Sunday, December 29, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Some little time ago, after the conclusion of one of Mr. Brownlow North's addresses in Edinburgh a young man came into the room where he was receiving persons anxious for private conversation, and said to him, "I have heard you preach three times, sir, and I neither care for you nor your preaching unless you can tell me why did God permit sin." "I will do that with pleasure," was the immediate reply,—"Because He chose to." The young man, apparently taken by surprise, stood speechless; and Mr. North again replied, "Because He chose to; and," added he, "if you continue to question and cavil at God's dealings, and vainly puffed up by your carnal mind, strive to be wise above what is written, I will tell you something more that God will do,—He will some day put you into hell-fire. It is vain for you to strive with your Maker—you cannot resist Him; and neither your opinion of His dealings, nor your blasphemous expression of them, will in the least lessen the pain of your everlasting damnation, which, I again tell you, will most certainly be your portion if you go on in your present spirit."
"There were such questioners as you in St. Paul's time, and how did the apostle answer them?" “Nay, but O man, who art thou that replied against God” (Romans 9:20).”
The young man here interrupted Mr. North, and said, "Is there such a text as that in the Bible?" "Yes, there is," was the reply, "in the ninth chapter of the Romans; and I recommend you to go home and read that chapter; and after you have read it, and seen there how God claims for Himself the right to do whatever He chooses, without permitting the thing formed to say to Him that formed it, 'Why hast Thou made me thus?’ Remember that, besides permitting sin, there is another thing God has chosen to do, — God chose to send Jesus. Of His own free and sovereign grace God gave His only begotten Son to die for sinners in their stead—in their place; so that, though they are sinners, and have done things worthy of death, not one of them shall ever be cast into hell for his sins who will receive Jesus as his only Saviour, and believe in Him and rest in His Word. I have no time to say more to you now: others are waiting to see me. Go home, attend to what I have told you, and may God the Holy Spirit bless it for Jesus Christ sake."
This conversation took place on Sunday evening. On the following Friday, Mr. North was sitting in a friend's drawing room, when the servant announced that a young man wanted to speak to him. On being shown upstairs, he said, "Do you remember me?" "No." "Do you not remember the young man who on Sunday night asked you to tell him 'why did God permit sin'?" "Yes, perfectly." "Well, sir, I am that young man; and you said that God permitted sin because He chose to, and you told me to go home and read the ninth chapter of Romans; and also that God chose to send Jesus to die for such sinners as I am; and I did, sir, what you told me, and afterwards I fell down at God's feet and asked Him to forgive my sins, because Jesus died for me, and He did; and now I am happy—oh! so happy, sir; and though the devil still comes sometimes to tempt me with my old thoughts, and to ask me what reason I have to think God has forgiven me, I have always managed to get him away by telling him that I do not want to judge things by my own reason, but by God's Word, and that the only reason why I know I am forgiven, is that for Christ's sake, God chooses to pardon me."
The changed expression of the young man's countenance was quite sufficient to account for Mr. North's not knowing him again. It was radiant with joy and peace.
Dear reader, the first lesson a poor sinner has to learn, is to trust in the Lord, and not to his own understanding; to trust God not only for what he does understand, and for what is explained, but for what he does not understand, and for what is not explained. This is faith, and such faith honors God and saves the soul. This is receiving the kingdom of God as a little child; and let us ever remember that it is written (and the scripture cannot be broken), that unless we receive the kingdom of God as a little child, we shall in no wise enter therein.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 8.)
(Copied from an old tract in my files- author unknown)- (emphasis mine-cmw)
Brownlow North was born January 6, 1810, and died November 9, 1875 and was known as the great Evangelist of 19th century Britain, God’s hand was on him in unusual way. When converted at age 45, he had been a sinful playboy, but went on to be remembered as one who spoke to the common man. Several books of his sermons have been published, but all seem to be presently out of print. The best are “The Rich Man and Lazarus” and “Wilt Thou Go with This Man?” You may find used copies at Amazon.com. Here is a link to a brief biographical article about Brownlow North.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
The historical monuments in America reveal our nation's past in a unique way. In our nation's capital, for example, we have the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol building itself. These all reflect America's Christian history, no matter how loudly unbelievers object to it, or try to deny it. Despite objections, these monuments and their inscriptions are testimonies to the gospel's influence on our country. While these may be totally removed someday, at present they testify loudly in this land to "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), through divine providence.
As a continual student of American history, I have recently read the lives of both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman, and am currently reading the life of Abraham Lincoln. To broaden our perspectives, we must read Scripture history (Psalm 78:1-8), as well as American and world history. If we fail to do so, we become too narrow in our thinking and outlook. Those who read objectively know that many of the politicians of our day are nothing but pseudo-educated revisionists.
Look briefly at Psalm 74, which depicts a very dark time in Israel's history, the fall of Jerusalem. This melancholy psalm records this prayer: "Arise, O God, plead your own cause" (verse 22). "Axes and hammers" had destroyed the "carved work" of the Temple, and "fire" had devastated the sanctuary, bringing general despair among the people. Thus their questions were legitimate: "O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever?" (verse 10). Though we today know not "how long" we must endure the blasphemy of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do know that it will not be "forever." "For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth" (verse 12). Note, God is not idle, but is definitely "working," and we rejoice that in reality "Jesus is Lord of all" (Acts 10:36).
Let us not despair or give up in this desolate hour in America. Our trust must be firm in the God who is absolutely sovereign. He shall never fail, neither shall any puny man defeat Him. Our hope is not in politicians, their schemes, or their awful unbelief, but in Christ alone. And we continue to pray, "Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies" (Psalm 108:12-13). Note, "It is He."
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
“I do not need to tell you that walking with God is not only honorable, but is pleasant and profitable also. For by it you know happy experience and will find it so more and more every day. Only give me permission to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance and to beseech you, by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, to take heed to yourselves and walk closer with God than you have in days past.
For the nearer you walk with God, the more you will enjoy Him, whose presence is life and be better prepared for being placed at his right hand, where are pleasures forevermore. O do not follow Jesus afar off! Do not be ritualistic, dead and ignorant in your attendance of public worship. Do not shamefully forsake the assembling yourselves together or be so indifferent about the things of God. Remember what Jesus says of the church of Laodicea, ‘Because thou art neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.’ Think of the love of Jesus and let that love constrain you to keep near unto Him. Even if you die for Him, do not deny Him, do not keep at a distance from Him in any way.”
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Let it be a settled principle in our minds that the true Christian must always enter the kingdom of God “through much tribulation” (Acts 14:22). Their best things are yet to come. This world is not our home. If we are faithful and decided servants of Christ, the world will certainly hate us, as it hated our Master. In one way or another grace will always be persecuted. No consistency of conduct, however faultless, no kindness and amiability of character, however striking, will exempt a believer from the world’s dislike, so long as they live. It is foolish to be surprised at this. It is mere waste of time to murmur at it. It is a part of the cross, and we must bear it patiently. “Marvel not, my brethren,” says John, “if the world hates you.” “If you were of the world,” says our Lord, “the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13),(John 15:18,19).
"If we are faithful and decided servants of Christ, the world will certainly hate us, as it hated our Master. It is foolish to be surprised by this." ~ J.C. Ryle(Expository Thoughts on the Gospels; Luke, Volume 2); [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth 1998]