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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Grace And Gifts

John Bunyan

Quoting English Preacher and author of The Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan (1628-1688):

“I concluded, a little grace, a little love, a little of the true fear of God, is better than all the gifts: yea, and I am fully convinced of it, that it is possible for souls that can scarce give a man an answer, but with great confusion as to method; I say, it is possible for them to have a thousand times more grace, and so to be more in the love and favor of the Lord, than some who by the virtue of the gift of knowledge, can deliver themselves like angels.” (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan)

Samuel Adams On Ignorance

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders. (November 4, 1775: Samuel Adams letter to James Warren)

There Is No Second Chance

Maurice Roberts

Maurice Roberts of Inverness was born at Chester, England in 1938. He was educated at Durham University. He studied theology at the Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh. He was the minister of Ayr Free Church of Scotland from 1974 to 1994, and since then has been the minister of Greyfriars Congregation, Inverness, a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland. He was editor of the Banner of Truth magazine from 1988 to 2003. He is married, and has one daughter and two grandchildren. In the following excerpt, he discusses the reality of hell:

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

Here’s [a] “crooked thing”. People say: Why does God send anyone to hell? Why doesn’t God simply forgive everyone? Why doesn’t God simply do this and forgive everybody, saying, “Go and get a clean slate; go on, off you go, and don’t be naughty again.”? Why doesn’t God do that? I’ll tell you. If you think that’s a crooked thing, that God sends people to hell, I’ll tell you why he does it. It’s because God is infinitely holy and he cannot forgive sin except on the basis of his own justice being satisfied. God cannot forgive sin unless a penalty is suffered. And that’s because God is the God he is. Now you may not like that, but I have to tell you the truth. Whether you like it or not, that is the truth. God will not forgive anyone except on the basis of his justice being satisfied. That’s why Jesus had to die; he died to satisfy the justice of God. And that’s a very crooked thing in the eyes of many people. But you see, God is saying he will make the crooked things straight. And as soon as you understand the gospel you see the meaning of these crooked things. And if people will not believe in Christ there is only one place that they can go to. And I’m very sorry to have to say this, but it’s a terrible place – eternal punishment, hellfire, damnation, banishment from the presence of God forever.

I have no pleasure, my dear friends, in telling you that, but I have to tell you that because it is my duty to tell you that. If I didn’t tell you that, I would be deceiving you, I would be leading you under a false impression. There is no peace to the wicked, and there is no salvation until we believe in Jesus Christ alone – that’s the fact of the matter. You can study the Bible from end to end; if you find anything in the Bible that contradicts that, I will apologize and take it back, but that’s what my Bible says when I study it, and I’ve studied it for over fifty years. I can assure you that is the truth. There is no salvation except through the Lord Jesus Christ. And the crooked things of God will all be made plain in the end.

So now, let me ask you, every one of you, are you right with God? Are you trusting in his blood, the blood of Jesus? And if not, do you realize the danger you’re under of dying suddenly in a car accident or whatever, and being lost? There is no second chance. You can’t get a return ticket, I’m afraid, from hell. (Sermon: “God’s Grace to Blind Sinners”)

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