Judging

Jesus did say “Judge not, lest ye be judged” but he was there speaking of hypocritical judging, in another place he said this:

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God gives over societies to sin who hate and ignore him.

“But, when the ties of religion are once broken from the mind, all the most effectual restraints of moral principle are instantly dissolved; public sentiment is absorbed in private interest – public virtue is lost. Sensuality insulates every citizen; he has no country but self; all the energies of patriotism are enfeebled; and voluptuousness, in its progress, creates a base servility of soul which is prepared to submit to any master who will favour its indolence, and afford it the means of indulging its effeminate pleasures. Mutual faith is perished – vows are broken without scruple; for what remains to enforce their obligation? Deceit and treachery are but ordinary means to accomplish unworthy ends. Lust, jealousy, and dastardly revenge disturb the order and destroy the happiness of society. When manners have arrived at this stage of degeneracy, they can then be purged only by the destructive power of a foreign master, or by some dreadful internal and exterminating revolution—Such has ever been the ultimate progression of national dereliction of morals and religion —republics have fallen a prey to internal tyranny, empires to foreign conquest. To cite to you proofs of this truth would be to repeat the records of universal illustrated in the fortunes of individual families. Profligacy of manners, poisoning the very fountains of life, a vicious and debilitated race becomes extinct in a few generations. This is the curse which God has inflicted on practical atheism, and its constant companion, extreme corruption of manners. He has so laid the plan of his providence over the world, that the course of nature shall avenge the violated majesty of his law, and become itself, the minister of his justice. When universal depravity of morals has invaded a people, each race becomes, by obvious causes, more corrupted than the last; the evils of the preceding are still accumulated upon that which follows, and seldom, as I have before said, does the third, or the fourth generation pass away till they are ripe for the exterminating judgments of Heaven. Thus does a righteous and jealous God visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate him.” — Samuel Stanhope Smith, Sermons, Volume 1 (Religion Necessary to National Prosperity)

Thanks Andy Underhile.

Religious Freedom in UK

This is an excellent move and worthy of full support!

Campaign

Reclaiming religious freedom in the UK


4 January 2018

This year Barnabas Fund will be launching a new campaign to reclaim the heritage of freedom of religion in the UK and elsewhere which previous generations of Christians endured hardship, persecution and even death to achieve.

 

“The Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.”

Her Majesty The Queen, Lambeth Palace, February 2012

 

Barnabas Fund is seeking a new Act of Parliament in the UK to guarantee seven fundamental aspects of freedom of religion. These seven freedoms have developed in the UK by various mechanisms over the last five centuries but are now under threat. A law to protect and guarantee them is urgently needed.

Tracing the heritage of religious liberty takes us back more than 800 years to Magna Carta in 1215.  At that time, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were separate nations; it was long before Great Britain was created, let alone the United Kingdom. So Magna Carta’s ringing call that “the English Church” must be free should not be seen as limited to England. We must see it as an affirmation to be embraced by the whole of the UK, and far beyond, but expressed in the language of its time and context. Indeed, in later centuries, Magna Carta became a rallying cry for the freedoms of all the English-speaking peoples. For example, those who signed the American Declaration of Independence described themselves as “patriots” claiming their ancient rights as Englishmen which had been set out in Magna Carta and subsequent laws.

As we will explain in a new booklet which Barnabas Fund will shortly be launching, Magna Carta’s affirmation that “the English Church shall be free” was gradually worked out over the centuries into seven specific aspects of freedom of religion:

  1. Freedom to read the Bible in public (achieved 1537)
  2. Freedom to interpret the Bible without government interference (achieved 1559)
  3. Freedom of worship (achieved 1689)
  4. Freedom to choose, or change your faith or belief (achieved 1689)
  5. Freedom to preach and try to convince others of the truth of your beliefs (achieved 1812)
  6. Freedom to build churches and other places of worship (achieved 1812)
  7. Freedom from being required to affirm a particular worldview or set of beliefs in order to hold a public sector job or stand for electionwork in professions such as teaching and law, or study at university (achieved by the repeal of various Test Acts between 1719 and 1888)

Most of these were achieved by the repeal of various restrictions on freedom of religion, rather than a positive law affirming freedom of religion. They are therefore vulnerable to being eroded by those who are either intent on imposing a particular ideological agenda, or by politicians who are simply ignorant of the enormous importance that previous generations played in developing freedom of religion and spreading it to other parts of the world.

The campaign will include a petition calling for a new law specifically guaranteeing all seven aspects of freedom of religion which over the centuries have emerged in the UK. We will also be organising similar petitions in Australia and New Zealand. But this campaign will be more than just petitions. We shall be calling on Christians to engage in numerous ways to reclaim the freedoms which our forefathers endured hardship, persecution and even death to achieve.

We are thankful to God for His guidance, blessing, provision and protection of the UK over centuries. In times of great sin and impending judgement, through the prayers of His people and the work of His saints like Wesley, Whitefield and others, judgement was averted. God in His mercy intervened.

We believe that, as a nation, the UK has again left the pathways of God. We have forsaken His laws, and we are faced with the possibility of the lampstand being removed from our country (Revelation 2:5). With this will probably come the loss of our fundamental religious freedoms. Yet, we believe it is not too late. We believe that we are still, as a nation, in the hands of our sovereign Lord, that it is He who will determine our destiny. Meanwhile we, as His people, must, like Nehemiah of old, pray, build and be equipped and ready to respond to every kind of attack (Nehemiah 4). Finally, we must heed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

New Jerusalem

 

We really have little idea what our eternal home will be like but what we do know, gleaned from Scripture, especially Revelation, is that all our deepest longings for love, fellowship and joy, freedom from regret, guilt and sadness will be met.

Many questions arise in my mind. Will we remember our earthly lives or will our minds be otherwise totally occupied? Will we all speak the same language or be mutually intelligible? Will there be different ages present? What responsibilities and work will we have?

Revelation 20 describes a city made of precious. beautiful everlasting stones and pure gold. It is perfection!  The glory of God is imparted to and reflected in his church, the complete number of Jew and Gentile who enjoy unalloyed fellowship with Him and one another, and worship him perfectly and continually.

It is the heavenly paradise with the river of life, flowing from the throne of God, streams of the blessings of grace through Christ, including knowledge of God, righteousness, holiness and the favour of God, constantly flowing to us, the saints, by the operation of the Spirit of Christ.

This has always been God’s everlasting purpose to glorify his name and his saints with him. This is something to celebrate and anticipate.

Conscience, condemnation, judgment.

All men have consciences, some are seared and no longer work-they are to be pitied (I Tim.4:2, Eph. 4:19). Theologians believe that the books (Rev.20:12,13) that record all men’s lives and will form the basis of their eternal judgment will include their consciences. Fact is, God is omniscient. Another fact is, all people are separated at death to either heaven or hell as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. At the last trump when the sheep and the goats are summoned from the grave in their eternal bodies, they are significantly placed on Christ’s right and left when he pronounces judgment. They are either justified by him (sheep) or condemned already (goats), either in his book of life or missing. Their judgment according to their works also accords with his judgment on the basis of their faith (imputed righteousness) or their unbelief. Everyone’s works, publicly prove whether they are justified sinners now (James 2:22-24) and at the final judgment (Matt.25). The wicked works of the reprobate will contrast with the good works of the faithful. Justification and sanctification are twins, always belonging together, the one leading to the other (Eph. 2:8-10).

Good works, even though always tainted by selfish, impure motives, nevertheless are cleansed by Christ, help assure us now (I John 3:19-21) and are rewarded graciously in the next life. They also are seen by unbelievers (Matt.5:16) and may lead to their conversion and by fellow saints causing edification, encouragement and exhortation.

It is good if our hearts (consciences) convict or condemn us because then we seek forgiveness and can be assured it will be granted along with cleansing and sanctification (I John 1:7-9, I John 2:1 and II Cor.7:1). God’s law written in Scripture and also on our hearts is the instrument of this exposure of sin. If our conscience is clear that is even better, and gives us confidence in prayer. If we ever feel condemned in the sense of not even believing we are saved (because of our indwelling corruption) we must rely on God’s knowledge of us and our faith in Christ’s cross. Pride in ourselves is the opposite extreme and we need to heed Romans 13:3 and I Cor.10:12. Everything serves our salvation.

 

Four corners of the earth

Four in Scripture signifies a sense of totality or “the world,” preeminently in the Book of Revelation (Wikipedia).It derives its meaning from there being four cardinal directions namely north, south, east and west.
Four corners of the earth. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” (Rev. 7:1). God rules over all creation.
“And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (Rev. 20:8). God rules over the wicked who oppose his church.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31) c.f. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12). God saves all his elect.

Two worldviews

Biblical truth versus the World.

The world lies under Satan (I John 5:19) it is the whole system of godless humanism, communism and liberal left wing thinking that is opposed to Christ and the gospel. Increasingly it is making inroads into established churches who apostatize and become synagogues of Satan.

This is the ANTITHESIS.

Link

Reformed/Biblical worldview The world’s worldview
God is sovereign/Calvinism Man is sovereign/Arminianism
God rules providence Deism, the world runs itself
God created all things Evolution is the cause
God created family Dispense with family-live in sin, single parents, divorce, porn, perversions including homosexuality
God made male and female Transgenderism
God says life is sacred, thou shalt not kill Rampant abortion- the murder of unborn children

 

The world’s system is set to takeover ultimately under Antichrist when the Christian church will be a beleaguered remnant UNTIL Christ the true King and Lord returns to bring in everlasting justice and righteousness.

Thanks to Rev. Angus Stewart for basic idea for this.

Recommended book

Called to watch

Available here in UK

 

Called to Watch for Christ’s Return, by Martyn McGeown. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free
Publishing Association, 2016. Pp. 286. [Reviewed by Dr. Julian Kennedy]
Rev. McGeown, missionary pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in the Republic of Ireland preached through Matthew 24 covering Christ’s teaching on the last things in 2011-2012. The sermons are now compiled in print in this book. It must be said at the outset that a sober, Biblical and Reformed view of this teaching is badly needed still in the church of our day because heresy abounds in the form of universally popular premillennial dispensationalism and postmillennialism and also the many misguided folk putting a fixed date on the second coming. McGeown’s book is divided into treatment of each of the signs in order and then an exposition of the parables that relate to the end times. It is clear, concise and comprehensive and I personally benefited especially on the section on Christ’s parables. My only criticism is of the chapter entitled “The Gospel Preached in all the World”. He states, “We cannot know for sure what constitutes a tribe or nation.” However a word study of scripture does give us a fair idea of what these groupings represent and though we know God will accomplish his purpose, nevertheless the church ought to have some idea of where it stands in the completion of this task and knowing what constitutes a nation, people
or tribe is fundamental in that assessment. He clearly brings out the difference between the predictions relating to AD 70 and those for the end of the world. His description of the great tribulation bears repeating, “God pours out his wrath upon the wicked world, while Antichrist unleashes his fury against the church.” He makes clear the relation between false doctrine and the love of many growing cold and that every attack on the truth is really an attack on Christ who being the truth we must love. His description of what it means to watch bears close study and application. “We watch by standing against the materialism (and all other lawlessness—JK), of our modern society, by praying, by studying the word, and by active, lively membership in a true church” and “Readiness also means living in close communion with Christ.” I had never realized that the wise and foolish virgins are all church members (“The kingdom of God is like…”). The index of scripture will be helpful to those with specific questions relating to specific texts. All in all, a very useful, relatively short (286 pages) sane and sober description of those things which must surely come to pass.

Called to Watch for Christ's Return

Hurricane Irma

That the same Lord who calmed the sea of Galilee in front of the distraught disciples is the Lord who controls Hurricane Irma, and indeed all weather, and earthquakes and volcanoes should be obvious to every believer. Jonah 1:4, “But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest…”

All of these “natural” calamities and expressions of his power and judgment are harbingers of the final judgment and the utter destruction of the universe by fire, when he comes to reign. For believers, our salvation draws near, for the reprobate, their destruction looms.

Lord use these means to bring in thy elect people, warn the wicked world and cause the church and the authorities to do all in their power to alleviate the suffering.

Elijah at the brook Cherith

 

What should we learn from this episode in the fiery prophet’s life? One thing Rev. Bleyenberg makes clear is that Israel (Northern Kingdom) has grievously apostatised from true religion and as a result God withdraws his word (Amos 8:11). When churches like the Church of Scotland AND Church of England apostatise, which they have as denominations Christ withdraws his presence and grace and it is the calling of his elect people to come out, be separate and raise their voices against the wicked compromises with the world. For Elijah it meant safety, separation and provision. Following Christ faithfully will never leave us needy (Romans 8:32).