Thursday, August 30, 2012

For Life & Eternity training event

If you are interested in attending a training & equipping event to learn how to share the gospel at an abortuary, please let me know. "For Life & Eternity" will be theological & practical training. Lord willing, it will be February 19-23 in Orlando. We will go to a killing place each day. You will shadow seasoned missionaries during abortion times.
It's been invitation only, but if you are interested...
All applicants must agree to the Westminster Confession:
or the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith:

Please e mail: if you are interested.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Do these aborting women look like 'victims' to you?

by Patte Smith on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 10:26am ·

This is Elise. She is at Orlando Women's Center killing place to murder her twins at 20 weeks gestation because they are girls. She already has two daughters. Elise was unwilling to consider choosing a loving adoptive home for her children. In spite of being offered help and support for hours on end, Elise killed her daughters. She paid $2600 for an induction-of-labor abortion. Elise delivered those baby girls into the toilet. Elise is a professing Christian.

The young mother on the right with the big baby belly is proudly posing for a photo as she waits to kill the infant in her womb. She refused all offers of help. She was adamant that she would not choose a loving adoptive mommy & daddy to raise her little one.

What does the Bible say about the ORIGIN of human sinfulness?

Hear the anointed authoritative Word of the Savior on the matter:

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder...sexual immorality ...
~ Matthew 15:19;Mark 7:21

Jesus taught that the urge/desire/temptation to sin does not come from outside of ourselves.
It comes from within.
Lust and  sexual immorality comes from inside the sinner.  
Murder proceeds out of the heart of the murderer.

While we always take in account the external pressures upon aborting women, we cannot, we MUST not, discount the reality of her indwelling sin. Of human depravity. Evil corruption courses through our veins. The devil reinforces our wicked thoughts and the world applauds or, in the very least, sympathizes with our sinful machinations. May the Lord help us to recognize that it is not poverty or circumstance that force a woman to fornicate and murder her baby (or babies). It's sin.

The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

Aborting mothers have a conscience, given to them by their Creator. They know right from wrong.
They are, by God's common grace*, under the influence of His moral truth. Through general revelation* God's commandments are carved on the human heart, bringing uncomfortable feelings of guilt, shame and fear of the Lord. Abortion-bound women must suppress that truth by their wickedness.
This is why women who kill their children cannot say they were victims.
They are without excuse.

Let's read Romans 1:18-32 and meditate upon the condition of all boys and girls, men and women, before God.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven
against all the godlessness and wickedness of men
who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
 since what may be known about God is plain to them,
because God has made it plain to them.  
 For since the creation of the world
God’s invisible qualities—
His eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse.
 For although they knew God,
they neither glorified Him as God
nor gave thanks to Him,
but their thinking became futile
and their foolish hearts were darkened.  
 Although they claimed to be wise,
they became fools  
 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for images made to look like mortal man ...
 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts
to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  
 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie,
and worshiped and served the creature
rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.

 Because of this,
God gave them over to shameful lusts...
and received in themselves
the due penalty for their perversion.
 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile
to retain the knowledge of God,
He gave them over to a depraved mind,
to do what ought not to be done.  
 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness,
evil, greed and depravity.
They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
They are ...God-haters,
insolent, arrogant and boastful;
they invent ways of doing evil...
they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  
 Although they know God’s righteous decree
that those who do such things deserve death,
they not only continue to do these very things
but also approve of those who practice them.
Friends, one of the ways that the devil has weakened the witness of God's people is to trick them into thinking they should not use the Law of God, His commandments, when addressing sinners. I urge you, beloved, take time to listen to this powerful message by Ray Comfort called 'Hell's Best Kept Secret'. Have your Bible with you and take notes. If you have never heard this message, listen twice.

You also notice that Elise, the mother who murdered her twins, was a professing Christian. Please take time to listen to another of Ray Comfort's biblical messages called 'True & False Conversion':

Psalm 19:7 declares:
The Law of the LORD is perfect,
converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple.

Is it any wonder that the murderer from the beginning wants to suppress it?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
to visit their affliction,
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27 

So, what are you waiting for?

Go now!
Go to the killing place in your city.
Go to the field of blood and souls.
Go, with the Law & gospel of life & eternity!

Suggestions for further study:

*For a concise study on the biblical doctrine of general revelation read JI Packer's article here:

*For a concise study of the biblical doctrine of common grace read RC Sproul's article here:

*For a concise study of the biblical doctrine of sinful human depravity read RC Sproul's article here:

*For a concise study of the biblical doctrine on the three-fold use of the moral Law (God's holy commandments) read:

Overturn our cozy alliances with the world, Lord!

by Patte Smith on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 9:09am ·

I was greatly displeased
and threw all Tobiah's household goods out of the room.
I gave orders to purify the rooms,
and then I put back into them
the equipment of the house of God,
with the grain offerings and the incense.
~ Nehemiah 13:8-9

The high priest had allowed his grandson to marry the daughter of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, who was an ally of Tobiah the Ammonite. Both of these were vitriolic, bitter enemies of Nehemiah. This cozy alliance led to an invitation to Tobiah to actually move into the temple itself. To make room for him, the high priest took over the storeroom that was set apart for the grain, oil, and incense used by the Levites in their purification and ritual ceremonies. So there were two wrongs involved.
An Ammonite and his family were actually living in the temple, contrary to the Law of Moses;
and, they had deliberately defrauded the Levites of their rights of storage.

When Nehemiah returned he went into prompt and passionate action. He threw the baggage out, fumigated the room, and returned the oil, grain, and incense to their proper place. Many people feel that he overreacted. Today we do not get upset by the presence of evil and think it strange that a man should act like Nehemiah did. We have lost to a great degree our ability to express outrage and public indignation over things that are wrong.

We must remember, however, that this is similar to the incident in the New Testament when Jesus came into the temple and found it filled with moneychangers. Jesus reacted in a way similar to Nehemiah. He made a whip and went around the temple, upsetting tables and driving the moneychangers out. It indicates that there is a time for strong stands against the evils that others have indifferently accepted.

Evil invades us quietly. Before we are aware of it, we have compromised and gone along with standards widely accepted. We find the people of God have often been corrupted by this kind of thing.

When it comes down to individuals, this is a picture of our struggle with our flesh. We must be prepared to be drastic and take often painful action to clear up the things that are wrong in our own affairs. Many Christians allow evil to take root in their own lives. This story pictures the way these false forces can invade our lives and take up rooms in the very temple of our spirit, polluting and destroying us in the process. Take action. Do not allow these evil things to remain. Even if it takes painful effort to do so, end it! That is what this great story teaches us.

Lord, forgive me for the ways in which I allow subtle compromises to creep into my thinking and my choices. Help me to be as ruthless in judging and dealing with my own sin.

Life Application:
Do we have the requisite credibility, courage and wisdom for expressing outrage in our decadent culture? Are we blinded by tolerance so as not to see the wrongness?

~ Ray Stedman

Christian, does the whole world revolve around Christ or YOU?

by Patte Smith on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 8:06am ·

Of all the sins that you ever heard of, there is scarce any more odious and dangerous than selfishness, and yet I doubt there are many that never were much troubled at it, nor sensible of its malignity. My principal request therefore to you is, that as ever you would prove Christians indeed, and be saved from sin and the damnation which follows it, take heed of this deadly sin of selfishness, and be sure you are possessed with true self-denial.

For your help, I shall tell you how your self-denial must be tried. I shall only tell you in a few words, how the least measure of true self-denial may be known. Wherever the interest of carnal self is stronger and more predominant habitually than the interest of God, of Christ, of everlasting life, there is no true self-denial or saving grace; but where God's interest is strongest, there self-denial is sincere. If you further ask me how this may be known, briefly thus:

1. What is it that you live for? What is that good which your mind is principally set to obtain? And what is that end which you principally design and endeavor to obtain, and which you set your heart on, and lay out your hopes upon? Is it the pleasing and glorifying of God, and the everlasting fruition of Him? Or is it the pleasing of your fleshly mind in the fruition of any inferior thing? Know this, and you may know whether self or God have the greatest interest in you. For that is your God which you love most, and please best, and would do most for.

2. Which do you set most by, the means of your salvation and of the glory of God, or the means of providing for self and flesh? Do you set more by Christ and holiness, which are the way to God; or by riches, honor, and pleasures, which gratify the flesh? Know this, and you may know whether you have true self-denial.

3. If you are truly self-denying, you are ordinarily ruled by God, and His Word and Spirit, and not by the carnal self. Which is the rule and master of your lives? Whose word and will is it ordinarily that prevails? When God draws, and self draws, which do you follow in the tenor of your life? Know this, and you may know whether you have true self-denial.

4. If you have true self-denial, the drift of your lives is carried on in a successful opposition to your carnal self, so that you not only refuse to be ruled by it, and love it as your god, but you fight against it, and tread it down as your enemy. So that you go armed against self in the course of your lives, and are striving against self in every duty; and as others think, it then goes best with them, when self is highest and pleased best; so you will know that then it goes best with you, when self is lowest, and most effectually subdued.

5. If you have true self-denial, there is nothing in this world so dear to you, but on deliberation you would leave it for God. He that has anything which he loves so well that he cannot spare it for God, is a selfish and unsanctified wretch. And therefore God has still put men to it, in the trial of their sincerity, to part with that which was dearest to the flesh. Abraham must be tried by parting with his only son. And Christ makes it His standing rule, "He who forsakes not all that he has, cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:33).

Yet it is true that flesh and blood may make much resistance in a gracious heart; and many a striving thought there may be, before with Abraham we part with a son, or before we can part with wealth or life; but yet on deliberation, self-denial will prevail, and there is nothing so dear to a gracious soul, which he cannot spare at the will of God, and the hope of everlasting life. If with Peter we would flinch in a temptation-we should return with Peter in weeping bitterly, and give Christ those lives that in a temptation we denied Him.

6. In a word, true self-denial is procured by the knowledge and love of God, advancing Him in the soul-to debasing of self. The illuminated soul is so much taken with the glory and goodness of the Lord, that it carries him out of himself to God, and as it were estranges him from himself, that he may have communion with God; and this makes him vile in his own eyes, and to abhor himself in dust and ashes; he is lost in himself, and seeking God, he finds himself again in God. It is not a stoical resolution, but the love of God and the hopes of glory, that make him throw away the world, and look contemptuously on all below, so far as they are mere provision for flesh.

Search now, and try your hearts by these evidences, whether you are possessed of this necessary grace of self-denial. O make not light of the matter! For I must tell you that self is the most treacherous enemy, and the most insinuating deceiver in the world. It will be within you when you are not aware of it and will conquer you when you perceive not yourselves much troubled with it; and of all other vices is both the hardest to find out and the hardest to cure. Be sure therefore in the first place, that you have self-denial; and then be sure you use it and live in the practice of it.

Excerpted from Self-Denial
by Richard Baxter

Christian, are you growing?

by Patte Smith on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 1:25pm ·

There is a generation of Christians in this age
who grieve me to the heart.
They make my blood run cold.
I cannot understand them.
For anything that man's eye can see,
they make no progress.
They never seem to get on.
Years roll on, and they are just the same —
the same besetting sins,
the same infirmities of disposition,
the same weakness in trial,
the same chilliness of heart,
the same apathy,
the same faint resemblance to Christ;
but no new knowledge,
no increased interest in the kingdom,
no freshness,
no new strength,
no new fruits...
Are they not forgetting that growth is the proof of life —
that even the tree grows, and the snail and the sloth MOVE?
Are they not forgetting how awfully far a man may go,
and yet not be a true Christian?
He may be like a wax figure,
the very image of a believer,
and yet not have within him
the breath of God...
and be dead after all.

~ JC Ryle

All sin is NOT Equal!

by Patte Smith on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 9:37am ·

My friends, do not fall for the devil's lie.
The Bible teaches that there are degrees of sin and degrees of punishment.

Take time to read and study this biblical treatise by Thomas Watson on;

Degrees of Sin

Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?

Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations,
are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

‘He that delivered me unto thee, has the greater sin.’
John 19: 11

The Stoic philosophers held that all sins were equal; but this Scripture clearly holds forth that there is a gradual difference in sin; some are greater than others; some are ‘mighty sins,’ and 'crying sins.’ Amos 5: 12; Gen 18: 21. Every sin has a voice to speak, but some sins cry. As some diseases are worse than others, and some poisons more venomous, so some sins are more heinous. ‘Ye have done worse than your fathers, your sins have exceeded theirs.’ Jer 16: 12; Ezek 16: 47. Some sins have a blacker aspect than others; to clip the king’s coin is treason; but to strike his person is a higher degree of treason. A vain thought is a sin, but a blasphemous word is a greater sin. That some sins are greater than others appears,

(1) Because there was difference in the offerings under the law; the sin offering was greater than the trespass offering.

(2) Because some sins are not capable of pardon as others are, therefore they must needs be more heinous, as the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Matt 12: 31.

(3) Because some sins have a greater degree of punishment than others. ‘Ye shall receive the greater damnation.’ Matt 23: 14. ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ God would not punish one more than another if his sin was not greater. It is true, ‘all sins are equally heinous in respect of the object,’ or the infinite God, against whom sin is committed, but, in another sense, all sins are not alike heinous; some sins have more bloody circumstances in them, which are like the dye to the wool, to give it a deeper colour.

[1] Such sins are more heinous as are committed without any occasion offered; as when a man swears or is angry, and has no provocation. The less the occasion of sin, the greater is the sin itself.

[2] Such sins are more heinous that are committed presumptuously. Under the law there was no sacrifice for presumptuous sins. Num 15: 30.

What is the sin of presumption, which heightens and aggravates sin, and makes it more heinous?
To sin presumptuously, is to sin against convictions and illuminations, or an enlightened conscience. ‘They are of those that rebel against the light.’ Job 24: 13. Conscience, like the cherubim, stands with a flaming sword in its hand to deter the sinner; and yet he will sin. Did not Pilate sin against conviction, and with a high hand, in condemning Christ? He knew that for envy the Jews had delivered him. Matt 27: 18. He confessed he ‘found no fault in Him.’ Luke 23: 14. His own wife sent to him saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just man.’ Matt 27: 19. Yet for all this, he gave the sentence of death against Christ. He sinned presumptuously, against an enlightened conscience. To sin ignorantly does something to extenuate and pare off the guilt. ‘If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin,’ that is, their sin had been less. John 15: 22. But to sin against illuminations and convictions enhances men’s sins. These sins make deep wounds in the soul; other sins fetch blood; they are a stab at the heart.

How many ways may a man sin against illuminations and convictions?

(1) When he lives in the total neglect of duty. He is not ignorant that it is a duty to read the Word, yet he lets the Bible lie by as rusty armour, seldom made us of. He is convinced that it is a duty to pray in his family, yet he can go days and months, and God never hears of him; he calls God Father, but never asks his blessing. Neglect of family-prayer, as it were, uncovers the roof of men’s houses, and makes way for a curse to be rained down upon their table.

(2) When a man lives in the same sins he condemns in others. ‘Thou that judges, does the same things.’ Rom 2: 1. As Augustine says of Seneca, ‘He wrote against superstition, yet he worshipped those images which he reproved.’ One man condemns another for rash censuring, yet lives in the same sin himself; a master reproves his apprentice for swearing, yet he himself swears. The snuffers of the tabernacle were of pure gold: they who reprove and snuff the vices of others, had need themselves be free from those sins. The snuffers must be of gold.

(3) When a man sins after vows. ‘Thy vows are upon me, O God.’ Psa 56: 12. A vow is a religious promise made to God, to dedicate ourselves to Him. A vow is not only a purpose, but a promise. Every votary makes himself a debtor; he binds himself to God in a solemn manner. Now, to sin after a vow, to vow himself to God, and give his soul to the devil, must needs be against the highest convictions.

(4) When a man sins after counsels, admonitions, warnings, he cannot plead ignorance. The trumpet of the gospel has been blown in his ears, and sounded a retreat to call him off from his sins, he has been told of his injustice, living in malice, keeping bad company, yet he would venture upon sin. This is to sin against conviction; it aggravates the sin, and is like a weight put into the scale, to make his sin weigh the heavier. If a sea-mark be set up to give warning that there are shelves and rocks in that place, yet if the mariner will sail there, and split his ship, it is presumption; and if he be cast away, who will pity him?

(5) When a man sins against express combinations and threatening. God has thundered out threatenings against such sins.
"But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses." Psa 68: 21. Though God set the point of His sword to the breast of a sinner, he will still commit sin. The pleasure of sin delights him more than the threatenings affright him. Like the leviathan, ‘he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.’ Job 41: 29. Nay, he derides God’s threatenings. ‘Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it:’ we have heard much what God intends to do, and of judgement approaching, we would fain see it. Isa 5: 19. For men to see the flaming sword of God’s threatening brandished, yet to strengthen themselves in sin, is in an aggravated manner to sin against illumination and conviction.

(6) When a man sins under affliction. God not only thunders by threatening, but lets His thunderbolt fall. He inflicts judgements on a person so that he may read his sins in his punishment, and yet he sins. His sin was uncleanness, by which he wasted his strength, as well as his estate. He has had a fit of apoplexy; and yet while feeling the smart of sin, he retains the love of sin. This is to sin against conviction. ‘In his distress did he trespass yet more; this is that king Ahab’ 2 Chron 28: 22. It makes the sin greater to sin against an enlightened conscience. It is full of obstinacy. Men give no reason, make no defence for their sins, and yet are resolved to hold fast iniquity. Voluntas est regula et mensura actionis [An action can be measured and judged by the will involved], the more of the will in a sin, the greater the sin. ‘We will walk after our own devices.’ Jer 18: 12. Though there be death and hell at every step, we will march on under Satan’s colours. What made the sin of apostate angels so great was that it was wilful; they had no ignorance in their mind, no passion to stir them up; there was no tempter to deceive them, but they sinned obstinately and from choice. To sin against convictions and illuminations, is joined with rejection and contempt of God. It is bad for a sinner to forget God, but it is worse to condemn him. ‘Wherefore does the wicked condemn God?’ Psa 10: 13. An enlightened sinner knows that by his sin he disobliges and angers God; but he cares not whether God be pleased or not, he will have his sin; therefore such a one is said to reproach God. ‘The soul that does ought presumptuously, the same reproacheth the Lord.’ Numb 15: 30. Every sin displeases God, but sins against an enlightened conscience reproach the Lord. To condemn the authority of a prince, is a reproach done to him. It is accompanied with impudence. Fear and shame are banished, the veil of modesty is laid aside. ‘The unjust knoweth no shame.’ Zeph 3: 5. Judas knew Christ was the Messiah; he was convinced of it by an oracle from heaven, and by the miracles he wrought, and yet he impudently went on in his treason, even when Christ said, ‘He that dips his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me:’ and he knew Christ meant him. When he was going about his treason, and Christ pronounced a woe to him, yet, for all that, he proceeded in his treason. Luke 22: 22. Thus to sin presumptuously, against an enlightened conscience, dyes the sin of a crimson colour, and makes it greater than other sins.

[3] Such sins are more heinous than others, which are sins of continuance. The continuing of sin is the enhancing of sin. He who plots treason, makes himself a greater offender. Some men’s heads are the devil’s minthouse, they are a mint of mischief. ‘Inventors of evil things.’ Rom 1: 30. Some invent new oaths, others new snares. Such were those presidents that invented a decree against Daniel, and got the king to sign it. Dan 6: 9.

[4] Those sins are greater which proceed from a spirit of malignity. To malign holiness is diabolical. It is a sin to want grace, it is worse to hate it. In nature there are antipathies, as between the vine and laurel. Some have an antipathy against God because of his purity. ‘Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.’ Isa 30: 11. Sinners, if it lay in their power, would not only dethrone God, but annihilate Him; if they could help it, God should no longer be God. Thus sin is boiled up to a greater height.

[5] Those sins are of greater magnitude, which are mixed with ingratitude. Of all things God cannot endure to have His kindness slighted. His mercy is seen in reprieving men so long, in wooing them by His Spirit and ministers to be reconciled, in crowning them with so many temporal blessings: and to abuse all this love — when God has been filling up the measure of His mercy, for men to fill up the measure of their sins — is high ingratitude, and makes their sins of a deeper crimson. Some are worse for mercy. ‘The vulture,’ says Aelian, ‘draws sickness from perfumes.’ So the sinner contracts evil from the sweet perfumes of God’s mercy. The English chronicle reports of one Parry, who being condemned to die, Queen Elizabeth sent him her pardon; and after he was pardoned, he conspired and plotted the queen’s death. Just so some deal with God, He bestows mercy, and they plot treason against Him. ‘I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me.’ Isa 1: 2. The Athenians, in lieu of the good service Themistocles had done them, banished him their city. The snake, in the fable, being frozen, stung him that gave it warmth. Certainly sins against mercy are more heinous.

[6] Those sins are more heinous than others which are committed with delectation. A child of God may sin through a surprisal, or against his will. ‘The evil which I would not, that I do.’ Rom 7: 19. He is like one that is carried down the stream involuntarily. But to sin with delight heightens and greatens the sin. It is a sign the heart is in the sin. ‘They set their heart on their iniquity,’ as a man follows his gain with delight. Hos 4: 8. ‘Without are dogs, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.’ Rev 22: 15. To tell a lie is a sin; but to love to tell a lie is a greater sin.

[7] Those sins are more heinous than others which are committed under a pretence of religion. To cheat and defraud is a sin, but to do it with a Bible in one’s hand, is a double sin. To be unchaste is a sin; but to put on a mask of religion to play the whore makes the sin greater. ‘I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows; come let us take our fill of love.’ Prov 7: 14, 15. She speaks as if she had been at church, and had been saying her prayers: who would ever have suspected her of dishonesty? But, behold her hypocrisy; she makes her devotion a preface to adultery. ‘Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers.’ Luke 20: 47. The sin was not in making long prayers; for Christ was a whole night in prayer; but to make long prayers that they might do unrighteous actions, made their sin more horrid.

[8] Sins of apostasy are more heinous than others. Demas forsook the truth and afterwards became a priest in an idol temple, says Dorotheus. 2 Tim 4: 10. To fall is a sin; but to fall away is a greater sin.Apostates cast a disgrace upon religion. ‘The apostate,’ says Tertullian, ‘seems to put God and Satan in the balance; and having weighed both their services, prefers the devil’s, and proclaims him to be the best master.’ In which respect the apostate is said to put Christ to ‘open shame.’ Heb 6: 6. This dyes a sin in grain, and makes it greater. It is a sin not to profess Christ, but it is a greater to deny him. Not to wear Christ’s colours is a sin, but to run from His colours is a greater sin. A pagan sins less than a baptised renegade.

[9] To persecute religion makes sin greater. Acts 7: 52. To have no religion is a sin, but to endeavour to destroy religion is a greater. Antiochus Epiphanes took more tedious journeys and ran more hazards, to vex and oppose the Jews, than all his predecessors had done to obtain victories. Herod ‘added this above all, that he shut up John in prison.’ Luke 3: 20. He sinned before by incest; but by imprisoning the prophet he added to his sin and made it greater. Persecution fills up the measure of sin. ‘Fill ye up the measure of your fathers.’ Matt 23: 32. If you pour a porringer of water into a cistern it adds something to it, but if you pour in a bucketful or two it fills up the measure of the cistern; so persecution fills up the measure of sin, and makes it greater.

[10] To sin maliciously makes sin greater. Aquinas, and other of the schoolmen, place the sin against the Holy Ghost in malice. The sinner does all he can to vex God, and despite the Spirit of grace. Heb 10: 29. Thus Julia threw up his dagger in the air, as if he would have been revenged upon God. This swells sin to its full size, it cannot be greater. When a man is once come to this, blasphemously to despite the Spirit, there is but one step lower he can fall, and that is to hell.

[11] It aggravates sin, and makes it greater, when a man not only sins himself, but endeavours to make others sin.

(1) Such as teach errors to the people, who decry Christ’s deity, or deny His virtue, making Him only a political head, not a head of influence: who preach against the morality of the Sabbath, or the immortality of the soul; these men’s sins are greater than others. If the breakers of God’s law sin, what do they that teach men to break them? Matt 5: 19.

(2) Such as destroy others by their bad example. The swearing father teaches his son to swear, and damns him by his example. Such men’s sins are greater than others, and they shall have a hotter place in hell.
Use. You see all sins are not equal; some are more grievous than others, and bring greater wrath; therefore especially take heed of these sins. ‘Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins.’ Psa 19: 13. The least sin is bad enough; you need not aggravate your sins, and make them more heinous. He that has a little wound will not make it deeper. Oh, beware of those circumstances which increase your sin and make it more heinous! The higher a man is in sinning, the lower he shall lie in torment.

Excerpted from:

The Ten Commandments 

 Thomas Watson 

Chapter 3.2

The Blood that Cleanseth

by Patte Smith on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 11:20am ·
The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son
cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

"Cleanseth," says the text-not "shall cleanse."
There are multitudes who think that as a dying hope they may look forward to pardon. Oh! how infinitely better to have cleansing now than to depend on the bare possibility of forgiveness when I come to die. Some imagine that a sense of pardon is an attainment only obtainable after many years of Christian experience. But forgiveness of sin is a present thing-a privilege for this day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus he is fully forgiven. The text, being written in the present tense, also indicates continuance; it was "cleanseth" yesterday, it is "cleanseth" to-day, it will be "cleanseth" tomorrow: it will be always so with you, Christian, until you cross the river; every hour you may come to this fountain, for it cleanseth still. Notice, likewise, the completeness of the cleansing, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"-not only from sin, but "from all sin." Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone for ever.
Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one gives himself to sleep.
"Sins against a holy God;
Sins against His righteous laws;
Sins against His love, His blood;
Sins against His name and cause;
Sins immense as is the sea-
From them all He cleanseth me."

~ Charles Spurgeon

Who do you trust?

by Patte Smith on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 9:45am ·

On whom dost thou trust?

"I trust," says the Christian,
 "in a triune God.
I trust the Father,
believing that He has chosen me
from before the foundations of the world;
I trust Him to provide for me
in providence,
to teach me,
to guide me,
to correct me if need be,
and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions are.
I trust the Son.
Very God of very God is He
-the Man Christ Jesus.
I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own sacrifice,
and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness.
I trust Him for what He is,
for what He has done,
and for what He has promised yet to do.
And I trust the Holy Spirit-
He has begun to save me from my inbred sins;
I trust Him to drive them all out;
I trust Him to curb my temper,
to subdue my will,
to enlighten my understanding,
to check my passions,
to comfort my despondency,
to help my weakness,
to illuminate my darkness;
I trust Him to dwell in me as my life,
to reign in me as my King,
to sanctify me wholly,
spirit, soul, and body,
and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light for ever."

To trust Him whose power will never be exhausted,
whose love will never wane,
whose kindness will never change,
whose faithfulness will never fail,
whose wisdom will never be nonplussed,
and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution!
Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine!
So trusting,
thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now,
and glory hereafter,
and the foundation of thy trust
shall never be removed.

~ Charles Spurgeon

Is it wrong to murder a baby by abortion?

by Patte Smith on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 10:30am ·

Abortion: A matter of Life or Death

Is it wrong to murder a baby by abortion?

First, to answer that question we must establish where human life comes from. Do you know that the Bible teaches us that the Creator of the universe designed and created you, as well as your pre-born child? In Jeremiah 1:5 God says: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."  How could God possibly know you before you were conceived? How could He know you before your father's sperm penetrated your mother's egg? The Lord of heaven and earth knows you because He designed you even before He spoke you into existence. Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, upholds the universe by the Word of His power. Psalm 139:13-14,16 is a prayer which confesses to God: “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well..Your eyes have seen my unformed substance...”. Psalm 127:3 declares: "Children are a gift from the LORD." No child is a mistake. No boy or girl is an accident. Every single baby is a gift from God Himself. 

We, being created in God's image and likeness, are moral beings. We know right from wrong—not as taught by our culture, but by our Creator—for morality is a universal human characteristic. We know in our hearts and minds that it is wrong to lie, steal, and to be sexually immoral (have sex with someone we are not covenanted to in marriage). Every person also knows that it is wrong to murder. How do we know these things are wrong? God is good, and kind. He has given us His Law, the Ten Commandments, to show us His goodness, and to show us what is required of us. Because God is good, He has made it clear to us that He exists by giving us two things, the creation and our conscience. We know there is a Creator by looking at creation—the sun, moon, plants, animals, humans, etc. We also know there is a God because He has written His law, the Ten Commandments on our hearts. If we’re honest with ourselves we must admit and agree with the Creator that we’ve broken His laws. And because God is good, He must punish lawbreakers. For God, in His goodness, has promised to punish all sin (breaking His Commandments), and the punishment that He has ascribed for sin is eternity in Hell.  He is just and has promised to let no sin go unpunished. God's commandments include "You shall not murder". Do you know what God has prophesied as the end of all who murder the innocent? Revelation 21:8 says God's just punishment for every murderer is: eternity in the lake of fire!

Murdering a child in the womb is a willful violation of God's clear commandment. Since abortion is morally wrong, we must never consider it as an 'option'. God has not given us a 'choice'. He simply commands: "You shall not murder".

Jesus said: "No one is good". The Bible reveals that all have not only sinned, but that since the fall of Adam and Eve, the first human beings, all people are sinners by nature. God is just and has promised that He will not allow sin to go unpunished. Yes. Sin is that serious! In fact, did you know that the Word of God says that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood? But God is also merciful and loving.  2,000 years ago, God sent His one and only Son to earth to be born of a virgin and to live under the same Law that you and I live under.  Jesus, the Son of God, was fully man, yet fully God.  He was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet He never sinned.  He was perfect in thought, word, and deed. Jesus was, in every respect, pleasing in the sight of God.

During His lifetime, Jesus made claimed to be equal with God, saying, "I and My Father are One" (John 10:30). He claimed to be the exclusive way to God, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). And He claimed that little children are precious to God, saying, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14).  Jesus also told us how to enter heaven. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).  Despite Jesus' goodness and perfection, He was taken by the hands of sinful men, to be executed.  He did this willingly, saying, "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).  He was crucified, and He died.On the cross, Jesus cried these words: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  Jesus, being the Son of God, and in every respect equal with God, was forsaken by God.  Why?  Although He was, and is, the Son of God, He was also the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  At that moment on the cross, the sins of the world were placed on Him, and the Father crushed Him under His just and holy wrath. This is how God can forgive sin. He caused His precious Son Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for all who repent and believe, that we could then become the righteousness that God requires, in Christ alone. Jesus, having endured the full wrath of God for His people, was buried and on the third day He arose from the grave, just as He said He would. Although this forgiveness is free, it is not automatic. Jesus Himself said that you must be converted.  This is more than praying a prayer or going to church. Jesus said: "You must be born again!"  Scripture says, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). God requires that you must repent (confess and forsake your sin) and that you must place your trust solely in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation.  God loves life. He created you in His image. And He created every child in every womb in His image.  His desire for is that you turn to Him and receive forgiveness so that you may live. Then the decision you, or someone you know, may face, the decision of whether or not to abort (murder) a child, will not be difficult.

The precious little babies in the womb are created in the image of God, just as you are. You know that abortion is wrong. You know that it is sin. So the answer to the big question:
"Is it wrong to murder a baby by abortion?"  is this: Yes! It is soul-damning sin to murder a child in the womb. Sex outside marriage (fornication) is also a serious sin. Please, repent of your sexual immorality, turn to Christ today and do not kill the precious infant inside you. The life God has created is the life God requires you to love and protect.

Do not be so ignorant as to presume that God will forgive your sins. Going to church will not save you. Praying will not save you. Do not be deceived-you cannot mock the justice of God. God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, they will reap. (Galatians 6:7). If you sow the sin of murder, you will reap death, for the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23). Fear God and turn away from murdering today and look to Jesus, the Savior, to forgive you of your sin, cleanse you by His blood and give you a new heart with new desires.

Abortion is murder:

Adoption is a way for you to choose a loving forever family for your little baby. And, it's FREE. You can also receive financial assistance with your living expenses and medical expenses:
For information go to: to learn about adoption. to see profiles of couples on the adoption waiting list.

E mail for personal counseling and direction.

The Word of God is a Woman's Friend & Benefactor

by Patte Smith on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:33pm ·

Woman’s virtue, dignity, honor, and happiness, are nowhere safe but under the protection of the Word of God. The Bible is the benefactor of the female sex. Beneath this protection they are secure in their rights, their dignity, and their peace. It is their vine and fig tree, under which in calm repose they may enjoy the shade and relish the fruit. It protects their purity from taint, and their peace from disturbance.

Woman! regard your Savior for the next world as your Emancipator for this present one
—love the Bible as the charter of your liberty, and the guardian of your bliss—and...
Christ as your asylum from the wrongs of oppression and the arts of seduction.

Grateful she ought to be, for immense are the favors which have been conferred upon her.. It is enough to demand her thankfulness, that in common with man, she is the object of Divine love, redeeming mercy, and the subject of immortal hope! But in addition to this, she is rescued from oppression and exalted to honor in the present world. In regard to this, your obligations to Christianity are immense. You owe infinitely more to it than you ever reflect upon, or than you will ever be able to cancel. Often as you look round upon your condition in society, and especially as often as you contrast your situation with that of women in Pagan countries, let a glow of gratitude warm your heart and add intensity to the fervor with which you exclaim, “Precious Bible.” Yes, doubly precious to you as your friend for both worlds.

~ John Angell James

An oracle of woe for those who lust and fornicate

by Patte Smith on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 10:51am ·

What Does God Say About the Sin of Fornication?

(Fornication is defined in the Bible as sexual intimacy outside the covenant of marriage)

                   God ALWAYS says NO to fornication
                          and all sexual immorality!

Sexual sin is an extremely serious soul-damning sin to God.

The Bible declares that :

"No fornicator has any inheritance
in the kingdom of God."
Ephesians 5:5

"Fornicators … God will judge."
Hebrews 13:4


Do not be foolish and presume that God will forgive you
for the sin of fornication!
Even if you are not a professing Christian,
your God-given conscience tells you that sex outside marriage is wrong.
The Bible says that lust and impure thoughts come from an evil, sinful heart.

 Jesus asks: “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?”
Matthew 9:4

”For out of the heart come evil thoughts … sexual immorality”
Matthew 15:19 Mark 7:21 Luke 6:45

”Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived..."
I Corinthians 6:9,10

"Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord …
Flee sexual immorality.
Every sin that a man does is outside the body,
but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit … and you are not your own?
… therefore glorify God in your body"
I Corinthians 6:18-20

The Bible describes fornication as a work of the sinful flesh;

"The works of the flesh … fornication."
Galatians 5:19

Listen to God speak to you through His moral Law.
Jesus said He didn’t come to abolish (do away with) the 10 commandments, but to fulfill them. (Matt 5:17)
And He commissioned His followers to make disciples teaching everyone to obey them. (Matt 28:19-20)
In fact, the Savior not only taught the 10 RAISED the bar of holy requirements from God.
While the 7th commandment says: "You shall not commit adultery", Jesus upped the ante.
The Master assures us that it is a sin of the heart even to lust (dwell on sexual thoughts and fantasize)
about another person in your mind!

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:27-28

Jesus goes on to say that it would be better for you to pluck out your eye than sin.
Yes! Sexual sin is that serious!

When you actually go through with the physical act(s) of sex and consummate your lustful sin of adultery with another person, you are condemned by your conscience, which always affirms God’s perfect moral teachings.

How do you know what God commands?

How do you know what sin is? Romans 3:20 explains:

“For by the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

"Know this … the Law is made for … whoremongers."
I Timothy 1:9,10

You may not consider your boyfriend or girlfriend a whore or whoremonger, but my friend,
by the Bible’s (God's) definition that is what you are if you have sex with someone you are not married to.

What does God require of you?

"This is the will of God, your holiness:
That you refrain from sexual immorality."
I Thessalonians 4:3-8

Holiness and sexual purity are NOT an option.
They are commanded of you.

“ … but as He who called you is holy,
you also be holy in all your conduct,
because it is written; 'Be holy as I am holy.'”
I Peter 1:15, 16 (Lev 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7)

The Christian standard of, and motivation for, holiness is the absolute moral perfection of God Himself.
(Read Matt 5:48; Eph 5:1)

"Therefore … let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
II Cornithians 7:1

Jesus assures you that His standard for you is perfect holiness;

"Therefore you shall be perfect
just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 5:48

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord."
Hebrews 12:14

If you believe (and say) that God will automatically forgive your sexual sin,
my friend, I assure you, you are deceived.
The Bible says otherwise. At the judgment Jesus will look at you and say;

"I don't know you or where you come from.
Away from Me, all you evildoers!'"
Luke 13:27

 On that great and terrible day of the Lord…

“…those who have done good will rise to live,
and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."
John 5:29

"…those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil,
there will be wrath and anger.
There will be trouble and distress
for every human being who does evil.."
Romans 2:8, 9

Be afraid! 

“If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment …”
Hebrews 10: 26,27

Do not be foolish and fear only your circumstances and the loss of your guilty pleasures.
Losing your girlfriend or boyfriend, or having to do without sex
is nothing compared with having to face God.

Friend, be wise … Fear the Lord!
Be afraid to give yourself over to sexual sin!

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom …"
Psalm 111:10

"Fear God …” 
I Peter 2:17

God is kind enough to give you advance notice,
warning you to:

Avoid every kind of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22

You can’t blame God if he sends you to hell for eternity.
It is your responsibility to obey Him while you live.
If you refuse to flee sexual immorality,
you will die in your sins.
You will be like those who …

"… perish because they refused to love the truth
and so be saved."
2 Thessalonians 2:10

The unholy alliance of the world, your sinful flesh and the devil are conspiring against the knowledge and admission of this holy truth.

You may think that you are free, but if you are a fornicator, you are deceived.
It is obvious that your evil desires enslave you.
Jesus says;

"Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin."
John 8:34

"Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey,
you are that one’s slaves whom you obey,
whether of sin leading to death,
or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
Romans 6:16

"… but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
James 1:14

"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness,
and receive with meekness the implanted Word,
which is able to save your souls."
James 1:21

Do you say you are a Christian and yet you continue in sexual immorality?
The Bible says that you are under the control of the devil and are deceived!

How dare you defend the sin of fornication by the comfort of GOD in Jesus Christ and the grace of His divine forgiveness!  Blasphemy! Be warned! Do NOT promote the lie that the GRACE of Jesus makes it EASIER for you to sin. The power of sin comes from within YOU, not from God. Be afraid! You are blaspheming the Holy Spirit when you ascribe the justification for sexual immorality to the belief that you will be forgiven.

The apostle Paul addresses this lie in Roman 6:15, 21,23:
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly NOT! ... for the end of those things is DEATH ... For the wages of sin is DEATH."

"Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal
'The Lord knows those who are His,' and,
'Let everyone who names the Name of Christ depart from iniquity'.
2 Timothy 2:19

"They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him,
being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."
Titus 1:16

Listen to the warning voice of the Savior:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord ...' and I will declare to them,
'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." 
Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus will say, ‘I do not know you … Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:27)

The Bible assures us that God does not even hear the prayer of a person who harbors sin and excuses sin.
In fact, God calls the prayer of a fornicator an abomination!

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
 Psalm 66:18

"One who turns his ear away from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination."
Proverbs 28:9

"We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin …
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin.."
1 John 5:18

"Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good.
Anyone who does what is good is from God.
Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God."
3 John 1:11

"Know this. You will not get away with any of your sin.
If you continue in your quest to satisfy your sexual desires and fornicate,
things will not go well for you.
…while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse,
deceiving and being deceived."
 2 Timothy 3:13

Do not be fooled into thinking that by going to church you can continue to sin
and you are safe with the LORD. Church cannot save you now or in the day of judgment.
Your priest, your pastor, they cannot save you.
God sees you as His enemy. He opposes you because you are;

"…alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works"
Colossians 1:21

"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
1 Peter 3:12

You are under the judgment of God!

"I will utter My judgments against them concerning all their wickedness"
Jeremiah 1:16

God requires you to turn from your sexual immorality and flee to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and the power to live in fear of Him and walk in holiness! By His Blood He can forgive you and by the power of His Holy Spirit He can can break the stronghold of sin in your soul and by His grace, give you the power to live a holy life and do what is right in the sight of God and men. What must you do?

He must turn from evil and do good
1 Peter 3:11

As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Peter 4:2

Repent that you may …

" ... escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
2 Peter 1:4

You must truly repent if you have been involved in sexual sin. Genuine repentance involves more than saying you are sorry for your sin to God. You are not forgiven by merely feeling or saying that you are sorry.
To receive forgiveness and cleansing from God
you are required to TURN from and FORSAKE sin.
You cannot do this in your own power.
You need Christ to savingly repent of your evil!
Go to God in wholehearted sorrow and repent now.

Jesus didn’t come simply to keep us from going to hell. Christ’s perfect sinless life and sacrifice on the Cross and triumph over death at the resurrection is a double cure. Jesus rescues the penitent sinner from both:
The penalty of sin
The power of sin.

Why choose God’s wrath?

Repent and sin no more today!

Look to Christ and live! He sacrificed His life's Blood at the Cross for those who will humble themselves and come to Him. He rose from the grave, and is alive forevermore.
The Savior will come again to judge the living and the dead. His grace is sufficient for all your sin.

Jesus says:
"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy,
and My burden is light."

Matthew 11:28-30

The Cross is where those who repent and believe receive their salvation and joy of Jesus Christ.

Nine reasons why people (including professing Christians) won't repent of sin, with warnings

by Patte Smith on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 7:48pm ·

Thomas Watson noted 9 HINDRANCES of repentance, or what he calls;
gospel mourning:

 1. The love of sin. The love of sin makes sin taste sweet, and this sweetness in sinbewitches the heart. The love of sin hardens the heart and keeps the devil in possession. In true mourning there must be a grieving for sin. But how can a man grieve for that sin which his heart is in love with? Oh, take heed of this sweet poison! The love of sin freezes the soul in impenitence.

2. Despair. Despair affronts God, undervalues Christ's blood and damns the soul! 'But they will say—It's hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart' (Jeremiah 18:12). This is the language of despair. Despair destroys repentance, for the proper ground of repentance is mercy. 'The goodness of God leads you to repentance' (Romans 2:4)—but despair hides mercy out of sight. Oh, take heed of this. Despair is an irrational sin; there is no ground for it. The Lord shows mercy to thousands. Why may you not be one of a thousand? The wings of God's mercy are stretched out to every humble penitent. Though you have been a great sinner—yet if you are a weeping sinner—there is a golden scepter of mercy held forth (Psalm 103:11). Despair locks up the soul in impenitence!

3. A conceit that this mourning will make us melancholy (unhappy). But this is a mistake. Lose our joy? Tell me, what joy can there be in a condemned condition? What joy does sin afford? Is not sin compared to a wound and bruise? (Isaiah 1:6). David had his broken bones (Psalm 51:8). Is there any comfort in having the bones out of joint? Does not sin breed a palpitation and trembling of heart? (Deuteronomy 28:65, 66). Is it any joy for a man to be a 'terror to himself'? (Jeremiah 20:4). Surely of the sinner's laughter it may be said, 'It is mad!' (Ecclesiastes 2:2), whereas holy mourning is the breeder of joy. It does not eclipse joy—but refines our joy and makes it better. The prodigal dated his joy from the time of his repentance. 'Then they began to be merry' (Luke 15:24).

4. Checking the motions of the Spirit. The Spirit sets us a-mourning. Oft we meet with gracious motions to prayer and repentance. Now when we stifle these motions, which is called a quenching the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). When the Spirit of God falls as dew in His influences upon the soul, then it is moistened with sorrow. But if the Spirit withdraws, the soul is like Gideon's dry fleece. A ship can as well sail without the wind, a bird can as well fly without wings—as we can mourn without the Spirit! Take heed of grieving the Spirit. Do not drive away this sweet Dove from the ark of your soul. The Spirit is 'gentle and tender'. If He is grieved, He may say, 'I will come no more'—and if He once withdraws, we cannot mourn.

5. Presumption of mercy. Who will mourn for sin—who thinks he may be saved at a cheaper rate? How many suck damnation out of the sweet flower of God's mercy? Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save sinners, is the occasion of many a man's perishing. 'Oh,' says one, 'Christ died for me. He has done all. What need I pray or mourn?' Many a bold sinner plucks death from the tree of life, and through presumption, goes to hell by that ladder of Christ's blood, by which others go to heaven. It is sad when the goodness of God, which should 'lead to repentance' (Romans 2:4), leads to presumption. O sinner, do not hope yourself into hell. Take heed of being damned upon a mistake. You say God is merciful, and therefore you go on securely in sin. But whom is mercy for? The presuming sinner or the mourning sinner? 'Let the wicked forsake his way, and return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him' (Isaiah 55:7). No mercy without forsaking sin, and no forsaking sin without mourning!

6. A conceit of the smallness of sin. 'Is it not a little one?' (Genesis 19:20). The devil holds the small end of the telescope to sinners. To imagine that sin is less than it is, is very dangerous. An opinion of the littleness of sin keeps us from the use of means. Who will be earnest for a physician, who thinks it is but a trivial disease? And who will seek to God with a penitent heart for mercy, who thinks sin is but a slight thing? Consider that sin cannot be little, because it is against the Majesty of heaven. There is no small treason, it being against the king's person. Every sin is sinful, therefore damnable. There is death and hell in every sin. "The wages of sin is death!" (Romans 6:23). It is not with sin as it is with diseases—some are mortal, some not mortal. The least sin without repentance, will be a lock and bolt to shut men out of heaven.

View sin in the red glass of Christ's sufferings. The least sin cost his blood. Read the greatness of your sin in the deepness of Christ's wounds. Let not Satan cast such a mist before your eyes that you cannot see sin in its right colors. Not only do great sins carry men to hell—but lesser sins as well.

7. Procrastination;  "When the lamp is almost out, the strength exhausted, and old age comes on—then mourning for sin will be in season—but it is too soon now." That I may show how pernicious this opinion is, and that I may roll away this stone from the mouth of the well, that so the waters of repentance may be drawn forth—let me propose these four serious and weighty considerations:

First, do you know what it is to be in the state of condemnation? And will you say it is too soon to get out of it? You are under 'the wrath of God' (John 3:36)!  You are under 'the power of Satan' (Acts 26:18), and is it too soon to get out of the enemy's quarters?

Second, men do not argue thus in other cases. They do not say, 'It is too soon to be rich.' They will not put off getting the world until old age. No! here they take the first opportunity. It is not too soon to be rich—and is it too soon to be saved from sin? Is not repentance a matter of the greatest consequence? Is it not more needful for men to lament their sin, than augment their estate?

Third, God's call to mourning is always in the present. 'Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts' (Hebrews 3:7, 8). Such are God's summons to repentance. 'Today if you will hear His voice'. Sinners, when Satan has tempted you to any wickedness, you have not said, 'It is too soon, Satan'—but have immediately embraced his temptation. You have not put the devil off—and will you put God off?

Fourth, it is a foolish thing to adjourn and put off mourning for sin, for the longer you put off holy mourning—the harder you will find the work when you come to it! A bone which is out of joint is easier to set at first—than if you let it go longer. A disease is sooner cured at first—than if it is let alone until advance stages come. You may easily wade over the waters when they are low but if you wait stay until they are risen, then they will be beyond your depth. O sinner, the more treasons against God you commit—the more do you incense Him against you, and the harder it will be to get your pardon.

To adjourn, and put off mourning for sin is folly in respect of the uncertainty of life. How does the procrastinating sinner know that he shall live to be old? 'What is your life? It is but a vapor' (James 4:14).
It is folly to put off all until the last. Though God has given you space to repent, He may deny you grace to repent. When God calls for mourning and you are deaf—when you call for mercy God may be dumb. 'I called you so often, but you didn't come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered. So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you— when calamity overcomes you like a storm, when you are engulfed by trouble, and when anguish and distress overwhelm you. I will not answer when they cry for help. Even though they anxiously search for Me, they will not find Me!' (Proverbs 1:24-28). Think of it seriously. God may take the latter time to judge you in—because you did not take the former time to repent.

To put off our solemn turning to God until old age, or sickness, is high imprudence, because 'death bed repentance' is for the most part insincere and spurious. Though true mourning for sin be never too late—yet 'death bed repentance' is seldom true. That repentance is seldom true-hearted, which is grey-headed. It is disputable whether these death-tears are not shed more out of fear of hell—than love to God.

8. Delay in the execution of justice. "When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong." (Ecclesiastes 8:11). God forbears punishing—therefore men forbear repenting. He does not smite upon their back by correction—therefore they do not smite upon their thigh by humiliation (Jeremiah 31:19). The sinner thinks thus: 'God has spared me all this while; He has eked out patience into longsuffering; surely He will not punish.' 'He says to himself—'God has forgotten; He covers His face and never sees' (Psalm 10:11). God is not only gracious—but 'waits to be gracious' (Isaiah 30:18). But God by His patience, would bribe sinners to repentance. But, alas, how is His patience abused! God's longsuffering hardens most. Because God stops the vial of His wrath, sinners stop the conduit of tears! That the patience of God may not (through our corruption) obstruct holy mourning, let sinners remember:

First, God's patience has bounds set to it (Genesis 6:3). Though men will not set bounds to their sin—yet God sets bounds to His patience. There is a time when the sun of God's patience will set, and, being once set—it never returns any degrees backwards. The lease of patience will soon be run out! There is a time when God says, 'My Spirit shall no longer strive.' The angel cried, 'The hour of judgement has come' (Revelation 14:7). Perhaps at the next sin you commit—God may say, 'Your hour has now come!'

Second, to be hardened under God's patience, makes our condition far worse. Incensed justice will revenge abused patience! God was patient towards Sodom—but when they did not repent, He made the fire and brimstone flame about their ears! Sodom, which was once the wonder of God's patience—is now a standing monument of God's severity. Long forbearance is not forgiveness. God may keep off the stroke awhile—but justice is not dead. The longer God is taking His blow—the sorer it will be when it comes. The longer a stone is falling—the heavier it will be at last. The longer God is whetting His sword—the sharper it cuts. Sins against God's patience are of a deeper dye; they are worse than the sins of the devils. How dreadful will their condition be—who sin because God is patient with them. For every crumb of patience, God puts a drop of wrath into His vial. The longer God forbears with a sinner, the more interest he is sure to pay in hell.

9. Mirth and music. 'You sing idle songs to the sound of the harp. You drink wine by the bowlful, and you perfume yourselves with exotic fragrances.' (Amos 6:5, 6). Instead of the dirge, they sing idle songs. Many sing away sorrow, and drown their tears in wine. The sweet waters of pleasure destroy the bitter waters of mourning. How many go dancing to hell?!
Let us take heed of all these hindrances to holy tears. 'Let the harp play sad music, and the flute accompany those who weep.' (Job 30:31).

Excerpted from:

Gospel Mourning by Thomas Watson


by Patte Smith on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at 9:45am ·

Gospel Mourning 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." 
 ~ Matthew 5:4

Here are eight steps leading to true blessedness.

Mourning would be a sad and unpleasant subject to address—
were it not that it has blessedness going before,
and comfort coming after. 
Mourning is put here, for repentance

The ASSERTION—mourners are blessed people. 
 'Blessed are you who weep now'
~ Luke 6:21

But will all mourning entitle a man to blessedness? No! There is a twofold mourning which is far from making one blessed. There is a carnal mourning, and adiabolical mourning.

1. There is a CARNAL mourning when we lament outward losses—who cannot mourn over a crucified Savior! There are abundance of these carnal tears shed. 'The sorrow of the world works death'
2 Corinthians 7:10

2. There is a DIABOLICAL mourning and that is twofold:

When a man mourns that he cannot satisfy his impure lust. This is like the devil, whose greatest torture is that he can be no more wicked. Thus Ammon mourned and was sick, until he defiled his sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13:2). Thus Ahab mourned for Naboth's vineyard, "So Ahab went home angry and sullen. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!' (1 Kings 21:4). This was a devilish mourning.

Again, when men are sorry for the good which they have done. Pharaoh was grieved that 'he had let the children of Israel go' (Exodus 14:5). Many are so devilish that they ... repent of their repentance!

The OBJECTS of spiritual mourning. 
There are two objects of spiritual mourning—sin and misery.

The first object of spiritual mourning is SIN;
our own sin; and the sin of others.

1. Our OWN sin. Sin must have tears...And indeed it is with good reason we mourn for sin, if we consider the GUILT of sin, which binds over to wrath. Will not a guilty person weep, who is to be bound over to the penalty? Every sinner is to be tried for his life and is sure to be cast away—if sovereign mercy does not become an advocate for him.

The POLLUTION of sin. Sin is a plague spot, and will you not labor to wash away this spot with your tears? The sinner has that which the devil has put into him. 'Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?' (Acts 5:3). We have in our hearts the seed of the unpardonable sin. We have the seed of all those sins for which the damned are now tormented! And shall we not mourn? .. But every mourning for sin is not sufficient to entitle a man to blessedness. I shall show what is not the right gospel-mourning for sin, and then what is the right gospel-mourning for sin.

What is NOT the right gospel-mourning for sin? 
 There is a fivefold mourning which is false and spurious.

despairing kind of mourning.
Such was Judas' mourning. He saw his sin, he was sorry, he made confession, he justifies Christ, he makes restitution (Matthew 27). Judas, who is in hell, did more than many nowadays! He confessed his sin. He makes an open acknowledgment of his sin. 'I have sinned!' Judas made restitution. His conscience told him he came wickedly by the money. It was 'the price of blood', and he 'brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests' (Matthew 27:3). .. Well, wherein was Judas' sorrow blameworthy? It was a mourning joined with despair...His was not repentance unto life (Acts 11:18)—but rather unto death.

An hypocritical mourning.
The heart is very deceitful. It can betray as well by a tear—as by a kiss. Saul looks like a mourner, and as he was sometimes 'among the prophets' (1 Samuel 10:12) So he seemed to be among the penitents—'And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord' (1 Samuel 15:24). Saul played the hypocrite in his mourning, for he did not take shame to himself—but he did rather take honor to himself: 'honor me before the elders of my people' (verse 30). He pared and minced his sin that it might appear lesser, he laid his sin upon the people, 'because I feared the people' (verse 24). A true mourner labors to draw out sin in its bloody colors, and accent it with all its killing aggravations, that he may be deeply humbled before the Lord. 'Our iniquities are increased over our head, and our sin has grown up unto the heavens' (Ezra 9:6). The true penitent labors to make the worst of his sin. Saul labors to make the best of sin; like a patient that makes the best of his disease, lest the physician should prescribe him too sharp remedy. How easy is it for a man to put a cheat upon his own soul—and by hypocrisy to sweep himself into hell!

forced mourning.
When tears are pumped out by God's judgements, these are like the tears of a man who lies upon the rack. Such was Cain's mourning. 'My punishment is greater than I can bear!' (Genesis 4:13). His punishment troubled him more than his sin! To mourn only for fear of hell is like a thief that weeps for the penalty, rather than the offence. The tears of the wicked are forced by the fire of affliction!

An external mourning; when sorrow lies only on the outside.
'They disfigure their faces' (Matthew 6:16). The eye is tender—but the heart is hard. Such was Ahab's mourning. 'He tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh, and went softly' (1 Kings 21:27). His clothes were torn—but his heart was not torn. He had sackclothbut no sorrow. He hung down his head like a bulrush—but his heart was like granite.

A vain fruitless mourning.
Some will shed a few tears—but are as bad as ever. They will deceive and be unclean. Such a kind of mourning there is in hell. The damned weep—but the continue to blaspheme God.

What is the RIGHT gospel-mourning? 
 That mourning which will entitle a man to blessedness has these qualifications:

It is spontaneous and free.

Gospel-mourning is spiritual; that is, when we mourn for sin more than suffering. Pharaoh says, "Take away the plague!" He never thought of the plague of his heart. A sinner mourns because judgment follows at the heels of sin—but David cries out, 'My sin is ever before me' (Psalm 51:3).

Our mourning for sin, if it is spiritual, must be under this threefold notion:

1. We must mourn for sin, as it is an act of hostility and enmity against God. Sin not only makes us unlike God—but contrary to God: 'They have walked contrary unto Me' (Leviticus 26:40). Sin affronts and resists the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Sin is contrary to God's nature; God is holy; sin is an impure thing. Sin is contrary to His will. The Hebrew word for 'sin' signifies 'rebellion'. A sinner fights against God (Acts 5:39). Now when we mourn for sin as it is a walking contrary to heaven, this is a gospel-mourning.

2. We must mourn for sin, as it is the highest ingratitude against God. It is a kicking against the breasts of mercy. God sends His Son to redeem us, His Spirit to comfort us. We sin against the blood of Christ, the grace of the Spirit—and shall we not mourn? We complain of the unkindness of others, and shall we not lay to heart our own unkindness against God? May not the Lord say to us, 'These wounds I have received in the house of my friend!' (Zechariah 13:6). Israel took their jewels and earrings and made a golden calf of them. The sinner takes the jewels of God's mercies and makes use of them to sin. Ingratitude is a 'crimson sin' (Isaiah 1:18). Sins against gospel-love are worse in some sense, than the sins of the devils, for they never had an offer of grace offered to them. Now when we mourn for sin as ingratitude, this is evangelical mourning.

3. We must mourn for sin as it is a privation; it hinders our communion with God. Our sins have taken away our Lord. They have deprived us of His sweet presence. Will not he grieve, who has lost a rich jewel? When we mourn for sin under this notion; when we mourn not so much that peace is gone—but God is gone, 'My beloved had withdrawn himself' (Canticles 5:6); this is a holy mourning. The mourning for the loss of God's favor—is the best way to regain His favor. If you have lost a friend, all your weeping will not fetch him again—but if you have lost God's presence, your mourning will bring your God again.

Gospel-mourning sends the soul to God.
When the prodigal son repented, he went to his father. 'I will arise and go to my father' (Luke 15:18). Gospel-mourning puts a man upon duty. The reason is, that in true sorrow there is a mixture of hope, and hope puts the soul upon the use of means. That mourning which like the 'flaming sword' keeps the soul from approaching to God, and beats it off from duty—is a sinful mourning. It is a sorrow hatched in hell. Such was Saul's grief—which drove him to the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:7). Evangelical mourning is a spur to prayer. The child who weeps for offending his father goes to his presence and will not leave until his father is reconciled to him. Absalom could not be quiet 'until he had seen the king's face' (2 Samuel 14:32, 33).

Gospel-mourning is for sin in particular
 The deceitful man is occupied with generalities. It is with a true penitent as it is with a wounded man. He comes to the surgeon and shows him all his wounds. Here I was cut with the sword; here I was shot with a bullet. So a true penitent bewails all his particular sins. 'We have served Baal' (Judges 10:10). They mourned for their idolatry. And David lays his fingers upon the sore—and points to that very sin which troubled him (Psalm 51:4). 'I have done this evil!' He means his blood-guiltiness. A wicked man will say he is a sinner—but a child of God says, 'I have done this evil!' Peter wept for that particular sin of denying Christ.
There must be a particular repentance, before we have a general pardon.

Gospel-mourning is joined with self-loathing. 
 The sinner admires himself. The penitent loathes himself. 'You shall loath yourselves in your own sight for all your evils' (Ezekiel 20:43). A true penitent is troubled not only for the shameful consequence of sin—but for the loathsome nature of sin; not only the sting of sin—but the deformed face of sin. The true mourner cries out, O these impure eyes! this heart which is a conclave of wickedness! He not only leaves sin—but loathes sin

Gospel-mourning must be purifying. 
Our tears must make us more holy.
We must not only mourn—but turn. 'Turn to Me with weeping' (Joel 2:12).
What good is it, to have a watery eye and a whorish heart?
Naturalists say of the serpent, before it goes to drink it vomits out its poison. In this 'be wise as serpents'. Before you think to drink down the sweet cordials of the promises, cast up the poison that lies at your heart. Do not only mourn for sin—but break from sin.

Gospel-mourning must be joined with hatred of sin. '
We must not only abstain from sin—but abhor sin.  A true mourner hates the least motion to sin. A true mourner is a sin-hater. To be a sin-hater implies two things: first, to look upon sin as the most deadly evil— as the essence of all evil. It looks more ghastly than death or hell. Second, to be implacably incensed against it. A sin-hater will never admit of any terms of peace. The war between him and sin. Anger may be reconciled—hatred cannot.
True mourning begins in the love of God—and ends in the hatred of sin.

Gospel-mourning in some cases is joined with restitution. 
Thus Zacchaeus, 'If I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold' (Luke 19:8), according to the law of Exodus 22:1. James bids us not only look to the heart but the hand: 'Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts' (James 4:8). If you have wronged another, cleanse your hands by restitution. Be assured, without restitution—no remission.

Gospel-mourning must be a speedy mourning. 
As David said, 'I will pay my vows now' (Psalm 116:18), so should a Christian say, 'I will mourn for sin now.' 'Blessed are you that weep now' (Luke 6:21). God charges us immediately to bewail our sins. 'Now God calls all men everywhere to repent' (Acts 17:30). We know not whether we may have another day granted us. Oh let us not put off our mourning for sin! You may seek the blessing with tears, as Esau when it is too late. How long shall I say that I will repent tomorrow? Why not at this instant? 'Delay brings danger'. The true mourner makes haste to meet an angry God...

Gospel-mourning for sin is perpetual.
There are some who at a sermon will shed a few tears—but they are soon dried up. The hypocrite's sorrow is presently stopped. No! it must be a daily weeping. As Paul said, 'I die daily' (1 Corinthians 15:31), so a Christian should say, 'I mourn daily'. Therefore keep open an outflow of godly sorrow, and be sure it is not stopped until death. 'Let your tears flow like a river. Give yourselves no rest from weeping day or night' (Lamentations 2:18). Daily mourning is a good antidote against backsliding. The washing of our souls daily in the brinish waters of repentance is the best way both to prevent and cure the falling into relapses.

Even God's own children must mourn after pardon; for God, in pardoning, does not pardon at one instant sins past and future; but as repentance is renewed, so pardon is renewed. Should God by one act pardon sins future as well as past, this would make void part of Christ's office. What need were there of His intercession, if sin should be pardoned before it be committed? There are sins in the godly of daily incursion, which must be mourned for. Though sin is pardoned, still it rebels; though it be covered, it is not cured (Romans 7:23). There is that in the best Christian, which is contrary to God. There is that in him, which deserves hell—and shall he not mourn? A ship that is always leaking must have the water continually pumped out. While the soul leaks by sin, we must be still pumping at the leak by repentance. Think not, O Christian, that your sins are washed away only by Christ's blood—but by water and blood. The brazen laver (Exodus 30:18) that the people of Israel were to wash in might be a fit emblem of this spiritual laver, tears and blood; and when holy mourning is thus qualified, this is that 'sorrowing after a godly sort' (2 Corinthians 7:11), which makes a Christian eternally blessed.

2. As we must mourn for our own sins—so we must lay to heart the sins of OTHERS.
Thus we should wish with Jeremiah, that our eyes were a fountain of tears, that we might weep day and night for the iniquity of the times. Our blessed Savior mourned for the sins of the Jews: 'Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts' (Mark 3:5). And holy David, looking upon the sins of the wicked, his heart was turned into a spring, and his eyes into rivers. 'Rivers of tears run down my eyes, because they do not keep Your Law' (Psalm 119:136). Lot's righteous soul 'was vexed with the filthy lives of the wicked' (2 Peter 2:7). Lot took the sins of Sodom and made spears of them to pierce his own soul.

Have not we cause to mourn for the sins of others?
The whole axle of the nation is ready to break under the weight of sin. What an inundation of wickedness is there among us? Mourn for the hypocrisy of the times. Jehu says 'Come, see my zeal for the Lord'—but it was zeal for the throne (2 Kings 10:16). This is the hypocrisy of some. They entitle God to whatever they do. They make bold with God to use His Name to their wickedness. 'They build up Zion with blood; yet will they lean upon the Lord and say, 'Is not the Lord among us?' (Micah 3:10, 11). Many with a religious kiss smite the gospel...The white devil is worst! To hear the Name of God in the mouths of scandalous hypocrites, is enough to affright others from the profession of religion.

Mourn for the errors and blasphemies of the nation. There is now a free trade of error. Toleration gives men a patent to sin.

Mourn for covenant violation. Breach of covenant is spiritual harlotry, and for this God may name us 'Not my people', and give us a bill of divorce (Hosea 1:9).

Mourn for the pride of the nation. Our condition is low—but our hearts are high. Mourn for the profaneness of the land. Mourn for the removing of landmarks (Deuteronomy 27:17). Mourn for the the spitting in the face of Authority. Mourn that there are so few mourners. Surely if we mourn not for the sins of others, it is to be feared that we are not sensible of our own sins.

God looks upon us as guilty of those sins in others—which we do not lament. Our tears may help to quench God's wrath!

The saints must be sensible of the injuries of God's church. 'We wept when we remembered Zion' (Psalm 137:1). The people of Israel...sat by the rivers weeping. They laid aside all their musical instruments. 'We hung our harps upon the willows' (verse 2)... 'How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?' (verse 4). We were fitter to weep than to sing. The sound of song is not agreeable to mourning.
Mourn to see God's church a bleeding vine. Mourn to see Christ's spouse with 'garments rolled in blood'.
Truth has fallen in the streets—and peace has fled.

There are three special SEASONS of extraordinary mourning;

1. When there are tokens of God's wrath breaking forth in the nation. England has been under God's black rod these many years. The Lord has drawn His sword. O that our tears may blunt the edge of this sword! When it is a time of treading down, now is a time of breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts. 'Therefore said I, look away from me, I will weep bitterly for it is a time of treading down' (Isaiah 22:4, 5). 'A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds . . . therefore turn to Me with weeping and with mourning' (Joel 2:2, 12). Rain follows thunder. When God thunders in a nation by His judgements, now the showers of tears must distill.  If the Lord seems to be packing up and carrying away His gospel—it is now high time to mourn, that by our tears possibly His 'repentings may be kindled' (Hosea 11:8).

2. Before the performing solemn duties of God's worship, as fasting or receiving the Lord's Supper. Christian, are you about to seek God in an extraordinary manner? 'Seek Him sorrowing' (Luke 2:48). Would you have the smiles of God's face, the kisses of His lips? Set open all the springs of mourning, and then God will draw near to you and say, 'Here I am!' (Isaiah 58:9). When Jacob wept, then he 'found God in Bethel' (Hosea 12:4). 'He called the name of the place Peniel, for I have seen God face to face' (Genesis 32:30). Give Christ the wine of your tears to drink—and He will give you the wine of His blood to drink.

3. After scandalous relapses. Though I will not say that there is no mercy for sins of relapse—yet I say there is no mercy without bitter mourning. Scandalous sins reflect dishonor upon religion (2 Samuel 12:14). Therefore now our cheeks should be covered with blushing, and our eyes bedewed with tears. Peter, after His denying Christ, wept bitterly. Christian, has God given you over to any enormous sin as a just reward of your pride and carnal security? Go into the 'weeping bath'. Scandalous sins wound the gospel. Lesser sins grieve the Spirit—but greater sins vex the Spirit (Isaiah 63:10). When we have by scandalous sin darkened the luster of the gospel, now is the time for the dew of holy tears to fall from our eyes.

What is the OPPOSITE to holy mourning? The opposite to mourning is 'hardness of heart', which in Scripture is called 'a heart of stone' (Ezekiel 36:26). A heart of stone is far from mourning and repenting. This heart of stone is known by two symptoms:

One symptom is insensibility. A stone is not sensible of anything—it does not feel. So it is with a hard heart. It is insensible to both its own sin and God's wrath.  'Having lost all sensitivity.' (Ephesians 4:19).

A heart of stone is known by its inflexibility. A stone will not bend. That is hard, which does not yield to the touch. So it is with a hard heart. It will not comply with God's command. It will not stoop to Christ's scepter. A heart of stone will sooner break, than bend by repentance. It is so far from yielding to God, it 'always resists the Holy Spirit' (Acts 7:51).

Oh Christians, if you would be spiritual mourners, take heed of this stone of the heart. 'Harden not your hearts' (Hebrews 3:7,8). A stony heart is the worst heart. A stony heart is such, that only the arm of God can break it--and only the blood of Christ can soften it! Oh the misery of a hard heart! A hard heart is void of all grace. While the wax is hard, it will not take the impression of the seal. The heart, while it is hard, will not take the stamp of grace. It must first be made tender and melting. The plough of the Word will not penetrate a hard heart. A hard heart is good for nothing—but to make fuel for hellfire. 'Because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath' (Romans 2:5). Hell is full of hard hearts—there is not one soft heart there. There is weeping there—but no softness. We read of 'vessels of His wrath--prepared for destruction' (Romans 9:22). Hardness of heart, fits these vessels for hell, and makes them like withered wood, which is fit only to burn.

Hardness of heart makes a man's condition worse than all his other sins besides. If one is guilty of great sins—yet if he can mourn, there is hope. Repentance unravels sin, but hardness of heart binds guilt fast upon the soul. It seals a man under wrath. It is hardness of heart which damns. This makes the sin against the Holy Spirit incapable of mercy, because the sinner who has committed it, is incapable of repentance.

Sundry sharp reproofs

This doctrine draws up a charge against several sorts of people:

1. Those who think themselves good Christians—yet have not learned this art of holy mourning. Men have tears to shed for other things—but have none to spare for their sins. Most are like the stony ground which 'lacked moisture' (Luke 8:6).

Did Christ bleed for sin—and can you not weep! If God's bottle is not filled with tears—His vial will be filled with wrath! We have many sinners in Zion—but few mourners in Zion. So when the waves of sin have even covered men and the stormy wind of God's wrath blows, and is ready to blow them into hell—yet they are asleep in carnal security.

2. This doctrine reproves them who instead of weeping for sin, spend their days in mirth and jollity. Instead of mourners we have jesters. 'They sing with tambourine and harp. They make merry to the sound of the flute' (Job 21:12, 13). 'They do not give themselves to mourning—but follow after their pleasures'. James bids us 'turn our laughter to mourning' (James 4:9). The jovial sinner amuses the devil. 'It is one of the worst sights to see a sinner go laughing to hell.' How unseasonable is it to take the harp and violin—when God is taking the sword! 'A sword is being sharpened and polished. It is being prepared for terrible slaughter; it will flash like lightning! Now will you laugh?' (Ezekiel 21:9, 10). This is a sin which enrages God.

'The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of sackcloth to show your remorse. But instead, you dance and play; you feast on meat, and drink wine. The Lord Almighty has revealed to me that this sin will never be forgiven you until the day you die. That is the judgment of the Lord, the Lord Almighty' (Isaiah 22:12-14). That is, this your sin shall not be done away by any expiatory sacrifice—but vengeance shall pursue you forever!

3. This doctrine reproves those who, instead of mourning for sin, rejoice in sin (Proverbs 2:14); 'Who take pleasure in iniquity' (2 Thessalonians 2:12). Wicked men in this sense are worse than the damned in hell, for they take little pleasure in their sins. There are some so impudently profane, that they will make themselves and others merry with their sins. Sin is a soul sickness (Luke 5:31). Will a man make merry with his disease? Ah wretch! did Christ bleed for sin—and do you laugh at sin! Is it a time for a man to be jesting when he is upon the scaffold, and his head is to be stricken off? You who laugh at sin now, 'So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—when calamity overcomes you like a storm, when you are engulfed by trouble, and when anguish anddistress overwhelm you!' Proverbs 1:24-27

4. This doctrine reproves those that cry down mourning for sin. They are like the Philistines who stopped-up the wells (Genesis 26:15). These would stop-up the wells of godly sorrow. Antinomians say this is a legal doctrine—but Christ here preaches it: 'Blessed are those who mourn.' And the apostles preached it, 'And they went out and preached that men should repent' (Mark 6:12). Holy sincerity will put us upon mourning for sin. He who has the heart of a child cannot but weep for his unkindness against God. Mourning for sin is the very fruit and product of the Spirit of grace (Zechariah 12:10). Such as cry down repentance, cry down the Spirit of grace. Mourning for sin is the only way to keep off wrath from us. To all such I say, as Peter to Simon Magus, 'Repent therefore of this your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you', O sinner '(Acts 8:22). Repent that you have cried down repentance.

Excerpted from Gospel Mourning by Thomas Watson