God almighty is never put in a bind. He is never compelled by circumstances to change his mind, or alter his purpose. With regard to the salvation of his elect, God’s purpose is crystal clear. There is a multitude of sinners in this world, scattered through all the nations of the world, whom God has chosen to save from eternity (Eph. 1:3-6). The Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed that chosen multitude by the shedding of his blood and obtained eternal redemption for them (Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12). At the appointed time of love, God the Holy Spirit will regenerate and call each of those chosen, redeemed sinners, by effectual, irresistible grace, creating life and faith in them (Psa. 65:4). The means by which he will do this is the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet. 1:23-25). And those by whom God is pleased to send the gospel, through the world, are men, Continue reading
I cannot imagine any crime against another person which is more cowardly, despicable, and inexcusable than slander and gossip – backbiting. While such behavior is common and expected among the reprobate, there is no place for it in the kingdom of God.
Many who look down their noses with scorn upon fornicators, adulterers, and whoremongers, are guilty of this hideous offense. They think nothing of slandering another, attempting to murder his character, indeed, they seize every opportunity to do so. If Romans 1:28-32 means anything, it means that such people do not know God. Their character is the character of the reprobate. Backbiting men and women are proud, envious, little rebels, people who cannot be trusted in any area of life.
They are the pawns of Satan, used to disrupt the peace of God’s church and kingdom. Continue reading
If the roof is blown off of your house in a tornado, it will cause you trouble, grief, and expense. But there is no cause for despair. If one of the walls of this building were to be torn off in a storm, it would require our time, labor, and money to replace it. But it could be replaced soon enough. Indeed, we once saw building collapse, like a pile of toothpicks, during a winter storm. It was a frustrating and costly ordeal. But soon the walls were again raised. However, if by some terrible earthquake, the foundations of the building were broken up and destroyed, then all would be hopelessly lost and ruined.
The Immovable Foundations of Our Faith Continue reading
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
“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
“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
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”
There are some people among the fallen sons of Adam whom God almighty has purposed to save. They are called “his own sheep.” These sheep are sinners loved of God with an everlasting love, chosen by him unto salvation, and redeemed by Christ the Good Shepherd. They shall, each of them, be called to life and faith in Christ by the power of God’s irresistible grace at his appointed time and preserved in him unto everlasting glory.
Sheep and Goats
According to the Word of God, the whole human race is divided into two categories: sheep and goats. Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep. Our Lord plainly tells us that some men and women are his sheep; and some are not his sheep. Some are goats (Matthew 25:31-33; John 10:16, 26). This division of the human race was made in eternity in God’s sovereign purpose of grace in eternal election. He chose some to salvation and passed by others.
This division is made manifest in time, at the time of love, when the sheep are called by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel to life and faith in Christ. The call of the Spirit and our resulting faith in Christ do not make the division or make us sheep; but the call of God and the gift of faith in Christ make the division manifest, and make it manifest that we are Christ’s sheep, chosen, redeemed, and called by grace.
This division of the human race is a permanent, immutable division. — Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep.
Lost and Found Continue reading
There is no question that our nation, along with the rest of the world, is a nation under the judgment of God. As far as I know, throughout the world, in every nation under the sun, the wicked rule. Perhaps you think that is a strong statement. Politicians in every democratic society of which I am aware…
- Openly promote homosexuality, asserting that any objection to that deviant perversity is bigotry.
- Do everything possible to promote fornication and unwed women giving birth to children, or even worse murdering unwanted, inconvenient children.
- Use every means possible to eradicate any mention or thought of the Lord Jehovah, our God, and our Savior Christ Jesus as God the Lord, while rushing to pass laws protecting Islam, Hinduism and atheism.
Yes, the wicked rule everywhere; and when the wicked rule the people mourn.
(Proverbs 29:2) “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
When the wicked rule, the people they oppress “mourn,” the people moan, and groan, and sigh before God under the tyranny of the wicked. The people mourn, groan and sigh, as John Gill wrote more than 250 years ago, “under their tyranny and oppression, and because of the sad state of things; the number of good men is lessened, being cut off, or obliged to flee; wicked men and wickedness are encouraged and promoted; heavy taxes are laid upon them, and exorbitant demands made and cruelty, injustice, and arbitrary power exercised; and no man’s person and property are safe.” Continue reading
This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture – Salvation is the work of God alone, a gracious work of God wrought for and in chosen sinners, without their aid or assistance, through the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gracious, irresistible operations of the Holy Spirit. Here are seven Bible descriptions of salvation. I ask only that you read them carefully and honestly, comparing Scripture with Scripture. If you will do so, you will see clearly that “Salvation is of the LORD!”
1. “THY SALVATION” — “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD” (Gen. 49:18). Salvation belongs to God. It is his prerogative and his work alone. He gives it and withholds it according to his own sovereign will.
2. “ETERNAL SALVATION” — “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). Salvation is an eternal work of the eternal God. It was devised and secured, predestinated and purposed, and, in the mind of God, it was performed, finished, and perfected in the covenant of grace before the world began. Read your Bible and you will see that this is so (Rom. 8:29-30; Rev. 13:8). Continue reading
“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” — Psalm 130:3-4
Satan is a master deceiver. He is such a subtle, crafty deceiver that he often uses the Word of God itself to confuse people. He is particularly good at using Scripture texts as stumbling blocks, which he piles in the path of sinners seeking the Lord, or to trip and harass God’s pilgrims as they seek to follow Christ through this world. In this study, I hope to clear away some of those stumbling blocks, by answering some questions about forgiveness. I cannot here answer all the questions people have asked me about the forgiveness of sins. It would be futile for me to attempt that. However, I have carefully and prayerfully chosen seven questions which I want to answer.
1 Are there varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of punishment?
Without question, the Word of God clearly teaches that there are no varying degrees of innocence, righteousness, or holiness, and no varying degrees of reward for the righteous in heaven. The teaching of decrees of reward in heaven is totally contrary to the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. However, the Scriptures do teach us that there are varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of eternal punishment. Continue reading
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3
Why should we study doctrine?
People often object to any talk about doctrine and the study of doctrine, because they wrongly imagine that it is an unnecessary cause of strife and division. The fact is, we cannot have any unity at all if we do not have doctrinal unity. Doctrine is not everything in Christianity; but nothing is more important than doctrine. Gospel doctrine is the foundation of all true faith, the basis of all real comfort, and the inspiration for all worship, obedience, and devotion.
I often hear people say, “Let’s not discuss doctrine. Let’s just get on with evangelism.” “Let’s not talk about doctrine. Let’s just worship the Lord.” “Don’t preach doctrine. Just preach Christ.” That makes about as much sense as a basketball coach saying to his team, “Boys, don’t worry about the baskets, or the ball, or those lines out there on the court. Let’s just play basketball.” You cannot have basketball without the baskets, the ball, and the lines; and you cannot have evangelism, worship, and Christianity without doctrine.
The study of doctrine is important, because it is foundational. In Psalm 11:3, David asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Obviously, we recognize that “the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2:19). Yet, we also know that in this dark, apostate age in which wicked religious men and women walk in darkness, without knowledge and without understanding, “all the foundations of the earth are out of course” (Ps. 82:5). The religion of the world constantly attacks, assaults, and seeks to destroy the foundation of doctrinal truth. When men seek to destroy the very foundations of our faith, what can the righteous do? Here are three things we can and must do… Continue reading
“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.” With these words David declares the sovereignty of God and calls for us to give him praise. ( Psalms 135:6 )
There are no attributes of God more comforting and delightful to his children than his great and glorious sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions; that he sovereignly overrules them, and that he sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and his own glory. Every believer rejoices in the sovereignty of God. There is no truth of Holy Scripture for which we must more earnestly contend than God’s dominion over all creation, his sovereignty over all the works of his hands, the supremacy of his throne and his right to sit upon it.
God’s saints rejoice to hear him say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matt. 20:16). Nothing is more comforting to God’s saints in this world than the knowledge of the fact that “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3). We rejoice in God’s sovereignty! But there is nothing revealed in the Bible that is more despised by worldlings and self-righteous religionists. Natural, unregenerate, unbelieving men and women are happy enough to have God everywhere, except upon the throne of total, universal sovereignty. They are happy to have God in his workshop, creating the world and naming the stars. They are glad to have God in the hospital to heal the sick. They are pleased to have God in trouble, to calm the raging seas of life. And they are delighted to have God in the funeral parlor to ease them of pain and sorrow. But God upon his throne is, to the unregenerate man, the most contemptible thing in the world. And any man who dares to preach that it is God’s right to do what he will with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he sees fit, and save whom he will, will be hissed at, despised, and cursed by this religious generation. Be that as it may, it is God upon the throne whom we love, trust, and worship. And it is God upon the throne that we preach. Continue reading