Saturday, January 30, 2010

What would Jesus say to ME?

If you were to meet Jesus Christ today, what do you think He would say to you?

Let's consider some possible things, some people might think Jesus would say (depending on their impression of Jesus)

'I love you, man and I'd like to give these keys to a NEW Rolls Royce!"
'You my friend are a loser, go to HELL!'
'If you'll be my friend, I'll do ANYTHING for you, I'm desperate!'
'You desperately need to go to CHURCH!'
'You need to try harder, stop drinking, cussing, and cheating and start being a 'good' person, or ELSE!'
'The kingdom accounts are in the red, please send all the money you got to the first guy you see on TBN'
'I know you're busy but do you think we could hang out once a week, I'll put in a good word for you?!'

I HOPE YOU ARE BEGINNING TO SEE, that these are NOT the words Jesus would say to you!

In fact Jesus would tell you this:
I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me! (JOHN 14:6)
Jesus Christ has exclusive rights to eternity. Without Him all men are LOST (way), all men are blind (truth) and all men are dead (life)!

Jesus would tell you:
I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. (John 3:3)
In otherwords, unless you are perfect, then the 'change' you need in order to 'get in heaven' is miraculous, something drastically supernatural!

Jesus would tell you:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
True religion has nothing to do with superstition or magic, if you are not 'born-again' then claiming to follow God, saying a prayer, and even doing stuff in church and for people will do nothing for your soul (your eternity)!

Jesus would tell you:
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:" 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. (Matthew 15:7-9)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:19)
The problem goes deeper then EXTERNALS, the reason DOING things is not enough is because the real issue is INTERNAL, the change that is needed MUST take place within, because you do what you do because of who you ARE. Sin begins IN (the heart) YOU, it's not enough to restrain it.

Jesus would tell you:
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19,20)
Not only is there an internal problem of what you ARE, but the ultimate issue is that you LOVE your sin and HATE God's way. What condemns all men as guilty, is that fact that ALL men refuse to love and honor God, we each do our own thing. Jesus came to expose your sin!

Jesus would tell you:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:18)
The condition of your soul is the most important thing in your life. Nothing in this world is worth losing your soul in hell. Your sins merit an eternity in hell, every sin you commit is yet another testimony to the fact that you are a rebel to the rule of God. As a rebel against God's reign it makes no sense whatsoever that you would argue against being FORBIDDEN to enter and enjoy His heavenly abode where His will is ALWAYS being done: Heaven is about God!

Jesus would say to you:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:17)
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28)
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
Jesus Christ came to die, to do what no one else could do. Jesus MADE a way, He was able to satisfy justice and pour out mercy by one act. Jesus was punished on the cross by the hand of God for the sins of others, Jesus Christ bought our freedom, our hope, our eternity with His blood. Jesus Christ WILLINGLY chose to take the place of His enemies so that they would be delivered from the penalty they DESERVE.

Jesus would say to you:
The time has come...The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15)
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32)
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)
Jesus now COMMANDS all men to REPENT and BELIEVE, this entails a turning from sin and a turning to God. This means agreeing with God about His verdict concerning you: that you are a sinner who deserves hell, and that you can't possibly offer God anything to change that, and so you cry out for Him to have mercy upon you. If repentance is true, then God will never turn you away. This repentance and faith means you desire God to actively BE God in your life, it is an expression of your desire to now go His way.

Jesus would say to you:
With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27)
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18)
God is the one who cause this INTERNAL change, He causes you to recognize His truth, His way and He enables you to follow Him. Left to yourself, you are HOPELESS, but when a sinner turns to the Lord, God NEVER leaves them to their selves, He produces FRUIT (change, evidence) in them. The life of a true believer, of every single true believer can be summed up in this statement 'My sheep hear My voice.......they FOLLOW Me!' The Holy Spirit works WITHIN you to love, follow, and obey God, He serves to lead you in all truth, and He serves to comfort you in the reality of God's CONSTANT love towards you.

REPENT AND BELIEVE

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why is the 'special', internet, radio preacher so popular?

I fear, that a major reason for the popularity of preachers who have 'distance-listeners' (which can also include a pastor of a mega-church who the people DO NOT have regular time with), is the fact that many listeners feel much freer to pick and choose what they like or dislike!

I don't subscribe to the census that some men are exceptional (especially when I don't see 3rd great awakenings following them), I think it's a simple matter of people REJECTING the applicatory preaching and ministry of their local shepherds.
Do like good expository preaching? Would you say you like bold preaching?
Well then here is the PROVE IT test: How do you respond to personal correction or rebuke from someone you know? How have you responded to an elder putting his finger on YOUR particular sin, in order to minister to YOU? It isn't a matter of 'giving' it, but can you take it (and bless God for it)?!

It's quite easy and I suppose everyone has done it (I have), to sit under preaching and think (or say) 'Man, that's good! SO and SO really needs to hear this!" Funny, how it's always "SO and SO" but never "I need to hear this". If you are a lover of the truth, if you desire to see holiness exalted, then you WILL appreciate it in your face.

Proverbs 9: 7 "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

I also fear that this is the REAL reason for such little 'true' fellowship in our day. It's very easy to hide behind our masks, when we don't get past the surface talk. May the Lord lighten the burden of those dear pastors who desperately hope week after week that their flock would take off the masks so that they might truly minister to each individual!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do you want to PREACH???

So you think you can preach, you think you're called to the ministry? Perhaps others have recognised this as well, and you can't WAIT to get behind that pulpit and do your thang. Yet there is that one obstacle, that one word you don't want to hear, 'PATIENCE'.
May I tell you that 'patience' will SAVE you from yourself and SAVE others from YOU! As you have to wait, you will begin to learn how to better explain and better effect others for the glory of God. You should consider it a MERCY that you haven't had MANY opportunities to preach, for you would have had much to repent of towards God and man, and in no way whatsoever do I mean your eloquence.
WHY DO I SAY THIS???
Well for most of us, if we have any grasp of truth, of the GOSPEL, of the problems we face in the church today, then in our YOUTHFUL (mixed with flesh) zeal, we may try with all our might to offend EVERY single person we preach to, seeking to smash down every little thing we've noticed, to expose every form of hypocrisy and weakness, all the while leaving every TRUE child of God feeling crushed and forsaken by God. In otherwords, we are preaching as though we ourselves were angels and as if the church itself are demons. It is an attitude of preaching which doesn't grasp what Jesus was telling Peter after His resurrection; 'Do you love me?'....then 'feed my sheep'! It's something which Peter began to grasp later when admonished preachers to:
1 Peter 5:2,3 Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
In otherwords, you should NEVER seek to preach to the 'CHURCH' (though within a church there may be many false professors) UNTIL you actually desire to see the body of Christ edified. If you lack a HEART for the people of God, and only wish to preach in a "JUST DO IT, YOU IMBECILES" attitude, all the while trying to be a Leonard Ravenhill, while you CLEARLY lack the ability to lead by example. Of course you could ignore things like family faithfulness, humility, servant-hood, and just harp on your strong points like street preaching and hours upon hours in prayer while you make everyone feel like they are lost, though their life ACTUALLY bears more fruit (and testimony to Christ), all the while finding comfort in the fact that your being persecuted and that you're one of the few REMANTs left, dear brother you will SOON have your ELIJAH experience (I kings 19)- you're NOT alone AND you still have much to learn!

Every preacher MUST be resolved to preach Christ and to preach for the glory of God, which ALSO entails a fear of giving undue comfort to the LOST (wicked) and undue grief to the true BELIEVER. The evangelistic heart of a preacher should cry out 'oh for men to be saved!!' and at the same time the pastoral heart of the preacher should cry 'oh for the people of God to grow in the knowledge of God', that's NOT to say if you have and do such, that you will become popular, but you will then be ready to be faithful!

True church conference 2010, don't expect Paul WASHER

The True Church Conference in Muscle Shoals, AL will be going on in February
Speakers include: MICHAEL HAYKIN, BARRY KING, CONRAD MBEWE, JONO SIMS, JEFF NOBLIT, DAVID MILLER
Which I have every intention of attending, with most of my herd. http://www.anchoredintruth.org/tcc10/



However if you expect to catch up with or meet Paul Washer you will be disappointed, because he will be preaching at a men's conference in Ohio, throughout the time of the conference.
http://www.lemoynebaptist.org/up.htm

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paul and Silas in PRISON, how things could have been different

The circumstances surrounding the imprisoning of Paul and Silas is quite amazing. I not only refer to the miraculous signs and wonders, or even their grace empowered ability to praise the Lord in the midst of INTENSE agony.
What comes to mind however is how the incident COULD have gone:
Here's Paul and Silas praising the Lord in their shackles and SUDDENLY an earthquake, doors open and chains FALL off. So what would be your FIRST thought? "Praise God, We're OUT OF HERE!" right?! TO add to that we already are reminded how an Angel helped Peter to escape prison, so why wouldn't this be Paul and Silas' first reaction?
Now we have the JAILER who thinks everybody has escaped and rather then face a gruesome death by the hands of the officials for his negligence, he resorts to suicide, but PAUL quickly tries to prevent him and tell him that everybody is still here. What if Paul had 'reasoned' that this moment was all about Paul and Silas, then it would have been easy to convince himself that what this jailer was doing was in fact the judgment of God, why prevent him since it's obvious God providing a way of escape? If Paul speaks out, won't that backfire on him? However that's NOT what Paul reasoned, He rather was more concerned about honoring and glorifying God.
What about the JAILER? He was just prevented from attempted suicide because of fear towards the officials, yet the Lord gives Him such an awakening that he leaves himself vulnerable before prisoners, only concerned with ONE question 'WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET SAVED????'! To top it off, he then shows great service and boldness in ministering to the physical needs of Paul and Silas, then bringing them to his home so that those of his household may hear the gospel! What incredible FRUIT this converted heathen shows in a matter of hours (and though Paul and Silas return to prison (by choice) , the jailer could have been KILLED for what he did).

Acts 16:25-34
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In our FAILURE, He is faithful

The mercy of the Lord ENDURES forever!
When the Lord decided to SAVE you and give you a heart which loves and follows Him, when the Lord washed away your sins and declared you JUSTIFIED before His eyes on the behalf of Christ being your substitute, He not ONLY knew how VILE and wicked you WERE, but He was quite aware of how weak and pitiful your response would be AFTER your conversion. Though the change was drastic, though you were brought from darkness to light, and though IT IS CLEAR that you walk a different path, a narrow path, you still continue to discover that there's so much more you COULD and SHOULD be, yet you aren't.
Dear Saint though you may suffocate under the idea that you have much to repent of, let it be remembered that His love towards you NEVER fails, it NEVER fades, but is constantly poured out upon you.
2 Timothy 2:13
if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
Though you may stray, He will not leave you to yourself, God WILL bring you back to Him, and cause you to grow in Him, He will FINISH the work He started, you will be BROUGHT home (to glory).You will never grasp the depths of His grace, for they are beyond imagination and unceasing, OH what grace has been poured on such a one as you, as such a one as ME!



Consider the truth of this song by Tim Brindle:
Lord, is there any more mercy left/For this stubborn stiff-neck sinner who flirts with death/Any more goodness for me to smell and taste/Or have I dried up all the wells of grace/Could your fountain of love be empty/Jesus, is there any more of your blood to cleanse me/As soon as I thought I got this sin beat/I’m knocked from my feet and dropping in deep/‘Cause I played the whore and despised your glory/Even though you’ve only shown kindness towards me/I belittled your worth and spurned your Bible/Plus I turned aside to worthless idols/But in the mountains of your riches/There is abundant grace and storehouses of forgiveness/So I’m no longer doubting calamity/I thank you that I’m not kicked out of your family/I’m that snotty nose kid who trips-my knees are cut/But you never leave me down you lift and clean me up/So I’m running back to the cross/Where you suffered wrath for my sin I can’t fathom the cost/So when the enemy’s condemning me ‘cause I offended Thee/I remember that my penalty was paid/So the Judge ain’t mad/‘Cause He took His anger out on You like You were His punching bag.

Speaking FOR the crowd (praise of men)

What is a 'man-pleaser'? Do you picture the person who preaches or writes in order to NOT step on anyone's toes? Is it limited to a seeker-friendly 'get your best life now' false teacher?
I beg every minister, every teacher, every blogger and whoever else (including the crowd) to consider that ANYONE could be a man-pleaser.
Regardless of how you express yourself, regardless of your beliefs, it's quite simple to find and generate a 'crowd'. The 'crowd' could be within any theological framework, because the crowd are those who share common convictions or objections with you. There are those who find all their enjoyment in 'exposing' things, those who talk nothing but the five points of Calvinism, those who adhere to all things under the banner of 'missional', those who seek to learn and hear something new, those who anticipate nothing but a style of humor, those who care for nothing but eschatological debate (and those who care for nothing but to debate), and those who are evangelical mainstream, those who are reformed mainstream, those who are evangelical anti-mainstream etc.
Let's take 'hard' preaching for example. Perhaps you've heard of a Pastor who preaches 'hard', and you go to that church and as you were told he really nailed his points with powerfully convicting doctrine, BUT once you've been there for a while you begin to notice a pattern, something is missing. That 'missing' thing, is application that actually confronts something the people don't ALREADY stand for. It takes no special courage to preach boldly to a small gathering of Calvinists who each carry Calvin's commentaries on their i-phone's concerning the problems with Arminians, altar calls, and the sinners prayer, while NEVER confronting issues like how to still love such brethren and even help them or the dangers of falling into apathy concerning the lost etc.
Likewise it would prove fruitless for a pastor to consistently tear down the flaws (the MANY flaws) of the public school system and the need to disciple children , when the church consists of nothing but people who are already doing that! Yet the problem arises when that preacher or person never CONFRONTS the common errors or extremes of such a stand, like the need to constantly guard against being satisfied by your children being well-mannered and able to quote Romans backwards, but to pray and press for conversion!
As Martyn Lloyd-Jones has said, you never preach for the 'pews', or as Albert Martin has warned against allowing your people to think they can persuade your preaching by their 'smiles' and 'frowns'.
So beware brethren when you speak or write for the crowd, for your followers, when you know you'll receive 'amens'. Especially when it's a LARGE gathering and you begin to comfort yourself by the opinions and support of the majority, but when one or a few begin to object you give their words no consideration whatsoever.
As has been said of worship, likewise with the message we declare we should speak FIRST for an 'audience of One'! You greatly deceive and withhold blessing from your supporters (followers, listeners) when you don't seek to actually deal with the sins, extremes, weaknesses of the crowd. We need some more 'you' preaching today and less 'they' rantings!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Want happiness? Martyn Lloyd-Jones QUOTE

From Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn (the 'DR.'). Studies in the Sermon on the Mount



Everybody wants to be happy. That is the great motive behind every act and ambition, behind all work and all striving and effort. Everything is designed for happiness. But the great tragedy of the world is that, though it gives itself to seek for happiness, it never seems to be able to find it. The present state of the world reminds us of that very forcibly. What is the matter? I think the answer is that we have never understood this text as we should have done. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.’ What does it mean? Let me put it negatively like this. We are not to hunger and thirst after blessedness; we are not to hunger and thirst after happiness. But that is what most people are doing. We put happiness and blessedness as the one thing that we desire, and thus we always miss it; it always eludes us. According to the Scriptures hap­piness is never something that should be sought directly; it is always something that results from seeking something else.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why can't evolutionists be accountants?

Evolutions make terrible accountants, because of a major flaw in the fundamentals of math.
An evolutionist who looks at the books and sees no profit, will not be alarmed because he/she believes that 'in time' (given enough) that '0' balance will eventually become something!
They've missed the fact that 0 + 0 or even times(x) 0 = ZERO!

In the beginning there was nothing????? Then nothing became something????



God is the ORIGINATOR of ALL things!! The beginning and the end

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the DARK side of making resolutions or goals

It appears that we the church have adopted a practice which really isn't all that biblical, yet I don't mean to say it's ANTI-biblical, and that is the practice of making resolutions or setting goals.
I was recently listening to a message by John Macarthur and as usual on his broadcasts there is the short intro before the message, well Macarthur was asked about whether he sets goals for the church or self. Macarthur made it clear that he doesn't do that, but RATHER seeks to be 'faithful', even in preaching he said he doesn't set goals as to how many sermons he will preach on a particular book, Marthur pointed out that life just doesn't work like that (or with that), he also made the point that goals can be misleading.
Now why would it ever be an unwise thing to set goals?
Well it's a two-sided problem:
If we set a 'goal' and achieve it, perhaps we will be slow to do more as we are filled with PRIDE, when in all actuality the Lord may be calling for us to do so much more.
If we set a 'goal' and don't achieve it, we may set ourselves up for condemnation and doubt, when in all actuality we may have been biblically faithful to what God called us to do.

For example let's take a common one for Christians; reading through the bible in a year! Well that's nice and dandy if that works out for you, but what about the days where your thoughts and heart could read much much more?? Do you then stop at the 'goal'? Or let's take it from another angle, if you miss or fall short of your 'goal' then will you stop because you can't possibly finish the 'goal'? Rather you should seek to spend TODAY with the Lord, so you missed the beat yesterday, well today is a new day, seek to be faithful today (to your need for Him and His desire for you).

Churches often fall prey to this with their 'vision-casting', which is more akin to the business world. A church, a preacher, should not be as concerned with whether or not they are fulfilling their vision, as to be FAITHFUL to what God has called them to be!

Monday, January 11, 2010

apologetics and philosophy by Curt daniels

I wish to pass along this very clear, biblical and profound series on philosophy.
First allow me to suggest listening to a message on Christian apologetics that Pastor Curt Daniel gave during his church's annual conference (at this particular one Phil Johnson was the special speaker).
This message presents a case for biblical apologetics while pointing out the misguided (though well-intentioned) common methods of apologetics. The question isn't which one do you prefer to use or which one 'works' best, but which one is more consistently biblical!!!



Now as to the excellent series that Curt Daniel does on Christianity vs Philosophy, I just LOVE his ability to make hard things simple (hence the meaning of EXPOSITORY preaching/teaching). Curt Daniel before his conversion was in fact pursuing the field of philosophy. I especially like how he points out the fact that philosophy is that which Solomon calls VANITY, in fact he made the statement that 'a truly converted six year old KNOWS MORE about wisdom than the greatest philosopher' now that's what I call a clear lifting of the sufficiency of scripture!!!!

FOLLOW THIS LINK HERE for the whole series (short bible study lessons)


Further more, allow me to quote one evangelists (Kev Williams) observation concerning the use of apologetics:
Following Mason Vann's challenging post yesterday on apologetics, I listened to this sermon: -Defending The Faith-Curt Daniel Explains The Difference Between Good & Bad Apologetics & also this one, explaining that we should not get into arguments trying to prove the existence of God, and proof of the Bible etc and simply yield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.Now I have long assumed as the Bible says in Romans 1, that deep down everyone knows that God and the Bible are the truth, but I often use apologetics to draw a crowd to preach the Gospel to. However I have noticed recently that the more apologetics are used, the weaker the preaching of the Gospel becomes. And so today I took Curt Daniel's excellent advice and used zero apologetics and simply answered each objection with that 'the Word of God says this...'; quoting a verse and explaining it.Curt Daniel used the analogy that if a criminal being arrested told the policeman: "I don't believe in guns" then the policeman would not just put his gun away, and yet that is what many Christians do when people say "I don't believe the Bible." Today, I answered each objection by simply proclaiming "this is what God's Word says..." and made it clear to people that when they argued against it, they are not arguing with me, but with God because I am just declaring what He says. At one stage when a drunken heckler (same one from last week) was arguing in front of me, with many of the crowd goading him on, when I said "no drunkards will enter Heaven." Many of the crowd started shouting out, how I had no right to judge this person. I replied "I'm not judging him, I am telling him and you what the Word of God says." And then I turned on the crowd and said "But you all are judging him, because you think you're better than this man is here. None of you would invite this man to your home, because you think you're good and that you're better than him." And they all went silent with conviction because they knew it was true. I said "I am not going to Heaven because I am better than you or him. Before I became a Christian I watched pornography, I lied, I stole, slept with girls outside of marriage, I got drunk, took drugs. And all of those things would have sent me to Hell." The crowd of course convicted as many of them knew they were doing the same. I then explained the way of salvation that I am going to Heaven because Jesus Christ on the cross has paid for all my Hell, using Scripture, explanations and pleading with people to come to Christ and be forgiven.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christians suffer from compromise

The Christian has full forgiveness and acceptance before the father because of the cross work of Jesus Christ. The love God has toward the believer never fades or fails, because we are loved as the perfect Son is loved, our sins have truly been COMPLETELY PAID for.

However even the Christian suffers much from sin, sin in the life of the believer carries with it consequences. The path of holiness is a path of happiness, while the path of compromise is a path of misery! A believer that lives in compromise, lives in opposition to the Spirit who works within him/her and such grieving of the Spirit causes innumerable internal disruptions. Sin not fought against is sin which has taken a portion of territory, territory which should be free of struggle and yet this sin is like a dam which has prevented the flow of grace to work in the whole man.
Regardless of the reality of grace that has been bestowed upon the believer, if there is compromise the full enjoyment of it will NEVER be realised.
Sin will rob you of joy!
Sin will rob you of peace!
Sin will rob you of assurance!
Sin will rob you of worship!
Sin will rob you of love towards others!
Sin will rob you of concern for the lost!
Sin will rob you of the good influence of your life towards others!
Sin will rob you of fruitfulness in ministry, marriage, and parenting!
Sin will rob you of faith!
Sin will rob you from the pleasure of bringing God GLORY by your life!

I by no means seek to imply that a true child of God can continue wholeheartedly in sin without repentance. The true believer HAS been transformed by the power of God, God the Holy Spirit works mightily within the life, passion, and pleasure of the true child of God, yet the child of God is not yet perfected and must undergo much struggle in his/her walk with God. The true child of God IS walking WITH God, WANTS to walk with God, and yet the child of God often strays from the WALK of God, yet not completely and not for long, BECAUSE God has vowed to conform him or her by any means necessary and WILL produce ever increasing fruit in him or her!
The true child of God CANNOT compromise UNAFFECTED, he or she WILL experience torments even as Lot who lived in Sodom experienced.
2 Peter 2:7-8
and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
Friend if there is 'sin in the camp' and it's not being dealt with, then you are deceiving yourself, especially if you seek to find comfort somewhere else other than in the wells of grace. In other words until you REPENT, you will rind no relief though you make many excuses, though you surround yourself with people who 'encourage' and pray for you, because they are attempting to give you a remedy without knowing the malady, however YOU do know where this beast lies and unless you slay it, expect nothing but torment.
Not only will prolonged sin cause torment, but it will also be the cause of bitter repentance. Though repentance is sweet and cleansing immediate, if sin is given room to grow, it will spread like gangrene, it will lodge itself deeper and into your heart, which will call for a more extensive and painful extraction. Peter experienced such bitter repentance when he, as was told, denied His Lord, Peter's sin was compounded by the repetition of it and even the prior refusal to agree with the prediction of Christ and the vial and empty proclamation of allegiance to the point of death. Peter didn't say 'well this was expected, and I am saved by grace, so no need to overreact since I'm already free, I'll just think upon God's love and praise Him since it's not like I have to earn it!' No, friend Peter was absolutely CRUSHED and rightly so, his was the biblical response to sin, we yes find comfort in God's grace but NEVER in our sin.
C.H. Spugeon said it like this:
'An old saint on his sickbed once used this remarkable expression: “Lord, sink me low as hell in repentance; but”—and here is the beauty of it—“lift me high as heaven in faith.” Now, the repentance that sinks a man low as hell is of no use except there is the faith also that lifts him as high as heaven! The two are perfectly consistent, the one with the other. A man may loathe and detest himself; and all the while, he may know that Christ is able to save and has saved him. In fact, this is how true Christians live. They repent as bitterly for sin as if they knew they should be damned for it; but they rejoice as much in Christ as if sin were nothing at all.'

Let us then be quick to repent and seek God, His grace is available!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The worst thing that could be said of a preacher

Albert Martin said that the worst thing a preacher could be called is 'unbiblical' and the second worst is 'boring'!
When most leaders refer to 'boring' preachers, they aren't usually speaking of what the average church goer is saying. The average church goer would call 'boring' anything that lacks 'entertainment', anything which calls you to 'think' and to be 'serious'.
For a preacher to be 'boring' or completely uninteresting can mean much more than the obvious. This usually implies that the preacher lacks 'PASSION' by passion I don't mean certain forms of emotion, yet some element of emotion MUST be present. For those who don't have itching ears and wish to hear the truth, a boring preacher will be that men who preaches as though he doesn't believe what he is saying.
Secondly a 'boring' preacher is also one who doesn't LIVE as he preaches, in otherwords he preaches one way and lives another. His sermons sound like he's beating the sheep and the sheep don't respond because they know him too well.
It is preaching which is missing what Martyn Lloyd-Jones coined as true preaching 'theology on fire'. The preachers life is his sermon, and his sermons should be full of life!

'One of the reasons for the disinterest in expository preaching is surely that so many attempts at it prove lifeless, dull, and even thoroughly boring. I never cease to be amazed by the ingenuity of those who are capable of taking the powerful, life-changing text of Scripture and communicating it with all the passion of someone reading aloud from the Yellow Pages!'
Alistair Begg

Such a thought should cause every minister to seek grace to be faithful, to examine himself and desire others to examine him as well.
The worst company a preacher can have and that goes especially for elders (if there is a plurality) is to be surrounded by 'YES' men. Elders when was the last time you had to take the pastor or preacher aside and reprove him? Preacher when was the last time you actually desired, welcomed, and responded (in humble repentance) to someone pointing out something in your preaching or life???

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One RESOLUTION

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could simplify our resolutions this year to just One thing.
Psalm 27:4
One thing I have desired of the LORD,That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.


The pursuit of God is the One thing which leads to change in ALL things. When we seek to cling to Christ and abide in His love, we THEN and only (properly) then are equippped to pursue all that God has for us.
In our pursuit of God:
We find great delight in reading God's love letter to us, His children
We find great delight in spending regular time with Him in prayer
We find great delight in meditating upon Him
And
We are more easily aware and able to speak much of Him to those who know Him not
We are better equipped and eager to see the body of Christ edified
We then are conformed to the image of Christ and consequently we become better Spouses, Parents, Children, Teachers, Ministers, Witnesses, and Friends!

Greatest hindrance to GOOD child training

Parents are given the duty and delight of training their children in the Lord, and that according to His word. This is not a simple task, for it will not only take much study and much re-learning, beyond that it will demand constant attention, in short MUCH grace!
Given the best scenario possible, there is one major factor which will effect all the training (teaching, exhortation, correction) that you give to your children: The most vital aspect of good parenting, biblical parenting is a BIBLICAL EXAMPLE!
It would be better to attend Rick Warrens church, throw your kids in the school of Ceasar (sorry, I mean public school) and have little to no involvement in their personal lives, THEN to homeschool them, teach them to memorize Calvin's Institutes by their 5th birthday, dress like pilgrims, learn to play Bach, as you live a LIFE of HYPOCRISY before their eyes.
Hypocrisy in the life of Christian parents will teach a child one of two things:
1. That Christianity is an external religion, and one must strive to look their best (legalism)
2. That Chrisitanity is just a JOKE, one big and extended costume party (Antinomianism)

Perfection is something NONE will attain to in this life, and surely not in the area of parenting, yet what our children desperately need to see, is our devotion to the Lord. They need to witness our repentance in all our failings, they need to know that we are what we are by the grace of God.

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