Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Margaret set out to “reform” Sam Houston, and saw herself as God’s instrument in this. She was a devout Baptist (her late father had been a Baptist pastor, and she herself had been converted at a girl’s academy at age 19). Of course, strictly speaking, she had no Biblical grounds for marrying Houston--he was an unbeliever (to say nothing of his two divorces, neither of which seems to have been within Biblical guidelines). Sometimes God in His mercy over-rules our sinful follies (and sometimes He doesn’t--the two wives of Thomas Alvah Edison were both devout Christians, one the daughter of a Methodist bishop; both inadvisedly and unbiblically married Edison, a lifelong unbeliever, skeptic, and virtual atheist. He never came to Christ, though he might have, had they refused marriage out of Biblical convictions).
Margaret transformed Houston’s life, greatly restricting his alcohol use. For the first several years of marriage he was irreligious and disrespectful toward his wife’s faith, refusing to attend church at all, even at Christmas. But because of his wife’s Christian character and consistent testimony, Houston did finally begin attending church with her in 1846, and thereafter led family prayers at home when he wasn’t away on business or politics. Margaret set as her chief purpose in life the conversion of Sam Houston.
When Houston went to Washington, D. C. as senator from Texas, his wife and growing family remained behind. Out of respect for his wife’s faith, Houston regularly attended E Street Baptist Church where G. W. Samson was pastor. Samson befriended Houston and loaned him books on Christian apologetics.
The separation from his wife and family made Houston very introspective. Letters from home were precious; Margaret filled her letters with Bible verses aimed at his conversion. Each evening, he read from the New Testament. While in Washington, Houston took a temperance pledge.
Back in Texas, Houston and family moved to Independence, then home to Baylor College. In November 1854, Houston publicly professed faith in Christ (his actual conversion came some while before), and was immersed in a creek by Baylor president Rufus Burleson.
Thereafter, Houston was a transformed man--in habits, in language, in outlook. The evidence of both his subsequent life and his words prove that his conversion was genuine.
A diversity of factors led to Houston’s conversion. No doubt the early thorough Bible training he received as a child was crucial. So, too, were the prayers of his mother. The consistent Christian conduct of wife Margaret (in spite of her blameworthy act of marrying the unconverted Houston), was essential, as was the faithful preaching of the Gospel by various pastors, and also Houston’s own personal reading of the Bible. Houston, a sinner profane, drunken, immoral and blasphemous, yet gloriously and unquestionably converted--and transformed--at age 61, is testimony to the abundant mercy and grace of God. Charts and demographics about the odds of being converted at such-and-such an age are irrelevant. God does not save sinners by demographics; He saves them one at a time, whoever they are, whatever they are, when they come to Christ. We dare never presume that a particular sinner is too far gone in sin or age so as to be beyond the reach of the Gospel.
Houston’s last years were not those of a much admired, much venerated hero; rather, because he opposed secession, and later refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, he was considered a traitor, and was first refused a third term as senator in 1857, then removed from the governorship of Texas in March 1961 (he had been elected in 1859). He retired to his farm and watched with knowing eyes as the Union began to strangle, ultimately to crush, the Confederacy, bankrupting Texas, the ill-advised war leaving only ruin in its wake, as Houston foretold it would. Houston’s death in 1863 spared him from seeing the full extent of the ruin secession would bring.
---Doug Kutilek (As I See It from Feb. 2004, see The King James Only Resource Center Link at left)
Monday, February 27, 2017
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
From the highly recommended: Answers in Genesis <www.answersingenesis.org>
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Friday, February 24, 2017
I hope every Christian who hears me will set out to read the Bible through within a year. To read four chapters a day is the easiest way. You might read three chapters in the rest of the Old Testament besides the Psalms, and one chapter a day either in the Psalms or the New Testament. There are 150 Psalms and about that many chapters in the New Testament. If you read one chapter a day in the New Testament or the Psalms, you get through those parts in a year. If you read three chapters a day in the rest of the Old Testament, then you get that part read in a year. Set out to read four chapters a day. Be a good Christian. - John R. Rice
When one says, "Well, I'm not ready to be saved yet," he means, "I have another god on the throne. I have put self up there and let self be the boss. I am going to have my way." How it comes out in every child ever born! - John R. Rice
Notice that God has quite a bit of comment about this command: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God. . . . " What is this commandment? You are not to use any kind of an image in worship. - John R. Rice
The Bible is not against images and pictures. In the Temple they had lilies on the posts of the Temple, the capitals, the engraved lilies and pomegranates and beautiful flowers. And under the big brass laver out in the front of the tabernacle in the Temple courtyard there was a laver resting on twelve oxen that were graven out. And under Solomon's Temple there were figures of lions. The Bible is not against figures, not against pictures, but against using them in worship. - John R. Rice
Now what do people put before them representing God? Sometimes they may pray to Mary instead of to Jesus. "Oh, I just want to honor her." But you put her in a place the Bible does not put her. Let me say this: Mary was a good woman. Now people often mean well, but they have been deceived and mistaught about it. The Bible makes clear that Mary was no better than other Christians.
When somebody told Jesus, "Your mother, Your brothers are outside: they want to see You," Jesus looked about on the crowd and said, "Who is My mother, or My brethren?" Then He said, "Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother." - John R. Rice
I want you to see this: To put anybody in the place of Jesus is wrong. To depend on anybody else for salvation is wrong. To depend on any other sacrifice is wrong. You say, "We have the sacrifice of the mass, which is the sacrifice of Jesus repeated. That bread becomes the body of Christ, and that grape juice or wine becomes the blood of Christ."
No. When Jesus died on the cross He said, "It is finished." That is the end of it. He paid it all. In Hebrews, chapter 8, the Lord said, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Then He said, ". . .there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26). When Jesus died, that is enough. What He paid, it pays all that needs to be paid. No one ought ever add anything else in the place of His sacrifice or add it to His sacrifice. It is idolatry to put anything else in the place of representing God, except Christ Himself, the Scriptures said. - John R. Rice
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Subject: February 19 - Naming Names
Friday, February 17, 2017
There are never too many children of good, God-fearing, hard-working Christian people who raise godly children. They are the salt of the earth. Do you think God wants less salt in this earth? "Ye are the light of the world" - godly, Christian young people. Do you think God wants less light? Do you think we have too many true preachers, too many missionaries, too many godly, patriotic American citizens who work for a living and earn a good salary and make good and keep this country straight? Do you think it was too bad that John the Baptist was born? - John R. Rice
In Hebrews 13:4 the Lord says, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." It is normal for people to get hungry, but it is wrong to steal food to eat. So it is expected that there should be normal sex drive. A man needs a wife. A woman needs a husband. They ought to have children and a happy family. Such instincts and desires are normal, right and holy. It is not wrong that one should have some natural sex desires. But it is wrong that any man should take what is not his, that is, violate somebody else's wife or the one who will be somebody else's. That is always sinful. It is wrong to take what is not yours, but it is not wrong to have normal happy marriages and the blessing of God on the home and with children. - John R. Rice
Christ is not ashamed to be subject to the Father. And a man ought not to be ashamed to be subject to Christ. And a woman ought not be ashamed to be subject to her husband. - John R. Rice
You say, "Well, you ought to love your children." Sure you ought to love your children so much you are never content for one of them to land in Hell. You ought to love your children so much you will never be content for them to grow up as wild, irresponsible young people who never learn to obey the law and have no God but their own desires. No, children will be happy when they are reared right, and that means discipline. - John R. Rice
Thursday, February 16, 2017
From the highly recommended: The Institute for Creation Research <www.icr.org>