Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
Sept 28- A devotional on discipleship presented at our recent Members' Meeting.
I just finished watching the Queen’s funeral at some three and a quarter hours in length. It had been heralded as one of the grandest events of our time, with thousands to be in attendance (including hundreds of heads of state and government), thousands more military personnel, millions of onlookers and billions watching around the world. The unprecedented actual event did not disappoint. It came off as the Queen had wished.
From her death at Balmoral Castle to lying in state at Westminster Hall, her coffin was then carried to Westminster Abbey, a centre-point in English civilization. The service, despite the historic and contemporary Anglican peculiarities, was one that was God focused and Scripture laden. The Arch-bishop of Canterbury’s rather short homily, apart from comments about certain royals’ salvation, was in fact faithful and Gospel centred. He reminded people of the who and not what of Christianity and encouraged others to follow the faith in Jesus that enabled the Queen’s humble service. Nearer the close of the service a rousing version of Love Divine by Charles Wesley, complete with trumpets, stirred people’s souls. Though majoring on liturgy and minoring on explanation, the service, by and large, provided enough to point people to Christ. Following this, and led by our own RCMP “Mounties,” was the mile and a quarter procession to the Arch of Wellington where the Queen’s coffin was transferred to the Royal Hearse, in which she will travel to Windsor Castle.
As far as dignified earthly events can come, this was the epitome of decorum and ceremony.
As I watched, with a few tears in my own eye, I could not help but think, not of departure, but the glorious coming of our Lord. Titus chapter two and verse thirteen says:
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
The Bible describes this event in even more glorious terms than the pageantry seen at the Queen’s funeral. With suddenness (1 Thes 5:2), brightness (Mt 24:27), and trumpet sound (1 Thes 4:16), Jesus will come again in triumphant glory (Heb 9:28), on the clouds of majesty (Rev 1:7), accompanied by His angels (1 Thes 1:7) and His saints (1 Thes 3:13).
What tears of joy this will cause His saints. What tears of terror will this cause amongst doomed sinners.
Her Majesty’s funeral was but a glimpse of the glory that we will see that Day. May we be ready through faith in Jesus to welcome Him on it:
Come Almighty to deliver
Let us all Thy grace receive
Suddenly return and never
Never more Thy temples leave
Thee we would be always blessing
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing
Glory in Thy perfect love
Recently in our Why We Believe What We Believe evening service series we've been working through our statement of faith. It is based off of the Fellowship's and includes all of the fundamentals that all Christians have always believed about the Future.
In our series we learned of the 4 main views Christians have held on the specifics of the End. Below is a brief summary of these. Given the complex nature and variety of passages related to this subject and that good and godly Christians have disagreed a great measure of humility is produced in approaching this subject.
On September 4th I shared my End-times Timeline as an Optimistic Post-Tribulational A-millennialist. You can listen to that here.
Some were desirous to obtain a copy of the outline I presented. Below is a rough timeline as I see the end unfolding
To read more from this perspective check out the short book below; originally published in 1945.
A sermon preached at the re-dedication of Greenway Chapel, Jarvis St. Baptist Church/Toronto Baptist Seminary.
A sermon preached at Kingswood Congregational Church, Kingswood, Glos, UK on the theme of honey found in the story of Judges.
Where there is strife, there is pride. (Pr 13:10a)
Few like strife, but it is with us.
An argument, a child throwing a tantrum, someone maligning another, a fight; strife comes in many different forms, in many different settings, by many different people.
We may even be the cause of strife ourselves: an impatient heart, not getting our own way, anger, speaking out of turn, etc (c.f. Ja 4:1–3).
Proverbs 13:10 is very revealing. When there is strife know that it is because of pride. Pride is the desire to be as God, to be worshipped, the centre, to have our own way, to determine right and wrong. It may be someone elses pride, it may be your pride or it may be two or more people’s pride, but what it cannot be is no-one’s pride!
Wherever there is pride there is the need for repentance and the Lord’s forgiveness in the Gospel. Repentance—a humbling—is always the solution to strife and always produces peace.
When there is strife, we must diligently examine our own hearts. Are we at peace with the Lord? What is the cause of any strife in my life? Next, so far as it depends on us (Ro 12:18), are we living at peace with all people (even seeking to be peacemakers)? These two steps won’t necessarily remove strife from us if its presence is beyond our control but may it not be said of us that we were the stirrers of strife for that is pride and pride is sin.
Traditionally Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism have been recognized as the main visible branches of Christianity. However, since the rise of Pentecostalism, with all of its distinctives, it is worth asking if Pentecostalism is part of Protestantism or unique enough to be its own branch of the visible family tree?
A Brief History
Coming onto the scene through an indebtedness to dry and dead nominal liberal Protestantism, the holiness tradition and Baptist leaders, Pentecostalism had its origin at a ‘Bible study’ in Topeka Kansas in 1901 on gifts of the Spirit. More famously it gained attention through a ‘revival’ in Azuza Street, California in 1906. Not without an early moral rocky road Pentecostalism soon burst onto the world stage, largely indebted to the subjectivity and experientialism of Romanticism and Post-Modernism. It progressed through 3 phases: Pentecostalism (think denomination), the Charismatic Movement (think Pentecostal doctrines entering traditional denominations) and the New Apostolic Reformation (a belief God is reforming His Church through a return to a revival like in Acts with apostolic figures). Though not universal it has deeply imbibed the Word of Faith movement and Health and Wealth message. Today Pentecostalism is a broad movement with some 600 million adherents (though about ¼ of all Pentecostals are not Trinitarian).
A Chart of Contrasts:
From a cursory survey of key areas of faith and practice, much like the differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, it is apparent that Pentecostalism, while related to Protestantism historically and in many ways similar, is in fact a fourth branch of visible Christianity. This is especially so where the “Health and Wealth” and “Word of Faith” movements are felt strongest and may be less apparent in more settled Pentecostal denominations or where the charismatic stage is less strongly exerted upon a individual/church/denomination.
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Markdale Baptist Church
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