Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unpardonable Sin Follow-Up

The man who wrote me about the unpardonable sin came to church Sunday and then I had 1 1/2 hours with him Monday morning. Here is his follow-up Monday afternoon. - Mack T.

Thanks for talking to me, Mack. I really needed that. The message Sunday morning was very good. I sometimes wonder if it is some spirit that has vexed me all these years. Until recently, I always thought a man could pull himself up by his own bootstraps. I could not have been more mistaken. I did not have the opportunity to explain the depth of despair that I have found myself in. I knew than that God has to find me, not the other way around.

My soul started into a downward spiral into the depths of despair that I have never known, only to get worse when confronted with the warnings in the Book of Hebrews. I do not intend to pretend with God ever again that I am saved. I can see how all these years I have been building my own house on the sand. I pray that God will not forsake me because the most wonderful thing in existence to be sought more than the entire world is Christ.

How wonderful He is. He is the only thing that is of value to a man. Some say they put Him first, but he should be more than that--he is all. And how I wish he would let me have him as my all and everything. My whole world has been burned to the ground. Nothing has remained. All of this happenning to me was just symbolism before in my mind. Not now. This is real. My works have gone up in smoke. My secret sins have burned me. My only hope is that the Word says he is merciful; I am just a man and I have no idea how much mercy he has. I have no doubt that He will judge. That is certain. I just hope and pray that in spite of my grievious sins, he will have mercy and extend grace to me.

I have had this nagging feeling for a long time that I have been trusting in the wrong thing. It seemed as though there should have been victory a long time ago. I just kept doing the wrong thing, spiritually speaking. Making up ways of appeasing God in my own mind. Never wanting to admit that these sins have hounded me. In a sense I made up my own god, a god that could let me live in my sins and some day my prince would come and deliver me. I didn't realize I was a hypocrite and a perverse man. I can't stand to think of it. My past. I hate that guy. I am that man. I am the summer clouds that have no promise of rain. I am the spot in your love feast. It would seem that by now Jesus could walk in His garden an enjoy some fruit. By now I'm 48, and Jesus should be able to be refreshed by some fruitfulness from me. I have failed the only beautiful One. I have been a rogue and a ruffian. I wish I would have just cut out my tongue years ago.

But I guess it's all evidence that a man is just sinful and without any ability to save himself. To even have the moral strength to resist temptation or to stand and not fall is impossible without wholly trusting in Jesus. It's all so clear to me now. A man cannot live for one day or one minute without Christ or he will fall. The tough guy will fall.

He is a Wonderful Counselor that you have. I only hope that He will have me. I love that hymn that says, "Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart. Not be all else to me save that Thou art. Thou and Thou only, first in my heart; High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art." I now understand the worth of that Treasure. It is not some mysterious thing anymore. Jesus is everything and the only thing in the entire universe and beyond. HE IS EVERYTHING. I hope God will forgive me for my small thinking in the past. Mack, Jesus is the only worthy endeavor a man should ever seek. Tell the young men this. There is nothing else to seek. Nothing. I sought success in real estate and being a family man. I sought a lot of things. A man needs to seek only one thing -- Jesus and His righteousness.

I really loved your sweet church with just a piano and singing from a hymnal. I tell you, there were either angels in the front row singing or you have a church full of opera singers. The only errant voice was mine. What a way to worship, without the rythmic booming of drums and railing electric guitars blasting through one's brain. I am beside myself in awe of the beauty of it. I only hope that I didn't bring anything foul with me to your assembling. I am not worthy to be accounted with the righteous. I would like to come again, but I do not want to be a blemish. I humbly submit to the leading of the Spirit through your leadership of your flock there. Knowing my situation and my soul being so vexed, I would expect you to protect your flock. I would like to talk with you more at any rate and visit if it is possible.

I started reading from John Bunyan's testimony. His thinking is exactly like mine while he was in his despair. So I have some more hope. Thanks Mack; I'll call this week or you can call me at your leisure anytime.......... Thanks

[Doesn't sound like one who has committed the unpardonable sin, does it?]

- Mack T.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Posture Before the Word of God, Part 1

Regarding the Bible--

1. If I find something with which I do not agree, I am wrong.

2. If I find something which I cannot understand, it is wrong of me to judge it on that account.

3. If I find something which contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture elsewhere, I cannot be right.

4. If I find something which would slander the revealed character of God, I am wrong; Caution: that which is "unworthy of God" is not decided by man.

5. If I find something in Scripture which brings up an apparent contradiction, I am wrong not to face it squarely.

- to be continued

- Tom Lyon

A Witness in Kazakhstan

Please Pray for the Gerhart Family

The Thomas Gerhart family live in Kazakhstan, not as official "missionaries", though they really are. They are there because Tom works at the American Embassy there. Please pray for them. There is no Christian church where they are. Please remember them in prayer. Here is an email from Tom today.
-- Mack T.

Dear Mack,

We are not missionaries, but only do what we can as ambassadors for Christ; like any ordinary Christian motivated by the indwelling Holy Spirit. I work F/T at the American Embassy as an IT person.

We finished 3yrs in New Delhi 3/09. What a God forsaken place plagued with rampant idolatry disease & pestilence. Our 9th child was born at home in the bathtub which was actually better than the hospital. 2 of our children & Kim almost died in India from sickness. The good thing about India is there are always people everywhere. We would easily pass out 500 Gospel tracts to people who likely would never hear the Gospel any other way. As one fellow Christian said, "You can preach on a street corner & have a crowd within seconds & be beaten in 10 minutes."

Our current post, Kazakhstan, is a barren remote place. The cross of Christ is despised in Kazakhstan nonetheless the children & I pass out Gospel tracts every chance they get much to the dismay of the Police. We haven’t been able to find a Church or believers to meet with so we do Home Church. Luke 22, Laura 20, John 17, EmilyAnne 15, Matthew 14, Gloria 11, Joy 10, Grace 7, Ellie 4 & Faith 6 months (born in Kazakhstan).

We pray often that the Bibles & tracts we pass out would bear fruit and that we would use every opportunity we get, which is rarer now that the police hound us when we are out & about.


- Tom

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Testimony from Malta

Dear Mack Tomlinson,

I am reading your book about the life of Leonard Ravenhill and would like to sincerely thank you for your work. I am being blessed and challenged by much of what
has been written. The book was providentially brought to my attention during this particular time in my life, and I thank our gracious God for this. Please received my
humble gratitude and appreciation for all your work and the effort which you put into it.

I know a little about this, since last February, after seven years of translatlion work, I have published the first edition of our Maltese language translation of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progess.

I hope and pray that your book is read by many and especially used to clarify and confirm those whom our blessed Lord, in spite of their limitations and weaknesses, might be called to be 'prophets' in these times we live in.

Once again, thank you.

Wishing you and your loved ones at home a most blessed day, and a closer walk with God.

Joseph Farrugia
Island of Malta

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hindrances to Prayer

1. Pretense in prayer - Mark 12:40
2. Inconsistency in prayer - Acts 2:42; Romans 1:9; Luke 11:8; Romans 12:12
3. Lack of fervency(zeal) in prayer - Romans 15:30; James 5:16; Colossians 4:12; Hebrews 5:7
4. Generality (lack of specificity) in prayer - 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Ephesians 6:19; Philemon 1:4
5. Lack of devotion to prayer - 2 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 5:5; Mark 9:29; Luke 6:12; Eph 6:18
6. Lack of corporately gathering - Acts 1:14; Acts 12:5
7. Lack of self-control; lack - 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Cor 7:5
8. Failing to honor your wife -1 Peter 3:7
9. Failure to discern spiritual danger 1 Peter 4:7
10. Double-mindedness - James 1:6-8

- Bob Schembre

Friday, May 27, 2011

From D. A. Carson

All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists.

- D. A. Carson

Does The False Prophecy of Harold Camping Damage the Cause of Christ?

I received this question yesterday from someone

"Does the false prophecy by Harold Camping about May 21st damage true Christianity? Of course, the liberal media took great delight in ridiculing the whole of evangelical Christianity over this, even though very few took part in it. Harold Camping's false prophecy about the end of the world gave great cause for unbelievers to mock. But will there be any long-term effects? My mom said her whole office was laughing about it. I would be interested in your comments on this."

My reply

Dear brother,

I do not agree that much harm comes to true Christianity from such false prophecies as Harold Camping has made. Such has always been the case and it has always occurred since the beginning of the Christian faith. False, counterfeit Christianity may be harmed, but never the true gospel and the true kingdom of Christ. How can needless harm come to His cause, when Jesus already told us it would happen? He said that many would come in His name with such claims, and that false prophets would arise and deceive many.

The Apostle Paul also said, in the clearest of terms, that "because men will not receive the love of the truth in order that they might be saved, that therefore God sends them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie." (2 Thess. 2:11)

True Christians always discern and see through the scam and extremes of the religious idiot or deluded ones. Nothing has changed. Jesus said it was going to come and so it simply means the kingdom is right on schedule.

Let's keep preaching the gospel, living holy lives, and looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And let us ignore the Harold Campings of this world. There have always been religious kooks who speak in the name of the Lord and speak from the Bible. Leave them alone, for they are a part of the false religious world, and not a part of the true cause of God and truth.

Yours warmly in Him

- Mack Tomlinson