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Paul Mahan | Rocky Mount, Virginia
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Central Baptist Church
3596 Franklin Street
Rocky Mount, Virginia, 24151
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Posted by: Central Grace Church | more..
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­­­Central Grace Church

3596 Franklin Street Rocky Mount, Virginia

January 27th - 2019

9:30 am & 10:00 am -----------------------------Messages by Walter Pendleton

Birthdays: January 31st – Robin Pendry, February 1st – Jill Ogle & Kelly Pendry

We thank brother Walter Pendleton for coming to preach for us on short notice. Mindy and I had to go out of town and God willing, will be back Sunday night.

Though a little difficult to read, the following article by John Calvin needs to be read carefully. It is for our good and God’s glory.

The End or Purpose of Affliction in the Believer’s Life– by John Calvin, France (1509-1564)

WHATEVER be the kind of tribulation with which we are afflicted, we should always consider the end of it to be, that we may be trained to despise the present, and thereby stimulated to aspire to the future life. For since God well knows how strongly we are inclined by nature to a slavish love of this world, in order to prevent us from clinging too strongly to it, he employs the fittest reason for calling us back, and shaking off our lethargy. Every one of us, indeed, would be thought to aspire and aim at heavenly immortality during the whole course of his life. For we would be ashamed in no respect to excel the lower animals; whose condition would not be at all inferior to ours, had we not a hope of immortality beyond the grave. But when you attend to the plans, wishes, and actions of each, you see nothing in them but the earth. Hence our stupidity; our minds being dazzled with the glare of wealth, power, and honours, that they can see no farther. The heart also, engrossed with avarice, ambition, and lust, is weighed down and cannot rise above them. In short, the whole soul, ensnared by the allurements of the flesh, seeks its happiness on the earth. To meet this disease, the Lord makes his people sensible of the vanity of the present life, by a constant proof of its miseries. Thus, that they may not promise themselves deep and lasting peace in it, he often allows them to be assailed by war, tumult, or rapine, or to be disturbed by other injuries. That they may not long with too much eagerness after fleeting and fading riches, or rest in those which they already possess, he reduces them to want, or, at least, restricts them to a moderate allowance, at one time by exile, at another by sterility, at another by fire, or by other means. That they may not indulge too complacently in the advantages of married life, he either vexes them by the misconduct of their partners, or humbles them by the wickedness of their children, or afflicts them by bereavement. But if in all these he is indulgent to them, lest they should either swell with vain-glory, or be elated with confidence, by diseases and dangers he sets palpably before them how unstable and evanescent are all the advantages competent to mortals. We duly profit by the discipline of the cross, when we learn that this life, estimated in itself, is restless, troubled, in numberless ways wretched, and plainly in no respect happy; that what are estimated its blessings are uncertain, fleeting, vain, and vitiated by a great admixture of evil. From this we conclude, that all we have to seek or hope for here is contest; that when we think of the crown we must raise our eyes to heaven. For we must hold, that our mind never rises seriously to desire and aspire after the future, until it has learned to despise the present life.

Be Done With Self-Righteous Criticism

Let us be done with self-righteous criticism of our brethren, for that is what it is. When we say, “If I were him or her, I would do this or not do that” . . . or, “I can’t believe she/he said or did this or that.” It is self-righteousness, thinking that we would have said or done better. Fact is, if we were her or him we would do exactly as they did, if not worse. We cannot say what we would have done in any given situation if we did not go through it. We don’t know what someone may be going through to cause them to speak or act the way they do. We should consider that, even when dealing with people out in the world; people that are mean, rude, or unfriendly. My wife and I like to get take-out food from a local restaurant, and the woman who serves us is nearly always unfriendly, almost rude. I have thought to myself, ‘I’ll never go back there again.’ Then we both have to remind each other that the poor lady may live a terribly sad, perhaps lonely life . . . maybe suffering terrible abuse at home. The old saying is, don’t criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. But scripture says don’t criticize a brother at all,Who art thou that judgest another? . . . There is One Judge, and it’s not us! Scriptures says: Speak not evil one of another brethren.” What is the opposite of evil? … It is GOOD. Then if we can’t say something good about our brother, don’t say anything at all, for it is evil. Love covereth . . . while hate. . . gossipeth, spreadeth, whispereth, exposeth and killeth.

Another old saying is: “hindsight is 20/20.” In other words, we can see things clearly after the fact. Our poor brethren, the disciples, heard, saw and experienced so much and yet were doubtful, afraid, and often acted like they hadn’t heard a thing the Lord had said. But we should not be critical of them, for they did not know what we now know. The disciples were twelve different men, yet all were afraid and unbelieving at times, especially going through life-threatening storms. This teaches us plainly that no matter who we are, we are men and women at best.

Brethren, we are all men and women of like passions. We are all but ‘dust and ashes’, sinful, finite, fallible … ‘little children.’ Aren’t you glad the Lord knows our frame and treats us accordingly; with such patience, understanding, longsuffering and mercy? Shouldn’t we do the same? Fact is, if we truly love our brethren, WE WILL. But, ‘he that loveth not (as the Lord loves), knoweth not God. He or she that continues to hold a grudge against his brother cannot possibly know anything of the Lord’s mercy; how He ought to hold a terrible grudge against us, but doesn’t. He or she who will not forgive his or her brother cannot possibly know anything of the daily, hourly forgiveness the Lord shows to us. He or she who will not make peace, but would rather separate from a brother or sister, cannot possibly be a child of God, who is a peacemaker, who wants peace, desires peace, strives for peace, and tries to live in peace, even with wicked unbelievers. No, that person does not know God, no matter what he or she says. Their attitude reveals an unregenerate heart.

O’ there are times we don’t love like we should, . . . far too many, but when we do, the Lord will humble us and correct us, by showing us how sinful and foolish we are; by showing us how much He forgives and forgets about us, and what all He puts up with in us. Hopefully, surely, when we are converted from our self-righteous criticism and condemnation of our brother or sister, we will then try to strengthen them; even confessing our faults to them, asking them for forgiveness. He said, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.

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