"I was born to fight devils and factions. It is my business to remove obstructions, to cut down thorns, to fill up quagmires, and to open and make straight paths. But if I must have some failing I would rather preach the truth with too great a severity than to ever once act the hypocrite and conceal the truth!" -Martin Luther (cf, 2 Timothy 1:6-18)
"The keys of the Kingdom are a sacred trust from Christ to His church. Those keys symbolize custody of the very entrance to the Kingdom. He has placed the church in the world and commanded us to preach the gospel so that we can stand as a beacon to point the way to that Kingdom. If we compromise His Word or camouflage the gospel, we cease to be that beacon, and we forfeit the only authority we have to use the keys of the Kingdom.
When the church is faithful to God and His word, however, we actually enact heaven's decisions here on earth. We can speak with authority to an unbelieving world. When heaven is in agreement with us, the issue is settled in accord with the highest possible authority. But if we compromise God's Word, we forfeit the very source of our authority. That is why it is so crucial for the church to deal seriously with God, to handle His Word with integrity, and to stand apart from the world. And that is what we mean when we pray, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10)." -John MacArthur, "Ashamed of the Gospel" (cf, 2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Columns from Tabletalk Magazine, March 2015
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