Category Archives: Revival

An Open Letter to You in 2015: The Same Old Message for a Brand New Year | Worldview Weekend

January 5, 2015

As we enter the beginning of the New Year, many people are reflecting on the previous year and how they’ve lived their lives, and are making resolutions [2] and determinations [3] to live better [4] in the coming year, whatever that may mean. The process seems to involve a kind of refocusing on things that are important to us so that when we will have come to the end of this next year we will look even more favorably on it than the previous one.

Though I’m a day late, as we anticipate the challenges and opportunities of 2015, I want to write an open letter of sorts that focuses on the most important realities in the world. And the addressee of my open letter is you. No matter who you are—whether young in the faith, a seasoned saint, or not a believer in Jesus at all; whether we’re good friends, have only spoken a few times, or if I don’t know you from Adam—I can think of nothing more profitable that I’d like to say directly to you. And perhaps the most interesting distinctive about this open letter for 2015 is that it’s nothing new. It’s the same old message for a brand new year, because it’s the only message that is sufficient to transcend all times and cultures. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll read carefully.


God is Holy

[5]The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 [6] [7] says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6 [8] [7]). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 [9] [7] says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 [10] [7] says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [11] We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23 [12] [7]: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50 [13] [7]).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against [14]. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission [15]. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.


He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5 [17] [7], says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. [18]On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31 [19] [7]).

Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, [20]and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs [21] that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?

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Start Growing Closer to God Today!

Start 2015 off right by taking the 30-day Challenge to grow in your relationship with Jesus! The challenge starts today!

Let’s do it together! Join thousands of people around the world today and start the challenge now.

Here’s how:

Download the Next Steps App today.
Get started with Day 1.
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Start right now and grow your faith in Jesus by watching daily videos and reading helpful lessons. You’ll even be able to connect with a caring Christian who will answer your questions and pray with you!

What are you waiting for? Take the next step!

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P.S. – After you start the 30-Day Challenge, tell a friend about it and get them to take the challenge with you!

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WVW-Radio: Charles Finney’s Heretical Beliefs & Manipulative Tactics That Have Damaged Evangelicalism To This Day | Worldview Weekend

WVW-Radio Presents: The Heretical Worldview of Charles Finney. Topic: Part One & Two: An in-depth look at the worldview of Charles Finney. As we discussed in a previous program, Charles Finney has influenced evangelicalism in many ways including altar calls, long and manipulative services, the church as a political and moralizing organization and the rejection of major Biblical doctrines. In this program Brannon quotes directly from the writings of Finney that reveal that he rejected the doctrine of original sin, imputation, and justification by faith. Brannon quotes numerous versus to document the biblical doctrines that Finney rejected. Topic: We take your calls.

Part One:

Contend 2015: A Student Worldview Weekend (Free) Bring a Group or Just Bring Your Own Student | Worldview Weekend

Contend 2015: A Student Worldview Weekend (Free)

January 1-3, 2015

Bring a Group or Just Bring Your Own Student

Point of Action: We need your help in getting out the word. Will you e-mail this letter to your family and friends? Will you post the information on your Facebook page or tweet out the URL: and let everyone know it is free as a ministry of

As a parent or grandparent would you like the opportunity to bring the high school or college students in your family to a Biblical worldview conference that is specifically for them? Have you ever thought about sending your student to a worldview camp but the $1,400 or more in tuition, plus transportation, was a barrier? Colossians 2:8 tells us to:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Are you concerned that the students in your life may not be fully equipped and Biblically prepared to resist and refute the man-centered philosophies and empty deceit of this age? Can the students in your life destroy every argument raised up against the principles of the Lord as we are called to do in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5?

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Being a parent and grandparent today that is seeking to encourage the students in your life to follow the Lord and love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength presents challenges not even comprehended by your parents and grandparents. Sometimes the questions your students ask may frustrate you because you wish you had an answer for them. Perhaps you are worried about your students being included in the nearly 80% of young people that are walking away from the faith?

If the questions I have asked you have you concerned then I think you are going to be encouraged by the free Contend 2015 conference we are hosting January 1st starting at 6pm and ending at 12 noon on January 3, 2015. We are bringing in some of the premier Biblical worldview speakers to address the major issues facing today’s high school and college students.

A sweet family from Iowa sent us this e-mail last year. I will share it with you in a moment in hope it will challenge other adults to take the leadership and ministry opportunity as did this family. The January 1-3, Contend 2015 conference will have an eternal, life-changing impact on countless young people for the gospel and church.

Why would you not take advantage of a free Biblical conference like this and organize a group of young people? Why not? We are doing our part but are you? As an adult will you partner with us by sponsoring and organizing a group of young people and hosting them? If you cannot bring a group then just bring your own student with you parent! Here is the testimony from this family and I hope it is a challenge to you and inspires you to follow their example. They wrote:


So excited to be bringing 11 young people to your conference in January! Thanks for the hotel discounts – my husband and I are renting a van and paying for three hotel rooms with our Christmas cash. Cannot think of a better use for that money! The college-age youth that are coming are really looking forward to the conference also. Thank you…thank you…thank you!

Here is a link to the conference for complete details, topics and speaker bios: The conference is free but you must register online so we can save everyone a seat and have the free resources waiting for each student when they arrive. Some parents have asked if they can also attend the conference with their students and the answer is an enthusiastic YES!

A Short List of Some of the Topics to be Covered at Contend 2015:

Why the Prosperity Gospel is a False Gospel
The Jesus of the Cults Versus the Jesus of the Bible
The Danger of Mysticism
A Biblical Look at Pot, Gambling, Pornography, Abortion, & Doctor-Assisted Suicide
The Dangers of Moralizing: Why Christians Should Not Attempt to Force Christian Values on Unbelievers But Share the Gospel With Them By Which They Can Change Their Values
How Hannah in I Samuel 2 Understood and Trusted in God’s Total Control, Rule, and Goodness and Why You Can Too
Growing up in the Church but Not Saved: A Biblical Study of True and False Converts Through the Eyes of Samuel in I Samuel Chapter 3.
A Rocket Scientist Debunks Evolution (by Test-Pilot and Real Rocket Scientist Jason Pratt)
Testimony of a Backslidden Atheist (by former atheist Jason Pratt)
How To Study The Bible in Context
Critical Thinking Skills That Disarm Evolutionists
The Bible Versus Millions of Years
Plenty of Question and Answer Time with the Speakers
Students will be able to walk right up to the speakers during the breaks and visit with them. After each speaker we take a break. Last year our speakers were surrounded by young people talking to them at each break. The students wrote us testimonials about how important that interaction was to them.

Let’s not just complain about the state of modern Christianity but let’s do something about it. Join us January 1-3, 2015 for Contend 2015 in Memphis, TN, which is centrally located. Check the map and you will see that Memphis is a day’s drive from about half the population in the United States. Parents, if you want to bring your student or a group of students and attend the conference that would be great. If you just want to bring them and then you spend the time exploring Memphis, then that is fine as well. Either way, please partner with us through this ministry opportunity.

Finally in closing, if you agree with our stepping out in faith to host this free Contend 2015 conference please consider helping us with the cost by making a tax deductible contribution on our website at At the very least, please join us in praying for a great weekend of ministry that will have an eternal impact on the life of these young adults.

Brannon Howse
Worldview Weekend
Worldview Weekend Foundation

Worldview Weekend Foundation
1016 West Poplar Ave #106-228
Collierville, TN 38017

Testimonials From 2014 Attendees:

Contend was a truly encouraging and edifying conference, where adults and young adults alike were able to hear the Word of God accurately taught and proclaimed to equip the saints in contending for the faith and glorify God. All speakers brought a unique and dynamic contribution to the conference, varying topics with in depth study of God’s Word with available resources to continue learning. I really enjoyed hearing from Brannon about contending against the “ISMS” of the day, which threaten our society as well as true biblical theology.Jesse Johnson contributed a humbling and edifying message on the Christians life from Philippians 1:21. Jared Carlson contended for the validity of the Bible and the infallible Word of God, as well as clarifying the issue of homosexuality in light of the Gospel. And finally Jason Carlson taught on the lie of evolution. These speakers were my favorite and the notes I have taken I will surely share with others. I thank everyone who made it possible for the Contend 2014 conference and I hope that this conference will be able to happen again to continue to equip believers to contend earnestly for the faith.

Taylor, Minnesota, 19College Student

I attended Contend this past weekend and had an absolutely great time! My only complaint would be that it didn’t last long enough! Haha. I loved all of the speakers. The topics from you six were so different that they are kind of hard to compare… It’s uncommon for there to be a event for teens that is full of facts like Contend was. Normally it would be directed more towards having fun and building up self-esteem, which is fine, but getting meaty facts was a really nice change! Thanks again for all that you have done. see you next year!

KaleeHigh school student from Arkansas

The conference has been so important to me because the speakers have directly addressed so many lies that I have been taught during my first semester in college. The worldview that I am being taught and which my professors attempt to convince me are right are not Biblical and it is so important that I and others in my position learn what is right according to God and how to defend truth.

High School student
Birmingham, Alabama

I enjoyed Jason and Jared Carlson the most. I loved that they talked about the problems that Christian college and high school students have going against them almost every day, such as homosexuality and evolution. This was the best Christian student conference I’ve ever been to. Thank you for bringing this together Brannon Howse.

High school student
Birmingham, Alabama

I want to thank Brannon Howse for giving a good summary of feminism, mysticism and the other confusing issues of the day. I am looking forward to reading further information. All of the speakers communicated their messages with a degree of frankness and candor that was refreshing and remarkable. Their commitment to truth inspired me to live more truthfully. Also Mr. Johnson’s discussion about the purpose of the church was very compelling…Thanks to everyone who put this together.

College Student
Des Moines, Iowa

I can’t thank you enough for hosting the Contend 2014 conference. While I thoroughly enjoyed all of the speakers, I would have to say that my favorite part of the conference was watching my 16 year old daughter take it all in. As she herself may tell you, she did not want to attend.I had to pull out the “Dad” card to get her to attend. But by the end of the first night, she was soaking it all in, taking notes, and asking me questions about the various topics the speakers discussed. She has not shown this much interest in Biblical worldview issues for some time. She is already looking forward to Contend 2015, and plans on inviting some of her friends to join her. Thanks again, and may God continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry.

Bruce,Memphis TN

I have loved my time at Contend 2014! I love the fact that I am treated as a young adult instead of an immature kid. Contend has been a great experience because everything has been focused on Christ, versus keeping us entertained with fluffy messages. I have enjoyed the straight forward facts. Thank you to all of the speakers and behind the scenes workers for all of your time, teaching and work for us youth. Looking forward to Contend 2015!

High School Student

The biggest thing for me that I’ve learned thus far is understanding all the ISMS of today…this is crucial for my generation and being a student in a top public university.

College Student From Georgia

A few of the speakers stuck out to me most. 1. Jesse Johnson: He stuck out to me when he spoke on contending with purpose because my youth pastor always tells us we have a purpose. So this topic always captures my interest. 2. Brannon Howse: He just has a pleasant way about the way he talks. It makes it easy to listen and follow what he is speaking about. 3. The Carlson brothers have humor and some good stories of how God has worked in their lives. 4. Michael Furchert: His story is incredible. It amazes me that he did everything he did for God and his family was the outcast for it…5. Usama Dakdok: You will love his voice! The truth he revealed was amazing.

Student did not put name or state on letter

I liked the way everything was said…It was not like my church. We were treated like the young adults we are. Repentance was taught. My church doesn’t have a pastor, but only an interim. He doesn’t preach much about repentance. This conference was so refreshing to me. I don’t have any real Christian friends outside of church so the only encouragement I get is on Sundays and Wednesdays and whenever I read God’s Word. It was nice to have half a week full of Christ! Thank you!

High school student
Birmingham, Alabama

This weekend has supplied me with evidence that has bolstered my faith. I feel more confident in my beliefs and I have gained an insight into the scriptures that I previously did not have.

Student did not put name or state on letter

One thing I have always struggled with is wanting to conform. The testimony of Michael Furchert was a big encouragement to me in my stand not to conform to society and its norms.

High School Student

This is a really life changing experience. A growing experience so we grow in our faith in God and learn not to be fooled by Satan and false prophets.

State unknown

This was my first Worldview Weekend conference. I’ve been to many conferences over the years and I must say this is by far the most informative Biblical conference I’ve been to. I appreciate the sound Biblical teaching. Every speaker had me on the edge of my seat. Contend 2014 has given me more confidence to bodly stand up for Christ and the gospel.



CultureWatch: Hating Sin, Loving Holiness

by Bill Muehlenberg

There are millions of Christians today who read Scriptures many times over, but live just like atheists. They read the Word of God but they don’t believe, they don’t live it. To read the Word daily yet ignore its clear demands and teachings means we are simply ‘Christian’ atheists.

Consider just one passage of Holy Scripture: Hebrews 12:14b which says this: “without holiness no one will see the Lord”. How many millions of Christians have read this countless times. But who actually believes it? Who takes a passage such as this seriously?

Without holiness we will not see the Lord. End of the story. No getting around it. Now of course New Testament Christianity is clear in teaching that the initial step in getting right with God (righteousness), and the ongoing step (sanctification) are a package deal We cannot have one without the other.

By grace through faith we are declared righteous and holy by the finished work of Christ. But that is only the beginning. The next step is to live like what we have been declared to be. Living a holy live experientially is also of grace through faith, but we must take the necessary steps to achieve this. We must be obedient. The gospel really is, as David Pawson reminds us, quite simple:

“It is not, ‘you must now be holy’. It is not, ‘you needn’t be holy – you’re still going to heaven’. It is, rather, ‘you can be holy’. Holiness is on offer as well as forgiveness. Both are by faith from beginning to end. It is not only to be covered by his righteousness, but to have his righteousness created within me.”

We are to be holy not just in our standing, but in our state. We are pronounced holy and righteous because of what Jesus did for us, but now we are to appropriate that, experience it, and slowly but surely live it out in our lives. It does no good to raise your hand as an emotional response to some gospel pitch years ago, but to keep on living like the devil.

A real Christian – over time at least – learns to hate sin – beginning with his own – and to love righteousness and holiness. But the reason so few Christians are moving down this path is because we have proclaimed a false gospel to people. We have emphasised the love of God but totally ignored the holiness and righteousness of God.

Thus our gospel is truncated and incomplete. We tell people that God loves them unconditionally and accepts them just as they are, and all they have to do is give a mental assent to all this. We no longer preach the horribleness of sin, the utter need of repentance, and a willingness to renounce self and take up our cross daily.

So we have plenty of Christians who have sung ten choruses of “Just As I Am” who leave a gospel meeting just as they were. They have never been regenerated because they have never repented. And they have never repented because they have never been told there is need to. Just accept God’s love – end of story. As Pawson says:

The idea that God loves everybody unconditionally, wants them all to come to him just as they are, and everyone can then be happy – that is not the gospel, or the God that we are to present to the world. It implies when we emphasise to unbelievers that God is love that we are lovable. Because we measure His love by ours…. God had to tell the Jews, ‘I don’t love you because you are special; you are special because I love you’. And that is the biblical emphasis. God doesn’t love us because we are lovable, but because He is love. That’s a very different thing. And so we have had an overemphasis on a God of Love in our preaching to unbelievers – something that the New Testament apostles never did.

He is quite right. I will give you a hundred dollars for every time you can find for me the love of God being mentioned in the book of Acts. Surely if we want to know what biblical evangelism is all about, we will find it here. But in Acts we find a gospel of repentance, and a God of righteousness and holiness being proclaimed.

We need to get back to New Testament evangelism. We need to get back to the gospel message of the New Testament. It is never about ‘you best life now’ or how to be happy and prosperous and feel good about yourself. It is about: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

All the great preachers and evangelists knows these truth, which is why they had such a powerful impact, and why their converts remained – they preached sin and repentance, and they preached holiness. And that is what we must once again do as well if we want to have a real impact, and if we want to make real disciples of Jesus Christ.

Let me close with some of these great men of God, and their great words on sin, repentance, and holiness. Let their words soak in deeply and with great Holy Ghost conviction:

“You know, we live in a day when we are more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness.” Leonard Ravenhill

“It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors.” A. W. Pink

“Listen, I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist, I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head, and I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old, fistless, footless, and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to glory and it goes home to perdition.” Billy Sunday

“There must be a divorce between you and sin, or there can be no marriage between you and Christ.” Charles Spurgeon

“Sin is the greatest power in the world, with one exception, and this is the power of God.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“True repentance begins with KNOWLEDGE of sin. It goes on to work SORROW for sin. It leads to CONFESSION of sin before God. It shows itself before a person by a thorough BREAKING OFF from sin. It results in producing a DEEP HATRED for all sin.” J.C. Ryle

“The idea that God will pardon a rebel who has not given up his rebellion is contrary both to the Scriptures and to common sense.” A.W. Tozer

“If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction.” C.H. Spurgeon

“Before I preach love, mercy, and grace, I must preach sin, law, and judgement.” John Wesley

“True repentance will entirely change you; the bias of your souls will be changed, then you will delight in God, in Christ, in His Law, and in His people.” George Whitefield

“The holiest person is one who is most conscious of what sin is.” Oswald Chambers

I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him. Charles Spurgeon

“People may refuse to see the truth of our arguments, but they cannot evade the evidence of a holy life.” J.C. Ryle

“The failure of modern evangelicalism is the failure to understand the holiness of God.” R.C. Sproul

“As we grow in holiness, we grow in hatred of sin; and God, being infinitely holy, has an infinite hatred of sin.”
Jerry Bridges

“It is not surprising that the cross has been discounted by modern theologians; it is because they have started with the love of God without His holiness.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Every man is as holy as he really wants to be.” A. W. Tozer

The holy man is not one who cannot sin. A holy man is one who will not sin. A. W. Tozer

“The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world, and make that man holy and put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Without holiness, no one shall see the Lord. Jesus didn’t die to save us from hell. That’s a fringe benefit! He died to get total occupation of us. To be holy in speech… in actions… in everything.” Leonard Ravenhill


CONFESSION: Understand the Condemning Nature of your Sin

We must judge and condemn ourselves for our sins, and own ourselves liable to punishment.

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this, for we have forsaken your commandments? Ezra 9:10(ESV) We have sinned; what have we done to you, you watcher of mankind? Job 7:20(ESV)

We know that the law curses everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them; Galatians 3:10(ESV) that the wages of every sin is death; Romans 6:23(ESV) and that for these things’ sake the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6(ESV)

And we are accountable to God; Romans 3:19(ESV) the Scripture has imprisoned us under sin; Galatians 3:22(ESV) and therefore you might justly be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape. Ezra 9:14(ESV)

If you should make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line, Isaiah 28:17(ESV) you might justly separate us to all evil, according to all the curses of the covenant, and blot out our names from under heaven. Deuteronomy 29:20(ESV)

You might justly swear in your wrath that we should never enter your rest; Psalm 95:11(ESV) might justly strip us naked and bare, Hosea 2:3(ESV) and take back our grain in its time, Hosea 2:9(ESV) and put into our hands the cup of staggering, and make us drink even to the dregs of that cup. Isaiah 51:17(ESV)

You have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. Nehemiah 9:33(ESV) Indeed, our God has punished us less than our iniquities deserved. Ezra 9:13(ESV)

You therefore shall be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment; Psalm 51:4(ESV) and we will accept of the punishment of our iniquity, Leviticus 26:43(ESV) and humble ourselves under your mighty hand, 1 Peter 5:6(ESV) and say, “The LORD is righteous.” 2 Chronicles 12:6(ESV)

Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins? Lamentations 3:39(ESV) No, we will bear the indignation of the LORD, because we have sinned against him. Micah 7:9(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer

Spurgeon Quotes on Prayer


I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than this, the measure of the intensity of your prayer.

The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!

It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.

It is well said that neglected prayer is the birthplace of all evil.

Methinks every true Christian should be exceedingly earnest in prayer concerning the souls of the ungodly; and when they are so, how abundantly God blesses them and how the church prospers!

Oh, without prayer what are the church’s agencies, but the stretching out of a dead man’s arm, or the lifting up of the lid of a blind man’s eye? Only when the Holy Spirit comes is there any life and force and power.

Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God. We know not what prayer can do.

Prayer meetings are the throbbing machinery of the church.

Remember, Christ’s scholars must study upon their knees.

True prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length.

We shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.


America’s Greatest Sermon for America’s Greatest Need


While the United States celebrated her 238th birthday last Friday, many Americans are unaware of another significant anniversary taking place this week. On July 8, 1741, America heard what is often hailed as the greatest sermon preached on her soil from a man who is often hailed as the greatest theologian and thinker to minister on her soil.

In the years 1733 through 1737, Jonathan Edwards continued to preach in the  Northampton pulpit that was now his own, having been bequeathed to him by his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. During these years God had blessed Edwards’ preaching and ministry with revival in New England and beyond. Many were converted and others edified in their faith. Biographer George Marsden quips, “By March and April of 1735, the spiritual rains had turned the stream [of conversions] into a flood.”[1] Edwards himself describes the revival’s effect on his congregation:


Our public assemblies were then beautiful, the congregation was then alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly in general were, from time to time in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.[2]

From 1739 through 1742, New England and other colonies experienced what historians now refer to as The Great Awakening. This was largely accomplished through the itinerant preaching of George Whitefield and the theological ministry of Jonathan Edwards. While Whitefield is known as the preacher of the Awakening, Edwards is often revered as the theologian of the Awakening. Nevertheless, Edwards was no less the preacher, as a perusal of any of his sermons would prove.

On July 8, 1741, Edwards traveled to a town named Enfield, where he had been invited to attend a church service. Enfield was a notoriously hard-hearted town. While the neighboring town of Suffield was enjoying much of the grace of God poured out in the revival, Enfield remained obstinate. A team of ministers devised a plan and “instituted a series of weekday services where they would travel back and forth between pious Suffield and impious Enfield, hoping to spread the infection of revival.”[3]

On that particular Wednesday, Edwards intended to hear a sermon, not preach one. But as providence would have it, the pastor of that church was sick, and Edwards was called upon to preach. He “just happened to have the sermon manuscript in his saddlebag,”[4] and so 273 years ago Tuesday he preached the most famous sermon delivered on American soil: “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.”

The light-hearted congregants of Enfield were sobered by the gravity of their desperate condition made known to them in detail. The sermon created a stir among them unlike anything before or since. Stephen Williams, a man in attendance, wrote of the service in his diary:

A most awakening sermon. … Before the sermon was done, there was a great moaning and crying out through the whole house. ‘What shall I do to be saved? Oh I am going to Hell! Oh, what shall I do for Christ?’ … The shrieks and cries were piercing and amazing. … Amazing and astonishing the power of God was seen. Several souls were wrought upon that night, and oh the cheerfulness and pleasantness of their countenances that received comfort![5]

I want to share with you some of the more memorable passages from this sermon that God so powerfully used in that Enfield church. My hope is that reading a bit from Edwards on the realities of the hell we deserve will do four things:

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The Danger of Coasting

I don’t know how much I’ve driven in the twenty years since I got my license, but I do know it’s a lot, what with all those drives down to the South to visit my family. Here is one thing that has never varied across the hundreds of thousands of miles: When I take my foot off the pedal, the car does not speed up. It doesn’t even maintain the same speed. Instead, from the very moment I take my foot off the accelerator, the car begins to slow. Allowing the car to coast is inviting the car to stop. It may take some time, but left on its own, it will stop eventually. It is inevitable.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I see in my own life a tendency to coast—to coast in my relationships, to coast in my pursuit of godliness, to coast in my pursuit of God himself. And here are some things I’ve observed:

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