An appointed Time to die!

An appointed Time to die!

If you ever feel this way don’t sweat it, ’cause as surely as the good Lord appointed your time of birth and re-birth (that’s if you’re truly saved) even so hath He in His wisdom appointed the time for you to be called home. Amen?

“For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” [Psalm 48:14]

Praise the Lord!

WORLDLINESS AS OLD AS THE BIBLE

WORLDLINESS AS OLD AS THE BIBLE

‘Worldliness’ it’s as old as the Bible . . . . ’cause Sin is as old as the Bible . . . .

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” [Rom 5:12]

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN HEAR AUDIBLY IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND SPIRITUALLY

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN HEAR AUDIBLY IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND SPIRITUALLY

Michael Jeshurun

Just because one can audibly hear a preacher does not mean that he understands his message. Time and again the Bible echoes the words, “he that hath ears to ear let him hear!” This is not a reference to the audible hearing capabilities of men but rather the spiritual. On one occasion our Lord said, “Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word!” [John 8:43] That did not mean that they could not hear Him audibly, in fact they heard it so clearly that they wanted to kill Him for what He said. But they could not perceive the spiritual meaning of His Words! They were not His sheep as He asserts – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [John 10:27] They were not His sheep! [John 10:26]

“What a sad thing it is that so many are rich in all things except the one thing necessary. God has given them abundance of earthly possessions, but He has not given them eyes to see His bounty, nor ears to hear His voice of love, nor a heart to perceive His Presence in the mercies which they enjoy. Such see the harvest, but not the Great Farmer! They enjoy the fruitful seasons, but take no delight in the Giver of the rain and the Sender of the sunshine! What a sad condition to be in! Alas, poor rich man! He has so much and yet so little! And what a lamentable sight is the educated man of this world who is learned in all the lore of the ancients and versed in all the science of the moderns! He, who has pried into the secret chambers of knowledge and has observed the skill of the Eternal in the starry heavens and in microscopic life–and yet, with all his attainments, has no knowledge of his Maker–and will not accept the evidence of His Presence!” – C.H. Spurgeon

“The word “hear” [an Hebrew idiom] signifies to receive and believe — compare John 9:27; 10:3; 12:47; Acts 3:22, 23, etc. And why was it that these Jews “could not hear” His Word? It was because they were children in whom was no faith [Deuteronomy 32:20].

It was because they had no ear for God, no heart for His Word, no desire to learn His will. Proof positive was this that they were dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore not children of God. Unspeakably solemn is this. Hearing God’s Word is an attitude of heart. We speak now not of the Divine side, for true it is that the Lord Himself must prepare the heart [Proverbs 16:1] and give the hearing ear [Proverbs 20:12].

But from the human side, man is fully responsible to hear. But he cannot hear the still small voice of God while his ears are filled with the siren songs of the world. That he has no desire to hear does not excuse him, rather does it the more condemn him. The Lord grant that the daily attitude of writer and reader may be that of little Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth!” [1 Sam 3:10] “And when He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE! And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF STRANGERS!” [John 10:4,5]” [A.W. Pink]

The Psalmist wasn’t born deaf and yet he thanks the Lord saying, “mine ears hast Thou opened!” [Psalm 40:6] Oh what a blessing it is to have our spiritual ears opened to hear the things of the Spirit! As it was with Lydia whose heart the Lord opened, so beginning at regeneration all through the life of the child of God the Lord graciously (as seemeth good unto Him) openeth both the eyes and ears of His child to perceive the things of the Spirit, and without this ‘opening’ the Book of God and every minister whom he hears will make little sense to him.

And hence the prayer – “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!” [Psalm 119:18] And again, “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust!” [Psalm 143:8]

 

Outer Man Perishing, Inner Man Renewed

Outer Man Perishing, Inner Man Renewed

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

Those who learn to live by the grace of God are increasingly protected from discouragement. “Therefore we do NOT LOSE HEART .” This truth was touched upon in an earlier verse from this fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians. “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received MERCY , we do NOT LOSE HEART ” (2 Corinthians 4:1). The protection from discouragement there involved mercy and grace. Since we serve the Lord by mercy and grace (and not by our merit or by our resources), we have a built-in supply of heavenly encouragement available to us daily.

In our present verse, encouragement comes from the contrast between what is happening to the “OUTWARD MAN” and to the “INWARD MAN .” The “OUTWARD MAN ” is the physical person, which can be observed by human sight. This is generally the object of attention among the unredeemed (as well as among believers who are walking according to the flesh). This man is “PERISHING ” because sin has impacted all of us. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Man began from dust. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7).

Due to sin, the outer, physical man is headed back toward that initial starting point. “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the GROUND, for out of it you were taken; for DUST you are, and to DUST you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). For those who do not know the Lord, this is a discouraging fact. They often strive desperately to prevent this inevitable process.

On the other hand, servants of new covenant grace are not discouraged by this fact. “Therefore we do NOT LOSE HEART .” It is true that our outer man is also perishing. Yet, we see a bigger picture than that. “Even though our OUTWARD MAN is PERISHING , yet the INWARD MAN is BEING RENEWED DAY BY day.” As our outer man is deteriorating, we are still encouraged, because our inner man can be in the process of renewal: “And have put on the NEW MAN who is RENEWED in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10). As we are humbly seeking the Lord in His word, we are being changed, brought more and more into the newness of Christ: “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, ARE BEING TRANSFORMED into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

“O Lord, as my outer man deteriorates, remind me of the encouraging reality that my inner man can be renewed. Help me to desire inner spiritual progress, rather than outer physical prowess. This I pray through Jesus, my Lord, Amen.”

THE PERSISTENCE OF SIN

THE PERSISTENCE OF SIN

Man! If this doesn’t remind me of my besetting sins! Just when I think I’ve knocked them out for good they bounce right back again with more vigour than ever!

“O wretched man that I am! WHO shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin!” [Romans 7:24,25]

THE PRISON OF HELL FROM WHICH THERE IS NO ESCAPE!

THE PRISON OF HELL FROM WHICH THERE IS NO ESCAPE!

A.W. Pink

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal!’ [Matt 25:46]

Upon this point the language of Scripture is most explicit. In Matthew 25:41 we read of “everlasting fire.” In Matthew 25:46 of “everlasting punishment.” In Mark 6:29 of “eternal damnation.” And in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 of “everlasting destruction.” We are aware that the enemies of God’s truth have sought to tamper with this word rendered everlasting and eternal. But their efforts have been entirely futile. The impossibility of rendering the Greek word by any other English equivalent appears from the following evidence:

The Greek word is “aionios” and its meaning and scope has been definitely defined for us by the Holy Spirit in at least two passages. “While we look not at the things which are seen: but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). Here a contrast is drawn between things “seen” and things “not seen,” between things “temporal” and things “eternal.” Now it is obvious that if the things “temporal” should last forever, there would be no antithesis between them and the things “eternal.” It is equally obvious that if the things “eternal” are merely “age-long,” then they cannot be properly contrasted with things that are temporal. The difference between things temporal and things eternal in this verse is as great as the difference between the things “seen” and the things “not seen.”

The second example, which is of the same character as the one furnished in 2 Corinthians 4:18, is equally conclusive. In Philemon 15 we read, “For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him forever.” Here the Greek for “forever” is aionios. The apostle is beseeching Philemon to receive Onesimus, who had left his master, and whom Paul had sent back to him. When the apostle says “receive him forever,” his evident meaning is, never banish him, never sell him, never again send him away. “Aionios” is here contrasted with “for a season,” showing that it means just the opposite of what that expression signifies.

Eternal or everlasting is the one and unvaried meaning of aionios in the New Testament. The same word translated “everlasting destruction,” “everlasting punishment,” “everlasting fire,” is rendered “everlasting life” in John 3:16; “the everlasting God” in Romans 16:26; “eternal salvation” in Hebrews 5:9; “His eternal glory” in 1 Peter 5:10. No argument needs to be made to prove that in these passages it is impossible to fairly substitute any other alternative for everlasting and eternal, And it is thus with the other class of passages.

The “everlasting fire” will synchronize with the existence of “the everlasting God.” The “everlasting punishment” of the lost will continue as long as the “everlasting life” of believers. The “eternal damnation” of the wicked will no more have an end than will the “eternal salvation” of the redeemed. The “everlasting destruction” of unbelievers will prove as interminable as the “everlasting glory” of God. To deny the former is to deny the latter. To affirm the everlastingness of God is to prove the endlessness of the misery of His enemies.

THE FINALITY OF THEIR STATE

The doom of those who shall be cast into the Lake of Fire is irrevocable and final. Many independent considerations prove this. Forgiveness of sins is limited to life on this earth. Once the sinner passes out of this world there remaineth “no more sacrifice for sins.” The fact that at death the soul of the wicked goes at once into the “furnace of fire” (Matt. 12:42) witnesses to the fixity of his future state. The fact that, later, his resurrection is one “of damnation” (John 5:29) excludes all possibility of a last-hour reprieve. The fact that he is cast soul and body into a lake of fire argues that then he receives his final portion. The fact that the Lake of Fire is denominated the “Second Death” denotes the hopelessness of his situation. Just as the first death cuts him off forever from this world, so the second death cuts him off forever from God.

In Philemon 3 the apostle Paul speaks of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, and moved by the Holy Spirit he tells us that their “end is destruction” (v. 19). Stronger and more unequivocal language could not be used. There is nothing beyond the “end.” And the end of the enemies of the Cross of Christ is “destruction” not salvation. The Greek word here translated “end” is “telos.” It is found in the following passages: “Of His Kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33); “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4); “Having neither beginning of days nor end of life” (Heb. 7:3); “I am … the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:13).

As we have already seen, the twentieth chapter of Revelation describes the final judgment of the wicked before the Great White Throne, after which they are cast into the Lake of Fire. The chapters which follow—the last two in the Bible—may be read carefully and searched diligently, but they will not be found to contain so much as a single hint that those cast into the Lake of Fire shall ever be delivered from it. Instead, we find in the very last chapter of God’s Word the solemn statement, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still” (Rev. 22:11). Thus the finality of their condition is expressly affirmed on the closing page of Holy Writ.

Read the whole thing –

http://pbministries.org/books/pink/Eternal_Punishment/index.htm

GOD SO KNOWS HIS PEOPLE THAT THE VERY HAIRS OF THEIR HEAD ARE ALL NUMBERED BY HIM!

GOD SO KNOWS HIS PEOPLE THAT THE VERY HAIRS OF THEIR HEAD ARE ALL NUMBERED BY HIM!

C.H. Spurgeon

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Your great and learned men will not talk about the hairs of your head. All their discourse is upon the nebulae and the stars, geological periods and organic remains, evolution and the solidarity of the race, and I know not what besides. They will not stoop to common things.

They must say something great, sublime, dazzling, brilliant, full of fireworks. The Master is as far removed from all this as the heavens are from the gaudiest canopy that ever bedecked a mortal’s throne. He talks in homely language be-cause He is at home. He speaks the language of the heart because He is all heart, and wants to reach the hearts of those to whom He speaks. I commend the text to you for that reason, though for many others besides. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Thinking over these words, they seem to have in them four things at least, and we may take four views of their meaning—

 And the first is, foreordination—“The very hairs of your head have been all numbered.” You will find that to be a more accurate version of the text than that which is before us. The verb is not in the present but in the perfect tense. The very hairs of your head have been all numbered before worlds were made.

Secondly, I see in the text, knowledge. This is very clear—God so knows His people that the very hairs of their head are all numbered by Him. Thirdly, there is here valuation—He sets such a high estimate upon His own servants, that of them it is said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” You are so precious that the least portion of you is pre-cious. The King keeps a register of every part of you, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

And, lastly, here is most evidently preservation. The Savior has been telling them not to fear those that can kill the body and are not able to kill the soul. He speaks of God’s preserving them. In another place He told His disciples, “There shall not a hair of your head perish,” and He intends the same sense in this case. There shall be a perfect preservation of His people. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

FOREORDINATION.

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Most Christian people believe in the Providence of God but all Christian people are not prepared to follow out the Truth of God which that involves. They appear to believe that there is a Providence overruling but they seem to have forgotten that there always was such a Providence and that Providence must be, after all, a matter of Divine foresight. God must have foreseen, or He could not have provided, for “Providence” is, after all, but the Latin for foresight. And the provision which God makes is but the result of His vision beforehand of such-and-such a thing as needful to us. Foresight must essentially belong to any true and real Providence.

How far does God’s foresight extend? It extends, we believe, to the entire man and all about him. God ordained of old when we should be born and where and who our parents should be and what our lot in infancy and what our path in youth and what our position in manhood. From the first to the last it has all happened according to the Divine purpose, even as it was ordained by the Divine will. Not only the man but all that concerns the man, is foreordained of the Lord— “The very hairs of your head,” that is to say, all that which has anything to do with you, which comes into any kind of contact with you and is in any sense part and parcel of yourself, is under the Divine foresight and predestination.

Everything is in the Divine purpose, and has been ordered by the Divine wisdom—all the events of your life—the greater, certainly—the smaller, with equal certainty. It is impossible to draw a line in Providence and say this is arranged by Providence and that is not. It must take everything in its sweep, all that happens. It determines not only the movement of a star but the blowing of a grain of dust along the public road. All this, from the very nature of the thing, is clear. God’s Providence knows nothing of things so little as to be beneath its notice, nothing of things so great as to be beyond its control. Nothing is too little or too great for God to rule and overrule.

ALL that a man undergoes is also ordained of Heaven. The hairs of your head, should they turn white in a single night by grief, will not do so without Divine permission. Should you be spared till every hair constitutes a part of the crown of glory of your old age, you shall not be older than God wills. You shall neither die before your time, nor live beyond it. All that concerns you, I say, from first to last, all that is of you and in you and around you—

“All shall come and last and end,
As shall please your heavenly Friend.”
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

And this is what I call your attention to—what is the source of this numbering? It is not that they are all numbered by some recording angel who is set to do the work. It may be so but that is not the thing we have to consider tonight. This numbering is done by your Father, who is in Heaven. The ordinances that rule your life are in His hands. Unto Him belong the issues from death. And this makes it to be such a happy fact. FATE IS HARD AND CRUEL. BUT PREDESTINATION IS FATHERLY AND WISE AND KIND. The wheels of Providence are always high and terrible. But they are full of eyes, and those eyes look with the clear sight of wisdom and righteousness and love—and they look towards the good of them that love God and are the called according to His purpose.

Terrible, indeed, it is to think of things as fixed by an eternal plan. But the terror is taken from it when we feel that we are children of this great Father and that He wills nothing but what shall, in the end, work out our conformity to the image of His Son and display the glory of His own righteousness and Divine Grace and Truth. Dear Friend, perhaps you are blind! You will feel sweet content in the dark when you can say, “This blindness was determined of my tender and loving Father. I know it was so, since the very hairs of my head are all numbered.”

The practical outcome of all this, to every Christian, should be just this, “If it is so, that all things in my life are ordered of God, even to the hairs of my head, then let me learn submission. Let me bow before the Supreme will which ought to have its way. Though it cost me many a tear and many a pang, yet will I never be content until I can say, ‘Father, Your will be done.’ ”

Therefore, let us come to this—if even the very hairs of our head are all numbered, if everything is really ordained of the Most High concerning His people—let us rejoice in the Divine appointment and take it as it comes and praise His name, whether our allotment is rough or smooth, bitter or sweet. Let us cheerfully say, “If the Lord wills it then we will it, too. If He has purposed it, even so let it be, since all things work together for good to them that love God, even to them that are called according to His purpose.”

HERE IS KNOWLEDGE—God’s intimate knowledge of His people. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Observe what a full knowledge God has of each one of His children. If there were nobody else in the world except you—and God had nothing else to do but to think of you. If there were no objects of His attention beyond yourself and His eternal mind had no object of consideration but you, only, the Lord would not then know more about you than He does now. The omniscience of God is concentrated upon every single being and yet it is not divided by the multiplicity of its objects. It is not the less upon any single one because there are so many.

How it should astonish us that the Lord knows us at this moment so intimately as to count every hair of our heads! The knowledge which the Lord has concerning His people is most minute and takes in those small matters which men set down as unconsidered trifles. He knows what you and I hardly wish to know—He knows that which we may be content to leave unknown—“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

He knows us better than our friends know us. Many a man has a kind friend who knows his affairs most accurately, but even such a familiar acquaintance has never counted the hairs of his head. No man’s wife has done that, nor even the doctor who has, by his long attendance upon us, become aware of the condition and health of every part of our body. GOD KNOWS US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSELVES. Nobody knows how many hairs he has upon his own head. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered by One who knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows matters about us that we could not of ourselves discover. There are secrets of the heart which are unknown even to ourselves but they are not secrets to Him. His penetrating knowledge reaches to the most hidden things of life and spirit.

What perfect consecration we ought to maintain! If God so values me, so knows me, that He counts the very hairs of my head, ought I not to give to God my whole self even to the minutest detail? Should I not give Him not merely my head but my hair, as that penitent woman did, who unbound her tresses that she might make a towel of them, to wipe the feet that she had washed with her tears? Ought we not to consecrate to God the very least things as well as the greater things? Is it not written, “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God”? “You are not your own, you are bought with a price”—and when the inventory was taken, the Lord did not leave a hair of your head out of the catalog.

Now, thirdly and very briefly—Does not this text express VALUATION? “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” It seems, then, that lowly saints are exceedingly precious to their Lord. The whole of Christ’s flock on earth were very poor people. If they had a boat and a few nets, it was all they were worth. If anybody had seen Christ in His little Church on earth, he would have said, “There is not a respectable person among them.” That is how we talk nowadays. As if it were respectable to have money. As if respect did not belong to character but only to possessions. Yet those twelve poor men HE picked out and He thought so much of them that He numbered the hairs of their heads.

Yonder is a poor old man in the aisle and he has a fustian jacket on. Never mind his fustian jacket—the very hairs of his head are all numbered. Yonder is a poor old woman just come out of the workhouse and she loves to hear the Gospel. She is such a very poor old woman that nobody likes to invite her into a pew. I speak to the shame of such pride. She is one of Christ’s saints and saintship is a patent of nobility. If you sold a farm you might count the trees but not the boughs and the leaves. But if you sold a jeweler’s shop, you would count all the pins and all the diamond rings, because everything is precious there. Now God reckons everything about His people to be so precious that He even takes stock of the hairs of their heads.

The Lord set such a value on His children that He gave His Son Jesus Christ to die rather than He would lose one of them. And Jesus Himself chose to die on the Cross that none of His little ones should perish. Oh, the value and the preciousness of a child of God! Worlds would not serve for pence to be the basis of the valuation. Let us prize the people of God very highly, feeling as the Psalmist did when he said, “O God, You are my God—my goodness extends not to You. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight.”

Lastly, here is PRESERVATION. See how carefully God intends to preserve His own people, since He begins by counting the hairs of their heads. I say it, for there is Scripture at the back of my assertion, that none of the people of God shall suffer in the long run the smallest loss. “There shall not a hair of your head perish,” said Christ to His believing people. If I were to lose a hair from my head, I should not know it—should you? But God would know if His servants lost a hair of their heads and He makes the promise to them of such complete protection that there shall not a hair of their head perish. Remember that other text, “The Lord keeps all His bones, not one of them is broken.”

Now, a Christian man may break the bones of his body but in a real and spiritual sense he is free from such danger, God will keep him—yes, keep him to all eternity! “There shall not a hoof be left behind,” said Moses to Pharaoh and there shall not a bone, nor a piece of a bone of the ransomed, be left in the dominion of death and the grave. When the trumpet shall sound, the whole of redeemed manhood shall start into life. When Peter came out of prison, the angel smote him, and his chains fell off and he came out of prison but he did not quit till he had put on his sandals. He did not leave even a pair of old shoes for Herod and his jailers.

So shall it be with the children of God at last—“from beds of dust and silent clay,” when the angel’s trumpet shall ring out, they shall arise and they shall leave nothing behind. They shall not leave an essential particle in the tomb. They shall rise, body, soul and spirit completely redeemed of the Lord. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Christ knows what He has bought and He will have it. Even to the last atom He will have that which He has purchased. We shall not enter into our new life maimed or having one eye. He will preserve His people in their entirety, and present them, “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”

Trust, then, in the Lord at all hazards. Trust in Him in deep waters as well as on the shore. When the waves are raging, trust your God as well as when the sea is as glass. When the sea roars and the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, trust in Jehovah without the shade of a doubt, for “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Why should you fear? Your vessel carries Jesus and all His fortune. If you are drowned He cannot swim, He sinks or swims with you. For thus has He put it, “Because I live, you shall live, also.” If your Lord lives, you must live.

Therefore, comfort one another with these words and go quietly, patiently, happily, joyfully through the world, under Divine preservation, since “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

THE FINAL SELFIE

THE FINAL SELFIE

If YOU were called upon for a final selfie would ya have somethin to smile about? You would IF you truly belonged to Christ!

For you would say with Paul . . .
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” [Phil 1:21]

GIFTED TO PREACH AND GIFTED TO INDUCE SLEEP

GIFTED TO PREACH AND GIFTED TO INDUCE SLEEP

C.H. Spurgeon

Whatever you may know, you cannot be truly efficient ministers if you are not “apt to teach.” You know ministers who have mistaken their calling, and evidently have no gifts for it: make sure that none think the same of you. There are brethren in the ministry whose speech is intolerable; either they rouse you to wrath, or else they send you to sleep. No chloral (anesthetic) can ever equal some discourses in sleep-giving properties; no human being, unless gifted with infinite patience, could long endure to listen to them, and nature does well to give the victim deliverance through sleep.

I heard one say the other day that a certain preacher had no more gifts for the ministry than an oyster, and in my own judgment this was a slander on the oyster, for that worthy bivalve shows great discretion in his openings, and knows when to close. If some men were sentenced to hear their own sermons, it would be a righteous judgment upon them, and they would soon cry out with Cain, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Let us not fall under the same condemnation.”