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Monday, September 1, 2014

Are you nice?

Posted by Gary on September 24, 2010

Ezekiel 33:1-11  “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,  4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. 5 ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. 6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.  8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.  9 “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life. 

10 “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”‘  11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”

The religion of our day is the religion of “Nice”. Never say that anything or anyone is wrong. Never call things sin, never warn, never speak of hell, assure everyone they are safe, every road leads to heaven. The only sin in the religion of nice is to say that something is wrong, to call sin what the Bible calls sin, to warn, to speak of hell and to insist that there is only one road that leads to life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Did Jesus die on the cross?

Posted by Gary on September 20, 2010

imageWhy do I ask such a question? Of course Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day. The question beneath my question has to do with the other world religions and the belief of the great majority that there are many ways to heaven and we are all worshipping the same God.

Why did Jesus die on the cross? Because there was no other way for the sin of man to be atoned for. Is God an ogre? Does He delight in seeing people suffer? Why would God cause His Son to suffer on the cross if there were some other way(s) to get to heaven?

Do you remember what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Matthew 26:39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

If all the world’s religions ways of salvation are valid would God not have taken the cup of death out of Jesus’ hands? Would not the answer from heaven to this prayer have been? “Yes, My Son, it is possible for the cup to be taken from your hands for trips to Mecca and praying five times daily will make it possible for men to go to heaven.” Or, “My Son, you need not drink this cup because doing good deeds like taking people to the store and giving the church money will remove the guilt of sin”.

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Need some good news?

Posted by Gary on September 16, 2010

I hope you are reading Charles Spurgeon’s devotional “Morning and Evening”. If you aren’t you are depriving your soul food, help and strength. It is available along with a daily reading from “Faith’s Checkbook” online free here.

I read this the other evening and was comforted by it knowing that I am a sinner. Do you know that you are? Are you concerned about your standing with God? Do you ever wonder if God will receive you because of your sin? Read on.

Luke 15:2 “This Man receives sinners.”

Observe the condescension of this fact. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners—this Man receives sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces—this Man receives sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful—they are of our own race; but that He, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvelous.

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Really?

Posted by Gary on September 14, 2010

World Day of PrayerI spent some moments recently in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I came across this statement at paragraph #841:

The Church’s relationship with the Muslims: “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

After reading this all I could do was ask, “really?” Do Christians and Muslims really adore the one, merciful God?” If there is only one God (and there is) and both adore Him then the catechism is claiming that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Is the God of Muslims the God of the Bible? It would seem according to this statement there is no real need to evangelize the Muslims. This is error and dishonesty plain and simple. The God of the Christian faith and the god of Islam are not the same God.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Who should burn Qurans?

Posted by Gary on September 10, 2010

Acts 19:18-20 “Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”

Burning BookI am sure many Christians might be disappointed with my position but I don’t think Pastor Terry Jones should have a Quran burning. Quite honestly, I think this is the kind of thing Christians do when God’s real power is absent much like our political striving.

Just so you know, my concern is not about being nice, I would only be glad to see the world without the Quran and the Book of Mormon and every other false book that claims to be from God for that matter. The Bible both Old and New Testaments are the only book of God. I am aware that I cannot make everyone believe this but they will believe it one day, many I am afraid as it is brought out before their being cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:23).

When you read the passage listed above you find that Paul did not enter Ephesus and hold a book burning. The Word and power of God were at work in Ephesus and those who owned the books, believed the lies and practiced the evil burned the books themselves.

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Selling our soul-American Christianity’s flirtation with Glenn Beck

Posted by Gary on September 1, 2010

The evidence is becoming mountainous, the goal of the great majority of American Christians is America not the Kingdom of God. It appears that there is no boundary American Christians will not cross as long as it would seem to achieve the goal of “saving America”.

Take for instance the willingness of many American Christians to embrace Glenn Beck and his call for us to turn back to God. Apparently it does not matter what god Beck means when he speaks for no Christian that I have seen thus far has asked him what God he is talking about.

It is a marvel that Glenn Beck questions the Christianity of Barack Obama when he himself belongs to the cult of Mormonism which is not Christianity. Yet many Christian leaders talk with Glenn Beck on his program and never question his claim to be a Christian while he holds to the tenants of Mormonism.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Would you attend Chuck’s church?

Posted by Gary on May 13, 2010

What do you expect to hear when you go to church? Just below is a quote from a sermon entitled “Forgiveness” by Charles Spurgeon. You can know you are in the right church if it preaches the Bible which will always humble us first and show us the truth before it offers us hope.

Some of you may say, “You seem to think us a bad lot”—and so I do. Others exclaim, “How can you talk to us in this way? We are a honest, moral, and upright people.” If so, then I have no gospel to preach to you. You may go elsewhere if you will, for you may get moral sermons in scores of chapels if you want them; but I am come in my Master’s name to preach to sinners, and so I will not say a word to you Pharisees except this—By so much as you think yourself righteous and holy, by so much shall you be cast out of God’s presence at last. Your sentence will be eternal banishment from the presence of Him who hath said to every repenting sinner, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, and will not remember thy sins.”

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The Incarnation-Christ born for you

Posted by Gary on December 19, 2009

Take a moment and read these truthful, helpful thoughts from Charles Spurgeon on the Incarnation of Christ and what it can mean for you:

This joy began with the shepherds, for the angel said to them, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Reader, shall the joy begin with you to-day? It avails you little that Christ is born, or that Christ died, unless unto you a Child is born, and for you Jesus bled. A personal interest in the birth, life, and death of Christ is the main point for each one of us…

…Jesus is the Friend of the poor, the sinful, and the unworthy. You, poor ones, need not fear to come unto Him; for He was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger. You have not worse accommodation than He had; you are not poorer than He was. Come and welcome to the poor man’s Prince, to the peasant’s Savior. Stay not back through fear of your unfitness; the shepherds came to Him in all their dishabille (casual dress). I read not that they tarried to put on their best garments; but, in the clothes in which they wrapped themselves that cold midnight, they hastened, just as they were, to the young Child’s presence. God looks not at garments, but at hearts; and accepts men when they come to Him with willing spirits, whether they be rich or poor…

…No aristocratic Christ have I to commend to you, but the Savior of the people, the Friend of publicans and sinners. Jesus is the true “poor man’s Friend;” He is “a Witness to the people, a Leader and Commander to the people.” Oh, that each one of us might truly say, “Unto me is Jesus born”! If I truly believe in Him, Christ is born unto me, and I may be as sure of it as if an angel announced it personally to me, since the Scripture assures me that, if I believe in Jesus, He is mine, and I am His, and through union with Him I become a partaker in His everlasting life, and in all that He has.

Charles Spurgeon from “The Incarnation: The Foundation of the Christian Faith”

It is one thing to declare that we believe that Christ is the Son of God and that He was born of a virgin. But do you believe that He died and rose again as the payment for sins? Even this is not enough…do you believe that He was born for you? That He died for you? That He rose again for the forgiveness of your sins? Christ is not yours until He becomes yours by an act of personal faith and reception of Him into your life. Is Christ yours?

Tragic

Posted by Gary on December 16, 2009

Colossians 2:23 “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

10' Morgan Blacksnake (ca. 2001) - Handle Area by AldoZL.

It has been reported recently that Pope John Paul II engaged in the practice of self-flagellation, that is, whipping himself as a response to sin.

The report comes as the Roman Catholic Church continues its consideration of John Paul’s sainthood. It would appear that the revelation of the pope beating himself is an argument on behalf of his sainthood. (See this article on becoming a saint in Roman Catholicism).

How tragic this all is. Perhaps if John Paul had understood that sainthood is not achieved but received by the suffering and merits of Christ he would not have made himself suffer and misled the many who looked to him for truth.

Perhaps you think this all unkind but let me remind us that John Paul was the proclaimed bishop, teacher and shepherd of a billion souls and what message do we find in his actions? Punishment for his sins? This according to bishop Emory Kabongo:

“He would punish himself and in particular just before he ordained bishops and priests,”

Is this the message of the gospel, that my sins need to be punished further since Christ died for them? Was it not really finished when Jesus said, “It is finished?” (John 19:30). This practice is a tremendous revealer of the doctrine of Catholicism which at its root is human striving in addition to Christ’s work on the cross for salvation. 

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Ryle on the marks of the Spirit-#1 spiritually alive

Posted by Gary on October 16, 2009

Romans 8:9-11  “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.  11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Are you reading J.C. Ryle yet? If not, get to it. Here is a site full of his sermons. A reading group within our church recently read Ryle’s sermon entitled, “Having the Spirit”. In it he lists ten marks that can be seen in the life of the person who has the Spirit, which of course is the determiner of whether or not we have been forgiven and will spend eternity with God. I will share the ten with you in separate posts, read them and answer honestly if you have the Spirit or not.

What then are these general effects which the Spirit always produces on those who really have Him? What are the marks of His presence in the soul?

All who have the Spirit are quickened by Him, and made spiritually ALIVE.

He is called in Scripture, “The Spirit of life.” (Rom. 8:3.) “It is the Spirit,” says our Lord Jesus Christ, “who quickens.” (John 6:63.) We are all by nature dead in trespasses and sins. We have neither feeling nor interest about true religion. We have neither faith, nor hope, nor fear, nor love. Our hearts are in a state of torpor; they are compared in Scripture to a stone. We may be alive about money, learning, politics, or pleasure—but we are dead towards God.

All this is changed when the Spirit comes into the heart. He raises us from this state of death, and makes us new creatures. He awakens the conscience, and inclines the will towards God. He causes old things to pass away, and all things to become new. He gives us a new heart; He makes us put off the old man, and put on the new. He blows the trumpet in the ear of our slumbering faculties, and sends us forth to walk the world as if we were new beings.

How unlike was Lazarus shut up in the silent tomb, to Lazarus coming forth at our Lord’s command! How unlike was Jairus’ daughter lying cold on her bed amidst weeping friends, to Jairus’ daughter rising and speaking to her mother as she was accustomed to do! Just as unlike is the man in whom the Spirit dwells to what he was before the Spirit came into him.

I appeal to every thinking reader. Can he whose heart is manifestly full of everything but God–hard, cold, and insensible—can he be said to “have the Spirit”? Judge for yourself.