Podcast 225:  The Consequences of Unbelief

Podcast 225: The Consequences of Unbelief

One of the most chilling verses in the book of Matthew is this:

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

In this verse, the He is Jesus and the there is Nazareth and the truth is that because of their unbelief Jesus was not able to do what He wanted to do among those He loved.  He had to cut His revelation to them short because they would not receive what He was offering them.  And the results of their unbelief were damning.

Do you think you have ever walked in their shoes?  Probably so.

Keep listening.

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Evangelical Self-Delusion

Evangelical Self-Delusion

The following is from RC Sproul, Jr and cuts me personally to the very core of my self-justifying, slothful life.  I hope it will do the same to you.  Read and be warned.

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Evangelical Self-Delusion

It is because we love the world so profoundly that we think we’re already being persecuted.  That is, we see ourselves as bold prophets confronting the sin of the world because we vote for candidate approved by the National Right to Life.  We watch pundits on CNN mock us.  We might even face a moment or two of awkwardness at work when word leaks out we’ve opposed to murdering babies.  We conflate having our feelings hurt with being burned at the stake.  We think that because we are, mostly secretly, part of that group the secular world thinks weird and mildly dangerous that we are Polycarp.

Of course the even more craven wing of the evangelical church only encourages this.  That there are those who profess to be evangelical who vote for Democrats is proof to us that we are the hard-core ones.  We are the bold, world-denying ones because we still have a Huckabee campaign sticker on our car.  The truth is we’re like those Nazi’s who wanted to oust Hitler because he was just crazy.  What they wanted was a more sane and reasonable Nazi regime.  We may be less of a problem than our brothers to our left, but we are still the problem.

This is one of the reasons why I strive to encourage people to go visit their local abortion mill.  We go of course to prophesy against those who work there, or those who are customers there, but more to come face to face with our own failures.  One cannot spend two hours outside the mill and come away thinking, “I need to work harder next election cycle to get the less pro-abortion guy into office.”  Instead one beats ones breast crying, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.”  One comes away repentant.

What clued me in to this delusion, however, isn’t the abortion issue, but the homosexual marriage issue.  We have witnessed in less than half a decade a titanic propaganda triumph of the left.  Gay marriage has gone from a bizarre pipe dream among the fevered brow flouncers down at Queer Nation to a civil right.  Decent people who were naturally repulsed by the perverse assault that is gay behavior suddenly are made to feel like Bull Conner.  And if there’s one thing evangelical Christians can never abide it is being considered not nice.  Watching the rhetoric ratchet up even over the past few months I began to imagine the actual beginning of genuine persecution of the church.  They will not abide our conviction that they are in grave sin, so surely they will come after us.

Then I realized they will never catch us.  We are too good at retreating.  If for forty years we have failed to stand for the babies such that either they became protected by law, or we became martyred for our faith, then neither will this latest moral sexual atrocity cost us our comforts, our ease, our respect.  In five years there might be a few of us still talking among ourselves about what should be done about homosexual marriage.  We might have a few fringe ministries trying to scrape by and fight a battle the rest of us have forgotten.  But it will become as much as part of the landscape, and invisible to us as abortion has become – just a seedy reality we don’t approve of, but would rather not think about.

Of course we’ll still be busy growing “grace based” churches.  We’ll still hold conferences on living gospel-centric lives.  We’ll still write learned defenses of what Jesus actually said.  What we won’t do is depend on His grace, while repenting of our failure to call the world to repent, as Jesus told us to do.  And the world will know us for what we are, mildly annoying, but harmless.

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The Witness of the Spirit

The Witness of the Spirit

We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to God, we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do.  “Why does not God reveal Himself to me?”  He cannot; it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him.  Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself; He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you.  If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion.  Immediately you transact on the Redemption and stop the impertinence of debate, God gives you the witness.  As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your impertinence in having kept Him waiting.  If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot.  Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28, “Come unto Me.”  Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).

The simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions is apt to be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature and to the work of Redemption, never to our reason.  If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity.  Fling it all overboard, trust in God, and He will give the witness.

From Oswald Chambers

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The Sin that Makes God Cry

The Sin that Makes God Cry

Let me give it to you straight— no beating around the bush and no soft-pedaling.  The sin that makes God cry is being committed daily, not by pagan workers of iniquity but by multitudes of Christians— the sin of doubting God’s love for His children.

Do you think it makes God sound too human and vulnerable to say that He cries?  Then ask yourself how a God of love could not cry when His own people doubt His very nature. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, and according to the book of John He wept when those closest to Him doubted His love and concern.  That was God incarnate at the tomb of Lazarus, crying over friends who failed to recognize who He was.

Time and time again Christ’s dearest associates on this earth doubted His love for them.  Think of the disciples in a storm-tossed boat that was taking on water.  Jesus was in the stern of the boat, sound asleep.  Fearing for their lives, His followers shook Him awake and then accused Him of outright unconcern.  “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38).  How their accusation must have grieved the Lord!  That was God Almighty in their boat! How could He not care?  But whenever men take their eyes off the Lord and concentrate instead on their circumstances, doubt always takes over.  Jesus was astounded!  “How can you be afraid when I am with you?  How can you question My love and care?”

Christians today grieve the Lord in this matter even more.  Our unbelief is a greater affront to Him than the unbelief of Mary, Martha, and all the disciples, for our sin is committed against greater light.  We stand on a higher mountain and see more than they could ever see.  We have a completed Bible with a full and detailed record of God’s trustworthiness.  We have the written testimonies of almost twenty centuries of Christians, generation after generation of godly fathers who have passed down to us unshakable proofs of God’s love.  And we have countless personal experiences that testify to God’s tender love and affection for us.

Let us look for His exceeding mercy and love, admit the sinfulness of our unbelief, and recognize who He is!

By David Wilkerson
(May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011)

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In Honor of My "Short" Little Daughter

In Honor of My "Short" Little Daughter

This classic song, by Randy Newman, is in honor of Haley, my “short” little daughter.  I love you, girl!

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Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin’ great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
`Round here

Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It’s a wonderful world)

Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
To love

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin’ peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They’re gonna get you every time
Well, I don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
Don’t want no short people
‘Round here

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