Thursday, August 03, 2006

THE ROCK OF OUR SALVATION

A Treatise Respecting the Nature, Person, Offices,Work, Sufferings, and Glory of Jesus Christ -- By William S. Plumer, 1867

Chapter 23 - CHRIST SHALL YET HAVE A GLORIOUS REWARD

[Here are some of my favorite quotes---there are so many, that THIS is the abbreviated version of what I originally wanted to post! For the entire document, see the link at the bottom. --Denise]

The present state of the world:

Infidelity still uses great swelling words of vanity, makes hard and ungodly speeches respecting Jehovah and his saints, often spews out its venom against all that is pure and holy, asserts the sufficiency of human reason as a guide to heaven, betakes itself to the caves of sorcery, and can boast of nothing better than a death without hope, and a grave without a resurrection.

For nearly six thousand years the pagan world has been seeking an image of the invisible God, and the summit of its aspirings still reaches no higher than the sun, or moon, or stars, or devils, or crocodiles, or peacocks, or serpents, or images of gold, silver, wood, or stone. Its morals never mend. Under its sanctions every precept of the decalogue is broken publicly and privately, ritually and legally. No marvel that when Satan is worshiped, there should be found habitations of cruelty. No nation without God's word has in its language any term expressing what Christians mean by sanctification. Corruption is and ever has been the alpha and the omega of heathenism. All that is stupid in the donkey, silly in the dove, filthy in the swine, fierce in wild beasts, and venomous in serpents—is fitly ascribed to heathenism. "The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12:8...

From what abominations has the the gospel saved us! "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Now and then Atheism proclaims its tenets, is confident that mankind are superstitious in their worship of Jehovah, makes its disciples of the drunkard, the licentious, the prostitute, and the blasphemer, and once in a while threatens a terrific eruption of its scalding lava on the face of society. Its latest form of development is in a wretched Pantheism....

Although just now somewhat shorn of his power to persecute, Muhammad,
the prophet of Mecca still practices his sorceries, maddens the passions of men, holds the cup of carnal delight to the lips of his besotted worshipers, and endeavors to light up the horrors of the grave by pointing to a Paradise of sin!

Notwithstanding all that has been done in blessing and in cursing, in fulfilling prophecy, and in setting up Messiah's kingdom, Judaism is still entrenched behind Targums, Paraphrasts, an oral law, endless traditions, and the most inveterate prejudices and enmity against the truth. Thus it is with things claiming no connection whatever with Christianity. When we come to nations professedly accepting the gospel, there is still much to dishearten.

The Catholic church still adheres to her ignorant priesthood, her sacraments of human invention, her apostolic supremacy, and her nearness to Messiah's sepulcher; but knows not that she is poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, far from Christ's precepts, far from his example, far from his doctrines.
In the pride of her apostolicity she renounces every distinctive truth taught by apostles.

She, that has made the kings, merchants, and dwellers on earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, holds forth other goblets to the nations, saying: "I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill." Follow her footsteps to any region of the world, and you find that "the doctrine of the cross is least understood where crosses most abound." The lamp of God's Word is put under a bushel, candles are substituted, and darkness becomes visible...

Besides, a low state of piety paralyzes half the limbs of the body of Christ. Cold and selfish, many never aim high. A low estimate of evangelical doctrine makes many indifferent to the teachings of Christ himself. Often too do we hear unpleasant whisperings and buzzings in the Christian camp. Some act as if they would rather make a proselyte from a sister church—than a convert to Christ who would not follow with them....

Plumer encourages us:

It should not discourage us that we can do nothing effectually. The excellency of the power is of God. We may plant and water, but God alone can give the increase. This is the best arrangement. If we depend on God, we shall not be disappointed. If he does the work, it will be well done; and to him, without dispute, will be all the glory. Yet we may do much instrumentally.

We may keep ourselves and those under our influence, informed respecting the state of the world. It is a great thing to know and to make known how men are living in sin and dying in despair, having a dismal eternity before them, and their ruin being unnecessary, salvation having been provided, a ministry instituted, and a glorious gospel commanded to be preached....

We may cultivate an ardent love to the souls of men. Oh that there were a thousand times more of that godlike spirit which Shaftsbury scornfully called a "rage for saving souls." No man ever had too much love or pity for those who were perishing under the load of their guilt and in the horrors of their depravity. It is easy to over-estimate wealth, honor, station—but it is not possible to set too high a value on the salvation of a soul by Jesus Christ.

In particular, have faith in Christ, in his mediation, in his ability to execute all his offices. He has dominion over wicked men and devils. All power in heaven and earth is given to him. He saves, and he destroys. He kills, and he makes alive. He has the keys of death and of hell. He does all his good pleasure—in all worlds. For the good of his church he orders all things. He and his people are so far one, that in all their affliction he is afflicted, and in all his glory they rejoice. That which, in Daniel 7:14, is said to be given to Christ, is in the same chapter, verse 27, said to be given to the saints of the Most High. When Christ is glorified, his people shout for joy. When they are glorified, they enter into the joy of their Lord.

Closing with a great prayer glorifying God and His sovereignty, asking for Him to bring things to the stated end in which Christ reigns visibly and surpremely and gloriously, he says:

We are indeed asking great things, but we do it at your command. We ask no more than you have promised to your Son—and no more than he has purchased by his most precious blood—and no more than he himself intercedes for in heaven. Amen.

For the full article, go here.

2 comments:

Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

"Besides, a low state of piety paralyzes half the limbs of the body of Christ." And this was in 1867. Where are we today? In Disneyland playing games while millions perish. Welcome to the prayerless, gluttonous, Scripturaly illiterate, and humanistic church that used to be Christ's body.

ScottyB said...

Hey Denise do you have an email address- I had some concernes that I wanted to talk to you about-is that possible?