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Grace Gems

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by nChrist, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

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    Like the bubble on the stream!

    (John MacDuff)

    "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man's life is but a breath!" Psalm 39:5

    "Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow!" Psalm 144:4

    "This world in its present form is passing away!" 1 Corinthians 7:31

    "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes!" James 4:14

    "The world and its evil desires are passing away!" 1 John 2:17

    We shall come, some day, to see the false and fascinating joys of earth in their true light: like the bubble on the stream, dancing its little moment on the surface--and then vanishing forever!

    "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26. Nothing else; nothing less, can satisfy the cravings of an immortal spirit. All other happiness is a mimic happiness; a wretched counterfeit of the true; a base alloy, on which Satan may have stamped the currency of Heaven; but it is "of the earth, earthy"--and upon it Death will put an extinguisher forever!

    "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Mark 8:36
     
  2. nChrist

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    Into the depths of the sea!

    (Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

    The sinner outside of Christ is bound over to the wrath of God. He is under an obligation in law to go to the prison of Hell, and there to lie until he has paid the utmost farthing.

    But "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

    The believer's sins are pardoned, and the guilt of them is removed. The bond obliging him to pay his debt is canceled. God the Father . . .
    takes the pen,
    dips it in the blood of His Son,
    crosses off the sinner's accounts,
    and forever blots them out of His debt-book!

    Being united to Christ, God says, "Deliver him from going down to the pit--for I have found a ransom!" Job 33:24

    The sentence of condemnation is reversed, and the believer is absolved and set beyond the reach of the condemning law. His sins, which previously were set before the Lord, Psalm 90:8, so that they could not be hidden--God now takes and casts them all behind His back, Isaiah 38:17. Yes, God "will tread our sins underfoot, and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea!" Micah 7:19

    What falls into a brook may be retrieved--but what is cast into the sea cannot be recovered.

    But there are some shallow places in the sea. True, but their sins are not cast there--but into the depths of the sea. The depths of the sea are devouring depths, from whence their sins shall never come forth again.

    But what if they do not sink? God will hurl them in with such force that they shall go to the bottom, and sink as lead in the mighty waters of the Redeemer's blood!

    Their sins are not only forgiven--but forgotten. Jeremiah 31:34, "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." And though their after-sins do in themselves deserve eternal wrath, and do actually make them liable to temporal strokes, and fatherly chastisements, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace, Psalm 89:30-33--yet they can never be actually liable to eternal wrath.
     
  3. nChrist

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    Blessed change!

    (William Nicholson, "Pearls of Great Price!")

    "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

    But in what sense?

    No new physical faculties are given to him; but his faculties have new qualities and applications. They receive a new bias, and are engaged in new and different views and pursuits.

    The understanding is enlightened, and has different ideas and sensations of spiritual things.

    The desires are fixed on God and holiness.

    The will is submissive to the Word and will of God; and the renewed person enjoys peculiar satisfaction and delight in whatever is heavenly and divine. He now . . .
    hates sin,
    conquers the world,
    obeys the divine precepts,
    loves all his brethren in the Lord,
    and pursues holiness in the fear of God.

    Blessed change!

    Who is the author of it?

    The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last, of a Christian's birth and character--is the sovereign mercy of God; and to that mercy, in time and eternity--he may well ascribe all the praise!

    "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ--in His great mercy He has has caused us to be born again!" 1 Peter 1:3
     
  4. nChrist

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    All of His glorious attributes and perfections are yours!

    (William Nicholson, "Pearls of Great Price!")

    It is the privilege of Christians to say, "For this God is our God for ever and ever! He will be our guide even to the end!" Psalm 48:14

    The believer is also called an heir of God, which implies that he is entitled, through grace, to all that the Infinite Jehovah possesses, so far as shall be needful to make him completely and eternally happy.

    God is . . .
    an infinite Being,
    without bounds to His essence,
    wonderful in His actions,
    inconceivable in His purposes,
    and inexpressible in His attributes.

    He is . . .
    infinitely more than worlds in Himself;
    too high for our speculations, and
    too majestic for our descriptions--yet
    He is the God of all His redeemed people!

    Christians, rejoice that this God is yours!

    All of His glorious attributes and perfections are yours!

    His mercy is yours . . .
    to save you,
    to remove your guilt, and
    to sympathize with you in times of distress.

    His wisdom is yours . . .
    to provide for you,
    to counsel you, and
    to direct all things for your good.

    His omnipotence is yours . . .
    to guard and protect you in the hour of danger,
    to support you in every conflicting scene, and
    to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom.

    His goodness is yours . . .
    to supply all your needs,
    to enrich you with the best of blessings, and
    to grant you unfading happiness in the mansions of glory.

    His omniscience is yours . . .
    to behold you in every situation, adverse or prosperous;
    to foresee all the attacks your adversaries intend to make upon you;
    and to provide for your present and everlasting security.

    His omnipresence is yours--therefore He has said:
    "In six troubles I will be with you, and in seven I will not forsake you."
    "I will never leave you nor ever forsake you."
    "Lo! I am with you always, even to the end of the world."

    His justice is yours . . .
    to fulfill all covenant engagements,
    to reward you with a dwelling-place in the realms of bliss,
    to punish all those hostile powers incessantly opposing you.

    His immutability is the rock of your security, and the source of your unspeakable joy!

    His faithfulness is yours, as the pledge for the accomplishment of all those exceeding great and precious promises to those who believe.

    This God is really your own, and entirely your own, and eternally your own!

    Oh! the happiness of the Christian, in having the Lord for his God!
    Rejoice and say, "The Lord is my portion, therefore will I hope in Him!"

    How great is the condescension of God, in becoming the eternal portion of such worthless worms!
     
  5. nChrist

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    My Beloved is mine--and I am His!

    (William Nicholson, "Christ, the Portion of Believers!" 1855)

    Christians! The Redeemer with all His glorious salvation, in all His offices, and under all the characters which He sustains--is yours! You may say, with the fullest assurance, "My Beloved is mine--and I am His!" You are the objects of the blessed Redeemer's particular care, given into His hands by His and your Father, to be saved by Him . . .
    from the guilt and dominion of sin,
    from all the powers of darkness, and
    from the vengeance of eternal fire!

    He executes all of His offices on your behalf:

    As a Priest, He has made an atonement for your sin, and reconciled you to God.

    As a Prophet, He teaches you all that you need for life and godliness, from His Word.

    As a King, He reigns in His Church, and rules in the heart of every believer.

    He is a Physician to heal the diseased soul.

    He is a Shepherd to feed and guide His flock.

    He is a Counselor to direct them in all the intricate paths of life.

    He is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother, and whose friendship is unchangeable and everlasting.

    He is an Advocate to plead His people's cause.

    He is a Redeemer to emancipate their souls from sin's bondage.

    Jesus is . . .
    a Sun to enlighten you,
    a Shield to defend you,
    a Door to admit you to Heaven,
    a Tree for fruit to nourish you,
    a Balm of Gilead to heal your soul maladies!

    His unchangeable grace and mercy,
    His perfect obedience,
    His sin-atoning death,
    His constant divine intercession--
    are replete with comfort to the lost and undone sinner.

    I have found Him whom my soul loves!
    I've found the Pearl of greatest price!
    My Christ is first, my Christ is last, my Christ is all in all!

    We are His, through the purchase of His blood--we are bought with an inestimable price! Delightful thought! The believer can confidently say, "I am the Lord's!"

    What more can my soul desire, in order to secure its happiness? I am the Lord's--delightful words, as sweet as the harmony of Heaven! Thousands of times might the charming announcement be made, and yet . . .
    not all its power is felt,
    not all its worth is comprehended,
    nor all its glory seen!

    I am the Lord's! Then welcome . . .
    poverty with all its toils,
    persecution with all its frowns,
    labors with all their arduousness.

    Then welcome death which will end all my conflicts here, and lead me home to Him whose I am--who loved me, and gave Himself for me!
     
  6. nChrist

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    But why should I be unhappy?

    (William Nicholson, "Pearls of Great Price!" 1855)

    A lady of wealth and piety, who had lately met with heavy afflictions, and was expecting more, related some of her sorrows to a poor pious woman, whose humble cottage she entered.

    The poor Christian, taking the lady to a closet, said, "Do you see anything?"

    The lady replied, "No."

    "Then, Madam," said the poor woman, "you see all that I have in this world. But why should I be unhappy? I have Christ in my heart, and Heaven in my eye. I have the unfailing word of promise, that bread shall be given me, and water shall be sure, while I stay a little longer in this valley of tears. And, when I die, a bright crown of glory awaits me, through the merits of Christ."

    "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!" Philippians 3:7-8

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Once, a poor aged Christian was observed making her scanty meal of bread and water. Expressing the warm gratitude of her heart, because the Savior was hers, she said, "All this--and Jesus too!"

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    No man was tortured at the stake with more cruelty than the holy martyr, John Lambert. They burnt him with a slow fire, by inches. When his legs were burnt off, and his thighs were mere stumps in the fire--they threw his poor body upon pikes, and lacerated his broiling flesh with their axes. But God was with him in the midst of the flame, and supported him in all the anguishing torture. Just before he expired, he lifted up his hands, all flaming with fire, and cried out to the people, with his dying voice, "None but Christ! None but Christ!"
     
  7. nChrist

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    Oh! what earthly honors can be compared to these!

    (William Nicholson, "Pearls of Great Price!")

    A Christian is . . .
    a sinner saved by sovereign grace,
    admitted to fellowship with the Most High God,
    guarded by the strength of Omnipotence,
    guided with infallible wisdom,
    borne up amid the swellings of Jordan,
    conveyed by angels to the celestial paradise,
    there to receive the crown of immortality, and a palm of eternal victory!

    Oh! what earthly honors can be compared to these! Earthly honors! name them not--they are laid in the balance, and found lighter than vanity! But, Christians, your honors are not shadowy, but substantial. Therefore, forget them not. Enjoy them. They are wells of salvation--drink of them freely. They are the dews of Heaven--let them refresh your soul! They are clusters of fruit from the cross, and streams from the ocean of heavenly felicity! "Eat, O friends--drink abundantly, O beloved!"

    "You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11
     
  8. nChrist

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    All the trees of earth are marked for the woodman's ax!

    "How frail is humanity!
    How short is life, how full of trouble!
    We blossom like a flower, and then wither.
    Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear." Job 14:1-2

    It may be of great service to us to remember this mournful fact--for it may help us to hold earthly things with a loose hand. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity--but it may humble us and prevent our boasting, "My mountain stands firm--I shall never be moved." It may keep us from taking too deep root in this earthly soil, from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the Heavenly garden.

    Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman's ax, we would not be so ready to build our nests in them. We would love others--but we would love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the Lender's hand may be even at the door.

    The like is certainly true of our worldly goods, "Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone--for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle." Proverbs 23:5

    Our health is equally precarious. We are frail flowers of the field--and must not reckon upon blooming forever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering--and not by earnest activity.

    There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction. Out of our few days--there is not one secure from sorrow. Man's life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it, would sooner find honey in an ocean of brine!

    Beloved reader, do not set your affections upon things of earth--but seek those things which are above; for here the moth devours, and the thief breaks through--but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way Home.

    Lord, make this thought a soft pillow for many a weary head!
     
  9. nChrist

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    Such a friend!

    (Thomas Brooks, "Apples of Gold" 1660)

    Proverbs 18:24, "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Such a friend is the Lord Jesus.

    He is so a friend to every one of His people--as if He were a friend to none besides.

    Jesus is . . .
    an omnipotent friend,
    an omniscient friend,
    an omnipresent friend,
    an all-sufficient friend,
    a sovereign friend,
    an immutable friend,
    a watchful friend,
    a loving friend,
    a faithful friend,
    a compassionate friend,
    an intimate friend,
    a friend in all cases and in all places,
    our best friend!

    "Whom He loves, He loves to the end!" John 13:1
     
  10. nChrist

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    Sharp-edged tools!

    "I will take heed to my ways." Psalm 39:1

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    Fellow-pilgrim, do not say in your heart, "I will go here and there, and I shall not sin;" for you are never so out of danger of sinning, as to boast of security.

    The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch, and you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean.

    There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your graces!

    There is a temptation in every mercy!

    There is a snare in every joy!

    And if you ever reach Heaven at last--it will be a miracle of divine grace, to be ascribed entirely to your Father's preserving power.

    Be on your guard! When a man carries gun-powder in his hand, he should be careful that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you do not go near temptation.

    Even your common actions are sharp-edged tools--you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian's piety--but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God--that He may keep you! Your prayer should be, "Hold me up--and I shall be safe!" Having prayed, you must also watch--guarding every thought, word, and action with holy jealousy.

    Do not unnecessarily expose yourselves to temptation. But if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the enemy's darts are flying--then never venture forth without your shield of faith. For if once the devil finds you without it--he will rejoice that his hour of triumph has come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows! Though you cannot be utterly slain--you may be wounded.

    Be sober, be vigilant--danger may be in an hour when all seems securest to you. Therefore, take heed to your ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into sin through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways--so that you shall always please the Lord.

    "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation!" Matthew 26:41
     
  11. nChrist

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    Hallelujah!

    (Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")

    "After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, shouting: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God, because His judgments are true and righteous! And again they shouted: Hallelujah! For the smoke of her torment goes up for ever and ever!" Revelation 19:1-3

    None were so compassionate as the saints when on earth, during the time of God's patience--but now time is at an end. Their compassion for the ungodly is swallowed in joy in the Mediator's glory, and His executing just judgment, by which His enemies are made His footstool.

    Though, when on earth, the righteous wept in secret places for their lost friends and family, because they would not hear--yet "The righteous will rejoice when he sees the retribution; he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked." Psalm 58:10

    No pity shall then be shown to the lost, even from their nearest relations.

    The godly wife shall applaud the justice of the Judge, in the condemnation of her ungodly husband!

    The godly husband shall say Amen! to the condemnation of her who lay in his bosom.

    The godly parents shall say Hallelujah! at the passing of the sentence against their ungodly child.

    And the godly child shall, from the bottom of his heart, approve the condemnation of his wicked parents—the father who begat him, and the mother who bore him.

    "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!" Revelation 19:6
     
  12. nChrist

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    There is enough tinder in the heart of the holiest of men, to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest Hell!

    (Charles Spurgeon)

    "Keep back your servant also from willful sins; let them not have dominion over me!" Psalm 19:13

    Such was the prayer of "the man after God's own heart." Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin!"

    Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put a bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What grievous sins might the best of us do--if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace!

    The psalmist's prayer is directed against the worst form of sin--that which is done with deliberation and willfulness. Even the holiest people need to be kept back from the vilest transgressions! It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning the saints against the most loathsome sins: "So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires, and greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5. What! do saints need warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do! The whitest robes, unless their purity is preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots.

    Experienced Christian, do no boast in your experience; you will yet trip--if you look away from Him who is able to keep you from falling. You whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall never fall!" but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is enough tinder in the heart of the holiest of men, to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest Hell--unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing incest? Hazael said, "Is your servant a dog--that he should do this monstrous thing?" and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May divine wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence!

    "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool!" Proverbs 28:26
     
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    The biggest problem for those in Hell

    (R.C. Sproul)

    Many people hope for a second chance after death, yet nothing in Scripture gives the slightest hope of that. The Bible says that "it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

    In recent years, there has been a revival within evangelical circles of the heretical doctrine called annihilationism, which holds that the wicked are merely annihilated. Their punishment is that they cease to exist. But the Bible is very clear that the punishment of Hell is conscious and unending--a place where the wicked "will go away into everlasting punishment" (Matthew 25:46).

    Almost all the biblical teaching about Hell comes from the lips of Jesus. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing Hell, in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus' own teaching.

    Yet there is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking, than the idea of Hell.
    The Bible describes Hell as . . .
    a place of outer darkness,
    a lake of fire,
    a place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth,
    a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God,
    a prison,
    a place of torment where the worm never dies.

    A breath of relief is usually heard when someone declares, "Hell is a symbol for separation from God." To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated from God. "They say to God: Leave us alone! We have no desire to know Your ways!" Job 21:14

    Yes, Hell is separation from the grace, care, and love of God, but not from God Himself. The biggest problem for those in Hell will not be separation from God--it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In Hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath, actively punishing the wicked. Hell is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned. They will know Him as an all-consuming fire.

    When we are saved, we are saved from God Himself! We are saved from exposure to His fierce wrath and punishment!

    Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Hell is its eternality. People can endure the greatest agony, if they know that it will ultimately stop. In Hell there is no such hope. The Bible clearly teaches that the punishment is eternal. Punishment implies pain. Mere annihilation, which some have lobbied for, involves no pain. Jonathan Edwards said, "Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be, that they may escape the wrath of God!" "They called to the mountains and the rocks: Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Revelation 6:16

    Hell, then, is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God--a suffering torment from which there is no escape and no relief.

    No matter how we analyze the concept of Hell, it often sounds to us as a place of cruel and unusual punishment. If, however, we can take any comfort in the concept of Hell--we can take it in the full assurance that there will be no cruelty there. It is impossible for God to be cruel. Cruelty involves inflicting a punishment that is more severe or harsh than the crime. Cruelty in this sense is unjust. God is incapable of inflicting an unjust punishment. The Judge of all the earth will surely do what is right. No innocent person will ever suffer at His hand. The last judgment will be administered by a perfectly just and righteous Judge, so there will be nothing arbitrary or unjust about it.
     
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    The only system adapted to his case!

    (William Nicholson, "Pearls of Great Price!" 1855)

    Viewing man as a fallen, sinful creature--the gospel is the only system adapted to his case!
    The more he contemplates it, the more he perceives its precious adaptation to his dreadful state.
    The gospel is . . .
    light, for the darkness of his reason;
    peace, for the tumult of his conscience;
    joy, for the anguish of his mind;
    hope, for the gloom of his despair.

    Is he guilty? The gospel presents . . .
    an all-sufficient Savior,
    an all-atoning sacrifice,
    and an all-forgiving God.

    Is he impure? The gospel opens up for him a fountain for sin and for uncleanness--a hallowed flood supplied from the Redeemer's cross, where the vilest sinner may wash from his heinous pollution.

    Is he alienated from God--at an infinite distance from the only source of happiness and forgiveness? The gospel is a medium of approach, a way of access to the thrice holy God. Here the Alpine mountains of his guilt are leveled to the dust. Here the prodigal returns, is freely received, fully forgiven, elevated to a place in his heavenly Father's family, and never lost from his heavenly Father's heart.

    Is he the victim of ignorance and error? Here he receives the lessons of a heavenly prophet--the Spirit of God becomes his kind instructor. Here the untutored savage is made wiser than the learned sage, "wise unto salvation!"

    Does he feel himself the subject of passions that lead him continually astray from God?
    The same Spirit becomes the inhabitant of his bosom . . .
    to subdue his passions,
    to curb his lusts,
    to control his will, and
    to sanctify the nature He has first renewed, and which shall finally be glorified with Christ.

    In every point of view, the gospel meets his case!

    Is he a sinner? The gospel offers pardon!

    Is he a debtor? The gospel grants him full payment of his dept!

    Is he a captive to sin and Satan? The gospel gives him liberty.

    Is he fallen into utter depravity? It elevates him to God's throne, and constitutes him "a king and a priest unto God."

    Is he thirsty? The gospel is a river of life.

    Is he weary? It is a sweet repose.

    Is he ignorant? The gospel is a divine instructor.

    Is he spiritually diseased? It is immortal health and vigor to his soul.

    Is he dying? The gospel is eternal life.

    Yes, in the gospel . . .
    the law is fulfilled,
    justice is atoned, and
    the divine perfections are harmonized in man's redemption.
     
  15. nChrist

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    A cooler Hell!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

    "God, I thank You that I'm not like other people--greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get." Luke 18:11-12

    Many please and satisfy themselves with mere civility and common morality. They bless themselves that they are not swearers, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor adulterers, etc. Their behavior is civil, sincere, harmless and blameless.

    But civility is not sanctity.

    Civility rested in, is but a beautiful abomination--a smooth way to Hell and damnation!

    Civility is very often . . .
    the nurse of impiety,
    the mother of flattery, and
    an enemy to real sanctity.
    There are those who are so blinded with the fair shows of civility--that they can neither see the necessity nor beauty of sanctity. There are those who now bless themselves in their common morality, whom at last God will scorn and cast off for lack of real holiness and purity.

    A moral man may be an utter stranger . . .
    to God,
    to Christ,
    to Scripture,
    to the filthiness of sin,
    to the depths and devices of Satan,
    to their own hearts,
    to the new birth,
    to the great concerns of eternity,
    to communion with Christ,
    to the secret and inward ways and workings of the Spirit.

    Well, sirs, remember this: though the moral man is good for many things--yet he is not good enough to go to Heaven! He who rises to no higher pitch than civility and morality--shall never have communion with God in glory. The most moral man in the world, may be both Christless and graceless.

    Morality is not sufficient to keep a man out of eternal misery. All morality can do, is to help a man to one of the best rooms and easiest beds which Hell affords! For, as the moral man's sins are not so great as others--so his punishments shall not be so great as others. This is all the comfort that can be given to a moral man--that he shall have a cooler Hell than others have. This is but cold comfort.

    Morality without piety is as a body without a soul.
    Will God ever accept of such a stinking sacrifice? Surely not!

    "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God." Luke 18:13-14
     
  16. nChrist

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    A house of fools!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

    "The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." Ecclesiastes 7:4

    A fool prefers toys and trifles, above things of greatest worth.

    Just so, wicked and ungodly men prefer their lusts, before the Lord. Upon choice, they prefer the honors, the riches and glory of this fleeting world--above their own souls and the great concerns of eternity.

    I have read of the foolish people of Ceylon, who preferred a consecrated ape's tooth, above an incredible mass of treasure. Such fools are all unholy people, who prefer the toys and trifles of this world--above the eternal pleasures and treasures which are at God's right hand. The world is full of such fools.

    Says one: "If you behold the lives of men, you will judge the whole world to be a house of fools!"

    Ah, friends! What folly can be compared to that of men's spending their time, their strength, their lives, their souls--in getting the ephemeral things of this world, and neglecting that one thing necessary--the salvation of their souls! Oh, what vanity is it to prefer . . .
    a puff of honor,
    a blast of fame,
    a dream of pleasure,
    a wedge of gold,
    a Babylonish garment,
    and such like transitory trifles and trash
    --before a blessed eternity!

    "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?
    Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
     
  17. nChrist

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    Get out of My sight!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

    Many now-a-days say that there is no Hell. Multitudes think that all that is spoken of Hell in Scripture is false and mythical. They will not believe that there is a Hell . . .
    until they come to feel themselves in Hell,
    until they find everlasting flames about their ears,
    until they are sentenced to the fire,
    until they are doomed to everlasting fire!

    The last words that Christ will ever speak to the ungodly will be the most tormenting and horrifying, the most killing and damning, the most stinging and wounding! "Then He will also say to those on the left: Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!" Matthew 25:41

    This terrible sentence breathes out nothing but fire and brimstone, terror and horror, dread and woe!

    "Depart from Me!" Here is utter rejection: "Pack! Be gone! Get out of My sight! Let Me never see your face again!"

    "You who are cursed!" Here is malediction. You shall be cursed in your bodies and cursed in your souls! You shall be cursed of God, and cursed of angels, and cursed of saints, and cursed of devils, and cursed of your companions! Yes, you shall curse your very selves, your very souls. All your former curses, all your maledictions--shall at last recoil upon your own souls!

    Now you curse every man and thing which stands in the way of your lusts, and which cross your designs! But at last all the curses of Heaven and Hell shall meet in their full power and force upon you!

    "But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed--oh let us go into some good place!"

    "No! Depart into the eternal fire!" There is the vengeance and everlasting continuance of it. You shall go into fire, into everlasting fire, which will neither consume itself, nor consume you! Eternity of extreme punishment is the hell of Hell.

    If all the fires which ever were in the world were contracted into one fire, how terrible would it be! Yet such a fire would be but as a 'painted fire'--compared to the fire of Hell. The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth--are but ice in comparison to the fire of Hell. Ah! how sad, how dreadful would it be to experience what it is to lie in unquenchable fire--not for a day, a month, or a year, or a hundred, or a thousand years--but forever and ever!

    "If it were," says one, "but for a thousand years, I could bear it--but seeing it is for eternity, this astonishes and affrights me!"

    "I am afraid of Hell," says another, "because the worm there never dies, and the fire never goes out!"

    It is called "unquenchable fire," and "eternal fire." The torments of the damned are . . .
    very grievous for the bitterness of them,
    and more grievous for the diversity of them,
    but most of all grievous for the eternity of them!

    Wronged justice can never be satisfied, and therefore the sinner must be forever tormented. The sinner in Hell will sin forever, and therefore he must be punished forever. It will not stand with the unspotted justice and righteousness of God to cease punishing--while the sinner ceases not sinning.

    "But, Lord, if I must go into fire, into everlasting fire--then oh, let me have some good company in my misery!"

    "No! The devil and his demons shall be your companions!" Ah! who can conceive or express the misery of living with devils and damned spirits and hellish fiends and furies forever!

    "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 1 Thessalonians 5:9
     
  18. nChrist

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    Oh stand and wonder!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity")

    "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us--that we should be called the sons of God!" 1 John 3:1

    It is an infinite condescension in God to honor us with the title of sons, and therefore we should never think of it, nor ever speak of it--but with much amazement. O sirs! what matter of admiration is this--that the great and glorious God, who has many millions of glorious angels attending Him--that He should . . .
    look upon all redeemed people as His sons,
    and love them as His sons,
    and delight in them as His sons,
    and clothe them as His sons,
    and feed them as His sons,
    and protect them as His sons,
    and stand by them as His sons,
    and lay up for them as His sons,
    and lay out Himself for them as His sons;
    that those who have not deserved . . .
    a smile from God,
    a good word from God,
    a bit of bread from God, or
    a temporal blessing from God,
    should be made the sons of God!

    What manner of love is this--that those who have . . .
    so highly provoked God,
    walked so disobediently and contrary to God,
    were so exceeding unlike God,
    preferred every lust, and every toy and vanity before God,
    fought many years under Satan's banner against God,
    refused all the offers of mercy that have been made by God,
    that those who have deserved to be . . .
    reprobated by God,
    damned by God, and
    to be thrown to Hell by God--
    that these should be made the sons of God!

    Oh stand and wonder! Oh stand and admire the freeness of His grace, and at the riches of His grace!

    "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1
     
  19. nChrist

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    The fool's bauble, the fool's fiddle!

    (Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

    "The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12:8

    "Their souls delight in their abominations." Isaiah 66:3

    "They love to indulge in evil pleasures." 2 Peter 2:13

    Proverbs 10:23, "A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct."
    Evil conduct is the fool's bauble, the fool's fiddle.
    Fools take great delight and pleasure in doing evil.
    Sin and wickedness are a sport or recreation to a fool.
    It is a great pleasure and merriment to a fool--to do wickedness.

    Proverbs 14:9, "Fools make a mock of sin." They make . . .
    a jeer of sin--which they should fear more than Hell itself,
    a sport of sin--which will prove a matter of damnation to them,
    a pastime, a game of sin--which will them miserable to all eternity,
    a mock of sin on earth--for which the devil will mock and flout them forever in Hell.

    Justice will at last turn over such fools to Satan, who will be sure to return mock for mock, jeer for jeer, and flout for flout. Those who love such kind of pastime, shall have enough of it in Hell.

    All unbelievers are such fools--for they delight and take pleasure in sin, which is the most corrupting and dangerous thing in the world. "And so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth, but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:12

    Well, sirs! Sin is . . .
    the poison of the soul,
    the curse of the soul,
    the disease of the soul,
    the burden of the soul!
    And if God in mercy does not prevent it--sin will prove the eternal bane of the soul.

    Oh, then, how great is their folly, who delight in sin, and who make a sport of it!
     
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    No one really desires to go to Hell

    (Arthur Pink, "The Scriptures and GOOD WORKS" 1932)

    "Enter through the narrow gate.
    For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
    But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

    No one really desires to go to Hell, though there are few indeed who are willing to forsake that broad road which inevitably leads there.

    All would like to go to Heaven, but only true Christians are really willing and determined to walk that narrow way which alone leads thereto.

    "For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish!" Psalm 1:6

    "The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue righteousness." Proverbs 15:9
     
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