As I read an obituary column, I never cease to be amazed at how quickly the life of a man is summed up. What seems should take volumes to recap (that is, a man’s life) is simply reduced to three words – “And he died.” Rich and poor, young and old are all brought to the same certain end. There is an appointment for every man “once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The carnal man scrambles to attain in this life what seems, to him, will sustain now and forever. He believes that his own free will has written an obituary of peace before God and that his own arm of power has secured for himself a place in glory. A believer, on the other hand, knows that in the Day of the Lord any peace, any hope, any joy is going to be summed up in one eternal fact. That fact singularly reveals God to be well pleased with Christ and those found in Him. This obituary will forever ring in eternity to the praise of the glory of His grace – “He died for me”. – Pastor Marvin Stalnaker
CHRIST IS ALL
Looking at my sin, I see Christ as my atonement and only Christ. Looking at God’s law, I see Christ as my righteousness, my only righteousness. I’m not making up what I can’t provide; He is my only righteousness. Looking at God’s justice, He is my justification. Looking at death, He is my life. Looking at the grave, He is my resurrection. Looking at eternity, He is my hope.
–Pastor Henry Mahan
“THE WORLD BY WISDOM KNEW NOT GOD”
1 Cor. 1:21
What did the philosophy of Greece do for its disciples? It made them ignorant worshipers of an “unknown God” (Acts 17:23). The inscription on their altar published to the universe their ignorance and shame. How can I know God? Where can I find Him? Can science and philosophy tell me? Have they ever told anyone? No, never. “The world by wisdom knew not God.” The schools of ancient philosophy could only plunge the human mind into darkness and hopeless bewilderment, and the schools of modern philosophy are not one bit better. They give no certainty, no safe anchorage, no solid ground of confidence, only hopeless speculation, torturing doubt, wild and baseless theory. That’s all human philosophy in any age or any nation has to offer an earnest seeker of truth. How then are we to know God? If such a stupendous result hangs on this knowledge; if to know God is life eternal, and Jesus says it is (John 17:3),
then how is He to be known? “No man hath seen God at anytime. The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (John 1:18). Here we have the answer. Christ reveals God to the soul and reveals the Father to the heart. We are not sent to creation to learn who God is, though we see His power, wisdom and goodness there. We are not sent to the law, though we see His holiness and justice there. No, if we want to know Whom and What God is, we are to look into the face of Jesus Christ, Who dwelt in His bosom before all worlds, Who was His eternal delight, the object of His affections. (2 Corinthians 4:6 )
—Pastor Scott Richardson
“ God creates out of nothing. Therefore until a man is nothing, God will make nothing out of him.” Martin Luther
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Micah 7:18
And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zec. 3:2
Some of you know the story of Susan McDonald. She is the older lady who lived in the Waters Nursing home where we go for worship services once a month. The first time I talked with Susan, she told me she believed she had been such a great sinner against the Lord that He would not save her. That her sins were too many and great to be forgiven. I have never in my whole life witnessed such despair this woman was in. I poured out my heart to that poor thing and told her every scripture I could think of how that God was so satisfied with the sufferings of His dear Son on behalf of sinners that he would never refuse a one who came to him for Christ’s sake. That, for Jesus sake, all manner of sins and blasphemies would be forgiven the sons of men. I told her of the goodness and gentleness of Jesus Christ to all who came to him in their misery. I left Susan that day knowing that Satan had driven her to this despair and if the Lord in His sovereign mercy didn’t rebuke him and send the light of free forgiveness into her heart, she would die an awful death. Well, at last Monday night’s worship service she confessed to one of you that the Lord had saved her. I was so thrilled with the news I went back the next morning to speak with her. I found her physically weak and very ill, but she sat up in her bed to tell me how the Lord had saved her. She said, “I went to Him and told him how bad I was and what bad sins I had done against Him and He forgave me.” And she told me that she was surprised by it (I’m stilled surprised He saved me – aren’t you?). The awful despair that had tormented her was gone; her whole attitude had changed. Susan told me she was praying that when it was time for her to die, the Lord would receive her into heaven. Bless her heart she was dying then. I found out today that Susan died a short time after I talked to her on Tuesday. I believe the Lord Jesus received her spirit into heaven (Acts 7:59). How frustrated Satan must be. He sinned one time and he was cast out of heaven forever. Now he lives to drag others down into eternal misery with him. Here was a poor lady who had lived her whole life in sin and, just about the time Satan was convinced she was ready for the burning, the Savior of sinners rebukes him and snatches the poor soul, as it were, out of the fire and takes her to heaven forever – a trophy of sovereign grace!
– Pastor Bruce Crabtree