February 19, 2010

This is How to Warn the Church! This is "Discriminating" Preaching!

As Iain Murray states in his book "Evangelicalism Divided":

"...the problem evangelicals have faced is deeper than a common acceptance of definitions. It is one thing to agree on statements, another to apply those statements in the current church scene when it comes to admission to full church membership and to the sacraments. Part of the difficulty here lies in the fact that it is beyond human ability to discern the reality of spiritual experience with certainty. While the Bible draws a clear line between the saved and the lost, it is not a line which the church can draw with the same accuracy. Wherever Christianity has been healthy this has always been recognized. In the words of Hugh Binning, the Scottish Puritan,


" Charity (love) hath much candour and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit. It knows that grace can be beside a man's sins; it knows itself is subject to such infirmities; therefore it is not a rigid and censorious judger"

Iain Murray continues:

"In his Religious Affections (possibly the most discriminating book ever written on the true and false Christian), Jonathan Edwards repeatedly gave similar warning: "The saints have not such a spirit of discerning that they can certainly determine who are godly and who are not...It was never God's design to give us rules by which we may certainly know who of our fellow professors are His."

This is How to Warn the Church!

"O professors, search yourselves. O ministers, search yourselves. O ye, who make a profession of religion now, put your hands within your hearts, and search your souls.. We live in the sight of a rein-trying God. Oh! try your own reins, and search your own hearts. It is not a matter of half-importance for which I plead, but a matter of double importance. I beseech you, examine and cross-examine your own souls, and see whether ye be in the path, for it will go ill with you if ye shall find at last that ye were in the church, but not of it, that ye make a profession of religion, but it was only a cloak for your hypocrisy—if ye should have entered into his courts below, and be shut out of the courts above.

Remember, the higher the pinnacle of profession the direr your fall of destruction. Beggared kings, exile princes, crownless emperors, are always subjects of pity. Professor, what wilt thou think of thyself when thy robes are taken from thee, when thy crown of profession is taken from thy head, and thou standest the hiss of even vile men, the scoff of blasphemers, the jeer of those who, whatever they were, were not hypocrites, as thou art?

They will cry to thee, "Art thou become like one of us? Thou professor, thou high-flying man, art thou become like one of us?" And ye will hide your guilty heads in the dark pit of perdition, but all in vain, for you never will be able to avoid that hiss which shall ever greet you. "What! thou!" the drunkard whom you told to drink no more will say "Art thou become like one of us?" And the harlot whom you scorned, and the young debauched man whom you warned, will stare you in the face, and say, "What! you! You who talked of religion. A pretty fellow you were! Art thou become one of us?"

Oh! I think I hear them saying in hell, "Here's a parson, come here; here's a deacon; here's a church member; here's a man who has had the sacramental wine within his lips; here's a man that has had the baptismal water on his garments." Ah! take care. There are but a few names in Sardis who shall walk in white. Be ye of that few.

May God give you grace that ye be not reprobates, but may be accepted of the Lord in that day! May he give you mercy, that when he severs the chaff from the wheat, you may abide as the good corn, and may not be swept away into unquenchable fire! The Lord in mercy bless this warning, and hear our supplication, for Christ's sake.

Amen.

CH Spurgeon

Do you see the difference between this and "Ready to Discriminate?"

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