Lessons for Troublesome Times

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“And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what signwill there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:1-24)

We are living in troublesome times. These are perilous days. These are difficult days for everyone. But they are particularly difficult for people who believe God and seek, in all things and above all things, to honor Him. I know that your minds are constantly full of questions, for which there seems to be no answer. Moral decadence, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and the pedophilia that it spawns are not just tolerated, but actively promoted in our public schools and by law. The brutal slaughter of unborn babies is as common as the removal of warts. By some perverse logic, the same people who want to protect rattle snakes from extinction and weep over the misuse of laboratory rats tell us that the murder of a baby is a matter of choice! Domestic violence is epidemic. War is an everyday activity. And the religion of the day is nothing short of men worshipping themselves. When I think about these things, three passages of Scripture come to my mind (Deuteronomy 31:17; Psalm 10:4; Galatians 6:7). Continue reading

A Call For Separation

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And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(Revelation 18:4 KJV)

Don Fortner

Revelation 18:4

Always endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Bend over backwards to get along with God’s saints. Make allowances for one another’s faults, failures, and offenses. Never be guilty of alienating a brother, or refusing to graciously embrace one who is a child of God. But this brotherly kindness is not to be extended to those who are “the enemies of the cross of Christ.” “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” (II Chr. 19:2; Ps. 139:21-22; Gal. 1:6-9). Continue reading

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”

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Don Fortner – Discovering Christ in all the Scriptures 

Chapter 66

REVELATION

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”

It has been my singular object in these surveys of the Bible to show clearly that the singular subject, theme, and message of the entire Book of God, the Old Testament and the New, is the Person, work, and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. As in creation, providence, and redemption, so in the Holy Scriptures, it is the purpose of God “that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col_1:18).

Him Book

The Book of God is a book all about Christ (Luk_24:27; Luk_24:44-48). The Bible is a Him Book. It is all about Him. All the promises and blessings of God given to sinful men and women are in Christ (Eph_1:3). Apart from Christ, God promises nothing but wrath; and every supposed blessing will prove to be a curse. All the love, mercy, and grace of God is in Christ. All the revelation and knowledge of the triune God is in Christ. Christ is not only the central message of Holy Scripture; he is the message of Holy Scripture. To understand that is to have the key that opens the Word of God and reveals its treasures.

That which is true of the whole Volume of Inspiration is especially and gloriously true of the last, closing chapters of the Volume, the Book of Revelation. This last book of the Bible is Christ’s revelation of himself to his servants. This Book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev_1:1). It is not the revelation of St. John, but “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” given to and recorded by John. It is not the book of revelations (plural). It does not contain many revelations. It contains one revelation seen in many things. It is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading

If I Love Christ There Are Some People I Cannot Love

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Don Fortner 

True Christian love is not universal. It does not extend to all men. The fact is, if I love the Lord Jesus Christ there are some people I cannot love. There is such a thing as a righteous hatred.

Listen to God’s servant David, the man after God’s own heart. He wrote these words under the infallible influence of God the Holy Spirit – “Do not I hate them, O Lord,- that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred. I count them mine enemies” (Ps. 139:21-22). A reasonable inference from those two verses is that those who are the Lord’s enemies, those who hold our God in contempt, are to be counted as our enemies and held in contempt by us. Continue reading

The Great Commission

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Don Fortner 

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
(Mar_16:15-18)
These words are given to us by Inspiration as our Lord’s final words to his church, his final words to you and me, as he was leaving this world. Here he tells us what our privileges and responsibilities are as his servants in this world. These are not the privileges and responsibilities of the apostles alone, or of gospel preachers alone. These are the privileges and responsibilities of all God’s people, his servants, in this world.

It is the great privilege and responsibility of every child of God to do what he can for the furtherance of the gospel in his generation, to preach the gospel (and see to it that the gospel is preached) to all the world in the generation in which we live for the glory of Christ and the salvation of God’s elect.

The Great Commission
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mar_16:15). — It is utterly impossible for me to state emphatically enough the importance, the comprehensiveness, and the depth of meaning there is in these words. Our Lord’s charge to us in this one sentence is generally called “The Great Commission.” This is our commission from our God as long as we live in this world; and it is great!

It is called “the great commission,” because there is a great need. Our Lord commands us to go into all the world preaching the gospel, because all are lost without the gospel. In every corner of the earth the sons and daughters of Adam are the same. All are fallen, lost, without Christ, without God, without hope, and utterly ignorant of God, his grace, his Son and his salvation. Civilized or uncivilized, in Africa, China, or Great Britain, Mexico, California, or Kentucky, all who are ignorant of the gospel are in a state of wrath and condemnation. Continue reading

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD

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“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. “
(Jeremiah 23:1-5 KJV)

Jeremiah 23:1-32Jer_23:1. Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.What a dreadful woe this is upon all false shepherds, — those who profess to be sent of God to instruct the people, but who are not sent of God at all, Continue reading

A PERSON IS SAVED WHEN IT PLEASES GOD TO SAVE HIM

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By Don Fortner 

When is a person saved?

The Apostle Paul tells us that A PERSON IS SAVED WHEN IT PLEASES GOD TO SAVE HIM. “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his graces to reveal his Son in me.” “When the fulness of time was come … God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father”. My friends, “Salvation is of the Lord”, Salvation comes to men according to God’s sovereign pleasure. He says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy”. God saves whoever he is pleased to save; and he saves them whenever it pleases him to do so. When is a person saved? Mark it down.

A PERSON IS SAVED WHEN IT PLEASES GOD TO SAVE HIM.

When is a person saved? I can tell you this – Salvation is something more than walking down an aisle at the end of a church service and saying “the sinner’s prayer”. Salvation is an operation of the grace of God upon a man’s heart. Salvation is a living union with the living Lord. The Word of God makes it very clear that salvation is not something you do for God, it is something God does for you. Salvation is not accomplished by man, not by the works of man, not by the decision of man, and not by the free-will of man. Salvation is not a co-operative program in which God does his part and you do your part. “SALVATION IS OF THE LORD”. It is God who quickens, regencrates and gives life to dead sinners. It is God who redeemed, justified, and pardoned his people. it is God who chose his own elect, determined to save them, and predestinated them unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. Salvation is not by man’s decision, but by God’s decision. Salvation is not by man’s power, but by God’s power. Salvation is not by man’s work, but by God’s work. Salvation is not by man’s will, but by God’s will. Continue reading