Saturday, 17 October 2009

Standing for truth!

It is quite interesting to note, even though few note it, that when truth is really promoted, whether in church or in society, it always provokes a reaction from the ungodly world. Take the preaching ministry, for example. When the Gospel is truly and relevantly preached, it stirs the ire of the ungodly. Indeed, it tackles the 'sacred cows' within that congregation or community. When 'sacred cows' are attacked by faithful preachers, they will know about it.

When a similar stand for truth and righteousness is taken in wider society, then we can but expect the self-same reaction. Truth always hurts! It irritates! It antagonises! If it doesn't, then one must ask if it is truth that is being promoted, or is it mere personal preferences that are being set forward, and not the revolutionary Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Martin Luther famously said that if a man preaches on every subject in the Bible, and refuses to deal with the openly defiant issues of the day, then he can hardly be said to be preaching the Gospel.

If Luther is correct, then much of what passes for Gospel preaching is nothing of the sort. The truth always hits home, even when it is preached or witnessed to in a manner that is less than perfect. It always provokes a reaction from the world; it never fails to stir Satan, the accuser of the brethren.

It is said of John Wesley that when he preached, there was either a revival or a riot! Sad that today, even amongst Wesley's adherents, there is little evidence of his spirit in those who love his name!

We must ask if it is possible for the Gospel to be preached when unbelievers love the preacher! When the world within the church says that the minister is very nice, then he most probably is not proclaiming Christ in all His fulness. If unbelievers can sit comfortably under his ministry, being "at ease in Zion," as Amos said, then something is tragically wrong.

Also, in society, when truth is treasured and precious, and this truth is promoted, then Satan is aroused and bears his evil teeth at those who stand for it.

What is important to know is that when the same truth is promoted, whether in the church or outside of it, the same Satan is provoked, and sets out to take action against those who are men and women of truth.

Christians must ask themselves if they are, in fact, living the truth, or are they just playing at being Christians? Do they know what true truth is (Schaeffer's phrase)? Are their lives based on true truth, or are they 'fly by nights' who have made a 'decision' about something religious, even evangelical, but are not quite sure what it was they decided?

Christians who have lost their saltiness are fit for nothing but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. Beware the judgement of God!

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Sentence of Death

Paul speaks about "the sentence of death" having been passed on him, and his fellow preachers. This was a reality with which he lived on a daily basis, and experienced several attempts to make this reality materialise.

When this happens to the modern day Christian, it is amazing how the amazing grace of God comes to his aid. To know the real presence of the Spirit of God in his heart, is an all too rare felt experience, but at times of extreme challenge, this becomes a reality. To be filled with a conscious sense of the peace of God, amidst hostile external circumstances, is proof of the nearness of God to His people at all times. To have his mind filled with the comforting words of Scripture, puts iron into his faith, and enables him to stand resolute and firm whatever the circumstances.

Then in the midst of disturbing circumstances, to have Ps.46 as the daily reading, with God saying to him through His word that "[He ]was/is their refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble," well, that crowns it, does it not? Even though the entire physical world goes into convulsions, yet God is still the same, and can comfort His people. To "be still and know that [He] is God," is a tonic that cures all spiritual doubts.

"How good is the God we adore! Our faithful, unchangeable Friend. His love is as great as His power, and knows neither measure nor end." That's our God! How truly wonderful He is! He's our Father, in Christ. He loves us with an everlasting love. He is still the Father Who cares.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Why Reformation Tarries!

This is my 83rd posting on this blog, and as a result certain themes have appeared. The one over-arching theme to rise to the top is the critical need for another reformation within the church of Jesus Christ. The identification of this issue will be well received by those who look on the unreformed churches as less than they ought to be, and will give this a warm welcome.

But within the reformed churches, there might appear a very different response. As Reformed churches, they have made it! They are OK, and do not need reformation, and woe betide anyone who even suggests that the reformed churches, especially the purest forms of reformed ecclesiology, need to get back to the Scriptures, and reform their church life and practice according to the supreme rule of faith and worship.

However, the fact remains that all the reformed churches need to take a long and hard look at where they are, how they got there, and how they can return to the biblical position.

Hence, my decision to carry out a piece of research into this very issue. The following matters inter alia need to be addressed, for a start to be made in getting answers to the God-defying situation in many reformed churches today.

When this research has been written up, nothing you have written will be attributed to you - the default position - unless you have given specific instructions about this matter.

1. Name the top five reasons why the church of Jesus Christ needs to be reformed according to the Scriptures. Given reasons for your response.

2. Name the top five reasons why you think the church has got into its present position/condition. Give reasons...

3. What are the top five things/actions that need to be taken in order to initiate reform within the churches. Give reasons....

4. Who must take these actions? Give reasons...

5. Any other points you might want to make will be most welcome.

Please share this website with your sympathetic contacts, and ask for their participation in this research project.

Your assistance will be much appreciated.