Passion for the Gospel All Life Long The Death of George Whitefield

 

In this house, the great evangelist, George Whitefield breathed his last.

Even up till the day of his death, Whitfield never tired, nor retired from preaching the Gospel. Before Whitefield preached to a large crowd in Exeter, a bystander said to him, “Sir, you are more fit to go to bed than to preach.” Whitefield answered, “True, sir;” and looking up he said, “Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not of thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for thee one more time in the fields, seal thy truth, and come home and die.” After preaching, he made his way to Old South Presbyterian Church in Newberryport, MA in need of rest. When he arrived at the home of Jonathan Parsons, the pastor, he told him that he was tired and needed to go to bed. By that time, the street in front of the house had filled with many people begging to hear him preach. Even though he was physically spent, he couldn’t resist an opportunity to preach the Gospel once more. As he wearily made his way up the stairs, people crowded into the house eagerly waiting to hear him again. He stood on the landing halfway up the stairs, candle in hand, heedless of time, and preached until the candle flickered, and finally went out. Retiring to his bed, finding it hard breathe as a result of his asthma, he continued to struggle through the night. At about two-o’clock in the morning, Richard Smith, brought him some cider and said to him that he shouldn’t preach so often. Whitefield replied, “I had rather wear out, than rust out.” By morning he had breathed his last.

Whitefield shows us the importance of playing our part to the very end and fulfilling the calling that God has given us.

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Romans 12:6

(From, Gillies Life of George Whitefield, page 270.)

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The Graves of Jonathan Edward’s Children

All of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards children are buried together,except for Jerusha who is buried next to David Brainerd. Their graves are about 100 yards away from the rest. David Brainerd spent the last months of his life in the Edwards home and Jerusha nursed him there. She died of the same disease soon after.

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Fulfilling the Great Commission – “Heroes and Cowards” – An Argument for Relational Churches

Why are some men heroes and other men cowards? Why do some men stay and fight and others flee from the battlefield? Secular authors and economics professors Dora Costa and Matthew Khan explored this question by looking at factors that affected deserters during the Civil War. Their conclusion: relationships. In their book Heroes and Cowards, The Social Face of War, they state:


“Four brave men who do not know each other will dare not attack a lion. Four less brave, but knowing each other well, sure of their reliability and consequently of mutual aid, will attack resolutely.”

I believe these authors have uncovered an important biblical principal which is also key to healthy local church life. Since the desertion rate in the American church is far higher than the desertion rate of soldiers during the Civil War, this question deserves careful thought and study.

Perhaps this is why there are so many commands in scripture regarding relationships. There are over 50 “one another’s” in the New Testament indicating the importance and richness of relational life. Contrast this with the impersonal nature of many churches where people attend meetings but hardly know one another. God calls us into relationship and spiritual heroism as we work out our salvation and fulfill the great commission.

Paul urges the churches to be unified and stand fast in one spirit (Phil 1:27, 1 Cor. 1:10) Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs, not alone. (Mark 6:7) Proverbs also speaks a great deal about the importance of relationships. (Prov. 17:17, 27:17, 27:10, 13:20)

As we strive for faithful churches, let’s remember this principal. The accountability, safety, and camaraderie fostered by churches that obey the commands of scripture to fellowship together, pray together, know one another, host one another, invest in one another and build one another up radically changes the propensity towards desertion in the church.

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Young Men Who Did Not Waste Their Youth

 

Today we visited the grave of Great Awakening preacher, George Whitefield at Old South Church in Newberryport, Mass. He is buried under the church pulpit. It caused us to contemplate the use of time. Notice the casting of his skull and bible on his casket – a vivid reminder of the brevity of life and the importance of using our minutes for the glory of God. Each night Whitefield asked himself 15 questions to help him judge his actions during the day. He asked,

Have I,

1. Been fervent in private prayer?

2. Used stated hours of prayer?

3. Used spontaneous prayer every hour?

4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory?

5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?

6. Planned business for the day?

7. Been simple and recollected in everything?

8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?

9. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?

10.Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?

11.Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?

12.Taken time for giving thanks according to Law’s rules?

13.Been diligent in studies?

14.Though or spoken unkindly of anyone?

15.Confessed all sins?

 

Scott Brown sitting at George Whitfield's Grave

 

Arnold A. Dallimore, George Whitefield, The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival, Volume I (Edinburg: The Banner of Truth, 2001), 80, 81.

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Life Under Barack – Build Holy Families and Holy Churches

 

Most of us feel that our nation just made a grave error in the national election and that storm clouds are on the horizon. This may be true, but what should we do? Let me suggest that all of life must be seen in the light of the indestructibility of the church. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18). This is why we have a message of hope that says, “Don’t despair, rise up and build holy families and holy churches. That will make a difference.”

Here is what I believe: the most important things we do in this life happen in church and home. It is here that we “watch and pray,” “let the Word of Christ dwell richly” and “be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments,” (Mark 13:33; Col 3:16; Deuteronomy 11:32). If you fill your home with the sweet waters of life and use your energies and gifts to strengthen the body of Christ you will be involved in the most powerful work done on the planet – more powerful and far reaching than DC the UN or the EU – and even Hollywood. Our work in church and home reaches across many generations and into heaven for all eternity. No administration can touch this in terms of significance, reach and blessedness. No nation can stamp out the healing balm that comes from the genuine worship of God in churches and homes.

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Looking on the Bright Side

Here is a note I received from a friend 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay Attention to the Gloom and Doom

“Gloom and Doom is everywhere! In the papers, on the news, all over the internet, even in daily conversations. Many members of the general public and the investment community are getting depressed and caught up in this propaganda at a rapid pace. The attitude is even beginning to spill into personal and professional lives as people begin to buy into it. So what’s the answer? STOP immediately!

When you focus on the negative, you always multiply your problems. Instead, see your business being so busy you have to expand…the human mind has an incredible ability to accomplish whatever you focus on.


The 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Pay Attention to Gloom and Doom are:



1. It’s simply not true.
It is possible to have the life you want. You work hard, and the media right now is making you sheepish. It’s herding you into a corner. It’s driving a stake right into the heart of the economy. You cannot create prosperity when you are fearful. In the 70’s we were told the world’s oil was running out; clearly that didn’t happen. The media predicted a mini ice age within the last 40 years; that didn’t happen either. Global warming? Chicago has had the heaviest snowfall since 1979. The media is powerful – do your own research.

 
2. This is a great year for commercial real estate.
If you are planning on investing in commercial real estate this year, you are in luck. There will be a fabulous inventory of product from which to choose. Interest rates are at an all-time low. Cap rates are becoming more reasonable again. Lots of OPPORTUNITY is in store for you this year.

 
3. Businesses that are closing should close.
You read the same newspapers I do, and you’ve seen articles about Starbucks and other retail chains closing units. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? You need to realize these units were underperforming all along and would have been closed anyway. What the paper doesn’t tell you is that there are many units being opened as well.

 


4. There is more money available to exchange hands than ever before.

There is more affluence in the U.S. economy than ever before. Businesses catering to the affluent are selling goods and services at record numbers. After all, people still want to spend money.

 


5. Plenty of businesses and people are experiencing financial growth at the moment.

The mall parking lots are full; people are walking around with shopping bags containing multiple purchases. Restaurants are still busy; you still need a reservation. Many Fortune 500’s are having banner years.

 


6. More money was paid into the IRS in 2007 than ever before.

This is self-explanatory. The only way this was possible is if Americans earned record amounts of income!

 
7. Abundance is a mindset. There are no limits to what you can create, and there are endless opportunities.
If you focus on recession, that energy follows your thought. The more you focus on abundance and prosperity, the more you get.

 
Remember, history has recorded that more millionaires were created during the Great Depression than in any other time because of the infamous “poor economy”. These people prospered because they believed in themselves and were willing to take calculated risks. They made tremendous amounts of money because they did not let the media control their destiny – they took charge! Take charge and get going…”

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The Family at Church

Joel Beeke has written a wonderful book “The Family at Church” to help families in their participation in the meetings of the church. He says, “Teach your children that every sermon counts for eternity. Salvation comes through faith, and faith comes through hearing God’s Word (Rom. 10:13-16). So every sermon is a matter of life and death.” Each chapter either deals with listening to the preached word, or coming to prayer meetings. He says, “The church must maintain the divinely ordered role of the family to establish a godly heritage.’

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The End of Patriarchy?

Homosexual Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson Declares the End of Patriarchy

Last week Duke University’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life invited the openly gay Anglican Bishop, Gene Robinson to speak to students. During his stay, he announced the root issue causing so much commotion around his life,

“At first look, it appears to be about homosexuality. Step back and it appears to be about Biblical authority… If we step back one step further and notice this has way more power and energy than it ought to, my own opinion is that this is actually about the end of patriarchy.”

It is a brilliant statement, because he shows where the fight is, but he is one hundred percent wrong. First, it is about scripture, for it is from scripture that we derive patriarchy. Second, it is not about the end of patriarchy, it is about the devil’s attempt to end patriarchy. Patriarchy does not end – ever – but those who hate it will. Robinson and the gay/feminist agenda will try to stomp out patriarchy, but they will find that they are raging against a holy Father – God – who will have His way.

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Genesis, The Beginning of the Gospel

Here is a sermon summary of the book of Genesis

The gospel begins here in Genesis. Can you explain the gospel? Genesis gives you the outline. The good news opens with the Creator God and His beneficial, eternal kingdom (creation Gen 1-2). It continues with God, the Father of His children in rebellion (fall – Gen 3); it unfolds with His acting as their Redeemer (salvation by faith alone – Gen 15:6) and their Governor (discipleship – Gen 12-50). The rest of the Bible is about one single thing: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” As it is with Genesis, all of the redemptive acts of God in the Old Testament point to Christ. All things are fulfilled in Christ. All things are explained by Christ.

 

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Why are Evangelicals Applauding the Stay at Home Dad?

Olivia St. John has written a powerful piece identifying one of the truly disturbing aspects of the Palin candidacy. She asks,

“So is Todd Palin ready to be ‘first lady’?”

Mrs. St. John relates how this absurdity works out in the real life of Todd Palin by citing a Palin spokeswoman,

“Todd… is involved in fulfilling ‘the ceremonial duties of a first gentleman.’ In fact, he recently hosted a tea for former first ladies of the state at the governor’s mansion in Juneau. I wonder if he held his pinkie upright as he sipped from his demitasse cup.”

The reality is that those who vote for this ticket are also applauding the stay at home dad. St. John states this succinctly,

“Todd will become a stay-at-home househusband.”

It should take our breath away that Todd Palin will be the very first man in history to play this role reversal in the highest offices of the land. Why? There is a reason this is the first time in history for such a thing. The short answer is that we have completely rejected the biblical order for home, church and state. We have abandoned our theological moorings regarding manhood and womanhood, motherhood and fatherhood. These moorings have been constructed from explicit statements of scripture that are not valued much anymore.

The author names this for what it really is – “Gender bending.”

“The Palins have clearly bought into this concept of “gender bending” and are now modeling it for our nation and the world.”

She then acknowledges that many regard this distortion of gender roles as actually harmful,

“Bioethicist Leon Kass says the current bending of gender roles is ‘harmful, even dehumanizing, to man, to woman, and especially to children’…”

But all of this is understandable when you look for the origin of this idea. St. John notes that this masculinization of women has a particular philosophical root – Marxism. She cites Bryce J. Christensen, author of “Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America,”

“Christensen also states, ‘Utopian designs for masculinizing women, marginalizing men and vaporizing family homes are far more than literary fantasies. At least two real-world political movements – Marxism and feminism – have devoted considerable effort to pursuing [such] utopian objectives.’”

Finally, Mrs. St John exposes the strange philosophical hypocrisy that would lead the Christian voter to endorse role reversals,

“How ironic that Christian conservatives rightly faulting Obama as a socialist so readily applaud Palin whose feminist views, whether realized or not, share much in common with Marxism.”

“While Sarah Palin may be the darling of the pro-life movement, she is no sweetheart of the pro-family community. Its leaders could be in for some unpleasant surprises.”

So why are evangelicals applauding the househusband? My perspective is that the real reason evangelicals are applauding the stay at home dad is because our brains have been pickled in feminist and Marxist ideology for too long and we don’t think biblically anymore – and our salt has lost its taste in society. What we need to recognize is that today, the Christian community is praising what has always been abhorrent to those who have read and understood their Bibles for the past 2000 years.

Here at the beginning of the 21st century, we have become like the Corinthians,

“For you put up with fools gladly.” 2 Corinthians 11:19

For Olivia St. John’s article on Worldnet Daily click here

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Helpmeet From a Different Era – Susanna Spurgeon

 

Susanna Spurgeon speaks glowingly of the focus of her life in their Nightingale Lane home,

“Our children grew apace in the sweet country air, and my whole time and strength were given to advance my dear husband’s welfare and happiness. I deemed it my joy and privilege to be ever at his side, accompanying him on many of his preaching journeys, nursing him in his occasional illnesses, his delighted companion during his holiday trips, always watching over and tending him with the enthusiasm and sympathy which my great love for him inspired. I mention this… simply that I may record my heartfelt gratitude to God that, for a period of ten blessed years, I was permitted to encircle him with all the comforting care and tender affection which it was in a wife’s power to bestow.”

Then, after these ten years, she fell ill and he cared for her.

From, “The Life of Susannah Spurgeon,” by Charles Ray, The Banner of Truth Trust, p173

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Is Sarah Palin the Right Role Model?

What does the Bible say about women’s roles? My new book “Feminine by Design ~ The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood” answers this question using scripture alone.

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Feminist to Feminist: Sarah Palin’s “Muscular American Feminism”

Camille Paglia, hard core feminist writing in Salon, identifies the new style feminism of Sarah Palin which she says, is “feminism’s greatest leap since Madonna,”

“Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.”

So, what’s the difference between the old feminism and the new? It is more than just lipstick! You can put lipstick and other things on feminism but it is still feminism.

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Established by the Gospel Romans 9-16

As we summarize the last half of the letter to the Romans, we should not forget to whom this letter was written. It was written to freshly saved, storm tossed believers in the great pagan city of Rome. Rome was a city overcome by idolatry and debauchery, and this letter shows us that God always has something to say to His people living in pagan cities. We too are these kinds of people. We live in the midst of “a wicked and perverse generation.”

There are many struggles confronting people justified by faith living in these conditions. So Paul does what he always does so well. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he puts his finger in the wound. And in doing so he heals that same wound by applying the salve of the Gospel. The wound is festering because a great and tragic exchange has been made. The glory of God has been “exchanged for a lie.” This is the great temptation – the great liability of people living in the cities of the world . All of our problems and all of our sorrows can be traced there. This great wound is the cause of the bloodshed in the souls of men. But God is not content to leave sinners in their wounds and so He sends the gospel through the apostle Paul. Paul does a loving thing and puts the healing finger of the Lord Jesus Christ right into the center of the festering wound of mankind – the exchanged glory of God for a lie.

These wounds are with us because we are like heat seeking missiles that follow the heat to the bulls eye of a target. We are all like these missiles, but we are comfort seeking missiles. We are quickly headed in the direction of our own perceived comfort. We go for the heat. We exchange the glory. In our pursuits we exchange the true comforts of the kingdom of heaven for the false ones on this earth. The apostle is presenting to us the only true comfort – the Gospel of God. And, God is the gospel. He is the “God of patience and comfort.” There is only one comfort in life and death and it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ… for obedience to the faith– to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever, Amen. Romans 16:25

And so it is true that the gospel is our only continuing comfort in this life. The gospel is our only hope for stability during this life. The gospel is our only hope in death. I know that I am not my own; That I have been bought by the precious blood of Christ; That my sins have been fully paid for; That the power of the devil has been broken; That He will escort me and preserve me to my heavenly home. This is the precious gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Searing the Conscience of the Church

Will Christian young ladies find a role model in Sarah Palin? We should beware because she does not promote the biblical vision of womanhood. She is not keeper at home (Titus 2:5). She is not a helper to her husband ( Genesis 2:18). She is building the kingdom of another man not her husband (Prov 31). Her lifestyle proclaims, “you can have it all – wife, mother, executive.”

Exalting this role model praises things that are contrary to the express will of God. Consider how the Sarah Palin candidacy is working to further sear the consciences of American Christians against the explicit principles and commands of scripture regarding biblical manhood and womanhood. This is one of the most significant attacks against the Christian conscience in a long time. This candidacy, which is an apologetic for females in authority, destroys the biblical vision of motherhood and home life. It happily and flauntingly rejects the creation order.

Consider that men who are applauding this, are leading the church into more confusion and error. It is alarming to me that they sweep explicit commands and principles under the carpet and pretend they are not there. They seem to do this for some greater good like ending abortion or stopping Obama.

The conscience is a very precious asset. It is a personal and detectable influence. This is the blessing of a conscience – it keeps you from a purely theoretical understanding of scripture. The conscience works in your heart to make the work of Christ real and visible in the world. It produces repentance and leads you to make adjustments. The conscience is a safeguard against false Christianity because it keeps our faith true.

But the conscience can be compromised. In 1 Tim 1:5 we read of a “good conscience” and in 1 Tim 3:9 “a pure conscience.” But in 1 Tim 4:1-2 we learn that we can have “a seared conscience.” This means that you can mistreat it and desensitize it. You can kill it’s sensitivity and have no feelings against sin. This is a devastating condition for we also learn in 1 Tim 1:19 that this kind of conscience “can cause shipwreck.” Hebrews 5:14 teaches us about how the conscience can be trained and dulled, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” If our consciences have not been exercised by scripture, but activated and excited and influenced by the role models of our culture, our consciences will be seared as they seem to be now. The conscience is a precious tool in the hands of God. But when it is dulled, the glory of God is diminished in the world.

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