preparing for your funeral

Kevin DeYoung recently posted this great quote from J.C. Ryle reflecting on death and what makes you a true believer:

“When we have carried you to your narrow bed, let us not have to hunt up stray words, and scraps of religion, in order to make out that you were a true believer. Let us not have to say in a hesitating way one to another, “I trust he is happy; he talked so nicely one day; and he seemed so please with a chapter in the Bible on anther occasion; and he liked such a person, who is a good man.” Let us be able to speak decidedly as to your condition. Let us have some solid proof of your repentance, your faith, and your holiness, so that none shall be able for a moment to question your state.

Depend on it, without this, those you leave behind can feel no solid comfort about your soul. We may use the form of religion at your burial, and express charitable hopes. We may meet you at the churchyard gate, and say, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” But this will not alter your condition! If you die without conversion to God, without repentance, and without faith–your funeral will only be the funeral of a lost soul; you had better never have been born.” (Holiness, 228-229)

3 things in your life that make you a conqueror!

Revelation 12:11

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

This passage from Revelation helps us understand the victory that we have over Satan, the devil.

Are these three things present in your life?

  1. The Blood of the Lamb
  2. The Word of Your Testimony
  3. Not Loving Your Life (even to the point of death)

When you first read those three points, it sounds like a sermon from Paul. But it is not. It is a vision God shows John of Satan running through the world furiously seeking to destroy anybody and everybody that he can. Those he is unable to destroy are those that CONQUER him. They did not conquer him with their own lives and strengths! They did it by those 3 points listed above. Glorious!

To God be all Glory!

“and who can stand?”

I really enjoy seeing how God is truly the author of the Bible. I recently ran across these parallels.

Isaiah 2:19-21

“And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.”

Hosea 10:8

“The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars, and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,” and to the hills “fall on us.”

Luke 23:30 (Jesus’s words)

“Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.'”

Revelation 6:15-17

“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Mohler’s response to the End

There have been some 2,000 billboards put up across America boldly claiming that this Saturday, May 21 will be the end of the world and judgment day.

This movement is led by 89 year old Harold Camping.

Please click this link to read a good, short, Biblical response to this “warning”.

must read article on parenting

Kevin Deyoung has written an awesome article on parenting. I REALLY encourage you to take the time to read this and then pass it on to other people who are raising kids.

Parenting 001 is the name of the article. You can click the link to get to it.

Here is an excerpt:

“I remember years ago hearing a line from Alistair Begg, quoting another man, that went like this: “When I was young I had six theories and no kids. Now I have six kids and no theories.” I must be smart. It only took me four kids to run out of theories.”

the old testament is about Jesus – all of it

As I was reading the most recent Towers publication this morning, I found this article by Josh Hayes summarizing Dr. Mohler’s sermon at the recent “Gospel Coalition National Conference.”

Mohler’s address is about how the Old Testament is all about Jesus. For many Christians, this is hard to grasp at first. But I agree with Dr. Mohler. Here is a fantastic excerpt from his sermon:

“Burning bushes and staffs that turn into snakes; arks and animals and a menagerie afloat; dead animals and hewn bulls; rams in thickets, slavery in Egypt, bronze serpents, manna in the morning, pillars of fire and columns of smoke; convoluted history of conquests and kings, intrigue, adultery, murder, incest and frankly a preoccupation with bodily fluids; bears that eat boys, boys who kill giants, prophets who taunt idolaters, prophets who throw fits and prophets who sit by gates and weep; poetry that reads like praise and poetry that reads like existentialist philosophy; Persian writings on walls, foreign kings who roam like wild beasts and a prostitute who hides spies; spies who lose heart, women who summon courage, donkeys that talk and a strong man who commits suicide; stuttering leaders, naked patriarchs and majestic praise; predictive prophecy, lamentation, law, statute and ordinance, in all of its glory — and all of it revealing Christ, every bit of it.”

mother’s day sermon

You can listen to yesterday’s Mother’s Day sermon here.

I jumped around from various texts, but I mainly looked at Proverbs 31:28 “her children rise up and call her blessed”. I didn’t want to preach to mothers as much as I wanted to preach to everyone who has a mother.

Here were my 3 points:

  1. If you have a bad mother, you should be thankful to God for her and honor her. (1 Thes. 5:18 and Ex.20:12)
  2. If you have a good mother, you should be thankful to God for her, honor her and obey her. (Eph. 6:1)
  3. If you have a godly mother, you should be thankful to God for her, honor her, obey her, and worship Jesus like she does. (1 Sam. 1-2 and 2 Tim. 1)

I thank God that I have a godly mother, Sherry Reed Greene.

the goal of parenting

One of the books that I am currently reading is Our Covenant with Kids by Dr. Timothy Sisemore.

I am really enjoying the book. If you are passionate about wanting God to use your parenting to help your kids love Jesus, then I highly recommend this book to you. Here is an excerpt from the book (page 73):

“Drawing from the biblical evidence, I venture to propose the following goal for Christian parenting: to raise children through guidance and discipline to faith in Christ, so that they glorify him in every area of their lives, eventually passing the faith on to their children.”

how much do you hate sin?

Last night at church we discussed this quote from Anselm:

“If hell were on one side and sin on the other, I would rather leap into hell than willingly sin against my God.”

This quote raised a good discussion. We had a few people quickly say they didn’t like it. They had good motives. They replied by saying they dont like sin or hell. Thats good!

So I clarified. If we define hell as “eternal suffering” and we define sin as “disobeying God”, which would you choose?

That put it into a different light.  I like the quote. That is the type of Christian I want to be. That is the type of Christians I want to lead our church to be.

  • God hates sin, so I should too.
  • Sin is not whats best for me, so I should pursue something better.
  • Jesus died for sin, so I should oppose it.

Loving Jesus and Hating sin are two sides to the same coin. How much do you hate sin?

short-term missions, you should go!

Our church is continually getting stronger and stronger in the area of Short-Term Missions Trips.

For this reason, I thought you may like this article coming out of some research done at Baylor University. This article is “Researchers study return on short-term missions.”

It is enough to make me want to go more. Here is an excerpt:

“Research has revealed students who participate in short-term mission trips tend to have lower levels of materialism, greater appreciation for other cultures and a better understanding of missions as a lifestyle,”

As followers of Jesus, we should all like lower levels of materialism, greater appreciation for other cultures and a better understanding of missions as a lifestyle.