Bulletin Edition May 2020 – Don Fortner

Eight Stubborn Statements!

(Don Fortner)

Here are eight, stubborn, irrefutable statements. They go right to the heart of true Christianity. You will either accept or reject these eight statements. There is no middle ground; and you will find it impossible to be indifferent regarding them. There is no room for compromise on any of these eight points.

1. Either the Bible is in its entirety the holy, inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God—or it is in its entirety a lie, by which the souls of men are eternally deceived and damned. If the Bible is not the Word of God, throw it away. But if it is, as it claims to be, God’s Holy Word, we will be wise to pay attention to it. It claims, as such, a total sway over our lives. It must be our only rule of faith and practice.

2. Either God almighty is absolutely sovereign, in total control of all things, at all times—or there is no God. Again, there is no middle ground between these two poles, between God’s absolute, total sovereignty—and absolute, total atheism. To speak of a God who is not totally sovereign is utter nonsense. Atheism is far more sensible than Arminianism. If God is, he is sovereign!

3. Either man is totally depraved, utterly dead in trespasses and in sins—or there is nothing wrong with him, and he needs no Savior. There is no such thing as partial depravity or partial goodness before God. Either we are totally sinful and depraved, or we are totally righteous and good. There is no middle ground.

4. Either God chose to save some of Adam’s fallen race to salvation and eternal life in Christ before the world began, as the Bible says he did—or no salvation is possible for any man. Salvation is God’s prerogative, not man’s. Grace is God’s gift, not man’s choice. If God does not choose to save and choose whom he will save, no sinner can ever be saved.

5. Either the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is altogether and alone the effectual Redeemer and Savior of his people—or he is a fraud and a failure. Again, there is no middle ground, no room for compromise. Either Christ did what he came to do, or he is a failure. If he is a failure, he is not God, and we have no Savior.

6. Either we are regenerated and called to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and omnipotent grace of God the Holy Spirit—or there is no such thing as salvation. The only hope for a dead sinner is free and sovereign grace—grace that asks for nothing and gives everything, grace that waits for nothing and does everything.

7. Either God’s people are entirely free from the law, as the Scriptures declare us to be—or we are yet under the bondage of the law and entirely obligated to keep it perfectly. There is no such thing as being partially under the law and partially free from it, not in biblical terms. The only way sinners can satisfy, fulfill, and establish the law is by faith in Christ (Romans 3:31).

8. Either every saved sinner shall persevere to the end, being preserved and kept by God’s infallible, immutable grace—or none shall. The perseverance of the saints is demanded by the purpose of God, the purchase of Christ, and the power of the Spirit.

What is a successful ministry?

(Don Fortner)

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

The desperate need of the hour is faithful men in the pulpits of our churches. We have an over-abundance of preachers. We do not need any more slick, polished, well-educated professionals in “the ministry”. But we do, most desperately, need some faithful men — pastors after God’s own heart, who feed His people with knowledge and understanding. Thank God, we have a few!

In this day of big business religion, when churches are measured not by their orthodoxy, but by the opinions of men; when a preacher’s success is measured not by his faithfulness, but by the number of names added to the church roll — it might be wise to consider what a successful ministry is according to the measure of Holy Scripture.

According to the Word of God, those preachers and churches are successful who are faithful to the work to which God has called them. Never in the Old Testament or in the New was a prophet, apostle, or preacher measured by the opinions of men. God’s servants never courted the favor of men, and were never favored by the majority of the people. The church of God has always been out of step with society. The servants of God have always been looked upon as peculiar, bigoted dogmatists, intolerant and incapable of compromise. But they were faithful — faithful to God, faithful to His truth, and faithful to the souls of men.

Do not be so foolish as to measure God’s work by man’s yardstick. Do not measure the success or failure of preachers and churches by men, by numbers, or by popular opinion. The only measure of success for churches and preachers is faithfulness. Those who faithfully seek and promote the glory of God, who faithfully proclaim the truth of God, and who faithfully serve the eternal interests of immortal souls are successful. Those who are not are failures. The one will stand the fire of judgment. The other will not.

The greatest blessing God can ever bestow upon any people in this world is to establish in their midst a faithful Gospel church with a faithful Gospel preacher as his messenger.

“Tychicus . . . is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” Colossians 4:7

I Am A Sinner

by Don Fortner-

1. I Am A Sinner– I am convinced of my sin.

I am a sinner by birth, by nature, by choice, and by practice

(John 16:8-11; Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Rom. 3:9-19; 5:12).

2. I Am A Sinner Chosen Of God–

(Eph. 1:3-6; Gal. 1:15-16; 2 Thess. 2:13-14).

3. I Am A Sinner Redeemed By The Precious Blood Of Christ–

(Gal. 2:20-21). The Son of God purchased me, atoned for all

my sins, and made me righteous by his obedience to God as my

Representative and Substitute- obedience even unto death!

4. I Am A Sinner Saved By God’s Irresistible Grace–

(Ps. 65:4; Eph. 2:1-10).

I am saved by the grace of God alone.

“By the grace of God I am what I am.”

It was God the Holy Spirit who sought me out when I would not

seek him, came to where I was when I could not come to him,

called by almighty grace when I refused to call to him, raised me

from the dead when I had no desire to be raised from the dead,

and loosed me when I loved my bondage.

5. I Am A Sinner Sealed And Preserved By His Grace–

(John 10:27-30; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Pet. 1:5).

Grace put me in the way.

Grace leads me in the way.

And grace keeps me in the way.

I am kept in the hands of Christ my covenant Surety and good

Shepherd, kept by the seal of God the Holy Spirit, and kept in

the hands of God my Father, kept in the omnipotent hands of the

triune God, and none can pluck me from those hands!

6. I Am A Sinner Living In Hope Of The Resurrection–

(1 Thess. 4:13-18). I do not know when Christ shall appear;

but I do know that soon my Lord Jesus will come in power and

great glory. When he does, he will raise me up, transform me

into his glory, and bring me into his glorious kingdom in the

perfection of beauty which he has put upon me, by which I am

worthy to take possession of the inheritance of the sons of God!

7. I Am A Sinner Exercising Myself To Have A Good Conscience–

(Acts 24:16).

Walking before God, trusting Christ alone as my Savior, I

strive always to have a good conscience before God (Col. 2:6),

seeking his will, endeavoring to honor him, serving his people.

I also strive to have a conscience void of offence toward men,

living honestly and showing mercy.

Grace makes men both honest and gracious.

A meaningless gospel, a meaningless god, and a meaningless savior!

(Don Fortner)

“You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins!” Matthew 1:21

The angel’s message to Joseph was a message of grace, redemption, and salvation to sinners. By God’s command, He was named, “JESUS,” Savior, because He was sent by God to save His people from their sins. What He is called, that He is — Jesus, our Savior.

The Lord Jesus came into the world to save “His people” from their sins. Those He came to save were His people before He came to save them, His by eternal election. There are some people in this world, an elect multitude, chosen in Him before the world began, who are peculiarly and distinctively His people, the objects of His everlasting love, chosen in Him unto salvation (Ephesians 1:2-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

The Lord Jesus Christ is an almighty, effectual Savior! He saves His people from . . .

the penalty of their sins — by His blood atonement,

the dominion of their sins — by His regenerating Spirit,

the being of their sins — when He takes them out of this world,

all the evil consequences of their sins — in resurrection glory!

Universal love, universal grace, and universal redemption — is meaningless love, meaningless grace, and meaningless redemption. To preach such, is to preach a meaningless gospel, a meaningless god, and a meaningless savior!

“You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins!”


by Don Fortner–

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I

may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has

given me– the task of testifying to THE GOSPEL OF GOD’S

GRACE.” Acts 20:24

Grace is the solitary source from which the goodwill,

love, and salvation of God flow to his chosen people.

Grace is completely unmerited and unsought.

It is altogether unattracted by us.

Grace cannot be bought, earned, or won by anything in us or done by us.

If it could, it would cease to be grace.

Grace is bestowed upon sinners without attraction,

without condition, without qualification.

When God’s saving grace comes to a sinner, it comes as a

matter of pure charity, unsought, unasked, and undesired.

If you search the Scriptures, you will find that there are five things

which always characterize the grace of God. Whenever men speak contrary

to these five things they deny the grace of God.

1. The grace of God is eternal (Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Tim. 1:9).

2. The grace of God is free (Rom. 3:24).

3. The grace of God is sovereign (Rom. 9:16).

4. The grace of God is distinguishing (1 Cor. 4:7).

5. The grace of God is in Christ, only in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).

Grace is not something God offers to sinners.

Grace is the operation of God in sinners, by which he

effectually saves the objects of his everlasting love.

The gospel of God is the message of grace.

To the self-righteous religionist, it is a stumbling block.

To the learned, philosophical worldling, it is foolishness.


Because there is nothing in the gospel to gratify the pride of man.

The gospel of God declares that man can never be saved,

but by the grace of God. It declares that apart from Christ,

the unspeakable gift of God’s grace, there is no salvation,

and that the state of every human being is desperate, hopeless,

and irretrievable.

The gospel addresses men and women as depraved,

guilty, condemned, perishing sinners.

It puts us all upon one level-

The gospel declares that the purest moralist is in the same

condition as the vilest profligate, that the zealous religionist

is no better than the most profane infidel.

Without Christ, without grace, all are lost!

The gospel addresses every descendant of Adam as a fallen,

polluted, hell-bent, hell-deserving sinner, utterly incapable

of changing his ruined condition.

The grace of God in Christ is our only hope.

All men, by nature, stand before God’s holy law as justly condemned

felons, awaiting the execution of his wrath upon us (John 3:18,36;


Our only hope is grace!

“Grace is a provision for men who are–

so FALLEN that they cannot lift the ax of justice,

so CORRUPT that they cannot change their own nature,

so AVERSE TO GOD that they cannot turn to him,

so BLIND that they cannot see him,

so DEAF that they cannot hear him,

and so DEAD that God must himself open their graves

and lift them into resurrection” (George S. Bishop).

The only hope any sinner has of salvation and eternal

life is the grace of God freely bestowed upon sinners

through Jesus Christ,the sinner’s Substitute.

The only bestower of grace is God the Holy Spirit,

who is called “the Spirit of grace” (Zech. 12:10).

He is the One who applies the gospel to the hearts

of chosen, redeemed sinners by his effectual, saving power.

He QUICKENS God’s elect while they are yet spiritually dead.

He CONQUERS the rebel’s will, MELTS the hard heart,

OPENS the blind eye, and CLEANSES the soul.

He gives ears to hear, eyes to see, and

a heart to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is it to preach the gospel?

by Don Fortner

“Salvation is, in its entirety, the work of

God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ.

Election, redemption, justification, sanctification,

and preservation are all works of grace alone, in no way

conditioned upon the will, works, or worth of the sinner.”

What Is it to Preach the Gospel?

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about MAN.

What is the truth about man? “All flesh is grass,” -withering,

worthless, insignificant grass (Isa. 40:6-8). All men are fallen,

depraved, helpless, guilty sinners, without the least inclination

or ability to do good, seek God, or know God (Rom. 3:9-18),

dead in trespasses and in sins (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about GOD.

God is is the eternal, holy, sovereign Monarch of the universe.

It is he who made all things, rules all things, and disposes of all

things (including you and I) as he will. “All things are of God.”

Nothing in this universe writhes or wiggles apart from God’s

purpose, predestination, providence, and power (Rom. 11:36).

It is this great and glorious Lord God who lifts his hand and says,

“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have

compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

The Lord Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, God come to save.

He was called “Jesus” because he is Jehovah our Savior.

He came here on an errand of mercy, with a commission from

God the Father as our covenant Surety to save his people from

their sins (Matt. 1:21; John 10:16-18); and when he left here,

all that he came to do was done! Righteousness was established.

Justice was satisfied. The sins of God’s elect, which were

imputed to him, were put away. His people were fully and

forever redeemed, justified, and sanctified by his blood

(Heb. 10:10-14).

To preach the gospel is to tell the truth about SALVATION.

What does it take to save a sinner? It takes a work of God’s

sovereign, eternal, electing love and predestination (Eph. 1:3-6).

It takes a work of effectual, blood redemption, the satisfaction of

divine justice by an infinitely meritorious Substitute– the Lord

Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). It takes all the work of God’s

universal providence (Rom. 8:28-30). It takes the infallible,

irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit in

regeneration and effectual calling, by which chosen, redeemed

sinners are raised from the dead and given faith in Christ (Eph.

1:17-20; Psa. 65:4). It takes a work of immutable grace, preserving

the called ones in life and grace, causing them to persevere

in faith, keeping them unto the end (Phil. 1:6). It takes a work of

resurrection glory, by which these bodies sown in corruption

shall put on incorruption, mortality shall put on immortality, and

God’s elect shall enter into that eternal state of bliss called

“the glorious liberty of the sons of God” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

This salvation, in its entirety, is found in the Lord Jesus Christ

alone (1 Cor. 1:30-31).

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