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The Ecumenical attempt to undo the Reformation

Preached In Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church, Sunday October 16th, 2017.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle,” 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

Jude was pressed in his soul to warn of the infiltration of the ranks of the Apostolic Church by those he called ‘creepers’! “There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” Jude 1:4.

From its inception, the embodiment of Ecumenism, the World Council of Churches, made its objective clear.

The goal of the World Council was plainly stated at its convening Assembly in August 1948. Former General Secretary of the WCC, W.A. Visser ‘t Hooft, stated the sentiments of the ecumenists gathered for that historic occasion:

“Our name indicates our weakness and our shame before God, for there can be and there is finally only one Church of Christ on earth. Our plurality is a deep anomaly. But our name indicates also that we are aware of that situation, that we do not accept it passively, THAT WE WOULD MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS THE MANIFESTATION OF THE ONE HOLY CHURCH” (The Genesis and Formation of the World Council of Churches, P. 66).

In 1948 a Lutheran delegate stated that the purpose of the World Council of Churches was to reverse the Reformation.

“The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey”, In which they said that their meeting “marks a new stage in the development of fraternal relations, based upon Christian charity, and of sincere efforts to remove the causes of conflict and to re-establish unity.” (1966).

Oct. 6, 2016. VATICAN CITY —  Pope Francis and Anglican Primate Archbishop Justin Welby have signed a joint-declaration emphasising that while topics such as homosexuality and the ordination of women still constitute points of division, they are committed to working together in their pursuit of full unity.

The WCC and its associated churches has been pursuing that purpose ever since 1948 and that with much success amongst its member churches. A recent statement, posted in July of this year, indicates that.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches has formally joined an ecumenical statement with Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists aiming to overcome divisions between Protestants and Roman Catholics from the time of the Protestant Reformation.

“Today is a historic day,” said Jerry Pillay, president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), at a ceremony on 5 July in the eastern German town of Wittenburg, where Martin Luther lived and worked. “The documents we are signing today are significant and symbolic of the road we are to travel.”

What a work of God the Reformation was and how hard the devil and his agents are working to overthrow it!

Out text, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, teaches us the very opposite to that which the Ecumenists are engaged in.

Stream or download The Ecumenical attempt to undo the Reformation

The Parables #12

Consider the good and fruitful ground.

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred,” Mark 4:20. Note that as there were three types of bad ground so there are three types of good ground.

1. What makes good ground?

Three features: “Hear”, “Receive”, “Bring forth”. You can see the progress of growth here.

  • “Hear” – first use in NT. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him,” Matthew 2:3. Hearing followed by reaction.
  • “Receive” – akin to “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet,” Matthew 10:14. Door shut in the face of!
  • “Bring forth fruit”: Here is what it means. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Cols 1:10.

2. This how to have a successful, fruitful Christian life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22.

3. Note the different degrees of fruitfulness.

“Some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Paul speaks “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Cors 15:10. Notice Paul takes no honour for his labours. All Christians do not attain to the same level of fruitfulness. Not every stalk of barley brings forth the same number of kernels. Some more than others.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Cor 3:8. Read 1 Cor 12:6-11.

All we are asked to do is our best. “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,” Matthew 25:20-23.

Faithfulness is rewarded and not really the amount done! “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8.

Stream or download The parables #12

The Parables #11

The opposition of thorns. Verse 18-19. 

What happens after the sowing of the seed is the vital matter. When I finished preaching what you do with God’s and what becomes of it will decide your eternity.

Thorns stopped the seed becoming fruitful. Where did thorns come from?

There were no thorns in God’s original creation. “And unto Adam he (God) said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field,” Genesis 3:17-18.

Man’s sin was followed by God’s judgment and the growth of thorns. These thorns represent “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things,” Mark 4:19. “Cares” means distractions. Notice riches are “deceitful.” These are the things which kill of that which springs up in shallow soil. Such soil will support thorns!

Stream or download The Parables #11

Nicodemus in the Dark, in the Dawn and in the Daylight

Scripture: John 3, 7, 19.

(Preached in the Lisbellaw 50th Anniversary Mission, Thursday evening, 4th October, 2017, by Rev Ivan Foster)

Apart from the band of disciples, male and female, which followed the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry, few individuals have more than one mention in the gospel records.

Nicodemus is one exception. What makes the record concerning this man even more special is that it traces his journey from unbelief to faith in the Saviour.

We will look at the references to the man and trace his journey from Darkness to Daylight.

Stream or download Nicodemus in the Dark, the Dawn and the Daylight

The Parables #10

We come to the Saviour’s teaching regarding the soil in the parable of the Sower.

1. There were 4 kinds of soil. Verses 4-8. Not every heart is the same!

2. The majority of people do not benefit from the gospel. 3 out of 4 came to nothing! No fruit but there were different reasons why that was so.

A. The work of the devil. Verses 4, 15.
How active he is! Wonderful fact that the birds are very quick to spot seed being sown. The devil would rob us of the Seed of Life and so rob us of Heaven!

B. The shallowness of soil. Verses 16-17. There is a superficial hearing of the Word. No deep consideration of what God is saying. Shallow soil may produce some growth above ground but no root beneath the ground!! So it fails when it faces any difficulty or opposition.

Stream or download The Parables #10