A few days ago a friend of mine sent this picture and asked, “What is he up to?” He then gave some possible answers, and one of those was, “Wanting a true ‘born-again’ experience. (however in the wrong port of entry)”.
I can’t tell for sure what that person is doing up there, but I can’t stop thinking of the silliness of most professing Evangelicals today who think that a born-again process is something that depends on the will of man. In other word, salvation is not wholly of God, but it is a synergic effort of man and God! Billy Graham was often heard saying, “God does ninety nine percent of it, but you still must do that last one percent.” Is that true? Is that what the Bible teaches?
The Bible indeed teaches that we are spiritually dead! DEAD! Please read Ephesians 2:1-5. Have you seen a dead man walked? Can a dead man walk, and let alone make that “last one percent” decision?! The thought of it is as absurd as the picture above. Trying to be born again!
In the final analysis, if salvation is a cooperated effort of man and God, then it is not at all free and it nullifies the efficacy of Christ’s purpose-driven death (pun intended). If that is the case, then Christ’s atoning death on the cross merely provided the OPPORTUNITY for men to be saved, and not the SALVATION itself. It was possible that nobody would take that “last one percent”, and thus, Christ died for nothing. It reminds me of a bumper sticker that says, “Give Jesus a try. He died for opportunity.” O really?! It also reminds me of a picture of a gentler and kinder Jesus knocking on the door and patiently waiting for someone to let him in.
Too much ink has been spilled on this issue, and I am not trying to answer this centuries-old debate because it will take pages and pages and pages and lots of hours to write about this while others who are much more learned than I am have written numerous defense on this issue. It is suffice to say that if you’re sincere about learning this debate, and to study what the Scripture really says on this issue, then you need to go back in time to a debate that took place in the 5th century between Pelagius and Augustine of Hippo. To start, I would recommend an old article by Dr. R.C. Sproul that you can read here. Please e-mail me if you’d like to receive a copy of this article in .pdf format.
I hope that churches will once again teach the Bible and throw away the false teaching of Pelagius. How dare I judge his teaching to be false?! Wait a minute my friends, it is not I who judged, but the Church! A brief history lesson in that article by Dr. Sproul says, “In the fifth century the Church condemned Pelagius as a heretic. Pelagianism was condemned at the Council of Orange, and it was condemned again at the Council of Florence, the Council of Carthage, and also, ironically, at the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century in the first three anathemas of the Canons of the Sixth Session. So, consistently throughout Church history, the Church has roundly and soundly condemned Pelagianism-because Pelagianism denies the fallenness of our nature; it denies the doctrine of original sin.”
Back to my friend’s question: “What do you think that man in the picture is doing up there?”