Focus on Spurgeon: Cheer Up, My Dear Comrades!

Cheer Up, My Dear Comrades! is a sermon that Charles Spurgeon preached in 1880 at London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle.  The purpose of the sermon was to encourage those who were either involved in the Lord’s work, or should be involved in the Lord’s work (which is every Christian); but were facing discouragement, doubt, adversity, lack of appreciation, and lack of success. While Spurgeon’s emphasis was Christian service, in the larger context this sermon would apply to whatever our work is; whether in Christian service or the business world.  If God is sovereign then all things are under His domain, and serving God in secular employment is as serving God in Christian ministry.

At the center of Spurgeon’s message is the unveiling of our heart attitude.  Our motivation.  Do you desire to serve God where He has placed you?  It does not matter whether you are a pastor, elder, or deacon.  It does not matter whether you are a student, businessman, or farmer.  Are you desirous of serving God?  I am not asking whether you think it is a good idea to serve God or whether it is the right thing to do.  I am asking whether you truly desire to serve Him.  If that is your motivation (that you truly desire to serve Him), then God can, and will, use you.  You can serve Him to the limits of your ability, and even beyond, by the equipping power of the Holy Spirit.

In his sermon Spurgeon writes:

And, first, I would speak a little to THOSE WHO THINK THAT THEY CAN DO NOTHING. They will tell me that in such a sermon not a sentence can concern them: if I am to encourage men to the service of the house of the Lord, it will be in vain for them, as they can do nothing at all. Well, dear friends, you must not take that for granted; you must make quite sure that you cannot do anything before I may venture to speak to you as if it were a matter of fact; for sometimes there is a want of way because there is a want of will. Though I do not go so far as to allege that this is your case, we know too well that “cannot” often does mean “will not,” and not to have triumphed may mean that you have not tried. You have been so discouraged that you have excused yourself for inaction, and your inaction has grown into indolence.

Some people think they are useless when it comes to serving God.  This feeling of uselessness can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Think you are useless long enough and useless you will become.  But there is no need to feel or be useless in the Lord’s service.  Spurgeon goes on to recount a story about King David in 1 Samuel 30:24-25:

Now, I want to encourage you first by reminding you that the law of the Son of David is the same as the law of David himself; and you know the law of David about those that went to the battle. There were some that were lame, and some that were otherwise incapable of action, and he left them with the baggage. “There,” he said, “you are very weary and ill: stop in the camp: take care of the tents, and the ammunition, while we go and fight.” Now, it happened once on a time that the men that went to fight claimed all the spoil. They said, “These people have done nothing: they have been lying in the trenches: they shall not carry off a share of the booty.” But King David there and then made a law that they should share and share equally—those that were in the trenches and those that engaged in the fray. “As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel.” Nor is the law of the Son of David less gracious. If by sickness you are detained at home,—if for any other reason, such as age or infirmity, you are not able to enter into actual service, yet if you are a true soldier and would fight if you could, and your heart is in it, you shall share even with the best and bravest of those who, clad in the panoply of God, encounter and grapple with the adversary.

Even if God, according to His providence, prevents you from the level of service you would like to perform,  serve Him to degree that you are able.  An act of compassion, a kind word, a display of hospitality, intercessory prayer; these things may lack notoriety or seem inconsequential, but they are equally as vital as preaching the Word or going on the mission field.  The littlest act, performed in faith, is a mighty deed in God’s eyes.

Matthew 25:34-40  34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me somethingto eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

What are you most known for, your politics or your faith? Part IV

The real question in this series has yet to be answered. Should Christians be involved in politics? Well, I don’t know if they should be involved in politics, but there is no prohibition against political involvement. But even if a Christian decides not to engage in political activity, they are not excused from taking a stand on just causes. It’s not necessary to make such a stand in a public forum, but rest assured, what happens in society often invades the family and the church. I’ll deal with that in a few moments.

 

I used to believe that there was a separation, or dichotomy, between moral issues and amoral issues. For instance, abortion is a moral issue. No matter what position you hold on the topic you must make a moral judgment. Most Christians, indeed, most Americans, would agree with that assessment. But then there are topics such as taxes. Are taxes a moral issue or amoral? I’ve heard Christians make the point that taxes fall within the realm and discretion of government. The argument goes that taxes are neither good nor bad. No one likes to pay them, but they are an inevitable ill of human government. Even Christ paid taxes. I suppose that is a good argument, and it is true that our Lord did, indeed, pay taxes (Matthew 17:24-27). But can the argument be made that some forms of taxation are an oppression upon the poor? Look at the current argument about whether Congress and the President should extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all income classes. One party argues that the rich should not receive a tax break. They want to sunset the tax cut for all those making more than $250,000 a year. However, most small businesses in America are netting their proprietors incomes between $150-$400,000 a year. The increase in taxes for these small business owners would result in a cutting back of expenses, including direct labor. In other words – layoffs. In the midst of a recession is it a good idea to potentially harm those who can least afford it? This is when a supposed amoral topic intersects with a moral one.

Would it be permissible for a Christian to protest against a proposal to raise taxes on moral grounds? Yes. Why not? But we must remember that we are Christians. We need to to watch our speech (Ephesians 4:29). We are prohibited from speaking falsehood or slander (Exodus 20:16; Ephesians 4:25). We cannot use our political convictions as a pretext for disobedience unless we, or the church, are asked to violate God’s law (Titus 3:1; Acts 5:29). In fact, we are to come to the aide of those who cannot defend themselves (Matthew 25:25-36; James 1:2). This is most important with a moral issue like abortion. Prenatal babies cannot defend themselves. They are dependent on help from those who honor the sanctity of life. Abortion is both a political and moral issue in our country. The church must speak out against it. Our pulpits must rail against it! The Nazis murdered over 6,000,000 Jews and others that they deemed as “undesirable”. Since abortion became legal in the United States over 50,000,000 babies have been murdered. I am not attempting to minimize the horrors inflicted by Hitler’s regime. But simple math reveals the compounded horror of state sanctioned infanticide. Should the church turn a deaf ear to such evil?

We’ll continue this discussion in the next installment.

What are you most known for, your politics or your faith? Part III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following was originally published at the Ligonier Ministries Facebook page.  While I enjoy writing original content there is nothing more I can add to this Ligonier post.  Christian, before you cast your vote for an “economic” conservative, or buy into the “big tent” fallacy, consider your Christian obligation.

God calls us to think His thoughts after Him. That means all of His thoughts. That is, we ought to have a sound and biblical view on everything the Bible touches on. Where it touches on political issues, we are called, again to have sound biblical views. We need to think biblically about what is just war and what is not. We need to think faithfully about taxation, and the size and scope of government. We need to think through what obligation, if any the state has to protect property, to protect our lives.

That said, there are precious few things that frustrate me more about the evangelical right than its utter foolishness with respect to proportion politically. We bundle together this issue and that, everything from tax rates to school vouchers to flag burning to abortion, and call it “family values.” There is a right and a wrong answer on all these issues. But abortion is not like any of the others. It stands out all on its own. In a hundred years, the Christian church will not hang its head in shame that it did so little to pass a Constitutional Amendment against the burning of the flag. In a hundred years, no elderly Christian will be looked at with suspicion by the younger generation because they didn’t do more to lower the tax rate. In a hundred years, if God should be so gracious, we will be looked upon as that godless generation of the church that watched tens of millions of babies go to their deaths. Indeed, we’ll be remembered as those “Christians” who elected men to office who believed that the state ought to protect the rights of some mothers to murder their babies.

It is unfair to draw too tight a comparison between abortion in America and the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. There are significant differences. First, the Holocaust was carried out, by and large, in secret. The rank and file Germans had no idea what was going on. We, on the other hand, every last one of us, woke up today knowing that four thousand babies would die today. We, on the other hand, have four thousand mothers, every day, who knowingly do this. We, on the other hand, have four thousand fathers, boyfriends and husbands who every day encourage this. The Holocaust lasted roughly ten years, and the Nazi’s killed roughly six million people. We, on the other hand, have been at this for 35 years, and have killed more than fifty million babies. It is an unfair comparison, unfair to the Nazis. We are far worse monsters.

How much weight should our opposition carry? I have purposed in my heart that I would never vote for a man for any office that is not committed to using every power at his disposal to protect and defend every unborn child. Never. Ever. If every Christian would simply make that simple pledge, then we would win this battle. As it stands, at best we vote for candidates who might nominate or support judicial candidates who might vote for this small impediment or that to abortion on demand. At worst, we vote for the guy with the R by his name. We need to get rid of our strategies, and get on our knees in repentance. We need to stop negotiating with candidates over the bodies of dead babies.

What are you most known for, your politics or your faith? Part II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Glenn Beck a Christian?  Interesting question to start off this article, isn’t it?

This morning I was driving in Montgomery County, Maryland when I came across Glenn Beck’s radio program.  I must admit that I’m drawn to some aspects of Beck’s political views.  Beck has been known to talk about religion on his program.  However, today he tackled a subject head on; a subject that many Christians have wondered about.  Beck responded to criticism from other Christians as to whether he, himself, is actually a Christian.  I don’t have access to Beck’s program transcript, so I’ll have to paraphrase his statements.  Glenn Beck said that he is both a Christian and a Mormon.  He tried to tie evangelical Christianity and Mormonism to the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  He said that he has placed his faith in Christ and the atonement that He accomplished.  Therefore, Beck is a Christian (according to him).  He then added a, “Now that that is settled, lets move on.”  But is it really settled?  Are we to accept Beck’s contention that his faith in Christ is the same as what the bible teaches?  Do Mormons believe in the same atonement that the vast majority of Christians do?  Seeing as this blog marches to a distinct Reformed drum, is the faith and atonement that Beck espouses in congruence with Reformed tradition?  The Christian Apologetics & Research  Ministry examines Mormonism in detail.  Since Beck spoke this morning about the atonement, let me share what CARM has to say about Mormonism’s view:

Mormonism and the atonement of Jesus

The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints does not view the atonement of Christ in the biblical and historical Christian manner. Instead of the atonement occurring on the cross, Mormonism teaches that the atonement occurred primarily in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus shed His blood. Please consider the following quotes from a BYU professor and the Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie.

  • BYU professor Robert J. Matthews, who on page 282 of his book, A Bible! A Bible!, wrote, “It was in Gethsemane, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, that Jesus made his perfect atonement by the shedding of his blood-more so than on the cross.”
  • Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie, stated, “Where and under what circumstances was the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God made? Was it on the Cross of Calvary or in the Garden of Gethsemane? It is to the Cross of Christ that most Christians look when centering their attention upon the infinite and eternal atonement. And certainly the sacrifice of our Lord was completed when he was lifted up by men; also, that part of his life and suffering is more dramatic and, perhaps, more soul stirring. But in reality the pain and suffering, the triumph and grandeur, of the atonement took place primarily in Gethsemane,” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, p. 774, emphasis mine).
  • For more quotes regarding the atonement and Mormonism please see Interesting Quotes on the Atonement from Mormon writings.

There is no biblical record of Jesus atoning for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden is where He suffered greatly in prayer because He did not want to go through the coming ordeal of His beating and crucifixion. The agony of the Garden was so intense for Him that He apparently sweat blood (Luke 22:44). But, the only references in the Bible dealing with Christ and the atonement are in reference to the cross, not the Garden of Gethsemane.

  1. Reconciliation is through the cross:
    1. “And might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity,” (Eph. 2:16).
    2. “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven,” (Col. 1:20).
  2. Our debt nailed to the cross
    1. “Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross,” (Col. 2:14).
  3. He bore our sins on the cross
    1. “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed,” (1 Pet. 2:24).
  4. Reconciled through Christ’s death — which occurred on the cross.
    1. “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life,” (Rom. 5:10).
    2. “Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach,” (Col. 1:22).

Paul says, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2). He does not mention anything, ever, about Jesus bearing our sins in the Garden. He only mentions sins in relation to the cross of Christ. Wherein did God purchase the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28)? It was the cross, not the Garden.

Propitiation

A propitiation is a sacrifice that turns away wrath. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was just such a propitiation. It was on the cross where Jesus bore our sins (1 Pet. 2:24) where he became a propitiation, the sacrifice for our sins. Notice that the sacrifice on the cross is a public event and it is this public display where propitiation occurred: “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith,” (Rom. 3:25). When Jesus sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, that was not a public display. Therefore, the sacrifice of redemption, where Jesus bore our sins as the propitiation, did not occur in the Garden of Gethsemane, but in the public display of the cross. Thus, when we see the term propitiation referred to in Scripture, we know it is referring to the sacrifice on the cross. Let’s take a look at more Scriptures dealing with this:

  • “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people,” (Heb. 2:17).
  • “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world,” (1 John 2:2).
  • “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” (1 John 4:10).

Notice that Jesus, the high priest, was the propitiation for our sins. This means that He bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24), as a publicly displayed sacrifice (Rom. 3:25) by which we are cleansed from our sins (1 John 1:7). It is not the blood that He sweat in the Garden that cleanses us of our sins, but the blood that was shed in the public display of the propitiatory sacrifice on the cross that cleanses us. This is why the scripture says, “and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity,” (Eph. 2:16).

In Conclusion

There is so much wrong with Mormon theology to begin with (plurality of gods, goddess mother, becoming gods, keeping the commandments to be forgiven, etc.), that it is no surprise to learn that Mormonism lays the emphasis of the redemptive work of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane instead of the cross.

  • “Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind, even as many as will, shall be redeemed. The Savior began shedding His blood for all mankind, not on the cross but in the Garden of Gethsemane. There He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all who would ever live. Under that [page 6] heavy load, He bled at every pore,” (Russell M. Nelson, “His Mission and Ministry,” New Era, Dec. 1999, p. 4, 6, emphasis mine).
  • “Jesus paid for all our sins when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane,” (Laurel Rohlfing, “Sharing Time: The Atonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, p. 39).

Error comes from error. If the Mormon church would only repent of its false doctrines and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the true Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His body on the cross and redeemed us freely, then the Mormons could also enjoy the free forgiveness of sins earned by Christ. Instead, because of the error of Mormonism regarding God and salvation, Mormons are still under the law and are required to obey all the commandments in order to receive the atonement work of Christ.

  • We accept Christ’s atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obeying all of the commandments,” (Gospel Principles, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979, p. 68, emphasis mine).

Nobody can obey all the commandments and to try in any way is to take on an impossible burden of guilt: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all,” (James 2:10). And, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified,” (Gal. 2:16). Therefore, not only is the Mormon position dealing with the atonement false, but so is its doctrine of salvation. Mormons are, unfortunately, still dead in their sins.

The True Gospel

The true gospel is that Jesus Christ, who is God in flesh, obeyed perfectly all the Old Testament laws. He fulfilled everything and never sinned. It was necessary that He do this because we could never do it. Because our works are filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6), there is absolutely nothing we have to offer God. The only thing we have is what Christ has done and the only way to be forgiven of our sins is to trust in Christ alone. But in Mormonism, Christ is the brother of the devil begotten through sexual relations between God and his goddess wife who both came from another planet. This is not the Jesus of the Bible. This is critical because the object of the Mormons faith is false. And since we have seen that their doctrine of the atonement is also wrong, we can now recognize more easily that they are lost.

Salvation, complete forgiveness of sins, does not come through obedience to the laws and the commandments. Complete forgiveness of sins comes by faith in Jesus Christ, the Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus of Mormonism.

It is clear that Mormonism has a different view of the atonement than biblical Christianity.  Unless Glenn Beck is willing to repudiate the Mormon view of the atonement we must conclude that he agrees with it.  Mormons do not look to the cross where the propitiation (satisfaction) for sin was accomplished, by Christ.  Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is not God the Son, part of the Holy Trinity.  They believe Jesus and Satan are physical sons of God the Father.  These are not just minor points of doctrinal disagreement.  If you get the Son of God wrong you get the Gospel wrong.  If you get the Gospel wrong there is no hope of salvation.

Is Glenn Beck a Christian?  Not if he holds to Mormon orthodoxy.  What does this have to do with Christians and politics?  Be careful of who you choose to be your political heroes.  I have run into Christians who are willing to dismiss Beck’s Mormonism for the greater good of his politics.  The greater good of his politics? How about dismissing his politics for the greater good of the true Gospel?  There is to be no compromise when it comes to the Gospel.  There is to be no compromise when it comes to true biblical faith.

Matthew 16:6  And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

What are you most known for, your politics or your faith? Part I

When I was a bible college student some twenty-two years ago, the founder of the college made the following statement during a chapel service, “If God has called you to preach, never stoop to be President.”  The man who made that statement was Jack Wyrtzen, one of the founders of Word of Life Fellowship International.  While my theological perspective has grown to be quite different than that of Word of Life, that statement by Jack Wyrtzen still echos in my mind.  What Jack (he always insisted on being called by his first name) was really saying was that the preaching of the Gospel is a higher calling than political office.  In fact, if Jack were alive today he would tell you that it is the highest of all callings.

This is a difficult article for me to write.  I am extremely passionate about my political opinions.  I don’t try to hide them. In fact, I’ve been known to go out of my way to share them.  The question I need to answer – indeed, that we all need to answer is this: do people know us best because of our political convictions or our faith convictions?  John the Evangelist wrote, “And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).  The world is passing away.  Paul states in 1 Corinthians 2:6, that the rulers of this world are passing away.  On the other hand the bible is full of politics.  Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will reveal the political tension that often accompanied some of the central figures; especially David and Solomon.  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul used his status as a Roman citizen to cut short his torture and then to appeal to Caesar (Acts 22:25-29; 25:11).  So, we see that politics and faith are often strange bedfellows.  How is the Christian to navigate through this quandary?  Must a Christian muzzle his political opinions for the greater progress of the Gospel, or does he have free reign in his political opinions and ambitions?

We’ll take a look at the possible answers to these questions in our next part.

How do you listen?

Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21).

Listening to a sermon is often thought of as a passive exercise.  You sit in your chair and hear the words coming out of the preacher’s mouth.  You may even take notes.  If the preacher is organized he may include an outline of the sermon in the church bulletin.  All these things are good.  They are tools to be used.  But the greatest tool is actively listening.  An active listener is one who is involved in the sermon.  The listener’s role is just as important as the preacher’s.  As the Word is being preached the listener should be receiving it, not simply into his ears, but into his soul.  This type of listening cannot be turned on and off like a light switch.  It takes preparation and practice.

Why should we prepare our hearts before we come into the house of the Lord on His day?  Consider what Charles Spurgeon said on this subject.

Let us consider the fit and proper preparation for listening to the Gospel, or what is to be done BEFORE HEARING. It will strike every man who thinks about it, that there should be some preparation of the heart in coming to the worship of God and to the hearing of the Gospel. Consider who He is, in whose name we gather, and surely we cannot rush together without thought! Consider whom we profess to worship and we shall not hurry into His Presence as men run to a fire. Moses, the man of God, was warned to take off his shoes when God only revealed Himself in a bush—how should we prepare ourselves when we come to Him who reveals Himself in Christ Jesus, His dear Son? There should be no stumbling into the place of worship half-asleep; no roaming there as if it were no more than going to the theater. We cannot expect to profit much if we bring with us a swarm of idle thoughts and a heart crammed with vanity. If we are full of folly, we may shut out the Truth of God from our minds. We should make ready to receive what God is so ready to bestow. If he was condemned, who came to the wedding feast not having on a wedding garment, what shall we say of those who habitually come into the festivals of our Lord and never think of being meet to be partakers of His royal dainties? What shall we say of those who defile the temple of God by never seeking to have their souls washed from the filthiness of their sin? Certainly there should be a serious preparation when a sinful creature draws near to the most holy God!”

It is not a trivial thing to come into the Lord’s house on the Lord’s Day with a heart full of the worlds concerns.  It is not acceptable to say, “Well, I’m here.  Isn’t that enough?”  No, friend. That is not enough.  Our lives are to be a holy and living sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12:1). How can our lives be holy when we drag them into the Lord’s house out of duty instead of joy?  What have you filled your mind with during the week?  Have you feasted on God’s word privately and with your family?  Have you sought Him in prayer; confessing your sins and interceding for one another?  Have you prayed for your pastor and elders, asking God to fill them with His Holy Spirit?  Do you long for the preached Word as more valuable than the food you eat (Matthew 4:4)?

Dear Christian, don’t allow another Lord’s Day to come and go without preparing your heart to meet with God.  Become an active listener and receive the Word into your soul.

Lord, I love you, but…

A common conversation with God:

“Lord, I love you.  I know that Jesus is the head of the church, which He purchased with His blood.  I know my sins have been forgiven and I am no longer my own; I belong to Christ.  But you don’t know what my life is like.  I really want to be in church on Sunday, but my life is just too busy.  I’m exhausted after a busy week and the only day I have to recuperate is Sunday.  I’m sure you know that I need some time to myself.  I can worship you just as well at a football game or at the mall.  It’s not like I never go to church.  And those at church have no right to judge me.  They have their own problems.  Thanks, Lord.  I knew that you would understand. “

God’s response:

Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:19-27).

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

Mobile post of the day: The Theology of Parents

Is there a theology about parents? I believe there is. I am writing this from the lobby of an assisted living facility in Washington, DC. I am here on business. As I observe the elderly residents of this place I am reminded of the scriptural command to “Honor your father and mother.” I am sure most of the residents here are loved and cared for by their grown children, but there may be some who are not. Our heavenly Father expects us to honor our parents as an act of obedience to Him, and as a sign of respect for what our parents have done for us.

Honor your parents while they are still here. It will please God, comfort your parents and encourage your own heart.

America has made a deal with the church

R.C. Sproul preached this sermon to his congregation at Saint Andrews Chapel Sanford, Florida. America has made a deal with church. As long as preaching is limited to the pulpit and directed to the church, there is freedom of religion. But what happens when the message of the gospel is proclaimed in the public square? When the gospel exposes the sin and depravity of society, what is the result? R.C. Sproul examines the deal that the government has made with the church. Please take the time to listen to this broadcast.

Principles for Choosing a Leader