Archive for June, 2012

June 28, 2012

Perplexed but not driven to despair…

No doubt blogs are all abuzz today with banter about the supreme court decision to uphold the legislation commonly known as obamacare. What shall we say then?  It is indeed disappointing that this atrocious health-care mandate would even be considered to be “constitutional”.  The U.S. Constitution restricts the federal government to specifically enumerated powers which do not include providing/managing medical insurance coverage… end of story. But in the hoodwinked world of politics, it played out on a stage reminiscent of the high places in Israel of old where they worshiped their idols. Should we have even gotten our hopes up? Public officials who understand and abide by the principles of Constitutional government are few and far between — Ron Paul is the only one I can think of offhand who has been consistent in that regard. In a political environment where a presidential candidate of his caliber is “unelectable”, what should we expect from the “high court of the land”?

In 1973, in the infamous Roe v. Wade pro-abortion decision, seven justices ruled that women could kill their pre-born babies.  50+ million such babies have been brutally murdered since then, because of “choice”.  Since it’s already ok to choose to murder pre-born babies for whatever reason, then stealing from people (and calling it a tax) to regulate healthcare, or in the future – by precedent – for whatever reason, is just another action towards the repeal of God-given rights (first life, now liberty)… but “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked…” (Galatians 6:7).

Not only will this flawed law raise taxes, kill jobs and increase our already unsustainable national debt, but insult is added to injury by the vote of John Roberts, a Bush appointee and heretofore respected judicial constructionist. It goes to show that the influence of the powers that be are deep and wide. But there is no darkness greater than the grace of Jesus! Too many Christians are focused on the “conservative right” political platform instead of a biblical world view.  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus told his disciple, “…you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

So we need to get even deeper than “grass roots”… “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Don’t support candidates for public office who don’t take their oath seriously (believe it or not they all take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution). The fight against obamacare now shifts to the halls of congress where for the most part the only option is either donkey or elephant dung. But Jesus’ disciples were dealing with an even more putrid scenario: Caesar was on the throne and tyranny was well established; yet Rome fell and God’s kingdom increases.

Press on, beloved, stay strong in the faith. Even now in this postmodern era, as hearts & minds are changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit we will prevail.

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June 25, 2012

Best Laid Plans and Righteous Resources

In entering the blogosphere I am acutely aware of the Lord’s mighty hand on all things. Indeed He has brought about a confluence of circumstances leading me to establish this new blog, as I have become more and more zealous for the advancement of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in the here & now, and being on the “other side of the hill” so to speak, while living in a country that has regressed so far from the soundness and respectability of its founding documents which are based on biblical principles. The FaithFacts website has an excellent section on The Bible and Government which delineates this relationship. It is absolutely crucial that Christian Americans be aware of the revisionist bastardization of history that has been ubiquitously propagandized so as to impugn the motives of the earliest settlers of this nation who were Christian evangelicals! The postmodern “progressive” (actually regressive) agenda would have us forget that the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence acted on behalf of their posterity, “and for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Beloved, though our weapons are not carnal, and we fight not against flesh & blood, the kingdom of our Lord encompasses every area of life and we must be similarly dedicated, faithful and prayerfully confident to prevail.

To that end let me heartily recommend some resources to start. As victims of public schooling, many of us have been taught many erroneous things about the European explorers of the new world (Christopher Columbus et. al.), as well as the “Indians”, the Pilgrims and the Puritans, etc. so as to denigrate our nation’s founding, even to the point that the chief executive of these United States has stated that we are “no longer a Christian nation”. Do a phrase search of the Bible for “all the nations” to see how the regressives are going the wrong way…  (not only this nation, but Yahweh told Abraham that “…in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed…” [Genesis 22:18]).

Which leads me to the first recommended resource: Berean Bible Study Freeware, aka BerBible, available here. Get the Free Bundle with ESV, NASB, KJV, and other Bibles (about 10 MB).

Secondly, there is a 4-sermon series recorded by Pastor Joe Morecraft III in mp3 format that comes on a CD for only $5 titled “Ideas Have Consequences”, available here. The promo says it all:  Watching the news or observing the American culture begs the question, “What went wrong?”.  We were founded as a Christian nation, fleeing persecution, and now we cannot pray in public or speak out against wicked behavior without being persecuted or even prosecuted.  Listen to these lectures filled with historical facts and presentations of attitudes of another era and you will understand “what went wrong”.

Thirdly, a book titled “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, subtitled “Did God Have a Plan for America?”. Here is the editorial review: For those of us who, like the authors, have been exposed mostly to the secular accounts of this period of American history, the information presented becomes a revelation of very great magnitude. … This book is important. I would that every professing Christian read Gods Holy Bible and this book. There are, of a surety, better and more comprehensive histories than this, but I would recommend none more highly to introduce the student to our Christian American roots as pertains to our beginnings on these shores. — Christian Forum Book Review. This book is available from amazon.com. Also let me take this opportunity to advise that many books are available in Kindle format at significantly lesser cost, and they can be viewed on any computer with the free Kindle reading app.

Lastly, a new friend of mine has recommended “Paradise Restored” by David Chilton, available as a PDF for free online here. Not having read it yet myself, but familiar with Chilton’s work (“Days of Vengeance”), and with the subtitle of “A Biblical Theology of Dominion”, I recommend “Paradise Restored” unhesitatingly. I also highly recommend my new friend Publius Huldah’s blog, accessible from the blogroll at the right or here… and I close with this as stated there (extrapolated from Galatians 3:28):

“There is no such thing as Jew & Greek, slave & freeman, male & female, black person & white person; for we are all one person in Christ Jesus.”

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

June 24, 2012

Is this Your Religion?

Puritan Audio Devotional: Is this your religion?

J.A. James, challenging

Play Audio!    Download Audio

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June 24, 2012

Great Searchings of Heart

Great Searchings of Heart

James Smith, 1856

Being called upon to attend an association of churches during the past week, I was painfully affected by the fact, that out of more than twenty churches — only four could report an increase of numbers during the last twelve months, and that increase was small. Yet, in every church the gospel is preached, and in most, if not all, prayer-meetings are held. What is to become of the world, thought I, if things go on thus? What will become of our own beloved land?

The population is increasing, souls by millions are perishing, and the gospel seems to have lost its power! The churches decrease. What a solemn, what an alarming fact! About three thousand sermons had been preached, about three thousand children had been taught in the Sabbath-schools, a great number of Bibles, tracts, and religious periodicals had been circulated — and yet the majority of the churches had decreased! Surely this is enough to make one weep, lie low before God, and ask, “Show us why you contend with us.” Three questions arose in my mind, and have been exercising my thoughts since. Let me invite you, my fellow-Christian, to attend to them with me.

First, Is there not a cause? Surely we cannot ascribe our present languishing condition wholly to the sovereignty of God. In Old Testament times the Lord laid the blame on his people, and asked, “Have you not procured this unto my yourself?” And again, by another prophet, “Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? Are these the things He does?” Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?” Many similar portions may be remembered by the reader, if he is familiar with the Scriptures.

In the New Testament, the apostle James tells us, “You have not — because you ask not; or because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.” Surely there is some worm at the root, that causes the plant of God’s right hand planting to wither. There is some wedge of gold and Babylonish garment hidden in some Achan’s tent, which causes Israel to turn their backs on their enemies. Yes! There must be a cause. We have the same gospel to preach which the apostles had. We have the same promises of success. We have the same kind of people to address. Yet they were successful; they turned the world upside down; they triumphed in Christ, and spread abroad the savor of his knowledge in every place.

But what are we doing? Where are our triumphs? We decrease; what is the cause? Let us then inquire,

Secondly, Can we ascertain the cause? Methinks we may, if we are hearty in our desire, and are willing to dig deep enough. It does not seem to lie on the surface; let us therefore plough up the fallow ground, and look deeper. God said that he would search Jerusalem, as with candles, and punish the men that were settled on their lees.

Let us who preach, look at our preaching, and ask: Do I preach Christ enough? Is Christ crucified, and Christ glorified — constantly kept before the people? Do I, in my ministry, exalt and extol him? Is it my delight to proclaim Him . . .
in the glory of His person,
in the merit of His blood,
in the riches of His grace?

Do I present Him to my people as the only Savior to be trusted, and the great example to be copied? Do I preach Christ plainly, with deep feeling, and with a hearty desire that my hearers may believe in Him and live? Do I aim at the immediate conversion of every soul that hears me, travailing in birth for souls until Christ is formed in them?

Do I honor the Holy Spirit in His Divine personality, office, character, and gracious work? Do I preach, impressed with the thought, that unless the Holy Spirit accompanies the Word with His power —
no dead sinner will be quickened,
no undecided hearer will yield to Jesus,
nor will the Lord’s people be revived or comforted?

Do I realize that it is personal, heartfelt, believing prayer, that brings down the power of the Spirit, which alone can render the Word effectual? And do I in private, among my people, in the pulpit, and even while preaching — endeavor to bring down the Spirit by such prayer? Do I strive to impress upon my people, the necessity of incessant prayer for this invaluable blessing, and set them an example by cultivating such a spirit of prayer? Am I an example to my people of . . .
deadness to the world,
zeal for the Lord’s glory,
devotedness to the Lord’s work, and
burning desire to bring souls to God?

And let the brethren who are HEARERS examine themselves on this point also. Brethren, much depends on you. A praying, zealous, lively, working church, must be successful. We fear that many of you do not realize the value of the immortal souls around you as you should. You do not aim constantly at bringing souls to God, as if it was the first and grand object of your life. Souls are dropping into Hell around you — but where is your feeling? Souls are hardening in sin under the preaching of the gospel — but where is your concern? You know that though Paul preaches — yet without the power of the Spirit of God, no saving effect would be produced — and yet you hear sermon after sermon, without pleading with God for His Spirit to come down! You hear of the low state of the church, you talk of the low state of the church — but where are your tears? Where are your wrestlings with God? Where is your deep and heart-affecting concern? How few of you feel as if you could not live if the cause of God did not prosper? and yet this is how every one of us should feel. Ah, my brethren, I think a little examination will lead us to discover how we have grieved the Spirit, and why our churches are in the state they are! There is a cause — let us search it out, and then let us inquire,

Thirdly, Can we remove it? Are we willing to make the effort? Are we right heartily desirous to witness the change? If we are, let us ascertain what part we have had, in causing the Spirit to withdraw.

What sins do we indulge?

What duty do we omit?

What wrong feelings do we cherish?

What improper principles do we hold?

What unhallowed spirit or temper do we give way to?

There is some special cause in every one, though there may be a general cause spreading over the whole church.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life!” Psalm 139:23-24. Let then our pastors, elders, deacons, and private members, commence the work of self-examination at once, and let us be impartial in the work . . .
sparing no sin,
tampering with no lust,
listening to no temptation.

But let us make thorough work of it. Let every sin we detect be confessed over the blood of atonement; let us . . .
deplore
it,
grieve
over it,
seek the pardon of it, and
pray for grace at once to depart from it!

Let us humble ourselves before God. The guilty should confess, and the confession of guilt should lead to deep humiliation before God. Brethren, let us lie low. Let us abhor ourselves, and repent in dust and ashes. O for humbling grace from God, for I fear most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think!

Let us plead with God in earnest prayer for deeper sanctification, for greater spirituality, that, like Jesus, our Master, it may be our food and drink to do the will of God. How little we resemble him, who left us an example that we should follow His steps!

A worldly church can never be really a spiritually prosperous church. As our land, in a spiritual sense, is like what Israel’s land was once in a literal sense, when for three years and six months there had been no rain, so that dearth and death were the characteristics of the country — let us, like Elijah, go up to the top of Carmel, and like him, determine never to leave our post until the Lord sends down revitalizing rain upon the earth. He is saying to us, “Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture. For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit.” (Zechariah 10:1, Isaiah 44:3).

Remember, O remember, that the energetic prayer of the righteous man avails much! Who shall say how much? God is still love. We have his promise. He is on the throne of grace. He bids us to come to it boldly. He asks us to prove Him, by penitence, reformation, and prayer. (Mal. 3:10, 13.) He is true to His word. He will show himself faithful. He never did say to the seed of Jacob, “Seek me in vain,” and He never will. It is still true that every one who asks aright — receives; he who seeks in faith — finds; and to him that knocks with importunity — the door of Heaven’s storehouse is opened. Let us ask, seek, and knock, then, that our joy may be full.

O that I could write something that would touch the hearts of the Lord’s people, and stir them up! O that the Lord would use my pen to awaken concern, quicken desire, and lead to hearty wrestlings for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Nothing will do but this. Without it we are like Samson, who lost his locks on Delilah’s lap! We may go out and shake ourselves, we may make a stir — but we shall accomplish nothing! There can be no substitute found for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the church.

He is the only giver and nourisher of spiritual life. He is the only efficient teacher of the ignorant. He is the only life of the church. O that God, even our own God, would at once give us anew this great blessing, that we may see a great and glorious revival of pure and undefiled religion! O to see thousands pierced in the heart, led to the Savior, and introduced into the church! O to hear the dear name of Jesus sounded forth by the tongues of millions of ransomed sinners, brought by the promised Comforter to know, love, and serve him! Lord Jesus, pour out the ever-blessed Spirit, to sanctify the church, to gather together into one your scattered people, and fulfill the largest promises of the everlasting covenant! Amen.

June 24, 2012

Church Victory

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

June 8, 2012

Deliverance

Posted by compugor June 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm on the Midwest Christian Outreach blog:

An unbelieving man who instinctively looks at women with lust is an adulterer, but he does not even recognize that he is an adulterer. A born again Christian (especially one regenerated at age 52) may still have the same adulterous instinct, but knows that it is adultery, sinful and wrong. So he repents of it, struggles against it, and relies on the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to deliver him from it. He may continue to struggle with it for the rest of his life, but here’s the point – he is no longer an adulterer… he no longer practices that sin by suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, and he now hates it because it is against God’s law (cf Matthew 5:28 ).

Well its the same thing with homosexuality. That’s just another sin that a believer can repent of and be delivered from. But an unbeliever cannot just “decide” to repent and believe the Word; nor can he/she be intellectually convinced; it is only by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that sinners are saved. So it all comes down to this: you must be born again.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can be saved except through faith in Him. As it is written “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8)Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).

The message has not changed, and it can’t be sugar-coated. It applies to homosexuality just the same as all sins. Christians should indiscriminately share the gospel message of faith, hope and yes, love. What a wondrous love is this, that the Lord of glory would die on a cross for the sins of His people! There is no darkness greater than the grace of Jesus. He not only saves from the damnation of hell but makes FREE from the condemning power of sin. Let us point to the thousands of ex-gays who have now “come out” of homosexuality to lead healthy, fulfilling lives:  http://familypolicy.net/hope-for-homosexuals/living-proof