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News from All Churches

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for July 2017

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for July 2017 on the RWH radio program.

Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he continues a series on marriage this month.

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).

July 2, 2017 - Husband, Love Your Wives, Eph.5:25-27

July 9, 2017 - Husbands, Love with Purpose, Eph.5:27

July 16, 2017 - The Husband is the Head of His Wife, Eph.5:23

July 23, 2017 - To Provide and Protect, Eph.5:23

July 30, 2017 - A Wife's Submission to Her Husband, Eph.5:22-24

RWH Flyer July 2017 Page 1

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Philippines Mission Newsletter - June 2017

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PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER


Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
PO Box 1173 ACPO, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870, Philippines


Dear Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our Sister Churches.

This newsletter will be a little different from the usual. Rather than writing a summary of the various areas of our work, I give you instead some snippets of news that my wife has recently written. Hope you enjoy these. Hope too that they give you a little window into our lives and into the work here.
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Sunday, March 12
Today we were in the PRC in Bulacan. I have to say, I really enjoyed being there again. It had been a long time. Rev. Kleyn preached the first service and Rev. Flores the second (in Tagalog). The singing was really enjoyable – they do a good job and already know the Psalter well. I enjoyed seeing how the little children had grown and it was great to catch up with everyone. We had to leave soon after the 2nd service as Rev. Kleyn needed to attend a Steering Committee meeting in Provident. We got to Provident before 2:00 and Rev. Holstege had just started the meeting with the other men. I drove Leah and the kids home. The guys came home later when their meeting was finished, and the Holsteges came over for supper.

Thursday, March 16
We had a young man drop by for books who had been here once before. He belongs to a Reformed Baptist church, is a student at a Bible College, and has bought the Confessions, Psalter, and some books on Calvinism. He read through all the Confessions and said he learned a lot about what Reformed is. This time he bought Reformed Worship, but wanted to talk about a-mil and pre-mil. He stayed for more than an hour and asked many questions.

Saturday, March 18
Rev. Kleyn had the twice-monthly 7M pastors’ classes this past Tuesday in Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela. On Wednesday evening we had supper at Holsteges. The Ibe family was also there, which was really nice. All the kids got on well together and had fun playing together. And of course, the adults enjoyed good fellowship, too.

Sunday, March 19
We were in Maranatha today. The group of 4 young adults from Victory Church (which is Pentecostal and Arminian) who now attend Maranatha has grown to 5. I think that makes a total of 7 (2 go to the Berean PRC). These people are all friends and were in what they call a cell group of about 12 of them in Victory Church. They still get together now and then as a group and have many discussions about what they are learning and what they believe. Who knows – there may be more in that group that come to our churches. The ones on Sunday asked Rev. Kleyn a lot of questions about sanctification. Some of them email questions to him every couple of days, too.

Tuesday, March 21
We were in Negros today (central Philippines) for the pastors’ classes in Sipalay. It was an interesting day again. The classes were well attended (15) and there were many questions and a lot of good discussion. It’s so rewarding to see some of the men (also some of the more recent ones) really starting to get it. Some of their comments were spot on. We had loads of luggage this time because we had two large book orders and a few smaller ones. We took along about 60 books. Now again I have orders for next time.

Friday, April 14
This past Wednesday through Friday was the youth camp for the three churches here. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn went, but Leah and I and the kids stayed home. There were three speeches at the camp by the local pastors. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn led devotions and helped with the games and transportation. The theme of the camp was “Love not the World” with speeches on Youth & Money, Youth & Technology, Youth & Society. They had discussion groups after each speech and Rev. Kleyn said he was impressed with the young people – some of them talked for 5 to 10 minutes about the speech and what was relevant to them. It was so nice that the youth from the different churches could interact with each other, get to know each other and grow together. They also had teams and many organized games. One of the games was that one of the members of your group had to recite Psalm 23 and
another member, Lord’s Day 1. The game Rev. Kleyn was in charge of was that they had to find peso coins in a bowl of flour. BUT, they had to find the coins with their mouths, and that after FIRST sticking their face in a bowl of water. Wow. A little gross, but pretty funny how they looked afterwards. The staff said they put Rev. Kleyn in charge of that one because then the kids wouldn’t dare argue or put up a fuss about it. Haha.

Sunday, April 30
Rev. Kleyn preached in Provident so Rev. Holstege could preach in the PRC in Bulacan. Rev. Holstege had not preached there before, so I went with them to show the way. Traffic was heavier than normal and we were running late by a good half hour. And to top it off, the road in front of Bulacan church was being torn up, so we couldn’t park there. Instead I dropped everyone off at the church and then took the car back about a kilometer to a member’s house for parking. We had to block traffic for a while by the church (almost caused gridlock I think) trying to turn the car around to go back. A member of the PRCB came along with me and we eventually got it parked, but then had to wait for a tricycle to take us back to church. Finally, at that point, my sense of humor took over, and I could get a little bit into the local mind-set of not worrying so much about time. ☺ We had lunch at church. The Holsteges and the visitors who were with us (from both Singapore and Northern Ireland) really enjoyed meeting all the people there. We left church about 2:00 and traffic was actually better on the way home, so we were home before 4:00. From the point of view of the catholic church, we had a beautiful Sunday. We had God’s people together from 4 closely related denominations and from at least 6 different nationalities. A pretty good representation of the universal church.

Saturday, May 20
Rev. Kleyn started teaching catechism in Provident again, after a summer break (he is still helping out a little in Provident so Rev. Holstege can have time for his Tagalog learning). Leah and I went and met the ladies and children once catechism was finished and we all headed to a pool near the church. The children had fun swimming and we ordered in Jollibee chicken meals for lunch. We stayed until about 2:00.

Sunday, May 21
Rev. Kleyn preached in Maranatha PRC today. We were supposed to have a Church Order class too (Rev. Kleyn is giving a brief overview of the Church Order for the congregation), but it was cancelled because of the heat. The men had a Consistory meeting after lunch, so I sat and chatted with three of the ladies. We had a nice visit. We talked about movies (started by the recent article in the Standard Bearer about the new Disney movie promoting the homosexual agenda). We talked about witnessing at work – how terrible the talk is at their work places and how many homosexuals they work with. And we talked a bit about Rev. Kleyn’s sermon on The Communion of Saints. The Consistory meeting didn’t last too long and we got home about 4:30.

Thursday, May 25
There is a neat story about the book, Saved By Grace. A man who attends Provident has had business meetings with a man from the Netherlands and gave him two copies of the book – one for him and one for his boss. The boss back in the Netherlands wrote back and said, “I am excited to receive such a book from a business friend, which is really uncommon! The title Saved by Grace is very close to my heart, and the faith in God through Jesus Christ, grounded on the Bible, is my daily source of life. Also, I fully underwrite the Calvinist doctrine, which is the closest to the Bible.” He attends a Reformed church in the Netherlands.

Saturday, May 27
Today we had a Reformed Discussion Table meeting in our home. There is a group of young adults (headed by some of the young adults who are members of the Berean PRC) who get together twice a month for doctrinal discussions. They asked Rev. Kleyn to speak on Common Grace today. So we had about a dozen young adults here. Rev. Kleyn taught catechism in Provident in the morning and then picked up a few of the young adults at the train station on the way home. The rest arrived over the next hour or so. Holsteges were here as well. They were all bombarding the men with questions about all kinds of things. Then at 3:00, Rev. Kleyn spoke for about an hour and that was followed by an hour of questions about the topic. I said to Rev. Kleyn, “I wonder how many questions you and Rev. Holstege were asked today?” Dozens probably. Leah helped with the food for supper. They all left at about 7:00.

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In conclusion, I’m thankful to report that both our families are doing well. The Holsteges are settling well into their life and work here and both we and the saints are very glad to have them here. We thank God for His daily care and blessings. We also thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Until next time, in Christian love,
Rev. Daniel Kleyn

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Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - June 2017

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
13 June, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Two Lectures

“Are Unbelievers in God’s Image?” was the title of a speech in the CPRC (12 May). This is a crucial subject, especially in our day, for the false view is being pedaled to support homosexuality, women in church office, universal grace, etc.

image cprc june 2017What is the nature of the imago dei? How does Scripture define it (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10)? What is the relation between the image, the likeness and the glory of God? What do Martin Luther and the Reformed confessions teach? Did you realize that the claim that unbelievers share the divine image means that believers have two images of God and already had one before their conversion?

A good number were in attendance, with others watching live online. Both the speech (with slides) and the question session afterwards are online in video (www. youtube.com/watch?v=t73YQhEzKt0). A write-up of the lecture is being published in several articles in Salt Shakers, the magazine of the young people in the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore (www.cprf.co.uk/articles/ unbelieversinimage.html).

Last week, Mary and I were in South Wales for a lecture on “N. T. Wright, Justification and the Reformation” (8 June). Wright is a former Anglican Bishop of Durham (#4 in the Church of England) and the most influential spokesman for the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP) with its radical redefinition of justification, the key doctrine which launched the Reformation half a millennium ago.

It was good for me to have an occasion to read more about Wright and the NPP, for they are influencing evangelicals in the UK and around the world, as well as the Federal Vision, especially in North America. As one considers these heretical movements, the truth of the biblical and Reformed faith stands out more sharply and strongly than ever before. Prof. Engelsma’s latest RFPA book, The Gospel Truth of Justification, is a superb contemporary work on this glorious doctrine. It is also refreshing because so many of the critiques of Wright and the NPP are weak and half-hearted.

This speech was our first meeting at our new venue in South Wales. Some days after we booked the hall, the British Prime Minis-ter arranged the General Election for the same date. On the day itself, we discovered that Margam Community Centre was also a polling station!

However, our room was in a different part of the building, so that was not a problem. Whereas the turnout of the UK electorate was high (68.7%), sadly the date clash did not help the turnout at our Reformed lecture. A lot more will be reached by the audio (www.cprc.co.uk/ntwrightjustification. mp3) and video (www.youtube.com/user/ CPRCNI) though.

Church Activities

With the end of the Monday night catechism and Wednesday night Belgic Confession classes for the season, our annual family visitation began. This year our text was Galatians 6. All but 3 of the 25 visits have been completed. It has been an encouraging and edifying time.

Our Tuesday morning class continues through the summer. We are presently studying the division of the promised land in the second half of Joshua, material not often covered but instructive chapters of God's Word!

After 9 sermons on “The Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse” (John 16), we have now begun a series on “The Healing of the Lame Beggar” (Acts 3-4). There is a lot to be learned here regarding miraculous healings (as opposed to those of Charismaticism and Romanism), evangelism, how the apostles interpreted Old Testament predictive prophecy and the periods in which it is (and is not!) fulfilled, defending the faith, persecution, etc.

Others

Besides the generous giving of our members, we have had sizable donations from Scotland, USA, England, and Australia. The CPRC has been able to increase its giving to the 2018 budget of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF). Our thanks to you in the PRC for helping us financially with this mission work.

The CPRC Bookstore had a lot of sales in May. However, our translation work seems to be slowing down of late (sadly!). The last two months saw the addition of 7 Hungarian, 1 Czech, and 1 Portuguese (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm).

A previous bimonthly letter mentioned that Hungarian subtitles were added to a CPRC sermon on “The Sovereignty of God.” Tibor, the translator, reports that this was watched by three classes of students in a Roman Catholic school in Hungary: “There was a girl in the first group who stated that the Bible does not teach predestination but it is a human invention. The second group was silent because the students were astonished. The third group said that it was a good sermon.... [Since even] the 'Reformed' pastors in this city are Arminians, it is possible that these students heard/read their first real Reformed sermon in their life.”

Elder Brian Crossett is the CPRC delegate to the PRC Synod in Hudsonville. Possibly this year will see more of our members in the US than ever before. Marco Barone has already been; Jennifer Hanko is presently there; later Philip and Susan Hall and family, Rev. McGeown (as well as his sister, Shelley, and her family), David, Kristin, and Sophie Crossett, and Mary and I will all cross the Atlantic, D.V. Some of these saints will make the trip more than once. All enjoy worshiping with and visiting fellow saints and family in the PRC.

In our trip (17 July – 14 August), I am to preach in 2 churches in Washington (Spokane and Lynden), 2 churches in Alberta (Edmonton and Lacombe), and 2 churches in Michigan (Providence and Hudsonville). It will be good to be back with members of our sister churches in North America.

May the Lord be with you all!

In Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - June 2017

Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter

MMcGeown 2017 2

Rev. Martyn McGeown

38 Abbeyvale, Corbally, Co. Limerick, Ireland

http://www.limerickreformed.com/

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

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Yesterday, we had unusual visitors at the evening service—two Mormon missionaries! I recognized them as such by the little “elder” badges on their shirts. Barry Purcell was on his way to worship when he was accosted by the Mormons. He asked them if they had a “spare hour.” When they answered in the affirmative, Barry invited them to our service to, as he put it, “hear the truth.” My sermon was “Buying and Not Selling the Truth” (Prov. 23:23), the family visitation text. True to their word, the Mormons stayed for an hour (Barry forgot, he said, that the service lasts one and half hours), so they stayed for a good part of the sermon. I hope that they heard something that opened their hearts to the truth of God.

I have been preaching from Proverbs of late—not an actual series, just some “gleanings” you might say. One of the members expressed interest in the book so I chose a few texts that struck me as interesting: “Jehovah’s Name: A Strong Tower,” “Death and Life in the Power of the Tongue,” “The Beginning of Knowledge,” “Wisdom’s Cry,” “Jehovah’s Eternal Wisdom,” and the aforementioned family visitation text. Before that, I preached a series of seven sermons on the feasts of Leviticus 23: (“Jehovah’s Holy, Joyous Feasts”) and a series of twenty sermons on “The Miracles of the Great Physician.”

Our Bible studies also continue. The main one on Tuesday is studying Romans where we have reached chapter 12, the applicatory section of the book. With the Mansonas, we are studying Daniel where we are in the apocalyptic section of chapters 7-12. Last week, we looked at the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9. Catechism is finished for the season—Chester and Dale Mansona have completed Essentials for Reformed Doctrine, while two of my two nieces (Anna and Lily Foster) have completed New Testament History for Beginners. In September, DV, Sebastian Kuhs (who will be six years old in July), will begin catechism for the first time. That will be an exciting day for him and his parents.

We have also continued the “Back to Basics” lectures. The most recent ones were “The Christian’s Hope in Death,” “What Are Good Works?” and “Who Is the Holy Spirit?” We intend to have more such lectures in the coming months, DV. The last lecture in Wales (6 April) was on the Trinity with 11 in attendance. Because the dear lady who opens the Round Chapel forgot about the meeting, we had to arrange an impromptu meeting in a public house, which was an unusual venue for our lecture!

KKuiper Watterson baby 2017

From 22 January to 14 May, Kelsey Kuiper from Zion PRC was with us. She is the fourth person (after Briana Prins [Trinity PRC], Bethany Wagenmaker [OPC in Missouri], and Lisa Ong [CERC in Singapore]) to do the study abroad programme at the University of Limerick (UL), which is an excellent opportunity for young people to spend time in Ireland, to learn a new culture, and, above all, to join with the LRF for worship. (Young people: ask your college/university if they can facilitate such a programme. We will be glad to welcome you into the LRF). When she was here, Kelsey attended our worship services and Bible studies, got to know the people of the LRF, and visited many interesting places in Ireland and Europe. She also brought students from UL to our services. I am sure that she would be excited to talk to you about her experiences and to encourage you to visit.

On 28 April, Jonas Barnabas Watterson was born, adding to the children of the LRF. We now have six young children: Sebastian, Penelope, and Felicity Kuhs, and Jason, Eleanora, and Jonas Watterson. It makes for a lively and happy group! Baptism is scheduled for 18 June, when we expect to have Marco Barone, Paula Kuiper (Southwest PRC), and Briana Prins here.

KKuiper LDeJong 2017

Another important visitor in May was Larisa DeJong (Holland PRC). While she was here (yes, we are dating, although our dating until that point had been via the internet, so it was good to be together), she and I were able to spend a lot of time together, visiting Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), meeting my family, and getting to know the CPRCNI and the LRF. The Lord also gave us beautiful weather, ideal for walks at the Giant’s Causeway, drives in the Wicklow Mountains, and the visiting of castles! The Sunday that Larisa was in Limerick coincided with Kelsey’s last Sunday, so everyone was at my house for food and fellowship after the morning service.

My book, Called to Watch for Christ’s Return, is selling well. A lot of people in Cookstown, where I grew up and where my parents live, have bought the book, many of them through contact with my parents. The feedback that I have received from the RFPA and many of those who have received and read the book has been very encouraging. Thank you!

I will be making my annual visit to the Young People’s Convention in August, DV.

Pray for us, as we do for you,

In Christian love,

Rev. Martyn McGeown

 

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Reformed News Asia - May 2017

Issue 40 - May 2017
Pamphlets
We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE & MAN’S FREE WILL
By Prof Herman Hanko

Do we truly know what the Bible teaches regarding God's foreknowledge, especially with regard to our wills and salvation? Time and again, the truth concerning this has been attacked in order to make room for man's role in salvation.

Readto find out more about what God's foreknowledge truly is!


Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.

 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Gospel Truth of Justification
by Prof David Engelsma

From the RFPA website:

"AD 2017 marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation of the church of Jesus Christ. In 1517 the Reformer Martin Luther affixed the ninety-five theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, the act by which Jesus Christ began his reformation of his church. Essential to this Reformation was the gospel-truth of justification by faith alone. This book on justification is intended by the Reformed Free Publishing Association and the author to celebrate that glorious work of Christ.

But the purpose is more than a celebration of the beginning of the Reformation. It is to maintain, defend, and promote the Reformation in the perilous times for the church at present. The doctrine of justification by faith alone is so fundamental to the gospel of grace that an exposition and defense of this truth are in order always. The true church of Christ in the world simply cannot keep silent about this doctrine. To keep silent about justification by faith alone would be to silence the gospel."

 
Audio Recordings
In the months leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Rev Lanning will be preaching on a series from Galatians. Here are the first 3 sermons of the series:

1) The Accursed Preachers Of Another Gospel
2) The Gospel Is Not After Man
3) Paul Withstands Peter
 

 
Upcoming Events!
 
CKCKS Retreat 2017

Venue: Changi Cottage
Date: 22 June (Thu) to 24 June (Sat) 
Speaker: Rev Lanning
Theme: The God of Zion's Youth ( Psalms 48:14)

Sign up now!

For more information, please contact Lim Yang Zhi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Past Events...
 
CERC Sports Day
This year, our sports day had a change of pace. Instead of starting off the morning of a public holiday with real sports, we met in the late afternoon instead for a walk around Labrador Park. We concluded the evening with devotions and a sumptuous dinner.
One of the groups on its tour around the park
Beautiful view of the harbour from the park
 
CK vs CKS Inaugural Sports Championship
For our CKCKS outing in May, a group of youths gathered in church to make gifts for the parents of the church to show our appreciation to them. Not our typical outing, but it gave the youths a nice opportunity to just sit and chat.
We split into two groups - the "cutters" and the "stickers"
Finished product - a pair of frames with a poem for mum and another for dad
Packing them into nice bags
 
Visitors from USA!
More visitors to add to the list!
Mr and Mrs John Van Baren, and Rev and Mrs James Laning were in town for a brief visit on their way home from Myanmar. It was good to rekindle old friendships!
An excavator-like vehicle at the Singapore Army Open House
Whatchya lookin' at? - Fishes at a wet market
Atop a cool vehicle at the Singapore Army Open House
By an Anglican church in Malacca, Malaysia
Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  •www.cerc.org.sg 

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Covenant Reformed News - May 2017

 

Covenant Reformed News

May 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 13


Our Identity in Christ (2)

As we saw in the last issue of the News, Western views of man’s identity are becoming more and more secularist and anti-Christian. Though no mortal man knows the future, there are several converging factors that suggest that things are likely to get worse.

First and most obviously, there is evolutionism. It is over 150 years since Charles Darwin’s famous book The Origin of Species was published (1859). Over this period, evolutionary ideas have been working through all areas of human thinking and activity. According to evolutionism, man is merely developed slime. Life is resolutely materialist and meaningless. Thus man does not know, and cannot know, where he came from or where he is going.

Second, there is postmodernism, according to which there is no absolute truth. Truth is subjective. Knowing objective truth would only make people proud. The supposedly omnicompetent state takes care of “truth” for people.

Third, there are powerful political and legal forces, such as the homosexual lobby, which seek to marginalize and silence the Word of God. Man’s identity is continually changing, as homosexual activists and their abettors have progressively rolled out their agenda. More is to come, as people become more and more accustomed to the previous elements and are readied for the next stage.

Fourth, there are technological developments in the spheres of medicine, computing, robotics, etc., as well as in the theory and practice of propaganda to influence the masses.

In all of this, there is an ongoing redefining of man and his identity: redefining humans as animals, redefining the human person, redefining marriage, redefining human sexuality, redefining gender, etc.

Before and alongside this redefining of man is the redefining of God, especially through a false view of love. God’s love is presented as the #1 divine attribute and, in effect, the only divine attribute. God’s wisdom, omniscience, justice, power, unchangeability, holiness, eternity, etc., are dissolved in this false view of love. “So, even if God exists, He is no threat to us or our sinful lifestyle”—such is the thinking of foolish man.

The vague and inoffensive God of sentimental and unrighteous love is being replaced by man, redefined man, with the highest expression of redefined man being the autonomous state. Moreover, the state or nation is increasingly being seen by many as an intermediate stage in the movement towards a one-world government.

All this redefining of man and God serves to soften the world up for the Antichrist or man of sin, who “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4).

Thankfully, we have God’s Word, with foundational truths set forth even on the opening page of the Bible. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). He is the Maker and Ruler of the universe. As early as Genesis 1, we read of Him as God, the (commanding) Word and the Spirit of God (1-3). Jehovah refers to Himself as both “I” (singular; 29) and “us” (plural; 26), the God who is one in Being and three in Persons.

The truth about man’s origin and nature is that he is the pinnacle of creation, being made on the last day of the creation week. Everything else was formed for him so that he should serve the glory of God (Belgic Confession 12). Man is not the product of cosmic chance and random mutations.

Man was formed from the dust of the earth and by the breath of God (Gen. 2:7). The two aspects of the one divine creation of man correspond to his being both body and soul. So people should be happy “under their own skin,” so to speak!

Man was made in the image of God (1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6), not in the image of an ape. Indeed, man is to exercise godly dominion over all the animals, fish and birds (1:28).

God created humanity in two genders. Christ’s words to the Pharisees two thousand years ago are just as relevant to the politically correct in our own day: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matt. 19:4; quoting Gen. 1:27)? So rejoice in your God-given gender!

Jehovah made mankind for marriage, which is a one-flesh union between one man and one women for as long as they both shall live. As Christ said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). So be content in either singleness or married life (I Cor. 7).

The Most High created man for work. Work for six days to God’s glory in your lawful calling (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11)! Rest in Christ (Matt. 11:28), especially on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10).

The things in the previous seven paragraphs are based upon the first two chapters of the Bible. They are foundational truths about humanity, and what is good for men and women. But, as our society becomes more humanistic and pagan, even these basic building blocks for man’s life in God’s world are being removed.

We hear a lot in our day about “equality.” The following are key elements in a biblical framework of equality. All human beings are equally created by God. All were equally represented in Adam and fell in him, so that all are equally totally depraved of themselves (Rom. 5:12-21). All should wear clothes to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3:21). All are equally governed by God’s eternal decree and providence (Eph. 1:11). So we must know ourselves to be those who are under God’s wise and powerful rule!

Moreover, biblical equality includes the truth that all will stand on the last day before the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ. The exact same gospel comes to all, whether Jews or Gentiles: Salvation is in Christ alone, and all (equally) must repent and believe in Him!     Rev. Stewart

 

The More-Loving-Than-God Argument (2)


In my article last month, I began a series addressing a reader’s concerns over the heresies of common grace and the gracious or well-meant offer of the gospel (the notions that God loves everybody and passionately desires to save those He has eternally decreed not to save). The writer of the question remarked that he had run into various arguments in defence of common grace and the well-meant offer to which he would like answers. I began my response with a general criticism of these heresies but reserved answers to his specific questions for future articles. With this News, I begin my answers. 

One remark, however, before I start. I was astonished to see that all the questions, though fairly lengthy, involved no scriptural proof for the position advocated. Only one biblical passage was mentioned in all six questions. In subsequent letters, the questions continued but involved only one additional Scripture. It is remarkable that the two heresies of common grace and the well-meant offer can be supported for the most part only by human reasoning. Does not that in itself say a great deal about the wrongness of the arguments of those who defend these heresies?

I would also like to make a clarification, lest those who read these articles conclude that the questioner is a defender of these false doctrines. He is not; he merely wants answers to the objections.

Question 1. “God commands us to love one another, to love our neighbour, to love even our enemies. Why? Because God wants us to be like Him and to be Christ-like. He wants us to love everyone the same without partiality, and that love is not a selfish love or something that seeks its own. Therefore, to have a mind-set that says that God only loves a few while also believing that He commands us to love everyone is to make us more loving than God.”

The argument is based on an untrue premise. God nowhere commands us to love everyone. He does command us to love our neighbour but the connotation of the word “neighbour” is much narrower than (absolutely) “all men.” I do not see how it is possible for me to love all men: I do not even know the vast majority of those presently living. I do not understand how I could possibly know and love 7-8 billion people.

The idea is, of course, absurd. Yet, apparently, the defenders of a well-meant offer really mean that, because we must love everyone, God certainly loves everyone. The argument is, of course, that God would not command us to love all men if He Himself does not love all men. But God does not command us to love everyone: He commands us to love our neighbour. The term “our neighbour” is broader than God’s elect: that is true.

Our neighbours are those whom God has put in our path. Our neighbours are our spouses, our parents, our children, our siblings, our fellow church members, our friends, our work mates, our relatives and all whose lives touch ours. Sometimes they get in our way; sometimes they need us. They include the wounded man lying on the side of the road. Our neighbour is someone whom God puts in front of us so that, as we walk our pilgrim’s path in the world, we meet people who, for one reason or another, need our help. 

It is hypocritical, however, when people prate piously about loving someone on the other side of the planet who needs food and who have the loudest word about loving all men, but refuse to love their neighbours nearest to them. They abandon their spouses in favour of another man or woman. They neglect their children, send them to a day care so they can earn more money, and refuse to discipline their children and teach them the ways of the Lord. They too are our neighbours and they are the ones we must especially love. 

God also puts unbelievers on our path so that we bump into them: the man who works next to me in the factory, the passenger on a seat alongside of me in an aeroplane, the man in the ditch who cannot get his car out ...

We are commanded to love them too. We are commanded to love them simply because we are witnesses in this world of Jesus Christ to whom we belong. We have to be witnesses; it is a solemn and urgent command. 

I would like to know from one of these defenders of the spurious well-meant offer how they define love. Do they view it as some sentimental attitude to the down-trodden? But God’s love for His people is a love that seeks the ultimate good for the object, which is a glorious eternity with Him in heaven. Our love for our neighbour is not a sloppy and sentimental love for him; it is love that is an expression of God’s love for us. It means simply that we desire and seek the salvation of our neighbour by witnessing to him. What better thing would anyone want for his neighbour than to seek his salvation? We can surely help him if he has a need but we do so in the name of Christ who has loved us. That is what it means to love our neighbour.

Our neighbour may be someone unexpected; he or she may even be one who hates us. But then too we witness to him or her by explaining the gospel and emphasizing his or her calling before God. It is like the preaching. The church preaches so that everyone who hears knows the truth of the suffering and exalted Lord Jesus, and what God requires. We are to do the same, for the power of our witnessing is the power of the same gospel that saved us. We must tell them that they must repent of their sins and believe in Christ crucified.

How do these people who defend a love of God for all interpret Psalm 5:5-6, Psalm 6:8 (cf. Matt. 7:23; 25:41), Psalm 139:19-22 and countless other Psalms in which the Psalmist prays that God may destroy the impenitent wicked (cf. Prov. 3:33)? I know that some claim that the so-called imprecatory Psalms are not inspired but this is a ruinous lie about God’s Word (II Tim. 3:16).

This argument borders on the ridiculous. Prof. Hanko

 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 8 June, 2017
at 7:15 PM

NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam,
Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

N. T. Wright, Justification and the Reformation

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
www.cprc.co.uk

The Gospel Truth of Justification
Proclaimed, Defended, Developed

David J. Engelsma
(528 pp., hardback)

AD 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the great Reformation of the church of Jesus Christ. In 1517, the Reformer Martin Luther affixed the 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, the act by which Jesus Christ began His Reformation of His church. Essential to this Reformation was the gospel-truth of justification by faith alone.
The book is a thorough explanation of the divine, saving act of justification and a vigorous defence of the doctrine, not only against the old heresies of Rome and of Arminianism, but also against the contemporary attacks on justification by the New Perspective on Paul, Evangelicals and Catholics Together, and the Federal Vision.


£24.60 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!
 

Appointing
Office-Bearers and Church Authority

11 classes on Belgic Confession 31-32 (Vol. XXIII) 
on CD in an attractive box set
 
Article 31
The Ministers, Elders & Deacons

(1) The Election of Church
Office-Bearers (Acts 6)
(2) Seeking Church Office: Sinful Motives and Ways (Acts 8:5-25)
(3) The Qualifications for Church
Office-Bearers (I Tim. 3)
(4) Ordination and the Laying
on of Hands (I Tim. 4) 
(5) Equality Among Office-Bearers
(I Cor. 1:10-17)
(6) Murmuring, Strife & Contention Against Office-Bearers  (Num. 16:1-15)

Article 32 
The Order and Discipline of the Church & Its Areas 
(7) Church Authority (Matt. 28:9-20) 
(8) Church Authority: Source & Parties (Isa. 9:1-7)
(9) The Nature of Church Authority
(II Cor. 10)
(10) The Standard of Church Authority (Col. 2:4-23)
(11) Church Authority: Ecclesiastical Laws and Discipline (II Cor. 13)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line or
Order from the CPRC Bookstore
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851.

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!

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