Daily Archives: April 16, 2013

What is Genuine Christian Faithfulness?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 μηδὲν φοβοῦ ἃ μέλλεις πάσχειν. ἰδοὺ μέλλει βάλλειν ὁ διάβολος ἐξ ὑμῶν εἰς φυλακὴν ἵνα πειρασθῆτε καὶ ἕξετε θλῖψιν ἡμερῶν δέκα. γίνου πιστὸς ἄχρι θανάτου, καὶ δώσω σοι τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς. (Revelation 2:10 NA28)

10 Do not fear the things you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the Crown of Life. (Revelation 2:10 translated from the NA28 Greek text) 

Πιστὸς (pistos) is the Greek adjective translated in Revelation 2:10 (above) as “faithful.” Πιστὸς is defined as “faithful, trustworthy, reliable, dependable.” In the context of Revelation 2:10, 13, which are our Lord’s own words, to be “faithful” is to refuse to compromise the Christian faith, even in the face of persecution…

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The Unhappy ‘successful’ but Petulant Evangelist.

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

On the Book of Jonah:

jonahIf this book had ended at the last verse of chapter 3, history would have portrayed Jonah as the greatest of the prophets. After all, preaching one message that motivated thousands of people to repent and turn to God was no mean accomplishment. But the Lord doesn’t look on the outward things; He looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7) and weighs the motives (1 Cor.4:5). That’s why chapter 4 was included in the book,for it reveals “the thoughts and intents” of Johah’s heart and exposes his sins.

If in chapter 1 Jonah is like the Prodigal Son, insisting on doing his own thing and going his own way(Luke 15:1132); then in chapter 4, he’s like the Prodigal’s elder brother–critical, selfish, sullen, angry,and unhappy with what was going on. It isn’t enough for God’s servants simply to do their Master’s will; they must do “the…

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Homosexual Activist Admits True Purpose of Battle Is to Destroy Marriage

The Illinois Family Institute notes that advocates of traditional marriage have long maintained that the “true agenda” behind those fighting for so-called homosexual marriage is not marriage equality, but rather the complete “unraveling” and eradication of marriage and traditional values from society. Finally, a homosexual activist has bluntly stated this reality:

Even knowing that there are radicals in all movements, doesn’t lessen the startling admission recently by lesbian journalist Masha Gessen. On a radio show she actually admits that homosexual activists are lying about their radical political agenda. She says that they don’t want to access the institution of marriage; they want to radically redefine and eventually eliminate it.

http://illinoisfamily.org/homosexuality/homosexual-activist-admits-true-purpose-of-battle-is-to-destroy-marriage/#.UW2ofeQ8YZI.twitter

“By This Time You Ought to Be Teachers”: A Critique of Typical Adult Sunday School

A couple years ago, as I was reading through the book of Hebrews, I stumbled over a verse that forced me to reevaluate some key assumptions I had unquestionably inherited from my Bible church tradition: both the necessity and validity of adult Sunday school classes ….. Click here for full story

The Fig Tree Has Budded – Evidence The Lord May Return This Generation

Concerning the time of the Lord’s return, Jesus’ disciples asked him: “what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matthew 24:3b). Jesus then began to describe the many things that would precede His second coming – many of which are being fulfilled before our eyes. … Click here for full story

Is The Takedown Of Gold A Sign That The Entire Global Financial System Is About To Crash?

Somebody out there is sure getting prepared for something really big. We have just witnessed a takedown of gold and silver unlike anything that we have witnessed in decades. On Monday, the price of gold had fallen by more than 10 percent at one point. It shocked investors all over the globe, and overall what we have just seen was the largest two day decline in the price of gold in 30 years. The price of silver dropped even more rapidly on Monday. It was down more than 14 percent at one point. There was an atmosphere of “panic selling” as investors and financial institutions raced to liquidate their holdings of silver and gold. But was this exactly what someone out there wanted? As I wrote about the other day, big banks and news outlets all over the world have been boldly proclaiming for weeks that gold is entering a “bear market” and that now is the time for all of us to sell our gold. In particular, Goldman Sachs reportedly told their clients earlier this month that they “recommend initiating a short COMEX gold position“. Was that just a “good guess” on their part, or was something else going on? Were they actually trying to help create a “selling frenzy” that would drive the price of gold much lower? (Read More….)

All Scripture is for us and addressed to us

Reformedontheweb's Blog

PinkWhen the Dispensationalist is hard pressed with those objections, he endeavors to wriggle out of his dilemma by declaring that though all Scripture be for us much of it is not addressed to us. But really, that is a distinction without a difference. In his exposition of Hebrews 3:7-11, Owen rightly pointed out that when making quotation from the Old Testament the Apostle prefaced it with “the Holy Spirit saith” (not “said”), and remarked, “Whatever was given by inspiration from the Holy Spirit and is recorded in the Scriptures for the use of the Church, He contrived to speak it to us unto this day. As He liveth for ever so He continues to speak for ever; that is, whilst His voice or word shall be of use for the Church— He speaks now unto us….Many men have invented several ways to lessen the authority of the Scriptures, and few…

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Why Confront the Charismatic Movement?

Leviticus 10:1–2

The sons of Aaron . . . offered strange fire before the Lord . . . and fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them (Leviticus 10:1–2).

Like the sons of Aaron, many in the church today have put themselves in the path of God’s judgment and wrath through careless, unbiblical worship. In particular, the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is the subject of many deceptive lies, distorted ideas, and damning errors. And the evangelical church has been silent or indifferent on these matters for far too long.

To bring God’s Word to bear on these vital issues, Grace to You is hosting the Strange Fire conference this October. Starting today, we will post a new Strange Fire media blog every Tuesday leading up to the conference. The purpose of these video and audio clips is to provide biblical answers to important questions about the worship and work of the Holy Spirit, the doctrinal dangers of the charismatic movement, and how these matters influence and impact your spiritual growth.

Today in our first video blog, John MacArthur tackles the question “Why do you think it’s okay, even loving, to confront the charismatic movement?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0_ydAgb9mM&feature=player_embedded

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Print/Blog/B130416

Facebook friends and sin

If you are a Christian and you are on Facebook, eventually you will ask yourself this question: “how am I supposed to respond to my so-called friends who promote sin on their wall?”

The examples are legion. Maybe one of your old friends from high school is clearly not following the Lord, and takes every opportunity to publicize exactly how drunk he got last night. Perhaps you are friends with someone from your church who “celebrates marriage equality” on his page. The most common example for me is people that I used to coach in soccer, whose lives (if Facebook is any indication) revolve around partying.

Here are some principles I apply in dealing with this:

http://thecripplegate.com/facebook-friends-and-sin/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheCripplegate+%28The+Cripplegate%29

Genuine Christian Assurance

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; (2 Peter 1:1,2 NASB)

God is good to those who belong to him. Within that he imparts knowledge of himself to us and that includes knowledge of our own fallenness. He uses this knowledge to make sure that those of us in Christ fully understand that we are in him despite our sinfulness and unworthiness to be so. When we walk in light of this knowledge we also, in the power of the Holy Spirit, walk in repentance according to God’s marvelous grace. We also come to know how awesome it is that we have obtained faith in righteousness of our…

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How Post-Christian is U.S. Society? America Becoming Increasingly ‘Post-Christian,’ Research Shows

While most Americans refer to themselves as Christians, a study  released Monday by Barna Group shows an upward trend in “post-Christian” beliefs  and behaviors among the nation’s adult population.

According to the study, which is an analysis of nearly 43,000 interviews  conducted in recent years by the Ventura, Calif.-based organization, more than  70 percent of American adults describe themselves as Christians. Only 63 percent  of people rank “low” on the Barna Group’s post-Christian scale, however, while  28 percent are considered “moderately” post-Christian and nine percent are  considered “highly” post-Christian.

The post-Christianity scale is based on 15 faith-related metrics researchers  have tracked in recent years. Included in these metrics are measurements  indicating the percentage of people who have not prayed to God in the last year  (18 percent), who haven’t read the Bible in the last week (57 percent), who  don’t consider faith an important part of their lives (13 percent) and haven’t  been to a Christian church in the last year (33 percent), among other  things.

Individuals whose beliefs and behaviors matched nine or more of the 15  characteristics were labeled “post-Christian,” while those who met 12 or more  were labeled “highly post-Christian.” David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group,  explained the purpose of trying to measure the level of post-Christianity in a  statement on the group’s website.

“First, we wanted to expand the scope of secularization beyond what people  call themselves,” said Kinnaman. “Faith-oriented self-descriptions are fine, but  they are really only skin-deep in terms of understanding faith. In addition to  identity, we also wanted to account for two other critical aspects of faith:  belief as well as behavior.

“For decades, our research shows the variations of asking people about faith.  For example, many self-described atheists also claim to pray to a deity.  Long-time churchgoers often lack basic orthodox beliefs. People who effortlessly  self-describe as ‘Christian’ may live like practical atheists in most other  parts of their lives.”

The research also discovered that each generation is more post-Christian than  the one that came before it. Only 28 percent of seniors (ages 67 and greater)  are considered post-Christian, as compared to 35 percent of Boomers (ages 48 to  66), 40 percent of Busters (ages 29 to 47) and 48 percent of Mosaics (ages 18 to  28). Kinnaman says this type of research could serve as a glimpse into the  “spiritual, moral and social future” of the United States.

Other poll results published within the last few months indicate that the  percentage of “nones,” or those who don’t affiliate with any particular  religion, is also on the rise in America. These results are consistent with the  trend toward post-Christianity revealed by the Barna study.

In a recent column for FoxNews.com, megachurch pastor Craig Groeschel speculated that the “nones” are not resistant to belief  in God, but rather to certain religious labels that carry negative  connotations.

“Peeling off the labels that cling to our reputation brings great freedom for  us as individuals and as the global body of believers known as the Church,”  wrote Groeschel. “Only when we push past those artificial constraints can we  truly become who God created us to be.”

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/america-becoming-increasingly-post-christian-research-shows-93967

http://www.barna.org/culture-articles/613-how-post-christian-is-us-society