The Times they are a changin’


Pastor Mike goes back in the time machine to 1996. Was he orthodox then?


Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry, NOCO Radio, Duplex Fratio Radio, DGR.
All right, we're up to three stations. One in Belize, one in Wyoming, one in Alaska. There you have it.
You can always email me, mike at nocompromiseradio .com. Feeling better?
Thanks for praying. I'm on medicine one for leukemia. They'll add medicine two,
I think in three weeks. I'm kind of getting used to feeling weird from the first medicine. Kind of tired, lethargic.
I got gout in my foot because of so many dead leukemia cells, high uric acid.
Feeling a little bit better today. It's not one thing, it's another. They give you the cancer medicine, then you have to take other medicines to stop the negative side effects of those medicines.
But technically it's not chemo, it's not killing other cells, it's just targeting. It's a targeting drug. In three weeks
I have to spend all day Tuesday and Wednesday for five consecutive weeks, so that's ten days total.
All day in the hospital. I don't think I have to spend the night just to give me so much IV fluid to flush out those dead cancer cells that they can kill very fast.
Anyway, thanks for your prayers. I appreciate it.
I think today's show will be different. I have done whatever, 3 ,500 shows, and many of them probably are the same.
Some topics are even the same. But today will be a different topic. Going through my file cabinets, remember what those are, were.
Trying to get rid of some of this stuff around here. And I found something that I wrote and put together in 1996.
So how many years ago is that? Almost 30 years ago. 25 to 30 years ago. And it's called
Pastoral Candidate Information. And so when I was trying to find a church to be the pastor of,
I wanted them to know what they were getting into. Anyway, lots of churches, at least back when
I was candidating, if only I candidated once, they would ask questions.
What do you think about this? What do you believe about separation? What do you believe about promise keepers? What do you believe about divorce and remarriage?
And the list goes on. Well, I put together a document that had a lot of that information.
Every time I got a question from another church, because I sent out a lot of resumes, if they asked a certain question, then
I would just keep that answer that I prepared and then put it in this file. Well, I have the file in front of me.
It's when I lived in North Hollywood, California with Kim, and it's called Pastoral Candidate Information.
And I want to know if I still believe some of the stuff that I've written. There's stuff in here about seeker -sensitive, expository preaching, lordship salvation, other things.
So today we're gonna look at this a little bit, and I think it'll be encouraging to you. I want my progress to be made known to all.
Let's see if I've changed anything here. And if it already sounds like a dumb show to you, I don't know what to tell you.
It's true. What are you gonna do? You can listen at 1 .5 speed. All right, let's see what it has here first.
Conversion. I grew up in a Lutheran church in Omaha, Nebraska. I thought baptism saved me. I fully believed that if I died, then
I would go to heaven. By the way, sorry if the grammar's not too good.
Externally, I tried to live the Christian life, going to retreats, mission trips, and church outings. When I went to college, everything changed.
I lived for my own pleasure. Everything in life was centered around me. I lived like there was no
God. I then moved to Los Angeles after graduation, and the decline into depravity worsened.
In 1988, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given one year to live. He died in 1989.
I remember picking up the Bible for answers, and I could make no sense of it. My neighbor, soon to be my wife, began inviting me to church and encouraged me to listen to Christian radio.
By the way, that's one of the reasons why I do radio, because the Lord used radio to open my eyes. My neighbor, soon to be my wife, began inviting me to church and encouraged me to listen to Christian radio.
I bought a Bible and began to systematically read it. At that time, the Lord showed me my horrible hostility toward Him, and the only solution to the problem
I sinned, Jesus Christ, the sin bearer. The Lord showed me that. Later that year, God wondrously saved me by His marvelous mercy and grace and adopted me into His family.
I've had a tremendous desire to work with extra fervor since I wasted so much of my life.
I want to live for Him and tell others of His Son's substantial work on Calvary until my dying day. Salvation is of the
Lord. Well, I always rejoice in people's testimonies, and we don't want testifonies.
We want people to testify, not test a lie. Rrrrr. Oh, brother.
Let's see. What else does this have on here that would be somewhat interesting? It says also, and it's got children listed, hobbies, most sports, reading, spending time with my children.
That's the wrong order. Health problems, it said, none. Yeah, of course.
I was 35 years old. None. Professional life, secular jobs,
Baxter, Mallinckrodt, Bard. Why I am leaving. I'm called into ministry.
Credit rating, I said, you may run a credit check anytime. My life is an open book to any church interested in me.
Present indebtedness, a few thousand for school. Well, plus the, you know, loan for the house, plus other things.
I give a bunch of references. One was Jim George, pastor of Grace Community Church. He was
Elizabeth George's husband, although he's gone to glory, so we can't call George now,
Jim George now. I can't believe I just called him George. Ministry, personal devotional life.
All right, what was your personal devotional life? A regular basis, after family dinner, we have family worship time.
This is a time of Bible reading, singing, teaching, prayer. When mom is cleaning,
I go through Spurgeon's Children's Catechism with my four -year -old daughter. All the families involved during setup and actual
Bible study time. Oh, what the family does getting ready for Bible study, my own personal Bible study and what
I read. And then I said, I can't believe I said this. Even as I type this,
I mean, I'm actually typing. I think I'm a typewriter. My four -year -old has a coloring book and is coloring right next to me at my office desk.
My door is never locked to my family. Majority of my study time, 90 % is done between 9 p .m.
and 2 a .m. Yeah, I used to stay up so late. At those times, my wife and children are in bed and I have time to study without neglecting them.
Working on a parenting book now, and one of the things that I regret is not spending enough time with my children, although I spent tons of time with my children.
What's the point? Even though I wanted to spend more time as I look back now, I still said no to many, many things and spent an extraordinary amount of time with my children.
Not bragging, it's just the way it is. I told my wife when I said I wanted to be a pastor, she thought
I would neglect the family, typical pastor's kids, et cetera, et cetera. I told her I'm not going to do that.
And while I've not kept my word probably in many areas of my life, I think my wife would say that I have not neglected the family.
It says here I have four nights per week that are spent with my family with a few exceptions. These nights are non -negotiable.
Anyway, Mike Abendroth here, No Compromise Radio. Books read in 1996.
All right, this should be interesting. Books read in 1996. I was trying to let them know that I'm a reader. Reformation of the
Sixteenth Century by Banton. He did the Martin Luther bio. Christianity and Liberalism, Machen.
Baptist through Reformers, Adams. The Pundit's Folly, Commentary on Ecclesiastes by Sinclair Ferguson.
Spurgeon and Hyper -Calvinism by Ian Murray. By the way, you should read that book. That's a good little banner of truth book.
It talks about Spurgeon, evangelism, what hyper -Calvinism is, what it is not. Excellent book. I probably should reread that.
The Attributes of God by Pink. I think I read that 20 times. I probably should reread it again.
Uh -oh, here's one. I just said I read it. Desiring God by Piper.
Christian Hedonism, which I don't teach or believe. Studies in Theology by Lorraine Bettner.
It's a man, by the way, Lorraine Bettner. One of the things that's great about that book, he says at the very beginning, you want to copyright,
I mean, you want a copy of any of this, fine. It's not copyrighted. It's for the Lord's ministry. Do what you want with it.
Kind of unlike people that demand $20 ,000 or $10 ,000 to speak at a conference. But that's another story.
Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges. Excellent, excellent book. I need to reread that as well.
No Place for Truth, David Wells. I'm sorry to keep repeating what
I've just gotten done saying, but the other day I thought, I need to reread No Place for Truth by Wells.
He did kind of a trilogy, or four books in a row. The first one was so great, the second, third, fourth could not be that great.
But they still were good, but not great. The Cross of Christ, classic by John Stott. Bondage of the
Will, classic by Luther. Faith Alone, Sproul. Coming Evangelical Crisis, edited by John Armstrong.
I think it had chapters in there from Al Mohler to S. Louis Johnson and others.
This is when John Armstrong was in our camp. He's since moved to what I would call a liberal
Christianity, Greek Orthodox -ish, I think, if memory serves. I could be wrong.
Five Points of Calvinism by Palmer, Edwin Palmer. That's a good one. The Thomas Steele one was pretty much the go -to on a little booklet on Five Points of Calvinism.
But the Palmer one had more pastoral preaching insights, so I like that one a lot.
The Trumpeter of God, a biography of John Knox, written by Reid. Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Michael Horton.
It's an excellent book. The Preacher's Portrait by Stott. Well, actually, that's one of my favorite preaching books.
It has a chapter on heralding, a chapter on—I don't even know what the other chapters are—preacher as a herald, preacher as an evangelist, preacher as—you know, that kind of thing.
Preaching and Preachers by Lloyd -Jones. Wonderful book. Competent to Minister by the
Bobcats. I would not recommend that book to anyone.
That was in the counseling days, and, you know, of course, it was Nanck and J. Adams and others.
And then I don't know if the Bobgans liked all that stuff. They were super separatists and exposing things.
They had a little mailer that went out, kind of like the Berean Call of David Hunt, and I don't know why
I got into that. I remember the person that gave me that book, though. That person's no longer in ministry. The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, John Broadus, Southern Baptist.
Institute of Christian Religion by Calvin, first 590 pages. The Glory of God by Dwight Pentecost.
Grace by Lewis Berry Chafer. And The Text of the
New Testament by Metzger. Anyway, there's some pretty good books in that list.
Overall physical shape, I said good. Deepest, greatest satisfaction, seeing people grasp the great doctrines of the attributes of God.
Watching students begin to teach on a regular basis. Observe the motivation of others in evangelism.
It happens when they are equipped. Greatest disappointments, my flesh and sin always lurking about.
Ending sentences with a preposition. There's not even a period there.
Seeing people leave the truth for lies, that is a very big disappointment. Watching so -called
Christians not use their spiritual gifts. You know, I think we have many people—I probably should address this from the pulpit sometime—there are many people that attend
Bethlehem Bible Church, and that's all they do. I'm glad they like the truth, but maybe they say they live too far, maybe they have other reasons, maybe they're taking care of a family member that's sick and can't.
I mean, there are probably lots of reasons. Some people just attend and never serve, and that's probably true in lots of churches, and it's sad.
I hope those people don't complain about the church. We could do a lot of things better, but if we had some extra help, maybe we could get those things done.
Philosophy of ministry. It talks about church government, view of Scripture.
Neither of those have changed in my mind. I still believe in elder leadership and a view of Scripture that is inerrant and infallible and sufficient and authoritative, and it's
God's very Word. Church membership, baptism, church growth, worship services, visitation, spiritual gifts.
I wonder what I say about spiritual gifts. They are enriched capacities for service given in Christ Jesus to believers for the building up of the body of Christ, the
Church. They were given at salvation. Our exercise of these spiritual gifts is nothing more or less than Christ ministering through and to His body.
These enriched capacities manifest themselves in areas such as teaching, preaching, serving, evangelism, helping, mercy, giving, discernment, administration, exhortation, and leadership, all for the work of service, edification, and unity of the body.
No one is gifted in all areas, but each believer is gifted in at least one area. The more extraordinary...I
was wondering if I was going to talk about this. The more extraordinary sign gifts such as miracles, healing, and tongues are not for the normal function of the body today.
Rather, they were sign gifts used by God primarily for the purposes of authentication of His unwritten, at that time,
Word. All right. Divorce and remarriage. I have a few different views than I used to have now, but that will be another show.
Let's see. Eschatology. I pretty much try to avoid eschatology, don't
I? That's one of the questions people ask, well, what do you believe? I don't know why everybody wants to know, like,
Christian teachers, and I'm not some influencer, but I have a radio show. What do you believe about eschatology?
Let's see what I said here. I believe in the personal, pre -tribulational coming of the
Lord Jesus for His church and His subsequent premillennial return to earth to establish
His kingdom. Well, I wouldn't really believe that now.
If it's true, okay, it's true. I would believe what our Statement of the
Faith says, 1689, London Baptist Confession, eschatology. Atonement.
Let's see if I was tricky in the atonement, because I know I still believed I was a five -pointer at the time. So how do you soften the blow?
You could just say Jesus died for the elect only, and you're an Arminian if you don't believe that.
Well, I think I knew better. Christ's death is of infinite worth, okay, so far so good, and is sufficient to redeem all mankind, all angels, and a thousand worlds besides.
I think I took that from Kirshner. But it is only efficient and intended for those who would believe.
In other words, both four -pointers and five -pointers, that is, both people that say
Jesus died for everybody and Jesus died just for the elect, the four -pointer, five -pointer, they both can say that His death was sufficient for all and efficient for those who would believe.
Both camps believe that. But what distinguishes the five -pointer from the four -pointer is the five -pointer asks, what's the intention of the atonement?
What did Jesus really go to do? And puts the focus on Jesus' work, not how many people respond.
So that's why you say He's of infinite worth,
His death is of infinite worth, sufficient to redeem, but efficient and intended for those who would believe.
Or you could say the elect. But you soften the blow. What do
I believe about Calvinism? See, I just put all this out so people would know ahead of time, and they still later, several people two to three years later, criticized me for my beliefs in these very areas about the atonement,
Calvinism, other things, and that's when they tried to kick me out. Essentially, church blew up. But I already said ahead of time what
I believed. I think they'd forgotten, or maybe they thought they would change my mind, or who knows what. Calvinism, not hyper -Calvinism, is a poor name for what the
Bible teaches about the sovereignty of God and the nature of salvation. I would believe in all the five points, like other famous Baptists, such as Spurgeon.
And I said in Dabney, Southern Baptist, although Dabney was not a Southern Baptist, he was a Southern Presbyterian, so I don't think anybody caught that.
I would believe in the London Baptist Confession of 1689 regarding this. Well, what do you know? And the
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Statement of 1858. Salvation is of the
Lord. That is the sum and substance of Calvinism. Well, my name is
Mike Abenroth. Today I'm just looking over some things that I used to send out to churches in 1996, top priorities in life.
To have a radio show called No Compromise Radio Ministry, not true.
All right. So, then I have a section here that I think will be of interest to you. Other issues close to my heart.
Okay, secret sensitive movement, and here, number three, lordship salvation. All right, let's take a look.
You can also, if you're interested in, I don't know why I just was wheezing, if you go to Heidelblog and pull up My Pilgrimage from Lordship to Law Gospel, you can read a three -part series on that, and I try to be as kind as possible.
I've learned a lot from the people that have taught me lordship salvation. I'm trying to urge them to be a little more biblical, and I think some people took it as a slam in the face or something,
I have no idea. But I was taught to be a discerner, and I'm taught to look at the scriptures, and that's what I want other people to do.
Lordship salvation. This is what I wrote in 1996. The bottom line for me is found in a concisely stated theological statement.
All right, here we go. Justification is never separated from sanctification.
I believe that today. I believe they are distinct but inseparable. If God saves a person,
He immediately transforms him in Christ and begins changing him into Christlikeness, even if it is at a childlike level.
I believe that. I believe it is duplex gratia, Christ for pardon, Christ for power. When God justifies you,
He then sanctifies you, sets you apart, a lot of things happening at the same time, and you think about being born again, union with Christ, new nature,
Spirit of God dwelling in you, by grace alone, faith alone, helping you to mortify your flesh and live to righteousness.
In 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 11 and following, about the grace of God appears, bringing salvation to all men.
What happens? You start to live righteously, and you deny ungodliness. Matter of fact,
I even quoted that, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
James is also clear on this, saying, What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but he has no works? That faith can't save him.
All right, here's where it might get tricky. I believe no different. That's so Nebraska.
I don't believe any different. I believe no different than the church has believed, poor
English, Mike, and especially emphasized since the Reformation. I believe what Luther, Calvin, the
Reformed Confessions, Guthrie, Watson, Alain, Manton, Whitfield, Edwards, Gill, Goodwin, Ryle, Pink, Tozer, and Spurgeon professed.
I think a problem has existed with regard to what the unbeliever must do before he can be saved. The answer is nothing.
What happened to me for those years in between? God saves those who are helpless,
Romans 5 .6, for while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. The unbeliever, as Horatius Bonar said, can bring nothing except his sin to the
Savior. Only sinners are saved, not those who can go it alone. Repentance is one side of the coin, and belief is the other.
Men are commanded to repent and believe, but they, due to depravity, cannot do either.
Yet that is the way God commands us to preach to the unbeliever. Both faith and repentance are gifts and therefore come from God's gracious hand.
Responsibility to obey does not biblically imply ability to obey. Summary.
You are saved by faith alone, but true saving faith is not alone. True faith works. Well, I might say things a little differently about repentance and belief and what that means and, you know, synecdoches and what you just heard me teach the other week, a few weeks ago, regarding the timing of repentance and faith and the order of theological nature of it.
But that's not too bad. I just don't know why it got so torqued somehow in my mind.
Well, good for me that I said the answer is nothing. What do I think the greatest threats are the
Church? I wonder if these are the same threats today. The greatest Church threats? The attack on the sufficiency of God's Word.
See, that was in the time when psychology was really, really big, right? An integrationist, where you add
Bible stuff in with psychology. And my main problem with psychology, even today, is they have the wrong view of man, right?
Their anthropology is wrong, and somehow they don't really believe in whole or total depravity. There are certainly things we can learn from psychologists and behaviors and repetition and other things.
But of course, we would believe only God's Word can truly change people on the inside. External change, that's another thing.
Complacency, that's another Church threat. Many Christians are lax and comfortable with their salvation and think that edification and the
Great Commission can somehow take a back seat to their pleasures in life. Don't waste your life.
What if you have some pleasures in your life and you give God the glory for that? What is pleasure?
I almost said misery. Lack of doctrinal preaching. I agree with J. C. Ryle when he said, now
I do beseech all to beware of this undecided state of mind and religion. It is a pestilence which walketh in darkness and a destruction that wasteth at noonday.
It is a lazy, idle frame of soul which doubtless saves man the trouble of thought and investigation, but it is a frame of soul for which there is no warrant in the
Bible. For your own soul's sake, dare to make up your mind what you believe, and dare to have positive, distinct views of truth and error.
Never, never be afraid to hold decided doctrinal opinions, and let no fear of man and no morbid dread of being thought party -spirited, narrow, or controversial make you rest contented with a bloodless, boneless, tasteless, colorless, lukewarm, undogmatic
Christianity. Mark what I say, Ryle said.
If you want to do good in these times, you must throw aside indecision and take up a distinct, sharply cut doctrinal religion.
If you believe little, those to whom you try to do good will believe nothing. The victories of Christianity, wherever they have been won, have been won by distinct, doctrinal theology, by telling men roundly of Christ's vicarious death and sacrifice, by showing them
Christ's substitution on the cross and His precious blood, by teaching them justification by faith, and bidding them believe on a crucified
Savior, by preaching ruin by sin, redemption by Christ, regeneration by the
Spirit, by lifting up the brazen serpent, by telling them to look and live, to believe, repent, and be converted.
This, this is the only teaching which for centuries God has honored with success and is honoring at the present day, both at home and abroad.
It is doctrine, doctrine clear, ringing doctrine, which, like the ram's horn at Jericho, cast down the opposition of the devil and sin.
Let us cling to decided doctrinal views, whatever some may please to say in these times, and we shall do well for ourselves, well for others, and well for Christ's cause in the world."
J .C. Ryle. Well, that's a wrap. Mike Gabendroth, No Compromise Radio Ministry.
I don't know. I enjoyed the show. It's okay by me.
We have to have sometimes, you know, shows that are just out of the ordinary, right? But you don't want to tell your friends about this show.
I looked at some ratings the other day on iTunes. A few people gave some good ratings, but not many lately, so why don't you go there and give some ratings, because otherwise
I'm going to have to revert. I declare breakthroughs are coming for you, sudden burst of God's goodness, not a trickle, not a stream, but a flood of God's power.
I declare that you are a breakthrough person and that you live breakthrough minded, that you're expecting
God to overwhelm you with his goodness and amaze you with his favor. See you tomorrow.