Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Lord's Supper

Tonight at church we took of the Lord's Supper but before that our pastor Jonathan Sims brought forth a very powerful message that pertains to the Lord's Supper and I don't think I have ever heard such a clearer message on the Lord's Supper and the importance of this command from our Lord for the church. You can Download it Here or visit the church website to listen to it.

Peculiar Symptoms

"Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their "earnestness" makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself "as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). There is a wide-spread "gullibility" among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be carried away!"" —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "All Kinds of Strange Teachings" by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Master Choice

A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)"God has made us in His likeness, and one mark of that likeness is our free will. We hear God say, "Whosoever will, let him come." We know by bitter experience the woe of an unsurrendered will and the blessedness or terror which may hang upon our human choice. But back of all this and preceding it is the sovereign right of God to call saints and determine human destinies. The master choice is His, the secondary choice is ours. Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest of the Most High God. Our "accepting" and "willing" are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God.

God has indeed lent to every man the power to lock his heart and stalk away darkly into his self-chosen night, as He has lent to every man the ability to respond to His overtures of grace, but while the "no" choice may be ours, the "yes" choice is always God's. He is the Author of our faith as He must be its finisher. Only by grace can we continue to believe; we can persist in willing God's will only as we are seized upon by a benign power that will overcome our natural bent to unbelief." —A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Excerpt taken from "God's Pursuit of Man" by A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Second WingSpread Publishers Edition 2007 p39-40

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Think My Wife's a Calvinist


C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)"We have men who in the morning hear a Calvinistic preacher, and say, "Oh, it is delightful;" in the evening they hear an Arminian, and they say, "Oh, it is just as good; and no doubt they are both true, though one contradicts the other!" The glorious charity of the present day is such, that it believes lies to be as good as truth; and lies and truth have met together and kissed each other; and he that telleth truth is called a bigot, and truth has ceased to be honourable in the world! Ah! beloved, we know better than to profess such unlimited, but false charity; the truth is, we know how to "hold fast the form of sounds words," which has been given to us, because in this way we grow. Changeable people cannot grow much. If you have a tree in your garden plant it in one place to-day, and tomorrow place it somehwere else, how much bigger will it be in six months? It will be dead very likely; or if it does not die, it will not be very much grown; it will be marvellously stunted. So it is with some of you: you plant yourselves there; then you are persuaded that you are not quite right, and you go and plant yourself somewhere else. Why, there are men who are anythingarians; who go dodging about from one denomination to another, and cannot tell what they are; our opinion is, of these people, that they believe nothing, and are good for nothing, and anybody may have them that likes; we do not consider men to be worth much, unless they have settle principles, and "hold fast the form of sound words." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "The Form of Sound Words" delivered on Lord's-Day Morning, May 11th, 1856, by C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chameleon Theology?

One of my favorite preachers is brother David Miller and I recently learned that he was in attendance at the recent John 3:16 conference where Calvinism was openly attacked from some bretheren within the SBC. I was also told that Brother Miller wrote a letter to Dr. Jerry Vines concerning the doctrinal issues presented at the conference. So in my search I came across the following at Peter Lumpkins blog who says that this is an open letter from David Miller to Dr. Jerry Vines but I can't say for sure this is the actual letter by Brother Miller but it sure sounds like him so take it for what it's worth.

Dear brother Jerry,

I attended your conference on Calvinism on November the 6th and 7th and it has inspired me to write a book. The title of which shall be: "How Many Inconsistencies and Contradictions Can One Hear in Only Five Sermons". The brethren (presenters) not only contradicted each other but themselves as well. We were repeatedly told not to build a systematic theology first and then make the Scripture fit our system, rather, we were to exegete the Scriptures and build a Biblical theology.

Yet only one of your presenters proceeded to follow this advice, namely, Page Patterson.. The other 4 presenters who addressed the TULIP, proceeded to build straw men and knock them down with Scripture verses taken out of context, and they did so with measured sarcasm and no small dose of arrogance.

This was evidenced in that 3 out of the 5 were so full of themselves that they could not conclude their sermon within the allotted time of 50 minutes. This did however, provide a high level of entertainment as I watched Richard Land fall asleep on at least 3 occasions during Dr. Lemke's sermon in which he departed from his assigned subject and drudged on and on as the congregation got quieter and quieter.

I did at this point feel some compassion for yourself as I saw your rear-end at least 3 inches off the pew giving Lemke physical signs of your discontent. I know it, you know it, and the Lord knows it! You were sitting there wishing that he would sit down and hush. Tell the truth!

Regarding your own sermon on John 3:16: you had a wonderful text and a wonderful opportunity to preach a gospel sermon to the choir. Instead you chose to give a Greek grammar lesson which was as boring as a 5 hour long WMU meeting! Why was this?

By the way, you said nothing in your sermon that I could not say amen to, as a 5 point Calvinist. Your sermon did inspire me to write new lyrics to an old song.

"Old Jerry Vines had him a conference E-I-E-I O , and at the conference he had a "pas" E-I-E-I-O, with a pas, pas,here and a pas, pas, there; here a pas, there a pas, everywhere a pas, pas, old Jerry Vines had him a conference E-I-E-I-O."

The most rousing response at the conference came regarding vitriolic statements condemning men who don't give a public invitation the same as you. In a convoluted argument favoring public invitations Dr. Allen pointed out that as "far back" as 1750 certain Baptists were giving alter calls. He said this as though his audience would be so stupid they wouldn't figure out from his own statement that the church existed for 1750 years without public invitation system! This was classic Clintonian rhetoric.

For whatever its worth I personally believe a public invitation can be extended and practice such in my own preaching. This however, is an accommodation not a biblical principle.

Your conference has inspired me further. I shall no longer keep silent. Men like yourself, denigrate the doctrines of grace which I treasure. I am now prepared to take you on. I will no longer be silent as you, Johnny Hunt, Junior Hill and others whom I have loved and respected, proceed to blame Calvinists for the decline of evangelism in the SBC.

While your speakers correctly rebuke the Presbyterians for infant baptism I might remind you that the only area where southern Baptists have had an increase in baptisms is among 4 and 5 year olds! This is happening in "your kind" of churches.

It is not the Calvinists who have built a convention of 16 million members, 4 million of which could not be found if your life depended on it. You have done this! This has happened on your watch! It is your fault! You have been in charge! "Your kind" of evangelism and methodology has produced this colossal number of unregenerate church members.

In your church in Jacksonville and Johnny's church in Woodstock, less than half of your members come to church on Sundays. Why don't you stop blaming the Calvinists and take responsibility for your own actions! Your church is doing no better than the average church in the convention in this area. My guess is, your church has spent more money on interest on debt service in the past 15 years than it has on foreign missions.

Don't blame the Calvinists for your lack of compassion for the lost and your unwillingness to sacrifice to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. I for one am sick of your duplicity and hypocrisy.

Furthermore, don't blame the Calvinists for all the church splits. Was it the Calvinists that split Bellevue after Adrian died? Hardly! Is there any empirical evidence that there is a higher percentage of church splits caused by Calvinists than the other brethren? Not on your life! There is enough stupidity to go around. Calvinists do not have a monopoly on pastoral stupidity.

Why do you brethren seem hell bent on dividing the Convention over this? Is your rear-end gaulded to such an extent because Southern Seminary, led by a Calvinist, has now become the largest seminary in the convention. Do you brethren fear Al Mohler this much? Are your insecurities so pronounced that every time you get up to speak at a conference you feel morally obligated to take a jab at the Calvinists?

Look at you, you had Southwestern, New Orleans, Mid-Western, Liberty and Luther Rice Seminaries along with Woodstock church and Jerry Vine ministries jointly sponsoring your conference and you could not muster more than 600-800 people in attendance, and many of those were Calvinists who came out of curiosity. I find it passing strange, that when I was a trustee at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of your presenters was on the short list to be considered President of the Seminary.

When I called him to find out his views regarding article 5 of the Abstract of Principles (on election), he assured me in unequivocal terms that he believed in unconditional election in the same manner in which James P. Boyce, Basil Manly, and John Broadus believed in unconditional election. Would this be referred to as chameleon theology, expediency, or just a lack of integrity?

Furthermore, Paige signed the abstract of principles while serving as president of Southeastern. Evidently during his tenure at Southeastern he believed both in total depravity and unconditional election or else he was guilty of doing the same things that we castigated the liberals for i.e. signing a confessional document while not subscribing to the theology expressed in the document! Are you sure you brethren want to pursue this further?

I regret very much that this breach in fellowship has occurred among conservatives within the convention. I stand willing and ready to do my part in trying to resolve the matter.

I would love nothing more than to have an opportunity to sit down with you and a small group of 12-15 other brothers from both sides in a non-threatening venue. Perhaps at my deer camp in Duck Hill, MS, at my expense, sitting around a campfire eating venison bacon wraps and sipping ice tea, we could discuss this matter before we have gone past the point of no return.

I remain your brother in Christ,

David Miller

Friday, December 12, 2008

Get The Question Right!

"Oh!" saith the Arminian, "men may be saved if they will." We reply, "My dear sir, we all believe that; but it is just the if they will that is the difficulty. We assert that no man will come to Christ unless he be drawn; nay, we do not assert it, but Christ himself declares it--"Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;' and as long as that "ye will not come' stands on record in Holy Scripture, we shall not be brought to believe in any doctrine of the freedom of the human will." It is strange how people, when talking about free-will, talk of things which they do not at all understand. "Now," says one, "I believe men can be saved if they will." My dear sir, that is not the question at all. The question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful. supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ. You reply, that men sometimes are willing, without the help of the Holy Spirit. I answer--Did you ever meet with any person who was?" —Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Most Dangerous Sadducee

J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)"I consider the most dangerous champion of the Sadducee school is not the man who tells you openly that he wants you to lay aside any part of the truth, and to become a free-thinker and a skeptic. It is the man who begins with quietly insinuating doubts as to the position that we ought to take up about religion, doubts whether we ought to be so positive in saying "this is truth, and that falsehood," doubts whether we ought to think men wrong who differ from us on religious opinions, since they may after all be as much right as we are.

It is the man who tells us we ought not to condemn anybody's views, lest we err on the side of the lack of love. It is the man who always begins talking in a vague way about God being a God of love, and hints that we ought to believe perhaps that all men, whatever doctrine they profess, will be saved. It is the man who is ever reminding us that we ought to take care how we think lightly of men of powerful minds, and great intellects (though they are deists and skeptics), who do not think as we do, and that, after all, "great minds are all more or less, taught of God!"

It is the man who is ever harping on the difficulties of inspiration, and raising questions whether all men may not be found saved in the end, and whether all may not be right in the sight of God. It is the man who crowns this kind of talk by a few calm sneers against what he is pleased to call "old-fashioned views," and "narrow-minded theology," and "bigotry," and the "lack of liberality and love," in the present day. But when men begin to speak to us in this kind of way, then is the time to stand upon our guard. Then is the time to remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and "Be careful and be on your guard against the yeast."

Once more, why do I say this? I say it because there is no security against Sadduceeism, any more than against Phariseeism, unless we resist its principles in the bud. Beginning with a little vague talk about "love," you may end in the doctrine of universal salvation, fill heaven with a mixed multitude of wicked as well as good, and deny the existence of hell. Beginning with a few high-sounding phrases about intellect and the inner light in man, you may end with denying the work of the Holy Spirit, and maintaining that Homer and Shakespeare were as truly inspired as Paul, and thus practically casting aside the Bible. Beginning with some dreamy, misty idea about "all religions containing more or less truth," you may end with utterly denying the necessity of missions, and maintaining that the best plan is to leave everybody alone.

Beginning with dislike to "Evangelical religion," as old-fashioned, narrow, and exclusive, you may end by rejecting every leading doctrine of Christianity--the atonement, the need of grace, and the divinity of Christ." —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "Warning to the Church: Pharisees and Sadducees" by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Far, Far Worse

"God's "way of salvation" is almost entirely unknown today, the nature of Christ's salvation is almost universally misunderstood, and the terms of His salvation misrepresented on every hand. The "Gospel" which is now being proclaimed is, in nine cases out of every ten, but a perversion of the Truth, and tens of thousands, assured they are bound for heaven, are now hastening to hell as fast as time can take them. Things are far, far worse in Christendom than even the "pessimist" and the "alarmist" suppose. We are not a prophet, nor shall we indulge in any speculation of what the Biblical prophecy forecasts. Wiser men than the writer have often made fools of themselves by so doing. We are frank to say that we know not what God is about to do. Religious conditions were much worse, even in England, one hundred and fifty years ago. But this we greatly fear: Unless God is pleased to grant a real revival, it will not be long ere "the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2), for the light of the true Gospel is rapidly disappearing. Modern "evangelism" constitutes, in our judgment, the most solemn of all the "signs of the times."

What must the people of God do in view of the existing situation? Eph. 5:11 supplies the divine answer: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them;" and everything opposed to the light of the Word is "darkness." It is the bounden duty of every Christian to have no dealings with the "evangelistic" monstrosity of the day, to withhold all moral and financial support of the same, to attend none of their meetings, to circulate none of their tracts. Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works, and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

HT (Old Truth)

Salvation needs a Sinner!

"Salvation needs a sinner as the raw material upon which to exercise its workmanship; the precious blood that cleanses needs a filthy sinner upon whom to show its power to purge; the atonement of Christ needs guilt upon which to exercise itself in the taking of it away; and it is absurd, it is ridiculous, it is unworthy of God, to suppose a scheme of salvation, a work so tremendous as the atonement of Christ, and an aim so splendid as the glorification of God, unless there be sinners to be the instruments of God's glory through being the partakers of God's grace. A moment's thought will be enough to convince us that the whole plan is made for sinners, and that "Jesus Christ died for the ungodly." Indeed, dear friends, it is only when we get this view very clearly before us that we see Jesus in his glory." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

True Reality

"If you talk of reality, it is in the things of religion, if you talk of true nobility, it is to be the child of God. If you talk of true riches, they are those that we carry to our death bed, those that we carry to heaven; those that comfort the soul; those that enrich the soul with grace, and comfort, and peace; that is true riches. If you talk of true beauty, it is to have the image of God stamped upon our souls, to be like Christ, to be new creatures. If we talk of true strength, it is to stand against temptations, to be able to serve God, and to go through the world without polluting our souls, to bear crosses as we should — that is, the true reality." —Richard Sibbs (1573-1635)

Excerpt taken from the "The Works of the Reverend Richard Sibbs" Volume III, p421, 1809

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Saving faith and Christian discipleship have been reduced to the cliché "a personal relationship with Jesus." It’s hard to imagine a more disastrous twisting of what it means to be a Christian. Many people (including Judas and Satan) had some kind of "personal relationship" with Jesus during His earthly ministry without submitting to Him as Lord." —John MacArthur

Classic Reinke

I have some blogs that I read every day and others that I just skim over, but The Shepherd's Scrapbook is one of my all time favorite's and Tony Reinke has wrote yet another classic post!

"Legalism is the lie that says God’s pleasure and joy in me is dependent upon my performance rather than the finished work of Christ." (Read Entire Post)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bonds of Love

"On the throne of grace sovereignty has placed itself under bonds of love.... God will do as he wills; but, on the mercy seat, he is under bonds—bonds of his own making, for he has entered into covenant with Christ, and so into covenant with his chosen. Though God is and ever must be a sovereign, he never will break his covenant, not alter the word that is gone out of his mouth. He cannot be false to a covenant of his own making. When I come to God in Christ, to God on the mercy seat, I need not imagine that by any act of sovereignty God will set aside his covenant. That cannot be: it is impossible." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "The Throne of Grace" delivered on Lord's-Day Morning, November 19th, 1871, by C. H. Spurgeon

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lost Hymns

Salvation by Grace

LORD, we confess our numerous faults,
How great our guilt has been!
Foolish and vain were all our thoughts,
And all our lives were sin.

But, O my soul, for ever praise,
For ever love his name,
Who turns thy feet from dang'rous ways
Of folly, sin, and shame.

'Tis not by works of righteousness,
Which our own hands have done;
But we are sav'd by sov'reign grace
Abounding through his Son.

'Tis from the mercy of our God,
That all our hopes begin;
'Tis by the water and the blood,
Our souls are wash'd from sin.

'Tis through the purchase of His death,
Who hung upon the tree,
The Spirit is sent down to breathe,
On such dry bones as we.

Rais'd from the dead, we live anew:
And, justify'd by grace,
We shall appear in glory too,
And see our Father's face.

by Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

"If anybody comes along espousing some message and asking for tolerance, you can be sure it's error because error demands tolerance, whereas truth demands scrutiny." —John MacArthur

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Seldom Glance

"I seldom get more than a glance at the true state of my soul in its naked self. But when I do, then I see that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17). I believe every member of our body has been a servant of sin (Rom. 3:13, 18)-throat, tongue, lips, mouth, feet, eyes. Every faculty of our mind is polluted (Gen. 6:5). Besides, you have long neglected the great salvation; you have been gainsaying and disobedient. Oh, that you were brought to pass sentence on yourself, guilty of all! Hear what a dear believer writes of himself. "My wickedness, as I am in myself, has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and swallowing up all thought and imagination, like an infinite deluge, or mountains over my head. I know how to express better what my sins appear to me to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multiplying infinite by infinite. When I look into my heart and take a view of my wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deep, and yet it seems to me that my conviction of sin is exceeding small and faint."

Perhaps you will ask, Why do you wish me to have such a discovery of my lost condition? I answer, that you may be broken off from all schemes of self-righteousness; that you may never look into your poor guilty soul to recommend you to God; and that you may joyfully accept of the Lord Jesus Christ, who obeyed and died for sinners. Oh, that your heart may cleave to Christ! May you forsake all, and follow Jesus Christ. Count every thing loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. You never will stand righteous before God in yourself. You are welcome this day to stand righteous before God in Jesus." —Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Certain Knowledge

"With a weak faith and a fearful heart, many a sinner stands before the Lord. It is not the strength of our faith, but the perfection of Christ's sacrifice that saves! No feebleness of faith, nor dimness of eye, no trembling of hand can change the efficacy of Christ's blood. The strength of our faith can add nothing to it, nor can the weakness of our faith take anything from Him. Faith (weak or strong) still reads the promise, "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." If at times my eye is so dim that I cannot read these words, through blinding tears or bewildering trials, faith rests itself on the certain knowledge of the fact that THE PROMISE IS THERE, and the blood of Christ remains in all its power and suitableness upon the altar, unchanged and unaffected. God says that the believer is justified. What God bath joined together, let not man put asunder." —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Renouncing Christianity

"Every professing Christian is the soldier of Christ. He is bound by his baptism to fight Christ's battle against sin, the world, and the devil. The man that does not do this, breaks his vow: he is a spiritual defaulter; he does not fulfil the engagement made for him. The man that does not do this, is practically renouncing his Christianity." —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For Whom Did Christ Die?

With MacArthur's Archives now open I have found a sermon which I would like to recommend, it's titled "For Whom Did Christ Die?" and I believe this is a must listen sermon for anyone who recently attended the John 3:16 conference.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free Grace To You

I just had to post this, I couldn't help myself!

There's some great news concerning, at least some of us find this great news. It seems that the ministry of John MacArthur (GRACE TO YOU) is releasing their entire mp3 audio archives of pastor MacArthur for FREE starting next Wednesday, November 5 (the day after the election), Grace to You is to announce a new policy concerning their audio downloads. That's nearly 40 years of preaching and somewhere around 3500 sermons for free. Thank you John MacArthur and Grace To You!

I think I may need a bigger iPod?

(Hat Tip) Between Two Worlds

A Grain of Grace

"Hast thou, my brother, ever learned to distinguish between grace and gifts? For know that they are marvellously dissimilar. A man may be saved who has not a grain of gifts; but no man can be saved who hath no grace... for one grain of grace outweighs a pound of gifts;" —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

"To deny the sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if followed to its logical terminus, is to arrive at blank atheism." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fully and Beautifully

"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." (Hebrews 2:10)

E. C. Dargan (1852-1913)"The text fully and beautifully implies the absolute sovereignty of God. His name is not mentioned, but he is described as one for whom all things exist and by whom all things came into being. He is the origin and the end of all things. This thought is concentrated into the statement, that in accomplishing the salvation of sinners he is the supreme actor, and that the sovereign act of salvation is brought to its accomplishment by the provision of a perfect Saviour. Not the free will of man, not even the voluntary self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ, can conflict with, much less overthrow, the supreme fact that the salvation of men is a sovereign action of God." —E. C. Dargan (1852-1913)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gifts Without Grace

"Spiritual gifts are for the confirmation of the gospel and the spiritual edification of the church. But gifts do not bring salvation and can be given to those who know nothing of grace in their hearts. So it is incumbent on all who have received spiritual gifts not to look to them as evidences of being truly regenerated, but to spiritual graces. Some have been deceived into thinking they have grace when they only have gifts. So the presence of spiritual gifts can mislead us into thinking that all is well when great apostasy is taking place.

Gifts, without grace, have no influence on the soul and they work only at special times and on special occasions. But grace affects the whole person at all times and in all duties. Grace works holy obedience in the soul. Gifts do not. Gifts are not, and can never be, the measure of our growth in grace..." —John Owen (1616-1683)

Quote taken from "Apostasy from the Gospel" by John Owen, The Banner of Truth Trust; 1992 p. 160

Friday, October 17, 2008

Unfair Grace?

"The overwhelming majority of professing Christians grants that God is sovereign over nature and that He is sovereign over human behavior. The affirmation of divine sovereignty starts to disappear, however, when Christians begin to struggle over the third area in which the Scriptures affirm God's sovereignty--His grace. Somehow the idea that God reserves to Himself eternally and absolutely the right to manifest His saving mercy on some individuals and to withhold it from others is an act we adjudge to be unfair. The apostle Paul anticipated this human reaction to divine sovereignty in salvation when he raised the rhetorical question, "Is there injustice on God's part?" (Rom. 9:14b). Such a question has never been raised about Arminian or semi-Pelagian schemes of salvation. The suggestion of unrighteousness in God comes only in response to the affirmation of the absolute sovereignty of God in His saving choice to elect some and not others."--R.C. Sproul

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You Experienced?

Over at Extreme Theology Chris Rosebrough is live bloging the Reveal Conference at Willow Creek and has expressed his experience during day two of the worship time, boy this brings back Memories.

"I experienced ear splitting sissy girly oprahfied 7/11 songs and the complete anger that is stirred up whenever a pastor treats worship time as a group therapy session. I experienced the righteous anger that is kindled whenever I hear someone claim that God is speaking to them and they 'share' what God told them as if that is on par with the word of God.

I experienced the sheer frustration and the all engulfing feeling that I am going to crawl out of my skin if I have to listen to another minute of a pastor speaking in sappy therapeutic tones while the keyboardist plays softly in the background." (Read More+)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

"God does not allow any man to be the absoluite sovereign judge of himself, which would usurp his divine prerogative and put the sinner in the place of God himself." —John Owen (1616-1683)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Horrifying Error

"A great sickness has developed in contemporary evangelical Christianity that is built around self. The emphasis on self image, self esteem, and self worth is nothing more than humanistic worldliness. Selfism has twisted evangelicalism from a God-centered to a man-centered perspective. Salvation is now seen from the viewpoint of what can it do for us? That is a horrifying error." —John MacArthur

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Steps of Atheism

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)"There can be no grace when there is no sovereignty. Deny God's right to choose whom He will and you deny His right to save whom He will. Deny His right to save whom He will, and you deny that salvation is of grace. If salvation is made to hinge on any desert or fitness in man, seen or foreseen, grace is at an end.

One of the controversies of the present day is respecting the will of God as to whether His will or man's is the regulating power in the universe, and the procuring cause of salvation to souls. The supremacy of God's will over individual persons and events is questioned. Things are made to turn on man's will, not on God's. Conversion is made to turn on man's will, not on God's. Man's will, not God's, is to decide what individuals are to enter heaven. Man's pen, and not God's, is to write the names of the saved ones in the Lamb's Book of Life! Much zeal is shown for the freedom of man's will, little jealousy seems to be left for the freedom of God's will. Men insist that it is unjust and tyrannical in God to control their wills, yet see nothing unjust, nothing proud, nothing Satanic in attempting to fetter and direct the will of God. Man, it seems, cannot have his own foolish will gratified, unless the all-wise God will consent to relinquish His!

Such are some of the steps in the march of Atheism. Such are the preparations making in these last days by the wily usurper for dethroning the Eternal Jehovah.

Men may call these speculations. They may condemn them as unprofitable. To the law and to the testimony! Of such speculations, the Bible is full. There man is a helpless worm, and salvation from first to last, is of the Lord. God's will, and not man's, is the law of the universe. If we are to maintain the gospel if we are to hold fast grace if we are to preserve Jehovah's honour we must grasp these truths with no feeble hand. For if there be no such a Being as a Supreme predetermining Jehovah, then the universe will soon be chaos; and if there be no such thing as free electing love. Every minister of Christ may close his lips, and every sinner upon earth sit down in mute despair." —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Excerpt taken from "Grace Reigning In Election" by Horatius Bonar

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What's Your Name?

By no means would I want to turn this blog into a political blog, but I read an article that was quite interesting on the faith of our candidates for the upcoming election. Obama claims to have "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ" and to believe in his "redemptive death and resurrection." Despite such affirmations, Obama admits to doubts and uncertainties, discomfort with some aspects of Christianity, and a belief that there are many paths to God and salvation.

It is not my intent to attack the man but the idea or ideals supported by many in this country. First of all, you are not a Christian if you believe in any other way but through Jesus Christ. Salvation is of the Lord and of Him alone. You are not a Christian because you were born in the United States of America. You are not a Christian because you were baptized as a child. You are not a Christian because your parents were professing Christians. You are not a Christian because you are a member of a local church, teach Sunday school, or even preach from the pulpit.

If you claim the name Christian, you are professing faith in Jesus Christ. Not of yourself or your choice, but because God did a supernatural work within you. He regenerated you so that you would have faith in Him. So do yourself a favor and don't claim to be a Christian if you don't believe He is the only way to the Father. Simply put, if you claim to be a Christian you are taking the name of Christ and all that encompasses; the Bible is the inspired word of God (God-breathed), we have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that none come to the Son lest the Father draw them.

You may say that I can't see your heart, but as Bro. Paul Washer says "I don't have to, I see it in your actions and words."

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the, truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abstract of Principles

Just a little reminder of what Southern Seminary was founded on and the document that must be signed even today by every professor at the seminary. This was also the official confession that Southern Baptists endorsed. Titled the Abstract of Principles it was requested by Southern's founder James Boyce to assure all teachers and students would adhere to the truth of scripture and the absolute sovereignty of God.

I. The Scriptures.The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.

II. God.There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.

III. The Trinity.God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.

IV. Providence.God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.

V. Election.Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ -- in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.

VI. The Fall of Man.God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.

VII. The Mediator.Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.

VIII. Regeneration.Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.

IX. Repentance.Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.

X. Faith.Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.

XI. Justification.Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.

XII. Sanctification.Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God's word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.

XIII. Perseverance of the Saints.Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XIV. The Church.The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, and Deacons.

XV. Baptism.Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper.

XVI. The Lord's Supper.The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.

XVII. The Lord's Day.The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.

XVIII. Liberty of Conscience.God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful thing commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

XIX. The Resurrection.The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God -- the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.

XX. The Judgment.God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.

Washer Plug

Brother Paul Washer will be preaching at Shelbyville Mills Baptist church starting this morning through Wednesday night during our Fall Outreach. So if your in the area of Shelbyville, Tennessee come out and be blessed by the preaching of the Word of God. I will make sure to post all the audio on the church website for free downloads.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Ordo Salutis

Dressed to Impress

In the Old Testament when the priest went behind the curtain to the Holy of Holies to make supplication for the sins of the people he wore bells and a rope tied around him. If he was struck dead by God the bells would ring and he could be pulled out by the rope. Read the descriptions of the robes and breastplates worn by the high priests in the Levitical lines, how detailed and awe-inspiring they were. The reason I bring this up is to show the honor and respect that was shown to God, and the fear of Him for that matter. Where have either of these things gone today?

Today we have "preachers" in the pulpit with holes in their jeans; their shirts untucked. Basically looking like they just got out of bed picked up whatever was laying on the floor threw it on and ran out the door. But quite the opposite is actually true as these 30 and 40 year old men are probably spending countless hours picking out just the right "cool" clothes and styling their hair just so everyone will think they are cool and relevant. The thing that is really at the heart of this is man wanting to be praised and found relevant.

It can be taken the other way as well; God never called His people to wear an Armani suit or some purple jacket that hangs down past their knees. The people that wear these outlandish and extremely extravagant suits in the pulpit are no different than the guys wearing the jeans and t-shirts. They both simply want you to look at them and praise them for how cool and relevant they are.

What's lost is that we are to be separate from the world. We aren't supposed to attract unbelievers because of what we are wearing. We are to simply be witnesses to a spiritually dead world. God is in control and he will do the drawing of the sinners to the truth. He does not need us to be dressed a certain way to draw people to Him. That is a prideful, arrogant and therefore sinful approach to evangelism. When we are in His house on Sunday mornings we are supposed to be there to worship Him and for nothing else. That being said we should be dressed nicely and respecfully because you are supposed to be there to worship the Almighty God.

They hated and spit on my Lord and Savior; and ultimately crucified Him. So why should I want them to all love me and shower me with praise. We should show love and compassion but we shouldn't strive to be loved by the world by dressing and acting like the world. If you get large crowds and high attendance by looking like everyone else, they aren't there because you are offering something different to them. They are there because you look like them and they feel comfortable singing some catchy tunes about Jesus with you. We are called to be separate from the world. In the world not of the world. Pride is a most heinous sin indeed

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sovereign Election!

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Assailing the Sovereignty of God

C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)"I feel persuaded that false doctrine, inasmuch as it touches God's sovereignty, is always an object of divine jealousy. Let me indicate especially the doctrines of free-will. I know there are some good men who hold and preach them, but I am persuaded that the Lord must be grieved with their doctrine though he forgives them their sin of ignorance. Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God's purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God's will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if he gives grace to one he is bound to do so to all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men and since some are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man's own will, thus making the atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. Those sentiments dilute the scriptural description of man's depravity, and by imputing strength to fallen humanity, rob the Spirit of the glory of his effectual grace: this theory says in effect that it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that showeth mercy. Any doctrine, my brethren, which stands in opposition to this truth—"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," provokes God's jealousy. I often tremble in this pulpit lest I should utter anything which should oppose the sovereignty of my God; and though you know I am not ashamed to preach the responsibility of man to God—if God be a sovereign, man must be bound to obey him—on the other hand, I am equally bold to preach that God has a right to do what he wills with his own, that he giveth no account of his matters and none may stay his hand, or say unto him, "What doest thou?" I believe that the free-will heresy assails the sovereignty of God, and mars the glory of his dominion. In all faithfulness, mingled with sorrow, I persuade you who have been deluded by it, to see well to your ways and receive the truth which sets God on high, and lays the creature in the dust." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon preached March 29th, 1863 by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), titled "A Jealous God".

Who Wants Revival?

Much talk among professing Christians today is the need for revival. Although I can't argue against this at all. I would challenge us to think of what that truly means. Most would say we need to preach the Gospel from the street corners, to go to the ends of the earth spreading the good news of Jesus. That is very true and in accord with the Great Commission. First we must correct what's going on in our own homes lest we be hypocrites and false professors. We must purify, cleanse, and correct what is going on in our own churches and homes. This is not to say that God doesn't use us as we are but what glory do we bring to Him when we tell others to repent, yet we know not what that even means in our lives.

Look at the early church and the sermon that Peter preached "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles. Brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as may as the Lord our God will call to Himself. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer"--Acts 2:36-42. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead at the feet of the apostles for lying to the Holy Spirit and yet the church grew.

The Church must have a revival or an awakening of the truth of God's Word. We must be accountable to one another as joint heirs with Christ. Discipline must be established as it is Biblically mandated. The country club approach simply isn't working and is disrespectful and self-righteous. The Church of the 1st century wasn't founded on what people wanted to hear, it was completely focused on Jesus Christ and His Sovereignty. The calling of sinners to true repentance through an act of the Holy Spirit.

There is a reason televangelist have gotten such a bad rap over the years. They preach a pie in the sky gospel where all your troubles are taken away and you can build something of your life. The apostles, the Puritans, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon, and many others never taught this self-serving trash. These men were used by God to tell sinners what they really are and their need for a savior. They thundered the Gospel; that calls for repentance, humility, and a turning from sin. It was apparent that the Holy Spirit was working through these men that were used to spark the Reformation, the Great Awakening, and any revival that has ever taken place. They would not have stood for what is going on in most churches today.

I say that until the church return to the Doctrines of Grace, and stops trying to build itself up and pad its membership rolls there will be no Great Revival. The purpose of the church is to glorify God, not sinners; to worship Him with other believers, not to make everyone feel welcome in their sin. Sinners should be welcomed in for the purpose of confronting that sin and praying for a Holy Regeneration of their hearts so faith can flourish. I tend to agree with Bro. Paul Washer when he says "there will be no great revival in this country until there is great persecution." Only then will the church no longer be a country club and social gathering.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Do What You Want

God has a will for your life. We know that. If God has a will for your life, he wants you to know it. That's obvious. And if he wants you to know it, then be sure of this, he didn't hide it. It's not tucked obscurely under some convoluted interpretation of scripture. It's not left to some transcendental experience of intuition. It's not dependant upon some private, personal angelic delivery. It's not ever dependant upon some serendipitous coincidence. If God has a will, and he does, if he wants you to know it, and he does, and he holds you responsible for it, and he does, then you can be sure he didn't hide it. He would place it in the most obvious place. And the most obvious place would be his word. You can know the will of God for your life from scripture. And it's unmistakable, absolutely unmistakable.

God's Will

1. It is God's will that you be saved. "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." God's will is that you be saved.

2. It is God's will that you be Spirit filled. "understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians 5:17-18

3. It is God's will that you be sanctified. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;" 1 Thessalonians 4:3

4. It is God's will that you be submissive "For such is the will of God." 1 Peter 2:15

5. It is God's will that you suffer. "It is better if God should will it so that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." 1 Peter 3:17

6. It is God's will that you be thankful. "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

7. Now there is one last principle in doing God's will, you ready? If you're saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering and thankful - Then do whatever you want. Marry whoever you want. Go wherever you want. Work wherever you want. Choose whatever you want. You say, "Whoa. Are you sure?" Absolutely. Because if the first six principles are true of your life, guess who's controlling your wants? Do whatever you want.

Excerpts compiled from a sermon preached by John MacArthur titled "Taking the Mystery out of Knowing God's Will".

Quote of the Day

"Once a congregation or a person sees Scripture as less than the final, complete, infallible authority for faith and life, it is thrown open the doors to absolute chaos." —John MacArthur

Monday, September 15, 2008

Calvinism for Short

"We only use the term 'Calvinism' for shortness. That doctrine which is called 'Calvinism; did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. Perhaps Calvin himself derived it mainly from the writings of Augustine. Augustine obtained his views, without doubt, through the Holy Spirit of God, from diligent study of the writings of Paul, and Paul received them from the Holy Ghost and from Jesus Christ, the great founder of the Christian Church. We use the term then, not because we impute an extraordinary importance to Calvin's having taught these doctrines. We would be just as willing to call them by any other name, if we could find one which would be better understood, and which on the whole would be as consistent with the fact. The old truths that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, is the truth that I preach today, or else I would be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. And that gospel which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again." —Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Religious Selfishness

"Selfishness takes the form of covetousness, or love of money; or luxury, or love of meats and drinks, and the good things of this life; of religious dissipation, or love of excitement; of spiritual restlessness, or running from meeting to meeting, or book to book, or opinion to opinion, or minister to minister; of craving for religious stimulants and spices, with loathing of what is tame or common, however good and true. These are some of the forms of selfishness which destroy both growth and fruitfulness." —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sham (Shack)

Gal 1:6-9 "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed."

I recently finished reading "The Shack" or as I like to call it The Sham. I normally devour books of this size in about 2 days. This book took me closer to 3 weeks. It was tough to swallow when it got to the main character's weekend with his fictional triune God.

A young lady in my Sunday school class told me she had purchased the book and asked my opinion of it. I immediately told her I thought it wasn't a very good book based on what I had read about it. I have said this about several books in the past without having read them myself, only reviews by people whose opinions I trust. But, as if by Divine Providence, a friend of mine brought a copy of it for me to read the week after I had the discussion with the girl in my class. I begrudgingly submitted myself to the task of reading it, so I could completely defend or change my stance of it.

I attempted to read it with no preconceived notions. By the third page of the first chapter my thoughts of what this book was had surfaced. The main character Mackenzie or Mac for short received a letter from "Papa" telling him he missed him and would like to meet with him if Mac was willing. WHAT?! The Potter asking the clay to meet with Him, through a letter nonetheless.

For more information on the heresies in this book I would refer you to the earlier post with the link to the free download by Dr. Michael Youssef who expounds greatly on this book. I would like to spend a little of your time speaking of this growing trend in the so-called "Christian" book industry. Books such as The Secret, Your Best Life Now, and so on are all on the best-sellers lists and yet full of heresies and blasphemous statements. They attack the very nature of God and just about everything He has revealed about Himself in Scripture. Then again "papa" dismisses Scripture in The Sham anyway.

These authors have the audacity to play on readers emotions and tickle their ears to push their own agendas. The Shack even uses quotes from C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and others. This book has even been compared to John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". Although Lewis and Bunyan would never depict the Almighty in humanly form as William P. Young does.

Friends this is an extremely popular book; as well as all the new fad "Christian" books that come out every couple of months and downplay the legitimacy of Scripture. It's not that we should purpose to be hated, spit on, and unpopular as Christians; but that is the natural consequence of preaching and expounding on God's true Word. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a condemning and yet loving Gospel. It is about God's grace on undeserving sinners. Yet it is an unpopular, hated and rejected message when presented correctly in light of Scripture.

So with that said I will give this book 2 thumbs down. I fear it will lead many down the wide path that says Heaven, only to realize that wasn't the case. The Lord will not lose any of His sheep, but I fear many will be self-deceived and swept up into the emotion surrounding this book. Possibly doubting everything they have ever heard about God that was taught to them by Christian parents and laypeople. His sheep know His voice and cannot ultimately deny Him, but reading a book like this could lead to much pain and hurt in a young Christian's walk.

The Lord of all creation does not need me to defend Him. But we are called to make a defense of our faith. Jude1:3-4 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

I could write so much more, but it would be easier for you to download the free message from Dr. Michael Youssef in the earlier post by my brother John and listen and share it with others. Beloved, I pray that you let not your ears by tickled or your emotions played upon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Root of the Fruit

"Let me say as clearly as possible right now that salvation is by God's sovereign grace and grace alone. Nothing a lost, degenerate, spiritually dead sinner can do will in any way contribute to salvation. Saving faith, repentance, commitment, and obedience are all divine works, wrought by the Holy Spirit in the heart of everyone who is saved. I have never taught that some presalvation works of righteousness are necessary to or part of salvation. But I do believe without apology that real salvation cannot, and will not, fail to produce works of righteousness in the life of a true believer. There are no human works in the saving act, but God's work of salvation includes a change of intent, will, desire, and attitude that inevitably produces the fruit of the Spirit. The very essence of God's saving work is the transformation of the will, resulting in a love for God. Salvation thus establishes the root that will surely produce the fruit." —John MacArthur

Eternal Punishment

There are those within Christendom who advocate total annihilation of the sinner who does not repent, and to be honest I believe for the most part they just flat out deny scripture as a whole. Just from these few text of scripture it is crystal clear to me (and most others) that the apostle John believed that the Devil, all false teachers, all unbelievers, death and hell will all be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and that their torment will be day and night forever and ever, which is clearly the second death!

Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"

Revelation 20:10 "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

I also believe the doctrine of eternal punishment is an essential doctrine of the faith and here is why.

"Those who do not believe in the eternal punishment of the wicked do not believe in the utter sinfulness of sin. They do not believe that sin is that much of an offense to God. And the reason they do not believe that sin is such an offense to the eternal God that the wicked must be punished eternally is because they do not believe in the Holy and Just God of the Bible." —Marc D. Carpenter

Saturday, September 06, 2008

WARNING: Deep Ditch Ahead!

I know my brother in Christ and fellow blogger Greg, is working on a book review of "The Shack" so I hope this will not ruin his post. But, I just had to let everyone know about a sermon by Dr. Michael Youssef where he lays out thirteen heresies he discovered in this book by Paul Young. The sermon is titled "Uncovering The Shack", and is a must listen which can be downloaded for FREE HERE.

"The book is like a deep ditch covered with beautiful flowers — and sadly, many Christians are falling into this ditch."- Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Sole Worker

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)"In regeneration, man is neither worker nor coworker; he is merely wrought upon; and the only Worker in this matter is God. And, for this very reason, because God is the sole Worker in regeneration, it must be thoroughly understood that His work does not begin only with regeneration.

No; while the sinner is still dead in trespasses and sins, before the work of God has begun in him, he is already chosen and ordained, justified and sanctified, adopted as God's child and glorified. This is what filled St. Paul with such ecstasy of joy when he said: "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate; and whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Romans 8:29-30). And this is not the recital of what took place in the regenerate, but the glad summing up of the things which God accomplished for us before we existed. Hence our election, foreordination, justification, and glorification precede the new birth. It is true that, in the hour of love when regeneration was to be effected in us, the things accomplished outside of our consciousness were to be revealed to the consciousness of faith; but so far as God was concerned all things were ready and prepared. The dead sinner whom God regenerates is to the divine consciousness a beloved, elect, justified, and adopted child already. God quickens only His dear children." —Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)

Excerpt taken from an article titled
Regeneration by Abraham Kuyper

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Your Need of Grace

"The more you behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the more you will see of your own vileness. The more you grow in holiness, the more aware you will be of your inward corruptions and the imperfection of your duties. More and more, you will feel your need of the gospel of grace and you will realize, even after many years of faithful Christian service, that you are a sinner who has no hope apart from Christ. Never forget that in yourself you are unworthy, and guilty and condemned; only in Jesus are you accepted." —Abraham Booth (1734-1806)

Excerpt taken from the The Reign of Grace, by Abraham Booth

Monday, September 01, 2008

Diluted Products

"Listen to the typical gospel presentation nowadays. You will hear sinners entreated with words like, "accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior"; "ask Jesus into your heart"; "invite Christ into your life"; or "make a decision for Christ." You may be so accustomed to hearing those phrases that it will surprise you to learn that none of them is based on Biblical terminology. They are the products of a diluted gospel." —John MacArthur

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sovereign Shepherd

Jesus says "I am the good Shepherd, the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:11. What does this really mean to us? Do sheep ask the shepherd to come to them, die for them and save them? Can the sheep admit or deny the true Shepherd in their life?

Jesus is always there, we as sheep sometimes do not see Him clearly, but He is there nonetheless. "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." John 10:14-15
His own sheep He knows. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27.

Sheep are considered by biologists to be perhaps the dumbest land animals by comparing the size of their brain to the size of their body. They have no sense of direction, and for a defense mechanism they simply run around in circles. Predators need only wait on the sheep to wear themselves out and then they have an easy victim.

Time and again we are characterized as sheep. We need direction and guidance. We cannot know which direction we are going and we have no way of defending ourselves. But "all things are possible through Christ who strenghtens me." Thankfully and humbly we can submit to the good Shepherd, for when He calls His sheep we hear His voice and He guides us and protects us and keeps us in His fold.

"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equiping you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen." Hebrews 13:20-21

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Pious Detour

"It is not necessary that we should have any unexpected, extraordinary experiences in meditation. This can happen, but if it does not, it is not a sign that the meditation period has been useless. Not only at the beginning, but repeatedly, there will be times when we feel a great spiritual dryness and apathy, an aversion, even an inability to meditate. We dare not be balked by such experiences. Above all, we must not allow them to keep us from adhering to our meditation period with great patience and fidelity. It is, therefore, not good for us to take too seriously the many untoward experiences we have with ourselves in meditation. It is here that our old vanity and our illicit claims upon God may creep in by a pious detour, as if it were our right to have nothing but elevating and fruitful experiences, and as if the discovery of our own inner poverty were quite beneath our dignity. With that attitude, we shall make no progress." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Merit Mongers

I know I have posted this before but it has been almost two years, this is one of my favorite quotes by A. W. Pink, and I believe it gets at the root of the problem with so many church's today.

"God’s sovereign election is the truth most loathed and reviled by the majority of those claiming to be believers. Let it be plainly announced that salvation originated not in the will of man, but in the will of God (see John 1:13; Rom. 9:16), that were it not so none would or could be saved—for as the result of the fall man has lost all desire and will unto that which is good (John 5:40; Rom. 3:11)—and that even the elect themselves have to be made willing (Ps. 110:3), and loud will be the cries of indignation raised against such teaching.

It is at this point the issue is drawn. Merit-mongers will not allow the supremacy of the divine will and the impotency unto good of the human will, consequently they who are the most bitter in denouncing election by the sovereign pleasure of God, are the warmest in crying up the freewill of fallen man." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)
Quote taken from The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cheap Imitation

"There has never been a time, since the Church of Jesus Christ was founded, when there has not been a vast amount of trivial and mere nominal religion among professing Christians. I am sure it is the case in the present day. Wherever I turn my eyes I see abundant cause for the warning, "Beware of inferior religion. Be genuine. Be thorough. Be authentic. Be true."

How much religion among some members of the Church consists of "nothing but churchmanship!" They belong to the Established Church. They are baptized in her baptistery, married in her sanctuary, preached to on Sundays by her ministers. But the great doctrines and truths preached from her pulpits have no place in their hearts, and no influence on their lives. They neither think, nor feel, nor care, nor know anything about them. And is the religion of these people authentic Christianity? It is nothing of the kind. It is a cheap imitation. It is not the Christianity of Peter, and James, and John, and Paul. It is "Churchianity," and no more.

How much religion among some Independents consists of "nothing but disagreement!" They pride themselves on having nothing to do with the formal denomination church. They rejoice in having no ritual, no forms, no bishops. They glory in the exercise of their private judgment, and the absence of everything ceremonial in their public worship. But all this time they have neither grace, nor faith, nor repentance, nor holiness, nor spirituality of conduct or conversation. The experimental and practical piety of the old Separatist is a thing of which they are utterly destitute. Their Christianity is as sapless and fruitless as a dead tree, and as dry and marrowless as an old bone. And is the Christianity of these people authentic? It is nothing of the kind. It is cheap imitation. It is not the Christianity of the Reformers of the past. It is "Nonconformity" and nothing more.

How much Ritualistic religion is utterly false! You will sometimes see men boiling over with zeal about outward expressions of worship such as church music and order of service, while their hearts are manifestly in the world. Of the inward work of the Holy Spirit--of living faith in the Lord Jesus--of delight in the Bible and religious conversation--of separation from worldly silliness and entertainment--of zeal for the conversion of souls to Christ--of all these things they are profoundly ignorant. And is this kind of Christianity authentic? It is nothing of the kind. It is a mere name.

How much Evangelical religion is completely make believe? You will sometimes see men professing great affection for the pure "Gospel," while they are, practically speaking, inflicting on it the greatest injury. They will talk loudly of soundness in the faith, and have a keen nose for heresy. They will run eagerly after popular preachers, and applaud evangelical speakers at public meetings. They are familiar with all the phrases of evangelical religion, and can converse fluently about its leading doctrines. To see their faces at public meetings, or in church, you would think they were eminently godly. To hear them talk you would suppose their lives were tied up all kinds of religious activity. And yet these people in private will sometimes do things of which even some heathens would be ashamed. They are neither truthful, nor sincere, nor honest, nor just, nor good-tempered, nor unselfish, nor merciful, nor humble, nor kind! And is such Christianity as this authentic? It is not. It is a worthless fake, a wretched cheat and farce.

How much Revivalist religion in the present day is utterly false! You will find a crowd of false believers bringing discredit on the work of God wherever the Holy Spirit is poured out. How many people today will profess to be suddenly convinced of sin, to find peace in Jesus--to be overwhelmed with joys and ecstasies of soul--while in authenticity of religion they have no grace at all. Like the "rocky-soil" hearers, they endure but for a short time. "In the time of testing they fall away" (Luke 8:13). As soon as the first excitement has passed, they return to their old ways, and resume their former sins. Their religion is like Jonah's gourd, which came up in a night and perished in a night. They have neither root nor vitality. They only injure God's cause and give occasion to God's enemies to blaspheme. And is Christianity like this authentic? It is nothing of the kind. It is a cheap imitation from the devil's mint, and is worthless in God's sight.

I write these things with sorrow. I have no desire to bring any section of the Church of Christ into contempt. I have no wish to cast any slur on any movement which begins with the Spirit of God. But the times demand very plain speaking about some points in the prevailing Christianity of our day. And one point, I am quite sure demands attention, is the abounding lack of authenticity which is to be seen on every side." —J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Images of Idolatry

It is very easy for us to comment on the idolatry in the material things of this world. Often times we condemn people for how they seem to worship their cars, homes, or any number of things that they possess in this world. They may claim to not worship these things but anything put ahead of God is idol worship. But these aren't the things I am lead to write about today. I want to speak of an idolatry that is foreign to alot of professing Christians, but it is idol worship none the less, quite frankly it is serious indeed.

Does a picture of the last supper hang in your home? Idol worship. Statue, painting, drawing, cross-stitching, book cover, or sculpture with a man-made image of Jesus? Idol worship. A movie with someone playing the part of the triune God? Idolatry! "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth." Ex. 20:4

"A true image of God is not to be found in all the world; and hence...His glory is defiled, and His truth corrupted by the lie, whenever He is set before our eyes in a visible form....Therefore, to devise any image of God is itself impious; because by this corruption His majesty is adulterated, and He is figured to be other than He is." --John Calvin

In Deuteronomy 4, Moses expounds on the prohibition of making images of God. He reminds the people that they were not allowed to see God at Mt. Sinai only hear His words. We should be reminded that any images we make of God or His Son are really just borrowing from the images we already have of an evil, sinful, fallen world. We would be wise to heed His words and not put mental or material images of Him at the forefront of our worship.

Lost Hymns

Only a Sinner

Naught have I gotten but what I received;
Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;
Boasting excluded, pride I abase;
I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!

Once I was foolish, and sin ruled my heart,
Causing my footsteps from God to depart;
Jesus hath found me, happy my case;
I now am a sinner, saved by grace!

Tears unavailing, no merit had I;
Mercy had saved me, or else I must die;
Sin had alarmed me fearing God’s face;
But now I’m a sinner saved by grace!

Suffer a sinner whose heart overflows,
Loving his Savior to tell what he knows;
Once more to tell it would I embrace—
I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

Only a sinner, saved by grace!
This is my story, to God be the glory—
I’m only a sinner, saved by grace!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bestowal of Salvation

"While it is true that the Gospel issues a call and a command to all who hear it, it is also true that ALL disregard that call and disobey that command— "They all with one consent began to make excuse" (Luke 14:18). This is where the sinner commits his greatest sin and most manifests his awful enmity against God and His Christ: that when a Savior, suited to his needs, is presented to him, he "despises and rejects" Him (Isaiah 53:3).

This is where the sinner shows what an incorrigible rebel he is, and demonstrates that he is deserving only of eternal torments. But it is just at this point that God manifests His sovereign and wondrous GRACE. He not only planned and provided salvation, but he actually bestows it upon those whom He has chosen.

Now this bestowal of salvation is far more than a mere proclamation that salvation is to be found in the Lord Jesus: it is very much more than an invitation for sinners to receive Christ as their Savior. It is God actually saving His people. It is His own sovereignty and all-powerful work of grace toward and in those who are entirely destitute of merit, and who are so depraved in themselves that they will not and cannot take one step to the obtaining of salvation. Those who have been actually saved owe far more to divine grace than most of them realize. It is not only that Christ died to put away their sins, but also the Holy Spirit has wrought a work in them—a work which applies to them the virtues of Christ’s atoning death.

It is just at this point that so many preachers fail in their exposition of the Truth. While many of them affirm that Christ is the only Savior for sinners, they also teach that He actually became ours only by our consent. While they allow that conviction of sin is the Holy Spirit’s work and that He alone shows us our lost condition and need of Christ, yet they also insist that the decisive factor in salvation is man’s own will." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Excerpt taken from an article titled "Experimental Salvation" by A. W. Pink

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Miller Time

I have previously introduced Brother David Miller to you here, but I wanted to give you a little more info and some links to ten sermons that will be sure to edify the soul and glorify Christ. David has been preaching for 42+ years. He pastored for five years before serving as Director of Missions for Little Red River Baptist Association (Arkansas), a position he held for 25 years. An itinerant preacher, David has been in full-time evangelism (Line Upon Line Ministries) since 1995. He served on the Board of Trustees of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, for eight years. He currently prefers the title “Country Preacher-at-Large.”

"One of the most powerful preachers I know is a man by the name of David Miller" —Albert Mohler