Confession Apart from Obedience is Worthless


by Mike Ratliff

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21 ESV)

There are many false teachings in our time within the visible Church. What we must never forget is that there is nothing new under the Sun. The heresies we encounter now are actually very old. Some have been around a long time in their current form while others are recycled versions of an older heresy that was dealt with hundreds of years ago. Why should our enemy and his seed come up with new attacks when the old ones wreak havoc, deepen spiritual blindness, and keep people mired in man-made religiosity instead of becoming spirit-filled, obedient Christians? Continue reading

Christian Liberty


By Mike Ratliff

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

There is some confusion in our day about the Biblical term, “Christian Liberty.” I have heard all sorts of definitions for it. One that stands out in my mind is the insistence that it has freed the Christian from all restrictions on drinking alcohol, what music a Christian listens to, what books a Christian reads, what movies a Christians watches, even what ‘sexual orientation’ a Christian “chooses.” In other words, this definition says that salvation has no bearing on one’s fleshly pursuits. Is this Biblical or is it just another form of Gnosticism? Let us see. Continue reading

Sanctification


by Mike Ratliff

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14 ESV)

I had a very insightful discussion today. The person with whom I was conversing was curious about why I was “so negative” about Barack Obama. She was quite excited about him becoming the US President. I first mentioned his economic plan of increasing deficit spending by reducing taxes and increasing Government spending. She looked at me as if I was a cretin. She informed me that all of the Nobel Prize winners in economics were applauding his plan. I then said that I had a minor in Economics and had taken some Master level classes in it as well and that deficit spending by a Government is not the panacea that most people think it is and can cause the Dollar to become valueless. It actually takes money away from future generations who will have to deal with a huge national debt. She then said that that was what FDR did to end the Great Depression. I then told her that the Great Depression did not end until WWII started. The war caused it to end. All FDR’s programs did was to give help to some. However, I then said that my real problem with Mr. Obama and his administration was their focus on taking away all restrictions on abortion as well as promoting their homosexual agenda along with veiled threats of enforcing hate crimes against those who preach against these things. She then told me that she did not believe that he would do any of that and besides, the economy was far more important to her than what the Bible said about those things. Continue reading

Vision and Hope


by Mike Ratliff

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
”when I will send a famine on the land-
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.

12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it. (Amos 8:11 ESV)

The pragmatic church models, such as those used in Purpose Driven and the Willow Creek churches, emphasis is successful, for the most part, in building large churches. However, the problem is that they do not preach the genuine gospel nor do they emphasize the proper preaching of the word, which is expositional rather than topical. Since there are a large numbers of churches that have been compromised this way, it has created a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. This is tragic.  Continue reading

If Indeed We Hold Fast


By Mike Ratliff

Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. [3] (Hebrews 3:5-6 ESV)

From the time God saved me in 1986 until just a few years ago I was convinced that I was a Christian because of my own actions on that cold January Sunday evening. I was also convinced by what was taught in the churches I belonged to that my salvation was sealed by what took place that day and I was a Christian regardless of how faithful I was through the years. Of course what I was being taught was a doctrine called Once Saved Always Saved. This doctrine states that people are saved by saying a sinner’s prayer and acknowledging that they believe certain doctrinal things and it does not matter how they live after that, their salvation is certain. Is this biblical? Continue reading

Christians and Civil Government


by Mike Ratliff

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, [2] whether it be to the emperor [3] as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants [4] of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV) 

God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates, to be, under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers…Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Westminster Confession 23.1,3) 

During my recent visit to Washington, D.C., it was obvious that the city and surrounding area is being consumed by the upcoming Barak Obama inauguration. The city will be pretty much shut down for several days during this time; at least as far as vehicular traffic is concerned. One curious souvenir I returned with is my Metro fare card. I purchased it for $20 last Tuesday. When I departed on Saturday morning it still had $4.20 left on it. The curiosity about it for me, however, is the picture printed on front. At the top, just below the arrow showing what direction to insert the card, it states, “Celebrating the Inauguration of Barak Obama.” Below that is a black and white photo of a smiling Obama. Below his face is printed, “44th President of the United States.” Every time I used that card, my descending balance was printed one line lower just to the left of Obama’s face. Continue reading

The Necessity of Beginning Continuing and Ending in Christ Alone


by Mike Ratliff

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

My wife and I returned home yesterday from a trip to visit our son who lives in Washington, D.C. We flew there on the 6th and flew home on the 10th. While there many of the things that we have been attempting to bring to light through this ministry concerning the attempts to pluralize our society from top to bottom, including our faith, were made painfully obvious. For example, in our hotel room was a slick book containing very cool pictures of the sights in the area. One of the articles in the book was all about the National Cathedral. There were pictures of the Dali Lama speaking there as well as church members walking through “spiritual labyrinths” which were laid out on the cathedral floor. One of the leading paragraphs in the article proudly proclaimed that the National Cathedral’s focus was to serve all religions. Continue reading

Present Day Evangelism


 

Present Day Evangelism

Arthur Pink
 

“The glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1:11

Most of the so-called evangelism of our day is a grief to genuine Christians, for they feel that it lacks any scriptural warrant, that it is dishonoring unto God, and that it is filling the churches with empty professors! They are shocked that so much frothy superficiality, fleshly excitement and worldly allurement should be associated with the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They deplore the cheapening of the Gospel, the beguiling of unwary souls, and the carnalizing and commercializing of what is to them, ineffably sacred. It requires little spiritual discernment to perceive that the evangelistic activities of Christendom during the last century have steadily deteriorated from bad to worse-yet few appear to realize the root from which this evil has sprung. It will now be our endeavor to expose the same. Its aim was wrong, and therefore its fruit faulty. Continue reading