Thursday, February 24, 2011

Charles Spurgeon's Punch-Out

Charles Spurgeon has knocked me out with his quotes before. On more than one occassion, I've had to pick myself up off the mat and rethink the strategy of my witnessing as well as my Christian walk. So with a nod to our gaming roots as well as to the prince of preachers, here is a list of Spurgeon quotes. Feel free to bookmark this page as a one-stop-shop for Spurgeon uppercuts. We also have Spurgeon morning and evening devotionals on Enjoy and God bless.

"Brethren, do something; do something, do something! While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls. I pray you, be men of action all of you. Get to work and quit yourselves like men. Old Suvarov's idea of war is mine: `Forward and strike! No theory! Attack! Form a column! Charge bayonets! Plunge into the center of the enemy! Our one aim is to win souls; and this we are not to talk about, but do in the power of God!"

"Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter."

"Do you want arguments for soul winning? Look up to Heaven, and ask yourself how sinners can ever reach those harps of gold and learn their everlasting song, unless they have someone to tell them of Jesus, who is mighty to save. But the best argument of all is to be found in the wounds of Jesus. You want to honour Him, you desire to put many crowns upon His head, and this you can best do by winning souls for Him. These are the spoils that He covets, these are the trophies for which He fights, these are the jewels that shall be His best adornment."

"Lost! Lost! Lost! Better a whole world on fire than a soul lost! Better every star quenched and the skies a wreck than a single soul to be lost!"

"I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unravel all the mysteries of the divine Word, for salvation is the one thing we are to live for."

"If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness,
it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world."

"When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready....Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. herefore, do not go out without your tracts."

"To be a soul winner is the happiest thing in the world. And with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven here upon earth."

"If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."

"If there existed only one man or woman who did not love the Saviour, and if that person lived among the wilds of Siberia, and if it were necessary that all the millions of believers on the face of the earth should journey there, and every one of them plead with him to come to Jesus before he could be converted, it would be well worth all the zeal, labour, and expense. If we had to preach to thousands year after year, and never rescued but one soul, that one soul would be full reward for all our labour, for a soul is of countless price."

"The hearing of the gospel involves the hearer in responsibility. It is a great privilege to hear the gospel. You may smile and think there is nothing very great in it. The damned in hell know. Oh, what would they give if they could hear the gospel now? If they could come back and entertain but the shadow of a hope that they might escape from the wrath to come? The saved in heaven estimate this privilege at a high rate, for, having obtained salvation through the preaching of this gospel, they can never cease to bless their God for calling them by his word of truth. O that you knew it! On your dying beds the listening to a gospel sermon will seem another thing than it seems now."

"Do you know, my dear unsaved hearer, what God’s estimate of the gospel is? Do you not know that it has been the chief subject of his thoughts and acts from all eternity? He looks on it as the grandest of all his works. You cannot imagine that he has sent his gospel into the world to be a football for you to play with–that you may give it a kick, as Felix did when he said to Paul, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). You surely cannot believe that God sent his gospel into the world for you to make a toy of it, and to say, as Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28), and then put away all thought of it out of your souls. You cannot even speak of it irreverently without committing a great sin."

"Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul."

"Never lose heart in the power of the gospel. Do not believe that there exists any man, much less any race of men, for whom the gospel is not fitted."

"Let this be to you the mark of true gospel preaching - where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where it is salvation all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus."

"If God does not save men by truth, he certainly will not save them by lies. And if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival."

"On Christ, and what he has done, my soul hangs for time and eternity. And if your soul also hangs there, it will be saved as surely as mine shall be. And if you are lost trusting in Christ, I will be lost with you and will go to hell with you. I must do so, for I have nothing else to rely upon but the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived, died, was buried, rose again, went to heaven, and still lives and pleads for sinners at the right hand of God."

"We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah."

"If the Lord's bearing our sin for us is not the gospel, I have no gospel to preach."

"The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ."

"When we preach Christ crucified, we have no reason to stammer, or stutter, or hesitate, or apologize; there is nothing in the gospel of which we have any cause to be ashamed."

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." ~Charles Spurgeon

Are you known in Hell?

As Christians we are known in Heaven. Not only did the angels rejoice (Luke 15:7) when we came to repentance and faith in Jesus, but our names were also recorded in the book of life as a result. Revelation 21:27 tells us that "nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life." It's a wonderful feeling to know that our names are in that book. So with all this talk of Heaven, lets get to why this article has the title that it does. Are you known in Hell? Sure it's a strange thing to think about. But as believers we should think about it. Do the demons have to bother with you? If we aren't reading the bible, if we aren't in prayer, if we don't share our faith then the already short handed crew of Satan's minions don't have to be wasted on us. He can send them out to trouble people who are making a difference for the Kingdom of Heaven and who are throwing a wrench in his worldly operations. Satan can't be everywhere. It is great for him when he doesn't have to waste his demon's time with lukewarm believers. Look at Acts 19. A group of men, sons of a Jewish high priest, were trying to exorcise demons from the people. They attempted to do this by invoking the names of Jesus and Paul. The demons replied, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" Of course the demons knew Jesus. He had already defeated them at the cross of Calvary, and they tremble. Paul they also knew because he was deep in the battle for the Lord with evangelism and writing 2/3 of the New Testament. Not to mention the fact that Satan had already lost his grip on Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). How would you have fared? If you were the one performing the exorcism would the demons know you? Are you making a big enough difference for Jesus for them to even take a look? It's really amazing that our names can be written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The fact that all of us have either lied, stolen, lusted, hated, or blasphemed and yet we can still be forgiven by God's grace. There was nothing we could do(Ephesians 2:8-10). Our best offerings were as filthy rags(Isaiah 64:6). But God took on flesh in the form of Jesus. Fully God, fully man, born of a virgin as prophesied (Isaiah 7:14). He died on the cross for those sins. He rose again three days later defeating death so that if we repent(turn from sin) and trust in Him we can have eternal life. Truly, truly amazing that because of God's own sacrifice we can be known in Heaven. What's more amazing is that we, as believers, aren't known in Hell because we don't do enough for the Kingdom of God to even get noticed by the lowliest of demons. It's very apparent that we are living in the last days and even if we aren't, it won't be as long now as it has been. There's no better time to make sure that we have oil in our lamps and be ready for Christ's return. Paul said in Philippians that, "if I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me." Be fruitful. Labor for the Lord this day. Your name is known in Heaven. Be like Jesus and Paul. Make your name known in Hell.

Revelation 3:5 (English Standard Version)

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black Ops vs The Word

While playing some Catan the other night on Xbox Live, my good buddy Ben (Death is Gain) and I were talking about how much time we had spent playing Call of Duty Black Ops since it's November 9th 2010 release. Both of us had in the mid 70's worth of hours played in just the multiplayer portion of the game. We talked about how just looking at that number of hours turned into a conviction about how much of our God given time we spend on things like evangelism, prayer and reading the Bible compared to our game time. Despite the facts that we, along with other members of DiG, have taken on the task of memorizing Philippians(yes the whole thing lol) and that we use Black Ops to share Jesus with lost gamers, we still have some major convictions about the time we spend online. After careful examination of the numbers, I hope you agree that we should all make more time for God's Word. Here is a breakdown of the time that has been available, no gifted to us, since November 2010.

*93 Days

*2232 Hours (total) and counting

*520 Hours of work (based on a 40 hour work week)

*546 Hours of sleep (based on 6 hours a night)

*74.2 Hours of Black Ops Multiplayer
(SaulBecomesPaul's Total playing time)

At first glance one might say that 74, 75, even 80 hours of game playing isn't really that much when looking at the other numbers. Remember though that Ben and I are both more casual gamers than quite a bit of people on our friends list though our wives might disagree lol. Irregardless, we have many Christian friends who are way out ahead of us in prestige and rank because of the hours they have put into this game. All of that aside, here's the part that gets to the heart of the matter.

Based on someone reading the Bible a generous 5 chapters a day at roughly 5 minutes per chapter, that adds up to 38.75 hours in the Word of God for that person since November 9, 2010.

Have I read more than that? Less than that? Probably, no I'm sure, the latter. This is as much a wake up call for me as it is for any gamer reading this right now. Especially with the new First Strike map pack out for the already great Call of Duty game. I know that a lot of our readers and I will be spending time trying to learn the nooks and crannies of Kowloon, Berlin Wall, Stadium and Discovery. But what about the meat of God's Word? Shouldn't our thumbs be furiously flipping through those love filled pages in light of the times we are living in rather than wrapped around our controllers? Maybe we won't pass our playing time with time in the Word but we should be at least be getting close. The Xbox has saved us from nothing. Jesus has written your name in the book of life through His bloody death on that Roman cross. And yet our Bibles don't open. He has given you the hope of Heaven, yet we rush out to church when we can and maybe we remember to bring our Bibles with us. Something just doesn't sit right with this one guys. The Word is exciting. Dig into it. Tear into it. Learn it. Love it. Yearn for it. No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed. Challenge yourself to not play games longer than you read your Bible this day and every day from now on. In the end Jesus doesn't care if you know how to take the zipline on the Kowloon map but He will care if you take the time to hear what He has to say in His Word. There are many online sites that are great for getting into God's Word. Here is a list of them. (audio)
Bible Gateway
Blue Letter Bible

Proverbs 4:5 (English Standard Version)

Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.