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Louis Entzminger

Louis Entzminger

LOUIS ENTZMINGER
1876 - 1958

Dr. Entzminger was known through- out fundamentalist circles for his orthodoxy and his contending for the faith. He was especially known for his teachings on the New Testament Church. Being a Sunday school administrator and Baptist preacher, Dr. Louis Entzminger, began his service for the Lord with a great desire to work with the Sunday Schools of Baptist churches. In 1939, Dr. Louis Entzminger with the aid of Dr. Norris, he organized the Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, an institution which excelled in the training of young preachers in the building of large Sunday Schools and churches. Many of the graduates of this school have built some of the largest churches in America. Dr. Entzminger began to work on a system that would help to build and maintain such Sunday Schools. He was the originator of the six-point system that is so widely used today in most Baptist Sunday Schools as well as those of other denominations.

Dr. Entzminger is also credited for his help in building the largest Sunday Schools in America, either directly or indirectly. He was instrumental in the founding of the Fundamental Baptist Bible Institute which later became Bible Baptist Seminary and is now known as Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Texas.

After more than eighty years of life, the majority of them in full-time service for the Lord, Dr. Entzminger slipped quietly away to be with the Lord. His life could well be summed up in the words of another: "Life's race well won, life's work well done, life's crown well won, now, comes rest." By Louis Entzminger, Bible Baptist Seminary lecturer and associate of J. Frank Norris

This article appeared in The Fundamentalist, March 7, 1947, under the heading, “Dr. Louis Entzminger Has the Courage to Change His Views.” Entzminger was a lecturer at Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and an associate of J. Frank Norris. The article documents his view of the “Baptist Bride” interpretation which he had recently come to reject. We reprint the article here (edited only for length) as an example of a clear presentation of theology from the early days of the independent Baptist movement in the U.S., and as documentation for the historic Baptist principle of unity in essentials with liberty in nonessentials.

Who will make up the church in glory? This is a question which constantly recurs today. I have read and studied all that I could find on the subject for years. Like the average man who does so, I have been swayed to first one, then another, position, though all the time feeling uncertain about the whole matter. Hence, I have avoided taking a definite stand until I could investigate what the Scripture really teaches on the whole subject. This I have done personally, prayerfully and with an open mind, and with all the earnestness of my soul.

Three positions on the subject
There are three positions or three different schools of thought on the subject. Good and great men advocate each of them, but good and great men have gone wrong on many of the greatest and most vital teachings of Scripture. I have selected enough to represent fairly the three theories.
It is fair to say that I have not seen in my research on the matter (and I have read from scores of authorities) where any one claims that what one believes on this matter is a test of fellowship. Such being a test of fellowship among Christians is emphatically denied by devotees of all three positions.
1. The most commonly accepted theory is the one set forth by B. H. Carroll. I quote it from his Interpretation of the English Bible. In the volume on Colossians, Ephesians and Hebrews, pages 164-165 on Ephesians 5:22-33, he says, “‘In the divine purpose from eternity and in its consummation in glory the whole number of the redeemed are conceived of as a unit, set forth in the Scripture under the figure of the bride, or wife, of the Lamb ... Under this imagery the church is the mystical bride of the Lamb.”
2. The second position, or theory, is that this church in glory will include all the redeemed from Pentecost. This position is the one usually accepted by Protestants and leaders of the interdenominational movement. This is also the position advocated in the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible.
3. The third position is that of several small groups, mainly of Baptists, that they only will be included in the church in glory.

What does the Bible teach?
What do the Scriptures teach as to who will be included in the church in glory? God had a purpose in the church in ages past, though it was a secret, a mystery (Deuteronomy 29:29, Eph. 1:9-11; 2:6, 7; 3:9-11, 21). God always goes to the origin of things. His purpose was, and is, throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:5, 10, 11).

The Old Testament foreshadows
We have intimations and foreshadowings of it in past ages as the apostle says.
1. In Adam and Eve, Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 3:21. See also Ephesians 5:23-32. As Eve was in Adam before she was fashioned into the beautiful woman she was, and suited to him, his counterpart, even so was the church in Christ in the mind and purpose of God. When cleansed by His own life’s blood, redeemed, sanctified, holy by regeneration and glorification, he presents it to himself a glorious church (Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 5:25-27).
2. We believe it is also foreshadowed in Isaac and Rebecca in Genesis 24.
3. In the house Moses built in the wilderness, Hebrews 3:1-6.
4. We believe even that baptism was foreshadowed in the passing through the Red Sea (Exodus 14; 1 Corinthians 10:2, and the Lord’s Supper in the memorial of the Passover (Exodus 12; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 26:26-29).
5. The church was also foreshadowed in the house Solomon built (1 Kings 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21-22).
There are other intimations of the church, but we believe these are sufficient for our purpose.

The place of the Old Testament saints
All believers, of whatever position on this matter, believe that all the saved, of whatever church — Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, even in churches called Baptist which have departed from the faith — all the saved of whichever church, and of no church, will be glorified. This applies to all Old Testament saints from Adam.
1. Adam, Genesis 3:21
2. Noah, Genesis 6:8
3. Abraham, Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1-3
4. And all the Old Testament saints, Acts 10:43; Hebrews 11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-25, 41-44, 51-53; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.
All believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) not to be judged as to our sins, but for deeds done, whether good or worthless. Will our father Abraham be included in this judgment and be rewarded for his faithfulness, who had the same Savior and whose salvation was a pattern of our very own? Abraham who cared little for Canaan and its cities, but who looked for the Holy City over 20 centuries before John saw it (Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 21:1-7)? Was Abraham an “overcomer?” Will he “inherit all things” or just be a “guest” during the reign of Christ on the earth for a thousand years, and through eternity? The apostle tells us all will be rewarded when perfected, including the heroes of the faith and saints of the New Testament (Hebrews 11:39-40). “Every man shall be rewarded according to his works.” Will this not include Old Testament saints? Will Moses be left out when the day to which he looked forward arrives (Hebrews 11:26)?
Are all these heroes of faith to be just “guests” or spectators during the millennium and the eternal state, because there was no church, except in prospect, for them to be members of? Was not “the house Moses built” a type of foreshadowing of the house Jesus built? Will he be just a guest, because the church was only in prospect, and the church we are studying about is still only in prospect?
“Moses was faithful in all his house” (Hebrews 3:2). Could one do more? Will God make a difference between the saints of two dispensations of equal faithfulness, when all are saved by grace through faith in Christ?
I once thought so, but after independent, unbiased, earnest and prayerful study, I do not.

The nature of the rewards
Who knows just what takes place in the matter of glorification and at the judgment of the saints for rewards? The church in glory is to have all spots removed and all wrinkles taken out and not a blemish left. Just what this means we do not definitely know. What are the spots? What are the wrinkles? What are the blemishes? Does it mean and apply to saved persons in churches that sprinkled for baptism? Does it mean perversion of the ordinances? Does it mean they are spotted and wrinkled and blemished by ignorance as to the New Testament church? Does it mean their disobedience in not winning souls, not giving, not attending church, and not praying? Does it mean Christians living worldly lives, smoking, card playing, dancing, and going to shows? Does it mean any or all of these things? Frankly and honestly, I do not know. One thing I do know — when the washing, cleansing and making spotless, sanctifying and making holy is completed, He will present it to Himself a glorious church. He is the one who does it all and whatever he does is perfectly done.
The judgment of the saints on the matter of rewards is a testing, trying event. The Scripture at 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 applies to the church. It was written definitely to a particular church, not to the bishop or elder or deacons, but to the church and all saints there who may not have joined the church (1 Corinthians 1:1-2: “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” Nothing invisible about this).
The foundation is Christ, not Peter. The building is constructed of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble. This church is God’s building; it is the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Paul was a wise master-builder (1 Corinthians 3:10). He laid the foundation. The foundation was Christ, not “Pope” Peter. Now a day is coming when every man’s work is to be manifested, revealed, shown up, set out in clear light, knowing it will be tried by fire - the fire of God’s holiness, “For the day shall declare it.” Remembering this is the church at Corinth, but it is used here (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) in the abstract sense and thus applies to every member of every particular church.
The fire burns up the wood, hay and stubble, but the man is saved as though being snatched out of the fire, (for instance, Lot taken out of Sodom) but what of the man? He is saved though as by fire — but he suffers loss.
If any man’s work abides, he receives a reward. What is the reward? It is symbolized by the word “crown.” This speaks of dignity, honor, royalty, authority, power and rulership. This is a trial, testing by fire and manifesting of works — works, not of sinners, but of saved men.
Now what are the works? Are the works for salvation? No, but of the saved. Is anybody lost? No, all are saved. What is the difference? Clearly, rewards or loss. Is this a just judgment? Can anybody complain? Certainly not.
What of the wood, hay and stubble? Does it mean to join a man-made church? Does it mean practicing open communion? Does it mean accepting unscriptural baptism? Does it mean accepting sprinkling for baptism? Does it mean one’s works — one serving suppers, knitting socks, selling cakes and wasting time in social service, and a thousand other things, instead of winning the lost? Does it mean preachers quibbling and hair splitting over doctrinal questions while sinners are plunging into hell and they are doing nothing about it? Does it mean arguing about the method of doing mission work and doing no mission work? Giving nothing to missions? Does it mean arguing about baptism, but baptizing nobody? Does it mean wasted time in pleasure and worldliness! Who can say? I have prayerfully sought to know.

What is the distinction between
the saints?
What difference will there be between glorified saints, or saints in glory? The only distinction I can possibly find, after as thorough study of the Scriptures as I am capable of making, is that of rewards. Some will be rewarded - some will suffer loss. I cannot find one word that justifies the position that some will be included in the church in glory, while others will be left out. All worthless works are burned, consumed, all scriptural service rewarded, but all saved. Those whose works are worthless suffer loss, but they are saved, glorified, and enjoy eternal bliss with the Lord and all THE REDEEMED FOR ALL ETERNITY.
It is a terrible thing, however, to contemplate the loss of all because of a life spent in worthless, useless service, else the apostle would not warn of such a day of trial, of worthless works and give such a tragic picture as that of being “saved as though by fire.” What about those who, in spite of the fact that they have believed to the saving of the soul, spend their lives in a man-made church which teaches works for salvation, perverting the truth? What about those who hold membership in man-made societies that substitute baptism and the Lord’s Supper for grace? Surely they will suffer loss. If God in His great grace sees fit to destroy all such worse than worthless works, and in removing all these spots, wrinkles and blemishes, and making all those who are blood washed, even those who, in spite of their sacramentalism, have believed in “him to the saving of their souls” — if in His grace, He accepts them in his church in glory, I rejoice in the prospect.
If the faithful, who have honored the church our Lord planted here, having been true to the faith and devoted to loving, sacrificial service for Him, are rewarded and crowned with a crown of glory, and reign with him for a thousand years, surely that will be glory enough. Millions who have suffered for Christ because of their loyalty and faithfulness to His church, will reign with Him when He is crowned King of kings and Lord of Lords (2 Timothy 2:11-15).
Yes, while all the redeemed will, no doubt, be included in the glory church, not just from Pentecost, nor those of a special group of faithful churches, yet there will be a difference and a distinction in those whose “works” are burned, and those who have been faithful and true to the faith once delivered to the saints and who are crowned and who reign with Him. It will be a difference and distinction enough without leaving out those whose works are burned and who suffer loss. Surely Noah and Abraham, and Moses, and Joshua, and Samuel, and David — in spite of his awful sin — all will be crowned, along with Paul and James, who died for their faith. They, with those who have suffered throughout all ages from Abel, who are saved, will be included in the church and general assembly of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:23).
The difference will not be because of the difference as to the dispensation, or what group of churches, but as to their devotion to Him and faithfulness in His service and rewards bestowed for their suffering and works of love.

A demonstration in the
transfiguration of Christ
In the transfiguration of Christ, we have blended into one climactic picture, representatives of all dispensations - past, present and future. The past and present in one grand gleam of glory, where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, Greek nor barbarian. We can but believe that after resurrection, transformation, translation and glorification, when we are to “ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17), that there will be no distinction, except in the matter of rewards. That will be when all these marks and distinctions of the past shall be lost to our vision, and we shall look upon Him as the one grand hope of the redeemed of all ages, and sing even more wonderfully than we sing now in anticipation:

“When I shall see Him face to face And tell the story, saved by Grace.”
Will Moses, whom we see here glorified, and those he represents form one class or group? Will Elijah, translated without seeing death, and those represented by him form another class or group? Will Peter, James and John, who had made the great confession (Matthew 16:16), and those represented by them form another group or class? Or will not all the redeemed of all time, when that glorious hope becomes a reality, like those in the Holy Mount see “No man save Jesus only” (Matthew 17:8)?
Since we all agree that the position one takes as to the ones to be included in the church in glory, is not a test of fellowship, let us all be true to Him and do our best by winning the lost, and getting all we can saved and ready to meet Him “when the bridegroom comes.”

 
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