God Bless Us Everyone!

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The older I get the more I enjoy the tradition of Christmas. Up until a few years ago I thought every Christian celebrated Christmas. But as of late, I have learned of all kinds of new Christian “hang ups”, Christmas included. I doubt at this stage in life I will bother to learn all these new {to me} shibboleths. Anyhow, here is some good advice from the “Prince of Preachers” concerning the Christmas Holiday. And… “God bless us everyone.” Merry Christmas – Brother Shawn

C.H. Spurgeon said these words December 2oth, 1857.

“Let each one of us go from this place determined, that if we are angry all the year round, this next week shall be an exception; that if we have snarled at everybody last year, this Christmas time we will strive to be kindly affectionate to others; and if we have lived all this year at enmity with God, I pray that by his Spirit he may this week give us peace with him; and then, indeed, my brother, it will be the merriest Christmas we ever had in all our lives. You are going home to your father and mother, young men; many of you are going from your shops to your homes. You remember what I preached on last Christmas time. Go home to thy friends, and tell them what the Lord hath done for thy soul, and that will make a blessed round of stories at the Christmas fire. If you will each of you tell your parents how the Lord met with you in the house of prayer; how, when you left home, you were a gay, wild blade, but have now come back to love your mother’s God, and read your father’s Bible. Oh, what a happy Christmas that will make! What more shall I say? May God give you peace with yourselves; may he give you good will towards all your friends, your enemies, and your neighbors; and may he give you grace to give glory to God in the highest. I will say no more, except at the close of this sermon to wish every one of you, when the day shall come, the happiest Christmas you ever had in your lives.”

A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, December 20, 1857, By Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, At The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

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The “No Rules” Church

I recently read the statistic that 59% of millennials that were raised in church have dropped out.

I would imagine that to be an accurate statistic.

We have, for the most part, lost a generation or two of young people in many of our churches.

It has been reported that the average human attention span has fallen to about eight seconds. {I think it would be hard to preach an 8 second sermon!}

This calls for more and more unorthodox ways to try to keep the younger peoples attention

Also, in order to try to gain some of the millennials “back into the fold” there is a new type of “church” emerging.

A church that is “amoral” or as the Bible says, lascivious.

A lot of folks are looking for a church with “no rules”

I am of the opinion that many if not most of those millennials dropped out because they have never been born again.

Many of these young people have raised their hand, come to an altar or repeated a prayer but they have never experienced the life changing power of the gospel. Some have no testimony of salvation whatever.

They do not have an appetite for spiritual things.

One modern pastor liked to say his church is “theologically conservative and culturally liberal”.

In other words “our theology is conservative but we live like the rest of the world”.

I personally believe no matter how you label your theology if it doesn’t change your life, it’s not Biblical.

By the way, this is not some “new idea”

“there is no new thing under the sun.”

This “no rule” heresy has cropped up time and again in Christianity.

It even has a theological name, antinomianism.

“Theologically, antinomianism is the belief that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey.”

Today, we have Christians who cuss like sailors.

Christians who drink alcohol.

Christians who watch nudity {pornography} on television and on the internet.

Christians who gamble.

Christians who use drugs.

There are some folks who say they are Christians, who believe they can live almost any way they want except for being intolerant or judgmental.

The Bible describes these people as; “wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 

The Apostle Peter goes on to compare them to a dog that returns to his vomit or a hog that had been washed returning to its filth and mire. {see also the Epistle of Jude}

All of this really boils down to the philosophy of moral relativism. {The belief that concepts such as right and wrong, goodness and badness, or truth and falsehood are not absolute but change from culture to culture and situation to situation. – Encarta Dictionary}

In other words, knowing the difference  between right or wrong is a matter of personal experience or opinion.

Or “my way to God is as good as your way”

The Word of God has been thrown overboard by over half the population.

This calls for the pragmatists to come up with some new methods…some new techniques.

This new type of church and pastor will no doubt attract people who are tired of acting one way on Saturday night and another way on Sunday morning.

I think it will be “a breath of fresh air” for a lot of people. Away with the “pharisees”!

No more pretending.

Now they will be able to behave in church like they behave the rest of the week.

And they will find a pastor who lives just like they do.

I am of the opinion that a true blue, Heaven sent awakening is our only hope. – Brother Shawn



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Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Someone has said that a lot of people are “dating a church” but they are not married to it.

That shouldn’t surprise us in a society in which many “shack up” or live together without marrying.

Many attend churches but will not commit to a church.

These are what one man labeled, “church daters”

These people are often selfish, in other words, they want to know “what is in it for me?”  

This type of person is me-centered, he chooses where to go church just like he would choose Wal-Mart over Target.

Who has the best deal and the stuff I want?

They are very independent {in a bad sense of the word} they do not want to get too involved or make a commitment.

Perhaps they were hurt or got burned in a previous church.

These folks are often critical.

They are looking for the perfect church where everyone believes just like they believe.

Often they are looking for perfection…

{I have never met anyone that believes exactly how I believe but I have met some fine Christian brothers and sisters over the years.}

Like a bargain hunter these folks just jump around, looking for the best deal, instead of settling down somewhere.

They lack commitment, they avoid commitment.

Do you understand that…Commitment is what makes a marriage work and commitment is also what makes a church work.

The Bible speaks of local churches, visible churches, with visible leadership and visible giving.

Choose a church for Biblical reasons.

Choose a church with commitment in mind.

Choose a church realizing that you also, “have not arrived”.

Commit yourself.

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Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death…Are You Kidding?

Declaration_of_Independence_(1819),_by_John_TrumbullBut Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. Deuteronomy 32:15

proclaim liberty throughout all the land  {inscription on the Liberty Bell from Leviticus 25:10}

As we are about to celebrate the Fourth of July I think we who are Christians would do well to think about where we are as a nation. As we celebrate freedom we, as a people, are daily forfeiting those freedoms.

I know this is a downer for some people. It is hard to enjoy the cookout or your favorite TV show if you have to think about things like this. But is it wrong of me to ask people to consider the future of their children and grandchildren, who in all likelihood will never know the freedoms that we have enjoyed?

Those men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor would be very disappointed with what we have done with our freedom.

America, like Israel of old, has become fat and have forsaken God.

We have slighted God.

Founding father John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should be a religious holiday, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

That was the type of men who founded this nation.

We are now living in a country that can demand that you be “reeducated” if you do not agree with same-sex marriage.

But as a Bible believing Christian I must stand against homosexuality and all sexual sin. I must speak out against false religion. I must tell people that there is only one Way to God, and that’s through His Son Jesus Christ. I must warn against the false religion of Islam. All of these things may soon be considered “hate speech”. And if I live long enough one day I will probably be arrested for “hate speech”.

I have often said we will probably be singing God Bless America and waving little US flags when our government loads us up into rail cars to be reeducated.

The 4th of July is a good time to think of those who have sacrificed everything so that we can be a free people.

And what about that man who said;“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Give me liberty or give me death? …Are you kidding?

I know we are constantly told how “free” we are but according to the Human Freedom Index the United States of America barely makes the top 20 for freedom. We are #12 for economic freedom but rank only #31 for personal freedom.

I am thankful for the freedoms we still have…

But we need to remember, we didn’t gain all of these things by luck or coincidence.

Fortunately for us, there were some people in our past who were willing to fight and die for what they believed in.

I think there may be a shortage of those kind of people these days. – Brother Shawn

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You Cant Take It With You

And he {Jesus} said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:15

If you had never read another verse in the Bible this verse should demonstrate to you that Gods ways are not our ways. {Isaiah 55:8} .

Jesus tells us that our lives are not measured by how wealthy we are or how successful we are.

The things that men often think are important are not all that important to God.

We are indoctrinated from an early age that “getting things” is what really matters.

We are instructed that acquiring wealth is what life is all about.

Being successful is the goal.

But God seems to say exactly the opposite.

The Bible says, Jesus “lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”  {Luke 6}

Of course it is not wrong to be successful, nor is it wrong to be wealthy.

The Bible tells of many of Gods people who were wealthy.

But the Bible also gives us many warnings concerning riches.

A lot of folks have destroyed themselves trying to become wealthy. And a lot of folks have destroyed themselves once they got there.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” I Timothy 6:6-11

No, God doesn’t look at things like we do.

What impresses us, doesn’t seem to impress God.

What we think would make us happy could bring us trouble.

We shouldn’t look for “our best life now”.

Jesus said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

“A sovereign Providence breaks men’s measures, and blasts their hopes, and teaches them that the way of man is not in himself, but subject to the divine will. We must use means, but not trust to them; if we succeed, we must give God the praise; if we be crossed, we must acquiesce in His will and take our lot.”Matthew Henry

What we want and what God wants for us may be and probably is two different things.

“…Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” 

Jesus tells us to seek Him and His kingdom…In the long run nothing else is going to matter. – Brother Shawn

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Drunkenness, the Devils Backdoor to Hell.

1046-SouthDoorofStoneChurch-357x500Proverbs 20:1  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” 

Proverbs 23:29-32  “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 

They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” 

Recently one of the staff of a well known ministry and Bible college was arrested for driving drunk with two of his underage children in the vehicle. He drove off roadway and struck a curb. According to a recent article , he had a blood alcohol content of 0.175 {more than twice the legal limit} and was driving dangerously with two of his children in the vehicle.

I am sure he thought he could handle it.

When I was saved in 1989 it was common knowledge that alcohol and Christianity did not mix.

It was not unusual, 30 years ago to hear several sermons a year against drinking alcohol.

I attended a Independent Fundamental Baptist church as a teenager and I also attended an IFB school.

It was a well known fact and stated in a church covenant on the wall that IFB folks were not to drink alcohol.

Preachers didn’t preach against “drunkenness”…they preached against drinking.

But that was the “old days.”

We now have…

Christians who drink alcohol.

Christians who gamble.

Christians who cuss.

Christians who look at pornography.

Christians who shack up.

50 years of moral relativism through the worlds education system and media has seeped into the churches.

There is not much today that is not “ok”, even amongst Christians.

A preacher who preaches against drinking alcohol today will often be labeled a legalist.

The Bible plainly states that Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Many have been deceived by booze.

The minister who was caught driving under the influence with his kids in the car had been deceived.

He made an unwise decision.

Now the booze, the unsaved world and the devil mock the poor man.

People make all kinds of silly arguments defending the drinking of alcohol.

They bring up gluttony, smoking and eating unhealthy.

I have never heard of anyone wrecking a car or losing their job because they had eaten too much.

I have never heard of anyone leaving their spouse because they would not stop eating unhealthy food.

Having preached in missions and jails, I have never met a man or woman whose life was in ruins because they consumed too much processed food.

I have never met someone who had lost their drivers license for driving while smoking cigarettes.

Those who defend drinking alcohol often mention risky behavior, like skydiving or white-water rafting… “we all make decisions to take certain risks.”

While that is true, unlike skydiving or drag racing or whitewater rafting there are far greater risk involved with drinking alcohol and it impacts a far greater number of people.

For example:

*Every day in America, 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

*In 2015, 10,265 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 51 minutes

*Over 50% of automobile accidents are caused by alcohol impaired drivers.

*Over 50% of all fatal highway crashes involving two or more cars are alcohol related.

*Over 65% of all fatal single car crashes are alcohol related.

*50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

*Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.

*On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

*In 2013, 28.7 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol – that’s more than the population of Texas.

*An average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before first arrest.

*Adults drank too much and drove about 121 million times per year – over 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day.

The carnage caused from drinking alcohol is enormous and the damage to peoples health is far greater than most people realize.

“Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation.

Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.”

In the end drinking alcohol will cause a person to…

lose his property

lose his reputation.

lose his health.

lose his family.

lose his immortal soul.

Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. {I Corinthians 6:9-11}

“At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”

spurgeon middle ageCharles Haddon Spurgeon, when a younger man, believed it was okay to drink alcohol socially.

When an older man, he stated; “Next to the preaching of the Gospel, the most necessary thing to be done in England is to induce our people to become abstainers.”

I believe the “old time” Christians were right…Christians shouldn’t drink.

My advice is never touch the stuff. Don’t even look at it. – Brother Shawn

maclaren“It is very clear that if a man is a total abstainer, he can never be a drunkard. As much cannot be said of the moderate man.” – Alexander Maclaren

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

“The sight of a drunkard is a better sermon against that vice than the best that was ever preached upon the subject.” – George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633–1695)

“Drunkenness is the devil’s back door to hell and everything that is hellish. For he that once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything.” – Charles H. Spurgeon



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A man recently told me that he went to a church where the pastor stood up and announced that they did not believe in that “election stuff”.

I cannot imagine anyone sitting under a man who would throw out a good deal of the Scripture based on his preconceived notions.

“all scripture is given by inspiration of god, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”

Not just some Scripture but all.

I believe the Scriptures are rather plain concerning election. I compiled some verses this morning from the New Testament concerning election. I am sure I have missed a few but there is no doubt that God by inspiration of the Holy Spirit mentions the doctrine of election many times in the New Testament.

What kind of pastor would declare that he did not believe in election? I believe him to be the kind of man who has little respect for Gods word. You may not like the doctrine of election but you would be foolish to deny that it is taught in the Word of God.- MSD


Romans_9:11  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Romans_11:5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans_11:7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Romans_11:28  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

1Thessalonians_1:4  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

2Peter_1:10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:


Matthew_24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Matthew_24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew_24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark_13:20  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

Mark_13:22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mark_13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Luke_18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

Romans_8:33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

Colossians_3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

1Timothy_5:21  I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

2Timothy_2:10  Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Titus_1:1  Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

1Peter_1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1Peter_2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

2John_1:1  The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

2John_1:13  The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.


1Peter_5:13  The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.


Luke_6:13  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Acts_13:17  The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.


Matthew_20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Matthew_22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

Mark_13:20  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

John_6:70  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John_13:18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

John_15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John_15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Acts_1:2  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

Acts_1:24  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

Acts_9:15  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Acts_10:41  Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Acts_22:14  And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

Romans_16:13  Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

1Corinthians_1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Corinthians_1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Ephesians_1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

2Thessalonians_2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2Timothy_2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

James_2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

1Peter_2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Revelation_17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.


John_6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John_6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John_6:65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

John_10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

 John_17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

John_17:9  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

John_17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

John_17:24  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

2Timothy_1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began…

“The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring.” – C.H. Spurgeon

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Learning Contentment

stickney3r_16_pg035Philippians 4:11-13  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I HAVE LEARNED, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST which strengtheneth me.  [emphasis mine – MSD]

The Apostle Paul had learned to be content.


That is a major lesson.

It is a rare quality.

One of the Puritan writers called it the “RARE JEWEL OF CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT”

To be content means to be thankful.

A contented Christian is a thankful Christian.

You might say, “you don’t know what I’m going through!”

I remind you…it could be worse!

You could be without Christ and without hope!

God has placed us or allowed everyone of us to be where we are in this life.

“You have lost much, you say, but you have been a gainer by your loss, and where you are today you are by eternal mercy and covenant grace, and you could not well be in a better position than God has put you in. Goodness and mercy have followed you all the days of your life up till now, and you are obliged to confess it, and to say:–

CALL FOR SONGS OF LOUDEST PRAISE.” – C. H.Spurgeon {1834-1892}

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The Benefits of Affliction.

royalg_024_pg54Psalms 119:71  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

This seems like a very strange statement to such a pleasure seeking, indulgent, pampered generation like our own.

In many of our churches we have been taught almost the exact opposite.

It is implied and sometimes said outright that God will not let us suffer or go through tribulation.

But that line of thinking is unbiblical.

Jesus said, “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Gods Word says that His children are appointed to afflictions. {I Thessalonians 3:3}

“Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly.
Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ. Thousands at the last day, will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”- J.C. Ryle {1816-1900]

“How would the great work of sanctification go on in a person — if they had no trials?
Trouble is often the only fire which will burn away the dross which clings to our hearts.
Trouble is the pruning-knife which Christ employs in order to make us fruitful in good works. The harvest of the Lord’s field is seldom ripened by sunshine only. It must go through its days of wind and rain and storm.” – J.C. Ryle  {1816-1900}

God sometimes teaches us by affliction.

“Very little is to be learned without affliction. If we would be scholars we must be sufferers. There is no royal road to learning the royal statutes; God’s commands are best read by eyes wet with tears.” – C.H. Spurgeon {1834-1892}

“Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord’s power and goodness to save; when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God…”- John Newton, Author of Amazing Grace {1725 -1807}

Affliction causes us to pray more.

Under the rod we are more likely to cry out to God.

Affliction causes us to exercise our faith and increases our faith.

Under affliction we look toward another world.

Afflictions help us to understand that we are pilgrims and strangers in this world.

Afflictions make us humble. They drive us to God.

“Affliction is but our shepherd’s dog; he comes not to devour us, but to drive us to the fold.”

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  {I Peter 5:6-7}

God “…cannot fail or forsake. He can smite rocks, and open seas, and unlock the treasuries of the air, and ransack the stores of the earth. Birds will bring meat, and fish coins, if He bid them. He takes up the isles as a very little thing; how easily, then, your heaviest load, while there is nothing so trivial but that you may make it a matter of prayer and faith.” – F. B. Meyer {1847-1929}


Good thoughts and quotes on Affliction: Every Mans Monitor,  pages 12-22


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The Hateful World


John 15:18-19  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

John 16:20  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

Nothing has changed. The world still hates Jesus. They rejoiced when He was crucified and they would still cry, “Crucify Him ! Crucify Him” in our day.

Jesus told His disciples that they should expect to be hated.

It is believed that all of His disciples met violent deaths save one.

As J. C. Ryle stated, “The world does not want Christ back again, and thinks that it does very well without Him.”

Again, Jesus tells us, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

The world can never be friends with the true Christian nor should the faithful Christian expect to get on with the world.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

Matthew Henry said concerning this verse, “…He who sets his heart upon the world, who places his happiness in it, and will conform himself to it, and do any thing rather than lose its friendship, he is an enemy to God.”

Christians have been chosen out of this world and that is why the world hates Christians.

Believers shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us.

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”  I John 3:13

Note the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”  II Timothy 2:3-4

As believers we too have been chosen out of this world.

We also should desire to please “Him who hath chosen [us] to be a soldier”

“…Men respect a thoroughbred Christian, but nobody has a good word for a mongrel. Be one thing or the other, either hot or cold, or Christ will reject you, and the world too. If a thing be right, do it; if you resolve to serve the Lord, do it, offend or please; and if, on the other hand, you prefer the service of Satan, do at least be honest enough not to pretend to be on the Lord’s side.” – C.H. Spurgeon

May the Lord give us courage to stand.

Illustration: Vanity Fair John Bunyan’s depiction of the world.

Public Domain Images from the Henry Altemus edition of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Illustrations by Frederick Barnard, J.D. Linton, W. Small, etc. Engraved by Dalziel Brothers)



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