Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bad News for Good People, Good News for Bad People


Jesus said: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17)

You may be surprised to learn that the Bible contains much bad news for people who would consider themselves to be good. The following verses are examples of this:

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6

There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Romans 3:10,11

All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13

God requireth that which is past. Ecclesiastes 3:15

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. Titus 3:5

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His [God’s] sight. Romans 3:20

God ... now commandeth all men every where to repent. Acts 17:30

Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3


“Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)

You may be equally surprised to know that there are other Scriptures which show that there is much good news for bad people. Here are a few:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15

God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31

Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Perhaps you are one of those people who is trying to be good enough to merit heaven when you die. You may be seeking to “do the best you can” or “live by the golden rule.” These things are all well in their place, but we must tell you plainly that the Bible has nothing but bad news for you. Heaven cannot be gained that way. “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and are under condemnation and must have Someone to save and justify them. Sinners are unable to save or even help to save themselves.

But if on the other hand you know that you are guilty before God and lost and without a doubt—going to hell—then the Bible surely holds good news for you. Christ Jesus died for you on Calvary’s cross that you might be saved, and He offers a pardon for all your sins. If you will, just as you are, look by faith to Him, you can know the forgiveness of your sins and have the assurance of eternal life.

Jesus said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stars and Stripes

A man was preaching in a public square one day when someone in the crowd shouted: "Tell us something about the Stars and Stripes!" As passers-by heard the challenge, the crowd quickly gathered around as the preacher turned to face the scoffer, saying: "Tell you something about the Stars and Stripes? I will, and with pleasure, for we read about the Stars and Stripes in the Bible."

Turning first to Daniel 12:3, he read of some who "shall shine as the stars for ever and ever."Then referring to Luke 12:47, he spoke of others who "shall be beaten with many stripes" of judgment.

Reader, how do you stand with regard to the stars and stripes of the Bible? Will it be your happy lot to shine as the stars in the glory of God? Or will the many stripes, the wages of sin, be your portion in eternity?

Perhaps your reply is that you do not know, or that you do not see how that question can possibly be answered until the great Judgment Day. Well, my friend, the question can be more easily answered than many suppose. The Word of God is clear as to the present and eternal blessing of those who as wretched sinners place their soul's confidence in Christ and His atoning blood. If you, unworthy and sinful though you be, have gone to the Saviour for the salvation which He died to bring to sinners—if you have looked in faith to the uplifted Substitute, Jesus Christ crucified—then it is certain as God's Word can make it, that you will be one of the ransomed host, shining as the stars forever.

But, if Christ is nothing but a name to you, if you have never experienced the reality of His free forgiveness nor the cleansing power of His precious blood, then upon you the many stripes of His wrath must assuredly fall.

"Stripes," we are told, "are prepared for the back of fools" (Proverbs 19:29). Who is so great a fool as the person who deliberately refuses or neglects to avail himself of the free offer of mercy and pardon of God?

The wages of sin must always be paid. For every offense, a stripe must fall. But those who have fled to the Saviour for refuge know that the stripes due to them have already fallen on the Lord Jesus Christ. They can say, "With His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Reader, the choice is yours—either "stars" or "stripes." Be wise. Repent of your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Substitute. Then you will gratefully say:

"Jesus died to set me free,
Jesus died on Calvary;
Not a blessing that I know,
But to Jesus Christ I owe."


What should a true believer's average day look like?

by James Jennings
This was a question I received in an email this morning. Here are some brief thoughts. There are many other things from the scriptures that we also could consider.

Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Psalm 90:14 – Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
- Rise early and isolate yourself to pray to the Lord and be satisfied in His steadfast love so that you may rejoice and be glad, not depressed and anxious. Be totally dependent upon God in the morning or else you will rely upon the arm of the flesh to gain victory over sin and you will fall.

Psalm 119:9 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
- Guard your decisions each day with God’s Word, make sure you are not contradicting what the scriptures teach. Make sure you are using the light of the Word to examine your path daily.

Proverbs 3:6 - In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

James 4:15 – “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

1 Thes 5:21 – but test everything; hold fast what is good.
- Be submissive to God’s will for your life. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways.

Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

1 Corinthians 15:31b - I die every day!
- Deny yourself. Say “No!” to the flesh and yes to Christ. Be a good soldier and share in Christ’s sufferings. (2 Tim 2:3). The flesh wants to sleep or be lazy, may it not be so.
1 Thes 5:18 – give thanks in all circumstances
Luke 10:39 – And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
- Do not be caught in being very busy and trying to perform well. Go serve the Lord without an anxious heart. Be satisfied in Christ alone. Don’t work to gain your joy but find it in Christ’s work on the Cross on your behalf.
Psalm 16:8 – I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- Take every thought captive as 2 Cor 10:5 says, and keep your mind on Christ, resting in Him alone, always setting Him before you.
Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Hebrews 3:13 – But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- Do not neglect to meet together with the saints. When you meet you should stir one another up to love and good works and exhort eachother that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulnes of sin. Also reaffirm your love(2 Cor 2:8) towards them so that no slanders are believed and no place for the devil is given, that could cause division. – Keep alert in prayer for your brethren at all times. (Eph 6:18)
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.

Mark 9:38 – therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Titus 2:14b – zealous for good works.
- Go! — Do not build up a kingdom on this earth, be prepared to go, don’t get comfortable. Don’t waste your life, but be zealous for good works.– Make disciples. Don’t just pray for God to save someone, but once God does save them, pour into them the truth, disciple them. Then pray that God will raise them up and send them out into the harvest.
Matthew 6:20 - lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven
Acts 5:42 – And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

1 Cor 2:2 – for I have determined to know nothing among you except for Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

- Everyday do not cease to preach Christ, not apologetics, but Christ. Not going from “house to house debating” but preaching and teaching Jesus as the Christ.
Hebrews 12:14 – Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
- Strive for holiness, to be set apart, to be more like Christ. Strive for peace with everyone and make sure that you see to it that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and division.
Acts 24:16 – So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

- Are you always taking pains to have a clear conscience? Paul said in 1 Cor 4:4 that he knew of nothing against himself. 1 Tim 1:19 says some reject the faith by not holding to a good conscience. — Are you holding to a good conscience?
Romans 8:13 – if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 13:14 – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:25 – If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

- Put on Christ, live by the Spirit, and mortify sin in your life by the Holy Spirit.
Luke 5:16 – But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

1 Thes 5:17 – pray without ceasing,
- Keep praying throughout the day. Withdraw from the busyness to be alone with the Lord so that you may be able to continue on with a pure heart working heartily unto the Lord and not for self.
Luke 21:35-36 – watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life… But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength.
- Do not be distracted by the things of this world and lose your eternal perspective, the end could come at any moment.
Matthew 24:44 – Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

1 Samuel 20:3b – “But truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.

Psalm 63:5 – My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help,
- At the end of the day you are still satisfied in the Lord, not in your performance, but in His help, and you are praising the Lord for the victories He gave you. You are meditating on the Lord in your bed, not on self, not daydreaming, but thinking on the Lord. Ask yourself, when you get to the end of the day are you able to say “you have been my help’”? Can you say that to the Lord, or are you being self-reliant and not dependent upon God? Do you realize the great need for God to be your present help in a time of trouble, for Him to be the upholder of your life and your refuge.

These are very simple scriptural truths that I pray God does make a reality in all of our lives and that we live them out with consistency.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Am I? (Kevin DeYoung)

Message by Kevin DeYoung given at the Next Conference May 2011

Download or listen to the full message here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Woe Betide This Culture (James White)

Message on Isaiah 5-6 by Dr. James White.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Cry to You and You Do Not Answer Me

by Jon Bloom
I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me. You have turned cruel to me (Job 30:20-21).
These words came out of the mouth of the man God considered the most blameless and upright on earth at the time (Job 1:8).

Thank you, God, for these words! Thank you that the Bible is so guileless. It says it like it is, and sometimes just what it feels like. Most of its heroes are unvarnished and clay-footed. Sometimes they wonder if you’re cruel. That’s a mercy to all of us shortsighted, weak, doubting, clay-footed stumblers. There’s hope for us.

Can you identify with Job? You cry out to God in your affliction and you see nothing change. It seems like he’s just standing there watching you writhe. It feels cruel.

But this is not, in fact, true. What is true is that God is doing far more in our affliction than we know.

For Job, he did not know that he was putting Satan to shame by trusting in God despite his desolate confusion. He did not know that his experience would encourage millions for millennia. And like Job, we do not know what mind-blowing designs God has in store for what may feel unbearable and appear cruel today.

But we do know this: God was answering Job when it seemed he wasn’t. And God was remembering David when David cried, “Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). And when Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), God had turned his face away from our sin, only to raise his Son from the dead to undying, unsurpassed, and eternal glory.

Your suffering may be inscrutable today. But in reality it is preparing for you “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Take heart and hold on.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Peter 5:10).
Source: desiringGod

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Depth of the Gospel (Paul Washer)

Paul Washer delivered this message at the Master's College chapel on November 11, 2010.

Watch the full message at the links below.

The Depth of the Gospel (part 1)
The Depth of the Gospel (part 2)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life Is Hard

Joni Eareckson Tada:

"Dear friend, we are destined for trials. In other words, life is supposed to be difficult, God wired it that way. Looking back, I don't think that's something the visitor to our Family Retreat believed. But he's not alone -- it's amazing how many people believe that life should be easy. They groan, feeling as though their difficulties are a unique kind of affliction that should not be. They focus so much on the problems and so little on the Lord, that they feel that affliction has somehow been especially visited upon them. But here's the thing...

Life is a series of problems to be solved. And, yes, solving problems is a painful process, but it is this whole process that gives our life meaning. I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Those things that hurt, instruct." Isn't that the truth! And the psalmist said long before Benjamin Franklin in Psalm 119 that, "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees." So today, friend, if you're thinking that your life is just one battle after the next, take the advice of an apostle: be strengthened, be encouraged in your faith. Don't be unsettled by your trials, because you know quite well you are destined for them and for good reason. Trials are not for our pleasure; they are for our profit. Once you and I can embrace this truth, we transcend it. Once we know that life is to be truly difficult then life is difficult no longer. God has not redeemed you and me to make us happy, or healthy, or free of trouble. God has redeemed you and me to become more like Jesus Christ... and this is why He destined trials for you, my friend."

Read (or listen) to the entire article here.

HT: Truth Matters

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hallowed Be Your Name

John Piper speaking on being a God-centered pastor from Matthew 6:9-15. See details about the message at:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The True Gospel by David Ravenhill

David Ravenhill, son of famous British evanglist Leonard Ravenhill, uses the story of the woman that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 26:13 to exemplify the gospel.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

The 5 Marks of Repentance

Repentance is a thorough change of person’s natural heart, upon the subject of sin. We are all born in sin. We naturally love sin. We take to sin, as soon as we can act and think—just as the bird takes to flying, and the fish takes to swimming. There never was a child that required schooling or education in order to learn deceitfulness, selfishness, passion, self-will, gluttony, pride and foolishness. These things are not picked up from bad companions, or gradually learned by a long course of tedious instruction. They spring up of themselves, even when boys and girls are brought up alone. The seeds of them are evidently the natural product of the heart. The aptitude of all children to these evil things is an unanswerable proof of the corruption and fall of man. Now when this heart of ours is changed by the Holy Spirit, when this natural love of sin is cast out, then takes place that change which the Word of God calls “repentance.” The person in whom the change is created is said to “repent.” They may be called, in one word, a repentant person.

But I dare not leave the subject here. It deserves a closer and more searching investigation. It is not safe to deal in general statements, when doctrines of this kind are handled. I will try to take repentance to pieces, and dissect and analyze it before your eyes. I will show you the parts and portions of which repentance is made up. I will endeavor to set before you something of the experience of every truly repentant person.

~ J.C. Ryle

Continue reading about the 5 marks below at J.C. RYLE QUOTES.

True Repentance Begins with a Knowledge of Sin
True Repentance Produces Sorrow For Sin
True Repentance Produces Confession of Sin
True Repentance Produces a Breaking Off From Sin
True Repentance Produces a Deep Hatred of Sin

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Making of an Apostate

Don Currin explains in this video excerpt how a professing Christian becomes an apostate.

MP3 & PDF:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Christ Commands to Make Disciples, Not Returning Customers

"Jesus Christ failed miserably in evangelism." At least that is what you will get if you ask the pragmatic "seeker sensitive" movement. This clip by Charles Spurgeon and Mark Kielar shows exactly why the methods used by the modern "church" are contradictory to what Jesus set forth as the right way to evangelize the lost.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is the Gospel Today all Wrong?

Paul Washer preached to about 700 youth at a VCY America Rally on 2/09/08.