Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Authentic Religion

May 22, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | 2 Comments
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Authentic Religion
by
J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

“Rejected silver” (Jeremiah 6:30)

“Nothing but leaves” (Mark 11:13)

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth”
(1 John 3:18).

“You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1)

If we profess to have any religion at all, let us be careful that it is authentic.  I say it emphatically, and I repeat the saying: Let us be careful that our religion is authentic.

What do I mean when I use the word “authentic.”  I mean that which is genuine, and sincere, and honest, and thorough.  I mean that which is not inferior, and hollow, and formal, and false, and counterfeit, and sham, and nominal.  “Authentic” religion is not mere show, and pretense, and skin-deep feeling, and temporary profession, and works only on the outside.  It is something inward, solid, substantial, intrinsic, living, lasting.  We know the difference between counterfeit and authentic money–between solid gold and tinsel–between plated metal and silver–between authentic stone and plaster imitation.  Let us think of these things as we consider the subject of this paper.  What is the character of our religion?  Is it authentic?  It may be weak, and feeble, and mingled with many defects.  That is not the point before us today.  Is our religion authentic?  Is it true?

The times in which we live demand attention to this subject.  A want of authenticity is a striking feature of a vast amount of religion in the present day.  Poets have sometimes told us that the world has passed through four different states or conditions.  We have had a golden age, and a silver age, a brass age, and an iron age.  How far this is true, I do not stop to inquire.  But I fear there is little doubt as to the character of the age in which we live.  It is universally an age of cheap metal and alloy.  If we measure the religion of the age by its apparent quantity, there is much of it.  But if we measure it by its quality, there is indeed very little.  On every side we want MORE AUTHENTICITY. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Authentic Religion…

Genesis 11:1-9

May 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. Continue Reading Genesis 11:1-9…

What has Jesus done for me? (long)

April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that more and more these days people are asking one simple question. It may take a few different forms, but at it’s root, it’s all the same: “What has Jesus done for me?”. Sometimes it comes out in the attitudes, sometimes in actual words but it’s there none the less. Man’s pride puts himself at the top of the pyramid with everything else beneath him. Even family and friends are often under self. Some that ask this question, do so because they can’t see how Jesus has done anything for them. They think that they are responsible for their own success. Ironically, they always seem to blame God for their failures. Continue Reading What has Jesus done for me? (long)…

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…

Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield

April 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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The Duty of searching the Scriptures
by
George Whitefield
(1714-1770)

John 5:39 – “Search the Scriptures.”

When the Sadducees came to our blessed Lord, and put to him the question, “whose wife that woman should be in the next life, who had seven husbands in this,” he told them “they erred, not knowing the scriptures.” And if we would know whence all the errors, that have over-spread the church of Christ, first arose, we should find that, in a great measure, they flowed from the same fountain, ignorance of the word of God.

Our blessed Lord, though he was the eternal God, yet as man, he made the scriptures his constant rule and guide. And therefore, when he was asked by the lawyer, which was the great commandment of the law, he referred him to his Bible for an answer, “What readest thou?” And thus, when led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, he repelled all his assaults, with “it is written.”

A sufficient confutation this, of their opinion, who say, “the Spirit only, and not the Spirit by the Word, is to be our rule of action.” If so, our Savior, who had the Spirit without measure, needed not always have referred to the written word.

But how few copy after the example of Christ? How many are there who do not regard the word of God at all, but throw the sacred oracles aside, as an antiquated book, fit only for illiterate men? Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield…

Sermon Sunday: Charles Spurgeon

April 3, 2011 at 7:48 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | 2 Comments
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Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 7th, 1855, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”—Malachi 3:6

It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel— Continue Reading Sermon Sunday: Charles Spurgeon…

Genesis 8:1-12

February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible. Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

This week, we will look at the end of the Flood. First, let’s recap a little bit. The world was full of violence and man’s thoughts were evil continually. God has warned Noah that He was going to be sending a flood that would destroy everything living thing on the planet unless it was in the ark. He gave Noah the dimensions and specifics for building the ark. Noah and his sons have started building the ark and while this is going on, Noah preaches righteousness to those around him. He warns them of the wrath of God and the coming judgment. Finally, the 120 years that God has allotted man in order for him to repent has come to an end. The food has been gathered, the animals have boarded the ark, and Noah and his family enter the ark. God Himself shuts the door behind them as the rain starts falling.

Up to this point in the history of the world, no one has every seen it rain. The ground has been watered by the dew. Now, it begins to pour down like a faucet. The seas are roiling as the “fountains of the deep” burst open. The windows of heaven open as well sending down more water. Mankind and many land animals move to the higher ground in the hopes that the Flood will subside, but it is to no avail. The entire earth is in turmoil as the continent splits into pieces, the water rises to the point of covering the highest mountains, and God’s judgment is carried out. It has rained for 40 days and nights and every living thing on the face of the planet is now dead.

Noah and his family are safe on the ark with the animals. For five months, Noah and his family float on the waters and the changes to the planet continue. But God hasn’t forgotten Noah and his family or the animals with them. God closes the windows of heaven, the fountains of the great deep, and causes a wind to pass over the earth. The water slowly but steadily decreases (most likely to the basins of the oceans dropping down and collecting water). After five months, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. At this point, the tops of the mountains were still not visible, but it wouldn’t be long. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains finally became visible. Forty days later, Noah opens the window and sends out a raven to check for land. The scripture says that the raven flew and flew until the water was dried up from the earth. This could be because ravens will eat carrion and would have found rest on the multitude of dead animals and people that would have been in the water. He then sends out a dove, but the dove can’t find a place to land so it returns to Noah. A week later, Noah sends the dove out again and it comes back to him with an olive leaf in its beak. Noah waits another week and sends the dove out again and, this time, it doesn’t return to him. This tell him that the water has abated from the earth.

In the face of such turmoil, God had preserved Noah and his family in relative comfort. He provided for them in so many ways. Today, God does the same for us. Just like the ark, God has provided us a way to escape His wrath and judgment. This way is His only Son, Jesus Christ. Like the days of Noah, the Bible warns of a time in the future when God will again judge the world. There will be many who mock and ignore the warnings; and they will pay for it with their eternal lives. Just like Noah in his day, there are many who are calling for people to repent. This is the only chance that any one has. The Bible says that if you will repent of your sins (lying, stealing, lusting, hatred, idolatry, murder, adultery, etc) and put your faith in Christ alone to save you, you will be saved. You can know without a shadow of a doubt that when you die you will go to heaven. If you wait, you will be too late. Today is the day of salvation and it is the only day that you are guaranteed. Please, look at your life in honesty. See the multitude of sins that you’ve committed and know that God’s wrath is building. One day, it will burst forth and consume you unless you repent….

Genesis 7:11-24

February 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

This week, we’re going to look at the beginning of the Flood. Noah was told by God that the world was going to be destroyed by a global flood. He was given the dimensions of a large ship and told that he and his family, and every land dwelling, air-breathing animal would come to him to find safety on the ark. He was to prepare the ship and gather the food and God would bring the animals to him. This was all due to the great evil and violence that entertained the minds of men constantly. God had given man time to repent and the time had come to an end. Noah not only spent his time building the ark (which wouldn’t have necessarily taken the 120 years that God had given man to repent), the Bible says that he was a preacher of righteousness. All of his preaching had gone out and as the final week came to a close, no one had come to Noah looking to be saved from the Flood. The world to this point had never seen rain and will never see the amount of rain that it saw during the global Flood.

God begins the account of the deluge with an exact date. It was Noah’s 600th year of life, the second month and the seventeenth day. It was this day that the fountains of the great deep burst open and the rain began to fall. It is believe that the fountains of the great deep may have been caused by a large crack in the earth’s crust where the extremely hot mantle rock cause instantaneous superheated jets of steam to force an immense amount of water into the sky. While this is still being debated, it is a very interesting thought. The crack in the mantle would have drawn the supercontinent apart into different pieces like we see in the continents today. It would have also caused the water level to rise and the continental plates sunk. Regardless of how it happened, it happened.

As the rains began to fall, the last of the animals and people entered the ark. What happens next is amazing: The Lord shut the door behind Noah. It wasn’t Noah that closed the door of the ark. It was the Lord Himself. God had saved Noah and his family as the judgment came upon the earth. The thing about this is that all the work that Noah did wouldn’t have been worth anything if the door wasn’t closed. God is the One who saved Noah. He warned him of the coming Flood, prepared him and gave him the plans for the ark, and then shut the door when the rains came. As the door was shut, the rains continued. They poured down in a deluge, causing the water level to rise rapidly. The splitting plates would have caused the level to rise faster and would have continued to throw more rain into the air as the molten rock contacted the cold water. We are told that the rains lasted for forty days and forty nights and that the water continue to increase, lifting the ark up so that it “rose above the earth”. We are told that the water continued to prevail upon the face of the earth and raised the ark to a level unknown by anyone before this.

There are many who mock those of us who believe the Bible when it talks about a global Flood. Many who try to  discount the Flood of the Bible have come up with many excuses to try and explain away the truth of God’s judgment, but none of them hold up to the scriptures. Some say that the Flood wasn’t global and was instead a local flood. Think about this for a minute. If the Flood was local and not global, then why would God have told Noah about the judgment and had him build the ark? Noah had 120 years before the waters came. That’s plenty of time for Noah and his sons and their wives to move out of the area of the Flood. But, there are other problems. God was using the Flood to judge the earth for the wickedness of mankind. If the Flood was a local flood, then those who are able would have been able to get away from the flood just like Noah did. There would have been many that escaped the judgment of God when all of them were under His wrath. Another problem with the local flood idea is the fact that water finds its own level. This means that you can’t contain water in a certain areas when there are gaps in the container. The mountain range where Noah lived wasn’t a sealed container. Because of this, the water would have rushed out of the gaps and the level of the Flood would have been much lower than it should have been and again would have allowed many to escape God’s judgment. This is not what the scripture says. God said that He would judge all flesh for their wickedness and violence except those who were in the ark.

The main problem with the local flood is found in the scriptures themselves. Taking a look at the beginning of the account, we see important indicators that the Flood was global (emphasis mine):

The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

These words mean exactly what they do in English. “All” means all, “everything” means everything, “every” means every. Look at those words again. All of the high mountains everywhere under the heavens. How could you get a “local” flood out of this? All the mountains everywhere were covered. Then, once the were covered, the water rose another 15 cubits. If it is a “short” cubit (18 inches) that would be another 22.5 feet. If this was a “long” cubit (20 inches), it would have been another 25 feet above the highest mountains. Again, how can you get a “local” flood out of this? It says that the water cover the earth. Not only that, it says that all flesh that moved on the earth perished. It says that God blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land and that only Noah was left. If it was a local flood and not a global Flood, how would all the flesh ON THE PLANET have died? How could Noah and his family be the only ones that survived the Flood? The Bible, seemingly written with the understanding that men would mock the Flood of Noah (see 2 Peter ), makes it clear that it was a global Flood. If you disagree with the truth of a global Flood, then you also have to disagree with the epistles that Peter wrote. In both of them, he uses the Flood as an example of the coming judgment of God upon all of the ungodly. If this is not true of the Flood, then Peter’s example breaks down and has no meaning.

But, this is not the case at all. The judgment of God through the Flood was real and it was global. It was a sign of God’s justice in the Flood itself, but it was a sign of His mercy in allowing man so much time to come to Him in repentance. Just like the days of Noah, there is coming a time when God will judge the earth again. He will not break His promise and do it with water again; this time, He will do it with fire. The Bible says that the times will be just like the days of Noah. Men will be evil, they will eat, drink, and marry. And just like that time, the judgment of God will come upon man unexpectedly. All of those who are not born again through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ will find themselves standing before God and being found guilty and cast into hell. Is that you? Are you born again? Have you entered the ark of salvation found in Jesus Christ? If not, are you willing to risk your eternal life for the temporary fun of sin? Believe me, it’s not worth it. The short time of joy that you find in your sin will be erased in a heartbeat as the flames of hell burn through you for eternity. Please, while there is still time, repent of your sins and put your faith completely in Jesus Christ to save you. Don’t wait for tomorrow, for you may not have the time….

The sound of heresy…

February 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I know that it’s been awhile since I wrote something other than the Bible study, newslinks, or Persecution Friday spots. I’ve been kinda busy, but I haven’t forgotten. Something I saw the other day made me have to write this though. It’s going to be a long read, so if you have to take a potty break or get a cup of coffee, do it now…:)

I heard about something the other day that just about made me sick, but I didn’t want to say anything about it until I had some proof from the horse’s mouth. Now I have it and this needs to be put out in the open.

For a long time, I’ve been talking about false teachers and men who call themselves pastors. I see many both locally in my home town, nationally in the U.S., and (unfortunately) they are now spreading to other countries. Not that there weren’t false teachers there already, but the American style of prosperity gospel preachers is sadly reaching into other parts of the world that are just now opening up to real Christianity. It is one of these types of people that I am writing about today. Continue Reading The sound of heresy……

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