28 February 2008

The Sovereignty of God


"There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation---the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands---the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne.On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth, and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. They love Him anywhere better than they do when He sits with His scepter in His hands and His crown upon His head. But it is God upon the throne we love to preach. It is the God upon the throne whom we trust."

Spurgeon, delivered May 4, 1856 in a sermon titled "Divine Sovereignty"

It's His Gospel

The Lord enabled me to open my mouth boldly against unconverted ministers; for, I am persuaded, the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ. The reason why congregations have been so dead is because they have had dead men preaching to them. O that the Lord may quicken and revive them! How can dead men beget living children?" George Whitefield

"The New Testament continues the testimony to the radical depravity of man. In fact, when Paul seeks to present a systematic argument for the gospel to the Romans, he does not begin with 'Jesus loves you' or 'God has a wonderful plan for your life.' Showing that he would fail almost every evangelism class currently offered in seminaries in our land, Paul begins with a dreadfully long discussion of the universal sinfulness of man. Without a single poem, no funny illustrations or multimedia aids, the inspired Apostle drags on about the sinfulness of men, Jew and Gentile alike. It is no wonder this section is so little preached in our day. But might it just be that good news cannot be properly understood unless the bad news is fully realized? Such would seem to be the case." James White

Pray for Rob Bell

New Rob Bell Video: We Are Co-Creators with God

I received a full transcript of Rob Bell’s latest NOOMA video that will make its way into churches of every description. It’s entitled, “Open”. Here is an excerpt:
…Now to understand why Jesus prays like this, we have to understand that Jesus took very seriously the creation poem Genesis, that the Bible begins with. And in this creation poem God creates, but God creates things that are capable of creating more, and so God creates trees but then gives trees the ability to create more. God creates animals and plants and fish but then empowers them to create more. And then God creates people, and gives them the ability to create more. So everything in creation is essentially unfinished, God leaves the world unfinished, and invites people to take part in the ongoing creation of the world. Now, when you create, you always run the risk that what you’ve created, won’t turn out how you wanted it to, it may go a different direction, it may not be everything you intended it to be. It may veer off course, and it may break your heart…
Rob Bell begins his video with the same emotional storytelling that his other emerging peers like to use. While there are still tears on the face of his readers, he inserts something heretical and wraps it all up with some devotional idea that nobody would argue with. We participate with God in the creation of the world? This is rank heresy that abounds in New Age teachings. The idea that we are co-creators with God is a key tenant of New Age belief. We are all co-creators with God, they say. God needs us to carry his creation forward. Creation is unfinished, Bell says, even though Scripture records God as calling His work “good” as he concluded the 6 days of creation. In Rob Bell’s world, Genesis is not a literal account, it is a poem. Rob Bell and his wife Kristen no longer believe that the Bible is, in their words, “divine fiat”, but rather a “human product”. Here’s the quote from their Christianity Today interview:
In fact, as the Bells describe it, after launching Mars Hill in 1999, they found themselves increasingly uncomfortable with church. “Life in the church had become so small,” Kristen says. “It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working.” The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—”discovering the Bible as a human product,” as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. “The Bible is still in the center for us,” Rob says, “but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.”
“I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible,” Kristen says, “that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again—like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.“
Source: Christianity Today
Read about what “The Secret” teaches regarding humans being co-creators with God.
Here’s what New Spirituality teacher Dick Rauscher has to say about being co-creators with God. This is where Rob Bell’s teaching is leading:
An anthropomorphic, theistic God no longer makes sense as we enter the 21st century. This article posits that God is the conscious, intelligent, creating spirit energy that has been present from the beginning of creation and manifests in the world of form as evolution. This God energy is agape love and is the only energy capable of reversing entropy. Because we are conscious and capable of manifesting agape love, humans are co-creators with God and fully responsible for the forms we create; both positive and negative. As Co-creators, we must understand that the seeds of agape love and the seeds of pain and suffering are embedded in our own hearts.
Source: Stonyhill.com

Posted on February 2008 by Ingrid

23 February 2008

His Wonderful Grace

Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation. They come by their thousands, by their myriads; e'er since the day when Christ first entered into His glory, they come, and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge. Some have been the chief of sinners, and some have come at the very last of their days, but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support; it will bear me over as it has borne them. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

19 February 2008

Lord Send Me


by Mike Andrews

How powerful is the word of God? A. W Tozer said "I did not go through the Book. The Book went through me." This Book, in the hands of a person who’s desire is to proclaim the blessed truth of our Lord and Savior, has the power to convert the soul. How powerful is the word of God? When in the hands of a hungry believer, as D.L Moody said, "The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives". This Book will create a person with a heart that is passionate, who has a love for the lost, who is an obedient follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word of God is wonderful! As Paul said to the believers in Rome, "..... How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:15). It is the blessed Gospel of peace, the message of Good News to those who call upon the name of the Lord. Many people have heard and responded to this message; people such as John Knox, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and in particular John Wesley a Methodist preacher in England.
Wesley was a man who had a passion for the gospel and the church of God. He was a man who was well organized and a great leader. His deepest passion was to preach the power of the cross and to edify the saints in the local church. He continued to serve God in this way until he was introduced to an evangelist named George Whitefield. Whitefield was a man who was willing to preach anywhere at anytime to anyone who would listen to him. Wesley was nervous about this style of preaching, but was intrigued because admittedly, there were people outside the church who needed to hear the Gospel of peace. Wesley spoke for the first time in open air to a crowd on April 2nd, 1739. This ignited his passion for the open air preaching of the Gospel in any area he could reach by horseback. Wesley's passion reached England, Scotland and Ireland. Because his passion was for the truth to be heard, his preaching was powerful and convicting and many times his preaching would cause angry mobs. By Wesley's quote "the world is my parish", we are able to see that his desire was to reach the unconverted with the gift of grace. His approach went against the accepted rules and regulations of the day about who could preach the gospel. He was recruiting and using unordained ministers to assist him in preaching the Gospel. This was causing many parishes to be upset, but Wesley's love was for all the world to hear this news in any way possible. His unorthodox style of preaching influenced many people including fellow saints of the Lord Jesus like John Newton the hymn writer, William Cowper the English poet, and William Wilberforce who helped stop the slave trade. The most significant impact came in his own country of England and resulted in the start of the Methodist church which would eventually reach North America and the world. Wesley's open air preaching would result in a wicked nation turning from their sin and becoming a nation of God-fearing people. John Wesley’s passion and love for God’s truth impacted many lives, changed the way we conduct church, and expanded the way we reach the lost with the good news of Salvation.
We need more men today who are willing to stand in the face of adversity and proclaim the blessed news of our Savior who came in the form of a man, bled and died for our sin, and rose again victoriously. This is the news of Peace that Wesley held dear to his heart. He was a man who saw the great need for the Message to reach the lost! "The world is my parish" he said. The world still needs to hear that Good News of Peace and may we have the same heart as our brother John Wesley. "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" (Eph 6:15). "You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance." Amen, John Wesley, may the Lord Send Us!

E.R. discovers the flaw of post-modernisem

16 February 2008

John MacArthur vs. Barry Lynn

Lifehouse

How Great Is Our God

Our Loving Lord Jesus

In Him is Strength
By Mike Andrews

When a person thinks of the Lord Jesus Christ, one reflects on His goodness, compassion, longsuffering, and most of all His grace toward fallen mankind. Because of His willingness to seek the lost and go to the cross for people like me and the whole world, we can have a personal relationship with a holy God. Why? Because He cares and loves us very much "for God so loved the world he gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16). Throughout the Old Testament the Bible speaks of many examples of Christ types. There have been people such as Adam, His first created treasure "first Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life giving spirit." (1 Cor 15:45); the Ark which was built by Noah "... God commanded him: and the LORD shut him in." (Gen 7:16); Melchizedek the high priest; and Joseph the persecuted brother just to mention a few. There is one person in particular that seems to stand out the most to me in the Old Testament, and this is Boaz - a man who's name means "in him is strength". He was a man who was strong, full of valor, compassionate, willing to provide for and protect his own. He was a person who sought the best interest of others.
The Bible speaks of him as the kinsman redeemer. In order to be a "kinsman redeemer", one must be of the same family or tribe or related by blood. "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz'". (Ruth 2:1) What was Boaz redeeming? It was his relative Elimelech’s (and Naomi’s) estate. He was willing to redeem it for the purpose of keeping the land in the family and producing an heir according Old Testament Law (Lev 25). Boaz was a man who was blood related and because of his wealth, had the necessary resources to buy the land. "And he said, "I will redeem it." (Ruth 4:4) Naomi was faced with hopelessness until Boaz came. She was unable to have children due to her age, her husband and sons were deceased and her only daughter-in-law left was Ruth. Ruth, a Moabitess, was a woman who was devoted to her mother-in-law, even after losing her husband. "But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God." (Ruth 1:17) Ruth was a lost and broken Moabitess who was hated by many especially the nation Israel, because of a previous falling out with Balak (Num 22-25). Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, overlooked Naomi's problems and Ruth’s undesirable heritage, and sought to redeem the land and her for himself. "Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance." (Ruth 4:5) Boaz was a man who had the means to bring life back to this family. Ultimately, the heir conceived by Ruth would result in the line of David, the king of Israel. From the line of David we would see a woman named Mary who would give birth to our Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David". (Luke 1:30-32)
The Lord Jesus is our kinsman redeemer - God, who came in the form of man, to redeem sinful man. A blood relative of the line of David. (Gal 4:4-5) "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons". He had the necessary resources - his very life. (1 Peter 1:19) "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot". He had the willingness to buy us back with this life. (1John 3:16) "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren". When you think of Boaz, think of the redeeming grace the LORD Jesus bestows on us by His strength.

13 February 2008

What does History tell Us




It May Cost You Your Life
By Mike Andrews

How powerful is the word of God? Is it worth dying over? John Wycliffe and William Tyndale thought it was. Both these men died for what they knew to be true - that every person deserves to read the Scriptures for themselves. The Bible says it's powerful enough to pierce the strongest of bones and the most hardened of hearts (Heb 4:12). Paul believed they were powerful and told Timothy that "the Holy Scriptures, ... are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 3:15). The Bible is a life changing book; it has the power to change a person's life (Rom16:26). It is the most important book that anyone needs to read for themselves because Paul says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 10:17). So why don't we hear about people giving their lives for the precious Word of God in our generation? The answer is simple: reformers like Luther, Wycliffe, Calvin, Tyndale and Knox paved the way for us to have the freedoms that they never had. They died to give us the privilege of holding and cherishing the Bible whenever we want, wherever we want. These men fought for the freedom of Christianity because they knew the word was for everyone, not only a select few as the Roman Catholics thought.
The early church believers walked by faith, the same faith that we hold dear to our hearts. They put all their trust in the Scriptures and not in man because they were growing in the "milk of the word" for themselves. But this wasn't an easy task for them to achieve. It wasn't because they didn't know how to read or understand the truths on the pages. The problem was the Roman Catholics! Though they themselves claimed that the Scriptures were authoritative, the Catholics believed they had exclusive rights to its claims. This gave them power which they would lord over the people. They believe that only the priests have the authority to proclaim and read the Scriptures and the divine power to understand the scriptures. The early believers knew that this was a false claim, which presented a problem for the Catholic church. Now it was putting their superiority claims into question by the common people. For the reformers, and Christians of any era, speaking out against a dominate world power like the Catholics was a dangerous game to be playing. Not only did they exercise religious control over the people, but they also had a strong political influence at that time. Anyone who spoke out against the Church at Rome and their traditions and doctrines were stamped as a heretic. In the Catholic's eyes this meant death to those who dared to speak out against them. Many good Christians have died at the hands of the Catholic Church and their influence. People such as John Huss, Jerome, Tyndale, John Rogers, and many thousands more died so that we can worship in the way we were created to worship. May we never forget these people for what they have done by holding the Scriptures above everything, loving the LORD of the Bible, and standing firm in the Scriptures - something that is supposed to be read and loved by the whole world, not just the elite. Martin Luther said "For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant". This Book is worth dying for because the message it contains is far more important than one person's mortal life. Paul couldn't have said this any clearer when he said these final words to Timothy "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim 4:7-8).