It was on a Thursday, on the nineteenth day of the month of June, in the year of our Lord 1834, in Kelvedon, Essex, England, that Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born. His second birth took place on a Sunday, on the sixth day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, in a small Primitive Methodist chapel that he took refuge in from a snow storm that day.
Spurgeon would go on to become one of the most well known preachers of his time in Great Britain. His sermons would be cabled across the Atlantic to the United States to be printed for American readers.
He would also become a leading defender of historical orthodox Christianity. Because of his stands against theological liberalism and modernism, he was censored by the British Baptist Union. One of the leaders who brought charges against him was his own brother. Many believe that the physical ailments that that would bring on his relatively early death at the age of fifty-eight were first brought on by emotional tolls of being ostricized for standing up for the truth of the Word of God.
It was on a Tuesday, on the eighteenth day of the month of June, in the year or our Lord 1940. Hitler's war machine was successfully taking over one country after another on the European continent. Two days earlier French Marshal Philippe Petain announced on the radio to the general French public that his intentions were to ask Hitler for an armistice with Germany. In the month of August in the previous year, Stalin's Soviet Russia had signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler's Nazi Germany. The United States naively believed that she could stand on the sidelines while the rest of the world was being plunged into a new dark ages. In all of this, Great Britain stood alone.
These were dark times for the old empire who's motto was that the sun never set on it. But, now she had a new secret weapon in her new (well, not actually in age) prime minister. Through his speeches and unwavering resolve, Winston Churchill would help to give the British the courage that they would need to fight against Hitler's blitzkrieg.
It was on this date that Churchill would deliver his "Finest Hour" speech before the British parliament and on the radio.
And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (ESV)
What the Bible says about mankind:
as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
"Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves."
Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book 1, Chapter 1, Section 1
In the past few weeks, many Christian websites and blogs have been abuzzed with properly correcting the type of universalism that has been espoused by Rob Bell in his new book Love Wins. In his new book, Love Wins, Bell basically denies the Biblical and historically Christian doctrines of hell. Bell questions the varacity of the teachings that God will send all those, who in this life, do not put their trust in the salvific work of Jesus Christ to an eternal punishment in hell.
Bell's main flaw in all of his book his starting point when it comes to the attributes of God. He starts off with stating that God's main and overarching attribute is love:
"First, I believe that Jesus's (sic) story is first and foremost about the love of God for every single one of us."
Preface: Millions of Us, pg. vii
The Bible has God's holiness as the attribute that all others come under. God is love, but God is also holy, and His love is based on His holiness. God is perfectly righteous, and there is hint of evil or wrong in His character.
The reason that we humans can not truly understand the holiness of God is because we are fallen creatures (c.f. Genesis 3). We sin because it is part of our nature and we are unaware of how far down our sinful natures are capable of taking us.
Almost all wrong doctrines and world religions come from man's wrong views of God and of ourselves. We are not able to see holy God is, and how sinful man is.
The only place that we can learn about the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man is in the Bible. That is also the only place where we may learn of our need for, and the provision of a savior through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (ESV)
1 Peter 3:15
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo & Juliet
Act II Scene II
If you have received any e-mails from me, or noticed the way I sign most things, when I am able to, I sign my full name. There are reasons that I do. First, I have come to really like the name my parents gave to me at birth. This does not come from any since of egotism, but from the knowledge of what my first and middle name means. Second reason is that I have also found out that I can use my name as a witnessing tool.
No, one can really fault poor Juliet, in her teenage naivete, did not have thew knowledge that names have meanings. Both my first and last names have Hebrew origins. My first name is really a question, and the last can be seen as the answer to that question. It also can be used to share the Gospel. Let me show you how.
In the Hebrew, Michael is a question: Who is like God. In Luke chapter eighteen, a rich young ruler comes to Jesus and addresses him as "good master." Jesus' questioned him on why the young man called Him "good", and that only God can really be called "good." Romans chapter three points out that all have sinned against God, and that there are none of us are "good." God is the only one that is perfectly holy and righteous. We have all willingly strayed from God, and need a Savior to atone to God for our sins.
Now, here is where the answer comes into view. In the Hebrew David means "beloved." In Scripture, who one who is referred to as God's beloved? The answer can be found in Scripture like Matthew 12:15-21:
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (ESV)
The beloved of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. (c.f. Mat. 3:17, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35) Jesus is also the one who is like God because He is God, and the One who was sent as the Redeemer of all who would put their trust in His saving work on the cross.
Romans 1:7 also refers to believers in Christ as "beloved of God." Believers are beloved of God because He identifies them with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ
Michael David Hotard
There are many things that we can use when we converse with those around us that can lead into our sharing the Gospel with them. Think about it.