Heaven on Earth

November 30, 2008

This afternoon, as I watch the snow coming down in sheets this beatiful Sabbath day, I am reading a wonderful book by Thomas Brooks called Heaven on Earth. This book’s primary thesis is the expound upon the Christian doctrine of assurance. Am I really saved? How do I know that I am in Christ? I just started this book, so I do not intend to write much about it just now, but I do wish to impart to you what I have been reading thus far.

Already, Mr. Brooks has set forth several basic reasons for assurance:

  1. Believers may in this life attain unto a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  2. It is the very scope and end of the Scripture to help believers to a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  3. Other believers have in an ordinary way attained to a very sweet assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  4. God hath by promise engaged Himself to assure his people of their happiness and blessedness.
  5. There is in all saints the spring of assurance, and therefore they may attain to assurance.
  6. The Holy Spirit exhorts us “to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure” (I Peter 1:10) and presses us to look to the obtaining of full assurance.
  7. The Lord hath, in much mercy and love, propounded in His Word the ways and means whereby believers may obtain a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness; and therefore it may be obtained.
  8. It was the principal end of Christ’s institution of the sacrament of the supper that he might assure them of His love, and that he might seal up to them the forgiveness of their sins, the acceptation of their persons, and the salvation of their souls.
  9. Those scriptures that do expressly require saints to be abundant and constant in rejoicing and in praising of God, to have always harps in their hands and hallelujahs in their mouths, do clearly evidence that believers may attain to a well-grounded assurance in this life.
  10. God would never have made such a broad difference in the Scripture between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, between the righteous and the wicked, between saints and sinners, between sons and slaves, sheep and goats, between lions and lambs, between wheat and chaff, light and darkness, etc.

Simply stated, there is no logical reason for any Christian to claim that there is no possibility to attian assurance in Christ. The Scriptures clearly teach that assurance is an inherent part of true Christianity. Unfortunately, many take this too far by saying Once saved, always saved. This may be true, but the problem is that those who use this phrase far too often overlook why we are always saved once we have been saved. We are always saved because God has promised this too us in His Word. (A better way of saying this would be If saved, always saved.)

Real Marriage

Real Marriage

As many of you are well aware, California has been slowly deteriorating (who hasn’t) in regard to the issue of marriage. Aside from the fact that it is now legal for homosexuals to be married in that state and be recognized as a ‘real’ marriage, there is now another problem. I was unaware of this change in the state process in regard to marriage until today.

Apparently, California has changed the titles on the marriage license from ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ to ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B’. This is utterly ridiculous in and of itself, regardless of what Scripture has to say. Seems as if there were two others who thought the same way and crossed off these two changes and replacement with the true titles Bride and Groom. Unsurprisingly, someone caught wind of it, and California will not recognize their marriage if they left the license in this way. Read the rest of this entry »

Want to know the day of Jesus’ return?

Here is someone who seems to know that the day of Christ’s return is coming, and he even knows the day on the Hebrew calendar that it will happen. All you have to do is watch a two DVD series by Pastor Mark Blitz of El Shaddai Ministries and you will find out, but there is a problem. They don’t know what year it will be in. That is informative! Let me know what day, but don’t tell me if it will happen next week or in the next week two years from now. What utter ridiculousness!

I think there is a reason that the Lord refers to that day as ‘the day of Yahweh’. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, it says, “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (ESV) I think that says it all, does it not?

Maybe next they will figure out how to determine the spiritual state of a person based on their past actions toward the world and the church comparatively…

Reading the Bible in a Year

September 9, 2008

The Scriptures

The Scriptures

Reading the Bible within a year is very often encouraged within Christian circles, but unfortunately, many begin such a regimen and later stop because they cannot seem to devote such time to reading the Bible (which is not the priority of many modern Christians). There is a great benefit to reading the Bible in a year as well as a Biblical reason to do so. In Psalm 119:11, is says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (ESV) If we are to store up God’s Word in our heart, we ought to do so by devoting more than simply a chapter or two a day in His Word, rather we should spend a significant amount of time reading His Word and even using commentaries and other books which help explain the Scriptures we read (ex. John Calvin’s Commentaries or Matthew Henry’s commentaries).

I have done this once before (I am currently working on a different regimen), and I can thoroughly say that I enjoyed it and was blessed by it.

Here is a regimen that you could consider.

Puritan’s Mind Reading Regimen

Tests of Love to God (Part 2)

September 3, 2008

4. Another fruit of love is magnanimity. Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties and hazards. The fearful hen will fly upon a dog or serpent to defend her young ones. Love infuses a spirit of gallantry and fortitude into a Christian. He that loves God will stand up in His cause, and be an advocate for Him. ‘We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.20).He who is afraid to own Christ has but little love to Him. Nicodemus came sneaking to christ by night (John 3.2). He was fearful of being seen with Him is the day-time. Love casts out fear. Read the rest of this entry »

Tests of Love to God

August 27, 2008

I am currently working my way through All Things for Good by Thomas Watson for the Puritan Paperback challenge. I thought that I would include a chapter which I was reading this will span two of three posts, so this is only part one. Read the rest of this entry »

God’s Word IS Inspired!

August 14, 2008

Yesterday, as I was meandering around the forums of The Rebelution, I came across this post with this question:

Here is a question I am curious to ask. If the Bible is completely God’s word, why do most books come from letters, or other random things? For instance, 1st & 2nd Corinthians were written by Paul to the Church of Corinth. Ephesians was written to the Ephesians by Paul. Why didn’t God just command them to write those books for his Word? I hope to create a healthy discussion in this, and I’m eager again to read your comments.

My first reaction was to scream at the computer the answer to the inspiration of Scripture, but then I thought better and wrote a reply in the forums. Here is what I wrote:

First, only part of the New Testament was written in letter form. Second, the rest of it is written in historical narrative so that the people of God may know the history God gave to us.

But irregardless of the means of which the Word of God was written, the entire Word of God is inspired, or breathed out by God! It is nearly impossible to deny the inspiration and inerrency any part of it and not deny the rest of it. For example, if I tried to deny the first eleven chapters of Genesis and try to fit the evolution hypothesis into the creation account (which I do not), I wind up denying several essential doctrines including: the doctrine of man, the doctrine of sin, the doctrine of the curse, the doctrine of male headship, the doctrine of the promised Messiah, etc. Also, there would be no answer for why death is in the world, where death came from, why we wear clothes, why there was a necessary sacrifice for sin, what is sin, and why does God allow it to exist.

I shall point you first to 2 Peter 1:

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (ESV)

In other words, the Word of God is a collection of reliable historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses reporting supernatural events which came to pass according to specific prophecies and all of which claims to be of divine origin and not human.

Denying the Word of God is denying God Himself, for the Word is God. If we do not believe the Scriptures, our faith is in vain, according to Luke 1:1-4.

Even if you do not wish to believe the supernatural aspect of it, there is the human aspect of it, which is that the Bible contains sixty-six books which were written by over forty authors who lived on three different continents and wrote it in three different languages over a period of 1500 years, all of whom were eyewitnesses to the events reported.

How many Christians today know how to answer the question, “How do you know the Scripture is true?” What I have written in bold is the answer. And, if you want to put whipped cream on top: the Bible is the only Holy book of the religious faiths of the world that claims divine authorship.

The Christian must believe the Word of God, or he must believe the words of the world, which lead to condemnation in hell. Take your pick, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD, and we shall believe His Word.