Thursday, November 10, 2011
Mothers waiting to kill their babies at Orlando Women's Center. Over 10,000 mothers and fathers line up, carrying their babies to slaughter at Central Florida abortuaries every year.
There is a way which seems right to a man,
but its end is the way of death.
A way ... - The way of the fool, the way of self-indulgence and self-will.
Cruelty and murder are the short road, the near way, to eternal perdition.
~ Adam Clarke
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, as the way of sin and wickedness does, promising much carnal pleasure and mirth..It is a broad road, and is pleasant, and seems right, but it leads to destruction..
The end thereof are the ways of death; which lead unto eternal death; for that is the wages of sin.
~ John Gill
This is literally repeated in Proverbs 16:25. The rightness is present only as a phantom, for it arises wholly from a terrible self-deception; the man judges falsely and goes astray. Without regard to God and His Word, he follows only his own opinions. It is the way of estrangement from God, of fleshly security; the way of vice, in which the blinded thinks to spend his life, to set himself to fulfil his purposes; but the end thereof are the ways of death. He who thus deceives himself regarding his course of life, sees himself at last arrived at a point from which every way which now further remains to him leads only down to death. The self-delusion of one ends in death by the sentence of the judge, that of another in self-murder; of one in loathsome disease, of another in a slow decay under the agony of conscience, or in sorrow over a henceforth dishonoured and distracted life.
~ Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all His power and mercy. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Sin ruins many great families..The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers.
~ Matthew Henry
But he who sins against me injures himself;
all those who hate Me love death.
It is not Satan, it is not sin, properly speaking, that hurts him; it is himself. If he received the teaching of God, sin would have no dominion over him; if he resisted the devil, the devil would flee from him.
Love death - They do it in effect, if not in fact, for as they love sin, that leads to death, so they may be justly said to love death, the wages of sin. He that works in this case, works for wages; and he must love the wages, seeing he labors so hard in the work.
Wherefore everyone that sins, sins against Christ.
Wrongeth his own soul; is injurious to it, and to the spiritual and eternal welfare of it; all sin is hurtful to the souls of men, especially sins against Christ; since there is no other Saviour but Him, no other sacrifice for sin but His; and therefore to such there can be no other than a fearful looking for of judgment, that trample Him under foot, and treat His blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in a contemptuous manner, Hebrews 10:26;
All they that hate Me; as do the seed of the serpent, the whole world that lies in wickedness, all unregenerate persons, and even many professors of religion; they hate Him privately, being without love to him, or loving others more than Him; and positively and practically, by despising His Gospel, or not walking worthy of it; by disclaiming doctrines, casting off His yoke, and maltreating His people; all which arise from the corruption of their nature; for this hatred or enmity is original and natural; it is deeply rooted in their minds, and irreconcilable without the grace of God, and is always undeserved. Wherefore such are said to
love death; not formally and intentionally, for death in any shape cannot be desirable; not a corporeal death, and much less an eternal one; but interpretatively and consequentially, as they love that which brings death upon them both in body and soul, and so are reckoned to love death itself.
~ John Gill
Whoever misses Wisdom by taking some other way than that which leads to her, acts suicidally: all they who wilfully hate wisdom love death, for wisdom is the tree of life, Proverbs 3:18; wisdom and life are one, as the Incarnate Wisdom saith, John 8:51, "If a man keep My sayings, he shall never see death."
In the Logos (Christ), Wisdom has her self-existence; in Him she has her personification, her justification, and her truth.
~ Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Those who offend Christ deceive themselves; sin is a wrong to the soul.
Sinners die because they will die, which justifies God when he judges.
~ Matthew Henry
Who, first, are those who hate Him? We are, by nature children of wrath. Those who hate Him are not merely the flamboyant sinners, but all those as yet untouched by His redeeming grace. All those who fit in this category not only are due death, not only face death, not only will live in eternal death unless reborn, but, as the text tells us, love death. They love it, embrace it, bath in it and dine on it.
In the end, all they can do is destroy. In the end they cannot replace life with false life, but must replace it with death.
This love of death drives the world around us to the fruitless madness ...It causes them to devour their young through abortion... It is why they embrace their soma (intoxicant) of choice.
This is how we fight our war, by digging our trenches, and there in faith planting the seed.
We fight death with life, knowing with joy that death will indeed be swallowed up in victory.
~ R.C. Sproul Jr.
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded;
But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find Me:
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul:
but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
There are many moments in everybody's life when you have a clear sense that the right way to go is to choose good, but you want to choose evil because the short term benefits will be greater and there would be a cost for choosing what's right. When people make choices like that they are moving toward Christ and heaven or or Christ-lessness and hell.
Posted by Paula at 2:58 PM
Christ the Best Husband:
An Earnest Invitation to Young Women to come and See Christ
by George Whitefield
The Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, doth choose you merely by His free grace; it is freely of His own mercy, that He brings you into the marriage covenant: You, who have so grievously offended Him, yet, the Lord Jesus Christ hath chosen you; you did not, you would not have chosen Him; but when once, my dear sisters, He hath chosen you, then, and not till then, you make choice of Him for your Lord and Husband.
The Lord Jesus Christ when He first comes to you, finds you full of sin and pollution; you are deformed, defiled, enslaved, poor, miserable and wretched, very despicable and loathsome, by reason of sin; and He maketh choice of you, not because of your holiness, nor of your beauty, nor of your being qualified for them; no, the Lord Jesus Christ puts these qualifications upon you, as may make you meet for His embrace; and you are drawn to make choice of the Lord Jesus Christ because He first chose you.
By this Espousal your hearts are drawn out after Christ; your souls pant and long for Him; you cannot be at rest until you are engaged to this Jesus: You are ready to cry out continually, none but Christ, none but Christ: this is the language of your hearts, if you are truly sensible of your need of Him. The more acquaintance you have of this Lord Jesus, the more pleased you are with your choice, and the more your affections are drawn towards Him. And where can you place your affections better than upon that Jesus who shed His blood for your sakes? Surely He deserves both your loves and affections: Go on, go on, my dear sisters, that your affections may grow stronger and stronger.
And here doth the marriage lie chiefly, in this union; Christ and souls are contracted, and the knot is tied so fast, that neither men on earth, how great soever they be, nor devils in hell, though they should combine all their wrath and rage together, still they cannot dissolve, they cannot untie it; no, my dear sisters, it is indissolvable, for the union is, by the spirit, on Christ's part, and by faith on yours: By the spirit, Christ doth lay hold on you; and by faith, you do lay hold on Him; and thus the match is made; Christ becomes yours, His person, portion, and all His benefits are yours. You become Christ's, your person, your hearts, and all that you have is resigned up unto Him, and O that they may be so more and more.
There is a MUTUAL OBLIGATION between Christ and His spouse. Christ obliges Himself to love you here, He will not, indeed He never will leave you. He will protect you from the malice of the Pharisees of this generation. He will provide for you in all difficulties. He will live with you here, and at last He will take you to Himself, to live with Him forever. And you are engaged to Him to be loving, loyal, faithful, obedient; and you are to stick close to Him as long as you live; and then you will find yourselves to be married to the best advantage, both for soul and body, for time and for eternity.
Christ doth invite all of you to be His spouse.
And it on this account that He sends forth His ministers to preach. It is this, that makes me thus come among you; that you would accept of this invitation, to which, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I do call and entreat you to take Him, on His own terms. He calls all of you, my sisters, whether elder or younger, whether married or unmarried, of higher degree, or of the meanest quality, the poorest servants, yea, the rabble of this world, as the world calls you, who are willing to be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ. I say, the poor are as welcome to be Christ's spouse as those that are rich. He regardeth not the rich more than the poor; He chose a mean virgin, espoused to a carpenter, to be His mother; and He chooseth and calleth all such to be His spouse; then be not discouraged at your being despised in the world; for if you are but loved by Christ, and espoused to Him, it will be an over-sufficiency for all the trouble that you have met with here.
Those who would be espoused unto Christ, must hearken, consider, and incline to His invitation, and forget even their father's house.
Such as would be espoused unto Christ must hearken. "Hearken, O daughter." Many amongst you, my sisters, stop their ears against the calls of the gospel; they shut their ears like the deaf adder, which will not hearken unto the voice of the charmer, though he charm never so wisely. You will not hearken unto the invitations of Christ; you can hearken unto the vanities of the world, and be delighted with the espousals of the world, but never think or are delighted with the espousals of Christ.
It was by the ear, that the temptation of sin was received by the first man, when he departed from God; and by the ear, the invitation to be Christ's spouse must be received, before the heart will be opened to receive Jesus Christ in this conjugal relation.
If you would, my dear sisters, be espoused to Christ, you must consider Christ's invitation. It is not a slight or bare hearing of Christ's invitation, which will be of any service to you, or make up the match between Christ and your souls; no, you must receive Christ in the heart; you must consider the thing itself, the advantages of it, the difference between Christ's invitations and the devil's temptations, or any of the world's proffers.
Those who would be espoused to Christ, must be inclined to accept of Christ's invitation. "Hearken, O daughter, consider and incline thine ear." This is to incline your hearts: You must consent with your wills; there must be a compliance to the motion of Christ, and you must have desires after Christ, and then your hearts will say, "Lord, let us be Thy spouse, and be Thou our Beloved."
You must likewise forget your father's house. "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and forget thy father's house." You are not here to cast off all affections unto natural relations; but you must forget all relations, so as to be ready to forgo all their favor, when it standeth in competition with that of the Lord Jesus Christ: and do not let your carnal friends and relations hinder you from closing with, and espousing the Lord Jesus. I earnestly beseech you to suffer the loss of any thing, rather than to lose His favors; you must indeed forget your own people, that is, you must forget all your evil customs which you have learned in your father's house, and forsake all your vain conversation, your reading of plays, novels, or romances; and you must keep from learning to sing the songs of the drunkard; for Christ, if you are His spouse, hath redeem you.
Such of you, my dear sisters, as are espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ are very beautiful. I do not mean in respect of your bodies; you may have less of external comeliness than others, in respect of your bodies, but as to your souls you will exceed in beauty, not so much in the eyes of man, as in the eyes of God; such have the most beautiful image of God stamped upon them; none in the world beside them, have the least spark of spiritual beauty. Such as are not married to Christ, are unregenerated, they are not born again, nor brought from sin unto God, which must be done before you be espoused to Christ.
And the Lord Jesus Christ desireth to see this beauty in His spouse, for He cries out, "O my dove, thou are in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." He calleth His spouse His love, being the dear object of His love; and He admireth her loveliness; He repeats it twice in one verse, "Behold thou art fair, my love, behold thou art fair." Thus you see He describes their beauty. And then, my sisters, we have wonderful expression of Christ to His spouse, "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck." Thus you see how pleased the Lord Jesus Christ is with His spouse; and will not you, therefore, be espoused unto the Lord Jesus?
I offer Jesus Christ to all of you; if you have been never so notorious for sin, if you have been as great a harlot as Mary Magdalen was, when once you are espoused to Christ, you shall be forgiven. Therefore be not discouraged, at whatever slights and contempts the world may pass upon you, but come and join yourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, and all your sins shall be washed away in his blood; and when once you are espoused to Jesus, you are disjoined from sin, you are born again. You are now, as it were, espoused unto sin; sin is your husband, and you are too fond of it, but when once you are married to Christ, when you are born again, then you may be said to die unto sin; but till then, sin liveth in your affections; therefore, my sisters, give sin its death-wound in your hearts; you have been called by the Word time after time, and it has had no effect upon you; but when you are espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will be brought to Him by His Spirit: You will then lay hold on Him by faith, His Spirit will draw you unto Himself; He will make you to be willing in the day of His power; He will give you faith in Him. Faith is the hand of the soul which layeth hold on Christ; therefore do not rest contented till you have this grace of faith wrought in you with power; do not be contented till you have received the Lord Jesus Christ.
Embrace Christ in the arms of your dearest love; then you love the Lord Jesus Christ with sincerity, when you love and esteem Him before father, mother, or all the delights and pleasures of this life, but if you do delight in any thing that this world can produce, more than in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have not true love to Him.
If you are espoused to Christ, you have acquaintance and converse with Him; you will endeavor to promote His interest, and advance His name in the world. When others are going to the polite and fashionable diversions of life, you will be laboring to bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ; you will commend your Beloved above all other beloveds, and endeavor to bring others into love to Him. Can you, my dear sisters, who are now assembled to worship God, show such evidence of your espousals unto the Lord Jesus Christ? O! how joyful, how comfortable an estate is this! Surely this is a marriage worth seeking after; this is the only desirable marriage, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Lover that is worth seeking after.
Now, my dear sisters, I shall speak a few words to those of you who have not yet espoused yourselves to the Lord Jesus. It is a great sin, and surely you highly affront the Lord that bought you. It is likewise your folly to refuse and neglect the gracious proffers of being the spouse of Christ; hereby you forfeit all that love which He would bestow upon you; hereby you choose rags before robes, dross before gold, pebbles before jewels, guilt before a pardon, wounds before healing, defilement before cleansing, deformity before comeliness, trouble before peace, slavery before liberty, the service of the devil before the service of Christ. Hereby you choose dishonor before a crown, death before life, hell before heaven, eternal misery and torment before everlasting joy and glory. And need there a further evidence of your folly and madness, in refusing and neglecting Christ to be your spouse.
My dear sisters, I particularize all the advantages which you would obtain by being espoused to the Lord Jesus. This is your wisdom; they are foolish virgins who refuse; but you are the wise virgins who have accepted of the Lord Jesus Christ, and have disposed of yourselves to Him. You have made the wisest choice; and however the blind world may deem you fools, and despise you as being methodically mad, yet you are wise in the esteem of God, and will, one day, appear so in the esteem of them that now despise you. It is your glory that you are espoused unto the Lord Jesus; and therefore glory is your espousal; glory not in yourselves, but in the Lord who hath thus freely and graciously bestowed these favors upon you. It is your safety to be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ, He will protect and defend you even from sin and Satan, and eternal ruin; and therefore thus far you are safe; He hath a regard for you in times of danger from men, and these times of danger seem to be hastening; it is now arising as a black cloud no bigger than a man's hand, and by and by it will overspread the heavens, and when it is full it will burst; but if you are espoused to Christ, you are safe.
Now, my dear sisters, I shall conclude with an earnest exhortation to high and low, rich and poor, one with another, to be espoused unto Christ.
Let me speak unto you, young women, who are not yet espoused unto Christ, in an especial manner. It may be to satisfy your curiosity, has brought many of you here; though, perhaps, this may be the time when you shall be brought home to embrace the Lord Jesus, and be espoused to him. And O, that I may persuade you, by His Spirit, to espouse yourselves unto the Lord of life. And if you are but brought to close with the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall attain my end, and then both you and I shall rejoice that I preached this sermon to you.
Come virgins, will you give me leave to be a suitor unto you, not in my own name, but in the name of the Lord? O! that I may prevail with you for your affections, and persuade you to give them unto Christ! May I be instrumental of bringing your souls unto Christ! May I be instrumental to join you and Christ together this day!
Be not coy (bashful, shy; showing reluctance to make a definite commitment), as some of you possibly are in other loves: modesty and the virgin blush may very well come you, when proposals of another kind are made unto you; but here coyness is silly, and backwardness to accept of this motion, is shame. You have ten thousand times more reason to blush at the refusal of Christ for your beloved, than at the acceptance; when otherwise the devil and sin would ravish your virgin affections. Never had you a better motion made to you; never was such a match proffered to you as this, of being matched and espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider who the Lord Jesus is, whom you are invited to espouse yourselves unto; He is the best husband; there is none comparable to Jesus Christ.
Do you desire one that is great? He is of the highest dignity, He is the glory of heaven, the darling of eternity, admired by angels, dreaded by devils, and adored by saints. For you to be espoused to so great a king, what honor will you have by this espousal?
Do you desire one that is rich? None is comparable to Christ, the fullness of the earth belongs to Him. If you be espoused to Christ, you shall share in His unsearchable riches; you shall receive of His fullness, even grace for grace here, and you shall hereafter be admitted to glory, and shall live with this Jesus to all eternity.
Do you desire one that is wise? There is none comparable to Christ for wisdom. His knowledge is infinite, and His wisdom is correspondent thereto. And if you are espoused to Christ, He will guide and counsel you, and make you wise unto salvation.
Do you desire one that is potent, who may defend you against your enemies, and all the insults and reproaches of the Pharisees of this generation? There is none that can equal Christ in power; for the Lord Jesus Christ hath all power.
Do you desire one that is good? There is none like unto Christ in this regard; others may have some goodness, but it is imperfect; Christ's goodness is complete and perfect, He is full of goodness and in Him dwelleth no evil.
Do you desire one that is beautiful? His eyes are most sparkling, His looks and glances of love are ravishing, His smiles are most delightful and refreshing unto the soul: Christ is the most lovely person of all others in the world.
Do you desire one that can love you? None can love you like Christ: His love, my dear sisters, is incomprehensible; His love passeth all other loves: The love of the Lord Jesus is first, without beginning. His love is free without any motive. His love is great without any measure. His love is constant without any change, and His love is everlasting.
It was the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, which brought Him down from heaven; and which veiled His divinity in a human soul and body; for he is God over all blessed for ever: It was love that made Him subject to hunger, thirst and sorrow; He was humbled, even unto death for you. For you who are espoused to Him, he underwent the painful, shameful and ignominious death of the cross. Can you, my sisters, hear this, and not be concerned to think that the blessed Jesus underwent all this for such sinful creatures as you and I are? And when out of love He had finished the redemption on earth, as to what was needful for satisfaction; it was his love that carried Him back to heaven, where He was before, that He might make application of what He had purchased, that there He might make intercession for those whom He had redeemed, and prepare a place for them, even glorious mansions with Himself, in the house not made with hands, which is eternal in the heavens. It is out of love that he sendeth such tokens to His people from heaven to earth, which He conveyeth through His ordinances, by His Spirit unto them. Surely then none is so deserving as the Lord Jesus Christ for you to espouse yourselves unto: if you be espoused unto Christ He is yours, all that He is, all that He hath; you shall have His heart, and share in the choicest expressions of His dearest love.
The Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, doth beseech you to be His spouse. We ministers have a commission from the Lord Jesus Christ to invite you, in His name, unto this very thing; and Christ's invitations are real; general; frequent; earnest; free.
Christ's invitations of you, to be His spouse, are REAL: and as the thing is real, so you, my dear sisters, are really invited unto it. The Lord doth not mock and dissemble with you, as some pretending lovers, who dissemble love unto virgins, until they have gained their affections, and then falsely and basely relinquish them, never really intending either to espouse, or marry them. The Lord doth really intend the thing, in His invitations of you; He never cast off any whose consent and affections He had gained.
Again, Christ's invitations of you, my dear sisters, are GENERAL. All of you are invited, none of you are excluded; all sorts of sinners are invited; the most vile and abominable sinners, the most notorious transgressors are invited to be Christ's spouse, and shall be as welcome as any unto the embraces of His love.
Christ's invitations of you are FREQUENT: Jesus Christ calls on you frequently; He hath waited on you time after time, one year after another; and He doth now invite you, by me this day, to come unto Him. Do not slight this invitation, but receive it with joy and thankfulness. Come, I beseech you, to this Jesus, who thus, invites you to be His spouse.
Again, Christ's invitations to be His spouse are EARNEST: he doth call upon you, and not only call, but call earnestly too; yea, He useth many arguments with you; He will press you to come unto Him; He is loth (loathe) to take any denial from you. He knocks, and knocks hard at the door of your hearts for entertainment; and surely you will not deny the Lord of life and glory who died for you, and gave Himself for you: O my dear sisters, let this be the evening of your espousals to the Lord Jesus Christ.
He invites you FREELY to be His spouse, for all His invitations are free; He doth not expect a portion with you, as worldly lovers do; He wants nothing of you: nay, you must have nothing, if you be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ. If you be poor, miserable, blind, naked, Jesus Christ will supply all these defects of His own free mercy; He will fill and supply you with all things out of His treasury; He will make you meet for Himself; He will prepare you to live with Him for ever.
Consider, if you be once espoused unto Christ, if once joined in this relation, you shall never be separated from Him; neither men nor devils shall be able to separate you. None, none, shall disjoin you; and when death doth break all other bonds, it shall not break the conjugal bond between you and Christ, but bring you unto the most full and everlasting possession of your Beloved.
And what do you now say, young women? Shall I have a grant for My Master, or be sent away with a repulse and refusal; no, I cannot carry such a message to My Master; I hope better things of you, my sisters, and things which accompany salvation: methinks by this time ye should begin to have a mind unto Jesus Christ; you look as if you did desire; you hearken as if you would consent. What do you say? Shall the match be made up this evening between Christ and your souls? O that I may be instrumental in joining your hands, or rather your hearts together: O that I may be instrumental to tie that knot, which never can be unloosed.
Some marry in haste, and repent at leisure; but if you were once espoused unto Jesus Christ, you would never repent; nothing would grieve you, but that you were not joined to Him sooner; and you would not be disjoined again for all the world.
Shall this be the day of your espousals? Some of you have stayed a long time; and will you defer any longer? If you will not now, perhaps you may never have another opportunity; this may be the last time of asking; and therefore it is dangerous to refuse; some of you are very young, too young for other espousals; but none of you, by dear sisters, are too young to be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ: in other espousals, you must have the consent of your parents; but in this you are at your own disposal; you may give, and ought to match yourselves to Christ, whether parents do consent or not.
But if any of you should ask, what you must do that you may be espoused unto Christ? You must be sensible of your need of being espoused to Him, and until you are sensible of your need of the Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot be espoused to Him: You must have desires after this Jesus, and seek unto Him for an interest in Him, you must cry nightly unto him to espouse you to Himself; put off the filthiness of sin and all its defilements; and then, my sisters, put on the white raiment, and clean garments, which Christ hath provided for you, the robes of His righteousness; in these garments you shall be beautiful; and in these garments you shall be accepted: you must have the wedding garment on; you must put off all your own good works, for they will be but a means to keep you from Christ; no, you must come as not having your own righteousness, which is of the Law, but you must have the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, come unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will give it to you; He will not send you away without it. Receive Him upon His own terms, and He is yours forever: O devote yourselves to Him, soul and body, and all, to be His for ever; and Christ will be yours and then happy, happy you, that ever you were born! But if any of you die before this espousal unto the Lord Jesus Christ, then woe, woe, unto you, that ever you had a being in life; but if you go to Christ you shall be espoused unto the Lord Jesus: though your sins have been never so great, yea, the blood of Christ will cleanse you from them; the marriage covenant between Christ and your souls will dissolve all your sins; you will then be weary of your old ways, for all things will become new in your souls.
Now, my dear sisters, to those of you, who are already espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
O admire, admire the rich and free grace, which hath brought you to this relation: Is not this an instance of the greatest of love, that you should be the spouse of the Lord Jesus Christ? You that had no beauty, you that had no comeliness, that was full of sin, that He should embrace such as you and I are; that we should be taken into the embrace of this Lord Jesus. O infinite condescending kindness! O amazing love! Reverence, reverence, I beseech you, this Lord Jesus Christ.
He is Your Lord, and you must reverence Him, love and be faithful unto Him, be subject to Him, and careful to please Him in every thing; endeavor to keep up a daily communion with Him; look, long and prepare for Christ's second appearance, when the nuptials between you shall be solemnized, and you live with Him in mansions of everlasting joys, where you shall love and live with this king of glory for ever and ever.
Indeed, my sisters, I am resolved, by the grace of God, to use all methods I can, to pluck you from Satan, that you may be as brands plucked from the burning fire: this shall be my method, which I hope will be the means of effectually having your precious and immortal souls.
And if I am the instrument of this, I shall rejoice, yea, and I will rejoice in spite of what men, or devils, can say or do to the contrary: and may the Lord Jesus Christ direct, and assist me at all times, to act what will be most for His glory, and the welfare of your souls: and may you all say a hearty Amen thereto.
"Now the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever, assist and watch over you, keep you from all evil and sin here, and present you before His Father faultless at the great day of account! To this Lord Jesus Christ, the Father, and the blessed Spirit, three persons and but one eternal and invisible God, be ascribed all honor, power, glory, might, majesty and dominion, now, henceforth, and for ever more. Amen, Amen."
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all, to comfort under, and deliver you from tribulation; to preserve you to your respective place of abode; and when there, to keep you in His fear, that you may live to His glory; that to live may be Christ, and to die be your eternal gain; so that you may live with Him through eternal ages, and sing Hallelujahs to Him for ever. Amen."
Posted by Paula at 2:57 PM
Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb?
A 20 year old student named Wanda came over to us at Appalachian State as we held a sign with a photo of an 11 week gestation child who had been dismembered by her mother through abortion. She pointed to the image and asked: "Is that the intestines? Is that the tongue?" We answered her that yes, indeed, she was identifying the parts of the poor dead baby's body correctly. We asked Wanda: "Does this bother you?" She smiled and said: "Not at all. I plan on having an abortion myself someday." Denise is another college student we met at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. She looked at the dismembered infant on our sign and said: "It's OUR choice. My boyfriend and I are having sex and if I get pregnant I'm having an abortion." Others women chimed in saying: "Me too!" Women have made signs and T-shirts that say "I Outside the killing place we have heard abortion-bound mothers say: "I don't want it and I'm going to kill it", "I'm going to have it sucked out and there's nothing you can do about it", "I'm not having this baby and I don't care that they have to kill it". Even the mothers who have to go through labor-and-delivery to kill their late term babies dismiss the suffering of their infants. These are women who can feel their babies moving inside them. Many of these ladies have seen their little ones on ultrasound and they know the gender of their child. When we tell these women that their baby will be delivered into the toilet, possibly alive like Baby Rowan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfnNzIzvT-k), we have heard them say: "Yeah, well, that's too bad, but I'm not gonna have this kid", "So what? We all have to die sometime", & "I've done this before. I know all about it". It is always shocking to see them laughing and joking, kissing their lovers and even dancing on the stoop of the murder mill.
As we minister at abortuaries and on college campuses we are finding that more and more women appear to be sexually immoral and lack natural affection for their own children. We are meeting mothers who murder their babies through all nine months of pregnancy, caring nothing for the sons of their womb. Many of these women are accompanied by their OWN mothers, who have no affection for their very own grandbabies. While we are reminded that Jesus taught that evil thoughts, sexual immorality and murder come from within, proceeding out of the human heart (Matt 15:19;Mark 7:21) it is still chilling seeing and hearing how cruelly and dismissively women speak of innocent little babies. The women hurry into the killing places, having "a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil" (Pr 6:18) Truly the Spirit's words Jeremiah 17:9) are dead on: "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?"
We read of the progression of sin in the life of sinners in the first chapter of the book of Romans. The judgement of God reveals how low the human heart will take a woman. It will lead them to be what we see:
"Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful"
Henry Morris explains:
This phrase "without natural affection" is the translation of one Greek word, astergeo. It was a characteristic of many pagans of the ancient world. Significantly, it is also prophesied to be a characteristic of the humanistic pagans of the end-times. "In the last days . . . men shall be . . . without natural affection" (II Timothy 3:1-3). These are the only two occurrences of this word in the New Testament.
The word stergeo ("natural affection") is one of four Greek words for "love," but it is never used at all in the New Testament. It refers to the natural love that members of the same family have for each other. It is such a common characteristic of all peoples that there was apparently no occasion to refer to it at all -- except when it is not present, when people lose their instinctive love for their own parents and children, and thus are "without natural affection." One thinks of the widespread abortionism of these last days, as well as the modern breakdown of the family in general.
Perhaps one of the most shocking, tragic and shameful aspects of the modern holocaust is the fact that over 80% of the fornicating women who murder their babies are professing "Christians"! These sexually immoral church ladies sin presumptuously, casually counting on the grace of the Lord for their promiscuous, bloody, violent acts. They say: "I've already asked Jesus to forgive me", "My God is a forgiving God", "I've worked it out with God". They kill their poor baby on Saturday and sing songs and take the Lord's supper at church on Sunday! They have no shame! Beloved, "There is no fear of God in their eyes" (Romans 3:18)!
While we are obviously watching the fulfillment of this terrible prophecy of mothers having no natural affection for their children in our day, may the love that is shed abroad in our hearts through the new birth impel us to be like our Savior, who gave His life for us, His children. May the Spirit lead us to sacrifice our own interests for the benefit of the lost mothers and their poor, helpless infants. For "the fruit of the Spirit is love . . ." (Galatians 5:22), Amen? Pure and undefiled religion involves visiting the orphans in their affliction. How can say we truly love these abortion-imperiled orphans and have mercy on them, if we do nothing to save them from being slaughtered in the shadow of our homes and our church steeples? The Savior taught us what genuine love looked like and what religious apathy looked like, in the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Heaven help us to be true to Jesus and to our perishing neighbors and go to the killing places in the Name of the Lord of life and eternity. For the glory of Christ and the good of all the infants who are being led to slaughter on our watch, let us be like the Good Samaritan to the babies, and "Go and do likewise."
Posted by Paula at 2:52 PM
Love is often not what we have been led by our heart to believe
by Patte Smith on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 11:20am
I do not trust my own heart,
but I can trust it to Him whose Name is True and Faithful.
~ Meshell Sirearl
We should be wary of trusting our 'heart' since God makes it clear that it can and will lead us away from the love of the Truth. Jeremiah 17:9 declares: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" John Gill explains the evil of men's hearts in his thought-provoking commentary of this passage:
The heart is deceitful above all things. This is the source of idolatry and creature confidence of the Jews and the sins which were the cause of their ruin. Though what is here said is particularly applicable to their hearts, yet is in general true of the heart of every man; which is "deceitful", and deceiving; and puts a cheat upon the man himself. It deceives him with respect to sin. It proposes it to him under the notion of pleasure. It promises him a great deal in it, but does not yield... It is all fancy and imagination; a mere illusion and a dream; and what it gives is very short lived. It is but for a season, and ends in bitterness and death. It proposes it under the notion of profit. It promises him riches, by such and such sinful ways it suggests; but, when he has got them, he is the loser by them. These deceitful riches choke the Word, cause him to err from the faith, pierce him through with many sorrows, and endanger the loss of his soul. It promises honour and preferment in the world, but promotes him to shame. It promises him liberty, but brings him into bondage.It promises him impunity, peace, and security, when sudden destruction comes. It persuades him that he is a very knowing person, when he is blind and ignorant, and knows nothing as he ought to know; and only deceives himself; for there is no true knowledge but of God in Christ, and of a crucified Christ, and salvation by Him. (See 1 Corinthians 3:18) It deceives in the business of religion. It makes a man believe that he is a very holy and righteous man, and in a fair way for heaven, when he is far from that. It suggests to him that concupiscence or lust, or the inward workings of the mind, are not sin. It represents other sins as mere peccadillos, as little sins, and not to be regarded; and even puts the name of virtue on vices; profuseness and prodigality it calls liberality, and doing public good. Covetousness has the name of frugality and good economy. It buoys up with the purity of human nature and it puts the profane sinner upon trusting to the absolute mercy of God, and hides from him Jis justice and holiness. It puts others upon depending upon the outward acts of religion, or upon speculative notions, to the neglect of real godliness. (See James 1:22). The man of a deceitful heart, the hypocrite, tries to deceive God, but he cannot. He oftentimes deceives men, and always himself. So do the profane sinner, the self-righteous man, and the false teacher; who attempts to deceive the very elect, but cannot. Yea, a good man may be deceived by his own heart, of which Peter is a sad instance, Matthew 26:33.
The heart is deceitful to a very great degree, it is superlatively so; "above all". Yea, it is more deceitful to a man than the devil, the great deceiver himself; because it is nearer to a man, and can come at him, and work upon him, when Satan cannot. It is an abyss, a bottomless one; there is no fathoming of it; the depths of sin are in it. (See Psalm 64:6) Seeing it is so deceitful, it should not be trusted. A man should neither trust in his own heart, nor in another's (Proverbs 28:26). It is "desperately wicked". Everything in it is wicked. The thoughts of it are evil. Every imagination, and that only, and always (Genesis 6:5). The affections are inordinate. The mind and conscience are defiled. The understanding darkened, so dark as to call evil good, and good evil. The will is obstinate and perverse: all manner of sin and wickedness is in it; it is the cage of every unclean bird, and the hold of every foul spirit. All sin is forged and framed in it; and all manner of evil comes out of it (Revelation 18:1). Yea, it is wickedness itself (Psalm 5:9) even to desperation. It is "incurably wicked". It is so without the grace of God, and blood of Christ.
And so, when the world (and the worldly 'church') clamors for 'love', it most often is clamoring for tolerance of their heart of wickedness and profligacy, which is not love at all.
But God, in His mercy and kindness, promised and provided a NEW heart for His people:
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.
I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh...
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
And, by His grace we are given the ability, through obedience to the truth and the new birth, to love, truly LOVE, from a pure heart!
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love,
love one another fervently, earnestly, from a pure heart.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever...
And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
I Peter 1:22-23,25
Albert Barnes gives us a biblical definition of this kind of love:
The phrase "with a pure heart fervently," means:
(1) that it should be genuine love proceeding from a heart in which there is no guile or hypocrisy; and,
(2) that it should be intense affection, (ἐκτενῶς ektenōs;) not cold and formal, but ardent and strong.
Religion is always of the nature of obedience. It consists in yielding to what is true and right; in laying aside the feelings of opposition, and in allowing the mind to follow where truth and duty lead.
This would always take place when the truth is presented to the mind, if there were no voluntary resistance. If all people were ready to yield to the truth, they would become Christians. The only reason why all people do not love and serve God is that they refuse to yield to what they know to be true and right.
(3) the agency by which this was accomplished was that of the Holy Spirit. Truth is adapted in itself to a certain end or result, as seed is adapted to produce a harvest. But it will no more of itself produce its appropriate effects on the soul, than seed will produce a harvest without rains, and dews, and suns. In all cases, therefore, the proper effect of truth on the soul is to be traced to the influence of the Holy Spirit, as the germination of the seed in the earth is to the foreign cause that acts on it. No man was ever converted by the mere effect of truth without the agency of the Holy Spirit, any more than seed germinates when laid upon a hard rock.
May the Lord help us to recognize the counterfeit of love, which is a worldly sentimentality from a fallen heart, disguised as love, but which is actually the OPPOSITE. Let us seek Jesus' gracious renewing, sanctifying power to love from a pure heart. May we learn to discern and develop genuine, unfeigned love from a heart made clean by the Blood of the Lamb and made fervent by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Posted by Paula at 2:51 PM
"Let us not stand by idly and let the enemy continue this holocaust...I am not a political man..I do not have a political ambition. I do not have a political agenda. I have a spiritual agenda. I want to see Jesus Christ gain His due. As a man of God I am responsible when I see someone weak and vulnerable...to risk my blood & my body to preserve them. That's the model of Jesus Christ...There are those that do not have a voice to even scream out & we as the Church do not have ears tuned to it. And the reason is because its been politicized in our generation. This is a spiritual issue, first and foremost, and not a political one.. I say we remove this ridiculous veil that stands in the way. Everyone knows it's life. When the cattle cars of Jews were being carted off to concentration camps and they were passing by that one church in Germany and they were reaching out through the slats, screaming "Help us!" the church turned up the pipe organ's volume to drown out the sounds. And I submit that is exactly what we are doing today... We have lost our heart...
The Auschwitz within...
~ Eric Ludy
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
Satan takes. God gives.
The mission of the devil: DEATH. The mission of the Savior: LIFE.
The mission of the Church is the mission of life and eternity.
Approximately 3,700 infants are being slaughtered by abortion in America. TODAY.
What's stopping us, Christians, the Body of Jesus Christ, from rescuing the children being led to slaughter?
Posted by Paula at 2:48 PM
"Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh,
He shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague."
~ Leviticus 13:13
Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there was wisdom in it, for
the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound.
This morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so
singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper
as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether
lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and no
part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his
own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then is he clean through the
blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed
iniquity is the true leprosy, but when sin is seen and felt it has
received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the
soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness,
or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are
"nothing else but sin," for no confession short of this will be the whole truth,
and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there
will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment-it will
spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort does the text afford
to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however
black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus.
Whosoever cometh unto Him, He will in no wise cast out. Though
dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the woman who was a sinner,
though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though
rebellious as the prodigal, the Great Heart of love will look upon the
man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce
him clean, when he trusts in Jesus crucified.
Come to Him, then, poor, heavy-laden sinner,
Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare;
You can't come too filthy - come just as you are.
~ Charles Spurgeon
Posted by Paula at 2:47 PM
FACT: Planned Parenthood is the number one provider of child-sacrifice (abortion) in the United States. FACT: Margaret Sanger is the FOUNDER of Planned Parenthood. Listen to the heart of this depraved woman:
"[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children..." Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood
“Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying … demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism … [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”
~ Margaret Sanger. The Pivot of Civilization, 1922. Chapter on “The Cruelty of Charity,”
“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Margaret Sanger (editor). The Woman Rebel, Volume I, Number 1.
“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”
Margaret Sanger. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.
“Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.Margaret Sanger. “
The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.
"The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order..."
~ Margaret Sanger
FACT: GOD knows us even BEFORE He forms us in the womb (Jer 1:5)
FACT: Children are a GIFT OF THE LORD (Psalm 127:3)FACT: The Bible commands us to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR.
FACT: The Word of God commands us to PROTECT OUR NEIGHBOR FROM HARM. (Sixth Commandment)
The Lord Jesus Christ taught "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt. 22:37-40), and Scripture declares "Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter" (Prov. 24:11-12)
Scripture declares "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Eph. 5:8-14) , and "show her (the bloody city) all her abominations" (Ez. 22:1-5),
Preborn children are "oppressed," Isaiah 1:17&58:6.
Preborn children are "weak and needy," Psalm 82:4.
Preborn children are "the least of these," Matthew 25:40.
Preborn children are "your neighbor," Luke 10:25-37.
Keepin' it real. Passin' it on. Won't you do the same?
For Thou wilt light my candle.
It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness, and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a 'darkness which might be felt,' yet He can break the gloom, and immediately make it bright around me. The mercy is, that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still. The Lord's lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out. Let me, then, like the nightingale, sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God's lighting. I am dull and dreary just now. Perhaps it is the weather, or bodily weakness, or the surprise of a sudden trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will bring the light. My eyes are unto Him alone. I shall soon have the candle of the Lord shining about me; and, further on in His own good time, I shall be where they need no candle, neither light of sun. Hallelujah!
Let me, then, like the nightingale, sing in the dark.
David didn't have to pray about dealing with Goliath, that's what everybody else was standing around doing. Goliath needed to be addressed!
~ Kevin Shell
We need more Davids who are willing to stand up against the Goliath of child-killing in America. Daring men who are unafraid of the taunts of genocidal maniacs.
The Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” The King and all the people of Israel were dismayed and afraid. They were faithless cowards. Young David, the shepherd boy, comes along and wonders why everyone is standing around shaking in their boots. David asks: "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”And this young man did not walk, he RAN to battle the Giant! He took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth... And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand.”
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David RAN QUICKLY TOWARD THE BATTLE LINE to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
I Samuel 17:40-51
Where are the Davids? Are they sipping coffee at men's breakfasts? Are they sitting quietly listening to speaker after speaker at conferences? Are they attending retreats? Playing golf? Going to sporting events? How many goofy vanities are being organized through churches? When will the men rise up and make war against the enemies of God? When will they advance in the Name of the Lord?
Christians are to 'have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose & reprove them.' (Ephesians 5:11)
The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will He not repay man according to his work?
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute, of all such as are appointed to destruction.. Proverbs 31:8Oh for mighty men of valor who have a vision from God to protect the women and children in their cities.
Raise them up, O Lord, we pray. Raise up warriors to fight the battle against abortion and rescue the orphans being led to slaughter. We trust You to accomplish the gathering of Your army but we wonder why so few men care about the slaughter of babies in their communities. We know that the battle belongs to You, Lord. Move, we pray, amongst Your people. Revive Thy men and deliver them from cowardice. Make them strong and courageous. For Your glory and the saving of many children alive. Amen.
Posted by Paula at 2:45 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Ask them if they have scriptures on their website & materials.
Ask if they tell the mothers God sends to them that He designed & created them & their baby individually.
Ask if they share scriptures regarding these truths every time they counsel.
Ask if they use scriptures & the moral Law (the commandments) in helping women to see that God forbids sexual immorality & the shedding of innocent blood.
Ask if they tell the women that transgression of God's moral law is sin. Ask if they tell all the women that it is given for her once to die & then comes the judgment.
Ask if they tell women God commands them to repent.
Ask if they speak to the women about the fact that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood & how Jesus fulfilled all righteousness in keeping the commandments perfectly & became a propitiation for sin at the Cross for those who repent & believe upon Christ by faith.
Ask if they tell the abortion-minded mothers that the Bible says that all murderers shall be cast into the lake of fire.
Ask if they share the fact that all women who remain unrepentant will be cast into hell for eternity.
Ask whether they tell abortion-bound mothers they offer post-abortion "support" even BEFORE they have killed their baby.
Ask whether they have heard Hell's Best Kept Secret:
Ask whether they have heard True & False Conversion:
Give the director a CD of these teachings (if you have them) or e mail the links to her.
Ask her to let you know their thoughts after they have listened.
Posted by Paula at 8:13 PM
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.
Religion that is pure & undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
to visit orphans.. in their affliction...
~ James 1:27
Right this very moment many abortion-imperiled infants are being carried to slaughter by the very ones who should love them most, their mommies. I praise Jesus for the faithful Christians who are practicing pure & undefiled religion this morning; pleading for the lives of these afflicted orphans, offering practical, emotional & spiritual help to the perishing mothers. Thanks be to God for these glad-hearted servants of the most High!
Compassion for the weak & needy is a sign of a heart which has been savingly wrought upon by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus said that to love God & love our neighbor as ourselves are the two greatest commandments. I am so grateful for the missionaries who go to the killing places to share the gospel & to live out a truly abundant life of practical benevolence, like the Savior described in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Who more weak, who more needy, who more helpless, naked, destitute & poor than the pre-born infant in the womb?
Beloved, to "visit" the afflicted orphan means more than to think nice thoughts about or to merely pray for them. To "visit'" means: to go to see, to look after, to be ready to aid them. This is a marked example of what true & pure religion will do. The Bible has always viewed intentional acts of mercy as an essential thing in the practice of love & justice; for the little ones cannot beg for help or seek refuge from cruelty & the tyranny of injustice. When Christians rush to the aid of the emotionally orphaned children who are being dragged to their destruction, they are imitating God Himself, Who is is "a father of the fatherless..in His holy habitation.." (Psalm 68:5) Has not the Father revealed Himself to us, by reaching down & making us His own adopted children through the bloody passion of His Son? He had compassion upon us as we lay in the mirey pit of sin. When we were captives of the devil & slaves of our sin, God showed us mercy. He has always revealed Himself as our Friend & Benefactor. (See Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 14:29; Psalm 10:14; Psalm 82:3; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:7; Jeremiah 49:11; Hosea 14:3.) How then shall we, who call ourselves Christians, turn a blind eye to our neighbors who are about to suffer the ultimate domestic violence? Isn't this an intentional violation of the duty implied in the Sixth Commandment? "You shall not murder" prohibits the shedding of innocent blood, but it also gives us a mandate to do what we can to save our neighbor from harm when it is in our power to do so.
Our Redeemer is our example & the Word of God shows how He teaches, leads, yea DEMANDS that His followers to do what He does, saying:
This is what the LORD says: 'Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor...Do no wrong or violence to ..the fatherless..and do not shed innocent blood in this place."
~ Jeremiah 22:3
"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless..".
~ Isaiah 1:17
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed."
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
~ Proverbs 31:9
“You shall not pervert the justice due..to the fatherless.. Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the..fatherless .." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!""
If I have withheld the poor from their desire,
or have eaten my morsel myself alone,
and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; ...
If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;
...If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless,
when I saw my help in the gate:
Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade,
and mine arm be broken from the bone.
Jesus said: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." 'visit' these afflicted orphans? The loving care of the children of our community are our sacred responsibility. The perishing in our generation are those God has appointed us to reach for His glory. What shall the of Life say to us about our responsibility for the massacre of innocents which are taking place during our watch, in our city?Hear the Word of the Lord in Ezekiel 22:7: 'In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow." Why not ask Jesus to give you love for these poor, weak, helpless, naked orphans? Why not make (& keep) a plan to go to where the babies are being afflicted? Let me know if you would like to begin to make reaching out to the perishing orphans & their lost mommies part of your reasonable service to God & your neighbor. I will do what I can to pray, encourage & help you in your missionary journey.
Here's an article I wrote to get you started: http://sanctuaryministries.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-begin-to-witness-at-killing.html
Posted by Paula at 8:12 PM
Come near to God and He will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
But just as He who called you is holy,
so be holy in all you do...
1 Peter 1:15
When you set your heart to walk blameless before God—living in a way that is
pleasing to the Lord—you will be feared and despised by those who have lost
the favor and blessing of God. Lukewarm or compromised Christians will be
absolutely disturbed and repelled by your life!
We see this illustrated vividly in 1 Samuel: “Now Saul was afraid of David,
because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul... And David behaved
wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. Therefore, when Saul saw
that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him” (1 Samuel 18:12-15).
David’s blameless behavior struck fear in Saul’s heart! Whenever Saul was
around David, he remembered the time he had enjoyed the favor of God and the
high esteem of men. But disobedience, envy, pride and self-will had cost Saul
every bit of power with God. And it robbed him of all respect of the people.
Now, Saul had come face to face with a younger man—a less experienced,
probably less articulate, man—who exuded the power and integrity of holiness.
He was pure in heart, full of the Holy Spirit and Saul was afraid of him!
Keep in mind that this was no idolatrous pagan who was afraid of David. No,
Saul was a man who had known the power of the Holy Spirit! He had once been
God’s anointed, a mighty man chosen of God!
David was simply living a clean life and God was pouring out favor upon him!
“All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before
them” (1 Samuel 18:16).
Saul did not want to be around David. Scripture says “Therefore Saul removed
him from his presence” (1 Samuel 18:13). Sadly, Saul represents the
compromised church of today, those Christians who have compromised and lost the
anointing of God. He is a type of the believer who once was full of the Holy
Spirit, baptized, on fire for God, but has been robbed of everything they once
knew of God by their disobedience, pride and lust.
There is nothing scarier to a compromised Christian than a holy blameless life.
And the more your life lines up with the Lord’s will and His holiness, the
more repelling you will become to backslidden believers.
~ THE POWER OF A CLEAN AND BLAMELESS LIFE
by David Wilkerson
Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
I John 3:3
And every man that hath this hope in him - this hope of seeing the Saviour, and of being made like him; that is, every true Christian...purifieth himself - makes himself holy. That is, under the influence of this hope of being like the Saviour, he puts forth those efforts in struggling against sin, and in overcoming his evil propensities, which are necessary to make him pure. The apostle would not deny that for the success of these efforts we are dependent on divine aid; but he brings into view, as is often done in the sacred writings, the agency of man himself as essentially connected with success. Compare Philippians 2:12. The particular thought here is, that the hope of being like Christ, and of being permitted to dwell with Him, will lead a man to earnest efforts to become holy, and will be actually followed by such a result.
The tendency of such a hope is to make him holy now, though he may be imperfect; the effect will be to make him "perfectly" holy in the world to come. It cannot be shown from this passage that the apostle meant to teach that anyone actually becomes as pure in the present life as the Saviour is, that is, becomes perfectly holy; for all that is fairly implied in it is, that those who have this hope in them aim at the same purity, and will ultimately obtain it. But the apostle does not say that it is attained in this world. If the passage did teach this, it would teach it respecting everyone who has this hope, and then the doctrine would be that no one can be a Christian who does not become absolutely perfect on earth; that is, not that some Christians may become perfect here, but that all actually do. But none, it is presumed, will hold this to be a true doctrine. A true Christian does not, indeed, habitually and willfully sin; but no one can pretend that all Christians attain to a state of sinless perfection on earth, or are, in fact, as pure as the Saviour was. But unless the passage proves that every Christian becomes absolutely perfect in the present life, it does not prove that in fact any do. It proves:
(1) that the tendency, or the fair influence of this hope, is to make the Christian pure;
(2) that all who cherish it will, in fact, aim to become as holy as the Saviour was; and,
(3) that this object will, at some future period, be accomplished. There is a world where all who are redeemed shall be perfectly holy.
~ Albert Barnes
All who have the hope of seeing Christ as He is; that is, of enjoying Him in His own glory; purifieth himself - abstains from all evil, and keeps himself from all that is in the world, viz., the lusts of the flesh, of the eye, and the pride of life. God having purified his heart, it is his business to keep himself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. The apostle does not here speak of any man purifying his own heart, because this is impossible; but of his persevering in the state of purity into which the Lord hath brought him. The words, however, may be understood of a man's anxiously using all the means that lead to purity; and imploring God for the sanctifying Spirit, to "cleanse the thoughts of his heart by its inspiration, that he may perfectly love Him, and worthily magnify His Name."...
...He was manifested to take away our sins, 1 John 3:5, to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8; and as His blood cleanseth from all sin and unrighteousness, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9; is it not evident that God means that believers in Christ shall be saved from all sin?
~ Adam Clarke
The sons of God know that their Lord is of purer eyes than to allow any thing unholy and impure to dwell with Him. It is the hope of hypocrites, not of the sons of God, that makes allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts. May we be followers of Him as His dear children, thus show our sense of His unspeakable mercy, and express that obedient, grateful, humble mind which becomes us. Sin is the rejecting the Divine Law. In Him, that is, in Christ, was no sin. All the sinless weaknesses that were consequences of the fall, He took; that is, all those infirmities of mind or body which subject man to suffering, and expose him to temptation. But our moral infirmities, our proneness to sin, He had not. He that abides in Christ, continues not in the practice of sin. Renouncing sin is the great proof of spiritual union with, continuance in, and saving knowledge of the Lord Christ. Beware of self-deceit. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, and to be a follower of Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin. There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought. The children of God and the children of the devil have their distinct characters. The seed of the serpent are known by neglect of religion, and by their hating real Christians. He only is righteous before God, as a justified believer, who is taught and disposed to righteousness by the Holy Spirit. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. May all professors of the gospel lay these truths to heart, and try themselves by them.
~ Matthew Henry
1. Abortion offered as an OPTION
Most women are instinctively reluctant to have an abortion because they know in their heart of hearts that killing the unborn child in their womb must be wrong. A prime task of pro-choice counseling, therefore, is to conceal the moral objections to abortion. And they do so by referring to abortion as an 'option' ...for once abortion is turned into an 'option' it is no longer seen as wrongdoing...So 'options' counseling is not about morality, but about choice. By presenting abortion as an 'option'...counseling gives a woman liberty to choose to abort the unborn child. By labeling abortion an 'option' the moral question is pushed out of sight. The issue has been de-moralized, & 'options' counseling makes it appear that the 'option' of abortion & the 'option' of continuing with the pregnancy are moral equivalents... 'Options' counseling legitimizes the choice of abortion.
Yet in the Christian view abortion can never be legitimized because it is against God's Law. A Christian cannot present what is wrong in God's eyes as an 'option', for to do so is encouraging a woman to sin against God. ...[To make abortion appear as a legitimate choice] is surely to suppress the truth, invent something evil, & to approve of those who ignore God's righteous law (Romans 1:18,32) Assessed biblically, options counseling is foolishness, for God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow.
2. Non-Directive advice
Non-directive counseling is inconsistent with the Christian faith. The Bible is the most directive book in the world. The whole purpose of Christ's ministry is to direct people to God's truth. He is so directive that He declares Himself to be the only way to God. He directs us to seek first the kingdom of Heaven; He directs us to enter by the narrow gate that leads to life, & He warns that the broad gate leads to destruction. And the Bible is the most judgmental Book in the world. God commands all people everywhere to repent, for He has set a day when He will judge the world (Acts 17:30-31). The Bible declares that all men will stand before the judgment throne of God when His righteous judgment will be revealed. "To those who are self-seeking & do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness-indignation & wrath". (Romans 2:8). And Jesus is judgmental. He says that those who cause others to sin face a judgment worse than a millstone around the neck & being cast into the sea. He condemns those who on the outside appear to be righteous but on the inside are full of hypocrisy.
The Christian who is faithful to God's Word cannot ignore the directive, judgmental message of the Bible. The Christian who is serving Jesus cannot give non-directive, non-judgmental, non-biblical advice regarding abortion. Jesus said: "For whoever is ashamed of Me & My Words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory..." (Luke 9:26) We have a God-given responsibility to warn the individual & society that the Bible teaches that abortion is wrong. God hates hands that shed innocent blood, & Christians have a duty to declare this truth. We cannot give non-directive advice while the innocents are being led to slaughter. We must warn of the serious consequences of ignoring God's Law, & we will be held to account if we fail (Ezekiel 3:17-18). Those Christians who would be faithful to God's Word have a duty to warn against the evil of abortion.
3. Morality based on feelings
Pro-choice counseling believes that a woman's feelings are the best guide to her decision...The guiding principle is how she 'feels' about having an abortion. The most important thing is that she feels comfortable with her 'decision' - that she feels able to live with her decision...
The Christian position is to explain that moral decisions should be based on God's Word. The psalmist declared, 'Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet & a light to my path ... The entirety of Your Word is truth, & everyone one of Your righteous judgments endures forever' (Psalm 119:104-105,160)
4. Informed Choice
Pro-choice counseling promotes the idea that the best way for a woman to decide between the 'options' set before her is for her to make an 'informed choice'. There is no objective moral standard to guide her decision-making, she is invited to make an entirely personal decision on the basis of how she sees things... She is provided with lots of morally neutral information so that she can weigh pros & cons & calculate ...which option delivers the greatest benefits. ...She makes a pragmatic 'informed' choice which is the right one for her.
The Christian position is that man's life should be directed by God's Word. The Bible warns of the folly of thinking that we can go our own way. ...Moral decisions are to be made on the basis of God's Law as contained in His Word...The problem with 'informed' choice is that it is an amoral choice - that is, a choice that flies in the face of God's moral Law. It promotes the idea that we can direct our own steps, make our own choices without reference to God's Word. It misleads a vulnerable woman into believing that she is free to choose to abort her unborn child without facing the inevitable consequences of breaking God's moral Law. Excerpted from
What is Going on in Christian Crisis Pregnancy Counselling?
by E S Williams
“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, BUT I WILL HOLD THE WATCHMAN ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS BLOOD.” ~ Ezekiel 33:6
My eyes froze upon these words as I was reading through Ezekiel. I read and reread the that 33rd chapter of this prophetic book. God was telling Ezekiel that he was called to be a voice to warn the people of the upcoming judgement of God. He could either recognized the oncoming disaster and do all in his power to warn the people of its imminence, and thereby be faithful to his God (and free himself of being guilty at their death) or he could keep silent and be accountable for their blood.
It comes in the form of “not wanting to offend”. or “just letting them see my different lifestyle”. Or “being too busy”. Or “not knowing how”. Or just plain laziness. But, still, it is silence.
IF I believe that “all have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) that means every person I meet, from the grocery store clerk, to my next door neighbor, to the person sitting next to me on an airplane (and including myself!) – no one meets the standard of a perfect, holy, God who requires holiness of anyone who is to enjoy His presence
IF I believe that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a) then that means every person I meet is bound for hell-complete separation from the LIVING and from the God who is the Giver and Sustainer of Life.
IF I believe that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21) then there is a glorious hope and escape from the hell we’re headed towards.
IF I believe that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23b) then Jesus is the means by which we gain that escape from hell, the ONLY means and this gift needs to be shared with and received by many.
IF I believe that the “Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matt. 18:14) then I’ve just found out what God’s will is.
And if I believe all this, I must do everything BUT be silent.
And here in Ezekiel I read a passage that truly causes me to tremble. I can warn people of what God has revealed through the Holy Scriptures and be used to save some, AND free myself of bloodguilt
I can be silent and be held accountable for all the people God has placed in my life, or even just in my passing, and I did not bother to make God’s glorious redemption story known to them.
Being a stay-at-home mother of four, AND being removed from my consistent platform in Newark to be able to share this good news, had resulted in silence up to this point. But as my spirit was convicted by this passage, I knew I had to be actively warning, actively proclaiming, actively being “beautiful feet that bring good news” (Rom. 10:15) But I could not engineer these situations and opportunities. I had to ASK for them, and trust that I would RECEIVE. I had to SEEK them out, and trust that God would lead me to FIND them. I had to KNOCK, and believe HE would OPEN THE DOOR.
A trip was upcoming, and airplane rides are the perfect place to start. Someone is sitting next to you, and they’re stuck there until the plane lands. A captive audience for the duration of the flight. OR a Divine Appointment by the One who seeks and saves the lost, and uses fumbling, broken, ill-equipped people to be the mouthpiece. To be the watchman on the wall.
~ Kimberly Iverson
Posted by Paula at 8:10 PM
An earnest invitation to sinners to turn to God
..The physician is most concerned for those patients whose case is most doubtful and hazardous; and the father's pity is especially turned towards his dying child. So unconverted souls call for earnest compassion and prompt diligence to pluck them as brands from the burning (Jude 23). Will you yet be entreated?
`But, O Lord, how insufficient I am for this work. Alas, with what shall I pierce the scales of Leviathan, or make the heart feel that is hard as the nether millstone? Shall I go and speak to the grave, and expect the dead will obey me and come forth? Shall I make an oration to the rocks, or declaim to the mountains, and think to move them with arguments? Shall I make the blind to see? From the beginning of the world was it not heard that a man opened the eyes of the blind (Jn ix 32). But, O Lord, Thou canst pierce the heart of the sinner. I can only draw the bow at a venture, but do Thou direct the arrow between the joints of the harness. Slay the sin, and save the soul of the sinner ...O Lord, choose my stones out of the brook (1 Sam xvii 40, 4S). I come in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. I come forth, like the stripling David against Goliath, to wrestle, not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph vi 12). This day let the Lord smite the Philistines, spoil the strong man of his armour, and give me the captives out of his hand. Lord, choose my words, choose my weapons for me; and when I put my hand into the bag, and take out a stone and sling it, do Thou carry it to the mark, and make it sink, not into the forehead, but into the heart of the unconverted sinner, and smite him to the ground like Saul of Tarsus (Acts ix 4).'
There is no entering into heaven but by the strait passage of the second birth; without holiness you shall never see God (Heb xii 14). Therefore give yourselves unto the Lord now. Set yourselves to seek Him now. ...Kiss the Son (Ps ii 12) and embrace the tenders of mercy; touch His sceptre and live; for why will ye die? I do not beg for myself, but would have you happy: this is the prize I run for. My soul's desire and prayer for you is, that you may be saved (Rom x 1).
I beseech you ... in your deepest concern. I am not playing the orator to make a learned speech to you, nor dressing the dish with eloquence in order to please you. I have come on weighty errand indeed - to convince, and convert, and save you. I am not baiting my hook with rhetoric, nor fishing for your applause, but for your souls. My work is not to please you, but to save you; nor is my business with your fancies, but with your hearts. If I have not your hearts, I have nothing. If I were to please your ears, I would sing another song. If I were to preach myself, I would steer another course. I could then tell you a smoother tale; I would make pillows for you and speak peace. But how much better are the wounds of a friend, than the fair speeches of the harlot, who flatters with her lips, till the dart strike through the liver? (Prov vii 21-23 and vi 26). If I were to quiet a crying infant, I might sing him into a happier mood, or rock him asleep; but when the child is fallen into the fire, the parent takes another course; he will not try to still him with a song or trifle. I know, if we succeed not with you, you are lost; if we cannot get your consent to arise and come away, you will perish for ever. No conversion - no salvation!
Some of you do not know what I mean by conversion, and in vain shall I attempt to persuade you to that which you do not understand. Therefore for your sakes I will show what conversion is.
Some cherish secret hopes of mercy, though they continue as they are. For them I must show the necessity of conversion.
Others are likely to harden themselves with a vain conceit that they are converted already. To them I must show the marks of the unconverted.
Others, because they feel no harm, fear none, and so sleep as upon the top of a mast. To them I shall show the misery of the unconverted.
Others sit still, because they do not see the way of escape. To them I shall show the means of conversion.
And finally, for the quickening of all, I shall close with the motives to conversion.
The devil has made many counterfeits of conversion, and cheats one with this, and another with that. He has such craft and artifice in his mystery of deceits that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect.
Now, that I may cure the ruinous mistake of some who think they are converted when they are not, as well as remove the troubles and fears of others who think they are not converted when they are, I shall show you the nature of conversion, both what it is not, and what it is. We will begin with the negative.
Conversion is not the taking upon us the profession of Christianity. Christianity is more than a name. If we will hear Paul, it does not lie in word, but in power (1 Cor 1v 20). If to cease to be Jews and pagans, and to put on the Christian profession, had been true conversion - as this is all that some would have to be understood by it - who better Christians than they of Sardis and Laodicea? These were all Christians by profession, and had a name to live only; but because they had a name, they are condemned by Christ, and threatened to be rejected (Rev iii 14-16). Are there not many that name the name of the Lord Jesus, that do not depart from iniquity (2 Tim ii 19), and profess they know God, but in works deny Him? (Titus i 16). And will God receive these for true converts? What! converts from sin, when they still live in sin? It is a visible contradiction. Surely, if the lamp of profession would have served the turn, the foolish virgins had never been shut out (Mt xxv 12). We find not only professing Christians, but preachers of Christ, and wonder-workers, rejected, because they are evil-workers (Mt vii 22-23).
Conversion is not putting on the badge of Christ in baptism. Ananias and Sapphira, and Simon Magus were baptized as well as the rest. How many make a mistake here, deceiving and being deceived; dreaming that effectual grace is necessarily tied to the external administration of baptism, so that every baptized person is regenerated, not only sacramentally, but really and properly. Hence men fancy that because they were regenerated when baptized, they need no farther work. But if this were so, then all that have been baptized must necessarily be saved, because the promise of pardon and salvation is made to conversion and regeneration (Acts iii 19; Mt xix 28). And indeed, were conversion and baptism the same, then men would do well to carry but a certificate of their baptism when they died, and upon sight of this there were no doubt of their admission into heaven.
In short, if there is nothing more to conversion, or regeneration, than to be baptized, this will fly directly in the face of that Scripture, Mt vii 13-14, as well as multitudes of others. If this is true, we shall no more say, 'Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way' for if all that are baptized are saved, the door is exceeding wide, and we shall henceforth say, 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth unto life.' If this is true, thousands may go in abreast; and we will no more teach that the righteous are scarcely saved, or that there is need of such a stir in taking the kingdom of heaven by violence, and striving to enter in (1 Pet iv 18; Mt xi 12; Lk xiii 24). Surely, if the way be so easy as many suppose, that little more is necessary than to be baptized and to cry out, 'Lord, have mercy', we need not put ourselves to such seeking, and knocking, and wrestling, as the Word requires in order to salvation. Again, if this is true, we shall no more say, 'Few there be that find it'; we will rather say, 'Few there be that miss it.' We shall no more say, that of the many that are called, only few are chosen' (Mt xxii 14), and that even of the professing Israel but a remnant shall be saved (Rom ix 27). If this doctrine is true, we shall no more say with the disciples, 'Who then shall be saved?' but rather, 'Who then shall not be saved?' Then, if a man be baptized, though he is a fornicator, or a railer or covetous, or a drunkard, yet he shall inherit the kingdom of God! (1 Cor v 11 and vi 9, 10).
But some will reply, 'Such as these, though they receive regenerating grace in baptism, are since fallen away, and must be renewed again, or else they cannot be saved.'
1. There is an infallible connection between regeneration and salvation, as we have already shown.
2. Then man must be again born again, which carries a great deal of absurdity in its face. We might as well expect men to be twice born in nature as twice born in grace! But,
3, and above all, this grants the thing I contend for, that whatever men do or pretend to receive in baptism, if they are found afterwards to be grossly ignorant, or profane, or formal, without the power of godliness they 'must be born again' (Jn iii 7) or else be shut out of the kingdom of God. So then they must have more to plead for themselves than their baptismal regeneration.
If men are evidently unsanctified, the must be renewed by a thorough and powerful change, or else they cannot escape the damnation of hell. 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked.' Whether it be your baptism, or whatever else you pretend, I tell you from the living God, that if any of you be prayerless person, or a scoffer, or a lover of evil company (Prov xiii 20), in a word, if you are not a holy, strict, and self-denying Christian, you cannot be saved (Heb xii 14; Mt xv 14)
Conversion does not lie in moral righteousness. This does not exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, and therefore cannot bring us to the kingdom of God (Mt v 20). Paul, while unconverted, touching the righteousness which is the law was blameless (Phil iii 6). The Pharisee could say, 'I am no extortioner, adulterer, unjust', etc. (Lk xviii 11). You must have something more than all this to show, or else, however you may justify yourself, God will condemn you. I do not condemn morality, but I warn you not to rest in it. Piety includes morality, as Christianity does humanity, and as grace does reason; but we must not divide the tables.
Conversion does not consist in an external conformity to the rules of piety. It is manifest that men may have a form of godliness, without the power (2 Tim iii 5). Men may pray long (Mt xxiii 14), and fast often (Lk xviii 12), and hear gladly (Mk vi 20), and be very forward in the service of God, though costly and expensive (Is i 11), and yet be strangers to conversion. They must have more to plead for themselves than that they go to church, give alms, and make use of prayer, to prove themselves sound converts. There is no outward service but a hypocrite may do it, even to the giving of all his goods to feed the poor, and his body to be burned (1 Cor xiii 3).
Conversion is not the mere chaining up of corruption by education, human laws or the force of affliction. It is too common and easy to mistake education for grace; but if this were enough, who a better man than Jehoash? While Jehoiada, his uncle, lived, he was very forward in God's service, and calls upon him to repair the house of the Lord (2 Kgs xii 2, 7). But here was nothing more than good education all this while; for when his good tutor was taken away he appears to have been but a wolf chained up, and falls into idolatry.
In short, conversion does not consist in illumination or conviction or in a superficial change or partial reformation. An apostate may be an enlightened man (Heb vi 4), and a Felix tremble under conviction (Acts xxiv 25), and a Herod do many things (Mk of 20). It is one thing to have sin alarmed only by convictions, and another to have it crucified by converting grace. Many, because they have been troubled in conscience for their sins, think well of their case, miserably mistaking conviction for conversion. With these, Cain might have passed for a convert, who ran up and down the world like a man distracted, under the rage of a guilty conscience, till he stifled it with building and business. Others think that because they have given up their riotous ways, and are broken off from evil company or some particular lust, and are reduced to sobriety and civility, they are now real converts. They forget that there is a vast difference between being sanctified and civilized. They forget that many seek to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and are not far from it, and arrive to the almost of Christianity, and yet fall short at last. While conscience holds the whip over them, many will pray, hear, read, and forbear their delightful sins; but no sooner is the lion asleep than they are at their sins again. Who more religious than the Jews when God's hand was upon them? Yet no sooner was the affliction over, than they forgot God. You may have forsaken a troublesome sin, and have escaped the gross pollutions of the world, and yet in all this not have changed your carnal nature.
You may take a crude mass of lead and mould it into the more comely proportion of a plant, and then into the shape of an animal, and then into the form and features of a man; but all the time it is still lead. So a man may pass to a form of religion, and all this time he is still carnal and unregenerate, his nature remains unchanged.
Hear then, O sinners, hear as you would live. Why should you willfully deceive yourselves, or build your hopes upon the sand? I know that he will find hard work that goes to pluck away your hopes. It cannot but be unpleasant to you, and truly it is not pleasing to me. I set about it as a surgeon when about to cut off a mortified limb from his beloved friend, which of necessity he must do, though with an aching heart. But understand me, beloved, I am only taking down the ruinous house, which otherwise will speedily fall of itself and bury you in the ruins, that I may build it fair, strong, and firm for ever. The hope of the wicked shall perish (Prov xi 7). And had you not better, O sinner, let the Word convince you now in time, and let go your false and self-deluding hopes, than have death open your eyes too late, and find yourself in hell before you are aware? I should be a false and faithless shepherd if I should not tell you, that you who have built your hopes upon no better grounds than these before mentioned, are yet in your sins. Let conscience speak.
What have you to plead for yourselves? Is it that you wear Christ's livery; that you bear His name; that you are a member of the visible church; that you have knowledge in the points of religion, are civilized, perform religious duties, are just in your dealings, have been troubled in conscience for your sins? I tell you from the Lord, these pleas will never be accepted at God's bar. All this, though good in itself, will not prove you converted, and so will not suffice to your salvation. O look to it, and resolve to turn speedily and entirely. Study your own hearts; do not rest till God has made thorough work with you; for you must be other men, or else you are lost men.
What then will become of you, O wretched man, whose conscience tells you that you are false in your trade and false to your word? If men may be enlightened and brought to the external performance of holy duties, and yet go down to perdition for resting in them and sitting down on this side of conversion; what will become of you, O miserable families that live without God in the world? What will become of you, O wretched sinners, with whom God is scarcely in all your thoughts; that are so ignorant that you cannot pray, or so careless that you will not? O repent and be converted, break off your sins by righteousness. Away to Christ for pardoning and renewing grace. Give up yourselves to Him, to walk with Him in holiness, or you shall never see God. O that you would heed the warnings of God! In His Name I once more admonish you. Turn ye at my reproof. Forsake the foolish, and live. Be sober, righteous, and godly. Wash your hands, ye sinners; purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Cease to do evil, learn to do well (Prov i 23 and ix 6; Tit ii 12; Jas iv 8; is i 16-17).
But if you will go on, you must die.
Excerpted from 'Alarm to the Unconverted' or 'A Sure Guide to Heaven'
by Joseph Alleine
Posted by Paula at 8:09 PM