Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 3 November, 2013

"But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Glory to Be Revealed in Us  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-28
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22

I. What It Is
II. The Creation’s Attitude Towards It
III. Our Attitude Towards It
Psalms: 63:1-8; 50:13-18; 104:28-33; 16:6-11

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Man of Sin (10)
Why "Christians" Will Worship the Man of Sin  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: II Thessalonians 2:1-17
Text: II Thessalonians 2:10-12

I. The Man of Sin’s Satanic Powers
II. Their Lack of Love of the Truth
III. God’s Sending Strong Delusion
Psalms: 145:1-8; 50:19-23; 119:129-136; 119:153-160

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quotes to Consider

John Calvin on II Thessalonians 2:10: "In short, Paul declares that Antichrist will be the minister of God’s righteous vengeance against those who, being called to salvation, have rejected the gospel, and have preferred to apply their mind to impiety and errors. Hence there is no reason why Papists should now object, that it is at variance with the clemency of Christ to cast off His Church in this manner. For though the domination of Antichrist has been cruel, none have perished but those who were deserving of it, nay more, did of their own accord choose death (Prov. 8:36). And unquestionably, while the voice of the Son of God has sounded forth everywhere, it finds the ears of men deaf, nay obstinate, and while a profession of Christianity is common, there are, nevertheless, few that have truly and heartily given themselves to Christ. Hence it is not to be wondered, if similar vengeance quickly follows such a criminal contempt."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Monday Catechism: Bradley, Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) - 6:15PM
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) - 7:00PM
Timothy (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:45PM

The Council meets this Monday evening at 8:30 PM.

Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study the religious leaders’ reactions to Christ’s sabbath arguments.

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to continue with article 21b, with more theological arguments on the extent of Christ’s atonement.

Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to S. Wales this week Thursday. Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on "Original Sin" on at the Round Chapel, Margam, Port Talbot.

Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the Kennedys to study chapter 4 of the Ezra study guide.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled "Jehovah: The Sovereign King" (Isa. 40:22-24).

Offerings: General Fund - £815.40.

Website Additions: 2 Afrikaans translations were added.

PRC News: Doon PRC called Rev. W. Langerak (Southeast, GR). Faith PRC called Rev. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI). Revs. Laning and Griess leave this Thursday for Myanmar to fulfil the mandate that synod gave to the Foreign Mission Committee in Article 33 of the 2013 Acts of Synod. Contacts from 6 different regions of the country (about 40 men) will be travelling (some of them a considerable distance) to meet with them and to receive instruction at a conference. The two ministers are to return to the US on Saturday, 16 November. Please remember these pastors in prayer as they travel and labour in Myanmar.

Doctrinal Indifference

(an excerpt from Prof. Engelsma’s "The Church Today and the Reformation Church")


Still another, related characteristic of Protestantism today, because of which it comes off badly in a comparison with the Reformation church, is Protestantism’s indifference to the truth. There are still some, perhaps many, who know the truth. They know what the Reformation stood for. They know that Protestant churches have forsaken, or are in the process of forsaking, their doctrinal heritage. But this does not perturb them, much less move them to take any action. This is a sin, not only of the leaders, but also of the people. The people will not endure sound doctrine; the people resist expository, doctrinal preaching; the people clamour for entertainment in the services of divine worship, instead of instruction; the people tolerate deviations from the Scripture and permit the wolves to ravage the sheepfold of Christ, looking on while their own children and grandchildren, the lambs of the flock, are destroyed (cf. II Tim. 4:1ff.; Acts 20:28ff.). Jeremiah 5:30-31 is fulfilled: "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"

There are several outstanding expressions of present-day Protestantism’s indifference to the truth. One is the ecumenical movement—the effort to unite the churches. Whereas biblical ecumenicity finds unity in, and grounds union upon, doctrinal oneness, which oneness is expressed creedally, the unions of the World Council, of COCU, and of the Protestant churches’ turning towards Rome are effected with disregard of doctrinal difference and at the expense of the truth. Indifference to the truth is the oil that makes all the vast machinery of modern ecumenicity go.

Another indication of indifference to the truth appears among "evangelical Protestantism" in their willingness to join and co-operate with churches and groups that maintain doctrines widely at variance with the doctrine proclaimed by the Reformation church, and differing sharply among these churches and groups themselves, in the cause of evangelism ...

Yet another expression of indifference to the truth is the powerful movement in Protestantism today that extols the working of the Holy Spirit and the religious feeling of the church-member, at the expense of solid, expository biblical preaching; sound doctrine; and belief of the truth. This movement is devastating Protestantism today. It takes several forms, all pernicious.

One form is the "happy church," where salvation is feeling good about oneself; a blessed congregation is a people who smile and shake hands with their neighbour; and the ambassador of Christ is a man who gives a cheery "good morning" to the flock and enables the audience to leave the service thinking shallow, positive thoughts.

Another is the teaching that explicitly disparages doctrine, and theological orthodoxy, in favour of the mystical workings of the Holy Spirit, and the experience of these workings ...

A third form of the expression of indifference to the truth that consists of playing up the Holy Spirit while playing down sound doctrine is the charismatic, or neo-Pentecostal, movement. (For a thorough analysis of this movement, from the viewpoint of the Reformed Faith, the reader is invited to read the pamphlet, "Try the Spirits: A Reformed Examination of Pentecostalism.") The charismatic movement is, at bottom, an attack upon the Word of God—upon the sole sufficiency and authority of Holy Scripture; upon the content of Holy Scripture, namely, Jesus Christ and Him crucified; and upon the only way of receiving the salvation of the cross, namely, believing sound doctrine, when it is preached. Neo-Pentecostalism is an ancient error in new dress: mysticism. It is in virtually every detail the mysticism that tempted and opposed the Reformation, as soon as that movement was underway. The Reformation was fought on two fronts, and not on one only. Every bit as fierce, and important, as the conflict with Roman Catholicism on the right was the Reformation’s warfare with the "heavenly prophets" on the left. These were the radicals who faulted the Reformation for not going beyond mere doctrine to the full experience of the Holy Spirit; who denigrated doctrine and preaching; who boasted of the power to work miracles (which power the Reformation freely acknowledged it did not have); and who gloried in such indwelling of the Spirit as to provoke Luther to muse that these foes of the Reformation had surely "swallowed the Holy Spirit, feathers and all." This movement drew off multitudes from the Reformation faith. The difference between the Reformation faith and Protestantism today is that the Reformation church said no to this mysticism, sharply and unconditionally, whereas almost every Protestant church today is saying yes to it, in the charismatic movement ...

The refusal of members in the Protestant churches to fight for the truth is also an evidence of indifference to the truth. There are Protestants who not only know what the truth is but who also embrace it, personally. They are well aware that their church is corrupting the truth, or forsaking it; and they are concerned about it. But they do not contend for the faith, at least not with the zeal that either results in the church’s reformation or in their own ouster. Apparently, these people can live with the lie. They excuse themselves this way: "Regardless of its unfaithfulness, this is my church, and the church of my parents and grandparents before me. I love my church. I cannot bear to think of making any trouble for her, much less of leaving her."

Certainly, a love for the church and a desire for the peace and unity of the church, manifested in one’s own congregation, are good and praiseworthy qualities. But to make love for the church an argument against contending vigorously for the truth, and an argument for putting up with the lie, not only for oneself, but also for one’s family, is a bad argument. This very argument was the strongest argument of Rome against the Reformation: "You make schism in Mother Church!" At the Diet of Worms, in 1521, when the enemies of Luther, both imperial and ecclesiastical, were urging him to retract his books and recant his teachings, they warned him "kindly and gently ... that he should keep in mind the unity of the holy, catholic, and apostolic church ... that he should not rend apart what he ought to respect, venerate, and adore ..." (cf. Oskar Thulin, A Life of Luther). The appeal to maintain the unity of the church was powerful, not only because of Scripture’s emphasis on the oneness of the Church, but also because men in the 16th century knew but one institute, and that, hallowed by centuries. The rebuttal of the Reformation was, "Where the gospel is corrupted, there the Church ceases to be." Calvin wrote, "Christ has so ordered in His Church, that if (the pure preaching of the gospel) is removed, the whole edifice must fall" (Institutes 4.1.11) ...

Protestant people, tolerating false doctrine and clinging to apostate institutes, do not understand that their ancestors gave up all—for doctrine. They do not understand that men of flesh and blood like themselves once dared everything, and risked throwing the world into a tumult—for doctrine. They do not understand anymore the words of Luther’s mighty hymn, "Let goods and kindred go/This mortal life also"—for doctrine.

The gravity of this indifference to the truth is that it is indifference to the glory of God. God is glorified in the truth of the gospel; and He is dishonoured when men change His truth into a lie. The Reformation Church burned with desire for God’s glory. Where is this to be found in Protestantism today? God judges this contempt for His glory in the gospel, even as He punishes those who glorify Him not as God when He is revealed in creation (Rom. l:18ff.). For a lack of love for the truth, men and women are punished in these last days by a strong delusion, from God Himself, that they should believe a lie, "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth ..." (II Thess. 2:10-12).