Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do we witness for the glory of aborting & post-abortive women or for God?

Christianity says, "The end of all being is the glory of God." Humanism says, "The end of all being is the happiness of man." And one was born in Hell, the deification of man; and the other was born in heaven, the glorification of God!
~ Paris Reidhead

I am posting this powerful sermon by Paris Reidhead with special love & tenderness for my many pro-life friends. It is my desire that, although I love these dear brothers & sisters in Christ, I love Jesus & His glorious gospel MORE. It is with humble earnestness that I ask my friends to read the following excerpts. When you hear missionary Paris Reidhead speak of the Africans he went to 'save', please mentally insert aborting & post-abortive women in their place. I pray that you will read this excerpt & take time to listen to the entire sermon at:

Ten Shekels and a Shirt
by Paris Reidhead

Now I ask you; What is the Philosophy of Missions? What is the Philosophy of Evangelism? What is the Philosophy of a Christian? If you’ll ask me why I went to Africa, I’ll tell you I went primarily to improve on the justice of God. I didn’t think it was right for anybody to go to Hell without a chance to be saved. So I went to give poor sinners a chance to go to heaven. Now I haven’t put it in so many words, but if you’ll analyze what I just told you , do you know what it is? Humanism. That I was simply using the provisions of Jesus Christ as a means to improve upon human conditions of suffering and misery. And when I went to Africa, I discovered that they weren’t poor, ignorant, little heathen running around in the woods looking for someone to tell them how to go to heaven. That they were Monsters of Iniquity! They were living in utter and total defiance of far more knowledge of God than I ever dreamed they had! They deserved Hell! Because they utterly refused to walk in the light of their conscious, and the light of the law written upon their heart, and the testimony of nature, and the truth they knew! And when I found that out I assure you I was so angry with God that on one occasion in prayer I told Him it was a mighty little thing He’d done – sending me out there to reach these people that were waiting to be told how to go to heaven. When I got there I found out they knew about heaven, and didn’t want to go there, and that they loved their sin and wanted to stay in it.

I went out there motivated by humanism. I’d seen pictures of lepers, I’d seen pictures of ulcers, I’d seen pictures of native funerals, and I didn’t want my fellow human beings to suffer in Hell eternally after such a miserable existence on earth. But it was there in Africa that God began to tear through the overlay of this humanism! And it was that day in my bedroom with the door locked that I wrestled with God. For here was I, coming to grips with the fact that the people I thought were ignorant and wanted to know how to go to heaven and were saying, "Someone come and teach us!", actually didn’t want to take time to talk with me or anybody else. They had no interest in the Bible and no interest in Christ, and they love their sin and wanted to continue in it. And I was to that place, at that time, where I felt the whole thing was a sham and a mockery, and I had been sold a bill of goods! And I wanted to come home. There alone in my bedroom as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt, it seemed to me I heard Him say, "Yes, will not the Judge of all the earth do right? The heathen are lost, and they’re going to go to Hell, not because they haven’t heard the gospel. They’re going to go to Hell because they are sinners, who love their sin! And because they deserve Hell. But……I didn’t send you out there for them. I didn’t send you out there for their sakes." And I heard clearly as I’ve ever heard, though it wasn’t with physical voice but it was the echo of truth of the ages, finding it’s way into an open heart. I heard God say to my heart that day something like this, "I didn’t send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen, I sent you to Africa for My Sake….They deserved Hell! But I love them! And I endured the agonies of Hell for them!!!! I didn’t send you out there for them! I SENT YOU OUT THERE FOR ME… Do I not deserve the reward of my suffering? Don’t I deserve those for who I died?" And it reversed it all!! And changed it all!! And righted it all!! And I wasn’t any longer working for Micah and ten shekels and a shirt! But I was serving a living God! I was not there for the sake of the heathen. I was there for the Savior that endured the agonies of Hell for me, who didn’t deserve it. But He deserved them, (the heathen). Because He died for them.

Do you see? Let me epitomize, let me summarize. Christianity says, "The end of all being is the glory of God." Humanism says, "The end of all being is the happiness of man." And one was born in Hell, the deification of man; and the other was born in heaven, the glorification of God! And one is a Levite serving Micah, and the other is a heart that’s unworthy serving the living God, because it’s the highest honor in the universe.

What about you? Why did you repent? I’d like to see some people repent on Biblical terms again. George Whitefield knew it. He stood on Boston Commons speaking to twenty thousand people and he said, "Listen sinners – you’re monsters – monsters of iniquity! You deserve Hell! And the worst of your crimes is that criminals though you’ve been, you haven’t had the good grace to see it!" He said, "If you will not weep for your sins and your crimes against a Holy God, George Whitefield will weep for you!" That man would put his head back and he would sob like a baby. Why? Because they were in danger of Hell? No! But because they were "monsters of iniquity", that didn’t even see their sin or care about their crimes. You see the difference? The difference is, here is somebody trembling because he is going to be hurt in Hell. And he has no sense of the enormity of his guilt! And no sense of the enormity of his crime! And no sense of his insult against Deity! He’s only trembling because his skin is about to be singed! He’s afraid and I submit to you that where as fear is good office work in preparing us for grace, it’s no place to stop. And the Holy Ghost doesn’t stop there. That’s the reason why no one can savingly receive Christ until they’ve repented. And no one can repent until they’ve been convicted. And conviction is the work of the Holy Ghost that helps a sinner to see that he is a criminal before God and deserves all of God’s wrath. And if God were to send him to the lowest corner of a devil’s Hell forever and ten eternities, that he deserved it all! And a hundred fold more. Because he’s seen his crimes.

This is the difference between twentieth century preaching and the preaching of John Wesley. Wesley was a preacher of righteousness that exalted the holiness of God. When he would exalt the holiness of God, and the law of God, and the righteousness of God, and the justice of God, and the wisdom of His requirements! And the justice of his wrath and his anger! Then he would turn to sinners and tell them of the enormity of their crimes and their open rebellion and their treason, and their anarchy. And the power of God would so descend upon the company, that on one occasion it is reliably reported that when the people dispersed there were 1800 people lying on the ground, utterly unconscious! Because they had a revelation of the holiness of God and in the light of that they’d seen the enormity of their sins and God had so penetrated their minds and hearts that they had fallen to the ground! It wasn’t only in Wesley’s day; it was also in America, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale. A man by t he name of John Wesley Redfield had continuous ministry for three years in and around New Haven. Culminating in the great meetings in Yale Ball, the first of the Yale Balls’ back in the 18th century. The policeman were accustomed during those days, if they saw someone lying on the ground, to go up and smell his breath. Because if he had alcohol on his breath they’d lock him up; but if he didn’t, he had Redfield’s disease. And all you needed to do if anyone had Redfield’s disease was just take him into a quiet place and leave him until he came to. Because if they were drunkards, they’d stop drinking, and if they were cruel, they’d stop being cruel, and if they were immoral, they gave up their immorality. If they were thieves, they returned what they had. For as they had seen the holiness of God, and seen the enormity of their sin; the Spirit of God had driven them down into unconsciousness because of the weight of their guilt! And somehow in the overspreading of the power of God, sinners repented of their sin and came savingly to Christ.

But there was a difference! It wasn’t trying to convince a "good" man that he was in trouble with a "bad" God. But that it was to convince Bad men that they had deserved the wrath and anger of a Good God! And the consequences were repentance, that lead to faith, and lead to the life. Dear friends, there’s only one reason - one reason for a sinner to repent: and that’s because Jesus Christ deserves the worship and adoration and the love and the obedience of his heart. Not because he’ll go to heaven. If the only reason you repented, dear friend, was to keep out of Hell, all you are is just a Levite serving for ten shekels and a shirt! That’s all! You’re trying to serve God because He’ll do you good! But a repentant heart is a heart that has seen something of the enormity of the crime of playing god and denying the just an righteous God the worship and obedience that He deserves!

Why should a sinner repent? Because God deserves the obedience and love that he’s refused to give Him! Not so that he’ll go to heaven. If the only reason he repents is so that he’ll go to heaven, it’s nothing but trying to make a deal or a bargain with God.

Why should a sinner give up all his sins? Why should he be challenged to do it? Why should he make restitution when he’s coming to Christ? Because God deserves the obedience that He demands!

I have talked with people that have no assurance that sins are forgiven. They want to feel safe, before they’re willing to commit themselves to Christ. But I believe that the only ones whom God actually witnesses by His Spirit and are born of Him, are the people, whether they say it or not, that come to Jesus Christ and say something like this, "Lord Jesus, I’m going to obey you, and love you, and serve you, and do what you want me to do, as long as I live, even if I go to Hell at the end of the road, simply because you are worthy to be loved, and obeyed and served, and I’m not trying to make a deal with you!"

Do you see the difference? Do you see the difference? Between a Levite serving for ten shekels and a shirt or a Micah building a chapel because God will do you good, and someone that repents for the glory of God.

Why should a person come to the cross? Why should a person embrace death with Christ? Why should a person be willing to go, in identification, down to the cross and into the tomb and up again? I’ll tell you why – because it’s the only way that God can get glory out of human being! If you say it’s because he’ll get joy or peace or blessing or success or fame then it’s nothing but a Levite serving for ten shekels and a shirt. There is only one reason for you to go to the Cross, dear young person – and that’s because until you come to the place of union with Christ in death, you are defrauding the Son of God of the glory that He could get out of your life. For no flesh shall glory in His sight. And until you’ve understood the sanctifying work of God by the Holy Ghost taking you into union with Christ in death and burial and resurrection, you have to serve in what you have and all you have which is under the sentence of death: human personality, and human nature, and human strength, and human energy. And God will get no glory out of that! So the reason for you to go to the cross isn’t that you’re going to get victory – you will get victory. It isn’t that you’re going to have joy – you will have joy. But the reason for you to embrace the cross and press through until you know that you can testify with Paul, "I am crucified with Christ.." (Galatians 2:20) It isn’t what you’re going to get out of it, but what He’ll get out of it, for the glory of God. By the same token, why aren’t you pressed through to know the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Why aren’t you pressed through to know the fullness of Christ? I’ll tell you why – Because the only possible way that Jesus Christ will get glory out of a life that He’s redeemed with His precious blood, is when He can fill that life with His presence and live through it his own life.

..There’s only one reason for God needing you and that’s to bring you to the place where, in repentance, you’ve been pardoned for His glory. And in victory you’ve been brought to the place of death that He might reign. And in the fullness, Jesus Christ is able to live and walk in you. Your attitude is the attitude of the Lord Himself, who said, "I can do nothing of Myself" (John 8:28) I can’t speak of myself. I don’t make plans for myself. My only reason for being is for the glory of God in Jesus Christ. If I were to say to you, "Come to be saved so you can go to Heaven, come to the Cross so that you can have joy and victory, come for the fullness of the Spirit so that you can be satisfied," I would be falling into the trap of humanism. I’m going to say to you dear friend, if you’re out here without Christ, you come to Jesus Christ and serve Him as long as you live whether you go to Hell at the end of the way Because he is worthy!

I say to you Christian friend, you come to the cross and join Him in union, in death, and enter into all the meaning of death to self in order that He can have glory. I say to you dear Christian, if you do not know the fullness of the Holy Ghost, come and present your body a living sacrifice, and let Him fill you, so that He can have the purpose for His coming fulfilled in you and get glory through your life. It’s not what you’re going to get out of God, it’s what He is going to get out of you.

Let’s be done, once for all, with utilitarian Christianity that makes God a means, instead of the glorious end that He is. Let’s resign. Let’s tell Micah we’re through. We’re no longer going to be his priests serving for ten shekels and a shirt. Let’s tell the tribe of Dan we’re through. And let’s come and cast ourselves at the feet of the nail pierced Son of God and tell Him that we’re going to obey Him, and love Him, and serve Him, as long as we live, because HE IS WORTHY!

Two young Moravians heard of an island in the West Indies where an atheist British owner had 2000 to 3000 slaves. And the owner had said, "No preacher, no clergyman, will ever stay on this island. If he’s shipwrecked we’ll keep him in a separate house until he has to leave; but he’s never going to talk to any of us about God. I’m through with all that nonsense." Three thousand salves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ.

Two young Moravians heard about it. They sold themselves to the British planter and used the money they received from their sale, for he paid no more than he would for any slave, to pay their passage out to his island for he wouldn’t even transport them. As the ship left it’s pier in the river at Hamburg and was going out into the North Sea, carried with the tide, the Moravians had come from Herrenhut to see these two lads off, in their early twenties. Never to return again, for this wasn’t a four year term; they sold themselves into life-time slavery. Simply that as slaves, they could be a s Christians where these others were. The families were there weeping, for they knew they would never see them again. And they wondered why they were going and questioned the wisdom of it. As the gap widened and the housings had been cast off and were being curled up there on the pier, and the young boys saw the widening gap, one lad with his arm liked through the arm of his fellow, raised his hand and shouted across the gap the last words that were heard from them, they were these: "MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING!" This became the call of Moravian missions. And this is the only reason for being, That the Lamb that was slain, may receive the reward of His suffering.

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