In the Very Bosom of the Church

For the love of the church, the body of Christ, prayers and supplications must be our daily prayer for her.  She struggles in a world that is contrary, one that does not delight in the blessings of God.  The unbeliever lives in ignorance of Him but  takes delight and pleasure in His gifts of life itself, creation’s joys, liberty, health, beauty and grace.  They live in the world but do not know and acknowledge the Creator and Sustainer of it and thus shun the knowledge of Him and His Word.  The people live as though there is no God and no one to whom they must give an account.  It is our prayer that their eyes be opened and ears unstopped and open to His Word to know Him in all of His attributes and saving grace whether in or out of the church._TG

“But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away. For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further. For their folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be. 2 Timothy 3:1-3

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“Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God’s gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure. A form of godliness is very different from the power; from such as are found to be hypocrites, real Christians must withdraw. Such persons have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. There ever have been artful men, who, by pretences and flatteries, creep into the favour and confidence of those who are too easy of belief, ignorant, and fanciful. All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.” _Matthew Henry

“The seventh admonition: we may not hope for a Church in this world without corruption: but there will be rather great abundance of most wicked men even in the very bosom of the Church, who will nonetheless make a show and countenance of great holiness, and charity.” _Geneva

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