Saturday, August 25, 2007


Due to planned travel I won't be posting any new material over the next week.

God bless,


The Cure for Blindness

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth. The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it. A classic example of this is seen in the story of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In his autobiography Franklin recounts in some detail how he listened to the mighty preaching of the great evangelist. He even walked around the square where Whitefield stood to learn for himself how far that golden voice carried. Whitefield talked with Franklin personally about his need of Christ and promised to pray for him. Years later Franklin wrote rather sadly that the evangelist’s prayers must not have done any good, for he was still unconverted….

The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. When seeking to bring the lost to Christ we must pray continually that they may receive the gift of seeing. And we must pit our prayer against that dark spirit who blinds the hearts of men. BAM062-063

"Lord, I’ll do my part today to share the Gospel with anyone You’ll bring my way. But Holy Spirit, I’ll wait for You to open eyes and give sight. I’ll leave the results with You. Amen."

(A.W. Tozer, Tozer on Christian Leadership, August 25)

HAT TIP:Christian Research Net

Friday, August 24, 2007

Willkommen nach Amerika!

(John 15:18-21)
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a 67-year-old Georgia man who was arrested, held in jail for two days and convicted without being given access to a lawyer for passing out Gospel tracts on a public street.

The action was brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Fredric Baumann, who was arrested on the orders of police chief Mike Eason.

The ADF said a Georgia Superior Court earlier this month agreed to its request to overturn the conviction of Baumann, "a Christian man whom Cumming police arrested in April for passing out religious literature on a public sidewalk."

Continue reading here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

On Catholic "Unity"

Papal Bull asks and I respond:

Somehow I never cease to be amazed by the depth of the deception in which the Catholic church wallows and spews forth from its demonic bowels.

Specifically I'm continually surprised by their utter inability to recognize that the Catholic "unity" which they're so fond of pointing toward and admiring is a facade, a vapor, a hoax!

Eastern Orthodox Church? Hello?

That would be enough in and of itself but let's peel another layer off this smelly onion and expose the fact that their "unity" - so called - is a false temporal unity which is enforced and wielded by a heretical "Vicar of Christ"; a sinful satanic imposter who would usurp the unique office of the Holy Spirit for himself!

The unity to which scripture refers is the true unity of Christ's own, His spiritual children called from every kingdom, tribe, tongue and nation to be partakers and inheritors of His holy and eternal kingdom selected by His sovereign grace and mercy and not because of any merit, worth, or good thing inherent within them.

This is the riches of the Lord, that His true children, His sheep are unified by His Spirit into the Body of Christ, the invisible and one true church.

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Infinite God + Infinite Punishment = Infinite Atonement

Tonight I read an excellent dissertation summing up the Calvinist viewpoint on the atonement of Christ by Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs. I was encouraged by one particular section of the presentation wherein Phil addressed one of the most persistent and nagging issues I have with certain adherents of so-called high Calvinism or hyper-Calvinism, who (probably not coincidentally) also seem to be the most vocal of the 5-pointers.

There are some among the high & hyper-Calvinists who - inexplicably - espouse the belief that Christ's penal substitution and atonement on the cross was limited in the sense that it's only sufficient to expiate the sins of the elect and that the atonement is therefore finite - being restricted in its efficacy to the particular sins of particular persons. I've always found this doctrine to be deeply offensive in that it manages to both malign the character of God Almighty and serves to denigrate and deny His claim to absolute sovereignty.

I join Phil Johnson in charging that this is an absurd, wholly unbiblical, and utterly indefensible position for any logical, thinking Christian to hold. This charge is easily proven by pointing toward two simple and irrefutable facts:

Jesus Christ is God Almighty
The person of Christ, the God-man who died upon that terrible cross on Golgotha was the Ancient of Days, the Almighty God who was, and is, and is to come. Therefore, to quote Phil Johnson, "In other words, the person who died on the cross was infinite in His glory and His goodness and therefore it was an infinite sacrifice. That’s the first reason."

Sin incurs God's infinite wrath and punishment
Again to quote Phil Johnson on the other major thrust of this objection to a finite atonement; "Second, the price of each person’s sin is infinite wrath. And if the price of atonement is infinite than the atonement itself in order to be accepted had to be of infinite value. In other words, if you had to suffer the price of your own sins you would spend eternity in hell and still you would not exhaust the infinite displeasure of God against sin. There’s an infinite punishment for sin. And that infinite wrath is the very thing Christ bore on the cross. So if Christ’s death was not sufficient to atone for all than it wasn’t sufficient to atone for even one. Because atonement for sin even for one person demands an infinite price."

Now I don't agree with Phil Johnson, nor the Pyromaniacs on all matters, but in this case he's hit the nail on the head and I applaud him for demonstrating the intestinal fortitude to stand boldly against his own Calvinist brethren and point unflinchingly toward the omnipotent Christ of scripture as opposed to the impotent Christ of the high & hyper Calvinist's fevered high noon fantasies.

Friend, Christ didn't suffer just so much, or in some arbitrary amount equivalent to pay for the amount of the sins of the elect, Christ suffered completely and sufficiently to pay for the infinite cost of sin, period. He couldn't have suffered more or less than He did on that old rugged cross for he suffered fully and therefore paid our sin debt in full. "It is finished!" He said! He fulfilled His earthly mission perfectly, and in doing so He completely fulfilled the will of our Heavenly Father with absolute precision.

Let us never demean or diminish the infinite and horrible suffering of our Lord and Savior by relegating His terrible vicarious sacrifice to something less than it was. Rather let us bow down in humble reverence and holy thankfulness to Him who bore our sins, and set us free from the yoke of bondage which aforetime held us fast to our wicked ways.

(1 Corinthians 15:55)
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

(Phillipians 4:4)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The False-Positive Message of Joel Osteen

Preaching a False-Positive with a Smile

Forty year old Joel Osteen now has one of the largest church congregations in America. This has all been done this with no formal Bible training; Osteen says he was learning the business of television. In 1981, he came home from Oral Roberts University to start the Lakewood TV ministry and he became the television producer of his father’s program. In his Charisma interview it stated: The younger Osteen’s television-marketing talents and his dad’s preaching skills resulted eventually in the church being aired on stations nationwide and in more than 100 countries (Charisma, June 2004 article).

Continue reading here.

The Manifold Errors of Mormonism

I discovered an excellent compendium on the myriad errors of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (a.k.a. the Mormon Church) over at Let Us Reason Ministries.

Mormonism is a horribly convoluted cult of Christianity that binds and controls its adherents through fear, manipulation, and spiritual bondage. Mormonism is a false and satanically inspired religion that was spawned in the bowels of the deepest, darkest pit of hell and vomited forth into the physical world through the demonic teachings of their false prophet Joseph Smith.

Click here for a detailed list of articles which expose the numerous false teachings of the Mormon cult.

An Open Call to Pastoral Repentance

HAT TIP: Extreme Theology

Enough is enough! There is an plague of pastors in the church who refuse to do their Biblical duty and preach God's word, preach sound doctrine and make disciples who are grounded in God's word.

These pastors would rather be relevant, popular, purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive, hip, "kewl", or emergent than do their Biblical duty.

It is time to call these men out and call them to repentance:

You are Supposed to Be a Christian Pastor. God Has Given You a Clear Job To Do. But, You’re Not Doing It!

The reason you’ve been sent a link to this web page is because your sermons do not preach that which is in accord with sound Biblical doctrine. Instead, you are preaching sermons that tickle itching ears.

The Bible Warns Us About Preachers Like You.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Jesus Didn’t Die On the Cross so that people can...

Be Wealthy.
Celebrate Recovery.
Have Abundant Blessings Here on Earth.
Get out of debt.
Have a Fulfilling Career.
Live Their Best Lives Now.
Find Their Purpose.
Expand Their Territory.
Experience God’s Perfect Plan for Their Lives.
Have a Peaceful Family Life.
Have a Fulfilling Sex Life.
or Reduce the Stress In Their Lives.

These types of sermons are myths that suit the passions of an unregenerate and unbelieving world. Leave these messages to Oprah, Dr. Phil and the infomercial self-help gurus.

Let’s Review What God Says You Should Be Preaching.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

Your Job IS to Preach God’s Word. (And don’t think for a second that the 3 to 4 measly verses that you pull out every Sunday to ‘proof-text’ your own ideas can be equated with ‘Preaching God’s Word”. If you think that then you need to step down from the ministry altogether because you have deceived yourself.) Get back to expository and expositional Bible preaching. Why?

Answer: Because Jesus Christ Sent The Church Out Into the World to Make Disciples.

Here is what Jesus said in the Great Commission

Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Verse 20 makes it clear that a crucial part of making disciples is teaching people to observe ALL that Jesus commanded. These commands can ONLY be found in God’s word. In fact, here is how Jesus defines a disciple...

John 8:31-32 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

By Jesus’ own definition, His disciples are those who “Abide in His Word”.

Therefore, there are no two ways about it. If you’re not preaching God’s word then your not making disciples. If you not making disciples your NOT fulfilling your job as a Christian pastor. (Again, you are fooling yourself if you believe that 3 to 4 verses a week will even come close to meeting this standard.)

Furthermore, the type of self-help sermons you preach do not teach people about their sin and the salvation won for them on the cross. Self-Help sermons teach people to how to solve their own problems. The TRUE Biblical gospel teaches people that their ultimate problem is their sin and that the ONLY solution for their sin is JESUS CHRIST.

This gospel message needs to be preached Sunday after Sunday so that people in your congregation repent of their sins and trust in Christ ALONE for their salvation. Here are a few relevant passages to help you see this.

Luke 24:46-47 and [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations...”

Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sins needs to be proclaimed in HIS name TO ALL NATIONS. (This includes 21st Century America.) If you are a Christian pastor, you are not exempt from having to preach this message.

Here is what the Apostle Paul said about the message that he preached. Notice how well this message obeys the words of Jesus. Also notice that this was written to Christians, NOT un-believers.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Paul said we preach Christ Crucified. This wasn’t some message he preached just to unbelievers. He preached this message to believers. Notice this is written in the present tense.

Furthermore Paul clearly lays out the gospel that he preached.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

This message of repentance from sin and the forgiveness of sins won for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross is mysteriously and sadly missing from your preaching and teaching.

But, the Gospel message is NOT an Optional message for a Christian Pastor.

You have NO freedom to opt out of Your Biblical Duty to preach God’s Word, preach sound doctrine, preach Christ Crucified for Sins, and preach Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Pastor, it is time for you to repent.

If you will not do your Biblical duty and preach the message that you have been given to preach by God Himself then you need to step down from the pulpit because you are in sin and open rebellion against the One True God. In that case, God will judge you for your sin, rebellion and false teaching. And don’t think for a second that God doesn’t care that much about what you preach and teach. Scripture says...

James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

So, which will it be pastor?

Repentance, forgiveness and mercy for both you and the people who hear the True Biblical Gospel Message through you OR God’s stricter judgement?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Are You a Worker of Iniquity?

The Lord of Hosts has very strident words for those who portray themselves as His own when in fact they are tares planted by His enemy the devil. These counterfeit Christians live and work alongside true Christians. They attend services, fill pews, preach from the pulpits, and chair the deacon and the elder boards.

A common trait among these shameless charlatans is their tendency to gravitate toward and espouse a feel-good gospel designed to tickle men's ears and boost their self-esteem, "Gawd luuuuuuuuvs yew an' has a wunnerful plan fer yer life!" they say. Their plastic, sinless, bloodless, gospel and Nerf theology are market tested and focus-group certified not to offend any man, but oh how they offend the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe!

Oh how these sinful snake-oil salesmen, these peddlers of spiritual pornography, would tremble if they had any inkling of the coals they're heaping upon their own heads! Oh that the Lord of Glory might show them the error of their ways before the meet with Him one fateful day and hear those terrible words, "...depart from me..."!!

Another characteristic trait of these boastful lovers of themselves is their predeliction for continuing in lifestyles and patterns of unbroken, unrepentent sin. Friends, don't be deceived, those that continue in sin have no part in the Lord, nor will they be partakers in His kingdom.

(2 Timothy 2:19)
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

(Titus 1:16)
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

(Matthew 7:16-21)
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

(1 John 3:4)
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

(1 John 3:6-10)
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Listening to the Watchers

Adam Mayfield poses a question about an allegedly un-Christian "watch dog blog":

Do people acually (sic) listen to these people?

And I respond:

Yes, praise the Lord that many people do actually listen to these people.

Christian Research Net is but one of many, many discernment sites which boldly speak the truth into a sin sick and dying world, ceaselessly praying for the souls of men, and tirelessly pointing to the cross of Christ in the midst of relentless mocking, ridicule, and wagging of tongues by the devil's little helpers.

Oh, that more men of God would boldly stand for the Lord of Glory in this present darkness as opposed to clinging to their limp wristed effeminate po-mo version of church-ianity that sends countless thousands of stony ground hearers home each week singing of a heaven they're never going to see.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Joel Osteen Heresy Gauge

Click here for a very useful visual aid for determining when Joel Osteen is espousing heresy.

HAT TIP: A Little Leaven

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Knowledge So Called

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."
(Romans 1:19-23)

Because of his corrupted and sinful nature the natural man will inevitably pretend that God cannot be known, or that perhaps at best glimpses of "a god" may be seen within the natural order (creation), but by holding to this fallacious position they deny the fact that God was once intimately known by man, and that man was once even closer to God than he was to nature (before the fall).

It's quite clear from scripture that it must be that man knew God before he knew nature for it was, is, and always will be through God and by God that man knows anything whatsoever.

As such the natural man stands guilty and condemned for denying the truth and for suppressing that truth in unrighteousness as the scriptures cited above prove conclusively.

But our Heavenly Father Who is merciful and just has made a way for for man's sinful, corrupted reasoning and blind hostility toward his Maker to be enlightened and converted unto salvation by the blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By the regenerating power of His Spirit the enmity between sinful, corrupted man and the absolutely Holy, Pure, Sovereign, self-contained Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe is abolished and totally and eternally forgiven.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:38-39)

“They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14)

by Elisha A. Hoffman

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Potent Love, Potent Faith

To feel God’s love is very precious, but to believe it when you do not feel it, is the noblest. He may be but a little Christian who knows God’s love, but he is a great Christian who believes it when the visible contradicts it and the invisible withholds its witness.

- C.H. Spurgeon

Truth or Dare

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)

I've noticed an increasing number of folks within the Christian blogosphere who frequently (and pathetically) fail to contrast the scriptural veracity and doctrinal purity of the watchman blogs - or watch doggies as they are derisively known - which are typically denounced for being variously "unloving", "arrogant" and/or "prideful" with that of the friendly emergents whom these same people typically praise and admire as "friendly", "open", and/or "loving".

If you are found among this number I caution you in the Lord to be mindful not to base your opinions on how others make you feel, but rather I exhort you instead to cling to what the Bible has to say about fidelity to scripture as opposed to adherence to a corrupt and man-centered faithlessness which is but a hollow pretence of genuineness.

There is a false humility that is much more devastating and spiritually cancerous than common boastful arrogance - both of which are forms of pride and ignorance that are frowned upon by the Lord of Glory.

Truly emotionalism and false piety are a dangerous and combustible combination for the soul. For a deep dive on these subjects I recommend Dr. John MacArthur's book "The Gospel According to Jesus".

The truth confronts error in love whereas deception welcomes all within its dark embrace.

God bless.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Is There Really a God?

God—an Eternal, Uncreated Being?
In our everyday experience, just about everything seems to have a beginning. In fact, the laws of science show that even things which look the same through our lifetime, such as the sun and other stars, are, in reality, running down. The sun is using up its fuel at millions of tons each second—since the sun cannot last forever, it had to have a beginning. The same can be shown to be true for the entire universe.

So when Christians claim that the God of the Bible created all the basic entities of life and the universe, some will ask what seems to be a logical question: “Who created God?”

The very first verse in the Bible declares: “In the beginning God ... .” There is no attempt in these words to prove the existence of God or imply in any way that God had a beginning. In fact, the Bible makes it clear in many places that God is outside time. He is eternal, with no beginning or end. He also knows all things, being infinitely intelligent.

Is it logical, though, to accept the existence of such an eternal being? Can modern science, which has produced our technology of computers, space shuttles, and medical advances, even allow for such a notion?1

What Would We Look For?
What evidence would we expect to find if there really is an infinite God who created all things as the Bible claims? How would we even recognize the hand of such an omnipotent (all-powerful) Creator?

The Bible claims that God knows all things—He is omniscient! Therefore, He is infinitely intelligent. To recognize His handiwork, one would have to know how to recognize the evidence of the works of His intelligence.

Continue reading "Is There Really a God?" here.

The Illegal Gospel

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (Matthew 24:9)

Norwegian street preacher Petar Keseljevic explains, in a video on the International Human Rights Group website about being fined for preaching a biblical message

The conviction and $1,500 fine for a street preacher who feels his calling is to share the gospel on the streets of Oslo, Norway, has been upheld by an intermediate court, and an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is likely, according to the International Human Rights Group.

IHRG President Joel Thornton told WND in an e-mail from Norway that he'd been advised the court ruling, to be released soon, will affirm the discipline against Petar Keseljevic, who describes himself as the first street preacher in Norway.

He was in the city's downtown area on June 29 and 30, and on the second day was arrested for delivering a gospel message, even though he'd been told by city officials he could exercise his free speech rights on the public sidewalks without a permit, Thornton told WND.

He was released after a few hours, and fined 9,000 Kroners, about $1,500, then appealed, and the IHRG got involved.

"He is a strong Christian brother who has a very definite calling to preach the gospel on the streets of Oslo – his hometown," Thornton said. "He preaches a very sound biblical message about the sin of man and the need to repent and turn to God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I found Petar's enthusiasm to be infectious."

In a video on the IHRG website, Keseljevic describes his reason for preaching: "In these last days it is important that someone takes a stand and do what the message is meant for, share it," he said.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Inside the Abort-uary

I'm guessing the radical, rabid pro-death lobby is in full tilt spin control mode right about now since the grisly story of Christy Freeman broke. See below:

A real-life test for Roe v. Wade
Posted: August 9, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
by Joseph Farah

Many Americans have come to accept the idea of unborn babies being torn limb from limb, starved to death, burned with acid and generally exterminated like pests – as long as the killing is done in the antiseptic conditions of a so-called "clinic."

It's a little harder to accept what happened in Ocean City, Maryland, where police have found the remains of four dead preborn children – all believed to have been aborted by the mother, Christy Freeman, 37. I guess I shouldn't call her a mother. Maybe "host" would be a more accurate term.

However, she is, technically speaking, a mother – at least biologically speaking – to four unfortunate offspring who live with her and her longtime "boyfriend," Raymond W. Godman Jr.

No one knows exactly what happened to these babies. One 26-week-old unborn baby was found wrapped in bloody towels under Freeman's bathroom sink. Two other sets of fetal remains were found wrapped in plastic in a bedroom trunk. A fourth was found in a Winnebago outside the home.

While Freeman is being held, no one is quite certain what crime, if any, she will be charged with.

After all, most laws against killing unborn babies were effectively struck down by the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

To prosecutors, the key is timing.

They say if the infants were too young to be considered viable outside the womb, Freeman can't be charged with murder. And if they were old enough to live outside the womb but died before Maryland passed its 2005 fetal homicide law, it may not be a crime even if Freeman intentionally caused the deaths of these children.

Aren't you proud to be an American?

These four little babies are a sign of our times.

These are the little faces the pro-abortion crowd would never want you to see.

For one reason, the advocates of abortion on demand insisted this kind of thing would never happen again if only abortion were safe and legal. There would be no more "back-alley" or self-induced abortions. They would all take place in clean clinics under the direction of monsters who looked like doctors.

That was the promise.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way.

God knows what possessed Freeman to do what she did. Men and women have always done evil things and always will. It's their nature. And it is why government has a responsibility to rein in the worst of man's excesses – to keep us, at a minimum, from killing one another, to protect the innocent.

Today everything is upside-down, backwards, topsy-turvy, inverted. Black is now white. Up is down. Left is now right. Right is now wrong.

In many cases, government ensures the guilty never pay the ultimate price for their most heinous crimes, while the most innocent are permitted to suffer unspeakable fates.

The people in Ocean City, Md., are pretty upset about dead babies in their neighborhood. In fact, this case is a big story through the Washington Metro area – somewhat ironic given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court, right in the heart of the nation's capital, made all this possible, if not probable, 34 years ago.

It will be interesting if it turns out that no crime was committed.

It's quite possible that four dead babies in your house is nothing more than, say, a health code violation, thanks to Roe v. Wade.

Is this the kind of story that can confront people about the horror that is abortion?

Is this the kind of story that can force people to confront the reality of what happens every day in abortuaries around this country?

Is this the kind of story that can make Americans think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Either God is man’s God through the shed blood and propitiation of Christ Jesus, or else man is his own god. And when man is his own god (which is by nature but for God’s unmerited grace) bad things happen.

The common theme among all those who reject the authority of scripture and thereby the deny the absolute sovereignty of the Infinite Creator and Judge of the Universe is their cavalier, flippant attitude toward sin.

They wallow in it.

They drink it in.

They revel in it.

They treat it as though it were a light thing.

But why does God’s just and righteous wrath rest upon man? BECAUSE OF SIN!!!

Oh Lord, by your everlasting mercies may sinful men, by your grace alone, come to hate their sinful state and bewail it falling upon their faces before you in contrite repentance unto salvation!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Two Streams of Christianity

Born Again Christians
♦Contend for the God-given faith of the apostles (Jude 3)
♦Exalt Jesus Christ as the only Master, Lord and Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22)
♦Possesors of Christ, made alive by the Spirit (Rom. 8:10-11)
♦Are devoted to apostolic teaching and sound doctrine (Acts 2:42)
♦Proclaim salvation by grace alone through what God has done in Christ (Rom. 3:24-26; 11:6)
♦Receive grace and turn from ungodliness and worldly desires (Titus 2:11-12)
♦Children of God called out of the world and enrolled in heaven (2 Tim. 3:12; Heb. 12:23)
♦Know God and do good works prepared by Him (Eph. 2:9)

♦Have deliberately departed from the apostles' faith (1 John 2:19)
♦Deny Jesus Christ as the only Master, Lord and Head of the Church (Jude 4)
♦Professors of Christ, twice dead (Mat. 7:22; Jude 12)
♦Introduce destructive heresies and do not endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:1)
♦Deceive people with a "salvation" by grace plus what man must do for God (Gal. 1:6-9)
♦Turn the grace of our God into licentiousness (Jude 4)
♦Godless people blinded by the prince of the world and condemned (2 Cor. 4:4; Jude 4)
♦Profess to know God, but deny Him by their deeds (Titus1:16)

HAT TIP: Proclaiming the Gospel

The Edge of Apostasy

One of the greatest mysteries in life is how anyone could come to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and then depart from Him. Judas is the classic example of an apostate - one who abandons the faith he once held. Judas walked and lived with the Son of God for over three years, a royal privilege granted to only 11 others. Yet after witnessing the Messiah's sinless life, seeing His miracles, experiencing His divine power and hearing His profound wisdom, Judas betrayed Him. It was during the celebration of the Passover meal that Judas deliberately defected from the faith of the apostles and sealed his eternal destiny in the lake of fire (Mat. 26:24-25).

Two Streams of Christianity
Many others have departed from the faith since that fateful night. The apostle John wrote about apostates who "went out from us" because "they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us" (1 John 2:18). Most apostates never reject the Christian faith completely, they fall away to a counterfeit form of Christianity. It is for this reason we have seen two streams of Christianity operating side-by-side for 2000 years.

The Apostolic Church
One stream is the apostolic church, founded by the Lord Jesus who is the Master Builder. It includes only the few who have entered through the narrow gate (Mat. 7:13). They have been sanctified by the truth and born of the Spirit. This Spirit of Promise seals and indwells each member, thus guaranteeing their eternal inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). This church will be persecuted, hated and despised, but will continue holding to apostolic faith until Jesus returns to take it to heaven as His bride. The gates of hell shall not prevail against this church (Mat. 16:18).

The Apostate Church
The other stream is an apostate church made up of those who profess Christ but are spiritually dead. They believe a distorted Gospel, follow another spirit and reject the faith of the apostles (1 Tim. 4:1). This church is being built by men who ignore the Master Builder's blueprint and instead follow their own methods and movements. Maligning the way of truth, they seduce many with their sensuality (2 Pet. 2:2). Apostates will increase in number and grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, until the Day of our Lord (2 Tim. 3:3). These "professing" Christians will not endure sound doctrine. Instead they will turn away from the truth and turn to teachers who tickle their ears with messages of self esteem (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Paul called these teachers "grievous wolves" who enter the church speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30). It is important to note that all apostates are unbelievers but not all unbelievers are apostates.

The Primary Cause of Apostasy
The major cause of apostasy can be traced to various spiritual influences that include demonic deceptions and divine judgments. The "father of lies" has been seducing the visible church into an ecumenical spirituality in an attempt to unite the religions of the world. Driven by his desire to be worshipped as god, he will continue to attack God's Word with an unrestrained determination. Postmodern philosophy is currently his most effective tool. Church leaders who are caught up in this movement are saying we cannot know absolute truth. And since we cannot know absolute truth, we cannot be dogmatic about doctrine or moral standards. They say dogmatic preaching must give way to dialogue between people of all faiths in order to seek unity for common goals. Divine judgment is also a cause for apostasy. Those who refuse to love and believe the truth for salvation will be sent a deluding influence so they might believe what is false and be judged (2 Thes. 2:9-12 ). A divine judgment in the form of moral apostasy is also given to those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. By refusing to acknowledge God any longer, He gives them over to depraved minds and degrading passions for people of the same sex (Rom. 1:18-32).

The Step-by-Step Drift into Apostasy
Step One: God's word is rejected as the supreme authority for faith and practice. This creates uncertainty over whether to follow Jesus and His Word or the traditions and movements of men. Double mindedness causes confusion and divided loyalties. The power of the Gospel is diluted by compromise. Biblical evangelism is replaced by "easy believism" or sacramental salvation. Scripture is cited only for selfish ambition, resulting in little or no discernment. People are given what they want instead of what they need. Their spurious faith is exposed when trials and temptations arise. Biblical warnings about false teachers are ignored.

Step Two: Scripture is twisted and distorted for power, control and riches. Truth is determined by subjective personal experiences rather than the objective Word of God. Biblical ignorance provides fertile ground for false teachers. "Infallible" men claim to be successors of the apostles. Doctrinal error and sin are tolerated. Worldliness and ungodly influences are present. Hearts are unresponsive to the Holy Spirit. God is honored with lips but hearts are far from Him. Love for God grows cold. Those who contend for the faith are asked to leave. Satan sows his tares in the church with little or no resistance.

Step Three: Bible teaching is replaced by stories and myths. Doctrinal error is embraced. Programs and entertainment have forced Jesus out of the church. A form of godliness exists but it is void of power. Deception abounds because there is a failure to love the truth. A stubborn refusal to accept correction is present. Hearts have become hardened. The devil is no longer resisted. Blatantly immoral lifestyles are present and accepted.

Step Four: Jesus Christ and His Gospel are totally rejected. Those who embrace truth are an anathema and asked to leave. Grace is turned into a license to sin. The holy things of God are mocked. Deception is full-blown. Lying signs and wonders are promoted as messages from God. Doctrines of demons are followed. Idolatry and prayers to the dead are encouraged. The church's lampstand has been removed and a certain terrifying judgment is now unavoidable.

Past and Future Apostasy
Biblical history confirms there have always been apostate churches like the one at Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22) as well as individual apostates (Heb. 10:26-31). However, "the apostasy" will reach its prophetic peak just prior to the Day of our Lord (2 Thes. 2:3). Paul's use of the definite article suggests that the downward spiral into apostasy will be culminated by one identifiable act. It will occur when the "man of lawlessness is revealed." This "son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so called god or object of worship...takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thes. 3:3-4). This apostasy will be a blasphemous act of unprecedented magnitude by a demonically influenced world leader. This "second Judas" will desecrate the temple by declaring himself to be God thus committing the abomination of desolation. The "first Judas" desecrated the temple with the money he received by betraying the Son of God (Mat. 27:5). The Lord Jesus warned us the end times would be marked by great deception, such that the world has never known (Mat. 24). The spiritual deception which covers the earth will be so prevalent that Jesus asked the question: "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). This fatal deception will cause more churches, denominations, seminaries and individuals to drift into apostasy unless biblical warnings are heeded. Each professing Christian's faith will be constantly tested as more seducing spirits invade the church.

What Are Believers To Do?
1) Pray that we will be strong in the Lord as we put on the full armor of God. Recognize we are in an intense battle for truth against the schemes of the devil and the wicked forces of darkness (Eph. 6:10-12).
2) Earnestly contend for the faith. When anyone in our circle of influence is deceiving or being deceived, we must lovingly confront and correct them using Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16).
3) We must abide in God's word to discern truth from error (John 8:31-32). Do not be swept away by every wind of doctrine. Every few years a new fad hits the church. These movements divert people away from the sure word of God. We must guard against the craftiness and trickery of men (Eph. 4:14).
4) Pray for your church leaders and hold them accountable to the Word of God. We must be like the Bereans who examined the Scriptures daily to test the veracity of the Apostle Paul's teaching (Acts 17:11).
5) Identify and avoid false teachers so others will not be deceived (Rom. 16:17-18).

May our love for Jesus Christ compel us to be His light in an ever darkening world. Be encouraged! Jesus said these things must take place before He comes for His church. Keep looking up, our redemption is near!

HAT TIP: Proclaiming the Gospel

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pastor, Who Is Leading You Astray?

Pastor, I used to go to your church; or maybe I still attend it. You may remember that I came to you with a concern about some program, resources, invited speaker, teaching that was being brought into our church. I told you it looked like a false teaching. I even gave you some research that was done with scripture to support my concerns.

You listened, but in the end you did not really hear. You told me that we can't put God in a box, that God told you there was nothing wrong, and that you were only interested in bringing more of God's Kingdom in, and was just giving people a way to experience God more. I acknowledged your good intentions, but asked you to consider and look into what I brought you.

I did not hear back from you until the following Sunday. You did not talk direct to me about what I brought to you, but you talked to the entire congregation about it, woven into your sermon. Although you did not say my name, it was obviously a put down of what I showed you. I was warned before going to talk to you that you probably wouldn't be receptive to what I was going to tell you, but this was a response I did not expect.

I was disappointed, hurt, and felt deceived. Your sermon did accomplish something. Now I am avoided and even shunned by others in the church. I guess that was your way of putting a stop to criticism of the things I spoke to you about. But it only confirmed to me that there is a problem with this new thing that has come in.

This new thing has changed you, and even the staff. I always thought, and the Bible says too, that the pastor was the Shepherd of his sheep. What came to mind as I listened to your sermon was Jesus speaking about the true Shepherd.

He said, "How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray." Matt 18:12-13

I know in your thinking I am wrong about what I shared with you. But instead of following the Word and example of Jesus in bringing me back to what you thought was truth, you actually accomplished separating me from the rest of the sheep. By this alone the indication of the deception I tried to share with you can be seen.

There was something else I told you about. And that was where these new things you brought in came from. They can't be found in God's word, but are concepts of the things of the World. This bothered me too because Jesus said,

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepard of the sheep.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers"
John 10:1-5

Jesus said, "I am the door of the sheep" John 10:7.

Pastor, the problem is these things you and the staff have brought in are from some other door, some way other than Christ. That is why when I heard the teachings on these new things it was like the voice of a stranger and not like before when you just taught out of the Word.

So how can people enter into his fold by something that is not of him? Jesus said they can't and those who try are thieves and robbers.

Then why is it that the sociology, marketing, demographics, and the entertainment of Saddle Back and Willow Creek are considered great things? I wondered if you really looked into the things they follow and believe, and the sources of some of the books they wrote. I wondered what made you change from choosing these other doors rather than Christ. It bothered me that you did not see that the deceptive concepts of "Building a 21st century church" and having a "relevant church" came from something other than Christ.

I tried to show you that the books you accumulated and promoted that are written by Steven Covey, M. Scott Peck, Keirsey & Bates, were written by people who are not of the "sheep fold", but had gotten into it through those other "Shepard's" you got these things from. I tried to show you that they were associated with "New Age" thinking and sources of the occult. But your answer was that it was alright; they had a lot of good to things that could be used and that you just through out the bad things and kept the good. You further told me that the staff and the congregation had the discernment to see the difference.

But I really found that this was not the case because none of you did not see anything wrong with going to another voice, using another door. I tried to show you the same thing with the Personality Tests and the Spiritual Gifts Tests too. Now everyone thinks that these writers and their teachings are all right. I noticed you did not tell anyone of their New Age - occult associations. The fact you did not tell people of this bothered me. But your sermon sure made me out to be the problem; and that was confusing.

I ran across a passage in 2 John that cleared this confusion. John said,

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

If there come unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: For he that biddeth him Godspeed is a partaker in his evil deeds".
2 John 9-11

There were a couple of thoughts I had after reading this. First, are those writers bringing a doctrine of God? I had to say, "No". Second, are the well known pastors and organizations you got these things from abiding in the doctrine of Christ, or are they receiving these outside "teachers" and "shepherds" ? They receive them.

I was also concerned about you receiving them too. Why? Because they have pulled you away from abiding in the doctrine of Christ and made you a partaker in the deception of what they bring. I think they have blinded you and made you forget what Paul told Timothy and Titus: "Preach the Word" and "sound doctrine".

Many of us come to church to hear the word and sound doctrine. That's why I told you something that you were probably not aware of. It was that you spend about twenty minutes quoting other teachers and writers [some are not even Christians], but only about ten minutes actually teaching from the Bible. I wanted to bring this to your realization. We come to hear your words, not someone else's sermon. I know it offended you when I brought this up; especially when I told you that a few of the people you have been quoting are into teaching unbiblical things themselves or are associated with organizations that have gone outside the teachings of the Bible.

Then I wondered about all these "Revival" prophets and apostles and the guest speakers among them that have come in. I thought if you checked out what they say against the words of Christ you would have seen that they are false. But you just accepted what they said without question. When I talked to you, I hoped that you would have at least researched what I showed you.

And when it came to the gold dust, feathers, and people writhing on the floor, I had to come to you with my concerns. You couldn't even finish a sermon because you curled up and started babbling. Everything was out of control. I saw in the word that the Holy Spirit is not this way. I wondered why would interrupt His own words that you were supposed to be teaching, with chaos and things that came from the outside. I wondered too; how can these things be trusted when the "leaders" of these things, who call themselves prophets and apostles, are wrong in many of their prophecies? Pastor, I wish you would have looked into all this.

Last Sunday you showed that you try to control with fear. When you were talking about me, you told the congregation that this new program - teaching - association - philosophy, was all of God and that saying anything "negative" or critical about it was opposing God. You said that if anyone did not agree with the program or changes, they should leave. You even added to this by saying that anyone who did not agree with these things and left, would be outside of the Kingdom of God. I thought how much this sounded like our church was turning into a cult. This was just another sign that you have been affected by these things.

I thought I remembered something about a certain type of Shepard that scatters the sheep instead of doing what Jesus did. Someone brought it to my attention today. It was in Ezekiel 34. I hope you can take the time to read it.

By the way, I received a letter from the elders / board today telling me that I am no longer welcome to come into the church anymore. If I have been gone for awhile, I wanted to let you know that I am in another church now. There are many in it who have experienced what I have from the churches they went to. What is nice is that this pastor has a heart for those who have been told to leave their churches, or left anyway because of the false teachings that came in and your response to those who brought them to your attention.

I know I have not said a lot of the things that I told you about, such as some of the organizations and associations you have gotten us involved with; but there is just too much to tell you. You know about them though, because I told you about these things and you brought them up last Sunday.

I will continue to pray that somehow you will humbly take a look at what is really going on and come back to being that Shepard you were before getting caught up in the allure of these things. But right now I still have to ask; Pastor, who is leading you astray?

HAT TIP: Watcher's Lamp

Pure vs. Corrupted Religion

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
(James 1:26-27)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
(Matthew 7:13)

Man's religion makes man its center. It is constructed so as to revolve around himself. He is its Alpha and Omega - its first and its last. It makes him live for himself, think of himself, magnify himself. It teaches him to lessen the distance between himself and God, for the purpose of enabling him to remove that distance by his own endeavors; so that God is not the infinitely glorious Being, nor man the helpless and unworthy thing which Revelation declares him to be. Man's religion is like the old astronomy, with the vast earth in the center, and the puny sun revolving round it!

Man's religion trifles with sin. Having lessened the greatness of Jehovah's character, and obscured His glory, it is not wonderful that he treats sin lightly. If God be not the infinitely holy and exalted One, then, opposition to Him, and contempt of His law are not very serious evils. They may be acknowledged as not wholly right; but they will not be felt as unutterably wrong. God is not seen to be so deeply, so awfully wronged; nay, it is difficult to make men believe that they can really wrong God at all. The evil of sin, as a wrong done to man's self or to his fellows will be allowed; but its evil, as a wrong done to God, is never thought of. As that which may offend man, or break in upon his rights, sin will be dealt with as a real grievance; but as that which offends God or assails His rights, it is treated as a thing of nought. And as man trifles with sin, so he conceives that God will trifle with it, and overlook it. That which is such a small thing in his own eyes, he reasons, cannot be a great thing in God's. Hence the common idea of Divine mercy is simply that of indifference to sin.

While man's religion trifles with sin, God's religion bases itself on the utterly odious and intolerable nature of sin. THE SOUL THAT SINNETH IT SHALL DIE, lies at the very foundation of God's religion, and of all His dealings with the creature, specially of His transactions with the sinner.

Man's religion has in it no struggles, no dangers, and but few difficulties. The path it prescribes is easy, not hard for flesh and blood. It leaves out the pangs of the new birth - the struggle with unbelief, with the flesh, with Satan. These have no place in it at all. It acknowledges no enemies, no hardships, no conflicts. It broadens the narrow way, smoothing its ruggedness, and plucking up the thorns and briers that beset it. God's religion assumes all these things as not only certain, but necessary.

- Horatius Bonar

HAT TIP: Old Truth

It's the Law

“Lower the Law and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt; this is a very serious loss to the sinner rather than a gain; for it lessens the likelihood of his conviction and conversion. I say you have deprived the Gospel of its ablest auxiliary [its most powerful weapon] when you have set aside the Law. You have taken away from it the schoolmaster that is to bring men to Christ … They will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and holy Law. Therefore the Law serves a most necessary purpose, and it must not be removed from its place.”

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Thursday, August 2, 2007

No Fear?

(Deuteronomy 4:5-10)
5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

(Job 28:20-28)
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

(Psalms 111:10)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

(Proverbs 1:7)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

(Proverbs 9:10)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

(Proverbs 15:33)
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

The Unpopular Gospel

- Thomas Vincent, 1674

Q. How is Jesus Christ to be received by faith?
A. Jesus Christ is to be received by faith as he is offered to us in the gospel.

Q. How is Jesus Christ offered to us in the gospel?
A. Jesus Christ is offered to us in the gospel, as a priest, prophet, and king; and so we must receive him, if we would be saved by him.

Q. When doth the soul rest upon him for salvation?
A. The soul doth rest upon Christ for salvation when, being convinced of its lost condition by reason of sin, and its own inability, together with all creatures' insufficiency, to recover it out of this estate, and having a discovery and persuasion of Christ's ability and willingness to save, it doth let go all hold on the creatures, and renounce its own righteousness, and so lay hold on Christ, rely upon him, and put confidence in him, and in him alone for salvation.

Q. What is "repentance unto life"?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth with grief and hatred of his sin, turn away from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.

Q. Wherein doth repentance unto life consist?
A. Repentance unto life doth chiefly consist in two things - 1. In turning from sin , and forsaking it. "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions: so iniquity shall not be your ruin" - (Ezek. 18:30). "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper,: but whose confesseth and forsaketh them shall find mercy:. - (Prov. 28:13). 2. In turning to God. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" - (Isa. 55:7).

Q. What is that turning from sin which is a part of true repentance?
A. The turning from sin which is a part of true repentance, doth consist in two things - 1. In a turning from all gross sins, in regard of our course and conversation. 2. In a turning from all other sins, in regard to our hearts and affections.

Q. Do such as truly repent of sin never return again unto the practice of the same sins which they have repented of?
A. 1. Such as have truly repented of sin do never return unto the practice of it, so as to live in a course of sin, as they did before, and where any, after repentance, do return unto a course of sin, it is an evident sign that their repentance was not of the right kind. 2. Some have truly repented of their sins, although they may be overtaken and surprised by temptations, so as to fall into the commission of the same sins which they ave repented of, yet they do not lie in them, but get up again and with bitter grief bewail them and return again unto the Lord.

The Nature of Saving Faith

- William Guthrie, 1658

A godly man may argue thus, Whosoever receive Christ are justly reputed the children of God - "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12); but I have received Christ in all the ways which the word there can import: for I am pleased with the device of salvation by Christ, I agree to the terms, I welcome the offer of Christ in all His offices, as a King to rule over me, a Priest to offer sacrifice and intercede for me, a Prophet to teach me; I lay out my heart for Him and towards Him, resting on Him as I am able. What else can be meant by the word RECEIVING?

The second great mark of a gracious state, and true saving interest in Jesus Christ, is the new creature - "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." (2 Cor. 5:1)...In all who do warrantably pretend to Christ, this new creature must be... This new creature is called the "new man" (Col. 3:10)), which points out the extent of it. It is not simply a new tongue or new hand, but a new man. There is a principle of new life and motion put in the man, which is the new heart; which new principle of life sendest for the acts of life, or of "conformity to the image" of him who created it, so that party is renewed in some measure of every way (Col. 3:10).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Love's Enduring Promise

Ever since the Fourth Century, when the Church adopted Amillennialism and began to divorce itself from its Jewish heritage, the prevalent Christian view concerning the Jews has been that "God washed His hands of them" in the First Century when He poured out His wrath on Jerusalem and allowed the Jews to be dispersed worldwide. An accompanying doctrine that developed over the years is called "replacement theology." It is the idea that God replaced the Jews with the Church, that the Church has become the "new Israel," and that the Church has inherited all the blessings that were previously promised to the Jews. Needless to say, these ideas have served as a source of much of the anti-Semitism that has characterized the Church for the past 1600 years.

The idea that God has "washed His hands of the Jews" is thoroughly unbiblical. In Jeremiah 31:36 God says the Jewish people will continue to be "a nation before Me forever." He emphasizes the point by saying they will continue as a special nation of people until the fixed order of the universe ceases, or until all the heavens and ocean depths have been measured (Jeremiah 31:36-37). In Isaiah 49:14-16 God uses a different metaphor to emphasize His devotion to Israel. He says that He has the nation inscribed on the palms of His hands!

There are three chapters in the New Testament that strongly emphasize the continuing love of God for the Jews. These three chapters have been despised and ignored (or spiritualized into meaninglessness) throughout much of Christian history. The chapters are Romans 9-11. In Romans 9:4 Paul writes that God still has covenants with the Jews which He promises to fulfill. He then makes it clear that the Jews who will receive the blessings are a great remnant that will be saved in the end times (Romans 9:27).

Paul even specifically addresses the question of whether or not God has rejected the Jewish people. He asks, "God has not rejected His people has He?" (Romans 11:1). For 1600 years the Church has answered this question with an unqualified, "Yes!" But Paul answers it by saying, "May it never be! . . . God has not rejected His people whom he foreknew" (Romans 11:1-2).

But what about their disobedience? What about their rejection of God as king of their nation and Jesus as king of their hearts? Hasn't their disobedience nullified the promises of God? Again, Paul specifically deals with this issue. He asks, "What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" (Romans 3:3). And again, for centuries the Church as responded, "Yes!" But not Paul. He responds by saying, "May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar" (Romans 3:4).

Paul becomes so overwhelmed by the grace of God in never giving up on the Jews, that he finally goes bursts froth with an ecstatic proclamation: "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!" (Romans 11:33).

HAT TIP: Lamb & Lion Ministries

Jeremiah 31:35-37
35Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

36If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

37Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 49:14-16
14But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

15Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

16Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.