Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Knowing God

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." 2 Peter 1:2-3
How does this passage say that grace and peace will be multiplied to us? "In the knowledge of God." How does this passage say that we are granted everything pertaining to life and godliness? "Through the knowledge of Him." Everything you need to be godly, to live a godly life, God gave you by His divine power. How? "Through the knowledge of Him." The main thing you need in order to be godly is to know God. You do not need different circumstances in your life in order to grow in godliness. You do not need new family or new friends or new people in your life in order to grow in godliness. You do not need new roommates in order to grow in godliness. You do not need a new personality in order to grow in godliness. What you need is to know God.

How do you get more grace and more peace? How do you live a godly life? You do so by knowing God. The reason people do not live godly lives is because they do not know God. When someone comes to know God, you will always get a godly life—because knowing God changes you. True, genuine, born again Christians have everything they need for life and godliness because they know God. He has lit up our hearts, given us a heart of flesh, regenerated us, made us spiritually alive, given us the new birth, and now we see Him as beautiful. He is our all in all. Nothing is more precious to us than Jesus. Before you are born again, you cannot even see the kingdom of God. Once you are born again, the very things that look foolish to the world—the cross, a dying Saviour—all of a sudden become the most attractive things to you in the world.

If you do not live a godly life, if your life looks no different now than it did before you were "saved," the reason is because you do not know God. Chances are that you are a false convert, have never been saved, are still dead in your trespasses and sins, and will spend eternity in Hell. Paul tells us to examine ourselves; test ourselves to see if we are indeed in the faith. If you are indeed outside the fold, all is not lost. If you truly desire to be saved, then seek God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Earnestly pray to Him and ask His forgiveness and salvation. Do not cease until He has given you an answer. Better to be sure you know Him than to find out you never knew Him and have Him declare, "Depart from me...I never knew you."
"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8
The true knowledge of God renders you neither useless nor fruitless, but ensures you are growing in these qualities. If these qualities are not yours and are not increasing, be assured that you do not know God.
"They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him." Titus 1:16

"For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Almost Christian

by Matthew Mead, taken from "The Almost Christian Discovered; or, The False Professor Tried!" 1661

"You almost persuade me to become a Christian!" Acts 26:28

How far a man may go in the way to heavenand yet be but almost a Christian? This shown in twenty various steps:
  1. A man may have much knowledge—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  2. A man may have great and eminent spiritual gifts—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  3. A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godlinessand yet be but almost a Christian.
  4. A man may go far in opposing his sin—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  5. A man may hate sin—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  6. A man may make great vows and promises, strong purposes and resolutions against sin—and yet be but an almost Christian.
  7. A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  8. A man may be a member of a Christian church—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  9. A man may have great hopes of Heaven—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  10. A man may be under visible changes—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  11. A man may be very zealous in matters of religion—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  12. A man may be much in prayer—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  13. A man may suffer for Christ—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  14. A man may be called by God and embrace his calland yet be but an almost Christian.
  15. A man may have the Spirit of God—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  16. A man may have faith—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  17. A man may have a love to the people of God—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  18. A man may obey the commands of God—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  19. A man may be sanctified—and yet be but almost a Christian.
  20. A man may do all the external duties and worship which a true Christian canand yet be but almost a Christian.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Salesmanship Christianity

This is the form of Christianity that exists within the majority of North American churches. Many individuals have been sold a Jesus and Christianity, or a concept of Jesus and Christianity, that is unbiblical and untrue. The "Your Best Life Now" movement is rooted in salesmanship Christianity, turning Jesus into some commodity only as a means of making your life better. Anyone who has ever read the New Testament will know that this is not the Jesus or the Christianity presented in the Bible. This is what North American Christianity has come down to. It is no longer a matter of preaching the Law and the Gospel in order to convict sinners of their sinful ways and their need for a Saviour through repentance and faith; it has come down to selling people a Jesus or Christianity not found in the Scriptures in order to make false claims as to the number of people saved by these evangelists or organizations.

Altar calls, asking Jesus into your heart, making a "decision" for Christ, praying the "Sinner's Prayer," walking an aisle, signing a card, etc., etc., etc.; these are all methods of salesmanship Christianity, Pope-ishly declaring individuals as having been saved of whom the Lord Jesus has not saved or has not yet saved. We cannot tell someone they are now a Christian just because they did something. That is leading them into a life of self-righteousness. Yes, sometimes an individual is saved in spite of these methods, but none of these methods is what we find presented in God's Word.

The message of the cross is foolishness. God has chosen this method as His means of saving sinners. When professing Christians alter this method in favour of their own corrupt method, thinking it better, they are themselves confessing that they find God's method to be foolishness. They think themselves wiser than God. All we are to do is faithfully preach the Law and the Gospel, commanding sinners to repent and believe, and leave the rest up to God. God knows those He will save; we do not. When we try to force a conversion, thinking it is up to us to convert a soul, we are creating false converts and damning them to hell because of our own ignorance and stupidity.

Stop trying to sell Jesus and Christianity to those who are perishing! Preach the Law and the Gospel, precisely as Jesus and the Apostles did (e.g., Matt. 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-34), commanding sinners to repent and believe, and leave the salvation of sinners in the capable hands of Almighty God. The salvation of a soul is not left to us. This is God's realm. You and I can preach to every individual on this planet until we are blue in the face and we will never convert a single soul. God is in control of the conversion of lost souls. Let us not try to fill God's shoes by placing ourselves in His position. Let us stick to what He has called us to do, preaching the foolish message of the cross, whether we understand God's method or not.

Who convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment? The Holy Spirit! Not us, and certainly not our rhetoric. We are simply to answer them with the truth and leave the rest to God. Most people, including many professing Christians, will readily admit they are sinners, but have no clue why they are a sinner or what makes them a sinner because the Law has never been preached to them. Their idea of a testimony and being a sinner is doing something extreme like being a drunkard, a drug addict, a prostitute, or something like that. Even if you have never done any of those types of extreme things, God has still saved you from something. Examine the Ten Commandments and I guarantee that you, like myself, have broken all of them. You may not have physically murdered someone (I have not), but what did Jesus say? If you hate someone, you are guilty of murder. Why? Because it comes from the same source. If you look at a man or woman with lust, you are already guilty of committing adultery because it comes from the same source. When you preach the Law, people understand why they are sinners and what makes them sinners. Then, and only then, can you preach the Gospel. It makes no sense to offer someone a cure to a disease they are not convinced that they have.

Jesus is not a commodity. Anyone who has "accepted" Jesus or "made a decision" for Jesus based on some salesmanship-type pitch is destined to an eternity in Hell, and the person who sold them this pitch is guilty for it and has their blood on his/her hands. Jesus showed us how to do it and told us how to do it. But certain professing Christians think Jesus' method is foolish, and so they try to come up with their own, thinking themselves wiser than God. Preach the Law and the Gospel and leave the conversion of lost souls to the Holy Spirit, Who convicts men and women of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


by Fredrick Marsh

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the worldthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and doescomes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17
  1. Worldliness is evil in its nature. Galatians 1:4
  2. Worldliness is downward in its tendency. Ephesians 2:1-4
  3. Worldliness is contaminating in its influence. James 1:27
  4. Worldliness is antagonistic to God. James 4:4
  5. Worldliness is corrupting in its association. 2 Peter 4:1; 2 Peter 2:20
  6. Worldliness is unsatisfying in its pleasures. 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17
  7. Worldliness is hateful in its opposition. 1 John 3:13
Separation from the world is the Lord's clear and definite direction. To be specific in our desires and efforts to be separate from the worldthe following rules should be followed:
  1. Go to no place where the Lord would not take you.
  2. Be found in no company that is not helpful to your Christian life.
  3. Be no party to any transaction upon which you cannot seek your Lord's approval.
  4. Listen to no voice which would lead you away from the truth of God's Word.
  5. Allow no pleasure to interfere with your attendance at the means of Grace.
  6. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God! 
Strive to do the will of God, as found in His Wordnothing less, nothing more, nothing else!