…it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)
Bob Wilkin has recently blogged a couple of times about the recently completed GES National Conference. The first one was prior to the conference and the second one was after it was completed. I wanted to add my two cents worth.
We had a group come to the conference from South Carolina and Georgia. It was a long drive, but well worth it.
All of us in the van had common backgrounds when it comes to Free Grace Theology. We came from Lordship backgrounds to various degrees and rejoice that the Lord has shown us the truth through the Free Grace ministries we have been exposed to.
We spent a total of 32 hours in the van (going and coming) but it didn’t seem nearly that long. We were able to have great discussions on theology and our own histories of how the Lord had shown the Gospel of grace to us.
It is always exciting to be with Free Grace people! All of us in the van also are in areas where Free Grace teaching is a very, very small minority. We often feel like Elijah when he said he was the only one faithful to the Lord during his ministry. Pretty much all of us religious contacts are with Reformed and/or Lordship people. It is often frustrating having conversations with so many others who are bound by a works mentality when it comes to the reception of eternal life. We know where they are coming from because we were once in their shoes, but we cannot understand why they are not willing to let the Scriptures speak for themselves and why they are not willing to let go of their traditions.
In this light, I am reminded of Jude 3, which is quoted above. Jude tells his readers that they need to contend for the “faith.” The word faith here means more than what a person must believe in order to receive eternal life. It includes all the teachings of the New Testament.
Sometimes, Free Grace people can feel discouraged in this fight. We are a small minority, and the people we often discuss theology with are good people and have “successful” ministries. We even read their books, which are often very popular. Our views are seen as strange at best and even heretical by some.
So even when we have to spend 32 hours in a van travelling down I-20, it is a great time. We are with like-minded people who are in the same struggle as we are. And when we arrive at the conference we find a large group of people just like us who are also contending for what the New Testament teaches.
This year’s conference was on the Last Days. With speaker after speaker we saw how the Bible supports Free Grace theology in this part of systematic theology. How exciting it was to be reminded over and over from the Word of God that our eternal life is secure and that the Lord is not only coming back (hopefully very soon) but will reward us for our faithfulness to Him.
Such an experience is a time when those of us who hold Free Grace Theology can get our batteries recharged as we are involved in our various ministries. This conference was just outstanding. I would encourage every person who is out in the trenches to make it a priority to come to the next conference if the Lord does not come first. It sure helps when it comes to contending for the faith once and all delivered to the saints.