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Lowell Brueckner

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Pepper and Salt 5


Like a prophet, Vance Havner continues to give us the word of the Lord, disregarding the trends of the day. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings..."(Hebrews 13:8, 9). Truth is as old as the eternal Son of God; He is the truth and He is not moved an iota by the experts of our day. They will never persuade Him to fall in line with the shifting mentality of the times. They couldn't do it in the past and they won't do it today. "Who has been His counselor?"

A worldly Christian?... a heavenly devil?

We cannot be part-time Christians. We are all in full-time Christian service, or we should be. A man who is faithful to his wife most of the time is not faithful at all. A man who is a Christian and something else is not a Christian. The friend of the world is the enemy of God. Billy Sunday used to say, “This is no such thing as a worldly Christian. You might as well talk about a heavenly devil.”

Million-dollar launching pads

We build expensive churches and sometimes it is like erecting million-dollar launching pads to send up firecrackers.

Repentance and Permanence

On his second evangelistic mission to Great Britain, D. L. Moody preached repentance. It was said: “He had come to know that unless there was a genuine turning from known sin in life and thought, there was little permanency of change.”

God is not pragmatic

We can often do more by doing less, God is not particularly interested in quantity production. That is an American standard, not a Bible standard.


There are many brands of treason in the Christian camp. Men who deny the historicity and authenticity of God’s Word; worldlings who hobnob with the enemy; indifferent church members who come not to the help of the Lord against the mighty… all these are traitors. It sounds good to talk about forgetting all our differences and closing ranks to face the foe without, but we may lose to the foe within. Paul recognized two threats to the church… wolves from without and false leaders within (Acts 20:29, 30).

Two groups in the congregation

Malachi faced an indolent and insolent generation who met his condemnation of sin with an oft-repeated “Wherein?” They were saying, in effect: “We’re not such bad people. You’re scolding us.” But there was a faithful remnant, a nucleus that feared the Lord. Every Sunday morning we have both groups in the congregation: the “Where-inners”… morning glories who bloom at 11 a.m. and fold up for the rest of the week… and the remnant. Our only hope lies in recruiting the remnant into an effective Gideon’s Band.

And today…

George Mueller had on his desk a motto of two words… and today… from that great verse, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)… “Lo, I am with you always” is not a promise, it is a fact… not “I will be with you”, but “I am with you all the days, including today.”

God’s plan is not to change or convert the world

A revival, a visitation from God, will not accomplish everything that some people expect. Pentecost did not convert Jerusalem. Jerusalem went on to judgment. Pentecost accomplished God’s purpose. God is not out to convert the world but to call out a people for Himself. Revival furthers that purpose.

A mad world run by the inmates

Our world is fast becoming a madhouse and the inmates are trying to run the asylum. It is a strange time when the patients are writing the prescriptions. The students are threatening to run the schools, the children to manage the homes, and church members… not the Holy Spirit… to direct the churches. Such lawlessness always brings a dictator and the last of that line will be Antichrist, now in the offing awaiting his cue.

A word to Americans

It is more difficult for an American to become a real Christian than for a pagan. The pagan has no preconceived ideas of Christianity gained from watching church members. He comes to it brand new. The situation is in reverse with the American. He must unlearn much that he has believed and be re-educated before he can understand what Christian discipleship really is.

The King’s men

In the cave of Adullam, David gathered a little band whose sole and compelling purpose was to make David king (1 Chronicles 12:31, 38). He was an exile but he was destined to a throne. Jesus Christ, the Son of David, came unto His own and they received Him not. He was rejected of men and is an exile but He is going to return one day for His coronation. Meantime He gathers today a band who bear His name and are out to make Him King, first in the invisible kingdom of our hearts and then in the visible kingdom when He reigns on earth. The true church today is not this gigantic institutionalism with all its massive setup and glowing statistics. It is a persecuted minority in a pagan world, a modern David’s band in a cave of Adullam, last-minute men, King’s men, working for that day when we shall bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all. Comrades, I salute you!

Tolerance above truth, neglecting the negative, etc.

Paul was not ignorant of Satan’s devices, but we are not so wise. Among his most successful devices today are these: exalting tolerance above truth; emphasizing the head more than the heart; making size more important than sort; stressing the positive to the neglect of the negative; putting happiness above holiness; majoring on this world instead of the next.

The last laugh

When the body of Jesus was laid away in the tomb, it looked as if sin and death and the devil had had their way. It looked as if Herod and Caiaphas and Pilate and all the enemies of God had triumphed. But three days later, Jesus came out of that tomb! He had His way! So today it looks as though communism and secularism and atheism and lawlessness are having their way, but they don’t have the last move. Khrushchev quoted the old proverb, “He who laughs last laughs best” but the last laugh will be God’s. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4). “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming” (Psalm 37:13-14).

Dissenters like Micaiah

In state and church too many decisions are reached by compromise… steam-rollered by a consensus of rubber stamps and yes-men. It is fast becoming the unpardonable sin to be a long dissenter on any issue. The big idea is to present a united front at any cost. A prominent churchman has reminded us that this can be a sinister device, smothering all opposition and excluding passion for rightness and reform. Under the pretext of a solid front to enemies without, we are told to overlook all deserters and traitors within our ranks, since this causes division. Unification, unanimity, and uniformity are the order of the hour, and woe unto any Micaiah who disagrees with four hundred false prophets bidding Ahab and Jehoshaphat go up against Ramoth-gilead! This will, of course, in time produce a monolithic world state and world church with the mark of the beast and plenty of trouble for any who do not wear his brand. This is the advance program of Antichrist.

A prophet’s reward

The television performer watches his ratings, the politician his votes, the public speaker his applause, but the prophet who speaks for God is not governed by such responses. He delivers his message though it may fall on deaf ears and gain him only scorn and maybe a prison cell. Amos did not rate with the big-wigs of Bethel, nor did John the Baptist win applause in the courts of Herod. The forerunner had crowds but he stepped aside and left the center of the stage to One greater than himself. We live in a day when men will not endure sound doctrine but look instead for pleasant ticklers of itching ears. Is there not somewhere a coming prophet who will forget comfort and security and status and retirement benefits for the loneliness of a Jeremiah, the perils of a Savonarola, the conflicts of a Luther, to speak for God in these last days? Barclay says that the settled ministry has always resented wandering prophets who disturb their congregations. So the wilderness voice is not welcome either at home or abroad. But his reward is in the approval of God and the verdict of history.

The method, mission and method of the church

Our Lord did not carry a placard into Jerusalem to incite insurrection against Rome. The early Christians did not specialize in reforming the social order. They were the salt of the earth, and like salt they noiselessly revolutionized history by the influence of the gospel in human hearts. It is a sad day for the church when it gets confused about its message, mission, or method. 


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