Turning the tables on atheist Richard Dawkins with his own words

This is an interesting video where the dialogue placed in Dawkins mouth is the argument used by him against the Bible and God. It is brilliantly done.

J.I.Packer – Old Gospel vs. New Gospel

by J.I.Packer (via) Banner of Truth Trust. This is an extract from the Introductory Essay to John Owen’s „Death of Death” published by the Banner of Truth Trust.

The Old Gospel and The New

The old gospel of Owen, first of all, contains no less full and free an offer of salvation than its modern counterpart. It presents ample grounds of faith (the sufficiency of Christ, and the promise of God), and cogent motives to faith (the sinner’s need, and the Creator’s command, which is also the Redeemer’s invitation). The new gospel gains nothing here by asserting universal redemption. The old gospel, certainly, has no room for the cheap sentimentalising which turns God’s free mercy to sinners into a constitutional softheartedness on His part which we can take for granted; nor will it countenance the degrading presentation of Christ as the baffled Saviour, balked in what he hoped to do by human unbelief; nor will it indulge in maudlin appeals to the unconverted to let Christ save them out of pity for His disappointment. The pitiable Saviour and the pathetic God of modern pulpits are unknown to the old gospel. The old gospel tells men that they need God, but not that God needs them (a modern falsehood); it does not exhort them to pity Christ, but announces that Christ has pitied them, though pity was the last thing they deserved. It never loses sight of the Divine majesty and sovereign power of the Christ whom it proclaims, but rejects flatly all representations of Him which would obscure His free omnipotence.

Does this mean, however, that the preacher of the old gospel is inhibited or confined in offering Christ to men and inviting them to receive Him? Not at all. In actual fact, just because he recognises that Divine mercy is sovereign and free, he is in a position to make far more of the offer of Christ in his preaching than is the expositor of the new gospel; for this offer is itself a far more wonderful thing on his principles than it can ever be in the eyes of those who regard love to all sinners as a necessity of God’s nature, and therefore a matter of course. To think that the holy Creator, who never needed man for His happiness and might justly have banished our fallen race for ever without mercy, should actually have chosen to redeem some of them! and that His own Son was willing to undergo death and descend into hell to save them! and that now from His throne He should speak to ungodly men as He does in the words of the gospel, urging upon them the command to repent and believe in the form of a compassionate invitation to pity themselves and choose life! These thoughts are the focal points round which the preaching of the old gospel revolves. It is all wonderful, just because none of it can be taken for granted. But perhaps the most wonderful thing of all – the holiest spot in all the holy ground of gospel truth – is the free invitation which „the Lord Christ ” (as Owen loves to call Him) issues repeatedly to guilty sinners to come to Him and find rest for their souls. It is the glory of these invitations that it is an omnipotent King who gives them, just as it is a chief part of the glory of the enthroned Christ that He condescends still to utter them. And it is the glory of the gospel ministry that the preacher goes to men as Christ’s ambassador, charged to deliver the King’s invitation personally to every sinner present and to summon them all to turn and live. Owen himself enlarges on this in a passage addressed to the unconverted.

„Consider the infinite condescension and love of Christ, in his invitations and calls of you to come unto him for life, deliverance, mercy, grace, peace and eternal salvation. Multitudes of these invitations and calls are recorded in the Scripture, and they are all of them filled up with those blessed encouragements which divine wisdom knows to be suited unto lost, convinced sinners…. In the declaration and preaching of them, Jesus Christ yet stands before sinners, calling, inviting, encouraging them to come unto him.

„This is somewhat of the word which he now speaks unto you: Why will ye die? why will ye perish? why will ye not have compassion on your own souls? Can your hearts endure, or can your hands be strong, in the day of wrath that is approaching?… Look unto me, and be saved; come unto me, and I will ease you of all sins, sorrows, fears, burdens, and give rest unto your souls. Come, I entreat you; lay aside all procrastinations, all delays; put me off no more; eternity lies at the door… do not so hate me as that you will rather perish than accept of deliverance by me.

„These and the like things doth the Lord Christ continually declare, proclaim, plead and urge upon the souls of sinners…. He doth it in the preaching of the word, as if he were present with you, stood amongst you, and spake personally to every one of you. He hath appointed the ministers of the gospel to appear before you, and to deal with you in his stead, avowing as his own the invitations which are given you in his name, 2 Cor. v.19,20,”

These invitations are universal; Christ addresses them to sinners, as such, and every man, as he believes God to be true, is bound to treat them as God’s words to him personally and to accept the universal assurance which accompanies them, that all who come to Christ will be received. Again, these invitations are real; Christ genuinely offers Himself to all who hear the gospel, and is in truth a perfect Saviour to all who trust Him. The question of the extent of the atonement does not arise in evangelistic preaching; the message to be delivered is simply this – that Christ Jesus, the sovereign Lord, who died for sinners, now invites sinners freely to Himself. God commands all to repent and believe; Christ promises life and peace to all who do so.

Furthermore, these invitations are marvellously gracious; men despise and reject them, and are never in any case worthy of them, and yet Christ still issues them. He need not, but He does. „Come unto me . . and I will give you rest” remains His word to the world, never cancelled, always to be preached. He whose death has ensured the salvation of all His people is to be proclaimed everywhere as a perfect Saviour, and all men invited and urged to believe on Him, whoever they are, whatever they have been. Upon these three insights the evangelism of the old gospel is based.

It is a very ill-informed supposition that evangelistic preaching which proceeds on these principles must be anaemic and half-hearted by comparison with what Arminians can do. Those who study the printed sermons of worthy expositors of the old gospel, such as Bunyan (whose preaching Owen himself much admired), or Whitefield, or Spurgeon, will find that in fact they hold forth the Saviour and summon sinners to Him with a fulness, warmth, intensity and moving force unmatched in Protestant pulpit literature. And it will be found on analysis that the very thing which gave their preaching its unique power to overwhelm their audiences with broken-hearted joy at the riches of God’s grace – and still gives it that power, let it be said, even with hard-boiled modem readers – was their insistence on the fact that grace is free. They knew that the dimensions of Divine love are not half understood till one realises that God need not have chosen to save nor given his Son to die; nor need Christ have taken upon him vicarious damnation to redeem men, nor need He invite sinners indiscriminately to Himself as He does; but that all God’s gracious dealings spring entirely from His own free purpose.

Knowing this, they stressed it, and it is this stress that sets their evangelistic preaching in a class by itself. Other Evangelicals, possessed of a more superficial and less adequate theology of grace, have laid the main emphasis in their gospel preaching on the sinner’s need of forgiveness, or peace, or power, and of the way to get them by „deciding for Christ.” It is not to be denied that their preaching has done good (for God will use His truth, even when imperfectly held and mixed with error), although this type of evangelism is always open to the criticism of being too man-centred and pietistic; but it has been left (necessarily) to Calvinists and those who, like the Wesleys, fall into Calvinistic ways of thought as soon as they begin a sermon to the unconverted, to preach the gospel in a way which highlights above – everything else the free love, willing condescension, patient long-suffering and infinite kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Without doubt, this is the most Scriptural and edifying way to preach it; for gospel invitations to sinners never honour God and exalt Christ more, nor are more powerful to awaken and confirm faith, than when full weight is laid on the free omnipotence of the mercy from which they flow. It looks, indeed, as if the preachers of the old gospel are the only people whose position allows them to do justice to the revelation of Divine goodness in the free offer of Christ to sinners.

Then, in the second place, the old gospel safeguards values which the new gospel loses. We saw before that the new gospel, by asserting universal redemption and a universal Divine saving purpose, compels itself to cheapen grace and the Cross by denying that the Father and the Son are sovereign in salvation; for it assures us that, after God and Christ have done all that they can, or will, it depends finally on each man’s own choice whether God’s purpose to save him is realised or not. This position has two unhappy results.

The first is that it compels us to misunderstand the significance of the gracious invitations of Christ in the gospel of which we have been speaking; for we now have to read them, not as expressions of the tender patience of a mighty sovereign, but as the pathetic pleadings of impotent desire; and so the enthroned Lord is suddenly metamorphosed into a weak, futile figure tapping forlornly at the door of the human heart, which He is powerless to open. This is a shameful dishonour to the Christ of the New Testament.

The second implication is equally serious: for this view in effect denies our dependence on God when it comes to vital decisions, takes us out of His hand, tells us that we are, after all, what sin taught us to think we were-masters of our fate, captain of our souls-and so undermines the very foundation of man’s religious relationship with his Maker. It can hardly be wondered at that the converts of the new gospel are so often both irreverent and irreligious, for such is the natural tendency of this teaching. The old gospel, however, speaks very differently and has a very different tendency. On the one hand, in expounding man’s need of Christ, it stresses something which the new gospel effectively ignores – that sinners cannot obey the gospel, any more than the law, without renewal of heart. On the other hand, in declaring Christ’s power to save, it proclaims Him as the author and chief agent of conversion, coming by His Spirit as the gospel goes forth to renew men’s hearts and draw them to Himself.

Accordingly, in applying the message, the old gospel, while stressing that faith is man’s duty, stresses also that faith is not in man’s power, but that God must give what He commands. It announces, not merely that men must come to Christ for salvation, but also that they cannot come unless Christ Himself draws them. Thus it labours to overthrow self-confidence, to convince sinners that their salvation is altogether out of their hands, and to shut them up to a self-despairing dependence on the glorious grace of a sovereign Saviour, not only for their righteousness but for their faith too.

It is not likely, therefore, that a preacher of the old gospel will be happy to express the application of it in the form of a demand to „decide for Christ,” as the current phrase is. For, on the one hand, this phrase carries the wrong associations. It suggests voting a person into office – an act in which the candidate plays no part beyond offering himself for election, and everything then being settled by the voter’s independent choice. But we do not vote God’s Son into office as our Saviour, nor does He remain passive while preachers campaign on His behalf, whipping up support for His cause. We ought not to think of evangelism as a kind of electioneering. And then, on the other hand, this phrase obscures the very thing that is essential in repentance and faith – the denying of self in a personal approach to Christ. It is not at all obvious that deciding for Christ is the same as coming to Him and resting On Him and turning from sin and self-effort; it sounds like something much less, and is accordingly calculated to instil defective notions of what the gospel really requires of sinners. It is not a very apt phrase from any point of view.

To the question: what must I do to be saved? the old gospel replies: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To the further question: what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? its reply is: it means knowing oneself to be a sinner, and Christ to have died for sinners; abandoning all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and casting oneself wholly upon Him for pardon arid peace; and exchanging one’s natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ through the renewing of one’s heart by the Holy Ghost.

And to the further question still: how am I to go about believing on Christ and repenting, if I have no natural ability to do these things? it answers: look to Christ, speak to Christ, cry to Christ, just as you are; confess your sin, your impenitence, your unbelief, and cast yourself on His mercy; ask Him to give you a new heart, working in you true repentance and firm faith; ask Him to take away your evil heart of unbelief and to write His law within you, that you may never henceforth stray from Him. Turn to Him and trust Him as best you can, and pray for grace to turn and trust more thoroughly; use the means of grace expectantly, looking to Christ to draw near to you as you seek to draw near to Him; watch, pray, read and hear God’s Word, worship and commune with God’s people, and so continue till you know in yourself beyond doubt that you are indeed a changed being, a penitent believer, and the new heart which you desired has been put within you. The emphasis in this advice is on the need to call upon Christ directly, as the very first step.

„Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him”

so do not postpone action till you think you are better, but honestly confess your badness and give yourself up here and now to the Christ who alone can make you better; and wait on Him till His light rises in your soul, as Scripture promises that it shall do. Anything less than this direct dealing with Christ is disobedience of the gospel. Such is the exercise of spirit to which the old evangel summons its hearers. „I believe-help thou mine unbelief”: this must become their cry.

And the old gospel is proclaimed in the sure confidence that the Christ of whom it testifies, the Christ who is the real speaker when the Scriptural invitations to trust Him are expounded and applied, is not passively waiting for man’s decision as the word goes forth, but is omnipotently active, working with and through the word to bring His people to faith in Himself. The preaching of the new gospel is often described as the task of „bringing men to Christ ” – as if only men move, while Christ stands still. But the task of preaching the old gospel could more properly be described as bringing Christ to men, for those who preach it know that as they do their work of setting Christ before men’s eyes, the mighty Saviour whom they proclaim is busy doing His work through their words, visiting sinners with salvation, awakening them to faith, drawing them in mercy to Himself.

It is this older gospel which Owen will teach us to preach: the gospel of the sovereign grace of God in Christ as the author and finisher of faith and salvation. It is the only gospel which can be preached on Owen’s principles, but those who have tasted its sweetness will not in any case be found looking for another. In the matter of believing and preaching the gospel, as in other things, Jeremiah’s words still have their application:

„Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” To find ourselves debarred, as Owen would debar us, from taking up with the fashionable modern substitute gospel may not, after all, be a bad thing, either for us, or for the Church.

More might be said, but to go farther would be to exceed the limits of an introductory essay. The foregoing remarks are made simply to show how important it is at the present time that we should attend most carefully to Owen’s analysis of what the Bible says about the saving work of Christ.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces imminent execution in Iran

The Christian Post reports that 34 year old Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been under death sentence for refusing to renounce his Christian faith was under court examination this week after the Iran Supreme Court upheld his death sentence of September 2010. Pastor Nadarkhani has been jailed since 2009.

The Christian Post reports that „On Wednesday, Nadarkhani refused for the fourth time in open court to renounce his Christian faith. That’s one opportunity more than required under Iranian law to execute the pastor for apostasy. In a letter Nadarkhani wrote last June from Iran’s Lakin Prison, he affirmed his determination to stay true to his Christian faith even to his death.”

Pastor Nadarkhani obviously is standing on God’s word- Luke 12:4

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

He should make us consider carefully how much we trust Christ and how much we reflect this in the way we live our life each and every day.

May the Lord be with him! And may he shake us all out of our selfishness and complacency.

You can read the article here at the Christian Post website.

Florin Ianovici – Insetat dupa fericire

Florin Ianovici – Însetat dupa fericire
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The Immutability of God

Milky Way Galaxy over the French Alps (Nasa-Apod)

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)

Rev. Al Baker:

Astronomers tell us that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has over three billion stars, that it is one thousand light years deep, that it is one hundred thousand light years across. One light year is the speed of light (one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second) multiplied by every second in one year! They also say that there are one hundred billion galaxies in our universe. These figures are incomprehensible to us, but they proclaim a God of immeasurable glory and immensity, One who fills up every inch of his creation with his omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience.

James refers to God as ‘the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow’. Earlier he urges us not to be deceived, not to be led astray by wrong notions. He is after our holiness, saying that the trials of life are from God’s hand, that the temptations of life are put there by the devil, with God ordaining the devil’s work of temptation. It is within this context of trial and temptation that James lays down two foundational principles — the doctrine of God and the doctrine of salvation. In this verse he takes up the doctrine of God, telling us that he is unchangeable. Every day of the year finds the sun rising and setting at different times. The shadows vary daily, but the Father of lights who created the vastness of all universes is unlike his creation. He does not change. He is the same every day!

The Greek text uses two different words (dosis and dorema) in speaking of God’s gifts. The first word (good thing bestowed) has to do with the gift itself. God is saying that he is the author of all things and these always ultimately are good, even the trials of life (Rom.s 8:28). The second word deals with the character or quality of the gifts that God gives (every perfect gift) those things which come down from heaven and the hand of God (Mark 1:10, Rev. 3:12). And why does God give these perfect gifts? So that we may have perfect endurance that leads to perfect holiness which comes from perfect prayer which can only come through perfect faith (James 1:2-11).

And James puts forth two important attributes of God in this verse. He speaks of him as one of unmitigable transcendence (Gen. 1:1, Mal. 4:2, John 1:4, 1 John 1:5). He is eternal, transcendent, and separate from us, a being of immeasurable immensity. He is beyond time and space. Practically this means that he sits on his throne in heaven and does as he pleases (Psa. 115:3). Nothing or no one can thwart his sovereign plan. If we stop here, however, we may be tempted to see God as capricious or arbitrary. But James also tells us that he is a God of immutable or unchangeable love (Mal. 3:6, 1 John 3:1, Jer. 31:3). His love is eternal and literally ‘out of this world’. Here’s what James is telling us — God always does good for all his people, all the time.

If you presently are ‘living large’, then you no doubt can easily agree with this statement. If you have a great job where you are making lots of money, if you have a spouse and lovely, healthy, growing children, if you are enjoying a pain free life, then sure, you agree with this statement. But what if you have recently gone through the pain of divorce or separation? What if you live with an abusive alcoholic or drug addict who is running the family into poverty? What if you are out of work and you are watching your net worth diminish? What if you live with the constant threat of being laid off from your job? What if your children are breaking your heart by walking away from the faith you love and taught them? What if you are watching a loved one waste away from some terrible form of cancer? Can you still say that God always does good for all his people all the time?

Not only can you say, ‘Yes’, to this question but you must say ‘Yes’ to it. If you do not learn to consider all trials with joy, if you do not see that everything comes from the hand of God and ultimately is a good and perfect gift meant for the perfection of your holiness, then you will not make it in this world. You will eventually ‘cash in your chips’, walk away from the faith, or find some other god to bring comfort. If you desire, with Paul, ‘to fight the good fight of faith, to finish the course, to keep the faith,’ then you must believe and act upon the glorious truth that God always does good for all his people all the time.

How can you get there? You must do what James is telling you to do in this verse. You must learn to argue the greater to the lesser. He is putting forth the vastness of creation and the fact that a God of unmitigable transcendence and immutable love is the great lover of your soul. If he has done this awesome work of creation, if he sustains it, if he fills up the vastness of his creation with his glorious presence, then surely he can take care of you! If the heavens are telling of the glory of God, if the expanse is declaring the work of his hands (Psa. 19:1), if he has marked off the expanse of the heavens by the span of his hands (Isa. 40:12), if he has created the stars, if he leads forth their host by number, if he calls all the billions and billions of stars by name, if none of them are missing due to the greatness of his might and the strength of his power (Isa. 40:26), then surely you can trust him in every circumstance of your life! If God has loved you with his everlasting love (Jer. 31:3), if he has known and loved you as long as he has existed (Rom. 8:29), if absolutely nothing can separate you from his love (Rom. 8:31ff), then can you not trust him to bring good from everything in your life?

In John 17:9, while praying for his immediate disciples, Jesus says, ‘I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine.’ On the one hand, this is glorious and comforting to the believer. It means you can be certain that the Lord Jesus is always praying for you (Heb. 7:25). When you face trials, know that Jesus prays to his Father on your behalf, asking him to sustain you, to perfect you, to give you his perfect peace (John 14:27). On the other hand, this is a very sobering statement because it means the unbeliever is totally alone in this world. He has no heavenly Father. He has no priestly Jesus to intercede on his behalf. He faces the trials and sorrows of life without supernatural intervention. He has chosen to believe that God does not exist, or that he is impersonal, imperious, or impotent. Thus he reaps the awful fruit of his unbelief. He must go it alone. Not so for you, if you are in Jesus. So argue the greater to the lesser and find your comfort and hope in Jesus, the great lover of your soul!

Rev. Allen M Baker is Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Deschiderea Bisericii Gloria Arad-Bujac in poze

poza design – Lexus publicitate

Poze de la Consacrarea noii cladiri si

Saptamina de Evanghelizare din 11-18 Septembrie,2011

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Click AICI sa vizionati toate pozele pe situl Bisericii Gloria

In acest video, vizionati prima ora de la Deschiderea Bisericii Gloria Bujac 11 Septembrie, 2011-include istoricul Bisericii.

Vasile Oprea şi Rugul Aprins la BĂLENI 19 Septembrie 2011

Faceti click pe poza pentru Pagina Vasile Oprea. Aici se poate viziona interviul fratelui Oprea realizat de Tudor Petan de la Alfa Omega TV.

Part 1

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Spurgeon and the Love of God

The most serious difference of all between evangelical Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism arises on the subject of the Love of God. In the fourth and final point in Iain H Murray’s  book ‘Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, Murray lays out Spurgeon’s case (P 88).

Spurgeon saw that behind the distortion of predestination, and the unwillingness to believe that gospel invitations are to be addressed freely to all men, lay a failure to understand what Scripture reveals about the character of God himself. If God has chosen an elect people, then Hyper-Calvinism argued, he can have no desire for the salvation of any others and to speak as though he had, is to deny the particularity of grace. Of course, Hyper-Calvinists accepted that the gospel be preached to all, but they denied that such preaching was intended to demonstrate any love on the part of God for all, or any invitation to all to receive mercy.

A sermon of 1858 which Spurgeon preached on „Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility” identified this crucial difference with Hyper-Calvinism. He took for his text the words of God quoted by Paul in Romans 10:20-21, „I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, all day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.’ In such words Spurgeon saw proof that God can be said to desire the salvation even of those who persist in rejecting him:

‘Lost sinners who sit under the sound of the gospel are not lost for the want of the most affectionate invitation. God says he stretches out his hands…What did he wish them to come for? Why, to be saved. „No,” says one, „it was for temporal mercies”. Not so my friend, the verse before is concerning spiritual mercies, and so is this one, for they refer to the same thing. Now, was God sincere in his offer? God forgive the man dares say he was not. God is undoubtedly sincere in every act he did. He sent his prophets, he entreated the people of Israel to lay hold on spiritual things, but they would not, and though he stretched out his hands all the day long, yet they were „a disobedient and gainsaying people’, and would not have his love.

Spurgeon regarded the denial of God’s desire for the salvation of all men as no mere theoretical mistake. For it converged with one of the greatest obstacles to faith on the part of the unconverted, that is to say, a wrong view of the character of God. Men „imagine that God is a severe being, angry and fierce, very easily moved to wrath, but not so easily to be induced to love’. The truth of divine love is the last to enter men’s heads.

Spurgeon comments, „We think that ultra-calvinism, which goes vastly beyond the teaching of Christ…gets its support from a wrong view of God. To the ultra-calvinist his absolute sovereignty is delightfully conspicuous. He is awe-stricken with the great and glorious attributes of the Most High. His omnipotence appals him, and his sovereignty astonishes him, and he at once submits as by a stern necessity to the will of God. He, however, too much forgets that God is love…To see the holiness, the love, the justice, the faithfulness, the immutability, the omnipotence, and the sovereignty of God, all shining like a bright corona of eternal and ineffable light, this has never been given perfectly to any human being, and inasmuch as we have not seen all these, as we hope yet to see them, our faulty vision has been the ground of diver’s mistakes.’

If it were not that ‘God is love’ his presence could never have been desirable to sinners. The gospel presents love as the attraction. „God so loved”. It is love that draws, as the record of the four Gospels make abundantly plain. What was it that moved him as he saw the multitude but a compassion for all? (Matt. 9:36) What but love brought him to weep over lost Jerusalem? (Luke 19:41) and to say, „How often would I have gathered thy children…and ye would not!” (Matt.23:37)The preaching of Christ contained a promise of welcome for all and his whole life revealed him longing for the salvation of men and women. ‘None of us,’ says Spurgeon, ‘loves men as Christ loves them. We say,”Sinner, only trust in Christ.” Ah, ye do not know what a great „only” that is. It is a work so great that no man can do it unaided by God…But if anything can call faith into excercise,”he goes on, it is the knowledge ‘that Christ is willing to receive thee'”. Preaching Christ for Spurgeon, had to include the urging of this knowledge upon all:

„If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” He invites men to come, he pleads with them to come; and when they will not come he gently upbraids them wih such words as these, „Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life”… All our Lord’s sermons were so many loving calls to poor aching hearts to come and find what they need in him. „Beloved, there is nothing that so delights Jesus Christ as to save sinners…

But it is more than knowledge of the love of God as taught in SCripture which preachers need. They must themselves be possessed by the love of which they speak. Invitations to trust in Christ preached without love are no invitations at all.

It was Spurgeon’s own persuasion of the love of Christ for the souls of the men that lies at the heart of his weekly evangelistic preaching in London for thirty-seven years. He had no hesitation in concluding sermons with such words as, „Cast yourself upon the Saviour’s love and you shall go down to your house justified”. Sometimes Spurgeon made reference to his own experience, then entreating:

„Do you turn away and say you will not be commanded? Then again will I change my note…I exhort you to flee to Christ. Oh my brother, doest thou know what a loving Christ he is? Let me tell thee from my own soul what I know of him…I thought that Christ was cruel and unkind. Oh I can never forgive myself that I would have thought so ill of him. But what a loving reception did I have when I went to him. I thought he would smite me, but his hand was not clenched in anger but opened wide in mercy…his eyes were full of tears. He fell on my neck and kissed me…I entreat you to stop and consider. Do you know what it is you are rejecting this morning? You are rejecting Christ, your only Saviour…I should be worse than a fiend if I did not now, with all love and kindness and earnestness, beseech you to „lay hold on eternal life, to labour not for the meat that perishes, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life”.

Iain Murray here ends with a quote from another Calvinist preacher who similarly entreats sinners with, „The Gospel does not say: ‘There is a Savior, if you wish to be saved;’ but, „Sir, you have no right to go to hell. You can’t go there without trampling the Son of God.”

Îl Dezonorezi Pe Dumnezeu Când Te Bazezi Pe Tine Însuţi by Tim Conway

Tim Conway- illbehonest.com/romana
Fraţii mei, cum vă spuneam şi săptămâna trecută despre împăratul Asa, Biblia spune că el, chiar în timpul bolii lui, a căutat pe doctori şi n-a căutat pe Domnul. Fraţi creştini,când aveţi probleme cu banii şi nu-L căutaţi mai întâi pe Domnul, sau probleme cu sănătatea, nevoi în trup, şi nu-L căutaţi mai întâi pe Domnul, când aveţi nevoie de mâncare, sau de îmbrăcăminte, când aveţi nevoie de ajutor, sau de o casă, sau de o biserică, atunci când aveţi nevoie de pricepere, sau de umilinţă, când aveţi nevoie… fraţii mei, oricare ar fi acea nevoie, dacă nu-L căutaţi pe Dumnezeu mai întâi, se numeşte mândrie, înseamnă a te baza pe braţul de carne, iar Dumnezeu urăşte asta, şi este total opus felului în care Dumnezeu a creat universul.

Trebuie să deveniţi convinşi de acest lucru, şi să-l recunoaşteţi în orice. Noaptea când vă aşezaţi capul pe pernă, să-I mulţumiţi Domnului că aveţi o pernă, iar dimneaţa când vă treziţi, să-i mulţumiţi că v-a  dat o nouă zi. Fraţii mei, trebuie să înţelegeţi că atunci când nu-L recunoaştem pe El în toate lucrurile, înseamnă că Îl necinstim. Atunci când nu-I cereţi Lui mai întâi ajutorul în orice nevoie, Îl necinstiţi. Fraţii mei, oamenii sunt aroganţi, sunt mândri şi vor să fie independenţi şi trebuie să vedeţi asta în voi înşivă. Ca să lupţaţi împotriva acestui lucru, mai întâi, fraţilor, trebuie să-i  spuneţi pe nume. Trebuie să înţelegeţi că Dumnezeu nu l-a creat pe om ca să se laude toată ziua cu darurile lui sau cu lucrurile pe care le are.

Apostolul spune, „Ce lucru ai, pe care să nu-l fi primit?” (1Cor.4:7) Nu aveţi nimic, absolut nimic… Fără El nu sunteţi buni de nimic, fără El sunteţi nefolositori. Fraţii mei, trăiţi în lumina acestui lucru. Acesta este primul şi cel mai important principiu, unul fundamental atunci când vă luptaţi cu poftele firii pământeşti, iar una din aceste pofte este cea de autoînălţare. Este acea dorinţă din voi de a vă înălţa eul pe un piedestal de a vă afişa pe voi înşivă, de a vă plasa pe voi în centru, de a vă comporta ca şi cum aţi fi cineva şi de a fi lăudaţi pentru ce sunteţi. Fraţilor, asta vine în noi în mod natural din omul firesc, dar cu ajutorul lui Dumnezeu noi nu mai suntem oameni fireşti, ci trăim în puterea Altuia, puterea Celui Preaînalt, şi fraţilor, aici se dă lupta cea mai mare şi trebuie să luptaţi împotriva acestui lucru. Fraţilor, lăsaţi acest adevăr să vă sune mereu în minte. Nu doar atunci când Îl necinstim îşi abate El harul de la noi. Scriptura spune foarte clar că El stă împotriva celor mândri. Fraţilor, vă reamintesc că 1 Petru capitolul 5 e scris  celor din biserică. El se adresează creştinilor atunci când spune „Dumnezeu stă împotriva celor mândri” Îmi daţi voie să vă spun încă ceva? Sunt multe exemple  în Scriptură… Dumnezeu nu doar că se opune celor nemântuiţi mândri, El se opune şi celor mândri dintre creştini.

Mă vei întreba, „E posibil?” „E posibil ca şi cei mântuiţi să fie mândri?” Fraţilor, la fel a făcut şi Ezechia, şi Asa. Când Iacov şi Ioan cereau să stea la dreapta şi la stânga lui Hristos, exact asta făceau. Sau când se certau toţi care să fie mai mare între ei, exact asta se întâmpla. Dar acelaşi Petru care se certa împreună cu ei, mai târziu a spus „Dumnezeu stă împotriva celor mândri.” Auziţi ce a zis Petru, plin de sine: „dacă alţii se vor lepăda de Tine, EU, NICIODATĂ.” Dumnezeu l-a lăsat să dea cu nasul de pământ. El l-a lăsat pe diavol să-l ispitească pe Petru atât de tare încât diavolul a trebuit să-şi ceară voie. Fraţilor, când Dumnezeu se hotărăşte să stea împotriva voastră, fiţi cu băgare de seamă, căci veţi simţi din plin împotrivirea. Aveţi mare grijă. Trebuie să fim convinşi de asta.
Fraţilor… fiţi deplin convinşi că aveţi nevoie de asta. Fiţi convinşi că există prea puţină consideraţie în biserică, sau în predicare prea puţină consideraţie în voi înşivă, în mine însumi, pentru acest lucru.

Chemarea la smerenie mă tem că a fost prea puţin luată în consideraţie în biserică şi asta fiindcă adevărata ei valoare şi importanţă au fost prea puţin apreciate. Şi vă mai spun ceva:  Smerenia nu vine fără efort. Ea vine prin luptă şi vine cu lacrimi. Fraţii mei, este la fel ca şi cu orice alt lucru din lumea spirituală. Vine atunci când o doreşti, când tânjeşti după ea, vine atunci când eşti convins, când spui „chiar am nevoie de ea,” vine atunci când o faci unul din lucrurile principale pentru care te rogi, când devine acel „berbece” cu care ataci poarta cerului, „Tată, te rog să mi-o dai, te rog dă-mi-o! Tu mi-ai spus că mă vei face asemeni lui Hristos, dă-mi smerenie, eu o văd ca pe ceva bun.” „Îmbrăcaţivă cu smerenie!”, a spus apostolul, iar în alt loc a spus că ne îndeamnă şi ne sfătuieşte să ne purtăm într-un chip vrednic de chemarea pe care am primit-o, cu toată smerenia şi blândeţea.

Cu toată smerenia, fraţii mei! Trebuie să ne-o dorim cu disperare, să o căutăm cu toată seriozitatea. Rugaţi-vă pentru ea ca şi cum sufletul vostru ar fi în joc, pentru că chiar este. Chiar este, fraţii mei, şi trebuie să fim convinşi de asta. Şi nu ştiu dacă chiar suntem noi deplin convinşi de cât de multă nevoie avem de ea. Smerenia trebuie să fie obiectul atenţiei noastre deosebite, a dorinţei noastre adânci, a rugăciunii noastre fierbinţi, a credinţei noastre. Ce vreau să spun prin asta? Că prin credinţă, fraţii mei, trebuie să o apucăm, „Doamne.. tu ai promis că ne vei face asemenea chipului lui Hristos şi una din caracteristicile Lui principale este că El e blând şi smerit cu inima. El nu şi-a plăcut Lui însuşi, El nu a venit să fie slujit ci să slujească, şi ne-a spus să îl urmăm pe El.

Doamne, te rugăm, dă-ne smerenie. Ne-ai spus că nu ne vei lipsi de niciun bine atunci când Ţi-l cerem fierbinte. Ne-ai spus că până şi noi care suntem răi ştim să dăm daruri bune copiilor noştri… şi cu atât mai mult Tu ne vei da orice lucru bun pe care ţi-l cerem. Doamne, te rugăm să ne dai smerenie, credem că ea este un lucru bun, credem asta, oamne.” Ea trebuie să fie obiectul unei practici deosebite, trebuie să avem o strategie prin care urmărim smerenia.
Isus a spus, „Învăţaţi de la Mine!” Fraţilor, mulţi dintre voi, cei ce sunteţi tineri, tocmai aţi terminat şcoala sau sunteţi chiar acum în şcoală. Gândiţi-vă puţin la materia care nu vă plăcea deloc în şcoală. Vi se părea uşoară? Trebuia să învăţaţi mult pentru ea, să studiaţi din greu. Fraţii mei, ce vreau să vă spun este că, aşa cum le-am spus şi celor din Laredo, unde am predicat duminica asta: eu am făcut toate nivelele de analiză matematică. Fraţii mei, să înveţi atâta analiză nu vine fără efort şi vă garantez un lucru – nu veţi învăţa smerenia lui Hristos, blândeţea lui Hristos, umilinţa lui Hristos, citind biblia în treacăt sau chinuindu-vă să o citiţi o dată sau de două ori pe săptămână. Fraţii mei, analiza matematică se învaţă depunând efort, cu multă silinţă, cu nopţi nedormite şi studiind mult, iar pe Hristos îl veţi învăţa mai greu decât am învăţat eu analiza. Vă garantez, fraţilor, că aveţi nevoie de multă determinare pentru a învăţa o astfel de smerenie.

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Emma si Cristi Repede – Seara de Tineret Biserica Betel, Bucuresti

Septembrie 20, 2011 uploaded by 

Dumnezeu e taria mea/Isus al meu prieten scump

Emma & Cristi Repede – Dumnezeu e Tăria mea / Isus al meu prieten scump
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O creste-mi iubirea

O creşte-mi iubirea în inima mea
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Jesus’ Shocking Life – Peter Kreeft at Saddleback Church – Essential Apologetics

A „MUST LISTEN TO” lecture by every christian!

Photo of Dr. Peter Kreeft; courtesy of Boston College, Office of Marketing and CommunicationsPeter Kreeft, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King’s
College (Empire State Building), in New York City. He is a regular contributor to
several Christian publications, is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences, and
is the author of over 63 books including:

From the Ahmanson Lecture Series at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church:
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Spurgeon on Human Responsibility

„If he be lost, damnation is all of man, but, if he be saved, still salvation is all of God”

from a sermon entitled „Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace.

This is the third of four reasons Iain Murray in his book ‘Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism recounts Spurgeon’s debate with the Hyper-Calvinists of his time. While doing so, Spurgeon lays down the foundation for a doctrine that helps the reader grasp a better understanding of the most debated texts of Evangelical Christians (in the Arminian v. Calvinism debate).


The two convictions so far stated -that gospel invitations are to be addressed to al, and that the warrant to believe lies in the commands and promises of Scripture lead us to the heart of the dispute- It concerns the place of man’s responsibility, or his free agency. Free agency is not to be confused with „free-will”. Since the fall, men have not lost their responsibility but they have lost their ability, the will, to obey God. Hyper-Calvinism argues that sinners cannot be required to do what they are not able to do, namely to believe in Christ for their salvation. The ability to believe belongs only to the elect, and that at the time determined by the Spirit of God. So for a preacher to call all his hearers to immediate repentance and faith is do deny both human depravity and the sovereignty of grace.

Spurgeon did not reply to this argument, as many have done, by weakening the biblical teaching on human depravity and inability. His sermons prove the truth of his words,”We shall proclaim the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, without toning it down, and electing love without stuttering over it.” He asserted, as strongly as it has ever been asserted, that the will of God is omnipotent both in the provision and in the application of every part of salvation. But his response to the Hyper-Calvinist argument was to assert another equally biblical truth, namely that man is wholly responsible for his own sin. God is not its author. Those who hear the Gospel and reject the Saviour will not be able to plead that sovereignty prevented them from excercising the obedience of faith. None will be able to claim that God excluded them. No, it is on account of sin alone, including the sin of unbelief, that unrepentant sinners will finally be condemned and lost for ever.

Asked to explain such a mystery, Spurgeon constantly replied that it was not his business to do so. His duty was to deal with the whole range of Scriptural truth and to declare it in its true proportions. To limit the message to such truths as we can see to be consistent with each other is to excercise a liberty to which we have no right. The great error of Hyper-Calvinism is to neglect one side of the Word of God because it does not know how to explain both that the will of Godis effective and sovereign in all things and that man is free and responsible for all his actions. „Both are true; no two truths can be inconsistent with each other, and what you have to do is believe them both.” In an early sermon on ‘Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility’ Spurgeon introduced his subject with these words:

„The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once…Now, if I waqs to declare that man was free to act, that there is no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free to be responsible, I am driven at once to Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestinates and that man is responsible, are two things that few of us can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is the fault of our weak judgement…it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

This truth will be found over and over again in Spurgeon’s sermons. Murray gives another example from another sermon where Spurgeon states:

But I do equally believe in the free agency of man, that man acts as he wills,especially in moral operations- choosing the evil with a will that is unbiased by anything that comes from God, biased only by his own depravity of heart and the peverseness of his habits; choosing the right too, with perfect freedom, though sacredly guided and led by the Holy Spirit…I believe that man is as accountable as if there were no destiny whatsoever…Where these two truths meet I do not know, nor do I want to know.

O rugaciune in cintare (Exceptionala!) via rmvmesagerul

As vrea sa ma pierd in lumina Ta
Cit as vrea sa ma nasc din nou in dragostea Ta
Duhul Sfint sa il simt in inima mea
Sint dorinte ce nu le pot uita.

Te strig mereu , Te chem in viata mea
Te-ador mereu, Tu esti lumina mea
Ma daruiesc mereu, sa fac voia Ta
Sa te slujesc toata viata mea.

Te strig mereu , Te chem in viata mea
Te caut cu tot sa-mi umpli inima
Numai Tu m-ai iubit si m-ai iertat…

uploaded by by (care are dintre cele mai frumoase cintari pe Youtube)

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A challenging video from I’ll-be-honest:The Love of Jesus Christ: The Great Worth of Sinners, Prostitutes, and Drunkards

Thanks to Adrian Martin for this video and for living out this message-

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and here’s the full sermon- Ryan Fullerton

The Value of Sinners, Prostitutes, and Drunkards – Ryan Fullerton
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Spurgeon – The Warrant of Faith – What do I need to know before I trust in Christ?

From Iain H. Murray’s book Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism – The Battle for Gospel Preaching (p 71):

One of the reasons Spurgeon rejected Hyper-Calvinism was that it turned individuals away from their sure warrant for trusting in Christ, namely the objective commands and invitations of the Gospel. Hyper-Calvinism denies such a universal warrant, applicable to all, and claims instead, that Scripture only addresses invitations to specific people- to the penitent, the „heavy laden”, to the convicted, to the „sensible sinner”, and so on. Under such preaching, gospel hearers must first find some warrant within themselves for thinking  that Christ’s invitations are addressed to them personally. Subjective experience is thus made a kind of necessar preliminary and qualification before anyone can trust in scriptural promises.

Against this,  Spurgeon held that the scriptural warrant for the unconverted to trust in Christ rests on nothing in themselves; the warrant lies in the invitation of Christ. 

His entire presentation of the gospel turned on the truth that no sinner has any more warrant than any other for trusting in Christ. The warrant lies in Scripture alone. Before a man has any willingness to be saved, ‘it is his duty to believe in Christ, for it is not man’s willingness that gives him a right to believe.Men are to believe in obedience to God’s command. God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, and this is his great command, „Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. Christ’s ambassadors are authorised to call „on all people of every clime and kindred, to believe the gospel with a promise of personal salvation to each and everyone that believes”. The message is not ‘wait for feelings’, it is,’Believe and live’. I’I find Jesus Christ says nothing to sinners about waiting, but very much about coming’.

To this the Hyper-Calvinists replied that if all are called to trust in Christ then such trust must involve them believing a falsehood because Christ has not died for all…and they chraged Spurgeon with inconsistency because Spurgeon believed in particular redemption. But Spurgeon, along with Scripture, did not make, „Believe that Christ died for you’, part of faith to which the unbeliever is summoned. The call to the sinner is to commit himself to Christ, not because he has been saved but rather because he is lost and must come to Jesus in order to be saved.

This still does not answer the question, How can sinners be offered a salvation which Christ did not fulfill on their behalf? Spurgeon set that question aside as something which God has not chosen to explain. It was enough for him to know that Christ does offer himself to all, that the gospel is for „every creature”, that all who come to Him will be saved, and that all who reject Him will be without excuse.

You can read Spurgeon’s sermon „A warrant of faith” here at spurgeon.org. The sermon was delivered Sunday morning, September 20th, 1863.

Cristian Barbosu – Cum si de ce m-am pocait !!!

Fratele Cristian Barbosu este Pastorul Bisericii Metanoia din Arad, Romania. Ca sa il cunoasteti putin, cititi aici un articol precedent:

Pastorul Cristian Barbosu, Biserica Metanoia – Cum i-a vorbit Dumnezeu in 2008 si o predica  la Oradea.

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‪Praise and worship from Don Moen – Excellent music for the Lord’s Day (74 minutes)‬‏

praiseand worship from Don Moen 1. Our Father Overture 2. Our Father 3. Lift Up Your Heads 4:33 4. Sing For Joy 4:05 5. River of Love 4:33 6. Two Hands, One Heart 4:06 7. Glory to The Lord 8. As We Worship You 9. Here We Are 10. Have Your Way 11. Don Sharing 12. Like Eagles 13. Don Sharing 0:39 14. We Wait 4:00 15. Don Sharing 2:16 16. I Will Sing 4:37 17. Don Sharing 0:4
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