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October 29, 2011

Two indications of a person’s character are what makes him laugh and what makes him weep.

“If I have a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the explanation is – I was made for another world”

- C.S. Lewis

If you have a moderate response to Jesus Christ, you are not being intellectually honest.
-Timothy Keller

Belief in God’s will being bound by man’s freedom is atheism.

Entertainment does not merely gratify taste, after all, but creates it.

“Calling believers to holy obedience isn’t legalism, it’s Christ-united and spirit-empowered fruit-bearing faith in Christ.” – Burk Parsons

It is astonishing how many people deal with their sin casually.
-John Piper

“The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own. Friends, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers and expositions of the Bible.” Charles Spurgeon [1834-1892]

“I find it telling that you can find plenty of young Christians today who are really excited about justice… serving in their communities…evangelism… precise theology… But where are the Christians known for their zeal for holiness? We need more Christian leaders who will say with Paul, ‘Look carefully then how you walk’ (Eph. 5:15).” — Kevin DeYoung

If you don’t believe in heaven, it makes sense that retirement should be as heaven-like as possible.

Our Lord has many weak children in his family, many dull pupils in his school, many raw soldiers in his army, many lame sheep in his flock. Yet he bears with them all, and casts none away. Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren. – J.C. Ryle

Church Entertainment

January 22, 2011

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. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? The ‘concert’ has no martyr roll.

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’. Their message is, “Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them… Don’t touch their filthy things…” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, ‘Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are’.

No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today’s church.

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.

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods!

November 30, 2010

“Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor” – C.H. Spurgeon

“Foolish talking and kidding, and joking, and excessive amusement, are only too common. I don’t argue the fact that there is a time for all things; but to be always flippant and joking is anything but wise.”
-J.C. Ryle

“Our word dynamite is etymologically derived from the Greek word dunamis (dynamis, power, or even miracle.) I do not know how many times I have heard preachers offer some such rendering of Romans 1:16 as this:
‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the dynamite of God unto salvation for everyone who believes’–often with a knowing tilt of the head, as if something profound or even esoteric has been uttered. This is not just the old root fallacy revisited. It is worse: it is an appeal to a kind of reverse etymology, the root fallacy compounded by anachronism. Did Paul think of dynamite when he penned this word? And in any case, even to mention dynamite as a kind of analogy is singularly inappropriate. Dynamite blows things up, tears things down, rips out rock, gouges holes, destroys things. The power of God concerning which Paul speaks he often identifies with the power that raised Jesus from the dead (e.g. , Eph. 1:18-20); and as it operates in us, its goal is (eis soterian, “unto salvation,” Rom. 1:16 KJV), aiming for the wholeness and perfection implicit in the consummation of our salvation. Quite apart from the semantic anachronism, therefore dynamite appears inadequate as a means of raising Jesus from the dead or as a means of conforming us to the likeness of Christ. Of course, what preachers are trying to do when they talk about dynamite is give some indication of the greatness of the power involved. Even so, Paul’s measure is not dynamite, but the empty tomb.”

-D. A. Carson, “Exegetical Fallacies”

November 7, 2010

Persecution in India: Francis’ Response from Cornerstone Church on Vimeo.

I don’t know of any man in history that was a partial slave.

“When I think of beauty, I think of Jesus. We have been programmed so, that we think we see beauty without
Christ. We can’t, and we don’t.” –Ned Bere

“Sin must be called by its name.” –Richard Wurmbrand

September 7, 2010

Christ did not just come and live a good moral life to show us how to find purpose.
-Doc Harris (paraphrase)

“Discipleship that costs nothing is worth nothing…”

Smart men walked on the moon, daring men walked on the ocean floor, but wise men walk with God.– Leonard Ravenhill

August 22, 2010

“To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Any shape form or fashion of hero worship is pathetic at best and blasphemous at worst. And be careful reformed guys, because it is happening all over.

There are no great men of God. There are only weak tiny unbelieving men of a Great and Merciful God.

“Live a life that demands a Gospel explanation…” (Jeff Vanderselt)

My prayer for you is that you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.

August 10, 2010

If it is true that where sin abounded grace has much more abounded, well then, ’shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound yet further?’

First of all let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. Let me show you what I mean.

If a man peaches justification by works, no one would ever raise this question. If a man’s preaching is, ‘If you want to be Christians, and if you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, you must take up good works, and if you do so regularly and constantly, and do not fail to keep on at it, you will make yourselves Christians, you will reconcile yourselves to God, and you will go to heaven’. Obviously a man who preaches in that strain would never be liable to this misunderstanding. Nobody would say to such a man, ‘Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?’, because the man’s whole emphasis is just this, that if you go on sinning you are certain to be damned, and only if you stop sinning can you save yourselves. So that misunderstanding could never arise….

…. Nobody has ever brought this charge against the Church of Rome, but it was brought frequently against Martin Luther; indeed that was precisely what the Church of Rome said about the preaching of Martin Luther. They said, ‘This man who was a priest has changed the doctrine in order to justify his own marriage and his own lust’, and so on. ‘This man’, they said, ‘is antinomian; and that is heresy.’ That is the very charge they brought against him. It was also brought against George Whitefield two hundred years ago. It is the charge that formal dead Christianity- if there is such a thing -has always brought against this startling, staggering message, that God ‘justifies the ungodly’….

That is my comment; and it is a very important comment for preachers. I would say to all preachers: If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you really are preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, to the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses in sins, to those who are the enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

Excerpt from Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the roll of Grace in the presentation of the Gospel.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: The New Man, An Exposition of Chapter 6

Distinctions in theology are never looked upon favorably by those Christians who are content with believing themselves over Scripture.

August 8, 2010

God does not want to know what we think. He wants us to know what He thinks.

July 6, 2010

“One reason why many church kids go into blatant rebellion is because you’ll find moralism preached there instead of the Gospel.” – Lane Chaplin

We are far to easily pleased

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us,like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea. We are far to easily pleased.

-C. S. Lewis

April 11, 2009

“Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way.”
-Karl Barth

“I had rather be in hell with Christ, than be in heaven without Him.”
– Martin Luther

March 21, 2009

If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say that it is in one word – prayer. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell.

-Spurgeon

War

March 8, 2009

Ed Welch, in preparation for his book called A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2001), said: . . . there is a mean streak to authentic self-control. . . Self-control is not for the timid. When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of ourselves a hatred for sin. . . . The only possible attitude toward out-of-control desire is a declaration of all-out war. . . . There is something about war that sharpens the senses . . . You hear a twig snap or the rustling of leaves and you are in attack mode. Someone coughs and you are ready to pull the trigger. Even after days of little of no sleep, war keeps us vigilant.

There is a mean, violent streak in the true Christian life! But violence against whom, or what? Not other people. It’s a violence against all the impulses in us that would be violent to other people. It’s a violence against all the impulses in our own selves that would make peace with our own sin and settle in with a peacetime mentality. It’s a violence against all lust in ourselves, and enslaving desires for food or caffeine or sugar or chocolate or alcohol or pornography or money or the praise of men and the approval of others or power or fame. It’s violence against the impulses in our own soul toward racism and sluggish indifference to injustice and poverty and abortion.

Christianity is not a settle-in-and-live-at-peace-with-this-world-the-way-it-is kind of religion. If by the Spirit you kill the deeds of your own body, you will live. Christianity is war. On our own sinful impulses.

February 22, 2009

The amount we sin is directly proportional to how much we fear God.

How well do you know your Bible?

February 14, 2009

A Short Quiz For those who think they know their bible.

You are not allowed to use the Bible or any other Biblical help; nor may you ask the opinion of others, nor in books unless otherwise instructed. The only time the Bible may be used is when it explicitly tells you to read the passage and comment on it.  You have 5 days to complete it.  

Some young people who knew their Bible well:
The Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ: 30 years old.
John the Apostle: ? (His age may range from 17-31??
Aurelius Augustine: 37
John Calvin: 22 (He had his first chaplainry at age 12)
Christopher Love: 27
Jonathan Edwards: 15
Richard Baxter: 23

There are:
296 questions,
183 terms to define,
and 31 practical application questions at the end.
(more…)

February 10, 2009

“When Jesus calls a man, He bids him come and die” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

January 18, 2009

To be made a curse is so horrible (Gal. 3:13), that the last thing we would hear before we stepped into hell would be all of creation standing to its feet and applauding because God has rid the earth of us.

A Savior from hell…

January 2, 2009

The nature of Christ’s salvation, is woefully misrepresented by the present-day “evangelist.” He announces a Savior from hell–rather than a Savior from sin! And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire–who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness!

The very first thing said of Him in the New Testament is–”You shall call His name Jesus–for He shall save His people…[not "from the wrath to come," but] from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Christ is a Savior for those realizing something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, who feel the awful burden of it on their conscience, who loathe themselves for it, and who long to be freed from its terrible dominion. He is a Savior for no others. Were He to “save from hell” those still in love with sin, He would be a minister of sin, condoning their wickedness and siding with them against God. What an unspeakably horrible and blasphemous thing, with which to charge the Holy One!

True, as the Christian grows in grace, he has a clearer realization of what sin is–rebellion against God; and a deeper hatred of and sorrow for it. But to think that one may be saved by Christ, whose conscience has never been smitten by the Spirit, and whose heart has not been made contrite before God–is to imagine something which has no existence in the realm of fact. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor–but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). The only ones who really seek relief from the great Physician, are those who are sick of sin–who long to be delivered from its God-dishonoring works, and its soul-defiling pollutions.

As  Christ’s salvation is a salvation from sin–from the love of it, from its dominion, from its guilt and penalty–then it necessarily follows, that the first great task and the chief work of the evangelist, is to preach upon SIN: to define what sin (as distinct from crime) really is, to show wherein its infinite enormity consists, to trace out its manifold workings in the heart, to indicate that nothing less than eternal punishment is its desert!

Ah, preaching upon sin will not make him popular nor draw the crowds, will it? No, it will not; and knowing this, those who love the praise of men more than the approbation of God, and who value their salary above immortal souls, trim their sales accordingly!

November 23, 2008

If I want my own way rather than God’s, it is quite obvious that I shall want my own way rather than the other man’s. A man does not assert his independence of God to surrender it to a fellow man, if he can help it.

-Roy Hession

Theological controversies and disputes

November 3, 2008

I am not to expect others to see with my eyes! I am deeply convinced of the truth of John the Baptist’s aphorism in John 3:27, “A man can receive nothing–except it be given him from Heaven.” I well know, that the little measure of knowledge I have obtained in the things of God–has not been owing to my own wisdom and teachableness, but to God’s goodness. Nor did I learn everything all at once–God has been pleased to exercise much patience towards me, for the past twenty-seven years–since He first gave me a desire of learning from Himself. He has graciously accommodated Himself to my weakness, borne with my mistakes, and helped me through innumerable prejudices, which, but for His mercy, would have been insuperable hindrances! I have therefore no right to be angry, impatient, or censorious to others, especially as I have still much to learn, and am so poorly influenced by what I seem to know!

I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary’s part–to sit at Jesus’ feet, and to hear His words. I cannot, I must not, I dare not–be contentious! Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of His truth, whenever I am properly called to it.

September 20, 2008

You won’t hear much about this in modern day Christianity in America, but one of the greatest signs of God being with a people is His discipline. And one of the greatest signs of God not being with a people is the lack thereof.
- Paul Washer

I don’t care how strong your religion is, or how strong your church life is, I don’t care how strong your morality is. On that day of judgment God will tear it down and it will wilt. Whenever humans declare themselves to be righteous they are doing it by contrasting themselves with other humans who are worse. And you can get away with that, but when your righteousness is contrasted with the righteousness of God there is nothing but to throw yourself down and declare your morality to be dung.

- Paul Washer

How could we have such a low view of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have to manipulate men psychologically to get them to come down and pray a prayer? . . . How many times have I heard evangelists say, “It’ll only take five minutes.“? No my dear friend, it will take your life–all of it! “We’re just trying to attract people and then we’ll gradually bring them in further and further.” That is what the cults do, that’s not what Jesus did. Notice that in the gospels every time a great crowd is following Jesus, he turns around and says something so radical to them that most of them walk away. Of course Jesus probably would not get invited to teach evangelism [in most churches today].- Paul Washer

In modern day evangelism, this precious doctrine [of regeneration] has been reduced to nothing more than a human decision to raise one’s hand, walk an aisle, or pray a “sinner’s prayer.” As a result, the majority of Americans believe that they’ve been “born again” (i.e., regenerated) even though their thoughts, words, and deeds are a continual contradiction to the nature and will of God.- Paul Washer

“Pastors, your kids don’t need pizza parties and six flags over Jesus, they need to hear the true gospel.” — Mark Cahill

September 6, 2008

Sound Biblical Christian Doctrine teaches us that Christ is the one who made His decision for us and that our salvation is NOT based upon our decision. In other words, Jesus added our name to His book and we played no part in that decision.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.John 1:10   He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Rom. 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he [God] has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

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