Month: December 2012

The Real “Mourner’s Bench”

There is nothing wrong with feeling sorrow when it comes to sins that have been committed. After all, 2 Corinthians 7:10 does teach that a godly sorrow leads to a repentance that leads toward salvation.

A proper sorrow leads to a proper determination about sin in our life. Biblical sorrow has led an untold number of souls to Jesus for salvation. This is, in part, the whole call of the Gospel. But one practice in the religious world that has its roots in sorrow but not in the scriptures is the call that one may hear to the “mourner’s bench” (a.k.a. the altar call).

A godly sorrow over sin leads us to the throne in Heaven, not a bench at the foot of a pulpit in a church building:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-16)

When the Holy Spirit uses His word to cut at our heart we should act on the sorrow that follows; but our actions should be according to the scriptures. Confession is truly good for the soul, and our prayers for one another can have a great purpose (James 5:16), but the need for confession leads no closer to the “mourner’s bench” than it does the “confession booth.”

I say what I say to provoke honest thoughts about sorrow – not to hurt feelings that lead to nowhere. Trade your tradition for the scriptures and the “mourner’s bench” for the mourner’s throne! EA

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Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent

I don’t know the author’s name who put these eight gifts together but it’s a great list, and it’s worth passing along.

The Gift of Listening…but you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

The Gift of Affection…be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and hand-holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

The Gift of Laughter…clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

The Gift of a Written Note…it can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

The Gift of a Compliment…a simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

The Gift of a Favor…everyday, go out of your way to do something kind.

The Gift of Solitude…there are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition…the easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it’s not that hard to say, “Hello,” or “Thank you.”

There’s nothing wrong with putting an emphasis on spending when it comes to gifts at this time of the year, as long as the emphasis isn’t on money.

Strive to out give others in a way that causes others to strive to give! EA

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

(Acts 20:35)

Do People Today Receive a Special Revelation from God?

Men and women who claimed to have received a “special revelation” from God have written entire Creed Books and even so-called additional “Testaments” of Jesus. Is it not unusual that all the people who have received these “messages from the same God” all received different instructions, different missions, different names, different commandments and different leaders?

Even though the above is true they insist that we believe that God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:1-3) and who has spoken with His final word through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2), continues to contradict Himself by repeatedly telling different individuals “a new and different way” to find salvation contrary to what the Bible says. Well, what does a person do when they do not like the rules? They make a new rulebook! They say, “two” where God’s word says, “one” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Concerning such possible mentalities, the apostle Paul said:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-12).

Paul said he delivered “the certified gospel” from God. According to what you just read, what do you think Paul would say about these so-called modern-day “special revelations” that contradict what he wrote and preached, but are supposedly still from God?

If any “church” or individual uses something other than God’s word they do not have the foundation of God’s apostles and prophets. If they do not have the foundation of God’s apostles and prophets they do not have the “Chief Cornerstone.” If they do not have the “Chief Cornerstone” they do not have Christ. If they do not have Christ, they have nothing. This is the inevitable conclusion that Paul drew when he said in Ephesians 2:19,20:

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,”

God’s word is not only holy, it’s wholly and completely sufficient for what the church needs concerning God’s revealed will for His people and for the rest of mankind (2 Peter 1:1-3 and Jude 3).

Please realize that you are getting the wrong signal if you think you are getting a special message directly from God today. The Holy Spirit continues to speak to people for sure, but it is through His written word, the Holy Bible, not by special revelation to “later day prophets” (Romans 10:17).

When a person “reveals” what is already written then no “revealing” has taken place, and when a person “reveals” something that has not been written the only thing being “revealed” is their lack of acceptance and an abundance of unbelief toward what has already been revealed by God in His word.

All souls are special to God, but so-called modern-day revelations “from God” are not!

Think about it. EA

“Till There Was No Remedy”

Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles 36:14-16)

A sad picture is painted here of the southern kingdom of Judah. A picture painted with the dark colors of sin, rebellion and hard hearts.

The above words are so clear and poignant that too much commentary would do it an injustice. It reveals an ancient principle to our modern-day hearts – a principle of God that distinguishes between longsuffering and being made a mockery of as Lord.

Almighty God dealt with His people in a way that would have stirred up penitence in anyone’s heart that was capable of it. And while God would not force penitence upon His people He would not allow them to represent Him with their lifestyles unendingly.

Accordingly, the Great Physician of the soul (Luke 5:31-32) deals with His people in a way that should cause our heart to move with a penitent attitude when our sin is revealed by His word (Hebrews 4:12). He is longsuffering but He will not be made a mockery of as Lord (Luke 6:46; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; Revelation 2:18-23).

We must strive to avoid painting the same dark picture of sin, rebellion and hard hearts that Judah painted so long ago. Let us not refuse the remedy offered that produces healing. God deals kindly with soft hearts (Psalm 34:18; 51:17), but this God also has His limits (Exodus 7:10-13; 8:15, 32; 9:34). If we refuse to be worked on, we will be worked out! The same sun that can melt the wax can also harden the clay.

The Lord worked on His people “till there was no remedy” and there was no remedy to be given because there was no remedy they would take! So let’s make sure we take our remedy today before our remedy gets taken back tomorrow (Hebrews 3). EA

“Apology” Letter

This was forwarded to me in an email. There are enough faux-trees out there for the season, so a faux-apology should fit right in. I thought it was hilarious, but I hope it doesn’t give anyone any ideas!

Hi Sweetheart,

I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights. I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something. I realize that I was wrong and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy. All I want is for you to be happy and be able to enjoy the holiday season. Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights! I took the time to hang the lights for you today; and now I will be off to the hockey rink.

Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday.  I’ll be home later.

Love you……

Her response –

Hi Honey,

Thank you for that heart-felt apology. I don’t often get an apology from you, and I truly appreciate it. I, too, felt bad about the argument and wanted to apologize. I realize that I can sometimes be a little pushy. I will try to respect your feelings from now on.Thank you for taking the time to hang the Christmas lights for me.  It really means a lot. In the spirit of giving, I washed your truck for you; and now I am off to the mall.

I love you too!

There’s nothing too funny about the notes, but what made me laugh was the pictures that described what those “sweet” words really meant:

  Truck under water

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)

P.S. – Remember to show real love to your spouse! (Ephesians 5:22-33) EA

The Wrong Kind of “Fishing”

When Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) He wasn’t talking about the type that seeks to take advantage of others. When the “bait” being used is money then you can be sure that the hands using the rod are as stained and covered in stench as the hands of Judas Iscariot! (Luke 22:19-22)

I received this email not too long ago. The only part that I will change is the name, and there I will simply not give the entire name to protect innocent parties who happen to share the same name; other than that it will be word for word.

Name: Deborah…
Country of Birth: Australia
Attn: Beloved,

Greetings in the name of humanity, I am Mrs Deborah… a citizen of Australia but presently in the Malaysia. I used to be working for the federal government, I am 50 years old, i am now a new Christian but from all indication, my conditions is healthwise is really deteriorating due to a painful long time of suffering from cancer of the lungs and now, from obvious results from my doctors indicates that I won”t live more than 1 year, according to my doctors, this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage of comatose.

My late husband died last five years, and during the period of our marriage we couldn’t produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, i inherited all his business and wealth.

The doctors has advised me that i may not live for more than 1 year, so i now decided to divide the part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the church in Africa, America Asia, and Europe.

I selected you after visiting the website and i prayed over it. I am willing to donate the sum of $25,000,000.000.USD (twenty five million United States Dollars) to the less privileged.

Please i want you to note that this fund is lying in a security company in the Malaysia. Once I hear from you, I will forward to you all the information you will use to get fund released from the security company and to be transferred to your account.

I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your account will be use for the said purpose, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without humility, all is vanity.

Please provide me with the following information so i can forward it to a church attorney who used to work at times for my late husband’s lawyer.

He is diligent and a Christian so I am confident he is going to handle the transaction with you and lead, advice you on how to secure the funds in your favor.

Information needed

Full Name……………………………..
Full Address………………………………..
Company And Address:………………………
Marital Status:…………………
Religion:……………..
Sex:……………………….
Fax No……………………………………….
Phone No:………………

May the grace of our lord Jesus the love of god and the fellowship of god be with you and your family.

I await your urgent reply.
You’re sister in Christ.
Mrs Deborah…

I didn’t know the “Australians” spoke and wrote in such terrible English!!! Seriously, why do some fall for scams like this even after being warned time and time again? There are multiple reasons for sure, but the major factor revolves around old-fashioned greed. Not only must a Christian guard his or her heart from sin, a Christian must also guard his or her common sense when it comes to our wallet! The scheme of getting rich quick has broken more souls than I care to count, but there’s one thing that I am counting on – that’s the judgment that awaits those who pervert the gospel and the name of Jesus Christ through emails such as the one given above. EA

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certainwe can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:6-9)

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.” (Proverbs 26:27-28)