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Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Historic Battle


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


A Latent Stumbling Block– Part III

Being “secular” by definition means it is non-religious. The difficulty is that all institution of secular learning must include the study of the natural world. Any complete academic must include knowledge of the origins of what is studied. The complexity and vastness of the world and universe demands explanations which secularists try to find answers which do not include God, for then they would not be secular, but religious. In their embarrassment of not having God as the answer for the beginnings and designs of life, they lean toward self- defense by either ignoring or denying God as the Creator, and, yes, even His existence. Evolution has been put forth as the origin of the species of life. However, this was no explanation, for even Darwin admitted he had no idea of how original life came into existence, his speculations were about what happened afterwards, speculations which have since become suspect by actual scientists, not professors. Secular academia has therefore in effect said to the religious community, “If we don’t know, neither can you, so we will attack your professed answers!” Increasingly they have done this at every opportunity.

One of the more renown of their attacks is to lampoon the Bible in regard to Creation. They would take the teaching that Earth was created in six successive twenty-four hour days and compare this to scientific evidences of extremely longer time periods. Then they would say to the effect: “If the Bible is so wrong in the matter of creation, then how can it be trusted in other matters. It is just a not-so-clever collection of myths.” Some would even dare to call it a means of suppressing free thought - a denial of human rights in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Yet, when they prohibit examining the precepts of biblical creation, they deny the Constitution themselves. The First Amendment not only guarantees free speech, but unhindered religious expression.

Many interpretations of how the universe was created, and particularly of the world, have been proposed by both nonbelievers and believers of the Genesis account. Too often the authors begin with an overarching conclusive and idealistic bias from their own culture. This destroys the objectivity of the study. Therefore, the right expositional interpretation of Scripture must be followed in order to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)

Modern scientific studied originated with the struggle of skeptical Modernism Movement in the late 1800s. German rationalism eroded the strength of the Reformation. They used speculation concerning the writing of the Old Testament in the documentary hypothesis and the form criticism of the New Testament. They infiltrated even Christian schools and in the name of intellectualism brought doubt on anything biblical. They bought the supremacy of human wisdom (Paradise’s Tree of Knowledge) and became fools (1 Cor. 1:20). This brought such despair, that Neo-Orthodoxy (also known as "Crisis Theology") was born to give hope in the Bible, but even most of it was confused by liberal theological accommodation.

In order to try to establish a basis for orthodox interdenominational fellowship and to maintain standards for purifying denominational structure, especially in schools, the Fundamentals of The Faith were written in the early 1900s. These were the criteria for fellowship among strong Bible believers. At first, only four were adopted. Then, striving against Darwin’s teaching of evolution of the species, a fifth was adopted embracing the 6/24 hour day creation of the earth. Many extended this to the universe also. The idea was to limit the time of earth’s creation to show evolution to be false. Logically, there would not be enough time for evolution to have occurred. However, what they did not consider was that this actually showed that they believed that evolution could have happened according to Darwin’s theory. Few will admit this. Many insist: “If it’s ideal, it’s true!”

A good number of Bible believers considered, not only the world, but the universe, as being much older before the fifth fundamental was adopted and still do today. I received this concept in an orthodox seminary which proposed Schofield’s interpretation of Genesis 1:1, 2, which was and is dismissed by the young universe proponents either as though it never existed, or as something so ridiculous that it needs no consideration.

As expounded in the footnotes of The New Schofield Bible, and retained by a committee of seven foremost scholars in their original form found in his extremely popular study Bible, C. I. Schofield believed the cosmos was of an indeterminable age before (Gen. 1;1, 2) the first day of God‘s making the earth inhabitable (Gen. 1:3-25; Ps. 104:5; Isa. 45:18). He taught that the universe was old enough for Lucifer to have led a rebellion against God and become Satan (Isa. 14:12-14; Ez. 28:14-19) because Genesis 3 showed that Satan was fallen when he appeared to Eve.


Related reading:  A Latent Stumbling Block (Part 1); A Latent Stumbling Block (Part II)


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Contending for the Faith


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

A Latent Stumbling Block – Part II

In light of the statistic concerning Christian students losing their faith, whether in secular college or otherwise, pastors and Christian leaders need to really hear and practice Jude’s admonition: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith…” (Jude 3)

Why? Four vital reasons support contending for the faith by persisting in edifying young believers. First, the world system is dominated by Satan… to tempt even Jesus! “…the devil…showed Him all the kingdoms of the world… said to the Lord Jesus, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:5, 6).

Second, satanic slavery must be broken.“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil… ” (1 John 3:8; Heb 2:15)

Third, victory only comes through struggle. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). Luke 9:23-25 describes the daily need for the disciples to carry their cross and follow Jesus.

Fourth, the ever present dominance of human reasoning in our society requires political correctness and conformity. Believers have a crying need to “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men” (Col. 2:8, NASU). It doesn’t matter if it is the empty secular atheism or idealistic Christian philosophy, only the clear exposition of God’s Word will sustain faith. Only “thus saith the Lord” is permanently established in Heaven and declared to endure on earth.

Implementing Christ’s attitude concerning the straying, in this case, ungrounded college students, is crucial. “How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine , and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:12 KJV) In this, the weapon of spiritual warfare is the correct exposition of God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:16, 17).



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Letter of Comfort


Dear Betsy,

When my wife, blessed Marion, died, yes, I had grief, but joy at the same time. I was in the Chattanooga Eye Institute when I got a message from our oldest daughter that Marion only had hours to live. Debbie has her BSN degree from Bob Jones University, so she spent the night with Marion. During the night, Marion had thrown up several times. Also, she had to have her oxygen turned up to the hospital maximum, but that still wasn't enough. She was gasping for breath. Marion was always in a hurry. When Debbie told her that she was shortly going to go into the presence of our Lord, she replied: "How long will that take?"

As I drove to the hospital, 2 Corinthians 5:1–8, (especially verse 8) came to my mind: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." What is it like to be in the presence of the Lord? Psalm 16:11 says: "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." I meditated on the fact that only moments after her death, Marion would have the joy of looking on the Lord Jesus who died and rose again for her and interceded for her ever since she accepted Him as her Savior. She would see in His face infinite love and experience the fullness of joy that passes understanding! She would be in His presence, not only with joy, but also see our parents in that heavenly home that Jesus went to prepare and Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5.

As I drove and thought about these promises, I had to shout to the Lord: "Thank you, thank you!" for the experience she was about to have! As the Apostle Paul said: in Philippians 1:20-26: "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

For the faithful that hold these promises and have this prospect, death is something to look forward to, especially if we have exercised a good stewardship in this life. To me the greatest reward and blessing possible will be to hear from the lips of my beloved Savior himself: "… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matt. 25:21). With this steadfast hope, my former executive officer in Viet Nam, who credited my testimony as instrumental to leading him to faith, said to me that death was what he looked forward to and was more exciting than jumping out of an airplane. (He had been in Special Forces!)

I didn't feel deep sorrow that she died, but rejoiced that the Lord felt that her life had fulfilled the purpose for which He called her. Years ago at the funeral of a pastor's wife, she wanted the Hallelujah Chorus played at the conclusion of her funeral. For she wanted not sadness there, but a note of triumph! Therefore, after I preached Marion's funeral message and eulogy, and my concluding words were to her, as it was at my parents’ funeral: "See you in the rapture!” (1 Thess. 4:13–18). Then, as she requested, the Hallelujah Chorus was played at the conclusion of her funeral, also.

Yes, I shed tears, especially in the funeral home after I put a Bible and my wedding band into her lifeless hands. After all, I loved her and our life together was over. Now, while she is living in that spiritual body prepared for her and all believers (2 Cor. 5:1–4), she is having a great time in Heaven with our Lord and her loved ones that have gone before. I am still here laboring to fulfill His mission for me to be fruitful in serving Him and edifying the body of Christ. She is out of her pain and sicknesses and into a place of peace and joy.

I believe that you believe all these Scripture promises, but nursing Joe through so many sicknesses, and continually being concerned about whether he was going to die has shaped your emotions and kept you from experiencing the joy of faith that has comforted me. Also, your love that made you so faithful in caring for him and others, you are depleted and left with a great void and emptiness. I believe that you will be comforted as you picture the comfort what I have experienced and shared in this letter. Rejoice in Joe's joy in the Lord's presence and for all the other believing loved ones that have gone ahead. It will give you peace. Then, you can press on in the callings that the Lord has given you.

Oh, there was a time that I wept like a baby. It was after the memorial service for about fifty of the men that our battalion had lost during Tet Offensive of '68 in Vietnam, and later. I had no assurance about many of them being born again, and it broke my heart. I wept also because I knew that fully forty per cent of those that died, while in Vietnam, did so because someone had not done their duty. I especially grieved for a Southern Baptist boy who lost his faith reading the book, The Passover Plot, and for the medic that wen back to get some of the supplies he had left behind after treating a wounded GI. He me an enemy soldier who shot him down, even thought he was unarmed.

As I told a widow Katy, a great soul winner, who had a pancreatic cancer operation which she wasn't supposed to survive: rejoice! For the Lord still has something for you to do. Shortly, another lady called Katy, who also had only had a short time to live, heard her testimony, and Katy was able to lead her to Christ. Therefore, Betsy, lay these promises God gave me for my comfort to heart by picturing what Heaven is like for Joe and the others, and rejoice that the Lord has given you opportunity to bear more fruit for Him, either in leading more people to Christ or in some other way to bear fruit for Him and look forward to His saying to you: "Well, done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!" Christian philosophy is good, but God's promises are infinitely better!

In Christian love, and hope that this long letter will give you the comfort that I have!


Ed Lundwall


P.S. Read Proverbs 3:5, 6 and Romans 8:28, 29 in the New American Standard that says: "God works all things to our good..." Also, 2 Corinthians 1:3–9 characterized what I have been trying to do for you and you can do for others as you accept this comfort.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Latent Stumbling Block


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Part 1 - A Shocking Statistic


It came during a regular exhortation to be sure of salvation in the Church service; the Pastor reported an alarming statistic. He quoted a reliable survey found that 75% of Christian youth lost their faith while attending a secular college! A year or so later, while I was attending the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, several leaders agreed, but added that 89-90% of Southern Baptist youth who went to secular universities lost their faith!

I was astounded! This was completely unacceptable to me, and it should be to everyone who is called to be a shepherd (pastor) of Christ’s lambs (young Christians) John 21:15; Matthew 9:36-38. For only people who have overcoming faith have eternal life: “For whatsoever is born of God over-cometh the world: and this is the victory that over-cometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Why was this falling away completely unacceptable to me and to the Lord Jesus? At a missions conference, I heard Dr. Brushwilder relate how that if the world’s unconverted population ran four abreast and dropped into hell as they ran passed the pulpit, the line would never stop! What a terrible thought! Even though, I didn’t feel that I had anything to offer, I felt God’s call to give my life to try to make a difference, so since 1953, I have oriented myself as the Apostle Paul wrote of himself: “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel ...!” (Rom. 1:15).

It has been the great joy of my ministry to have seen hundreds pray the sinners’ prayer for salvation (Rom 10:13), but it has been my great burden that they endure in their faith. As the Apostle wrote: “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8; cf. Matt.13:16-23; 1 John 5:3-5).

One of my laments in our current time is to see many fundamental pastors who go to great lengths to get people to make professions of faith, but do very little in obeying the Lord when He said to Peter: "... Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) so that they maybe “Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught…” (Col. 2:7).


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Praying Psalm 3


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 
Psalm 3:3-4



Father, I thank and praise you for all the victories over the assaults of Satan and his instruments. Deliverance from evil stands accomplished by your decree! As David said, "For you have struck all my enemies on the cheek bone. . ." My spirit rejoices in Christ Jesus, his cancellation of my sin and its condemnation, along with the defeat of Satan, by his sacrificial death on the cross and his triumphant resurrection. For in Jesus, You have demonstrated your infinite power to save and sanctify. Truly, our only real progress is accomplished as we appropriate by faith and prayer what Christ has already accomplished.

O Father, when my earthly enemies, knowing and unknowing instruments of Satan, would assault me, grant to me as David, that I may rejoice in You, not trusting in human strength, but your deliverance alone. Then, help me to claim the infinite and eternal provisions in Christ so that every experience of temptation, tribulation, or trial shall be an opportunity to give honor to you and become a better reflection of your character.

In the midst of conflict, ever remind me of my littleness so I may experience the bigness of the unmerited favor which has been given me through Christ. Enable me to humble myself before your almighty authority. I trust in you Father-God alone, being one with Christ and the Holy Spirit, to deliver me from all evil.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Who is my life’s shield and strength!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Fourth Triumph of Jesus' Resurrection


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Fourth Triumph: An entirely new self-concept!


Many use the term “born again” to describe the resulting transaction of praying what is often called “the sinner’s prayer.” However, too many do not realize that God desires to give the forgiven one, a completely new life with an entirely new self-concept through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. What Nicodemus (John 3), as well as many who claim to be “born again,” misunderstand is that when Jesus said a person must be born of the water (flesh) and spirit (Holy Spirit), He was offering them the power “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24).

Before Christ’s resurrection, we were and could only think of ourselves as failures, dead in our sins: “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:23, 24) When we realize that this last question is an allusion to the Roman execution method of permanently fastening a dead body on the back of a live guilty person to then drive them into the wilderness, allowing the maggots to eat both the dead body and the live one, we can better understand this anguished conflicted cry.

Herein is the fourth triumph of Christ’s resurrection! For it is Christ’s resurrected person that become permanently fastened to the believer’s soul through faith, and, in that union, it imparts new life to we who were dying in sin! We are indeed different people as we reckon ourselves alive from the dead in Him; we have an entirely new, self-concept, one that is living for new purposes…being who God desires and acting as He wills. A believer is truly a disciple (learner) when he or she makes the daily choice to "present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (Rom. 6:13, NASU). It is for this reason Apostle Paul could legitimately say, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20).


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Third Triumph of Christ's Resurrection


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


A Third Triumph: A New People!


Another triumph of Christ's resurrection is that in Him, a new people are created! He becomes the second Adam and the last Man! Adam was the race head of all his children, the human race. When God created Adam, he created the life of all men, which is passed on through sexual reproduction from our first parents. When Adam sinned, his life was corrupted and became sinful. Therefore, the life that he passed on to his children was his sinful nature because it is self-centered and has a rebellious bent away from God the Creator (Rom. 5:12). And, "For since by man came death, by man (Christ) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; but every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1 Cor. 15:21-23). When Jesus comes again, all those who belong to him by faith and spiritual rebirth, will participate in physical resurrection (1 Thess. 4:13-17).

Since only the Jews had an identifying covenant that made them God’s chosen people, this is especially important for us Gentiles (non-Jewish) peoples. Only the Jews had this, so we could only receive scraps from the table of the Israelites (Matt. 15:26-28). Yet upon Christ resurrection, He builds a new group of chosen, called out people, made up of those who believe that He was who He said He was (Matt. 16:13-20). In Greek, it is called ekklesia...a called out and organized assembly of believers, recognized today as the universal church.


Related reading:  Christ's Triumphal Resurrection; The Second Triumph of Christ' Resurrection


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Praying Psalm 2


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Psalm 2

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him" (Ps. 2:12)

Father, I want to praise and worship you through your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the King of all kings. I also want to thank you for your Word and the harmony between the Old Testament and the New Testament, for although they differ as promises do from their fulfillment, yet they reveal having the same Author with the same messages. This ancient alpha psalm graphically illustrates what is more fully revealed in the New Testament!

The New Testament fully expounds the doctrines of Jesus’ Messiah-ship. It declares that blessedness from you is mediated through Him! For the Lord Jesus spoke of Himself as “the way, the truth, and the life,” therefore, no man can come to you except through Him (John 14:6). Neither can any come to Him through another man or organization (1 Tim 2:5); it must be a personal experience. Since the first of anything of significance sets a precedent for what follows, the prophetic element in the Book of Psalms is foundational, especially so in this one.

Psalm 2 proclaims your Son will become, Israel's King, and as such the monarch of all the nations. This relationship is spoken as a bond, a restraint upon all people. Therefore, even from the unknown past, your Son has been the mediator between You, Father and all men. The New Testament speaks of the Lord Jesus as the Alpha, the Beginner, Creator of all of Your Creation (John 1:3). As the authoritative, essential, and eternal expression of yourself, He ever is the Mediator and Savior of all who would be in right relationship with you, whether for salvation or reconciliation, whatever joys men can have from you.

Oh, that humankind would love and seek a submissive relationship with Christ to escape your wrath, Father, receiving the forgiveness of their sins! Instead nations rebel against Him, the finite against the Infinite, against the Creator and Maintainer of not only their existence, but the almighty Judge of all things. What ridiculous creatures we are! Yet you continue to counsel us to love Christ the King and to receive the blessed consequences of reconciliation.

Let my soul bless you and rejoice in Jesus the Christ-King with no confidence in my human ability, and trusting only in the enabling of your Holy Spirit. I lift up your Holy Name, which Jesus also possesses, for in Him I am complete and, yes, through Him, I can call you Father!


Related reading:  Introduction to Praying the PsalmsPraying Psalm 1; Praying Psalm 3; Praying Psalm 4


Friday, August 16, 2013

Mercy in the Midst


Chaplain (Ret) Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Jesus often spoke about how that a little good done in faith brings about wonderful things. Although a soldier might have small amount of faith, the Holy Spirit can use it to perform a Christ-like act of mercy. In the two stories below, it resulted in the reconciliation of enemies that came to love one another…a truly wonderful thing! May we not be satisfied with a little faith, but let it grow to illustrate the miracles that obedience to God’s direction can do.

During an air raid over Germany in World War II, a B-17 was damaged and fell behind the formation. This was normally an invitation for German fighters to attack the largely helpless bomber that had and in the future would drop more bombs on their homeland. The bomber pilot was desperately trying to return to England when one German ME 109 fighter approached. Instead of firing on the bomber, the German pilot felt compelled to be merciful, and instead of firing, he escorted the B-17 to the English Channel where the crew could safely get to their home base. Since the Germans had pieced together and used downed bombers, observers just thought the ME was just escorting one that belonged to the Nazi military. Somehow, both pilots survived the war and found each other, cultivating a friendship for many years after the war.

During the American Civil War, Joshua Chamberlain, a theological professor who felt led to join the Federal Army to save the Union, was given the command of a regiment from Maine. He became notably successful in defending the Federal Army's flank at the great and decisive Battle at Gettysburg for which he was given the Congressional Metal of Honor. His unit was involved in many successive battles and was the blocking force that compelled General Robert E. Lee to surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse even though Chamberlain had been wounded six times.

After the war, a Confederate sniper came to him relating that in one of those battles, he had Chamberlain square in his sights and was about to shoot, when an overwhelming compulsion came over him NOT to shoot and kill Chamberlain. God spoke to him to have enough faith to NOT pull the trigger. This act of mercy done in faith produced rejoicing and friendship.

Each of these Civil War and World War II stories, displays God’s ability to give the impulse to be merciful in the midst of even savage fighting. If you are a veteran or an active troop, who has experienced God’s prompting for mercy in the midst of battle, please share it in the comment box below.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When the Mortars Fell


Chaplain (Ret) E. F. Lundwall, Jr


I was the Protestant Chaplain of the 1/27th Infantry Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, in 1969 in Vietnam. Our battalion was located at Fire Support Base Mahone I, operating out of Dau Tieng. 

One time the Brigade Catholic Chaplain visited us during a time when there was intermittent enemy active. While he was visiting the troops on the other side of the fire support base, the VC hit that side of the base with an intense mortar barrage.

After things quieted down and the Catholic Chaplain had left, I visited the troops on that side. As I talked with them, my sense of humor got the best of me, and I asked: "Did the Catholic Chaplain pray Hail Mary's like a machine gun?"

The guys replied with a glint in their eyes: "No, he just prayed like the rest of us... 'Lord, help!'"

Thankfully, the Lord heard prayer. None of our men were hit.


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Second Triumph of Christ’s Resurrection


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Henry Tanner
painting of the empty tomb
Through the triumph of Christ’s resurrection (John 14:19-20; 1 Corinthians15:20-22), God gives new and eternal life to those joined to Him by faith (1 John 5:11-13). Everyone misses the mark when it comes to God’s standard of holiness. The resulting separation from Him and our habitual bent to ignore or reject Him are the wages of sin. The benefit of His crucifixion, burial, and rising from the dead validates the forgiveness of sin, and wrong acts it produces (sins). "When you were dead in your transgressions and the un-circumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions" (Colossians 2:13 NASU).

So along with victory over death, (Part I), God gives us a second victory: redemption! We have been bought back by our Creator through his own acts through Christ, not ours. We now belong to him and the Lord has purposed "… to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Col1:22). How exciting! God alive gives eternal life to those who trust him, and opens the way for them to being their redemptive journey in his living, purposeful presence!


Read the first in this series on Christ's Triumphal Resurrection here.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Progressively Exchanging Life




Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Booklets are available for individual study and group discussion of topics related to being a disciple and making disciples.

This month the highlighted booklet is "The Disciple's Cross - Progressively Exchanging Life." The Apostle Paul took up the cross and followed Jesus, as did the other disciples (Acts 9). He claimed to have been crucified with Christ, a process resulting in new life.

This edifying reading can be used to prepare newcomers for Baptism and church membership, and to help Christians mature in the way of the cross, the way of life.

The suggested donation is $2.50 for each booklet. If ordering more than 5, the suggested donation is $2.00 per booklet. A check or money order should accompany your order.

Send request indicating quantity and mailing address to Edward Lundwall, P.O. Box 735, Rossville, GA 30741.


May the Lord bless you!

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


                            

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Praying Psalm 1: The way of the Righteous


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Psalm 1

“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish” 
(Psalm 1:6)


Holy Father God, I thank you for the Book of Psalms, for they are the inspired expressions of your ancient people, Israel. They prayed and sang them in worship to you through the experiences of their lives. Did you not inspire these writing so their heart experiences might be exercises and examples for our souls? So we might discern true godliness and reject ungodliness? Many of these Psalms are not only prayers of praise and petition, but of meditation, of recounting their experiences, fears and faith before you. Seldom did they know your answers at the time. Is not this the walk of faith you have called upon us to exercise? As Solomon was later wrote in Proverbs 2:5-6:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not to your own understanding,
But in all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct yours paths.

Father, Creator and Sovereign of all things, seen and unseen, I worship you for the privilege of calling you Father! I was formerly an alien and member of Adam's fallen race, the ungodly. You were more involved personally in giving me this privilege than even when you made all creation through your Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. How great to have you create me in your image, and then save me so that I can become an independent soul in willing subjection to you! You found it necessary to give your Exact Expression, the Word, as the God-man to die as my substitute taking the eternal death and punishment I deserved, all that through faith, I could be counted among the righteous.

Oh, Father, it is logically a mystery, especially to my era of positive thinking, why you inspired David to put the first step towards blessedness in the negative. For in the first verse of this preface to the Book of Psalms, you focus our minds upon the blessedness of separation from compromising relationships with the ungodly which might lead us to identify ourselves with them! O that I might fully understand and apply this principle! Help men ever to have a neutral attitude when I am among those who don't know you! How much your people need to always realize that evil influences must be rejected! For if it is tolerated, we will identify with it and so experience the cancerous effects of ungodliness, sin, and scorn. For if and when my soul absorbs these worldly wise things, the only way to free myself from corruption is repentance, confession, and cleansing through the blood of Jesus! Then, my heart can seek your face and establish a place of permanent rest and fellowship with you. As the words of pardon offered to the condemned are treasures above price, so those you forgive shine as lights to show new life free from eternal condemnation. Your words to the forgiven sinner are assurance that he has passed through the glory gate of Christ's almighty sacrifice into your presence. I love your words, for they are to me like the solid security of earth to the palm tree. They refresh my heart with as a stream of water bringing me into spiritual health and fruitfulness. So shall meditation of your Word in your presence illuminated by your Holy Spirit deliver me from the catastrophe of the wickedness and its self delusion. So shall I be able to stand and sing the songs of the redeemed through Christ in this life and in the heavenly congregation of the godly!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me,
Bless Your Holy Name!
And forget not his benefits!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Praying the Psalms


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

An Introduction
“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:
and to him that ordereth his conversation aright
will I shew the salvation of God.”
Psalm 50:23


One of the most important disciplines that spiritual leaders should teach their disciples is how to pray. The Lord Jesus is our example, for He taught His disciples to pray. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). From John the Baptist’s example, Jesus’ students noted that spiritual training includes prayer. The timing of their request to learn this discipline was prompted by the example of their teacher, in this case the Lord Jesus. ‘“And as it came to pass as He was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, “When ye pray, say, ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil”’(John 11:1-4).

Because of the necessity to live a separated and different life from the world (not succumbing to temptation and wisely avoiding evil), the Christian needs to undergird every aspect of his life with prayer. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

James makes this very plain in his epistle when he wrote “…yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3). Yet The Lord Jesus pointedly told His disciples they could do nothing without Him. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:5–7). To fruitfully serve, a disciple must abide in a faith union with Him. Only by abiding in Him (and this is done through prayer and Bible study) can God work through them (v 5). Prayer forms an indispensable part of bringing the Lord’s leadership and power to bear in work to which He calls committed disciples.

However, prayer has no power in itself. Until it harmonizes with God’s Word, a person’s prayers are, at best, only frustration, or self-delusion. As supplication, prayer must always have as its ultimate goal the accomplishment of God’s purposes. “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, tat, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. (I John 5:14-15). From James we learn that believers must also pray with proper motives in the light of God’s revelation if they expect real answers. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (James 3:22). Because we often don’t know what God’s will is, we must pray by reasoning with God to discern His will. As we seek His face, we must discern what He accepts as the basis for asking for a felt need. The prayer voiced in Psalm 123:1-2 gives us insight into seeking discernment: “Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy upon us.” What we want might be very legitimate, but our reasons for wanting it may be unacceptable with God. Many a person has prayed for the salvation of a family member, but the motive was just to have a more pleasant relationship.

When I served as a chaplain in the United States Army in Vietnam, we felt threatened by intelligence pertaining to an eminent and overwhelming attack. I asked God to save my life for several reasons, but experienced no peace until I asked on the basis that I could glorify Him more by living than by dying. God’s Spirit witnessed to my spirit that this was acceptable to Him and I received the joy and relief reflected in Paul’s prayer statement, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans15:13). About two weeks later, the enemy assault was defeated by God confusing them so that they defeated themselves reminiscent of an incident recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:1–30 when the Moabites, enemies of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, were confused and defeated.

One of the surest ways to pray according to God’s will comes from praying His Word back to Him. Rightly applied, the Scripture contains His will. We cannot have confidence pleading with an infinite authority as finite creatures; we need to follow the Apostles’ exhortation as found in Ephesians 5:17-20,“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit (literally, ‘in Spirit’) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Since the Psalms are to occupy our active meditation, I purposed to meditate on them and to pray them back to God in the light of the New Testament. The subsequent postings on Psalms are the result of that spiritual discipline. I share them with the prayer that your hearts and minds will be blessed as you seek to grow as a learner in the prayerful presence of the Lord.


Dedication: To my father, Edward Lundwall, the person who taught me to meditate.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Veracity of the Holy Bible


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Part III – The Veracity of the Holy Bible

Accusations that the Bible is not reliable and, therefore the claims about Jesus are false, are not supported by objective evidence. Manuscripts exist which establish its veracity which were written only a few years afterward it. The John Ryland’s fragment, the Chester Beatty papyri, and the Bodmer find exemplify a few. Recently, small manuscript scraps of the Gospel according to Mark had been found written in the style dating around 50 AD.

Besides over a thousand years of manuscript evidence that gives a precisely consistent message about Jesus and His teachings, the testimony of the very early Church leaders support the same Gospel. Polycarp was the disciple of Jesus’ Apostle John, an eyewitness and close disciple of Jesus. When the scripture quotations in Polycarp’s epistle are studied along with his disciple Ireaneaus and others, the essential revelation for Jesus Christ can be reconstructed.

Thousands (over 5300) of Bible Manuscripts that date 700–1600 years closer to the originals than any of the ancient copies of the Greek philosophers. Islamic scripture, although deferring to Jesus as a Prophet, was written hundreds of years after the original Gospels. The intellectual community does not challenge these copies of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, or Mohammed as reflecting the authors’ original writings. Why then do they consistently challenge the origins and teachings of the Bible?


Part I: "Basic Principles of Evangelism" is here.
Part II: "A Case Study" is here.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are We Losing Our Young People?


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Shocking statistics

At a regular exhortation to be sure of salvation during a Church service, the Pastor reported an alarming statistic: 75% of Christian youth have lost their faith while attending a secular college. A year or so later, while attending the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, I was informed by several leaders that 89-90% of Southern Baptist youth attending secular universities have lost their faith. I was astounded.

This is completely unacceptable because the Scriptures teach that only people who have overcoming faith have eternal life: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4).

Pastors must take responsibility to disciple the young people who go out from their churches. And it should be to EVERY ONE WHO IS CALLED TO SHEPHERD CHRIST’S LAMBS. (John 21:15; Matthew 9:36-38)

Why is this falling away completely unacceptable to the Lord Jesus?

Dr. Brushwilder once related at a missions conference that were the unsaved of the world to run four abreast and drop into hell, the line would never stop. I felt God’s call to try to make a difference. Since 1953, I have oriented myself according to the words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote concerning himself: “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel.” (Rom.1:15).

In my ministry to have seen hundreds pray the sinners’ prayer for salvation (Rom 10:13), but not all have endured in their faith. As the Apostle, wrote: “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8; also Matthew 13:16-23, and 1 John 5:3-5).

One of my laments is the extent to which to pastors go to have people profess faith, but then fail to nurture in the faith. Such nurture is an expression of devotion to the Lord. The Lord said to Peter: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15).

Paul exhorted the elders to constantly edify the Church: So that they maybe “rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, . .” (Col 2:7).


Satanic activity calls for persistent edification

One of Satan's tactics is to lampoon the Bible in regard to creation. Those who teach that the Earth was created in six successive twenty four hour days serve to confuse. They construct as false science versus Bible conflict. Young people go to college and discover the bulk of evidence for the great age of the Earth and they have a crisis of faith. Then wonder “If the Bible is so wrong in the matter of creation, how can it be trusted in other matters?" They are told by unbelieving peers that the Bible is just a clever collection of myths.

In light of the statistics concerning Christian students losing their faith, pastors and Christian leaders need to practice Jude’s admonition: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith.” (Jude 3).


Reasons we must contend for the Faith

1. Because the world is dominated by Satan who even attempted to lead Jesus astray. "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me,and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)

2. Because Christ gave the Church authority to break satanic bondage. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Eph 2:2). “. . .For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil .” (1 John 3:8; Heb 2:15).

3. Because victory and strength come thorough struggle. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12). See Luke 9:23-25 for the disciples' cross.

4. Because human reasoning and political correctness do not reflect the wisdom of God. “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men..." (Col. 2:8). Atheism, humanistic philosophy, and Pollyanna Christianity cannot sustain Faith. Only the clear exposition of God’s Word will sustain faith. "Thus saitheth the Lord” is established in Heaven and will endure.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Muslim Acquaintance


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Partnering with God


Part II - A Case Study (Part I is here.)

I have often exhorted myself, and those who would listen to me, to ask the Lord to lead me to the people He wanted me to minister the Word. There have been striking answers to this prayer, especially when traveling. A personal encounter with an Iranian man illustrates the basic principles found in Part I of “Partnering with God.”

After praying and trusting the Lord for Him to place me where He wanted, I asked this man if I could sit in the airplane seat next to him. In asking him, I established a friendly contact, even though he had no authority over the seat. As we waited for the Southwest airliner to takeoff, I talked to another man who was on the other side of me. He was talkative, but from his appearance was a part of the youth culture that usually argues about everything traditional. At this stage, I just left the circumstances to the Lord’s management. As the plane’s departure drew near, the young man noticed that the plane was not full and moved to seating more to his liking.

The Iranian man was quiet and generally withdrawn, but I made myself friendly by asking where he was coming from. He said he was traveling from Iowa and to Southern California where he was employed. I sympathized with him that the state’s football team had been defeated in a bowl game in the last week. He had informed me that he had graduated from that University. I then asked where he was employed since he had a college degree. He said that he was working for an airline. At this point, I felt familiar enough to introduce myself since we were going to be spending a considerable time together on this flight. I gave him my first name and he gave me an ordinary American type name that didn’t fit his physical profile.

I asked him more about his job. We talked about the unsettled conditions of the country and world, especially about airlines. After that, I observed that much of the unsettled conditions affecting the airlines concerned religious affairs, adding all religions had moral standards, although they differed in ceremonial practices. He agreed and volunteered that he personally did not practice any religion although he did believe in God.

Then, I observed that most all religions believed in some kind of life after death and some kind of blessedness or judgment. However, that only one world religion professed to have a savior who did something to save those less than perfect. All but one left their people with an uncertain eternal future. The man acknowledged this reasoning that no one could be certain if he had done enough good things to compensate for his bad acts. This was especially so since their god might not give the same value to what they had done that they would.

I agreed that all religions, except biblical Christianity, did not profess to have a savior in their religions, and, that without a savior, a person’s eternal future was in doubt or that perhaps the religion did not have a firm standard of right and wrong if a savior was not thought to be necessary. After all, punishments in this life were not equal to the terrible things some have done. Therefore, a just god would have to give punishment in the life after death if justice was to be done. Failing this, that kind of god didn’t even have a sense of justice that men have and that whatever good after death (salvation) people might expect must come from a god who would be one’s savior. With an earned or merited salvation, sinful man would be his own savior. Further, this would not honor his god, but man making inadequate man to be an inadequate savior giving a doubtful salvation.

The suspicion logically comes that this religion comes from man and not the Creator since man must be his own savior. My seatmate acknowledged that my logic had some merit.

I continued by observing since the Creator God is the sovereign over his creation, in the final analysis, He was the judge of it all also. Furthermore, only the Creator Judge could in some way be the Savior, especially since when humankind sins, it is ultimately against Him. For as Creator, He determines what is compatible within his creation. Therefore, He must also determine what is necessary to reconcile an offender. The problem is that violating what is acceptable to Him is violating Him. Since He is infinite, the forgiveness must have a corresponding worth. Since man is finite, he cannot make a restitution of infinite worth. Therefore, the Creator must somehow do the saving of the offender, since only He is infinite.

I observed that no world religion offered any savior, let alone one of infinite power to compensate for one sin let alone that of all mankind. The ONLY EXCEPTION is the Savior revealed in the Bible, that is, Jesus Christ. I further observed that Islam honored Jesus as a genuine prophet, but that their leaders alleged that Jesus’ teachings were unreliably preserved. I went on to assert that this didn’t present a good picture of the Islamic God that sent Jesus with a revelation if he couldn’t preserve the message given the prophet Jesus.

I reminded him that all human beings that have lived long enough, know they do things contrary to the innate moral standards that the Creator instills in them. My Iranian acquaintance assented to this agreeing that men need a savior, because the best men can do to atone for personal sin is at best uncertain. All men have the inbuilt need for certainty, especially when the issue is an eternal state in Hell or Heaven.

Creator God, on the basis of responsible love, has provided all that man needs. These are man’s stewardship to use in the world in harmony with God’s design. In making man in the image of God, He not only gave man the responsibility of choice, but decreed Himself to be the payment for man’s redemption from before the foundation of the World, as God’s sacrificial lamb. This, Jesus did in His death, burial and resurrection. Even non-Christian literature testifies that early believers preached this message from the very beginning. These provisions come from love, but each man must receive them by faith.

On the other hand, Islam requires meritorious works without certain promise of eternal life except through violent Jihad. The slightest violation by an Islamic, whether in act or attitude will endanger or destine the individual to death or Hell, and the only sure way to Heaven is to die in a violent Jihad. Redemption by faithfully observing the requirements of the Qur’an and the Five Pillars gives no certainty or promise. Allah performs no act of redemption for his people’s or other’s sin. It offers no savior.

In contrast, the God of the Bible asks the opposite of meritorious works, i.e., faith. The mindset from which saving faith grows is: “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true” (John 3:33 KJV). And, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (I John 5:10–12 KJV).

Jesus’ assertion to be a part of the Creator God cannot logically be rejected because since man was created in the image of God, all men are more than just material. Even Islam speaks of the real identity of man is to go to Heaven or Hell when his body dies. This means that there are at least two parts to all men, physical and spiritual. Further, since angels who are spiritual beings can have physical appearances, how can Islamic teachers assert that a part of God cannot assume a physical existence? Also, if God is all powerful and sovereign, why can’t He take on a human expression? All this is what the reliable Bible portrays Jesus to be. The Old Testament prophecies in the Bible, confirm what the New Testament says about Jesus. I pointed out a study I made of the Old Testament prophecies about the person, work and even the timing of Messiah’s coming, all of which has been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus.

As the airliner was landing in Los Angeles, I asked him if he wanted me to lead him in calling upon the Lord Jesus to be his personal Savior. He consented and I prayed. I gave him my name and address so that he could write me for answers to any questions that he had. I warned him that family members would oppose him, but that God would be with him.



END

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Partnering with the Lord


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
Part I - Basic Principles of Evangelism


The Greek word for fellowship in 1 John 1:1-2 indicates that the revelation of Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel (evangel or “Good News”) are to be thought of as activity wherein partners share something for a mutual purpose. The Apostle John had been given a special responsibility from the Lord Jesus to proclaim Him, initiate the spread of the Gospel to throughout the world (Mark 16:15), make disciples (Matt. 28:16-20), and call out a people for His Name (Matt. 28:19; Acts 15:14; 1 Peter 2:9, 10). With this exegesis in mind, we can determine seven basic principles for our witness. 

The messenger – the soul winner – must have received the Gospel message for his own salvation. This must not be just something vaguely believed as a part of his family or Church, but as a vital matter for personal dependence upon Christ for the soul’s eternal salvation from God’s eternal judgment for his sin.

Faith in Christ’s Gospel must not be an empty part of life (1 Cor. 15:1–4). Instead, it must be a life-orienting frame of reference: “…yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13 KJV).

The messenger must prayerfully prepare himself to witness at every God–given opportunity, especially when questioned: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15 KJV).

1. Make friendly contact with an attitude of acceptance.

2. Turn the conversation to easily discussed religious affairs.

3. Discuss what traits would qualify a leader to be a savior.

4. Observe that often religions and religious leaders are not reliable.

5. Present Jesus as the only one having accomplished what is necessary to save sinful humanity.

6. Encourage the contact to begin the life of receiving Jesus Christ as his God–given Savior with simple prayer based on Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (ESV).



This is Part I of a series on Evangelism. Part II is here.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Expounding Secrets...in Greek!

The Breath of God : Why Study Greek? by Edward F. Lundwall (2010, Paperback) 

This is a great resource for those seeking to understand the New Testament via the Greek. It is especially helpful for pastors.

Available at Amazon.com
ISBN-10: 1450008615 | ISBN-13: 9781450008617



"Translations are like a lecture in a large auditorium, but studies in the Greek text are like a father expounding family secrets in his child's ear."--Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why Sincere Muslims Should Learn About Jesus


Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Mohammed said...!









1. Mohammed required belief that Jesus existed and lived as a prophet of God as well as Moses.

2. Mohammed endorsed the Law of Moses and the Gospels as God given through Moses and Jesus.

3. Mohammed encouraged his followers to get information about righteousness from “people of the book,” which includes Jews and Christians (Surah 10:94 or 95).

4. Mohammed preached that Allah is all powerful. If the Qur'an was given by Allah through Mohammed and preserved by Allah’s complete power, why would a sincere Muslim not recognize that Allah preserved the Books of Moses and the Gospels about Jesus by that same power?

5. Mohammed claimed that Jesus is intimately involved in the final judgment and in changing the World.


Related reading:  Edward Lundwall's Response to Muslim Scholar; Another Response to IslamReza Aslan Missed the Son of God; Who Is Jesus?; The Shock of Mohammad Atta's Afterlife