With a Little Help from My Friends

Father and sonNote: Next week I will be returning to part 2 of the Terrors of Hell.

A couple weeks ago Jen and I were discussing the topic of our children and having friends.  Since we started home-schooling a couple years ago the girls don’t spend much time with peer group friends and we were deciding whether this was good, bad or indifferent to our children.

Our daughter Madeline has a friend her age that attends our church and since we are not a big gathering there are not a lot of other similar ages for all our girls.  This is such an interesting topic to me and I’m feeling pretty firm in my convictions but I’m genuinely interested in what other Believers think about the topic.  So please don’t be shy about offering your opinion.  However, I’d like you to use Scripture to support your views.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

As I’ve been thinking about this verse and any others that deal with our relationships one thing is very clear to me and I think very clear in scripture.  There are two classes of people, wise and foolish.  What do you want your children to be?  Isn’t it obvious that if you want your children to be wise they should spend time with those that are wise?  The opposite is destruction.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Most people will agree they want their children to run with “good company” and they don’t really consider their children’s friends “evil”.  A better question to ask is “are they saved”?

Can you be confident they’ve been born again and are new creations in Christ?  This is a whole other blog, about how you can discern salvation in children.  But for now let’s consider, not just that kids attend church, but are they Believers?

I thought back to my child hood and most especially as I came into my teenage years and young adult years.  The choice of friends I made was, except for the grace of God, my undoing.  God had providentially made arrangements to keep me alive, but it certainly could have been different on many occasions.  I say this and I’m ashamed of those choices and the things that a foolish young man was drawn into, but it’s the reality of my life and I praise God for His goodness and mercy in preserving me for His purposes.

Have you ever walked down the street to see a group of teenage boys together, or walk through a shopping mall and see the behavior of the kids “hanging out”?  It’s not what I desire for my children, but take it to a religious place.  How about the youth group at most evangelical churches, and you will see the same thing only under the guise of the “Christian” banner.  Am I wrong?

We have been blessed that our oldest daughter Grace has been saved and she can see the value of her relationships.  She enjoys spending time with some of the women in our church that are helping shape and mold her into a godly woman, these women are older than Grace but they are still young women.  Not with the desire to go to the mall and be foolish.

How do you suppose the fools will be destroyed?  Does this literally mean death and destruction?  Well yes, I think it can and it does.

2 Kings 2:23-24 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead!  Go up, you baldhead!”  So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD.   And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

Here is a group of adolescent kids that are running around together.  Can’t you envision this scene?   We see it all the time, and once one decides to do something they all join in.  So they decide to mock and taunt Elisha, God’s chosen prophet.  These kids were drawn into the foolish behavior that offered destruction.

What about the group of teenagers that attend a party together?  They end up getting drunk and someone or all of them die in a car crash.   Is God to blame for this behavior?

Will this happen to my children if I allow them to be with other friends?  I don’t know.  Possibly and probably not, but think about the values that are shared when fools hang with fools.

Does this mean we will never allow our children to have friends their own age and go do things with them?  No, I don’t think that is what I’m saying, but I want to make close examinations of those children and what I allow my children to participate in.

I’m the one charged to bring them up in the training and fear of the Lord, so I must take Scripture and challenge my life and be willing to have it change the status quo.  God has given me a tremendous responsibility; and He will hold me accountable.  I can easily allow this to go with the flow and just believe that it’s a good thing for my children to have lots of foolish friends with no biblically validated reason for it.

Will this hurt them socially?  That is the argument I expect to hear the most often, but that doesn’t persuade me.  I will trust God that He has that covered, and I will train my children to interact with adults and other children responsibly and respectfully.  After all isn’t that part of the job?

If you are a Believer what do you think?  Because I expect if you ask most people they’ll think this is crazy talk.


A Sure Guide to Heaven – Part 6 – Directions to the unconverted


I finished my prep work this afternoon before starting to write and I sent my cousin a text message “A Sure Guide to Heaven should be required reading for anyone that thinks they know Christ.”  What else could I say, why won’t the places that call themselves churches preach like this anymore?

Do they teach like this?

Do people understand their wretchedness to a Holy God?  Would they require this book in the newcomer orientation classes?  I almost laugh myself silly when I think about the pizza, Pepsi and “oh here you go, we want you to read this book…”  “Say what?”

As I was reading the sixth chapter and attempting to digest the truth pouring off the pages my head was swimming, am I really saved?  And I believe that I’m saved…  I can still remember how I felt when I came to the realization I’d been a false convert my whole adult life.  What should I do?  Can it be true, have I really just been saved?  Did God really show me my sin?  What else could I do, but fall to my knees and praise Him for His grace and mercy.

To my dear friends and readers, if this study has not made an impact on you, there is something wrong and I hope you will examine yourself in that light.

You’ve either taken my admonishment to read this book or you haven’t and I’ve either inspired you to want to read it or I’ve lost you by now, so if you have stuck with me, I praise God for your diligence and I trust you have been blessed.

Directions to the unconverted

Before you read these directions, I advise you, yea, I charge you before God and His holy angels, that you resolve to follow them, as far as conscience shall be convinced of their agreeableness to God’s Word and your state; and call in  His assistance and blessing that they may succeed. Page 100

Again Ailleen appeals to God’s Word as the source of truth as he lays out sixteen directives for the unconverted.

1: Set it down with yourself as an undoubted truth, that it is impossible for you ever to get to heaven in this your unconverted state

Can any other but Christ save you? And He tells you He will never do it except you be regenerated and converted. Page 101

2: Labour to get a thorough sight and lively sense and feeling of your sins

Till men are weary and heavy laden, and pricked at the heart, and quite sick of sin, they will not come to Christ for cure, nor sincerely enquire, ‘What shall we do?’ Page 101

The loathsome carcase does not more hatefully swarm with crawling maggots, than an unsanctified soul with filthy lusts.  They fill the head, the heart, the eyes and mouth of him.  Look backward; where was ever the place, what was ever the time, in which you did not sin? Page 102

The least sinful word or thought lays you under the infinite wrath of God. Page 103

3: Strive to affect your heart with a deep sense of your present misery

Read over the previous chapter again and again, and get it out of the book into your heart. [emphasis mine]  Remember when you lie down, that for all you know, you may awake in flames; and when you rise up, that by the next night you may make your bed in hell. Page 105

4: Settle it in your heart that you must look out of yourself and away from your own doings for help

Do not think your praying, reading, hearing, confessing, or amending, will effect the cure.  These must be attended to, but you are undone if you rest in them.  You are a lost man if you hope to escape drowning on any other plank but Jesus Christ. Page 106

5: Henceforth renounce all your sins

If you yield yourself to the practice of any sin, you are undone.  In vain do you hope for life by Christ, except you depart from iniquity.  Forsake your sins, or you cannot find mercy.  You cannot be married to Christ except you be divorced from sin.

Your sins must die, or you must die for them. Page 107

6: Make a solemn choice of God for your portion and blessedness

Take up your rest in God.   Sit down under His shadow.  Let His promises and perfections turn the scale against all the world.

Poor sinner, you have fallen off from God, and have engaged His power and wrath against you; yet know, that of His abundant grace He offers to be your God again in Christ. Page 108 & 109

7: Accept the Lord Jesus in all His offices as yours

Sinner, you have undone yourself, and are plunged into the ditch of most deplorable misery, out of which you are never able to escape; but Jesus Christ is able and ready to help you, and He freely tenders Himself to you.

The Lord Jesus calls you to look to Him and be saved.

I tell you, nothing can undo you but your own unwillingness.  Speak, man; will you give your consent? Page 113

8: Resign all your powers and faculties, and your whole interest to be His

In a word, you must give Him yourself, and all that you have without reservation, or else you can have no part in Him. Page 115

9: Choose the laws of Christ as the rule of your words, thoughts and actions

This is the true convert’s choice.  …there is no getting to heaven by a partial obedience.  It is not enough to take up the cheap and easy part of religion, and let alone the duties that are costly and self-denying, and oppose the interests of the flesh; you must take all or none. Page 115

10: Let all this be completed in a solemn covenant between God and your soul

Set apart some time, more than once, to be spent in secret before the Lord – in seeking earnestly His special assistance and gracious acceptance of you – in searching your heart, whether you are sincerely willing to forsake all your sins, and to resign yourself, body and soul, unto God and His service; to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life. Page 117

11: Take heed of delaying your conversion, but make a speedy, an immediate surrender of your heart to God

Remember and tremble at the sad instance of the foolish virgins who did not come till the door of mercy was shut, and of a convinced Felix who put off Paul to another season, but we do not find that he had another season. Page 120

12: Attend conscientiously upon the Word, as the means appointed for your conversion

Come to every sermon you hear with this thought: ‘O I hope God will now come in; I hope this day may be the time this may be the man by whom God will bring me home.’ Page 121

13: Strike in with the Spirit when He begins to work upon your heart

When He works convictions, O do not stifle them, but join in with Him, and beg the Lord to give you saving conversion.  ‘Quench not the Spirit.’  Do not reject Him, do not resist Him. Page 121

14: Set upon the constant and diligent use of serious and fervent prayer

He that neglects prayer is a profane and unsanctified sinner. Page 122

15: Forsake your evil company, and forbear the occasions of sin

You will never be turned from sin till you decline and forego the temptations of sin.

And, of all temptations, one of the most fatal and pernicious is evil companions. Page 122 & 123

16: Set apart a day to humble your soul in secret by fasting and prayer, to work a sense of your sins and miseries upon your heart

…so make a catalogue of your sins, and with shame and sorrow spread them before the Lord.

Thus, I have told you what you must do to be saved.  Will you now obey the voice of the Lord?  Will you arise and set to the work?  O man, what answer will you make, what excuse will you have, if you perish at last through very willfulness, when you have known the way of life? Page 124


Ah! Wretched man that I am! What a condition have I brought myself into by sin! Oh! I see my heart has deceived me all this while, in flattering me that my condition was good.  I see, I see, I am but a lost and undone man, for ever undone, unless the Lord help me out of this condition.  My sins! My sins! Lord, what an unclean, polluted wretch I am! More loathsome and odious to Thee than the most hateful venom or noisome carcase can be to me.  Oh! What a hell of sin is in this heart of mine, which I have flattered myself to be a good heart!  Lord, how universally am I corrupted, in all my parts, powers, and performances!  All the imaginations of my heart are only evil continually. Page 125

I can’t imagine most evangelical pastors standing up and giving this type of a message today.  Can you just see the place emptying before your eyes?  It would have the same effect as Jesus when he preached His sermon from John 6:32-68.  Then Peter said “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”

Do you understand these are the words of eternal life?