• 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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  • September 2020
    M T W T F S S
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From the pen of J. C. Ryle:

“I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Let every believer grasp these words and store them up in his heart. Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory; you will need them one day. The Philistines will be upon you, the hand of sickness will lay you low, the king of terrors will draw near, and the valley of the shadow of death will open up before your eyes. Then comes the hour when you will find nothing as comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering as a real sense of God’s companionship.

Stick to that word, “never”. It is worth its weight in gold. Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope. Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps his sword. God has said, and He will stand to it, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

NEVER! Though YOUR HEART is often faint and you are sick of self and your many failures and infirmities overwhelm you – even then the promise will not fail.

NEVER! Though THE DEVIL whispers, “I shall have you at last; yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine.” Even then the Word of God will stand.

NEVER! When the cold chill of DEATH is creeping over you and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that journey from which there is no return – even then Christ will not forsake you.

NEVER! When the day of JUDGMENT comes, and the books are opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity is beginning- even then the promise will bear all your weight; Christ will not leave His hold on your soul.

Oh believing reader, trust in the Lord for ever, for He says, “I will never leave you.” Lean back all your weight upon Him, do not be afraid. Glory in His promise. Rejoice in the strength of your consolation. You may say boldly, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear.”

Archibald Alexander: The Destruction Of The Wicked

Archibald Alexander

Our chief hope, as Christians, is to stop those who are falling into the snare of the devil and introduce them to the saving power of Jesus Christ. We must also introduce them to the fear of judgment and an eternity in Hell. Heaven is not the sinner’s right and the unjust will be punished as Archibald Alexander here explains:

“Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness; affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. There is no favoritism with God. All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law. (Romans 2:3-12)

The apostle is here laying down the principles on which the whole world will be judged at the last day; and can there be a doubt in any mind that the wicked are here threatened with future punishment? “When the Lord shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints.” 2 Thess. 1:7-10. The punishment here threatened is of the nature of vengeance—taking vengeance: it is to be inflicted on all who obey not the gospel when the Lord shall come; that is, at the Day of Judgment. The duration of the punishment is everlasting. In whatever sense this word is understood, the argument is equally conclusive in favor of future punishment. No testimony can be made more direct and explicit to prove future punishment than these words of Paul. We should be at a loss, if required to frame a declaration which should fully express the doctrine of the future punishment of the wicked, to invent one more clear and positive. (“Future Punishment”)

Harold Camping: The Countdown Continues

Harold Camping’s much publicized Judgment Day prophecy went by unfulfilled on Saturday. Camping, 89, now says he miscalculated. Instead of a physical destruction of the earth on May 21st, he thinks his prediction was spiritual in nature and the actual end of the earth will take place on October 21st. Camping issued his correction during an appearance on his “Open Forum” radio show from Oakland, California.

During a 90-minute talk that included a question-and-answer session with reporters, Camping insisted that October 21 has always been the end-point of his own end times’ countdown. Really – this excuse is offered from the man who 17 years ago publicly acknowledged his failed 1994 prophecy of Christ’s return to Earth. Camping, however, is not the only one who has made false predictions concerning the Scriptures.

Lester Sumrall wrote in his book I Predict 2000 A.D.: “I predict the absolute fullness of man’s operation on planet Earth by the year 2000 A.D. Then Jesus shall reign from Jerusalem for 1000 years.”

Mikkel Dahl predicted in The Midnight Cry that the end would come in 1980. Reginald Edward Duncan predicted in The Coming Russian Invasion of America that the Millennium would begin in 1979. One of the most notorious false prophets, Edgar C. Whisenant, released a book titled 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Is in 1988. Upon the book’s release, he was quoted as saying “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong, and I say that unequivocally.” After no rapture in 1988, Whisenant said he made a mistake in his math and had the nerve to release a new book called The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989. Needless to say, he missed again. These self-proclaimed prophets would do well to remember Ezekiel 13:9:

My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God.

Even if they are sincere, these prophet-want-to-bees should take note of all the ones who have failed before them. Whether it is out of a desire to urge people to Christ or for the love of money, these failing predictions cause people to see Christianity as a sham. I encourage Christians to quit supporting the prediction game and spend more time reading the Bible. Matthew is a good place to start:

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

“No one knows” and this remains true today. Jesus will return, but this verse should stop attempts to calculate the date and time.

See previous article. . . .

Apocalypse Today!

“In many cases sheer fanaticism has been the result of exclusively dwelling on prophecy, and probably more men have gone mad on that subject than on any other religious question.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Today, May 21, 2011, is the last day according to Harold Camping and some Christians. According to reports, some have shut themselves inside to pray for mercy as they wait for the world’s end. Around


the world, Camping’s followers believe that the Bible points to today as the Day of Judgment.

There have been many so-called “prophecy experts” who have made these sort of predictions only to be discredited time and time again. Back in the day, Oswald J. Smith predicted that Benito Mussolini was the predicted antichrist. Hal Lindsey told us that the 1948 reestablishment of Israel determined that the end was to have been in 1988. Do you remember that Edgar Whisenant assured us that there were 88 reasons why the rapture would be in 1988. Harold Camping’s doomsday message has been sent far and wide. Camping is an 89-year-old retired civil engineer who has built a multi-million-dollar nonprofit ministry based on his apocalyptic prediction.

It really bugs me when the “prophecy experts” make their unbiblical predictions. The Book of Matthew states plainly:

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Yet, the “prophecy experts” continue to make their predictions at the cost of the Bible’s and Christianity’s reputation. They sacrifice the glory of God for their silly moment in the sun.

Once it is evident that their predictions have failed, they come forth with their excuses. Yet, the world will look at the consequences of this day and they will make light of Christ; criticize the Bible, and say that Christians are dumb and uneducated. The world will be right about one thing; Christians are uneducated about their own Bible. Damage is done to the cause of the Great Commission and the devil’s work is made easier. Lord, help us to cease such idle and unbiblical curiosity!

See follow-up article here. . . .

Recommended reading:

Last Days’ Madness by Gary DeMar

The Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

The Last Days According to Jesus by R. C. Sproul

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