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. Website:
Ivan has written 293 articles so far, you can find them below.
IV. WHAT IT WAS THE FATHER WISHED HIS SONS TO DO (Continued).
“Son, go work to day in my vineyard,” Matthew 21:28.
We continue where we left off on Tuesday past. We considered how that a vineyard is special place, specially chosen for its richness of soil, sunshine and sheltered.
Now let us continue to consider:
1. God’s vineyard is His Church and it is there we are called to work. “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill,” Isa 5:1. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman,” John 15:1.
As Adam was placed in a garden to till it so Christians have the keeping of God’ vineyard. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” Genesis 2:15. Man was meant to work. Idleness leads to sin. This is an age when men are paid to be idle. Here is danger. “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters,” Ezekiel 16:49.
Labourers are needed. “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest,” Luke 10:2.
Help rendered to God’s elect is counted as an act of love toward Christ. Matt 25:34-40. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” Matthew 25:40.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ,” Gal 6:2. Every kindness to a fellow Christian is an act of love toward the Saviour.
2. It is a place of much labour. From the beginning of the year until the harvest, the vineyard is a place of labour.
It is a full-time work. God has much work for men to do. To serve in the garden and to watch over it. There is employment for all, no matter what your talents and abilities are.
It is not so in this world. Many can find no work for they are not qualified.
3. We are privileged to labour amongst a glorious workforce. First of God is a fellow-labourer. “For we are labourers together with God,” 1 Corinthians 3:9. As well as that we may count the most wonderful human beings who ever lived as companions. From Adam, Abel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David, the great prophets, the apostles, the Reformers, the great revivalists etc. All our counted as our fellows!
The last time I was with you we were considering how that there is not one sinner in heaven which sought God before He sought them. “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters,” Ps 18:16. “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell,” Ps 86:13. “Salvation is of the LORD,” Jonah 2:9. “We love him, because he first loved us,” 1 John 4:19.
WHAT IT WAS THE FATHER WISHED HIS SONS TO DO.
“Son, go work to day in my vineyard,” Matthew 21:28.
God has a vineyard. It is His Kingdom. “The kingdom of God,” verse 31.
1. A vineyard is special place. It is the choicest ground, so situated to provide much sunshine and shelter. It is carefully and loving watched over. It is well protected. “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth,” Deut 7:6.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers,” 1 Pet 3:12.
THE TWO SONS REPRESENT THE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD
You must understand boys and girls that there are only the SAVED and the LOST! As there was Abel and Cain, as there was Jacob and Esau so there is only two types of people before God. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad,” Matthew 12:30. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John 3:36.
IT WAS THE FATHER WHO APPROACHED THE SONS.
It is God who initiates contact and communion with sinful men, not the other way round. “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, . . . . and he came to the second, ” Matthew 21:28, 30.
The first action of sinful man. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” Genesis 3:8-9.
“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him,” Matthew 21:28-32.
I. PLEASE NOTE THE FIRST WORDS OF CHRIST.
“But what think ye?”
1. The Lord Jesus wants us all to think! He wants us to use the faculties with which we were born.
2. He especially want us to think about eternal things. “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you,” Matthew 21:31.
3. Men do not of themselves think on such things. The mind of the unsaved cannot mount upward to spiritual things of themselves. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him, John 6:44.
“Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me,” John 6:45.
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father,” John 6:65.
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts,” Ps 10:4.
C of I bishop shares view of ‘majority of electorate’ in abortion referendum
This is the voice of ‘Ecumenical Apostasy’ which encouraged the utter rejection of God’s Word on the matter of abortion in the south of Ireland and which would encourage people to engage in the same rebellion here in Northern Ireland. Read the Newsletter report.
Police won’t give same focus to my husband’s murder as that of backpacker Inga, says widow
Political interests have always dominated the activities of the police in Northern Ireland with a blind eye often being turned upon the activities of Sinn Fein/IRA over the many years of their murderous terrorism!!
At Saturday’s Irish referendum results’ announcement in Dublin Castle, Sinn Féin’s Mary-Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill held up a sign saying: “The North is next”.
For many of us, there was a stirring of memories of a time when IRA men have muttered those words to their next intended ‘victim’. “You’re next”!
What McDonald and O’Neill, these two highly lacquered and varnished harpies, female exponents of murdering unwanted babies, are indicating is that the position on abortion that is law in Northern Ireland will be targeted by them and their allies in the “killing babies coalition.” Read more…
NI should not be bullied into ‘accepting abortion on demand’, says Ian Paisley MP
The abortion referendum in the republic of Ireland: ‘INFANTICIDE ENDORSED’
A ‘Belfast Newsletter’ editorial on May 26th, the day following the “YES” vote in the referendum on the repeal of the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution which limits the circumstances under which an abortion may take place, contained the following statements.
“We are going to have to give the matter a lot of thought in Northern Ireland too. As with many issues, from hospital rationalisation to public sector reform to social matters, Stormont fears hard choices.
The limited push for abortion reform in the last assembly struck me as one that ducked the point: the emphasis was on victims of rape or families dealing with fatal foetal abnormality. But these tragic cases are a tiny fraction of abortions.
The real debate is over abortion on demand, which has barely been discussed at Stormont. Read more…
Irish Referendum decision is a grave threat to the unborn child in Northern Ireland.
Statement from Jim Wells MLA.
‘The outcome of the referendum on the 8th Amendment in the Irish Republic is an extremely worrying development for the protection of the unborn child in Northern Ireland’.
‘Not only has the Republic voted to allow what will be effectively abortion on demand, the size of the Yes majority will give TDs and Senators a mandate to introduce wide ranging, liberal legislation’.
‘It is inevitable that the abortion industry based in Great Britain will set up clinics in border towns and promote their services to Northern Ireland women. It will be much easier to terminate a child’s life if this can be done at a clinic in Dundalk or Letterkenny rather than flying to London or Manchester’.
‘Verified research has shown that the impediment of the Irish Sea has encouraged pregnant women to think again and as a result 100,000 lives have been saved in Northern Ireland’.
‘The referendum decision will mean that Northern Ireland and Malta will remain the only parts of Europe where the unborn child will have a high level of protection’.
‘The ray of hope is that our neighbours in County Donegal voted to protect the unborn child’.
‘Whilst deeply disappointed by yesterday’s vote the Pro Life movement must now redouble its efforts to prevent any change in law in Northern Ireland. I remain totally pledged to all that I can to help them achieve this’.
Changed beyond recognition: Ireland witnesses a second uprising after abortion vote
SDLP leader’s backing for abortion Yes vote ‘is political suicide’
More than that, it is above all rebellion against God and His Law and the endorsing of the murder of the unborn child! Read more.
Claims of ‘illegal’ adoption at former Marianvale home in Newry
Eternity will will disclose the full panoply of Rome’s crimes. “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double,” Revelation 18:5-6. Read more.
Pope Francis praised for telling gay man ‘God made you like this’
There is no praise from God for this abominable liar and this his latest monumental lie! “And he (the Lord Jesus) answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” Matthew 19:4. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” Leviticus 18:22.
To make God the author of such wickedness is the ultimate blasphemy! Read more.
Australian archbishop faces prison over sex abuse cover up
He faces something much more terrible than prison!!! Read more.
PROTEST AGAINST THE DESECRATION OF THE LORD’S DAY,
Report from Rev Paul Hanna
We had a mighty open-air service today at the Mt Merrion entrance of the Kingspan Ulster Rugby stadium.
We were joined by over 30 willing participants from many of our churches from near and far including Revs P. Foster, B. McClung, D. McLaughlin and myself from the Belfast Churches.
We assembled directly opposite the main entrance where we’d a great opportunity to present Christ to the multitudes of people as they passed by.
The couple of thousand special tracts (commissioned by the Government and morals committee for the occasion) were almost entirely used up, and it has to be said afterwards that not one was seen (by this preacher) discarded on the ground.
All four ministers took part, each bringing a short word in the Gospel with much bright singing as well (musical accompaniment provided by one of our very capable College students).
Many thanks to those who supported us in any way.
Some pictures from the protest are below.
Diocese of Dromore confirms PSNI investigate priest
The Rev Foster writes: “…Ben Lowry believes we should all welcome to Northern Ireland (is) one who exceeds all other deceivers. He (Pope Francis) claims to be God on earth!” and “Mr Lowry’s stance is an indication of the gross ignorance that exists on the historic position of the Reformed Church on the teachings of Rome.”
Read more, including Rev. Foster’s follow up letter.
Daughter of top republican waives anonymity in abuse compensation bid
Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit snubs Sunday services conducted by a gay dean the Tory peer has branded a ‘sodomite’
Lord Tebbit is boycotting the cathedral near him in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
His comments were condemned, with calls for him to be expelled from the party
The 87-year-old Tory grandee is adamant that the canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral is a ‘sodomite’
Lord Tebbit has provoked outrage by vowing to boycott services conducted by a gay dean the Tory peer has branded a ‘sodomite’.
The former Conservative Party chairman has been attending the cathedral near his home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, for nine years but has told The Mail on Sunday he will no longer go there when the recently appointed Rev Canon Joe Hawes is officiating. Read more…
In this article, an opponent of Lord Tebbit has said that his Christianity was ‘skin deep’. If that is so, it is still a lot deeper than the ‘Christianity’ of the sodomites who now seem to dominate politics and the main denominations!!
Vineyard Church leader Alan Scott says Mary worship is fine and that he’s ‘all in’ with the Pope
The lead pastor of the Causeway Coast Vineyard church in Coleraine has declared his solidarity with the Pope, saying he is “all in” with that man of sin, and son of perdition.
LOUGHGALL: How the SAS wiped out ‘invincible’ IRA unit in just 10 minutes
London’s treachery toward Ulster’s Unionist people stopped this sort of effective action being taken early in the IRA campaign when hundreds of lives, the injuries of thousands and the sorrow and grief the terrorists caused could have been greatly avoided.
1966 Imprisonment of three ministers – Its Cause, Circumstances and Consequences
(Lurgan Young People’s Fellowship, 4th May 2018)
Thank you for your invitation to speak on the events surrounding the 1966 jailing of three Free Presbyterian minsters. This is the first invitation to speak specifically on this topic that I have received in recent years.
Please note the words of Jeremiah 11:7.
“For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice,” Jeremiah 11:7.
The Lord, through His servants, exercises a ministry of protest. Read more…
Ben Lowry, Deputy Editor of the Belfast Newsletter, could not be more wrong when he argues that the so-called ‘Protestant’ church leaders are right in saying that the pope should come to Northern Ireland. (Newsletter, Saturday 5th May.)
How can such men be right when they deny the Bible and the historic doctrines of their respective denominations?
Mr Lowry further argues that because “almost everybody of note ultimately comes to Northern Ireland at some point in their life, from Chinese or American or European leaders, to sports and music stars and business and religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama.” Read more…
Protestant church leaders urge Pope Francis to come north
Such urgings by these men show just how far these three denominations have moved from the Bible and from the fundamentals of their own creeds. Just how do they explain this shift in their theological position in the light of the revelation of God’s immutability in such verses as: “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end,” Psalm 102:27. “For I am the LORD, I change not,” Malachi 3:6. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” Hebrews 13:8. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” James 1:17.
Modern, mainline denominations have removed themselves far from the unchanging and unchangeable TRUTH of God and are part of the end-time apostasy foretold in God’s Word.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,” 1 Timothy 4:1.
Such behaviour is in keeping with the arrogant claim of the Irish Republic of ‘owning’ Northern Ireland, a claim they supposedly relinquished back in 1999 in an effort to appease Unionists longstanding anger at such political arrogance.
The DUP may complain but what can they expect when they have surrendered all in order to enter power-sharing with Sinn Fein/IRA back in 2007 and, despite all that has happened since, would renew that coalition with the supporters of murder tomorrow if they could!!! Read more…
Lord Kilclooney accused of racism after calling Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar) ‘typical Indian’
The article not only highlighted the folly of Rome and her “saint-making’, but it revealed the Bible-denying apostasy of the Episcopalian Church of Ireland!
The article begins by stating: “The late Jesuit priest Fr John Sullivan, who was raised a Protestant, is to be declared “blessed” at a ceremony which will be attended by both the Church of Ireland and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin. In a year which also marks the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, it is the first ever beatification in Ireland – a major step on the path to sainthood – and will also involve Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The event will take place on May 13th at the Jesuit’s St Francis Xavier Church on Dublin’s Gardiner Street, a short distance from Eccles Street where Fr Sullivan was born in 1861.” Read more…
Two wanted men beaten with iron bars by a gang in south Armagh before being covered in paint
‘Up to 100’ witnessed Mullaghbawn vigilante attack
Those attacked were paedophiles! Those involved in the attack were most likely Sinn Feiners for there are few else living in south Armagh! They were therefore supporters of same sex-marriage and the ongoing plan by the Irish Republic’s government to bring in much more liberal ‘abortion’ laws.
How two-faced are Ireland’s popish political and religious systems! They can put on the false face of so-called liberal socialism and call for an embracing of the community of the sodomite and then beat two of that community to a pulp when they fall into their hands.
They are just like the lawless men of Sodom long ago!
“And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door,” Genesis 19:9.
As evangelical Protestants, we have been campaigning for No in Republic’s 8th referendum