May 25, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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May. 25, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

A House committee is nearing a vote on a long-delayed measure to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, with Democrats and Republicans alike questioning key elements of the plan.

U.S. home prices rose 5.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as buyers competed for a limited supply of listings. Prices climbed 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous three months, the 19th consecutive quarterly gain.

Toxic chemicals used in everyday products such as household cleaners, clothing and furniture have been linked to serious illnesses, including cancer, infertility, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Under current law, only a small fraction of chemicals used in these products have been reviewed for safety. A bill slated for approval in Congress this week would set new safety standards for asbestos and other dangerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, styrene and BPA, that have gone unregulated for decades.

China has put the world’s traditional financial centers on notice that it wants to develop its raw material markets as hubs for setting prices, seeking to marry the country’s commercial heft with a much greater say in determining how much commodities cost.

Chinese officials plan to ask their American counterparts in annual talks next month about the chance of a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase in June.

Global crude supplies will start to dwindle in as little as two years, boosting prices, as the industry cuts investment to weather the worst market collapse in a generation, according to Statoil ASA. Oil companies reduced capital expenditure last year and are likely to cut it further this year and next.

Royal Dutch Shell will cut 2,200 more jobs, taking the tally of losses to 12,500 from 2015 to 2016 as Europe’s biggest oil producer continues to adjust to the slump in prices.

Microsoft will cut 1,850 jobs and take a new impairment charge as Chief Executive Officer Nadella pares back the company’s ambitions in smartphones. The company will take a $950 million impairment and restructuring charge, including $200 million for severance payments.

AP Top Stories

Hundreds of Pakistanis and Afghans have been lining up at a local swimming pool in Hamburg, Germany, to be baptized as Christians. In the Netherlands and Denmark, as well, many are converting from Islam to Christianity, and the trend appears to be growing. Indeed, converts are filling up European churches largely forsaken by their old Christian flocks.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July.

The Obamas are planning to rent a home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., after the president’s term is up. The family is staying in Washington so President Obama’s youngest daughter, Sasha, can finish high school in the area.

Megan Howerton graduated from high school last week, but she wasn’t allowed to walk in her graduation ceremony. Nor was her name recognized during the event. Why? Because she chose to wear her military uniform rather than her cap and gown. Howerton is a U.S. Marine, and when she showed up on graduation day in her uniform, McHenry High School West Campus school officials wouldn’t allow her participate in the ceremony. Megan sat in the audience instead.

As Egyptian officials continue their investigation into the disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 last week, security experts should look at an incident aboard a Somali jetliner that killed one passenger in February of this year. A laptop bomb aboard Daallo Airlines Flight 159 exploded shortly after takeoff from Mogadishu.

The Russian military suffered a setback in Syria when fires destroyed four Mi-24 attack helicopters last week, but U.S. officials tell Fox News the intelligence community believes it was an “accident,” not an Islamic State terror attack.

Speaker Paul Ryan is taking steps to bring greater order to the House floor after a Democrat-authored gay rights amendment caused chaos last week. Ryan told House Republicans Tuesday that in the future, such amendments will have to be printed ahead of time. Current rules can allow amendments to be written and voted on in real time when spending bills are up for debate.

BBC

For the first time in more than 130 years, adults aged 18 to 34 are more likely to live in their parents’ home than with a partner. The study by Pew Research Center indicates 32.1% living with parents in 2014, 31.6% living with a spouse or partner, and 14% living alone.

Cuba’s government has announced that it is legalizing small and medium-sized private businesses.

Greece has agreed a deal to unlock a further $11.5bn in loans from its international creditors.

WND

Microsoft changed the coding on the “X” so that clicking it now instructs MS to “upgrade” your computer to Windows 10. Yes, really. In fact, the two options on the page, “OK” and “Upgrade Now,” do the same thing as the “X.” To avoid the forced “upgrade,” a user has to go into the fine print.

A fifth grade teacher at Gresham-Barlow school in Oregon who was born a female, but transgendered into a male, won a $60,000 pay-off from the district after complaining of being called a “lady” and referred to as “she” in a harassing manner by fellow educators.

CBS2 analyzed millions of voting records from the California Secretary of State office and compared them with death records from the Social Security Administration. The result? Hundreds of so-called “dead voters.”

The costs of providing health care to an average American family surpassed $25,000 for the first time in 2016 – even as the rate of health cost increases slowed to a record low.

According to US officials, the Obama administration has deals in place to send approximately two dozen longtime Guantánamo detainees to about half a dozen countries.


Top News – 5/25/2016

Pope Exchanges Kisses and Praise with Grand Imam During Vatican Visit
Pope Francis met with the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican on Monday, embracing his Sunni Muslim visitor in a sign of improved ties between the two religions. According to The Times of Israel, this historic meeting is the first between the leader of the Catholic world and Sunni Islam’s highest authority to take place at the Vatican.

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Reported Near Duchesne
Utah (ABC4 Utah)- Seismograph stations in Utah reported a small earthquake near Duchesne Wednesday morning. It was a 4.1 magnitude on the Richter scale, according to officials.

Pew Poll Proves Progressive Democrats Are Not Fans of Israel
Making this poll even worse is despite the fact that progressive Democrats tend more supportive of the Palestinians, American Jews continue to vote them in office.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees flood in Monday
The State Department admitted 80 Syrian refugees on Tuesday and 225 on Monday, setting a single-day record, as President Obama tries to meet his target of 10,000 approvals this year — renewing fears among security analysts who say the administration is cutting corners to meet a political goal.

Entering Knesset, Temple Mount activist brushes off doomsday predictions
“I don’t understand that complaint,” the US-born Orthodox rabbi told The Times of Israel, referring to the argument that his activism stokes violence and fatalistic predictions that his entry to the Knesset Wednesday could trigger attacks — or a World War III.

UNICEF lobbies Canadian Parliament to allow euthanasia for children
UNICEF Canada is pushing for assisted suicide and euthanasia for children — or “mature minors” — arguing that this conforms with the Charter, Canadian legal precedent and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. That would include euthanasia or assisted suicide for mature minors who suffer from a non-terminal illness or disability, according to UNICEF Canada’s policy director Marvin Bernstein.

Does Newest Knesset Member Yehudah Glick Fulfill Jerusalem Prophecy of Zachariah? Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/68439/temple-mount-ri
An unlikely series of events has brought Temple Mount rights activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick to the position of Likud’s newest member of Knesset. Glick will bring a powerful voice to the Israeli government that may help move Israel towards a new era of serving God and bringing the Temple Mount to its proper place as a house of prayer for all nations. Indeed, his role may even have been foreseen by the Bible.

US reviews plan to infect mosquitoes with bacteria to stop disease
Biotech firm seeks government approval to market mosquitoes as a pesticide to prevent spread of Zika and dengue viruses.

Facial profiling: Israeli start-up says its tech can detect terrorists from just looking at a face
Israeli start-up Faception is claiming it can spot terrorists by simply analyzing their faces and says it is working with “a leading Homeland Security Agency” to identify potential threats.

60 Arabs Arrested for Incitement to Violence on Facebook
At least 60 Arabs from the Palestinian Authority have been arrested for posting deliberate incitement to violence against Israelis on Facebook, the IDF told the USA Today newspaper this week.

Quake jolts Azerbaijani sector of Caspian Sea
An earthquake has today hit the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, according to the Republican Seismological Service Center of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. The quake was recorded at 02:56:26 local time in the Caspian Sea.

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocks Crete
Greek authorities say a strong earthquake with preliminary magnitude 5.5 has occurred off the southern island of Crete, but no damage or injuries have been reported.

This State Could Be First to Put Gun Owners Into Federal Database
Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country. Most people entered in the “Rap Back” database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in “positions of trust,” such as school teachers and bus drivers… Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.

Khamenei: US ‘can’t do a damn thing’ about our missile program
Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei on Monday said the United States cannot “do a damn thing” about the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program. “They have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing,” Khamenei said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

US elections: Violent protests at Trump New Mexico rally
Demonstrators outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico have set fire to campaign merchandise and clashed with police. Protesters threw burning T-shirts and plastic bottles at police outside the rally at a convention centre in Albuquerque. Demonstrators held banners that read “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough”, and some waved a Mexican flag.

Avigdor Lieberman named as Israel’s defence minister
The controversial right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman has agreed to bring his Yisrael Beitenu party into the country’s governing coalition. The deal, which shores up Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s one-seat majority in parliament, will see Mr Lieberman appointed defence minister. Mr Lieberman pledged his commitment to “responsible, reasonable policy”.

Afghan Taliban announce successor to Mullah Mansour
The Afghan Taliban have announced a new leader to replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in a US drone strike. In a statement, the Taliban acknowledged Mansour’s death for the first time and named his successor as Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada. Analysts say it is unlikely the group will change direction under hardline religious scholar Akhundzada.

Reembracing Islamic Jihad, Iran to renew financial aid for Palestinian terror group
After a two-year cessation, Iran is attempting to bring Islamic Jihad back to its fold by renewing its financial support for the Palestinian terror organization… Iran’s decision to reembrace Islamic Jihad after two years of strained relations came following a visit to Iran in April by a high-level delegation from the organization, headed by Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah.

Obama Tells Vietnam: U.S. ‘Still Striving to Live Up to Our Founding Ideals’
In an address to the people of communist-ruled Vietnam on Tuesday, President Obama made a case for the importance of upholding human rights, prefacing it by saying that the United States, too, “is still striving to live up to our founding ideals.”

Judge rules in California’s open-bathrooms fight
President Obama’s open-bathrooms campaign already has been taken to court by the state of North Carolina, as well as a civil and religious rights organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, on behalf of several schools, and decisions are somewhere in the future. But the overall effort took a major hit just days ago in California, where a judge ruled in a case that has been in the courts for several years already that agenda critics deserve to have more information on the government’s actions.

EPA Just Declared War On Millions of Car Owners
The EPA’s proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline is a trifecta of regulatory abuse. It will do nothing for the environment, it will do nothing for energy security, and it could wreck millions of car engines.

Satellite imagery reveals ISIS’s successful attack against a Russian airbase in Syria
In war, even the most advanced aircraft can be shot down, special operations forces can be ambushed, and well-defended airports and army bases can be shelled and weakened from afar by simple, indirect-fire weapons. Such was the case in an attack claimed by the Islamic State on a strategic loyalist air base in central Syria.

2 more journalists go missing in lawless area of Colombia
Two more journalists were reported missing Tuesday in a lawless region where Colombian security forces were already carrying out an extensive search for a prominent Spanish journalist who disappeared over the weekend.

40 Volcanoes Are Erupting Right Now As The Crust Of The Earth Becomes Increasingly Unstable
ave you noticed that our planet has begun to shake, rattle and roll? Over the past few days we have seen major volcanic eruptions in Costa Rica and Indonesia, and according to Volcano Discovery 40 volcanoes around the planet are erupting right now as you read this article.


Top Headlines – 5/25/2016

  • Oil nudges $50 a barrel as investors bet on shrinking overhang (Read More)
  • From hinterland to wonderland: China’s ‘teapot’ refinery boomtowns (Read More)
  • Peter Thiel Has Been Secretly Funding Hulk Hogan’s Lawsuits Against Gawker (Read More)
  • China Wants to Set Prices for the World’s Commodities (Read More)
  • Big Banks Ladle On the Risk (Read More)
  • China Said to Plan Asking U.S. on Timing of Fed Rate Hike (Read More)
  • ECB credit buying to start small, betting on issue boom (Read More)
  • HP Enterprise to Spin Off, Merge Services Business (Read More)
  • Swedish court upholds Assange arrest warrant (Read More)
  • Trump Unveils Stable of Republican Donors (Read More)
  • Ryan Said to Tell Confidants He’s Ready to End Trump Standoff (Read More)
  • Clinton blasts Trump for cheering housing bubble burst (Read More)
  • Goldman Sachs Sees Malaysian Deals Evaporate Amid 1MDB Concerns (Read More)
  • Trump on the defense over Clinton’s housing market digs (Read More)
  • Nerves of Steel Pay Off as Metals Bonds Jump on Materials Rally (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank Trading Woes Exposed in Slide Down Currency League (Read More)
  • Jailed Ukraine pilot heads home under prisoner swap with Russia (Read More)
  • Polish minister says looking for solutions to constitutional row (Read More)
  • Shell Cuts 2,200 More Jobs to Withstand Lower-For-Longer Oil (Read More)
  • Microsoft May Cut 1,850 Jobs as Nadella Pares Phone Ambitions (Read More)
  • Sanofi to unveil challenge to Medivation’s board (Read More)

Palestinians reject Netanyahu’s call for direct Paris talks

Egypt seeks to advance own Israeli-Palestinian peace initiaitve

Facebook ‘incitement’ posts lead to arrests in Israel

American College Students ‘Frighteningly Stupid,’ Says Producer of Clip Showing Kids on Portland Campus Donating Money to ‘Hamas’

Doctor uses iPad to conduct remote surgery in Gaza

EgyptAir crash: Human remains point to explosion on board, forensic official says

Hardliner named to head group that will pick Khamenei’s successor in Iran

Iraqi government forces clearing booby traps set up by ISIS outside of Fallujah

Kurds launch attack near IS ‘capital’

Satellite imagery reveals ISIS’s successful attack against a Russian airbase in Syria

Russian attack helicopters destroyed in Syria; US officials say ‘accident’ to blame

Russia Denies Losing Helicopters at Syrian Base

Greece begins clearing thousands of refugees from border tent city in Idomeni

State Department sets new single-day record for Syrian refugee approvals

Saudi Press: U.S. Blew Up World Trade Center To Create ‘War On Terror’

Terror threats disrupt travel at two major airports

Hawaii could be first state to put gun owners in federal database

Microchipping your children could happen ‘sooner rather than later,’ NBC reports (poll)

‘They’re here for therapy’: Houston’s ‘rage room’ a smash as economy struggles

Eurozone agrees ‘breakthrough’ debt deal with Greece

Something Stunning Is Taking Place Off The Coast Of Singapore – A “Parking Lot” of Oil Tankers

Tectonic plate quake-trigger spots accumulating in Nankai Trough

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 14,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Mt Etna volcano in Italy erupts to 10,000ft

Season Approaches: U.S. Hits Record 127 Months Since Major Hurricane Strike

Possible Tropical Development Along Southeast Coast

Tornado Leaves Damage in Dodge City, Kansas; Injuries, Destroyed Homes Reported Southwest of Tulsa

Invasion of bats forces Australian town to issue state of emergency

New Zealand suburb besieged with hundreds of thousands of flies

Swarm of bees follow grandmother’s car for over 24 hours attempting to rescue their queen

CDC Official Says Thousands May Have Arrived in US With Zika

Scientists are trying to grow human organs in farm animals

Cannabis use linked to gene mutation

Franklin Graham: Target CEO in Denial as Stocks Tank $10B Over Transgender Bathroom Policy

These Irish sisters used to be brothers

Parents are stunned after hearing a girl had sex with as many as 25 boys in school bathroom

Bill Cosby details sexual encounter with teen in court docs

Trump’s Christian Policy Adviser Believes He Single-Handedly Stopped a Tsunami and Healed Cancer

Protests turn violent outside Trump New Mexico event

Steven Furtick: Unqualified, Not Unworthy

Do You Belong to the Lord and Are You a Biblical Saint?

The Ken Starr-Baylor story shows how religious schools struggle to deal with sex assault

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter quits priesthood after marrying a woman

The NAR’s Infallable Prophet Rick Joyner (and the New Breed)

Two ministers, 30 others snared in prostitution, human trafficking sting

Stop Sharing Anna McCarthy’s Articles (Examining the Blog “Just a Jesus Follower”)

Vulnerable Children Being ‘Recruited’ to Believe They Are Transgender

Jeff Maples – Should Christians Engage in Religious Debate on Social Media?

People of no religion outnumber Christians in England and Wales – study

Oklahoma Gov. Vetoes Bill to Make Abortion a Felony

Shocking 911 Call: Baby Born Alive After Abortion, “The Fetus is Breathing, We Can’t Provide Care”


May 23, 2016
ALAN KEYES — “… [Y]ou are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: …to them that are contentious and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, there will be wrath and fury.” (Romans 2:5-6, 8)… (more)

May 23, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — His days as a member of the “Choom Gang” of heavy dope smokers are behind him, but President Obama’s pro-pot policies are destroying lives on a regular basis. However, don’t look for the death and destruction to be included in a story about Obama’s legacy…. (more)

May 23, 2016
NEWSMAX — Billionaire GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump insists he doesn’t need big Republican donors to defeat Hillary Clinton this November. Trump also suggested on “Fox & Friends” Sunday morning that he may “sell a building” to continue self-financing his own campaign – – which he says has already cost him $50 million…. (more)

May 23, 2016
NEWSMAX — A majority of voters have a negative view of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the likely presidential matchup this November, a new poll shows…. (more)

May 23, 2016

NEWSMAX — Despite his overwhelming position as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump is still facing some pockets of resistance…. (more)


May 22, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — The Russians have been doping their athletes, but we are the dopes. In a scandal worse than failing to deal with ISIS, the Obama administration has been caught facilitating the nuclear buildups of Russia and Iran. The lives of millions of Americans and Israelis hang in the balance…. (more)

May 22, 2016

KOCO — The Oklahoma Legislature has filed a measure asking Congress to impeach President Barack Obama. The Obama Administration called Friday for public schools across the country to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity…. (more)


May 22, 2016
NEWSMAX — Many large Republican Party donors – – representing billions of dollars – – are extremely wary of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with many attacking the presumptive nominee’s policies and some even dismissing him over Democrat Hillary Clinton…. (more)

May 22, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Donald Trump Saturday tweeted that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy ideas led to the rise of the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Libya…. (more)


May 22, 2016
CBS NEWS — Search crews located the data recorders for EgyptAir Flight 804 close to an area where human remains and debris from the crashed flight have been found, an Egyptian government source told CBS News on Saturday…. (more)

May 21, 2016
BOB UNRUH — President Obama has appointed a transgender man to a prominent faith advisory position, sparking a flood of outrage from conservatives. His recent announcement named Barbara Satin to be a member of the president’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a choice commentator Tim Brown at Freedom Outpost scorched as a “mentally sick transgender man.”… (more)

May 21, 2016

JOHN FUND — Even though both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are viewed negatively by six out of ten voters, many are resigning themselves to that choice. “It’s not like ‘none of the above’ is a potential option,” GOP Texas governor Greg Abbott said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this week…. (more)


May 21, 2016
MICHAEL BARONE — As many have noticed, Donald Trump has been running significantly more strongly against Hillary Clinton in May polling than he was during March and April. From March 9 to May 10 Clinton led Trump by at least six points and by as many as 11 in the RealClearPolitics.com average of recent polls… (more)

May 21, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — A New York City resident who fled to Syria to join the Islamic State told NBC News in an interview airing this week that linking with the terror group was the “worst decision” of his life…. (more)

May 21, 2016
NEWSMAX — Egyptian air and naval forces have spotted a body part, passengers’ personal belongings and other debris from EgyptAir flight 804 that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 66 passengers and crew who were en route from Paris to Cairo, the Egyptian army and Greek defense minister said Friday…. (more)

May 21, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions in the state. The Republican governor said the legislation would not have stood up against a constitutional legal challenge…. (more)

May 20, 2016
BOB UNRUH — Whether it’s the realization across America of the actual killing that goes on during abortions because of recently released undercover videos or something else, there’s a building movement to protect life, including the decision on Thursday by the Oklahoma state Senate to make abortion in that state a felony…. (more)

May 20, 2016
BOB UNRUH — Thousands of people are expected to rally in Alabama this weekend in support of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was suspended by a judicial commission for his administrative order instructing judges to follow the state law and the state constitution…. (more)

May 20, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal judge ordered the Justice Department to send its lawyers back to remedial ethics classes Thursday after finding that the administration repeatedly misled the court in the high-profile challenge to President Obama’s deportation amnesty…. (more)

May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

NEWSMAX — Two top staffers in the Donald Trump campaign were spotted in a yelling match on a New York street Wednesday night, the New York Post’s Page Six reports…. (more)


May 20, 2016
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier warned Adolf Hitler that if the Third Reich invaded Poland, a European war would follow…. (more)

May 20, 2016

NAT HENTOFF — Last week, President Obama passed an important historic milestone. The occasion was not marked with ceremony, and no statements were issued by the White House. In spite of its significance, most of the national media allowed the occasion to pass with little comment or in-depth analysis – – which is why you may not be aware that Obama now has the ignominious distinction of being continuously at war longer than any other American president in U.S. history…. (more)


May 20, 2016
YAHOO NEWS — Is there a smoking gun in the 28 pages that were redacted from the congressional joint inquiry on intelligence from before and after the 9/11 attacks that links the Saudi Arabian government to the attacks? A co-chair of that inquiry, former Florida Sen. Bob Graham thinks there is one. He also says the link goes all the way to the top of the Saudi government and that the government’s funding of terrorist groups continues to this day…. (more)

May 19, 2016

NEW REPUBLIC — Donald Trump doesn’t read books.Reading is a popular pastime, for both laymen and presidents. Barack Obama routinely visits independent bookstores and releases his summer reading list every year. And George W. Bush famously got into a reading duel with Karl Rove, to see who could read the most books… (more)


Enemies of the State

“The church must stand opposed to the new sexual revolution,” says Todd Pruitt, contributor on Mortification of Spin.  “We must not pretend that we can afford to ride out the storm. We must ride into the eye of the thing. We do this for the glory of God who is being openly mocked by human […]

The post Enemies of the State appeared first on Berean Research.


Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages

Not to perform marriage ceremonies, but be in a homosexual “marriage.” Two men. Pastors, in charge of upholding God’s Word. Let that sink in. The Church of Scotland’s highest law-making body has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages. The church’s general assembly, which opened in Edinburgh on Saturday, voted in favour […]

The post Church of Scotland votes to allow ministers to be in same-sex marriages appeared first on Berean Research.


Christian, Stop Sharing Anna McCarthy’s Articles (Examining the Blog “Just a Jesus Follower”)

Here we have yet another example of a professing Christian who claims that God speaks directly to her in her mind instead of through the Bible.  According to Gabriel Hughes, the voice and creator of the video series When We Understand the Text, Anna McCarthy “seldom references his words in the Scriptures, but she will quote […]

The post Christian, Stop Sharing Anna McCarthy’s Articles (Examining the Blog “Just a Jesus Follower”) appeared first on Berean Research.


The NAR – You Will Know Them By Their Nuts

Church Watch Central has an exposé on Jesus Camp.  In it, CWC demonstrates the unconscionable way children are indoctrinated into the New Apostolic Reformation cult by leaders such as “Apostle” Becky Fischer. CWC posted a video showing children being brainwashed by this woman that has been blocked.  So Berean Research replaced it with two short Youtube videos […]

The post The NAR – You Will Know Them By Their Nuts appeared first on Berean Research.


SBC’s Floyd: Doctrine of Unity Demands Decree Against Dissenters

According to Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen, SBC president Ronnie Floyd has declared a new doctrine — the doctrine of denominational unity.  However, Alheim shows in his blog post that Mr. Floyd is actually a divider not a uniter. He contends that under Floyd’s leadership the SBC has lost its way.  So he calls for the […]

The post SBC’s Floyd: Doctrine of Unity Demands Decree Against Dissenters appeared first on Berean Research.


Move of God or Movements of Men . . . Connecting the Dots

Roger Oakland of Understand the Times International begins connecting the dots with the “Jesus Movement” of the ’60s and ’70s.  Was this movement really of the Holy Spirit?  Was God’s “Presence” in the movement?  Or was it another spirit, another gospel and another Jesus? Dot…Calvary Chapel in Southern California, Pastor Chuck Smith, and a so-called move of […]

The post Move of God or Movements of Men . . . Connecting the Dots appeared first on Berean Research.


Why Don’t Republicans Name the Enemy?

For those of us in a discernment ministry, a better question to ask is: Why don’t Christian leaders name the enemy? But this is not about cowardly Christian luminaries who are averse to naming names because they fear man far more than they fear God; it’s about the Grand Old Party, the party of conservative […]

The post Why Don’t Republicans Name the Enemy? appeared first on Berean Research.


Bathrooms are just the beginning: a scary look into the trans movement’s end goals

The radical LGBTQ–Q is for questioning–has a plan to totally destroy the concepts of male and female. In other words, they want to “burn the binary.” Claire Chretien of LifeSite News reveals that this goal is nothing new.  Chretien quotes transsexual activist Riki Wilchins as saying: Queer activists have been talking about [this] at least since the […]

The post Bathrooms are just the beginning: a scary look into the trans movement’s end goals appeared first on Berean Research.


The rise of the 'nones': Why are people leaving the Church?

The rise of the ‘nones’: Why are people leaving the Church?

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Christian Today

There are now more people in England and Wales who say they have no religion than say they’re Christians, and the trend is upwards.

Read Full Article »


Why Do So Many Preachers In America Refuse To Talk About Hell?

Hell Bridge - Public DomainWhen was the last time you heard a sermon about hell?  Just think about that for a moment.  Once upon a time in America, preachers all across the land regularly unleashed fiery sermons that directly confronted people with the reality of heaven and hell.  But today, that has completely changed.  In fact, there are some very well-known ministers in this country that purposely avoid ever using the word “hell” because it might offend someone.  It turns out that “happy church” can be a very lucrative business model, and many people seem to love the “me first” prosperity gospel that has infected virtually all of the major denominations at this point.  So there are countless messages about “blessing”, “breakthrough” and how God can make your life better, and very, very little preaching about sin, judgment, the cross and the urgency that we should feel to reach lost souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Read More…)


The One World Religion Cometh: Pope Francis Warmly Welcomes Top Islamic Cleric To The Vatican

Pope Francis 2 - Public DomainWhen Pope Francis met with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb on Monday, he told him that “our meeting is the message“.  So precisely what kind of “message” was Pope Francis attempting to convey?  Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, and some have described him as “the highest figure in Sunni Islam“.  The Daily Mail said that the meeting between these two men was a “historic bid to reopen dialogue between the two churches”, and as you will see below this is yet another in a long series of attempts by Pope Francis to build bridges between Catholicism and various other faiths.  In the end, what are we to make of all of this?  Could it be possible that Pope Francis is laying the groundwork for the “super world church” and the coming one world religion that David Wilkerson and so many others have warned about? (Read More…)


May 2016: Will Deutsche Bank Survive This Wave Of Trouble Or Will It Be The Next Lehman Brothers?

Euro Question - Public DomainIf you have been waiting for “the next Lehman Brothers moment” which will cause the global financial system to descend into a state of mass panic, you might want to keep a close eye on German banking giant Deutsche Bank.  It is approximately three times larger than Lehman Brothers was, and if the most important bank in the strongest economy in Europe were to implode, it would instantly send shockwaves rippling across the entire planet.  Those that follow my work regularly know that I started sounding the alarm about Deutsche Bank beginning last September.  Since that time, the bad news from Deutsche Bank has not stopped pouring in.  They announced a loss of 6.8 billion euros for 2015, Moody’s just downgraded their debt to two levels above junk status, and they have been plagued by scandal after scandal.  In recent months they have gotten into trouble for trying to rig precious metal prices, for committing “equity trading fraud” and for their dealings in mortgage-backed securities.  The following comes from Zero Hedge(Read More….)


Will the Traditional Christian Belief of Eternal Hell Be Minority View Soon?

Noting a 13 percentage point drop over the past 20 years in Americans who believe in a fiery underworld, the author notes that the stats present “a conundrum that continues to tug at the conscience of some Christians, who find it difficult to reconcile the existence of a just, loving God with a doctrine that dooms billions of people to eternal punishment.”

View Article


Should We be Skeptical About Visits to Heaven? – Dr. Randy White

Heaven is for Real is one of the most popular, with the book selling more than 10 million copies. The movie generated more than $91 million in box office receipts, and millions more in DVD sales.

The multi-million-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven actually preceded it, even though the movie version didn’t release until after Heaven is for Real. There are many others. Recently the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association honored Dr. Mary Neal’s To Heaven and Back for selling more than one million copies.

View Article


Gender Goal: Wipe Out All Morality

President Obama’s edict requiring all public schools to open girls’ bathrooms, showers and other facilities to males who self-identify as female will lead to sexual chaos and confusion among children, critics predict.

Few media outlets are reporting the extent of the policy as described in the president’s new “guidelines” but once people find out there is likely to be backlash…..

View Article


Hillsong Promoting Sex Pervert at Women’s Conference

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen has the story:

Hillsong, the worldwide leader in Jesus-themed music, has recently taken their approach to human sexuality to a new level. Adding to their general theme of godlessness in entertainment, including a recent risque Christmas performance that called into question their respect for women, and human beings in general, now they’re promoting the well-known sex pervert, Austin Powers, at–get this–a women’s conference.

Read more



The Daily Discovery (May 25, 2016)

headerImage-dailyDiscoveryARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
Devotional Theology: An Introduction – “We are to know God. In recent years, however, there have been extravagant measures taken by women to try to ‘get more’ of God; to hear from Him; to know Him better. Some of these efforts have ranged from painfully shallow to downright heretical. From the fallible, presumptuous words of Jesus Calling to the dangerous practice of contemplative prayer, eager Christian women everywhere are desperately seeking to know God better. However, the one thing we’re lacking is the one thing that’s sitting right under our noses—the Word of God; and further, a right understanding and application of it.”

Why Your Pastor Should Say “No More to Beth Moore” – “For many years, Beth Moore’s teaching has raised eyebrows among pastors and leaders in conservative circles. Although concerns have been raised through the years, Beth Moore continues to be welcomed into the study groups within local churches where women read her books, study guides, and watch her videos with limited, if any, oversight from the pastoral staff. Below I’ve documented three main reasons why pastors should fire Beth Moore from the women’s ministry within their local church.”

How to Honor Your Parents as an Adult – “Recently a young lady came up to me with a question, ‘What does it mean to honor your parents?’ Although I pointed her to a few Scriptures that came to mind, I don’t think I had a great answer to her question. It got me thinking, how can adult children obey and honor their parents? Ephesians 6:1-3 says…”

How Exaggeration Can Undermine Your Joy in the Gospel – “Have you noticed how prevalent exaggeration is in our language? Exaggeration is everywhere from the 4-year-old who says he is ‘starving to death’ 15 minutes after lunch to the fisherman who relays the size of his great catch. We love to round-up. We love the superlatives. As the Lego movie taught us (painfully) ‘everything is awesome.’ But if everything is awesome then nothing is. This is where we see how unhelpful our exaggeration reflex truly is. First, exaggeration diminishes our perception of reality. And second, exaggeration dulls our sense of the spectacular. We are always inflating or deflating with our exaggeration.”

Core Christianity – “I love to learn the essentials, and once I have learned the essentials I love to return to them. As Christians we may and must learn more than the essentials, yet without ever outgrowing them, without ever losing our grounding in them. Every time I return to the essentials of the Christian faith I am challenged and redirected—challenged with the beauty and the substance of even the most basic Christian truths and redirected to greater conformity to them.”


SERMON:

THT0kxVq

Paul Luedke – The Undeniable Authority of Jesus (Part 2)


VIDEOS:

Why I Choose To Believe The Bible

Amazing Sermon on Election


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur


A La Carte (May 25)

Today’s Kindle deals include three volumes in Christian Focus’s excellent History Maker series of short, accessible biographies: Mary Slessor, John Calvin, and Adoniram Judson ($2.99 each). Also, Crossway will give you a free e-book copy of What’s Your Worldview? by James Anderson if you fill out a quick survey.

Devotional Theology

I like the sound of this series: “From the fallible, presumptuous words of Jesus Calling to the dangerous practice of contemplative prayer, eager Christian women everywhere are desperately seeking to know God better. However, the one thing we’re lacking is the one thing that’s sitting right under our noses—the Word of God; and further, a right understanding and application of it.”

Why Your Pastor Should Say “No More to Beth Moore”

Josh Buice highlights common (and important) concerns with Beth Moore. “Although concerns have been raised through the years, Beth Moore continues to be welcomed into the study groups within local churches where women read her books, study guides, and watch her videos with limited, if any, oversight from the pastoral staff.”

Reading Writers

Aaron Armstrong invited me to be a guest on his podcast to discuss the joys of reading. We also discuss how and where I read and I insult him for reading comic books, I mean graphic novels.

Children of the Heroin Crisis

Here is a sad look at grandparents who have been forced to raise their grandchildren because the parents have been consumed by the heroin crisis. “With the rise in heroin use, grandparents are increasingly raising their grandchildren because the parents are either dead, in jail, in rehab or otherwise incapable of taking care of their children.”

Submission Is a Mark of Maturity

This is true no matter who you are or who you are called to submit to: Maturity matters.

This Day in 1865. 151 years ago today, John Mott was born. Mott served with the Y.M.C.A. for 40 years and chaired the 1910 Edinburgh Missionary Conference. *

The Vanity of Conspiracy Theories and the Banality of Real Evil

I’ve linked in the past to Carl Trueman’s thoughts on conspiracy theories. In general, I agree with what he says (though here the term is not defined, something that would have been helpful).

Reboot Your Phone with Mindfulness

Even if you don’t buy into the wider philosophy behind this article, there is lots of good advice on setting up your phone in such a way that you reduce distraction and do away with many of your thoughtless or subconscious interactions with it.

Flashback: Can You Help Me Find a Good Church?

“It may be the email I get more than any other: Can you help me find a church?”

Horton

Never presume God will grant you apart from prayer what he has ordained to grant you only by means of prayer. —Sam Storms


Key Connections (May 25, 2016)

Why Doesn’t God Still Speak Audibly? (Patrick Schreiner, The Gospel Coalition)

Did Old Testament saints see God, or has no one ever seen God? And does he reveal himself the same way in the New Testament as in the Old?

The Attributes of God (Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Sayable)

I really mean it when I say committing these characteristics of God to memory has been one of the most life-changing disciplines for me.

Prayer always makes a difference—even when God says “no” (Anne Woodcock, The Good Book Company)

We wonder if we’re praying for something wrong, or in the wrong way. We get disheartened. We give up. We conclude that prayer “doesn’t work.”

4 Ways the Gospel Is Shaping My Parenting (Michael Kelley, Forward Progress)

The gospel, then, shapes our parenting just as the gospel shapes everything else about who we are and what we do. How does that shaping happen?

Devotional Theology (Jessica Pickowicz, Beautiful Thing)

Christian women everywhere are desperately seeking to know God better. However, the one thing we’re lacking is the one thing that’s sitting right under our noses—the Word of God; and further, a right understanding and application of it.

The post Key Connections (May 25, 2016) appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Links I like (5/25)

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Gord Downie diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Downie is the lead singer of Canada’s official band, The Tragically Hip, which plans to go on one last tour while Downie is with them.

Lord, Make Me Viral

Barnabas Piper offers the prayer of many platform seekers.

4 Ways the Gospel is Shaping My Parenting

Michael Kelley:

See, once upon a time I thought of the gospel as a moment in time decision that had eternal implications. And while that may be true, if that’s all you ever see the gospel as, then you are falling radically short of approaching the fullness of its implications. Jesus likened believing the gospel to being born again. That is to say, belief in the gospel causes such a profound change in the life of an individual that you can only liken it to starting over, but this time with a new heart. New tastes. New desires. New priorities. And so on. That newness that comes as a result of new birth in Christ trickles down into every area of life, including our parenting.

How to Honor Your Parents as an Adult

Jordan Standridge:

Honoring our parents has lifelong ramifications. Although there are circumstances where obeying this verse becomes impossible (parents die, they are abusive, they abandon their children etc.) we are called to honor them. So here are some ways we can apply this verse as adult children.

The Remedy for Our Helicopter Parenting

Gloria Furman:

Missional motherhood is not just for women who’ve physically given birth or for those who’ve adopted children born from the body of another. Every single Christian woman is called to make disciples of all nations. We all must labor, prayerfully expecting God to mercifully grant people new birth in Christ. Since Jesus is worthy to receive worship from the image bearers he’s created, every human being is worthy of our effort in this endeavor of discipleship.

In this sense, no Christian woman is child-free.

Brothers, We Are Called to Be Troublers of Israel

Mike Leake:

I hear stories like that and I think to myself, “man, is that doctrine really worth your life? Is it really worth losing your family over?” After all, isn’t this what we would call a secondary or even tertiary doctrine? It would have been so easy for them to have just shut their mouths, call it a non-essential and went about their merry way preaching Jesus and reforming churches.

Then I remember Elijah.

10 Issues I Frequently Mark When Grading Theology Papers

Seminary students, take note.

 What Does God Have to Do With It?

Jim Elliff:

We are adequate in our evangelism only in the way a shovel is adequate to dig a ditch, or a dust pan is adequate to hold what is swept off the floor, or a microphone is adequate to stir a crowd. We fit the occasion and have our place, but the “doing” of it is by God.

The post Links I like (5/25) appeared first on Blogging Theologically.


Check Out

Blogs

How to Honor Your Parents as an Adult | Jordan Standridge, The Cripplegate
“Honoring our parents has lifelong ramifications. Although there are circumstances where obeying this verse becomes impossible (parents die, they are abusive, they abandon their children etc.) we are called to honor them. So here are some ways we can apply this verse as adult children.”

How to Make Your Gender Disappear | Jared Oliphint, TGC
“The federal government has bought into the idea that gender identity is essentially a matter of the mind. On this understanding, one’s gender cannot be examined, measured, touched, seen, or scientifically proven; gender identity relies wholly and exclusively on self-reporting. And this report comes from one’s own internal feelings and self-analysis, regardless of age.”

The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness | Ed Stetzer, The Exchange
Mental illness is not a subject Christians should run from.

Does the Doctrine of Male Headship Lead to Abuse? | Mary Kassian, True Woman Blog
“Have I witnessed some men use the argument of wifely submission to justify abuse? Yes, I have. It’s deplorable. But I’ve witnessed them use the cover of egalitarianism, too. Abusive men use whatever cover they can to justify their violent sinful behavior.”

The Attributes of God | Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Sayable
“Committing these characteristics of God to memory has been one of the most life-changing disciplines for me. They’re easy to remember, they remind me I am not God, and they speak to nearly every lie I am tempted to believe about Him.”

More Evidence That Helping Others Is a Catalyst for Well-Being | Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard
Something science and spirituality can agree on.

Tabletalk Milestone: 100,000 Copies to 60+ Countries Each Month | Burk Parsons, Tabletalk
Burk Parsons is now the editor of Tabletalk. Here’s how he first came across it.

“In 1995, I searched everywhere for good theology-theology that is founded on and flows from the Word of God. During my search, a dear friend gave me a copy of Tabletalk magazine. I read it from cover to cover. I immediately ordered a subscription, and month after month God used Tabletalk to change my theology and to change my life. Tabletalk was unlike anything I had seen before, and it is unlike anything I have seen since. Tabletalk gave me the depths of theology without sacrificing the basics of theology.”

How To Become a Good Writer: 50 Quotes From The Greats | Mary Jaksch, Write to Done
“You want to write. But you’re not sure if that makes you a writer. And you don’t just want to be any kind of writer; you want to become a good writer. here are 50 quotes to help you.”

New Book


Jewels From John Newton selected by Miller Ferrie.

Free eBook


What’s Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions by James N. Anderson (FREE!)

Kindle Deals


Jesus, the Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? by John Piper ($0.99)


¿Cómo debo vivir en este mundo? and many other Spanish editions by R.C. Sproul (FREE)


Scores Of Muslim Refugees Finding Jesus

Posted: 25 May 2016 07:05 AM PDT

Hundreds of Pakistanis and Afghans have been lining up at a local swimming pool in Hamburg, Germany, to be baptized as Christians. In the Netherlands…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dementia Test Reveal Risk of Developing Disease

Posted: 25 May 2016 07:00 AM PDT

A simple blood test to identify if men have lost crucial genetic material in later life could finally close the gap in life expectancy between…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. Students Donate ‘To Wipe Israel Off Map’

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:54 AM PDT

Satirical filmmaker Ami Horowitz recently visited Oregon’s Portland State University to find out just how far students there were willing to go to fund anti-Israel…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Desmond Tutu’s Daughter Gives Up Church to Marry an Atheist Woman

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:50 AM PDT

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu’s daughter Mpho surrendered her clergy license so she could marry a female atheist professor, according to several reports. “Because…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Transgender teacher wins $60,000 for being called ‘She’

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:47 AM PDT

A fifth grade teacher at Gresham-Barlow school in Oregon who was born a female, but transgendered into a male, won a $60,000 pay-off from the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Target Stock Loses $10 Billion Since Embracing Transgenders

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:43 AM PDT

On a media call last week, Target CEO Brian Cornell was asked if the boycott had an effect on their sales or stock price. He…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

A Great Falling Away Is Underway, Apostasy Reigns Supreme

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:39 AM PDT

(Written By Jennifer Leclaire) If they hate Jesus, they’ll hate you—and they certainly hate Jesus. I’m talking about the American Left and its unyielding war…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Syrian Refugees Flooding In US

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:36 AM PDT

The State Department admitted 80 Syrian refugees on Tuesday and 225 on Monday, setting a new single-day record as President Obama surges to try to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

JFK Airport Workers Entering Restricted Area Without Being Checked…

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:31 AM PDT

John F. Kennedy International Airport workers have been able to enter a restricted area of the airport without being checked. CBS News obtained cellphone camera…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Anti-Trump Protests Breakout At New Mexico Rally

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:26 AM PDT

In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mcdonald’s Robot Worker Replacement Has Arrived

Posted: 25 May 2016 06:21 AM PDT

A former McDonald’s CEO warned that robots will take over staff jobs at the fast food empire – because it’s cheaper than employing humans. Ed…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Huge Fireball Seen In Skies Of Japan

Posted: 24 May 2016 02:31 PM PDT

Look at this brilliant fireball striking the sky of Japan on May 23, 2016. The path of disintegration is so long! Insane! The bright meteor…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Apocalyptic Heatwave Melts Roads in India

Posted: 24 May 2016 02:27 PM PDT

Besides, droughts and death, another side effect of the current heat wave in India are melting roads. Yes, it’s so hot that the asphalt covering…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Minnesotans Blast Governor for Proclaiming Monday ‘Beyoncé Day’

Posted: 24 May 2016 12:27 PM PDT

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith proclaimed Monday, May 23, 2016, to be “Beyoncé Day” in The North Star State. “Beyoncé has…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The War Against Christians Has Begun

Posted: 24 May 2016 12:21 PM PDT

(Written By Matt Walsh) Christians, we are at war. Maybe it’s time we accept that fact. It’s not fun to think about, I realize, but…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Biblical Indictment Of America

Posted: 24 May 2016 12:16 PM PDT

(Written By Bill Salus) World history confirms what the Bible boldly declares: The establishment and future of a city, territory, nation or empire, is determined…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

31 Recognized Genders In NY and Heavy Fines For Not Addressing Them

Posted: 24 May 2016 12:06 PM PDT

Individuals living in New York City can choose from a minimum of 31 different gender identities, many of which allow them to fluctuate between some…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Valedictorian Leads Graduates in Lord’s Prayer After District Removes Song Over Atheist Complaint

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:54 AM PDT

The valedictorian of a high school in Ohio led his class in a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer during their graduation ceremony this past weekend…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Memorial Crosses Honoring Fallen Soldiers Removed After Complaint

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:50 AM PDT

A Memorial Day display featuring crosses to honor fallen soldiers was removed from public property in Georgia after someone questioned whether the soldiers were all…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook Makes Changes after ‘Trending Topics’ Investigation

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:37 AM PDT

Facebook says it will no longer count on news outlets to help determine what gets posted as a “trending topic,” according to the Associated Press….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Children Will be Microchipped Very Soon

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:18 AM PDT

An NBC News report that promotes the microchipping of children asserts that it will happen “sooner rather than later” and that Americans will eventually accept…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Marijuana Use linked to “Gene Mutation”

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:13 AM PDT

Scientists from The University of Western Australia have identified how using cannabis can alter a person’s DNA structure, causing mutations which can expose them to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Poll Reveals Americans View of Transgenders

Posted: 24 May 2016 11:00 AM PDT

As the nation debates transgender people and bathrooms, one question has been left largely unanswered: Where do most Americans stand on trans issues in general?…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

LGBT group demands Dallas to cut ties with pastor after controversial remark

Posted: 24 May 2016 10:55 AM PDT

A Dallas-based LGBT resource center is calling on Dallas leaders to cut ties with a controversial North Texas pastor who compared gay-friendly business advocates to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

 


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Family Friendly Hillsong Includes the dancing Naked Cowboy?

churchwatch central

Did you know that Hillsong is not only planning to release their own Hillsong movie, they are also planning to produce a new Hillsong Channel?

Honestly, is this the best face Christianity has the offer to the world? Is their message what we want to promote?

Recently, Hillsong decided to have their Hillsong London’s Senior Pastor Gary Clarke dress up and dance as Austin Powers for their UK Women’s conference…

Hillsong Parading Their Fleshly Principalities and Powers
Video of Pastor Austin Powers performing at Goatsong

00cwcportrait_Ps_Austin_PowersIF YOU’RE MARRIED AND YOU KNOW IT – WARN YOUR WIFE

Now it has emerged that Hillsong recently had the ‘NY Naked Cowboy’ up on stage for their “Christian” Conference in the United States of America.

If you have a problem with this, according to Hillsong, you’re going to Hell.

“I think you are going to find [God] will deal with you. Big shocks ahead when judgmental people face their saviour…

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Statism and the De-Sexed Society – CultureWatch

The Total State wants nothing standing in between it and the naked individual. Complete control by the authoritarians is much easier that way of course when there is no one to mediate between the person and the All-Powerful State. Things like independent unions, churches, families and voluntary societies are all targeted when the Police State takes charge.

That is why families and churches are especially in the crosshairs of the militant social activists. They know that if these two institutions can be destroyed or neutralised, then the Totalist State has a free run. I have warned about this repeatedly, including in this recent piece: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/04/08/cultural-marxism-war-family/

This is how we must understand the homosexual and transgender juggernaut which is crushing everything in its path. These identical twins are involved in an effort to subvert and overthrow biblical morality and marriage and the family. The war on the sexes is a very vital component of all this.

big brother 5Destroy the very concept of male and female and you go a long way to destroying culture – certainly any culture based on biology, normality, reality, and the Judeo-Christian worldview. That is the endgame for the sexual revolutionaries: destroy it all.

So the hyper-drive for trans’ rights is just the latest manifestation of all this. De-sex society and you destroy society. And then the State gets complete control over everything and everyone. And the activists have spilled the beans on this, so don’t take my word for it.

I have already mentioned how the Marxist trans-activist Roz Ward who developed Australia’s Safe Schools program has openly admitted that this is not at all about bullying, but about implementing the Marxist cultural, social and sexual agenda.

And in America we have activists like Riki Wilchins who write in mainstream homosexual outlets like The Advocate, saying “We’ll Win the Bathroom Battle When the Binary Burns”. The subtitle to the article says it all: “Ending our culture’s obsession with what’s ‘male’ and what’s ‘female’ will be our salvation”.

In the piece he/she says that we must move beyond the two sexes: “You have to instead critique the heterobinary structure itself.” The article concludes as follows:

What really needs to be contested here is not just our right to use bathrooms with dignity (which would personally be very welcome), but the entire underlying hetero-binary structuring of the world queers must inhabit. This is the real struggle, and queer activists have been talking about it at least since the 1970s of Gay Liberation, even as the movement it spawned has continued to nudge it aside. All of which is to say, transgender advocates and their allies are doing incredible work. But they have finally and perhaps unwittingly opened the gender Pandora’s Box, and over the next few years all sorts of unexpected non-binary things, like Maria, are about to come popping out. This is going to be interesting.

As Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council put it, “The long-term goals of many LGBT activists are actually not just access to the restrooms of their preferred gender identity, but actually destroying the concept of gender or the separation of the genders altogether.”

Or as Rod Dreher wrote, “That is to say, they want to destroy the concepts of male and female entirely. This is what they’re after, and they’re not going to stop until it is accomplished.” Stella Morabito, who has written often on this issue has a brand new article which is well worth highlighting. Entitled, “A De-Sexed Society is a De-Humanized Society” she notes how Big Brother and the sexual anarchists are in bed together on this.

She begins:

President Obama’s transgender directive isn’t about civil rights or bathroom use. It’s about state control over personal relationships. As usual, tyranny comes disguised as “civil rights.” The latest exhibit of this general rule is President Obama’s directive that seeks to force a transgender bathroom, locker room and dorm policy on the entire nation, starting with schoolchildren. Many of us are taken aback by this news, but we really shouldn’t be. The order is merely the latest incarnation of a long line of social engineering. The goal, as is always the case with such movements, is to remake humanity. What the people behind this latest version won’t tell you is that their project requires each and every one of us to deny our own humanity.

She reminds us that “Without Sex, There Are No Families” and goes on to say this:

What will happen when all of society is sexless in both language and law? If the law does not recognize your body as physically male or female—applying only the word “gender” to your internal, self-reported self-perception—does the law even recognize your body? Every single cell of you has either “male” or “female” written into its DNA, but the law refuses to recognize such categories. Such laws will only recognize an infinite, immeasurable “gender spectrum,” your place on which is determined only by your mind. So what exactly are you after the law has de-sexed you? In what sense is your body a legal entity?
And what happens to your familial relationships after the law has de-sexed you? Are they legally recognized? I don’t see how they could be. Certainly not by default, certainly not by the recognition that each child comes through the union of two opposite-sex parents.
In a society de-sexed by law, would the state recognize your relationship as a husband or a wife? Mother or father? Daughter or son? Those are all sexed terms. A system that does not recognize the existence of male and female would be free to ignore the parentage of any child. You might be recognized as your child’s “legal guardian,” but only if the state agrees to that. Anybody can be a guardian to your child if the state decides it’s in the child’s “best interest.” In this vision, there is nothing to prevent the state from severing the mother-child bond at will.
In such a scenario, the state controls all personal relationships right at their source: the biological family. The abolition of family autonomy would be complete, because the biological family would cease to be a default arrangement. The “family” would be whatever the state allows it to be. Again, in the de-sexed world of gender politics, all personal relationships end up controlled and regulated by the state.
Martha Fineman, a gender legal theorist, touched on this in her 2004 book The Autonomy Myth. In it, she argues for the abolition of state-recognized marriage because it allows for family privacy, writing that “Once the institutional protection [is] removed, behavior would be judged by standards established to regulate interactions among all members of society” (emphasis added).
Gender ideology is an effective statist tool. Cultural Marxists use it to corrupt language and sow confusion, especially among children. It paves the way for the removal of the institutional protections for freedom of association and family privacy that stand in the way of “regulating interactions among all members of society.”

She then asks, “How do you get public opinion on board with an agenda that leads them to deny the reality of their own humanity?” Here is her disturbing answer:

There are lots of pieces to this puzzle, including the erosion of social trust, the breakdown of family, social polarization, and growing ignorance of history. But the groundwork has been laid over a long period of time.
First, virtually all outlets of communication had to be on board—Hollywood, academia, the media. Check. All medical personnel, particularly mental health personnel, had to be “educated” to comply with the transgender program or risk losing their licenses. Check. The educational establishment had to imbue schoolchildren with the ideology. Check. Large corporations had to get on board as stakeholders and enforcers. Check. And, of course, the push to legally de-sex society had to be embedded—Trojan Horse style—within a slightly less alien idea, with the slick slogan “marriage equality.” Check. Churches had to be brought on board so that even religion became a conduit for anti-truth. Check. Social, emotional, and economic pressures had to be established to censure anyone who dared to question the wisdom of it all. Check. Any such person had to be labeled a bigot, a hater, and a non-person. Checkmate.

Yes that is where all this is heading: not only the death or marriage, family, and male and female, but the death of freedom and democracy, and the rise of the All-Powerful State. I wonder if Huxley and Orwell knew last century that their feared dystopias would come about via the homosexual and transgender agendas.

Well it most certainly is happening that way.

http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/4/29/well-win-bathroom-battle-when-binary-burns
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bathrooms-are-just-the-beginning-a-scary-look-into-the-trans-movements-end
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-sexual-revolution-tipping-point/

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Barna Update | The End of Absolutes: America’s New Moral Code

As traditional Christian morality continues to lose ground in American culture, there is growing concern about the moral condition of the nation even though many American adults admit they are uncertain about how to determine right from wrong. Barna probes the moral landscape in America, revealing some unique tensions.

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Hillsong Channel – all heretics, no Christianity

churchwatch central

THE WARNING SIGNS WERE THERE: WORSHIPING CELEBRITY CHRISTIANS

Since February 2015, we considered that Hillsong was starting their very own TV Channel when an article titled “Justin ‘Believer’ Bieber to perform… from the pulpithit the internet. The article implies that they got this information from a Hillsong insider that knew Justin Beiber. Hillsong’s reaction to the newspapers claims were FAST – which was odd, (if this information was false).

After sorting through Brian Houston and Hillsong’s PR (Lyall Mercer’s) online word games and doing a bit of our own delving and analysing, we concluded that Hillsong were deliberately targeting US celebrities and Christian celebrities to start their own TV channel.

We have even seen footage of Justin Beiber practicing (not worshiping) with Joel Houston floating around the internet. And Selena Gomez performing her ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ worship song ‘Nobody ‘at Hillsong only confirmed this Hillsong Channel concept:

If Hillsong…

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Feelings of Guilt: Satan’s Conniving or the Spirit’s Conviction?

The Reformed Reader

The Works of Thomas Goodwin (12 vols.) In one section of Thomas Goodwin’s book called “A Child of Light Walking in Darkness,” he explains how Satan tricks and deceives a true Christian so that he doubts his salvation.  Sometimes Satan will remind us that if a person is a hypocrite, if sin reigns in a person, and if a person is full of self-love, that person is not a Christian.  Then Satan says to us: “You played the hypocrite last week and last month.  You constantly give in to the sin of anger.  You love yourself more than your family and more than God.  Therefore you are not a true Christian.”

Notice how this works.  Satan uses half-truths to get us to doubt our salvation.  It is true that hypocrites, lovers of self, and those who are ruled by sin will not inherit the kingdom of God.  However, there’s more to the discussion.  A true Christian…

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Integrity and Identity – Grace To You Blog

2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24

Code: B160525

by Jeremiah Johnson

It’s easy—even natural—to be a hypocrite. People are enamored with outward appearances, and it’s not difficult to construct a convincing façade. At some point, most people realize there’s no need to develop character and establish integrity when it’s far easier to fake it.

Spiritual hypocrisy is easier still. Few people—and few religions, for that matter—take sin seriously. What you say you believe doesn’t necessarily dictate how you live. In fact, society would prefer if it didn’t.

That’s what makes the believer’s integrity so offensive to nonbelievers, and why they love to uncover hypocrisy in the church. It proves that, regardless of what Christians say they believe, they’re no better than the unsaved world.

The tragedy of such hypocrisy is not that it merely contradicts your faith claims. As a Christian, hypocrisy betrays your new identity and nature in Christ, which is the source of your ability to have integrity in the first place.

In his book The Power of Integrity, John MacArthur explains the fundamental transformation that takes place when a sinner is redeemed.

When you were brought into God’s kingdom, you were totally transformed. You became “a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You didn’t just receive something new—you became someone new. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

The new nature is not added to the old nature but replaces it—an exchange occurs. The transformed person is completely new. In contrast to the former love of evil, the new self—the deepest, truest part of a Christian—now loves the law of God, longs to fulfill its righteous demands, hates sin, and longs for deliverance from the unredeemed flesh—where sin still resides. Sin no longer controls you as it once did, but it still entices you to obey it instead of the Lord. [1] John MacArthur, The Power of Integrity (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1997), 18-19.

The apostle Paul had that transforming work in mind when he wrote his letter to the Ephesian church. In fact, he charges his readers to live consistent with the transformation the Lord has already accomplished.

That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

He makes the same exhortation to the Philippian church, encouraging them to “work out your salvation.” It’s not a command to create or manufacture the new nature in Christ, but to manifest God’s inner transforming work through your outward life.

That new nature permeates your entire life, informing your thoughts, actions, and attitudes. It gives you freedom from the bondage of sin and recalibrates your heart according to God’s law and His righteousness. In fact, it’s what gives you the ability to have integrity before the Lord and the watching world in the first place.

To compromise this new self—this new creation—is the greatest injustice we can do to God. He saved us, transformed us, gave us a new nature, and renewed our minds. Thus the capacity to live a life of integrity is inherent in our new nature. You must grasp this fundamental element of your salvation before you can ever hope to build a life without compromise. [2] The Power of Integrity, 18-19.

The result is that the believer lives in a state of constant war with himself. The temptation of sin and the ease of compromise will always be present, tugging at his flesh. Combatting those old inclinations is the new nature the Lord has created within. And the longer the believer gains victory over his former sin through his new nature in Christ, the more he builds a track record of integrity.

However, as most mature believers will tell you, the energetic passion of your newly converted soul can fade over time. Your ears don’t stay as closely tuned to the teaching of God’s Word, your heart hardens to the work of the Spirit, and your affections cool to the righteousness God demands. As John MacArthur explains, that is when you’re most susceptible to compromise.

If you are not careful to preserve and protect the treasure that is your relationship with Christ, the exuberance and devotion of your first days with Jesus can slowly and subtly turn into complacency and indifference. Eventually cold orthodoxy replaces loving obedience, and the result is a hypocritical life that will compromise with sin. [3] The Power of Integrity, 18.

We’ll deal with the strands of hypocrisy that Christians frequently fall into next time.

For now, consider this glorious truth: That in the Lord, we’ve been released from the bondage of sin, redeemed from the wrath we had earned, and restored to a right relationship with the Lord. Instead of being controlled by our flesh, we have the Spirit living and working within us to break the habits of our former lives and grow us in godliness.

Living with integrity simply means living out those rich realities.


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A Defense of Calvinism (C.H. Spurgeon) – Video

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Doctrine in Focus: The Trinity – The Master’s Seminary

Why do Christians believe in the doctrine of the Trinity?

Although the term Trinity does not occur in Scripture, the concept is inherently biblical. The Trinitarian nature of God is revealed implicitly in the Old Testament and explicitly in the New Testament.

The doctrine of the Trinity is founded on two fundamental theological realities: (1) There is one true God. (2) The one God has eternally existed as three distinct Persons, each of whom is equally and fully God.

Reality 1: Scripture teaches that there is one true God (cf. Deut. 4:35; 6:4; Isa. 43:10–11; 45:5, 18, 21–22; 46:9; Joel 2:27; Zech. 14:9; Mal. 2:10; Mark 12:29; James 2:19; 1 Tim. 2:5).

Reality 2: Scripture also teaches that God has eternally existed as three distinct Persons, each of whom is equally and fully God.

A. The Father is God (cf. Matt. 6:9, 14; John 17:1–3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; Php. 2:11; Col. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:2).

B. The Son is God (cf. Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 1:24; 2 Cor. 4:4; Php. 2:6, 10–11; Col. 1:15–16; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20).

C. The Son is distinct from the Father (Matt. 11:27; John 1:1–2; 3:35; 4:34; 5:30–32, 37; 6:38; 10:36; 12:49; 14:8–11; 17:20–24; Gal. 4:41 John 2:1; Heb. 7:25).

D. The Holy Spirit is God (Gen. 1:2; 6:3; Job 33:4; Psalm 139:7–8; John 3:3–8; 14:23; Acts 5:3–4; 1 Cor. 2:10–11; 6:16,19;  2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 9:14; 10:15–16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:10–11; 2 Pet. 1:21). Moreover, the Holy Spirit is a person, possessing the attributes of personhood (Mark 3:29; John 14:26; 16:8; Acts 8:29; 13:2; 16:6; Rom. 8:26; 15:30; 1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:30; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 10:29; Rev. 2:7).

E. The Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son (Isaiah 48:16; Matt. 28:19; Luke 3:21; John 14:16–17; 26; 16:13–14; Rom. 8:27; Heb. 9:8).

On this basis, the Bible often refers to God in ways that emphasize all three Members of the Trinity (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 14:17–18; 15:13–17; 15:30; 1 Cor. 6:11, 17–19; 12:4–6; 2 Cor. 1:21–22; 3:4–6; 13:14; Gal. 2:21–3:2; Eph. 2:18; 21–22;  3:11–17; 4:4–6; 5:18–20; Php. 2:1, 6; Col. 1:6–8; 1 Thess. 1:1–5; 4:2, 8; 5:18–19; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 3:5; Titus 3:4–6; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 3:23–24; Jude 20–21).

Thus, we embrace the truth of the Trinity because God has revealed Himself in this way in His Word.

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May 25: Verse of the day

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May 25: PRAISE YE THE TRIUNE GOD!

Elizabeth R. Charles, 1828–1896

I will praise Your name for Your love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word. (Psalm 138:2)

Saints and angels join in praising Thee, the Father, Spirit, Son—

Evermore their voices raising to the Eternal Three in One.

J. Montgomery

The Sunday after Pentecost Sunday is the time when the Christian church has especially recognized the doctrine of the Trinity, the existence of the triune Godhead. This doctrine has been called one of the mystic truths of Scripture because of the difficulty in fathoming and explaining it. Yet it cannot be denied that the Bible does teach that while God is one, He exists in three coequal-equal Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scripture ascribes each member with such attributes as eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and creator of the universe. Although the word trinity is not used, there are several passages in which all three Persons are expressly mentioned together: The great commission (Matthew 28:19), and the apostolic blessing (2 Corinthians 13:13).

The best of human analogies for explaining the trinity, such as ice, water, and steam being three distinct forms of the same element, always falls short. In the final analysis, we must accept this truth by faith and offer our worship and praise to each member of the Godhead.

This hymn text by Elizabeth Charles, one of England’s gifted women of her day—author, poet, translator of German texts, musician and painter—is one of our finest Godhead hymns. The hymn does not present any complicated arguments. It simply directs a child-like praise to each member of the trinity for His loving care and concern for us. This we can understand.

Praise ye the Father for His loving kindness; tenderly cares He for His erring children; praise Him, ye angels, praise Him in the heavens, praise ye Jehovah!

Praise ye the Savior—great is His compassion; graciously cares He for His chosen people; young men and maidens, ye old men and children, praise ye the Savior!

Praise ye the Spirit, Comforter of Israel, sent of the Father and the Son to bless us; praise ye the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—Praise ye the Triune God!

For Today: Psalm 139:7; Romans 8:9; 16:26; 1 John 5:7, 8; Jude 20; Revelation 1:4, 5

Though it is difficult to do, try explaining the meaning of the Trinity to some close Christian friend or member of your family. Offer this expression of praise throughout the day—[1]

 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 160). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

 

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May 25: The Word of God

READING: Nehemiah 7-8

I hope you’ve grown to love the Word of God more as you’ve been reading with us this year. Even if you have, though, I wonder if you or I would respond to the Word like the people of God did when Ezra read it to them in Nehemiah 8. Walk with me through this chapter:

“And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” (Neh 8:3)
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Neh 8:5-8)
“For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.” (Neh 8:9)
“And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Neh 8:12)
“On the second day the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law.” (Neh 8:13)
“And day by day [during the Festival of Tabernacles], from the first day to the last day, he [Ezra] read from the Book of the Law of God.” (Neh 8:18)
Ezra stood to speak the Word. Levites helped the people understand the Word. When they did, the Word melted them in tears, followed by great joy. Then, they sought to know more of the Word, followed by obedience to observe the Festival of Tabernacles.

That’s just what the Word does: it draws, convicts, and melts people even as it transforms their weeping into joy and obedience. It makes its readers want more of it. No other book can do that.

That’s because the Bible isn’t just another book. It’s the Word of God.

ACTION STEPS:

If you’ve struggled staying faithful in your reading this year, reaffirm your commitment to the Word.
Let the Word of God do its work in your life today.
PRAYER: “Lord, help me to understand what the Bible says today — and then help me to obey it.”

Chuck Lawless

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May 25: The Path of Service, Part 3

Theme: How to Serve Others: Helping and Giving

This week’s lessons remind us that true discipleship is marked by selfless service to others, because that is how Christ treated us.

Scripture: John 13:1-17

Yesterday we looked at the first way to serve others. Today we look at the next two.

2. We must help one another. The desperation people have in needing to talk to someone is not always merely their desire to be heard, although that is important in itself. It is also often the case that they need help, and so their speech is really a cry for assistance. We will find that if we stop to listen to people, their needs will come rushing to the surface and we will have infinitely more to do than wash their feet. There will be people to feed, thirsty ones to whom to give a drink, naked people to clothe, lonely people to visit, sick and dying persons to care for, and so on for a host of other needs and obligations.

The problem here is that helping people is very seldom convenient. We have our own schedule, and our hours and days are full. This is perhaps a bit truer in our time with the frantic pace of modern life, but our situation is not fundamentally different from what people of earlier days experienced. It is always inconvenient to help others. It was inconvenient for the Samaritan who helped the poor man who had fallen prey to thieves, in Jesus’ parable. He had his own journey after all. He too was on the way to Jericho. He too had business or family obligations. He interrupted these. He stopped his journey, attended to the wounded man, deviated from his itinerary in order to take the victim to an inn, spent the night, paid for his care, and then planned to return the same way after his own business was attended to in order to settle whatever left-over expenses there may have been. This is what service means. It means putting the other’s well-being ahead of our own schedule.

3. We must give to others. The world says, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine, if I can get it.” The Christian says, “I have nothing but what I have first received from God, and therefore I am only a steward of my possessions. What’s mine is yours, if you have need of it.”

In the history of the church there have been Christians who have taken giving to others to the extreme of selling all they had and at once distributing it to the poor or to the church for its administration. At one point the Christians in Jerusalem did this (Acts 2:44, 45). Monastics take perpetual vows of poverty. This is a form of Christian living that God may call some to at one time or another. But it is clear that this cannot be the whole of Christian obligation; for if all Christians in every place and at all times sold their goods and lived a common life in near-poverty conditions, no one would have anything to give to others again. To give to others does not mean that we must give everything or even that we should stop making money through honorable work. On the contrary, for some it could mean trying to make more so we will have more to give. It means that we must be generous with what we have, not counting it our own but rather that which God has given us for others’ benefits.

And while we are thinking of giving our money or goods to help others, we must not forget that the best giving is often giving ourselves. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about financial matters he commended the Macedonian churches for their rich generosity, explaining, “and they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” (2 Cor. 8:5). The Macedonians were able to be generous with their money because they had first been generous with themselves. Having given themselves to God and others, their material goods followed along naturally.

Study Questions:

What often lies behind a person’s strong wish to talk to someone else?
What are some obstacles that get in the way of helping people?
Application: The next time you are tempted to avoid attending to another person who needs your help, consider how you would feel if the same were done to you. Remember that Jesus’ death and resurrection for your sins provides the motivation to serve such as these when they come to you.

Key Point: The problem here is that helping people is very seldom convenient. We have our own schedule, and our hours and days are full… This is what service means. It means putting the other’s well-being ahead of our own schedule.

James Montgomery Boice

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May 25: Present Tense Believing

The book of Acts lays strong emphasis upon steadfastness in the faith, as do the Pauline epistles and the Book of Hebrews. Obviously the apostles conceived the Christian life to be a long tough journey, requiring a lot of faith and determination but ending in glory at last. Neither Christ nor His apostles taught the once-for-all finality of the act of believing so popular among us today. The whole build-up of the usual evangelistic meeting these days is toward the initial act of believing. Once a confession has been extracted from the seeker, a sense of victory seizes on everybody. It is as if a fish had been landed and safely stowed into the basket. The saving act has been performed, and there remains nothing more to be done. Not so taught the apostles or the faithful leaders of the church of God through the centuries. Faith in Christ is not a act to be done and gotten over with as one might get inoculated against yellow fever or cholera. The repentant sinner’s first act of believing in Christ for forgiveness and eternal life is the beginning of a continuous act of believing which lasts throughout life and for all eternity. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” These words accord perfectly with the exhortations of Barnabas to the Christians at Pisidia and Antioch: “That with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord . . . confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Verse
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 1:22-23a

Thought
Believing is present tense. It is good to have believed yesterday. Of greater significance is believing today whether going through sunshine or darkness, mountain tops or valleys. Believing today prepares us to keep believing tomorrow.

Prayer
Lord, I cling to You today. I may be stumbling and blundering but in faith I hold on to You. I choose to believe. Help me when my faith is weak. For Jesus’ sake.

A. W. Tozer

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May 25: Reading for Today

2 Samuel 21:1–22:51
Psalm 68:1-6
Proverbs 17:2-4
John 8:28-59
Notes:

2 Samuel 21:1, 2 Saul and his bloodthirsty house. By divine revelation David learned that the famine was a result of sin committed by Saul; namely, that he had slain the Gibeonites. There is no further reference to this event. Saul was probably trying to do as God commanded and rid the land of the remnant of heathen in order that Israel might prosper (v. 2). But in his zeal he had committed a serious sin. He had broken a covenant that had been made 400 years before between Joshua and the Gibeonites, who were in the land when Israel took possession of it. They deceived Joshua into making the covenant, but it was, nevertheless, a covenant (Josh.9:3–27). Covenant keeping was no small matter to God (Josh. 9:20).

2 Samuel 22:1–51 David’s song of praise here is almost identical to Psalm 18.This song also has many verbal links to Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam. 2:1–10) and together with it forms the framework for the books of Samuel. This song focuses on the Lord’s deliverance of David from all his enemies, in response to which David praised the Lord, his deliverer (vv. 2–4). The major part of the song (vv. 5–46) states the reason for this praise of the Lord. David first describes how the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (vv. 5–20), then declares why the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (vv. 21–28), then states the extent of the Lord’s deliverance from his enemies (vv. 29–46). The song concludes with David’s resolve to praise his delivering Lord, even among the Gentiles (vv. 47–51).

John 8:39 If you were Abraham’s children. The construction of this phrase indicates that Jesus was denying that mere physical lineage was sufficient for salvation (Phil. 3:4–9). The sense would be “if you were Abraham’s children, but you are not, then you would act like Abraham did.” Just as children inherit genetic characteristics from their parents, so also those who are truly Abraham’s offspring will act like Abraham, i.e., imitate Abraham’s faith and obedience (Rom. 4:16; Gal. 3:6–9; Heb. 11:8–19; James 2:21–24). works of Abraham. Abraham’s faith was demonstrated through his obedience to God (James 2:21–24). Jesus’ point was that the conduct of the unbelieving Jews was diametrically opposed by the conduct of Abraham, who lived a life of obedience to all that God had commanded. Their conduct toward Jesus demonstrated that their real father was Satan (vv. 41, 44).

John 8:58 Most assuredly…I AM. Here Jesus declared Himself to be Yahweh, i.e., the Lord of the Old Testament. Basic to the expression are such passages as Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 41:4; 43:10, where God declared Himself to be the eternally preexistent God who revealed Himself in the Old Testament to the Jews.

DAY 25: What are the steps toward true Christian discipleship?

John 8:31–36 is a pivotal section of Scripture in understanding genuine salvation and true discipleship. John emphasized these realities by stressing truth and freedom. The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. Jesus desired them to move on in their faith. Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled. Such maturity expresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom.

The first step in the progress toward true discipleship is belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah and Son of God (v. 31).“ If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” reveals the second step in the progress toward true discipleship. Perseverance in obedience to Scripture (Matt. 28:19, 20) is the fruit or evidence of genuine faith (Eph. 2:10). The word “abide” means to habitually abide in Jesus’ words. A genuine believer holds fast, obeys, and practices Jesus’ teaching. The one who continues in His teaching has both the Father and the Son (2 John 9; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:26). Real disciples are both learners (the basic meaning of the word) and faithful followers.

“The truth” (v. 32) has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that He brought. A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin (v. 34) and the search for reality. This divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1 Cor. 2:14) but by saving commitment to Christ (Titus 1:1, 2).

“Whoever commits sin” (v. 34).The kind of slavery that Jesus had in mind was not physical slavery but slavery to sin (Rom. 6:17,18). The idea of “commits sin” means to practice sin habitually (1 John 3:4, 8, 9). The ultimate bondage is not political or economic enslavement but spiritual bondage to sin and rebellion against God. Thus, this also explains why Jesus would not let Himself be reduced to merely a political Messiah (6:14, 15).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.

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May 25 – The True Source of Bread

“‘“Give us this day our daily bread”’” (Matthew 6:11).

Jesus’ reference to “bread” not only signifies food but all of our physical needs. It is amazing that the self-sufficient, infinite God of the universe would care about our physical needs—that we have enough food, clothing, shelter—and then pledge to supply those needs. Thus God is the only source of our daily bread.

When everything is going well in life, we tend to think we are managing it all ourselves. Yet even the hardest-working person owes all he or she earns to the Lord’s gracious provision (see Deut. 8:18; Acts 17:24–28). God provided for humanity even before He created Adam and Eve. They were His final creation, and one of the first things He said to them was, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you” (Gen. 1:29). God has fulfilled this statement abundantly and in unlimited ways ever since.

Yet Paul teaches that in the latter days some will “advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:3). But the apostle reminds us “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected” (v. 4).

This part of the Lord’s Prayer is an affirmation—appropriate for the well-fed and those who have little. By it we can thank God that every good thing comes from His gracious hand (James 1:17).

Ask Yourself

What are some of the more mundane, ordinary, forgettable things you not only can ask God for today, but can also transform into a prayer of gratitude? How can you make this refresher course in God’s gracious gifts become a more regular part of your conscious thoughts and prayers?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.

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May 25: Longing and Being

1 Chronicles 16:1–17:27; 2 Timothy 1:3–18; Psalm 84:1–12

The general sense of what worship “is” is widely known, but the specifics of what it means are a little vague. Aside from obedience (i.e., avoiding sin and following what God asks of us), there are specific ways to show God admiration. In 1 Chronicles, during David’s many great acts, we get a glimpse into ancient worship practices that are still applicable today. We know that the biblical “editors” favored these practices because they would later ascribe countless psalms to David. His way of worship was deemed “the way to worship.”

After David and his comrades journey to Obed-Edom to bring back the ark of the covenant—the symbol of Yahweh’s provision and advocacy for His people—David appoints “some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of Yahweh” (1 Chr 16:4). The Levites, the tribe designated as religious teachers, are first to “invoke” Yahweh (call upon Him). They are then to do what should be natural in all encounters with Him: thank and then praise Him. These are all acts of worship and the way to worship: acknowledge Him by calling on Him, be thankful for His provision, and then praise Him for who He is.

David illustrates another part of worship in His song that follows this event: “Save us, O God of our salvation; gather us and rescue us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!” (1 Chr 16:35–36). David petitions God, and he calls others to acknowledge His work by making their own petitions. It’s not that God needs to hear how great He is—that is not why we worship. It’s that we need to be reminded. In humbling ourselves before Him, we are demonstrating our rightful place in His kingdom as His servants, appointed for His great works (Eph 1:11).

Worship is really about longing for God. Our attitude toward God should be as Psa 84:2 proclaims: “My soul longs and even fails for the courtyards of Yahweh. My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”

How can you instill these worship practices into your daily life?

John D. Barry[1]

 

[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

 

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May 25: Daily Treasures from the Word of God

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Deuteronomy 9 through 12. Our lesson is from Deuteronomy 10:17, “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s text is like a rich painting of the Lord as the Almighty God. It pictures the Lord in relationship to His people using seven attributes of God. Let’s look at them.

First, God is Lord. This astoundingly simple statement is in reality quite revolutionary. During Old Testament times, many people worshipped gods made of metal and wood. These images were considered gods. However, according to our text, there is only one true God—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There is no other.

Next, God is Lord of lords. This has to do with allegiance. As Lord of lords, He governs us; we do not belong to ourselves. We His people belong to Him. This concept goes contrary to western cultural values of rugged individualism. Nevertheless, He is Lord of lords and we are to serve Him.

Third, God is great. His immensity is incalculable. He has all the resources at His disposal. The Lord’s greatness and riches are immeasurable. Yet He has revealed Himself in the Bible so that we can know Him personally.

Fourth, God is powerful. In different parts of the Bible, we see the importance of the Lord’s power. For example, Moses confronted Pharaoh’s magicians with God-given signs. The magicians imitated the signs and wonders but later had to admit that the God of Moses was greater than their gods. Only God is almighty.

Fifth, God is awesome. Imagine the most breath-taking thing that you have ever seen in your life; that’s nothing compared to the awesomeness of the Lord.

Sixth, God is not partial. He loves and cares for all of humanity. He is not biased in any way. One does not have to have certain social standing or be part of a wealthy family or political party. God is not unfair.

Seventh, God cannot be bribed. This means He cannot be influenced or bought. He is truly just and righteous in His decisions. In conclusion, God is Lord of Lords. God is great, powerful and awesome. And God is not partial and does not take bribes.

The realization of God’s awesomeness is something that cannot be properly said in human words. Yet, as children of God we have free right of entry at all times to God through Jesus Christ.

Let’s be thankful to Jesus Christ for allowing us to have access to God through faith in Him and what He did on the cross. There is no greater resource than the life of Jesus in us.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 13 through 16. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[1]

 

[1] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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May 25: Living Courageously (Thaddaeus)

The twelve apostles included “Thaddaeus” (Matt. 10:3).

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Victorious Christian living requires great courage.

Thaddaeus was a man of many identities. In the King James translation of Matthew 10:3 he is called “Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus.” He is also called “Judas the son of James” (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13) and “Judas (not Iscariot)” (John 14:22).

Judas, which means “Jehovah leads,” was probably the name given him at birth, with Thaddaeus and Lebbeus added later as nicknames to reflect his character. Apparently Thaddaeus was the nickname given to him by his family. It comes from a Hebrew root word that refers to the female breast. Basically it means a “breast-child.” Perhaps Thaddaeus was the youngest child in the family or was especially dear to his mother. Lebbeus comes from a Hebrew root that means “heart.” Literally it means a “heart-child” and speaks of someone who is courageous. That nickname was likely given him by his friends, who saw him as a man of boldness and courage.

Early church tradition tells us that Thaddaeus was tremendously gifted with the power of God to heal the sick. It is said that a certain Syrian king named Adgar was very ill and sent for Thaddaeus to come and heal him. On his way to the king, Thaddaeus reportedly healed hundreds of people throughout Syria. When he finally reached the king, he healed him and then preached Christ to him. As a result, the king became a Christian. The country, however, was thrown into chaos, and a vengeful nephew of the king had Thaddaeus imprisoned, then beaten to death with a club. If that tradition is true, it confirms that Thaddaeus was a man of great courage.

It takes courage to die for Christ, but it also takes courage to live for Him. That’s why Paul said that God hasn’t “given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7). Each day trust in God’s promises and rely on His Spirit. That’s how you can face each new challenge with courage and confidence.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the courage He has given you in the past, and ask Him to help you face future spiritual battles without retreat or compromise.

For Further Study: Read Daniel 3:1–30. ✧ Why were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego punished by King Nebuchadnezzar? ✧ How did God honor their courage?[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 158). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 

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May 25: Soldiers in a Holy War

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.

Ephesians 6:14

 

Our society is not conducive for people becoming like Christ. We live in what has been termed a sensate culture because most people are more concerned with pleasant emotions than with productive efforts—they’re more into comfort than accomplishment. Such a perspective has affected even the church, which suffers from an appalling apathy. We have forgotten that we are soldiers in a holy war.

As today’s verse indicates, the first thing a soldier put on before he went into battle was a belt around his waist. He would tie it as tight as he could and pull the corners of his tunic up through the belt so that he could have complete freedom of movement in hand–to–hand combat. The belt of truthfulness is not a piece of armor, for it cannot protect us directly. But it does indicate that we are to be serious about the battle and devoted to achieving victory.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 162). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

 

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May 25 – Paul: Joy in Spite of Trouble

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4

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The apostle Paul was a model believer who did not let his troubles steal His joy in the Lord.

According to today’s verse, believers should never let a negative outlook replace our joy, no matter how bad life seems to be. The apostle Paul set an example that was far different. He wrote to the Philippians that in spite of being imprisoned in Rome, he was still rejoicing. Even though Paul was restricted under trying and harsh conditions, he was glad because the gospel message was being declared, even among the prison guards. Paul was not so concerned about his own hardships but that others hear the saving good news of Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 9:16).

Paul saw himself as a prisoner for the sake of Christ and the gospel. Therefore, he never gave in to any temptation to indulge in self–pity but rather focused on his duty of telling others about his Lord and Savior. Some of Paul’s other letters also mention his imprisonment (see Eph. 3:1; Col. 4:10) but always positively, because the apostle never forgot that being a prisoner was merely part of the role he was called to as an ambassador for God’s kingdom.

Paul’s Roman imprisonment resulted in his joyful attitude extending out in evangelism: “My imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well–known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else” (Phil. 1:13). However, Paul’s ultimate impact on the guards and others was not just from his outward expressions of happiness. Rather, those who heard him were changed because they saw an attitude of joy and a message of truth deeply fixed in a man experiencing great trials and afflictions.

What a profound example Paul is for you and me today. For instance, we can make difficult witnessing opportunities easier by exhibiting Christlikeness and godly joy no matter how events are pressing us down. Such attitudes, so different from what people naturally expect, will give us many chances to testify of God’s grace (see 1 Peter 3:15).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you look above and beyond your problems and focus on what He has done for you.

For Further Study: A very striking example of Paul’s rejoicing in the midst of suffering happened at the Philippian dungeon. Read Acts 16:22–34. What did he and Silas do to make the best of that trial?[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

 

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May 25: Resisting Temptation

The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.

1 Peter 5:8–9

The sequence for every temptation we face is thought, fantasy, desire, choice, and willful decision to yield. The process may happen very quickly—in a matter of seconds at times.…

The best time to put a stop to any temptation is when it is still an idea. We need to confront temptation to sin with an idea that is godly. That godly idea may be a prayer for God’s help … a refocusing of the mind on a goal that the Lord has set before us … or a verse of Scripture that we repeat to ourselves aloud.…

Memorize verses to recite in the face of temptation. Prepare yourself in advance so that when the white-hot moment of temptation comes, you will have a full scriptural arsenal as part of your response.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 158). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

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May 25: A Passion for God

Scripture reading: Revelation 3:14–22

Key verses: Revelation 3:15–16

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Christianity is not for fence-sitters. Once rescued from sin’s penalty by faith in Christ, the believer enters an engaging, transforming relationship with God that should be marked with unparalleled intensity and zeal.

The apostle John recorded Jesus’ rebuke of the church at Laodicea for its mediocrity: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot … Because you are lukewarm … I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16).

The Greek word used for “hot” means literally “boiling hot.” Nonchalance or apathy is repulsive to God.

God gave His all to save us. In return, without coercion, He asks us to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds; to serve Him cheerfully and wholeheartedly; to worship Him with grateful fervor.

Why? Because God wants the best for us. He desires that we experience His fullness of life each day. That is impossible if we seek Him feebly, love and worship Him casually, or pray sporadically.

If your relationship with the Savior is tepid, your Christian experience will be lackluster, impotent, and uncompelling to a world awash with mediocrity. But the fire is lit. You can find new passion for God and fulfillment in His service, if you desire.

Lord, I love You with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I want to serve You cheerfully and wholeheartedly and worship You with grateful fervor. Restore my passion.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 152). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

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May 25: Resolute Trust

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 2:14–18

Key Verse: Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Stock markets rise and fall. Farm prices soar and plummet. Personal health peaks and dips.

Such is the nature of our unstable environment: ever changing, altering, moving, shifting. But believers have a firm anchor in such fluctuation, a sure faith in an unchanging God who promises to never leave us helpless.

God is sovereign. God is always at work in every detail of our lives, using each setback and victory for His primary purpose: to glorify Himself by conforming us to Christ’s image. No event or person is outside the power and rule of God.

God is wise. His wisdom is yours as you humbly ask and expectantly receive. His Word and Spirit will light your path to fulfill His will for your life.

God is loving. Whatever comes you are kept secure in the love of God. His love ensures He will provide for, guide, and sustain you. He tenderly cares for your innermost needs. Nothing can keep you outside His love.

Because God is sovereign, wise, and loving, you can trust Him without reservation. Resolute trust will quell your fears, calm your quivers, and stabilize your emotions. He holds you fast and will not let go.

Precious heavenly Father, You are an unchanging God who never leaves me helpless. You are sovereign and at work in every detail of my life. Use each setback and victory to accomplish Your purpose of conforming me to Christ’s image.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 152). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

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