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June 14, 2015
Will worship is the religion of antichrist, setting man in the place of God, demanding that he be worshipped as God by making God’s will subservient to man’s will.
Happy Birthday! Skip Gladfelter-15th Sandy Parks-17th Mabel Dix-20th
Bill Rolley-21st June Roundtree-21st
Happy Anniversary: Oscar & Nancy Bailey-18th
Nursery Duty Today: Jenny Bartley
Predestinating Love — Don Fortner
(Tune: The Doxology — LM)
1. We sing of God’s own fixed decree,
The work of the Eternal Three,
In “the counsel of peace” above: —
Our God’s predestinating love!
2. All that concerns the chosen race,
In nature, providence, and grace.
Where they shall dwell — and when remove,
Fixed by predestinating love.
3. Our ransom, call, and keeping here,
Our conflicts, trials, and daily care,
Were all for us arranged above,
By God’s predestinating love!
4. Let ransomed souls in this rejoice, —
Our God will not revoke His choice;
Nothing can alter, change, or move
Our God’s predestinating love!
5. Sweet comfort, joy, and blessed peace
We find in this great work of grace!
In life, in death, in realms above,
We’ll sing predestinating love!
What can God’s people do in a reprobate age?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
There is no question about the fact that we are living in a reprobate age. Ours is a generation under the judgment of God. The spirit of antichrist is so thick in this generation of will-worship religion that you can cut it with a knife! Read the first chapter of Romans and tell me that I am mistaken! The marks of divine judgment, — Spiritual Blindness (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12) — Moral Perversity (Romans 1:27-28), — Self-Serving Chaos and Rebellion (Romans 1:29-32), are evident throughout our society.
These things are the results of what the Spirit of God calls “will-worship,” putting man in the place of God (Colossians 2:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:4), freewill, works religion, religion that debases the character of God and exalts the dignity of man. The more thoroughly convinced men are that salvation depends upon them the more vile they become!
In the light of the fact that we live in such a dark, dark day, this question weighs heavily on my heart: What can I do? What should I do to serve my generation by the will of God? What can we do to serve God our Savior and the souls of eternity bound sinners in this apostate generation?
What can God’s people do in this reprobate age? If we could outlaw abortion, shut down the peddlers of pornography and smut, banish all drugs from our culture, and eradicate sodomites from the world, it would not move our generation one step closer to God. Our problem is much deeper than these things. These things are only the branches. The root is in the wicked heart of man. Nothing can deliver us from the judgment of God but the free and sovereign grace of God, electing grace, redeeming grace, regenerating grace.
Yet, there are some things we can and must do in this reprobate age. In these days of wholesale apostasy, in these days of spiritual darkness, famine, and utter perversion, we can give thanks to our God for his electing love by which we have been and are preserved from the delusions of freewill/works religion of antichrist (vv. 13-14).
We who have been taught of God must stand fast in the traditions, not in the traditions of religious custom and superstition, but in the traditions of Holy Scripture and gospel truth. Let others say and do what they will, for those of us who have experienced grace, hesitation, shifting, shirking, shrinking, evading, and compromise would be treason to the Son of God! We must stand fast in the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ (v. 15).
I will tell you something else we can do. We can pray, like Habakkuk of old. —— If God is pleased to work his works of grace in this age, he can. And if it is his purpose to do so, he will do so in response to the fervent prayers of his people. “As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8). — We might well pray the prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:2). “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid. O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years. In the midst of the years make known. “In wrath remember mercy!” — There is yet a remnant, chosen of God and redeemed by Christ, who must be saved. Let us plead with God, putting him in remembrance of his covenant (Isaiah 43:26), that he might have mercy upon some, even in this Day of Judgment.
“Thou art Beautiful, O My Love, as Tirzah!”
(Song of Solomon 6:4)
Pastor Eric Richards
The Lord Jesus lauds his Church with venerable and celebratory language. He will have us to know and rejoice in the magnificent beauty he has made us by grace. In Christ we’re lovely and attractive, holy and pure, the object of God’s infinite delight. We constantly need to hear our dear Savior speak this effectually to our hearts, because in ourselves we’re ugly and vile, wretched and sinful, the product of a corrupt nature of flesh. In our flesh dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18). But Christ our God assures us by his Word and Spirit that he has crucified our flesh at Calvary, buried all our sin, and raised us anew on the third day (Romans 6:6-11). Now we’re gloriously irresistible to God by the precious blood of his cross. We’re beautiful as Tizrah, comely as Jerusalem, and terrible as an army with banners.
Tizrah was a city situated in a valley on the highlands of Samaria; a beautiful place high up in the mountains. It was a lush, green, richly fragrant and pleasant place to abide. It was conquered of Israel by the hand of Joshua when God gave them the Promised Land (Joshua 12:24). This lovely place was named Tizrah, which means delightsomeness, because of its well-pleasing station, surroundings and fair weather.
David tells us, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:1-2). — The Church is beautiful for her situation in Christ. She abides up High on the Mountain of eternal love and grace. She is chosen, redeemed, and called by the grace of God. God has delighted in her from eternity. Christ was delighted to give his life for her. He has extended all his goodness to her. It is he who said, “O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight (Ps. 16:2-3).” And the Spirit of God sheds abroad his delight in her by the mercy he shows through the Lord Jesus Christ. God delights to save sinners according to his mercy in Christ, by regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6). “Who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy (Micah 7:18).” The pleasant Wind on God’s high mountain of purpose blows freely down into this valley of appointed time to revive and to keep his chosen saints through faith. The love of God is shed abroad freely in our hearts through the gospel of Christ. Oh, what a delight and beauty he has made us by free grace!