you do not hold to the moral government view. One can at least see that Miley was not ignorant in his views and sought to be biblical.
You can find the article here.
I just finished posting over the past several days posts from Winkie Pratney, prominent YWAM teacher, on the doctrine of sin. Pratney holds to moral government theology views regarding sin and original sin. His view is similar to those held by MGT teachers such as Charles Finney or Jesse Morrell. I feel a few statements are in order about the posts.
First, I respect Winkie Pratney much. He has done much good for the kingdom of Christ. Pratney was influential to many followers of Christ including the late Keith Green and many of the early Jesus Movement disciples. Pratney was often found teaching at Keith Green’s Last Days Ministries in Lindale, Texas. Pratney was also esteemed by such teachers as Leonard Ravenhill and others. I have never met Pratney but those who have tell me that he is a godly, gentle man who longs for people to love Jesus with all their hearts. I rejoice in that.
Secondly, I think it would not be fair of Calvinists to say that Pratney or any other MGT teacher is an Arminian. I agree that their theology is closer to Arminianism than to Calvinism but their views regarding sin is not found in the teachings of Arminius. Arminius clearly held to original sin and he rejected any notion that man could overcome sin through the will or even that they can free will themselves to salvation. Arminius held that the will is bound by sin just as Luther and Calvin taught. Arminius held that salvation is all of grace through faith and while he differed over whether this salvation was conditional or unconditional in regard to divine election, he clearly taught that salvation is a work of the Spirit (John 6:44; Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 3:5-7). Therefore, if the writings of Arminius are the deciding point of Arminianism then MGT teachers are not Arminians.
Thirdly, if you are looking for an evangelical reply to MGT and teachers such as Winkie Pratney, I recommend the book Evangelical Heathenism: Examining Contemporary Revivalism by E. Calvin Beisner. The book is a good theological read.
THE FINAL CONCLUSION – WHAT SIN REALLY MUST BE
(3) Sin is always moral
All gathered evidence points finally and irrevocably to this fact. Moreover, an extensive study of the root words for sin in the Bible show overwhelmingly that each man is held responsible for his own sin; none of these words give any hint of a physical or moral cause back of the will that produces sinful choices. All Bible words for sin overwhelmingly show its voluntary viciousness; all describe a deliberate choice.
1) Words with a root meaning to miss, err from the mark, or wander from the path of right prescribed by a loving Creator. The idea of a bad aim of an archer (Judges 20:16) or those who stumble or make a false step out of haste on their way to a goal (Prov. 19:2)
a) To sin (khaw-taw) Gen. 20:6,9; 39:9; Ex. 20:20; Num. 15:27(27-31); Deut. 20:18(16-18) (see 9:3-5); 1 Sam. 2:25; Job 5:24; Prov. 8:36(32-36); Ezek. 18:4,20,24.
b) Sin (khat-tawth) Gen. 18:20-21; 50:17; Ex. 32:30-34; Ps. 32:5; Prov. 14:34;; Is. 6:7; Ezek. 32:30-34; Ps. 32:5; Prov. 14:34; Is. 6:7; Ezek. 3:20; 18:24; 33:14-16; Dan. 9:20-21; Zech. 13:1.
2) Words with a root meaning to bend, curve, twist, distort or make crooked.
a) To act perversely (aw-vaw) Act contrary, do wickedly or wrong: Ester 1:16; Dan. 9:5
b) Perversion (aw-vone) Crookedness, depravity, iniquity, perversion of Divine law; guilt contracted by sinning (Gen. 15:16; 32:5) It is the character of the action that is emphasized: (Ps. 32:5) Gen. 4:13; 44:16; Ex. 34:7,9; Num. 14:34; 1 Chron. 21:8; 32:5; 51:2,9; Is. 6:7; 53:6; Jer. 31:30,34; Ezek. 3:18-20; 18:17-20; 18:30; Hosea. 4:8; Mic. 7:18.
3) Words meaning break away from just authority, revolt, rebel (2 Kings 1:1;, 3:5-7; 8:20,22)
a) Transgress (paw-shah) Is. 1:2-4; 46:8; 66:24; Jer. 2:29; 3:13(12-15); Ezek. 2:3; 18:31; 20:38 (35-38); Hosea. 7:13… “a breach with God, aspotacy – design and set purpose are always involved”.
b) Transgression (peh-shah) Revolt, rebellion (conscious breach of duty, desertion-while 1(b) (khat-tawth) involves sins of negligence and weakness, 3(b) (peh-shah) always implies design, set purpose. Job 34:37 is a key – “he adds to his sin rebellion”) Gen. 31:36; 50:17; 16:15-16; 16:21; Ps. 32:1;51:l,3; Is. 43:25; 44:22; 53:8; 58:1; Ezk. 18:28; 18:30-31. Involves trespass and apostasy.
4) To be wicked (raw-shah) properly means to make a noise, or tumult. It denotes a state of impiety, making disturbance, confusion, trouble, with the idea of strong excitement. (Cf. Job. 3:17, Is. 57:20) If evil becomes the habitual feature of the disposition or action, it is raw-shah. 1 Kings 8:47(47-50); Job 3:17; Ps. 18:21; Is. 57:20; Daniel 9:15. Other words come from this.
5) Words with a root meaning covering up or over; treachery, falsehood or faithlessness:
a) To act treacherously (maw-al’) Deut. 32:51 (of Moses, 6(a) (maw-raw’) used in Num. 27:14) Josh. 7:1; 1 Chron. 5:25; 10:13; 2 Chron. 12:2(1-3); Neh. 1:8.
b) Treachery (mah’-al) Job 2l:24.
6) Words with a primitive root meaning to be or make bitter; stroke or stripe; lash with a whip, strike, contend with both hands, repulse anyone; to strike anyone’s mouth, i.e. refuse to hear his words, treat him with contempt; thus to be grievously perverse in resisting authority.
a) To be rebellious (maw-raw’) Num. 20:23-24 (Aaron’s rebellion) 27:12-14 (of Moses; he uses the same word of Israel. Num. 20:10) Deut. 21:18-21; 1 Sam. 15:23; Ps. 5:10; Ps. 78:8.
b) Rebellion (mer-ee’) Num. 17: l0;Deu. 3 I :27;1 Sam. l5:23; Neh. 9: 17; Pr. 17:11 ;Is. 30:9; Ezek. 2:3,5.
7) Words from a primitive root meaning to rebel, be rebellious, thus stubbornly disobedient:
a) To rebel (maw-rad’) Josh. 22:15-16; 2 Kings 18:7(1,3,5-7); Job 24:13; Ezek. 2:3; Dan. 9:9.
b) Rebellion (mer-ad’) Ezek. 4:19;
c) (meh-red) Josh 22:22;
d) Rebellious (maw-rawd) Ezek. 4:12,15
8) Iniquity or wickedness (vanity-aw’ven) From a root meaning to pant, thus exert oneself in vain, come to nothingness. This emptiness idea is applied to:
Vanity, hence falsehood, wickedness;
Living at ease, riches, wealth;
Ability to do;
a) Emptiness or vanity (characterizing sin and false worship) Is. 41:29; Zech. 10:2; 1 Sam. 15:23 (of the vanity of idols) Is. 66:3 (of idols themselves) Hosea 4:15; 10:5.
b) Vanity of words, falsehood, fraud; Ps. 36:4; Prov. 17:4
c) Wickedness, or iniquity: Num. 23:21; Job 34:8; Prov. 11:7; Is. 1:13.
9) Words with root meaning to spoil, with idea of break in pieces, or crushing with a loud noise or crash (Job 34:24; Ps. 2Z:9; Is. 24:19) Thus to make good for nothing, bad in any way.
a) To be evil, to have an evil disposition (raw-ah’) Ex. 5:23; Num. 20:15; Josh. 24:15; 1 Sam. Chron. 21:17; Ps. 22:16-17; 37:1,8-9; Prov. 24:18,19; Is. 1:16; 41:23; Jer. 13:23.
b) Evil, bad, wicked (rah) of manner of thinking or acting: Gen. 2:9,17; 6:5; 8:21; 39:9; Deut. 17:2(2-5); 1 Sam. 12:17(16-19), 20(20-21); Ps. 7:9; Jer. 4:14,18; 7:24; 8:6; Ezek. 11:2.
NOT WEAKNESS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Who can look over these penetrating descriptions of sin in the Old Testament and say that sin is merely some kind of weakness, committed through inability of will? The New Testament goes on in the gallery of the portraits of selfishness:
1) Words with root meaning to miss the mark, the road, to fail to do what one intended to do, to err, do or go wrong, miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, thus to sin: (To “miss the mark” does not imply a target is too hard but the aim is too low.)
To sin (hamartano) Lk. 15:18-19; Luke 15:21; 17:34; Rom. 2:12; 3:23;5:12;6:14-l5; I Cor. 15:34; Heb. 10:26; 1 Jn. 1:10; 2:1; 3:6,9; 5:18.
A sin (hamartema) An evil deed, an error, an offense: Mark 3:28; Rom. 3:25.
Sin (hamartia) A failing to hit the mark, error, mistake, failing to accomplish what was intended, or what was good and useful, misdirection of our faculties: Matt. 1:21; Lk. 24:4647; Jn. 1:29; 8:21,24,34,36,46; 16:8-9; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:9; 6:1,2,6; 6:11,20; 1 Tim. 5:24; Heb. 3:13; 11:25; 12:1,4; Jas. l:l5;4:17;5:20; 1 Jn. 1:7-9;2:2;3:4-5; I Jn. 5:17.
A sinner (hamartolos) Devoted to sin: Matt. 9:13; 11:19; Lk. 18:13; Rom. 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:15; James 5:20; 1 Peter 4:18.
2) Words carrying the idea of falling away, fall beside or near, stumbling, false step, a blunder (derived from para, beside, and pipto, to fall, fall down)
To fall away (parapipto) To deviate from the right path, turn aside (climactic action) Heb. 6:6
A trespass (paraptoma) A falling away from right, truth, duty, lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness, an error, sin, misdeed or fault arising from ignorance or inadvertance: Matt. 6:14-15; 18:35; Rom. 4:25; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:7; 2:1; Col. 2:13; James 5:16.
3) Words conveying the more serious idea of stepping beside, going past without touching; from para, beside, and basino, to step out, walk, go. The words are all active and positive:
To transgress (parabaino) To morally violate, overstep: Mt. 15:2-3; Acts 1:25; 2 Jn. 9.
Transgression (parabasis) Deviation, extravagance, digression; hence violation of God’s law, deliberate departure from truth: Rom. 2:23-25; 4:15; 5:14; Gal. 3:19; 1 Tim. 2:14; Heb. 2:2(1-4)
A transgressor (parabates) A breaker or violator of the law: Rom. 2:25-27; James 2:9,11.
4) Words involving law with a prefixed negative; thus the condition of one without law (either ignorant of it, or violating it)
Lawlessness (anomos) Destitute of law (1 Cor. 9:21) Generally used in the sense of departing from the law, a violation of the law, lawless, wicked; Lk. 22:37; Acts 2:23; 2 Thess. 2:8; 2 Pet. 2:8
Lawlessness (anomia) Want of conformity to the law, contempt, violation of it, iniquity and wickedness; Matt. 7:23(21-23); 13:41(37-42); 23:28(27-28); 24:12; Rom. 4:7; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Thess. 2:7; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 1:9; Heb. 8:12(10-12); Heb. 10:17(16-17); 1 Jn. 3:4.
5) Words involving the word just or righteous with a negative; refusal to do what is right.
To do wrong (adekeo) To be just unrighteous, to wrong someone, to hurt, act unjustly or wickedly; Matt. 20:13;Acts 7:24-27; Col. 3:25; Rev. 22:11.
Unjust (adikos) Unrighteous, one who violates justice or has violated it; Matt. 5:45; Lk. 16:10-1l;Acts 24:I5; l Cor. 6:9; l Pet. 3:18; 2 Pet. 2:9.
Unrighteous (adikia) Injustice, wrong; Lk. 13:27(24-27); Jn. 7:18; Acts 1:18; 8:23(20-24); Rom. 1:18, 29; 2:8; 2:6-11; 6:13; I Cor. 13:6; 2 Thess. 2:l0-12; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Jn. l:9; 5:17.
6) Words involving godly, pious, worship with a negative; to be irreverent:
To be ungodly (asebeo) To act impiously, to be destitute of reverential awe towards God: Peter 2:6(4-9); Jude 15 (14-15).
Ungodly (asebees) Impious, despising God. Rom. 4:5; 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pt. 4:18; 2 Peter 2:5; 2 Pet. 3:7; Jude 4, 15.
Ungodliness (asebia) Want of reverence. Rom. 1:18; 11:26; 2 Tim. 2:16; Tit. 2:12; Jude 15,18.
7) Words denoting evil, bad, of a bad nature or condition.
Evil (poneros) Bad, wicked in an ethical sense; also used of labors, hardships, peril, toil:
Evil in general: Matt. 5:11; 7:17-18; 9:4; 15:19; Mk. 7:22,23;Jn. 3:19;7:7; Rom. 12:9; Col. 1:21; 2 Thess. 5:22; Hebrews 3:12; Heb. 10:22; 2 Jn. 11.
Evil persons: Mat 5:45; 12:34-35,39,45; 13:49;25:26; Lk. 6:35; Gal 1:4; 2 Thess. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:13
(3)Satan and the evil angels: Matt. 13:19,38; Lk. 7:21; Eph. 6:16; 1 Jn. 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19.
Wickedness (poneria) Depravity, iniquity, badness, evil disposition of mind: Matt. 22:18; Mark 7:22; Lk. 11:39; Acts 3:20; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:8; Eph. 6:12.
A Final Word
From the study of Bible words describing sin, we look in vain for evidence that sin is anything else than ultimately a wrong choice. There is always the idea of movement, voluntary action, never a static or inactive something behind the will, received by heredity, that causes the will to act in sin. The Word of God protects itself from theological speculation like this; sin is a selfish, lawbreaking choice.
Without God, man does have a sinful nature, but this nature is not physical. He inherits no absolute causation from his parents or anyone else. Man is held responsible for his own actions. His sinful nature consists in the habit patterns of a life lived for self instead of God. They flow from a wrong heart, or ultimate choice in life. They need not be all premeditated to be sin. A man who has unyielded rights and resentment in his heart that has been allowed to build for some time does not have to coldly calculate to fly into a rage. A man says an unkind thing. He tries to cover it by saying, “Oh, I didn’t mean that!” Scripture flatly contradicts him by stating “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. He may not have meant it to be revealed in all its ugliness. But it was in his heart, and the unconscious action followed. Nature does not mean natural, as compared to ordinary, but that which is common, that which man does as a rule. If we say man has a sinful nature, we are not talking about some solid “thing” causing sin, but that as a rule of life, as a habit of actions the sinner always behaves sinfully. His own heart is set on pleasing himself; out of this primary choice or idolatrous preference flows all his thoughts, actions and lesser choices.
Scripture reveals that no sinner seeks God. His selfishness has made him run from the call of God just like Adam did long ago: Gen. 6:5; 2 Chr. 12:14; Ps. 10:4; 53:2; 119:115; Ecc. 8:11; Is. 9:13; 31:1; 59:4; 64:7; 65:1; Matt. 23:37; Jn. 5:40; 6:26; Rom. 2:4; 3:11. For this reason, he cannot be saved unless God invests great efforts in him to turn him back to righteousness. Man is able to repent when faced with the love of God and the enormity of his sin, and must do so as a first condition of God’s restoration to His family. This is directly asserted in both the Old and New Testaments. (Is. 1:16-18; 55:6-7; Hosea. 10:12; Matt. 3:2; Lk. 13:3,5; Acts 17:30-31) Because repentance involves a facing of, and turning from sin, sin is ultimately a moral act.
It is precisely this emphasis that needs to be restored to the Church today! The dogma that men are made to sin and are blamed for sin primarily because of Adam is taught neither by revelation, reason, or the record of the Early Church for the first three hundred glorious years of its ministry. It is unbiblical, inadequate and unreasonable, a hindrance to the deep and powerful convicting work of the Spirit of God, and has been the foundation of more subtle heresies and misrepresentations of the Gospel than almost any other falsehood. It detracts terribly from the loving, just character of the great Godhead. Its misuse and misapplication in practical living turns the actual idea of God’s grace into an ugly travesty of justice, makes repentance unreasonable and holiness unattainable. It has historically been the chief foundation of Universalism and the key reason for the rational rejection of the truth of future punishment. Through its mesh “the goodness of God” which leads men to repentance loses much of its meaning. No wonder some churches practically do not give themselves to missions and evangelism while theoretically believing it, and little wonder that sinner’s hearts are not broken by much of our preaching today! All through history, when God has found men and women who dared preach personal responsibility for sin and the necessity and practicality of a holy life through faith in Jesus, lasting revivals resulted. Let us then throw away all excuses for our failure to obey the Lord of Hosts; let us admit it is not just the fault of Adam or our ancestors, but we who are to blame; and let us repent deeply, that God may grant us true conversions and revival!