L. Ray has denied the teaching of evangelism saying that God doesn't need preaching to save souls, instead through His Judgments (Wrath). This is self-righteousness and heresy. This is a similar teaching to Hyper-Calvinism.
The definition of "evangelism" from Webster's Dictionary states:
The winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ.
Jesus says in Matthew 28:19:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...
L. Ray Smith is not doing what Jesus Commands Him to do. Why? Because he refutes evangelism or winning of personal commitments to Christ.
It is ALL OF GOD. It is not wrong to tell others of your knowledge of God and His Word. It is not, however, your responsibility to "get people saved." Only God can do that.
If evangelism is not our job to save the Lord's lost sheep, then How will He do that?
It is GOD who does the calling:
How will God do that? Without the help of the Apostles, God can't do it alone. The death on the Cross of Jesus will be meaningless.
It is CHRIST Who chooses from those His Father dragged:
"Ye have not chosen Me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU…" (John 15:16).
But Christ is The Father He has not just chosen us to come to Him, he chose us to be Apostles. In Part 1, L. Ray Smith denies that Jesus is The Father.
It is GOD who does the dragging:
"No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent Me, draw him [Gk: ‘drag him’]…" (John 6:44).
Notice that he has not read the entire verse. Jesus is speaking in metaphor, Strong's Greek Definition Number 1670 the word "draw" translated from the Greek word "helkuo" in metaphor means "lead".
Revelation 16:11 shows that they will curse God and refuse to turn from their sins. God's Judgments are not make people respond.
Now here's a question from L. Ray that I will answer:
Why didn’t the King James translate this: "…behold I have WON two other talents…?" Surely even these translators could see the implications of increasing our God-given talents by gambling with them for higher ‘WINNINGS.’
L. Ray Smith has no clue that The Parable of Talents is not to be taken literally but symbolically just like the Parable of the Speck and the Log, The Prodigal Son, Parable of the Bridegroom, Parable of the Ten Virgins, Parable of the Mustard Seed, the parable of the sower and the Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man. Like the Parable of the Speck and the Log, L. Ray has a log in his eye. And like the Parable of the Sower and the seed, L. Ray's heart is full of thorns and he chokes The Word.
We need to pay attention to His Word and make sure that our hearts are fertile like The Parable of the Sower and the Seed. The Parable of Talents shows that we must invest His Word to others not to keep it to ourselves. This doesn't not have to do with money, however most false evangelists abuse this parable and treat it as part of the Prosperity Gospel. Most of all, the Parable of Talents refers to the time of the Lord's Return at the end of the Age. When the Judgment comes, it all depends if we make a good profit of His Word or become lazy. L. Ray is making a bad profit of the Lord's Word, Eternal punishment or not, Hell is a real place where he'll weep and gnash his teeth. I am not here to judge, but to pray that he needs to find the Real Truth, and not lies he gets from Armstrongists.
Now I'm not going to respond back to his attack on evangelists. Except that he states that Evangelists must stay silent in the congregation. The Apostles back in during the Roman Empire spoke Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Some of the pulpits do have translators to translate to the congregation in other countries while the evangelist preaches.
People, we must not be silenced by L. Ray Smith, preventing us to preach the gospel to the world.
Onto Eternity L. Ray thinks that "aionion" and "aionios" does not mean "eternity or everlasting" instead it means "age-lasting". This is what the annihilationists/universalists are teaching. We all know the aion means "age".
To support his refutation on Eternity:
- God cannot be eternal. God eventually dies. (L. Ray Smith and the universalists are suggesting that God is "age-lasting")
- God cannot give eternal life even through His Son. Therefore, the death and resurrection is meaningless. (L. Ray thinks that God is giving us an "age-lasting" life)
- God's covenant cannot be eternal. If a spiritual covenant is temporal in the NT like in the OT, then there's no hope for mankind and Christ's coming, death, and resurrection is meaningless. (L. Ray thinks that God's covenant is "Age-lasting")
- God's Kingdom (Heaven) cannot be eternal. God's Kingdom eventually passes away. (Like Hell or Sheol, L. Ray Smith thinks that Heaven is "age-lasting")
- Angels and Satan are not eternal, they all die.(L. Ray Smith thinks that angels and Satan are "age-lasting")
- God's glory and righteousness cannot be eternal. God is a sinner. (L. Ray thinks that God's Glory and Righteousness is "age-lasting")
- God's Word is not eternal. Therefore it passes away. (L. Ray Smith is suggesting that God's Word is "age-lasting")
- Jesus is not eternal. Therefore, L. Ray says, He is a man which means the death and resurrection on the cross again is meaningless. (Do I have to say this again?)
- Lake of Fire (Gehenna) is not eternal, so it burns out. This idea L. Ray would've thought came from the Watchtower Cult (Jehovah's Witnesses). JW claims that God would throw those in there who are not part of their society to burn or annihilate. Gehenna is also called Hinnom, a garbage site located outside of Jerusalem where they dump their trash there and burn it. Smoke rises and worms will die in the fire. But if L. Ray thinks that spiritual fire is age-lasting, then it burns out like literal fire.
- God's wisdom is not eternal. God is unwise.
Either way, a ridiculous, non-sound false doctrine that L. Ray Smith preaches is refuted. Two and Two cannot be equal to five. Jesus warns that if we change or take God's word out of context, we will be blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life and out of God's Kingdom. That's not just directly at us, that's goes directly to L. Ray Smith. Leave God's Word alone.
Now "aionios" and "aionian" are the same, and aion can sometimes be the same according to Strong Concordance. However aion means age, aionios and aionian means everlasting or eternal. Therefore God, His Kingdom, His Covenant, Glory, righteousness, and his life giving is eternal. The Angels and Satan are eternal. Hell is eternal.
Here's are ridiculous examples from L. Ray Smith
A true unilateral covenant is one in which there is NO NEEDFUL PARTICIPATION OF A SECOND PARTY. The second that one puts a second party requirement into receiving the benefit of a unilateral covenant, it is no longer truly unilateral, but rather collateral.
If the Spiritual Covenant, is not eternal and instead unilateral without a second party. Then a covenant like that will not last long.
RAINBOW COVENANT: Possibly the only truly unilateral covenant in the Bible, where absolutely no participation on our part is required for its fulfillment. Gen. 9:16,
"And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting
[Heb: olam aionion/eonian] covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."
That covenant was not directly for us, it was for Noah in return that God will never harm the earth, but not for long until the Tower of Babel.
First, if everlasting is not eternal, then there no such thing as eternity. If there's no eternity, then there's no incorruption or immortality. In other words, we are all dead. Plus, Paul did not say literally that God will be in all, but all that those who believe in Christ. This is annihilationism.
II Cor. 4:18 is neither speaking of "deathless" or "everlasting," as you suggest. It is speaking of what is happening now, in our life of flesh, and what will happen during the ages of our reign with Christ in the kingdom of God. The things of this life, we SEE daily. The things pertaining to the Kingdom of God are as yet "NOT seen." Again, it is not even speaking of what is "visible" and "Invisible," but rather what is NOW SEEN as compared with things "eonian" and NOT YET SEEN, which when seen will not be temporary, but will last through whole eons of time. And all that is perfected through the Kingdom of God and the reign of Christ bringing all enemies into subjection, will last on PAST the eons, and will have NO END.
So L. Ray is suggesting that all mankind are going to Heaven no matter when we sin as disembodied spirits. Oh, wait, how are we going to get to Heaven if it's not eternal? If God's Kingdom is not eternal, it passes away.
And furthermore, Why does L. Ray think that Paul never spoke about the things that are visible like we see in this physical world and the "invisible" in the world to come which is Heaven? According to John MacArthur, this world is "age-lasting" or in Hebrew "olam", so God will uncreate it. John MacArthur did a sermon on the "uncreation". If the spiritual Heaven is uncreated, then there's no place for us believers to go. We would all be into nothingness. If there's a difference between the "seen" and "unseen", then there's a difference between the "creation" and "uncreation".
And I will say it again, after the literal 1000 years of Christ's Reign, he will judge those [that's includes you, L. Ray Smith] and all His enemies will be eternally (Gk: never-ending) tormented, not subjected. This age (aion) will end. This dying universe (aion) will end, but His Eternal Kingdom (aionos) will have NO END. Amen.
The next great event in prophecy is not eternity, but rather the END of this eon and the BEGINNING of the next—the one in which the very elect will reign with Christ. There is no sense in jumping into eternity when as yet, we have numerous ages to yet live and administer God’s government and His Great Judgment. And so, what is not yet seen, is "eonian" (pertaining to the eons), and not "eternity" as you and the King James suggests in this verse.
L. Ray Smith is not preaching true eschatology. Not all mankind will be God's Elect, if there's no eternity. In other words, he's preaching Scientology, which is dangerous, especially when he rebukes creationism and young earth. He mixes God and Evolution. There is a saying in the scriptures:
"No one can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24)
I'm done here. End of Part 3. Part 4 is a recap, review and conclusion of this L. Ray Smith's False Gospel.
God Bless and stay away from L. Ray Smith.