Minus the Cross

5 04 2012

Jude 1:3
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.
– J.C. Ryle

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Beware

26 03 2009

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
(Matthew 25:10-12, ESV)

Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved. If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate; if thou hast really repented; if there be a thoroughvirgins-foolish-and-wise change of mind in thee; if thou be born again, then hast thou reason to rejoice: but if there be no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying “I am saved” is but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee.

-Charles Spurgeon





Who’s He To You?

23 06 2007

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
(Revelation 2:4,5)

If I let my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be little worth. We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him. It is while the heart dwells upon His powerful attractions that the hands perform the most acceptable service to His name…True, he may preach a sermon, deliver a lecture, utter prayers, write a book, and go through the entire routine of outward service, and yet not minister Christ. The man who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself.

–C.H. Mackintosh, Genesis to Deuteronomy: Notes on the Pentateuch, p155; quoted from Heartcry! Life Action Ministries’ Journal on Renewal and Spiritual Awakening, Spring 2007





Warring For Peace

19 06 2007

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
(Ephesians 4:29)

About 20 years ago, I said something impromptu to the new members lined up across the front of the church. As we received them, the Holy Spirit prompted me to add, “And now, I charge you that if you ever hear another member speak an unkind word of criticism or slander against anyone—myself, an usher, a choir member, or anyone else—that you stop that person in mid-sentence and say, ‘Excuse me—who hurt you? Who ignored you? Who slighted you? Was it Pastor Cymbala? Let’s go to his office right now. He’ll apologize to you, and then we’ll pray together so God can restore peace to this body. But we won’t let you talk critically about people who aren’t present to defend themselves.’

“I’m serious about this. I want you to help resolve this kind of thing immediately. And know this: If you are ever the one doing the loose talking, we’ll confront you.”

To this day, every time we receive new members, I say much the same thing. That’s because I know what most easily destroys churches. It’s not crack cocaine, government oppression, or even lack of funds. Rather it’s gossip and slander that grieves the Holy Spirit.

–Jim Cymbala, pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle





Another Religion

17 06 2007

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
(1 Timothy 4:16)

I once had another religion, mincing, lisping, baited breath, proper, hunting the Bible for hidden truths, but no obedience, no sacrifice.

ct-studd.jpg–C.T. Studd (1860-1931), English missionary to China, India and Africa





If I Had My Way

14 06 2007

“But when he [John the Baptizer] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

(Matthew 3:7-11)

“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airways and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God, until sinners would cry out, ‘What must I do to be saved?, Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Don’t use John 3:16. Such drastic action is needed because we have gospel-hardened a generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding of why they need to be saved.”

– Paris Reidhead

(Thanks to my friend, Don, for sharing this quote)





The Blushing Apostle

3 06 2007

“Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
(Joshua 22:5)

The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.

–A.W. Tozer

Raphael was painting his famous Vatican frescoes when a couple of cardinals stopped by to watch and to criticize.

“The face of the apostle is too red,” said one.

Raphael replied, “He blushes to see into whose hands the church has fallen.”

–quoted in Warren Wiersbe’s The Integrity Crisis, p40