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October 29, 2011

“Backsliding generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.” J. C. Ryle

Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of; in nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God; in nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed; in nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act. – Richard Baxter

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

November 7, 2010

“If you want to find out how much someone loves you, find out how much they pray for you.” -J.C. Ryle

August 5, 2010

If a malefactor be in prison, how shall he know that his prince hath pardoned him? If a jailer come and knock off his chains and fetters, and lets him out of prison, then he may know he is pardoned; so how shall we know God hath pardoned us? If the fetters of sin be broken off, and we walk at liberty in the ways of God, this is a blessed sign we are pardoned ~ Thomas Watson on assurance of salvation

January 16, 2010

The Father speaks. “My Son, here is a company of poor, miserable souls that have utterly undone themselves and now lay open to my justice. Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them.”

The Son responds. “Oh my Father. Such is my love to and pity for them, that rather then they shall perish eternally I will be responsible for them as their guarantee. Bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee. Bring them all in, that there be no after-reckonings with them. At my hands shall thou require it. I would rather choose to suffer the wrath that is theirs then they should suffer it. Upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.”

The Father responds. “But my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite. Expect no abatement. Son, if I spare them… I will not spare you.”

The Son responds. “Content Father. Let it be so. Charge it all upon me. I able to discharge it. And though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures… I am content to take it.”"

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 8, 2009

“God does not amuse us with his miracles, but arouses the senses of men, which he perceives to be in a dormant state.” – John Calvin (taken from his commentary on Luke 1:66)

January 18, 2009


Wrath of God – Paul Washer – Sermon Jam from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.

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!

Your poor little boy!

November 3, 2008

July 4, 1777.
My dear Sir,
Your poor little boy! It is mercy indeed, that he recovered from such a severe burn. The Lord wounded–and the Lord healed. I ascribe what the world calls accidents–to Him, and believe, that without His permission, for wise and good ends–a child can no more pull a bowl of boiling water on itself–than it could pull the moon out of its orbit!

Why does God permit such things? He does these things–to remind us of the uncertainty of life and all creature-comforts; to make us afraid of cleaving too close to pretty toys, which are so precarious, that often while we look at them–they vanish; to lead us to a more entire dependence upon Himself; that we might never judge ourselves or our concerns safe from outward appearances only–but that the Lord is our keeper, and were not His eye upon us–a thousand dangers, and painful changes, which we can neither foresee nor prevent–are lurking about us every step, ready to break in upon us every hour!

“Men are but children of a larger growth.” How many are laboring and planning in the pursuit of things, the outcome of which, if they obtain them, will be but like pulling scalding water upon their own heads! They must have the bowl by all means–but they are not aware what is in it–until they feel it!

From the letters of John Newton

Theological controversies and disputes

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.

Honeyed poison

July 28, 2008

(Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670)

O Sirs! in the grave it is all the same–to one who has
had all, and to another who has had nothing. What folly
is it to lay up goods for many years, when we cannot lay
up one day for the enjoyment of our goods! Christ, who
never miscalled any, calls him “fool!” who had much of
the world in his hands–but nothing of God in his heart.

All this whole world is not proportionate to the precious
soul. All the riches of the Indies cannot pacify conscience,
nor secure eternity, nor prevent death, nor bring you off
victorious in the day of judgment. Therefore be contented
with a little.

All the good things of this world, are but cold comforts.
They cannot stretch to eternity, they will not go with us
into the eternal world. Therefore why should the lack of
such things either trouble our thoughts–or break our
hearts?

The whole world is but . . .
a
paradise for fools;
a beautiful but deceitful harlot;
a dreamed sweetness;
a very ocean of gall.
There is nothing to be found in it, which has not mutability
and uncertainty, vanity and vexation stamped upon it. And
therefore he cannot be truly happy who enjoys it; nor can
he be miserable who lacks it. And why then should not he be
contented–who has but a little of it? The greatest outward
happiness is but honeyed poison; and therefore do not
mutter or murmur because you have but little of the world.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be
content with what you have
, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

July 22, 2008

“The world should realize with increased clearness that Evangelicalism stands or falls with Calvinism.”

- B.B. Warfield (1851-1921)

“A man’s ‘free’-will cannot cure him even of the tooth ache, or of a sore finger; and yet he madly thinks it is in its power to cure his soul.”

“All the disputes between us and the Arminians may be reduced to these two questions:

1. Is God dependent on man, or is man dependent on God?

2. Is man a debtor to God or God a debtor to man?”

- Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)

“We only use the term “Calvinism” for shortness. That doctrine which is called “Calvinism” did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. Perhaps Calvin himself derived it mainly from the writings of Augustine. Augustine obtained his views, without doubt, through the Spirit of God, from the diligent study of the writings of Paul, and Paul received them of the Holy Ghost, from Jesus Christ, the great founder of the Christian dispensation. We use the term then, not because we impute any extraordinary importance to Calvin’s having taught these doctrines. We would be just as wiling to call them by any other name, if we could find one which would be better understood, and which on the whole would be as consistent with fact.”

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

July 20, 2008

God’s will controls the smallest matters, and
takes into account the smallest events in each
life. A Spanish proverb says, “A leaf does not
stir on the tree–without the will of God.” God’s
hand is in every event. We talk of the the laws
of nature
–but what is nature? It is not something
independent of God. The laws of nature are simply
God’s laws
. Nothing takes place that is contrary
to the divine will. Nothing–no storm, no earthquake,
no cyclone, no tidal wave–ever gets out of God’s
control.

This world is not controlled by chance, nor by any
blind fate
–but by Him who loved us so much, that
He gave His son to die for us.

Self Deception

July 17, 2008

As I look around you, though there be full many who can read their title clear to mansions in the skies, yet along these pews what a considerable proportion there is of my hearers who are only deceiving their own selves! Well, sinners, I will make the road to Hell as hard for you as I can. If you will be lost, I will put up many a chain and many a bar, and shut many a gate across your way. If you will listen to my voice, God helping me, you shall find it a hard way — that way of transgressors; you shall find it a hard thing to run counter to the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.

July 6, 2008

“You have nothing to do but to win souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work.”

Christ is precious to those who believe. They desire to have more and more daily acquaintance with Him, and to grow in the sweet and powerful experience of communion with Him. Let us suppose the true Christian, in his retired moments, addressing God in such manner as the following:

‘You O God are unchangeable in Your nature, glorious in Your essence, wonderful in Your perfections, wise in Your counsels, and holy in all Your works. It is my greatest good and highest happiness–to enjoy Your favor, and to behold Your glory. Permit me to say, with Your servant Moses, I beseech You, show me Your glory! Show me the glory of Your wisdom, Your holiness, Your power, Your grace, and Your mercy in Christ Jesus. This will give me a distaste for the gaudy vanities of the present world. I shall then look with indifference on all that, after which the covetous are eagerly panting. I shall then pity the ambitious, in their restless solicitude to make themselves great, and to obtain the veneration of their fellow worms. Your Divine beauty and infinite loveliness, as displayed in the glorious Mediator, will captivate my desires, inflame my love, and excite my joy and delight!

“A more intimate view of Your holiness will embitter every sin, and lead me, in deepest humiliation, to abhor myself, and repent as in dust and ashes. Give me such a sense of Your majesty–as may dispose my heart to reverence You supremely. Afford me such discoveries of Your omnipotence, Your love, and Your goodness–as may support my fainting heart under the toils of this warfare, and all the afflictions attending this state of mortality. Let the impressions which Your adorable perfections make upon me, be deep and powerful, so as to transform my soul into Your own amiable and holy likeness. Thus by beholding Your glory–may I be changed into Your image.

“It is habitual, and not transient communion with Jesus, the Lord of glory, which alone will satisfy my desires, and produce those happy effects which I seek–of nearer conformity to Him in knowledge, righteousness and true holiness. Communion with Christ will tend to–refine my understanding, rectify my soul, and purify my heart! Grant me, O Author of all good, by frequent converse with You, to have my affections spiritualized, that I may look with indifference on all other objects, and have my mind set on things above–not on earthly things. In fellowship with You, I shall find a source of delights, infinitely superior to anything that this world can afford. For Your loving-kindness is better than life itself. You are the inexhaustible treasury of blessedness. O Lord God Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

The Terrors of Death

June 22, 2008

I have been told that, some years ago, there went into the chamber of horrors at Madame Tussaud’s exhibition a young gentleman, who was foolish enough to put himself under the guillotine — in the place which had been occupied by criminals; and as he lay there, with his bare neck exposed to the terrible knife, he was so struck with horror that he was unable to move; and people who went by thought he was one of the waxwork figures and he could not stir until someone took him away. And, oh! if you did but know where you readily are, with that dreadful axe of divine justice just above your head, you might well be paralyzed with horror! Only let your breath fail, or your pulse stop, and down it descends to your utter destruction. But alas! you are insensible to these things. May the Spirit of God arouse you! May he make you feel your true position, and then I am sure you will not be content to remain a moment longer of a doubtful and undecided mind. Hearken, my friend. That sin of yours can be forgiven, for Jesus died for sinners. That heart of yours can be renewed by grace, for Jesus lives again. You can be delivered from the wrath to come, for Jesus has gone up on high to plead for just such sinners as you are.

June 17, 2008

We cannot play at preaching – We preach for eternity.

The Cross Should Be Raised

June 1, 2008

George MacLeod was a great preacher who, hundreds of years ago, faithfully obeyed the Great Commission. He exalted Jesus Christ in his preaching and wasn’t afraid to preach the blood of the cross. He said, “I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town’s garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek … at the kind of a place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died for. And that is what He died about. That is where church-men ought to be and what church-men ought to be about.” There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.

May 22, 2008

Father, let me dedicate, all this life to Thee,
In whatever worldly state Thou wilt have me be:
Not from sorrow, pain or care, freedom dare I claim;
This alone shall be my prayer, glorify Thy Name.

Can a child presume to choose where or how to live?
Can a Father’s love refuse all the best to give?
More Thou givest every day than the best can claim
Nor withholdest aught that may glorify Thy Name.

If in mercy Thou wilt spare joys that yet are mine;
If on life, serene and fair, brighter rays may shine;
Let my glad heart, while it sings, Thee in all proclaim,
And, whate’er the future brings, glorify Thy Name.

If Thou callest to the cross, and its shadow come,
Turning all my gain to loss, shrouding heart and home;
Let me think how Thy dear Son to His glory came,
And in deepest woe pray on, “Glorify Thy Name.”

How to Preach

May 17, 2008

Preach with this object, that men may quit their sins and fly to Christ for pardon, that by His blessed Spirit they may be renovated and become as much in love with everything that is holy as they are now in love with everything that is sinful.

“Occupy until I come.”

May 13, 2008

“Occupy until I come.” Luke 19:13


How instructive are these words to all who are troubled by doubts about mingling with the world, and taking part in its vain amusements. It is obvious that races, and balls, and theaters, and operas, and cards—are not forbidden by name in Scripture. The question which we should ask ourselves is simply this—”Am I occupying, as one who looks for Christ’s return—when I take part in these things? Would I like Jesus to return suddenly—and find me on the race-course, or in the ball-room, or at the theater, or at the card-table?”

Oh, dear reader, this is the true test by which to try our daily employment of time! That thing which we would not do, if we thought Jesus was coming tonight—that thing we ought not to do at all! That place to which we would not go, if we thought Jesus was coming this day—that place we ought to avoid. That company in which we would not like Jesus to find us—in that company we ought never to sit down. Oh, that we would live as in the sight of Christ!

April 22, 2008

“A man who loves you the most is the man who tells you the most truth about yourself.”

April 20, 2008

We are too apt to imagine that holiness consists in mere good feeling toward God. It does not! It consists in obedience in heart and life to the divine requirements. To be holy is to be set apart for God and devoted to God’s service, “The Lord has set apart him who is godly for himself.” But if we are set apart for God in this sense, it necessarily follows that we must live for God. We belong wholly to him, and any use of our life in any other service is sacrilege, as if one would rob the very altar of its smoking sacrifice, to gratify one’s common hunger.

Our hands are God’s—and can fitly be used only in doing his work. Our feet are God’s—and may be employed only in walking in his ways and running his errands. Our lips are God’s—and should speak only words which honor him and bless others. Our hearts are God’s—and must not be profaned by thoughts and affections which are not pure.

Biblical holiness is no vague sentiment—it is intensely practical. It is nothing less than the bringing of every thought and feeling and act—into obedience to Christ.

The Use of Fear

April 5, 2008

I further believe, although certain persons deny it, that the influence of fear is to be exercised over the minds of men, and that it ought to operate upon the mind of the preacher himself: “Noah. . . moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7).

March 23, 2008

“God is the best friend,
but the worst enemy!”

    (Thomas Watson)

March 16, 2008

Another from Spurgeon: ‘If any man be saved, it is not because he purposed to be saved, but because God purposed to save him. Have ye never read the Holy Spirit’s testimony: “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy”? The Saviour said to His apostles what He in effect says also to us, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye might bring forth fruit.” Some hold one and some another view concerning the freedom of the will, but our Saviour’s doctrine is, “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” Ye will not come; your wills will never bring you; if ye do come, it is because grace inclined you. “No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” “Whosoever cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” is a great and precious general text, but it is quite consistent with the rest of the same verse—“All the Father giveth me shall come to me.”
Our text tells us that our salvation is “according to his own purpose.” It is a strange thing that men should be so angry against the purpose of God. We ourselves have a purpose; we permit our fellow creatures to have some will of their own, and especially in giving away their own goods; but my God is to be bound and fettered by men, and not permitted to do as He wills with His own. But be this known unto ye, O men that reply against God, that He giveth no account of His matters, but asks of you, “Can I not do as I will with mine own?” He ruleth in Heaven, and in the armies of this lower world, and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, “What doest thou?”’

Divine Justice

“To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever be imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!”

-Charles Spurgeon

March 5, 2008

If you lose your health—you might recover it again;
if you lose your estate—you might get it again;
but if you lose your time—it is gone forever!

You are as near to heaven or hell—to an eternity
of joy or of misery—as to your grave!

Suppose you were to live a thousand years of
pleasure
upon earth—and after that pass into
an eternity of pain and torment. Would you not,
when there, cry out against your own folly—that
you should purchase a thousand years of pleasure
at so dear a rate—as to endure everlasting
burnings for them?

Better for you, if you been a dog, a toad, or
a serpent
; than you should lie in an eternity of
pains in hell—and be forever miserable!

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:46

Give me a hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a bit whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.
- John Wesley

The Law a Great Deluge

March 4, 2008

Beloved, the Law is a great deluge which would have drowned the world with worse than the water of Noah’s flood; it is a great fire which would have burned the earth with a destruction worse than that which fell on Sodom; it is a stern angel with a sword, athirst for blood, and winged to slay; it is a great destroyer sweeping down the nations; it is the great messenger of God’s vengeance sent into the world. Apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Law is nothing but the condemning voice of God thundering against mankind. ‘Wherefore then serveth the Law?’ seems a very natural question. Can the Law be of any benefit to man? Can the Judge who puts on a black cap and condemns us all, this Lord Chief Justice Law, can He help in salvation? Yes, He can; and you shall see how He does it, if God shall help us while we preach.

Now, if you are unrepentant, you have never obeyed your Maker. Every step you have taken has added to your crimes. When God has fanned your heaving lungs, you have breathed out your poisonous breath in rebellion against Him. How should God feel toward you? You have walked over the principles of righteousness with your unsanctified feet. You have lifted up your hands, filled with poisoned weapons, against the throne of the Almighty. You have spurned every principle of right, of love and of happiness. You are the enemy of God, the foe of man and a child of the devil in league with Hell. Ought not God hate you with all His heart?

Yet, in the midst of your rebellion He has borne with you. All this you have done, and He has kept silent. Dare you think that He will never reprove? Lo, I see, the Law given upon Mount Sinai. The very hill doth quake with fear. Lightnings and thunders are the attendants of those dreadful syllables which make the hearts of Israel to melt. Sinai seems altogether on the smoke. The Lord came from Paran, and the Holy One from Mount Sinai; “He came with ten thousands of his saints.” Out of His mouth went a fiery Law for them. It was a dread Law even when it was given, and since then from that Mount of Sinai an awful lava of vengeance has run down, to deluge, to destroy, to burn, and to consume the whole human race, if it had not been that Jesus Christ had stemmed its awful torrent and bidden its waves of fire be still. If you could see the world without Christ in it, simply under the Law, you would see a world in ruins, a world with God’s black seal put upon it, stamped and sealed for condemnation; you would see men, who, if they knew their condition, would have their hands on their loins and be groaning all their days—you would see men and women condemned, lost, and ruined; and in the uttermost regions you would see the pit that is digged for the wicked, into which the whole earth must have been cast if the Law had its way, apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. (more…)

“Salvation is of the Lord.”

February 29, 2008

“Salvation is of the Lord.” That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it. If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, “He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.” What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.

February 26, 2008

“Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest.”

JOHN FLAVEL

February 25, 2008

“‘Tis no easy matter to be saved. ‘Twas difficult work to Jesus Christ to work redemption for us. ‘Tis difficult work to the Spirit to work grace in us, and to carry it on against corruptions, temptations, distractions.”

PHILIP HENRY

“a minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.”

JOHN OWEN

“These two principles, their own reputation and that of their sect, constituted the life and soul of Pharisaism of old.”

JOHN OWEN

“A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant.”

STEPHEN CHARNOCK

“Many a man’s knowledge is a torch to light him to hell. Thou who hast knowledge of God’s will, but doth not do it, wherein dost thou excel the devil, ‘who transforms himself into an angel of light.’”

THOMAS WATSON

“The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print.”

WILLIAM GURNALL

“I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields . . . I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches.” George Whitefield

“I am well assured that I did far more good to my Lincolnshire parishioners by preaching three days on my father’s tomb than I did by preaching three years in his pulpit.” John Wesley

“It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?” John Wesley

The Fear of God

February 23, 2008

You must have, more or less, a distinct sense of the dreadful wrath of God and of the terrors of the judgment to come, or you will lack energy in your work and so lack one of the essentials of success.

The Conscience

February 19, 2008

We love because He first loved us. Brethren, I was ready to perish under a sense of sin, I was all but damned. I felt the wrath of God surging in my soul like a sea of fire, I found no relief or comfort. Even the Word of God did not cheer me. They told me of believing in Jesus; but till I learned that this Jesus was God’s great appointed sacrifice for sin I saw nothing in Him to cheer me. When I learned that He had borne the penalty and satisfied justice, then I found out the glorious secret, and my conscience was at rest. Conscience within us reflects, as in a mirror, the facts of the case as God sees them. God causes an awakened conscience to require that which his justice requires. The demand of the conscience is the echo of the demand of the divine government. Conscience requires atonement because the necessity of the case and the nature of God require it. When I learned that there was such an atonement provided, oh, then I rested most sweetly! I wish you all did so. You that have no atoning sacrifice to plead, how can you bear the weight of your sins? What will you do with them when the death-damp is on your brows? You for whom, according to your own creed, no debt was paid, no penalty endured, how will you answer Justice in her great and terrible day?

February 17, 2008

Hell is not simply the natural consequence of rejecting God. Some people say this in order to reject the thought that God sends people there. They say that people send themselves there. That is true. People make choices that lead to hell. But it is not the whole truth. Jesus says these choices are really deserving of hell. “Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to [that is, guilty of, or deserving of] the hell of fire” (Matt. 5:22). That is why he calls hell “punishment” (Matt. 25:46). It is not a mere self-imposed natural consequence (like cigarette smoking leading to lung cancer); it is the penalty of God’s wrath (like a judge sentencing a criminal to hard labor).

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