Posts Tagged ‘john wesley’

Five Hundred Years Later… “Evangelicals” are Apologising for the Reformation!

December 12, 2017

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Here in Ireland, while there have been a few events to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and some encouraging articles written about it, other attitudes to this notable anniversary are just unbelievable. It is understandable when the Reformation is maligned by Roman Catholic hierarchy, of course, but when I hear an “Evangelical” refer to it as “the mother of all church splits;” and another saying that “fractures caused by the Reformation must be healed,” I am shocked – but somehow not surprised. We are living in days when many are embarrassed by the Reformation – even those who profess to be Christians.

I believe it is true to say that Roman Catholicism assimilates itself into the original (often Pagan) religions and cultures of many countries… but while it takes on many faces, Roman Catholicism never changes. Some “Evangelicals” are now moving in the direction of ecumenism and many are falling away as they start to see the Roman Catholic Church as “another Christian denomination.”

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2Thessalonians 2v3&4)

Jesus said: “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 23v9) Who else but the pope on this earth, is referred to as “Holy Father?”

Pope Innocent III said: “The pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God.”

Pope Nicholas 1 said: “I am in all and above all, so that God himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory… and I am able to do almost all that God can do. I then, being above all… seem by this reason to be above all gods.”

Pope Julius II was addressed by a papal council: “Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou hast given us… for thou art shepherd, thou art physician, thou art governor, thou art husbandman…” Thou, finally, art another god on earth.”

When he was a cardinal Pope Pius X declared: “The pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ. On the contrary he IS Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking. Hence when anyone speaks of the pope, it is not necessary to examine – but to obey.”

Pope Boniface VIII said: “We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

As recently as 1984 Pope John Paul 11 was quoted as saying: “Don’t go to God for forgiveness of sins… come to me.”

Even more recently the portrait of Pope Benedict XV1 was named: “The Truth, the Way, and the Life,” a portrait of His Holiness Pope Benedict XV1. But Jesus said of Himself: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14v6)

There are many other reformers that I could quote on this issue, including John Wesley who said: “The pope is that antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the church…”

Coincidentally, just this week I finished my reading and study to the end of the New Testament again and have commenced once more in Genesis. I was, as always struck by those verses in Revelation 18v4&5… “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

I believe that we are living in days when ecumenism could pave the way for a “one world system of belief;” there has even been a “common-ground-with-Islam-policy” which has been in place since Vatican II. It is interesting to watch as events unfold in our swiftly changing world but more crucial than ever for those who profess Christ to walk closely with their Saviour. We hear words and phrases like “interfaith dialogue, common belief system, living our faith together, shared values/heritage, ecumenical dialogue, theological common ground…” The list goes on and certainly I can think of a few things that systems of belief like Roman Catholicism and Islam have in common but there is one certain truth… Light cannot have fellowship with darkness! The Lord’s people should not give credence to (or try to find common ground with) belief systems which are not based on God’s Word, the Bible.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of god with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2Corinthians 6v14-16)

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6v17&18)

Thoughts on June Birthdays – and a Birthday that Counts!

June 17, 2011

Just recently, on 15th June, I felt sad in the knowledge that it was the birthday of my dear dad, Jack Hutchinson, who had passed away earlier this year, but then the Lord showed me this uplifting tract which I had written some years ago – something I believe that Dad would have wanted me to share at this time…

“Many notable Christians were born in the month of June. Billy Bray, the famous Cornish miner who was converted from alcoholism was born on 1st June 1794; Elizabeth Clephane the hymn writer, who wrote “There were ninety and nine,” was born on 10th June 1830; John Wesley, the great evangelist was born on 17th June 1703, while Charles H. Spurgeon, also a renowned preacher, was born on 19th June 1834. Samuel Medley the hymn writer was born on 23rd June 1738 and Richard Weaver (known as “undaunted Dick”) was born on 25th June 1827. No doubt, some further research would reveal even more well-known Christians who share a June birthday!

Just recently I was invited in to see the new baby of a neighbour of ours. As she reached out her tiny hand and gripped my smallest finger tightly, I thought about this new life. What would the future hold for her? Would she be rich or poor, famous or obscure, miserable or happy? Would she grow into an accomplished young lady or would she commit some terrible crime? ‘Hopefully,’ I mused, ‘not the latter.’ Above all I hoped that someday she would come to trust the Lord Jesus as her Saviour…

Have you ever looked on a tiny vulnerable baby and paused for a moment to think of what the future holds for that little one? Most of us are average individuals with humdrum lives, but we are all unique. Just as each one of the billions of human beings ever born into this world through the centuries have had DNA and fingerprints peculiar only to them, so it is with our paths in life. You and I as individuals have a path before us that is ours alone to walk. Although there are many factors which may influence our behaviour in life, we do not have to shoulder those burdens alone, and despite what some would say – our eternal destinies have not been decided for us before birth. (2Peter 3v9) One thing is for certain, for whatever life and all its uncertainties throws at us, the Lord Jesus Christ sincerely loves and cares for each one of us more than anyone else in this world. The Christians mentioned above came from vastly differing backgrounds. Billy Bray was a drunkard in his youth, while John Wesley was a Bible-reading church-goer – but both of them needed to see their need of salvation.

How wonderful that Jesus died for both of these individuals and for all the other Christians mentioned above. Furthermore He died for you and me and every other human being born into this world, including that little baby who gripped my finger. (1John 2v2)

As we grow from infants into childhood, at some point we begin to have a spiritual awareness and with that age of understanding we are faced with a choice. Sometimes, in His mercy, the Lord will continue to speak to souls for many years, confronting them with this choice, time after time. Billy Bray had the choice – either to continue in his sin, or let the Saviour deal with it. John Wesley had the choice – either to proudly hold to his good works as a means of salvation, or come humbly to the foot of the cross.  When he did so, what a transformation! Now all his good works (and these are essential in the Christian’s life) were the evidence of a new life begun in faith, and he was able to move on to an even deeper experience. Each of the aforementioned individuals came to a place where they trusted in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ atCalvary. Charles Wesley (John’s brother, who was the author of over 6,500 hymns) wrote in his final verse of “And Can it be…”

“No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine.

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.”

Can you sincerely say these words with confidence? If so, praise God – for He can lead you into an even deeper walk with Him!

If you cannot say the words of this hymn with confidence, then come to Him now and ask Him into your heart, for you will never regret it. Every day we make minor choices in life and sometimes more important ones, but there can be none more important than that of repenting of our sins and choosing to follow Jesus. He wants to use your life to His glory and although your name may never be recorded by mankind in the annals of history, it will be written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” (Rev. 21v27) and this is the only record that truly matters. Some day those who serve Him shall hear those beautiful words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25v21) Why not trust Him to do that work in your heart, even today?”

Praise God for the Rescue of the Miners in Chile!

October 15, 2010

Their plight struck a chord with me when I first learned of these trapped miners over two months ago. Having a tendency to suffer from claustrophobia, I immediately thought about how I would react in the same situation. But my little one-off experiences of being trapped or ‘locked in’ bear no relation at all to what those Chilean miners have been through. Surviving on minimal nutrition, in darkness, with a lack of sanitary/hygiene facilities… the entire experience doesn’t even bear thinking about. Just yesterday my husband handed me a newspaper which had for its title the cry of one of the miners, as he emerged safely… “I was with God and the devil, and I reached out for God…!”

Surely an experience like this is bound to make men think about what lies beyond their lives on this earth? Their experience led me to other horrific thoughts… what must hell be like? Most people don’t want to think about that at all, let alone think deeply about it; that awful black darkness, the smell of forever burning but above all, no Presence of God, or hope of ever having access to His Presence.

No, I could not even bear to think about being locked forever and ever into such horrific circumstances. For me, to be without the Presence of my Lord and Saviour would in itself be punishment enough but the added punishment of eternal suffering is unthinkable… One mining expert said: “No matter how long miners are trapped underground; the survivors seldom want to return to work there. I’ve seen miners who spent less time underground and rarely, if ever, they go back underground.” This led me to think along these lines… ‘If people could experience even one minute of the horrors of hell, they would do all in their power to escape going there in the next life.’

Hell lies far below all the mines that have been drilled by mankind and sadly there are souls in hell at this moment, even though it was never God’s will that even one of them should go there. Nor is it His will than any soul presently living in this world today should go there (2Peter 3v9).

I now pray that this experience will have touched the lives of those miners in such a way, that not one of them will be eternally lost. It is said that they have “emerged to celebrity status,” with the possibility of starring in movies, but I pray rather that they would know Jesus as Saviour and carry the story of what He achieved in their lives to the world. I also pray that their experience will in turn have touched the lives of friends, family and the rest of the waiting world who rejoiced at their miraculous emergence from the depths of the earth. I thank the Lord for His answer to the prayer of many Christians throughout the world who sought Him for the safety of these men. I thank Him and praise Him for His love and mercy extended to a world of lost sinners. Jesus suffered and died to save us from sin, death… and hell. Today the Lord still says… “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45v22)

Mining brings to mind the land of Wales, also renowned for its great spiritual revivals and vibrant singing voices. I recently found an old photograph (see above) that I took many years ago of Gwennap Pit, a natural amphitheatre where the great evangelist John Wesley (1707-1788) preached to the miners in 18th century Cornwall, an area which lies just below Wales. Another man who lived around that time was the famous hymn writer William Williams (1717-1791) who wrote “Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” I love to hear the singing of these words… “Strong deliverer! Strong deliverer! Be Thou still my strength and shield.”

It was the Lord who delivered these miners from the depths of the earth for without Him men would have no expertise to do anything; therefore He must have the glory! And praise God, He can deliver you and I from “Death of deaths, and hell’s destruction” and land us “safe on Canaan’s side” where “Songs of praises” we will “ever give to thee.”

Link to the hymn “Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah:” http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/u/guideme.htm