Again, it was not only an affectionate call, but it was an abiding call. To-day I must abide at thy house.” A common call is like this “To-day I shall walk in at thy house at one door, and out at the other.” The common call which is given by the gospel to all men is a call which operates upon them for a time, and then it is all over; but the saving call is an abiding call. When Christ speaks, he does not say, “Make haste, Zaccheus, and come down, for I am just coming to look in;” but “I must abide in thy house; I am coming to sit down to eat and drink with thee; I am coming to have a meal with thee; to-day I must abide in thy house.” “Ah!” says one, “you cannot tell how many times I have been impressed, sir, I have often had a series of solemn convictions, and I thought I really was saved, but it all died away; like a dream, when one awaketh, all hath vanished that he dreamed, so was it with me.” Ah! but poor soul, do not despair. Dost thou feel the strivings of Almighty grace within thine heart bidding thee repent to-day? If thou dost, it will be an abiding call. If it is Jesus at work in thy soul, he will come and tarry in thine heart, and consecrate thee for his own for ever. He says, “I will come and dwell with thee, and that for ever. I will come and say,
Here I will make my settled rest,
No more will go and come;
No more a stranger or a guest,
But master of this home.”
“Oh!” say you, “that is what I want; I want an abiding call, something that will last; I do not want a religion that will wash out, but a fast-color religion.” Well, that is the kind of call Christ gives. His ministers cannot give it; but when Christ speaks, he speaks with power, and says, “Zaccheus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house.”
Charles H. Spurgeon- Effectual Calling-A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 30, 1856
THE SAINT’S PRIVILEGE
Discovered and Proved in Two Treatises.
The Saint’s Interest by Christ in all the Privileges of Grace;
Wherein Their Right to the Use of Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper,
Even Now During the Reign of Antichrist, is Cleared;
the Objections of Those that Oppose the Same, Are Answered.
The Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ, and His Saving Grace:
Wherein it is Proved That Christ Has Not Presented To His Father’s
Justice a Satisfaction for the Sins of all men; but only for the sins of
those that do, or shall believe in Him; Which are His Elect Only:
The Objections of Those That Maintain the Contrary, are also Answered.
Both Written by John Spilsbery
And the Last Transcribed, and Somewhat Enlarged, by Benjamin Cox.
Download the book here. (Pdf)
CHAPTER 9-THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
This is an important question and one upon which there is much disagreement. It is a question that needs to be prayerfully studied. I sincerely believe that the churches, generally speaking, in their cooperative work have become sidetracked. And the sidetrack leads into the wilderness of debt and confusion. As a result, the by products of Christianity have become the main thing. I am afraid that we have been seeking prestige with the world rather than power with God.
1. SOURCES OF INFORMATION.
1. The Commissions of Christ. Christ told his people what they were to do while He was here. This ought to be of great help in defining our mission in a church capacity. These commissions are of two kinds. One kind is of a temporary character; the other is of perpetual obligation.
1a) The temporary commissions.
1a1) The first commission to the twelve. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (#Mt 9:36-38); Read also #Mt 10:1-42 Mr 3:13-19 6:7-13 Lu 9:1-6. This commission was limited to the Jews. “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (#Mt 10:5,6). “It gave miraculous power to heal and to cast out evil spirits. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (#Mt 10:8). It provided for Spirit guidance in speech.
1a2) The commission to the seventy. #Lu 10:1-24. The same provisions as in the commission to the twelve. Both were of a temporary nature.
1b) The great and perpetual missionary commission to the apostles in church capacity. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (#Mt 28:16-20). This is the commission under which the church is to work until the end of the age. It provides for a perpetual church; for a perpetual gospel; for perpetual ordinances; for a perpetual task; and for His perpetual presence.
1c) The practice of the early church under the instruction of the apostles.
2. THE CHURCH HAS A FIVE POINT PROGRAM.
1. The Missionary Program. The church is to perpetuate itself by making disciples. There can be no church perpetuity apart from missionary activity. Disciples can only be made by preaching the gospel. Without missionary endeavor churches are limited to a single generation. Disciples are to be made to the end of the age, and the making of disciples guarantees church perpetuity.
2. The Teaching Program. The church is to edify itself. This means the teaching of the Word of God, for it is teaching the disciples to observe all things commanded by Christ. No place for secular education either in the great commission or in the practice or the early church. The church is not responsible for the education of the world, but for the education of the saints in the Word of God.
3. The Ceremonial Program. The church is to guard the ordinances. The preservation of these ordinances in their original purity and simplicity will help to preserve the gospel in its purity. The perversion of the gospel had its beginning in the perversion of the ordinances. When men began to trifle with the ordinances the true gospel was perverted.
4. The Benevolent Program. The church is to care for its poor. The church at Jerusalem took steps to take care of its poor widows. Paul took offerings on the mission field for the poor saints at Jerusalem.
5. The Disciplinary Program. The church is to regulate itself. It is to keep itself pure and chaste by disciplinary measures. Christ gave the church the discipline commission in “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (#Mt 18:18). Paul commanded the church at Corinth to exclude the man guilty of incest. “But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (#1Co 5:13). He commanded the church at Thessalonica, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (#2Th 3:6).
3. SOME THINGS THE CHURCH HAS NOT BEEN COMMISSIONED TO DO AND FOR WHICH THERE IS NO NEW TESTAMENT PRECEDENT.
1. It is not the duty of the church as such to reform the world. Christ and the apostles were not reformers in the modern sense of that term. The church is not a world betterment society, but a missionary society with regenerating power. This power is in the preaching of the gospel in power and demonstration of the Spirit.
2. It is not the duty of the church to feed the world. The church is not commanded to look after the material interests of the world. Of course, as individual Christians, we should do good to all men, and relieve suffering wherever we come in contact with it. But to enter into an organized capacity looking to the material welfare of the world is to become sidetracked. No Scriptural command nor example for taking part in indiscriminate relief campaigns, such as are being put on from time to time. Paul took up a collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.
3. It is not the duty of the church to educate the world. Here is a task beyond the power of the church. To the extent that the church joins in secular education to the same extent she loses her spiritual power. Secular education is an individual and state matter and not a work committed into the hands of the church, which is a spiritual institution. Schools have crippled the missionary program of Baptists as no other one thing has.
4. It is not the duty of the church to furnish lucrative positions for men and women. That is what the Baptists are doing as a denomination. The army of executives and secretaries and statistical and enlistment experts supported by so-called mission money is alarming.
5. It is not the duty of the church to provide entertainment for the world. Much of our organized work is in that direction. The wife of the pastor of one of my previous pastorates was putting on a swimming party for the young people at Disneyland. She told them she could not do it at home, for the former pastor had taught them that it is wrong.
6. It is not the duty of the church as such to build hospitals. This is a by product of Christianity, and may be done by individuals in a purely voluntary capacity, but to make it the program of all the saints is to become sidetracked. This is a work that can be and is being done by men who are not Christians. But the main task of the church is to do that which nobody else can do, namely to preach the gospel of Christ to the uttermost part of the earth.
C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3
ROME, Nov. 3, 1868
MY VERY DEAR BOY —
I have had a very happy journey and am very much better. You can trace my journey thus: I have been in stately Brussels, sniffed in odoriferous Cologne, slept in Rhine-washed Mayence, inspected regal Munich, rested in rustic Botzen, floated in palatial Venice, eaten sausage in Bologna, roamed in flowery Florence, and tarried in imperial Rome. Everywhere protected and blessed of God, I am most grateful, and desire to come back strong for the service of God.
One of my sweetest joys is to hear that a spirit of prayer is in your school, and that you participate in it. To know that you love the Lord and are mighty in prayer would be my crowning joy, and the hope that you do so already is a happy one to me. Dear boy, I should like you to preach, but it is best that you pray. Many a preacher has proved a castaway, but never one person who had truly learned to pray.
Be careful that your life is consistent with your prayers. You and your brother are differently constituted, and have different temptations, but God is able to bless you both alike, and I pray that He may do so richly.
I wish you were with me here, for you are a nice companion, and if your dear mother were here, too, it would be a joyous day. We will pray to God for her daily.
Give my regards to Mr. Olding. Receive my love for yourself.
Your loving father,
C. H. SPURGEON.
By Brett Kunkle
On Sunday, I returned home from another Berkeley Mission trip, where I intentionally exposed high school students to some of my atheist friends in the Bay Area. For the last six months, we’ve taught apologetics to these high schoolers from Upland Christian Academy. Now it was time for them to “get off the sidelines and into the game” and engage non-Christians with the truth. Of course, my atheist friends are more than happy to oblige, so they meet with our missions teams, challenge them with a short lecture, and then dive into some rigorous dialogue.
Without fail, a couple of our atheist guests will contend, “Religion is the cause of most wars.” This cultural mantra has been uttered so often….
Read the entire article here.
Many people validate themselves by the measure of their financial success. However, I’ve known many wealthy failures. Having had multiple failed relationships and marriages, they are empty. They have been left with few genuine friends.
Success? I don’t think so!
Our difficulty, however, is, even as believers, we often measure our validity by our assets. It’s not a new problem. Remember the rich young ruler? Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor and come and follow Him. We then read, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (Matthew 19:22).
For this man, Jesus was not enough for his validity! If he gave everything away, all he would have would be Jesus. I suspect that he needed possessions to authenticate his existence or to mold his identity. Jesus was not enough for Him. He needed more! What about you? Is Jesus enough?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that you give away all your money. I agree with the man who remarked,”I have been rich and I have been poor…and rich is better.” But, here’s a personal question. Are you caught up in the game of accumulating things? If so, why do you do it? Is it to gain validation? I’ll let you into a little secret … until you learn to authenticate your existence in Jesus only, you will always look for validation from others, your work, your accomplishments or from material accumulations.
No amount of wealth can validate you. In a short time, the sum total of property you will occupy will be an urn or a box in a plot 6ft by 2 and ½ feet. The important question today, therefore, is this, is Jesus enough? Are you thoroughly satisfied with Him?
Which is more important, your earthly income or your heavenly inheritance? Which is more important, the adulation of men or the applause of Heaven? Is Jesus enough?
Perhaps, on the other hand, you are ashamed because you feel that you don’t have a large enough income. But, why in the world should your bank balance matter for your validation? You are not here to win the praise of sinners. The Father is not impressed by the amount of money any man has in the bank. What does impress Him, though, is what you think of His Son. Is Jesus enough?
As for your bank balance, remember how Jesus taught it? We read, “— a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15). God does not measure your worth by the amount of money you make. In fact, many wealthy people are actually worthless when it comes to the cause of Christ: They are not, as Jesus said in Luke 12:21, “Rich toward God.”
You may think you have an unimportant job, but both your job and how you do it are crucial. Perform your job as an act of worship; do it to the glory of God. Let your validation come out of the fact that God has loved you, chosen you, called, died for you and adopted you into His Royal family. You are a child and heir of God. So, let’s ask it again, are you satisfied with Jesus? Is He enough?
Some Christians think that the way to validate themselves is through Ministry: This may sound strange, but I’ve known lots of people who have striven for a “big ministry” for no other reason than to validate their existence. Some young guys I’ve known have wanted to become Christian singer/songwriters just so they could become famous. But they’ve missed the point! There’s a lesson to be learned by all would be ministers whether preachers of the Word or worship leaders. When Jesus called the twelve into ministry, we read that, “He ordained twelve, that they should BE WITH HIM (Mark 3:12). —That’s priceless. They were ordained, that they should be with Him!… With Him…HIM.
Jesus is enough!
And that’s the Gospel Truth!