A Comfort Parable

August 20, 2007

But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)

Father and son were once on a camping trip. As they pitched their tent the father fishing7said “Son, see that river? It’s full of crocodiles. If you want to fish, fish off the wharf”.

The son says, “OK, I’ll fish off the wharf”. Three days the kid fished off the wharf  and got kind of bored. He began thinking ‘you know, I’ll be safe in a boat amidst the crocodiles; it will be kind of exciting out there’. In a sense of bravado, the fool got a boat went out into the crocodiles and began fishing.

Now things were sweet for a time until a crocodile came along side that boat. Its tail hit that boat, the boat overturned, the kid screamed in terror. The father heard him scream; without hesitation dived off the end of the wharf into the crocodile infested waters, grabbed his beloved son and pulled him to the safety of nile-crocodile the shore. When the son opened his eyes he saw an horrific sight: a crocodile had got its great jaws and wrapped them around his fathers legs leaving them in bleed shreds.

Now what I am going to say is unthinkable but imagine if that son turned to his father who was laying there bleeding to death and said something like this:

“Dad I really appreciate what you’ve just done for me but, you know, I found it kind of exciting out there amongst the crocodiles. You wouldn’t mind if I get another boat and go at it again would you?”

If that son could think such a thing, let along speak it, the blind fool hasn’t seen the sacrifice his father has just made for him.

Dear professing Christian, if you have any even hidden desire for the sinful excitement of the world, you have never seen the sacrifice of the Father. If that son has truly seen what his father had just done for him, a sense of horror will consume him at the cost, the extreme, the lengthy expense his father went to to save him! He’ll poor contempt upon the drops of water that still cling to his flesh.

The true penitent, the true Christian, that has seen the God in the person of Jesus Christ without hesitation dived into the very jaws of hell to save him from the folly  of sin. A sense of horror consumes him at the cost, the extreme, the lengthy expense God went to to save him! He pours contempt upon the sinful desires that still clings to his flesh, he cries with the hymnist:

And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
sent Him to die – I scarce can take it in,
that on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin

(From Militant Evangelism by Ray Comfort)

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What is Your Worldview?

August 18, 2007

The folks at Worldview Weekend.com have a pretty comprehensive worldview test available on-line.

WVScore

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The Most Amazing Reality

August 18, 2007

This is part of a sermon by John Piper titled ‘All Things Were Created Through Him and For Him‘. The focus of this part of the message is on Colossians 1:14-20 in which Dr. Piper begins to number and list the fifteen statements used by Paul to extol Jesus.

  1. In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins
  2. He is the image of the invisible God
  3. He is the firstborn of all creation
  4. By Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, weather thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities
  5. All things were created through Him
  6. All things were created for Him
  7. He is before all things
  8. In Him all things hold together
  9. He is the head of the body, the church
  10. He is the beginning
  11. He is the first born from the dead
  12. In everything He is preeminent
  13. In Him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell
  14. He reconciles all things to Himself weather on earth or in heaven
  15. He makes peace by the blood of His cross

This is probably the most dense, concentrated acclamation of the Son of God in all the Bible and I commend you to memorize it.

If any person or any power or any wisdom or any love awakens your admiration or your amazement or your joy let it be the greatest person and the greatest wisdom and the greatest love and the greatest power — Jesus Christ.

Everybody…is moved at some time or other to be admiring or amazed about somebody or something. You all have capacities for amazement and admiration and love. Memorize those 15 things about Jesus so that your heart will rise with affections for Him that correspond in some measure to the worth that He has as our treasure.

We naturally get amazed at television or movies or bridge collapses or great natural phenomena. We do not by nature feel amazement at the most amazing reality in the universe which was just described to you. That means we have to pray, we have to meditate, we have to deny ourselves, we have to plea for new hearts.

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e-Gossip

August 18, 2007

email We have all received (usually from family and friends) emails with bogus warnings of an impending threat, promises of money or ‘blessing’, or any number of political, economic, or social hot topics. These kinds of emails, sometimes incorrectly called spam, are often referred to as hoax emails and are usually considered benign.

But are they truly benign?

If, in a conversation, I tell you something hurtful about another person, I’m guilty of gossip. If the hurtful thing I told you about in that conversation was false, I’m violating the Commandment against false witness, and you would probably refer to me as a liar.

Would not the same hold true if I forwarded a ‘hoax’ email to another person, regardless of my intention? Is not this the electronic equivalent of gossiping? Asked another way, are Christians less responsible for what they communicate in an age of electronic communication than they were before email, text messaging, instant messaging, and web cams? I could be wrong, but it seems to me that passing on an email about which I am not 100% certain of the facts or sharing information about another that will only bring harm and not good constitutes bearing false witness.

Gossipers, according to Romans 1:21-30, are people ruled by their sinful nature and deprived minds and we are warned that the destination of liars is “in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8).

If this is true, gossiping and lying, even in electronic form, is still anything but benign.

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Evangelical Ooze

August 18, 2007

I am convinced that many evangelicals are not truly and soundly converted. Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood. A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start. We should have been happy, joyous, victorious Christians walking in the Holy Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Instead we have been chasing each other around the perpetual mountain.

What we need is what the old Methodists called a sound conversion. There is a difference between conversion and a sound conversion. People who have never been soundly converted do not have the Spirit to enlighten them. When they read the Sermon on the Mount or the teaching passages of the epistles that tell them how to live or the doctrinal passages that tell how they can live, they are unaffected. The Spirit who wrote them is not witnessing in their hearts because they have not been born of the Spirit. That often happens. (A.W. Tozer)

Related: True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort.

Click to listen to True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort

(Click picture to listen)

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Wrong Question – Right Answer

August 18, 2007

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? Luke 13:23

The person who asked this question of Jesus is not identified; we do not know if the questioner was one of the disciples, a Jew or a Greek, a man or a woman. We do not know anything of the questioner’s circumstances, if he was rich or poor, a master or a slave, or if he was young or old. Though the questioner addressed Jesus as “Lord” (kurios) we do not know if the use of this term implied a deeper relationship (one who has supreme authority) or if it was used merely as form of respectful address (sir or Mr.). We do not know the purpose of the question, was the questioner accusing Jesus of being narrowly exclusive? or perhaps the questioner sought to trap Jesus because He did not exclude a particular nationality or include a specific race in His teaching about the Kingdom. It is equally possible that the questioner comprehended the difference between the teaching of the Master and the realities of the world and was really questioning if Jesus’ teachings were “practical” they sound nice but there is no way they can have application for me in the “real” world.

What ever the questioner’s attitude, circumstance, or purpose, Jesus replied by changing the direction of the question from being about “how many will be saved” to “what I must do to be saved”:

And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (13:24).

Jesus replied, not only to the questioner but to everyone, to be saved you must “strive” and that the only means of entry is through the “narrow door”. Of Himself, Jesus said “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). That door is narrow indeed and to enter all must be stripped away that is not of Him; through that portal can no man enter that has not denied himself and daily taken up the cross (Luke 9:23). It is not enough to merely seek , but we must strive and “endure to the end” (Matthew 10:22). It is not enough to know Jesus, you must be known by Him (Luke 13:26-27). It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord”, we must be able to say “My Lord and my God”. It is not enough to question, we must strive, as did Jacob, with God in prayer and against sin and this with all our heart.


How to Change the World

August 18, 2007

Click to hear Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be  clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.

You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most?It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.

John Wesley