Posted in demon possession, encouragement, john macarthur, joy, S. Lewis Johnson, salvation, sin

The joy of submitting to Jesus, and the tragedy of rejecting Him: two anecdotes (and a third)

There are two responses to the Gospel, yea or nay. Here is S. Lewis Johnson with an anecdote about a person who said yea.

Paul, His Gospel, and Thomas Jefferson

George Cutting is a man who is best known for the fact that he’s the author of a little pamphlet. You usually find it in tract racks of Christian churches. It’s entitled, “Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment.” Mr. Cutting was just a simple Christian man who went around preaching the gospel. He was also a business man, as I remember, and one day he was bicycling through Norfolk in England. He was an Englishman. And he said it was early in the morning, and as he was going through, he was a very quiet man, he suddenly gained from the Lord the distinct impression that he should shout out a Bible verse. And so, right in the midst of this small town, there were just a few houses around, he shouted out “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He said he cycled on a little bit longer, and the Lord seemed to say definitively to him, “Say it again.” So he said he shouted out, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” 

Six months later he was visiting in that little village, and he was doing, as he frequently did, just knocking on door after door. His first question, he said, was always, “Are you saved?” That’s called the direct approach. [Laughter] So a woman opened the door and he said, “Are you saved?” And she said, “Oh yes. About six months ago I was in great distress of soul. I plead with God to help me, and even while I was calling upon him, I heard a voice cry out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.’” And she said, “I was startled. I wondered if I had really heard right.” She said, “I prayed again to the Lord, and I said, “Lord if that is the message, repeat it again.” 

[Laughter] And she said, “And I heard it again and I trusted Christ, and I’m saved.” And Mr. Cutting had the joy of telling her that it was he who had called out the verse. That’s preaching. You know, when Paul tells us to be instant in season and out of season. And imagine there were lots of citizens in that little village who thought that it was very much out of season to hear a Bible verse shouted out early in the morning from one of their streets. But it was in season for that lady. 

there is only one response to the message of the apostle, and that is to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Does salvation come by praying through? No. Does salvation come by paying the church? No. Does salvation come by good works? No. Does salvation come through religion? No. Does salvation come through some religious ritual which we practice, baptism, or sitting at the Lord’s Table? No. Does salvation come through the organization of the Christian church? No. You must be born again.

Here is John MacArthur with an anecdote on a person who said nay.

The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation

And so, we believe it is a warning to the intellectually convinced, those who have heard the gospel, know the facts about Jesus Christ, know that He died for them, know that He desires to forgive their sin, know that He can some into their life and change their life but are not willing to receive Christ as Savior. And may I hasten to add that’s the most tragic category of people in existence. And I’ve told you a story once before that points it up as graphically as anything. I’ll never forget on one occasion when a lady came into my office and informed me that she was a prostitute. And she said, “I need help” And I said, “I guess you do.” And she said, “Please, I’m desperate.” 

And so I presented the claims of Christ to her from beginning to end and I said, “Would you like to invite Jesus Christ into your life?” And she said yes. She said, “I’ve had it.” She was at the bottom to say the least through the dope scene, the whole bit. So she prayed a prayer and evidently she invited Christ into her life. And I said, “Now,” I said, “I want to ask you to do something.” I said, “Do you have your little book that you have all your contacts in with you?” And she said yes. I said, “Well, let’s just take a match here and we’ll burn it.” And she looked at me and she said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Just what I said. I mean, if you’re really going to live for Jesus Christ and you’ve really accepted His forgiveness and you really met Him as your Savior, let’s burn that book and we’ll just have a little party here and just praise the Lord.” And she said to me, “That’s worth a lot of money.” She said, “That’s worth an awful lot 

Then she said to me, “I don’t want to burn my book.” Put it in her purse and looked at me right in the eye and said, “I guess I don’t really want Jesus, do I?” And she left. 

Now you see, there was somebody who when the..when it really came down to the nitty gritty and counted the cost, she wasn’t ready. I don’t know what the story of that dear girl is. My heart has often ached for her and I’ve often thought about her. But I do know that she knows the facts and she believes them, but she’s not willing to make the sacrifice. And it’s a bad bargain, for what she kept wasn’t worth anything compared to what she could have had in Jesus Christ forever.

These days in 2015 it is not popular nor even accepted to speak of hell or demons. But they exist, they are active in the world, and they still do possess people, just as they did in the time of Luke 4:31-37. That’s the passage John MacArthur was preaching when he related this anecdote:

This is a rare thing. I’ve preached the gospel for a long time and only about three times in my whole life have I ever heard demons speak, been confronted. One of them was a few weeks ago, I told you about last week, right down in the front when a demon-possessed person came running down the aisle after I was preaching the gospel, exalting Christ’s power over the kingdom of darkness, came at me and said, “Why are you attacking me? Why are you trying to hurt me?” Which is exactly what the demon said here.

But it was some years ago when I had first come to Grace. We had built the family center and we were having services there before we built this facility. It was a Sunday night and after the service was over I was over having some food with somebody from the church and I got a call from Jerry Mitchell who was here a few weeks ago. He was on the staff at the time. He said, “You’ve got to come down here, John, I’ve got a…I’ve got a girl in here whose got all kinds of demon voices.” He had never experienced anything like this and I never had either. And I said, “Well I don’t know if I could be much help but I’ll come right down.”

So I came down, I walked in and there was chaos in the office. It was over in the building by the family center, and I walked in and the place was in disarray and it was obvious that she had been terrorizing things. She had overturned the desk and poor Jerry who was a boxer in the Navy was having a hard time defending himself against this girl, and that is characteristic of New Testament accounts where there’s a certain level of strength that’s beyond normal. And I’ll never forget the greeting when I walked in the door. I walked in the door and this…out of this girl’s mouth — whom I had met and with whom I had spoken because she had been coming to the church — came this voice, and I can’t, obviously, replicate it. But in my memory I know what the voice said. It’s something like: “Not him, not him, not him, get him out, get him out, get him out,” to me.

Well my first reaction was, “I’m leaving. I’m not sure I’m up to this.” Wow! And my second reaction was, “They know who I am and they know whose side I’m on, that’s very affirming.” It was affirming. I sort of started feeling apostolic. Paul I know and Jesus I know and John MacArthur, you know? Wow! Amazing!

I don’t think that demon was afraid of me humanly. I don’t have any human power to deal with demons. In fact, Jerry and I didn’t know what to do. We started trying to send the demons away. We sent them everywhere you could think of, the pit, the abyss, Phoenix, anywhere hot, you know. And the bottom…the bottom line is they didn’t go anywhere and so we just were praying and saying, “You know, this isn’t working, this casting out thing isn’t working. I’m not Jesus and we’re not apostles and we don’t have authority over that kingdom.” There’s only one way that this girl will ever be delivered and that is when Christ delivers her in the act of salvation.

So we wrestled, literally physically trying to restrain her and get her in a chair and she was so exhausted physically and finally calmed down and we gave her the gospel. And she confessed her sin. I’ll never forget it, just really gushed out her sin before the Lord and embraced Jesus Christ and then it was just this calm that came everywhere. There was deliverance. Nothing to do with me, nothing to do with a formula, nothing to do with an exorcism, nothing to do with that at all, that…that is not what deals with demons. She needed to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness, you understand that? And she was. She was.

The demon was terrified of me not because of something I could do in the human. The demon was terrified of me because the demon connected me with the message of the gospel. And the demon knew that if the gospel came to this girl and she believed that he was finished. And that’s exactly what happened. She was as clean as the driven snow after that and never had another occasion of that kind of terrifying experience.

Anyone who is not of Christ and in His sheepfold is under bondage to the god of this world, satan They are serving him, whether they believe it or not. And anyone who has not confessed their sins and submitted to the Gospel is at risk for being possessed by a demon.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Does that means He might be far? Yes. Someday, He might turn a person over to their sin in a hardened heart and salvation might not be possible after that. His grace, peace, mercy, and love is manifold. Having the gentle and lovely Spirit inside of us is a ‘burden’ that is easy. As we saw from the anecdote about the demon, having satan in us is a burden that is harsh and heavy. How many woes lay in the demon direction, and how many blessings there are in Christ. Seek Him while ye may!

Posted in beth moore, billy graham, charles spurgeon, discernment, I am the door, martyn lloyd-jones, salvation

Jesus is the door: what do these famous testimonies reveal about their understanding of Christ?

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9)

This is one of the famous I AM statements by Jesus. Here they all are.

1. And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
2. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
3. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).
4. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
5. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
7. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1).

Any study on these statements would be rich and edifying. However let’s just look at the door. The door is narrow. There is only one door. It is an exclusive door. No other door will allow entry to heaven. If anyone tries to come another way, he is a thief and a robber. (John 10:1)

Jesus leads his Jews out of the fold into salvation. He has another fold (John 10:16) where He leads His Gentiles out into salvation and green pastures. No one can go to green pastures another way except through Jesus. His way is exclusive because He is the ONLY way. His way requires repentance, a realization of our utter inability to perform any act He would consider righteous and a realization of His total ability to crush us like a bug if He so desired- and that would be just. We understand His holiness but also His mercy in saving us. One would think that a conversion testimony would include acknowledgement of at least some of those positional truths.

Here are a few conversion testimonies I found online. Compare them. And in the back of your mind, keep thinking about the Door. At the bottom I’ll have the moral of the story.

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Conversion story #1

At the end of the sermon, the preacher had “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!” I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought . . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away.

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.” … I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ. I can testify that the joy of that day was utterly indescribable. I thought I could have sprung from the seat in which I sat, and have called out with the wildest of those Methodist brethren . . . “I am forgiven! I am forgiven! A monument of grace! A sinner saved by blood!” My spirit saw its chains broken to pieces, I felt that I was an emancipated soul, an heir of heaven, a forgiven one, accepted in Jesus Christ, plucked out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit, with my feet set upon a rock and my goings established … Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair…

That young man certainly was aware of his position in Christ prior to salvation. He had been in despair, he heard the Gospel and he was saved by blood.The young man was Charles Spurgeon. His subsequent life certainly reflects the foundational understanding he had of the Gospel.

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Conversion story #2

“I didn’t have a fireworks moment for my salvation, I had a falling in love with Jesus in Sunday school when I was a very young child.” But she did have an altar call moment. In high school, she had planned to become a lawyer, but one summer while leading a group of sixth-grade girls at camp, she received what she considers a call from God. “I had no words, nothing but a sense,” she says. “God took a very troubled young woman and made sure that she understood.” She walked down the aisle of her church, committing herself to ministry.”

So she had a mystical sense to walk down an aisle and commit to the idol of ministry. Not the standard Gospel call of realizing our depravity in brokenness and turning to a resurrected, blood shedding Jesus as the exclusive hope for reconciliation with God… The woman is Beth Moore. Her subsequent life certainly reflects the lack of understanding she should have had of her position in Christ both before and after salvation.

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Conversion story #3

in 1914 at the encouragement of their minister the young man was now beginning to take a hard look at the reality of his spiritual condition. “For many years I thought I was a Christian when in fact I was not. It was only later that I came to see that I had never been a Christian and became one.” As he struggled with his salvation a grace truth came into focus. He said he had not really heard sound preaching of the gospel in his early life. “What I needed was preaching that would convict me of sin and … bring me to repentance and tell me something about regeneration. But I never heard that. The preaching we had was always based on the assumption that we were all Christians …” As the young man read for himself he slowly but surely saw the logic and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the waves of the incoming tide, the reality of God’s grace swept over his heart until trusting Christ was all he could do. As surely as that reality overwhelmed him personally it overwhelmed him professionally.

The young man was Martyn Lloyd Jones, (source) a preacher called “logic on fire” and certainly his long and fruitful life subsequent to his conversion testifies to the grace of Christ in bringing him to regeneration from brokenness in sin.

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Conversion story #4

A certain young man began attending a tent revival.

“And then it happened, sometime around my sixteenth birthday. On that night, [the preacher] finished preaching and gave the Invitation to accept Christ… On the last verse of that second song, I responded. I walked down to the platform, feeling as if I had lead weights attached to my feet, and stood in the space before the platform… My heart sank when I looked over at the lady standing next to me with tears running down her cheeks. I was not crying. I did not feel any special emotion of any kind just then. Maybe, I thought, I was not supposed to be there. Maybe my good intentions to be a real Christian wouldn’t last. Wondering if I was just making a fool of myself, I almost turned around and went back to my seat…” As [the young man] stood at the platform, a friend of the family’s, testified to the young man and guided him to pray.

“He prayed for me and guided me to pray. I had heard the message, and I had felt the inner compulsion to go forward. Now came the moment to commit myself to Christ… I checked ‘Recommitment’ on the card I filled out. No bells went off inside me. No signs flashed across the tabernacle ceiling. No physical palpitations made me tremble. I wondered again if I was a hypocrite, not to be weeping or something. I simply felt at peace.”

The young man was Billy Graham, attending Mordecai Ham’s tent revival. The subsequent life of Graham testifies to his lack of a foundational understanding. Especially when in his mature decades, Graham said things like a person could go to heaven without ever hearing the gospel, knowing Jesus Christ, or having lived a sincere life just knowing he needed something. “They’re going to come another way” Graham said. No. They’re not.

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You see the weakness of Moore’s and Graham’s theology in describing their conversion. Their descriptions posted were not immediately after conversion, either, they were statements made decades later when one presumes some sanctified maturity has set in.

You see the strength of Spurgeon’s and Jones’ conversion stories. They talk os sin, grce, redemption, resurrection, regeneration.

Jesus is the Door. It is a narrow door. It is the only door. It isn’t easy to become a Christian. It involves a deep, soulful agony. Here’s Don Green on how to recognize true repentance,

Look at verse 4, where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” This word for mourning describes deep, inner agony…agony. Jesus is describing a spiritual mourning here, not an earthly mourning. It’s easy enough to see that. There are a lot of people that suffer earthly loss and mourn that, that don’t receive comfort from Christ. Unbelievers who are mourning their losses don’t receive comfort from Christ. What Jesus is talking about here is spiritual mourning over sin. He had just talked about poverty of spirit. It’s in the context of repentance.

…the tax collector in Luke 18, verse 13…Luke 18, verse 13, you don’t need to turn there. The tax collector standing some distance away was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven but was beating his breasts saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner.” He was beating his breast, his agony, his mourning over sin was so great that he had to release it physically. This was no superficial response. This was no quick nod of the head to the question, “Do you think you’re a sinner?” And then move on to whatever the next topic of discussion was. No, the kind of mourning, the kind of sorrow that repentance expresses is a sorrow that stops you in your tracks, a sorrow that you can’t get over.

Salvation is no easy-breezy nod to the Holy I AM whilst wiping one’s feet on the doormat saying, “Gee, thanks for the ministry.” It isn’t ambling down an aisle, and checking off a ‘recommitment’  box after a quick prayer. Salvation is agony and going through the door means you leave all else behind, enter alone, and worship. Jesus isn’t relieved you have recommitted. He isn’t wringing His hands in hopes that you will fall in love with Him. He doesn’t have an ‘easy button’ you push. He has a narrow way of entry with strict requirements. Jesus is THE DOOR. He is not a doorMAT.

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Further Reading

How easy is salvation?

Posted in encouragement, grace, repentance, salvation, sin

The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do: In which I testify to God’s grace in giving me over to my sin

Last week Tim Challies posted an article titled The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do. It’s a terrifying article. It crushed me reading it and apparently it did for many others as well. I saw this article referred to and re-posted numerous times.

The most terrifying thing God can do is to turn an unsaved person over to his sin. Here is a sample of the scriptural truths the article contains:

We speak often of hell and eternal consequences for sin, but perhaps we give too little attention to God’s action against sin in this world and this life. God’s punishment for sin is sin. His punishment is allowing people to experience the life-stealing, soul-rotting consequences of their sin. He expresses his wrath by allowing them the very thing they want. He does this because when they get the thing they want, it only deepens their destruction. 

In this way, sin is its own punishment. And in all the world I see nothing more terrifying than this: the prospect of God allowing people to experience the full impact and weight of their sinfulness. Nothing is more terrifying than God determining that he will no longer restrain the evil within them.

This is a terrifying thought.

This would be a terrifying event.

For me, the event was not hypothetical. It actually happened. Just before I came to salvation, God turned me over to my sin.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)

I’d lived for 43 years as a sinner, but I had one particular besetting sin that consumed me. After so many decades, the Lord turned me over to it and released restraint. He turned me over to my sin so that I’d choke on it, and by virtue of contrast, thirst for His purity and holiness. After a few mercifully short years, I cried for mercy to the God that I would finally acknowledge and my sin that I would finally admit.

I remember the day when I realized that the sin wasn’t so fun anymore. I realized that my sin had me, I didn’t have it. Like a rabbit in a snare, I tried to shake loose of it, and could not. This perplexed me, because I had always been able to do anything I’d set my mind to. This was different. I was trapped. (Romans 7:14)

Now I know that we are slaves to sin, in bondage to it and to the god of this world, satan. But like quicksand, the more I tried to get out of my sin on my own terms and in my own effort, the more I foundered. I truly felt like I was sinking, forever to be engulfed in a toxic brew of my own making, sinking under the weight of it. My lips were only inches above the water and I felt I had only moments to go, relatively speaking, before I’d sink below the surface to rise no more. And it was cold.

Just prior to salvation, I was attempting to chronicle my experience in art, trying to puzzle out in visuals what words could not express. A spiritual process was happening to me, but I did not understand that it was spiritual. I only knew it was something. I was in a 1 Corinthians 2:14 situation. So I thought that whatever was happening to me I could try and figure it out by making visuals instead of words.

I wrote a little book called “Story of a Fly”. I look back on it now and I see clearly that it is a record of my coming to faith. It contains images and groanings my soul was expressing that words could not convey. As for the title, I think flies are disgusting, and I had no idea why I chose a fly to represent me, the main character in my little book. In retrospect, it was because I was under bondage to satan, also mentioned in the bible as the Lord of the Flies (Baal-zebub or Beelzebul).

In my book, I ‘knew’ there existed a secret kingdom, existing in the midst of and alongside the world I could see. I wanted to go there.

I’d traveled a good deal out in the American West. One of the native mythologies was a trickster god called Kokopelli. He plays the flute and is seen as a spirit of music. He’s also a fertility god and god of agriculture. In my deepest recesses I ‘felt’ that a trickster god was preventing me from obtaining the kingdom, represented below. I called him the ‘fly-wrangler’.

I was searching, seeking, making a long and winding road…but not obtaining this kingdom I wanted to enter so badly.

I felt I was so close and was about to triumphantly enter the kingdom! But there was a barrier. It was insurmountable.

It felt like I was a fly in a jar, captured. I was free to fly around in the jar but not free to get out and go into the kingdom. It was very frustrating. Of course, this feeling I’d had I now know was the weight of sin. Psalm 38:4 is so true! Without repenting no one can ever enter the kingdom of God. I had to deal with my sin.

I could not figure out why I was not enjoying the peace I’d so longed for. I was trying so hard! Yet now I know-

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

All the while, God had given me over to my sin, which I still pursued, though I did not want to anymore. The law of diminishing returns was clearly demonstrating that it was not a worthwhile pursuit.

And that is the last page of the little book. The last page depicts a woman who was well and truly locked in sin. Being given over to sin is truly terrifying. There is a soul-numbing effect that God’s release to sin as punishment has on a person. At least it did to me. The grief is violent, desperate, physical, all-consuming. Spiritual torment! And yet I didn’t know what I was grieving over!

I left many more subsequent pages in the book because I ‘knew’ the story was not going to end there. I did not know what to do next or what would happen next, but the girl was not going to be left in the jar. It just couldn’t end this way…could it? But the grief was an agony.

Not too long after I decided that my sin was the hindrance. I repudiated it. I sought God, who was holy and I repented. Of course the Lord enlivened my spirit and drew me to that point. I had not a clue what to do except wallow in my sin and cry. It was the Lord who was the catalyst.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved… (Ephesians 2:1-5)

Being given over to sin is terrifying. That feeling never left me. It fuels me, it haunts me. Sin is a terrible thing. Even more terrifying is God allowing us to bask in it, wallow in it, then sink in it. Obey the Lord. Be grateful for His grace. He saved us from a ghastly fate.

Posted in destruction, jesus, jonathan edwards, salvation, sinners in the hands of an angry god

When you’re saved…and your friend is not

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. ~Walter Winchell

I’m not a social person. I am a loner who likes her own company. However the Lord blessed me with two very good friends in my life. One was while I was in grade school through High School. The other came into my life when I was 40 years old.

If you ever had a friend who loved you for who you were, accepted you quirks and all, and with whom you never had a fight or even a cross word, you were blessed. I know I was.

Imagine a person so caring, so selfless, so consistently nice, that there were even whispers from others that ‘she must be an angel’ and mean it literally.

Imagine a person whose house was always open, no matter the time of day or night, and who would make you tea if you were sick and bring issues if you were crying. Who always listened without interruption. Who had been married for over two decades to the same man, an astounding statistic among unsaved people. Who was a great mom and a great wife. Who would cook for you even if it was from her last can of beans in the cupboard, and serve it with a smile. Who was talented and artistic and always up for a road trip, whether it was mini or maxi.

Who was the one person in town everyone loved.

And all this without being a Christian. But then again, neither was I.

She made me a better person. She introduced me to concepts of unconditional love, consistent acceptance of people without criticism, staying married, putting the children first. Of having uncomplicated fun, and enjoying the small moments. Of even spiritual things, like there being a force in the universe managing events and people.

For 6 years it was a great relationship. When everything else in my life went crazy, this friend was there.

And then I got saved. You know what happens then. I moved 1200 miles away, You know what happens then. A double strike against a friendship continuing.

When two are together and one is in Christ and the other is in sin, it is called being unequally yoked. This refers back to two oxen who are yoked together for the purpose of plowing a straight row for planting. If you yoke together a large ox and a small ox, or an old ox and a young ox, or a strong ox and a weak ox, they will pull in different directions, make crooked rows, or plow in a circle. It does not work.

A mom doing dishes. EPrata photo.

It is the same with two people getting married if one is saved and the other isn’t. The Bible prohibits such unions. And as for friends, it is similar but not exactly the same. One friend is a new creation, yearning for the things of heaven. The other is an old sinner, yearning for the things of the world. The twain exist together, but their very purposes for life differ as much as the east is from the west.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Christians are not to be bound together with non-Christians in any spiritual relationship or enterprise that would be detrimental to the Christian’s testimony within the body of Christ. … [however] … this command does not mean believers should end all associations with unbelievers; that would defy the purpose for which God saved believers and left them on earth.” ~John MacArthur on 2 Cor 6:14

Still, the inevitable pull of Jesus away from unsaved friends is going to happen. But meanwhile, it was my chance to illustrate to her by word and deed what it means to be a Christian. How Jesus who gave me a new heart and a purpose for living (glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever), and how He brings meaning to life and that eternal.

Even though friends may be far apart in geographic distance, the wonders of the internet allow people to keep up. I prayed for her, I witnessed on my FB page, and I carefully watched what she put up on her page. Nine years went by. As sanctification increased, there was less to talk about. As the world infiltrated her more and more, she became more deeply entrenched within it. As the Spirit infiltrated me more and more, I became more deeply yearning for heaven and the things of heaven. I read her typical liberal stuff, but there was nothing overtly declarative for satan. It seemed that a seared conscience or a reprobate mind was not happening yet. (1 Timothy 4:2, Romans 1:28). A holding pattern continuing this long perhaps meant that the Lord in His grace would save her still. Hope remained.

And then the inevitable happened. As these Planned Parenthood videos keep coming out, demonstrating America’s culture of death and our deeply entrenched sin, she made a comment on her FB page exalting PP and minimizing sin and God. This time, I could not refrain and I gave the Gospel (again) in a short sentence.

As it is with the Word of God, it pierces. It settles like a burr on the conscience, to niggle and worm its way into the very soul. This is because–

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

I knew the Spirit would work its way into the heart once again. As we all know, there comes a time when the person either submits to the pricks of the goad, crumbles, and repents; or closes the heart and it becomes hardened.

Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. (Romans 9:18; cf. Mark 8:17).

What will happen? Would this be the moment we’d see grace upon grace, and a converted heart? O, Lord, I yearn for all to be saved, as You do, but I yearn most for the people I love. My friend was wonderful how I wish I could share that Jesus is the best friend of all. How great if we could enjoy Him together.

Unfortunately it was not to be. This appeared soon after. My heart broke in two. It was titled “Declaration of Sinlessness.”

And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ (Luke 16:26)

A public and formal confession repudiating our sin, God, Jesus, and the atonement is a pretty devastating event in a person’s eternal life. A public confession of Jesus and His atonement and belief in His resurrection is an important public utterance, and so is the importance of rejecting Him just as forcefully.

And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:32)

Gill’s Exposition explains the unpardonable sin spoken of in Matthew 12:32.

It shall not be forgiven him: not because the Holy Ghost is greater than Christ; or for want of efficacy in the blood of Christ; or because God cannot pardon it; but because such persons wilfully, maliciously, and obstinately oppose the Spirit of God, without whom there can be no application of pardon made; and remain in hardness of heart, are given up to a reprobate mind, and die in impenitence and unbelief, and so there is no forgiveness for them.

Is this the unpardonable sin for her? Probably. Conclusively? I leave it in Jesus’ hands. He knows what is in a man, I do not. I only know what I see, and the fruit is thorns and brambles. The road seems to have finally diverged for good.

“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:43-45)

Therefore, publicly repudiating God and declaring one’s self sinless is a serious offense. If it’s not a sin leading to death at this moment, it’s a sin that will in all likelihood lead to a hardened heart and a seared mind. The prognosis is bad, if not terminal.

Of course God CAN change the heart of anyone. Whether a name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life or not I don’t know. I still pray so. But it is with my own heavy heart that I see the voice declaring evil, the heart hardening, the conscience searing, the chasm arriving.

The Christian life is hard. It involves constant battle of one’s flesh nature, to subdue the old man in us and glorify God by submitting to His Spirit. It involves rejection, hardship, trouble. All these things we know. But to watch loved ones, or any ones travel that broad road leading to death with the eternal chasm at the end of it is agony. Hearing or seeing their blasphemous words of evil against a Holy God is wrenching. One friend is traveling the road that ends where there is no weeping (Isaiah 65:19) while the other travels the road where it only ends in eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth (Luke 13:28)

There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them. ~Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

I’m no different than anyone else. I was a horrible sinner, now saved by grace, hoping and praying for the gift of redemption to be given to those I love, and those I don’t love, and those I don’t even know. When a soul goes striding past grace and insists on their own broad path to destruction, it’s hard to watch, let alone endure. Everyone has loved ones who are on the broad path, with a mother or a father or a friend praying for them with breath held and hands clasped.

Everyone has loved ones who died in their sin, unconverted and now in torment, with their friends on this side of the veil clinging to the knowledge of the Justice of Holy God and there but for the grace of God go I.

I’m no different. But … Lord, come quickly.

———————————————
Further Reading

Is it good to have close friendships with unbelievers?

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Pilgrim’s Progress online

How do I minister to an unsaved friend whose loved one died without a relationship with Christ?

Posted in blood, death, prophecy, salvation, tribulation, wrath

How many will die in the Tribulation?

If you watched Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie then you’ll remember the scenes of the plague where the corpse gatherer shouts “Bring out your dead!” (I watched Monty Python in the 70s way before I was saved, don’t judge me).

The London plague of 1665 is synopsized in the UK National Archives this way:

This was the worst outbreak of plague in England since the black death of 1348. London lost roughly 15% of its population. While 68,596 deaths were recorded in the city, the true number was probably over 100,000. Other parts of the country also suffered.

The earliest cases of disease occurred in the spring of 1665 in a parish outside the city walls called St Giles-in-the-Fields. The death rate began to rise during the hot summer months and peaked in September when 7,165 Londoners died in one week.

This artwork depicts the general attitude during the height of the plague.

The plague was nothing, nothing, compared to the upcoming Tribulation. Let’s look at what God promises for unbelievers left behind

Current world population (estimate) – 7,321,593,981. That’s 7 billion with a b.

Revelation 6:7-8 says,
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

So in rapid order, 25% of the earth’s people will die. A quarter of 7.3 billion people is 1,830,398,495 dead. That’s 1.8 Billion dead. Remember the 2004 Banda Aceh Christmas day tsunami that killed 250,000 people? Bodies washing up everywhere? Multiply that by tens of thousands and millions and you have some idea of the deaths that will take place when the fourth seal is opened. It will happen fast, too. The entire Tribulation will only be as long as 7 years, and the Seal judgments are opened at the outset, so pretty quickly bodies will pile up in the streets.

So after a fourth of the population dies, we have 5,491,195,486 remaining on earth. That’s 5.4 Billion people.

Revelation 9:18 says that another third will die quickly also, this time in the Trumpet Judgment. “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.”

This means that a third of 5.4 billion people will die. That’s another 1,812,094,510 billion dead. Billion with a B.

By now there are 3,679,100,976 people left. Of course there area great many fewer because countless numbers die in the wars, die or are killed due to violence because of no restraint on sin, and secondary causes like fires from unattended gas lines or cholera or starvation. So let’s estimate another billion have died from all those causes. That leaves 2.6 billion people and that is only halfway through the Tribulation. We have gone from 7.3 billion people down to 2 billion- or less.

I suspect the death from sin will be much higher than we even can comprehend. The Holy Spirit will not be restraining sin at all. All men will be able to be as bad as they can be, moral depravity will be at highest levels ever. People will kill with impunity, for no reason, just to see you die. They will die from drugs and alcohol other bodily excesses, illness, starvation, and likely suicides. We know that the world will be used to looking at death with no problem, because by the time the Two Witnesses are killed their bodies are allowed to putrefy in the street for three and a half days while the entire world looks at them and dances in joy over their death. (Revelation 11:9-10)

3,642,493,005 or half the current population will for a fact die. All those bodies laying around is unimaginable. Here is one graphic that shows 1 Billion pennies. This is only 1 billion, remember, and they are pennies, very small, not human bodies.

Source

Jesus said that if he did not come back, ALL FLESH would die. (Matthew 24:22). When you try to imagine the numbers of corpses it become a horror, unimaginable and hopeless. Burials will not keep up. Every zombie/apocalypse/plague/outbreak/dystopian movie you ever watched won’t even come close. The Left Behind movies were sanitized like meat under cellophane compared to the slaughterhouse the meat came from. The overriding feature of the Tribulation will be…blood.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia. (Revelation 14:20)

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10)

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. (Revelation 16:3)

And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. (Revelation 17:6)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. (Revelation 20:4)

People say that the Bible is a tale of two cities, Jerusalem and Babylon. We could say without stretching it that the Age of Grace is about the blood of Jesus- Holy blood. And the Tribulation is about the blood of sinners- Judgment blood.

So when I hear someone say “I’m a pantheist, it’ll all pan out in the end,” I know that person has no conception of the prophetic plan of God. They have no care for the billions of people who will die like animals under God’s judgment. The deaths, the stench of death, the desensitization regarding death, it all will be on a scale the mind will not be able to comprehend.

Yet each one of those deaths represent a soul, made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)

Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
and never see the pit. (Psalm 49:7-9)

No person, regardless of his means, is able to escape death; it is inevitable. (Hebrews 9:27) This passage anticipates the second death of hell, (cf. Rev. 20-11:15), except those who by faith have repented of their sin and embraced the only adequate ransom, the one paid by the Lord Jesus Christ by His death on the cross. (cf. Matthew 20:28, 1 Peter 1:18-19). ~John MacArthur

Knowing we live in the Age of Grace and were saved in it should give us knee-weakening, heart stopping gratitude to Jesus. And knowing what is ahead for the world and its people should give us knee-weakening, heart stopping fear of God and His mighty power and Holy wrath. He is coming soon.

Be ready.
Live like you’re ready.
Witness like it’s your last day on earth, because it’s could be- for you or for that person.

Posted in grace, love, salvation, wrath

I was not saved by a loving Jesus wooing me

I wasn’t saved by love. The Gospel was not attractive to me. It was not made attractive to me by smiling Christians. I was saved by wrath.

This is NOT my Jesus

Glorious Jesus who was and is and is to come did not woo me to the cross. No one fulfilled my felt needs. No one befriended me and cajoled me into loving Jesus. He battered my head with a 2X4, dragging me kicking and screaming to the cross, where He made me face my sin. Once I saw my sin, I saw His coming wrath for it.

I repented.

THEN I loved Him. After He opened my eyes I saw all His loveliness and grace and mercy and long-suffering and patience and grief over sin and sinners. But I was not wooed, nor was I loved onto Mt Moriah. It is not true that “Jesus won’t come where He isn’t welcome”. It is not true that “Jesus won’t force Himself on anybody.” He is sovereign God! He goes where He pleases! (Psalm 24:1). He drop kicked Saul/Paul to the ground AND blinded him! He didn’t ASK Mary if she’d like to become pregnant and an object of ridicule and rumor the rest of her life. No, He sent an angel to TELL her how it was going to be. (Luke 1:30-37)

He isn’t wringing His hands in heaven hoping that Jane or Tom or Mary will believe in Him, and maybe they will, if he just sends the Spirit to soften the pew cushions … or energizes the preacher with a louder “WOO!” … or if the musician plays one more verse of “Just As I Am.” Maybe if He can make church “exciting” then Harry will repent and believe. No.

It was the sovereign wrath that convicted me and convinced me. It is why I love passages like this.

The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
The Great Day of His Wrath, John Martin ~1853

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)

Let us begin the marveling now. Marvel at a Savior who saves by His sovereign election, will, purpose, and plan! Marvel at He who is wrath and judgment and holiness and fierce anger! Be afeared of His anger over your sin. Marvel that El Shaddai… El Elyon …sent His Son to take on all anger for sin. Marvel that He is also Jehovah Rapha, and Jehovah Jireh, the LORD that heals, the LORD will provide. Marvel at the wrath. It makes marveling at the grace all the more sweet.

Posted in encouragement, exhort, prophecy, salvation, steven lawson

Some good stuff!

Some good things! A smorgasbord for you

The Long View on Pastoral Ministry
John MacArthur March 10, 2015

Why We’ll Never Bake Your Fake ‘Wedding’ Cake
Matt Barber March 9, 2015

Are wives really to submit in everything?
Sharon Lareau March 8, 2015

Salvation: How to be absolutely sure
Steven J. Lawson March 4, 2015

The Power of Thy Word
Tony Kiar March 8, 2015

What is closeness?
Dalrock, March 8, 2015

The Eye Scanning Password Authenticator, A Biometric Device That Safeguards a Person’s Digital Data
E.D.W. Lynch March 10, 2015

20 Finalists of the Smithsonian Photo Contest Show Earth’s Awesome Beauty
Alice Yoo March 9, 2015

Photo Anthony Smith
Posted in forgiveness, free grace, irresistible grace, justification, robe of righteousness, salvation, witness, wrath

Mr Lamb’s Robe Store

Scene, busy shopping mall. It’s so large that many people are lost. They look at the map in the central courtyard with the dot “you are here,” but many still don’t know which way to go. Others become distracted by the many choices. Still others sit in the courtyard just lazing away the day.

In a nearby clothing shop, two people browse the racks of robes on a rounder. They are called Sinner and Saved. Saved is a salesperson, trained and ready to explain any aspect of anything about the robes on display.

Saved: May I help you?
I think I would like one of these robes, they’re so white and beautiful. Are they silk?
They’re fine flax, plus other threads extremely rare and unique because they’re imported from a remote location.
It looks shimmery…
That’s because the Light reflects on it, through it, and off it. Some call this garment “Woven Moonlight” from the Grace line. It comes with a lifetime guarantee. It will never wear out.
That would be something, I hate going to the store to buy robe after robe. No robe I buy ever seems to last and I always end up cold and chilly in my house.
So, would you like one?
I don’t think I can afford it.
You can. It’s free.
No way! You mean just get one, put it on and walk out of here?
Yes, but there is something you need to do first before it can be put on.
I knew there would be a catch. You’re probably going to tell me I have to work for you for fifty years or something, like an indentured servant.
No, there’s no works involved.
Where are the lawyers, you’ll have me arrested if I take one for free.
The owner of this store has plenty of robes and is perfectly willing to give them away. There is no Legalism here.
I’ll get back to the robe in a minute, but I want to know this. Who in his right mind would give away his inventory? How does he stay in business? This is crazy!
I agree, it is unusual. There is no other store in the world which does this. This is certainly an exclusive shop.
But how can the owner stay in business?
He is extremely wealthy. And he wants to share his wealth. Again this is unusual. No other store owner in the world gives freely and doesn’t take.
Wait, I thought you said there was a catch. What is it?
No catch, but you do have to say you’re sorry before you can put on one of these exclusive robes.
Say I’m sorry for what???
For all your crimes against the owner of this store.
Whatchoo you talking about? I never done nothing to this guy!
Well, you have. If you ever even took a paperclip home from work, you’ve been stealing.
What does that have to do with the owner of this store?
He owns the paper clip. He owns everything. I told you he is very wealthy.
I knew this was too good to be true, I’m leaving.

Sinner leaves and walks to the next store. He is gone for hours. Eventually, he returns.

Ah, sir, so glad to see you again. What brings you back into our exclusive store?
I looked at every other robe in the mall. None are as good as this one. Once I saw the white gossamer shimmering threads, so delicate but so strong, I knew that no other could compare. Tell me more about this garment being free but having to be sorry first…
Well, you have committed crimes against the owner of this store, Mr Lamb, who owns the inventory of White Robes. Every time you stole, cheated, lied, even unknowingly, you sinned against Him. He owns all that is on the earth.
I’ve gotta know, who is this man?
He’s God.
God?! Like the Man Upstairs?
He is not a man, and though he is in heaven he is also on earth, in the form of His Spirit.
I think this God talk is kind of crazy but I admit His robes look different from all the others.
I’m wearing one.
You? You’re wearing regular clothes.
Yes but have you ever heard of layaway? My robe is on deposit, the Spirit is the deposit of the guarantee of being given one when we get to heaven. You will inherit His wealth, and the robe comes with it. (Ephesians 1:14)
Doesn’t a dad have to die in order for the kids to inherit?
He already died. He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, paying the debt you racked up, and the debt of all mankind. (John 3:16). In addition, He endured all the Father’s wrath for these sins, poured out onto the Son. I mean didn’t your dad get angry when you messed up? (Romans 1:18)
LOL, he sure did. When I was a kid I took his keys and drove the car, and I crashed it. Cost him a lot of money. He was so mad he used his belt on me for the first and only time. It hurt. I still have the scar from one of the welts.
Well, imagine how angry the Father is over your crimes against Him, and though His anger is controlled, it is there and poured out on the Son on behalf of you. He bore your stripes so you can live right. (1 Peter 2:24). The Son died. He sure did. However the good news is, He didn’t stay dead. Satisfied with His Son’s sacrifice, God resurrected the Son to eternal life.
Who is the Son?
Jesus.
I knew it, you’re a Jesus freak!
That I am, proclaiming His excellencies to call you from darkness to his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9).
When I was looking at all the other robes I was thinking about the paper clip. You know, um, I have done worse than taking a paper clip. A lot worse. When I committed them I didn’t know he was the owner of all the earth. (Psalm 24:1).
Well, you did. Just looking at the creation makes you know He created it. (Romans 1:19)
OK, you got me. I guess I lied again just then. I am surely without excuse. (Romans 1:20). What a miserable human being I am. I thought I felt bad before looking at the other robes, which suddenly looked like filthy rags next to this one, (Isaiah 64:6) but now I feel terrible seeing myself next to it. (Isaiah 6:5). I’m hopeless.
Yes, you are- out there. (Amos 5:20). In here, you have the deposit guaranteed, the robe of righteousness, the Spirit in you to strengthen you, Jesus to look forward to, and all hope and all wealth. As a matter of fact, all things will be yours, including eternal life. (Romans 8:24).

A rotten tomato splats against the store window, dripping down, with some youth running away shouting, “Your store is stupid and so are you!”

A few women wander in, but they stop only inches inside the threshold. One says, “This place smells horrible! Like garbage! And the clothes are all weird and shiny. Let’s go, Myrtle. We can check out the store that has grey robes. I hear they’ve got 50 shades of them!” They hustle out.

Sinner says,
Why’d they do that? You’re just standing here, minding your own business!

That happens a lot. Pay no mind. We don’t bother to fight against flesh and blood, but fight against what drives them. It’s their conscience. “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 2:14-16). With you, your thoughts are accusing. With them, they are trying to defend themselves and so they lash out.
Accuse is a good word. I feel a great heaviness on me because of all the wrong I’ve done. The more I look at the robe the more I see myself as a sinful man. (Luke 5:8). I couldn’t get it out of my mind these past few hours. (Romans 2:15). As much as I didn’t want to come back in here, I felt like I had to. (Ephesians 2:1–10).
You’re almost ready for a robe, I think. I’ll go get one in your size. While I’m gone, why don’t you speak with the Owner, and tell Him how you feel?
You mean on the phone? Or an intercom?
Just speak with your mouth, He will hear you. (Romans 10:9).

A few minutes go by. When the salesman returns, the Sinner is beaming.
I talked with Mr Lamb! He heard me, I know He did. He said He forgives me of my crimes against Him. There were a lot. Once I got going I hadn’t realized how many times I broke Mr Lamb’s law. But He said He would throw my sins away as far as the east is from the west. He said I’d receive a robe when I get there. He said I might have to pay for my past sins, endure the consequences you know, but He would always be with me and never forsake me. I believe Him I believe it down to my bones.
That’s wonderful! I’m so pleased!
You know, this is so weird. This place is right in the mall but I’d never seen it before today. I come here every week but I never saw it. And the owner is rich but wiling to give it all to us. He doesn’t make money, he gives it. He covers us with his garment which was made at great expense and gives it away free. All we have to do is be sorry for our sins and believe in His death, burial and resurrection. I can’t believe my whole life I thought Mr Lamb as a jerk.
That’s because you’re a new creation now. The Spirit is already inside you, helping you. He is the Helper. He’ll strengthen you in faith, change you from the woeful man you were into the righteous man you are now and will become. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Hey I’ve got to tell this news to my family. I’ll come back and we’ll talk more, OK?
Sure, Godspeed!

Sinner Child of God knew exactly what to do and exactly where to go before he headed home. The bible store …

Posted in encouragement, love, repent, salvation, sin

Big sin? Big God!

“I was sinking deep in sin…” goes the first line of an old song. (Love Lifted Me, 1912)

Mixed media collage, plus digital overlay. By EPrata

No matter how deep in sin a person is, no matter how low…no matter if they are in the gutter, or even one foot down the shaft of the gates of hell (like I was)

God’s arm is not too short to lift you from it!

He won’t make you wait. He won’t toy with you. If you call out to the Lord to save you and forgive your sins, He will, instantly. If you are saved but have sinned or strayed, and you call out to the Lord to forgive you, He will, instantly.

He was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:29-31)

Posted in death, life, salvation

You will be swallowed up

It’s one or the other. There is no need to make it more complex than it is.

Swallowed by death,

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. (Isaiah 5:14 KJV)

Swallowed by life,

For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:4 ESV)

The difference between being swallowed by death or life is repentance of sins and falling onto Jesus. He is mighty to save. Be saved today.