Troubles

There is a type of Christianity today that teaches that Jesus is here to ease all of our earthly troubles. However, they are unable to produce legitimate texts to support their position. We are told to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations (and these are not the little difficulties of having unruly children). God’s common grace ensures that we will have the good things, but it also means that the wicked will enjoy the good things of the earth as well. So too, the bad will dog the heels of all who dwell on this earth. We serve a sovereign and risen Lord, but we will not see Heaven here. That is, not until it comes to Earth at Christ’s return. However, take heart dear Christian, we might die in the midst of troubles on this earth, but these troubles are only designed to make you yearn so much more for Heaven. These earthly troubles are the worst you will face, and soon they will be no more. Let us take to heart the words of J. C. Ryle.

“If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other people. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory to the end – all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that.” ~ J.C. Ryle

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The Bible

Here we have a section from the introduction of Matthew Henry’s commentary on Genesis. His commentary work is the best devotional material I have found, and he is often much more insightful than our modern critical commentators. Perhaps today, we might consider this view of the Bible and be reminded of the majesty of the book and the beauty of its creator.

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We have now before us the holy Bible, or book, for so bible signifies. We call it the book, by way of eminency; for it is incomparably the best book that ever was written, the book of books, shining like the sun in the firmament of learning, other valuable and useful books, like the moon and stars, borrowing their light from it. We call it the holy book, because it was written by holy men, and indited by the Holy Ghost; it is perfectly pure from all falsehood and corrupt intention; and the manifest tendency of it is to promote holiness among men. The great things of God’s law and gospel are here written to us, that they might be reduced to a greater certainty, might spread further, remain longer, and be transmitted to distant places and ages more pure and entire than possibly they could be by report and tradition: and we shall have a great deal to answer for if these things which belong to our peace, being thus committed to us in black and white, be neglected by us as a strange and foreign thing, Hos 8:12. The scriptures, or writings of the several inspired penmen, from Moses down to St. John, in which divine light, like that of the morning, shone gradually (the sacred canon being now completed), are all put together in this blessed Bible, which, thanks be to God, we have in our hands, and they make as perfect a day as we are to expect on this side of heaven. Every part was good, but all together very good. This is the light that shines in a dark place (Pe2 1:19), and a dark place indeed the world would be without the Bible.

– Matthew Henry (Introduction to the Commentary of Genesis)

Khanaan Bound?

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“The people of God have ever been strangers and pilgrims in the earth. Though in the world, they are not of the world; and, both by their professions and their deportment, they declare plainly, that they seek  another country, as their final home. Hence, they walk not according to the course of this world, and are deaf to its enticements, and appear to have their eyes fixed on objects that the world sees not. So Moses endured, as seeing him who is invisible. So he turned his back on the pleasures of sin and the treasures of Egypt, and had respect unto the recompense of the reward, to be obtained in the future world. So patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, have lived for eternity, and have left their testimony to mankind, that they were not of this world, and that their treasure, their hearts, and their final home to which they journeyed, were in heaven. These examples call on us for imitation, and, if we possess the wisdom and spirit by which they were actuated, we too shall make it the business of our lives, to prepare for the future world.” – J.L Dagg (Manual of Theology)

“Since the motives to holiness, and to diligence in the pursuit of it, are drawn so abundantly from the future world, a knowledge of that world is of great importance to all men. Every man knows that the time of his continuance on earth is short and uncertain; and while fully assured that he must leave this world, and that the time of his departure is just at hand, to make no inquiry concerning the world to
which he is going, or to disregard authentic information concerning it, and the means of obtaining happiness there, is folly in the extreme. It is therefore wise to study the doctrine concerning the future world, and to study it as a subject of momentous personal interest. At every step in our progress, we should ask, how does this truth affect my heart? Am I so running, as to obtain? Are my prospects clear? Ought I not to renew my diligence, and to seek more earnestly the guidance and help needed, that I may finish my course with joy?” – J.L. Dagg (Manual of Theology)

J.L. Dagg and his Manual of Theology has left a lasting impression on my soul. These two passages have proven so helpful to me as I have sought to better understand the scriptures and how they affect the Christian life. J.L. Dagg believed that we should always live with the end in view. That we as travelers should always have our eyes cast to the horizon looking for a better country, a lasting kingdom not built by hands, our home.

It is this type of outlook that I wish this blog to portray. This blog is, in essence, an opportunity for me to think out how I feel concerning certain issues in theology and church life today, but I pray that, Lord willing, it might also help some who stumble upon this dusty side of cyberspace. I do not pretend that my thoughts are original, especially since most of my posts will likely come from quotes of men who have gone before. Yet, perhaps there will be something of newness to them as it has become apparent that the church of our day has completely lost sight of its history, and in doing so, has lost its moorings.

It is therefore, my goal to bring back to remembrance men who have been forgotten. Great men, not great form their own skill or wisdom, but those who have received a provision from God. Men who walked the old paths. Men who kept their gaze on the horizon looking for the coming kingdom of God. It is here, I hope, my friend that you might be reminded that there is a day coming for the believer when we will sit at the wedding feast of the lamb and feast with those who have gone before.  There is much more to life than the things that distract us as Americans. Why is it that we who are alive wish so much to appear to be corpses? Is it fitting for a prince to strive with all of his might to be a beggar? Then, let us turn from these fleeting pleasures together and seek a kingdom much more glorious than the one that is wasting away.To those dry bones who think that this world is the only one there will be, I plead with God that you might live and that you might see that this world is ash (for it will be baptized by fire0 and its current ruler a fool and a slave master. There is a king coming one a white horse who is more than just and is more than generous. Let us all look to His kingdom. We are, in this life, truly Khanaan bound.