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Showing posts from September, 2020

DESTROYED FROM WITHIN - Lessons From History For The United States, U.K. and Other Western Powers

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In his first message on the book of Zephaniah, J. Vernon McGee cites Gibbons on why great nations decline and fall. He applied it as a warning to the United States, and it is certainly not difficult to see why, but other nations such as the U.K. and Canada, should also take warning.The Five Reasons for the Collapse of the Roman Empire by Edward GibbonThe British Historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) was no fan of the Christian faith, but his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is still worthy of being read, particularly because of his insights into the reasons for the collapse of the empire and the way they should be a sober warning to Western Culture that we are repeating many of the same patterns that destroyed Rome.Gibbon listed the following five primary reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire:First: The rapid increase of divorce, with the undermining of the sanctity of the home, which is the basis of society.    Second: Higher and higher taxes; and the spen…

The Happy Dead

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Read Rev.14:13

Beloved of the Lord:
    The world says –  “Blessed are the living,” but GOD says - “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord”.  The natural man declares –  “Better is a living dog than a dead lion” – Eccl. 9:4. The world gazes on one with bounding step, bloom of youth, earthly prosperity, and says – “THERE is a happy person”.  Contrariwise, God says – of a saint in death – “BLESSED (or happy) are the dead.”  This is true of deceased saints of all times who have gone into His eternal presence.  Let us consider:

1.  THEIR ETERNAL HAPPINESS: They have entered into eternal happiness for ever, into the brightest place of God's universe, His immediate presence!  What a wonderful transition it is to be “WITH CHRIST – FAR BETTER – AT HOME” – with the Lord.  Multitudes in vast number have departed into eternity, yet only a minority “in the Lord”– Matt.7:13,14. The Christ-less dead go into a Christ-less eternity!  BUT – how precious it is to “die in the Lord”, saved by His gr…

Abraham or Esau?

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Herbert W. Taylor

“And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said unto him, 1 am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” (Gen. 15:6-8).

God’s people often are impetuous, and through want of understanding His dealings do not bear the fruit of patience; they would, in their haste, have things at once, for which their heavenly Father, in His wisdom, sees fit to keep them waiting. The spirit of such is too much that of the world, whose saying is, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” But the Christian, in communion with God, knows that it is better to lack in the present time the portion that the world covets, so that in the eternal future he may possess that which shall never pass away. The Spirit of God calls Esau a “profane person” (Heb. 12:16), because, by selling his birthright for a mess of pottage, he showed that he e…

Hudson Taylor On Going Out In Faith

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He was asked why he wished to borrow and read Medhurst's book, China."I told him that God had called me to spend my life in missionary service in that land. 'And how do you propose to go there?' he inquired. I answered that I did not at all know; that it seemed to me probably that I should need to do as the Twelve and the Seventy had done in Judea – go without purse or scrip, relying on Him who had called me to supply all my need. Kindly placing his hand upon my shoulder, the minister replied, 'Ah, my boy, as you grow older you will get wiser than that. Such an idea would do very well in the days when Christ Himself was on earth, but not now.'I have grown older since then, but not wiser. I am more than ever convinced that if we were to take the directions of our Master and the assurances He gave to His first disciples more fully as our guide, we should find them to be just as suited to our times as to those in which they were originally given."
TO CHINA WI…

God's Bounty Is For Sharing, Not Keeping

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continued from Christian Devotedness by Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853)
WE SHOULD SHARE WITH OTHERS WHATEVER WE RECEIVE IN EXCESS OF OUR PRESENT NEEDS.  

    Such conduct does not necessarily involve the institution of some common fund. Rather it can be brought about by each individual blending himself with the whole household of faith, feeling their wants, and rejoicing in their welfare, as his own.  This sympathy of the members of the holy family toward each other is strongly enforced and beautifully illustrated by St. Paul:

“Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,  that ye through his poverty might be rich.  I mean not that other men may be eased, and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want, that there may be equality; as it is written, ‘He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered …

THE TROUBLE WITH KEEPING WEALTH

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continued from Christian Devotedness by Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853)
IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO HAVE RICHES AND NOT TO TRUST IN THEM

    Such are the views and feelings which an unbiased consideration of the words of our Savior is calculated to produce.  Some, however, may be prepared to assert that His words give no encouragement or allowance to any such conclusions.  They support their assertion by another – that a love of riches was only the failing of that particular young man whose conduct suggested the observations of our Savior.  But notice that He does not say, “How hardly shall this rich man enter into the kingdom of God!” —but in the most general terms, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” Those who think that the expression “Trust in riches” (used in the parallel passage in Mark 10:24), softens considerably the severity of our Savior’s declaration, should view the connection of the different parts of the passage in which the …

The Parable of the Box of Clothes

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The Kingdom of God is like unto a master who sent a large box of clothes to his head servants.
    The two servants looked through the box and said, “Our Master has great love for us and is a great master. Surely what he wants is for us to be comfortably dressed; he has given us these clothes so that we may honor him and be as happy as he wants us to be.”
    As time passed the two servants would go to the box – which never seemed to empty – and put on the clothes they found. In winter they had warm coats and hats and shoes; in summer, shorts and sandals. The rest of the servants always wore their same work clothes, no matter the season. Many  of the clothes in the box did not really fit the two head servants, but they would wear them anyway, satisfied they were being obedient to their Master.
    One day the Master appeared at the servants’ quarters and received a warm welcome from the head servants who showered him with thanks for giving them the fine clothes. Angrily t…

SHOULD MATTHEW 6:19 BE TAKEN LITERALLY?

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"Lay not up for yourselves treasure on earth," taught the Lord. Did He mean it literally? Many would argue against it, probably for personal rather than exegetical or theological reasons. They want to keep their treasures and comforts! Some would seek to exempt themselves because they have a family, but A. N. Groves was married and had a family.

In 1825 Anthony Norris Groves, a wealthy Christian dentist in England, wrote Christian Devotedness for the purpose of encouraging believers to take Matthew  6:19 literally and to trust the heavenly Father for their future. Being convinced himself of the Lord's command, he forsook all and left for Baghdad in 1829 to reach the heathen for Christ. Here is an excerpt from his book, which isn't exactly a "best-seller" among Christians.
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BUT DID THE LORD INTEND THAT WE SHOULD TAKE THIS COMMAND LITERALLY?To all arguments drawn from passages of this description, the usual answer is that the exhortations co…