Things are afoot  

I decided to add a bunch of articles I saved from the church newsletter I was in charge of several years ago. Some of these I wrote but most of them are articles I found and edited to fit the space I had.

I'm going to post them with a date from last year, just so they won't be at the top of the page but still available.


Questions and Objections  

"My God would never create Hell."
Those who say that are right. Their god would never create Hell, because he couldn't. He doesn't exist. He is a figment of their imagination. They have created a god to suit themselves. It's called "idolatry," and it's the oldest sin in the Book. Idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

"God told Joshua to kill every man, woman, and child. If that's your 'God of love' I don't want to have anything to do with Him!"
God didn't confine His wrath to the Canaanites. He proclaimed the death sentence upon the whole of humanity. We all die because of sin. Sin is braking God's holy Law. All of us are waiting on death row. Instead of standing in moral judgment over Almighty God, come down from your throne and judge yourself according to the Law of God (the Ten Commandments). You will find that you have a multitude of sins and you therefore are not in a position to point your holier-than-thou finger at God.

"I’m as good as any Christian!”
The Christian is no better than a non-Christian, but he is infinitely better off. It's like two men on a plane. One is wearing a parachute and the other is not. One is no better than the other, but because of the law of gravity the man with the parachute on is certainly better off than the man who is not wearing a parachute. The difference will be seen when they jump. Jesus warned that if we "jump" through death’s door without Him, we would perish. Our great problem is a Law that is even harsher than the law of gravity. It is the Law of an infinitely holy and just Creator. The Scriptures warn us, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God." They tell us that we are His enemy.

“I don’t see what Jesus’ death has to do with me.”
Neither did I.
I didn't realize that the Bible warns that every idle word that I have spoken, I have to give an account of on Judgment Day. I thought that as long as I believed there was a god and tried to live a good life, I would go to heaven when I died. It’s not like a had ever killed anyone. But I was wrong. The Bible says, “He who hates his brother is a murderer," and Jesus said “Whoever is angry with his brother without cause, is in danger of judgment.” He also warned if I as much as looked with lust, I had committed adultery in my heart. Sin, in my heart? I realized that God saw even the hidden sins of my heart and I knew that if God judged me by the Ten Commandments on Judgment Day, I would end up guilty, and go to Hell. It was when I acknowledged my sins, that I began to understand why Jesus died. It was to take the punishment for my sins.

How do you think you will do on Judgment Day, if God judges you by the Ten Commandments?
Take this simple test to find out...

Soul Travail  

by Oswald J. Smith
1925, From his book The Revival We Need

Can we travail for a drowning child, but not for a perishing soul? It is not hard to weep when we realize that our little one is sinking below the surface for the last time. Anguish is spontaneous then. Nor is it hard to agonize when we see the casket containing all that we love on earth borne out of the home. Ah, no; tears are natural at such a time! But oh, to realize and know that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How cold are our hearts! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus! And yet God can give us this, and the fault is our if we do not have it.

Jacob, you remember, travailed until he prevailed. But oh, who is doing it today? Who is really travailing in prayer? How many, even of your most spiritual Christian leaders, are content to spend half an hour a day on their knees and then pride themselves on the time they have given to God! We expect extraordinary results, and extraordinary results are quite possible; signs and wonder will follow, but only through extraordinary efforts in the spiritual realm. Hence, nothing short of continuous, agonizing pleading for souls, hours upon hours, days and nights of prayer, will ever avail. Therefore, "gird yourselves, and lament ye priests; howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and 'all the inhabitants of the land unto the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord." (Joel 1:13-14) Ah, yes Joel knew the secret. Let us then lay aside everything else and "cry unto the Lord".

We read in the biographies of our forefathers who were most successful in winning souls, that they prayed for hours in private. The question therefore arises, can we get the same results without following their example? If we can, then let us prove to the world that we have found a better way, but if not, then in God's name let us begin to follow those who through faith and patience obtained the promise. Our forefathers wept and prayed and agonized before the Lord for sinners to be saved, and would not rest until they were slain by the Sword of the Word of God. That was the secret of their mighty success; when things were slack and would not move, they wrestled in prayer till God poured out His Spirit upon the people and sinners were converted.

Do Your Prayers Matter?  

I have no confidence at all in polished speech or brilliant literary effort to bring about a revival, but I have all the confidence in the world in the poor saint who would weep [their] eyes out because people are living in sin. — Charles Spurgeon

Below are a few thoughts taken from a tape called Authority Prayer by Michael Pearl. I wish I could share more of the scriptures discussed, but you can find the tape at

...In Luke 10:2 Jesus is speaking. He says, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Doesn’t that seem strange to you? Jesus is Lord of the harvest. He sees the need, He knows the field is “white already to harvest” (John 4:35). Why doesn’t He just send forth laborers? Must He wait till the few laborers He has, ask for help? Would the fruit actually rot in the field if the laborers didn’t request assistance? It looks as if He has said, “That field is yours, I’m putting you in charge of it—if you need help ask and I’ll send it.”

...Most books you read on prayer begin and end with the concept that prayer is intended to change the one praying. This smacks of oriental meditation. If I am the answer to my own prayers, then I can’t encourage myself to pray. If my prayers are going to be answered because I’m going to change, then I don’t have time for prayer. Unless I am talking to a real God, who is alive and active, and who responds when I pray, and my prayers are going to produce a response that will make things change and happen and be different today than they would’ve been—then I’m not going to pray. If you don’t believe that your prayers move God, that God acts in response to your prayers, then I know you don’t pray. Or else your prayers are just some kind of formal response.

...2 Peter 3:9 says God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” I ask you, will some perish? Yes, many already have, have they not? Why isn’t God’s will being done? Is God limited? If a sovereign God has a will, and that will does not get done, then we can only conclude, that He has sovereignly designed a program wherein He has limited Himself. The only way a completely sovereign God can have a will, and that will not be done, is if He has placed His will in the hands of another and they have failed.

...Many Christian’s believe that God is a puppet maker, that Christians are puppets, that God pulls the strings and therefore bears all the responsibility. They believe that if they don’t go and take the gospel, someone else will, and if no one else goes then those lost souls weren’t ordained to life and it will all work out in the end. They believe that in the long run, their actions, their obedience, and their prayers don’t really make a difference—Calvinist or not that’s what most believe, but wont admit it.

The Honesty Road Dilemma -by Ray Comfort  

The man looked to the heavens and shouted obscenities at Jesus Christ that would make your hair curl. He concluded his conversation by telling the Lord to strike him dead. He then turned to me and screamed, "Nothing happened!" I thought, "Yes it did. You have just stored up wrath, which will be revealed on the Day of Wrath."

Why would a man lack any fear of God? I believe it's because we insist on telling a sinful world that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. We give the world a choice: Do they choose God's wonderful plan, or is their own life's plan more wonderful?

But isn't God's plan for them wonderful? Your idea of "wonderful" and the world's may be a little different. Take them through the pages of Acts and show them the terrifying scene of boulders breaking the bones of Stephen. Then smile and whisper "Wonderful..." Listen together to the "wonderful" sound of a "cat of nine tails" as it rips the flesh off the back of the Apostle Paul. Follow the word "suffering" through the Epistles, and see if you can get the world to whisper "Wonderful!" After such a ride down Honesty Road, they may think the pleasures of sin are a little more attractive than the call to "suffer affliction with the people of God."

Who in the world is going to listen if we are so blatantly honest about the Christian life? Perhaps not as many as are attracted by the deceptive talk of a wonderful plan. However, the answer to our dilemma is to show that the real issue is one of righteousness, not happiness. This is what Jesus did. He used the Ten Commandments to show sinners the righteous standard of God (see Luke 10:25 and Luke 18:18). Once the world sees the perfect standard by which they will be judged, they will begin to fear God, and through the fear of the Lord, men depart from sin (Proverbs 16:6). They will begin to hunger and thirst after the righteousness that is in Jesus Christ alone.

If you study the New Testament you will see that God's love is almost always given in direct co-relation to the Cross: Herein is love, For God so loved, God commended His love, etc. The Cross is the focal-point of God's love for the world. How can we point to the Cross without making reference to sin? How can we refer to sin, without the Law (see Romans 7:7)? The biblical way to express God's love to a sinner is to show him how great his sin is (using the Law--see Romans 7:13, Galatians 3:24), then give him the grace of God in Christ. This was the key to reaching so many on the Day of Pentecost. They were "devout" Jews who knew the Law and its holy demands, and therefore readily accepted the grace of God to escape its fearful wrath.

When you use the Law to show the world their true state, for the first time in their lives, they will see the Christian message as an expression of love and concern for their eternal welfare, rather than of merely proselytizing for a better lifestyle.

Statistics show that up to 90% of those coming to Christ under the methods of modern evangelism, fall away from the faith. Their latter end becomes worse than the first. They openly crucify the Son of God afresh.

In their zeal without knowledge, those who prefer the traditions of modern evangelism to biblical evangelism betray the cause of the gospel with a kiss. What may look like love for the sinner's welfare, is in truth eternally detrimental to him.

Like Peter, our zeal without knowledge is actually cutting off the ears of sinners. Those we erroneously call "backsliders" won't listen to our reasonings. As far as they are concerned, they have tried it once, and it didn't work. What a victory for the prince of darkness, and what an unspeakable tragedy for the Church!

When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband, God sent Nathan the prophet to reprove him. Notice the order in which the reproof came. Nathan gave David a parable about something he could understand. Sheep. He began with the natural realm rather than immediately exposing the King's sin. He told a story of a rich man, who rather than take one from his own flock, killed a poor man's pet lamb to feed a stranger.

David was indignant, and said that the guilty party would die. Nathan then exposed his sin of taking another man's "lamb," saying, "You are the man... Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight?" (2 Samuel 12:9). When David showed signs of contrition, Nathan then gave him Grace and said, "The Lord has also put away your sin; you shall not die." Imagine if Nathan, fearful of rejection, instead told David, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. However, there is something which is keeping you from enjoying this wonderful plan; it is called 'sin.'"

Imagine if he had glossed over the personal nature of David's sin, with a general reference to all men having sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. David may have reacted with, "What sin are you talking about?" rather than admit his terrible transgression. Or he may have, in a desire to experience this wonderful plan, admitted that he, like all men, had fallen short of the glory of God. If David had not been made to tremble under the wrath of the Law, the prophet would have removed the very means of producing godly sorrow. It is "godly sorrow" that works repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). It was the weight of his guilt that caused him to cry out, "I have sinned against the Lord." The Law caused him to labor and become heavy laden; it made him hunger and thirst for righteousness.

How true are the words once spoken by Charles Spurgeon (the Prince of Preachers), "The Law serves a most necessary purpose." He also said, "They will never accept Grace, until they tremble before a just and holy Law."

Paradox though it may seem, the Law does make Grace abound in the same way darkness makes light shine. It was John Newton (the writer of "Amazing Grace") who said that a wrong understanding of the harmony between Law and Grace would produce "error on the left and the right hand." I don't know if any of us could claim to have a better understanding of Grace than the one who penned such a wonderful hymn. The world will never clearly see the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, until the blackness of sin is exposed by a just and holy Law. When a Christian sees what he has been saved from, he will realize what he has been saved for. He will have a love for God, for the unspeakable gift of the cross. It will be a continual source of joy. Gratitude will motivate him to reach out and do the will of God, to seek and save that which is lost. That is the key to genuine church growth, and that is how to see revival.

Grace means nothing to a person who does not know he is sinful...It is therefore pointless to preach grace until the impossible demands of the Law and the reality of guilt before God are preached. - John MacArthur

If a person does not clearly understand that they have sinned against God, they
will sense no need for salvation. In other words, if they think lightly of sin they will think lightly of the Savior -Andy Lapins

Jesus Christ didn't save us for God, He saved us from God! -R.C. Sproul