Stand Firm

This is an exerpt from a lengthy article written by Pastor Bob Russell in response to the Supreme Court’s decsion regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The gap between the Christian and non-Christian is becoming more pronounced and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to straddle the fence these days. That’s good. Jesus said, “I’d rather you be hot or cold than to be lukewarm.” Either you stand for Christ and His Word or you don’t. Individuals and churches who attempt to gain favor with the world and twist the Scriptures to justify same sex marriage look foolish. It’s time for believers to fish or cut bait, or get out of the boat.

Christians should not be surprised that they are rapidly becoming the minority. We have been privileged to live in a rare place and time in America where Christianity was the norm. It’s not anymore. God-haters ridicule the Bible, the church and the institution of marriage, and they are determined to demonize anyone who stands for traditional values. Jesus, who was crucified for His stand for truth, said, ‘If the world hates me, it will hate you.” He said, ‘This is the verdict, light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Beginning with the first century, believers in Christ have usually been in the minority. Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to life and few find it.” The Apostle Paul warned, “Everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:12-14).

We can be encouraged by the fortunes of the early church. Rereading Acts 8, the church went viral in the first Century when persecution increased. We also see a rapid growth of Christianity in India, China and Africa where persecution is prevalent today. This past week my ministry hosted eight preachers from India who told specific cases of persecution against them; they also related accounts of their churches growing dramatically corresponding to the persecution. The Bible promises, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).

—Bob Russell

Via: Bob Russell

So Great A Salvation

Before all time; prior to all worlds; when there was nothing “outside of” God Himself; when the Father, Son, and Spirit found eternal, absolute, and unimaginable blessing, pleasure, and joy in Their holy triunity – it was Their agreed purpose to create a world. That world would fall. But in unison – and at infinitely great cost – this glorious triune God planned to bring you (if you are a believer) grace and salvation.

This is deeper grace from before the dawn of time. It was pictured in the rituals, the leaders, and the experiences of the Old Testament saints, all of whom longed to see what we see. All this is now ours. Our salvation depends on God’s covenant, rooted in eternity, foreshadowed in the Mosaic liturgy, fulfilled in Christ, enduring forever. No wonder Hebrews calls it “so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).

Early in your Christian life, you thought salvation was “great” didn’t you? Do you still think about it that way today?

—Sinclair Ferguson
In Christ Alone

Via: Ligonier Ministries Blog

Before The Blazing Throne

No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite value of the divine sacrifice, for great as is the sin of God’s people, the atonement which takes it away is immeasurably greater.

Therefore, the believer, even when sin rolls like a black flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, can yet stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God, and cry, ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that hath risen again.’

While the recollection of his sin fills him with shame and sorrow, he at the same time makes it a foil to show the brightness of mercy. Guilt is the dark night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene splendour.

—Charles Spurgeon
Evening entry for July 6 from Morning and Evening

Via: Tolle Lege