Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, December 31, 2005
it was soooo cold!!!
Another Friday night of preaching in the books. Again, for 3 solid hours, my pastor and I preached the gospel to hundreds (if not thousands
) of souls in my city's marketplace. Brother Laz showed up for the last hour (his work kept him from joining us earlier
) and did a bit of preaching and tract distribution. It was a pretty cold night temperature wise, but hey! no whining about work conditions when you are working for the King of Glory! (lol
The night started out pretty good. I'd say that the first half of our endeavour was a blessed time, but the second half was pretty tough.The First Half:
1- A man walked by my pastor and took a Gospel tract from him while I was preaching across the street. After obtaining the tract, he kept walking but his eyes never left me and the Gospel sing I was holding. After a couple of minutes, he came back and had a few words with my pastor. I was preaching a fair distance away so I couldn't make out what they were talking about, but looking at their body language, I knew that the man was favourable to us. The man then walked away from my pastor, crossed the street and walked towards me.
"How are you, my friend?" I asked.
"Good," he answered as he extended a 20$ bill.
"I don't need you to give me money, my friend," I said kindly. "I'm doing this for the Lord. He's my reward."
"Yes, but I want you to have this," he mumbled. "What you are doing is important and it's good and I want you to use this for good."
I accepted the gift and promised him I would use his money for good. He then walked away wishing me a Happy New Year.
2- When my pastor was preaching, a young man shouted from across the street:
"There's no god!"
"You know what God calls you in the Bible my friend?" my pastor replied, "a fool! The Bible says the fool has said in his heart there is no God, and that's what you've just done."
"I use to believe as you do," my pastor continued, "until I read my Bible and the Lord saved me. That was 35 years ago. He made me clean from top to bottom and now my soul is heaven bound."
My pastor continued for a short time, preaching to this young man directly. Sharing with him the things the Lord had done for him over the years, and the young man just stood there, taking it all in. After a few minutes, the young man started walking away BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS as he passed by me, he accepted one of our Bible tracts.
Let us remember to pray for both these souls my Christian brothers and sisters.The Second Half:
1- As a member of an English speaking church I mostly preach in English, though I am a francophone (French is my first language). So as I was preaching tonight, four men walked by me, cursing and mocking me to my face in French, thinking I wouldn't understand their vile words. My answer:
"Vous allez être les premiers à pleurer un jours messieurs, de ne pas avoir pris au sérieux mon discours sur l'Evangile du Seigneur Jésus Christ." (translation: you will be the first to cry one day, sirs, to not have received the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ)
At first they were taken aback, but then they just walked away, continuing their mocking and cursing.
2- As my pastor was preaching, two sodomites stopped in front of the area where I was distributing Bible tracts and decided to give us a demonstration of their abominable behaviour. Their started kissing each other like the perverts they are, of course, just to antagonize us. I just shrugged and shook my head.
And that about sums up the highlights of our night of street preaching. I am now exhausted, so it's time for a rest. Good night dear readers, and do remember me in your prayers, as I will be preaching a sermon on the Lord's Day at my church.
The Aggravation Called Christmas
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I'm afraid... it's going to be one of those posts...
If I were superstitious (which I am not... really!
), I'd say that Eric over at Gleanings of Grace
jinxed my Christmas. However, I know all too well that it was probably a warning from the Lord Himself! You see, just before leaving to spend Christmas at my in-laws, I read this post
. Amen, amen, Pastor Spurgeon.
The fact of the matter is, like the prince of preachers put it so well, there really isn't, or ever has been, anything particularly "Christian" in "Christmas". From it's Romanist roots to it's present wasteful and materialistic mess, the way I see it, Christmas has always been far more of an aggravation and stumbling block to Christians than a blessing. I've been saved for roughly 19 years now, 9 of those years I've been a pretty serious Christian, and I'd say the last 6, I've been a full blown fundamentalist. And throughout all these years, I can affirm one thing, without question: the best Christmas was, spiritually, only a mediocre one. I have never gone through a Christmas season having done as good, or better in the spiritual realm as any other time of the year. And this year was no different.
That's a problem.
Being a scientist by trade, when faced with a problem, I strive to find an answer. As it stands right now, I'm SERIOUSLY tempted to do away with Christmas completely. No more waste, no more spending on stuff no one needs, no more training my kids in materialism and over consumption. All of it sounds pretty good to me.
But then, there's another problem.
Again, in the world of science, it isn't uncommon that when remedying one problem, another is created. Doing away with Christmas causes all sorts of nightmares with family and friends... saved and unsaved. Trying to abstain from the various Christmas traditions and activities that surrounds me every mid-December is like trying to keep the tide from coming in; and to be quite honest, I don't think Christmas is a great enough scourge to warrant a tremendous amount of energy spent fighting against it.
So I'm back to square one. That is, trying to get away with celebrating Christmas (with all the gifts, food and family events
), while trying to keep a respectable focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. This compromised solution seems all good, but like I mentioned before, I HAVE NEVER MANAGED TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH ANY DEGREE OF GODLINESS (nor have I ever seen any other Christian succeed in doing so
Now before anyone comments that I'm a whiner for making such a big fuss over ONE day, let me precise that Christmas is NOT JUST ONE DAY for my family. Every Christmas time, we travel to my in-laws, where we usually spend 5-6 days visiting my wife's family and friends, and there is a number of Christmas activities in those 5-6 days. And it doesn't end there! Then we travel back home to visit my side of the family where there is more Christmas stuff awaiting (I have to admit that this second round is far less aggravating since we usually spend only one day with my family and since my Mom and Dad are saved, there is usually some spirituality in our time together
So what do you say, dear readers? Any suggestions?"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14)
Poor Old Canada
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
you know you're morally sunk when...
Check out this sad, disturbing article
The old "if it doesn't harm anyone, then it's okay" argument. This argument is behind the social acceptance of abominations such as homosexuality, drug use, prostitution... etc.
The problem with the Supreme Court of Canada is simple: none of its judges consider, or have any regard for godliness. AIDS (and other venereal diseases
), violence related to immoral affairs, the perverts our young people are becoming because of the example that is set before them... all these are example of THE HARM caused by such wickedness."O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee." (Daniel 9:8)
The prophet Daniel recognized that his people, the Israelites were literally "dazed and confused" because of their wickedness. They had spurned the Laws of God to do evil, and the consequence was violence, the corruption of their society and finally, the Babylonian captivity. Daniel knew that:"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
Canada's sin is great before the Lord, and most Canadians don't even see it! The reproach God has against our land is astronomical, and yet most Canadians think we are actually becoming a better society! Talk about warped.
Personally, I can't think of one single reason why a severe judgment against my country wouldn't be in the works as we speak. I'm most certainly not hoping for it, but I can totally see how ripe we are for one. And should such a judgment come of this wicked land, would we be wise enough to even recognize the judgment and repent? Or would we just, like Israel of old, remain as confused and wicked as ever?"Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint." (Isaiah 1:5)
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Going Back To Our Roots
Sunday, December 18, 2005
merits of dispensational thinking...For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:13-24)
In case you haven't been paying attention, Christianity is in SERIOUS demise in the so-called Free World (e.g. USA, Canada, England, France, Germany... etc
). This is a disturbing and distressing fact to most saints, but not to this one. You see, western nations are simply going back to their "normal" selves.
Throughout Scripture, we often encounter statements like:" For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens." (Psalm 96:5)"For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries" (1 Peter 4:3)
The "Gentiles" and "the nations" in the verses above... that's us Westerners, along with all other non-Jewish peoples. We are the "wild branches" grafted into the good olive tree of God's grace; and note from Romans 11, we have been grafted "contrary to nature". Israel, the Jewish people is the natural branch, which will ultimately, return to it's place on the olive tree. Every day that goes by, we get closer to "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25).
Abortion, homosexuality, godlessness, violence... these terrible abominations that are thriving in the Free World, that's just "the nations being the nations". Oh! I'm not saying that we shouldn't be infuriated at the present state of the Free World, or that we shouldn't be hoping and praying for a return to godliness. The Bible clearly states:"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentations 3:26)
That being said, what is happening now, is actually normal. Yes, NORMAL. My country, along with it's western allies, are returning to their "wild branch" ways, leaving the grace and blessing of the Good Olive Tree (aka: the Lord Jesus Christ
). Sad... terribly disappointing... but completely natural nonetheless. We have enjoyed, for a number of generations now, great spiritual blessing here in the West. For a long time, the branches called Canada and America, though contrary to nature, have enjoyed the root and fatness of the Olive Tree, but it would seem that time is coming to an end.
Should we panic? Should we crawl under a rock and wait for the Lord to return? No, and no. We shouldn't panic because what is happening is totally normal and biblical (2 Peter 3
). We shouldn't become defeatists, for when the world gets darker, the light of Christians become brighter.
I don't let the politics, the social trends, the culture of my country shake me or distress me. If God blesses and revives Canada: praise His Holy Name! If he does not, I'll keep on truckin', or more specifically, preachin'. I hope for revival and spiritual prosperity, but I never lose sight of the fact that I am a Gentile in a Gentile land; and while this particular Gentile has been redeemed, my Gentile country hasn't been.
There is one redeemed nation, one redeemed people, and it isn't Canada:"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, December 17, 2005
another night of preaching in the books...
Again my pastor, brother Laz and myself were out in the marketplace for a good three hours, preaching the Gospel and distributing Bible literature. We got a huge amount of snow in the last 24 hours so the market was kind of quiet tonight (people didn't want to brave the slick roads
). Surprisingly though, we passed a record amount of Gospel literature tonight, so please pray that those "seeds" will find good ground (Matthew 13
Sadly though, while we did well with the Bible tracts, we had very few one-on-one conversations, and the ones I did have were most UN-profitable. And I must say that as the night wore on, things began to degenerate: insults, mockery, curses... I even had a young lady so bothered by my preaching, she decided to throw a snow/ice ball at me."The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" (Matthew 10:24-25)
They hated the Lord Jesus Christ and His message, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the nonsense I put up with tonight.
Funny/Sad moment of the night: I ran into a friend tonight who in the past had professed to be a Christian. This friend was DEFINITELY up to no good in the marketplace, so our meeting was short and uncomfortable (for my friend that is
). Ah! hypocrisy! How difficult it is to cover.
And with that, I'm off to a well deserved night of rest. Good night dear readers.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
man! I love Spurgeon...
My brother-in-the-Lord, Eric, has posted on his blog
a short and excellent excerpt from C.H. Spurgeon.Go check it out!
There will indeed be no atheists in Hell!
The War on Christmas and Western Hypocrisy
Sunday, December 11, 2005
reminder: we are not of this world!!!
During my short stay in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago, I spent a good part of my evenings watching FoxNews
. For a Canadian born-again Christian, most of the commentaries on FoxNews
are quite the encouragement. "Praise God!" I thought, "finally a news service that don't treat Christian conservatives values like an abomination and a scourge on the Earth!"
The chief topic which was front and center was the so-called "War on Christmas" that left-wing organizations like the ACLU
are waging in the USA; these groups, through the courts, work at getting anything that looks like Christianity out of public schools, government buildings, historical sites... etc. And at this time of the year, Christmas is the #1 target; I mean, you have the word "Christ" there... YIKES!!! Anyway, it would seem that FoxNews
has taken up the mission to defend "traditional Christmas" against the evil forces of the American left. And believe me, religious America has answered the Fox call, and have risen in force to defend "Merry Christmas" against the vile "Happy Holidays".
Now I'm a Christian Fundamentalist, the only Christmas I have time for is a Christ-centered one; I have no time for this "Happy Holidays" nonsense. That being said, I have to say that Fox's O'Reilly
, by the second evening in front of FoxNews
really began to irk me. Why? Because FoxNews
and religious America haven't teamed up together to bring a Christ-centered Christmas, they got together to defend a "traditional Christmas". A Christmas where church plays an unspecified role, where a Christmas tree is involved (*Rand looks all over his Bible for instructions on having a decorated tree at Christmas)
, where the colours "red" and "green" are plastered all over... etc.
You see, FoxNews
, like most conservative association (whether it be Canada's Conservative party
or Focus on the Family
), do not strive for Truth. They strive for "tradition". Consider the debate over gay marriage: how do they contrast the two sides? Answer: gay marriage and the "traditional definition of marriage" (not the godly or biblical definition... no, no... that would be crazy talk!)
Well I have no time for this nonsense. The Lord does not instruct His church to get on board with Bill O'Reilly
to fight for traditions, rather, He calls us to preach the Truth that is in Christ Jesus."Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
A Christian can get seriously side tracked by focusing his/her efforts in these worldly conservative efforts. Oh sure, it may all be very well intentioned, but if it isn't of the Truth, than it is vain and a waste of time. The fact of the matter is, if the Gospel doesn't change people, nothing else will do. Whether guys like Bill O'Reilly
, Rush Limbaugh
or Jerry Falwell
succeed or not at establishing a more traditional, conservative philosophy in America, in the end, if Christ is absent, the country will be no more righteous and upright than if the ACLU
ran the show from beginning to end.
Christian, you want to make the world a better place through socio-political means? You are wasting your time. The curse of God is on this wicked world and it will only get worse and worse until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up His perfect kingdom on the Earth (clearly taught in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and 4)
. You want to make a difference? You want to do good? Well then..."Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, December 10, 2005
a good night...
A solid three hours of street preaching tonight. My pastor, brother Laz and myself were in the field, and it really was, for the most part, a good night. Mockers and scorners were few in number, and our preaching went unhindered. Even the weather cooperated: it snowed a bit, but it was still quite mild.Highlights of the night:1-
I offered a young lady, who was walking by me, a Bible tract. She gave me an embarrassed smile, and walked passed me without taking the tract. "Oh, well..." I thought. But then, about 8-10 feet away, she did a 180, and still with the embarrassed smile, she took the tract and started reading it as she walked away.2-
I had a long conversation with a man named Denis tonight. He is a French speaking Romanist, who was out having a few beers with his friends. When he saw the Gospel signs we were carrying, he walked up to me and asked:
"What's the point of all this?"
"The point is preaching the Truth that is in Jesus, and your need to come to God through Him," I responded.
"Oh! I believe in Jesus," he affirmed, pulling out a crucifix attached to a gold chain he was wearing.
"Ah, but that's not Jesus," I replied. "That's an idol and God hates idols."
I went on to show him the Second Commandment
and he saw with his own eyes that he violating the commandment with his crucifix. I explained to him that contrary to the teachings he received from his priest, "being Catholic" did not mean "being Christian". I touched on some of the issues where the Scriptures and Romanism just don't mix, and I could tell that all of this was really weighing heavy on his mind.
He then attempted to show me the merits of Romanism in his hometown, how the Romanist building was a focal point in the community, and gave his small town a place to get together... etc... etc. I answered:
"What will happen to you after you die Denis?"
He just gave me a perplexed, kind of clueless look.
"You see my friend," I started, "when you stand before the Living God, the fact that you had a cute little community with a lovely little "church" building where you could all get together isn't going to matter much. What will matter is whether or not you know the Lord Jesus Christ, the REAL JESUS, the JESUS of the Bible, and whether you are born-again."
He immediately saw the merit of what I was saying, but I could tell it was disturbing him deeply. He tried to discredit our evangelism by assuming that we were most likely a bunch of unemployed guys, looking to dupe people into a religious scam (because of course, all open air evangelists are jobless bums... lol)
. After I told him what I did for a living, he was undone. Not only did I have a job, he was forced to admit that I was most likely better educated than him.
I invited him to church on the Lord's Day. I promised him a French Bible if he came. Please pray that Denis will come to our church service and that the Lord will save him by the reading and studying of the Word of God."My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)
In the end, I am comforted that that verse will be played out perfectly. All the people who read the Gospel signs, took a Bible tract, listened to the preaching, if any of them are of the Lord's sheep, sooner or later, they will follow Him.
Salvation Unto Election... What???
Thursday, December 08, 2005
you really have to hate the doctrine of election...
These are excerpts from T.P. Simmons' A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrines, a theology book we are studying through on our Wednesday evening prayer meeting (we spend half our time studying, half our time praying):"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me..." (John 6:37a)It is manifest that this passage represents the Father's giving of people to the Son as preceding their coming to the Son. The Father's act of giving people to the Son (by which is here meant the divine efficacy in bringing them into the actual possession of the Son through repentance and faith, the verb "giveth" being in the present tense) involves an election of those thus given, inasmuch as all are not given. And since this giving precedes salvation, then election must precede salvation. This giving, of course, proves the eternity of election in the light of the immutability of God. But we are here concerned only with showing that election precedes salvation. The divine efficacy in bringing men to Christ is alluded to in John 6:44,65, and Eph. 1:4."...and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48b)This passage puts ordination to eternal life before faith, and, consequently, before salvation. This ordination to eternal life involves election on the same grounds that the giving of the former passage involves election.Some have tried to turn the passage around and make it read: "As many as believed were ordained to eternal life," which is the way it would have to read in order to even permit the interpretation that election and salvation take place at the same time. But the Greek construction will not allow this transposition. Thayer says the passage refers to "as many as were appointed to obtain eternal life, or to, whom God had decreed eternal life.""But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)Since men are chosen or elected "unto salvation, their election must precede salvation. This is manifest to all except a certain class of Arminians who are incapable of understanding plain English.
The doctrine that declares salvation and election taking place at the same time is unbiblical; it is heresy.
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Babies Who Die (Part IV)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
logic... logic... logic...
To conclude my small series on the fate of infants who die, I will set forth a couple of arguments that totally based on sound reasoning and logic. In part III
, we had considered what the Scriptures had to say on the matter, and I believe that these Scriptures point quite clearly to the salvation of all infants who die.
Please note: I am NOT putting human reasoning or logic above Scripture. All our thinking and figuring must be based and directed by the infallible Word of God; and make no mistake, WE ARE TO THINK AND FIGURE! God gave us a brain... we are to use it!Argument # 1:
No one is born an atheist. Most atheists even concede this point. It takes time and conditioning for a person to come to the point where he/she truly believes that there is no "god". We are told in Scripture that God is revealed to everyone of us through Creation and that His laws are written in our hearts (Romans 1:19-20; 2:14)
. The knowledge of the existence of God and even some His attributes are definitely innate.
Close your eyes. Imagine a baby. A baby you've seen lately. Whether the infant is family, or the child of a friend or neighbour, it doesn't matter. Now imagine this infant writhing in pain in a literal lake of fire.
There is only one word that truly defines the feeling you just got here: REVOLTING. The mere thought of infants being cast into everlasting fire for original sin is revolting and abominable. This reaction is shared by people of different cultures and faiths, and that, without teaching or indoctrination. It is an innate sense we all have.
Could we not make the argument that this innate sense is there because God put it there? Is this not an example of "natural affection" which we read of in Romans 1? And then, would not God have this "natural affection" for infants?Argument # 2:
We don't execute young people or mentally challenged individuals in the Free World. No matter how heinous the crime, civilized society does not impose capital punishment on souls that have under-developed understanding or reasoning, whether it is caused by immaturity or mental disability. Few are the people who would say that this isn't proper. Now I'm not talking about the 16-year-old who murders and gets off easy because the law defines an adult at 18 years of age. No, no. I'm referring to an actual child (below 10-12 year's of age).
Why would we not expect this kind of wisdom from our All Wise God?
Listen, what would executing a person who doesn't understand the consequences of his/her actions accomplish? In what way would this serve justice?
Consider the baby in Hell. Burning, in torment, and COMPLETELY CLUELESS! The infant will be suffering for no other reason than being born a son or daughter of Adam, and for eternity, he/she will have NO IDEA why life was so short, and the suffering is so long.
Hardly seems logical, hardly seems right.
So, there you have it. This four part series basically summarizes why I believe that all infants and mentally challenged individuals are covered by our Lord Jesus Christ's atonement, and therefore saved by the marvelous grace of our God. The Scriptures point in that direction, and good common sense also.
Why fight it?
Friday Night Notes
Friday, December 02, 2005
an exhausting day...
Well, I'm back. I spent the last three days in New Jersey for an important business trip, and upon my return, a solid night of street preaching awaited. I thought of taking the night off, but I was unable to go preaching last week, and I didn't want to make it two weeks without evangelism.
So as soon as my plane landed, I rushed home, hugged my wife, hugged my kids, had a quick dinner and then off I went to my pastor's house. We went out preaching for about 2.5 hours in some pretty cold, windy weather. Brother Laz joined us after the first hour (he was working late tonight)
... it was good to be with my brothers, working for the Gospel's sake again.The highlights of my day:
-Seeing the New York city skyline from above (what a huge city!).
-When I got home, I noticed a sign in the front window. I read: "Welcome Home Daddy!"The lowpoint of my day:
-Being stuck in traffic on my way home from the airport. We had a quite the little snow storm, and it got c-c-c-cold real fast; these contributed to many car accidents, which delayed my homecoming.
-Being treated like an idiot by the general public as I was preaching the Gospel. But hey! Surely, I had it coming... preaching the Bible in public... how quacky is that!?!