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
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
lifes 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,
4. We believe even that baptism was foreshadowed
in the passing through the Red Sea (Exodus
14; 1 Corinthians 10:2, and the Lords
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
The place of the Old Testament
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
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
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 Gods
building; it is the Temple of God (1 Corinthians
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 mans work
is to be manifested, revealed, shown up, set
out in clear light, knowing it will be tried
by fire - the fire of Gods 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 mans 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 ones
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
What is the distinction between
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 Lords 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
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
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
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