Saturday, April 30, 2011

A NEW START- CHARLES WOODRUFF

I decided to post today a revised article titled A New Start  which is designed to speak to the unconverted as well as the converted. It is not a long article, but says some things that need saying. I, and a number of my friends are praying for revival. We believe we must have it for survival in these perilous times. We have heard of places where there is revival, but in the states in recent years most have proven to be "not of the Spirit, but of the flesh". God is not going to bless fleshly efforts. From what the Bible teaches, and what history teaches, the sovereign God sends a refreshing when He chooses; but usually beforehand He prepares men to receive it. We need to beseech Him in these wicked days. Maybe you would say "we don't need reviving".Can you honestly look at the activity in most churches in our day, and say that they have all they need? So often, it is a show of the flesh. Doesn't your church need revival?

Can we honestly that we don't need God desperately in light of the increased catastrophes such as the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, and all the violent tornadoes just recently here in the USA;  the fires in Texas and other states; and even our world wide economic situation, which is affecting almost all countries.  Much of this caused by the various events such as the Middle East turmoil, the BP oil spill, and so many other events Don't you sense the extreme urgency of the hour, and our desperate need of God? Well, I certainly do!

When I visited the grave of George Whitefield, that mighty evangelist, greatly used of God  in The Great Awakening, I prayed "Lord, please do it again". He is buried under the pulpit in the South Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts. I was there  about 1982. I wanted to cry "Can these dry bones live"? I know Whitefield was a man like all of us, but a man that undoubtedly God designed to use. A man who said," I'd rather burn out than rust out!" He certainly did that, as some others did who served God.

Can we cry with the words of that old gospel song, Old Time Power,  written by Charles Tillman:  "Oh Lord send the power just now". You know what the rest is, don't you? "And baptize every one". Call it a baptism!. Call it a filling! Call it a pouring out! Call it whatever you think it should be called, but we need the Holy Ghost! We need God! May He graciously hear our cries for revival.
                                                           THE NEW START 

There was much talk about "change" in the election year of 2008. Some said "we are getting a new start" because George Bush will retire as president, and we will now have Barack Obama. I have been alive long enough to know that change does happen. I have seen much change in my own lifetime. Yet, as a Christian, I see that, sadly, much of the change has not been good. That has certainly been the case with Obama. As far as new starts; I have seen a few of these too.

Actually, in our lives we start over every day. For many of us, today will be no different from tomorrow. That is also sad, because there is not much worse in life than "getting in a rut". This is especially true if you are in the "rut" of sin. One of the worst things about sin is that you are born in it, and you cannot change that. We are told in Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Every human being is a sinner. You may not want to admit it, but you know it is true. One proof -- have you ever broken one of the Ten Commandments? Maybe you don't even know what they are. They are found in Exodus chapter 20. One of them is "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7). Broken that one? Or what about this one "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Broken that one? Okay, there are eight more. You have broken at least one; likely more than one. What does the Bible say about this? "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law (James 2:10, 11). So based on this, wouldn’t you agree that YOU are a sinner? May as well admit it, because you are!

Perhaps you have even tried to change from being a sinner. You have tried to make that new start, but have been unable to do so. You are not alone. Millions are there with you. You can't change yourself from a sinner to a saint. You do not have this power. (By now the average person has turned me off, maybe saying "he just wants to give us this Bible stuff, but I don't want to hear it, it is just "kid stuff"). You may even say the Bible is not true. I will give you one example to prove its truthfulness. It is a truth that man would "change immediately” if it were possible to do so. Hebrews 9:27 says "And as it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment." You cannot deny the first part of this verse and be considered rational. Everyone knows that we all die -- it is just a question of when. Now, you know that the first part is true, so why not the second part "after this the judgment”? People do not want to believe that, but the Bible has told us why men have to die, as Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is because of sin. The same Bible that tells why we die tells us that God may give us eternal life. Many have testified over the centuries that God indeed has given them this eternal life. Some were executed!

You cannot buy this life. You cannot just pick it up on your own. You cannot just change, or make a new start and acquire this life by your own efforts. You cannot earn it, or make a deal to get it. Yet it is obtainable. I can't give it to you! No preacher, or priest, or pope, or rabbi, or guru can give it to you! There is only one that can give it to you. "The gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ". It is a gift to those whom He chooses, yes, those whom He has chosen "from the foundation of the world". (See Ephesians 1:4). You ask how you may know that you are one of these. If you are interested in this change, this salvation; it is likely that God has put the desire in your heart. There is nothing I can find in the Bible about a sinner who wants to be saved whom God will not save. If He has moved in your inner being (your heart), to draw you, and made you willing to confess and forsake your sins (even those sins you love dearly); I can tell you "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). There is the answer for your new start in life, right from God's word. My friend, it still works in the 21st century. Christ died to pay the price nearly 2000 years ago, and in our time many scoff at God; but He still saves to the uttermost those who come to Him. If He has convicted your heart, why not ask Him to save you? Yes YOU!  He can, and He will do it, if you ask Him with true repentance.

If you still have questions, and are interested, read the entire book of Romans--slowly. It is only 16 chapters. I have read it many times, and it is the heart of gospel truth. It can change your mind and heart about God. If you still want to ask questions please email me at oursong2000@yahoo.com, and I will assist you if I can. God bless you, Charles

2 comments:

time2standladies said...

Excellent presentation of the gospel, Charles! You never compromise on the truth.

charles said...

Thank you. That is certainly my desire. I would to God that it will ever be true. Please check out our cyberphotos and cybermeditations blogs for some great short pieces by Puritans. And who are you, lady? ): Ha Ha.