Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 2
"But I will
hope continually, and will yet praise thee
more and more"
- 11:00 AM
The Third Commandment and the Third Vow [download]
Reading: Ecclesiastes 5
Catechism, Lord’s Day 36-37
I. Submitting to
to Church Discipline
62:7-12; 50:7-15; 116:9-19
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
of Christ’s Last Week (5)
The Ten Virgins [download]
Reading: Matthew 25:1-30
II. The Parable
III. The Calling
63:1-11; 119:105-112; 50:1-6
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
Quote to Consider:
Belgic Confession, Article 32, Of the Order and
Discipline of the Church: "In the meantime we believe, though it is
useful and beneficial, that those, who are rulers of the Church,
institute and establish certain ordinances among themselves for
maintaining the body of the Church; yet they ought studiously to take
care, that they do not depart from those things which Christ, our only
Master, hath instituted. And therefore, we reject all human inventions,
and all laws, which man would introduce into the worship of God, thereby
to bind and compel the conscience in any manner whatever. Therefore we
admit only of that which tends to nourish and preserve concord, and
unity, and to keep all men in obedience to God. For this purpose,
ex-communication or church discipline is requisite, with the several
circumstances belonging to it, according to the Word of God."
Public Confession of Faith: "1) Do you
acknowledge the doctrine contained in the Old and New Testaments and in
the Articles of the Christian faith and taught here in this Christian
Church to be the true and complete doctrine of salvation? 2) Have you
resolved by the grace of God to adhere to this doctrine; to reject all
heresies repugnant thereto and to lead a new and godly life? 3) Will you
submit to church government, and in case you should be delinquent (which
may God graciously forbid) to church discipline?"
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
We welcome Mr. & Mrs. Henry DeVries from
Randolph PRC to our worship services.
New Standard Bearers are available on the back
Catechism: Tuesday, 8 PM - Mark & Lauren at the
Hamills Wednesday, 1 PM - Beginners OT Class at the manse
Midweek Bible study meets this Wednesday at 7:45
PM at the manse. We will be studying I Peter 5:8-9 on resisting the
The Council will hold their monthly meeting
next week Monday, 10 May, at 7:00 PM at the manse.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Praiseworthy Woman"
Thursday, 13 May, "Preaching: The Voice of Christ"
Italy, Wednesday & Thursday, 2 & 3 June
Website Additions: 2 Portuguese, 2 German and 3
Italian translations were added.
Offerings: General Fund: £629.30. Donations:
£7.50 (books), £50 (CR News).
PRC News: Kalamazoo PRC called Rev. Haak. Holland called Rev. A.
Lanning, Cornerstone PRC called Rev. Eriks. Rev. Kuiper declined the
call to Hull PRC.
Since the last BRF Conference, Prof. Hanko has been
leading a forum on common grace. This is the second half of the 33rd
e-mail on this subject. If you would like to add your name to the forum,
please contact Prof. Hanko. All the e-mails can be found on his blog (http://common-grace-considered.blogspot.com/).
But more than this, increasingly the ungodly man will
blind himself to the consequences of his sin in order to justify his
continual pleasure in the sin. It is evident to all that homosexual
practices lead to sexual diseases including the HIV virus. Does this
curb homosexual practices? No. The solution to the problem, according to
the world, is not to refrain from sin, but to find a cure for sexual
diseases. And anyone who dares to say that the prevalence of HIV is
God’s judgment on the sin of homosexuality is in danger of being tarred
and feathered, if not worse. Though divorce and remarriage lead to badly
hurt children and open fornication, still man closes his eyes to the
terrible consequences of such immorality and approves of the practice,
even legalizing it. What is worse, the church itself approves.
This too is the development of sin. As wicked man
thinks he can sin without having to suffer sin’s consequences, he
indulges the more readily in his corruption. When he knows that
fornication could result in an unwanted pregnancy, his fear can be
assuaged by the knowledge that obtaining an abortion is not
difficult—and that the government may even pay for it; and so he
continues in his fornication and, indeed, becomes increasingly
promiscuous, because he fears no unwanted consequences.
One more element must be considered in connection
with the development of sin. Man was given the so-called cultural
mandate prior to his fall. He was to be fruitful and multiply, and he
was to subdue the earth. Now it is that last part that is of interest.
To subdue the earth means to use the whole creation and all its powers
in the service of God and to the glory of His name.
When man fell, the cultural mandate remained in
effect and man remained able to keep it insofar as subduing the earth is
concerned. Man was still called to subdue the earth. And he eagerly
assumes responsibility for doing this. But what he does not do is use
the creation in the service of God and to the glory of God’s name.
Rather, he uses whatever powers he discovers in the creation and
whatever contraptions and tools he can make to increase his means of
expressing his sinful nature. He harnesses these powers in the service
of sin. He is bent on forcing all these powers into the sinful use of
them to satisfy his own lusts, and to promote his own false theories of
This is a major contributing factor in the
development of sin. Cain could not sin with a Lexus sports model and
Nimrod could not sin with a TV set. People in bygone years could not sin
with our modern inventions and pornography could not become so
all-pervasive without the internet and cell phones. Or, to put it a
little differently, with every modern invention man has a new way to
express his depravity, something he is bound to do. The sleaze and filth
that have become so much a part of our modern culture would be
impossible without modern technology. The creation is God’s and its
powers are marvellous, but everyone of these powers in the hands of the
wicked has become a new way to sin.
It is true, of course, that modern inventions can be
used for good purposes. The miracles of modern medicine can and do
prolong life. (Whether this is always good is quite another thing. It
doesn’t take too many visits to nursing homes filled with doddering and
irrational people to make one wonder whether long life is a good thing.)
Communications bring people closer together. The power of the atom can
generate electricity and drive ships over the seas. But all these "good"
things only prove that there is no evil in the creation itself nor in
the powers that man discovers; but sinful man uses them to sin and to
satisfy his own lust for pleasure and prolong his life out of fear of
death and the judgment.
This doctrine deserves more extensive treatment, but
I reserve further discussion until I discuss the doctrine of common
grace that teaches that the unregenerated man can do good.
As man discovers the powers of creation and puts them
to his use, his sin becomes worse, even though man claims that by these
powers he is solving the problems of society and bringing prosperity to
the world. As a matter of fact, he will undoubtedly be successful in
this endeavour as well. He will, according to Scripture, attain to a
kingdom of universal peace and prosperity. It will apparently be such a
"wonderful" kingdom that people will be duped into thinking that
Christ’s kingdom has indeed been realized here in the world and all the
promises of Scripture brought to reality by the might and ingenuity of
man. But in fact it will be the kingdom of the Antichrist who claims
that he is Christ (II Thess. 2:3-4).
In that kingdom I have no doubt but that all the
powers of the creation will have been discovered and put to man’s use.
The earth will have been entirely subdued and man can expect no more
inventions, for he has attained his goal. But it will be a kingdom of
great sin, for Antichrist is called in Scripture "the man of sin" (II
Thess. 2:3); that is, he will be the total embodiment of all sin that
preceded him and that reaches its culmination in him.
But in that kingdom there is no room for the faithful
people of God (Rev. 13). The Antichrist, with the full cooperation of
the wicked world, will commit that greatest sin of all, the
extermination of the church. It is the same world that crucified Christ
that now vents its hatred of Christ by destroying Christ’s bride. No
greater sin can be committed. The church is Christ’s bride, the object
of His love, the bride for which He gave His own life. His one great
concern throughout all history is the salvation of His bride, which
bride is His reason for His universal rule. His love for His bride is so
great that He will do anything at all for her. That bride the world
spits on, slaps in the face, mutilates and abuses, mocks and scorns, and
finally kills. Does anyone think that Christ will witness this dreadful
treatment of His bride without being moved to the fiercest of anger?
With such a great sin, the cup of iniquity is filled and judgment is not
The mighty and apparently glittering kingdom of
Antichrist will be shown to be a house of cards that collapses by its
own internal rot, and judgments come both swift and terrible.
Such is the teaching of Scripture. Any one who cannot
see this happening in the world around him is one who deliberately shuts
his eyes to reality. The world getting better and better? It takes some
powerful self-delusion to convince one’s self of the truth of this
I close with a personal experience. In a time when I
corresponded at some length with an ardent post-millennialist, I asked
him how he could justify his position that the time would come when the
world accepted the Reformed faith—how he could maintain this in the
light of every-day experience. One need only read the newspapers and
their sad tale of sinful horrors to abandon that position. His response
said something to the effect that, yes, the world was getting worse, but
this would continue until the world itself realized that it had made a
mess of things and that solutions to the world’s woes were to be found
elsewhere. The place where the world would find solutions to its
problems would be, he claimed, in the Reformed faith, and to it the
world would turn out of sheer desperation. That idea is not much on
which to pin one’s hope for the future.
With warm regards,