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...This excellent article by Pr. Stuart Wood called:
Taking the Mask off Calvinism
The Danger of Human Reason
by: Pr. Stuart Wood
(This article is republished with the author's consent)
Dear brethren of the ELCR, we live in a dangerous time. Today, more than ever before, Satan is trying to wipe true Christianity off the face of the map. We know that he cannot ultimately accomplish that, but we also know that he will not cease his efforts until the Lord comes. Jesus said, “No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3:27). This binding of the strong man took place at the cross of Calvary. There our Lord rendered Satan powerless (Heb. 2:14). For the last two thousand years, He has been plundering his house, that is, rescuing poor lost souls who were formerly under his power. He has done this through the proclamation of the Gospel, how that “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3). When a person hears this Word and receives it in true faith, he “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). He is “delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Col. 1:13). But the Scriptures also tell us that this blessed time will come to an end. Revelation 20 speaks of a “little season” shortly before the Lord’s return when Satan will be loosed of his bonds and will make one last all-out assault on the Christian church. Since he is loosed, his house will no longer be plundered nor his goods spoiled. Rather, he will once again “keep his goods in peace”, that is, keep the lost in their deluded lost estate. From this we see that Satan will silence the Gospel during this “little season”.
Revelation 20 also tells us how he will silence the Gospel. He will do this by assembling together a vast horde of spiritual enemies from the four corners of the world to oppose and overwhelm “the camp of the saints”, “the beloved city”, that is, the true invisible church of Christ. The Scriptures call this horde “Gog” and “Magog”. According to St. Augustine, the word “Gog” means “a roof” and “Magog” means “from a roof”, and so the two terms have reference to “a house”. God is telling us that in the last days Satan will assemble his whole unbelieving house against the true Christian church. In every sphere of earthly power true Christianity will be marginalized, maligned, hated, and persecuted. Whether in the educational sphere, the scientific sphere, the vocational sphere, the economic sphere, the social sphere, the media sphere, the political sphere, the religious sphere, or any other earthly sphere of power, Satan will rise up as a multi-headed beast with a crown on every head. He will so vilify and malign the church, so thoroughly delude and prejudice the minds of the unbelieving, that few will dare or think to take her message seriously. The anti-Christian spirit will rule all earthly powers and will dominate and control the entire world.
Brethren, do we not see this anti-Christian spirit already in place? No matter where you turn today, the Word of God and those who truly stand with it are ridiculed and silenced. The world will tolerate anything and everything except the truth of God’s Word. And since God’s Word contains both His law and Gospel, those who rightly divide the Word are the special objects of this opposition and hatred. The world does not want to hear that they are lost sinners and it does not want to hear that Jesus Christ is the one and only Saviour from sin and death. The world seeks to kill the “two witnesses”, the law and the Gospel, who have tormented them for so long. Ultimately, due to Satan’s influence, it is the Gospel that they are most against, because Satan knows that the Gospel is the only truth by which a human soul may be saved. Satan hates souls because he hates God, the Creator and Lover of souls. He will gladly promote any religion, including all false representations of Christianity, if it is devoid of the Gospel because that does him no harm. All, except the true invisible church, will enjoy his nefarious smile and the earthly honors and treasures that go with it so long as they reject the Gospel.
One such religion that rejects and destroys the Gospel is Calvinism. Throughout this paper, I am speaking of that Calvinism that denies the universal atonement of Christ. For this reason Satan has raised it up and established it in its many forms. Its errors are subtle, reflecting the deep guile and great might of our old evil foe. The Scriptures describe the serpent as “more subtil than any beast of the field” (Gen. 3:1). The deadly danger of Calvinism is that it looks so much like true Christianity. It is a counterfeit that can easily pass as public tender. In fact, I would never have known or even have suspected the poisonous nature of this devilish lie if not for the writings of Martin Luther which taught me faith and delivered me from its terrible snare. You see, Calvinism is really a false religion, despite its appearance as an advocate for Biblical truth. It is a religion led of depraved human reason and not that true religion which belongs to the Word of God and child-like faith....Click here to continue reading this article...