Monday, January 12, 2009

A Divine Appointment: Hell

See this divine appointment is the reason why either:
a. I need to memorize scripture more, or
b. I need an iPhone or need to install the Bible on my PDA

Last night in my prayers and since last week I've been asking God to grant me some divine appointments at the hospital. For those of you who don't know what a divine appointment is, at least according to my definition: divine appointments are encounters with unlikely people, at an unlikely place during an unlikely time for the purpose of being witnessed to obviously by God's providence, hence the term "divine". Like the Ethiopian eunuch reading a prophesy of Christ in the book of Isaiah and Philip showing up to witness to him as we learn in the book of Acts (Acts 8:26-40), that was a divine appointment and in this portion of scripture we get to see God's hand by sending and Angel to tell Philip to go out to where the eunuch was.
Now that you know, let us continue with this story. So I was minding my own business laying on a bed in one of the rooms at the hospital (there was nothing to do and I was sleepy) when along comes my friend Michelle to tell me there were two "americans" out in the hall looking for someone who'll translate for them, she hinted to me that they might be Jehovah Witnesses. So I get out of bed and head toward the hall, only to find a lovely couple with pamphlets in hand speaking to Ramon an internal medicine intern from my university. So I walk up to them and this very nice young woman with an english accent hands a pamphlet to me and begins explaining what the pamphlet was about. I read the words Watchtower at the end of the pamphlet as an endnote and knew they were Jehovah witnesses as my friend had told me.
So I began reading the pamphlet and immediately saw one of their doctrines displayed in the answer to a question, what happens after we die?. They believe the wicked will be dead for forever after they die, no punishment, not even a place called hell.
So I told the girl, Becky, that I disagreed with what they teach because the Bible teaches something else. I told her that the Bible says some are resurrected to eternal damnation or condemnation and some to eternal life, she said "Show me where it says that in Scripture and I'll believe you" so I went to Matthew 25:46 which says:
"And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matt 25:46 (esv) [Read it in context I mistakenly did not read the whole thing to her just this and other verses]

Of course her Bible had a different term for punishment it says "cutting-off", later on when I pointed to that verse again she asked, but "isn't eternal death a punishment?" I say that's the easy way out, we've sinned against an infinite Holy God and we get a finite punishment?
Anyway, she began talking to me about God being a God of love and pointing me to 1 John where we're told that God is love. By this time the man who was with her joined us in our conversation, I told her I agreed completely but that we cannot forget that God is a just judge as well and he must punish sin. I then pointed her to Psalm 11 which I had read this very morning,
The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.
She began to rationalize her belief with a bad analogy, one I've even heard from atheists: "What if you had a child who was very bad, always misbehaving, always being bad would you enjoy punishing him forever?" It falls short because you're comparing the incomparable, its not just a child misbehaving it is a criminal breaking God's law, if you had a criminal always killing, stealing, raping would not want this criminal to be punished rightfully?
We continued pointing ourselves back and forth to scripture, she began to feel agitated and kept on repeating "no God is love, you're wrong, he would never do that." Every now and then the man who was with her had to tell her to not argue or to relax or something like that. He pointed me to Romans 6: 7:
"For one who has died has been set free from sin."

I told him they couldn't keep on picking out verses like that and we read all of Romans 6, and I showed him that what Paul was talking about was us Christians being dead to Sin and alive in Christ, nothing about people not existing after death.
He began to talk after that and told me that there were different words in the Greek used for hell, and I said that I knew very well that the Bible uses the word Gehenna, Hades, and Sheol (There is another word used only once but couldn't remember it refer to my post on Hell) I also explained what Gehenna was and how it symbolizes what will be going on in Hell.
Then he pointed me to 6:23 and I told him how he harmonized those verses that seem to talk about death being it with those that talk about the lake of fire, they couldn't answer that except with God is love and he would never do that, and that teaching is demonic. I said well I disagree, the Bible does teach about hell, we then shook hands and they both left.
I was in awe that God should answer my prayers, and in such a providential way, what were two people from England looking for in a hospital with tracts in english! precisely in the same area I was at? Unlikely people, at an unlikely place in an unlikely time, that was a divine appointment.
My prayer is that they will look through those verses again in context especially Matthew 25 and that God will open their eyes to the truths presented in His word.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Present Day Evangelism Part II

The evangelistic monstrosity of the day!
(Arthur Pink, "Present Day Evangelism")

Alas, alas, God's way of salvation is almost entirely unknown today, the nature of Christ's salvation is almost universally misunderstood, and the terms of His salvation misrepresented on every hand. The "Gospel" which is now being proclaimed is, in nine cases out of every ten--but a perversion of the Truth! Tens of thousands, assured they are bound for heaven--are now hastening to hell as fast as time can take them!

It is the bounden duty of every Christian, to have no dealings with the evangelistic monstrosity of the day, to withhold all moral and financial support of the same, to attend none of their meetings, to circulate none of their tracts. Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ--are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works, and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


1/3/09 (Sorry I was just not going to update all the verbs to past tense)
Yes you read the title correctly. Today after not having been to the movies in like a gazillion years, I decided to go with some of my friends I know from another church. I did not know which movie we were going to watch but trusted in the wisdom of my brethren. When we got there I inquired as to which movie we would be watching and to my surprise found that it would be Twilight. Since I was already there and there were three others already waiting in line to go in I chose to go in as well.
1. Why on earth would any Christian like this movie? Granted, there were some scenes that were funny/cool/ok/great.
But why on earth would I waste my "spiritual calories" on a movie that is so devoid of any nutritional value, spiritual-wise?
2. Yes the movie has no sex scenes, woohoo! but many parts of the movie were very sensual thus VERY uncomfortable.
3. Romantically speaking, ughhh people wake up! STOP drinking the Hollywood Koolaid! Love and Marriage as defined by Christ in the Bible is sooooo muchhh better than the oh-I-can't-live-without-you idolatrous love that Hollywood and most romantic movies offer!
4. Fine there was one thing about the movie that I liked: That the girl was willing to give up her life to save her mother.

I. On Chick-Flicks
I used to love romantic comedies, romantic dramas and everything that ever had to do with Romance, I'm a fool for it, or used to be. Among my favorites were When Harry Met Sally, The Notebook, Titanic, and many others. But as I continued growing, and studying God's word and learning about the true meaning of a biblical marriage, I began to see that the view of romance as presented in these movies was not only unbiblical but sinful.

Let's see one example, a common favorite:
a. The Notebook(Spoiler alert),
- Noah and the Girl have premarital sex also known as fornication.
- The girl (I forgot her name) is very disobedient to her parents all because of this boy (and people confuse that with love?)
- Finally it's time to go, because she was just there for the summer, and when she moves back to her hometown the relationship ends. She meets another man, gets engaged but after having seen a picture of Noah in the newspaper she has an urge to go see him, thinking if she gets married to the man she's with she'll spend forever wandering what if?
- STILL engaged, she goes back to the town where Noah lives, fornicates yet again, and when her mother arrives to confront her, she justifies her sin by reminding her mom of her past (the mom had in a sense gone through the same experience, falling in love with a poor man), only the way she did it is commonly called SASSING.
- She breaks off the engagement with her fiancé, and ends up with Noah.
- She writes a book about their love story since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and after they're really old Noah spends the rest of his days reading their love story to her trying to get her to remember him, she does and then forgets again and then dies, and he dies beside her.

Basically in this movie, their concept of love includes:
- Fornication
- Idolatrous love (Oh-I-just-can't-live-without-him)
- Infidelity
- Dishonoring of the parents
If you're a Christian and I just ruined your favorite movie for you, good I'm glad, trust me I'm doing it out of my love for you sister and brother. Love as described in the Bible is soooo much more glorious and with a much more glorious purpose than that which is depicted in the typical American sap romantic movies. Why expose our eyes and our very souls to movies, songs, among other things that will not glorify God nor edify us? Because of the fun of it? what fun? If people knew how harmful watching that stuff can be, they influence us without us even noticing. We may be saved but we are still fallen, and Satan never misses an opportunity to make us fall into sin.

II. TV Series
How about a common favorite TV show, which I too once liked: Grey's Anatomy
Here we have Meredith, a frustrated surgery Intern who met a guy at a bar, Derek, without knowing much about each other and after a few drinks they leave together and fornicate, they had what is commonly referred to as a one night stand. But she then finds that this man she had sex with is her Resident at the hospital she just got in for her internship. This is just the beginning of endless seasons of the following:
- Fornication
- Deceit
- Lesbianism
- Drunkenness
- Cohabitation
- Infidelity
And a myriad of other sinful activities. Please spare me the justification if you're about to say or are thinking that you're watching the series for your interest in medicine, sure there are interesting cases every once in a while but the LAST thing you will "learn" from this series is anything interesting about medicine.

Please take heed of what we are told here in 1 John 2:15-17
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

Is it so hard for you to not watch these things? Then you need to ask yourself just how precious Christ is to you. As Christ becomes more precious to us and we delight in and meditate on His word daily the temporary trappings of this world will seem less appealing, less entertaining and less lovable to us.

Recomended Reading/watching: Book Review - Twilight by Tim Challies
For a biblical perspective on marriage and love and singleness: This Momentary Marriage by John Piper
A movie worth watching: Fireproof - The DVD comes out this month, 1/27/09

Present Day Evangelism

There are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire!

(Arthur Pink, "Present Day Evangelism")

The nature of Christ's salvation, is woefully misrepresented by the present-day "evangelist." He announces a Savior from hell--rather than a Savior from sin! And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire--who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness!

The very first thing said of Him in the New Testament is--"You shall call His name Jesus--for He shall save His people...[not "from the wrath to come," but] from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Christ is a Savior for those realizing something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, who feel the awful burden of it on their conscience, who loathe themselves for it, and who long to be freed from its terrible dominion. He is a Savior for no others. Were He to "save from hell" those still in love with sin, He would be a minister of sin, condoning their wickedness and siding with them against God. What an unspeakably horrible and blasphemous thing, with which to charge the Holy One!

True, as the Christian grows in grace, he has a clearer realization of what sin is--rebellion against God; and a deeper hatred of and sorrow for it. But to think that one may be saved by Christ, whose conscience has never been smitten by the Spirit, and whose heart has not been made contrite before God--is to imagine something which has no existence in the realm of fact. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor--but the sick" (Matthew 9:12). The only ones who really seek relief from the great Physician, are those who are sick of sin--who long to be delivered from its God-dishonoring works, and its soul-defiling pollutions.

As Christ's salvation is a salvation from sin--from the love of it, from its dominion, from its guilt and penalty--then it necessarily follows, that the first great task and the chief work of the evangelist, is to preach upon SIN: to define what sin (as distinct from crime) really is, to show wherein its infinite enormity consists, to trace out its manifold workings in the heart, to indicate that nothing less than eternal punishment is its desert!

Ah, preaching upon sin will not make him popular nor draw the crowds, will it? No, it will not; and knowing this, those who love the praise of men more than the approbation of God, and who value their salary above immortal souls, trim their sales accordingly!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Grace Gems: New Year Prayers

New Year Prayers, from the diary of Ruth Bryan

Be pleased, dear Lord, to grant me during the present year--more of Your gracious presence, more tenderness of conscience and fear of offending You; more humility, stronger faith, and more entire devotedness to Your cause. Enable me to leave my temporal concerns entirely with You, to walk by faith, to have my treasure in heaven, and to manifest by my conduct--that I am Your disciple. Let me not grow cold or lukewarm--but may "I lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset me, and may I run with patience the race set before me, looking unto Jesus. Amen."

"Here I raise my Ebenezer." Thus far the Lord has brought me. Though the past has been a year of multiplied transgressions and backslidings, I trust, through His abundant mercy, my face is still Zionward, and that my prevailing desire is to be devoted entirely to His service. Take me, dearest Lord, and form me for Your own glory. I feel much bodily weakness. Oh, that through the crevices of this frail tabernacle, I may see some of the glories of the eternal world!

Most dear and precious Christ, I had not thought to see another new-year's day--but hoped before now--to have beheld You face to face! Like him of old, who was possessed of a legion of demons, I besought that I might be with You. But for a season, You have seen good to withhold the full answer to my request. "May Your will be done!" Glorify Yourself in me, and be much, very much with me, until You shall say, "Arise, my love, and come away," to be with Me forever! I desire most humbly and unreservedly, in Your own strength, to yield to Your Divine disposal--all I have and am, and to continually lose my wish and will, in Yours. I would lay at Your feet all creatures and created good, with every seeming evil--and embrace Yourself, my Jesus, as my joy, portion, happiness, wisdom, strength, peace--yes, my all in all--for the coming year, or so much of it as I tarry upon earth; and then, as my joyful, blissful portion through eternity! Oh, lead me, Holy Comforter, more into Christ--and out of SELF! I have had much of blessing--but I long and pray for more; in Jesus' name. Enlarge my expectations more, I beg You--and more I shall receive. "Lord, increase my faith."

Precious Christ, I come with a large request for 1842: it is that You would be the "Alpha and Omega" of it. Do You not say, "Ask what I shall give you?" Yourself, Lord! You have most blessedly given Yourself to me. But I find sweet liberty to entreat more unfolding, revealing, and opening of Your glorious person, amazing work, and matchless love, than I have yet had; and more losing and treading down of SELF, too--that I may be lost in Your fullness, and forgotten and forsaken in Your soul-absorbing glories. Oh! raise me higher, draw me nearer, that I may daily die, and You live in me more manifestly. I just give myself to You, to live on You, to live in You, to live for You, more and more than heretofore, and that by the power of the Spirit resting on me. I humbly ask that mine may be a large and still-increasing portion; that, under fresh anointings, You, most lovely Jesus, may be more fully known, more loved, more served; for it is to You the Holy Spirit leads, of You He testifies.

Oh, do make this a large, rich, full year! You being increasingly honored in me, and I increasingly lost in You, and made an increasing blessing to Your dear people. An Ebenezer for past mercies befits me; large and magnificent have been Your bestowments; bountiful and constant Your favors to me--a poor worthless nothing! "Bless the Lord, O my soul--and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"

Friday, January 02, 2009

Of Hymns and Songs of Praise: Holy, Holy Holy

One of my favorite Hymns is this one, and just today I found this clip of a certain little someone singing it and wow what a joy! (remember to silence the rapping teddy before playing the video!)

but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 19:14

Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

**Lyrics compliments of

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Making a Fresh Start

"Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph 4:22-24.
"Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." Rom 13:14.

WE CAN all start afresh! However far we have ascended, there is something higher; and however far we have fallen, it is always possible to make a fresh start. We need to take our place in the School of Christ and be taught by Him (Eph 4:20-21).
"The old man" which we must "put off" is clearly our former manner of life. If we have not put it entirely away, let us do so now by an immediate act of faith in the living Spirit. It does not take long for a beggar to put off his rags and take instead a new suit of clothes, and it need not take a moment longer to put away habits and thoughts, ways of speech and life which are unworthy of the children of God. Do it now, and look up to the Holy Spirit to keep renewing you in the spirit of your mind.
But more than this, let us "put on the new man," which is the life of Jesus Christ, that ideal which is in the likeness of God, and which the Lord created for us by His blessed life and death and resurrection. But to enable us to live this life we need the daily help of the Holy Spirit. He entered our hearts at the moment of regeneration, and has been with us ever since. We may not have realized His entry, but we believe it because of the assurance of 1Co 6:19; Rom 8:9; Eph 3:16. For my part, I like to begin every day, before lifting my head from the pillow, by saying, "Thou art within, O Spirit of Christ, though I feel Thee not."
If the Holy Spirit be ungrieved He will witness to our sonship; He will enthrone Christ as King of our life; will keep the self-life in the place of death; will give us a hunger for the things of God; He will give power in witness-bearing. In order to have a strong and blessed Christian experience, the one thing is to see that we do not grieve the Spirit. I do not think that we can grieve Him away, but we may greatly limit and restrain His gracious work by insincerity of speech, the nursing of an unforgiving spirit, any kind of over-reaching or fraudulent dealing, impurity of speech, or failure in love. We may be bound, so as not to be able to move our arms, by a number of cotton threads, quite as tightly as by a strong rope-thong. Let us take care not to grieve Him by such inconsistencies.

Fulfill in me, O God, those desires of goodness which Thou hast created in my heart, and perfect the work of faith, that Jesus Christ may be glorified in me. AMEN.

**Taken from the e-Sword Devotional: Our Daily Walk (F. B. Meyer)