Through the Narrow: Life is Short, Eternity is Forever – By Tami Dykes

Life Is Short, Eternity Is Forever 

While waiting in the E.R. my youngest brother says to me, “Tami, I’m dying.” This was already understood by the whole family but he had never said those words before.  After a few seconds, I broke the silence with, “Well, we are all dying, none of us get out of this life alive.” I know that probably sounded insensitive but it was true. But I also desperately wanted my brother to think deep and hard about the statements we were both making. I then asked him if he got right with God and repented of his sins. Our conversation pretty much fizzled out after he said, “Yes, I did. “ I so needed him to understand that he did need to repent for the sin in his life, he wasn’t innocent, none of us are. The conversation was awkward, to say the least, but awkward was the word of the day it seemed. You could cut the air with a knife it was so obvious I was offending him. He was in constant pain and organs were failing, I had to try and wake him up before it was too late.   

You see, according to my brother he was saved and didn’t need to worry about his judgment day because just a few years earlier he was in a church that had an altar call in which the person next to him said, “Do you want to go to the front?” The look on his face said, no way, as he just stood there silently watching it all but the person was so persistent, they took him by the arm and lead him to the front of the church. He seemed to go reluctantly so as not to call attention to himself but they shouldn’t have done that to him, it needed to be his choice, not theirs. Besides, I didn’t agree with the whole alter call farce in the first place. https://www.gotquestions.org/altar-calls.html   

My brother followed through, repeated a sentence, and they said he was saved. He walked away that day believing that was all it took. My brother continued in the same old ways he did before and I never did see a change in him in the years that followed. He never expressed a desire to even talk about God or what the Scripture said. In fact, he hated it whenever I did, which was all the time. Many times, he would humor me and listen briefly until he became exhausted with it and changed the subject. He claimed he didn’t need to talk about Jesus anymore because he was saved. One time he said, “Tami, I know Jesus, stop worrying about me” but I replied, “Satan knows Jesus, but that means nothing.” Anyone can claim they know Jesus but do they really? Just because they go to church, just because they pray at a meal or talk about Him means nothing. It’s not just knowing of Jesus that makes someone a Christian but desiring to know about Jesus and living our lives for Him that brings about change in us and gives us hope for our eternity. My brother didn’t live a life that reflected Jesus or salvation. I say this because God says in Matthew 7:16-20~ “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”      

This means we can know a person by how they live, what kind of character they have; do they live as a Christian and show evidence of salvation? This can give us an idea of their spiritual life and if they truly are living as a person that is saved. Any one of us could look at a friend or loved one and judge by how they live if they know ‘OF’ Jesus or really ‘KNOW’ and love Jesus. If your best friend never goes to church and has a record of cheating and lying, then just because they say they know Jesus and are a Christian means nothing. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that when that person dies, they can’t turn to Christ in the very last hour of their life and be forgiven and saved, as the thief on the cross did. Luke 23:39-43 talks of a thief nailed to a cross for his crimes and as he hung next to Jesus he repented and acknowledged Jesus as his Lord. Jesus tells us he went to paradise with Him. Remember salvation isn’t based on how perfect you are but on our faith in Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. The thief was lost one moment, found the next, what a celebration! 

Just as the thief got a chance to know Jesus, in John 9 a blind man also gets to know Jesus. When Jesus meets the blind man, He explains that the man was born blind so that God’s works might be displayed in him, and then Jesus heals him. The Pharisees brag to the blind man that God speaks to Moses and they are disciples of Moses but Jesus is a sinner and they don’t know where he comes from. The blind man says in John 9:31, 33, “You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” In John 9: 35-38 Jesus asks the blind man if he believes in the Son of Man and the man asks, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. The Pharisees ask Jesus, Are we also blind? But Jesus answers, If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”    

It’s important to understand that the blind man comes to know who Jesus truly is because he was given the gift to understand and comprehend through his sight. After Jesus heals him, he realizes that Jesus was from God and proclaims his ignorance of who Jesus is and his need to see spiritually so he could worship Him. The Pharisees on the other hand had the gift of sight but were spiritually blind because they had the opportunity to see the truth. They claimed to know God yet wrongfully accuses Jesus of being a sinner and not from God. They willingly remained in sin and rejected the truth to not believe in Jesus, making them guilty.     

Now, I do not think Jesus is saying that blind people don’t have the ability to know Him, because they do. They can hear the stories of Jesus in the Scripture today and be presented with the Gospel but back then Jesus was making a point that the blind man didn’t have the same opportunities as the Pharisees. He couldn’t read, no one shared with him the knowledge of who Jesus was, he couldn’t ‘see’ the works of God’s creation to be without excuse as explained in Romans 1:19-20 but that people can be guilty of sin when they have opportunities to know the truth as the Pharisees did but then reject it.   

We can read more on the meaning of that verse here, “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible~ “If ye were blind – If you were really blind and had no opportunities of learning the truth. If you were truly ignorant and were willing to confess it and to come to me for instruction. No sin – You would not be guilty. Sin is measured by the capacities or ability of people, and by their opportunities of knowing the truth. If people had no ability to do the will of God, they could incur no blame. If they have all proper ability, and no disposition, God holds them to be guilty. This passage teaches conclusively: 1) that people are not condemned for what they cannot do. 2) That the reason why they are condemned is that they are not disposed to receive the truth. 3) That pride and self-confidence are the sources of condemnation. 4) That if people are condemned, they, and not God, will be to blame. We see – We have knowledge of the law of God. This they had pretended when they professed to understand the law respecting the Sabbath better than Jesus, and had condemned him for healing on that day. Your sin remaineth – You are guilty, and your sin is unpardoned. People’s sins will always be unpardoned while they are proud and self-sufficient, and confident of their own wisdom. If they will come with humble hearts and confess their ignorance, God will forgive, enlighten, and guide them in the path to heaven.” 

Saying we know Jesus just doesn’t mean much if we turn from Him in our lives as the Pharisees did. The criminal and blind man came to faith but the ones that were seen as a religious sect that accepted the Old Testament as inspired by God didn’t. When I talk about the thief, the blind man, and the Pharisees these were men that didn’t know Jesus and when presented with the truth, they were all given the opportunity to believe in Jesus. So, what about people that don’t have the ability to understand the truth when presented to them such as babies and the mentally disabled? What happens to them at death. 

In 2 Samuel 12:22-23, we read about the death of David’s infant son, “He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”      

This shows that David had found comfort knowing he will see his child again but only by going to the same place his child went. We can only assume he believes the child is in heaven. He was in such sorrow while the child lay sick but after his child passed away David appears to have peace about where he believes his child to be and he stops fasting, cleans up, worships, and eats. David knows about God’s mercy and grace and believes the Lord will show his mercy and grace on his child and they will be together in heaven someday. 

It’s always heartbreaking when a baby passes but looking at the story of David can bring us comfort as well.  It’s common for people to wonder where babies go when they die or even the mentally disabled. How can we know for certain? Babies, and mentally disabled don’t know any better and don’t understand even what a sinner is, or why they need to repent, and even more so, know who Jesus is. You could explain the gospel to them a dozen times and they would never have the ability to understand it. That’s the difference, the blind man was given the opportunity to know the truth and he understood it yet with babies and mentally disabled they can’t comprehend the truth even if they were presented with the opportunity. Scriptures don’t specifically talk about where babies or the mentally disabled go after death. The only thing we have to go on to gain any knowledge from is within the Scripture’s accounts that speak of those that have died and by knowing the character of God such as in the story of the thief, the blind man, and David. Unfortunately, some faiths add to or take away from Scriptures to fit their own man-made beliefs such as infant baptism. Baptism is biblical but infant baptism is not. Some believe infants should be baptized so if they die, they go to heaven. Biblically, baptism doesn’t save babies or anyone, instead, it is a profession of faith, and a baby can’t profess faith in Jesus not to mention, Jesus wasn’t even baptized till he was an adult, which should tell us something. Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection and is done publicly of one’s own choice in a desire to express their love for Christ in the washing away of sins and believing the old life has died and a new life begins. It represents the dying of our flesh by fully being submerged in water (just as people that die are completely buried in the ground and not just sprinkled with a handful of dirt). Then when we rise from the water, we are a new person through Christ and have the hope of resurrection and eternal life. A new believer often shows evidence of their salvation by the desires for a biblical baptism. A lost person normally wouldn’t desire that at all. So, basically, baptism is pointless to a baby or someone that is mentally disabled because they are not capable of understanding the meaning behind it.      

Matthew 18:1–6, and Matthew 19:13–15, are comforting examples of how God loves children and says for believers to be like children. He speaks of them being the greatest in the kingdom and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. I think of all the small children and infants that have died through abuse, abortion, and sicknesses and are in heaven now. God’s character is shown through such gentle words that bring much peace.   

​The reality of how short life is becomes painfully clear when a child dies. Life is short no matter what because the moment we are born we start to die, some faster than others. Job 14:1~“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” Compared to eternal life it is but a blink which is why God commands us to share the gospel to help people know the Lord and find salvation before they die. Once a person dies there are no more chances to get right with the Lord. Although God does the saving and ordained us before birth to be sealed for salvation, we are still called by God to point people back to Christ and His Word and share the gospel. We will never know the true outcome of anyone we share the gospel with but we just need to be obedient, reach out to the lost, and speak the truth. 

Unlike the thief on the cross spending his life as a criminal yet becoming heaven-bound in his last moments with Christ, there are people that live their whole life as Christians doing good works on a daily basis yet will be Hell-bound without Christ. The word ‘Christian’ is a title that anyone can claim and anyone can fake but one thing’s for certain, they can never deceive the Lord. Anyone can say they read the Bible and know Jesus, remember, Satan knows Jesus! The question we need to ask is, does the Lord know us? Well, of course, our Lord knows everyone, but that’s not what I’m getting at. If you don’t have faith in Jesus and desire to seek after truth, even though you defiantly have the opportunity to you won’t know the Father’s will and instead, you will believe in things not of God. Then He will declare to you He NEVER knew you. Matthew 7:21-23~“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”      

This is stating that they are not identified as true believers. They believe in a different god, a different Jesus. They may seem like a good Christian when they brag about doing good deeds like prophesying, casting out demons, and doing many good works in the name of God but that will not get them into Heaven because God sees right through them and knows their hearts.  

When a person dies, no number of good deeds spoken at their funeral will get them into Heaven either. In fact, normally people speak about the deceased as a good person who’s in Heaven with Jesus now and suggest they are no longer suffering. I can only assume people say these things because they don’t know what else to say and they desire to comfort those in pain. There isn’t anything bad in what they say except biblically it’s misleading because we don’t know where they are. Sure, in some cases, there are people who do go to Heaven but not everyone. When people die, they ARE with Jesus but for the purpose of being judged, Hebrews 9:27~ ”And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after thatcomes judgment,”Revelation 20:11–15tells us that the dead stand before the throne and are judged according to what they had done and if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Matthew 7:13–14 speaks of the difficulty in going to Heaven and says it’s a narrow gate and only a few will find it but many will go to the wide gate that will lead to Hell. Doesn’t seem like very good odds.  When anyone dies, they are judged; they stand face to face with God but will they remain in His presence or be cast out? I’d like to challenge you that for every funeral you go to, remember these verses. This should cause you great concern for the lost. It shouldn’t be easy to assume everyone you know is Heaven bound because the truth is more people will go to Hell. This is why the saying, they aren’t suffering anymore, isn’t true for everyone either. For those that are condemned to Hell, it is a place of torment and pain. In the Bible, even the rich man in Hell wanted to warn his family about it but couldn’t. One of the more disturbing phrases I’ve heard at funerals is, “they are looking down on you” or “they are watching over you.” For many, this also means the dead are active or invested in the lives of the living somehow. Unexplained activity is often blamed on dead loved ones suggesting the dead are ghosts. Ghosts are not real, but demons are and they are not to be messed with. Turn to the Lord, ask for forgiveness, and pray, for He is the only one they fear. Just as people believe the dead watch over them, some believe Saints in Heaven are a bit different because they are seen as holy and will come to watch over us if we pray to them. They have been credited with helping people find lost articles and even selling houses, none of which is biblical.  

After someone dies, they do not remain on earth or come back from Heaven or Hell because in 2 Corinthians 5:8, the Bible tells us that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord. Hebrews 9:27 says man dies once then judged. Revelation 20:11–15 tells us the dead are judged and if they are not in the book of life they are thrown into the lake of fire.  

So, it’s apparent that the only one that watches over us is our Lord. Psalm 121:7-8The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. It is also written in 1 John 5:18 that Jesus holds us securely, and the evil one cannot touch us. Jeremiah 1:19 says the Lord rescues. Psalm 3:5 says the LORD was watching over His children. Psalm 31:23 says “the LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.” If God is watching over us, then why would we want anyone else doing that? What makes us think our loved ones in Heaven want to watch over us when they are in a place that is so wonderful? I’m thinking I wouldn’t waste my time watching over anyone on Earth when I have all the wonders of Heaven to explore. Those in Hell wouldn’t be able to either or care because sadly they are suffering. Nowhere in Scriptures do we read the dead in Heaven or Hell are able or even unable to watch over us. But we can be sure that if they are watching us, they will be in complete agreement with the Lord’s dealings on earth. Those in Heaven are changed to have perfect understanding and complete peace with God’s will. There is a time where those in Heaven will follow Christ into battle and witness the wrath of God taking place as He kills and destroys everyone who’s evil. 

My heart ached so badly when my brother died because all I knew of him was his fruits and they were not good fruits. Sure, there were times he was kind and had ways of bringing laughter to people but again being nice doesn’t get you to Heaven, it’s having faith in Jesus and being transformed in the mind and heart through salvation. You hate sin and desire to live a righteous life. The only thing I can hope for is that my brother had a ‘thief on the cross’ moment that was truly genuine and humble just before he died. God shows us an act of love in giving us the ability to repent and be forgiven but only while we live.   

1 John 2:2~“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” God provides THE way to the Father through Jesus; we can’t find Him in any other way. God is also so merciful to forgive but we mustn’t forget that God is also just, which means our sins must be punished. In order for us to escape punishment, Jesus must cover us with His blood and if we deny that gift then we pay for our sins apart from Jesus. Someday God will come calling for us all and you will either stand guilty before the throne of God or you will stand covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven. 

Everyone’s days are numbered and no one knows when God has appointed us to take our last breath. But think for a moment when we do, what is going to be the last thing we leave behind? What will be the last words from our lips? Are we going to leave something that honors God or will shame God? What will people say about you?  

I know I deserve hell because I’m a wretched person but I am also grateful and thankful that God called me to be saved and Jesus has covered my sins and I will someday be in the presence of God for eternity. Not because of any good deeds I did or because I’m a swell person-I’m not. I can only brag that Jesus was the reason I was saved, changed, and forgiven at all. I don’t deserve any credit or a “Well done good and faithful servant”. 

Do you have the assurance of salvation? “1 John 5:11–13, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”. Who is it that has the Son? It is those who have believed in Him (John 1:12). If you have Jesus, you have life. Not temporary life, but eternal.”  

From, https://www.gotquestions.org/assurance-salvation.html 

For more on sharing the gospel click on this link https://biblicalbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2021/02/02/through-the-narrow-casting-and-clutching-your-pearls-by-gina-cook/#respond    


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, 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

The First EVER Dad Joke-Off

Hello dear ones! I hope this post finds you all doing well, I know I’ve had some very difficult couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to detail them further in a later post, but for today I have a really exciting episode! Today is the day, the first ever, hopefully not the last, dad joke off. My wonderful husband joined me in this challenge as we discuss the confusion that surrounds being joyful before delving into a very tight race to the top of the dad joke mountain. Don’t laugh, but please play along and root for #teamLauren (not J all the Way obviously) and make sure to let me know in the comments below how you did.

Below is a very short outline for today’s episode, and I have to mention quickly that the bloopers in today’s episode is the absolute best I’ve ever gotten. I hope you’ll all check it out at the end of the episode, and laugh along…or don’t depending on how competitive you want to be. Also…big news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub now officially has it’s own app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeanAmazon MusiciTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

TS 00:14:15 – Round 1

TS 00:23:43 – Round 2

TS 00:37:30 – Round 3

TS 00:47:45 – Honorable Mentions

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online  

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For questions, comments, recommendations, prayer requests, you can contact me on social media or via my email biblicalbeginnings@outlook.com

Through the Narrow: Casting and Clutching your Pearls – By Gina Cook

Casting and Clutching your Pearls

Sharing the Gospel is the command of the Lord, the joy and duty of a Christian and often times where believers struggle most in their walk with Christ.  Either we labor too long in trying to reach the obstinate mockers and become gravely discouraged or we find ourselves around the rankest of sinners and immediately tuck and run for the nearest exit.  Mission abort.  

It’s the undiscerning pearl “casters” vs. the fainting pearl “clutchers”.  

We can be either one at any given time.  I know I have!  These are not identities I believe a Christian has continually.  There are moments, maybe many, where we tend to fall in one or the other category depending on the situation.  

Why am I talking about pearls?

Pearls are mentioned a few times in Scripture, usually used metaphorically in communicating the value of the Word and Kingdom of God (see Job 28:18, Matthew 7:6, 13:45-46.)  

Pearls were the most valuable gem obtainable at that time.  If you had pearls, you had a fortune. They were THE symbol of great wealth.  They were the rare diamonds of the time.  Their beauty and, most importantly, what it took to acquire them attributed to their high value.

A pearl diver in ancient times would risk a lot to get them.  Dr. John MacArthur explains, 

“Basically, what they did was tie rocks to their body and then jump off the side of the little boat and go to the bottom amidst all the monsters of the deep that they would know little about, and the sharks and whatever else, and they would scour the bottom in the mud trying to come up with those oysters, holding one long deep-drawn breath, and fearing lest they go too deep and burst and die.  And they would come up with these treasures. 

And when once discovered, a pearl that was of perfection and beauty would be worth literally an unnamed price, incredibly valuable.  So valuable are they that the Talmud says, “Pearls are beyond price.””

 (taken from: Entering the Kingdom (gty.org) )

Once a fine pearl was found and brought to surface a sensible diver would never think of chucking it into the most obviously filthy and useless place.    No way.  How senseless that would be.  

Even more so for Christians to do so regarding the holy things of God.

Casting Your Pearls

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6

This is talking about the precious Truth of God, the pearls beyond price. 

(To clarify, the Mormon’s “The Pearl of Great Price” is not to be viewed as biblically sound.  To know why you can check out this link: What is The Pearl of Great Price in Mormonism? | GotQuestions.org.)  
No one would think to give their most precious possession to a filthy, wild animal for it to trample underfoot. 

So who are the spiritual swine this verse is talking about exactly and why not share the Gospel with them?  Aren’t we to share Christ with all the world? (Mark 16:15, John 17:18)

“Swine” doesn’t refer to all unbelievers but only to unbelievers who are particularly disrespectful, resistant to and hostile towards the Gospel.  These are pig-headed people; existing proudly in their muck and having no concern over what is truly valuable.  They will treat it with contempt and attack.  

Remember the command for the disciples in Matthew 10:14 to “shake the dust off your feet”?  

“And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.”

It was the swine-like unbelievers had to leave behind.  These people did not see any value in the truth nor would they pay any cost for it (Luke 14:28).  They were the spiritual “swine” that mock and reject the truth of God.

We even read about Jesus Himself refusing to “cast pearls to the swine”.  In Matthew 21:27 when the chief priests and elders questioned Christ’s authority it ended with Him saying, “Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these things.”

Matthew 27:12-14 says, “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not offer any answer. Then Pilate *said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they are testifying against You?” And still He did not answer him in regard to even a single charge, so the governor was greatly amazed.

“And the disciples came up and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”  Matthew 13:10-11

Sadly for them, the conversation was over and the door was shut.  There was nothing more to say.  Their rejection of what was most precious brought upon His rejection of them.  

This doesn’t mean we know for sure one who seems to be a swine will never become a sheep.  We don’t have the ability to see as God sees.  Yet, if they are being swine at the time we must dust off and move on.  We must trust God to use any seeds already planted and prayerfully walk on as we leave them with His warning for their soul.  We take our pearls elsewhere and trust the Lord with it all.  Our hands are clean and He is glorified.  

We admire the passion of the pearl caster to share Truth.  The Gospel is paramount in our Christian life.  It is the power of God for salvation.  We are to go into the world and give the Good News.  After all, how can one know Jesus without hearing about Him?  As Romans 10:14 says, “How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?”  

This is true.  However, God wants us to know caution must be exercised regarding the pointless and exhausting chucking of what is most valuable to those who refuse to receive it.  The Kingdom is a priceless treasure, never to be treated with contempt.  The value of this “pearl” is incomprehensible.

God says in Matthew 13:45, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.”

The wise understand and appreciate the value of it.  They know it’s worth their livelihood, even their own life.  Some who look like possible swine from a glance may be the very ones who appreciate the Truth the most.Clutching Your Pearls

Jesus did not keep priceless pearls from the lepers, prostitutes, swindlers, and the like.  He was ridiculed for His compassion for the drudge of society.  He saw them, He called them out of their filth and they responded in faith.  He is the Healer of those who know they need healing.  When the Good News was cast to them they received it with great joy.  

Pearl “clutchers”, or perhaps one could refer to them as “Jonah-ites”, can have the tendency to cling tightly to their precious pearls as they look upon the sinfulness of this world in horror.  Perhaps a particular sinner, the most repulsive and intimidating kind, has the Christian clutching and running rather than sharing and trusting.  They quickly retreat in the opposite direction without allowing the Word of God to be cast at all.  

The “clutchers” do well to hang on to the Word of God.  They cling to it with love, especially during times of distress and difficulty.  To them it is precious but at times forget it’s not just for them.  Again we are to go into the world to reach the lost for Christ (John 17:18).  We can’t be picking and choosing who gets to hear it according to outward appearance, biases or fears.  

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God does not see as man sees, since man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We don’t want to be like Jonah, running away from the people who need to hear it and are actually willing to receive it.  We don’t want to be more concerned about our earthly comfort than one’s eternal torment.  Don’t be Jonah in the sense of retreating to your shelter without a care for the souls of your least favorite sinners.  Jonah was more concerned about a withered shade plant for himself than the possible torment of a large group of people.  

“Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant, for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not also have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 people, who do not know the difference between their right hand and their left, as well as many animals?”  Jonah 4:10-11

As Christ has compassion, so should we.  And not only compassion but courage and confidence in the Word and work of God.

 “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” John 6:68

The priceless pearl of the eternal kingdom of God is worth whatever cost we may need to pay here.  There is a sacrifice to having the finest of pearls and perhaps great cost in our attempts to share them with the world.  One thing is for sure, we have nothing without what is most precious.  No one does.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ,” Philippians 3:8

Let us strive to not mishandle, dishonor, or hoard the Pearl of great value! 


Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, 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 We Got Our Bible: Introduction – Part 1

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s been a while since I had the chance to do a series. One of my Christmas presents this year sparked the idea for this one! As you all know I have two great passions when it comes to collecting items, fossils and church history. So along side three new, beautiful, fossils, I was also gifted a piece of church history older than anything else I’ve got so far. Sitting next to another page of Spurgeon’s sermon notes in his own hand writing, for which I squealed like a little piggy, sat a beautifully preserved leaf from a 1577 Geneva Bible! My husband knows how to win Christmas.

The letters are different, the words are different, the spelling is barely legible compared to today’s English, and yet here it sits. The words so many died for, the words worth dying for, just to have the Bible in English was a fight. But fought they did, some were tortured and martyred, so that we could have access to the words we read today. Since then, of course, it’s taken brilliant minds and thousands of man hours tirelessly comparing the tens of thousands of manuscripts from antiquity. We truly are a blessed generation! Hopefully this new series will go a long way in detailing that. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Through the Narrow: Warren and Worship – By Gina Cook

Recently the well-known pastor and author, Rick Warren, had told Relevant Magazine that COVID-19 has “revealed a fundamental weakness in the Church.  Most churches only have one purpose: worship.  And if you take worship away, you’ve got nothing.  They’re in a hurry to get back to worship because that’s all they’ve got.”

He explains, “Saddleback is built not on one purpose, but on five. You take one circle out, we’ve still got four other circles. We’ve got ministry going on. We’ve got mission going on. We’ve got fellowship going on. We’ve got discipleship going on. Those all stand on their own.”

Desiring to gather to worship is to him “a fundamental weakness”.  Critically he says, “that’s all they’ve got”.

Is it true?  Are some in the Church too focused on worship?  Is that a “circle” that can be set aside?  Are there other things to rest on in the times we live in or is corporate worship really at the crux of Christian living?

Maybe we need to define worship first.  

Worship is gratitude and thanksgiving towards God for all that He has done.  Worship is a genuine spiritual service. Worship is prayer with the right heart attitude.  Worship is recognizing God as He reveals Himself to be in Scripture, understanding what all He has done, especially in the salvation of souls, and then responding with gratitude and praise.  Worship is believing, obeying, and sharing what He has said in His Word.  Worshipping the true and living God is the core of living as a Christian.  

“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Romans 12:1We worship in various ways, such as singing, praying, and preaching, but it’s not true worship unless it is in line with Scripture.  It’s also not true if it’s not from the heart.  We are commanded to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. 

“But a time is coming, and even now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” John 4:22-24

When knowing what worship means we can see that worship is not always about corporate worship, meaning the gathering with the local saints.  We most definitely can worship God alone in our closet, out in the middle of the woods, or on the moon.   

It’s corporate worship that Mr. Warren is calling worship.  With the COVID-19 outbreak, staying at home has been encouraged by many, including pastors like Rick Warren.  Many have done services via the internet.  At the beginning of the outbreak, pastors struggled to know what was the smart and obedient thing to do.  It’s understandable to stay at home for a time when serious sickness is an issue.  No one wants to spread diseases, especially potentially dangerous ones.  We are to care for others and be concerned for their well-being.  Also, we are also told to obey our governing authorities when it doesn’t go against God.  Does all of this mean we are to implement home worship as a new and necessary normal?  Are we to set aside church attendance indefinitely for the sake of public health?  Should we listen to governing authorities on this?  Who is the ultimate authority in this situation?

Really, how important is corporate worship? 

“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-21

“and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

God says, “do not abandon meeting together, as is the habit of some people.”    This is emphasized in the context of living in an increasingly turbulent world leading up to the coming of Christ.  We are to encourage one another as we gather and worship the One Who deserves all worship, honor, and praise.  As the body of Christ worships together they are there to encourage one another through trials, temptations, and turbulent times.  Continued isolation is disastrous and depleting, it leaves the soul vulnerable.  When pandemics and disasters strike, forsaking the gathering of the church body is the opposite of what should be done.

Church attendance isn’t something we do to be saved but it’s something saved people are to do.  

Some argue that “it’s just a building, I don’t have to go to the church service to worship.  I can watch and connect with others online.”

That is not enough in the long run.  Go ahead and assemble in a tent, tunnel, or cave instead of a building, that’s fine, but you have to assemble somewhere.  You need to gather in a physical place in order to obediently carry out all the Lord has instructed for His Church to do.  

In many letters written in the New Testament, you will see phrases such as “to the churches”, “in the churches;” to the rest of the churches, “as I directed the churches”, and “they are messengers of the churches, a glory toChrist” to name just a few of many verses that mention churches, little “c”.  We see in Scripture mentions of specific local churches: “To the churches of Galatia”, and “send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea” (Revelation 1).  We see the churches in Corinth and Thessalonica being addressed.  Apostle Paul says, in Romans 16, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea.  Receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and help her in whatever matter she may have need of you, for she herself has also been a helper of many and of myself as well.” She was on her way to the church in Rome.

These churches were bodies of local believers gathering together for the purpose of worship- worship through singing, prayer, fellowship, proclamation, and teaching of the Word and the partaking of the Lord’s Table.  Believers were never encouraged to forsake this gathering.  In times of trial, pain, loss, and persecution especially, believers need one another.  Continuing to “do church” through a screen physically separate from one another is not a solution, it’s a problem.

Think about it.  Persecuted Christians for centuries have risked livelihood, their own lives, and families’ lives to worship with one another in underground churches.  Why?  Why risk your life for something that Warren suggests isn’t needed?  Why risk your life for corporate worship?

There is no way to measure the value of it.  During hardships, it’s even more important.  Being with fellow believers and encouraging one another in the Truth is nourishment to the soul and a great source of joy.  Most importantly it honors God and gives Him glory.  

“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing.  But we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who diligently labor among you and are in leadership over you in the Lord, and give you instruction, and that you regard them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-15  

It’s critical that we not only gather to support and encourage one another but we must gather under biblical and God-ordained leadership.  We are to be instructed in the Word by those with the gift of preaching the Word.  They are our shepherds.  How are the shepherds supposed to shepherd when the body isn’t gathered together?  How is exercising church discipline possible?

“Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”  Matthew 18:15-17

Leadership cannot lead, rule over, teach, and exercise church discipline if the church body is dispersed and not faithfully assembling.  The body can’t encourage the leadership either.  You can’t observe or pour into one another lives while remaining apart.  

GotQuestions.org says this about church attendance:

“We should want to attend church so we can fellowship with others who have also experienced the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. We should avoid missing church, whenever possible, because we recognize the importance of hearing God’s Word, applying it to our lives, and sharing it with others. We should attend church, not to collect spiritual bonus points, but because we love God, love His people, and love His Word. Every Christian should attempt to attend church regularly. At the same time, missing church for a good reason is in no sense a sin or something that should cause feelings of guilt.

When you miss (do not attend) church, do you miss (have a longing for) church? If so, that’s a sign you have a good connection with church. If not, that is a sign you need to re-evaluate your choice of church and/or participation in church. God knows our hearts. God is not impressed by a person simply because he attends every service. God’s desire is to build us up in Christ, and His method in this age involves the local church.”

(taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/missing-church.html )

Yes, there are good reasons to miss gathering with the rest of the local church body.  Every situation needs to be individually evaluated to see if it’s a good reason or not.  The real issue is whether or not we are desiring to regularly be a part of a church family.  If not, we need to examine our hearts.  Desiring fellowship is woven into the fabric of a Christian’s new heart; we want to fellowship with one another and praise God together.  Christians seek to worship God as a family to encourage, teach, strengthen, and pray for one another.  Assembling together is the visible expression of unity within Christ’s beloved Church.  If we don’t want to sit under the preaching of God’s Word, to serve and to worship together as a family, there’s a problem.

You certainly don’t want to be the professing Christian who fails to see this as crucial.  

Going back to Mr. Warren’s comments, where he says, “Saddleback is built not on one purpose, but on five. You take one circle out, we’ve still got four other circles. We’ve got ministry going on. We’ve got mission going on. We’ve got fellowship going on. We’ve got discipleship going on. Those all stand on their own”…. let’s dissect that a bit.

Ministry, mission, fellowship, and discipleship are all connected with the faithful gathering and leading of the local church body.  Neither one can successfully stand alone.  The teaching and preaching of God’s Word, the accountability believers have with one another, the shepherding and rule of the leadership, the monetary giving to the church and all that the church supports, etc. – it all supports and provides ministry, mission, fellowship, and discipleship.  When we look at Scripture we don’t see these things as isolated entities and disconnected from one another. 

I know I don’t want to be discipled by a person not attending and not caring to attend church who is not being fed and led regularly.  I don’t want to be a part of missions that is trying to function apart from local leadership and accountability.  Fellowship is not fully realized or glorifying if it’s kept separate from corporate worship.  When we become comfortable with not worshipping with the local church body, when we dismiss its importance, we are in trouble.

The worldly professors of faith don’t understand the vital importance of this biblical and physical fellowship.  Church gathering is an unnecessary risk to them.  To them, the gathering together to worship the Lord as the local Church body is expendable.  Perhaps they have always desired an excuse not to partake in it.  Perhaps they don’t want to be under any real leadership, they don’t want to serve weekly, they don’t want to extend themselves or they simply fear the wrong things.  Perhaps they aren’t even Christians.

“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19

You are right Mr. Warren, without worship we believers have nothing.  Worship of the true God is core to the Christian faith.  He deserves our daily and devoted worship.  Assembling with other believers is so vital that God said not to forsake it.  It is so vital, that for millennia, believers have risked their own lives to have it.   

Mr. Warren, the fundamental weakness I believe COVID-19 has revealed within the church is the fact there are so many tares among the wheat.  There are far too many of those professing to be followers of Christ who truly do not desire to love God and His Church, who don’t fear God.  More of the tares are being exposed as the pressures and fear tactics of the world increase.  These sort of weaknesses will always be in the churches, most times hiding until trials come.  When trials come and Satan tests the devotion of the tares, asking them to compromise, they will most certainly compromise and not think twice.    

Through Him then, let’s continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.” Hebrews 13:15-17

Warren’s full interview:

https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/church/rick-warren-on-the-year-we-had/

Becoming a Thankful Homemaker with Marci Ferrell

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today on the show I had the privilege of being joined by blogger/podcaster Marci Ferrell from The Thankful Homemaker, a podcast under The Bar Network. We talk about her testimony, her journey to writing and podcasting, teaching women theology, and so much more! I hope our conversation will be edifying and encouraging. Below I added a timestamped outline incase you’d like to skip around.

Charles-Spurgeon-Quote

Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Y’all know that recently we’ve been made available on Amazon’s new Podcasting , but I have some more great news for you! We’re officially available on Pandora as well! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

13:00 – What came first the blog or the podcast?

15:30 – When did you start up a YouTube?

17:50 – How did you choose your name?

21:30 – Who is your favorite teacher or preacher?

25:40 – How important is it for women to learn theology and why?

31:45 – How can we practically teach theology to our children?

37:55 – Do you recommend men listen to your podcast since you teach through Scripture?

44:15 – Tell us about your new Bite Size episodes?

48:15 – You’re doing a series right now on the Sermon on the Mount, what prompted you to do this?

53:00 – After this series, do you have any plans for next?

58:00 – What kind of encouragement do you have for someone considering starting a blog/podcast/YouTube?

01:02:30 – How can the listeners be praying for you?

For more information and to find Marci online: Thankfulhomemaker.com

Links from Marci: Finding Forgiveness After an Abortion – https://thankfulhomemaker.com/finding-forgiveness-after-an-abortion/

Sermon on the Mount Podcast Series – https://thankfulhomemaker.com/category/christian-living/sermon-on-the-mount/

My Daughter’s Website – Amber Ravatsaas – https://amberravwrites.com

Links for more information about The Bar Network: http://thebarpodcast.com/index.php/the-bar-network/

Check out the other epic podcasts there! 

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online

My blog over at: https://www.wordpress.com/biblicalbeg

My store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h

or my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub  

For questions, comments, recommendations, prayer requests, you can contact me on social media or via my email biblicalbeginnings@outlook.com

Breaking Away From ARC Churches with Kristin Everett – Part 3

As you all know, last Monday I was unable to post this episode. Thankfully, this week we were able to do something very different to finish up this three part series! We went live! I’ve never done a Monday episode live, but there were no technological issues, isn’t that neat? I’m so thankful that Kristin has continued to discuss this with me, boldly exposing the inside workings of ARC while lovingly calling those inside to leave. We both hope this series was eye opening, edifying, and educational.

Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Y’all know that recently we’ve been made available on Amazon’s new Podcasting , but I have some more great news for you! We’re officially available on Pandora as well! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Merry Christmas! Excerpt from Spurgeon

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all having a very merry Christmas! Below is from today’s reading of Spurgeon’s daily devotion. It blessed me this morning as I rejoice in what the Lord has done. What love is this? While I was yet a sinner Christ died for me! Wretched, wicked, disobedient and ever wondering further and further, yet still in my hopeless state God the Son became man, bore the wrath saved up for me, died in my place, rose again, and ever lives to make intercession for His children. WOW! Praise God! Merry Christmas, beloved, as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

“Partakers of the divine nature.”

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”; we become love–“He that loveth is born of God.” God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this–in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus–so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

Through the Narrow: Is Nice Kind? – By Gina Cook

Almost every chapter of the Gospels makes some reference to His running battle with the chief hypocrites of His day, and He made no effort whatsoever to be winsome in His encounters with them. He did not invite them to dialogue or engage in a friendly exchange of ideas….. This approach would surely have earned Jesus a resounding outpouring of loud disapproval from today’s guardians of the evangelical protocol.

I know a guy who is pretty much John Wayne incarnate. Most who know him agree. His looks, his demeanor, his voice, his values… the inability to mince words or hold in his opinion for too long. Mr. Wayne has made a few people cry. Made others look for an exit door. He may very well tell you to get a better-looking hat but he’ll buy it for you and never ask for a dime. He’s a bit softer around his grandkids but never a push-over for anyone. It’s been known that in the stormy weather of life, some grew closer to him because he was the only one not tossed around by all the nonsense. He’s the one giving the shirt off his back when you least expect it. He won’t say a whole lot of warm and fuzzy, but no one doubts he cares somewhere deep under that leathery grit.  

I also know someone who is like the cunning witch, Gothel, from Tangled. She comes across as the protective “mother” who “knows best”, nicely brushing Rapunzel’s hair but in reality is a fraud, desperately trying to maintain the masquerade for her own survival. The Ms. Tangled I know is appealing, agreeable, great at kidding around and even giving hugs. She plays the Christian sister role with a smile. “You can trust me” is her favorite line. However, as soon as you turn your back you feel the sting of her betrayal. Oh, but on the surface she’s nice. She doesn’t initially make people squirm like Mr. Wayne. She’s got a softer touch, yet will slip poison into your canteen when you aren’t looking.   

How many people today would take their chances on Ms. Tangled? I’ve heard it so many times; “Yeah, they have flaws… but they’re nice! They dress and speak so nicely! I know they care because they say they do… and they’re nice!”  

People reading this may ask, “is being nice a bad trait?” “Aren’t we to be kind?” “Harsh truth is not good, right?”

It depends… yes….and it depends.

Being nice is defined by the world as being pleasing and agreeable. Those are not bad things in and of themselves, after all the Bible says, “Urge slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be pleasing, not argumentative,” Titus 2:9. He also says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

There is a time for pleasing and agreeable words and attitudes.  

The problem lies within the interpretation, over-emphasis, and even the worship of what is deemed as nice today. I believe what we are seeing take over our society, and sadly our churches are the false doctrine of having to come across nice and pleasing at all times.  

Nice is the Gospel. Nice is everything. Jesus can’t do anything without it.  

Truth is, people just want to feel nice. They want a nice world. They want to look at nice things. They often time get onto social media and become the spokesperson for “nice”. They ask, “what would Jesus do” and then follow up with something nice.  

Being nice, of course, isn’t bad in the right context. We Christians just can’t always be agreeable or pleasing.  

Kindness, however, is what we are called to exhibit as Christians. Kindness is much more than just being nice. The Bible talks about kindness a lot. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” Galatians 5:22 (See also Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12, Acts 9:36-41). The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs, which means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” 

Kindness is not about surface agreeability or pleasing others, it’s about compassion, gracious and truthful speech, and acts of love. Kindness is not making sure to never rightfully offend. To show kindness is oftentimes to die to self, even risk being snarled at and getting your hand bit. The end means of kindness is for the kindness of Christ to be known.  

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 27:6 

Kind and pleasant speech as the Bible talks about in Proverbs, for example, does not tickle ears. Kindness is deeds fueled by the love that seeks the best for others, even those that hate you. 

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21

Kindness doesn’t always feel good. What’s more kind and loving than pushing a man out of the way of a car? You may break his ribs but his life is spared. He may not feel good, but he’s alive. Who would object to saving a life?

At the time of writing this, we are a few weeks removed from celebrating Reformation Day. On this day we celebrate God’s work through imperfect reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Knox. We also appreciate the men who came later, such as Charles Spurgeon, who boldly preached the Truth in times so depleted of sound doctrine.  

God used them to bring people to their knees and repent. Countless people. The impact was so immense, the world was radically affected. It was apparent souls were desperately needing Truth. 

The Reformers boldly stood for the Word of God and even gave their life for it. Although imperfect, they loved the Lord, His people, and the Scripture. It showed. They faithfully preached on the kindness of God and they showed kindness themselves, yet… they were not necessarily the nicest of speakers or known for their appeasing speech. They didn’t care to make people feel nice. That doesn’t save souls.  

A few of their quotes:

“If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives a plough to know more of the scriptures than you do.” ― William Tyndale (speaking to a priest)

“Your thoughts of God are too human.” – Martin Luther (speaking to Erasmus)

“The world doesn’t want to be punished. It wants to remain in darkness. It doesn’t want to be told that what it believes is false. If you also don’t want to be corrected, then you might as well leave the church and spend your time at the bar and brothel. But if you want to be saved-and remember that there’s another life after this one-you must accept correction.” Martin Luther

“The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.” John Calvin

 “A man that extols himself is a fool and an idiot” John Calvin

 “To search for wisdom apart from Christ means not simply foolhardiness but utter insanity.” John Calvin

 “Right is right though all condemn, and wrong is wrong though all approve.” Charles Spurgeon

 “You and I cannot be useful if we want to be sweet as honey in the mouths of men. God will never bless us if we wish to please men, that they may think well of us. Are you willing to tell them what will break your own heart in the telling and break theirs in the hearing? If not, you are not fit to serve the Lord. You must be willing to go and speak for God, though you will be rejected.” Charles Spurgeon

They had lived up close and personal to the cesspool of deceit. It carried the stench of death. People they knew and loved were perishing in false doctrine and being abused by false teachers. A massive amount of people were slumbering in their sins and dancing straight to Hell. Nice and easy wasn’t going to cut it.  

Of course, the Reformers were in no way the originators of such an approach.

The Old Testament writers, the Apostles such as Paul and Peter and ultimately Christ Himself said some pretty harsh truth.  

“Do not withhold discipline from a child;

 Though you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

 You shall strike him with the rod

 And rescue his soul from Sheol.” Proverbs 23:13-14

“One who loves discipline loves knowledge, But one who hates rebuke is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1

“But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you because you thought you could acquire the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart will be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of unrighteousness.” (Peter to Simon the magician) Acts 8:20-23.

“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.” (Paul talking about having to confront Peter) Galatians 2:11

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:15

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

In John MacArthur’s book, “The Jesus You Can’t Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ, in the first chapter titled, When it’s Wrong to be “Nice” he writes, “The Great Shepherd Himself was never far from open controversy with the most conspicuously religious inhabitants in all of Israel. Almost every chapter of the Gospels makes some reference to His running battle with the chief hypocrites of His day, and He made no effort whatsoever to be winsome in His encounters with them. He did not invite them to dialogue or engage in a friendly exchange of ideas….. This approach would surely have earned Jesus a resounding outpouring of loud disapproval from today’s guardians of the evangelical protocol. In fact, His approach to the Pharisees utterly debunks the cardinal points of conventional wisdom among modern and postmodern evangelicals—the neo ….evangelical fondness for eternal collegiality, and the Emerging infatuation with engaging all points of view in endless conversation. By today’s standards, Jesus’ words about the Pharisees and His treatment of them are breathtakingly severe.” 

(taken from http://www.crossroadsbook.com/firstchapter.asp?mode=view&index=1054 )

Were Paul, Peter, and even Christ Himself unloving? Unkind? Is the severe approach wrong? 

On the contrary!  

Although we are not to make a habit of going around and rebuking brothers and sister harshly or publically or calling people hypocrites, we can gather from the Bible’s examples that the truth is profoundly important and we can’t compromise it or dance around it. We also see what true kindness looks like. It’s not as much about sparing feelings, as it is sparing souls the judgment or severe discipline of the Lord. Not only did the men in the Bible rebuke those they were speaking to, but they graciously shared with the many hearers who need to know what’s right and what’s wrong. That is loving-kindness.  

“For such people are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Romans 16:18

Today people are making some very serious decisions based solely on the “niceness” of others. They are attracted by smooth and flattering speech. It is a dangerous thing to look to be led by what’s likable instead of what is right.  

After witnessing to a close family member with concern in my heart, tears in my eyes, and loving conviction in my voice, she walked out the door and said she never wanted anything more to do with me or my God. She didn’t see me as nice, that’s for sure. I looked every bit the part of evil in her eyes at that moment. Yet that was far from true. Praise God, He used the truth spoken to break her and bring her to repentance a while later. The truth sets us free (John 8:32)! God’s Word is a sword, not a fan (Hebrews 4:12). The Word is a hammer, not a feather (Jeremiah 23:29). Christ is a stumbling block for some (1 Corinthians 1:23), hated and rejected by many (John 15:18). He is not concerned about being nice. He is concerned about the providing of God’s truth in love.

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” Martin Luther

If I had to choose between hard truth and nice veneer, I’d take the truth in John Wayne’s style over nice and sweet nothings any day. Any person who has been devastated by “sweet little lies” should agree. Anyone who sees sin and false teaching ravaging souls, should be more concerned about the Truth and doing good than sparkly words and happy feelings.  

Yes, we are to be peaceable, gentle, gracious in our speech and always with a heart of compassion, and to know that doesn’t mean suppressing the truth of God. People may be in grave danger with the Lord! Let them know if you care, even if they don’t see you as nice for doing it. Ultimately, we are to please the Lord, not man.

“For am I now seeking the favor of people, or of God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Are We Being Visited by Aliens?

How do we deal with this strange phenomenon, in light of our Christian worldview and Biblically sound theology?

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! This year has been a really weird year with pandemics, murder hornets, tic tac shaped UFO footage declassified by the government…Let’s be honest, we all have that family member (and some of you are that family member) that is as sure of aliens as the most devout Catholic believes in the pope. How do we deal with this strange phenomenon, in light of our Christian worldview and Biblically sound theology? Let’s take our mind off of the endless election to discuss something out of this world. I answered all the excellent questions you sent in at the end of this episode. There’s a timestamped outline below if you’d like to skip around. Don’t forget to watch until the end to catch the fun bloopers! Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on YouTube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Introduction to the topic

TS 00:05:55 – Do I believe that there are aliens visiting this planet?

TS 00:07:45 – Looking at the numbers of claims

TS 00:15:00 – How this links to the New Age 

TS 00:18:30 – The government/military response

TS 00:21:00 – Why this ends up in the New Age

TS 00:23:00 – Our planets unique life sustaining position

TS 00:24:45 – The Fermi paradox 

TS 00:27:00 – Theologically kicking the can

TS 00:28:00 – Why Intelligent Beings can’t travel here

TS 00:32:00 – These Aliens have a lot to say about Christianity

TS 00:33:10 – Abductions stop at the name of Christ

Alien Intrusion Movie: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Intrusion-Unmasking-Gary-Bates/dp/1942773498

Alien Intrusion Book: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Intrusion-Updated-Expanded-Bates/dp/0890514356

TS 00:36:45 – Are we putting God in a box?

TS 00:45:00 – Could evolution have created life everywhere?

TS 00:50:00 – Modern “Aliens” throughout history

TS 00:52:10 – Why do people want this to be real?

TS 00:54:30 – Suppressed Memories Tangent 

TS 00:59:05 – Are these Nephilim?

Tim Chaffey’s book Fallen Book Review: https://biblicalbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/27/book-review-fallen-the-sons-of-god-and-the-nephilim-by-tim-chaffey/

TS 01:00:00 – Does this relate to the end times deception?

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