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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


THE JOHN 3 16 CONFERENCES In 1954 in my father's church in Roanoke Virginia, I heard the message on John 3:16 "Whosoever believe in Him shall be saved." And I do believe that day the Lord saved my sinful seven year old soul.

I have heard, read, preached, taught on John 3 :16 a number of times. "WHOSOEVER" has been the point of many sermons I have heard many times. And the point that is pointed out is that any person who desires to be saved can be saved. Just call on Jesus to save him and Jesus will respond and save that person who by his faith desires to turn to Jesus. As a matter of fact I have even said that in those early years of ministry.

I remember the first time I heard "Whosoever" was not for everyone. That would be Dr. George L. Norris in Seminary in 1966. That was a shocker. Not every one will be saved. I almost quit Seminary over that idea. Theology was the topic of Seminary. Dr. Norris taught from the theological perspective. He taught from the God perspective. How does God see salvation, how did God plan for the salvation of mankind. Now that was an idea that I had not heard.

Most preaching is always from man perspective. Most fundamental, Norris fundamentalist, taught from man side of salvation. "Whosoever". Preachers taught that all man should be saved, and that any man can come to Christ, if by their faith they trust in Christ. Salvation, being born again, being saved was started by man, by his faith, and God responded to that faith.

I have heard most of my life, "Jesus died on the cross for all men, and all men can if they will be saved." "The blood of Jesus Christ, can save all man of all times."

I heard that man is not really so dead spiritually as Ephesians 2:1 says, "dead in trespasses and sins" that he by his own faith can say he wants to be saved. "Even when we were dead in sins," as verse 5 tells us, we were alive enough to have enough faith to be saved.

Now I could not really figure out, why so many people would come to the altar in our churches and say they wanted to be saved, and then they would never come back to church.

I can remember Ephesians 2:8, preachers would say, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith." but I didn't hear a lot about the next phrase, "And that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." What did that mean. Did it mean that been saved, is a gift of God. I did hear that. Its a gift! Salvation is a Gift. Not of works, but a gift from God. Our salvation is a gift from God. Usually you do not ask for a gift. So do you ask for a gift from God? Do you have to ask God for His gift?

In Dr. Norris Seminary Class, he said, "Salvation is a gift of God, given to those whom He will." WHAT! I remember every time Dr Norris would walk or speak in chapel, they would sing, "Whosoever will". Because they believe he didn't believe whosoever will could believe.

After Seminary, I went to another Norris fundamentalist church, and heard the same whosoever will, Jesus died on the cross for everyone, and whoso ever wants to be saved, and call upon Christ, by their faith can be saved. And a number of people did just that, and they were short lived in their will to follow Christ.

Then another few churches and then to Hyles Anderson College, and FBC of Hammond and I got a real good taste of the whoso ever will preaching. The whosoever folks were coming in by thousands. By 1980 FBC had over 80,000 members, those who had been baptized. But for some reason FBC was only having around 17,000 of those people coming to the church. (The numbers are correct) The whosoever was never in church.

I don't know if I had really taking a biblical study of that word "whosoever." The John 3:16 conferences will have seven different seminary professors who will look, respectively, into the Hebrew meaning of whosoever, the Greek meaning of whosoever, the Latin meaning of whosoever, the King James meaning of whosoever, the historical meaning of whosoever, the contemporary meaning of whosoever, and, most importantly, what John Wesley taught about the meaning of whosoever. (I would like to get their notes in November 2008)

These John 3 :16 conferences will be sponsored by the following:

  • Jerry Vines Ministries, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

All those Theological Seminaries are very good. WHOSOEVER WILL CAN BE SAVED.

So what does it mean "WHOSOEVER WILL?" That is the question isn't it.

Let's look at this word "whosoever." Next time.