Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bondage of the Will

In John 6:44, Christ says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him." This leaves absolutely no room for "free will." The Lord goes on to explain the Father's drawing, "Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me" (verse 45). Man's will, left to itself, is powerless to do anything about coming to Christ for salvation. Even the very word of the Gospel is heard in vain, unless the Father Himself speaks to the heart and draws us to Christ.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) The Bondage of the Will

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Revival, what about your idols

God prepared Isaiah’s heart with a sight of Himself and His holiness. But the message that Isaiah was to take to the people was quite grim for that nation. However, He was commanded to take it. There was no real relief for that message in His day. There was a price to be paid for being faithful to God. The same price has had to be paid many times since Isaiah as well. That price is a true repentance of the heart. It is a rending of the heart and it is a turning from the idols of the heart. God will not dwell with idolatrous hearts and so there must be a turning of the heart from idols. Those idols can be the fear of men and the love of honor from men. Those idols can be the love of a successful church in terms of numbers and money. Those idols can be the love of comfort and peace. Those idols can be in accordance with a love of the status quo. Those idols can be in accordance with a love of power. Until the power of love which only comes from God overcomes our love of power we have no hope for true unity. We must count the cost and see if we are willing to pray for revival if it comes at a great cost. We can talk about revival and never see it, but until we pray we won’t see it. But until we are willing to suffer in order to pray, we won’t pray. It is so easy to offer words asking for revival. Are you ready to have your idols torn from you in order to truly pray?

Provocation to Prayer 37
By Richard Smith, Spurgeon Baptist Association of Churches

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Light in the darkness

Even though it was a beautiful sunny day we walked down the street as light in a dark world. I met Mike Hyatt in town for un día glorioso of sharing the gospel on Monday. I first shared the gospel with a man and a women who eating outside a restaurant. The man was Methodist and the woman was Catholic. Neither one could answer many questions correct. The Methodist said you have to believe in God and you will get into to heaven, the Catholic never knew how to get to heaven and it seemed she never thought of it before. She did say she was disgusted in the Catholic church though. I took them through the law and gospel. Not much conviction and later they seen us and kind of mocked us, thinking we were crazy. This is pretty standard and has happened to most messengers of God.

The Bible says this in 2 Chronicles 36:16: But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

We next ran into a self-proclaimed orthodox Jew. He liked to talk. A lot. We started talking about the Torah. I tried to get into Exodus 20, the Law, but he couldn't stay on one subject. Mike was talking with him so I excused myself and let them talk. They ended up talking for an hour. Mike did share the gospel with him and offered to study the Bible with him but we will see if he the man follows through.

I witnessed to a prideful, kind of crazy man next. I asked him if he went to church and he said his church is everywhere. I asked if he read the bible and he said he could memorize it and challenged me to ask him any verse. I asked him a few and he missed them all.

There was a ton of people out on the street with the warm weather so I never had to go far to find the next person. I found a Hindu from India here on business. We got to talking about his religion and what will happen when he dies. He had rough English but we managed. He said that no one has seen his gods so he doesn't know what will happen when he dies. I asked him that if no one has seen your gods then how do you have many pictures and carved images of them. He said that was a good point. I then asked him if it made logical sense for me to cut down a tree and use half the tree to start a fire and cook dinner and use the other half of the tree to carve an image and call it god. I said if I carved the tree then I am the creator and the creation could have no power over me. He said it did make sense and that everyone can believe what they want and everything is true. I said if I jumped off that building and said I didn't believe in gravity would I fall? It is an illogical conclusion to say everyone is right. It is a complete contradiction. I tried to take him through the law but since his religion didn't have many of the same rules he thought it was alright to break them. We talked some more and I left him with a tract he reluctantly took.

I moved up the street and found a kid from Browning, MT who was wallowing in his sin and misery looking for a way out. I took him through the law and he admitted breaking them but still thought he wasn't that bad. I think he was comparing himself to the wicked people around him. I went deeper and he saw his sin and asked why I was here talking to him if he had to go to Hell and there was no way out. I then told him the greatest news of all. I told him I was talking with him because there is still hope for him, there is good news, there is a way out. I told him I have what he has been searching for. I then told him what our great God did for us by sending His only Son to take his punishment on himself. Jesus paid his fine so he could escape Hell and enter Heaven. When I mentioned Jesus he scoffed. I stopped and asked him why he was mocking Jesus and he actually said, "I thought you were going to tell me better news than that." I said there is no better news and I explained it deeper. I shared my testimony and he asked for my phone number so we could talk more. I introduced him to Hyatt and we encouraged to go to a Bible study Hyatt had on Tuesdays. I don't know if he will come but the gospel seed was planted. Qué un día glorioso por el evangelio.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

El Perro

Turns out my dog Sage also wants to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ instead of all the garbage that the world tries to replace it with. My neighbor went out in the park to hide dyed hard boiled eggs for his daughter to look for. Well Sage saw this and must not have thought it was good to have an egg hunt when we should be focused on Christ so Sage just went up behind him, searched out the egg, and ate it. My neighbor never caught on at first because Sage was sneaky but Sage finally got caught when she grabbed one of the eggs out of the carton that was in his hand. I never knew Sage had such a passion for doing what God wants. Either that or she was just hungry, but it is a funny story I thought I would share.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eggs, bunnies, baskets, candy? Is this Easter?

Ask your average heathen youngster what Easter is all about and he'll tell you about the Easter bunny, and finding Easter baskets filled with that annoying grass that seems to stick to household furnishings long after Easter is past. And those pastel foil-covered, football things that are a sorry excuse for real chocolate. And, of course, there are Easter eggs to dye and jelly beans -- you've got to have jelly beans. Black beans are best. "And mommy, that's what Easter is." "Oh, Jason, how cute." How sad! Most children today don't know beans about what Easter really means. It is funny how the people of the world lie to their kids about Santa Clause, the Easter bunny and then tell them that God does not exist and when a Christian tells the truth that all these are fake and that God is real we are accused of being cruel to kids. Well here is the truth: Santa is a false idol and the Easter bunny, eggs, bunnies, candy and Easter baskets have absolutely nothing to do with Easter. Lost parents should give out knives or something because knives have just as much to do with Easter as eggs. Nothing. So here is the truth about Easter that the Pagans and luke-warm, compromising "christians" are trying to hide: Because God is absolutely Holy and demands justice from lawbreakers, mankind, because of his heinous sin, is under the wrath of God. Because we have all rebelled and broke His commandments our entire life, daily, we can only store up wrath for the day of judgment. But the good news, the whole point of Easter, is that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to satisfy God's divine justice and reconcile us to God by bearing the full wrath of God in our place. God has to punish us for all eternity in Hell or pour out His wrath on His perfect, sinless Son in order to satisfy His divine justice. Jesus went voluntarily to the cross and shed His blood for us so we can have hope and life eternal. He gives this free gift of eternal life to all those who will repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Him. Jesus was killed on the cross for us and was in the grave for 3 days and then rose to life. This is what we celebrate on Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the resurrection never happened we would all have no hope of reconciliation and would be in Hell. It is the single most important event in the History of the World. So lets ignore this and look for eggs and hide baskets on this glorious day? That would be conceivably insane.

Piper invites Rick Warren to speak at conference?

I was very disappointed when I heard that Pastor Piper invited Rick Warren to the conference but then thought of the Sovereignty of God. I don't understand how Piper thinks Rick Warren is sound Biblically at all but am interested to see what God does with this. Maybe a whole bunch of Rick Warren followers will flock to the conference and hear the gospel for the first time and be saved.

Here is John Pipers explanation why he invited him. What do you think?