28 February 2010

Depart From Me...

Sunday Morning Praise

I opened my new book, 101 Hymn Stories, this morning and without even trying I landed on "It Is Well With My Soul." This is one of my favorite hymns, even moreso after reading the history of it! As I looked for a video, the first one I selected actually tells the story of this hymn and its author, so I won't type it here and make you read it twice! I only wish this video included all of the amazing verses, but I will include them in the lyrics below. Enjoy!

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 It Is Well With My Soul


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Refrain
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Refrain

27 February 2010

John MacArthur on Limited Atonement

I know I just lost some of you with the phrase "limited atonement." Stay with me. Do you believe that everyone who has ever lived is going (or has gone) to Heaven? If you are a Christian, then I hope you are answering that question with a Scriptural "No." Newsflash: if you don't believe in universal salvation, then you believe in a limited atonement. Jesus suffered and died for a real atonement, not a potential one. So listen:

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If you want to hear (or read) this sermon in its entirety click here. Dr. MacArthur preached this two weeks ago on February 14, 2010. It was a wonderful message and I highly suggest you take a little time to listen!

26 February 2010

I Need a Goal

Yes, Daystar, that wholesome "Christian" television station is telling me tonight, among other things, that I need a goal. Without a goal I can't hope to do anything. Mike Murdock of The Wisdom Center in Fort Worth, Texas told me and millions of other people that "an unbeliever with a goal has more power than a Christian without a goal." Huh? What happened to "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world"? So now, in order to achieve my goals (which according to Murdock are apparently all worldly, material, temporal things) I need to pick a wall in my house to be my "goal wall." On this wall I will post pictures of goals I want to achieve. Pictures of things like the house I want to have someday, or the car I want to drive, you know, all those material items that will make me appear so successful and prosperous by the world's standards.

And finally, the most important "Success Key" that Mike Murdock shared was this:
Decisions Decide Wealth: "Decisions about your dominant gift determine your finances for your life."
That's right, because it's all about the money, isn't it? 

I'm so glad that I tuned in tonight. I think I'll take extra time tonight for a little "speak it, receive it" prayer. Oh, brother!

25 February 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

From Charles Spurgeon's Morning by Morning:
Matthew 3:7
The wrath to come.
It is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself; to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon His Saviour's head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distil from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction. But how terrible is it to witness the approach of a tempest: to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it groweth black, and look to the sun which shineth not, and the heavens which are angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane-such as occurs, sometimes, in the tropics-to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind shall rush forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man! And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have as yet fallen, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God's tempest is gathering its dread artillery. As yet the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the flood-gates shall soon be opened: the thunderbolts of God are yet in His storehouse, but lo! the tempest hastens, and how awful shall that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury! Where, where, where, O sinner, wilt thou hide thy head, or whither wilt thou flee? O that the hand of mercy may now lead you to Christ! He is freely set before you in the gospel: His riven side is the rock of shelter. Thou knowest thy need of Him; believe in Him, cast thyself upon Him, and then the fury shall be overpast for ever.

21 February 2010

Sunday Morning Praise


Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

18 February 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The fact that Charles Spurgeon's words are still so applicable and relevant today, especially in regard to false teachers and apostasy, indicates that Satan has not learned any new tricks. He's been exercising the same lies for thousands of years. You'd think by now we would have caught on.

Due to an unusual schedule this week, I decided to borrow this Thursday's Spurgeon from Pyromaniac's Weekly Spurgeon.
The following excerpt is from "I and the Children," a sermon preached Sunday Morning 20 September 1874 at the Met Tab.



o not believe that the common Christianity of the present age will carry anybody to heaven. It is a counterfeit and a sham. It does not make men to differ from their fellows, it pretends to faith and has none, talks about love and does not show it, brags of truth and evaporates it into thin air in its latitudinarian charity.

God give us back the real thing—stimuli, strong belief in the gospel, real faith in Jesus, real prayer to him, real spiritual power.

Then again there will be persecution, but it will only blow away the chaff and leave the pure wheat!

The world likes us better because we like the world better; it calls us friends because we doff our colors and sheathe our swords and play the craven; but if we preach and live the gospel in the old apostolic way, we shall soon have the devil roaring round the camp and the seed of the serpent hissing on all sides, but we fear not, for "the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

15 February 2010

Universalism: The Gospel Message of Emergent and New Age Spirituality

I've been wanting to write more descriptively about the New Age movement for awhile. But due to lack of time and, quite honestly, occasional lack of motivation I haven't gotten around to it. I think it's important for Christians to understand that many so-called "Christian" practices that are promoted today are actually deeply rooted in Eastern mysticism and, consequently, the New Age movement. "New Age" is not just that strange kid in your high school science class who always dressed in black. It's so much more and so much more dangerous...especially when it is subtly seducing the churches. I love the blogosphere because when I have failed to deliver on a topic, someone else has met the challenge. I was excited to see today's post over at the Sola Sisters blog. I couldn't give a better overview, or a better plea, than they did in the following article:

Universalism: The Gospel Message of Emergent and New Age Spirituality




One of the greatest misconceptions in this country today is that the New Age Movement of the 80's and 90's is (1) a thing of the past and (2) has nothing whatsoever in common with Christianity.  Nothing could be further from the truth on either count.  Let me explain.


Most Americans today have sort of an eye-rolling, amused response to the phrase "New Age."  Perhaps their minds are conjuring up an image of Shirley MacLaine on the beach, talking to the sky, a spiritual eccentric who became the punch line of many jokes for her interest in reincarnation and channeling. Perhaps they think that, like Shirley MacLaine, the New Age has passed gently into history, much like the rubix cube and Duran Duran.  Well, the truth is that the New Age is still very much with us today.  It never really went away, it just went mainstream.  New Age practices or beliefs that were once considered borderline occultic or kooky are now widely accepted and embraced, including yoga, mantra meditation, muscle testing, acupuncture, reiki, sustainable living and going green.  Don't believe it?  Just pick up any newspaper or popular magazine today (Reader's Digest, Ladies' Home Journal, Parade) and you will most likely read at least one, usually multiple articles, on the benefits of these practices.  Heck, even my husband's Golf World had a lengthy article in the February 2010 issue on how golf courses around the country are trying to "go green."


So just how did this New Age worldview get so powerful so fast? The short answer is that although it's actually been around for a very long time, it got its greatest push into the mainstream through America's most beloved talk show host, Oprah Winfrey.  For some reason, people think that this New Age Spirituality direction that Oprah has taken is a new thing.  It is not.  I know this because I was on the same path that she was for a very long time, and at about the same time.  Along with Oprah, I became completely immersed in New Age beliefs and practices, about 20 year ago, and yet at the same time used Christian terminology for all that I was doing.  But the catch was this: all the Christian terminology I used had been redefined to fit the theology of my New Age belief system.  And this is exactly how Oprah has made the New Age worldview palatable to the average Americans who were watching: she was using the same terminology that many Americans were.  We were still, at least at that time, a "Christian" nation, and by that I mean, the majority of Americans made some kind of Christian profession and had at least some knowledge of the Christian faith.  So although Oprah was going in a distinctly occultic, eastern direction spiritually, she was using words like "Holy Spirit," "God," "Jesus," "atonement," and "salvation."  And because Oprah was using terminology that everyone was familiar with, everybody's guard went down....and that's how the deception flooded in.  Not to get too creepy about it, but this is exactly how many cults "reprogram" their new recruits.  Same terminology, redefined terms.


One example of these redefined terms is a teaching from A Course In Miracles on the "atonement."  For those not familiar with A Course In Miracles (ACIM), it is a book that was originally published in 1976.  The teachings of this book were channeled by a demonic entity to a woman named Helen Schucman who transcribed them.  New Age author Marianne Williamson brought the teachings of ACIM into the mainstream after being enthusiastically endorsed on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the early 90's by writing her own book about ACIM and helping to explain its principles in laymans' terms, sort of "A Course In Miracles for Dummies" (its real title: "A Return To Love").


But back to the "teachings" of A Course In Miracles.  We know that it was a demon that channeled this book because the demon plainly revealed himself that way.  Nah - just kidding on that one.  The demon actually called himself "Jesus" when he delivered this occultic book to Helen Schucman.  And how do we know that this demon wasn't the "Jesus" he claimed to be?  Well, we go by Scripture that warns us not to let anyone come to us and preach "another Jesus" other than the one that Paul preached, and warns not to receive "a different gospel" from the one delivered by Jesus and the apostles.  ACIM's foundational principle, which is its view of the atonement, preaches a "different gospel" and "another Jesus."  The ACIM view of "atonement" (paraphrased) is this:
There is no separation between human beings and God, and the belief that we are separated has been the cause of most of the world's problems.  People grow spiritually by awakening to the view that they are already united with God.  When this happens, we achieve "At-one-ment," meaning, we grasp our unity with God and because of this new understanding, we take a huge spiritual leap forward and begin living in more loving, Godly ways.  This will eventually bring about a spiritual transformation on a global scale as more and more people awaken to this belief - and ALL people will eventually awaken to this belief.
Well, for orthodox Christians, our view of the atonement is also foundational - and it is vastly different from this New Age view that we simply have to "awaken" to the divinity we already have.  The ACIM view of atonement is both a "different gospel" and "another Jesus" in that it presents a different way to salvation rather than the biblical teaching on how we are saved: only those who repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus, understanding that his sacrificial death on the Cross was on their behalf, will be saved.  There is no eventual universal salvation, and neither do we start out with a little "God spark" inside (the inner divinity) that we just have to awaken to: we are born dead in our sins (Eph 2:1).  We need a Savior.  But ACIM's redefined view of sin reduces this central tenet of Christianity to something akin to spiritual amnesia - in other words, sin gets redefined as "forgotten" divinity, an "awakening" to the belief that we are actually already in union with God.  But if this is true, then anyone can approach God by simply "awakening" - muslem, buddhist, hindu, whatever.  So at its core, ACIM's view of salvation is one without the Cross.  No penal substitutionary atonement, no sacrificial death on behalf of God's people, and everyone eventually gets to God. This is as blasphemous as it gets, and as wickedly deceptive too, given that it is delivered by something claiming to be "Jesus."


Before God saved me, like Oprah I also embraced the teachings of A Course In Miracles, believing that my view of God had been "expanded" out of its narrow little box of orthodox Christianity.  It felt more tolerant, more loving to hold to these beliefs. But these beliefs are no longer in one little fringey segment of our culture like they were in the 80's and 90's - remember, the New Age has gone mainstream.  This view of God is becoming increasingly more widespread, especially in our culture which has begun to prize "tolerance" so greatly. But, not only are these beliefs held by those who embrace the New Age Spirituality, they are also held by the Emergent Church movement, which, like the New Age, uses plenty of Christian terminology, and positions itself as a more tolerant, loving version of Christianity with its big tent inclusivism and God-loves-you-just-the-way-you-are heresy.  The truth is that God loves his own children, yes, but we must approach him in the way He has ordained, and that is through the blood of Jesus.  We don't approach God through mystical mantra meditation - which, curiously enough, seems to be the connecting point between Emergent and New Age Spirituality.  Both New Age and Emergent heavily promote the practice of mantra meditation, only it's called different names from within each movement.  Within the Emergent Church movement, these practices are given "Christianized" names so that they will be more palatable.  I mean, what could possibly be wrong with something called the Jesus Prayer, right?


The fact remains that we do not approach God in this way, because here's the rub: as I stated before, if anyone could approach God by use of a mystical practice (a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, etc.) without repenting and confessing Christ, then there would be no point to the Cross, which as far as orthodox Christianity goes, is the hinge that swings the whole door.  No, we approach the throne of God through Christ alone, as Scripture plainly tells us: "There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12, my emphasis)


So who are the "players" in Emergent and New Age Spirituality bringing about this merging of these two movements?  Well, my money's on Ken Wilber for one, a straight up New Ager who is so admired by prominent Emergent Church leader Rob Bell that Bell tells us to "set aside three months" to read Ken Wilber's book, A Theory of Everything.


John Shelby Spong, an Episcopal Bishop who identifies himself as a "progressive Christian," will probably also be a player from the New Age side.  Doug Pagitt, a well known Emergent Church leader, recently interviewed John Shelby Spong, who, though he identifies himself as a Christian, is far, far afield of the orthodox views of Christianity. When speaking of the virgin birth and Jesus' resurrection, he actually sounds much more like a New Ager than a Christian when he says:
"The best way to lose all is to cling with desperation to that which cannot possibly be sustained literally. Literalistic Christians will learn that a God or a faith system that has to be defended daily is finally no God or faith system at all. They will learn that any god who can be killed ought to be killed."
Yikes!  I'm thinking the scholarly "Bishop" Spong must have somehow skipped Corinthians in the course of his biblical studies:
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve......But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." (1 Cor 15:3-5, 12-14)
I say this about Bishop Spong somewhat tongue in cheek, because I quite understand that Spong does not hold to the view that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.  How tragic for him, because this means that he is a pagan, not a Christian, and is therefore reduced to feeling around in the dark like all the other lost people, trying to figure out who God is and how to get to him.  (Here's a tip: it's why God gave us the Bible, so that we would know....)


Stay tuned on this issue, as an upcoming interfaith conference called Sacred Awakenings features Marianne Williamson (mentioned above as the New Ager who brought A Course In Miracles into the mainstream) and John Shelby Spong, both espousing more of the all-paths-lead-to-God view of Universalism.  Since this also seems to be the view held by Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt and other emergent leaders, one has to wonder: how long before New Age Spirituality and Emergent officially merge together?

14 February 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

Praise God for another beautiful day on His earth! I hope this day finds everyone resting in the eternal joy and assurance of our Lord and Savior amidst the swirling and troubling world around us. I think the song I've chosen to post today will help turn our focus back to the only place it should ever be--Jesus Christ.

I don't normally gravitate toward country music, but I actually really enjoyed this version of "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Alan Jackson. May it bring you joy and hope this Sunday morning! (And Mom, thanks for requesting this song!)


O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!


Refrain
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!


Refrain

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!


Refrain

13 February 2010

Public Rebuke of Todd Bentley

Todd Bentley, speaking last week at Morningstar Ministries in Fort Mill, SC, was publicly confronted and rebuked for his false, deceptive teachings. You can see the videos and read more about the group who so boldly confronted this wolf here at 5 Point Salt. You can also find out more about the ministry behind the rebuke, Operation Save America, by clicking here. Trust me, you don't want to miss this.

12 February 2010

World's "Second Pregnant Man" Expecting Baby Next Month

There are no words. Except maybe, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

The world's second pregnant man is expecting a baby boy sometime this month or next.

Scott Moore, 20, the expectant father, was born a woman. So was his legal husband Thomas, 30. In fact, Scott still has his female birth certificate. But the couple both had sex-change surgery to become men.

Now the New York Daily News reports the California couple is expecting their first son together, already named Miles. (California only legally recognizes same-sex marriage licenses granted between June 16 and Nov. 5, 2008. Voters in the state passed a law to reverse a California Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages.)

Scott and Thomas tell the Daily Telegraph they planning a natural birth at their local hospital. They add they are confident Miles will be able to cope with any teasing.

So can they.

"We know some people will criticize us, but we are blissfully happy and not ashamed," Scott tells the Daily Telegraph.

"We want to show the world that trans-families can be healthy, loving and nurturing," adds Thomas.

Source
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." Romans 1:18-25

11 February 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

If you've never taken the time to explore the Spurgeon Archive, make time. It's a treasure trove of wisdom and insight into the Word and heart of God! It's where I found the following gem, excerpted from Spurgeon's sermon entitled "A Sermon for the Time Present." Read it, and then tell me if it could not be just as true today as it was the day it was preached (October 30, 1887)!
"In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden."—Zephaniah 3:16-18
Beginning at the eighteenth verse, we notice A TRYING DAY FOR GOD'S PEOPLE. The solemn assembly had fallen under reproach. The solemn assemblies of Israel were her glory: her great days of festival and sacrifice were the gladness of the land. To the faithful their holy days were their holidays. But a reproach had fallen upon the solemn assembly, and I believe it is so now at this present moment. It is a, sad affliction when in our solemn assemblies the brilliance of the gospel light is dimmed by error. The clearness of the testimony is spoiled when doubtful voices are scattered among the people, and those who ought to preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, are telling out for doctrines the imaginations of men, and the inventions of the age. Instead of revelation, we have philosophy, falsely so-called; instead of divine infallibility, we have surmises and larger hopes. The gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, is taught as the production of progress, a growth, a thing to be amended and corrected year by year. It is an ill day, both for the church and the world, when the trumpet does not give a certain sound; for who shall prepare himself for the battle?
    If added to this we should see creeping over the solemn assembly of the church a lifelessness, an indifference, and a lack of spiritual power, it is painful to a high degree. When the vitality of religion is despised, and gatherings for prayer are neglected, what are we coming to? The present period of church history is well portrayed by the church of Laodicea, which was neither cold nor hot, and therefore to be spewed out of Christ's mouth. That church gloried that she was rich and increased in goods, and had need of nothing, while all the while her Lord was outside, knocking at the door, a door closed against him. That passage is constantly applied to the unconverted, with whom it has nothing to do: it has to do with a lukewarm church, with a church that thought itself to be in an eminently prosperous condition, while her living Lord, in the doctrine of his atoning sacrifice, was denied an entrance. Oh, if he had found admission—and he was eager to find it—she would soon have flung away her imaginary wealth, and he would have given her gold tried in the furnace, and white raiment with which she might be clothed. Alas! she is content without her Lord, for she has education, oratory, science, and a thousand other baubles. Zion's solemn assembly is under a cloud indeed, when the teaching of Jesus and his apostles is of small account with her.
[...]
It appears from the text that there were some to whom the reproach was a burden. They could not make sport of sin. True, there were many who said that the evil did not exist at all, and others who declared that it was not present in any great degree. Yes, and more hardened spirits declared that what was considered to be a reproach was really a thing to be boasted of, the very glory of the century. Thus they huffed the matter, and made the mourning of the conscientious to be a theme for jest. But there was a remnant to whom the reproach of it was a burden; these could not bear to see such a calamity.
[...]
This burdened spirit, is a token of true love to God: those who love the Lord Jesus are wounded in his woundings, and vexed with the vexings of his Spirit. When Christ is dishonored his disciples are dishonored. Those who have a tender heart towards the church can say with Paul, "Who is offended, and I burn not?" The sins of the church of God are the sorrows of all living members of it. This also marks a healthy sensibility, a vital spirituality. Those who are unspiritual care nothing for truth or grace: they look to finances, and numbers, and respectability. Utterly carnal men care for none of these things; and so long as the political aims of Dissenters are progressing, and there is an advance in social position, it is enough for them. But men whose spirits are of God would sooner see the faithful persecuted than see them desert the truth, sooner see churches in the depths of poverty full of holy zeal than rich churches dead in worldliness. Spiritual men care for the church even when she is in an evil case, and cast down by her adversaries: "thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof." The house of the Lord is to many of us our own house, his family is our family. Unless the Lord Jesus be extolled, and his gospel conquer, we feel that our own personal interests are blighted, and we ourselves are in disgrace. It is no small thing to us: it is our life.
[...]When the pure gospel is not preached, God's people are robbed of the strength which they need in their life-journey. If you take away the bread, the children hunger. If you give the flock poisonous pastures, or fields which are barren as the desert, they pine and they become lame in their daily following of the shepherd. The doctrinal soon affects the practical. I know many of the people of God living in different parts of this country to whom the Sabbath is very little of a day of rest, for they hear no truth in which rest is to be found, but they are worried and wearied with novelties which neither glorify God nor benefit the souls of men. In many a place the sheep look up and are not fed. This causes much disquietude and breeds doubts and questionings, and thus strength is turned to weakness, and the work of faith, the labor of love, and the patience of hope are all kept in a halting state. This is a grievous evil, and it is all around us. Then, alas! many are "driven out," of whom the nineteenth verse says, "I will gather her that was driven out." By false doctrine many are made to wander from the fold. Hopeful ones are made to stray from the path of life, and sinners are left in their natural distance from God. The truth which would convince men of sin is not preached, while other truths which would lead seekers into peace are beclouded, and souls are left in needless sorrow. When the doctrines of grace and the glorious atoning sacrifice are not set clearly before men's minds, so that they may feel their power, all sorts of evils follow. It is terrible to me that this dreadful blight should come upon our churches; for the hesitating are driven to destruction, the weak are staggered, and even the strong are perplexed. The false teachers of these days would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect. This makes our hearts very sorrowful. How can we help it?
To read this sermon in its entirety, click here.

09 February 2010

Possessed in Pink?

If you follow any conservative news outlets or any other discernment websites, you've likely already heard about the Enemy's most recent attempts to lure your children into darkness. Hasbro, the likely proud distributor of the Ouija Board, teamed up with Toys "R" Us to market to children as young as 8 a new, pink Ouija Board.
And for the boys, well I suppose the Glow-in-the-Dark Ouija board will have to do. There has been quite a backlash regarding these two items and, consequently, Toys "R" Us has pulled the pink Ouija Board from it's website. But that doesn't mean that the threat isn't still very, very real. The Ouija Board is not "just a game" as many people claim. It is a dangerous walk into satan's realm. I don't have personal experience with this (praise God) but I know some who do. I direct you to the following links in order to learn more about the dangers of the Ouija Board and other items that are subtly leading your children into the world of the occult. And remember, if you at one time toyed around with the world of the occult, but have since been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, then with repentance, "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness." Even direct dealings with demons cannot keep His forgiveness from you if you go to Him in faith, broken and repentant.

  • Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries alerted her readers to this newest "toy" in her latest newsletter. In her article, she shares a bit of her own experience with the Ouija Board. You can read her article here.
  • Jan also appeared on Crosstalk America this week to discuss the Ouija Board controversy as well as other topics relating to the occult and your children, namely the Twilight series of books and movies that seems to have taken hostage the common sense of Christian adults and children alike! You can listen to that interview here.
  • Over at the Slaughter of the Sheep blog, Chrystal has written a post about this latest travesty.
  • The Crosstalk Blog also addressed this issue here.

07 February 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

This first song is more contemporary and this particular version isn't my favorite, but the lyrics and the message certainly emphasize what I've been feeling lately..."people get ready, Jesus is coming, soon we'll be going home!"
 Lord I'm ready now
I'm waiting for your triumphant return
You're coming so soon
This world has nothing for me
I find my peace and joy solely in you
Only in You
I want the world to see that you're alive and living well in me
Let me be a part of the harvest
For the days are few
He's coming soon

Chorus:
So people get ready
Jesus is comin'
Soon we'll be going home
People get ready
Jesus is comin'
To take from the world His own

There will be a day
When we will be divided right and left
For those who know Him
And those who do not know
Those who know Him well
Will meet Him in the air Hallelujah
God is with us
Those who do not know
They will hear depart
I knew you not
For my friends you see
There will be a day when we'll be counted
So know Him well, know Him well

Chorus
I know that this next song has been previously posted, but it's my favorite and it's my blog so I can post it as many times as I like! I've been singing this song a lot this week and I find it to be such an encouragement that it seemed like a good day to share it with you again!

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.


Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn;
Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.


Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.


Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.


Crown Him the Lord of peace, whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and round His piercèd feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.


Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.


Crown Him the Lord of Heaven, enthroned in worlds above,
Crown Him the King to Whom is given the wondrous name of Love.
Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.


Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.


Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

04 February 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon's sermon entitled The World Turned Upside Down. I've put some of my favorite thoughts from this piece in bold.
The World Turned Upside Down
And now, beloved, spare me a little time, while I try to show that what is true in the world, is true in the heart. [...]
Man is a little world, and what God does in the outer world, he does in the inner. If any of you would be saved, your hearts must be turned upside down. I will now appeal to you, and ask you whether you have ever felt this--whether you know the meaning of it?
In the first place, your judgment must be turned upside down. Cannot many of you say that which you now believe to be the truth of God is very far opposed to your former carnal notions? Why, if anyone had told you that you should be a believer in the distinguishing doctrines of free and sovereign grace, you would have laughed him in the face. "What!" I believe the doctrine of election? What! I ever hold the doctrine of particular redemption, or final perseverance? Pshaw! Nonsense! It cannot be!" But now you do hold it, and the thing which you thought unreasonable and unjust now seems to you to be for God's glory, and for man's eternal benefit. [...] Yes, when grace enters the heart, there is a turning upside down of all our opinions; and the great truth of Jesus sits reigning in our soul.
Is there not, again, a total change of all your hopes? Why, your hopes used to be all for this world. If you could but get rich, if you could but be great and honored, you would be happy! You looked forward to it. All you were expecting was a Paradise this side of the flood. And now where are your hopes?-not on earth; for where your treasure is, there must your heart be also. You are looking for a city that hands have not piled; your desires are heavenly, whereas they were gross and carnal once. Can ye say that? Oh! all ye members of this congregation, can ye say that your hopes and your desires are changed? Are ye looking upward, instead of downward? Are you looking to serve God on earth, and to enjoy him forever? Or are you still content with thinking "What ye shall eat and what ye shall drink, and wherewithal ye shall be clothed?"
Again, it is  a complete upsetting of all your pleasures. You loved the tavern once; you hate it now. You hated God's house once; it is now your much-loved habitation. The song, the Sunday newspaper, the lewd novel--all these were sweet to your taste; but you have burned the books that once enchanted you, and now the dusty Bible from the back of the shelf is taken down, and there it lies, wide open, upon the family table, and it is read both morn and night, much loved, much prized and delighted in.
[...]
I put, then, the question to you again: Have you been turned upside down? How about your companions? You loved those the best who could swear the loudest, talk the fastest, and tell the greatest falsehoods: now you love those who can pray the most earnestly, and tell you the most of Jesus. Everything is changed with you. If you were to meet your old self going down the street, you would not know him, except by hearsay; you are no relation to him at all. Sometimes the old gentleman comes to your house, and he begins to tempt you to go back; but you turn him out of doors as soon as you can, and say "Begone! I never got on so long as I knew you; I had a ragged coat to my back then, and I was always giving the publican all my money; I never went to God's house, but cursed my Maker, and added sin to sin, and tied a millstone round my neck. So away from me; I will have nothing to do with you; I have been buried with Christ, and I have risen with him. I am a new man in Christ Jesus; old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new."
[...]Have the frivolities of this world become sickening things to you? [...] And can you now say, "Although I am in the world, yet am not of it; its pomps and vanities I do eschew; its pride and its glory I trample under feet; these are nothing to me; I would follow my Master bearing his cross, through evil report and through good report?" If such be not the case, if you are not changed, remember, there are no exceptions; one truth is true for all--"Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of Heaven." And that amounts in substance to my text: except ye be thoroughly renewed, turned upside down, ye cannot be saved. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;" For he that believeth shall be sanctified and renewed--shall be saved at last--but he that believeth not must be cast away in the great day of God's account.
The Lord bless you; for Jesus' sake!