Saturday, December 22, 2007
What is the secret spot which infallibly betokens the child of God? It were vain presumption to decide this upon our own judgment; but God's word reveals it to us, and we may tread surely where we have revelation to be our guide. Now, we are told concerning our Lord, "to as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on His name." Then, if I have received Christ Jesus into my heart, I am a child of God. That reception is described in the same verse as believing on the name of Jesus Christ. If, then, I believe on Jesus Christ's name--that is, simply from my heart trust myself with the crucified, but now exalted, Redeemer, I am a member of the family of the Most High. Whatever else I may not have, if I have this, I have the privilege to become a child of God. Our Lord Jesus puts it in another shape. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." Here is the matter in a nutshell. Christ appears as a shepherd to His own sheep, not to others. As soon as He appears, His own sheep perceive Him--they trust Him, they are prepared to follow Him; He knows them, and they know Him--there is a mutual knowledge--there is a constant connection between them. Thus the one mark, the sure mark, the infallible mark of regeneration and adoption is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer. Reader, are you in doubt, are you uncertain whether you bear the secret mark of God's children? Then let not an hour pass over your head till you have said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart." Trifle not here, I adjure you! If you must trifle anywhere, let it be about some secondary matter: your health, if you will, or the title deeds of your estate; but about your soul, your never-dying soul and its eternal destinies, I beseech you to be in earnest. Make sure work for eternity.
From Morning and Evening for December 22
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Bridge there is none: we must go through the waters and feel the rush of the rivers. The presence of God in the flood is better than a ferryboat. Tried we must be, but triumphant we shall be; for Jehovah Himself, who is mightier than many waters, shall be with us. Whenever else He may be away from His people, the LORD will surely be with them in difficulties and dangers. The sorrows of life may rise to an extraordinary height, but the LORD is equal to every occasion. The enemies of God can put in our way dangers of their own making, namely, persecutions and cruel mockings, which are like a burning, fiery furnace. What then? We shall walk through the fires. God being with us, we shall not be burned; nay, not even the smell of fire shall remain upon us. Oh, the wonderful security of the heaven-born and heaven-bound pilgrim! Floods cannot drown him, nor fires burn him. Thy presence, O LORD, is the protection of Thy saints from the varied perils of the road. Be-hold, in faith I commit myself unto Thee, and my spirit enters into rest.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Everything is controversial to somebody. In almost 40 years of preaching, I have been called a hyper-Calvinist, an Arminian, a Primitive Baptist, an Anabaptist, a Charismatic, a Presbyterian, a Babylonian, a fanatic, and I don’t know what else. If I had my choice, I’d rather you just call me a Christian. Oh, to be worthy of that name! However, if you study history, as I try to do, you’ll find that if you stand for anything, someone will call you something, often derogatory.
Since I do declare the gospel of grace of the Sovereign God, many well meaning persons say “hyper-Calvinist”. Since I also maintain that man is accountable, and that God most often uses means, including men, to reach his elect, well meaning people on the other extreme call me “Arminian”. I am working on a study on what both of these theological words mean. Meanwhile, I present to you what I believe to be a scriptural, balanced, look at evangelism.
Possibly you may not agree. But if you disagree only from your traditions of men, don’t waste your time. If you desire to be like the noble Bereans, and find scripture, in context, that refutes what I say, I’ll be glad to look at it.
As the gifted Christian writer, Arthur W. Pink said in the 1920’s (as well as in his later life), in print for all to see:
“Now then my friends, I preach the gospel to sinners, not because I believe the sinner has any power at all in himself to respond to it: I do not believe that any sinner has any capacity in himself whatever. But Christ said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,” and by God’s grace I go forth preaching this Word because it is a word of power, a word of spirit, a word of life. The power is not in the sinner, it is in the Word when God the Holy Spirit is pleased to use it. And, my friends, I say it in all reverence; if God told me in this Book to go out and preach to the trees, I would go! Yes sir. God once told one of His servants to go and preach to bones and he went. I wonder if you would have gone! Yes, that has a local application as well as a future interpretation prophetically.
Now the question arises again, why are we to preach the gospel to every creature, if God has only elected a certain number to be saved? The reason is, because God commands us to do so. Well, but, you say, it does not seem reasonable to me. That has nothing to do with it; your business is to obey God and not to argue with Him. God commands us to preach the gospel to every creature, and it means what it says—every creature—and it is a solemn thing. Every Christian in this room tonight has yet to answer to Christ why he has not done everything in his power to send that gospel to every creature!” (From Free Grace Broadcaster, winter 1995).
I pray Christ’s blessing, and the Holy Spirit’s direction for you all,