Christians Can Never Sin Cheaply

It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to your purity and holiness; therefore run not counter to the purposes of your Lord. Another thought should restrain thee from sin.

Christians can never sin cheaply;

They pay a heavy price for iniquity.

Transgression destroys peace of mind…

Sin obscures fellowship with Jesus…

Your sin hinders prayer…

Sin brings darkness over the soul…

Therefore be not the slave and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you “serve sin” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought?

 Text: Romans 6:6

That henceforth we should not serve sin.

 slave girlsChristian, what have you to do with sin? Has it not cost you enough already? Burnt child, will you again play with the fire? What! When you have already been between the jaws of the lion, will you step a second time into his den?

 Have you not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all your veins once, and will you play upon the hole of the asp, and put your hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time?

 Oh, be not so mad! So foolish! Did sin ever yield you real pleasure? Did you find solid satisfaction in your sin? If so, go back to your old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delights you.

 But inasmuch as sin did never give you what it promised to deliver, but deluded you with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler-be free, and let the remembrance of your ancient bondage forbid you to enter the net again!

 It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to your purity and holiness; therefore run not counter to the purposes of your Lord. Another thought should restrain thee from sin.

 Christians can never sin cheaply;

 They pay a heavy price for iniquity.

Transgression destroys peace of mind…

 Sin obscures fellowship with Jesus…

 Your sin hinders prayer…

 Sin brings darkness over the soul…

 Therefore be not the slave and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you “serve sin” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought?

 Oh! If you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far.

 Turn thee to Jesus anew; He has not forgotten His love to you; His grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come now to His footstool, and you shall be once more received into His heart; you shall be set upon a rock again, and your goings shall be established.

By Charles H. Spurgeon / Edited by Ron English

Billy Graham Talks about Death

“We think of the cross as being at the very center of Christianity—and it is. And yet, apart from the resurrection, the cross stands for death, not life. It is possible for us to stand on the wrong side of Easter and look at the cross all our lives and never be redeemed or saved.”

Those words taken from the following sermon by Billy Graham.

We Can Face Death With Confidence

Physical life is a possession we all hold on to, and yet we know that sooner or later we will die. Death hangs over our heads from the cradle to the grave. The Bible teaches that death is no respecter of persons. Death enters the home of the rich as boldly as it enters the humble apartment in a ghetto. It brings down the final curtain as swiftly on the famous as it does on the unknown. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die.”(1) Our appointment with death is as certain as sunrise or sunset. Before this year ends, many of us will have kept our appointments with death.

A Message by Billy Graham

The Scriptures talk a great deal about the end of the world. But when we die, that is the end of the world to us. We can’t bargain with death. When Queen Elizabeth I lay dying, she whispered, “All my possessions for a moment of time!” But she couldn’t strike a bargain with death.

I have learned that you can tell how a person values life by his estimate of death. What a person believes about death shows what he thinks about life. Over the years I have had opportunities to talk with people who were facing the possibility of death.

One man who had always been healthy had never given a serious thought to death. Then one day he had a pain in his side. He went to a doctor who discovered that the man had cancer. The man said, “Immediately my entire world changed. The things I valued most became worthless, and the things that I considered of little value are now the most important things in the world to me.”

There are at least three philosophies about death that people hold today:

In the first philosophy about death, a person says, “When I am dead, I am dead. I will take my chances with the hereafter.”

Those who hold that kind of philosophy see the drama of life to be without plot or purpose. They see life as a meaningless puzzle, and to them life is a maze in which they wander aimlessly throughout their lifespan and never once catch a glimpse of a higher destiny.

Jesus told of a man who thought that earthly existence was the chief end of man. This man did not believe in life after death, nor did he have any faith in God. This man toiled and prospered, and he became famous. But he also grew old. The only “heaven” that he had hoped for was security, and he had attained it. He said, “I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”(2) He said, “I will take my chances.” He gambled, and he lost.

How different that is from the triumphant statement of the Apostle Paul who said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”(3) The writers in the Bible were looking forward to death with keen anticipation. They knew that this life is only a dressing room for eternity.

The Bible teaches that this life is short and that we can never know when the moment of death will come. Therefore we should be prepared at all times to meet death face to face.

In the second philosophy about death, a person says, “I believe in life after death, but I am not concerned about crossing that bridge until I get to it.” This philosophy was expressed in a newspaper column some time ago. The writer said, “I have come to believe in life after death, but I am not going to worry about it until I face it.”

How strange that people should spend 20 or more years preparing for life’s vocation, and not take so much as five minutes to prepare to meet God! The Bible urges us to “prepare to meet thy God.”(4) We are so taken up with building a good life here that we have forgotten about eternity. C. S. Lewis once warned that when we become so preoccupied with this life and lose the value of eternity, then we lose this life as well.

Some years ago a rich man died, and his servant was asked: “Did your master go to heaven?”

“No, sir,” came the reply. “My master always made careful preparations when he was going someplace, and I didn’t notice him getting ready to go anywhere. No, sir, I don’t think he went to heaven.”

Nothing in life is more important than your appointment with destiny and your date with death. Are you certain that you are prepared? This month, by the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, thousands of people will have died. I cannot help but wonder how many of them will be prepared to meet God.

In the third philosophy about death, a person says, “I stand with Christ, the Lord of life and death, and rest my case in His hands.” The Psalmist David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”(5) Here is the trumpet of hope that has echoed down through every cemetery of the world; it has made the experience of death not a bitter end, but a bright dawning.

Jesus Christ, who Himself went down into the grave and came forth with “the keys of hell and of death”(6) in His hands that first Easter, said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”(7)

Victor Hugo in his old age said, “When I go down to the grave, I can say, ‘I have finished my day’s work,’ but I cannot say, ‘I have finished my life’s work.’ … The tomb is not a blind alley; it is an open thoroughfare. … The tomb, which closes on the dead, opens the firmament. And that what on earth we call the end is the commencement. Death is the portal of life.”(8)

We think of the cross as being at the very center of Christianity—and it is. And yet, apart from the resurrection, the cross stands for death, not life. It is possible for us to stand on the wrong side of Easter and look at the cross all our lives and never be redeemed or saved.

No other word in all our vocabulary is more expressive of the message of Christ than the word “resurrection.” At Calvary the little band of disciples watched their Lord Jesus die, and they saw His broken body taken from the cross. Earlier, one of them had betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. Another had cursed and had sworn that he never knew Him. Most of them, turning and running for their lives, had forsaken Him. When Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb and the stone was rolled against it, it seemed that this was the end of all their hopes.

Then came Easter morning, and the midnight of despair was turned into glorious dawning. It was the resurrection of all their hopes.

But Calvary does not tell the whole story. Jesus died for all our sins, but the Bible says that Jesus “was raised again for our justification.”(9)

Several years ago I talked with Chancellor Adenauer, of Germany, and he asked me, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive?”

I replied, “Yes, I do.”

He said, “So do I. If Jesus Christ is not alive, then I see no hope for the world. It is the fact of the resurrection that gives me hope for the future.” As he spoke those words, his eyes lighted up.

Indeed, the resurrection of Christ is the only hope of the world: “If Christ be not risen, then our hopes and dreams and faith are in vain.”(10)
“The resurrection of Christ is the only hope of the world.”
But Christ is alive. And because He is alive, that makes all the difference in the world. In His resurrection evil has been defeated, Satan has been defeated, death has lost its sting, love has conquered hate, God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and all of creation bursts forth in a new song. Because Christ is alive, we can face death with confidence.

As we look at the world today and see what is happening, only those who are foolish could be undisturbed. Scientists say that mankind faces the possibility of destruction. Economists say that the world is in economic trouble. We hear dire predictions of the future.

But the resurrection of Christ tells us that if we believe in Him, then we need not panic. We need not wring our hands, asking, “What shall we do?” It is true that we are concerned and burdened, and it is certain that we will pray to God, but we do not cry out in terror as others do.

Is the hope and peace and joy of Christ yours today even as you contemplate death? Can you face death with full confidence that you will enter into the presence of Christ? You can have this hope if you are willing to turn from your sin and receive Christ. You can do it now. The Bible says that “if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, then we shall be saved.”(11) Will you be saved?

Billy Kelly Sings & Preaches

Billy Kelly

http://oldpathsermons.com/allspeakers.php?spid=8

http://oldpathsermons.com/player/?audioid=1492&file=bk_FishingFM.mp3

Billy Kelly – 1932-1997

Billy Kelly was saved May 16th, 1950 at the University of Tennessee. A well-attended area wide revival meeting was taking place. A few days after his conversion he announced the call of the Lord for him to preach. A church in Knoxville licensed him 10 days after he was saved to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. Kelly attended Carson-Newman College in East Tennessee. Early in his ministry he pastored churches in NC and TN. Then, he entered the field of Evangelism. The Lord used him to preach in churches, auditoriums, and tents for many years. Also, he was known for his ability as a Gospel singer. Therefore, he preached and sang at many of the camp meetings. Due to that fact he become known as “Mr. Camp meeting”. Mr. Kelly received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Tabernacle Baptist College, Greeneville, SC in 1987. Also, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, FL in 1992. Billy Kelly entered Heaven”s shore on April 1st, 1997.

Why Do We Suffer?

Dr. Mike Stevens remembers reading those words and laughing. He spoke to a young lady about those words and said, “Me, preach? Not a chance!” But he did become willing and the call did come and he said, “Yes” to God. He has been a successful pastor, now a busy evangelist and still finds time to help his dad in the family business. He is one of the most gifted speakers with a boat load of talent and an extra measure of good old fashioned Southern common sense. Like E. F. Hutton of old, when Dr. Mike speaks, people listen.

By The Editor, Ron English
God used me in a tiny way to whisper a thought into this man’s ear when he was just a teenager.  He had no interest in preaching.  He had loads of personality, potential and performance, with no thoughts of preaching.   But God had a plan for him and he used me to strike the first spark (if not the first spark, for sure God used me to fan the spark already ignited).   I gave him a book about Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., Builder of Bridges.  Among other things I wrote these words on one of the blank pages of that book, “My prayer is that somewhere down the line God will speak to you about preaching His glorious Gospel and that you will say yes to His call.  If you are willing–The call will come.”  Below my signature on that good book I wrote these words, “Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. was one of God’s greatest servants –maybe this book will help you in “Building Your Bridges.”

Mike remembers reading those words and laughing.  He spoke to a young lady about those words and said, “Me, preach?  Not a chance!”  But he did become willing and the call did come and he said, “Yes” to God.  He has been a successful pastor, now a busy evangelist and still finds time to help his dad and son in the family business.  He is one of the most gifted speakers, musicians and singers with a boat load of talent and an extra measure of good old fashioned Southern common sense.  Like E. F. Hutton of old, when Dr. Mike speaks, people listen.

His growing Internet site has been visited by thousands who have attended his meetings and church services. http://www.drmikestevens.com

Here is a sentence sermon broadcast on his Internet website, www.drmikestevens.com titled, Why Do We Suffer?

“WHAT ARE YOUR ORDERS, SIR?”

Story reported by Dr. Michael Guido

Sir Henry Shackelton was a world famous explorer of the Antarctic. As he was completing the plans for his last expedition, he began to advertise his final journey around the world.

Asked a friend, “Why so much publicity?”

“My friend and colleague, Mr. Wild, has traveled to the deepest, darkest part of Africa,” came the reply. “He left no address, no contact. I wanted the news to reach him. If he knows that I am going, he’ll come with me.”

Shortly after making that statement, his secretary announced, “Wild is here!”

Wild said, “News of your trip reached me in the heart of Africa. Here I am. What are your orders?”

Many years ago there was a great need for people to hear God’s message. It was a time of great moral and spiritual decay. There was one individual who was well established in a respectable career. One day he heard a voice speaking clearly and with compassion. He realized his sinfulness and felt his inadequacy. But he said, “I have seen the King, the Lord almighty.”  And after God cleansed him, he heard God’s call and responded by saying, “Lord, I’ll go, send me.”

God is calling on each of us to join Him in a journey to reach those whom He loves and died for.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, cleanse our hearts, open our ears, and put within us an attitude of willingness to hear Your voice and to willingly follow You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture: Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Where are the Dead?

Where are the dead? We are now dwelling in “earthly houses of this tabernacle” which we shall “put off” at death. We now “abide in the flesh,” but at death we will “depart” and will be “absent from the body,” and then the body without the spirit will be dead.”

 

 

Dr. Norris

By J. Frank Norris (1877-1952)

 

In I Kings 17:21, 22, Elijah the Tishbite was having some trouble with Ahab and his idolatry, so  God pronounced a curse upon him and Israel.  The man of God told this wicked king that “there  shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” And to make sure it was true he  went into hiding.

His first hiding place was by the brook Cherith where the ravens fed him morning and evening.   Soon the brook dried up; God then hid him in a widow’s house in Zarepath.  While there something happened that proves positively that the soul and body of man are not the same.  They are separate and distinct.

When a person dies, the body and soul separate. The body goes to the grave, the place for  departed dead, and the soul goes to SHEOL / HADES the place for departed souls.  “And he  stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God,  I pray thee, let this child’s SOUL COME UNTO HIM AGAIN, And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and THE SOUL OF THE CHILD CAME INTO HIM AGAIN, and he revived” (Vss.21-11).

Here Elijah prays that the child’s “soul” might re-enter the lifeless body; and in answer to the  prayer, “the soul of the child came into him AGAIN and he revived.”  This clearly shows that the  soul had departed, and that death is a separation of the soul from the body.

When the ruler’s daughter was raised to life (Luke 8:49-55), it was said, “And her spirit came  again, and she rose straightway,” implying that in dying her spirit had left the body and must  needs “come again” before she could be restored to life.  No language could make it more clear  that death is a separation of the spirit from the body.  The same truth is taught in II Samuel  12:19-23.

When David learned that his beloved child was dead, he ceased to weep and fast; and when  questioned concerning his unusual conduct, he said, “But now he is dead, therefore should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”  This language  plainly indicates that his child had gone hence, and that he could not return, but that the  bereft father expected to depart also–to “go to him” –When this mortal life should end.

The Apostle Paul sets forth this same truth that death is a separation of the spirit from the  body.  Second Corinthians 5:6-9: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are  at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight; we are  confident, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.   Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

What does Paul mean by “at home in the body” and “absent from the body” if the soul and body are not distinct, and if death is not a separation of the one from the other?  Surely, the “absent”  from the body, means that at death his soul would separate or depart from the body.

Death as a separation, is inferred in the following.  The inspired writers represent the human  body as a tabernacle or frail dwelling place; and death as the putting off of this tabernacle.   Thus Paul says in II Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle  were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

The Apostle Peter in II Peter 1:13-15 says, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this  tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off  this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shown me.  Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”

In these passages, Then, the “tabernacle” to be “dissolved” and the dwellers in the tabernacle  are as distinct as the house and its occupant.  It is equally clear that by the “putting off” of  this “tabernacle” (as Christ had shown him, John 21:18, 19) Peter meant his “decease.”  We are in a tabernacle, and death is the putting off of our tabernacle.  Death is the separation of soul  and body.

Various Scripture References Speak of Death as A Departure.  This shows that Death is A  Separation of the Spiritual Nature (The Real Individuality) from the Body.

Saint Paul described death as a “departure” to occur when he should cease “to abide in the flesh”  (Philippians 1:21-24).  “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live in the  flesh, this is the fruit of my labor; yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait  betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless  to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

What does the apostle here mean by “abiding in the flesh” if it be not living in the body?  And  what by “departing” if it be not dying?

It is scarcely possible for language to teach more clearly the doctrine that death is a  separation of body and spirit, and a departure of the spirit from this world.

The same doctrine that death is a separation or departure is taught in numerous other Scriptures.   For instance, II Timothy 4:6, where the apostle says, “I am now ready to be offered, and the  time of my departure is at hand.”

Also Genesis 35:18.–“And it came to pass as her soul was departing, for she died,” etc.

It was revealed to Simeon that he should not see death till he had seen the Lord’s Christ; and  when he saw the infant Redeemer, he said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,  according to thy word” (Luke 2:29).  To him, also, death was a departure, which could not be true  in any sense if the soul died with the body, and was not separated from it.

That death is a separation of soul and body is further evident from James 2:26, “For as the body  without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Here the apostle refers for the illustration of his subject, to a fact acknowledged by all  professing Christians of his day, namely, that the body was “dead” when it was “without the  spirit”; or, in other words, that death is a separation of the spirit–or departure of the real  individuality–from the body.

Thus, in foregoing paragraphs, according to the testimony of the infallible Word of God we have  learned that death is a separation of the spirit, or departure of the real individuality, from  the body.

The original decree of death consigns only “the dust” (the body) to return to the earth, while  the spirit returns to God who gave it.”  Death is “the giving up of the ghost,” and the dead are  not restored to life, unless their “souls come into them again.”

We are now dwelling in “earthly houses of this tabernacle” which we shall “put off” at death. We now “abide in the flesh,” but at death we will “depart” and will be “absent from the body,” and  then the body without the spirit will be dead.”

This message by Dr. J. Frank Norris taken from the pages of THE BIBLICAL EVANGELST (November – December Issue 2010)  edited by Dr. Robert L. Sumner, used by permission.   www.biblicalevangelist.org

WHY NOT SURPRISE ME?

Dr. Michael Guido of Metter, GA presents this little story.  I felt it adds a timely edge to Dr. Norris’ message published above.

Dr. Guido

A New Yorker bought a burial plot near his home in New York. Tired of the cold, stormy winters, he moved to Florida to retire. Not long after his move, he bought another burial plot. He became very ill and was told he would not live much longer. His friends, knowing of the two plots asked, “Where do you want to be buried, here or New York?”

 In his anguish, he smiled and said, “Surprise me!”

 Life is full of surprises, but death is not one of them. Each time we learn of a friend’s death, read the obituaries, attend a funeral, pass a cemetery or watch the news, we are reminded of the uncertainties of life and the reality of death.

 God’s Word states that “man is appointed once to die, then comes judgment.” We can be sure of two things: death and judgment. And we can prepare for both. How?  By making arrangements with Him in advance.

 The Bible says, “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation!”

We must first make sure of our salvation and then reach out to those around us; our family and friends, and bring them to Christ. No surprise is the best surprise!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the assurance of salvation and the promise of eternity with You. Convict us to bring others to You. In Jesus’  Name, Amen.

Scripture: Hebrews 9:27 “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”