The Judgement Seat of Christ

A sober reminder from Charles Spurgeon that we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ.

C.H. Spurgeon on the Judgement Seat of ChristA sober reminder from Charles Spurgeon that we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ.

Now, the most important thought connected with this to me, is that I shall be there; to you young men, that you will be there; to you, ye aged of every sort, that you, in propria personce* —each one shall be there.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Are you rich? Your dainty dress shall be put off. Are you poor? Your rags shall not exempt you from attendance at that court. None shall say, “I am too obscure.” You must come up from that hiding place. None shall say, “I am too public.” You must come down from that pedestal. Everyone must be there. Note the word “We.” “We must all appear.”

And still further note the word, “Appear.” “We must all appear.” No disguise will be possible. Ye cannot come there dressed in masquerade of profession or attired in robes of state, but we must appear; we must be seen through, must be displayed, must be revealed; off will come your garments, and your spirit will be judged of God, not after appearance, but according to the inward heart. Oh, what a day that will be when every man shall see himself, and every man shall see his fellow, and the eyes of angels and the eyes of devils, and the eyes of God upon the throne, shall see us through and through.

“…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.”

Spurgeon, C. H. (1872). “The Great Assize” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 18, pp. 582–583). London: Passmore & Alabaster.

* propria personce – “in one’s own person or character : personally; especially : without the assistance of an attorney.” – Webster

My 2016 Bible Engagement Plan

This is how I plan to engage with the Scriptures this year.

Man with BibleI wanted to share with you my plan for engaging with the Bible this year. There are five important components: reading, memorizing, meditating discovering and sharing. Here’s how I do all five.

1) Reading
For reading, I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan. This takes you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. I don’t spend a lot of time checking cross references or chasing down a topic. This is breadth reading to keep the scope of the Bible in front of me. Don’t misunderstand. I fully expect to be edified and encouraged as the Holy Spirit highlights His Word as I read. I’ll make a note of something that stands out in order to pursue it later.

2) Memorizing
There are few things more valuable a believer can do than memorize scripture. I don’t mean just a quick review and quote it the same day thing. I mean living with a passage (1-3 verses) for a week and letting it wrestle with your heart. I use the Fighter Verses app from Desiring God ministries. (Android App, Hard Copy, Online) The app is a great resource, well laid out with links to different memory helps as well as connections to messages preached on the memory passage by John Piper. The selection is excellent and runs in 5 year cycles. I do my best to memorize each week’s passage.

3) Meditation
Meditation follows on naturally after memorization. I usually have the passage memorized the first day of the week and the rest of the week is spent visiting that passage repeatedly to both seal it to my mind and interact with it in my heart and mind. As the week progresses I find that I see the facets of the passage more clearly and I am greatly convicted, convinced or comforted by what I mediate on. Donald S. Whitney provides some great tips for meditation here.

4) Discovering
As a preaching and teaching pastor I need to be fed myself on on a consistent basis! I love to discover new nuggets of spiritual truth from others that nourish my own spirit. I read a lot but two tools I try to review each day are the Tabletalk Magazine from Ligonier Ministries and the Explore App from The Good Book Company. Tabletalk features a daily reading as well as excellent longer articles on a theme each month. You can get a subscription to the print edition (which is what I prefer) or the online digital edition. I love the Explore App. It’s a great addition to my daily routine. The app connects you to monthly readings that work through books of the Bible for 1.99 a month. These resources keep me discovering and rediscovering helpful insights from God’s Word.

5) Sharing
This is one of the best things I do all week. The Bible tells us that we are to grow up, speaking truth to one another in love. This is one of my favorite passages:

“…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:14-16 ESV)

This kind of speaking is not primarily correction or rebuke (which many people tend to focus on!) but affirming sound doctrine to one another so that we are not “carried away” by “every wind of doctrine.”

Every Wednesday night, I gather with a few other men for something we call SHAPE. The acronym lays out what we do for 90 minutes. As we gather, usually in a public spot, we grab coffee, catch up a bit and then pray, asking the Lord’s assistance to highlight a particular passage of just a 1 to 3 verses for each of us as we read. For almost 45 minutes the table is quiet as each of goes through the SHAPE model. Here it is:

S) Scripture – Write the passage out in a SHAPE notebook.
H) Hermeneutics – Make note of the hermeneutic context – who, what, where, when and why?
A) Application – Make notes of how the passage is applying to you.
P) Prayer – Write out a prayer based on your application.
E) Exhort – Share an exhortation with your brothers based on your insights.

After 45 minutes or so, we work around the table with each person sharing their discovery, application and exhortation with the group. I always come away enriched from these evenings. That’s why they have been a regular part of my week for the last 8 years.

That’s my routine. I hope it provides some encouragement and ideas for your own. Let me know what you do! I’d love to hear how other folks are walking out this important aspect of our walk with Christ.

Andrew Murray on Prayer

In true worship the Father must be first, must be all.

andrew.murray“While we ordinarily first bring our own needs to God in prayer, and then think of what belongs to God and his interests, the Master reverses the order. First Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will; then give us, forgive us, lead us, deliver us… In true worship the Father must be first, must be all.”

~ Andrew Murray


Peter J. Leithart: How God Fixes Things

"If God - the living God - were to get busy fixing things, they may not like the way He goes about fixing things."

Paradise Lost: Illustrations by Gustave Doré

Paradise Lost: Illustrations by Gustave Doré

This article by Peter J. Leithart appeared today on the First Things website. I thought it’s an excellent response to recent headlines. 

The cry has come up from our national journalogians at the NYT and the Post: “God isn’t fixing this. No more prayers. Let’s get some action.”

If God – the living God – were to get busy fixing things, they may not like the way He goes about fixing things.

He isn’t a safe and distant God. He doesn’t stay politely above the fray. He takes sides. For some, this is appalling. For believers, it’s the ground of our hope. Early or late, the Judge of all the earth will do right.

Sometimes, so the Apostle Paul says, He judges by turning people over to their passions and sins. He turns idolaters to their idolatry. He turns people over to unnatural sexual desires. He turns the violent to their violence, until they eat one another alive.

As Psalm 18 puts it, He is pure with the pure, just with the just; but with the perverse He is a God of twists and turns, a trickster to beat all tricksters.

And that raises the frightening prospect that what our elites see as evidence of God’s absence is precisely the opposite. Perhaps all the visible slaughter of the past few years is the result of God turning us over to the bloodsport we like so much. Those stats about gun deaths – they pale to nothing next to the stats for abortion.

Perhaps we are seeing the living God’s answer to our prayers. Because if believers are praying aright, we are praying for the Lord’s Advent: “For He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He comes to judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”

And if that’s what is going on, then no legislation in the world can fix this. Only God can, the living God, the God who hears and answers prayer.

Written by Peter J. Leithart

A Misplaced Thanksgiving

(Luke 18:9-14)

A Misplaced Thanksgiving

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

(Luke 18:9-14 ESV)

John Stott on Propitiation

There is no crudity here to evoke our ridicule, only the profundity of holy love to evoke our worship.

johnstott“It is God himself who in holy wrath needs to be propitiated, God himself who in holy love undertook to do the propitiating, and God himself who in the person of his Son died for the propitiation of our sins. Thus God took his own loving initiative to appease his own righteous anger by bearing it his own self in his own Son when he took our place and died for us. There is no crudity here to evoke our ridicule, only the profundity of holy love to evoke our worship.”

~ John Stott
The Cross of Christ, pg. 175


imageIt is of interest to note that at the inauguration of the Old (Exod. 24:1-11) and New Covenants (Matt. 26:26-29) God was with his people, and eating occurred. There is also a prospect held out for us, an eschatological feast in the New Heavens and the New Earth (Matt. 26:29; Luke 14:15; Rev. 19:9). There will be eating and feasting at the consummation. All of this is due to the blood of the Lamb, slain for sinners, in order to bring us to God. The Lord’s Supper reminds us of the past, blesses us in the present, and looks to future eating, future feasting with the Lamb in all his glory.

~ Richard Barcellos

The Lord's Supper As A Means of Grace: More Than a Memory (Christian Focus Publications , 2013), 457

For the Church, the Road to the Future Leads Through the Past

Robert Webber on our disconnect with our roots.


“One of the major reasons why the church has fallen prey to a cultural accommodation is that is has become disconnected from its roots in Scripture, the ancient church and in its heritage through the centuries. This failure of the church to keep faith with its own origins and history is in and of itself a matter of cultural accommodation. For we live in a society that has lost its own heritage. We now drift in a sea of pluralism and relativism with little sense of our past.

If it is true that the road to the future lies in the past, it is also true that when the past has been lost or neglected there is no certain future. We are at that point now in Western culture, not only in the broad cultural sense but also in the church which has increasingly followed the lead of culture and lost its connection to the Christian past.”


“Hope from Psalm 71 Pt. 2”
by Pastor Jeff Ling

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A message of hope from David’s “midlife” Psalm 71

“Hope from Psalm 71, Part 1”
by Pastor Jeff Ling

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Hope from Psalm 71, Part 1


Here’s part one of our message on hope in Psalm 71. Let it encourage you today!