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RobertW
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 Re:

[b]The Gospel of God's Great Love[/b]
Part 11 (You must Be Born Again)

God created man as a tripartite being. This simply means that man is a spirit that lives in the body making him/her a living soul. The body has its contact in the physical world, but the spirit gives us contact with the spiritual world. When a person is born they are spiritually dead. This means that we are born separated from God's Holy Spirit. This is man's primary problem. This is why man cannot rightly reflect God's nature. Man can be taught to keep God's law with consequences of disobedience in view, but that is not the same as doing them by nature. Again, this problem can be traced to the Garden of Eden when Sin entered the world. This is a spiritual problem.

The lampstand of the human spirit

There is a wonderful illustration of this from the book of Proverbs where we read, "The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, Searching all his innermost parts." (Proverbs 20:27) You will notice that the passage did not say that the spirit of man is the 'light' of the Lord. This is because the spirit of man is the lamp stand itself; it is not the fire. It is the place from which man is connected with the spiritual world; but the spirit that ‘burns’ upon that lamp stand is the essential nature of the person. So the question becomes what is the spirit or the 'fire' that is burning on that lamp stand? The spirit was designed to be the lamp stand of light from within that lightened the whole inner man with the light of God's presence.

But that 'Fire' went out when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden and a new flame (spirit) was received into man. Ephesians 2 calls this
spirit- “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” (Eph 2:2) This spirit makes one a child of wrath because it fills the body, heart and mind with darkness. That is, God is not present to empower the person to will and to do His good pleasure.

Some people when afforded the opportunity to experience the true light of God’s Spirit refuse it and love the darkness (John 3). Why? Because they love their evil deeds and the light of God’s presence always challenges the evil. The Light of God exposes and reproves sin. But the unsaved have a spirit of darkness- the exact opposite of what God intended. This is why the whole world lies in darkness because the light that is in them is darkness, and it is a great darkness. (Matt. 6:23) God wants to establish His Fire upon the Lamp stand of our spirit and make it once again the candle of the Lord that God intended it to be. This is how God makes us lights in the world.

Rebirth- a Changing of the Flame

By way of simple illustration one is Born Again when God extinguishes the old flame of darkness and lights the lamp with his Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament there was a Fire that was only to be used for God's service. Any other fire was 'strange' or 'common' fire. God kindled that fire and it had to be maintained by the priests so that it NEVER went out. When the Fire of God came down to consume the sacrifice the Shekinah Glory of God filled the Temple. Where there is no Fire there is no Glory. Where there is no glory there is no change into the likeness of Christ.


Israel did not want to see the Glory of God. They did not want God to draw near. In simple terms they did not want the Fire of God. Nadab and Abihu offered 'common' fire before the Lord and were judged immediately. They are typical of folk that want to serve God in their own strength and energy. The offer the Lord their own fire and not the Fire of God. This is why all of man's righteousness is as filthy rags to God. They were not produced by the Holy Spirit. This is very important. God will only accept genuine works and these are those produced as 'fruit' of the Holy Spirit.

The children of Israel wanted an earth bound religion that looked like the real thing but God's manifest presence was not there. They wanted the gatherings and the singing and the speaking- but they wanted to offer it all with what the bible calls Strange Fire. This is man's own human energies. This is the fire that spreads darkness- because Jesus said it was a light that be darkness. The true Fire of God will cleanse our lives. It will not leave us the same. It will burn up the chaff of compromise. It will leave us utterly burning for Him. This is not a cheap imitation of the nature of God, this is the nature of God working in us by the Holy Spirit.

Until man becomes dead to Sin and alive unto God it is impossible to yield the fruit of the Spirit. You cannot train a person to yield a particular fruit any more than you can train a tree to yield a particular fruit. It brings forth after it's own kind. If you want to change the fruit you have to first change the root. For man this means he/she has to die to the Old Man and be reborn in the New Man. The spirit that now works in the children of disobedience must be supplanted by the Holy Spirit that works in man both to will and to do God's good pleasure. Men are born of their father the Devil, performing his lusts, but at rebirth men and women do by nature those things that are contained in the Law of God. A man with a nature to serve God does not need constrained by the Old Covenant law system because they naturally please God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/28 8:51Profile
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 Re:

[b]The Gospel of God's Great Love[/b]
Part 12 (The WEIGHT of an Individuals Crimes Against God)

Man before becoming born again is at enmity with God. This does not mean that God desires to be the enemy of man, it is a consequence of Adam's sin in the Garden and man's ongoing sinfulness. God is holy and righteous and must judge sin. This is a terrible truth.

God gave man a conscience as we mentioned in a previous section. God expects man to walk in the truth that he/she knows. The conscience makes man aware of God's will (as best as the person knows it) and 'pricks' the heart as a reminder not to do otherwise. there are basic things that man knows is right and wrong. This is the law of God written on the heart from birth.

Every Sin is Counted and Recorded

Sin is defined by James as knowing to do good and doing it not. Sin is transgression of the known will of God. From childhood people disregard their conscience and walk in their own ways. They do wrong and they know better. God holds man accountable for these actions. We gain insight into this from Solomon that writes:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Eccl. 12)

Notice the words 'every'. This means that nothing will escape the eye of God and all is being recorded for final judgment. God deals with man lovingly, but at last when man has rejected God he/she will meet not a loving Savior, but a Just Judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. This will be the most terrible day of all the ages. Can you imagine the record? Can you imagine God beginning to mete out the just repayment of each and every sin? the writer to the Hebrews warns us again:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (Hebrews 2:1-3)

Notice the word 'every' again. Sin is a crime against God. He is the primary offended party in any Sin (Psalm 51). Every transgression and disobedience will be weighed in a balance and repaid to the sinner. This is a terrible truth. What compounds the sins is the circumstances surrounding them. the more of God's will that a person knows the more accountable they are. To whom much is given shall much be required. So the punishment will be determined also by the 'light' that a person has. How terrible will it be for those that have trodden under foot the Son of God? How awesome will the judgments be for those that knew better and resisted the Holy Spirit's prickings (conviction) day after day? How dreadful will it be when God exposes the countless times that he dealt with a sinner and they neglected so great salvation.

Hebrews 2 is telling us that there will be no escape. There will be no escape or mercy for those that through great knowledge and priveledge have shunned the Gospel, aggravating their crimes, heaping unto themselves sin in spite of God, his word, his ministers, and His personal reminders and dealings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/28 8:52Profile
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 Re:

[b][size=small]SECTION II For By Grace Are You Saved Through Faith[/size][/b]
The Gospel of God's Great Love
Part 1 (Only God Can Provide Our Covering)

God looks upon the hearts of men. We know this from Isaiah 66:2, For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

God gives the qualities He looks for in verse 2, as a broken and contrite spirit and trembles at God's word. This is not a broken (poor) spirit or contrite spirit or trembles at God's word. This is a math problem; poor spirit + contrite spirit + trembles at God's word = God's attention. God's word is God's will. This means that both the disposition of the person and their willingness to obey God mark a person as someone that God will look to for fellowship. It is not enough to tremble, the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19). There must be a disposition of humility that cries out to God for help and a 'follow through' with obedience when instruction from God comes.

Adam and Eve immediately tried to take the consequences of sinning into their own hands. They did not cry out. They did not bother waiting on God for direction or instruction. This is the terrible reality of sin. They were like a ship tossed in treacherous uncharted waters under the cover of night without a light or a compass. When they saw their nakedness they were surely afraid; but fear surely had near paralyzed them when they heard God coming. Zophar in the book of Job stated, "For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear." Men have always understood that sin causes timidity, especially before God.

What did they do? They took their condition into their own hands. Man sinned, but God would have to fix the problem. Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. This is as far from sufficient as the east is from the west. Can a fig leave do what only the blood of Christ could do? I can imagine no greater contrast than this, but this is man's settled state; this is man's solution to man's problem. Man would not cry out to God for help; so God came looking for man.

From Glory To Garments

Man is the only creation of God that needs clothing. God wanted to be man's clothing, and He was in the beginning. The loss of God's Glory would come with a seemingly simple sin; but the recovery of that Glory would only come with an unfathomably difficult act of obedience. Fig leaves and filthy rags are all man could muster to cover his/her nakedness. If man was going to be recovered, God would have to make provision.

Nakedness is the outward evidence that man is sinful. The scripture speaks of the 'shame' of man's nakedness. God is gone and there is a reason for His departure. Adam realized he was naked and hid himself from God clothed in fig leaves. He had lost that precious face to face relationship and his conscience smote him unto down cast eyes. God brought Adam and Eve skins to clothe themselves with. Adam was a wise man. He knew that no creature could lose it's covering and live.

"It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God; for as we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifices to God, we may fairly presume that God had given them instructions on this head; nor is it likely that the notion of a sacrifice could have ever occurred to the mind of man without an express revelation from God. Hence we may safely infer, 1. That as Adam and Eve needed this clothing as soon as they fell, and death had not as yet made any ravages in the animal world, it is most likely that the skins were taken off victims offered under the direction of God himself, and in faith of Him who, in the fullness of time, was to make an atonement by his death." (Adam Clarke)

Adam and Eve are learning a terrible lesson and a swift one indeed, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/28 9:18Profile
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 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
SECTION II[/b]
Part 2 Without Faith it is Impossible to Please God

Ron Bailey has defined faith as, "Right response to revelation." The definition of sin would then be, "Wrong response to revelation." The first act of faith we find recorded after the fall of man is the story of Abel and his offering to God. Hebrews 11 tells us, By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

How was this an act of faith? We know that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Adam was faithful to pass along God's instruction to Eve concerning the Tree of Knowledge, it is reasonable to believe he also taught his sons about the offering for covering God provided in making them skins. Yet, as we will find in Abel and Cain there was a willingness in the one to be 'taught', but the other was not willing. This is important, because these are the beginnings of a long standing biblical concept of being a 'disciple'. A disciple is one that is being taught, but this means the person has to be teachable and walk in what they have learned.

Jeremiah 6:16 reads, Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

This is the attitude of one that is willing to be subject to the Teacher on the one hand and one that is not on the other. Will we or will we not walk in what God reveals? Ask God's way and then walk in it. This is more than head knowledge, it is desire for revelation that we might respond- and this response is 'faith'.

God 'looked' towards Abel's offering, but to Cain He did 'not look' (Genesis 4:5). Recall Isaiah 66:2- "To this man will I look... that TREMBLES at my word." This is the attitude of a disciple. This is what makes a person readied to be restored back into fellowship with God because they make themselves a place of God's rest. This is what Steven pointed out at the end of Act's 7. The Children of Israel received the Law at the hands of angels and did not keep it. They would not walk in the teaching and besides that they were resisting the Holy Ghost.

Was Cain mistreated by God? Will not the Judge of All the Earth do right? If we respond rightly to what God has revealed as His will it is 'faith', but if not it is 'sin'. We have to have a heart to obey God. In Genesis 4:7 God asks Cain, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." To 'do well' is to rightly respond to what was heard (faith cometh by hearing); anything else is sin- the opposite of faith. This is the first real picture of the basis on which God would 'accept' or 'look to' man and in turn make him/her a place of His rest (Isaiah 66:2).


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/28 9:44Profile
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 Re:

Excellent article series so far, I have archived all the articles to date in the article section and here: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=category&cid=113

And have edited the first post and put all the links to the articles. I think this is worthy to be archived in such a way for easier reading and printing and reference. Thank you brother for sharing with us these divine thoughts.


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 2008/6/28 13:43Profile
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 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
Section II[/b]
Part 3 The BEGINNING and the ENDING of Wisdom

It would be helpful to pause a moment and establish a foundational truth. Often ministers teach and preach and wonder why the teachings seem to have little or no effect on the hearers. Returning to this one foundational truth may well revolutionize ministry in our times.

Zac Poonen has rightly pointed out that every teaching has it’s beginnings. A person must learn the sequence of numbers (count) before they can learn to add and subtract. One must learn their ABC’s before they can learn to read. Understanding God is no different. The fear of the Lord is the "ABC’s and 123’s" of life. It is the beginning of knowledge and understanding. Nothing makes sense to a hearer without this 'first' thing. This is kindergarten truth.

Though the subject of the fear of the LORD comes as the 7th verse in Proverbs, it is the very first teaching after the introduction. It is "Proverb number one" both in sequence and importance. It is the ‘alpha’ of understanding, the first truth that must be firmly established in our hearts.

When God gave Moses and the poeple the 10 COMMANDMENTS in Exodus 20, He came down in an awesome demonstration of His power and glory. We read in verse 18, 19; And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. The people needed a 'demonstration' of the AWESOMENESS of the God they were serving. This divine manifestation of God is known theologically as a 'theophany'.

It is easy to press God from the mind when He is not near. It is a light thing to entertain weak and bizarre notions of who God is when He's not around. But when God truly shows up in His regal majesty, people and devil's TREMBLE (Psalms 99:1, James 2:19).

There are several instances in scripture when people's lives were changed by a revelation of the MAJESTY of God. Arguably the oldest book known to man is the Book of Job. It would only make sense, as Job is a book about the fear of God. Job started out fearing that his children or family had 'cursed God' in their hearts. His wife did this openly. Job, like most of us, are in 'fear' for the souls and well being of our family. He tells us in Chapter 3, For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

The fear of the Lord is mentioned specifically three times in Job and is touched on in several other places. Could it be that God was trying to teach man something about Himself? Understand that man needs to know who his Creator is; we need to know about this God. Abraham called him, The JUDGE of all the Earth." This means that God is the one that will someday make the final decision as to where each and every human being from Adam until Armageddon spends eternity. This ought to seize and retain our attention and be ever before our eyes.

Job came by experience into a divine revelation of God. After thirty plus chapters of conversation God breaks the silence. Did God speak to him from a butterfly or bird some place? Imagine Job parting company with his former worst fears as the only one worthy to be feared darts upon the scene in the form of a whirlwind (tornado). In the part of the country I am from there are more tornadoes than anywhere in the world. You can trust this experience, only news of a potential thermonuclear blast sends fear into a person or community like an approaching tornado.

God begins to hand Job as it were an 'exam' to test His omnipotence. After about the second chapter and multiple mind bending questions God hands him two more chapters. At last Job scored a flat 'zero' on the test. He did not know a single answer to one of God's questions; but it was the greatest educational experience of His life. He learned to sing his ABC's and count to 123... on that day. And for those that will engage Job in his experience and dare to put himself/herself in Job's shoes reading that 38th to 41st chapter we might be well on our way to fulfilling the first semester of Kindergarten and exclaim with him;

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Solomon taught us that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Job echoes this point. Should we end there? You will find it interesting that Solomon returns to this point as the final words as it were from his death bed..., "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment with every secret thing whether it be good or evil." The fear of the Lord is the alpha and omega of knowledge it is the beginning and ending of wisdom.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/28 16:14Profile
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 Re: The GOSPEL of God's Great Love -RWurtz

Quote:
A dear brother once said that, "God has chosen to reveal to us information about the angels on a need to know basis."



Great truth. Cannot but think to broaden that beyond angels to any number of matters ...

Looking forward to reading through all of this.


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Mike Balog

 2008/6/29 9:08Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
A dear brother once said that, "God has chosen to reveal to us information about the angels on a need to know basis."

Great truth. Cannot but think to broaden that beyond angels to any number of matters ...



Just an FYI that statement was a nugget I picked up in conversation Bro. Ron Bailey. ;-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/29 14:06Profile
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 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
Section II[/b]
Part 4 When JEHOVAH draws NEAR

There is a concept we must grasp if we are to ever appreciate fully the love of God; this concept, as the old timers called it, is the WISDOM of God's requirements. God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. There is wisdom in the instruction of God's word that is essential to our existence. Love requires an order and a certain method of behavior. Man falls grossly short of walking according to his/her design as human beings but this pattern will not be possible in eternity. As Solomon tells us, good understanding giveth favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard. (Proverbs 13:15) God is closing the 'way of transgressors' in Revelation 21:27.

God had been striving with man since Genesis 3 to get man to walk in the right way. It is odd that many centuries have passed since God's word has been revealed and yet many still refuse to walk in what is right. To kick against God's word is to do so at your own peril; not just in the world to come, but in this life also. What a person sows- they will read. This is the unalterable law of life. It is as sure as the law of gravity.

This is very important to consider because someday God is going to put an end to all rebellion in His Creation. Hell, the district of the damned, will serve as the cosmic quarantine for the rebellious and disobedient; those who's names are not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Every knee is going to bow and every tongue confess; willingly or forcedly. We read in Luke 19:27 the finality of those that refuse the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ, But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Satan had rebelled against God and introduced his destructive rebellion to humanity. Satan was no longer fit for heaven and was cast out. Why? Because Satan corrupted his sanctuaries and was an offense unto God and His faithful creations. If we are to be fit for Heaven we are going to have to learn obedience.

When God is near disobedience is judged SWIFTLY

God is not just holy, He is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. Imagine how words are doubled in Hebrew for emphasis sake and then try to fathom what is being communicated when we hear that God is thrice Holy? Moses had his own 'first' real lesson about God on the backside of the wilderness where he heard, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." When God is near, judgment can be swift. Absolute obedience is a must.

Have you ever wondered why it seems that sinners seem to sin with impunity? Have you wondered why Nadab and Abihu were judged for offering strange fire, but yet other people sinned and were not judged? What about Uzzah and later Uzziah? What about Ananias and Sapphira? What about Herod in Acts 12:21? Notice the 'nearness' of God during these judgments. Was He not visiting the people or preparing to visit the people?

Uzzah is the prime example of why man must prepare himself/herself for God drawing near. People get strangely careless about the things of God. Perhaps as Uzzah, we have lost sight of the awesomeness of God and are in danger of missing a vital truth about our relationship to Him. Eternity will not be a place where folk take a flip attitude towards obeying God and keeping His order.

Man had been used to living their lives apart from God. They needed to learn the concept of holy as opposed to profane. One of the best definitions I have heard of holy is- 'separate' and 'other'. Their is an 'otherness' about God that separates Him from common things. In fact, this is the definition of 'profane' to take something that is holy and treat it as common. Man did not recognize that many aspects of his existence were to be treated as 'sacred' and they were grossly degenerated. God would start the process of restoring a sense of 'sacredness' and 'otherness' to their profaned lives.

In Deuteronomy 33 we read,... from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words. God gave the law because He loved the people. God would begin revealing to man a 'blueprint' for living that would prove in it's final product to be impossible to improve upon. God is the designer. He has set forth an order to the creation. Any alteration from that order can only bring confusion, pain and suffering. It would seem that He will and must deal SWIFTLY when He unique presence is near.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/30 21:39Profile
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 Re:

[b]The GOSPEL of God's Great Love
Section II[/b]
Part 5 TODAY if you Will Hear His Voice

If you feel the tug of God's Holy Spirit upon your heart today there is yet hope. If your heart is yet tender enough to weep for your sins there is yet hope. But time has a way of hardening a rebellious sinners heart until they are literally 'past feeling' (Ephesians 4:19). This is the terrible state of our times, multitudes are apathetic towards eternity and indifferent towards their own everlasting soul.

Like the Sun hardens the parched earth so also the Light of Christ hardens the rebellious heart. If we had a real sight of the infinite danger a sinner is in that is resisting the Holy Ghost no doubt we would tremble for them.

Man is a strange character. Many seem not to care whether they die in robes or rags so long as they can be their own Master. Satan dupes the damned into believing that rebellion against God is freedom, when in fact it is slavery to Sin. With this in mind Christians often think that if somehow God could bring about the right circumstances or bring a certain blessing a sinner will turn from his/her rebellion. Almost the same idea of propitiation, but directed towards man. If God could just find the 'right price' SURELY the man or woman will repent.

This is an awful consideration. How many have been restored to their families from prison cells promising God they would serve him and almost as soon at the bars close behind them and they smell their freedom- their mind turns away from God? What about sickness and disease? How often has God in His goodness raised a sinner from the throes of death and yet they did not repent? Perhaps William Henley captured the attitude of many in his poem INVICTUS that was penned from a hospital bed. Imagine the 1800's before anesthesia with their crude manor of surgery. Having had tuberculosis of the bone he had his foot amputated. From his hospital bed he penned the words:

INVICTUS (Latin for UNCONQUERED)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

[u]For the Sake of My BROTHERS![/u]

It is sobering to think that hardness of heart cannot be pierced by miracles of healings or even resurrection so long as the person is bent on rebellion. How terrible were the words of our Lord as he told of the Rich Man in hell. After realizing that there was no hope for him, not even a drop of water upon his parched tongue, he begged father Abraham to send Lazarus back from the DEAD to warn his brothers.

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:30)

Today if you will hear his voice harden not your heart. God's Spirit will not always strive with man. What promise do you have of tomorrow? Dwight L. Moody was preaching in Cleveland in the 1870's and told of a man that stood in one of his meetings during the altar call. Having prayed for him for some time then went down to inquire whether the man was ready to surrender to Christ. The man looked around and told Mr. Moody that since his friend was NOT there he stood up, but that he was afraid his friend would make fun of him and mock him for surrendering to Christ. He said that he cannot turn to Christ now because of his friends.

Moody continued to deal with this man until one he day became agitated and told Moody to worry about his own soul. Some time later the man took terribly sick and Moody was called to come and pray. He made a promise to God that if God would raise him up he would serve God. God spared the man. Moody went to visit and the man said he could NOT serve Christ in spite of the promise but that he would move to Michigan and start a new life where there were none around to mock him for serving Christ. Moody told him that if he could not serve Christ in Cleveland he would not serve Him in Michigan. The man angrily sent Moody away.

Some weeks later Moody received a message to come quickly. The man had fallen ill again with the same sickness. When he arrived at the house he asked the wife if the man had called him. She answered, "No, I called you." The man did not want to see Moody though he was dying. He went into the room and the man turned his face to the wall. He began to exclaim that there was NO HOPE for him that he had rejected Christ several times and did not make good on the promise to serve Christ when he was sick before. The man's memory was filled with tormenting thoughts of all the times he had rejected Christ because of his friends.

Moody tried to speak mercy to the man, but he would not. Moody tried to pray but the prayers went no farther than his head. All the while the man is telling Moody, "There is no hope for me, I have rejected Christ. Pray for my family, but not me!" One last time Moody took hold of this man's cold hand to bid him farewell as he knew that unless he repented he would likely never see the man again this or the other side of eternity. His final words as Moody left the room were, "The harvest is passed, the summer is ended and I'm still not saved."

The next morning Moody paid a visit to the home and was met by the wife. He had passed during the night. "What did he say? Did he ever turn to Christ." The sorely distressed wife answered, "His lip was quivering at last and he bid me closer to hear him. His last words were faint, but yet the same, 'The harvest is passed, the summer is ended and I'm still... not... saved..."

(Moody Sermons in Cleveland 1878)


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/7/3 7:24Profile





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