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Lowell Brueckner

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Pepper and Salt 2


How different are the words and counsel of Vance Havner from the trends of our day! The most deceived are those who try to make both right. Both cannot be right; a choice must be made. Are you on the side of the popular preaching of our day, or can you see that it is taking us in the wrong direction? I feel sorry for you if you can’t.

The difficulty of discipleship

Our Lord’s attitude toward prospective disciples was exactly the opposite or our approach today. We dare not mention the cost of discipleship for fear we shall scare away prospects. He did not encourage cheap dedication. He seemed to dash cold water on the enthusiasm of would-be disciples (Lk. 9:57-62). He gave the rich young ruler a shock treatment, not a massage. Alexander McLaren says, “The best way to deepen and confirm good resolutions too swiftly formed is to state very plainly the difficulty in keeping them.” This is utterly different from our psychology, but it is Scriptural to challenge cheap consecration. Let us never forget our Lord’s description of those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but have no root in themselves, and the son who said, “I go, sir,” but went not.

Hollywood and the Bible

I would just as soon listen to a gangster lecture on honesty, as watch Hollywood portray the Bible.

Scum, spectacle, scandal… welcome to true Christianity

We need a dedicated minority who, like the apostles of old, are willing to be called the scum of the earth and a spectacle to the world for the scandal of the cross.

Funeral, frolic or feast

The Scriptures are not geared to frivolity. No great revival ever started in fun. The gospel is not a funeral, but neither is it a frolic… it is a feast.

Desperate situation… passive saints

The tragedy of today is that the situation is desperate but the saints are not.

Stages of gospel groups

 Religious groups usually have a history in four stages: a man, a movement, a machine, a monument.

Prestigious Christians?

The early church did not run a lobby in Rome; nor did the Jerusalem saints play up to Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus and make them President of the Council because of their money or prestige.

Sad, mad or glad

Preaching the truth makes people either sad, mad, or glad. Too many people today leave church on Sunday neither sad, mad, nor glad; they go out as they came in. Bettter go out mad than just go out.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing

In other days wars were won by direct frontal attack and head-on collision. Today some wars are won without fighting them. They are won by infiltration, camouflage, deception, subversion. Spiritual warfare follows the same strategy nowadays. There is the sneaking infiltration of false doctrine and the gradual inflow of worldliness into the church. Satan does far more evil as an angel of light than he wrought as a roaring lion. And matters are made worse because it is considered unloving, unchristian, to attack these wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are honored for killing lions but condemned for battling angels! It isn’t nice to tackle these mock angels who preach heresy in the language of orthodoxy.

A true preacher

A true preacher is best measured, not by how many bouquets have been pinned on him, but by how many brickbats have been pitched at him. Prophets have been on the receiving end of mud, more than medals.

Revival… Christians under conviction and repenting

Real revival does not begin with joyous singing. Evangelistic meetings may and should so begin, for we are declaring good news, but revival begins with conviction and repentance on the part of Christins. We try to make God’s house a delightful place, when first it may need to be a dreadful place. Repentance must precede rejoicing. Jacob said, “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God...” (Gen.28:17)

A true Christian… one among many

In the great Olivet discourse our Lord gives us six ‘manys’ of the last days. Many false Christs shall deceive many. Many shall be offended, and shall hate and betray one another. Many false prophets shall deceive many. Because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many (or most) shall wax cold. The faithful Christian today is one among the many.

Make friends with homosexuals?

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan wrote: “The world hates Christian people, that is, if it sees Christ in them. The measure in which the world agrees with us and says we are really a fine type of Christian, we are so entirely broad, is the measure in which we are unlike Christ.” Our Lord made it plain that because we are not of the world, therefore the world hates us (Jn. 15:19). There is a notion going around these days that we should hobnob with Sodom and get chummy with Gomorrah in order to influence them for good. God’s people are strangers and pilgrims in this world and the world hates them, as it did their Lord, because they testify of it that its works are evil (Jn.7:7). This ungodly generation is more likely to break our necks than fall on our necks in love and appreciation.

Breaking the law

We speak of ‘breaking the law of God’, but actually we cannot break them. If you jump from the Empire State Building you don’t break the law of gravitation… you just break your neck! The Ten Commandments stand today, unchanged and unchangeable. When we violate them, we suffer. What we sow, we reap. God is not mocked. When we crash into the pillars of God’s eternal principles, we are smashed, but the pillars remain standing.

Unsaved entertainers

Every Christmas and Easter a host of entertainers, who make no claim to a personal experience of Jesus Christ, sing carols and anthems about the incarnation and the resurrection. Such music brings no blessing. These worldlings may be opera stars, but the humblest Christian singing in the Spirit has something that the finest art can never produce from undedicated lips. We are in another world here, where heart and not art come first. No unregenerated child of Adam can sing the gospel to the glory of God. It is a blessing to hear a gifted and trained Christian sing in the Spirit, but television celebrities, who know not Christ, fall flat when they try to interpret the Christian message. Of course, the world cannot understand this distinction, but the church should. We glorify God and edify others only when we sing with spirit and understanding (1 Co.14:15).
Likewise, religious movies from Hollywood may bring a thrill, which some mistake for the moving of the Spirit. Pity the poor soul, who doesn’t know the difference.

Christ on your side

Men tried to enlist Jesus Christ in their projects and get His endorsement of their pet notions, when He was on earth. One wanted Him to divide an inheritance. Others sought His views on taxation and marriage relationships in the world to come. Jesus refused to ride any bandwagons. Today all sorts of reforms seek to fly His flag and advertise His support. The New Testament championed no ‘views’ on Roman imperialism, slavery, the status of woman in society, or social reforms. The gospel gets the slums out of people and then the people get out of the slums. Evils disappear, in individuals and their environment, as a consequence, as a by-product of changed hearts.

Words of Christ

“I will remove… I will fight… I will kill… I will come as a thief… I will spue thee out of my mouth”. This may not sound like our Lord Jesus, but these are His words and they are the alternatives to repentance. It is “repent or else!” and this is the ‘else’.

Unknown said...
April 4, 2016 at 1:54 AM  

So good to read such an article talking about the difference between what is real and what it is not.

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