November 3, 2019
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 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”
2 Timothy 1:8 - 9
“Do You Hear”
“Here are two things I cannot possibly exaggerate, overstate, or fully describe. I cannot exaggerate our sin, our utter depravity and our lost, helpless, ruined condition by nature. And I cannot exaggerate God’s great grace. God in great grace has given his dear Son to be a great Savior for great sinners for the glory of his own great name. I want you to know both the greatness of your sin and the greatness of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ.
· God chose to save a people from eternity and chose the people whom he would save in everlasting love (Eph. 1:3-6).
· God, in infinite wisdom, devised a means whereby he could glorify himself in the salvation of guilty sinners - substitution. (Job 33:24).
· God, in eternal love, gave his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be the sinner’s Substitute, even before the world began (Rev. 13:8).
· God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit entered into covenant agreement to accomplish the salvation of that elect multitude whom he loved (Jer. 31:31-34).
· In the fullness of time, God sent his Son into the world to fulfill all the conditions and stipulations of the covenant by his obedience and death as the surety of the covenant (Rom. 5:19).
· And today God sends preachers, armed with the authority of his throne, the power of his Spirit, and the gospel of his grace, to proclaim the good news of redemption and righteousness in Christ, urging them to be reconciled to God (II Cor. 5:18-21).
· All of this he has done for the undeserving creatures in the universe, fallen, guilty, helpless, condemned sinners like you and me.
Will you hear me now? God’s grace is great beyond description. But it can be seen only upon the black background of man’s depravity and sin. No one will ever see or have any appreciation for the grace of God until he sees and owns his own sin.”
Excerpt from a message preached
by Pastor Don Fortner
“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28)
“The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust His love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, ’Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). What were the value of that promise -- “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isaiah 54:10)? Where were the truth of Christ’s words -- “I give unto My sheep 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 10:28 & 29). Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.”
“The gospel bears my spirit up:
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood.’
C. H. Spurgeon
THE “HIM” BOOK (Luke 24: 44 - 45)
“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.”
“The Bible is not a ‘how to’ book, a road map, a calendar of events, a history book, or a code of conduct. The Bible is a Him book. From beginning to end it is the declaration of the redemptive glory of God in Christ. Take the preeminence of Christ out of the Bible and all you have is another book. Use the Bible for any other reason than to declare Christ crucified and you misuse the Word of God.”
Pastor Darvin Pruitt
“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10)
“All men value their services too highly, which is why all men believe that they can merit salvation. It takes the power of God working in a sinner’s heart to make him see that all his righteousness's are nothing but filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Not until a sinner tastes of the grace of God in Christ will he see that after all that he has done or can do, he is still an unprofitable servant.”
Pastor John Chapman
“Christ stands in the gospel-ministry, at the door of men’s hearts, and knocks and calls. Having the key of the house of David, he opens the heart by the power of his grace, and lets himself in. In this way, and by this means, the Spirit and his graces are received. Men are called both to grace and glory by the gospel.”
“The natural heart of man is concerned only with natural, temporal things. The desires of the flesh and mind are by natural origin self-centered. Man is a habitual self-serving creature. He may be at times, (especially when in the presence of the gospel), consciously aware of this but finds it impossible to change because this is his love - “ … men shall be lovers of their own selves … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” 2Timothy 3:2 & 4. He may reform outwardly for a while and try to adjust his priorities and even strive to think differently, but alas, he is like the dog and its vomit and the sow and its muck. He has not a heart for Christ, His gospel, or His church. This is not his love. This is not his desire. He has only a desire for the vomit and the muck (2Peter 2:22). The only way one will ever have a heart for the things of God will be if God gives him a new heart and a new Spirit. God’s promise to His people is, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you ...”. The new heart which God gives has preeminence over the old one. Oh yes, the old heart is still there to aggravate and even temporarily distract us. However, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1John 4:4). The new heart is one of faith, love and commitment. The new heart embraces Christ, His gospel and His church. This comes as natural to the new heart as embracing self and the things of the world comes to the old heart. If we have not a new heart and Spirit when temptation comes, when cares come, when it is time for self-denial, we will take the low road to fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind and it will be revealed we are yet the servants of self rather than the servants of God. We will be, in our heart, true to what we treasure most - “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).”
Pastor Tommy Robbins
“But of him (of God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written; He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30 - 31).
“Judge not Christ’s love by providence but by promises. Bless God for shaking off false foundations; bless Him for any way whereby He keeps the soul awakened and looking after Christ. Better sickness and temptation, than security and superficiality.”
“As it is written in verse 40, Him (speaking of Christ) GOD raised up the third day, and showed him (Christ) openly. What this means is he showed him (Christ) as he was, with the pierce marks in his hands and feet, the pierce mark from the spear that pierced his side. But as we see in the beginning of verse 41, Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God. Only those that had been chosen before the world was, chosen by God, witnessed this resurrected Christ!
Peter was speaking of those who lived in that day, but it also applies to all of His chosen before and since! We may not see him with our physical eyes, but we do see him with the eye of faith! The gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8).
When God the Father comes to his elect, his chosen people, and reveals the crucified Son in his word, HE SHOWS US OPENLY this one who stood as our substitute! This one who is God in the flesh! This one who willingly laid down his life for his sheep! This one who paid the price in full for all my sins! This one who is raised from the dead, sitting on His throne in heaven, ruling over everything that is! This one who cannot fail! This one who is LORD OF ALL!
As a witness to these things that are pronounced throughout God’s Holy Scriptures, I declare unto you - SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!”
Pastor John Reeves
“I ask no sign, no vision, no evidence without nor feeling within on which to rest my confidence. God has given us His Word and confirmed it in His blessed Son; and there my confidence, faith and trust shall rest.”
November 10, 2019
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
DOES WORSHIP COST ANYTHING?
II Samuel 24:24
“Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God
of that which doth cost me nothing.”
These were the words of David to Araunah when he had attempted to give David what was necessary for the sacrifice. This statement has a wide variety of applications. I would like for us to consider one of these applications. There is an element of sacrifice involved in public worship. There are some things you forego, and some things you have to do to prepare yourself for public worship. There is an effort involved in preparing yourself both physically and spiritually. There is nothing casual about worshipping God. The idea of adapting any aspect of worship for convenience is an abomination. If worship costs us nothing, you can be sure it will not be true worship. We must say with David, “I will not offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing.”
"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:17)
What a comfort it is to have a personal God – to have a God you can trust – a God who condescends to think on us – to consider our needs – and then supply them? What if all we had to believe in was "the laws of nature" – "mother nature" – "the big Guy" – "a Supreme Being" – or, "the man upstairs"? What if all we had to look forward to was some set of "laws" and "powers" – like the "laws of nature" – acting apart from God?
It seems that there are so many who try to get away from the thought of a personal God – One who redeems – preserves – and provides for His people.
The Bible declares a personal God who takes a special interest in His people – and thinks on them with a tender, gracious consideration.
Pastor Milton Howard
November 17, 2019
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
THANK GOD FOR THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL!
“The longer I live the more I bless God that we have not received a classical gospel, nor a mathematical gospel, nor a metaphysical gospel. It is not a gospel confined to scholars and men of genius, but a poor man’s gospel, a ploughman’s gospel; for that is the kind of gospel which we can live upon and die upon. It is to us not a luxury of refinement, but the staple food of life. We want no fine words when the heart is heavy, neither do we need problems when we are lying upon the verge of eternity, weak in body and tempted in mind. At such times we magnify the simplicity of the gospel. Jesus in the flesh, made manifest, becomes our soul’s bread. Jesus bleeding on the cross, a substitute for sinners, is our soul’s drink. This is the gospel for babes, and strong men want no more.
C. H. Spurgeon
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:2 – 3)
“Three reasons are given why we should regard our trials as blessings.
1. We are providentially brought under these trials by the hand of our heavenly Father, who will work all things (difficult as they may seem) together for our good (Rom. 8:28; Heb. 12:5 - 8). We should rejoice in the prospect of the future good that we shall receive from these trials.
2. Faith must be tried. It can only be proved by trial. How often faith is counterfeited! Trials are given that we may determine if we are leaning on the flesh or the Lord. If I would know the genuineness of my faith, if I would know that I have not run in vain, if I would know that I am not a stony-ground hearer, my faith must be tried.
3. Trials not only reveal faith, but they work, bring out and encourage patience (Rom. 5:3). Were God not to try us,
leaving us free from trouble, we would never learn patience, pity, compassion or perseverance.”
Excerpt from Pastor Henry Mahan’s Bible Class Commentary
November 24, 2019
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life
The Oneness of True Believers
‘The heavenly calling’
“This heavenly calling, of which all of God’s elect are partakers, is that sovereign and gracious work of the Holy Spirit which brings men to life and faith in Jesus Christ. This is the effectual and irresistible operation of God the Holy Spirit. When we talk about the Holy Spirit’s effectual call, we are not saying that God saves sinners against their will. We simply mean that when the Holy Spirit is sent on an errand of mercy into a man’s heart, he never fails to bring that man to Christ. He so changes the sinner’s nature that he is perfectly willing to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
1. There is a heavenly calling which is always effectual, bringing men to salvation and life. To be sure there is a true and sincere call which goes forth in the preaching of the gospel which men resist. ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’ But there is a heavenly calling which always brings salvation. ‘Whom he called, them he also justified.’ ‘Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.’ ‘Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee.’ It is this calling which distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever. To the unbelieving Jew, Christ crucified is a stumblingblock. To the unbelieving Greek, he is foolishness. ‘But unto them which are called,’ Christ is ‘the power of God and the wisdom of God’.
2. This heavenly and effectual call is necessary for the salvation of men. It is necessary because of man’s nature. By nature man has neither the will nor the ability to come to Christ for salvation (John 5:40; 6:44). If God the Holy Spirit does not effectually call a man to Christ, he never will nor can come. It is necessary because of the purpose of God. We are ‘called according to his purpose’. God has determined to save his elect. But they cannot be saved without his omnipotent call. It is also necessary because of the purchase of Christ. If the Holy Spirit did not call to life those whom Christ has purchased, the Son of God would be robbed of the satisfaction of his soul; but this will never be for ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’.”
Pastor Don Fortner