The End of Self….The Beginning of Christ

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Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
taken from: Cured At Last!, sermon No. 2018, April 8, 1888.

“All that you do apart from Jesus, in order to win salvation, will only cause you increased suffering. You have tried to save yourself by prayers. Your prayers have turned your thoughts upon your sin and its punishment and thus you have become more wretched than before. You have attended to ceremonies and if you have used them sincerely, they have worked in you a solemn sense of the holiness of God and of your own distance from Him. And this, though very proper, has only increased your sorrow. You have been trying to feel good and to do good, that so you may be good. But the very effort has made you feel how far off you are from the goodness you so much desire.

Your self-denial has excited cravings after evil and your mortifications have given new life to your pride. Efforts after salvation made in your own strength act like the struggles of a drowning man, which sink the more surely. As the fruit of your desperate efforts, you have suffered all the more. In the end I trust this may work for your good, but up till now it has served no healing purpose—you are now at death’s door and all your praying, weeping, Church-going, Chapel-going and sacrament-taking—do not help you one bit. There has been this peculiarly poignant pang about it all, that you are not better. Cheerily did you hope but cruelly are you disappointed. Continue reading

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“Truth Is of Necessity Intolerant of Falsehood” — Charles Spurgeon

“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

“Faith is a supernatural work wherever it is found and if we think that we can beget faith in ourselves or others by the use of the fleshy weapons of philosophy, we shall certainly be foiled! The Scriptures pressed home by the Holy Spirit are God’s power unto salvation—not men’s cogitations and imaginations! There is the Revealed Gospel—reject it at your own peril! There is Jehovah’s Revelation of Himself to men—receive it or be damned! This is the ground to go upon if we would speak as the oracles of God. God grant that proud thinkers may come upon this ground and become Believers.

Here we are boldly met by some who say, ‘We do not need this doctrine which you call the ‘knowledge of God.’ We already know of something better. We tell you that your Gospel, about which you make such a fuss, is outworn and done with.’ Treat it so, Sirs, and perish, if you will, but as for us, we will mourn day and night over your unbelief. You will surely destroy your souls in rejecting the Divine Testimony, but in so doing you will prove that Word to be true which says that the Gospel is a savor of death unto death as well as of life unto life. . .

. . .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 (1834-1892)
taken from: Forts Demolished and Prisoners Taken, Sermon No. 1473, May 11,

 

Bible Punchers, you arrogant, fundamentalist Bible believing Christians!

 

Grant Swart

It seems to be far safer to proclaim chance or cosmic fate than to proffer the truth held in Scripture to devotees of the post-modern, word of faith, pseudo-charismatic gospel. Apparently, Bible believing Christians who dare to quote truth from Scripture are misguided, self-centered, overly enthusiastic and arrogant Bibliolaters. Even worse, they are regarded as fantastical red fairies who place way too much emphasis on the Word of God. According to any number of variations of post-modern thinkers, the same God who provided us with His written Word, also made sure that the church had charismatic opponents who could operate from within and who have been armed with personal revelation to refute those who advocate adherence to sola Scriptura.

Additionally, what is being most recklessly proclaimed by these morally enthused opponents, is the belief that Scripture can be interpreted in many ways, and that understanding of Scripture is reliant on the private message which the individual receives from Bible text. Many pastors and elders in the post-modern church deceptively proclaim that the Bible is simply a collection of rough guidelines and historic illustrations, which may or may not be relevant to the individual Christian’s life. Continue reading

What is it to Preach the Gospel?

Charles Spurgeon

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! — 1 Corinthians 9:16

The greatest man of apostolic times was the apostle Paul — no question about that. Paul was the greatest man in everything he did and if you go back to the time when his life was not lived in Christ, through Christ and for Christ, he was even great in what he did then. Someone said Paul was great in everything he did whether it was good or whether it was bad because he did nothing half way. If you consider him as a sinner, he was exceeding sinful — that’s what he said, ‘exceeding sinful.’ If you consider him as a persecutor, he was mad against Christians — he persecuted them even in strange cities. He was not content to persecute those at home — he had to travel even to Damascus with letters giving him permission to destroy the people of Christ. If you consider the apostle as a convert, his conversion was remarkable; he met Christ in a real and personal way on the road to Damascus, blinded by the light, falling into the dust, looking up into that light, crying, ‘Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?’ If you consider this man as a preacher of the gospel, he stands out as the prince of preachers, the greatest of them all, crying, ‘I am ready to preach the gospel to them that are at Rome also; I am determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ ‘God forbid,’ he said, ‘that I should glory save in the cross of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ Whatever Paul did, he did with all his heart; he did nothing halfway. if he was rebelling, he was rebelling; if he was bowing, he was bowing; if he was worshipping, he was worshipping; if he was preaching the gospel, he was preaching the gospel. There was no nonsense in anything he did when it came to speaking about God. When he wrote this text, ‘for though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of, for necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel,’ he writes it with an unshaking hand; he writes it with a firmness, with a dedication and with a determination! ‘I preach the gospel. Yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.’ No nonsense in anything connected with the praise of God, with the worship of God, with the glory of God, or with the gospel of God. Now we need to learn this.

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What Theology is This?

Pastor Steven J. Cole
Flagstaff, Arizona

Dave Hunt’s Misrepresentation of God and Calvinism

As I read Dave Hunt’s latest book, What Love is This? subtitled, “Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God,” I felt both profound sadness and righteous anger. I was sad because many unsuspecting and uneducated Christians will believe that Hunt is accurate and thereby miss out on one of the richest spiritual gold mines available, namely, the life and writings of John Calvin and his heirs in the faith. I was angry because Hunt deliberately misrepresents and slanders both Calvin and Calvinism, and in the process grossly misrepresents God Himself. I know that his misrepresentation is deliberate because many Calvinists, including myself, wrote repeatedly to Hunt as the book was being written, pointing out his errors and asking him to stop misrepresenting what we believe. But sadly, he stubbornly ignored our corrections and went full steam ahead.

The resulting book is a first magnitude theological and spiritual disaster. If you rely on the supermarket tabloids as your reliable source of news, you’ll probably find Hunt satisfying for your theology. It will give you the same sort of sensational slander as the tabloids, only it is presented as if it were biblically and historically based. But if you want to grow in your knowledge of the living God, I advise you to leave this tabloid theology on the shelf.

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Metamorphosis, Part 3 (questioning everything)

John MacArthur – Grace to You

I have examined and critiqued postmodernism elsewhere (see The Truth War, 2007). It should be sufficient for our purposes in this context to summarize the postmodern mind-set by describing it as dubiousness about practically everything. As we noted, the starting point for modernity was a rejection of biblical authority (setting aside belief in the supernatural as an untenable or merely irrelevant opinion). Instead, science and human reason were foolishly treated as reliable and authoritative. In the end, the disastrous failure of so many modern ideologies utterly debunked modern rationalism and delivered a deathblow to modern certitude. Postmodernism therefore subjects every idea and every authority to endless skepticism.

Modernity’s most basic assumption was that the way to achieve unshakable certainty is through a rigorous application of the scientific method. (Whatever could be tested and proved in the laboratory—or logically deduced from scientific “facts”—was deemed true; everything else was written off as mere superstition.) Moderns were convinced that a basic foundation of settled scientific knowledge would easily provide a trustworthy authority by which all truth claims could be tested. That process in turn would eventually bring about a uniform consensus regarding all the fundamental realities of life and human existence.

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