There is no finality to the Christian LIfe this side of eternity. Leonard Ravenhill

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hope Within Us

"Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

This verse has been greatly utilized by the Christian apologetics community today. Apologists tell us that we need to be ready when people come to us with questions about our faith. But the focus is often on 'evidences'. While I feel that this is good, it is not the actual thrust of this scripture.

When a man or woman is searching for God, the answers that they need are not specifically concerning science or archeology. Ultimately no one rejects God for scientific reasons, at the bottom of their denial is their sin. A.W. Tozer said, "I do not believe there is anybody that ever rejects Jesus Christ on philosophical grounds. The man who continues in his rejection of Christ has some pet sin somewhere- he's in love with iniquity. He rejects Jesus on moral grounds, and then hides behind false philosophy."

Jesus said in John 3:20, "Everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." Like beetles on the bottom of a rock, we run from the painfully revealing light of the Son of God. We do not want our sin exposed. Jesus said, "This is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." (John 3:19) Men hide behind scientific theories because they do not want to serve God. They reject God because they do not want Christ as Lord in their life.

So back to 1 Peter 3:15; the message here is not for us to learn scientific evidences, archaeological findings, or historical truths. While the Bible is clearly supported by true science, archaeology, and history, these things are not our hope. Our salvation is not found in 'evidences', it is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must offer Him to this world, only He can save. Apologetics cannot save, only Christ can. When the world comes to us and asks us what our hope is, what will we answer?

Is our hope that history has proven Christ actually existed?

Is it that science has proven evolution cannot work?

Is it that Jericho has been discovered?

Do we believe the Bible because man has proven it, or because God has spoken?

Men do not ultimately reject God because of the evidence. They reject Him because they are sinners who love their sin. So when they ask us, what is the hope that we will hold out to them?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Only One Life

"I myself have only one life to live and not an easy one at that. All I want is to to spend my life so that looking at it, there will be no shame in looking back."

Who wrote these words? They sound as if they came from the pen of David Brainerd or C.T. Studd. But they did not. They did come from the mind of a devoted man though. He was a zealot for his faith. He was entirely consumed  with his religion. He had laid his all on the altar and offered himself as a living sacrifice. He would be faithful in life and death. Who was he? A missionary? A preacher? An evangelist? Yes he was all of these.

After Gordon Arnold Lonsdale was captured in 1960, as a Communist Russian spy in England, the police found a letter from his wife. She was despairing over their lot in life and was grieving over their difficult situation. But Lonsdale had no such regrets, he lived what he believed. He wrote back to his wife a six page reply, it was in this letter that he wrote the above words.

We all only have one life to live. Are we making the most of it? I am reminded of the words of an old poem that Leonard Ravenhill often quoted,

"Only one life 'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."

When I reach the end of my road and stand before God Almighty I want to hear Him say "Well done."  Don't be like Lonsdale and passionately devote your life to the low things of this world. We are here to glorify God and live for Him. Remember "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." That's what life is all about.

There is a judgement coming are you ready?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Light In the Darkness

The night was chilly and dark. Clouds hung as thick drapes to block the radiance of the stars. The wind moaned and all creation groaned with the burdens of the curse. The world as it spun in its ferocious orbit ached, as it was blanketed in somber shadows. God had created a perfect world, but we were now toiling amongst the thorns of a fallen world. Man had turned their back on the Creator and for their rebellion had been thrown into a sunless existence.

But God had a plan. Though the night was heavy, His power was greater. Although blackness engulfed all of mankind, Jesus, God’s own Son, came to dispel the awful darkness.

Though we had tried to get to God our attempts had never been successful. We try to prop up our ladders, but they always prove to be shaky and far to short. We could not get to God so He came to us instead. Our hearts are like that bleak midnight. The corridors of our soul are shadowy, they conceal secrets we wish no one to know, and they shelter the very things that God despises. But He has not left us alone to blindly stumble through the darkness. He will save us, if we will turn our backs on our sin, plead His forgiveness, and follow Him. He is a friend to those who call on Him.

Sin is a hard, heartless master. It is cruel and unforgiving. If you live for it, when you come to the end of your road all it will pay you for your service is death, it rewards you with a cold, lonely death. Christ offers eternal life, a relationship with the God of the universe. This new life can begin today and will last beyond the grave. Do not forget that life even at its longest is very short, do not put this off for another day that you may deem more convenient, for that day may never come.

His light like a lighthouse is glowing on the shore to guide lost ships safely home. Though the night is mercilessly black, remember a light shines in the darkness for you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chambers on Doctrine

"Theology is a great thing, so is a man's creed; but God is greater than either, and the next greatest thing is my relationship to Him." Oswald Chambers  Baffled To Fight Better