In volume 3 of The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards John Gerstner, an Edwardian scholar, sets forth Edwards’ doctrine of “seeking.” It is a very helpful section in understanding Jonathan Edwards’ puritan roots in evangelism. Gerstner surveys the doctrine of “seeking” systematically through Edwards’ writings and sermons, even his unpublished sermons that are still not available to the public. In the midst of such a survey, Gerstner created a hypothetical letter for an unregenerate seeker to pray based upon what Edwards was thinking as a result of this compilation of information.
The following is that letter.
Just in case you are unclear on this, the letter below is an attempt to set forth what Jonathan Edwards would have counseled a seeker to actually pray based on his own ideas, though we do not have anything in his writings practically as such. As you will notice, this prayer would be considered as anti-evangelistic in contemporary circles – the church today repudiates such thoughts and would be abhorred to see it in print in any form.
They would never counsel someone to pray a prayer as this. But in light of the survey of puritan teaching, up and through Edwards, this is surely what the puritans did say, did counsel and did preach from their pulpits. The doctrine of seeking is essentially gone from 21st century Christendom, but it needs to be revived. Here we see the outworking of such a doctrine practically. Where are you on the evangelistic theological scale?
After reading this prayer, ask yourself “Does this shock you?”
Dear God, whom I hate with all my being precisely because you hate and threaten me with hell, I hate this punishment perhaps even more than I hate you. Or, maybe I should say that I love my comfort even more than I hate you. For that reason I am asking a favor of you. I want you to make me love you, whom I hate even when I ask this and even more because I have to ask this. I am being frank with you because I know it is no use to be otherwise. You know even better than I how much I hate you and that I love only myself. It is no use for me to pretend to be sincere. I most certainly do not love you and do not want to love you. I hate the thought of loving you but that is what I'm asking because I love myself. If you can answer this 'prayer' I guess the gift of gratitude will come with it and then I will be able to do what I would not think of doing now—thank you for making me love you whom I hate.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
My apologies to all of you who sometimes stop by to see what's going on. It's a crazy time right now and I have not had a chance to sit down and post anything original or even something I found that might be of interest.
I'm on vacation from now to the New Year but finding time to post is a challenge. Plus, I officially have my surgery scheduled for December 29th. If all goes well I should just spend one night in the hospital and then relax at home for the rest of the week.
Isaac Watts humbly described his lyric writing ability, “I have made no pretence to be a poet. But to the Lamb that was slain, and now lives, I have addressed many a song, to be sung by the penitent and believing heart.” Hugh Wilson wrote the music to this hymn.
The manner in which we do God’s will is as important as the thing itself. We obey acceptably when we obey from the heart. We do God’s will acceptably when we do his will as it is done in heaven, that is, as the angels do it.
How do the angels obey?
(1.) They do it regularly, without wavering. Angels do not do anything but that which is commanded. Obedience must be set by the sundial of God’s Word.
(2.) Angels obey God’s will entirely with nothing cut away. The least command cannot be left undone. Every command has the same authority, and if we do God’s will uprightly, we do it uniformly; we obey every branch of his will with unlimited obedience. Many do God’s will by halves. They pick and choose like a lame horse that favours one leg. To play a lute you must strike every string or spoil the music. Hypocrites profess fair, but when it comes to sacrificing their Isaac, crucifying a beloved sin, or parting with some estate for Christ, they pause and say as Naaman, ‘In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant’ (2 Kings 5:18). It is acceptable with God, though we fail in some measure, that we desire to do all of God’s will and that it grieves us that we do not do better.
(3.) Angels obey sincerely; first, by pure respect to his command. It was a hard service for Abraham to sacrifice his son, and though he surely did not feel present joy, he obeyed, because God commanded it. The command, not comfort, is the ground of duty. Secondly, we obey sincerely when we do God’s will with a pure eye to his glory. The Pharisees obeyed for vain-glory.
He that does God’s will rightly desires God’s honour to be lifted up in all the world rather than his own glory. A gracious soul makes God his focus and obeys his commands with the pure motive of lifting up his glory.
The Eritrean government arrested 30 elderly, Christian women this past weekend, a Christian persecution watchdog reported Monday.
Security forces on Dec. 5 rounded up a group of mostly elderly women praying together at a house and took them to a police station in Asmara, the capital city, according to International Christian Concern.
The women are mostly members of the Faith Mission Church, an evangelical church with a Methodist background. The church has an over 50-year history in Eritrea but became a target of government crackdown after a law requiring churches to register with officials was adopted in 2002.
“We condemn the arrest of the 30 women by Eritrean officials,” said ICC’s regional manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, in a statement. “We urge officials of Eritrea to release the detainees and all the imprisoned Christians in the country. We call upon Eritrea to stop violating the freedom of religion of its people.”
In recent years, the Eritrean government has cracked down even on registered churches. The head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church has been under house arrest for years and there have been reports of raids on Christian functions, such as weddings.
Reports have also indicated that the torturing of Christians in prison is common. Christians are locked in outdoor metal shipping containers and have to endure unbearable heat, disease and mental distress. The containers are said to only be about 20 feet long and many of them contain 15 to 20 people.
I relate much to this devotion. Especially, "The burden is not lifted away--but we are sustained beneath it."
As many of you know I struggle with a body that produces kidney stones. The stones can sometimes pass without trouble and hardly any pain. Other times the pain can be very intense, even if the stone is very small.
At the end of this month I am scheduled to have a 2cm+ sized stone surgically removed from my kidney via a process called nephro-lithotripsy. Nephro-lithotripsy is an evasive surgery that will require a surgeon to make an incision into my back and insert a tube into my kidney directly to the stone. My urologist will then dilate the tube and begin to break up the stone with a laser and then pull the fragments out through the tube. I will be in the hospital one to two days and then spend a week at home taking it real easy if everything goes perfectly.
I said all that to say that God is sovereign and in control of all things.
My burden has not yet been lifted away but I am sustained by Him through this suffering.
Through the suffering of these stones God has brought me closer to Himself by revealing just a fraction more of His holiness through the study of His providence and sovereignty in all things. I am comforted in knowing that all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.
Sixty-five years ago, more than 2,400 Americans lost their lives in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we think of those who died on December 7, 1941, and honor all those who sacrificed for our liberty during World War II.
On that peaceful Sunday morning, our country suffered a vicious, unprovoked attack that changed the course of history. Though our Pacific Fleet was nearly destroyed, our citizens were inspired by the great acts of heroism from those who survived and from those who did not. In the days that followed, our grief turned to resolution, and America embarked on a mission to defeat two of the most ruthless regimes the world has ever known. We pledge to always remember the character and sacrifice of the brave individuals at Pearl Harbor. Their selfless service helped deliver a great victory for the cause of freedom and, ultimately, transformed adversaries into the closest of friends.
After the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, "We are going to win the war and we are going to win the peace that follows." In the 21st century, freedom is again under attack, and young Americans have stepped forward to serve in a global war on terror that will secure our liberty and determine the destiny of millions around the world. Like generations before, we will answer history's call with confidence, confront threats to our way of life, and build a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.
The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."
"Since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath's sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head!" 1 Samuel 17:50-51
If he had not cut off the giant's head--the old Philistine champion would have gotten up by and by, and walked away; for he was only stunned, not killed, by the stone. David made sure work of his victory!
A great many of our attacks upon sin in our own hearts, and in the world--only stun, and do not kill the evil. We walk away, thinking we have done a fine thing. But shortly, we meet the 'old giant' again, stalking abroad as before! He soon recovers from our blow, and we have to fight the battle over; and perhaps we fight it again in the same half-hearted way--and thus on and on, to the end of our life!
Most of us have had just such experience as this, with our own evil lusts and passions. We overcome them very often, and think each time that we are through with them--but soon again they are as active as ever.
We need to learn a lesson from David--and finish our victories by cutting off the head of every giant we strike down!
There is no other way of killing sins!
The life is in the head--and the head must be struck off--or the enemy will be facing us again in a day or two, with but a scar on his forehead!
The only way to get a real victory over vices--is to decapitate them! Bruises and wounds are not enough. There must be thorough work done, in the name of the Lord. Half-way measures will not avail.
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5
"Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord." 1 Samuel 15:33. Like Samuel, we must hew our Agags to pieces!
Two things a master commits to his servant's care--the child and the child's clothes. It will be a poor excuse for the servant to say, at his master's return, "Sir, here are all the child's clothes, neat and clean, but the child is lost." Much so of the account that many will give to God of their souls and bodies at the great day. "Lord, here is my body; I am very grateful for it; I neglected nothing that belonged to its contents and welfare; but as for my soul, that is lost and cast away forever. I took little care and thought about it."
"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all His benefits: who forgives all your sins, who heals all your diseases, who saves your life from the pit, who crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things!" Psalm 103:2-5
What an enumeration of divine blessings is this!
Any one of them is worth more than all earth's treasures combined!
If we are not forgiven--we must lie forever under the burden of sin, a weight greater than all the Alps! But God forgives--and forgives all our sins--and forgives freely, fully and forever!
If we are not healed--we must be sick forever, sick with the plague and leprosy of sin! But God heals--and heals all our evils, and heals completely!
If we are not saved from the dangers of this ensnaring world--we never can reach heaven! But God keeps, rescues, and saves our life from all impending destructions!
Earth's crowns are made of thorns, and at the best are only what the children call, 'play-crowns', for they are but of leaves that wither, or of gold and gems that will not last. But God crowns His people with crowns of love and compassion, which are real and radiant, which shall never fade--but shall shine forever, becoming crowns of eternal life and glory in heaven!
This world cannot satisfy our heart's deepest cravings. Its possessions only make our hunger more intense! But God satisfies the souls of His people, and meets all their cravings and hungers with truly good and eternal realities!
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.
The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.
Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.
Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.
Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.
The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.
FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.
The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.
"I gave the detainee a glance over and then left," the SEAL wrote. "I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health."
Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.
I don't care how twisted and corrupt your life is at this moment -- it is not too late to ask for forgiveness. God can and will forgive you if you repent of your sin, plead for the blood of Christ, and ask for mercy! It is not too late to ask for mercy.
You may wonder, "Can God really forgive all the rottenness and corruption in my life?" He certainly can.
Because today Jesus is still on a throne of mercy. You can find His grace and His help. But when we see Him at the judgment, He's no longer on a throne of mercy. He is on a throne of justice.
There's nothing more beautiful than a little lamb and there's nothing more terrible than the wrath of the Lamb. One day God's mercy is going to be cut off and then we will have the wrath of the Lamb.
WASHINGTON – While it may seem like everyone believes in global warming and the impending catastrophe it will bring, a group of conservative Christians countered that message Thursday by launching a national campaign to gather one million signatures for a statement that says Christians must not believe in all the hype about global warming.
Job 1:1, 5 (Josh Hicks emphasis and parentheses added):
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil...and when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them (that is, his children) all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Earlier, I told you I wanted to address the subject of the sovereignty of God in the context of this book of Job, so let us begin. Here we read of this "blameless and upright" man of God. Not only do we see his personal holiness via its proclamation thereof in Scripture, we see the effects of his holiness making waves in his family dealings. As an aside, we see Job's actions here being a far cry from the ways in which the majority of fathers in this day and age have utterly failed to exercise headship, culpability, and responsibility for their families.
More over, we see that the text immediately notes the godliness of Job, and his concern for his family. Mixed in amongst these mentions is that of his great wealth. It's funny, though, how his wealth does not give Job the security to live in sin and licentiousness. No, he is "blameless" and is much concerned with the holiness of not only himself, but his family. Thus, it is established...Job's a man of God, not harboring sin, or pride, or greed, or envy, etc. Now we read this (Job 1:6-12, my emphasis added):
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
We may deduce several thoughts from this passage. I will consider a few. Number 1, this book, as shown in this passage, is not primarily about suffering, or even Job's suffering. This book is about God's sovereignty over all things. Secondly, Satan is not equal in power, stature, or grandeur with God Almighty. There are folks in this world who go for the idea of a balance between good and evil that is in perpetual warfare against one another. I believe it's the ying yang that tries to symbolize this foolish concept. No, it is plain that Satan is subject to God just like any other creature. Consider the fact that Satan does not address the Lord, until he himself is called to do so. You will also note that Satan doesn't ignore God's spoken word, nor does he lie (for he knows the futility therein) to him as to treat the Lord's question with indignity. So it is as it has always been...God-Almighty, Satan-not even close.
Thirdly, though Satan is the accuser of the brethren, in this particular case, it is not Satan who brings up God's loyal subject, Job. Rather, it is the Lord Himself who initiates the conversation and its subject matter. Next, Satan acknowledges God's goodness by proclaiming what God has done for and given to Job. Herein we see that demons and devils do not deny God or Jesus' existence, they do not even deny is goodness, holiness, sovereignty, etc. They believe these things about God (as they should), but they do not care. This would be why James notes that mere faith that God is true is not necessarily saving faith.
Lastly, Satan shows his absolute powerlessness apart from God's granting. In somewhat understanding the natural heart of man, he says that Job doesn't fear God for no reason. He then, as I have already noted, talks about the kindness God has shown Job, and implies that this is why he serves so faithfully. But Satan has failed to recognize the reborn heart of man, one regenerated by the Holy Spirit, so he continues with his foolishness and asserts that if God takes all these materialistic things, and family, away, that Job will surely curse Him. But it's important to note that Satan, by saying "stretch out your hand", is admitting that God is the One Who ordains, has power over, and permits affliction in Job's life. This is further recognized when God gives Satan the authority to take away Job's things, but limits it when it comes to Job's life.
And so, we see that God is sovereign in not only the giving of gifts, riches, and family, but he's also sovereign in the initiation, planning, and execution of affliction in the lives of men. In light of this, we ought to remember the first chapter of James' epistle. James spends the first several verses speaking of trials, afflictions, and temptations. Then, in verse 17 he notes that every good and perfect gift is given by our Father in heaven. The sentence before that starts with "Do not be deceived, brethren", noting that these folks, because of their current trials and hardships, begin to question the goodness of God. But he reminds them that these afflictions, though they don't appear to be so, are really perfect and good gifts from God above, he is molding us according to the good pleasure of His will.
So, then, let us echo Job while facing trial, hardship, temptation, or affliction and proclaim that the Lord gives and He takes away, BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!
The man accused of killing George Tiller plans to tell the court that he was justified in shooting the prominent abortionist and says he has no regrets.
"Defending innocent life – that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple," 51-year-old Scott Roeder told The Associated Press in 30-minute phone interview.
And having heard that at least four women who had sought abortions changed their minds and chose to have their babies, Roeder made it clear that he would do it again.
"[E]ven if one changed her mind it would be worth it,” he told AP from jail. “No, I don't have any regrets."
Roeder is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Tiller, who was shot at point-blank during a church service in May. The Kansas City native has also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two ushers who tried to stop him during the May 31 incident at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.
Question: A Mormon asked me this question a number of years ago, and through the years here at church, I’ve asked a number of people this question, and I wanted to get your opinion. Can you become a Christian if you deny the Trinity?
I would answer, "No." If you don’t believe in the Trinity, then you don’t understand who God is. You may say the word “God” but you don’t understand His nature. Second, you couldn’t possibly understand who Christ is--that He is God in human flesh. The Incarnation of Christ is an essential component of the biblical gospel, as John 1:1-14 and many other biblical passages make clear.
To deny the Trinity is to deny the Incarnation. And to deny the Incarnation is to wrongly understand the true gospel.
In saying that, I realize that such an answer is going to not only impact people that you may have witnessed to (like Mormons), but it also applies to some in the broader Pentecostal movement, called United Pentecostals or "Jesus-Only" Pentecostals. Such individuals hold to a kind of modalism, where God is sometimes in the mode of the Father or the mode of the Son or the mode of the Spirit, but He’s never all three at the same time. That too is a deficient and heretical view of the Trinity. It denies the distinct Personhood of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The same question sometimes arises about the Virgin Birth.
I think it is possible for a person to become a Christian before learning about the details of the Virgin Birth, though that person would certainly assume that Jesus Christ must have had a unique birth since He is both God and man. But, if someone knows about the Virgin Birth and says, “I deny the Virgin Birth,” then he is simultaneously denying the deity of Christ, and also the Trinity. Such a person betrays the fact that they do not understand the gospel, and therefore cannot have truly been saved.
Men are brought to God by the effectual power of grace, but grace never violates, though it subdues, the human will. They make a great mistake who think that God treats men as if they were logs: God knows they are not logs, and never treats them so. He has made them in his own image, to be free, intelligent agents, and he acts upon them as free agents.
It is difficult for some men to understand how grace can be effectual and almighty, and yet man can still be a free agent. Now, if persons do not see this, we are not bound to give them understandings, but the two things are consistent enough: prejudice creates the difficulty, there is none really. A man may be free enough, and yet he may be so overwhelmingly persuaded to a certain course,that he cannot do otherwise; such moral power does not at all interfere with true liberty.
If we taught that men were saved against their wills, and that physical force was put upon them to make them Christians, we should deserve to be denounced as talking nonsense, or worse; but the power which we speak of is moral, spiritual, persuasive, and operates in strict accordance with the usual laws of mind.
The grace of God does no violence to the will, but sweetly overcomes its obstinacy, making it a willing captive.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-3,14
Jesus, the Word, God Himself, became flesh and dwelt among us.
John magnificently, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pens the words that most of the world does not want to hear, refuses to believe and will kill those who propagate it.
If this was all the New Testament had to say about the Deity of Jesus, it would be completely sufficient.
But Jesus Himself makes the extraordinary claim in John 14:7 when speaking to the disciples:
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Jesus spoke these words right after telling the disciples that He was the way, the truth, and the life. No one, according to Jesus, comes to the Father except through Him.
But Philip, not in full belief of what Jesus just said, shows his ignorance of the Truth standing before him:
“Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” John 14:8
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9
Jesus almost seems heartbroken over Philip’s request to see the Father. “Have I been with you so long,…..” After all the things Jesus has said…after all the miracles He performed.
One can almost hear the disappointment in Jesus’ voice as He says, “….and yet you have not known me, Philip?
Philip had the very words of Jesus’ claim of Deity and that should have been enough for him.
Had Philip heard Jesus' claim of deity before, could that be one reason for the way Jesus spoke to him here in chapter 14?
Let's go back to chapter 8 where Jesus is speaking to the Jews.
Jesus, proclaiming He was before all things, made a scandalous statement. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58
This is a statement of eternity past!
John MacArthur says of this statement;
"If we were to translate the Greek literally in verse 58 it would read like this, "Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham became..." What it means is there was a definite point in time when Abraham began, a point in past history when the man who did not exist came into existence. Jesus says, "Before that, I AM." That's the eternal present that indicates no beginning. To become is to pass from nothingness and non-existence to existence.
But "I AM" denotes a mode of existence which is not due to any such transition. It is a statement about eternity. It is a statement about ever-lasting life, no beginning, no end. And thus does Jesus attribute to Himself eternal existence in the absolutely divine sense. And even the word "before" is symbolic, it is a concession to human comprehension of time, for in the life of God there is no before and there is no after. Jesus says, "Then I Am the eternal existing one who eternally existed whereas Abraham at some point in time began."
And thus is Jesus claiming to be the eternal God.
This is what angered the Jews to pick up stones and stone Him. They knew exactly what Jesus was claiming; Deity.
Jesus is God.
Because all have sinned (humans), only God could come to the Earth and live a perfect life. Only a perfect God could offer Himself up for the atonement for those he created. Only a perfect God could reconcile man back to Himself from the sin that separates perfection from imperfection.
Will you repent today?
Will you put your trust in Him today?
A perfect God from eternity past has given Himself for you. Jesus Christ, fully man and fully God, took your punishment and placed it on Himself. He died on a cross to reconcile you back to Himself. He rose on the third day conquering death. He paid for your sins in His life's blood.
Repent and trust Him today and He will save you from the wrath to come.
"This man welcomes sinners--and eats with them!" Luke 15:2
"I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you!" Matthew 21:31
Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things.
Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken--in building their kingdoms. But God is the God of the broken, the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no 'bruised reed' which Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow--and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure--up to heaven's glory!
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1-3)
On this date, October 29th 1994, God saved me.
Thank you Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:2)
That I may tell of all Your praiseIn the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation. (Psalm 9:14)
I will declare Your name to My brethren;In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. (Psalm 22:22)
I will praise You forever,Because You have done it;And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good. (Psalm 52:9)
But I will hope continually,And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,And I will glorify Your name forevermore. (Psalm 86:12)
I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth;Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. (Psalm 109:30)
I will praise You,For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. (Psalm 118:21)
You are my God, and I will praise You;You are my God, I will exalt You. (Pslam 118:28)
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believeis condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:13-18)
People will need to turn vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming.
In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”
Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.
NEWS ALERT: Pakistani Christians Fear More Deadly Violence Posted on: 2009-10-15 13:49:55 By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
SARGODHA, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Christians in Pakistan's Punjab province feared more violence Thursday, October 15, after authorities released on bail six suspected Muslim militants accused of anti-Christian clashes that killed nearly a dozen people, while acquitting an alleged Muslim rapist of a Christian girl.
The news emerged as Pakistani security forces battled suspected Muslim militants who killed dozens of people Thursday, October 15, in attacks against police.
The district and sessions court of Toba Tek Singh released Muhammad Adnan, Muhammad Ammar, Muhammad Safdar, Ali Raza, Javed-ur-Rehman and Amer Hayyat after each of them posted bail in the amount of 50,000 Pakistani Rupee($600), trial observers said.
They were allegedly involved of inciting and carrying out attacks against Christians in Gojra where 11 Christians were killed and over 40 Christian homes were burned down.
Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world in your prayers.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19
There is a world that now is in more rebellion than ever! "As in the days of Noah" they rebelled against God. For 100 years Noah never preached a new message, he preached repentance, he preached righteousness.
Alexander White used to say, "You can preach divine healing, you can preach prophecy, you can preach anything, but you can't preach righteousness; people won't have it."
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Some New Yorkers may want to reconsider exclaiming "Thank God" when arriving at their destination subway station beginning next Monday.
Or at least that's what a coalition of eight atheist organizations are hoping, having purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.
The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"
On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.
Well I can tell you right off; I'm not good without God.
I'm not even good with God.
In fact, I'm not good at all.
Jesus said in Matthew chapter 19 verse 17, "...no one is good but One, that is, God."
Only God is good.
He is perfect.
I am not.
His standard of goodness is so high we could never attain it. But there is a way to be forgiven of breaking His law; His Ten Commandments.
No, I'm not talking about asking Jesus into your heart. I'm not asking you to 'make' Jesus your Lord and Savior. I not telling you you need to 'accept' Jesus. I'm not telling you that you have a 'God shaped hole' in your heart that only Jesus can fill.
I'm talking about repentance and faith in Christ.
The Bible says we must repent (Acts 2:38) and put our trust in Christ (Acts 16:31).
One day you will die.
You will stand before the Creator whom you have mocked or denied. He will judge you according to the perfect, moral standard of His Law. If He finds you guilty of so much as one lie, or one theft, or one greedy desire, or one selfish act, or one lustful look, or one hateful thought, or one blasphemous utterance; He will find you guilty of breaking His Law. The sentence you will receive will be just and good: eternity in Hell.
2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect and sinless life, to be a sacrifice for you and me. Jesus was the propitiation, the satisfaction if you will, for our sins. Jesus died on a cross and the wrath of God was unleashed upon Him.
Jesus died a brutal, shameful, and humiliating death.
Three days later Jesus defeated death and rose from the dead and ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father.
If you Repent of your sins and Trust in Jesus as your Savior you will not see the wrath of God on Judgment Day.
You are free from the Judgment only if you repent and trust because Jesus' sacrifice delivered you from the law of sin and death. You will have eternal life with God! God will forgive you of your sin and you will become born again. God will place new desires in your heart.
You will become a new creation in Christ.
All this will happen not because God made you into a good person, but because He has forgiven you and declared you not guilty.
So it looks like we only have until December 6th to ram through global legislation or the world will blow a gasket and overheat.
I wonder how many pages a bill (the health care bill has over 1,500) like that would have? How many oxygen producing trees will be needed to print up hundreds of bills for all the leaders of the world to read?
On a side note.......here in North Georgia we had frost warnings a full month ahead of 'normal' seasonal frosts.
Speak of evolution,— here it is,— “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Darkness never begets light, filth never creates purity, hell never yields heaven, and depravity never produces grace.
The simple fact is that everyone will die one day. None of us know how much time we have left on this earth. Regardless if you believe in heaven or hell, on judgment day you will stand before a righteous and holy God that will stand in judgment of you. You may not agree with this or even believe it but please read on to get the full explanation.
In the beginning God created a perfect world. There was no death or sickness because there was no sin in His perfect creation. God created man and woman to inhabit the earth, Garden of Eden, and gave them dominion over all things. When Adam and Eve were in the garden they walked and talked with God. They were in perfect relationship with Him. However, they disobeyed God (sinned) and they were cast out of the garden and their penalty was death. As a result of their sin all humanity would never be in perfect relationship with God. This was not just a blame it all on Adam and Eve event...we have sinned as well. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). You may think...I don't feel like I have sinned. Let me explain further. God brought forth Ten Commandments that were moral laws and humankind was told to live within these laws. The Ten Commandments are:
1. You shall have no other God before me.
2. You shall not bow down to any graven image.
3. You shall not take the Lord's name in vain.
4. Remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5. Honor your mother and father.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not lie.
10. You shall not covet.
Here is the news....we have broken all of these commandments. You may say, "I have never killed anyone or committed adultery". Jesus said that if you have hated your brother then you have committed murder in your heart. He also said that if you look upon a woman to lust after her then you are guilty of committing adultery in your heart. Jesus clarified the law by making it a matter of the conscience rather than only of deed.
The simple fact is that if you have ever lied, God sees you as a liar. If you have ever stolen anything (regardless of value) God sees you as a thief. If you have ever looked upon anyone in lust then God sees you as an adulterer. On Judgment Day you will be found guilty in the sight of a Righteous, Holy, and Just God and he is fair and just in sending you to hell.
You may think that you will be able to beg for forgiveness on that day. Let's apply what we know about justice to this idea. Suppose you are brought before a judge in a court of law and you are guilty of raping and murdering someone. The evidence against you is rock solid. Somehow you were caught on video tape committing the act and on top of that there is DNA evidence to substantiate the charge. You are guilty. What if you beg the judge for forgiveness? Maybe you could say, "Judge I know I raped and murdered that person but that was a long time ago. Since then I have become a very good person and I donate time and money to charitable causes". Will the judge let you go? No, he will not let you go because he is a just judge and the law must be satisfied. You do the crime, you serve the time. God, the Holy Creator of the universe is infinitely more Just and fair than an earthly judge. Because He is fair and just He must punish sin. Not only must He...He will. God's punishment is Hell.
Right now you may be thinking.....I have no hope. Let me give you the Good News.
2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect and sinless life, to be a sacrifice for you and me. Jesus was the propitiation, the satisfaction if you will, for our sins. Jesus died on a cross and the wrath of God was unleashed upon Him. Jesus died a brutal, shameful, and humiliating death. Three days later Jesus defeated death and rose from the dead and ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father. If youRepent of your sins and Trust in Jesus as your Savior you will not see the wrath of God on Judgment Day. You are free from the Judgment only if you repent and trust because Jesus' sacrifice delivered you from the law of sin and death. You will have eternal life with God! God will forgive you of your sin and you will become born again. God will place new desires in your heart. You will become a new creation in Christ.
God sacrificed His Son in order to restore the relationship that mankind destroyed with God. You hear all sorts of talk today about God's "purpose" for your life......I have just told you God's purpose and wonderful plan for your life. Repent and trust in Jesus today. You do not know how much time you have left on this earth. The latest statistics report that 150,000 people die every day. What if today is your last day?
If you are not sure exactly how to repent and trust read Psalm 51 and use that as your model. You can also refer to the "Repentance" tab on the left side of this page for more information.
The fossils were found in north-east China earlier this year, embedded in rock dating back 160 million years, and have been called "Darwinopterus" after the renowned naturalist Charles Darwin.
The creature's discovery has astounded scientists because their age puts them within two recognized groups of pterodactyls -- primitive long-tailed forms and advanced short-tail forms -- and they display characteristics of both.
The combination of features indicates that the primitive pterodactyls evolved relatively quickly, and that certain groups of features changed at the same time.
The researchers say more study is needed to substantiate the idea of that evolution could occur relatively quickly, and that whole parts of a plant or animal's body could change at once.
The Word of God is the Christian's rule--and the Spirit of God is the Christian's guide.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3:16
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes--He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13
Most people walk by false rules: 1. Some walk by popular opinions. 2. Some walk by worldly customs. 3. Some walk by providence. 4. Some walk by conscience. 5. Some walk by their own reason. 6. Some walk by other men's examples. 7. Some walk by their own lusts.
But, oh! my dear friends, let me beseech you to walk by none of these false rules--but keep close to the Word and Spirit of God.
Almighty Father, Conscious of our own weakness, and trusting only in Your grace and power--we beseech You this day to increase and multiply Your mercy upon us.
We are going forth to tread on slippery ground--may You uphold us.
Our march is through a land of which Satan is the prince--may You protect us.
Snares at each turn await our steps--may You guide us.
We look around--and fear. We look up to You--and take courage. By Your grace alone can we stand. If Your grace should fail us--instantly we fall. Our earnest prayer is, "Hold me up--and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
"Bestowing the Nobel Prize on the most rabid pro-abortion president in history is a direct slap in the face to past recipient Mother Theresa of Calcutta who said, in receiving her Nobel Peace Prize: 'the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing - direct murder by the mother herself.' "
Was the prize for his 2009 apology tour? Did they feel sorry for him that he lost the Olympics?
The odd thing that I find amazing is not that in less than nine months into his presidency he wins the prize, but the fact that two weeks after his presidency begun the nominee selection deadline was officially closed.
From the story:
The announcement Friday in Oslo, Norway, came as a surprise -- Obama had not been mentioned among front-runners -- and the roomful of reporters gasped when ThorbjornJagland, chairman of the Nobel committee, announced Obama's name.
Jagland said the decision was unanimous and came with ease.
He rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in his efforts to open up the Soviet Union. Don't Miss
Jagland said he hoped the prize would help Obama resolve the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So the prize was awarded based on some future event that may or may not happen??
Story goes on to say:
Former Finnish President MarttiAhtisaari, last year's laureate, said it was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage.
"I see this as an important encouragement," Ahtisaari said.
The committee wanted to be "far more daring" than in recent times and make an impact on global politics, said Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the International Peace Research Institute.
The committee has given out a prize based on encouraging a president to do something about peace rather than just talking about peace.
Sort of a carrot and stick deal...except they gave him the carrot first.
BANGKOK — There are plenty of needy countries at the U.N. climate talks in Bangkok that make the case they need financial assistance to adapt to the impacts of global warming. Then there are the Saudis.
Saudi Arabia has led a quiet campaign during these and other negotiations — demanding behind closed doors that oil-producing nations get special financial assistance if a new climate pact calls for substantial reductions in the use of fossil fuels.
A young Marine officer was in a serious car accident, but the only visible permanent injury was to both of his ears, which were amputated. Since he wasn't physically impaired he remained in the Marine and eventually rose to the rank of General. He was, however very sensitive about his appearance. One day the General was interviewing three Marines for his personal aide. The first was an aviator, and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the General asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
The young officer answered," why yes, sir. I couldn't help but notice that you have no ears." The general got very angry at the lack of tact and threw him out.
The second interview was with a femaleLieutenant, and she was even better. The General asked her the same question, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
She replied, "Well, sir, you have no ears." The General threw her out also. The third interview was with a Marine Gunny. He was articulate, looked extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two officers combined.
The General wanted this guy, and went ahead with the same question, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
To his surprise the Gunny said, "Yes sir; you wear contacts lenses."
The General was very impressed and thought, what an incredibly observant Gunny, and he didn't mention my ears. "And how do you know that I wear contacts?" The General asked.
The sharp-witted Gunny replied, "Well, sir, it's pretty hard to wear glasses without any ears."
"It is not the healthy who need a doctor--but the sick!" Matthew 9:12
From the garden of Gethsemane--where the bleeding pores of the Savior sweat pardons; from the cross of Calvary--where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy--the cry comes, "Look unto Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth!" From Calvary's summit, where Jesus cries, "It is finished!" I hear a shout, "Look unto Me, and be saved!"
But there comes a vile cry from our soul, "No, look to yourself! Look to yourself!" Ah, look to yourself--and you will certainly be damned! As long as you look to yourself--there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are--but a consideration of what Christ is, that can save you. You must look away from yourself, and to Jesus!
Oh! there are many who quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that their good works qualify them to come to Christ; whereas SIN is the only qualification for man to come to Jesus!
"It is not the healthy who need a doctor--but the sick!" Matthew 9:12
"That no flesh should glory in His presence." 1 Corinthians 1:29
God does not look for any goodness or merit in the creature to draw His love--but He will justify, pardon, and save for His name's sake. All the motives which move God to show mercy are in His own bosom.
Salvation is only from free grace, and not from anything good in us, or done by us.
God is free to bestow His promises upon whomever He pleases. He often steps over the rich, and chooses the poor; He often steps over the learned, and chooses the ignorant; He often steps over the strong, and chooses the weak; He often steps over the sweet nature, and chooses the wicked nature; He often steps over the noble, and chooses the vile; etc., that no flesh may glory, and that all may shout out "Grace, grace!"
"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10
ADF attorneys send letter to federal, state officials after Arizona school children chosen to decorate D.C. tree, but told to keep religion out.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter to federal and state officials, including Arizona Governor Janice Brewer Monday, calling for them to stop enforcing a requirement prohibiting the state’s schoolchildren from expressing religious viewpoints through Christmas themes while decorating ornaments for the 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree.
Arizona was chosen this year to present 4,000 handcrafted ornaments made by elementary, middle-school, and high-school students to decorate Washington, D.C.’s annual Christmas tree.
“Banning Christmas from the Capitol Christmas tree is just absurd. Christian students shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their religious beliefs,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “The First Amendment does not allow government officials to exclude schoolchildren’s ornaments for the capitol’s Christmas tree merely because they communicate a religious viewpoint.”
On behalf of a mother whose son strongly desires to submit three ornaments for the tree, ADF attorneys sent a letter to state and federal officials demanding that they abandon the prohibition of religious viewpoints so that the child may participate in the unique opportunity. One of the ornaments will read “Merry Christmas,” another will say “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” and the third will portray a manger scene with the baby Jesus.
Each of these ornaments will also honor Arizona, using as a theme the state’s history, geography, or motto, “Ditat Deus,” which means “God Enriches.” ADF attorneys indicate in the letter that they will take legal action if officials do not comply by October 4, the day before the deadline to submit ornaments for consideration.
“It is well established that expression of religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” the letter reads. “Religious expression is speech and is entitled to the same level of protection as other kinds of speech... Even expression that comes through symbols, such as ornaments…”
"For the great day of His wrath has come--and who shall be able to stand!" Revelation 6:17
Who may abide the day of His coming? Who shall stand when He appears? Oh, beloved! this is not the day of man's wrath! Men have had their day of reigning and raging, and despising God--but that day is over and gone, and now God's day has come! This is the day of His wrath--and woe to wicked, and woe to the whore of Babylon, for the hour of her judgment has come!
This will be a day of great ASTONISHMENT to the wicked and ungodly, "The Lord shall smite them with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart!" Deuteronomy 28:28
This will be a day of great TERROR to those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus! Therefore, says the apostle, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." 2 Corinthians 5:11
This day of God's wrath will be a day of great DISTRESS to the wicked. "I in turn will laugh at your disaster! I will mock when calamity overtakes you--when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you!" Proverbs 1:26-27
This day of God's wrath will be a day of great CONTEMPT to the ungodly. "The Lord Almighty has purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth!" Isaiah 23:9
This day of God's wrath will be a day of great DESTRUCTION. "The wicked are reserved to the day of destruction; they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath!" Job 21:30
Oh, beloved! God's GREAT wrath will be very terrible to the wicked!
1. God's great wrath will tear them in pieces like a lion! "I will be like a lion to Israel, like a strong young lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces! I will carry them off, and no one will be left to rescue them!" Hosea 5:14. "Consider this, all you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue you!" Psalm 50:22
2. God's great wrath will consume them like fire! "The Lord Almighty says--The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed--roots, branches, and all." Malachi 4:1
3. God's great wrath will swallow up all His enemies! "You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate You. You will throw them in a fiery furnace when You appear. In His wrath the Lord will swallow them up, and His fire will consume them!" Psalm 21:8-9
Oh! the wrath of the Almighty is called in the Scripture, "The fierceness of His great wrath!" 2 Kings 23:26. "The fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation!" Psalm 78:49. "The fury of His wrath!" Revelation 16:19.
Please pray for me, my faithful evangelism partner and several hundred other evangelists as we head down to the Atlanta area prisons this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Pray that God is already at work and will reveal Himself to many folks. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict people of their sins through the law and pray the Gospel will mend that heart with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Pray for the safety of the evangelists as they travel in from several parts of the country and for their families they left behind.
Pray that God will be glorified in everything we say and do.
Brother George brings a daily Scripture verse followed by words of wisdom for the Christian walk.
Bro. George is a passionate Gospel preacher who unashamedly brings the Word of God each week verse by verse. His gift of exegeting the Scriptures and boldly proclaiming Christ is becoming far to rare (even here in the Bible belt) in todays world of 'tickling the ears' preaching.
Boy, that’s a dirty thing to preach these days. Who preaches repentance? There is an old hymn that says, Repentance is "to leave the sins I’ve done before, and show that I in earnest grieve, by doing them no more."
Repentance is more than saying, "I’m sorry." Repentance is mental. It’s something in my mind, I’m going this way and I turn that way. When I’m going this way I’m saying, "God is in the wrong and I am in the right." When I turn around I say, "God is in the right, if He sends me to hell He is in the right."
That is repentance. It’s not just repenting for the sin I’ve done, it’s repenting about the motive that made me do the sin. It’s going past the fruit to the root because if the root of corruption is there, there is going to be fruit coming out that is wrong.
I'm sure I won't be posting anything until at least Sunday. My oldest son and I will be heading down to Woodstock, Georgia to attend the Deeper conference tomorrow morning.
The conference itself will be awesome, but what I am really looking forward to is participating in the 500.
About 500 street preachers and evangelists will head down to Atlanta after the Saturday conference to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the masses. I will be on team #1 which will be stationed at the 'Four Corners' area that includes the Hard Rock Cafe and Hooters.
Please be in prayer for the 500. Pray that thousands will hear the Gospel and that God will save many for His glory.
Christ uncrowned Himself--to crown us! He put off His robes--to put on our rags! He came down from heaven--to keep us out of hell! He fasted forty days--that He might feast us to all eternity! He came from heaven to earth--that He might send us from earth to heaven!
There is no going to the fair haven of glory--without sailing through the narrow strait of repentance.
One of my greatest burdens is that the Cross of Christ is rarely explained. It is not enough to say that “He died” - for all men die. It is not enough to say that “He died a noble death” - for martyrs do the same.
We must understand that we have not fully proclaimed the death of Christ with saving power until we have cleared away the confusion that surrounds it and expounded its true meaning to our hearers - He died bearing the transgressions of His people and suffering the divine penalty for their sins: He was forsaken of God and crushed under the wrath of God in their place.
I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town’s garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek...at the kind of a place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died for. And that is what He died about. That is where church-men ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about.
Adoniram Judson (1788–1850), missionary to Burma, was privileged to see hundreds converted to Christ. Broken in health, he died while making a voyage to the Isle of Bourbon. Before he breathed his last, he said to those around him onboard the ship:
“I go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from school, I feel so strong in Christ.”
William Tyndale was firmly tied to the stake. The kindling was piled high. The match was about to be struck. Suddenly, as an act of kindness, the executioner approached Tyndale from the rear and graciously strangled him to death with a chain. Or so I thought.
William Tyndale was an English Roman Catholic priest whose passion was to see the Bible translated into the language of the people. The Catholic Church and King Henry VIII disagreed. They believed that only the priests should have access to Scripture. When a Catholic priest warned Tyndale to stop his endeavor to translate the Bible, Tyndale fired, "I will make it possible for a boy behind the plow to know more Scripture than you do."
Threatened with death, he fled England and lived incognito in Europe until a friend betrayed him and Tyndale found himself in a dank prison in Vilvorde prison in Brussels, Belgium.
I stood in the place where Tyndale was lit on fire for his "heretical" views. I was told it was an act of kindness that he was strangled before the flames melted him. I was told wrong.
It was not uncommon that when a great reformer was to be set ablaze, they would preach, pray and sing so fervently, that many souls were saved before the flames silenced their message. That is why Tyndale was strangled to death. Not to keep him from pain, but to keep people from hearing the Gospel. Tyndale's last words were, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." God granted that prayer. Henry VIII had a change of heart and ordered that the Bible be translated into the language of the people.
Whose translation did they use?
You guessed it: Tyndale's.
William Tyndale became a human torch so you and I could have the words of life. Are you and I willing to die like Tyndale so others can hear it?
After the Athenian clash on Mars’ Hill, Paul poured contempt on the wisdom of this world, dying daily to the temptation to outwit and out-think the wise. His task was not that of getting over a viewpoint, but of overcoming the legions of hell!
Do you profess to be a Christian, yet after hearing the news of Kennedy's death do you see it as an opportunity to celebrate, or to tell an off-colored joke, or to make a political statement? Well, if as a professing Christian you don't regularly share your faith with the lost, this would certainly explain why. After all, it's what comes out of the mouth that reveals the condition of the heart.
And for those Christians who are obedient to Christ's command to preach the gospel to the entire world, if you too are making light of Kennedy's death, don't you see the hypocrisy in the behavior?
While pundits and others from every political and spiritual persuasion will have much to say over the next several days about Ted Kennedy's life and legacy, if Ted Kennedy could say anything to us right now it would be this.
"Don't miss heaven."
Ted Kennedy's understanding of who God is and what God requires of every person is now perfect. No longer limited by the fallibility of a finite human mind as we are presently, Ted Kennedy's theology is now perfect. Regardless of where you believe Ted Kennedy is at this moment, I am confident that his plea to his fellow man would be, "Don't miss heaven."
My hope is that as he made the long and painful journey from life to death to eternity, Ted Kennedy came to genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Although I saw Ted Kennedy as an enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, my hope is that I will one-day see Ted Kennedy in heaven.
Lord, help me to love my enemies.
What about you? Where will you spend eternity? Have you ever thought about it? Do you care?
You will one-day die and stand before the Creator, Almighty God, whom you've denied and mocked. He will judge you according to the perfect, moral standard of His Law. If He finds you guilty of so much as one lie, or one theft, or one greedy desire, or one selfish act, or one lustful look, or one hateful thought, or one blasphemous utterance; He will find you guilty of breaking His Law. The sentence you will receive will be just and good: eternity in Hell.
Your arguments against the righteous justice of Almighty God, my King, are irrelevant. My King is sovereign. You are not. And any man who tries to defend himself before the Great White Throne of the Creator and Judge of the Universe has a fool for a client.
God, who is rich in mercy, who is loving and kind, has provided only one way for you to escape His just and holy wrath. This is your only hope, whether you believe it or not.
Two thousand years ago, God the Father sent His Son to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ--fully-God and fully-Man, but without sin. Unlike you and me, He never once violated the Law of God in thought, word, or deed. He couldn't. He was God in the flesh--the sinless Lamb of God. He was born of a virgin, just as the prophet said He would be, 750 years before His birth.
Thirty to thirty-three years into that earthly existence He voluntarily went to the cross. He suffered, shed His innocent blood, and died a horrific death. The Bible says that he was so badly beaten and mutilated that He could barely be recognized as human. He suffered and died, taking upon Himself the punishment you and I rightly deserve for violating God's Law. Three days later He rose from the dead and forever defeated sin and death. Unlike the false gods of every other religion on the planet, Jesus Christ is alive and He will return at a time of the Father's choosing.
What He commands of you is that you repent--that you turn away from and forsake your sin; and that you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Jesus said that unless a person is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. If God causes you to be born again, then when you die and stand before Him, instead of receiving what you deserve for breaking God's Law (which is eternity in hell), you will receive what you don't deserve (which is grace, and mercy, and everlasting life in heaven, with Jesus Christ).
So, repent and believe the gospel while my King has given you time. Please, I beg of you, don't miss heaven.