The devil’s old delusion!

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The devil’s old delusion!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!” Luke 3

We have, in these verses, a specimen of John the Baptist’s ministry. It is a portion of Scripture which should always be especially interesting to a Christian mind.

We should first mark the holy boldness with which John addresses the multitudes who came to his baptism. He speaks to them as a “brood of vipers!” He saw the rottenness and hypocrisy of the profession which the crowd around him were making, and uses language descriptive of their case. 
His head was not turned by popularity. 
He did not care who was offended by his words.
The spiritual disease of those before him was desperate, and of long standing–and he knew that desperate diseases need strong remedies!

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain speaking ministers in our days–like John the Baptist. 

A morbid dislike to strong language; 
an excessive fear of giving offence; 
a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking–
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit. 

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no charity . . .
  in flattering unconverted people, 
  in abstaining from any mention of their vices, 
  or in applying smooth names to damnable sins! 

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you.” Luke 6:26. In the other it is written, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men–or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men–I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10

We should mark, also–how plainly John speaks to his hearers about HELL and danger! 
He tells them that there is a “coming wrath!” 
He speaks of “the ax” of God’s judgment–and of unfruitful trees being “thrown into the fire!”

The subject of HELL is always offensive to human nature. The minister who dwells much upon it–must expect to find himself regarded as barbaric, violent, unfeeling and narrow-minded! 

Men love to hear “smooth things,” and to be told of peace, and not of danger. Isaiah 30:10 

But the subject of Hell is one that ought not to be kept back, if we desire to do good to souls. It is one that our Lord Jesus Christ brought forward frequently in His public teachings. That loving Savior, who spoke so graciously of the way to Heaven–has also used the plainest language about the way to Hell.

Let us beware of being wise above that which is written, and more charitable than Scripture itself. Let the language of John the Baptist be deeply engraved on our hearts. Let us never be ashamed to avow our firm belief, that there is a “coming wrath” for the impenitent; and that it is possible for a man to be lost, as well as to be saved. 

To be silent on the subject–is dreadful treachery to men’s souls. It only encourages them to persevere in wickedness, and fosters the devil’s old delusion in their minds, “You shall not surely die!” Genesis 3:4

That minister is surely our best friend–who tells us honestly of danger, and warns us, like John the Baptist, to “flee from the wrath to come!”

Never will a man flee–until he sees that there is real cause to be afraid. 
Never will he seek Heaven–until he is convinced that he is on his way to Hell. 

The religion in which there is no mention of Hell–is not the religion of John the Baptist, or of our Lord Jesus and His apostles!

About Steve Rebus

✞Follower of Christ, Husband, Guitarist, Drummer, Photographer....Oh and i'm also Blind too! 😀

23 Responses to “The devil’s old delusion!”

  1. LOL thanks and may His blessings flow over you today and always.

  2. Thank you again Steve. I pray God blesses you for encouraging me. That is what we are to do according to scripture.(1 Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:10) It is God who deserves all the glory. Sometimes after I write something I look back at it and say, wow Lord that is really good, because I know everything good comes from Him. He is using us all in a mighty way. Praise His holy name forever.
    ‘Not easy’, no-one ever said it would be, right? We just need to pray first, that God would soften the hearts, and open the eyes of those He would put in our path. Pray that His will would be done and that He would give us boldness to speak His word.
    Matthew 10:16 says we are His sheep in the middle of wolves, we are to be wise as serpants and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:19 says the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to speak. We just need to speak peace and we need to step out in faith believing that which we know to be true.
    How will they know if someone doesn’t tell them indeed. That is correct. Romans 10:15 says how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good news!
    God is good, may He grant us all the strength and wisdom to accomplish His will for our lives. In Jesus name.

  3. Very well written. All I can offer is amen! When will people want the truth, and to speak the truth in love?! They rejected the very Truth when He was standing before them.
    We have to speak the truth, the whole truth. There is a heaven yes, but there is also a fiery, sulphur and never ending hell! That should stir our hearts to witness even more, even louder. No-one from heaven will be able to quench the tip of anyone’s tongue with water either. This is serious business here. If we don’t have a fire in our hearts for the lost, then pray for it. Now is the time, today is the day.
    I also just wrote a post on this topic called Hell. I hope it’s ok to share the link here. More people need to be talking about hell. Well I guess I had more to say than amen LOL. God bless!
    http://thefathersfeet.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/hell/

    • Hey Donna! Yes this topic is being taken out of the Gospel as they try to make God’s Word inoffensive and powerless, a message that fits into a secular world without any hassle!

      I remember reading your great post…The only reason i didn’t reblog is i thought i’d just reblogged 2 of your posts already and didn’t want to become annoying, lol!

      I love the link you shared here. I’d have all of your posts on here if i could, lol! 😀

      • Well that is quite the compliment, thanks so much! You certainly can reblog every single one of you want. We need to get the word out. We also need to support and encourage one another.
        I find it encouraging, not annoying. So thank you. Keep on shining the light of Jesus to this dark world. God is making a difference through you.
        Did you see our sister in Christ Efua just made one of my blogs her fellow blogger of the week thing? It was such a blessing. The one she used is the one I add to all of my blogs titled Never Let Us Go.
        Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5-6 all tell us not to add to the word or take away from it. God help the people who do not preach the truth. The whole truth as contained in all of the word of God. From Genesis to Revelation and everything on between.
        Hey, God bless you for your faithfulness. #Speaktruth

        • Hey Donna! Yeah i read your incredible post earlier and it’s fantastic that it’s got the blogger of the week for you..Although you’re the blogger of everyday for me as i’m convicted daily by your posts.

          The Truth is not too hard to understand…But like Lesley said in this comment thread, it’s not so easy to tell it to the ones who don’t want to hear it. But as Jesus said “They hated me first so they will hate you too!” Thank God it’s God who saves, and it’s God’s Word, and God’s work. How will they be saved if they don’t hear the Word preached or spoken…Faith comes by hearing. I know this all too well being blind, lol! 😀

  4. This is something that is often on my mind, Steve. I’m guilty of keeping quiet for fear of offending and/or upsetting people. The scriptures about dealing with people with gentleness and humility, and taking care of our own sin before pointing out others keep me from speaking out many times.
    And, as you say, there is the fear of not being liked. It is very strong. I always question my motive – do I want to speak out to save someone’s soul or do I just want to get one over on them. For me, this will take a lot of guidance and prayer to reach a balance.
    I would love to hear other’s opinions on this.

    • Hi Lesley! Yes it’s really hard to speak Truth in Love and find the perfect balance between the two. We all for short of doing this well! We either batter them with the truth and have no love in our speech, or we speak of a sentimental love that is just a feeling and has no power at all to save anyone.

      Since being saved 16 years ago the only words coming from the pastors/ministers mouth has been the sentimental love i’ve been talking about…I’ve never heard the Gospel and they talk about everyone being saved anyway as their god is love. They don’t preach (it’s a talk now) the Word in season and out of season, and they never talk about sinners in need of a saviour. This is not loving at all…Love is not being happy with me being in eternal torment after i die. This is why they will be judged more harshly. This is my experience anyway and what i’m hearing all around.

      It’s all too easy to look at the one who shares the Gospel and hate them and their message. They can say”Who do you think you are?? Your no better than me, don’t tell me i’m wrong for living my life the way i want to!”

      We are called to share the only good news in the world. There is only one way, through one Christ to be saved…And thank God there is a saviour, we certainly don’t deserve one. But he is filled with Love, Grace and mercy and he wants us to be with Him forever, wow!

      The verse i like when thinking how i should act because of what he’s done for me is Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” If he has forgiven me and all my sins, then i can e forgiving and love the lost enough to share the Gospel which is the power of salvation. The Spirit does the rest, lol! 😀 🙏🏻

      Lol…I’ve rambled on for ages and not sure if i’ve even answered your question?! 😀

      • It’s a good answer, Steve. I don’t think we can do it off our own steam but, as you say, we can rely on the Spirit to give us the words … and lots of prayer too. 😀
        I agree with you about the sermons we get at church. They’re more like cosy little devotionals intended to make us feel good and, no, it’s not really preaching at all. Not long ago, I was reading some books about the Wesley Brothers, Charles and George, when there was a great revival. The churches were packed out. It’s kind of like a damp squib now.
        I need to pray to be more obedient in speaking the truth. It’s such an urgent matter. I could maybe do with a thicker skin too! 🙂

        • Amen Lesley, we can all pray for that! 🙏🏻

          As for the thicker skin…I think you’re fine, it shows that you’re sensitive to others and care about them which makes for a much more genuine person. 😀

          I know what you mean about the Wesley brothers back in the day. I heard somewhere that…”John Wesley said to a friend, in writing to a young evangelist, ‘Preach 90 percent law and 10 percent grace.'”

          Pastors/ministers that i hear do not use the law as a school master to bring the convicted sinner to Grace and a loving Saviour. In fact i don’t hear them use the law at all, as the person is not lost and God loves them anyway so don’t feel bad about yourself or your sinful lifestyle, lets just love each other until we all get to heaven. This is not what the apostles preached…You wouldn’t get beaten, stoned, left for dead and put in prison for preaching like that, lol! 😀

          Sorry i’m off again, yes you’re right, plenty of prayer for ourselves to do the work and preach the good news, and for the Spirit to use the Word and cut through and transform as only the Word can. 🙏🏻

          I’ll stop here as i can go on for ages but i’ll give you a break, lol. 😀

        • I understand the thicker skin comment. I too used to be so super sensitive to what people might think or what they would say to me. I have found that the closer you get to the Lord the thicker your skin gets because He has His arm around you for your covering. Since you are speaking the truth in love, their rejection doesn’t hurt as much because we realize it is not us who they are rejecting, it is Christ. Then that just makes me so sad for them and not for me. I know where I am going. So be strong sister, count it all joy. A better home awaits you. I think you are awesome. I pray the Lord draws you closer and closer to His side. He is awesome in you. Don’t let satan beat you up. You are a child of the most high God. You are a princess. There is nothing you cannot do through Christ who strengthens you. Go ahead and speak out, He’s got you! Love you sister.
          ♡ Donna♡

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