As I sit here in my room in the Conference Center located at the Word of Life youth camp where some of the kids from our church are having a blast(we are having a blast, too), God has really been working on my heart….
As you may have guessed from either the title of my blog or from previous posts, I hold to a Reformed view of theology and doctrine. Some people call it calvinism, however, I prefer Reformed. The camp we are at, as are most youth camps(I think), hold to a more Arminian view of theology and doctrine. Now, before I get to how God is working on my heart, let me give quick definitions of Reformed Theology and Arminian Theology.
Reformed Theology– Man is responsible to seek after and obey God, but, is unable to do so without God’s saving Grace, which God gives to man. (John 6:44; John 6:55).
Arminian Theology– Man is responsible to seek after God so he must be/he is able to do so on his own.
Ok, now that we have that down, there have been many debates and argument and trials throughout church history over these to camps of theology. And, please, do not take these definitions are law, they are brief, incomplete, basic overviews. There are many more nuances of the two which we will not go over in this post. This post is about how God is working in my heart.
We were at session Sunday night, the first night we were there, and then I was again at session Monday night, last night. And, when the Gospel presentation is given, it is given with Arminian leanings, i.e. an alter call, asking people to “ask Jesus to come into their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior.” And, when I hear these things, I get aggravated to a certain degree because they aren’t Biblical, nowhere can I find it in the Bible. But, beyond that, God is working on my hearth through this experience. God is reminding me, as I have been reading through Romans this week, that He is sovereign. He makes the world turn. He changes the hearts of mankind, including children. He’s reminded me, through His word, that He works for the good of all those whom are called to Him(Romans 8:28) and that I have no right to speak back to God(Romans 9:20). God is in the heavens and he does all that he pleases(Psalm 115:3). And, with all that in mind, through His scripture, I have been reminded that, even though I don’t agree with the presenter or presentation, God’s word will not return to Him void(Isaiah 55:9-11) and that God can and does save people through the Gospel presented in way we don’t agree with.
So, as I was sitting there, mostly on Sunday night, I was being aggravated about the way it was being presented and everything. “OH MY! Can we say ARMINIAN!!!!!” was going through my mind. But, God has laid it on my heart to pray for those hearing the Gospel that it truly is a heart change and that people at this camp are brought by God to Jesus for salvation. I have repented of my angry thoughts and, hopefully, will remember this and be in prayer as the Gospel is being given by the staff here at Word of Life Florida. I will be in prayer that, Lord Willing, God works in the hearts and minds and bodies and souls of those in attendance here and that the Kingdom of Heaven grows out of the fruitful work done by this ministry.
Soli Deo Gloria