It is better to be
frightened into heaven
lulled into hell.
It is better to be
frightened into heaven
lulled into hell.
Faith is the medium of exchange in heaven.
If you need an answer to prayer,
spend a little faith.
once said the more things change, the more they stay the same. It
appears contradictory, nevertheless true. Vaunted progress in most
every field of endeavor characterizes the present time, but the
universal plight, and the persistent actions of men remain unchanged.
Nowadays, good is called evil and evil is called good. Selfishness
largely rules, and the unchanging principles of time and eternity are
pushed aside for what men want right now.
It was to a similar generation of Jesus’ day that he explained the ministry of John the Baptist, and the subsequent kingdom of heaven. There were those who heard him, and they with the publicans justified God being baptized with the baptism of John. On the other hand, there were many of the lawyers and Pharisees who rejected the counsel of God against themselves by rejecting the baptism of John. Luke 7.
They wanted to pit the ministry of John against the ministry of Jesus. They criticized the person of John as aloft, stoic, antisocial because he was not given to eating bread, nor drinking wine with them. Then they criticized Jesus because He did those things, calling Him a gluttonous man, a winebibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners. In short, nothing could be right in the eyes of these critics but their own twisted formula of life. How that remains. Times have changed, but the more they change, the more they stay the same.
Jesus summarized the generation of His earthly ministry. “They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.” Luke 7:31-32. This is an unchanged status quo, having multiplied exponentially.
Men do not have the qualifications, nor any ability to call upon the substance or perimeters of eternity. God does! Moreover, the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are in covenant relationship with Him, so they have been given the knowledge of eternity by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. They have visited that dimension vicariously, and proven their understanding by the eternal, unchanging Word. It is they who justify God, not only being baptized with the baptism of John, but offering the same to such as bring forth fruit meet for repentance. With them, by God’s grace, I stand! Trusting one’s pompous, but powerless formulations is silly. Trusting the eternal creator of the universe is wise.
Daniel Webster records that in 1776, while some men vacillated as to Independence, John Adams, the “Voice of the Declaration,” arose and stirred the hearts of his countrymen with these immortal words:
Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there’s a Divinity which shapes our ends. . . . Why, then, should we defer the Declaration? . . . You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists, die slaves, die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.
Be it so. Be it so.
If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready. . . . But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.
But whatever may be our fate, be assured . . . that this Declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand and it will richly compensate for both.
Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude and of joy.
Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, Independence now, and Independence forever.
Source: The Works of Daniel Webster, 4th ed., 1:133–:36 Adams speech was delivered before the Continental Congress.
Liberty Letters is a project of The Moral Liberal’s, Editor in Chief, Steve Farrell.
A “Nobody” In Hell, or “Who’s Who” In Heaven?
Had you ever noticed, in Luke 16:19-31, that the rich man in Hell is not named? When he was living, no doubt he was known far and near for his wealth, his lavish parties and, if they had such in those days, was listed in “Who’s Who.” But when he died, he was just a nobody in Hell!
By contrast, had you noticed that Lazarus is named? When he was living, I doubt if the rich man or any of his friends knew his name, being known only as the beggar. When he died, there were no hired mourners and I am sure he was buried without notice in a potter’s field. But when his spirit left his house of clay, he was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom. A nobody on earth, but he knew the Lord, and now he is listed in “Who’s Who” in Heaven!
Which way have you chosen?
He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can’t understand him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The leaders can’t ignore Him.
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and
The people couldn’t hold Him!
Herod couldn’t kill Him
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse him
And the people couldn’t’ hold him.
Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him,
The New Age can’t replace Him
And Oprah can’t explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and
He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!
I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light
And His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders
And the overseer of the overcomes
The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me
Never forget me.
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and everyway.
He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this…
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well With my soul.
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!
I love the Lord and thank Him for all that he does in my life,
He is my source of existence and my Savior.
Without Him, I will be nothing.
Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things.
HEAVEN ON MY MIND
Parson to Person
The Lyrics of a gospel song include the words: “I woke up this morning feeling fine; I woke up with heaven on my mind.” What an inseparable duo! They are cemented more securely than “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.” When thoughts of heaven and of the Good Lord are founded solidly on the eternal Word, they become the substantiating of heaven on earth. How else could one feel then but fine, mighty fine! Think about it!
David described the blessed man as one who meditates in His law day and night, Psalm 1:2. That is feeling fine, mighty fine! When others dish out unfair treatment, instead of being discouraged, consider the marvelous meaning of the words in Psalm 119:78, “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause but I will meditate in thy precepts.” This turns personal hurt and discouragement into feeling fine, mighty fine! When the forces and “friends” of this world bring pressure to think and walk perversely, remember Psalm 119: 15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This severs a bad situation and leaves one feeling fine, might fine.
Some folks are comparable to a reed shaken by the wind. They bend and sway with whatever force is predominant at the time. Others are more comparable to a mighty tree, realizing that even though evil winds may not be stopped, one may, but the grace of God, stand strong and not bow down to them. It is incumbent upon every Christian to know who he is through identification with the person and words of the Lord, not by simple, blind acceptance of the tenants of a church where he may belong.
In the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” Scarlett dealt with unpleasant or difficult situations by procrastination: “I won’t think about that today, I will think about that tomorrow.” That mindset can only make matters worse by creating a vacuum evil is eager to fill. By all means, take the initiative!
Taking the initiative then to be in control of spiritual and mental matters, one will find himself marching in cadence with the Pauline instructions that speak so pungently to this point. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Now there is the subject matter having come full circle. With goodness and heaven on one’s mind, life is fine, mighty fine!
THEY WERE BELIEVERS, COLONIAL NEW HAMPSHIRE
March 16, 1680
Whereas it hath pleased the Lord to moue the heart of our Dread Soveraigne Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, to grant license & liberty to sundry of his subjects to plant themselves in the westerne partes of America: Wee, his loyall subjects, brethren of the church of Exeter, situate & lying upon Piscataquacke, wth other inhabitants there, considering wth ourselves the holy will of god and our owne necessity, that we should not live whout wholsome lawes & government amongst us, of wch we are altogether destitute; doe in the name of Christ & in the sight of God combine ourselves together, to erect & set up amongst us such government as shall be to our best discerning, agreeable to the will of god, professing ourselves subjects to our Sovereign Lord King Charles, according to the Libertys of our English Colony of the Massachusetts & binding ourselves solemnely by the grace & helpe of Christ & in his name & fear to submit ourselves to such godly & christian laws as are established in the realme of England to our best knowledge, & to all other such lawes wch shall upon good grounds, be made & inacted amongst us according to God, yt we may live quietly & peaceablely together, in all godliness and honesty.
Signed by John Whelewright and thirty-four others.
You shall swear by the great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of Heaven and earth and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of the Kings and rulers of the earth, that in his Name and fear you will rule and govern his people according to the righteous will of God, ministering justice and judgment on the workers of iniquite, and ministering due incouragement and countenance to well doers, protecting of the people so far as in you lieth, by the help of God from foreigne annoyance and inward desturbance, that they may live a quiet and peacabble life in all godliness and honesty. So God be helpful and gracious to you and yours in Christ Jesus.
We do swear by the Great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of heaven and earth, and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Saviour of his people, that in his Name and fear, we will submit ourselves to be ruled and governed according to the will and word of God, and such wholsome laws and ordinances as shall be derived therefrom by our honored Rulers and the lawful assistants, with the consent of the people, and that we will be ready to assist them by the help of God, in the administration of justice and preservation of the peace, with our bodies and goods and best endeavors according to God. So God protect and save us and ours in Jesus Christ.
Source: Hammond, Isaac Weare (1831-1890)., Editor. Town Papers: Documents Relating to Towns in New Hampshire. Concord, N.H. : Parsons B. Cogswell, state printer (publisher), 1882. The copyright of these documents is held in the Public Domain. Formatted for the Internet © 2014 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.
They Were Believers is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2012-2014 Steve Farrell.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” Colossians 3:1-3.
The command to “set your affection” means to “change our thinking” or to “set our minds” toward something. When we set our affections toward something, it will not only change our thought processes and attitudes, it will also affect the way we operate on a daily basis. It will change the things we do.
In today’s Scripture, we are called to set our affections on “things above” and not the “things on the earth.” These verses call believers to shift their thinking and their hearts toward the things that matter eternally. We are called to pursue the things of God over the temporary things of this world.
When I first started driving, I had to learn to read a map when I would make long trips. This was a time consuming process. Now, I just turn on my GPS and the sweet voice leads me to my destination with turn-by-turn instructions.
When we set our affections on the things of God, we will find that a life pointed in the right direction becomes easier for us. We see that the temptations of this world fade away and it becomes easier to make the choices God would have for us. Our thinking will drive our actions in the right direction.
JUST A THOUGHT
What affections guide your thinking and dominate your mind?
“A goodly heritage”
Andrew Gifford entered into heaven on June 19, 1784 and was buried in front of 200 ministers and a multitude of others in Bunhill Fields in the early morning of July 2, 1784. Dr. John Ryland, President of Bristol Baptist College, stood on a tombstone and delivered the funeral oration. Gifford had just completed over 60 years in the Baptist ministry in Bristol during a time of religious tolerance under the “Declaration of Indulgence” granted by King Charles II on Sept. 5, 1672. Prior to that, Andrews grandfather, his namesake, was imprisoned at least four times for preaching without state authority. His father, Rev. Emmanuel Gifford, served as a sentry as his father preached the gospel in the Bristol area. Once he was discovered and violently pursued by their persecutors. He took refuge under a staircase as his tormentors ran on by, swearing to do him physical harm if they caught him, but God gave deliverance to the young man and the Baptists in their worship. With such a heritage, young Andrew was raised in Bristol and was baptized when he was fifteen years old. He was trained at the local academy and was preaching the gospel by the time he was twenty-four. Dr. Ryland, said the following words at his grave side that morning, “Farewell, thou dear old man! We leave thee in the possession of Death until the Resurrection Day, but we will bear witness against thee, O King of terrors, at the mouth of this dungeon-thou shalt not always have possession of this dead body it shall be demanded of thee by the great Conqueror, and at that moment thou shalt resign thy prisoner. O ye ministers of Christ, ye people of God, ye surrounding spectators, prepare to meet this old servant of Christ at that day, that hour when this whole place shall be nothing but life, and death shall be swallowed up in victory.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 270-272.
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