November 30, 2004

God Must be Glorified by Doug Weaver

The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is not by works or human merit lest anyone should boast. We just do not have anything to boast about. We also see from the Bible that God has created the world for His own glory. God must be glorified because He is in character and essence a glorious being. Thus in the salvation of the redeemed the glorious aspects of God's mercy, His grace, His compassion, His long-suffering, His kindness, and His love are revealed and God is glorified. But in the just condemnation of the wicked, the glorious aspect of God's justice, holiness, and righteousness are also manifested and God is glorified. But from our perspective, we see all this from our depraved, sinful eyes which make it hard to understand except the Holy Spirit enlighten us. God is just, holy, and righteous and has a natural hatred towards sin because sin is evil. When these qualities are manifested in the just condemnation of sinners, God, in His justice, is glorified. Therefore, both in the electing of some and the passing by of others, God is glorified.

November 29, 2004

Encouragement In the Lord by Chris Cunningham

"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." I Sam. 30:6

David was reaping the harvest of his sinful relationship with Achish. God had just providentially spared him the horror of fighting against his own nation, Israel with these heathen Philistines (read chapter 29), but now it was time for a wake up call. It's sad that God must bring us to a place like this to cause us to turn to Him, but what grace it is that He does so. In our text, David and his men had returned to Ziklag only to find their homes burned and their loved ones taken captive. If this wasn't enough grief for David, the people, now blaming him, are talking of killng him.

I've had some bad days in my life, but I cannot even approach this! There are times in this life when there seems to be no hope and no way out. Believers do not float through life with their hands humbly folded and a religious smile on their faces. David was "greatly distressed" but still was enabled by his gracious God to encourage himself in the Sovereign One to Whom this trial was a trifle. God was simply using this to bring His precious child to His loving side. Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; Neh 9:27.
Even while David and the people "lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep" (vs.4), God had already purposed and was arranging the events necessary to restore unto them all their losses. When we are at our rope's end, if we are God's child, we are as much in His tender care as when we are on easy street. Our King has all things under His sovereign control, doeth all things well and loves us in Christ, as much as He loves Himself. No wonder David could say by real experience, "the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps. 107:19

Does this encourage you?

November 24, 2004

Pardon by C.H. Spurgeon

Once upon a time, there came one to my house of a black and terrible aspect. He smote the door; I tried to bolt it- to hold it fast. He smote again and again, till at last he entered, and with a rough voice he summoned me before him; and he said, "I have a message from God for you-- you are condemned on account of your sins."

I looked at him with astonishment; I asked him his name.

He said, "My name is the Law." and I fell at his feet as one that was dead. "I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." As I lay there, he smote me. He smote me till every rib seemed as if it must break, and the bowels be poured forth. My heart was melted like wax within me; I seemed to be stretched upon a rack- to be pinched with hot irons- to be beaten with whips of burning wire. A misery extreme dwelt and reigned in my heart.

I dared not lift up mine eyes, but I thought within myself, "There may be hope, there may be mercy for me. Perhaps the God whom I have offended may accept my tears and my promises of amendment, and I may live." But when that thought crossed my mind, heavier were the blows and more poignant my sufferings than before, till hope entirely failed me, and I had nothing wherein to trust. Darkness black and dense gathered round me. I heard a voice as it were, of rushing to and fro, and of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I said within my soul, "I am cast out from his sight, I am utterly abhorred of God- he has trampled me in the mire of the streets in his anger."

And there came one by, of sorrowful but of loving aspect, and he stooped over me, and he said, "Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." I arose in astonishment, and he took me, and he led me to a place where stood a cross, and he seemed to vanish from my sight. But he appeared again hanging there. I looked upon him as he bled upon that tree. His eyes darted a glance of love unutterable into my spirit, and in a moment, looking at him, the bruises that my soul had suffered were healed; the gaping wounds were cured; the broken bones rejoiced; the rags that had covered me were all removed; my spirit was white as the spotless snows of the far-off north; I had melody within my spirit, for I was saved, washed, cleansed, forgiven, through him that did hang upon the tree! Oh, how I wondered that I should be pardoned! It was not the pardon that I wondered at so much; the wonder was that it should come to ME. I wondered that he should be able to pardon such sins as mine; such crimes, so numerous and so black, and that after such an accusing conscience he should have power to still every wave within my spirit, and make my soul like the surface of a river, undisturbed, quiet, and at ease.

November 22, 2004

Some believed and some not why? by Don Fortner

The preacher was the apostle Paul. The message preached was the gospel of Christ. Paul expounded the Scriptures, testified of his own experience of the Christ. Yet, we read that "some believed... and some believed not." Why did Luke write that down? What does the Holy Spirit intend for us to learn from this fact?

Without question, the intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us that THE SALVATION OF SINNERS IS NOT DETERMINED BY THE ABILITY OF THE PREACHER. I do not mean to suggest that a person can be saved apart from the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; I Pet. 1:23-25). And I do not suggest that it does not matter who you hear (I John 4:1-3; II John 10). If you feed upon the poison of a false religion, you will perish under the wrath of God. But the Holy Spirit does mean for us to understand that saving faith is in no way dependent upon or determined by the gifts, abilities, education, or spiritually of the man who preaches the gospel. No one excels Paul in these areas. Yet, some who heard him "believed not." He preached pure gospel truth. He preached the truth in love. His heart was in his message. He wanted those who heard him to know Christ. Yet, "some believed not."

WHY DID SOME BELIEVE WHILE OTHERS BELIEVED NOT? All heard the same preacher the same sermon under the same circumstances. Only one explanation can be given for the faith of those who believed. They believed because God chose them in eternity, Christ redeemed them at Calvary, and now the Holy Spirit called them and gave them faith by his irresistible power and grace (John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:16-18). Their salvation was entirely God's fault and the result of God's work.

WHY DID SOME NOT BELIEVE? Their unbelief was their own fault and the result of their own work. They did not believe because they would not believe (John 5:40). They would not believe because they had no need of Christ (Luke 9:11). ALL WHO ARE SAVED ARE SAVED AS A RESULT OF WHAT GOD DOES. ALL WHO ARE LOST ARE LOST AS A RESULT OF WHAT THEY DO.

November 18, 2004


Do you think it astounding that some men find it easy to hold Scripture up to the worth of their own opinion? Some men actually refuse to preach certain doctrines of Holy Writ because they deem them controversial. Shall a worm of the dust count itself as judge over the Word of God, to say this or that should not be preached because other worms do not find it palatable? Did God, as He inspired His Book, also inspire the writers to put an asterisk beside predestination or election in order that the preacher might be sure to avoid these subjects? Where does such presumption originate? Does the dunghill denizen believe that his wisdom is greater than God's? He must believe himself to be God, or else he would not take it upon himself to discount what God has said. Oh how marvelously the maggot monarch molds his message to misdirect his multitudes by mutilating the Gospel and removing its sting! It would seem that the serpent's lie has found it resting place in the pate of these pusillanimous pulpiteers. "ye shall be as god's", said the serpent, and the malevolent message took. Now the fallen man , believing himself to be deity does not bow to the Word of God but rather abbreviates it…does not preach it but rather pares it down. It is this wretched wrester of Scripture "WHO OPPOSETH AND EXALTETH HIMSELF ABOVE ALL THAT IS CALLED GOD, OR THAT IS WORSHIPPED; SO THAT HE AS GOD SITTETH IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, SHEWING HIMSELF THAT HE IS GOD" .

November 17, 2004

Christ Property (by Spurgeon)

Act 18:10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.

This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved.

When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne. They are Christ's property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the ale house, and haters of holiness. But if Jesus Christ purchased them he will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which his Son has paid. He will not allow his substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.

No, more, these ungodly ones are prayed for by Christ before the throne. "Neither pray I for these alone," says the great Intercessor, "but for those also who shall believe on me through their word." Poor, ignorant souls, they know nothing about prayer for themselves, but Jesus prays for them. Their names are on his breastplate, and before long they must bow their stubborn knee, breathing the penitential sigh before the throne of grace. The predestinated moment has not struck; but when it comes, they shall obey, for God will have his own; they must, for the Spirit is not to be withstood when he comes forth with fullness of power; they must become the willing servants of the living God.

November 15, 2004


I recently received a letter from a little idol shop (a place which distributes little "good luck" gods - crosses - angels - lapel pins, etc). The letter requested permission from me to send each of you a "God loves you" pin. A portion of my reply is below. I hope each of you understand why we do not use religious trinkets, bumper stickers, and silly cliches to promote holy things and divine truth.

Dear _______,
Thank you for your offer; but no, you may not have my permission to send my church family or friends your pins. I sincerely hope you will seriously reconsider what you are doing. Where in the Word of God do you find anyone telling unbelieving sinners that God loves them. To tell a person God loves him is to assure him that everything is okay, that he will certainly be with the Lord in eternity, that he will be saved at last.

If that is not the implication you intend by such a statement, the other necessary implication is utterly blasphemous. -- It is that the love of God is meaningless and irrelevant! If God loves the damned, his love is, of necessity, useless.
Also, the sale, use, or distribution of religious trinkets is nothing less than idolatry. It is for that reason that you cannot find anyone engaging in such frivolity in the Scriptures, except those who worshipped trinket gods.
Please forgive me if this seems a bit strong to you. I have deliberately stated things in such a way as to insure your attention, and to do my best to make certain that you cannot forget what you have read. If we would worship and serve the God of Holy Scripture, we must worship and serve him in SPIRIT (Spiritually and by his Spirit) and in TRUTH (As he has revealed himself in Holy Scripture). If I can help you in the pursuit of the knowledge of the living, eternal God in Christ, please do not hesitate to contact me again. I am yours in the cause of Christ,

By God's Free and Sovereign Grace,

November 11, 2004

Do You Believe That? by Don Bell

Do you really believe that when Christ died, that he died for every man on the planet? If you do you have some really big explaining to do. How are you going to justify God for not saving everyone if Christ died for them? How will you explain to those in hell why they are not saved if Christ died for them? When the Lord Jesus Christ died, his death was a redemption, a payment price to the justice of God that demanded payment for sin from the sinner. Redemption is to pay a price with a view to ransom, rescue, and release. Christ's blood was shed to redeem, to ransom, rescue and release. Now it is obvious that all men are not redeemed, because they are not saved. In fact many who heard Our Lord preach and saw his miracles have been in hell for two millennia.

To believe that Christ died for every single person on this planet flies in the face of God's perfection's. God is perfect in His nature and in all His attributes, right ? Universal redemption is contrary to the Love Of God. At first it seems to magnify the love of God, but it really reduces it to nothing. God's love is displayed in the death of His son and redemption by him. The love of God in the universal idea of redemption, does not secure salvation for anyone. It makes God love Peter no more than Judas, the saints in heaven no more than the damned in hell. Universal redemption says thy were both loved alike, and equally redeemed by Christ. Those who say Christ died for all do not present the love of God as immutable and unalterable. It says that God loved men so, that He gave his Son to die for them, wills that they should be saved. Then that love is turned into wrath and fury, and punishes them everlastingly.

Universal redemption is contrary to the Wisdom Of God. Where is his wisdom in giving his Son unto death for all alike, and yet multitudes do not benefit from it? I can hear some of you say, that those who perish did not perform the conditions their redemption required. Either God did know, or did not know that these men would not perform the conditions required. If He didn't know, then there is a lack of knowledge in him. If he did know, that they would not perform what was required, where is his wisdom in providing a redemption that would not redeem them? Where is his wisdom in providing a redemption that does not redeem? Folks read your Bibles. God willing I will continue this in our next article.

November 10, 2004

Are you Faithful? by Todd Nibert

Throughout scripture, God’s people are described as faithful. When the Lord describes the commendation the believer will receive upon entering glory, He says His words shall be, "well done, thou good and faithful servant." What is faithfulness? Here is the simplest definition. Faithfulness believes, and can be believed.

In the passive sense, faithfulness can be believed, trusted, and relied upon. Faithfulness is very predictable. You are in for no surprises with the faithful because there is a consistency of character. Remember Paul’s words, "It is required in a steward that a man be found faithful." The best example of a steward is the executor of a will. If you want your will executed properly, what do you look for in a person to do it? Talent? Genius? Charisma? In reality, nor only are those things not needed. They may be a hindrance. What you want is faithfulness! This is what God requires of all of His children. Faithfulness!

In the active sense, faithfulness believes! What do "believers" do? They believe! They believe God! They believe everything God says! If any portion of God’s Word is presented to me, and I say, "I don’t believe that", then I am an unbeliever. A believer believes all that God says. Are you faithful? Do you believe? Can you be believed? If you are a believer, the answer is yes to both of these questions. It the answer is no, what is the only conclusion that can be drawn? You are an unbeliever. Believers believe and can be believed! Lord, make me faithful!

November 09, 2004

And He Did Eat by Tim James

This is one of the most awesome and profound statements in all of the word God “and he did eat”. There was no tempting of Adam; there were no slick words, no whisper from the tempter. Here our father, our representative, our federal head did eat. With open rebellion and disobedience, he did eat. Without regard for the consequence, he did eat. With murderous efficiency, he did eat. He did eat and the earth became a funeral home, the ground became a cemetery, every boulder a tombstone, and every flower a memorial decoration of the whited sepulcher. He did eat and sin and death entered the world. He did eat, and you and I did eat. He was proved a sinner and from that day forth, from his loins came forth fruit after his kind and after his likeness and bearing the same seed. He did eat and that image of God in which He was created was marred beyond repair. He did eat and his mind, his rational thought processes, his ability to communicate with God in any right manner was lost. He did eat and he did die spiritually. He did eat and authority turned to slavery. He did eat and union became a chasm, a great gulf fixed. He did eat and loved turned into hate, life into death, peace into war, mirth into malice, health into malady, sweet into bitter, joy into sorrow, worship into fear, delight into desolation, kindness into calumny, and opened eyes that beheld only blackness and darkness. And He did eat and the fruit turned to gall and wormwood on his palate. He did eat, relishing the pleasure for a season and in the end it brought forth death. He did eat.

November 08, 2004

A religious animal by Philpot

"Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious, for as I was walking along I saw your many altars. And one of them had this inscription on it—TO AN UNKNOWN GOD." Acts 17:22-23

Man has been called, and perhaps with some truth, a religious animal. Religion of some kind, at any rate, seems almost indispensable to his very existence—for from the most civilized nation, to the most barbarous tribe upon the face of the earth—we find some form of religion practiced. Whether this is ingrained into the very constitution of man, or whether it be received by custom or tradition—I will not pretend to decide. But that some kind of religion is almost universally prevalent, is a fact that cannot be denied. We will always find these two kinds of religion . . . false and true, earthly and heavenly, fleshly and spiritual, natural and supernatural.

Compare this vital, spiritual, heavenly, divine, supernatural religion . . . this work of grace upon the soul, this teaching of God in the heart, this life of faith within —with its flimsy counterfeit. Compare the actings of . . . real faith, real hope, real love; the teachings, the dealings, the leadings, and the operations of the blessed Spirit in the soul —with rounds of . . . duties, superstitious forms, empty ceremonies, and a notional religion, however puffed up and varnished.

Compare the life of God in the heart of a true Christian, amid all his dejection, despondency, trials, temptations, and exercises; compare that precious treasure, Christ's own grace in the soul—with all mere . . . external religion, superficial religion, notional religion. O, it is no more to be compared than a grain of dust with a diamond! No more to be compared than a criminal in a dungeon to the King on the throne! In fact, there is no comparison between them.