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 on: Today at 04:47:19 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

Free Email Subscription

For Questions Or Comments:  berean@execpc.com

It's a Matter of the Heart
by Pastor John Fredericksen

In recent months, my wife’s father has had a series of issues with his heart that required different pacemakers to be implanted. After two previous by-pass operations, there have been justifiable reasons to be concerned about him. So, when we see or call him, we frequently ask, “How is your heart today?”

The condition of one’s heart is just as important in the spiritual realm as it is in the physical realm. It is for this reason the Scriptures say so much about the heart and why Solomon wrote, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). The spiritual condition of one’s heart will determine how one responds to the Lord and, ultimately, it will have a huge impact on each of us in eternity.

Since God is “not willing that any should perish” (II Pet. 3:9) and “lighteth [or draws to Himself] every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), everyone has the option to be saved from eternal punishment. The Lord seeks with every individual to do what He did with Lydia, “whose heart the Lord opened” (Acts 16:14): drawing him or her to a personal decision of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, because many resist and refuse this internal wooing of the Lord, they remain as some to whom Paul wrote in the Roman epistle: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and… righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2:5).

Thankfully, many choose to open their hearts to the salvation God offers. Countless numbers of people have “called on the Lord out of a pure heart” (II Tim. 2:22). Hosts of believers today seek to leave behind the regular practice of sin because they “have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom. 6:17). On a daily basis, most believers pursue a walk that will please the Lord because “in singleness of heart, fearing God…[they choose to] serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:22-24). Many believers are “doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6:6). Those who choose such a path do so because they are choosing to “keep their heart with all diligence.” They do so by regularly taking in the Word of God and applying proper truth to the way they live each day.

It is, of course, possible for a believer to choose a path of sinful living. Every believer can choose to allow his heart to grow cold to the things of the Lord. For those who do, the Apostle Paul warned that, while still saved, they could reach a spiritual condition of “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God… because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18.). Such a condition is the spiritual equivalent of a blockage to the heart. Knowing that as believers “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ… [and] every one of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:10,12), it behooves every believer to maintain a soft, responsive heart to the Lord.

Dear believer, how is your heart today, in a spiritual sense? If you have made past decisions of sinfulness that have hardened your heart, you can choose to open the door of your heart and begin to live for the Lord again. You can begin today. You can begin to read the Scriptures again, talk to the Lord in prayer, and seek a church where the truths of God’s Word are faithfully taught. If your heart has been faithfully following the Lord, “Praise His Name.” May we all seek to apply the wise counsel from Solomon to “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

 on: Today at 04:45:41 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

In our eagerness to make converts

(A.W. Tozer)

In our eagerness to make converts, I am afraid we have been guilty of using the techniques of modern salesmanship--which is of course to present only the desirable qualities in a product, and ignore the rest. We go to men and offer them a cozy home on the sunny side of the hill. If they will but accept Christ--then He will . . .
  give them peace of mind,
  solve their problems,
  prosper their business,
  protect their families and
  keep them happy all day long.

They believe us and come--and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them.

The teachings of Christ reveal Him to be a realist in the finest meaning of that word. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find Him making over-optimistic promises. He told His hearers the whole truth, and let them make up their minds. He never ran after the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth--to try to win him with rosy promises.

He would have men follow Him, knowing the cost--or He would let them go their ways.

All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the lost world--and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that fact from others.

 on: Today at 09:23:51 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
Moral or Sanctimonious

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Luke 6:41)
This rhetorical question by the Lord Jesus incisively points out a sin common among most Christians—the sin of sanctimoniousness, committed in the good name of morality. It is easy to criticize fellow Christians for their moral or ethical deficiencies while simultaneously justifying one’s self for the same or worse defects. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Romans 2:1).
True morality is generated internally from a heart of gratitude and love for the Lord and His Word, then manifested externally in a godly life of non-self-centered service. Sanctimoniousness is generated from a heart of pride and is manifested in a critical spirit. Morality judges one’s self; sanctimoniousness judges others.
This inconsistency afflicts all of us to some degree, so we need to be especially alert to its outcropping in our own lives. We must condemn sin, of course, but we must at least be as concerned to correct it in ourselves as we are in others. “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10).
And if, indeed, we do see a mote—or even a beam—in a brother’s eye, one that really needs to be removed for the Lord’s sake and that of His testimony, the best procedure is not one of sanctimonious rebuke but of gentle and empathetic edification. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). HMM

 on: February 24, 2018, 04:11:34 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Two Minutes With The Bible
From The Berean Bible Society

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Three Brutal Murders
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Every student of the Word should know the three brutal murders around which all history revolves. These three murders represent Israel’s response to God’s three-fold call to repentance. They explain the unpardonable sin and form the background for the present dispensation of grace.

It was John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who was sent as the forerunner of Christ to call Israel to repentance. He was beheaded by Herod, the wicked and licentious “king of the Jews”. After John, Christ Himself took up the cry: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. Him they crucified. Then, at Pentecost, Israel was given a third opportunity to repent, until they shed blood again, stoning Stephen to death.

It should be noticed, too, that their guilt, as well as their bitter enmity, increased with the second and third murders! Had Israel, responded to John’s call to repentance Herod would never have dared to even put John in jail. This explains why our Lord did nothing to release him from prison, even though this had offended John. It was not His, but theirs to do something about John’s unjust imprisonment and every moment he spent in prison testified against them. Read carefully Luke 3:18-20; 7:19-29; and Matthew 14:1-11. As to the beheading of John the Baptist, they permitted it. As to the crucifixion of Christ, they demanded it (Luke 23:23,24). As to the stoning of Stephen, they committed it, casting him out of the city with their own hands and stoning him there.

And so that generation in Israel committed the unpardonable sin which our Lord warned would not be forgiven, either in that age, or in the age to come. Thus we close this article by quoting those precious passages from Paul’s epistles which clearly DENY the possibility of any “unpardonable sin” during the present “dispensation of the grace of God”:

    “We have redemption through His blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

    “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20,21).

 on: February 24, 2018, 04:08:46 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.

He will never trifle with men's souls!

(A.W. Tozer)

It is very strange that people who modestly decline to risk an opinion on matters which do not closely concern them at all, such as philosophy or science for instance--are often ready and eager to pronounce with finality on matters of religion, which above all else is vital to their welfare for this world and that which is to come.

This follows the popular notion that everyone is capable of discovering the true way to Heaven for himself--and that one man's belief is as good as another's.

A second tenet in this creed, is that no one has the right to question the belief of anyone else, or to try to influence him in any way in religious matters.

This leads naturally to the third tenet, which is that we should practice complete acceptance toward every expression of religious belief, however base or ill-founded it may be, and accept it as a legitimate way of worshiping God, even if it isn't ours.

All this has about it a certain savor of charity and slips well off the lips of politicians, who are forced to try to please everyone--and liberal ministers who find it profitable to do so. But the true Christian can never bring himself to sell out his soul in that manner. The man who has heard the voice of Jesus saying, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me"--can never get the consent of his heart to thus trifle with religion. He has been smitten with the love of God, and the wonder of the cross--and he can never again be flexible in things which concern his soul and the souls of his fellow men.

He will live beside, be patient with, minister to, pray for and love any religionist of whatever color or creed--from a Catholic Cardinal, to a medicine man from the bush--but never will he compromise the truth to stay on good terms with anyone.

He will never trifle with men's souls!

 on: February 24, 2018, 08:35:18 AM 
Started by Soldier4Christ - Last post by Soldier4Christ
By His Doing

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
In this one verse we find described four aspects of Christ’s work on our behalf. As we look at each one, let us first note that it is “of him,” literally “by his doing,” that we are in Christ Jesus, who “is made” or “who became” these things to us and for us.
Wisdom of God: This is the preferred rendering. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (a Greek city). The Greeks were infatuated with wisdom, but Paul declared Christ Jesus to be the “wisdom of God.” Such wisdom is likewise imparted to believers (v. 24), while “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (v. 25).
Righteousness: Christ, being “made” righteousness, becomes an all-sufficient righteousness to us. This imputed rightness before God gives us a new standing before Him, permitting us access to Him, peace with Him, and ultimate glory with Him.
Sanctification: In Christ, we not only have this righteous standing, we are assured of a holy state as well. Through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we know that our lives will be constantly molded into Christ-likeness.
Redemption: Christ is made redemption for us, and in its fullest definition, this is His final goal. Through His redemptive work, we have been completely delivered from the power of sin and will one day be delivered from the presence of sin.
The introductory phrase “of him” or “by his doing” is emphatic in the Greek text. When we see what He has done, we realize just how helpless we were and how strongly He has acted on our behalf. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (v. 31). JDM

 on: February 23, 2018, 12:07:49 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Patriot Post Digest 2-23-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Yet too often among these “war zones within the borders of America,” young men grow up without a dad26. Whether that’s because the father has left the mother voluntarily (or was never really “with” her in the first place), has since been imprisoned, or was a victim of violence himself doesn’t necessarily matter — the issue is the lack of positive male influence in the these children’s lives.

As marriage and family expert Suzanne Venker points out about divorce27, “More often than not, children lose contact with their fathers — for two reasons. One, mothers remain the default custodial parent in the average American divorce and thus retain most of the control. Second, it is usually women who consider themselves the aggrieved party, as evidenced by the fact that wives initiate 70 percent of divorces.” She continues, “The unfortunate result is that some divorced mothers use any opportunity to undermine their children’s relationship with their father or, if not that, dismiss the significance of a father’s role.”

Government fosters this behavior with its longtime financial encouragement of single motherhood through generous welfare programs — some “Great Society28” that’s turned out to be. Popular culture has done likewise with the “girl power” theory that men aren’t even necessary to raise children. If your male role model is the drug dealer on the corner or the violent protagonist of a hardcore video game, it’s likely that your disagreements are being settled with bullets, not banter. These kids will get the guns, by hook or by crook.

Democrat-run urban poverty plantations29 are the petri dishes of this lab experiment to create a society where life is disposable. But those who prosper from this politically would rather blame the NRA and tell us how its money and influence won’t allow for “common sense” gun legislation that invariably includes restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms. It doesn’t matter that the NRA badly trails a number of left-wing groups30 in terms of annual spending on political activism — the Left needs a convenient scapegoat.

As Mark Alexander wrote Thursday, Democrat “common sense” is a non sequitur31.

The kids at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been omnipresent in the media since the day of the shooting, and their plight is inspiring them to march and protest for gun control — which leftists are more than happy to exploit32. That, however, is not the issue. As we find out more about the perpetrator and his story, we find out there were many missed opportunities3 for intervention from school officials and law enforcement1 that could have prevented this. But there are thousands of shooters and victims in America’s inner cities, most of whom you’ll never hear about from the 24/7 crisis media. Media reporting or no, we can’t address the problem unless we reverse the policies that created it.


As Trump Economy Surges, the New Challenge Is Inflation35 — Prices rise due to lower monetary value or companies shrink what they’re giving you for the same price.
Climate Accord Nations Failing, Complaining and Buying Coal36 — The Paris deal was never going to work to slow temperature increases, all while coming at a great cost.
CNN’s Scripted Anti-Second Amendment Rally37 — A student claims the network scripted his questions in order to promote its gun control agenda.
Germany Had to Ground Its ‘Green’ Luftwaffe38 — Too much biodiesel in the fuel mix leaves our NATO ally grounded and way behind schedule.
Video: Be Afwaid, Be Vewy Afwaid!39 — How hard is it to shoot an AR-15? Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and Steve Green share some laughs.


Gary Bauer: The Assault on Faith40
David Harsanyi: CNN’s Shameful Town Hall Is a Clarifying Moment on Guns41
Michael Reagan: More Love, Not Gun Control42
Marc A. Thiessen: The GOP Tax Reform Used to Be Extremely Unpopular. Not Anymore.43
Rich Lowry: John Kelly Shouldn’t Go Anywhere44
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion45.


Gary Bauer: “Christians understand that we have free will and that we live in a fallen world. Some people might use their free will to kill fellow students. Some people will use their free will to save their fellow students during a school shooting. Prayer cannot repeal free will. God allows man to follow his own desires. But I believe prayer works in ways that we do not fully comprehend on this earth. It also comforts and heals. It is sad but telling that so many on the Left feel it is necessary to attack the faith of millions of Americans after such tragedies. Celebrity physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson mocked Christians with this tweet: ‘Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.’ For those who worship at the altar of science, here is a fairly easy study to do: Look at the shooters who have attacked American schools in recent decades. Identify how many of them were Bible-believing Christians who prayed and how many were into dark, anti-religious secular, humanist philosophies. I believe any fair study will find that what we ought to be asking is how we can get more of our children to believe in a loving God and spend more time praying. I guarantee that the more our children embrace faith the fewer school shootings there will be.”


Upright: “I want to say from my heart: Any leader who says that $1,000 in the pockets of working families is ‘crumbs’ is out of touch with the American people.” —Mike Pence

Political futures: “Republicans enacted a tax cut in December and any day now, most of the country will find out about it. … To paraphrase an old advertising slogan, an educated voter could be the Democrats’ worst customer this fall.” —James Freeman

Good question: “Asking a teacher to be ready to confront a school shooter with a firearm is an enormous, almost unthinkable request. But is it any better to ask a teacher to be ready to confront a school shooter with a fire extinguisher or chair?” —Jim Geraghty

For the record: “I had to have a security detail to get out [of the CNN town hall]. I wouldn’t be able to exit that if I didn’t have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming, ‘Burn her!’” —NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch

Non Compos Mentis: “The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement.” —Clayman Institute for Gender Research’s Marcie Bianco

Come again? “Let’s talk about where a more serious structure might be necessary, where fencing will do or mowing the grass so that people can’t be smuggled through the grass.” —Nancy Pelosi on immigration and border security

They got tired of waiting for him: “Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.” —Barack Obama

And last… “If the government at any level had even attempted to do its job, the shooting never would have happened. This was perhaps the most preventable mass shooting in American history. But the people tasked with preventing it were incompetents and cowards.” —Matt Walsh

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

 on: February 23, 2018, 12:06:47 PM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
The Patriot Post Digest 2-23-2018
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
Feb. 23, 2018 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/54360-mid-day-digest


Government failed at every level, so why are citizens’ rights being targeted?
The youth massacre outside Florida should be getting more attention.
USCIS changes its mission statement on handling the immigration system.
As the Trump economy surges, the new challenge is inflation.
Climate accord nations are failing, complaining and … buying coal.
Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)


Government Failed, So … Limit Americans’ Rights?1

By Thomas Gallatin

On Thursday, the American public learned of yet another failure by government officials related to the Parkland, Florida, school atrocity2. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said that the armed school resource deputy assigned to work security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School failed to enter the building and engage the attacker. Based on video footage from the school’s security cameras, Israel stated, “What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position and never went in.” When asked what the deputy should have done, Israel responded, “Went in and addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”

This latest revelation only adds to the growing list of failures3 by school administrators, federal and state government officials and law enforcement. Not only was the killer a known problem to local law enforcement, but the sheriff admitted his agency had received no less than 23 calls on him since 2008, and the FBI had been warned twice about this teenager and his talk of wanting to be a school shooter. Now we’ve learned that a law enforcement officer already on the scene failed to aggressively respond to the attack. The gross incompetence displayed by public officials is staggering.

Nothing is worse than the loss of life permitted to happen by this inaction. But his failure will also be exploited by anti-Second Amendment activists, who will now claim that having armed security at schools still fails to stop the attacks. Indeed, in its reporting4 on the story, The Washington Post made that very point:

Israel’s description of Peterson as an armed, trained officer who was present for a mass killing but did not confront the shooter also comes as President Trump, in response to the Parkland massacre, has suggested arming teachers as a way to deter possible threats, while the National Rifle Association has also pushed for more armed guards in schools.

Trump has frequently suggested in response to mass shootings that more law-abiding people with firearms could help stop a shooter and the head of the NRA has repeatedly suggested the same. However, Israel’s announcement Thursday suggested that even if a person is armed, trained and available to help, that may not stop a mass killing that unfolds in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, the Leftmedia and the gun control crowd (but we repeat ourselves) continue banging the drums in calling for more limits on Americans’ Second Amendment rights in the name of protecting children. The irony here is that the Left is calling for more power and trust to be given to those very government leaders who so abysmally failed in their duties. This is a classic example of the leftist mindset, which always entrusts the government with power over and against the rights of the individual. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that limiting law-abiding citizens’ access to firearms will do nothing to stop criminal behavior, especially when those entrusted to enforce the laws and protect citizens fail so abysmally.

Americans First at USCIS5

By Nate Jackson

“America First” has been President Donald Trump’s message from the beginning, and it’s what resonated with so many voters tired of Democrats putting Americans last. Trump’s message isn’t just a slogan — it’s now part of the mission statement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

Out with the old: “USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”

And in with the new: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

In a memo explaining the change, USCIS Director Lee Cissna wrote, “We are … responsible for ensuring that those who naturalize are dedicated to this country, share our values, assimilate into our communities, and understand their responsibility to help preserve our freedom and liberty.” That’s what U.S. immigration policy should be all about. Americans, by and large, have always welcomed immigrants who love this country and want to make it and themselves better. The problematic ones come in illegally, commit other crimes and create an economic drain6 by demanding services they don’t pay for. How hard is it to tell the difference when discussing policy? Impossible if you’re a demagoguing Democrat.

In related news, as we reported in January7, California is now a “sanctuary” state because Democrats there put illegal aliens first. Trump fired a shot across the bow yesterday, saying the situation is “a disgrace” and that he’d even consider pulling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of the state. “If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” the president said. “And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.” To be sure, this is far more likely Trumpian hyperbole meant to make a point than it is his actual policy recommendation. But it sure does make that point, does it not?

It’s pretty simple, really. Trump puts America first and Democrats don’t.

Top Headlines8

Trump: I never said I wanted to arm all teachers (The Daily Wire9)

Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates (The Hill10)

Growing body of research rejects transgender movement (The Washington Times11)

Mattis expected to back allowing transgender troops to stay in the military (The Washington Post12)

Marine Corps again eases infantry officer standards, this time for hiking (The Washington Free Beacon13)

Trump launching “largest-ever” package of sanctions against North Korea (Reuters14)

Seattle residents complained about a “Confederate flag,” but it was actually the flag of Norway (The Daily Wire15)

West Virginia’s teachers walk off the job, protesting low pay and benefit cuts (NPR16)

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens indicted for felony invasion of privacy (St. Louis Post-Dispatch17)

Humor: Study: 90% of Americans strongly opposed to each other (The Onion18,)

Policy: Public unions are violating workers’ constitutional rights (Real Clear Policy19)

Policy: Universal basic income harms recipients and increases dependence (The Heritage Foundation20)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report21.

The Youth Massacre Outside Florida22

By Michael Swartz

The tragic loss of 16 students and one coach from one high school in a single incident2 is bound to dominate the news for days. But who knew that the five cities with the highest number of murders in 201723 combined to match that terrible total in just three days?

Chicago led the way with 650 murders last year, and while Baltimore was second with 343, its per capita total of 55.8 per 100,000 residents was the highest in the nation among its 50 most populous cities. As Baltimore partisans were quick to point out24, though, St. Louis, whose steady population decline has put it outside that top 50, had an even higher murder rate of 65 per 100,000. It matters little — the vast majority of the cities on the list have been run by Democrats for decades. So where’s the outrage?

Bear in mind that many of these cities have stringent gun laws. But while the Left’s answer is to blame guns, there’s truly much more to the story. One key element is the issue of gangs: “Some young men take precautions appropriate to Beirut, circling their home block three or four times in search of any person or car that is out of place, before they will park,” writes25 Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. “Others must be smuggled out of the city to avoid revenge killings.” A lucrative drug trade and a lack of respect for human life are clearly fertilizing these killing fields.

 on: February 23, 2018, 11:18:12 AM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
Fears Dispelled!
From Timeless Grace Gems
William Nicholson, 1862

"Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!" Isaiah 41:14

Vast is the difference between God and man.

God is so glorious that nothing human can fully represent his incomparable Being. "To whom shall we liken him," the High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity, whose "name is Holy."

On the other hand, man is so fallen, wicked, polluted, and helpless, that the lowest and basest of things are adopted by the sacred writers to represent man's degradation. He is compared to earth, dust, the grass of the field, to a lie, to vanity, and here to a worm!

But, astonishing condescension! to this debased, wretched, and ruined being — Jehovah stoops from his high abode, to bless him with the joys of his salvation.

I. The Character of God's People.

1. The language refers to the Jews as the descendants of Jacob, afterwards called Israel, and his posterity, Israelites.

God's people are now called "Israelites in whom there is nothing false." "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God." Romans 2:28-29. "It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring!" Romans 9:6-8

Like the children of Israel, they have been in bondage — a spiritual bondage worse than that of Egypt. They have been delivered by One like unto Moses, even Christ, who atoned for them, pardoned and justified them, and who has graciously purposed to lead them through the wilderness of the world, to a better inheritance than Canaan.

Like Jacob of old, Christians are frequently subjected to trials. Like him they pray and wrestle. Like him they prevail; for praying breath shall not be spent in vain. Genesis 32; Psalm 34:15.

2. The Epithet employed to designate their character. "Worm." "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob!"

This word is used to describe a base, weak, vile, and despised thing, "how much less man, who is but a maggot — a son of man, who is only a worm!" Job 25:6.

In the text it is applied to the Jews in Babylon, as poor, oppressed, afflicted, and despised by their enemies. It indicates their weakness, helplessness, and inability to deliver themselves. Hence Matthew Henry observes; "It is the worm Jacob; so little, so weak, and so defenseless, despised and trampled on by everybody, forced to creep even into the earth for safety. We must not wonder that Jacob is become a worm, when even Jacob's King calls himself a worm and no man." Psalm 22:6.

(1.) This epithet implies baseness. A worm is a creature of little worth; its residence is the ground; it has no beauty in it. What is more contemptible than a worm?

Just so, man's origin as to his body, is the dust. In his fallen state, he is empty, having no good in him — and lighter than vanity. Sin has . . .
degraded him,
enervated his powers, and
alienated his heart from God.

This baseness is frequently felt by Christians. When they think of the grandeur and glory of God as seen in his works, and recorded in his word. Psalm 8:3, 4. The heavens with all their starry hosts are the work of his "fingers." What then must be the works of his outstretched arm? These are not the displays, but rather "the hidings of his power." See Hab. 3:4-12.

When they think of their sins and imperfections. 1 Corinthians 15:9.

When they think of their duties, trials — their ignorance — and their tendency to return to the dust from whence they came.

(2.) This epithet implies pollution. A worm is regarded as unclean. Its element is putrescence.

Just so, man is now degraded from his original dignity even below the brute creation! Yes, he has debased himself even unto Hell! "Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness — only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil!" Isaiah 1:4-6

Every Christian feels his tendency to pollution — feels himself to be a worm.

(3.) This epithet implies danger. A worm is a creature frequently exposed to danger. Every foot is ready to crush it.

Just so, the body of man is liable to casualties — to death, sudden or protracted, from insignificant causes. And the precious soul of man is surrounded by danger. Sin, the world, sinful pleasures, and Satan, are ready to crush it!

(4.) This epithet implies weakness. A worm is not able to make resistance, defend itself, or attack its opponent.

Just so, what resistance can a sinner make against God! Ah! he is only a worm. "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground!" Isaiah 45:9

What can a believer do against his enemies — the world, the flesh, and the devil — without Divine aid? Without it, he feels himself a worm. 2 Corinthians 12:7, 10.

II. God's People are Subject to Fear. "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob."

The Israelites in Babylon were sadly depressed in mind, fearing that their captivity was absolute — that God would be gracious no more.

Just so, the people of God are subject to fear.

1. Their character, as represented by the baseness, pollution, danger, and weakness of the worm — causes them to fear.

2. They fear their enemies. They have been despised — and regarded as contemptible as worms. Their name cast out as evil. Satan is their grand adversary. Inward corruption their greatest plague.

3. They fear Divine chastisements. These are needful, but "grievous." Hebrews 12:11.

4. They sometimes fear they will be finally lost.

5. They fear death. They regard him as the worst enemy, and as the king of terrors. "To free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:15

III. The Exhortation and Promise. "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!" Isaiah 41:14

I will assist you in your conscious feebleness, and will deliver you.

"Do not be afraid!" Rise above your fears — cast them away. Look away from earthly resources — to the mighty God of Jacob. Do not be afraid your foes. "He who is for you, is more than all that are against you."

The gracious regard of God will be seen from the following considerations —

1. I will help you, for I have chosen you. Worm as you are — polluted as you are — I have set my love on you. I will therefore help my chosen ones! Ezekiel 16:6, etc.

2. I will help you, for I have redeemed you. You are a guilty polluted worm, ready to perish; but I commissioned my son to die for you — he has shed his blood for your sins. "If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one." I will, for his sake, forgive you, and save you, however vile.

3. I will help you, for I have adopted you. I am your Almighty Father. I know your frame. I remember you are but dust. I pity you, I love you. I will never leave you, nor ever forsake you. Surely I will help my children!

4. I will be with you at all times; so that you shall say, "I am not alone, but the Father is with me." I am present with you to preserve you; "no evil shall befall you." Psalm 91:4-10. I am present with you in afflictions and sorrows.

5. I will help you with the ministration of my angels. Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14.

6. I will guide and direct you in all your perplexities.

7. I will glorify you. You are a worm here — a poor crawling sinful creature — yet I will glorify your soul — and change your vile body when the dead shall be raised. "But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body!" Philippians 3:20-21

Even as the chrysalis becomes a superior and more beautiful being after its temporary sleep; so shall you after your sleep in the grave, rise to bear the image of the heavenly.

8. Finally. The character of God is the guarantee for the accomplishment of his promise: "Says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!"

 on: February 23, 2018, 11:15:44 AM 
Started by nChrist - Last post by nChrist
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Baptism And The Remission Of Sins
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

    “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).

The twelve apostles preached and practiced exactly this. When Peter’s hearers at Pentecost were convicted of their sins and asked: “Men and brethren, what shall we do” Peter did not tell them that Christ had died for their sins and that they could receive salvation as the gift of God’s grace, apart from religion or works. Rather he said:

    “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38.).

Years ago, in a series of debates on dispensationalism, the author asked his opponent: “Suppose, after a Sunday evening service, some of your hearers were convicted of their sins and asked you and your co-workers: ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Would you tell them what Peter told his convicted sinners at Pentecost?”

“Why, of course!” he exclaimed.

“In those words?” I persisted.

He thought for a moment and then replied: “Well, I guess not exactly in those words.”

The fact is that this pastor would not at all have said to his hearers what Peter said to his. Even though a Baptist, he would not have said: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins,” for he believed that subjection to water baptism should be left to each person’s conscience, and he did not believe that it had anything to do with salvation. He would doubtless have said to any inquirers what Paul said when the convicted Gentile jailor asked: “What must I do to be saved?” Like Paul, he would have replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.. .” (Acts 16:31). Peter at Pentecost preached what he was commanded to preach under his commission: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), but when God raised up Paul, that other apostle, He sent him to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” and the finished work of Christ.

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