If Only…


There is a statement that goes something like this…  “I’ll be happy when…” and then you fill in the blank.  Of course we all conjure up things in our minds when we think about a statement like this.

I’ll be happy when I have X amount saved in my 401K…

I’ll be happy when my kids get out of diapers… or I’ll be happy when I retire…

You can go on and on with this and we often do.  Sometimes we do it in a more noble way and we just “look forward” to certain things.  I’m not saying it’s sinful to look forward to things but why can’t we just live in the moment and live for the here and now and be content in the circumstances that we currently reside?

It really is an area that we should consider some discipline in our lives.  An area that can stand some refinements and improvements if you will.  And since this is not a self help blog I won’t try and provide “advice” for you to do that.  I think we must, if we are Christians, consult our truth source.  Perhaps you’ve already thought about a text or two that I might cite.  Maybe you are already jumping ahead and anticipating where I’ll go with this.   But I want to begin at the beginning because sometimes to identify issues in our lives we need to not just jump to the application but it’s better to study the root of the issue.

But the serpent said to the women, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:4-5

From the very beginning the enemy sowed seeds of discontent.  Can you imagine the garden that Adam and Eve were placed was far beyond our imagination in beauty and perfection.  No insects are mentioned in the creation account.  So when Adam and Eve were in the cool of the evening with God they probably weren’t swatting at mosquitoes.  No gnats buzzing in their ears and no poison ivy or wild parsnips that was burning their skin.  They had all the food they could eat and were told to enjoy the surroundings, cultivate the land and procreate…

It was as good as it could possibly be.

Yet what does the serpent do?  He attacks the word of God, and he sows discontent.

“You know…  if you were only allowed to eat that one fruit you were told not to then life would be even “better” than it is now…”

“God is so unfair to you…”  “How could He keep this knowledge from you?”  “What a rotten God He really is…”

The woman had to think quick and Adam stood by and watched it all  happen.  As she thought about it I can imagine what was going on in her mind.

Maybe she thought things like “well, maybe he’s right?”  “Maybe God is holding out on us…”

“It’s so unfair that God would withhold this fruit from us…”  “Don’t we deserve it?”  “I mean Adam works hard every day and all, let’s just put this on credit and pay for it later…”

Given the knowledge of what it might have been like after the fall I wonder if Eve ever regretted the decision?  And sometimes when we “get what we want” the empty and hollow feeling of regret comes on so strong that we wonder what was the big deal about it anyway.  I know that for me there are things that are “nice”.  And I actually do appreciate them in my life but that has only come through a satisfaction that Christ provides.

I don’t receive my joy through the “If only’s” in my life.  I receive the joy and the satisfaction through being obedient to Christ and abiding in Him.  There is NEVER disappointment or regret in my joy and fulfillment in being in Christ.  There is never a stale aftertaste when I’ve spent time with Him.  There are never regrets that leave me hollow…

There is an instant satisfaction that comes through saving faith in Christ but there is also a learned satisfaction that comes through growth in holiness and a new desire through a changed heart.  That is where we have the privilege to suffer and give for the sake of the gospel.  Because if the gospel that saved you is only about you then you’ve got the wrong gospel.

Paraphrasing Leonard Ravenhill:  “Many want to come to the cross but they just don’t want to get on it…”

The Christian life should be one of sacrifice, learning to grow in contentment and striving for the glory of Christ.  Our “If only” in life should be that “If only I had lived more intentionally for the glory of Christ”…  That is an “if only” I can get behind.

If you find yourself wishing your life away or desiring happiness in things that rust and corrode then take a few moments and consider where is your hope?  Have you found true joy and hope in Christ or in that next thing you got going on?



What Should Tullian Do Now?


I decided on the spur of the moment that this article needed to be written. Not because I have anything important to say, or anybody important will read it, but because maybe someday the information will be useful to me. I serve as a Deacon in a small Reformed church in a semi-small town on the east side of nowhere Iowa. I don’t know why I felt compelled to write, but I think it’s important among the cacophony of voices I say my piece.

I don’t know Tullian and I don’t know anybody that does. I’ve never heard him preach, but I’ve observed his life from a distance for a few years. I’ve not even been saved as long as he’s been a pastor most likely, so why do I have the authority to write about him? Because I think God’s word speaks clearly about his life and he should listen. If he could hear my words, or read what I write I would want him to know a few observations I’ve had and what I think he should do moving forward.

Some of you probably don’t know of him or probably don’t know what I’m talking about but Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of Billy Graham. He had been going through some marital issues and it was revealed that affairs had occurred within the marriage. Mutual affairs. A very sad and awful thing for a family to go through and especially for the children, nobody sees the devastation of sin from the before pictures, only the after.

Tullian is well known, in many circles, for what most would say are Antinomian tendencies.   He doesn’t seem to worry, or focus as much on living a holy life as he focuses on the grace of God. What I write is well documented in other places, and I care not to write about it here, but for some of us that cared this was a shipwreck waiting to happen.

A couple days ago it appears he has filed to divorce his wife and with that as the backdrop here are the things I would say to Tullian if I ever had a chance. I will write to him as a brother since I’m not aware that he has denied the faith, but his actions are questionable at best. Regardless, I’ll treat him as if he is indeed in the faith for the time being.

Don’t Divorce – I don’t know if Tullian knows that God hates divorce? I would imagine he has read the Scripture, but this is imperative; does he not remember he made a covenant with God?

…Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.   “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:14-16

Get Wise Counsel – I have no idea how the leadership of his church plans to restore this man, and he may very well need to seek someone outside of this body. That would indeed be a travesty if he cannot find men that would tell him the truth and not what he wants to hear.

Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14
It seems if there was good counsel in the first place, this may have turned out differently, but I don’t know the structure of his church, I hope they will learn from this.

He Needs to go Dark – Get off social media! I’ve seen some of his tweets and other things floating around, and for the life of me I don’t see a man that is broken by his sin, but a man that appears to believe God is visible in the clouds. God is visible in His written word, and this is where he needs to have his face buried.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

His Elders should put a restraining order on his activities and have him in intensive biblical counseling along with a thorough examination of what went wrong. This didn’t happen overnight. It was playing out in front of us all.

Repent in Biblical Fashion – David was a murderer and an adulterer, and many Christians are quick to point this out. Yes, of course, we know that, but look at how David handled his sin.  We see a disturbing pattern among “celebrity” Christians and that is to acknowledge their “mistakes” but never repent of their wicked and evil hearts.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight… Psalm 51:3-4

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10

Endeavor to lead a Quiet Life – This goes along with getting out of the spotlight. It would appear he enjoys the attention and that will always keep him where he cannot focus on God, because he wants to focus on himself. He should flee attention, go spend a month in a cabin. I know of one if he needs a place to go. Better yet go serve the poor somewhere in some third world country and don’t tell anybody but your Elders where you are going. Drop your phone in the toilet on the way to the airport.

…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. – 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Realize his Wretched Condition – Tullian is a sinful man. I am a far more sinful man than he is, and I can easily prove it. I expect he grew up in a very moralistic fashion, just like Josh Duggar. I was a fine sinner, perhaps as good as almost anyone and by the grace of God He picked me up and breathed His precious Spirit into my dead, cold heart. I don’t know if Tullian realizes his deplorable state. Perhaps he does, and I just don’t see it coming out of his mouth, but I confess that I don’t hang on every word he says, so I may have missed it. Can he echo what Paul said, what I say about myself?

This is a faithful saying and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. – 1 Timothy 1:15-16

What a proclamation by Paul! Do you realize this? Do I realize this when I think highly of myself? Do I realize that pride comes before a fall, and that by the grace of God and that grace alone, He keeps me from falling off the cliff every day? Oh the riches of His mercy, how amazing they are, for wretched sinners just like me and I hope for a wretched sinner like Tullian.


Sexual Immorality

head in hands

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1

We live in a culture saturated and obsessed with sex. There is no other way to describe it. This past week I was on a flight to San Francisco and I was sitting in an aisle seat and all of the seat backs had televisions. The woman in the middle seat in front of me had the show Sex in the City playing from the time we left Chicago until we landed in San Francisco and I was at an angle where I could watch it quite easily. It was a show that my wife and I once watched before we were saved. I remembered many of the episodes that would catch my attention from time to time during the flight and I was disgusted by the ease at which men and women are portrayed slipping into and out of bed together.

I was disgusted by the man that I once was, and yet at the same time so grateful for what the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered me from. In the confines of marriage sex is a beautiful thing, but like so many other things the world has to offer, outside of proper boundaries, it’s an abomination to God. Sexual immorality is very subtle and can creep into the lives of the saints. It’s as simple as spending too much time observing what’s going on in the seat in front of you. It can start as a very small seed and blossom into full blown sin if not mortified and put to death.

God’s word is clear on the matter.

Therefore put to death your member which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5

Put it to death…kill it, mortify it, says the Apostle Paul.

Here’s the catch, “if” you were raised with Christ. This message is for believers. If you call yourself a believer and you are living in these things, you will either, kill them, mortify the deeds of the flesh, or you are not a believer. The word if is a primary particle of conditionality, in other words it connects these two thoughts together. So if you were raised with Christ, then this is now what you will do.

This requires the act of obedience. It’s really plain and simple, because the worship of God requires obedience.

We must… because of who God is…and because of what Christ has done.

I must look away from the television screen; I must not look too long at the woman that is standing next to me, or allow my mind to dwell on her physical attributes. I must desire to kill those members that desire these things.

For men, we know this is not an easy thing to do. And it’s impossible if the Spirit of God does not live inside of us, but if the Spirit does indwell us, then we will and we must, or the Spirit does not indwell us. Does that make sense?

A couple years ago I was challenged by my Elders to decide to whom I would write this blog and it was at that time I decided I needed to minister to believers more than non-believers, but today this post needs to apply to both camps. If you are living in sexual immorality, it’s important to understand that you are not in right relationship to God, that you are an enemy of God, and the future is bleak should you continue in that pattern.

Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. – Colossians 3:6-7

There is no mistaking what this means. If you live in sexual immorality, and this means fornication which is sex outside of marriage (living together), homosexuality, adultery, pornography, or any other sort of sexual perversions the wrath of God abides upon you. The Bible makes this crystal clear. There is no way around it and in fact Jesus even raises the standard and says that if you even look with lust, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart. (Matthew 5:27)

Do not be deceived, no matter what your mouth says, no matter what you think; what matters is an obedient life. This obedience is what proves your salvation. It can’t save you, but the pattern of your life is how one knows, it’s how a person works out his salvation with fear and trembling.

Obedience is a big deal.

And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:23

If you are involved in any sort of sexual immorality, I urge you to repent and turn from your sin. You must have a change of heart, leading to a change of life that brings the Lord Jesus Christ glory. I know who I was and I know who I am now and those two men are completely different men. Paul leaves us with hope when he says “In which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.” His letter is to believers, and the way we know we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is that we “once” walked, but no longer walk in that pattern of life.

Soli Deo Gloria!



Ordo Salutis and Other Big Sounding Words – Part 2


I recently was asked to respond to some questions about certain biblical terms that many people will hear that attend church or engage in Christian conversations. Sometimes these seem like such big and overwhelming words, but they are important to understand, not to sound important, but to understand how God works in the lives of His people.

Today I’m continuing to look at some terms you will hear in the church world. It may be very basic for some readers of this blog, but some may hear these terms and wonder if they are biblical or not.

Faith in Jesus – in the Greek language the word faith is pistis.  It also means belief or to be persuaded.  There are many key verses in understanding “saving” faith.  Saving faith will produce fruits in the life of a believer (Matthew 3:8), as opposed to just a shallow or intellectual belief such as James describes in chapter 2 of his epistle.

James 2:19-21 You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe and tremble!  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

John 2:23-25 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Here are two very clear examples of intellectual belief, without a heart change, and the kind of faith that leads to a new life is explicitly defined in Scripture as a gift of God.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. 

Faith also comes through the hearing of the word, so God’s word is the mechanism by which one receives faith.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It is obviously quite important to understand in the proclamation of the gospel, that the law of God convicts the sinner of his need for forgiveness (second use of the law) and that forgiveness can only come through repentance and faith in Christ, but yet the great mystery is that God gives us the faith to believe.  The man of God must be properly equipped to give the correct message for someone to be truly converted.

Repentance – In Greek – metanoéō: to regret, repent, also to have a change of mind which produces a change of direction.  When God grants repentance, the hearer is able to turn from his wicked ways and embrace a new life which results in a dramatic transformation.  Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance…

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance, leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Paul describes a big difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow.  Many people will mourn over their sin, but they mourn because of how it affects them, not that it was sin against a Holy God.   We must also understand that God grants repentance, which is consistent with the entire message of scripture that salvation is from God, 2 Timothy 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Accepting Jesus into my Heart – this is an invention of man and not a biblical concept.  Although from our perspective it seems that we have a role in salvation (responsibility of man), we do not believe that bible supports decisional regeneration.  The verse most people will cite is Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”  However, this is not a call to salvation; it is Jesus speaking to the church and calling them to repent over their lukewarmness and their sin.  If we read all of Revelation 3 it becomes very clear.

The gospel message begins with a presentation of the law, showing a sinner their sin, their need for forgiveness, and Christ as the solution to their problem.  Then given this information a call to repent and turn from their sin and receive Christ in faith.  So the acceptance that is so often heard at large evangelistic campaigns and altar calls at church services, is not a biblical call. It most often involves appeal to emotion, through music and a slick presentation by a gifted speaker, but Paul tells us he did not come to them with persuasive words or excellent speech, but only Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-5) and listen to this in verse 5 …that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

It’s important to take this verse in context, as Peter had given a very convicting sermon and we can see in verse 37 that his message “cut them to the heart”.  This verse also ties in with Baptism, we would not believe that baptism saves, but that Believer Baptism is an external sign that one has been saved, and as Peter calls them to be saved and then be baptized.

See also Acts 8:38, the account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.

Backsliding – is a modern concept of the church in the way it is now used.   While true believer’s may have times of spiritual drought in their life, if they are truly converted it is impossible for them to lose their salvation as we looked at with perseverance.  Most people use this term for a child that “received” or “accepted” Christ at a young age and then goes on to live a rebellious, sinful life.  If my parents knew the life I was living as a young man, they would have undoubtedly thought I was backsliding.  The truth is that I was never really converted.  This is why the doctrine of salvation is so important; most people do not understand salvation as the bible describes it.

Just a couple days ago I was having a discussion with my sister-in-law and she told me her daughter “believes” in God.  When I explained belief to her and asked her if her daughter has a new life, the light-bulb came on that her daughter is not really saved.  When we understand we are dealing with only two types of people in the world, either believer’s or non-believer’s we can then discern how to minister to people.    If people are believer’s and are sinning they need to understand the Third Use of the Law, if they are non-believer’s they need the Second Use of the Law, or in short they need the gospel to save their souls.

Soli Deo Gloria!




The Terrors of Hell – Part 3 – Is God just?


Is God just in damning men eternally to hell?

Don’t pass over this question, because this is one of the hardest questions the Believer and non-believer will ever wrestle with.  I admittedly struggle with it myself, because I know people that, unless God pours out His mercy, will spend eternity in hell.  It really comes back to a fairness question in most people’s minds.

One of God’s attributes is justice and we can’t have a complete God without Him being just.  I will not be able to completely cover this subject in one post and if you are bothered by this writing I’d encourage you to dig deeper, this writing is meant to arouse sleeping souls, and stir up Believers to preach the good news.  Without the remedy of Christ we are all without hope.

As many question the validity of a place of judgment, Love asks, “Is God just in damning men eternally who sin temporarily in this life?”  Even if someone lives only a brief time on earth, Love claims that such divine action is just for the following reasons.  First, our punishment is not based on the amount of time that we sin, but on the fact that we sin, as when a thief is sentenced to prison for much longer than then the time it took him to break into a house.  Second, we commit sin against an infinite God and so deserve infinite punishment, just as the penalty for striking a public person, such as a prince, is much greater than for striking an ordinary man in the street.  Third, if we lived forever we would sin forever, or “as long as” we can, while we are alive.  Fourth, we continue to sin in hell even after we leave earth, and so further provoke the wrath of God.  Finally, even a momentary lapse into sin shows that we reject the infinite kindness of God and so deserve infinite punishment.  That momentary sin justly brings eternal punishment ought to cause us to avoid “slight thoughts” of sin against an infinite and just God who imposes such torments, and any accusations of severity against Him for imposing them.  Apart from His secret work of grace in salvation, He may even choose to do so in an infant who lives “but a minute in this world.” [1]

Most people will reject this.  Most people that consider themselves Christians will reject this, and we must not shrink from the discussion.  It will be unpopular.  The question will always turn to the fairness of God.  Friends, we do not want fair, we want grace and mercy.  If God dealt in “fairness” we’d be without hope.  It wasn’t fair that Christ suffered the wrath of God, the just for the unjust.

In connection with just in general comes a question related to the impartiality and universality of judgment; “Will most men and women in the world be tormented in hell?”  Love believes that most will, and his confirmation of it he consider to be “one of the most dismal Doctrines” that a pastor can preach.  First, most will go to hell because most do not look to Christ to deliver them from such a torment—whether Jews, Muslims, heathen, or Papists.  Second, even among those who “profess Jesus Christ,” many are called, but few are chosen (Matt. 22:14), as most are “either profane in life, or hypocrites in heart.” [2]

Love cites four additional reasons that most are destined for hell and in conclusion says “If most are to be damned, we must see the folly of allowing the opinions of the majority to lead us in life and should try our hearts to know whether we are of the few that will be saved.  We should not be offended at the “fewness of the number of believers,” but lament over the majority that will face such torments, rouse ourselves from delusions of the great number of believers in the world, and not hold “any ill thoughts against the mercy of God” that most men perish. [3]

These words are painful for me to write, and humbling for me to consider.  Many people that I know, many people that I love, many people that you know and love will spend their eternity under the wrath of God.  Anything good we have now will be vanquished and only misery and torment will remain.   No waking up the next day and a better day is on the horizon, only pain and suffering.

Today there is hope if you are in Christ.  Are you a new creation?  Have you turned to Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin?  Don’t fight against God and despise His truth, but turn to Him and be saved.

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:37-38


  1. Love, Heaven’s Glory, Hell’s Terror (1671), 280-85. Cf. WCF, 10.3 and the Canons of Dort, 1.17.
  2. Love, Heaven’s Glory, Hell’s Terror (1671), 286-300.
  3. Love, Heaven’s Glory, Hell’s Terror (1671), 300-304.

Are you sure Jesus loves you?


“Jesus loves you…”

“You need to have a relationship with Jesus…”

“Just trust God and everything will be fine…”

“Jesus friend of sinners…”

We’ve all heard these types of sayings and many more; maybe we’ve even said them.  They are all over Christian radio stations, especially from stations like K-Love.  It’s all about the love of Jesus and His “need” and His “desire” for them to seek a relationship with Him.  I want to plainly say I’m all about the love of Jesus, for He “IS” love (1 John 4:8), and we would not know love without Him (1 John 3:16).

I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings about my statements.  The greatest act of love ever committed was by Jesus Christ and any other is underwhelming by comparison.  He is the only place a repentant sinner can turn for grace and mercy.  But those that don’t understand that act and just how remarkable it was will never embrace what it fully means.

When evangelism techniques only discuss Jesus as standing at the door waiting for someone to decide to love Him it falls miserably short of what the Scripture teaches us.  There is methodology behind drawing a sinner to the Lord, but it begins with God’s Holiness and man’s sinfulness if the gospel is to be proclaimed accurately.

Let’s see what the Bible says about the sinner in the eyes of a “Holy God”.

Psalm 7:11-12 God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.  If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.

This is an incredibly clear understanding of the status of man in the eyes of God.  Let’s dig into God’s warning for the unsaved and see how very different this is from some of those common statements from above.

God is just – Only God is capable of judging with perfect righteousness.  He knows all that is in man’s heart and despite His patience with all of man-kind there is coming a day when we all must give account of our lives (Hebrews 4:13) and justice will be served according to our deeds (Romans 2:6).

God is angry with the wicked – If any of your thoughts, words or deeds have ever fallen short of God’s perfect standard and Christ is not your Lord and Savior you are wicked and God is angry with you.  He does not “love” you in the way He loves those that turn to Him in faith.  God is patient and provides good things even to those at enmity with Him, for He provides all that we have.

The word angry – zâ‛am – to foam at the mouth, that is, to be enraged: – abhor, abominable, (be) angry, defy, (have) indignation.

Not exactly the message of most modern day evangelists, and preachers.

When we open the Bible and we read God’s Word we see a very common theme.  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17.  This is how Jesus began His public ministry after He came out of the wilderness; He never sought to coddle the sinner in his sin, but to first draw him into seeing that he is in jeopardy because of his sin.

Repent – metanoeō – From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

Repentance means to have a change of heart, which leads to a change of mind and a change of direction.  Paul calls this a “new creation”.  Jesus says you must be “born again” and Ezekiel says your “heart of stone will be replaced by a heart of flesh”.  These are Biblical truths that cannot be left out in our efforts to reach the lost.

Understanding that there is a newness of life and rejection of the life that once was enjoyed is now detestable.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Those that first repent will see their sin as a violation of God’s Holiness leading to a radically different life, broken over their rebellion against the One True God that gave them life.

When you share this Good News it’s important to represent God in all His Glory, including and especially His hatred of the ungodly, otherwise you bring a message of cheap grace.  Without repentance there will not be life change and that is the point at which we can share what true love is really all about.

Preach the Word today brothers and sisters…



A moth to a flame


What is it that draws a moth to a flame?  We know they are going to die but the moth doesn’t have that knowledge.  They are ignorant of the saving truth of their demise.  If you could tell them “don’t do it” would they pay attention to you?  Would they know you cared enough to save them from destruction?

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.

Sunday night I was able to spend some time doing something I really enjoy; that is sitting around a campfire.  It’s something I’ve loved since I was a kid.  There is something fascinating about adding big chunks of hickory or split oak to a fire and seeing it come to life.  I also love seeing the deep dark colors of the coals and how they give off that warming heat on a cool evening such as we had that night.

As I was sitting and enjoying a discussion with my brother Roy, I saw a moth dive bomb right into the fire.  This poor guy had no idea what hit him.  In a couple seconds he burst into flames and poof he was gone.  It was quite incredible to see it happen and really caused me to think about the fool.

What is a fool?

The Hebrew word used here is – nâbâl pronounced – naw-bawl’

From H5034; stupid; wicked (especially impious): – fool (-ish, -ish man, -ish woman), vile person.

Joseph A. Alexander provides us some great insight into the fool.

Sin is constantly held up to view in Scripture as the height of folly, and the sinner as the fool by way of eminence,  See Gen xxxiv, 7, Josh. vii, 15, Ps. xxxxix, 9 (8).   The term is here collective and applied to the whole race, as appears from the plurals which follow, and the negative statement in the last clause.  The preterits include the present, but suggest the additional idea, that the truth here asserted is the result of all previous experience and observations.—In his heart, to himself, if not to others, as above in Ps. x. 11. 

That the error is one of affections, and not merely of the understanding, is supposed by some to be implied in the use of the word heart, which is often used, however, to denote the mind or soul in general.  “No” is properly a noun, and means nonentity or non-existence: “nothing of God,” or “no such thing as God.”  It cannot be explained as a wish “No God!” i.e. Oh that there were no God. 

Alexander goes on to say: that the addition of the word act or deed shows that the atheism described is not merely theoretical but practical.

As a moth is drawn to a flame so is the sinful human heart drawn to the denial of God.  Even though we know He has plainly revealed Himself to all of mankind.  Romans 1:19-23

The only difference between the moth and the human that dies is eternity.  Indeed the moth I saw last night is gone and is now dust.  Man has a soul that will continue on forever in one of two places.  For the believer it will be eternal glory serving the God they love.  For the fool it will be the torment of hell.  Where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44).

Believer can you feel the urgency to preach the gospel to those that need to hear the message of the cross?  Most will reject it but some will be saved through this foolish message.  Today go out and be an ambassador for Christ and call those to repent, turn from their sin and live!



A Sure Guide to Heaven – Part 8 – Conclusion

I cannot properly express the privilege it has been to present the work of Joseph Alleine on this blog.  This is not a book that you would most likely put on your must read list.  I want to encourage all to present this book to the leadership of your church and challenge them to preach this from the pulpit or at least talk about it.  Encourage everyone you know to read it including your leadership.  I believe God will use this to reveal many deceptions among those that think they are right with God, but are not.

In an age where most churches feel the need to be relevant and courageous, biblical teaching on conversion and repentance is no longer en vogue, the greatest mission field today is sitting within the walls of “churches”.  The greatest challenge in evangelism today comes from those that profess Christ.  The preaching is watered down, so not to offend, and the gospel is compromised to keep the unregenerate in the seats.  This should not be the case.  I urge you friends to challenge them; it just might have them understand their desperate situation.


Do you remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when they make it into the room where the chalice of Christ is located?  They must choose which cup and drink from the water to give them eternal life?  What an interesting representation of our lives.  We must choose wisely and live or choose foolishly and perish.  The cross stands before us today to look to it and be saved or stay in our sin and die.


In the conclusion of A Sure Guide to Heaven, Joseph Alleine makes his final appeal to turn to Christ and live.

And now, beloved, let me know your mind.  What do you intend to do?  Will you go on and die, or will you turn and lay hold on eternal life?  How long will you linger in Sodom?  How long will you halt between two opinions?  Have you not yet resolved whether Christ or Barabbas, whether bliss or torment, whether this vain and wretched world, or the paradise of God, be the better choice?

How long will you rest in idle wishes and fruitless purposes?  When will you come to a fixed, firm, and full resolve?  Do you not see how Satan cheats you by tempting you to delay?  How long has he drawn you on in the way of perdition!

Well, do not put me off with a dilatory answer; tell me not later.  I must have your immediate consent.  If you are not now resolved, while the Lord is treating with you and inviting you, much less likely are you to be later, when these impressions are worn off, and you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  Page 141

Remember, you are now upon your good behaviour [sic] for everlasting; if you do not make a wise choice now, you are undone for ever [sic].  What your present choice is, such must be your eternal condition. Page 142

Hear, O ye drunkards, how long will you be drunk?  Put away your wine.  Though you have rolled in filthiness of your sin, give yourselves unto Christ, to live soberly, righteously, and godly; embrace His righteousness; accept His government; and though you have been vile, He will wash you (Rev i 5). Page 146

And now bear witness that mercy has been offered you. ‘I call heaven and earth to record against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that you may live’ (Deut xxx 19).  I can only entreat you and warn you.  I cannot otherwise compel you to be happy; if I could, I would.  What answer will you send me with to my Master?

If you are not the despisers of grace, and would not shut the doors of mercy against yourselves, repent and be converted. Page 147

Alleine leaves us with the answer.  Repent and be converted.

How simple… how easy…

But why is this impossible for the hardened human heart? The call is clear.  Man is responsible for his failure to receive Christ.  If you don’t turn and live you will die in your sins and trespasses.  Today I appeal to your conscience, turn and live.

If you are a Believer, preach the word!


A Sure Guide to Heaven – Part 7 – The motives to conversion


This is my last full length article on A Sure Guide to Heaven.  I will wrap up next week with the conclusion.  This is a fascinating work and one that will benefit all that put the energy into reading it.

What motivates you?

A motive as defined by Merriam-Webster is something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act.

Are you motivated by money, prestige, and respect, what gets you excited, what really trips your trigger?  Are you motivated by the things of the world, or are you motivated to rid yourself of your bondage to sin?  Are you motivated to win souls to Jesus Christ?

The things that motivate you define who you are.

Believer how do you see people?  They are either a redeemed child of the King or someone headed to hell for eternal punishment.  Do we have compassion for them?  Do we desire for them to know the glories of being a follower of Jesus Christ?  I hope you are stirred to speak and share the good news, it might be the only chance they have.

The motives to conversion

Men and brethren, heaven and earth call upon you; yea, hell itself preaches the doctrine of repentance unto you.  The ministers of the churches labour for you.  The angels of heaven wait for you, for your repenting and turning unto God.  O sinner, why should devils laugh at your destruction, and deride your misery, and sport themselves with your folly?  This will be your case, except you turn. Page 130

O rock! O adamant! What, not moved yet?  Not yet resolved to turn forthwith and to close with mercy?  I will try yet once again.  If one were sent to you from the dead, would you be persuaded?  Why, hear the voice from the dead, from the damned, crying to you that you should repent: ‘I pray thee that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment; if one went to them from the dead, they will repent’ (Lk xvi 27-28).  Hear, O man; your predecessors in impenitence preach to you from the infernal flames, that you should repent.

O lay your ear to the door of hell.  Do you hear the curses and blasphemies, the weepings and wailings, how they lament their follies and curse their day?  How do they roar and gnash their teeth! How deep their groans! How inconceivable their miseries!

And of their moans and miseries this is the piercing, killing emphasis and burden, ‘For ever! For ever!’ Page 132

1: The God that made you most graciously invites you

His most sweet and merciful nature invites you.  O the kindness of God, His boundless compassion, His tender mercies!  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways above our ways, and His thoughts above our thoughts. ‘He is full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy’ (Ps lxxxvi 15).

Sinners do not fail in that they have too high thoughts of God’s mercies, but in that they overlook His justice, or they promise themselves mercy out of God’s way.

Are you willing to come in? Page 133

O melting, gracious words: the voice of God, and not of a man!  This is not the manner of men, for the offended sovereign to sue to the offending, traitorous rebel.  O how does mercy follow you, and plead with you!  Is not our heart broken yet?  O that today you would hear His voice! Page 134

2: The doors of heaven are thrown open to you

Let me say to you, as Paul to Agrippa, ‘Believest thou the prophets?’

O ye sons of folly, will you embrace the dunghill and refuse the kingdom? Page 135

3: God will give you unspeakable privileges in this life

He will give you grace and glory, and withhold no good thing from you.  He will take you for His sons and daughters, and make you heirs of His promises, and establish His everlasting covenant with you  He will justify you from all that law, conscience and Satan can charge upon you.  He will give you free access into His presence, and accept your person, and receive your prayers. Page 137

4: The terms of mercy are brought as low as possible to you

God has stooped as low to sinner as with honour He can.  He will not be the author of sin, nor stain the glory of His holiness; and how could He come lower than He has, unless He should do this?

He declares Himself to have received a ransom, and that He expects nothing but that you should accept His son, and He shall be righteousness and redemption to you.  If you come in His Christ, and set your heart to please Him, making this your chief concern, He will graciously accept you. Page 138

O sinner, return and live; why should you die when life is to be had for the taking, when mercy entreats you to be saved? Page 139

5: God offers all needed grace to enable you

God commands you to know Him, and to fear Him.  Do you say, ‘Yes but my mind is blinded, and my heart is hardened from His fear?’  I answer that God offers to enlighten your mind, and to teach you His fear.

God invites you to be made clean, and entreats you to yield to Him.  O accept His offers, and let Him do for you, and in you, what you cannot do for yourselves. Page 140

My dear friends I hope that today you consider the powerful words of this book.  If you know Christ, share the gospel with all you can.  If you don’t know Christ, see yourself as a miserable wretch and know He is your only hope.  Turn and live.


Peace with God?


In 2012 1.5 million people made professions for Christ according to a recent news bulletin I heard recently on WDLM.  This is according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and it was stated that their new website peace with God.net has convinced this many people to pray a prayer of salvation.

This is a staggering number of people that have been saved.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s true.

What I mean is I’m sure the statistics are true, that 1.5 million people actually made this profession but the bottom line is will these 1.5 million people now spend eternity in heaven?  This is what I really wonder.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

I don’t want to be misunderstood.  If this is true it’s incredible, amazing, and God glorifying news but Jesus teaches us it’s just not that easy.

How many of these will count the cost?  Luke 14:28

How many of these will deny themselves and pick up their cross daily? Luke 9:23

How many of these understood their sin was an offense to God and He poured out His wrath on the Son to pay their penalty?  Matthew 26:42

How many of these understood they need to repent of their sin or that wrath will be poured out on them?  Matthew 4:17

How many of these understood they will suffer persecution for Christ’s sake and they will rejoice in that?  Matthew 5:11-12

How many of these understood they might be separated from their families because of Christ?  Matthew 10:34-39

How many of these understood they WILL lose their life as they know it?  Matthew 10:39

How many of these understand they will be called Satan?  Matthew 10:25

How many of these understand they must be willing to forsake all they have?  Luke 14:33

How many of these understand they must be willing to give away all their worldly possessions?  Luke 18:22

And I just started to talk about what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.  If they desire Christ to make their life easier, or to scratch some itch they have, they’ve come to the wrong place.  I hope I’m wrong about all these people, but experience and more importantly God’s Word tells me I’m not.  Following Christ will cost you everything and those that are truly redeemed willingly and joyfully do so.

Believer I urge you to pray for those today that think they’ve come to know Christ.  I urge you to pray that the Billy Graham Association declares to them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).  God requires His church is pure.  God requires His church is without spot or wrinkle.  God requires that His church is washed through the sanctifying word of truth.  Ephesians 5:25-27


I encourage you to watch this short video by Brother Paul Washer as he shares with us the truth of God’s redeeming work.