Tuesday, March 29, 2011

startled at the rustle of a falling leaf

"...there were some in the past, and today not a few appear, who deny that God exists, yet willy-nilly they from time to time feel an inkling of what they desire not to believe. One reads of no one who burst forth into bolder or more unbridled contempt of deity than Gaius Caligula; yet no one trembled more miserably when any sign of God's wrath manifested itself; thus—albeit unwillingly—he shuddered at the God whom he professedly sought to despise. You may see now and again how this also happens to those like him; how he who is the boldest despiser of God is of all men the most startled at the rustle of a falling leaf [cf. Lev. 26:36]. Whence does this arise but from the vengeance of divine majesty, which strikes their consciences all the more violently the more they try to flee from it? Indeed, they seek out every subterfuge to hide themselves from the Lord's presence, and to efface it again from their minds. But in spite of themselves they are always entrapped. Although it may sometimes seem to vanish for a moment, it returns at once and rushes in with new force. If for these there is any respite from anxiety of conscience, it is not much different from the sleep of drunken or frenzied persons, who do not rest peacefully even while sleeping because they are continually troubled with dire and dreadful dreams. The impious themselves therefore exemplify the fact that some conception of God is ever alive in all men's minds."

-John Calvin in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1

The Holiness of God

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul is 50% off at Monergism books for 48 hours or while supplies last. Limit two per customer. To receive the discount, type "sproul" in the coupon box at check out!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Weed in the Church

New at Polemos
Youth Ministry
Some Good Books

until men recognize...

"...until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by his fatherly care, that he is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond him— they will never yield him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to him."

-John Calvin in the Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Whither? Whither?" Part 2 of 2

The gospel which God has given us is that by which we are enabled to answer the question, "Whither? whither?" for it shows us the way to the kingdom,--a way not far off, but near; a way not inaccessible, but most accessible; a way not costly, but free; a way not for the good, but for the evil; a way not hidden, but plain and clear. "The wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein." He whom the Father has sent to be "the Saviour of the world" says, "I am the way."

The knowledge of that way is everything to us: for he who knows it, knows whither he is going; and he who knows it not, knows not whither he is going. The right and sure answer to the question, "Whither?" depends entirely on our true knowledge of the way. For the world is dark, and can tell us nothing of the way; nor can it in the least enable us to answer the awful question, "Whither am I going, with all these sins of mine, and with a judgment day in prospect, and with the certainty that I must give an account of the deeds done in the body?"

In order, then, to get the answer to the question we must come at once to the "good news,"--the glad tidings which God has sent to us concerning Him who "died for our sins, according to the Scriptures;" "who was buried and rose again." It is the belief of this good news that connects us with Him; and in so doing, enables us to answer the question, "Whither am I going?" For if we are connected with Him, then assuredly we are going where He has gone before us. By the belief of the gospel we are brought into possession of that everlasting life which He has secured for sinners by His death upon the cross, as the propitiation for sin. 

We knew one who, filled with dread of the unknown future, sought for years to get an answer to the question as to his own eternal prospects. He labored, and prayed, and strove, expecting that God would have pity upon his earnest efforts, and give him what he sought. At the end of many long, weary years, he came to see, that what he had been thus laboring to do, in order to win God's favour, another had already done, and done far better than he could ever do. He saw that what he had been laboring for years to persuade God to give him, might have been had, at the very outset, simply by believing the good news that there was no need for all this long waiting, and working, and praying; and that now, at last, by receiving the Divine testimony to the person and work of the only-begotten of the Father, he could count with certainty upon the favor of God to himself, as one who had believed the record which God had given of His son (1 John 5:10-12). Thus believing "he entered into rest,"--the present rest of soul which is the result of a believed gospel, and the earnest of the future rest which remaineth for the people of God.

To say to any sinner that he must answer that momentous question, "Whither?" and yet not to tell him the Divine provision made for his answering it, would be only to mock him. But to call on him for an answer, while making known to him the grace of Christ and the open way to God, is to gladden his soul, by showing how he may at once find the means of answering it, without working, or waiting, or qualifying himself for securing the favor of God.

To the troubled spirit, we hold forth the free and immediate pardon which the gospel places in our hands,--a pardon which no prayers or exertions of ours can make more free, or more near; a pardon flowing directly from the finished propitiation of the cross; a pardon for the ungodly and the unworthy; a pardon which, while it glorifies Him who pardons, brings immediate liberty and deliverance to the pardoned one. "Through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED" (Acts 13:38,39). If justified, then we know our future as well as our present; for "whom He justifies, them He also glorifies" (Rom. 8:30).

"It is all dark," said a dying young man who had trifled with the great question throughout life. "I'm awfully afraid," was the language of another in similar circumstances. "I have provided for everything but death," said an old general, as he was passing away. "No mercy for me," was the death-bed cry of one who in early life had promised well, but had gone utterly back. "I'm dying," said another, "and I don't know where I'm going." Such death-beds are sorrowful indeed. Darkness overshadows them. No ray of hope brightens the gloom.
But he who has accepted the great salvation is lifted above these fears and uncertainties. The light of the cross shines down upon him, and he looks into the vast future without alarm. "I know whom I have believed," he says; "and knowing Him, I know where I am going. I am going to spend an eternity with Him, whom, not having seen, I love. I am going to the city which hath foundations; and though worms may destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." The question "Whither?" has no terrors to him. He knows that all is well. Eternity is to him a word of joy. He has believed; and he is sure that his faith will not be put to shame. The simple word of the Son of God, "He that bellieveth is not condemned," suffices for him to rest upon, in life and in death.

"Whither? Whither?"
(Where are you going?)
Horatius Bonar
(1808-1889)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Whither? Whither?" Part 1 of 2

"Whither? Whither?"
(Where are you going?)
Horatius Bonar
(1808-1889)

IN THE beginning of the last century, an old American Christian died, leaving on his death-bed this message to his son,--"Remember that there is a LONG ETERNITY."

But this was not all. He laid upon his family the dying command, that the same message should be handed down to the next generation, and from that to the next again, as long as any of his posterity remained. The command was obeyed. One generation after another received the solemn message, "Remember there is a LONG ETERNITY." And the words, we are told, bore fruit in the conversion of children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

It is of this long eternity that God so often speaks to us in His book, with the words "everlasting," "without end," "for ever and for ever." It is of this long eternity that each death-bed speaks to us,--each shroud, each coffin, each grave. It is of this long eternity that each closing and opening year speaks to us, pointing forward to the endless years which lie beyond the brief days of time,--brief days which are hurrying us without slackening to the life or to the death which must be the issue of all things on earth. Of that eternity we may say that its years shall be as many as the leaves of the forest, or as the sands of the seashore, or as the drops of the ocean, or as the stars of heaven, or as the blades of grass, or as the sparkles of dew, all multiplied together. And who can reckon up these numbers, or conceive the prodigious sum,--millions upon millions of ages. 

A traveller, some years ago, tells that in the room of a hotel where he lodged there was hung a large printed sheet, with these solemn words--- 

"Know these things, O Man,--A GOD, a Moment, an Eternity." 

Surely it would be our wisdom to think on words like these,--so brief, yet so full of meaning.
Richard Baxter mentions the case of a minister of his day, the whole tone of whose life-preaching was affected by the words which he heard when visiting a dying woman, who "often and vehemently" (he says) "did cry out" on her death-bed, "Oh, call time back again, call time back again!" But the calling of time back again is as hopeless as the shortening of eternity. "This inch of hasty time," as that noble preacher calls it, cannot be lengthened out; and if not improved or redeemed, is lost forever. While God lives, the soul must live; for "in Him we live, and move, and have our being."

Our eternal future is no dream nor fable. It will be as real as our past has been,--nay, more so. Unbelief may try to persuade us that it is a shadow or a fancy. But it is not. It is infinitely and unutterably real; and the ages before us, as they come and go, will bring with them realities in comparison with which all past realities will be as nothing. All things pertaining to us are becoming every day more real; and this increase of reality shall go on through the ages to come.

Whither? whither? This is no idle question; and it is one to which every son of man ought to seek an immediate answer. Man was made that he might look into the long future; and this question is one which he ought to know how to put, and how to answer. If he does not there must be something sadly wrong about him. For God has not denied him the means of replying to it aright. 

Whither? whither? Child of mortality, dost thou not know? Dost thou not care to know? Is it no concern of thine to discover what thy existence is to be, and where thou art to spend eternity? Thy all is wrapped up in it; and dost thou not care?

Whither? whither? Dost thou hate the question? Does it disturb thy repose, and mar thy pleasures? Does it fret thy conscience, and cast a shadow over life? Yet, whether thou hatest or lovest it, thou must one day be brought face to face with it. Thou shall one day put it, and answer it. Perhaps, when thou art putting it and trying to answer it, the Judge may come, and the last trumpet sound. "While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came."

Whither? whither? Ask the falling leaf. It says, "I know not." Ask the restless wind. It says, "I know not." Ask the foam upon the wave. It says, "I know not." But man is none of these. He is bound to look into his prospects, and to ascertain whither he is going. He is not a leaf, or a cloud, or a breeze, not knowing whence they come and whither they go. He knows that there is a future of some kind before him, and into that future he must ere long enter. What is it to be to him? That is the question!

Whither? whither? Go to yon harbor, where some score of vessels are lying, just preparing to start. Go up to the captain and ask, Whither bound? Will he answer, "I know not"? Go to yon railway station and ask the guard of the train just moving off, Whither bound? Will he say, "I know not"? No; these men have more wisdom than to go whither they know not, or to set out on a journey without concerning themselves about its end. Shall the children of time be able to answer such question as to their route and destination, and shall a child of eternity go on in the dark, heedless of the shadows into which he is passing, and resting his immortality upon a mere perchance? 

But can I get an answer to this question here? Can I secure my eternity while here on earth? And can I so know that I have secured it that I shall be able to say, "I am on my way to the kingdom: let this present life be long or short, the eternal life is mine"?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

The General Resurrection Part 2

THE GENERAL RESURRECTION
Samuel Davies (1723-1761)

My brethren, realize the majesty and terror of this universal alarm. When the dead are sleeping in the silent grave; when the living are thoughtless and unapprehensive of the grand event or intent on other pursuits—some of them asleep in the dead of night, some of them dissolved in sensual pleasures: eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, some of them planning or executing schemes for riches or honors, some in the very act of sin—the generality stupid and careless about the concerns of eternity and the dreadful Day just at hand, and a few here and there conversing with their God and "looking for the glorious appearance of their Lord and Saviour" (Ti 2:14); when the course of nature runs on uniform and regular as usual and infidel scoffers are taking umbrage from thence to ask, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2Pe 3:4)—in short, when there are no more visible appearances of this approaching Day than of the destruction of Sodom on that fine clear morning in which Lot fled away, or of the deluge, when Noah entered into the ark—then in that hour of unapprehensive security, then suddenly shall the heavens open over the astonished world; then shall the all alarming clangor break over their heads like a clap of thunder in a clear sky! Immediately the living turn their gazing eyes upon the amazing phenomenon: a few hear the long-expected sound with rapture and lift up their heads with joy, assured that the day of their redemption is come, while the thoughtless world is struck with the wild est horror and consternation.

In the same instant, the sound reaches all the mansions of the dead. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, they are raised and the living are changed! This call will be as animating to all the sons of men as that call to a single person, "Lazarus, come forth" (John 11:43). Oh, what a surprise will this be to a thoughtless world! Should this alarm burst over our heads this moment, into what a terror would it strike many!...Such will be the terror, such the consternation, when it actually comes to pass. Sinners will be the same timorous, self-condemned creatures then as they are now. Then, they who are deaf to all the gentler calls of the Gospel now will not be able to stop their ears. Then, the trump of God will constrain the—to whom the ministers of Christ now preach in vain—to hear and fear. Then they must all hear, for

MY TEXT TELLS YOU: ALL THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES, ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION, SHALL HEAR HIS VOICE. Now the voice of mercy calls, reason pleads, conscience warns—but multitudes will not hear. But this is a voice that shall, that must reach every one of the millions of mankind, and not one of them will be able to stop his ears. Infants and giants, kings and subjects, all ranks, all ages of mankind shall hear the call. The living shall start and be changed, and the dead rise at the sound! The dust that was once alive and formed a human body, whether it flies in the air, floats in [the] ocean, or vegetates on earth, shall hear the new-creating fiat. Wherever the fragments of the hu man frame are scattered, this all-penetrating call shall reach and speak them into life. We may consider this voice as a summons, not only to dead bodies to rise, but to the souls that once animated them to appear and be reunited to them, whether in heaven or hell. To the grave, the call will be, "Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment!" To heaven, "Ye spirits of just men made perfect, descend to the world whence you originally came, and assume your new-formed bodies!" To hell, "Come forth and appear, ye damned ghosts, ye prisoners of darkness, and be again united to the bodies in which you once sinned, that in them ye may now suffer!" Thus will this summons spread through every corner of the universe. Heaven, earth, hell, and all their inhabitants shall hear and obey. Devils, as well as sinners of our race, will tremble at the sound: for now they know they can plead no more as they once did, "Torment us not before the time" (cf. Mat 8:29). For the time is come, and they must mingle with the prisoners at the bar.

Centrality of the Home in the Evangelism and Discipleship

"If you can't say "Amen", you oughtta say ouch!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Twelve Essential Works of A.W. Pink

Twelve Essential Works of A.W. Pink (ePub)
A.W. Pink $9.95

Publisher: Monergism Books
Format: ePub
File Size:  Multiple Files
Availability: Instant Download.

These eBooks come complete with a linked Table of Contents making navigation quicker and easier. All 12 of the following full-length books for one low price.
  1. Comfort for Christians
  2. The Doctrine of Man's Impotence
  3. Eternal Security
  4. Gleanings in the Godhead (including the Attributes of God)
  5. The Doctrine of Justification
  6. The Doctrine of Sanctification
  7. Regeneration Or the New Birth
  8. The Satisfaction in Christ: Studies in the Atonement
  9. The Sovereignty of God
  10. The Doctrine of Election
  11. The Total Depravity of Man
  12. Why Four Gospels?

The General Resurrection: Part 1

THE GENERAL RESURRECTION
Samuel Davies (1723-1761)

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil,unto the resurrection of damnation."—John 5:28-29

EVER since sin entered into the world and death by sin, this earth has been a vast graveyard or burying place for her child ren. In every age and in every country, that sentence has been executing, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Gen 3:19). The earth has been arched with graves, the last lodgings of mortals, and the bottom of the ocean paved with the bones of men. Human nature was at first confined to one pair, but how soon and how wide did it spread! How inconceivably numerous are the sons of Adam! How many different nations on our globe contain many mil lions of men even in one generation! And how many generations have succeeded one another in the long run of nearly six thousand years!

LET IMAGINATION CALL UP THIS VAST ARMY: Children that just light upon our globe and then wing their flight into an unknown world; the gray-headed that have had a long journey through life; the blooming youth and the middle-aged—let them pass in review before us from all countries and from all ages. How vast and astonishing the multitude! If the posterity of one man (Abraham) by one son was, according to the divine promise, as the stars of heaven or as the sand by the seashore innumerable, what numbers can compute the multi tudes that have sprung from all the patriarchs, the sons of Adam and Noah? But what is become of them all? Alas! They are turned into earth, their original element. They are all imprisoned in the grave, except the present generation, and we are dropping one after another in quick succession into that place appointed for all living. There has not been perhaps a moment of time for five thousand years, but what someone or other has sunk into the mansions of the dead. In some fatal hours, by the sword of war or the devouring jaws of earthquakes, thousands have been cut off, swept away at once, and left in one huge promiscuous carnage.

The greatest number of mankind beyond comparison is sleeping under ground. There lies beauty moldering into dust, rotting into stench and loathsomeness, and feeding the vil est worms. There lies the head that once wore a crown, as low and contemptible as the meanest beggar. There lie the mighty giants, the heroes and conquerors, the Samsons, the Ajaxes, the Alexanders, and the Caesars of the world! There they lie—stupid, senseless, inactive, and unable to drive off the worms that riot on their marrow and make their houses in those sockets where the eyes sparkled with living lus ter. There lie the wise and the learned, as rotten, as helpless as the fool does. There lie some that we once conversed with, some that were our friends, our companions. There lie our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters.

And shall they lie there always? Shall this body, this curious workmanship of heaven so wonderfully and fearfully made, always lie in ruins and never be repaired? Shall the wide-extended valleys of dry bones never more live? This we know, that it is not a thing impossible with God to raise the dead (Act 26:8). He that could first form our bo dies out of nothing is certainly able to form them anew and repair the wastes of time and death. But what is His declared will in this case? On this the matter turns, and this is fully revealed in my text. "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves," all that are dead, without exception, "shall hear his voice, And shall come forth" (Joh 5:28-29). And for what end shall they come forth? Oh! For very different purposes: some to the resurrection of life and some to the resurrection of damnation..."All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resur rection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

THEY THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES SHALL HEAR HIS VOICE. The voice of the Son of God here probably means the sound of the archangel's trumpet, which is called His "voice" because [it is] sounded by His orders and attended with His all-quickening power. This all-wakening call to the tenants of the grave we frequently find foretold in Scripture. I shall refer you to two plain passages. "Behold," says St. Paul, "I show you a mystery," an important and astonishing secret, "we shall not all sleep" (1 Co 15:51); that is, mankind will not all be sleeping in death when that Day comes. There will be a generation then alive upon the earth. Though they cannot have a proper resurrection, yet they shall pass through a change equivalent to it. "We shall all be changed," says he, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound" (ICo 15:52). It shall give the alarm! No sooner is the awful clangor heard than all the living shall be transformed into immortals, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. We, who are then alive, shall be changed (1 Co 15:52). This is all the difference: they shall be raised, and we shall be changed. This awful prelude of the trumpet is also mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16: "We which are alive and remain unto the com ing of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep," that is, we shall not be beforehand with them in meeting our descending Lord. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God," that is, with a godlike trump, such as it becomes His majesty to sound. The dead in Christ shall rise first, that is, before the living shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. When they are risen and the living transformed, they shall ascend together to the place of judgment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A.W. Pink ebooks at Polemos

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

democracy never lasts long

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

-John Adams 2nd President of the United States

Homosexuality; an Expression of God’s Wrath

Romans 1:18 tells us that “…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.” In other words, God is angry with us and we can see His wrath all around us. It is revealed, or manifested to us, from heaven. We can all see it; it is obvious and clearly seen.

But why would God be angry with us? He tells us why in verses 18-23. God is angry with the human race because we all know, deep down in our hearts, that He exists and that we ought to worship, honor and obey Him, but we suppress this truth and refuse to honor Him, glorify Him or even thank Him for His goodness to us. This is mutiny of the grossest kind! We try to banish the Creator from His creation by removing Him from our thoughts to the end that we might govern our own lives and enjoy a sinful indulgence in the things that He has made. We worship the creation and forget the Creator. We’ve tried to throw Him from the ship so that we can enjoy our every perversion without worrying about Him intervening in judgment.

So we see that God is angry and why He is angry in Romans 1:18-23, but how is His anger seen? The answer is found immediately following in verses 24, 26 and 28.

Verse 24; “Therefore” (because of our sin) “God gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.”

Verse 26, 27; “For this reason" (because of our sin) "God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

And verse 28; “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting….”

How is God’s wrath revealed to the human race? It’s revealed in the fact that He has given us over to uncleanness, vile passions and a debased mind. And what is the outcome of all this? Verse 29-32; we became “filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving unmerciful…” even though we know “…the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death” we “ not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

One of the many expressions of God’s wrath that is “clearly seen” is homosexuality. The proliferation of sexual sin, clearly including homosexuality, is itself an expression of the wrath of God!

People will commonly debate whether or not Aids is an expression of the wrath of God on homosexuality but the Bible goes a step further and says that homosexuality is an expression of the wrath of God on mankind. We wanted to get rid of the true God so we could enjoy the pleasures of sin, so God gave us over to sins power and the inability to control our lusts. This is part of the curse of God on the fallen human race.

Have you ever felt enslaved to your lusts? Like you just couldn’t stop? Like you were born that way? Like it’s part of your genetic makeup? That, my friend, is the wrath of God at work. Freedom from God always means enslavement to sin. We’ve asked for it and He has given us what we wanted.

Why would God do such a thing? One of many reasons is that we might feel our helplessness and seek His face. The expression “gave them over” is used in other parts of Scripture to speak of a prisoner who has been handed over to the jailer or executioner. We wanted to wallow in our sin so God gave us up to its power and sway. He chained us to our lusts that we might have our fill of it, loath its tyranny, and seek freedom from it. This is the freedom that He offers to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ; freedom from the dominion of sin and freedom to love and obey Him.

So are homosexuals a lost cause because their lifestyle itself is an expression of the wrath of God? Not at all! All of us were born into the same situation; “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:3) We were all born into the wrath and curse of God and our greatest need is deliverance from our natural condition.

Whether a homosexual sinner or heterosexual sinner, the answer to our dilemma is exactly the same; repent of our sinful rebellion and trust wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ as the God-man who alone is able and willing to save His enemies.

By our first birth we were born with a sinful nature that loves sin and hates the true and living God. We need to be born again, this time partaking of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) which longs to forsake sin and keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-6; 3:6-10).

God’s wrath is also clearly seen somewhere else; in the cross of Jesus Christ. On the cross, Jesus Christ stood in the stead of His people and took the guilt of their sins upon Himself while God poured out the full, undiluted fury of His wrath upon Him. Think of that! Jesus Christ, the second person of the trinity, the very God that we have dishonored and offended, the one in whose face we spit and the one whom we nailed to the cross, did all of that knowingly and voluntarily that He might save some of those who hated Him and reconcile them to God the Father.

Jesus Christ is the only sure shelter from the just wrath of God; flee to Him, take shelter in Him and be reconciled to the God who created you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Flood

An awesome message on the flood by Voddie Baucham! You'll be glad you took the time to listen to this one:

Biblical Law, Property Tax and Eminent Domain

An interesting snippet from R.J. Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law on the subject property ownership as it relates to the 8th Commandment:

"The absence of any land and property tax in Biblical law very definitely protects enduring ownership, whereas modern tax laws destroy ownership. To cite an example, in one city, a lovely area of very superior homes, from ten to twenty rooms, some of stone construction, became, in about 25 years, so heavily taxed, that the homes either had to be torn down to make way for apartments, or sold for use as dormitories. The ownership of these homes was made prohibitive to impossible by means of taxes.

In another area, taxes led to the deterioration of the area, as people moved out and homes were made into multiple dwellings. Taxes then went down, and others moved in, so that a 90 percent change in population occurred in less than ten years. People who had built there, expecting to remain for life, lost heavily. Taxation of property is a means of destroying property and is a form of robbery.

Taxation makes for the speculative use of land, and it destroys the stability of communities. There is a marked hostility today to the development and preservation of communities by religious and ethnic groups, and such hostility leads to the destruction of property. The destruction of the Boston West End Italian community by urban re development and "slum clearance" has been ably described by H. J. Gans. A family centered society, extensively policing and disciplining itself, was broken up by a "slum clearance" project, because the area was coveted by planners. Both the taxing power, and the eminent domain exercised, are anti-Biblical.

Eminent domain is a divine right. It belongs to God alone. The "right" of the state to eminent domain has no place in Biblical law. The state has a duty to protect man and his property, but not to tax or to confiscate it.

To summarize the Biblical tax laws in relationship to the ownership of land, the basic tax was the poll or head tax (Ex. 30:11-16), which had to be the same for all men. It was paid by men only, all men of age twenty and over. This tax was collected by the civil authority for the maintenance of the civil order, to provide all men with a covering or atonement of civil justice…..

There was thus no land tax or property tax. Since "the earth is the LORD'S and the fullness thereof" (Ex. 9:29, etc.), a land tax usurps God's rights and is unlawful. The purpose of Biblical law with reference to land is to ensure the security of man in his property; a property tax of any kind is a denial of this God-ordained security."

60410: Institutes of Biblical Law Institutes of Biblical Law
By Rousas J. Rushdoony / P & R Publishing

Friday, March 11, 2011

Freedom must be under law

"Whenever freedom is made into the absolute, the result is not freedom but anarchism. Freedom must be under law, or it is not freedom. The removal of all law does not produce freedom but rather anarchy and a murderer's paradise. The Marquis de Sade demanded such a world; the liberty he required made a potential victim of all godly men and assured only the freedom for murder, robbery, and sexual violence. Only a law-order which holds to the primacy of God's law can bring forth true freedom, freedom for justice, truth, and godly life.

Freedom as an absolute is simply an assertion of man's "right" to be his own god; this means a radical denial of God's law-order. "Free­dom" thus is another name for the claim by man to divinity and autonomy. It means that man becomes his own absolute. The word "freedom" is thus a pretext used by humanists of every variety— Marxist, Fabian, existentialist, pragmatist, and all others—to disguise man's claim to be his own absolute.

Freedom, in itself means freedom for something in particular. If all men are "free" to murder, then there is no freedom for godly living; no peace or order is then possible. Men are then no longer free to walk tie streets in safety. If men are "free" to steal without penalty, then there is no freedom for private ownership of properly. If men lave unrestricted free speech and free press, then there is no freedom for truth, in that no standard is permitted whereby the promulgation or pub­lication, of a lie can be judged and punished. False witness is then, favored and the importance of truth is denied. The commandment of James was this: "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:12). There is a law of liberty; without law, there is no liberty."

-R.J. Rushdoony in Institutes of Biblical Law

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sin of Sodom On Display in America

New at Polemos
Homosexuality 
Sexual Sin 
Audio Links


And by the way, congratulations to Dr. Voddie Baucham for winning the "Bigot of the Day" award from dallasvoice.com; a LGBT website in the great state of Texas. What an honor! God bless him for being faithful to the truth when so many other evangelical leaders are running away from the subject of homosexuality like little girls.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Work of the Law in Spurgeon’s Conversion: The Sword of Fire

"Then I remembered that, even if I kept the law perfectly, and kept it for ten, twenty, or thirty years, without a fault, yet if, at the end of that time, I should break it, I must suffer its dread penalty. Those words spoken by the Lord to the prophet Ezekiel came to my mind: "If he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it." So I saw that I was, indeed, "kept under the law, shut up." I had hoped to escape this way, or that way, or some other way. Was I not "christened" when I was a child? Had I not been taken to a place of worship? Had I not been brought up to say my prayers regularly? Had I not been an honest, upright, moral youth? Was all this nothing? "Nothing," said the law, as it drew its sword of fire: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." So there was no rest for my spirit, nay, not even for a moment. What was I to do? I was in the hands of one who showed no mercy what­ever, for Moses never said, "Mercy." The law has nothing to do with mercy. That comes from another mouth, and under another dispensa­tion. But before faith came, I was "kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed."

From Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years 1834-1860 Volume 1 By Charles Spurgeon / Banner Of Truth

Monday, March 7, 2011

John Owen ebooks at Polemos

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jurisdictions of the Family & Local Church

I know what you're thinking, "Whats wrong with you family integrated people? With all the problems in our world, why would you pick on youth ministry? How can you blame all of our problems on Sunday schools and youth groups? They're just teaching the Bible for crying out loud!  Don't you trust your elders? Are you scared to let some old grandma teach your children for one hour a week? You have issues! Are you the spawn of Satan or what?"

I guess I can understand such a reaction, but at least hear out the arguments and compare them to Scripture before condemning a differing view point out of hand. Refusing to cross-examine our own points of view isn't so Biblical either (Proverbs 18: 17).

I would like to clarify that I, and many other "family integrated people", do not believe that Sunday school and youth groups are the cause of all of our problems. Many of us do not believe that modern youth ministry methodologies are the cause of our problems but rather that they are more of a symptom of far deeper issues. Perhaps the greatest cause of our problems, after the obvious first cause of our fallen depraved nature, is that we have departed from the Law/Word of God and that we no longer think that Scripture is sufficient to direct us in every area and aspect of life.

Our social problems, our family problems, our governmental problems, our financial problems and all our other problems stem from this same root. UnBiblical youth ministry methodologies, as an almost omnipresent symptom of this deeper problem, is just one of many ways to focus attention on the greater problem. Swinging the axe at this idol tends to stir up controversy, controversy leads to discussion and argument, discussion and argument provokes thought, thought coupled with the Spirit fueled desire to know and practice the truth leads to reformation and Biblical reformation glorifies God and brings his blessings. "Iron sharpens Iron" (Proverbs 27: 17) and it rarely happens without a few sparks, right? Carried out in a Christ like manner, controversy is very Biblical, good and necessary in a fallen world.

In this message Pastor Einwechter takes us to the Biblical starting point. If we're going to understand any of these problems and work towards Biblical solutions we have to understand jurisdiction; who God has made responsible for doing what. In some ways this is probably one of the primary and most fundamental of our problems as many of us have never even considered asking "Who has God put in charge of this or that area of life and what are the Biblical bounds of their authority?" A problem will hardly be fixed properly until the authorities that God has equipped to take care of it start applying the proper solutions.

This is one of those messages you might want to listen to several times just to let it all soak in a little:

State Controlled Education

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Work of the Law in Spurgeon’s Conversion: The Law's Iron Cage

“The law seemed also to blight all my hopes with its stern sentence, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Only too well did I know that I had not continued in all those things, so I saw myself accursed, turn which way I might. If I had not committed one sin, that made no difference if I had committed another; I was under the curse. What if I had never blasphemed God with my tongue? Yet, if I had coveted, I had broken the law. He who breaks a chain might say, 'I did not break that link, and the other link." No, but if you break one link, you have broken the chain. Ah, me, how I seemed shut up then! I had offended against the justice of God; I was impure and polluted, and I used to say, "If God does not send me to hell, He ought to do it." I sat in judgment upon myself, and pronounced the sentence that I felt would be just. I could not have gone to Heaven with my sin unpardoned, even if I had had the offer to do it, for I knew that it would not be right that I should do so, and I justified God in my own conscience while I condemned myself. The law would not even let me despair. If I thought I would give up all desire to do right, and just go and drown my conscience in sin, the law said, "No, you cannot do that; there is no rest for you in sinning. You know the law too well to be able to sin in the blindness of a seared conscience." So the law worried and troubled me at all points; it shut me up as in an iron cage, and every way of escape was effectually blocked up.”

From
Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years 1834-1860 Volume 1 By Charles Spurgeon / Banner Of Truth

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Work of the Law in Spurgeon’s Conversion: In the Dungeons of the Law

“Then there came into my startled conscience the remembrance of the universality of law. I thought of what was said of the old Roman empire that, under the rule of Caesar, if a man once broke the law of Rome, the whole world was one vast prison to him, for he could not get out of the reach of the imperial power. So did it come to be in my aroused conscience. Wherever I went, the law had a demand upon my thoughts, upon my words, upon my rising, upon my resting. What I did, and what I did not do, all came under the cognizance of the law; and then I found that this law so surrounded me that I was always running against it, I was always breaking it. I seemed as if I was a sinner, and nothing else but a sinner. If I opened my mouth, I spoke amiss. If I sat still, there was sin in my silence. I remember that when the Spirit of God was thus dealing with me, I used to feel myself to be a sinner even when I was in the house of God. I thought that when I sang, I was mocking the Lord with a solemn sound upon a false tongue; and if I prayed, I feared that I was sinning in my prayers, insulting Him by uttering confessions which I did not feel, and asking for mercies with a faith that was not true at all, but only another form of unbelief. At the very mention of that word con­viction, I seem to hear my chains rattling anew. Was there ever a bond-slave who had more bitterness of soul than I, five years a captive in the dungeons of the law, till my youth seemed as if it would turn into premature old age, and all the buoyancy of my spirit had vanished? O God of the spirits of all men, most of all ought I to hate sin, for surely most of all have I smarted beneath the lash of Thy law!”

From:Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years 1834-1860 Volume 1 By Charles Spurgeon / Banner Of Truth

All my sins were dead

"Before I thought upon my soul's salvation, I dreamed that my sins were very few. All my sins were dead, as I imagined, and buried in the graveyard of forgetfulness. But that trumpet of conviction, which aroused my soul to think of eternal things, sounded a resurrection-note to all my sins; and, oh, how they rose up in multitudes more countless than the sands of the sea! Now, I saw that my very thoughts were enough to damn me, that my words would sink me lower than the lowest hell, and as for my acts of sin, they now began to be a stench in my nostrils so that I could not bear them. I thought I had rather have been a frog or a toad than have been made a man. I reckoned that the most defiled creature, the most loathsome and contemptible, was a better thing than myself, for I had so grossly and grievously sinned against Almighty God."

Charles Spurgeon from Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years 1834-1860 Volume 1

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Useless Religion (Part 2 of 2)

Others have said, “But they are only words, words that men have made up, words are not sinful”. But what did Jesus say? “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36, 37)

Could it be said any clearer? Many will be damned forever based upon the words they used! Will you glibly contradict such a clear statement of scripture and say “they are only words, no big deal”?

So why are words so important? Why would we be justified (declared guiltless) or condemned (declared guilty) by mere words? The answer lies in Matthew 12:34 were it says, “....out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. The real problem is the heart! Wicked words spew out of a wicked heart. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All of these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23)

“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can understand it?”(Jeremiah 17:9). Has your heart told you that your “religion” is good and useful, even though you cannot “bridle” your tongue? Then do not listen to it “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool....” (Proverbs 28:26) 

You are in desperate need of a new heart and only the Lord can create such a thing. “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7) “....And I will put a new spirit within them, and take away the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)

You must have a new heart! Your old heart of stone must be removed and you must be born again (John 3:1-8), this time with a heart of flesh.  Only Almighty God could perform such a surgery.  Cry out to Him, call upon His name! Repent of the wickedness of your heart, repent of trusting in lies, repent of blaspheming God with your mouth, repent of not using it for its created purpose and turn to Jesus Christ as the only one able to save you from your sins. Turn to Jesus Christ for there is no “salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

Psalm 50 tells us about a mistake of long ago that many in our own day continue to make.  It speaks of people who claim to be God’s children (they take God’s covenant in their mouths verse 16) but at the same time they live in disobedience to Him, love sin and misuse their mouths (verses 17-20).  And because God keeps silent and graciously does not judge them immediately they mistakenly think that God is just like them and winks at their sin (verse 21).

Dear reader, please do not make this same grave mistake; God threatens terrible things against such people (verse 22)! Do not think that God accepts you and your foul mouth simply because your conscience does not bother you.  You cannot willfully break God’s law with your mouth and expect to escape God’s punishment of lawbreakers!  Your mouth is filthy because your heart is yet filthy, they both need to cleansed from sin and only Jesus Christ can clean them.  He alone can wash you from your sins, “in His own blood.” (Revelation 1:5) He alone can give you the new heart that will change the very words of your mouth.  And He alone can make you into a new creation with a new mouth. (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

JKB
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands you sinners
and purify your hearts, you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep!

Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:8-10

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grab the Weed and Start Pullin

New at Polemos
Sunday School/ Youth Groups
Audio Links

Are your youth ministry methodologies denying the sufficiency of Scripture? Perhaps the question has never even crossed your mind before, if not, here's the chance to give the subject some thought as you listen to Scott Brown of NCFIC talk about youth ministry methodology and the sufficiency of Scripture in the following message: Scripture is Sufficient for Ministry to Youth


More ebooks at Polemos