I want to start by making very clear here that I am in no way intending on heaping condemnation onto my brothers and sisters in Christ. I mean only to edify the body and help explain a possible reason for the lack of prayer and study within the church.
I also want to clarify that this is not going to make sense to those who are not believers but are instead Christians in name only. I know this for certain because I never understood this the entire decade I was pretending to be a Christian. I was perfectly happy being spoon fed the word and even happier to take your word for it. This is the reason why false teachers are so successful, we can see them on every “Christian” channel preaching a different gospel, a different Jesus, and a different god. A more common term for this would be heresy, there are more notable speakers teaching heresy, or even worse, blasphemy, then there are teachers proclaiming the true gospel.
I began my Christian faith wondering how we got to the place where famous preachers could announce loudly that Christ wasn’t the only way to Heaven and still manage to have any credibility. I think I can say assuredly it’s because of a lack of prayer and study within the body of true believers.
Let’s start with prayer. Before I was saved prayer was something I did out of obligation, it was done with a general sense of annoyance. The first few months after I got saved that changed, slowly at first, and then like a snowball falling, collectively the idea of what prayer began to drive me to my knees. The annoyance then became the need to do anything else besides study and prayer. What changed?
Before being saved I was perfectly happy to listen to TV evangelists twisting scripture to fit their worldly desires. I also enjoyed anything that was new information, as one enjoys the discovery channel. It didn’t have to be accurate, and I certainly wasn’t going to crack open my dust collecting Bible to check. Once I was saved the Word of God became the primary source, and great men expounding on it needed to be consistently vetted. More so than that, the Word became spiritual food. I felt a hunger for it I had never felt before, the desire to immerse myself in the Bible and to understand what I was reading was overwhelming.
This change led me to a greater understanding of both prayers, and study. What is prayer for the believer? It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.
We are granted the tremendous honor of coming before the throne of God with our thanksgiving, supplication, and requests. This is the very God who had saved me from the chains of sin, a pointless life, and from eternal damnation. I get to come before Him, He hears me. Never once have I ever deserved the honor of coming before the King of Kings!
What brought me to this conclusion? Understanding what the Word is. John teaches us that in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. That Word became flesh…when we pick up Gods Word we need to recognize that on every page we are seeing Holy Spirit inspired Words. The majesty of this is too great for me to understand, however, what I do see is the tremendous blessing we have been given to have the Word.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been an Apostle before the cross? The Holy Spirit hadn’t come, Christ hadn’t risen, all they have was the OT to go on. They were waiting for the Kingdom to come! They thought Christ was about to bring it down. What do you mean you’re going to die? What about the Kingdom? All the way up until Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, Savior, ascended the disciples were asking about the Kingdom. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came that they finally understood the OT. We have the benefit of reading that very revelation they were given.
Can you imagine also what it must be like to live in a country where this Word is illegal? How precious every page must be to believers, and every second they can spend reading it. It is easy to take for granted the amazing blessing some of us have to freely read the Word. I even have the Septuagint on my phone, along with every type of translation. How blessed is this generation? As blessed as we are ignorant of said blessing.
So, what do you do if you’re one of the many believers who does not understand the Word, and find very little joy in reading it? Or perhaps even less joy in praying? First, let’s remember that there are those out there particularly gifted in these areas, we should not compare ourselves to one another. Our comparison should always be Christ. Secondly, let us remember that we need to be growing in grace and knowledge. If you want to enjoy these things but the desires of the world are overpowering you bring it before the throne in prayer. Ask to thirst for God’s Word, ask God to help you love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. We can do nothing apart from Him.
Finally, friends, be good Bereans. Paul called the Bereans more noble then the Thessalonican’s because they accepted the Word while searching the scriptures to see if it was true. We need to take every thought into captivity, which means we cannot continue to accept what the TV evangelists, or even our own pastors, preach without checking its accuracy against the Word of God. Not partial scriptures, but the whole counsel of the Word.
I hope this helps you all grow in prayer and study, friends, to show yourself approved.
Usually on Sunday I only talk about a beautiful hymn, but today I have a hymn and something else on my mind. As you know, dear ones, if you’ve followed me long enough, once upon a time I practiced the religion of politics. I worshipped at the feet of Talking Heads. It started with the unrest in Egypt, when mass crowds of citizens came together and overthrew the dictator that had taken over their country. I watched in horror, as a military stood ready to defend its citizens against their government if need be. They weren’t fighting their leaders, but they weren’t aiming their guns at their people either. It didn’t take long before that particular leader was removed, and a new one was elected. It was as fascinating to me as it was terrifying, but I couldn’t really understand it.
I had done really well in my AP Gov classes, but that wasn’t due to intellect. I had been taught a trick for test taking that I still use anytime I need to. The answer to questions is almost always found in other questions, so if I didn’t know something all I had to do was skip ahead and I’d find the answer waiting in the form of a different question. Ironically, it was a group designed to prepare poor folk like me for college, I wasn’t going to be able to afford it so I needed to have the best grades and test results possible. Anyhow, all thats to say that I left high school completely unaware of how the world worked. But as a new mom, and a young wife, the possibility of a country going through so much change that quickly led me to constant research. Which led me to believe the answer was to be found in our elected officials. It was incredibly naive, but you’d have found me in my early twenties campaigning for Conservo-Libertarian candidates as well as rallying in the Tea Parties. I wore “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” shirts and quoted Ayn Rand. And while I still hold to most of the political views that I did then, I now hold to them for a very different reason.
The answer to the problems in the world will never come from governments, rulers, or rioters. The answer came on July 4th, 2015 when God graciously saved this idolatrous wretch. He bore my sin and judgement, He bought me with His blood, and I now only obey Him. I am His servant, His slave, and so I tarry here at His good will waiting to make a pilgrimage home. The answer to murder, to hate, to arson, to theft, to sin, is the Gospel. I can’t fix the world, it’s fallen, but I can share the only good news wicked men will ever hear, there is forgiveness in Christ. There is salvation in Christ. Every sin, whether its murder or theft, will be paid for. Either Christ paid for your sin on the cross and you have been given new life and new desires, or you will pay for your sin. There is no such thing as injustice, but there is sinful men who think they’ve put off justice for the moment. But God holds the account, and there will be a day of Judgement.
We were feeling cooped up, so we took a drive. Fargo is only a couple hours from us, if the hubby drives (3 and a half if I drive, because I’m slow and easily distracted by every…single…rest stop…) so we decided to get out of the house. We were keeping a close watch on Minneapolis because it’s not far from us, but it was early when we pulled into downtown Fargo so we didn’t think there would be any danger in driving around. We were met by a young man standing in the middle of the street with his fist in the air and his face covered. It reminded me of the Occupy Wallstreet folks that camped out downtown where I worked back when politics was my religion. A group of them had stepped out into the road, fists up, trying to block me from driving by them. I saw them in time and sped around them, and took a different route to work from then on out. What I’m trying to say is, with my beautiful daughter sitting in the back seat, it freaked me out. There was a march taking place, and we were in the traffic of people taking part. Most of the signs I saw were appropriate, a few of them were not, but one of them had us turning around and driving home.
It said “If you can’t change the system, scare it.” I had seen enough videos of the neighboring city burning to know that a small group of the hundreds of people walking the street would stick around to cause trouble, to “scare” the system. Obviously, we drove home after that, and I’m not feeling cooped up this morning I’m feeling thankful for the safety of my home. But there was something else that chilled me to the bones, as we drove home, we passed a dozen or more armored military vehicles all heading for Fargo. Last night the mayor declared a state of emergency. My husband is a very wise man, he must have seen a glint of the old man in me, that dead and rotting corpse that was plagued with fear of all the things I couldn’t fix, and the things I couldn’t control. He pulled up R. C. Sproul’s last sermon and listened to it with me, then he played me John MacArthurs eulogy for the great theologian. We talked about eternal things for most of the drive home. Why Sproul’s last sermon? Why the eulogy? Because my husband knows I need to be reminded of the only answer to sin. He knows I need to be reminded that we have this great hope. Below is a beautiful hymn from Fanny Crosby, and in case you need to be reminded like I did, I added links to that eulogy and sermon. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
When my life work is ended, And I cross the swelling tide, When the bright and glorious morning I shall see; I shall know my Redeemer When I reach the other side, And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him, And redeemed by His side I shall stand, I shall know Him, I shall know Him, By the print of the nails in His hand.
Oh, the soul thrilling rapture When I view His blessèd face, And the luster of His kindly beaming eye; How my full heart will praise Him For the mercy, love and grace, That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him, And redeemed by His side I shall stand, I shall know Him, I shall know Him, By the print of the nails in His hand.
Oh, the dear ones in glory, How they beckon me to come, And our parting at the river I recall; To the sweet vales of Eden They will sing my welcome home; But I long to meet my Savior first of all.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him, And redeemed by His side I shall stand, I shall know Him, I shall know Him, By the print of the nails in His hand.
Through the gates to the city In a robe of spotless white, He will lead me where no tears will ever fall; In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight; But I long to meet my Savior first of all.
Hello dear ones! I hope this finds you all doing well. Today’s episode is an interview with Audio Book creator Jordan Riggle. His passion for seeing believers read more from Godly men throughout church history was so encouraging to me. As you know, I have a love for church fathers, reformers, and puritan literature so this was all right in my wheel house. I hope you’ll enjoy this episode and consider supporting this brother-in-Christ should you decide an audio book is what you are looking for. And please, please don’t miss the bloopers. I know, I say that every time, but this one is a particularly hilarious set, if you need a good laugh head over to my YouTube channel and skip to the end.
This was originally posted on September 28th, 2017.
‘There is no death of sin without the death of Christ.’ – John Owen in Mortification of Sin
John Owen was a beloved English theologian. So beloved that when King Charles II returned to power and Puritans were once more persecuted, John Owen’s was not jailed. He was even bold enough, being close friends with John Bunyan, tried to no avail to get him released from prison. To say Owens was intelligent is putting it lightly, having studied at Oxford. You can see just how adroit his mind was in Mortification of Sin, published in 1656.
Mortification of Sin is not just an exhaustive explanation of sin, reasons for sin, and ways to mortify sin, but also how to tell if your salvation is true based on sin. Owen’s also weaves rebuttals throughout the book for different false doctrines regarding sin. These include the beginnings of the social gospel, the papacy, and any type of works salvation. He does a dutiful job of using scripture, in context, to refute any misconceptions on sin and how to mortify it.
I recommend this book to anyone struggling to understand sin or salvation. Anyone who is learning about Puritans will enjoy this book, as it gives an excellent look into the viewpoint of the time, however, it does not include any historical landmarks that might help you better understand the times. Considering that when this was published his brethren were all being persecuted, jailed, or run out of town, it’s impressive that he managed to focus solely on the topic he was addressing. That is, on its own, a testament to how important it was for Owen’s to clarify the mortification of sins.
I hope this book will be a blessing to you all beloved. It’s in the public domain, like many others I’ve reviewed, which means you can access a PDFfreely online. You can also access an audio version through youtube or purchase a Kindle version for a dollar or two. As always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
It never fails to amaze us when listening to the camp of professing Christians who claim God is in control and sovereign but in the same breath say He is unable to do what He wants; He can’t save everyone He wants, He can’t work in our lives unless we have enough faith, He can’t move unless we declare, decree or claim, etc. They would be more honest to admit they believe God has limited control or is perhaps sharing control. What’s more amazing is that this sort of talk is leaking into solid churches, being preached by reformed pastors and embraced by Christians who seem to have a biblical understanding of salvation.
Lately, we’ve personally witnessed a lambasting of those who rightly believe God always does what He wants and wills, by a well-approved church leader who said: “It is unbiblical to think God does whatever He wants or wills…He can’t do whatever He pleases…He is subject to man’s free will and must allow their faith to be tested first…He didn’t want to send His Son to die but had no choice…” Looking around we see this is not so unique of a take. Many have applauded it. It’s not biblical, however, and may I dare say even dangerous.
We can’t really worship God if we don’t know Who He is; if we don’t have the truth about God. God says we are to worship Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). Who is God and what does He do? Is He in total control, does He do what He wants and does anything or anyone thwart His plans or will?
Psalm 115:3 “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”
Isaiah 46:8-11~ “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.”
“who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says If Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited, ’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt, ’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them, ’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams, ’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt, ” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” Isaiah 44:26-28
“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
“The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked.” Psalm 146:9 “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” Psalm 103:19
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15b-16
Not only is God sovereign, completely in control (these actually mean the same thing), and doing as He wants, our God is also incomprehensible and infinite.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
People want a God of their own making, one who thinks like them, who is just about love, meekness, safety, sympathy, and vulnerability. They want what’s comfortable and tolerant. They don’t want a God that actually WANTS to save only a few (Romans 9:16-18), satisfy His wrath (Ezekiel 5:13, Romans 9:21-23), or to judge the guilty (Romans 3:5).
Does God delight in the destruction of the wicked and desires for them to be lost to hell? No, Scripture says “’For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live’” Ezekiel 18:32. This displays the mercy of God- that He calls for repentance so the wicked can be saved and live for eternity. Matthew 23:37 says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” This is the compassion of our Lord and the showing of his humanity, longing for something He ultimately chooses not to sovereignly intervene in because of His perfect will. (Dr. John MacArthur explains more on this here: https://youtu.be/oGhFslv1HKo)
Truth is, God wants to display more than just His love and peace. He wants to display His mercy, forgiveness, and grace, as well as, His judgment and wrath. None of those attributes can be displayed unless sin and evil are allowed to be a part of the picture. God wants to display all of these perfect attributes and be glorified. “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another or common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,” Romans 9:21-23. “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Romans 9:16-18.
God does not cause evil deeds but He is certainly in control over all and allows it for good reasons. Even Christians wrestle and we squirm with predestination, eternal hell, sovereignty, etc. We may find the word “why” slip out of our conscious and through our mouths only to quietly remember Job and repent, and perhaps repeating Job’s response to the Lord, ““Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth.” (Job 40:4)
We soon remember that God is not going to think like us. We know we need to change our thinking to be more in line with God’s, and because of the Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit in us we can understand the thoughts of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:16) even though we know we can never come close to knowing or understanding fully what He perceives, thinks or does.
Going back to the comments said by this certain individual I mentioned in the beginning, that God didn’t want to send His Son to die and that Christ really didn’t want to do that but did anyway, it seems this person has confused wanting to do something with enjoying something. Dare we say, Christ actually wanted to die for us? Did He not see that it was good and that He wanted what the Father wanted? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Jesus carried through in order to receive the joy ahead, by accomplishing what was the will of God. He endured temporary suffering, willingly and obediently, as the Father willed. Did He enjoy the experience? No. The agony of being a sin-bearer and experiencing the alienation from and wrath of the Father for any amount of time almost killed Jesus before He got on the cross. “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” Luke 22:44. Sweating blood is not a sign of someone that is enjoying something. Far from it. However, just because one doesn’t enjoy a particular thing doesn’t mean they don’t truly want it. The Godhead is always in complete union and agreement, so when the Father is pleased, the Son is pleased. God’s will is done. “But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 53:9-10
Would we enjoy pushing our child out of the way of a car and getting slammed by it ourselves? Would that be a delightful experience? No. But we would choose that; we would want that more than the alternative. We would rather take our chances and die than see our child die. If we could intervene, we would. We could want something we didn’t really delight in. Now, let’s think about something on the flipside. A Christian parent has an adult child that is living in sin and refuses to repent. Is it joyous to have to distance themselves from their own child and not be in close fellowship with them? No. But, a true Christian parent who is obedient to the Lord will want to do as the Lord wants no matter what (2 Corinthians 6:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:14).
These two examples really do no justice to Who God is and why He does what He does, but hopefully, it helps somewhat to clarify the confusion of wanting something vs. enjoying something. They are not always the same thing.
Another concept this particular person believes; “God’s perfect will is not always accomplished….because He gives His children free will.” This again puts God in the position of sharing control and power. Free will is something many people embrace and one Christians can be confused about. GotQuestions.org puts it this way, “There is nothing in the Bible that teaches human beings have a free will, at least not in the sense of how many people understand the term free will. A common understanding of free will is that we can make our own decisions entirely free of any outside influence. This understanding of free will is not biblical, nor does it match reality. The Bible teaches that without Christ we are “dead in our trespasses and sins”(Ephesians 2:1). If we are spiritually dead, surely that impacts our decision-making. John 6:44 says that, unless God draws, no one can come to Christ for salvation. If the decision whether to trust in Christ is impossible without God’s “interference,” our will is not “free.” https://www.gotquestions.org/predestination-vs-free-will.html
God most certainly has a choice in all matters. He chooses who is saved and will choose to bless people however He sees fit. “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
God is sovereign over all, meaning He is always in control, will not experience coercion, and will do what He wills to do, always. Just to add more to the mix, He can desire what we could never desire and He can have zero delight in what He actually wants… and those aren’t contradictions.
It’s dangerous to believe that God thinks the way we think. To believe He doesn’t want to exercise and put on display His judgment and wrath, is ignoring Scripture. To think that humans have free will and God must comply with it, is grossly mistaken and dishonoring to Him and His omnipotence and omniscience. He may not choose to exercise His control at times but He certainly will if He wants. We should find great peace in knowing that God is in complete control and will do as He pleases, doing what is good and perfect- all of the time. We should have great rest in knowing no one or no thing can thwart His plans.
Yes, we are responsible for our sins and to respond to what the Lord has offered us. We will go to hell because of our own sinfulness and will go to heaven because of His grace. Throughout it all, God sovereignly and perfectly reigns and moves as He wants, orchestrating everything according to His perfect will.
“For the LORD Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. God has ascended with a shout, The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.” Psalm 47:3-8
Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, and you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
How to Create for the Glory of God with RefToons Paul & Stephanie Cox
Getting to interview brothers and sisters-in-Christ is my favorite thing about podcasting, because I get to know folks that are working so hard for the glory of God. That’s exactly how it felt while talking to Paul and Stephanie Cox, RefToons comics are fun, colorful, and often entertaining, but they are hard work! Learning about the effort, and the behind the scenes details you don’t see when you see the finished product.
Below is a list of links, as well as timestamps, for each clip used. Don’t miss the blooper reel, waiting as ever, at the end like a cherry on top! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
TS 00:01:00 Is it all Digital art or do you use other mediums?
CONGRATULATIONS to Troy Paylor who was accepted into seminary this week! I’m so proud of this young man, please join me in praying for him as he continues to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord!
Death Knocking at the Door, Yet Eternity Awaits
Hello to all, as I write this, I know various people today are so worried about staying healthy, not getting sick from the coronavirus and wear a face mask and such. As we can tell from this pandemic more than anything is that man is scared of death. One of the reasons we can conclude of those who don’t believe is because man doesn’t believe in God, and definitely doesn’t believe in eternity, but whether they believe in eternity or not doesn’t vanquish the eternity that awaits every soul. The anxiety of this country has skyrocketed causing people to do whatever possible to make sure they don’t contract this disease or whatever is the label attached to it. Now, with this being the case I know the fear of death is supremely higher than ever before. This pandemic has caused man to ask questions that may not have ever arisen in his mind, yet seem to become louder and louder each day as they take a step outside and feels the fresh air come across their face. Wonders of freedom make us all long for days to be able to roam again, to get back to jobs that we consider for ourselves essential, yet the probing question remains to all who haven’t faced death only to lose to its gripping consequence; what happens after I die? Is that it? Is there an afterlife? If so what must I do? Well whether the lost man believes it or not Eternity exists, and the opposition may come with well I can’t see it or feel it, yet the same could be asked well can you see or touch air? No but it seems to be what you believe is true.
The same can go with gravity and various forces that we don’t question, just believe it to be true, well because everyone believes it. Well to those who face the questions of death and so forth who are lost, I want you to know eternity is real, there are two places you can dwell forever, either Hell because of not repenting and believing in Jesus Christ, or Heaven because of the repentance and believing in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. For the Bible says what? “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 6:23 ESV. You all probably think, well what do I have to do to be saved? The answer isn’t accepting Him into your heart, first dear person you must know that you don’t keep any part of the Ten Commandments or the rest of God’s law perfectly. You must admit yes that you are a sinner, but that doesn’t just do it for the wages of sin is what? Death. Because Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him. So that means you can’t even live a good enough life to merit heaven. Heaven is for blood-bought sinners who repent and believe in Christ. You probably think yourself to be a good person, but compared to God, you are a sinful wretched being, for Jesus says he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners, so you must know how utterly short you fall of God’s law. You must repent of your sins, which means to turn from your sin to God, to forsake your sinfulness and turn to Christ Jesus, why? Because he is the only way you will be righteous before God, and make it into Heaven.
So what is the Gospel? That God, in the beginning, made everything good, including mankind, but Adam and Eve sinned against God, disobeying the one command given, which was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, yet man did. Because of that, humans became mortal to where death is the actual reality all have to face, yet God would bring one who could fulfill the law and die in sinner’s place taking the full wrath of God in Himself for the sheep. Christ born of a virgin, lived the sinless life, that no man besides Christ Jesus could do. Christ was Truly God and Truly man, so lived a life always pleasing to the Father, died in our place, and rose the third day. He was God in the Flesh, and told all who want to be saved, that you must repent and believe in Him to be saved. For Christ is the righteousness of those who repent and believe and Him and you shall dwell in eternity. Without Christ, none will see heaven, so to all, I urge you to repent and believe in Christ Jesus, for death awaits, it’s only a matter of time before it comes to you, and it’s not going to matter how good of a person other people thought you were but did you repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and did you continue to repent of your sin and live a life for the Glory of God. So remember that, although coronavirus is scary and lethal, remember that death awaits and it’s important where you dwell forever. God bless you all and to the lost I urge you to repent and believe in Christ Jesus who is the most precious treasure, ““The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 ESV.
The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here,and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz were kind enough to join me on the program to discuss their latest book American Puritans. It was such a blessing, and I’m thankful for their time. Below is a timestamped outline, I hope it helps if you want to skip around. There are also links to American Puritans, as well as other resources from Dustin and Nate. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
00:06:30 – What advice would you give for a perspective seminarian.
00:10:30 – How did ya’ll meet?
00:21:30 – Why is it important for us to know church history?
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians 1:3-11 ESV
As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14 ESV.
The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.