About Ivan Foster

Ivan Foster is a recently retired minister in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Until November 2009 he was minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church. He continues to preach and write as the Lord gives opportunity.
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Ivan has written 224 articles so far, you can find them below.

Are we nearing the end of the age and how close is Christ’s return?

Preached in Larne FPC on Lord’s Day evening 19th November 2017
By Rev Ivan Foster.

When considering such a question as this we must carefully bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:42. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

Setting a date upon the Lord’s return is utter folly in the light of these words and even more so in the light of Mark 13:32. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

There are those who use this verse in Mark 13 as an argument against the study of prophecy since, they claim, even the Lord Jesus does not know the day of His return. Therefore it is useless for us to search the Scriptures for indications of when He will return since He would not have been able to give us such information!

I might say that I believe that the verb rendered “knoweth,” in Mark 13:32, sometimes means to make known, or to reveal. The same Greek word translated in Mark 13:32 as “knoweth” is used in 1 Corinthians 2:2. There Paul says: “For I determined not to know” – or to make known, to expound – “any thing  among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” If we use the word in the sense in which it is translated in 1 Corinthians 2:2, then the passage could be read, indeed should bed read,“That day and hour none makes known, neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father.”

Please note the announcement at the end of the message.

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The Saviour not ashamed of those ashamed of themselves!

“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city,” Hebrews 11:16.

Introduction to a sermon preached at the morning service in Larne FPC
By Rev Ivan Foster on Lord’s Day, November 19th, 2017.

God’s grace and love is so far beyond our comprehending that we often refuse to believe it can be so wonderful, so boundless!

No phrase sums up the believer’s blessedness like the one contained in our text. The God of the whole earth is, in a very special way, the God of the Christian. They have a special relationship with Him that none other can claim.

He is our God by creation. This is the case with all creatures. But He is also our God by redemption. This is something only the elect can claim. God has a peculiar interest in His people.

I. GOD IS NOT ASHAMED OF HIS PEOPLE THOUGH THEY ARE DEEPLY ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.

The Lord is not ashamed of us even though there are so many times when we are ashamed of ourselves!

They were deeply ashamed of their failings. The lament of David in Psalm 51 and the bitter tears of Peter are symbolic of what all who have shared in their failings feel.  Indeed, every time we bow the knee in prayer we feel a sense of shame and failure and yet God is there to meet with us with grace and mercy and pardon and restoration.

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The Parables #20

One last passage of God’s Word before we move on to another consideration which arises from this parable. Despite the fact that the Christian brings good to this world the Christian is hated. Here is what the apostles were considered to be . . . .

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

Now we come to another consideration.

III. BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL DECEIT.

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way . . . . . the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil,” 25, 38-39.

1. Notice the craft of the devil. “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” Also, the ‘tares’ look like the ‘wheat’! Imitation Christians and counterfeit Christianity are weapons of the devil to hinder and harm the purpose of God.

2. Such deceit is not seen at first. “When the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also,” verse 26. The evil scheme was not seen at the first.

3. The Lord uncovers the evil plot. Were we not taught by the Lord we would be continually deceived.

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The Parables #19

The influence of God’s people is overall beneficial – Continued

We find the same wonderful truth in the OT.

Just think of this word “Good” as in good seed. This word, the strongest word used of ‘good’ means “a harmonious completeness.” There are many people in the world who are considered “good” and we would have to acknowledge that they do good things, show love and kindness to others and yet they need to be born again before they can enter heaven. That puzzles many. There is something ‘incomplete’ about there goodness. There is something lacking. They do goodness is marred by a desire to gain favour with others, to gain the praise of the world or even to try to get to heaven. That makes their goodness faulty, incomplete!
The Christian seeks to do good “to the glory of God”! That makes their goodness complete and whole!

Look at these verses as we further consider the good that God’s people do in this world. “And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy (Jacob’s) sake,” Genesis 30:27.
“And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field,” Genesis 39:5.
“And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee (Jehoram the son of Ahab), nor see thee,” 2 Kings 3:14.

It is made clearer when we consider the world’s view of the Blessed Saviour. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” Isaiah 53:3.

“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” Psalm 22:6-8. As with Christ, so with the believer!

How undervalued are the people of God. “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:13.  “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used,” Hebrews 10:32-33.

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

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Why we must fight the battle of the Reformation again today

Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church November 12th, 2017, Sabbath Services.

Preacher: Rev. Michael Patrick Retd. (Former minister of Clogher Valley, Moneyslane and Perth (Australia) Free Presbyterian Congregations)

Evening Service: “Why we must fight the battle of the Reformation again today”

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