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November 29, 2007

“God’s grace cannot be faithfully preached to unbelievers until the Law is preached and man’s corrupt nature is exposed. It is impossible for a person to fully realize his need for God’s grace until he sees how terribly he has failed the standards of God’s Law.”

John MacArthur

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

Charles Spurgeon

John Newton, who wrote “Amazing Grace” “Ignorance of the nature and design of the Law is at the bottom of most religious mistakes.” 

John Wesley In writing to a young evangelist instructed, “Preach 90 percent law and 10 percent grace.”

 “Satan, the god of all dissension stirs up daily new sects. And last of all which of all others I should never have foreseen or once suspected, he has raised up a sect such as teach that men should not be terrified by the law, but gently exhorted by the preaching of the grace of Christ.”

Martin Luther 

“The highest service to which a man may obtain on earth is to preach the law of God.”

John Wycliffe

November 28, 2007

“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer that died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution”, American Atheist, 20 Sept. 1979, p. 30

The Law of God

There is a war between you and God’s Law . The Ten Commandments are against you. The first comes forward and says, “Let him be cursed. For he denies Me. He has another god beside Me. His god is his belly and he yields his homage to his lust.” All the Ten Commandments, like ten great cannons, are pointed at you today. For you have broken all of God’s statutes and lived in daily neglect of all His commands. “Soul, you will find it a hard thing to go at war with the Law. When the Law came in peace, Sinai was altogether on a smoke and even Moses said, “I exceeding fear and quake!” What will you do when the Law of God comes in terror; when the trumpet of the archangel shall tear you from your grave; when the eyes of God shall burn their way into your guilty soul; when the great books shall be opened and all your sin and shame shall be punished…Can you stand against an angry Law in that Day?

Observations on Church Planting

November 26, 2007

1. There are 195 million non-churched people in America, making America one of the top four largest “unchurched” nations in the world.

2. In spite of the rise of mega-churches, no county in America has a greater church population than it did ten years ago.

3. During the last ten years, combined communicant membership of all Protestant denominations declined by 9.5 percent (4,498,242), while the national population increased by 11.4 percent (24,153,000).

4. Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors forever; yet only as many as 1,500 new churches are started.

5. There are now nearly 60 percent fewer churches per 10,000 persons than in 1920.

6. “Today, of the approximately 350,000 churches in America, four out of five are either plateaued or declining.”

7. One American denomination recently found that 80% of its converts came to Christ in churches less than two years old.

8. Hence the claim of many leaders: “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches” (Peter Wagner).

November 25, 2007

“Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” –John Piper

“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.” — Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

“God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.” — John Piper

“No reserves. No retreats. No regrets” — William Borden

“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” — David Livingstone

“Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved.” — Charles Spurgeon

“You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. Ill tell you why I left. Because those Stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it—while these never heard of such a thing as
writing.” Jim Elliot

About the Cross

November 24, 2007

Preaching–a Matter of Life and Death

November 20, 2007

Preaching the gospel is to us a matter of life and death; we throw our whole soul into it. We live and are happy if you believe in Jesus and are saved. But we are almost ready to die if you refuse the gospel of Christ.

Scripture

November 19, 2007

Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 Philippians 1:29  - For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake

 Acts 5:41 – And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

 Matthew 5:44 – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 Matthew 5:11-12 – Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 Matthew 16:24 – Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 Matthew 10:21 – And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death.

 Matthew 10:25 – It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more [shall they call] them of his household?

 John 16:2 – They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

 2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 I Peter 4:12-14 – Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

 Romans 8:16-18 –  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Timothy 1:8 – Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

And really, how can anybody say that Christianity is the good life? That you will have a better life?  John Piper had an excellent sermon on this, but I don’t have time to get into that…

Our love for our Captain

November 18, 2007

As the captain of a ship sees another sinking vessel in the sea, he navigates his ship to the site, where he passionately implores his own crew to save the drowning passengers of the ship next to them. Instead, his crew lift their hands, and shout “Praise the Captain! We love our Captain!” as the captain stands on the deck above them, passionately pleading with them to save those that are quickly downing. Although they said they loved their captain, they did not demonstrate it by obeying his orders and saving the dying.

Thus is the American Church today. We spend all our time worshiping God, and declaring how great He is, when we never obey his orders to seek and save the lost. Instead of listing to his passionate pleas to save the lost (as He commanded us to do repeatedly in scripture), we spend all our time worshiping him. It is like a group of firefighters that wash their firetruck. There is nothing wrong with doing that, except when there are people trapped in a burning house next door. Instead of hearing their cries, and saving them, they are too consumed with themselves.
Worshiping God has its place. but worship Him by obedience. sympathy is no substitute for obedience. get out of the church, and hear the cries of those that are about to die. warn them of the wrath to come. In the Bible, worship is described as an action: it is demonstrated. In the New Testament, worship is an action: it is obedience. It is doing the work of the Lord. The disciples didn’t stay in the upper room after Pentecost, they went out. Go out. seek and save the Lost like Jesus did.

There goes another minute, gone forever. go share your faith, while you still have time.

The Original Greek


You may not be aware that the original Greek meaning of “The Great Commission.” If you study the words, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,”(Mark 16:15) a whole new world of interesting thoughts opens up. According to the text, the Greek word for “go” is very fascinating. It is poreuomai, meaning, “go.” The word “all” also carries with it intriguing connotations. It is hapas, and actually means “all.” And if that doesn’t rivet you, look closely at the word “every.” It is pas, and literally means “every.” So when Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” to be true and faithful to the original text, what He was actually saying was, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” We are so fortunate to have access to such knowledge. There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.

A letter from hell

November 17, 2007

Let the Nations be Glad!

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. “The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Ps. 97:1). “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Ps. 67:3–4).
But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad” who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the LORD. . . .
I will be glad and exult in you, I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Ps. 104:34; 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship.

Your story

If you don’t have a conversion story, then you probably aren’t converted.

hearing vs. seeing

The world is sick and tired of hearing about Jesus.
They are desperate to see Him.

Unless you are willing to show them Jesus by your actions, don’t bother telling them with your words.

It’s all about Him

God does everything that He does for His own glory. His glory brings Him joy. Thus, God does everything for His own joy.

glorified

God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.

If you believe that, it changes everything!

Why He came

Jesus didn’t come to fix all the problems in your life, He came to save you from hell.

An animated death

As an arrow which falls short of the mark, as a fig tree which yields no figs, as a candle which smokes but yields no light, as a cloud without rain and a well without water, is a man that has not served the Lord. He has led a wasted life – a life to which the flower and glory of existence are lacking. Call it not a life at all, but write it down as an animated death.

Is it?

Is sin so luscious that you will burn in Hell forever for it?

-Charles Spurgeon

Would we empty a pen?

November 15, 2007

“But from whence shall I fetch my argument? With what shall I win them? Oh, that I could tell! I would write to them in tears, I would weep out every argument, I would empty my veins for ink, I would petition them on my knees. Oh how thankful I would be if they would be prevailed with to repent and turn.”

-Joseph Alleine

Can you hear it?

November 14, 2007

“‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. — William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

delight

“Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” –John Piper

Comfort zone?

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue  mission within a yard of hell.” — C.T. Studd

ready

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to
follow Him” — Hudson Taylor

Save Some

Save some, O Christians! By all means, save some. From yonder flames and outer darkness, and the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, seek to save some! Let this, as in the case of the apostle, be your great, ruling object in life, that by all means you might save some.

May your name be known in Hell.

“May your name be known in Hell.”

Acts 19:15

My youth Pastor mentioned this quote and it blew me away. He said that he believed Charles Spurgeon was the one from whom the statement originated. Supposedly as Mr. Spurgeon would address people as he was leaving with this statement. It came from a study in Acts 19:15. I’ll let you do the study yourself and see how this amazing statement arrives from that verse and passage. Regardless of who made the statement, that statement will preach. May our names be known in Hell. Wow.

P.S. If you have trouble with the meaning, email me. It’s critical this makes sense to you.

An Alarm to the Unconverted – an excerpt

An Alarm to the Unconverted – an excerpt
(By Joseph Alleine)

There is no entering into heaven but by the strait passage of the second birth; without holiness you shall never see God. Therefore, give yourselves unto the Lord now. Set yourselves to seek Him now. Set up the Lord Jesus in your hearts, and set Him up in your houses. Kiss the Son and embrace the tenders of mercy; touch His sceptre and live; for why will ye die?

I beseech you to permit a friendly plainness and freedom with you in your deepest concern. I am not playing the orator to make a learned speech to you, nor dressing the dish with eloquence in order to please you. These lines are upon a weighty errand indeed – to convince and convert and save you. I am not baiting my hook with rhetoric, nor fishing for your applause, but for your souls. My work is not to please you, but to save you; nor is my business with your fancies, but with your hearts. If I have not your hearts, I have nothing. If I were to please your ears, I would sing another song. If I were to preach myself, I would steer another course. I could then tell you a smoother tale; I would make pillows for you and speak peace.

But how much better are the wounds of a friend than the fair speeches of the harlot, who flatters with her lips till the dart strike through the liver? I were to quiet a crying infant, I might sing him into a happier mood or rock him asleep; but when the child is fallen into the fire, the parent takes another course; he will not try to still him with a song or trifle. I know, If we succeed not with you, you are lost; if we cannot get your consent to arise and come away, you will perish forever. No conversion – no salvation! I must get your good-will or leave you miserable.

And now, beloved, let me know your mind. What do you intend to do? Will you go on and die or will you turn and lay hold on eternal life? How long will you linger in Sodom? How long will you halt between two opinions? Have you not yet resolved whether Christ or Barabbas, whether bliss or torment, whether this vain and wretched world, or the paradise of God be the better choice?

The greatest heresy in the American church today…

I want you to know that the greatest heresy in the American evangelical and protestant church is that, if you pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart, He will definitely come in. You will not find that in any place in scripture. You will not find that anywhere in Baptist history until about 50 years ago. What you need to know is that salvation is by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. And faith alone in Jesus Christ is preceded and followed by repentance . . . a turning away from sin, a hatred for the things that God hates and a love for the things that God loves, a growing in holiness and a desire not to be like Britney Spears, not to be like the world, and not to be like the great majority of American Christians, but to be like Jesus Christ!

Just Damnation

I know that you have attended this Tabernacle ever since it was built, and listened to our ministry for years; but boast not of that; away with that as a ground of trust; pull off that garment. You have never failed in business; you have brought up your children well; you never swear; you were never a drunkard; midnight orgies never saw you mixed up in them; this is well, but I pray you, put not on this as your proper dress: the proper dress for a sinner to go to Christ in, is sackcloth and the rope. “Well,” says one, “I never will acknowledge that I deserve to be damned!” Then you never will be saved. “Well,” says another, “I never will take the language of a great sinner upon my lips.” Then you shall never be saved; for unless you are willing to confess that God may justly damn you, God will never save you; but if you feel in your heart to-night, that if He sends your soul to Hell, His righteous Law approves it well ; if you wonder how it is that you are not in the pit, and marvel why such mercy should have been shown to you, come, brother, come; come as you are, for you wear the true court-dress of a sinner. When a beggar goes out to beg at the door, should he put on a new black coat, and a clean white cravat, and kid gloves. Nay, verily, let him clothe himself in tatters — the more rents he has the better — for tatters are the livery of a beggar, and rags are the court-dress of a mendicant. So, come in your sins; come in your doubts; come in your hardness of heart; come in your impenitence; come in your deadness; come in your lethargy; come as you are — foul, vile, filthy, waiting for no amendment, but with a rope upon your neck, and a garment of sackcloth about your loins; come now, come now; God help you to come.

Charles Spurgeon

a sinking ship

As the captain of a ship sees another sinking vessel in the sea, he navigates his ship to the site, where he passionately implores his own crew to save the drowning passengers of the ship next to them. Instead, his crew lift their hands, and shout “Praise the Captain! We love our Captain!” as the captain stands on the deck above them, passionately pleading with them to save those that are quickly downing. Although they said they loved their captain, they did not demonstrate it by obeying his orders and saving the dying.

Thus is the American Church today. We spend all our time worshiping God, and declaring how great He is, when we never obey his orders to seek and save the lost. Instead of listing to his passionate pleas to save the lost (as He commanded us to do repeatedly in scripture), we spend all our time worshiping him. It is like a group of firefighters that wash their firetruck. There is nothing wrong with doing that, except when there are people trapped in a burning house next door. Instead of hearing their cries, and saving them, they are too consumed with themselves.
Worshiping God has its place. but worship Him by obedience. sympathy is no substitute for obedience. get out of the church, and hear the cries of those that are about to die. warn them of the wrath to come. In the Bible, worship is described as an action: it is demonstrated. In the New Testament, worship is an action: it is obedience. It is doing the work of the Lord. The disciples didn’t stay in the upper room after Pentecost, they went out. Go out. seek and save the Lost like Jesus did.

There goes another minute, gone forever. go share your faith, while you still have time.

If sinners…

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed.
-Charles Spurgeon

Missions

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever…”
-John Piper

The Christian’s Prayer

The Christian’s Prayer

“Father, I have a problem. It’s weighing heavy on me. It’s all I can think about, night and day.
“But before I bring it to you in prayer, I suppose I should pray for those who are less fortunate than me—those in this world who have hardly enough food for this day, and those who don’t have a roof over their heads at night. I also pray for families who have lost loved ones in sudden death, for parents whose children have leukemia, for the many people who are dying of brain tumors, for the hundreds of thousands who are laid waste with other terrible cancers, for people whose bodies have been suddenly shattered in car wrecks, for those who are lying in hospitals with agonizing burns over their bodies, whose faces have been burned beyond recognition.
“I pray for people with emphysema, whose eyes fill with terror as they struggle for every breath merely to live, for those who are tormented beyond words by irrational fears, for the elderly who are wracked with the pains of aging, whose only ‘escape’ is death.
“I pray for people who are watching their loved ones fade before their eyes through the grief of Alzheimer’s disease, for the many thousands who are suffering the agony of AIDS, for those who are in such despair that they are about to commit suicide, for people who are tormented by the demons of alcoholism and drug addiction.
“I pray for children who have been abandoned by their parents, for those who are sexually abused, for wives held in quiet despair, beaten and abused by cruel and drunken husbands, for people whose minds have been destroyed by mental disorders, for those who have lost everything in floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
“I pray for the blind, who never see the faces of the ones they love or the beauty of a sunrise, for those whose bodies are horribly deformed by painful arthritis, for the many whose lives will be taken from them today by murderers, for those wasting away on their deathbeds in hospitals.
“Most of all, I cry out for the millions who don’t know the forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ . . . for those who in a moment of time will be swept into hell by the cold hand of death, and find to their utter horror the unspeakable vengeance of eternal fire. They will be eternally damned to everlasting punishment. O God, I pray for them.
“Now, for my problem . . . Strange. I can’t seem to remember what it was.
“In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

The greatest preperation…

“The greatest preparation for a preacher is to hold him over hell for fives minutes, and let him hear the cries of the dammed, pleading for someone to go and warn those that they love.”

don’t bother me

Don’t Bother Me

Don’t bother me with souls to save.
I have my own agenda.
There’s school to do, sports to play,
Important stuff to attend to.
Don’t bother me with that little girl,
The girl playing by the street.
She’s much too young to understand
The Savior she could meet.
Don’t bother me with my friend at school.
He’s got his own religion.
I don’t have time to change his mind.
He’ll make his own decision.
Don’t bother me with distant sounds I hear,
The sounds of people screaming.
Although I wonder who they are.
What are these victims shrieking?
Don’t bother me with who they are.
I really don’t want the blame.
For it’s the little girl and my friend at school
Who from hell scream out my name
But don’t bother me.

And such is the attitude of Christians today…

Prayer

John Piper, while preaching on Colossians 4:2-6, said, “Pray the locks off of peoples hearts. Pray open the doors of willingness to come, and pray open the doors of faith. If Paul could imagine himself speaking the gospel in a way that was not clear and bold and powerful, how much more can I imagine that for myself. Think of it: the greatest preacher and missionary who ever lived (besides the Lord Jesus) said that the effectiveness of his preaching depended on the prayers of the church. If that is true for Paul, it is true a hundred times over for me.”

Ponderings

I decided to start a blog, more for my sake than for you, just because that most of what I post in this will not be my own work. It will probably be mostly quotes, things that made me ponder, and something for you to think about. I don’t know how often I will update this, or if I will forsake it all together in the future.

Indeed, most of the quotes I put on here I will probably not even put commentary on them, but just let you ponder it for yourself.

This is not my professional side, nor is this part of my business. This will reflect my ideological and religious views, and if you want to talk about any of it with me, I would be glad to do so.

So enjoy!

andrew