The Mail Room
Letters from Volume 35
Welcome to the Mail Room for Present Truth Magazine! This is where we post some of the interesting letters which we receive from our viewers. All of our viewers are invited to E-mail us your comments and views and we will post these views for all to consider!
After reading the special issue of Present Truth on "Justification by Faith," I was amazed to find how mixed up I was on the doctrine of justification. I always believed that Christ "paid it all," but I didn't know how to look away from my miserable self and see the finished work in Christ. This magazine makes if clear. I'm throwing off the burden and giving glory to the living Christ.
Some people tend to think that discussion of the gospel and the truth about it is just vain babbling. They believe that New Testament Christians just proclaimed the truth instead of sitting around and discussing things, and I am sure this is true. If one knows the truth, then he should indeed proclaim it. But in reading the gospel articles in Present Truth, it seems that a lot of people (including myself) do not know very much about the gospel, and thus know not the truth. I ask, then, how can one proclaim that which he does not know? I believe that Present Truth can show the truth and that we must first sit down and discuss matters. If distinguishing truth from falsehood is babbling, then, by all means, let's babble!
Present Truth has changed many of my ideas about the gospel, justification, faith and grace. I thank you.
W. Hogan Smith
Every issue of your magazine has been very rich in the greatness of justification. Truly this is the gospel.
I've had you send copies of Present Truth to several ministers I know, and what few comments I've heard have been "pro." In recent years I (and many others) have grown despondent from hearing the plan of salvation presented as something we do and the atonement played down as merely a great blessing from God. However, by studying your very biblical articles, many have come to a greater understanding of the great necessity of the atonement.
I have used your guidance and thought in speaking many times, and the results have been great, not because of my work, but because of the fact that people heard the gospel and were very glad and attentive to it.
Thank you for your strong and helpful stand on the great biblical truth of justification by faith. I admire and treasure your magazine more than most of those published by the many so-called "biblical experts" of my former acquaintance.
On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost was already in the believers, but He came on them to baptize them and give them boldness to witness for Jesus. And they did what all people do when this happens—spoke in unknown tongues. If this hasn't happened to you, you haven't been baptized in the Spirit.
It may be true that some Christians wax a little eloquent in describing this beautiful, love-instilling experience (which you interpret as "subjective"), but it's also true that their love and enthusiasm for telling the gospel bring people to their knees at the cross—and this is what it's all about.
I agree, too, that this is no passing fad. However, it's certainly not antichrist, but the outpouring of the Spirit prophesied for the last days, which will bring the gospel of Christ to all the world—and it's doing just that!
I could write a letter as long as a book to prove you're wrong, step by step, but such have been written (see What Meaneth This? by Brumback, for one), and they're written in God's Word by Paul if your eyes and mind were open to see.
When I read your magazine, condemning the works of the Spirit in these last days, I thought, "I'd like to refute that, but his mind is closed to any but his own ideas —mistaken as they are." Then the thought came to me that prompted me to write this letter. Jesus said, "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven." By attributing His works to Satan—as you do—you're blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I wouldn't wish this on anyone—much less a Christian. Not only are you blaspheming Him, but through your magazine you'?e trying to teach others to do the same. This is a terrible accusation, I know, but so is your accusation that neoPentecostalism can be identified with the apostate movement of Revelation 13.
Of course, what you say isn't going to stop the mighty outpouring of God's Spirit to bring His gospel to all the world (watch the "700 Club" on TV to see what I mean), but it can condemn you. That's the reason I'm writing this letter. Think about it—and pray.
Back to Rome
While "Protestants" vainly imagine that Rome is getting better, you are proving that it is actually the Protestants that are going back to Rome—back to the charismatic renewal once known as the Dark Ages, back to the ecumenical search for unity at the expense of the gospel. You are the real Protest! Thank you again for showing me how to fix my eyes on God's fabulous work in Jesus rather than looking into my own heart to see Him at work. I know He is in me to do as He pleases, but my eyes now focus on the Man at His right hand.
I have been given one of your booklets, Protestant Revivalism, Pentecostalism and the Drift Back to Rome, and after reading it, felt that I would like to hand a copy to some of my friends, especially those who have become involved in the charismatic movement.
Here in Tasmania the charismatic movement is growing. All its adherents seem to know of the Father is that God is love. The other side of God's character is hardly ever preached. If it were, people would come to realize what the Bible means when it says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
I am of the old Calvinistic faith and see here, very plainly, the drift back to Rome. But many are too blind to see. A Church of England priest said of late that we need to get back to the position before the Reformation. We know where he stands.
It seems to me that our only hope is the return of the Lord Jesus.