Podcasts & Audiobooks

I’m addicted to podcasts and audiobooks. Everyday I listen to podcasts and before bed I always have an audiobook I’m working through, so I thought I would recommend a few of my favourites, that may be lesser known.

Podcasts

don fortner

Don Fortner is a free grace preacher and I have been a faithful listener for years now. If you have read my blog you’ll notice it’s littered with quotes from Fortner’s sermons and I will always recommend his work. He’s a faithful preacher, sometimes prickly, but always faithful.

If you want a dose of free grace, Calvinistic preaching, Don Fortner is your man.

Theocast-Calvin-Logo-Bloom-Semper-ReformandaTheocast is a biblically Reformed podcast that deals with subjects such as Christian freedom, covenant theology, Calvinism, issues in the local church, etc. The fellas are easy to listen to, theologically deep and irenic.

Give them a listen!

ww1 podcast

I’m a World War 1 buff and find the entire period fascinating. War became industrialized, Christianity had become infected with German theological liberalism and the world changed forever. The battles were horrific and the men and women who fought and lived through it were heroic.

It’s not theological but one I’ve enjoyed. Maybe you will to.

issues etcIssues, Etc. is linked with Lutheran Public Radio and I’m new to the podcast. It was recommended to me yesterday and I’ve jumped right in and learned a lot already. Two episodes worth listening to are Evangelism and Eastern Orthodoxy with Dr. Michael Horton being interviewed by the host of the show. Dr. Horton is well known in Reformed and Lutheran circles for his participation in The White Horse Inn radio and podcast program.

If you want a conservative Lutheran perspective check out this podcast.

advent-logo

Saving my new favourite podcast for last, Cathedral Church of the Advent. The sermons and lectures cover a range of subjects including Karl Barth, the 39 Articles, Lent, etc. I’ve had this podcast on my phone for some time but only recently started to listen to it…obsessively.

If you want a slightly more Anglican flavour this is the one.

Audiobooks

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox has been one of my favourite audiobooks for the past 9781633891838.jpgyear and I’ve listened to it three times already. The narration is perfect and the information about Knox is informative and dramatic. When Knox was a galley slave held by French Catholics they tried to force him to kiss an icon of St. Mary, they forced it into his hands and he tossed it into the river declaring, “she seems light enough to swim!”

Knox’s piety will challenge you, the man was a true prayer warrior and Gospel preacher worth reading about.

calvinThe Institutes of the Christian Religion is a title I borrow every month from hoopla digital (many libraries offer hoopla with free downloads). The narrator is ok but it’s really the content I enjoy. During the warmer months I walk or cycle to work and this audiobook is playing when I doing my ‘hood ride’ home.

The fact that this is a freebie for most of us with library cards is a no brainer.johnny cash

Chuckle if you want but Johnny Cash Reads the New Testament is pretty awesome. His reading of Revelation has tremendous impact.

Well folks, that’s all for now.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

 

False Religion

“Though most loudly denounce salvation by works, when examined closely, all false religion is works religion. Augustus Toplady put it this way – “Every religion except one puts you upon doing something in order to recommend yourself to God…It is the business of all false religion to patch up a righteousness in which the sinner is to stand before God. But it is the business of the glorious gospel to bring near to us, by the hand of the Holy Spirit, a righteousness ready wrought, a robe of perfection ready made, wherein God’s pegasople, to all the purposes of justification and happiness, stand perfect and without fault before the throne.”

This is what I am saying – False religion always makes room for the flesh to glory. The great contest between the religion of the world and the religion of Christ is just this – Who is entitled to the praise and glory of the sinner’s salvation? Is salvation by free-will or by free-grace? To answer that question I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the past, though I thank God for what he has taught me through the writings of those faithful men who served him in past generations. And I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the present, though I truly thank God for his faithful witnesses who minister to my soul. I turn, instead to the Book of God, our only rule of faith and practice (Psa. 115:1).

Who is entitled to the praise and glory of salvation? What does the Bible say? “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake!”

Is salvation by the free-will of man, or by the free-grace of God? What does the Bible say? “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy!” (Rom. 9:16).

What do I mean when I use that vile, ugly, reprehensible term – “free-will”? I mean anything decided, determined, or done by the sinner to attain God’s salvation.” – Don Fortner

Election

Election

Here are eleven things expressly taught in the Word of God about election:

1. Election is “IN CHRIST.” No less than fourteen times in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians chapter one the Holy Spirit expressly tells us that every benefit and blessing of grace that comes to sinners from God is in Christ.

2. Election is UNTO SALVATION. Certainly, there is a sense in which it must be said that God’s elect were saved from eternity (Rom. 8:29); but we must never be deceived into thinking that election is salvation. Election is unto salvation. Election is not, as some teach, unto “Christian service.” Election is unto salvation.

3. Election is an act of pure, absolute, DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY. God has mercy on whom he will have mercy (Rom. 9:11-18). God was not moved by anything outside Himself to choose the people He chose to save.

4. Election took place in ETERNITY. God did not choose His people in time, but before time began, in eternity. He chose us before the foundation of the world, from the beginning, when nothing existed except God Himself in the tri-unity of the eternal Godhead.

5. The source and cause of election is God’s eternal LOVE for His people. He loved us freely, from everlasting, before ever the earth was made. Our love to Him is not the cause of His love toward us, but the result (Jer. 31:3; 1 Jn. 4:19).

6. God’s election was an act of free, UNCONDITIONAL grace. Grace is always free and unconditional. The moment a condition is put to it, it ceases to be grace. To say that God chose us because of something He foresaw in us, or foresaw we would chose to do, is to frustrate the grace of God, making it the reward of our work (Rom. 11:6).

7. Election is God’s PERSONAL choice of specific sinners to eternal life in Christ. Here is a sweet cordial of grace which shall never cease to amaze and rejoice the hearts of believing sinners – The Lord God chose me to eternal salvation in Christ, because He loved me with an everlasting, unconditional love!

8. Election is IRREVERSIBLE. “The gifts and callings of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). Those who were chosen to salvation in eternity shall not be unchosen in time!

9. Election is EFFECTUAL. There is no possibility that one of God’s elect shall perish (2 Tim. 2:19).

10. Election is DISTINGUISHING. To talk of universal love in God toward reprobate men is to talk nonsense. Read Isaiah 43:1-4! 11. Election is BLESSED, for it is the cause of all blessedness (Ps. 65:4; Eph. 1:3-6).

Don Fortner

Wicked Balances and Deceitful Weights

“Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?” (Micah 6:11)

The Lord God will not use wicked balances and deceitful weights when He casts the wicked into hell at the last day. It is written, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20).
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Be assured, O poor sinner, be assured, the Lord God will not count you pure with wicked balances and deceitful weights! He will judge you in the last day according to the record of heaven. You shall receive wages according to your works, when you stand before the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Everlasting hell will be your just portion forever!

Flee away to Christ! Trust the Son of God. He is the only refuge for your soul. — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” Trust Christ, and the righteousness of God is yours forever. He has made you the very righteousness of God, just as He was made sin for you! God will, with the true balances of His strict justice and the honest weights of His holy law, count you pure in that great day!

Don Fortner

God the Father Planned Our Salvation

From the preaching of Don Fortner:

In his own eternal purpose and grace, before the world began, God chose to save some people for the glory of his own great name. He determined that he would send his Son to live and die as their Substitute, and that he would accept the merits of Christ his Son for us. God determined whom he would save, how he would save them, and when he would save them, before the world began. Our names were recorded in eternity in the Lamb’s book of life. All the elect of God were, at one time, chosen and predestinated unto eternal life.

GOD THE SON PURCHASED OUR SALVATION. In order to save his elect from sin, God’s law, his truth, his justice, and his righteousness demanded blood. Justice must be satisfied. The sinner must die. Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ came as the Substitute and Representative of God’s elect. By his one great sacrifice in our place, he satisfied the strict demands of God’s holy law for his own elect. By the Just and legal price of his own blood, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, and lawfully purchased salvation for his people. Then, at the appointed time, according to God’s own purpose, and because Christ redeemed us, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT PERFORMED SALVATION IN US.

With Jonah, I rejoice to know and to declare unto you, that “Salvation is of the Lord!”

Amen.

Worship

fortnerWorship is an inward work of the heart. It is a work, not of the body but of the heart, not of outward posture but of inward faith. It involves a kinship with God. And, third, true worship is a work of grace. Worship is a heart work, a son work and a grace work. Our text declares that those who worship God in spirit and in truth are those who have been sought out by God and caused to worship him by his grace. Our Lord’s words are, “For the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

Listen to the full sermon here or read it online.

Why Hath The Lord Done Thus?

I’ve been listening to Don Fortner for a while now through Sermon Audio and I can’t tell you what a blessing his sermons and fortnerteachings have been to me. Sunday I sorted his messages on the website to start back at the earliest sermons he had online and found this gem, Why Hath the Lord Done Thus? The sermon was delivered to the Lords people after the tragic loss of a young child at a daycare. In this sermon Fortner proclaims clearly that God is in control of all things. He instructs God’s people to have faith. To trust in Christ. To know that everything is for the good of His people, that evil and tragedy are not in vain. Fortner’s message encourages us to trust and believe in the risen Lord.

May God bless you as you listen.

jm

The Apostasy

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

While there are no visible signs or prophecies to be fulfilled before our Lord’s return, the Apostle does tell us that before Christ’s second advent, there will be a wholesale, universal apostasy and departure from the faith.

Paul is not talking here about liberals, open heretics, and vile ungodliness. He talks about those things in other places. Here he is talking about a departure of men and women from the faith who claim to be in the faith, a subtle, deceiving, damning departure from the faith by professed believers throughout the world. Look at this third verse. Here the Holy Spirit tells us that heresies must come. They had already begun in apostolic times; and they only get worse as time passes (1 Cor. 11:19; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 1 John 4:1-3). And the man of sin, antichrist, will be revealed.

Forget about what you see coming out of Hollywood and read in books of fiction, masquerading as books on Bible prophecy. This man of sin will not be revealed to the world. He is not some hideous looking, green-eyed monster in a red suit, with horns and a pitch fork. He is so smooth and slick that unless God himself enables you to recognize him, you cannot recognize him. However, he shall be revealed to God’s elect.

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Here the Apostle identifies the antichrist, this man of sin. The antichrist is not one man.

I have no problem at all in stating as many of our forefathers did, in great faithfulness, that the pope is antichrist and the church of Rome is antichrist. I do not mean that is the way it used to be. I mean that “his unholiness,” the pope, is antichrist. I mean that Roman Catholicism is antichrist. That cannot be stated too often, or too emphatically. However, it is a serious mistake to limit antichrist to one man, or one religious sect. Antichrist was already at work in the Apostolic age. John said many antichrists had gone out into the world. Paul had to contend with antichrists at Galatia, Colosse, Corinth, and Jerusalem.

Notice how Paul describes this thing called “the man of sin, the son of perdition.” He is one who opposes God, exalts himself above God, and sits himself up in the temple of God and is worshipped as God, showing that he is God.

Antichrist is any system of religion, any man, any preacher, any church, any denomination that makes salvation to be dependent upon or determined by the will, works, and worth of man, rather than the will, works, and worth of Christ. It does not matter whether that system of religion is conservative or liberal, a mainline Protestant Church or a wild cult, Baptist or Methodist, Pentecostal or Presbyterian. Any church, doctrine, preacher, or religious system that makes man the center-piece is antichrist.

Those who teach that God’s will can be altered, hindered, or thwarted by man’s will are, according to Colossians 2, will worshippers, not God worshippers. They are antichrists. Those who teach that the merit and efficacy of Christ’s atonement resides in man’s will, man’s decision, and man’s faith are antichrists. Those who teach that the gracious operations of God the Holy Spirit may be successfully resisted by man are antichrists. Those who teach that grace can be forfeited or taken away as the result of something a man does are antichrists. – Don Fortner