Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spiritual Cure Brings Praise

I love the godly wisdom that Spurgeon reveals:

When a spiritual cure is wrought by the Great Physician, praise is one of the surest signs of renewed health.

Charles Spurgeon

Once a born again believer in Christ has that spiritual cure that Spurgeon is talking about, all that had transpired before (the good, the bad, and the ugly) can, and will be seen as vehicles, traveling along the road of life in order to bring each person to salvation through Jesus Christ.

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

People may live many years in rebellion. Yet, God in his mercy, continues to knock on the door of their hearts in order to bring them towards reconciliation through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm sure that every Christian reading here can look back and see incidences where the Lord sent angels to rescue you from a dangerous situation. Perhaps He sent a Christian believer into your life to point you in the right direction. Maybe, you fought tooth and nail against that believer; only to find later how instrumental their thoughts, words, actions, and deeds really were in pointing you towards repentance, faith, and forgiveness through Christ.

There will always be non-believers who will resist any effort and/or good argument brought forth by Christian believers that is shared to encourage them to be reconciled back to God. This is because though they may sense that tug on their hearts, (which can only come from the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God), remaining in rebellion has become their goal. You could answer every single question they pose, but it won't make a difference. Why? Because they are spiritually discerned. They refuse to give up their prideful hearts and humble themselves enough to allow themselves to be repentant. There are probably dozens of reasons for this. In my conversations [on second thought...more like arguments!] with atheists, agnostics, and skeptics, I have often found these six reasons for their steadfast faith in their own rebellion:

1. Many are just plain angry.

2. Many attempt to focus on what they perceive as a lack of physical cures for suffering on this earth - and what's more - they blame "the God of the Bible" for His perceived "inefficiency."

3. Many like to mock Christians, in particular.

4. Many like to mock religion, in general, but usually just pick on Christians and the God of the Bible.

5. Some often claim to have been believers in the past, but now are not.

6. Often, some kind of tragedy or affliction in their lives has caused them great pain (though some would never admit that) and thus, because of what has happened to them (or a loved one) they claim that the God of the Bible is a tyrant, evil, mean, and not worthy of any worship or praise.

There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of excuses/reasons that people find to reject God's Word and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Let's go back to Spurgeon's quote:

When a spiritual cure is wrought by the Great Physician, praise is one of the surest signs of renewed health.

Charles Spurgeon

Jesus Christ is the only savior for this world. That is why Spurgeon refers to him as "the Great Physician." No matter what happens to our bodies and physical existence on this earth, the sure sign of renewed health is the spiritual cure that only Jesus can bring!

Yesterday, I received another one of Greg Koukl's excellent essays via email . The subject matter? The "new atheism." He also provides two links. The first is to a 2002 essay he wrote regarding Christianity's Real Record:


It's easy to characterize religion as a blood-thirsty enterprise, a perpetrator of witch hunts, crusades, and religious jihad. But has Christianity been the cause of such evil, or does the truth turn out to be just the opposite?

The second link was to the Stand to Reason website where one can purchase Greg's latest lecture series. He recently spoke about the "new atheists" at The Masters Series in Christian Thought and offered an approach and rebuttal to both their attitudes and arguments.

Greg is the master at countering arguments brought up against Christian faith. I have always enjoyed his lectures and CD's in the past. I look forward to receiving this new series.

Here is Greg's email essay:

The “New” Atheists

There has been an attack on religion.

Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great—How Religion Poisons Everything

Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell—Religion as Natural Phenomenon

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Sam Harris, The End of Faith—Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and Letter to a Christian Nation

These guys are really angry.

There’s really nothing new about the “new” atheism, except the attitude. The new twist: Theists are dangerous.

“Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate,” writes Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”

According to Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, religion is so bad it should be eradicated just like slavery was eradicated: “I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century.”

These writers have tremendous emotional appeal.

Two aspects of dealing with these new aggressive atheists (both are hard):
1. The argument
2. The interplay, the gamesmanship, the footwork

Regarding number two: I can dispatch a good portion of Christopher Hitchens’s analysis of religion with one statement: Ridicule (or sneering, or swearing) is not an argument. Hitchens regularly employs ad hominems, red herrings, hasty generalizations, ridicule, and fallacies of all sorts.

The argument is a little different. The details and claims are important. You have probably heard this statement thrown around pretty regularly today: More wars have been fought and more blood as been shed in the name of religion than anything else. It is the greatest cause of evil in the world.

Here are four quick points to correct the record.

First, the crimes themselves have often been misconstrued or exaggerated.

Second, the greatest evil in the world has actually come from those who deny God’s existence.

Third, Christianity cannot be held responsible when Christians do un-Christian things.

Finally, Christianity’s real record of good is without peer in world history.
Christianity, properly understood, is a cause for good and not evil in the world. The problem isn’t religion; it’s religious error: either false religion, or true religion improperly or inconsistently applied.

This evidence gets to one of the standard argument that these new atheists put forward. But to stand against them you need the skill of an ambassador to see through the smokescreen of their attitude. Employ the tactic "Just the Facts, Ma'am" when the critic makes factual claims.

Often, it's easy to correct these with a little research.

I recently spoke about the "new atheists" at The Masters Series in Christian Thought and offered an approach and rebuttal to both their attitudes and arguments.

Don't be "steamrolled" by the aggressive attitude and overstated claims. Focus on the argument and claims they offer. I'm confident if you practice the skills of a good ambassador, you can show that Christianity is rational and good.

-Greg Koukl

As was seen in my previous post (including the video of the dying man who wanted to know the truth), the Bible informs us that it is appointed for all men to die once, and face the judgment of a Holy God. (See Hebrews 9)

Hbr 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

No matter which stumbling blocks that non-believers try to throw in our path, it is extremely important to remember that Jesus himself, as well as the apostles, constantly preached the Word of God which has the power to divide soul and spirit. I have found that even in my own arguments, I need not strive for nonbelievers to have a mental ascendancy to truth. Only God can convict their reprobate hearts.

My job, our job as Christians is to preach the Gospel. This is what we are instructed to do in God's Word. We can pray for them, share the Gospel and God's Word with them, and hope that they will heed the Holy Spirit's calling. This is why we must keep Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV) in mind -

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You and I can lead others towards conversion. But it is God who does the saving...lest any man should boast.

This is why we praise God whenever anyone in church comes forward during the altar call. We may have brought them as a guest to the church, but it is God who brings them into the Kingdom.

I just read an amazing account over at Mark's blog entitled Share the Truth of the Cross. The cost for our redemption was indeed high. We cannot look at our sin as something to ever take lightly. You need to go over there and read it.

Our salvation can be achieved in only one way. It is through the power of what God's Son, Jesus Christ did for us on that cross at Calvary; and His subsequent glorious resurrection to life eternal!

HT: Greg Koukl - Stand to Reason

HT: Mark at Chester Street


Matt W. said...

Awesome post Christine,
I almost don't know what to say. We must share the Truth with the world, firmly, unflinchingly, and with unabashed certainty.
Thank you.

Christinewjc said...

Thanks Matt.

I agree. We must share the Truth with unabashed certainty.

This is difficult to do in this postmodern age that embraces "diversity" [which is code word for anything goes], "religious tolerance" [which is code word for all religions are equally true], and "moral relativism" [which is code word for no judgments allowed].

There will always be mockers, skeptics, haters, and non-believers who will outrightly reject what we share.

So be it.

Just because they refuse to acknowledge who Jesus is, doesn't mean we give up trying to educate those who don't know Him or the Truth in the Bible.

Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.