Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Dedication of Robert Barnwell

The History Channel records this about Robert Barnwell:
    At age 16, Barnwell enlisted as a private in the Patriot militia. Wounded 17 times in the Battle of Matthews’ Plantation on St. John’s Island in June 1779, his supplies were taken and he was left for dead on the battlefield. Fortunately, a slave found him and took him to his aunt’s nearby plantation, where he recuperated. He rejoined the militia as a lieutenant the following spring, only to be taken prisoner by the British during the siege of Charleston in May 1780. Barnwell spent the next 13 months imprisoned on the ship Pack Horse. Still undeterred, he joined the militia after his release, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel by the end of the War of Independence.

Oh, that we could find that kind of dedication more widespread today in both political and spiritual matters.   It seems that nearly everyday unveils the kin of someone wounded or killed in war who is launching an all out attack on our attempts to defeat an enemy who shows no quarter, and exacts a terrible price from those he rules.   While in our churches, more and more we hear of people renouncing their belief in God because of some ill which has befallen them or one of those close to them.

Please do not be discouraged by the sudden discovery of those whose lives are ruled by selfish motives.    Many have never been challenged before, and have been carried along by the swift current of popular opinion without forming personal convictions.

We see this often in the lives of those who seem to “turn their backs on God.”  Christ taught clearly that in order to be His disciple one must be willing to subjugate all personal desires, dreams, and relationships to His purpose for the disciple’s life.   That one starting out and finding the way too hard, or too long is not worthy to be called His disciple.  Those who “return” to the way of the world seem never to have had their nature changed.  It is like the proverb: “The dog returns again to his vomit, and the pig again to wallow in the mud.”  That is because their natures have remained unchanged. 

The dog might be trained, curried, and manicured; but it is still a dog.  The pig might be washed, perfumed, and bound with a beautiful ribbon; but it is still a pig.  Eventually they will do again what their true nature requires.

Those who are born again into the Kingdom of God receive a new nature.  It is against their nature to reject God.  They might have momentary lapses and digressions, with even severe doubt; but their very nature mitigates against bringing a reproach upon the name of God.

From "A Word For Living"   ©            2005                 Mike Rasberry

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Inflatable Tires

  The photo is of Charles and Frank Duryea with their third automobile which was the first to use pneumatic tires, circa 1895.

According to “This Day in History,” it was in December of 1892 that Alexander Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, New York, patented an inflatable automobile tire. Before the pneumatic tire, wheels were often made of solid rubber. This made travel a bumpy experience. After all, the streets of 1892 were made of dirt or cobblestone. Some horse-drawn carriages had been made with inflatable tires, but Brown and Stillman got the first patent for pneumatic automobile tires.

Smoother rides are something we all look forward to.  I remember bouncing from the wagon seat as my uncle’s mule pulled our wagon to the corn field.  The hard wooden wheels provided little cushion as we moved across the corduroy like  bumps in the sun hardened red clay tracks which led to the field. 

Today, we seem preoccupied with “smooth sailing,” a euphemism for life going along at a comfortable pace with little conflict. But the fact of life is that “...in this life we shall have tribulations.”   Scripture continually proclaims that one need not be overcome by the complexities or perplexities of life, but that the genuine Believer in Christ can have a sense of smoothness, no matter the bumps encountered.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”   It is encouraging for me to know that nothing befalls me without the knowledge and permission of God.   The same God who created the heavens and the earth desires to make my path smooth.  This is not some sort of fatalistic defeatism.  It is rather an enthusiastic embracing of the promise of God that even though I might walk through the darkness of the valley, He is there comforting and guiding my steps.  

Just as pneumatic tires made automobile travel more comfortable; so one’s faith in Jesus Christ, and His leadership, makes the bumps of life easier to take and more meaningful. 

From "A Word For Living"   ©      2005      Mike Rasberry

Friday, December 11, 2015

Building Lives that Last

The History Channel reports that on  November 7, 1940; the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State collapsed.  http://www.historychannel.com/tdih/tdih.jsp

The bridge was opened on July 1, 1940 and was the third longest suspension bridge in the world.  It greatly increase traffic across the Narrows, but it seemed to attract even more people to view a flaw in the structure.  It would swing so much in the winds that it was likened to a roller-coaster ride, and earned the name “Galloping Gertie.”

Numerous attempts were made to stabilize the bridge, but all failed leading to the dramatic collapse.  A more stable bridge was built using lessons learned from the memorable collapse.

Lives are not so easy to rebuild as bridges.  When people use their own understanding, and begin to inculcate error in the life-building process, it usually results in dramatic and far-reaching consequences.   Lives are often shattered on the rocks despair as the bridge they presumed safe collapses under the winds and pressures of life in the world.

Scripture tells us in Psalms 1 that there is a way which leads to success and we can have confidence that the Chief Engineer knows how best to build the bridge of life. 

The Holy Bible, New King James Version

Psalm 1
1Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

From “A Word For Living”    ©          Mike Rasberry     2005

God Never Sleeps

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Esther the King is having difficulty sleeping, and orders that records of the Kingdom be brought that he might have them read.  In the course of events the king learns of a notable deed done on his behalf by Mordecai.   Now the king was unaware that his most trusted advisor had hatched a plot to have Mordecai killed, so he appoints that advisor to honor Mordecai throughout the capital city.  Eventually the plot is exposed and the advisor is executed upon the very scaffold he had planned for Mordecai.

This story points out the fact that God is often working behind the scenes to bless and protect His people.  I’m amazed at the times we become so pre-occupied with our predicaments that we lose sight of the fact that God is on our side.  Just because He is not bringing about cataclysmic events to show Himself in charge, we can be sure that He is.

I think He delights to show Himself strong in unexpected ways.  If you’re a “Child of God”, you can be sure that He never sleeps, but is always working with precision to so order events that yours will be a highly blessed life.

Don’t allow the seemingly overwhelming circumstances of the day to rob you of the confident joy of knowing that God is in charge, and that He is actively working on your behalf.

From "A Word For Living"              ©             2005      Mike Rasberry

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.”
                                E.M. Bounds

The message we share with the world around us is only as effective as the life we live.  Holiness is the continual emptying of self and surrender to Christ.   When sin grabs our thoughts, we must recognize it.  The quicker we recognize it the sooner we can confess it, and be cleansed.  Our holiness is not dependent upon our ability to always think right thoughts.  It is dependent upon our ability to recognize wrong thoughts, confess them, and accept Christ’s forgiveness before we act upon them.

If we are to reach the world for Christ, we must allow Christ to flow through us.  The world needs to see His holiness manifested in us, and the VERY GOOD NEWS is that it is possible to live such a life.  Not sinless perfection, but continual awareness of His presence and willingness to be restored again and again.

I pray that today will be a day for you to experience the “Power of God’s Presence” in your life by living the “Christ in Man” lifestyle before the world.

From "A Word For Living"   ©   Mike Rasberry 2005

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Eternal Security of the Believer


Eternal Security of the Believer
By Dr. Harry Ironside
Pastor Harry A. Ironside - Man of GodThis brief work consists of a message delivered in the D. L. Moody Memorial Church on a Lord’s Day morning and the substance of two Friday meetings when questions were submitted and then answered from the platform. Careful editing might have eliminated everything that looks like repetition. But inasmuch as it is by constant re-affirmation that truth is lodged in the mind and heart, I have not pruned the answers as much as I otherwise might have. Let me say that my object was not controversy nor the besting of an opponent, but rather the edification and enlightenment of the people of God, so that the knowledge of the truth might deliver from legality and give true liberty.

Chicago, Illinois
April 24, 1934
Can A Believer Ever Be Lost?
It has been announced that I will speak to you on a subject which has occasioned a good deal of controversy among the people of God. I want to take as a starting point--not exactly as a text, because we shall be looking at a good many Scriptures--Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor power, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the inspired answer to the question of verse 35: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” That is, once we have been justified by faith, who is there, what power is there, that can separate from the love of Christ? And the answer, how full, how clear, not a shadow, not a doubt, not a question left, when the apostle says that neither death nor life shall separate! Can you think of anything which is neither included in death nor in life? Neither death nor life shall separate!

No unseen powers can separate the believer from Christ, “neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers.” These terms are used again and again in the New Testament, particularly in the Epistles, for angelic hosts, good and evil. When our Savior rose from the dead He spoiled principalities and powers, that is, He defeated all the hosts of evil led by Satan; and so we may take it that the angels referred to here are good angels, and the principalities and powers are possible evil angels. But there is nothing that good angels would do and nothing that evil angels can do which will result in the separation of the believer from Christ. And then further he says, “neither things present nor things to come.” Again let me put the question, Can you think of any experience through which a believer might ever go which is neither a thing present nor a thing to come? And the Holy Ghost says that neither things present nor things to come shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ. As though that were not enough, He speaks in a more general way when He says that neither “Height nor depth (nothing in heaven, nothing in hell), nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It looks to me as though we are safe if we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eternal Security: Its Meaning
When we speak of the eternal security of the believer, what do we mean? We mean that once a poor sinner has been regenerated by the Word and the Spirit of God, once he has received a new life and a new nature and has been made partaker of the divine nature, once he has been justified from every charge before the throne of God, it is absolutely impossible that that man should ever again be a lost soul. Having said that, let me say what we do not mean when we speak of the eternal security of the believer. We do not mean that it necessarily follows that if one professes to be saved, if he comes out to the front in a meeting, shakes the preacher’s hand, and says he accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, that that person is eternally safe. It does not mean that if one joins a church or makes a profession of faith, is baptized, becomes a communicant, and takes an interest in Christian work, that that person is forever secure. It does not mean that because one manifests certain gifts and exercises these gifts in Christian testimony, that that person is necessarily eternally secure.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the people of His day, as recorded in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Such people then may have been very active in what is called Christian work--they have preached, they have cast out demons, that is, their influence has been such that men and women have found deliverance from satanic power through their ministrations in the name of Jesus, they have professed with their lips, they have accomplished many wonderful works, but they are found in that day among the lost, and when they plead their great activity and their earnestness in Christian testimony, the Lord says to them, “I never knew you.” Notice, He does not say to them, “I used to know you, but you have forfeited My favor and I do not know you any longer.” He says, “I never knew you.”

The Sheep Of Christ
You remember how He speaks of His own in John 10:27-30: ”My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” Of His own He says, “I know them.” Of these others, in spite of all their activity, in spite of all their accomplishments, He says in the day of judgment, “I never knew you.” That is a very solemn thing. That answers a question that is frequently put to us. I do not know how many times I have had individuals come to me with a hypothetical case like this: “Suppose a man who joined the church, who professed to be saved, who for a number of years was a very active Christian worker, perhaps a Sunday school teacher, perhaps an elder or a deacon in the church, maybe a minister, but after some years of apparent consistent Christian living and helpfulness in testimony he turns his back on it all, returns to the world, utterly repudiates Christianity, and now denies in toto the gospel he once professed. How does that square with your doctrine of the eternal security of the believer?” That does not touch the matter at all. The apostle John tells us how we are to understand a case like that. He says in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us,” or literally, “That they were not altogether of us.” That is, it is possible to do all the things that I have spoken of and yet never be regenerated. It is quite possible to join a church, to make a Christian profession; it is quite possible to observe the Christian ordinances, to teach and to preach, and yet never be born again. If one teaches and preaches the truth, it will produce good results and will do men good whether the teacher or the preacher be real or not, for it is the truth that God uses. Of course He can use the truth to better advantage when it is proclaimed by a holy man living to the glory of God than when it is proclaimed by a hypocrite. Nevertheless, God uses His truth regardless of who may proclaim it, and that explains how people may do mighty works in the name of Christ and yet never be born again.

Christ’s One Offering
When we say that the believer in the Lord Jesus is eternally secure, we base it upon a number of lines of scriptural testimony. In the first place, we rest it upon the perfection of Christ’s one offering upon the cross. Personally, I never can understand how thoughtful people, taught by the Holy Spirit of God, can carefully read the Epistle to the Hebrews and not see that throughout that Epistle the writer is contrasting the many sacrifices offered under law with the one sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. That to which he particularly calls attention is this: under law every time an Israelite sinned, he needed a new sin offering, and every year the nation had to celebrate the great day of atonement when a new offering was presented to God for the people. Why? Because those sacrifices could never take away sin, they simply covered sin for the time being. But we are told in Hebrews 10 that when the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world and offered Himself without spot to God, the effect of His sacrifice was eternal. Verse 14 makes this clear: “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Perfected for how long? “Oh,” says somebody, “as long as they are faithful.” No, that is not what it says. “He hath perfected for ever.” Why? Because the sacrifice is all-efficacious.

I am sure my brethren who deny the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer do not realize that in so doing they are putting a slight upon the finished work of Christ, they are reducing the sacrifice of Christ practically to the level of the offerings of bulls and goats in the Old Testament dispensation. I am sure they do not mean to do that, for they love their Lord just as truly as I trust I love Him, and they do not want to dishonor Him. But they are afraid that this doctrine will lead people to be careless about their lives, and therefore they stress the possibility of a man losing his salvation after he has once been justified by faith. But they do not pursue that to its logical conclusion; they do not see that it is a practical denial of the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are saved eternally because the sacrifice of Christ abides.

When I came to the Lord Jesus Christ and put my trust in Him, not only were all my sins up to the day of my conversion forgiven, but all my sins were put away for eternity. When a young Christian, I was taught something like this: I thought when I was converted that all my sins, from the time of dawning accountability up to that night when I put my trust in the Lord Jesus, were put away, and now God had given me a new start, and if I could only keep the record clean to the end of my life, I would get to heaven; but if I did not keep it clean, I ceased to be a Christian and I had to get converted all over again. Every time this happened the past was under the blood, but I had to keep the record clean for the future. What a God-dishonoring view of the atonement of Christ that is! If only those of my sins that were committed up to the moment of my conversion were put away by the atoning blood of Jesus, what possible way would there be by which sins I have confessed after that could be dealt with? The only ground on which God could forgive sin is that Jesus settled all upon the cross, and when I trust Him, all that He has done goes down to my account.

What Of Future Sins?
A lady came to me one day and said, “I do not understand you there. I can understand that Christ died for the sins I committed up to the night of my conversion, but do you mean to tell me that Christ died for my future sins?”
I said, “How many of your sins were in the past when Christ died on the cross?”
She looked puzzled for a moment, and then the light broke in, and she said, “How foolish I have been! Of course they were all future when Jesus died for me. I had not committed any of them.”

God saw all your sins, and He laid upon Jesus all your iniquity. Therefore, when you trusted Him, you were justified freely from all things. Do you say, “Does it make no difference then if a believer sins?” That is another question, and it would take a whole evening to go into that, but here is the point: the moment you trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior, your responsibility as a sinner having to do with the God of judgment is ended for eternity, but that same moment your responsibility as a child having to do with a Father in heaven begins. Now if as a child you should sin against your Father, God will have to deal with you about that, but as a father and not as a judge. That is a line of truth that stands by itself and does not contradict what I am now teaching. It explains some things that bewilder people when this doctrine is brought before them.

The Spirit’s Perseverance
In the second place, we base the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer upon the perseverance and omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit of God. Look at Philippians 1:6. Writing to these saints, the apostle says, when he thanked them for their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Do you see that? Who began the good work in you if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus? The Holy Spirit of God did. It was He who convicted you of sin; it was He who led you to put your trust in Christ; it was He who through the Word gave you the witness that you were saved; it is He who has been conforming you to Christ since you first trusted the Lord Jesus. Having thus taken you up in grace, the Holy Spirit has a definite purpose in view. He is eventually going to conform you fully to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He never begins a work that He does not intend to finish. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” If when you were a poor sinner the Holy Spirit had power sufficient to break down your opposition to God and to bring to an end your unbelief and rebellion, do you think for one moment that He does not have power enough to subdue your will as a believer and to carry on to completion the work that He began?

People say, “I see you believe in that old Baptist doctrine of ‘once in grace, always in grace.’” Or another says, “I understand you hold that old Presbyterian idea of ‘the final perseverance of the saints.’” I do not know why this should be called either Baptist or Presbyterian, only to the extent that Baptists and Presbyterians agree with the Book, and the Word of God clearly shows that once God takes us up in grace nothing can separate us from the love of Christ so that evidently the expression, “once in grace, always in grace,” is a perfectly correct one. But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence.

Experience And Faith
Forty-three years ago the Spirit of God in grace led me to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. I have had many ups-and-downs since then, as the old folks used to sing in a camp meeting I attended:
I am sometimes up and sometimes down,
But still my soul am heavenly bound.
I have had varied experiences, but the wonderful thing is this, the Holy Spirit of God has never given me up. And if at times I have been wayward and willful and did not immediately bow before God and repent of my waywardness and willfulness, then I found I had to come under the rod, my Father’s rod, and He whipped me into subjection until I came to the place where I was ready to confess by failure and be restored to fellowship with Him. But I was just as truly His child while getting a good whipping as I was when the effects of it had restored me to fellowship. Your child does not cease to be your child when you have him over your knee and are using the slipper on him. It is because he is your child and because you want him to grow up to be a well-behaved boy that you do that. And so we believe in the perseverance of the Holy Spirit of God, that having begun the work He will carry it on to completion.

New Creation
In the third place, we base the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer upon the fact of the new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That verse may be rendered like this: Therefore if any man be in Christ, this is new creation; old things have passed away, and all things have become new.
What do we mean by new creation? Just this: we were once in the place of death; we were once utterly lost and ruined. How did we get there? Follow me now. It was not by any act of our own. Do you say, “I did not get into the place of spiritual death by any act of my own?” No, you did not. Do you say, “I was not lost because of any act of my own?” No, you were not. But why were you numbered among the lost? Because you were born into the world a member of the old creation of which Adam the first was the head, and every child of Adam’s race comes into the world lost and is under sentence of death. And so we read in verse 14, “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.”

The Two Adams
Let me try to make that clear. Here is Adam the first, the head of the old creation, and he was placed on trial in the Garden of Eden. The entire world was represented in him--you were represented in him, I was represented in him. As the Spirit of God says of Levi, “He was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him” (Hebrews 7:10), so we, every one of us, were represented there in Adam when the old creation was on trial. Adam failed, and God said, “In the day thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die.” As a result of that failure the old creation fell down in death, and every person that has ever been born in the world since that time was born down there; no one has been born up here, where Adam the first started, except our Lord Jesus Christ, and His birth was a supernatural one. Therefore, as members of the old creation we were all dead, all lost. But now see what happened--our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world (the written Word here speaks of Him as the living Word) and He stood on this plane of sinlessness. Adam was created sinless but fell; Jesus came, the sinless One, conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of a virgin mother, but He saw men down there in death, and at the cross He went down into death, down to where man was, and came up in grace from death. But He did not come up alone, for God has quickened us together with Christ, so that all who believe in Him are brought up from that place of death; and as at one time we were made partakers of Adam’s race, so now we are made partakers of a new creation. What does God do for us now? Does He put us where Adam was before and say, “Now behave yourselves, and you won’t die again”? No, He puts us up higher than Adam could ever have gone except by a new and divine creation. “He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), and because we belong to this new creation we can never be lost. You were lost because the head of the old creation failed, and you went down with him. You can never be lost unless the head of the new creation falls, and if He does you will go down with Him. But, thank God, He remains on the throne where God Himself has put Him, in token of His perfect satisfaction in the work He accomplished.

You may have heard of the Irishman who was converted but was seized with a dreadful fear that some day he might commit some great sin and lose his soul, that he might be lost after all, and he trembled at the thought. He went to a meeting and heard the words read, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” “Glory to God!” shouted Pat. “Whoever heard of a man drowning with his head that high above water?” We are linked with Him, we belong to the new creation, and that is why we shall never be lost.

Eternal Life Possessed Now
In the last place, we rest the truth of the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer upon the fact that the believer is the present possessor of eternal life. It is not merely that if we are faithful to the end we shall receive eternal life. There is a sense in which that is true; there is a sense in which our hope is eternal life. I am a Christian now if I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; believing on Him I have eternal life, but I have it in a dying body. I am now waiting for the redemption of the body, and when the Lord Jesus comes the second time He shall change this body of my humiliation and make it like unto the body of His glory. Then I shall have received eternal life in all its fullness, spirit, soul, and body, entirely conformed to Christ. In that sense I am hoping for eternal life. But over and over and over again, Scripture rings the changes on the fact that every believer is at the present time in possession of eternal life. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). Adam’s life was forfeitable life; he lost his life because of sin. Eternal life is nonforfeitable life, otherwise it would not be eternal. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Everlasting life is life that lasts forever, and we have it now. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

His Sheep Follow Him
I have purposely left this point until last because people generally take it for granted it will be the first passage used in taking up this subject. In John 10:27 we are told, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Notice these three things. It matters not what profession a man makes, if he does not hear the voice of the Son of God he is not a Christian, and therefore the Savior does not know him as His own. No matter what profession he may make, if he does not follow the Lord Jesus Christ, he is only a sham and a fraud and a hypocrite. He may follow for a little while outwardly, like those of whom the apostle Peter speaks, who walk in the way of righteousness and then turn from it. “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). If that dog had ever been regenerated and become a sheep, if that sow had ever been changed and become a lamb, neither would have gone back to the filth; but, you see, the dog was always a dog, and the sow was always a sow. They were just whitewashed, not washed white, they were never regenerated, and so went back to the old things. But the sheep of Christ are different. “They follow Me,” Jesus says. Be careful. Do not profess to be one of His sheep if you do not follow Him, It is the test of reality. There are many people who tell us, “At such and such a time I was converted, I went forward, I signed a card.” You can do all of these things and be lost forever. What you need is a new birth; and when you are born again, you get a new life; and when you receive a new life, you love to follow Jesus; and if you do not, you are not a Christian. Think about it; examine your own foundations a bit.

A Dangerous Doctrine?
People say, “If you preach this doctrine of the eternal security of the believer, men will say, ‘Well, then it doesn’t make any difference what I do, I will get to heaven anyway.’” It makes a tremendous difference what you do. If you do not behave yourself, it shows that you are not a real Christian. I know that a real Christian may fail, but the difference can be seen in Peter and Judas. Peter failed, and failed terribly, but he was genuine, and one look from Jesus sent him out weeping bitterly; his heart was broken to think that he had so dishonored his Lord. But Judas companied with the Lord almost three-and-a-half years and was a devil all the time; he was a thief and was seeking his own interest. He was even made the treasurer of that company and he held the bag, but we read, “He bare [away] what was put therein” (John 12:6), as this has been literally translated. At last remorse overtook him, not genuine repentance, and what was the result? He went and hanged himself. He was never a child of God. There is a great difference, you see, between a Christian and a false professor.

Justified By Faith
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life.” Do you believe it? I do not understand how people can read a passage like that and then talk about a Christian losing his life. It would not be eternal if it could be lost. “And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” The original is very strong here. In the English a double negative makes an affirmative, but in Greek it only strengthens a declaration. “They shall never, no never, perish.” It is impossible, it is unthinkable, that one who has eternal life shall ever perish. “My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Here I am, a poor lost sinner, but the Lord in grace picks me up and saves me, and I am in His hand. And now the Father puts His hand around too, and I am in the hand of the Father and of the Son, and the devil himself cannot get me unless he can loosen those hands. Could you think of any greater security than to be in the hands of the Father and of the Son? “Never perish,” “eternal life”--what wondrous words are these! Do not be afraid of God’s truth. You might as well be afraid of the beginning of the gospel that God can freely forgive and justify a guilty sinner by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. People try to put guards around that truth and say, “Yes, you are justified by faith if you have enough good works to add to it.” That is not true. It is by faith alone, and good works spring from that. When you know you have eternal life, you will find your heart so filled with love for Christ that you will try to live for His glory.

There will be certain passages coming up in the minds of different ones, and they will say, “What he has said may sound logical enough, but what about this Scripture and that?” Let me say, there is no possible Scripture that will come to your mind that the present speaker has not considered carefully over and over again. I have not time in one address to go into all these, but I can assure you that having examined them all with the greatest degree of care, I have never been able to find one that can set aside this: “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you have a clear, definite, positive Scripture, do not allow some passage that is perplexing, that is difficult to interpret, that seems somewhat ambiguous, to keep you from believing the positive statement, “He that believeth hath everlasting life.” It is because I have a salvation like this to offer to men, it is because God has sent me to proclaim a salvation like this to sinners, that I have confidence in inviting people to come to Jesus, for I know if they get in living touch with my Savior He will make them His forever.
I recently received from a gentleman a tract entitled “All about the Eternal Security Doctrine.” He is afraid that this doctrine may have a tendency to make people careless about their lives. I can sympathize with him in that for this reason: I was a Christian worker in an organization that believed in what is commonly called the Arminian view; that is, when a person gets converted he has a good start for heaven, and then it is up to him to keep on going. As my old instructor used to say, “Getting to heaven is like riding a bicycle: if I stop, I will fall off.” I believed that thoroughly, so thoroughly that when people spoke to me about being eternally saved I used to say, “That is a doctrine of the evil one; that would mislead people and lead folks to become careless,” until I had a rather rude awakening.

I found our halls were thronged by people who were getting converted over and over again every few weeks. It seemed as though that old hymn, “Ye Must Be Born Again,” should really be sung, “Ye must Be Born Again and Again and Again.” That puzzled me, for I never read of anything like it in the Bible. Then I found that the falling away doctrine had a tendency to make people very careless indeed. Let me give you a concrete example. A young man in whom I was quite interested had been addicted to a certain sin in his unconverted days. After he professed conversion he turned from that particular sin, but he confessed to me privately that he had gone out in the darkness of the night, when no one knew where he was, and had fallen into the same sin many times. “How can you do it?” I asked him. “Well,” he said, “I always make up my mind that I will commit the sin and then get converted again when I come home.” I saw from that how dangerous was the doctrine of being saved today and lost tomorrow. The last time I saw that young man, he said to me, “It’s no use; this sin has such a grip on me that I cannot stand it.” “Don’t yield,” I said. “Let me call in several of the others and let us pray with you.” So four or five of us knelt and prayed very earnestly, but he rose again and clenched his fists, for he was in great agony, and said, “It’s no use. I am going out to sin, but I am coming back to get converted afterwards.” I never saw him again, and I do not know what became of him. That, you see, was one effect of this doctrine that a person loses his salvation when he sins but can come back again and get converted any time he desires. Certainly the Word of God teaches nothing like that. You can see that the Arminian view can be used to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. It is possible for the other view to be misused also. But I want you to see that the misuse of any doctrine does not in itself prove the teaching is wrong. We need definite Scripture upon which to base our faith. If people have no conscience toward God, they can misuse any doctrine in the Bible.

Friday, September 11, 2015


One of the most frustrating things in the life of a Christian is to fail in his attempt to live the life of Christ.  Christ puts within the heart of each Genuine Believer the desire to live for Him in obedience.  When he fails to live up to what he believes is the standard of perfection, he can easily fall into some very serious error.

The first error is believing that once he is converted, he will no longer sin.  The beloved apostle, John, wrote in 1 John 1:8, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  That was written for Believers, including John.  He uses the first person, plural because he is speaking to himself as well as other Believers.  He fully understood, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the weakness of the old nature which wars against the new nature.  We must also note that John is speaking in the present tense.  He is saying that if he were to contend that even as he was writing this letter under the direction of the Holy Spirit that he had no sin, it would make him a liar.

I might not be cognizant of any unconfessed and unrepented of sin, but I can be sure that if I genuinely seek His face, He will convict me of that sin, so that I might confess and repent of it.  So the first error I speak of is the error of believing the converted man has no sin.

The second error is becoming discouraged when that sin is realized.  Time and again men and women have shared with me their feelings of despair because they have failed.  Such individuals often feel there is no hope for them, and they sometimes give up saying, "It doesn't work.  I tried it, and all I feel is guilty."  That is exactly why John wrote the next verse, 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

God understands our humanity,  Jesus was tempted, and he knows we will be tempted sorely also.  The closer to Jesus one walks, the different the temptation is.  When one is a new Believer, he might be tempted to engage in the same old sins of the flesh he indulged before his conversion.  When he fails and confesses them, he learns to hate them, and the temptations might become more subtle.  The temptation might not be an openly overt sin, but one of the heart, or mind.  Satan is simply searching for beach head from which to attack.  Prayer life and Bible Study are often where the attacks are centered.  These need be confessed and repented of as much as murder, or theft.

A third error is feeling unworthy to serve.  Self-condemnation often robs people of the great joy which accompanies serving Him.  I have know people who felt they could not be used by God because of their sinful past life.   Some ladies who have had abortions have been so overcome by guilt, they simply cannot function.  Some homosexuals and prostitutes, some felons and murderers, some terrorists feel they have crossed a line where even though God has forgiven them, they cannot be spiritual leaders in Christ's Church.  Paul wrote about this in Romans chapters seven and eight.  Romans 8:1 declares, "There is therefore, no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."    

Chapter eight of Romans is all about the freedom one should experience once sin is confessed and repented of.  We love to attach social value to our sin.  We say it is worse to kill a baby than to kill an adult.  It is worse to steal than to lie.  It is worse to commit adultery than to hate.  However, God hates all sin, and all sin grieves Him.  Through sin we quench His Spirit, but when we believe we are forgiven because we are continually confessing our sin and turning from it, there is NO condemnation.   God doesn't condemn us and Satan cannot condemn us, so Scripture seems to teach that only person who can condemn the Believer is himself.  Romans 14:22.

Now this is not license to sin.  The genuine Believer is grieved because he grieves God.  The genuine Believer hates sin, his own sin, but he rests in the secure knowledge that genuine confession brings genuine forgiveness.   

Dear Lord, Please help Your children to be energized by Your complete forgiveness.  Help us to rest in You, even as we go about the marketplace of life and are subject to the accusations leveled by the agents of our enemy and Yours.  Help us to not cringe in fear of exposure, but help us to diligently seek Your face, and to trust in Your grace, as we confess that which You bring to our mind.  Help us to discern the difference between Your conviction and the enemy's accusation.  I ask this in the blessed and holy name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Solo Scriptura

I want to begin this segment of "Ponderings" with a confession.  I have often failed to live up to the standards Scripture holds for a follower of Christ.  I find myself rationalizing and even justifying my sin. However, I know that I have an Advocate with the Father who convicts me and leads me in confession and repentance.  And while there can be no justification for sin, I rest in the veracity of His Word.  I often marvel that God continues to use such a weak person as I am, but I take solace in His Word that when I confess my sin, He is faith and just to forgive that sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.  It is upon the basis of that forgiveness and cleansing that I continue to preach, sing, write, and witness.  It has nothing to do with any inherent "goodness."

I believe the Bible is "God's Word."  It is not a book containing words about God.  It is His revelation of Himself to man.  That conviction is a faith position and what keeps me focused upon Him and His plan, even after I go through a time when I'm distracted by the world's attractions.  I pray that each Genuine Believer will learn that God's Word is sufficient for living effectively and victoriously in this and any age.

The five "Solas" of the reformation are generally affirmed by contemporary Evangelicals.  However, the effective application of these truths often seem to belie that belief.  Should genuine revival be once again experienced, the church must purposely, and deliberately, examine practice in light of these five basics all must believe in order to call herself Christian.

The foundation upon which every doctrine of the Christian faith stands is "Sola Scriptura."  While reading recently from a Catholic theologian's arguments against this doctrine, I was once again impressed that Roman Catholicism stands completely on the fallacious belief in "Apostolic Succession," which claims that each Pope is the lone extant apostle and that his utterings, ex cathedra,  have the weight of apostolic authority, co-equal with Scripture. 

Evangelicals, and until the last few years, Protestants in general, understood the fallacy of that position.  "Solo Scriptura" has, in fact, been called the formal principle of the Reformation.  They understood that the misinterpretation of Scripture and elevation of tradition gave rise to the "Dark Ages," and evangelical abandonment of this doctrine today in order to provide a "meaningful emotional experience" is no less harmful than was that of the bishops of the fourth and fifth centuries.

Secular humanism's philosophical inroads into society through mandated early childhood education has diminished the respect for Holy Scripture, and wrought an emphasis upon quantity rather than quality in contemporary churches.   The result is that competition for those with a bent toward "religion" requires more and more extensive weekly presentations in order to attract a larger and more diverse following. 

Should "Solo Scriptura," or the complete sufficiency of Scripture in order to accomplish God's plan be enough, the entire nature of evangelicalism would change dramatically.  God's purpose of "seeking and saving" a people whose bent is not toward religion by telling them the "Good News" would be sufficient.  However, few seem to believe the sufficiency of proclaiming that while all men everywhere are born the enemy of God, God has sent His Son into the world that the world might be saved, not in order to condemn the world, but in order that a world condemned already might be saved. The preponderance of Evangelicals are too immersed in the numerical church growth movement to believe that the Bible's simple plan will work today.
One man has said that Evangelicals are simply "keepers of the aquarium," shifting fish from one tank to another.  That happens when man made devices and techniques are utilized to attract people to a fellowship, with no corresponding change in one's lifestyle other than church attendance.  These church hoppers are constantly looking for the next new thing, or most entertaining group. 

Once the members are attracted, seldom is systematic Scripture study the basis for spiritual growth.  Encounter groups based more on psychology and and psychiatry are seemingly more often used than is Scripture.  In fact, personal guided Scripture study seems to have almost disappeared, even among the fundamentalist groups.

More and more "Solo Scriptura" is being replaced with extra-biblical signs and miracles which seem to supersede Scripture.  "Experiential religion" carries much more weight in many circles than does the clear teaching of God's Word.  An "it seems to me religion" is rapidly replacing the "Scripture Teaches" Christianity of days gone by.   At one time, the phrase "God said it, that settles it, whether or not I believe it," was the watchword of Christianity, but alas, I fear the situational ethics of secular humanism has obliterated this tenet.

James Montgomery Boice in his book, "Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace," wrote the following:
"Unfortunately, it is possible to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice, as many if not all evangelicals claim to do, and still effectually to repudiate it because we think that it does not work today and are convinced that other things need to be brought in to accomplish what the Bible cannot do.
My prayer is that God will raise up an army of followers who will  look to Scripture and trust God's Word to be sufficient in all matters upon which it touches.  I do not despair for I'm certain God has reserved unto Himself multitudes who have not yet bowed a knee to the prince of this world system. 

Friday, April 17, 2015


                   The crude arrow displayed in the photo was given to me by an Indian man when I was on a preaching mission in Mexico’s interior.  It is hand made with a flint head tied to the shaft with leather strips.  The feathers are carefully tied at the notched end and the shaft has clearly been shaped by a sharp knife.   Contemporary archers, with their precision made equipment, would find little usefulness in such an arrow.  However, for millennia, hunters and warriors have used such instruments effectively. 

Perhaps there is a lesson in this arrow for you and me.  Time and again I’m told by genuine Believers that they don’t know enough, or they’re not versed enough in Scripture, to witness.  They seem afraid their inexperience, or lack of knowledge, will harm an unbeliever and keep that one from coming to Christ.  However, God uses those of us who are inexperienced, who still have rough edges, and who have not yet become precision instruments.  He seems to delight in using the weak and those deemed foolish by this world to work His wonders and His infinite Grace. 

In 1 Corinthians 1:26ff, we’re told, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.

Certainly we should study, and learn, but we must not wait until we know every thing, or until we have been polished, and machined to near perfection to become useful in God’s service.  You and I are useful, if we love Him, and are willing to be used by Him.  Let your usefulness in His Kingdom’s work be utilized today. 

©                Mike Rasberry              2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Abiding In Christ

I hear much lamenting today about the condition of Christ’s Church and consequently the world in which we live.  Though not intended as an exhaustive list; among the plethora of supposed causes these are usually included:
    •    Ineffective Government
    •    Ineffectual Parenting
    •    Purposeless Education
    •    Self-indulgent Living

At the risk of being branded simplistic, I believe the answer to the quandary can found in John’s Gospel, Chapter fifteen.  Jesus is there speaking to His followers, about whom He says in verse three, “...you are already clean...,” meaning I suppose that they are saved by faith in promise He has proclaimed.  However, He does not stop there.

Jesus, in verse four, issues a warning that should His followers not abide in Him, they will be fruitless.  Thus it is self-evident that one can be a genuine Believer while living a fruitless life.  It is also obvious that such a condition is a choice because Jesus, though not issuing a command, is seemingly warning them of the consequences of the failure to so abide.

He continues in verse five with the same theme saying that those who abide in Him will be fruitful, while those not abiding in Him can actually do nothing.  In fact, He says in verse six that one’s usefulness for Kingdom work is determined by the choice he makes in this particular matter.

If you and I are genuine Believers in Jesus Christ, we must purpose to abide in Him, thereby becoming fruitful and useful to His Kingdom work.  Such fruitfulness will result in untold numbers coming to faith in Christ, and just as those called Christian at Antioch were instruments of worldwide change, so you and I can become world changers. 

Would you purpose, with me, this day to spend time with Christ in Bible Study and Prayer, submitting your will to His and allowing Him to use you for His glory?  You can abide in Him, even as He abides in you.

©             Mike Rasberry                 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Peace Jesus Leaves Within

The African Proverb reflects man’s greatest battle–to be at peace with one’s self.  The problem one faces in that battle is that the enemy is an unseen power with great influence.  He is called the prince of this world system, and while he is not omnipresent, he has untold numbers of minions to assist him in his nefarious purpose. 

Man is unable to even recognize this spiritual enemy, much less defeat him with the finite resources innate within humanity.  But, Glory to God, a resource has been provided so that man can not be cognizant of the devious workings of this enemy, but can be triumphant over them.  Jesus, the Christ, left the glories of heaven and taking upon Himself the cloak of humanity, effectively and irreparably destroyed the power of man’s enemy by paying man’s sin debt and purchasing him with the precious blood of Himself.

Jesus did more than deliver man from the clutches of this once powerful enemy, He gave man the possibility of personal peace as he travels through life’s journey.  Those who, by faith, have consciously become the Children of God by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are also promised this great peace of John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

You and I need not fear anything this world can throw at us because, if we are His true followers, the enemy within has been defeated and Jesus Christ reigns in our hearts.  Trust Him to do what He says, He will give such peace that the world can do us no harm.

©                      Mike Rasberry               2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wasted Years

This morning my heart is heavy because people I love are struggling with the challenges of life, and cannot seem to trust God enough to simply let go and let Him have complete control of their lives.  They continue to act as if The Heavenly Father is not willing to lead, direct, empower, provide for, and protect them in this life.

     "Said the robin to the sparrow, 'I should really like to know
    why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so.’

    Said the sparrow to the robin, 'Friend, I think that it must be
    that they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.'"

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

These for whom I grieve are not unbelievers.  Were it so, I could approach them with the truth of God’s Word, and perhaps they would be convicted of their lostness and be converted to a new life in Christ.  Rather these are those who are wasting the precious years of their lives wandering in the wilderness of doubt and fear, failing to cross over Jordan to appropriate the abundant life awaiting in the land of promised rest. 

The greatest tragedy I know is that of those who have come out of Egypt by the supernatural working of God’s Spirit, but fail to enter into His rest.  Perhaps the manna and quail of the wilderness satisfies their palate and they fear they might lose even that if they attempt to take on the giants and fortified enemies of yonder promised land.

Wally Fowler wrote a song which I believe is as appropriate for these Believers living beneath their privilege as for the unbelievers.  This is what it says: 

        Wasted years, wasted years, oh, how foolish
        As you walk on in darkness and fear
        Turn around, turn around, love is calling
        Keeps calling me from a life of wasted years.
        Have you wandered a lot on life's pathway
        Have you lived without love, a life of tears
        Have you searched for a great higher meaning
        Or is your life filled with long wasted years?
        Wasted years, wasted years, oh, how foolish
        As you walk on in darkness and fear
        Turn around, turn around, love is calling
        Keeps calling you from a life of wasted years...

Dear Friend, If you are a Genuine Believer in Jesus Christ, please stop wasting these years of your life and purpose to live out His will for your life every day.

©                 Mike Rasberry                2015

Thursday, April 02, 2015

True Revival In These Days

True revival in these days might mean more a willingness to suffer reproach for the cause of the cross, than a great awakening of unbelievers who have hardened their hearts to the truth of God’s Word.

Genuine Christian Believers in The United States should not be surprised at the plethora of attacks against Indiana precipitated by the recent Religious Freedom Acts in that state.  As wannabe Bible scholars trip over themselves in vain attempts to show that Holy Scripture does not condemn homosexuality, or sodomy; celebrities and political leaders are casting ignorant aspersions on the honorable citizens of this country who understand the consequences of calling sin righteousness, and righteousness sin.

Athletic Director Pat Haden of USC stated that he would not attend the NCAA meetings in Indiana because he is the “proud parent” of a homosexual son.   One is left to wonder if he’d be proud of his son if he were a bank robber, child molester, or murderer.  The willingness to excuse, rather than mourn those imprisoned in the homosexual lifestyle, is but one more nail in the coffin of America’s greatness.

Throughout the past week I have engaged numerous individuals in discussions concerning this matter, and the vast majority seem bent on limiting religious freedom in order to empower people living the abhorrently aberrant lifestyle of homosexuality.   That homosexuality is sinful, morally degrading, and socially destructive seems beyond their ability to comprehend.  Otherwise relatively intelligent people, become inexplicably devoid of logic, and act as if the synapses within their brains are misfiring at an astronomical rate during such discussions.

This phenomena should be expected by Genuine Believers as the end of the age grows closer and closer.  Scripture indicates that men’s hearts will become hardened and they will be unable to recognize truth as the time for Christ’s return approaches.   Let then all who genuinely hold to the faith once delivered stand firm against the tide, knowing that He who purchased us with His own blood will undergird and sustain us during the harsh and terrible days which are surely to follow.  True revival in these days might mean more a willingness to suffer reproach for the cause of the cross, than a great awakening of unbelievers who have hardened their hearts to the truth of God’s Word.

©        Mike Rasberry          2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God

Jonathan Edwards preached this message on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut after having already preached it to his own Massachusetts.  History records that the Enfield church was not responding to the moving of the Holy Spirit and that the Pastor invited Edwards to preach with the hope that his congregation would be stirred to take hold of God.

The sermon’s theme, "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God,”  was central to the Great Awakening and permeated the sermon in its entirety.   We are told that Edwards was interrupted several times with people crying out such questions as, “What must I do to be saved,” and “Mr Edwards, is there no hope for me?”

Beyond the central theme, Edwards put forth ten propositions to prove his theme.  I think today’s culture needs be reminded of these important issues:

    1.    There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment.
    2.    They deserve to be cast into hell.
    3.    They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell.
    4.    They are not the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God that is expressed in the       torments of hell.
    5.    The devil stands ready to fall upon them and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him.
    6.    There are, in the souls of wicked men, whose hellish principles reigning that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire if it were not for God’s restraints.
    7.    It is no security to wicked men for one moment that there are no visible means of death at hand.
    8.    Natural men’s prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment.
    9.    All wicked men’s pains and contrivances which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment.
    10.    God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise, to keep any natural man out of hell one moment.

I believe that Edward’s sermon ought be declared across the depth and breath of America during these dreadful days we are entering.  God has given us a period of mercy during which time He is calling out to sinners to come to Him, however, He is under no obligation to extend that call one moment.  Should you sense the realization within yourself that you are in need of His mercy and grace, turn to Him with He still calls, lest the time be past and you enter eternity without Him, and as the eternal subject of Satan, whose abode is the lake of fire.

Friday, March 20, 2015


End Times
Many Bible Students have wondered why no reference seems to exist concerning America in “End Times Prophecy.”   It just might be that America will no longer be a world power during the last days, that she lies in ruins, testament to her secularism and her rejection of God as her ultimate Sovereign.  Even now, President Obama is maneuvering to set the United States against Israel’s best interests by hinting that his administration will not back Israel when the United Nations adopts a resolution pushing for a two-state settlement of the Palestinian issue.

Such a position would severely change the dynamic America has enjoyed as the nation has historically, wholehearted supported Israel, thereby obtaining, I believe, the blessing of God as per His pronouncement in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Should America, already under the judgement of God for her blatant legalization of perverted sin according to Leviticus chapter 18, now become Israel’s antagonist; the discerning Believer should recognize the imminent destruction of America looming on the horizon.

The growing secularization of America’s universities, schools, and churches is leading to a multiculturalism which by its very nature rejects God and His Word as the absolute authority.  Since America’s stand with Israel is based upon the influence of a significant number of Bible Believers whose vociferous support has, heretofore, carried the day; how much more diluted can that voice be and still influence national policy? 

In the book of Genesis, Abraham attempted to intercede for Sodom six times.  Abraham obviously understood the nature of Sodom because he seemed to fear that very few righteous persons resided in that hell hole of a city.  Estimates of Sodom’s population range from 1200 to several thousand, but even so Abraham’s final request would have been less than 1% of the population.  I don’t know what percentage of America’s two hundred million plus citizens are genuine Believers.  Certainly it is far less than the percentage of cultural Christians.

One man has declared, “Sin that once slunk down the back alley, now parades down Main Street.”  It is worse than that.  About one hundred years ago, the Fabian Socialists infiltrated American Universities and educated generations of government school teachers.  Today, the fruits of that education system have created an environment conducive to the election of a wholly socialist President, and the abandonment of Biblical authority.  The subsequent abandonment of Israel to those inspired by the prince of this world system, Satan, might just be the straw which breaks the back of the proverbial camel.

Secularists and liberal theologs will deny this hypothesis, but those who genuinely seek to be led by the Holy Spirit of God will know that this nation’s only hope lies not in her armed forces, nor her diplomatic maneuvering, but in a revival of true religion in the hearts of genuine Believers which drives them to fall on their collective faces at the feet of Jesus, crying for mercy.  Such revival will probably precipitate such a spiritual awakening that sin will no longer be celebrated, and Biblical authority will once again be the basis of local and national governance.

©                 Mike Rasberry            2015

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Rosenberg analysis of Netanyahu's speech to Joint Session of Congress

Joel C. Rosenberg gives an analysis of Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress.
Following the link below to read that analysis.  Definitely worth your time.  PM Netanyahu appears to be everything our President is NOT.   He also seems to have a very clear grasp of the danger facing this world today.

America teamed with our enemy, Russia, in the war against Nazi Germany and the result was that half of Europe was consigned to impoverished slavery for nearly half a century under the hammer and sickle of the Russian Bear.  We must recognize that just being the enemy of our enemy is not sufficient cause for embracing a sworn enemy.  The enemy of our enemy is still our enemy.

Please take the time to read the Rosenberg analysis.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


“Folderal,” a useless accessory, nonsense.  

Much of what passes for Worship these days is nothing less than “Folderal.”  Jesus, speaking to the woman at the well of Samaria in John 4:23,24 said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What is your view of worship? Is worship what happens in church on Sunday? Do you identify it with an emotional experience, spiritual thoughts, or maybe performing certain rituals?

The fact is, true worship is not defined by a place, a feeling, or a ritual. God set the standard for worship in His Word, and the standard is much higher and more rewarding than most of us ever imagine. 

God is not impressed by our performance, rather He is moved by the honest expression of response by us to His love.  He wants us to mean what we say and sing.  He wants each activity of the day to reflect such a response. 

There is a place for singing, preaching, listening, shouting, teaching, and even passing out bulletins.  It can all be true worship, but in all our doings, if we are not genuinely responding to God’s great love toward us, then we are not engaged in true worship, and it is nothing less than “Folderal.” 

You do not have to wait for Sunday to worship Him.  Jesus told that same woman in verse 21 that the hour is coming when your worship will not be confined to the central place of worship.  I think He was saying that true worship definitely can, and should, take place on Sunday in corporate worship with the body; but with the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell each Believer true worship occurs in everything we do throughout the week.  If we begin to understand that every interaction with others, every thing we do, and every word we speak should be done as a conscious reaction to His wonderful, redeeming love, we will find ourselves worshiping Him continually and there will be less and less “Folderal” in our lives.

©                    Mike Rasberry              2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Deliverance From The Dungeon of Despair

I believe there are untold numbers of Genuine Believers today who are struggling with despair.  They wonder why nothing is working out, and why life just seems so very difficult.  Now if everything is going well for you today, just hang on; if you live very long, you’ll face some daunting challenges.  But there are some who are really in a deep dark dungeon, and they see no way out.

Let me tell you there is light and hope for you. 

John The Baptist was a great man, yet he was in the dungeon of despair.  He had though Jesus was the one who would finally deliver the Jews, and he had testified that Jesus was the Son of God, yet John was in prison, facing an uncertain future.   He could not understand why, if Jesus was who He claimed to be, that John was going through all this trouble. 

Do you ever feel that way?  “Jesus, I believe in you, but here I am.  Why?  If You’re really God why don’t you deliver me?”

John asked that same question, and Jesus answered him in Matthew chapter 11 with these words, “...Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” 

Jesus was saying to John, “I’m still in charge, don’t despair because things aren’t going according to your schedule, or according to your plan.  Trust me.  I have not been sidetracked from My plan which is set from eternity past.”  If you’re in despair, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of you faith.  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb 11:6

Jesus will not castigate you when you come to Him and honestly admit that you have fallen into despair because of the dungeon you find yourself in.  He will comfort and encourage you.  He will empower you to face each day, trusting Him that all is going according to His plan.  You can sing with the hymn writer,  “I know what ‘ere befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”

©                  Mike Rasberry             2015

Friday, February 20, 2015


“Mastication” is a Greek word that means "to gnash the teeth" (and related to the Greek words for jaw and chew).  In everyday parlance it means chewing.  While looking at this word this morning I was reminded of an expression I grew up with: “I’ll chew on it awhile” meant that the person would ponder, or think, about it for a while.

When someone would want another to think about something, the common expression was, “I’ll let you chew on that for a spell.” 

I’ve been “chewing” on some things recently, that give me hope for the future, even in these days of growing official opposition to Biblical Christianity. 

Look for a moment at Isaiah 34:1-7.  1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, 
And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.  3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east,   And gather you from the west;  6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth– 7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."

If you would “chew” on this for a spell, it might give you hope also.  Here Holy God declares His sovereignty over all, and lets those who are His understand that each and everyone of His have been created for His glory.  Nothing this world offers can separate us from the One Who holds us in His strong hand. 

Glory!  Glory!  Glory!

©            Mike Rasberry        2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Truth And Godliness

Is knowing and accumulating truth enough? 

In today’s world of instant communications and the ability to google almost anything to find an answer, nearly everyone is suddenly a theologian.  In James chapter 2:18ff, the writer is telling the listener that there is more to Godliness than simply accumulating truth.  In fact, he compares those who do so with the demons.

So is James teaching that knowledge of truth is not important?  Certainly no!  He is simply explaining that truth which does not work itself out through one’s heart and thereby show itself in one’s doings is empty truth.

Now this doesn’t mean that one should not seek to expand his understanding of Biblical Truth.  Quite the contrary.  Trying to live “godly” without the basis of Biblical Truth leads to the shallow understanding permeating the contemporary church.  Without the solid basis of Biblical Truth, “I feelism” and “It seems to meism” has created mass confusion leading to a lack of Spiritual Power.

Those depending upon feelings are not intentionally trying to wreck and limit the work of Christ.  They are much like those described in the book of Judges who acted according to what was “right in their own eyes.”  They did not base their actions and lifestyles on the unchanging Word of God, but on their understanding of life.

If you and I desire true “Godliness,” we must look to The Bible, God’s Holy Word, and learn of Him, while submitting ourselves to Him as His instruments, thereby “working out” our faith in all our doings. 

©               2015              Mike Rasberry