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)
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
she's a tough girl I tell ya!!!
It's January 31st!
My wife and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary. I know... I know: "who gets married in the middle of winter!?!" Well... we did! And a wonderful wedding it was! I mean, you couldn't do this
on any old summer day. Yep, that's us, skating on the Rideau Canal (the longest outdoor ice rink in the world)
right after the wedding ceremony.
The Bible says:"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22)
And Solomon gets a big AMEN out of me on that one. Married life is great... it really is. My wife is a rare pearl of high value, and there is no doubt that she is a blessing from God Himself to me. It's been a very eventful 8 years, and I look forward to many more adventures with my help meet, my lovely Twinkle."Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Threefold cord: Rand + Twinkle + The Lord.
Friday Night Notes
Friday, January 27, 2006
a bad bunch...
Yet another warmer than normal January night (warm for Canada
), a good night for street preaching. We spent our normal 3 hours preaching the Gospel and distributing Bible tracts to a mostly hostile people. There were no serious persecution or hardship, but our preaching, for the most part, was NOT well received.
On a number of occasions tonight, people would walk up to me to get one of my tracts, not knowing what they were about. After seeing the titles, most made faces expressing disgust and revoltion. Others still made vulgar, scornful comments. These observations again reminded me: they really, really hate God! They hate to be reminded of Him, they hate the very thought of Him."If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." (John 15:18-20)More Bad:
A police officer tried to shut us down early tonight; he ordered my pastor to leave the marketplace. He said he got complaints about our preaching. My pastor diplomatically offered to move to a different street to preach, and the police officer let us go. The officer was NOT a pleasant character.Some Good:
I was holding a Gospel sign and distributing Bible tracts when a man actually pulled his car over, lowered the window and asked me for a tract. He really went out of his way to get the literature. I hope that this is the beginning of salvation for him.
A little after that, I was walking down a street (again with the Gospel sign), when I heard a man speaking in French behind me:
"C'est un jehovah..." he said to his friend. (translation: he's a jehovah, as in a jehovah's witness)
I made sure to turn around and make it clear to him that I most certainly was NOT a follower of the WatchTower; I explained to him that I was a follower of the Jesus of the Bible. The man walked with me for quite a bit of time and we had a very good chat. His friend kept making fun of me, but the man defended me and apologized for his friend's rudeness. I left a Bible tract with the men. Again, I hope the Lord will do something for these souls.
On that note, I'm going to close tonight's notes. I have a very busy weekend, and I need some rest to face it. Please pray for me, as I will be preaching on Lord's Day (the evening service
Good night, dear readers,
Canadian Election Results
Monday, January 23, 2006
I guess we'll just have to see...
Well, we have a new Prime Minister. Stephen Harper of the Conservative
party has won himself a minority government, which means that while his party has won the most seats, the only way he can pass legislation is to make deals/coalitions with other parties, which sadly are all very left-wing.
So Canada may be a little better off tonight, but not that much better.
As I mentioned before, Stephen Harper isn't going to save Canada... not with a minority, or a majority government. Only King Jesus can do that... and believe me, I'll be praying for the reviving power of God for my country."Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation." (Psalm 85:6-7)"Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." (Psalm 118:25)
Going To The Polls
Sunday, January 22, 2006
hoping for better days but not holding my breath...
Well, we're heading to the polls tomorrow... it's federal elections in Canada. We'll be voting for the Conservatives simply because there is NO WAY any serious, sober-minded Christian could vote for any other major party. Looks like I will be on the winning side too, all the latest surveys put the Conservatives well in the lead.
This doesn't excite me though... the fact of the matter is, the whole country is wicked and godless, and Stephen Harper
isn't going to save Canada. I'm just hoping the Conservatives will, at the very least, not let things degenerate as quickly as the Liberals did.
All this being said, my faith and hope isn't in any earthly prime minister, president or king... my faith is in the King of kings, and Lord of lords!"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 21, 2006
up and down night...
Another Friday night of street preaching in the books. Three hours of pure Gospel preaching by the Lord Jesus Christ's three soldiers: Rand, Rand's pastor and brother Laz. It was another unusually warm night so there was plenty of people out in the marketplace. There was a lot of good tonight, and quite a bit of bad; but the Lord protected us from much of the bad.The Good:
1- A young woman walked by me and read the John 3:16 sign I was holding up. I overheard her say to her friend: "You know, I've never a passage of the Bible, but I know John 3:16 by heart!" Praise God for the work of his preachers!!!
2- I had a good conversation with a young French couple who wanted to know why we were preaching in the marketplace. I explained to them that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded all His saints to "go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15),
and that' s why we were preaching. I told them that the Lord saves His people through the preaching of His Bible. The young man said: "wow! that takes courage man!" They gladly accepted a Gospel tract. Please pray that this would be the beginning of spiritual life for these two souls.
3- I was under threat, so I was keeping an eye on my back, when, out of the blue, Dan and his wife walked right up to me! Dan is a fellow I often work with in the lab. Apparently, Dan hadn't heard that old Rand was a street preacher. With wide eyes and a lot of emotion (which is quite a rare site... Dan is usually super-mellow) he said: "Rand! I can't believe your doing this! This is soooo good!" I have, on numerous occasions seen co-workers in the marketplace during our Friday night evangelism, and most of them have ignored me, pretending not to see me(I believe that, in total, only 3 co-workers came by to say hello). So I was pleased that not only did Dan stop to talk to me, but that he actually encouraged me and spoke well of what I was doing. Unfortunately... things didn't go so well after that...The Bad:
1- I don't know if this is really bad, but I'm certainly not pleased with how things went. You see, Dan revealed that he and his wife were Romanists (and I can assure you, they are SERIOUS Romanists). Dan's wife then started to tell me a story about how "today, Romanist or Anglican or Baptist, it doesn't matter, we are all Christians after all.
" I wanted to express an objection to this but I couldn't find the words; I was probably nervous of insulting Dan. Before I could think of something to say, Dan's wife says:
"Dan, let's pray for Rand!"
"Oh! no!" I thought.
But again, before I could say anything, they were in full prayer. For the record, the prayer was pretty respectful (it's not like the said the Hail Mary or anything
), but they did end it with the reciting of the Lord's Prayer. Totally messed up, I thanked Dan to have had come talk to me, and they were on their way.
I'm not pleased with this situation because I feel like they may have taken my awkward silence as a sign that their philosophy was unimpeachable. I'm also angry that I probably let my fear of offending Dan get in the way of preaching Truth. I spoke to my pastor about my choking and he comforted me by saying: "Rand, there's a time to keep your mouth shut, maybe that's what the Lord wanted tonight." Hope he's right.
Please pray that the Lord will open a door at my workplace, that I truly may share my faith with Dan. For the record: I did give them a Bible tract, so it wasn't all messed.
2- That "under threat" I mentioned in "the good
", well, that was our drunk friend
again. Just like last summer, he commanded us to stop preaching or he was going to take us down. Well this time, he didn't get violent. He eventually walked away, but he made sure to curse us with every possible curse word he could think of. Oh! that problem with violence
... still a problem I'm afraid.
3- A lesbian walked by me as I was distributing Gospel tracts. She got right in my face and hissed:
"I'm a devil's child!"
"Okay," I calmly replied.
It's hard on the pride sometimes, to be disrespected, mocked and scorned and having to just take it. But hey! my Lord has gone through far worse."God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6b)"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 2: 21-23)
Well, it's been a long night... time for some rest. Good night, dear readers.
Revealing The Dispensational Straw Man
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
can you judge fairly?
Sorry friends, but it was a trick question.
In my last post, I asked: "Can a Calvinist (one who believes in the 5 Doctrines of Grace), reject infant baptism and still be consistent in his/her theology? Or is he/she living with contradictions?"
I had a pretty good idea how most of you would answer this question, and now, I'm afraid, I will be using your responses to make a point.
Most of you, in your answers went WAY FARTHER then just answering the question, affirming that there was no Biblical basis in infant baptism. Since I know that most of you are both Baptists and Calvinists, the expression of such views was not a shocking surprise.
The fact of the matter is, there is NO CONTRADICTION in a believer holding to the five Doctrines of Grace while rejecting Infant Baptism. Believer's Baptism does not negate, in any way, Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace or the Perseverance of the Saints. Calvinism is a soteriological view, Baptism, both Infant and Believer's, has nothing to do with the Doctrine of Salvation; as in, Baptism does NOT bring about any form of Salvation. Therefore, both doctrines are independent of each other.The Punch Line:
In the last few weeks, I have been taken to task over my position on eschatology. I have never hid the fact that I was a Dispensationalist, but it would seem that most of you took special notice when I mentioned the fact a few weeks ago. The response was quick, and dare I say harsh. I received a few comments and a number of e-mails in which the basic theme was: "are you crazy? Don't you know that Dispensationalism is contrary to the Reformed view?"
The funny thing is that most of the saints who have authored these comments/e-mails were Baptists, saints that already rejected one of the main tenets of the Reformed view. Now before you all click on the Comment box link of this post, please consider my case carefully.
1- Read this definition of Dispensationalism
(this definition, isn't a perfect definition, in that it's too concise, but the basics are there).
2- Find in the above definition a tenet that would make Dispensationalism contrary to any of the five Doctrines of Grace.
Good luck. You can play interpretive gymnastics 'till your brain jams, in the end, any honest soul will come to the very basic conclusion that Dispensationalism is an eschatological view that does not negate, in any shape or form, any of the tenets of the soteriological system called Calvinism. Just like Infant/Believer's Baptism have no bearing on the Doctrines of Grace (and vice-versa), Dispensationalism has no bearing Calvinism.
Some of you here will object: "if Dispensationalism isn't anti-Calvinism, why are most authors who defend the Dispensational view anti-Calvisnist?" To this I will answer: "if Believer's Baptism isn't anti-Calvinist, why are most who defend Believer's Baptism, anti-Calvinist?" The answer to both questions, dear readers, is quite simple. It is not that these doctrines are somehow connected to each other theologically, but rather, it is due to tradition and education. Most of the early reformers, having just come out of Romanism (as my friend Pete mentioned in his comment), continued to profess Infant Baptism, so when studying the Doctrines of Grace, many Christians not only get the Reformers view on Salvation, but they get their view on baptism as well. Similarly, most early Dispensationalists were anti-Calvinism, therefore, while studying the eschatological view, many saints are also influenced by these men's aversion of the Doctrines of Grace.
The fact that Charles Ryrie, Greg Laurie, and other Dispensationalists have written volumes of material against all facets of Reformed Theology means as much to me as the volumes John Calvin, Martin Luther and other reformers wrote against Baptists (or Anabaptists
). And for the record: quoting men like Greg Laurie and Tim LaHaye to bash Dispensationalism is like an Arminian quoting Phred Phelps and Karl Barth to bash Calvinism. An honest soul desiring to get the jist of Calvinism reads Calvin's Institutes
, Spurgeon's Defense of Calvinism
, or R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God
. Similarly, an honest soul who desires to get a clear picture of Dispensationalism reads Pentecost's Things To Come
, Walvoord's The Blessed Hope And The Tribulation
, or the treasury of notes in the New Scofield Bible
written by an elite group of Bible scholars which included Charles Feinberg, who incidently, was a Calvinist.
I know that this post will not stop all false accusations against Dispensationalism; the fact of the matter is, it is far easier attacking straw men than shaking off the laziness and actually studying. Some of you will continue to enjoy casting the old "disappearing/raptured airline pilot" scenario in my teeth, and quote endlessly the nonsense Tim LaHaye comes up with in one of his books/movies. So be it. All I ask of such souls is the next time they are faced with an anti-Calvinist, harping on the multiple Calvinist straw men, that they at least TRY to not be to hypocritical.
My fundamental 0.02$,
Labels: Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Doctrines of Grace, Premillianism
A Straw Man???
Monday, January 16, 2006
know what you stand against...
In his great book Chosen by God
, which was instrumental in my "conversion" to Calvinism, R.C. Sproul relates a story from his friend John Gerstner. The story takes place at a Presbyterian church where the baptism of infants were to take place. Dr. Gerstner explained to an elder of the church that the purpose of infant baptism was one "of washing away the sin of innocent babies"
You see, Dr. Gerstner, R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer and many other Reformed authors view baptism as the New Testament equivalent of circumcision. They believe that it is a sign of the New Covenant. This view is nothing new, Calvin and most of the early reformers professed this view of baptism. Covenant/Amillenial theology, the Doctrines of Grace, and Infant Baptism are the three major doctrines that form what is commonly called "Reformed Theology".
Considering all this, dear readers, I have a question for you all. Most prominent Calvinists also profess infant baptism, they are "Reformed". R.C. Sproul in a book on the Doctrines of Grace makes sure to mention the practice of infant baptism as a biblical practice. John Calvin himself, the man from which the label Calvinist came from believed in infant baptism.The Question:
Can a Calvinist (one who believes in the 5 Doctrines of Grace), reject infant baptism and still be consistent in his/her theology? Or is he/she living with contradictions?
My 0.02$ on this soon...
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Rand is wearied from his day...
FOUR big hours of street preaching tonight. My pastor thought we should take advantage of the mild weather to put out an extra hour of evangelism (it was 4 degrees Celsius tonight, not typical Canadian weather for January)
. The market was full of people tonight, and I mean full. It would seem that it wasn't only us preachers who decided to take advantage of the mild temperature. Here are the notes:The Good:
1- Had a conversation with a Muslim. He was somewhat open to what I had to say. He explained to me that he had two problems with Christianity: the first was the multitude of denominations which all claimed to be Christian, and the second was the Trinity. I answered his first objection by asking him if everyone he knew which called themselves Muslims were necessarily Muslim. That took care of that. I then answered his second problem by explaining to him that the bus shelter he was standing in was proof that something could be three, and still be one. The bus shelter had length, it had width, and it had height; and while all these measurements are individual and separate, they still make ONE bus shelter. I left him to his thoughts.
2- I'm not sure if this really fits in the "Good" category, but it made me smile. An Asian fellow walked up to me and said: "Can I ask you something? I would just like to know where the..." He paused when he noticed I was holding a sign. He read it
. He then said: "Maybe I shouldn't ask you after all..." And that's when I started smiling. You see, most likely, the man was about to ask me where the strip club was, or some bar, and when he saw the Gospel, conviction did it's work. He knew I wouldn't approve of what he was going to ask me, so he opted to ask someone else."For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another)." (Romans 2:14-15)The Bad:
1- John 3:16
and a Gospel tract entitled "God, Jesus Christ and you"
I was offering to those who walked by me. Hardly the most offensive stuff one can come up with. Yet I couldn't believe tonight just how negative the response was to these two statements. Well over 90% of the people who walked by, after reading the Bible verse or the title of the tract, responded with a deep and frustrated sigh, or an "oh... gawd!", or some other display of revulsion. My poor country, it's playing out Romans 1:21-32
to a tee.
2- A man named Barry stopped by as I was preaching. He listened quietly for awhile which was good, the problem was, he didn't stay quiet. Barry was obviously drunk out of his mind, so I didn't want to get into too deep of a conversation with him (you can never get to far with someone who is under the influence of alcohol)
. Anyway, things degenerated when Barry decided to make crude comments to any and all women who walked by us. The last thing I wanted was for the public to think that I was associated in any way with this Barry, but he wouldn't leave me alone. Thankfully, that nonsense only lasted a couple of minutes. He took a some of our literature and left.Friday Night Confession:
Okay... I'm a very, very bad man. I got a warning from a by-law officer tonight, and she wasn't to pleased with me. You see, often when we go preaching, we bring this little amplifier with us so that our voices can carry over the noise of the city a bit. We don't blast it, we are quite conservative with the volume.
That being said, we are not suppose to use the amp, because there is a by-law against public speaking with an amplifier. My pastor refuses to submit to this by-law because it is obviously meant to shut down street preachers. Proof: one can sing, "rap" or play musical instruments with an amplifier without any limits on volume, but preaching is a no-no. So we were using the amp tonight and I got threatened with a 300$ ticket.
So I've made up my mind. My voice is strong enough now, I can preach without the amp without too much difficulty, so no more amp for me. The by-law is wicked, but opposing it can become a bad witness, so there."Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:7)
Okay, that's it for me tonight... I need some serious sleep. Take care dear readers...
RandUpdate: I just realized something as I was waking up this morning. I now know why that by-law officer was so irritated. You see, when she came by, none of us was using the amplifier. Without proof we were using it, she couldn't give me a ticket. That's why I got a good scolding instead of a 300$ ticket. Can you say: "phew!" Or maybe "thank you Lord!" is a better expression to use.
It's Hard To Be Humble
Thursday, January 12, 2006
maybe I'm not 100% stupid after all...
Rand, on Thursday, January 5th, said:"The wrath of God fell on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the form of a life threatening stroke. You can take that to the bank, not because God revealed it in the Bible, but because He apparently revealed it to Pat Robertson. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes right now. There have been so many of these in the last few years, I've lost count... Experience tells me that tomorrow (or the next day), there will be another article on this where Robertson will apologize for his remarks..."
Just as I was leaving work, I came across this article
Okay, so my timing was a little off, but you have to admit, I nailed that one down pretty well.
Indeed... it is hard to be humble...
Time Travel - Expedition # 3
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
melancholy and the infinite sadness...(if you don't know what this is... check out Expedition # 1. You might want to then read Expedition # 2)'93
At this point, I knew that all was lost. I had failed at everything, and it was too late to even attempt saving anything. I had lost the girl, I had lost my confidence, I was failing my year at University... there was absolutely nothing good in my life at this point, and the future didn't give much of anything by way of hope.
My bed had become my enemy. A place where I layed and tortured myself with thoughts of just how bad my situation was... how hopeless everything was. The red hot pain inflicted on me by someone I wanted sooo bad burned double in intensity in bed. As I lay there, staring at the ceiling, my teeth would be clenched so tightly, my jaw would begin to hurt after a short period of time. I would sometimes think: "it would be good to die right about now." But those thoughts never really became serious.
So I stayed away from my bed. I stayed up all hours of the night, until exhausted, I would fall asleep either on my residence couch, or immediately upon touching my bed. Alcohol also became a good help in numbing my brain in preparation for bedtime.
Things were far worse before the music
came into the picture. I have never been particularly good at expressing emotion. So until I discovered alternative grunge music
, I just kept everything penned up inside, trying to suppress the pain and anguish I was in. Of course, it didn't work particularly well. On more than one occasion, I made a Class A fool of myself in public, usually under the influence, spreading my multiple issues before all. Humiliation ensued."Disarm you with a smileAnd leave you like they left me hereTo wither in denialThe bitterness of one who's left aloneOoh, the years burnOoh, the years burn, burn, burn"(Disarm, The Smashing Pumpkins)
Enter such songs
. It's lyrics and sounds expressing in word and noise, every fear, every pain, and all hopelessness I was feeling. Then came one night in particular: I was looking out my bedroom window; all the lights were off... it was snowing outside... the radio playing in the background
... and as I listened and stared into the cold night from my darkened room; I felt alone, melancholic and incredibly... comforted.
Yes, comforted. It was the music
you see. My most secret thoughts and feelings found their outlet. I no longer had to make a fool of myself, or look pathetic in front of my friends. I could keep the details penned in, and when it got to be too much, I could just head back to the music
for a proper "venting". No one had to know anything about my pain. No one had to know about my weaknesses. I could simply rely on the music
, and just look like I guy who really liked to rock
Oh! but the feeling I experienced that night! I knew something had happened to me, but I couldn't make out what it was. I knew that it probably wasn't a good thing, but I also knew that it would most likely help me survive my hardships. So willingly and consciously, I let myself drop into the deep well of melancholy and gloom...(For the record: I spent 3-5 years in this state. Over time, through the powerful medium of music, my sadness and my melancholy transformed themselves into bitterness. Bitterness eventually developed into anger. Anger finally became hatred and an inordinate affection for all things unlovely, and ungodly.)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 07, 2006
yikes! it was even colder than last week!
Street preaching in the cold is no fun, and it was COLD tonight. It dropped down to -18 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit for my American readers. Some of you may think: "That's not that cold!" Let me assure you that standing on a street corner with the sole activity being preaching, it gets pretty nippy. Anyway, we were out there for our usual 3 hours; the usual suspects being present, that is myself, brother Laz and my pastor.
It was a pretty standard Friday night of evangelism. Lots of mockery and scorn, a few honest questions and kind exchanges, but in the end, no apparent sign of salvation. That being said, I know the Lord will use the work done for His honour and glory, and that HE WILL save his people from their sins.
Instead of getting into details tonight, I will grant Puritan Belief
his wish, and give you all a few examples of what we preach when we are on the street. Note that street preaching involves a great deal of improvisation. If no one stops to listen, then you can pretty much repeat the same Scriptures for awhile until someone does pay attention. At that point, we develop the message to teach our listeners the Truth of the Gospel.
I tend to use a lot of Scripture that I have memorized to start my sermons. The reason? Because faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
After that, I expand on it with examples or explanations, if anyone is paying attention that is. Here are some examples:
1- "Friends, the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
. Tonight, as you are walking along the street, are you collecting the consequences of sin? Are you on your way to eternal condemnation? Or have you received eternal life through Christ? Is Christ your Lord tonight? Are you serving Him? Friends, you belong to the one you serve. Do you serve Satan through sin and wickedness tonight, or are you serving the Living God through faith in Jesus? In the end, my friends, you will either waste your life in sin and end up condemned, the second death, or you will live a life that glorifies God in Christ, to the saving of your soul..."
2- "The Bible commands us to seek the LORD while he may be found, to call upon him while he is near.
Have you obeyed this commandment? Have you sought after God by reading your Bibles? By going to a Bible church? By talking with Christians? By taking one of our Gospel tracts? God promises that if you seek God, you will find him, if you seek him with all your heart.
Have you done this? These matters are way too important to ignore my friends. Don't live your whole lives ignorant of the Bible, you will wind up in the Lake of Fire. Seek God by reading His Word!
3- Jesus said in the book of John except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Pretty simple isn't it? If you are not a born again Christian, you are NOT going to God's Heaven. So are you born again? Do you even know what it means? The first time you were born, you were born a sinner. Yes, friends, we are sinners by birth, we are sinner by choice. While we are made PHYSICALLY ALIVE at birth, we are spiritually dead because of the sin of our great, great, great grand-parents, Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve sinned, they became sinners, they died spiritually, and all of us, their children, were born spiritually dead sinners. The second birth, being born again, is when God gives spiritual life to an individual. Such a person would then become "born spiritually". Hence, the born-AGAIN! So are you born again? Do you have a desire for God and for His Word, the Bible? If you have no desire for Christ, you are not born again, rather, you are dead in your sin and trespass
4- Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life: no man can go unto the Father, but by Him
. No other religious or spiritual path will do. If you want peace with God, if you want eternal life, it's in Jesus Christ and no other person. Jesus is the ONE mediator between God and men.
No pope or priest can give you peace with God or eternal life. Mohammed, Buddha, Benedict XVI can't bring you one millimeter closer to the Father. The right WAY, the TRUTH and LIFE eternal are in one Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God
. Are you IN Christ Jesus
tonight, where there is no condemnation
, or have you turned your backs to Him? Have you said "no" to the only name God has provided by which we must be saved?
5- The apostle Paul, in the Bible, wrote not to deceive ourselves; God is not mocked: whatsoever a man sows, he will also reap
, spiritually. If you receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart in this life, the Lord Jesus Christ will receive you in the next life. If you will reject the Lord Jesus Christ in this life, be sure He will reject you when this life comes to an end. If life came to an end tonight my friends, and it totally could for any one of us, what would happen to your eternal souls? The bible tells us that we are all appointed once to die, but after this the judgment.
So what will happen to you at that judgment? Death could come at any time, and after death comes God's judgment. What then my friends? Will you be found in Christ, saved forever more? Or will you be found guilty of sin and condemned already?
There are but a few examples of mini-sermons I expand on when street preaching, there are a lot more floating in my mind. I try to spice things up by using different Scriptures from time to time, and I try to give personal testimonies/examples to make my points clearer and show that my preaching isn't a mere religious exercise, but a true account of the power of God.
Anyway, hope this satisfies your curiosity, my dear readers, I'm off to bed now, it's been a long day. Good night dear friends.
Stupid Assumption of the Week
Thursday, January 05, 2006
"who hath known the mind of God?"
The wrath of God fell on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the form of a life threatening stroke. You can take that to the bank, not because God revealed it in the Bible, but because He apparently revealed it to Pat Robertson
. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes right now. There have been so many of these in the last few years, I've lost count.
Experience tells me that tomorrow (or the next day
), there will be another article on this where Robertson will apologize for his remarks, while affiming that some (if not all
) of his statements were taken out of context. No doubt, it will be proven that some of his statements were indeed taken out of context, the Associated Press is hardly an impartial news source. But with even less doubt, the jist of Robertson's statements will be: "Sharon suffered a stroke because God was angry with him for giving over land that was promised to Abraham's seed."
Now I'm a dispensationalist. I believe that God's convenant with Abraham is an EVERLASTING covenant with Abraham and his seed, the Jews. I believe that the land Sharon has given over to the Palestinian authority belongs to the Jews. I believe God most certainly wasn't pleased with Sharon's policies, but I DON'T ASSUME TO KNOW WHAT GOD, IF ANYTHING, DID ABOUT IT!
Pat Robertson, IMHO would do better to keep his big mouth shut and spend more time studying verses like:"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him." (Proverbs 24:18)"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
In the end, I believe that that is a far better use of his time. It also makes things far better for the church of God.
My fundamental 0.02$,
Sovereign Election and Evangelism
complimentary, not contradictory...
I read this post
on Julianne's Semper Reformanda
yesterday, and found it quite accurate and good. Then, last night, at my church's mid-week meeting, I read the following excerpt from a theology book we are going through together:
"At the same time God chose His people He ordained all the means necessary to accomplish their full and final salvation. See Rom. 8:29,30. These means were inseparably joined to election in the decree of God. We have no sympathy with Hardshellism, hypercalvinism. To say that the elect will be saved whether they ever hear the gospel or not is to misunderstand completely the connection between election and the means God has ordained for the accomplishment of the end of election.
Salvation- spiritual, temporal, and eternal- is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 5:1; Gal. 8:26). All the heathen that die without hearing the gospel will be lost (Rom. 1:19,20; 2:12). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
Wherever God has an elect soul, in the fullness of His own time, He will in some way send the gospel to call that one from darkness to light. See 2 Thess. 2:14. Thus Philip was sent to the elect eunuch, and thus it was given to Paul to endure that the elect might obtain eternal salvation (2 Tim. 2:10). Thus we have the divine tie between election and missions." (T.P. Simmons, A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrines)
So much for the nonsense Arminians claim about Calvinism killing evangelism. Good Calvinists evangelize. They do it out of obedience, the do it because God promises that He will save His elect through "the foolishness of preaching" (1 Corinthians 1:21
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
no! the other "election"...
It's election time in Canada, and I'm not holding my breath for anything good to come of it. I mentioned it once
, I mentioned it twice
: Canada is broke, and by human effort, it can't be fixed. Our politicians are exceeding wicked men, vying to represent an exceeding wicked people. Without a Class A miracle from God, this is the Canada's end point:"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)
While this is all too bad for my country and my fellow countrymen, I have learned to not get overly concerned about it all. I do my part to bring the Gospel of Truth to my fellow Canadians which God commands all saints to do, and after that I take comfort in the following:"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 - emphasis mine)"And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35)
Why should I concern myself with the lies and schemes of wicked politicians and their dumb campaigns? God is in complete control over the Age, and He will save all His elect, regardless of who is elected Prime Minister of Canada. Don't get me wrong, I will vote. I do know the various platforms of the various political parties and, in the end, I will vote for the man who I believe will do "less wickedly". I will not vote for a man per se, I will vote against the others.
While this is somewhat unfortunate, the real aggravation does NOT come from the politicians. For Crazy Rand, the real aggravation comes from some of his own Christian brothers and sisters. The aggravation:-Most Christians I know wouldn't place a Gospel sign on their property for all the tea in China... but a "Elect Joe Bob of the Conservatives" sign, that will be on the front lawn for a solid month.-Again, most Christians wouldn't dream (not for one second) of going door-to-door to bring the Gospel to their neighbourhoods... but canvassing on behalf of a conservative political party, well that they go for!-Finally, most Christians simply will NOT attend their churches services, as in ALL THEIR SERVICES. They're just "too busy" for that! But when it comes to working as a volunteer for a Christian friendly politician, they zealously put in the hours!
This is madness! Pure insanity. Most Christians in Canada would put more work in serving Stephen Harper
then the Lord Jesus Christ!!! So, are they Christians? Or are they Harperites? Do they zealously love the Truth that is in Christ Jesus? Or do they have more affection for the Conservatives
This post isn't an attack on Stephen Harper
or the Conservative party
. I will definitely vote Conservative in the coming election; they are the "least wicked" of the three major political parties. What I hope to accomplish by this post is to get my fellow Christian brothers and sisters thinking about who it REALLY is that they are serving with their lives. Is it the Man you are suppose to be serving, or are you serving a vain cause?"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20)
The New Year... 2006!
Monday, January 02, 2006
one more year, closer to glory...
Just a short post to all you, my dear readers, to wish you all a very Happy New Year. The Lord bless you abundantly in it.
To all you who frequently visit my blog who are still outside the kingdom of God's Dear Son, I hope and pray that the year 2006 will be the year of spiritual awakening and of peace with God. To all you saints of God, I pray for sanctification and the blessing of our Lord upon you and your homes; I hope that 2006 will be more holy and spiritual than 2005.
Again, dear friends, Happy 2006!