All Articles For Mahtani, Jon

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Like that lingering smoke at the back door of church, a smelly stigma sticks to the Reformed, young and old alike. What are our well known indulgences? Drinking (see my previous article—March 1, 2020, p. 259) and smoking. What has generally become a socially unacceptable activity in the world seems to remain a norm in Reformed circles—a liberty to insist upon, along with orthodoxy. Therefore, though admittedly with some hesitation, I seek to unveil this altar of strange incense that few today dare to disparage.1 What is the appeal of this smoke? For beginners, peer pressure and the rebel image...

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On behalf of many other godly pastors, I make a plea: Help us! We need your help in ministering to the grieving. Our prayers with the bereaved, our words at the funeral, and our care at the grave need to be complemented by your ministry. Our human limitations and inexcusable weaknesses even as we seek to comfort the brokenhearted necessitate your ministry. Your membership in the church, united to sorrowing members of Christ’s body, demands your ministry. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (I Thess. 5:11). But how do we go about doing...

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“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not...

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“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16 Dear discerning young people, By the Spirit of wisdom, I ask that you use the able minds God has given you and think with me for a mo­ment. Just think. Think about the philosophy of this world that says, “Newer is always better.” Think about the rash acceptance of everything new. Thronging the malls, the Internet sites,...

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Young men and women, lend me your attention for a few minutes. Your love for sports might make this a sensitive issue that you would rather not consider, but I think this is a necessary caution. I also believe myself qualified to write this warning because I have an appreciation for sports. I played at the high school and college levels, and I continue to value it even today. Athletics can benefit men and women with respect to social and leadership skills, as well as improvement in mental and physical health. There is an extreme view that sports have minimal...

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“…God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” Acts 27:23b. “Who am I?” This is the second most important question to ask and answer. Now and throughout all of life, every morning when you awake, every night before you go to sleep, and before every decision you make between waking and sleeping, you should be answering this question of self-identity.[1] But before asking ourselves this, we must be aware of the first most important question, which is “Who is God?” Catechism students studying the “Essentials of Reformed Doctrine” will recognize this if they remember the six loci of Reformed doctrine,...

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“But now [God] commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30 A good coach is one who goes back to the fundamentals. In any sport (basketball, for example), the trainer brings the players, as experienced as they are, back to the basics of passing, boxing out, defensive positioning, etc. Likewise, a good teacher never allows his or her pupils to stop practicing and executing the fundamentals. One of the foundational parts of the Christian life that we may never neglect to teach and regularly practice is real repentance. Everywhere in the Bible we find the calling to repent. Throughout the...

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In my last article on the church catholic or universal (Jan. 1, 2018, SB, v. 94, p. 156), I addressed the need to recognize that the church redeemed by Christ is made up of all God’s elect people from different places, races, and faces—of difference nations, vocations, and denominations. Our weekly confession of this in the Apostles’ Creed should be more than habitual speech; we ought rather to believe sincerely that God preserves the existence of such a people here in this world, including those outside the membership of our Reformed congregations. We must be willing to recognize these brothers...

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This article is not about a church denomination. It is not about a false institution called the Roman Catholic Church, which preaches popish heresy, administers idolatrous sacraments, and punishes those who live according to truth. Neither is this article about false churches today who mean by the term “universal” that God loves and ultimately saves every single person, no matter their religion. By catholic or universal church, I do not refer to these unfaithful organizations, nor do I refer to any denomination at all. Rather, the catholic or universal church is God’s elect believers, regardless of place, race, or face;...

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You have probably heard the accusation, “You are so legalistic!” or “Your church is full of legalists!” How do you respond to that label? To such a stinging stigma, you may want to respond defensively, “No, I am not! No, we are not!” Yet, however truthful or untruthful that retort might be, I plead in love for you young people of our beloved churches—that you think before repeating that answer. Examine yourself for this heresy within. For good reason, this article closely follows a previous one about the heresy of antinomianism. Antinomianism is one ditch; legalism is the other. In...

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