Tag Archives: Sinners

A Thought On Being Religious and Self-Righteous

Sometimes what I think we as Christians need to do more of in this world we live in is to be honest and truthful, rather than be religious and self-righteous. I’m sorry, but I’ve read too many posts lately where the authors talk as if they’ve already arrived rather than that they’re on the journey.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ll tell you I’m on the journey. I understand why “Christianity” is under attack, but the truth is that in some cases self-proclaimed Christians bring the attacks upon themselves.

I’d love to sit here at my computer keyboard and write the words, “I’m sin free,” but I’d be lying. I’d love to tell you that I don’t struggle daily with trying to die to my own selfish desires, my own wants and needs, and that I do and make the right decisions without fail, but once again I’d be lying.

I’ve read posts where people claim you can lose your salvation. I don’t know where they get that. If you can lose what God says He has given you through His Son Jesus Christ then He’s not much of a god, and I can understand why people would reject a god who can’t save you completely and totally.

Well, I’m here to tell you that my God can and does. The question isn’t whether my God can and does save me completely and totally? The question is whether I’m going to believe that He can and will, or do I think I can save myself?

Listen, friends, there’s a lot of people, and people who claim to be Christians, that wouldn’t and don’t know any more about God and loving God than an earthworm would know about lasagna.

The fact of the matter is that too many people think that they’re doing God a favor by loving Him. They work themselves to death trying to please Him, and stand up for Him, and try to do His job for Him. They walk around and make long posts about hating the “sin” yet so often it’s the sinner who ends up feeling the hatred.

Let me tell you, I need God. He doesn’t need me. I need Him daily, minute by minute, hour by hour. If I’m left to my own devices I’ll do the wrong thing almost every time, and even when I’m trying to do the right thing I can still mess it up.

I’ll tell you that there’s a lot about God I don’t know nor understand. You ask me how many verses I’ve got memorized, and I’d be having a good day if I could quote more than 3, and I couldn’t give you a theological or historical perspective on the Bible to save my life.

You ask me why the Bible is the Word of God? What proof do you have? Here’s my answer. I know it’s author. I know what I was, what I am, and what I’m becoming. I know that Jesus Christ died for my sins past, present and future, and that every time I look up and around I see His witness staring back at me. I know the Bible is true because I’ve seen it’s truth lived out in my life and in the lives of countless others.

I’ve sinned, and there’s not a day goes by in which I haven’t had to confess my sin. Sin doesn’t mean you don’t know God or that He doesn’t know you. It means you have deliberately, knowingly disobeyed God and His divine law. If anyone tells you that they aren’t guilty of that then you’re either looking at a liar or the Lord Jesus Christ, himself.

There are many “Christians” who will tell you that once you become a Christian you’ll be happy. They’ll tell you that God wants you to be rich. You just have faith and claim what you want in the name of Jesus and it will be yours. You name the lie and you’ll find a “Christian” somewhere who’s either deliberately said it or said it in ignorance of God’s Word. I’m sorry, and I’m sure I’ve offended someone somewhere, but truth is truth, and some people should be offended.

The reason I’m writing this is because I want you to know that God loves you, but you have to receive that love. The truth is that Jesus Christ died for yours sins, but you have to acknowledge and confess your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and be your Savior. Friend, you cannot save yourself. Nothing you do past, present, or future based upon your own effort will make any difference.

There’s nothing you can do or have done that will separate you from the love of God except for one thing….the sin of unbelief.

Please don’t feel that you’re not good enough…know that you aren’t, and you don’t have to be….Please don’t feel that you don’t need Jesus… You do, and one day you’ll know it…. Please don’t be discouraged by failure…. We’ve all failed, but Jesus never has or will….

Come to Him where you are as you are…

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Joh_8:12

Are you, my reader, a searcher of this life? Are you breathing for it, panting after it, seeking it? Then be it known to you, that He who inspired that desire is Himself the life for which you seek. That heaving of your heart, that yearning of your spirit, that “feeling after God, if haply you may find Him,” is the first gentle pulsation of a life that shall never die. Feeble and fluctuating, faint and fluttering, as its throbbings may be, it is yet the life of God, the life of Christ, the life of glory in your soul. It is the seedling, the germ of immortal flower; it is the sunshine dawn of an eternal day. The announcement with which we meet your case-and it is the only one that can meet it-is, “THIS MAN RECEIVES SINNERS.” Oh joyful tidings! Oh blessed words! Yes, he receives sinners-the vilest-the meanest-the most despised! It was for this He relinquished the abodes of heavenly purity and bliss, to mingle amid the sinful and humiliating scenes of earth. For this He quitted His Father’s bosom for a cross. For this He lived and labored, suffered and died. “He receives sinners!” He receives them of every name and condition-of every stature and character and climate. There is no limit to His ability to pardon, as there is none to the sufficiency of His atonement, or to the melting pity of His heart. Flee, then, to Jesus the crucified. To Him repair with your sins, as scarlet and as crimson, and His blood will wash you whiter than snow. What though they may be as clouds for darkness, or as the sand on the sea-shore for multitude; His grace can take them all away. Come with the accusations and tortures of a guilty conscience, come with the sorrow and relentings of a broken heart, come with the grief of the backslider, and with the confession of the prodigal; Jesus still meets you with the hope-inspiring words-“Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Then, “return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon you; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon!”

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

I found comfort in this.  Perhaps you will, too.

“Gather not my soul with sinners.”  – Psa_26:9
Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, thou mayst be gathered with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy anxiety, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness-so little grace, so little love, so little holiness, and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had-the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like to like. “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, thou art like God’s people, thou shalt be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his for ever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” – Jdg_7:20

Gideon ordered his men to do two things: covering up a torch in an earthen pitcher, he bade them, at an appointed signal, break the pitcher and let the light shine, and then sound with the trumpet, crying, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon! the sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” This is precisely what all Christians must do. First, you must shine; break the pitcher which conceals your light; throw aside the bushel which has been hiding your candle, and shine. Let your light shine before men; let your good works be such, that when men look upon you, they shall know that you have been with Jesus. Then there must be the sound, the blowing of the trumpet. There must be active exertions for the ingathering of sinners by proclaiming Christ crucified. Take the gospel to them; carry it to their door; put it in their way; do not suffer them to escape it; blow the trumpet right against their ears. Remember that the true war-cry of the Church is Gideon’s watchword, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” God must do it, it is his own work. But we are not to be idle; instrumentality is to be used-”The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” If we only cry, “The sword of the Lord!” we shall be guilty of an idle presumption; and if we shout, “The sword of Gideon!” alone, we shall manifest idolatrous reliance on an arm of flesh: we must blend the two in practical harmony, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” We can do nothing of ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; let us, therefore, in his name determine to go out personally and serve with our flaming torch of holy example, and with our trumpet tones of earnest declaration and testimony, and God shall be with us, and Midian shall be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts shall reign for ever and ever.

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“This man receiveth sinners.” – Luk_15:2

Observe the condescension of this fact. This Man, who towers above all other men, holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners-this Man receiveth sinners. This Man, who is no other than the eternal God, before whom angels veil their faces-this Man receiveth sinners. It needs an angel’s tongue to describe such a mighty stoop of love. That any of us should be willing to seek after the lost is nothing wonderful- they are of our own race; but that he, the offended God, against whom the transgression has been committed, should take upon himself the form of a servant, and bear the sin of many, and should then be willing to receive the vilest of the vile, this is marvellous.

“This Man receiveth sinners”; not, however, that they may remain sinners, but he receives them that he may pardon their sins, justify their persons, cleanse their hearts by his purifying word, preserve their souls by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and enable them to serve him, to show forth his praise, and to have communion with him. Into his heart’s love he receives sinners, takes them from the dunghill, and wears them as jewels in his crown; plucks them as brands from the burning, and preserves them as costly monuments of his mercy. None are so precious in Jesus’ sight as the sinners for whom he died. When Jesus receives sinners, he has not some out-of-doors reception place, no casual ward where he charitably entertains them as men do passing beggars, but he opens the golden gates of his royal heart, and receives the sinner right into himself-yea, he admits the humble penitent into personal union and makes him a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. There was never such a reception as this! This fact is still most sure this evening, he is still receiving sinners: would to God sinners would receive him.

“True Christian Union and the Devil’s Counterfeit” by R. A. Torrey…A Voice From The Past

Our Heavenly Father, I come to You, in humble submission with an open heart, and a heart that You have given me to share with others what You have shown me.  Father, I pray in the blessed name of Your, Son, Jesus Christ, that You will use this as You desire to accomplish that which is pleasing to You, and that will give You the honor, and the glory that are Yours always and forevermore.  I pray that You use this to strengthen those who are Yours, that You will use it light a fire of desire within their soul that will never be quenched and create a burning need in their souls to spread Your Word, the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world starving and gone mad with a need for the Bread of Life, and Streams of Living Water, and that You will use this to give notice to those who like ravenous wolves  are among us trying to divert and pervert,  and prevent us from finding the Light shown in Your, Son, Jesus.  Put them on notice that we will know them by their fruit, and that You will deal with them and their father, the father of lies and deception shortly.  In Jesus name, I pray, amen. 

My subject this morning is TRUE CHRISTIAN UNION AND THE DEVIL’S COUNTERFEIT. I have seven texts:

The first is Eph_4:1-3, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ”

The second is Joh_17:20-21, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.”

This third is Gal_3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”‘

The fourth is Amo_3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

The fifth is 2Co_6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall beat people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

The sixth is 2Ch_25:5-8, “Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.”

The seventh is 2Jn_1:9-11, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

True Christian unity is one of the greatest, one of the grandest, one of the most glorious, one of the divinest, one of the most beneficent things on earth. It is the life of God the Father and the Son reproduced in the Church. It greatly delights the heart of God. It is one of the things that our Lord Jesus Himself most emphasized in His high priestly prayer the night before His crucifixion. The devil’s counterfeit of true Christian unity is one of the most abominable and pernicious things on earth. The Bible is full of warnings against it; indeed some of Its most solemn warnings are against the devil’s cunning counterfeit of that unity which God so greatly desires and for which our Lord Jesus so earnestly prayed and which lie laid down His life to make possible. It has always been the devil’s subtle policy to counterfeit God’s work and God’s methods. For God’s true Christ, Christ Jesus, the devil would substitute his Antichrist, who is yet to come; for God’s way of salvation through the atoning blood, resulting in those who accept Him who shed His blood as their atoning Saviour being transformed into His own perfect likeness, the devil would substitute “salvation by character,” a character achieved by our own will and our own moral effort; for God’s revelation of the truth in the written Word, the Bible, and in the Incarnate Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, the devil would substitute a revelation by man-made philosophy and man-made science. And for the true Christian unity that God works out in the body of true believers, the invisible church, in the ways we shall this morning consider, the devil would substitute a unity worked out by all kinds of compromises and cunning devices of men.

Some of the passages from God’s Word which I have just read set forth in a very clear and unmistakable way both the beautiful character and the imperative need of true Christian unity. Other passages from God’s Word which I have just read expose the awful wickedness and ruinous results of the devil’s counterfeit of God’s true Christian unity.

The words unity, brotherhood, love and cooperation are very much in evidence in these great days in which we are living. These words set forth eminently Christian ideas. But these words are today among the most abused and most frequently misused words in the English language. Everywhere one goes throughout the United States, in England, Scotland, Honolulu, Japan, Korea or China, the one word that is written large and forever drummed into our ears is “Union,” “Union,” “Union.”   But the union many are seeking to achieve and to foster is as far from the unity for which our Lord Jesus prayed and which He taught and which was emphasized by Paul and by John, as night is from day, as darkness is from light and as damning error is from saving truth and as the great enemy of God and Man, the devil or Satan, is from our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

TRUE CHRISTIAN UNITY

What are the marks of true Christian unity, the unity for which our Lord Jesus so earnestly prayed, so insistently and constantly taught and which John and Paul and other inspired men so strongly emphasized?

In the first place, true Christian unity is a “unity of the Spirit,” that is, a unity which the Holy Spirit dwelling in and controlling the hearts of regenerated men, women and children brings to pass.  This is clear from our first text, Eph_4:1-3-“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  True Christian unity is not a unity of man’s making but of God’s making.  It is not a unity that results from a mob of men and women of heterogenous characters and ambitions and beliefs getting together to cooperate to bring about some result in which they are all more or less interested.  It is a unity, as the context clearly tells us, of men and women who have one Lord, the Lord Jesus; and one faith, faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (Joh_20:31; 1Jn_5:1, 1Jn_5:5); and one baptism, the baptism in the Holy Spirit; and who are thus brought into one body, the real, living, invisible church, the Bride of Jesus Christ (see Eph_4:3-6), a unity, as we have said, which the Holy Spirit Himself brings to pass in those in whom He comes to dwell because they have received and confessed Jesus as their Saviour and their Lord and with the whole heart they believed on Him.

I need hardly say that the union that the Federation of Churches at home and Union Universities on the foreign field are seeking to promote does not bear the faintest resemblance to this true Christian union.

In the second place, true Christian union or unity is a union that results from prayer. This is very clearly evident from our Lord’s own wonderful prayer recorded in Joh_17:20-23 -“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word … that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”  The unity that our Lord desired for all those who should believe in Him throughout all coming generations was a unity that should be the outcome of His own prayers and the prayers of those who are at one with Him and, therefore, had fellowship with Him in His intercessory work. The unity that Jesus Christ prayed for and taught and that John and Paul emphasized was not a unity that men get up by their cunning contrivances and conscienceless compromises, but a unity that God sends down in answer to the fervent and believing prayer of His own dear Son whom He always hears and of those who are at one with Him through living faith in Him. It is the unity that comes in answer to believing prayer offered in the power of the Holy Ghost. It is not the unity that results from getting together a lot of shrewd ecclesiastical politicians to devise some way to keep men who believe something definite and worthwhile from voicing their convictions, as was done for example at the much-lauded Edinburg Missionary Conference by one of the most astute ecclesiastical politicians of the century and as the steering committee of the huge missionary conference to be held in Shanghai next spring are now trying to do.
While I was in Shanghai awaiting the departure of my steamer for this country, the various commissions preparing for this proposed conference of five hundred missionaries and five hundred native Chinese Christians were in session. The most important committee in many ways is the Committee on the Church’s Message. This was assigned to five Chinese Christians, which looked promising; for taken as a whole, the Chinese converts today seem to be more soundly orthodox than the missionary body as a whole. But on this committee of five were appointed the two most notoriously radical modernists that there are among the Chinese “Christian” leaders, one man whose position was not altogether known and two men of the undoubted conservatives. These two men are in a hopeless minority, and it is doubtful whether they have the strength and decision to stand for their convictions. The evident object was to present as the Message of the Church a message upon which both those who believe only in the “social gospel” and those who believe in the real Gospel, the Gospel of a crucified and risen Saviour as set forth in the Word of God, could unite.

In the third place, true Christian union is a union in Christ Jesus. This is clear from Gal_3:28 -“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Please mark well the words, “in Christ Jesus. “”Ye are all one in Christ Jesus. “This is true Christian union, and it is the only true Christian union, union “in Christ Jesus.”  There can be no Christian union except “in Christ Jesus.”  Many today, when they speak of Christian union, emphasize the word union; the Bible emphasizes the word Christian-“in Christ Jesus.”  There can be no true union between those who are “in Christ Jesus” and those who are not “in Christ Jesus.”  To attempt such a union is to aim at begetting a monster, a monstrosity.

It was union in Himself that our Lord Jesus prayed for so earnestly.  His words are plain: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.  And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”  Oh, how frequently those who are trying to forge a false unity quote our Lord’s prayer, and how carelessly they read and quote His words, making no attempt to mark exactly for what He prayed! There is no hint here of prayer on our Lord’s part for a union between those who really are in Him (and in whom He is) and those who are not in Him (and in whom He is not).  Not for one moment would our Lord pray for such a monstrous thing.  Indeed, in His prayer for union, He is very careful to say and very emphatic in saying it: “I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (v. 9). Why will people who profess to be Bible students and especially students of the words of our Lord Jesus persist in ripping the words of our Lord out of their context and shutting their eyes to their plain meaning and putting upon them a construction which it is as clear as day He never intended they should bear?

In the fourth place, true Christian union is a union in the Truth, a union between those who believe the great fundamentals of the Christian faith, and between these alone.  This our Lord Himself clearly indicates in His prayer.  In the words immediately preceding His prayer for oneness or union He says, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.  As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (Joh_17:17-19). John, who alone records this prayer of our Lord for union, says in his second epistle in Joh_17:9-11, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.

He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.  ” This is the strongest possible prohibition on God’s part of all union with any man or company of men who do not accept absolutely the authority of the teaching of Christ, who do not abide in His teaching, that is, those who throw the words of Christ overboard on any point (for example, rejecting the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and the inerrancy of the whole Old Testament and the historicity of the story of the Flood and of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, all of which our Lord explicitly taught) because some German infidel who claims to be a great scholar teaches differently.  Union with those who do not abide in the teaching of Christ, who reject His absolute authority at any point but go onward to something different that they claim is better, is not Christian union.  It has not the faintest resemblance to TRUE CHRISTIAN UNION.  There can be no union pleasing to the God who is the Author of this Book or pleasing to Jesus Christ, between those who believe the great fundamentals of our faith and those who question any one of them.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THESE FUNDAMENTALS?

The first of all of these fundamentals is the absolute deity of Jesus Christ, His full equality in nature and attributes with the Father, the doctrine that He is a Being to be believed in, honored and worshipped even as God the Father is believed in, honored and worshipped (Joh_14:1 ff.; Joh_5:1-23).  There can be no true Christian unity between us who believe this and those who deny or question it.

The second fundamental is the absolute, final and infallible authority of the Bible.  Jesus taught this in a most expressive, most emphatic and most uncompromising way, and those who question it are of those whom John describes as going onward and abiding not in the teaching of Christ and with whom He forbids in the sternest way any form of union, any fellowship whatever.

Previous to the annual meeting of the Bible Union of China at Kuling, a very prominent missionary, who is supposed to be orthodox, said to my son that the point of division between missionaries should not be upon the authority of the Bible but upon the Cross of Christ, and he went on to tell him how the most notoriously bitter opponent of the Bible Union Movement in China was clear on the Cross of Christ, and that is where the line of division should be drawn. Now, when one carefully considers it, this is utter nonsense.  To try to get those who believe in the absolute, final and infallible authority of the Bible to unite and cooperate with those who deny the absolute, final and infallible authority of the Bible, just because they happen to be clear on the Cross of Christ (if indeed they be clear on the Cross of Christ, as the doctrine of the Cross is taught in the bible) is as foolish as it would have been in the late way to get those who believed in the aims of the Allies to fight in the same regiments with those who were devoted to the damnable schemes of the Kaiser. Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot cooperate with the followers of the Antichrist, even though the Antichrist claims to be, as he always does claim to be, the real Christ.

And whether he knows it or not, everyone who denies the true deity of the Lord Jesus is a follower of, and aider and abetter of, the Antichrist.  What does God say in 1Jn_2:22-23? “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”  And whosoever denies the absolute, final and infallible authority of this Book, the Bible, is also on the side of the Antichrist, and he is a more useful ally to the Antichrist and to the devil if he is in the church than if he were out of it.  Will I unite to fight with him because he is a charming man in many ways and teaches some very beautiful things?  Not 1. If I do, I will bring upon myself the stern condemnation of God as set forth by Him in 2Jn_1:9-11 : “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

The third great fundamental is the substitutionary character of the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.  Anyone who denies this great saving doctrine of the substitutionary character of the death of Christ, that Christ Himself bore our sins in His own body on the cross (1Pe_2:24; 2Co_5:21), is a follower of the Antichrist.

This doctrine of the perfect atonement made by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary is the doctrine that the devil hates and that the devilish pride of the natural heart hates above almost any other doctrine.  A man, some of whose devotional books have had a large sale and who is in great demand at many so-called Bible conferences, is reported on apparently good authority, the authority of one who sat in his classroom within a year or two and took down in black and white what he said, as saying,  “The doctrine of the blood atonement is nauseating to me.”  Shall I cooperate with him because he is a delightful man and seems to teach many things that I believe?  Never.  It was on the question of atoning blood that there was the first great separation, a separation that God Himself brought to pass, between the one whom God accepted and the one whom God rejected, between Abel and Cain (Gen_4:3-5).

Again, anyone who denies the doctrine of the literal resurrection of the body of Jesus Christ from the dead is a follower of the Antichrist.  If he is right in his decision that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was simply a spiritual resurrection, then according to God’s own Word our preaching is vain and our faith also is vain (1Co_15:13-14).  Can I cooperate with one who denies this great fundamental of the Christian faith, the actual, literal resurrection of the body of Jesus Christ from the dead?  Not unless I am an utterly blinded fool.

Still again, anyone who denies the virgin birth of our Lord is a follower of the Antichrist.  His virgin birth was one of the chief points of attack by the first great scholarly enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Celsus; and most of the enemies of Jesus Christ from that day to this have followed in Celsus’s wake.  Any one who denies the virgin birth of our Lord makes Him out to have been a bastard, at least by implication, as Celsus frankly said in plain words.  Shall I cooperate with anyone who even indirectly casts this appallingly blasphemous implication upon my Lord?  How would you, feel toward anyone who cast such a reflection on your own mother’s virtue and on yourself?  How then do you feel toward the one who casts such an aspersion on the “blessed” mother of our glorious Lord?  I for one burn with indignation toward every dastardly scoundrel that does it.  Will I cooperate with him in Christian work and call it Christian union?  Not for one briefest moment.  Yet even Presbyterians in China send their Chinese candidates for the ministry to Union Theological Seminaries where this infamous doctrine of the denial of the virgin birth of our Lord is openly or secretly held and taught; and if any one dares to protest against such folly and wickedness, he is called hard names and is bitterly accused of introducing division in the forces of Jesus Christ.  Forces of Jesus Christ?  Never.  He is separating the forces of Jesus Christ from the forces of Antichrist, and they ought to be separated.  Has not God Himself said in 2Co_6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  And what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Between those who believe what this Book tells us in the plainest possible terms about the virgin birth of our divine Lord and those who deny His virgin birth and thus make Him out by implication at least to have been a bastard, there should be war, and war to the hilt.

Some one of you may say that this is an appeal to sentiment. Yes, it is in part an appeal to holy sentiment, but why not appeal to sentiment if it is holy, sound, Christian sentiment?  Ought we not in our actions as well as our feelings be moved by the sentiment of love to our Lord who died upon the cross for us and a sentiment of intense indignation toward those who cast vile aspersions upon His holy Person and holy name?  We should be more deeply sensitive to our Lord’s honor and good name than to our own.  Those who deny or question the virgin birth of our Lord sometimes do not realize, indeed oftentimes do not realize, what they are doing; but they should be made to realize it, and if they persist in pursuing their monstrous course we ought to bid adieu to them, and we ought to let them know with just what sentiments we regard them.

In the fifth place, true Christian unity is a unity of men and women who believe in Jesus Christ, a union of regenerated men and women. This our Lord Himself clearly indicates in His much quoted prayer.  He says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one” (Joh_17:20-21 a).  That is plain enough, is it not?  Union between those who are united to Christ by living faith and those who are not thus united to Christ is not Christian union.  A union between men and women who have been born again and have thus become children of God, and those who have not been born again and thus remain children of the devil, is not Christian union.  It is the devil’s counterfeit and a mighty poor counterfeit at that; and yet, poor as the counterfeit is, it passes current today as the genuine coin of the kingdom among many who consider themselves very intelligent Christians.  Oh, let us have done with this nonsense and this clamor for something that this Book condemns in no uncertain terms.

THE DEVIL’S COUNTERFEIT

I intended when I began to take up the marks of the devil’s counterfeit of the true Christian union.  But it is not necessary.  The marks of true Christian unity which we have just indicated reveal by contrast the marks of the devil’s counterfeit.  The devil’s counterfeit of true Christian unity is a man-made unity.  It is a mere outward unity; it is a union out of Christ,- it is a union between those who disagree on fundamental doctrines; it is a union between the forces of Christ and Antichrist, it is a union between those who are born again, thus becoming children of God, and those who are unregenerated and, therefore, children of the devil. It is a union of the forces of Christ and the forces of antichrist.

For a true Christian unity let us pray and let us labor and let us make every necessary sacrifice.  As to the devil’s counterfeit of true Christian unity, let us fight it to the last ditch, knowing that it is the devil’s great strategic masterpiece for the defeat of our Lord’s work in the world.  The enemies of Jesus Christ are far less dangerous when openly fighting against us than they are when they claim to be one with us and seek our cooperation in the substitution of any other gospel, the “social gospel” for example, for the saving Gospel of the once crucified, now risen and soon returning Lord.

From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

     No one is beyond God’s grace.

““Base things of the world hath God chosen.” – 1Co_1:28

Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair. Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father’s right hand in glory everlasting. Base things of the world hath God chosen.” – 1Co_1:28 Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour’s passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair. Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus’ tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour’s compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father’s right hand in glory everlasting.

 Are You A Good Person

 

Are you a good person?
Bet you’ve got this one figured out.
and you believe it.

 

Easy question you think,
the answer comes no naturally.
I’ve never hurt anyone,
never done anything really wrong.

 

I’ve never killed anyone,
or cheated on my loved one.
Never taken anything
that didn’t belong to me.

 

Be hard for anyone to
really pin anything on me.
Do my job honestly,
sure love my family.

 

Told a lie?
Sure, I have.
Everyone tells lies,
one time or another.

 

Ever looked at someone
with lust in your heart?
A fleeting sexual thought
toward that cute person walking by?

 

Ever wanted what a friend has;
be it house, car, or wife?
Wamted to switch out-
live someone else’s life?

 

Sure, I have;
done all of that,
but just because I think it,
feel it, doesn’t mean I do it.

 

Ever tried to be in control?
Have things your own way?
Worked hard to have things,
made someone or thing go your way?

 

Are you a good person?

 

Ever read God’s holy word?
As a man thinks in his heart
so is he.

 

Know the ten commandments?
Bible teaches break one,
and before Him we’ll stand
guilty of all.

 

Standing before the Holy God,
you’re not good in yourself, not at all.

 

@Wayne Augden