The Tale of Two State Governors

Last week, August 16, 2017 Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, signed HB 3391 giving all residents in Oregon the burden of paying for all abortions.

Today, August 25, 2017 South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, signed executive order removing the burden from all tax payers of paying for abortions and defunded Planned Parenthood and all abortion providers of all public funds. (Official Executive Order)

I expect several things will begin to happen:

  • Gov. Kate Brown will be declared a hero and Gov. Henry McMaster will be villainized.
  • The state of Oregon’s new law will likely stand because it came through the House. South Carolina’s executive order will be overturned soon because it was an executive order.
  • The state of Oregon will win bids from ESPN, the NBA, the NFL, to host major sporting events guaranteed to bring millions of dollars to the state economy and South Carolina will begin to see the same entities and other businesses “black ball” the state.
  • Christians/Churches in both states will be called upon to endure with grace while given the pleasure of suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
  • Most of the nation will forget about both within a short amount of time and other unprecedented “progressive” actions will become “normal” and historic defenders of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will continue to be labeled “narrow minded bigots”.

May God raise up a prepared people to speak into this day with gospel clarity. May the church repent of her laziness. May communities hear a faithful preaching people and repent.

A Call to Sinners Everywhere! Repent!

Jesus was clear in Luke 5:32 when He said he did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. It is equally clear in Romans 3:22-23 that we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. We are inclined to think we are just a little better than our neighbors and if we are a little better than our neighbors how could a fair and just God hold that against us when the neighbor is as bad as they are and have as many problems as they have?

Your biography, as D.L. Moody puts it, is already written for you in Romans chapters 1-3″.

When a righteous God calls unrighteous souls to repent, it would be prudent to listen and obey.

It is my experience in life that most every natural man (who is a sinner) who hears of God’s righteousness and of his judgment of hell flatters himself in thinking he will escape without repenting. You may not want to obey, you may not want to repent. This has no bearing on what is true though. Look unto God, repent, and live.

A bewitching work of idolatry has many hoping for salvation another way. A wicked mind is upon the one promoting that God can be found in other ways. As in those dark days before the great reformation, many today are promoting false, devilish ideas, about getting to Heaven without repenting of being an enemy of God, a wretched sinner.

It was nonsense in the dark ages to teach that a dead soul in Purgatory could be saved by money. It is the same kind of nonsense today that some are teaching that a dead soul can move through lower “levels of heaven” and may even be eligible to become equal to god and/or even become a god himself on behalf of the works of others. It is of the same kind of wickedness.

This is a friendly call to all my Roman Catholic friends to resist the hellish practice and worship of the pope, a fallen man. It is a compassionate plea to my Mormon friends to reject the teachings of your bishops of finding salvation in anyone or any means other than a living soul repenting before the Holy God of the Bible. It is a hope for my Muslim neighbors and friends to turn to the Triune God of the Bible and reject the teachings of Mohamed in the Koran. It is a longing desire for all my friends and family members to look unto God and be saved.

Repent

While preaching through the Kings at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, I’ve come to 2 Kings 18. In this chapter there is the sweet sound of revival. It is clear from the very first few verses that true revival will require an active work; hard work of removing, destroying and breaking. But if the actions of removing, destroying and breaking the idols we so love is done without repenting of the sin that drives us to love idols we are only dealing with behavior modification and not dealing with the motivation or the cause that drives us to disobey God.

Here is a three minute clip from the sermon from LORD’s Day, July 24, 2016:

Here is the full sermon:

We Stand Ready to Preach This Gospel

Dear Twin Falls and the Magic Valley,

The born-again, repenters of unspeakable sins, who gather at 204 Eastland Drive North in Twin Falls, Idaho cried out to Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians  1:10) and found a solid ground to stand upon.

By the grace of God we found a solid place to stand, a firm foundation that did not disappoint.

This was not a place filled with romance that never delivered on its false promises.

We, too, were once slipping down a slippery slope to certain disaster, accumulating false teachers and creating false doctrines to justify our fleshly cravings when a faithful soul, standing on a firm foundation, gave a clear warning; We didn’t even know we were sinners at the time. That faithful follower of the Lord Jesus spoke of a righteous God who would justly judge all sinners and find us guilty and already condemned.

This righteous, loving God invited us to respond to His holiness and repent. By His grace, we were rescued, in faith, by the satisfying requirement of the necessary death of a perfect life. Jesus Christ, this redeemer of sinners took our place, and appeased the wrath of God on our behalf. What a Savior.

Like us, when you discover that helpless estate of pride, selfishness, and unbelief, cry out to God in the name of Jesus the Christ, described by the bible, repent and be saved.

May He plant your feet on a firm foundation, on Christ the Solid Rock. Where “all other ground is sinking sand, may you in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”

We stood ready to preach this gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ when it was popular; and now, when it’s not, with great patience and instruction, we ask God for strength to endure. We will not, by the grace of God, abandon our post in the city. We will steadfastly engage in the advancement of the gospel.

We strive to speak with compassion, as those before us, so as to call all sinners unto repentance.

To compromise our message is to compromise our duty. To abandon our duty is of unimaginable hatred.

We remain steadfast as ever, willing to endure hardship for payment. Come, all who deserve God’s wrath, come, come, to Jesus. He stands able and ready to redeem all repenting sinners.

Paul Thompson
Eastside Baptist Church
Twin Falls, Idaho

The Jurisdiction of God’s Law

I’ve been (increasingly) asked what I will do when (if) the Supreme Court’s opinion is against biblical/traditional marriage next week. (I think all of us should be prepared to give an answer.)

I’ve thought on this…

Will any Supreme Court opinion somehow alter or change my duty to God? Should I speak more or less to the matter? Will I adjust my preaching as a result of the approaching opinion? Will I go into hiding in fear of well being if a human court attempts to overrule the jurisdiction of God’s law? Will my church lose it’s privilege of not having to pay property tax or income tax if I don’t compromise to the law of the Land?

I’m not naive of the the ruthless means of the enemy of God; I have seen a face of evil wanting to intimidate, I’ve heard the threats of lawsuits from angry church attendees, I’ve been threatened with harm to my family if I don’t cease inquiring, I’ve been told that people who have left our church will come back when I stop promoting going to foreign countries to spread the Gospel (yes, I really have been told this), I’ve been verbally accosted in public places, maligned in private conversations, misrepresented by friends, accused of being a racists.  All of that, before being arrested on false charges, mocked in the media, and abandoned by fellow kinsmen in the faith for being a doer of the word.

Regardless of the legal opinion to come, my duty, and yours as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, is to stay the course.

I’m no perfect being; I’m a perpetual repenter. I’ve been uncaring at times, rude, arrogant, selfish, foolish, fearful, but my duty is to strive to be a reflection of the great grace that has been shown to me in the good news of what Christ accomplished in His life, death, and resurrection and persevere in that grace as an ambassador of Christ reconciliation.

Saints of the Lord Jesus, we are a people; given a grace we don’t deserve, a message to preach to the nations, an invitation to persevere to the end, expected to be compassionate, instructed to be strong and courageous, called out to obey His commandments.

Obedience to the Lord Jesus is required, not for salvation, but of us under the gospel as an offering of gratitude to Christ and evidence of our love for Him. (“If you love me, keep my commandments…” John 14:15)

True love for Christ constrains us to live, not unto ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again. We have been bought by Him with a price that we may glorify Him in our bodies and our spirits, which are His.

So, how then shall I live on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on what day the court opinion is delivered)? I should live the same way I am expected to live today, yielding to the Spirit of God. America may not be the same after this ruling, but we are instructed by our Lord to obey Him. Where I don’t perfectly obey, I will perpetually repent.

God’s jurisdiction is supreme. I owe my allegiance to Him. I’ll ask Him to increase grace and compassion in my life as I live repenting of my sin and obeying His commands as a loving child.

I leave this word with the reader today: Remember, “by faith Abraham obeyed” (Hebrews 11:8). In your faith in God, obey, obey, obey, and keep on obeying until the return of the Lord Jesus. In this day we must remember that the matter of marriage is a battle we must not remain silent in. Marriage is important, but marriage does not redeem sin… Christ redeems sin. So, when we speak into our culture on the topic of marriage, and we must, we must not miss the gospel proclamation moment before us.

God grant His grace to us all! Amen.

How Many Baptists does it Take to Change a Light bulb?

(Book Review of “Autopsy of a Deceased Church” part 2. here is part 1)

The chapters are short, this make the reading easy and convenient for a day that can be broken up into short bite sized moments of reading. The reader can knock out parts of the book quickly or take smaller parts of it and reflect on the impact. Here are some quick observations of the next several chapters (good, bad and ugly parts).

Have you heard the one about “how many baptists does it take to change a light bulb?” CHANGE! did somebody say CHANGE?

We may own the implications of that stereotype, but I think we use the language of change in a dangerously risky way. The impact may achieve a startling reality check. But, I think the use of the word ‘change’ is the wrong word to use sometimes. In the chapters reviewed thus far, I get what Rainer is exposing, I just wish more care could be given to the use of the word ‘change’.

Why don’t church health books talk about repentance rather than change?

I will attempt to review critically, honestly, and carefully. This is where, if I’m not careful, I can get too critical.

Chapter 2: Slow Erosion

Do you ever return to a town you once lived in after many years of absence? True, a lot can be told of the economical condition of the region by what’s going on or not going on.

That’s true of a city.

My question would be; is that true of a church?

I think that it could be true. But what is the examination telling us? Is it noticing a decay in health or a decay in activity. I do not think the two are as interchangeable as it is purported many times. Empty rooms today may not mean a decay in health, it may, but it’s not a hard fast rule.

If it has been over 25 years since you drove through Twin Falls, Idaho my first question would be; Where have you been? Then you would notice a major shift in the city. Blue Lakes Blvd. may still be the main business route in town, but business has been shifting and moving. Go back even farther in the history of the city and you would find that the main business route has been shifting since the beginning. Not meaning unhealthy, just changing. It would likely be more noticeable in a smaller town than a place like Twin Falls, and the analogy is complicated here because city and county population here has been growing at a steady pace for many decades.

There is a lot to be said about a building. I’ve been in places that have the appearance of decay that are quite alive and I’ve been in places where the grounds and building are in prime condition, attendance has the appearance of strength and there is actually little spiritual life at all.

I appreciate what Rainer is showing, but I found the ambiguous conclusion risky for any reader. Especially a reader who is prone to the shifting winds that come with the language of “change.” This simple word is a dangerous word for churches and pastors. It’s not so much that either resist change, I think it’s more that they both thing that change is the solution to their perceived problem they pick up by reading a book. Sure, a dangerous pit for a church and pastor to be in is a pit full of pride that everything is fine and no need to change.

What would happen if the author used the biblical word, repent?

I don’t find the Lord calling his church to change, I hear the language of repentance to individuals, churches and nations.

I’m nearing a longer word count than the actual chapter I’m reviewing so I’ll close up my thoughts and ponder it a bit more with prayer and boldness from the points and questions Rainer brings up.

Chapter 3: The Past is the Hero

I think Rainer does a good job of articulating the meaning behind his use of the word ‘change.’ He’s meaning more the nostalgia of the past.

I think this was helpful for me in this respect, there are indeed things of the past that we all want repeated because it was a a special occasion. It brought about an emotion of significance, it marked a moment where adjustments were made or note worthy change in behavior took place.

It’s like many things related to the Christmas season.

At Eastside, when I first came, we did an event called the hanging of the greens. It was a tradition. It was well attended. It involved people and families that normally didn’t participate in regular church life.

It had great results, but there were few things that caused more trouble for me as pastor as this once-a-year event. Change was sure to come in how the event was handled, planned and executed. But it came slowly and painful.

We still decorate the auditorium for Christmas, but it’s a different auditorium and accomplished differently. There was literally no other event that generated more in attendance than that one event with greater disappointment in the result of the participant or attendee. This isn’t me being critical of the event or the organizers, this is an honest examination of the past. Many people talked about that great event, but there was little spiritual impact.

I get what Rainer is arguing for. That was an examination of a very popular event that was more about sentiment than doctrinal fidelity.

I still want to argue that the better word here is repent.

Anytime an individual or church replaces faith in the sufficiency of Christ with sentiment for an event or program they are in a dangerous place of offending God with their sentimental love for the hero of the past.

The same issues are argued in many churches about the ‘changing’ winds of music style, order of service, time of the gatherings, length of the service, the frequency or infrequency of something. There are many things that can be changed and doesn’t have impact on doctrine.

Chapter 4: The Church Refused to Look Like the Community

Here’s where I begin to fall into my typical cynical self. I don’t even like the title of the chapter. I found myself reading it looking for my bone of contention. I was pleasantly pleased that Rainer was not arguing for typical relevance or the church caving to the demands of the community.

His point in this simple chapter was an honest evaluation of how the church was actually reaching the neighborhood it is physically planted in. This is likely more of an urban issue than a rural matter where neighborhoods change over time. The once new neighborhood takes on a shift as other places in the city become the new neighborhoods.

There are valid points he makes about how the local church reflects the actual physical community.

I still wish there would be more clarity from the ‘field expert’. I don’t think Rainer is meaning that a church should ask the community what they want in a church. But when clarity is not given, the reader has a tendency to read into the message. I may be wrong, but I argue that Rainer knows that a church is not commissioned of God to discover what a community wants from a church as a means to grow a church. She has her orders from God to be a pillar and buttress of truth in the community. She’s not to be driven by fads and trends of churches trying to mask healthiness. She must love the community enough to be a tower of truth.

I don’t like the idea of niche churches. A church for this group, a church for this group, another church for this group. This mentality creates a self-interested church that will not survive a changing community. The only church that can really survive a changing community is a church that stays her ground and doesn’t forget her duty. Obviously this can be lost in the day too. If care is not given, this church becomes a defender of the good ‘ole days that he spoke of in the previous chapter.

It’s a fine line. I’m learning that there is a fine line between boldness and arrogance. There a thin line between sorrow and self-pity. There a thin line for a church between relevance and looking like the community.

This was a good chapter, but I still don’t like the chapter title. Even though he does a good job of articulating what he means, I think it’s too risky.

As I read over my review thus far, I hear my normal tendency to be too critical. I like what I’m reading though and largely in agreement with the autopsy report, with reservation to some language issues.

 

the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ

Here are a series of questions with answers from the Bible with regard to the soul of all men and our greatest need.


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?

Because of the Holiness of God.

“[God’s] eyes are too pure to approve evil, and [He] can not look on wickedness with favor.” (Habakkuk 1:13 NASB)

“But [my] iniquities have made a separation between [me] and God, And [my] sins have hidden His face from [me] so that He does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2 NASB)


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?
Because of the Justice of God.

“For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.” (Psalms 11:7 NASB)

“God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.” (Psalms 7:11-12 NASB)


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?
Because of my own depravity.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NASB)

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” (Isaiah 64:6 NASB)

“… for it is written, ‘cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” (Galatians 3:10 NASB)


Because of God’s Holiness, God’s justice, and my depravity there is a great problem.

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” (Proverbs 17:15 NASB)

“Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25 NASB)


Because there is a great problem between man and God, there is need for a greater solution. While God maintains His holiness and justice, the Bible affirms that in God’s love He has responded to the plight of man.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NASB)


If God was motivated by love to rescue me, how did He demonstrate that love?

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26 NASB)


What was my response to this demonstration of love?

Repentance!

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” (Psalms 51:3-4 NASB)


This work of rescuing me from the wrath of God was the work of Christ.
“…worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3 NASB)


“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB)


 

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Flip-Flopper

In politics, no one wants to be called a flip-flopper. The use of this kind of language is usually a term to belittle or discredit another person. Usually the term flip-flopper is used on someone who has flopped on a position for political gain, the kind of flopping I’m talking about here is of another kind. It’s the kind of flipping that happens similar to an electronic switch. However, biblically, this is what we are called to be. The term in Scripture is repent. This means a lifetime of repenting.

Some think that to repent means a one time prayer is all that is required for taking the label “Christian”. Surely that right starting point is necessary but Scripture teaches this is as an ongoing practice. Not to be “saved” again, but the effect of the submitting to God once requires endurance to the end.

This kind of ‘flipping’ may be better understood as reformation. A work of re-forming or re-molding. The apostle puts it like this…

With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own [mold], but let God re-[mold] your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. (Romans 12:1-2; Phillips)

It’s the language of Scripture…

  • I once was lost…
  • I once was blind…
  • I once was disobedient to God…
  • I once loved darkness
  • I once was…

Like when you flip on a light switch. Every light switch I flip today will be a reminder of the redeeming work of Christ in my life. The light switch can’t turn itself on, it must be turned on by the master of the home. The work of the flip has a reaction. For me, that action is repent. I am a repenter, what about you?

Pillar and Buttress of Truth

“…I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15 NASB: The source of that Truth is God as found in the Holy Bible, revealed to humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit, and fleshed out in the incarnation of God Himself in the flesh as the Lord Jesus Christ.)

Today (August 19, 2013), New Jersey Governor, Christ Christi signed a bill making way for the second state to ban “licensed therapists” from advising gay teenagers to abandon their sinful craving of homosexuality (according to the Salt Lake Tribune).

The vogue argument of our day is if someone is born “that way” then it must not be sinful. If this kind of thinking is fleshed out and defended by law then one should prepare for all of Hell to be unleashed in our land. Yet, more than the furry of Hell to fear, see the hand of God’s righteous wrath on the horizon.

Church, arise and be the church. Paul instructed Timothy to tell the church that she is the pillar and buttress of truth. Speak truth, church. Arise in love and warn people everywhere to repent of the ‘natural’ sins of their flesh. Flee from your born cravings of adultery, sexual perversions of all kinds, hatred, murder, thievery, speaking lies, cheating, and endless base  debauchery of all kinds.

When any lifestyle of sin is defended by law as natural then there are  no limits in sight to what man will attempt to legalize. We are no longer standing on the precipice of falling into the hands of an angry God; prepare yourself for God to turn us over to our wicked ways. The message to the church is the same as it always has been. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor enough to warn them that the next step is a free fall to certain doom.

Church, arise in love and be the church. Call all men, including yourselves, to repentance for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Have We Forgot About the Doctrine of Repentance?

Without doctrine, we are at risk of declaring all things right and doing what is right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

I’ve been reading a great piece entitled “The Doctrine of Repentance” by puritan preacher Thomas Watson (1620-1686). I recommend it to you to read and consider his arguments from Scripture. From section three, Reasons Which Enforce Repentance, Watson argues ten necessary reasons for God’s own people, who have a real work of grace, must offer up a daily sacrifice of repentance. Consider them in brief below, read the entire work (I highly recommend) here.

Repentance is an ongoing work. It is the “outlet of godly sorrow” and must not be stopped until death. Like many of the puritan writers, Watson employs a broad and rich vocabulary that will be best met with a dictionary. And, like many others, the imagery used in the language is helpful. Prepare yourself “with the candle of the Word into your hearts – and see if you can find no matter for repentance there.”

In short here are ten necessary reasons for God’s own people to repent, daily.

  • Repent of your rash censuring. Instead of praying for others, you are ready to pass a verdict upon them. It is true that the saints snail judge the world (1 Cor. 6:2)—but wait your time; remember the apostle’s caution in 1 Corinthians 4:5: “judge nothing before the time, wait until the Lord comes”.
  • Repent of your vain thoughts. These swarm in your minds as the flies did in Pharaoh’s court (Exod. 8:24). What bewilderings there are in the imagination! If Satan does not possess your bodies, he does your imaginations. “How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?” (Jer. 4:14). A man may think himself into hell. O you saints, be humbled for this lightness in your head.
  • Repent of your vain fashions. It is strange that the garments which God has given to cover shame—should reveal pride! The godly are bid not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2). People of the world are garish and mirthful in their dresses. It is in fashion nowadays—to go to hell. But whatever others do—yet let not Judah offend (Hos. 4:15). The apostle Paul has set down what outer garment Christians must wear: “modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9); and what undergarment: “be clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5).
  • Repent of your decays in grace. “You have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). Christians, how often is it low water in your souls! How often does coldness of heart come upon you! Where are those flames of affection, those sweet meltings of spirit—which you once had? I fear they are melted away. Oh repent for leaving your first love!
  • Repent of your non-improvement of talents. Health is a talent; estate is a talent; wit and abilities are talents; and these God has entrusted you with, to improve for his glory. He has sent you into the world as a merchant sends his steward beyond the seas to trade for his advantage—but you have not done the good you might. Can you say, “Master, your talent has earned five more talents” (Luke 19:18)? O mourn at the burial of your talents! Let it grieve you that so much of your life has not been time lived but time lost; that you have filled up your golden hours more with froth than with devotion.
  • Repent of your forgetfulness of sacred vows. A vow is a binding one’s soul to God (Num. 30:2). Christians, have you not served for common uses after you have been the Lord’s by solemn dedication? Thus, by breach of vows, you have made a breach in your peace. Surely this calls for a fresh laver of tears.
  • Repent of your unanswerableness to blessings received. You have lived all your life upon free grace. You have been bemiracled with mercy. But where are your returns of love to God? The Athenians would have ungrateful people sued at law. Christians, may not God sue you at law—for your unthankfulness? “I will recover my wool and my flax” (Hos. 2:9); I will recover them by law.
  • Repent of your worldliness. By your profession you seem to resemble the birds of paradise—which soar aloft and live upon the dew of heaven. Yet as serpents you lick the dust! Baruch, a good man, was taxed with this: “do you seek great things for yourself?” (Jer. 45:5).
  • Repent of your divisions. These are a blot in your coat of armor, and make others stand aloof from true religion. Indeed, to separate from the wicked, resembles Christ, who was “separate from sinners” (Heb. 63 7:26). But for the godly to divide among themselves, and look askew one upon another—had we as many eyes as there are stars, they were few enough to weep for this! Divisions eclipse the church’s beauty and weaken her strength. God’s Spirit brought in cloven tongues among the saints (Acts 2:3)—but the devil has brought in cloven hearts. Surely this deserves a shower of tears!
  • Repent for the iniquity of your holy things. How often have the services of God’s worship been frozen with formality and soured with pride? There have been more of the peacock’s plumes—than the moans of the dove. It is sad that pious duties should be made a stage for vainglory to act upon. O Christians, there is such a thick crust upon your duties, that it is to be feared there is but little substance left in them for God to feed upon. Behold here repenting work, cut out for the best. And that which may make the tide of grief swell higher, is to think that the sins of God’s people do more provoke God, than do the sins of others (Deut. 32:19). The sins of the wicked pierce Christ’s side. The sins of the godly go to his heart! Peter’s sin, being against so much love, was most unkind, which made his cheeks to be furrowed with tears: “When he thought about it, he began to weep” (Mark 14:72).

I highly recommend reading “the Doctrine of Repentance” by Thomas Watson.

“Make hast to repent.”

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