Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Miss Libby is a Liar

Why am I suddenly posting like crazy?

You've got to strike while the iron's hot!

I think many, many Christians have been cool shamed into the homo agenda mantra. They are ashamed to disagree with Miss Libby from Baal U. But this isn't really just about having sex with whatever you want. It is an attack on the very foundations of truth. It hits at the heart of our faith in Christ, God's Holy Word, the Bible.

"But don't be mean to Miss Libby, we've known her since kindergarten."

"Miss Libby seems so nice and she told us about the bad fundies who made fun of her big muscles. So, she decided to hate men altogether. Oh Miss Libby, we feel your pain!  WE won't make fun of you. We'll take you seriously with knowing nods."

But wait a minute little children. Miss Libby is a practiced liar. She likes her big muscles and relishes in the insults. All the more to eat you with my dear. She is not what she seems. Even when she seems happy about her wonderful arguments, she's not, not really.

Little Christian boys and girls, remember your upbringing. Remember when we talked about the God sized hole in every heart that can only be filled by Jesus? Well, its actually true.

Miss Libby wants to fill it with libertinism, agnosticism, materialism, environmentalism, and any other ism she can come up with besides Jesusism. And she might even be glad to fill it up with Jesusism, as long as their is no Jesus. But the hole just won't fill. She's a liar, that Miss Libby. Time to stop the ears and shout her down!

Enemies that Hate Us?

A prayer for today. 

God protects us from our enemies! Who are the haters, now? We are the ones who desire men and women to be delivered from their sins and forgiven in Jesus Christ. That is their only hope and it would hateful and unkind for us to refuse to speak the truth in love. They hated Jesus for saying as much and they hate us, too. It is now more apparent than ever. 

We thank God for giving us the opportunity to be hated and to be delivered from those who hate us. 

O, Lord God, please deliver them from the power of darkness and fill them with the light of Christ. Make us like Stephen who looked up into heaven and saw Jesus and those who killed him saw Stephen's face as that of an angel.

Luke 1:67-79   And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

The Glorious 8th Day

Jesus was baptized on the 8th day as all newborn Jewish males were. That 8th day, pretty awesome. It is the day AFTER the day of rest. A day when recreation starts. A day when Pentecost rejoices in the harvest. A day when Jesus rose from the dead. A day when God’s people gather to rejoice in the death, resurrection, ascension and rule of Jesus Christ. A day when the knowledge of the Lord gets expanded to the very ends of the Earth and all the nations belong to Him. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Rainbow- OUR Symbol

I like all the rainbows on Facebook. Gives us a good evangelism tool.

Here is what I suggest.

Say, "Oh, I was glad to see the rainbow on your Facebook page! I guess you put it there because God promised not to destroy the earth with a flood due to mankind's sexual sins?"

And then, post this:
The context of this Scripture is God's destruction in the time of Noah because the sons of god were multiplying wives with the daughters of men. Different takes on exactly what this means but at the very least it means that mankind was sinning sexually! God takes this seriously.

The Problem
Gen. 6:1   And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,  2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 

God's Wrath
Gen. 6:5   The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every cintention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  6 And dthe LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it egrieved him to his heart.  7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 

God's Promise!

Gen. 9:12   And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. 

John Baptist Preaching

Luke 1

John had three charges from the Lord to deliver in his preaching.
1.     Return the hearts of the fathers to their children. V. 17
2.     Turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. V. 17
3.     Make ready a people prepared for the Lord

This is the preparation of the gospel. We need preaching that convicts fathers of their fatherlessness. We must call men to repentance. Is it any wonder in our age that we have a homosexual juggernaut? American men have been failing the test for a long time. They bought the lie of sexual freedom and it has resulted in emasculation.
Men, turn to the children. Don’t conceive them and kill them. Don’t propogate them and dessert them. Don’t bring them into your home and fail to bring them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Understand that what you sow, you will reap. And not only you. We are now reaping a harvest of boys who do not know how to be men. Is it any wonder?
Second, John was to call the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. The just are the justified, those who belong to God, in Christ, and follow after His ways. Frankly, in light of our unSupremes recent decision, this will be easier. It is clearer than ever that we have an outbreak of disobedience. From the leftist homoanything to the rightist libertarians, lawlessness is the rule of the day. So, we pass laws that are no laws at all in God’s eyes and wonder why we are never free in the land of liberty? Preachers, Christians, saints big and small, male and female, call upon the disobedient to heed the wisdom of God as revealed in His Word. Only there will they find peace for their troubled soul. Only there will they find a perfect Father.
Third, to make ready a people for the Lord. Evangelism in America has changed. We use to be able to assume basic congruencies. Americans thought there were absolutes, things like right and wrong, good and bad. We even use to think there was male and female, since that was the way that God created mankind. No more. The absolutes aren’t. We have to rethink our basic structure of communicating to a world that can no longer communicate.
What might I suggest? See numbers one and two. The foundational gospel. There is a God. You are created in the image of God. Sin has marred that image. God is not pleased with disobedience and there is a day of reckoning. The wicked shall be judged and not inherit the kingdom of God. Hell is real and real people go there. People who will not repent of their sins and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. But thanks be to God, where sin abounds, grace does much more abound! There is forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
1Cor. 6:9-11   Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

So, do not deceive yourself. If you are a drunkard, or fornicator, or adulterer or homosexual, you CANNOT go to heaven. You will indeed go to hell. The only way out of this certainty, is to run to Jesus Christ, bow your knees in humble contrition, seek His forgiveness and turn from your sins. In this, there is grace, hope of resurrection and life eternal with Jesus and His Saints.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CREC Stands Tall

Jonah I- Down, Down, Down

Jonah I- 1:1-17
Sermon Notes
Down, Down, Down
June 28, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia

         We come now to the great little book of Jonah.  This book is most excellent for many reasons.
         It must be read in faith with the authority of the Scriptures in mind. We take this story as a literal rendering of the story of a prophet of Israel. He lived under the rule of Jeroboam II in Israel and Uzziah in Judah around 760 BC. He was from the Philistine city of Gath, the same city of Goliath.  
         He lived in time of rising opposition to Israel. They had enemies on every side. Syria, to the north, was a problem but the large rising power was Assyria, to the North and East. The Assyrians were raising an empire centered in a mighty city, Nineveh.
         The editor to Calvin’s Commentaries quotes ancient sources in stating the following about Nineveh.
         It must then have been in circuit about 60 miles. Its walls are reported to have been 100 feet high — 33 yards and 1 foot, and so broad that three chariots might run abreast, and adorned by 1,500 towers, the height of which were 200 feet. From the circumstance of having in it 120,000 not knowing the right hand from the left, supposed to be infants, some think that its population must have been above two million. It was situated on the river Tigris on the eastern side, not far from the present Mosul.”
“In building this city, as reported by Bochart, there were no less than 140 myriads of men for eight years. A myriad being ten thousand, the number must have been one million, four hundred thousand. Such a city none has ever built since, was the declaration of Diodorus: and there has not probably on record an account of such a city. That it had large gardens, and even fields, within its walls, there can be no doubt.
Assyria was the dominant imperial empire around and after the destruction of Samaria in 722 BC. Jonah is prophesying before Israel is defeated and Samaria is destroyed. Jonah’s resistance to God is in light of the threat of Assyria.
Perhaps Jonah could have embraced preaching to Nineveh with the hope that their obedience would result in Israel being saved from destruction. However, that is not what he thinks, nor what happens. They do repent and this gives some reprieve to the immediate destruction of Israel but the writing was on the wall.           
         The Assyrian conquest finally comes in the days of Isaiah. Tiglath-pelezer III conquered the Northern Kingdom and relocated the leading men of Israel. 
His successor, Sargon II, finally conquered the capital city of Samaria and deported the citizens.  He repopulated the remaining remnant of the capital city of Samaria with Assyrians.  Thus, the inhabitants became known as Samaritans.

         Jonah 1:1   Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 
         The Lord said to rise up and go, but Jonah went down.  He continues to go down until he is in the depths of Sheol.
         Jonah’s response is very interesting.  God told Jonah to go cry against Nineveh because their wickedness is come before Him. The message God gave Jonah, “Yet 40 days and I will destroy this city,” speaks of God’s destruction of Nineveh. Jonah would have rejoiced at that. But Jonah seems to know that God’s intention is exactly the opposite of what he tells Jonah.
         He told Jonah to cry against and proclaim destruction. But His intention was for Nineveh to repent and be saved. If they had not repented, the destruction would have come. But they did repent and they were saved.
         This message rings true for all individuals and nations who’s wickedness rises up to God. Preachers are to cry out against wickedness.
         “There is a day of reckoning!. Turn now or face a holy God!”
         This is not a message of hate. This is not a message of judgment. This is not a message of spite. This is not a message of self-righteousness. It is, in fact, a message of mercy. If destruction is imminent, who would not call out to you in distress?
         If a bridge is out and continuing in the same course meant certain death, a car coming up the road who failed to wave you down and warn you of the danger would be complicit in your death. Would it be judgmental if they frantically yelled at you to stop and turn around before it was too late!
         This is the job of the preacher. Jonah should have been glad to see Nineveh repent. He was in a bad way.

3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
The Lord told Jonah to rise up and go to Nineveh but Jonah rose up and went to Joppa.  This is the exact opposite direction he should have gone. Joppa was southwest from Galilee. Nineveh was to the northeast.  Jonah was opposed to the command of God.  Furthermore, he sought a boat at Joppa to sail north to Tarshish, which is the same place that the apostle Paul is from.  It is interesting that Paul also resisted the will of God and was forcibly brought to his knees.
         The Hebrew words translated “from the presence of the Lord”, is literally “from the face of Yahweh”.
         Jonah went to great detail in his rebellion.  It is one thing to make a sudden lapse of judgment as Peter did when he told the Lord not to go up to Jerusalem.  The Lord rebuked Peter and he quickly came to his senses.  Jonah is not like that.  He is very deliberate in his actions.  Peter may have had Jesus’s interests at heart when he resisted Him. He knew Jesus would be threatened at Jerusalem.
Not so with Jonah. Jonah knows that he will be threatened at Nineveh along with all the Jews who are soon to be subjects of Assyria. Jonah knows what God is telling Him and he is opposed to God’s will in the matter. He has a set a course that he is determined to follow.  He wants to flee from the presence of the Lord.  He doesn’t merely get angry and say or do something rash.  He goes to Joppa and inquires about the boats sailing for Tarshish.  He finds one, agrees on a price, pays the fare, and continues his downward flight. 
Furthermore, he throws his lot in with pagans who do not love the face of Yahweh. He is among those who have no love for the God of Israel.  He willingly goes with them.  Perhaps he thinks God will leave him alone.  But God has called him to a particular task and pursues Jonah in his rebellion and escape.

Jonah 1:4   But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.  5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 
The Lord cast onto the sea a wind.  He threw it at Jonah.  This verse is alive with illustrations.  The elements are not impersonal.  God throws His breath into the sea and blows up a storm.  The ship is thinking about being broken.  This is very good literature and not at all mechanistic.  The world does not work based upon natural law as many have erroneously assumed.  Science cannot describe such storms.  It is a pleasure to live here in Lynchburg where the meteorologists have such a difficult time with the weather. They make forecasts and then hedge their bets with all sorts of qualifiers.  They don’t know how much truth they utter when the say “This storm has a mind of its own.”  It really does. 
The mariners were afraid of the storm.
But Jonah was indifferent.  He had thought to escape from the face of Yahweh and was unconcerned about this storm.  He was cast into a deep sleep.  His sleep was perhaps brought on by God Himself.  Jonah thought to escape from God but God was not only in control of the tempest but was also in control of the sleep of Jonah.  Jonah was stupefied with sleep.  Radam.  This is the same word for sleep used to describe the sleep that God caused to fall on Adam when he took a rib from him to form Eve.

6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 
The storm is starting to make believers of these saltmen. God is in the storm.

7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.  8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
The men perceive that Jonah has something to do with the storm. They cast lots to be sure and the lot speaks true. The fault is Jonah’s but the storm as attacked all of them.

9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 
Jonah gives testimony to the one true God. This is interesting since Jonah is still in rebellion against God. This might be the turning point where he realizes that his actions are harmful to other men.

10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Jonah 1:11   Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.  12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.  13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 
The men react better than Jonah. They fear the Lord and will not harm Jonah. All these man try to save Jonah but God is out to get him. The sea worked against them in a great tempest.

14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.  15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 
The men had previously cried out in fear and anguish. Perhaps they had cried out to the wind or to their own gods. But now they cry out to the Lord, the one true God who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is.
They realize even before Jonah does, that they cannot thwart the will of God. They tried rowing hard against God and it did not work. They give in to Him. This is more than Jonah has done at this point. The God of the sea wants Jonah and the men deliver him up. And when they do, the sea is satisfied and grows calm.

16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 
These men are now great God feared, offering sacrifice to God and taking vows to serve Him.
If you are a Christian, even your rebellion will bring glory to God. God will not tolerate turncoats. There is a day of reckoning. Whether you crash and burn or crash and are resurrected, God will glorify Himself in your story. This should be both frightening and comforting at the same time.

17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah was down but not down enough. He had to go lower still. It is interesting that God is sending Jonah to Nineveh, a great pagan city and a threat to Israel. On the way, Jonah mingles with a bunch of pagan sailors. These were no doubt very rough men. Old salts. In the process, God shows Jonah that these men respond better than he does.
A stormy sea and a miraculous calming bring them to submission to the Lord. But not Jonah. He must needs go lower still. Down, down, down.
Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish. Afterwards,

         Don’t go down-When once you start to refuse the presence of the Lord, you have already started down.  As you continue to refuse the presence of the Lord, the decline will increase.  You will keep going down, like Jonah.  But if you are God’s, He will pursue you in your course.
No Right Way Off the Path
         Many make unwise decisions not being able to discern which way to go.  They make excuses simply because opportunity was placed before them.  But when you have already entered into a cycle of disobedience, those opportunities may only be opportunities for more disobedience.  If you are running from the face of God, then any friendly face looks better than His.  Don’t be deceived by the foolishness of your own heart.  God has given us very clear direction in His Word.  If your present circumstance runs into conflict with what God has already revealed, then you cannot claim to be in the right place or to have some private revelation of the Lord’s will for your life.   Getting back may be difficult.  Perhaps the Lord must send a fish to eat you up.  But if you are faithful, if you cry out to him from your hell, He will rescue and restore you.  However, if you continue in your own delusions, you will perish without mercy in the depths of the sea.
Like a child who runs from his father, the only safe place is to face God and not run from Him.  He is dangerous.  You better keep your eye on Him.  If you become His enemy, you are in great danger.  If you become His friend, you are in great security.  But you must see His face.  A child has only to see a twinge of a smile, a kind gesture of the hands from father, and those terrors that the world is coming apart disappear.
How can you ever expect to know God’s will for your life considering your vocation and location if you will not be obedient to what He has already revealed?  It is likely that like Jonah, you can find a ship sailing to Tarshish.  The Lord is perfectly willing for you to sail on a direct course with Him.  He may give you a fair voyage only to bring a tempest upon you.  This is not very complicated.