Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Faith and Assurance

October 23, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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FAITH AND ASSURANCE

by

J. C. Ryle

(1816-1900)

 

If you are a thoughtless, careless man about your soul, you will take no interest in the subject of this sermon. Faith and assurance are mere names and words to you: they are neither land, nor money, nor horses, nor dress, nor meat, nor drink: like Gallio, you care not for them. Alas, poor soul! I mourn over you. The day will come when you will think differently.

Reader, if you really desire to go to heaven, and to go there in the Bible way, you will find the subject of this sermon of the deepest importance. Believe me, your own comfort in religion, and your peace of conscience, depend exceedingly on understanding the matter about which I am going to speak.

I say then, that faith in Christ, and a full assurance of being saved by Christ, are two distinct things. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Faith and Assurance…

Genesis 15

August 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” He said, “O Lord GOD, how may I know that I will possess it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. Continue Reading Genesis 15…

Design of the Week – Praise (In His Presence)

July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s special design is called Praise (In His Presence).

The design uses some simple graphic elements as well as color to portray the love and joy of being in the presence of God and praising Him for what He’s done for us. As Christians, we have the privilege to come before the throne of God with boldness/confidence to ask Him for grace and mercy in times of need (Heb. 4:16). We also have the joy of praising Him for protecting us, providing for us, and most of all saving us from certain destruction. He has given us much to be thankful for and deserves to be praised just for who He is, much less what He’s done.

If you’re having a rough day, you can still praise God for who He is. Life in itself is a blessing. He is good to us and even disciplines us because He loves us. If you are having a great day, then rejoice! It is a perfect time to lift up your voice and sing to the Lord of Heaven.

If you’re not born again, then much of this probably doesn’t make sense. Christians rejoice because God has, in His grace, decided to forgive us of our sins and erase them. He has cleared our consciences of guilt and made us His own. He has saved us from His wrath and allowed us to have the assurance that we will be in heaven when we die. If you don’t have any of that, then you are in danger, regardless of how great your life is. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Once you stand before God, He will judge you for every thought, word, and deed committed in your life. All the lies, lusting, theft, disobeying your parents, hatred, and other sins will be laid bare before God and if you have no way to pay for them, you will be cast into hell for eternity. This may seem unfair, but it would to a criminal wouldn’t it? It is right because God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect. He is eternal as well, so punishment in hell is the only just action to be taken. But, God has made a way for you and I to be spared this tragic end.

If you will repent of your sins (turn from them) and put your faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to pay for your sins, the Bible says that you will be born again and that you can have the same assurance that when you die, you will be saved from hell and enter heaven; not because of what you did, but because of what Christ did. Will you do it? Will you repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ? If so, then you and I can praise God together today!

Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Christ, the Believer’s Husband

June 5, 2011 at 8:34 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Christ the Believer’s Husband
by
George Whitefield
(1714-1770)

Isaiah 54:5 – “For thy Maker is thy Husband.”

Although believers by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of any man living, fully to conceive, the nearness and dearness of that relation, in which they stand to their common head. He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Behold, says the blessed Jesus in the days of his flesh, “my mother and my brethren.” And again after his resurrection, “go tell my brethren.” Nay sometimes he is pleased to term believers his friends. “Henceforth call I you no longer servants, but friends.” “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” And what is a friend? Why there is a friend that is nearer than a brother, nay as near as one’s own soul. And “thy friend, (says God in the book of Deuteronomy) which is as thy own soul.” Kind and endearing applications these, that undoubtedly bespeak a very near and ineffably intimate union between the Lord Jesus and the true living members of his mystical body! But, methinks, the words of our text point out to us a relation, which not only comprehends, but in respect to nearness and dearness , exceeds all other relations whatsoever. I mean that of a Husband, “For thy Maker is thy husband; the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Christ, the Believer’s Husband…

Sermon Sunday: Thomas Watson

April 17, 2011 at 7:31 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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A Test of Assurance: How We Know Whether We Love God?

by

Thomas Watson
(1620-1686)

HE WHO LOVES GOD DESIRES HIS PRESENCE. Lovers cannot be long apart, they soon have their fainting fits, for want of a sight of the object of their love. A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him in His ordinances, in word, prayer, and sacraments. David was ready to faint away and die when he had not a sight of God. “My soul fainteth for God” (Psalm 84:2). Such as care not for ordinances, but say, “When will the Sabbath be over?” plainly reveal their lack of love to God.

He who loves God DOES NOT LOVE SIN. “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). The love of God, and the love of sin, can no more mix together than iron and clay. Every sin loved, strikes at the being of God; but he who loves God, has a hatred of sin. He who would part two lovers is a hateful person. God and the believing soul are two lovers; sin parts between them, therefore the soul is implacably set against it. By this try your love to God. How could Delilah say she loved Samson. when she entertained correspondence with the Philistines, who were his mortal enemy? Continue Reading Sermon Sunday: Thomas Watson…

Genesis 9:18-29

April 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.” Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died. Continue Reading Genesis 9:18-29…

Genesis 9:1-7

March 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”

This week, we begin to look at life after the Flood. The ark has come to rest in the area of Ararat. The earth has dried out and the inhabitants of the ark have disembarked. All air breathing, land-dwelling animals not on the ark have been obliterated. Now, those who have survived the global destruction have been tasked with replenishing the earth (including dinosaurs). Here, as we begin chapter 9, we see that Noah is given this same task. Like his ancestor Adam before him, Noah is told by God that he and his sons should be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The eight humans that survived the Flood will be the ancestors of all of mankind after them. Each person on the planet today is related to one of the three sons of Noah. Continue Reading Genesis 9:1-7…

Wages

April 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Nothing’s free. I know that this may not come as a shock to many people (although there may be a number of people who refuse to admit it sometimes), it’s a surprise to some. I imagine that it also depends on what we’re talking about. If it comes to merchandise, people are always looking for free stuff. But when it comes to many important things in life, nothing is free. If you choose to spend your time doing one thing, it will cost you the ability to do something else.

 

When we go to work, our time is worth money. The companies that we work for have to pay wages for our time and effort. Our time also costs us (as those in the U.S. know at about this time every year…). If we know that nothing’s free, then it is important for us to evaluate the worth of everything so that we don’t have to pay for something that is worthless to us. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves paying for things that we shouldn’t have done. There are also times that we just plain don’t want to admit that something is costing us because we enjoy it too much.

 

There is no place that this is more evident than when it comes to eternal life. Many people through the ages have deluded themselves into thinking that their lifestyles, choices, and actions are not costing them anything when they are. They have hidden their consciences in the ethereal emotions and fleeting pleasures of sin. Because they don’t see the cost of their actions, they don’t look for a solution to the problem. Unbeknownst to them, the debt continues to add up.

 

When the time comes and the account is reconciled, if the sin remains unpaid for, then the account holder will be responsible for paying for their sins. The payment for sins is a terrible thing. If a person is still in their sins when they die, they must spend eternity in hell as the just payment for those sins. Many people today scoff at this and say a loving God would never send someone to hell. I disagree. It is precisely because God is love that He sends people to hell. It must be remembered that God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect as well as loving, gracious, and merciful (contrary to many contemporary preachers). Because God must always act in accord with all of His attributes, He must punish sin. That is the just and righteous thing to do. Because God is holy and eternal, the only just punishment for sin is an eternal hell. But, because God is loving, He has made an alternate way for the payment of their sins. The cost of this payment was no less terrible. The alternate payment for sins required that God’s perfect Son Jesus die on a wicked cross, even though He was innocent. Jesus took the wrath of God on Himself so that those who repent of their sins and put their trust in Him alone as their Savior would be spared God’s wrath. Because Jesus is God, He is perfect and eternal. As the substitutionary sacrifice for sin, this means that the sacrifice that He made was able to pay for all sins once. He doesn’t need to die again.

 

Sin has a cost. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). Sin will be paid for either way. It will be paid by those being punished in hell or it will be paid by the blood of Jesus. I ask anyone who reads this to take some advice from Jesus Himself and count the cost. I know that when Jesus said this, He was talking about following Him, but I think that it could apply here too. Understand what the cost will be to you if you die in your sins. You will spend your days in eternal torment where the fire is never quenched and the worm never dies (Mark 9:48). However, if you will admit that you are a sinner and have transgressed the law of God (see Exodus 20); and if you will repent of your sins (turn away from them) and put your complete trust in Jesus alone as your Savior, the Bible says that you will be saved from the wrath of God and can know without a shadow of a doubt that you will be in heaven when you die.

 

I mentioned the cost of following Jesus and it would be unfair for me to present the truth without talking about what it will cost you if you receive the gift of salvation. If you choose to follow Jesus Christ, then your life will not be a bed of roses. There is no guarantee that you will be blessed, healthy, rich, famous, or have an easy life. There is a guarantee from the Lord Jesus Himself that you will be mocked, hated, ridiculed, and may even be beaten or killed for Him. All you have to do is look outside the US to see this is true. I pray that you understand that what your life may be like should not discourage you from receiving salvation. What your eternity will be like if you don’t will be infinitely worse than anything that you can face here on earth.

 

Please consider where you stand in God’s eyes. If you don’t believe that He exists, then ask yourself why. Is it really because you honestly believe that all of this came about by chance random processes? Is it because you really believe that you can work your way to heaven (whether it’s by the system in Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, or Mormonism)? Is it because you really can’t reconcile the “problems” with Christianity? Or, is it because you are too attached to your sin and living life the way that you want it rather than sacrifice your self in order to admit the truth? Whatever the reason, God challenges it and says that if you are willing to honestly look at what His Word says and come to Him on His terms, He will reveal Himself to you (not audibly or visually) and you can know that He is real and His Word is true.

 

This is the most important thing that you can spend your time considering and it is my hope and prayer that you will take the time to do so seriously…

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