Monday, July 15, 2013

Satan's realm

If we go back to Genesis 3, 
where we have the earliest mention of Satan-
we are shown the realm in which he works 
and the central object of his attack. 
That realm is religion 
and that object is 
the Word of God
~ AW Pink

The enemy will offer all kinds of counterfeit doctrines 
that look good and sound OK—
false doctrines where the error is so carefully nuanced 
it's hard to put your finger on what's wrong with it. 
He will tempt you to set aside 

what is precise 
and carefully defined 
in place of dumbed-down doctrinal formulas 
that don't necessarily sound dangerous—
but are. 
~ Phil Johnson

Are you snakebit? 

There are all sorts of charming, seductive nice-sounding unbiblical notions being hawked out there
in modern Christendumb.

Don't fall for them!

They may sound all sweet & sentimental,
like little bunny rabbits,
but they're fanged with serpent's poison!

The Word of God & sound doctrine are the anti-venom!

Study to show yourself approved unto God, 
a worker who has no need to be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the Word of truth.
~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Begin by going back to basics.

Study the following doctrines:

The Doctrine of God.
The Doctrine of Man.
The Doctrine of Satan.
The Doctrine of Holy Scriptures.
The Doctrine of Original sin.
The Doctrine of Sin
The Doctrine of Human Depravity.The Doctrine of General Revelation.The Doctrine of Common Grace.The Doctrine of Saving Grace.The Doctrine of Repentance unto life.The Doctrine of Saving Faith.The Law of God & it's Three-Fold Use. The Doctrine of Salvation.The Degrees of Sin/Degrees of Punishment

You can find many of these biblical doctrines clearly laid out, with scripture proofs, in theWestminster Confession of Faith:

You can listen to mp3 teachings on Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem at:
Snake bites are serious.
Don't delay.
Start today!

Every truth leads towards holiness; every error of doctrine, directly or indirectly, leads to sin. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 01, 2013

Be on guard! Don't sell out GOD!

By Patte Smith

A friend asked; "What is the sin that Christians struggle with the most?" 
There were various answers. Lust and pride were at the top.
I responded that I believe that one of the greatest and most insidious sins that Christians struggle with are the twins of unbelief and idolatry.

The sins of unbelief and idolatry are often disguised as 'grace', 'kindness', 'compassion' and'Christian love'. They are expressed in the form of not trusting the perfect goodness of God, in Christ, His person, character, and His holy authoritative revelation of truth in His Law and Testimony. These sins are manifested when we are ashamed of Jesus and His Word and we defer to making the felt 'happiness' of man/or woman the center of all things. We profess to be Christians, but in practice we often follow, teach and promulgate HUMANISM (which is idolatry)when we are speaking, counseling and preaching.

Humanism's motto is 'homo mensura', Latin for “man the measure.” Humanism is the belief that man/woman is the measure of all things. Man/woman is the ultimate and they are their own autonomous norm. His/her REASON (thought process), not subservient to divine revelation, is the basis of 'ethics' (determination of what is right and wrong).

R.C. Sproul has taught and warned extensively on the insidious effect of humanism on and in the visible church, saying;

"...subjectivism is the inevitable consequence of making man the final arbiter of what is true. Without an objective, transcendent norm all we have are individual preferences to guide us. We must then ask, whose preferences will guide us?...

Only the Christian worldview, where God is the measure of all things, can preserve life and liberty.
Only those who believe that man is made in God’s image have grounds for attributing any kind of worth to humanity. Remember this as you engage other worldviews."

Many, if not most, churches and para-church 'ministries' (especially obvious in pro-life ministries)is the anthropocentric approach to counseling. While Christians should have a primarily theocentric/Christocentric approach, theistic humanism has become the 'norm'. Churches and their leadership see this in the ministries they prayerfully and financially support, but often give them a 'pass'. Why?

When you look at allegedly 'Christian' pregnancy center websites & materials, for instance, what stands out? What is their raison d'ĂȘtre ("reason for existence")? Is it not WOMEN and their 'happiness'? Where is God?

Humanist John Dewey concluded that "religion" tends to hinders the evolutionary progress of man.
Dr Sproul explains;

"The humanist dream is to rid the world of pain and suffering by the efforts of man, through education... principally through education."

If you read the websites of pregnancy centers, "education" about pregnancy "options", education about the methods of child-killing, and support and comfort for mothers who have already killed their children, do seem to be the priority. The emphasis appears to be ridding the woman of pain and suffering.  A careful scrutinization of the pregnancy center websites reveals little (to no) mention of the sanctity and well-being of the babies or any scriptural, biblical, God-centered message regarding His divine design, creation and rule over human life and salvation.

How can we Christians leave out the character of God & the person of Jesus Christ, which are the FOUNDATION of true ethics & values, when reaching out to any sinner, including abortion-vulnerable mothers and their innocent children?
That is NOT a theocentric/Christocentric Christian approach.
That is the humanist approach.
Humanists often have 'noble' ideals, but no foundation for them!

Why is the humanistic approach to 'ministry' often the predominant method for churches 'outreach' & 'missions' & para church ministries?
The reason is because the man/woman-centered approach is EMOTIONALLY attractive to our carnal nature. We all know that WE want to be self-centered and so, we have the tendency to want others to prefer themselves and have "self-esteem". True?

Many, if not most, religious institutions, movements and ministries in America have bought into theistic humanism hook, line & sinker. Sexual immorality is treated as if it is something to be respected as a person freedom. JI Packer observes:

"Nowadays some will maintain, in the name of humanism, that the “Puritan” sexual morality of the Bible is inimical to (tending to obstruct or harm) the attainment of true human maturity, and that a little more license makes for richer living. Of this ideology we would only say that the proper name for it is not humanism but brutism. Sexual laxity does not make your more human, but less so; it brutalizes you and tears your soul to pieces. The same is true wherever any of God’s commandments are disregarded. We are only living truly human lives just so far as we are laboring to keep God’s commandments; no further."

John MacArthur notes:

"In the process of striving to fulfill our needs and satisfy our desires, the church has slipped into a philosophy of “Christian humanism” that is flawed with self-love, self-esteem, self-fulfillment, and self-glory.  There appears to be scant concern about worshiping our glorious God on His terms...
Humanism is the philosophy that says humanity has unlimited potential.  Give people enough time and education, and they can solve any problem.  A stepsister to existentialism, humanism urges everyone to self-authenticate, to BE someone."

Duane Edward Spencer concurs:

"The doctrine of most “evangelical churches” today is the humanist theology…the exalted doctrine of man... given final polish by many religious psychologists of our time."

Just to be clear, James Fowler gives a concise outline defining the characteristics of humanism:

Humanism is a philosophical premise that includes such concepts as:

1.    Man is autonomous and independent

2.    Man is his own center of reference

1.    Man is self-generative and self-sufficient

2.    Man has the potential to do anything he sets his mind to

3.    Man is the cause of his own effects

4.    Man is the source of his own activity

5.    Man has a free-will to choose anything he desires – “sovereign will”

6.    Man is innately good

7.    Man is the subject and object of his own world

8.    Man is the solution to his own problems

9.    Man deserves to indulge his personal aspirations, personal gratifications, and personal reputation (cf. I Jn. 2:16)

10. Man is his own god

Sounds eerily familiar to what is espoused in Christian circles, ministries and 'missions' doesn't it?

A blogger named Jeff (no last name) nailed it;

"...humanism has permeated the Church. The disaster of humanism is that SELF became exalted in the very place it was supposed to be killed."

In his powerful sermon "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" Paris Reidheid gives a stunningly prophetic indictment of the church:

Humanism is a philosophical statement that declares the end of all being is the happiness of man. The reason for existence is man's happiness. Now according to humanism, salvation is simply a matter of getting all the happiness you can out of life...
And it is therefore up to the man to be happy, to become powerful, and become powerful by any means he can use. For it is only in this position of ascendancy (as we saw in the worship of Molech) that one can be happy. This would produce in due course a Hitler who...would say of his people that we are destined to rule the world. Therefore any means that we can use to achieve this is our salvation.

Somebody else turns around and says, "Well no, the end of being is happiness...happiness comes from sensual experience." So you would have the type of existentialism...the gross sensuality of our country. Since man is essentially a glandular animal who's highest moments of ecstasy come from the exercise of his glands, salvation is simply to find the most desirable way to gratify this part of a person...

John Dewey, then an American philosopher influencing education, was able to persuade the educators that there were no absolute standards. Children shouldn't be brought to any particular standard, that the end of education was simply to allow the child to express himself and expand on what he is and find his happiness in being what he wants to be. So we had cultural lawlessness, when every man could do as seemed right in his own eyes and we had no God to rule over us. The Bible had been discounted and disallowed and disproved according to what they said. God had been dethroned, He didn't exist, He had no personal relationship to individuals.

And so this became the effect of humanism, that the end of all being is the happiness of man...

The fundamentalists. They say, "We believe in the inspiration of the Bible! We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ! We believe in hell! We believe in heaven! We believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ!" But remember the atmosphere is that of HUMANISM. And humanism says the chief end of being is the happiness of man. Humanism is like a miasma out of a pit, it just permeates everyplace. Humanism is like an infection, an epidemic, it just goes everywhere...

So it had gotten down to the place where salvation was nothing more than an assent to a scheme or a formula, and the end of this was that salvation was the happiness of man - because humanism has penetrated...

The liberal says the end of religion is to make man happy while he's alive, and the fundamentalist says the end of religion is to make man happy when he dies. 

Humanism is, I believe, the most deadly and disastrous of all the philosophical stenches that's crept up through the grating over the pit of Hell. It has penetrated so much of our religion. AND IT IS IN UTTER AND TOTAL CONTRAST WITH CHRISTIANITY!...

And it is the betrayal in which we live. And I don't see HOW GOD CAN REVIVE IT! Until we come back to Christianity. As in DIRECT AND TOTAL CONTRAST WITH THE STENCHFUL HUMANISM that's perpetrated in our generation in the Name of Christ.

I'm afraid that it's become so subtle that it goes everywhere. What is it? In essence it's this! That this philosophical postulate that the end of all being is the happiness of man, has been sort of covered over with evangelical terms and Biblical doctrine until God reigns in heaven for the happiness of man, Jesus Christ was incarnate for the happiness of man, all the angels exist...Everything is for the happiness of man! AND I SUBMIT TO YOU THAT THIS IS UNCHRISTIAN!!!"

May we repent of our unbelief and idolatry of man and woman.
May we quit our anthropocentric approach to life and ministry.
May the glory of God be our goal
and may our love and desire for good for our neighbor come OUT of that goal.
May the Lord help us by His Spirit to believe,
and promote
the Truth,
that apart from the life and saving mercy of God in Christ,
which is communicated most perfectly
in the Law and Gospel ultimatum,
we will not,
indeed CANNOT
achieve lasting, eternal peace of mind, body and soul.

And Jesus said to all,
“If anyone would come after Me, 
let him deny Himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 
For whoever would save his life will lose it, 
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 
For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world 
and loses or forfeits himself? 
For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, 
of him will the Son of Man be ashamed 
when He comes in His glory 
and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
~ Luke 9:23-26

(cf Mark 8:36-38;Matt 10:32-33)


Every truth leads towards holiness; every error of doctrine, directly or indirectly, leads to sin. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Turn Aways

By Patte Smith

"I have been trying to get rid of this baby ever since I first found out that I was pregnant. I have done coke, a LOT of coke, to try & miscarry. But, here I am, still pregnant at 6 months. When I turned the corner & saw you standing there in front of the clinic I started bawling my eyes out. I know that this is wrong. I have always known it. God hasn't let me kill this baby, even with all that Ihave done to get rid of it. And now, YOU are here. This is the last straw. I can't do it!"
~ Amber

Amber broke down hysterically crying. I told her all about open adoption & gave her the brochure for 'A Chosen Child' adoption agency. I prayed over Amber & her infant. We wept together & I called a local birthmother counselor friend of mine. Amber drove straight over to the adoption agency. She chose a nice Christian couple to be her baby's mommy & daddy. Amber received strong emotional support & financial assistance throughout her pregnancy from the adoption agency. The birthmother counselor let me know when Amber's little girl was placed into the arms of her very excited & grateful adoptive parents.

I love remembering the mothers who turned away from killing their babies. And, it is always a blessing when they are willing to make the difficult, painful choice of picking a wonderful adoptive family for their infant.

Tomorrow morning we go to the killing place. Recalling Amber & her baby girl has given me fresh courage & confidence in the sovereign & goodness of God. The Lord Jesus uses us when we are willing to go out on the deep waters in His Name Of this I am sure, for the Savior has proved Himself over & over & over 


Monday, May 27, 2013

You Make Beautiful Things Out Of Us

By Patte Smith

"Remember, I beseech Thee, 
that Thou hast made me as the clay; 
and wilt Thou bring me into dust again?" 
~ Job 10:9

When we are unrighteously ignored, dismissed, misunderstood, marginalized, criticized or outright rejected by church folks it is tempting to feel like there is something wrong with us, that we are hopeless losers & outcasts. When this happens to me or to someone I love, I go to Ezekiel 16.

Looking again at the vivid picture the Lord paints about those He redeems is a reality check.
We will be delivered from defensiveness and despair once we embrace the fact that WE ARE NOTHING. 
If we surrender to the fact that in & of ourselves we ARE NOTHING,
we will have no trouble when people criticize & reject us.
Our value comes from OUTSIDE ourselves.
It's EXtrinsic.
It comes from the One in whose image we were designed, created, are sustained.
Our worth is found in the One Who rules over us.
Our value is IN the One whom we, the unworthy,
have been made BELOVED, by a sovereign act of His grace.
The Father looked upon us as we writhed in an open field in the filthiness of our own sin.
He saw us as unwashed pitiful orphans;

The Lord God had compassion. 

Listen to His voice in verse 6,8-9:
'when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood,
I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, LIVE;
yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, LIVE...
Now when I passed by thee,
and looked upon thee,
behold, thy time was the time of love;
and I spread My skirt over thee,
and covered thy nakedness:
yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee,
saith the Lord GOD,
and thou becamest Mine.
Then washed I thee with water;
yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee,
and I anointed thee with oil." 

What a picture!

If we are born-again, Jesus Christ is the One who bought us with the price of His own Blood
& washed us from the filth of our sin.
He clothes us with His righteousness
& He beautifies us through the progressive work of sanctification 
by His Spirit.
We grow in loveliness to Him as He adorns us with holiness.
The Lord is committed to preparing us as a comely Bride for His Son. 
We are dust, but we are HIS DUST.
We are a mess, but we are HIS MESS.
And, our Bridegroom is preparing a place for us.
Jesus is faithful. He coming back to take us to Himself. 

And, that makes all the difference. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

By Patte Smith

Men are qualified for civil liberty
in exact proportion to their disposition
to put moral chains on their own appetites…
Society cannot exist unless a controlling power
upon the will and appetite
is placed somewhere;
and the less of it there is within,
the more there must be without.
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things
that men of intemperate minds
cannot be free.
Their passions forge their fetters.

~ Edmund Burke

The wicked heresy of *antinomianism abounds in the culture, in the modern self-identified church & in para-church "ministries". Anything goes. No judging right from wrong. (Except, of course, judging those who judge right from wrong!) No condemnation of sin as evil. Lawlessness abounds under the lackadaisical religious eye of the visible church. Most of the infants slain by abortion are murdered by sexually immoral mothers who profess to be some sort of 'Christian'. And the blood of the babies is shed in the shadow of church steeples! The need for the faithful proclamation & counsel of the moral Law of God (God's Holy Commandments) is urgent. 
Why the push to steer away from sharing the righteous demands of the Lord? Why are so many who profess Christ purposely avoiding telling women that the Bible says that fornication & baby-killing are soul-damning sins? Why are the Lord's Words (His Holy Commandments & His divine threats of God's temporal & eternal judgment) carefully avoided & 'choice' politely made supreme? Oh, my friends, this is exactly how the Serpent's plan in the garden was presented.

In Genesis 2:16-17: "The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
In the next chapter, listen to how the Devil tempts with religious flattery:

"Now the serpent was more crafty/subtle/cunning/shrewd/clever than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:1-6)
Ever since the fall, religious flatterers have coyly suppressed the righteous demands & just threats of the LORD God. Today we observe the same as many (perhaps well-meaning people) have avoided addressing the conscience of abortion-vulnerable sinners with the moral Law, & substitute humanistic, woman-centered language instead. They have made the WOMAN & her 'empowerment' of 'choice', the thrust of their counseling.

The Holy Commandments are good & necessary divine requirements upon all human beings, regenerate & unregenerate. The moral Law of God has three purposes:
"The first purpose of the Law is to be a mirror. On the one hand, the Law of God reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God. The law tells us much about who God is. Perhaps more important, the law illumines human sinfulness. Augustine wrote, “The Law orders, that we, after attempting to do what is ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the Law, may learn to implore the help of grace.” The Law highlights our weakness so that we might seek the strength found in Christ. Here the Law acts as a severe schoolmaster who drives us to Christ.

A second purpose for the Law is the restraint of evil. The Law, in and of itself, cannot change human hearts. It can, however, serve to protect the righteous from the unjust. Calvin says this purpose is “by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice.” The Law allows for a limited measure of justice on this earth, until the last judgment is realized.

The third purpose of the Law is to reveal what is pleasing to God. As born-again children of God, the Law enlightens us as to what is pleasing to our Father, whom we seek to serve. The Christian delights in the Law as God Himself delights in it. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). This is the highest function of the Law, to serve as an instrument for the people of God to give Him honor and glory.

By studying or meditating on the Law of God, we attend the school of righteousness. We learn what pleases God and what offends Him. The moral Law that God reveals in Scripture is always binding upon us. Our redemption is from the curse of God’s Law, not from our duty to obey it. We are justified, not because of our obedience to the law, but in order that we may become obedient to God’s Law. To love Christ is to keep His commandments. To love God is to obey His law. 
1. The church today has been invaded by antinomianism, which weakens, rejects, or distorts the law of God.

2. The law of God is a mirror of God’s holiness and our unrighteousness. It serves to reveal to us our need of a savior.

3. The Law of God is a restraint against sin. 
4. The Law of God reveals what is pleasing and what is offensive to God. 
5. The Christian is to love the Law of God and to obey the moral law of God.
Biblical passages for reflection: 
Psalm 19:7-11 
Psalm 119:9-16 
Romans 7:7-25 
Romans 8:3-4 
1 Corinthians 7:19 
Galatians 3:24 
above portion excerpted from 'THE THREEFOLD USE OF THE LAW' 

When we suppress the moral Law of God we leave lost, sinful women (& false converts) in the chains of bondage their passions have forged. We also treat their pre-born human children as if they were not there & worthy of loving protection. When we withhold the commandments regarding fornication & murder from a murder-minded mother, we obstruct the mirror of God's Law, the means by which He has provided to restrain their sinful lust for sex & slaughter, & we fail to lovingly confront them with the just & holy requirements of God upon their lives. May we be unashamed of Christ & His Word in this wicked & perverse generation!

"...thus tested when you are put in positions where you might get gain by an unrighteous act, or win fame by withholding a truth, or earn love and honour by pandering to the passions of those about you. May you have grace enough to say, "No; it cannot be. I love not myself, but my Lord. I seek not myself, but Christ. I desire to propagate nothing but His Truth, and not my own ideas": then will you have exhibited the self-denial of Jesus....

The doctrine of judgment to come is the power by which men are to be aroused. There is another life; the Lord will come a second time; judgment will arrive; the wrath of God will be revealed. Where this is not preached, I am bold to say the gospel is not preached. It is absolutely necessary to the preaching of the gospel of Christ that men be warned as to what will happen if they continue in their sins. Ho, ho, sir surgeon, you are too delicate to tell the man that he is ill! You hope to heal the sick without their knowing it. You therefore flatter them; and what happens? They laugh at you; they dance upon their own graves. At last they die! Your delicacy is cruelty; your flatteries are poisons; you are a murderer. Shall we keep men in a fool's paradise? Shall we lull them into soft slumbers from which they will awake in hell? Are we to become helpers of their damnation by our smooth speeches? In the Name of God we will not." 
~ Charles Spurgeon

* RC Sproul rightly explains "antinomianism...says that the Law of God, the mandates of God, the commandments of God have no real binding influence on my conscience.  That is not just a distortion of Christianity, dear friends, that is a fundamental denial of Christianity.  And if a person really believes that, he can't be justified; he can't even be a Christian.  And yet the notion is all over the place in Christian circles."  


Jesus asked His disciples;
“When I sent you out with no moneybag 
or knapsack 
or sandals, 
did you lack anything?” 
They said, “Nothing.”
"But now let the one who has a moneybag
take it, 
and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one."
~ Luke 22:35-36

"And take...the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the Word of God."
~ Ephesians 6:17

For the Word of God 
is living and active, 
sharper than any two-edged sword, 
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, 
of joints and of marrow, 
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
~ Hebrews 4:12

 "Is not My Word like fire," 
declares the LORD, 
"and like a hammer 
that breaks a rock in pieces?"
~ Jeremiah 23:29

"May the praise of God 
be in their mouths 
and a double-edged sword 
in their hands."
~ Psalm 149:6

O my friends, there is a battle to be fought. Don't let the devilish enemies of God (& of humankind) disarm & neuter you. Resist the popular practice of smiling religious do-gooders who purposely suppress the double-edged sword of the Law & gospel. 
The Word of God is sword of the Spirit with which all true disciples of Christ must furnish themselves. The missionary work of executing the purposes of God (on both His friends & His enemies) should always be accompanied with praise for Christ & offensive swordplay with His Word.
Remember, double-edged swords were made for piercing as well as for striking.
And so it is with the sword of the Spirit!

In his commentary on the double-edge sword of the Lord John Gill notes:
"One of its edges is the Law
which sharply reproves and menaces for sin, 
threatening with curses, condemnation, and death; 
and which, in the Spirit's hand, 
cuts deep into the hearts of men, 
lays open the corruption of their nature
and the swarms of sin which are in them.
It causes pain and grief, 
working wrath in the conscience. 
It wounds and kills, 
and is therefore called the letter that kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). 
The other edge is the Gospel
which cuts in pieces the best of men; 
all their works of righteousness... 
and it cuts down the worst in man, 
his sinful 
as well as his righteous
It teaches him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
It is useful to refute errors, 
and defend truth. 
It is an instrument...
used by the Lord, 
as His power unto salvation.
It is a sword, 
but only effectual as it is the sword of the Spirit.
It is a part of the weapons of our warfare, 
and it is mighty, 
but only through God...
It should be in the hands of all the saints...
as well as in the hands of Gospel ministers, 
to withstand error, 
maintain truth, 
and repel the temptations of Satan.
Go forth, dear saints, in Jesus' Name, never forgetting that Jesus Christ is Himself
the WORD MADE FLESH. (John 1:4)
If we separate the Savior 
from His Spirit's saving means of the Law & gospel,
we fail to use the divine weaponry which He has provided for His mission,
suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. 
If you are ashamed of what He says in His Law & gospel, 
you are revealing that you are ashamed of Jesus. 
And, the Savior has given a fearful warning to those who are ashamed of Him & His Word in Mark 8:38 & Luke 9:26

"Let the high praises of God be in our mouths, 
while we wield the sword of the Word of God, 
with the shield of faith, 
in warfare with the world, 
the flesh, 
and the devil. 
The saints shall be more than conquerors over the enemies of their souls, 
through the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony. 
The completing of this 
will be in the judgement of the great day. 
Then shall the judgement be executed. 
Behold Jesus, and His gospel church...
He and His people rejoice in each other; 
by their prayers and efforts they work with Him, 
while He goes forth in the chariots of salvation, 
conquering sinners by grace, 
or in chariots of vengeance, 
to destroy His enemies."
~ Matthew Henry 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

By Patte Smith

I would have despaired (fainted),
unless I had believed
that I shall see
the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
~ Psalm 27:13

We are preparing to go to the killing place again this morning. As I prayed I was heavy-hearted.
I find it tempting to give in to a state of grief over the poor little babies.
I thought of the wise words of my dear missionary friend John Barros 
(who serves as a full time missionary to the perishing outside a notorious abortuary). 
John told me: "Go with expectation!"
Then, the Lord Jesus reminded me of His sweet fragrance,
which He gives us to bring forth & manifest,
when we speak with His voice, through His Word.
Whenever we are tempted to despair,
may the Holy Spirit remind us
that when we are led by the Savior,
in spite of what we SEE (or do NOT see)
we are never truly in a state of defeat,
but of victory!

Thanks be to God,
who in Christ
always leads us in triumphal procession
(which always causeth us to triumph in Christ),
and through us
spreads the fragrance
of the knowledge of Him
For we are the aroma of Christ to God
among those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing,
to one a fragrance from death to death,
to the other a fragrance from life to life.
Who is sufficient for these things?
For we are not,
like so many, peddlers of God’s Word,
but as men of sincerity,
as commissioned by God,
in the sight of God
we speak in Christ.

~ II Corinthinians 2:15-17

To whom are we the noxious aroma (smell/odor) of death unto death? 
Beloved, to those who are offended by the Word of God, who willfully reject His divine command; 

"You shall not murder", we are the stench of death. Why? After all we preach the terrible truth!"The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23"There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death."  (Pr 14:12;16:25) If they persist in their evil plan to slaughter their baby, our presence in Christ & upon the hearing of His Word, becomes the means of their increased guilt and condemnation.  We even warn them that unless they show mercy on their babies & repent of their plot to shed innocent blood, they will perish; "But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed." (Romans 2:5) The mothers & fathers & accomplices to the murder of babies draw death & heap condemnation on themselves by refusing the gracious offers of life & eternity in the Law & gospel of Jesus. 

To whom are we the sweet fragrance of life unto life? 
To those who embrace it as perfume, obey the command to repent & believe & are saved!
For the ones who respond in humble obedience to the demand of the living Word of God & His holy commandment, the message we bring is a delightful message of LIFE. It leads to fear of the Lord! 

The Law of the wise is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death...

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, 
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
~ Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the LORD leads to life; 
then one rests content...
~ Proverbs 19:23

May we be faithful to Jesus, to the lost mothers & their abortion-imperiled infants in their affliction. May we never cave into the pressure to conceal (obscure, suppress) the life-affirming, life-giving, soul-saving message of the righteous demands & threatenings of Law & gospel.

Blessings are on the head of the righteous, 
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence...
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, 
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
~ Proverbs 10:6 & 11

With the divine assistance of the Holy Spirit, who makes us conscious of our unfitness & the deep sense of responsibility we have to love our neighbors, we devote ourselves to this gospel labor. We go in the triumphal, equipping power of Jesus Christ. We trust the Savior to sustain & carry us, anoint & empower us & to grant us His peace as we sow the gospel seeds of life & eternity in the field of blood & souls. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Take Me to the King

By Patte Smith

I heard a beautiful gospel song called "Take me to the King". 

I thought of how true it is that Jesus is
Who we need.
Who we REALLY need.
What a good reminder.
As I prepare to go to the mothers & their babies
I want to take them to the King.
I want to speak with HIS Word, 

which is HIS Voice.
I don't have all the answers.
I don't have all knowledge,
all wisdom
or all resources,
but I know the One who does.
May we take them to the King.

I want to take the women to the King. 
Leave them at His feet. 
Help them see that it is their SIN 
which has brought them there. 
And unless they repent 
& cast themselves upon the mercy of the Savior, 
sin will take them all the way to hell. 

Surely there are sinners who would be wrought upon by the grace of Christ at the killing place today. Come, let us go, we shall take them to the King! 

A woman of the city, who was a sinner...
brought an alabaster flask of ointment,
and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, 
she began to wet His feet with her tears
and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet 
and anointed them with the ointment... 
Then turning toward the woman He said...
“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; 
you gave Me no water for My feet, 
but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 
You gave Me no kiss, 
but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss My feet. 
You did not anoint My head with oil, 
but she has anointed My feet with ointment. 
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—
for she loved much. 
But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 
And He said to her,
“Your sins are forgiven...Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
~ Luke 7:37-38, 44-48,50 

This case now before us is the offering of a poor returning wanderer, who, under a deep sense of gratitude, brings the best she has to her Lord, and is accepted by His grace...
The grace of God has frequently chosen the lowest of the low, and the vilest of the vile. Recollect how, in the pedigree of our Lord, you find the name of the shameless Tamar, the harlot Rahab, and the unfaithful Bathsheba, as if to indicate that the Saviour of sinners would enter into near relationship with the most degraded and fallen of our race.
Do you not hear from the throne of mercy the echoes of that sovereign proclamation, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion"? Grace has pitched upon the most unlikely cases in order to show itself to be grace; it has found a dwelling-place for itself in the most unworthy heart, that its freeness might be the better seen. Do I address one who has greatly fallen? Let this thought comfort thee, if thy heart bewails thy sin—let this give thee hope of mercy, that in the election of grace some of the grossest blasphemers, persecutors, thieves, fornicators, and drunkards, have been included, and in consequence thereof they have been forgiven, renewed, and made to live sober, righteous, and godly lives. Such as these have obtained mercy that in them first God might show forth all longsuffering as a comfort and encouragement to others to cry unto the Lord for mercy...
The "woman which was a sinner," is now before us a weeping penitent; the sinner "of the city," a public sinner, is now openly a follower of the holy One...
The grace of God brought this woman in a way of providence to listen to the Saviour's discourses. In a former part of this chapter it appears He had been preaching the gospel, and more especially preaching it to the poor. Perhaps she stood in the street attracted by the crowd, and, as she listened to our Saviour's talk, it seemed to hold her fast. She had never heard a man speak after that fashion, and when He spoke of abounding mercy, and the willingness of God to accept as many as would come to Him, then the tears began to follow each other down her cheek; and when she listened again to that meek and lowly preacher, and heard Him tell of the Father in heaven who would receive prodigals and press them to His loving bosom, then her heart was fairly broken, she relinquished her evil traffic, she became a new woman, desirous of better things, anxious to be freed from sin. But she was greatly agitated in her heart with the question, could she, would she, be really forgiven? Would such pardoning love as she had heard of reach even to her? She hoped so, and was in a measure comforted. Her faith grew, and with it an ardent love. The Spirit of God still wrought with her till she enjoyed a feeble hope, a gleam of confidence; she believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, that He had appeared on earth to forgive sins, and she rested on Him for the forgiveness of her sins, and longed for an opportunity to do Him homage...
The woman, almost unperceived, came close to Him, and, as she looked and saw that the Pharisee had refused Him the ordinary courtesy of washing His feet, and that they were all stained and travel-worn with His long journeys of love, she began to weep, and the tears fell in such plenteous showers that they even washed His feet. Here was holy water of a true sort. The crystal of penitence falling in drops, each one as precious as a diamond. Never were feet bedewed with a more precious water than those penitent eyes showered forth. Then, unbinding those luxurious tresses, which had been for her the devil's nets in which to entangle souls, she wiped the sacred feet therewith. Surely she thought that her chief adornment, the crown and glory of her womanhood, was all too worthless a thing to do service to the lowest and meanest part of the Son of God. That which once was her vanity now was humbled and yet exalted to the lowest office...
There a sweet temptation overtook her, "I will even kiss those feet, I will humbly pay reverence to those blessed limbs." She spake not a word, but how eloquent were her actions! better even than psalms and hymns were these acts of devotion. Then she bethought her of that alabaster box containing perfumed oil with which, like most Eastern women, she was wont to anoint herself for the pleasure of the smell and for the increase of her beauty, and now, opening it, she pours out the costliest thing she has upon His blessed feet. Not a word, I say, came from her; and, brethren, we would prefer a single speechless lover of Jesus, who acted as she did, to ten thousand noisy talkers who have no gifts, no heart, no tears. As for the Master, He remained quietly acquiescent, saying nothing, but all the while drinking in her love, and letting His poor weary heart find sweet solace in the gratitude of one who once was a sinner, but who was to be such no more.
Grace, my brethren, deserves our praise, since it does so much for its object. Grace does not choose a man and leave him as he is. My brethren and sisters, men rail at grace sometimes as though it were opposed to morality, whereas it is the great source and cause of all complete morality—indeed, there is no real holiness in the sight of God except that which grace creates, and which grace sustains. This woman, apart from grace, had remained black and defiled still to her dying day, but the grace of God wrought a wondrous transformation, removing the impudence of her face, the flattery from her lips, the finery from her dress, and the lust from her heart. Eyes which were full of adultery, were now founts of repentance; lips which were doors of lascivious speech, now yield holy kisses—the profligate was a penitent, the castaway a new creature. All the actions which are attributed to this woman illustrate the transforming power of divine grace. She exhibited the deepest repentance. She wept abundantly. She wept out of no mere sentimentalism, but at the remembrance of her many crimes. She wept for sorrow and for shame as she thought over her early childhood, and how she had slighted a mother's training, how she had listened to the tempter's voice, and hurried on from bad to worse. Every part of her life-story would rise before her as a painfully vivid dream. The sight of those blessed feet helped her to remember the dangerous paths into which she had wandered; the sluices of grief were drawn up, and her soul flowed out in tears. O blessed Spirit of grace, we adore thee as we see the Rock smitten and the waters gushing.
Note the woman's humility. She had once possessed a brazen face, and knew no bashfulness, but now she stands behind the Saviour. She did not push herself in before his face; she was content to have the meanest standing-place. If she might not venture to anoint his head, yet, if she might do service to his feet, she blushed as she accepted the honour. Those who serve the Lord Jesus truly, have a holy bashfulness, a shrinking sense of their own unworthiness, and are content to fulfil the very lowest office in His household. That is no service for Christ when thou wouldst need ride the king's horse, and wear the king's garment, and have it said, "This is the man whom the king delighteth to honour." That is serving thyself rather than Christ, when thou covetest the chief place in the synagogue, and wouldst have men call thee 'Rabbi'. But that is real service when thou canst care for the poor; when thou canst condescend to men of low estate, and become a teacher of the ignorant and an instructor of babes. He serves well who works behind His master's back, unknown and unperceived—toiling in the dark, unreported, unapplauded, and happy to have it so. See, beloved, how in a woman who was once so shameless, grace plants and makes to flourish the fair and modest flower of true humility.
What she did was practical. Hers was not pretence, but real and expensive service. The religion of some professors stops short at their substance; it costs them nothing, and, I fear, is worth nothing...This woman's alabaster box was given freely, and if she had had more to give, she would have given it...
Oh, that Jesus should ever accept anything of me, that He should be willing to accept my tears, willing to receive my prayers and my praises! We cheerfully accept a little flower from a child, but then the flower is beautiful, and we are not far above the child; but Jesus accepts from us that which is in its nature impure, and upbraids us not. O grace, how condescending thou art; see, believer, Jesus has heard thy prayers and answered them; He has blessed thy labours, given thee souls as thy reward, and at this moment that which is in thy heart to do for hHm he receives, and He raises no objection, but takes what thou bringest to Him, takes it with joy. O grace, thou art grace indeed, when the offerings of unworthy ones become dear unto Jesus' heart...
At the last great day, the Lord will justify His grace before the eyes of the whole universe, for He will allow the grace-wrought virtues of His chosen ones to be unveiled, and all eyes shall see that grace reigns through righteousness. Then shall they for ever be silenced who accused the grace of God of leading to licentiousness, for they shall see that in every case free forgiveness led to gratitude, and gratitude to holiness. The chosen shall be made choice men. Grace chose them notwithstanding all their deformities; but when it has cast about them a supernal beauty, they shall be the wonder and admiration of the universe, evidently made to be the noblest and best of mankind. Show me where grace ever created sin! You cannot, but lo, in what a manner has grace created holiness! It is not ashamed to let its chosen sheep appear before the great dividing Shepherd's throne, for of them all it shall be said, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink." Grace does not smuggle men into heaven, but brings them up to heaven's requirements through the Spirit and the blood...
Love—its source: it bubbles up as a pure rill from the well-head of grace. She loved much, but it was because much had been forgiven. There is no such thing as mere natural love to God. The only true love which can burn in the human breast towards the Lord, is that which the Holy Ghost Himself kindles...
Its secondary cause is faith. The fiftieth verse tells us, "Thy faith hath saved thee." Our souls do not begin with loving Christ, but the first lesson is to trust...
Grace is the source of love, but faith is the agent by which love is brought to us...
Love in the narrative before us shines in the fact that the service the woman rendered to our Lord was perfectly voluntary. No one suggested it, much less pressed it upon her. It takes the gloss off our service when we need to be dragged to it, or pushed forward by some energetic pleader. Brethren, the anointing was impromptu with her. Christ was there, and it was at her own suggestion that she anointed His feet. Mary of Bethany had not then set the example: the woman who was a sinner was an original in her service. In these days we have many inventors and discoverers for our temporal use and service, why should we not have inventors for Jesus who will bring out new projects of usefulness? We are most of us content to travel in the old rut, but if we had more love to Jesus we should be more eccentric, and should have a degree of freshness about our service which at present is all too rare. Lord, give us the love which can lead the way!
Her service to Jesus was personal. She did it all herself, and all to Him. Do you notice how many times the pronoun occurs in our text? "She stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment." She served Christ Himself. It was neither service to Peter, nor James, nor John, nor yet to the poor or sick of the city, but to the Master Himself; and, depend upon it, when our love is in active exercise, our piety will be immediately towards Christ— we shall sing to Him, pray to Him, teach for Him, preach for Him, live to Him...How much better will you go tell to others the way of salvation, if you go to do it for His sake! Then you court no man's smile—you fear no man's frown. It is enough for you that you have done it for the Master...
The woman's service showed her love in that it was fervent. There was so much affection in it—nothing conventional; no following chilly propriety...Little did she care how it looked; she knew what she meant. She could not do otherwise. Her whole soul went out in love, she acted naturally as her heart dictated, and, brethren, she acted well. O for more of this guileless piety, which hurls decorum and regulation to the winds. Ah, throw your souls into the service of Christ; let your heart burn in His presence, and let all your soul belong to Jesus. Serve not your Master as though you were half asleep, do not work with drooping hands and half-closed eyes, but wake up the whole of your powers and passions: for such love as He has shown to you, give the most awakened and quickened love in return. O for more of this love!...
Now, beloved ones, we encourage you to show this. For our sakes, for your own sakes, for Christ's sake, do not hesitate—if there be anything you can do, though you are uneducated in the divine school, do it. Though there may be a dozen blunders in the method, yet do it, for Christ will accept it. The Pharisee may cavil—...—let him cavil, you can bear it, Christ will defend you, Jesus will accept you; and as a reward for doing what you can, He may be pleased to give you grace to do more, and may breathe over you a full assurance of faith, which had you been idle you might not for years have attained; and He may give you a peace of conscience in serving Him which, had you sat still, might never have come to you. I beseech all of you who love Jesus, do not hide the light you have under a bushel, but come out and show it. If you have but a little faith, use it; if you have only a grain of faith, turn it to account. Put the one talent out at interest, and use it for the Master at once, and the Lord bless you in such a work, by increasing your faith and love, and making you to be as this woman was, a highly favoured servant of this blessed Master. May the Lord give every one of you His blessing, for Jesus' sake.

Excerpted from the sermon "The Woman Was a Sinner" by Charles Spurgeon

Every truth leads towards holiness; every error of doctrine, directly or indirectly, leads to sin. ~ Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cast your care

By Patte Smith

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
 ~ 1 Peter 5:7

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel-
"HE careth for me."

Christian! do not dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care;
come, cast your burden upon your Lord.
You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel.
What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance.
Nothing is so sweet as to "Lie passive in God's hands, And know no will but His."
 O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in His providence.
He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need.
Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever.
Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble,
and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.
There is One who careth for you.
His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe,
and His hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help.
The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy.
The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning.
He, if thou art one of His family,
will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart.
Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation,
but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble
as in times of happiness.
What a serene and quiet life might you lead
if you would leave providing to the God of providence!
With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel,
Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same.
If God cares for you, why need you care too?
Can you trust him for your soul, and not for your body?
He has never refused to bear your burdens,
He has never fainted under their weight.
Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care,
and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.

~ Charles Spurgeon

Praise & Petition the King

by Patte Smith

"Lord, there is none beside Thee to help." 
~ 2 Chronicles 14:11

Remind God of His entire responsibility.
"There is none beside Thee to help."

The odds against Asa were enormous.
There was a million of men in arms against him...
It seemed impossible to hold his own against that vast multitude.
There were no allies who would come to his help;
his only hope, therefore, was in God.
It may be that your difficulties have been allowed to come to so alarming a pitch
that you may be compelled to renounce all creature aid...
and cast yourself back on your Almighty Friend.

Put God between yourself and the foe.
To Asa's faith, Jehovah seemed to stand between the might of Zerah and himself,
as one who had no strength.
Nor was he mistaken.
We are told that the Ethiopians were destroyed before the Lord and before His host,
as though celestial combatants flung themselves against the foe in Israel's behalf,
and put the large host to rout,
so that Israel had only to follow up and gather the spoil.
Our God is Jehovah of hosts,
who can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to aid His people.
Believe that He is there between you and your difficulty,
and what baffles you will flee before Him,
as clouds before the gale.

~ F. B. Meyer

Great List of Advice

By Patte Smith

Things I Have Learned
John Piper

Since my father died, I have been looking through his papers. I found a small sheet with the following fifteen counsels, titled "Things I Have Learned." He didn't make most of these up. Some of them go back to his college days when he was absorbing the pithy wisdom of Bob Jones Senior. They have again confirmed the obvious: I owe my father more than I can ever remember. The comment after each one is mine.

1. The right road always leads to the right place; therefore,
get on the right road and go as far as you can on it.

My father was totally persuaded that wrong means do not lead to right ends. Or, more positively, he was persuaded that living in the right way — that is, doing the right things — are means that inevitably lead to where God wants us to be. This is why he told me, when I asked about God's leading in my life, "Son, keep the room clean where you are, and in God's time, the door to the next room will open."

2. There is only one thing to do about anything; that is the right thing. Do right.

This is what one might say to a person perplexed by a difficult situation whose outcome is unknown. The person might say, "I just don't know what to do about this." It is not useless to be told: Do the right thing. That may not tell you exactly which good thing to do, but it does clear the air and rule out a few dozen bad ideas.

3. Happiness is not found by looking for it. You stumble over happiness on the road to duty.

My, my, my. How was John Piper born from this? I would never say this. The main reason is that the Bible commands us to pursue our joy repeatedly. "Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice." "Delight yourself in the Lord." I think what he meant was: 1) Joy is always in something. Joy itself is not the something. So we seek joy in Christ. Not just joy in general. 2) When duty is hard and we do not feel joy in doing it, we should still do it, and pray that in the doing it the joy would be given. But what we need to make plain is that duty cannot be contrasted with joy, because joy is a biblical duty.

4. The door to success swings on the hinges of opposition.

Remarkably, this saying implies that opposition is not just a natural accompaniment or antecedent of success, but that it is a means by which the door opens. One can think of many biblical examples. The opposition of Joseph's brothers opened the door to his leadership in Egypt. The taxing of the empire opened the door to getting the Messiah born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth, and thus fulfilling prophecy. The betrayal of Judas opened the door to the salvation of the world.

5. God in the right place in my life fixes every other relationship of life (Matthew 6:33).

I wonder if this was tucked away in my mind so that unknown to me it controlled my analogy of the solar system to our many-faceted lives. If God is the blazing center of the solar system of our lives, then all the planets will be held in their proper orbit. But if not, everything goes awry.

6. It is never right to get the right thing in the wrong way — like good grades, wealth, power, position. Don't sacrifice your principles.

Again, he hammers away at don't use bad means for good ends. Be a principled, not a pragmatic, person. O how we need to hear this today. Churches need to be principled, not endlessly adapting to culture. Persons need to make a promise and keep it no matter how much it hurts.

7. It is a sin to do less than your best. It is wrong to do [merely] well.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). But be careful. Sometimes the "best" is a B+ sermon and spending time with your child. In other words, "best" always involves more decisions than the one you are making at the moment. That one means many other things are being left undone. So "best" is always the whole thing, not just the detail of the moment.

8. It is wrong to be yoked to one who refuses the yoke of Christ.

Don't marry an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:39). Not all relationships with unbelievers are ruled out. Otherwise we could not obey Jesus' command to love them and bless them. But "yoke" implies a connectedness that either governs where we go or constrains where they go. And you cannot constrain faith in Jesus. It is free.

9. The part of your character that is deficient is the part that needs attention.

This is the counterpoint to the advice: Go with your strengths. There is truth in both. Yes, be encouraged by every evidence of God's grace in your life, and use your gifts and graces for his glory. But you will become smug and vain if you do not keep your deficiencies before you and work on them.

10. Don't quit. Finish the job. God can't use a quitter.

Warning: "He who endures to the end will be saved" (Mark 13:13). Promise: "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

11. Anything you do that hinders your progress for God is wrong.

O how thankful I am that this was the dominant way my father pressed me to pursue my sanctification. He did not mainly impose lists of don'ts on me, though we had them. And they were clear. Mainly he said: Maximize your progress in knowing and serving God. That ruled out a hundred foolish behaviors, some bad and some uselessly innocent.

12. Beware of any society in which you feel compelled to put a bushel over your testimony.

This implies that you can go into a group of people who are evil if you are willing to open your mouth and take a stand for Jesus and righteousness. Nevertheless, 1 Corinthians 15:33 stands: "Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'"

13. It isn't enough to be good. Be good for something. The essence of Christianity is not a passionless purity.

This is what I have meant in talking about a merely avoidance ethic. Don't just think of righteousness or holiness in terms of what you avoid, but what you do. As my father said in another place: Don't be a don'ter; be a DO-er.

14. Positive living produces negative effect[s].

This is wise counsel that affirmation of the good always implies negation of the bad. If you think you can live your life without negating anything, you have lost touch with reality. "Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good" (Romans 12:9). You cannot love without hating what hurts the beloved.

15. Learn to be sweetly firm.

This was what he said to my mother over the phone when she was exasperated with her one disobedient son: Be sweet and firm. I think she succeeded.

With abiding and deep thankfulness for my father's wisdom,
Pastor John

The Christian Life is WAR

 When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day,
then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin;
you must, at the price of dearest peace,
lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy,
with all the fire of your faith.

~ Abraham Kuiper

The true Christian is called to be a soldier,
and must behave as such from the day of his conversion
to the day of his death.
He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, [laziness], and security.
He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven,
like on traveling in an easy carriage…
If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice,
he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter.
He must “fight.
~ J.C. Ryle

Christ’s gospel has not come into the world to be co-equal with other faiths
and share a divided kingdom with differing creeds.
False gods may stand face to face to each other in one Pantheon, and be at peace,
for they are all false together,
but when Christ comes, Dagon must go down, not even the stump of him must stand.
Truth is of necessity intolerant of falsehood,
love wars with hate, and justice battles with wrong.

- Charles Spurgeon

The Christian soldier must avoid two evils –
he must not faint or yield in the time of fight,
and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure.
When he has overcome,
he is so to behave himself
as though he were presently again to be assaulted.
For Satan’s temptations, like the waves of the sea,
do follow one in the neck of the other.

~ George Downame

The Christian life is a battleground not a playground.
It is first and foremost a spiritual battle that is being waged in the invisible spiritual realm
that is being manifest in the visible, physical realm.
Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

We did not start it, the devil did (the dragon, the accuser, the devil)

One of the things Satan wants to be is incognito. He doesn't want people to think that he is real, or be anywhere around, or has any kind of power, and belittles anyone who would advocate the fact that he is powerful and is a ruler. But God's Word plainly says he is.

John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "
1 Peter 5:8, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
2 Corinthians. 2:11, "... in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (I find it to be the opposite in the church. Most people are utterly clueless)
Ephesians. 6:11, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

 ... Satan desires to ruin your relationship with Jesus Christ; to make you utterly ineffective in ministry;
to keep you focused upon you and your needs, problems, desires, and goals; to ruin your marriage and family; to destroy the church; to keep people blind in their sin and lost. We have a vicious and cunning spiritual enemy. The Bible says Satan is actively opposing us. He is real. He wants us to sin...
Paul warns us in Ephesians. 4:27 to "...not give the devil a foothold".
Satan’s number one aim is the destruction of your faith.
Faith is the root of living the life of God, our love for God, and our hope in God and His promises.
Therefore, Satan’s whole war efforts are aimed at the prevention or destruction of faith.

1 Thessalonians 3:5, " For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless."

 Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
2 Corinthians. 11:3, "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."

John 8:44, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

2 Corinthians 4:4, " The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

The war is against God and His church

"And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:13-17)

There is everything at stake here. God’s purpose is to make His Name known throughout the whole earth (Matthew 5:16-18; 1 Peter. 2:12; John 17:20-25). Satan is trying to stop that. If he can stop the church, he will be able to thwart God’s plans and purposes. That is why Paul so strongly exhorts us in Ephesians 6:13, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

The devil wants to you a high-maintenance/low impact kind of Christian. He wants to keep you in the hospital your whole Christian life. He wants us to think that we’re on R+R focused on planning our vacations, retirements, leisure, pleasure, sipping Mai tai’s while people are getting their heads blown off in the front lines! He wants us to think we are a peace time army focusing on parades, making beds, reading manuals, having studies on warfare, focusing on each other, doing KP instead of living on the front line of battle. Thousands of Christians do not hear the diabolic bombs dropping and the bullets zinging overhead. They don't smell the hellish Agent Orange in the whitened harvest of the world. They don't cringe or weep at the thousands who perish every week. They don't reckon with spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places and the world rulers of this present darkness. In fact, it is not dark, they say. Why are you being so negative. Don’t worry, be happy. It is bright and comfortable and cheery just look at my home and car and office and cabin and boat. And listen to my surround sound home theater. In short, saved, satisfied, and stuck; living in a virtual reality type existence in which my comfort, security, survival, and happiness become the driving forces of my life. War changes priorities, perspectives, and focus. The great general George Patton once said, “War makes all other human endeavor shrink to nothing.”


 God isn’t an antiwar pacifist! Moses writes in Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name."

 Anything that is a lie, evil, sin, destructive GOD IS TOTALLY AGAINST! You are His foot soldiers! The need of the hour is a global wartime mentality. I say "wartime" because life is war. I say "global" because "the field is the world" (Matthew 13: 38). And because thousands of unreached peoples are scattered around the globe. "Peoples," not just people. The command to the church is not to win every person before the Lord comes, but to win some from every people. This is the great unfinished task!

"To Him shall be the obedience of the peoples" (Genesis 49:10).
"Let the peoples praise you, 0 God, let all the peoples praise You" (Psalm 67:3).
"Behold, I made Him (the Messiah, Jesus Christ) a witness to the peoples, a leader and Commander for the peoples" (Isaiah 55:4).

Now you may not believe in war but you will get bombed just the same. Most of the church is AWOL running over to spiritual Canada or neutral thinking they live in spiritual Switzerland. When we made a commitment to Jesus Christ, we enlisted in God's army. Some may have thought they were only making their eternal destiny secure. Others may have thought that they were simply dealing with their sins. Still others may have thought that they were just subscribing to a higher moral code. Sill others thought they were entering a club-med vacation of peace, happiness, and bliss. We have joined forces with God and with one another in a spiritual conflict. The cause to which we have committed ourselves is a cause that is being attacked at every front. We have sworn our allegiance to a New Kingdom. And that kingdom is a threat to the kingdoms of the god of this world. As citizens of that New Kingdom the enemy is attacking us. By virtue of the fierceness of this attack, all citizens must become citizens/soldiers. We can do without no one. We must all combine our efforts if we are to win the battle. The crying need of the hour-every hour-is for Christians to be put on a wartime footing. To be a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant determination to take the world by storm.

How will we come to feel the extraordinary satanic devastation being wreaked among the remaining unreached peoples of the world? How can our people come to see the irrationality of a persistently bouncy, peacetime, Disneyland mentality when the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16), and the god of this world is blinding billions (2 Corinthians 4:4), and Satan is filled with rage because his time is short (Revelation 12:12), and the stakes are infinitely higher than any conceivable nuclear World War III or any environmental disaster (Luke 12:4-5).

What's the main reason sergeants are in the trenches? To settle soldiers' disputes? Do chaplains come along just to bury the dead?
Or is there a war to be won? There is. And the victory is near. But it will not be easy or cheap. The awesome mission is clear:

"This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come"
~ Matthew 24:14

Christ has His elect from every people, tribe, tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9).
They are held captive by the Enemy (2 Timothy 2:26).
And so the minefields must be crossed, the barbed wire cut, the snipers evaded, and gospel antidotes for Satan's mind-altering drugs administered against immense opposition (Luke 21:12-19)

 So we know we are at war, we know we are soldiers, we know we have an enemy to fight and are aware of his strategy. What are we to do?
~ William Robison

Soon the battle will be over.
It will not be long now before the day will come when Satan will no longer trouble us.
There will be no more domination, temptation, accusation, or confrontation.
Our warfare will be over and our commander, Jesus Christ,
will call us away from the battlefield to receive the victor’s crown.

~ Thomas Watson

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne,
who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever.
They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
and by Your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:8-11