The trouble with the church: we think too much about ourselves

From God’s Ultimate Purpose by Martyn-Lloyd Jones: The Bible is God’s book, it is a revelation of God, and our thinking must always start with God. Much of the trouble in the Church today is due to the fact that we are so subjective, so interested in ourselves, so egocentric. That is the peculiar error of this present century. Having forgotten God, and having become so interested in ourselves, we become miserable and wretched, and spend our time in ’shallows and in miseries.’ The message of the Bible from beginning to end is designed to bring us back to God, to humble us before God, and to enable us to see our true relationship to Him. And that is the great theme of this Epistle [Ephesians]…We must not start by examining ourselves and our needs microscopically; we must start with God, and forget ourselves. In this Epistle we are taken as it were by the hand by the Apostle and

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John Piper – Did God’s Plan Include Sin From the Beginning?

“Wimpy world-views produce wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians will not survive the days that are coming.” John Piper, from this excellent video clip posted at ‘Allsufficientgrace‘.

Death of a Church

“Death (of a Church) occurs when unbelievers are allowed to take over ministries in the church. It happens when a church becomes more concerned with form and liturgy than it is with life on a spiritual level. Death occurs when a church becomes more concerned about welfare and social ills than it is about salvation. It happens when a church loves systems more than it loves Jesus Christ. And it happens when a church becomes more concerned with material things than spiritual reality. That’s how a church dies. It all is a result of sin. Sin–in any form that the church tolerates, whether it is in the members or the leaders. Tolerance of sin begins the cycle; then comes the tolerance of unbelievers in the church until no one cares who is a believer or an unbeliever. The end comes when the man who runs the church isn’t a believer. Sins of commission and omission kill a church little by

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“When the heart is fat with the love of Jesus!”

“On the most basic levels, I desire fullness, and fleshly lusts seduce me by attaching themselves to this basic desire. They exploit the empty spaces in me, and they promise that fulness will be mine if I give in to their demands. When my soul sits empty and is aching for something to fill it, such deceptive promises are extremely difficult to resist. Consequently, the key to mortifying fleshly lusts is to eliminate the emptiness within me and replace it with fullness; and I accomplish this by feasting on the gospel. Indeed, it is in the gospel that I experience a God who glorifies Himself by filling me with His fullness. . . . This is the God of the gospel, a God who is satisfied with nothing less than my experience of fullness in Him! . . . Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for

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The Worldly Church

“Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care.” -A.W. Tozer (HT: Reformed Voices)

Technique or Truth?

“Sometimes as I have gone witnessing with a group of people, I have wondered whether I’m sharing Christ or selling a line of products. It is interesting to see how some of the airport cults have picked up on some of our successful formulas and patterns of communicating. These cult members are so predictable we can see them coming a mile away. Like us, they tend to offer simplistic pitches. Because of election, we realize that we as Christians do not have to resort to such packages of last-chance tactics. We know that, in the final analysis, only God’s electing, redeeming grace, and not Madison Avenue or the latest fads of pop psychology, will bring lasting reconciliation between humans and God. With this knowledge we can be more comfortable with the biblical message and biblical methods. We can approach unbelievers as human beings rather than targets, consumers, numbers, and converts. I am tired of evangelical conferences where more time is

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Quoting Leonard Ravenhill

[Concerning one of the new “movements” in the church that was causing a stir among Christians:] “There’s also a stir when the circus comes to town.” [Concerning the fixation that today’s church has with numbers, with growth at any price:] “The church has paid a terrible price for statistics!” “Either the Bible is absolute or obsolete, which is it?” “There’s only two kinds of people in the world: those dead to sin and those dead in sin.” “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” “The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising.” “A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience.” “Your doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel…and just as empty!” “You can have all of your doctrines right, yet still not have the presence of God.” (HT: Rick Ianniello)

The Deeper Life!

“To speak of the ‘deeper life’ is not to speak of anything deeper than simple New Testament religion. The ‘deeper life’ is deeper only because the average Christian life is tragically shallow.” – A.W. Tozer (Tozer may have been reluctant to conclude that those average shallow Christians may actually not have been converted!) (HT: Reformed Voices)

Drifting From the Truth

“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 NLT As Christians, we are all in danger of being deceived by false teachers or chasing after the things of the world. We are advised by the writer of Hebrews to intently listen to the truth we have heard in God’s Word. I particularly like the implications of the word “drift” in this verse. This kind of drifting is like a ship without an anchor. It will be gently pushed by the waves away from where it began. Before long, the wind will howl and the torrential rains will pour. The ship will be surrounded by a thick darkness. The world’s influences will crash on us eagerly trying to capsize our witness for Christ. The fury of Satan will do all it can to overcome us. Without an anchor in Christ and His Word, we as Christians will drift into

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