A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Who was Samuel Zwemer?

zwemerIf you have never heard of Samuel Zwemer, he was one of the first American long term missionaries to…wait for it…the Arab world of the Middle East. He sought to go about God’s mission aspiring not to be famous but to be faithful:

Some missionaries are known for their great fruit, their many converts, churches they started, or hospitals they helped build. Samuel Zwemer is not known for these things. After 38 years of missions work throughout Arabia, the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Asia Minor, Samuel had seen his efforts produce fewer than 12 conversions to Christianity.

Yet producing converts was not the ultimate goal for Samuel. The man who would become known as the Apostle to Islam wrote “The chief end of missions is not the salvation of men but the glory of God.” We are faithful to God’s call on our lives for no other ultimate goal than that of bringing glory to God.

Read more of this post

John Bunyan: SIN is the dare of God’s justice…

 IMG_5136“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love”~ John Bunyan

UH, BRETHREN. WE ARE DEBTORS!!

Quoting Spurgeon:

Consider how much you owe to his forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts he loves you as infinitely as ever; and after a myriad sins, his Spirit still resides within you. Consider what you owe to his power; how he has raised you from your death in sin how he has preserved your spiritual life, how he has kept you from falling, and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way! Consider what thou owest to his immutablity. Though thou hast changed a thousand times, he has not changed once; though thou hast shifted thy intentions, and thy will, yet has he not once swerved from his eternal purpose, but still has held thee fast. Consider thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast. “Brethren, we are debtors.”[1]

Spurgeon, Charles H. Spurgeon’s Sermons.  Vol. 2. The Christian, A Debtor. August 10, 1856.

4 Important Questions To Ask A Pastoral Candidate.

When faced with the rather difficult task of picking a pastor from a list of candidates what qualities would you go for? Would you consider humor, agility and creativity or would you go for theological astuteness? 9 Marks makes the task alot easier in this article by tackling the task head on…

A church should ask at least four types of questions of any potential pastor: theological, philosophy of ministry, practical, and personal.

  • Theological. A church should ask a pastoral candidate theological questions because what that pastor believes will shape everything he does in the church. So a church should ask him questions like:
  1. Do you agree with everything in this church’s statement of faith? Is there anything missing from this statement of faith that you would like changed or added?
  2. Is there a confession of faith which better articulates your views?
  3. What is the gospel?
  4. Do you believe in the doctrines of grace? Why or why not?
  5. What are some theological issues that you think are especially important for Christians to get right in this time and place?
  6. How would you characterize your understanding of biblical church leadership? …Read More!

You may speak in tongues if ….

You may indeed speak in tongues if you realise …

What Biblical Tongues Were:

  • The manifestation was supernatural (Acts 2:1-4).
  • The manifestation involved speaking. (We read in Acts 2:4, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in different tongues, just as the Spirit was giving them to declare” [emphases added]. In fact, we must notice that this activity of speaking in tongues began before any of the listeners heard the speakers. The stress is on what the believers say, not on what the listeners hear. They spoke in other languages. Also, in v. 6 we read, “each one was continually hearing them speaking in his own dialect”; and again, in v. 11, “we hear them speaking in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God” [emphases added]. There is a reason it is referred to as the gift of “tongues,” not “ears.”)
  • The manifestation involved languages that were intelligible. (Cf. Acts 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 14:19), known (Greek glossa means language; cf. also Corinthians 12:10, 28; 14:21, 22), and not naturally learned (Acts 2:7). …Read More!

Questionable methods in Church.

20140802-170755-61675763.jpg“The problem in our day, which gives rise to highly questionable church growth methods, is twofold:

On the one hand, we are seeing a waning confidence in the message of the gospel. Even the evangelical church shows signs of losing confidence in the convincing and converting power of the gospel message. That is why increasing numbers of churches prefer sermons on family life and psychological health. We are being overtaken by what Os Guinness calls the managerial and therapeutic revolutions. The winning message, it seems, is the one that helps people to solve their temporal problems, improves their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves.

Read more of this post

When God allows people to treat us unjustly…

IMG_4977Now God sometimes allows people to treat us unjustly. Sometimes He even allows their actions to seriously affect our careers or our futures viewed on a human plane. But God never allows people to make decisions about us that undermine His plan for us. God is for us, we are His children, He delights in us (see Zephaniah 3:17). And the Scripture says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We can put this down as a bedrock truth: God will never allow any action against you that is not in accord with His will for you. And His will is always directed to our good.

~ Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

HT Reformed Quotes.

Spurgeon: A godly mother…can any man estimate what he owes her?

“Fathers and mothers are the most natural agents for God to use in the salvation of their children. I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother. Neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. A man with a soul so dead as not to be moved by the sacred name of ‘mother’ is creation’s blot. Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me. How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape the wrath to come? Read more of this post

When sin shall be unmasked.

Ah, souls! when you shall lie upon a dying bed, and stand before a judgment-seat, sin shall be unmasked, and its dress and robes shall then be taken off, and then it shall appear more vile, filthy, and terrible than hell itself; then, that which formerly appeared most sweet will appear most bitter, and that which appeared most beautiful will appear most ugly, and that which appeared most delightful will then appear most dreadful to the soul.

~ Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

HT Reformed Quotes.

An ode for Great Britain…

houses-of-parliament-at-nightOn a day when Great Britain goes to the polls to decide who will be Prime Minister and which party or parties will have the upper hand for the next so many years one can feel the sense of anticipation and uncertainty. What? With all the unrest in the Middle East, the gradual rise of militant Islamic radicals in the homeland and abroad, the desperate and growing pleas of poor and helpless African migrants crammed onto paper boats heading for Europe on the tumultuous Mediterranean seas. Does the hope of the world lie in the outcome of the polls? Well, not quite.

Come away with me once more and visit the writings and quaint thoughts of an English man and former slave trader. His life at sea teemed with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. However after converting to Christianity, God completely changed his prioroities. In fact he penned one of the most recognizable hymns when he wrote –Amazing Grace. John Newton (1725) of Wapping, London, also wrote the hymn of our interest today – By faith in Christ I walk with God  a very appropriate message to Christians in Britain and all over the world at such a time as this. The days ahead may be filled with snares and dangers, where many round me blindly stray but ….

1 By faith in Christ I walk with God,
With heav’n, my journey’s end in view,
Supported by his staff and rod,
My road is safe and pleasant too.

2 I travel through a desert wide,
Where many round me blindly stray;
But he vouchsafes to be my guide
And will not let me miss my way. …Read More!

WWUTT: Hates the sin but loves the sinner? Not so fast dear!

This is quite interesting….

HT: Rated R for Reformed.

Saint Augustine’s fruitless joys…

 
HT The Old Guys via FB.

Test your child’s theology with five questions….

Originally posted on A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®:

Test your child’s theology with five questions and then teach him some more. Here are the first five questions:

1. Who made you?

A. God.

2. What else did God make?

A. God made all things.

3. Why did God make you and all things?

A. For his own glory.

4. How can you glorify God?

A. By loving him and doing what he commands.

5. Why ought you to glorify God?

A. Because he made me and takes care of me.

Excerpt from Catechism for Young Children. (An Introduction to the Shorter Catechism) For free down load click here.

HT Reformed Gene via FB.

View original

Easter in pictures…

On a lighter note this is why Christians are excited about Easter….

  

HT Jim West via FB.

Conundrums: Did Jesus Go To Hell Between his Death And Resurrection?

Originally posted on A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®:

Joyce Meyerand several other preachers say that Jesus suffered in hell. My good friend Tim Prussic got stuck with the same question when going through the Heidelberg catechism. So I decided to look for afew answers to this conundrum. So did Jesus go to hell or not? Well here is something to munch on (get your bible closer too)….

There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles’ Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead” or…

View original 642 more words

Free morning and evening Spurgeon devotional Ebook 

If you like Spurgeon you will like this Morning and Evening devotional [pdf]…

A wealth of Biblical meditations from Spurgeon with applications that are relevant for contemporary Christians. Spurgeon’s characteristically pithy comments hit home with a wit and elegance rarely found in other writing. Christians young and old will find his words challenging and stimulating.

HT to Twenty of the best daily Devotionals by Word + Life.

The role of Music in Worship…

Talking about the the controversial topic of music in worship here is an interesting video (38 minutes) of good Christian discussion on this often misunderstood topic. 

ISIS: What can wash away my sin?

At a time muslim fanatics pride themselves in treating Christians and all others as inhumanely as they individually feel, I know there must still be a gleamer of a restless conscience among some Muslims. What can take away the guilt of murder? What can absolve any one of such sin and shame? The words of that good old Christian hymn says it all:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Read more of this post

How about the believer who falls?

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/542/9755018/files/2014/12/img_5036.png
The topic of a believer who falls into sin or renounces his profession is a common one. And from that spring boards the questions Can a believer fall radically? Can a believer fall totally, irretrievably and be lost for all eternity? I hope this post sheds some light on what scripture says…

We may live in a culture that believes everyone will be saved, that we are “justified by death” and all you need to do to go to heaven is die, but God’s Word certainly doesn’t give us the luxury of believing that. Any quick and honest reading of the New Testament shows that the Apostles were convinced that nobody can go to heaven unless they believe in Christ alone for their salvation (John 14:6; Rom. 10:9–10).

Historically, evangelical Christians have largely agreed on this point. Where they have differed has been on the matter of the security of salvation. People who would otherwise agree that only those who trust in Jesus will be saved have disagreed on whether anyone who truly believes in Christ can lose his salvation.

Theologically speaking, what we are talking about here is the concept of apostasy. This term comes from a Greek word that means “to stand away from.” When we talk about those who have become apostate or have committed apostasy, we’re talking about those who have fallen from the faith or at least from the profession of faith in Christ that they once made. …Read More!

Preparing for a (Humorous) Reformed Baptist Christmas!

Originally posted on A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®:

This is an old humorous clip. It features a Baptist Church singing about Christmas (Er, plus 12 Doctrines that their pastor taught them). The kids seem to learn an earful in one seating…Please, sing along! :)

20121108-205419.jpg

View original

New Video: Through the Eyes of Spurgeon

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/542/9755018/files/2014/12/img_5016-0.png
There is a new free video out about the life of the man, Charles Spurgeon, who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and loved to preach and proclaim the gospel. …See More!

An Easter thought on Christmas!

IMG_5006.JPGAt Christmas the time of the year when most people are setting up nativity scenes not many set up a bloodied cross or an empty tomb to celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ yet his birth goes hand in hand with his death. Only true Christians know the immense and infinite significance of Christ’s death…He came as a lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. He came to die!
Imagine Christ, the sin bearer, approaching that hour…the hour of his appointed death. Is that a “Christmasy” thought? You bet! It gets better when you understand the reason why his death was was necessary.
Horatius Bonar puts it this way…

The feelings of the trembling sinner, when awakened under the terrors of the divine law, and made alive to the hell of sin within him, may help to give us some faint idea of the way in which the burden of our sins pressed upon Christ. It is true He had no sin—not the shadow of sin upon Him, for He was the Holy One; yet He speaks always of our sins as if they were His own, as if He had committed them. He felt under them just as if they were His own. He was perfectly holy, yet so closely were our sins bound upon Him by God, that He felt the pressure just as if they were His own.

Being our substitute, God dealt with Him as such—as if the sins He bore had really been His, not ours. Being thus in the eye of the law identified with those whose sins He bore, He was made to feel what they would have been doomed to feel, had God left them to reap themselves the fruit of their own transgressions. This awful burden He bore alone. He had none to aid Him; none to relieve Him of any part of its overwhelming pressure. There was none that could assist Him. There was none to divide the burden with Him; nor to uphold Him under it. “My lovers and my friends stand aloof…and my kinsmen stand afar off.” They all forsook Him and fled. And, as He bare it alone, so He bare it fully. …Read More!

If only my prayers made people fall over like that!

IMG_5005.JPG
There is a video clip of a pastor who seems to be unleashing extra ordinary waves of powers into an emotionally charged congregation with a slight swing of a finger and a swerve of an arm. In some circles such a man is given the almighty title ‘mighty man of God’ placing him above any pastor in the land and becomes the linch pin for any ‘revival service’. For it is then believed that he has reached a higher echelon of power. The preacher’s worthiness becomes the virtue on to which the congregation clings to so as to per chance swing the pendulum of fate and fortune in their own lives.
Such preachers are suave and charismatic and very winsome and convincing in their trade. Once they have amassed a sizeable congregation, they sneakily put their bibles far aside as they go to great lengths to mesmerise and entertain. But once they make you their convert you become seven times worse emotionally, financially and spiritually – you sadly become more faithful and dependant on them for answers to your prayers than to God.
Martin Luther once said on prayer that:

Some say, “I would feel better about God hearing my prayer if I were more worthy and lived a better life.” I simply answer: If you don’t want to pray before you feel that you are worthy or qualified, then you will never pray again. Prayer must not be based on or depend on your personal worthiness or the quality of the prayer itself; rather, it must be based on the unchanging truth of God’s promise. If the prayer is based on itself or on anything else besides God’s promise, then it’s a false prayer that deceives you—even if your heart is breaking with intense devotion and you are weeping drops of blood.
We pray because we are unworthy to pray. Our prayers are heard precisely because we believe that we are unworthy. We become worthy to pray when we risk everything on God’s faithfulness alone.
So go ahead and feel unworthy. But know in your heart that it’s a thousand times more important to honor God’s truthfulness.

…Read More!

Is the ‘Word of Faith’ movement biblical?

I think this will come in handy for any one trying to find out more on Word of Faith movement. I just met some one who is attending a church where the pastor teaches and believes in the movement. This excerpt and the bible verses can be a good primer:

wordsWord of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical. It is not a denomination and does not have a formal organization or hierarchy. Instead, it is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Fred Price.

The Word of Faith movement grew out of the Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. Its founder was E. W. Kenyon, who studied the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Mind science (where “name it and claim it” originated) was combined with Pentecostalism, resulting in a peculiar mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism. Kenneth Hagin, in turn, studied under E. W. Kenyon and made the Word of Faith movement what it is today. Although individual teachings range from completely heretical to completely ridiculous, what follows is the basic theology most Word of Faith teachers align themselves with.

At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god. …Read More!

Dad, should Christians celebrate Christmas?

IMG_5001.PNGIt’s coming to that time of the year and Christmas is in the air as they say. From movies to merchandising ads every one seems to have the same Christmas thought. Or do they? Say, your little ankle biters walk over to you and this year tell you they are not going to celebrate Christmas. What will you tell them are your reasons for celebrating or not? Here is a good link with resourceful answers…

The debate [reports Got Questions] about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has been raging for centuries. There are equally sincere and committed Christians on both sides of the issue, each with multiple reasons why or why not Christmas should be celebrated in Christian homes. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give clear direction as to whether Christmas is a holiday to be celebrated by Christians?

First, let’s look at the reasons why some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. One argument against Christmas is that the traditions surrounding the holiday have origins in paganism.

…Read more!

Brandon Lucas: Why I am now a Calvinist.

regretsThis interesting post has been reblogged from Monergism:

Almost a decade ago I was involved in a titanic spiritual battle between two opposing theological views. I could feel the once rock solid doctrines of free will slipping through my fingers like fine sand. I begged and beseeched the Lord to deliver me from the relentless reasonings and scriptural bombshells ripping the house I had built on the shifting dunes of man-centered doctrines. My pride and self-respect were on the line.

See, for the first decade of my born-again life I embraced a form of Arminianism that many call Semi-Pelagianism. Simply put, I believed that man’s free will is the deciding factor in salvation. Calvinism, which is the belief that God is sovereign over all things, including man’s salvation, had recently started making sense to me and I was drawn to it. (While at the same time being repulsed by it).

Calvinism was a dirty word in my old church. I considered it to be on equal footing with cultic beliefs.

I used to say such things as:

“Calvinism is a doctrine of demons!”

Or worse yet:

“If God is like how the Calvinists describe him, I would never serve such a cruel, heartless dictator who arbitrarily chooses who will and will not be saved!”

…Read More!

How do I get our church to focus on evangelism rather than entertainment?

outreach-ideasWell, by the time you ask your self that kind of question its very likely you may be in the wrong kind of church or your church has probably missed the point and gone off with the wrong priorities. That being said, it is always a good thing to start thinking about evangelism and having a desire to see others come to a true knowledge of Christ through the gospel. The gospel rightly should be the beginning place for every evangelistic endeavor or discipleship program. In this day and age where churches have resorted to hiring ‘church growth’ gurus to bring about astronomical increase in numbers (with no love for the things of God or commitment) it’s quite encouraging to come across pastors who are keen on evangelism and biblical discipleship.

Missionary and church planter David Cloud (together with his wife Linda) have got a free ebook called Ideas for Evangelism (see free download link below) that is a fruit of collective effort gleaned from many sources as well as from their more than 40 years missionary experiences. They have been church planters, ministered on bus routes, in jails, taught Sunday School classes, witnessed on military bases and university campuses, nursing homes and gladly and humbly tackle several issues in  Ideas for Evangelism. This book is for people and churches that feel ‘stuck in a rut’ with their gospel outreach and feel they need to – prove all things; hold fast to that which is good in a bid to uphold a biblical standard in their worship and practice. …Read More!

Are You Recklessly Abandoned to the cause of Christ?

There is a book I am yearning recklessly to read and I will not abandon this pursuit. The book Reckless Abandon has been aptly summarised in this blog post from Cripplegate…

PNG-woman“It wasn’t the half-naked woman breastfeeding her baby on one breast that captured my attention. Rather, it was the piglet munching down on the other breast that stunned me into silence.”

So begins David Sitton’s autobiography, and I must say that the tone of that first sentence captures the tenor of the book. Reckless Abandon is a the summary of Sitton’s 35 years as a church planter among unreached people groups in Papua New Guinea, with a few forays into México (and one pit-stop in Minneapolis). The introduction explains that for Christians there is no such thing as a risk, because the worst-case scenario to all of our actions is death (“airmailed to Jesus” is Sitton’s phrase), and the rest of that book demonstrates this kamikaze world view.

 If Jesus is worth more than our lives, then we should be willing to face death to take the gospel to the nations. What would a person’s life look like if they a) actually believed that, and b) actually lived that out? Reckless Abandon provides a good answer to that question. Sitton labors among the most difficult to reach groups in PNG, capitulates home to get a wife, returns to PNG until he gets expelled, then recapitulates to the states to start a lifetime of tourist visas. Reading this book made my passport feel tired.

…Read more!

A poem for CHRISTIANS who have lost all their livelihood to ISIS and jihadists

IMG_4991.JPG When we read of persecution and hear of despicable things being done to Christian fathers, mothers and children by people filled with hatred and violence we should remember this was similar to the times of Habakkuk in the time of the Babylonian invasion. At a time when Habakkuk reports his belly trembled with fear, his lips quivered and he felt rottenness in his bones in the day of trouble. Yet his encouragement came from putting his trust in the one True God.
Consider this an encouragement and a poem to all those who have lost everything or are on the verge of losing everything to ISIS OR BOKO HARAM ….

…Read More!

Public school system: Why are Humanists so hopeful about a shockingly godless future generation?

public schoolLong gone are the days when families sat together around a Bible and fathers diligently taught their children truths that they had learnt about the only one true God. Most of these duties have been deferred to half committed Sunday school teachers who are more interested in planning pizza parties plus fun and games programmes. The most of the ‘formal education’ is then left for school teachers when the week begins – and it seems the Humanists have noticed this loop hole and pounced hard and fast at the opportunity.

The public school system especially in the West has already been taken over (curriculum and  all) and re-designed to eliminate God. The next generation is being moulded to completely have no regard for Christianity or the things of God. How then did this general shift occur in the West? Wasn’t God ascribed to as their Father in their barns and houses, anthems, Court houses, public buildings and monuments a hundred years ago? Well my dear sleeper welcome to the “brave new world”.

By the looks of things the battle for the future generation is almost lost in the education system and the ramifications will then spill out in re defining morals and traditional value systems on and on. Here are some but a few chilling “triumphs” and strategies as reported in recent Humanist archives and popular magazines:

  • “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the new proselytizers of a new faith, a religion of humanity. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preacher. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new―the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith (humanism), resplendent in its promise.”
John Dunphy, “A Religion for the New Age,” Humanist Magazine

….Read More!

Adonirom Judson’s letter to his prospective father in law Mr Hasseltine.

IMG_4984.JPG
Adoniram Judson, Jr. (August 9, 1788 – April 12, 1850) was the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. Judson is remembered as the first significant missionary in Burma, as well as one of the very first missionaries from America to travel overseas. The story of his biography has touched many people, however I will just dig into a small bit here and it’s his letter to his prospective father in law shines some light into the kind of person he was and his passion for missions and evangelism of the dangerous heathen lands:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”

HT J.D Greer

Adoniram Judson ended up spending his missionary career not in India, but in Burma. During his thirty-seven years of service there, he persevered through seventeen months of brutal imprisonment, several bouts of life-threatening illness, and the death of two wives and six children. He succeeded in translating the Bible into Burmese and compiling an English-Burmese dictionary. He waited six years for his first Burmese convert, but by the time of his death in 1850, there were a hundred Burmese churches and over 8,000 Burmese Christians. A very readable biography, To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson, recounts the epic story of his remarkable life.

The neglected duty of private prayer

IMG_4982.JPGQuoting J.C Ryle on prayer…

We live in days of abounding religious profession. There are more places of public worship than there ever was before. There are more people attending them than there ever was before. And yet in spite of all this public religion, I believe there is a vast neglect of private prayer. It is one of those private transcripts between God and our souls which no eye sees, and therefore one which people are tempted to pass over and leave undone.
I believe that hundreds of thousands never utter a word of prayer at all. They eat. They drink. They sleep. They rise. They go forth to their work. They return to their homes. They breathe God’s air. They travel on God’s earth. They enjoy God’s mercies. They have dying bodies. They have judgment and eternity before them. But they never speak to God. They live like the animals that perish. They behave like creatures without souls. They have not one word to say to Him in whose hand are their life and breath, and all things, and from whose mouth they must one day receive their everlasting sentence. How dreadful this seems; but if the secrets of men were only known, how common.

Sermons of a man called George Whitefield.

IMG_4980.JPG
Some one once said George Whitefield preached a pure gospel, a powerful gospel and a passionate gospel. He was a man of deep prayer, tremendous spiritual fortitude with a burdened heart, burning lips and brimming eyes. A contemporary of Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley, he was an English Anglican preacher who spent most of his life spreading the gospel by preaching in open air and was one of the major instruments of God used in the Great Awakening in Britain and the United States.

He drew great crowds when he preached to people from all walks of life. From a lordly chamber heavy with the pungent aroma of costly perfumes, Whitefield would race off to a street meeting. Catch his joy as he says, “There I was honored with having stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead cats thrown at me.”

Now it’s possible to download read and study atleast 59 George Whitefield sermons either as a kindle ebook, pdf or EPub.

Some days I long for God…

IMG_4978.JPGThat’s is absolutely true and more so today. I came across a Puritan poem-prayer that articulates this longing a lot better than I could…

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. …Read More!

O that I would pour out my heart before Him

IMG_4977.JPG

Usually God’s children are able to most affectionately pour out their hearts before him in private. Here, they find their affections free to wrestle with God. Here, one finds most communion with God, and enlargement of heart. In private we are wholly at leisure to deal with God in a child-like liberty. Now, will you omit this duty where you may be most free, without distraction, to let out your heart to God? The sweetest experiences of God’s saints are when they are alone with him. ~ Thomas Manton

Monergism opens free Reformed Christian ebook store!

For some this may not be new but I just want to repost this bit of information. The website Monergism is a good site to get free ebooks of invaluable wealth especially if you would like books on evangelism, basic Christianity, biographies and Reformed Theology. Check the link Here!

IMG_4846.PNG

Kirk shares the gospel with a pastor’s daughter.

This clip is self self explanatory. Kirk Cameron has a chat with a lady who happens to be a pastor’s daughter…

How can I go Geocaching with the gospel?

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask? …Read More!

Church membership: Reasons to (or not to become) a member.

20140805-190423-68663472.jpg
Nine Marks has an interesting article on why you should become a church member and even when you have an excuse for not joining one church you must look for another and BECOME A COMMITTED CHURCH MEMBER. Check this out….

REASONS TO JOIN THE CHURCH

These more deliberate conversations veer back and forth between the biblical and the practical. Typically, I generally encourage a person to join the church

# For the sake of the pastors. It lets the pastors know who you are, and makes them responsible for you (see Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17).

# For the sake of obedience to Jesus. Jesus did not give you the keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing. He gave the keys to the apostolic local church (Matt. 16:13-20; 18:15-20). You don’t have the authority to baptize yourself or feed yourself the Lord’s Supper. It requires a church to affirm your profession of faith, which is what membership is at its very heart (see Acts 2:38).

# For the sake of other believers. Joining makes you responsible for one local congregation, and they for you. You now own or have a share in their discipleship to Christ. That is, you are now responsible for their growth and professions of faith, insofar as you are responsible for the church’s faithful gospel preaching (Gal. 1) and that individual’s discipline (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5).

…Read More!

What can the church in the West learn from the church in Africa?

20140802-170755-61675763.jpg
This is an excerpt from a Table Talk (TT) magazine interview with an African pastor (Conrad Mbewe) of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia…

TT: What are two important lessons that Western Christians can learn from the African church?

CM: Western civilization has lost a lot of its interpersonal virtues. It has become overly individualized—if you see what I mean. Issues like hospitality, respect for authority and the elderly, being more people-conscious than time-conscious, and so on are largely lost. This has affected not only the society generally but Christians as well.

Western Christians have filled their lives with too many things (toys?) that have robbed them of eternal perspectives. Electronic gadgets, holidays, sports, recreation, and so on have almost become idols. Even church must be about having fun.

…Read More!

Where is God When We Suffer?

We many times moan and whinge when things do not go right. We grit our teeth at God when we see a maze before our eyes. Have you ever thought of the sovereignty of God? Have you ever understood the mind of God? May this testimony of John Farese be an encouragement. Crippled for most of his life but profoundly sober in his understanding of God’s sovereignty and scripture:

Read More

The end result of prosperity gospel is to take you away from the cross. Here is why!

Any time one turns away from the true gospel of grace and the cross to another ‘gospel’ they will always drift and even the sound of the cross will be as an insult and an indignation. Many teachers of prosperity gospel don’t think much of sin and how men ought to turn away from sin and embrace Christ through repentance but are leading as many followers into eternal damnation by promising there is a god who only wants to give them dominion in material wealth and gain-which is really sad. Here in this video is a Prosperity and Word of faith teacher demonstrating how rather un-important talking about the cross and redemption in the atoning work of Christ is . Oh! Mr prosperity preacher I would like to remind you of the importance of the cross to a worm and sinner in the words of the good old hymn that:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Wales, a beautiful country that still needs the gospel.

I have just returned from a week long Christian conference in Cefn Lea Park Wales located in Powys. Powys (Newtown) is a truly beautiful quiet town which is located in Central or middle of  Wales. The countryside summer scenery was green, vibrant, serene and beautiful – so much in contrast to the noisy urban areas of the United Kingdom like London, Liverpool or Birmingham.

As I walked through the town center in Newtown I came across many wonderful people and many historical establishments that would interest many a tourist. I was excited when I saw a grand majestic building that I was later told was a Baptist Church. But my little heart sank when I saw the message that was scrawled on it’s notice board. Watch the pictures for yourself…

Yes, beautiful and scenic Wales still needs the gospel…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

…See More!

Bruising is required before conversion

Quoting Richard Sibbes:

This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think’, and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge. …Read More!

#SIN awareness day

2014-07-06 13.56.32A lone street preacher calls on the crowd with a message. This is one of the most stirring photos I have seen in a long while…

 

Christian News and Issues: Bits and pieces from around the world….

NEWSThis is a new development and may hopefully be a regular feature of this blog as we bring you news, mission reports, prayer concerns  and mundane pieces from around the world.

  • Botswana clamps down on rogue charismatic and prosperity preachers. After seeing a rise in pastors promising miracles in the forms of successful marriages, work promotions, financial freedom, children for the barren –  the government of Botswana has decided to put up some drastic measures.Will these new measures affect genuine doctrinally sound preachers too?
  • Cleansing of Iraq’s Christians reaches its end game. There is much to pray for as a nation descends into chaos.  The ruthlessness of ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been legendary. Its beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities toward Christians and everyone else who fails to conform to its vision of a caliphate have been on full display. Will you continue to pray for this country?
  • Scotland police drop charges against two Christian evangelists who were arrested for allegedly using “offensive language” in Dundee and Perth. Clearly there is a pressing need for the Police to work with street preachers to come up with guidelines on ‘best practice’ for police services to ensure that officers on the beat do not take away the fundamental freedom of Christians to do open air evangelism -reports Christian Concern.
  • Reformation Montana starts on 19th June to 21 June 2014. Reformation Montana is an affiliation of like-minded churches and individuals that cooperate for the purpose of sending missionaries from Montana and the surrounding regions to the rest of the world.
  • Indiana  church introduces speedier church services. Will this reach the unchurched? -asks Christian Post or better still will this feed the Christians?
  • A pastors’ retreat in Yumbe (Uganda) ended on a high note. Yumbe is a place with very high numbers of fundamentalist muslims and hardly any Christians but there seems to be some untold  joy among the pastors who daily face machete attacks and death threats -reports Reaching Africa’s Unreached.

Jesus is mighty to save those who repent…

                  “Mighty to save.” -Isaiah 63:1

spurgeonBy the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but He is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him.

…Read More!

Beware of the smiling world and it’s deadly embrace

The smiling world is meeting and embracing some. It is casting into their lap plentifully, and still they have prospect of more. But O! take heed to the dangerous embraces, lest it hug you to death, as surely it will, if you do not shake yourselves loose of it, “For the turning away of the simple, shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” ~Thomas Boston

HT The Old Guys

Modern day preaching and it’s “slick schtick”

To summarise a lot of modern day preaching ….
.

20140604-102737-37657881.jpg
Excerpt from “The Kind of Preaching God Blesses” by Steve Lawson

Why you must pray for the local church when there is a break up or scandal.

broken-down-churchWhen a believer yields to temptation it brings dishonour to the Lord and sad consequences for the individual and others connected with him. When a church breaks down or departs from the truth it is impossible to judge how far reaching the effects might be.  Many a town [and village] seems to have closed to the Gospel for 50 years or more because a once -thriving and influential church in the locality was torn by internal strife or caught up in a public scandal that has become common knowledge. How we must watch and pray over the churches, recognising that we can only really combat the enemy if we understand the scriptures.

Excerpt from Nigel Lacey’s book ‘God’s plan for the Local Church

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,050 other followers