Berean Break
March 20, 2016 broadcast
by George Sinkie

[printable PDF][audio MP3]

     Good morning and welcome to the Berean Break.  My name is George A. Sinkie and I hope you are eager to learn from God’s word today.  Let’s resolve to study God’s word more and to follow nothing but the word of God.  I hope you have your Bible ready because I want you to check out what I say and to follow it if it is truth.  If it is not truth please contact me and correct me.  Let’s begin by going to God in prayer:

Dear God We thank You for this day that You have blessed us with.  May we strive today to follow You closer with our lives.  We are sorry Lord for the sin that we have committed.  We pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict each of us of our sin and may we look to Your word for how to be forgiven of that sin.  We thank You for the sacrifice that Jesus made so the sins of the world could be forgiven.  And it’s in His Name we pray,  AMEN!!

     Some may ask, “George, why are you always bringing up what denominations teach?”  There are multiple reasons for this.  First I do so because I teach the truth and there is a natural collision of truth with false doctrine.  Occasionally though, I receive a question and I seek to give the Scriptural answer to those questions.  If you have a question, you are welcome to contact me and I will research the word of God for the answer and share with you the answer that the word of God gives.  Today’s program is a response to a couple of questions I received.

     The first thing I want to do is to reaffirm the fact that the Bible and the Bible alone is the standard for what God wants in religion.  Turn with me over to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and read with me, “
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
     Now you can read that and you can understand that verse.  The Scriptures provide the person who wants to follow God everything that they need to do that.  We read it.  We understand it.  But are we listening?

     Paul is not the only one to present this concept though, let’s turn over to 2 Peter 1:2-3, “
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
True knowledge” is the knowledge that comes from God and it “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.”  Does that mean that God has given some things that pertain to life and godliness?  No!  Has God given most things pertaining to life and godliness?  No!  It says He has granted everything pertaining to life and godliness.  I believe we can understand that, don’t you?  But are we listening, will we live our lives based on that truth?  I have it as my goal to live by that truth.  Do you?  I know as we go through today’s study there will be some of you who say, “that’s not what I was taught” or “our creed teaches different” or “our catechism doesn’t say that.”  And I agree that if you are going to use a man-made creed or catechism or the teachings of some man as your standard, then you will hear things contrary to this.  But this program has the standard of the word of God, so I ask you, “to Whom or what will you listen?

     Now I want you to know that you can understand God’s word for yourself, that is why I give you the references to look up and why I encourage you to check out what I say.  Now, let’s turn over to 2 Timothy 2:15, “
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
     Paul is writing to Timothy here, and let me ask a few questions.  Was Timothy a Christian?  The answer to that I believe is obvious… yes, he was.  As I give these answers if you disagree or want to know why I give these answers, please contact me.  OK, Timothy was a Christian.  Next question, Could Timothy be unapproved to God?  Again the obvious answer is yes or else it makes no sense for Paul to encourage him to be diligent.  Could Timothy be ashamed as a workman?  Yes.  Could he handle the word of truth inaccurately?  Yes, Paul gave a warning about it so it must be possible.
     Let’s go on to the next passage, in 2 Corinthians 5:10 Paul writes, “
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
     Again that reference is 2 Corinthians 5:10.  What are all going to appear before?  The judgement seat of Christ is what this verse teaches.  What is the purpose of us appearing before the judgement seat?  That we can be recompensed.  For what?  Our deeds both good and bad.  Are we going to be recompensed for someone else’s deeds.  Read this verse again if you need to.  The Bible teaches that we are going to recompensed for our own deeds… no one else’s.  Remember that the next time a false teacher tries to tell you that you bear the guilt of Adam’s sin.  That just isn’t true according to the Bible.
     One more verse I would like to look at now, is Hebrews 5:9 where the writer speaks of Jesus and says, “
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
     According to this verse, Jesus is to source of eternal salvation to whom?  To those who obey Him.  If a person does not obey Jesus, is there any other way to receive eternal life?  No there isn’t.

     Now one more question about each of these verses.  When Paul spoke to Timothy about being an approved workman that didn’t need to be ashamed, who handled the word of God accurately, did Timothy’s response in any way effect his salvation?  In other words could Timothy mishandle the word of God and be ashamed and unapproved, and still be saved?  Honestly… do any of you think he could be?  The Bible teaches that it did matter how Timothy responded.
     As Paul wrote to the Corinthians about being recompensed for good deeds and bad deeds, is there a difference in the recompense?  Will good deeds and bad deeds receive the same reward?  The Scriptural answer is that good and bad deeds receive vastly different recompense.
     As the Hebrews writer was pointing out that obedience was necessary for salvation — this may seem like a strange question — is it necessary to obey to be saved?  Unless you have some alternate standard to up hold, the Bible’s clear answer is that obedience is necessary for salvation.

     As I mentioned in the beginning, two different people asked me questions dealing with the same subject — that subject is predestination.  Now there is a biblical concept of pre-destination — and as sometimes ties in with it — election.  In the biblical teaching on this subject, a person is predestined or elected based on what he has done.  For example in Mark 16:15-16 it says, Mark 16:15-16, ‘
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
     So if a person believed the gospel and was baptized then they will be saved.  We could in a biblical sense say they were a part of the elect who are predestined for salvation.  This however is not the meaning that some people give to predestination.

     In the teachings of Calvinism… predestination refers to the false doctrine that God decided, before the foundation of the earth, who was going to be saved and who was going to be lost.  In this man-made doctrine there is nothing you or I can do to change what God decided our destiny is going to be.  Our destiny is not based on faith, it is not based on our obedience, it is not based on our holiness, it is not based on our refraining from sin.
     To some this doctrine is very comforting, because they believe they are a part of those destined for salvation.  But consider the flip side of this doctrine.  If God decided you are lost there is nothing you can do to change that.  You can believe everything that God says and leave every sin.  You can pray and obey.  You could live a life that was second only to Christ Himself and yet you are going to hell because God did not choose you for salvation.

     Let’s consider the three passages we looked at earlier in the light — or perhaps I should say the darkness — of this doctrine of Calvinistic predestination.  First of all 2 Timothy 2:15, “
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
     Remember how we could see from this verse that being diligent, being approved to God, being an unashamed workman, and accurately handling the truth all mattered.  Well, if the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is true, then these things mean nothing.  You see according to the logical conclusion of Calvinistic predestination — I can be a false teacher and still be saved, if God chose to save me, note the past tense “chose,” because God decided this before the world was even created.  The moment a teacher of this man-made doctrine says, “Oh, no… a false teacher won’t be saved,” he has denied his very own doctrine.
     Let’s look at our second verse, in 2 Corinthians 5:10 Paul wrote, “”
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
     Predestination, as Calvin defines it, makes a mockery out of the judgment.  If Calvinistic predestination is true, then there is no recompensing.  We get what God decided to give us… deeds that we do, good or bad, make no difference.  A person either has to deny what this verse plainly says or they have to deny the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination.
     The third verse we looked at was Hebrews 5:9 where the writer speaks of Christ and says, “
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
     This verse plainly teaches that obedience is essential to having eternal salvation.  Calvinistic predestination would have this verse to read, “
And having been made perfect, He became to all those that God choose the source of eternal salvation.

     One of the very basics of understanding the Bible, is to never make one verse teach something that would contradict another verse.  Calvinistic predestination doesn’t just contradict one verse or even just the three we had time to look at today.  It contradicts verse after verse, and therefore is not the correct understanding of the Bible.

     This Berean Break is brought to you, in love, by the pre-denominational and non-denominational church of Christ that meets at 1600 East First Avenue in Mitchell SD.  You are welcome to meet with us at 10:00 Sunday mornings for our assembly followed by a time of Bible Study, also on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 for an additional time to study God’s Word.  If you have a comment or a sincere Bible question, please call or text me at 605-770-5555.  We want to remind you of the non-denominational TV program, “KNOW YOUR BIBLE” on KDLT-TV at 9:00 on Sunday mornings.  This is George A. Sinkie for the Lord’s church, here in Mitchell, good-bye for now.  Remember that we care about you and may God bless you as you do His will.

[printable PDF][audio MP3]

      © George Sinkie; used by permission. rev.170416
      Permission guidelines for your use of this article.
      Unless otherwise noted, “Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.” or from the “New American Standard Bible. 1986 (electronic edition.) La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.”
      This article’s presentation in Exploring God's Word ©2017 David G. Churchill.
      For additional quality Bible-study materials, contact your local church of Christ or access Exploring God's Word at
      Send us your Bible-related questions.