Having A Tender Heart

As I’ve gone through my life I’ve found many times that my heart has been hardened against the things of the Lord. Before the Lord drew me to Himself, my conscience was pretty much hard and cold except every once in a while. Then, I would have a glimpse of what would happen if I continued on the path I was traveling.

After salvation, I was still quite a bit like a worldling in most everything. As I watched my husband and learned a lot from him, who’d been saved for awhile, I began slowly changing in areas. He read a lot of theological books and I wanted to learn so I began reading them. There were many times I stopped reading, struggled for awhile and then grow hard and cold again. The Lord sent trials my way and I’d realize how cold I’d gotten. I had been so immersed in my own self that I never even saw what had happened and the stagnation within my own life. My heart was no longer tender towards the Lord and it would take awhile to return to tenderness towards the Lord.

Many churches we went to made a call for the conscience but not a call that would bring my heart to a tenderness towards the Lord. It was normally done to make me feel guilty over something I was doing (or not doing) that would prove to the leadership that I wasn’t spiritual enough. Some of the things were valid points but most weren’t.

heart

Sadly, a lot of churches and even believers can be very dictatorial over what is spiritual and what isn’t. We find, in evangelicalism, that rules or the lack thereof seems to take precedence over Biblical truth. So many churches that claim to be preaching the truth only tend to preach a portion of it. It’s easy to add a little error to truth but a little error makes the truth nonexistent.

The example Mark Anthony Escalera used about the barrel of apples is prime. If you have a barrel of apples and one is poisoned how will you know which one to choose? You might grab the first one and it could be clear of the poison but how will you know? Eventually you will grab the wrong one and pay the price.

So, how do you know which church has the poison, the error mixed in with the truth, and which doesn’t? Well, the Word of God is there for our learning and, as we grow in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord, we will have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Heb. 5:11-14. The Word of God has both truth and principles to follow in our lives. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” The Holy Spirit makes it plain to us.

The poison can apply to either churches that add extra to God’s Word or say that God’s Word is irrelevant and you can do whatever you want or that all roads lead to heaven. As we study God’s Word regularly and feast on His truth, let us be mindful to exercise our senses to discern good and evil. So many are headed in a direction that goes contrary to God’s Word because they refuse to read and refuse to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in such areas as is important for their walk with the Lord. May we be of that number who “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

As we journey in this life towards the next, our hearts need to be tender towards the Lord. The strength of tenderness towards the Lord is where our relationship with Him grows. As we desire to do His will as well as do it, our hearts are exercised in obedience towards Him. Next time you visit a church the questions should not be — What can I get out of this? Or…is the music my style? Do they have great programs here? How long do services last!

Instead, ask these questions, Is this church teaching the Word of God in its entirety? Am I seeing the sin within my life and being convicted of it? Am I becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Word of God? Am I able to discern if the leaders are teaching truth or error? May each of us be always tender towards the Lord.

Jehovah’s Witness Resources

Here are a few quick links to some solid information which, by God’s grace, you may use to share the Gospel of Grace with those JW’s who knock on your door on Saturday morning in order that Christ’s lost sheep who are trapped within the Kingdom of the Cults might be set free by the hearing of His mighty Word of power!

to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.   Amen. – Jude 1:25

Image courtesy of aomin 

Jesus is Jehovah – Triablogue

Effective Verses to Show that Jesus IS Jehovah – Department of Christian Defense

The Deity of Jesus Christ – Department of Christian Defense

Quotes (783)

“They weave the spider’s web.” – Isaiah 59:5

See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion.  It is meant to catch his prey:  the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward.  Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape.  Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter.  Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets.  A spider’s web is a marvel of skill:  look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles.  Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful?  How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth?  How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold?  A spider’s web comes from the creature’s own bowels.  The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length.  Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged by their own hands.  They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God.  But a spider’s web is very frail.  It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured.  It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff.  The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it.  Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work.  Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house:  He will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed forever.  O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web.  Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.

-C.H. Spurgeon

1834-1892

John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll – Part 2

As a follow up to the original piece John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll there has been a flurry of recent activity on several fronts addressing what seems to be fast becoming a latter day Great Downgrade Controversy of sorts.

Recently Phil Johnson, director of Grace to You, editor of several of John MacArthur’s books, co-pastor of the Grace Life Pulpit at Grace Community Church, webmaster of The Spurgeon Archive, and blogmaster of Pyromaniacs preached a scathing Biblical indictment against the “pornification of the pulpit” entitled “Sound Doctrine, Sound Words” at the 2009 Shepherd’s Fellowship Conference.

Now Dr. John MacArthur has weighed in on this important and timely issue in a series of four articles entitled “THE RAPE OF SOLOMON’S SONG” which zeroes in on the gross, heinous, and wholly unbiblical perversion of scripture perpetrated by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church.

Continue reading

Mark Driscoll: Flesh Peddler

As Mark Driscoll continues to slide ever further into the culturally relevant abyss – debasing himself and his ministry in the filthy conversation of this fallen world in the process – we find the chorus of voices calling for the purity of Christ’s church and a return to Biblical modesty and genuine repentance rising louder and louder.  I came across the piece below by Ingrid Schlueter and felt it important to share with DefCon’s readership in its entirety.

How long will the “Big Name” evangelical leadership continue to enable potty-mouthed Mark Driscoll’s unbroken patterns of sin and his public contempt of God’s Holy Word (Eph. 4:29; Eph. 5:3-4; Col. 2:1-8)?

Why do men of stature like John Piper seemingly coddle and “tee hee” and “giggle giggle, wink wink”at Mark Driscoll’s brazen and cavalier teenager-esque rebellion, thereby tacitly endorsing his aberrant and unscriptural behavior?

Are ANY OF THESE MEN willing to evaluate Mark Driscoll in the light of infallible scripture and give him a prayerful, earnest and godly rebuke in the love of Christ that he might repent of the error of his ways, or will they, like John Piper, turn a blind eye to the matter and pragmatically pretend that the ends justify the means?

Rise Up, O Men of God! Your Women Are Fighting the Battle

by Ingrid Schlueter

There are ‘mothers in Israel’ who are rising up to confront Mark Driscoll and his filthy mouth and materials. Why? Because the men in spiritual leadership today not only refuse to, but legitimize and endorse Driscoll’s “ministry.”

If you wonder why there was a need for a Prophetess Deborah in the Old Testament, look to the times that produced her. Women only come to leadership when men abandon their biblical headship. But when it comes to threats to little ones, both literally and spiritually, the women will rise up to the job if men refuse. What Mark Driscoll is doing with his degrading sex columns and videos that are all over the Internet is causing harm to ourselves and our children. I received this email this morning from a spiritual “little one.”

Dear Mrs. Schlueter,

I wanted to thank you so much for your latest post exposing the foul-mouthed “pastor” Mark Driscoll. I am an 18 year old Christian young woman who has struggled with pornography. You have no idea what reading and watching Mark Driscoll’s material did for my spiritual life. I was instantly reminded by my sinful flesh just how much I enjoyed my despicable sin, and was repeatedly tempted so strongly that I had to stop reading his article. I should have been able to find refuge in a godly pastor’s words, not even more temptation. I should be made to think of Holy Scripture, not of the perverted images that I have a hard enough time trying to keep out of my mind.

Thank you again for all you do, and God bless!

Because Driscoll is causing harm, I, Cathy Mickels and Deborah Dombrowskiand any other women who would like to join us, are speaking out. I am demanding a response from men like Dr. Erwin Lutzer who has refused to come out against this and who will be speaking with Driscoll at an upcoming conference. You can reach Dr. Lutzer through his assistant named Lori at Moody Church. The number is 312-943-0466 or 1.800.215.5001 . Here is a list of speakers who will be further legitimizing instead of rebuking Mr. Driscoll.

Because of the nature of the material Driscoll promotes, I will not link to his blog and videos here. A simple online search on Mr. Driscoll’s name along with the word “s-x” will provide more than enough documentation as to what he is doing if you choose to confront some of these speakers and leaders.

Rise up, men of God. Your women are having to shield the eyes of your children and take care of their own eyes and ears because not enough men will stand in the gap.

SEE ALSO:

John Piper – Desiring What?

Clarifying Harsh Language.

PAUL TRIPP-PING – HE REALLY LIKES TO SAY THE “S” WORD…has Piper lost his mind or just forgotten his Bible?

THE GUARDIAN OF GRUNGE AND SEATTLE-SLUDGE…Driscoll uses the Lord Jesus Christ again as his punch line.  It’s not funny anymore – repent.

Pulpit Magazine on Mark Driscoll and “Harsh Language”

Grunge Christianity? Counterculture’s Death-Spiral and the Vulgarization of the Gospel”

Who will be sharing the stage with John Piper?

John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll

John MacArthur on Mark Driscoll Part 2 – The Rape of Solomon’s Song

Would the Real John Piper Please Stand Up?

Crosstalk: Watch Your Mouth!

Does Mark Driscoll Belong at John Piper’s Conference?

Quotes (419)

John MacArthurSelf-righteousness is the big lie of Satan. The truth is you are saved by Christ; the lie is you are saved by anything other than Christ. That lie can come in all kinds of packages: You can be saved by following these rules, doing these routines, belonging to this or that system, being good enough to outweigh your shortcomings…there’s a myriad of possible systems to counter the one truth, and they are all part of Satan’s big lie. If Satan can get somebody into a system that says they are righteous, it’s very hard to extract them from it. One reason is that self- righteousness is very proud. I am reminded of what Job said to those who judged him: “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you” (12:2). Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes….” Luke 16:15 says, “…that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” When men believe Satan’s lie and develop a system that is highly esteemed in their eyes, it is an abomination to God. Salvation can never be earned by good works and keeping religious rituals.

– John MacArthur