Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Charles H. Spurgeon on How To Battle Sorcery

As usual during October I tend to think of the battle between light and dark, of Satan's plots to lure us away from our savior Jesus Christ in his vain attempt to avoid the pit of fire. We are all combatants in this struggle (Ephesians 6:12) I'm sure most of my readers are actually involved in this battle on a personal level. 

I have two close relatives who firmly believe that salvation is found in the Roman Catholic Church only, everything else is evil. I have another close relative who has been so spiritually abused by the lies and heresy of the Jehovah's Witnesses that she's a confused and muddled mass of contradictions until she now finds her theology in scriptural masterpieces such as "All Dogs Go To Heaven" and it's non-animated equivalent; Joel Osteen. And I have one more close relative that's fallen into Wicca and as a result now worships gravel, the power of women, some unnamed goddess, and Satan (but she's completely ignorant of that fact)

Of the five of us I'm the one considered the heretic because I've actually read the bible. Numerous times. And quote it. And preach it. So, yeah, as we approach Halloween, the day that the whole world celebrates the fall of Satan and his putrid works on this world, I get a bit edgy. How do we fight this? 

As usual C.H. Spurgeon's voice rings out to us from the past with the best advice I've ever heard on how to battle against Satan's plans:
You recollect that Paul went to Ephesus; and Ephesus, as a city, was besotted with a belief in sorcery. The people had given themselves up to practice magical arts. What is the right way to begin to preach at Ephesus? - deliver a course of lectures upon the impossibility and absurdity of such superstition? 
No, sir; nothing of the kind. Preach Christ, preach the gospel; and as Jesus Christ is lifted up, they bring their magical books and make a bonfire of them in the open forum. But here is a polished governor - Sergius Paulus - sitting upon the judgment seat. What shall be preached to him? Would it not be well to begin with a dissertation on politics, and to show that the Christian region does not interfere with proper government, that it does not stir up the people to anarchy? No, sir; nothing of the kind. There is nothing for Sergius Paulus, any more than there is for Elymas the sorcerer, but the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Paul goes to Athens. Now, the Athenians are the most learned and philosophical of the whole race of men. What will Paul preach there? The gospel, the whole gospel, and nothing but the gospel. He may change his tones, but never his matter. It is the same remedy for the same disease, be the men what they may. 
He comes to Corinth, and here you have not only polished manners, but the very refinement of vice. It is a city, an emporium of trade, and a sort of central depot of sin. What then? Will he now, to please the trader, assume a different dialect? Not he! The Christ for Athens is the Christ for Corinth too.
There it is, the whole battle plan in a nutshell. Preach Jesus. It is said that St. Francis of Assisi once said "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words", in reality he said something horrifically more unscriptural: 
No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulations of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister... all the Friars … should preach by their deeds.
Now you can see why he was misquoted, it was an act of charity.  St. Francis was calling for men of God to preach the Roman Catholic catechism, while Charles Spurgeon is making a more biblical call - Preach Jesus. And it's a good plan, straight from the lips of Christ Jesus himself!
25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:25-28)
There it is, the whole order of battle, right there. In one small lesson he taught us so much; that He is the Messiah, that the unsaved will not believe him, that those who will be saved will follow him and are rewarded. Without going all ├╝ber-Calvinist it's clear to any follower of Christ that there are those that refuse his message and those that are open to the Grace of Christ Jesus. Why this is, is a matter for another blog entry.

The fact remains that Jesus sheep hear Jesus' voice and follow Him. Mark 16:15 tells us plainly to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, this is how the sheep hear his voice. Will it work every time? No, of course not, we're people. We're not that bright. In my case the Gospel was rattled against my brain pan for a half of a century, quite often with the Holy Spirit shouting in my ear "Will you just listen!?!" until it finally took and from that moment on I have been delving in His word non-stop. Many people will hear his word right away and accept Christ as their savior at an early age, others will be very close to the ends of their lives, but all are saved. 

Unfortunately we don't know who Jesus' sheep really are, we know those that have answered His call, but we have no way of knowing who will answer in the future, and we don't know who will never answer. So until then we need to follow the plan: Preach Jesus, because some day our words will fall on receptive ears and the Angels will have a reason to celebrate.

One more reason why I consider Country Gospel to more theologically correct than other forms of worship music that are popular today 

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