Wednesday, January 31, 2007


You should be.

Larry Csonka was one of the most dominant smash-mouth fullbacks in the NFL in the 60's and 70's. Watching old Dolphins' football highlights often showed him going out of his way towards the goal line only to bulldoze over a defender. He seemed to do that even when he didn't have to. He seemed to enjoy it. He was looking for a fight.

Audie L. Murphy was the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II. He received every decoration for valor possible in the US as well as five other metals presented to him by France and Belgium.

When I was a kid I remember watching a movie about him called "To Hell and Back". In one fierce battle Audie climbed onto a burning tank destroyer of the enemy and single handedly prevented the enemy from advancing. He used up all of his ammo and jumped off the destroyer just before it exploded. He received the Medal of Honor. Years later Audie Murphy admitted that he was scared going into every battle he fought, but, he never hesitated to do what had to be done. He, I believe, was barely 20 years old and yet he was already looking for the fight.

Eleazar, one of David's closest warriors, once in battle beside David, stood his ground against scores of Philistines when all of the other men of Israel fled with fear. Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the enemy till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. But the Lord brought about a great victory that day. (2 Sam. 23:9, 10). Eleazar was looking for the fight and he found it.

Are you looking for a fight? I don't mean a physical one. I mean a spiritual one.

As believers God calls us to battle. Spiritual battle. Not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in this dark world and against the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:10-12).

A.W. Tozer posed the question, "Are you in a playground or a battleground?"

As christians we must go to the battle. Why? Because the spiritual battle will not come to us. Is the other team's defense concerned about the player on the bench? No. He is only concerned with the one on the field, the one in the battle.

Let's take this a step further. There's another level of battle that God calls us to. It should only be waged in addition to the first level of battle, as in prayer, study of God's Word and strengthening with other believers. That next level is one where we are able to identify when and where the battle needs to be fought. This is the hard part because too often we are in such a comfort zone that we do not want to jump out of the fox hole and face the gunfire. But God uses the one thing most people see as an opposite battle or war and that is LOVE.

God the Holy Spirit has given us love. Love for Him. This love is the weapon that shows us the battle. This love compels the true christian to fight against biblical error, rebellion, spiritual apathy and laziness, man centeredness and the like. It will compel a father to go out of his way to confront the daughter who is rebellious in her speech or choice of clothes. It will compel the mother to express words of correction to a son whose attitude reflects the gangsta-rapper he admires. This love for God will give the older christian man the courage to jump on top of and fight the tank destroyer of modern day trends of "doing church" that rely not on the Holy Spirit but on the wisdom of man's cultural generation experts. This love for God will motivate the church elder or spiritually mature person to confront the pastor when he or his teaching is in error and to uphold the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures. It will compel the parent to go to the high school kid who comes to church looking like the God hating world in their choice of clothes or who flaunts his pin-cushion body piercings without shame. This Godly love will tell that parent that this young person inside is screaming out for an adult to tell them wrong from right and the godly from the worldy.

We must be the Csonka that runs over the opposition. We must be the Audie Murphy that does what he must in spite of his fear. We must be the Eleazar that stands his ground when all others flee.

I could go on, but the point to be made is this: The battle will not come to us. We must go and find it where it is and enter the battleground, leaving the playground.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Where Are the Elders Who Guard the Flock?

This is a very important issue. Of all the posts published on this blog I feel that this is one of the most important when it comes to warning fellow believers of the dangers infiltrating the church.

This article by Bob DeWaay places the responsibility on the church elders whose job it is to guard the flock from false doctrines.

The problems go even deeper than that, for example, many churches do not even have elders like my former Baptist church. This is unbiblical. They have their "staff", many of which are younger men and women in their 20s and 30s, make all the decisions in the church. Are these the ones whose task it is to "guard the flock" from false teachings and doctrine? No wonder why my former Baptist church has drifted so far and has allowed so many dangerous doctrines, trends, and methods to guide and direct the church.

I wish they would wake up and repent. I also wish the many I love and who are still attending there would study the Word, even if it is inconvenient and takes effort, and recognize the error and would confront the leaders of that church.

Here is an excerpt from the article by Bob DeWaay:

"My interviews with people who have witnessed their churches being infiltrated by unbiblical teachings and practices have opened my eyes to a serious problem in our evangelical movement: elders who do not think that what is being taught and practiced in their church is important enough to judge biblically. This is serious. In many cases, these elders consider their primary job to be—support the senior pastor and his reputation at all costs. Their secondary job—watch over the financial well being of the church as a corporation. Their tertiary job—make sure no one rocks the boat. Thus, in these elders’ interpretation of their job description, the problem in the church becomes those concerned members who care about the integrity of the gospel message.

Combining what we know about elders from Acts 20, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus, it is clear that guarding the flock from false doctrine and teaching true doctrine is the elders’ most important role. Churches endanger the flock when they choose elders based on their business acumen, that they seem to be moral men and “nice guys,” or are likely to support the senior pastor at any cost while ignoring the importance of doctrine. Pastors who do not teach sound doctrine from the pulpit exacerbate the problem by making it unlikely that a pool of men qualified to teach the truth and correct error will ever arise in that church."


Sunday, January 28, 2007


"Christians need to recognize the reality of spiritual conflict and warfare. We are born in conflict -- against the world, against our carnal natures, and against the Devil. And the Bible says we must stand against such foes as Christian soldiers (2 Tim. 2:4). When God calls you into the church of Jesus Christ, you have enlisted in the army of God.

You can truthfully sing, "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war," because you are at war. The moment you enlist in the army of God, you personally become a target. You need to remember that if you're living for and walking with Jesus Christ, the powers of darkness are aligned against you."

-- Dr. Walter Martin

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Predestination Paranoia is Unwarranted

This is from a post on

Quoting JC Ryle . . .

"First of all let me entreat every reader of this paper not to refuse this doctrine of Election, merely because it is high, mysterious, and hard to be understood. Is it reverent to do so? Is it treating God's Word with the respect due to revelation? Is it right to reject anything written for our learning, and to give it hard names, merely because some misguided men have misused it, and turned it to a bad purpose? These are serious questions. They deserve serious consideration. If men begin rejecting it, they are on slippery ground. There is no saying how far they may fall.

What after all do men gain by refusing the doctrine of Election? Does the system of those who deny Election save one soul more than of those who hold it? Certainly not. Do those who hold Election narrow the way to heaven, and make salvation more difficult than those who deny it? Certainly not.

The opponents of Election maintain that none will be saved except those who repent and believe. Well: the advocates of Election say just the same! The opponents of Election proclaim loudly that none but holy people go to heaven. Well: the advocates of Election proclaim the same doctrine just as loudly!

What, then, I ask once more, is gained by denying the truth of Election? I answer, Nothing whatever. And yet, while nothing is gained, a great deal of comfort seems to be lost. It is cold comfort to be told that God never thought of me before I repented and believed. But to know and feel that God had purposes of mercy toward me before the foundation of the world, and that all the work of grace in my heart is the result of an everlasting covenant and an eternal Election, is a thought full of sweet and unspeakable consolation. A work that was planned before the foundation of the world, by an Architect of almighty power and perfect wisdom, is a work which will never be allowed to fail or be overthrown."

Friday, January 26, 2007

More Indications of the Church's Downward Slide:


"...if a man is “a great communicator, a great leader,” then in the Southern Baptist Convention we can share our pulpit with him and his theology really isn’t important. So apparently there’s no need to bother with that old Bible where it clearly says that in worship and religious settings – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)"

THIS ARTICLE is a must read.--From

Dangers Foretold

“I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

--William Booth (1829-1912)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

False Hope

From Herescope blog:

False Hope

Many people live in false hope. It is on false hope that every casino makes its dirty money and that every crook uses to lure his victims to invest in questionable schemes. The sad thing is that the victim is as much to blame as the con-artist. While it is terrible to see people live in the false hope that their ten dollars are suddenly going to become ten million, it is even worse to see people gamble with their souls and eternity. People who put their trust, hope and confidence in a religion that cannot save them are to be pitied. But the men who assure people that everything is well, when it is not, are to be condemned.

Most of us have probably been to funerals where the preacher assured everyone that the departed has gone to “a better place.” Many of us have also known deep down in our hearts that it is more likely that many of the poor departed have gone to hell because of the evidence of their lives. (I know that God alone is the judge, but the Bible also teaches that we will know men by their fruit.) No matter how much the preacher wants to comfort the grieving family, to lie about such a serious thing is inexcusable, especially when those preachers are also implying that the living can continue in their sin, and in the end we will all go to heaven – together with our dogs and cats.

But an even greater crime is the thousands of preachers of all denominations that see it as their mission to give people some “assurance of salvation” when there is no evidence that the poor individual is actually born-again. I clearly remember as a young preacher, how my elders taught me to point people to certain pet verses in the Bible (like John 1:12) that will give them an assurance of salvation. Many Bibles that contain lists of Scriptures appropriate for different circumstances also contain a list of verses that will give the reader assurance of salvation. It seems every preacher has in his arsenal a bunch of sermons that will assure people that they are saved.

The typical conversation with someone who is uncertain usually goes something like this:

Inquirer: “I don’t feel I’m saved.”

Counselor: “We don’t go by feelings but by faith. Did you ask Jesus into your heart/pray the sinner’s prayer/respond to the appeal?”

Inquirer: “Yes.”

Counselor: “Then you are most certainly born-again – just believe it and quote John 1:12.”

I’m sure this conversation takes place many times every day in every part of the world. But is this the truth?

No, it is a pack of lies. How can anyone assure someone they are saved when the sinner has not truly come to salvation? Is our job to make people feel comfortable and secure or is it to snatch souls from the flames and to make absolutely sure that people have been truly born again by the Spirit of God? (By the way, the same thing happens when people are assured they are filled with the Spirit when the evidence says that they are powerless and unchanged, if they are even saved!)

I know these are strong words and that a few dozen readers have stopped reading and are unsubscribing from this mailing list right now. But are we interested in the truth or our Evangelical traditions? The truth is that many of the criteria that counselors use to judge whether an individual is born again or not, are thoroughly unbiblical and false.

Where does it say that we are born again because we asked Jesus into our heart, prayed the sinner’s prayer, slipped our hand up or responded to the altar call? It may be written in evangelism manuals but it is not in the Bible. And before you rush to remind me that John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” and that this surely covers inviting Jesus into your heart – The fact is that “receiving Him” and “asking Jesus into your heart” are two totally different things. By “receiving Him” John means we receive Him as our Savior, Lord and Master and that we submit to all the claims He may make on us. I very much doubt that most of those who asked Jesus into their lives ever meant that they would accept His Lordship and that they would be obedient to Him - no matter what. In fact, the next verse says: “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). This clearly says that to be born again is not something we can do for ourselves but it is something that God has to do. Where on earth did we get the idea that it was something that was totally dependent on what I have done?

The New Testament does not give glib, easy assurances of salvation but rather instructs us to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2Corinthians 13:5). And “let each one examine his own work” (Galatians 6:4). And “since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). And “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15).

Can we not know for sure that we are saved? Yes we can. Paul says “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Timothy 1:12). John says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1John 5:13). BUT, that assurance has to come from two things:

First, there needs to be an inner witness of God’s Spirit that we are indeed His. Romans 8:16 says: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” 1John 5:10 says: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.” How dare we tell people they are born again when God does not bear witness to that fact? The problem is that there are far too many people running around claiming they have the witness of God simply because they have been brainwashed into believing a lie.

Second, there needs to be external evidence (fruit) of the fact that we are born again. Let me make it simple: If your life has not changed – you are not saved. How difficult is that to understand? Being born again will be evidenced by new desires, new habits, new lifestyles, new values, new language, new friends, new thought patterns, etc. If the fruit is rotten, the tree is rotten, simple as that. You can tell a rock as many times as you like that it is a child of God, it does not change the facts.

Are we then to leave people in a state of uncertainty? Yes – until they find their assurance from the only One who has the right to give that assurance! I know that this means people may need to spend time on their knees and in the Bible. Since when is seeking God’s face and wrestling with eternal issues bad?

True Hope

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (Galatians 5:5)

"We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:3-6)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


…today’s church is in a similar position to the California gold rushers of 1850. Spiritual riches are promised at every turn. New programs, new philosophies, new parachurch ministries—each glitters a little bit more than the last, promising better results and bigger returns. But, as was true in the mid-1800’s, just because it glitters doesn’t mean it’s good. Christians need to be equally wary of ‘fool’s gold.’ We must not accept new trends (or old traditions) without first testing them to see if they meet with God’s approval. If they fail the test, we should discard them and warn others also. But if they pass the test, in keeping with the truth of God’s Word, we can embrace and endorse them wholeheartedly.

--John MacArthur, Fool’s Gold, pp. 20-21

Monday, January 22, 2007

Why God Permits False Prophets

"You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul". (Deuteronomy 13:3).

From those words it is clear that God allows teachers of error for the same reason as He does persecutors of His people: to test their love, to try their fidelity, to show that their loyalty to him is such that they will not give ear unto His enemies.

Error has always been more popular than the Truth, for it lets down the bars and fosters fleshly indulgence, but for that very reason it is obnoxious to the godly. The one who by grace can say "I have chosen the way of Truth" will be able to add "I have stuck unto Thy testimonies" (Psalm 119:30, 31), none being able to move him therefrom.
"For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." (1 Corinthians 11:19).

Error serves as a flail, separating the chaff from the wheat. Let some plausible and popular preacher come forward with an old error decked out in new clothes and empty professors will at once flock to his standard; but not so with those who are established in the Faith. Thus, by means of the false prophets, God makes it appear who are the ones who hold the Truth in sincerity: they are faithful to Him despite all temptations to turn away unto a "broader-minded" way. The genuine gold endures every test to which it is subjected. Thus too are the unregenerate "converts" revealed: the counterfeit gold will not withstand the fire. Those who are attracted by a novelty do not endure but are soon carried away by some newer innovation.

--AW Pink, Sermon on the Mount

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why Aren't Churches Praying MORE?

Does your church have a corporate weekly prayer meeting?

If yes, great!

If no, why not?

Is this a symptom of a serious spiritual sickness? Is this not an indicator of lukewarmness?

If your church does have one, do you attend? If your church does not, have you ever considered starting one?

See this quote from Charles Spurgeon from his sermon, The Kind of Revival We Need:

"It is good for us to draw nigh unto God in prayer. Our minds are grieved to see so little attention given to united prayer by many churches. How can we expect a blessing if we are too idle to ask for it? How can we look for a Pentecost if we never meet with one another, in one place, to wait upon the Lord? Brethren, we shall never see much change for the better in our churches till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians."

I know it is easy to point out all the problems with the church today but I also am convinced there is something we can do about it.

We can get together and PRAY.

What is holding us back?

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Eagle That Flies

"Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven is in us, the less earth will content us.... Fly aloft in your affections, thirst after the graces and comforts of the Spirit; the eagle that flies above in the air, fears not the stinging of the serpent; the serpent creeps on his belly, and stings only such creatures as go upon the earth"

--Thomas Watson, (1620—1686)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Response to Brian McLaren’s "A New Kind of Christian"

This is an excellent article by Todd Cothran of the Christian Worldview Network. In it he points out the dangers in Brian McLaren's book "A New Kind of Christian".

It's encouraging to see more men speak out against the heresies within Emergent and authors like Brian McLaren.

Here is an excerpt:

"While at a recent conference for Christian schools, I looked through the offerings of the host organization. Their display tables were impressive, the latest offerings on just about every subject a Christian school could offer. They also had many books for the teacher’s personal enrichment. It was this table that I found most interesting. Among the many books on class management, biblical worldview, and biblical integration I spotted a book that literally made my jaw drop: Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian. Up until this point I had questioned how much influence his books were having within traditionally strong Christian institutions. This confirmed to me that not only were his books having an impact within the “emergent church” circles but on the Christian school teachers as well: teachers who are to be reinforcing and helping to instill an orthodox Biblical Christian worldview within our students. This paper explores the reasons for my concern."


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

FIVE SOLAS Translation

"1. Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). Translation: Don’t bore me with the latest Church Growth/Self-help/Goal setting manual. Not interested, won’t read it. Only clear Biblical doctrine is important to my faith.

2. Solus Christus (Christ alone). Translation: Salvation is in Christ alone, the Christ of Scripture. No social gospel, no works based “servant evangelism”, just the genuine Jesus of the Bible, period.

3. Sola fide (Faith alone). Translation: I’m not interested in methodologies, only the one given by Christ, “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

4. Sola gratia (Grace alone). Translation: Salvation is only by His grace, not new-age meditation, not purpose-driven works, not numbers based strategies. Just God's grace.

5. Soli Deo gloria (For God’s glory alone) Translation: Don’t bother me with politics, church or secular. If you want to wield authority, if you want to “build the kingdom”, if you want to play church, if you want to discuss modern culture, I'm simply not interested because God’s Word is timeless and unaffected by all these things. He will establish His kingdom and it is not of this earth. And all things exist solely for His glory."

-- from Paul Walker of Elm Avenue Baptist Church

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Contemplative Prayer Has No Biblical Support

In light of the comments section from the "Adventures in a Monastery" post and to help further explain the unbiblical nature of forms of Contemplative Prayer , THIS ARTICLE by Brian Flynn sheds a discerning light on the subject for those who may be uncertain.

Here is an excerpt:

"...Scripture clearly offers no support or description for contemplative prayer, and the contemplatives know it. By taking Scripture out of context, it is an admission on their part that the support for contemplative prayer does not exist. If contemplative prayer was scriptural, it would be described in such a fashion as to make no mistake about it. It isn’t."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Real Relevance

Only By The Whole Counsel of God

Quoting John Murray . . .

"A great deal is being said nowadays about the necessity of relevance, and in certain circles it is being asserted that the scripture as it was understood by Christians in the first century is not relevant to modern man; that, conditioned as he is to the scientific worldview, it is impossible to accept the framework in which the New Testament is cast. It is not to be denied that the gospel proclaimed must be relevant, that it must be presented to men where they are, and meet their needs in the situations in which they find themselves. But one thing must be said. It is only by the proclamation of the whole counsel of God, particularly regarding sin, misery, and the judgment of God, that men will discover where they are and begin to assess their need.

Much of the plea for relevance proceeds on the premise that what men assess as their need, and demand for the satisfaction of this need, is that to which the gospel must be adjusted. The result is that the solution proposed and the message proclaimed are accommodations to humanly conceived and framed demands.

There is the basic fallacy that men apart from the conviction created and conditioned by law and gospel are able to know what their real situation and needs are. It is God's judgment respecting sin and misery that must be brought to bear upon men where they are and where they find themselves. When this priority is not observed, then all presumed relevance is a distortion of the gospel. ...

We must unashamedly and uncompromisingly declare the whole counsel of God, so that men, in conviction, will be made relevant to the gospel. This is the relevance Reformation requires and it is the relevance that Reformation will bring."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Adventures in a Monastery

Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey, the kid's radio program, is promoting Contemplative Spirituality.

The character in the story, Eugene, goes to a monastery. While there is asked whether or not he is willing to sit still and be quiet long enough to hear God speak to him through the silence. It sounds a bit mystical.

I've always thought God speaks to us through his Scripture.

I see some other problems with this too. In the story, those in the monastery come across as being very wise and spiritual. It is just assumed that a monastery is a safe place for a christian to be. Where is the discernment here? There is no mention at all of any distinctions between Catholicism and Protestantism. Considering this, I would like to ask: What was the Reformation all about? What were the Truths that so many of the Reformers stood for which costs them their lives?

Is this what we want to teach our Protestant children.... that we can have fellowship with perhaps the most subtly deceptive religion in the world, Catholicism, and listen to God speak to us through the silence (found no where in scripture) as the desert fathers did so many years ago? Catholics are surrounded with erronous and blasphemous doctrines all through their religion from Transubstantiation of the Mass, to Mary as co-redemptress, to the Pope having authority over the Bible, to eliminating the second of the Ten Commandments. They need to be prayed for and shown the error in love, not embraced while ignoring their false teachings.

Ray Yungen's book A Time of Departing explains why things like this are happening today in the church.

THESE ARTICLES are also very informative on the infiltration of Contemplative Spirituality into the church.

See post on Lighthouse Trails' Blog.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Men That We Need

“But now we are all little men; there is scarce a man alive now upon this earth.” --C. H. Spurgeon

From earliest times, God has blessed His people and sustained His church by giving them leaders. While the children of Israel were groaning in bondage in Egypt, Jehovah was preparing Moses to be a savior. When the hordes of Midian filled the land of Israel, driving God’s people into dens and caves in the mountains, Gideon was commissioned, and by three hundred men a great victory was wrought. When Europe was enslaved in the chains of popery and superstition, Luther emerged as God’s sent servant. When England relapsed into darkness, the voice of Whitefield came like a trumpet blast to waken the dead.

All God’s men have been equipped by Him for their peculiar tasks--Peter for Pentecost, Paul for the Gentiles. The scene is always changing, but the Lord has always had His men.

In our day, rank confusion prevails on every hand. We are all acquainted to some degree with the weaknesses that depress the church of God as a whole. The question is, Are we aware of the need for outstanding leadership? And if so, are we praying that God will send us men for the times--men who are equipped, called, and thrust forth? It is not for us to dictate to our heavenly Father the kind of men He must send, but we can envision some of the gifts that we might find in such leaders. Let us intercede earnestly for:

1. Men who have burning hearts of love for God and men, who fear God and nothing else but sin, who have an inexhaustible zeal for God’s glory, and who are ready to die, if need be, for Christ.

2. Men who possess a thorough knowledge of Scripture and who are able to expound any text in a systematic and convincing manner.

3. Men who are gifted in doctrinal comprehension and who love the tried and tested doctrines of the faith.

4. Men who love and study church history, who specialize in the history of evangelical reformations and revivals, who know what the martyrs believed and died for, and who can competently apply an extensive knowledge of church history to the present day.

5. Men who are humble enough to apply themselves to small spheres of labor but who, at the same time, have a world vision, following missionary movements everywhere, doing everything in their power to help fulfill the Great Commission.

6. Men who know how to meet the evils of the age, who have a plan from God for our day, who are competent and aggressive in evangelism, and who are sons of thunder rather than showmen.

7. Men who do not follow infidels but concentrate like the apostles on power in preaching the gospel.

8. Men who will not compromise the truth for the sake of expediency, who have the courage to discard that which is merely traditional, oppose that which is unscriptural, and yet be respectful of those who do not measure up to the spiritual dimensions here described.

May God send us such men.

Taken from Men That We Need by Erroll Hulse. Published by The Banner of Truth Trust.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

True Grace

True grace is clear when sin is clearly seen.

Monday, January 08, 2007

How to Know If Emergent May Be Emerging in Your Church

I know this article is lengthy but I believe it is worth taking the time to read.

The reason?

I am becoming weary and frustrated trying to show those I deeply care about of the growing apostasy within today's churches (you know who you are. I hope I do not have to be more specific in identifying you). I am thinking specifically of my former church. Many people very close to me have decided to remain members of this church. I do not know if the church is becoming "Emergent" or not but what they are becoming is definitely NOT what is described in the Bible. I also know that they have purposefully or out of sheer ignorance allowed many of these same ERRORS described in this article to take root in the church and to grow in an increasing degree.

PLEASE WAKE UP and realize what is going on!

If all this is too complicated to understand and requires too much effort to investigate and study perhaps this article will explain the encroaching apostasy in a simple manner occurring in too many of our churches today. Please read this and pray that God will give you the eyes to see the truth if in fact the truth is contained in this article. I certainly believe it is:


Article by Roger Oakland

The world is changing. So is the Christian evangelical church. There was a time— not that long ago—when the Bible was considered to be the Word of God by the majority of evangelical Christians. Now that we are well into the third millennium and the post-modern, post- Christian era, the term evangelical can mean almost anything. What has happened? Why is this happening and what is the future for mainstream Christianity?

For the past several years, I have been speaking around the world on current trends that are impacting Christianity. After these presentations, I am approached by Christians who come from many different church backgrounds. Many are expressing their concerns about what is happening in their churches, troubled by the new direction they see their church going. While they may not always be able to discern what is wrong, they know something is wrong and that it needs to be addressed.

Further, many have told me they have attempted to express their concerns with their pastors or church elders. In almost every case, they were told they had a choice to make—get with the new program or get out of the church.

This move towards a reinvented Christianity (one designed to “reach people”) seems to be here for the long haul. It is not just a passing fad. I am often asked by concerned brothers and sisters in Christ to provide an explanation in order to help them understand what they have encountered. They want to know why these changes are underway and what to expect in the future. As well, they want to know what, if anything can be done, to stem this tide. It is for this reason I am writing this commentary—to provide biblical insight regarding the Emerging Church and where it is heading in the future.

The Gospel According to the Scriptures

Throughout church history, various trends have come and gone. While culture changes from place to place, biblical Christianity has always been based upon the central message of the Bible which is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message never changes.

This gospel message is about who Jesus Christ is, and what He has done. A child can understand the gospel message. This message proclaims that life here on planet earth is finite and that life after death is eternal. The good news is that we can be saved from our sins if we will repent and simply ask for forgiveness and follow Him.

How we respond to the gospel message during the time we have on earth determines where we spend eternity—heaven or hell. Jesus, the Creator of the universe, provided a way and the only way we can spend eternity with Him. It is a matter of making a personal decision whether or not we will accept the plan He has provided.

God’s adversary does not want mankind to understand the simple message. His plan is to deceive the world. If he can blind people from the gospel or convince them that they believe the gospel when indeed they do not, his plan has been successful. Throughout the ages, countless billions have been duped, either rejecting the truth, or believing that they had believed the truth when instead they had been deceived.

The Gospel According to Postmodernism

Times change! However, the gospel must remain the same no matter what else changes. We are now living in the postmodern era. In a sincere attempt to reach the postmodern generation with the gospel, it seems many Christians have become postmodern in their thinking.

Perhaps the term postmodern is new to you. Let’s examine what it means.

First, the modern era was characterized by a time of rational thinking based on factual observation. Many claim the modern era ended in the mid 1900s.

The postmodern mindset moves beyond the rational and the factual to the experiential and the mystical. In other words, in the past it was possible to know right from wrong and black from white. In the postmodern era all things are relative to the beholder. What may be right for you may be wrong for someone else. There is no such thing as absolute truth. The only thing that is absolute is that there is no absolute.

We now live in a time in history that is characterized as postmodern. Professors at universities teach students there is no right or wrong. All things are relative. The gospel message to the postmodern mindset is far too dogmatic and arrogant. They say it is necessary to find a more moderate gospel that can be accepted by the masses.

Many church leaders are now looking for ways to reach the postmodern generation. They believe they can find the appropriate methods to do so without changing the message. However, in their attempt to reach this postmodern generation, they have become postmodern themselves and have changed the message. As the gospel is fixed upon the Scriptures, the gospel cannot change, unless of course it becomes another gospel. I believe this is what is happening in the Emerging Church.

He Didn’t Come

Many have noticed that since the turn of the millennium, their churches have changed positions on Bible prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus. Many have given up on the return of Jesus. From the ‘60s on there was an excitement about the imminent return of Jesus. The Jesus People were excited about Bible prophecy and could see signs that Jesus would descend from the heavens for His Bride at any moment.

The year 2000 was of particular importance. When Jesus didn’t show up, it seems many were apparently disappointed. “Perhaps Jesus has delayed His coming,” some have said. Others are even taking the position that He may not be coming at all, at least not in the manner we have been taught. They are now convinced that we need to be busy about “building His Kingdom” here on earth by “whatever human effort is required.”

The Gospel of the Kingdom

One of the main indicators that something has changed can be seen in the way the future is perceived. Rather than urgently proclaiming the gospel according to the Scriptures and believing the time to do so is short, the emphasis has now shifted. No longer are “signs of the times” significant. The battle cry is very different. A major emphasis among evangelicals is the idea that the world can be radically improved through social programs.

This concept, while on the surface may sound very good, has some serious biblical implications. According to the Scriptures, there will be no kingdom of God until the King arrives. All the human effort man can muster up will fall short of bringing utopia. In fact, according to the Scriptures, fallen man will lead us further down the road to a society of despair and lawlessness just like it was in the days of Noah.

Thus, this purpose-driven view of establishing global utopia may be a plan, but it is “driven” by humanistic reasoning and not led by the Holy Spirit. While it is of course good to do good unto others, all the goodness that we can do will not be good enough. Pastors and church leaders who get involved in such man-driven programs can usually be identified by certain characteristics:

• Sound biblical doctrine is dangerous and divisive, and the experiential (i.e.,mystical) is given a greater role than doctrine.
• Bible prophecy is no longer taught and is considered a waste of time
• Israel becomes less and less important and has no biblical significance
• Eventually the promises for Israel are applied to the church and not Israel (Replacement Theology).
• Bible study is replaced by studying someone’s book and his methods
• Church health is evaluated on the quantity of people who attend.
• The truth of God’s Word becomes less and less important
• God’s Word, especially concepts like hell, sin and repentance, is eventually downplayed so the unbeliever is not offended.

Spiritual Formation and Transformation

Much of what I have described provides the formula for a dumbing-down of Christianity that paves the way for an apostasy that will only intensify in the future. This trend away from the authority of God’s Word to the reinvented form
of Christianity has overcome all evangelical denominations like an avalanche. Few Bible teachers saw this avalanche coming. Now that it is underway, few realize it has even happened.

However, there is another big piece to the puzzle that must be identified in order to understand what is emerging in the Emerging Church. While biblical Christianity has been dumbed-down and the light of God’s Word diminished, another avalanche of deception is underway that is equally devastating.

This is best described by the Word of God giving way to experiences that God’s Word forbids. The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the “forbidden book.” Until the Reformers translated the Bible into the language of the common person, the people were in darkness. When the light of God’s Word became available, the gospel according to the Scriptures was once again understood.

This trend, which is underway today, shows us that history is in the process of repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise of mystical experiences is alarming and these experiences are being presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for the fostering of what is called “spiritual formation.” This teaching suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.

These teachings, while actually rooted in ancient wisdom (the occult), were presented to Christendom post-New Testament and not found in the Word of God. The spiritual formation movement is based upon experiences promoted by desert monks and Roman Catholic mystics – these mystics encouraged the use of rituals and practices, that if performed would bring the practitioner closer to God (or come into God’s presence). The premise was that if one went into the silence or sacred space, then the mind was emptied of distractions and the voice of God could be heard. In truth, these hypnotic, mantric style practices were leading these monks into altered states of consciousness. The methods they used are the same that Buddhists and the Hindus use as a means of encountering the spiritual realm

Such methods are dangerous, and are not sanctioned in the Bible – God gives no instruction for this. On the contrary, he warns severely against divination, which is practicing a ritual or method in order to obtain information from a spiritual source. While proponents of spiritual formation (like Richard Foster) say these methods show that the Holy Spirit is doing something new to refresh Christianity, I would suggest that what is happening is not new and is not the Holy Spirit.

The spiritual formation movement is being widely promoted at colleges and seminaries as the latest and the greatest way to become a spiritual leader in these days. These ideas are then being exported from seminaries to churches by graduates who have been primed to take Christianity to a new level of enlightenment.

As well, these contemplative practices are being promoted by emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren, Robert Webber, Dallas Willard and others. Publishers like NavPress, InterVarsity and Zondervan are flooding the market with books promoting contemplative practices based on Eastern mysticism. Pastors and church leaders read these books and then promote the ideas as if they were the scriptural answer to drawing close to God.

Signs the Emerging Church is Emerging

There are specific warning signs that are symptomatic that a church may be headed down the emergent/contemplative road. In some cases a pastor may not be aware that he is on this road nor understand where the road ends up.

Here are some of the warning signs:

• Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.
• The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.
• More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
• The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.
• The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.
• The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past
• An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.
• Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented in order to provide meaning for this generation.
• The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.
• While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.
• These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.
• There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.
• Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.
• There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of
world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways
to God.
• Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.

What does the Future Hold?

If the Emerging Church continues unfolding at the present pace, mainstream evangelical Christianity will be reinvented and the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures will be considered too narrow and too restrictive. In other words, the narrow way to heaven that Jesus proclaimed will eventually be abandoned for a wider way that embraces pagan experiential practices. I call this reinvented, re-imagined form of Christianity that is unfolding—“Christian Babylonianism”.

This new form of Christianity will replace biblical faith with a faith that says man can establish the kingdom of God here on earth. The Word will continue to become secondary to a system of works driven by experiences.

An ecumenical pattern towards unity with Rome will become more apparent. Those who refuse to embrace this direction will be considered spiritual oddballs that need to be reprimanded. Those who stand up for biblical faith will be considered the obstructions to the one world spirituality that is promoted as the answer for peace.

The best way to be prepared for what is coming is to gain an understanding of what is happening now. While there are not many who seem to discern the trend underway, there are some. Without the Bible and the Holy Spirit as our guide, the darkness that is coming would be overwhelming. However, the light of God’s
Word penetrates the darkness and there are those who are being delivered from deception and see what is taking place.

I am convinced we are seeing apostasy underway, exactly as the Scriptures have forewarned. This means that this current trend is not likely to disappear. We must continue to proclaim the truth in the midst of deception with love. As Paul instructed Timothy:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will (2 Timothy 2: 24-26).

There are still pastors and churches who are dedicated to proclaiming the truth. Find out where they are and support them. If you are in a location where this does not seem to be possible, seek out materials that are available from solid Bible-based Christian ministries and hold Bible studies in your own home.

And keep looking up! Jesus is coming soon.

Visit Roger’s website at

Sunday, January 07, 2007

BEWARE: Christian Conferences in 2007 Promoting Contemplative Spirituality

Source: Lighthouse Trails

2007 will host many "Christian" conferences. Unfortunately, a significant number of them will be promoting contemplative spirituality, a belief system that ultimately leads away from the Cross of Jesus Christ, not to it. Below are some of those conferences. If your church has plans to send your pastor, young people, men or women to one of these, you may want to reconsider. If they go, they will sit under the tutelage of some who promote contemplative.


Friday, January 05, 2007


This is one of those difficult articles to read. I kept stopping and reflecting on my own life and my own walk with God. This may help others too.


Professing Christians, Awake!

“Now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11).
The language of this text is borrowed from natural sleep, in which a person is in a great measure unaware of what is happening around him but life remains in the body. This condition is applied to Christians who have grown insensitive to divine things--they sleep, but life remains in their souls. In particular, the exhortation is for those who find themselves in a state of spiritual slumber to shake off their drowsiness and awake to spiritual realities.

Signs of Spiritual Slumber

1. Sleeping Christians allow personal ease to compete with spiritual duty. Religion is the great business of the Christian’s life. It imposes on him many responsibilities that are in painful opposition to his fleshly desires. However, to neglect spiritual duties for the sake of personal comfort is to indulge in spiritual slothfulness. Great care must be taken to fight this natural tendency toward laziness with regard to spiritual things. For this reason, the Scripture instructs Christians to encourage one another daily “lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).

Avoiding reproach is a common way Christians shirk their godly purpose in the world. It is easy to live quietly as long as you will not disturb your fellow sinner with a reminder of his sin. Ignoring the sinful behavior of others requires no effort, and thousands of professing Christians resign themselves to rest in a state of passivity. Whole churches often shut their mouths in silence in the name of charity or goodwill, but in so doing they actually display an awful indifference to the souls of men.

2. Sleeping Christians are no longer deeply affected by divine things. In this frame of mind, it is no wonder that Christians regularly attend the house of God but soon forget the instruction they receive. Although they once saw the glory of God in the face of Christ, now they walk in darkness. Where once they were stirred by a deep sense of the worth of souls and could weep over perishing sinners, now they can endure the sight of transgressors almost without emotion.

Their lack of interest in spiritual things is further manifested by their conversation. At one time, they spoke often of eternal matters, but now all their attention is engrossed with the world. They converse with ease about the temporal issues of life but have almost nothing to say about the great things of eternity. When they do speak of heavenly themes, it is in a dull and lifeless manner. The weight of eternal realities does not stir their soul, and thus they talk like a person in sleep.

3. Sleeping Christians are reluctant to pray secretly. Prayer has been properly described as the breath of the Christian. When a Christian continues in a state of prayerlessness for a prolonged period, it is a sign that he is asleep. If not shortly awakened from this breathless state, it is reasonable to wonder whether such a person is actually spiritually dead.

Motivations for Christians to Awake

1. Consider the time. Gospel light has risen upon us, and those who do not open their eyes to this light will remain in eternal darkness and despair. How can you sleep when the light of heaven is shining upon you? It is no time for sleep, because the day of salvation is a day that will be witnessed for eternity. The great business of this day calls loudly for you to awake.

Think, my brethren! Have you nothing to do for yourselves in preparation for eternity? Have you no sins to repent of and no evil propensities to mortify? Are your evidences of grace bright enough? Do you love God with all your heart? Are you perfectly conformed to God’s holy law? In short, are you willing to die as you are? If you have anything to do for yourselves, it is high time to awake out of sleep.

2. Parents, consider your children. Are they all securely within the safety of the covenant? Do you pray with them and for them? Have you taught them that they are sinners in need of new birth? Are you urging them to remember their Creator in the days of their youth? Were you to depart with one of your children today, could you rest satisfied that you have done your duty? Have you not one more word of instruction, of counsel, or of warning for your children before you meet them at the bar of God? If so, then it is time for you to awaken to your duty to order your home.

3. Consider the activity of unbelievers. The men of this world shame us by their conduct. They rise up early and sit up late. They plan and execute. Labor, fatigue, and hardship are nothing to them if they can but collect a little of this world before they leave it. They are laying up treasure on earth. And will you not be as earnest to lay up for yourselves treasure that will endure in heaven? Do you not feel reproved by their conduct to think that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light?

4. Consider the power of your enemy. My brethren, you are on the field of battle against the prince of darkness. The malice of evil legions is directed against the Redeemer’s kingdom in this world. Satan is already in possession of the hearts of all wicked men. While you sleep, he is sowing tares and destroying about us. Snares and temptations are laid thick around you, and unless you are awake, you will certainly be ignorant of his devices. I would blow the trumpet and sound the alarm: Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light!

5. Consider that sinners are perishing. Your life and example will contribute either to their salvation or to their destruction. It is a fact that one ungodly professor of Christianity does more to prevent the conversion of sinners than many infidels. Brethren, are heaven and hell mere fables? If they are eternal realities, how can you remain silent or indifferent about them? If there be one impenitent sinner among you who is in danger of going to that place of eternal torment, can you sleep? Come, then, you that know the Lord and keep not silent, “if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezek. 33:8). There is a dreadful storm of divine wrath coming upon the world of the ungodly. Therefore, it is high time to awake from slumber because “their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Pet. 2:3).

6. Consider the time that has already passed. How many months have you been asleep? How many years have you slept in God’s vineyard? Would you still continue sleeping away the day of salvation? With some, the sun has already passed its midway point and is now hastening its rapid descent. “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light” (John 12:35). Delay not, for “the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

7. Consider the glorious future that awaits you. You who have long traversed the wilderness on your way to Zion, your struggles for eternal life will have an end. You who have long labored, prayed, and groaned to be delivered from the bondage of sin, “look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). This night you may wake up amid the song of angels, and a crown of glory may be placed on your head. Awake, then, and behold the glorious dawn of a bright new day!

8. Finally, consider the great danger of being deceived. A genuine Christian can never sleep sound without being disturbed. He inevitably will become frightened and wake up alarmed about his own condition. However, there are those who remain sound asleep and live at ease in Zion. They neither weep for their sins nor rejoice in the glory of God. Their hope of heaven is really only a pleasant dream while meanwhile they sink further into spiritual deception.

The Christian church is a net that gathers of every kind. Remember that ten virgins professed to be followers of Christ but only five were ready for the bridegroom. Many who now commune on earth will never meet in heaven. Many who now appear to us to be real Christians will, no doubt to our surprise, be found on the left hand of Christ, “for many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).

Sadly, the sinner who has professed religion with a false hope can hardly be driven to give it up. However, it is far better to destroy such hope and for the person to conclude that he is lost than for him to awake too late. “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh . . . : lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping” (Mark 13:35-36). At midnight the cry will be made. Then there will be a great confusion, for thousands will be deceived. Therefore, “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (Rev. 3:1-3)

Taken from Asahel Nettleton: Sermons from the Second Great Awakening. Published by International Outreach.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"Reverence, respect and solemnity for the character of God must begin and accompany true gospel preaching. The glorifying of God in preaching extols His character, holiness, attributes and draws a large conception of God. The problem with this modern day synthetic gospel is that we preach man's need and not God's character with utmost urgency. True gospel preaching tells men that they have offended a holy God who will by no means wink at sin. Walter Chantry said: "Christ's gospel sends men to beg pardon of the Holy One!" We have to realize that the holiness of God is what we have offended and sinned against and are in active rebellion to this infinitely pure God. A modern day fallacy is to say that all people know of God and His true character, nothing is farther from the truth. People are ready to talk about God in a religious sense but are utterly ignorant of God and His holiness. We are making an awful mistake in taking for granted that sinners know who God is! We lack severely in these two areas: Preaching the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man both of these truths need to be addressed to the hearers conscience directly, not argued but proclaimed."

--Greg Gordon,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We Are Not Here To Win Souls

"We are not here to win souls, to do good to others. That is the natural outcome, but it is not our aim, and this is where so many of us cease to be followers. We will follow God as long as He makes us a blessing to others, but when He does not, we will not follow.

Suppose our Lord had measured His life by whether or not He was a blessing to others. Why, He was a 'stone of stumbling' to thousands, actually to His own neighbors, to His own nation... and in His own country 'He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief' (Matt. 13:58).

If our Lord had measured His life by its actual results, He would have been full of misery. We get switched off when instead of following God we follow Christian work and workers. We are much more concerned over the passion for souls than the passion for Christ....

The passion for souls in not a New Testament idea at all, but religious commercialization. When we are taken up with this passion, the joy of the Lord is never ours but only an excitable joy which always leaves a snare behind."

--Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cultural Christianity

"...much of what is called Christianity today is not the Christianity of the New Testament; it is distinctly different....

Jesus is not the fountainhead of modern Christianity. He is scarcely thought about. Christian preachers, Sunday School teachers, religious books, all without any apology patronize Jesus Christ and put Him on one side.

We have to learn that to stand true to Jesus Christ's point of view means ostracism -- the ostracism that was brought on Him. Most of us know nothing whatever about it.

The modern view looks upon human nature as pathetic; men and women are poor ignorant babes in the wood who have lost themselves. Jesus Christ's view is totally different. He does not look on men and women as babes in the wood, but as sinners who need saving, and the modern mind detests His view.

Our Lord's teaching is based on something we violently hate, namely His doctrine of sin; we do not believe it unless we have had a radical dealing with God on the line of His teaching.

Remember that a disciple is committed to much more than belief in Jesus, he is committed to His Lord's view of the world, of men, of God and of sin."

--Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Good Advise From Spurgeon

Thank God for how great He has been in 2006.

I have seen His provision spiritually and physically at times when I saw no way out. I have seen his indescribable mercy and grace demonstrated toward me and my family when I deserved the opposite. In 2006 I have seen Him not treat me as my sins deserved but have seen His compassionate discipline like a loving Father.

I trust Him more now than I did this time last year and I thank Him for His kindness and His tender mercies. He has hidden me from Himself in Himself.

I owe all of my life to Him.

Here is some good advise from Charles Spurgeon to consider as we enter a new year:

"Serve God with all your might while the candle is burning, and when it goes out for a season, you will have the less to regret. Be content to be nothing, for that is what you are. When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full. except in the Lord. Set small store by present rewards; be grateful for earnests by the way, look for the recompensing joy hereafter. Continue with double earnestness to serve your Lord when no visible result is before you...

In nothing let us be turned aside from the path which the divine call has urged us to pursue. Come fair or come foul, the pulpit is our watchtower, and the ministry our warfare; be it ours, when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of his wings."

--Charles Spurgeon