Heavenly Minded

“This world is all the hell that a that a true Christian is ever to endure, and it is all the heaven that unbelievers shall ever enjoy.”

-Jonathan Edwards

The churches today are horizontal in their theology. They are intoxicated by the world and the very culture. So intoxicated by the culture that they throw aside the pure and inerrant Scriptures for the things of the world. They believe that by using pop culture and modern business models, they will build a church that will woo the crowds. Indeed, they do woo the crowds with exotic light shows, stage plays that have dramatic effects and costly props. The people clap with enthusiasm and excitement; thus they are entertained. The lead pastor who only is there via satellite applauds his team of under trained staff for making the masses happy. This is then repeated weekly. All the while, they are kept gazing horizontally, looking upon men and the world. Because of this, men have deified themselves and have lowered the holiness of God to that of a cosmic butler; who only can do something when He is given permission. God is reduced to a lucky charm that sits in the pockets of men and pulled out only when He is needed. The world to many professing Christians and so called teachers, pastors and leaders is their heaven. They love the world like a drunken man loves his booze. They dare not depart from it or want to be told they have a problem.

Because their theology is horizontal and man centered, they do not have sight of the Eternal Hope, the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not see God lifted up in His holiness and majesty. They do not have sight of the Celestial City, that eternal home where Jesus Christ went to prepare a place for his elect. Instead, they see this world as their heaven. They see this world as blinders hinder them from seeing the glorious heavens that all true believers look forward to. They do not have a genuine longing for heaven, because they are caught up and ensnared in the thick brush of the world.

A genuine believer has a longing for heaven. A believer’s perspective centers around heaven because that is where their Master is. They like Paul, long to be where Christ is. Because of this genuine longing the believer travels through the valley of affliction and tribulation with their sight not upon themselves but Christ, knowing that the valley will lead to that Celestial City. All genuine believers through the course of church history looked upward and not downward. Read the pages of the martyrs who marched with great joy to the stake, who sang hymns as their flesh burned and peeled off, who preached Christ Crucified as they slowly died. Oh, the sweet joy they had knowing that their next breath would be in heaven with their Master.

Should we not be the same in this life at this very moment? Are you heavenly minded? Or are you holding onto things of the world? To hold to things of this word is be at war with God as James 4:4 states. Do not love the world or the things in the world as the beloved Apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:15.

Dear Pastor, are you pointing to Christ? Are you directing your congregation’s gaze to the Celestial City, to the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are you intoxicated with worldly pragmatism?

I leave this entry with the words of Fanny Crosby’s, My Savior First of All:

When my life work is ended and I cross the swelling tide,

When the bright and glorious morning I shall see,

I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,

And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

Thru the gates to the city, in a robe of spotless white,

He will lead me where no tears will ever fall,

In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight,

But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

God Speed and Good Day!

S.J.M

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Live Still to Die

Below, you will find a letter. This letter was written in a cold, dark and wet prison cell within the Tower of London. This letter was written on two pages from the back of a Greek New Testament owned by a young 16 year old woman. This would be the last written word, her last testimony that would be handed to her younger sister. This young woman was a stalwart of the faith. A woman who would not compromise nor recant her faith. In the last hours of her life, she penned this letter to her younger sister. It was not a letter of grief or regret, but one of encouragement and warning. The next morning, upon her 17th birthday, Lady Jane Grey would be executed. Jane’s word’s to her sister echo through time and to us and as we start the new year, let us take heed of her words…let us live still to die.

“I have here sent you, (good sister Katherine) a book, which although it be not outwardly trimmed with gold, yet inwardly it is more worth than precious stones. It is the book (dear sister) of the law of the Lord. It is his testament and last will, which he bequeathed unto us wretches; which shall lead you to the path of eternal joy, and, if you with a good mind read it, and with an earnest mind do purpose to follow it, it shall bring you to an immortal and everlasting life. It shall teach you to live, and learn to die. It shall win you more than you should have gained by the possession of your woful father’s lands. For as, if God had prospered him, you should have inherited his lands; so, if you apply diligently this book, seeking to direct your life after it, you shall be an inheritor of such riches, as neither thief shall steal, neither the moths corrupt. Desire with David, good sister, to understand the Law of the Lord.

Live still to die, that you by death may purchase eternal life. And trust not that the tenderness of your age shall lengthen your life; for as soon (if God call) goeth the young as the old, and labour always to learn to die. Defy the world, deny the devil, and despise the flesh, and delight yourself only in the Lord. Be penitent for your sins, and despair not: be strong in faith, and yet presume not: and desire with St. Paul to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, with whom even in death there is life. Be like the good servant, and even at midnight be waking, lest when death cometh and stealeth upon you as a thief in the night, you be, with the evil servant, found sleeping; and lest, for lack of oil, you be found like the five foolish women, and like him that had not on the wedding-garment, and then you be cast out from marriage. Rejoice in Christ, as I do. Follow the steps of your master, Christ, and take up your cross: lay your sins on his back, and always embrace him. And as touching my death, rejoice as I do, (good sister,) that I shall be delivered of this corruption, and put on incorruption.

For am I assured, that I shall for losing of a mortal life, win an immortal life, the which I pray God grant you, and send you of his grace to live in his fear, and to die in the true Christian faith, from the which (in God’s name) I exhort you, that you never swerve neither for hope of life, nor fear of death. For if you will deny his truth for to strengthen out your life, God will deny you, and yet shorten your days. And if you will cleave unto him, he will prolong your days to your comfort and his glory: to which glory, God bring me now, and you hereafter: when it pleaseth him to call you. Fare you well, good sister, and put your only trust in God who only must help you.”

Resolved

I have never been one to make resolutions for the start of New Years in the past. I have always found that I would fail in those resolutions and they were also shallow resolutions too. As 2018 sits upon the precipice and now that I am forty years old, things have changed. I can say with certainty that I wasted a large part of my life in the pig pen of sin. I sought self ambition rather than self sacrifice. I sought the vanity of the world and not the Kingdom of God. I sought the selfish desires of my heart and not the things of Christ. There lie unhappiness and ruin in my life. I am not proud of the life that I lived in the past and certainly, there were things in this previous year where I fell right smack on my face.

As 2018 begins, there are some resolutions I would like to make. Why? My life is short as I see it and how shall I spend these remaining days? I certainly do not want to waste that time that has been given to me, that is for sure. So, here is a list of things that I want to do in 2018 and things I want to be consistent in as the new year begins in a few hours.

I resolve to spend more time in the Word of God.

I resolve to spend more time upon my knees.

I resolve to use the gifts that God as given me to glorify Him.

I resolve to be more self-sacrificing to my wife and seek her needs and not my own.

I resolve to be a better servant in my church, to my pastor to my elders, to my congregation.

I resolve to be more vocal about the Gospel to strangers who would cross my path.

I resolve to abstain from looking at the words of false teachers and spend more time pulling from the fire those that follow them.

I resolve to stand and defend the Gospel, not matter the cost, even if it means death.

I resolve to be a slave to Christ.

Stephen M

God Used RC…

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Yesterday at 2:00pm, a faithful servant and stalwart of the faith departed this mortal coil and went home to be with the Lord. RC Sproul is now in the very Glory that he so faithfully preached for 46 years. There is agreement that RC Sproul was the Calvin, the Luther of our time. Millions have been impacted by the faithful service of RC and Ligonier Ministries, including myself.

The hashtag trending on Twitter at the moment is #GodUsedRC.

God certainly RC in the life of me and my wife. It was from RC that I grew a love for church history and for men like Luther and Calvin, who were for me, unknown. It would be through RC and his teaching fellows that I learned of just how sinful I was and that salvation was purely a work of God’s grace alone. Sitting underneath my television are many Ligonier Teaching DVD’s. My wife and I have been blessed by the Biblical and Sound teaching that RC and his team at Ligonier have produced over the years.

RC Sproul joins the list of the Long Line of Godly Men and now rests in eternal joy and happiness with His Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank You RC.

 

Stephen M.

 

 

Forge Forth!

candle-in-the-darkness

Forge forth ye men who remain,

Forge forth and do not tarry in vain.

Forge forth though our fathers have passed into Glory,

Forge forth, be of good cheer and do not worry.

Forge forth as a candle in the darkest night,

Forge forth in the power of Godly might.

Forge forth and proclaim loudly the Gospel call,

Forge forth as watchmen who stand guard on the wall.

Forge forth ye men and be not idle in this age,

Forge forth boldly the Gospel upon the worldly stage.

Forge forth until we have completed our race,

Forge forth till we see our Savior’s face.

 

 

S.J, Melniszyn