Come, Ye Thankful People Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

-Henry Alford, Psalms and Hymns, 1844

Chosen to Salvation

“But we are bound to give thanks always 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

“There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation”: Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle express this – “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you. brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.”

-A.W. Pink, Pamphlet: Chosen to Salvation
Complements of: http://networkedblogs.com/pE8C2

Only Two Classes

“Until the Bridegroom comes there will always be some in the visible Church who have grace—and some who have no grace. Some will have nothing but the name of Christian—others will have the reality. Some will have the profession of religion—others will have the possession also. Some will be content to belong to the church—others will never be content unless they also belong to Christ. Some will be satisfied if they have only the baptism of water—others will never be satisfied unless they also feel within the baptism of the Spirit. Some will stop short in the form of Christianity—others will never rest unless they have also the substance.

The visible Church of Christ is made up of these two classes. There always have been such; there always will be such until the end. Gracious and graceless, wise and foolish, make up the whole Church of Christ. You are all written down in this parable yourselves. You are all either wise virgins—or foolish . You have the oil of grace—or you have none. You are all either members of Christ—or not. You are all either traveling towards heaven—or towards hell.”

-J.C. Ryle, Tract: The Ten Virgins
Complements of: http://jcrylequotes.com/2011/11/03/the-two-classes-of-christs-church/

The Legacy of Luther -Part 2

Was Luther all that important? Were his reforms needed? Was the Reformation itself really necessary? Today we look sections of one of the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council to see what the Catholic church truly teaches. We see that even 400 years later the Catholic church still rejects the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, through Christ alone, completed on the cross, as revealed in scripture alone to the glory of God alone. Luther’s reforms were, yea, are still needed.

“…the liturgy, ‘through which the work of our redemption is accomplished,’”

-Vatican II: Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963, I

” At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again…a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten…”

-Vatican II: Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963, II

“…for well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event in their lives; they are given access to the stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal mystery of the passion, death, the resurrection of Christ, the font from which all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power….”

-Vatican II: Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963, III

“…[Christ Jesus] continues His priestly work through the agency of His Church, which is ceaselessly engaged in praising the Lord and interceding for the salvation of the whole world. She does this, not only by celebrating the eucharist, but also in other ways, especially by praying the divine office.”

-Vatican II: Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963, IV

“…holy Church honors with especial love the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, who is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son. In her the Church holds up and admires the most excellent fruit of the redemption, and joyfully contemplates, as in a faultless image, that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be.”

-Vatican II: Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963, V

Translation of Latin Original by the Holy See Provided Courtesy of: Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210, 
http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v2all.htm

A Bold Letter

Dear unsaved friend,
Could you please read the following carefully, and then sign it–if you agree to it.

  

I am resolved to persevere in sin, and follow the maxims and customs of those around me–though it costs me the loss of my soul, and exposes me to everlasting damnation.

I am resolved to reject the Son of God–I will not embrace Him as my Savior, or have Him reign over me. I am resolved that I will not accept the pardon which God presents to me in the gospel, though it cost Jesus His life to procure it–and I know I must eternally perish without it. I am determined not to submit to God’s way of salvation, and I consent to be lost forever! I have made up my mind, that I will never consent to receive a free salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ–I will not have it!

I am resolved . . .
to reject God’s message,
to dare His justice,
to defy His power,
to refuse His mercy,
to brave His threatened wrath, and
to harden myself against all His invitations, expostulations, exhortations, and promises!

I am resolved that I will not . . .
bow to His authority,
yield to His entreaties,
believe on His Son,
repent of my sins,
love His name,
or obey His precepts!

I am determined that there shall never be joy in Heaven among the angels of God–on account of my conversion.

I will never . . .
desert the ranks of Satan,
give up my sinful practices,
ask for mercy at God’s hands,
or take up my cross and follow Christ!

I am resolved . . .
to keep on in my old wicked course,
to persevere in my present sinful path,
to associate with my carnal companions–
and if it secures my eternal damnation–then let it do so!

I will not receive salvation on God’s terms,
I will not stoop to be saved by grace alone,
I will not take the yoke of Christ upon me, and engage to be His subject and servant–even though Heaven and all the glories of eternity would be secured by it.

If I cannot escape the wrath of God–but by faith, repentance, and holiness–why, I am determined go to Hell, for I am resolved not to yield to any such terms!

It is of no use for the preacher to spend His breath upon me! My mind is made up, I will be my own master, I will take my own course! No one has any right to interfere with me–for I shall injure no one but myself!

I have no objection to going to church, or to attending to some religious forms–but to give my heart to God, to be crucified to the present world, and to make God’s glory the end of life–will never do for me; therefore I gladly take the consequences.

If this is required of those who would be true Christians–then you must stop urging me–for I will not yield! You must stop all attempts to convert me, for my mind is made up! I have heard hundreds of sermons, I have read the Bible myself–but I have hardened myself against the whole, and I am not going to yield now!

Tell me no more of the Savior’s love,
tell me no more of the pleasures of holiness,
tell me no more of the terrors of death,
tell me no more of the dreadful judgment,
tell me no more of the joys of Heaven,
tell me no more of the agonies of Hell–
for you will never induce me to yield myself unto God, and seek the salvation of my soul. For my mind is made up, and my daily conduct is enough to convince you of it, if anything would. I am resolved not to yield–let the consequences be what they may!

I will go on just as I have done!

I will not be Christ’s servant!

I will not be God’s child!

I will obey only Satan!

I will follow the course of this evil world!

I will serve my lusts and pleasures!

In proof thereof, witness my signature, ____________.

-James Smith (1802-1862), Letter to an Unsaved Friend

Complements of Geoff Kirkland: http://vassaloftheking.blogspot.com/2011/10/letter-to-unsaved-friend.html

The Bible vs. Science and History

“If you can’t fully trust the Bible when it discusses science and history (secondary matters that can be verified), how can you trust it when it talks about God and salvation (supremely important matters that we can’t verify in the same way)? If you can’t trust the Bible, then you can’t trust God.”

-Kevin DeYoung ed., Don’t Call It A Comeback, 63

Spurgeon’s One Qualm with Pilgrim’s Progress

Charles Spurgeon loved John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. He first read the book as a young boy, and he began his commentary on the classic with these words:

“Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures.”

As Spurgeon said elsewhere, he loved Bunyan because Bunyan bled Bible.

But he did have one qualm with the great book:

“I am a great lover of John Bunyan, but I do not believe him infallible; and the other day I met with a story about him which I think a very good one.

There was a young man, in Edinburgh, who wished to be a missionary. He was a wise young man; he thought—”If I am to be a missionary, there is no need for me to transport myself far away from home; I may as well be a missionary in Edinburgh.” . . .

Well, this young man started, and determined to speak to the first person he met. He met one of those old fishwives; those of us who have seen them can never forget them, they are extraordinary women indeed. So, stepping up to her, he said, “Here you are, coming along with your burden on your back; let me ask you if you have got another burden, a spiritual burden.”

“What!” she asked; “do you mean that burden in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress? Because, if you do, young man, I got rid of that many years ago, probably before you were born. But I went a better way to work than the pilgrim did. The evangelist that John Bunyan talks about was one of your parsons that do not preach the gospel; for he said, ‘Keep that light in thine eye, and run to the wicket-gate.’ Why—man alive!—that was not the place for him to run to. He should have said, ‘Do you see that cross? Run there at once!’ But, instead of that, he sent the poor pilgrim to the wicket-gate first; and much good he got by going there! He got tumbling into the slough, and was like to have been killed by it.”

“But did not you,” the young man asked, “go through any slough of Despond?”

“Yes, I did; but I found it a great deal easier going through with my burden off than with it on my back.”

The old woman was quite right. John Bunyan put the getting rid of the burden too far off from the commencement of the pilgrimage. If he meant to show what usually happens, he was right; but if he meant to show what ought to have happened, he was wrong.

We must not say to the sinner, “Now, sinner, if thou wilt besaved, go to the baptismal pool; go to the wicket-gate; go to the church; do this or that.”

No, the cross should be right in front of the wicket-gate; and we should say to the sinner, “Throw thyself down there, and thou art safe; but thou are not safe till thou canst cast off thy burden, and lie at the foot of the cross, and find peace in Jesus.””

-Charles Spurgeon, The Dumb Become Singers, 1912,

As quoted at: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/10/11/spurgeons-one-qualm-with-pilgrims-progress/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+between2worlds+%28Between+Two+Worlds%29

Come, Ye Sinners

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.
 
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.
 
Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
 
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.
 
View Him prostrate in the garden;
On the ground your Maker lies.
On the bloody tree behold Him;
Sinner, will this not suffice?
 
Lo! th’incarnate God ascended,
Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
 
Let not conscience make you linger,
Not of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.

-Joseph Hart, 1759

Paul Washer Quotes

Paul washer quotes as recorded by Jesse Johnson.

“There are very few people who are known for evangelism, and yet who fall into the trap of liberal theology. It is very hard to get influenced by liberalism when you are out trying to win souls for Jesus.”

“I believe in the sovereignty of God over salvation, because I know that the conversion of a man is an absolute impossibility.”

“The doctrine of the sovereignty of God affects preaching in this way: every time, before you get into the pulpit, you ask yourself, ‘Lord, can these bones live?’ The answer: ‘only if you make them alive.”

“Many seminaries turn out good preachers who do not lead godly lives. There are so many people out there who are concerned about the preparation of the sermon that they leave behind the preparation of the man.”

“To help yourself in your devotional life, ask this question over and over again, ‘how does the death of the son of God lead to my forgiveness, and how is that seen here in this passage?”

“Pastors need to recover the lost practice of staying up late and getting up early for the purpose of prayer. There is a sense that in the evangelical culture we have let the charismatics steal our heritage. We get to those powerful passages on prayer and go into defense mode against the wrong teachings of the charismatics, rather than into extolling the virtues of all-night prayer.”

“A structured sermon is good, but don’t ever turn God into a propositional statement. Someone should write a book on the idolatry of expository preaching.”

[On the role of parents vs. the youth pastor in training children]: “God did not give you a child to turn his spiritual development over to a 21-year-old with mousse in his hair who thinks he is cool.”

“As a pastor, always do theology in the context of the local church.”

“Preaching should never grow dull. There is never a time where truths have already been explained, so the pastor runs out of things to say. Semper reformanda, so the truths need to be rediscovered every generation.”

“If a pastor studies a passage to figure out how to preach it, it will be a powerless sermon. If you labor over something to be preached, all that will happen is it will be heard. Instead, you have to ask: ‘What has this passage done to me?”

“Charismatics repeat the errors of the mystics. The problem with the mystics is that they were looking for the word of God in every place but the Bible.”

“Evangelism is why I exist. If everyone in the world was saved, you would never see me again. I’d move out to the mountains and be with my family.”

http://thecripplegate.com/paul-washer-on-homiletics/#more-1114

Jesus Paid the Highest Price

Poor and lowly as I am
Helpless as a wand’ring lamb.
All but lost without a fold,
My waywardness has left me cold.
As Shadows fall a voice draws near.
It stirs my heart, expells my fear.
‘Tis Jesus Christ, the shepherd King,
Come to pay the price for me.
 
Bleeding Shepherd sacrificed;
Thou hast paid too high a price
To reach and save the weak and small
And wrap Your arms around them all.
When love laid down upon the cross,
Hope sprang up and called out to us,
“Sin’s great debt now satisfied,
Jesus paid the highest price.”
 
O’er mountains high and valleys low,
Your voice has led me through them all.
With ev’ry mile my hunger grows
To be with You before Your throne,
Where I will see You face to face.
My scars and sorrows then erased,
All because my shepherd King
Came to pay the price for me
 
Bleeding Shepherd sacrificed;
Thou hast paid too high a price
To reach and save the weak and small
And wrap Your arms around them all.
When love laid down upon the cross,
Hope sprang up and called out to us,
“Sin’s great debt now satisfied,
Jesus paid the highest price.”
 
-David Edwards & Regi Stone