Tag Archive | Culture

We May Be Forced To Bear The Consequences

Challies:

Just as the people around the early Christians insisted that there was no inconsistency between worshipping Jesus and offering a pinch of incense to the Emperor, people around us today are insisting there is no inconsistency between these new sexual mores and the Bible. Those first Christians knew better and bore the consequences. We, too, know better, and may be forced to bear consequences.

Read more: https://www.challies.com/articles/a-warning-from-the-earliest-christians/

The Gospel and Snow White

While recently reading some fairy tales to my children, I was struck by how deeply Christian the story of Snow White is. The story seemed almost as if it was a mixed-up cultural retelling of the fall and redemption (an innocent dies by the bite of a poisoned apple and needs to be brought alive again by a Prince, the son of a King, etc.).  I was going to write a post trying to explain what I saw, but then I came across an article that does it so much better than I ever could.  Here is the article for your consideration:

Click to access 0e2207751_the-gospel-and-snow-white.pdf

Strike the Plumb Line

Dave Daubenmire hits on the only thing that can save the West:

“The wild card in this whole American mess is the once Truth-filled American church. The success or failure of our society rests not in the political process but will be directly proportional to the degree to which our pulpits strike the plumb line. Only Truth can ultimately prevail.”

Read more: https://newswithviews.com/thanks-to-trump-people-are-finally-beginning-to-wake-up/

It’s time to turn:

“If they ask, But when will the tide turn for the Protestant Church? I answer, When they turn more universally to God, and no sooner.”

~Robert Fleming, The Rise and Fall of the Papacy

What Christians Should Know About Intersectionality

A concept appearing more and more in American political discourse and on college campuses is “intersectionality,” a theory that is becoming a political movement that noted Christian thinkers consider contrary to the Gospel.

Broadly defined — though its precise meaning is disputed — “intersectionality” refers to the interconnected nature of social categories like race, gender, class and how these identity markers create overlapping and interdependent systems of disadvantage or discrimination…

Read more: https://www.christianpost.com/news/what-christians-should-know-about-intersectionality-193970/

No Christianity, No Equality

1793 Equality anagoriaYuval Harari in Impossible People:

“According to the science of biology, people were not “created.” They have evolved. And they certainly did not evolve to be “equal.” The idea of equality is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creation. The Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a directly created soul, and that all people are equal before God. However if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation, souls, what does it mean that all people are created “equal”? Evolution is based on difference, not on equality. Every person carries a somewhat different genetic code, and is exposed from birth to different environmental influences. This leads to the development of different qualities that carry with them different chances of survival. “Created equal” should therefore be translated “evolved differently.”” [Read more of the quote in context here.]

Source and read more: http://www.str.org/blog/if-naturalistic-evolution-true-people-are-not-equal

A Fundamental Change In The Form Of Christianity

Ruth of Boston; a story of the Massachusetts Bay colony (1910) (14566301968)

Pastor Matt Trewhella:

We are now seeing, in our day, the results of a Pietistic Christianity. Because the Pietists retreated from the culture, the institutions of the culture have been annexed and overtaken by pagan men. So thoroughly have they routed Christianity that their current mopping up efforts consist of not allowing Christmas to any longer be called “Christmas.” The Pietist, who has continually retreated for over 200 years, has now made his stand there in defense of Christmas, not realizing that it is his form of Christianity that has brought us to this point.

And this is my point – even if there was a great revival – there is no theological means within present day American Christianity whereby biblical morality could become public policy. There has to be a fundamental change in the form of Christianity in America in order to see it happen.

Read more: http://mercyseat.net/mscc/2012/03/17/the-destructive-influence-of-pietism-in-american-society/

The Most Horrible Putrefaction Is Apt To Set In

Briton Rivière - Aphrodite 01

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays v.2:1926-1929: “The Substitutes for Religion”:

The arts, including music and certain important kinds of literature, have been, at most periods, the handmaids of religion. Their principal function was to provide religion with the visible or audible symbols which create in the mind of the beholder those feelings which for him personally are the god. Divorced from religion, the arts are now independently cultivated for their own sake. That aesthetic beauty which was once devoted to the service of God has now set up as a god on its own. The cultivation of art for its own sake has become a substitute for religion. That it is an extremely inadequate substitute must be apparent to anyone who has observed the habits of those who lead the pure, aesthetic life. Where beauty is worshipped for beauty’s sake as a goddess, independent of and superior to morality and philosophy, the most horrible putrefaction is apt to set in. The lives of the aesthetes are the far from edifying commentary on the religion of beauty.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89395-Idolizing-the-Arts, Comment #1

This entry was posted on October 19, 2016, in Culture and tagged .

Show My People Their Transgression

Dr. Alan Cairns, “Why Revival Tarries:”

Arntzenius SpuistraatIsaiah 58 verse one says, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”18

That is God’s command.

Let me be very, very blunt. The backslidings of God’s people have terrible consequences. Truth falls in the street. When the Church loses out with God the ramifications are felt throughout society.

Now I am not one of those preacher who want to heap the guilt upon godly people for all the filthiness that is happening in the nation. But I do say this and let me back up. I am not, therefore, going to say that if this congregation really, sincerely goes through with God that we will see America changed overnight or even over the next 10 years. I can’t promise that. What I can say, however, is that in the Church of Jesus Christ there has been such a prolonged backsliding from truth, such a prolonged backsliding from holiness in the Church of Jesus Christ where professing Christians take sin lightly where preachers are among the most filthy hypocrites in the country. Now I am not generalizing. That is not true of most preachers, I am sure. But nonetheless we have these high profile cases of vile men, filthy men, immoral men, thieving men, murderous men and they have occupied the pulpit, adulterers in the pulpit, thieves in the pulpit, child molesters in the pulpit and my it gets big coverage when professing Christians play fast and lose with sin and they have such a little view of the holiness of God. Is it any wonder that truth falls in the street? Is it any wonder that in the public square there is no feeling of fear of a holy God and there is no hatred of sin?

We can blame the government all we like. But God says, “Shew my people their transgressions.”19

18 Isaiah 58:1.

19 Isaiah 58:1.

Source and read/listen to more: http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/8270617328.pdf, attached to the sermon, “Why Revival Tarries,” at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=8270617328

When Unbelief Comes In, All Evil Things Follow

Fête de la Raison 1793

Man is now thinking out a Bible for himself; framing a religion in harmony with the development of liberal thought; constructing a worship on the principles of taste and culture; shaping a god to suit the expanding aspirations of the age. … The extent of the mischief no one can calculate. A soul without faith, a church without faith, a nation without faith, a world without faith – what is to be their future? What is their present? When faith goes, all good things go. When unbelief comes in, all evil things follow.

~Horatius Bonar, Our Ministry: How It Touches the Questions of the Age (Edinburgh: MacNiven, 1883), pp. 54-5.

The Death of the Protestant Work Ethic

Pekka Halonen - Pioneers in Karelia - Google Art Project

John MacArthur on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 in the sermon, A Theology of Work:

“We are…rapidly abandoning that traditional work ethic that grew out of Christian roots and we should expect that it will continue to die. And the reason is this, because God doesn’t matter anymore in our society. In fact, God is to be left out of society. We hear that constantly under the rubric of the separation of church and state. Our culture doesn’t want God involved in anything. They see that as a violation of the first amendment somehow, the government not being able to establish religion.

And when God doesn’t matter, then morality doesn’t matter, and that’s what we’re experiencing now. When God matters as God has mattered in our history, one nation under God, in God we trust on our money, when God matters then there is a transcendent authority and God is the ultimate power. God is the ultimate determiner of destinies, God is the final judge. But when God doesn’t matter, then morality doesn’t matter because there are really no consequences outside oneself. The worst that can happen to someone is that while you’re expressing your freedom to live any way you want to live, you may have some negative results. They might come from other people. They might come from circumstances that you brought upon yourself by the choices that you’ve made, they might be things that happened really outside of your power and control.

But since you’re on your own and you can live any way you want to live, the consequences that come really have nothing to do with God, they’re just all about the way it is in life and some things go well and some don’t. When God doesn’t matter, then morality doesn’t matter. When morality doesn’t matter, then there’s a total collapse of moral commitment in a culture. Sex outside of marriage doesn’t matter. Homosexual sin doesn’t matter. In fact, it ought to be legalized and homosexual marriage ought to be made valid. Dishonesty doesn’t matter. You can lie as much as you want to gain whatever ends you want to gain. Self-indulgence doesn’t matter. Cheating doesn’t matter. Stealing doesn’t matter. Really no other virtue matters because there’s no God. And since we reject God, the definition of God in western culture that’s being rejected is the biblical definition. So in getting rid of God we have gotten rid of the Bible and the prescriptions of Scripture with regard to the will of God, the nature of God and consequently the Law of God for man’s behavior.

When God doesn’t matter anymore, then there is no universal, transcendent standard for behavior. And natural human corruption runs rampant to the degree that any individual person chooses to live. And one of the basic moral virtues that disappears in a culture is work…work. People once worked hard because of the influence of Scripture and because Scripture is a reflection of the will of God. God is the authority and the Bible is the revelation of His will as that authority. Work, you see, is a virtue, work is a moral behavior.

People worked hard because they believed they were accountable to God and they were accountable to the revelation of God in Scripture. They had reverence for biblical authority and they had a basic fear of God. Even those who weren’t particularly evangelical Christians understood the place of God in society, understood the place of Scripture in society that it was the will of God and understood they had a transcendent responsibility before God to behave in a certain way. Now that God doesn’t matter, and the Bible is ridiculed and removed, if not banned from speaking authoritatively on any subject, there is a kind of fearless immorality. And one of the things that’s going to disappear is the virtue of work…the virtue of work. Sinners are happy to think that they answer to no one, but to themselves.

This even plays out in the place of work for the people who do work in the animosity that they feel toward the people who are over them, their bosses, who constrain in any measure their freedoms. And then there are those people who feel that even if they don’t do anything, don’t work at all, the government still owes them money because they exist, because they breathe and because in their minds they’re worthy.

This nation, as I said, once had a very strong work ethic driven by responsibility to God. But it also had another component in it because what the Bible also taught was that you’re not only responsible to God, but you’re responsible to your neighbor. The first commandment was to love God, the second was to love your neighbor. And so, what marked work in America was a sense of dignity in the fact that you dignified yourself by being obedient to God and another corresponding sense of charity. You did what you did because you gained dignity and nobility by being a person submissive to the Scripture and to God and doing what was defined as transcendently supernaturally established as right and you worked because it was dignified, cause it was moral, and you worked because it put you in a position to be charitable and charity is another moral virtue…another moral virtue.

Well all of that seems to be fading away as socialism takes over, as people eliminate God from their culture and determine that they don’t need to do anything except what they want to do, the way they want to do it, when they want to do it. . .

. . .Somebody made the suggestion that originally man was a gardener and the curse turned him into a farmer. Originally man was a flower arranger, and the curse turned him into a plow horse. The Fall did not introduce work, it changed its nature. And as the nature of work that is the punishment, but not work itself. Work neither began nor ceased with the Fall, it just took a different shape. It went from being a righteous blessing solely to being a righteous blessing with a curse on top.

And so, man seeks to restore the glory of work with the sweat of his brow, and all of his ingenuity he goes after this cursed earth, using the wonderful creative gifts that he’s been given because he’s in the image of God to abstract out of the richness of this planet everything that he can possibly extract, to provide value to his life, to provide meaning to his life, to provide provision for his life and those in his family, to provide for the needs of others and most importantly to bring dignity upon himself as one made in the image of God who demonstrates God-like creativity.

Monkeys don’t write symphonies. Monkeys don’t grow gardens. Only men write symphonies and grow gardens. Only men paint beautiful paintings. Only men build massive edifices that are mind-boggling achievements of engineering and brilliance and creativity. This is the dignity of what it means to work in the image of God. This is our dignity. This is part of the nobility of being a man. We have been given, according to Genesis 1:26, dominion over the earth. From the very beginning, this meant that everything that was in the garden was somehow under the control of man for his benefit, his good, to demonstrate his mobility being made in the image of God and then to redound to the glory of God Himself.

One writer says, “The teaching of the Old Testament on the subject of work may be generally summed up by saying it is regarded as a necessary and indeed God-appointed function of human life. Since to labor is the common lot of mankind, it is important that men should accept it without complaining and thus fulfill with cheerful obedience the intention of the Creator for human existence. The basic assumption of the biblical viewpoint is that work is a divine ordinance for the life of man.”

This invests work with dignity. Listen, how dignified is work? We are still doing what man was created to do, take the creation, tend it. Take the animal kingdom, subdue it. Extract from this creation everything that your God-given powers can extract. We’re still doing that with the very difficult reality that we’re fighting a curse in the creation and in ourselves as well. Work can redeem the cursed universe. It can in a measure.

In Psalm 104 we read, “He made the moon for the seasons, the sun knows the place of its setting. You appoint darkness and it becomes night in which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. The young lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God. When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until evening.” God has ordained that men work originally six days a week here. You go to work in the morning and you finish in the evening. Work is designed by God to redeem the curse in a measure. You look at the civilized world, you look at the world that has flourished, you look at the western world in particular, and now, of course, many ascending nations in Asia and other parts of the world, and you see the magnificence that is extracted out of the creation by work. Go to Africa, and you see parched lands, starving people, murderous tribal warfare…people don’t work. It’s a tragic reality.”

HT and listen to the entire sermon: http://www.erictyoung.com/2015/05/25/john-macarthur-on-the-death-of-the-protestant-work-ethic/

Adjust the Age

Luther Menchton Pomeranus und Cruciger

We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God’s grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.

~Charles Haddon Spurgeon~

The Shallow and Compromising Christianity

Shallow water

“Not corrupt judges, governors, congressmen, senators or even a bad president will be the cause of this nation’s death, but the existing shallow and compromising form of Christianity that prevails in our churches.”

– M.A. Williams

HT and source: https://shadeofthemoriahtree.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/cause-of-a-nations-death/

Of Wedding Cakes and Idolatry

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Jeroboam's Sacrifice at Bethel - WGA7465

George Gillespie:

“As for civil covenants, if they be for commerce or peace, which were called spondai, they are allowed, according to the Scriptures, Gen. 14.13; 31.44; 1 Kings 5.12; Jer. 29.7; Rom. 12.18. … A covenant of peace or commerce with such may happen to be unlawful in respect of some circumstances, as when peace is given to these rebels, murderers, incendiaries in the kingdom, who, by the law of God, ought to be destroyed by the hand of justice; or when commerce with idolaters is so abused, as to furnish them with the things that they are known to make use of in their idolatry.”

~‘Another Most Useful Case of Conscience Discussed and Resolved, Concerning Associations and Confederacies with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness’ 1644

Read more: https://mintdill.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/commerce-covenants-and-meats-offered-to-idols/

Warnings to an Ungodly Nation

Roberts Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem

WARNINGS TO AN UNGODLY NATION

From John Flavel (1628 – 1691)

As Paul had many clear premonitions and fore-notices of the sufferings that should befall him at Jerusalem, that he might not be surprised by them when they came, so it is usual with God (though not in such an immediate and extraordinary a manner) to admonish the world, and especially His own people of great trials and sufferings before hand (Amos 3:7). “Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.”

Thus, when He was about to bring the flood upon the world, He gave one hundred and twenty years warning of it before it came (Gen. 6:3), and when He was to destroy Sodom, He saith (Gen. 18:17), “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” And the like discovery He made about the same judgment to Lot (Gen. 19:12–14). So when the captivity of the Jews was nigh at hand, the people had many forewarnings of it; God forewarned them by the prophets (Ezek. 3:17), “Hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.” And when the time drew nigh to execute the judgment determined upon Jerusalem and the temple, how plainly did Christ foretell them of it! (Luke 19:43, 44)! “Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee.”

And when the storm was just ready to fall, their own historian (Josephus) tells us, a voice was heard in the temple, saying, Migremus hinc (Let us go hence). “Which voice Tacitus also mentions in his annals, affirming it to be more than a human voice, telling them God was departing, and that it was accompanied with a rushing noise, as of persons going out. These were extraordinary warnings.” The like signs have been given to divers other nations, by dreadful eclipses of the heavenly bodies, portentous comets, earthquakes, and other signs of judgment.

Now, though we have no ground to expect such extraordinary warnings, yet we have the most apparent and certain signs of approaching calamities; after which, if they surprise us, the fault must lie in our own inexcusable negligence; for we have a standing rule to govern ourselves in this matter, and that is this:

When the same sins are found in one nation, which have brought down the wrath of God upon another nation, it is an evident sign of judgment at the door; for God is unchangeable, just and holy, and will not favour that in one people which He hath punished in another, nor bless that in one age which He hath cursed in another.

Upon this very ground it was that the apostle warned the Corinthians by the example of the Israelites, whose sins had ruined them in the wilderness (I Cor. 10:6): “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust afer evil things, as they also lusted.” As if he should say, look upon those dead bodies which are, as it were, cast up upon the Scripture-shore for a warning to you. Follow not the same course, lest you meet with the same curse; if you tread the same paths, expect the same punishment. God is as righteous now as He was then: He hates and will punish sin in you as much as He did in them.

Let us therefore consider what those provocations were that hastened the wrath of God upon His own Israel, a people that were nigh and dear unto Him: a people upon whom He spent as much of the riches of His patience as upon any people in the world, that so we may reckon whereabouts we are at this day, and what is like to be the lot of this sinful and provoking generation; and we shall find, by the consent of all the prophets, that these sins were the immediate forerunners and proper causes of their overthrow.

1.  The great corruption of God’s worship among them kindled His wrath and hastened their ruin (Psa. 106: 39–42). “Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.” They that will not bear the golden yoke of Christ shall be galled with the iron yoke of men. Nothing more provokes the anger of God than the adulterating of His worship; a man will bear a thousand infirmities in the wife of his bosom, but unfaithfulness in the marriage-covenant breaks his heart. After the manner of men, so abused and grieved, the Lord expresseth Himself (Ezek. 6:9), “I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from Me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols.” Men cannot invent a surer and speedier way to their own ruin than to bring their own inventions into God’s worship.

2.  Incorrigible obstinacy and impenitency, under gentler strokes and lesser judgments, make way for utter ruin and desolation (Amos 4: 6-12). Scarcity, mildews, pestilence and sword had been tried upon them, but without effect; for the remnant that escaped those judgments (although plucked as so many brands out of the fire, in which their fellow sinners perished) were not reformed by those gentler and moderated judgments.

3.  Stupidity and senselessness of God’s hand, and the tokens of His anger, were provoking causes and forerunners of their national desolation; they neither saw the hand of God when it was lifted up, nor humbled themselves under it when it was laid on. The hand of God is then said to be lifted up when the providences of God prepare and posture themselves for our affliction; when the clouds of judgment gather over our heads, and grow blacker and blacker, as theirs did upon them, and do upon us at this day, but they took no notice of it (Isa. 26:11): “Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see”; and (which is the height of stupidity) they all remained senseless and regardless, when the hand of God was laid upon them (Isa. 42:24, 25): “Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, neither were they obedient unto His law. Therefore He hath poured upon him (them) the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.”

O prodigious sottishness! It was not some small drops of God’s anger, but the fury of His anger; not some lighter skirmish of His judgments with them, but the strength of battle. It was not some particular stroke upon single persons or families, but it set him on fire round about, a general conflagration; yet all this would not awaken them.

4.  The persecution of God’s faithful ministers and people was another sin that procured, and a sign that foretold the destruction of their nation (2 Chron. 36:15,16); “And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling-place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” There were also a number of upright souls among them, who desired to worship God according to His own prescription; but a snare was laid for them in Mizpah, and a net spread for them upon Tabor (Hos. 5:1), and this hastened judgment towards them. Mizpah and Tabor were places lying in the way betwixt Samaria and Jerusalem, where the true worship of God was; and in those places spies were sent by the priests to observe and inform against them; so that it became very hazardous to attend the pure and incorrupt worship of God, which quickly hastened on their ruin.

5.  The removal of godly and useful men by death, in more than ordinary haste, was to them a sign of desolation at hand (Isa. 57:1); “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” In this case God acts towards His people as the husbandman in a gathering harvest doth by his corn; he hurries it with a shuffling haste into the barn when he sees a storm coming; or as a careful father with his sons that are abroad at school, who sends his horses to fetch them home speedily, when he hears the plague is begun in the place. Upon this ground the prophet Micah bewails himself (Micah 7:1); “Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer-fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage; there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first-ripe fruit.” Alas! alas! What miserable days are at hand! What miseries must I expect to see! The pleasant clusters (i.e. the societies of the saints) are gathered away by the hand of death; there are but few that remain, here and there a single saint, like grapes after the vintage is done, two or three upon the utmost branches.

6.  The general decay of the life and power of godliness among them that were left foreboded destruction at the door: this is both a provoking sin, and a forerunning sign of national calamity (Hos. 4:18): “Their drink is sour” – a metaphor lively expressing the deadness and formality of the people in the worship of God. It was like sour or dead drink, which hath lost its spirit and relish, and is become flat. Such were their duties; no spiritual life, affection or savour in them. They heard as if they heard not, and prayed as if they prayed not; the ordinances of God were to them as the ordinances of men, of which the apostle saith, that they perish in the using.

7.  To conclude: Mutual animosities, jars and divisions were to them manifest symptoms of national calamities and desolations: for then Ephraim envied Judah, and Judah vexed Ephraim (Isa. 11:13, Hos. 9:7); “The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.”

When such symptoms of God’s indignation do appear upon any people, the Lord by them, as by so many glaring meteors and blazing comets, forewarns the world that His judgments are near, even at the door. These signs all men ought to observe and behold with trembling.

If you ask, Why doth God usually give such warnings of His indignation before it comes? The reasons are:

  1. To prevent the execution
  2. To make them more tolerable
  3. To leave the incorrigible inexcusable

First, Warning is given with design to prevent the execution of judgments (Amos 4:12): “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel”; i.e. Prepare thyself to meet Me in the way of My judgments by humiliation and intercession to prevent the execution. And what else was the design of God in sending Jonah to the great city Nineveh but to excite them to repentance for the prevention of their ruin. This Jonah knew to be the Lord’s meaning, how positive soever the words of his commission were; and therefore he declined the message to secure his credit, knowing that if upon warning given they repented, the gracious nature of God would soon melt into compassion over them, and free grace would make him appear as a liar; for so we must expound his words (Jonah 4:2); “Was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil.” Yea, Lord, I knew beforehand it would come to this. Thou sendest me positively to denounce Thy judgments to Nineveh, meantime desiring nothing more than the execution of them might be prevented by their repentance. And thus Thy mercy hath exposed my reputation, in saving them from destruction.

Secondly, God forewarns His people of judgments to make them more tolerable when they come. Expected evils are nothing so heavy as those that come by surprise; for look, as the expectation of a mercy makes it less sweet, our thoughts having anticipated and sucked out much of the sweetness beforehand, so the expectation of judgments before they befall us make them less bitter and burdensome than else they would be, the soul having inured and accustomed itself to them by frequent thoughts, and prepared and made ready itself to entertain them. To prevent the disciples’ surprise and offence at those days of persecution that were coming upon them, Christ foretold them, and gave the fair warning beforehand.

Thirdly, He forewarns His people of approaching dangers to leave the incorrigible wholly inexcusable, that those who have no sense of sin, nor care to prevent ruin, might have no cloak for their folly when judgments overtake them, “What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee?” (Jer. 13:21). As if He should say, “What plea or apology is left thee, after so many fair warnings and timely premonitions? Thou canst not say I have surprised thee, or that you wast ruined before thou was warned. Thy destruction therefore is of thyself.”

HT: http://www.christianwatch.org.uk/warnings-to-an-ungodly-nation-article/

Christian, Will You Do “X” For My SS Wedding?

Greg Koukl offers some recommendations here: Ringshttp://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/04/three-steps-to-protect-christian-wedding-vendors.html?utm_content=buffer6cbe5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer