Archive for the ‘Contemporary Issues’ Category

The Worst Thing!

posted by pastorken
Feb 15

Nothing Worse Can Happen To A Church!    

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

Someone was asking, the other day, how it was that the church, nowadays, was not so separate from the world as it used to be. One who heard the question suggested that, possibly, the world had grown better; but another more truly said that, probably, the church had grown worse.

There are some, in these apostate days, who think that the church cannot do better than to come down to the world to learn her ways, follow her maxims, and acquire her “culture.” In fact, the notion is that the world is to be conquered by our conformity to it. This is as contrary to Scripture as the light is to the darkness!

Brethren, beloved in the Lord, you may depend upon it that nothing worse can happen to a Church, than to be conformed unto this world! Write “Ichabod!” upon her walls, then for the sentence of destruction has gone out against her.

It will be an ill day for the church and the world when the proposed amalgamation shall be complete, and the sons of God and the daughters of men shall be as one then shall another deluge of wrath be ushered in!

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18


Not of the World!

posted by pastorken
Jan 15

We would soon hear all the dogs of Hell baying with all their might against us!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19

There would be much more persecution than there is if there were more real Christians. But we have become so like the world, that the world does not hate us as it once did. If we would be more holy, more true, more Christ-like, more godly – we would soon hear all the dogs of Hell baying with all their might against us!

Remember, my brethren, whoever you may be, that if there is no distinction between you and the world around you then you may be certain that you are of the world. For, there must always be some marks in the children of God to distinguish them from the ungodly. There is a something in them which is not to be found in the best worldling something which is not to be discovered in the most admirable carnal man. A something in their character which can be readily perceived and which marks them as belonging to another and higher race, the twice-born, the elect of God, eternally chosen by Him and, therefore, made to be choice ones through the effectual working of His grace.

“I have given them Your word and the world has hated them–for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” John17:14


Dec 31

Lord, How Can We Know The Way?

(J.R. Miller, “Evening Thoughts” 1907)

Thomas said to Him, Lord, how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, “I am the way” John 14:5-6

This is the first day of a new year. We are setting out on a journey of which we can have no knowledge in advance. The road is one on which we never have gone hitherto. We know not what any day will have for us . . .
what our duties will be,
what burdens shall be laid upon us,
what sorrows we shall have to endure,
what battles we shall have to fight.

We cannot see one step before us! How can we know the way?

As we sit in the quiet, this first evening, and ask the question, we hear an answer which is full of comfort. Jesus says to us, “I am the way!”

All we shall have to do, therefore, will be to follow Jesus. He has made a way through this dark world for us. He has gone over all the journey and opened a road for us at great cost. He went over the way Himself–we shall find His shoe-prints at every step.

He has a definite way for each one of us. Every mile of the journey He has chosen and every place where I pitch my tent He has selected for me!

“Leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps!” 1 Peter 2:21


Sickness Is Meant…

posted by pastorken
Nov 15

9 Lessons From God Concerning Sickness:

 

Sickness is meant…

 

  1. To make us think, to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body – an immortal soul, a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery – and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.
  2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave, and that the world we now live in is only a training place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.
  3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously.Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?
  4. To make us see the emptiness of the worldand its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.
  5. To send us to our Bibles.That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.
  6. To make us pray.Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.
  7. To make us repent and break off our sins.If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”
  8. To draw us to Christ.Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many – they have found Christ in the sick room.
  9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others.By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves – and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Summary: Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise – a good and not an evil – a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.

~ J.C. Ryle ~

Tract: Christ in the Sick Room


NUMBER OUR DAYS!

posted by pastorken
Oct 15

Few and Fleeting and Uncertain!

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man’s life is but a breath!” Psalm 39:4-5

“So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!” Psalm 90:12

You alone, O Lord, can teach to profit help me to number my days aright!

Surely my days are few and fleeting and uncertain! Days past are gone beyond recall and my future days I cannot number. Let me then this day, and day by day, confide in You and look to You for the very help and grace I need.

Surely it is the highest wisdom to renounce self, to cleave to Christ, and to keep the great end of my being in view “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” This is an object worth living for, and which may well engage all the powers of my mind.

Nor let me suppose that it is needful to turn aside from the occupations of my daily life to honor the God of my salvation; for He teaches me that whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do I may do all to His glory. To this then may I apply my heart, with all diligence and constancy constrained by the love of Him who gave Himself for me!

“Every day I will bless You and I will praise Your name forever and ever!” Psalm 145:2


Oct 1

In That Time Before All Time!

(Charles Spurgeon, 1864)

Meditate, dear friends, upon the whole range of God’s works in Creation and Providence. There was a period when God dwelt alone and creatures were not. In that time before all time, when there was no day but “The Ancient of Days,” when matter and created mind were alike unborn, and even space was not – God, the great I AM, was as perfect, glorious, and as blessed as He is now.

There was no sun – and yet Jehovah dwelt in ineffable light.
There was no earth – and yet His throne stood fast and firm.
There were no heavens – and yet His glory was unbounded.

God inhabited eternity in the infinite majesty and happiness of His self-contained greatness. If the Lord, thus abiding in solemn solitude, should choose to create anything the first thought and idea must come from Him, for there was no other to think or suggest. All things must be of Him in design. With whom can He take counsel? Who shall instruct Him? There existed no other to come into His council-chamber, even if such an assistance could be supposable with the Most High.

In the beginning of His way, before His works of old, eternal wisdom brought forth from its own mind the perfect plan of future creations, and every line and mark therein must clearly have been of the Lord alone.

He ordained the pathway of every planet and fixed the abode of every star. He poured forth the sweet influences of the Pleiades, and girt Orion with its bands. He appointed the bounds of the sea, and settled the course of the winds. As to the earth, the Lord alone planned its foundations, and stretched His line upon it.

He formed in His own mind, the mold of all His creatures, and found for them a dwelling and a service. He appointed the degree of strength with which He would endow each creature, settled its months of life, its hour of death, its coming and its going.

Divine wisdom mapped this earth – its flowing rivers and foaming seas, the towering mountains, and the laughing valleys. The divine Architect fixed the gates of the morning and the doors of the shadow of death.

Nothing could have been suggested by any other, for there was no other to suggest. It was in His power to have made a universe very different from this if He had so pleased. That He has made it what it is, must have been merely because in His wisdom and prudence, He saw fit to do so.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being!” Revelation 4:11


This Is No Gospel!

posted by pastorken
Sep 15

The Evangelistic Methods of Our Present Golden-calf Christianity!      (A.W. Tozer)

 

Any objection to the evangelistic methods of our present golden-calf Christianity, is met with the triumphant reply, “But we are winning the lost!”

And what are you winning them to?

To true discipleship?
To cross-carrying?
To self-denial?
To separation from the world?
To crucifixion of the flesh?
To holy living?
To nobility of character?
To a despising of the world’s treasures?
To total committal to Christ?

Of course, the answer to all these questions is NO!


Aug 1

Where the Battle Rages!

(Martin Luther)

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking – I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point!


Are You Troubled?

posted by pastorken
Jul 15

The Only Sure Medicine for Troubled Hearts!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God believe also in Me!” John 14:1

This verse is rich in precious truth. For eighteen centuries it has been peculiarly dear to Christ’s believing servants in every part of the world. Many are the sick rooms which it has lightened! Many are the dying hearts which it has cheered!

We have in this passage, a precious remedy against an old disease. That disease is trouble of heart. That remedy is faith.

Heart-trouble is the commonest thing in the world!
No rank, or class, or condition is exempt from it.
No bars, or bolts, or locks can keep it out.
Partly from inward causes and partly from outward causes;
partly from the body and partly from the mind;
partly from what we love and partly from what we fear
– the journey of life is full of trouble! Between grace and glory even the best of Christians have many bitter cups to drink. Even the holiest saints find the world to be a valley of tears! “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!” John 16:33

Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts!
To believe more thoroughly,
to trust more entirely,
to rest more unreservedly,
to lay hold more firmly,
to lean back more completely –
this is the prescription which our Master urges on the attention of all His disciples.

Never let us forget that there are degrees in faith, and that there is a wide difference between weak and strong believers. The weakest faith is enough to give a man a saving interest in Christ, and ought not to be despised, but it will not give a man such inward comfort as a strong faith. Vagueness and dimness of perception are the defect of weak believers. They do not see clearly what they believe and why they believe. In such cases more faith is the one thing needed. Like Peter on the water, they need to look more steadily at Jesus and less at the waves and wind.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You! Isaiah 26:3


The Awesome God!

posted by pastorken
Jun 15

The Providence of God!

                                                               (Don Fortner)

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which He ordained and ordered, according to His own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.

Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose of grace in predestination. Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what He purposed in eternity.

Predestination is God’s purpose.
Providence is God’s execution of His purpose.

Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, accident or by blind fate! Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by His wise, adorable, good Providence.

Nothing comes to pass in time that God did not purpose in eternity, in sovereign predestination.
Nothing comes to pass in time except that which God sovereignly brings to pass in His Providence.

And that which God predestined in eternity and brings to pass in his Providence is for the good of His elect, and the glory of His name. This is clearly and incontrovertibly the teaching of Holy Scripture (Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 16:4, 9, 33; 21:1; Daniel 4:34, 35, 37; Isaiah 46:9-11; Romans 11:33-36).

Providence is God’s government of the universe. If we have a proper view of God’s Providence, we will see the hand of God and the heart of God in everything – in all the experiences of our lives. Believers ascribe their sorrows, and even the cursing of their enemies to the hand of their heavenly Father’s wise and good Providence (Job 1:21; 1 Samuel 3:18; 2 Samuel 16:11-12).

God is not idle. He never needs to rest, recuperate, or regroup. God almighty, our God and heavenly Father is always at work, governing the world. I have frequently heard preachers and religious leaders speak of sickness, poverty and war, sin, crime and cruelty, famine, earthquakes and death as things over which God has no control. Nonsense!

God’s Providence is as ‘minute’ as it is ‘mysterious’ (Matthew 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without His decree.

God’s Providence is ‘all inclusive’. God rules everything, great and small, everywhere, and at all times.

He who created all things, rules all things!

Nothing in God’s universe breathes or wiggles contrary to God’s decree (Isaiah 46:9-13).

As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine so our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good.
Too much joy would intoxicate us.
Too much misery would drive us to despair.
Too much sorrow would crush us.
Too much suffering would break our spirits.
Too much pleasure would ruin us.
Too much defeat would discourage us.
Too much success would puff us up.
Too much failure would keep us from doing anything.
Too much criticism would harden us.
Too much praise would make us proud.
Our great God knows exactly what we need. By His grace, if we are His–we will bow to His Providence, accept it, and give thanks for it.

God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God. We bow to His will, which is evident in His works of Providence, and say, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”

The God of Providence rules all things well. How we ought to trust Him! Ever remember, our heavenly Father is God all wise, good, and omnipotent. He is. . .
too wise to err,
too good to do wrong,
and too strong to fail!