Apostasy – April 28, 2023

On Sunday after the sermon on John 13, which if you remember dealt both with the example and command to love sacrificially and the dialog with Peter about forgiveness, I received a text question that I did not see until after the benediction.  Here’s the question:

“If someone denounces their faith, are they still a child of God and going to heaven?”

That’s a great and hard question.  If you’ve lived in and around church circles long enough, you likely know somebody who has not only walked away but has slammed the door.  Had I thought about it, I could have proactively addressed this issue within John 13.  Two betrayals are prophesied by Jesus, Peter’s and Judas’.  There was certainly a difference in the amount of material harm done, but the truth is found in Christ’s statement in 13:10-11.   Peter was already clean (“justified” in Pauline parlance), Judas was not.  In 2023 Peter is in paradise, Judas is awaiting judgment.

So, here’s the rub.  I can say absolutely, unequivocally and with zero hesitation that when a person puts his or her faith in Jesus he or she is justified, freely, forever.  He/she is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, etc..  Those two things alone can’t be undone by an act of our will.  The Father, the owner of all that is, declares us righteous and then sends the Holy Spirit to reside in us as a guarantee of our future redemption.  If someone is saved, they are always saved, that is the clear teaching of Scripture.

What I can’t say is who has believed.  Only Jesus knew that Judas was a false brother.  I don’t believe I’m currently in fellowship with any false believers but sometimes they show themselves; and sometimes real believers mess up like Peter did and knew it right away or like Hymenaeus and Alexander did whom Paul turned over to Satan so they could learn not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:20).

Personally, having experienced the grace of God I can no more imagine denouncing Him than I can imagine cutting off my right arm.  I can’t even comprehend how often one would have to quench the Holy Spirit to get to the place of denial.  So I know this is an extremely gut wrenching question.  People often ask what I believe about “so and so” who is making a mockery of God.  What I feel is that they were likely never saved. What I know is that Hymenaeus and Alexander are going to be in heaven and what I hope is that said person will fall in faith and love with Jesus and walk in the newness of life! 

We see through the glass dimly.  People can fool us.  But God can’t be fooled. He knows the heart of every man.  Keep praying for the wanderers and keep our eyes on the cross.

Pastor Scott

God’s Call – April 21, 2023

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. ~Colossians 3:1-4 (emphasis added)

I think Paul meant for that to be more than just a “saying!”

I love this little story – hope you do too!   – Pastor Scott

Having lived in South America as missionaries, my family and I realized that moving to another jungle location meant a lot of work.  We knew the discomforts of such things as snakes and bugs.

One morning, a few days after beginning to clean our temporary home, the family and I were taking a short break.  While we were drinking tea, a large black beetle suddenly flew through the room with a loud buzzing noise.  As it darted between us, my wife let out a startled scream.

Astonished more by her scream than the beetle, my youngest daughter cried out, “For heaven’s sake, Mom!”

My wife resolutely replied, “That’s the only reason I’m here.”

Daily Bread  ~May 1996

Illustration – April 14, 2023

On Resurrection Sunday (AKA Easter) we celebrated communion and I read an illustration. During our Fellowship Time after the service I promised someone I’d post it, I sure hope he or she reads my blog 🙂


Pastor Scott


My friend Dr. Roy Gustafson has the finest illustration of justification I have ever heard. It seems that there was a man in England who put his Rolls-Royce on a boat and went across to the continent to go on a holiday. While he was driving around Europe, something happened to the motor of his car. He cabled the Rolls-Royce people back in England and asked, “I’m having trouble with my car; what do you suggest I do?” Well, the Rolls-Royce people flew a mechanic over! The mechanic repaired the car and flew back to England and left the man to continue his holiday. As you can imagine, the fellow was wondering, “How much is this going to cost me?” So when he got back to England, he wrote the people a letter and asked how much he owed them. He received a letter from the office that read: “Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever went wrong with a Rolls-Royce.” That is justification.

Did Christ finish His work? How dangerous it is to join anything of our own to the righteousness of Christ, in pursuit of justification before God! Jesus Christ will never endure this; it reflects upon His work dishonorably. He will be all, or none, in our justification. If He has finished the work, what need is there of our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish that which Christ Himself could not complete? Did He finish the work, and will He ever divide the glory and praise of it with us? No, no; Christ is no half-Savior. It is a hard thing to bring proud hearts to rest upon Christ for righteousness. God humbles the proud by calling sinners wholly from their own righteousness to Christ for their justification.

John Flavel

Good Friday 2023

The Comic Strip ran nationwide in newspapers (went viral) on Good Friday in 1958. Many of you have seen it before; but I think it’s worth reposting here. (Sunday is coming; hope to see you at Word of Grace – 9:30am)