“God’s Plan for the Gay Agenda” by John MacArthur

“God’s Plan for the Gay Agenda”

by John MacArthur

John MacArthur


If you’ve been watching the headlines over the last couple years, you may have noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality. Whether it’s at the heart of a religious scandal, political corruption, radical legislation, or the redefinition of marriage, homosexual interests have come to characterize America. That’s an indication of the success of the gay agenda. And some Christians, including some national church leaders, have wavered on the issue even recently. But sadly, when people refuse to acknowledge the sinfulness of homosexuality–calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)–they do so at the expense of many souls.

How should you respond to the success of the gay agenda? Should you accept the recent trend toward tolerance? Or should you side with those who exclude homosexuals with hostility and disdain?

In reality, the Bible calls for a balance between what some people think are two opposing reactions–condemnation and compassion. Really, the two together are essential elements of biblical love, and that’s something the homosexual sinner desperately needs.

Homosexual advocates have been remarkably effective in selling their warped interpretations of passages in Scripture that address homosexuality. When you ask a homosexual what the Bible says about homosexuality–and many of them know–they have digested an interpretation that is not only warped, but also completely irrational. Pro-homosexual arguments from the Bible are nothing but smokescreens–as you come close, you see right through them.

God’s condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear–He opposes it in every age.

– In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28)

– In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)

– In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50)

– In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8)

Why does God condemn homosexuality? Because it overturns God’s fundamental design for human relationships–a design that pictures the complementary relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33).

Why, then, have homosexual interpretations of Scripture been so successful at persuading so many? Simple: people want to be convinced. Since the Bible is so clear about the issue, sinners have had to defy reason and embrace error to quiet their accusing consciences (Romans 2:14-16). As Jesus said, “Men loved the darkness rather than the Light, [because] their deeds were evil” (John 3:19-20).

As a Christian, you must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality–ever. No matter how much you desire to be compassionate to the homosexual, your first sympathies belong to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness. Homosexuals stand in defiant rebellion against the will of their Creator who from the beginning “made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4).

Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by homosexual advocates and their futile reasoning–their arguments are without substance. Homosexuals, and those who advocate that sin, are fundamentally committed to overturning the lordship of Christ in this world. But their rebellion is useless, for the Holy Spirit says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

So, what is God’s response to the homosexual agenda?

Certain and final judgment. To claim anything else is to compromise the truth of God and deceive those who are perishing.

As you interact with homosexuals and their sympathizers, you must affirm the Bible’s condemnation. You are not trying to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals, you are trying to bring conviction so that they can turn from that sin and embrace the only hope of salvation for all of us sinners–and that’s through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Homosexuals need salvation. They don’t need healing–homosexuality is not a disease. They don’t need therapy–homosexuality is not a psychological condition. Homosexuals need forgiveness, because homosexuality is a sin.

I don’t know how it happened, but a few decades ago someone branded homosexuals with the worst misnomer–”gay.” Gay used to mean happy, but I can assure you, homosexuals are not happy people. They habitually seek happiness by following after destructive pleasures. There is a reason Romans 1:26 calls homosexual desire a “degrading passion.” It is a lust that destroys the physical body, ruins relationships, and brings perpetual suffering to the soul–and its ultimate end is death (Romans 7:5). Homosexuals are experiencing the judgment of God (Romans 1:24, 26, 28), and thus they are very, very sad.

First Corinthians 6 is very clear about the eternal consequence for those who practice homosexuality–but there’s good news. No matter what the sin is, whether homosexuality or anything else, God has provided forgiveness, salvation, and the hope of eternal life to those who repent and embrace the gospel. Right after identifying homosexuals as those who “will not inherit the kingdom of God,” Paul said, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God’s plan for many homosexuals is that they come to salvation. There were former homosexuals in the Corinthian church back in Paul’s day, just as there are many former homosexuals today in my church and in faithful churches around the country. With regenerated hearts, they sit in biblical churches throughout the country praising their Savior, along with former fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, coveters, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers. Remember, such were some of you too.

What should be your response to the homosexual agenda? Make it a biblical response–confront it with the truth of Scripture that condemns homosexuality and promises eternal damnation for all who practice it. What should be your response to the homosexual? Make it a gospel response–confront him with the truth of Scripture that condemns him as a sinner, and point him to the hope of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Stay faithful to the Lord as you respond to homosexuality by honoring His Word, and leave the results to Him.
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This article here originally appeared at Grace To You. © 1969-2011. Grace to You. All rights reserved.
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R.C. Sproul: On The Eclipse Of The Gospel

“None Righteous”

by R.C. Sproul

The Psalmist asked the question: “If the Lord marks iniquity, who should stand?” This query is obviously rhetorical. The only answer, indeed the obvious answer is no one.

The question is stated in a conditional form. It merely considers the dire consequences that follow if the Lord marks iniquity. We breathe a sigh of relief saying, “Thank heavens the Lord does not mark iniquity!”

Such is a false hope. We have been led to believe by an endless series of lies that we have nothing to fear from God’s scorecard. We can be confident that if He is capable of judgment at all, His judgment will be gentle. If we all fail His test — no fear — He will grade on a curve. After all, it is axiomatic that to err is human and to forgive is divine. This axiom is so set in concrete that we assume that forgiveness is not merely a divine option, but a veritable prerequisite for divinity itself. We think that not only may God be forgiving, but He must be forgiving or He wouldn’t be a good God. How quick we are to forget the divine prerogative: “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Rom. 9:15 NKJV)

In our day we have witnessed the eclipse of the Gospel. That dark shadow that obscures the light of the Gospel is not limited to Rome or liberal Protestantism; it looms heavily within the Evangelical community. The very phrase “preaching the Gospel” has come to describe every form of preaching but the preaching of the Gospel. The “New” Gospel is one that worries not about sin. It feels no great need for justification. It readily dismisses the imputation of Christ’s righteousness as an essential need for salvation. We have substituted the “unconditional love” of God for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. If God loves us all unconditionally, who needs the righteousness of Christ?

The reality is that God does mark iniquity, and He manifests His wrath against it. Before the Apostle Paul unfolds the riches of the Gospel in his epistle to the Romans, he sets the stage for the need of that Gospel: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…” (Rom. 1:18).

This text affirms a real revelation of real wrath from a real God against real ungodliness and unrighteousness of real men. No appeal to some invented idea of the unconditional love of God can soften these realities.

The human dilemma is this: God is holy, and we are not. God is righteous, and we are not. To be sure, it is openly admitted in our culture that “No one is perfect.” Even the most sanguine humanist grants that humanity is marred. But, on balance … ah, there’s the rub. Like Muslims we assume that God will judge us “on balance.” If our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, we will arrive safely in heaven. But, alas, if our evil deeds outweigh our good ones, we will suffer the wrath of God in hell. We may be “marred” by sin but in no wise devastated by it. We still have the ability to balance our sins with our own righteousness. This is the most monstrous lie of all. We not only claim such righteousness; we rely on such righteousness, which righteousness in fact does not exist. Our righteousness is a myth, but by no means a harmless one. Nothing is more perilous than for an unrighteous person to rest his future hope in an illusion.

It was against such an illusion that Paul stressed by citing the Psalmist: “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.'” (Rom. 3:9–12 NKJV)

What comprises just under four verses of the New Testament is so radical that if the modern church would come to believe it, we would experience a revival that would make the Reformation pale into insignificance. But the church today does not believe the content of these verses: There is none righteous — not one.

Who believes that apart from Jesus not a single human being, without exception, is righteous. Not a single unregenerate person can be found who understands God.

Seeking God? We have totally revised corporate worship to be sensitive to “seekers.” If worship were to be tailored for seekers, it would be directed exclusively to believers, for no one except believers ever seeks God.

Every person turns aside from God. All become unprofitable in spiritual matters. At rock bottom no one even does good — no, not one.

Good is a relative term. It is defined against some standard. If we establish what that standard is, we can congratulate ourselves and take comfort in our attainment of it. But if God establishes the standard, and His standard includes outward behavior (that our actions conform perfectly to His law) and internal motivation (that all our acts proceed from a heart that loves Him perfectly), then we quickly see that our pretended “goodness” is no goodness at all. We then understand what Augustine was getting at when he said that man’s best works are nothing more than “splendid vices.”

So what? The equation is simple. If God requires perfect righteousness and perfect holiness to survive His perfect judgment, then we are left with a serious problem. Either we rest our hope in our own righteousness, which is altogether inadequate, or we flee to another’s righteousness, an alien righteousness, a righteousness not our own inherently. The only place such perfect righteousness can be found is in Christ — that is the good news of the Gospel. Subtract this element of alien righteousness that God “counts” or “imputes” for us, and we have no biblical Gospel at all. Without imputation, the Gospel becomes “another gospel,” and such a “gospel” brings nothing but the anathema of God.

With the righteousness of Christ promised to us by faith, we have the hope of our salvation. We become numbered among those blessed to whom the Lord does not impute sin (Rom. 4:8).
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From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343. www.ligonier.org
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“For Thine Is The Kingdom” by Steven Lawson

“For Thine is the Kingdom”

by Steven Lawson

All things are for the glory of God! This driving passion was the very heartbeat of the Lord Jesus Christ, the highest aim He sought, the loftiest goal He pursued. All things in life and ministry, He taught, are to be solely for the glory of God.

Nowhere is this God-centered focus more clearly evidenced than in what Christ taught regarding prayer. To this end, all intercession before the throne of God must begin and end with resounding praise to Him. The Alpha and Omega of prayer must be for the glory of God.

Unfortunately, prayer today has often devolved into a self-centered pursuit that is fueled by the fulfilling of one’s indulgences. This “prosperity gospel” has denigrated prayer into nothing more than a “name it and claim it” shopping excursion. In this abuse of privileged access, God’s glory is all too forgotten.

But as Jesus Christ taught His disciples, the primary focus of prayer is for one to be riveted upon the supreme glory of God. As our Lord gave instruction regarding how to pray, He was unequivocal in teaching us to ascribe all glory to God. Everything must yield to the glory of God! In Matthew 6:13, Jesus stated our prayers should conclude: “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (nkjv).

The above is quoted in the New King James Version, a translation based upon the Textus Receptus. In this passage, we encounter a textual problem, one that has been debated throughout the centuries. As such, many translations handle this portion of Scripture in varying ways. For example, the New American Standard Bible places these words in brackets. The English Standard Version and New International Version omit this part of the verse altogether. For our purposes, however, we will consider these concluding words to the Lord’s Prayer as a part of the biblical text.

This climactic doxology begins with a passionate declaration of God’s sovereignty. When a believer prays, Jesus said, he should conclude by affirming, “For Yours is the kingdom.” This robust pronouncement asserts that God both possesses and presides over His vast kingdom. He is the sovereign king, who exercises supreme authority and unrestricted dominion over an immense empire. Certainly, this reign includes both the realm of providence and the sphere of salvation. He commands all the affairs of mankind, even the intricate inner workings of the entire universe. From His throne above, God “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11).

Further, Jesus taught His disciples that when they pray, they should declare that “the power” belongs to God. The definite article defines the infinite scope of His sovereignty. He possesses not a mere portion of some power, but the power. That is to say, He has all power in heaven and earth. All that God’s supreme will chooses to do, He has the omnipotence to execute it fully. Nothing can hinder the free exercise of His sovereign pleasure.

What is more, every prayer should climax with a vibrant declaration of God’s glory. Jesus said that our prayers should crescendo with this announcement that all glory belongs to God. Because the kingdom and the power belong to God, all glory rightfully belongs to Him.

The Bible speaks of God’s glory in two ways. His intrinsic glory is the revelation of all that God is. It is the sum total of all His divine perfections and holy attributes. There is nothing that man can do to add to the intrinsic glory of God. He is who He is. Additionally, there is God’s ascribed glory, which is the glory that is given to Him. This is the praise and honor due His name. Such glory is to be ascribed to Him alone.

Here, at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, we find Christ referencing ascribed glory. In direct response to His vast sovereignty and unlimited power, all glory must be rendered to Him. In essence, such a high theology produces a high doxology. It is only fitting that this God, who is so awesome, be adorned in prayer.

Fervent praise, Jesus said, should come to God “forever.” Because His kingdom and power is without end, so must our praise be without ceasing. Every moment of life must be filled with praise, both now and throughout all eternity.

Finally, Jesus taught His disciples to conclude their prayers with the sure attestation, “Amen.” This familiar word comes from a Hebrew root meaning to be firm and secure. “Amen” eventually came to mean: “It is immovably true.” Likewise, this should be our concluding response to God in prayer. Amen to all that we know to be true about God. Amen to His eternal kingdom. Amen to His sovereign will. Amen to His daily bread. Amen to His pardoning grace. Amen to His delivering power.

All prayer should build and rise to this lofty summit. We should conclude by fervently affirming that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong exclusively to Him forever. Our only response must resoundingly be — amen!

We Recommend

Put Off and Put On Article by Jerry Bridges
The Glory of God Devotional
Glory Versus the Cross Article by Gene Veith
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From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

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“What shall say…..Is there injustice on God’s part?” – Sinclair Ferguson

“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?”

Sinclair Ferguson

In his note on Romans 9:14 in The Reformation Study Bible, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson writes:

Paul recognizes that his previous statement, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,’ cannot be allowed to pass without further comment. Could the distinguishing sovereign purpose of God throw into jeopardy His attribute of perfect righteousness? The idea is clearly unthinkable — ‘By no means!’ (Rom. 6:2, 5; 7:7). Paul explains why by citing two biblical texts (Ex. 33:19; 9:16) in vv. 15, 17, from which he concludes that God is righteous in showing mercy to some while He hardens the hearts of others. When God shows mercy it is not a person receiving a reward earned by one’s own efforts, but God’s sovereign free grace extended to persons who are morally incapable of any acceptable effort (Rom. 1:18-3:20). God owes mercy to none, so there is no injustice when mercy is not shown. Mercy is a divine prerogative; it rests on God’s good pleasure. When God ‘hardens’ Pharaoh’s heart (Rom. 9:18), He does not create fresh evil in it, but gives Pharaoh over to his already evil desires as an act of judgment, resulting eventually in God’s display of ‘power’ (Rom. 9:22) in the destruction of Pharaoh’s army (Ex. 14:17, 18, 23-28).


*****

To purchase The Reformation Study Bible in the ESV or NKJV, go here.

We Recommend
Questions & Answers Message by R.C. Sproul
The Inevitable Question Message by R.C. Sproul
Chosen by God: 2003 Houston Conference Conference by Ligon Duncan

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From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343
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“Comprehending God’s Goodness” -R.C. Sproul -Morning Devotion

R.C. Sproul

As a child, the first prayer I ever learned was a simple table grace. It went like this: “God is great, God is good. And we thank Him for this food.” At the time, I did not realize that a single biblical word captured the twin ideas of God’s greatness and His goodness. The single word is holy.

The earliest traceable form of the Semitic root of the word holy, reaching to a Canaanite source, carried the meaning “to divide.” Anything that was holy was divided or separated from all other things. This meaning pointed to the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the common and uncommon, the average and the great.

In religious terms, the word holy divides God from all other things to put Him in a category that is sui generis (in a class by Himself). The Holy One is the One who possesses the supreme perfection of being. He transcends or is divided from all things creaturely. He is the most majestic, most exalted, most awe-provoking being. Since He is both marvelous and wonderful in His very essence, the creature—when contemplating the Holy God—responds in marvel and wonder because of His greatness.

Coram Deo: Take time in prayer today to thank God specifically for His goodness to you.

Psalm 31:19: “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!”

Psalm 86:10: “For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.”

Psalm 92:5: “O Lord, how great are Your works!”
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From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343
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R.C. Sproul On The Serious Question All Arminians Must Answer

Please understand at the outset. I do not post this article, by R.C. Sproul, as a way to attack my Arminian brothers and sisters in Christ. Or as a way of boasting in my knowledge of Scripture regarding the commonly called Doctrines of Grace, 5 Points of Calvinism, Reformed theology, or simply Calvinism. Or even to say that if you do not believe in the 5 Points that you are not a Christian. My understanding of what is commonly called Calvinism (trust me I do not like labels) came almost two years after my conversion. What changed my mind? The weight of evidence in Scripture was too great for me to deny. God wrote His absolute sovereignty on every page of Scripture, because if He is not freely and absolutely sovereign then……?

I post this essay with fear and trembling. Not because I question Calvinism, but rather I know how weighty this subject is, and the way in which one side or the other has used insults and slander to bolster their defense. Calvinists above all should be humble. We know we have nothing with which to boast. Having said that, I do desire hearty debate. This is a question that must be answered. For those of you who want to debate simply to debate, please look elsewhere. These issues are too serious. If God is not sovereign, then we are in trouble. In ways perhaps my Arminian friends don’t comprehend. We are speaking on issues regarding the nature and veracity of the God of the universe. It does not get anymore serious. This debate is not for those who equivocate, use slippery language, or flowery prose as a way to strengthen their argument. This is a discussion for plain spoken folk. Those who will simply take Scripture at its word. -Eric T. Young

This article is excellent by the way. It is bold, but that is what we need.

“Grace Alone”

by R.C. Sproul

“Soli Deo gloria is the motto that grew out of the Protestant Reformation and was used on every composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He affixed the initials SDG at the bottom of each manuscript to communicate the idea that it is God and God alone who is to receive the glory for the wonders of His work of creation and of redemption. At the heart of the sixteenth-century controversy over salvation was the issue of grace.

It was not a question of man’s need for grace. It was a question as to the extent of that need. The church had already condemned Pelagius, who had taught that grace facilitates salvation but is not absolutely necessary for it. Semi-Pelagianism since that time has always taught that without grace there is no salvation. But the grace that is considered in all semi-Pelagian and Arminian theories of salvation is not an efficacious grace. It is a grace that makes salvation possible, but not a grace that makes salvation certain.

In the parable of the sower we see that regarding salvation, God is the one who takes the initiative to bring salvation to pass. He is the sower. The seed that is sown is His seed, corresponding to His Word, and the harvest that results is His harvest. He harvests what He purposed to harvest when He initiated the whole process. God doesn’t leave the harvest up to the vagaries of thorns and stones in the pathway. It is God and God alone who makes certain that a portion of His Word falls upon good ground. A critical error in interpreting this parable would be to assume that the good ground is the good disposition of fallen sinners, those sinners who make the right choice, responding positively to God’s prevenient grace. The classical Reformed understanding of the good ground is that if the ground is receptive to the seed that is sown by God, it is God alone who prepares the ground for the germination of the seed.

The biggest question any semi-Pelagian or Arminian has to face at the practical level is this: Why did I choose to believe the gospel and commit my life to Christ when my neighbor, who heard the same gospel, chose to reject it? That question has been answered in many ways. We might speculate that the reason why one person chooses to respond positively to the gospel and to Christ, while another one doesn’t, is because the person who responded positively was more intelligent than the other one. If that were the case, then God would still be the ultimate provider of salvation because the intelligence is His gift, and it could be explained that God did not give the same intelligence to the neighbor who rejected the gospel. But that explanation is obviously absurd.

The other possibility that one must consider is this: that the reason one person responds positively to the gospel and his neighbor does not is because the one who responded was a better person. That is, that person who made the right choice and the good choice did it because he was more righteous than his neighbor. In this case, the flesh not only availed something, it availed everything. This is the view that is held by the majority of evangelical Christians, namely, the reason why they are saved and others are not is that they made the right response to God’s grace while the others made the wrong response.

We can talk here about not only the correct response as opposed to an erroneous response, but we can speak in terms of a good response rather than a bad response. If I am in the kingdom of God because I made the good response rather than the bad response, I have something of which to boast, namely the goodness by which I responded to the grace of God. I have never met an Arminian who would answer the question that I’ve just posed by saying, “Oh, the reason I’m a believer is because I’m better than my neighbor.” They would be loath to say that. However, though they reject this implication, the logic of semi-Pelagianism requires this conclusion. If indeed in the final analysis the reason I’m a Christian and someone else is not is that I made the proper response to God’s offer of salvation while somebody else rejected it, then by resistless logic I have indeed made the good response, and my neighbor has made the bad response.

What Reformed theology teaches is that it is true the believer makes the right response and the non-believer makes the wrong response. But the reason the believer makes the good response is because God in His sovereign election changes the disposition of the heart of the elect to effect a good response. I can take no credit for the response that I made for Christ. God not only initiated my salvation, He not only sowed the seed, but He made sure that that seed germinated in my heart by regenerating me by the power of the Holy Ghost. That regeneration is a necessary condition for the seed to take root and to flourish. That’s why at the heart of Reformed theology the axiom resounds, namely, that regeneration precedes faith. It’s that formula, that order of salvation that all semi-Pelagians reject. They hold to the idea that in their fallen condition of spiritual death, they exercise faith, and then are born again. In their view, they respond to the gospel before the Spirit has changed the disposition of their soul to bring them to faith. When that happens, the glory of God is shared. No semi-Pelagian can ever say with authenticity: “To God alone be the glory.” For the semi-Pelagian, God may be gracious, but in addition to God’s grace, my work of response is absolutely essential. Here grace is not effectual, and such grace, in the final analysis, is not really saving grace. In fact, salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. Yes, I must believe. Yes, I must respond. Yes, I must receive Christ. But for me to say “yes” to any of those things, my heart must first be changed by the sovereign, effectual power of God the Holy Spirit. Soli Deo gloria.”

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: http://www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

“Why Do I Need Jesus?” by R.C. Sproul

If I’m happy with my life, why do I need Jesus?

“I hear that from a lot of folks. They say to me, “I just don’t feel the need for Christ.” As if Christianity were something that were packaged and sold through Madison Avenue! That what we’re trying to communicate to people is “Here’s something that’s going to make you feel good, and everybody needs a little of this in their closet or in their refrigerator,” as if it were some commodity that’s going to add a dash of happiness to our lives.

If the only reason a human being ever needed Jesus was to be happy and a person is already happy without Jesus, then they certainly don’t need Jesus. The New Testament indicates, however, that there’s another reason you or somebody else needs Jesus. There is a God who is altogether holy, who is perfectly just, and who declares that he is going to judge the world and hold every human being accountable for their life. As a perfectly holy and just God, he requires from each one of us a life of perfect obedience and of perfect justness. If there is such a God and if you have lived a life of perfect justness and obedience—that is, if you’re perfect — then you certainly don’t need Jesus. You don’t need a Savior because only unjust people have a problem.

The problem is simply this: If God is just and requires perfection from me and I come short of that perfection and he is going to deal with me according to justice, then I am looking at a future punishment at the hands of a holy God. If the only way I can escape punishment is through a Savior and if I want to escape that, then I need a Savior. Some people will say that we’re just trying to preach Jesus as a ticket out of hell, as a way to escape eternal punishment. That’s not the only reason I would commend Jesus to people, but that is one of the reasons.

I think that many people in today’s culture don’t really believe that God is going to hold them accountable for their lives—that God really does not require righteousness. When we take that view, we don’t feel the weight of the threat of judgment. If you’re not afraid to deal with God’s punishment, then be happy as a clam if you want. I would be living in terrible fear and trembling at the prospect of falling into the hands of a holy God.”

©1996 by R.C. Sproul. Used by permission of Tyndale. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: http://www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

The Heart-Wrenching Poem Of A Civil War Prostitute And A Message Of The Gospel For Us

“The story is told that during the Civil War a beautiful, highly educated, and popular young woman fell into prostitution. By the time she was twenty -two years old, she was friendless, broken, and lay dying in a hospital in Cincinnati. Just before she died on a cold winter day she wrote a poem lamenting her life. The poem was published in a newspaper the next day and soon drew the sympathetic attention of thousands across the country. The poem ended with the lines:”

Fainting, freezing, dying alone,
too wicked for prayer,
Too weak for a moan to be heard
in the streets of the crazy town
Gone mad in the joy
of the snow coming down.
To lie, and to die,
in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud
of the beautiful snow.

Sometime later a verse was added by another pen.

Helpless and frail as the trampled snow,
Sinner despair not, Christ stoopeth low
To rescue the soul that is lost in sin,
And raise it to life and enjoyment again.
Groaning, bleeding, dying for thee,
The Crucified hung, made a curse on the tree.
His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear.
Is there mercy for me? Will he heed my prayer?
O God! in the stream that for sinners doth flow.
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Many men and women go to hell forever because of the deception of self-righteous religion.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7. Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1985. pg. 305-306; from (A. Nainsmith, 1200 Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes [Chicago: Moody, 1962], pg. 184)

I am reading a bit from John MacArthur now. The reason for all the MacArthur posts.

Clothed In Christ’s Righteousness! – Quote Of The Day – 28 April 2010

A beautiful quote by Martin Luther,

It is impossible for a man to be a Christian without having Christ, and if he has Christ, he has at the same time all that is in Christ. What gives peace to the conscience is that by faith our sins are no more ours, but Christ’s, upon whom God hath laid them all; and that, on the other hand, all Christ’s righteousness is ours, to whom God hath given it. Christ lays His hand upon us, and we are healed. He casts His mantle upon us, and we are clothed; for He is the glorious Savior, blessed for ever. (Cited in John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 1-8; [Chicago, Illinois.: Moody Press, 1991], p.402)

The Nature and Basis of Assurance ~ A.W. Pink

Monergism has posted a great excerpt (here) from A.W. Pinks Studies On Saving Faith. When we see the remnants of indwelling sin and hate that it exists. It is at those moments we are drawing closer to Christ, when it feels that the opposite is true. The closer one is to Him the more one sees his or her own sinfulness in the light of His holiness.