Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word

  • Stand ye in the ways and see
  • and ask for the old paths

  • where is the good way
  • and walk therein
  • and ye shall find rest for your souls

Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word and informing Christians about the possible loss of their religious liberties from current and proposed developments within the UK and European Union.

The Gospel of Mark 13

Mark 13:37

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“THE TWO CROSSES”

From a sermon by James William Tobitt (1861-1928) of Hastings

on Hebrews 12:3

We will go to the root of the matter if the Lord shall help us; if we discover the malady, we may find the remedy. I believe it to be twofold: first the pressure of the inward cross; secondly, the weight of the outward cross. Every believer has to carry to the end of his course these two crosses and the weight of them often causes him to feel very fatigued, worn out and sad at heart.

What is the inward cross? The weight of the old man. When God called us by His grace, He could easily – had it been His purpose and had it been for our benefit – effectually have delivered us from the weight of that cross, but He has not done so. You will find the Apostle Paul, who was one of these racers (Heb. 12:1-2), at one time expressing his weariness because of the pressure of this cross: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” That is the inward cross. The Lord has determined in much love and wisdom that His people should carry it because it is very beneficial. By it they learn feelingly from what they are saved, how vile they are, the preciousness of Christ and the love of God the Father.

This cross is a continual burden to the Christian; when he would pray, then sinful thoughts will come, or distracting cares, or wicked imaginations. When he would read the Bible, there is a power pulling him back from that sacred exercise. Sometimes when he is sitting in God’s house, he is worrying about a certain commercial matter he has to face in the week, or something that has been a trouble to him in the past. He has no power over his thoughts; they run helter skelter, north, south, east and west. He has to say, “When I would do good, evil is present with me” – “how to perform that which is good I find not.”

That is the inward cross and I do think many young Christians – and perhaps old ones too – have not a clear understanding in this matter. In the believer there are two distinct natures, one from Heaven, the other from Hell, diametrically opposed to each other; the one perfectly holy, the other utterly bad; the one cannot become sinful, the other cannot become good; and these two natures are continually striving for the mastery, continually fighting; and it is not to be wondered at that in this conflict the child of God oftentimes feels very fatigued and thinks all his strength is gone. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

But I say, there is the outward cross. It pleases God, for the benefit and discipline of His people in the wilderness, oftentimes to touch them concerning outside matters, in providential affairs. “Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him.”

Why does the Lord put a cross upon the shoulders of the believer? I will tell you. It is to deaden the life of sense and to quicken the life of faith. The more the Israelites were afflicted in Egypt, “the more they multiplied and grew.” We often become wearied under the pressure of this external cross and, in addition to our weariness, at times there are manifestations of every wicked rebellion and sinful complaining. O how our carnal nature desires a smoother path, a more pleasant course; but the Lord knows what is best and it is well for you and me when we can say from the bottom of our heart, “Father, Thy will, not mine, be done.”

We must expect a cross; in our sober moments we have blessed God for it. “If any man,” the Saviour said, “will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” We do want to follow Him; therefore let us take up the cross – not merely look at it, or shrink from it, but take it up – and we shall find in cross-bearing we have the sympathy of Jesus; He always carries the heaviest end of it. He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His present saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” He is leading us forth by the right way, not only that we may go to a city of habitation, but have sweet converse with Him by the way.

I am sure I have proved in my little experience that the weight of the inward cross – the old man – and the outward cross – some temporal trouble – have kept open the way of communion, because in this experience we cannot do without Jesus, we are compelled to cry to Him. By all these exercises we “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

(Previously published in the Gospel Standard magazine, June 2006)

 

NATIONHOOD, MULTICULTURALISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Jeremiah 5:17-25

Pastor Peter Simpson expounds Jeremiah 5:17-25 and deals with the current key issues – from a Biblical perspective – of nationhood, multiculturalism and climate change.

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