Bulletin Edition January 2019

“Then Judas”

Matthew 27:1-10

As we read the Bible, we cannot help noticing that there are numerous
examples of men and women who appeared to fear God and walk with him,
who in time forsook him altogether and perished under his wrath.


There are multitudes in hell today who were once considered saints of
God. Lot’s wife, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Achan, King Saul, Ananias
and Sapphira, Demas, and Diotrephes are all names that ought to be
alarming. Like the multitude in John 6, though they professed to be
disciples and were considered by all, except the Lord himself, to be his
disciples, they “went back and walked no more with him.” They are
beacons placed before us in Holy Scripture to warn us of the danger of
hypocrisy and carnal security. All is not gold that glitters. “They are
not all Israel which are of Israel.” Many who profess faith in Christ
and are confident that their faith is genuine shall betray and forsake
Christ in time and perish under the wrath of God in hell.

The Betrayer

No one more fearfully and glaringly demonstrates this fact than Judas,
the son of perdition, our Lord’s betrayer. He is the principle subject
of this paragraph. Judas was once numbered with the apostles of Christ.
He once preached the gospel, performed mighty miracles, and carried the
treasurer’s bag for the first church ever to exist in this world. Yet,
Judas betrayed the Son of God. Afterward, though he repented, confessed
his sin, and made restitution, he committed suicide, perishing under the
terror of God’s justice and wrath. Today that man, who once was thought
to be such a great man, such an eminent believer, burns in hell,
suffering the wrath of God! Let none who read these lines follow him.

Judas shows us that a person may experience much, know much, and do much
that appears to be genuinely spiritual and yet perish at last. I frankly
do not know how to say what needs to be said here forcefully enough.
Salvation is an experience; but it is more than an experience. Salvation
involves knowledge; but it is more than knowledge. Salvation produces
good works; but it is more than good works. In those matters, neither
you nor I come close to Judas. He was not only an apostle, but in all
probability the most highly esteemed of all the apostles. Until he
betrayed the Master, he was never once, in so far as the Scriptures tell
us, reprimanded for anything. Judas seems to stand head and shoulders
above the rest. Even after he had been distinctly identified as the
betrayer by the Master (John 13:26-30), no one was suspicious of him.
Yet, Judas was a lost man. He never knew God.


Salvation is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). Salvation is a living
union of faith with the Son of God. Salvation is a heart work, a work of
God in our hearts. Salvation is not something you can muster. It is not
something the preacher can bestow. It is not something parents can
bequeath. “Salvation is of the Lord!” Salvation is the utter surrender
of a sinner to the rule, dominion, and will of God by faith in Christ.
When a person comes to know Christ, the last Adam, he does willingly
what the first Adam refused to do. — He bows and surrenders to God as
God, acknowledging his right to be God and thus to do what he will (Luke

Don Fortner.

I’d Rather Hear AND See

A popular saying today is: “I’d rather SEE a sermon than HEAR one any
day.” One local so-called church had on their sign: “The Christian Is
the World’s Bible.” As clever as that may sound, it is not true. God’s
Word is still The Bible to be read, heard and heeded by all. God’s Word
is still His power, the only power He uses to save. I pity the poor
ignorant person who says such things for they obviously have never heard
the Word of God preached in power. Scripture says: “The Gospel is the
power of God unto salvation.” Scripture says: “Faith cometh by HEARING,”
not by seeing. The miracle of the new birth cometh by the “Word of
truth,” not a vision, sign, fleshly experience, or observing the works
of a seemingly devout Christian. Scripture says, “In Whom ye also
1:13). So then, the power of God, new birth, faith, life, joy, peace,
wisdom, yea all things, cometh by HEARING!

However, I want to be like John the apostle on the isle of Patmos, I
want to both HEAR AND SEE CHRIST! John said, “I was in the Spirit on the
Lord’s day, and HEARD behind me a great voice”… “And I turned to SEE
the voice that spake with me…and I SAW…” (Rev. 1:10-12). Upon
hearing the Word (voice) of God with such power and glory…“as of a
trumpet,” what did John then see? HE SAW CHRIST! He saw the Son of God
crowned with glory and honour…in His majesty and splendor, and He
feared and fell before Him! John saw the true Christ as He is, not the
imagined Jesus, who is standing outside in the rain wanting in… NO,
NO! John saw the Mighty Master, the Reigning Ruler, the Sovereign
Saviour, High and lifted up, higher than the angels, “Far above all
principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is
named (even Satan), not only in this world, but also in that which is to
come: and hath put all things under His feet” (Eph. 1:21-22). Is it any
wonder that John fell at His feet as a dead man?!

Scripture says, “The hearing ear and seeing eye is of the Lord” and so
both go together when God’s Word is proclaimed with the power of the
Holy Ghost. Everyone who truly hears the Word of God in power will also
“see Christ as the Son of God with power” (Rom. 1:4). Though they do not
hear Him with the physical ear, nor see Him with the physical eye, yet
with the ear of faith they hear His voice, and with the eye of faith
they see His glorious Person and work. — Paul Mahan

“he hath set his love upon Me..” (Ps.91:14a). In the love of a divinely
illuminated believer there is:

(1) The sweet property of gratitude. The soul has just and enlarged views

of the salvation which he has obtained through the name of Jesus. The evils

from which he is saved; the blessings in hand, and the blessings in
hope; the

salvation in time, and the salvation through eternity, which can and
shall be

enjoyed through the name of Jesus, excites feelings of the most ardent

gratitude in the soul of the Christian.

(2) Another delightful ingredient in this settled love is admiration.

Everything in the scheme and execution of God’s redeeming plan is an

object of admiration. All that the Lord Jesus is in himself; all that he has

done; all that he does at the present; and all that he has promised to
do for

his people, deserves the warmest admiration. This holy feeling is

experienced in the breast of the man to whom the Lord can say, He hath

set his love upon me.

(3) Another ingredient in the illuminated love of the believer is delightful

complacency. Nothing can afford complacent delight in any excellency

unless we are persuaded that we either do possess, or may possess it. I may

go to the palace of the greatest monarch in the world, and be deeply struck

with astonishment and admiration at the wonder beheld, but there will not

be one thrill of complacency felt in my bosom at the view of the

astonishing objects which crowd upon my vision. Why? Because I neither

have, nor can have any interest in them; they are not mine, nor ever can be;

therefore, I cannot take complacent delight in them. But the love of the

Christian is a delightful love, (as Mr. Baxter called it,)because there
is in

the Lord everything that is worthy of infinite and eternal admiration; and

then there is the thought which produces a thrill of pleasure, —whatever I

admire I can, in some measure, possess. The illuminated eye of God’s

favourite sees everything in the Lord to supply his necessities; everything

to satisfy his desires, all his own; which makes the soul delight itself
in the

Lord, and he rests in his love. Therefore, the Lord says of the object
of his

lovingkindness, “He hath set his love upon me” —he hath renounced sin as

the greatest abomination; he hath taken off the heart from all idolatrous

attachment to the creature, and placed it fixedly and supremely upon
God. (William Dawson 1773-1841).

“Vain is the help of man”. Ps. 60:11b

All men derive “their” truth from one of three sources: conscience,
tradition, or scripture. Another way to say the same thing is that every
person either looks to themselves, or they look to others, or they look
to God for truth. Man, in his pride does not know that his conscience is
both fallible and limited in its ability to know the truth. Yet, he
continues trusting himself for life, both temporal and eternal. Those
who are unsure of themselves lean on the opinions of others. They trust
the traditions of men established in social mores or religious
confessions and creed for their truth. Many in this group will say “sola
scriptura” (only scripture) and then turn around and test the scriptures
by their man-made, handed down traditions.

Then, there are those who have no place else to go other than the Word
of God. By God’s grace they have been made to believe every word. By
God’s grace they have been brought to see Christ, the Living Word, on
every page of His written Word. By God’s grace they have come to
believe, “vain is the help of man”.


God’s Thoughts

“How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God.”

God never had a new thought. His thoughts are eternal. Being infinite,
He has all of His thoughts before Him at all times. There has never been
a time when His children were not in His conscious thoughts – thoughts
of love, joy, peace, complacency, and satisfaction. Thoughts that never
had a beginning and thoughts that will never end. And God’s thoughts are
immutable. They never change. He said, “I know the thoughts I think
toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give
you an expected end.” And what is that end? Perfect conformity to the
image of Jesus Christ. “For Whom He did foreknow, He also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be
the first born among many brethren.” Truly, “How precious are also Thy
thoughts unto me, O God. If I count them they are more than the number
of the sand: When I awake I am still with thee.” ~Todd Nibert

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