| For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
|Home||Did you Get Our Tract?||Dec 21st, 2012|
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and to follow-up on the tract or conversation or otherwise which may have made you curious as to why I am so vocal in my faith. My sincere desire is to see people transformed in the love of God in his Son Jesus Christ through the message of his Bible (Romans 10:1). I hope that this experience will be a blessing to you, and I thank you for your time and interest, I pray that the message we Christians preach will prove to be the power of God to salvation for you.
My desire is to see everyone I know and associate with to be mature in Jesus Christ, to know the power of his resurrection, and to exalt his majesty and worth.
I could try to woo you to Christianity with the benefits which come with being a Christian, but this would ultimately do you a disservice. In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus tells a parable of a man who comes into a wedding feast hosted by the King (God) for his Son (Jesus Christ), but who doesn't come to honor either of these men, but rather only comes for the food. He infuriates the King and is cast out of the feast, which Jesus is clear to say is that the man was cast into Hell. I do not want this to be you, dear reader, but that you would approach the kingdom for the right reasons.
The Bible promises a number of benefits for the saint (anyone saved in Christ), the following list is far from exhaustive, but some of these good things are: forgiveness of sins (Isaiah 1:18), a new beginning (2 Corinthians 5:17), eternal life (John 3:16), purpose (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), freedom (John 8:32), blessing (Galatians 3:13), love (Galatians 5:22-23), joy (Psalm 16:11), contentment (Philippians 4:11), eternal bliss (Psalm 84:10), a place in Heaven (John 14:2), peace (Philippians 4:7), faith (1 Corinthians 13:13), hope (Hebrews 6:19), wonderful fellowship (1 John 3:14), eternal security (1 John 5:13), etcetera (2 Corinthians 1:20), etcetera (Romans 8:31-32).
There is no doubt that all of these are good, but many people come to church just to receive these, when all of these count as nothing in comparison to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. (Philippians 3:8) In another place it says "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:35-26)."
One of the major ideas of the Reformation was that everything the Christian does ought to be based on Soli Deo Gloria, translated, for the Glory of God Alone. The Bible says explicitly that the reason God gives good gifts is from the abundance of his love (Matthew 7:11) and so that his church is nourished (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). The Gift-Giver is much greater than the gifts, and he is the one who deserves honor, and glory, and praise. In fact, the Bible says that "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven (John 3:27)."
Therefore, my appeal to you is to set your affections fully on Jesus Christ, to recognize that he is indeed God, that he willingly went to a cross to face the wrath of God against sin, that he was raised from the dead, and he lives forever as a testament to the love, justice, and grace of God. He has shown us that there is life and truth nowhere but in himself, and that everything and everyone else that makes promises of eternal life or bliss are just counterfeits seeking to steal glory from the King of Glory. To use the Matthew 22:1-14 terminology: Come to the wedding feast to honor the Father and the Son, not just for what you can get out of it.
Christ promises for his followers tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and weapons raised in opposition (Romans 8:35). Not every follower of Christ gets all of these, but it is promised that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy3:12). Therefore, dear reader, if you come to improve your life or even your eternity, you are in grave danger to be seen as a thief and a robber, a usurper of glory, and an enemy of the King. Therefore I exhort you to count the cost, to consider the life you will leave behind, that you will forever forfeit your efforts to exalt yourself in order to magnify the only one who is worthy of glory, and to recognize that Jesus Christ and his righteousness is worth more than anything that has ever been created. Only then will every other good gift be added to you (Matthew 6:33), but your true joy will be in Christ Jesus. May you be able to say with Job in 1700BC, "Though he slay me, I will hope in him (Job 13:15)." (Job 13:15) with Peter in AD64, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (1 Peter 4:16)." with Polycarp in AD155, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior." and with Jim Elliot in AD1957, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
This thinking has existed since the beginning of time, and has been demonstrated powerfully throughout history as God has daily performed the miracle of regeneration, it is the only religion which exalts God and which truly blesses men. I pray that you would read your Bible to determine if such things are true, for it is the only way which God speaks in this age, and that you would recognize that if we are saved, it is by grace alone, received through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, resulting in one class of believers, privileged to every good thing, but thankful first and foremost for the love of God in Jesus Christ.