Daily Archives: August 21, 2013

The Sin of Cain

The Sin of Cain (via http://preachingchristcrucified.com)

The Wednesday Word by Miles McKee Most of us know the story of Cain and Abel. In this story, there’s excellent instruction, especially about the blood. Cain’s great sin, the sin that led to his total downfall, was his refusal to come to God with…

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10 Mistakes Christians Should Avoid at All Cost

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.

However, here are 10 mistakes that Christians, especially those who are active in ministry, should avoid at all costs.

These aren’t the obvious ones that are typically talked about in Christian circles.

They are more subtle and less frequently discussed:

Read More Here: http://frankviola.org/2013/08/21/10mistakes/

The Pastor and Evangelism: Finding an Audience

What do you need in order to do evangelism? The ingredients aren’t many. You need the evangel, the good news of Jesus Christ. You need an evangelist, someone to herald that good news. And there’s one more thing: you need an audience—at least one person who hasn’t yet believed the gospel.

For many pastors, this last one is the hard part. In a week crammed with preaching preparation, meetings, counseling, administration, hospital visits, and late night calls for help, not to mention caring for his own soul and family, how is a preacher to find time for sharing the good news with unbelievers?

In one sense, this is a good and necessary tension. When he answers a call to the pastorate, a minister kind of moves from the front line of evangelism back to the supply camp. No longer just a soldier in hand-to-hand combat, his priority now is to act like a general: his work involves strategizing, equipping, and delegating (see Eph. 4:12). The hope is that by training evangelists, teaching on evangelism, and proclaiming the gospel each week to the gathered church, the pastor’s evangelistic ministry multiplies rather than diminishes. This is good and right, and pastors shouldn’t feel guilty for prioritizing their unique, God-given role to care for the sheep and train them up in ministry. A pastor isn’t an evangelism hog but an evangelism enabler.

But this doesn’t mean that his personal evangelistic ministry should vanish into thin air. Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). Even the greatest general is still a soldier at heart. A pastor must never become so comfortable teaching others how to evangelize that his own zeal for sharing the gospel evaporates from simmering too long on the back burner. Pastors who are zealous for evangelism tend to have congregations that are zealous, while pastors who seldom evangelize just might find that their congregations are similarly disinclined.


How then can a pastor cultivate opportunities for evangelism? Since I need as much growth in this area as the next guy, I contacted a bunch of pastor friends to ask how they prioritize evangelism in their busy schedules. Based on their responses, here are five suggestions:

Read More Here: http://www.9marks.org/blog/pastor-and-evangelism-finding-audience

The Results Depend On God


Transcript excerpt from a message by Dr. John Macarthur, spoken at the Truth Matters Conference 2011:

Some people say, “You know, we have to kind of change the message cause we’re not getting results. We’ve got to deal with this message because it’s not very effective.” Really? Well the next point I want to give you is this. If you really understand the glory of the gospel, you know the results depend on God. Okay? The results depend on God.

Read More Here: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2013/08/the_results_depend_on_god.php

A Mark of the Beast

Throughout church history there’s been intense curiosity and fascination with the “mark of the beast” described in the book of Revelation. While serious interest in the truth of God as revealed in His Word is a wonderful thing, in recent decades much of what is marketed as end times intrigue has been detached from its biblical foundation. Once that happened, it was bound to blossom into something quite ugly, and blossom it has.

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33 Shocking Facts Which Show How Badly The Economy Has Tanked Since Obama Became President

Barack Obama has been running around the country taking credit for an “economic recovery”, but the truth is that things have not gotten better under Obama. Compared to when he first took office, a smaller percentage of the working age population is employed, the quality of our jobs has declined substantially and the middle class has been absolutely shredded. If we are really in the middle of an “economic recovery”, why is the homeownership rate the lowest that it has been in 18 years? Why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by nearly 50 percent while Obama has been in the White House? Why has the national debt gotten more than 6 trillion dollars larger during the Obama era? Obama should not be “taking credit” for anything when it comes to the economy. In fact, he should be deeply apologizing to the American people. (Read More….)

The New Era of Surveillance is Here

Some have said it’s better to make decisions under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of fear.
But in late 2001, Americans made an entire set of decisions under the influence of fear… and created a monster.

We all remember what happened: A frightened public allowed politicians, secret agencies, and militaries to spend any amount of money and build any kind of system they wanted, to “protect us from the terrorists.”

To cash in on the new zeitgeist, new TV shows practically worshiped military and police forces; thousands of churches gave themselves over to the glorification of soldiers; and corporations scrambled for government money to build these new systems.

10 years on, it’s not just the “paranoid crackpots” anymore who can see that Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984 is terrifyingly real and more sinister than even he could have imagined.

The reality is this: Americans now live under the largest and most invasive surveillance state in the history of the world. This has been confirmed and admitted, even by the talking heads of the mainstream press.

I know there have been too many stories, passing too quickly, for most people to see this in all its gory detail, so I want to clarify and simplify a bit.

First, I’ll give you a list of recent stories (all since mid-May), with links, so you can check any of them you want to. Then, I’ll give you a brief, simple summary of where Americans stand now.

Read More Here

Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis deepens, China expresses ‘shock’

japan’s nuclear crisis escalated to its worst level in two years on Wednesday, with its nuclear watchdog saying it feared more tanks were leaking contaminated water and China expressing its shock over the disaster. Japan’s nuclear regulator also said it feared the disaster exceeded the ability of the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, to cope “in some respects”.

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Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance

The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces… The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of government-financed development.

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Report: NSA’s Broad Reach Covers 75 Percent of ALL U.S. Internet Traffic

The broad reach of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance network has the ability to cover roughly 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday. The alarming report suggests the agency’s digital spying capabilities are even more encompassing than officials have publicly disclosed.

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Obama’s brother linked to Muslim Brotherhood

President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.

Malik Obama’s oversight of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments is one reason for the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Egyptian report citing the vice president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Tehani al-Gebali

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Sowing Discord Among the Brethren

As I state in my August-September print newsletter, I am troubled by the tone I am seeing among believers today and particularly between ministry leaders. (You can sign up for that five-times-a-year newsletter here.) I am seeing a lack of civility between ministries that is stunning as well as character assassination and even slander.

Yet I am mindful that we are to contend for the faith! I’m not certain that what I see is contending from a few. I see it crossing a line and becoming mean-spirited growling. Some men and women are caving to the fleshly desire to tear down rather than build up.

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[New post] Apostasy and the Perseverance of the Saints

Do Not Be Surprised welcomes returning guest blogger Hariton “Harry” Deligiannides of Bethlehem Bible Church as he discusses the all-important doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.


[New post] God Speaks, but How?

Does God still speak today? Yes. How does He speak? Is it through voices, visions, dreams and prophecies? Should Christians expect personal, special revelation from God that must by necessity be added to the back of their Bibles? Do Not Be Surprised turns to Scripture to answer these questions.


GodLife: Witness with Joy & Caring

Scripture: “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” (1 Peter 2:12)

An older woman was in the hospital, recovering from an accident. Her nurse noticed that her family came to visit every day, and that all of them, including the patient, were full of joy, in spite of her condition.

One day, one of these visitors gathered the group for prayer, and asked the nurse to join them as well.

No one had ever offered to pray with the nurse, and, having no religious beliefs, she felt very awkward. Yet, she felt compelled to stay, and she closed her eyes with the others.

The man started by praising the God they were talking to, then requested healing for the patient. He prayed in simple, everyday language, like a child sharing his needs with a loving father. She became so immersed in the atmosphere that she almost missed it when he paused. She looked up and realized that he was asking her name. He shut his eyes to continue the prayer, asking God to bless and guide her! As the prayer came to an end, she was overcome with emotion as she realized that this stranger cared for her!

Through her tears, she explained that she knew something was missing from her life — was prayer the secret to their joy? They explained that it wasn’t the prayer, but Whom they prayed to, that brought them joy. And it wasn’t secret or mysterious; they willingly told her how she could come to know God through His Son, Jesus Christ. The man who had prayed gave her his contact information so she could learn more. It turned out he was not a family member, but the pastor of their church.

The family rejoiced with the nurse as she placed her faith in Jesus. Their joyful, loving attitudes had made a huge impression on her, and now she too knew the source of their peace and joy.

Do people turn to God because of how they see you living?

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Just for You

Do you want to share your faith with others but aren’t sure how to start? Click the link to learn about the many ways to share in our New Believer’s Guide series.

Personal Help

Do you need guidance in showing the world your joy and love through Jesus Christ? We have trained followers of Jesus who can help you figure it out! Click here to share your story with us. You will hear from someone shortly.

Prayer Points

Will you pray this week:
• God will help you live in His ways so others will praise Him
• God will protect you from the forces of evil
• You will be bold in sharing His Good News
• You and your five people will grow closer to the Lord and come to know Him better
• Your five people will accept salvation

GodLife Family

Where can you go online to discuss living in a godly way? Visit the GodLife Facebook Page where we can gather daily to share our stories, to express ourselves, and to pray for one another!


Ten Enemy Attacks on Leaders – By Chuck Lawless

For more than 15 years, I have studied the biblical reality of spiritual warfare. Many of my writings (e.g., Discipled Warriors, Putting on the Armor) address this topic evangelicals have often neglected. I regret that evangelicals have been afraid of this topic, because the Enemy is nevertheless real.

Recently, a church leader asked me what tactics I’ve seen the Enemy most use against leaders. In no particular order, here are the ten most common strategies I’ve seen.

Read More Here