Thursday, October 31, 2013


Galatians 5:11 talks about the "scandal of the Cross". What's the scandal of the Cross? It's that the Son of God died for sinful and wicked creatures. Why's that a scandal? Because it cuts to the heart of men and women: it proves to us that there's nothing we can do to earn God's approval. Men and women are so utterly and completely lost, nothing short of the death of God's Son could help them.

"[I]f righteousness [is] by law, then Christ has died for nothing" (Galatians 2:21). Man's inability to impress God is summed up in the Cross: if God wants to have communion with women and men, He has to act sovereignly. He has to act with no regard to their merit. If God wants to accept men and women, He has to introduce the death of Christ.

There is no basis for God to accept us, except that Christ died for us.

But the Cross doesn't only tell us we needed Christ to die so we could live. It also tells us that the life we had in ourselves has ended. "I am crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20). I was so bad, that I needed to be crucified. There was nothing in that life that God could work with, so He ended it in Christ, and gave me Christ for my life (Colossians 3:1–4).

The Cross is scandalous, because it teaches me that even now I can't impress God in the flesh.

This was the error of the Galatians: they wanted to make a "fair appearance in [the] flesh" (Galatians 6:12). They want to "boast in your flesh" (Galatians 6:13). What is the Apostle's opinion of this? "[F]ar be it from me to boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

So much of our Christian lives is spent in a vain attempt to make a fair appearance in the flesh. Why? Because we really hate the scandal of the Cross. Because we find it so hard to believe that "in me, that is, in my flesh, good does not dwell" (Romans 7:18). Because we refuse to accept God's reckoning of ourselves.

The Scriptural answer is not to improve ourselves. The Scriptural answer is a complete change of focus. There's nothing wrong with boasting, but there's only one thing we can boast in. "[F]ar be it from me to boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom [the] world is crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Christ only

I've been reading William Kelly's commentary on Hebrews. I thought this was worth sharing:

For Christ only is the source of life as well as forgiveness, the one strengthener of the weak and guide of the erring, the sole Saviour either of sinners or of saints.
William Kelly, Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ruin (Part 4)

We've considered the idea of "the Church in Ruin". We haven't examined it fully, of course. We've mainly been looking to understand the basic idea. The whole idea of "the Church in Ruin" is based on two postulates:

  1. the Church was infiltrated by apostates early in its history: before the Apostles had died out
  2. this will continue until the Lord Jesus comes back to judge: the damage is irreparable
We've looked to Scripture to see what it has to say about this, and we've seen that the Lord Jesus predicted there would be "tares" mixed in with the wheat until the "completion of the age". We saw, too, that the Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders of apostates arising from among the leaders in Ephesus. We also considered some of the later epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, Jude, and 1 John) and found they are consistent with the testimony of the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul: they contemplated apostasy as a present fact within the Church. What's more, they contemplate the apostasy as being irreversible: it will continue until the Lord Jesus comes to judge.

I have very deliberately only looked at Scripture to this point. I've been careful not to appeal to empirical evidence in the Church around us.

There's a lot more to write about. We've not even really addressed Revelation 2–3, which are very important chapters in understanding the dispensational responsibility of the Church. And we haven't talked at all about the post-captivity books in the Old Testament, which have some bearing on the issue. But right at the moment I want to address some more practical concerns.

I'm going to come right out and say this: many "brethren" groups have found in this doctrine an excuse for their own fleshly actions. The flesh is really, really good at taking the truth of God and turning it into an excuse. Liberty can become a cloak for malice (1 Peter 2:16). Grace can become an excuse to sin (Romans 6:15).

I believe the Church is in ruin. I don't believe that because of what I see around me: I believe that because I think that's what Scripture teaches. That doesn't mean I'm allowed to have a heart that's cold towards God's children. It doesn't mean I can arrogantly claim the Lord's presence and accuse others of sitting at the table of demons. It doesn't mean I can see myself as separate from the Ruin. Truth is a poor excuse for sin.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ruin (Part 3)

Well, we've been looking at the ruin of the Church. We started out in Part 1 by establishing that God sees the assembly from two perspectives: from an eternal, "God is sovereign" perspective, He sees the assembly as perfect. But from a temporal, "Man is responsible" perspective, He sees that the assembly has failed in its responsibility on earth. In Part 2 we went on to demonstrate that apostasy began very early on in the assembly: by the time Jude was written, it was an accomplished fact. Finally, we demonstrated that the testimony of Jude is corroborated by the testimony of the Apostles and of the Lord Jesus.

In this section, we'll attempt to demonstrate that apostasy is a fixture in the assembly. Not (although I've said it before) that the assembly is "characterized" by apostasy, but that Scripture contemplates it is something that won't be "cured" until "the completion of the age". In other words, we want to demonstrate the Scripture teaches the apostasy is irreparable.

We've already looked at the parable of the darnel of the field (Matthew 13:24–30) and the interpretation the Lord Jesus gave for it (Matthew 13:36–43). So we can ask the question: did the Lord Jesus expect things to get better and better? No, He didn't. He predicted that there would be darnel (or tares) sown in the field "while men slept". So He predicted that there would be false professors mixed in with true believers. Further, He specifically predicted that they wouldn't be sorted out until "the completion of the age". In fact, in the parable the farmer specifically forbids the pulling up of the tares, because it's possible that genuine wheat would be pulled up in the process.

So we can ask the question, did the Lord Jesus expect things would get better and better until He comes back? The answer, of course, is "No". He predicted false professors would come in, and would stay mixed in with the true believers until the end of the age.

So what about the epistles? Don't they teach things are generally going to get better and better? Not really. We've already considered Jude's epistle, let's reconsider what it has to say about the "ungodly persons" (v. 4) who've infiltrated the assembly.

14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied also as to these, saying, Behold, the Lord has come amidst his holy myriads, 15 to execute judgment against all; and to convict all the ungodly of them of all their works of ungodliness, which they have wrought ungodlily, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jude 14–15)
We noticed before that Jude's epistle doesn't warn apostasy is coming, rather it warns that it already has come. The ungodly persons in Jude 4 were already in the assembly. At the same time, Jude's epistle tells the end of those ungodly persons. It says the Lord will come and judge them. So as far as Jude is concerned, those ungodly persons are in the assembly, and they're there to stay until the Lord comes in judgment.

This is essentially what we expect based on the parable of the darnel of the field. The main point of that parable is that the Son of Man has no intention of differentiating between the wheat and the tares until the "completion of the age".

As an aside, I find Jude 14 is interesting with respect to the question of the "rapture". The "ungodly persons" will be judged when the Lord comes to execute judgment. On the other, the Lord is coming with His saints. That seems to me to fit in nicely with the whole idea that the Lord will come and get His saints, then come in judgment as a sort of a second stage. Is it a slam-dunk? Nope. But I think it fits.

But the point is that both Jude and Matthew predict an ongoing infiltration that will continue until the Lord comes back.

What about the other epistles? Not all the epistles discuss the issue of ruin, but those that do agree in at least the general outline. We might consider 1 Timothy 4:1, "the Spirit speaks expressly, that in latter times some shall apostatise from the faith, giving their mind to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons". 2 Timothy 3:1–9 says something similar, "in the last days difficult times shall be there; for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, etc." Both 1 and 2 Timothy explicitly teach that "the last days" are characterized by apostasy. That is to say, it's not going to get better and better. It's going to get worse and worse. But we have to look over to 1 John to fit the puzzle pieces together: "Little children, it is the last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is the last hour" (1 John 2:18). So the "last hour" has already begun. It began in the time of the Apostles. And (this is significant), 1 John produces the presence of "many antichrists" as evidence that the "last hour" has already begun. In the next verse, it is clarified what these "many antichrists" are: they are apostates (1 John 2:19).

What do these epistles say about the resolution to this apostasy? Do they predict a repentance? No, they don't.

The first few verses of 2 Timothy 4 might shed some additional light on our contemplation:

1 I testify before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, 2 proclaim the word; be urgent in season and out of season, convict, rebuke, encourage, with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; 4 and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables. (1 Timothy 4:1–4)
We notice there is a connection with the return of Christ "who is about to judge the living and the dead". The connection is apocalyptic: "and by his appearing and his kingdom". And what does the epistle say? That there is a time coming when "they" will not bear sound teaching. Once again, we see a picture of decline. The Scripture doesn't contemplate things getting better and better. The Lord Jesus asked, "when the Son of man comes, shall he indeed find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). It is important for us to understand this: the entire testimony of Scripture is moral decline between Christ's first and second advent.

So the testimony of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and the epistles is that apostasy has set in. It set in early: Jude considers it was an accomplished fact, 1 John says it [was] already "the last hour". And the Scripture presents this apostasy as continuing until the Lord Jesus comes back to judge "at the completion of the age".

We've now considered the basic idea of the "church in ruin". Scripture teaches that apostasy would set into the church early; and, having set in, it would be irreparable. We must bear in mind that this is only from one particular perspective. God's eternal purposes are not frustrated by man's failures. But the assembly has dispensational responsibility on the earth. We are here on Christ's behalf, and we've not been faithful. We'll discuss that in more detail in another installment.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ruin (Part 2)

Last time we established that the assembly ("Church") is presented from two perspectives in Scripture. In one perspective, it is God's building: God places living stones in it, building it up into a holy temple. But in the other perspective, God has fellow-workmen. They build with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble. God's work cannot be less than perfect, but man's work can.

We might say that this is yet another "God is sovereign"; "man is responsible" paradox. If we look at the assembly only as God's work, then we see His sovereign hand in it, and we understand that the assembly is turning out exactly as He wants. On the other hand, if we only see man's responsibility in the assembly, then we understand that the Lord Jesus walks in the midst of the candlesticks, judging our work. And of course both are true. Just like God is sovereign in saving sinners, but sinners are still responsible for their choices, God is at work in the assembly, but that doesn't mean we're not responsible for how we build on that One Foundation.

What I want to demonstrate this time, is that Scripture teaches that apostasy set into the assembly even before the Apostles died. Next time we're going to attempt to show that the apostasy in the assembly is irreparable: there might be isolated and localized reformations and revivals, but Scripture shows that, the apostasy having begun, it generally gets worse and worse until judgment.

The epistles warn that apostasy had already set into the assembly when the Apostles were still alive. We could demonstrate this from 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, Jude, 2 John, and Revelation 2–3. It would take a lot of time to look into all those passages, so let's consider Jude:

4 For certain men have got in unnoticed, they who of old were marked out beforehand to this sentence, ungodly persons, turning the grace of our God into dissoluteness, and denying our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ. 5 But I would put you in remembrance, you who once knew all things, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, in the second place destroyed those who had not believed. 6 And angels who had not kept their own original state, but had abandoned their own dwelling, he keeps in eternal chains under gloomy darkness, to the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities around them, committing greedily fornication, in like manner with them, and going after other flesh, lie there as an example, undergoing the judgment of eternal fire. (Jude 4–7)
14 And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied also as to these, saying, Behold, the Lord has come amidst his holy myriads, 15 to execute judgment against all; and to convict all the ungodly of them of all their works of ungodliness, which they have wrought ungodlily, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 14–15)
There are two things we notice in Jude. First, there were "certain men" who'd already come into the assembly. They are apostates, and they're compared to three great apostasies in the Old Testament:
  1. the unbelieving Israelites who were destroyed in the wilderness
  2. the angels who fell, and are kept in "eternal chains" until judgment
  3. the men of Sodom and Gomorrha, who are under the judgement of "eternal fire"
It's important to note Jude doesn't warn about apostates "out there", it warns against apostates who are in the assembly.

Second, the apostates are the object of God's judgment. It's interesting to note that the three Old Testament apostasies in Jude 4–7 are mentioned in connection with judgment. But the case is made more explicitly in vv. 14–15, where we're told that these men are the subject of Enoch's prophecy: the prophecy that the Lord is coming "to execute judgment" against them.

What is very interesting in Jude is that there's no word of these apostates repenting. I don't doubt that God saves the ungodly sinner who believes, regardless of whatever sin or wickedness he has done; but Jude doesn't present these "ungodly persons" as needing to repent, it presents them as reserved for judgment.

We might notice, too, that Jude is silent about removing these people from the assembly. It doesn't present this as a problem that can be fixed. The "solution" in Jude is

20 But *ye*, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 20–21)
As far as Jude's concerned, the response of the faithful is to rest in God, "awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ".

We might look to the testimony of the Apostles as well. Let's consider Acts 20

28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own. 29 For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Wherefore watch, remembering that for three years, night and day, I ceased not admonishing each one of you with tears. 32 And now I commit you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give to you an inheritance among all the sanctified. (Acts 20:28–32)
Here Paul is addressing the Ephesian elders at Miletus. And he warns them that "grievous wolves" will come in after he leaves (v. 29). But the interesting statement is in the next verse "from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them" (v. 30). So he warned them that apostasy would set in after he leaves, and that it would particularly come from among the overseers, in this case in Ephesus.

That might remind us of Diotrephes (3 John 9–10).

So the testimony of the Apostle Paul was the apostasy would arise "after [his] departure". But when we come to 3 John, we find that the apostasy has already begun, and there was a man who had gained some power over the assembly, so that he rejected Apostolic authority. But it wasn't only that he personally rejected Apostolic authority, he had "the brethren" put out of the assembly (v. 10).

We might consider Revelation 2–3 as well, but the testimony of Scripture is consistent on this point: apostasy had set into the assembly even in the time of the Apostles.

What did the Lord Jesus say about it? Did He predict the state of things would get better and better? Or did He predict that things would get worse and worse until He came to judge? Let's consider Matthew 13:

24 Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man sowing good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel amongst the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the blade shot up and produced fruit, then appeared the darnel also. 27 And the bondmen of the householder came up and said to him, Sir, hast thou not sown good seed in thy field? whence then has it darnel? 28 And he said to them, A man that is an enemy has done this. And the bondmen said to him, Wilt thou then that we should go and gather it up? 29 But he said, No; lest in gathering the darnel ye should root up the wheat with it. 30 Suffer both to grow together unto the harvest, and in time of the harvest I will say to the harvestmen, Gather first the darnel, and bind it into bundles to burn it; but the wheat bring together into my granary. (Matthew 13:24–30)
This is a most interesting parable, and I've heard it "expounded" in all sorts of interesting ways. But the Lord Himself interpreted it to the disciples later in the chapter:
36 Then, having dismissed the crowds, he went into the house; and his disciples came to him, saying, Expound to us the parable of the darnel of the field. 37 But he answering said, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man, 38 and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom, but the darnel are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who has sowed it is the devil; and the harvest is the completion of the age, and the harvestmen are angels. 40 As then the darnel is gathered and is burned in the fire, thus it shall be in the completion of the age. 41 The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all offences, and those that practise lawlessness; 42 and they shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:36–43)
So the parable of the darnel of the field teaches us this: the Son of Man has sown good seed in the world. The devil as also sown seed, "while men slept". (Notice it wasn't the Son of Man who slept, it was "men" who slept.) When it became apparent that there is a mixture of darnel and wheat, the question was, should we pull up the darnel? No, the Son of Man says, wait until the harvest (the completion of the age).

What do we learn from the parable of the darnel of the field? We learn that there is an intermingling of true believers and false professors, and they are really, really hard to tell apart. But it's not the Lord's intention to sort it out until the "completion of the age," when He will cast the darnel into the "furnace of fire".

There is a significant difference between the parable of the darnel and the book of Jude. The Lord Jesus explicitly says that "the field is the world" in the parable of the darnel of the field. But Jude is written to warn of apostates who'd "crept in unawares". They weren't in the world, they were in the assembly.

So what have we demonstrated? Neither the Lord Jesus, nor the Apostles, nor the Epistles looked to see things get better and better. In every case, the expectation is that we see things get worse and worse, until judgment. I don't doubt the Lord is working, and there will be local revivals, renewals, and reformations. But the whole arc of the narrative of the New Testament is that apostasy will increase until the Lord Jesus comes to execute judgment.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ruin (Part 1)

I'm sitting at home sick, so I thought I'd update this blog. Recently someone asked me about "the Church in Ruin", and I found had trouble giving a concise answer. So I'm going to use this blog as a scratchpad to see if I can articulate this idea a bit.

The Ruin of the Church is the teaching that the Church has failed in its dispensational (governmental) responsibilities on the earth. As a result, it is irreparably "ruined" as far as dispensational responsibility is concerned. There is no repairing the damage, we are left merely waiting for judgment.

So I got it down to three sentences, but they're not very good sentences. And while that's not a terrible description, there's no way I'd expect anyone to agree without some reference to the Word of God. So let's look at the Scriptures and see what they say.

First we're going to look at the Old Testament, because there is a subtle, but important, principle brought out there. Three incidents stick out in my mind with respect Israel in the wilderness. The first is in Numbers 23:

18 Then he took up his parable and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear! hearken unto me, son of Zippor! 19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither a son of man, that he should repent. Shall he say and not do? and shall he speak and not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received [mission] to bless; and he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it. 21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen wrong in Israel; Jehovah his God is with him, and the shout of a king is in his midst. 22 God brought him out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a buffalo. 23 For there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. At this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! (Numbers 23:18–23)
The second is in Exodus 32:7–8:
7 Then Jehovah said to Moses, Away, go down! for thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, is acting corruptly. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them: they have made themselves a molten calf, and have bowed down to it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, This is thy god, Israel, who has brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!
The last is a single verse, Deuteronomy 23:14:
14 For Jehovah thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; and thy camp shall be holy, that he see nothing unseemly with thee, and turn away from thee.

There are two different perspectives between the first passage and the second and third passages. In the first, the Lord says He doesn't see any iniquity in Israel. Which is a remarkable statement, given the entirety of the history of Israel's travel from Egypt to Canaan. There certainly was a great deal of iniquity in Israel! But the Lord looks down and sees not a bit of it.

In the second and third verses, the Lord definitely sees iniquity in Israel. In the passage in Exodus, He looks down from Sinai and tells Moses to leave Him, because of Israel's sin. The third passage is actually part of the commands about sanitation: they weren't to foul their camp, but they were to "turn aside" and keep the camp clean. But the remarkable statement is that the Lord would walk in the camp, and if He sees anything unseemly in it, He might turn away from them.

So which is it? Did God see iniquity in Jacob? Was that what the second and third passages say? Or perhaps He was just making empty threats when He looked down from Sinai, or when Moses commanded the people not to foul the camp? Well, both are true. God saw Israel from two different perspectives. When He looked down from Heaven and spoke to Balaam, He saw a perfect people. But when He walked through the camp, He saw their sin.

Now, perhaps we see something akin to Galatians 4 when we introduce Sinai vs. the "high places of Baal". Perhaps there is something there for us to learn about the Accuser. Perhaps we should point out that God saw their sins at Sinai, but there was an intercessor there to plead for them. And really, Moses stands as a type of our Advocate in this story. But we're not going to consider all the implications here. We're merely going to point out that there are two different perspectives from which God saw Israel.

When viewed from the perspective of God's eternal purposes, He saw no sin in Israel. But when He was walking in the camp, He saw everything that defiles.

Similarly, the Lord sees the Church in two different perspectives. There is the perspective of God's eternal purpose, but there is the perspective of man's responsibility. From the one perspective, Christ sees no sin in the Church. But from the other, He judges everything, and there is no hiding from His sight.

Those two perspectives are contrasted in 1 Peter 2 and 1 Corinthians 4.

4 To whom coming, a living stone, cast away indeed as worthless by men, but with God chosen, precious, 5 yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4–5)
9 For we are God's fellow-workmen; ye are God's husbandry, God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which has been given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation, but another builds upon it. But let each see how he builds upon it. 11 For other foundation can no man lay besides that which [is] laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one build upon [this] foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, 13 the work of each shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare [it], because it is revealed in fire; and the fire shall try the work of each what it is. 14 If the work of any one which he has built upon [the foundation] shall abide, he shall receive a reward. 15 If the work of any one shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss, but *he* shall be saved, but so as through [the] fire. (1 Corinthians 3:9–15)
In 1 Peter, God Himself does the building, and He works with only one building material: "living stones" (v. 5). But in 1 Corinthians 3, although it's still God's building, it is now men who are working on it. These men need to take care how they build, because they can make mistakes; God can't. And while God works exclusively with "living stones", men have more options: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw. Men build with six materials, God with only one.

Need I point out that the Lord Jesus, as both God and Man, builds the assembly as well? (Matthew 16:16–18). Need I mention that His work doesn't fail? Of course it doesn't!

But the point is that there are both perspectives in the New Testament, just like there were both in the Old Testament.

Now, Revelation 2–3 brings us to the end of one of those two perspectives. God's eternal, heavenly perspective doesn't come to a close. How God sees us now is how He'll see us through eternity. But there is a dispensational responsibility, which is connected to this earth. Here on this earth, we have a responsibility as the House of God. And 1 Peter 4 reminds us that the House of God is where judgment will begin (1 Peter 4:17). So Revelation 2–3 gives us a prophetic look into that judgment. And notice how it starts, the Lord Jesus is described as the One who "who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamps" (Revelation 2:1) the previous verse tells us exactly what those lamps are: they are the seven assemblies in Asia (Revelation 1:20).

So we're right back to Deuteronomy 23 in a sense: when the Lord looks down from Heaven, He sees His eternal purpose, but when He walks in the camp, He sees every defiling thing.

When we look at what the Scripture says about the Church, we need to bear these two perspectives in mind. God's eternal purpose for us is nothing but blessing. But while we're here waiting for His Son to come and get us (Philippians 3:20–21, 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10), there is responsibility connected with this earth.

There's a lot more to say, but I think I'll save it for next time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The Lord does not need us to bless Him, but He is pleased to bless us: what He asks of us is to sit at Jesus' feet and receive the abundant grace He bestows on us.
J. N. Darby, "Notes on 1 Chronicles 13-17" (Collected Writings, Volume 30, p. 13).