News

News

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for September 19, 2021 *(Updated)

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, September 19, the thirty-eighth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

psalm 23 1 3Today on this new Lord's Day, as God's redeemed and renewed people, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of full salvation from sin and unto everlasting life through His Son. By the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. With the pasalmuisy may we humbly confess,

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ~ Psalm 23:1-4

  • Doon PRC's Council has formed the following trio: Rev. Nathan Decker (Grandville PRC), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and Rev. Clayton Spronk (Faith PRC). A congregational meeting has been scheduled for today after the evening service. *UPDATE: Rev. E. Guichelaar has received this call.

  • The Council of Hudsonville PRC has formed a new trio of Revs. E. Guichelaar, C.Haak, and D.Lee. The congregational meeting will be held today after the evening service. *UPDATE: Rev. E. Guichelaar has received this call.

  • This past Wednesday, September 15, Rev. C. Griess was installed as professor of Practical Theology and NT Studies in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. Over the next five years, he will earn his advanced degree (ThM) and then gradually assume the courses taught now by Prof. B. Gritters.

  • Last Sunday Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN) received the call from Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA).

  • Today Rev. R. Kleyn preaches his farewell sermon in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). Tomorrow he and his family will depart for Grand Rapids, MI, where he will be installed as the new pastor of First PRC on October 3, D.V.

  • If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
     
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. E.Guichelaar in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. J.Marcus in First PRC-GR; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. D.Lee in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Prof. D.Kuiper in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Prof. R.Cammenga in Kalamazoo PRCWe thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    • a number of PRCs are hosting special meetings at their church this Thursday night, Sept.23, to hear Prof. B. Huizinga's speech for the annual RFPA Society meeting? Here's the notice that went out: How did God care for the PRC in 2021? Come to Trinity PRC on Thursday, September 23, at 7:30 p.m. EST to find out. Prof. Brian Huizinga will deliver the address at the annual meeting of the RFPA titled, "2021 in the PRC: Whom the LORD Loveth, He Chasteneth." Those who cannot make it to Trinity can attend a live-stream event at Kalamazoo PRC in Kalamazoo, MI; Peace PRC in Dyer, IN; Edgerton PRC in Edgerton, MN; or Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. We encourage other churches outside of the Grand Rapids area to consider hosting a live stream too. Look for updates from the RFPA as well, including the launch of our new subscription model.
    • this month marks a special anniversary for Rev. Richard Smit, PRC missionary in the Philippines? Read what Doon PRC has in her bulletin today: This month marks the 25th anniversary of Rev. Richard Smit being ordained into the ministry!  We rejoice in God's faithfulness through the years.  May the Lord of the Harvest continue to bless Rev. Smit's ministry for many years to come.  "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?   As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace."  Romans 10:14-15 To which we add, "Congratulations, pastor Smith! We thank the Lord for your faithful ministry in the PRC."

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Classis East met on Wednesday, Sept.8 at Grandville PRC. Among other business, Classis treated a request from Trinity PRC's consistory to proclaim a Day of Prayer in the churches of Classis East on Nov. 2, 2021. A ground for this decision was "Our churches are experiencing great affliction at the present.... This great affliction is evidenced by the ongoing schism that has torn apart the body of Christ, the great need that we as a denomination have for ministers of the Word, and other ongoing afflictions as well." Classis also approved the request from members of Wingham PRC to implement Art. 38 of the Church Order and reconstitute a consistory, thus reorganizing the congregation. The synodical deputies concurred with the decision. Unity PRC was appointed to carry out the reorganization of the congregation. We thank God for His faithfulness in preserving the congregation there and pray that He continues to sustain them.
  • Crete PRC will be hosting Classis West, September 29 and the Council has decided to host an Officerbearers' Conference on September 28 at church.  The theme of the conference will be "Sanctification - the Blessed Work of Christ's Spirit".  Our speakers will be Revs. S. Key speaking on "The Spirit of Freedom,'' M.Kortus speaking on "Be Ye Holy: the Doctrine of Sanctification from Leviticus," and J. Engelsma speaking on "In the Way of Our Obedience."  All are welcome to attend.
  • Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry.
  • Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus (both now living in West Michigan) are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.

CLGriess family Sem installation 2021 2
Prof. Cory and Laelle Griess and family being introduced at his installation as professor of theology this past Wednesday in Southwest PRC.

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • This past week the seminary completed its fourth week of the new school year (2021-22). We thank the Lord for His goodness and blessing to this point. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the day-to-day work. The semester schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • This past Wednesday, Sept.15, in a special worship service at Southwest PRC, Rev. C. Griess was installed as professor of theology in the PRC Seminary. Prof. B. Gritters led the service and Rev. G. Eriks read the installation form. Seminary convocation was also held, with the students being intoduced by the rector, Prof. R. Cammenga. Afterwards the seminary was open for visitors to view the recent archive addition and library renovation. A wonderful crowd attended both events, a great encouragement to the faculty and students.
  • Rev. D.Noorman led the weekly chapel this past week. On the other days, Sem. Aaron Van Dyke (1st year) led in devotions.
  • Don't forget that the seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well.
  • Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference:  What is preaching?  What does it mean to preach the gospel?  How does one preach the commands of Scripture?  What is application in preaching?  Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel."  The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29.  More details will follow.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • Today's bulletin noted a special event to be celebrated today: Beloved people of God, please join us this Sunday, 19 Sep 21 immediately after the 2nd worship service to celebrate CERC 34th Anniversary. Those who are not present in church can also join us online. The program includes greetings from overseas brethren and thanksgiving presentations from various bible study groups as well as from our pre-schoolers.
    • To which Pastor J.Tan added these words: What a God we worship and serve! He did not save us as individuals to live isolated lives. But he in his wisdom and mercy has saved us into his one body, the body of Christ. This body of Christ, the church invisible is manifested on this earth as the church visible, the local instituted congregation. He has efficaciously called us members of CERC from death unto life. From eternal destruction to His Eternal glory. In His wisdom He has gathered us together in CERC. In His infinite wisdom He has given us to each other to now sojourn together with each other through this dark world as strangers and pilgrims towards heavenly Canaan. In his mercy, he has preserved us together as a church for these past 34 years.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to bring the word faithfully to his flock in Ballymena.
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (August 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe will lead us in the preaching of the Word today via live streaming. The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services via live streaming at our Facebook page today, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: The Council, with thankfulness to the Lord, informs the congregation that we are again able to have face-to-face worship services. The council has approved having a call to worship each Sunday, from today (September 19) onwards, as the Lord wills. Rev. Kleyn will lead our worship services and preach for us today.
    • Read the last PRC missions newsletter - July 2021.
    • PRCP Seminary Instruction: A new semester of seminary instruction began on August 10 for our seminary student, Bro. Ace Flores. However, because of ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila, ...the original plan for this semester has been reorganized (no in-person instruction but online).

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

haak small

  • For the months of July, August, and September Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI) is the featured speaker, with focus on his series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 10 and titled "Covenant Renewal."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------

REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

tulip

What are the five points of Calvinism and what do they have to do with tulips? To find out, read this resource!

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

The Reformed faith maintains creeds as expressions of what it confesses that Scripture teaches. Creeds are not to be regarded as infallible. They nevertheless identify and distinguish that which is Reformed from that which is not. The Reformed have written down, often after great struggles and horrendous persecutions, the truths which they believe Scripture assuredly teaches. The creeds point out how the Reformed differ from others who likewise claim to maintain Scripture. By means of the creeds, children of believers are taught the doctrines of Scripture. By means of the creeds the churches show to all in the world what they believe and teach.

Taken from Rev. R.Hanko's pamphlet "What Is the Reformed Faith?"

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for September 12, 2021 *(Updated)

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, September 12, the thirty-seventh Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psa22 27Today on this new Lord's Day, as God's redeemed and renewed people, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of full salvation from sin and unto everlasting life through His Son. By the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. With David and our Lord Jesus Christ may we declare,

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. ~ Psalm 22:22-25

  • If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
     
  • Last Sunday Rev. M.DeBoer (Edgerton MN PRC) declined the call from Kalamazoo (MI) PRC and Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN) declined the call from Doon PRC. May the Lord continue His care for these flocks and provide them under-shepherds in His time.

  • This Wednesday, September 15, a special worship service for the installation of Rev. C. Griess as professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary will be held in Southwest PRC at 7 p.m. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the service. Seminary convocation will also be included with a time of fellowship afterwards. The link to the live-streaming of the service can be found at southwestprc.org. In addition, the seminary with its most recent addition (new archives room) and renovations (library and professor offices) will be open for viewing. Refreshments will be served at the church and at the seminary. Come up the hill and see the changes!

  • The Council of Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) has a trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), Rev. E.Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) and Rev. D. Holstege (Missionary, Philippines). The congregational meeting is planned for today after the evening service. Rev. R.Kleyn will be preaching his farewell on Sept.19 and moving with his family the next day, Lord willing. UPDATE: Rev. Barnhill has received this call.

  • The Council of Hudsonville PRC has formed a new trio of Revs. E. Guichelaar, C.Haak, and D.Lee. The congregational meeting will be held on September 19, after the evening service.

  • UPDATE: At Doon PRC's Council meeting this past week, the following trio was made: Rev. Nathan Decker (Grandville PRC), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph PRC), and Rev. Clayton Spronk (Faith PRC). A congregational meeting has been scheduled for Sept 19 after the evening service.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. E.Guichelaar in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Prof. R.Cammenga  in First PRC-GR; Prof. B.Gritters and Sem. M.Koerner in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. W.Langerak in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. D.Noorman in Kalamazoo PRCWe thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Classis East met this past week Wednesday at Grandville PRC. Among other business, Classis treated a request from Trinity PRC's consistory to proclaim a Day of Prayer in the churches of Classis East on Nov. 2, 2021. A ground for this decision was "Our churches are experiencing great affliction at the present.... This great affliction is evidenced by the ongoing schism that has torn apart the body of Christ, the great need that we as a denomination have for ministers of the Word, and other ongoing afflictions as well." Classis also approved the request from members of Wingham PRC to implement Art. 38 of the Church Order and reconstitute a consistory, thus reorganizing the congregation. The synodical deputies concurred with the decision. Unity PRC was appointed to carry out the reorganization of the congregation. We thank God for His faithfulness in preserving the congregation there and pray that He continues to sustain them.
  • Crete PRC will be hosting Classis West, September 29 and the Council has decided to host an Officerbearers' Conference on September 28 at church.  The theme of the conference will be "Sanctification - the Blessed Work of Christ's Spirit".  Our speakers will be Revs. S. Key speaking on "The Spirit of Freedom,'' M.Kortus speaking on "Be Ye Holy: the Doctrine of Sanctification from Leviticus," and J. Engelsma speaking on "In the Way of Our Obedience."  All are welcome to attend.
  • PRC Synod 2021: The delegates and advisors met from June 9-17. The printed PRC Acts of Synod 2021 and Yearbook are now available. Orders to the congregations are being filled and you should have your copy soon. If not, contact the seminary.
  • Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry.
  • Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus (both now living in West Michigan) are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.

DLee chapel Sept 2021
Rev. D.Lee leading chapel at seminary last week.

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • This past week the seminary completed its third week of the new school year (2021-22). We thank the Lord for His goodness and blessing to this point. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the day-to-day work. The semester schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • Rev. D.Lee led the weekly chapel this past week. On the other days, Sem. Arend Haveman (2nd year) led in devotions.
  • Don't forget that the seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any needs you may have.
  • This Wednesday, September 15, a special worship service for the installation of Rev. C. Griess as professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary will be held in Southwest PRC at 7 p.m. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the service. Seminary convocation will also be included with a time of fellowship afterwards. The link to the live-streaming of the service can be found at southwestprc.org. In addition, the seminary with its most recent addition (new archives room) and renovations (library and professor offices) will be open for viewing. Refreshments will be served at the church and at the seminary. Come up the hill and see the changes!
  • Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference:  What is preaching?  What does it mean to preach the gospel?  How does one preach the commands of Scripture?  What is application in preaching?  Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel."  The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29.  More details will follow.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

Ps133 1 2

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • The "pastoral voice" section of the bulletin is now being written by her new pastor, Rev. J. Tan. Here is a small part of his reflections this week:
      Beloved in our Lord, our God is Spirit, let us come today to His house and worship Him in spirit and in truth! Worship is a spiritual matter. It involves all of our being, heart, soul and mind. So we worship God in spirit, by the power of the Spirit of Christ that lives in us. God also has told us how we are to worship him. So we worship him in truth. Worshiping God in spirit without truth is mysticism. Worshiping God in truth without spirit is dead formalism and orthodoxy. May God grant twice this Lord’s day, by His grace, to extol and praise our glorious God with our whole being and according to His word.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to bring the word faithfully to his flock in Ballymena.
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (August 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe will lead us in the preaching of the Word today via live streaming, D.V. ...In line with the restriction (MECQ) imposed by the National government in NCR from Sept. 7 -15, 2021, we are not still able to meet and worship God in our church building, today and thus, the preaching of God’s Word will be live-streamed on our Facebook page.
      The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services via live streaming at our Facebook page today, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Due to the ongoing quarantines, we are again unable to meet all together for worship today. We pray that God will be pleased to bring all of us together again soon each Lord’s Day. Rev. R.Smit will lead our worship today. The live-streaming will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. May God bless and edify each of us spiritually by means of His Word and Spirit.
    • Read the last PRC missions newsletter - July 2021.
    • PRCP Seminary Instruction: A new semester of seminary instruction began on August 10 for our seminary student, Bro. Ace Flores. However, because of ongoing Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila, ...the original plan for this semester has been reorganized (no in-person instruction but online).

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

haak small

  • For the months of July, August, and September Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI) is the featured speaker, with focus on his series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 9:32-38 and titled "Let Not Out Trouble Seem Little to Thee."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------

REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

The Marks of a True Church — Gospel Life Mission Church

What are the distinguishing marks of a true church of Jesus Christ? How do I know where I belong? Read this resource (especially for young people!) and learn to discern.

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

The Reformed faith follows the practice of the baptism of believers. This has consistently been the practise of Reformed believers from the day of John Calvin. This baptism is based upon the truth of God’s covenant—established in the line of the generations of believers. Not all those baptised are saved (Esau who received the sign of circumcision was not saved [Rom. 9:13]). But because God establishes His covenant in the line of generations (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39), these also receive the sign of that covenant and of the righteousness which is by faith. This is consistent also with the practices of the apostles who baptised believers and their households (Acts 16:15; I Cor. 1:16; Acts 11:14; Acts 16:31).

Taken from Rev. R.Hanko's pamphlet "What Is the Reformed Faith?"

Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Newsletter - August/September 2021

News from the
Reformed Witness Hour for August 2021
 

Upcoming Broadcasts for September



For the September 2021 weekly radio broadcasts, we will be continuing the 2006 series on Nehemiah by Rev. Carl Haak. Rev. Haak is the pastor of Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan.
September 5
Worshipping God in the Light of His Goodness
Nehemiah 9:1-31

September 12
Let Not Our Trouble Seem Little to Thee
Nehemiah 9:32-38

September 19
Covenant Renewal
Nehemiah 10

September 26
Jerusalem Filled with Boys and Girls Playing
Nehemiah 11
 
Listen to the Current Message Here
 
Support for the Reformed Witness Hour

What Type of Support Does the RWH Need?

As the RWH becomes more internet-based, we are looking for both monetary support and individual's interaction with our content to market our online broadcasts and promote our content.

To cover the cost of broadcasting the Reformed Witness Hour on radio stations throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom, we depend solely on the monetary support of churches, organizations, and individuals.

There are many places throughout the world that are "ripe for harvest" where our program is not currently broadcast.

How Can You Help?

Follow us on Social Media and share our posts! We have Facebook and Instagram pages. Interacting with our posts (sharing, 'liking,' and commenting) will help bring attention to our program and promote our messages across platforms.

Your church can sponsor a month of broadcasts on the radio station of your choice. This is the perfect way to expand your church's evangelical outreach to Reformed listeners in your area. During your sponsorship, we air a short promotion for your church before the week's message. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to sponsor our program. 

Click here for more details on how to support us
 
 
July and August 2021 Traffic Sources
 
July and August 2021 Traffic Sources
 
Did you know that about 150 million Americans (or thirty-two percent) are monthly podcast listeners?[1] And Christians are three times more likely to listen to podcasts on a daily basis than the rest of the population.[2] With the availability of smartphones and similar screens to people across the United States and throughout the world, it has never been easier to listen to digital audio.
 
In 2020, the Reformed Witness Hour committee began the work of making our weekly messages available on the major internet radio and podcasting sites. In addition to our own website and Sermon Audio, our weekly messages can be listened and subscribed to on iTunes,  Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, PlayerFM, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, the Podcast App, and Himalaya.
 
 If you enjoy listening to podcasts, especially Christian podcasts such as sermons, consider subscribing to the RWH on one of the platforms listed above. Each RWH message is just 20–24 minutes, perfect to listen to as you go about your labors in the home, drive to and from work, or exercise. And while many evangelical churches and organizations are abandoning core truths of the Bible, RWH messages continue to boldly proclaim the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God’s grace, by which he saves his elect people through Jesus Christ without the dependence on the will or work of man.[3]
 
If you are blessed by the messages of the RWH, please consider sharing our podcast with friends or family, especially those who enjoy listening to digital audio.
 
We have seen great interest in our messages through podcasting. So far in 2021, 30% of our downloads have been through podcasts.

[1] “Podcast Statistics (2020) – Newest Available Data Infographic.” Music Oomph, January 3, 2020. https://musicoomph.com/podcast-statistics/.
 
[2] “13 Surprising Truths About Sermon Podcasts.” Pro Church Tools, September 7, 2018. https://prochurchtools.com/13-surprising-truths-about-sermon-podcasts-ep-184/.
 
[3] “An Analysis of Online Sermons in U.S. Churches.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, January 28, 2020. https://www.pewforum.org/2019/12/16/the-digital-pulpit-a-nationwide-analysis-of-online-sermons
 
 
Ministers, please forward this email to your congregation and encourage
them to sign up for our newsletters here: 
http://eepurl.com/gikNsL
Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for September 5, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, September 5, the thirty-sixth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Ps21 13Today on this new Lord's Day, as God's redeemed and renewed people, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of full salvation from sin and unto everlasting life through His Son. By the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:

The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. ...Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. ~ Psalm 21:1-2, 13

  • If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
     
  • This morning Rev. M.McGeown was installed as the second pastor in the young history of Providence PRC (Hudsonville, MI), with Prof. B. Gritters leading the service. After the service a welcome program and brunch was held. We rejoice with the saints there in God's goodness to them and pray that the Lord will richly bless Rev. McGeown's ministry in their midst.

  • Today Rev. M.DeBoer (Edgerton MN PRC) declined the call from Kalamazoo (MI) PRC (received Aug.1).

  • Today Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN) declined the call from Doon PRC (received Aug.15).

  • The Council of Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC), Rev. E.Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) and Rev. D. Holstege (Missionary, Philippines). The congregational meeting is planned for Sunday evening, September 12, after the evening worship service. Rev. R.Kleyn will be preaching his farewell on Sept.19 and moving with his family the next day, Lord willing.

  • The Council of Hudsonville PRC has formed a new trio of Rev. E. Guichelaar, Rev. C.Haak, and Rev. D.Lee. The congregational meeting will be held on September 19, after the evening service.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R.Hanko in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Prof. R.Cammenga in First PRC-GR; Rev. C.Griess and Rev. D.Lee in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J.Holstege in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Mahtani in Kalamazoo PRCWe thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

Grandville small
Grandville PRC, host of this week's Classis East meeting.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Classis East will meet this week Wednesday at Grandville PRC. The Classis will treat the reorganization of our Wingham, Ontario congregation to be implemented by Unity PRC; the request for a Day of Prayer on October 14 for the churches of Classis East (Art. 66 of the Church Order) due to the schism felt by our churches as well as the need for men to prepare for the ministry; and finally, one protest against a decision of the Classis made in May 2021. Pray for the Lord’s blessing. [from one PRC bulletin] The matter of Wingham PRC's reorganization also requires the presence of the synodical deputies from Classis West (Revs. S.Key, J.Laning, E.Guichelaar).
  • Crete PRC will be hosting Classis West, September 29 and the Council has decided to host an Officerbearers' Conference on September 28 at church.  The theme of the conference will be "Sanctification - the Blessed Work of Christ's Spirit".  Our speakers will be Revs. S. Key speaking on "The Spirit of Freedom,'' M.Kortus speaking on "Be Ye Holy: the Doctrine of Sanctification from Leviticus," and J. Engelsma speaking on "In the Way of Our Obedience."  All are welcome to attend.
  • PRC Synod 2021: The delegates and advisors met from June 9-17. The printed PRC Acts of Synod 2021 and Yearbook are now available. Orders to the congregations are being filled and you should have your copy soon. If not, contact the seminary.
  • Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry.
  • Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus (both now living in West Michigan) are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.

Auditors Dogmatics RC Aug 2021
Auditors are welcomed back to seminary classes this year, including Prof. R.Cammenga's Dogmatics course on Christology

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • This past week the seminary completed its second week of the new school year (2021-22). We thank the Lord for His goodness and blessing to this point. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the day-to-day work. The semester schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga again led the special chapel this past Wednesday. Rev. D.Lee is scheduled to speak this week. On the other days, Sem. Isaac Peters (EPC student, 3rd and final year of special program) led in devotions.
  • Profs. D. Kuiper and B. Huizinga will be teaching new courses as they gradually take over the work of the men they are replacing (Prof. R. Dykstra and Prof. R. Cammenga, respectively). Prof. R. Dykstra will be teaching his final courses this year, while also serving as Byron Center PRC's new pastor. Rev. C.Griess (to be installed as professor in a few weeks) has already started taking his Th.M. classes through Puritan Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids.
  • Don't forget that the seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any needs you may have.
  • On Wednesday, September 15, a special worship service for the installation of Rev. C. Griess as professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary will be held in Southwest PRC at 7 p.m. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the service. Seminary convocation will also be included with a time of fellowship afterwards. The link to the live-streaming of the service can be found at southwestprc.org. In addition, the seminary with its most recent addition (new archives room) and renovations (library and professor offices) will be open for viewing. Refreshments will be served at the church and at the seminary. Come up the hill and see the changes!
  • Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference:  What is preaching?  What does it mean to preach the gospel?  How does one preach the commands of Scripture?  What is application in preaching?  Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel."  The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29.  More details will follow.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

CPRC News Header
The August 2021 issue of "Covenant Reformed News" was published this past week (see note below).

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • The "pastoral voice" section of the bulletin is now being written by her new pastor, Rev. J. Tan. Here is a small part of his reflections: But this principle of prayer must not be limited to the studying of scripture! In fact, whenever we study in school, whether in primary, secondary and university, Scriptures is the lens by which we are to study everything and anything. So, apply this principle of praying before any kind of studying.

      For you students, I leave this prayer of John Calvin with you. A prayer meant to be made every day before we start school.

      “O Lord, who is the fountain of all wisdom and learning, ... Be pleased therefore to infuse your Spirit into me, the Spirit of understanding, of truth, judgment, and prudence, lest my study be without success, and the labor of my teacher be in vain. In whatever kind of study I engage in, enable me to remember to keep its proper end in view, namely, to know you in Christ Jesus your Son; and may everything that I learn assist me to observe the right rule of godliness.”
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to bring the word faithfully to his flock in Ballymena.
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (August 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. R. Smit will lead us in the preaching of the Word today via live streaming, D.V. ...In line with the restriction (MECQ) imposed by the National government in NCR from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7, 2021, we are not still able to meet and worship God in our church building, today and thus, the preaching of God’s Word will be live streamed on our Facebook page.
      Rev. Ibe and elder Alex Oriarte are scheduled to visit the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today. Rev. Ibe will give a Word of edification and will also lead them in their Bible study of Ephesians 3: 1ff, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Due to the ongoing quarantines, we are again unable to meet all together for worship today. We pray that God will be pleased to bring all of us together again soon each Lord’s Day. Rev. D. Kleyn will lead our worship today. The live-streaming will be available on the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. May the Spirit of Christ use His Word to comfort and guide us in our lives as God’s beloved children in Christ.
    • A new PRC missions newsletter is available - July 2021. Read it at the link provided!
    • PRCP Seminary Instruction: A new semester of seminary instruction began recently on August 10 for our seminary student, Bro. Ace Flores. However, because of ECQ in Metro Manila from August 21-30, and possibly longer (through Sept.7), the original plan for this semester has been reorganized (no in-person instruction but online).

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

haak small

  • For the months of July, August, and September Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI) is the featured speaker, with focus on his series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 9:1-31 and titled "Worshiping God in the Light of His Goodness."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------

REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

Holding Fast Our Profession, by Herman Hoeksema

This month's special from the RFPA! Check it out here!

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

The Reformed faith consistently holds to the “doctrines of grace.” Again, these are doctrines of Scripture. The terminology serves to emphasize the glorious fact that salvation is wholly the work of our God—not the work of man or of man cooperating with God. We are justified by grace through faith (Rom. 3:24). Those justified have had their sins fully paid for through Jesus’ precious blood (Rom. 5:1). And those for whom Christ died were chosen from eternity by God. All of salvation is wholly the work of the sovereign God. There is then no room for boasting (Eph. 2:9).

Taken from Rev. R.Hanko's pamphlet "What Is the Reformed Faith?"

Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - August 2021

Covenant Reformed News


August 2021 • Volume XVIII, Issue 16



Catholicity Reflected in Sacraments and Corrupted by Errors

The sacraments of the New Testament church reflect its possession of a greater catholicity than the Old Testament church. Baptism is administered to people speaking different languages all around the world in many countries. One does not have to join the nation of Israel or move to the land of Canaan to become a member of Christ’s kingdom. Females are baptized, whereas in the Old Testament they were not circumcised, with circumcision being the older equivalent of baptism (Col. 2:11-13).

The New Testament initiatory sacrament is not less catholic regarding the seed of believers than Old Testament circumcision. The children of at least one godly parent are recipients of the Holy Spirit (Isa. 59:20-21) and holy (I Cor. 7:14), for they are included in Christ’s church (Eph. 1:1-2; 6:1-4), embraced in God’s covenant promise (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39) and enrolled in the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:13-16), though there are reprobate Esaus among our offspring, as well as elect Jacobs (Rom. 9:13).

Those promised spiritual baptism and salvation as members of Christ’s catholic church ought to receive its physical sign (Acts 10:47). “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many” (I Cor. 12:12-14).

The element of the sacrament of baptism also reflects the church’s catholicity. Water is relatively accessible all around the globe, even in a wilderness (Acts 8:26, 36), and not much is needed for sprinkling or pouring.

The Lord’s Supper also reflects the greater catholicity of the New Testament church. As with baptism, the second Christian sacrament is administered to females. From this perspective too, it is greater than the Passover, its Old Testament equivalent (I Cor. 5:7), for women were not required to go up to the temple for the pilgrimage feasts.

The Passover involved the sacrificing of lambs by Levitical priests upon the altar in Jerusalem. In comparison, the two elements of the Lord’s Supper, bread and wine, are much easier to administer in local churches around the world.

The Passover and the Lord’s Supper are alike in that neither is to be administered to children, for I Corinthians 11 requires that those who partake of the sacrament are able to examine themselves and discern how the Lord’s body is (spiritually) present (27-32).

The church’s catholicity also provides us with a useful perspective from which to critique and reject the alleged five additional sacraments of Rome (confirmation, penance, matrimony, holy orders and extreme unction). Fatally, Scripture does not teach that these things are sacraments. Moreover, they are not even historically catholic since it took many centuries of apostasy for Rome to declare some of these rites sacraments.

Let us now turn to four errors or perversions involving the doctrine of catholicity. First, regarding soteriology, the doctrine of salvation, many teach a universal love and desire of God to save absolutely everybody, including the Antichrist and all his predecessors (I John 2:18), rather than the truth of God’s effectual love and desire for the salvation of His elect and catholic church alone. Others go further by teaching a universal atonement, claiming that Jesus shed His blood for everyone head for head, the goats as well as the “sheep” (John 10:15, 26), and the reprobate “world” for whom He did not pray as well as those His Father gave Him (17:9). Some argue from a universal divine love and a universal atonement to sheer universalism: every man, woman and child will finally be saved as members of the triumphant catholic church (contra Matt. 25:31-46)!

The second error concerns eschatology, the doctrine of the last things. Postmillennialism foolishly dreams of a future golden age with almost everyone on earth being a true Christian prior to the Lord’s bodily return. Here catholicity is twisted to further the notion that the church is to become the vast numerical majority toward the end of this age (contra Matt. 7:13-14; II Thess. 2; II Tim. 3; Rev. 13:6-8).

Third, we come to ecclesiology. Catholicity in the hands of modernist Protestants and Roman Catholics becomes sheer inclusivism. False ecumenism accepts all or almost all churches and even the cults as if they were truly Christian, irrespective of the heterodoxy of their creeds, theology, preaching, office-bearers and membership.

This wicked disregard for God’s truth leads to syncretism. Those who belong to the so-called “Abrahamic religions” (Judaism and Islam) are also the people of God, as are those who belong to the other pagan religions (Hinduism, Shintoism, etc.). In fact, the ancient philosophers (like Socrates and Plato), atheists, evolutionists, humanists and agnostics are all God’s children in His image, as if Jesus Christ were not the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)!

Fourth, this perversion of catholicity is even used to promote the idea that there are contradictory and competing theologies in the Bible. Many claim that the Old Testament teaches a different religion from the New Testament (contra John 5:39), that Peter disagrees with Paul (contra II Pet. 3:16), that Paul deviates from Christ (contra Gal. 1:11-12) and that Paul even contradicts himself (contra II Tim. 4:7)!

Thus catholicity is abused so as to create disagreements and conflicts within Scripture, and to cover up massive and irreconcilable contradictions in doctrine, and between churches and religions. This is a false catholicity with no true unity for the many has eaten up the one! Rev. Angus Stewart

 

 

God's Restraint of Sin

The lengthy question for this issue of the News arises from a number of passages that speak of God’s restraining sin. “(1) In Exodus 34:23, God commanded the men of Israel to leave their plot of land to go and appear before Him three times a year. To ensure the protection of God’s people from invasion during these times, even though the pagan nations surrounding them desired their land year-round, He promised that ‘neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year’ (24). How is God’s protection of the land of Israel from being invaded by the pagan nations on their border by His restraining their wicked hearts explained apart from a gracious influence of the Spirit upon them?

(2) God restrained David from taking revenge on Nabal for scorning the messengers that David sent to greet Nabal (I Sam. 25:14). Abigail, Nabal’s wife, recognized God’s grace when she pleaded with David not to seek vengeance against her husband, ‘seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand’ (26). David acknowledged this truth: ‘as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee …’ (34).

(3) In Genesis 20, God restrained Abimelech from touching Sarah, Abraham’s wife: ‘I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her’ (6).

(4) In God’s punishment of Israel for its rebellion, we read that He ‘gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust’ with the effect that ‘they walked in their own counsels’ (Ps. 81:12). (5) Similarly, in Romans 1, where Paul describes those who suppress the truth by their wickedness, God ‘gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient’ (28). Does not this ‘giving someone over’ imply that there was previously a gracious restraint or influence of the Spirit upon them that was removed?”

(2) David and (3) Abimelech were both godly men, and there can be no question that God’s restraint of sin in both cases was gracious. He kept David from vengeful murder and Abimelech, King of Gerar, from unwitting adultery. That Abimelech was a godly man is clear from his knowledge of God, his confession that he and his nation were righteous, his understanding that adultery was sin and God’s Word concerning him: “Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her” (Gen. 20:6), David was, as we know, a man after God’s own heart and a picture of Christ. That God restrains His people from sin is one of the great blessings of grace, for we are so foolish that we would go headlong into sin, were it not for His restraining hand and Spirit.

The other examples have to do with God’s restraint of sin in those who are unsaved. (1) He restrained the wickedness of the nations that surrounded Israel in order to protect His people and the promise of Christ. Our Belgic Confession says, “He so restrains the devil and all our enemies, that without his will and permission, they cannot hurt us” (13). (4) In giving up the men of Israel to their own hearts’ lust and (5) in giving up the ungodly to a reprobate mind, He most certainly did remove a previous restraint. We see such things happening in our societies. God, in His just judgment, removes the restraints that once kept homosexuality, murder of infants and other gross sins in check, as Romans 1 teaches. He does it because they hold the truth of God under in unrighteousness and do not like to retain God in their knowledge. So He takes even the knowledge that they are destroying themselves away from them. He does so that they may reach a certain measure of wickedness and become ready for judgment (cf. Gen. 15:16).

God does this by His Holy Spirit, just as He does all things by the Spirit, first restraining their sin and then removing His restraints through the sovereign operations of the Spirit. He does this for the sake of His beloved church and to bring to pass all that He has decreed, but this restraint is not grace to the reprobate. Its purpose in the salvation of His redeemed people is gracious but there is no grace of God in the restraint itself, no grace shown to those whose wickedness He restrains. His restraint is like putting a muzzle on a rabid dog. The dog is restrained from biting and others are protected from it, but its nature is not changed nor its disease cured. God even restrains Satan (Job 1:12; 2:6; Rev. 20:1-3) and that most certainly is not a gracious restraint. Indeed, it is proof that God is able to restrain wickedness by His almighty power without showing grace to those whose sin is restrained.

God uses many different means to restrain man’s wickedness: the fear of punishment; the desire for the praise of others; the social shame and disgrace that wickedness brings at times, even among the ungodly; the fear of revenge; the evil consequences of sin to one’s health, family or career. Even then, these restraints only just keep sin in check. When they are removed, it becomes evident that man’s heart was not changed by these restraints, for he is still just as depraved and prone to all evil as before.

God, in His justice, uses these wicked men themselves to remove those restraints. He uses their courts to legalize homosexuality, abortion and drug abuse. He puts the medical, financial and legal means in their hands to descend into lawlessness and gross wickedness. He gives them the knowledge to invent and create, and then turn it all to the service of sin and Satan. What a testimony to His justice and righteousness that is!

Our denial of common grace, therefore, is not a denial of God’s restraint of sin, nor of the fact that this restraint is the work of His Spirit, nor of His gracious purpose in restraining sin. It is simply that there is no grace except in the cross and shed blood of our Saviour, and no grace for those who are without Christ. Proverbs 3:33 reminds us that “the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked,” not His grace. It would be strange grace, anyway, that first restrained their wickedness and then withdrew.

To return to God’s gracious restraint of sin in His people, as in the case of David and Abimelech, we should remember that He also, in His justice, sometimes removes those restraints so that we fall into sin. This happens when we are hard-hearted and stubborn, and when we neglect prayer and watching. We must, therefore, be warned and be constant, lest we fall into temptation and into the snares of Satan. This matter of the restraint of sin should teach us, therefore, to look to Him always in the great battle we fight against Satan’s wiles and our own sinfulness. Rev. Ron Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - July 2021

Covenant Reformed News


July 2021 • Volume XVIII, Issue 15



The Basis and Unity of Christ’s Catholic Church

What is the deepest theological basis for the catholicity of the church? God in the plurality of His Persons and the riches of His attributes! Thus the revelation of the mystery of the full equality of Jews and Gentiles in the catholic church to both angels (Eph. 3:10) and men (9) speaks frequently of God (2, 7, 9, 10, 19), the Father (14), Christ (1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 17, 19, 21) and the Spirit (5, 16), as well as His “manifold wisdom” (10), grace (2, 7, 8), love (19) and power (7, 20), yea, “all the fulness of God” (19).

In His eternal counsel, the infinitely perfect Triune God decreed the diversity of creation and the multifariousness of providence. Is the church’s geographical, anthropological and historical catholicity not what rich Trinitarian decretal theology would lead us to expect?

The Jews or any other nation could never be the number one idea or dominant party in God’s eternal plan and historic work of saving His people. He is the God of three Persons and unsearchable virtues! Could one nation (out of hundreds) really be His special goal? How could he display His manifold riches in them alone or chiefly?

Jehovah is the Lord of all creation and providence, of time and space! How could one earthly land or country be uppermost in the mind of the Creator? How could one earthly people be central in the purposes of the Governor of all the nations? Dispensationalism and Jewish premillennialism do not fit with the three Persons, infinite perfections and eternal purpose of God with His one catholic church in Jesus Christ.

Creedal Trinitarian Christianity places great emphasis upon, and is the only solid basis for, catholicity. This stands over against all unitarian religions, such as Judaism, Islam (with its ummah) and Sikhism (about 90% of all Sikhs live in India and some 76% of all Sikhs live in the one north Indian state of Punjab).

Now let us consider two of the church’s attributes together: unity and catholicity, the one and the many. The God who is one in nature and three in Persons saves a church that is one and catholic. The Bible, which is one book consisting of 66 books, teaches one truth richly presented, including the unity and catholicity of the church. Protology (first things) and eschatology (last things) proclaim that both this creation and the new creation include the one and the many, with both creations as the realms of God’s one catholic church, one for the church now and the other for the church in the future.

Jesus Christ is one Person (the Son of God). He possesses two natures as God and man, uniting eternity and time (as the pre-existent and incarnate One), and heaven and earth (cf. Eph. 1:10). The inscription on His cross “was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin” (John 19:20). Thus in God’s one catholic church, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).

There is one Holy Spirit who is presented as the seven spirits of God (Rev. 1:4; 4:5) to indicate the many covenant graces, blessings and gifts that He communicates to the one catholic church saved by the Lord Jesus (Acts 2; I Cor. 12-14).

Scripture uses many images of the church to bring out the fact that it is both one and many (in different senses): one flock consisting of many sheep (John 10:16), one temple made of many living stones (I Pet. 2:5), one (spiritual) kingdom or nation or city with many citizens, one army of many soldiers (Num. 1:3), etc. There is one image and one chapter that especially speak of its unity and multiplicity: the church is one body consisting of many members in I Corinthians 12 (cf. Rom. 12:4-5).

By way of comparison, in the Old Testament the unity of God’s Being and the unity of His church have a greater prominence, whereas the New Testament places more emphasis on the threeness of God’s Persons and the catholicity of His church.

Yet, even in Old Testament days, the church included believers of different nations and peoples (geographical and ethnic catholicity). Rahab was from the Canaanite city of Jericho (Josh. 2), the widow of Zarephath from the territory of Tyre and Sidon (I Kings 17), Naaman from Syria (II Kings 5), and Moses’ wife and Ebedmelech from Ethiopia (Num. 12:1; Jer. 38-39). Ruth was a Moabitess, Uriah was a Hittite, Ittai the Gittite was a Philistine and Ornan was a Jebusite. Space forbids listing the many Psalms and Old Testament prophecies that predict the catholicity of the church in the last times.

The Second Helvetic Confession (1566) states it well, “These all are citizens of one and the same city, living under one Lord, under the same laws, and in the same fellowship of all good things; for the apostle calls them ‘fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God’ (Eph. 2:19); terming the faithful upon the earth saints, who are sanctified by the blood of the Son of God. Of these is that article of our Creed wholly to be understood, ‘I believe in the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints.’ And, seeing that there is always but ‘one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ’ (I Tim. 2:5); also, one Shepherd of the whole flock, one Head of this body, and, to conclude, one Spirit, one salvation, one faith, one Testament, or Covenant—it follows necessarily that there is but one Church, which we therefore call Catholic because it is universal, spread abroad through all the parts and quarters of the world, and reaches unto all times, and is not limited within the compass either of time or place. Here, therefore, we must condemn the Donatists, who pinned up the Church within the corners of Africa; neither do we assent to the Roman clergy, who vaunt that the Church of Rome alone is in a manner Catholic” (17). Rev. Angus Stewart

 

 

Is Hell Fire Literal?

This article is a follow-up of a previous article. One of our readers has disagreed with what I wrote about hell. He says, “I refer to the CR News of March 2021 in which Ron Hanko does not believe in hell fire. To my understanding of Scripture, this is a reality. Jesus quotes this as a fact in Mark 9:43-48, as well as Revelation 19:20 and other references. I feel Ron is using human logic to explain divine truth by not accepting the ungodly being in the fire without being consumed. I have no difficulty in accepting this, believing that with God it is possible. It is what the rich man in Luke 16:24 experienced, the flame of fire. I would rather believe Jesus than Ron Hanko. Is it just his opinion or the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRC)? If God can cause a bush to remain unconsumed as in Exodus 3:2, He can also enable the wicked to experience eternal fire in hell without being consumed. Ron needs to reflect on this.”

It is really not correct to say that I do “not believe in hell fire.” It would be more correct to say that I do not believe in literal hell fire. God’s wrath is often described as fire in Scripture (e.g., Ps. 11:6; 18:8, 12-13; 21:9; 78:21; 89:46; Isa. 5:24-25; 10:16-18; 30:33; 66:16, 24). Sometimes His wrath is revealed in literal fire as in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and in the destruction of the universe at the end of time, but not always.

God’s wrath was kindled again Job’s three friends, but that does not mean that they were actually and literally burned with fire (Job 42:7). The kindling of God’s wrath against Israel in Deuteronomy 31:17 was not in fire, but in other troubles and judgments. Wrath, especially God’s wrath, is like fire in its consuming power and destructiveness. It is even worse than fire! God Himself, as a God of wrath and judgment, is described as a “consuming fire” in Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29, but that cannot be literally true. He is not something but someone, three Persons in one God, yet the descriptions of His wrath and even of His nature as fire ought to cause us to tremble.

The other argument for a metaphorical or non-literal understanding is that Scripture uses many different descriptions of hell and its suffering, and it is difficult to see how they can all be taken literally. Is hell literally being consumed by worms (Mark 9:44, 46, 48) or a moth (Isa. 51:8)? Is it also literally darkness (Jude 13)? Do those in hell physically drink the cup of the wine of God’s wrath (Rev. 14:10)? Is the punishment of hell literally all these things at the same time?

What needs to be emphasized is that coming under the judgment and wrath of God in time or for eternity is the worst thing that can happen to anyone. I have no doubt that God is able to burn the wicked with literal fire for all eternity without them being consumed, but the point is, even then, that the horror of hell is eternal suffering under the terrible wrath and hot displeasure of God.

In any case, it is not something I would argue long about or insist that my interpretation is correct. Much more important than believing or not believing in literal fire is believing that hell is a real place of eternal punishment where the ungodly and unbelieving suffer forever. That is a doctrine under attack. The doctrine of hell and of eternal punishment is denied by many leading evangelicals, such as John Stott, and some of the modern versions like the NIV have all but eliminated hell from the Bible. That important doctrine is also denied by many cults.

As to the members or leaders of the PRC, I do not know what they believe, nor is it a matter of debate in those churches. There are and have been different views among respected leaders and theologians. John Calvin indicates that he believed that the references to hell fire were metaphorical in his commentary on Matthew 3:12. Martin Luther did not think it necessary to believe in literal fire. Charles Hodge said, “There seems to be no more reason for supposing that the fire spoken of in Scripture is to be literal fire, than that the worm that never dies is literally a worm” (Systematic Theology, 3:868).

On the other hand, Louis Berkhof leaned to the view that the fire is literal: “Some deny that there will be a literal fire, because this could not affect spirits like Satan and his demons. But how do we know this? Our body certainly works on our soul in some mysterious way. There will be some positive punishment corresponding to our bodies.” Yet he then adds, “It is undoubtedly true, however, that a great deal of the language concerning heaven and hell must be understood figuratively” (Systematic Theology, p. 736).

There are, however, several important points here about interpreting Scripture. First, not everything in Scripture can be or must be taken literally. In Revelation 20:1-3, it is impossible to take everything, including key, chain, bottomless pit and dragon, literally. Nor is it necessary to take everything literally in order to maintain the truth that Scripture is the inspired and infallible Word of God. That must be taken into account when dealing with the Bible’s descriptions of hell. It is not necessary to believe that hell is literally darkness, a moth, a worm, a cup, and fire to maintain what the Bible does teach about eternal punishment.

Second, the principle for interpreting any passage of Scripture is that Scripture interprets itself. That is true of the references to hell. If the brother who has submitted the disagreement above is convinced on the basis of Scripture itself that the fire of hell is literal, then I am satisfied and ask him to make the same charitable judgment. It is not what he thinks or what I think that matters but what Scripture itself says, and I am convinced, as John Calvin was, that a study of Scripture shows that the references to fire are metaphorical. I am also convinced, however, that the punishment of the ungodly and unbelieving is terrible and forever.

One other thing we should remember is that the biblical doctrine of hell is not just a matter of theology and of theological debate, but a testimony to the righteousness and justice of God, the necessity of believing in Jesus Christ, and the evil of rejecting and despising Him. The sad thing is, however, that no one will ever be scared into heaven by the Bible’s teaching on hell and hell fire. The only way anyone sees his great peril and turns to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith is by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, implanting and giving the gift of faith, and opening one’s ears and heart to the sweet call and good news of the gospel of God’s free grace. Rev. Ron Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. • www.youtube.com/cprcni • www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for August 29, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, August 29, the thirty-fifth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psalms 20 5Today on this new Lord's Day, as God's redeemed and renewed people, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. By the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May these words of the psalmist be ours:

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. ...We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.  ~ Psalm 20:1-3,5

  • If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
     
  • Last Sunday (Aug.22) Rev. R. Kleyn accepted the call to First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) and declined the call to Hudsonville PRC. In First PRC's bulletin today we find this update: The consistory informs the congregation that Rev. Kleyn and his family plan to arrive around September 23.  We have scheduled his installation for October 3.

  • Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN) is considering the call from Doon PRC (received Aug.15).

  • Rev. M.DeBoer (Edgerton MN PRC) is considering the call from Kalamazoo (MI) PRC (received Aug.1). He plans to answer by Sept.5.

  • Having recently arrived from the U.K., Rev. M.McGeown and his wife Larisa are settling into Providence PRC's parsonage and west Michigan life, and are thankful to be in their new church home. Plans are for him to be installed next Sunday, Sept.5, with Prof. B. Gritters leading the service. Rev. McGeown is leading her morning service today.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R.Hanko in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. D.Kuiper and Rev. M.DeVries in First PRC-GR; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. K.Koole in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. C.Haak in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. J.Maatman in Kalamazoo PRC; Rev. M.McGeown and Rev. N.Decker in Providence PRC.  We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    • Prof. D. Engelsma will again be interviewed on the national radio program Iron Sharpens Iron? This Tuesday, August 31, from 4-6 p.m. (EST), program host Chris Arntzen will interview Prof. Engelsma on and let callers ask him about his commentary on the Belgic Confession (Part 4!). If you have never tuned in to listen, this would be a great oportunity! Another interview on this program is scheduled for that same time slot Sept.10 on the subject of Hyper-Calvinism. Mark your calendars for that one too!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Although the furlough of Rev. D. Holstege and his family came to an end on June 30, they are not able to enter the Philippines right now due to an immigration problem related to COVID restrictions. The council of Doon PRC and the FMC have approved a plan which has the Holsteges staying in the States for a few more months and seeking to return to the mission field, if the Lord wills, no later than December 10. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:6).
  • PRC Synod 2021: The delegates and advisors met from June 9-17. The printed PRC Acts of Synod 2021 and Yearbook were delivered to the seminary last week. Orders to the congregations are being filled and you should have your copy soon. If not, contact the seminary.
  • Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry.
  • Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus (both now living in West Michigan) are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.

RC chapel Aug 2021

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • This past week the seminary began its first semester of the new school year (2021-22). It was a good beginning and we thank the Lord for His blessing.The semester schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga led a special chapel this past Wednesday (see photo above), emphasizing the need for ministers of the Word to be bold in their proclamation of the gospel. On the other days, Sem. M.Koerner (junior year) led in devotions. The faculty, students (including pre-sem), and staff enjoyed their annual fall picnic at Hagar Park in Jenison on Friday night. A wonderful evening of food, games, and fellowship was enjoyed.
  • Profs. D. Kuiper and B. Huizinga will be teaching new courses as they gradually take over the work of the men they are replacing (Prof. R. Dykstra and Prof. R. Cammenga, respectively). Prof. R. Dykstra will be teaching his final courses this year, while also serving as Byron Center PRC's new pastor. Rev. C.Griess (to be installed as professor in a few weeks) has already started taking his Th.M. classes through Puritan Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids. Continue to pray for the seminary in all her needs, especially as we begin this new term.
  • The seminary faculty invite interested persons to audit three classes this semester (it's not too late to sign up!): Christology (Prof. Cammenga; Tuesday and Thursday, 11:10 AM), New Testament History (Prof. Cammenga; Wednesday and Friday, 7:50 AM); and Reformation era church history (Prof. Kuiper; Wednesday and Friday, 11:10 AM). Classes begin on August 24 and 25. A limited number of auditors are welcome, so long as stricter COVID restrictions are not imposed. Call Sharon at 531-1490 to indicate your interest.
  • Don't forget that the seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any needs you may have.
  • On Wednesday, September 15, a special worship service for the installation of Rev. C. Griess as professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary will be held in Southwest PRC at 7 p.m. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the service. Seminary convocation will also be included with a time of fellowship afterwards. The link to the live-streaming of the service can be found at southwestprc.org. In addition, the seminary with its most recent addition (new archives room) and renovations (library and professor offices) will be open for viewing. Refreshments will be served at the church and at the seminary. Come up the hill and see the changes!
  • Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference:  What is preaching?  What does it mean to preach the gospel?  How does one preach the commands of Scripture?  What is application in preaching?  Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel."  The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29.  More details will follow.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

EPC Australia logo
Let's also remember our dear contacts and fellow saints in Australia and Tasmania at this time.

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • The "pastoral voice" section of the bulletin was written today by her new pastor, Rev. J. Tan. Here is a small part of his reflections: It is the first week as your Pastor and I have the privilege to bring to you two sermons. To say that I am excited to bring to you God’s word is an understatement. I pray that today we will all hear the gospel of sovereign grace and even in the midst of great trials. Rejoice in the Lord!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to bring the word faithfully to his flock in Ballymena.
    • Be sure to check out the last edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (June 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Kleyn will lead us in the preaching of the Word today via live streaming, D.V. ...In line with the restriction (MECQ) imposed by the National government in NCR from Aug. 21 to 31, 2021, we are not still able to meet and worship God in our church building, today and thus, the preaching of God’s Word will be live-streamed on our Facebook page.
      Rev. Ibe and family are visiting the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today. Rev. Ibe will give a Word of edification and will also lead them in their Bible study of Ephesians 3, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Due to the ongoing COVID quarantines, we are unable to meet in person today. Rev. Smit will lead our worship through live streaming via
      Facebook.  ...May the Lord be pleased to comfort and edify our souls today by means of His Word and Spirit.
    • A new PRC missions newsletter is available - July 2021. Read it at the link provided!
    • PRCP Seminary Instruction: A new semester of seminary instruction began recently on August 10 for our seminary student, Bro. Ace Flores. However, because of ECQ in Metro Manila from August 21-30, and possibly longer, the original plan for this semester has been reorganized (no in-person instruction but online).

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

haak small

  • For the months of July, August, and September Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI) is the featured speaker, with focus on his series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 8 and titled "The Power of the Pulpit."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------

REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

PRCConfCO

Do you have your own copy of the confessions and church order of the PRC? It's a great resource to have in your home and library for Bible study and catechism! Order your copy from the PRC Seminary for only $9.00 or download it digitally here.

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

The Reformed faith often is associated with what are called the “five points of Calvinism.” Those “five points” by no means exhaust the Reformed faith. Nevertheless, these do mark a distinct difference between it and Arminianism which has infected most fundamentalist churches.

The five points are remembered by many through the use of the acrostic: TULIP. The “T” is for total depravity. This is the scriptural teaching that man is born dead in sins, unable and unwilling to any good whatsoever (Rom. 3:10). All are guilty of the first sin of Adam (Rom. 5:12). All only transgress the law of God by nature (Rom. 3:23). From this follows several conclusions. One can not “offer” to a dead sinner salvation in Christ. Nor can such a one be “invited” to accept Christ or admit Him into his heart. His state is such that spiritual activity is impossible on his part.

The “U” represents unconditional election. From before the foundation of the world, God has chosen unto Himself a people in Christ (Eph. 1:4). Together with this fact, God has also determined to cast others into hell in the way of their sins (Rom. 9:21-22). That this eternal election is “unconditional” means that God chose not because He foresaw that one would believe, but that one believes because God chose him (John 10:26; Rom. 8:29-30).

The “L” represents limited atonement. The atonement is the payment made by Christ for the sins of His people (Matt. 1:21). That it is “limited” is not to teach that Christ’s atonement lacks anything. Rather this presents the scriptural fact that atonement is limited to God’s elect or chosen ones (John 6:44).

The “I” speaks of irresistible grace. This emphasizes that when God draws His people unto Himself, they do and will come (John 6:37). They come not involuntarily, but willingly. Nevertheless, His grace is of such power that the will of His elect is made subservient to His will.

The “P” is preservation of saints. This means that one who is chosen, called, and drawn to Jesus Christ, will also remain in the faith and will surely be brought to glory. These saints can sin grievously and fall for a time into certain sins. But God brings them back to Himself. Those for whom Christ died will surely be saved (Phil. 1:6; Rom. 8:29-30).

Taken from Rev. R.Hanko's pamphlet "What Is the Reformed Faith?"

Read more...

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for August 22, 2021

The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, August 22, the thirty-fourth Lord's Day of this year 2021.

Psa19 14Today on this new Lord's Day, as redeemed and renewed members of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we gather publicly in worship to bring our praise and thanks to our triune God for all His gifts, especially the gift of salvation full and free through His Son. By the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts and minds may we give our glorious God the honor due His name. May this confession of the psalmist be ours:

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. ...Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:9-11

  • If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
     
  • Today Rev. R. Kleyn accepted the call to First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) and declined the call to Hudsonville PRC. We rejoice with First PRC even as we too experience the disappoinment of Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA, where Rev. Kleyn has labored since 2009) and Hudsonville PRC. May the Lord give grace to Rev. Kleyn and his family and to these congregations as they rest in God's will and prepare for this change of life and labor.

  • Last Sunday Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN) received the call from Doon PRC.

  • Rev. M.DeBoer (Edgerton MN PRC) is considering the call from Kalamazoo (MI) PRC. He plans to answer by Sept.5.

  • Rev. M.McGeown and his wife Larisa arrived safely from the UK to the U.S. this past Tuesday. They are settling into Providence PRC's parsonage and west Michigan life, and are thankful and excited to be in their new church home. Plans are for him to be installed on Sunday, Sept.5. He is leading their evening service today. We rejoice in God's goodness in opening the way for them to finally come to Providence.

  • Rev. J. Smidstra's time serving the CERC in Singapore has come to an end and he has his wife will return this week. Here's the note in First PRC's (Holland, MI) bulletin: Our pastor’s work in Singapore came to a close today with the installation of Rev. Tan as a minister of the gospel in the congregation there. The Smidstras plan to arrive home tomorrow. We are thankful that they were able to be used by the Lord in Singapore and are now eagerly looking forward to their return.
  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. J.Laning in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. C.Griess and Prof. B.Huizinga in First PRC-Holland; Rev. D.Holstege and Sem. M.Wee in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga (both services) in Hudsonville PRC;  Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. C.Griess in Kalamazoo PRC; Rev. B.Gritters and Rev. M.McGeown in Providence PRC. Let us thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    • there's a new Protestant Reformed Christian school starting up this year (and this week!)? Here's the special notice in Heritage PRC's bulletin today: The Lord willing, Sioux Falls Protestant Reformed Christian School will begin the 2021-2022 school year on Tuesday, August 24. Everyone is invited to attend our convocation exercises at 1 pm at the Heritage Protestant Reformed Church. Rev. Brummel will be the speaker with an open house of the school, fellowship, and refreshments to follow!
    • the men's chorus, the Hope Heralds, has been able to have a full season of singing this year after an empty season last year (due to the pandemic)? They are again allowed to sing at area nursing homes and retirement villages, sometimes outside and sometimes in an empty chapel broadcast to residents by internal AV, but are grateful to be able to minister to God's elderly saints in this way once again. They have two large end-of-year concerts planned in the Grand Rapids area - Sept.12 in Trinity PRC and Sept.17 in First PRC. Watch for the livestream of these events!

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • Although the furlough of Rev. D. Holstege and his family came to an end on June 30, they are not able to enter the Philippines right now due to an immigration problem related to COVID restrictions. The council of Doon PRC and the FMC have approved a plan which has the Holsteges staying in the States for a few more months and seeking to return to the mission field, if the Lord wills, no later than December 10. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:6).
  • PRC Synod 2021: The delegates and advisors met from June 9-17. For the daily reports on synod's work and decisions, visit this page. The printed PRC Acts of Synod 2021 and Yearbook are due to delivered early this week.
  • Synod 2021 instructed the Stated Clerk to include in his letter to the churches a notice of the urgent need for seminary students (Art. 73). The urgency arises from the number of vacant churches, the need for our denomination to fulfill the calling of home missions, the age of some of our older ministers, and the next potential graduate from our seminary is two years away. Let us remember this need for men to proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus Christ in our public and private prayers. Also, consistories should always be ready to encourage any young man in your congregation who has some of the gifts for the ministry.
  • Revs. D. Lee and J. Marcus (both now living in West Michigan) are eligible for calls in the PRC and her sister churches. Let us remember them in prayer as they await new charges.

sem lgfront Sept 2020

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • This Tuesday, August 24, the seminary begins its first semester of the new school year (2021-22). The semester schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website.
  • Profs. D. Kuiper and B. Huizinga will be teaching new courses as they gradually take over the work of the men they are replacing (Prof. R. Dykstra and Prof. R. Cammenga, respectively). Prof. R. Dykstra will be teaching his final courses this year, while also serving as Byron Center PRC's new pastor. Rev. C.Griess (to be installed as professor in a few weeks) has already started taking his Th.M. classes through Puritan Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids. Continue to pray for the seminary in all her needs, especially as we begin this new term.
  • There is one new incoming student this year, Aaron Van Dyke (Faith PRC). Senior Marcus Wee (Covenant ERC, Singapore) is doing his internship this summer and fall under Rev. C.Spronk at Faith PRC. Sem. Isaac Peters (EPC of Australia) is in the final year of his special three-year program.
  • The seminary faculty invite interested persons to audit three classes this semester: Christology (Prof. Cammenga; Tuesday and Thursday, 11:10 AM), New Testament History (Prof. Cammenga; Wednesday and Friday, 7:50 AM); and Reformation era church history (Prof. Kuiper; Wednesday and Friday, 11:10 AM). Classes begin on August 24 and 25. A limited number of auditors are welcome, so long as stricter COVID restrictions are not imposed. Call Sharon at 531-1490 to indicate your interest.
  • Don't forget that the seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any needs you may have.
  • On Wednesday, September 15, a special worship service for the installation of Rev. C. Griess as professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary will be held in Southwest PRC at 7 p.m. Prof. B. Gritters will lead the service. Seminary convocation will also be included with a time of fellowship afterwards. The link to the live-streaming of the service can be found at southwestprc.org.
  • Coming this Fall! Seminary Conference:  What is preaching?  What does it mean to preach the gospel?  How does one preach the commands of Scripture?  What is application in preaching?  Make plans now to hear four speeches by the seminary professors, under the conference theme "The Lord Gave the Word: Preaching the Gospel."  The conference will be hosted by Trinity PRC, on the late afternoon and evening of October 28 and 29.  More details will follow.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

JHTan Grad cake
PRTS graduate Josiah Tan at hus graduation program. See the good news on his acceptance of the call from Covenant ERC in Singapore below.

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • We rejoice in the wonderful news from our sister in the Far East that Cand. Josiah Tan accepted her call last Sunday and was ordained into the gospel ministry by Rev. J. Smidstra this morning. This is the special notice she had in her bulletin today: 22 August 2021. Not just another day in 2021. Ordinary for many perhaps, but for CERC, a momentous day. Certainly, a very special and unforgettable day for our new pastor Josiah Tan. In His perfect time and according to His perfect will, our faithful covenant God has provided us with another under-shepherd today. This day the Lord of the harvest sends forth another servant-shepherd, called and equipped by none other than the Chief Shepherd Himself, to proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ in and from our midst. While Josiah and his wife Hui Qi are no stranger to us, nevertheless we want to welcome him and his family warmly into our fellowship as our pastor. As Rev Josiah Tan moves in and out among us, may the Lord build up the bonds of love and friendship between us as shepherd and sheep. As we rejoice in the Lord’s provision for our congregation, may He also renew our zeal to bear witness of His grace in saving us from all our sins and be faithful in the work of His kingdom according to the place He has given each one of us in this body.
    • The CERC also had a special note of thanks to the Smidstras: While we welcome Rev Tan, we also bid farewell to Rev Smidstra and his wife Kelly. We thank God for
      bringing them to us in His providence, that we may experience the reality of the catholicity of the church even while yet on this earth. We are especially thankful for Rev Smidstra’s ministry over the past 3 months preaching and teaching in our midst. We pray we have been a blessing to them as much as the Lord have blessed us abundantly through them.
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart and his wife have returned home after vacationing in the U.S. for a few weeks.
    • Be sure to check out the last edition of "Covenant Reformed News" (June 2021). Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe will lead us in the preaching of the Word today via live streaming, D.V. ...In line with the restriction (MECQ) imposed by the National government in NCR from Aug. 21 to 31, 2021, we are not still able to meet and worship God in our church building, today and thus, the preaching of God’s Word will be live-streamed on our Facebook page.
      ...The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in hearing the preaching of the Word of God via live streaming on our face book page today, D.V.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Due to the ongoing COVID quarantines, we are unable to meet in person today. The elders have selected two recorded worship services from the PRCA. Both were originally conducted in the Lynden PRC and the links are provided above. May God be pleased to nourish our souls through His gospel and
      by the powerful work of the Spirit of Christ.
    • A new PRC missions newsletter is available - July 2021. Read it at the link provided!
    • PRCP Seminary Instruction: A new semester of seminary instruction began recently on August 10 for our seminary student, Bro. Ace Flores. However, because of ECQ in Metro Manila from August 21-30, and possibly longer, the original plan for this semester has been reorganized into two parts by Committee 1. In the first part of the semester from August 10 to October 1, Bro. Ace is taking two courses with Rev. Holstege via Zoom, and fulfilling some take-home assignments and review work with Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit. Then, in the second part of the semester from October 12 until December 3, Bro. Ace will continue his two courses with Rev.
      Holstege via Zoom and will also receive three courses from Rev. Kleyn and Rev. Smit in-person at the seminary library in Antipolo. Although the plan for this semester has been disrupted and revised, may the Lord bless the instruction that we can still give to Bro. Ace in the next several months for his preparation to serve in the ministry of the Word and Sacraments in the PRCP, if the Lord so wills. Please remember our student and instructors in fervent prayer before the Lord for His indispensable blessing upon them.

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

haak small

  • For the months of July, August, and September Rev. C.Haak (Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI) is the featured speaker, with focus on his series on the book of Nehemiah. Today's message is based on Nehemiah 7 and titled "Putting Things in Order."
  • Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not start today!
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

--------------------------------------------------------------------

REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

Sb new cover 2017 1

Are you reading the Standard Bearer this summer? Each issue is packed with edifying articles for adult readers. If you are not yet a subscriber, why not become one this week!  For a glimpse of one article in the August 2021 issue ("But" by Rev. W. Langerak), visit this link.

  • Want to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

The Reformed faith holds to the great truth of the “covenant of grace.” We briefly state our own convictions concerning Scripture’s teaching in this regard.

The covenant of grace must be understood in light of the Trinity. The Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) eternally communes within Himself perfectly. It is a communion which beggars human description and goes beyond human understanding. Yet that truth of covenant communion with Himself is the basis of the covenant of grace. The Triune God eternally determined to reveal outside of Himself the glory of communion as it exists within Himself. He determined to show in the highest possible way a communion with an elect people chosen eternally in Christ,

A proper understanding of this work of God ties together the various wonderful truths of Scripture. The word of God shows that this covenant is “unilateral,” that is, established not between two parties, but by God Himself directly (Gen. 15:17-18). It is an unbreakable covenant in that when God establishes it with His people, it continues to all eternity (Gen. 17:7). This covenant is not some sort of arrangement whereby God gets His people to heaven, but it is the end or goal which God has in mind (Gen. 17:7). It is the covenant which God is pleased to establish in the line of generations (Gen. 17:7). It has been truly said, “He gathers His seed from our seed.” Not all born of believing parents are part of that covenant (Rom. 9:13). But the spiritual seed are saved (Rom. 9:7). God does bring in others from heathendom—but then incorporates also their spiritual seed into the body of Christ (Acts 16:27-33).

Taken from Rev. R.Hanko's pamphlet "What Is the Reformed Faith?"

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Contact Details

Denomination

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Reading Sermon Library
  • Taped Sermon Library

Synodical Officers

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Synodical Committees

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact/Missions

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classical Officers

Classis East
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Classis West
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.