A Shepherd's Heart
Statement of Faith
How to find us
A Sobering Truth
Lessons from the 2020 Presidential Election
What Should We Do In This Or Any Other Crisis?
God's Sovereign Grace in Salvation
Do You Rejoice In God's Gracious Salvation?
Subscribe to Devotional
February 2021 (1)
December 2020 (1)
May 2020 (1)
March 2019 (6)
October 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
June 2016 (1)
May 2016 (1)
February 2016 (1)
January 2016 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (1)
January 2015 (2)
November 2014 (2)
April 2014 (3)
January 2014 (2)
December 2012 (1)
February 2012 (1)
January 2012 (1)
December 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
July 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (1)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (1)
November 2010 (1)
October 2010 (1)
September 2010 (2)
August 2010 (1)
January 2010 (1)
October 2009 (1)
June 2009 (1)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (5)
February 2009 (2)
December 2008 (3)
November 2008 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
June 2008 (1)
May 2008 (4)
April 2008 (7)
March 2008 (14)
A Shepherd's Heart
God’s Word Above All
by GBC Ministry
In His last message to the church, His revelation of the consummation of all things, Christ made this marvelous observation and blessed promise to those saints represented by the church at Philadelphia:
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and
hast kept my word
, and hast not denied my name…
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience
, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:8, 10)
As proof of the power of His Word, the Spirit gives this remarkable testimony to it being the source of the strength of those saints who will willingly lose their lives for the faith during the horrific persecutions of the Tribulation recorded in the Revelation:
…they [kept] the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
Both of these testimonies confirm the great truth Paul declared to the saints in Rome (and us):
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
This was a restatement of the encouragement and assurance Jesus had given His disciples before His crucifixion when He taught them of the events of the end times:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Understanding the power and blessing of God’s Word, it should not surprise us that it is the focus of Satan’s attacks. He made his first successful attack in the garden of Eden when he encouraged Eve to “rethink” what God had said. He has been incessant in his opposition of and attempts to discredit God’s Word ever since. He knows that if he can undermine its credibility and, thereby, create doubt in the reader’s mind regarding its authority and truthfulness, he can both overcome and steal the blessing of the doubting believer, and keep the unbeliever blind to the Truth of God that would save him from eternal death.
Recently yet another not so subtle attack on the Word of God was unmasked. In an entry in his blog, Albert J. Mohler, Jr, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY commented on the perverted message of a book authored by a man named Rob Bell. In his book,
, Bell attempts to convince the reader that the damnation of unrepentant sinners is not eternal despite the plain teachings of the Word and, especially, those of Jesus Christ, incarnate God.
Rob Bell uses his incredible power of literary skill and communication to unravel the Bible’s message and to cast doubt on its teachings.
He states his concern clearly:
A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear
That is a huge statement, and it is clear enough. Rob Bell believes that the doctrine of the eternal punishment of unrepentant sinners in hell is keeping people from coming to Jesus. That is an unsettling thought, but on closer look, it falls in upon itself. In the first place, Jesus spoke very clearly about hell, using language that can only be described as explicit. He warned of “him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]
, Bell does his best to argue that the church has allowed the story of Jesus’ love to be perverted by other stories. The story of an eternal hell is not, he believes, a good story. He suggests that a better story would involve the possibility of a sinner coming to faith in Christ after death, or hell being a cessation of being, or hell being eventually emptied of all its inhabitants. The problem, of course, is that the Bible provides no hint whatsoever of any possibility of a sinner’s salvation after death. Instead, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” [Hebrews 9:27]
This most recent attack on the credibility and authority of God’s holy Word is, as we’ve said, nothing new. Faith in God’s Word is the anchor of the believer’s hope. To shake our hope, the enemy of our soul must make every effort to dislodge our anchor. All such attempts must be resisted with steadfast determination and confidence in and reliance on the very Word under attack, as Mohler did so well.
God’s Word is true, all of it. Its promises are sure, all of them, be they of eternal joy or eternal damnation. Because it is true and its Author trustworthy, it will never fail to save those who believe it, and to provide them with comfort and peace even in the most trying experiences, as Christ’s prophecy of the victory of the saints of the Tribulation proves. Nor will it fail to damn those who reject it.
So then faith
by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
see that ye
love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:22-23)
We must expect the Word of God to come under increased attacks as the false gospels of humanism increase in popularity. We must be watchful for “grievous wolves [who shall] enter in among [us], not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:19). And we must be sober about the possibility that “of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:19, 20).
In these days of increasing apostasy and the proliferation of false gospels, we must remember the Spirit’s words given through the psalmist:
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for
thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name
Many today who have taken for themselves the name of Christ minister with no true reverence for His eternal Word! Don’t be fooled by the fact that someone claims the name of Christ. Despite the “name” on his (or her) banner, if he (or she) does not magnify God’s holy Word, all of it, above “all,” he (or she) is not sent by God.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
What will keep us safe from damning compromise in these perilous times: a sincere love for God.
For this is the love of God, that we keep [“guard”] his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
(1 John 5:3, 4)
May we each hold fast to the Truth and guard it with holy and charitable zeal so that we may at all times be able to declare with all sincerity and truthfulness
My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary
. (Job 23:11-12)
Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 384-7614 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com