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Called to Watch for Christ's Return

written by Martyn McGeown - a new RFPA author!

A few days before Jesus gave his life on the cross, his disciples asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3). Christ responded with the Olivet Discourse, a detailed teaching on the doctrine of the last things.

We need to understand the signs of Christ’s coming for our comfort as we look for “that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Christ had two concerns. First, his disciples must know the signs of his coming, which are footsteps of his approach. But Christ is not satisfied with mere “sign-gazing,” which can lead to speculation and idle, foolish living. He did not give signs to satisfy our curiosities, but so that we will be ready for him when he returns. Therefore, Christ’s second concern was the readiness of his disciples, which is expressed in his urgent and repeated warnings to watch for his coming in light of the signs.

Watch, pray, and serve the Lord with an eye to the signs of his return!

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Martyn McGeown grew up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland and is a member of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. He graduated from the Theological School of the Protestant Reformed Churches in June 2010 and has been the missionary-pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship in Limerick, Ireland since July 2010.

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Islam (10)

In our last blog post on this topic, we showed that the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ were voluntary and necessary, necessary because God ordained them for His Son; voluntary because Jesus willingly endured them for His people.

But why would the merciful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ordain such dreadful sufferings for His beloved Son? Why would He not spare Jesus? The answer lies in another necessity, the necessity of our salvation.

The Dreadful Cup

Jesus wrestled with this necessity in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly before His arrest. After the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus made His way to a garden on the outskirts of Jerusalem. In that garden, Jesus prayed. In His prayer, we get a glimpse into the soul of Jesus as He contemplated the path that He must take to the cross. Jesus describes how He felt: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). What could have so oppressed the soul of Jesus that He became “sorrowful and very heavy” (v. 37)? What could have caused Him to be “in an agony,” so that “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)?

The answer is found in one word—the “cup.” In the Bible, a cup describes the allotted portion of something. Sometimes a cup is a cup of blessedness and salvation. The Psalmist sings, “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup” (Ps. 16:5) and “my cup runneth over” (Ps. 23:5). Elsewhere, the Psalmist vows, “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Ps. 116:13). Often, however, a cup is a cup of punishment, cursing, and wrath: “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup” (Ps. 11:6); “For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them” (Ps. 75:8).

Jesus knew that God had appointed a cup for Him to drink, but when He saw the contents of the cup, He shuddered. The cup contained the wrath of God, the fullness of His Father’s fury against sin. Only by the drinking of that cup could the sins of God’s people be forgiven! Understandably, Jesus looked for another way—could, perhaps, salvation be accomplished even if He did not drink the cup? Listen to His prayer: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” and “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matt. 26:39, 42).

The Father answered by His silence—there is no other way. Either Jesus drinks the cup, or we must drink the cup. If we drink the cup, we will perish, because we must drink the cup forever in hell if Jesus does not drink the cup for us.

Having understood that, Jesus willingly went forth to embrace suffering and death. The Son of God in our flesh submitted His human will to His Father’s will. The next time that Jesus mentions the cup is at His arrest. Peter attempts to save Jesus with the sword, whereupon Jesus, rebuking Peter, exclaims, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11).

The Necessary Cup

That leads us to another question—why is such a cup necessary? Why does anyone have to drink the cup? Could the cup not simply pass away so that no one—not Jesus, and not we—drinks it? Or to express it in different words, could not God simply forgive sins without the need for the suffering and death of His Son?

The answer to that question is the justice of God.

God’s justice is that perfection of His being according to which all of His activity is in perfect harmony with His holiness. As the holy God, He hates sin, which is rebellion against His Law; as the just God, He punishes sin. God revealed this in the Garden of Eden, where He declared, “In the day that thou eatest thereof [of the forbidden fruit] thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Throughout scripture, God has revealed that the penalty for sin is death: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20); “They that commit such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32); “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Every pious Jew understood this, for God has ordained a system of animal sacrifices to teach him this important truth.

Moreover, death in the Bible is not merely physical death, but spiritual death, which is the corruption and ruin of man’s nature; and eternal death, which is eternal torment in the lake of fire.

Therefore, as the righteous judge, God will punish sinners with death (physical, spiritual, and eternal death), and God must punish sinners with death (physical, spiritual, and eternal death). Not to punish sinners with death would be for God to be unjust.

The Bible, however, teaches that God forgives sins. But He will not forgive sin at the expense of His justice. God declares to Moses, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty…” (Ex. 34:6-7). The true God of the Bible is merciful—rich in mercy, abundant in mercy and truth—but He will not clear the guilty. He has always revealed that in order to forgive sins He requires satisfaction of His justice. Anything less would be injustice, or a denial of His justice.

Islam teaches forgiveness without atonement, for Islam teaches that Allah forgives sin without payment for sin. At the same time, the Qur’an claims that Allah is just: “Allah is never unjust in the least degree: if there is any good (done), He doubleth it, and giveth from His own presence a great reward” (4:40). If Allah is not unjust, how can Allah forgive sins without satisfaction of his justice? The Qur’an offers no answer to this.

Atonement is necessary.

The sinner cannot pay the penalty for his own sin. If he does, he perishes everlastingly.

God will not clear the guilty. If He did, He would be unjust.

Is there, then, anyone who can pay the penalty of sin for the sinner?

The answer is that God provides a substitute, His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

To that we turn next time, DV.

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This post was written by Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary-pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland stationed in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. 

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All of Him

Thanksgiving does, indeed, imply joy and gladness of heart, but not in the abundance of earthly things, but in God who is really GOD, the Lord of all, who reigneth in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, who doeth all things well; who is, moreover, the God of our salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, who forgiveth all our iniquities, who healeth all our diseases, and from whose fatherly hand we receive all things, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, health and sickness, joy and sorrow, life and death, and who causes all things to work for our salvation.

To give thanks means, to be sure, that we point to blessings received, and that we count them one by one, but not so that we exclude from these benefits anything that we received from the hand of our heavenly Father in this valley of death, so that we speak of “many things to be thankful for” while we know not what to do with those experiences that were contrary to our earthly desires; but so that we consider all things, by faith, and in the light of His promise, as gifts of His grace, for the which He is to be praised and adored.

It means that we praise Him and glorify His holy name because of the abundance of His mercy over us, but again, not in the vain imagination that by doing so we add anything to His glory, and oblige Him to us, but in the deep sense that even our thanksgiving and praise is a gift of grace, an unspeakably great privilege which He bestows upon us, and for the which we owe Him thanks.

And thus it implies that we deeply humble ourselves before Him, who is God, the Lord, and acknowledge that we are wholly unworthy of all His benefits.

To acknowledge Him as God alone, and to prostrate ourselves in adoration before His throne,—that is thanksgiving.

All of Him, none of self!

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This excerpt was taken from a meditation written by Herman Hoeksema in 1946. Read the full article at the Standard Bearer Archives: http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/articles/all-him.

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Gambling

A few days ago, around 5:30pm, I stopped at a gas station with one of my sons to buy a couple of items. We walked into the gas station convenience store, found our items and got in line to pay. The one young lady at the cash register was busy helping a middle-aged woman. Behind her in line was a middle-aged man who had obviously worked hard all day, as was apparent by his dirty uniform and tired appearance. Behind him in line was an old man, who could barely walk, having limped into the store before us.

The transaction at the cash register was progressing slowly. All of us waited impatiently as the middle-aged women bought one lottery ticket after another. I was tempted to say to the two men in front of me, "What a waste of money," but I remained silent and shared my sentiments quietly with my son. Finally, the women set several twenty dollar bills on the counter to pay for her tickets, gathered them up and walked out of the store. At last the line moved forward.

Next to the counter came the man who had worked hard all day. Certainly, this working man would make a worthwhile purchase. But, to my disappointment, he plunked two one dollar bills on the counter, requested a lottery ticket and walked out, scratching the ticket as he made his way to his truck.

Finally, the old, limping man came to the counter. Again, to my increased dismay, the frail, gray-headed old man put several dollars on the counter and named the lottery tickets he wanted. He gathered them up and slowly shuffled out of the store with his worthless pieces of paper.

As this anecdote illustrates, we live in a culture that is awash in gambling. There is no longer a stigma attached to it. Gambling has become socially acceptable—play the lottery and help support Michigan schools, advertises the State Lottery of Michigan. One can buy lottery tickets at the convenience store, grocery store, gas station, and now from lottery vending machines. Casinos are no longer confined to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but are found in places like West Michigan and Northwest Iowa.

And the internet has made it possible to gamble in nearly every conceivable way from the privacy and secrecy of our own homes. There is online poker, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. You can bet on horse racing, greyhound racing, and the most popular of all—professional sporting events, such as auto racing, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, football and the outcome of the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, and World Series.

In the past couple of years, daily fantasy sports have become wildly popular, with two competing giants, FanDuel and DraftKings. This form of online betting is extremely tempting to the young men of the church. While it may masquerade as harmless and innocent sporting fun, it is gambling—plain and simple. And gambling is sin.

Gambling is a waste of God's gift of time. It is a foolish squandering of the financial resources God has entrusted to us to use in His service. It is a sinful way to obtain money. God has commanded us to work, and in that way He will supply our needs. Gambling is an expression of greed and covetousness.

"Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase" Proverbs 13:11.

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We are excited to announce another writer that is joining the existing pool of writers for the RFPA  blog. Aaron Cleveland is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his writing for the blog Aaron will bring a perspective from the pew. This is his second blog post.

 

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Accommodate or Else

We are excited to announce another writer that is joining the existing pool of writers for the RFPA blog. Aaron Cleveland is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his writing for the blog Aaron will bring a perspective from the pew. This is his first blog post.

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"Churches in the People's Republic of Massachusetts have grave concerns about a new anti-discrimination law that could force congregations to accommodate the transgender community—under the threat of fines and jail." This is the opening sentence of a recent news opinion article by Todd Starnes of Fox News.

The new law, that went into effect in October of this year, "does not specifically mention churches or other houses of worship" as places of "public accommodation." However, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, places of public accommodation include: "auditoriums, convention centers, lecture halls, houses of worship, and other places of public gathering." Further, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination—"the commission responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination law,"—has written that "even a church could be seen as a place of public accommodation if it holds a secular event, such as a spaghetti supper, that is open to the general public." Further, they write, "All persons, regardless of gender identity, shall have the right to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation."

One does not need that vivid of an imagination to see where laws like this are headed. No doubt similar laws are going to appear in more and more states and their scope will become broader as we near the end. The LGBT juggernaut is becoming very effective in lobbying legislatures to further their agenda and silence those who would speak against their way of life.

Laws like this will have ramifications for our churches. What events will the government consider to be "secular"? Do the words "visitors welcome" on a church sign expose a church to litigation if they do not have "accommodations" for transgenders?

And what about events held at our Protestant Reformed schools? I think particularly of interscholastic sporting events held in our gymnasiums. Certainly, the government will classify these events as "secular", especially when the games are with teams of public schools.  We will be required to "accommodate" the fans of these schools or else.

The handwriting is on the wall. Hard choices will have to be made. Will we accommodate?

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In God We Trust

Today is the day.

After months of political back-and-forth, of campaign ad bombardments, of incessant chatter on television and social media, Election Day 2016 has finally arrived. Either late today or early tomorrow we should know who will be the 45th President of the United States.

The day is significant for us. It certainly interests us as citizens of this country. But more importantly, it interests us as citizens of the better country, that is, an heavenly. Over the last eight years we have witnessed tremendous changes in this country that have affected the church, and this election will provide us with a general sense of what we can expect as believers in the next four years.

As we evaluate the situation soberly, we are tempted to be discouraged. We are tempted to be anxious and fearful for the future of the church and the future of our children and grandchildren.

The two main candidates for President both rage against the Lord and against his Word. One candidate shamelessly promotes the wickedness of homosexuality and transgenderism and the murder of unborn babies by abortion. The other candidate is pompous, egotistical, and a shameless adulterer living with his third wife. Those whose conscience before God will permit them to vote today do so without a shred of enthusiasm.

The candidates are reflective of the wickedness of the nation as a whole. The comment is frequently made, “Out of all the people in this country, is this the best that we can do?” God is giving to this country the ungodly rulers it deserves for her wickedness. The word of God in Hosea 13:11 is true today: “I gave thee a king in mine anger.” The United States is not a Christian nation, as it once claimed to be. The nation is consciously throwing off anything that relates to genuine Christianity and the Word of God. What we are seeing more and more is the spirit of this country being controlled by the spirit of the Antichrist.

This can only mean difficult days for the church. Depending on the one elected, the hard times may come soon or they may be delayed a bit. But there can be no doubt that those days are looming on the horizon. The days of relative earthly ease for the church are fast coming to an end, and increasingly the nation is raging against Christ and his church.

What are we as Christians to think as we stand in line to vote, as we sit around the computer monitor awaiting the results, as we go about our callings in the next days and weeks?

Remember, Christ is King! In Psalm 2:6, after describing the raging of the heathen, God says, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” That King is the risen and exalted Lord Jesus who rules over all things, both great and small, upon the earth. And he does so for his Zion, his church.

Our confidence is that King Jesus rules today over the election. What determines the outcome of the election is not the candidates and their campaign staff, not the Democratic or Republican parties, not even the American people. The King of kings governs this country and this election, and he will be the one to determine sovereignly who will occupy the oval office for the next four years.

King Jesus will rule over this election guided by the eternal counsel of God. His determining of the next President will serve the grand purpose of God in leading all things to the goal of his glory in his second coming, the judgment of the ungodly, and the salvation of the church.

Our trust is in God and in his Anointed. Our faith is not in the American people, a certain political party, a particular candidate, or even in democracy generally. Our confidence today and every day that follows hereafter is in God alone.

This will have a powerful effect on us. It will prevent us from unwarranted excitement if the election turns out the way we hope, as if this is our salvation. It will also keep us from discouragement should the election go the way that we don’t want, as if there has been some mistake on God’s part. It gives us a peace and calm with regard to the election and the future.

Fear not, little flock!

Christ is King today!

The world might say it in mock piety, but we mean it, today and forever: In God we trust!

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This post was written by Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.

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Islam (9)

In our last blog post on this topic, we examined the Qur’an’s denial of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ:

That they said (in boast). ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power. Wise” (Surah 4:157-158).

Apart from that textual stumbling block—the text of the Qur’an denies that Jesus was crucified—the Muslim stumbles over another matter: it is not fitting that God’s holy prophet should suffer such terrible shame by being crucified. What the Muslim needs to understand is that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were voluntary and necessary.

Voluntary Sufferings

The idea that Jesus was a tragically misunderstood moral leader whose life was cut off in his prime by the malice of His enemies is false. Yes, Jesus had cruel and malicious enemies, who desired His death. Certainly, many conspired against Him to destroy him, but Jesus was never a helpless victim.

Jesus makes it very clear throughout the gospels that he came to perform his Father’s will. Throughout His life, He operated according to a divine, and not a human, plan and timetable. As early as twelve years old, Jesus declares, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). Throughout the gospel according to John, reference is made to His “hour,” an hour that had not yet come (John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20), but which at the end of His life had finally come (John 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1). In John 5:19, Jesus declares, “The Son can do nothing of himself,” which means that the Son cannot act independently of the Father or in opposition to the Father, for they are one. In John 6:38, He explains, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” The Father’s will was for the sufferings, death, and resurrection of His Son, something Jesus clearly knew and understood.

Therefore, Jesus was not forced against His will—either by men, or by His heavenly Father—to suffer and die on the cross. He willingly embraced the cross as the way of obedience. He steadfastly resisted anyone and anything that would deflect Him from that purpose. When Peter tried to persuade Jesus not to go to the cross, Jesus sternly rebuked him: “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matt. 16:23). As the time of the end drew near, Jesus “stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51), knowing full well what awaited Him there. When Peter attempted to prevent Jesus’ arrest, Jesus rebuked him again, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11). Even when Jesus was on the cross, He refused to come down and rescue Himself, despite His ability to do so, because He willingly gave His life.

In all of this, Jesus is unique. Only Jesus, as the Son of God, has power (authority) over His own life and death. As creatures, we cannot determine the moment of our death—and the sixth commandment forbids us to try. Listen to what Jesus declares, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:17-18).

Jesus willingly laid down His life on the cross out of love—love for the Father and love for His people. “Greater love,” says Jesus, “hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “The Son of God … loved me, and gave himself for me” is the confession of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20. “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it,” declares Paul in Ephesians 5:25 In Titus 2:14, Paul describes the Savior this way, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Notice the constant refrain of the New Testament—He gave Himself; He offered Himself; He laid down His own life for those whom He loved. That is the Christian gospel of salvation.

Necessary Sufferings

The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ were necessary. If they were not necessary, the infinitely wise and good God would not have ordained them for His Son; and the infinitely wise and good Son of God would not have willingly submitted to them.

Jesus knew from the beginning that they were necessary. In Matthew 16:21, just after Peter made the famous confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (v. 16), Jesus confessed the necessity of His sufferings: “He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” When His enemies came to arrest Him, He declared, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:53-54). He added in verse 56, “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Later, after His resurrection, Jesus explained the necessity to His disciples: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory” (Luke 24:26) and “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day” (v. 46).

The sufferings and death of Christ, therefore, were necessary, first, because God decreed them as part of His eternal purpose; and, second, because the Scriptures prophesied them.

There is a third necessity. The sufferings and death of Christ were necessary for our salvation. Without the sufferings and death of Christ, we cannot be forgiven, and we must perish. But because of the sufferings and death of Christ, all those who believe in Him are saved.

To that subject we turn next time, DV.

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This post was written by Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary-pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland stationed in Limerick, Republic of Ireland. 

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Garnishing Sepulchers

October 31 has come and gone for another year.

For some that date will always be associated with Halloween. It calls to mind candy and costumes and cavorting around town. It means mobs of little football players and Disney princesses knocking on doors and squeaking, “Trick or treat.”

For others that date is known as Reformation Day. It has less to do with chocolate as it does with the church, less to do with bonbons as it does with the Bible.

October 31, 2016, marked the 499th anniversary of the Reformation of the church in the 16th century. Nearly five centuries ago, a then-obscure Roman Catholic monk named Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. Far from looking to start a reformation, Luther was merely interested in initiating a debate with his colleagues about certain points of doctrine. But Luther’s modest intentions became, in the providence of God, the spark of the Reformation fire. Through the subsequent labors of Luther and fellow reformers such as John Calvin the church was restored to her foundations on the Word of God.

Those who trace their spiritual heritage back to the Reformation remember October 31 as Reformation Day.

But for those of us who claim the name Reformed, there is a question: “Are we truly thankful for the work of God in the Reformation? Or do we pay mere lip service to the name Reformed?”

In Matthew 23 Jesus excoriates the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, raining upon them woe after woe. In v. 29 he says, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous.” In other words, he says, “You are hypocrites because you sing the praises of the prophets but don’t hold to a word that they taught!”

Is this true of us who claim the name Reformed? Are we guilty of hypocrisy, building the tomb of Luther and garnishing the sepulcher of Calvin, when in reality we want nothing to do with what they actually taught? Do we claim to be children of the Reformation when in reality we are ignorant of what they actually restored to the church?

If so, then we are guilty of as gross a form of hypocrisy as that of the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day!

If we claim the name Reformed and celebrate the Great Reformation, then we ought to know the truths of Scripture that were restored to the church at that time. And knowing them, we ought to confess them. And confessing them, we ought to defend them. And then what lives in our hearts and is confessed with our mouths must characterize our lives.

And this all because we love these truths of the Bible. Far from being a cold, superficial confession of what our forefathers clung to before us, there is a warmth and fervor and zeal for them living in our hearts.

Faith of our fathers only? May it never be!

Faith of our fathers, living still? May God grant it!

And in our generations after us!

Till Jesus comes!

_______________________

This post was written by Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.

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Upcoming Book Releases!



    Corrupting the Word of God

    by Herman Hanko & Mark H. Hoeksema

    Does the eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, and sovereign God really have a temporal, changeable and weak desire to save those whom he has unconditionally reprobated (Rom. 9:22), for whom the Son did not die (John 12:31) and whom the Holy Spirit will not regenerate, sanctify or glorify (John 3:8)?

    Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, Anabaptism, Arminianism, Amyraldism, and Marrowism say yes to the well-meant offer of the gospel. The biblical, Augustinian, Reformed, and creedal position is no!

    Emeritus professor of church history, Herman Hanko, guides us through fascinating doctrinal controversies in the early, Reformation and modern eras of the church, taking us to North Africa, Switzerland, France, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, and America, and emphasizing the teaching of the great theologians, such as Augustine and John Calvin, on God’s particular grace, which is always irresistible and never fails or is frustrated.

    In dealing with the historical perspective of God's absolutely sovereign grace versus the well-meant offer, this book fills a gap in the literature, and does so in a way that is warm and easily understood.

    This book will be released late November 2016 and will be automatically sent to all Book Club members.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Called to Watch for Christ's Return

    by New Author: Martyn McGeown

    Book Club members MUST order this book to receive it.

    A few days before Jesus gave his life on the cross, his disciples asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3). Christ responded with the Olivet Discourse, a detailed teaching on the doctrine of the last things.

    We need to understand the signs of Christ’s coming for our comfort as we look for “that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

    Christ had two concerns. First, his disciples must know the signs of his coming, which are footsteps of his approach. But Christ is not satisfied with mere “sign-gazing,” which can lead to speculation and idle, foolish living. He did not give signs to satisfy our curiosities, but so that we will be ready for him when he returns. Therefore, Christ’s second concern was the readiness of his disciples, which is expressed in his urgent and repeated warnings to watch for his coming in light of the signs.

    Watch, pray, and serve the Lord with an eye to the signs of his return!

    This book will be released December 2016 and will NOT be automatically sent to all Book Club members.

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    Inventory Reduction Sale!

    The Reformed Free Publishing Association is hosting an online inventory reduction sale now through the end of the year. This is your opportunity to get distinctive Reformed literature at a discounted price just in time for the holidays. Do the young people on your Christmas list have all these titles? Help us clean out some of our excess inventory today!  

    Book Club members save even more! Log into your online account before you start making your order.

     

    30% OFF!

    Bound to Join .......... Now $12.57
    Common Grace Revisited .......... Now $2.45
    Leaving Father and Mother .......... Now $4.17
    Saved by Grace .......... Now $12.57
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    Whosoever Will .......... Now $9.07

    45% OFF!

    Always Reforming .......... Now $11.87
    Knowing God and Man .......... Now $6.57
    Mysteries of the Kingdom .......... Now $18.12
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    60% OFF!

    Battle for Sovereign Grace .......... Now $11.58
    Communion with God .......... Now $11.58
    Contending for the Faith .......... Now $11.58
    Covenant and Election .......... Now $11.58
    Defense of the Church Institute .......... Now $7.18
    Justified unto Liberty .......... Now $15.18
    Redeemed with Judgment (Vol. 1) .......... Now $12.80
    Redeemed with Judgment (Vol. 2) .......... Now $12.80
    Reformed Worship .......... Now $2.78
    Sin and Grace .......... Now $6.78

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