Immediately After the Moment When Everyone Receives his Crown…

Taken and adapted from, “The Practice of Piety: Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God.”
Written by, Lewis Bayly
First published in 1842

HEAVENLYTHRONE

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
–Matthew 25:34

Immediately after this sentence of absolution and benediction…

…everyone receives his crown, which Christ the righteous Judge puts upon their heads, as the reward which he promised, of his grace and mercy to the faith and good works of all them that loved his appearing (2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 5:4.) Then every one taking his crown from his head, shall lay it down, as it were, at the feet of Christ; and prostrating themselves, shall with one heart and voice, in an heavenly sort and consort, say, “Praise, and honor, and glory, and power, and thanks, be unto thee, O blessed Lamb, who sittest upon the throne, was killed, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and has made us unto our God kings and priests, to reign with thee in thy kingdom for evermore. Amen.” (Rev. 4:10.)

Then shall they sit in their thrones and order, as the judges of the reprobates, and evil angels (1 Cor. 6:1-3, Matt. 19:13), by approving, and giving testimony to the righteous sentence and judgment of Christ the Supreme Judge.

After the pronouncing of the reprobates’ sentence and condemnation, Christ will perform two solemn actions—

1. The presenting of all the elect unto his Father; “Behold, O righteous Father, these are they whom you gave to me: I have kept them, and none of them are lost. I gave them thy word, and they believed it, and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, even as I was not of the world. And now, Father, I will that those whom you has given me, will be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which you have given me; and that I may be in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one: that the world may know that you has sent me, and that you has loved them as you has loved me.” (John 17: 12, 14, 23, 24.)

2. Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that is, shall cease to execute his office of mediatorship (1 Cor. 25: 24;) whereby, as he is King, Priest, Prophet, and Supreme Head of the Church, he suppressed his enemies, and ruled his faithful people by his spirit, word, and sacraments: so that his kingdom of grace over his church in this world ceasing, he shall rule immediately, as he is God, equal with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, in his kingdom of glory evermore. Not that the dignity of his manhood shall be any thing diminished; but that the glory of his Godhead shall be more manifested: so that as he is God, he shall from thenceforth in all fulness, without all external means, rule all in all.

From this tribunal-seat, Christ shall arise, and with all his glorious company of elect angels and saints, he shall go up triumphantly, in order and array, unto the heaven of heavens, with such a heavenly noise and music, that now may that song of David be truly verified, “God is gone up with a triumph, the Lord with the sound of the trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises to our King, sing praises: for God is the King of all the earth, he is greatly to be exalted.” (Psalm 47:4, 5, 6, 8.) And that marriage-song of John, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Allelujah; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.” (Rev. 19: 6, 7.)

The third and last degree of the blessed state of a regenerate man after death, begins after the pronouncing of the sentence, and lasts eternally without all end.

The place is the heaven of heavens, or the third heaven, called paradise (Psalm 19: 5; 2 Cor. 12: 24;) whither Christ (in his human nature) ascended far above all visible heavens. The bridegroom’s chamber (Psalm 19 5; Matt. 25:10), which by the firmament, as by an azured curtain spangled with glittering stars, and glorious planets, is hid, that we cannot behold it with these corruptible eyes of flesh. The Holy Ghost framing himself to our weakness, describes the glory of that place (which no man can estimate) by such things as are most precious in the estimation of man; and therefore likens it to a great and holy city, named the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21: 2, &c.), where only God and his people who are saved, and written in the Lamb’s book (ver. 24 & 27), do inhabit; all built of pure gold, like unto clear glass or crystal (ver. 11, 18, 19, 20;) the walls of jasper-stone: the foundations of the walls garnished with twelve manner of precious stones, having twelve gates, each built of one pearl (ver. 21:) three gates towards each of the four corners of the world (ver. 13), and at each gate an angel (ver. 12), as so many porters, that no unclean thing should enter into it (ver. 27.)

It is four square (ver. 16), therefore perfect: the length, the breadth, and height of it are equal, 12,000 furlongs every way; therefore glorious and spacious. Through the midst of  her streets ever runs a pure river of the water of life, as clear as crystal (Rev. 22: 1); and on the other side the river is the tree of life (ver. 2), ever-growing, which bears twelve manner of fruits, and gives fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree are health to the nations. There is therefore no place so glorious by creation, so beautiful with delectation, so rich in possession, so comfortable for habitation. For there, the king is Christ-—the law is love—the honor, verity—the peace, felicity—the life, eternity.

There is light without darkness, mirth without sadness, health without sickness, wealth without want, credit without disgrace, beauty without blemish, ease without labor, riches without rust, blessedness without misery, and consolation that never knows an end. How truly may we cry out with David, of this city, “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O thou city of God!” Psalm 87:3; and yet all these things are spoken but according to the weakness of our capacity. For heaven exceeds all this in glory, so far, as that no tongue is able to express, nor heart of man to conceive, the glory thereof, as witnesses St. Paul (2 Cor. 12: 4; 1 Cor. 2:5), who was in it, and saw it. O let us not then dote so much upon these wooden cottages, and houses of mouldering clay, which are but the tents of ungodliness, and habitation of sinners; but let us look rather, and long for this heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10;) which he, who is not ashamed to be called our God hath prepared for us (Heb. 11: 6.)

The Holy Spirit’s, and … YOUR … Testimony to the Blood of Jesus

Taken from, “The Blood of Jesus Christ”
Written by, William Reid, 1814-1896.

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The great work that the Holy Spirit is now occupied in performing…

…is that of directing sinners to Jesus, and inclining and enabling them to come to Him that they may be saved. Since this is the case, I am a fellow-worker with God the Holy Spirit only in so far as I tell anxious sinners to look to Jesus only, and have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” as their first and great business—and “this one thing I do” (Eph. 1:7; Philippians 3:13).

The question is not whether we think it scriptural for an awakened sinner to desire the secret and power-giving presence of the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of his understanding and show him the all-sufficiency of Christ—that is what neither we nor any other true Christian would for a moment think of forbidding. Nor is it the question whether the work of the Holy Spirit is necessary in order to salvation. The very fact of writing as we have done on regeneration in a previous chapter, as well as writing to encourage our brethren to meet together—and also meeting ourselves, to pray for the Holy Spirit to put forth His reviving, sanctifying, convincing, and converting power—will satisfy all ingenuous minds that we hold the absolute necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in order to the regeneration and conversion of perishing souls.

The only question, then, that falls to be considered is, what am I to say to an awakened and anxious sinner? Am I to say simply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” as said the apostle of the Gentiles to the trembling jailor of Philippi (Acts 16:31)? Or am I, as the first thing I do, to exhort him to pray for the Holy Spirit to convince him more deeply of his sin, enlighten his darkened understanding, renew his perverse will, and enable him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of his soul? Am I to direct him, as the grand thing he has to do, to believe in Jesus and accept His blood-shedding as the only foundation of his peace with God; or to seek the work of the Spirit as an addition to Christ’s work, in order that he may be justified?

The former leads to justification by faith alone, the true apostolic doctrine of the churches of the first age.

The latter leads to “justification by sanctification,” the pernicious doctrine of a later era, by embracing which a man can never reach any satisfactory assurance that his sins are pardoned, even after a lifetime’s religious experience and devout and sincere performance of religious duties—whereas, by teaching salvation by the blood of Christ alone, a man may, like the Philippian jailor, “rejoice, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34), “in the same hour” in which Christ is presented as the alone object of personal faith and consequent reconciliation.

There is, we regret to think, a large class of professing Christians who seem to have the unfounded notion engrained in their minds, that Christ came as a Savior in the fullness of time, and on being rejected and received up into glory, the Holy Spirit came down to be the Savior of sinners in His stead; and that whether men are now to be saved or lost depends entirely on the work of the Holy Spirit in them, and not on the work of Christ done for them…

…whereas the Holy Spirit was given as the crowning evidence that Jesus is still the Savior, even now that He is in heaven. The great work of the Spirit is not to assume the place of Jesus as our Savior, but to bear witness to Christ Jesus as the only Savior; and by His quickening grace bring lost sinners to Him, that they may become “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). This He did on the blessed day of Pentecost, when thousands of divinely quickened souls received His testimony, believed “in the name of Jesus,” and obtained “remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

The Holy Ghost is not the Savior…

…and He never professed to be so, but His great work, in so far as the unconverted are concerned, is to direct sinners to the Savior, and to get them persuaded to embrace Him and rely upon Him. When speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said distinctly to His disciples, “He shall not speak of himself…he shall glorify me” (John 16:13-14). If to glorify Christ is the grand aim and peculiar work of the Holy Spirit, should it not also be the grand aim and constant work of those who believe in Him, and more especially of the ministers of His gospel?

The whole drift of the Holy Spirit’s inspired oracles, as we have them in the Bible, is to glorify Christ. The gospel ministry has been granted by Him (Eph. 4:11-12) to keep the purport of those Scriptures incessantly before the minds of men, and in so doing to beseech sinners to be reconciled to God. Now, Holy Scripture throughout clearly teaches that, simply on account of the one finished, all-sufficient, and eternally efficacious work of Christ, sinners who believe in Him are “justified from all things”; that we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:24-25). We are justified as “sinners” as “ungodly” (Romans 5:6, 8), and not as having an incipient personal righteousness wrought in us by the Holy Ghost.

Few men, with the Word of God in their hands, would subscribe to such a doctrine, and yet it is the latent creed of the great majority of professing Christians. It is, in fact, the universal creed of the natural heart. Fallen human nature, when under terror, says, Get into a better state by all means; feel better, pray better, do better; become holier and reform your life and conduct—and God will have mercy upon you! But grace says, “Behold, God is my salvation!” (Isaiah 12:2). To give God some equivalent for His mercy, either in the shape of an inward work of sanctification, or of an outward work of reformation, the natural man can comprehend and approve of—but to be justified by faith alone on the ground of the finished work of Christ, irrespective of both, is quite beyond his comprehension. But “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1Cor. 1:25). Instead of preaching holiness as a ground of peace with God, “we preach Christ crucified” (1Cor. 1:23), “for other foundation can no man lay”—either for justification or sanctification—“than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor. 3:11). Whatever others may do, I am “determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Cor. 2:2).

“O my Redeemer, Who for me wast slain,
Who bringest me forgiveness and release,

Whose death has ransomed me to God again,
And now my heart can rest in perfect peace!
“Still more and more do Thou my soul redeem,
From every bondage set me wholly free;
Though evil oft the mightiest power may seem,
Still make me more than conqueror, Lord, in Thee!

Andrew Melville: The Thorn in the King’s Side. Part Two, An Argument Between Professors

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The King and Court, as you recall, had proceeded against Andrew Melville…

…and they had even admitted his avowed enemies to prove against him, the Court’s accusations; and though the whole train of evidence given had proved little or nothing against him, yet they resolved to involve him in troubles and grievous injury.  But because the good pastor had declined their authority, as the competent judges of doctrine, they therefore remitted him to ward in the Castle of Edinburgh, where he was to await the King’s will. However, Melville was informed, that if he entered into this ward, he would not be released, unless it should be to bring him to the scaffold.  Worse, it seems that the decree of the Council was even further altered, and the castle prison, aptly named Blackness, was now appointed for his ward. This castle prison was in that day the very description of hell, and it was well-known that this castle was kept by some dependants of the Earl of Arran, who were some of Melville’s most ardent enemies, so he resolved to get out of the country. About that time, an officer of the court, called a macer, gave him a charge to enter Blackness in twenty-four hours; and, in the meanwhile, some of Arran’s horsemen were sent from West Port to convoy him there; but, by the time he should have eentered Blackness, he instead, had reached Berwick. There, Messrs Lawson and Balcanquhal gave him the good character he deserved, and prayed earnestly for him in public, and in Edinburgh; “which both moved the people and galled the Court exceedingly.”

After a while things died down for Andrew, and in the year (1587) in the month of May, Guillaume Saluat, Seignor du Bartas, came into Scotland to see the king; of whom he was received according to his worthiness, entertained honorably, and liberally gifted and dismissed in the harvest, to his majesty’s great praise so long as the French tongue is use; and understood in the world.

About the end of June, his majesty came to St. Andrews, and brought with him the said Du Bartas; and coming first without any warning to the New College, he calls for Mr. Andrew Melville, saying, he was come together with that gentleman to have a lesson. Mr Andrew answers, that he had taught his ordinary lesson that day in the forenoon. “That is all one,” says the king, “I must have a lesson, and be you here within an hour to that effect.” And, indeed, within less than an hour his majesty was in the school, and the whole university convened with him; before whom Mr. Andrew, extempore, treated most clearly and mightily of the right government of Christ, and, in effect, refuted the whole acts of Parliament made against the discipline thereof, to the great instruction and comfort of his listeners, except the king alone, who was very angry all that night.

Upon the morrow, the bishop (Bishop Adamson) “had both a prepared lesson and feast made for the king. His lesson was a tight abridgment of all he had taught the year past, especially concerning the corrupt grounds which he had put into the king’s head, papal doctrines contrary to the true discipline. To the which lesson Mr. Andrew went, contrary to his own customs, and with his pen marked all his false grounds and reasons, and without further delay, caused his bell to ring at two of the afternoon the same day; whereof the king hearing, he sent to Mr. Andrew, desiring him to be moderate, and have regard to his presence, otherwise, he would discharge him.

He answered courageously that his majesty’s ear and tender breast were pitifully and dangerously filled with errors and untruths by that wicked man (Bishop Adamson), which he could not suffer to get away unanswered, to save his life; otherwise, except the stopping of the breath of God’s mouth, and prejudging of his truth, he should behave himself most moderately and reverently to his majesty in all respects. The king sent again to Bishop Adamson and me, desiring it should be so, and showing that he would have his four hours in the college. So he came to that lesson with the bishop, who requested the king for permission to answer instantly, in case anything was spoken against his doctrine.  But at this point, Mr. Andrew making as though he had nothing to do but with the Papists, brings out their works, and reads out of them all the bishop’s grounds about how he was an inveterate enemy of the Melvilles, and a supporter of the king in the introduction of Prelacy into Scotland, as well as all the papal reasons.

After he had done this at length and most clearly shown that the reasons the Bishop gave to be plain Papistry, Andrew Melville then sets against those same Papal reasons with all his might; and with invincible force of reason, and from clear grounds of Scripture. And with a mighty boldness and flow of eloquence, he beats down all those reasons so that the bishop was dashed, and stricken as dumb as the stock he sat upon. After the lesson, the king, in his mother tongue, made some distinctions, and discoursed a while thereon, and gave certain injunctions to the university for reverencing and obeying of his bishop; who from that day forth began to tire of his teaching, and fall more and more into disgrace and confusion.

The king, with Monsieur du Bartas, came to the college hall, where I prepared and had in readiness a banquet of wet and dry confections, with all sorts of wine, whereat his majesty caroused very merrily a good while, and thereafter went to his horse. But Monsieur du Bartas tarried behind, and conferred with my uncle and me a whole hour, and then followed after the king; who inquiring of him that night, told me, man to man, what his judgment was of the two he had heard in St Andrews, he had answered the king, that they were both learned men; but the bishop’s answers had been contrived, whereas Mr. Andrew had a great ready store of all kinds of learning within him; and besides that, Mr. Andrew’s spirit and courage were far above the other. Upon which judgment the king approved.—Melville’s Diary.

Taken and adapted from, Select Extracts for the Young, and other extraneous sources
Published for the Free Church of Scotland

 

A Thought for Those Who Minister: The Road to Honor…

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When the Spartan king advanced against the enemy…

…he always had with him someone who had been crowned in the public games of Greece. And they tell us that when a Lacedaemonian from Sparta was offered a large sum of money on condition that he would not enter the Olympic lists, he refused the bribe.

After the final match, having with much difficulty thrown his antagonists in wrestling, one put this question to him, “Spartan, what will you get by this victory?” He answered with a smile, “I shall have the honor to fight foremost in the ranks of my prince!”

The honor which appertains to office in the church of God lies mainly in this, that the man who is set apart for such service has the privilege of being first in holiness of example, abundance of liberality, patience of long-suffering, zeal in effort, and self-sacrifice in service.

O, Thou gracious King of kings, if thou hast made me to minister in thy church, enable me to be foremost in every good word and work, shunning no sacrifice, and shrinking from no suffering. May I live always unto thee.

–Adapted from the writings of C.H. Spurgeon.

Of Man’s Thoughts of Distrust Toward God

Taken and adapted from, “A Treatise of Man’s Imaginations”
Written by William Perkins, (1558–1602)

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A great evil thought concerning God is…

…the thought of distrust, thus framed in the mind; God does not regard me; God will not help me; God will not be merciful unto me: This thought made entrance unto the fall of our first parents: for first Eve looked upon the fruit, and saw that it was beautiful, and then entered into her heart a thought of distrust after this manner; It may be it is not true which  God has said to us concerning this fruit, and it may be God regards us not as we think he does, in that he denies us this fruit; hereupon her will and her affections were carried to the breaking of Gods commandment, and so she sinned by disobedience, and Adam also sinned.

When the people of Israel murmured in the wilderness Moses sinned a sin, for he was debarred entrance into the land of Canaan: Now what was Moses sin? For both he and Aaron prayed to the Lord, and checked the people saying, Hear oh ye rebels, And at Gods commandment did he not bring water out of the rock? Surely his sin was secret, even an inward unbelief and distrust in Gods promise, for when he smote the rock, he might think thus with himself, it may be that God will not now give water out of the rock; and this seems the more probable, because he went beyond his commission in smiting thrice upon the rock, when God bad him only to speak unto it. This evil thought takes hold of religious David also:  I said in mine hast I am cast out of thy sight, as though he should say, Heretofore I have found favor with God, but now in mine adversity I am utterly rejected: Again, I said in my fear, all men are liars: that is, when fear of death took hold of me, then I thought that Samuel lied unto me, when he said I should come to the kingdom over Israel. The children of Israel did often betray this thought of distrust, when they were pinched with hunger, and famine in the wilderness, they say, Can God provide a table for us in the wilderness? Can he give bread and flesh for his people? As if they should say, we think he cannot, nor will not: Yea the Apostle Peter was not free from this thought, for when Christ walking on the waters, commanded Peter to come unto him, he came out boldly, walked towards Jesus, but when He saw a mighty wind, he began to sink: whence came this? Surely from a thought of distrust which he had in his heart to this effect: It may be God will not support me in this my walking: and that this or some such thought was in his heart appears by Christ’s answer to him saying, Oh you of little faith, why didst you doubt?  By all which it is evident that this is a natural thought in the mind of man, which at some time troubles even the most righteous man.

Now touching this thought of distrust, two things are to be gleaned:

First, the time when it takes place in man’s mind; Second, the danger of it.

As for the time; this thought is not always in the mind of man, but only in the time of some danger, affliction, and temptation, and especially in the time of sickness, and in the pangs of death. Thus in his grievous affliction was righteous Job troubled with this thought of distrust: for then he complained, that God did hate him and gnash upon him with his teeth, and as his enemy, sharpened his eyes against him; Yea, that he made him as his target, and mark to shoot at. And David in a grievous trouble of mind, thus complained: Will the Lord absent himself forever? And will be show no more favor? Is his mercy clean gone forever? Does this promise fail for evermore? Has God forgotten to be merciful, whereby it appears, that in his affliction David was greatly troubled with this distrustful thought; and there is no man living, but when trouble affliction comes, he shall feel in himself these thoughts of distrust. Indeed while peace and ease continues, presumptuous thoughts possess the mind; but when the days of peace be gone, troublesome times approach, then presumptuous thoughts are replaced, and thoughts of distrust come into their mind, instead.

The danger of these thoughts of distrust is very great, as the fruits themselves declare: for from it arise;

First, all horrors, and terrors of conscience, all fears, and astonishments of the heart: For when the mind says (though falsely) God does not regard me, God will not save me, then the trembling heart is full of horror and dread.

Second, then comes desperation itself, whereby men confidently vouch that God has forsaken them, and cast them off, and that there is no hope of life, but present death, remaining for them: this thought troubles the mind of the wicked, and of the repentant person also: for desperation is nothing but the strength of this thought of distrust. Thirdly, this weakens the foundation of our salvation, which stands in the certainty of God’s promises, for this thought of distrust denies credit to God’s promises, and makes them uncertain: Among all other evil thoughts this does most directly hinder salvation, for it is flat against faith, as water is to fire: for true faith makes a man say with good conscience, Christ  died shed his blood for me, God the Father will be merciful unto me, and save me: But this distrustful thought causes a man to say the clean contrary, Christ died not for me: God will not save me: so that where this thought prevails, true faith is not, neither can take place.

Considering that the danger of this distrustful thought is so great, we must be admonished in the fear of God to use all good means, while the days of peace do last, that it take not place with us in the day of trouble and temptation: The means to repress it are the preaching of the word, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper.

For the first: the word of God preached is a special means ordained of God, for the true applying of Gods promises of mercy to our own souls; and therefore a most sovereign remedy against this thought of distrust; for when the promises of mercy in Christ, are offered unto Gods people in the preaching of the word by a lawful Minister, it is as much as if Christ himself in his own person should speak unto them, by virtue of Gods ordinance. If God from heaven should say to any man, mercy belongs to thee, he would believe: if God say to Cornelius, believe you, and my mercy belongs to thee, Cornelius will believe; if he say to Peter believe you, and my mercy belongs to thee, Peter will believe: if he say so to Mary Magdalen, she will believe. Low, here, when the Minister of God, out of God’s word, says to any man, believe you, and repent you, and God’s mercy belongs unto thee; it is as much as if the Lord should call him by name particularly, and say unto him, believe you, and repent, and my mercy belongs unto thee: yea it is all one as if God himself should say, I am thy Father and you are my child, if you will repent, and believe.

The second means which is also very effectual to cut off this thought of distrust, is Baptism. If any earthly prince give a pardon to any man, and put the man’s name in the pardon, and his own broad seal unto it, the man will never doubt of his pardon, but believe it. Behold, in Baptism God enters covenant with miserable wretched man, and herein makes promise of life unto him: yea he puts the man’s name in the covenant, sealing the same with his own seal: and therefore the party baptized, must believe against, this thought.

The third means, is the Lord’s Supper rightly administered and received: for therein the bread and wine given to the hand of every communicant by the Minister, are particular pledges tokens unto them of special mercy in Christ. These are the means which we must use with all good conscience in the days of peace, so that when troubles come, this thought of distrust may not prevail against us. 

The Old and Battered Cup

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I see before me an old and battered cup…

Upon this cup many a dirty lip has touched, and from which many a condemned villain’s throat has received moisture. This cup is marred and covered over with scars. There is nothing in the looks of the cup itself that attracts attention. It has been passed by many a wealthy person; it has been forgotten by many of a busy person, and many a prideful person has actually scorned to drink its liquid.

We look at this cup, and it seems our attention immediately begins to wander. We forget whose cup it was. We forget and let fade the terrible sacrifice upon that great altar, the altar that stood between heaven and earth and had once commended the rapt attention of angels.

Some say that this cup is a cup of anger. And by the looks of it, this cup has certainly received anger. Look at the sides. Here you see what looks like a systematic scoring. You can even count many of the slashes; 36, 37, 38, 39, maybe even more. There are other marks and dents, some larger, some smaller, where something or someone tried to beat and twist the cup out of shape, but they did not succeed. However, the greatest battering appears to have come from above, coming from the top, here it looks like a great force was exerted that would have undoubtedly destroyed any other lesser vessel; smashed it flat. But as we can see before us, the vessel still stands. –”So His appearance was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men.”

Yes, the great sacrifice was made, and though now largely forgotten, it will not stay that way. “Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback, kings shocked into silence when they see him. For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes, what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.”

For this is the cup which is poured out for you, it is the New Covenant. But will the worldly rich, the distracted, and those too busy, –will they ever taste this cup? No. For though to drink from the cup is free to all, none but the thirsty are invited.

Come, drink. For this cup is offered to you.

Written by Michael W. Pursley

Got Pardon?

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D.L. Moody once told a story of a man being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. 

The witnesses came in one by one, and testified to his guilt; but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved. The judge and the jury were quite surprised at his indifference; they could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly. When the jury retired, it did not take them many minutes to decide on the verdict “Guilty;” and when the judge was passing the sentence of death upon the criminal he told him how surprised he was that he could be so unmoved in the prospect of death.

When the judge had finished the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and walked out of the dock a free man. Ah, that was how he could be so calm; it was a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time. The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed, and to produce the pardon only when he was condemned.

Now, that is just what will make us joyful both now and in the great day of judgment; we have got a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son.

My friend, you see, you and I stand condemned to death. There can be no prison sentence, only death. There is no amount of work, or remorse, or atonement on our part that could ever purchase our freedom. Only by accepting the pardon of the great king, sealed by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, will we be set free. There is no other way to God. There is no other hope. All other ways, methods, or doctrines, lead to death. Will you not accept the complete, all-sufficient work of Christ for your freedom, for your pardon, for your life?

I pray that you will do so today.