Monday, October 22, 2007
Leicester, John 15 and Psalm 37
Late last night I returned from Leicester, where I had the immense privilege of preaching in Grey Hazelrigg's pulpit at Zion Chapel, Leicester. Grey Hazelrigg was a man who knew what it meant to suffer for Christ. While his sermons were not published as those of many of his contemporaries were, after his death a volume of notes of his sermons, entitled 'Fragments that Remain' was published. Mr. Hazelrigg often referred to his own experiences in preaching, and this imparts a very personal and autobiographical feel to his preaching.
My texts were John 15.16 'Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you', and Psalm 37.39.
The sermon on John 15.16 was entitled 'A Whip for Free-willers', establishing that it is Christ who chooses sinners, not sinners who choose Christ. Those who read this blog will know that I am what is called a Calvinist (though Calvinism is simply Biblical Christianity). Free-willers were roundly whipped and revealed to exalt man more than Christ, while the Bible exalts Christ and lays man in the dust where he belongs. It was shown that man does not seek the true God, but a god of his own invention. The Bah'ai were referred to as worshipping a god who was neither Jehovah, Allah, Brahma or Krishna, but a monsterous chimera composed of the parts of all of those deities that the Bah'ai like. If the Bah'ai want to avoid such remarks they shouldn't have put their book depot in Oakham by the railway where I could see it on the way to Leicester.
The afternoon sermon was entitled 'Salvation and Strength', and incidentally demolished the Prosperity heresy. Read Psalm 37 and ask youself, who had the better life now, the righteous or the wicked? No prizes for guessing the patently obvious! Of course the wicked have their best life now! And Joel Osteen is reavealed by the Bible to be what Mr. Huntington called 'an erroneous man' (phrase taken from the title of the work 'The Mystery of Godliness Established in a letter to an Erroneous Man'). Prosperity teaching makes those sad whom Christ has not made sad.