Quotes (908)

voddie-baucham How does a mother build biblical truth into her daughter’s life, nurture her, guard her, and encourage her toward the application of that truth, then send her into an environment that will oftentimes by its very nature be hostile or at least ambivalent toward that truth? How does a father raise his son to respect young women and protect their purity only to send them off to the youth building with exposed midriffs, low-cut tops, and skin-tight jeans?

– Voddie Baucham

Too little too late.

Why is it that today’s “prophets” always tell you about their visions after the events occur and never before? In the following case, Jim Bakker tells viewers on August 12, 2011, that he predicted 9/11.

He was only a decade late in mentioning it.

HT: Slaughter of the Sheep

Quotes (907)

  Christ’s death is the Christian’s life. Christ’s cross is the Christian’s title to heaven. Christ “lifted up” and put to shame on Calvary is the ladder by which Christians “enter into the holiest,” and are at length landed in glory. It is true that we are sinners–but Christ has suffered for us. It is true that we deserve death–but Christ has died for us. It is true that we are guilty debtors–but Christ has paid our debts with His own blood. This is the real Gospel! This is the good news! On this let us lean while we live. To this let us cling when we die. Christ has been “lifted up” on the cross, and has thrown open the gates of heaven to all believers.

– J. C. Ryle

1816 – 1900

HT: JC Ryle Quotes

Sermon of the week: “Reforming Modern Youth Evangelism and Discipleship” by Paul Washer.

Paul Washer pulls no punches as he exhorts the church to evangelize youth the biblical way. Some of the things Washer says in this sermon, Reforming Modern Youth Evangelism and Discipleship, may surprise you.

I encourage all youth evangelists, preachers, and pastors to listen to this message with an open mind; leaving your preconceived notions about youth ministry (and youth ministry abolitionists) at the door.

Execution – The Punishment for Faith in Christ

Well, the Muslims are at it again. Once again, they prove to the world that they are NOT the peace-loving people they claim to be. Their arrogance and hatred of Israel and Christians is shown clearly in recent news. Our government is wrong for allowing the Iranian president to come to this country to use a public forum to spread his poison. The Iranian government is also wrong for killing people just because they have faith in Christ.

May the Lord use this situation whether by life or by death to bring honor and glory to Himself. May this brother, Youcef Nadarkhani, and his family be granted a measure of grace to endure whatever the Lord allows into their lives.

Read the full page article at Foxnews.com.

Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis)

What really happens when one is born again? If all one does is consider what is seen and felt, one will conclude that one is born again by choosing Christ or accepting Him.

But there is an unseen, spiritual reality described in the Bible – that man is born of the flesh dead spiritually, unable to do anything good and unable to desire to do anything good – as defined by God.

The humble creature who desires to know the Truth will – as best a man can do – set aside his presuppositions and preconceived conclusions that are based on what he sees and feels, and he will inquire humbly of the Lord, seeking wisdom from His Spirit, as he reads His word.

This that follows is an outline showing the spiritual reality – God predestined those He would save, in time, through faith (a gift given the elect) in Christ; who saves by grace alone and not through the deeds of the flesh or will of man, but by the will of God (John 1:12 – 13).

Order of Salvation (Ordo Salutis)

Predestination:

Rom. 8:29, 30; 9:1-25;
Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess 2:12,13

Effectual Calling (Regeneration)

John 1:12,13; 3:1-10; 6:44,45, 63-65
Eph. 2:1-5; Titus 3:3-6, Rom. 8:30

Faith/Repentance

Acts 20:21
(Faith)
Eph. 2:8,9; Phil. 1:29; Acts 13:48; 16:14;
18:27; James 2:14
(Repentance)
Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10-11

Justification (Legal Declaration)

Deut. 25:1; Acts 10:43; Prov. 17:15
Rom. 3:21; 4:8; 5:1,2, 12-18; 8:32;

Gal. 2:16; 3:1-13; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9

Adoption

Rom. 8:15-17, 23-25; Gal. 4:1-5
John 1:12-13; 8:40 to end
I John 3:1,2

Definitive Sanctification

John 10:26-30; Rom. 6; I Cor. 1:2; 6:9-12

Progressive Sanctification

Lev. 11:44; Matt. 5-7; Rom. 13; Eph. 4-5;
Phil 2:1-13; I Cor. 13; Gal. 5:16-23;

I Peter 1:15,16; 2 Peter 1:1-10; 3:18
(Preservation of the Saints)
Jer. 32:40; John 6:37-40; 10:26-30
Rom. 8:30-end; Phil. 1:6; I John 3:9

Glorification

Matt 25; I Thess 4:13-end; 2 Cor. 5:1-8
Phil. 1:23; 3:20,21; I John 3:1-3
Rev. 6:9-10

Where have I read that before?

The origin of the Book of Mormon is a fascinating subject as there is clear evidence that its source was not divine, but was actually conjured up in the imagination of Joseph Smith, inspired by similar stories circulating around his time.

It’s precisely because the Book of Mormon was drafted by Joseph Smith (a “poor farm boy” as Mormons like to refer to him) and not divinely inspired, that we’re not surprised to see the almost 4,000 changes, alterations, and corrections to the Book of Mormon since its first publication.

And it doesn’t shock us that many parts of the Book of Mormon are simply plagiarisms from the King James Version of the Bible, including the use of King James English long before there was King James English (just one of the many anachronisms found in the Book of Mormon).

And we’re not stunned that absolutely none of the huge cities and civilizations described in the Book of Mormon have ever been found.

And we’re not astounded that there’s no historical, archeological, or anthropological support for the claims of the Book of Mormon.

And we aren’t astonished that DNA science has actually proven the claims of the Book of Mormon to be false.

And we aren’t beside ourselves that there’s not even one ancient manuscript to support the validity of the Book of Mormon (like the over 25,000 ancient manuscripts that support the Bible). 

These are some of the many problems that we’d expect to see from a book created by finite man, not from an inspired work by an infinite God.

So where did this “poor farm boy” get his ideas and inspiration for the Book of Mormon?

Continue reading

What Can Make People Do a Complete 180 on Abortion?

The ministry of Living Waters has just released the following video that has the potential to drastically change the culture’s view on abortion and to save souls. Please take the time view this important video:

As you share this video with people, please suggest they go to www.180movie.com for additional information.

What Vine are you Abiding In? (Part 2)

What Vine are you Abiding In? (Part 2)

Please take some time and read What Vine are you Abiding In? (Part 1). In Part 1, we looked at the context and background for our passage John 15:1-11 and Jesus’ teaching regarding the vine and the branches. We also had to face the tough question: “What vine are you abiding in? Jesus, the true vine? Or one that is untrue?

Now, in Part 2, we’ll ask another tough question: “What fruit are you bearing?”

BEARING FRUIT

Let’s jump back into our passage from John 15:

John 15:4 “…As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

So, what kind of fruit are you bearing? Are you bearing any fruit at all? Surely you are bearing fruit…its either good fruit or its bad fruit.

The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit. It is completely useless if it does not bear fruit. Notice how, from Part 1, the branches are pruned, cut off, and taken away, but the vine is never pruned or cutoff. There is no other purpose for the branch than to bear fruit. In order to bear fruit the branch must be fully connected to the vine. The branch gets all its sustenance from the vine. All the water and nutrients come from the roots to the vine to the branches in order to bear fruit. If the branch is disconnected or partially connected, it will NOT bear fruit…and we know what happens to that branch.

Jesus mentions “FRUIT” 6 times in this passage, do you think he is serious about it?

BAD FRUIT

Are you abiding in one of these unTRUE vines? One of these FALSE vines described earlier which makes you bear BAD FRUIT? False fruit? What does bad fruit look like? Let’s consider several passages from the Apostle Paul:

Romans 1:28-32

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Any of these sound familiar? Recognize any of those fruits in your life? How about these: Continue reading

Starbucks at the Expense of Gospel Outreach?

As our family continues down the road, I never cease to be amazed at those who tell us, “Oh, I could never do what you are doing!” Or, they may comment, “Lord bless you, but that type of work is definitely not for me!”

Similar phrases normally revolve around the lack of amenities that are available in Liberia such as no electricity, little to no running water except in Monrovia, very poor roads, and an infrastructure that is probably 100 years behind America.

Yet, each time I hear these type of comments, I remember a quote I once heard that says,

“How much is too much for something or someone you love?”

The reference, as I recall, was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, who had need of nothing, laid aside the splendors of glory to come down to a sin-cursed world, took upon Himself human flesh, and became a servant, obedient even to the death of the cross. This was NOT too much for our Savior to do in order that He might redeem to Himself His elect from every tongue, people, and nation.

2000 years have passed since the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth and there are billions who have never heard the gospel even once. Here in the west, we hear it on the radio, see it preached on the television, sit through brief sermonettes supposedly proclaiming the gospel and the glory of Christ, but rarely does anything change either in our hearts or in our lives.

Little more than 100 years ago, here in America, most did not have electricity, and very little running water unless it was hand-pumped. Trains were slow and travel to many parts of the USA was difficult. There was no Starbucks, no Wal-Mart, and no grocery stores lined with enough merchandise valued at what some small countries spend in an entire year on their own economy.

Let me put a little perspective into this last statement. The US Central Intelligence Agency puts Liberia’s GDP at $3.6 billion per year. Wal-Mart has annual sales of more than $370 billion. In other words, the total income of Liberia is just 1/10th of what Americans spend at Wal-Mart alone! This does not include the next top 5: Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, and Costco. These last five stores account for another $340 billion in annual sales.

Does this not startle us? Does it not shock us? What about Starbucks? Annual sales for Starbucks in 2010 was $8.96 billion, which is 2 1/2 times the size of Liberia’s entire GDP!

Now it is no secret to family and friends that I do not like Wal-Mart for a variety of reasons, but I will admit to having had my share of Starbucks $4-5 cup of coffee. The more I consider the poverty around the world, the more it hurts when I take money the Lord has entrusted to my stewardship to buy a drink that is the equivalent of 2-3 days of work for a Liberian brother or sister. Yet I wonder how often our conscience is often soothed while we drink our lattes and iced cappuccinos and maybe even offer a quick prayer that the Lord will bless our Christian brothers overseas.

With this post, I am not advocating the boycott of Wal-Mart or Starbucks. What I am seeking to do is put a little perspective into what is often a mundane existence for us in the West. When our brothers and sisters are in need, I grow more and more convinced that we will give account for what we do with our finances.

So, we go back to the question of “How much is too much for someone or something you love?” Do we easily and glibly rattle off “For God so loved the world” and proclaim that while the gospel is for the world, we cannot be bothered to reach out because we are more interested in spending our funds on that which will gather moth and rust and will eventually decay?

Sundays in many evangelical circles even take this to an additional level. We gather around bagels, donuts, and lattes because without them we won’t draw the same size crowd. While everyone sips their drinks and proclaims how good and awesome God is, souls are slipping into eternity while we ease into Sunday barcoloungers and absent-mindedly throw a few crumpled dollars into the offering plate. As it slips from our fingers, we may even ask the Lord to “bless” our humble offerings and cause the gospel to be spread around the world.

Who are we fooling? What is wrong with us in the West that we can be blessed with so much and yet think that we have a responsibility to give so little? Jesus Christ came and gave of Himself in death – the ultimate sacrifice – so that we might be free from the penalty of death. How much is too much for us to give? Are we willing to do more than give of our finances? Will we give of ourselves?

The phrases often quoted to us are not just fair pictures of the malaise in evangelical churches when it comes to true sacrifice and the cause of missions. It is actually a reflection that maybe even at the base level – sometimes even a Starbucks White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha is too much for the Someone we claim to love.

The stranger.

The Stranger

(Author Unknown)

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the word of God, and dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.

If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.

He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first football game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’ t seem to mind but sometimes mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places and go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house–not  from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home–not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.

He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.

More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents home today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?…..We always just called him…TV

See also The Stranger sermon by Pastor Tim Conway.

Sermon of the week: “The Rich Man and Lazarus” by John MacArthur.

Your sermon of the week is on the subject of Hell in the sobering message The Rich Man and Lazarus by John MacArthur.

This sermon is a follow-up to this previous message by MacArthur. I encourage you to listen to them both.

What Vine are you Abiding In? (Part 1)

One of my favorite passages in scripture is Jesus’ teaching on the vine and the branches. Let’s look at what it means for Christ to be the vine and for the believer to be the branch.

John 15:1-11
15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Before we get into the meat of this passage we need to consider the context and set the stage a bit. Just two chapters previous to our passage, we see Jesus and the disciples entering the upper room to celebrate the Passover together. This was likely just a few hours before Jesus teaches on the vine and the branches. In the upper room, Christ knows he is on his way to the cross his time has come. While in the upper room during the Last Supper, we see Jesus teach his disciples these humongous truths:

(a)  Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and introduces servant leadership – to love one another (John 13:1-17)
(b)  Jesus tells of a disciple who will betray him. (John 13:18-30)
(c)  Jesus introduces communion – (Mat 26:26-29)
(d)  Jesus introduces the new covenant of his blood (Luke 22:20)
(e)  Jesus introduces a new commandment – love one another (John 13:31-35)
(f)  Jesus foretells of Peter’s denial (John 13:36-38)
(g)  Jesus drops the deity bomb by declaring that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through him…and if you have seen him you have seen the father. (John 14:1-14)
(h)  Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16)

Christ, after casually dropping these huge topics on his unsuspecting disciples during this  dinner, he says in  John 14:31: “Rise and let us go from here!” The disciples, I’m sure, are sitting at the table looking at each other a bit shell shocked asking, “What did he say? Another is coming? A Helper? Who? What was that about eating his body? Blood what? Hey, what about the blood?” As Jesus gets up and moves on…probably leaving the disciples at the table scrambling to catch up with him.

I AM THE VINE AND YOU ARE THE BRANCHES
Christ and the disciples leave the upper room that evening, likely dark by then, and make their way towards the Garden of Gethsemane. It is sometime during this walk that Jesus teaches on the Vine and the Branches. According to various commentaries, there are a couple of possible reasons why Christ compares himself to a vine and defines himself as the TRUE Vine.

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Christian Book Distributors now selling the Koran.

If you want to purchase the Islamic Koran you can now turn to the nation’s leading Christian bookselling website. That’s right, you can now buy the Koran from Christian Book Distributors (CBD).

And CBD is even encouraging the mass distribution of this book (that fuels the terrorism that’s raging around the world and which calls for Jews and Christians to be put to death) by offering a discount of fifty cents per Koran if you order forty or more.

Isn’t this like selling your axe to the executioner as you’re laying your head on the chopping block?

CBD also offers Introducing the Qur’an: For Today’s Reader and Islam: A Short Guide to the Faith

The pied pipers of Universalism (and those wishing to eradicate Christians from the face of the earth) get one more voice of solidarity and support from within our own camp.

 I suppose there’s no better time to revisit two questions I posed back in 2008: Are Christian bookstore owners responsible for what they sell? and Do you support your local Christian bookstore?

A visit to a megachurch.

Here’s an article by Chris Dunn on his recent experience of visiting a megachurch.

It’s not pretty.

Last Sunday I went to a megachurch.  Normally I attend small churches with a gathering of local believers who strive to live according to the Bible.

Having already attended countless churches from many denominations and faiths, I was eager to see what the average parishioner experienced at one of these stadium-sized complexes.

It was horrific.  Megachurches like this one can have almost nothing to do with biblical Christianity and may actually do violence to the ‘Word of God.’

Continue the article from Collegiate Times here.

HT: The Cross and the Lamb

What is the Church?

Recently, I entered into an internet conversation on the purpose of the church.  Dangerous territory, I know, but fools run in where angels fear to tread. The conversation started by the posting of an article about a “church”  known as “The Crossing” that some people were beginning to fear was taking on a cult-like appearance.  This church is known for its seeker-sensitive methodology, seeking to draw in the unconverted to, allegedly, preach the gospel to them.  Of the comments that followed, inevitably, one was from a participant of said church, defending its actions.

Initially, I refrained from comment and observed the conversation unfold.  The defender of The Crossing repeatedly defended her church’s effort to reach the lost by offering a non-judgmental environment to those who would not enter a traditional church.  She also repeatedly demanded people show her where in the Bible is was prohibited to invite people to church.  Ultimately, her challenge was that if her church was doing the work of God, no one had the right to say anything negative.  In fact to do so was to speak against God (interesting that she couldn’t see why anyone was making a connection with the cults).

What ultimately got me into this conversation was that she was making the same fatal mistake that many so called churches are making today.  That is, she wrongly answered the question, “What exactly is the church?”  According to seeker sensitive theology, the church is a building where you make the unregenerate person as comfortable as possible while you slide snippets of the Bible in between moralistic teachings on how to improve your life.  The justification for this is that the hard doctrines of the Bible would push away the nonbeliever, thus preventing him or her from being willing to “accept” Jesus.  The church therefore, is the recruitment center where hopeful Christians are wooed into “believing”.

However, what is the biblical definition of the church?  The Bible refers to church as the “bride of Christ.”  It is the universal body of believers who have been converted by the power of the Holy Spirit by leading them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  It is universal because it is not confined to the four walls of the local church building.  It includes men, women and children of various nationalities, locations and even eras of time.  It is confined only to those who have been born again by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  The local gathering, the church we attend down the street, is where believers in the same geographic location meet to pray, worship and study God’s word.  It is where believers grow in faith and learn about the spiritual gifts given to them for use in God’s service.  In essence, it is a boot camp, not a recruitment center.  Believers meet to be trained up in the word of God and then go out into the world to wage spiritual warfare.  The believers are equipped for the work of ministry and go out and proclaim the gospel.  Then God does the work of conversion in the heart of the unbelievers.  Then those who become born again join the universal church and become plugged into a local congregation.

When the local church is treated as a recruitment center rather than a boot camp, spiritual soldiers are deprived of vital training and are rendered incapable of fighting in the war.  Hopeful recruits are plugged into ministries despite their lack of conversion, thus rendering the work done ineffective because it is not led by the Holy Spirit.

My response to the “church” defender came down to this.  Is it acceptable to invite a neighbor or friend to church where they hear the gospel proclaimed, and in turn, become born again?  Absolutely!  But should a church be modeled in such a way that the local congregation is where we try to woo unbelievers into “accepting” Jesus?  Absolutely not!  To do so is unbiblical and a direct contradiction of scripture.  Any church that adopts such a practice is not a church. Let us not fear exposing such false practices because we will called unloving or intolerant.  Let us stand for the biblical calling of the church and never waver in our dedication to the body of Christ

Sermon of the week: “The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel” by Paul Washer.

We who home educate, oppose youth ministries, believe Christians should dress modestly, etc. are often accused of believing this way of life makes one a Christian and makes one holy. And of course, we deny those baseless charges of “legalism” but nevertheless, the accusations are still hurled at us.

This is why I’m pleased to present this Thursday’s sermon of the week entitled The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel. Paul Washer (a home education proponent and youth ministry abolitionist himself) proves that not everyone in this camp is a legalist, and to those in this camp who may tend to lean that way, he does for them in this sermon as he did for the lukewarm in his famous Shocking Sermon from 2003 (found here).

Paul Washer addresses the notion that these wonderful family oriented ideals (along with manners, modesty, etc.), albeit beautiful and virtuous and good, they in and of themselves do nothing to save a man’s soul. And he did this at a conference sponsored by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches.

This is classic Paul Washer.

“I Hope You Rot in Hell!”

Yesterday, a terrible tragedy struck Northern Nevada.  Many of you have probably seen the news about a man who fired on several people, ultimately killing four of them, before taking his own life.  Five of the people who were shot were Nevada Army National Guardsman, three of which died.  Many find themselves utterly dumbfounded by this evil act.  Of course, compounding the issue is that, with the death of the shooter, we may never know why he did it.  There is a tremendous sadness, and even anger over this tragedy.  In fact, one commenter on a news website summed his anger toward the shooter by stating, “I hope God doesn’t show you mercy.  I hope you rot in Hell.”

I have found myself thinking about that phrase over the last twenty-four hours.  What should we think of someone who has committed such an atrociously evil act?  Should we truly desire for someone to “rot in hell?”  Should we really desire that God never show that person mercy?  Ultimately, I believe the answer is no.

Why should I make such a statement?  Isn’t God just?  Doesn’t He say that He will punish evil?  Yes, God is just, and yes, He does punish evil.  In fact, I think we should be grateful that God will punish the great evils committed in this world, that no deed done in darkness will escape His sight.  But I also believe that very same justice should make us fear and tremble.

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