Matt Chandler: Total Depravity of…the Saints?
According to many Christians these days, Christians are wicked. Now, it is one thing to describe the Christian as being able to fall into sin, but according to Scripture, the wicked live there, they are enemies of God and they will not be in heaven.
Matt Chandler in the video below declares himself as wicked. Such words seem to contradict Biblical teaching.
“In this moment, I am a wicked sinner, redeemed by the blood of Christ.”
Other well known conference speakers and preachers also teach the same in what can easily be labeled the doctrine of the total depravity of the saints. It is a doctrine not found in Scripture. It certainly is not the position of historical Christianity:
The design of heaven is unsuitable to them. The design of God in making heaven was, that it might be a place of holy habitation, for the reward of the righteous, and not an habitation for wicked men. It would greatly reflect on the wisdom of God to dispose of wicked men there; for it would be the greatest confusion. But God is not the author of confusion, I Corinthians xiv. 33. It would be contrary to the holiness of God, to take wicked men so near to himself into his glorious presence, to dwell forever in that part of the creation which is, as it were, his own palace, and to sit at his table. We read in Psalm v. 4. “Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Therefore it would doubtless be impossible that the end of the existence of wicked men should be in any wise answered by the placing of them in heaven.
It may be objected that in Romans 7:24, the Apostle Paul calls himself ‘wretched’ and indeed he does – Wretched man that I am!
However, ‘wretched’ is not ‘wicked’. The word for wretched in Romans 7:24 is talaipōros, which is one who is enduring trials, afflicted. It comes from two base words meaning enduring or under weight, bearing a test. Apostle Paul in that passage, is not a ‘wicked’ man, he is a mature believer in Christ persevering! The inescapable point is that the wicked, if they perish in their sins, will not dwell in heaven.
William Hendriksen says it well in his NTC commentary on Romans 7:24: The writer genuinely deplores the fact that due to the law of sin still operating in him, he is unable to serve God as completely and whole-heartedly as he desires. The poignant grief here expressed is definitely that of a believer. No unbeliever would ever be able to be so filled with sorrow because of his sins! The author of the outcry is Paul, speaking for every child of God. The cry he utters is one of distress, but not of despair, as verse Rom_7:25 proves. Paul suffers agony, to be sure, the wretchedness brought about by strenuous exertion; that is, by trying hard, but never satisfactorily succeeding, to live in complete harmony with God’s will but failing again and again. He is looking forward eagerly to the time when this struggle will have ended.
On the other hand, ‘wicked’ in the New Testament is an entirely different matter altogether. Take John 3:20 for example:
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Here, the word is phaulos, “foul”, evil, ethically bad. In Scripture, the saint is never described as wicked, for the wicked are dead in their sins and they hate the light.
It’s an important distinction, and with many young Christians these days, often boasting in their ‘vileness’ and ‘wickedness’, a distinction that needs clarifying.
In Scripture, the wicked are not the children of God. They are not the saints. In fact, they are compared to:
Ashes under the feet
Brass and iron
Briars and thorns
Bulls of Bashan
Carcasses trodden under feet
Job_21:18; Psa_1:4; Mat_3:12;
Clouds without water
Pro_26:11; Mat_7:6; 2Pe_2:22;
Psa_119:119; Eze_22:18; Eze_22:19;
Early dew that passes away
Fire of thorns
Fools building upon sand
Fuel of fire
Garden without water
Grass on the housetop
Heath in the desert
Horses rushing into the battle
Lions greedy of prey
Raging waves of the sea
Visions of the night
Wells without water
Wild ass’s colt
Does that describe you, reader? Bottom line is clear in Scripture; either we are a new creation in Christ, or we are not. If we are, our lives will evidence good fruit, not wickedness as a way of life. Words mean things. If ‘wicked’ does describe you, repent and believe in the Gospel and be saved.