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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"If" And Knowing Calvary Love Which Surpasses Knowledge

Two of my favorite godly, faithful, female authors and believers are Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael

Elisabeth Elliot married Jim Elliot, and he and his four other missionary friends were speared to death as they tried to reach a violent tribe in Ecuador for Christ. After her husband was killed, Elisabeth took her young daughter and went to live with the very tribe that killed her husband and friends. God used her witness to bring the tribe to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She also wrote this excellent biography of Amy Carmichael.

Amy Carmichael was a missionary from Ireland who was single all of her life and labored most of her years in India. She spent 53 years there without a furlough (missionary break/extended vacation). And she wrote one of my favorite books - which is also a very convicting book, If: What Do I Know Of Calvary Love?.

In this book, she wrote statement after statement, beginning with the word "if" and then a statement that pierces your heart, convicting of sin and selfishness. Each statement ends with ". . . then I know nothing of Calvary love." On these strong ending words, she wrote: 

And in case any true follower be troubled by the “then I know nothing,” I would say, the thought came in this form, and I fear to weaken it. But here, as everywhere, the letter kills. St. Paul counted the loss of all things as nothing that he might know Him whom he already knew; and the soul, suddenly illuminated by some fresh outshining of the knowledge of the love of God shown forth on Calvary, does not stop to measure how much or how little it knew of that love before. Penetrated, melted, broken before that vision of love, it feels that indeed all it ever knew was nothing, less than nothing.

It is true, there is a sense in which in light of all of the depths of Calvary love we will learn more and more about throughout all eternity, we know nothing of this love right now, in comparison. And so the Apostle Paul prayed: 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

Below are some of my favorite "if" statements from Sister Amy's book. You can read the whole book for free online here or order it here. May God convict us of our sin and selfishness, and show us afresh a vision of that great Calvary love that our Savior Jesus Christ showed to us, so that we might persevere in loving others more and more the way He loved us, by His grace and for His glory . . . . 

If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “Who made thee to differ? And what has thou that thou hast not received?” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind work, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not feel far more for the grieved Saviour than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am perturbed by the reproach and misunderstanding that may follow action taken for the good of souls for whom I must give account; if I cannot commit the matter and go on in peace and in silence, remembering Gethsemane and the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand,” or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into the vice of self-pity and self-sympathy; if I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself; if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have “a heart at leisure from itself,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If, the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and in the power of Him who works in us to will and to do, keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not give a friend “the benefit of the doubt,” but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. (For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted.)

If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my Sinless Saviour trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I feel bitterly towards those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,” as though the God who twice day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient; if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If there be any reserve in my giving to Him who so loved that He gave His Dearest for me; if there be a secret “but” in my prayer, “anything but that, Lord,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I become entangled in any “inordinate affection”; if things or places or people hold me back from obedience to my Lord, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If something I am asked to do for another feels burdensome; if, yielding to an inward unwillingness, I avoid doing it, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I crave hungrily to be used to show the way to liberty to a soul in bondage, instead of caring only that it is be delivered; if I nurse my disappointment when I fail, instead of asking that to another the word of release may be given, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing, or as the one who suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success, so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does, is never given a moment’s room there; if the cup of spiritual flattery tastes sweet to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I refuse to be a corn of wheat that falls into the ground and dies (“is separated from all in which it lived before”), then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I ask to be delivered from trial rather than for deliverance out of it, to the praise of His glory; if I forget that the way of the Cross leads to the Cross and not to a bank of flowers; if I regulate my life on these lines, or even unconsciously my thinking, so that I am surprised when the way is rough, and think it strange, though the word is, “Think it not strange,” “Count it all joy,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

To learn more about the Gospel of Christ's Calvary love, please watch American Gospel: Christ Alone.

You can watch the full documentary here with a free trial. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Jesus Spoke Of Hell More Than Everyone Else In The Bible Combined


I wonder if so many apparent followers of Jesus Christ would leave the faith and "deconstruct" if pastors, parents, and Sunday school teachers taught about hell with as much force, consistency, and vivid horror as Jesus Christ Himself did?

Jesus spoke about hell more than everyone else in the Bible combined. He knew Hell well. He bore the pains of Hell on that cross so that we might never face it forever! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Praise God for salvation in Jesus Christ alone by faith alone - He lived the perfect life, died on that cross for sinners, was buried, and then rose up from the dead so that all who repent and believe in Him might be saved: “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

Here's where Jesus taught on hell:

1. Matthew 5:22 – Gehenna of fire (Gehenna = Hell)

2. Matthew 5:29 – It’s better to cut your eye out than go to Gehenna 

3. Matthew 5:30 – It’s better to cut your hand off than go to Gehenna 

4. Matthew 8:12 – Outer darkness – weeping and gnashing of teeth

5. Matthew 10:28 – Fear Him Who can cast both body and soul into Gehenna

6. Matthew 11:23 – Hades – more tolerable for Sodom than for Capernaum on the day of judgment

7. Matthew 13:42 – Fiery furnace, weeping and gnashing of teeth

8. Matthew 13:50 – Fiery furnace, weeping and gnashing of teeth

9. Matthew 16:18 – Hades (It’s a place of torment – see Luke 16:23)

10. Matthew 18:8 – Eternal fire – It’s better to lose hand or foot than to go there

11. Matthew 18:9 – It’s better to tear out your eye than go to Gehenna

12. Matthew 22:13 – Outer darkness – weeping and gnashing of teeth

13. Matthew 23:15 – Pharisees making people twice as much a child of Gehenna

14. Matthew 23:33 – Brood of vipers – how will they escape Gehenna

15. Matthew 25:30 – Outer darkness – weeping and gnashing of teeth

16. Matthew 25:41 – Separation of the sheep and the goats – sends the goats to eternal fire

17. Matthew 25:46 – The wicked are sent to eternal punishment

18. Mark 9:43 – Gehenna – unquenchable fire

19. Mark 9:45 – Gehenna

20. Mark 9:47-48 – Gehenna – where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched

21. Luke 10:15 – Hades

22. Luke 12:5 – Gehenna

23. Luke 16:23 – Hades – torment, anguish, flames, cries for water and mercy

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

25. John 3:18 – Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 

26. John 3:36 – Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

27. John 5:24-29 – Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

To learn more about Jesus Christ Who saves from hell, please watch American Gospel: Christ Alone.

You can view the full documentary here with a free trial.