This, from a bulletin insert resource (pdf) provided by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, I find helpful:
On the last day of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today on two same-sex marriage cases. Both are important cases, and both will go far in redefining the most basic institution of human civilization. The Court knew it was making history. A majority of the justices clearly intended to make history, and future generations will indeed remember this day. But for what?
In his most recent blog article, “Waiting for the Other Shoe”—The Supreme Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. responds to the U.S. Supreme Court’s two decisions handed down today regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
You can read his full article here.
Nearly one-third of Americans say an armed revolution might need to occur in the next few years to prevent an escalating war against constitutional liberties, a new study finds. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind surveyed 863 US residents randomly in late April and found that 29 percent of those polled believe a revolution isn’t just imminent but imperative.
The Barack Obama regime opened a new front in his war on America yesterday when he unveiled his plans to skirt Congress and cut so-called carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Worried central bankers are scrambling to ease public fears in the wake of a harsh market reaction to their words and actions. Widespread concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve Board is ready to turn off the easy-money taps and ratchet up interest rates have driven bond yields to their highest levels in almost two years, putting the global recovery at risk if markets don’t stabilize soon.
The pastor would not renounce his Christian faith so the Islamic extremists slit his throat. High school students were taking exams in defiance of the militants of Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden.” So the gunmen mowed them down at their desks.
The parable of the Good Samaritan may be the most well-known and the most misunderstood parable Jesus ever told:
For every good story in the Bible there’s a bad children’s song. This is the one I remember for the Good Samaritan:
The man who stopped to help, right when he saw the need; he was such a good, good neighbor, a good example for me.
On the surface, this little ditty may seem harmless. The problem, however, is that Jesus wants us to identify with every person in the parable except the good Samaritan. He reserves that role for himself.
Read the rest here.
God is living so we know that He automatically has certain characteristics. God has intellect, sensibility and volition. Let us look at these characteristics.
God has Intellect: He is intelligent and capable of rational thought. He is not the insensitive nothing that some say we are absorbed into in the end of it all.
He is Someone that we can relate to no matter how intelligent we are, or how little education we have. No matter what level we are on, He can relate to us.
God has Sensibility: We have a Father/son relationship with God and he feels all that we feel. We need to thank Him at times for understanding how we feel when we are in a spiritual or emotional slump. He Does Understand How We Feel. He is also sensible to our disobedience. He hurts when we are seemingly enjoying our sin.
God has Volition: He is not locked into a set of man’s rules and ideas of how He should be. He Made The Rules And Laws.
Indeed, Strong mentions that life is mental energy that shows up as these three items. (Strong, Augustus H.. “Systematic Theology”; Valley Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907, p 252)
Scripture is clear on the fact that God is a living God. Deuteronomy 5:26, Jeremiah 10:10, 1 Timothy 4:10.
What do we mean by living? Yes, when we think of living we mean the quality of having life. Yes, that’s what we are. Yes, many other things that might relate, but how do you really define “living?”
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary mentions, “…..having life…..the condition of being alive.” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)
Consider this definition. That energy or force which causes activity. It is that which enables God to do things. More importantly living is that which allows Him to do things for us. Salvation, Preservation, Provision, and Fellowship.
APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE
This doctrine should be the antidote for all forms of idolatry. Why in the world would people worship a piece of wood when they can worship a Living God that can assuredly do, and be for them?
The human heart has a very real need and only a living God can satisfy that need (Psalm 84:2). Yet today even in our own country we have people serving other gods. They serve idols. Not in the literal sense of cutting a tree limb and carving something a god. They are carving something out of life and making it the object of most importance. They make career, wealth, material possession, fame or other items which they seem to view as very important into their god.
Most of us know that idolatry is putting anything before God while making it our priority. We would agree that career, money, home, etc. can be idols, but let us consider some other things we might put before God. Studies — I have to much to do to have a quiet time. Socializing — I’m going on a date — let the studies go. Rebelling — spending time being a grump about the dumb rules of life. Being a grump takes time and great concentration. Looks — How I look is important. Self Importance — I’m going to let them know I’m upset. I’m going to let them know how much I know.
He is a living God and this fact is manifest to us in many ways:
The Living God is a God that speaks to His people (Deuteronomy 5:6). He listens to us in our prayers and speaks with us in our private lives with Him.
The Living God is a God that will help His people (Jos. 3:10). Multitudes of testimonies have been given relating to how God has helped believers.
The Living God is a God that produces a strong love and desire in His people (Psalm 42:1-3, Psalm 84:2). Why else, would the martyrs of yesteryear have given their lives for Him. Why else, would many people give their lives to the ministry of His Word.
The Living God is a God that is true and everlasting (Jeremiah 10:10). He will always be as He is and will always do as He has said.
The Living God is a God described as a God to be feared, even by non- believing Gentiles (Daniel 6:26). He is a God of judgment as well as a God of love. The intelligent person that knows of Him should fear Him.
The Living God is a God that sent His Son to earth to die (Matthew 16:16). Even though He is a God to be feared, He is a God that is to be loved. He is a God that loved us so much that He gave His Son for us.
The Living God is a God that created the heavens and the earth (Acts 14:15). We don’t worship a primordial muck that evolved into life, but we worship a God that is living and a God that created all there is.
The Living God is a God that has many children (Romans 9:26). By our belief in His Son, He accepts us into His family as sons and daughters. He becomes our heavenly Father.
The Living God is a God that is our Savior (1 Timothy 4:10). Not only did He give His Son, but His Son is God as well. We have a God that died for our wrong that we might have eternal life.
The Living God is a God that we should trust in, instead of riches (1 Timothy 6:17). He gives all we are and have, and He can take it away as well. Those that trust in riches should not trust in what they have accumulated, but trust in what God has allowed them to have. The God is the better to place one’s trust in.
The Living God is a God that will judge (Hebrews 10:30, 31). Not only will God judge the lost, but He will hold the saved accountable for their works and their actions.
The Living God is a God that indwells His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). He was not satisfied to create us, He was not satisfied to save us, but He also came to live within us. He is ever present within us.
Based on all this, why — ever set money, things or mental ideas up to take our time when we can talk to a God like that? He is interested in our needs, hurts, joys, trials, learning, provision, and everything. He, indeed, because He lives, does all He promises.
In the area of hurt and troubles: Worry doesn’t work. Stewing is for food. Leaning is for “against God.” When you hurt and have a burden don’t worry or stew — Lean.
 Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A./Denver Baptist Bible College and Seminary. DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.
About a week after Jesus plainly told His disciples that He would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life (Luke 9:22), He took Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray. While praying, His personal appearance was changed into a glorified form, and His clothing became dazzling white. Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus about His death that would soon take place. Peter, not knowing what he was saying and being very fearful, offered to put up three shelters for them. This is undoubtedly a reference to the booths that were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, when the Israelites dwelt in booths for 7 days (Lev. 23:34–42). Peter was expressing a wish to stay in that place. When a cloud enveloped them, a voice said, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen, whom I love; listen to Him!” The cloud lifted, Moses and Elijah had disappeared, and Jesus was alone with His disciples who were still very much afraid. Jesus warned them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after His resurrection. The three accounts of this event are found in Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, and Luke 9:28–36.
Undoubtedly, the purpose of the transfiguration of Christ into at least a part of His heavenly glory was so that the “inner circle” of His disciples could gain a greater understanding of who Jesus was. Christ underwent a dramatic change in appearance in order that the disciples could behold Him in His glory. The disciples, who had only known Him in His human body, now had a greater realization of the deity of Christ, though they could not fully comprehend it. That gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the shocking news of His coming death.
Symbolically, the appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets. But God’s voice from heaven—“Listen to Him!”—clearly showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. The One who is the new and living way is replacing the old—He is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament. Also, in His glorified form they saw a preview of His coming glorification and enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The disciples never forgot what happened that day on the mountain and no doubt this was intended. John wrote in his gospel, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only” (John 1:14). Peter also wrote of it, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:16–18). Those who witnessed the transfiguration bore witness to it to the other disciples and to countless millions down through the centuries.
There are two primary passages in the Bible that Muslims often point to as prophecies of the coming of Muhammad: Deuteronomy 18:15–22 and John 16:5–11.
First, in regards to Deuteronomy 18:15–22, the immediate context of this passage refers back to verses 9–14. Here Moses warns the people of the danger of false prophets. God’s people are to avoid any and all who presume to speak authoritatively about spiritual truth apart from God’s truth. What is God’s truth? Verse 15 says a particular prophet will arise from the Jews (i.e., “your own brothers”) who will be like Moses. Notice that it’s not just any prophet, as there have been many, but a special prophet. People who studied and believed the Old Testament writings were looking for this particular, special prophet. In fact, some Jewish leaders thought the fiery preacher John the Baptist might be the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy (see John 1:19–30). John the Baptist, however, said that he was the forerunner of the prophet of whom Moses spoke, not the prophet Himself.
Who then is this prophet? He is clearly none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:43–45 records that the early followers of Jesus understood He was the prophet of whom Moses wrote. Jesus Himself declared this about Himself (Luke 24:27). The most complete statement pointing to Jesus as the promised prophet is found in Acts 3:12–26. The deacon, Stephen, reiterated this in Acts 7:37. Such notable men as John the Baptist, Philip, Peter, and Stephen all testified that Jesus Christ, not Muhammad, is the prophet predicted in Deuteronomy 18:15–22.
Second, in John 16:5–11, Jesus prophesies that after He leaves, the Counselor will come, and this Counselor will “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Who is this Counselor? Jesus Himself gives the answer a few verses later in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth …” Jesus explicitly identifies the Counselor as the Holy Spirit. Jesus previously had used very similar terminology to predict the coming of the Holy Spirit, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name …” (John 14:26). It is abundantly clear that the Counselor Jesus prophesied was the Holy Spirit, not Muhammad.
In conclusion, the Bible nowhere specifically predicts the coming of Muhammad. Muhammad was not the prophet Moses predicted, and Muhammad was not the Counselor Jesus predicted. Since the message of Muhammad contradicts the message of Jesus on many points, the only biblical prophecy that would apply to the coming of Muhammad would be Matthew 24:11, “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people …”
It is somewhat of a mystery why people in early chapters of Genesis lived such long lives. There are many theories put forward by biblical scholars. The genealogy in Genesis 5 records the line of the godly descendants of Adam—the line that would eventually produce the Messiah. God possibly blessed this line with especially long life as a result of their godliness and obedience. While this is a possible explanation, the Bible nowhere specifically limits the long lifespans to the individuals mentioned in Genesis chapter 5. Further, other than Enoch, Genesis 5 does not identify any of the individuals as being especially godly. It is likely that everyone at that time period lived several hundred years. Several factors probably contributed to this.
Genesis 1:6–7 mentions the water above the expanse, a canopy of water that surrounded the earth. Such a water canopy would have created a greenhouse effect and would have blocked much of the radiation that now hits the earth. This would have resulted in ideal living conditions. Genesis 7:11 indicates that, at the time of the flood, the water canopy was poured out on the earth, ending the ideal living conditions. Compare the life spans before the flood (Genesis 5:1–32) with those after the flood (Genesis 11:10–32). Immediately after the flood, the ages decreased dramatically.
Another consideration is that in the first few generations after creation, the human genetic code had developed few defects. Adam and Eve were created perfect. They were surely highly resistant to disease and illness. Their descendants would have inherited these advantages, albeit to lesser degrees. Over time, as a result of sin, the human genetic code became increasingly corrupted, and human beings became more and more susceptible to death and disease. This would also have resulted in drastically reduced lifespans.
Many people believe answered prayer is God granting a prayer request that is offered to Him. If a prayer request is not granted, it is understood as an “unanswered” prayer. However, this is an incorrect understanding of prayer. God answers every prayer that is lifted to Him. Sometimes God answers “no” or “wait.” God only promises to grant our prayers when we ask according to His will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14–15).
What does it mean to pray according to God’s will? Praying according to God’s will is praying for things that honor and glorify God and/or praying for what the Bible clearly reveals God’s will to be. If we pray for something that is not honoring to God or not God’s will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for. How can we know what God’s will is? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it. James 1:5 proclaims, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” A good place to start is 1 Thessalonians 5:12–24, which outlines many things that are God’s will for us. The better we understand God’s Word, the better we will know what to pray for (John 15:7). The better we know what to pray for, the more often God will answer “yes” to our requests.
From S. Lewis Johnson’s 1 Corinthians series (this message), and this related message from his earlier Systematic Theology series, a look at the different spiritual gifts as set forth in the scriptures, and why some of the gifts are temporary (not permanent) spiritual gifts.
Four passages address the spiritual gifts – the two 12s and two 4s: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. The temporary gifts are largely sign gifts, the miraculous gifts: apostles, prophets, miracles, healings, tongues, utterances of knowledge and wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8), and discerning of spirits.
Four reasons, biblical support, for why these spiritual gifts were temporary:
1) Scriptural hints: Hebrews 2:3-4 indicates a progression: the word of God was spoken by our Lord, then moved in transition from our Lord to the apostles; and then, as the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us, it…
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The economy isn’t getting better and the unemployment numbers we keep seeing are far from accurate. According to CNN Money, 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.
by Mike Ratliff
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NASB)
Since the inception of this ministry I have been approached by many concerned people who are convinced that they have sinned one too many times and have forfeited their salvation. They were being continually antagonized about their sin by a voice within. In every case, after some careful questioning, I learned that each of them have been part of a church or denomination whose doctrine of justification is a blend of grace and law, faith and works. Also, as I attempted to explain that justification is by faith alone according to the grace of God, each of them responded in disbelief and that usually ended the conversation…
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