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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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EVIL IS REAL

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

Many in today’s world do not believe in evil. They believe that such ideas are based on cultural beliefs relative to various societies in different places and times. The paradigm key here is the word “relative”. Ethics, morals, right or wrong, and good or evil are considered “relative” to the circumstances people encounter in life. The idea of a spiritual being named Satan or the devil, who is an embodiment of evil, is viewed with contempt as the product of ignorant superstitious minds.

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HELL

Flames of HellAnd do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 ESV)

Charles Spurgeon said, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” The modern church doesn’t talk about Hell as much as it should. Perhaps this is why so many Christians today are not as passionate to share their faith with others. Are we really as concerned as we should be over our neighbors, family, and friends’ eternal future? Do we live as if we believe there is no Hell, and still think of ourselves as Christians?

The Scriptures absolutely teach that hell is a real place where there is eternal conscious punishment of the wicked (Matthew 25:30, 25:41, 25:46, Mark 9:43, 9:48, Luke 16:33-24, 16:28, Revelation 14:9-11, 20:10). In fact, Jesus has more to say about Hell than He does about Heaven in the New Testament.

We may discover a lot about Hell by reading Matthew 25:41–46. For instance, Hell is eternal separation from God and all His blessings. (Matthew 25:41) Hell was created for the Devil and his demons. It is a realm of suffering where the souls of men will be with the being who is most unlike God. It is a horrible place of chastisement and retribution. (Matthew 25:46) Hell is an everlasting place of endless punishment. Continue reading

God’s First Promise to Fallen Man

Charles H. SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

This is the first promise to fallen man. It contains the whole gospel, and the essence of the covenant of grace. It has been in great measure fulfilled. The seed of the woman, even our Lord Jesus, was bruised in His heel, and a terrible bruising it was. How terrible will be the final bruising of the serpent’s head! This was virtually done when Jesus took away sin, vanquished death, and broke the power of Satan; but it awaits a still fuller accomplishment at our Lord’s Second Advent, and in the day of Judgment.

To us the promise stands as a prophecy that we shall be afflicted by the powers of evil in our lower nature, and thus bruised in our heel: but we shall triumph in Christ, who sets His foot on the old serpent’s head. Throughout this year we may have to learn the first part of this promise by experience, through the temptations of the devil, and the unkindness of the ungodly who are his seed. They may so bruise us that we may limp with our sore heel; but let us grasp the second part of the text, and we shall not be dismayed. By faith let us rejoice that we shall still reign in Christ Jesus, the woman’s seed. (Faith’s Checkbook)

How Many Have Fallen?

Thomas BrooksThomas Brooks:

By all this we see, that the yielding to lesser sins, draws the soul to the committing of greater. Ah! how many in these days have fallen, first to have low thoughts of Scripture and ordinances, and then to slight Scripture and ordinances, and then to make a nose of wax of Scripture and ordinances, and then to cast off Scripture and ordinances, and then at last to advance and lift up themselves, and their Christ-dishonoring and soul-damning opinions, above Scripture and ordinances.  Continue reading

The Devil Told Me That!

Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon:

Somebody once told John Bunyan that he had preached a delightful sermon. “You are too late,” said John, “the devil told me that before I left the pulpit.” Satan is adept in teaching us how to steal our Master’s glory.

The man who cannot weep cannot preach. At least, if he never feels tears within, even if they do not show themselves without, he can scarcely be the man to handle such themes as those which God has committed to his people’s charge. (15.233)

You Need Healing

Charles H. SpurgeonJesus not only demands your trust, He deserves it. You need healing; He came to heal those who need healing. He can heal you. What are you to do in order that you may be healed? What are you to do in order that all your sins may be forgiven and yourself saved? All of this is to be done by Jesus. According to Charles H. Spurgeon:

When [Jesus] tells you that if you trust [Him] you shall find peace, [and] you tell him it is not possible there can be any peace to you; when he reminds you that he never rejected one, you insinuate that he will reject you; you thus insult the Divine Majesty by denying the truthfulness and honesty of God. You do need healing when you allow wicked despair to get the mastery of you like this; you are far gone, very far gone, but I rejoice to know that you are still among those Jesus is able to heal. He came to those who needed healing, and you cannot deny you are one of those. Why, even Satan himself will not have the impudence to tell you that you have no need of healing. Oh, if only you would cast yourself into the Savior’s arms – not trying to make yourself out to be good, but acknowledging all that I have laid to your charge, and then, trusting as a sinner to that Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

Remember you need healing, for unless you are healed of these sins, and of all these wicked tendencies and thoughts, as sure as you are a living man you will be cast into hell. I know of no truth that ever causes me such pain to preach as this, not that sinners will be damned, awful though the truth of that is, but that awakened sinners will be damned unless they believe in Jesus. You must not make a Christ out of your tears; you must not hope to find safety in your bitter thoughts and cruel despairs. Unless you believe you shall never be established. Unless you come to Christ, you may be convinced of sin, of righteousness and judgment too, but those convictions will only be preludes to your destruction. You call yourself a seeker, but until you are a finder you are an enemy to God, and God is angry with you every day. I have no alternative for you, however tender and broken-hearted you may be, but this one – believe and live; refuse to believe, and you must perish, for your broken-heartedness, and tears, and professed contrition can never stand in the place of Christ. You must have faith in Jesus, or you must die eternally.

I need not enter into what your case is. Remember, Jesus has saved a parallel case to yours. Yours may seem to yourself to be exceedingly odd, but somewhere or other in the New Testament you will find one as singular as yours. You tell me that you are full of so much wickedness. Did he not cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalen? Yes, but your wickedness seems to be greater than even seven devils. Did he not drive a whole legion of devils out of the demoniac of Gadara? You tell me that you cannot pray, but he healed one possessed of a dumb devil; you feel hardened and insensible, but he cast out a deaf devil. You tell me you cannot believe; neither could the man with the withered arm stretch it out, but he did it when Jesus ordered him to. You tell me you are dead in sin, but Jesus made even the dead live. Your case cannot be so bad that it has not been matched, and Christ has conquered. . . . (Advice for Seekers)

In the Presence of God

R. C. Sproul:

“The clearest sensation that a human being has when he experiences the holy is an overpowering and overwhelming sense of creatureliness. That is, when we are in the presence of God, we are humbled and become most aware of ourselves as creatures. This is the opposite of Satan’s original temptation, “You shall be as gods.” (The Holiness of God)

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