“I will never leave you” – A Certain Promise from the Lord

Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (6)  So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

The wicked leave and forsake. They abandon. Oh, they stick around physically way too long, but only to destroy. They forsake – which means to abandon and desert. They do it everyday, beginning with their marriage vows. Those of you who have been victims of a domestic abuser know this all too well. Abusers forsake their victim economically, emotionally, physically, relationally – really in every way.

Joshua 1:5 ESV  No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Isaiah 43:2 ESV  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

And of course as quoted above,

Hebrews 13:5b ESV  …for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Now, what I find interesting in this Hebrews passage is that immediately following this promise to never forsake us is this:

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The Remnant – this is an extremely freeing truth

Genesis 6:9-11 ESV  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.  (10)  And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  (11)  Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

We have been taught all our lives (or at least all the time we were in the sphere of visible Christianity) that most everyone who claims to be a Christian, who declares that they have been born again, who is a church member…is a Christian. We are not to doubt this, and in fact we were told that it is a sin to doubt it.

And so, here  you are coming to church on Sunday, walking into the place, and seeing all these people…75, 100, 200, 300, or maybe even a thousand or more. There is the singing and the instruments. The prayers. The communion table. The sermon which surely is declaring God’s truth. And there are the baptisms of people who have just been saved. You were taught that a real church is a growing church, and that if the numbers were not increasing, you weren’t faithfully doing God’s work. And oh, how busy it all was. Busy, busy, busy for the Lord. Programs. Committees. Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night. What a great church!

Well, let me shatter this artificial and unbiblical world.

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The Letter of the Law is not Enough and Bible Knowledge is not Enough

John 5:39-40 ESV  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

I used to think I could find sound, genuine churches by reading their doctrinal statements. As far as the reformed confessions go, our church adheres to the London Confession of Faith. And years back we joined a fellowship of churches (ARBCA) that all held to that same confession.

Now, the London Confession is sound. It is a systematic statement of what the Bible teaches. It is a summary of what I believe. But…

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