Originally published November 21, 2010.
No, I’m not asking you if you have some sort of parasite in your ears, but do you have ears that “itch” to be affirmed in your sin? This was the warning that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about what would take place in the Last Days (we are in the Last Days). Men would set up for themselves preachers that would affirm them in their sin instead of preaching the truth of the gospel showing the need for repentance from sin.
Here are the Apostle’s words:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Paul is telling us that men will turn away from the soundness and truth of the gospel.
My Dad, whom we affectionally call Pops, is 84 years old today! I took the above picture when he gave that UofH hat to my lovely bride. The following note is directed to Pops.
We hope the LORD blesses you with many more. We love you and miss you! Happy Birthday!
We will be smoking a cigar in your honor! (Heidi probably won’t smoke the cigar, but she will be wearing the hat).
Timothy & Heidi
Just a few more photos from our walks at Steele Creek Park here in Bristol, TN, with a selfie to boot.
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand for me against the workers of iniquity? (Psalm 94:16)
C.H. Spurgeon writes:
Faithful ministers are few, and fewer still are bold enough to stand and defy the enemies of truth. Where are our Luthers and our Calvins? A false charity weakened Israel’s valiant men. One John Knox would be worth a mint at this hour, but where is he? Our great consolation is that the God of Knox and Luther is still with us, and in due time He will call His chosen champions.
From Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David.
I love this quote for two reasons. The first is that Spurgeon languished with the reality that there was so much weakness found in the ministers of his day, just as there is a weakness in the ministers of our day. There are far too many men who enter the pulpits across the country who refuse to do the work to preach God’s word faithfully. They are committed more to being the congregation’s general counselor instead of a true shepherd that is committed to feeding the sheep from God’s holy word. They may use the Bible, but it’s not there for exposition or rebuke, correction, etc. It’s there as life’s road map.
Most of you know that I highly recommend A.W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God for understanding the subject of the title. God’s sovereignty is truly at the heart of Calvinism and is the point of Calvinism. So given the opportunity to run more of Pink’s writing, I give thanks to Danny, who sent me this quote on Sunday after reading my post below about putting God in a box. Danny blogs Dear Children: A Letter from a Father’s Heart. He has some excellent letters, so check it out.
One of the reasons I was drawn to Heidi, my wife, is that I realized early on in our relationship that she was a woman of prayer. I must confess that when we first started calling one another, I broke it off for less than stellar reasons. What hit me a couple of days afterwards was the realization that she had been praying for me and my ministry all that time. My thought upon this realization went something like this: “Timothy, you’re an idiot if you pass up on this woman. She’s praying for you!” (And she was even praying for me during this break up).
I need a woman who is praying for me, and with me. Christ is the center of our relationship, and prayer has been the glue I’m not sure I’m wording that correctly, but we have had a lot of prayer time together, especially because of the number of trials we faced leading up to our nuptials, and the trials afterwards. Heidi has truly been a blessing to me, and given her words, I have been a blessing to her as well.
I took this photo while taking a walk with my wife on Saturday in Steele Creek Park here in Bristol, TN. The first time we went to the park, I took my Canon and lenses. I took this with my iPhone. Honestly, this was truly a surprise at how well it came out.
I wrote a post earlier this week about seven celebrities who do not believe in God, and after thinking about it for a while, I could have entitled it: 7 Celebrities Who Are Destined for Hell When They Die. I know, it sounds harsh. But these are the implications of these celebrities’ lack of belief in the living and true God.
I realize that God could work in their lives at some point, bringing them to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance for the wickedness of sin in their lives, but as it stands now, all seven are not bound for the promised land. The seven are bound for the eternal torment of hell. There is no basis by which we can say otherwise. Those who are outside of Christ have no hope of entering into heaven. Just listen to the most quoted Bible passage, and the often overlooked verses that follow, of all time:
“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
I was reading with my bride this morning from Jeremiah 20 a description of Jeremiah’s unpopular ministry. The LORD had commanded him to declare “violence and plunder” to the people, since their doom was set even though they acted as though they were going to repent.
I couldn’t help but joke that the prophet Jeremiah was what so many people want in a pastor today, someone “winsome and nice.” Yet, when we are truly called by God, when we are truly filled with the Spirit to proclaim God’s word, “winsome and nice” is not really a priority. Being faithful to God’s calling is the priority. Sometimes the message of God’s word does not allow for winsome and nice, because the message itself must remind us that God will not be mocked.
I saw this article being plugged via Fox News and had to check it out. The seven celebrities are as follows:
- Amber Heard — Who?
- Jon Hamm — Never heard of him.
- Javier Bardem — Never seen him act.
- Emma Thompson — I’ve heard of her.
- Morgan Freeman — disappointing but not surprising.
- Daniel Radcliffe — Who? O that’s right, Harry Potter.
- Brad Pitt — Exactly what I would expect from Mr. Pitt.
There is really no one on that list that surprises me. You can follow the link to see the reasons they gave. There is nothing worth quoting or I would, except maybe that Morgan Freeman believes he is god. Nothing new there, that lie has been with us since the garden.
My wife and I have been working our way through the book of Jeremiah lately for our devotional time. I’m not sure why I picked the book of Jeremiah as our first book to go through as a couple, but I did and we are both blessed by it.
It is not an easy book to read through because it seems at times that the people are trying to repent, but our loving and gracious Father will have none of their empty-lip service. They have transgressed, and transgressed, and transgressed against Him and His holiness and He is bringing judgment upon them.
I crouched down behind the barrier to catch my breath and spotted another victim. He was probably 10 years old, and he was working his way through the barriers on the second level. I could see him through the mesh and he was an easy target.
I lifted my gun up to my eye, put the site right on the boy’s vest and fired. The red laser hit him twice, setting off the vest indicating a hit.
I jumped back down behind my barrier and waited. I needed to play this game just a tad bit smarter than the rest of those in the game, since I was clearly the largest one in the room. Even though the vests were the same size, it was a lot easier for a 12 year old to hide than a 250 lb., 50 year old. After all, my bones ached just crouching down.
I spotted another target. Jumped up, sited in, zap! Another hit. I got another, and another.
Lest I become all gooey emotionally, I thought I would just post some of the pictures here from my wedding on Saturday to my lovely bride, Heidi Ann.
The best part of the wedding was the ceremony. A fellow pastor and friend from Lufkin, TX did a splendid job of covering all the bases and keeping it a short ceremony. The day was truly special.
If you have held Calvinistic positions on anything concerning Scripture for more than a minute, you know that the moment you voice such convictions, it will not take long for someone to make the claim that they disagree with you and “will not put God in a box.”
The irony is that the moment they say they will not put God in a box, is the moment they do. The problem with their box is that it is much worse than the box used by Calvinists because their feelings and emotions define the box they use, as opposed to the box used by Calvinists, which is scripture.