Quotes (3)

A Christian not yielded to the Spirit does not manifest the Christ-life. The Spirit of God has to permeate a life if that life is to radiate Him. We cannot do anything apart from being filled with the Spirit.

I have a glove. If I say to the glove, “Play the piano”, what does the glove do? Nothing. The glove cannot play the piano. But if I put my hand in the glove and play the piano, what happens? Music! If I put my hand in a glove, and glove moves. The glove does not get pious and say, “Oh hand, show me the way to go.” It does not say anything; it just goes. Spirit-filled people do not stumble and mumble around trying to find out what God wants. They just go!

– John MacArthur

To My Muslim Friends

My Muslim friends, you’ve been deceived;

The “People of the Book” are not your enemies,

You see, the Creator of all, the One True God

He stepped into time, He trod earth’s sod.

Muhammed, a prophet he claimed to be,

But he never made wine from water, now did he?

Before Whom did demons, disease, nature, and death all bow the knee?

You know, as I know, it is He.

He fed the multitudes,

and not just with earthly foods.

He restores sight to the blind, and cures the deaf,

He calms the storm, and raises the dead.

He died, crucified, for the joy set before Him,

Laid down His life that He might take it up again.

By creed and deed He meets every need,

There was never one like Him, nor will there ever be.

The life I now live, is because He lives inside of me.

Born of a virgin, preached by Spurgeon,

The greatest physician, the ultimate heart surgeon,

Born in Bethlehem, betrayed by friends,

The Shepherd of sheep, with nail pierced feet;

Bore the wrath of God, the winepress He trod;

He came to His own,

suffered and died alone,

for their sin to atone.

Haven’t you heard, “In the beginning was the Word”?

“And the Word became flesh”, isn’t that fresh?

You should know, that though, since the time is far spent,

The hour is coming, when He comes as He went;

On the clouds of heaven with great power and glory;

And if you’re on the wrong side, well it’s going to get gory;

For in flaming fire He’ll take His vengeance, and His fire? Well, you can’t quench it.

Whether in the field, or in the bed, He comes to judge the quick and the dead.

His judgment is final, His mercy is sure, and so is His justice, in righteousness pure.

Don’t waste any more time beliving the lie, that you can be good enough – that’s pie in the sky.

Islam talks a lot about submission, let me give you some advice; now sit up now listen.

When you follow rules to earn a wage that way, my friend trust me, you don’t want that pay!

Instead you need mercy, the offer grace, which cannot be earned anytime, anyplace.

Turn now to Christ, the Savior of men;

What do you bring Him? Only your sin.

Morning and Evening

spurgeon!

As part of my daily devotional time each day I read excerpts from C.H. Spurgeon’s excellent little tome entitled “Morning and Evening”, and I found today’s portions to be particularly applicable to the uncertain times in which we live, especially as the faith of so many in their temporal “security” so-called, be it financial, physical, or otherwise, is being shaken to and fro by God.

I earnestly pray that it may be by God Almighty’s holy hand of providence that many deceived souls who are presently caught in the demonic web of the false health,wealth, and prosperity man-made systems of self-esteem, self-help, and “Your Best Life Now” might have their eyes opened to the truth, and that we might rejoice to see a great host of those spiritual mega-brothels which masquerade as churches utterly collapse under the weight of their own sins and trespasses; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the sinful pride of life. If the Lord were ever pleased to hear an imprecatory prayer then I for one am fully persuaded that His true children ought to be praying down holy wrath upon these prophets of Baal and the evil that energizes and speaks through them; the powers, principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ.

I further pray that Spurgeon’s ever-timely insights from Holy Scripture will speak to the gentle reader’s heart today, as they spoke to mine.

MORNING MARCH 10

“In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved” – Psalm 30:6

Moab is settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel. Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly; let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy – and the natural consequence of such an easy stat to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, “I shall never be moved;” and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand”; and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

“Afflictions, though they seem severe, In mercy oft are sent.”

EVENING MARCH 10

“Man…is of few days, and full of trouble” – Psalm 30:6

It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning’s portion. “My mountains standeth firm: I shall never be moved.” It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden. Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of the earth are marked for the woodman’s axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender’s hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not recon upon blooming forever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Man’s life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth; but seek those things which are above, for herethe moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!

An Uncomfortable Christmas Card for Unbelievers Comfortable at Christmas

HT: Reformation Theology
by: Rev. Charles R. Biggs

Each year at this time, I think about how I would like to remind my unbelieving friends and loved ones of the glorious gospel and hope found in Jesus Christ. Seasons like Christmas give us another great opportunity to make the good news of Jesus known to the whole world, and especially to those closest to us.

Sadly however, when Christmas comes and we gather with our unbelieving friends and family, we Christians look into the eyes of our unbelieving friends and family members excitedly telling them of how God has greatly blessed us, and what the true meaning of Christmas is about, only for these glad tidings to be received at best as a nice sentiment that spiritually falls flat in their response to us, or at worst it is received as divisive and ignorant, and a subject to be avoided in our Christmas conversation (for instance: “Happy Holidays!”).

This year I decided to write a letter to those friends and loved ones who love me, but who do not love Christ; this is a letter to friends and family who do not believe. I decided to write an uncomfortable Christmas card for unbelievers comfortable at Christmas.

No one should ever be too comfortable with the truths of Scripture any time of the year! I think it is important for the truths of Scripture to keep believers all uncomfortably ever-depending upon Jesus Christ alone for our righteousness throughout the year (one of the purposes of gospel preaching). I especially think it is good for unbelieving friends and relatives to be uncomfortable this time of year when we celebrate God becoming flesh in order to save those who believe. When unbelievers become comfortable this time of year, it is time to ask ourselves as the Church whether we are speaking and proclaiming the gospel in clear, pointed, penetrating ways as Jesus, John, and Paul preached it.

If you find this letter helpful, and would like to use it yourself in order to send to those whom you love and desire them to know Jesus, I invite you to use it as often as you would like, and to send it to as many as you would like.

Merry Christ,

Pastor Biggs


Dear Friend or Loved One Who Loves Me, but Does Not Love Jesus Christ:

This Christmas, I eagerly and affectionately desire to write to you a different kind of Christmas message. I long to send you good tidings of great joy, and high hopes that your Christmas and New Year will be cheerful and full of good things, but I also want to write to make you as uncomfortable with the Christmas message as possible.

“Why would I do that?” you may ask. “Why would you want someone you love to be uncomfortable by the Christmas message?” Well, Christmas is about more than eating together, mustering up good feelings, enjoying a restful winter holiday, giving and getting presents, and singing songs around the Christmas tree (even when we don’t feel like singing). Christmas is much more than that! Now understand me, you can have a holiday anytime of the year if you want, and if you want to take a holiday at Christmas time, then that is your prerogative, but please don’t feel comfortable with Christmas and Christmas things.

The gospel message of Christmas should greatly frighten all who do not believe and love Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Great and Powerful God and Maker of the universe became flesh and dwelt among us; this is the message of Christmas. This great God who made us all, and to whom we will all be accountable, became one of us in order to make himself fully known. If you want to know God, you find him and understand him in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ; Jesus is the one who reveals God or makes him known in all of his attributes and righteousness (John 1:14-18).

This Christmas, I want you to consider three very special Christmas Bible verses, and I want you to feel very uncomfortable each time you read and hear them until by God’s grace you know the Lord Jesus Christ himself as your Lord and Savior.

These three verses will be found this season in great number on church signs, songs you hear sung, and in Christmas cards sent by others to you. In hoping to make you feel uncomfortable, I am not doing this to be mean, or to be angry, or to cause you to be unnecessarily upset with me. I am doing this because I believe your eternal destiny is at stake for not believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and I take it very seriously because I love you very much! The Bible says in John 3:18 and 3:36:

John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God….John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

There are only two kinds of people at Christmas: those who believe in the Christmas message, and those who do not believe the Christmas message.

Those who do not believe in Christ the Son, who was sent by God to save sinners, are already condemned. This means that if you are an unbeliever, or one who rejects Christ outright, or merely accepts Christ on your own terms as a good religious teacher, you abide under God’s wrath for your sins at this very moment (John 3:18, 36), and this is not something to take lightly- -but fearfully and uncomfortably until you find your sins forgiven and your rest in Jesus Christ alone.

My hope as you read further is that you would feel greatly uncomfortable and convicted by your sins against God and man, and that the powerful Holy Spirit of God would reveal your need, hope, and ultimate and eternal comfort to be found in Christ alone!

With that said, may you never think the same comfortable, mere sentimental “Christmas” thoughts about the following Biblical passages! I am taking three familiar passages, two from Isaiah the Prophet (Isaiah 9:6-7 and Isaiah 40:1-5) and one from the Gospel of Luke. Let’s read together Isaiah 9:6-7:

“For Unto Us a Child Is Born…”
Isaiah 9:6-7: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

This prophecy of Isaiah that is quite familiar and quoted very comfortably during the Christmas season is about the manger ultimately. This prophecy is about a child being born and a son being given for sinners. Notice how this child, this son is described: 1) He shall be a great ruler over all governments (“the government shall be upon his shoulder”); 2) He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; and, 3) His great rule will increase so that peace will cover the face of the earth and his Kingdom will extend throughout the earth and throughout eternity. He will rule with justice and righteousness forever.

This should only comfort you if you believe upon Jesus Christ, the child, the son who is given for us. Otherwise, this prophecy should greatly threaten your comfortable existence. The firs
t way he is described is a great ruler over all governments. Do you bow before him in service and worship as your king? Do you treat this Jesus Christ as a King, a great and mighty ruler? Do you understand that even though you might not recognize his sovereign rule, he does indeed rule? In fact, the risen ascended Christ has authority over heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:19-21). If you do not obey and serve Christ as King, you are guilty of cosmic treason against the King, and he will judge you for your unrighteous trespassing on property that has been claimed by him as his own, and over which he rules and reigns even now.

Secondly, Jesus is described as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Do you long for someone to guide you through this dark world of sin and misery, giving you a sense of purpose and understanding of who you are and who God is? HE is the Wonderful Counselor to guide and teach you. Do you listen to his counsel; or do you reject it; or are you disinterested in his counsel to you through the Bible?

Jesus came to make known the true God and he said that salvation was a knowledge of the True and Living God found in himself (John 17:1-3). Is he your wise and great Counselor, or do you live life on your terms, your way, according to your puny knowledge?

Jesus is called Mighty God. Do you recognize Jesus Christ, born in a manger of a virgin, from the little town of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem to be God himself for us? Jesus Christ was born as man to reveal God in all his greatness and power to us! Jesus called himself the Great “I AM”, making himself equal with Jehovah God. Jesus claimed to be very God of very God, that is, equal with God.

The Apostle John opens his gospel with these words (speaking of Christ as ‘The WORD’): “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Do you acknowledge him as God and Creator of all things? Think of how a Word describes and communicates something. John is saying that Jesus Christ was God’s communication of himself “The Word made flesh” to make his love and grace known (John 1:14).

I beg of you who think of Jesus as a merely another sentimental Christmas icon (along with Frosty and Santa), don’t come to the manger to peer in and fondle God’s Son unless you are coming humbly as a sinner to bow to him as Lord, to serve and worship him! Do not come to Jesus merely thinking of him as “baby Christmas Jesus”, or merely a good teacher, or a nice man who lived and made a bit of a difference in the world.

Jesus witnessed of himself, and other Scripture writers witnessed of him that he was the Mighty God; he is nothing less and will accept nothing less than your obedience and worship as God.

Jesus is called Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. As Everlasting Father he shows to us eternal love and care. No matter how much hardship we have endured, no matter how far we have gone from the love of God, and how much we have sinned again him, he receives the humble and repentant back as his children. He has come to save his own, not to condemn those who believe! Do you believe you have sinned against him as a naughty and sinful child of the Creator? Do you believe he is a forgiving Father (despite what kind of earthly father you had, or did not have)? Jesus says he came specifically for the sinners, not the righteous; he came to seek and save the lost! Are you lost? This “Everlasting Father” full of grace and truth has come to heal your wounds and forgive you your sins.

As Prince of Peace, Jesus has come to bring peace with God so that guilty consciences can be silenced by God’s grace and love. Do you long to know the peace with God that only Jesus can bring in reconciling you to the Father through his bloody death? Romans 5:1 says of believers that we receive reconciliation with the Father through Jesus Christ alone. Why? Because Jesus died as a sin offering, taking the wrath of God that sinners deserve upon himself, so that we could have peace with God.

Do you want this peace of God that passes all of your understanding? Not some fragile, temporal and idyllic peace of the world where everyone just “tries to get along” (the impossible!), but an eternal peace with God the Father and with those who are called by his name.

Do you understand that accepting this peace causes you to be at enmity with those who do not believe? Jesus brings peace with God for those who believe, but he also divides families in the process. Jesus said that father and son, mother and daughter, and other members of one family will be divided because of the peace he offers. Some will give their all to him, and some will despise him in the same family- -but he comes to bring the eternal peace with God that truly matters and makes us members of his own family.

Jesus’ Kingdom is spoken of as extending throughout the world and throughout eternity. Are you a member of that Kingdom through belief in Jesus Christ? If you do not believe, as part of the display of his righteousness and justice, he will punish eternally in hell those who deny him. The only way and hope for salvation is found in Jesus Christ. Since he is the Great God and King, he calls the shots! If he says that there is only one way to receive eternal life and it is found in him, then he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6).

If this great God and King says that those who oppose and deny him will be eternally punished and cut off from the grace and mercy of God, then this will occur because the mouth of the Lord has spoken. The Book of Revelation says when he returns it will be as a Mighty Warrior and as God Almighty to save and redeem his own of this world of sin and misery and to punish with fire those who do not believe (Revelation 19:11-16). This is not a picture of a baby in a manger, but of a warrior on a white horse full of the righteous and just wrath of Almighty God!

Repent now before it is too late. But please, stop merely thinking of Jesus as just another nice religious teacher, and baby Jesus as another American Christmas icon, and accept him as Lord and Savior. We shall now look at another popular text of Scripture from Isaiah 40:

“Comfort, Comfort My People…”
Isaiah 40:1-5: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

This is another famous portion of Scripture that has been made famous by Handel’s ‘Messiah’, but I beg you not to get too comfortable with it. Rather, heed and hear its message! It is good to be uncomfortable in God’s presence in order that perhaps through the work of the Holy Spirit and humility, you might seek after God in the face of Jesus Christ and find true and lasting comfort in his saving and loving arms- -but do not reject him!

Notice how this prophecy of Isaiah begins with words of comfort. This seems to be the opposite of what I am trying to do in my Christmas letter you might think. But notice something important: the comfort that God wants Isaiah to speak is address to his people. God says to comfort “my people” and to speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and fro
m this Old Testament perspective, to speak to Jerusalem, meant to speak to those who were confessing to be God’s people.

The sad news is that Jesus came to his own in Jerusalem, but many did not receive him. Those who received him in Jerusalem and in other parts of the worlds were saved, and were called sons of the living God, and were those to whom words of comfort could be spoken (John 1:9-12).

God, the living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth speaks through his Scripture. There are no more prophets like Isaiah, but Isaiah’s words are still in the Bible for us, and when we speak or declare these words, it is God speaking to us (Heb. 4:1-11). Is God speaking tenderly to you through these words? Do you find comfort in these words?

For these words were written as preparatory for those who confessed faith in God to be eagerly awaiting and eagerly watching for a voice, one calling in the wilderness to prepare the way of the LORD, in order for the LORD to come and make his glory manifest all over the earth. The voice that was prophesied in Isaiah was John the Baptist (Matthew 3), and John testified and witnessed to Jesus, who was God come in the flesh. The words of comfort here were for those eagerly awaiting and anticipating the arrival of God in the flesh, who were those who believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who believe in God’s Christ can truly take comfort as his people.

Do you believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ who has come (“Joy to the world the Lord is come?!”)? Do you await the Lord Jesus’ coming? Then you should be uncomfortable in the presence of God and His Christ. This passage in Isaiah goes on to say that the glory of God shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it. The Apostle John writes in John 1:18 that we have “beheld his glory” that is, the glory of God was revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (John 1:14-18).

Do you see God’s glory in the testimony of Jesus Christ found in the Scriptures? Jesus says that blessed are those who saw him and believed, but even greater blessings await those who do not see yet believe (John 20). In the Bible, we see the glory of God (that is all of who and what God is) in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is your only hope of comfort and source of joy in this present evil age, as well as in the world to come. Do not make this prophecy a prophecy that is just part of the make up and background music of Christmastime. Let this prophecy make you feel greatly uncomfortable, and seek comfort in God alone. God speaks comfort to HIS PEOPLE- -those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ—not those who reject him selfishly.

And for those who are part of the Christian Church, who confess Christianity as their religion. Do you hope in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation? Are you comforted by Christ and something you have done for him as the basis or source of your salvation? Only in Christ alone will you find the righteousness of God that God requires in order to be saved and redeemed from death, hell, and the devil.

Remember also for those who are outwardly Christian in name. This comfort was written for those in Jerusalem who confessed their belief in God. When Christ came however, many of them rejected him because he was not the Savior they desired. Do you long for Christ’s return as the Christ that is revealed in Scripture?

Do you believe in Christ alone not trusting merely in the fact that “Jesus is just alright with you” and that perhaps the Christian religion seems the best option or choice for you among many good religious out there? Or, is belief upon Jesus Christ your only hope of eternal life, the very revelation of God’s glory and righteousness, and the one you hope in daily in order to be saved from hell?

“Would Someone Tell Me What Christmas is All About?!”
Finally, we shall turn to Luke 2. Growing up as an unbeliever, I was thankful for the opportunity every year to hear Linus Van Pelt in Charles M. Schultz’s ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ broadcast on CBS, to hear the gospel good tidings of Jesus born in a manger. If you remember the cartoon, Charlie Brown the main character, while unsuccessfully trying to direct a Christmas play, yells out in great frustration: “Would someone please tell me what Christmas is all about!”

His friend Linus asks the lights to be dimmed, and steps forward into the spotlight, to declare the gospel of hope for all those who would believe. I remember believing sentimentally in what Linus was saying when I was a child, but it was not until later that I truly believed the truth of what Linus (and Luke) were saying in Luke 2! May you also come to understand this as more than a quotation from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ and a sentimental Christmas wish- -and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the babe in the manger!

Luke 2:8-16: And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

Notice in this passage that when the angels appeared with this great and glorious news it caused sinful shepherds to quake in their boots at this vision in the dark night sky. The angel of the Lord tells them (and the entire world) not to fear because they bring glad tidings, or gospel good news from God himself! In order to find peace and hope they were to go to a manger, and in that manger they would find eternal hope in a baby. He was a Savior and was Christ the Lord.

What does this mean? It means that the little baby in Bethlehem’s stable was a Savior of sinners and an Anointed One full of God’s Spirit to save and renew those enslaved by sin and misery. A savior is one who can redeem, or purchase back from slavery, and Jesus said that he came to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Jesus as Savior came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). As an Anointed One (which is the translation of ‘Christ’ from a Greek word; Christ is not his last name!), Jesus is one full of the Spirit of God, able to save the lost, able to renew them by His Spirit, able to lay down his life in order to take it up again for them in resurrection, and able to take away all the guilt and pollution in them because of their sins and unrighteousness.

This was great news but it was not for everyone, and so once again please stop merely sentimentalizing this passage, and remember to whom it is addressed specifically. Don’t get me wrong, this message should be proclaimed to the whole world; this message of this baby in the manger is God’s only hope for peace, hope, and love for mankind, and this is to be declared to as many as possible.

But the actual point of this message, that is, the message as a message that makes a difference for a weary world as far as the curse is found, is the message addressed to those with whom God is pleased (Luke 2:14). There
have been other translations of this passage, but this is the best one. God is saying that there is peace on earth and goodwill toward men in Christ alone! Please do not lie to yourself (or God), and pretend to think that this message of good tidings and cheer, and peace on earth is for those who would deny and reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

God is saying through the angel here that there is true peace found among those whom he is pleased. God is pleased when men and women no matter how wicked their sins, or how hopeless their lives, believe upon the Son he sent to be Savior and Christ, who came to dwell with man, being born in a manger.

Jesus is the one who came to save us and deliver us from our sins. Do you know of the hope that only Christ can give? Do you long to know how to be right with God and the world? Are you tired of each Christmas getting a glimpse of what it is all about only to find yourself rejecting him once again?

This Christmas receive the Lord Jesus Christ. As Savior of sinners he does not require you to be righteous first (he will make you righteous later)! All that he requires is that you believe and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your only Savior and hope.

This is the message of good tidings of great joy that shall be to all people throughout the earth who believe! Jesus came to be born for you, to live the law of God perfectly for you; Jesus came to die a terrible death on a heinous cross for your sins, and he came to be raised for your justification (or your being declared righteous and no longer condemned before God!).

Do you believe?

If you do not believe, you have every right to be uncomfortable this Christmas! The wrath of God abides on you; you are in serious danger. You should not be comfortable at Christmas or any other time of the year! Repent of your sins! And believe the good news of Jesus!

Hear the words of Jesus (and I pray with every fiber of my being that you can hear):

“Come to me, all of you who are burdened by the commands of God, and of the uncomfortable feeling found in sermons about Jesus and sin, and who feel like a world of trouble and sin is on your shoulders and that it is killing you…

Come to me, and I will give you rest!
Come to me, and I will give you rest!
Come to me, and I will give you rest!

My burden is easy, and my yoke is light!” – Jesus says.

This means that belief upon the Lord Jesus Christ will give you the peace for which you so desperately long, and the good news and glad tidings of Christmas will be truly yours. But don’t seek comfort until you believe and bow before the babe in the manger in worship and obedience because you have recognized that he is God with us, and if God is with us, he is for us who believe!

Merry Christmas, and with great and affectionate love,

Charles Randall Biggs
http://www.aplacefortruth.org
http://www.sermonaudio.com/kcpc

Christianity Astray

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)

The professing church is brimming over with hirelings. What is a “hireling” you might ask, and how is it relevant to the question of the condition of today’s church? I’m glad you asked. Let’s see what the Lord Jesus has to say of the hireling:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (John 10:11-13)

As you can see, the Lord isn’t impressed with the hireling, in fact He disdains him and heaps contempt upon him. So what does it say about the state of the church when today’s denominational pipelines and seminaries are cranking out hirelings nearly as fast as Mattel cranks out Ken and Barbie? And isn’t there a parallel here between the plastic Christianity of these hirelings and their plastic toy counterparts? Why yes, yes there is; they’re both completely fake and without true life.

True life is the life imputed by the Lord of Hosts and is a thing which no man can attain to, it is the gift of God lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet today’s plasticized Christian leadership equipped with their plasticized crosses shill for a plasticized, corrupted gospel that is powerless and ineffectual for salvation. These blind leaders of the blind send countless myriads of deceived followers home each week singing of a heaven they’ll never see apart from the change of heart, submission, and faithful obedience to Christ that are foundational to true salvation.


But believer beware! These hirelings and their faithful pulpit worshiping followers become simultaneously defensive and aggressive when their ear tickling meal-ticket appears to be threatened. If one dares question the status quo of their Nicolaitane constructs, rest assured that fiery darts of false accusations are sure to fly his way. All bets are off and all the stops are pulled when the hirelings are exposed to the bright light of inspired scripture. As they quickly scurry from the light they and their enamored followers will erect false defenses, twist scripture, and resort to absurd claims of spiritual authority or “contextual ambiguity” in their desperate attempts to maintain their deception at all costs. Not unlike the miserable, feeble old man hiding behind the curtain while pretending to be “The Great and Powerful Oz“, the spiritual charlatan will attempt to continue his masquerade even when the truth is standing in his presence and staring him squarely in the face. A particularly amazing example of this form of blind idolatry seems to surround Mark Driscoll.

Even when Driscoll muses about homo-erotic encounters taking place with Jesus Christ in heaven and shamefully imputes sinful sexual desire to the Risen Lord and Savior he is nevertheless tenaciously defended tooth and nail by his misguided apologists. It’s simultaneously stunning and saddening to me that professing Christians would mount a vigorous defense of a PASTOR, and UNDER-SHEPHERD OF THE LORD who employs scatalogical and vulgur language from the pulpit, who makes homosexual allusions to the ascendent KIng of Glory Jesus Christ, and who claims that the Righteous and Anointed One, the Eternal Son and second Person of the Trinity “wanted” (i.e. desired) to have “intimate relations” (i.e. sexual relations) with His own creations. Beloved this well established pattern of despicable behavior is shameful and ought not even be named among the church of Jesus Christ which he purchased by the shedding of His own, pure, sinless blood and His agonizing, humilating death upon a cruel Roman cross.

Sadly hirelings and their hangers-on are guilty not only of propagating error from within, but because they are no true shepherds they fail to fulfill their duty as under-shepherds of the Lord and defend their flocks from outside attacks as well. In such a miserable estate there is all manner of spiritual corruption, chaos and confusion. Such bitter spiritual fruit is inevitably manifest in the lives of those who draw close to the Lord with their mouths while their hearts are far from Him.

Thanks to pastors like Mark Driscoll and his erstwhile hangers-on, sycophants and shameless and/or clueless defenders – not to mention the high profile support, encouragement, speaking engagements, and platforms he receives from his big name, sin-enabling buddies like John Piper (who incidentally teaches the insidiously blasphemous lie that Jesus Christ was damned upon the cross) this is where much of modern “Christianity” (so-called) is headed folks; right down the gutter and straight into deepest cesspool of the lowest pit of hell itself.

Of the hireling A.W. Tozer well said:

A Hireling; No True Shepherd
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

“It is doubtful whether we can be Christian in anything unless we are Christian in everything. To obey Christ in one or two or ten instances and then in fear of consequences to back away and refuse to obey in another is to cloud our life with the suspicion that we are only fair-weather followers and not true believers at all. To obey when it costs us nothing and refuse when the results are costly is to convict ourselves of moral trifling and gross insincerity….

Again, the pastor when facing his congregation on Sunday morning, dare not think of the effect his sermon may have on his job, his salary or his future relation to the church. Let him but worry about tomorrow and he becomes a hireling and no true shepherd of the sheep. No man is a good preacher who is not willing to lay his future on the line every time he expounds the Word. He must let his job and his reputation ride on each and every sermon or he has no right to think that he stands in the prophetic tradition.” SIZ, 146-147.
(A.W. Tozer; Tozer on Christian Leadership)

May the hirelings of our day quickly find themselves out of work and broken and repentant before the Triune One True and Living God, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe.