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All things work together for good to them who love God and trust Him. The skeptic jeers at this, but the trusting Christian knows it from actual experience. It is often a dear-bought experience, for some of God’s truths are knocked into us by hard blows, and some lessons are spelled out through eyes cleansed with tears. Our perverse mistake is that we demand that God explain Himself at every step, instead of waiting for Him to unfold His intricate purposes at His own time and in His own way.
Twenty years ago in 1862, on a day of thick fog and storm, I ascended Mount Washington in New Hampshire by the old bridle-path. Over the slippery boulders we picked our toilsome way, unable to see anything but our surefooted horse and our guide. A sulky company were we when we reached the “Tip-Top House,” a simple stone lodge at the mountain summit.
In recent years, the doctrine of “Christian liberty” has been frequently invoked as a God-given right which allows the individual believer to pursue an unspecified range of worldly activities limited only by his or her “spiritually-informed” conscience. The following imaginary discourse is presented to provoke the reader to consider the real possibility that the believer’s personal liberty is not so easily exercised when challenged by the Bible’s teaching on the matter, especially in light of the spiritual ramifications to one’s Christian testimony and service to others…
“A grave, wherever found, preaches a short and pithy sermon to the soul.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Look for a minute into the grave….
Each one of you must die. If I were addressing an assembly of the sages of the world, I should say, “All your combined wisdom cannot lengthen the days of one of you even a single minute. You may reckon the distance of the stars and weigh worlds, but you cannot tell me when one of you will die, nor how many grains of sand are left behind in the hourglass of time which shows the exit of each spirit from the world.”
Now you have so many days and in one of those days there will be the poison of death. I do not know which one. It may be tomorrow. It may not be until many days have gone by. Is it not foolish, therefore, to be living in this world without a thought of what you will do at last?
I’m sure you’ve seen the phenomenon before. You’re sitting there watching a baseball game on TV when all of a sudden a large sign pops up in the stands behind the batter’s box reading, “JOHN 3:16.” It’s a well-known technique of stealth evangelism and quick-strike Gospel proclamation that’s been around for decades at various televised sporting events. As soon as that sign appears, no doubt thousands of unsaved viewers are sent scrambling for a Bible to see what the hubbub is all about. But do they really?
How important is it for the believer to cultivate his or her mind through regular, prayerful study of God’s word? It is supremely important when one is seeking to ward off a deterioration of thought that comes from repeated exposure to the buffeting of the Enemy and the toxic indoctrination of the controlling world mechanisms… MORE
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” — Matthew 5:4
Of all the beatitudes of our Savior, perhaps one of the most accessible pronouncements given to His hearers is on the topic of mourning and our great need of comfort in that low state. Indeed, the death of a loved one is a tragic thing for everyone, and a brutal reminder of man’s fleeting mortality. We are immediately shaken to our core at the loss of dear souls taken from our immediate senses, much more aware at that very moment that “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass,” which withers and falls away (I Peter 1:24). And thus, we all mourn.
But is the object and quality of one’s mourning truly a blessing?
When Jesus warned of false Christs appearing here and there to mislead with great signs and wonders, the general consensus was that we should look out for those individuals throughout the physical world that proclaim themselves to be the true savior of man with all the manifest powers of deity, yet are liars. Such a myopic view, however, forgets to take into account that the appearance of false Christs could also come through the written word of man. Surely if the written word of God testifies of Jesus as the true Christ and Son of God (in fact the Word Himself), then ungodly men might similarly use their creative energies to set down in writ a facsimile of Jesus within the framework of a fantastical story with all the signs and wonders that the human mind can imagine. Indeed such is the case with some of our most beloved fictional literature in Christendom…
Don’t you absolutely hate it when a person lies about you in some way? No doubt over the course of your life you have felt the rising rage and indignation against such vile misrepresentation by another. Lies, even small ones, can be so devastating to your reputation that you become emotionally and physically shaken. In fact, such an assassination of your character is so devious and criminal in nature that you can easily view it as an attack from the very pit of hell and even Satan himself, can you not?
How much more egregious, then, is it when someone spreads falsehoods about God even when He has clearly revealed Himself to the world through inspired Scripture?