Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim was falsely accused and arrested for “crimes against the state” by one of the most repressive regimes today, that of North Korea. He was sentenced to what amounted to a life sentence of hard labour and solitary confinement.

Upon his miraculous release after serving two and a half years of his sentence, he returned to Canada and was interviewed on CBC by Rosemary Barton. He told her how he was forced to dig holes in the frozen ground in the winter to make an orchard. He spoke of being under constant surveillance 24 hours a day with 2 guards who were changed every 2 hours, and how he was kept from speaking to his family or his church during this whole time of imprisonment. ...continue reading

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for this year?  If so, how are you doing in keeping them?  I read somewhere that most resolutions made on Dec 31 are broken by the end of the first week.  That is not a promising statistic!

While the world’s concept of “making resolutions” is not a Christian doctrine, there can be no denying that one aspect of being a Christian is to be a man or woman of resolve. ...continue reading

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The title of this thread comes from some entries into his personal journal by William Borden (1887-1913), a man who was born into a very wealthy family, but gave it all up to be a missionary and then died at 25 years of age.  His life really revolved around three comments he penned.

No Reserves.  No Retreats.  No Regrets. ...continue reading

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At the beginning of this year I set, as one of my goals, to read several books in my library by W.S. Plumer. I had purchased them some time ago, but with such a choice of books to read, and a limited number of hours in a day, I had not gotten to these. That was my loss. I frankly did not realize what a treasure I possessed sitting on my shelves! He writes in such practical terms. Currently I have been reading his work, Vital Godliness: A Treatise on Experimental and Practical Piety. He touches on the great aspects on the practical aspects of the Christian’s life of faith and walk with God. His chapter on ‘Contentment’ is full of sage advice and is no less practical today than when it was penned in the 1800’s. Consider these excerpts:

On the topic of what contentment is. ...continue reading

Isaac Watts (1674-1748), was the author of hundreds of hymns, many of them still being sung today. He is generally considered the “Father of English Hymnody”. While it is true that quality sometimes suffers at the hands of quantity, such cannot be said of Watt’s hymns. His prolific hymn-writing was not at the expense of solid, biblical truth, and a careful reading and study of them in the light of Scripture would be of great spiritual benefit and blessing to all who would make the effort.

His best known hymn is, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. Rather than enlarge upon the words here, I would simply encourage you to read the words. Read them prayerfully. Meditate upon them deeply. Think of the depths of truth surrounding the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that are displayed in these lines.

Charles Wesley (the famous Methodist hymn writer of over 6,000 hymns!) is reported to have said he would have given up all his hymns to have written this one! Though most hymnbooks only have 4 verses to the hymn, there are two more that are generally omitted. Here then are the 6 verses of Isaac Watts’ famous hymn.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

To Christ, who won for sinners, grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

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“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

Who would not want to have a friend? Sometimes after a person dies, he is eulogized with the statement that that he didn’t have an enemy in the world. Truthfully, for my own part I would not want that. I hope I am an enemy of those who hate God, despise the cross of Christ, and show spite towards His people and His gospel. If I am to be a friend of that which is good, I must be the enemy of that which is evil.

On the other hand, what a sad thing it is when it is said of someone, “They do not have friend in the world”. That is truly sad and worthy of our sympathy. You can be without any earthly friends and still not be friendless for “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. What a Friend He is! He is described so well in that well known hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. One line says,

Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness – Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Isn’t that something worth singing about? To have a Friend who knows your every weakness, yet still loves you at all times and is never closer than when you are in adversity. Christ is not to be compared to this world’s friends. He is incomparable in all His attributes. Solomon attempted to describe the loveliness of the Lord in Song of Solomon chapter 5. And at the end he says of Him, “yea He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved and this is my friend. (v.16). ...continue reading

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There is a great deal of controversy about the Ten Commandments in the news today. It seems people don’t want them posted in public places or read in our schools. Strenuous efforts in political and educational realms are being made to have them erased or removed.

Did you know that whether you have ever thought about them or not, or whatever your views of the Ten Commandments may be, that one day every single person (that includes you!), will have to face up to each one of them? Maybe you have heard about the Ten Commandments, but you have never actually read them. So before I go any further, here they are just as God gave them:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (no “idols” in our lives)
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

...continue reading

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More and more, I find I am on the receiving end of emails from (I have to believe) well-meaning Christians who want to warn me of the dangers of Islam. While I cannot say for sure why these letters are becoming more frequent and more militant in tone, I must say that my soul grieves for those who view Muslims only through a political lens. Why? Because the problem with that is if that is the only way you view Muslims, then that will likely end up being the way in which you will view any effort at countering them. ...continue reading

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(An Analysis of Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians)

There can be no arguing the fact that Dispensationalism has been the predominant ‘system’ of biblical interpretation throughout much of the church in the past century.  Both Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism have been influenced and infiltrated by this relatively new way of viewing Scripture; and this to such an extent that most fundamental churches today equate the dispensationalistic method of ‘dividing the word of God’ with orthodoxy.  A Christian who does not believe, or even entertains doubts of this historic novelty is considered heretical at worst, and hopelessly ignorant of ‘truth’ at best!  It is no longer the Divine Truth we are called to contend for, but the Divided Truth.  No longer is the Bible to be viewed as one, seamless revelation by God of Himself to man, but a series of revelations, each marked out and clearly ‘divided’ from the others, even though dispensational teachers are not so clear themselves, nor are they agreed on some of those ‘divisions’.

Not only is the Bible itself divided, so are some of the great events themselves, and nowhere is this more seen than in their teaching on the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Oh yes, Jesus Christ is coming again.  But, they would have us believe He is coming again . . . and again . . . and perhaps again!  This, of course, involves the teaching of the secret rapture of the Church, prior to the great tribulation, to be followed by Christ’s glorious second coming to usher in His millennial reign on earth.  Many of the texts quoted to ‘prove’ this theory are from 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.  But do they prove this theory?  Let us consider what Paul taught concerning the second coming of Christ in his letters to the church at Thessalonica.  (Although we confine ourselves to these two letters for the purpose of this article, for obvious reasons we must at times consider some parallel texts and complimentary passages from elsewhere in Scripture). ...continue reading

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With that statement made in a recent interview with the New York Times, Mr. Bloomberg put into words the false delusion that has duped millions and given them a false hope, namely that a person can be good enough to ‘earn’ his place in heaven. Before I comment further, here is what the ex-mayor of New York said, and his reason for saying it as reported in the Times. (And remember, this is from a man who is 72 years old with eternity staring him straight in the face!)

“… he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

...continue reading