Posts from June 2021

Posts from June 2021

The triumph of experience over truth in evangelicalism

Across vast swathes of evangelicalism, doctrine and theology have become dirty words. What “feels good” has won the day. Exposition has been surrendered to entertainment, preaching to performance, doctrine to drama, and theology to theatrics. Anyone questioning the “big band feel” of the contemporary church will soon discover that you can argue with a doctrine, but you can’t argue with an experience. With apologies to Decartes, “I feel, therefore I am” pretty neatly sums up where we are today, as…

What is repentance?

Referenced over 100 times in Scripture, repentance is undoubtedly a topic of vital biblical importance. God commands all men everywhere to repent,1 and the Lord Jesus declared there is no salvation without repentance.2 “Repent” was the first word uttered by both John the Baptist and the Lord as they commenced preaching publicly.3 When reviewing his whole lifetime of ministry, Paul spoke of having told the world to “repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”4  Repentance is also part of ‘the…

How to find peace with God

Inner peace. Illusive, fleeting, easily disturbed. How to obtain it? How to maintain it? Meditation, drugs, religion, yoga, romance? Endless options, mixed success. But there’s another kind of peace that you need. Objective rather than subjective; fixed rather than variable.; eternal rather than fleeting. Think about it this way. The opposite of peace is war. Ever since humanity first raised its fist to God in the garden of Eden by wilfully disobeying His law, the whole human race has been…

Do or done – which?

An examination of the world’s religions quickly reveals one stand-out fact. Whether Hinduism with its rituals, Islam with its pilgrimages, Roman Catholicism with its sacraments or evangelicalism with its “sinner’s prayer”, ultimately all religious want you to do something to get right with God. Your salvation, your forgiveness, your peace with God, is dependent on something that you do, or have done; something meritorious on your part; something thank-worthy that you have achieved. If you do your part, God will do His…

Safety, certainty and enjoyment (by George Cutting)

This booklet has been a blessing to thousands of people over many years. It deals with how a person can know for sure that they are saved and on their way to heaven. The author, George Cutting (1834-1934), gives wise scriptural counsel which has led many to a saving understanding of the gospel of Christ. May you find help from it too. “In which class are you travelling?” What a common question! Let me put it to you. You most…

God’s way of salvation (by Alexander Marshall)

This article by Alexander Marshall (1846-1928) has been a blessing to thousands of people over many years. In booklet form it has been published in more than 20 languages with over four million copies in print. It highlights around 30 questions, excuses and enquiries about the vital topic of God’s salvation and the way to heaven. In answering all of these common issues, Alexander Marshall gives wise scriptural counsel which has led many to a saving understanding of the gospel…

Around the wicket gate (by C.H. Spurgeon)

If you are struggling to be saved, C.H. Spurgeon’s Around the Wicket Gate is for you.  Awakening If we are sensible, we shall pray that our anxiety about our souls may never come to an end till we are really and truly saved. It would be an awful thing to go dreaming down to hell, and there to lift up our eyes with a great gulf fixed between us and heaven. It will be equally terrible to be aroused to…

Light for anxious souls (by George Cutting)

George Cutting (1834-1934) was a faithful English evangelist and author, well known for writing the booklet Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment. His other lesser known work – but equally effective – is Light for Anxious Souls, which is reproduced below. This work will be a great help to anyone who is awake to both their condemnation before God and their danger of judgment, and who longs to be saved. Introduction If one thing more than another has weighed upon the heart of the…

My child wants to be saved. What should I do?

For parents who value the salvation of their children above and beyond everything else, there’s nothing more pleasing than to hear a child say, “Daddy/Mummy, I want to be saved”. Yet, precisely because the eternal welfare of their children is so important, parents can so easily – in all sincerity – respond in a way that leaves their child with a “false profession” of salvation, rather than the real thing. Acknowledging that every child, family and circumstance is different, and…

Stop telling people to ask the Lord to save them

An American author wrote a book a while ago called “Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart”. Allow me to make a slightly different plea: stop telling people to “ask the Lord to save them”. This 6-word-sentence is a favourite cliché of many a preacher, Sunday School teacher and Bible Camp leader. Closing a gospel presentation the audience is told how to be saved. The recommended method? “Ask the Lord to save you.” Yet when Paul was asked “What must I do…

Is “One Man Ministry” scriptural?

A young man feels ‘called to the ministry’. His pastor recommends him to go to Bible College for three years to become fully equipped for his vocation. At college he is rigorously trained, his trial sermons are assessed and his final examination papers are passed. At last he is ordained, swearing to uphold the college’s Confession of Faith. He is now a qualified pastor with recognised ordination papers, and his name carries the prefix ‘Reverend’. Contact is made with a…

What about transubstantiation and the Mass?

Once a matter of life and death, transubstantiation is now generally a matter of indifference. Turn the clock back 450 years and transubstantiation is one of the hottest issues of the day. On the one hand the Roman Catholic Church taught: “If any one shall say that…[in the Mass]…there remains the substance of bread and wine together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of…

Can Christians lose their salvation?

Arriving at a clear understanding of the true nature of salvation represents the first step in settling the question of eternal security. The Bible clearly teaches that at the very moment of genuine repentance and saving faith a sinner is: Converted – turned around (Acts 3:19) Reconciled – brought near (2 Cor 5:19) Sanctified – set apart for God (1 Cor 1:2) Regenerated – given new life (1 Pet 1:23) Redeemed– purchased or bought back (1 Pet 1:18) Adopted – placed in God’s family as…

What is the difference between propitiation and atonement?

This article was originally published as a book called Atonement – Old or New Testament Doctrine? It is taught by many that ‘atonement’ is an exclusively Old Testament idea that means to “cover sin up”, whereas ‘propitiation’ is a New Testament truth that enables the actual putting away of sin. Bible teacher Mr Samuel McBride (Northern Ireland) begs to differ. He makes a powerful case here, from the original Hebrew and Greek, that the Old Testament concept of atonement and the New…

Is the Sabbath for Today? Should Christians be Sabbatarian?

The question of the Sabbath, and whether or not Christians are expected to observe it, is a huge issue in the minds of many people. The world’s largest Sabbath-keeping group is the 20-million-member 7th Day Adventist Church. Their Saturday Sabbath message is making headway on all continents and they are growing rapidly. Broadly speaking there are three basic options when it comes to the ‘Saturday Sabbath’: The Creatorial Sabbath view holds that God instituted a compulsory ‘no-work 7th-day Sabbath’ at the beginning…

What is hypostatic union?

C.H. Mackintosh once remarked that, “The truth respecting Christ’s humanity must be received with scriptural accuracy, held with spiritual energy, guarded with holy jealousy, and confessed with heavenly power. If we are wrong as to this, we cannot be right as to anything.”1 That being the case, Christians ought to pay special attention to exactly what happened at the incarnation – when Christ “came in flesh” (1 Jn 4.2, 1 Tim 3.16). The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is fully God and…

Did the Lord take anything from Mary?

Some have suggested that the physical body of the Lord Jesus was directly created by God from nothing. No physical or genetic link existed between Christ and Mary because God created the Lord’s body without using a mother’s ovum, just as He had done once before, in a different manner, with Adam in Eden. This, it is claimed, ensured Christ’s sinlessness when He became flesh. This idea may be well intentioned, but it is wide of the mark for the…