TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

CULTURAL HOLINESS

“Many Christians have what we might call a ‘cultural holiness.’  They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them.  As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p22).  “…those who grew up ‘in the faith’ but had no faith…” (Matt 8:10-12 MSG).

“…the present generation has been brought up to believe in the doctrines and religious customs of their ancestors…that…makes it more difficult, and calls for a more careful self-examination, to ascertain whether or not he has been taught of the Lord” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p103-104).

“…these…rest upon their intellectual knowledge of the Truth, and mistake it for a saving experience of the same.  And it is this class which…is the hardest to reach: it is much more difficult to persuade such to examine themselves as to whether or not they have been taught of God, than it is those who make no profession at all” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p104).

“…there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk.  Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst….They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words….” (Titus 1:10-16 MSG).

“I would issue a strong warning…to…moral, civil, well-natured people, good-livers, as we call them….when this virtuous, natural disposition has the advantage of a godly education, these sort of people come quickly to look very well; and, therefore, they ought to take great care….” Robert Traill (ref#225, March 27th).

“Moral, civil people are in great danger…they think they have sufficient assets of their own and therefore, they do not borrow from Christ” Robert Traill (ref#225, March 27th).

FATHER, these long-time pew-sitters are in great danger indeed.  They are “babes in CHRIST” that are lulled to contentment in virtue of their good actions and spiritual knowledge.  But they are static babes, presently stagnant in their growth toward holiness having no idea that “moral conformity’” is vastly different than the “Gospel.” Timothy Keller (ref#123, p69)   I pray for these who find themselves in this quote: “…I have been brought up as a Christian; I have always tried to do good.  I have never been conscious of the fact that I am a sinner, that I need repentance, and that I must be converted” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 26th).

PRAYER

WHY PRAY—TO GET AND NOT TO GIVE

“Two men went up into the temple to pray…The Pharisee…prayed thus…God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publician” (Luke 18:10-11 KJV).

“boasting” before God of what we are and of what we have done, is abominable in his sight. This spoils everything, even if the life “should be” tolerably blameless, and if there should be real piety” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Luke 18:12]).

“When you come to the throne of grace, come to receive out of Christ’s fullness, and come not to bring grace with you to add to Christ’s store.  He loves to give, and glories in giving; but He scorns to receive grace from you; and in truth you have none to give but what He gives you.  Bring your wants to Him to supply, but bring not your fullness to brag about” Robert Traill (ref#225, Oct 6th).

“The publician…came to the throne of grace, like a man that would carry something away” Robert Traill (ref#225, Oct 6th).

“he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:53 ESV).

“…it is very much for our interest to be constantly supplicating him…although it is true that while we are listless or insensible to our wretchedness, he wakes and watches for us and sometimes even assists us unasked” John Calvin (ref#20, section 3).

“…he [GOD] does not answer, because of…pride…” (Job 35:12 ESV, brackets mine).

 

HEAVEN

A FINAL REST

“…we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thes 4:17 ESV).

“…eternity…is…called a perpetual now.  Christ’s presence now where we are, is a choice blessing.  Believers wish for it, when they are without it; and would wish to have more of it.  But they cannot always have His presence when they would; nor can they always keep it, when they have got it.  It may please Him to awake and leave them,(Canticles 3:5, 8:4) even when they are best pleased with His company….But in the state of glory above, when we shall be with Him where He is, no fears, no ground or suspicion of any such thing, shall ever enter into the heart of any of the glorified” Robert Traill (ref#225, p124).

“…departing to the Christian is not to die, but to sleep…In view of this truth, how chastened and cheered should be our sorrow when visiting the graves of the holy dead.  No wave disturbs their calm repose.  No painful sufferings, no convulsive throes, no affrighting dreams, no mental wanderings, no confused sounds, no imaginary thoughts disturb their peaceful slumber…The body rests in the tomb, the soul in the paradise of God…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 19th).

“…the souls of the righteous, after their warfare is ended, obtain blessed rest where in joy they wait for the fruition of promised glory, and that thus the final result is suspended till Christ the Redeemer appear.  There can be no doubt that the reprobate have the same doom as that which Jude assigns to the devils, they are ‘reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day’ (Jude 5-6)” John Calvin (ref#113, p659).

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2 ESV).

“…Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival.  The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice.  We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness” (2 Pet 3:11-13 MSG).