December 30, 2005

New Years Eve by J.C. Philpot

"This is a reading age—and as books are cheap, largely read, and easily procurable, the press has come to embrace a wider circle and to possess a greater influence on the public mind than any other medium of communication. The Christian press has spread itself in all directions, and exercises an influence scarcely inferior to that of the pulpit. Works, therefore, written by gracious men, whether living or dead, may be viewed as exercising a ministry of their own, running, as it were, parallel to that of the pulpit, and in harmony with it—but possessing the advantage of penetrating into places, and speaking on occasions where the voice of the living preacher cannot come, as well as of being accessible at all times, lying silently and unobtrusively on the table or the bookshelf, ready to be taken up or laid down at pleasure—and, if we have well chosen them, our trustiest friends and wisest counselors, who will always tell us the truth without fear and without flattery.

Now may the Lord bless you, and lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you peace! May you, during this year of grace; receive much grace; and may you proceed onwards towards heaven! And may we as a church, as members of churches, as ministers, as deacons, mutually strive together for the faith of Jesus, and be edified therein! And may the Lord save the ungodly! If the last year is clean gone and you are not yet pardoned and forgiven, let not another year roll away without finding mercy!

Now, my friends, in the highest and best sense, I wish you all a happy new year."

(J. C. Philpot, "New Years' Address" 1868)

December 21, 2005

A more palatable Christmas by Eric Wilson

I suppose no greater time of the year manifests the nature of man than this season. Throughout the year many churches seem to pervert the gospel and preach a more palatable sermon to the flesh. They teach lessons and stories and ignore the message of Christ finished work. They bring the world into the church to entice the worshipers and discard His abilities and work. They add to the theatrics with pictures, idles, and symbols of blasphemy. And every week under the pretense of spirituality the lost wonder in to fill their emotional needs only to be empty by that afternoon. With that it should not surprise any of us the apparent zeal people go into this holiday season with every year. But still my heart sinks to see all that man does with the pretense of religion. They take what they know as religion and mix it with the world. Christmas was clearly brought over from Paganism to entice those to the Roman Church. Christmas services of today teach stories and ignore the message of Christ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and Word. Nowhere in the scripture speaks of or records a celebration of Jesus birth, but the same scriptures says clearly we should remember His death. Ignoring this many not only embrace and celebrate the nativity but change it to fit a 60 minute pageant. They worship it with idles and symbols and fight for idolatrous nativity scenes to be displayed in public. And on December 25th there are those that exhibit joy in the remembrance of the birth of Jesus, but seek no pleasure in the Savior. It seems for this single day the religion of self is amplified to demonstrate the flesh more than usual. There is no different it appears than any other day.

And so it should be for you and me as well. We should spend this day and season as we should spend every day of the year. Believers should spend every day in thanks and praise to God for His gift of His Son. We should embrace songs such as Joy to the World and sing them all year round. Since it is not improper but lawful to meditate upon the Lord on any day it shouldn’t be in the power of other men’s superstition, or our own, to make such a meditation improper for this one day as well. We need not act like super-pious religious idiots over a day that truly has absolutely no more religious significance than any other. And like any other day we should live it to serve the Lord. And like any other day we should give thanks to Him. Let us remember that everyday and opportunity is provided us by divine providence. The day may be afforded us to tell everyone who Christ is, to preach the message of His finished work, to call everyone to reconcile to God. It is not by accident that once a year all unbelievers are faced with the truth that Christ became flesh to save His elect.

With all of this, I am not saying it is wrong to come together, give gifts, send cards, or especially give thanks for the gift of His Son. I enjoy, most of the time, this season and the good will it promotes. And I love, am humbled, and honored for any opportunity to praise the lord and share the meaning of His Son and the Gift of Grace. Let us repent from any religiosity and false representations of Christ. This day like any other day let us exalt it to glorify God.

December 20, 2005

any season by Don Fortner

While I loathe the religiosity of this holiday season, the silly plays, the idolatrous pictures and representations of Christ and the angels of God, and pretense of spirituality by people who have no interest in the glory of God, I am delighted for this season of the year (for any season) that brings families together, encourages kindness and good will, and promotes thoughtfulness of and generosity to others. It is perfectly all right to exchange gifts with and send cards to family and friends. (I cannot imagine a reason for anyone objecting to that!) But I suggest that each of us find a way to acknowledge and do something special for someone from whom we expect nothing, maybe even from someone from whom we expect abuse. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” - Don Fortner

Christmas is coming by A.W. Pink

Christmas is coming! Quite so; but what is "Christmas"? Does not the very term itself denote its source-- "Christ-mass." Thus it is of Romish origin, brought over from Paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Savior's birth. It is? And who authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples "remember" Him in His death, but there is not a word in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth... -
By Arthur Pink

December 19, 2005

Superstitions regarding the season by C.H. Spurgeon

We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English. Secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. 'Superstition' has fixed most positively the day of our Savior's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. ... It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western Church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it.... Probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. ... Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son. – by Charles Spurgeon

December 12, 2005

There are no atheists in Hell by C. H Spurgeon

How will unbelief look in the flames of hell?

There are no infidels anywhere but on earth!
There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell.

Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell
into that vice, for "the devils believe and tremble."

And there are some of the devil's children that have
gone beyond their father in sin, but how will it look
when they are forever lost?

When God's foot crushes them, they
will not be able to doubt his existence!

When he tears them in pieces and there is none to
deliver, then their sophistical syllogisms, their empty
logic, their brags and bravadoes, will be of no avail!

Oh, that they had been wise and had not darkened
their foolish hearts, but had turned unto the living God!

by C.H. Spurgeon

December 08, 2005

Thy Word Is Truth by Todd Nibert

Jhn 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

These were the words of our Lord in His great High Priestly prayer for His people. In John 14:6 He said, "I am the Truth." But here He says, "Thy word is Truth." This is a reference to the written word of God. The Bible is the inspired word of God. It has no error in it. The Scriptures alone are our only rule of faith and practice.
There are many who profess to believe the Bible to be inspired, but they do not believe "the Scriptures alone". They believe there is truth in other religions. They believe there is truth in man's philosophy. They even believe there is truth in their feelings, impressions, and religious experiences. That is not believing the Scriptures alone. That is believing the Scriptures and...........
The Bible has a monopoly on the Truth. There is no truth in other religions. They are all based upon a false premise. There is no truth in our natural way of thinking, nor in our feelings, nor in any religious experience which is contrary to the word of God. Truth is not subjective. It is not subject to our experience, feelings, traditions, and beliefs. Truth is objective. It is not something we discover internally, in our hearts. "All men are liars." The Bible is the objective standard of truth, and the Bible has a monopoly on the Truth! If we leave this position, then anything goes! Truth becomes subjective. Truth becomes relative. It becomes impossible to know the Truth! By Todd Nibert

December 01, 2005

Have we not leaned upon a thousand things? By J. C. Philpot

"You are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man's hand and wounds him if he leans on it!" Isaiah 36:6

Have we not leaned upon a thousand things? And what have they proved? Splintered reeds that have run into our hands, and pierced us! Our own strength and resolutions, the world and the church, sinners and saints, friends and enemies, have they not all proved, more or less, splintered reeds? The more we have leaned upon them, like a man leaning upon a sword, the more have they pierced our souls!

The Lord Himself has to wean us . . . from the world, from friends, from enemies, from self, in order to bring us to lean upon Himself. And every prop He will sooner or later remove--that we may lean wholly and solely upon His Person, love, death, and righteousness! By Jospeh Philpot