Good Enough For God?

The final version of this Evangelism Tract is ready for use.  Here it is: “GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD?“.  May the LORD be pleased to bless the use of it unto His glory, and the gathering of His people.

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Hard Teachings Of The Bible (Sermon Series for January – February 2015)

The Bible contains many hard teachings.  And by that, we mean that the Bible contains that are especially hard for the faithful church on earth to receive & confess, to love, to maintain & continue in, even hard to keep and practice.

And while the finger can be placed on many more hard teachings of the Bible, there are some which particularly make a good selection for a brief series of sermons that would be most fitting to Bethel Protestant Reformed Church, a small church belonging to a tiny Reformed denomination that is unpopular exactly because of her commitment to the Word of God.  The church, after all, is the “Pillar & Ground of Truth” (cf. 1 Timothy 3:15).  What good would it be if she still officially confesses the truth, or if the pastor holds to it personally – but the truth is never ever preached and taught?  Will that church continue to love, even know and consciously live in the light of those truths?  Will her members bear witness of these truths to others?  What good would she be to God when she stops teaching, and even contradicts the truth of God?   And when one particular truth is abandoned or denied, the principle of decay & destruction to the church and the life of the believer will continue to act & operate – to bring spiritual ruin upon believer and church.

Nor is any church or believer immune to such a destructive power.  These sermons, besides serving as a witness to & defense of the truths of God, are therefore also intended to challenge us to continue steadfastly holding up the standard of God’s Word without wavering regardless of how hard these truths are.  They are purposed to cause us to exert ourselves and show ourselves to be truly shining forth as little lights belonging to Jesus Christ in a dark and sinful world by confessing them unashamedly and walking in them by the grace of God.

Below you will find a listing of the sermons I intend to preach, which will be updated & expanded over time.  Sermon archives may be found on wvvw.bethelprc.org.

1.  God’s Creation of Heaven and Earth                              Genesis 1

2.  The Spiritual Plight Of All Mankind                                  John 6:44 with Eph. 2:1-3

3.  God’s Sovereign Love (And Hatred)                               Romans 9:1-24

4.  Keeping The Sabbath Day Wholly                                  Ex. 20, Neh. 13 & Isa 58

5.  Loving Our Enemies                                                       Luke 6:27-36

6.  Jesus says, “No” to Remarrying the divorced                 Matthew 19:7-12

7.  Occupy Till I Come!                                                        Luke 19:13

PRTJ Book Review by Prof Engelsma on “Grace, Not Law! The Answer to Antinomianism”, David H. J. Gay

The dangerous disease and heresy of Antinomianism afflicts also churches and denominations in biblical, confessionally Reformed church circles.  But what makes this dreadful disease most difficult to deal with and remove is that oftentimes, its proponents take the veil and cover of being biblical, orthodox and confessional.  It has been said, “Every heretic has his text.”  Well, in the case of this most recent book by David H. J. Gay, he not only has his texts (note the plural), he also has an entire book – apparently AGAINST Antinomianism!

But in this most excellent book review by my beloved Professor Engelsma on the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal (Nov. 2014) — http://www.prca.org/prtj/Nov-2014.pdf (page 89) — which is available FREE from the PR Theological Seminary — Gay’s book and position is exposed as a false defense of “Antinomianism” so-called by him!!  And in so doing, Engelsma makes plain what the real disease & heresy of Antinomianism is, and once again, does the biblical, Reformed church world a marvelous service.

Would professing believers give themselves to live according to God’s grace in the way of placing themselves under the rule of gratitude for the Christian Life?  Would we who are saved by God’s amazing grace humbly show thanks by living in obedience to God’s moral law from the heart?  The answer to those questions (and not others purported by Gay) gives us real & true indication of whether we are truly, anti-antinomian, Christ-loving, grace-abiding Christians!

Personal Witnessing, A Covenantal Duty

Personal Witnessing, A Covenantal Duty: “Personal witnessing is a covenantal duty of every one who confesses his faith in Jesus Christ. For the Word of God in Acts 2:39 tells us that the gospel, covenantal promise of the the gift of the Holy Spirit applies not only to us and to our (believer’s) children, but also to all that are “afar off”. And with regard to each of the three groups of people, the application of the promise is limited only by the call of God. It is not and must not be “limited”, so to speak, by us and our neglect to give witness of Jesus to others. Let the mature believer who has grown up in the churches not only be eager to give covenant instruction to his children based on the covenantal promise of God, but also let the mature believer, realizing that the covenantal promise applies also to the elect children of God who are yet “afar off”, i.e. outside of the Church, be active and diligent in giving witness of the gospel to those outside of his church.”

Personal Witnessing, A Norm In The Life Of The Church

Personal Witnessing, A Norm In The Life Of The Church: “If we survey briefly the history of the Christian church, we would have to conclude that personal witnessing has always been part of the life of the membership… it was set forth in the New Testament as the normal behavior of all new converts who have been brought to true faith. This relates to the shepherds who worshiped the new born King (Luke 2:17, 18); the Samaritan woman (John 4:28ff); the persecuted saints of the early Christian church (Acts 8:4); and the Christians who were scattered abroad and needed to be reminded that by holy living they had the privilege of evangelizing personally (1 Peter 3:15-16)The history of the Reformation demonstrates as well that ordinary members of the church received the grace of God to confess shamelessly and openly the truth of the gospel … This activity played a key role in the amazing speed with which the truth spread throughout all the countries of Europe. They were eager to speak to others of the gospel of salvation… Personal evangelism was used by God at great expense to the faithful – and with mighty success… The establishing of a church does not mean that… personal evangelism may then stop… In the way of such activity the Lord adds new members through the wonder of conversion. These new converts are encouraged by the godly example of mature Christians who had the benefit of covenant instruction all their lives. Baptism of adults blends beautifully with the baptism of infants as God gathers His church in the local congregation.” – Rev. Jason Kortering, “Evangelism in the Established Church”.

“And he arose and went…” — Acts 8:27a

“And he arose and went…” — Acts 8:27a.

This was the immediate, blessed response of Philip the Evangelist to the instruction given by God through an angel to arise and go to a lonely, abandoned road in the desert (not the newer, busier highway that most were now using in their day).

Note what his response to the angel was not. It was not, “Are you out of your mind? I’m going to the busier highway where there are more people instead. I know better”. It was not, “I just got back from my labors and returned home to Jerusalem. Can you give me a break?”

And it was not, “Dear angel and messenger, do not tell me what to do!! God’s people walk in the ways of the Lord spontaneously! Why? Because we are all Spirit-filled and Spirit-led!” No, such talk would be dangerous, foolish, and leads to the carelessness and life of the Antinomian.

No, the Spirit-filled, Spirit-led response was the immediate, heartfelt obedience of Philip to arise and go. To receive the command, the instruction of the Word of God from the angel to arise and go. It was the response of one who truly understood “Christ Crucified” and applied it to his life! And God used that in a most surprising way! In the way of obedience, God was pleased to bring Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch, who in His sovereign timing and wisdom, was reading Isaiah 53, to show him Christ Crucified out of that Bible passage, and to bring him to a true and living faith in Jesus.

Philip the evangelist received God’s Word and instruction humbly. He arose and went. He obeyed without any fuss. He did so because he loved the Lord who gave him forgiveness of sins and life eternal through the Cross of His Son.

Will you not also give yourself to live in thankful, heartfelt submission, service and obedience unto Him?

Thoughts For The Sanctuary, Sunday August 31, 2014.

True Faith’s Necessary Influence On The Character: The branch which bears no fruit is no living branch of the vine. The faith which has not a sanctifying influence on the character is no better than the faith of devils.” — J.C. Ryle.

Faith Through Sunshine & Storms: To believe, when God shines upon your soul, brightly and warmly, with the love and light of His countenance, is no great matter; but to rest invincibly on His mercy through Christ when He grinds thee to powder – that’s faith. ~ R. Bolton.

Trust: “Has God given you a crown—and will you not trust Him for a crumb? Has He given you a house which has “foundations, whose builder and maker is God?” Has He given you “a kingdom which cannot be shaken?” And will you not trust Him for a cottage, for a little room in this world? Has He given you Himself, His Son, His Spirit, His grace—and will you not trust Him to give you bread, and friends, and clothes, and other necessary mercies which He knows you need? Has He given you the greater—and will deny you for the lesser? Surely not!” ~ Thomas Brooks.

Martyrdom & The Kingdom: “The kingdom of God is strengthened more by the blood of the martyrs than by the aid of arms.” — John Calvin.

The Martyr: The martyr is made by his cause, not by his punishment.” – John Calvin.

Idleness: “Idleness is the time of temptation. An idle person is the devil’s tennis-ball, tossed around by him at his pleasure.” – Thomas Brooks.

Join us for worship at Bethel PRC!  The quotes above are related to sermon topics for Sunday, Aug. 31, listed on wvvw.bethelprc.org!