a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Category Archives: redemption

Gospel as Scandal

Have you ever considered the gospel as a scandal?  It is.  In fact, Jesus is a stumbling block and those that stumble over him will be broken to pieces but those that this stone falls on will be ground to powder.  Jesus Christ, Messiah, is not an adornment on your neck or your bumper, He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.  He is LORD of all!  Above Him there is no other, below Him all will bow.  There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved but Jesus’ name!  The exclusivity of the gospel claim makes it a scandal. It robs men of the joy in their sin; it upsets their party; it kills flesh.

A Lamb led to the slaughter

Here is an excerpt from Paul Washer’s sermon called Decisionism and Regeneration given at Deeper Conference in 2008:

We sometime fail to realize how utterably astounding it is for someone to believe our message.  It is far-fetched.

The message of Jesus is that:

He was born under questionable circumstances to a poor family in one of the most despised regions of the roman empire. Yet, The gospels claim he was the eternal son of GOD conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin.

He was a carpenter by trade and itinerant religious teacher with no official training and yet the gospel claims that he surpassed the combined wisdom of the greek philosopher and roman sages of antiquity.

He was poor and had no where to lay his head and yet the gospel proclaims that for three years he fed thousands by a word, healed every manner of sickness known to man and even raised the dead.

He was crucified outside of Jerusalem as a blasphemer and an enemy of the state and yet the gospel’s claim was that his death was the pivotal event in all of human history and the only means of salvation from sin and reconciliation to GOD.

He was placed in a borrowed tomb yet the gospel claims that on the third day He arose from the dead and presented himself to many of his followers and 40 days later ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Thus, the gospels proclaim that a poor Jewish carpenter, rejected as a lunatic and a blasphemer by his own people and crucified by the state is now the Savior of the world, Lord of Lords and the Kings of Kings and at His name every knee will bow and every tongue proclaim, including Caesars.

Do you see How impossible this claim is to believe except by the power of GOD?

It is a foolish stumbling block.

and…IT is the POWER of GOD unto Salvation, to the Jew first and also the Gentile.  The solitary scandalicitous statement is this – JESUS Christ is Lord of ALL!

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A REPROOF TO THE UNFAITHFUL

(This letter was written in 1600’s in a very clear language.  I find it to be ‘relevant’ for us Americans at large today)

Ruins of the William Penn Hotel

 

How long shall the Spirit of the Lord strive with you, O ye careless and unfaithful who are convinced of the truth of God and come to meetings, confess to the testimony and profess it in the world and are yet unsanctified and unregenerated and so have no part nor lot in the blessed word of life eternal. What can ye hope for from the hand of the Lord at the hour of your death and day of your judgment? Will not God remember unto you the day of your visitation his strivings his waitings his long suffering; how often he would have gathered you that ye might have inherited substance. Awake, awake ye sensual, ye earthly minded professors of the truth, that Christ Jesus may give you life.  For I may say with the apostle and that weeping too, there are too many unworthy of the great favour and mercy of God, who under all their pretences to religion walk in the way of those whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame and who mind earthly things pursuing uncertain riches and trusting in their store; if redeemed from scandalous things, yet abounding too much in more hidden evils – envy, covetousness, high mindedness, meddling in other folks matters, out of the watch, out of the cross that crucifies the flesh and delivers the spirit to serve God in the newness of life. O, knowing the terrors of the Lord, let me persuade you while it is today to hear his voice, his living word that cleanseth the young man’s way; and believe in the light whilst ye have the light, that ye also maybe the children of light in which the nations of them that are saved must walk; lest it pass away from you and the night overtake you in which the works of peace cannot be wrought. O friends, your doom will be the most dismal, and your end the most horrible of all others that are called, and would not do it. Will not he make such Jews of the synagogue of Satan, who are not Jews inward, neither your circumcision that of the heart.

Be assured that in the day of his winnowing, ye shall go to the chaff, and the wind of his fury shall drive you from the joy of his presence for ever. Therefore receive my counsel in the love of God, be faithful to his truth, wait and watch in it that ye may be delivered in the hour of temptation. It will try your limit, your desires, bound your affections, it will make you humble so God will teach you and so will He guide you in judgment and clothe you with salvation. I have a trouble upon my soul and my spirit is pained for you. I would have nothing lost but the son of perdition. I would have you all gathered and nothing cast away that is called of God. I would have all come to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus and be saved. This I send you as a farewell to you in the name and power of the God of my salvation and in so doing am clear of you all.

Your true friend,

WILLIAM PENN

Posted in The Friend, Twelfth month, 1, 1827, pg. 54 as found here digitized by google

Seek His Face – Revival

I recently have come across the writings of Del Fehsenfeld Jr. in a book called Ablaze With His Glory.  Del died at a young age and in the moments before his death he broke into long periods of what some thought was sleep but actually prayer.  His dying prayer was:

Lord, please bring back Your glory to Your church.  Send the fire.  Turn the hearts of Your people. May they know that You alone are GOD.

What is your dying prayer?

This quote and this man correlates with another man who has been emblazoned with the fire of GOD.  He still lives and, by GOD’s grace, is still traveling to preach about GOD’s glory and to pray for His glory to fill the earth.  In his book on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts says this:

Despite the tremendous amount of activity found in religious circles today, there is a very real sense in which the Church itself is like a sleeping giant…When revival comes, the giant will not only stir and awaken, but also move with dynamic power and glorious impact.  Can you imagine the entire Body of Christ moving throughout the earth with unified purpose and Holy Spirit power?…Unleash all this transforming power against the forces of sin and evil in your community.  That is what revival is. (page 20)

In another place Richard Owen Roberts defines revival this way:

Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” While that phrase conveys the fundamental concept of revival, over the intervening years I have come to the conviction that one single word describes revival better than any other — that word is “GOD.”

There is a very precious sense in which revival is literally “GOD in the midst of His people.

Are you walking in personal revival?  And are you willing to pay the price at any cost for it?

The cry that rang through out Wales was “Bend the Church, and save the World?”

Would you be willing to give yourself to a season of prayer and pray the same?  Evan Roberts, the man GOD used mightily in Wales had a four-point plan to revival:

1. Confess all known sin.

2. Put away all doubtful things and forgive everyone.

3. Obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

4. Publicly confess Christ as your Savior.

We will work hard because we pray hard!

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