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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
When 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‘
By Charles Spurgeon
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More
Why do so-called Christians forsake the pure wine of Gospel joy for the adulterated poison which the whore of the world smilingly holds out to them in her golden chalice? Is it because the message of the Gospel, which once sparkled in the preached Word, and furnished comfort to mourners, has now gone stale? Or has that stream of spiritual joy which has run through the lives of saints for so many generations, without mingling with the world’s polluted pleasures, at last fallen into them and lost its divine nature? No, the Gospel stays the same. . . and the joy it brings is as refreshing and restoring as it has always been. It will be lovely as long as God and Christ continue to be life, for it flows and is fed from their heart.
The problem is not in the Scripture; it lies in those who say they hold to it. Those who insist that they obey this Gospel are not like holy men and women of earlier times. The world has grown callous, and men’s priorities and affections have chilled and become cold. Our palate is no longer chaste; it no longer prefers the heavenly foods served in the Gospel. The cheer is as lively as ever but the guests are as deadened by constant contact with the world. We have grown debauched in our judgments and corrupt in our principles; no wonder that our joys are carnal.
Error is a whore that lures the heart away from Christ and His spiritual joys. Once the mind is confused by error and begins to malign the truth, it affects the heart, poisoning it with carnal joys. Here, then, is the root of the misery of our times. ..Read More!
David Livingstone gave his life to serve Christ in the exploration of Africa for the sake of the access of the gospel.
Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:
For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? …Read More!
When we have young children going into teenage or young adults at church it’s not un often that the topic of modesty comes up. Some say women must dress modestly so as not to stumble the weaker ones (read brothers). Either way – its good you are reading this article as this is a good opportunity to reflect on a couple of things. Modesty is an issue that should be looked at with alot of seriousness and thoughtfulness both by women and men.
Tom Hicks when writing about this prickly issue actually highlights 5 important points as he cautions on modesty.
I recently read an article about modesty that prompted me to write this post. The article says that women, particularly young women, should dress modestly to keep their brothers from stumbling into sin. I’ve talked that way in the past, and I’ve even taught it, but I’ve come to believe that it’s not helpful. Biblical modesty is really about humility and the glory of God.
1. Modesty as Humility. Often when Christians speak of modesty, they speak in terms of dress, but in reality, modesty is about not “showing off” any of your attractive qualities in words or deeds. It’s about refusing to set yourself above others and refusing to draw attention to yourself as an end. Modesty means not bragging about our work accomplishments, not showing off how intelligent we are, or even how “godly” we are, and it also means not showing off our physical bodies. Modesty means that we regard others as more important than ourselves and refuse to make ourselves out to look better than others.
2. Modesty is a Matter of the Gospel. Because of Christ’s imputed righteousness, we don’t have anything to prove to anyone. We are clothed in His holy robes of perfect obedience, which means we don’t have to grasp for the high opinions of men, the attraction of others, or for feelings of superiority over them. As believers in Jesus, we already have Him and all things in Him. Jesus says we will inherit the earth. We are seated in the heavenly places with Christ. God says we are “righteous” and that we are His “sons.” It really doesn’t matter what others say or think about us and it doesn’t matter whether others desire us. God wants us. He accepts us freely. Therefore, we can be modest.
“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.
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!
Listen to this clip….
Dr Steve Lawson and Todd Friel. …Read more!
Yes. The people who were known as infidels, the Christians, are now by God’s grace affectionately being called the “Bible people” as the gospel spreads to areas it has never reached in modern times. Voice of the Martyrs’ recent newsletter recently reported that…
The war in Syria is one of the greatest crises seen in the Middle East in the last 20 years. It has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, both Muslim and Christian. More than 2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries. In the midst of this crisis, our persecuted family is boldly reaching out. And the reactions of Muslims have been astonishing.
“When you hear about one Muslim coming to Christ, it’s a great thing, and everybody rejoices,” said a VOM Syrian contact. “Today in Syria I’m not talking about one person. We’re talking about hundreds and even thousands of Muslims coming to know Christ.”
The longer version of the video is here: …Read More!
“I will not say the sun of the gospel is set in England, but I am sure it is under a cloud.” ~Thomas Watson
The true mark by which to discern the Church of Jesus Christ [is] to be where his holy Gospel is purely and faithfully preached, declared, listened to and heeded; where the Sacraments are rightly administered, even though there continue to be some imperfections and flaws, as they will always be among men. On the contrary, where the Gospel is not declared, heard and received, there we recognize by no means the Church. – John Calvin
HT Jim West.
Arua. If you tried to search that name on “google” five years ago you would be auto corrected and taken to “Aurora” or “Aruba”. Not any more! As a matter of fact this little town tucked in the North Eastern corner of Uganda is becoming a bustling hub of activity. Uganda recently came back into the spotlight when it won its second ever Olympic gold medal. No, that was not the most recent. Um, was it the Joseph Kony 2012 video? No, that was just a celebrity stunt involving Uganda. Yes, the president stood and repented of personal and national sins of the country and dedicated the country to God during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain. (I will blog about that another time) Speaking of which before I digress, are there any blogs on Arua? Yup, actually several. One blogger recounts how he travelled to Arua and dined in an Ethiopian “hole in the wall restaurant” and slept in a bed laid side ways (I’m still trying to figure that out)!
The Lord’s command in Mark 4:24 is “take heed what ye hear”. Corrupt nature is thoroughly in love with error and will more readily and eagerly receive false rather than true doctrine. Should any dispute this statement, we would refer them to Jeremiah 5:31: “the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so”. Said Christ unto the Jews, “because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (John 8:45): what a commentary on fallen human nature – had He preached lies they would have promptly received Him.
Alas, what is man: he will run greedily after something new and sensational, but is soon bored by the old story of the Gospel.
How feeble is the Christian, how weak his faith, how fickle and unstable the moment he is left to himself. Peter, the most courageous and forward of the apostles in his profession, denied his Master when challenged by a maid. Even when given a heart to love the Truth, we still have “itching ears” for novelties and errors, as the Israelites welcomed the manna at first, but soon grew weary of it and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt.
Real and urgent then is our need to heed this command,
“Beware of false prophets.-A. W Pink“
What happened to modern church youth ministries? Why are many youth walking away from church as soon as they are old enough to leave home? Why is there very little reverance for God among the youth? “Divided” the movie has interesting findings…
Theology gives the alarm at the first and so often decisive moment, when the language of religion among a people begins to decline from the truth, and when error, like a rising weed, sprouts and grows into a plant. It then gives timely warning, and people hasten to root it out.-Louis Gaussen – 1840
A pastor recently penned a letter to the editor in his town newspaper. Well, apparently this had been a regular occurrence for the man. This time the letter was written under a different set of circumstances. Robert Jennings was writing his last letter and post as he was battling a terminal illness. I am told after publishing this letter many doors have opened to the gospel in this small town….
Terri and I moved to Sedalia with one child in 1983 to pastor a new church which has met at Highway M Chapel since 1987. Alas, pancreatic cancer showed up two years ago. Apart from divine intervention, I’m near the end of the road. Permit a farewell to my dear community.
In the almost 30 years we have raised our five children, lived our lives, gone in and out of the businesses, talked on the sidewalks, preached indoors and out, and I’ve written maybe 300 letters to the editor. This appears to be the last. The song writer says, “Time, like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away.”
Especially being a Christian, I’ve known that life is brief, death is certain, and an appearance before the Judge of all the earth is coming. Yet, my life is more of a “disappearing vapor” than I imagined. Indeed, the one great thing in life is to be ready to die. It is simple, but big. Yes, I’d like to stay on with my family, with my church, and with the souls of men to try to serve. But God’s will is sovereign. And, I am ready to die, in that I was saved from my sins by the grace of Christ 41 years ago. …Read More!
[Andy writes] In the early days of liberal theology, it was the vogue to claim that Jesus’ death was the result of His zeal. He shot His mouth off too many times about religious and moral truth, until, finally, His opponents could take no more and had Him assassinated. The theological axe-to-grind of this view was their rejection of the atonement as an objective, meritorious, vicarious sacrifice – in short, as a substitionary death.Evacuating Christ’s death in such a way, all that remained was His example. Not many evangelicals (a term I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with) would espouse such a radical view regarding Christ’s death, but the accompanying view of His life as merely a pattern or example, has clung on with tenacity in the best of circles. …Read More!
Many have walked down the aisle at altar calls a dozen times. They try Christianity for a while and then fall away. After another emotional sermon appeal they walk the isle in tears and a few weeks later the cycle is repeated. It’s now called “trying Christianity again” or “getting saved again”. How many times can one walk down an altar or keep “trying Christianity”?
The Bible says that once you are saved, you are never the same again; you are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). If you have gone back to your old ways, then most probably you were never saved (1 John 2:19). If, however, you were saved, then God won’t let you stay in rebellion for long. He will deal with you in whatever way is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with Him.
Did you become a Christian by going to church or by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins? The latter makes you a Christian, the former doesn’t.
You don’t try Christianity to see if it works, or if your life gets better. …Read more!
Voddie Baucham delivers a much needed sermon on “Adapting to the Culture or Not” at the Master’s College.
Download this Sermon here. [Audio]
HT: W. Revels via FB.
The high point of my week was this message. Needless to say I will jump right into it (see video below):
Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., told some 8,000 ministers Tuesday at the Together for the Gospel conference that he fears there are thousands, if not millions, of people in churches who are not truly converted.
“My fellow pastors, could it be that many of our hearers each week aren’t saved, even many of our members?”
The problem isn’t just the “occasional hypocrite lost in unrepentant sin,” but “systems that seem to produce false converts – not just one man, but whole congregations,” he lamented.
While some may brush off the problem as inevitable and one that pastors should not worry too much over, Dever sought to underscore how false conversions could dim the light of the church.
More importantly, “false conversions obscure God’s plan” – which he described as God doing all things for the glory of His name.
The Southern Baptist preacher described false converts as those indistinguishable from the world and who don’t hold to certain Scriptural truths.
A big source of the problem, he named, is false teachers, and that includes “health and wealth” preachers. …Read More!
This short article may be taken to be very difficult to swallow. In actual essence it simply contains the basic instructions of the Christian faith and doctrine. When we neglect the preaching of the word (and resort to carnal means of church growth) we inadvertently pander to base activities that on the surface may draw multitudes but profit little to bring sinners to repentance. …Read More!
Every so often its good to look back and see what God has done and praise Him for his providence but more so for the spread of the gospel of redemption from sin. I am always over whelmed with compassion for the missionaries who leave their comfortable lives and trudge on to remote mountains in South America or track down primitive tribes in unknown jungles in uncharted territories to preach the gospel. In the same breath, there has always been wisely devised fables and tales that some preachers would like to spread in the name of the gospel. Truth is some of the tales and snake oil being tauted is so alluring and excitable that these teachers easily amass crowds and followings. It is deplorable and nauseating. Such preachers have their reward and surely God will not take this lightly on that great and fateful day when He calls them to account for their deeds. [This is an archive story from reuters.] See what you make of it:
SOWETO, South Africa – “Jesus wants you to drive a brand new Nissan Navara 4×4. He’d also like you to live in a classy house, use the latest cell phone and wear the snappiest designer clothes.” Read More
In recent days we have seen mass murders and polar bears mauling teenagers all in (yes, you got it) Norway. But I came across this Norwegian missionary doing street evangelism in Copenhagen (Denmark). It is awesome to hear the gospel being preached by some one from (yes, you got it) Norway. Watch this clip…
Please pray for Norway. Pray for the furtherance of the gospel in Post Christian Europe.
Finally a new nation has been born in the heart of Africa. Most of the photos and news reports from this part of Africa (Cush) have always centered on wars, famine, plagues and cries for justice as the world watched a nation bathed in religious intolerance descend into anarchy. But latest reports now broadcast news with a different ring to it….
South Sudan [9th July2011] has become the world’s newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba.
Sudan earlier became the first state to officially recognise its new neighbour.
The south’s independence follows decades of conflict with the north in which some 1.5 million people died. ~BBC News
Now we can go and freely preach the gospel in South Sudan. We can tell them of God’s grace through Christ Jesus. Hey, if God has opened up this door, what do you think will happen if we begin to pray for North Korea?
In the words of John Knox, “Oh God give me [North Korea] or I die!” ….Read More
The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart.
Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.
Our beloved child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.
Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. The Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow Read More
The Britain of today is a far cry from the Britain of the yester years. If Sir Winston Churchill walked the streets of London today he would find a warm unhealthy pile of urine mixed with graffiti on his statue. No, it’s not the Germans who sneaked in over night. It is the University students who have run amok. The crème de la crème of the country have brilliantly thought that this act of anarchy can bring some sense to those who see it wise to tweak their tuition fees. But that’s not all: Read More
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 proundly sober in his understanding of God’s sovereignty and scripture:
The birth of Christ found people pre occupied with menial pursuits. The first Christmas found the inn full. Probably all relatives of Joseph found they had no extra rooms in Bethlehem. Herod was busy planning a census. The shepherds were out in the fields. Mary being with child brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths. The first Christmas almost passed unnoticed until the angel of the Lord with a herald of other angels lit up the skies and announced, “ Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” But There’s more
“I Finally Got Sent A Hillsong Video That Proves They Preach The Gospel . . . NOT!!” says Cameron Buettel a blogger who set up an interesting challenge. This is the what he found…
To his credit Troy did take up my challenge that no one else has responded to. He went looking for a solid example of someone from Hillsong church preaching the Gospel. I had burdened Troy with the responsibility of substantiating his claim that:
I can assure you that I’ve been to Hillsong quite a few times and have heard the gospel accurately preached. Yes, including the mention of sin and the cross. But There’s More
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may Read More