Daily Archives: June 23, 2020

June 23 Watch What You Watch

 

I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.
(Psalms 101:3)

As a teenager, Marilyn got hooked on “soap operas.” After years of watching them, her perspective changed, and she began to think the illicit shows were more exciting. As a college student, she found it easy to get involved in one-night stands. Finally, after a series of affairs, her marriage ended in disaster, and she sought help from a counselor. At first, he couldn’t understand why she’d had the affairs. Finally, he discovered the source that had driven her into this “secret life.” Years of exposure to the wrong thing! Paul says we are changed into what we behold. (See 2 Corinthians 3:18.) Think about that!

What you see on television becomes part of your memory bank, your frame of reference, and your value system. Ultimately, it becomes the justification for the way you behave. It’s no coincidence that a generation that watches seven hours of television every day also has the world’s lowest morals and highest divorce rate. Your eyes are the gateway to your soul. John warns us to beware of “the cravings of sinful man [and] the lust of his eyes” (1 John 2:16, NIV). It was after David’s encounter with Bathsheba that he wrote, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psalms 101:3).

 

Either you learn from his mistake or you repeat it. The choice is yours![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 174). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 23 Redirected Faith

 

Matthew 7:21

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Many people believe they will be welcomed into heaven because they’ve lived a good life, or they come from a religious family, or they’ve attended church all their lives.

My challenge is to help them see they are placing faith in themselves—their works, their heritage, their personal standards of ethics and morality, or some other man-made qualification. They haven’t understood that, to become a Christian, they must redirect their faith from themselves to Jesus Christ. They must stop trusting in themselves, their parents, their heritage, their morality—and begin trusting in Jesus Christ. They must “bet” their eternal life on Christ alone. They must take Him at His Word that He alone is able to save them.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 182). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

June 23, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

An Excellent Minister Disciplines Himself for Godliness

On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. (4:7b–9)

There is no effective spiritual ministry apart from personal godliness, since ministry is the overflow of a godly life. J. Oswald Sanders wrote, “Spiritual ends can be achieved only by spiritual men who employ spiritual methods” (Spiritual Leadership, 40).

Spurgeon described in the following words the minister who, lacking godliness in his own life, would seek to lead others to it:

A graceless pastor is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophising upon light and vision, discoursing upon and distinguishing to others the nice shades and delicate blendings of the prismatic colours, while he himself is absolutely in the dark! He is a dumb man elevated to the chair of music; a deaf man fluent upon symphonies and harmonies! He is a mole professing to educate eagles; a limpet elected to preside over angels. (Lectures to My Students, first series [reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980], 4)

Discipline is from gumnazō, from which our English words “gymnasium” and “gymnastics” derive. It means “to train,” or “to exercise.” The word speaks of the rigorous, strenuous, self-sacrificing training an athlete undergoes.

Every Greek city had its gymnasium, and Ephesus was no exception. Youths customarily spent much of their time from ages sixteen to eighteen in physical training. That was vital, since life in those days involved much physical activity. There was a great emphasis on physical training and the glory of winning athletic events.

By using gumnazō, Paul plays off that cultural phenomenon and applies it to the spiritual realm. As Greek culture emphasized dedicated training of the body, Paul urged Timothy to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. The present tense of the verb indicates that was to be Timothy’s constant pursuit. Timothy was to train his inner man for godliness.

Eusebeia (godliness) expresses the reality of reverence, piety, and true spiritual virtue. It was a word much used by the philosophers of Paul’s day. The Platonists defined it as “right conduct in regard to the gods.” The Stoic definition was “knowledge of how God should be worshipped.” Lucian said it described one who was “a lover of the gods,” while Xenophon said it characterized someone who was “wise concerning the gods” (cf. Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976], 172–73). Thus even to the pagans eusebeia meant a concern for deity and a reverence for things holy.

That concept carried over into the Christian faith. Godliness is a right attitude and response toward the true Creator God; a preoccupation from the heart with holy and sacred realities. It is respect for what is due to God, and is thus the highest of all virtues. In 1 Timothy 6:3 it is said to be at the heart of truth. Second Peter 1:3 says that it comes from Christ, while 1 Timothy 6:11 balances that by teaching that believers must pursue it. According to Acts 3:12 it brings power, while 2 Timothy 3:12 indicates it brings trouble. First Timothy 6:5–6 says that it brings eternal (though not necessarily temporal) blessings. Godliness is the heart and soul of Christian character, and the aim of Christian living (cf. 1 Tim. 2:2; 2 Peter 3:11).

Spiritual self-discipline is the key to godly living. In 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 Paul wrote,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

In 2 Corinthians 7:1 he exhorted us to “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” In 2 Timothy 2:3–5 Paul commanded Timothy to

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

Here Paul likens spiritual discipline to that required of a soldier and an athlete. Such discipline is necessary for victory in war, or in the games. The lack of spiritual discipline is the primary reason so many spiritual leaders fall into sin. They fail to spend time cultivating the means of grace, in the Word, in prayer, and in self-sacrificial service. An excellent minister is to pursue godliness, not success (cf. 1 Tim. 1:5; 2:8; 3:2, 10; 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:1, 21–22). He will one day hear from the Lord, “Well done, good and faithful slave” (Matt. 25:21).

In Paul’s day, as in our own, there was a great emphasis on bodily discipline. While helpful, such discipline is only of little profit. Paul is showing that it is limited both in extent and duration. Bodily discipline affects only the physical body during this earthly life. On the other hand, godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Unlike bodily discipline, godliness is profitable for the soul as well as the body. Its positive effects are also not limited to this life, because it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Cultivating godliness will bring benefits in the present life (cf. Prov. 3:7–8), but it will primarily bring blessedness for all eternity.

So axiomatic is the truth of verse 8 that Paul calls it a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. As noted in chapter 3 of this volume, a trustworthy statement is a self-evident, obvious statement. It is something so patently clear that everyone acknowledges it. This affirmation refers back to verse 8, not ahead to the comment in verse 10. Verse 8 is much more of a proverbial, axiomatic statement than verse 10. A proverbial statement would not begin with a reference to laboring and striving, as does verse 10. Finally, the Greek phrase eis touto gar that begins verse 10 shows that verse 10 is not the trustworthy statement, but supports it. Verse 10, then, follows up the truth of verse 8.

It is axiomatic that believers are to be disciplining themselves for godliness because of its eternal value. Godliness, not fame, popularity, or reputation, is the pursuit of the excellent minister, who must be an example of spiritual virtue to his flock. He must apply all the means of grace as he endeavors to be able to say, as did Paul, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ “ (1 Cor. 11:1).[1]


7b–8 Timothy is take the alternate route of godliness (v. 7b). The third command employs language typical of Greco-Roman ethical teaching: “train yourself.” It was first applied to the effort and exercise involved in physical contexts, and transferred naturally to describe the work of progressing toward virtue in the moral and spiritual sphere. Here the language of training paves the way for development of the next comparison of bodily exercise and godliness.

The purpose or intended result of this training is “godliness.” This term, first surfacing in 2:2 (see Excursus), defines Christian existence as the interplay of the knowledge of God and of the truth (cf. 4:3) and the observable outworking of that knowledge in appropriate ways. The contours of this life of genuine spirituality would include all of the ethical teaching contained in the letter, but we are invited immediately to consider the elements spelled out in 4:11–16. It is highly probable, in this context where Paul has firmly denounced certain behaviors of the opponents (4:1–2), that “godliness” is being advanced in contrast to the misshapen spirituality of the heretics. But Paul will rely on traditional paradigms and implicit comparisons as he finishes his brief exposition of “godliness.”

Verse 8 provides grounding (“for”; gar) for the command to pursue godliness. It consists of a contrast between the value of bodily or physical training and godliness. Although the reference to bodily training (gymnasia) was anticipated by the preceding reference to “training” (gymnaze), the comparison might be proverbial and had possibly found its way into Christian teaching by this time from either secular or Hellenistic-Jewish sources. “Physical training” is generally that which pertains to the body, and the language suggests immediately a background in the athletic culture of Greco-Roman society.16 Paul admits that such exercise has “some value” (cf. 1 Cor 9:24–27), but the purpose of saying this is mainly to limit its relevance within this discussion and shine the brighter light on “exercise in godliness.”

The question often asked of this text is whether the reference to “physical exercise” in what is perhaps a well-known comparison coming from the philosophical schools (in which physical training is understood in the Greco-Roman sense or athletic training) is simply a way of highlighting the greater significance of “godliness,” or whether the term specifically zeroes in on the asceticism alluded to and challenged in 4:3. In my opinion, this remains an open question, though the force of the contrast (clearly elevating godliness to the highest level) cannot be missed. Although the traditional maxim would suffice to emphasize the greater importance of godliness, it does not seem far-fetched that the ascetic practices of 4:3 are at least obliquely in view (how could they not be?), perhaps regarded by Paul as an extreme example of the category defined by “physical exercise.” Paul’s denunciation of the opponents’ excessive measures with regard to marriage and foods is unequivocal, so there is no need to address them specifically again. But they do nevertheless fall at least somewhere within the category of those physical activities (including athletic exercise) that, in comparison with exercise in godliness, can only offer limited benefits. In turning the instructions to Timothy to his pursuit of godliness, Paul shifts to the level of larger principles. It is difficult to ignore the alter-image of the heretics and their practices (vv. 7, 3) as this shift is made.

The contrast indicating the better course to be pursued is expressed with an almost perfect parallelism as a literal translation shows:

8a:

 

For physical training is of some value;

 

   
8b:

 

But godliness is valuable for all things.

 

   
8a:

 

hē gar sōmatikē gymnasia

 

pros oligon

 

estin ōphelimos;

 

8b:

 

hē de eusebeia

 

pros panta

 

ōphelimos estin.

 

In place of physical exercise (whether ascetic rigor is meant or not), exercise in “godliness,” that holistic life encompassing faith and visible behavior, is set out as the first priority (4:7; 2:2). Its superiority stems from its far-reaching value (“for all things”), in contrast to the limited value of the former. This value is then explained in terms of eternal life: “holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The phrase, “promise of life,” is almost technical, identifying this “life” as that which is specifically associated with the salvific pledge of God (2 Tim 1:1; Titus 1:2). Given the inherent unity in the concept of life associated with God’s promise (both now and to come; see discussion at 1:16), it is unlikely that Paul is distinguishing rigidly between physical life (“now”) and spiritual or eternal life (“to come”). The point is rather that the practice of godliness will lead the believer into the experience of God’s promise of eternal life in the present age that carries on into the “age to come.”

In the letters to Timothy and Titus it is typical of Paul to hold tightly together the present age (“now”) of Christian activity and the “coming”26 age (here the life associated with it), the result of which is an ethical tension. On the one hand, Paul insists that the future promise of God is being realized “now” in the present age, changing it and opening up new possibilities for those in faith. On the other hand, this fact, linked to the fact of the past Christ event, obligates believers to “put on” the new reality. Here this entire network of ideas is consolidated into the concept of “godliness.” Practice of it is anticipation of the fullness of blessing to come. Its value transcends that of bodily exercise—and in this the behavior of the opponents is flatly denounced—not simply because bodily exercise pertains only to life here and now, but because godliness is the outworking of God’s eschatological promise of life that has broken into the present age.[2]


4:7–8 / Almost as a reflex action, Paul’s mentioning the good teaching calls forth a contrast with the bad kind. Indeed, his own word order, with the imperative coming last, serves to highlight the contrast. “But (Gk. de, untranslated in the niv) godless myths and old wives’ tales, have nothing to do with.” For myths, see discussion on 1:4. Here they are characterized as godless, meaning profane in the sense of being radically opposite to what is sacred, and as coming from old wives’ tales, a sarcastic expression often used in philosophical polemic comparing an opponent’s position to the tales perpetuated by the older women of those cultures as they would sit around weaving and the like.

In contrast to godless myths and old wives’ tales, which promote speculations and have nothing to do with genuine godliness (eusebeia), Paul urges Timothy to give himself vigorously to the latter. In doing so he changes metaphors—from child rearing (v. 6) to athletics: Train yourself (gymnaze) for eusebeia (to be godly). Paul’s point is that, like the athlete, Timothy should keep himself in vigorous training for the practice of genuine godliness, understood here as both the content of the truth and its visible expression in correct behavior (see disc. on 2:2 and 3:16).

Having used the metaphor of physical training, Paul, in typical fashion, pauses to reflect on the metaphor itself for a moment. There is another kind of training, he says, physical training (gymnasia), which is of some value. This statement has been the cause of some puzzlement. Is Paul herewith trying to encourage Timothy to take a little physical exercise? Almost certainly not. Such a concern is irrelevant to the context and quite beside the point. What, then? Most likely the reason for it lies with the metaphor itself. Having just urged gymnaze (train yourself) for eusebeia (godliness), Paul now picks up both ends of that imperative, and with perfectly balanced sentences presses home the reason for Timothy’s training himself in godliness. Paul will allow that physical training (gymnasia) is of some value, a value, however, that is limited strictly to this age. But he says that only to set up his real concern. Eusebeia (godliness) is where the real value lies. Indeed, it has value for all things (better, “in every way”), because it holds promise for life, both the present life and the life to come. (The idea of godliness as holding promise of life is reiterated in Titus 1:2.) Here is a clear reference to Paul’s understanding of Christian existence as basically eschatological. Life, which means “eternal life” (see 1:16), has already begun. The life of the future is therefore both a present reality and a hope of life to come. (See further the note on 4:1.)

Paul’s argument has strayed a bit, but not without purpose. The word eusebeia (“true godliness”) is used throughout 1 Timothy to express genuine Christian faith—the truth and its visible expression. It is this quality that the false teachers lack. Thus “godliness,” though contrasted with physical training, really stands in contrast to the godless myths, precisely because it has to do with life, both present and future.[3]


The minister must train himself in godliness (4:7b–10)

4:7–8.… Train yourself in godliness; for physical training is of some value, but godliness is of value in all things, having the promise of life in the present age and in the age to come.

Paul now shifts to an athletic metaphor, which is common in his writings (cf. 1 Cor. 9:24–27; 2 Tim. 2:5; 4:7). The verb translated ‘train’ was used of athletes who put themselves through rigorous training in preparation for athletic events. But here Paul tells Timothy to ‘train yourself in godliness’. The context indicates that ‘godliness’ refers not just to godly behaviour, but also to godly doctrine and teaching. The life of a minister is one of disciplined study and rigorous training in the teachings of Scripture. Only then can he ably refute error and teach the truth to the benefit and edification of God’s people.

In verse 8 Paul contrasts training in godliness with ‘physical training’. The latter, Paul says, has ‘some value’. No one can deny the value of physical training and bodily exercise. Yet godliness is of infinitely greater value—it is ‘of value in all things’. Physical training only has benefit in this life, and it certainly cannot make someone live for ever. But godliness has benefit both ‘in the present age and in the age to come’. The language here reflects the teaching elsewhere in Paul’s writings (and indeed, in the New Testament generally) of the overlap of the ages. The age to come has broken into the present age. Resurrection life, eternal life, is available now to those who believe in Christ (cf. John 11:25). Jesus said, ‘I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10). Paul reflects this language of new life when he says specifically that godliness holds ‘the promise of life’. Believers are to pursue that holiness ‘without which no one will see the Lord’ (Heb. 12:14). And holy living is itself a sign that we are new creatures in Christ. Thus godliness gives them assurance that they now experience new life and that they will live in union with Christ for all eternity. As Guthrie puts it, godly Christians have ‘the best of both worlds’.

Our age is fixated with physical fitness. Christians, and especially ministers, must make it their priority to be disciplined in their pursuit of holiness. Is rigorous spiritual training as important to us as the training of our bodies?

4:9. This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance.

Paul here repeats the line that he has already used in 1:15 and partially in 3:1 (see the discussions in the commentary on those verses). The main question in the present verse is whether the ‘saying’ that is ‘faithful’ is found in verse 8 or verse 10. As we have seen earlier, the ‘faithful’ sayings were most likely well-known pithy statements in the early church. These sayings had a ‘proverbial’ quality to them. Both verses 8 and 10 (especially the second half of verse 10) meet this criteria. The problem with seeing verse 10 as the saying is the opening words: ‘For to this end we labour and struggle.’ All of the ‘faithful sayings’ call for some sort of personal response. But Paul adds the words ‘worthy of all acceptance’ (or, ‘worthy to be accepted by all’) only when a call to personal response is not included in the ‘saying’ itself. Some have suggested that the ‘saying’ is only found in the second part of verse 10, but that would separate the saying from Paul’s introduction of it here in verse 9. Overall, then, verse 8 seems to be the best candidate.

4:10. For to this end we labour and struggle, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe.

In verse 10 Paul goes on to show specifically how he has appropriated the saying in verse 8. The themes of ‘labour’ and ‘struggle’ are directly tied to the call in verses 7–8 to train oneself for godliness because of its surpassing value. Godliness, in other words, is the ‘end’ for which Paul (along with his co-workers?) labours and struggles.

Both of the verbs that Paul uses here are sometimes used of athletic endeavours. The first verb, ‘labour’, typically means to work or exert strenuous effort. Paul uses it in Philippians 2:16 in conjunction with the athletic metaphor of ‘running’. The second verb, ‘struggle’, is more typically found in athletic contexts, but is also used in connection with fighting. The picture here is that the pursuit of godliness requires tremendous effort and perseverance. It is not attained easily.

However, the Christian struggle is worth the effort precisely ‘because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men’. Because the living God is the object of our hope, we know that our effort is not in vain. God is not like the lifeless gods of the nations. He alone can and will save those who put their trust in him. This fact gives the believer great confidence and helps him to press on in his fight.

The final two phrases in this verse, ‘who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe’, have given rise to debate. It is possible that ‘Saviour’ does not refer to eternal salvation, but is used, as Calvin says, in a general sense, ‘meaning one who guards and preserves’. God’s saving work, here, then would be a reference to what we call ‘common grace’.5 God shows kindness to all, yet he shows special kindness to believers, both in this age and in the age to come. On the other hand, Paul’s usual sense of ‘Saviour’ is that of eternal salvation (cf., e.g., 1:1; 2:3). Since Paul rejects universalism and since there is no hint here of potential atonement, ‘all men’ means ‘all kinds of men’, as we have seen in chapter 2.

Furthermore, the word ‘especially’ often provides a further definition of what precedes it. In such cases, it can be translated, ‘that is’ or, ‘namely’. The sense, then, is not that Christ is the Saviour of all, and yet does something extra for those who believe. Rather, Christ is the Saviour of those who believe from among all kinds of people.[4]


8. For bodily exercise is of little profit. By the exercise “of the body,” he does not mean that which lies in hunting, or in the race-course, or in wrestling, or in digging, or in the mechanical occupations; but he gives that name to all the outward actions that are undertaken, for the sake of religion, such as watchings, long fasts, lying on the earth, and such like. Yet he does not here censure the superstitious observance of those things; otherwise he would totally condemn them, as he does in the Epistle to the Colossians, (2:21,) but at present he only speaks slightingly of them, and says that they are of little advantage. So, then, though the heart be altogether upright, and the object proper, yet, in outward actions, Paul finds nothing that he can value highly.

This is a very necessary warning; for the world will always lean to the side of wishing to worship God by outward services; which is an exceedingly dangerous imagination. But—to say nothing about the wicked opinion of merit—our nature always disposes us strongly to attribute more than we ought to austerity of life; as if it were no ordinary portion of Christian holiness. A clearer view of this cannot be adduced, than the fact, that, shortly after the publication of this command, the whole world was ravished with immoderate admiration of the empty form of bodily exercises. Hence arose the order of monks and nuns, and nearly all the most excellent discipline of the ancient Church, or, at least, that part of it which was most highly esteemed by the common people. If the ancient monks had not dreamed that there was some indescribably divine or angelical perfection in their austere manner of living, they would never have pursued it with so much ardour. In like manner, if pastors had not attached undue value to the ceremonies which were then observed for the mortification of the flesh, they would never have been so rigid in exacting them. And what does Paul say on the other hand? That, when any one shall have laboured much and long in those exercises, the profit will be small and inconsiderable; for they are nothing but the rudiments of childish discipline.

But godliness is profitable for all things. That is, “he who has godliness wants nothing, though he has not those little aids; for godliness alone is able to conduct a man to complete perfection. It is the beginning, the middle, and the end, of Christian life; and, therefore, where that is entire, nothing is imperfect. Christ did not lead so austere a manner of life as John the Baptist; was he, therefore, any whit inferior? Let the meaning be thus summed up. “We ought to apply ourselves altogether to piety alone; because, when we have once attained it, God asks nothing more from us; and we ought to give attention to bodily exercises in such a manner as not to hinder or retard the practice of godliness.”

Which hath the promises. It is a very great consolation, that God does not wish the godly to be in want of anything; for, having made our perfection to consist in godliness, he now makes it the perfection of all happiness. As it is the beginning of happiness in this life, so he likewise extends to it the promise of divine grace, which alone makes us happy, and without which we are very miserable; for God testifies that, even in this life, he will be our Father.

But let us remember to distinguish between the good things of the present and of the future life; for God bestows kindness on us in this world, in order that he may give us only a taste of his goodness, and by such a taste may allure us to the desire of heavenly benefits, that in them we may find satisfaction. The consequence is, that the good things of the present life are not only mingled with very many afflictions, but, we may almost say, overwhelmed by them; for it is not expedient for us to have abundance in this world, lest we should indulge in luxury. Again, lest any one should found on this passage the merits of works, we ought to keep in mind what we have already said, that godliness includes not only a good conscience toward men, and the fear of God, but likewise faith and calling upon him.[5]


7–8. By way of contrast to the good doctrine the apostle describes the false teaching as godless myths. The word used here (bebēlos) means ‘profane’, from a root meaning ‘permitted to be trodden’ with the idea that nothing remains sacred. The word has already been used in 1:9 in the list of law-breakers coupled with ‘unholy men’. The use of this word to describe professedly religious people shows the utter bankruptcy of their religion. The addition of the epithet old wives brings out forcibly the frivolous character of the false teachers’ tales (mythoi). The whole teaching lacked substance and must be vigorously rejected. The verb (paraiteomai) emphasizes the strong nature of the refusal (cf. Titus 3:10 and 2 Tim. 2:23).

Again the apostle is quick to balance a negative with a positive injunction. He turns to athletics for his illustration, probably to emphasize the contrast between manly exercise and old wives’ tales. There is a further comparison between physical and spiritual discipline. The apostle admits a place for the former but sets a strict limit on its exercise. The description of it in the niv as of some value does not bring out the force of oligos which means ‘little or slight’ and which seems to suggest only a limited value for physical exercise. It is contrasted with spiritual training, which on the other hand is of value for all things; or perhaps ‘in all directions’ (Moffatt). Its range is immeasurably greater for it embraces not only this life but the life to come. The promise … for the present life is not an equivalent for worldly prosperity, but sums up the blessedness of godliness. Irrespective of his present earthly circumstances, the Christian may fairly be said to have the best of both worlds.[6]


Ver. 8. For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things.

The profit of godliness:—Not only is this the testimony of a great man, but the testimony of a good man, the testimony of a Christian man; a man, therefore, who had experience as to the utility of that concerning which he makes affirmation. He did not speak on the report of others, but he had brought the matter to the test of personal experiment; and from what he had realized in himself he could say, “Godliness is profitable unto all things.”

  1. What is godliness? It is real, vital, experimental, practical religion—genuine Christianity—a religion concerning God, the great, the wise, the blessed God. 1. Godliness comprehends a genuine fear. For where there is no fear of God there is no genuine piety—there is no religion. 2. Godliness means the saving knowledge of God, “whom to know is life eternal.” 3. And then, where there is knowledge of God, saving knowledge, there must be love to God; and no man can love an unknown object. 4. Then just in proportion as we love God (and this is essential to godliness) we shall be concerned to entertain intercourse with God. 5. Then perceive that this will lead to conformity to God—likeness to God. Such, indeed, is the very nature, such the constitution of the human mind, that it contracts a resemblance to those objects with which from inclination it is the most conversant. Apply the remark where you will, it will hold. Look at the man of this world; where are his thoughts? Why, the world is his object, and he becomes more and more worldly: and so of every other class. Now look at the man of God: his thoughts rise to God, his affections are spiritually placed on God: there is his object, there is his all; and, beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus, he catches the impress of it. 6. Let me say, too, that all Scriptural piety is practical. All that godliness which is genuine must lead to holiness of life and conversation.
  2. What, then, are the advantages of godliness? “Godliness is profitable.” As though the apostle had said, “It is not merely a very harmless and innocent thing, and therefore no person should be afraid of it.” This would have been very low praise, if it had been praise at all. It is not merely said “that it is profitable for some things”; nor is it affirmed concerning it that it is profitable for many things; but the affirmation is without qualification, “Godliness is profitable for all things.” “The life that now is.” You cannot hear this without at once in your minds adverting to the beneficial influence of godliness on a man’s external circumstances. Then consistent godliness gives a man character. Besides, godliness saves a man from intemperance: and what a vast benefit is this! When a man becomes truly godly, he becomes industrious. You never saw an idle Christian. And then the Lord will bless the man that fears Him. Besides, godliness is beneficial considered in its influence in preserving and prolonging the life that now is. Then is it not true that ungodliness tends to impair and destroy life? Godliness is profitable in its beneficial influence on all the relations of life—on all the grades in society. Let me just add here that godliness is profitable at all the periods of life. It is profitable in the morning of life. Oh! how it brightens the morning: and is not morning the best part of the day? And if it be bright in the morning, oh! may it not bless the noon? Then if it brighten the morn and bless the noon, how will it cheer the evening of life! Learn the inconsistency and folly of those who, while they admit the profit of godliness, make no effort to avail themselves of its advantages. Let me recommend this religion to you on the principle of self-interest. (R. Newton.)

The advantage of godliness:—Among the other advantages which it secures on this side eternity, one is the improvement of the human mind—I mean of his intellectual qualities: the improvement of his judgment, his discrimination, his mental faculties. I shall draw your attention to four reasons why the religion of Christ, when received into the heart, improves the human mind.

  1. Its tendency is to subjugate the passions. It is more than its tendency; it is its direct effect. Not that man is wholly without restraint; there are three things which may operate to check the evil passions of the heart. 1. Conscience has some power. 2. Reason. 3. Self-interest. Self-interest can do something to check the passions, because it will say, “This will do you an injury.” But they are unable to do this perfectly, and that for two reasons. 1. That passion is greatly assisted by powerful allies. Satan sits at the right hand of the human heart, blowing up the coals of evil which are in the heart into a flame of sin, which marks the demon’s power over fallen man. But religion comes to counteract this; the grace of God, by applying to the mind Divine truth and disposing the mind to love and embrace it, improves the mind—(1) By strengthening it. It gives such views, and principles, and motives, as direct the conduct. (2) By enlightening it. The tendency of religion on the mind is to make it see more accurately, reason more correctly, and feel more properly.
  2. It presents right principles of action. 1. It presents a principle extremely weighty to regulate the mind aright and make it decide right on such things as it is called to judge respecting it. It enables the mind to realize eternity; to be influenced by it at such times and in such places as an individual living in preparation for it should be influenced and guided in relation to an appearance before the great tribunal. 2. Religion produces the realization of another object which tends to guide the mind aright. What is that which will decide the rectitude of the whole life? The apostle has stated it—“Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”; because all that is not done according to this motive is not done according to the will of God. 3. Religion influences the mind and will aright, and therefore elevates the mind, because it furnishes a directory—the Scriptures. Religion has this influence, because—

III. It presents to the mind the highest subjects of contemplation. 1. It brings to the mind the things of God. It takes the mind, by contemplation, up into the mount, as Moses was taken up to converse with God; or as the disciples were taken up into the Mount of Transfiguration to behold the glory of Christ and to hear Him talk with Moses and Elias. It has an elevating effect. 2. It makes the mind serious; and seriousness improves the mind. Trifling is the mark of a light mind, and does not improve it. Religion, as it induces habits of seriousness, cannot fail to improve the mind. 3. The study of God’s Word tends to strengthen the mind; and that which strengthens the mind improves it. 4. Religion gives acquiescence to the will of God; and this improves the mind. The mind that is opposed to the will of God is always battling; but the mind that yields to the will of God is always going right.

  1. By the internal peace, the peace of soul which religion is calculated to produce, and which it actually does produce; it raises the human mind. When the mind is at peace, it can operate calmly, and is therefore more likely to regulate the judgment and guide it aright. It has often been remarked what effect religion produces in seasons of great danger. This was strikingly observed in the case of the loss of the Kent East Indiaman. There were some persons on board under the influence of religion; and some of these, even females, became objects of admiration, because of their remarkable presence of mind. And this power of religion has often been remarked in our pious soldiers and sailors: their minds have been composed in the hour of danger and of battle; and they have been distinguished by their energy and calmness. In fact, almost all that distinguishes the rational from the irrational is seen in the Christian. The Christian in this world is always in danger. We cannot but observe, then—1. How superior is the state of the human mind in those who have religion to the state of the mind in those who have it not. 2. In attentively reading the history of the world, we may state, without fear of contradiction, that the minds of men have been improved in proportion to the degree of religion they have possessed. (R. Sibthorp.)

The advantages of practical religion:—1. “Godliness is profitable,” as it tends greatly to alleviate the sorrows of life. 2. Godliness is profitable because it imparts sweetness to the enjoyments and an additional relish to the pleasures of life. It is a libel on piety, to represent it as something gloomy and morose. 3. “Godliness,” because it confers upon its possessors pleasures peculiarly its own, “is profitable.” 4. Godliness is profitable, as it disarms death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom. 5. “Godliness is profitable,” for it prepares its possessor for eternal glory. From this subject we learn the importance—the value of religion. But, in fine, if religion is so profitable, I need scarcely, except for the purpose of excitement, remind you that it is personal religion that alone can be beneficial to any of you. (Dr. Beattie.)

Godliness:

  1. The nature of godliness. 1. Knowledge of the perfections of God—of the person and work of Christ as the Mediator—of man’s state as a fallen creature—of his duty and privileges as redeemed by Christ. (1) As to the perfections of God. This knowledge is to be found nowhere but in the Book of God. (2) Here alone we obtain a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) Here we are made acquainted with man’s state as a fallen creature. (4) As to his duty and privileges. Now, the knowledge of all this is essential to true religion in any soul. 2. Obedience to the commands of God. 3. The transformation of the soul into the image of God.
  2. The fruits, or tendencies and effects, of godliness. 1. For the increase of worldly comfort. 2. For the establishment of respectability of character in the world. 3. For the improvement of the human mind. (P. M’Owan.)

The gain of godliness:

  1. And, first, what is godliness? It is a real belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; our Maker, our Redeemer, and our Sanctifier. It is believing in Him, as He is made known to us in the Bible, in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us see, whether, even in this world, godliness is not great gain. In the first place, the Scripture gives a general promise that the godly man shall have good things in this world. 1. For godliness fits a man for every station. It is that character on which favour, honour, and esteem surely follow. 2. The godly man alone really enjoys the things which God gives him here. 3. But further, the godly man alone has the privilege of know ing that all things shall work together for his good. 4. But after all, if you would know the great gain of godliness, even in this life, you must try it.
  2. And this word brings us to the full gain of godliness. If in this life only the believer had hope in Christ, he might still be deemed of all men most miserable. (E. Blencowe, M.A.)

That godliness generally makes men happy in this life:—I. It is to be observed that under the Jewish dispensation temporal promises were most expressly made to obedience, and most particularly with regard to the national success of the righteous against their public enemies (Deut. 32:29). II. Therefore it is to be observed in the next place, and the observation holds more universally true, that religion and virtue, whenever they obtain generally so as to prevail in a nation, do bring along with them very great temporal blessings. III. As to the case of particular and private persons, about whom is much the greatest difficulty, there are several considerations necessary to be taken in in order to determine with any exactness how far godliness having the promise of the present life can be applied to them in this mixed and disorderly state of things. And—1. Religion and piety does not generally alter the natural circumstances or the relative states and conditions of men. If a man be poor or be a servant or slave, his being pious and religious will not certainly make him rich or gain him his freedom. 2. Godliness and true holiness does not exempt men from the unavoidable casualties of nature, such as sickness, death, and the like. 3. Righteousness and piety do not exempt men from such afflictions as God sees necessary either to make trial of their virtue or to make an example of it. 4. Religion and virtue do not always secure men from all the consequences of their own former sins. 5. Righteousness and true holiness do not secure men from the consequences of other men’s sins also: from oppression and unrighteous judgment. (S. Clarke, D.D.)

The profitableness of godliness:—How generally men, with most unanimous consent, are devoted to profit, as to the immediate scope of their designs and aim of their doings, if with the slightest attention we view what is acted on this theatre of human affairs, we cannot but discern. Profit is therefore so much affected and pursued, because it is, or doth seem, apt to procure or promote some good desirable to us. It hath been ever a main obstruction to the practice of piety, that it hath been taken for no friend, or rather for an enemy to profit; as both unprofitable and prejudicial to its followers: and many semblances there are countenancing that opinion. For religion seemeth to smother or to slacken the industry and alacrity of men in following profit many ways: by charging them to be content with a little, and careful for nothing; by diverting their affections and cares from worldly affairs to matters of another nature, place, and time, prescribing in the first place to seek things spiritual, heavenly. It favoureth this conceit to observe that often bad men by impious courses do appear to thrive and prosper; while good men seem for their goodness to suffer, or to be nowise visibly better for it, enduring much hardship and distress. 1. We may consider that piety is exceeding useful for all sorts of men, in all capacities, all states, all relations; fitting and disposing them to manage all their respective concernments, to discharge all their peculiar duties, in a proper, just, and decent manner. If then it be a gross absurdity to desire the fruits, and not to take care of the root, not to cultivate the stock, whence they sprout; if every prince gladly would have his subjects loyal and obedient, every master would have his servants honest, diligent, and observant, every parent would have his children officious and grateful, every man would have his friend faithful and kind, every one would have those just and sincere, with whom he doth negotiate or converse; if any one would choose to be related to such, and would esteem their relation a happiness; then consequently should every man in reason strive to further piety, from whence alone those good dispositions and practices do proceed. 2. Piety doth fit a man for all conditions, qualifying him to pass through them all with the best advantage, wisely, cheerfully, and safely; so as to incur no considerable harm or detriment by them. Is a man prosperous, high, or wealthy in condition? Piety guardeth him from all the mischiefs incident to that state, and disposeth him to enjoy the best advantages thereof. It keepeth him from being swelled and puffed up with vain conceit. It preserveth him from being perverted or corrupted with the temptations to which that condition is most liable; from luxury, from sloth, from stupidity, from forgetfulness of God, and of himself; maintaining among the floods of plenty a sober and steady mind. Such a wondrous virtue hath piety to change all things into matter of consolation and joy. No condition in effect can be evil or sad to a pious man: his very sorrows are pleasant, his infirmities are wholesome, his wants enrich him, his disgraces adorn him, his burdens ease him; his duties are privileges, his falls are the grounds of advancement, his very sins (as breeding contrition, humility, circumspection, and vigilance), do better and profit him: whereas impiety doth spoil every condition, doth corrupt and embase all good things, doth embitter all the conveniences and comforts of life. 3. Piety doth virtually comprise within it all other profits, serving all the designs of them all: whatever kind or desirable good we can hope to find from any other profit, we may be assured to enjoy from it. He that hath it is ipso facto vastly rich, is entitled to immense treasures of most precious wealth; in comparison whereto all the gold and all the jewels in the world are mere baubles. He hath interest in God, and can call Him his, who is the all, and in regard to whom all things existent are “less than nothing.” The pious man is in truth most honourable. The pious man is also the most potent man: he hath a kind of omnipotency, because he can do whatever he will, that is, what he ought to do; and because the Divine power is ever ready to assist him in his pious enterprises, so that “he can do all things by Christ that strengtheneth him.” The pious man also doth enjoy the only true pleasures; hearty, pure, solid, durable pleasures. As for liberty, the pious man most entirely and truly doth enjoy that; he alone is free from captivity to that cruel tyrant Satan, from the miserable slavery to sin, from the grievous dominion of lust and passion. As for all other profits, secluding it, they are but imaginary and counterfeit, mere shadows and illusions, yielding only painted shows instead of substantial fruit. 4. That commendation is not to be omitted which is nearest at hand, and suggested by St. Paul himself to back this assertion concerning the universal profitableness of piety; “For,” saith he, “it hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” As for the blessings of this life, although God hath not promised to load the godly man with affluence of worldly things, yet hath He promised to furnish him with whatever is needful or convenient for him, in due measure and season, the which he doth best understand. Particularly there are promised to the pious man, A supply of all wants. “The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.” A protection in all dangers.—“The eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him, on them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” Guidance in all his undertakings and proceedings.—“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Success and prosperity in his designs.—“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Comfortable enjoying the fruits of his industry.—“Thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands.” Satisfaction of all reasonable desires.—“The desire of the righteous shall be granted.” Firm peace and quiet.—“Great peace have they which love Thy law.” “The fruit of righteousness is sowed in peace.” Joy and alacrity.—“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Support and comfort in afflictions.—“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Deliverance from trouble.—“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Preservation and recovery from mishaps, or miscarriages.—“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.” Preferment of all sorts, to honour and dignity, to wealth and prosperity.—“Wait on the Lord, and keep His way; and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land.” Long life.—“The fear of the Lord prolongeth days.” A good name endureth after death.—“The memory of the just is blessed.” Blessings entailed on posterity.—“His seed shall be mighty on earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” “The root of the righteous shall not be moved.” It is indeed more frequently, abundantly, and explicitly promised unto God’s ancient people, as being a conditional ingredient of the covenant made with them, exhibited in that as a recompense of their external performance of religious works prescribed in their law. The gospel doth not so clearly propound it, or so much insist on it as not principally belonging to the evangelical covenant, the which, in reward to the performance of its conditions by us, peculiarly doth offer blessings spiritual, and relating to the future state; as also scarce deserving to be mentioned in comparison to those superior blessings. But infinitely more profitable it is, as “having the promises of the future life,” or as procuring a title to those incomparably more excellent blessings of the other world; those “indefectible treasures,” that “incorruptible, undefiled, and never-fading inheritance, reserved in heaven for us.” (I. Barrow.)

The profitableness of godliness:—1. We may consider that religion doth prescribe the truest and best rules of action; thence enlightening our mind, and rectifying our practice in all matters, and on all occasions, so that whatever is performed according to it, is done well and wisely, with a comely grace in regard to others, with a cheerful satisfaction in our own mind, with the best assurance that things are here capable of, to find happy success and beneficial fruit. Of all things in the world there is nothing more generally profitable than light by it we converse with the world, and have all things set before us; by it we truly and easily discern things in their right magnitude, shape, and colour; by it we guide our steps safely in prosecution of what is good, and shunning what is noxious; by it our spirits are comfortably warmed and cheered, our life consequently, our health, our vigour, and activity, are preserved. The like benefits doth religion, which is the light of our soul, yield to it. Pious men are “children of the light”; pious works are works of light “shining before men.” What therefore law and government are to the public, things necessary to preserve the world in order, peace, and safety (that men may know what to do, and distinguish what is their own), that is piety to each man’s private state and to ordinary conversation: it freeth a man’s own life from disorder and distraction; it prompteth men how to behave themselves toward one another with security and confidence. 2. We may consider more particularly, that piety yieldeth to the practiser all kind of interior content, peace, and joy; freeth him from all kinds of dissatisfaction, regret, and disquiet; which is an inestimably great advantage: for certainly the happiness and misery of men are wholly or chiefly seated and founded in the mind. If that is in a good state of health, rest, and cheerfulness, whatever the person’s outward condition or circumstances be, he cannot be wretched: if that be distempered or disturbed, he cannot be happy. 3. Seeing we have mentioned happiness, or the summum bonum, the utmost scope of human desire, we do add, that piety doth surely confer it. Happiness, whatever it be, hath certainly an essential coherence with piety. These are reciprocal propositions, both of them infallibly true, he that is pious is happy; and, he that is happy is pious. All pious dispositions are fountains of pleasant streams, which by their confluence do make up a full sea of felicity. 4. It is a peculiar advantage of piety, that it furnisheth employment fit for us, worthy of us, hugely grateful and highly beneficial to us. Man is a very busy and active creature, which cannot live and do nothing, whose thoughts are in restless motion, whose desires are ever stretching at somewhat, who perpetually will be working either good or evil to himself; wherefore greatly profitable must that thing be which determineth him to act well, to spend his care and pain on that which is truly advantageous to him; and that is religion only. It alone fasteneth our thoughts, affections, and endeavours, on occupations worthy the dignity of our nature. 5. It is a considerable benefit of piety, that it affordeth the best friendships and sweetest society. (Ibid.)

Temporal blessings, support under trouble, and sanctified afflictions:

  1. Godliness is profitable for the obtaining of all temporal good things that we stand in need of. In that catalogue of the Christian’s possessions and treasures, which St. Paul has drawn up (1 Cor. 3:22). 1. As to riches. “The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich (Prov. 10:22). To all this we may still add, that religion brings contentment to the mind, and “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). If it does not bring the estate to the mind, it brings the mind to the estate; and that is much the same thing, it is altogether as well. Thus it is that “a little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked” (Psa. 37:16). And he is truly richer with a little, than the others are with a great deal. 2. To honour and good reputation. A blessing which the wise man rates at a higher price than gold and silver, or any of the riches of this world (Prov. 22:1). 3. Pleasure. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Prov. 3:17). (1) As to bodily health, without which we can neither enjoy ourselves, nor anything. (2) A peaceable mind. If the mind be not in tune, the sweetest harmony will make no music in our ears. I must not here pass by an objection or two which may possibly be made against the pleasantness of religion. One is, that it requires some difficult and distasteful duties, as repentance, self-denial and mortification. But as well may one object against the pleasantness of health, because itmay be sometimes necessary to take distasteful medicines, either to recover or to preserve it. Another objection against the pleasure of godliness is taken from the uncomfortable lives of some godly persons.
  2. Godliness is profitable for the life that now is, to support us under troubles and afflictions whenever they befall us. Here let us inquire what those peculiar supports under afflictions are, which are the proper fruits of godliness. They are chiefly these—1. The testimony of a good conscience. This, St. Paul tells us was his rejoicing in all his tribulations, and at last in the near views of death (2 Cor. 1:12). 2. A sense of pardon and reconciliation with God is a further support under worldly troubles. Pardon takes away the curse from affliction, and a sense of pardon is a sovereign balm to ease the anguish of the mind. 3. The comfortable hope of heaven, where these present afflictions shall be felt no more, and where they shall be abundantly compensated with fulness of joy for ever. 4. There are the supporting influences of the good spirit of God, which are promised in the gospel to all believers.

III. That it secures a sanctified use of afflictions, as well as a happy issue of them; which is therefore a present, as well as a future benefit. (D. Jennings.)

The present life:—1. It is a mysterious life. 2. It is a trying life. 3. It is a preparatory life. 4. It is a short life. 5. It is a precarious life. (The Homilist.)

Godliness:

  1. The principle.
  2. The practice. Godliness must be exercised; religion is a personal matter. He must exercise himself vigorously.

III. The profit. (D. Thomas.)

The profit of godliness:

  1. “Bodily exercise” is of considerable profit. St. Paul is speaking of the training in the gymnasium. He allows it profits a little. Yet it is not all. No man is necessarily better in heart and life for having the muscles of his arm increased in girth half an inch or an inch. A sound constitution does not necessarily involve goodness in character. If so the Kaffir or Zulu would be the best man upon earth, which he is not. “Bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” The discipline of godliness does make a man better inwardly. And the goodness passes from the centre outwards. It includes even that measure of advantage which may be derived from the culture of the body.
  2. There is another view of this phrase, “bodily exercise,” which we ought to notice before passing on. A large class of writers understand by it not so much athleticism as asceticism. The soul should bear empire over the body; but it should also reverence and care for the body. The laws of the body, of health, of sustenance are equally laws of God, with those of the soul. The perfection of manhood is attained when the laws of both, according to their kind and function, are duly observed. Asceticism is immoral, because it violates wantonly the law of God in one of the fairest provinces of His creation—viz., the delicate, sensitive, serviceable body of man. Yet even asceticism, in certain forms, profiteth a little. “Allow not nature more than nature needs,” says Shakespeare. Self-denial in bodily indulgence might put some of us into more robust mental health, and impart to us a finer spiritual tone. I am not sure but that “bodily discipline” might (as St. Paul says) “profit a little.” If any bodily appetite or habit rises into mastery over the mind or soul, it must be put in check with a firm hand, and with patient self-denial. So far “bodily exercise,” discipline, is not only profitable, but imperative.

III. The higher principle including all that is serviceable in both athleticism and asceticism, and immeasurably more beside, is godliness. It grows also by use. “Exercise thyself unto godliness.” We grow patient by being patient. We become industrious by refusing to be indolent and by working hard. We learn to love best by loving. We become religious by praying and communion with God. Begin to make God’s law a ruling influence and power in your life. Think out what His will is about, say, that temptation which is coming to you to-morrow; then keep to His will, and pass the temptation by. That is the discipline of godliness.

  1. This is profitable for all things—unlike athleticism, which profits only for soundness of health and toughness of muscle. 1. For the body itself godliness is profitable. Disease, weakness, morbidness are far more the devil’s work than God’s. 2. For the mind. He who ordered the planets in their orbits, and the seasons in their unvarying round, has not left the human mind without its law. Godliness brings man into harmony with the Author of his being. 3. For faith. But godliness advances faith. The more godlike we grow, the simpler, clearer, stronger is our faith in God. Live holier lives, live less selfish lives, and you will believe more in God and His Son. 4. The affections. This great reverence for the God who is great and good and loving enlarges our heart and our affections. Godliness is instinctive chivalry. If by your evil passion and harshness, your self-indulgence, your weakness and wanton folly, you blight the lives of others, I tell you, you are ungodly men. Godliness is profitable to the home. 5. Business. Be a godly man. Fear God rather than turns of fortune or than opinion. Be like God—true, reliable in your word and deeds. (A. J. Griffith.)

The profitableness of godliness:

  1. A man quickly learns if he wishes to live profitably he must have regard to law. We cannot violate law without suffering for it. Disobedience entails destruction, obedience informs with life.
  2. Let us carry this examination into greater detail. The most profitable human existence is that existence which secures the greatest benefit to the greatest number of faculties. If we resolve a human being into its elements, we shall find it divisible into body, mind, and soul, or, as some would put it, moral instincts. The true philosophy of living consists in the development of this tripartite. We pass, then, to consider the influence of rigidly religious life upon these sides of our nature. 1. If we practise the precepts of the gospel we will eschew those evil acts which occasion uneasiness and remorse; our temperament will maintain an even tranquility, our happiness will be full and satisfying. It has been truly said that an atheistic age is a barren age. We may safely say, then, that for the growth of the mind a godly life is best. 2. But the mind sends down its roots deep into the encompassing body upon which it acts and is acted upon. Physiologists tell us that a healthy mind conduces to a healthy body. If a Christian life produces vigour and clearness of intellect, then it must have a similar effect on the body. A religious life, then, we assert to be physically beneficial. 3. Passing to the region of the spiritual we are relieved from all necessity for discussion. Spirituality can only exist amid holy influences. The man who sins deadens his moral instincts, makes them useless here, and entails the penalty which such misuse is visited with hereafter. 4. But we cannot have obtained anything like a reliable knowledge of the relative value of two courses of life if we have excluded from our calculations all thought of suffering and sorrow. As we cannot by human device stave off sorrow, it behoves us to consider how it can be most successfully met. Mr. Spurgeon has said that if we take our troubles to God He will carry them for us; but if we take them anywhere else they will roll back again.

III. Passing from the individual man to his business interests, we proceed to consider whether godliness is inimical to worldly success. Now, all that Christianity enforces is the necessity of strict honesty. Religion will not transform the dunce into a genius, but sinfulness will transform the genius into a dunce. And if all things are considered, I feel confident that the just man gains in more than mere clear-headedness. Deceit is a most deceitful helper. Henry Ward Beecher tells a story of a man in the Canadian backwoods who, during the summer months, bad procured a stock of fuel sufficient to serve the winter’s consumption. This man had a neighbour who was very indolent, but not very honest, and who, having neglected to provide against the winter storms, was mean enough to avail himself of his neighbour’s supplies without the latter’s permission or knowledge. Mr. Beecher states that it was found, on computation, that the thief had actually spent more time in watching for opportunities to steal, and laboured more arduously to remove the wood (to say nothing of the risk and penalty of detection), than had the man who in open daylight and by honest means had gathered it. And this is oftener the case than we are disposed to allow. What appear to be short cuts to wealth are never safe ones, and very generally they prove to be extremely circuitous. Relaxation, too, is necessary for all men. Consider, then, whether the frivolous and enervating gaiety so frequently indulged in, or the innocent and energizing merriment of the godly, will best enable a man to recuperate the waste occasioned by business life.

  1. We cannot isolate ourselves from others; we are bound by innumerable bonds to the system of human interests. Our welfare is knit up with the welfare of the world. The man, then, who strives to suppress swindling, and who by the nobility of his own character rebukes all cheatery, is doing a grand service for mankind. He is making property more secure, and society more stable. If irreligion was crushed prosperity would visit this country with her brightest blessings and most permanent happiness. The gospel is also the more potent than all the antidotes which economists prescribe for the diminution of crime.
  2. It is true godliness, not sham or selfish godliness, that proves profitable.
  3. Having thus glanced at the profitableness of religion in this life, let us bestow a moment’s thought upon that other life which is eternal. If we lose this, what profit is it that we have been successful in business! We have gained the lesser by losing the greater. The course which in the end will prove profitable cannot be a selfish one. Love to God is indissolubly intertwined with love to man, and the glory of God must issue in man’s exaltation in the best and truest sense. (J. G. Henderson.) What is the profit of godliness?—That men, by godliness, should reap a fruition and harvest hereafter is not surprising to those who have at all been instructed in religious things; but there are many who have supposed that godliness was in a man’s way here. What is godliness? So that godliness means something more than merely religion, in the narrow and technical sense of the term. It means having a wise view of all the laws of our being and condition, and living in conformity to them. Moreover, when it is said that it has in it “the promise of the life that now is,” we are not to narrowly interpret it. A man with a clumsy hand, without skill and without inventive thought, is not justified in attempting to be an inventor simply on the general ground of godliness. We are not to suppose that a man who has no commercial training is to plunge into business and make this plea: “I live in conformity to the laws of my being, and shall be prospered in my pursuits.” We are to have a larger idea of prosperity than is seen in any of these special things. That which, on the whole, promotes their greatest happiness must be considered. Their prosperity now means their welfare. It does not consist in the development of any one part of their nature, but the whole of it. Godliness has an immediate relation to that which is the foundation of all enjoyment—a good, sound bodily condition. The condition of enjoyment in this life is that one is in a sound state of bodily health. Godliness, or a conformity to the great laws of our condition, includes physical health—works toward it. Moderation of appetite; restraint of undue desires; that quietness of spirit which comes from the belief in an overruling Providence; that undisturbed equilibrium which comes from faith in God—all these are, looking at them in their very lowest relations, elements of health—of a sound physical condition. Next consider how much a man’s happiness in this life depends upon his disposition—both with reference to himself and with reference to his social surrounding. It is not what you have about you, but what you are, that determines how happy you shall be. Excessive pride takes away from the power of enjoyment. Godliness, by its very nature, reduces a man to a certain conformity with the laws of his condition, and makes him content therein, and so works upon his disposition that it becomes amenable to the law of happiness. It is made to be more childlike and simple. It is brought into conditions in which happiness may distil upon it from ten thousand little things. A man who wishes to see beauty in nature must not watch for it in gorgeous sunsets always—though they will come once in a while. Let him watch for it in ten million little facets which glisten in the light of the sun, by the roadside as well as in the rich man’s adorned grounds. We must see it in the motes and bugs, in the minutest insects, everywhere. So, then, we are to reap happiness and satisfaction, not so much from great cataclysms and paroxysms as in little things, that have the power to make us supremely happy. Another thing. Men’s happiness depends more upon their relations to society than we are apt to think. Where men have the art of fitting themselves to their circumstances and their companions there is great satisfaction in these also. There is a true sympathy, a true benevolence, which is godly. If you go among men with a mean, selfish spirit, how little happiness will you find in your social intercourse! But if in the child and in its sports you see something to make you smile; if toward the labouring man you have a kindly good will, and if you find companionship with all who are virtuous in the various walks of life—with those who are high for certain reasons, and those who are low for certain other reasons; if you feel a generous brotherhood and sympathy of men, then there is a vast deal of enjoyment for you in this life, which comes simply from your aptitudes for fellowship and friendship. Now it is the peculiar office of a true godliness to subdue the heart to this universal amnesty and sympathy, so that they who are godly, who live in conformity to the will of God, in all their circumstances, shall reap more or less enjoyment. Godliness, by changing men’s condition, prepares them to be happy; and by giving them affinities for things about them produces conditions of happiness. There are also other ways in which godliness works towards happiness. It gives to men a motive in this life without concentrating on their worldly endeavours the utmost of their powers. The outgoing of a man’s own self, legitimately and industriously, with the constant expectation of success—there is great enjoyment in this. At the same time, let this enjoyment be coupled with the moderating, restraining feeling that if earthly enterprises fail and come short, this world is not the only refuge, and worldly affairs are not the only things of value—that though the house perish, and the garments be wasted, and the gold and silver take wings and fly away, and all things perish, yet there is a God, there is a providence, there is hope, there is a home, and there is immortality; then the happiness is greatly increased. Then there is the consideration of those qualities which go to make success in business. Men do not believe you are as honest or as faithful and prompt as you believe yourself to be. But where all the parts of a man are morally sound; where he is free from vices of every sort; where he has fidelity, conscientiousness, industry, good judgment, and intelligence; where he is so trustworthy that you can bring the screw to bear upon him, and, though you turn it never so many times, not be able to break him until you crush him to death—he is invaluable. And I say that just in proportion as men approach to that, they are more and more important in a commercial age, and in a great commercial community. Now, it is the tendency of the ethics of Christianity to produce just such men. If religion does not produce them, it is so far spuriously or imperfectly administered. There is a difference between ethical religion and ecclesiastical and doctrinal religion. But where a man has Christian ethics; where a man is truth-speaking and reliable; where a man is founded upon the rock Christ Jesus, and cannot be moved from it, I say that godliness tends to success in commercial affairs. If you take the different classes of religionists, where shall you find more Christian ethics than among the Quakers? Where shall you find more carefulness in daily life? And among what class will you find more worldly prosperity, and more enjoyment in it, than among them? When I lived in the West, a merchant told me that during twenty years he never suffered the loss of a quarter of a dollar from a whole Quaker neighbourhood. You might take whole settlements, and say that they were exemplifications of the fact that “godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Many a poor man goes along the street whose name would not be worth a snap on a note. He could not get a bank in New York to lend him a hundred dollars for a month. He is of no market value whatever. But if your dear child was dying, and you did not know how to pray, he is the very man that you would send for. You would say to him when you were in distress, “Come to our house.” Ah! a man may not have outward prosperity, and yet prosper. He may have that which money cannot buy—peace, happiness, joy. The power of making joy he has; and is he not prospered? Is he not well off? Finally, taking society at large, those who get the furthest from the rules of morality; those who have the most doubt and distrust in regard to the overruling providence of God; those who have a leaning to their own wisdom; those who are proud and selfish, and do what they have a mind to regardless of the welfare of others—they are not pre-eminently prosperous, even in material and commercial things. (H. W. Beecher.)

The profit of godliness in this life:—With regard to this life, let it be remarked that the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ neither undervalues nor overvalues this present life. It does not sneer at this life as though it were nothing; on the contrary, it ennobles it, and shows the relation which it has to the higher and eternal life. There are many who undervalue this life; let me mention some of them to you. Those undervalue it who sacrifice it to indulge their passions or to gratify their appetites. Too many for the sake of momentary gratifications have shortened their lives, and rendered their latter end bitterly painful to themselves. Some evidently undervalue their lives, because they make them wretched through envy. Others are richer than they are, and they think it a miserable thing to be alive at all while others possess more of this world’s goods than they. Oh poison not life by envy of others, for if you do so you miserably undervalue it! The slaves of avarice undervalue their lives, for they do not care to make life happy, but pinch themselves in order to accumulate wealth. The miser who starves himself in order that he may fill his bags may well be reasoned with in this way: “Is not the life more than the meat, and the body than raiment? So also do they undervalue it who in foolhardiness are ready to throw it away on the slightest pretext. He that for his country’s sake, or for the love of his fellow-creatures, risks life and loses it, truly deserves to be called a hero; but he who, to provoke laughter and to win the applause of fools, will venture limb and life without need is but a fool himself, and deserves no praise whatever. Yet there can be such a thing as overvaluing this life, and multitudes have fallen into that error. Those overvalue it who prefer it to eternal life. Why, it is but as a drop compared with the ocean, if you measure time with eternity. They overvalue this life who consider it to be a better thing than Divine love, for the love of God is better than life. Some would give anything for their lives, but they would give nothing for God’s love. It appears from the text that godliness influences this present life, puts it in its true position, and becomes profitable to it.

  1. First, let me observe that godliness changes the tenure of the life that now is. It hath “the promise of the life that now is.” I want you to mark the word—“it hath the promise of the life that now is.” An ungodly man lives, but how? He lives in a very different respect from a godly man. Sit down in the cell of Newgate with a man condemned to die. That man lives, but he is reckoned dead in law. He has been condemned. If he is now enjoying a reprieve, yet he holds his life at another’s pleasure, and soon he must surrender it to the demands of justice. I, sitting by the side of him, breathing the same air, and enjoying what in many respects is only the selfsame life, yet live in a totally different sense. I have not forfeited my life to the law, I enjoy it, as far as the law is concerned, as my own proper right: the law protects my life, though it destroys his life. The ungodly man is condemned already, condemned to die, for the wages of sin is death; and his whole life here is nothing but a reprieve granted by the longsuffering of God. But a Christian man is pardoned and absolved; he owes not his life now to penal justice; when death comes to him it will not be at all in the sense of an infliction of a punishment; it will not be death, it will be the transfer of his spirit to a better state, the slumbering of his body for a little while in its proper couch to be awakened in a nobler likeness by the trump of the archangel. Now, is not life itself changed when held on so different a tenure? “Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is.” That word changes the tenure of our present life in this respect, that it removes in a sense the uncertainty of it. God hath given to none of you unconverted ones any promise of the life that now is. You are like squatters on a common, who pitch their tents, and by the sufferance of the lord of the manor may remain there for awhile, but at a moment’s notice you must up tents and away. But the Christian hath the promise of the life that now is; that is to say, he has the freehold of it; it is life given to him of God, and he really enjoys it, and has an absolute certainty about it; in fact, the life that now is has become to the Christian a foretaste of the life to come. The tenure is very different between the uncertainty of the ungodly who has no rights and no legal titles, and the blessed certainty of the child of God who lives by promise. Let me add that this word seems to me to sweeten the whole of human life to the man that hath it. Godliness hath the promise of life that now is; that is to say, everything that comes to a godly man comes to him by promise, whereas if the ungodly man hath any blessing apparent, it does not come by promise, it comes overshadowed by a terrible guilt which curses his very blessings, and makes the responsibilities of his wealth and of his health and position redound to his own destruction, working as a savour of death unto death through his wilful disobedience. There is a vast difference between having the life that now is and having the promise of the life that now is—having God’s promise about it to make it all gracious, to make it all certain, and to make it all blessed as a token of love from God.
  2. The benefit which godliness bestows in this life. Perhaps the fulness of the text is the fact that the highest blessedness of life, is secured to us by godliness. Under ordinary circumstances it is true that godliness wears a propitious face both towards health and wealth and name, and he who has respect to these things shall not find himself, as a rule, injured in the pursuit of them by his godliness; but still I disdain altogether the idea that all these three things together, are or even make up a part of the promise of the life that now is. I believe some persons have the life that now is in its fulness, and the promise of it in its richest fulfilment, who have neither wealth, health, nor fame; for being blessed with the suffering Master’s smile and presence, they are happier far than those who roll in wealth, who luxuriate in fame, and have all the rich blessings which health includes. Let me now show you what I think is the promise of the life that now is. I believe it to be an inward happiness, which is altogether independent of outward circumstances, which is something richer than wealth, fairer than health, and more substantial than fame. This secret of the Lord, this deep delight, this calm repose, godliness always brings in proportion as it reigns in the heart. Let us try and show that this is even so. A godly man, is one who is at one with his Maker. 1. It must always be right with the creature when it is at one with the Creator. But when godliness puts our will into conformity with the Divine will, the more fully it does so, the more certainly it secures to us happiness even in the life that now is. I am not happy necessarily because I am in health, but I am happy if I am content to be out of health when God wills it. I am not happy because I am wealthy, but I am happy if it pleases me to be poor because it pleases God I should be. 2. The Christian man starting in life as such is best accoutred for this life. He is like a vessel fittingly stored for all the storms and contrary currents that may await it. The Christian is like a soldier, who must fain go to battle, but he is protected by the best armour that can be procured. 3. With a Christian all things that happen to him work for good. Is not this a rich part of the promise of the life that now is? What if the waves roar against him, they speed his bark towards the haven? 4. The Christian enjoys his God under all circumstances. That, again, is the promise of the life that now is. 5. I am sure you will agree with me that the genuine possessor of godliness has the promise of the life that now is in his freedom from many of those cares and fears which rob life of all its lustre. The man without godliness is weighted with the care of every day, and of all the days that are to come, the dread remembrance of the past, and the terror of the future as well. 6. And as he is thus free from care, so is he free from the fear of men. 7. Moreover, the fear of death has gone from the Christian. This with many deprives the life that now is of everything that is happy and consoling. Another application of the text is this. There is a bearing of it upon the sinner. It is quite certain, O ungodly man, that the promise of the life that now is belongs only to those who are godly. Are you content to miss the cream of this life? I pray you, if you will not think of the life to come, at least think of this. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Happiness of godliness:—Christianity a gloomy system! The world and devils may say so; but a thousand eyes that sparkle with a hope that maketh not ashamed, and a thousand hearts that beat happily with the full pulse of spiritual life, can tell thee thou liest. Christianity a gloomy system! Why, it is the Christian only that can thoroughly enjoy the world. To him, to his grateful vision, earth is garlanded with fairer beauty, heaven sparkles with serener smiles; to him the landscape is the more lovely, because it reminds him of the paradise of his hope in prospect which his father once lost, but which his Saviour has brought back again, as a family inheritance for ever; to him the ocean rolls the more grandly, because it figures out the duration of his promised life; to him the birds in their forest minstrelsy warble the more sweetly, because their woodland music takes him upwards to the harpers harping with their harps in heaven; to him the mountains tower the more sublimely, because their heaven-pointing summits are the emblems of his own majestic hopes. (W. M. Punshon.)

Secret of happiness:—A thoroughly loyal subject of God’s kingdom is qualified to dwell happily in any world to which God may call him. Because he is what he is, it matters less where he chances to be. The star which shines by its own light may traverse the infinite space of the heavens, but it can never know eclipse. On the other hand, a peevish, uneasy, and wilful spirit is not much helped by outward condition. King Ahab, in his palace, turns his face to the wall and will eat no bread, because he cannot have Naboth’s vineyard. How many a proud man is so unweaned and pulpy that he cannot bear a cloudy day, an east wind, the loss of a dinner, the creaking of a shutter by night, or a plain word! You will meet travellers who take their care with them as they do their luggage, and grasp it tightly wherever they go, or check it forward from place to place, although, unlike their luggage, it never gets lost. You may carry an instrument out of tune all over the world, and every breath of heaven and every hand of man that sweeps over its strings shall produce only discord. Such a man’s trouble is in his temper, not in his place. You can hardly call it “borrowed” trouble either, for it is mostly made, and so is his own by the clearest of all titles. (Wm. Crawford.)

The blessedness of religion:—Religion makes a man happier all the way through. You may have to work hard for your daily bread, but you hear reports of a land where they neither hunger nor thirst. You may have a great many physical distresses and pangs of pain, but you hear of the land where the head never aches, and where the respiration is not painful, and where the pulse throbs with the life of God! You may have to weep among the graves of the dead, but against the tombstone leans the Risen One pointing you up to that sphere where God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes. Ask those who are before the throne, ask those who have plucked the fruit of the tree of life, ask those who are waving the palms in glory whether this is the happy side or not. I knew a minister in Philadelphia (he was not poetic, he was not romantic—they called him a very plain man), who, in his last moment, as he passed out of life, looked up and said, “I move into the light.” Oh! it is the happy side—happy here—it is happy for ever. (T. De Witt Talmage.)

Happiness is attainable in this life:—Is happiness attainable? First, there is something in our condition as sinners against God, that militates against our happiness. God “made man upright, but he hath sought out many inventions.”

  1. In order to show that happiness is attainable, I shall first appeal to the infallible assurances of God’s inspired Word (2 Chronicles 20:20; 26:5; Job 36:11). In the first Psalm there is an encomium upon the happiness of the godly (Matt. 6:33).
  2. The manifest and unquestionable tendency of true godliness to impart and insure happiness. Health is by universal consent considered an essential ingredient to happiness. Cheerfulness is a part of happiness. And who can pretend to cheerfulness on such just grounds as the real Christian, the man of genuine godliness? His principles make him happy. Look at the influence of those principles on friendship; which is essential to happiness. Mark how the principles of godliness bear upon a man’s usefulness. How can I be happy unless I am useful?

III. The experience of the power of the God whom we serve. If I can show you that happiness has been actually attained, it will be quite clear that it is attainable. Look, therefore, at the history and experience of the servants of God. I will grant the straitness of their circumstances, for they are often a poor and an afflicted people. Let me call your attention to the case of the prophet Habbakuk. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail and the field shall yield no meat, the flocks shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Look at Paul and Silas—their backs lacerated with the Roman scourge, their feet made fast in the stocks, condemned to spend the night in a prison; “at midnight they prayed and sang praises to God; and the prisoners heard them.” Now either these persons must be grossly deceived, or happiness is attainable.

  1. In the fourth place, I must make an appeal to the fact of the existence of hypocrites in the Church. The counterfeit itself proves the value and the existence of the genuine coin.
  2. Finally, I make my appeal to the confessions and lamentations of the ungodly themselves; who, having discarded religion, both in principle and in practice, have been left to rue their own folly, and to admit that their happiness was indeed illusory and vain, ending in bitter disappointment. Some have been honest enough to confess this; that they have “forsaken the fountain of living waters,” and they have heaped to themselves immeasurable bitterness and sorrow of heart. 1. In conclusion, then, let this subject, in the first place, rectify our judgments. 2. In the next place, let this subject decide our choice. The consideration of it will do us good, if the decisions of the will should follow the enlightenment of the understanding. 3. Let this subject, thirdly, awaken our gratitude. 4. Finally, let this subject serve to stimulate our desire for a more full and complete and final happiness beyond the grave. (G. Clayton.)

The profit of godliness in the life to come:—There is another life beyond this fleeting existence. This fact was dimly guessed by heathens. What was thus surmised by the great thinkers of antiquity, has been brought to light in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  1. Godliness concerning the life to come possesses a promise unique and unrivalled. 1. I say a unique promise, for, observe, infidelity makes no promise of a life to come. It is the express business of infidelity to deny that there is such a life, and to blot out all the comfort which can be promised concerning it. Man is like a prisoner shut up in his cell, a cell all dark and cheerless save that there is a window through which he can gaze upon a glorious landscape. 2. No system based upon human merit ever gives its votaries a promise of the life to come, which they can really grasp and be assured of. No self-righteous man will venture to speak of the assurance of faith; in fact, he denounces it as presumption. Godliness hath a monopoly of heavenly promise as to the blessed future. There is nothing else beneath high heaven to which any such promise has ever been given by God, or of which any such promise can be supposed. Look at vice, for instance, with its pretended pleasures—what does it offer you? And it is equally certain that no promise of the life that is to come is given to wealth. Nay, ye may grasp the Indies if ye will; ye may seek to compass within your estates all the lands that ye can see far and wide, but ye shall be none the nearer to heaven when ye have reached the climax of your avarice. There is no promise of the life that is to come in the pursuits of usury and covetousness. Nor is there any such promise to personal accomplishments and beauty. How many live for that poor bodily form of theirs which so soon must moulder back to the dust! Nor even to higher accomplishments than these is there given any promise of the life to come. For instance, the attainment of learning, or the possession of that which often stands men in as good stead as learning, namely, cleverness, brings therewith no promise of future bliss. “Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come,” but to nothing else anywhere, search for it high or low, on earth or sea, to nothing else is the promise given save to godliness alone.
  2. I pass on to notice, in the second place, that the promise given to godliness is as comprehensive as it is unique. In the moment of death the Christian will begin to enjoy this eternal life in the form of wonderful felicity in the company of Christ, in the presence of God, in the society of disembodied spirits and holy angels.

III. I have shown you that the promise appended to godliness is unique and comprehensive, and now observe that it is sure. “Godliness hath promise”; that is to say, it hath God’s promise. Now, God’s promise is firmer than the hills. He is God, and cannot lie. He will never retract the promise, nor will He leave it unfulfilled. He was too wise to give a rash promise: he is too powerful to be unable to fulfil it.

  1. This promise is a present promise. You should notice the participle, “having promise.” It does not say that godliness after awhile will get the promise, but godliness has promise now at this very moment. When we get a man’s promise in whom we trust, we feel quite easy about the matter under concern. A note of hand from many a firm in the city of London would pass current for gold any day in the week; and surely when God gives the promise, it is safe and right for us to accept it as if it were the fulfilment itself, for it is quite as sure. You cannot enjoy heaven, for you are not there, but you can enjoy the promise of it. Many a dear child, if it has a promise of a treat in a week’s time, will go skipping among its little companions as merry as a lark about it. When the crusaders first came in sight of Jerusalem, though they had a hard battle before them ere they could win it, yet they fell down in ecstacy at the sight of the holy city. When the brave soldiers, of whom Xenophon tells us, came at last in sight of the sea, from which they had been so long separated, they cried out, “Thallasse! Thallasse!”—“The sea! the sea!” and we, though death appears between us and the better land, can yet look beyond it. V. This promise which is appended to godliness is a very needful one. It is a very needful one, for ah! if I have no promise of the life that is to come, where am I? and where shall I be? Oh! how much I want the promise of the life to come, for if I have not that I have a curse for the life to come. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The life to come:—It is a singular and lamentable fact, that while men are so sensitive and eager in pursuing temporal interests, they are so obstinately careless with regard to those spiritual interests, which are far more expanded and enduring. The correction of the evil now adverted to, must of course be considered as a matter of transcendant importance.

  1. First, notice some of the proofs that a “life to come” does really exist. There are evidences upon the subject of a future life, apart from any direct connection with revelation, to which nevertheless no insignificant weight must be assigned. I refer you especially to the masterly work of Dr. Butler, whence I imagine no candid mind can arise, without being satisfied that there is a strong probability, arising from analogy, of the continuance of conscious being after the death of the body, and entirely and absolutely uninjured by it. We may notice, again, the common consent of mankind, who, in all nations and in all ages, have admitted a futurity, although frequently with acknowledged and grievous defects: a fact, I conceive, which can only be properly accounted for by receiving the substantial and final truth of the thing which is believed. We may notice, again, the aspirations after something far beyond this transitory and mortal sphere—“longings of immortality.” We may notice, again, the operations of the momentous faculty of conscience, in the judgment which it forms as to the moral qualities and deserts of actions and thoughts, and the feelings which it inspires in the bosom (by reason of its decisions) of pleasure or pain, hope or fear, satisfaction or remorse; and all these, which are entirely independent of the opinions of other men, are to be regarded as prophetic indications of a subjection to other principles of decision, and to a great system of moral government, the sanctions of which are to be found in the yet impervious and impalpable future. But we must direct our regard to revelation itself: by which, of course, we mean the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, “given by inspiration of God,” and unfolding all the truths relating to the condition and to the destinies of man.
  2. The characteristics by which “the life to come” is distinguished. It will appear to you important, besides the contemplation of the general fact, to notice the particular attributes, which the fact involves. It is very possible, to admit the general fact, and yet to indulge great and perhaps fatal mistakes as to the detail. The heathen admits the general fact, but grievously errs as to the detail. 1. And we observe, in the first place, that “the life to come” will comprehend the whole nature of man. 2. We are to observe, that “the life to come” is purely and entirely retributive. God has arranged it as the scene, where He will apply to His intelligent creation the sanctions of that great system of moral government, under which they have existed. 3. Again, “the life to come,” which thus will comprehend the whole nature of man, and which is purely retributive, will be unchangeable and eternal. We can conceive nothing of what is indestructible in “the life that now is”; all around us breathes with decay and dissolution. The attributes which now are noticed do not merely apply to abstract existence, but to the condition of existence. In other words, the rewards and the punishments, which have been adverted to, will be unchanging and will be everlasting too.

III. The power, which the prospect of “the life which is to come” should possess over the minds and habits of men. 1. First, “the life which is to come” ought to be habitually contemplated. It has surely been revealed that it might be pondered; and admitting the fact that there is a life to come, a mere sciolist, a child, would be able to arrive at the conclusion, how it ought to be made the object of thought and of pondering. Think how noble and how solemn is your existence. 2. Again “the life to come” ought to be diligently prepared for. Your contemplations are for the purpose of leading you to preparation. And how are we to prepare, so as to escape the world of punishment and to receive the world of reward? The merit of penitence is nothing; the merit of what you regard good works is nothing. There is only one method of preparation; and that is, according to the announcements of the system of grace, in the volume which is before us. For the “life to come” many of you are prepared. Are there not some, who have never offered these aspirations, who themselves are not yet prepared? (J. Parsons.)[7]


7b, 8. In continuing his advice with respect to Timothy’s spiritual advancement and the means which he should use to that end, Paul says:

Train yourself for godly living. For while physical training is of some benefit, this godly living is of benefit in every way.

The figure which underlies the passage is, of course, that of the Greek gymnasium (or its popular imitation), comprising grounds for running, wrestling, etc. It was a place where stripped youths by means of physical training would try to promote the grace and vigor of their bodies. Timothy, then, is told to gymnasticize. But, in keeping with the immediately preceding context, which pictured him as being nourished on the words of faith and as shunning profane myths in order that thus he may be (and may continue to be) “an excellent minister of Christ Jesus,” he is told to train himself with a view to godliness or godly living. The exercise which he is urged to take is to be of a spiritual character.

What Paul had in mind, accordingly, must have included one or more of the following comparisons:

(a) Just as a youth in the gymnasium exerts himself to the utmost, so you, too, by God’s grace and power, must spare no efforts to attain your goal.

(b) Just as that youth discards every handicap or burden in order that he may train the more freely, so you, too, should divest yourself of everything that could encumber your spiritual progress.

(c) Just as that youth has his eye on a goal—perhaps that of showing superior skill on the discus range, that of winning the wrestling match or boxing-bout in the palestra, that of being the first one to reach the post which marked the winning-point on the running track, at least that of improving his physique—so you should be constantly aiming at your spiritual objective, namely, that of complete self-dedication to God in Christ.

It is not at all surprising that the apostle, with this figure of the gymnasium or its less pretentious substitutes in mind, now draws a comparison between the value of physical training (literally “bodily gymnastics”) and training for godly living. He states that the former is of some benefit. It is useful for something. The latter, however, is of benefit in every way. It is useful for all things. He is by no means belittling the value of physical exercise. He is saying two things: a. that the boon which bodily training bestows, however great it may be, is definitely inferior to the reward which the godly life promises. The former at best bestows health, vigor, beauty of physical form. These things are wonderful and to be appreciated. But the latter bestows life everlasting! b. that the sphere in which bodily training is of benefit is far more restricted than that in which godly living confers its reward. The former concerns the here and now. The latter concerns the here and now but also reaches far beyond it.

That this is, indeed, what he means is clearly shown by what follows in verse 8, after the words, “this godly living is of benefit in every way,” namely, as it holds promise of life both for the present and for the future.

The essence and contents of the promise is life, fellowship with God in Christ, the love of God shed abroad in the heart, the peace of God which passes all understanding. (See also N.T.C. on John, Vol. 1, pp. 71–73, 141.) Complete devotion, godliness, or godly living, itself the fruit of God’s grace, results in the increasing possession and enjoyment of this reward, according to the teaching of Scripture throughout (Deut. 4:29; 28:1–3, 9, 10; 1 Sam. 15:22; Ps. 1:1–3; 24:3–6; 103:17, 18; 1 John 1:6, 7; 1 John 2:24, 25; Rev. 2:10, 17; 3:5, 12, 21).

God has promised this, and he always fulfils his promise. And this life which God bestows, and which surpasses all other blessings in value, is both for the present and for the future, for the age that now is and for the coming age. It can never cease.

The explanation of 1 Tim. 4:7b, 8 which I have given departs in some points from that which is favored by others. See the footnote.[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 163–166). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 305–308). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (pp. 103–104). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 137–140). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[5] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 108–110). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 109). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: First Timothy (pp. 188–201). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[8] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Vol. 4, pp. 150–152). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

June—23 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.—John 6:37–40.

My soul! commit this blessed portion to thy memory; yea, beg of God the Holy Ghost to commit, and write all the gracious things contained in it, on the inner-tablets of thine heart! It is in itself a gospel, yea, a full gospel. Methinks, I would have it proclaimed on the house-tops, and published, day by day, in every place of public concourse throughout the earth, until the saving truths were every one of them known, and felt, and enjoyed, by every poor, awakened, and needy sinner. Mark, my soul, the several contents of what thy god and Saviour hath here said: take the whole with thee to thy bed this night, and drop asleep, in faith of the whole, in the arms of Jesus: and if the Lord bring thee to the light of the succeeding morning, let those sweet and gracious words, which proceeded out of Jesus’ mouth, salute thee with the first dawn of the morning, arise with thee, and go about with thee, in thy remembrance, until the whole be fulfilled in the kingdom of heaven. Now mark the immense blessings, according to the order in which they stand: “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.” All; not one, or two, or ten, or a million only, but all. And observe wherefore. They are the Father’s gift to Jesus, and therefore they must come. He saith elsewhere, “that I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me.” (John 17:2.) Hence, therefore, there is a blessed provision, a blessed security, that they shall come; for they are the Father’s gift to Christ, as well as the purchase of Christ’s blood; and the promise is absolute in the charter of grace: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” (Psalm 110:3.) And, to give every possible encouragement to the poor coming sinner, whom God the Holy Ghost is leading by the hand to all-precious Jesus, however unconscious that poor soul is under whose gracious influence he is coming, Jesus adds, “And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Observe the tenderness of our Lord’s words. He had said, all shall come; but Jesus well knew the most humble are the most timid and the most apt to be discouraged; and therefore he makes each one’s case to be expressed by the word him: him that cometh. As if Jesus had said, “Let that poor creature, who is most afraid, by reason of a conscious sense of his transgressions, take comfort: if he cometh, let him know, that “I will in no wise cast him out.” And to confirm it still more, Jesus adds, “For this is the very purpose for which I came down from heaven; not only because it was my full purpose to seek and save that which was lost, but it is ‘the will of my Father also, who sent me.’ ” And, as if to impress this grand truth upon every poor sinner’s heart, he repeats the gracious words: “And this is the will of Him that sent me.” He saith it twice, that there might be no mistake. And yet farther: if a poor sinner should say, “But how am I to come, and in what am I to come; what are the qualifications for coming?” “This,” saith the all-gracious Redeemer, “this is the will of my Father,” the will of him that sent me; that “every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, shall have everlasting life.” And what is it to see the Son, but so to behold him by the eye of faith, as to believe in him to the salvation of the soul; to see him as the Christ, the sent, the sealed, the anointed of God; the one, and only one ordinance of heaven, for the redemption of poor sinners; whose blood cleanseth from all sin, and whose righteousness freely and fully justifieth every believing sinner? Pause, my soul, and well ponder these precious, saving truths; and then take comfort in the blessed assurance, that thou hast all these testimonies in thine own experience, from having long since come to Christ, and found the certainty of these promises. Lie down, my soul, this night, yea lie down, my body, this, and every night, until the last night, even the night of death, shall come; for thou sleepest in Jesus by faith, and his words are thy security: “Of all my Father hath given me, I should lose nothing; I will raise him up at the last day.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 191–193). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Look at a post I was just prevented from Tweeting. This has never happened to me and if it isn’t a glitch, it is quite alarming. I’ve never had a fight with Twitter.

June 23d The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible.—1 Peter 1:23.

GOD has not only adopted us, but we are His by birth: we have been born into His kingdom. My boy was as much mine when he was a day old as now that he is fourteen. He was my son; although it did not appear what he would be when he attained manhood. He is mine; although he may have to undergo probation under tutors and governors. The children of God are not perfect; but we are perfectly His children.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 106). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Has Beth Moore only recently drifted, or has she always been false?

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

Answer: Beth Moore is a false teacher. She has always been false.

Who is Beth Moore?

Beth Moore is a Bible teacher based out of Houston. She is married with two grown children, and is a grandmother. Her company is called Living Proof Ministries, a tax-exempt corporation founded in November of 1995. She has written numerous Bible studies and one novel. Moore has a television program on the TBN channel, and also travels around the country teaching at Living Proof Live (LPL) weekends, two-day sessions that fill arenas with enthusiastic women. These LPL attendees are a unique crowd in that some are groupies who follow her from city to city. Others who don’t physically follow Moore from venue to venue but follow her online and her teachings, are fervent in their embracing not only of what Moore teaches but her entire persona. If Moore is critiqued negatively…

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Progressive Christian Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven So He Can Lecture God On Privilege — The Babylon Bee

PORTLAND, OR—Derek Dean, a progressive Christian and activist for social justice, is very excited about one day going to Heaven. That’s because it will give him the opportunity to finally meet God face to face and then give Him a much-needed lecture on privilege.

“I’ve been reading the Bible,” Dean said, “and if there is one thing clear, it’s all written from a place of privilege. There’s a lot of stuff in it about things that concern God — including outdated views on human sexuality and gender — but He really needed to put more in there about oppressed minorities and social justice.”

It’s Dean’s view that God just doesn’t “get it,” which is why Dean is hopeful that a good face-to-face lecture to God will help Him better understand justice and equality. “There is no one with more privilege than God,” Dean added. “So it’s going to be quite a lecture. I’m really excited.”

Dean admitted that God did make an attempt to give up His privilege by sending His only begotten Son to Earth in the form of a man, but Dean considered that whole incident a wasted opportunity to educate people on trans issues.

via Progressive Christian Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven So He Can Lecture God On Privilege — The Babylon Bee

Hitler’s Brownshirts and ANTIFA: Similarities Are Astounding

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

To a history buff, it is glaringly obvious that ANTIFA are the new Brownshirts who helped put Hitler into power. But the irony of it will most likely be the undoing of this international terror group when the powers that be are finished with them. 

You will read in this article about the fate of the leaders of the Brownshirts, AKA Storm Troopers. Everyone was dispensable to Hitler and his Nazis. When they were finished with a group of people who obeyed Hitler’s violent commands, often times Hitler believed that these same people were capable of turning on him. So he slaughtered the leaders of these groups.

Believe it or not, the head of the Brownshirts was a well known homosexual named Ernst Röhm. It is a fact that homosexuals were slaughtered in the concentration camps. But this man was used for Hitler’s purposes before he was killed.

Read all…

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President Trump Impromptu Remarks Departing The White House – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Chopper pressers are the best pressers.  Earlier today President Trump stopped to deliver remarks to the assembled press pool and answer questions.  The President is heading to Arizona for events at/near the border.  [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. So we’re going to Arizona. We’re celebrating. We have over 200 miles of wall built. It’s been incredible. Our numbers on the border, as you know, are at just about a record-breaking low. People are not being able to cross the border. The wall is up, because we have more than 200 — we have about 212 miles up of wall. So that’s good.

And we’re going to be doing a number of other things. We’re going to be making a speech to young people in Arizona, and we’ll be meeting with some of the Arizona officials to talk about their border and how strong it’s become. It’s become very strong.

Last night, we stopped an attack on a great monument — the monument of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park. And I just want to thank law enforcement. They did a great job. We were working very closely with the White House Secret Service and some of our executives. It was really — they did a great job. They stopped it cold.

Numerous people are in jail and going to jail today. People are already there, but we’re looking at long-term sentences under the act. We have a very specific monuments act. And we are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists and agitators, and call them whatever you want. Some people don’t like that language, but that’s what they are. They’re bad people. They don’t love our country, and they’re not taking down our monuments. I just want to make that clear.

And other than that, go ahead.

Q Mr. President, do you have executive order coming regarding the monuments? What will it accomplish?

THE PRESIDENT: I will have an executive order very shortly. And all it’s really going to do is reinforce what’s already there, but in a more uniform way. Okay?

I want to also say this: If the state governments — because you see them all over — in Seattle, they’re very weak, and in Minnesota, they might need help. If they need help, the federal government is willing to help them. If these hoodlums come around — these are not protestors, by the way; these are — these are anarchists and other things. If these hoodlums come around, and if the states can’t handle it, we are ready, willing, and able to help as we did in Minnesota, where we stopped — after four days, they finally called, and we did a great job with the National Guard.

Q Mr. President, are you planning to make any — are you planning to make any changes at your campaign after the Oklahoma rally?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, Hogan Gidley — not for that reason, because as you probably have heard, Fox had the highest ratings on a Saturday night in the history of Fox. So that’s the ultimate poll, I guess. But the ratings on Saturday night, for Fox, were the highest ratings in the history of Fox News, which is, I guess, it’s a long history. So that was the number one Saturday night in history.

We actually had a nice crowd, and — despite all of the warnings and everything else that other networks were trying to do; despite the fact that we had some pretty bad people waiting there, waiting — they shouldn’t have been. Maybe some of the same people I just talked about.

We had a nice crowd. But we had the highest ratings in the history of Fox on Saturday night. And online, I heard the record was unbelievable. I heard the numbers were unbelievable. I think you probably know that. What were the numbers online? Do you know?

Q I don’t know, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Well you should know because you should report it.

Q Mr. President, at that rally, when you said you asked your people to slow down testing, were you just kidding or do you have a plan to slow down testing?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t kid. Let me just tell you — let me make it clear: We have got the greatest testing program anywhere in the world. We test better than anybody in the world. Our tests are the best in the world, and we have the most of them.

By having more tests, we find more cases. We did 25-plus — 25 million tests. Think of that: 25 million. If you look at other countries, they did 1 million, 2 million, 3 million. Big countries. We did 25 million. Way more by double, triple, quadruple any other country. Therefore, with tests, we’re going to have more cases. By having more cases, it sounds bad, but actually what it is, is we’re finding people. Many of those people aren’t sick or very little. You know, they may be young people.

But what’s happened is, because of all of the cases that we find, we have a very low mortality rate, just about the best in the world. So that’s the advantage to the testing, along with other things. But just remember this: The reason we have more cases than other countries is because our testing is so much. Other countries —

Q So do you want to slow it down?

THE PRESIDENT: Other countries — listen: Other countries do very little testing by comparison. So we’re going to do, this year, right now — up until yesterday, I think they told me, we’re over 25 million tests. Other countries are at 2 million, 3 million.

Here’s what I say: Testing is a double-edged sword. In one way, it tells you you have cases. In another way, you find out where the cases are and you do a good job. We are doing a great job. We have never been credited for it. We’re doing the best testing job anywhere in the world. We’re doing the best ventilator job anywhere in the world. We’re now supplying ventilators to the entire world. Nobody else has done that. Nobody else — people don’t — countries don’t have ventilators. They call the United States. We’ve done a great job. We have not been given credit for it.

The other thing: The Tulsa rally was incredible. Despite all of the horrible, ominous warnings that you people put out over a period of two weeks, the crowd was wonderful. It was a great — they were warriors. It was a great crowd. But many of them stayed home and watched television, and what happened is Fox, on Saturday night, had the biggest ratings in the history of Fox television.

Thank you very much, everyone.

END 9:30 A.M. EDT

 

 

via President Trump Impromptu Remarks Departing The White House – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

June 23, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Mid-Day Snapshot · June 23, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” —Benjamin Franklin (1759)

Coronavirus Leadership Lessons

It’s no surprise that states still mired in lockdown are faring worse economically.


Don’t Give Up on SCOTUS

Recent disappointments notwithstanding, voting for the Court in November is still key.


Escape From New York

Many urbanites are leaving not just New York City but cities around the country.


Google Is Evil

The tech giant’s monopoly is increasingly a major threat to free political speech.


Jerry, Barr the Door

Democrats, led by Jerry Nadler, are accusing AG William Barr of “politicizing” the DOJ.


Video: Boston Mayor Backs Petition to Take Down Emancipation Memorial

It’s a statue commemorating President Abraham Lincoln issuing the proclamation that freed black people from bondage.


Video: The Ferguson Lie

Radio host and author Larry Elder presents a factual account of what actually took place.



TODAY’S OPINION

SALENA ZITO
For Now, an Unknown Monument Pivotal to Our History Is Safe From Historical Purges
DENNIS PRAGER
America’s Jews and Christians Are Failing the Test of Their Lives
GARY BAUER
Shocking Shooting Spree
CAL THOMAS
Toxic in Tulsa
STEPHEN MOORE
Stop the Madness of Congressional Spending
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday News Executive Summary

Riots in DC, CHOP getting chopped, Biden commits to three debates, and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from John Daniel Davidson, Shaun King, AOC, and more.



TODAY’S MEME

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)


The Briefing Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Part I

A Deadly Border Conflict Between Two Nuclear-Armed Nations

NEW YORK TIMES
Worst Clash in Decades on Disputed India-China Border Kills 20 Indian Troops, by Jeffrey Gettleman, Hari Kumar, and Sameer Yasir

Part II

Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula: One Source of Conflict? Balloons

NEW YORK TIMES
North Korea’s Wrecking of Liaison Office a ‘Death Knell’ for Ties With the South, by Choe Sang-Hun

NEW YORK TIMES
As Kim Jong-un Turns Hostile to South Korea, His Sister Does the Talking, by Choe Sang-Hun

NEW YORK TIMES
As Floating Propaganda Irks North Korea, the South Isn’t Happy Either, by Choe Sang-Hun

Part III

The Uncertainty of Science in a COVID-19 World: When “Science” and “Expert” Don’t Carry the Authority You Might Think

WALL STREET JOURNAL
When Covid ‘Science’ Is a Smokescreen, by Todd Myers

Part IV

A Breakdown in Peer Review: Major Studies on COVID-19 Retracted from Prestigious Medical Journals

NEW YORK TIMES
The Pandemic Claims New Victims: Prestigious Medical Journals, by Roni Caryn Rabin

NEW YORK TIMES
Scientists Take Aim at Another Coronavirus Study in a Major Journal, by Apoorva Mandavilli

Part V

Broken Branches, Broken Lives: Common Grace Shows Up in China

CAIXING GLOBAL
Professor Proposes Women be Allowed ‘Two Husbands’ to Solve Problems Caused by One-Child Policy, by Yilin Chen

Former Bolton chief of staff: Iran incident disproves his book
When we hear that the president doesn’t have principles [and] he’s not qualified to lead, this incident that Bolton puts forward as the turning point for his relationship with President Trump — in my mind, it disproves the whole book,” Fleitz said.

Futures, Yuan Plunge After Navarro Says “China Trade Deal Is Over”
US equity futures and offshore yuan are plunging in early Asia trading after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday the trade deal with China is “over.”

All COVID vaccines using aborted-baby stem cells, group warns
As the Trump administration expresses optimism about the development of a vaccine for the coronvirus, a religious-liberty group is warning that the top vaccines under development are made with “aborted baby cell lines.” The vaccines are not from aborted fetuses but from embryos used by researchers, says Liberty Counsel, which is running a campaign urging members of Congress and governors to oppose a government plan to force vaccinations.

Saudi Arabia to bar arrivals from abroad to attend the hajj
Saudi Arabia said on Monday it will bar arrivals from abroad to attend the hajj this year due to the coronavirus, allowing only a limited number of Saudi citizens and residents to make the pilgrimage with social distancing measures enforced.

House GOP Leadership Circulates Letter in Support of Israeli Annexation
Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has been circulating a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in support of Israel expected to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, according to a copy of the letter obtained by JNS.

China’s Global Aggression could Trigger War of Gog and Magog Rabbi Explains
While much of the media is focused on the riots in the US and Europe, China has been quietly advancing its world domination agenda. But just as the assassination of a minor duke sparked of Worl War I, the pre-Messiah War of Gog and Magog may have already begun, set in motion by a battle in the Himalayan Mountains fought with clubs and fists.

102 shot, 14 fatally including toddler in Chicago over Father’s Day weekend
A 3-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were among the youngest fatal victims of a deadly Father’s Day weekend in Chicago, Ill. In total, 14 people were shot and killed between Friday evening and Monday morning in Chicago, The Chicago Sun-Times reported. Another 92 people were shot and injured over the weekend, making a total of 102 shootings in the city. Five of those killed over the weekend were minors.

Series Of Large Earthquakes Rock North Iceland
A series of large earthquakes have been rumbling through north Iceland over the weekend, some of them over a magnitude of 5, the Icelandic Met Office reports. The epicentre appears to be some 20 kilometres northeast of Siglufjörður, with tremors reportedly felt as far south as Akureyri, as far west as Skagafjörður, and as far east as Húsavík. UPDATE: All this said, natural disasters specialist Ein­ar Hjör­leifs­son has told MBL that a quake or quakes with a magnitude of 7 could be expected.

5.3-magnitude earthquake strikes Mizoram; PM Modi assures support to the state
An earthquake of 5.3 magnitude hit Mizoram in the early hours of Monday, causing damage to houses and cracks on roads at several places, an official said. No casualties have been reported, the official of the state Geology and Mineral Resource Department said. Quoting the National Centre for Seismology, he said the earthquake happened at 4.10 am and the epicentre was at Zokhawthar in Champhai district on the India-Myanmar border.

Trump urged by IDF generals to stand behind Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan
A group of IDF generals have written a letter to the US President Donald Trump urging him to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation plan to apply sovereignty over parts of the West Bank. The group of IDF generals known as the Habithonistim, Protectors of Israel, holds that the plan offers Israel an unparalleled security opportunity to plan 30% of the West Bank within Israel’s permanent borders.

Drone and missile attack reported on Saudi Arabia
Explosions heard around the capital of Saudi Arabia were alleged to be a drone and missile attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The US embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed media reports of “possible missile or drone” attacks that struck a building in Riyadh. Concerned that more were incoming, the US mission urged people to take precautions.

North Korea Threatens ‘Sensational Event’ to End America
A statement from North Korea’s embassy in Moscow observing the 70th anniversary of the still-ongoing Korean War this weekend threatened a “sensational event” leading to the destruction of the United States. North Korea routinely threatened nuclear attacks on America for much of the past decade, peaking in intensity around 2016-2017.

Germany struggles to impose local coronavirus infections
Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine.

Need for speed: Japan supercomputer is world’s fastest
Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer, built with government backing and used in the fight against coronavirus, is now ranked as the world’s fastest, its developers announced Monday. It snatched the top spot on the Top500, a site that has tracked the evolution of computer processing power for more than two decades, said the Riken scientific research centre.

Arizona wildfires grow as flames flicker throughout Desert Southwest and California
Wildfires continue to rage in Arizona, leading into another week set to feature hot, dry conditions from the Desert Southwest to California. At the same time as the fires are burning, prompting evacuations, spikes in coronavirus cases are being recorded in several states in the region, including Arizona. The fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona state history continued to rage Monday morning, swelling to 186,086 acres in size.

North Korea: Balloons and speakers raise Korean border tensions
South Korean activists say they have flown propaganda-carrying balloons across the border in to North Korea, the latest provocation in an escalation of tensions between the two neighbours. The North has expressed its anger about the balloons, and the South has attempted to stop the activists. Since a 2018 thaw, the long-standing rivals had been making efforts to improve ties and maintain dialogue.

BeiDou: China launches final satellite in challenge to GPS
China has successfully put into orbit the final satellite in its BeiDou-3 navigation system, further advancing the country as a major power in space. Tuesday’s launch will allow China to no longer rely on the US government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS). The $10bn (£8bn) network is made up of 35 satellites and provides global navigation coverage.

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bars international pilgrims for Hajj
Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year in a bid to control coronavirus. Only a very limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part, an announcement on state media says. An estimated two million people would otherwise have visited Mecca and Medina this summer for the annual gathering.

Egypt says keen to reach agreement on Nile dam issue
Egypt willing to continue negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue and reach an agreement favorable to all sides, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said. Shoukry’s statement came in response to a claim made by the Ethiopian foreign minister that Egypt was attempting to escape negotiations by calling on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to intervene, local daily Ahram Online reported on Monday.

New rocket attack in Baghdad, 6th in two weeks
A rocket slammed into the Baghdad airport on Monday, the Iraqi military said, landing near a complex where US soldiers and diplomats are housed. The airport has been shut to commercial flights since mid-March in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 20,000 in Iraq and cost over 1,100 lives. “The rocket did not cause casualties or material damage,” the Iraqi military’s statement said.

24 organizations urge UN chief to blacklist Saudi coalition
Two dozen human rights and humanitarian organizations urged Secretary-General Antonio Guterres…to reconsider his decision to take the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government off a global blacklist of parties whose actions have killed or injured children in conflict. The 24…organizations also urged the U.N….to reconsider taking Myanmar’s armed forces…off the blacklist for recruiting and using children in conflict.

More than 58 000 ha (143 000 acres) of rice damaged as ‘worst’ drought in history hits Mekong Delta
More than 58 000 ha (143 000 acres) of rice have been damaged in Mekong Delta due to the region’s worst drought in history, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The MARD, in cooperation with the People’s Committee of Long An Province, held a conference to discuss the results of the prevention of drought, saltwater intrusion, and water shortage during the 2019/20 dry season.


Headlines – 6/23/2020

UN envoy at Palestinian rally against annexation: Don’t give up statehood dream

Netanyahu’s Ultimatum to Gantz: Sovereignty Now or New Elections

Jordan Warns West Bank Annexation Will Trigger ‘Long and Violent’ Conflict

Pompeo adviser ‘confident’ Israel will weigh risk to UAE ties before annexation

Thousands of Palestinians protest against Israeli annexation plan

Welfare minister: Half a million Israelis about to lose unemployment benefits

Five charts that prove India only stands to lose by boycotting trade with China

Vote in Japan to change status of disputed islands threatens to raise tensions with China

Bolton says Trump proposal to intervene in SDNY investigation of Turkish bank felt ‘like obstruction of justice to me’

Bolton says impeachment failed because Dems played into Trump’s hands

Sarah Sanders slams Bolton as man ‘drunk on power,’ in her forthcoming book

NYC sees staggering shooting numbers; top cops warn of ‘storm on the horizon’

104 shot, 14 fatally, over Father’s Day weekend in Chicago

CERN approves plans for a $23 billion, 62-mile long super-collider

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Kermadec Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Kermadec Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Darapidap, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near the Easter Island region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sechura, Peru

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,500ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 12,000ft

Subtropical Depression Four forms in Atlantic Ocean

At least 5 killed as severe flash floods wreak havoc in Bursa, Turkey

Arctic Circle sees ‘highest-ever’ recorded temperatures

More than 58,000 ha (143,000 acres) of rice damaged as ‘worst’ drought in history hits Mekong Delta

A plague amid a pandemic: East Africa, West Asia combat surging locust outbreak

‘The wondrous map’: how unlocking human DNA changed the course of science

Two Trump campaign staffers who attended Tulsa rally test positive for coronavirus

White House: Trump did not direct virus testing slowdown, does not regret ‘kung flu’ remark

McEnany denies Trump ordered slowdown in coronavirus testing, says rally comment was made ‘in jest’

The decline of the U.S. dollar could happen at ‘warp speed’ in the era of coronavirus, warns prominent economist Stephen Roach

President Trump: Next Stimulus Check Will Be ‘Very Generous’ And Announced In A ‘Couple Of Weeks’

Trump to cut immigration by 525,000 in effort to open jobs for unemployed Americans

Religious events helping to spread coronavirus, WHO says

Michael Jackson’s Daughter to Portray Jesus as a Lesbian Woman in New Controversial Film

Hong Kong clergy face arrest, extradition to China in new security laws


Tuesday 6-23-20

Bill Randles – Why The Nation Is Dissolving…( A Biblical Analysis) pt 1

Gary DeMar – Tearing Down What’s Left of Christian Civilization

Shaun King: Statues of Jesus Christ are ‘form of white supremacy,’ should be torn down

John Hagee Is a Muslim-hating, Antisemitic, Annexationist Extremist. He’s No Friend of Israel

Arizona Mega-Church Set to Host Trump Rally Falsely Claims Its Air Filter Zaps COVID-19

Southern Baptist Seminary Provost Tweets “Black Power” Fist in Solidarity With Black Nationalism

Doctor Who Euthanized Woman Against Her Will Cleared of Murder Charges, Says She Did “Right Thing”


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

Everywhere Statues Are Torn Down By The Mob, History Promises People Are Next

The promise of bloodshed coming alongside or following shortly after, however, is an historic certainty. The symbols of a people never satisfy: People themselves must always come next.

Source: Everywhere Statues Are Torn Down By The Mob, History Promises People Are Next

7 Reasons the Enemy Seeks to Create Division | ChuckLawless.com

 

The process of re-opening society and re-gathering as churches has been filled with questions and anxieties – and, I’m learning as I speak with church leaders, divisive conversations in some congregations. Must we wear masks or not? Should we sing? Should we be gathering at all yet? Or, why did we ever stop gathering in the first place?

This reality shouldn’t surprise us. While division may at times be necessary for the sake of the gospel, much division is nothing less than a tool of the enemy – the one who enticed Adam to blame Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Here are some reasons division is one of the enemy’s primary strategies—and why we must guard against it.

  1. Division typically turns believer against believer. That’s the nature of division, of course – but it’s also Satan’s tool to divide and conquer the forces of light against him. We don’t threaten Satan when we’re shooting each other in the back.
  2. Division distracts from the work of the Great Commission. Every church I’ve seen that fought through an issue of division at least temporarily lost their focus on reaching non-believers. Division is most often an inwardly-focused diversion.
  3. Division harms our witness before a fractured world. Jesus indicated, in fact, that our oneness would be one way the world would know the Son had come (John 17:20-23). Supernatural unity is a witness of the work of the Spirit; division is an evidence of the work of the enemy.
  4. Division is often tied to our clinging to our idols. Too often, division is connected to our personal desires or preferences, and we fight for things that matter little in eternity. We selfishly cling to what we want without regard for others, including God—and that’s idolatry.
  5. Division demoralizes even the best leaders. Few veteran church leaders bear no scars of some kind of church division in the past (or the present). And, the anguish of division can be long-lasting pain that negatively influences the rest of one’s ministry.
  6. Division can turn young generations from the church. In my experience, they now can’t even remember what the division was about – but they surely still remember how church members acted. Wrong though it may be, they still use those fights as an excuse to avoid church today.
  7. Division gives the enemy a victory. Paul was clear that we wrestle not against flesh and blood (that is, other human beings), but against principalities and powers (Eph 6:12). So, we ignore their wiles – in fact, we give in to them and follow the enemy’s lead – when we turn against each other.

There’s a reason Jesus prayed for us to be one: unity is a gift and work of God. Let’s ask God to help us stand together against the enemy these days.

Source: 7 Reasons the Enemy Seeks to Create Division

Video: Facebook insiders confirm company’s hostility to Trump, conservatives | WND

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at Honeywell International Inc. in Phoenix. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

A Facebook insider has appeared on video to explain that it essentially is the corporation’s hostility to President Donald Trump and conservatives that determines much of what is censored on the platform, and what is not.

One of the corporation’s moderators, those with the power to leave a post standing, or take it down, said in the undercover video released by Project Veritas she deletes every Republican item that comes up on her queue.

“Yes! I don’t give no f—-. I’ll delete it,” she said.

Project Veritas documented the same moderator – one of the people in the company who are responsible that posts are treated fairly – said anti-Trump content is untouched, even if it violates company policy.

“You gotta take it down but I leave it up,” she said. “If you see something that’s not supposed to be up, it’s probably me.”

The video features another content moderator, Lara Kontakos, being asked what she did when she saw a posts supporting the president.

“If someone is wearing a MAGA hat, I am going to delete them for terrorism,” she said. “I think we are all doing that.”

The video:

The information was brought to Project Veritas by insider Zach McElroy.

“Zach McElroy’s story raises serious doubts about the Capitol Hill testimony of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who gave lawmakers the impression that his company only takes content that could cause harm, such as relating to terrorism or hate speech, but never for politics,” said James O’Keefe, Project Veritas’ founding CEO.

McElroy said he was willing to testify before Congress about Facebook’s bias, noting that 75% to 80% of posts selected by Facebook’s algorithm for moderator review were those in the category supporting President Trump, Republicans, or conservative causes.

The insider said, “We’ve seen plenty of statements from Mark Zuckerberg publicly about how they don’t want to meddle in the election. They want to give everybody a free … the platform to speak freely. But we know that privately they have very different opinions. I had no doubt what he said publicly is not what he means to do privately.”

“Facebook and other social media platforms are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, because they claim that unlike traditional publishers that do not actively edit content—they say they are like the phone company just stringing wires on poles,” said O’Keefe. “Facebook’s $400 billion market capitalization is tied to this protection and our report shows for the first time anywhere Facebook’s robust and human-directed process for restricting the marketplace of ideas, which calls into question their CDA 230 immunity.”

Steve Grimmett, a content review lead, said it was Facebook’s culture to target the president and his supporters. “It’s a very progressive company, who’s very anti-MAGA.”

Zuckerberg previously had claimed to Congress his company was neutral.

Zuckerberg was called before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee in 2018. There, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, commented: “Gizmodo reported that Facebook had purposely and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, including stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck.

“In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day page, has blocked a post of a Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page, with 1.2 million Facebook followers, after determining their content and brand were, ‘unsafe to the community.’

“To a great many Americans that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias. Do you agree with that assessment?”

Zuckerberg denied it.

He claimed he tries to “root out” of his company “any bias.”

The revelations in the video immediately drew thousands of online comments, including, “If Zuckeberg (sic) doesn’t immediately fire all of these people and launch widespread internal investigation. Then we can conclude that he’s just as bad.”

Another said, “The only question is, how long will we put up [with] what’s going on.”

Source: Video: Facebook insiders confirm company’s hostility to Trump, conservatives

How Does Islam Differ from Christianity?

Reflections

According to Pew Research, if current trends continue then by 2050 there will be nine billion people living on the planet. Approximately three billion will be Christians, three billion will be Muslims, and three billion others will represent various beliefs (both religious and secular).1

Since Christianity and Islam are the two largest (comprising about 55% of the world’s population2) religions in the world people often wonder where they disagree and how significant the differences are. A brief look at six doctrinal contrasts will help address this question.

First, it is important to note that Islam shares common ground with historic Christianity. For example, both religions are:

  • theistic in philosophical orientation
  • monotheistic in doctrinal belief
  • Middle Eastern in origin
  • biblically oriented Abrahamic faiths (they connect to the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament)

However, the differences between the two religions are profound. Since Islam emerged about six centuries after Christianity, we’ll outline how Islam reacts to…

View original post 451 more words

Find Your Refuge in God: An Interview with Dr. David Jeremiah — Bible Gateway Blog

Pastor, broadcaster, and author Dr. David Jeremiah believes reassurance can be found throughout the Bible—especially in the book of Psalms—both now during the coronavirus pandemic and during all of life’s greatest challenges.

Bible Gateway interviewed Dr. David Jeremiah (@davidjeremiah) about his book, Shelter in God: Your Refuge in Times of Trouble (Thomas Nelson, 2020).

Buy your copy of Shelter in God in the FaithGateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

What are some examples in the Bible where God sheltered people in times of distress?

Dr. David Jeremiah: All throughout the Bible, we find examples of God sheltering his people.

God sheltered Noah and his family for one year in the ark until Noah emerged to become the father of all the nations of the world.

God sheltered Moses in a remote desert for 40 years, but Moses came forth to liberate the Jewish people from Egypt.

God sheltered David for 15 years after he’d been anointed king of Israel. When David finally assumed the throne, he was a man after God’s own heart and gave us many of the Psalms.

What Psalms did you select to feature in this book and why did you choose those in particular?

Dr. David Jeremiah: In the book, we look at several key examples from the book of Psalms in order to discover comfort, inspiration, and hope as we deal with the “unknown” of this moment. For instance, Psalm 18, written by David, declares: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (NIV). We also explore Psalm 121, in which we learn that God never sleeps or slumbers, and watches over us always. Through these Psalms and others, we learn that there is hope even in the darkest of nights. Why? Because God is our shelter, and he will not fail.

Why do we have a tendency to let fear control us? And what does the Bible say about that?

Dr. David Jeremiah: This is an important question as we move through the pandemic and think of its impact and effect on the world. Many people are asking what’s going to happen now. When some people face trouble, they come to the irrational conclusion that God is absent and that thought strikes their hearts with fear and despair. A greater mistake cannot be imagined. For all of us who’ve struggled or been struck by fear, the message is this: God is great. Psalm 121 teaches us that “The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Why does God allow suffering?

Dr. David Jeremiah: The Bible never lies to us by claiming that life is easy. Christianity is no free pass; there are no shortcuts to bypass the essential human experience. God’s Word reminds us that we’re pilgrims and strangers in a foreign land whose roads are filled with hazards.

Some Christians have the odd impression that being a believer will exempt them from all problems. Somehow they feel that, upon conversion, they’re issued the spiritual equivalent of ID cards that say, “This absolves the holder from any kind of pain or trouble while living on this planet.” It simply doesn’t work that way.

Christians have no immunity to pain or suffering. It matters not whether you’re a new convert or a wise spiritual giant; you’re still an imperfect human creature living in a fallen world; you struggle with all the blessings and burdens that being a member of humanity entails.

When we become part of God’s family, what sets us apart is not any difference is not any difference in the sin environment around us, but in how we deal with it.

Peter wrote, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Pet. 4:12). In other words, don’t be surprised if you give your life to Jesus Christ and you still stumble and take a fall the next day. You’ve gained no special right to bypass the human condition of suffering.

How does the Bible tell us that God doesn’t give up on us?

Dr. David Jeremiah: Whenever we face trials, we need to remember who God is. Sometimes we get so focused on our trials that we forget to focus on him. God doesn’t give up on us because he’s faithful, righteous, and does not change.

In Psalm 71, you’ll see that throughout his prayer David made references to God’s character:

  • He remembers God’s glory in verse 8.
  • He acknowledges God’s power and strength in verse 18.
  • He remembers God’s faithfulness in verse 22.

Five times in Psalm 71—verses 2, 15, 16, 19, and 24—David mentions the righteousness of God. David understood there was one thing he must do when trials were swirling around his head, when his own children were not honoring him. He must never forget that God is righteous and good—a God who can be trusted.

Things may be bad, and they can always be worse, but God never changes. He’s never any less in control. He never has a smaller portion of love for us, and his plan for us does not deviate in the tiniest detail. All else changes but God.

How should we worship in times of despair?

Dr. David Jeremiah: In Psalm 71 we learn that worship is not based on circumstances, but that it is due to God no matter what. In hard times, we all come to the point where we have to push aside our pride, fall on our knees to say, “My Lord and my God, my hope is in you. All the rest is too much for my limited and distressed mind, and it amounts to little account anyway. I look to no one and nothing but you, and I await your guidance.”

David said, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You” (vv._4–6).

What did David do in his moment of despair? He journeyed back into his memory and reviewed the wisdom about God he had learned over time. He reminded himself that God had proved faithful to him all his life. The Lord had brought him through. What was true for David has been true for me.

What does it mean to observe that “God never says ‘Oops’?

Dr. David Jeremiah: It simply means God makes no mistakes. You never find yourself in a place that’s not exactly where God expected you to be. David could never find a cave where God wasn’t waiting for him, just as Jonah could never charter a boat capable of cruising outside the Lord’s jurisdiction.

Why did you write Shelter in God?

Dr. David Jeremiah: I want everyone to know we can find refuge from the threat of any disaster—including coronavirus—when we turn to God and seek his presence. That’s because God is with us. He’s supporting us. He’s equipping us and empowering us with everything we need to endure not only this disaster, but any situation or circumstance we may face. That’s why I’ve been so eager to prepare this book. Because even as I’m sheltering in place, I’m also sheltering in God. I’m allowing myself to be surrounded by his presence and power and peace. I want the same for you. I want the same for anyone who feels frightened and abandoned and uncertain about the future.


Shelter in God is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.


Bio: Dr. David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point, an international ministry committed to providing Christians with sound Bible teaching through radio and television, the Internet, live events, and resource materials and books. He is the author of more than 50 books, including Is This the End?The Spiritual Warfare Answer BookDavid Jeremiah Morning and Evening Devotions, and Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible. Dr. Jeremiah serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California, where he resides with his wife, Donna. They have four grown children and 12 grandchildren.

via Find Your Refuge in God: An Interview with Dr. David Jeremiah — Bible Gateway Blog

Twice as Many Americans Support Inclusive “All Lives Matter” Over “Black Lives Matter” Slogan — The Gateway Pundit

Despite the massive support from the far left mainstream media, more Americans support the more inclusive slogan “All lives Matter” over the “Black Lives Matter” slogans.

After weeks of violence, looting, destruction and mass chaos more Americans are are likely to support country over the Marxist BLM movement.

Breitbart.com reported:

Twice as may Americans back the “All Lives Matter” slogan over the “Black Lives Matter” slogan, says a new Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters.

Among blacks, a 47 percent plurality picked “All Lives Matter” over the 44 percent who picked “Black Lives Matter.”

The June 15-16 poll asked respondents: “Which statement is closest to your own?”

“Black Lives Matter” was picked by 30 percent of voters, including 35 percent of voters under age 40, and 63 percent of liberals.

“All Lives Matter” was picked by 59 percent of all voters, 58 percent of swing-voters, and 56 percent of “moderate” voters.

“Black Lives Matter” was more favored by wealthier people. It was backed by just 34 percent of people earning less than $30,000 but by 53 percent of people who earn above $200,000. The slogan was picked by just 22 percent of high school graduates but by 41 percent of people with professional degrees.

In contrast, “All Lives Matter” was picked by 54 percent of people under 40, by 60 percent of whites, by 61 percent of people who are neither black nor white, by 67 percent of people who earn between $30,000 and $50,000, by 70 percent of high-school graduates, and by 59 percent of college graduates.

The poll showed that 55 percent of people who strongly  disapprove of Trump prefer “Black Lives Matter.” But 63 percent of people who “somewhat” approve or disapprove of Trump prefer the “All Lives Matter.”

The partisan gap is wide. Seventy-seven percent of conservatives prefer ‘All Lives Matter,” while 63 percent of liberals prefer “Black Lives Matter.” However, 29 percent of liberals prefer “All Lives Matter.”

via Twice as Many Americans Support Inclusive “All Lives Matter” Over “Black Lives Matter” Slogan — The Gateway Pundit

ALERT: The Church in Danger — Capstone Report

Black Lives Matter leader threatens churches as Southern Baptist Elites bend the knee

The Church is in danger. It is beset with doctrinal threats from the Social Justice Gospel and now physical threats as rioters desecrate our houses of worship.

Black Lives Matter leader Shaun King tweeted out his fatwa against any Christian art that doesn’t meet with his approval. He said,

“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been. In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went? EGYPT! Not Denmark. Tear them down…Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down.”

Shaun King

@shaunking

Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.

They are a form of white supremacy.

Always have been.

In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?

EGYPT!

Not Denmark.

Tear them down.

Shaun King

@shaunking

Yes.

All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.

They are a gross form white supremacy.

Created as tools of oppression.
Racist propaganda.

They should all come down.

10.9K people are talking about this

One is tempted to go through a long discourse on the danger of this statement, but why? It is enough for us to all see the threat. If there is some private property these Marxists do not like then they will either take it or destroy it.

St. John’s Church in Washington, DC was vandalized last night. The church already suffered a fire during earlier riots in DC.

As ToddStarnes.com reported, “Historic St. John’s Church has been hit by vandals. They desecrated the church by spray painting the words, BHAZ on the front columns. BHAZ stands for Black House Autonomous Zone.”

And St. John’s is a liberal church.

Don’t think selling out to Black Lives Matter or the Democrat Party will keep you safe. It won’t.

They will do to you and your church what Xi Jinping is doing to churches in China—tearing them down. And they will follow in Xi’s path to rewrite the Bible. (Xi is working to make Jesus and the Bible more acceptable to the socialism practiced by the Chinese Communist Party.)

This is a Revolution. And as Hannah Arendt explained, “In theory as in practice, only a counter-movement, a contrerévolution, could stop a revolutionary process which had become a law unto itself.”

We need SBC leaders helping this forming contrerévolution.

And where are Southern Baptist leaders? The Southern Baptist Elite are playing virtue signaling games. They surrender the Broadus Gavel and repeatedly utter their vain repetitions that black lives matter.

As if praying to the secular zeitgeist will help them.

Greear demanded Christians say black lives matter. He declared it a Gospel Issue™.  Of course, everyone believes black lives matter; however, there is the huge problem of the Black Lives Matter agenda.

SBC President Greear said he would “retire the Broadus gavel, a little known artifact except to the few men who use it to bring to order or to end a session of the annual meeting of Southern Baptists,” according to the Louisiana Baptist Message.

Talk about a useless, empty bit of virtue signaling.

While we are at it, Dr. John A. Broadus baptized Lottie Moon. Lottie Moon’s family owned slaves. Should we cancel the Lottie Moon offering too?

Oh wait, that might hit the bottom line. We already all know the answer to that.

We also know how the story ends and the Gates of Hell will not prevail. However, persecution and tribulation are promised to the church. Yet, we still should pray and do our best to seek a peaceful life (I Timothy 2:2). So, recognizing the very plots of antichrist to destroy and overwhelm the church in secular politics and culture is part of our Christian duty.

Why have so many SBC Elites failed in this duty?

Whatever the reasons, they have failed.

As Doug Wilson said yesterday: We need new leaders.

Wilson wrote, “So what the evangelical world actually needs is a changing of the guard. We need new leadership. We need to identify those men who have been warning the evangelical world for decades about what is coming down the pike, and who have now been proven right. The old guard has been fooling around with tepid half-measures, and a little respectable growling here and there, but they have not seen and identified the threat for what it was. They have not been willing to see the threat for what it was all along.”

It is time for new leaders. The SBC Elites have failed. Their feckless response to riots was to justify the lawlessness. No thanks.

We need real leaders.

And we need them before it is too late.

via ALERT: The Church in Danger — Capstone Report