Is there any instance of our Lord’s casting out a coming one? If there be so, we would like to know of it; but there has been none, and there never will be. Among the lost souls in hell there is not one that can say, “I went to Jesus, and He refused me.” It is not possible that you or I should be the first to whom Jesus shall break His word. Let us not entertain so dark a suspicion.
Suppose we go to Jesus now about the evils of today. Of this we may be sure — He will not refuse us audience, or cast us out. Those of us who have often been, and those who have never gone before — let us go together, and we shall see that He will not shut the door of His grace in the face of any one of us.
“This man receiveth sinners,” but He repulses none. We come to Him in weakness and sin, with trembling faith, and small knowledge, and slender hope; but He does not cast us out. We come by prayer, and that prayer broken; with confession, and that confession faulty; with praise, and that praise far short of His merits; but yet He receives us. We come diseased, polluted, worn out, and worthless; but He doth in no wise cast us out. Let us come again today to Him who never casts us out.” (Faith’s Checkbook)
The Rev. Elias Pledger, Puritan Sermons, I:326:
“[I]n order to the advancing of the work of mortification, endeavour after mortified affections to the world.—These are the suckers that draw away thy strength from God, and the fuel and foment and strength of all that corruption that must be mortified. Aversion from God, with an immoderate clinging and cleaving to the creature, is the whole corruption of nature. Affliction is the reducing thee to God, and the ungluing, disengaging, and divorcing thee from a carnal, worldly interest: therefore, minus gaudebis, minus dolebis, “the less thou joyest, the less thou ruest;” the less thou layest a world-interest near thy heart, the less that affliction which is the parting work will go to thy heart; therefore let all creature-comforts and advantages be loose about thee as thy clothes, which thou mayest easily lay aside; and not as thy skin, which cannot be pulled off without great torture. Affliction endangers nothing but that which is outward; therefore let not thy excessive respect to that which is without thee make thy affliction an inward terror. If thou countest the world of no value, thou wilt be able, without inward perplexity and fear, to pass through all places of danger and plunder; as the traveller, when he carries but a small matter, which, he knows, if he loses it, will not at all undo him. Besides, “if thou lovest the world, the love of the Father is not in thee;” and this will be a desperate venemous sting to thy soul in thy affliction. If thou wouldest not have the world thy plague and thy poison in the enjoying, thy rack and thy terror in the losing, comply with the word and Spirit of grace, in the application of a Christ crucified for the crucifying and mortifying of thy affections unto every earthly interest.”
My friend, if you have money enough today for your daily needs and something for God’s treasury, don’t torment yourself with the idea that you or your family may yet get into a poor-house. If your children cluster around your table, enjoy them, train them, trust them to God, without racking yourself with a dread that the little ones may some time be carried off by the scarlet fever, or the older ones may yet be ill-married or may fall into disgrace. Faith carries present loads and meets present assaults and feeds on present promises—and commits the future to a faithful God.
~ God’s Light on Dark Clouds by Theodore Cuyler
“This fear isn’t just personal. As laws on issues like same-sex marriage and contraception have changed, there’s a growing fear that public policy will become more and more in conflict with evangelical morality. This, according to many conservative Christians, is what these tensions are about: being legally required to perform acts that you sincerely and deeply believe are immoral. Although in the past the religious right has openly advocated legislating morality in the public sphere, for most evangelicals, the recent cases do not seem to be about policing other people’s morality—the concern is about preserving the ability to be faithful to one’s own morality. By paying to cover contraceptives that interfere with “conception,” as evangelicals define it, by baking a cake or taking photographs to celebrate a same-sex wedding, some Christians believe they are facilitating a profoundly immoral act—which makes them morally culpable, as well.”
Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/07/is-evangelical-morality-still-acceptable-in-america/374341/
The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all, he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord’s house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, “He has seen a vision.”
Will we have the courage to draw a line, and to do it publicly, between those who take a full view of Scripture and those who have been infiltrated theologically and culturally? If we do not have the courage, we will cut the ground out from under the feet of our children, and we will destroy any hope of being the redeeming salt and light of our dying culture.
~ Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, quoted in Love, Prayer and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies by Michael Snow, page vii
Read my review of Mr. Snow’s book here: https://paddlingupcreek.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/love-prayer-and-forgiveness-when-basics-become-heresies/
Photo Credit: “Footsies” by David Goehring from San Francisco, CA, USA – Footsies. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
“I beseech Christ for this one thing only, that He will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that He break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases Him.” – Huldrych Zwingli
Charles Jackson explains the futility of positing a non-Christian worldview as true:
…given any belief which might be encompassed by such a worldview, we finite humans (as unaided with respect to our finitude) cannot account for any fact outside our limited sphere of knowledge and control, which fact may represent a defeater for that belief. So, on the assumption of the denial of the Christian worldview, knowledge of any kind is unwarranted. Any objection to the Christian worldview is a non-starter. Christianity, with its omniscient, self-revelatory God, is the only worldview with a chance to be sufficient. And it is.
Read more: http://mathischristian.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/the-futility-of-all-non-christian-approaches-to-the-philosophy-of-mathematics/
It is the Bible alone that speaks of such a God. And the Bible speaks of his absolute authority. This God always speaks with authority. This God of the Bible, who speaks authoritatively through his Word, is the presupposition of the intelligibility of human experience. He is recognized in the Reformed Faith as the final reference point for all human predication. In this respect the Reformed Faith really stands squarely opposed to all forms of non-Christian thinking. Non-Christian thinking takes man as the final reference point in predication. It places man where the Reformed Faith recognizes God.
The two positions are therefore basically opposed to each other on all scores. The question is not simply as to which one is in accord with fact and logic. The question is rather in terms of which presupposition fact and logic have meaning at all. On which position is there any intelligible application of logic to fact at all? The question therefore concerns the philosophy of fact and the philosophy of logic. Any argument between them that does not go back to the question of presuppositions begs the question. The Christian position seeks to make human experience intelligible in terms of the presupposition of God; the non-Christian position seeks to make human experience intelligible in terms of man who is conceived of as ultimate. On this basic matter we have seen how the Roman Catholic tries to straddle the fence by trying to interpret part of human experience in terms of man and part in terms of God. And the Fundamentalistic position makes a similar attempt with the same fatal results. There is therefore no orthodox position except the Reformed Faith that is really able to challenge Dewey or Plato.
Read more: http://www.the-highway.com/articleFeb04.html
The Prodigal Son Returns
Wise words from Buck Parsons:
Parents must not give in to the temptation to presume their prodigal children are bound for glory, and neither should they ever give up praying for, preaching to, and pleading with their children to come to the end of themselves, trust Christ, and come home—where they will be overwhelmingly welcomed by the heavenly Father and by their earthly father, who will run to them with open arms and a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) celebration as they both rejoice coram Deo, before the face of God.
Read more: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hope-for-prodigal-children/
Joe Vusich explains why the Second Commandment does not forbid all images but does forbid images of the Trinity. I have excerpted a couple of his points below.
First, Mr. Vusich explains that the language of the Second Commandment specifically targets the worship of the Egyptians, with which the Israelites were familiar:
2. Egyptian gods corresponded to “heaven above (sky gods) . . . the earth beneath (animal gods) . . . and the water under the earth (river and underworld gods).
Also, based on the context of the passage, both historically and religiously, Mr. Vusich demonstrates that the Second Commandment is not meant to be a general prohibition on all images but rather a prohibition on making religious images:
6. Thus the 2nd Commandment was never intended as a general decree forbidding the creation of every sort of image, but a two-imperative law that forbade 1) making images of beings that are worshiped; and 2) the worship of those images.
Read more: http://theaquilareport.com/are-reformed-churches-against-the-creation-of-all-images/
Bayou Huguenot explains why the Reformers rejected the Five Points of Perth, which are:
- Kneeling at Communion
- Private Communion
- Immediacy of Baptism to Infants
- Confirmation by Bishops
- Recognition of Holy Days
Read more: http://bayouhuguenot.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/some-other-five-points/
Time is short, and ere long we will be at our journey’s end. The world’s smiles will no more follow us, neither will the frowns of it reach us. Eternity is before us, and we have greater things to mind than our condition here. One traveller walks with a rough stick in his hand, and another with a cane: the matter is small which of them be thine, for at the journey’s end both of them shall be laid aside.
~Thomas Boston, Works, 2:341
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/we-have-greater-things-mind-83032/, Comment #1 (Thank you, Reverend Winzer!)