Anything but the Truth

The below video interview somewhat ties in with my previous post about what is lacking in today’s message. Notice the conspicous absense of any warning to count the cost of being a Christian, or that Christianity might actually require you to give something up. Well, I suppose that’s not quite fair, since he doesn’t talk about the Gospel at all during this interview.

Ironically though, one clip shows the pastor speaking next to a toilet. A fitting symbol, perhaps?

HT: WretchedRadio

What’s Missing From Today’s Message

While contemporary preachers speak on anything from Harry Potter to marital intimacy, very rarely will they address an important topic that is all too neglected today: what it may cost you to be a Christian. If there was ever a message that is lacking it is that Christianity is hard.

Almost never do people hear Jesus’ warning to count the cost – to think about what Jesus asks for and consider if following Him is worth what you must give up. No one is told that while grace is free, it will likely cost you everything. Instead, they’re urged, without much thought, to recite a simple incantation we call the “Sinner’s Prayer”. We pat ourselves on the back and boast of how many people raised their hands or walked to the altar – a hundred last week, eighty-five this Sunday. As long as they’re sincere, God will usher them into the Kingdom.

But what happens when the promised persecution, temptation, and tribulation come the professor’s way? Having heard nothing of these troubles, they’ll think to themselves they were mislead, shortchanged, or the victim of a spiritual bait-and-switch. The evangelist who had them sign a card neglected to mention these inevitable hardships. Christianity was supposed to make their lives better and easier, not the opposite. Jesus was going to bring them happiness, fulfillment, and maybe even a bigger house. When harsh reality kicks through the door, these professors are left wanting, and some even left without faith. Those turning away from the Gospel are now forever hardened to it, inoculated against all things Jesus Christ.

Only the solid preaching of the whole counsel of the Law to bring about the conviction of sin can remedy this. People also must hear about the high cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ: total and complete death to self. This means utter devotion to Christ – no more partying, pornography, or endless hours playing World of Warcraft.

When God truly saves an individual and causes them to be born-again, nothing sent their way can make them lose their faith, for who else carries the words of eternal life?

Paul Washer: Jesus is Not Some Yuppie Accessory

In the video below, Paul Washer poignantly points out that unless you have Jesus, your life is wholly without merit. It doesn’t matter how many cars you have, how big your house is, or how thin your blonde wife is. Without a heart regenerated by Jesus Christ, everything you have is worthless. What does it matter if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?

As such, Jesus is not some accessory you carry in your pocket. When He indwells you, He is everything.

Who is it that gave Himself for us?

Charles Spurgeon“Who gave himself for us.” — Titus 2:14.

“Who gave himself for us” The first question we ask the text is, Who is this that is spoken of? and the text gives the answer. It is “the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us.” We had offended God; the dignity of divine justice demanded that offenses against so good and just a law as that which God had promulgated should not be allowed to go unpunished. But the attribute of justice is not the only one in the heart of God. God is love, and is, therefore, full Of mercy. Yet, nevertheless, he never permits one quality of his Godhead to triumph over another. He could not be too merciful, and so become unjust; he would not permit mercy to put justice to an eclipse. The difficulty was solved thus: God himself stooped from his loftiness and veiled his glory in a garb of our inferior clay. The Word—that same Word without whom was not anything made that was made—became flesh, and dwelt amongst us; and his apostles, his friends, and his enemies, beheld him—the seed of the woman, but yet the Son of God, very God of very God, in all the majesty of deity, and yet man of the substance of his mother in all the weakness of our humanity, sin being the only thing which separated us from him, he being without sin, and we being full of it. It is, then, God, who “gave himself for us”; it is, then, man, who gave himself for us. It is Jesus Christ, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God; who made himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and, being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. It is Christ Jesus, the man, the God, “who gave himself for us.” Now I hope we shall not make any mistakes here, for mistakes here will be fatal. We may be thought uncharitable for saying it, but we should be dishonest if we did not say it, that it is essential to be right here.

“Ye cannot be right in the rest
Unless ye think rightly of him.”

You dishonour Christ if you do not believe in his deity. He will have nothing to do with you unless you accept him as being God as well as man. You must receive him as being, without any diminution, completely and wholly divine, and you must accept him as being your brother, as being a man just as you are. This, this is the person, and, relying upon him, we shall find salvation; but, rejecting his deity, he will say to us, “You know me not, and I never knew you!”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Another “Image of Christ” – This time on a light pole

Apparently it wasn’t enough for Jesus to be born 2000 years ago, die on a cross, return from the dead, and then give us His eternal and holy written Word. In Kingsville, Texas, Jesus’ face has now graced a light pole.

You can see the image of Christ on a light pole in an alley way. He believes it’s there for a reason.

Tomas Olvera just moved into this home near the Kleberg County Courthouse. Last weekend,he was meditating and praying inside, then he came outside. For some reason, he looked up at this light pole.

“When I was going in, I moved my neck,” said Olvera. “That’s when I saw the image of Jesus Christ. I felt real good.”

Ever since he saw the image of Christ, he told his neighbors and spread the word about it. Literally, hundreds of people have come on foot and in car to check it out, even one very sick woman with her daughter came here to pray for a speedy recovery.

You can read the rest here.

These sightings are all too common these days, and many Christians are far too accepting of what they see. The Bible makes it very clear that the next time anybody sees Jesus, it will be when He returns to reign on this earth. And you can be sure that He won’t be ruling from a light pole.

HT: WorldNetDaily

Alive in Christ

Charles SpurgeonOur text testifies that “He that hath the Son hath life.” Of course, by “life” here is meant not mere existence, or natural life; for we all have that whether we have the Son of God or no—in the image of the first Adam we are all created living souls, and continue in life until the Lord recalls the breath from our nostrils—but the life here intended is spiritual life, the life received at the new birth, by which we perceive and enter into the heavenly kingdom, come under new and spiritual laws, are moved by new motives, and exist in a new world. The life here meant is the life of God in the soul, which is given us when we are new created in the image of the second Adam, who was made a quickening spirit; a celestial form of life inwardly perceptible to the person who possesses it, and outwardly discernible to spiritual observers by its holy effects and heavenly fruits. This spiritual life is the sure mark of deliverance from the penal death which the sentence of the law pronounced. Man under the law is condemned, sentence of death is recorded against him; but man under grace is free from the law, and is not adjudged to death, but lives by virtue of a legal justification, which absolves him from guilt, and consequently liberates him from death. These two kinds of life, the life which is given by the judge to the offender when he is pardoned, and the life which is imparted from the divine Father, the heir of heaven is begotten again unto a lively hope—these two lives blend together and ensure for us the life eternal, such as they possess who stand upon the “sea of glass,” and tune their tongues to the music of celestial hosts. Eternal life is spiritual life made perfect. If we live by virtue of our pardon and justification, and if, moreover, we live because we are quickened by the Holy Spirit, we shall also live in the glory of the eternal Father, being made in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true God and eternal life. This is the life here intended—life spiritual, life eternal.

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Loving Christ More

This short piece from the Grace to You, Dr. John MacArthur’s Ministry, greatly spurred me on this morning. As of late, I have been laboring and earnestly praying that Christ would draw me closer to Him – that I would love Him more. I hope and pray that this would be as much of an encouragement to you as it was to me.

In his book, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ, the Puritan Thomas Vincent offers nine directions that will lead you to your desired destination.

Meditate on ChristDirection 1: “Be much in contemplation of Christ.”

Your first priority is to meditate on Christ. Make time each day to dwell on Him. Consider who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing for you. Vincent suggests,

Spend time in secret retirement, and there think and think again of the superlative excellencies and perfections which are in Christ’s person; how wonderful and matchless His love is, what heights that cannot be reached, what depths in it that cannot be fathomed, what other dimensions which cannot be comprehended.

Study about ChristDirection 2: “Be much in reading and studying the Scriptures.”

The Bible is God’s Word to you. It is where you’ll find everything you need to know about your great Lord and Savior. Paul said to “let the word of Christ richly dwell within us” (Col. 3:16). It is your spiritual food (Matthew 4:4). To not feed on its truths every day is like going without food for a day. You wouldn’t do that to your physical body, so be sure not to do that to your soul.

You can read the rest here.