Friday, March 30, 2007

Swallowed Up!

"It really does shock me the more as I study God's Word and grow in my relationship with Christ; how the contemporary church in America is following a path that is completely contrary to the Word of God and His ways. The church by in-large today is no longer being swallowed up in liberalism it's being swallowed up in what theologians call the seeker-sensitive movement, I have my own name for it, the market-driven church. Modern psychology, carnal reasoning has found a strong hold in this market-driven way of doing church, and the message that the seeker movement seems to be battering home today is that you are basically a good person, you are of extreme worth and value to God, your just a diamond in the ruff that needs a little polish from God, you just need to find God's purpose for your life and everything will be OK, folks we have a major theological problem here. This man centered wisdom is not the wisdom of God; now it sounds good but it doesn't par with scripture, nowhere in scripture does God seek a lost sinner by first telling him how good he is.

The basic tenant of the gospel message is that a person must first understand that they are a sinner and in need of God's forgiveness. The Holy spirit first convinces men of sin and righteousness and judgement to come. He quickens them dead in trespasses and sin and then draws them by faith through grace to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the exact opposite and diametrically opposed to the seeker sensitive model of doing church. Man says your a diamond in the ruff, God says your dead in trespasses and sins. Man says your basically a good person, God says there's none good no not one. Man says well you have a good heart, God says the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Man says well you just need to find God's purpose for your life, Jesus said except a man be born again he'll not even see the Kingdom of God. The message of the contemporary church is a false message."

Excerpt taken from a message preached on July 25th, 2004 at Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church in Shelbyville, TN by Pastor Jonathan Sims titled "The Total Depravity of Man"

Lost Hymns

God, in the Gospel of His Son

God, in the Gospel of His Son,
Makes His eternal counsels known;
Where love in all its glory shines,
And truth is drawn in fairest lines.

Here sinners of a humble frame
May taste His grace, and learn His Name;
May read, in characters of blood,
The wisdom, power, and grace of God.

The prisoner here may break his chains;
The weary rest from all his pains;
The captive feel his bondage cease;
The mourner find the way of peace.

Here faith reveals to mortal eyes
A brighter world beyond the skies;
Here shines the light which guides our way
From earth to realms of endless day.

O grant us grace, Almighty Lord,
To read and mark Thy holy Word;
Its truths with meekness to receive,
And by Its holy precepts live.

Words: Verses 1 & 2, Benjamin Beddome, 1787, alt.; verses 3-5, Thomas Cotterill, 1819

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Peace & Joy

Romans 5:1-11 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." NASB

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Truer and Better

But let the Bible be to us the book of books, the one book in all the world, whose every wisdom is truth, and whose every verse is wisdom. In studying it, be sure to take it for what it really is, the revelation of the thoughts of God given us in the words of God. Were it only the book of divine thoughts and human words, it would profit little, for we never could be sure whether the words really represented the thoughts; nay, we might be quite sure that man would fail in his words when attempting to embody divine thoughts; and that, therefore, if we have only man's words, that is, man's translation of the divine thoughts, we shall have one of the poorest and most incorrect of all books, just as we should have in the case of Homer or Plato done into English by a first year's schoolboy. But, knowing that we have divine thoughts embodied in divine words, through the inspiration of an unerring translator, we sit down to the study of the heavenly volume, assured that we shall find in all its teachings the perfection of wisdom, and in its language the most accurate expression of that wisdom that the finite speech of man can utter.

Every word of God is as perfect as it is pure (Psa 19:7; 12:6). Let us read and re-read the Scriptures, meditating on them day and night. They never grow old, they never lose their sap, they never run dry. Though it is right and profitable, as I have said, to read other books, if they are true and good, yet beware of reading too many. Do not let man's book thrust God's book into a corner. Do not let commentaries smother the text; nor let the true and the good shut out the truer and the better.

Excerpt taken from "Follow the Lamb" by Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Secret Lies

On a recent trip back home I visited my great aunt and uncle and it's usually always a positive visit and I love them both very much so you can understand why I was troubled when my aunt brought up a new book that she was excited about after having read it; and it was titled "The Secret", after gasping for air as I was shocked, I was able to compose myslef enough to ask some simple questions that caused her to see the red flags of this book. Here is a great article by Lynn Stuter who exposes the New Age precepts that are behind this false teaching that is capturing the christian world by storm.

Update: Dr. Al Mohler has also tackled the topic of this book of lies in a recent radio broadcast titled "Have You Heard The Secret?" you can download the entire radio program here. Also here is a great review of The Secret by Don Whitney.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No Bible's?

In this recent post at the Irish Calvinist he details his latest trip to Saddleback Church where Rick Warren is the CEO. Here is a excerpt from his post quote: "One of the guys in our party told another that he would give him a dollar for every Bible that he saw. This may be an expensive object lesson…right? At the end of the night my friend did not owe even one dollar, because Bibles were as scare as the gospel." Be sure and read the whole post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Eternal Security

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

This is such a profound verse in scripture and is a great comfort in the security of the believer, if you struggle with the assurance of your salvation I highly recommend downloading this sermon by Pastor Jonathan Sims of Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church, in Shelbyville, Tennessee; he really confronts the false doctrine of a believer's ability to loose their salvation that is so rampant in today's church's. If you find yourself buying into that false works base system then this is a must hear sermon for you. Oh the joy to know that you are saved today and forever without a doubt!

GTY Video Podcasting

Grace To You has been broadcasting it's TV broadcast of John MacArthur's preaching on NRP for several months now and just recently have they been making the video available for free downloads at via podcasting. You must first sign up in order to recieve the download but it's some of the same programs that are aired on television and well worth the hassle of filling out a form. Don't wait you may miss one.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Can You Add?

You can never come to Christ at all, unless you first see that he will not accept of you the more readily for anything that you can do. You must first see, that it is utterly in vain for you to try to make yourselves better on any such account. You must see that you can never make yourselves any more worthy, or less unworthy, by anything which you can perform.

If ever you truly come to Christ, you must see that there is enough in him for your pardon, though you be no better than you are. If you see not the sufficiency of Christ to pardon you, without any righteousness of your own to recommend you, you never will come so as to be accepted of him. The way to be accepted is to come not on any such encouragement, that now you have made yourselves better, and more worthy, or not so unworthy but on the mere encouragement of Christ's worthiness, and God's mercy.

Excerpt taken from a sermon by Johathan Edwards titled "Pardon for the Greatest Sinners" from the book Sermons of Johathan Edwards © 2005 Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Accountability Partners

First off let me state that I'm not totally against having accountability partners, I even have my own accountable brother, my Sunday School teacher, but can they be used in the wrong way - sure. First make sure whatever you do that you don't get caught up in the "gospel of sin management". Accountability partners are just another way of admitting that we don't have time for a real relationship, if you set up a relationship just to avoid sin or to manage your sin then that isn't a real relationship. What we really need in our lives are brothers in Christ where accountability is always there, and where you don't need to ask questions, or probe for sin; but to know each other deeply enough that you can spot things when they are off. So I would recommend forming a band of brothers, not an accountability group where confession is the central theme of the group but where the "Iron is sharpening the Iron". If you can't do that, then try and develop a one on one real brother to brother relationship, not someone you just admit your sins to, but someone who will challenge you to live a holy life before God and men. As Christians we are all accountable to each other just look at scripture where Paul rebuked Peter in Galatians 2, did Peter ask Paul to be his accountability partner? I doubt it; but as his brother in Christ Paul had the right to confront Peter and point out his hypocrisy. If you are my brother in Christ then you too have that right to correct me, but here you must be careful and not let pride or condemning judgement creep in and puff you up. Lastly or rather firstly just remember that you already have the greatest accountability partner one can have and that's the Holy Spirit and if you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to hold yourself to personal accountability then no human partner is going to help you.


Pslam 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Quote of the Day

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. - John Calvin

First Church of Babylon

The ruin of Jerusalem and the captivity of Israel in Babylon are pictures of the church today in many places around the world. There are pockets of life and purity and depth and faithfulness and power and zeal around the world. God will never give up on his people and he will get his global purposes done even if he has to use a remnant to do it.

But much of the Christian movement today has become a desolation of disobedience and disunity and dishonor to the name of Christ. So the way Daniel prays for the desolation of his people is a pointer for how we can pray for the desolation of ours. Let me mention three aspects of the desolation of God's people in this text to see if you won't agree that it sounds like much of the Christian movement today.

1. The people are captive to godless forces.
Two times, verses 11 and 13, Daniel says that this calamity of Babylonian captivity was warned against in the law of Moses. For example, in Deuteronomy 28:36 Moses says that if the people forsake God, "The Lord will bring you . . . to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known; and there you shall serve other gods." Now that had come true in Babylon.

In 1520, Martin Luther wrote an essay which he called "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church." What he meant was that forces and powers that were foreign to Christ and to his word had captured the mind and heart of the church. She was in bondage to godless forces. That is the situation in much of the church today. Millions of church-goers today think the way the world thinks. The simple assumptions that govern behavior and choices come more from what is absorbed from our culture than from the word of God. The church shares the love affair of the world with prosperity and ease and self. Many groups of Christians are just not that different from the spirit of Babylon, even though the Lord says that we are aliens and exiles and that we are not to be conformed to this age. So, like Israel of old, much of God's church today is captive to godless forces.

2. The people are guilty and ashamed.
Daniel spends most of his prayer confessing the sin of the people. For example, verse 5: "We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from thy commandments." In other words, we have great guilt before God. And because of this real guilt there is real shame. This is mentioned in verses 7 and 8. The RSV has the phrase "confusion of face"--"To us belongs confusion of face." Literally it means, "To us belongs shame of face". What we have done is so terrible and so known that our face turns red and we want to cover it and run away. That is the way Daniel felt about the people of God. Their guilt and their shame were great.

Today in the church there is an uneasy conscience. There is the deep sense that we are to be radically different, living on the brink of eternity with counter-cultural values and behaviors of love and justice and risk-taking service that show our citizenship is in heaven. But then, we look in the mirror and we see that the church does not look that way. And the result is a sense of shame based on the real guilt of unbelief and disobedience. So we slink through our days with faces covered, and scarcely anyone knows we are disciples of Jesus.

3. Finally, the people were a byword among the nations.
Verse 16b: "Jerusalem and thy people have become a byword among all who are round about us." "Byword" (in the RSV) means reproach, or object of scorn. It means that the nations look at the defeated and scattered Israelites and they laugh. They mock Israel's God. That is the way it is with the Christian church in many places. She has made the name of Jesus an object of scorn by her duplicity--trying to go by the name Christian and yet marching to the drum of the world. So the world sees the name "Christian" as nothing radically different--perhaps a nice way to add a little component of spirituality to the other parts of life that basically stay the same.

So when Daniel prays for the desolations of the people of Israel, I hear a prayer for the desolations of the Christian church--captive to godless forces, guilty and ashamed, and a byword among the nations.

This excerpt was preached By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700, in a sermon titled "How to Pray for a Desolate Church" you can download this sermon here, or read the entire sermon here.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Where to Give Your Hour?

I recently heard a pastor say in the pulpit quote: "If you only have one hour to give on Sunday morning I would rather you give it in a small group". What? Did I hear that right; is this pastor giving more importance to a social small group meeting where the Bible may or may not be the topic, over the proclamation of the Gospel? I would like to let John MacArthur weigh in on this importance issue.

Today we have this great emphasis on a whole gob of little group Bible studies and home interaction things and in their place they’re all very good. But seminaries and colleges that are supposed to be producing men for the ministry today are teaching psychology and counseling techniques and they’re producing reams of material on psychotherapy, group counseling, sensitivity training with certain deletions so it becomes palatable to Christianity.

You can go to Acts Chapter 13, 14, 17, 20, and right on out to the end of the book of Acts and you’ll find that the priority in the church was the preaching of the word. Now it’s important to have Bible studies. It’s important to have Sunday School. It’s important to have home action groups. It’s important to have a lot of things. Nothing supplants the preaching of the word. Preaching is characteristic of Christianity. Broadus in his classic volume on preaching says, “No other religion has ever made the regular and frequent assembling of the masses of men to hear religious instruction and exhortation, an integral part of divine worship except Christianity. It’s the genius of Christianity as so designed by the Holy Spirit. Others have copied it because of it’s power.”

There’s nothing sacred my friends about small groups. People say to me, well, isn’t your church getting too big? I mean, if you get too many people there, what happens to your small groups? And my answer is, if God wants to build a church where the word of God is preached, I don’t care if He brings 50,000 people if that’s His desire. I believe in the word of God as preached. And we need some men today like that. We need some faithful, some bold, some powerful men, some holy preachers who make no compromise with the world, no compromise with the flesh, no compromise with the devil, and stand true to the word of God and declare with fire and power.

Excerpt taken from a sermon preached by John MacArthur titled "Peter’s Sermon: Explaining Pentecost". You can download this sermon at message 1705