Sunday, November 14, 2010
To all the Dawg followers:
I'm going to take a break from Dawg on the Lawn for awhile and devote some undivided attention to my other blog, His Feet on the Street.
His Feet on the Street is a local evangelism ministry that I started back in the spring of '09 that takes the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the streets/jails/retirement homes/events, etc to the Cherokee and Pickens county areas here in my little space in north Georgia.
I want to spend more time on the His Feet blog and possibly overhaul the format to meet my ever changing ideas on how it should look and feel.
I will still post here occasionally and will be back sometime in the future full time again.
Thanks to all those who have followed closely and at a distance. Please feel free to drop by His Feet as often as you wish!
Thursday, November 04, 2010
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says lawmakers of both parties need to start working together now that Republicans have reduced the Democrats' dominance in the chamber.
Reid said on NBC's "Today" show that he planned to speak Wednesday with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on ways to "build a consensus and move this country along."
Senate Democrats lost at least six seats on Election Day, but narrowly held their majority. Reid himself survived an aggressive challenge from tea party favorite Sharron Angle to win re-election.
The Nevada Democrat said he has a "good relationship" with McConnell, but he asked the Republicans to be more open to compromise, telling ABC's "Good Morning America" that "just saying no doesn't do the trick."
American voters have stopped the Obama train. Now it's time to see if the bunch we sent to Washington can turn the train around and get it headed in the right direction again.
Reid says that "just saying no doesn't do the trick". Umm, not saying no enough is what put the train on the wrong tracks full speed ahead to begin with.
Neil Boortz said yesterday that Americans have put the republicans "on probation".
This may well be "Custer's last stand" or the "Invasion of Normandy" for the republican party.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died,
much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
I think it well to turn a little to one side that I may ask my reader to observe adoringly the fountain-head of our salvation, which is the grace of God. "By grace are ye saved." Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified, and saved.
It is not because of anything in them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy, and grace of God. Tarry a moment, then, at the well-head. Behold the pure river of water of life, as it proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb! What an abyss is the grace of God! Who can measure its breadth? Who can fathom its depth? Like all the rest of the divine attributes, it is infinite.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, All Of Grace
From On Doctrine
Monday, November 01, 2010
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The truth which we plead has two parts:
That the righteousness of God imputed to us, unto the justification of life, is the righteousness of Christ, by whose obedience we are made righteous.
That it is faith alone which on our part is required to interest us in that righteousness, or whereby we comply with God's grant and communication of it, or receive it unto our use and benefit; for although this faith is in itself the radical principle of all obedience,-- and whatever is not so, which cannot, which does not, on all occasions, evidence, prove, show, or manifest itself by works, is not of the same kind with it,--yet, as we are justified by it, its act and duty is such, or of that nature, as that no other grace, duty, or work, can be associated with it, or be of any consideration. And both these are evidently confirmed in that description which is given us in the Scripture of the nature of faith and believing unto the justification of life.
- John Owen, The Doctrine Of Justification By Faith
From On Doctrine
Friday, October 29, 2010
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of,
knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, Having Been Given By Inspiration of God, Are the All-Sufficient and Only Rule of Faith and Practice, and Judge of Controversies.
Whatever God teaches or commands is of sovereign authority. Whatever conveys to us an infallible knowledge of his teachings and commands is an infallible rule. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only organs through which, during the present dispensation, God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.
Hat Tip: On Doctrine
Thursday, October 28, 2010
And there is salvation in no one else;For there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,who gave Himself as a ransom for all,the testimony given at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
That there is no remedy but in Jesus Christ; there is nothing else will give you true quietness. If you could fly into heaven, you would not find it there; if you should take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the earth, in some solitary place in the wilderness, you could not fly from your burden. So that if you do not come to Christ, you must either continue still weary and burdened, or, which is worse, you must return to your old dead sleep, to a state of stupidity; and not only so, but you must be everlastingly wearied with God's wrath.
Consider that Christ is a remedy at hand. You need not wish for the wings of a dove that you may fly afar off, and be at rest, but Christ is nigh at hand, if you were but sensible of it. Romans 10:6, 7, 8. "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach." There is no need of doing any great work to come at this rest; the way is plain to it; it is but going to it, it is but sitting down under Christ's shadow.
Christ requires no money to purchase rest of him, he calls to us to come freely, and for nothing. If we are poor and have no money, we may come. Christ sent out his servants to invite the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. Christ does not want to be hired to accept of you, and to give you rest.
It is his work as Mediator to give rest to the weary, it is the work that he was anointed for, and in which he delights. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."
- Jonathan Edwards, Safety, Fulness and Sweet Refreshment in Christ
Friday, October 22, 2010
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His place.
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in holy array.
Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, "The Lord reigns."
1 Chronicles 16:23-31
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.
Let us, therefore, labour to submit to the sovereignty of God. God insists, that his sovereignty be acknowledged by us, and that even in this great matter, a matter which so nearly and infinitely concerns us, as our own eternal salvation. This is the stumbling-block on which thousands fall and perish; and if we go on contending with God about his sovereignty, it will be our eternal ruin. It is absolutely necessary that we should submit to God, as our absolute sovereign, and the sovereign over our souls; as one who may have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and harden whom he will.
- Jonathan Edwards, God's Sovereignty In The Salvation Of Men
Thursday, October 21, 2010
From WND -
Glenn Beck addressed the question on his radio show today as he came to the defense of Christine O'Donnell, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware under fire for challenging evolution.
"Did evolution just stop?" Beck asked rhetorically. "I haven't seen the half-monkey/half-person yet. ... There's no other species that's developing into half-people."
"I don't know how God creates. I don't know how we got here," he continued, wondering what God might tell him after he dies. "If God's like, 'Yup, you were a monkey once,' I'll be shocked, but I'll be cool with it."
Beck explained, "If God didn't create, if things evolve, then your rights evolve. You're not endowed by your Creator.
No evolution Mr. Beck. Go back and read the Bible.
God created man.
Oh, and by the way, Jesus is God too.
Friday, October 15, 2010
How many Charismatics?
One - since his or her hands are in the air anyway.
How many Calvinists?
None. God has predestined when the lights will be on..
How many Baptists?
CHANGE?? But we have NEVER done it that way before!
How many Neo-evangelicals?
No one knows. They cannot tell the difference between light and darkness.
How many TV evangelists?
One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation...
How many Dispensationalists?
Two - one to change the bulb and one to keep the promises to the old bulb.
How many Promise Keepers?
None - unless Coach McCartney says it's manly to do so.
How many Calvinists?
Every Calvinist knows only God can change a lightbulb.
How many Episcopalians?
None, they assume darkness is the nature of the bulb and it would be harmful and disrespecful to violate personality of the bulb.
How many Quakers?
Someone will, but there is no one officially called to be a bulb changer.
How many Arminians?
Only one, but first the bulb must want to be changed.
How many Baptists?
Two, one to change the bulb, the other to preach on tithing in order to pay for the new bulb.
How many Premillennialists?
While knowing where the lightbulbs are, they are persuaded to wait for the official lightbulb changer but no one knows when he will arrive.
How many Arminians?
Since the bulb has free will - it must make the decision.
How many Amillennialists?
Two, one to change the bulb, the other to remind others not to fear the
old darkness or trust the new light--both are only symbolic.
How many Postmillennialists?
One, but now he has to rethink his eschatology....
How Many Liberal Christians?
None - they don't think it needs to be changed.
How many Evolutionists?
None - it will change itself - it will just take billions and billions of years.
How many Lutherans?
17 - 5 to form a commitee to find and nominate 9 people to a committee which shall then discuss the issues of light bulb changing, from which that commitee shall appoint three other people to carry out the final resolution of the second committee - which is that one person shall supervise while one changes the bulb and one will follow up in one month's time to investigate the performance of the bulb.
How many Modern Evangelicals?
It doesn't matter as long as we love each other.
How many Seventh Day Adventists?
Just one - as long as it isn't Saturday.
How many Charismatics?
30 - 1 to change the bulb and 29 to laugh about it!
How many Mormons?
None - it's beneath the character of a god to stoop and change a light bulb.
How many Atheists?
1 - but they are still in darkness.
How many Independent Baptists?
Only one, anymore than that would be considered ecumenical.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
God is infinite in power, and therefore it is impossible for any to withstand His will, or resist the outworking of His decrees!!
Such a statement as that is well calculated to fill the lost sinner with alarm--but from the believer, it evokes nothing but praise.
Let us add a word, and see what a difference it makes--"My God is infinite in power, and therefore it is impossible for any to withstand His will, or resist the outworking of His decrees!!"
My God is infinite in power! Then "I will not fear what man can do unto me!"
My God is infinite in power! Then "whenever I am afraid--I will trust in Him!"
My God is infinite in power! Then "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep--for You alone Lord, make me dwell in safety!"
Psalm 4:8"There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you!" Deuteronomy 33:26, 27
O the preciousness of this truth! Here I am--a poor, helpless, senseless 'sheep,' yet I am secure in the hand of Christ! And why am I secure there? None can pluck me thence--because the hand that holds me is that of the Son of God, and all power in heaven and earth is His!
I have no strength of my own--the world, the flesh, and the Devil, are arrayed against me--so I commit myself into the care and keeping of my Lord Jesus. And what is the ground of my confidence? How do I know that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him? I know it because He is God Almighty--the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
gospel of salvation than this: that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret to mean that… because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at
all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will
redound all the more to the glory of grace… If my preaching and presentation of
the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding then it is not
Martin Lloyd Jones
Monday, October 04, 2010
Amy Carmichael - Missionary
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE — President Obama expounded Tuesday on the reasons he became a Christian as an adult, telling a group of residents here that he was a “Christian by choice” and that “the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brother and sister’s keeper.”
Mr. Obama, who has been criticized by conservative pundits who have questioned his Christian faith, gave a lengthy discourse on it in response to a woman who said she had three “hot topic questions” for him. The first was: “Why are you a Christian?” The second was on abortion — the president said it should be “safe, legal and rare” —and her third was whether Mr. Obama would accept her husband’s chili pepper. He said he would.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Jurors in Michigan have rejected, at least for now, the concept of a "dhimmi" status for Christians, ruling that four evangelists who went to an Arab festival not just to be present but to "change minds" did not commit a breach of peace as police had claimed.
The word comes from the Thomas More Law Center, which defended the four Christians after they were charged for being at an Arab festival in Dearborn, Mich.
Officials said the verdict came from a jury of six Dearborn residents late Friday, who concluded that Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, Negeen Mayel and David Wood were not guilty of breach of peace charges.
The issue strikes directly at the heart of what many fear is developing across the nation: where Muslims are given a special treatment that subjects those of other faiths to second-class status.
Read rest of story here
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I happened to read an article recently about Shaquille O’Neal. As I read it, I ran across a very interesting statement.
“I know I will play in the NBA next season,” said O’Neal. “International? No. The good thing about me and my career is I came in, did it my way, did more than expected. For every athlete or every great person, there’s a time when it has to end. When and if it ever ends it will be very graciously.”
“We’re going to have a big party. We’re going to have a ceremony, and the next thing I’ll be waiting for is the entrance into the place where your name will never be forgotten.”
Now what got me about that last paragraph was ‘the place where your name will never be forgotten.’ Of course, he was talking about the Basketball Hall of Fame. And any basketball player knows that would be one of the major highlights of your career to reach that goal. For many it would be the pinnacle. Of course, there is only one problem. I dare you to go to the Hall of Fame and walk around. You will see these plaques with people’s names on them and you will ask the question, “Who is that?” So even if you got enshrined there, people would still forget who you are! You see, Shaq had set his sights very low.
Philippians 4:3 says,
“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Revelation 20:12 states,
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
What Shaq doesn’t realize is that there is a place where he really, really wants his name to be written.
It is the Book of Life.
God will be opening that book one day. It will have the names of people that are born again. Is your name in there? It is all that will matter the day you die. If it is written in there, what are you doing to make sure others names are written in there as well?
If you think about it, there are plenty of places where we don’t want our names written:
* A tax notice from the IRS
* A traffic ticket
* A disciplinary report from school
* Some will say an obituary page
* An eviction notice
* Bankruptcy papers
* A non sufficient funds statement from the bank
But also, there are tons of places where we do want our names written:
* A MVP Trophy
* A Report Card with Straight A’s
* A Promotions List
* The Dean’s list
* A Lottery Check
Those all sound really good in one sense, but if your name is not written in the Book of Life, it literally has been a life not worth living.
Jesus says in Luke 10:20 says,
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Let us praise the Saviour's name!
He has hushed the law's loud thunder,
He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame;
He has washed us with his blood,
He has brought us nigh to God.
Let us love the Lord who bought us,
Pitied us when enemies,
Called us by his grace, and taught us,
Gave us ears and gave us eyes:
He has washed us with his blood,
He presents our souls to God.
Let us sing, though fierce temptation
Threaten hard to bear us down!
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqueror's crown,
He who washed us with his blood,
Soon will bring us home to God.
Let us wonder; grace and justice
Join, and point to mercy's store;
When through grace in Christ our trust is,
Justice smiles, and asks no more:
He who washed us with his blood,
Has secured our way to God.
Let us praise, and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high;
Here they trusted him before us,
Now their praises fill the sky:
"Thou hast washed us with thy blood;
Thou art worthy, Lamb of God!"
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
That is not what it says. He said, “Repent and believe the gospel.”
Thursday, September 09, 2010
However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” – Matthew 17:27
In the passage above lies a small phrase that is often overlooked.
Jesus says, “However, not to give offense to them…”.
In context, the passage has to do with the payment of the Temple tax. Our beloved Peter has just finished a conversation with the tax-collector who has asked Peter, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” (v. 24) to which Peter replies “yes” (v.25).
There are many amazing things in this passage. One being that our Lord was obviously aware of the conversation. In verse 25 we read that after Peter came into the house our Lord and His disciples were staying in, Jesus spoke to Peter first concerning the subject of paying the Temple tax! Our Lord knows all things!
In the news lately, much ado has been made concerning a Florida church which plans to burn the Quran on September 11, 2010. I’ve heard the reasoning’s of the fellowship’s pastor and associate pastor on the news, and I believe their reasons for burning the Quran are, in the end, more an act of intentional offense than anything closely resembling Christian motives. Burning the Quran is not spiritually beneficial for anyone; not in outreach to the Muslim community, not to Christians or their churches. It may be viewed as ‘patriotic’ by some, yet how patriotic is it to purposefully make others angry? More importantly, how Christian is it? How will burning the Quran proclaim the Gospel witness?
It won’t. It will simply inflame the anger of a lost people.
In the passage quoted from Matthew above, our Lord Jesus is willing to pay the Temple tax. The reason He gives is specifically “not to give offense to them.”
Not to give offense. There is a thought we would do well to heed daily. As Christians, we are to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not hinder it in any way. We are to be Christ-like in our behavior and indeed, in our thoughts. When it comes to our witness to the world, ‘patriotism’ and anything else must not supersede the furthering of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Burning the Quran will offend Muslims. It will offend them greatly. Now what is the wise thing to do here? What will be the most beneficial, for the Christian Church and for Muslims? What would be most Christ-like?
Don’t burn it.
It’s not necessary, doesn’t help, will bring more harm than good, and according to this passage in Matthew, is not Christ-like at all. It is quite the opposite of Christ-likeness.
You may have strong resentment towards the Islamic community; you may still be angry about 9-11. Yet brethren, burning the Quran is not a Christian act, it is carnal in the worst way. Let us search our hearts in light of the Scriptures and check our motives in this matter so that we, as representatives of the true Church of Jesus Christ, do not give unnecessary offense to those who need the Gospel so desperately.
See HERE for Ten Reasons NOT to burn a Quran - from Jimmy Kinnaird
Remember, folks—the Muslims who are willing to riot and rampage over the burning of a few Qur’an’s in Florida do not need any provocation to destest the “kafirs.” They are offended by our mere existence. Think about it.
- James White
HT - Defending/Contending
The reason not to burn Qurans is that it's unkind – not to jihadists, but to Muslims who mean us no harm. The same goes for building a mosque at Ground Zero – in both cases, it's not a question of anyone's "rights," it's just a nasty thing to do.
"People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation -- much like building a mosque at Ground Zero,"
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Many people think that "Calvinist evangelist" is an oxymoron. What do you think? Can someone be seriously Calvinistic and at the same time seriously evangelistic? Does a belief in the absolute sovereignty of God take the wind out of the sails of evangelism?
We live in a day of gross ignorance with regard to sound theology. We should continually yearn for sound (wholesome, healthy) doctrine (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). As we Christians learn and respond rightly to sound doctrine, we begin to think correctly, and our lives begin to demonstrate the resulting godly fruit. So how should a belief in Calvinism affect our belief in evangelism?
What Is a Calvinist?
Well, what is a Calvinist? A Calvinist believes in sola Scriptura. That is to say, he believes that the Bible, exclusively, is God's very word. Therefore, to him the Bible alone is the final court of appeal on all matters of faith and practice.
Additionally, a Calvinist believes that fallen humans can be forgiven of sin and receive a just standing before a holy God, only through faith alone in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, alone. This saving faith comes as a gift of God's grace (Eph. 2:8-9). The Calvinist believes that since fallen humans are dead in their trespasses and sins, they will never have God's life in them unless he takes the initiative and quickens these spiritually dead persons. When God does sovereignly quicken (regenerate) an individual, he will respond to the gospel in repentance and faith and be saved (Eph. 2:1-10). A Calvinist realizes that the only thing he contributes to his salvation is his sin. Salvation is of the Lord from first to last.
These events all take place in time and space. But preceding them all is what God determined in eternity past. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose (elected) certain ones in Christ before the foundation of the world.
The Calvinist believes that God's election is unconditional. That means that almighty God did not base his election upon any good thing (such as faith, good works, etc.) that he foresaw in those he chose. His election could never be based upon anything inherently attractive or good in fallen man. Every last person that the omniscient God foresaw had inherited Adam's guilt and corruption, was totally depraved, and was choosing to sin. Hence, every last one of them justly deserved God's holy wrath.
God's election is based solely upon his own grace, love, and good pleasure (Eph. 1:4-5; Matt. 11:21-27). If God chooses to show mercy to some members of the human race, all of whom justly deserve his judgment, that is grace, and that is his prerogative (Rom. 9:10-23)! Because it depends completely on God, the number of God's elect is certain, definite, and cannot be increased or decreased.
The elect are the Father's gift to Christ. Jesus himself vows that of all the Father gives to him, he will not lose any (John 6:39). Since the elect are sinners both by nature and by choice, and since God is a holy God who will not tolerate sin, but must judge it, a substitutionary atonement needed to be made in order to reconcile God to his elect. And so, the Calvinist does not believe that Jesus Christ died for all men indiscriminately, but that he laid down his life for the elect, his sheep, his church (John 10:11; 14-16; Eph. 5:25).
This explains why the Holy Spirit must do his regenerating work in a person before he is able to repent and believe in Christ. In his natural, fallen mind, man is hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7). Until the Holy Spirit sovereignly replaces a sinner's heart of stone with a heart of flesh, he will continue to be spiritually impervious to the gospel (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1; Ezek. 36:24-27). The Calvinist believes that every last one of those who were chosen in Christ before time will by the end of time be brought to saving faith and a vital relationship with God through the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Does Calvinism Nullify Evangelism?
At this point, the non-Calvinist infers that the impetus and urgency to proclaim the gospel is gone, or diminished at best. After all, if God knows who is going to be saved, and if he will save his elect no matter what, why waste our time evangelizing?
But it is important to recognize that the God of the Bible ordains not only the end (salvation) but also the means to the end (the proclamation of the gospel).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. And through evangelism, he is calling his sheep to himself. He calls his own sheep by name, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (John 10:3-4). They know his voice because, at God's appointed time, the Holy Spirit gives the elect ears to hear and hearts to understand (Matt. 13:23).
The ordinary means by which God gathers his people is through their hearing and believing the gospel message. In Romans 1:16, Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. In Romans 10:13, he states that "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Then he adds, "How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!' " (Rom. 10:14-15 nasb).
Paul saw that it is the task of the church to proclaim the gospel. The exhortation Paul gives in Romans 10 is sandwiched between chapters 8-9 and 11. Take some time and reread those chapters. Note especially all they have to say about God's sovereign purposes in election.
Why am I, a Calvinist, so passionate about evangelism? Several reasons immediately spring to mind. First, my Lord Jesus Christ commands me to do so (Mark 16:15). Second, given that my chief duty (and delight) is to glorify God, I am moved by the fact that the Father is honored whenever the Son is honored. The supreme means of honoring the Father is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (John 5:22-23)! Third, I know that when the nonelect reject the gospel, as they are wont to do, preaching leaves them all the more without excuse when they receive the condemnation they justly deserve. And last, I know that God brings his elect to himself through the preaching of the gospel.
The apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:10, "Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." It is only when we recognize God's absolute sovereignty that we can be assured of results. God blesses the faithful dissemination of his word. He promises that his word will never return to him void or empty, but will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it (Isa. 55:11).
Does Calvinism take the wind out of the sails of evangelism? Properly understood and sincerely believed, it does exactly the opposite. Believing that God has a sovereign plan to bring all his elect to himself actually encourages evangelism. It gives confidence to us, God's people, to fulfill our God-given responsibility to spread his gospel. We know that our labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Cor. 15:58)!
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
All over England, in our cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, there are tens of thousands who will never hear the gospel while open air preaching is neglected. I rejoice that God allows us to preach in churches and chapels, but I do not pretend that we have any apostolical precedent for it, certainly none for confining our ministry to such places.
I believe that we are permitted, if it promotes order and edification, to set apart buildings for our worship; but there is no warrant for calling these places sanctuaries and houses of God, for all places are alike holy where holy men assemble.
It is altogether a mischievous thing that we should confine our preaching within walls.
Our Lord, it is true, preached in the synagogues, but he often spake the mountainside, or from a boat, or in the court of a house, or in the public thoroughfares. To him, an audience was the only necessity. He was a fisher of sits souls of the true sort, and not like those who sit still in their houses, and expect the fish to come to them to be caught.
Did our Lord intend a minister to go on preaching from his pulpit to empty pews, when, by standing on a chair or a table outside the meeting house, he might be heard by hundreds? I believe not, and I held the same opinion that the very beginning of my ministry, so I preached by the river side, even though my good deacon thought that, by so doing, I was imitating the Methodist.”
(Vol 1, page 256, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES H. SPURGEON, American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia)
HT - Go Stand and Speak
Monday, August 23, 2010
Even now, I have no desire to be a Calvinist in the Corinthian sense of the word - a follower of John Calvin, per say. Though I believe Calvin was a tremendous expositor of the Scriptures and had many great insights, I am not someone who believes he was in any way infallible. I am with Spurgeon who declared, "There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer - I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it." (C. H. Spurgeon, a Defense of Calvinism)
In coming to understand these doctrines that are now so precious to me, I now realize that there were fortresses built in my mind to defend against the idea of God being Sovereign in the matter of salvation. Such was my total depravity! These fortresses were not made of stone and brick but of man made ideas – concepts that I believed Scripture taught with clarity. These fortresses did not come down easily. In fact, I believe it is a work of Divine grace in the heart not only to regenerate His people, but also to open hearts and minds, even of His own people, to the truth of His Sovereignty in election.
There are many false concepts about Calvinism. Here are five that are very common:
1. CALVINISM DESTROYS EVANGELISM
I think some Calvinists do have an aversion for evangelism, and this is something that needs to be addressed whenever this tendency is seen, yet both historically and biblically, nothing could be further from the truth. It is quite easy to prove that the whole missions movement was started by Calvinists who believed Christ had His elect sheep in every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Romans 8 and 9 teaches election clearly, and Romans 10 tells us of the necessity of preaching the Gospel. How shall they (the elect) hear without a preacher? Romans 10 is in no way a contradiction to Romans 8 and 9.
Divine election is the only hope of evangelism. No one we speak to about Christ is beyond hope, for God may well have ordained from all eternity that our conversation or preaching is to be the very means by which He would achieve His ends - the gathering of one of His elect sheep into the fold! What a privilege to be used by God in this way.
Divine election should never undermine evangelism. In fact, the truth about election should cause us to continue to proclaim Christ, even when results may not come immediately. The concept of election should actually fuel our evangelism when mere human emotion wanes. We should remember that God has His elect sheep who will hear His voice and will follow Him when we preach the Gospel of Christ. So then faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17).
Election is not a hindrance to evangelism. It simply explains to us why some believe the Gospel and why some do not. Jesus said to one group hearing Him “you do not believe because you are not My sheep” (John 10:26) and Luke explained the evangelistic results of the early church by declaring, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48)
2. CALVINISM APPEALS TO THE PRIDE OF MAN
Sadly, some Calvinists do reek of pride and give off an air of being better than those around them, but such is a total betrayal of biblical Calvinism. If we recognize our total depravity or radical corruption, we understand that there was absolutely nothing in us that caused God to look down upon us to show us such favor. The only thing we can say in response to His electing grace is “Lord, why me?”
Romans 9:11-16 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad- in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call- 12 she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
"God intentionally designed salvation so that no man can boast of it. He didn't merely arrange it so that boasting would be discouraged or kept to a minimum - He planned it so that boasting would be absolutely excluded. Election does precisely that." - Mark Webb
3. CALVINISM STUNTS HOLINESS
I have heard this mentioned a few times recently and just scratch my head in wonder about it. One great example are the Puritans, who were strong Calvinists and yet were driven by a desire for holiness. But some see this as a contradiction in terms. Where they get this, I do not know.
God Sovereignly elects some people to salvation but this in no way diminishes our responsibility to make sure that we who profess faith in Christ, actually possess the faith that saves. If you and I do have the real thing and not some fraudulent kind of substitute for the genuine faith that saves.. if we really have the real thing.. there will be evidence to show it. The Scripture, and true Calvinism, teaches us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. I find this to be the biblical mandate rather than simply recalling a time when we raised a hand or walked an aisle, which is what most Christians have been taught. The call to holiness is a call all true Christians will heed for without it, no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)
4. CALVINISM TEACHES THAT MEN ARE MERELY ROBOTS
Calvinists believes in man’s will. Man always chooses what he most desires at the moment of choice. You are choosing now to read this sentence when there are literally billions of other sentences out there waiting to be read.
Why do you read this sentence right now?
The answer is because at this very moment, this is your strongest desire. It is impossible for you to be reading something else – right now anyway. And this will be the case until a stronger desire for something else (like answering the phone or taking a shower, or going for a walk) rises up in your heart. The heart and the will are inseparably connected.
What we need is not “free will” but wills made free. This is because by nature our hearts only want independence from Christ. We love darkness rather than light. Jesus said, “No man CAN come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). Calvinists take these words seriously as well as Christ’s words in John 3 which tells that unless a man is first born again (or born from above) he cannot enter or even see the kingdom of God.
"If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learnt Jesus Christ aright." - Martin Luther
George Whitefield, perhaps the greatest Evangelist in church history once declared, “I hope we shall catch fire from each other, and that there will be a holy emulation amongst us, who shall most debase man and exalt the Lord Jesus. Nothing but the doctrines of the Reformation can do this. All others leave free-will in man and make him, in part at least, a Saviour to himself. My soul, come not thou near the secret of those who teach such things . . . I know Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he hath a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to do of His good pleasure.” - Works, pp. 89-90
"If the final decision for the salvation of fallen sinners were left in the hands of fallen sinners, we would despair all hope that anyone would be saved." – R. C. Sproul
“I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will. Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.” - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
5. CALVINISM DIMINISHES THE GOD OF LOVE
I think for many, this is the big one. They have a concept concerning the love of God that while very popular, is not particularly biblical. They believe (as I once did) that if God is love, he loves all people in just the same way. I believe God does love everyone in some sense, but He has a love for His Son which is greater than His love for demons, and a love for His sheep which is greater than His love for the goats. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Christ gave Himself for the church in a way He did not for Walmart or McDonalds. No one would ever say about a husband “wow, look at the way this man loves his wife, and the great thing about his love for her is that he loves everyone else’s wife in just the same way.”
This is a truth that needs to be taught with great care because so many have false concepts stemming from being raised on inaccurate teaching about the love of God. We must be patient with such people when pointing them to the biblical texts. Some people think John 3:16 destroys divine election, but of course it does not. Yet a false concept brought to the Scripture text often confirms people in their opposition to what the Bible actually teaches.
However we interpret the words, “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated” I think if we believe the Bible, we all have to admit that in some sense, God had a greater love for Jacob than He did for Esau, or else words mean nothing.
John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
God, moved by love for His name and for us, sent His Son into the world to actually save elect sinners, not to merely try to do so. He went all the way in His love for us and did all the work in raising us from spiritual death by a work of supreme, matchless, measureless grace. Because salvation is of the Lord, all the glory for our salvation - absolutely all of it, goes to God alone. Calvinism affirms this.
The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism—though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject—are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ. Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this—it is possible you may not; but I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded, that as God may have washed your hearts, he will wash your brains before you enter heaven. - C. H. Spurgeon
Taken from Monergism
Friday, August 20, 2010
Many are in this dangerous position. They are not far from the kingdom of God--but not actually in it.
They have clear light in their heads--but have no grace in their hearts. They know the gospel in theory--but have no inward experience of its power. But no man can be saved by light in the mind; there must be the life of God within the soul.
They have not only clear light--but correct morals. The tongue is controlled. The temper is governed. The life is regulated. But with all this, the soul is dead in trespasses and sins. There may be morality--without spirituality. The life may not only be correct--but there may be a regular attendance on gospel ordinances. They may come as God's people, sit as God's people, hear and sing as God's people--and yet not be in the kingdom of God!
There may be no objection felt, or opposition shown to the doctrines or duties of the gospel. All may be admitted, professed, and even admired; but still the person may not be in the kingdom of God.
There may also be a form of prayer--but prayer without faith--prayer without the heart, without the soul.
They may be employed in teaching God's Word, either in the Sunday School, or in the pulpit--and yet not be in the kingdom of God.
O how solemn is the thought, how searching is the fact--that people . . .
may have correct views of truth;
may regularly attend on the means of grace;
may acquiesce in the doctrines and duties of Christianity;
may associate and unite with God's people;
may regularly bow the knee in prayer; and
may employ their time and talents in instructing others in the things of God--and yet never enter into the kingdom of God themselves!
Reader beware! for many rest short of vital religion. They know nothing of a broken heart for sin, of living faith in Christ, or fellowship with God through Him. They rest in a form of knowledge, or in a routine of religious services. Such may find out their mistake too late, as did the foolish virgins--when the door was shut! Or, like those referred to by our Lord when He said, "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 7:22-23
Many will come very near to the kingdom--but will never enter it. As John Bunyan says, "There is a way to hell--even from the very gates of heaven!"
But it must be dreadful to come near, so near to heaven--and yet to be thrust down to hell!
(James Smith, "Not Far from the Kingdom" 1859)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The nineteenth-century Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon said it this way: I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus.2
A question remains, however, for many Calvinistically challenged Christians throughout the world: "What is a Calvinist?"
For many, the answer is as simple as a simplistic adherence to the five points of Calvinism. That may be a helpful starting point for some, but I would suggest it may not be the best place to start for most Christians in their pursuit of the fundamentals of Calvinism according to Calvin.
Read the rest here at Monergism
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Said the Psalmist, "How excellent is your loving-kindness, O God!" (Psalm 36:7) No pen of man, no tongue of angel, can adequately express it.
We read of God's "marvelous loving-kindness!" (Psalm 17:7) And surely it truly is!
David prayed, "Display the wonders of Your loving-kindness!" Wondrous it truly is--that One so infinitely above us, so inconceivably glorious, so ineffably holy, should not only deign to notice such worms of the earth--but set His heart upon them, give His Son for them, send His Spirit to indwell them, and so bear with all their imperfections and waywardness as never to remove His loving-kindness from them!
Well then, may we exclaim, "Your loving-kindness is better than life!" (Psalm 63:3)
A. W. Pink
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Therefore, it is of great benefit for anyone who so desires to study the bible, knowing that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), and that God gives his wisdom liberally to all men who ask him in faith (James 1:5-6); indeed, no one who hungers and thirsts for God's truth will be turned away, if he cries out to the Savior and applies himself to study the bible, for Jesus has invited us all with these words, “If anyone thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37).
For all true believers, who have come to Christ in faith, there is every reason to be confident in studying the bible, for the apostle Paul tells us that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16); and elsewhere, the apostle John tells us that we all have knowledge, and understand the truth, because the Spirit has given us an anointing so that we might not be deceived by the lies of the enemy (1 Jn. 2:20-27).
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sinners usually mock at God’s judgments and put the evil day far from them, but if they would just consider that God’s omniscient eye can find them out and His omnipotent arm can punish them, they may justly fear and tremble as the godly Psalmist does here in our text.
Indeed, if you do not fall down before Him and give glory to that God who has made the earth to tremble and so make confession of your sins and seek earnestly for peace with Him, He may not give you any further warning before he executes the fierceness of His anger upon you.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
In our Christian pilgrimage it is well, for the most part--to be looking forward. Forward lies the crown--and onward is the goal. Whether it is for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love--the future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith!
Looking into the future--the Christian see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect, and fit to be a partaker of eternal glory. Looking further yet, the believer's enlightened eye can see death's river passed. He sees himself . . .
enter within the pearly gates,
hailed as more than conqueror,
crowned by the hand of Christ,
embraced in the arms of Jesus,
glorified with Him, and made to sit together with Him on His throne!
Contemplation of my glorious future may well relieve, the darkness of the past, and the gloom of the present!
The joys of heaven will surely compensate for the sorrows of earth!
Hush, hush, my fears!
Death is but a narrow stream--and you shall soon have forded it!
Death--how brief! Immortality--how endless!
Time--how short! Eternity--how long!
The road is so, so short! I shall soon be there!
"In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day; and not only to me--but to all those who have loved His appearing!" 2 Timothy 4:8
Friday, July 23, 2010
"Reader, one moment,
Stop, and think:
That I am in eternity!
And you are on the brink!"
In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity!
In a fixed, a changeless, an eternal state!
In Heaven--or in Hell!
Saved with an everlasting salvation--or damned forever!
If it should be the latter, what a fearful supposition! And yet many have gone to Hell--before they have been seventeen years of age!
"I am in eternity--and you are on the brink!" Yes, though you may be young, apparently healthy, full of life and vigor--you are on the brink of eternity! A slight accident, a few days illness--and you are in eternity! What a solemn thought!
What will eternity be to you?
Where will you be in eternity?
Are your sins pardoned?
Are you reconciled to God by the death of His Son?
Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit--and thus made fit for Heaven?
If not, remember that in Hell, there is . . .
no means of grace,
no way of escape from the wrath of God!
Once there--and your doom is fixed forever!
Think, O think . . .
Of the dreadful consequences of dying in your sins!
Of going down to the grave in an unconverted state!
Of dying under the curse of God!
"Behold, now is the accepted time!
Behold, now is the day of salvation!"
(James Smith, "A Solemn Admonition" 1859)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
It was Jesus, after all, who, in His moment of greatest passion, prayed regarding the will of God. In his Gospel, Luke tells us that immediately following the Last Supper:
Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:39–44)
It is important to see what Jesus prays here. He says, “Not My will, but Yours, be done.” Jesus was not saying, “I don’t want to be obedient” or “I refuse to submit.” Jesus was saying: “Father, if there’s any other way, all things being equal, I would rather not have to do it this way. What You have set before Me is more ghastly than I can contemplate. I’m entering into My grand passion and I’m terrified, but if this is what You want, this is what I’ll do. Not My will, but Your will, be done, because My will is to do Your will.”
I also want you to notice what happened after Jesus prayed. Luke tells us that an angel came to Him and strengthened Him. The angel was the messenger of God. He came from heaven with the Father’s answer to Jesus’ prayer. That answer was this: “You must drink the cup.”
This is what it means to pray that the will of God would be done. It is the highest expression of faith to submit to the sovereignty of God. The real prayer of faith is the prayer that trusts God no matter whether the answer is yes or no. It takes no faith to “claim,” like a robber, something that is not ours to claim. We are to come to God and tell Him what we want, but we must trust Him to give the answer that is best for us. That is what Jesus did.
Because Luke tells us that the Father sent an angel to strengthen His Son, I would expect Jesus’ agony of soul to have been alleviated. It appears, however, that with the coming of the strength from the angel came an increase in the agony of Christ, an increase so profound that He began to sweat so profusely that it was “like great drops of blood.” In a sermon on Luke 22:44, Jonathan Edwards said that this increase in Jesus’ agony was due to a full realization of the will of God for Him in His passion. He had come to the garden with the fear that He would have to drink the cup. Once He knew it was indeed God’s will that He drink it, He had a new fear—that He would not be able to do it. In other words, Jesus now was in agony that He not come short of complete and perfect obedience to the will of God.
But He did it. He drank the cup to the last drop. And in that moment, Jesus didn’t give us words to show us how to pray; He gave us His life as an example of praying that the will of God would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Monday, July 19, 2010
One may read thousands of pages of the history of the Christian Church without finding a single reference to the 'old-fashioned altar call' before the 19th century. Most Christians are surprised to learn that history before the time of Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) knows nothing of this type of 'invitation'.
The practice of urging men and women to make a physical movement at the conclusion of a meeting was introduced by Mr. Finney in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Dr. Albert B. Dod, a professor of theology at Princeton Seminary at the time of Mr. Finney's ministry, pointed out the newness of the practice and showed that this method was without historical precedent.
The preceding words are from James E. Adams' work entitled
"Decisional Regeneration". Adam's historical review continues . . .
In his review of Finney's Lectures on Revival, Professor Dod stated that one will search the volumes of church history in vain for a single example of this practice before the 1820's. Instead, history tells us that whenever the gospel was preached men were invited to Christ - not to decide at the end of a sermon whether or not to perform some physical action.
The Apostle Paul, the great evangelist, never heard of an altar call, yet today some consider the altar call to be a necessary mark of an evangelical church. In fact, churches which do not practice it are often accused of having no concern for the lost. Neither Paul nor Peter ever climaxed his preaching with forcing upon his hearers the decision to walk or not to walk.
It is not only with church history, then, but with Scriptural history as well that the altar call is in conflict.
One may ask, 'How did preachers of the gospel for the previous eighteen hundred years invite men to Christ without the use of the altar call?'
They did so in much the same way as did the apostles and the other witnesses of the early Church. Their messages were filled with invitations for all men everywhere to come to Christ.
Surely it will be admitted that the first sermon of the Christian Church was not climaxed by an altar call. Peter on the Day of Pentecost concluded his sermon with these words 'Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' Peter stopped. Then the divinely inspired record tells us 'Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' ' (Acts 2:36-37). This response was the result of the work of the Spirit of God, not of clever appeals or psychological pressure. That day the apostles witnessed the conversion of three thousand people.
C.H. Spurgeon invited men to come to Christ, not to an altar.
Listen to him invite men to Jesus Christ
'Before you leave this place breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon Thy name....Lord, I am guilty, I deserve Thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to do of Thy good pleasure. Thou alone hast power, I know To save a wretch like me; To whom, or whither should I go If I should run from Thee?
But I now do from my very soul call upon Thy name. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon Thee, O Lord. I trust the blood and righteousness of Thy dear Son.... Lord, save me tonight, for Jesus' sake.' ' 'Go home alone trusting in Jesus. 'I should like to go into the enquiry-room.' I dare say you would, but we are not willing to pander to popular superstition. We fear that in those rooms men are warmed into a fictitious confidence. Very few of the supposed converts of enquiry-rooms turn out well. Go to your God at once, even where you now are. Cast yourself on Christ, at once, ere you stir an inch!'
Invitations such as Spurgeon gave directing men to Christ and not to aisles are needed today. George Whitefield's sermonsJonathan Edwards, of the Reformers and of others in the past who were blessed with a harvest of many souls using Scriptural means of inviting men to Christ. Today the altar call has become the climax and culmination of the entire meeting. Many stanzas of a hymn are usually sung, during which time all kinds of appeals are made to the sinner to walk the aisle, and the clear impression is given to the sinner that his eternal destiny hangs on this movement of his feet. were long invitations to men to come to Christ, not to an altar. The same may be said of the preaching of
'Just As I Am,' the precious hymn perhaps most frequently sung for the altar call, was written in 1836 by Charlotte Elliott
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
The phrase, 'O Lamb of God, I come, I come,' has been widely used to encourage people to 'come' down the aisle. But it is significant that Miss Elliott wrote the hymn for the infirm and that it first appeared in a hymnal prepared especially for invalids. To Miss Elliott, coming to Christ was not walking an aisle.
Although most who use the altar call realize that coming to Christ is not synonymous with coming to the altar, they do give the impression to sinners that the first step in coming to Christ is walking the aisle. I am purposefully being very careful not to misstate the case. I understand the sincerity of those who practice the altar call, it having been a part of every service from my earliest memory until college. In fact, I grew up in Christian circles unaware that evangelical Christianity existed without the altar call.
In many services during this time my mind was centered on the glorious person of Christ and His suffering on the cross only to find the whole focus of the worship service suddenly changed at the conclusion from seeing the glories and sufferings of Christ to walking an aisle. Many others have spoken of the same experience -that the altar call and the clever appeals at the conclusion of meetings, the decision to walk or not to walk and the wondering how many will respond, have distracted them from seeking Christ and from worshipping God in spirit and truth.
Do you remember how the crowds physically followed our Lord Christ until He began to preach some unpopular truths? Then the crowds turned back (John 6:66). Why? Had they not come to Jesus with their feet? Yes, but this is not the coming to Him that is necessary for salvation. Christ said, 'All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out' (John 6:37). And again He said, 'No man can come to me except the Father draw him' (John 6:44). In neither of these instances was Jesus speaking of the physical movement of the feet.
Men today need to be reminded that coming to Christ is not walking an aisle, but is casting oneself on Christ for life or death. May God cause the Church to return to the Scriptures for its methods of winning men to Christ. May sinners be charged not to come forward in a meeting but to come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
HT: Old Truth
Friday, July 16, 2010
Coming in power and love to reign; what if it were today?
Coming to claim His chosen Bride, all the redeemed and purified,
Over this whole earth scattered wide; what if it were today?
Glory, glory! Joy to my heart ’twill bring.
Glory, glory! When we shall crown Him King.
Glory, glory! Haste to prepare the way;
Glory, glory! Jesus will come some day.
Satan’s dominion will then be o’er, O that it were today!
Sorrow and sighing shall be no more, O that it were today!
Then shall the dead in Christ arise, caught up to meet Him in the skies,
When shall these glories meet our eyes? What if it were today?
Faithful and true would He find us here if He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear, if He should come today?
Signs of His coming multiply; morning light breaks in eastern sky.
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh; what if it were today?
Leila N. Morris
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
[Progressive/liberals] infest our theological seminaries, and our colleges, and fill our pulpits, across the United States and Canada, who know not God; do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and will stand in the way of anybody that wants to preach it. That is the ultimate danger to [the visible] church; because it is inside the church, the cancer is within, and it eats away, and we don’t recognize it.
Or when we do recognize it, we don’t do anything about it, because we’re afraid that people will offended. We’ll be afraid that people will call us “narrow, bigoted, fundamentalists”… We are afraid that the Elks, the Odd Fellows, the Masons, the Shriners, the Lions, and the Rotary, and everybody else, will look down upon us and—somehow or other—we will do damage to the Gospel of Christ.
We are so careful to preserve the wolves in the church; and so slow to defend the Faith of the church… In the United States, right now , you can be ordained in the Episcopal Church, the Methodist church, branches of the Baptist church, and the Lutheran church, the Congregational church, and a host of others, while denying the Trinity, the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Bodily Resurrection of our Lord, the Second Coming of Christ, and the Bible as the Word of God.
That translates into one word: Apostasy. We are more concerned in the United States of America about the rights of homosexuals than we are about Who Jesus Christ is and what He did. We’re more concerned with social issues in the United States in the Christian church, denominationally, the we are with those who are dying in their sins without the Gospel. We are very concerned with everything, except, the things that really matter…
The corruption of the shepherds—the pastors—is, if you will, the open door to the corruption of the congregations. And I have taught on every level of education; on the Bible school level, on the level of college—university—seminary and post graduate studies. I teach ministers how to be ministers; and I can tell you, right now, the Christian church is in full blown apostasy in the United States. And since I’ve been in Canada the last couple of years, I’m sorry to say that the disease is pandemic in Canada.
- Walter Martin
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
I know the postings are not coming everyday now and that's because I'm just too darn busy. And being too darn busy starts getting a little stressful on the old body.
So it's off to put my toes in the sand and a quality cigar in my hand.
Back in a week.
Here's a link from last year when I tried out my new metal detector for the first time on the beach - Click here
Monday, June 21, 2010
Monergism: In regeneration, the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ independent of any cooperation from our unregenerated human nature. He quickens us through the outward call cast forth by the preaching of His Word, disarms our innate hostility, removes our blindness, illumines our mind, creates understanding, turns our heart of stone to a heart of flesh -- giving rise to a delight in His Word -- all that we might, with our renewed affections, willingly & gladly embrace Christ.
The Prophet Ezekiel inspired by the Holy Spirit asserted "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God." (Eze 11:19, also 36:26)
The Apostle Paul said, "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." (1 Thess 1, 4, 5). I.e. In regeneration the word does not work alone but must be accompanied by the "germination" of the Holy Spirit. And again "...you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God." (1 Pet 1:23)
The Century Dictionary defines it as follows:
"In theology, the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration - that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated, and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration."
It means that the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly comes to us through regeneration -- and if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, he/she ignores the teaching of the Apostles, for Paul says, "...Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved." and "...he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5) And again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).
It is in contrast to synergism which the Century Dictionary defines as
"...the doctrine that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate. This theory accordingly holds that the soul has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives."
For more in-depth treatment of this topic click here....
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Does ever for perfection call;
The gospel suits my total want,
And all the law can seek does grant.
The law could promise life to me,
If my obedience perfect be;
But grace does promise life upon
My Lord's obedience alone.
The law says, Do, and life you'll win;
But grace says, Live, for all is done;
The former cannot ease my grief,
The latter yields me full relief.
The law will not abate a mite,
The gospel all the sum will quit;
There God in thret'nings is array'd
But here in promises display'd.
The law excludes not boasting vain,
But rather feeds it to my bane;
But gospel grace allows no boasts,
Save in the King, the Lord of Hosts.
The law brings terror to molest,
The gospel gives the weary rest;
The one does flags of death display,
The other shows the living way.
The law's a house of bondage sore,
The gospel opens prison doors;
The first me hamer'd in its net,
The last at freedom kindly set.
An angry God the law reveal'd
The gospel shows him reconciled;
By that I know he was displeased,
By this I see his wrath appeased.
The law still shows a fiery face,
The gospel shows a throne of grace;
There justice rides alone in state,
But here she takes the mercy-seat.
Lo! in the law Jehovah dwells,
But Jesus is conceal'd;
Whereas the gospel's nothing else
But Jesus Christ reveal'd.
Ralph Erskine, The Beauties of Erskine, 1745
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It includes the cleansing of our conscience from all past guilt, the delivery of our soul from all those propensities to evil which now so strongly predominate in us; it takes in, in fact, the undoing of all that Adam did. Salvation is the total restoration of man from his fallen estate; and yet it is something more than that, for God’s salvation fixes our standing more secure than it was before we fell.
It finds us broken in pieces by the sin of our first parent, defiled, stained, accursed: it first heals our wounds, it removes our diseases, it takes away our curse, it puts our feet upon the rock Christ Jesus, and having thus done, at last it lifts our heads far above all principalities. and powers, to be crowned for ever with Jesus Christ, the King of heaven.”
HT The Bible Christian
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We must now explain what the power of human reason is, in regard to the kingdom of God, and spiritual discernments which consists chiefly of three things - the knowledge of God, the knowledge of his paternal favour towards us, which constitutes our salvation, and the method of regulating of our conduct in accordance with the Divine Law. With regard to the former two, but more properly the second, men otherwise the most ingenious are blinder than moles. I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination.
Man's spiritual blindness shown from John 1:4-5
But since we are intoxicated with a false opinion of our own discernment, and can scarcely be persuaded that in divine things it is altogether stupid and blind, I believe the best course will be to establish the fact, not by argument, but by Scripture. Most admirable to this effect is the passage which I lately quoted from John, when he says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not," (John 1: 4, 5.) He intimates that the human soul is indeed irradiated with a beam of divine light, so that it is never left utterly devoid of some small flame, or rather spark, though not such as to enable it to comprehend God. And why so? Because its acuteness is, in reference to the knowledge of God, mere blindness. When the Spirit describes men under the term "darkness" he declares them void of all power of spiritual intelligence. For this reason, it is said that believers, in embracing Christ, are "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," (John 1: 13;) in other words, that the flesh has no capacity for such sublime wisdom as to apprehend God, and the things of God, unless illumined by His Spirit. In like manner our Saviour, when he was acknowledged by Peter, declared that it was by special revelation from the Father, (Matth. 16: 17.)
Read rest here
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
These rich words still follow me.
That word "sin" feels weighty to a sensible sinner.
But oh! that word "Himself!" seems a million times more weighty!
"Himself!" the mighty God, the precious Man Christ Jesus!
"Himself!" by whom all things were created, and for whom they exist!
"Himself!" whose smile is heaven, whose frown is hell!
"Himself!" whom all angels worship, and all devils obey!
"Himself!" the sacrifice for my sin!
Another such sacrifice could not be found! Sins as deep as hell and as high as heaven cannot overmatch it, for it is infinite! Sins of scarlet and crimson dye cannot resist its power, for it makes them whiter than snow!
See as much as you can of the vileness of self, and the demerit of sin--yet "Himself!" a bleeding sacrifice, exceeds it all! Here is the sweet-smelling savor both to the Lawgiver and the lawbreaker. The Lawgiver is honored, the lawbreaker is saved!
See how He stands most lovingly, as with open arms, saying to every laboring, weary, heavy-laden sinner, "Come!" "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest!" "I still receive sinners, to the uttermost I save them, and never am weary of healing their backslidings, forgiving all their iniquities, and multiplying pardons as they multiply transgressions against Me. I blot all out with My blood, and love them freely and forever!"
Sinner, will not this suffice? It will if the Spirit applies it--and opens in a little measure Christ and His sacrifice--in contrast to yourself and your sins. It will take eternity to know it fully; but that your heart may find rest and refreshing in it now, is my affectionate prayer.
"But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself! " Hebrews 9:26
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Angry relatives of 9/11 victims last night clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan.
After four hours of public debate, members of Community Board 1 finally voted 29-1 in support of the project. Nine members abstained, arguing that they wanted to table the issue and vote at a later date.
The board has no official say over whether the estimated $100 million mosque and community center gets built. But the panel's support, or lack of it, is considered important in influencing public opinion.
Holding up photos of loved ones killed in the Twin Towers and carrying signs such as, "Honor 3,000, 9/11 -- No mosque!" opponents of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place called the plan an insult to the terror-attack victims.
"That is a burial ground," said retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, referring to the fact that victims' remains were scattered for blocks.
Santora's 23-year-old son, Christopher, was the youngest firefighter to die that day.
"I do have a problem with having a mosque on top of the site where [terrorists] can gloat about what they did," said Santora, with his wife, Maureen, by his side.
Of all things to build there.....a mosque.
Man, how sad is that?