This is such a wonderful testimony to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reality that we are made to worship Him. My favorite quote from this video is, “But Jesus means everything to me.”
by Charles Spurgeon (edited)
An evil is in the ‘professed’ camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!
The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel’.
No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? The ‘concert’ has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? “You are the salt of the world”, not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.
Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him,” I do not hear Him say, ‘Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!’
No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them!
In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the ‘gospel of amusement’. Their message is, “Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them… Don’t touch their filthy things…” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.
After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, ‘Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are’.
No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today’s church.
Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer! The mission of amusement produces no converts!
The need of the hour for today’s ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.
Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods!
As a child growing up, I remember hearing Christians call one another brother and sister. Sadly, I don’t hear it as much today in the church. Younger generations of Christians just don’t seem to use these terms quite as often as far as I can tell. Truth is, calling other believers brother or sister is packed with theological significance.
I often like to describe the gospel of Jesus Christ as a diamond with unlimited facets. You can imagine peering into a beautiful diamond with each facet representing an awesome truth and as you turn the diamond you’ll find an infinite number of facets. Of course, when we ponder the cross of Christ we immediately encounter the grand truth that our sins are forgiven. We also have as another amazing facet the truth that at the cross of Christ God’s wrath completely propitiated (or satisfied) on Christ as our substitute.
However, we must never stop there. There are many more glorious truths that the gospel displays. One of those grand truths is what theologians call the doctrine of adoption. Theologically, adoption is the marvelous truth that through the cross sinners are transfered from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. What is staggering about this truth is that while were enemies of God, He made us become His children through His Son. Even more staggering is that the writer of Hebrews reminds us that since we are adopted into God’s Kingdom through Christ, that Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren. We were once alienated from God and by His grace we are adopted into His Kingdom and are now His children. This teaches us that we are born not God’s children, but Satan’s. It is only through Christ that we become true adopted children of God.
There is massive implications in the doctrine of adoption. For one, the Scriptures make it clear that if someone is truly saved one of the marks of their salvation will be a real and true love for other believers. In fact, John pens in his first epistle that if we say that we love God and hate our brothers the love of God cannot be in us. This makes perfect sense when we consider the doctrine of adoption. If we are adopted into God’s Kingdom through Christ’s crosswork, then we are truly and spiritually brothers and sisters with other believers. If there is no love for those other believers it is likely that you are not part of God’s family.
Another wonderful implication of this grand doctrine is for those who may not have an earthly family. You may have been ill-treated or abandoned by your blood-relatives, or your family may have rejected you because of your faith in Christ. Allow this beautiful doctrine to give you great peace and joy knowing that because of Christ you now have a massive family no matter where you are. Believers all around you are your true family in Christ. That is an amazing truth.
It is amazing to glare intently into the diamond that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite Bible verses that speaks on adoption is 1 John 3:1. It reads, “behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” Oh what a glorious passage of Scripture that truly hits to the heart of God’s amazing love for His children in Christ. This doctrine also should give us pause as we reflect that through Christ’s crosswork we can now and forevermore address the God of all creation, who resides in unapproachable light and who is a consuming fire, Father. That truth alone should stagger our hearts and minds.
So, the next time you address another believer as brother or sister take a moment to reflect each time on why and how it is that you can call them family and then cause that grand truth to cause you to break out in praise and worship to God our Father and Jesus Christ our Savior.
Soli Deo Gloria!
“Though we be Pauls and Apolloses we cannot save a soul; though we be as eloquent as Demosthenes, as subtle as Aristotle, as convincing as Plato, as persistent as Socrates, we cannot save. And though we be non of these, but a plain man with lisping lips, that can but let fall the Gospel truth in broken phrases – we need no eloquent Aaron for our prophet. We need only God for our Master. It is not we who save, it is God; and our place is not due to our learning or our rhetoric or our graces, it is due to the honouring of God, who has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens.” – B.B. Warfield
“Let it be counted folly, or frenzy, or fury, or whatsoever. It is our wisdom and our comfort; we care for no knowledge in the world but this: that man hath sinned and God hath suffered; that God hath made himself the sin of men, and that men are made the righteousness of God.”
— Richard Hooker
“To the question: what must I do to be saved? The old gospel replies: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To the further question: what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Its reply is: it means knowing oneself to be a sinner, and Christ to have died for sinners; abandoning all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and casting oneself wholly upon Him for pardon and peace; and exchanging one’s natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ through the renewing of one’s heart by the Holy Ghost.”
HT: Truth Matters
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the site of God … (1 Peter 2:4)
“There is no growth in grace or holiness, nor in ability to oppose our corruptions, except we be thus coming frequently to Jesus Christ in whom the fulness of grace is (Col. 1:19), and who is both our righteousness and our strength for all we have to do, (Isa. 45:24); for this coming to Christ here pressed may be looked upon as the means of growth in mortification and every grace…”
- Alexander Nisbet from his commentary on 1-2 Peter
The ending of Handel’s Messiah has a piece entitled “Worthy is the Lamb” which in my humble opinion is one of the most magnificent classical pieces ever penned. The way Handel put in music the scene of the living creatures incessantly saying “amen” is profound.
“And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:13-14
Hail, sovereign love that first began, The scheme to rescue fallen man; Hail matchless free eternal grace, That gave my soul a hiding place.
Against the God who rules the sky, I fought with hand uplifted high, Despised the mention of His grace, Too proud to seek a hiding place.
Enwrapped in thick Egyptian night, And fond of darkness more than light, Madly I ran the sinful race, Secure without a hiding place.
But thus th’ eternal counsel ran, “Almighty Love, arrest that man!” I felt the arrows of distress, And found I had no hiding place.
Indignant justice stood in view, To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew, But Justice cried with frowning face, “This mountain is no hiding place!”
Ere long a heavenly voice I heard, And Mercy’s angel form appeared. Who led me on with gentle pace, To Jesus Christ, my hiding place.
On Him Almighty vengeance fell, That must have sunk a world to hell; He bore it for a chosen race, And thus became their hiding place.
Should storms of sevenfold vengeance roll, And shake this earth from pole to pole; No flaming bolt could daunt my face, For Jesus is my hiding place.
A few more rolling suns at most, Shall land me safe on Heaven’s coast. There I shall sing the song of grace, To Jesus Christ, my hiding place!
Words: Jehoida Brewer, in the Gospel Magazine, October 1776.
“Bowed down beneath a load of sin, by Satan sorely pressed. By war without, and fears within, I come to thee for rest. Be thou my shield and hiding-place; That, sheltered near thy side, I may my fierce accuser face, And tell him, thou hast died!” - John Newton