Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The End

Well, this past Monday the new owners closed on my parent's house. The day before I decided to take one last trip down memory lane. Some would say it was strange of me to do so, but I had to go over there to turn off the lights one last time. Yes, ceiling lights and some old lamp fixtures were left behind, and left lit, these last six months since my dad's departure for the nursing home, so as to discourage vandalism.

My first room to visit was the basement. No lights were left on there so I turned them on, all of them; you know the kind of light I'm talking about in an unfinished basement, the one bulb fixtures that hang from the ceiling with a pull cord. When I was young I used to love to turn them all on at once, especially at night. This was going to be the last time. The memories. My younger brother and I used to play down there. He died while having AIDS in 1999. My first home gym was also down there. The remnants of my old lat-pulldown machine were still hung from the ceiling. I built that in April, 1972. The bench where my radio used to sit was still there too. I used to love listening to it while working out. All I could do now was stare at what once was. I turned those lights off for the last time. Sadness.

Next was the attic. It too was unfinished; just one light hung from the ceiling. The new owners plan to raise the roof in order to add a bedroom up there. I was the last Pierson to see it in its original form. Some Christmas cards delivered to my mom in 1955 were still on an old table. My mom died in 2005. An old Johnny Speed remote control car was on the floor beside the old artificial Christmas tree. I decided to leave all as is. Again, all I could do was stare at what once was. I turned that light off one last time. Sadness

All of the rooms had memories, every square inch of them. There was that bedroom my brother and I shared. The times we played "Police in neck-ties", inspired by the character Inspecter Henderson, from the old Super-Man series. The closet served as our police car. Over by the corner windows was our desk, complete with a working toy type writer, and one of those Remcoe toy phones that actually worked when hooked up to its sister phone by wire. I turned that light off one last time. Sadness.

Well, after completing my little ritual throughout the house (yes, I turned on and off every light switch in the house) it was time to turn off one last light. There, it is done. my ritual was winding down now. Time to reflect. Never again will my mother's loving voice be heard within these walls. I will never again hear the sound of my brother's voice echo through the halls. I will never again feel the safety of being within these walls, safety provided by a fearless dad. He doesn't even remember this house now.

I stood in the doorway one last time. I turned to look in. All the lights were off now. It was so very quiet, so very dark...

The Pierson family doesn't live here anymore.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spurgeon and the Gospel

Folks, ya gotta check this out...


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Questions Friends Ask

A good friend was wondering about John 6:48-58...

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

The problem was what is meant by, "53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. "

What is meant by, "eats My flesh and drinks My blood"?

Note that it says, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,..." The phrase, "has eternal life" is what catches my eye. If we look up a few verses we read in verse 47, " Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

So in one verse we have everlasting life by believing (verse47); and in another we have eternal life by eating His flesh and drinking His blood (53-54).

Are there two ways to get eternal life - believing as well as eating His flesh and drinking His blood? Or is there only one way, and that by believing. There is only one way, believing. Therefore eating His flesh and drinking His blood is another way of saying "he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

Jesus said in verse 63 " It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." Jesus was telling spiritual truth here. Only those enlightened by the Holy Spirit would have at least some understanding of His teaching here. Note Peter's response to Jesus after all the others left... "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life". Peter and ten others understood Jesus. Why? The Holy Spirit's ministry in their lives.

The good news is, "33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."



Monday, September 10, 2007

From Spurgeon Sermon 979 "Faith and Regeneration"

"Now we go a little further. True faith is reliance. Look at any Greek lexicon you like, and you will find that the word pisteuein does not merely mean to believe, but to trust, to confide in, to commit to, entrust with, and so forth; and the marrow of the meaning of faith is confidence in, reliance upon. Let me ask, then, every professor here who professes to have faith, is your faith the faith of reliance? You give credit to certain statements, do you also place trust in the one who glorious person who alone can redeem? Have you confidence as well as credence? A creed will not save you, but reliance upon the Anointed Saviour is the way of salvation. Remember, I beseech you, that if you could be taught an orthodoxy unadulterated with error, and could learn a creed written by the pen of the Eternal God himself, yet a mere notional faith, such as men exercise when they believe in the existence of men in the moon, or nebulae in space, could not save your soul. Of this we are sure, because we see around us many who have such a faith, and yet evidently are not the children of God."

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Preach Repentance

by Mark Pierson

With sadness I enter this post. I have friends in the Free Grace movement whom I love and respect; but that does not mean I keep my mouth shut about this system. I have watched how the proponents of this system present their views, how they make man-made divisions into the word.

It seems to me that they are working from a false paradigm which supplies them with a false premise from which to build their case. Their system fails to provide Biblical information to the lost, spiritually dead, rebellious, sin-loving God-hater, who is walking according to the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, that slave to sin who is by nature a child of wrath, who walks according to the weather vane of this world.

Consider this: the gospel of John begins in chapter 1 to present Christ as God, the Perfect Representative of the Father; the One Who unfolds the Father as a scroll to a world that has not retained God in its knowledge. Romans one through three is clear on this. The world has cast aside all knowledge of its Maker and has fully rejected His rightful rule. As a result mankind is completely under the devil's sway. To ignore what is before us in chapter one of John as we preach Christ is to ignore a major portion of Christ's mission to this earth. I repeat, He came to show us the Father as His only perfect representative.

We are saved by being in Christ the Person. Coming to Christ means taking His yoke upon us and learning of Him. Their system dichotomizes where the Bible does not authorize them. They have split faith and repentance which clearly belong together. In the Great Commission faith, (Mk.16:16) and repentance, (Lk.24:47) are to be preached together.

If I believed the building I was standing in was on fire I would seek the fast escape. So it is with those who are told that they are in rebellion against their Creator and His Christ. That person is commanded by scripture to repent and believe the gospel - IOW, turn from following the spirit of this age, and take Christ's yoke upon him and so learn of Him.

That system, in all practicality, treats men as if there were no issue of original sin, no love of sin and hatred of God, no rebellion against the Creator. Calvinists and nonCalvinists alike agree that repentance flows from the genuine believer.

A couple of points:

1)No where in scripture does justifying faith happen without repentance also being evident. IOW, repentance always shows in the life of the believer. So, I say, nowhere in scripture do we see an unrepentant believer.

2) Let's look at Christ's accomplishments and their effects on the believer - Because of Christ's cross-work Paul was entrusted with a message that would "open eyes,turn people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins... " Acts 26:18-20. The Father has "conveyed us into His Son's kingdom" where there is redemption (being bought back from Satan's dark rule)and forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:12-14. Also Romans 6 teaches that we were once slaves of sin, but now, because of Christ's accomplishments on the cross, we are slaves of righteousness and of God.

Because of Christ's cross-work, His telling people to repent, through those servants of His who preach His word accurately, is like His having commanded that man to stretch forth his crippled hand, and when he has done so it is whole. And so it is when one is commanded to repent. His life will straighten out because of the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ as a result of His cross-work.

Justification is not the whole of the picture. Conformity to Christ is. This conformity, though not automatic, is inevitable, and begins at the moment of regeneration; hence the need to preach repentance to the unsaved. Christ is the One to be looked at for salvation. The world has rejected its Maker and His Christ. The world has thrown off God's rule in their lives. See the second Psalm. Faith and repentance result in the believer being brought into the Kingdom of God, and away from the rule of Satan.