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“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.

Chuck Spurgeon is my Homeboy

Chuck
Preliminary Disclaimer:

This is more of a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Chuck Norris fad than it is anything. This is not an attempt to make Charles Spurgeon a type of super-saint, for he was not. He was just another vessel, upon whom was bestowed mercy and grace, that God used on Earth for His own good pleasure. These so-called ‘facts’ are completely false. They are to be taken lightly and not seriously. If you take anything away from this blog, take from it a desire to read the biographies of faithful Christians “…of whom the world was not worthy.”

I did find it very funny, though.

 

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

“Most of God’s people are contented to be saved from the hell that is without; they are not so anxious to be saved from the hell that is within.”

ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE

“‘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

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching outdoors, but it would take a very strong argument to prove that a man who has never preached beyond the walls of his meetinghouse has done his duty. A defense is required for services within buildings rather than for worship outside of them.” Charles Spurgeon

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.

Count to Thirteen

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle….”

If you are an average American reader, then it took you about twelve or thirteen seconds to read the foregoing quote from the Declaration of Independence. In that time period, twenty human beings who had never experienced the love of Christ died and went to Hell.

A liberal estimate places the number of born-again Christians at somewhere around 7% of the world’s population of 6 billion. One hundred and fifty thousand people will die every twenty-four hours. These statistics give rise to a few statistics that are even more interesting – and sobering:

Do those statistics surprise you? They should at least make you think.

Recently, an “evangelical” leader was quoted as saying, “When you are on an airplane, you should never witness to the person you are sitting next to.” Ostenibly because they might feel “trapped”.

Fine. What are you going to tell God when He asks you, “I gave you two hours next to a person who desperately needed to hear My Gospel. As he left the airport, he was hit by a bus and slipped into a coma. He died a week later, never once coming out of the coma. Why didn’t you witness to him?”

It is said that only two things last forever: the Word of God and the souls of men. Every human being on this planet will spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell. If you are a Christian, it is your duty to share the Gospel with every single person you possibly can. Do not wait for God to tell you to witness; He already has. Remember that even though we are not judged by our works as Christians, we will still be required to give an account of every word, thought, and deed. Only what is done for Christ will last.

Keep going until the net is full!

P.S. While you read this article, one hundred and ninety-six unsaved people died. From here on out, it’s up to you.

By David S. MacMillan III

Sweetly Broken

February 22, 2008

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

Jeremy Riddle – Sweetly Broken
From the album Sweetly Broken

Charles Darwin said…

To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

“Nail the colours to the mast! That is the right thing to do, and, therefore, that is what we must do, and do it now. What colours? The colours of Christ, the work He has given us to do — the evangelization of all the unevangelized. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible (I love that last phrase!) by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity, and wisdom of the Almighty Saviour who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way? We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar our progress? Saying, ‘Be thou cast into the sea,’ we will march on. Soldiers of Jesus! Never surrender! Nail the colours to the mast!”
- C.T. Studd (missionary to China, Africa, & India)

Luke 18.25

February 20, 2008

Luke 18.25
by Karsten Piper 

He spread his blanket on the sand,
kneeled and arranged his bowls and tools:
hook, mallet, clamp, chisel, rasp, razor.

His smile glinted in the rongeur’s claws,
and upside down in the curette’s spoon.
Light shone out of the needle’s eye.

“Hoosh,” he said and began plucking hairs,
paring calluses, shearing wool, shaving
to the follicles, cutting to the quick.

He sorted these, trimming skin with skin,
hair with hair, into rows of clay bowls,
and set a large basin to catch each sour drip

as he sliced the hide and used both fists
to yank back the whole stubbled, gray pelt,
as wet and red on its underside as afterbirth.

He piled this heavily away, draping it
in clean linen, and turned to the meat and bone
heaving under sheer, tight membrane.

Sawteeth chewed into femur, rib and shoulder.
Pliers twisted and wrenched away tendons
until everything softened, canted, and collapsed—

yet not one sliver dies. Each ribbon and shard
bawls for the horror and hurt of their missing,
wishing for the old braying wholeness.

Pain bloodies evening and morning,
stabbing day after day from even the first cuts,
like the slow light of far stars.

Eyeballs and heart float alone in the last bowl,
dark and defenseless, quavering when he leans down
and they recognize in his eyes how little is left.

“Easy now, Camel,” he says and lifts me
in his fingertips, one quivering strand at a time,
through the eye of the needle.

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?

The closer you get to God, the lonelier you will be.

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).

“Answering a student’s question, ‘Will the heathen who have not heard the Gospel be saved?’ thus, ‘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

“The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for souls, as we so often hear, but love for Christ.”
Vance Havner

Would you hear it?

“There is something wonderfully misleading, full of hallucination and delusion in this business of missionary calls. With many of us it is not a missionary call at all that we are looking for; it is a shove. There are a great many of us who would never hear a call if it came.”
Robert Speer

“Here am I. Send me.”
Isaiah

There are three kinds of people when it comes to missions: Those that go, those that send, and the disobedient.

February 15, 2008

I long to see Christian people become more distinct from the world than ever, because I am persuaded that, until they are so, the church will never become such a power for blessing men as her Lord intended her to be. It is for the world’s good that there should be no alliance between the church and the world by way of compromise, even to a shade. See what came to pass when the church and the world became one in Noah’s day: when “the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair,” and were joined with them. Then came the deluge. Another deluge, more desolating even than the former, will come, if ever the church forgets her high calling, and enters into confederacy with the world.

Let us, however, take heed that our separateness from the world is of the same kind as our Lord’s. We are not to adopt a peculiar dress, or a singular mode of speech, or shut ourselves out from society. He did not so; but he was a man of the people, mixing with them for their good. He was seen at a wedding-feast, aiding the festivities: he even ate bread in a Pharisee’s house, among captious enemies. He neither wore phylacteries, nor enlarged the borders of his garments, nor sought a secluded cell, nor exhibited any eccentricity of manner.

He was separate from sinners only because he was holy and harmless, and they were not.

Charles Spurgeon on Calvanism

February 14, 2008

The following five posts are quotes from the Prince of Preachers on the topic of Calvinism.

It does bear thought.

Total Depravity

[T]here 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.

Irristable Grace

When you say, “Can God make me become a Christian?” I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel. It does not ask your consent; but it gets it. It does not say, “Will you have it?” but it makes you willing in the day of God’s power….The gospel wants not your consent, it gets it. It knocks the enmity out of your heart. You say, I do not want to be saved; Christ says you shall be. He makes our will turn round, and then you cry,”‘Lord save, or I perish!”

Unconditional Election

I do not hesitate to say, that next to the doctrine of the crucifixion and the resurrection of our blessed Lord–no doctrine had such prominence in the early Christian Church as the doctrine of the election of grace.9 And when confronted with the discomfort this doctrine would bring, he responded with little sympathy: “‘I do not like it [divine election],’ saith one. Well, I thought you would not; whoever dreamed you would?”

Limited Atonement

[I]f it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has he been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood.11 He has punished Christ, why should He punish twice for one offence? Christ has died for all His people’s sins, and if thou art in the covenant, thou art one of Christ’s people. Damned thou canst not be. Suffer for thy sins thou canst not. Until God can be unjust, and demand two payments for one debt, He cannot destroy the soul for whom Jesus died.

Perserverance of the Saints

I do not know how some people, who believe that a Christian can fall from grace, manage to be happy. It must be a very commendable thing in them to be able to get through a day without despair. If I did not believe in the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men most miserable, because I should lack any ground of comfort.

This is the Gospel

The Jesus statue
The Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro was struck by lightening. It was captured in this photo. It should be titled: This is the Gospel. Read Romans 3: 21-25

Who’s best life now?

February 13, 2008

Bestlife“Pastor” Joel Osteen preaches a candy coated “gospel” that turns Jesus into your personal genie and life coach. So, from time to time, we’re going to ask “Pastor Osteen” …what about those Christians who are suffering persecution and death because of their belief in the Biblical gospel. Should we assume that these people are suffering persecution needlessly since Osteen believes they should be able to experience their ‘best lives now’?

Today we are featuring Pastor Zaur Balaev.Prisoner_181_image

Location: Azerbaijan
Arrested: May 2007

On May 20, 2007, Pastor Zaur Balaev was arrested for “conducting an illegal religious meeting” in his home village in Aliabad, Azerbaijan. In August, he was sentenced to two years in prison under Article 315, Part 1, for allegedly violently resisting the police during a raid. The authorities first claimed that Pastor Balaev released a dog on police, but have since claimed he attacked five policemen and damaged a car door. During the trial, some witnesses reported that police had pressured them into testifying against Pastor Balaev.

We thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for men like Pastor Zaur Balaev for their bravery and willingness to forego their ‘best lives now’ so that they can share the true Biblical gospel in countries where being a Christian guarantees persecution, suffering and even martyrdom.

From www.alittleleaven.com

The Use of the Law

February 12, 2008

God be thanked when the Law so works as to take off the sinner from all confidence in himself! To make the leper confess that he is incurable is going a great way toward compelling him to go to that divine Savior, who alone is able to heal him. This is the whole end of the Law toward men whom God will save.

But isn’t the human will free?

February 11, 2008

But isn’t the human will free? In one sense it is, but in the sense normally meant by people who tend to make the most liberal use the expression “free will,” the will is not free. It’s in bondage to sin.

Our will is free to choose according to our desires, but it is not free to determine those desires. The will is free in the sense that our choices are not forced upon us or compelled by external pressure. But our will is not “free” in the sense of being sovereign over our moral nature. We cannot by an act of will change our character for the better. That is the whole point of Jeremiah 13:23: The sinner has exactly as much ability to turn his own heart to do good as a cheetah has to will his spots away.

We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.

Heard God Speak?

February 9, 2008

John Piper heard God speak.

I know that may take you back a little, but I know it is true… because I heard it too.

He wrote an article about it – a must read. Instead of posting the entire thing here (and because it would be the entire article, not just a quote), I will just post a link to it: The Morning I Heard the Voice of God

Check it out!

The Freeness of Grace

February 8, 2008

I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, “You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.” My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

February 2, 2008

Jesus isn’t just all we need, He’s all we have.

-Paul Washer