Saturday, 29 September 2007

What do your clothes say about you?

Written by Dr. David Cloud

The following is from the author’s new book, “Dressing from the Lord,” which is available from Way of Life Literature. It is not available for order via the online catalog but can be ordered by phone or e-mail (866-295-4143,

It is important to understand that clothing is a language. It is a “social message,” a fashion “statement.” The knowledge of this is the engine that drives the fashion industry, and the child of God needs to understand it, as well. I need to ask myself what message is my clothing broadcasting? Wikipedia defines fashion as “a prevailing mode of expression.” It acknowledges that “every article of clothing carries a cultural and social meaning” and observes that “humans must know the code in order to recognize the message transmitted.”

George Harrison of the Beatles, who rebelled against the way his father wanted him to act and dress, testified: “Going in for flash clothes, or at least trying to be a bit different … was part of the rebelling. I never cared for authority” (Hunter Davies, The Beatles, p. 39).

Note that Harrison’s flash clothing and non-conformity was intimately associated with his rebellion.

Mary Quant, the designer generally credited with inventing the mini-skirt in the mid-1960s, admitted that her aim was to entice men and promote licentiousness. She wanted something “daring” and “controversial,” which refers to pushing moral boundaries, something sexually immodest. It was regarded as a “symbol of liberation.” Some European countries banned the mini-skirt, saying it was an invitation to rape (Mary Quant, interview with Alison Adburgham, The Guardian, October 10, 1967). Quant also promoted a short hair style for women. Her fashions were statements and her clothing was a language.

Vivienne Westwood, who helped create the rock punk look, said, “I think fashion is the strongest form of communication there is. … It’s only interesting to me if it’s subversive: that’s the only reason I’m in fashion, to destroy the word ‘conformity.” (Jon Savage, Time Travel: Pop, Media and Sexuality 1976-96, p. 119).

David Kidd once posed the following question to a young college girl who was inquiring about his family’s conservative dress: “If you are shopping and see a girl in a long, loose fitting dress, what is your first impression of her?” Without any hesitation, she answered “that she is probably religious.” He concluded, “It behooves us to recognize that our manner of dress is a statement that either reflects or contradicts our Christian purpose” (The Fall and Rise of Christian Standards, p. 154).

Hair styles are also statements. Long hair on men and short hair on women are not merely harmless fashions, a mere sign of the times, but are statements of rebellion against God’s created order (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

The androgynous unisex image is not innocent. It was created by rock musicians who intended to overthrow tradition. One of the rock songs of the 1960s called upon young men to grow their hair long and “let your freak flag show.” David Lee Roth of Van Halen testified: “[My long hair] is a flag. It’s Tarzan. I’ll always be anti-establishment” (cited by John Makujina, Measuring the Music, p. 73).

Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys sported long hair and popularized the “surfer cut” in the early 1960s. Commenting on the significance of this hair length, Wilson’s biographer observes: “The ‘surfer cut,’ as it came to be known, was a radical thing to behold in 1962. Few parents would permit their sons to sport the look” (Jon Stebbins, Dennis Wilson: The Real Beach Boy, p. 24). Dennis Wilson was a rebel and his appearance was merely a reflection of this. Observe, too, that the “surfer cut” was not that long compared to the long hair that came afterwards, but it was just long enough to be a bold statement of non-conformity. Small fashion changes can have large consequences.

Paul McCartney of the Beatles flippantly acknowledged their role in overthrowing sexual distinctions: “There they were in America, all getting house-trained for adulthood with their indisputable principle of life: short hair equals men; long hair equals women. Well, we got rid of that small convention for them. And a few others, too” (Barbara Ehrenreich, “Beatlemania: Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun,” cited by Lisa Lewis, The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, p. 102).

Where did the “small convention” of “short hair equals men; long hair equals women” come from? Why was this an “indisputable principle of life” in America prior to the onslaught of Beatles’ style rock & roll in the 1960s? The answer is that America, because of its vast number of churches, had been influenced by the Bible in these things. It was Bible principles that the Beatles ridiculed and sought to overthrow.

Referring to the denim jean market in the 21st century, the web site observes that this market “is status ridden and has CODED TRIBAL SIGNS AND SIGNALS with it’s not so subtle stitching, logos, tabs, decorative pockets, shading and distressing.

Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing company that markets “edgy” clothing featuring loose sexuality, is “best known for its REBELLIOUS ATTITUDE” (“Flip-Flops, Torn Jeans, and Control,” Business Week, May 30, 2005). Thus even the world recognizes the message of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing. They don’t merely sell clothing; they sell an attitude via a certain style of clothing.

In “The World according to Abercrombie and Fitch,” David Seel observed: “SUCCESSFUL BRANDS IN AMERICA DON’T SELL PRODUCTS. THEY SELL LIFESTYLES” (Critique, 2000).

Therefore, clothing styles are not innocent. Each style preaches a message.

Pantsuits preach the feminist’s message of equality of the sexes.

Tight fitting, low cut, short and skimpy styles preach the world’s message of loose sexuality.

Ripped jeans preach the message of a cheap affectation of poverty, of “I don’t care” and thus slovenliness, and of moral casualness.

Slit skirts preach the message of sexual flirtation.

God’s people must beware of sending the wrong message with their clothing. We must understand that the clothing industry is not in submission to God and cares nothing about submitting to His Word.

It doesn’t do to say, “Well, my tight, ripped jeans don’t preach that message TO ME.” The important point is not what message the clothing preaches to any particular individual who wears it, but what message it preaches in the context of its history and in the context of society at large and to those who are forced to look at it.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Cor. 10:31-33).
[This article is from the author’s new book, “Dressing from the Lord,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.]

So, what do your clothes have to say?

Country Mama

p.s. By the way, C.H. Spurgeon is quoted as saying, "England gets its fashion from Paris and Paris gets its fashion from Hell!" Now, if he felt that way back how many years ago, you can guarantee that he would be appalled at what he would see today.

Friday, 28 September 2007

When Marriage Breaks The Law (Dating Series III)

Any Christian foolish enough to date an unbeliever is foolish enough to marry one!

By Melody Green edited by Geek Wife

At first glance, it may seem that an article such as this unnecessary - that anyone who loves God could not possibly consider spending their whole life married to someone who doesn't!

Ahh.... I heard you are saying in your heart, my boyfriend is Catholics. He loves Jesus. Hang on your breath there misses, if you are consider Catholics, Seventh Day Adventist, Later Day Saint or Christian Scientist are truly saved Christian.... you have to check whether you understood how to be saved first of all.

Back to main topic. I receive letters daily from women who are desperately trying to serve God in a full and complete way, but are unable to do so because their husband loves and serves the world.

I am addressing this article to Christian women in particular, because in my counseling experience, they seem to make this mistake much more, frequently than men do.

However, the problems and the principles I will be talking about can obviously be applied to any Christian thinking of marrying (or for that matter even dating) someone who doesn't love Jesus with all of their heart. (This article is not for those of you who were first married and then became a Christian at a later date. Even though, as a result, you may now be married to someone who is not following Jesus, it was not a choice you made since becoming a Christian. This article is for single Christians who still have the "dating" and marriage question ahead of them.)


Important Decisions
Marriage is the biggest and most important decision you will make after your decision to follow Jesus. And as I said before, all marriages start out with a "first date." One of the main problems is that too many Christians approach the idea of dating with far too casual an attitude. They have adopted the world's view on this, instead of God's. There is no such thing as "playing the field" when it comes to Christianity.

Sure it gets lonesome sometimes, but remember, every date has the potential of becoming a lifelong relationship. Spending time with the wrong person is opening yourself up to becoming emotionally involved to a point where it is not always so easy to turn and walk away. Once you have given your heart and your emotions to someone, you will be surprised at how difficult it is to have the desire to take them back - even if you know you should.

Here is part of a typical letter I have recently received from a young Christian girl. She has already been counseled and encouraged to do the right thing, but I wanted to share her predicament with you:

"I'm 16 and the daughter of missionaries here in the Middle East.

I've had a really close walk with the Lord, and He has been good to me in so many ways. But I met a guy at school. He's not a Christian, and we've been going out for over three months.

At the time, I believed it was fine, unless we married, which of
course I have no intention of doing because he isn't a Christian.

But lately I've spoken with someone who told me it was wrong, and that I should never have gone out with him in the beginning.

"This evening he came over while I was listening to the new tape of Keith's. Afterwards we were talking, and he laughed
at all the 'weird Jesus, and dumb Christian songs' that I listen to.

I let him know I was hurt by the way he laughed about the name of Jesus, and now I really feel bad inside because of it, and I feel we should end our relationship. But it's very hard because we really like each other a lot, and I'm afraid my witness will all go down the drain if we break up.

I'm really asking the Lord for wisdom now.

If you have a few spare minutes you could remember me in prayer."

- Kept Anonymous

Don't wait until it's too late. The time to ask Jesus for wisdom is before you start a relationship - not after. It is much easier than you think for your heart to overrule your conscience. Once your own desires are demanding priority, your zeal to put God first starts to quickly fade away. Your emotions are a powerful thing, and if you don't control them, they will control you! (Jer. 17:9)

Unequally Yoked
In the Bible, Jesus (and here, Paul) gave many illustrations using agriculture and animals as examples, since these were common things to everyone in that day. So what does it mean to be unequally yoked?

Picture if you will, two oxen tied together at the neck by a wooden crosspiece so they can pull a plow. They are two animals of the same species who have been joined together to do a specific job. They have been carefully trained to respond to the same commands, and once they are united, they are considered to be a team.

A wise farmer picks two animals of similar size, strength, and temperament because he knows they will work the best together. If one of them needed to be whipped before he would move, and the other one was terrified at even the sight of a whip, it would seem unwise to tie them together and expect them to work as a team.

One "teammate" would frantically try to run away, while the other one would stubbornly refuse to budge. In fact, if two like this were joined together, it seems that disaster might be at hand - with possible damage to the equipment, hurt and confusion to the "teammates", and of course, the work would never get done.
Our beloved Jesus is the wisest and most loving "Farmer" in all the universe. He knows that we would never be happy if we were bound to someone who was pulling us in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go. Our life would be one continual tug of war, and we would never be able to get on with the work that we were called to do. That is why He commanded us to marry "only in the Lord." (I Cor. 7:39)

If we are going to serve God in our marriage, then both partners must be in agreement about the job that needs to get done, how it's going to be accomplished, and who they are going to be taking their orders from.

It is really very simple.

I guess that's why it constantly amazes me that so many choose to ignore God's wisdom, thinking in vain that "it will all work out fine in the end."

Lack Of True Intimacy
"...for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
(II Cor. 6:14)

When it comes right down to it, someone who loves Jesus just doesn't have that much in common with someone who doesn't. Sure, you may enjoy the same hobbies, or be engaged in the same type of work - but when it comes to the things that really matter, you will be miles apart.

In a marriage, when that first rush of excitement wears off, you will find yourself yearning for the true intimacy and oneness that can only be experienced with someone of "like mind." You will be unfulfilled and strangely lonesome in this closest of all partnerships if, due to different beliefs, you cannot experience true intimacy.

Neither of you would be able to share the deepest longings of your heart with each other, because your whole basis of looking at life - your very reasons for living - would be totally different. Your hearts and lives could never be truly united because there would be no common bond to draw you together and keep you together.
When I speak of marriage, I am speaking of a lifelong commitment to love, honor, cherish, and obey - till death do you part! How could you even consider making such a deep and binding commitment to someone who doesn't love Jesus? As a Christian, you have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to govern your life. But the Bible tells us that those without Jesus have the world, the flesh, and the devil to direct theirs. These are the very things we as Christians are told to overcome. (I John 2:14-17) How can you hope to overcome that which you have married, committed, and submitted your life to?

Marry Now-Reform Later
Many Christian girls seem to be pacified by the fact that their unbelieving boyfriend doesn't seem to object to their Christianity.
  • Even though he doesn't believe like she does, he seems extremely tolerant and even goes to church with her sometimes.
  • He really is a very nice guy, and his biggest vice is drinking a few beers with the boys while watching football.
She figures if she marries him, they will have a lot more time together, and then she can really "work on him" and get him saved. Sadly enough, she will find that it's not as easy as she thought it would be.

Eventually, her husband's acceptance of her Bible Studies and Christian friends starts to wear thin, and the tension between them begins to take its toll on their marriage. Most girls don't realize that if they are not strong enough to resist the temptation of marrying an unbeliever, they probably aren't strong enough to ever win him to the Lord!

A believer, when put in this position, is many times tempted to compromise her faith in order to maintain a peaceful marriage. She can no longer serve the Lord in an open and free way because, if she does, her marriage may fall apart. What a terrible spot to be in! When you start to compromise, your walk with God becomes weak and undernourished. You will be guilty for your lack of obedience to God, which will tend to push you even further away from Him than you already are.

After awhile, frustration sets in for both of you because neither one is really free to do the things that make you happy. You don't have someone to love Jesus with, and he doesn't have someone to love the world with.
He doesn't enjoy your friends and activities, and you don't really enjoy his. You are longing for someone to share your joy in Christ-and he is getting different types of longings. He may even start to think that if you won't go out and have his kind of fun, maybe he'll find someone else who will! As you can imagine, in a situation like this, the pressure really starts to build.

Because you are both being held back from the things you want to do, bitterness and resentment enter into the picture, putting an even bigger distance between the two of you and causing more problems. In many situations, once the resentment does set in, the unbelieving mate just may have learned enough Scripture from you to hurl it like tiny bullets of truth to pierce your heart. After all, the Bible is true. And even though he may not believe it, he knows that you do - and he may love to see you crumble under conviction, condemnation, or confusion from his attacks upon you and your faith. The Word of God is a powerful tool... even in the hands of the unrighteous.

You may think I have painted an unrealistic picture of the ruin of a marriage, but I have read hundreds of letters - all full of the "same story." It's almost impossible for a marriage like this to survive (and they usually don't) unless the believer compromises his or her faith almost to the point of having none. So it's not only the probable death of a marriage I am talking about, but a possible spiritual death as well. I believe that's why the Bible gives us such a strong warning against a union of this kind.

The Proper Balance
Usually, those who want to hang onto their "right" to continue on in the same way with their old friends and their old lifestyle say, "But, I'm not supposed to isolate myself and associate only with Christians!" Well of course you re not. We are the "salt of the earth," seasoning the world with the love of Jesus. (Matt. 5:13,16) The world and the people in it need Christians.
How else will they ever find out about the only True Love that exists? But you mustn't ever forget that although we are in the world, we are never to be a part of it. We must always be careful to keep our eyes on the Lord and immediately flee any situation that may cause us to stumble and fall away from our heavenly calling. (II Tim. 2:22)

Too many Christians use the excuse of "winning their friends to the Lord" to keep one foot in the world, and so themselves remain partakers of worldly pleasures. God knows our hearts. If your friends or associates are causing your love for God to "cool off," it is far better to sacrifice that friendship, than to sacrifice your relationship with Jesus.
No relationship on earth is more important than your relationship with your Father in heaven. If you are not strong enough to resist temptation, then admit it and stay away from it. Don't worry about "your witness." If you fall away after knowing and preaching the truth, your onIy witness will be a bad one anyway!

One thing people don't usually think about when they first get married is having children.

Usually it's the furthest thing from your mind as you're walking down the aisle. But somewhere down the line, you will probably want to start a family. But what is "a family"? Is it the mere presence of children that qualifies you as a family, or is it something else?

A family unit as I see it consists of a group of people bound together by love, a sense of loyalty, and a sincere desire to see each other reach their fullest possible potential and purpose in God.

Most traditionally, it consists of Mom, Dad, and some kids, although it can be larger or smaller according to circumstance or the leading of the Lord.
One thing for sure, where there is no unity, there can be no "family." Sure you can all live under one roof, but a common dwelling place does not a family make.

In an unequally yoked marriage, there will only be confusion and chaos in the home. Without the common bond of love for Jesus, there can be no unity. If the parents do not agree on how to raise their children, the children will raise themselves. If the parents have different standards for their children in the areas of discipline, responsibility, and acceptable behavior and attitudes, then the children will play one parent against the other to get their own way - and the parents will end up arguing over the results.

Of course, the children are the real losers in these battles, although they may not realize it at the time. A home like this will be in constant turmoil, and will be a very unhappy place for all who live there, parents and children alike.

If there is no agreement in the home about who God is, and what our response to Him should be, then it is very difficult for children to learn how to know and love Him. If our children are getting a different message from each parent, they will constantly be confused and forced to "take sides."
The greatest factor in our children learning about God is through the example we set for them.

Children usually transfer their feelings and impressions of their earthly father over to their idea of who God is. If their father is a righteous man and exercises godly judgment balanced with love and encouragement, then their image and understanding of God will most likely be good. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21) If he is unfair in his judgments, or an agnostic or indifferent to God, then they will have a hard time (even as an adult) seeing God's true nature and character.

What an unfair burden to put on a tiny child. It will not only cost him his memories of a happy and peaceful childhood - but in the end, it may cost him his very soul. Let's not even think of putting ourselves, not to mention our innocent children, through such pain and unhappiness as to bring them up in a household of strife and confusion.

If you are thinking of marrying an unbeliever, do you have the unrealistic expectation of raising your children for God when you can't even submit something as important as your marriage to Him? I would say that the prospect is highly unlikely, at best.

Those Christians who enter into marriage with an unbeliever will never (I repeat, WILL NEVER) experience the fullness and richness of marriage as God intended it to be. They will never enjoy true intimacy or the blessing of a family united by the common bond of Jesus' love. In fact, instead of experiencing that common bond (or "bonding") of love, they will experience the "common bondage" of frustration and discontent that may lead to separation or divorce.

For True Love is only possible when you know God, and when you can have His unselfish, uncompromising love for others, putting them above yourself. All else pales in comparison to the real thing. Don't be foolish. Don't settle for anything less than God's very best for you. If you are called to marriage, God has a perfect partner for you. But beware, the enemy is a matchmaker too.
Trust the Lord, walk in obedience, and He will meet your needs in His way and in His timing. Lean to your own understanding and insist on your own way and watch out - you just may get what you are looking for! You may also live to regret it.

Trust God...!!!

He will never lead you astray.

In closing, I want to say that if you are now in a relationship with an unbeliever, or if you have been in the past (while professing to be a Christian), I think you'd better examine your heart before the Lord. If you can find peace and contentment in a relationship with someone who doesn't love God, then you must ask yourself how much you really love Him. After all, if you find you have more in common with those who walk in darkness... it may be because you are both walking down the same path! (I John 1:6-7; John 3:21)

Don't deceive yourself. A sincere lover of God would never knowingly be joined to a lover of the world. Don't even think about submitting your life in marriage to a godless partner - that is, unless it won't bother you to live a godless life. Please pray about all that we have talked about and be quick to respond to the things God has spoken to your heart.

I love you very much, and I pray that you will reach the highest potential possible in Christ Jesus as you obey Him in all things. May God bless you as you seek Him.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

You Should Not BELIEVE Scientist 100%

I believe those who are in UK can understand what this mean.
Even applicable to bbc weather...!!!

Geek Wife

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

What type of church do you attend?


by Vernon C. Lyons
Ashburn Baptist Church

Our culture demands convenience Christianity. We want it short simple, fast and cheap.

The McBible does not have the tedious sixty-six books, but just a few with short sentences and simple words at the fifth-grade level. There are numerous pictures, and some pages have been ruled with lines so that you can add your own spiritual thoughts, just in case you get a new revelation.

The McWorship service is all sweetness and love, with nothing offensive.

The McSermon is easily digested with a minimum of nutrition and a maximum of fat.

Each McPrayer is centered on temporal and material things to keep the mind from wandering to the spiritual, which is often illusive for the modern American.

To keep the kids awake, the McHymns are done in hip-hop style.

McMarriages are performed for folk who like quickie relationships, and throw-away vows are the big feature. For those who still hold some traditional notions, there are premarital sessions with junk counseling.

The McPastor is a touchy-feely guy who majored in pop psychology and has an in-depth understanding of felt needs.

McSins, commonly called boo-boos, are easily forgiven with fast prayers and, of course, are soon repeated but not taken too seriously. There is an effort to virtually eliminate the negative and dwell completely on the positive.

This whole business is sustained by the McTithe, which is not ten percent but whatever stray pounds happen to be left in the wallet.

The McYouth program is short on Bible study and discipleship and long on fun and games. It's designed to give the kids what they want and to teen-sit them so their parents can go out and have fun in the evening without worrying about their kids getting into drugs and sex.

McChurch is staffed not by professionals but by hastily hired part-timers whose strongest spiritual slogan is "Have a nice day."

This is the church that offers McFellowship, which is not bonding but merely a quick "Hello," with a handshake, a hug and a hope that you do not become too responsible for the other person's life or spiritual well-being.

McSalvation does not have any deep doctrine of substitutionary atonement and regeneration, rather a simple human decision or a nod of the head is more than adequate to bring a person into McKingdom, where he hopes to live happily now and in the hereafter.

All of this ends up in McHeaven, where there are no golden streets but arches that appear over a broad entrance where the grill is scorching and the deep-fry grease super hot.

May I suggest that if you happen to be unfortunate enough to be attend this type of church that you find yourself an old fashioned, sin-killin', devil-hatin', bible-believin' and bible-preachin' church.

Jeremiah 6:16 says: "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. . . . . . "
Yours truly,
Country Mama

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

I am 31, and still no date..!!! (Dating Series Part II)

by Pastor Jim

Life is difficult at times – and older Christian singles often come to a point that they believe there is no a Christian mate for them.

Someone comes into their life that is very strong morally and they begin to question whether or not they should go ahead and date this person.

Here are some points for you to consider if you are at such a point:

· It is very sad, but there are many unbelievers that are stronger morally than many Christians. They are good citizens, caring for those around them and willing to give sacrificially.

However, to begin a relationship with them is to invite one of the most significant incompatibilities into your life.

· God led Paul to write in 2 Corinthians 6:14

"Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers:”
Although it can be applied to many relationships, it is commonly accepted that Paul was speaking mostly to marrying an unbeliever. God, the one who wants the best for us, is very clear in His instruction.· “Unequally yoked” came from the application in Biblical days of putting two oxen together in the same yoke – that were very different. I see the picture of a big oxen being yoked to a small one and see them plowing around in a circle!!

· Although we should only be considering Christians who are “morally” strong, morals is not the real essence at stake in this consideration. God is saying that I want to “bless” your relationship – from the start and through the years. Think about it – if you marry an unbeliever – this person is saying that they do not believe this is an important element in your marriage. Marriage is about finding and building compatibilities – and this is a major area where it cannot be done.

· We are called to be witnesses to all men/women (Matthew 28). This instruction from Jesus means that we are charged with telling the Story of Jesus to all – and being a witness to them. Some are tempted to take this to mean that we are to date unbelievers and use themselves as examples to bring them to Christ. This is a misapplication of the Word of God.

“Dating” implies the desire to lead to marriage.

To date an unbeliever can often find the unbeliever doing and saying what is necessary in order to marry the Believer.
But guess what happens after the wedding and time begins to settle into the marriage?

The unbeliever has not really been changed by God’s Spirit and will turn and fight the very thought of honoring God in the relationship...!!!!

I encourage you to keep your focus on God and invite His direction in all your relationships. Do be friends with unbelievers and use the friendship (as you are led by His Spirit) to share the love, joy and peace you find in being a Christian.

Ask God to use you to bring them to Christ. However, do not cross the line. Leave it up to God to do the “saving”. If God uses you (or someone else) to bring them to Him, THEN and only then can you give consideration to entering into a deeper relationship. May God guide you and grant you wisdom in your journey.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye (Dating Series Part I)

by Christian-Dating-Plus

If you are one of the many Christian singles dating an unbeliever, save yourself additional troubles by getting out of the dating relationship as soon as possible.

At the very least, the vast majority of Christians who date unbelievers or unsaved singles experience loss of sexual purity, loss of fellowship with the Lord and other believers, and heartache.

Additionally, all throughout the Bible God warns us for our own protection not to partner (be unequally yoked) with unbelievers (ex.:2Cor 6:14). History is littered with the ruined lives of those who have failed to obey this command. If even Solomon, the wisest man ever, messed up in this area, why do Christians think they can love Jesus and maintain romantic relationships (dating, marriage) with unbelievers?

Reasons Christians Give For Dating Unbelievers

“If I date them they may come to Christ.”

This old standby is known as Missionary Dating. I'm not exactly sure who came up with the term "missionary dating," but I love it because it so appropriately paints the picture.

Imagine this - a young girl, full of zeal for God, goes to a remote tribe of natives somewhere to evangelize the lost. She ends up having a special burden for the chief's handsome young son.
He seems interested in God, and so she starts spending quite a bit of time with him in hopes of winning him to the Lord.

Then, before you know it, her friends at the Missionary Society receive a postcard saying that she is getting married and won't be coming back. Was he converted? Well, not really - but she has full confidence that he will be shortly.

Meanwhile, she's happily getting ready to set up housekeeping in his hut full of idols (which, of course, she wouldn't think of worshipping), and dreaming of the wonderful future they will have together. If you heard of a situation like this, what would you think about this girl's chances for real happiness - or her professed love for the Lord?

Her actions certainly seem to contradict the very things she says she believes in.

I think it's safe to say that every marriage starts out with a simple date. Many Christians are deceived when it comes to this. They feel all right about dating an unbeliever, just as long as it doesn't "get too serious." They may think, "Well, one or two dates can't hurt any one. Besides, maybe I can lead him to the Lord. I just want to have some fun right now, but when it comes to settling down, I will definitely marry a Christian."

Then lo and behold, the next thing they know they have "fallen in love," and are desperately trying to rationalize their relationship and their upcoming marriage - to themselves, to their friends, and to God.

“My boyfriend (girlfriend) is of better moral standard than other
Christians I’ve dated.”

This sad commentary on the evangelical Christian church is in line with findings of Josh McDowell and George Barna that show there is no real difference in the sexual behaviour of Christians and unbelievers. For example, they find that 55% of Christian teens have sexual intercourse by the age of 18. We can only assume that this number rises as single Christians get older and have more opportunities.

“There are no available Christians in my church or

We got this one alot. Either all the good Christian men or women are taken, or the only available single ones are geeks or whackos. I’m sure you’ve met a few of these, right?

Christians Struggling With Dating Unbelievers
If you are a single Christian struggling with this issue, take courage! We are certainly not judging anyone because most of us have already been through it. Listen, the Lord deeply loves you, but wants you to make decisions that will make Him proud and prosper you at the same time. So think about and pray over the following points before making any dating decisions in this area.

God Keeps His Promises
That means He will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches. (Phil. 4:19, Psalms 37:4). Surrender to Him as you wait expectantly on Him. You will not be disappointed, but remember he makes things all beautiful in His time, not yours. Can you handle that?

Why Settle for Second Best?
Yes, there are some nice people out in the world who are more moral and cuter than some Christians you know. So what? The fact is there are multiple thousands of godly, attractive and passionate Christian singles waiting on God for the same thing you are. Got faith?

Remember What God Says
Don’t mean to be preachy, but I tend to conveniently avoid those parts of the Bible that go against what I am planning to do. So before going headfirst into a pile of crap, check out these verses carefully: 1 Cor. 15:33, 2 Cor 6:14-16.

Have You Exhausted All Your Resources?
Many singles in the church who feel there is no other alternative to dating an unbeliever, may have not looked at other options of where Christian singles meets other singles. If you are a Christian single who has further insights on dating unbelievers, please consider helping other singles by sharing your experiences.

Oh Me!!!!

This article came out in Housekeeping Monthly on May 13, 1955.

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people all day.
*Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

* Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and Then run a dust cloth over the tables.

* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. You husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum (hoover). Try to encourage the children to be quite.

* Be happy to see him.

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

* Make the evenings his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

* Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

* Don't complain if he's late home for dinner. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in low soothing and pleasant voice.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

* A good wife always knows her place.

Talk about making a wife think?! I have spoken to a few older ladies and they have said that this is definitely the norm for those days. Kind of makes you wonder how many homes that are wrecked and ruined would still be together if even half of these examples were followed today. There would be no way to do this, other than to be living a Spirit-filled life. Although, laughingly, many people I have shared this with have wondered when the 15 minutes rest is supposed to come in!!!

Just some food for thought,
Country Mama

Monday, 24 September 2007

Scientist, Smart Yet Dumb

written by Geek Wife

Don't agree with me? At least my physicist husband does.
Scientist sometimes think they are THE SMARTEST creature by far (probably only 50% true, a drop out like Bill Gates who get to hire them probably much smarter), and their 'invention' or 'discovery' (whatever you call it) would save the world.






Oh well.... someone sometimes get too carried away doing their job. ("I can't help it, I am doing this flagella motor for the past 13 years....What should I say if it is not motor after all?")


Letter from the Smithsonian:
Paleonanthropology DivisionSmithsonian Institute207 Pennsylvania AvenueWashington, DC 20078

Dear Sir:
Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled"211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid Skull."
We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents "conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County twomillion years ago." Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has smallchildren, believes to be the "Malibu Barbie."

It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings.

However, we do feel that there are anumber of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped youoff to it's modern origin:

1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilized bone.

2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubiccentimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-hominids.

3. The dentition pattern evident on the "skull" is more consistent with thec ommon domesticated dog than it is with the "ravenous man-eating Plioceneclams" you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time. This latterfinding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses that you havesubmitted in your history with this Institution, but the evidence seems toweigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail let ussay that:
a. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog haschewed on.
b. Clams don't have teeth.

It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to carbon dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record.

To thebest of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.
Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National ScienceFoundation's Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning yourspecimen the scientific name "Australopithecus spiff-arino." Speakingpersonally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of yourproposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted-down because the species nameyou selected was hyphenated, and did not really sound like it might be Latin.

However, we gladly accept your generous donation of the fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your back yard.

We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the "trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in astructural matrix" that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 3/8 inch Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.

Yours in Science,Harvey RoweCurator, Antiquities

I am a Fundamentalist...!!! Hear me roar

Country Mama's Testimony:

First, I'd like to introduce myself. I was born and raised until I was 16 in Dayton, Ohio (don't hold that against me, I can't help it). My family did not attend church until I was almost 15 yrs. old. You want to talk about a shock to the system. They preached against everything I was doing and somethings I'd only thought about.

The church had very high standards and convictions (no trousers, shorts, sleeveless tops, TV's, etc., etc.), which I agree 100% with today and then some. As the weeks passed I knew that these people had something that I did not have.

One night my brother went forward, well I didn't want to be left out so I went also. I made a profession, but I didn't have possession.

The summer after my 16th birthday we moved to Tennessee. When I was 20 my home church was having a revival meeting with Dr. Sammy Allen. He had a man out of his church driving him that was on deputation to England. Well, to make a long story short, Preacher played matchmaker and we were married in Feb. of 95.

After we were married God started to deal with my heart. He was convicting me and I was terrified. I had made a profession and thought that I was alright, but I had doubts and fears. Our pastor (Bro. Allen) was preaching in Florida and we were there. He preached a message on "Sliding into Hell from a church pew, calling Jesus Lord." I knew that night that I was in trouble. I was so afraid that while we were traveling we would have an accident or the Lord would return. It was the most awful 2 months of my life. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. It didn't matter to me what people thought. You know, "She's suppose to be a preachers wife"; "She's a missionaries wife", etc. I was the one going to spend eternity in Hell, and it wasn't worth worrying about what others thought. I bowed and asked Christ to save me, take away my doubt, sin and everything else I could possibly think of.

Praise the Lord, He did....!!!!
I have failed Him
many times, but I can say without any qualms that He has NEVER, NEVER failed me.
We came to England in May of 96, I was 23 years old.
Talk about green. I've learned alot in these last 11 years, but still have much more to learn. God is good all the time. Amen!! I am also the mother of 2 beautiful children. A daughter aged 8 and a son aged 4 1/2; which I home educate.

Well, that's me in a nut shell. Thanks for taking the time to read this. May you have a blessed day!
Country Mama

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Enfield, Connecticut
July 8, 1741

Their foot shall slide in due time
Deut. xxxii. 35

In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God's visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God's wonderful works towards them, remained (as ver. 28.) void of counsel, having no understanding in them. Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text. The expression I have chosen for my text, Their foot shall slide in due time, seems to imply the following doings, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm 73:18.
"Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction."

It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm 73:18, 19.
"Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!"

Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.

That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God's appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. Then they shall be left to fall, as they are inclined by their own weight. God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost.
The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the
mere pleasure of God." By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God's mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men's hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.

He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it.

Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?

They deserve to be cast into hell; so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God's using his power at any moment to destroy them. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, Luke xiii. 7.
"Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?"

The sword of divine justice is every moment brandished over their heads, and it is nothing but the hand of arbitrary mercy, and God's mere will, that holds it back.

They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between him and mankind, is gone out against them, and stands against them; so that they are bound over already to hell. John iii. 18.

"He that believeth not is condemned already."

So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is, John viii. 23.

"Ye are from beneath."

And thither be is bound; it is the place that justice, and God's word, and the sentence of his unchangeable law assign to him.

They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.
So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.

The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke xi. 12. The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.

There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God's restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them. The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isa. lvii. 20. For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying,

"Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;"

but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God's restraints, whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the course of nature; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone.

It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world. The unseen, unthought-of ways and means of persons going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God's hands, and so universally and absolutely subject to his power and determination, that it does not depend at all the less on the mere will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were never made use of, or at all concerned in the case.

Natural men's prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment. To this, divine providence and universal experience do also bear testimony. There is this clear evidence that men's own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world, and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death: but how is it in fact? Eccles. ii. 16.

"How dieth the wise man? even as the fool."

All wicked men's pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.
But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. If we could speak with them, and inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell ever to be the subjects of that misery: we doubtless, should hear one and another reply, "No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself: I thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief: Death outwitted me: God's wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then suddenly destruction came upon me.

God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. God certainly has made no promises either of eternal life, or of any deliverance or preservation from eternal death, but what are contained in the covenant of grace, the promises that are given in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant.
So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men's earnest seeking and knocking, it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction.

So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold them up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out: and they have no interest in any Mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them. In short, they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of, all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ.-That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of, there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his band, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies. God's creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.

The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. And consider here more particularly,

Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. Prov. xx. 2. "The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his own soul." The subject that very much enrages an arbitrary prince, is liable to suffer the most extreme torments that human art can invent, or human power can inflict. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth. It is but little that they can do, when most enraged, and when they have exerted the utmost of their fury. All the kings of the earth, before God, are as grasshoppers; they are nothing, and less than nothing: both their love and their hatred is to be despised. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater. Luke xii. 4, 5.

"And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and
after that, have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you
shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell:
yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

It is the fierceness of his wrath that you are exposed to. We often read of the fury of God; as in Isaiah lix. 18.

"According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries."

So Isaiah lxvi. 15.

"For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a
whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire."

And in many other places. So, Rev. xix. 15, we read of

"the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty

The words are exceeding terrible. If it had only been said, "the wrath of God," the words would have implied that which is infinitely dreadful: but it is "the fierceness and wrath of God." The fury of God! the fierceness of Jehovah! Oh, how dreadful must that be! Who can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them! But it is also "the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." As though there would be a very great manifestation of his almighty power in what the fierceness of his wrath should inflict, as though omnipotence should be as it were enraged, and exerted, as men are wont to exert their strength in the fierceness of their wrath. Oh! then, what will be the consequence! What will become of the poor worms that shall suffer it! Whose hands can be strong? And whose heart can endure? To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of misery must the poor creature be sunk who shall be the subject of this!
Consider this, you that are here present, that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. When God beholds the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infinite gloom; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the executions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his hand; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God then at all stay his rough wind; he will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld, because it is so hard for you to bear. Ezek. viii. 18.

"Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I
have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not
hear them."

Now God stands ready to pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only "laugh and mock," Prov. i. 25, 26, &c.

How awful are those words, Isa. lxiii. 3, which are the words of the great God.

"I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and their
blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment."

It is perhaps impossible to conceive of words that carry in them greater manifestations of these three things, vis. contempt, and hatred, and fierceness of indignation. If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case, or showing you the least regard or favour, that instead of that, he will only tread you under foot. And though he will know that you cannot bear the weight of omnipotence treading upon you, yet he will not regard that, but he will crush you under his feet without mercy; he will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment. He will not only hate you, but he will have you, in the utmost contempt: no place shall be thought fit for you, but under his feet to be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a mind to show how terrible their wrath is, by the extreme punishments they would execute on those that would provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar, that mighty and haughty monarch of the Chaldean empire, was willing to show his wrath when enraged with Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego; and accordingly gave orders that the burning fiery furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was before; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost degree of fierceness that human art could raise it. But the great God is also willing to show his wrath, and magnify his awful majesty and mighty power in the extreme sufferings of his enemies. Rom. ix. 22.

"What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endure with
much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?"

And seeing this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show how terrible the unrestrained wrath, the fury and fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will be something accomplished and brought to pass that will be dreadful with a witness. When the great and angry God hath risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the whole universe to behold that awful majesty and mighty power that is to be seen in it. Isa. xxxiii. 12-14.

"And the people shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be
burnt in the fire. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are
near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath
surprised the hypocrites,"

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might, and majesty, and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you, in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty.
Isa. lxvi. 23, 24.

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For"who knows the power of God's anger?"
How dreadful is the state of those that are daily and hourly in the danger of this great wrath and infinite misery! But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. Oh that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things without much disturbance, and are now flattering themselves that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they shall escape. If we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing would it be to think of! If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person! How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell? And it would be a wonder, if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, even before this year is out. And it would be no wonder if some persons, that now sit here, in some seats of this meeting-house, in health, quiet and secure, should be there before to-morrow morning. Those of you that finally continue in a natural condition, that shall keep out of hell longest will be there in a little time! your damnation does not slumber; it will come swiftly, and, in all probability, very suddenly upon many of you. You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. It is doubtless the case of some whom you have seen and known, that never deserved hell more than you, and that heretofore appeared as likely to have been now alive as you. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair; but here you are in the land of the living and in the house of God, and have an opportunity to obtain salvation. What would not those poor damned hopeless souls give for one day's opportunity such as you now enjoy!

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God.
Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit! How can you rest one moment in such a condition? Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ?

Are there not many here who have lived long in the world, and are not to this day born again? and so are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they have lived, but treasure up wrath against the day of wrath?
Oh, sirs, your case, in an especial manner, is extremely dangerous. Your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Do you not see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left, in the present remarkable and wonderful dispensation of God's mercy?
You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. You cannot bear the fierceness and wrath of the infinite God.-And you, young men, and young women, will you neglect this precious season which you now enjoy, when so many others of your age are renouncing all youthful vanities, and flocking to Christ?
You especially have now an extraordinary opportunity; but if you neglect it, it will soon be with you as with those persons who spent all the precious days of youth in sin, and are now come to such a dreadful pass in blindness and hardness. And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you know that you are going down to hell, to bear the dreadful wrath of that God, who is now angry with you every day and every night? Will you be content to be the children of the devil, when so many other children in the land are converted, and are become the holy and happy children of the King of kings?

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now harken to the loud calls of God's word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favours to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others.
Men's hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls; and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you, you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God's Spirit, and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down and cast into the fire.

Therefore, let every one that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation: Let every one fly out of Sodom:

"Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed".