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Your children

God only knows who His elect are. If our sons and daughters are numbered among them they will be saved. Not one of God’s chosen ones will perish. Christ will have those whom He has redeemed. In God’s time, He will call His own from death to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. If some of our children are not chosen of God, they will not be saved. They will not believe. And those who will not believe deserve to perish.

But it is our responsibility to do what we can to bring our families into the family of God. I offer these words of instruction to you who believe, to you who are interested in the immortal souls of your sons and daughters.

1. If you want your family to be saved, see to it that you worship God with your family. If you do not see to it that your children hear the gospel, it is because you do not care for their souls. If you neglected to feed your children, it would be reasonable to assume that you cared nothing for their bodies. And if you do not provide them with the gospel of Christ, both by private instruction and by bringing them to hear the Word preached, it is obvious that you do not care for their souls. You can do nothing that is more positively harmful to your family than to rob them of the ministry of the Word.

2. If you care for the souls of your children you will exercise loving discipline in your home. Eli was a believer. He showed his wicked sons the way of faith and life in Christ. He taught them the gospel. He taught them right from wrong. And he prayed for them. But he was a miserable failure as a father, because he exercised no discipline over them. ‘He restrained them not!’ God told him plainly that the cause of his sons’ death was his lack of’ discipline as a father.

3. If you want your children to follow Christ, let them see that you follow Christ. By all means see to it that your sons and daughters regularly attend the ministry of the gospel. See to it that you pray for them and discipline them. But if your religion is all lip service, they will soon detect your hypocrisy. Set before them an example of love for, faith in and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

– From “Grace for Today” by Don Fortner

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Holy Spirit

Come unto me, O come to me,
Thou blessed Spirit, come;
To fill my heart with sanctity,
And use it as Thy home.

Thy pure and holy influence
Grant, Lord, my soul within;
Expelling, by Thy presence, thence
The love and life of sin. Amen.

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You are not alone

When we feel like we are in the wilderness, with all our hopes lost and nothing left to put our trust in, the most dreaded of all fears come across our hearts – we are alone in this. There is no one who can understand what we are going through. It won’t even make sense to them. Suddenly we realize that we have no friend to confide in.

Alone. The fear of being lonely. Especially when we have followed the guidance of the Lord. We have only obeyed His instructions. Yet, here we are. We have nothing left. It is a wilderness all around us. Nothing to trust in. No hopes left. Your faith is struggling. And it sure looks lonely.

But dear friend, you are not alone. Because if you have followed the Lord, if you have obeyed His Word and you find yourself in a wilderness, remember that the Spirit of the Lord is with you.

Remember when Jesus found Himself in a wilderness, where He was tempted for 40 days and nights (Luke 4:2)? Where the devil questioned Jesus if He is the Son of God? And how did Jesus Christ reach that point of temptation? The Bible says that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1)

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Yes, dear friend, when you are in the midst of the wilderness, when it looks like there is no hope left, when suddenly you realize that you are all alone, remember that the Spirit of God has led you up to this point and He is with you. The Comforter is with you.And HE will give you rest. (Isaiah 63:14)

The other Iconoclast

In my last blog, Iconoclast, I wrote about how a pastor with a D.Th., attacked Martin Luther when he himself was at the wrong. The problem with preachers today is being in extreme ends. This is about another preacher I had in a church I attended sometime back in USA.

I really liked the pastor and when he left the church, in his position, another preacher took over the sermons. I mention ‘preacher’, because he was never called ‘a pastor’ by the church team and he was always called by his name. But another pastor took over the church, who took care of the worship service.

For the first service, I was very excited as the pastor who left, was one of the wonderful preachers I have ever had and he had some very nice words about this preacher who was taking over from him.

So, the sermon starts and he talked about his coffee drinking habit for the 7 long minutes. (I know that he spoke exactly for 7 minutes, because when I told him he wasted like 15 minutes talking about coffee, he went back and listened to the sermon and got back to me, saying that in 30 minutes given to him, he used only 7 minutes exactly for coffee… so, I know.)

I had a face-off with him about wasting 7 minutes just on coffee and his explanation was that since he was officially taking over the sermons, he wanted to make a connection with people so that they can trust him. But he was in the church for a long time and almost everyone knew him personally. I had problems with that argument, but I will skip to something else he spoke about in the sermon.

His sermon was on Acts 15, the council of Jerusalem. My problem came with the verse 28.

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things… – Acts 15:28 (KJ2000) (The strikethrough is mine to emphasize what he said in his sermon.)

He talked about how we don’t need to go to the Spirit of God for making spiritual decisions, because even the Apostles did not go to the Holy Spirit. They talked among themselves, made a decision that seemed okay with all of them and announced that to the council. So, it is okay for us to make spiritual decisions by talking with others, no need to bother the Spirit of God for decisions, whether big or small. When the apostles did not bother the Spirit of God, why do we have to bother Him all the time? This was the gist of his message.

I was very upset and later pointed out to him in an email that the original verse has the Holy Spirit first, which implies that they came upon the decision under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

His reply was: that may be true, but he was focusing on how the apostles found good something, but that necessarily does not mean it was correct all the time. He said that even the Spirit of God was wrong in His guidance at that time.

I had to read his email few times to make sure I got it right. This preacher, a supposedly Christian preacher was saying that the Spirit of God was actually wrong in His guidance. I don’t want to go into why he said that, but I pointed out how his argument was wrong and that the Spirit of God was, is and will always be right.

Now, when I explained that, he accepted that he used wrong words, but hey, what is the big deal, even Jesus Christ was wrong in His usage of words. Yes, he said that. To explain that, he showed me the parable of unjust judge from Luke 18. And he said that Jesus said that God our Father is the unjust judge. Even today, when I think about it, it bothers me so much. I just told him just because he is wrong, he does not have to project our LORD Jesus Christ in the wrong light. I told the chief pastor that I would not be attending their church thereafter and withdrew.

Only later, I came to know that there is a new breed of iconoclasts today in the churches, who are trying their best to ‘humanize’ the Word of God. Oh, the Scriptures are not infallible, the miracles can be explained by human understanding, the guidance of the Spirit of God changes according to our culture and so on.

No dear friend, certain things do not change. I don’t mind when non-believers say all these things. But I have problem when believers and, especially, preachers start to say such things.

  • The Word of God is infallible. If something is wrong, that means the human understanding of the Word of God is amiss.
  • The miracles can never be explained using human understanding. That is why they are called miracles.
  • And, no, the Spirit of God does not change with our culture and customs. We can interpret His works in anyway we want, but He does not change.

As the Bible says, nowadays, priests are being made from all sorts of people. (1 King 12:31) But let us not forget one warning.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment. – James 3:1 

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Proverbs 15:23“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”

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Love and the Holy Spirit

We can try our best to love the eternal God using our hearts and our minds and our strengths. But there is a small problem. Our hearts, our minds and our strengths – all these are limited. The Lord we try to love is limitless. It is impossible for us to love Him with our own understanding. That is the reason that the LORD has provided us graciously with His Holy Spirit.

We may have received the Spirit of God. We may be anointed, speaking in tongues and we may prophesy. But ultimately, has the Holy Spirit enabled us to love our Lord better? Has the love of God been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us (Romans 5:5)? Let us feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and be filled with the love of the LORD.

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Jeremiah 17:9-10“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.””

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