Joke of the week.
For over 20 years back in great-grandpa’s day Will Rogers was America’s most beloved humorist.. Here are some of his choicest sayings:
- Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
- Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
- There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.
- Never miss a good chance to shut up.
- Always drink upstream from the herd.
- If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
- The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
- There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have touch the electric fence and find out for themselves.
- Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
- If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
- Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n than puttin’ it back in.
- After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
William Gurnall on serving Christ
I would have thee think upon, how thou mayest advance the name of Christ higher in thy heart and in the word too, as much as in thee lies….is there nothing, Christian, though canst think on, wherein though mayest be instrumental for God in thy generation?…He is not a good subject [who] never thinks what he may do for him; nor he the true Christian, whose thoughts dwell more on his own happiness than on the honour of his God.
It’s here, the latest Bible study guide from Saluda Press! Galatians: Freedom in Christ
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia presents the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel the Galatians were in danger of abandoning for a false one. His message is for us today as well: current research shows that well over half of Americans have fallen for the same false gospel as the Galatians did. Every Christian should have a solid understanding of the truth of the gospel laid out so clearly in Galatians. This study guide will help you better understand and apply the truths of Galatians.
Each of the thirteen lessons contains readings, questions, answers, and notes that expand on topics raised by the Bible passage at hand. It is suitable for either individual or group study. Get copy of this book today by going to Buying My Books at the top of this page. The regular price is $11.95 (and it’s a bargain at that price), but up till Labor Day, September 4, you can have it for $9.00, which includes tax and shipping. Don’t wait till you have to pay more; buy it today! You can’t use PayPal or Amazon during the sale period; get Galatians: Freedom in Christ directly from Saluda Press by sending $9.00 and your mailing address to Saluda Press, 7304 N. Skyview Pl. A204, Tacoma, WA 98406.
Luther’s 95 Theses for 21st Century Christians
In this, the 500th anniversary year of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, we continue with our study of Luther’s 95 theses, whose publication started the whole thing. Thesis 18 deals with sanctification, that is, the process whereby Christians become more and more holy. Luther rejects the idea that purgatory is God’s means for completing our sanctification.
- Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
The Catholic Church formally affirmed that all souls in purgatory would eventually be saved. It also claimed that the pains of purgatory would eventually sanctify the sufferer completely. That should mean that the Christian in purgatory would grow in love. But the fact that Luther presents this as a thesis to be debated suggest that some Catholic scholastics did not believe this.
The idea that suffering in purgatory sanctifies the sinner seems akin to the sarcastic quip that “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” The notion is absurd and unbiblical. But does the Bible represent suffering in this life as a means of sanctification? Indeed it does. Here’s what it says about suffering and sanctification:
We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame Romans 5:3-5
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
If suffering in this life is a means of sanctification, and if at the end of our life we are not completely sanctified (and none of us is), what is unreasonable (as Luther said it was) about the idea that suffering in purgatory is not God’s means of completing the process?
The notion that suffering in purgatory sanctifies just as suffering in this life does lacks reason because the sufferings of this life are very different from the pains of purgatory. All present suffering stems from sin in some way. It is either inflicted by sinful men or it is the result of the Fall, that is, a consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve. Our temporal sufferings are not punishments. God uses such suffering, but is not the author of it.
How then are Christians finally sanctified? The Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes the Bible’s teaching on final sanctification:
The bodies of men, after death, return to death and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal substance, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are then received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the redemption of their bodies. WCF XXXII.1
All our life we struggle against sin, the flesh (the sinful nature we were born with) warring against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Sometimes the new man in Christ has mastery over the flesh, sometimes he is defeated and falls into sin (Galatians 5:16-26). But at death, the flesh being in the grave, our spirits are entirely sanctified. When our spirits are reunited with our bodies at the resurrection, our bodies will be new, sinless bodies, and we will be entirely sanctified.
Purgatory is both unbiblical and unnecessary. The same God who made us new creatures in Christ at an instant will give us new bodies in an instant.