Man’s hatred of the Bible has been of the most persistent, determined, relentless, and bitter character. It has led to 18 centuries of repeated attempts to undermine faith in the Bible and to consign the Bible itself to oblivion. Every engine of obstruction that human philosophy, human science, human reason, human art, human cunning, human force, and human brutality could bring to bear against this Book, and yet the Bible stands absolutely unshaken today.
At times almost all the wise and great of the earth have been pitted against the Bible, and only an obscure few for it. Yet, it has stood (Dr. R. A. Torrey).
THE GOD WHO SUFFERS
I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the cross. In the world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world (John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ).
- J. Gossip was a famous preacher at the turn of the century. Like
his congregation, he too had his share of shock and unexpected floods of life; yet in the midst of his own great personal grief and hurt, he was still expected to minister and be a comfort and blessing to others. In 1927 after his beloved wife died, Gossip preached a message from Jeremiah 12:5, which he called, “But When Life Tumbles In, What Then?” It is one thing, Gossip said to complain to God about the bewilderment of life when all you have faced are the “little rubs and frets and ills of life that fall to everyone” (Winkie Pratney, The Thomas Factor).
VICTORY IN JESUS
In Adam, man became a victim to Satan
In Christ, man becomes a victor
In Adam, man was defeated by Satan
In Christ, man was delivered from sin
In Adam, man became a pauper
In Christ, man becomes a prince
In Adam, man was in tragedy
In Christ, man is in triumph
In Adam, man became a sinner
In Christ, man becomes a saint of God (Adarkwa)
THE DEFEAT OF SATAN
At the cross, Jesus drove out Satan, “the prince of the world” (John 12:31-35). At the cross, Jesus “disarmed the powers and authorities” (Col. 2:15). The word “disarmed” is from the Greek (apekdusamenos), a double compound meaning, “To put off completely, to undress completely and thus render powerless.” At the cross, Christ undressed all demon authorities. It is a picture from ancient oriental custom of stripping the robes of office from a deposed official.
At the cross, the leaders and authorities of Satan’s forces and kingdom were stripped of their authority to oppose, intimidate or harass the believer in Christ. But that is not all; there is even more in this picture. Paul says, “Christ made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (v. 15). This again is an illustration taken from ancient history. When a conquering emperor returned from a great victory, he was often given a triumphal procession. The victor and his army marched through streets lined by cheering thousands. While the musicians played, chariots and soldiers carried the looted treasures of the defeated king, and he and his general or selected prisoners were led in chains, their shame openly displayed (Wesley L. Duewel, Touch the World through Prayer).
THE GRAVITY OF SIN
We can’t afford to play with fire
Nor tempt a serpent’s bite;
We can’t afford to think that sin
Brings true delight—(Anonymous)
Sin deceives, then defiles, and then destroys.
Seven signs that indicate when revival may be expected.
- When the providence of God indicates that revival is at hand.
- When the wickedness of the wicked grieves and humbles and distresses Christians.
- When Christians have a spirit of prayer for revival.
- When the attention of ministers is especially directed to this particular object.
- When Christians begin to confess their sin one to another.
- When Christians are found willing to make the sacrifice necessary to carry it on.
- 7. When ministers and professors are willing to have God promote it by what instruments He pleases (Charles G. Finney, Revival Lectures).
A LYING TONGUE
Many years ago, a certain prominent politician used television a great deal. He was not always truthful, but it was said of him that one could easily detect when he was lying or telling the truth. While he stroked his chin, adjusted his glasses or rubbed his nose, he was telling the truth. But when he opened his mouth, he was lying (Charlie Riggs, Learning to Walk with God).