FEBRUARY 13 – Discouragement
Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
How many have the problem of discouragement? I certainly do. There are times where I start packing books because I am ready leave. Then I see that the Lord is not done with me here. Yet I still want greener pastures. I want a place where people are eager to go to Church and make that the highlight of their week because we are living in a day and age where the Word is PRECIOUS.
When I say the Word is precious, that means that there are few that are willing to stand for the whole counsel of God. There are too many preachers and saved that are willing to compromise where Jesus did not compromise. I believe that God put every wore in His Bible for us to practice in our life. Isa_28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
The Old Testament has precepts (principles) for us to practice. If it does not have principles then it is useless for everything except history. The New Testament serves as a guide book for the saved. It is not available for us to pick and choose. There are few want to grow into a mature child of God. They live on mild and pablum, they live on memes and slogans. This is very discouraging for one that has that desire to teach and preach the whole Word of God. We are raising bottle babies because some in the pulpit are not getting into the meat of the Word and some in the pews are not accepting the meat of the Word.
It is high time we got off the bottle, threw away the binky, and started growing in the knowledge of God. Jesus even faced this problem. Some disciples turned and walked away because they would not accept the truth.
Let us GROW UP. May move from the milk stage in flourishing born again children of God.
NOW, I CAN BURN!
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
The dark ages are appropriately named. It was a time when knowledge was stifled, persecution rampant, and martyrs made in wholesale numbers as one may readily and correctly infer from such documents as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs; A History of the Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont, and other such historical books.
Almost within shouting distance of the famous Oxford University, the powers of England burned William Tyndale at the stake as he prayed “Lord open the eyes of the King of England.” His crime: translating the Holy Scriptures into the English Language so common people might know God’s truth in a time of terrible clerical corruption.
Among many English martyrs is one notable Thomas Cranmer. He was a religious cleric who lived in the stormy political time of King Henry VIII. It was a time when religious reformation was gaining acceptance, but with a terrible price. Cranmer did the bidding of kings, and was reluctantly promoted into the office of Archbishop of Canterbury. Pressure on his life was so intense that he finally wrote things he did not believe, but to his credit, he recanted his recantations in public forums as well as in written form.
Cranmer was tried, condemned as a heretic and subsequently burned at the stake at Oxford in 1556. He was so remorseful of his earlier actions, and so willing to die rather than re-affirm them, that when put to the stake and the fire began, he said with his hand first extended to the flame, that with this hand I have written offensive things to my very heart, and it should burn first. With his hand steadily in the fire, he was heard to say, “Now I can burn!” In a short time, the man who had served royalty stood by his heart’s convictions and calmly died, consumed by flames without crying out.
So many have paid the ultimate price for matters of faith ( Heb. 11). We need not endorse their every tenant of faith, but, let us not fail them with infidelity to our biblical convictions, even many of those same convictions for which so many died.
William Andrew Dillard
BURNING HEART OR HEARTBURN?
Sometime back I drove past a sign that read: CHURCH OF THE BURNING HEART. I thought that was a little unusual for the name of a church. Upon further inquiry, I learned that it was like so many other religious clubs doting the landscape in these last days. It was what one would call independent, but more precisely non-denominational. That simply means it does not affiliate with any known and named group of churches both in affiliation and in doctrinal standing. Of course, there are enough non-denominational churches that now non-denominational would be a denomination but for the lack of affiliation among themselves or any cohesiveness to their doctrinal standing. It seems they just want to present themselves to the public as totally free, thus better, than any church that is known by its doctrinal standing. As a result what is commonly held among them is the doctrine of universal, invisible church which necessitates open communion. Furthermore, they have no qualms about baptismal source or mode, and most do not maintain a church membership role due to their universal thinking. But these things effectively negate personal responsibility, and personal accountability in the minds of natural men who have an inclination to worship God due to their being made in His image. The appeal succeeds in motivating men into further estrangement from their Creator in a form of godliness that denies the power thereof.
As more and more of these types of “churches” arise, one may wonder at the wonder of it all. Would the Holy Spirit lead men to a form of worship that is in rebellion to plain biblical teachings? Is it possible that God would accept a form of doctrine out of conformity to His Word? Has the blood-bathed battle of His churches throughout the last 2,000 years been in vain; their form of worship and division of the Word of truth wrong?
The apostle John has the answer in his first epistle: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” 2:18-20. Compared to Holy Writ, a better name for the afore mentioned group might be THE CHURCH OF THE HEARTBURN, big time!
As sweet as they are, let it be recalled that Jesus did not make His people to be sugar, but salt! Moreover, the disastrous results of salt that loses its savor is graphically presented in plain terms! Matt. 5:13
Edward Wightman, the last Baptist to be executed by the fires of the stake at Lichfield outside the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on April 11, 1612. Bishop Neile of Lichfield and his coadjutors, who acted as Royal Commissioners on the occasion, were manifestly “forgers of Lies. “ Thomas Crosby mentions that “many of the heresies they charge upon him are as foolish and inconsistent, that it very much discredits what they say.” What was the real cause of his martyrdom? “Among other charges brought against him were these: ‘That the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom; that the Lord’s supper and baptism are not to be celebrated as they are now practiced in the church of England; and that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the church of England, but only in part’ “ Though they found him guilty of many heresies, some of which were probably unknown to him, even by name, the account that he claimed “the use of baptism to be administered in water only to converts of sufficient age and understanding.” Was true.
What kind of man really was Edward Wightman? His son, grandson, great grandson, for two more generations all pastored Baptist churches in America! That is a great tribute to his faith.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: A History of the Baptists, by John T. Christian /A History of the English Baptists, by Joseph Ivimey.