Pilgrim’s Keyboard

November 30, 2008

Reality of Conversion

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 8:43 pm

Jonathan Edwards

I. Man’s happiness consists in his union with his Creator.

II. Reason teaches that man never can be happy in union with and the enjoyment of his Creator with an unholy nature, for holiness of nature is conformity of nature with God.

III. Experience shows that mankind are, as they are born into the world, universally of an unholy nature and, therefore, they can’t be made holy but by a change of nature.

IV. Reason teaches that men’s nature, that they are born with, can’t be changed but by a supernatural work of the Creator upon them.

V. If we consider how great things this change is wrought for, reason teaches that it must be a great change.

VI. The testimony of Scripture is express that there must be such a change.

—– [The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader (1999, Yale Press) – p. 84-85] —–

John 3:3, 7
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. … Do not marvel … You must be born again.


ba

Got Faith?

Filed under: Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:24 am

Romans 1:16-17 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone boast.

Hebrews 12:2a – Looking unto Jesus the author and perfector of our faith …

John 1:12-13 – As many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man. but of God.

Look – broad is the way to destruction and narrow is the gate that leads to life. Jesus made it very plain for us when He said: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. So, what hinders you today from trusting Jesus as your savior? Got Faith?

ba

November 28, 2008

On Near Death Experiences

Filed under: Cindy — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:10 pm

Finally! Someone has stated this better than I could and has given words to what I only could describe as an uncomfortable feeling I have had when reading these books and hearing testimonials about near-death experiences. The problem I have had is that I’ve read several books and seen several programs about this. The people who have experienced them have been from several different faiths and beliefs or from none at all. It gives the impression, as the ’80s children’s cartoon film portrayed, that “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” This is Universalism and is the prominent spirituality of today.

 

 I had a friend some years ago who suffered from Lupus. She was in a coma for a few days and said that the things she saw while in that state were so real that she was certain she was really “there.” The truth is that she never left her hospital bed and her medical instruments showed that she never died. The mind is a powerful organ and is wired in such a way as to provide the person with a pleasant escape during an extremely stressful experience. But Mark Hitchcock expressed it better than I could in his book, The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy (pp 216-217).  I will quote him here:

            Some of the best-selling books in the last decade have been about near-death experiences or NDEs. Books like Embraced by the Light and Saved by the Light (and I might personally add the most recent 90 Minutes in Heaven) have captured the attention of millions of people who want to peer behind the veil of death to get a sneak preview of the afterlife.

Two points about NDEs are important to understand. First, it is critical to note that they are called “near-death” experiences, not “death” or “after-life” experiences. The fact that the person came back from what-ever state he or she was in is proof that he or she didn’t really die. Therefore, we shouldn’t put any stock in what this person purports to tell us about the afterlife. After all, this person was only near death, not dead. It’s as ridiculous as a woman telling another woman about her “near-pregnancy” experience. The idea is laughable. Everyone knows that you’re either pregnant or you’re not. Likewise, you’re either dead or you’re not. As one writer said, near-death experiences “tell us no more about death than someone who has been near Denver but never within city limits can tell us about that town. Both NDEs (near-Denver and near-death experiences) are bereft of certitude…In both cases, more reliable maps are available.”

The only people who ever really came back from the dead are the few individuals in Scripture that the Lord or one of his prophets or disciples raised. And none of them wrote a book about their experience or hit the talk-show circuit. Even the apostle Paul, who was caught up to heaven on one occasion, did not reveal the things he saw there (2 Cor. 12:1-5).

Second, the only reliable map for the afterlife is the Bible. The Bible defines death as a separation of the spirit from the body (James 2:26). And true physical death occurs only one time for each person (Heb. 9:27). Moreover, much of the idle speculation related from NDEs sounds more occultic and New Age than biblical. If we want to know about the afterlife, we should turn to God’s Word and be satisfied with what he has chosen to reveal to us about heaven and hell.

 

I would further add what I feel to be an important litmus test when evaluating what anyone says aside from the obvious one related to whether it’s biblical or not. That is, who receives the glory or the focus of the attention here? If the fascination is on the person, the music, the scenery, the fellowship, or the pearly gates, I would seriously question it. The focus of heaven is the Son. Though light emanates from Him, He is not just a bright light or impersonal force seen through a tunnel. Let all that we do or say be for the purpose of bringing glory to Him alone!

November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks …

Filed under: Bruce | Cindy — pilgrimskeyboard @ 9:32 pm

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 Today is Thanksgiving. A day set aside specifically to give thanks to God for his many blessings. Thanksgiving is a time for family / friends to gather together. We eat our favorite dishes, we have traditional dishes, and sometimes we even get to try new dishes with additions to the family.

Thanksgiving is a time of fellowship in that we are able to joke, laugh, reflect on the past and then look at our children and see hope for the future. Thanksgiving is a time of football too – it gives us time to rest from eating way too much food. 

But mostly Thanksgiving is a time to think of God. To thank him for our blessings and trials of the past year. Our blessing is in knowing that our Lord is sovereign, who in his providence has guided us daily to this time and as he has in the past so too will he continue to lead our steps down the path that honors Christ, our savior,  and bring glory unto him. In that we are thankful for all things in our lives. Thankyou Lord for your amazing grace.

ba

November 25, 2008

don’t waste your life …

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:32 pm

John Piper

“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.

Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trival diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. [Do] not get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. … [Live] and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your single passion. … [Learn] to live for Christ, and don’t waste your life!”

—– [Don’t Waste Your Life, Wheaton: Crossway, 2003, cover] —–

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21

ba

November 24, 2008

In the Hands of the Omnisient God

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:28 pm

John L. Dagg

As intelligent beings, we may contemplate the omniscience of God with devout admiration; and as guilty beings we should fear and tremble before it. He sees the inmost recesses of the heart. The hateful thoughts which we are unwilling a fellow-worm should know, are all known to him, and every thought, word, and deed, he remembers, and will bring into judgment. How terrible is this attribute of the Great Judge, who will expose the secrets of every heart, and reward every man according to his works, though unobserved or forgotten by man!

 

But with all the awe which invests it, this attribute of the Divine Nature, is delightful to the pious man. He rejoices to say, Thou, God, seest me. He prays, Try me, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me into the way everlasting. Gladly he commits himself to the guidance of him who has all knowledge. Conscious of his own blindness and darkness, he knows not which way to take, or what is best for him; but he puts himself, with unwavering confidence, into the hands of the omniscient God.

 

—– [Manuel of Theology, Harrisonburg: Gano Books, 1982, p. 73-74] —–

November 23, 2008

Golden Rule

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 8:04 pm

Matthew 7:12 … whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them …

John MacArthur
The golden rule instructs us as to how we are to love other people … How we treat others is not to be determined by how we expect them to treat us or by how we think they should treat us, but by how we want them to treat us. Herein is the heart of the principle, an aspect of the general truth that is not found in similar expressions in other religions and philosophies.

—– [The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, Chicago: Moody Press, 1985, p. 446] —–

November 22, 2008

Four Rules for Prayer

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 11:43 pm

by:  John Calvin

1. The first rule of prayer is reverence – “be disposed in mind and heart as befits those who enter conversation with God.”

2. The second rule requires that we desire the things we seek from God – “A fault that seems less serious but is also not tolerable is that of others who, having been imbued with this one principle – that God must be appeased by devotions – mumble prayers without meditation. Now the godly must particularly beware of presenting themselves before God to request anything unless they yearn for it with sincere affection of heart, and at the same time desire to obtain it from him.”

3. The third rule warns us not to trust in our own resources to meet our needs, but to trust only in God – “anyone who stands before God to pray, in his humility giving glory completely to God, abandon all thought of his own glory, cast off all notion of his own worth, in fine, put away all self-assurance – lest if we claim for ourselves anything, even the least bit, we should become vainly puffed up, and perish at his presence.”

4. The fourth rule requires to believe that God does answer prayer – “[be] encouraged to pray by a sure hope that our prayer will be answered … [have] a firm assurance of God’s favor.”

—– [The Founders Journal, Issue 69, (Stephen Matteucci, A Strong Tower For Weary People: Calvin’s Teaching On Prayer), Summer 2007, p. 21-22 (adapted)] —–

Philippians 4:6-7
[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

November 21, 2008

Delight in His Holiness

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:39 am

Jonathan EdwardsA true love of God must begin with a delight in His holiness and not a delight in any other attribute; for no other attributes is truly lovely without this.

____________

Do you worship God? Is He the desire of your heart? Does your delight come about because of His glory?

ba

November 19, 2008

The Revealing of God …

Filed under: Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:01 pm

Is accomplished –

1. By conscience – man knows the difference between right/wrong
2. By religiousity – man needs to worship something greater than himself
3. By creation – just look and one knows that someone made all of this
4. By man’s soul – how wonderful the human body man knows very well
5. By Jesus Christ – in these last days God has spoken to us by His Son

Romans 10:17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. [ESV]

Are you listening?

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