by Mike Ratliff
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 ESV)
Every professing Christian, whether he or she is trained theologian or not, has constructed some kind of Christology in their mind, in their heart. Sadly, with the dearth of clear and correct doctrine being taught in our churches, most seem to believe that whatever their own concept of Christ is okay. After all, to have correct doctrine isn’t that important…right? Some think that Jesus came to give His followers a “better life” here and now. This would include becoming prosperous and influential. Others see Jesus as mostly concerned about the environment and that He is the ultimate tree hugger. Still others see Jesus as primarily a teacher of ethics. This same Jesus is concerned with accepting all into His kingdom regardless of whether they have repented of their sins or not. Are any of these examples representative of the Jesus we meet in God’s Word? Continue reading
“Who is Jesus, and what was his ultimate mission? Some today say that he was a kind of philosopher or moral reformer who teaches us all to share our toys and behave on the playground of life. But these views presuppose that the human predicament is that we simply need a little advice or enlightenment, and not something drastic like eternal redemption from sin, death, and hell.“
That is the opening statement from the January 20, 2013 White Horse Inn program.
Here is the audio. http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2013whi1137jan20.mp3
Soli Deo Gloria!
by Mike Ratliff
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:32-35 ESV)
As we stand firm against the onslaught of false teachers and heretics attacking the modern church, we can wear ourselves out at times seeking every nuance of what they are saying and doing. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. However, most of the time, the very best way to stand against what is false is to teach God’s Truth clearly to all who will hear. When Rob Bell attacks the veracity of the Gospel from every angle or Rick Warren, dummies it down so that it is no longer recognizable, they do these things from a point of motivation. There is a reason or goal in mind. Mostly, it is to simply appear to be non-offensive to people, to be man-pleasers, to attract as many people as possible come under their Big Tent where all forms of theology are welcome, that is, all forms except the one we hold to here. No Exclusivity is allowed. No Five Solas are allowed. No Sovereignty of God! No Justification ALONE! No, there can be none of that for then others would be offended and there would go their artificial unity. Of course, in the make-believe-Christendom they have created, they have a made-up Jesus. He is not Jesus Christ of the Bible, the Son of God. No, because He is the one who said that No One comes to the Father except through Him, and that would be offensive so they have their own Jesus who just loves everyone and died on the Cross either to save everyone or just to show everyone a better way. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:30-32 ESV)
Spiritual blindness is the result of darkness of the heart not being subject to the light of life that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Those in this darkness are ruled by their unbelief. They may consider themselves to actually be quite knowledgeable about Christianity or “Jesus” or religion, but they do not possess saving faith because they are unregenerate. They are still of the “opinion” that the sound doctrine of the atonement for the sins of those whom God saves is just another incomprehensible religious thing that elevates a “mythical God, and a mythical Jesus” way out of proportion to the actual mission of Jesus, et cetera. Men such as Bart Ehrman who wrote Misquoting Jesus would be one of these. Of course, his thesis has been soundly rejected by all sound Bible scholars, that is, those who are diligent in the soundness of their approach to interpreting Scripture. On the other hand, there are some whose unbelief has only been made darker and deeper by their acceptance of Ehrman’s fallacy and others like his. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us– that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3 ESV)
The unbelief manifested from an unregenerate heart is a wonder to behold. What is it? It is a total absence of the faith that is present in every heart that has been quickened by God. Those in this unbelief “question everything,” that is, when it concerns the gospel and sound doctrine. I suppose we should stop being surprised when these same people have no problem believing the utter nonsense associated with mysticism or avatars or that “all religions are okay with our pluralistic God.” It is the manmade that is easily accepted by the unregenerate mind while it completely rejects in abject rebellion the biblical gospel. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:33-34 ESV)
The “Emergent” gospel is one that claims that the sound doctrines of orthodoxy which teach us about the atonement, advocacy, and propitiation of Christ for the sake of His sheep are unnecessary “add-ons“ to Christ Jesus and, in fact, simply get in the way of truly knowing and emulating Him. If that is so then why did the God-inspired writers of the New Testament give these sound doctrines to us in such great and clear detail? These are not “doctrines” of demons. These are not “doctrines” made up by men. No, these are the doctrines given to us by God Himself that reveals God to us, gives us the truth about our own sinfulness and spiritual bankruptcy outside of His grace, and the superiority of Christ our Saviour, our Advocate, Our propitiation, our Redeemer. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”” (Matthew 1:18-21 ESV)
We are in the process of celebrating the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, most people celebrating Christmas are not doing so in light of the coming of our Saviour. However, that should not impede us from doing so should it? The early church did not celebrate the Advent of our Lord. That came later. Therefore, we must keep this in the perspective of who He really is and why He came. Continue reading
by Charles Spurgeon
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
It is a heavy burden; roll it on Omnipotence. It is thy burden now, and it crushes thee; but when the Lord takes it, He will make nothing of it. If thou art called still to bear, “he will sustain thee.” It will be on Him and not on thee. Thou wilt be so upheld under it that the burden will be a blessing. Bring the Lord into the matter, and thou wilt stand upright under that which in itself would bow thee down.
Our worst fear is lest our trial should drive us from the path of duty; but this the Lord will never suffer. If we are righteous before Him, He will not endure that our affliction should move us from our standing. In Jesus He accepts us as righteous, and in Jesus He will keep us so.
What about the present moment? Art thou going forth to this day’s trial alone? Are thy poor shoulders again to be galled with the oppressive load? Be not so foolish. Tell the Lord all about thy grief and leave it with Him. Don’t cast your burden down and then take it up again; but roll it on the Lord and leave it there. Then shalt thou walk at large, a joyful and unburdened believer, singing the praises of thy great Burden-bearer.
“I thought I could have leaped from earth to heaven at one spring when I first saw my sins drowned in the Redeemer’s blood.”
by J. C. Ryle
“Christ is all.” Colossians 3:11
True Christians have trustful thoughts of Christ.
They daily lean the weight of their souls upon
Him by faith–for pardon and peace.
They daily commit the care of their souls to Him
–as a man commits a treasure to a safe keeper.
They daily cling to Him by faith–as a child in
a crowd clings to its mother’s hand.
They look to Him daily for . . .
Christ is . . .
the rock under their feet,
the staff in their hands,
their ark and their city of refuge,
their sun and their shield,
their bread and their medicine,
their health and their light,
their fountain and their shelter,
their portion and their home,
their advocate and their physician,
their captain and their elder brother,