Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 24 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 Prophet Jonah (1)
Jonah Flees God’s Missionary Call
Scripture Reading: II Kings 14:23-27 ; Jonah 1
Text: Jonah 1:1-3
I. The Unparalleled Disobedience of It
II. The Various Misunderstandings of It
III. The Real Reasons for It
Psalms: 66:1-7; 53:1-6; 19:1-8; 67:1-7
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
"Whence Doth This Faith Proceed?"
Scripture Reading: I Peter 1:17-2:10
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 25
I. From the Preaching of the Christian Gospel
II. From the Work of the Holy Spirit
III. From the Grace of the Triune God
Psalms: 86:8-13; 54:1-7; 37:29-37; 119:17-24
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of
the worship services, contact
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
Texts Relevant to the Evening Sermon
John 1:12-13: "But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born,
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will
of man, but of God."
John 5:21: "For as the Father
raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son
quickeneth whom he will."
I Corinthians 4:15: "For though
ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not
many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you
through the gospel."
James 1:18: "Of his own will
begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind
of firstfruits of his creatures."
I Peter 1:23: "Being born
again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the
word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."
Announcements (subject to God’s
We welcome those who are
visiting our worship services today. May we together be
blessed as we hear Christ’s voice in the preaching of His
The Covenant Reformed News
and Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to the PRC are
on the back table today.
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
Tuesday Bible study meets
at 11 AM to study Christ’s controversy on marriage, divorce
and remarriage. Hand outs are on the back table.
Belgic Confession Class
meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to conclude article 21b on
the attacks on, and objections to, Christ’s atonement.
Men’s Bible Study will meet
at 8 PM this Saturday at the Kennedys to discuss chapter 5
of the study guide on Ezra.
The Reformed Witness Hour
broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is
entitled "A God-Fearing Man’s Labour" (Psalm 128:1-2).
The next Council meeting
is scheduled for Thursday, 5 December.
S. Wales Lecture: Rev.
McGeown will speak on Thursday, 12 December, at the Round
Chapel in Port Talbot on "Eternal Life in Heaven."
Offerings: General Fund -
PRC News: Rev. W. Langerak declined the call to Doon
PRC. Rev. Eriks declined the call to Faith PRC.
The Net of Temptation
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 1:17-19: "Surely in
vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they
lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their
own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of
gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."
Solomon has just warned his son
about the consequences of keeping the company of sinners. It
all started innocently enough, but the end was the
inevitable destruction of sin. An example from nature, a
bird, is now used.
In ancient days, birds were
hunted with the use of a net. The net had the purpose of
taking the bird into the hunter’s possession. Nets were also
used in the hunting of larger animals and especially fish.
Hunting was not done for sport as it is sometimes today, but
it was done as a means of livelihood. The net, when used on
land, would be spread across an opening, and then the
hunters would drive animals into the net to capture them.
Because of this common use of
nets, in the Old Testament the net is often symbolic of
spiritual threats. Most often they picture the danger of
seduction, blinding flattery, exploitation of the righteous
by the wicked and the punishment resulting from a sinful
walk. Here we have the seduction of the acquisition of easy
wealth and ample friendship (evil though it might be), the
flattery of being needed in this sinful group and the
exploitation of the innocent who cannot protect himself.
All of this temptation is
likened to a net that snares and means the end of life for
the bird. If such a net were spread in the presence of the
bird, the bird would avoid the net because he now knows that
it is there. By instinct he recognizes the danger and, in
the interest of self-preservation, flees.
It is different for fallen,
depraved man. Sin holds such power over our natures that,
rather than fleeing from the net of temptation, we would
rather see how close we can get to it without being snared.
In our pride, we often believe that we have the wisdom to
back away and escape before we find ourselves in any serious
trouble. For the son in verse 10, surely, what would be the
harm in merely hanging around with such people?
How often doesn’t it prove
otherwise? Certainly, for Eve there was no real danger in
speaking with the serpent herself or listening to Satan
instead of directing the devil to her husband who had been
created as her head, was there? Abraham would not experience
any threat if he lied about his wife by saying that Sarah
was his sister, would he? What harm could there be if
Abraham were to beget children by the use of his
maidservant? For David, what harm would come from just
inviting a married woman over to his palace for a little
Yes, we often see the net but,
instead of fleeing for our spiritual lives, we boldly step
forward! A bird avoids the net by mere instinct, whereas
man, endowed with the ability to reason, foolishly presses
Solomon points out that these
sinners, who seek to capture his son, are really setting a
net for their own souls. While they lay in wait for their
victim to pass, they are really putting the eternal destiny
of their own souls in peril. As they lurk for the lives of
the innocent, it is their own lives which are in spiritual
danger. That is what happens to those who are greedy of gain
and kill for profit.
Solomon tells his son that such
would be the end of one who joins the company of sinners. As
Ahab allowed Jezebel to do the plotting and scheming against
innocent Naboth, he was becoming entangled in the net of his
own destruction. The son is told to flee. Do not trust your
own strength or wisdom. Do not fool yourself into thinking
that you can back away before the situation gets out of
hand. We can only go to God in prayer and rely on His
It sounds all too simple to
satisfy today’s child experts. It is foolish to give such
instruction to children. It would never work. Such a method
of instruction would only produce fearful, untrusting and
paranoid teens. That is the net with which they hope to
ensnare us! They seek to draw us into their trap by their
apparent logic. Yet what type of teens has the sinful world
produced with their theories? No, they are not fearful all
right, not even of the ghastly evil that threatens the
destruction of their souls. They are very trusting. They
trust their own moral relativism, right into the bottomless
pit which was left by digging out the only true moral
foundation. They are not afraid of any danger. Many simply
joyfully immerse themselves in the cesspool of sin.
Do we see Satan’s nets around us? Then listen to the
giver of true wisdom. Follow the instruction given by the
Triune God concerning the instruction of children. Give the
instruction which Solomon gave to his son. It is the wisdom
of God in Jesus Christ.