M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Contend Earnestly For the Faith

Again Mike words well spoken. Many of the people Christian meets on his way in Pilgrim’s Progress seem to exhibit what you describe: “Our Lord told us that the way to life is through a narrow gate which few find. It leads to a narrow, difficult path, which is the only way to God. The doctrines of these wolves are intended to deceive people into believing that there is another, easier way to God. Our Lord instructs us to beware of these people.” John Bunyan has another small book about the narrow path. https://acacia.pairsite.com/Acacia.John.Bunyan/Sermons.Allegories/The.Strait.Gate/index.html

Paul also warns the Church in Acts 20:
Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

And as for whether Matthew 13, from verses 29 and 39 it is clear the reapers are the angels..and this applies to the final harvest at the end of the world. But I think Old John Gill has a good word of balance for the church (and specifically the pastors which he contends are the servants, different from the reapers who appear later) that he expresses in commenting on verse 29:

Matthew 13:29
But he said, nay,…. The answer is in the negative; and which, if spoken to angels, is to be understood, that they should not inflict punishments, or pour out, their vials, as yet, on formal professors, lest the righteous should share in them; and if to magistrates, the sense of it is, that they should not persecute with the sword, or put men to death for heretical opinions; but if to ministers of the word, which sense I choose, the meaning is, that not everyone suspected to be a tare, or a nominal professor, is to be removed from the communion of the church, because there is often danger in so doing:
lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them: not that men of openly scandalous lives are to be tolerated in churches; they are to be withdrawn from, and put away; nor men of known, avowed, heretical principles; such, after the first and second admonition, are to be rejected: yet there may be such in churches, not altogether agreeable in principle and practice, whose character and situation may be such, that there is no removing them without offending some truly gracious, useful persons, in whose affections they stand, who may be tempted, by such a step, to leave their communion; and so cannot be done without a considerable prejudice to the church. The scope of the parable, and the design of our Lord in it, are chiefly to be attended to; which are to show, that a pure and perfect church cannot be expected in the present state of things; and that saints should not be immoderately uneasy, but patiently bear such exercises, until Christ’s time is come to relieve them, when the tares and chaff shall be separated from the wheat; when sinners shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous, and there shall be no more a pricking briar, nor a grieving thorn in the house of Israel.

At least in the 17th Century this was seen as necessary but tricky church business….

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3-4 (NASB)

The Epistle of Jude is generally attributed to the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. In v3 we learn that his original intent was to write an epistle on salvation to his recipients. However, he was compelled to write a call to battle for the truth instead. Why? The church was being infiltrated by some apostate teachers. Several of those I contend with attempt to…

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