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

Monday, May 23, 2011

What God says to the Wicked

"But to the wicked God says, 'What right do you have to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips?'" - Psalm 50:16

There are some things that God especially dislikes. He dislikes them so much that He directly speaks to them in certain places in Scripture. One of those things is when people who do not know him quote the Bible and claim to be Christians when they are not.

In Psalm 50:16, God says directly to any unbeliever, "What right do you have to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips?"

According to this Psalm, no unbeliever has the right--

1. To quote the Bible at all - "What right have you to recite my statutes?"

The Lord here says that a wicked person (an unbeliever) does not have the right even to quote the Bible; they don't believe it or obey it, so according to God Himself, they have no right to even let Scripture come out of their mouth.

How wicked a thing it is, from God's perspective, for wicked men, women, and children to in any way use the Bible, when all the time they despise in their hearts the very truths it teaches; to use and quote the Bible, for them, is grievous sin; they stand rebuked by God Himself, directly calling them out for this in vs. 16 of Psalm 50; the unbeliever, if they have any reverence for the things of God and true Christianity, ought to be very fearful to talk about the Bible or quote it, as if doing so somehow helps them or gains them something. The only thing it gains them is judgment and divine rebuke. It is as if God is saying, "You wicked person, how dare you take my words and put them in your dirty mouth? Don't quote Me every again, for you have no right to take my precepts and statutes into your mouth and use them!"

What else does an unbeliever not have the right to do?

2. To profess to be a Christian when they are not a true Christian at all; vs. 16 continues: "To the wicked God says 'What right have you . . . . . to take my covenant on your lips?'"

To say the same thing today would be, "What right do you have to claim to be a Christian when you are not?" God Himself here is speaking to the unbeliever, who professes the name of Jesus, but does not truly know, love, and obey Christ. It is easy believism that God rebukes here. How dare you name the name of Christ when you are yet wicked and dead in your sins! It is wicked and evil to say, "I know God, I know Jesus", when your life's evidence doesn't match up to your profession.

Every unbeliever who knows they love their sin and knows they do not love Christ ought to renounce any Christian profession at all; just admit what you are-- a wicked and unbelieving person; stop taking God's covenant (true salvation) on your lips; quit claiming to be a Christian when you give no evidence of it at all.

What is true often of such people? The real proof is in their life style. The Psalm tells us:

1. They hate the discipline and correction of God (vs. 17) "For you hate discipline and cast my words behind you."

Such people do not want God's words or his correction at all; they profess to know God, but in works they deny him; if asked if they are a Christian, they will say, "Oh, yea, I did that when I was eight years old at a church camp." But if ask if why they won't put off their sin now and follow Christ, they will cry, "Oh, that's just legalistic; I don't need to obey all your religious rules; I love God in my own way; He and I have a good thing going, and I don't need all that Bible stuff." Such a person is exactly who is in view in vss. 16-17.

2. They like sin and approve of it (vs. 18) "If you see a thief, you are pleased with him and you keep company with adulterers."

This is proof that one doesn't know God at all; they love what God hates and they affirm what He rejects. You cannot love or like sin and love the Saviour at the same time. Whoever is a friend of this world is an enemy of God.

3. They use their mouth and their words continually, not for the glory of God, but as an instrument of evil. (vs. 19) "You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit; you sit and speak against your brother and slander your own mother's son."

How one talks, and how they use their tongue is proof of their true spiritual condition. Anyone who continually uses their words to criticize, slander, deceive and destroy others, is not a person who knows God at all. The fruit of the lips is proof of the root condition of the heart.

4. The final thing God says about such people-- "You thought I was one like yourself."

People claim to be Christians and yet live a wicked life because they think God is no different than them. They believe in their heart He is not much better than them; perhaps a little better, but not much different really; so they use the Bible at times and claim to know God, yet all the while continue in all the detestable things that are an offense to the God they profess to believe in, when in reality, He is not like them at all.

God says, "What right do you have to quote my Bible or claim to be a Christian?" No right at all, unless it is clearly true about you. Only those who know, love, reverence, and obey Jesus have the right to use the Bible or claim the name of Christian.

- Mack Tomlinson

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today God Can Meet with You at Church

We get used to going-- "going to church" is what it is called; the reality is, we, the church, are going to each other, to meet together. We gather to join again as one body, under the headship of Christ, to worship, pray, sing, hear the truths of the Bible, and build one another up in faith and love.

We get used to going week in and week out; it becomes a routine, almost a rut--the tendency is to get used to it.

But please don't! Don't get used to it. When we get used to it, we then have no heart and mind preparation, and we bring no heart with us to the church meeting; then we go without expectancy of God meeting with us personally.

So as you go today, stop and get some expectancy in your heart. Ask the Lord Jesus to meet with you today "at church"- at the meeting of His saints; He will do so for seeking and asking souls; when He does, we are changed by Him and we then love the meeting of the church even more.

Today God can meet with you at church; ask Him to, and then bring a hungry expectant heart there with you.

"I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go unto the house of the Lord'."

- Mack Tomlinson

An Interview on Leonard Ravenhill's Life

After opening the link, click on Listen just under Inside Out 87: In Light of Eternity

the Lord bless your day

Mack T.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Preaching and the Gospel

One is unlikely to assert that we are justified by our sanctification, but whether done intentionally or not, that is what happens when we allow the teaching of Christian living, ethical imperatives, and exhortations to holiness to be separated from the clear statement of the gospel.

We can preach our hearts out on texts about what we ought to be, what makes a mature church, or what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives. But if we do not constantly in every sermon show the link between the Spirit's work in us and Christ's work for us, then we will distort the message and send people away with a theology of salvation by works.

Preaching from the epistles demands of the preacher that the message of the document be taken as a whole, even if only a selection of texts or just one verse is expounded. Every sermon should be understandable on its own as a proclamation of Christ. It is no good to say that we dealt with the justification element three weeks ago and now we are following Paul into the imperatives and injunctions for Christian living. Paul wasn't anticipating a three week gap between his exposition of the gospel and his defining of the implications of the gospel in our lives. Nor was he anticipating that some people would not be present for the reading of the whole epistle and would hear part of its message out of context.

- Graeme Goldsworthy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Remembering All the Way

Deuteronomy 8:2 - You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has ledyou in the wilderness these forty years…

April was 40 years for me, 40 years as a Christian, 40 years ago I as a sinner came to the Lord Jesus to be saved from hell and be led through earth to heaven. Forty years! Where did it go? What have I done with it? What could I have done differently? Here’s one thing – I could have kept a journal, a journal at least of answers to prayer, special insights from the Bible, and special ways in which the Lord led me. A journal would have helped me to remember.

Wisdom and insights in the knowledge of God are better than silver and gold, Psa 119.72, Pro 3.14, 8.19, 16.16. We don’t want to waste such riches by forgetting them. A father might reprove his child for being wasteful. Well, the heavenly Father does not appreciate us being wasteful of His precious provisions for us.
Matthew 16:9 Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?

Psa 78:42 They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary.

But journal or not, countless things are remembered from the journey. What an adventure! What an experience. What blood has secured our escape from destruction, what power it was that brought us from sin’s bondage to glorious freedom as sons of God, what songs to sing, what hidden manna we have eaten, what a book has been our guide, what judgments we have seen, what giants have been routed, what powerful heavenly provisions, what companions are the saints of God, what sermons we have heard, what a blessed hope is ours, what a Leader is ours.

What a Savior! If we forgot some things, well, the Lord does not. All church history and the kindnesses of the Lord will be shown in the ages to come, Eph 2.7. A Great Documentary is coming and the Christian can rejoice greatly.

- Bob Jennings

Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Influential Sermon

"You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance."- 2 Timothy 3:10

A holy life is a most influential sermon!

"You ought to live holy and godly lives!" 2 Peter 3:11

- James Smith

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bible Doctrine Note

It is a sad day indeed when Bible doctrine is heeded about as much as a flight attendant giving instructions about flotation devices.

- Doug Sangster