Tag Archives: Maranatha

“Pray for the worst, the hardest, and the most unbelieving” by J.C. Ryle

“Do we know what it is to pray for ourselves? This, after all, is the first question for self-inquiry. The man who never speaks to God about his own soul, can know nothing of praying for others.

He is as yet Godless, Christless, and hopeless, and has to learn the very rudiments of religion. Let him awake, and call upon God.

But do we pray for ourselves? Then let us take heed that we pray for others also.

Let us beware of selfish prayers,—prayers which are wholly taken up with our own affairs, and in which there is no place for other souls beside our own.

Let us name all whom we love before God continually.

Let us pray for all,—the worst, the hardest, and the most unbelieving.

Let us continue praying for them year after year, in spite of their continued unbelief.

God’s time of mercy may be a distant one. Our eyes may not see an answer to our intercessions. The answer may not come for ten, fifteen, or twenty years.

It may not come till we have exchanged prayer for praise, and are far away from this world. But while we live, let us pray for others.

It is the greatest kindness we can do to anyone, to speak for him to our Lord Jesus Christ. The day of judgment will show that one of the greatest links in drawing some souls to God, has been the intercessory prayer of friends.”

–J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion: Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1878/2013), 116-117.

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“There will be a great change soon” by J.C. Ryle

“A desire of salvation shall come to many too late. They shall long after pardon, and peace, and the favour of God, when they can no more be had. They will wish they might have one more Sunday over again, have one more offer of forgiveness, have one more call to prayer.

But it will matter nothing what they think, or feel, or desire then: the day of grace will be over; the gate of salvation will be bolted and barred. It will be too late!

I often think what a change there will be one day in the price and estimation at which things are valued. I look round this world in which my lot is cast; I mark the current price of everything this world contains; I look forward to the coming of Christ, and the great day of God.

I think of the new order of things, which that day will bring in; I read the words of the Lord Jesus, when He describes the master of the house rising up and shutting the door; and as I read, I say to myself, ‘There will be a great change soon.’

What are the dear things now? Gold, silver, precious stones, bank notes, mines, ships, lands, houses, horses, carriages, furniture, meat, drink, clothes, and the like. These are the things that are thought valuable; these are the things that command a ready market; these are the things which you can never get below a certain price, He that has much of these things is counted a wealthy man. Such is the world!

And what are the cheap things now? The knowledge of God, the free salvation of the Gospel, the favour of Christ, the grace of the Holy Ghost, the privilege of being God’s son, the title to eternal life, the right to the tree of life, the reversion of a mansion in heaven, the promises of an incorruptible inheritance, the offer of a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

These are the things that no man hardly cares for. They are offered to the sons of men without money and without price: they may be had for nothing,—freely and gratuitously. Whosoever will may take his portion. But, alas, there is no demand for these things! They go a begging. They are scarcely looked at. They are offered in vain. Such is the world!

But a day is coming upon us all when the value of everything shall be altered.

A day is coming when banknotes shall be as useless as rags, and gold shall be as worthless as the dust of the earth.

A day is coming when thousands shall care nothing for the things for which they once lived, and shall desire nothing so much as the things which they once despised. The halls and palaces will be forgotten in the desire of a ‘house not made with hands.’

The favour of the rich and great will be no more remembered, in the longing for the favour of the King of kings. The silks, and satins, and velvets, and laces, will be lost sight of in the anxious want of the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

All shall be altered, all shall be changed in the great day of the Lord’s return. ‘Many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.'”

–J.C. Ryle, Practical Religion: Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1878/2013), 35-37.

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“This is Aslan’s doing” by C.S. Lewis

“Every moment the patches of green grew bigger and the patches of snow grew smaller. Every moment more and more of the trees shook off their robes of snow. Soon, wherever you looked, instead of white shapes you saw the dark green of firs or the black prickly branches of bare oaks and breeches and elms.

Then the mist turned from white to gold and presently cleared away altogether. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor and overhead you could see a blue sky between the treetops.

Soon there were more wonderful things happening. Coming suddenly round a corner into a glade of silver birch trees Edmund saw the ground covered in all directions with little yellow flowers–celandines.

The noise of the water grew louder. Presently they actually crossed a stream. Beyond it they found snowdrops growing.

‘Mind your own business!’ said the dwarf when he saw that Edmund had turned his head to look at them; and he gave the rope a vicious jerk.

But of course this didn’t prevent Edmund from seeing. Only five minutes later he noticed a dozen crocuses growing round the foot of an old tree—gold and purple and white. Then came a sound even more delicious than the sound of water. Close beside the path they were following a bird suddenly chirped from the branch of a tree. It was answered by the chuckle of another bird a little further off.

And then, as if that had been signal, there was chattering and chirruping in every direction, and then a moment of full song, and within five minutes the whole wood was ringing with birds’ music, and wherever Edmund’s eyes turned he saw birds alighting on branches, or sailing overhead or chasing one another or having their little quarrels or tidying up their feathers with their beaks.

‘Faster! Faster!’ said the Witch.

There was no trace of the fog now. The sky became bluer and bluer, and now there were white clouds hurrying across it from time to time. In the wide glades there were primroses. A light breeze sprang up which scattered drops of moisture from the swaying branches and carried cool, delicious scents against the faces of the travelers.

The trees began to come fully alive. The larches and birches were covered with green, the laburnums with gold. Soon the beech trees had put forth their delicate, transparent leaves. As the travelers walked under them the light also became green. A bee buzzed across their path.

‘This is no thaw,’ said the dwarf, suddenly stopping. ‘This is Spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing.’

‘If either of you mentions that name again,’ said the Witch, ‘he shall instantly be killed.'”

–C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobein The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperCollins, 1954/1994), 165-166.

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“The story is not over yet” by Thomas Schreiner

“The story is not over yet. Believers still await the consummation. They await the new creation, the completion of the new exodus, and the final fulfillment of the new covenant. Jesus will come again and transform the universe.

There is a new world coming, a new creation, a new heavens and a new earth. In that coming world God will be all in all, and Jesus Christ will be honored forever and ever. And the paradise that was lost will be regained—and more than regained, it will be surpassed.

And we will see His face (Rev. 22:4), and His glory will be magnified through Christ forever and ever.”

–Thomas R. Schreiner, New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 866.

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“The happiest thing of all” by John Calvin

“Let us consider this settled: that no one has made progress in the school of Christ who does not joyfully await the day of death and final resurrection.

Paul, too, distinguishes all believers by this mark (Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8), and Scripture habitually recalls us to it whenever it would set forth proof of perfect happiness.

‘Rejoice,’ says the Lord, ‘and raise your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.’ (Luke 21:28) Is it reasonable, I ask you, that what our Lord meant to be sufficient to arouse us to rejoicing and good cheer should engender nothing but sorrow and dismay? If this is so, why do we still boast of Him as our Master?

Let us, then, take hold of a sounder view, and even though the blind and stupid desire of the flesh resists, let us not hesitate to await the Lord’s coming, not only with longing, but also with groaning and sighs, as the happiest thing of all.

He will come to us as Redeemer, and rescuing us from this boundless abyss of all evils and miseries, He will lead us into that blessed inheritance of His life and glory.”

–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed, Ford Lewis Battles, trans, Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960 [1559]), 3.9.5.

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“Christ will come again!” by Sam Storms

“Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again! This simple liturgical refrain reminds us of the profoundly important truth that eschatology is deeply and inextricably grounded in the gospel. The twofold past tense ‘has died’ and ‘has risen’ is the basis on which the Christian perseveres in hope that ‘Christ will come again.’

Simply put, what God has already achieved in the past through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son is the foundation for what Scripture says He will do in the future, at the consummation. Christian hope is not a wishful grasping at an uncertain tomorrow but a confident expectation rooted in the reality of what transpired 2,000 years ago.

The efficacy and finality of Christ’s redemptive work, together with His resurrection and exaltation as Lord to the right hand of the Father, alone accounts for the anticipation all Christians have of the return of Christ and the consummate fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in the new heavens and new earth.”

–Sam Storms, The Restoration of All Things (The Gospel Coalition Booklets; Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 7.

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“What the Hebrew prophets call shalom” by Cornelius Plantinga Jr.

“The prophets dreamed of a new age in which human crookedness would be straightened out, rough places made plain. The foolish would be made wise, and the wise, humble.

They dreamed of a time when the deserts would flower, the mountains would run with wine, weeping would cease, and people could go to sleep without weapons on their laps.

People would work in peace and work to fruitful effect. Lambs could lie down with lions. All nature would be fruitful, benign, and filled with wonder upon wonder.

All humans would be knit together in brotherhood and sisterhood; and all nature and all humans would look to God, walk with God, lean toward God, and delight in God.

Shouts of joy and recognition would well up from valleys and seas, from women in streets and from men on ships. The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom.”

–Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 9-10.

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