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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do you believe in the devil?

Posted by Gary on January 30, 2015

“My Dear Wormwood,

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics. At least, not yet…

…I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that “devils” are predominately comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”  (Demon Screwtape to his underling demon-nephew Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters”)

What, me annoying?

Posted by Gary on January 29, 2015

“When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother’s eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy–if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her.” (Demon Screwtape to his underling demon-nephew Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters)

Blind to ourselves…

Posted by Gary on

“You must bring him to a condition in which he can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of the those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.” (Demon Screwtape to his underling demon-nephew Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters)

The Bible and our children and grandchildren…

Posted by Gary on October 31, 2014

How readily many (including me) declare that they believe the Bible. How emphatic we can be, we point our fingers into the air and pound our fist into our palm and declare, “The Bible is the Word of God!” The longer I am a Christian and the more time I spend in the Bible, the more a hypocrite I realize I am. It is one thing to believe the Bible is God’s Word when it comes to other people but what about when the Bible says hard things to me? To my children? Your grandchildren?

I fear for us that we have convinced ourselves that God does not mean many of the things He says, at least we think He doesn’t mean them for our children and grandchildren. I fear we believe that somehow, God will not apply the standard of His truth to our children and grandchildren though we believe he will to the children and grandchildren of others. Hear the Word of God:

“For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.” (Colossians 3:25)

God is not partial, which means He does not alter His holiness or judgments because He is dealing with a certain person. God does not regard a person because they hold a powerful position, come from a certain family, are of a certain race, have a certain amount of wealth or are my child or yours. God is who He is and His truth is unchanging and His justice is perfect. God is going to give consequences for disobedience without partiality. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Will you go to heaven?

Posted by Gary on October 24, 2014

What do you mean? Doesn’t everyone go to heaven? Not according to Jesus:

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Frightening. According to Jesus, only a “few” find the way to life and “many” end up in hell, the place of destruction. But who believes Jesus? Do you? Do you believe that comparatively only a few go to heaven?

For some reason God has chosen to send me many funerals to do in my twenty some years in the ministry and I can tell you, there has not been one instance in which a family thought there was even a chance that their loved one went to hell, all have been certain their loved one went to heaven.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

An interview with Martyn Lloyd-Jones-fearless Christianity…

Posted by Gary on October 13, 2014

Please take a moment to watch this brief interview with Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones. How greatly we need courageous voices like this in our day. This interview took place in 1970 and it is apparent that the Church was ill then, how much more so today? Imagine the answers to these same questions by Joel Osteen.

Trusting God when prayer is not answered…

Posted by Gary on September 12, 2014

Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now. (Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest September 12)

Here am I, send him…

Posted by Gary on August 1, 2014

The International Board of Missions estimates that about 3,100 unreached people groups are presently unengaged — that is, no evangelical group yet is pursuing a strategy for planting the church among these peoples.

3,100 is a small number of remaining peoples to reach when compared to the scope of Jesus’s church. There are 305 million evangelicals in the world. That’s 98,000 evangelicals for every unengaged people group. If 1% of those 98,000 were newly called to frontier missions, 980 could be assigned to each of the unengaged peoples. There are 4.6 million Christian congregations in the world. That’s 1,483 congregations for every unengaged people. There are 44,000 Christian denominations in the world. That’s 14 whole denominations for every unengaged people. There are 4,900 foreign mission sending agencies in the world. That’s two whole sending agencies for every unengaged people. If just 10% of the attenders at Passion, Urbana, and the Cru Christmas conferences last year were called to these peoples, we could have three missionaries immediately for everyone of these remaining 3,100 peoples. 

The remaining task of world missions is not a staggering task statistically. We can do this if we will. That is a big if. The human will is weak when it comes to doing the will of God. The world, the flesh, and the devil war against the human will to finish the Great Commission. All hell is arrayed against this mission. And therefore the church can find a thousand good things to do instead of doing this. (John Piper: The Heart of God in the Call to Proclaim: A Joyfully Serious Courage in the Cause of World Missions)

Are you being unfair to someone?

Posted by Gary on July 31, 2014

…if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest July 30)

The Pilate in all of us…

Posted by Gary on April 15, 2014

Luke 23:13-15  Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. “No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.”

Luke 23:24 “And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.”

“Pontius Pilate” there are few names more infamous, few people who will be remembered so long as he has. What a tragic man, famous for the ages for ordering the murder of the Son of God.

What thoughts come to mind when you think of Pontius Pilate? I am thinking of him this Easter season mindful of the verses listed above that tell us that after inquiry and consideration, Pilate found no guilt in Jesus Christ. For two thousand years now, Pilate has been marveled at for his willingness to crucify Jesus though Scripture tells us more than once that he found no guilt in him and even sought to release Him (John 19:12).

How careful we must be though not to focus on Pilate and miss the fact that God forces every person to make a judgment regarding His Son. No one escapes their moment in Pilate’s shoes, for God has decreed that every man, woman and child declare either their allegiance to or rejection of Jesus Christ.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »