Poll: Majority of Christians shrug off ‘Way, Truth, and Life’

This is what a water down Gospel gets you, the failure to PREACH from the pulpit has ruined the Biblical understanding of these folks. I have said it many times, Jesus was the most dogmatic person ever, His declaration in John 14:6 makes it plain and clear (backed by the whole of scripture). Those who would deny this are not true believers.

A poll of born-again Christian believers found that an overwhelming major believe all roads lead to Heaven, a belief that Christian thinkers consider unbiblical and terribly illogical…

SOURCE: Poll: Majority of Christians shrug off ‘Way, Truth, and Life’

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/26/21

When God Said “Do Not Pray” | Thinking on Scripture

If you are like most evangelical Christians this banner is probably disconcerting right now. After all, we have been taught from the beginning of our conversion that we are to Pray without ceasing, and commanded to pray for everything.

Yet there are three incidents in the Bible when God says or implies “Do not Pray.” The first is when Mosses is banned from crossing the Jordon, the last is in 1John 5:16, and then in the middle, we find Jeremiah 7.

Jeremiah 7

CONTEXT: In Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find: The prophet having in God’s name reproved the people for their sins, and given them warning of the judgments of God that were coming upon them, in this chapter prosecutes the same intention for their humiliation and awakening. I. He shows them the invalidity of the plea they so much relied on, that they had the temple of God among them and constantly attended the service of it, and endeavours to take them off from their confidence in their external privileges and performances (v. 1-11). II. He reminds them of the desolations of Shiloh, and foretels that such should be the desolations of Jerusalem (v. 12-16). III. He represents to the prophet their abominable idolatries, for which he was thus incensed against them (v. 17-20). IV. He sets before the people that fundamental maxim of religion that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sa. 15:22), and that God would not accept the sacrifices of those that obstinately persisted in disobedience (v. 21-28). V. He threatens to lay the land utterly waste for their idolatry and impiety, and to multiply their slain as they had multiplied their sin (v. 29-34).

In our text for today the key verse is verse 16, where God tells Jeremiah to stop praying for Judah:

“Therefore, do not pray for this people [of Judah] or lift up a cry or entreaty for them or make intercession to Me, for I do not hear you.

There comes a time in the history of every nation where they decide that they are greater than He who created them. In our text, Judah had again forsaken God, and God was fed up, resolute in His determination to punish that nation he tells the prophet to stop praying for their benevolence.

We in America and many other “civilized” countries around the world are on that threshold, where God will forsake us, where He will give us over, to our own reprobate minds. Are we there yet? I do not think so and it is incumbent upon every believer to pray for our nation until such time as God clearly says “Do not Pray.” Below is a list of prayers for your nation that you may find helpful.

Pray for the Moral Decency and Civility of your Nation

Pray for the Healing of your Nation’s Unhappy Divisions and Success Against your Nation’s Enemies

Pray for your Head of State

Pray for the Educational Institutions and Common Citizens of your Nation

Pray for the Continuance of your Nation’s Outward Peace and Tranquility

Pray Earnestly for National Mercies and the Blessing of the Gospel Ministry in your Nation

Pray for the Nations of the World and for Your Own Nation

Pray for the Safe and Righteous Continuation of your Civil Government

Pray for all who are Employed in the Conduct of Public Affairs

Pray for your Judges and Judicial Rulers

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/25/21

Prayer is an earnest and familiar talking with God, to whom we declare all our miseries, whose support and help we implore and desire in our adversities, and whom we laud and praise for our benefits received. So that prayer contains the exposition of our sorrows, the desire of God’s defence, and the praising of His magnificent name, as the Psalms of David clearly do teach. 

– John Knox 
Psalm 32:5 - Bible verse (KJV) - DailyVerses.net

Yesterday in Sunday School the theme was prayer and the sermon was repentance. These two go hand in hand. Yet I often find folks praying for needs and desires rather than confessing and repenting BEFORE petitioning God for something.

One way we can get our prayer life back on track so to speak is to study and prayer through the Psalms. They are a guide book of sorts as to differing ways in which to approach God in Prayer.

“The more deeply we grow in the psalms, and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich our prayer will become.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

“Not without reason, it is my custom to call this book [Psalms] ‘ And Anatomy of All the Parts of the Soul’ since there is no emotion anyone will experience whose image is not reflected in this mirror.” – John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms

Below is a breakdown I found online https://standrews.ws/files/2017/11/Praying-with-the-Psalms.pdf that I thought was helpful:

Praying Through the Psalms
You can choose to work through all 150 Psalms in order or approach them thematically. There are a variety of ways to categorize the Psalms (with some overlap). Below are six commonly used themes:

  • Psalms of Praise & Devotion: 8, 19, 23, 33, 65, 100, 103, 104, 111, 113-115, 117, 134-136, 145-150
  • Psalms of Confession: 14, 32, 38, 51, 130
  • Psalms of Lament (Pain, Complaint, Anger): 12, 22, 42, 44, 58, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 90, 106, 123, 137
  • Psalms of Petition (Request): 3, 4, 13, 25, 26, 55-57
  • Psalms of Intercession (Help): 12, 27, 44, 58
  • Psalms of Thanksgiving: 30, 32, 34, 41, 65-67, 92, 105, 116, 124, 138

Sunday Sermon Series – 11/24/21

The more Christian you are in this town, the more makeup you wear. I'v...  Quote by Peter Hedges, What's Eating Gilbert Grape - QuotesLyfe

I am guessing a few of y’all are thinking that I have lost my mind, quoting Hollywood here. I chose this because it is appropriate to today’s sermon that comes from Jeremiah 4. In the quote we see folks putting ‘lipstick on a pig’ as we say here in the south. That is they are camouflaging the truth behind a false front. You can dress as fancy as you want, go to church every Sunday but God does not care for outward appearances, He knows the depths of your heart.

Are you prepared to meet God suddenly?


Jeremiah 4

CONTEXT: In Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find: It should seem that the first two verses of this chapter might better have been joined to the close of the foregoing chapter, for they are directed to Israel, the ten tribes, by way of reply to their compliance with God’s call, directing and encouraging them to hold their resolution (v. 1, 2). The rest of the chapter concerns Judah and Jerusalem. I. They are called to repent and reform (v. 3, 4). II. They are warned of the advance of Nebuchadnezzar and his forces against them, and are told that it is for their sins, from which they are again exhorted to wash themselves (v. 5-18). III. To affect them the more with the greatness of the desolation that was coming, the prophet does himself bitterly lament it, and sympathize with his people in the calamities it brought upon them, and the plunge it brought them to, representing it as a reduction of the world to its first chaos (v. 19-31).


SERMON

The Wailing of Risca

Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 9th, 1860, by the REV. C. H. Spurgeon, At Exeter Hall, Strand.

“Suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.”—Jeremiah 4:20.

…There are three points upon which I shall try to address you this morning, though I feel inadequate to such a task. First, I shall say somewhat upon sudden bereavements; then I shall dwell awhile upon the fact of sudden death; and afterwards we will say but a little, for we know but little, of the sudden exchange which sudden death shall bring both to saints and sinners…

QOTW – Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?

The naysayers love to come up with “cute” ways to trick (Matthew 22:15-45), someone into making a false claim. Of course it is always their understanding of God, (doctrine, theology, etc.) that is false and the basis of the trickery.

Question: “Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?”

Answer: 
This question is frequently asked by skeptics of God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent. According to this argument, omnipotence is self-contradictory…

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/God-rock-heavy-lift.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/22/21

AW Pink Quote - The Happy Soul Is Awed By the Majesty Of God

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

Psalm 145:5

PSALM 145

CONTEXT: C.H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David gives the best explanation of context: This is one of the alphabetical psalms, composed with much art, and, doubtless, so arranged that the memory might be aided. The Holy Spirit condescends to use even the more artificial methods of the poet, to secure attention, and impress the heart… Continued here.

I still have not found that person who says each morning I want to wake up unhappy. 😢 While there is a B I G difference between Biblical Joy and Happiness (that is a much longer post) for the sake of this devotional we will treat them the same. This is something everyone craves, desires, and for some only dream of. David in this Psalm and A.W. Pink in the quote above understood that it comes only from a right relationship with God.

Almost all translations of this Psalm have it entitled The praise of David or something very similar. Here we have David, near the end of his life extoling the greatness of God. Thomas Goodwin remarks on the title as follows:  It is observable concerning David’s entitling the psalm “The Praise of David”, that in the original no psalm else beareth such a title. It is appropriated to it, because this wholly consists of praise; he was elevated therein to a frame of spirit made up of the pure praise of God, without any touch of what was particular to himself. It was not thanks, but altogether praise, and wholly praise.

In our main text v.5, let us consider that King David who himself is by title and position worthy of honor and praise. Yet David says I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, as if it would be a personal affront if he was not allowed to. Oh how his heart clamors to praise the true King of Kings.

I will speak, etc. I will “muse” is better than “speak”, as being the primary and more usual sense of the Hebrew word. It suggests that these glorious qualities of God’s character and deeds should be not merely talked about and extolled in song, but be deeply pondered, laid close upon our very heart, so that the legitimate impression may be wrought into our very soul, and may mould our whole spirit and character into God’s own moral image.

Henry Cowles.

When was the last time you stood in awe of God’s Majesty?


Devotional Thought for Today – 11/21/21

Romans 5 20 21 20 Moreover NKJV the

ROMANS 5

CONTEXT: The Apostle Paul in Chapter 4, clearly explains how man is justified by faith alone. That the works of man have no effect on our means of obtaining eternal life. Here in this chapter, Paul begins his exposition on the results of being justified before God by Faith Alone.

Matthew Henry breaks down the Chapter as follows: The happy effects of justification through faith in the righteousness of Christ. (1-5) That we are reconciled by his blood. (6-11) The fall of Adam brought all mankind into sin and death. (12-14) The grace of God, through the righteousness of Christ, has more power to bring salvation, than Adam’s sin had to bring misery, (15-19) as grace did superabound. (20,21)

Our text for today is the last of his breakpoints, as grace did superabound. (20,21). I remember the first time I read through Chapter five with MH accompanying me and came across those words, they seemed out of place for a biblical explanation. That is until you realize the absolute marvel of God’s Grace, B.B. Warfield called it “Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving.” Or as most modern dictionaries put it God’s unmerited favor towards sinners.

We are ALL SINNERS, and God would be wholly justified in our deaths for those SINS, yet by His mercy and Grace, we can be justified through the Blood of Christ Jesus. Think on the simplicity of it we are as sinners, filthy rags unworthy of any mercy or grace before God, and He alone washes us clean as snow. That for me makes God’s Grace superabounding, and more marvelous than I can explain.

Last Sunday in Church we sang Grace Greater than Our Sin, written in 1911 by Julia H. Johnston it is so relevant today the more sin abounds the more God’s Grace is needed.

Refrain:

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

The Reformed Church in America Faces Rupture over LGBTQ Gridlock

Ministry Watch

One would think there is a simple, BIBLICAL, answer to this, but alas modernism and emotionalism have overtaken many once committed conservative denominations.


This week, North America’s oldest denomination will confront its gridlock over LGBTQ ordination and same-sex marriage. Votes cast in Tucson, Arizona, at the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod—delayed 16 months due to the pandemic—will chart the course for the already-splintering denomination.

In the past year, conservative factions have broken ties with the RCA, with other churches threatening to follow. Delegates to the synod, which starts today (Oct. 14) and will continue through Tuesday, will determine how the denomination might restructure to entice congregations to stay, if the church will establish an external mission organization, and whether departing congregations can plan on taking their church buildings with them…

Source: The Reformed Church in America Faces Rupture over LGBTQ Gridlock

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/20/21

Stephen Charnock Puritan Quote - Self Above God In Anything Is Idolatry

HEBREWS 10:25

Who is the focus of your worship? Is it you and your needs or God alone? Stephen Charnock the Puritan theologian of the 1600’s understood (as I have repeated far to many times) it is always about God and never about us.

Contemporary perspectives on worship
In considering the debates about worship in the Church in our day, it is necessary to keep four things in mind. First, the form of contemporary Sunday services of evangelical churches lacks continuity with much of the past worship practices of the Christian Church. Worship in American churches, and increasingly in other countries, has been greatly influenced by the practices of American evangelicalism which grew out of the 19th century camp meeting. In the camp meeting there was a three-part form: music (to attract a crowd and put it in the right mood), preaching (to convert sinners), and an altar call (to secure a decision). The goal was the conversion of sinners, not the service of God by the converted saints. Neither the doctrine of salvation nor the doctrine of the Church was soundly represented in camp meetings. Second, the Western mind has grown hostile to making distinctions (male/female, marriage/cohabitation, truth/falsehood, man/animal). It is therefore not surprising that the distinction between the public worship of God and the rest of the Christian life should appear to be problematic to many. Third, dispensational theology has robbed much of the evangelical church of the sense that it can really learn from the Old Testament, let alone that Old Testament teaching might still be binding. So it approaches the issue of worship as it does ethics and doctrine (but not prophecy!), with only the New Testament in its hands and with suspicion toward the past. In this climate of thought, many Reformed and Lutheran (and even Roman Catholic) Churches imitate what seems to succeed in the “megachurches,” often with little thought given to the doctrinal consequences of their decisions. The fourth thing to bear in mind is the constant effort on the part of the unseen enemy, the devil, to distort or corrupt the worship of God (Mat 4:9; Eph 6:11-12; Jas 4:7). Surely Reformed Christians must remember the lessons of Scripture and history.

Reformed confessional perspective on worship
As a confessional Reformed church, we must not approach worship in the pragmatic manner prevalent in many evangelical churches. We must not view ourselves as a generation of practical innovators moving the Church forward to ever greater successes. We are humble servants of Christ, exhorted “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Through our Confession and Testimony, we recognize the spiritual unity we share with our fathers in the faith, both in doctrine and in practice. We affirm the continuity between the Old and New Covenants, and the continuity of the Church through the generations. In our Confession, we treasure the solemn and holy nature of the assembly of God’s people on the Lord’s Day and the means of grace instituted by God and blessed by his Spirit. We hold firmly to the holy and spiritual nature of the Church and to her place in God’s design for the world. She alone is the pillar and ground of the truth, and that truth which she upholds is the truth of God’s Word in its purity, apart from men’s traditions (Mark 7:7). Our goal is to glorify God and to enjoy Him in worship. This requires thoughtful and careful study of God’s will. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). Christ joins Spirit and truth together, governed by one preposition: EN PNEUMATI KAI ALHQEIAI. In making this statement, Christ does not reject the relevance of Old Covenant worship to the practice of the New Covenant Church, but gives us a concise restatement of the New Covenant promise that God’s Law will be written on our hearts (Jer 31:33-34; Ezek 36:26-27; cf., Heb 8:10; 10:16; 2Cor 3:3). Though there is indeed an element of discontinuity — Christ’s body is the true temple — a discontinuity that fulfills the gospel’s universal vocation (“…neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem shall you worship the Father…”), the conjunction of Spirit and truth directs us to worship God in every place according to His Word (“we know what we worship”) in the new dispensation of the Spirit, now that Christ has come. Christ gives no liberty to think that the leading of the Spirit will open vistas of truth apart from His Word. The worship of God continues to be covenantal and directed by God’s Word while being opened to all nations and all places through faith in Jesus Christ (John 12:32; Isa 49:6; 1Jn 2:2; Rev 5:9).

The above is an extract from A Reformed Theology of Worship, Paper submitted to the 170th Synod, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

Calvin and the Worship of God

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/19/21

4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

Psalm 37

CONTEXT: From C.H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David

SUBJECT. The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people, and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.

I have written about this Psalm probably more than any other because of the great mis-use it receives in modern evangelical circles. I recently had another discussion with someone about claiming the healing of God. Again let me be clear yes I believe we should pray for God’s healing, IF IT IS HIS WILL. Not just because we desire it.

Folks will take our text well actually just the second half he shall give thee the desires of thine heart and roll with it. They say See God will give me whatever my heart desires. This verse along with Psalm 20:4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel are all some need to demand of God.

The problem here is that “Our Desires” are never good on their own. The Bible make it abundantly clear man apart from Christ is evil Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19, and Romans 7:18-20 for example. Our desires must align with God’s even our Lord and Savior asked God the Father if it be they will, Luke 22:42.

Notable Comments:

Verse 4. The desires of thine heart. All the desires of this spiritual seed are of the nature of this seed, namely, substantial, and shall meet with substance. All the desires of natural man, even after God, after Christ, after righteousness, shall burn and perish with him (for they are not the truth, nor do they come from the truth, nor can they reach to the truth;)but all the desires of this spirit shall live with the Spirit of God, in rest and satisfaction for ever. John Pennington, 1656.

Verse 4. The desires of God, and the desires of the righteous, agree in one; they are of one mind in their desires. John Bunyan.

Also see the previous posts below


Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

I must humbly profess the desire of my heart towards God, as my felicity and portion and fountain of life and all good to me.