Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Alter Call

We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people -

Early in the 1970s Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the speaker at a ministers' conference in the USA and at a question session was asked the following question:

Q During recent years, especially in England, among evangelicals of the Reformed faith, there has been a rising criticism of the invitation system as used by Billy Graham and others. Does Scripture justify the use of such public invitations or not?

A. Well, it is difficult to answer this in a brief compass without being misunderstood. Let me answer it like this: The history of this invitation system is one with which you people ought to be more familiar than anyone else, because it began in America. It began in the 1820s; the real originator of it was Charles G. Finney. It led to a great controversy. Asahel Nettleton, a great Calvinist and successful evangelist, never issued an "altar call" nor asked people to come to the "anxious seat." These new methods in the 182Os and were condemned for many reasons by all who took the Reformed position.

One reason is that there is no evidence that this was done in New Testament times, because then they trusted to the power of the Spirit. Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost under the power of the Spirit, for instance, had no need to call people forward in decision because, as you remember, the people were so moved and affected by the power of the Word and Spirit that they actually interrupted the preacher, crying out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" That has been the traditional Reformed attitude towards this particular matter. The moment you begin to introduce this other element, you are bringing a psychological element.

The invitation should be in the message.

We believe the Spirit applies the message, so we trust in the power of the Spirit. I personally agree with what has been said in the question. I have never called people forward at the end for this reason; there is a grave danger of people coming forward before they are ready to come forward. We do believe in the work of the Spirit, that He convicts and converts, and He will do His work. There is a danger in bringing people to a "birth," as it were, before they are ready for it.

The Puritans in particular were afraid of what they would call "a temporary faith" or "a false profession." There was a great Puritan, Thomas Shepard, who published a famous series of sermons on The Ten Virgins. The great point of that book was to deal with this problem of a false profession. The foolish virgins thought they were all right. This is a very great danger.

I can sum it up by putting it like this: I feel that this pressure which is put upon people to come forward in decision ultimately is due to a lack of faith in the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. And of course He does. Some may come immediately at the close of the service to see the minister. I think there should always be an indication that the minister will be glad to see anybody who wants to put questions to him or wants further help. But that is a very different thing from putting pressure upon people to come forward. I feel it is wrong to put pressure directly on the will.

The order in Scripture seems to be this - the truth is presented to the mind, which moves the heart, and that in turn moves the will.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Courtesy of Banner of Truth

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blessed Lord Jesus Christ

Before thy cross I kneel and see

the heinousness of my sin,

my iniquity that caused thee to be

‘made a curse’,

the evil that excites the severity

of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

the crown of thorns,

the pierced hands and feet,

the bruised body,

the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt

that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,

born in my birth,

alive in my life,

strong in my character,

dominating my faculties,

following me as a shadow,

intermingling with my every thought,

my chain that holds me captive in the

empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,

the air supply breath,

the earth bear my tread,

its fruits nourish me,

its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,

thy heart hastens to my rescue,

thy love endured my curse,

thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths

of humiliation,

bathed in thy blood,

tender of conscience,

triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

Courtesy of Banner of Truth

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Would Jesus have the sinner die?

Would Jesus have the sinner die?
Why hangs He then on yonder tree?
What means that strange expiring cry?
(Sinners, He prays for you and me)
“Forgive them, Father, O forgive,
They know not that by Me they live,”
“They know not that by Me they live!”

Jesus descended from above,
Our loss of Eden to retrieve,
Great God of universal love,
If all the world through Thee may live,
In us a quickening Spirit be,
And witness Thou hast died for me,
And witness Thou hast died for me!

Thou loving, all-atoning Lamb,
Thee—by Thy painful agony,
Thy bloody sweat, Thy grief and shame,
Thy cross and passion on the tree,
Thy precious death and life—I pray,
Take all, take all my sins away,
Take all, take all my sins away!

O let me kiss Thy bleeding feet,
And bathe and wash them with my tears!
The story of Thy love repeat
In every drooping sinner’s ears,
That all may hear the quickening sound,
Since I, even I, have mercy found,
Since I, even I, have mercy found.

O let Thy love my heart constrain!
Thy love for every sinner free,
That every fallen soul of man
May taste the grace that found out me;
That all mankind with me may prove
Thy sovereign everlasting love,
Thy sovereign everlasting love.

Charles Wesley


Why don't we sing hymns like this anymore? Would one or two of these kinds of hymns really cramp our style on Sunday every week? These kinds of hymns were filled with a real passion for our Lord unlike some of the shallow songs that fill the air on the Lords day now.

Bring back the great hymns of the Wesley's, Watt's, Newton's, Kenn's and all.........

Let's get back to singing hymns where Jesus is the main subject and not "us" or "I" or "me".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spurgeon moment -

When you are in good health any form of religion may satisfy, but a dying soul wants more than sand to rest upon. You will want the Rock of Ages. Then let me assure you, that in light of the grave, all confidence, except confidence in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, is a clear delusion.


Friday, January 22, 2010

"It" will always be a human baby.

50+ million babies that never saw the light of day since Roe...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What is the gospel? - by John Hendryx

"...Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?...If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
- Matthew 19:15-17

"God bids us do what we cannot, that we may know what we ought to seek from him."
- Augustine

"For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
- Rom 3:20

In short, the Gospel is the life-altering news that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, lived a sinless life under the Law, died for sinners and rose again to reconcile them to himself, eternally victorious over every enemy that stood between God and man. Now, because of this redemptive work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the benefits that He promises in him. D.A. Carson says the gospel centers "upon Jesus Christ and what God has done through him. The essential points of the gospel are Jesus Christ's status as the Son of God, his genuine humanity, his death for our sins, his burial, resurrection, subsequent appearances, and future coming in judgment. That no one is justified but in the gracious work of Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. It is not merely a recital of theological truths and historical events; rather, it relates these truths and events to situations of every individual believer."

But in order to fully understand what the Gospel is, it is important to understand why the Gospel is needed.

Read rest of article here at

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who takes the blame for Haiti? - By Todd Friel

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.


God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.


There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians.


When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.
Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5. Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

Todd Friel

The black hole of Haiti by Vox Day

I found this interesting column by Vox Day at World Net Daily

In 2009, the United States gave $290 million to Haiti. That was $28.90 for every single one of the 10 million-plus inhabitants of the island nation. It was also $290 million that the U.S. government neither had nor was constitutionally permitted to give. But then, that $290 million only represented about one-five-thousandths of the $1.42 trillion deficit created by the federal government over the course of 2009. It was also, obviously, financial aid that was provided prior to the earthquake that struck Jan. 12.

In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and the reported large-scale loss of life, charities, celebrities, aid organizations and governments have geared up to pour even more money into Haiti. And while a portion of it will no doubt ameliorate the hellish lives of a small percentage of Haiti's inhabitants for a short while, it should be recognized that the more significant and lasting result will be to provide funding for an international aid infrastructure that justifies its continued existence by keeping those it supposedly helps in a constant state of poverty and dependency.

It has been reported that one-third of the $13.5 billion that was raised for the victims of the 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand went to the aid organizations themselves. And more than one billion of the money that passed through those organizations remains unaccounted for. Approximately $500 million that went to Sri Lanka alone is still reported as having been lost. This suggests that even in a depressed global economy, "helping others" is one of the more profitable activities that remains outside of government-insured banking. Of course, if you listen to the commercials, the banks claim to be helping others, too.

So, is there anyone who would dare to imagine that even two-thirds of the $562 million that the United Nations is now claiming it needs to "help" Haiti will make it past the notoriously sticky fingers of the globocrats to be stolen by corrupt Haitian officials? No doubt the private bankers of Panama and Grand Cayman are smiling at the thought of their 2010 bonuses.

The impulse to want to help the people of Haiti, particularly in tragic moments such as these, is entirely understandable. It is good. It is human. But doing something is not always better than doing nothing, and in these particular circumstances, it is also mistaken. There are already 10,000 aid organizations active in Haiti, one for every 1,000 Haitians. How many more are required to make a substantive difference? More importantly, at what point do people begin to recognize that because sending money to Haiti is the root of the problem, it cannot be part of the solution?

If Haiti needs anything from the United States, it is the 30,000 Haitians who are presently in the United States illegally, and thanks to the Obama administration, will now be permitted to stay another 18 months. Since the Haitian diaspora is made up of Haiti's most entrepreneurial and productive individuals, Haiti is far more in need of them now than ever. Both the U.S. and Haiti would be much better off if those 30,000 Haitians were given government contracts to return to Haiti and help rebuild it than remaining in the U.S. and adding to the 10 percent unemployment rate.

The earthquake is not a sign that people should begin helping Haiti. It is entirely the opposite. It is a powerful warning that people must stop trying to help Haiti. Instead, they must leave the Haitians alone to help themselves, which, of course, it is possible they may not be willing to do after decades of dependence on external support. Recall that the Haitian population went from 5 million in 1982 to 6.8 million in 2000 to 10 million in 2009, so if you think this tragedy was terrible, just wait until the inevitable next one strikes. Unsustainable societies always collapse; they cannot survive indefinitely. International aid does nothing more than prolong the period of life support and ensures that the ultimate collapse will be more catastrophic.

Even the best-intentioned interference can trigger harmful effects capable of lasting decades, as we are unfortunately witnessing in the aftermath of the earthquake. Haiti's problems are best left to the Haitians for the simple reason that no one else is capable of solving them. On the other hand, if the Obama administration is absolutely determined to help Haiti, then why not kill two birds with one stone and give 100 percent of the 2009 Goldman Sachs bonus pool, which is being announced today and exists only thanks to federal largesse, to the people of Haiti?

Vox Day

Spurgeon moment

If Christ is not all to you he is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If he be something he must be everything, and if he be not
everything he is nothing to you.

C.H. Spurgeon

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Unto the Hills

"I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

It is good always to look up. Thousands of people dwarf their lives, and hinder the possibilities of growth in their souls--by looking downward. They keep their eyes ever entangled in mere earthly sights, and miss the glories of the hills that pierce the clouds, and of the heavens that bend over them!

A story is told of a boy who one day found a gold coin on the street. Ever after this--he kept his eyes on the ground as he walked, watching for coins. During a long lifetime, he found a good number of coins--but meanwhile he never saw the flowers and the trees which grew in such wondrous beauty everywhere; he never saw the hills, the mountains, the sweet valleys, the picturesque landscapes; he never saw the blue sky. To him, this lovely world meant only a dusty road, dreary and unbeautiful, merely a place in which to look for coins.

This really is the story of the life of most people. They never lift their eyes off the earth! They live only to gather money, to add field to field, to scheme for power or to find pleasure. Or, if their quest is a little higher, it is still only for earthly things. They never lift up their eyes to God! There is no blue sky in their picture. They cherish no heavenly visions. They are without God in the world.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:1-2

J.R. Miller

Friday, January 08, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

7 Ways to be a Better Christian in 2010

From Redeeming Grace Ministries

Over the course of the next few days millions of people will set personal goals and resolve to make 2010 a better year. Some will determine to shed those extra pounds, others save for retirement, and still more to read more books or finish those lingering projects. However, while those are undoubtedly worthy endeavors the Christian should also keep in mind seven principles that will help to make 2010 a better year spiritually.

1. Demonstrate a commitment to Christ by consciously establishing spiritual priorities.

*Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

2. Display a commitment to the kingdom of God by keeping holy habits or customs. The parents of Jesus had holy habits which were instilled in the Christ child.

*The Parents. Luke 2:27, "And he [Simeon] came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law."

*The Christ child. Luke 2:42, "And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."

3. Unless providentially hindered redeem spiritual time by leading others to Sunday School, worship and prayer and let no one keep you from doing what is right including visiting friends, family or neighbors (and we will not even mention sports for then someone might think we have stopped preaching and teaching and gone to meddling).

*Ephesians 5:16, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

*Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

*1 John 2:15-17, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

4. Ask not only WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but WWTHSD (What Would the Holy Spirit Do?). Offer the Holy Spirit what you consume and ask Him to bless what you say and where you go.

*1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

5. Do not ascribe to people motives they may not have.

*1 Corinthians 13:5, "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."

6. In a given situation, before becoming angry do not purport or claim to know a matter before understanding the situation fully. Most anger will subside when all the facts are known. False rumors will also be dispelled which is good because God HATES them as per Proverbs 6:16-19 because they sow discord among the brethren.

*Proverbs 18:13, "He that answereth [responds to] a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

7. Love the local church of God’s choosing for you by not entertaining thoughts of leaving it unless the same conditions are present which would drive the Lord Himself away. Those conditions are set forth in the seven churches of Revelation 2:1-3:22.

*In the church of Ephesus there was a loss of love for Christ. A congregation really can grow to love other things (Rev. 2: 4-5).

*In the church of Smyrna there was a loss of faith so that the congregation is more characterized as a synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9). Good works became fleshly works. (Buildings, projects)

*In the church of Pergamos there was a movement towards false doctrine (Rev. 2: 14-15, 16).

*In the church of Thyatira. strong willed individuals not called of God were dominating the congregation (Rev. 2: 20, 23). There was an acceptance of the doctrines of Satan by calling wrong, right.

*In the church of Sardis normal Christian ministries were neglected (Rev. 3:2).

*In the church of Philadelphia individuals were turning from the historic faith.

*In the church of Laodiceans there was indifference to worship and Christian living. Spiritual neutrality characterized the congregation. There was no holy passion (Rev. 3:15, 16).


If it were me, I would change number 4 to say, "Ask not only WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but WDJD (What Did Jesus Do?). This acronym come from Living Waters. Because if you know what Jesus did, you would never have to contemplate what He would do.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Almost back -

As some of you may know, I had my Nephro-lithotripsy surgery this past Tuesday morning.

The surgery went perfect. The urologist was successful in removing a 2cm+ sized stone from my right kidney. The initial prep work to insert wires and tubes into the kidney was interesting (they put me in a semi-conscience state) and the surgery team kind of talks you through it.

The second part of the surgery is the actual stone break up and removal. Thank goodness they put me under full anesthesia for that part of the surgery.

After recovery they put me in my overnight hospital room with the goal of going home Wednesday at lunch.

That was a good goal but my post-op didn't go so well.

After getting good and awake I realized rather quickly that the pain from this kind of surgery was a lot more intense than I had originally anticipated. In fact, the pain was so bad the nursing staff got tired of coming in hour after hour to give me the morphine they just went ahead and gave me control of the terrible drug with my very own morphine button.

Just push for almost instant relief.

Sometime Wednesday morning a nurse came in to help me get up and start walking. I already knew this was a bad idea because just a couple hours before I had reached over the bed to try and grab my water cup and went into a body lockdown from the pain. The nurse said I needed to walk around and I foolishly agreed.

She helped me sit up and then to try to stand. I have never, never experienced pain on that level before. The nursing staff could not figure out why I was in so much pain. In fact, there was a gentleman across the hall who had the same surgery as I did on the same day and he was going home already!

Evidently, according to my urologist, the tube placement was the culprit for all the excessive pain. The surgeon, in order to get to the stone in the upper portion of the kidney, had went through the lower rib cage to get there. So every time I moved, that tube (now acting as a 1/4" drainage tube) was digging into all those pesky nerves in the rib cage and that was what was sending my whole upper torso into this crazy painful toxic shock lockdown.

I ended up spending another night in the hospital.

New Year's Eve morning the urologist came into remove the draining tube around 6:30am. It was almost like instant relief. That knife stabbing pain was gone and I was very happy to feel extremely sore.

I finally got checked out around 11:00am and almost made it out of the hospital without incident. Before I could get into the car after they wheeled me down from my room I started getting sweaty and hot. No....please don't get nauseated I was saying to myself. I couldn't imaging having to try to throw-up after having a giant stone removed. But the feeling would not go away and I told the gentleman driving my wheel chair to take me to the nearest bathroom.

I ended up having the dry heaves in the men's bathroom with my wife trying to help me along. After 10 minutes or so on the bathroom floor I told my wife to just get me home. I held my throw up bowl to my face all the home with one hand while holding the handle above the car door with the other and doing my best to not feel every bump along the 45 minute journey.

Most of the rest of New Year's Eve was spent in the bed.

Today is a lot better. I'm sitting here in "Dad's" chair in the living room as Ohio State and Oregon and gearing up to play in the Rose Bowl. Three of my best friends just left a few minutes ago after spending the afternoon with me. Love those guy's!

I'm up and walking around now and getting back and forth to the restroom very well...If things keep progressing this well I should be able to go to church with no problems on Sunday. I do not want to miss church!

Thanks to all those who have prayed for me; God bless you!

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!!