Keith Green’s voice was silenced in 1982 when he and two of his children perished in an aviation accident.
Green employed a lyrical technique that used to be common in Christian music but is virtually absent today: the Call To Repentance.
Call To Repentance (CTR) songs are designed to convict the listener of his own sin. Here is an example of CTR lyrics, from Keith Green’s Asleep in the Light (1978):
“Oh, bless me, Lord! Bless me, Lord!” You know, it’s all I ever hear! No one aches. No one hurts. No one even sheds one tear. But, He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs, and you just lay back, and keep soaking it in. Oh, can’t you see such sin?!‘Cause He brings people to your doorand you turn them away, as you smile and say:“God bless you!Be at peace!”And all Heaven just weeps’cause Jesus came to your door, You left Him out on the streets.
Here are two reasons CTR songs sound so out of place today:
While most contemporary worship songs focus on comfort and assurance, CTR songs point out our shortcomings.
While most of today’s praise songs are sung from the perspective of the disciple, CTR songs are sung from the perspective of God. In praise and worship, we are the speaker, telling God how we feel about him. With CTR, God is the speaker, telling us how he feels about us.
CTR songs are sometimes hard to listen to but there is no question as to their effectiveness. Keith Green’s songs are the slap in the face we all need from time to time. We need to be spurred on toward greater obedience and his songs certainly achieve that purpose,
“I repent of ever having recorded one single song and ever having performed one concert if my music, and more importantly — my life — has not provoked you into godly jealousy, or to sell out more completely to Jesus!”Keith Green
He made audiences squirm by saying, “If you praise and worship Jesus with your mouth, and your life does not praise and worship him, there’s something wrong!”
CTR songs focus on our actions, not our emotions. They demand change. And they challenge rather than comfort.
A decade ago, researcher Christian Smith at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined the religious beliefs of teenagers and coined a new phrase to describe the faith held by many: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, or MTD. Albert Mohler writes:
As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:
“A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
“God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
“The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
“God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
“Good people go to heaven when they die.”
With beliefs like these, it’s easy to see why CRT songs seem so out of place in churches today. It’s easy to tell God how wonderful he is. It’s hard to hear how depraved we are.
Think about how Joshua felt when God told him to lead the Israelites into Canaan, drive out the pagan inhabitants, and secure the land as a homeland for His people.
In the natural, this would seem to be an impossible task but the key of course is revealed in the following Scripture:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:9
God does not commission us without the promise of His presence and provision. We only have to be “strong and of good courage.”
How would you like to be Noah, being told to build an enormous boat as God was going to destroy every living creature on the earth save those on this boat Noah was to build. We are simply told that “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him”Genesis 6:22
How Long Was the Ark?
At approximately 510 feet long, it would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length. That’s big enough that NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—on the Ark’s roof!
How Tall Was the Ark?
The roof of Noah’s Ark was more than 50 feet from the ground—higher than a modern four-story house. That’s plenty of space for three extra-tall inner decks as the Bible describes.
The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.
“And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:13-22
Are you confident that God is with you wherever you go? He will be if you are obedient to His commands. Moreover, you will know if you are not being obedient because you will experince His discipline. What form that takes varies widely but repentance is required to get you back on track. This is a word usually not spoken of in apostate churches.
Do you want times of refreshing from the Lord? If you do then repent.
How Can We Find Spiritual Rest? | by Samuel Annesley (c. 1620–1696)
How can we live with a conscience that is brought to a place of peace/tranquillity by the shed blood of Christ?
Christians, be persuaded to practice these:
1. Deal with SIN, count no sin small.
2. Know the healing and practice of repentance.
3. Live Eternal Now, ready for Jesus return. You cannot deceive Him, for He is Infinite Wisdom; you cannot fly from Him, for He is everywhere; you cannot bribe Him, for He is Righteousness itself.
4. Be serious and frequent in the examination of your heart and life. This is necessary to the getting and keeping of a right and peaceable conscience, that it is impossible to have either without it.
5. Be in prayer, in all manner of prayer, but especially in private prayer.
6. Let your whole life be a preparation for serving in Jesus soon coming Millennial Kingdom. Divest yourself of today’s religion and its practices. Pleasures may tickle you for a while; but they have an heart-aching farewell. You may call your riches good; but ultimately what good will they do you? Men may flatter you for your greatness; but with God your account will be the greater.
7. Live more upon Christ than upon inherent grace. Do not venture upon sin because Christ has purchased a pardon; that is a most horrible and irreverent abuse of Christ.
8. Be, every way, nothing in your own eyes. It is the humble soul that thrives exceedingly. “And, indeed! what have we to be proud of?
9. Entertain good thoughts of God. We never arrive to any considerable holiness or peace till we lose ourselves in His divinity and all that encompasses.
10. Do all you do out of love for God. Spiritual love-sickness is the soul’s most healthy constitution. When love for God is the cause, means, motive, and end of all our activity then the soul takes flight towards rest.
O my soul, you are so little, why won’t you open all your little doors; why wont you extend your utmost capacity, that you may be wholly possessed, wholly satiated, wholly ravished with the sweetness of so great a love?
O, therefore, my most loving God, I implore you, tell me what may most effectually draw out my love for you, considering all that you do for me, the positive good things I receive from you, infinite in greatness, infinite in multitude!
Extracted from an article by Puritan Samuel Annesley (1620-1696). The English has been update (thou and thee and some words e.g. impious changed). I amended 6. from preparation for heaven to preparation for serving in Jesus soon coming Millennial Kingdom.
Welcome to this powerful teaching that gives you some amazing tools for how to set other people free, or how you out there can become free! Deliverance is a big part of setting people free, but it’s not always deliverance that needs to take place. Sometimes, it’s a renewing of the mind that’s needed. But renewing the mind is not always the answer either. It’s the Gospel that is needed! But as you see in this first video, repentance is not enough when it comes to setting people free in some cases. No, they also need to forgive and cast their worries onto Jesus, or cast their issues onto Jesus. This is a very simple teaching, but has helped many people to become free and helped the Christ-followers set other people free! I believe this teaching will also help you out there! So see it! Learn it, and become more effective when it comes to setting people free, and when it comes to you experiencing your freedom! This is the first video in a new series I am doing called “HOW TO”, and you can see more videos come out soon in the playlist linked here: HOW TO… https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
From the time Jesus began to preach He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”Matthew 4:17
Repentance is foundational to living the Christian life. We are all simply a repentant prayer away from a restored and joyful relationship with God.
It is significant that the “end times” message to all seven churches in Revelation is one of repentance.
In Revelation, John gives a different message to each of seven churches. Nelson Walters in his book “Revelation Deciphered” has correctly connected these messages to the seven churches to the prophesied seven seals and the last seven years on this planet before Jesus returns to rescue Israel and establish His Millennial Kingdom.
Nelson shows how the message to each church relates to the events unfolding ineach of the seven years as outlinedin the seven seals and the riders of the four horses. Check out my post on May 11th 2021 “Connection between the Seven Seals and the Seven Churches” Jesus also gave corresponding messages to the disciples in the Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:3.
In the first year when the first seal is opened the Antichrist comes on the scene (rider on white horse). The Church at that time in the first year (Ephesus): The church is doing some good things but “you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7
In the second year when the second seal is opened, the Antichrist is permitted to take peace from the earth and people slay one another (rider on red horse). The church at that time (Smyrna): “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested” Revelation 2:10
In the third year when the third seal is opened, famine comes over the earth (rider on black horse). The church at that time (Pergamum): “you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (eat food sacrificed to idols (take the Mark of the Beast in order to get food?) and practice sexual immorality). Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:15-17
In the fourth year when the fourth seal is opened a fourth of the earth is destroyed with the sword, famine and pestilence (rider’s name Death on pale horse). The church at that time (Thyatira) “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and toeat food sacrificed to idols… those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” Revelation 2:19-20, 22-23
In the fifth year when the fifth seal is opened, John sees under the altar the souls of the martyrs (not yet resurrected) that have come out of the great tribulation and they are told to wait awhile longer until their numbers are complete – more Christians to be martyredon earth. The Rapture has not occurred at the fifth seal so a Pretribulation Rapture is not possible. The church at that time (Sardis). “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” Rev. 3:2-4
In the sixth year when the sixth seal is opened. John sees the signs in the sky which immediately precede Jesus coming to rapture the Saints and to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant earth. “I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale… Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:12-17. The church at that time (Philadelphia) “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name... Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.” Revelation 6:8-12. The Philadelphian church obviously represents the church that is raptured.
At the start of the seventh year when the seventh seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. Just prior to the seventh seal being opened or at the same time there is a trumpet blast and the dead in Christ are raised first and then the Saints alive on earth are taken up to meet Jesus in the clouds.
The church at that time (Laodicea): We are given a picture of the church which is left behind: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17 Whilst they are left behind and will be recipients of the wrath of God, Jesus still says to the church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. They are still able to repent and be saved but will experience the wrath of God.
The final words to all the “last days” churches is repent so let us make sure our relationship with the Lord is maintained by true repentanceeach day. May God grant you the wisdom and strength to stay focused on His call on your life in these last days before His return. Continue living eternal now.
Faith in Christ comes first, which is a miracle of the Holy Spirit in the spirit of man.
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” John 3:6
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27
The spirit of man (like a lamp requires oil) requires the Holy Spirit to function as God intended. At the Fall of Man the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve’s spirits. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to once again indwell believers spirits.
Without saving faith, you only have human reason upon which to base your decision concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. You need to be raised up to a higher level in order to know for sure that Christianity is true.
Would you like to receive the forgiveness of sins as well as sanctified reason from your Creator?
If so, “Repent and believe the good newsof what Jesus has accomplished for you” (Mark 1:15). In those few words, Jesus presented man with the only path to eternal life on a new earth and heaven. Are you on it? And if not, do you want to be on it?
The Apostle John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit taught people how to know if their religion was fake:
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:4-9
“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” 1 John 3:14
The Apostle John also taught people to know if they had eternal life.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”1 John 5:13
This knowledge of eternal life through faith in Christ is what then confirms to a believer that Christianity is true.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16
This explains how I know Christianity is true. What about you? Are you trusting Christ alone for salvation? It is the only way to be forgiven of your sins, and the only way to receive the anointing and sanctified reason. This is how you can come to know that Christianity is true.
Without the new birth by the Holy Spirit, a person remains in spiritual darkness and only rises as high as his intellect and human reason can take him.
The only thing worth seeing is the move of God on this earth. God saving souls, making disciples is what counts. Where does this happen? Listen to this message from Mario Murillo about the GLORY OF GOD. Only when people repent and empty themselves of self and live for God will they see the GLORY OF GOD. It happens in the places of supreme darkness where people are at the end of themselves. Watch the video, if your a Christian you will be glad you did. If you are not, I hope the fear of God rises up and repentance follows.
Benjamin Franklin was not known as an ardent evangelical Christian, but his friend George Whitefield would often urge the claims of the gospel upon him and it obviously had an impact as during a deadlock at the American Constitutional Convention he called for prayer:
“I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”
We all know what happened at and to Babel or do we? God confused the language and created the nations at Babel, prior to Babel the world had one language.
“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4
“Come, let us (Triune God) go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:7-9
As in all things concerning God’s world, the true paradigm is that we are creatures answerable to our Creator; the diagnosis is that we are all fallen and rebellious sinners. There is only one solution: we need to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Just as our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus to pay the price for our sins, once we repent of them and accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter. He makes it possible for us to live the Christian life. He will enlighten us to the truths in God’s word and help us to apply them to daily living. He will produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives and provide the gifts of the Spirit for ministry. God the Father does it all, how simple and yet how hard!
The wrong paradigm was embraced by the multitude long ago. There is no way that the chattering classes will admit that the basic problem is that they have rejected their Creator God and His commandments are being trampled upon. With sexual morality as an example, for decades, the received wisdom has been that sexual morality does not count as morality at all. Provided all is consensual, basically anything is allowed. Given this paradigm, the media could maintain their moral outrage at the recent antics of parliamentary staffers in Australia’s Federal parliament while continuing to excuse sleazy advertisements and shows like Married at First Sight and Game of Thrones.
But if your paradigm is wrong, your diagnosis will be wrong, and your proposed solution will be wrong. The world has created its own problems – it has taken morality out of sexual relationships; it sees uniformity as the answer to all ills; and it calls on the law to achieve these goals. The result is more of the same, and a blindness as to what is really going wrong. People get their hopes up that progress is being made when actually the boat is just being rowed around in circles. It is God who declares what is wrong: it is the human heart, for it is corrupt.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” Matthew 15:19
Only a true believer, one who has accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour and received the Holy Spirit as His Counsellor, Teacher and Comforter can truly understand.
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7
TWO HOURS AND FOURTEEN MINUTES WHICH CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER – WHY YOU NEED TO BE BAPTISED
We can learn two things from the baptism of Jesus:
Jesus was baptized because it was the right thing to do (“To fulfill all righteousness”).
It pleased God that Jesus was baptized (“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased”).
Are those enough reasons to be baptized? Absolutely! What could be more important than doing what is right, and what pleases God? It is hard to come up with anything that would be a higher priority than both of those things.
The following excellent video on baptism was produced by Torben Sondergaad of the Last Reformation Movement. Torben also produced the following introduction. Be blessed.
“I am very, very excited about this teaching. After I finished it, I went through it again, and I felt like the Word cut into me like I’ve never experienced before when it comes to a teaching about baptism. This is so firm. This is so solid. And this will set so many people free! I know it’s a long video, but you can divide it up and see a little at a time. In this video, I’m speaking to three groups of people – you who are deceived like I was when it comes to understanding baptism – you who have seen the truth in the Bible and have experienced the true freedom when it comes to baptism – and you who believe that baptism is not part of the Gospel and just don’t want to see it and are fighting it with everything you can. To the last group, we are looking at those Scriptures you love using and always use – John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8, and Romans 10:9. Of course, we are also looking at Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1:17, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.” Besides that, we are looking at the thief on the cross, and all the arguments I’ve heard over the last twenty years when it comes to going against baptism as part of salvation. But for all of you, we are also looking at “baptismal regeneration” and what the Lutheran and Catholic churches are teaching, which is a lie in some ways. Some of the things they’re saying are true, but the practice is off. We are also looking at salvation as a past, present and future tense. This is so important when it comes to understanding where in this salvation, past, present and future tense, does baptism come in. And of course, we are also looking at traditions when it comes to baptism. Then we are looking at the BIBLE. What does the BIBLE truly say. We go through the Bible verse by verse, and this is what makes this video so powerful, because when we get rid of all the lies when it comes to baptismal regeneration, when we understand salvation in a past, present and future tense, when we understand what is history and what is Bible, and deal with all these things first, and then just look at the BIBLE, verse by verse, it becomes so powerful! After this, we are looking at re-baptism – also baptism “in Jesus’ name” / “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” – deliverance from demons in baptism – and many other things. In this video, I recommend you see some other links if you want to go deeper. One of the things I recommend is THE ROAD TO SALVATION, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwmSM…
During this Passion Week, it’s fitting that we turn our eyes to the cross. No tragedy could be greater than God’s blameless Son being slaughtered without mercy in horrid crucifixion. Yet as a result of His suffering, countless people will spend eternity with God in joyful celebration and endless pleasure. Jesus Himself will be forever exalted, and all will recognize Him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Eternal benefits are ours, all because He suffered.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7 NIV
“When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.” Luke 23:33 GNT
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV
My entire theology can be condensed into four words, “JESUS DIED FOR ME.” Charles Spurgeon