Posted in Authentic Christianity, Christianity, discernment

Believing The Lie

[In reference to the temptation in the garden:] “God is a liar,” (Satan) says. “He has deceived you, taken your freedom, and restricted your joy.” Satan’s lie is still the same today: “You can be free. Do whatever you want. It is your life. There are no divine laws; no absolute authority; and above all, no judgment. You will surely not die.” John MacArthur

Few preachers of religion do believe thoroughly the doctrine of the Fall, or else they think that when Adam fell down he broke his little finger, and did not break his neck and ruin his race. C.H.  Spurgeon

The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism. It was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously, if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any god he wishes, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective, and artificial. They bother no one and make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of the sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable. Marvin L Lubenow

Christ is much more powerful to save, than Adam was to destroy. John Calvin

In effect, by accepting Satan’s statement, Eve was calling God a liar, even though she might not have recognized those implications of her action. She accepted Satan as the truth-teller and God as the prevaricator. By partaking of the fruit she was implicitly stating her belief that Satan was more interested in her welfare than God was. Yielding to the temptation implied that she accepted Satan’s analysis of the situation instead of God’s. Henry Virkler

Evolution is simply the latest means our fallen race has devised in order to suppress our innate knowledge and the biblical testimony that there is a God and that we are accountable to Him (cf. Romans 1:28). By embracing evolution, modern society aims to do away with morality, responsibility, and guilt. Society has embraced evolution with such enthusiasm because people imagine that it eliminates the Judge and leaves them free to do whatever they want without guilt and without consequences. John MacArthur

The excuse that is banished, the excuse every pagan hopes in vain to use, the excuse that is exploded by God’s self-revelation in nature is the pretended, vacuous, dishonest appeal to ignorance. No one will be able to approach the judgment seat of God justly pleading, “If only I had known You existed, I would surely have served You.” That excuse is annihilated. No one can lightly claim “insufficient” evidence for not believing in God. R.C. Sproul

Posted in Christianity

Holiness: Thoughts Past and Present

It is absurd to imagine that God should justify a people and not sanctify them, He should justify a people whom He could not glorify. Thomas Watson

Holiness appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul.  In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers. Jonathan Edwards

Holiness is not just for some select few spiritual giants; it is not just for pious people who sit around all day with nothing to do but “be holy.”… “Everyone who names the name of the Lord” is called to live a holy life! Nancy Leigh DeMoss

 I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him. C.H. Spurgeon

God’s goal in saving you was not just to make your few years on planet Earth easier or more enjoyable.  He had an eternal end in view.  His intent was to make you holy, as He is holy, that you might perfectly glorify Him, that you might bring Him pleasure, and that you might enjoy intimate fellowship with Him for all eternity. Nancy Leigh DeMoss

As God delights in His own beauty, He must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it. Jonathan Edwards

Scripture speaks of both a holiness we already possess in Christ before God and a holiness in which we are to grow more and more. The first is the result of the work of Christ for us; the second is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  The first is perfect and complete and is ours the moment we trust Christ; the second is progressive and incomplete as long as we are in this life. The objective holiness we have in Christ and the subjective holiness produced by the Holy Spirit are both gifts of God’s grace and are both appropriated by faith. Jerry Bridges

To be holy is to be set apart in purity. It is to be separated from what is common and ordinary in order to be devoted to God’s service. Whatever is holy is distinguished from the secular and dedicated to the sacred. Philip Graham Ryken

Holiness…consists of that internal change or renovation of our souls whereby our minds, affections and wills are brought into harmony with God. A.W. Pink

I would sooner be holy than happy if the two things could be divorced.  Were it possible for a man always to sorrow and yet to be pure, I would choose the sorrow if I might win the purity, for to be free from the power of sin, to be made to love holiness, is true happiness. C.H. Spurgeon

We are so accustomed to equating holiness with purity or ethical perfection that we look for the idea when the word holy appears. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is transcendent purity. R.C. Sproul

Of late God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry almost continually, so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain.  When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable and my thirstings after holiness more unquenchable.  David Brainerd

True godliness lies very much in desires. As we are not what we shall be, so also we are not what we would be. The desires of gracious men after holiness are intense – they cause a wear of heart, a straining of the mind, till it feels ready to snap with the heavenly pull. A high value of the Lord’s commandment leads to a pressing desire to know and to do it, and this so weighs upon the soul that it is ready to break in pieces under the crush of its own longings. What a blessing it is when all our desires are after the things of God. We may well long for such longings. C.H. Spurgeon

Man’s holiness is now his greatest happiness, and in heaven man’s greatest happiness will be his perfect holiness. Thomas Brooks

What a strange kind of salvation do they desire that care not for holiness… They would be saved by Christ and yet be out of Christ in a fleshly state… They would have their sins forgiven, not that they may walk with God in love, in time to come, but that they may practice their enmity against Him without any fear of punishment. Walter Marshall

The chief design of my life in the station wherein the good providence of God hath placed me, are, that mortification and universal holiness may be promoted in my own and in the hearts and ways of others, to the glory of God; that so the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be adorned in all things. John Owen

Posted in Authentic Christianity, Christianity

Praying For Wind

In the year 1854 a sailing vessel was becalmed in the vicinity of New Guinea. Seeing the distressed look on the captain’s face as he peered intently into the sea, a young Englishman inquired as to the cause of his anxiety. This was the reply: “A four-knot current is carrying us swiftly toward some sunken reefs over there. Our fate seems to be sealed.” On the shores of the island, cannibals were rushing about and lighting fires in great glee. Presently the captain spoke again: “We have done everything that can be done.” “No,” responded the young man, “there is one thing we haven’t done. Four of us on board are Christians. Let each of us retire to his cabin and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us a breeze immediately.” This was agreed upon and done. After a few minutes of earnest intercession, the young man came up on deck confident that the petition had been granted. Finding the first officer, a godless man, in charge, he requested him to let down the corners of the mainsail. “What would be the good of that?” he asked. The young man told him that he and three others had been asking God to send a wind, that it was coming immediately and that there was not a minute to lose, since they were so near the reefs. With a look of contempt, the officer replied with an oath: “Nonsense! You can’t pray up a wind.” Noticing a few moments later that the topmost sail was beginning to tremble, he said: “That is only a cat’s-paw — a mere puff of wind.” “Never mind what you think,” cried the young man. “Let down the mainsail quickly.”

This he was not slow to do. Hearing the heavy tread of the men on deck, the captain came up from his cabin and saw that the breeze had indeed come. In a few minutes they were sailing away from the dangerous reefs, much to the disappointment of the native cannibals on the beach.

Writing of this and similar experiences, the young man said: “Thus God encouraged me, ere landing on China’s shores, to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honor the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help which each emergency required.”

So we have been introduced to a remarkable man, J. Hudson Taylor, and to the text, John 14:13, which was woven into the fabric of his life and into the texture of his stupendous achievements: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Posted in Christianity

Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats? by Charles Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? “You are the salt of the world,” not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.

Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him,” I do not hear Him say, “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!” No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them!

In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the “gospel of amusement.” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer! The mission of amusement produces no converts!

The need of the hour for today’s ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Posted in Authentic Christianity, Christianity

Others May, You Cannot by G. D. Watson

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 16:24-25) 

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

Posted in Authentic Christianity, Christianity

Kyle Artusio: Draw Near to Me

Draw near to me, oh Jesus fair
Meet me in the garden there
In Your chambers, face to Face
Show me all Your truth and grace
I’m moved to make a single plea:
Oh my King, draw near to me!

Lord, unceasing through the day
Make this heart of mine to pray
In the morning, dressed with dew
Show me all Your mercies new
In the silence of the night
Wake my soul with holy light.

Set me on the rock alone
Make Your many beauties known
In the respite of retreat
Make me taste Your goodness sweet
Father, take Your hand away
Guard me not from the display!

Set my eyes on things above
At the summit of Your love
Lamb upon the placard tree
Slain for sin – for me, for me!
Spare me not the mourner’s view
Take Your sword, and run me through.

All hopes of earth do I resign
To make the Hope of Heaven mine
And wait for Him from day to Day
And follow in the narrow way
Leaving all I once held dear:
My King, my Jesus, draw me near