An elder preceded the minister into the pulpit and then came to the front and addressed the congregation. “Last week…a child was bored in the service.” A gasp went through the congregation. Men looked at their feet, women cried quietly, and children went white. “The church officers are meeting with the minister during the week and will announce our conclusions next Sunday. In the meantime we want to apologise to that child and his parents and all the other children,” the elder concluded before leaving the pulpit. The ashen-faced preacher came to the pulpit, and in a trembling voice began the service…
Read more: http://banneroftruth.org/us/resources/articles/2001/a-child-was-bored-in-the-service/
“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Rev. Andrew Bonar, commenting on Leviticus 23.26-32:
Sorrow for sin seems to be like the rough sand that a man uses to rub off rust from iron; sorrow searches and rubs sore on the soul, but at the same time effectually removes what cleaved to the soul before. The vessel is thus rinsed of the flavor of former wines, and left quite clean for the new wine of the kingdom. Sorrow does not take away the sin, but it takes away the taste for it, and the pleasant taste of it; it does not empty out the vessel, but frees the emptied vessel (the pardoned soul) from the former relish it had for earth. It is thus that the Lord’s children pass through fire and water to the wealthy place. For this reason it is that their souls are tried with spiritual griefs and outward tribulation. It makes the joy of the Lord the fuller and sweeter to them. The evening of the day [of Atonement], or rather, the afternoon of it, bathed their souls in the refreshment of pardon and assured acceptance. And is not this also a preparation for the joy of the kingdom? It is by these beginnings that the heart is tuned for the day of universal gladness at the Lord’s appearing; By these beginnings are their souls fashioned into the feelings of heaven.
Pastor Jerrold Lewis adapting Samuel Rutherford:
DEAR ones in Christ, I know the way to heaven is a harsh way, a dreary, sad, and melancholy way, full of tears and mourning. It is known to all believers, that in every regenerated man there is, as it were, two men, the new and the old, the spirit and the flesh. And these two have contrary ways, contrary hearts, and contrary judgments. When the children of God thinks of the way to heaven unpleasant and full of sorrow, it is the opinion of your carnal man.
But ask the new man within you, what he thinks of the way to heaven…
Read more: http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/hope-i-rest-83610/
Do not judge!
(J. R. Miller, “Judging Others” 1894)
“Do not judge—or you too will be judged.”
It is better to have eyes for beauty—than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the roses—than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others—than for things to condemn. Of course, other people have faults—and we are not blind to them. But then, we have faults of our own—and this should make us charitable!
We have a divine teaching on the subject. Our Lord Jesus said, “Do not judge—or you too will be judged.” We need to understand just what the words mean. We cannot help judging others. We ought to be able to read character, and to know whether men are good or bad. As we watch men’s acts—we cannot help forming opinions about them. The holier we grow, and the more like Christ—the keener will our moral judgments be. We are not bidden to shut our eyes—and to be blind to people’s faults and sins.
What, then, do our Lord’s words mean? It is uncharitable judgment against which He warns us. We are not to look for the evil things in others. We are not to see others through the warped glasses of prejudice and unkindly feeling. We are not to arrogate to ourselves the function of judging—as if others were answerable to us! We are to avoid a critical or censorious spirit. Nothing is said against speaking of the good in those we see and know; it is uncharitable judging and speaking, which Jesus condemns.
One reason why judging is wrong—is because it is putting one’s self in God’s place. He is the only Judge, with whom every human soul has to do. Judgment is not ours—but God’s. “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12. In condemning and censuring others—we are thrusting ourselves into God’s place, taking His scepter into our hands, and presuming to exercise one of His sole prerogatives!
Another reason for this command—is that we cannot judge others justly and fairly. We have not sufficient knowledge of them. Paul says: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5. Our judgments cannot be anything but faulty, partial and superficial.
It is in mercy and in measure that God chastiseth His children.
~ John Trapp
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f29/chastisement-3941/, Comment #3 (Thank You, Virginia Huguenot)
Otto Scott 1992:
We are living in very strange times. Some are tempted to call them End Times, for our civilization seems to have lost the vision that was responsible for its rise to world dominance only a century ago, and seems now to have lost its direction. Some might even say that it has lost its soul.
This is odd, because other civilizations — and there are other civilizations — seem to have regained theirs. The Islamic world is rising again, thanks to the oil revenues the West has handed over to them. Islam is now arming with missiles containing nuclear warheads and the most advanced warplanes — all products of the West that the West is selling to anyone who pays the price.
Read more: http://biblicallandmarks.com/wpl/foundations-of-effective-civil-government/
In which God’s enemies are literally swept away:
It is Sabbath-day among the mountains…
…and a company of the Persecuted have assembled. Around, is a mighty chasm of cliffs, called the Cartland Crags, where Wallace used to take refuge, through which a river is flowing, at present so low, owing to the heat of summer, that men could walk all but dry-shod up its channel…
Read more: http://regenerationandrepentance.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/a-covenanter-campmeeting-and-gods-sabbath-deliverance/
The Rev. Benjamin Needler, Puritan Sermons, I:66, 67:
The reason why men indulge any one lust is,—because they pick and cull their duties, and so indeed serve not the will of God, but their own choice. O! how many are there that answer the Lord with half obedience! like the echo, which makes not a perfect respondence of the voice, but of some part thereof. Many make such a difference amongst the tables [of the Decalogue], as if only one side or one part were of God’s writing. O sirs! this will not do, this will undo. The man that, like Agrippa, doth but almost believe, almost repent, almost conform to the will of God, that man shall be saved proportionably almost! One sin unrepented of will cause you to miscarry to all eternity. One crack in a bell may make it unserviceable, untunable; and till it be new-cast, it is good for nothing. One wound may kill your bodies, and so may one sin your souls. O Christians! what had become of you and me, if Jesus Christ had satisfied the justice of God for all but one sin? . . . . No mercy to be expected from this scripture, unless a man turn away from all his transgressions. The vessel of honour is distinguished from the vessel of dishonour, by this character, that it is “sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work,” (2 Tim. 2:21) . . . . Halting in religion is a troublesome, deformed, dangerous gesture; and there is no cure for this like cutting-off the right foot.
Bob Thune on discipleship:
We are good at telling non-Christians they need Jesus. No wise Christian would look at Ryan and say, “Change your lifestyle first, and then we can work on your heart.” We know that deep inner change must come first; “make the tree good, and its fruit [will be] good” (Matt. 12:33). So why don’t we think the same way when it comes to discipleship?
Read more: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/youre-a-sinner-and-jesus-is-your-only-hope
Especially look to those sins to which your crosses have some reference and respect. Are you crossed in your goods? Think if you did not over-love them and get them unjustly, or if in your children, see if you did not over-love them and cocker them, and so in all things of like kind. In what God smites you, see if you have not in that sinned against Him, and so frame to lament your sins and to seek help against them.
~ William Whately
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f29/chastisement-3941/, Comment #3 (Thank You, Virginia Huguenot!)
I appreciate how Ray Comfort can get right to the point and not get sidetracked on Mormon theology:
John Calvin, from Sermons on Galatians:
“…those who are called by God to preach his Word must be resolved that they will not compromise, even if the whole world were to rise up against them. They must bear all conflicts, knowing that God will help them in their need and always grant them victory, provided they follow their vocation in purity and simplicity. The greatest insult and injury that we can give to God is in yielding to the desires of man, and twisting his Word both left and right. It is not only a question of abandoning our own ideas, but also of constantly upholding God’s truth, which is immutable; it must never be altered, however changeable and inconstant man may be.”
Read more: http://www.erictyoung.com/2014/06/29/standing-for-gods-word-against-all-opposition-john-calvin/
Thomas Boston, Works, 3:11:
The fear of man bringeth a snare. How many are led aside by the fear of man? They are unwilling to offend men, they desire to please the company. But holy fear takes away this. It teaches us to fear God, and not man. It makes the soul exert all its care to please God, whoever be offended.
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/holy-fear-takes-away-fear-man-83565/, Comment #1 (Thank You, Reverend Winzer!)
Photo: michael ely
In creation, man was made as God’s image — intended “naturally” as God’s child to reflect his Father. Since his Father worked creatively for six days and rested on the seventh, Adam, like a son, was to copy Him. Together, on the seventh day, they were to walk in the garden. That day was a time to listen to all the Father had to show and tell about the wonders of His creating work.
Thus the Sabbath Day was meant to be “Father’s Day” every week. It was “made” for Adam. It also had a hint of the future in it. The Father had finished His work, but Adam had not.
Read more: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/sabbath-rest/