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Tom
Tom
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Recent Posts
Armstrong First to step on the Moon
by Tom - Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:48 PM
Christian Nationalism
by Anthony C. - Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:59 PM
Musings
by Anthony C. - Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:06 PM
Thoughts on Backsliding ~ J.C. Ryle
by Rick Bates - Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:23 PM
Assurance of Justification
by NetChaplain - Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:59 AM
Suffering’s Solace
by NetChaplain - Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:52 AM
Thoughts on Backsliding ~ J.C. Ryle Rick Bates Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:23 AM Men fall in private long before they fall in public.

Backsliding, generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.

If we know anything of true, saving religion, let us ever beware of the beginnings of backsliding.

It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose it is the worst. A stranded ship, an eagle with a broken wing, a garden covered with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins — all these are sad sights, but a backslider is a sadder sight still.

I am trying, as God shall help me, to set the story of your backsliding in relationship to the spiritual and infinite. Shall I put that story in slightly different language? You corrupted yourself in that hour when you ceased your devotion to the God of your mother, and ceased to hand over your life wholly and absolutely to Christ. Your backsliding proceeded when you put into the place of Christ something else. It may have been your business. It may have been your very passion for knowledge. It may have been a far more mean and paltry thing than either of these, your pursuit of pleasure. You put something where Christ used to be. You who once took of your talents, and time, and strength, and poured them out in sacrificial service in the cause of Christ have been worshiping with all the soul, with all the heart, and with all the mind, wealth, fame, pleasure, I know not what. You know. There is your graven image. The result has been that this week, in the prosecution of your business, in the pursuit of your pleasure, you have done things which, if you thought I could proclaim them in your name from this pulpit, would cause you to blush and hurry from the building. You did not begin here. You began with the lowered ideal. You continued with the false deity, and the hour has come in which your hands in the sanctuary are unclean with deeds of evil, and you know your very heart has become polluted. That is the process of backsliding.

The Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities. The husband does not put away his wife because he finds failings in her. The mother does not forsake her infant because it is weak, feeble and ignorant. And the Lord Christ does not cast off poor sinners who have committed their souls into His hands, because He sees in them blemishes and imperfections. Oh, no, it is His glory to pass over the faults of His people, and heal their backslidings, to make much of their weak graces, and to pardon their many faults.
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Assurance of Justification NetChaplain Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:59 PM Everything we have is founded on “position and “condition.” Our position in the Lord Jesus is who we are; our condition on the earth is what we are. Assurance of justification is established on our position in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is an imputation not an impartation. Our condition is that we are sinners, for the “old man” yet abides within (Rom 7:17, 20). Thus, we are to be careful not to base our justification on condition, but position—in the Lord Jesus; and this is why we are so “weighted” with “sin” (Heb 12:1), we are looking at ourselves and not Him. The equation is, position over condition, which equals innocent in the Lord’s justification. Everything that we are in Him must be imputed and therefore cannot be imparted, for God will not, yea, cannot mix the good with the bad.

Yes, we still possess the old man, the sin nature, but in spite of all this we are guiltless and will ever be so in the Lord Jesus; and do not think one can go in and out of this truth because it must always be justification and never anything else! Maintaining justification is established when we consider what God has done and said, and is never based on feelings, but His Word! The discouragements we encounter are the very food of our strength in His school of learning! Just know that all is for testing and learning, and nothing is to be refused.

When we stand on the promises of His Word it makes a difference in our lives, but eventually we begin to look at ourselves and take our eyes and minds off Christ—and it’s back to self-deliverance. Then gradually we don’t look or feel much saved, and then everything seems to be going out of sync, and our assurance is again on the block of wondering.

We eventually start to see what is going on and we realize it is because we are centered on our condition, which reminds us of what we are and not who (or Whose we are). We may begin to wonder why the failures and even maybe doubt our salvation, and that, while the Lord is with us.

In the Lord’s time our thoughts are brought back to our position, which never really falters, because God has taken all into account and has found us lacking. But be of good cheer, for his “acceptance” (Eph 1:6) takes everything into consideration, and He knows there is nothing that you would want to do to displease Him—because He “works” this in you (Phl 2:13).

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever” (Isa 32:17).

Don’t get hung up on your condition!


Note: This article is inspired by the book “The Green Letters” by Miles J Stanford, published by Zondervan.





MJS devotional excerpt for Aug 5

“Let my circumstances be what they may, if I can see them ordered for me unfailingly by One in whom infinite wisdom, power, and goodness combine, and whose love toward me I am assured of, my restlessness is gone, my will subjected to that other Will in which I can but acquiesce and delight.” --Frederick William Grant (1834-1902)
http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
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Suffering’s Solace NetChaplain Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:52 PM It is lawful for the Father to do what He will with His own. Have we served Him only from selfish interest? Are we going to cling to Him only in the time of prosperity? Shall we not accept from His hand sorrow and suffering as well as joy?

It is, alas, true that many of the children of God, in one way or another, unconsciously perhaps, serve Him for the “good” they get in this present world, and in the world to come, rather than for Himself alone (God’s will first, then His work—NC). Both Christian and worldling stumble at the mystery of pain, and fail to understand, what a writer has so truly said, that “Pain has other and higher functions than penalty,” for “the outer man must be sacrificed in the interests of the man within and the world of man without, and unseen worlds beyond.”

It is true that we can share the comfort of God with others, only so far as we ourselves have realized it in our own lives. This was the secret of Paul’s tactful tenderness with suffering souls. He understood that he was being fitted by his afflictions to minister to others. ”Whether we be afflicted, it is for your comfort,” he writes to the Corinthians, and “whether we be comforted, it is for your comfort, which worketh in the patient enduring of the same suffering which we also suffer” (2Cor 1:6).

The Lord Jesus bore out sorrows, it is true, but it was that we might enter into His sorrows over the world and his people. He took the Cross to bring us into fellowship with Him in the Cross, and He gives us deliverance from our own burdens, so that we might be free to share His burden of souls, and, in our measure, fill up the afflictions of Christ for His Body’s sake, the Church. For this we need to be broken down on every side, so that we might lose the hardness that is ours in dealing with our fellow men.

No faithful servant of God has ever yet escaped the fiery trial. Even thus we are taught “the fellowship of His sufferings,” the Man of sorrows, and thus are made conformable to the image of the Lamb.

Thy Father is watching thee in the deep darkness where He hath brought thee; lie down and be still. Thou that fearest the Lord and walkest in darkness, stay thyself upon thy Father, seek not to kindle a fire by thine own efforts, but wait and thou shalt be blest with “blessings of the deep that coucheth beneath,” blessings that shall prevail “unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills” (Gen 49:25; 26).

It requires a very thorough surrender to the will of the Father, for any soul in the furnace of trial, never to look back with regret upon the past, nor forward with any wish (not hope—NC) to the future; and yet it is easy to see that such regrets or desires are not consistent with a true and complete abandonment of our whole being to our Father. We tend to occupy our minds with what we once were, and, apparently, are not now; or what we ought to be and seem not to be at the moment. Comparing ourselves with ourselves is a fatal hindrance to present rest in the will of our Father (2Co 10:12).

The time of youth, both in nature and in grace, is very beautiful. In the spiritual life it is lovely in fervor and freshness of love, but it has its crudities; its impulsiveness; it partiality; its assumption of knowledge and its one-sided vision. Beauty in fervor, devotion, energy and life, but it is the beauty of possibility, not fulfillment; the beauty of a flower that may come to ripened fruit when the petals fall away.

As we grow we will look back upon our past with grateful remembrance of the joy and bright light that shone upon our path. But we will see greater beauty in the matured faith that walks with the Father in calm and quiet trust, and the loveliness of the chastened spirit which can rest confidently in His wise and gentle workings in the world around, knowing that all things are being wrought after the counsel of His own blessed will (Eph 1:11).

The soul in the school of suffering is convicted by strong pain. Ah, how deep the conviction when the lessons of the All-wise Father are burnt in, as it were, by fire! The servant of God is face-to-face, with eternity. The “work” he has been withdrawn from disappears into the dim and fading past. The surrender to God in days of strength is tested. Does he truly desire the will of the Father above the work of the Father? Is he willing to be henceforth a broken vessel, so that the excellency of the power may be seen to be of God? Will he glory in his weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon him? Happy the souls who are ready to reply, “Most gladly, Lord!” “Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the strength of Christ may cover me” (2Cor 12:9).

Without doubt there are depths in every soul only to be reached in the school of suffering, and they who shrink back from following their Lord in learning obedience by the things which they suffer, will remain unmellowed and untaught, in the richest and deepest knowledge of the Father.

There may be an inward and spiritual stripping of strength and power; a loss of keen desire for the spiritual bread; a pouring out of the soul even unto death; a detaching from the “work” and the things of earth, whilst in their very midst, known but to God alone. Be it in any way that He wills, the lesson of the crucible must be learned.

The servant of God must be taught to rejoice in the will of God, rather than the service of God; and to glory in weakness as a condition of knowing His divine strength brought to its full development of power. Yea, the faithful servant of God must even be willing to suffer many things for the sake of being fitted for ministry to other souls; even as it is written that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the glory, as our High Priest, is touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, because on earth He was in all points tried even as those He came to save.

The soul in the furnace is apt to think the Lord pays no heed to its cry, when it is simply unable to discern His silent working. He leads it out of its distress so softly and gently that it is almost unaware of all that He is doing. He is delivering the afflicted by affliction, and in adversity the ear is being opened to understand the faintest whisper of the Lord.

The soul knows not that it is being allured—or silently drawn out of its fettered position—into a broad place where there is no straitness of capacity; no narrowness of vision; no smallness of heart; no lack of spiritual food; for it shall be “abundantly satisfied with the fatness of His house” (Psa 36:8), and He will spread a table before His freed one in the very presence of his enemies.

Afflictions are in the hand of the Father to effect the softening of the heart in order to receive heavenly impression. Job said, “God maketh my heart soft: (23:16). As the wax in its naturally hard state cannot take the impression of the signet, and needs to be melted to render it susceptible, so the believer is by trials prepared to receive, and made to bear the Divine likeness.

—Unknown




MJS devotional excerpt for Aug 8


“Struggle and effort in themselves will never secure blessing, but by leading to despair and complete self-disgust they serve a divine purpose in the experience of the soul. I would rather see a soul in honest exercise, however legal he was, than see the light and careless acceptance of divine truth. I do not think God gives anything without preparing us for it by making us feel the need and value of it. It is a divine principle that ‘He satisfieth the longing soul’ (Ps. 107:9).” —Charles Andrew Coates (1862-1945)
http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
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Musings Tom Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:15 AM In this day and age with the way society is going; many in the Church are turning to things like Theonomy and Christian Nationalism.
For the past year or two I have tried to study this subject; for some obvious reasons; such as the infringement of the Church by the Government, on a number of fronts. Also, the taking away of rights such as free speech. Also, penalizing citizens who have not been vaccinated. Something Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the unvaccinated have “unacceptable views”. The unvaccinated also can not enter the USA without proof of vaccination and although some countries allow unvaccinated to enter their country. Upon returning to Canada, there is a mandatory 14 day quarantine.
In Canada we have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Which is supposed to protect the rights of individuals and Churches, not only to free speech, but freedom to practice our religion; without the state’s interference.
This of course, has been ignored by the government and in many cases pastors who did not comply were fined and or put in jail.
That is not the half of it.

One thing I have found however, is the ambiguity of what terms like Theonomy and Christian Nationalism have become.
For example, some say they hold to Theonomy, but do not agree; or have not even read people like Rushdoony or Bahnsen on the topic.
In other words, they say they are Theonomists and Christian Nationalists, but have redefined what these terms mean.

I for one, although I have learned a lot about the issues. I have even learned what our own Construction says of the matters.
It is fairly clear our Canadian Constitution much like the USA; was based on the Judeo Christian Ethic.
Yet, secular people scoff at that and what is even sadder is the fact much of the Church, does not recognize a few important things.
One-that the government has overstepped their bounds.
Two-that they believe that Christians who do not comply, ruin their witness to the world.
I have heard that last one all too many times.

Part of the reason for me writing this; is to help myself think through these things.

The term “Christian Nationalist” is one really that I am not sure what to think about.
Is it someone who just recognizes the Judeo-Christian ethics our nations were founded on and seeks to do what they can both spiritually speaking and politically speaking.
If so, I have no problem with it.
Or does Christian Nationalism go further than that much like Bahnsen would advocate? Or maybe something else entirely?

What do I call myself and what should I believe on all these things?
Sometimes despite gaining knowledge on these issues; in a way it makes me less certain in other ways.
One thing I am certain on is God is sovereign and works all things out for our good.
We are more than Conquerers through Christ.
All in all, I must remember to keep my mind on Christ through whatever life throws at us.

Thoughts are welcome.

Tom
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Eschatology Question Tom Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:27 PM Here is a question for you that I was asked.
“Is there a difference between Historic Amillennialism and Optimistc Amillennialism?

If so, what are the differences?

Tom
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