A Message From My Brother Stephen Wilcox * With An Additional Note From Me

The following is a verbatim quote of my brother Stephen Wilcox from a Facebook post he shared with me, with a NOTE after the quote that is from me:

“Brothers and Sisters,

If you are afflicted, squirming in agony at the end of your rope and drowning in the sum of your fears, please prayerfully read this:

“Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

Have you been there? Are you there now? Even Jesus Himself cried out: “My God! My God! Why have you abandoned me?”

No mortal has the power within to endure the unendurable. Who but God Himself can rescue you from sitting in your own waste, scrapping off blisters with a broken bottle? I don’t know. Even best friends wax eloquent with sympathy, but bring empty cold comfort only, and change nothing.

Have you ever been so low that Satan sends a messenger, usually a loved one, to tempt you? They scream: “Curse God and Die! Have you ever walked through the dark valley of death in despair and dread of the trap you have fallen into? Right now are you alone and terrified of the future and helpless?

In the same way Job gasped: “I will not give up (my integrity),” we must not turn our back on He who owns our lives. He can spend us, or save us as He wills, according to His purpose. Our years are not ours. If we steal what is His, we will be judged as the wicked servant who buried his talent to avoid risk.

Just like John the Baptist in prison while Jesus is going from victory to victory, or Paul in chains and filth while others sell the gospel on their terms, we must carry our own cross. Crawling up that hill we join untold millions of saints crucified for Christ long before us, and most likely after us.

Remember, God has promised that He will not lay upon us more than we can carry. He will be with us each step of the way. So, we might as well put our back into it, for everyone will carry a cross one way or another, either for Him, or against Him. All die without remedy, and after that comes the judgment.

We all know that calm comes after the storm, and day starts when the sun finally shows up. The Book is filled with promises of redemption, so whatever happens, it will be worth it all. I know that. You know that. We all do. God will be there for us, one way or another, when the fullness of His time has come.

However, that is then, and this is now…

Today, if you are stuck on a stinking heap with a bloody piece of Coke bottle in your hand, please listen to the link below and be encouraged to cry out to God. Believe Him! Trust Him! Reach out for His hand!

Also, please remember to pray for each other and be there when, where and how it counts the most by doing unto them as you would have them do unto you. There lies the way, the truth, and the life…

Be blessed I pray!

Chaplain Stephen Wilcox
Theological Foundations Ministries”

* NOTE: I am not seeking to share theological precision by sharing Stephen Wilcox’s post. I did not include the link that my brother Stephen alludes too. You may access that link on his Facebook page.

What follows, in my NOTE to my beloved brother’s post and thoughts, are those his post engendered in me, by God’s providential will.

Perhaps some will care to dissect my brother’s  comments according to proper doctrine, but that is not what my brother Seven Wilcox’s post, or the words of His post, are about.

What they ARE about, however, is that every person must realize that they must come to the end of their own self reliance, and cast themselves upon the God of all Creation, who so loved those He died to save, that He came, in the Person of His Son, to take upon Himself that which we could never pay, to give unto us that which we could never procure for ourselves.

If you take away anything from this post, take away that there is nothing you can do which will cause God to accept you, but that He will accept you in His Son.

Christ endured more than most can imagine, physically; however, there have been those in God’s redemptive history that have endured more torture than He did (as controversial as that statement is, there are those who have endured more physical torture than that which our Lord endured).

What Job signifies, and what we must take away from this post of my beloved brother Stephen Wilcox, is that the Lord took upon Himself that which we cannot endure: The infinite, eternal, displeasure of God expressed in His wrath upon His Son.

None have endured that wrath of God but Jesus. None can endure that wrath of God other than Jesus, because only He was sinless, and only in His infinite capacity as the Blessed One of God, the God-Man who alone could take away the sins of those He died for, could that wrath be endured.

Yet, if one does not gain from God that regeneration which leads to conversion, they will, indeed, experience that wrath of God which is meet to the end to which it is set, for infinite, eternal holiness engenders a like similitude of such characteristics in the one who would approach God, and be accepted of Him as His child

This means, necessarily, that eternal punishment awaits those who reject the wrath of God which was eternally, infinitely, satisfied in His only Beloved Son alone.

Only our Lord Jesus Christ was given the affirmation of “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am pleased.”

Dare we to be outside such pleasure of the Father given to the only Righteous Man who ever lived, and which the Father is pleased to give to us on His behalf?

We cannot know the agonies of separation our Lord went through when He cried, “My God, My God. why have you forsaken me,” for we never had that fellowship eternal with the Father that the eternal Son enjoyed.

Yet He gives to us that which we cannot attain to – that same eternal link to the Father – and more: He gives us, by His propitiating sacrifice, and imputed righteousness, that state of being with the Father in an eternal state, which we could never have attained unto.

Sinner, if you are joined to Christ, you know this foreign righteousness which Luther spoke of; if you are not, God grant you the grace to know the Second Person of the everlasting Godhead gained for you, if you are one of those He alone died for.

Job expressed it well: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.”

Hope in Him who saves your eternal soul, sinner. Hope in Him who took upon Himself the eternal punishment you were due.

God grant you the mercy and grace to know that, in this world, and that which is to come, “Yahweh saves, and He alone saves.”

Thank you for your words, my brother Stephen Wilcox.

SDG – Bill

ARE YOU A SINNER? (A Brief Meditation)

Mark 2:13-17 (ESV)
13  He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.
14   And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15  And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
16  And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17  And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I would hope that your answer to the title of this short blog article would be “yes.” I would hope that such is the case because you realize that, no matter how mature you are as a Christian, the call of our Lord and Savior never intended to call any to perfection in this life, but towards perfection in the age to come.

Every day, it is brought home to me how far I fall short of the grace and glory of God. I have some dear brothers and friends on Facebook who incorporate the term “wretch” into their Facebook name, and I can well understand that need to recognize the reality of the remaining corruption of the flesh we must endure, constantly repenting and, by our Lord’s grace, overcoming it, until that time when we will be perfected, not by our own efforts to attain that holiness without which no one will see the Lord, but by the Lord of perfection Himself.

This, however, does not mean we do not strive toward such holiness; rather, it keeps us in the knowledge that what began with the grace of God continues with the grace of God, and will be completed by the grace of God.

It is very tempting to think we have arrived at some semblance of that perfection to which we are called. The reality, however, is that no matter what we attain in this life, none of it is to be considered as having arrived at anything that would make us more acceptable to God than when we first were called into that grace by which we are saved (Philippians 3:12-14).

The works we do now, in the present age, were preordained, not to give us that assurance that God alone bestows upon those who are His, but to give Him glory (praise) in various expression. Yes, we may gain some assurance when we do such good works, but the true assurance is always in the objective promises of our great God and Savior.

Too often, we look to the works of piety for that assurance, and doing such a thing will only end up leading us to that place where we see that we have fallen short of that perfection which is in, of and through God alone, and which we will only see and realize in the age to come. When we turn inward, looking at that which we have attained, we fail to see that all perfections are of that grace which called us, and that we were called as sinners.

The New Testament used frequent and various terms to designate those who have believed in Christ Jesus for salvation: called ones, saints, holy, beloved, etc. However, none of these descriptive terms should ever cause us to cease to know, and wonder at, the fact that our Lord called us as sinners, and that even as we have been saved, are being saved, and will ultimately be saved, at this time, He still calls us as sinners. We are to strive for those things which reflect our ongoing conformity to our Lord Jesus Christ, because these prove that fruit which is from abiding in Him; however, it must not be lost sight of that it is because of what He did, is doing, and will do, that these fruitful works are possible (John 15:1-12; cf. 2 Peter 1:1-10). To view these good works as meritorious in and of themselves is to take out of the equation He who brought us into union with Himself, His Spirit and our heavenly Father, as well as one another (thus, the greatest of the fruits we manifest, after love to God, is love to one another).

Our focus must be outside ourselves, which I have found is not that easy a thing for me, but which I am realizing, more and more, is necessary to experience that peace we have with God. It must focus on, first, He who called us, His perfections and merits, and secondly, those He has put us in covenant union with through His work. When these things of objective view are our focus, we can also see the need of those who have not yet gained that grace-given faith, and appeal to them to be reconciled with He who died to save sinners.

SDG – Bill