Tag Archive | Don Fortner

Christmas and the Christian

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Grant Swart

As the years have passed, the “festive” or holiday season, which includes Christmas day, has become a commercialized farce, along with other similar secular celebrations such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day. The original meaning and “reason for the season” has been replaced with lavish parties, extreme festivities, entertainment and expensive gifts. While there is nothing wrong with any of those things, they certainly do not represent Christmas. No longer is it “the thought that counts”, rather the value of the gift which apparently demonstrates the level of affection one has for the recipient. Rarely is the birth of our Saviour brought into the picture on Christmas.

There is a war being waged on the traditional Christmas by the secular world, atheists, legalists and followers of false religions. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”. This, of course, is being done in an attempt to promote a religiously tolerant society with the will, values and rights of man as the central focus. All the while, the battle for your bucks in the countdown of shopping days to Christmas rages on.

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It was Santa Claus did it!

Back to the controversial issue among many Christians, which is the partaking or avoidance of Christmas celebrations. Continue reading

Living Trees In the Death of Winter

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But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
(Isaiah 6:13 KJV)

Title:       Living Trees In the Death of Winter

 Text:       Isaiah 6:13

SubjectBeliever’s Compared to Leafless Trees

Date:      Sunday Evening – September 3, 1989

Introduction:

Have you ever noticed how frequently the Word of God refers to believers as trees?

Numbers 24:6 – We are described “As gardens by the riverside, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar trees beside the waters.”

Psalm 1:3 – The believer is compared to “a tree that is planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season,” whose leaf shall not wither.

Psalm 52:8 – David sings, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”

Psalm 92:12 – “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age: they shall be fat and flourishing.”

Isaiah 61:3 – Believers are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

All of these passages of scripture tell us five things about every child of God in this world.  Find a believer anywhere in the world, and you will find one of whom these five things are true.  Continue reading

The Religion of the Pharisees

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“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash theirhands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:1-13

 

As our Lord Jesus warns us elsewhere to “beware of false prophets,” he warns us here to beware of false religion. Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men, and nothing more deadly than false prophets and false religion.

 

The Apostle Paul warns us that those who eat and drink the bread and wine of the Lord’s Table without faith in Christ eat and drink damnation to themselves. What he says about the Lord’s Table is true of and applicable to all other religious practices without faith in Christ. To profess faith without faith, to claim an interest in Christ without an interest in Christ, to be baptized without being born of God, to pretend to be a child of God while you are yet a child of the devil, all these things are eating and drinking damnation to yourself.

 

Our Lord Jesus warns us again and again to, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” The warning is repeated often because it is needed often. Here he explains exactly what he meant by the leaven of the Pharisees. When our Lord warns us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, he is talking about the doctrine, or the religion of the Pharisees.

 

What a humbling picture we have before us of apostate, human religion. Continue reading

Never Distinguish Tares From Wheat

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Mercy and love, kindness and encouragement, forgiveness and patience are things we all constantly want and need from others. Shall we not constantly bestow them upon others? Continue reading

The Lord’s Prayer

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Photo by : VERNELLE IMAGING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” (John 17:1-26)

In these 26 verses of Holy Scripture we have the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, as he was about to enter into the Holy of Holies in Heaven, with his own blood, to obtain eternal redemption for his people.

Our blessed Savior left us the full text of this prayer. He prayed frequently while he was here on the earth in our flesh; but this is the only prayer of our Lord Jesus that is recorded in its entirety. This is Christ our God-man Mediator, our great High Priest, praying to the heavenly Father on our behalf, interceding for us. He left us the full text of this prayer as an example of his intercession, which even now he carries on for his people at the Father’s right hand.

The Scripture says that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and was buried and raised again that he ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. There he prays or makes intercession for his people. This prayer is the prayer of our High Priest, our Mediator, which he is praying for us at this moment, as he makes intercession for us in heaven (Romans 8:34).

In Hebrews 7:25, we read that, “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” So, this is the prayer of the great High Priest, the one Mediator between God and men. The Scripture says, “There is one God and one Mediator,” one who prays for us and only one. That is our Lord Jesus Christ. This is his effectual prayer of intercession.

It is the Lord Jesus himself who is praying here. The fact that he prayed, prayed often, and prayed earnestly ought to encourage us to pray (Hebrews 4:14-16). Prayer doesn’t change God or change the will of God. It finds the will of God. Prayer not only finds the will of God, it bows us to the will of God. Prayer rejoices in the will of God and changes us, causing us to know and to follow the will of God. If our Master prayed, his servants certainly ought to pray.

Three Statements Continue reading

The Errors of Lordship Salvation

LORSHIP PROGRESSIVE PIC BEWARE

Note:  this is probably the longest article placed on our little blog, all of 83 pages long. Take your time to read and understand this serious error being taught today, a damnable heresy called Lordship Salvation.  I have found this to be the most clear and explanatory article I have yet read about this serious error which is proving to be so  popular in, so-called, Reformed circles. It is my prayer that this is of value to you, the reader, as it was for me.

 The Errors of Lordship Salvation

 

By Pastor Kelly Sensenig

D L  Moody told this story:

“An old man got up in one of our meetings and said, ‘I have been forty-two years learning three things.’ I pricked up my ears at that. I thought if I could find out in three minutes what a man had taken forty-two years to learn, I should like to do it. The first thing he said he had learned was that he could do nothing toward his own salvation. ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘that is worth learning.’ The second thing he found out was that God did not require him to do anything. Well, that was worth finding out, too. And the third thing was that the Lord Jesus Christ had done it all, that salvation was finished, and that all he had to do was to take it.”

 

Can it be true that God does not require the sinner to do anything in order to be saved? Can it be true that God only asks a poor lost sinner to take salvation as a free gift? Can it be true that salvation does not require any previous commitment to following Christ or obedience? It is true because eternal life is called “the gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). It is true because salvation is called “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) and a person receives this gift “through faith” (not following). It is true since a sinner is only asked to “come” (Rev. 22:17) and “take the water of life freely” (not follow). It is true since salvation is offered freely “without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). However, not everyone in the evangelical community would agree with this conclusion.

 

Those who embrace the teaching of Lordship Salvation would disagree and convey that a person must promise to follow Christ, obey Him, and make Christ Lord over area of his life before he can be saved. Lordship Salvation teaches there is a price or cost that is attached to salvation. In short, a person must meet the requirements for discipleship, become a follower of Christ, commit himself totally to Christ, step out to obey His commands, make Jesus Lord over area of his life, take the initiative to serve Christ, and comply with the conditions that Jesus requires for salvation, if he wants to be saved.

 

Lordship Salvation is a serious departure from the historic and Biblical teachings regarding the content of the Gospel message, old-fashion repentance, and simple faith in Christ. When this teaching is analyzed in the light of God’s Word it is found to be spurious and misleading. Lordship Salvation pertains to the area of a person’s salvation and specifically how a person is saved. For this reason it becomes a serious issue in relationship to what a person must do in order to be saved. It strikes at the very heart of the orthodox Christian faith. Continue reading

The Strong Man Armed — Bound and Cast Out

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“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:21-26)

 

From the beginning of time the prince of darkness has been at war with the Son of God, and the Son of God has been at war with him (Genesis 3; Isaiah 14; Revelation 12). It is a mutual conflict, a mutual enmity. It is ever the purpose of that fiend of hell and the myriads of demons ruled by him to topple the throne of God, usurp his authority, and destroy the souls of men. His principle weapon of warfare is religion — self-righteousness and will worship (2 Corinthians 11; Galatians 1:6-9).

 

But the fiend of hell, that old serpent, the devil shall accomplish nothing. He is God’s devil. He is by the omnipotent power of Christ forced into servitude. And soon he shall be cast into hell, crushed beneath our Savior’s feet and ours. Yes, he shall be crushed beneath the feet of us, poor, weak mortals he seeks to destroy (Romans 16:20). Continue reading