I was almost gone!

(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)

“But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone!” Psalm 73:2

The God of the Bible, is the God of those who have failed. Wherever there is a weak, stumbling Christian, unable to walk alone–to him the Divine heart goes out in tender thought and sympathy, and the Divine hand is extended to support him and keep him from falling. Wherever one has fallen, and lies in defeat or failure–over him bends the Heavenly Father in kindly pity, to raise him up and to help him to begin again.

“Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory!” Psalm 73:23-24

“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me!” Psalm 63:8

“Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117

We have published Samuel Davies’ powerful article, “The Resurrection of Damnation”.

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A Christian is one who follows Christ

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You must receive Christ as your Master and Lord. A Christian is one who follows Christ. This means the surrender of the whole life to Him. The heart must be given up. There can be no Christian life, without love to Jesus. Jesus demands the first place in the affections of His followers. If anyone loves father or mother, brother or sister, wife or child, more than Him–he is not worthy of Jesus, and cannot be His disciple.

But the most perfect obedience, if the heart is not in it, would not make one a Christian. We might devote our life and strength to Christian work, toiling unweariedly in the service of the church, giving our money lavishly for the advancement of Christianity or for the relief of suffering–and yet not be Christians. Love for Christ must be the motive at the heart of all our work for Christ. “Do you love Me?” is the test.

But the heart draws the whole life after it. If we truly love Jesus–we will obey Jesus. “If you love Me–keep My commandments.” “You are My friends–if you do whatever I command you.”

We cannot accept Christ as our Savior–and not at the same time accept Him as our Lord and Master. We must begin at once to obey Him. Our obedience must be without reserve, without condition, without question. It must also be cheerful and glad-hearted–not compulsory, reluctant, or constrained.

Christians are soldiers of Christ–and the soldier’s first duty is to obey. Whether the will of Christ is made known to us in His Word, through our own conscience, or in providence–we should always promptly and cheerfully accept and obey. It may not be always easy–it may be very hard and costly; but when the will of our Master is made known, if we are His followers–we can only obey, and our obedience should be sweet with love.

We love Him–because He first loved us. We know Him–because He first calls us. Christ is ours–and we are Christ’s. Being a Christian is living out His same life of love, obedience, surrender, and service, through all the days.

As Christians, we are to live out the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

True faith will make us more gentle, more patient, more unselfish. A Christian life is a new Christ-life lived out in this world–we are to be Christ to others!

The heart of the Christian should be a well of living water, a fount of holy and blessed influences, whose streams flow in all directions–carrying comfort, cheer, encouragement, help, and gladness to every other life they reach. Mere orthodoxy of belief does not make one a Christian, nor does attention to church rituals and rules. A Christian is one in whom the life of Christ pulses, and the love of Christ glows and burns!
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We have published Edward Payson’s powerful article, “The Final Judgment!”

Forgetters of God!

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“The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God!” Psalm 9:17

How solemn is this verse, especially in its warning to forgetters of God!
The moral who are not devout,
the honest who are not prayerful,
the benevolent who are not believing,
the amiable who are not converted–
these must all have their own portion with the openly wicked, in the Hell which is prepared for the devil and his demons! There are whole nations of such; the forgetters of God are far more numerous than the openly profane or profligate!

According to the very forceful expression in the Hebrew, the nethermost Hell will be the place into which all of them shall be hurled headlong! Forgetting God seems to be a small sin, but it brings eternal wrath upon the man who lives and dies in it!

(The following is by Thomas Watson)
“The wicked shall be turned into Hell.” The ungodly at death must undergo God’s fury and indignation. I have read of a lodestone which has two corners–with one it draws the iron to it, with the other it thrusts the iron away from it. Just so, God has two hands–of mercy and justice: with the one He will draw the godly to Heaven–with the other He will thrust the sinner to Hell!

And oh, how dreadful is that place! It is called a fiery lake (Revelation 20:15).
A lake, to denote the plenty of torments in Hell.
A fiery lake, to show the fierceness of them!

Fire is the most torturing element. Strabo in his geography mentions a lake of such a pestiferous nature, that it scalds off the skin of whatever is cast into it. But, alas! that lake is cool compared with this fiery lake into which the damned are thrown!

To demonstrate that this fire is terrible, there are two most dreadful qualities in it:
It is sulphurous–it is mixed with brimstone, which is stinking and suffocating.
It is inextinguishable–though the wicked shall be choked in the flames, yet not consumed.

“And the devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever!” Behold the deplorable condition of all ungodly ones in the eternal world–they shall have a life that always dies–and a death that always lives! May not this affright men out of their sins, and make them become godly–unless they are resolved to experience how hot Hell-fire is!”

He shall judge the world in righteousness!

He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.” Psalm 9:8

In this final judgment,
tears will not prevail,
prayers will not be heard,
promises will not be admitted,
repentance will be too late; and
as for riches, honorable titles, scepters, and crowns–these will profit much less! The inquisition shall be so minute and diligent, that not one light thought nor one idle word shall be forgotten. For Truth Himself has said, not in jest, but in earnest, “Of every idle word which men have spoken–they shall give an account in the day of judgment!”

Oh, how many who now sin with great delight, yes, even with greediness (as if Christians served a God of wood or of stone, which sees nothing, or can do nothing), will be then astonished, ashamed, and silent! Then shall the days of your vain mirth be ended–and you shall be overwhelmed with everlasting darkness; and instead of your fleeting pleasures–you shall have everlasting torments!

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The key of death!

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(William Thoseby, “Foot-prints on the Sands of Time” 1869)

“It is appointed unto man once to die; but after death the judgment!” Hebrews 9:27

“I hold the keys of death and the grave!” Revelation 1:18

Christ has the key of death suspended at His belt!

None can enter among the immortals–until Christ has turned the key for him!
None can stay among the mortals–after that key has been turned upon him!

And as the key may be turned at any possible hour–how important it is that we should get ready and keep ready for its turning. We know not “what a day nor an hour may bring forth.” There may be the sudden burst, the instant call, the midnight cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom comes!”

Both the sinner and the saint should remember that death comes unexpected, and the arrow is unseen which strikes through the heart!

“Prepare to meet your God!” Amos 4:12

“Like crowded forest trees we stand,
And some are marked to fall;
The axe will smite at God’s command,
And soon will smite us all!”

What is Heaven?

(Octavius Winslow)

Beloved, what is Heaven? What is the final glory of the saints? It is the best place, the richest inheritance provided by the Father for the people ransomed and redeemed by the precious blood of His dear Son! And when we enter there, we shall enter as children welcomed to a Father’s home! It will be the best that God can give us! He will bestow upon us, who deserved the least–the best in His power to bestow:
the best Savior,
the best robe,
the best banquet,
the best inheritance.

In Heaven, there will be . . .
nothing more to taint,
nothing more to sully,
nothing more to embitter,
nothing more to wound,
no serpent to beguile,
no Eve to ensnare,
no spoiler to destroy,
no sin to defile,
no adversity to sadden,
no misunderstanding to alienate,
no tongue to defame,
no suspicion to chill,
no tear,
no sickness,
no death,
no parting.
It will be the best part of the pure, radiant, glorified universe which God will assign to His redeemed people!

Let the prospect cheer, sanctify, and comfort you! It will not be long that you are to labor and battle here on earth. It is but a little while that you are to occupy your present sphere of conflict, of trial, and of sorrow. The time is coming–oh, how fast it speeds! Soon the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you home to Heaven!

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me–that you also may be where I am!” John 14:2-3

We have published Richard Baxter’s helpful 3 page article, “Motives for a holy and careful education of children”.

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God’s school!


(Hannah More)

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word!” Psalm 119:67

“I know, O LORD, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Psalm 119:75

“I have refined you in the furnace of affliction!” Isaiah 48:10

Affliction is God’s school in which holy virtues are acquired, and Christian character is formed.

“It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your decrees!” Psalm 119:71

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11