When God heard the cries of the oppressed Israelites in Egypt, He raised up Moses to deliver His message “let My people go” to Pharaoh, the Egyptian ruler (Exodus 3:7-10). Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to submit to Moses’ demands brought a series of divine plagues upon Egypt, finally resulting in the destruction of Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea (moments after Moses and the Israelites had miraculously crossed over on dry land).
Many great Bible teachers have taught that God preemptively hardened Pharaoh’s heart, as if God’s sovereign ability to overrule the will of man (and the glory He would receive through the Exodus) is the only story here. But such an emphasis hides a key truth about the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart — a truth which should serve as a warning to any of us who have allowed our hearts to become hard toward the cries of the children who are oppressed today by abortion.
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For most of my life, the topic of Calvinism was not much of a concern to me. The arrogance of a Calvinist friend in High School had little influence on me, and certainly seemed to me not to be something I could attribute to God’s “glory.” Calvinist Harold Camping‘s false prophecies about the rapture and/or the return of Christ (dating back to 1984) didn’t help my impression of Calvinism, and I certainly saw no reason to glorify God for them. I was grieved by Camping’s deceptions, especially because it brought harm to Family Radio, the ministry my father Richard Palmquist began (which he was forced to leave in 1965, leaving Camping at the helm). The passion which characterized most of my father’s life was bringing glory to God, and he passed that passion along to me.
But the time that Calvinism really hit home for me — when I really began to see it as a poison — was in 2002, after meeting with local pastors Continue reading →