Saturday, May 16, 2009

The World or Christ?

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." ~I John 2:15

There is a popular opinion among the majority of today's professing Christians that God does not expect His children to live separated from this vile world. So many who call themselves followers of Christ are wrapped up in the wicked pleasures of this world. According to God's holy word his children are to live drastically different than those around them who are lost (I Peter2:11). It has been said that what we lack among today's believers is holiness, but I say a true follower of Christ who knows of His love for them, who has tasted of His joy, who has been forgiven for their sins and their evil heart's vanity will have no problem submitting to and obeying their Saviours desires for their life.

Jesus said in John 14:23 "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." If we are truly in love with Jesus then we will be Kingdom minded and will joyfully stay away from the things of this world that would hinder our walk with Him. people say today that they know and love Christ yet they deny and resist Him through their unholy deeds; the filth that people put before their eyes and pour into their ears will put desires within them that are unholy and damning to their souls, tell me how can someone claim to follow Christ yet they involve themselves with the very things He hates!

Parents allow their children to participate in unholy activities and lifestyles that defile their conscience and greater widens the gap between them and their Creator. Movies, music, clothing, games and much more, things that will teach them to be rebellious toward God's law and covetous for the things of this rotten world! But they say..."I'll just make sure I keep them in church and God and the pastor will teach them what they need to know". God help us when we are more concerned about our children's social standing than we are their hell bound souls. Why do parents allow such disobedience?... because they are as lost and undone and as full of sin as their children! We must teach our children to be separated from this world "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4 You CAN NOT love the world and love God and you CAN NOT hold the things of God in one hand and the things of this world in the other! I don't care what church you belong to or how active you are in your religious deeds, if you are a friend of this world you are not His child!

I recently heard a wise man of God say..."If a man or woman were to put on a clean white garment, they would do everything that they possibly could to stay away from anything that would stain that garment." This is true to a real child of God, Those who have put on Christ have put on a holy garment of purity and will do their very best to stay away from anything that even slightly favors sin. I say again, if we are true disciples of Jesus we will love what He loves and we will hate what He hates!

One thing that has been taught that is complete heresy is the teaching of comfort in this world for a believer, what I mean is... those who think that ever thing in a believer's life is always supposed to be happiness and a positive sin tolerating attitude! This is not how Christ said it would be, in fact, He taught quite the opposite. Take a look at these scriptures... John 15:19 "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." ... John 16:20 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." Anyone who sees the condition of this vain world will carry a sorrowful load for all of those who are blind to it's ruin and despair.

Be assured! God's people are full of joy, but that joy does not come from the pleasures and offerings of this wicked world but rather from prayer and communion with our precious Lord! All who are disobedient to the commandments of God's word are in grave danger, look to him and see if you are truly following Him. Time is running out, are you tired of playing games with God? Do you follow Christ or do you follow the world? You can not have both! Remember, if this world hated Christ then what gives us the right as His followers to expect this world to love us?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

God Will Punish Sin

“There is no use to apply a remedy to this generation…the second message of the cross, 'the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s blood.' They don’t think there is any need. This generation needs to hear the first message of that bloody cross, 'GOD WILL PUNISH SIN.' Nobody will ever be interested in whether Christ did anything on the cross that would do me any good or not till you believe that GOD WILL PUNISH SIN.”

- Evangelist Rolfe Barnard

Why Christ Offends Men

"There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness. He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ, if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness, their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no man can see the Lord.”

Human nature kicks at this. “What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a new creature in Christ Jesus?”

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt... Christ offends men because HIS GOSPEL IS INTOLERANT OF SIN."

Taken from Spurgeon's message, "Unbelievers Stumbling; Believers Rejoicing" - Metroplitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1864

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Son of God Does NOT Save Rebels

THERE ARE MANY who want to be saved from the consequences of their sin, who do not want to be saved from the love of it. Many want to be delivered from sin's curse and sin's wages, who do not want to bow their neck to the yoke of Christ. There are many who are attracted by the Gospel message and see the way of salvation, who are still possessing a craving for this present evil age. How great the need for care, lest by an inadequate presentation of the truth of the Gospel we deceive these souls into a false profession. There is a grave danger that many people will make a mistake of substituting an emotional religious crisis for a born-again experience. To preach Christ as Saviour without preaching Christ as Lord, makes a mockery of the Gospel and the entire Christian life. There must be true repentance.

"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I John 2 : 15). To those who want to receive Christ as Saviour in order to have a passport to Heaven, but desire to remain in their sins and in the world, we must be faithful and declare like Peter, "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:21-23).

Mr. Spurgeon warns his students: "If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do you imagine that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Saviour, while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin? If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness."

The Son of God does not save rebels. There must be true submission (repentance) before there can be salvation. What a parody of the Gospel when many are told to "trust Jesus to take them to Heaven when they die," who nevertheless are living in the practice of sin and rebellion against His laws. Mr. George Goodman has left on record an illustration of the truth of the utter hollowness or utter impossibility of claiming to rest on "the finished work of Christ", while refusing to live under the lordship of Christ: "A king has part of his kingdom in rebellion, and in order to show his grace, causes mercy to be proclaimed to the rebels on their yielding to him and seeking reconciliation on the ground of the proclamation. He threatens destruction to those who continue to defy his authority. One of the rebels is warned of his danger, but he replies, 'I am in no danger; I am resting on the proclamation; I am sure the king is faithful. He will never break his promise or withdraw his proclaimed mercy.' "'But you are still in rebellion. You are continuing in the course he condemns, and are indifferent to His commands, and the mercy is offered to those who yield.' "'True, but the mercy is free; there are no conditions, and to make conditions would be to make it no more of grace,' is the reply." "What should we say to such reasoning? Alas, is it not in effect what some of us say who, while refusing Christ as Lord, profess to trust in Him and His work for salvation?"

Walter Marshall wrote some three hundred years ago, "Why doth a man seek a pardon if he intends to go on in rebellion and stand out in defiance of his prince? They seek a pardon in a mocking way and intend not to return unto obedience...To take a part of His salvation and leave out the rest? But Christ is not divided...They would be saved by Christ and yet be out of Christ in a fleshly state, whereas God doth free none from condemnation, but those who are IN Christ." "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared" (Ps. 130 : 4). Many of God's children forget, when dealing with the unsaved, that the grace of God does not give deliverance to the sinner from the penalty of his sins and then give him liberty to live a life of sin. Paul tells us that the pardoning grace of God teaches us to live a life of holiness: "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee" (Tit. 2: 11-15).

The teaching is clear in the Epistles that if a person has passed from death unto life he is now under the sway of the lordship of Christ. "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again . . . "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Cor. 5 : 15-17). The young convert is now UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. Paul's conversion is the pattern conversion of the New Testament. His first words in his new life in Christ were, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Yes, the first word of a new-born soul is Lord. The Lord takes control of the heart that accepts Him as Saviour and makes known His will. The believer knows His voice and rejoices to obey. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10 : 27).

Let me finish with an incident in my evangelistic experience. When I was preaching in the open air in Scotland, I invited the listening crowd to come forward and accept the Gospel of John in my hand if they were interested or anxious to be saved. Immediately a young girl of fourteen years of age came forward and received a copy. "Why do you want to be saved?" I asked. "Why do you want to accept Christ as your Saviour?" The answer came clear as crystal, "Please sir, I do not want to live a life of sin." John D. 'Wheeler, my colleague (an aged, experienced worker, having labored with Dr. Torrey and Gypsy Smith) said that this was the finest answer ever given to this all-important question.

Oh, my fellow Christian workers, let us cease proclaiming a perverted Gospel, and preach the evangel of COMPLETE SALVATION: Jesus Christ Lord. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." ~James A. Stewart