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One year nearer to Heaven–or nearer to Hell!

(Arthur Pink, “Studies in the Scriptures” January, 1926)

Another year has passed away–gone into eternity with all its sad and glad records.

Sad, because of our sins and our failures–all of which have been observed and recorded by the All-seeing eye!
Sad, because numbers who “did run well”–do so no longer.

Glad, because of the “goodness and mercy” which have surely followed us day by day.
Glad, because . . .
weak ones have been strengthened,
sorrowing ones have been comforted, and
hungry ones have been fed with the Bread of Life.

How is it with you–progression or regression?

One thing is certain–January, 1926 finds you one year nearer to Heaven–or nearer to Hell!

Reader! You have entered this New Year, either accepted in God’s Beloved–or under God’s holy wrath! How unspeakably solemn are the alternatives!

To any unsaved reader who scans these lines, we would say: You have commenced this year on earth–and you may end it in Hell, where a ray of hope never enters. “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace. Thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21

To the Christian–not to the professing one, but the the genuine believer–we would say: What a bright hope is yours! How precious is the thought, that before 1926 ends, you may be “forever with the Lord!” The bud of promise–may burst into the full fruit of unspeakable bliss! The springtime of faith and hope–may give place to the unending summertime of blessedness and eternal glory.

Since this is the case, let us be reminded of our solemn responsibility at the dawn of another year . . .
to yield ourselves afresh to God,
to seek His face with full purpose of heart,
to supplicate Him for new supplies of grace–
that we may serve Him as never before!

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12

“So teach us to number our days aright–that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Worse Than Devilish!

Worse than devilish!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“Fools mock at sin!” Proverbs 14:9 

Those who mock at sin, are worse than fools and madmen!

Tell them, as Lot told his sons-in-law of the danger and judgments which hang over their head–and, as with Lot, you seem to them as one who jokes. Genesis 19:14. They laugh at it, as if God were not in earnest when He threatens sinners–and as if those who preach against sin were deranged. 

“To do evil, is like sport to a fool!” Proverbs 10:23.

There are some who sport themselves on their way to Hell–as if sin were but a recreation! What fools are they–who laugh at their own folly and destruction! It is a devilish nature in us, to mock at the calamity of others–but to laugh at our own calamity, seems to be worse than devilish!

There are many, too many, who mourn under affliction–yet laugh over their sins! They sigh and weep when they feel any burden on their body–but make merry at that which destroys their soul! Can anything be more mad than this–to laugh, mock and make sport at that which eternally wrongs and damns their own souls!

The wicked laugh over their sin now. But if they do not repent–then they will weep forever in Hell over it!

Radical Truthfulness

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“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.”

Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

The Preacher

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The story is told of a church that secured a new preacher, and the word spread around town about how well he preached.  The church members were abuzz about what an improvement he was over their former preacher, and how much more attention they gave to his sermons.  When the town cynic asked what made this new preacher so much better than his predecessor, he was told, “The old preacher told us that we’re all sinners, and that if we didn’t repent, we’d burn in hell forever!”  This cynic then asked, “And what does this new one say?”  The answer was, “That we’re all sinners, and that if we don’t repent, we’ll burn in hell forever!”  When the cynic responded that he didn’t see any difference between the two of them, he was told, “This new preacher says it with tears in his eyes.”

Tony Campolo


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