Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

They Repented Not

by Todd Nibert
Todd's Road Grace Church
10/23/2011 Matthew 11:20

Listen to the full message here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Steven Lawson on Being a TRUE Disciple

This is an excerpt of a message given by Dr. Lawson at one of the Resolved Conferences titled: IT WILL COST YOU EVERYTHING from Luke 14. For the full message go to:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

A God Of Their Own Invention

Man fashions for himself a god after his own liking; he makes to himself if not out of wood or stone, yet out of what he calls his own consciousness, or his cultured thought, a deity to his taste, who will not be too severe with his iniquities or deal out strict justice to the impenitent. He rejects God as he is, and elaborates other gods such as he thinks the Divine One ought to be, and he says concerning these works of his own imagination, “These be thy gods, O Israel.” The Holy Spirit, however, when he illuminates their minds, leads us to see that Jehovah is God, and beside him there is none else. He teaches his people to know that the God of heaven and earth is the God of the Bible, a God whose attributes are completely balanced, mercy attended by justice, love accompanied by holiness, grace arrayed in truth, and power linked with tenderness. He is not a God who winks at sin, much less is pleased with it, as the gods of the heathen are supposed to be, but a God who cannot look upon iniquity, and will by no means spare the guilty.

This is the great quarrel of the present day between the philosopher and the Christian. The philosopher says, “Yes, a god if you will, but he must be of such a character as I now dogmatically set before you”; but the Christian replies, “Our business is not to invent a god, but to obey the one Lord who is revealed in the Scriptures of truth.” The God of Holy Scripture is love, but he is also possessed of justice and severity; he is merciful and gracious, but he is also stern and terrible towards evil; therefore unregenerate hearts say, “We cannot accept such a God as this,” and they call him cruel, and I know not what besides.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Heart-Knowledge of God," delivered December 6, 1874.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Real Christmas Story

by John MacArthur

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christian or Impostor?

Listen to or download the full message here.

It Came To Pass

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4).

How old is the story of Christmas? While it’s true that the events of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—took place 2,000 years ago, the story of Christmas was being written for hundreds and even thousands of years before that blessed day.

The Story Begins

The beginning of the story of Christmas was told in the Garden of Eden, the paradise where Adam and Eve lived in harmony with God until they disobeyed His command. Because of Satan’s deceptive actions and temptation which led Adam and Eve to sin, God pronounced a judgment against him. The judgment, in Genesis 3:15, revealed that the seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) would bruise the head of the serpent (Satan). The sins of our first parents, as well as the sins of every person who has lived since then, created a need and a longing for a Redeemer who could conquer sin and restore mankind’s relationship with God.

More Details Emerge

More details of the story of Christmas—God’s story of redemption—emerge throughout the centuries. The prophet Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ was born, but wrote that “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14; compare Matthew 1:20-23). Micah, another Jewish prophet, pinpointed the place where the Saviour would be born: “Bethlehem … out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2, compare Luke 2:1-7).

The Picture Becomes Clearer

Other prophetic Scriptures reveal more about who the promised Redeemer would be. Isaiah wrote: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The Saviour was to be none other than the everlasting Son of God (John 1:1,14; 3:16).

The Saviour Must Suffer

When Adam and Eve sinned, God killed an animal and made coats of skin to cover them (Genesis 3:21). When the children of Israel sinned, God required that they bring an animal sacrifice, shedding its blood at the altar (Leviticus 4). When God envisioned the ultimate sacrifice—the full and final payment for sin—it also involved the shedding of blood. Isaiah spoke of the suffering Saviour with perfect clarity: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…. He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many” (Isaiah 53:5,12). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered and died as the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18,19).

The Story is Not Over

All of the prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross came to pass 2,000 years ago. However, God’s story of redemption is still being written today. God is still saving all who come to Him in repentance and faith, trusting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for their sins. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Have you become part of the Christmas story? Have you seen Jesus Christ as more than a baby in a manger? Have you seen Him as the Son of God who left Heaven and became a man so He could die in your place, bearing your sin? Have you turned to Him and placed your full trust in Him as Lord and Saviour? If not, I urge you to do so today! Then you can say, as did Simeon when he saw the baby Jesus, “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people” (Luke 2:30,31).

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Disciples' Prayer

That great Welsh preacher, Christmas Evans, once said that if a long thread were to float down out of heaven and fasten itself to any one of us, if we knew that God were at the other end, none would lightly brush it aside. Now prayer is not a thread linking us in a tangible way with God, but it is a line of communication with heaven, and God is at the other end of that line. Is it not strange, therefore, that we so often neglect it?

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons for such neglect is an inability to approach God in an effective way. It is, therefore, an astonishing thing to find "Directions for Using the Communication Line" so often utterly disregarded. If we remember how ineffectual our prayers often are, and how discouraged we become because of this, may we not very properly turn to Matthew 6, study it once more for practical suggestions, and consider the wisdom displayed?

There are two main divisions to the prayer. The first half is a prayer for God's things, the second half for our things. This is, of course, as it should be. However, "our things" often have the first place, and His things scarcely get much place at all. Mr. Wilbur Chapman tells of a man who was very downcast and miserable and came to him for advice. Mr. Chapman asked him if he prayed often. He said that he did, that he was constantly beseeching God to help him, but that instead of getting happier, he only grew more miserable. Mr. Chapman then told him to drop all prayer for himself for a period of two weeks and to come back and let him know the result. The prescription was carefully followed and shortly afterwards the man returned full of joy. God's things should come before ours, and when we remember that God goes even halves with us, it is very wonderful, and astonishingly gracious.

One of the great things that this prayer teaches is that all prayer is to God and to God alone. Mr. Torrey says that this simple fact taught him more about prayer than he had ever learned elsewhere. "All prayer is to GOD." GOD is at the other end of the line. Surely if we pray, forgetting this, or even if we give it a secondary place in our thoughts, our prayers are almost irreverent. "This people draweth nigh unto Me with their lips," but alas, too often lips and mouth are all there is to it. Such saying of prayers is mere formalism.

Notice, moreover, that the prayer is to God as our Father. Christians have grown so accustomed to the thought that God is a Father that the wonder of this revelation is almost lost upon us. If you and I had lived in the Lord's day and had worshipped the many gods that cluttered the temples of the world, to have learned that there was but one omnipotent, omniscient Creator would have been a tremendous revelation, and to feel that He was friendly might well have created an ecstasy of joy within us. Yet how far beyond all this does the revelation of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ go! If God is shown to us as a heavenly Father, and fulfills that relationship, how glad we should be, and rejoice that God is a Father who is kind unto the "unthankful and evil." And how much happier still for us who know Him as "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Yea, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God." Let us never allow that precious name of Father to become a mere form. Let every ounce of force that the expression will carry go into it, lest we seem to trifle with so sacred a relationship.

It may seem strange that the words "in heaven" should be appended to the title, but there is such a thing as becoming too "familiar" with God. There is such a thing as losing proper reverence for Him, because of His infinite graciousness in bringing us into such a close relationship with Himself. Sometimes we talk to our "Father" in ways that we might hesitate to adopt with an earthly father. We do well then to be reminded that it is our Father who is in heaven whom we address. Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity … I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit" (Isaiah 57:15). The contrite and the humble will never be guilty of such an offense as undue familiarity, but we are often filled with pride or a kind of indifference when we pray. May we duly humble ourselves before Him.

The next clause of the prayer very suitably follows, as if it would reinforce this all-important lesson: "Hallowed be Thy Name." The Name represents the Person, and how joyously should we hasten to hallow it, especially when we think of the many abominable irreverences and profanities to which it is subjected.

"Thy Kingdom come." The fervor of such utterance is most necessarily increased when the sorrow of all other kingdoms is fully and completely realized. To desire this kingdom intensely, as it should be desired, requires a "hungering and thirsting after righteousness," for in the Father's kingdom alone is that righteousness attainable. If we sigh and cry over the abominations around us, how must He, who once wept over the wicked rebellion of Jerusalem, look forward to the time when the sons of God shall be fully manifested: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:43).

"Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." If called upon to study us at prayer, one might find much in us of the spirit of "My Father, may my will be done on earth, as it ought to be in heaven." Of course we would not say this with our words, but it would be the hidden will of the heart cropping up in little things that would give us completely away. We are intellectually aware that God knows more than we do, that He is wiser than we are, and that He looks to the end, but we have our own plans and thoughts. We have very frequently taken good care to see that we had our own way, and to follow our own wills. The more often that is done, the harder the wrench it takes to drag us back to His way and the truly pleasant path. If we had been accustomed always to yield to His will when our wills came into conflict, then this violent wrenching of our wills would never have occurred. It would never have been an agonizing thing to say, "Thy will be done."

How can we know what His will is? We don't always have to know, but just as this beautiful little prayer-model puts God's things first, so we only need to "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (v. 33). Let God be first, and then in its wider application we shall find it true: "He that will do His will shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17).

—F.C. Grant, condensed from Help and Food, 1928.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blessed Assurance

If you were to die tonight, are you confident you would you wake up in heaven? You can know!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Have the Wise Men Wrought?

By Jerry Newcombe
Two thousand years ago, wise men (Magi---from which we get the word “magic”) from the East brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

Christians have been giving gifts at Christmastime since then, and millions of others have joined in the merriment.

But last Friday was an embarrassment.

So-called “Black Friday,” the big shopping day right after Thanksgiving, was marked by mobs, occasional violence, and rudeness that have nothing to do with the origins of the tradition.

The retailers are apparently happy, overall, because the sales were big and booming. They were record this year. That’s great for the economy. But it’s so sad to see us becoming such a rude nation.

Two hundred years ago, in pre-Victorian England, some activists (such as William Wilberforce) pushed for what they called “the reformation of manners.” The modern translation of that would be “the reformation of morals.” There is a link between manners and morals.

We’ve certainly lost both nowadays, it seems.

We are truly descending into a new incivility that is shocking sometimes.

Continue reading here.