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.
Ivan has written 405 articles so far, you can find them below.

The Parables #75

The Rich Fool, No 5. Luke 12:15-21
We have been thinking of how this short little speech made by the rich fool reveals his heart and character.
1. He plans to obtain even more for himself. “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods,” verse 18. No distributing to those who have nothing! No, just storing them up for himself. Here is how we should think as Christians! “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth,” Eph 4:28 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate,” 1 Timothy 6:17-18.
In truth, this is why God prospers the Christian – that they might help others!
2. He believes that his abundance is a guarantee of “many years” of happy life! How foolish. The Eastern barn is a pit built underground with an opening at the top. The man proposed to enlarge his by pulling down the walls or sides and extending them. Little did he think that others would be digging a grave for him very soon!
3. He was looked on as a wise man but God called him a ‘fool’! “But God said unto him, Thou fool,” verse 20.
Now we will consider why God called him a fool.
1. Because he never gave a thought to his death! In all his thoughts there was no room
for a consideration of eternity! It was with him as if RICHES could stay the approach of death!
2. Because with all his industry, he gave no thought to his soul! What good his riches now that his soul is lost forever! Your soul is to be valued MORE than anything else you possess. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26.
3. Because he gave no thought to the great truth that God can call a person into eternity in a moment! “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee,” verse 20. The word “required” is an interesting word. It means “to demand back’! See: “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again,” Luke 6:30.
Where did your soul come from? “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it,” Ecclesiastes 12:7. By Whom it is created, Who puts it into the bodies of men, that is where our soul came from and to Whom it will return when we die!

Short beds and skimpy sheets

Scripture: “For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it,” Isaiah 28:20.

Stream or download Short beds and skimpy sheets

In the Bible, we very often find that salvation from sin is likened unto finding rest, physical rest. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matt 11:28.

You see, the sinner is one burdened down with a heavy load of guilt while the saved, the converted, are those who have come to Christ and found rest by heeding His call and believing His word. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee,” Psalm 55:22. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7.

There can be no rest or respite in this world for those who do not obey the Gospel call and until Christ lifts the heavy burden of guilt away. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” I Peter 2:24. He bore them to Calvary and He suffered as the ‘Sin Bearer’ in the place of His people. This is pictured for us in one of the old rituals of Jewish worship. Leviticus 16:7-10. We use the term, ‘scapegoat’, today to describe ‘a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.’
That is what the cross is all about!

Do you remember the dove that Noah released from the ark? “The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark,” Genesis 8:9. In the midst of this sinful world, there is rest only in the Lord Jesus.

The testimony of the world is that SIN, ATHEISM, RELIGION, MONEY do not give rest. Solomon wandered from truth and as a result he learned the emptiness of this world and its ways. He concluded: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 2:11.

As it was with the Prodigal, his Father’s house was the only place of rest!
There is an old saying: “He made his own bed, now let him lie in it!” There is an eternal truth there. There is an eternal night coming when we shall have to lie in the beds we made for ourselves during our lifetime. It is the night of God’s judgment and retribution. ONLY those resting in Christ shall be at rest. David said: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast,” Psalms 57:1. You know the common event from which David draws this image. It is the hen sheltering her chicks. The Lord Jesus said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not,” Luke 13:34.

All other places which sinners depend upon for shelter and rest are as the bed described in our text.

How common this is amongst men.
Cain: “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD,” Genesis 4:3.
Foolish man: “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it,” Matthew 7:27.
Israel’s foolishness in thinking that they had made sufficient provision to face the judgment of God is pictured here, vvs 14-20. That which it was thought would prove sufficient to provide rest would come up short!

1. Sinners underestimate their needs. Short bed, narrow sheets. Man weighs his needs in a false balance. He underestimates his sinfulness. He considers himself reasonably good! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. “Incurably” wicked is the meaning of those words! So bad we can never know it! You must take God’s Word on the matter of your sin! “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” Genesis 6:5. Note: EVERY, ONLY, CONTINUALLY! Do you think this of yourself? If you don’t you are making a grave mistake about your eternal requirements.

2. Sinners underestimate the Law of God. Jesus said to the rich young man: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” Matthew 19:17. Here is how to WORK your way to heaven! The young man equivocates, verses 18-19. He reveals how he thinks more highly of himself than he should! Then Christ shows him his own heart. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions,” Matthew 19:21-22. Sorrowful! No rest in our own works, only disappointment.

3. Sinners underestimate God’s examination. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” Romans 2:16.
The day of judgment for unsaved men will be a day of exactitudes! It will not be a cursory glance but a searching out of every hidden thing.
Look at verse 17. God uses the instruments of the surveyor’s close examination and testing. In such an hour, only those whose sins are under the blood of Christ will escape judgment. Listen to God’s own words. “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve,” Jeremiah 50:20.
Here is why their sin will not be found. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins,” Isaiah 43:25. “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee,” Isaiah 44:22. Here is how God, a Just God could hide our sins. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5. Christ suffered for the sins of those whose sins are here blotted out. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Peter preached this truth. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” 1 Peter 2:24.
Eternity will be a place of utter discomfort for those who make their own arrangements rather than heeding Christ’s invitation. Heed these words. “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
Note, “the wrath to come.” There is no end to the judgment that falls upon the sinner out of Christ. Man continues in his sin throughout eternity and so must endure eternal sufferings! “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” Mark 9:44. That is the terrible end for those who reject the gospel.
Here are the sweet words of Christ’s invitation whereby the sinner may escape Hell. “Come unto me. . . .  and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else,” Isaiah 45:22.
Come in prayer, look in faith TONIGHT.

News review for week ending Friday 5th October 2018

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist,” 2 John 1:7.

Powerful DUP figure admits party broke the law while in Stormon

RHI Inquiry: Evidence U-turn on ‘hierarchy’ from DUP Spad Timothy Johnston

RHI Inquiry: Sinn Fein side-stepped law on Spads – and mandarins let them, says Johnston

Jonathan Bell was a minister who was viewed by party colleagues as being “superficial”

Stormont Ministers misled the House – Jim Allister, TUV leader.

If Arlene Foster doesn’t survive RHI, who would replace her as DUP leader?

Experts ‘knew green scheme was flawed’- RHI inquiry

Man wanted by RHI Inquiry has left Northern Ireland

RHI Inquiry: Charity boss knew of scheme’s flaws but didn’t try to get them fixed

RHI presented as ‘all-singing, all-dancing future’ says SDLP’s Patsy McGlone

RHI Inquiry: Powerful DUP Spad’s story undermined by new email

Bryson ‘corruption’ blog went straight to DUP finance minister

Spad ‘plotted to film drunk DUP minister’

“Every DUP member should hang their head in shame at what took place in their name and with their support!!”

Conservative conference: Arlene Foster to address Tory delegates

Tory party conference – Northern Ireland ‘at centre of UK universe,’ says Rees Mogg – UK won’t ‘sacrifice’ union for EU deal, says Hammond

DUP ‘won’t accept’ Brexit Irish Sea customs checks

Brexit: DUP threatens to pull plug on Theresa May’s government

Sinn Fein slams Arlene Foster’s Good Friday Agreement Brexit remarks – Allister asks ‘why can’t it be changed?’

Poll: 60% of voters believe Theresa May will agree to Brexit border in Irish Sea

‘Catastrophic’ no-deal Brexit would ‘crash the economy’, Tory business minister admits

Theresa May on why Boris Johnson speech made her cross

Theresa May tells Conservative Party Conference UK will leave EU ‘with no deal if we have to’

EU negotiators say deal ‘VERY CLOSE’ as border deadlock broken – pound SOARS

Legacy Scandal: ‘IRA has used the grace it was afforded by victims to accuse the state of a dirty war,’ says Owen Polley

Legacy Scandal: ‘Some of us in the IRA concluded back in the 1970s that violence was wrong’

Legacy Scandal: ‘An IRA bomb killed my son yet it was me who had to quit the victims forum while a boastful bomber stayed’

Victims group: Legacy proposals rejected by 90%

Legacy Scandal: ‘London and Dublin must not let IRA snatch victory from jaws of defeat,’ says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Legacy Scandal: ‘A pool of extremely brave agents were central to defeating terrorism,’ says agent handler

Troubles legacy plan ‘lopsided’ says Police Federation

Legacy consultation: Police Federation brands proposals ‘ludicrous’

Eilis O’Hanlon: Despite the pieties, Sinn Fein still laughs in IRA victims’ faces

Gerry Kelly’s clarification on Troubles protagonists pathetic: UUP chief

Mairia Cahill calls on Sinn Fein to admit IRA investigated sex abuse as TD says he ‘absolutely believes her’

Sinn Fein still engaged in live cover-up says Cahill as rulebook discovered

Tory MPs urge May to reform Northern Ireland’s ‘barbaric’ abortion laws

Tory MPs call on Westminster to de-criminalise abortion in Northern Ireland

“That which these foolish women call ‘barbaric’ is based upon the Word of God. Further evidence of  the blindness in the nation.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20.

Karen Bradley (NI Secretary of Sate) confirms £13k cut to MLAs’ salaries

“Even in Ulster, the ‘Gravy Train’ has to run out of steam sometime!!!”

Church leaders tackle Northern Ireland politicians on stalled Assembly

“As an outcome of which, they will not only be ‘stalled’ but now will be ‘bogged-down’!!!”

Portadown (Co Armagh) honours Anne Acheson who invented plaster cast for bones

Same-sex couples in Northern Ireland to get fertility treatment on NHS

“What a scandalous and wicked waste of public finances!”

BBC sorry for mistake over nationalist voting rights

“They are sorry today but will repeat the ‘propaganda’ tomorrow. Nationalist-minded media people have ever used their position to spout these deceptions!!”

Child porn Northern Ireland civil servant still in post year after conviction

Bishop told of concerns over sex abuse at parochial house

RUC officer’s brother pays tribute as UK remembers police lost in line of duty

PPS still to decide whether to prosecute Gerry Kelly over car clamp incident

“No prizes for guessing why they haven’t prosecuted this senior Sinn Fein member and convicted IRA murderer!!!”

Woman says drugs find money was for holy communion

West Belfast man Michael Patrick Reilly denies Birmingham bomb allegations

Kingsmills inquest: Ex-soldier linked to 32 murders can’t be arrested

“Popery is the mother of such a spirit of glorying in murder!

Parliament’s statue of Cromwell becomes latest memorial hit by ‘rewriting history’ row

Brett Kavanaugh: Only 31% of US voters believe Supreme Court nominee over sex assault allegations

Bloody Sunday: Families of two men shot dead awarded £700k

Jim Allister writes to PM over ‘shocking disparity’ in victim compensation following £625,000 Bloody Sunday claim

“Whether this is right or wrong is not for me to say, but we note that no victim of IRA terrorism was ever compensated to this degree!!!”

Arlene Foster: No return to 50/50 PSNI recruitment

Nelson McCausland: Sinn Fein wants return of 50:50 recruitment in PSNI… reason enough not to reintroduce it

Bid to ban Union flags flying at Northern Ireland courthouses fails

“Where else in the world would such a notion be entertained for a moment????!!!”

Man paralysed in (Loyalist) gun attack hit with £30k care bill – pension call for Troubles victims

‘Cross-border element’ to Irish gangland feud

Dublin feud: Timeline of ‘gangland’ murders

PSNI quiz councillor over Ian Paisley petition complaint

Narrow Water wreaths attacked for the second time in weeks

Memorial to murdered soldiers vandalised again

“This the bitter hatred that the Protestant would encounter in a United Ireland. It is little wonder that the idea does not meet with the approval of the majority!!”

Russia’s GRU ‘targeted chemical weapons watchdog OPCW’

Netherlands foils Russian cyber attack on chemical weapons watchdog

Russian hackers ‘targeted chemical weapons experts investigating Salisbury attack’

Putin’s army of 80,000 spies EXPOSED as four Russian agents caught hacking novichok probe

“What can one expect from a regime established through the murder of millions of its own people!!!!”

Search for ‘Disappeared’ teenager Columba McVeigh ‘one of most challenging’

“Sinn Fein/IRA, like Russia, has built its little ‘empire’ on the blood of those it murdered, often their own co-religionists!”

Somme tragedy – biggest loss of lives in a single day of fighting

Alliance’s Sorcha Eastwood launches libel action action against DUP’s Graham Craig over ‘IRA mouthpiece’ tweet

Gregory Campbell: Working-class Protestants feared what civil rights movement would become

Civil Rights anniversary: Sinn Fein trying to hijack history, says Eamonn McCann

The Parables #73

The Rich Fool, No 2. 

Scripture: Luke 12:15-21

Stream or download The Parables #73

“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,” verse 15.

There is more to life than the things we possess! This means: ‘Be not anxious about obtaining wealth, for, however much you may obtain, it will not prolong your life. That depends on the will of God, and it requires something besides wealth to make us ready to meet him.’

Here is something we all need to be constantly reminded of! Covetousness is found in boys and girls, mammies and daddies, uncles and aunts, ministers and missionaries – all can be guilty of covetousness!

Here are two very important verses.

“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them,” Matthew 11:5.

“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” Matthew 19:24.

The poor are more inclined to listen to the gospel, feeling their need as they do. The rich feel that they have no need of God or His Word!

Here are things to remember.

1. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:7.
We cannot hold on to in eternity those things we get a hold of here in this life!

2. “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:8. We are told by the Saviour to pray for our daily bread. “Give us day by day our daily bread,” Luke 11:3. He did not say to pray for riches or possessions. Food and raiment should be enough to satisfy us.

3. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6. The meaning is, that to have Christ as your Saviour should be regarded as the greatest and most valuable possession and therefore to be content with all that He brings to our life. Contentment is a “calm and satisfied feeling; a freedom from murmuring and complaining.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” Romans 8:28.