Posted by Gary on May 28, 2012
Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
I received a good question from my brother Bill regarding my post “Like Christ or Like the World?” which is in total, a quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones about how the Church and the Christian must be different from the world. Here is Bill’s question:
“While I agree 100%…what is your view as to why the churches using these methods attract large numbers and true Biblical churches are seeing a reduction in numbers?”
First, the passage above from Luke tells us that Jesus had a “little flock” and if He did, I should not be surprised that I do also. There are a number of passages in Scripture that tell us that few, not many are saved:
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.”
Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Luke 18:8 “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
John 6:66 “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”
It is not a surprise that churches that are willing to be worldly are often larger for there is something in fallen man that wants to be religious for he wants to believe that he is good though the Bible tells him he is not (Romans 3:10). Many are willing to go to church and claim belief in God if in the end they can ultimately still have the world and their sins.
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Posted by Gary on January 5, 2012
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)
Like it or not, atheists must acknowledge that the founding fathers of our country declared in our great Declaration of Independence that our self-evident right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness comes from the Creator.
How can government speak of these rights, uphold them and promote them without reference to the Creator? How can this be done without violating the so called separation of Church and State?
Further, seeing that this founding document declares that these rights come from the Creator do atheists forfeit a claim to these rights? If our fathers said they come from the Creator and atheists deny the existence of the Creator can they claim the rights attributed to His existence? Does their personal choice to deny God’s existence carry more weight than the corporate declaration of the founders that there is a Creator and our rights come from Him?
To show the extent of the folly we live under, how can public schools rightly teach our children about our unalienable rights? Would they not have to make reference to the Creator? Wouldn’t this require a discussion in our schools that includes God? What if a student asks who the Creator is?
Lastly, isn’t it interesting that amongst the signers of the Declaration of Independence was a pastor, John Witherspoon? Have you ever been to the Capitol? Can you walk through that building and leave believing that our forefathers intended that God not be recognized in public and political life?
Today’s atheists and advocates of separation of Church and State are revisionists of history, they have had to lie about and distort history to accomplish what they have in our day. But try as they may, there is the Creator in the Declaration and our three-fold American rights are inexorably linked to Him.
Atheists love to be logical so let’s be logical. Our fathers have declared that our rights are from the Creator, no Creator, no rights. Let the teeth gnashing begin.
Posted by Gary on September 1, 2011
(I write the following out of concern for Christians that I fear are trading the true faith for a false faith wrapped in concern for Israel. This false faith relegates Jesus Christ, the Son of God to second class status while it claims to be from God. My writing flows from a real conviction that God has a chosen remnant from national Israel that He will bring to faith in His Son and save them (Romans 9:27). It flows from a significant sympathy with the nation of Israel in political affairs. All this being said, blind Christians are being led by blind guides into the ditch of false faith and need to be warned away from the likes of Glenn Beck and John Hagee)
Romans 9:6-7 “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham…”
Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
I have written previously about Glenn Beck and my concern that he is promoting a false faith both through his Mormonism and his teaching that all the world’s faiths can turn to God together. You can read the pieces here, here, and here.
Most recently, Beck held his “Restoring Courage” event in Israel as an opportunity for people of faith to declare their support for and solidarity with Israel. One of the guest speakers at the event was John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX and head of John Hagee Ministries.
Hagee is one of the many dispensational teachers who take love for and support of the people of Israel to heretical levels. Caring about Jews and praying for their salvation is one thing, showing solidarity with Jews at the expense of acknowledging Christ is another. Hagee’s past includes cooperative efforts with Jewish rabbi’s who reject Jesus as Messiah while claiming that they are doing God’s will together. If you listen carefully you will see that Beck and Hagee both regard support for national Israel as a goal that supersedes God’s person and way of salvation.
As you continue to read, keep in mind that as Glenn Beck introduced John Hagee he told us that Hagee would speak to us about faith…
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on October 20, 2009
Here is the second mark of the Holy Spirit in the life of a child of God as mentioned by J.C. Ryle in his sermon, “Having the Spirit”.
All who have the Spirit are taught by Him. He is called in Scripture, “The Spirit of wisdom and revelation.” (Eph. 1:17.) It was the promise of the Lord Jesus, “He shall teach you all things.” “He shall guide you into all truth.” (John 14:26; 16:13.) We are all by nature ignorant of spiritual truth. “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God—they are foolishness to him.” (1 Cor. 2:14.)
Our eyes are blinded. We neither know God, nor Christ, nor ourselves, nor the world, nor sin, nor heaven, nor hell, as we ought. We see everything under false colors. The Spirit alters entirely this state of things. He opens the eyes of our understandings. He illumines us; He calls us out of darkness into marvelous light. He takes away the veil. He shines into our hearts, and makes us see things as they really are!
No wonder that all true Christians are so remarkably agreed upon the essentials of true religion! The reason is that they have all learned in one school—the school of the Holy Spirit. No wonder that true Christians can understand each other at once, and find common ground of fellowship! They have been taught the same language, by One whose lessons are never forgotten.
I appeal again to every thinking reader. Can he who is ignorant of the leading doctrines of the Gospel, and blind to his own state—can he be said to “have the Spirit “? Judge for yourself
Posted by Gary on October 9, 2007
Acts 10:43 “Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
I came across this from Charles Spurgeon last week and found it so very encouraging. May God grant us to understand the gospel and to believe it. If you are seeking forgiveness you cannot earn it yourself, your deeds cannot wipe away your sins. No religious ceremony or duty can remove your sins. Would God have put His Son to death if a mere ceremony would have done the job? Because Jesus is perfect and died in our place there is no more sin to be remembered against us, we are forgiven, forgiven completely.
All our transgressions are swept away at once, carried off as by a flood, and so completely removed from us that no guilty trace of them remains. They are all gone! Oh, believers, think of this, for it is no little thing. Sins against a holy God, sins against His loving Son, sins against the gospel as well as against the law, sins against man as well as against God, sins of the body as well as sins of the mind, sins as numerous as the sands on the seashore and as great as the sea itself: All, all are removed from us as far as the east is from the west. All this evil was rolled into one great mass and laid upon Jesus, and having borne it all, He has made an end of it forever. When the Lord forgave us, he forgave us the whole debt. He did not take the bill and say, “I strike out this item and that,” but the pen went through it all: PAID. It was a receipt in full of all demands; Jesus took the handwriting that was against us and nailed it to His cross, to show before the entire universe that its power to condemn us had ceased forever. We have in Him a full forgiveness.
Posted by Gary on October 4, 2007
I am convinced that the Christian faith calls me to be kind and loving toward homosexuals yet my personal responsibility toward individual homosexuals must not keep me from declaring this behavior sinful and standing against it. The immediate charge against Christians regarding our Biblical position is that we are hateful, bigoted and judgmental. The charge that we are making a judgment I cannot deny this we are commanded to do by Jesus Himself (though I view this as something different than being “judgmental”):
John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Where the Bible does not condemn we must not condemn but where it speaks clearly, we as Christians must speak clearly. Hear God’s Word, it is not ambiguous or halting in stating God’s thoughts about sexual behavior between those of the same sex:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Timothy 1:8-10 “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching…”
The Scriptures are where we take our stand as Christians and we are reviled for it which is fine, Jesus told us that if the world hated Him it would hate us too (John 15:18-19).
The more I have thought about this issue the more I marvel that people do not seem to take into account homosexuality’s condemnation of itself. Without me uttering a word as a Christian is it not evident that homosexuality is sinful and wrong? Does not the fact that it leads to disease and death reveal something about the nature of this behavior? When a man and woman join together in marriage and commit themselves to one another exclusively, we do not see disease and death in fact we see the creation of new life. When two men or two women have sex we do see disease and death, “…receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
Some will immediately ask how we are seeing death through sex between two women, have you ever heard of something called extinction? Have you ever considered that homosexuality places itself on a course of self-elimination? If practiced by all, homosexuality would lead to extinction; the act itself would bring about its own end. The response of homosexuals is that not everyone practices this behavior therefore we needn’t fear extinction but this is skirting the issue isn’t it? If homosexuality is good should it not be commendable to all? But immediately we realize this cannot be for if all were to adopt it soon there would be no one left.
The Christian’s chief responsibility is to preach the sinfulness of this behavior on the authority of Scripture but we are foolish to ignore the obvious, homosexuality is in conflict with itself, it condemns itself, it would in the logical end, end itself. Don’t be angry with the Christian for proclaiming the Word of truth that is only validated in the undeniable outcome of homosexuality.
Posted by Gary on November 11, 2005
The recent Supreme Court nominations have renewed in me a concern that I have had for many years, the politicalization of the gospel. Watching this process with an eye for the matters of Christ has led me to wonder what we are really after as the people of God.
I am as concerned about abortion and the Biblical view of marriage as anyone else but I must say, when I step off the whirly-gig of the political sphere and think about Jesus and the gospel and the work of God in men’s souls I wonder what we are accomplishing. I wonder if we realize that for many years now we have been reducing the Christian faith to a political party in the United States.
I am not wiling to blame the press and its portrayal of Christianity here, there is a sense in which the media’s portrayal of us is true, we are I fear far more about the business of politics than we are the matters of the Kingdom of God.
Yes, I know, God’s matters cross the political realm the question is, is the political process the way that we are to be about the matters of Christ? I ask you if you are a Christian to stop for a moment, how do you see the gospel being furthered through the tremendous political effort of Christians?
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Posted by Gary on November 10, 2005
I recently received this serenade from my friend David:
Oh where, oh where has my shepherd gone? Oh where, oh where can he be? With his blogging lapsed and his nightshirt on, Oh where, oh where can he be?
Here I am. Sorry, I made a fatal shepherding mistake, I sat down while counting my sheep and fell asleep under a tree in the pasture.