Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?

Question: “Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?”

Answer: Yes, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Such an exclusive statement may confuse, surprise, or even offend, but it is…

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-only-way.html

The mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life!

How To Correct Charts Using ANM
https://images.app.goo.gl/HyXd5kW3U8PpRVgx6

The mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life!

Grace Gems, (Arthur Pink)

The Bible is a book which calls not so much for the exertion of our intellect — as it does for the exercise of our affections, conscience and will. God has given His Word to us not for our entertainment, but for our education — to make known what He requires from us. It is to be . . .
  the traveler's guide as he journeys through the maze of this world, and the mariner's chart as he sails the sea of life...

Source: https://www.gracegems.org/2014/10/chart.html

Sunday Sermon Series – Christ Invitation

Matthew 11:28 - Bible Quote - Bible Verse Images

Matthew 11

Chapter 11, can be broken down as follows: Christ’s preaching. (1) Christ’s answer to John’s disciples. (2-6) Christ’s testimony to John the Baptist. (7-15) The perverseness of the Jews. (16-24) The gospel revealed to the simple. The heavy-laden invited. (25-30) – Matthew Henry

As Matthew Henry points out our text v.28 is part of the invite to the heavily laden by Christ. There are three quick points I wish to make, that I gleaned from the text before we come on the sermon and other materials:

  • It is only through Christ Alone that the invite can go out
  • The invite is directed only towards those burdened by sins
  • Only Christ, by His atonement at Calvary, can provide rest from that burden

SERMON

Christ’s Invitation by J C Ryle

OTHER RESOURCES

Come – Matthew 11:28 by J C Ryle

Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor Thomas Boston

The Rest of Christ by A W Pink

The Yoke of Christ – Matthew 11:28 by A W Pink

The Present and Future Rest of True Believers – Matthew 11:28 by John Newton

Christ’s Gracious Invitation – Matthew 11:28 by Archibald Alexander

Come, All Who Are Weary Desiring God Ministries

Rest, Rest C.H. Spurgeon

A Knowledge of God By Dr. M. Lloyd-Jones

Devotional Thought for Today – 27 March 2021

Death and the Christian

Matthew Henry quote: He whose head is in heaven need not fear to...
https://images.app.goo.gl/S5mdZ4u1SZRiNWGV9

2 Corinthians2 Corintios 5:5 5:5

Over the past few months our family has experienced the death of family members and dear friends. While we can and should mourn their deaths, we also need to look at these events from a Biblical and practical standpoint.

In some cases the individuals were sick and suffering, in other cases the sudden loss was from an accident or in one case a random act of violence. In all but one of these deaths I, was able to provide comforting words to the families because I was convinced the individual was a true believer. For some it was that they were no longer suffering and were as the Bible promises ‘absent from the body and present with the Lord.’ For others we can not begin to explain why things happen, why the guy ran a red light, but we can find comfort in knowing God is in complete control and His ways are always greater and wiser than ours.

The great preach Charles Spurgeon had much to say on the Subject of death having preached many a sermon on the matter. Here are 10 of my favorite quotes of his:

1. “To be prepared to die is to be prepared to live.”

2. “It is the very joy of this earthly life to think that it will come to an end.”

3. “The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, because it is the one that is nearest heaven.”

4. “The only people for whom I have felt any envy have been dying members of this very church.”

5. “If I do not think of death, yet death will think of me.”

6. “It is not a loss to die, it is a lasting, perpetual gain.”

7. “Let us learn to hold loosely our dearest friends. Let us love them, but let us always learn to love them as dying things.”

8. “It is a grand thing to see a man dying full of life.”

9. “He who learns to die daily while he lives will find it no difficulty to breathe out his soul for the last time.”

10. “All the glories of midday are eclipsed by the marvels of sunset.”

Today’s Prayer

Pray for the Grace Needed to Die Well

We must pray for grace to deliver us from death* and to carry us well through our dying moments.

Lord, make us know our end and what is the measure of our days; let us know and consider how fleeting we are, that our days are as a few handbreadths and all mankind stands as a mere breath! Psalm 39:4-5(ESV) Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 1 Chronicles 29:15(ESV)

Lord, so teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12(ESV) and make us to discern our latter end! Deuteronomy 32:29(ESV)

Lord, make us always ready, dressed for action with our lamps burning, Luke 12:35(ESV) for the Son of Man is coming at an hour we do not expect. Luke 12:40(ESV)

Keep us all the days of our service, waiting till our renewal comes; and then shall you call, and we will answer. Job 14:14-15(ESV)

Bring us to our grave like a sheaf gathered up in its season; Job 5:26(ESV) satisfy us with life, whether it be long or short, and show us your salvation. Psalm 91:16(ESV)

And when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be with us, that we may fear no evil; let your rod and your staff comfort us. Psalm 23:4(ESV)

Let goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life, and let us dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6(ESV) May steadfast love and faithfulness be with us. 2 Samuel 15:20(ESV)

Ransom our souls from the power of Sheol, and receive us; Psalm 49:15(ESV) guide us with your counsel, and afterward receive us into glory. Psalm 73:24(ESV)

MATTHEW HENRY’S “METHOD FOR PRAYER”

* We must all die (save those alive when the Lord comes), so the author directs us to ask for deliverance not from the inevitable fact of death, but from the fear and power of death. Editor.

OTHER RESOURCES

A Believer’s Last Day, His Best Day – Thomas Brooks

Mortality – Christians Need Not Fear Death by J I Packer

What does the Bible say about death? GotQuestions.org

What Does the Bible Say About Death And Dying? 100+ Bible verses

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/25/2021

Biblical Doctrine: The Lifeblood of the Christian life
https://images.app.goo.gl/BhdfFNJsUfasy47u9

Recently I had a discussion with someone who maintained that doctrine was not necessary, in fact it was ‘old fashion archaic thinking and his time was much better spent working for the kingdom.’

I hope that I am not the only one that saw the issue with that statement. How can one hope to serve the Kingdom with out having a right understanding of God’s Holy Word and how to apply it to your life? Forsaking Biblical doctrine can mean only one thing, we would rather live in the world.

Doctrine after all is in the basic sense, teaching or instruction. The word translated “doctrine” means “instruction, especially as it applies to lifestyle application”  2 Timothy 3:16.

Doctrine is very important in the bible. One can not seriously read the Bible without seeing it as an instruction manual from God as to our moral, ethical and spiritual behaviours. Yet we live in an age, as Paul predicted, 2 Timothy 3:4, when mankind would either reject sound doctrine or doctrine altogether. That is not to say one must get tied up in or argumentative over controversial biblical doctrines. Yet in most areas, the Bible is completely CLEAR and CONSISE

It should be the “DESIRE” the “GOAL” the “HOPE” of every true believer to mature in the Doctrine of God so we can fulfill the mission God has for each of us.

Today’s Prayer

Thank You, Father, for Your Holy Scriptures. Teach me, convict me, correct me and train me through the living, powerful inspired Word of truth, that I may be equipped to carry out the work that You have ordained for me to do. Keep me mindful of the dark days that face the Church in these times and may I live and work to Your praise and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/2-Timothy/3/16

OTHER RESOURCES:

Why is Doctrine Important?

What Is Doctrine and Why Is It Important?

What is doctrine?

What Is Sound Doctrine?

Why is sound doctrine so important?

Bible Verses About Sound Doctrine

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/24/2021

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Romans 6

Just about a year ago, I used this same verse in a devotional entitled Wages of Sin. My focus then was God’s call to salvation. Today however as I read this verse, something completely different bothered me, the actual phrase the wages of sin is death. 

Everyone likes getting “paid” for their work.  Even volunteers get paid in the sense they see the results of their efforts. For those with a job that has a monetary wage, that paycheck is their reward, their payoff for hard work. That is their WAGE, their RECOMPENSE, or REWARD.

I think for the first time I put it all together that “we” work hard for our final payment of death.  In other words, the payoff for all our hard work of living a sinful life, our reward,  is eternal death. Culture tells us to just live life to the fullest and damn the consequences.  The Bible makes clear the consequences. In the end,  there is no one else to blame, no one to turn to except ourselves, we are without excuse.  Maybe it is just me but I can think of far better rewards, can’t you?

As I noted in last year’s devotional; Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heartstrings? Answer God’s call Repent of your sins and make Christ not only the savior of your life but Lord of your life today. 

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, I am a sinner and deserving of eternal death and the lake of fire, I am not worthy to set my foot in Your heavenly home, but I believe that the Lord Jesus paid the price for my sins through His death on Calvary and I heed Your call, Your free gift of salvation and eternal life IN HIM. I ask that Christ be Lord of my life, let the Holy Spirit guide my paths that I may do Your will.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.

Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Romans/6/23

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/23/2021

How we view the world, that is objectively look at and consider all that is happening around us shapes all our actions. – Mike

WORLDVIEWS

Colossians 2:8, Romans 12:2

The world to end in 30 years ?- The New Indian Express

The above picture is from an article in the New Indian Express dated 26th April 2020, with the title The world to end in 30 years? Within the opening paragraph is the only substantial evidence if one can call it that to support the headline; An Australian think-tank has predicted that human civilization as we know it will come to an end in 2050. The end is indeed nigh. The picture more than the doom and gloom of the article got me thinking about how two people can look at the same thing and see something completely different all because their worldviews are not based on the same ideals. 

Literally, of course, worldview is how a person views the world. A person’s worldview consists of the values, ideas, or the fundamental belief system that determines his attitudes, beliefs, and ultimately, actions. Typically, this includes his view of issues such as the nature of God, man, the meaning of life, nature, death, and right and wrong. – Focus on the Family 

In the “world”  we have six main Worldviews (see Ligonier Article below) predominant today apart from a Biblical or Christian Worldview. The bible however only teaches us two worldviews; God’s and man

With so much stuff out there, (much of it junk) it is SO IMPORTANT for anyone claiming to be a “Christian” and for those learning about Christianity to understand what a True Biblical Worldview is. 

I have attached some articles to help: 

 First Test Your Knowledge:

Value of a Biblical Worldview – Worldview Quiz

Then Review: 

Biblical WorldviewFrom a bible study I conducted back in 2010

“Why do so many Christians not have a consistently biblical worldview?” – GotQuestions.org 

What Is a Worldview? – Ligonier Ministries

Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians – Barna Research

Is a Biblical Worldview Optional? – Answers in Genesis

How a Biblical Worldview Shapes the Way We Teach Our Children – Dr. Timothy Jones

Worldviews & World Religions (MP3 Lecture Series) – James White

How Your Theology Shapes Your Worldview – Michael Horton

The Importance Of A Biblical Worldview  – Allen Turner

Recommended Download ebook

Inerrancy and Worldview – Vern S. Poythress

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/22/2021

Logos.com

2 Corinthians 9 

In short, this Chapter is a reminder to the church in Corinth to fulfill their promise to help the church in Jerusalem.  Paul reminds them that gift-giving should be done willingly and cheerfully, that God blesses those who do so and closes with our ext v.15.

Paul uses v.15, as a reminder that they, the members of the church in Corinth had already received a very special gift.  The CSB, NASB, and NIV all render it “his indescribable gift!”  The ESV is depicted above the KJV uses “unspeakable and the NLT renders it “this gift too wonderful for words!”

What is this gift?  It is interesting (to me at least) here Paul does not clearly spell it out, one has to dig a little, I think he understood the church at Corinth should know and so should all true believers. A clue is given in the previous Chapter 8:9 (AMP)For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor], that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).  The Gift that goes beyond measure is none other than Christ.

Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary – Read the whole commentary here

REFLECTIONS

It will be a blessed improvement from this Chapter, Under the Lord’s teaching, to learn, while Paul is speaking of alms-deeds, and liberality to the poor; how pure that source of real charity is, which runs from God, and leads to God. What an astonishment would it induce in the minds of some men, if they were told, that as no alms-giving whatever is real charity, unless it ariseth, as a stream doth from a fountain, from the love of God; the numberless public charities as they are called, which have not this origin for their birth, cease to be real charities; and will be found more the effect of pride, and ostentation, than either intended for divine glory, or human happiness. If all the actions of men on the score of charity, were ascertained by this standard, what a draw-back would be found, in the calculations of self-righteous Pharisees, of their real state before God? Reader! do attend to the Apostle’s character of the love of the heart, in that which comes from God, and leads to God. God loveth a cheerful giver. Not simply self-delight, in the deed; for this is often the choicest fruit the self-righteous character gathers, from his charity, in the offering made to the shrine of his vanity: but a cheerful giver to the Lord, of his own bounty, as the Lord’s Almoner. Cheerful in seeing the Lord’s poor, fed from the Lord’s gifts; in which self hath no gratification of pride, but feels humility. Here it is, the cup of cold water becomes a precious gift. And the hundreds of the affluent, given without it, hath no value in the sight of God.

But, Reader! if things be so, think what a gift was, and is, that which flowed, and will forever be flowing, from the free, pure, disinterested love of God, in the gift of his dear Son? Think, what a sovereign, unlooked-for, boundless, bottomless mercy, in the gift of God the Spirit! Oh! for grace to have a right apprehension, of this unspeakable gift!

Today’s Prayer

Loving heavenly Father – thank You for the unspeakably precious gift of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ – Who has been freely given to me and to all who will sill simply believe in His name. Father the gift of Your only begotten Son is beyond all expression, beyond all measure, and beyond all bounds. I fall on my face and worship You for Your unspeakably precious gift to me – in JESUS’s name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/2-Corinthians/9/15

Worldly losses and misfortunes universal

 

Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

When Sparks Fly Upward | The Cripplegate

Worldly losses and misfortunes universal

“Mankind is born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7)

Convene, you mournful throng, and vent your dreary moans; muster all your complaints, and recite the causes of your sorrow. Then hear royalty itself break silence first in the melancholy list, and tell in tears. Distress even attacks the throne, and sorrow and gloom penetrate within the palace walls. Sorrow has a lodging place in every brow, from the king to the beggar; and at one time or other, we may expect to see the lodging possessed by all the gloomy train. Hence see one sad, under the loss of his honor and reputation; another meeting with disappointment instead of advancement; another seldom out of mourning, so fast his relations die around him. Some have neither son nor grandson in the neighborhood; daughter nor grand-daughter in the house.

There the affectionate wife has lost the husband of her youth, and here the disconsolate mourner has interred his lovely spouse. Here so many needy pensioners are real mourners at the burial of their benefactors, who can be no more concerned for them; there a tender family are weeping at the grave of both parents. Here the letter from the distant Indies, brings the melancholy account of father, son, or brother’s death, who was long expected home, but now shall return no more; there the list of the slain on the day of battle, fills many a sad heart with sorrow. Here a sudden misfortune snatches one away in the bloom of life; there another is slain by the bloody ruffian. Here the tender infant dies unseen in the silent night; and there the pretty boy perishes in the water. Here the devouring flame robs a man of his all, while some of the family are consumed in the burning; there the fierce tempest sends the merchant’s treasure into the depths of the sea, and the crew go down together. Here the barren wife longs to embrace a son; and there another bitterly bewails that ever her wayward son was born.

Here one loses his good name innocently, and has no method to clear it until the day of judgment; and there peace is taken away from those who should live in daily harmony. Here some are oppressed with pinching poverty; there others with pining sickness. Some are banished their native country; others condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Some are deformed from their mother’s womb; others lose their limbs by accidents. There sits the blind begging, while the lame is carried from door to door. Of some God has tied the tongue, that it cannot speak; of others stopped the ear, that it cannot hear. There some deprived of reason, neither rest themselves, nor allow those around them to rest—their case is melancholy above description.

In a word, what losses and crosses, sorrows and distresses, uncertainties and anxieties, do mankind labor under! The wisdom which is from above, will lead me to expect nothing but vanity and vexation here below. But, O! how happy is the soul that has all the treasure in heaven, all his happiness in God! May this be my case, and then I shall triumph in the midst of losses, distresses, disappointments, and pain!

Sunday Sermon Series – The Guilt and Danger of Such a Nation as This

You may have noticed recently I have been posting many devotional thoughts concerning the trends in America. Here is a sermon from John Newton best known for composing Amazing Grace he was with his friend William Cowper a prolific hymn writer and excellent preacher. 

While Jeremiah was obviously speaking prophetically to the nation of Israel in Chapter 5, every nation that turns its back on the one true God of the universe should be equally forewarned. 

Jeremiah 5:29 Shall I not visit for these things? said the LORD: shall not  my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

SERMON

The Guilt and Danger of Such a Nation as This

BY JOHN NEWTON

 

THREE times* the Lord God repeats, by his prophet, this alarming question. Their ingratitude and obstinacy were so notorious, their sins so enormous and aggravated, the sentence denounced against them, however severe, was so undeniably just, that, partial as they were to themselves, God is pleased to appeal to their own consciences, and to make them judges in their own cause; inviting, or rather challenging, them, to offer any plea why his forbearance and patience, which they had so long despised, should be still afforded them…

CONTINUED > > 


Today’s Prayer 

Dear God,

We as a nation are in turmoil. We have partisan politics, ungodly laws, and tempers flaring over uncertain times. We ask you, Lord, to dwell among us, to not forsake you remnant, nor lift your hand of divine providence.  We confess our nation’s unworthiness of your mercy. 

We are comforted by the knowledge that You alone are our Savior and Lord, and the sovereign Master of life. We trust our nation to Your loving care, Lord. Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it. Give us Your light and Your truth to guide us in our ways so that we may seek Your will in our lives and impact the world around us for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen 

Modified from: prayer