Obama’s attack on the Gospel…

At the core of God’s Word is this truth: man is sinful. From Adam—the first man—sin spread to all mankind: “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). We are born sinners who sin. Therefore, when the Son of God took on flesh and lived among men there came an announcement appropriate to the context of the sinfulness of mankind: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). When Jesus began preaching he contextualized perfectly: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

That the One who came to save His people from their sins was a preacher of repentance should not be lost on us. “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4). That Jesus came preaching repentance was God’s tolerance toward you and me. He said what you are is not good, therefore, repent. To the sexual immoral, Jesus says repent. To the thief, Jesus says repent. To the covetous, Jesus says repent. To the drunkard, Jesus says repent. To the fornicator, Jesus says repent. To the idolater, Jesus says repent. To the blasphemer, Jesus says repent. To the self-righteous, Jesus says repent. To me, Jesus says repent. To you, Jesus says repent.

At every point where the unchanging Law of God reveals a knowledge of sin, you and I are called to repent.

Why? Because “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). There is a judgment to come where the repentant will meet their Savior and the unrepentant will meet their uncovenanted Judge.

This is the Christian faith. God’s Word teaches these truths for the good of our own sinful souls, and we announce them for the good of every sinful soul in the world. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Praise God there is that one way…open only to those who repent and believe.

To not announce such glories would be the worst kind of cruelty. To allow someone to persist in his sin until he dies is unkind and merciless. To not call for all men everywhere to repent is to denounce the tolerance of God.

Someone once told me I was a blasphemer and a foul-mouthed jerk…using the words of James 3. I repented by the grace of God. And Scripture has continued the same annihilation of my sinful nature, inherited from Adam. Everywhere proud, everywhere lusting, everywhere envious, everywhere unkind. And I, by the grace of God, hope to continue in repentance until the day I die…and then inherit my reward.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

In hellish contrast, watch this video released by the Obama administration:

Contrast the worldview of this video with what I laid out above from the Scriptures. Repentance—the kindness of God, remember—is the enemy. The gospel of “such were some of you” is intolerable. In its place—all dressed up in the language of affirmation and love—is bondage to sin and the damnable weight of an ever-changing law.

So devastatingly sad. But Christians will continue to preach the gospel of such were some of you until our governing officials make us shut-up. This video makes clear such silence is the desire of our President. In the meantime, we will preach repentance because we love our Savior, the friend of sinners, and because we love sinners.

It is those who reject repentance that hate souls.

What to pray for on a Lord's Day morning (Thomas Watson)…

51XAQ3X7RWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Along with the previous thoughts on Lord’s Day meditation, Watson gives us some specific ways to pray each Sunday morning:

The things we should pray for in the morning of the Sabbath. Let us beg a blessing upon the word which is to be preached; that it may be a savour of life to us; that by it our minds may be more illuminated, our corruptions more weakened, and our stock of grace more increased. Let us pray that God’s special presence may be with us, that our hearts may burn within us while God speaks, that we may receive the word into meek and humble hearts, and that we may submit to it, and bring forth fruits. James i 21. Nor should we only pray for ourselves, but for others.

Pray for him who dispenses the word; that his tongue my be touched with a coal from God’s altar; that God would warm his heart who is to help to warm others. Your prayers may be a means to quicken the minister. Some complain they find no benefit by the word preached; perhaps they did not pray for their minister as they should. Prayer is like the whetting and sharpening of an instrument, which makes it cut better. Pray with and for your family. Yea, pray for all the congregations that meet on this day in the fear of the Lord; that the dew of the Spirit may fall with the manna of the word; that some souls may be converted, and others strengthened; that gospel ordinances may be continued, and have no restraint put upon them. These are the things we should pray for. The tree of mercy will not drop it’s fruit, unless it be shaken by the hand of prayer.

Lord's Day morning meditations (Thomas Watson)…

51XAQ3X7RWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Thomas Watson suggests some ways we can direct our thoughts on Sunday mornings in order to obey the fourth commandment (Exod 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15; Is. 58:13-14). Take these up this coming Lord’s Day and see if you ride on the heights of the earth…

Let your mind dwell on these four things… Continue reading

Do Roman Catholics pray to Mary?

The answer is “yes” but don’t ask a Roman Catholic. On numerous occasions I’ve been told by Roman Catholics that they do not pray to Mary. They explain their use of the Ave Maria and other prayers as requests for Mary to pray for them, not as prayers to Mary. So, what’s the deal?

Generally, I find that the average Roman Catholic (and your average Evangelical Protestant, to be fair) does not know the Bible or the particular teachings of his church. The Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church confirms my suspicion; the official teaching of the RCC is not confused about the question of whether her people pray to Mary… Continue reading

Missing the elephant in the womb…

Sad story in The New York Times this morning…made sadder by the blindness of many of the participants. Amazingly, the hospital and her administrators, who are obeying the laws of the State of Texas, are on the side of the angels this time.

Update: Now baby Munoz’s life is in the hands of the courts. Mr. Munoz has sued the hospital

This morning, Munoz took another step toward fulfilling JPS’ wish for clarity, filing suit in Tarrant County District Court. In the suit, he says the hospital has diagnosed her as “brain dead” and that all life-sustaining treatments should be stopped.

Keeping her alive “makes no sense, and amounts to nothing more than the cruel and obscene mutilation of a deceased body against the expressed will of the deceased and her family.”

Update 1.22.14: The lawyers for Mrs. Munoz’s husband are now claiming the baby is not healthy and so deserves to die. A hearing is set for this Friday in Fort Worth:

A state district judge will hold a hearing Friday to consider removing a pregnant Haltom City woman from life support after she was kept alive by John Peter Smith Hospital against her family’s wishes.

State District Judge R.H. Wallace will hear a request by the family of Marlise Muñoz to have JPS immediately cease further medical procedures and remove her from any respirators, ventilators or other “life support” and release her body to the family for burial.

Please be praying for Judge Wallace and for the life of the baby.

Update 1.24.14: The judge ordered the hospital to terminate the life-support. Many sources are reporting that even the hospital is saying the baby is “not viable.” The Lord knows. The hospital could also now appeal the decision. Here’s a bit from the AP report:

Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. The judge gave the hospital until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support. The hospital did not immediately say Friday whether it would appeal.

Update 1.27.14: The hospital threw in the towel and decided not to appeal the judge’s decision. Mr. Munoz stopped the life-support around noon yesterday. Again, no mention of the baby who was being kept alive by these methods. No mention of the possibility of life coming out of these dire circumstances…

A lawyer for the family said Sunday that Marlise Muñoz was pronounced dead a short time after life support was withdrawn.

“Our client, Erick Muñoz, has authorized us to give notice that today, at approximately 11:30 a.m. … Marlise Muñoz’s body was disconnected from ‘life support’ and released to Mr. Muñoz,” said a statement from the family’s attorneys, Heather L. King and Jessica H. Janicek.

 

You know you are an antinomian if…

Mark Jones, pastor of Faith Vancouver (PCA), has written a timely book exploring the history and tenets of the heresy of antinomianism. Antinomianism has many different flavors but all of them end up diminishing or entirely dismissing the utility of God’s law in the life of the believer. Jones explains antinomianism by going back to the beginning:

Adam was the first antinomian (Rom. 5). In the garden, he was against (anti) God’s law (nomos) when he transgressed by failing to guard the garden and to forbid his wife to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (1)

When Adam decided to reject the continuing validity of God’s law in his and his wife’s life, he became the first antinomian.

Early in Jones’ book, he makes a helpful correction to our view of legalists. When defining legalism we have a tendency to think of it as the opposite of antinomianism; the legalists fight for law and the antinomians fight for not-law. Jones rightly points out that legalism is a form of antinomianism:

The Pharisees did not actually keep the law (Mark 7:8); their Talmudic legalism actually made them practical antinomians insofar as they “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (2)

Why is this understanding important? Because the cheap-grace antinomians of our day accuse Christians who pursue obedience to God’s law of being works-salvation Pharisees. But the law-keeping of the Pharisees and the Law-keeping of the Christian are radically different. The Pharisees, who replaced God’s Law with little man-made laws, were deeply antinomian:

In reality, legalists are not much different from antinomians, if indeed they are different at all. Pharisaic selective obedience is disobedience. Oliver O’Donovan perceptively notes that legalism and antinomianism are in fact two sides of the same coin because they are “fleshly” ways of living life. (2)

In other words, cheap-gracers are the Pharisees because they replace God’s commands with tiny little commands. Actually, they have only one command:

…the common assertion, ‘You just need to believe the gospel more,’ essentially undermines the position of the antinomian, not least because it devolves into a sometimes oppressive and monotonous mantra that take the place of the multifaceted exhortations one finds in the Scriptures. (28)

The fearful antinomian exhorts those tempted to commit adultery, to break the Sabbath, to trust in money, to gossip, to lie, to worship a block of wood with that one law and that one law alone: “believe the gospel more.” To say “Thou shalt not…” is a betrayal of the gospel of grace to the antinomian. The Apostle Paul is half-good, half-tainted.

Now to return to the title of this post… Continue reading

As many as a dozen babies were killed in Greenville this morning…

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The abortuary was very busy this morning. By our count a dozen or more women entered the clinic to put their children to death.

Brothers in the area: That platform you see in the picture above is there all the time, built to hold the weight of those who preach the Word and fulfill Jesus Christ’s command to love your neighbor. The abortuary schedules abortions six days a week from 9 – 11 a.m M – F, and 8-10 Saturdays. Choose a day. “Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back” (Proverbs 24:11).

The altars are busy today… (Another day of witness at the abortuary in Greenville, SC…)

While Molech was fed (Jer. 32:35) this morning by the blood of babies murdered by their mothers, Christians in the area—and all throughout the South—did their obeisance to the very universities that taught them and will teach their children that Molech, though he requires a drench of blood from the bodies of tiny babies, is really kind and gentle and compassionate and satisfying. We did, though, have an army of seven devoted soldiers, standing at the gates of hell, pleading with women to love their children and turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. How many of our Reformed and Presbyterian brothers and sisters in the Greenville/Spartanburg area woke up this morning with joy in their hearts because, after a long off-season sabbatical, they were called back to devote themselves to college football? Flags, and face-paint, and car decals, and shirts, and hats, and tickets, and travel, and time, and energy, and raised hands, and shouts of praise. If only 1% of them had devoted themselves to practicing true religion (James 1:27) by standing outside the Greenville Women’s Clinic to denounce the genocide that’s taking place in their backyards, I would be praising God this morning for an outpouring of His Spirit upon His church, for a sign of life in the midst of deadness. Instead, I pray for God to change hearts, so hardened and distracted by the gods of the world.

“He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent” (Rev. 3:1-3).

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