Saturday, July 31, 2010

According to this report from Beliefnet, Anne Rice has quit Christianity.

Well, folks, this begs the question....

Was Anne Rice a Christian to begin with or can a born again believer up and walk away from Christianity?

What say you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Omniscient Eye and Omnipotent Arm

"Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." (Psalm 2:12)

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.

Cotton Mather

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Grand Object of the Eye of Faith

"We fix our eyes not on what is seen--but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!" 2 Corinthians 4:18

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

I am in eternity--and you are on the brink!

Passing through a country graveyard the other day, an inscription on a head-stone struck my eye. The stone was by the side of the path, where everyone could see it, and it was placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of seventeen. It was--

"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 gospel,
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

If it be your will...

When we come before God, we must remember two simple facts — who He is and who we are. We must remember that we’re talking to the King, the Sovereign One, the Creator, but we are only creatures. If we will keep those facts in mind, we will pray politely. We will say, “By Your leave,” “As You wish,” “If You please,” and so on. That’s the way we go before God. To say that it is a manifestation of unbelief or a weakness of faith to say to God “if it be Your will” is to slander the very Lord of the Lord’s Prayer.

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.

R.C. Sproul
Ligonier Ministries

Monday, July 19, 2010

Altar Calls In The First 1800 Years Of The Church

From Street Fishing

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

Lost Hymn of the week: "What if it were today?"

Jesus is coming to earth again; what if it were today?
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

Sovereignty of God

A "god' whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.

A.W. Pink

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Infestation Within

From Defending /Contending

[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 [1987], 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

Dose of Ravenhill

Is the fact not this, that we have underestimated the total war to which the devil has committed his horde of demons and men alike? Is it not true that cataracts have formed over our eyes (maybe with watching too much T.V.) so that we have completely misjudged the horror of that eternal hell to which at this moment millions of souls are marching? Does such a picture stir your soul and stab your conscience? Are you sleeping at the price of another's peril? Recently, when a hunting dog ferreted into a pile of rocks and was trapped, men fought with cold, rain, and fatigue for two days and nights to find the entombed dog. Are not men more than dogs? Will men be entombed in hell forever because you were playing instead of praying?

Leonard Ravenhill