For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:24
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. Malachi 4:2

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Galatians 6:14
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
Let the motto upon your whole ministry be - "Christ is All!" - Mather

Friday, August 7, 2020

It's Not Stupid But Loving And Biblical To Tell Muslims The Truth About Muhammad


I posted the above picture portion of the hadith (hadith are collections of traditions about Muhammad and his words) Sahih al-Bukhari on Facebook with this message:

When my Muslim friends refuse to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the first thing I like to tell them about their false prophet Muhammad is that he married a six year old girl and had sex with her when she was nine (Aisha). He was in his fifties. It's in one of their most trusted hadith: 

You can check it out here: 

Please turn away from Muhammad and come to the most precious, pure, powerful, praise-worthy Man Who has ever lived - the Lord Jesus Christ - the God-Man Who died for sinners and rose again from the dead so that you might be saved!

I got some responses that I would like to respond to here. Why is it not stupid to tell Muslims this truth about their false prophet but loving and Biblical? I'm glad you asked:

1. This Is Not Where I Start - Always Start With Jesus And The Gospel

First of all, note I wrote that I only bring this up when my Muslim friends refuse to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't start with the evil life of Muhammad. I start with the glorious, perfect, holy, amazing life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only this message can save anyone. But Jesus told His disciples:  

And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Matthew 10:14

This action of shaking the dust from their feet pointed to the judgment that would come to those who reject Jesus and His message. I see my telling Muslims the truth about their false prophet as a kind of "shaking the dust off" indicating that if they will not take Jesus and His glorious salvation, they are left with an old, dead, false prophet who did horrendous actions such as this with a nine year old - and he cannot save you. I hope and pray this might leave them with a little pebble in their shoe, so to speak, which will be used by God to cause them to question what they've been taught about Muhammad and drive them to seek refuge in the real Man of men: Jesus Christ.

2. I Am Merely Stating What The Most Trusted Muslim Sources Already Say

When I point my Muslim friends to Sahih al-Bukhari, I'm not pointing them to some anti-Muslim, anti-Islam propaganda. I'm pointing them to their own most trusted sources so they can read for themselves. Many of the Muslims I encounter don't even know this about Muhammad. In my neighborhood in Philly, I once told a Muslim man I often saw doing street ministry this fact about Muhammad. He got really mad at first. He said, "Are you calling Muhammad a pedofile?!" I simply responded by telling him that "pedofile" was his word, not mine - I was merely telling him the truth about what Muhammad did. I gave him the source and told him to look it up. He walked away angry and incredulous. But about two weeks later, the same man came up to me and briefly said this: "You know what you told me about Muhammad, you are right." And he walked away. 

I pray that many Muslims would come to see the wicked life of Muhammad for what it is, and that their seeing of this might open doors for them to see the glory, purity, and beauty of Jesus Christ and move many Muslims to come to Jesus and be saved. There's so much more material like this on the truth about Muhammad's life as well.

3. It's Biblical And Loving To Tell People The Truth About False Prophets Who Will Ultimately Lead Them To Hell

 God's Word instructs us to expose unfruitful works of darkness: 

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5:11-14

If you love people, you are going to tell them the truth about people, places, things, and ideas that will hurt them, even if it offends them. Love will offend sometimes. Offense is not my first option. Offense is not (or shouldn't be!) my heart. Jesus and His Gospel message is my first option (and even that message will offend!). But when He is rejected - I will tell Muslims the truth about Muhammad. 

Consider a few examples of the "offensive" ways God's men have spoken to and about false prophets:

Elijah mocked the idol Baal and his false prophets: And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." 1 Kings 18:27

Paul wished false teachers would cut their genitals off: I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! Galatians 5:12

Jesus called false teachers and false prophets snakes and ravenous wolves: You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Matthew 23:33

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15

And why did they speak this way? Love. They loved God's glory. They loved God. They loved the truth. They loved those who were being deceived and dragged to hell by false teaching. Love will speak up, even if feelings get hurt. 

One man who does not shy away from telling Muslims the truth about their false prophet and religion is Zakaria Botros. He was World Magazine's Daniel of the Year in 2008. He was so successful at helping Muslims see the truth about their religion that radical Muslims put a $60 million bounty on his head. One show he did was entitled: "Was Muhammad A Messenger From God Or Satan?" What motivates Mr. Botros to so "offensively" attack the false prophet of Islam? He says it's love. He said, "My program is to attack Islam, not to attack Muslims but to save them because they are deceived. As I love Muslims, I hate Islam."

Love tells the truth. And sometimes this loving truth-telling will be painful and offensive.

4. One Of The Most Fruitful Men I Know In Ministry To Muslims Uses This Method

I rarely heard about or saw Muslims converting from Islam to Christianity. Until I was introduced to David Wood. David Wood is the main human instrument God used to bring a very devout Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi, to faith in Christ. Read this excellent autobiography about Nabeel's amazing conversion story. Also read his book comparing Islam and Christianity. You can also hear a shorter version of his testimony.

In Nabeel's conversion story, you see that one of the great barriers that had to be broken down was all the false ideas he had been taught about Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad. God used David Wood to help break down those barriers. Now David has a huge Youtube following in which he seeks to do just this: tell Muslims the truth about what the Quran and Islam's most trusted sources actually say about Muhammad and Islam. And God uses this. He uses this to open Muslim eyes to the truth and beauty of Christ by first showing them the lies, emptiness, and deception of Islam.

This is not the only method to reach Muslims for Jesus. But it is a method God does use, and it's not stupid and useless. We are commanded to "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge off God":

 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . . . 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

May we do so for the glory and praise of our great King Jesus and point people to Him, the only Savior. And may we do so with love and compassion!

5. Muhammad Cannot Be Compared With The One, True, Living God

One of the responses I received to my Facebook post implied that telling Muslims about their false prophet's attraction to a young girl is like telling Christians to abandon the God of the Bible because He commanded Israel to commit genocide and kill a whole race of people - referring to the Canaanite genocide. This comparison borders on blasphemy of the living God. I would tremble to make such a comparison.

First of all, Muhammad is a false prophet of a false god of a false religion. The God Who saved Israel from all of her enemies is the one, true, living God Who is just, righteous, good, and holy in all that He does, all the time. He is the triune God: One God eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Second, every one and every nation that God commanded Israel to destroy through the Canaanite genocide deserved to be destroyed because their sin and rebellion against the holy God. 

Third, these judgments in the Old Testament point to the final judgment and are a gracious and merciful ways that God is calling all people everywhere to repent of sin and turn to Him.

Finally, there is a trajectory in the Bible that the Quran does not share. There is a trajectory in the Bible toward grace, mercy, and salvation with the coming of Jesus Christ until the final judgment. Right now is a time you can make peace with King Jesus before He returns. Then He will destroy all of His enemies, but now He is crying to all people everywhere: Repent and believe the Gospel!

For more on this point, read Nabeel Qureshi's excellent article: How Does Jihad Compare with Old Testament Warfare?

6. Please Reject Muhammad And Believe In The Crucified And Risen God-Man: Jesus Christ

Unlike Muhammad, Jesus Christ never did anything sexually impure in thought, word, feeling, or deed. Jesus was the only perfect, sinless man who ever lived. He never looked at a woman with lust. He never even had sex with a woman, but was a pure virgin all of His life. He is totally God and totally man, all at the same time. And He was obedient to death, even to the point of death on the cross where He suffered the full measure of the wrath, anger, and fury of God toward sin and sinners. He died. He was buried. And on the third day, He rose from the dead, conquering sin, death, and hell. Now He is calling all people everywhere to turn from their sins and believe in Him for:

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Would you please come and trust in Him today? 

Please watch this excellent documentary on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, made in honor of Nabeel Qureshi: American Gospel: Christ Alone. There's a free, 1 hour version online. It's also available on Netflix until November 2020.

You can also read more about the Gospel here. Also in Arabic here.

There's no one like Jesus Christ! He's the King forever!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

"That's My King!" At The End Of Matthew 4!

Christ Is The Greatest Fisher Of Men
He Loved And Served And Reeled Them In
Called Fishermen To Start Again
With Him A New Life To Begin
He Died A Rose To Save From Sin
So We Leave All And Follow Him
None Like Him Has Ever Been
With Him You're Guaranteed To Win!

That's my King! Do you know Him?!

Christ Taught And Preached And Healed Them All
Reversed Each Pain Traced From The Fall
His Fame Spread Far To Great And Small
Against Vile Forces He Would Brawl
Then Died And Rose, On Death Stands Tall
New Life He Brings And Will Enthrall!

That's my King! That's my King!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The False "I Am" Of Joel Osteen And The True "I AM" Who Alone Can Save!

By God's grace, I've been preaching on the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) and noticing how they are so diametrically opposed to what the wicked health, wealth, and prosperity false gospel preachers teach. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, and blessed are those who are persecuted (to name a few)? Really? Yes!

I listened to a Joel Osteen sermon recently in which he encourages his hearers to be very careful about what they say after the phrase, "I am" because what follows the "I am" follows you. He warns not to speak negative words after the "I am" but positive words like: 

"I am strong, I am healthy, I am talented, I am disciplined, I am focused, I am prosperous, I am getting younger, I am attractive!"

You can watch this madness here: Joel Osteen's The Power Of "I Am" Sermon

It's very sad that so many people are so deceived by this. It's very sad that Joel Osteen takes millions of dollars from people teaching these ridiculous lies. It's very sad that in a sermon on the phrase "I am" he does not even once mention all the great "I Am" statements of the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the great "I AM" Who came in the flesh to die on the cross for sinners and rise from the dead so that all who repent and believe in Him might be saved. 

Please pray that he and his followers would repent and be saved by believing in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What does God's Word actually teach? What have faithful followers of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ actually said after their "I am" statements in the Bible? Come and see:

Isaac: "I am old" (Genesis 27:2)

Jacob: "I am not worthy" (Genesis 32:10)

Moses: "I am not able" (Numbers 11:14)

Joshua: "I am now old" (Joshua 23:2)

Gideon: "I am the least in my father's house" 
(Judges 6:15)

David: "I am a poor man and have no reputation" 
(1 Samuel 18:23)

David: "I am in great distress" (1 Chronicles 21:13)

Solomon: "I am but a little child" (1 Kings 3:7)

Elijah: "I am no better than my fathers" (1 Kings 19:4)

Ezra: "I am ashamed" (Ezra 9:6)

Job: "I am of small account" (Job 40:4)

David: "I am weary with my moaning" (Psalm 6:6)

David: "I am a worm and not a man" (Psalm 22:6)

David: "I am poor and needy" (Psalm 40:17)

Isaiah: "I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5)

Jeremiah: "I am lost" (Lamentations 3:54)

John the Baptist: "I am not worthy" (Matthew 3:11)

Roman Centurion: "I am not worthy to have you come under my roof" (Matthew 8:8)

Peter: "I am a sinful man" (Luke 5:8)

Prodigal Son: "I am no longer worthy to be called your son" (Luke 15:19)

Paul: "I am of the flesh, sold under sin" (Romans 7:14)

Paul: "Wretched man that I am!" (Romans 7:24)

Paul: "I am the least of the apostles" 
(1 Corinthians 15:9)

Paul: "I am the very least of all the saints" 
(Ephesians 3:8)

Paul: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost" (1 Timothy 1:15)

Beloved, only God speaks things into existence. God's Word doesn't teach that we can. And God's people use "I am" statements to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, Who opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

May we be a people who are held captive by the Word of God and who rejoice in the great I AM - the Lord Jesus Christ. And may we rejoice in Him for Who He is and for what He did, not for the health, wealth, and prosperity He can give us.

Jesus said:

"I am the bread of life." (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51) 
"I am the light of the world." (John 8:12) 
"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58)
"I am the door of the sheep." (John 10:7,9) 
"I am the resurrection and the life." (John 11:25) 
"I am the good shepherd." (John 10:11, 14)
"I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) 
"I am the true vine." (John 15:1, 5)

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

To learn more about the true Gospel and the dangers of the health, wealth, and prosperity false gospel, please watch the excellent documentary American Gospel: Christ Alone. It's currently on Netflix. You can also watch in here on Amazon, and here is a free, one hour version on Youtube.

Jesus Is The LORD God Of Psalm 146

1. Jesus is worthy of our praise:

“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 146:1-2

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant, and they said to him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read,’ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” Matthew 21:15-16 

2. Jesus is the object of our trust Who gives salvation:

“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” Psalm 146:3

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

3. Jesus is our Help:

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God”  Psalm 146:5

“He is able to help” Hebrews 2:18

4. Jesus made heaven and earth:

“who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them” Psalm 146:6

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

5. Jesus keeps faith forever:

“who keeps faith forever” Psalm 146:6

“and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” Revelation 1:5

6. Jesus executes justice for the oppressed:

“who executes justice for the oppressed” Psalm 146:7

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” Luke 4:18

7. Jesus gives food to the hungry:

“who gives food to the hungry” Psalm 146:7

“And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.” Mark 6:41-44

8. Jesus sets the prisoners free:

“The LORD sets the prisoners free” Psalm 146:7

“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” Luke 4:18

9. Jesus opens the eyes of the blind:

“the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.” Psalm 146:8

“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:30-31

10. Jesus lifts up those who are bowed down:

“The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down” Psalm 146:8

“The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He's dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.” Mark 9:26-27 

11. Jesus loves the righteous:

“the LORD loves the righteous.” Psalm 146:8

“Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:5

12. Jesus upholds the widow and the fatherless:

“The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless” Psalm 146:9

“As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don't cry.’ Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’” Luke 7:12-16 

13. Jesus will reign forever:

“The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 146:10

“But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” Hebrews 1:8

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:32-33 

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Jesus Suffered The Anathematudes So That We Might Enjoy The Beatitudes

The beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11 (the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount) take their name from the Latin word for blessed: beatus

The Latin word for cursed is anathema. We know that on the cross, Jesus Christ was made a curse by God (Galatians 3:13).

So, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did not experience the beatitudes but the anathematudes:

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who became poor in spirit for us, taking the form of a slave and was treated as one cast out of the kingdom of heaven so that we might be poor in spirit and enter into the kingdom forever!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who mourned for our sins, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, yet He was not comforted but utterly forsaken so that we might mourn and enjoy everlasting comfort!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who was the meekest Man to ever live, but inherited judgment and wrath so that we might be meek and inherit the earth and everlasting glory!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who alone perfectly hungered and thirsted after righteousness, but was made sin though He knew no sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, hunger and thirst after righteousness, and be saved, safe, and satisfied forever where there’s fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who was shown no mercy so that we might be merciful and enjoy God's everlasting mercy!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who is the only Man Who has ever been perfectly pure in heart, yet He did not see God when God hid His face from Him and forsook Him, so that we might be pure in heart, see God, and never be forsaken!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who is the Prince of Peace and made peace as the Son Who was not spared any of God’s anger so that we might be peacemakers, sons of God, and enjoy peace with God forever!

Cursed was the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, Who was persecuted, reviled, and had all manner of evil spoken against Him falsely for righteousness sake like no one else in the history of the universe, yet He was treated as an unclean thing - as One cast out of the kingdom of heaven - so that we might enter the kingdom of heaven forever and never be cast out, never be reviled, and never be persecuted again!

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

That's my King! I wonder if you know Him?!

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Devil Is Very Busy Right Now - But We Know A Greater Lion!

Yesterday, I preached on how Jesus Christ faced and utterly defeated the temptations of the devil at the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 4:1-11), showing us that He is the true and better Adam Who came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and finally kick the devil out of the world as the first Adam should have done. Jesus is also the true and better Israel Who is God's Son and was called out of Egypt, baptized, and then tested in the wilderness. But unlike Israel, Jesus Christ conquered and won the victory. 

Yes, the devil is still roaming around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), but as Christians, we know a much bigger, greater, and stronger Lion! Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah Who defeated the devil in the wilderness, and He defeated the devil when He lived a perfectly righteous life, died on the cross for sinners, and rose from the dead! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

In my sermon, I tried to speak to the situation in our world today. Here is my attempt in the introduction:

In these verses we see Jesus being tempted by the devil. What does this have to do with what is going on in our world and the country in which we live right now? It has everything to with what's going on today!

The devil is still tempting wicked people to use their God-ordained authority in an unjust, evil way, which results in murder, death, and abuse like in the murder of George Floyd and others like him. 

The devil is still tempting wicked people to hate one another because of the color of their skin.

The devil is still tempting wicked people to violently attack one another, destroy businesses, grocery stores, and other buildings and steal things that don't belong to them.

The devil is still tempting wicked people to rebel against good and righteous and biblical authority.

The devil is still tempting Christians to be divided and hate one another because of ethnic differences, political differences, and all kinds of other differences.

The devil is still tempting Christians to be divided and hate one another because of differences on how to handle Covid-19.

Yes, the world and the flesh are also involved in these sins, but the devil is alive and working, roaming around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And we need to be ready!

Our hope is that we have a great Champion Who came to destroy the works of the devil! He is our Savior! And He is our example! And today we see Him crush the devil and his temptations!

Beloved, keep looking to your great conquering Champion, the Lord Jesus Christ. He's our King! And only He can save and change the world and grant the justice, peace, grace, mercy, and love that we all desire.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

John Calvin: Jesus Both Became A Curse AND Was Cursed By God On The Cross

The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write these glorious words: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'" Galatians 3:13

Here, the Holy Spirit makes clear that Jesus became a curse ("by becoming a curse for us"), and, by citing Deuteronomy 21:23, He makes it clear that Jesus was cursed by God as well ("Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree").

John Calvin understood and taught both these truths. He even understood that becoming a curse was worse than being cursed by God: 

Now, Christ hung upon the cross, therefore he fell under that curse. But it is certain that he did not suffer that punishment on his own account. It follows, therefore, either that he was crucified in vain, or that our curse was laid upon him, in order that we might be delivered from it. Now, he does not say that Christ was cursed, but, which is still more, that he was a curse, - intimating, that the curse "of all men was laid upon him" (Isaiah 53:6.) If any man think this language harsh, let him be ashamed of the cross of Christ, in the confession of which we glory. It was not unknown to God what death his own Son would die, when he pronounced the law, "He that is hanged is accursed of God." (Deuteronomy 21:23.) But how does it happen, it will be asked, that a beloved Son is cursed by his Father? (emphasis mine)
(John Calvin, Commentary On Galatians, Galatians 3:13)

Notice Calvin pointed out that the first part of Paul's statement does not say that Christ was cursed but was a curse - which Calvin wrote is more than being cursed by God. Yet later in the same paragraph, Calvin asked the question about how God's beloved Son is cursed by His Father, indicating that he also believed the text teaches that Jesus was cursed by God. A brief survey of Calvin's sermons demonstrates that Calvin believed (along with the Holy Spirit and the Apostle Paul) that not only did Jesus become a curse on the cross, but He was also cursed by God as well:

For inasmuch as we see that the Son of God . . . was pronounced accursed by God's own mouth. (emphases all mine)
(John Calvin, Sermons On Galatians, (Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995), 295-296)

. . . the son of God was fain [pleased] to suffer our curse, and to endure that death which is so slanderous before men, yea and to be cursed of God's own mouth . . . .
(John Calvin, Sermons On Galatians, (Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995), 713)

How does the inheritance of heaven belong to us, except in that He was made a curse for our sakes, and He was cursed not only before men, but from the mouth of God His Father?"
(John Calvin, The Gospel According To Isaiah: Seven Sermons on Isaiah 53 Concerning The Passion And Death Of Christ, Trans. Leroy Nixon (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), 16)

It is said that He is the Lamb of God without spot. Since He is the Lamb of God, He must be condemned for the sacrifice. The word “Lamb” implies that He is to be offered. And what does the Law pronounce of sacrifices? That they stand for sins and curses. That is why it is said that our Lord Jesus was accursed for our sakes, that is, that He received the curse which was due to our sins. This, then, is the quality and condition under which He is condemned, since God appointed Him as a lamb which must be offered in sacrifice.

There is, then no other means to acquire grace, except that we come to our Lord Jesus Christ, and that we have all our refuge in Him, since we are unburdened of such a load, when He was willing to be as it were cursed and detestable for our sakes, in order that we might find favor before God and that we might be acceptable to Him.

How is it that he is able to conceive of a Kingdom in Jesus Christ? He there perishing on the cross, He is cursed both by God and by men. For this sentence of the law had been pronounced by the mouth of God, "Cursed is he who will hang on the tree."(Deuteronomy 21:23.)

For she sees our Lord Jesus hanged on the cross, in such shame and disgrace that all the world is opposed to Him, and He is even there, as it were, cursed by God.

Yet, how this exposes the malice and perversity that is in man! For when Paul declares that our Lord Jesus Christ became a curse for us, it washes over us. There are even those who are so depraved that they will see this as an occasion to behave scandalously, abandoning the gospel altogether when they hear of the way in which Christ has redeemed us. Such people say, "What! Can it be that the Son of God, the fountain of all that is good, and the one who sanctifies us, has been cursed?" To their way of thinking, God has acted in an unreasonable and disorderly fashion! But, (as I have been saying), God had to stoop to this "folly" because we did not respond to his wisdom, though the way was clearly evident; thus he exposes our own ignorance! We can only wonder at the mysteries of God, for their significance may be obscure to us and seem strange; for in the face of such wonders, our intellect fails and our powers of reasoning are confounded!

How, then, did he come? In weakness; indeed, not only so, but he was accursed. If this had not been the case, our burdens would have crushed us and all would have perished in the abyss. When we understand that the Son of God, the Lamb without blemish, the mirror and fountain of all righteousness, that this One was cursed for us, should we not be horrified at the thought of all our sins and engulfed in despair until God rescues us in his grace and infinite mercy? Therefore, let us be aware that when God says he has redeemed us from the curse of the law, it is to bring us to a state of complete humility.

. . . we know that the Son of God had to suffer such a shameful death on our behalf. Who is he who seeks to have his triumphs and do his courageous deeds in this world, when he knows that the One who is the head of angels, to whom belongs all glory, majesty and authority, hung on a tree and was cursed and hated for our sakes?

It is true that there is no blemish in Him, but all pureness and perfection. Yet so it is, that He became weak as we are, that He might have compassion and help our feebleness; as it is set forth in the epistle to the Hebrews (4:15). He that had no sin suffered the punishment due to us; and was, as it were, accursed of God the Father, when He offered Himself a sacrifice: that through His means we might be blessed; and that His grace which was hidden from us, might be poured upon us.

For when the son of God, who is ordained to be judge of the world, shall come at the last day: he may well say to us . . . You have born my name, you have been baptized in remembrance and record that I was your redeemer, I have drawn you out of the dungeons where into you were plunged, I delivered you from endless death by suffering most cruel death myself, and for the same cause I became man, and submitted myself even to the curse of GOD my father, that you might be blessed by my grace . . . .
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 422)

God governed it in such sort by his secret providence, that Jesus Christ was accursed when he hung upon the cross, according to that which had been spoken of him before.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1535)

But Saint Paul adds, that forasmuch as we be all accursed by the Law, our Lord Jesus Christ was same to bear our curse. And he bare it (says he) for he was hanged upon tree. And whereas the Law of God had said, Cursed than he be that hangs on tree: the same was verified in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . You see then that we be undone and past hope of recovery, unless the curse be abolished. And that was done in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who as he has performed all righteousness, so has he also received the curse to himself which lay upon our heads, & he has born it in his person, to the intent that henceforth we should be free from it . . . Notwithstanding forasmuch as God has given his son to death, as the scripture bears witness, that he has so loved the world that he has not spared his only son, but has delivered him to death for us: Let us assure ourselves that God meant to show us to our faces, that he laid upon him the curse due to us, so as the thing which we had deserved was laid upon the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1536)

For we ought to be even ravished at the inestimable love of God towards us, in that he vouchsafed that his son, who is the head of the Angels, before whom all knees ought to bow, and unto whom all creatures ought to do homage, should so humble himself even to the lowest depths, and bear our curse. When we see that our Lord Jesus Christ has so forgotten himself, and had so little regard of himself; that for very servant love which he bare unto us, he took upon him the curse wherewith we were all overwhelmed, receiving it wholly to himself: is there any heart so hard, which ought nor to clue at the fight thereof? Again, how ought we to be inflamed to glorify our Savior, who has abased himself so far to save us?
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1537)

Now we see that whereas Jesus Christ is said to have been forlorn and accursed for our sakes: it did so little abase his majesty, that we ought the rather to magnify his glory in that behalf; assuring ourselves that we shall no more be accursed, because he has done away our curse, and born it in his own person . . . Also let us mark therewithal, that notwithstanding his being accursed before God, yet he ceased not robe Gods well beloved son, according to this saying uttered by the heavenly father himself, This is my dear beloved son in whom I am well pleased, and in whom I am pacified. And served that but far one instant? Nay it was to continue for ever. How is it then that Jesus Christ was accursed, seeing that the father was pacified by him? And that he was not only well liked himself, but also the mean to reconcile the whole world; He is our peace and although through our corruption of nature GOD hate us, yet are we beloved in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ; and how is it then possible that he should be accursed before God? They agree both very well. For (as I have said before) Jesus Christ has born our curse, yea and he has born it in such wise is GOD ceases not to love him for all that. And this curse is so abolished, that the reproach of his cross is turned into glory and triumph, because it is impossible that the son of GOD should not continue everlastingly the same that he was before.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1539)

. . . GOD ordained the tree of the Cross to be a record of cursing. Now then, whereas it is said, Cursed shall he be which performs not all the things that are contained in the Law: therewithal GOD sends us to his only son, and would have us to know that he was hanged on tree to the intent to be accursed. As how? Was he cursed in his own person? No, but for our sakes. Yet notwithstanding, we may now glory, that the curse of the Law has no more power over us, but that he has discharged us thereof.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1540)

Now, to knit up the whole, it remains to be known after what manner our Lord Jesus became accursed to set us free from the curse . . . Jesus Christ became accursed even by bearing Gods hatred as it were our behalf, to the intent that henceforth we should be beloved. Now I have told you already, (and it behoves us to print it well in our minds) that Jesus Christ was never hated of God his father, for that were impossible. But he was fain to bear our curse, because he was our pledge, and we could not be freed otherwise, than by the satisfaction of his death made once for all. And that is the very mean whereby we become in favor again & are beloved of God.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1541)

Let us consider a little wherefore the only son of God yielded himself to such shame; as to be hanged on tree, and to be as it were accursed before God his father, (according as we have seen even in the one and twentieth Chapter of this book) and to be beaten by the hand of God, until he seemed as vile as a Leper . . . that he bare the burden of all our offences: as if he had been a miserable sinner; and was environed with such extreme sorrow that he will not what to say but to cry out: My God my God, why has you forsaken me? And think we that the son of God dallied when he was so humbled, yea and not only was made utterly of no reputation, as Saint Paul said: but also sought with the pangs and sorrows of death? He offered himself in the person of us, as a wretched sinner to bear that vengeance of God which was due unto us, so as (to be short) he knew that God was bent against him, to thunder down upon him for our sakes. Forasmuch then as we know that Jesus Christ abode such encounters for our redemption: stand we yet still scanning and replying, as who would say, O I cannot tell, and how can I be sure of it? Surely that were even as much as to deny the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. For it is a plain scorning of all that he has endured and suffered for our salvation, when we acknowledge not the fruit that does grow unto us thereby. So then the first point is, that having the Gospel, we have whereupon to rest, so as we need nor to allege: What is he that shall go down into hell? For Jesus Christ has been there, to the end that we should not come there at all.
(John Calvin, Sermons On Deuteronomy, 1921-1922)

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Jesus Endured The Rod Of God's Anger - For Us!

Just like Assyria was the rod of God's anger and their hands were God's fury toward sinful Israel because of their rebellion against Him, so likewise, the Roman soldiers were the rod of God's anger and the hand of God's fury toward Jesus on the way to and on the cross because of our sins and rebellion imputed to Him (2 Cor. 5:21):

"Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!" Isaiah 10:5 

"And they were striking his head with a rod and spitting on him" Mark 15:19 

"They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands." John 19:3

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

For a more in-depth study of the beatings of Christ and how they relate to other parts of the Old Testament, like the book of Proverbs, see David Wenkel's, Jesus' Crucifixion Beatings and the Book of Proverbs.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Thomas Goodwin Answers: "Who Killed Jesus?"

"And therefore God's forsaking him was not such an one as befell Saul, when he also forsook God. No; Christ, though he kills him, does still trust in him." 
(Thomas Goodwin, Christ The Mediator, 280)

"See the love of God, who gave not his Son up only to the hands of men to be executioners of his body, but himself laid on upon his soul; and that because justice called for the soul, the very soul, ere it would be satisfied. Which no creature being able to reach, rather than we should not be redeemed, he will be the executioner himself; ties him to the cross, and with his own hand whips him, because no creature could strike strokes hard enough. A tender mother hath not the heart to whip her child for its own fault; God bruiseth Christ's soul himself for others; Zech. 13:7: 'Awake my sword against the man God's fellow;' yea, Isa. 53:10: 'It delighted the Lord to bruise him.' So much was his heart in our salvation, that this (otherwise the most abhorred act that ever was done) was sweetened to him by its end, our salvation, and made a matter of delight, not simply, but in relation to the end."
(Thomas Goodwin, Christ The Mediator, 286)

"They likewise see a greater and clearer instance and manifesto of his justice in putting to death his own Son, taking on him to be a surety for sinners, than if a world of worlds should have been damned for ever."

"There is the greatest of justice and wrath against sin. That God should put to death his own Son for sin, when he became but a surety for it, was a clearer manifestation of his anger, and a higher piece of justice against sin, than if he had made and there sacrificed millions of worlds."   

"If he be made sin, he must be made a curse; and which is more than all this, God himself must be the executioner, and his own Son the whipping stock."
(Thomas Goodwin, The One Sacrifice, 496)

"It was not the malice of the Jews, the falseness of Judas, the fearfulness of Pilate, or the iniquity of the times he fell into, that wrought his death, so much as God his father complotting with Christ himself, and aiming at a higher end than they did."  
(Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth, 30)

"The death of Christ was the greatest and strangest design that ever God undertook and acted, and therefore surely had an end proportionable unto it. God, that 'wills not the death of a sinner,' would not for any inferior end will the death of his Son, whom he loved more than all creatures besides. It must necessarily be some great matter for which God should contrive the death of his Son, so holy, so innocent, and separate from sinners."
(Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth, 31)

"And does it not move his Father, think you, who was the chief cause and motioner of his death, to think, my Son that was dead and died at my request for sinners is now alive again, and lives to intercede, and lives to 'see the travail of his soul' fulfilled and satisfied? " 
(Thomas Goodwin, Christ Set Forth, 120)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Be Like Christ - If I Could Be Like Christ!

I often dream
Cause He's in me
God says I'll see what I have dreamed to be
I dream to love, I dream to serve
Like Christ
If I could be like Christ
Oh, if I could be like Christ
Like Christ
If I could be like Christ
If I could be like Christ
Be like Christ, Be like Christ

By faith I try
To aim so high
For just each day if I could
Be that way
I dream to love, I dream to serve
Like Christ
If I could be like Christ
I wanna be, I wanna be like Christ
Like Christ, if I could be like Christ
Oh, be like Christ
Like Christ
If I could be like Christ
Be like Christ

Saturday, April 25, 2020

"American Gospel: Christ Crucified" Gets It Right: God Killed Jesus And Damned Him On The Cross

The Gospel Coalition has published a review of the new American Gospel: Christ Crucified documentary. In this TGC review, Caleb Wait makes two seriously mistaken critiques of the documentary. The purpose of this post is to show how these critiques are misguided.

Did God Kill Jesus?

First, Wait critiques Voddie Baucham for saying that God killed Jesus on the cross. He writes: 
Intermingled with these accurate statements, however, are a few others that unnecessarily muddy the waters on this crucial doctrine. For example, Voddie Baucham says in the film: "Yeah, God killed Jesus. But did Jesus go to the cross unwillingly? No" [41:50]. This undermines what the film later notes, that God's decree to ordain Christ's death is not equal to the act of killing Jesus himself: "He was handed over by God’s set plan and foreknowledge, and you, by the hands of the lawless, put him to death by nailing him to the cross" (Acts 2:23).
 One wonders when an article will be written critiquing Job for saying:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD . . . Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 1:21, 2:10). 
The critique might sound something like this: "Job's statements undermine what we learned earlier in the book, that Job's wealth and children weren't taken away by God, but by Satan, and Job did not receive evil from God, but from Satan." That would obviously be a wrong critique of Job's words, and, in a similar way, Wait's critique of Baucham is wrong as well.

Baucham is absolutely right: God killed His own Son on the cross. And He killed Him in two different senses.

God Killed His Son As The First Cause Of All Things

First, God killed His own Son on the cross in the sense that He is the first cause of all things. In the book of Job, we see that though Satan is the second cause of Job's great losses, Job attributes his losses to God, and Job attributes the evil done to him to God. Job said God has taken away! Job said he received evil from God! And lest we think it was wrong of Job to say this, God's Word makes it clear - in all of these words, Job was not sinning against God with his lips.

When Baucham said God killed Jesus, he wasn't sinning with his lips either. He, like Job, was simply speaking of God as the first cause of all things. Wait acknowledges that God ordained the death of Jesus, but his mistake is in thinking that Baucham, like Job, spoke in a wrong way by attributing to God the ultimate and final responsibility for the ends He ordained.

In both Job's case and with Jesus at the cross, God used second causes to bring His purposes to pass. And those second causes sinned. It was wicked and evil for Satan to destroy Job's family, wealth, and health (Satan is a murder from the beginning - John 8:44), and it was wicked and evil for Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, the Gentiles, and the soldiers to crucify the Lord of glory, yet God sinlessly ordains the sinful actions of Satan and men to carry out His wise purposes for the good of His people and for His own glory. It is not wrong to attribute all of these actions to God as the first cause of all things. Therefore, it is right to say that God killed Jesus. No, God wasn't there using a hammer to nail the nails into Jesus' body, but He was there as the first cause putting Jesus to death, and it's very Biblical to speak this way. We must follow Job as he follows Christ.

God Directly Killed His Son For Our Salvation

Second, God killed His own Son on the cross, not only as the first cause of all things, but God was directly killing His Son to make propitiation for sin. Sinful men didn't kill Jesus for redemptive purposes, but God did. And the Bible makes it clear, over and over again, that God killed His own Son for the salvation of His people:
we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4)
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief (Isaiah 53:10)
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me," declares the LORD of hosts. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered" (Zechariah 13:7)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)
Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood (Romans 3:24-25)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree" (Galatians 3:13)
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all (Romans 8:32)
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
God struck and smote His Son - to death!
God crushed His Son - to death!
God gave His Son - to death!
God put His Son forward - to death!
God made His Son a curse and cursed Him - to death! Death is a part of the curse!
God did not spare His own Son and gave Him up - to death!
God gave His Son the cup of wrath - to death!
God forsook His Son - to death!
God did this! God killed Jesus! 

Other Faithful Witnesses

There are other faithful witnesses who use the same language as Baucham to describe God's redemptive work on the cross. Thomas Goodwin, one of the most respected Puritans who was also on the Westminster Assembly, clearly wrote that God smote His Son to death: 
And considered either as lamb or shepherd, we find that God being angry with him whilst thus he bore our sins, insomuch as he is said in his wrath to have smitten this shepherd with his sword, and smitten him unto death. (emphasis mine) (Christ Our Mediator, Grand Rapids: Sovereign Grace Publishers, 1971, 370)
Side note: I cannot recommend Goodwin's work highly enough on the cross. He understands the fact that God was both angry with Christ and loved Christ at the same time while He suffered on the cross.

Charles Spurgeon preached that God killed Jesus. To describe the cross, Spurgeon used the illustration of God's command to Abraham to slay his son, Isaac. But one major difference Spurgeon pointed out between Abraham and Isaac and what God did to His Son on the cross is that God actually did the deed and slayed His Son and drove the knife into His heart:
The death of Christ is traceable to God the Father . . . O! can ye tell the greatness of that love, which made the everlasting God not only put his Son upon the altar, but actually do the deed, and thrust the sacrificial knife into his Son's heart? Can you think how overwhelming must have been the love of God toward the human race, when he completed in act what Abraham only did in intention? Look ye there, and see the place where his only Son hung dead upon the cross, the bleeding victim of awakened justice! Here is love indeed; and here we see how it was, that it pleased the Father to bruise him. (emphasis mine) (The Death Of Christ, Sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 24, 1858)
Martyn Lloyd-Jones affirmed that God killed Jesus. He wrote: 
But let me end by giving you this specific statement which literally tells us that it was God who was doing this thing on Calvary: Isaiah 53:6: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." But have you ever realized that John 3:16 says this? "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" - to the death of the cross - it is God who gave Him. Take again Romans 3:25: "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" - there it is again. Or Romans 8:32: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" He, God, He "spared not His own Son but delivered Him" - it was God who did it . . . Any idea or theory of the atonement must always give full weight and significance to the activity of God the Father. (emphasis mine) (Great Doctrines of the Bible, Volume One, Substitution, "The Necessity of the Atonement," Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2003, 317-337)
Again, as he gloried in the cross, Lloyd-Jones wrote: ". . . he was put to death by his own Father . . . ." (The Cross, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1986, 82)

Contemporary pastors and theologians, like Voddie Baucham, also affirm this truth. John Piper writes:
One of my friends who used to be a pastor in Illinois was preaching to a group of prisoners in a state prison during Holy Week several years ago. At one point in his message, he paused and asked the men if they knew who killed Jesus. Some said the soldiers did. Some said the Jews did. Some said Pilate. After there was silence, my friend said simply, "His Father killed him." That's what the first half of Romans 8:32 says: God did not spare his own Son but handed him over - to death. (emphasis mine) (Who Killed Jesus?)
Stephen Wellum writes:
Texts such as Isaiah 53:10, John 3:16, Romans 8:32, and Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane and his cry from the cross, all teach that the Father deliberately sacrificed his Son for us . . . How is the Father justified in what he did at Calvary? What gave him the right to sacrifice his own Son? Two points require emphasis. First, Scripture presents the action of God the Father as a priest offering the sacrifice of his only Son, as a demonstration of his love, justice, and righteousness. Second, given the Trinitarian personal relations, the act of the Father also involves the active involvement of the Son and the Spirit, who together, and according to their mode of personal relations, act as the one God to redeem us. (emphasis mine) (Christ Alone: The Uniqueness Of Jesus As Savior, Zondervan, 2017, 211-212)
God killed His Son on the cross. Scripture testifies to it, and faithful, godly believers in church history testify to it as well. 

The Second Critique: God's Damning Of His Son

The second critique Wait makes is against the language R. C. Sproul used to describe what Jesus endured on the cross. He writes: 
. . . the film includes the unfortunate statement from the late, great R. C. Sproul, speaking of Jesus's cry of forsakenness on the cross: "It was as if there was a cry from heaven, as if Jesus heard the words 'God damn you'" [2:26:16]. The problem for the viewer is that these rather bombastic statements are contextless, and they paint a picture that goes further than the actual doctrine of PSA allows. As described by Begg and DeYoung, God does not hate the Son.
It saddens me that R. C. Sproul's faithful, powerful, and Biblical description of what Jesus endured on the cross is reduced to an "unfortunate" and "bombastic" statement. Really! God forbid!

First of all, no where in the documentary is it stated that God hates His Son. That is simply a false criticism. Second, R.C. Sproul is simply stating the truth of Galatians 3:13: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'"

To curse means to damn. John Calvin, for example, used these words interchangeably: "Then are we all undone and damned as in respect of the Law, there is no more remedy, Cursed shall he be which does not all those things." (Sermon delivered on Wednesday, the first of January 1556, The 124th Sermon which is the fifth upon the one and twentieth Chapter)

R. C. Sproul is simply faithfully handling the text. 

Furthermore, numerous giants of the faith throughout church history have written this way about the cross, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, John Owen, Herman Witsius, Francis Turretin, Wilhelmus à Brakel, A.W. Pink, J.I. Packer, John Piper, and Philip Ryken.

See the above link for numerous examples, but I'll simply list a few of my favorites here (all emphasis mine):
Martin Luther: So then, gaze at the heavenly picture of Christ, who descended into hell [I Pet. 3:19] for your sake and was forsaken by God as one eternally damned when he spoke the words on the cross, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!" - "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [Matt. 27:46]. In that picture your hell is defeated and your uncertain election is made sure. (Luther's Works, Vol. 42, Eds. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969, 105) 
John Calvin: Calvin's Catechism: 69. How is it possible that Jesus Christ, who is the salvation of the world, should have been under such damnation? He was not to remain under it. For though He experienced the horror we have spoken of, He was by no means oppressed by it. On the contrary, He battled with the power of hell, to break and destroy it. (The School Of Faith: The Catechisms Of The Reformed Church, Ed., Trans. Thomas F. Torrance, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1959, 16)
Not only the body of Christ was given as the price of our redemption, but there was another, greater, and more excellent ransom, for He suffered in his soul the dreadful torments of a damned and lost man. (Institutes, II.xvi.10)
For inasmuch as we see that the Son of God . . . was pronounced accursed by God's own mouth. (Sermons On Galatians, Audubon, New Jersey: Old Path Publications, 1995, 295-296)
Wilhelmus à Brakel: Christ did indeed suffer eternal damnation, for eternal damnation, death, and pain consist in total separation from God, in the total manifestation of divine wrath, and all of this for such a duration until the punishment upon sin was perfectly and satisfactorily born.(The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 1, Trans. Bartel Elshout, Ed. Joel Beeke, Rotterdam, The Netherlands: D. Bolle, 1999, 591)

Philip Graham Ryken: To the Jews, this was absolute blasphemy: a cursed Messiah on a cursed cross.  No wonder the cross was such a stumbling block to them!  To put it in the most shocking and yet perhaps the most accurate way, the apostolic message was about a God-damned Messiah. (Galatians, Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2005, 115)

The critiques made by Caleb Wait are simply wrong and misguided. They are neither Biblically accurate nor supported by church history. And they do damage to a faithful and helpful documentary on the cross and the Gospel. Watch American Gospel: Christ Crucfied! They get the cross right in every way: God killed Jesus so that sinners might be saved and so that we might never be killed and destroyed in hell forever! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Monday, April 20, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Created The Last Dance!

"Praise Him with tambourine and dance . . . ." Psalm 150:4

"That's My King!" Who Created Every Last Dance
He Made Michael Jordan To Glory Advance
Bird Said God Came As Jordan? Not Even A Chance
All That Jordan Is Should Point To God's Glory Expanse
Christ Died And He Rose On Death Victory Stance
He Rules And He Reigns Over All Circumstance
Give God The Glory For Basketball Romance
Taste And See His Beauty At Even A Glance
And He'll Put You In An Everlasting Joy Trance!

That's My King! 
I wonder if you know Him today?!

Friday, April 17, 2020

"That's My King!" Who Began The New Creation As The King Of Every Nation And Came To Grant Salvation To Our Evil Population!

We see the genesis of Jesus Christ in the great beginning
He's the only one on the list Who always did no sinning
The wicked sins of His family will leave your head a spinning
This points to matchless mercy that will only leave you grinning
For He's the God-Man King Who died and rose now winning
And if you trust in Him, your sins He'll keep forgiving!

That's my King!

He came to earth to make all things new
The mess Adam made He came to undo
Even in us who meet here at Chew
And all in the world who sit in the pew
No matter what happens, He'll bring you through
And work all for good – everything He'll renew
With goodness and mercy He'll pursue
One day He'll make every sadness untrue!

That's my King!

He's "Yahweh Saves" – the Messiah of all
This list will prove His phenomenal call
He removed God's wrath when He tasted the gall
And rose up on high – the tallest of tall
Now He's King of kings with power not small
He takes wicked Saul and makes him cry "Christ is all!"
And if you trust in Him, you shall never ever fall!

That's my King! Do you know Him?

He's both David and Abraham's greatest Son
Fulfilling the kingship and covenant done
In His death and resurrection New Creation's begun
His power and might are second to none
His glory and beauty shine like the sun!

That's my King!

Jesus' family history includes an adulterer, murderer, and whore
His abundant love and mercy to richly underscore
To all types of sinners He's the saving open door
If you repent and believe, you He won't ignore
He'll pursue you in love – your hope and purity restore
He's the Dirty Rose Lover for all our sins He bore
Conquered death and hell providing grace galore
To get this lavish mercy you can’t work or do a chore
You only must believe and then do nothing more
His Spirit will live in you to cause you to adore
Then you'll do good works as you never did before
More and more all evil you will hate and fight, abhor
Against your filthy sin you'll wage an all-out war!

That's my King! I wonder if you know Him today?!

Wicked King Jechoniah is in Christ's family line
None of his son's will reign as God's humbling, cursed sign
So Joseph's not the father in Jesus' birth bloodline
But he's father for legal kingship in God's good design
Oh how great is our God, His plan is so Divine
The things that He assigns make His glory brightly shine
And every plan of His is gloriously fine!

That's my King!

Jesus has an amazing, grace-filled family tree
It shows God's great compassion if you’ve eyes to see
His grace and mercy were blood-bought and therefore always free
To all who trust in Him and with His Word agree
No matter what their sin, even to the evilest degree
So come to Him by faith and make your mercy-plea
Beg Him for salvation on humbled bended knee
To God’s Mercy-Heart may you always quickly flee!

That's my King! That's my King!