WRATH OR MERCY?

What will it be? Wrath or mercy?
I choose mercy.
What will you choose?

“Folks don’t really believe that the preached gospel is the power of God unto salvation, or that the penalty for breaking God’s law – even but a single time (James 2:10) – is to face the wrath of God for all eternity without a mediator or his cross. Kim Riddlebarger”

Learn how you can be saved here … Salvation

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WHAT A PROMISE!

“Tears will never stain the streets of that city, for the heart will never break anymore …”

I hope the lyrics of this beautiful song, written by the late Dottie Rambo, encourages you as much as it encourages me.  Enjoy and be blessed.

As I’ve heard her say many times …

What a promise!.”

YouTube … TEARS WILL NEVER STAIN THE STREETS OF THAT CITY

 

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AS THE DAYS OF NOAH AND LOT

Wow!  As the days of Noah and Lot.  Think about that.  And I don’t hear much, if anything, these days about the destruction of Jerusalem and how it was/is typical of the final judgement at the second coming.  I wonder if this type of teaching would be welcome at one of John Hagee’s “Night To Honor Israel” meetings. 

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Albert Barnes:

(Noe – The Greek way of writing “Noah.”)

See Genesis 6-9. The coming of the Son of man would be as it was in the days of Noah:

1. In its being sudden and unexpected, the “precise time” not being made known, though the “general” indications had been given.

2. The world would be found as it was then.

Matthew Poole:

That it will be in a time of great security and debauchery: such was the time of Noah, Genesis 6:3-5.

Joseph Benson:

But as the days of Noah were, — As then they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, till they were surprised by the flood, notwithstanding the frequent warnings and admonitions of that preacher of righteousness:

so now, they shall be engaged in the business and pleasures of the world, little expecting, little thinking of this universal ruin, till it come upon them, notwithstanding the express predictions and declarations of Christ and his apostles.

the destruction of Jerusalem is to be considered as typical of the end of the world, of which the destruction of a great city is a lively type and image.

All the subsequent discourse too, we may observe, does not relate so properly to the destruction of Jerusalem as to the end of the world and the general judgment.

Our Lord loses sight, as it were, of his former subject, and adapts his discourse more to the latter. And, indeed, the end of the Jewish state was, in a manner, the end of the world to many of the Jews.

It appears next to impossible that any man should duly consider these prophecies, and the exact completion of them, and, if he is a believer, not be confirmed in the faith; or, if he is an infidel, not be converted.

Can any stronger proof be given of a divine revelation than the spirit of prophecy; or of the spirit of prophecy, than the examples now before us, in which so many contingencies, and we may say, improbabilities, which human wisdom or prudence could never have foreseen, are so particularly foretold, and so punctually accomplished!

Could human prudence foresee such an utter destruction of Jerusalem, with all the circumstances preceding and following it?

Yet, however improbable this was it has happened, and it was foreseen and foretold by Christ;

but how was it possible for him to foresee it, unless his foresight was divine, and his prediction the infallible oracle of God?

Matthew Poole:

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Our blessed Lord in these verses doth both declare the surprisal of the Jews with that judgment which was coming upon them, and of the world with his coming in the day of judgment, (of which the destruction of Jerusalem was a type), and also forewarns them to take heed that they might not be surprised;

he tells them, that in the days of the Son of man, ( so that he speaketh of more than one day), the day of his power in the destruction of the Jews, and in the day of judgment, the antitype to the former, it shall be as in the days of Noah and of Lot.

In the days of those men, neither the men of the old world, nor the men of Sodom, would hearken either to Noah or Lot, who were preachers of righteousness to them, and gave them examples of sober and holy lives; but gave up themselves to luxury, and lived in a careless regard of any thing God was doing,

until the very day that Noah went into the ark, with his family, and the flood destroyed all the rest;

and till the day that Lot went out of Sodom, and fire and brimstone came down and destroyed all those who were left in Sodom.

So it would be before the final ruin of the world. Till the very days came, and men felt it, the generality of men would not believe it, nor make any preparation for it.

But in our Lord’s propounding these two great examples to them, he also lets them know their duty and wisdom, viz. to watch, and be upon their guard, …

with Lot to get ready to go out of Sodom, …

with Noah to prepare an ark upon this admonition which he gave them.

There are no such signs of approaching ruin to persons or nations, as security, and the abounding of sin and wickedness, notwithstanding the warnings which God giveth them by his messengers.

* * *

The Jewish people need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Show them your great love for them by sharing the Gospel with them.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Joel 2;31-32 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Lament over Jerusalem

Luke 13:34-35 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

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WE SAY “THIS CANNOT BE GOOD FOR US.” BUT IT IS.

Our extremity is God’s opportunity … to bless us.  The trouble is we don’t understand that until our painful trial is over.

extremity:  a very great or extreme degree or amount of something (such as emotion or pain)

WE SAY “THIS CANNOT BE GOOD FOR US.” BUT IT IS.

 

 

 

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LESSONS IN THE FURNACE …

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

“We are not to look for the proper fruits of affliction while we are suffering, but ‘afterward.’  Albert Barnes”

(There is no school like furnace school.)

LESSONS IN THE FURNACE

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I SHALL NOT WANT …

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

MacLaren:

The king who had been the shepherd-boy, and had been taken from the quiet sheep-cotes to rule over Israel, sings this little psalm of Him who is the true Shepherd and King of men. We do not know at what period of David’s life it was written, but it sounds as if it were the work of his later years.

There is a fulness of experience about it, and a tone of subdued, quiet confidence which speaks of a heart mellowed by years, and of a faith made sober by many a trial. A young man would not write so calmly, and a life which was just opening would not afford material for such a record of God’s guardianship in all changing circumstances.

If, then, we think of the psalm as the work of David’s later years, is it not very beautiful to see the old king looking back with such vivid and loving remembrance to his childhood’s occupation, and bringing up again to memory in his palace the green valleys, the gentle streams, the dark glens where he had led his flocks in the old days; very beautiful to see him traversing all the stormy years of warfare and rebellion, of crime and sorrow, which lay between, and finding in all God’s guardian presence and gracious guidance?

The faith which looks back and says, ‘It is all very good,’ is not less than that which looks forward and says, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.’

Barnes:

David, in advanced years, would naturally remember the occupations of his early life; and the remembrance of the care of God over him would naturally recall the care which he had, in earlier years, extended over his flocks.

The idea which the language suggests is that of tender care; protection; particular attention to the young and the feeble (compare Isaiah 40:11); and providing for their wants. All these things are found eminently in God in reference to his people.

I shall not want – This is the main idea in the psalm, and this idea is derived from the fact that God is a shepherd. The meaning is, that, as a shepherd, he would make all needful provision for his flock, and evince all proper care for it. The words shall not want, as applied to the psalmist, would embrace everything that could be a proper object of desire,

whether temporal or spiritual;

whether pertaining to the body or the soul;

whether having reference to time or to eternity.

There is no reason for supposing that David limited this to his temporal necessities, or to the present life, but the idea manifestly is that God would provide all that was needful for him always. Compare Psalm 34:9, “There is no want to them that fear him.” This idea enters essentially into the conception of God as the shepherd of his people, that all their real wants shall be supplied.

Spurgeon:

“The Lord is my shepherd.” What condescension is this, that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd! It should be the subject of grateful admiration that the great God allows himself to be compared to anything which will set forth his great love and care for his own people. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd.

He compares himself to a creature weak, defenseless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything.

No man has a right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature has been renewed, for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats.

A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord.

There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no “if” nor “but,” nor even “I hope so;” but he says, …

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependence upon our heavenly Father.

The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, “My.”

He does not say, “The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock,” but …

“The Lord is my shepherd;”

if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. The words are in the present tense. Whatever be the believer’s position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah.

The next words are a sort of inference from the first statement – they are sententious and positive – …

“I shall not want.”

I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply my needs, and he is certainly willing to do so, for his heart is full of love, and therefore …

“I shall not want.”

I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can he leave his children to starve?

I shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. Resting in him he will say to me, …

“As thy day so shall thy strength be.”

I may not possess all that I wish for, but …

“I shall not want.”

Others, far wealthier and wiser than I, may want, but I shall not.”

“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

It is not only “I do not want,” but “I shall not want.” Come what may, if famine should devastate the land, or calamity destroy the city, “I shall not want.”

Old age with its feebleness shall not bring me any lack, and even death with its gloom shall not find me destitute.

I have all things and abound;

not because I have a good store of money in the bank, …

not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because …

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

The wicked always want, but the righteous never; a sinner’s heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content.

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A WILDERNESS CRY

DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 4, 1878
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
(Excerpts)

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water; to see Your power and Your Glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary.”
Psalm 63:1, 2.

The new life which Divine Grace has implanted in us finds nothing here below upon which it can feed. The things which are seen are too gross, material, carnal and defiled to sustain life which comes by the Holy Spirit from the great Father. We are not carrion crows, else we might float upon the carcasses which abound in the waters around our ark! We are doves and when we leave the hand of our Noah, we find nothing to rest upon and we must go back to Him if we are to find food and rest for our souls. I am not speaking, now, of the world under its sorrowful aspect, only, but of the world at its best! It is a dry land for saints even when its rains are falling.

When the world dresses itself in scarlet and puts on its silks and satins, it is still a poor world for us. She may paint her face and tier her head, but she is a Jezebel for all that! The world, should she come to us as she came to Solomon, would still be a deceiver! If she would indulge us with all her riches and give us all her power and all her fame, she would still be a mere mocker to the heart which is born from above! If you could stand on a high mountain and see all the kingdoms of the world before you—and the glory thereof and hear a voice saying, “All this will I give you”—yet might you turn round to Satan and say, “And all this is nothing to me, a sop for a dog, but not food for a child of God!”

And then you might lift your eyes to the great Father above and say, “Whom have I in Heaven but You? There is none upon earth that I desire beside You!” You shall take prosperity at its flood. You shall have health and strength. You shall have all that heart can wish. But, after all, if there is a spark of Divine Life within you, your heart will compute the sum total of all earth’s joys and say, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” To a citizen of Heaven, this world is “a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.

Sometimes Christians become very hungry and thirsty when they are banished from the means of Grace. Poor as our ministry may be, yet there are many of God’s children who would miss it more than their daily food if it were taken from them!

God’s servants whom He calls to the work of the ministry are bound to think little of themselves and yet the loaves and fishes which they distribute to the multitude are by no means to be lightly esteemed—the people would faint by the way if they did not have them. It is a severe trial to some saints to be kept away from sanctuary privileges. I know that when you travel for pleasure or roam by the seaside for health—if you go to a place of worship on the Sabbath and find no spiritual bread, you fall into a miserable state of mind and sigh to spend your Sabbaths where the children’s portion is dealt out liberally and all the servants have bread enough to spare! David loved the very doors of the Lord’s House! He thirsted and pined because he was shut out from sanctuary privileges—and it was especially for that reason that he speaks of himself as being in a “dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.”

The same may happen when we are denied the sweets of Christian communion. David had poor company when he was in the wilderness in the days of Saul. His friends were not much better than freeloaders and runaways whom he would never have selected as friends had not the necessities of his own condition and of the political situation rendered it necessary that he should become a captain over them. They were a strange band of men! They were made up chiefly of those who were in debt and discontented—the rebellious against Saul’s wretched administration—men of broken fortunes and suspected loyalty.

Few of them were fit friends for the man after God’s own heart. I do not wonder that he looked, even, at the sons of Zeruiah who loved him best and were his own kinsmen—and felt that as for holy communion his soul was in a dry and thirsty land where there was no water!

Believers are to keep out of worldly company and yet it sometimes happens that Providence throws the child of God among the ungodly, like Obadiah in the family of Ahab; Nehemiah in the palace of Artaxerxes and Daniel in the court of Darius.

Your lot is hard if you are called to dwell among worldlings, for they have power to injure your piety but they cannot help you. You look around upon a score of hard faces all eager after the almighty dollar and none of them caring for the almighty God—and I do not wonder that you feel yourself to be in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water!

We owe much more to Christian friends than we think—and especially the younger folk among us do well to value Christian associations and to be much in the company of them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. If they are denied this refreshment, they will find life to be a dry land where there is no water.

Yes, but the same may happen from other causes as well. Sometimes a believing man may be treated with gross injustice and endure much hardship as the result. David was blameless and yet Saul hunted him as a traitor! He was upright, yet his people revolted from him. It tends to make a good man sour in spirit to be misrepresented and treated as guilty when he knows that he is innocent— and this bitterness is very apt to put away from us many sources of comfort and leave us uncomfortable. Then many a spring becomes dry and the heart shrivels as under a burning sun.

God is your God still, my dear Brothers and Sisters, whatever condition you are in, if you can now come and grasp Him by faith and call Him yours with the voice of love. Can you join me in words like these? Lord, I have lost my comforts; I have lost my assurances; I have lost my delights, but I still trust in You. I have no God but You, neither will I worship any other, nor repose my confidence elsewhere. Though You slay me, yet will I trust in You. The wounds of Jesus for my sin are still my soul’s one hope—the precious blood of Your dear Son is my sole confidence!

Besides, if we are in the wilderness, is not God the God of the wilderness? Were not His greatest marvels worked when He led His people about through the howling wilderness and fed them with manna and revealed Himself in a fiery, cloudy pillar? Where did Hagar look to Him who saw her but in the wilderness? Where did Moses see the Lord in the bush but at the backside of the desert? Where did Elijah hear a voice speaking to Him but away there in the wilderness? And where did David, the Psalmist, meet with his God but in the lone, solitary land where there is no water?

Neither, dear Friends, pray so much for ordinances as for the Lord, Himself. David does not say, “O God, You are my God, I will seek the sanctuary. My soul thirsts for a Prayer Meeting, my flesh longs for a sermon.” No, he sighs for God! He thirsts only for God! I believe that our Lord sometimes strikes all ordinances dry to make us feel that they are nothing without Himself. The means of Grace are blessed breasts at which the soul may suck when God is in them, but they are emptiness, itself, when He is not there. The preacher who has best fed you will only disappoint you if his Lord is not with him, or if you are not prepared to look beyond the man to the Master! The Lord loves to famish His people of all earthly bread and water—to bring them to wait upon only Himself.

I charge you, Beloved, this morning, that whatever your state may be, make a direct appeal to the Lord that He would immediately give you Himself by Christ Jesus! Nothing less than this can meet your needs and this will meet your case, though all outward ordinances should be denied.

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