Sunday, September 23, 2012

Judge Not That You Be Not Judged!" - A New Gospel Tract


“Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Second only to John 3:16, Matthew 7:1 is probably the most often quoted verse in the Bible. But what does the verse really mean? It means that one should not judge another person in a condemning, hypocritical, or self-righteous manner. But you make judgments all the time—judgments about right and wrong (murder, stealing, lying, etc.). That’s okay. God does the same thing. The Bible makes it clear there is only one Judge, and that is God. “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor” (James 4:12)? When you die and stand before God, you will give an account for your life. “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). If you’ve ever lied, stolen, taken God’s name in vain, harbored hatred or lust in your heart, or sinned against God in any way, He will judge you as one who has broken His law. God’s punishment for sin is eternity in Hell. God has provided only one way for you to receive forgiveness of your sins and the joy of eternal life in Heaven. God the Father sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ—fully God and fully Man, who knew no sin. He voluntarily went to the cross where He shed His innocent blood and died, taking upon Himself the punishment you deserve. God the Son subjected Himself to the wrath of God the Father in order to pay the ransom (the sin debt) for many. Three days later, He defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave. What God commands you to do is repent (turn from your sin and turn to God) and, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

An Agnostic, a Catholic, a Lesbian, and an Inquisitive Girl

Sep 14, 2012 | At the Valencia Town Center with Mahria, Peter, and our evangelism table. by TonyCrosswalk on

They were all about 17-years-old. They all had questions. As the title of this post asserts, they were all very different people. For over an hour I reasoned with them and shared the law and the gospel with them.

Justin was the agnostic who prided himself as an intellectual. Christian was the Catholic who relied on his religion and his chosen set of beliefs. Lian was the self-professed Lesbian who was not comfortable with her sexuality. And Chelle was the quiet, inquisitive young lady who asked questions with a great deal of gentleness and sincerity.

Join me. Be a fly on the wall, as I engage these four young people in what I believe was a remarkable conversation--one that left all four of them thinking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CPR, Man's Inability, and God's Irresistible Grace (Part 3)

The above image is courtesy of my friend, Sye Ten Bruggencate.

In Part 2 of this series, I addressed man's utter inability to participate in his own salvation. Salvation is of the Lord (Psalm 37:39; Psalm 68:20; Lamentations 3:26). Salvation is not a right earned by man's participation in the salvific process. It is a right given by God, and God alone (John 1:12-13). Because man is dead in his trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3), he cannot participate in being born again. For it is God who causes man to be born again (1 Peter 1:3), as an act of His will (John 1:13).

Going hand in hand with man's inability regarding salvation is God's perfect irresistibility. God will do what He wants, with who He wants, when He wants, and how He wants. God's grace is irresistible.

Irresistible Grace

One last time, let's return to the CPR analogy. A person whose heart stops beating, a person who stops breathing, is clinically dead. And dead actually means.....dead. The person who is clinically dead cannot participate in any way, in their resuscitation. They are completely at the mercy, ability, and power of an outside source--the one who is performing CPR. But there is something else that must not be overlooked.

Just as a person cannot participate in their resuscitation, a person cannot thwart the rescusitative effort. Let me say that again. If a person is clinically dead, they can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop the effort to resuscitate them. And the same is true with salvation. No one can stop God from saving them.

And let's spend a few moments in a courtroom.

You have been found guilty of breaking the law. It is the day of sentencing and you are standing before the judge. The Judge commands you to pay a million-dollar fine or spend the rest of your life in prison. You cannot pay the fine. As the judge is about to impose his sentence, someone walks into the courtroom and announces to the judge that he is there to pay your fine.

The requirements of the law being met, the judge turns to you and says, "On the basis of this person making payment of the fine on your behalf, you are free to go."

With a look of determination on your face, you point at the judge and say, "No! I don't except the payment of the fine! I did the crime, so I will do the time! I want to go to prison for the rest of my life!"

So, who wins the day--you, the convicted criminal, or the presiding judge? If you assert you win the day, then you lack even a requisite knowledge of the judicial system and with whom authority in that system lies. It does not lie with you the convicted criminal. It lies entirely with the judge.

It matters not what you think of the judge or his decision. All that matters is the will of the judge. If he chooses to set you free, you will be free indeed. You can kick and scream and protest, all to no avail. The judge's decision is the only one that matters.

Granted, no analogy is perfect; but I think the point is clear. Yes, in this scenario, the judge imposed his will upon you, the convicted criminal. There was nothing unjust about the judges imposed will. So to with God. He is sovereign and free to do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, to whomever He wants, in keeping with His perfect character. Paul makes this clear in Romans 9.
"What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.' So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills" Romans 9:14-18).
Man is not autonomous. His free will, as he perceives it, is limited by his corrupt, sinful nature. And the will of the creature will never supersede the will of the Creator (Romans 1:15). The will of the slave will never supersede the will of the Master (Matthew 10:24; John 13:16).

While the above is certainly true and consistent with Scripture, God's salvific work in a person's life entails so much more than merely overcoming or subjugating a person's will. Oh no; what God does to save a person is so much more miraculous than that. God changes the person's will!

I appreciate what Brian Schwertley wrote about God making the unwilling heart willing.
The reason that God’s grace is effectual or irresistible is that the Holy Spirit imparts an inclination to holiness in the human heart. Man’s heart is changed in such a way that the unwilling become willing. The person who is regenerated by the Holy Spirit embraces Jesus Christ because he wants to. Shedd wrote: “In the Scripture phraseology, he is ‘made willing,’ (Psalm 110:3. God ‘works in him to will,’ (Philippians 2:13). In the phraseology of the Westminster statement (L.C., 67), he is ‘powerfully determined.’ By renewing the sinful and self-enslaved will, the Holy Spirit empowers it to self-determine or incline to God as the chief good and the supreme end.” The old heart which hated Jesus Christ and considered spiritual matters to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14) is replaced with a new heart which is spiritual, which is deeply concerned about spiritual affairs. After a person is regenerated, Christ becomes the most important person in his life. The Savior becomes to him like a hidden treasure and a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44, 46). Because the heart is made spiritual it desires and loves “the things of the Spirit.” “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Romans 8:6-9). God doesn’t put a gun to man’s head and coerce him into the kingdom; rather, He changes him internally so that he voluntarily chooses Christ. The human will always acts in accordance with the human heart.
God is sovereign! Praise be to God! God is sovereign!

God is sovereign over the will of man. He can overcome any resistance sinful man can offer. And He can change any man's heart. And God does not need anyone's permission! The man who thinks He can withstand the will of Almighty God is every bit as foolish as the man who, while standing in an open-field, thinks he can withstand the power of an oncoming F5 tornado. Oh sinful man, you are but dust!

God is sovereign. You are not.

"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord . . . The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:1, 9).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me" (Jeremiah 32:40).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

God is sovereign. You are not.

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them'" (John 12:39-40).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:40).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled" (Revelation 17:17).

God is sovereign. You are not.

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules" (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

God is sovereign. You are not.

And anyone who balks at the perfect, comprehensive, masterful, unopposed, magnificent sovereignty of God should examine themselves to see if they are even in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Salvation is of the Lord. It is not a synergistic (cooperative) effort between God and man. It is a monergistic (God working alone for His own glory) miraculous, loving, gracious, merciful, and kind act of God.

Man is utterly incapable of assisting in his salvation, in his being brought from death to life. Likewise, there is nothing man can do to thwart God's predetermined plan, if it be His sovereign will to save him. God's grace is, indeed, irresistible.

In my final segment of this series, I will look at the implications of these precious doctrines, in the evangelism efforts of the Christian.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gospel Tract for My Upcoming Mission Trip to Norway

I have written a tract for my upcoming mission trip to Norway--a tract that will be produced by Marv Plementosh. Here's the artwork and the text (English and Norwegian).

Fredrik Meltzer, a member of the parliament, designed the current flag of Norway in 1821. The colors were chosen because they represented freedom in the international community. The red and blue represents Norway’s partnership with Denmark and Sweden, respectively. The Nordic Cross represents Christianity. Sadly, only 5% of Norway’s people attend church on a regular basis. Norway has forgotten the cross. A great country’s flag no longer represents the hearts of her people. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin . . . So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36). When you die and stand before God, you will give an account for your life. If you’ve ever lied, stolen, taken God’s name in vain, harbored hatred or lust in your heart, or sinned against God in any other way, He will judge you a slave to sin. God’s punishment for sin is eternity in Hell. God has provided only one way for you to receive forgiveness of your sins, true freedom, and the joy of eternal life in Heaven. God the Father sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ—fully God and fully Man, who knew no sin. He voluntarily went to the cross where He shed His innocent blood and died, taking upon Himself the punishment you deserve. God the Son subjected Himself to the wrath of God the Father in order to pay the ransom (the sin debt) for many. Three days later, He defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave. What God commands you to do is repent (turn from your sin and turn to God) and, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Look again at your nation’s flag. True freedom is only found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Turn to Christ and live.


Frank Meltzer, et medlem av parlamentet, designet det norske flagget i 1821. Fargene ble valgt fordi de representerte frihet i et internasjonalt samfunn. Det røde og blå representerer Norges samhold med Danmark og Sverige. Det nordiske korset representerer kristendom. Dessverre er det bare 5% av nordmenn som regelmessig går i kirken. Norge har glemt korset. En stor nasjons flagg representerer ikke lenger nordmenns hjerte. Jesus sa "sannelig sier jeg dere, alle som praktiserer synd er slave av synd...så hvis sønnen setter deg fri er du virkelig fri.(Joh.8:34 og 36) Når du dør og står foran Guds trone må du stå til ansvar for ditt liv, hvis du har fortalt en løgn,stjålet noe,misbrukt Guds navn,begjært eller hatet noen, eller syndet mot Gud på noen annen måte, vil han dømme deg som en slave av synd. Guds dom for synd er en evighet i pine i helvete. Men Gud har ordnet det sånn at du kan få tilgivelse for din synd og arve evig liv og glede i himmelen med han. Gud fader sendte sin sønn Jesus Kristus i menneske skikkelse, fullt menneske og fullt Gud, som ikke hadde eller gjorde synd. Han gikk frivillig til korset hvor han utøste sitt blod helt uskyldig for deg og døde. Der tok han på seg straffen som du fortjener. Guds sønn Jesus Kristus ble gjort til synd for deg og Guds vrede ble fullt utøst på han på korset for mange mennesker. Tre dager senere stod han opp igjen og beseiret med det døden gjennom sin oppstandelse. Gud befaler deg å omvende deg (snu fra din synd og til Gud) og ved tro alene motta Jesus Kristus som din herre og frelser..Se en gang til på det norske flagget, ekte frihet er bare funnet i Jesu kors. Snu, og omvend deg til Jesus og vinn livet..


If you would like to financially support my mission trip to Norway (January 8-20, 2013), you can make tax-deductible donations via PayPal. The trip will cost an estimated $2,000 (incl. airfare, tracts, and incidentals).

You can also make tax-deductible donations via check.

Checks should be made payable to: Revival USA

DO NOT place any designation on the check. Leave the memo line blank.

Checks should be mailed to:

Revival USA
PO Box 220087
Newhall, CA 91322

Financial oversight and accountability for Tony Miano's missionary work is provided by The Ministry of Unification, Inc., DBA "Revival USA."

Thank you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 New Open-Air Quick Tip Videos

I've added five new Open-Air Quick Tip videos to the playlist (#'s 16-20).

What Would Your Last Words Be, Eric?

Today, I asked a student by the name of Eric the following question: "If you had only three minutes to live, what would your last words be, and to whom would want to say them?"

The question was originated by my friend, Greg Elsasser, and it was the impetus for Greg's radio show, Last Words Radio, which I co-hosted.

And you won't believe what happened to me on the campus, today! Shocking!

CPR, Man's Inability, and God's Irresistible Grace (Part 2)

In Part 1 in this series of articles, I set forth my thesis as follows:
Just as no person, being clinically dead, can participate in or refuse the application of CPR, man lacks the ability to participate in his salvation and he also lacks the power and control to resist the grace of God if God has chosen to save him. Salvation is a monergistic work of God, not a synergistic (cooperative) effort between God and man.
I then shared an account of an incident during which I performed CPR on a man who was shot during a drug deal. In Part 2, I will begin to build upon that analogous critical incident to present the biblical case that man is utterly unable, apart from the regenerative and saving work of God through Jesus Christ, to do anything to assist or cooperate in his salvation.

Man's Inability

What can a clinically dead person do to help themselves? The man upon whom I performed CPR was clinically dead. He had no pulse. He was not breathing. He was completely and utterly unresponsive. He couldn't hear me. He couldn't see me. He could not respond to my anxious pleas to breathe or to live. He was dead.

Had CPR worked that cold, dark night the man would have only been the recipient of that life-saving effort. He would not have been a participant. Had he lived, he could not have taken any credit for his resuscitation. His story would not have been:
"I remember the night I was shot in the chest. There I was, laying in the driveway, with a bullet wound in my chest. I wasn't breathing. The bullet struck my heart and it stopped beating. I felt someone pounding on my chest. It hurt. I could feel and hear my ribs crack. Whoever was jumping on my chest was doing everything he could to save me. So, with all my might, I responded. I got tired of the pounding on my chest. And whoever was blowing air into my mouth had bad breath. I was done with death. No more. I decided to live. So, with the help of the people performing CPR, I chose to start breathing and circulating blood through my heart again."
Assuming you're a reasonable person, what would your initial thoughts be of such a fantastic story? I know what mine would be.

The man is lying, or...

The man is delusional, or...

The man is ungrateful and just has to be at the center of attention, or...

The man is sincere, but lacks even a basic understanding of the physiological aspects of life and death, or......

I think you get the picture. Most people--again, assuming they are reasonable--would hear the man's story and think either he doesn't believe what he is saying and is lying, or he honestly believes he had a hand, a part to play, in his resuscitation. Either way, his story would lack any semblance of credibility and believability.

Just as a person who has experienced resuscitation by way of CPR cannot take credit for the gift of life, those whom Jesus resuscitated during His earthly ministry could not take any credit either (Matthew 9:18-26; John 11:1-44).

And what is true in the physical realm is likewise true in the spiritual realm. Man, apart from the proactive work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5), as a means of the Father's predetermined plan to save an individual (Acts 13:48), cannot and will not choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior unless the Lord allows it (Luke 10:22; John 15:16). The reason is quite simple.

The unregenerate person is dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). There is nothing a dead person can do to assist in anything, let alone salvation from sin and death. Not only is a spiritually dead person unable to participate in their salvation, the spiritually dead person (again, because of their condition), has absolutely no desire for eternal life, forgiveness, salvation, or reconciliation with God (Job 21:13-15; Proverbs 21:10; Romans 3:10-18). Man, born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12-21), is wicked to the core (Genesis 6:5; Job 15:15-16; Psalm 10:13; Psalm 36:1-2; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, he is rendered spiritually unable to seek or desire God. In fact, apart from the regenerative work of God, man is a hater of God (Psalm 10:3-5; Romans 1:28-32).

Many people hate this doctrine--a doctrine that should cause the born-again follower of Christ to be filled with joy and thanksgiving, for the work Christ has done in their life.

How should a person resuscitated by way of CPR respond to the person who performed CPR on them? "Hey, thanks for the help." Or, "Thank you so very much for saving me!" The answer should be obvious.

Until the Christian comes to terms with the reality that salvation is a monergistic work of God, his thankfulness to God will be restrained (even marred) by the subtle, self-imposed minimization of God's grace, as he takes partial credit for what God alone accomplished for His own glory.

Man is unable to participate in the spiritual CPR that saves his soul. "Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15)!

In Part 3, we will consider the irresistible nature of God's amazing grace.

Monday, September 3, 2012

CPR, Man's Inability, and God's Irresistible Grace (Part 1)

I will put forth my thesis simply and succinctly by defining four terms: "clinically dead," "CPR," "man's inability," and "God's irresistible grace;" and then encapsulate these terms in one definitive statement. The terms and their subsequent definitions are as follows:

Clinically dead - as far as can be ascertained by a clinical examination the patient is dead. There is no pulse, no respiratory movement and no corneal reflex (i.e. closure of the lids on irritation of the cornea).

CPR - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or cardiocerebral resuscitation; using rescue breathing (at times, optional) and chest compressions to help a person whose breathing and heartbeat have stopped.

Man's Inability - Total inability refers to the effect of man’s inherent corruption on his spiritual powers and discernment. Berkhof writes: “When we speak of man’s corruption as total inability, we mean two things: (1) that the unrenewed sinner cannot do any act, however insignificant, which fundamentally meets with God’s approval and answers to the demands of God’s holy law; and (2) that he cannot change his fundamental preference for sin and self to love for God, nor even make an approach to such a change. In a word, he is unable to do any spiritual good.”

Irresistible Grace - Whenever God pleases, He overcomes the resistance of the unregenerate sinner and regenerate him or her, according to His own will and for His own glory.

Just as no person, being clinically dead, can participate in or refuse the application of CPR, man lacks the ability to participate in his salvation and he also lacks the power and control to resist the grace of God if God has chosen to save him. Salvation is a monergistic work of God, not a synergistic (cooperative) effort between God and man.


It's one thing to take a CPR class and practice the procedure on a "life-like" model. It's one thing to watch CPR being performed on a live patient, as you sit on your couch watching any one of the myriad reality television shows produced to entertain mankind's insatiable voyeuristic tendencies. It's something altogether different to actually perform CPR on another human being. As a deputy sheriff, I found myself in the midst of this traumatic struggle between life and death, on more than one occasion.

One such incident is forever etched in my mind. It was early in my patrol career. My training officer and I received a "shots fired" call in the southwest part of town. When we arrived on scene, a man in his twenties laid on his back, in the driveway. He had an obvious bullet wound to the chest. There was about a quarter-sized spot of blood on his shirt where the bullet made entry.

People--friends and family--stood around the man's body, in shock and expressing various levels of emotional trauma. But no one was doing anything to help the wounded man.

My partner and I rushed to his side. He had no pulse and he wasn't breathing. We ordered one of the family members to come and provide the breathing for the man, as I began compression on his chest. The man's life's blood slowly made its way from the wound with every compression. His blood was now on my hands. I will never forget the feeling and the sound of the man's ribs cracking as I applied pressure.

I worked on the man for what seemed like several minutes as my partner put out critical information over the radio. Soon, the paramedics arrived, relieved me, and continued CPR. They continued the life-saving efforts as they transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The man was a victim of not only another man's sin, but his sin--a drug deal gone bad. He was dead, and there was absolutely nothing he could do to change that.

In Part 2 of this article, I will show, from Scripture, how this critical incident during my career is analogous to man's utter inability to do anything to save himself or even participate in his salvation.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rick Gerhardt: How do atheists explain the universe’s existence?

Watch atheists duck and cover, if you ever get a chance to ask one this question. The reason: they have no answer. They've never had an answer. They will never have an answer--at least not an answer truly consistent with an atheistic worldview.