Launch Out – Luke 5:1-11

LAUNCH OUT
Luke 5:1-11
There is little to attract anyone to a rusting hulk of metal having outlived its usefulness, resembling only by its shape, a ship. Lying on its side, ne-glected rusting on the beach, home only for strange and various kinds of critters. No longer with any purpose but to take up space. Over time she will simply disappear into the darkness of history. There was a time when first launched she was the pride of the seven seas. Her Captain steers her no more. Her first mate and crew dismissed. Her purpose unfulfilled.
This reminds me of churches that once held a fine reputation, known far and wide for their preaching the gospel of salvation, for their love for the Lord, for their love for the souls of men, and where the members were song singing, soul loving, spirited and sweet she stood faithfully and firmly on the doctrine of the Sovereign Grace of God. But it was not to last. Her failure to repent of the things the Lord held against her caused her candlestick removed—one more ship removed from service—placed in dry-dock.
There are, sad to say, many such still standing, yet not in full service, having lost their first love and left their first works, not even half filled, grounds overgrown, sidewalks and parking areas sporting pot holes and long crooked cracks dissecting great parking arenas once filled areas for parking the cars filled with families now sprouting up with weeds. Windows broken, doors open to squirrels, rats, and other unpleasant sorts using the buildings as their homes.
These are churches that stopped loving and serving Christ. Their foundations crumbing; their pillars fallen, preaching the gospel of salvation no longer their primary reason for existence. Their light gone out darkening suffocating the air of their once bright lamp – extinguished, wick dry, no oil,– Ichabod [the Lord hath departed] written on her lintels and door posts. Her ship’s rudder long since lost. She no longer able to steer a course even if she could Launch out once again into the deep! Useless, pitiful, terrible witnesses to the world. The earth is littered with ruined, rusted hulks of once great vessels broken on the rocks, crumbling into dust, leaking out sludge and poison into the sea..
The causes? Many! Modernism, Formalism, Hyper Calvinism, Hard-shellism. Arminianism, Mystical Pentecostalism, Universal Catholicism, He-retical Cultism, Science falsely so called such as the theory of Evolution and the Big bang.
Sloth on the part of first mate and crew, their heart for the work turned to stones, frozen in selfishness, ungratefulness, prejudice, sin! All resulting in unwillingness to Launch out into the deep where the fish are! Preferring to stay close to shore where the water is shallow, void of life.
To avoid this happening to us we are launching out into the deep, leaving the confines of the near shore, cutting the ropes tying us to the dock, reach-ing out instead of looking in! Trusting instead of doubting! Working instead of worrying! Relying on prayer more than Relating to culture! Preaching the Word of God rather than doctrines of men.
Being positive instead of being negative. Thinking of others more than we think of ourselves. Going instead of sitting. Singing instead of sobbing. Being will-ing to including rather than excluding. Accepting the challenge of the work before rather than finding excuse for why we are not going, growing, and glowing!
We Launch Out!
When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to get busy, never minding the apparent futility remembered earlier. At the moment they were but a few feet off shore allowing space between the Lord and his message from the crowds, but when he had left speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. Jesus ordered Peter to push off from shore taking the boat to deeper waters.
I have, not recently, but often in earlier years, fished all night for a lowly catfish without success and by dawn I am ready for to retire to a nice warm fire on the bank, a cup of coffee…and rest. Weary, I am not ready to go out again, at least for a while. Net fishing is hard work. We called in seining for fish. The net was clumsy to handle as the borders of the net are weighted with lead pellets to allow the net to sink whereby fish swimming as fish often do run into the submerged net and are trapped as the net folds around them. A full net may weigh as much as 100 pounds requiring all the strength an angler can mus-ter to get the net, and the fish into the boat.
Peter, the expert fisherman was I suppose, thinking himself being the wiser countered, Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing: but too weary to argue with resignation said, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net—expecting nothing but more hours of unproductive hard work. And besides they had just finished washing the nets and hanging them to dry lest they rot had readied them for another days’ efforts.
Normally, the fish that were sought in shallow water at night and having escaped the net would migrate during the daylight hours to outer waters too deep to reach easily with nets, which is why Peter fished at night. And it was at night when, by experience, Peter knew that it was at night the hungry and bigger fish would come to the shallow waters seeking food, and once fed would turn about and head for the safer and deeper waters far off shore.
Simon’s vocation was dangerous, back-aching; bone-tiring, work that often times more than not ended with nothing to show for it. But there were occasions when the fishing was well rewarded with nets full.
Peter, no doubt, thought Jesus’ directive made little sense, but he obeyed anyway, and was rewarded for his obedience.
The time most Christians spend during the week in the work of the Lord a dozen eggs could be boiled. The saying while well used is still true that We have only one life that will soon be past, only what we do for Jesus will last!
For most of us the time we take out of our day for the Lord is truly minimal. Rarely, do we allow the Lord’s work to interfere with our daily pur-suits. With cheerfulness we ought to go about the duties of our calling.
If we do what we should having spent necessary seasons with God in prayer, then what we do for ourselves is sanctified and acceptable to God.
We must always be ready to be about the business of our calling—one never knows when a tug of the line or the sudden movement of the water engulfing the nets would signal a great harvest of fish.
WE LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEPER WATERS REWARDED FOR OUR EFFORTS – Verse 6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake!
In truth the Lord always rewards the work done for His sake –the workman is worthy of his hire! Work without reward is misery. Work with re-ward is pure joy. It is unthinkable and dishonoring the Lord to think he will not reward faithfulness. He knows how difficult the work of evangelism can be. He also knows the joy of a job well done. Though we are bond-slaves [slaves bought with a price to serve], we are never forced at the point of being whipped to do anything.
In Exodus 21:5-6 we read: if the servant shall plainly say, [having served his time of bondage] I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.
We who love Christ want to stay in his service and be known as people of the Book. We have had our ear lobes bored through preferring to live as bond-slaves to Christ to being slaves to sin whose only reward is death.
Are you Aboard? Are you Ready to Launch Out Into The Deep? Let Down Your Nets? Partners All? The Great Gospel ship is ready to sail!
In closing, I will take the liberty as your preacher to liken our church not to a luxury liner where all cabins are first class, where our passengers are coddled, mulled over, massaged, served fine wine and delicacies and encouraged to lounge on the deck soaking up the sun.
Our church, this ship of state, is a Tanker, a working vessel, her crew must be toughened by labor, not softened by sloth; Her crew must be strong in faith and resolve, nothing doubting; in personality sensitive to the needs of other; in spirit jubilant; in soul fully animated with life; Serving with sleeves rolled up, armor on, fit and fully furnished for the Master’s use. We have on board precious cargo–sacks of precious seed– the Word of God!
I Christen this ship The HMS Sovereign Grace — His Majesty’s Service—I acknowledge we are her caretaker and that she is being built not by my hands or yours but by the hands of the Great Carpenter Himself! This Vessel was launched 2000 years ago prior to Pentecost and given the orders to Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 — Then on the day of Pentecost she was empowered by the Holy Spirit with all filled by with the Holy Ghost.
The ship, this tanker, has, since he began to build her continues to stand in perpetuitous service and will continue to sail to the uttermost part of the earth, but only as long as she continues under our Lord’s Command! Her Captain has ordered all ropes hindering her service to be loosed from the dock freeing her to sail.
Ever so tactfully yet in no timidity, Captain Jesus will guide her through the narrow straights of the harbor, pointing her bow toward the vast open seas where in every harbor, some of the crew disembarks knowing that, He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed , shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him…, then casting it discriminately throughout the land and populace being careful not to Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matthew 7:6
Her destination is set being preordained from eternity with Divine purpose. Her log in perfect order, her crew trained and in place, her strategies planned and on-going, Her course set, fixed, immutable!.
Breaking free from the calm of the narrows she cuts like a sharp two edged sword out into the raging seas heading due East and gliding gallantly on waves of glory.
The ears of our Captain and Commander are tuned sharply to the Scriptures by which she is guided. He rejects but does not ignore the seductive song of the Sirens who in vocal desperation desire only to lure him, ship, crew, and cargo to the shallow shoals and unseen rocks beneath. Our Captain stands tall, spirit confident, feet planted, eyes vigilant, strong hands firmly ahold the helm, steering on purpose, never doubting, dead-reckoning on course, always on schedule. We hear him declaring in a voice clear and like thunder: “Steady As She Goes Mates! Steady as she goes!”
She sails onto all the seven seas of the earth – to the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, to the Artic Oceans to the warm waters of the Mediterra-nean and to all the waters of the world.
She sails ever onward, her cargo, the Great Gospel of Justification by faith alone—Forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life, secure in her hold reserved to supply salvation for as many as are ordained to eternal life await her-for God has much people in every port.
Jesus Christ is in command of this great ship and he by wisdom directs her with awesome and undeniable force, so much so that though the Gates of hell might suddenly loom in front of her with powerful broadsides smoking, threating to sink her, they will not prevail.
He has said: All power in heaven and earth is given unto me! Hell itself will soon sink into the depths of eternal darkness in short order.
Meanwhile, Jesus has assigned to the members of his crew certain and several duties all according to each one’s gifts and abilities. All the crew and accompanying passengers have the task and privilege to serve and all are given a share in the work of evangelizing the world. All as work happily sing-ing the message of their own salvation:
“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am. Redeemed, Redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, His child and forever I am. Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus, No language my rap-ture can tell; I know that the light of His presence With me doth continually dwell. I think of my blessèd Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long: I sing, for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song. I know there’s a crown that is waiting, In yonder bright mansion for me, And soon, with the spirits made perfect, At home with the Lord I shall be.”
No crew member seeks special attention or exemption from duty and no special attention is given and no exemption is offered relieving anyone from his or her duty. Stowaways when found are treated lovingly knowing how uncomfortable it is to have hidden oneself from fellowship. Every courtesy will be extended them and every effort shall be made to bring them to Christ and when they willingly come seeking his forgiveness, having receive full pardon from the Master’s own hand, they will be welcomed as partners enlisted into service, have been given gifts to use for the Master. Deep and foreboding indeed is the ‘deep abyss’’ over which she sails. In journeying’s often, in perils of waters many, but they must be traversed because her Captain and crew are on board and seek and to save that which is lost. In seeking Jesus finds; in finding Jesus saves, in losing…Jesus loses NONE!
She by Divine and infallible compass, sails onward to the Macedonian harbors from where…
the call comes ringing o’er the restless wave…send the light, the blessed gospel light; there are souls to rescue, there are souls to save, send the light, send the light. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, Lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus the Mighty to save.
This great ship sails unswervingly on, closer and closer to the shore of the uttermost! The lookout cries Land Ho! Dead ahead. The Master com-mands, All hands on deck, make ready to let down the nets!
We that sail under this able Captain do so in reverent willingness obeying his every command. And do so, grateful to be a member of His crew, hanging on his every word. Jesus, the Desire of all nations as our Captain, our strength, are hope, we voyage with him by Grace so rich and free and by unending faith. We sail with Him where ever –how far he has predestined us to go…
The Royal Banners forward go,
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where He in flesh, our flesh Who made,
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.
2 There, whilst He hung, His sacred Side
By soldier’s spear was opened wide,
To cleanse us in the precious flood
Of Water mingled with His Blood.
3 O tree of glory, tree most fair,
Ordained those Holy Limbs to bear,
How bright in purple robe it stood,
The purple of a Saviour’s Blood!
4 Upon its arms, like balance true,
He weighed the price for sinners due,
The price which none but He could pay,
And spoiled the spoiler of his prey.
5 To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done:
As by the cross Thou dost restore,
So rule and guide us evermore.
[John M. Neal]
All on board move in unison sing: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that be-lieveth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Be-cause that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” Romans 1:16-19

Sail on, Sovereign Grace, Sail on!

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The God Who Remembers

The God Who Remembers
I am ashamed of the recent Supreme Court decision to make same sex marriage the law of the land– I will speak to their decision when I have clearly thought through all the ramifications of this unprecedented, but not entirely unexpected action, on the part of the high court’s mandate. When a nation turns from the clear teachings of God’s breathed out word for the pitiful reason of being ‘politically’ correct – I will have plenty to say about this soon. This is not the time! Today, I hope to encourage you and speak to a subject that I believe he would prefer addressed.
A preacher called of God is called as was Jeremiah, often referred to as the “weeping prophet,” to whom God directed saying: gird up your loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I commanded thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
Not only was Jeremiah commanded to speak in behalf of God but commanded to speak what saith the Lord! Jeremiah 2:1-2 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
God is not a cruel despot! He is not like a Nero mad with tyrannical power exercising unreasonable authority over the people over which he governs. God is love [1 John 4:8,16].
When the chastening rod of God is wielded on his people its design is to correct and restore, never to punish and destroy. He is our heavenly Father; the Holy Magistrate who is justified in His requirement that His people not only be holy but that they live holy lives before men –for their good and for His own glory – When Christians live lives that reflect shame upon the One they profess to be their God, God is offended. Those who practice sinful living God will chasten but always as an expression of his deep love and always for the benefit of His people.
We are fortunate that God remembers us! Even when we act as disobedient and rebellious children God remembers the times when we lived otherwise holy, godly, lives. His great heart is softened toward us as he recalls the times when our behavior was meant to please and honor His name. His great wrath no longer a possibility.
First, a word of introduction about the times when we play the fool, act as a rebellious child, that is to say, the times of our backsliding – To fall off; to apostatize; to turn gradually from the faith and practice of Christianity.
Asaph, a writer of some of Psalms admitted saying in Psalms 73:1-2; Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked!
Israel was and continues to be a backslidden nation: Jeremiah 2:19-21 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. 20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. 21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

The only people who will and do backslide are, believe it or not, are God’s people! God’s people backslide! I do not imply that “some” backslide, but to state that all of God’s people will at one time or another backslide if by to backslide is meant that they can regress into a period of spiritual dullness or disobedience–1 John 1:6-10 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Our backslidings will bring God’s discipline. That’s because God disciplines those who are truly His people. How should a person who has placed his faith in the only One worthy of such faith, be described?
2 Peter 1:4-11 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
But, if you are thinking of backsliding as defining a meandering Christian, you would be right. But is you are saying that such a person will finally and perpetually fall into perdition and hell remaining unto death in state of willful rebellion or ungodly indifference – you would be incorrect.
A natural man, unforgiven, unsaved does not backslide. This speaks of people who have never known God or who have made a false profession of faith in God. A person whom Christ does not know as His own, or a people who do not know Christ as their own, cannot backslide for his actions are naturally sinful. One cannot backslide upward only downward! Peter confirms by saying: But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
This is the reason we are commanded to examine ourselves to be sure we are in the faith prior to observing the Lord’s Supper. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We must forestall any negect in ensuring we have cleared our way before our dear Lord before partaking of His Supper!!!
Hebrews 12:6-8– For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards , and not sons.
And though we often play the role of Jeremiah 2:24 A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure we must turn from our wickedness and to the Lord in repentance.
Our Lord Jesus says: Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten : be zealous therefore, and repent. And 1 John 2:18-20 –Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us , but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (unction—‘special endowment,’ ‘anointing.’)
A true Christian may slip but never will he completely slide-back into perdition. He may trip but never will he fall ultimately into hell. Jesus said that all who come to Him in faith he will never lose…no, not one!
For this hour I want only to encourage each of you with the knowledge that despite your wanderings from God; despite the times when you forget Him; despite times when you turn from Him and refuse to acknowledge Him and give Him the honor due only to Him; and despite your often irreligious thoughts and deeds, You are always at the forefront of His thoughts; God never forgets us. He says in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you’re an expected end.
First: My remarks this morning come from Jeremiah 2:2 Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
I. God remembered Israel who backslid.
1. He remembers the kindness of Israel youth – By youth we should understand as Israel who were the first fruits who followed Moses out of Egypt and terrible bondage. They remembering how that God with a strong hand brought them out of their suffering.
God put Israel, though continually an unruly lot, in remembrance by assuring them that he remembered their love when God first formed Israel into a people, peculiar, precious.
He remembered their love when he led them into the wilderness, and ‘married’ them, he remembered when they sung songs of praise and love for Him. He remembers how the followed after the Pillar of Cloud, trusting Him for the promised land that would be theirs—a land in which a great harvest would be theirs even though that land had yet to feel a plow or receive a seed, the land was theirs by proxy.
They were the first fruits of a new people; forgiven – known of God and loved– brought out of Egypt, bought with a mighty hand! They, if somewhat reluctantly, followed him into a desert of drought, storms, scorpions, and many enemies on their way to a promised land of milk and honey. Surely, they brought with them great expectations of a new life replacing the old – They were “holiness unto the Lord,” that is they would be known to all nations of that age as His people.
2. He remembers the kindness of His people’s youth and love of their espousals when thou wentest after me in the wilderness—God remembered their act of pledges and mutual promises as a man and woman to each other in their marriage vows.
Remember reading in Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
Israel tho’ still not totally convinced yet obediently if not totally as to where they were being led, followed Moses being commanded by God to lead them into a vast unknown territory, a dark and foreboding wilderness, a desert known for its grassless drought and harsh conditions, yet they followed.
3. God remembers Israel when they went after Him in the wilderness in a land that was not sown – though they knew not where he would lead them they were eager to leave the cruel bondage of a despot Pharaoh and believe that he would supply their every need, teaching them as they would walk through the valley of the shadow of death –protect them from every enemy, clothe them, feed them, guide and direct them, and all the while teaching them of his righteous laws and most importantly of himself. To Israel who followed him out of Egypt, He remembered that they belonged to him and that he delivered them from the strong task masters who demanded their slavish servitude –
4. God remembered Israel as a delivered people–holiness unto the Lord and the first fruits of his increase: all that devour him (Israel) shall offend: evil shall come upon them –When first brought out of Egypt into the wilderness, by the Lord’s choice and separation of them to be a holy people to him above all others (Israel was the first fruits of a people to be set apart as belonging exclusively to God); by their covenant with him, and their profession of him; and by his giving them holy laws, and placing a sanctuary among them; and by their high priest, who represented them in the most holy place; and had on the front of his mitre written, Holiness unto the Lord (John Gill).
Robert Hawker shows us the graciousness of God’s dealings with his people, even when he is about to reprove them. He puts them in mind of their past affection, and when matters were different with them, from what they now are: and this serves to heighten to their view his grace, and the unreasonableness of their backsliding. Mark how the Lord takes notice of the smallest affections of his people. What could the Lord say more sweet and gracious than what is here said: I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals. Oh! thou gracious Lord! Should any poor backslider of thine, read this blessed scripture; oh give the poor soul grace to discover here from, how the bowels of thy love yearn over precious souls, in their wanderings, and that thou lost remember them still. (See Jeremiah 31:18-20.)
In all of God’s kindness and grace toward his people Israel, they offended God many times and though He through much grace and endless warnings to them, found evil in Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel. Notice in verses 5-8 God’s reason for anger and demand for rebate, repentance, and recompense…
God asked Israel: What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
This was not entirely a theoretical inquiry! God demanded their acknowledgement with the charge to declare what it was they found reason to abandon God and turn to lesser gods and became arrogant and willfully disrespectful of God. They had not learned that though one begins well, but does not persevere God will chastise them not to destroy but to remind them of His filial relationship to them – God was their Father! He, in his parental role desires only their welfare. He will remind the rebellious child of the danger of deserting the ranks. At the judgment seat they will have no excuse. His plea is always: Return! Repent! And be Restored. When one forgets God’s blessings and seeks to find joy and happiness elsewhere, I have found that they are the ones who oppose God even more than those who never knew Him.
Secondly: The nation nor her priests no longer sought out God through prayer and supplication forgetting altogether what He has done for them: Notice—Who was it that brought them out of Egypt? Who was it that for forty years led them through the wilderness, deserts, pits, drought, and the shadow of death into and through a land where no had previously passed through or had ever habited?
They had forgotten that it was by God’s mighty arm that brought them into a land of plenty where good fruit abounded only to violate the land with their sinful living, and brought upon themselves hatred of other nations openly ridiculing God?
Even the priests (verses 8-9) charged with the care of holy things, and given the obligation to speak to the people in behalf of God and to speak to God in behalf of the people, sinned grievously and along with the people played the harlot preferring to bed with the devil.
Thirdly: verse nine: God had every right to destroy that nation, but to do so would make his promises to them null and void – this He could not do! Instead, they who should have pleaded with God for forgiveness, God condescended to them and pleads with them to repent and return to Him.
II. In the Second Place: God remembers you! — And in doing so God has married Himself to you and you to Him. You are His espoused; He is your heavenly Father! If you have felt His rod of correction due to your backsliding know that you are His and His purpose is not to destroy you but to correct you and bring you back to him, to repentance and full restoration. You are married to Christ, by grace through faith, and it is now you whom He remembers. He remembers you, even if you have forgotten Him. He remembers the day you became His. He has never forsaken you, although you may have forsaken Him.
He remembers the covenants and pledges you make for the loving kindness and gratitude you had toward Him as His new Bride.
He remembers the first blush of your youth, the first bloom of your new life in Him when with a renewed mind you first trusted and continued to abide in Him, all the while growing in grace and knowledge of Him. You knew that you had been delivered from death into new life and your love for Him.
He remembers your joy when you at the first you loved the One who first loved you. He remembers the joy you felt when you learned that you are protected by a man of strength, bonded by His word, guide and ruled by Him authority.
Jesus remembers how eagerly you followed after him seeing by faith the land of His promise, your heavenly home, and he remembers how you, with opportunity learned of Him. You, in your joy loved him and covenanted with him and became willing to put yourself under His yoke knowing that his yoke was easy and His burden light.
The Lord remembers the first emotions you felt toward Him…Does Jesus love you any less today than he did then?
Has He forgotten any of His promises he made to you.
The question is not has He forgotten you but have you forgotten Jesus?
Is He as willing to forgive and restore you today as he did when you first were born into his family?
Is he able to forgive your backsliding? Is he able Cleanse you? Make you whiter than wool? Restore unto you the joy of His salvation? Yes, he is able…!
Has your conscience been seared to where you excused your sins and recused yourself from His rule? Has your love grown cold? Is your heart hardened against Him? Remember backsliding Israel and what God said to them: I will remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not yet sown.
If this describes you today –Examine yourself and if you’ve wandered far from Him, you may come home! Remember if you are Prodigal, if you are given to extravagant expenditures; expending money or other things without necessity; profuse, lavish; wasteful; not frugal or economical; as a prodigal child.
If it is your desire to be remembered by the Lord then as the Psalmist prays in Psalms 28:3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts. And, Solomon pleaded: Draw me , we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
Will you pray this morning for God to bring you near to Himself?; to His everlasting kindness and embrace you as did the Father to the prodigal; Will you run to Christ, your Beloved Lord?; Will he not as the Potter to the clay, re-mold you, repair you restore you?; Will He not renew again your mind conforming you again to Himself? He will not refuse the penitent believer. He will receive you afresh and place you as a vessel of fine wine on the nail of his heavenly abode – he will remember you dear Christian…today!
III. I appeal to you who have made many false professions and by nature do that which offends God– The Lord will upon your repentance, save you. If you shall believe in your heart that He has been raised from the dead you shall be born again; If you have been born again you will do as did Paul the apostle to the Gentiles, confess Jesus before men! You will be compelled to do so – Compelled by His Holy Spirit who will abide in you. Do so today – He receiveth sinners! You stand on the threshold of eternal life.
AMEN

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The Preeminence of Christ –Colossians 1:14-19

The Preeminence [Supremacy] of Jesus The Christ
Colossians 1:14-19
Robert Hawker: Col. 1:14 –At this verse we enter upon one of the most sublime subjects which God the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to bring before the Church, in his whole inspired writings.
This letter suggests three churches: 1. Colossae – was about 100 miles east of Ephesus, and near Laodicea and Hierapolis [4:13]. Colossae was and ancient but declining commercial center. The gospel may have been taken there during Paul’s ministry at Ephesus [Acts 19:10], though it was Epaphras who played the major role in the evangelism and growth of the Colossian assembly. Paul was personally unacquainted with the believers there [2:1], but Epaphras either visited Paul in prison, while either imprisoned himself [Philemon 23] and reported to Paul on the condition of the church at Colossae. Today, I want us to look at this letter intently because it focuses on One whose name is above every name that at that name, one day, every knee will bow in humble reverence and every mouth will declare Him preeminent over all, something he
is whether declared by some or not, Paul knew him to be over all, before all, Superior over all — preeminent!
Churches are prime targets of radicalism of all sorts. There are always ‘splendid’ men who know not Christ that Satan sends to infiltrate our Lord’s church. By using the adjective of a ‘splendid’ is meant a decent, law-abiding, socially populist in his politic, liberal thinking and tolerant of all other beliefs, he is a man who renders unto Caesar, supports the churches ministries, , generous to the poor and so on but one is not necessarily a regenerated man. Many ‘splendid’ men do indeed ‘creep into churches unawares’ like we read of one who John describes in 3 John 9 as Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth not. They come with ashes in their mouth and their teaching is like the poison of asps. The ground of the church is fertile for such men. These are people who are not necessarily opposed to Christ but bring with them deviate doctrines that attach themselves to Christian beliefs like sucker
fish that attach themselves to great whales while drawing strength to themselves while weakening the vital integrity of church doctrine.
The Colossian heresy: J.C. Ryle writes: “From Paul’s suggestions on the epistle, we can discern some of the features of the false teaching at Colossae. It was a syncretistic, fusing Jewish legalism, Greek philosophic speculation, and Oriental mysticism. Specifics included dietary and Sabbath observances and circumcision rites [2:11, 16], the worship of angels [2:18], and the practice of asceticism, which stemmed from the belief that the body was inherently evil [2:21-23]. In combating this heresy, Paul emphasizes the cosmic significance of Christ as Lord of creation and Head of the church. Any teaching, practice, or intermediary that detracts from the uniqueness and centrality of Christ, is against the truth.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF A RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF THE PREEMINENCE OF JESUS CHRIST IS VITAL TO OUR FAITH.
Martin Luther, the Reformer, was without doubt a brilliant man. His ‘head’ knowledge of Scripture was beyond question. His life was spent in obtaining knowledge from the word of God. He knew, for example, all about Justification by faith. His head was right, but his heart wasn’t. He was miserable. He had no real love for God, in fact he admitted that he hated God. He felt that he was condemned. He labored under the depression of guilt. He was not happy. He knew that one had to be righteous if he was to be saved, and he knew he was not righteous, therefore not saved. The Spirit of God opened Luther’s heart to receive what his mind had known all along. Though he had studied the great letter of Paul, the epistle to the church in Rome, especially, Romans 1:17 the Spirit of God had yet to enable him to comprehend its meaning: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
However when the Spirit so enabled him to do so, he admitted: “At last meditating day and night, by the mercy of God, I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that through which the righteous live by a gift of God, namely by faith. Here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open.” Luther came to understand that a works salvation is simply a heavy bag carried on his back. The load was lightened when he understood that by faith in the shed blood of Calvary’s Cross, Christ bought and paid for his sin. From this point he was moved from despair to joy in the Lord. Christ became preeminent in this German monk’s heart! Next stop? The Reformation! A movement fueled by the concept of Justification by faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone.
The Bible clearly states that salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ [Acts 4:12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The prophet Isaiah wrote [Isaiah 5:21] Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes , and prudent in their own sight!
Paul condemned those who knew God in mind, but did not honor God him in their heart, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:21-22
John Wesley on his own conversion wrote: On this day, May 24th, 1738 I opened my Bible at about five in the morning and came across these words in 2 Peter 1:4: “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should be partakers of the divine nature.” He read similar words in other places.
That evening he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate, England, his birthplace. Someone read from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to Romans [Romans 1:1-17]. About 8:45 p.m. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Christ, at that moment became preeminent in the heart of Wesley, wrote: Then let us adore and give Him His right–All glory and power and wisdom and might, All honor and blessing with angels above, And thanks never ceasing, and infinite love.
AS TO THE PREEMINENCE OF JESUS CHRIST…
John Henry Jowett, the great English preacher, liked to tell about the time he attended the coronation of Edward VII. Westminster Abbey was filled with royalty. Jowett said, “Much bowing and respect was shown as nobility of high rank entered the cathedral.” When the king arrived, however, a hush came over the audience. Every eye was on him, and no longer did the dignitaries of lower status receive the gaze and interest of the people. All the subjects fixed their attention on their royal leader.
This is the way it should be in the mind and life of every Christian–Jesus is the King of kings, and He deserves the place of highest prominence. Naturally we love and respect our families, friends, associates, and those who serve the Lord. But the Lord Jesus must have the preeminence even over them all! Our primary devotion is always to be centered on Him. With all the activities that compete for our time–even the work and program of our church–it’s so easy to take our eyes off the Savior.
In chapter three of this letter, verse one-three, Paul adamantly states: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on thing on the earth. For ye are dead, and you life is hid with Christ in God!
R W De Haan: May we never lose sight of King Jesus who deserves our praise and worship. Let us join the heavenly voices and say, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor” (Rev. 4:11). Yes, Christ is the preeminent One! –
Paul wrote of Christ’s preeminence in Philippians 2:6 declaring of him, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Of Himself Christ said: Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
The preeminence of Jesus Christ is prevalent throughout the Bible. MacArthur writes: In the Old Testament there is the preparation for Jesus’ coming. In the Gospels there is the presentation of Christ; In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, there is the proclamation; the message of salvation in Christ is announced. In the Epistles we study the personification, that is, ‘for me to live is Christ’ and in the Revelation there is the predomination, or the Christ on the Throne, the reign of the King, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!
He is preeminent because he is the eternal Son of God. He pre-existed over all spiritual, organic, ethereal, or biological matter whether in the heavens or on the earth or under it. That covers a lot of area.
Consider the basis for His Preeminence!
I. Vs. 15 a—He is preeminent because of His relationship with the Father! He is the image of the invisible God –
Here again the relationship of Christ with the Father. Who [going before all things] is the image of the invisible God. This is expanded in Hebrews 1:1-4…
II. Vs. 15 b He is Preeminent on the basis of His relationship with all Creation: Jesus is the first born of every creature [of all creation] –
The Greek word for firstborn can refer to one who was born first chronologically, but most often refers to preeminence in position, or rank (see note on Heb. ; cf. Rom_8:29). In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the ranking son who had received the right of inheritance from his father, whether he was born first or not. It is used of Israel who, not being the first nation, was however the preeminent nation (cf. Exo_4:22; Jer_31:9).
This declares Him PRE-IMMINENT BEFORE EVERY OTHER PERSON. John 1:3 states: All things were made by him ; and without him was not anything made that was made. And in Colossians 1:16-17 we read: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him , and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
He is only begotten. Jesus was not derived from any other being; He was neither brought into being by, nor did He issue from a human father, He was born of a virgin, conceived by God. The Son is begotten of the Father. Jesus, is God’s only begotten Son upon whom is the manifested glory of the Eternal Father in human likeness. He is the only Son of whom it is said, “God has many sons but only one only begotten. All others who become sons of God do so by coming to Him through His Eternal Preeminent Son, Jesus Christ.
III. Vs. 18 a—Jesus is the head of the body, the church, Here we see His Preeminence on the basis of His relationship with the body of Christ, the Church!
Paul uses the metaphor of the body to mean the Church, granted there are many churches branched into many particular areas of the world, yet with one head, all branches of the same vine. This is to refer to only churches who adhere to the doctrines as delivered or taught by the apostles. All such assemblies since, wherever located are His churches. He is the Head of the Body, the Church! There is no other head. Our church answers directly to him. No man stands before Christ Jesus in eminence! No man shares His eminence! No man is authorized to stand in Christ’s stead in heaven or on earth. Christ is the only Potentate! He alone is the Chief Corner Stone, the Foundation of the Christian faith; the author and finisher of the faith once delivered; chief Operating Officer; the principal person; The Leader; The commander in chief ; the LORD of hosts; The General marching at the head of his troops; the Great God and Savior, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls; He is alone at the top and holds the first in rank or place, to whom all things in heaven and in earth are subordinate. [Romans 8:29] speaks of Christians For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Jesus Christ] might be the firstborn among many brethren. He is over the whole election of grace, the multitude of redeemed souls, His ‘peculiar people.’ The elect number who by his blood have, He has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
IV. Vs. 18 b – We understand the basis of his preeminence in His relationship with all who die in the Lord. Jesus is the first born from the dead,
This is not to mean that He was the first to be resurrected from the dead, but the first raised in power from the dead never to die again!
V. Vs. 19 – Finally, we see the basis of His preeminence in his relationship to the Godhead! For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell! [We see this again in chapter 2:9].
This was God’s primary purpose in sending his Son… to be Preeminent in all things– it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell…whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Folks, is Jesus Christ the preeminent one in your life, or is he to you being supported by something else? Reject any and all philosophical opinion that would attach itself to Him as a means of salvation. Reject any and all types of mysticism, worship of angels, after the things taught by the worldly elements and ‘science, so called.’ Reject any doctrine of salvation that connects itself with Christ or cannot be proven by Scripture. He alone is preeminent. There cannot be two who are preeminent over another. How can two beings be preeminent? Only Jesus Christ is superior to all other persons or things. He IS PREEMINENT.
VI. CLOSE AND SUMMATION: Spurgeon writes: The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Nothing else attracted the apostle’s attention so much as the person of that Divine Being, who hath redeemed us by His blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here is joy for thee; thou hast looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on His throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of His presence; thou shalt dwell with Him for ever. “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, “Heaven and Christ are the same thing;” to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters–“O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want.” It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so?
“Not all the harps above Can make a heavenly place, If God His residence remove, Or but conceal His face.” All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is “to be with Christ.” HE IS PREEMINENT!
Amen!
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Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

Spurgeon[1]An evil is in the ‘professed’ camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven, until the whole lump ferments! 

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony–then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses! 

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work, then why did not Christ speak of it? “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature–and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.”
No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people–or because they confronted them? The ‘concert’ has no martyr roll. 

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? “You are the salt of the world”–not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out–not swallow.
Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him,” I do not hear Him say: “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!” 

No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them–but never sought to amuse them!
In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the ‘gospel of amusement.’ Their message is, “Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them… Don’t touch their filthy things…” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel, and employed no other weapon. 

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, “Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are!”
No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down–that is the only difference from today’s church. 

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy-laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer! The mission of amusement produces no converts!
The need of the hour for today’s ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire. 

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods! 

C. H. Spurgeon
GRACE GEMS

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No Wonder Obama Won’t Let Us Read TPP

On Friday, Congress disrupted President Obama’s plan for a sweeping transfer of U.S. sovereignty to an unaccountable group of foreign busybodies. Hurray for the stalwart Americans who resisted the demands of Obama, the Republican leadership, and the big-donor claque, but Speaker Boehner plans to give Congress another chance this week to make this dangerous mistake.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would turn over to globalists the power to issue regulations about U.S. trade, immigration, the environment, labor and commerce. It’s called a “living agreement” which means the globalists can amend and change the text of the so-called agreement after it has gone into effect.

That reminds me of our supremacist judges who invented the term of a “living” Constitution, which they can rewrite to comport with their own updated ideology. The globalists claim that this “living” document (TPP), now called Obamatrade, has all the powers of a treaty to commit the U.S. to new foreign obligations, although it certainly did not comply with any U.S. constitutional provisions for treaty ratification.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has frankly warned about this giveaway of U.S. sovereignty. Not only would Congress give up its powers to negotiate and write the terms of a treaty, but Congress also gives up its power to debate and amend the deal, to apply a cloture vote in the Senate, and to require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

The secrecy wrapped around TPP is appallingly un-American. Whatever happened to Obama’s promise of “transparency”? TPP was negotiated and agreed to by Obama’s trade representative and a bunch of foreigners in a secret room, and the American people are not allowed to know the details until after it’s a done deal.

TPP puts us in a new political and economic union before a single private citizen is told about it and with public opinion running five to one against it. Remember when Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass Obamacare in order to find out what is in it?

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) warns, “TPP calls for the formation of a permanent political and economic union known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, which will have power to issue regulations impacting not only trade but immigration, the environment, labor and commerce. He added, Congress “will have surrendered its legislative prerogatives. Before a word, line, paragraph, or page of this plan is made public, Congress will have even agreed to give up its treaty powers.”

Senator Sessions made it even more emphatic, saying that Fast Track “authorizes the President to form a new transnational governance structure…. it confers the power to both compel and restrict changes to U.S. policy, to commit the U.S. to international obligations, and to cede sovereign authority to a foreign body.” This new global body could even add new member countries (such as China).

Senator Sessions continued: “Congress would be pre-clearing a political and economic union before a word of that arrangement has been made available to a single private citizen. This has the earmarks of a nascent European Union,” and Americans certainly don’t want to belong to a European union (that’s why we fought the American Revolution).

Rep. Hunter also warns that the new global governance institution would be “authorized to issue policies and regulations affecting our economy, our manufacturers, our workers, our immigration procedures, as well as current, labor and environmental practices.”

TPP is separating us from the U.S. Constitution and from national sovereignty and replacing both with a global governance superstructure. TPP has wrapped its audacious global governance plan in the mantle called “free trade,” which is a misnomer if there ever was one.

“Free trade” means Americans must obey a bunch of rules written by foreigners (which we can’t veto), but China can ignore those rules. TPP didn’t even touch the subject of currency manipulation against us by Asian countries.

While the American people are denied the right to read TPP, thanks to leaks from WikiLeaks we have learned that Obamatrade includes ten pages to unilaterally alter our current U.S. immigration law. Senator Sessions says TPP will give Obama a backdoor to increase immigration, and the same lobbyists who are pushing for Obamatrade are demanding open borders.

Republicans need a bold program to bring back jobs that have been lost to Asian countries. Michele Bachmann summed up a pro-American verdict on TPP: “I hate it. It would empower the president, cut out congressional influence, and lead to American jobs leaving the U.S.”

By Phyllis Schlafly
WORLDVIEW WEEKEND NEWS

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Dead Sea Crabs on California Beach

Newport Beach Independent, Feb 26, 2015: Thousands of tiny crabs that look like mini lobsters washed up on the shores of Balboa Island this week, covering the sand with a sea of red… They appeared on Balboa Island several weeks ago and then disappeared, but have reappeared. Most appear to have washed ashore dead, but many are still swimming in… crews have been scooping up [remains].

LA Times, Jan 22, 2015: [T]housands of candy-red crabs rarely seen in coastal Southern California have washed ashore in Newport Beach… this marks the first time in years that [Southern California Marine Institute director Daniel Pondella] has heard of them being seen in Southern California. “This is the first warm year we’ve had in quite awhile,” he said. “It could just be a sign of the warm water we’re currently experiencing.”… “I’ve never seen these things before,” [Newport Beach resident Darren Zinter] said. “It’s incredible.”

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Pope Francis Calls For A New Global Political Authority to Save Humanity

Pope Francis says that global warming is a fact and that a new global political authority is necessary in order to save humanity from utter disaster.  The new encyclical that was scheduled to be released on Thursday has been leaked, and it is being reported that this new global political authority that Pope Francis envisions would be in charge of “the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”.  The funny thing is that this sounds very much in line with the new sustainable development agenda that is going to be launched at the United Nations in September.  This radical new agenda is already being called “Agenda 21 on steroids” because it goes so much farther than Agenda 21 ever did.  The new UN agenda does not just address the environment – it also addresses issues such as poverty, agriculture, education and gender equality.  It is essentially a blueprint for governing the entire planet, and that sounds very much like what Pope Francis also wants.  In fact, Pope Francis is going to give the speech that kicks off the UN conference in September where this new sustainable agenda will be launched.  For some reason, this Pope has decided to make the fight against climate change the central pillar of his papacy, and he is working very hard to unite as much of humanity as possible to get behind that effort.

It is not an accident that this new encyclical is coming out now.  An article from the Guardian even states that the release was intended “to have maximum public impact” prior to the Pope’s major speech at the UN in September…

The rare encyclical, called “Laudato Sii”, or “Praised Be”, has been timed to have maximum public impact ahead of the pope’s meeting with Barack Obama and his address to the US Congress and the UN general assembly in September.

It is also intended to improve the prospect of a strong new UN global agreement to cut climate emissions. By adding a moral dimension to the well-rehearsed scientific arguments, Francis hopes to raise the ambition of countries above their own self-interest to secure a strong deal in a crucial climate summit in Paris in November.

Much of the encyclical is not that surprising.  But what is raising eyebrows is the Pope’s call for a new global political authority.  Here is more from the Guardian

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical. In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us”.

Francis also called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”. His appeal echoed that of his predecessor, pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical proposed a kind of super-UN to deal with the world’s economic problems and injustices.

What is even more alarming is who will be on the stage with the Pope when this encyclical is formally released.    John Schellnhuber is a German professor that has some very radical views on climate change.  For instance, he believes that our planet is overpopulated by at least six billion people

Professor John Schellnhuber has been chosen as a speaker for the Vatican’s rolling out of a Papal document on climate change. He’s the professor who previously said the planet is overpopulated by at least six billion people. Now, the Vatican is giving him a platform which many expect will result in an official Church declaration in support of radical depopulation in the name of “climate science.”

And Schellnhuber also happens to believe that we need a new global political authority.  If he had his way, there would be an “Earth Constitution”, a “Global Council” directly elected by the people of the planet, and a “Planetary Court” that would be above all other courts on the globe.  The following is an excerpt from a very disturbing piece that he authored

Let me conclude this short contribution with a daydream about those key institutions that could bring about a sophisticated — and therefore more appropriate — version of the conventional “world government” notion. Global democracy might be organized around three core activities, namely (i) an Earth Constitution; (ii) a Global Council; and (iii) a Planetary Court. I cannot discuss these institutions in any detail here, but I would like to indicate at least that:

– the Earth Constitution would transcend the UN Charter and identify those first principles guiding humanity in its quest for freedom, dignity, security and sustainability;

– the Global Council would be an assembly of individuals elected directly by all people on Earth, where eligibility should be not constrained by geographical, religious, or cultural quotas; and

– the Planetary Court would be a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.

Does the Pope want something similar?

It is quite telling that Schellnhuber was invited to stand with the Pope as this major encyclical is released to the world.  Did Schellnhuber play a role in drafting it?  Has he been advising the Pope on these matters?  Does the Pope share his vision of the future?

And does the Pope share Schellnhuber’s belief that our planet is currently overpopulated by six billion people?  If so, how would the Pope solve that “problem”?

Without a doubt, most of those that make up the “global elite” would love to see the number of people on earth decline precipitously.  This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “46 Population Control Quotes That Show How Badly The Elite Want To Wipe Us All Out“.  Of course the Pope is not going to publicly advocate for getting rid of six billion people, but clearly he is extremely concerned about the impact that all of us are having on this planet.

The funny thing is that the earth is not even warming.  In fact, there has been no sign of global warming at all for the past ten years

Over the years the government and the scientific community have largely stood their ground when it comes to climate change. They’ve been adamant in their assertion that the planet is gradually warming due to human activity, and that we all need to do our part to stop climate change. However, the data provided by the scientific community doesn’t always jibe with their claims.

At least, that seems to be the case with the data coming out of NOAA’s climate monitoring stations. They have a series of 114 stations across all 50 states, which is known as the US Climate Reference Network. For the past 10 years they’ve shown no sign of global warming. In fact, there’s been a very slight cooling in temperatures across the US.

But at this point, most of the world has bought into the propaganda.  In most industrialized nations, a solid majority of the population actually believes that climate change is the greatest threat that humanity currently faces.

And since just about all forms of human activity produce “carbon emissions” or affect the environment in some way, it gives control freaks that dream of global government a good excuse to grab more power.  They will always say that it is about “saving humanity” or “saving the planet”, but ultimately everything that they are trying to accomplish would mean more power in their hands.

So what do you think that the Pope is up to?  And do you think that it is a good thing or a bad thing?

by Michael Snyder
WORLDVIEW WEEKEND NEWS

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Requirements of Waiting on God

REQUIREMENTS OF WAITING

Waiting for God’s timing is neither passive nor idle—it takes discipline and commitment. I can think of four basic requirements for successful waiting.

Faith. The Lord’s ways and timing are nothing like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). From a human standpoint, the way He does things is usually totally different than expected. But as we trust Him more, we’ll discover that His approach isn’t so strange after all. And when we live in harmony with God’s will, His timing starts to make sense.

Humility. To wait for the Lord, you must be convinced of your need for Him. Submission to His divine will requires humility—you cannot charge ahead with your own plans and at the same time be fully surrendered to God.

Patience. Are you willing to remain in your current position until you receive clear divine direction? Pausing for clarity from God does not mean that you disengage and allow circumstances to fall apart around you. Waiting upon the Lord is a deliberate decision that requires patience.

Courage. Waiting for God often takes courage, especially when there is pressure to act. If you’re not careful, you might stop listening to the Lord and follow other advice. So keep your ear attuned to the voice of Almighty God, and you won’t go wrong.

Waiting upon the Lord is one of the wisest, most important decisions we make in life. And contrary to popular assumptions, it is an active endeavor that requires faith, humility, patience, and courage. When you rely upon God and wait for His timing, the various facets of life fall into place.
(Psalm 25:3-5)

IN TOUCH MAGAZINE
Dr. Charles Stanley

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IF THESE THINGS BE IN YOU –RENOVATION 2 Peter 1:1-21

Barbara and I enjoy watching certain TV episodes of houses though once new and bright have been allowed over the years to deteriorate inside and out – are renovated, made new, made beautiful…inside and out. The basic structure remains the same, but repaired, the foundation remains solid and secure, but the composition of the house – the placing and uniting different things, parts, or ingredients changes things. New paint, replacement of certain items and overall reparations covers a multitude of years and sinful neglect resulting in the old house taking on an entirely different look and personality much to the joy of its inhabitants.
Christians are spiritual houses. They stand on the foundation laid by the Holy Spirit, that solid rock being Jesus Christ the chief corner stone still in place. Sadly, many spiritual houses are in are shameful and pitiful shape, small, unfurnished, in need of repair and renovation. Overtime they have become rundown, uncomfortable to the occupant, namely the Spirit of God.
If you are a Christian you are God’s building. A.T. Robertson reminds us that God is the Architect who designed us. We are built to carry out His plans. Due Diligence is required to bring our house up to date, livable and useful for the Holy Spirit and since he built the house he will add to it, but he will use us as his laborers. As Christian men and women we are to add to or supply to our own house and with all diligence.
Of course as Wesley said: We do so by Praying through the Holy Spirit – who alone is able to do the renovation.
Prayer accomplishes much. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”; “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things”—give the Holy Spirit—”to them that ask Him.”
“Be careful for nothing,” says St. Paul, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
It is praying to God the Father and God the Son that The Holy Spirit adds to our spiritual house making it suitable for His graces, fit for the work of the Master.
Jude also known as Thaddaeus, brother of James, thus related to Jesus, was one of his original Apostles, he writes: But ye, beloved, building up ourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep[ing] yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life [verses 20-21]. Notice he says we are to build ON, not in, our most holy faith.
 Building—on Christ, the foundation and cornerstone of our faith, the stone that the builders [Jews] rejected, and on the ancient and holy teaching of the Apostle’s.
In regards doctrine, important to our spiritual growth, much time must be spent in learning the ‘weightier matters’ of our faith.
Remember the Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” Spending all of our time in intellectual pursuits tends to the neglecting of other aspects of Christian growth.
In Matthew 23, Jesus scolded the Pharisees who spent all their time rehearsing the Law and doing all the outward things contained in the Law while omitting the more necessary moral principles underlying all the laws such as judgment, mercy, and faith. He said, these ought ye to have done , and not to leave the other undone. Jesus likened them to blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Gods law is spiritual; it is a transcript of the divine nature, and extends its authority to the acts of the soul of man [Webster].
Placing the emphasis on the external ‘keeping’ of the law while ignoring the more vital aspects of our internal ‘new’ nature creates an ugly imbalance of our spiritual life, distorting what we are to be before God and diminishing the greater things pertaining to our growth.
 Praying—through the Holy Ghost is not understood by the apostle to be an overly ecstatic mindless form of praying but fervent and righteous, and to do so without ceasing, in the name of Jesus—and always waiting on the Holy Spirit to add His graces to our faith.
Renovation of our spiritual house is for the glory of Christ and not for our own – I think of Simon the Sorcerer who believed and desired the gifts of the Spirit for his own glory and profit offering money to the Apostles thinking the Holy Spirit could be purchased. He was soundly and angrily reprimanded by Peter and the apostles judged him as a wicked man in the gall of bitterness, [bitterness is poison to the gospel] and in the bond of iniquity chained to list and the cares of this world].
NOTE: When Christians send “seed” money to charlatan evangelists who promise fortune, healing, or prosperity they are literally funding the coffers of the Simons of the world. Those who do so and who rely on these people rather than on prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit are themselves in the gall of bitterness and bound by iniquity.
Keeping—being obedient, working out our salvation[evidentiary Christianity], is to do so in the reverential fear of God and with trembling lips -Philippians 2:12.
Paul had no sympathy with a cold and dead orthodoxy or formalism that knows nothing of struggle and growth. He encourages Christians to work as an Arminian depending on his works to save his soul and to pray as if he were a Calvinist depending solely on the [Sovereignity of God. Paul finds no inconsistency in the two attitudes. He makes no attempt to reconcile human free agency, that is responsibility with divine sovereignty and and boldly proclaims both. Robertson Word Studies.
James: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18
And Vine adds: There is a saving work which God only can do for you; but there is also a work which you must do for yourselves. While your salvation is complete, God has not completed his work in you. God’s work of regeneration is complete the while the works accompanying must be carried out by yourselves. Whatever is provided by Christianity for the children of God, it is certainly never contemplated that there should be no ‘working out’ of your salvation nor should it disallow personal effort.
 Looking—Anticipating, expecting, loving Christ’s appearing.
Peter exhorts believers to remember what they have been given…in 2 Peter verses 3-4, Grace and peace multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the diving nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God consistently ‘multiplies,’ or causes His Grace and Peace To grow exponentially in kind and quality as we grow in the knowledge of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
A grateful and wise Christian will remember what Christ has done for him and what blessings will come to the one who endeavors to grow in knowledge and grace resulting in “adding these things” to his faith – verse 5 .
In verses 10 and 11 Peter encourages us saying that despite hardship these things will be added to our faith and is rewarded with an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Brother Hudson offered an illustration of what an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord might look like.
I have taken most of what he offered with some alteration and paraphrase and added a bit to the original. He likened the two kinds of believers to two ships sailing into the final harbor, their voyage complete, one ship hardly afloat, covered with parasites and barnacles, tattered sails, and leaking hull, low in the water heavy with excess baggage, her flag dirty and ragged…but the other vessel riding High in the water, her hull scraped clean of barnacles and other parasites, her sails mended, cleaned, and full; her deck fully swabbed and shining, her flag of victory flying high overhead.
Both ships are allowed entrance into the harbor one received without fanfare! Conversely the other ship is received with song and shouts of acclamation, accompanied by much pomp and circumstance, exhibiting grandeur and distinction.
I add one more ship to the equation – the ship that served obediently but not necessarily in an extraordinary public fashion; remaining faithful over a few things; not over-the-top sort of service, but adequate, obedient, faithful, and steady, completing her mission. She sails into the harbor following only shortly behind the greater and more noteworthy vessel.
The point being though some served at a higher than most of us, another may serves just as faithfully, receives the save assurance of safe harbor – all are equally safe and all are welcomed and all are equally loved by the HARBOR MASTER.
In verse 2 Peter, the inspired apostle reminds us that some Christians lack the things he mentions in verse 5, but entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord will be allowed, their works rewarded on the basis of whether they were good or bad –He has never lost a vessel, never! Still, while it would be very rewarding to sail ahead of the fleet! However, many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. Matthew 19:30 While this may refer to Peter in the form of a gentle rebuke, and may refer to the ranking of Believers of greater dignity and service; other ideas may apply, I have thought that it may indeed be regarding the calling of Jew and Gentile (many called, few chosen); it may refer perhaps to the order of resurrection. But for arguments sake…we’ll leave that to further study.
Remember that in salvation there is equality in God’s saving grace. Everyone who is saved is saved the same way: By Grace through faith, and is a child of God, in the family of God; In the kingdom of Christ; Every child of God will enter heaven; everyone who comes to Christ by faith will be allowed entrance.
[Henry]. Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as surely as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith in Jesus, which includes his blood and resurrection is justified in the sight of God — Everyone is saved the same way, not of works of the Law or meritorious behavior, but by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But reward is by definition something earned, merited, counted, considered, and when The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, [and then] he shall reward every man according to his works.
Is not the laborer worthy of his reward and received according to the worthiness of this service. 1 Timothy 5:18.
Is it not so that Great is our reward in heaven. Matthew 5:12.
There is an equality in God’s salvation, but where an ABUNDANT entrance into heaven is concerned there is not equality.
First, do not minimize the meaning of abundant. It means above the common. There is a common entrance afforded to all saints of God, but the abundant entrance is given only to whom deserves it. Abundance where it concerns Christians is like having your cake and eating it too. Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly [john 10:10] which means he gives in such life abundantly and continually, overflowing, in ever increasing and greater supply. Many Christians, I’m afraid, live life more in the common and less in abundance.
But what is meant by more abundantly? It isn’t more of what we shall have but what we have right now!
Abundant life is life more deeply satisfying. It isn’t about a bigger house, but about a house being a home. It isn’t having more money, its having money enough to supply need. It really isn’t just about material things. It is a peace with and peace of God, a love of God and the Love requited. It is a peace that is beyond the mind of the finite to grasp the full meaning of. It is a joy unspeakable and full of glory; a joy beyond mere words to describe; a joy that lightens the soul of the believer like the shining face of Moses having been with God. And, what could be more abundant than to have Christ Himself in the present time and in future prospect?
To argue by saying I don’t feel the abundance, the joy, the peace, the love…This does not mean that it is not available to you. It does not mean that we can enjoy such abundance all the time. Awareness of the abundance in our lives is in major part up to us and whether or not we are working out our salvation as we should.
The Abundant Believer
Most soldiers serve their time. Some having fought in mortal combat but who have done nothing above what they were trained to do. Many who do what they are expected to do have done well may or may not receive a conspicuous medal or ribbon.
A soldier may be wounded in battle and receives the Purple Heart well noted; Another may receive recognition for distinguished service in service, all are meritorious and honorable, but when the Medal of Honor is given for gallantry and intrepidity [Fearlessness; fearless bravery in danger; undaunted courage or boldness] it is the highest reward given, it is ‘above the common.’ This is given to a only aa precious few who at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” are rewarded abundantly!
All Christians will gain entrance into heaven and in a real sense we all are saved, as by fire, but as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:15 some will but will arrive there “saved, yet so as by fire,” but some, most, maybe all of their works will be burned, suffering loss—even though not ‘total’ loss –they arrive saved, yet so as by fire. This is the tragedy of a fruitless life, It is the picture of a wasted life. The one who enters heaven by grace, as we all do who are saved, yet who brings no sheaves with him.
Matthew Henry succinctly adds: Let every man take heed; there may be bad building on a good foundation. Nothing must be laid upon it, but what the foundation will bear… Let us not dare join a merely human or a carnal life with a Divine faith, the corruption of sin with the profession of Christianity.
A Christian may spend his life building a fine reputation being praised by the world, winning applause for his good works. It may be the Peace prize given to the foremost advocate for peace.
Every Christian will receive the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ which is the Christians own resurrection from the dead. This refers to everyone who has been saved but should he neglect his reputation with God, he will be saved, yet as by fire and suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ before which all Christians will stand – This does not mean that the Christian will be burned but that his works will be.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done , whether it be good or bad.
Matters of sin have been completely dealt with by the death of the Savior. Paul was comparing worthwhile, eternally valuable activities with lesser ones – Such as we are reminded of where we read: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 [Note 1 Corinthians 13]
As opposed to idle words, sloth, works of the flesh such as – philosophy and vain deceit, the tradition of men, the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, profane and vain babblings, oppositions of science falsely so called; foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. All these things may not qualify as grievous sin but if practiced will be burned as wood, hay, and stubble. However, whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Peter in verses 5-8, makes it clear that the Christian who has not grown spiritually, remaining in a static state of saving faith, is one who is lost sight of his purpose and worse, he has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Peter sets before us the admonition that we are to add to our faith…certain things if we are to be fruitful men and women of the Lord.
Adding is the principal thing, it is the greater thing to which a lesser thing is to be united. Here the greater thing is faith, the lesser things are as listed in verses 5, 6, and 7.
These seven characteristics he lists are the smaller, nonetheless important, things we annex to the greater things that constitutes the sum total of our Christian faith.
The principle thing to is Faith! The things we are told to add, with diligence, are in lesser but only only to the main thing—faith! Without faith these things are useless. Without these things our faith is vain! He who lacks them Peter says, is blind, cannot discern his future, and is forgetful of what has been given him…such things pertaining to life and godliness and the exceeding great and precious promises.
The question before us this morning is simply – You say you have faith…what have you to show for it? What have you added or what are you adding to your faith?
A believer ought to be diligent to add to his faith:
1. Virtue –Moral Righteousness – we learn means, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, consenting to, and delighting in God’s law. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found [Titus 2:12].
2. Knowledge …What knowledge have you added to your faith? Proverbs 1:8 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge : but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Webster says that Ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
Discernment is akin to knowledge. The highest knowledge attainable is the knowledge of God.
3. Temperance –The most temperate of Christians are those who keep themselves under control regarding all things in moderation. With Christ as our example who with His perfect submission to the divine will Jesus could say: I do always those things that please him. [John 8:29]. He had entire command over his passions, yet it can be said that he demonstrated an excessive love toward an unlovely people and by His patience and meekness toward us his life was spent.
4. Patience and to patience… The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Godly patience springs from a Christian’s desire to please God through submission to His will.
5. Godliness. This is radical Christianity. It is our worship rightly directed to the One deserving – Our God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ for in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells!
6. Brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness…and to this must be added: # 7 Charity or love. Paul makes it clear that the greatest of virtues is love and without love all else is empty, meaning nothing. If we cannot love the brethren, our Christian brothers and sisters; if we speak badly of them; honor only the greatest among them, denying the weaker ones, we have nothing and all our works are worthless! I beg you all to remember this!
These things are characteristics that distinguish the Christian.
Faith in Christ alone guarantees our salvation. A person can be saved without adding all these things to his faith, but as Peter says in verse 9…he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sin. And James adds that one should be able to show their faith by their works, and warns that if no works follow one’s faith, that faith is without substance.
It is the mature, dedicated, committed Christian that progresses from a static, faith to a faith that is dynamic and serving, fully furnished and fit for the Master’s use.
Diligence: It means – zeal, carefulness,
Only here does it mean to spare no expense, hurry to bring in by the side of faith the graces required for fruitful service to Christ. It literally means to observe with fixed vision the job at hand and to do so in a timely fashion. It means to be careful as to protect or gain something very valuable.
Not many of us here have such discretionary income to invest in financial opportunities when and if they come along. But if we did have sufficient to invest we would be wise to discipline ourselves to give due diligence in evaluating the opportunity; knowing that opportunity is oft’ fleeting; do our homework so we don’t waste our money.
The same is true in Christian growth. We must evaluate the benefits and add to our faith things that constitute the biblical idea of a Christian’s life. We give diligence to through the study of God’s word, so we don’t waste our lives on fruitless activities.
Someone has wisely offered: We magnify our priesthood and enlarge our calling when we serve with diligence [haste] and enthusiasm [full of God] in those responsibilities to which we are called by proper authority.
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” D. L Moody
We must be diligent in our faith, being sure our faith is in Jesus Christ, as it regards our eternal life –not a faith in ourselves that says if we do our best we shall go to heaven – the bible teaches that in this regard our faith is not good enough.
There is the guy on TV who sells automobiles. He ends his spiel with: If you don’t see me, I can’t save you any money! Or, you’d better be diligent in seeing me if you want to save your money.
We must be diligent to make our calling and election sure. Rarely is the week when we receive mail not meant for us. It may sound simplistic but I always look to see if the mail is meant for me or Barbara or someone else. We do not open mail meant to be received by someone else. An invitation meant for someone else is of no value to us because the sender would not allow us entrance to the occasion.
As to our ‘assurance’ of our calling and election, again, John MacArthur: Though God is “sure” who His elect are and has given them an eternally secure salvation the Christian might not always have assurance of his salvation. Security is the Holy Spirit-revealed fact that salvation is forever. Assurance is one’s confidence that he possesses eternal salvation…the believer who pursues the spiritual qualities mentioned here guarantees to himself, by his own spiritual fruit, that he is called and chosen by God to salvation. (This Christian will) never stumble. As the Christian pursues the qualities enumerated by Peter and sees that his life is useful and fruitful (2Pe_1:8), he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, or questioning, but enjoy assurance that he is saved.
When the Holy Spirit enables us to “receive the call to Christ” and ‘convinces’ us of our acceptance into eternal life we know that our calling and election is sure.
Someone has written: The diligence of which he speaks is that sort of endeavor which springs from a sense of duty: an earnest zeal and will to accomplish whatever it finds to do; that does not linger till some great work offers, but hastens to labor in the immediate present.
And besides Grace and peace and the things that pertain unto life and godliness, and the exceeding great and precious promises given to us who are Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust…besides Peter urges us to give all diligence, and add to our faith:
 Virtue
 Knowledge
 Temperance
 Patience
 Godliness
 Brotherly kindness
 Charity!
AGAIN: The world has yet to see what God can do with a man, any man, woman, child, who will submit to be fully consecrated to him. Will you be that person? With God’s help, you can be that person.”
YE MUST BE BORN FROM ABOVE!

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If These Things Be In You Add…RENOVATION – part 2 – 2 Peter:1-12

RENOVATION! – 2 Peter 1:1-12
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” D. L Moody
Barbara and I enjoy watching certain TV episodes of houses though once new and bright that have been allowed over the years to deteriorate inside and out – are renovated, made new, not made over but made new, beautiful…inside and out.
The basic structure remains the same, but repaired, the foundation remains solid and secure, but the composition of the house – the placing together and uniting different things, parts or ingredients changes things; New paint, replacement of certain items, and overall reparations covers a multitude of years and sinful neglect resulting in the house taking on an entirely different look and personality much to the joy of its inhabitants.
Christians are spiritual houses. They stand on the foundation laid by the Holy Spirit, that solid rock being Jesus Christ the chief corner stone still in place.
Sadly, many spiritual houses are in are shameful shape, small, unfurnished, in need of repair and renovation. Overtime they have become rundown, uncomfortable to the occupant.
If you are a Christian you are God’s building. A.T. Robertson reminds us that God is the Architect who designed us. We are built to carry out His plans. Due Diligence is required to bring them up to date, livable and useful for the Holy Spirit and since he built the house he will add to it, but he will use us as his laborers. As Christian men and women we are to add to or supply to your own house and to do so with all diligence.
Of course as Wesley said: We do so by Praying through the Holy Spirit – who alone is able to do the renovation.
Prayer accomplishes much. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”; “If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things”—give the Holy Spirit—”to them that ask Him.”
“Be careful for nothing,” says St. Paul, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
It is through prayer that The Holy Spirit adds to our spiritual house making it suitable for His graces, fit for the work of the Master. Every Christian, if they but would realize it, have the power of God in them to live life to the fullest, in full measure, for God gave not the Spirit of God to Him in measure, and if you are in Christ you have not come to be divine, but you have the full measure of Diving power living in you – You can do all things through Christ which Strengthens you!
Jude, was one of his original Apostles, he writes: But ye, beloved, building up ourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep[ing] yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life [verses 20-21]. Notice he says we are to build ON, not in, our most holy faith. Initial faith is not completed faith. It is a faith upon which we must build.

 Building—on Christ, the foundation and on the ancient and holy teaching of the Apostle’s doctrine. In regards doctrine, important to our spiritual growth, much time must be spent in learning the ‘weightier matters’ of our faith.
We remember the Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” Spending all of our time in intellectual pursuits tends to the neglecting of other aspects of Christian growth.
In Matthew 23, Jesus scolded the Pharisees who spent all their time rehearsing the Law and doing all the outward things contained in the Law while omitting the more necessary moral principles underlying all the laws such as judgment, mercy, and faith. He said, these ought ye to have done , and not to leave the other undone. Jesus likened them to blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Gods law is spiritual; it is a transcript of the divine nature, and extends its authority to the acts of the soul of man [Webster].
Placing the emphasis on the external ‘keeping’ of the law, which no one man, excepting Christ has ever done that, while ignoring the more vital aspects of the ‘new’ nature we as Christians have been given, things pertaining to spirit and soul, creates an ugly imbalance of our life, distorting what we are to be before God by majoring on lesser and diminishing the greater things pertaining to our spiritual growth which are always internal, i.e., things Pertaining to our renewed nature, our spiritual life.
 Praying— in the Holy Ghost [not ecstatic mindless form but fervent righteous] without ceasing, in the name of Jesus—always waiting on the Holy Spirit to add His graces to our faith.
Remembering any renovation is for the glory of Christ and not for our glory – I think of Simon the Sorcerer who believed and desired the gifts of the Spirit for his own profit, and offered money to purchase miraculous power. He was soundly and angrily reprimanded by Peter and the apostles who judged him as a wicked man in the gall of bitterness, [poison to the gospel] and in the bond of iniquity [fettered by chains].
NOTE: When people, Christians or not, send “seed” money to charlatan evangelists promising fortune, healing, or prayer, they are sending money to the Sorcerers of the world. Those who do so and who rely on these people rather than on prayer and dependence upon the Holy Spirit are themselves in the gall of bitterness and bound by iniquity.
Keeping—being obedient, working out our salvation, remembering Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12. Paul has no sympathy with a cold and dead orthodoxy or formalism that knows nothing of struggle and growth. He exhorts Christians as if he were an Arminian [works religion] and prays as if he were a Calvinist [Sovereignty of God] and feels no inconsistency in the two attitudes. Paul makes no attempt to reconcile divine sovereignty and human free agency, but boldly proclaims both. Robertson Word Studies.
And Vine adds: There is a saving work which God only can do for you; but there is also a work which you must do for yourselves. The work of your salvation is not completed in God’s work in you. God’s work must be carried out by yourselves. “Whatever rest is provided by Christianity for the children of God, it is certainly never contemplated that it should supersede personal effort.
 Looking—Anticipating, expecting, loving Christ’s appearing.
Peter exhorts believers to remember what they have been given…in 2 Peter verses 3-4, Grace and peace multiplied through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the diving nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God consistently ‘multiplies,’ or causes His Grace and Peace To grow exponentially in kind and quality as we grow in the knowledge of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
It is the grateful and wise Christian who in remembrance of what Christ has done and given to him that endeavors to grow in knowledge in order to “add these things” to his faith – verse 5 .
In verses 10 and 11 Peter encourages the Christian who despite hardship adds to his faith is rewarded with an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Brother Hudson offered an illustration of what an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord might look like.
I have taken most of what he offered with some alteration and paraphrase and added a bit to the original. He likened the two kinds of believers to two ships sailing into the final harbor, their voyage complete, one ship hardly afloat, covered with parasites and barnacles, tattered sails, and leaking hull, low in the water heavy with excess baggage, her flag dirty and ragged…but the other vessel riding High in the water, her hull scraped clean of barnacles and other parasites, her sails mended, cleaned, and full; her deck fully swabbed and shining, her flag of victory flying high overhead.
Both ships are allowed entrance into the harbor one received without fanfare! Conversely the other ship is received with song and shouts of acclamation, accompanied by much pomp and circumstance, exhibiting grandeur and distinction.
I add one more ship to the equation – the ship that served obediently but not necessarily in an extraordinary fashion; faithful over a few things; not over-the-top sort of service, but adequate and steady completing her mission. She sails into the harbor following only shortly behind the greater and more noteworthy vessel.
The point being though some served at a higher than normal level, another at a bit lesser but adequate performance, and the last little ship battered and worn yet having finished the race – ALL ARE EQUAL IN CHRIST’S HARBOR – SAFE, SECURE, WELCOMED AND LOVED BY THE HARBOR MASTER.
Should you be called to account tonight, in which vessel would you rather be on?
In verse 11 Peter, the inspired apostle reminds us that some Christians lack the things he mentions in verse 5, but entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord will be allowed, their works rewarded on the basis of whether they were good or bad.
I would have you to remember that in salvation there is equality in God’s saving grace. Everyone who is saved is saved the same way: By Grace through faith, and is a child of God, in the family of God; In the kingdom of Christ; Every child of God will enter heaven; everyone who comes to Christ by faith will be allowed entrance,
[Henry]. Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really surely as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith in Jesus, which includes his blood and resurrection is justified in the sight of God — Everyone is saved the same way, not of works of the Law or meritorious behavior, but by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But reward is by definition something earned, merited, counted, considered, and when The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, [and then] he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27
And The laborer is worthy of his reward received according to the worthiness of their service. 1 Timothy 5:18.
And Great is your reward in heaven. Matthew 5:12.
But where an ABUNDANT entrance is concerned there is not equality.
First, do not minimize the meaning of abundant — it means above the common-The base. Abundance where it concerns Christians is like having your cake and eating it too. We not only have been given life but we have been given life in abundance. Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly [john 10:10] which means he gives in such life abundantly and continually, overflowing, in ever increasing and greater supply. Many Christians, I’m afraid, live life more in the common and less in abundance.
But what is meant by more abundantly? It isn’t more of what we have, but better than we deserve. Abundant life is life more deeply satisfying to the internal and less to the external. It isn’t about a bigger house, but about a house being a home. It isn’t having more money, its having money enough to supply need.
It really isn’t just about material things at all. Jesus who was rich in eternity became poor in real time. He would not settle to be king of the world, He is King of kings! He was not simply lord of a realm, He is the LORD of lord. He went about doing good because he is good.
Hebrews 5:8-10 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Christ did not need to suffer in order to conquer or correct any disobedience. In His deity (as the Son of God), He understood obedience completely. As the incarnate Lord, He humbled Himself to learn (cf. Luk_2:52). He learned obedience for the same reasons He bore temptation: to confirm His humanity and experience its sufferings to the fullest (see notes on Heb_2:10; cf. Luk_2:52; Php_2:8). Christ’s obedience was also necessary so that He could fulfill all righteousness (Mat_3:15) and thus prove to be the perfect sacrifice to take the place of sinners (1Pe_3:18). He was the perfectly righteous One, whose righteousness would be imputed to sinners (cf. Rom_3:24-26). [MacArthur]
We then, as followers of Jesus learn obedience by humbling ourselves before God and in our experiencing we experience the Abundant Life.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Abundant life is a peace with God and peace of God, a love of God and the Love requited. It is a peace that is beyond the mind of the finite to grasp the full meaning of. It is a joy unspeakable and full of glory; a joy beyond mere words to describe; a joy that lightens the soul of the believer like the shining face of Moses having been with God. And, what could be more abundant than to have Christ Himself in the present time and in future prospect?
To argue by saying I don’t feel the abundance, the joy, the peace, the love…This does not mean that it is not available to you. It does not mean that we can enjoy such abundance all the time. Awareness of the abundance in our lives is in major part up to us and whether or not we are working out our salvation as we should.
The Abundant Entry:
Most soldiers serve their time. Some having fought in mortal combat but who have done nothing above what they were trained to do. Many who do what they are expected to do have done well may or may not receive a conspicuous medal or ribbon.
A soldier may be wounded in battle and receives the Purple Heart well noted; Another may receive recognition for distinguished service in service, all are meritorious and honorable, but when the Medal of Honor is given for gallantry and intrepidity [Fearlessness; fearless bravery in danger; undaunted courage or boldness] it is the highest reward given, it is ‘above the common.’ This is given to a only aa precious few who at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty” are rewarded abundantly!
All Christians will gain entrance into heaven and in a real sense we all who are saved, as by fire, but as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:15 some will but will arrive there “saved, yet so as by fire,” but some, most, maybe all of their works will be burned, suffering loss—even though not ‘total’ loss –they arrive saved, yet so as by fire. This is the tragedy of a fruitless life, It is the picture of a wasted life. The one who enters heaven by grace, as we all do who are saved, yet who brings no sheaves with him.
Matthew Henry succinctly adds: Let every man take heed; there may be bad building on a good foundation. Nothing must be laid upon it, but what the foundation will bear… Let us not dare join a merely human or a carnal life with a Divine faith, the corruption of sin with the profession of Christianity.
A Christian may spend his life building a fine reputation being praised by the world, winning applause for his good works. It may be the Peace prize given to the foremost advocate for peace.
Every Christian will receive the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ which is the Christians own resurrection from the dead. This refers to everyone who has been saved but should he neglect his reputation with God, he will be saved, yet as by fire and suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ before which all Christians will stand – This does not mean that the Christian will be burned but that his vain and empty works will be.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Matters of sin have been completely dealt with by the death of the Savior. Paul was comparing worthwhile, eternally valuable activities with lesser ones – Such as we are reminded of where we read: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 [Note 1 Corinthians 13]
As opposed to idle words, sloth, works of the flesh such as – philosophy and vain deceit, the tradition of men, the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, profane and vain babblings, oppositions of science falsely so called; foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. All these things may not qualify as grievous sin but if practiced will be burned as wood, hay, and stubble. However, whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Peter in verses 5-8, makes it clear that Christians who haves not grown spiritually, remaining fixed in a a static state of saving faith, is one who is blind and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. This is plain ingratitude to the One who literally suffered and died for us.
Adding is the principal thing, it is the greater thing to which a lesser thing is to be united. Here the greater thing is faith, the lesser things are as listed in verses 5, 6, and 7.
These seven characteristics he lists are the smaller, nonetheless important, things we annex to the greater things that constitutes the sum total of our Christian experience.
The thing to which we are to add the lesser things is Faith! The Principle, faith, is the main thing. The lesser things are added to the main thing: Faith! Without them the Christian is incomplete and he who lacks them Peter says, is blind, cannot discern his future, and is forgetful of what has been given him…such things pertaining to life and godliness and the exceeding great and precious promises.
He specifically mentions seven graces defining what a believer ought to be adding his faith:
 Virtue…Moral Righteousness exercised! Do not forget that Moral righteousness dwells fully in you! Exercising Moral righteousness teaches the believer to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found [Titus 2:12].
 Knowledge …What knowledge have you added to your faith? Proverbs 1:8 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge : but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Webster says that Ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
Discernment is akin to knowledge. To have discernment is akin to wisdom. The knowledge required to grow is embodied in the Holy Spirit, we must seek it—diligently.
 Temperance …When we gain knowledge we learn what it is to be temperate, under control, regarding all things in moderation. Temperance to Godliness—The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Godly patience springs from a Christian’s desire to please God through submission to His will.
Christ being our example of perfect temperance, perfect control over all his affections and perfect submission to the divine will Jesus could say: I do always those things that please him. [John 8:29]. He had entire command over his passions, yet it can be said that he demonstrated an excessive love toward an unlovely people and by His patience and meekness toward us his life was spent.
We must seek temperance diligently.!
 Patience patience…No need to expand on patience, except to say that we must seek patience with diligence.
 Godliness…basic to the Christlike life – due diligence.
 Brotherly kindness diligently sought graciously given.
 Charity! Not simply an act of love but a nature that loves. Growing in Grace and knowledge comes by giving due diligence to add these things to our faith – One person progressing in his Christianity could change the world.
These things are characteristics that distinguish the fully furnished Christian from the common Christian. They are not things added to ensure our salvation but are required to build our spiritual house to its completion.
Faith in Christ alone guarantees our salvation. A person can be saved without adding these things to his faith, but as Peter says in verse 9…he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sin. And James adds that one should be able to show their faith by their works, and warns that if no works follow one’s faith, that faith is without substance.
It is the mature, dedicated, committed Christian that progresses from a static, faith to a faith that is dynamic and serving, fully furnished and fit for the Master’s use.
But what do these things mean? Next week we will look at each one and try to grasp their meaning and we will endeavor to define what is meant by ‘diligence’ t
that is vital to adding to our faith.
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Diligence: It means, depending on the situation – zeal, carefulness,
Only here does it mean to spare no expense, hurry to bring in by the side of faith the graces required for fruitful service to Christ. It literally means to observe with fixed vision the job at hand and to do so in a timely fashion. It means to be careful as to protect or gain something very valuable.
We must constantly evaluate our lives beloved. The benefits we add to our faith constitute the biblical idea of a fruitful, happy, and glorious Christian’s life. We give diligence to through the study of God’s word, so we don’t waste our lives on fruitless activities.
Someone has wisely offered: We magnify our priesthood and enlarge our calling when we serve with diligence [haste] and enthusiasm [full of God] in those responsibilities to which we are called by proper authority.
We must be diligent to make our calling and election sure- Adding these quality characteristics is how we are assured Christians doubting nothing.
As to our ‘assurance’ of our calling and election, again, John MacArthur: Though God is “sure” who His elect are and has given them an eternally secure salvation the Christian might not always have assurance of his salvation. Security is the Holy Spirit-revealed fact that salvation is forever. Assurance is one’s confidence that he possesses eternal salvation…the believer who pursues the spiritual qualities mentioned here guarantees to himself, by his own spiritual fruit, that he is called and chosen by God to salvation. (This Christian will) never stumble. As the Christian pursues the qualities enumerated by Peter and sees that his life is useful and fruitful (2Pe_1:8), he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, or questioning, but enjoy assurance that he is saved.
The Holy Spirit is ready and willing to enable us to grow fruitful lives, well meaning, productive, useful Christian lives. We must be diligent Someone has written: The diligence of which he [Peter] speaks is that sort of endeavor which springs from a sense of duty: an earnest zeal and will to accomplish whatever it finds to do; [one] that does not linger till some great work offers, but hastens to labor in the immediate present. We will never accomplish the great work required of us by being satisfied with menial tasks we ought to do.
And beside this, Grace and peace; Things that pertain unto life and godliness; Exceeding great and precious promises; Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust…

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” D. L Moody
This was true in Moody’s day…the world still waits.

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