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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 10, 2011

When Death Comes to Visit

When Death Comes to Visit


Most folks spend their entire lives ignoring the inevitable. We hear the almost laughable refrain repeated often, “God helps those who help themselves.” As if anyone at all brings themselves into the world or takes themselves out of the world? At the offering time in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer the following verse is quoted when the basin is placed on the Lord's table:


But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. (1 Chronicles 29:14 KJV)


The verse goes on to say:


For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. 16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. (1 Chronicles 29:15-16 KJV)


Everyone is prone to forget that God is in control of all things that come to pass in their lives. In times of prosperity and in times of poverty, God remains God. He will bless whom He will bless and He will curse whom He will curse and no one can complain to Him and say, “Lord, what have you done?”


And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:35 KJV)


Sinful men and women set themselves up as kings in their own mansions, blinding themselves to the inevitable. Like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 rebellious individuals think they have set themselves up, that they are in control of their lives, and that they answer to no one—not even God Almighty Himself. But there will come a day when every knee shall bow before His Majesty on high, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. Death comes to everyone. “We all have it comin',” as as Clint Eastwood's character said in the movie, Unforgiven. We are all guilty of Adam's orginal sin and we are all guilty of our own actual sins that we personally commit against God and our neighbors. For this reason, even the best Christian on earth still suffers the penalty of mortal death:


Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:12-14 KJV)


Everyone suppresses the thought of death. We live as if there will be an endless series of tomorrows, like death happens to everyone else but not to us. But the truth is all of us will die some day. The question at that point is, “What happens to the soul after death?” Some folks believe in God but think that God would not send them to hell since God is love. Others refuse to believe in God at all and believe that there is no after life, no future judgment before Almighty God. But the facts will not change simply because we refuse to face reality. It is certain that everyone alive at this moment will die some day and it is equally certain that we will all answer to God for all of our rebellion, our sin, and our unbelief. The question really is, “Where will you spend eternity?” Will you spend eternity in hell with the wicked? Or will you spend eternity with God's elect?


God commands everyone to repent and to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not anyone obeys that command is their choice. But sinners always choose to rebel and to continue in unbelief because they are unable to obey God's command. Who in their right mind would stupidly choose to spend an eternity in hell and torment? Only God can regenerate a lost soul which is dead in sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:3-8). Some of you reading this will laugh and scoff at the idea that God will judge us all. But who will have the last laugh? (Psalm 2:4; Psalm 37:13).


Only the grace of God can open blinded eyes, deafened ears and hardened hearts. (John 12:37-41). Could it be that God is speaking to your heart today? Today is the day of salvation. Will you repent and believe? Or will you rebel and continue in your sin? May God grant you the grace to repent of your sins and to believe His Holy Gospel.

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Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

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