Friday, July 25, 2008

Rock Of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul I to the fountain fly,
Wash me Savior or I die.

Not the labor of my hands,
Can fulfill Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save and Thou alone.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Could my tears forever flow?
Could my zeal no languor know?
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to thy cross I cling.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Do you have real fellowship with God, or just fellowship with others about a real God?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Modern Day John The Baptist?

I was watching this news footage last night and it got me to thinking about how John the baptist might have looked and sounded to his hearers...

We could do with more!

The candlestick has been removed, the light has gone out and the Truth has been lost!! Well done to the man who stood up in this dark place and briefly held up the light.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. John 3:19-21

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Frank Look At The Case Of A Sinner!

Friend, how will you fare on the day of Judgement? Will the Creator survey your life to find you righteous before the law? Have you kept the commands of God? Or will your back be against the wall with His ten loaded cannons aimed right at you?

Cannon 1: You shall have no other gods before me
Cannon 2: You shall not make for yourself any idol or any kind of image of anything in the heavens, on the earth or in the sea
Cannon 3: You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his Name
Cannon 4: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy
Cannon 5: Honour your father and mother
Cannon 6: You must not murder
Cannon 7: You must not commit adultery
Cannon 8: You must not steal
Cannon 9: You must not lie
Cannon 10: You must not covert

Does that make you tremble? Then humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up!

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but with sober judgement consider the righteousness and holiness of God, and compare your filthy rags against Him! Judge yourselves against His law - see that you have sinned and repent! Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning, and your joy to gloom. For he who is proud will not escape the wrath of God! For God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Do you tremble? Do you feel sorrow? Do you feel the weight of your sin bearing down upon you? Are you sorry? Are you only sorry because you will be caught, judged and punished? Or, more aptly, are you sorry that you have offended the True and Living God?

Can you say without blame-shifting or self justification, "I have sinned against the Creator of Heaven and Earth and I deserve everything that He has decreed should come about because of my sin". If you will not submit to his judgement and accept your position as a criminal rightly condemned, then you can have no part in his pardon!!

As for myself I have transgressed every law of God and deserve eternal punishment for my wickedness. He has written His law on my heart, and I have knowingly and willingly broke it countless times, my conscience has convicted me of my guilt under the law, and I deserve to be cut off from his presence for all eternity. Knowing this, how could I plead not guilty - for I have sinned against my Maker! I have no righteousness! I am a filthy rag! My only hope and trust is in His pardon!

Should He pardon me because He is good? Never! Because He is good He must condemn me to die! Because He is just, He must see that that I receive the punishment due me for my transgressions. Would a judge in the civil court let off a murderer because he is a good person? No! Because the judge is a good person he will see the murderer receives his sentence.

Should He pardon me because I deserve it? Never! If I wasn't guilty I would not be standing before the judge. Have you ever heard of an innocent man sent to prison for keeping the law?

Would I be freed if I were to argue a case comparing myself against another, who in my own eyes, appeared to be of much filthier disposition, and guilty of much greater iniquity? Never! Have you ever seen a judge let a thief walk free from the punishment of the law because he showed himself to be better in his own eyes than a murderer?

Should He pardon me because I do not believe in Hell? Never! It would be ludicrous to anyone to think a judge of our courts would let a condemned man go unpunished for his crime simply because he didn't believe in prison. Should that be his plea, the judge would surely reply, "You may not believe in prison now, but you shortly will!"

What if I had committed myself to doing good to outweigh the bad, will that hold some sway in the mind of the King? Never! Could I stand in the mere supreme court of my country, before a judge of flesh and blood, and expect to be let free from the consequences of hideous and cruel acts against humanity - because in my fear of punishment I did charitable acts to recompense? No! I must face the punishment for my crime!

How about if I plead with many tears and confess my guilt before the bench on the day of judgement, would the judge be moved with compassion to let me walk free then? Never! It is too late to plead for a pardon in the courtroom! Justice must take its course, or the judge would be held in contempt!

All frail arguments formulated in the mind of man will not stand in the courtroom of the one who is able to both save and destroy! How foolish our arguments will appear against the very source of all wisdom and righteousness.

What is a sinner to do? It seems that there is no hope for all mankind for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! Will all perish in the lake of fire? How then can any be saved?

Well, with man, it is impossible! But with God all things are possible!

So then, can God simply forgive me and overlook my transgressions and let me walk free? No! God cannot turn a blind eye to your sins! He cannot, will not, cause a miscarriage of justice! A good and righteous God must do right, as the scriptures say, "Will not the Lord of all the earth do right?" If God were to allow your sins to go unpunished on the day of Judgement, he would be more corrupt, more wicked, more vile than the sinner standing before Him!

He must do right! He will do right! He will see that justice is done! God will see to it that every sin is punished wherever it is found. All will be exposed, nothing will remain hidden! God will by no means ignore the rebellion of the wicked. None shall escape! So how then can any be saved?

Well, with man, it is impossible! But with God all things are possible!

In order that God might be both just and the justifier of the wicked, in order to both punish transgression of the law, yet show compassion and mercy on the sinner and free him from the sentence of the law, God had to take the penalty of the law upon himself. He had to stand in our place. He had to take our sentence. He had to be punished for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.

In order to accomplish this, God stepped down to earth and clothed himself in flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ. Born of a virgin woman, conceived by the Holy Spirit (not in sin as all humanity), Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life fulfilling all the requirements of the law. When the appointed time came, in humble submission and willing obedience, Jesus laid down his life and was crucified by the hands of wicked men. The Just one given for the unjust! In doing so, Jesus redeemed for himself a people. He paid in His life's blood the penalty of the law, and purchased for himself a body of filthy sinners – washing them free from the guilt of their sin and the condemnation of their transgressions.

To all who believe in Him, to all who have faith in his atoning work on the cross, to all who lay hold of Him by faith, to all who overcome – he has granted eternal life! He has freed them from the curse of the law, He has freed them from the penalty of sin, He has freed them from death!

How do we know this? Because he was raised to life three days after his crucifiction and is now seated at the right hand of the Father - showing himself to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Thanks! (Part 2)

A follow on from the blog entry No Thanks!

Image you are very sick, and you need a blood transfusion. It's the only thing that can save your life! You have a very rare sort of blood that only one person in the whole world shares with you, and that person is a little boy. One day the little boy's father comes to you in the hospital while you are on your death bed and says "Here! We took the blood from my son so that you may live! He's dead now, but you can live!".

Would you tell the father thanks for the thought? Would you tell him, thank you for sacrificing your son on my behalf, but I don't want it? Would you take the bag of that little boys blood and tip it down the drain?

No way in the world!!! You would probably be grieved and humbled over that sacrifice. You might feel unworthy, but you would be filled with thankfulness as you take that life saving blood! Deep gratitude and love would well up within as you think upon the boy and his father and what they had done. You surely wouldn't despise them, would you?

God has sacrificed his own Son - he did it nearly two thousand years ago. We are on our deathbed, sick with sin, and it's only his blood that can save us. Now God has come to you in your sick condition, and is offering you his Son's blood. Are you going to say thanks but no thanks, keep it yourself! Are you going to tip it down the drain? Or are you going to humble yourself and with a grateful heart, reach out and lay hold of what the Saviour has done for us all?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

There's No Atheists In Foxholes!

Just finished reading a letter written by a US Marine in Iraq, in which he made a pointed statement:

If there's no atheists in foxholes, then why aren't there more people in church every Sunday?

How is it that a man can cry out to God when the bullets are flying, "Save me Lord. Save Me. Please Lord. Save Me." but when the battle is over, and the danger subsided, go right back on living in rebellion and sin without another thought or care for the one he so earnestly entreated hours earlier?

Because he loves his sin and refuses to repent!

I remember in my own childhood being like this at the Royal Adelaide Show. Before getting on the big, fast, scary rides I would in fear send up a short, insincere prayer that went something like: "Lord, please forgive me of my sin. If this ride should break and I am horribly killed, please don't send me to hell." After the ride was over, and finding that I had survived the ordeal (even though still very much dead in my sins lacking true repentance and faith), I proceeded to quickly forgot all about God. Caught up in the show bags and fairy floss... until the next ride!

I'd like to explore this very serious problem looking at an event in the life of Pharaoh recorded in Exodus 9.

Exodus 9:27-34

And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thundering and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

1. His admission of guilt was insincere. I have sinned this time is a long way short of, all I have ever done is sinned against you, the Most High God. Repentance consists of a wholehearted change in mind from enmity towards God to enmity towards the sinful self. It is coming into agreement with God about who you are, what you have done and what you deserve. Pharaoh never saw himself as the guilty sinner that he was.

2. His "repentance" was not heartfelt. Instead of crying out God for mercy he asked Moses to entreat God on his behalf. His pride would not let him bow the knee personally.

3. His "repentance" was self-centred. Instead of being broken over how much he had been grieving and angering God, he was broken over how tough things were for him. Turning to God was not an act of surrender mixed with grief over his crimes, but a means to end - the preservation and pleasure of self.

4. His "repentance" was conditional. Instead of unconditionally throwing himself at the feet of a Holy God with an attitude that cries out "you are worthy to be worshipped and served and I will worship and serve you for the rest of my life, even if you throw me in hell at the end of it because I deserve an eternal hell for my crimes", Pharaoh tried to plea bargain with God. If you make things good for me, I will obey you.

5. His "repentance" wasn't lasting. As soon as the rain and hail and thundering ceased, and the motivation for his "repentance" was eased (his own personal comfort had been restored), Pharaoh hardened his heart and continued in sin. True repentance is an unconditional and heartfelt. It is not a means to an end, that is, to escape the fires of hell, but it is an end of a man! True repentance always leads away from wilful rebellion and sin to a state of increasingly unconditional surrender to the will of God, out of love for God. It is a heartfelt change in the mind and will of a man, which always produces a tangible change in the actions of a man. True repentance never ceases!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Regeneration Fact #5

I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul... that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher's sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, ‘I ascribe my change wholly to God.’

- Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 7, 2008

No Thanks!

I had an amazing encounter today with a homeless man that left me quite perplexed.

On my way to work this morning, I passed him asleep in a doorway under a very thin blanket on some very hard concrete.

I decided to buy him something to eat to let him know that someone cares. More importantly I wanted him to know that God cares and hasn't forgotten about him, and I wanted to share the gospel with him. Thinking that he probably wouldn't have a great diet, I decided upon a nice double cut ham and salad roll and a 600ml orange juice.

By the time I got back to him, he was awake and puffing on the remains of a hand rolled cigarette. Good, I thought, I'm glad I didn't have to wake him!

I handed over the lunch, not expecting him to dance a jig or anything, but I thought he'd at least take it! What I didn't expect was what came out of his mouth: "I don't drink orange juice", he said followed by "and I don't eat ham either".

After making sure he really didn't want to take it, I asked whether it was because of religious beliefs he wouldn't eat ham - hoping that this would swing to the spiritual. He didn't seem to want to go there. The optical illusion tract didn't get much interest either.

Just when I was leaving I took out a ten commandments coin from my pocket, which caught his attention. He took that and I left him reading at least a short presentation of the gospel message complete with the commandments.

It got me to thinking though... at how many people will reject Jesus Christ the only one who can save them from a hopeless, miserable eternity of separation from God on account of their rebellion and self-centered, truth suppressing lives.

Isaiah 55:1-3

"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live."

Such a wonderful and gracious invitation! A holy and just God who is both willing and able to take the punishment you deserve, and place it upon himself - if you will only humble the knee before him, and with a repentant heart, cry out for compassion and mercy. As a beggar desiring food, and void of any means to buy his own, must cry out for someone to have compassion on him.

Yet many will say, "I don't drink orange juice and I don't eat ham either!"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Comfortably Afflicted?

A preacher of the Truth has two ministries, that is, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable! That is all.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Bride Of Christ!

The bride of Christ, the true church, is not in bed with the world on the eve of her wedding! She is not mad on the wine of willful indiscretions and shameless perversions, but she is a chaste and holy virgin. Waiting with eager expectation and a deep longing for the arrival of her groom, she keeps herself spotless and undefiled so that she may be unashamed before him at his coming.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Regeneration Fact #4

God absolutely interposes in the salvation of every man to makehim regenerate. In the salvation of every person there is an actual putting forth of divine power, whereby the dead sinner is quickened, the unwilling sinner is made willing, the desperately hard sinner has his conscience made tender; and he who rejected God and despised Christ, is brought to cast himself down at the feet of Jesus. There must be a divine interposition, a divine working, a divine influence, or else, do what you may, without that you perish, and are undone; "for except a man be born again, be can not see the kingdom of God." This change is radical--it gives us new natures,it makes us love what we hated and hate what we loved, it sets us in a new road; it makes our habits different, it makes our thoughts different, it makes us different in private, and different in public. 'If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.'

- Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Repentance A Child Can Understand!

If you were really sorry, you'd stop doing it!