While introducing a video by Richard Bennett showing why Eastern Orthodoxy is not biblical, Apprising Ministries explains why this has now become an issue within apostatizing evangelicalism.
The short answer is that “glorification” is God’s final removal of sin from the life of the saints (i.e., everyone who is saved) in the eternal state (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17). At Christ’s coming, the glory of God (Romans 5:2)—His honor, praise, majesty, and holiness—will be realized in us; instead of being mortals burdened with sin nature, we will be changed into holy immortals with direct and unhindered access to God’s presence, and we will enjoy holy commune with Him throughout eternity. In considering glorification, we should focus on Christ, for He is every Christian’s “blessed hope”; also, we may consider final glorification as the culmination of sanctification.
Final glorification must await the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:14). Until He returns, we are burdened with sin, and our spiritual vision is distorted because of the curse. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Every day, we should be diligent by the Spirit to put to death what is earthly in us (Romans 8:13).
How and when will we be finally glorified? At the last trumpet, when Jesus comes, the saints will undergo a fundamental, instant transformation (“we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”–1 Corinthians 15:51); then our perishable bodies will put on imperishable immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53). Yet 2 Corinthians 3:18 clearly indicates that, in a mysterious sense, “we all,” in the present, “with unveiled face” are “beholding the glory of the Lord” and are being transformed into His image “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Lest anyone imagine that this beholding and transformation (as part of sanctification) is the work of especially saintly people, the Scripture adds the following caveat: “For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” In other words, it is a blessing bestowed on every believer. This does not refer to our final glorification, but to an aspect of sanctification by which the Spirit is transfiguring us right now. To Him be the praise for His work in sanctifying us in the Spirit and in truth (Jude 24–25; John 17:17; 4:23).
We should understand what Scripture teaches about the nature of glory—both God’s unsurpassed glory and our share in it at His coming. God’s glory refers not merely to the unapproachable light that the Lord inhabits (1 Timothy 6:15–16), but also to His honor (Luke 2:13) and holiness. The “You” referred to in Psalm 104:2 is the same God referenced in 1 Timothy 6:15–16; He is “clothed with splendor and majesty,” covering Himself “with light as with a garment” (Psalm 104:2; cf. 93:1; Job 37:22; 40:10). When the Lord Jesus returns in His great glory to execute judgment (Matthew 24:29–31; 25:31–35), He will do so as the only Sovereign, who alone has eternal dominion (1 Timothy 6:14–16).
Created beings dare not gaze upon God’s awesome glory; like Ezekiel (1:4–28) and Simon Peter (Luke 5:8), Isaiah was undone, devastated by self-loathing in the presence of the all-holy God. After the seraphim proclaimed, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah said, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:4). Even the seraphim showed that they were unworthy to gaze upon the divine glory, covering their faces with their wings.
God’s glory may be said to be “heavy” or “weighty”; the Hebrew word kabod literally means “heavy or burdensome”; Most often, the Scriptural usage of kabod is figurative (e.g., “heavy with sin”), from which we get the idea of the “weightiness” of a person who is honorable, impressive, or worthy of respect.
When the Lord Jesus became incarnate, He revealed both the “weighty” holiness of God and the fullness of His grace and truth (“and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” [John 1:14; cf. 17:1–5]). The glory revealed by the incarnate Christ accompanies the ministry of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:7); it is unchanging and permanent (Isaiah 4:6–7; cf. Job 14:2; Psalm 102:11; 103:15; James 1:10). The previous manifestations of God’s glory were temporary, like the fading effluence of God’s glory from Moses’ face. Moses veiled his face so that the hard-hearted Israelites might not see that the glory was fading (1 Corinthians 3:12), but in our case, the veil has been removed through Christ, and we reflect the glory of the Lord and seek by the Spirit to be like Him.
In His high priestly prayer, the Lord Jesus requested that God would sanctify us in His truth (i.e., make us holy; John 17:17); sanctification is necessary if we are to see Jesus’ glory and be with Him in eternal fellowship (John 17:21–24). “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24). If the glorification of the saints follows the pattern revealed in Scripture, it must entail our sharing in the glory (i.e., the holiness) of God.
According to Philippians 3:20–21, our citizenship is in heaven, and when our Savior returns He will transform our lowly bodies “to be like His glorious body.” Although it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, we know that, when He returns in great glory, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). We will be perfectly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus and be like Him in that our humanity will be free from sin and its consequences. Our blessed hope should spur us on to holiness, the Spirit enabling us. “Everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
The word “pain” or some form of it appears over 70 times in Scripture. The word’s first usage explains the origin of pain in childbirth: “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you’ ” (Genesis 3:16, NASB). The context here is that Adam and Eve had sinned and the pain of childbirth is one of the consequences of sin. Because of sin, the whole earth was cursed, and death entered in as a result (Romans 5:12). So, it may be concluded that pain is one of the many results of the original sin.
While not specifically stated in the Bible, medically we know that pain is a gift. Without it we would not know when we needed medical attention. In fact, the absence of pain is one of the problems associated with leprosy. Children would never learn that touching a hot stove is a bad idea, nor would we be alerted to a dangerous medical condition without the pain associated with it. Spiritually speaking, one of the benefits of pain is expressed by James: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2–3). According to James, when we endure painful trials, we can take joy in knowing that God is at work in us to produce endurance and Christ-like character. This applies to mental, emotional and spiritual pain as well as to physical pain.
Pain also provides one an opportunity to experience the grace of God. Consider what Paul said: “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul was speaking of a “thorn in his flesh” that was troubling him. We don’t know what it was, but it seemed to have been painful for Paul. He recognized that God’s grace was being given to him so he could endure. God will give His children the grace to bear pain.
But the really good news is that Jesus died in our place for our sins: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Through belief in Jesus Christ, God gives the believer eternal life and all the blessings that are included. One of which is “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, emphasis added). The pain we experience as a natural part of living in a fallen, sin-cursed world will be a thing of the past for those who, through faith in Christ, spend eternity in heaven with Him.
In summary, although pain is not pleasant, we should thank God for it because it alerts us that something is wrong in our body. Also, it causes us to reflect on the awful consequence of sin and be extremely thankful to God for making a way for us to be saved. When one is in pain, it is an excellent time to realize that Jesus endured excruciating emotional and physical pain on our behalf. There is no pain that could approach the horrific events of Jesus’ crucifixion, and He suffered that pain willingly to redeem us and glorify His Father.
Author: Moses was the author of the Book of Exodus (Exodus 17:14; 24:4–7; 34:27).
Date of Writing: The Book of Exodus was written between 1440 and 1400 B.C.
Purpose of Writing: The word “exodus” means departure. In God’s timing, the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt marked the end of a period of oppression for Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 15:13), and the beginning of the fulfillment of the covenant promise to Abraham that his descendants would not only live in the Promised Land, but would also multiply and become a great nation (Genesis 12:1–3, 7). The purpose of the book may be expressed as tracing the rapid growth of Jacob’s descendants from Egypt to the establishment of the theocratic nation in their Promised Land.
Key Verses: Exodus 1:8, “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.”
Exodus 2:24–25, “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”
Exodus 12:27, “ ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.”
Exodus 20:2–3, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
Brief Summary: Exodus begins where Genesis leaves off as God deals with His chosen people, the Jews. It traces the events from the time Israel entered Egypt as guests of Joseph, who was powerful in Egypt, until they were eventually delivered from the cruel bondage of slavery into which they had been brought by “… a new king … which knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).
Chapters 1–14 describe the conditions of oppression of the Jews under Pharaoh, the rise of Moses as their deliverer, the plagues God brought upon Egypt for the refusal of their leader to submit to Him, and the departure from Egypt. God’s sovereign and powerful hand is seen in the miracles of the plagues—ending with the plague of death of the firstborn and the institution of the first Passover—the deliverance of the Israelites, the parting of the Red Sea, and the destruction of the Egyptian army.
The middle portion of Exodus is dedicated to the wandering in the wilderness and the miraculous provision by God for His people. But even though He gave them bread from heaven, sweet water from bitter, water from a rock, victory over those who would destroy them, His Law written on tablets of stone by His own hand, and His presence in the form of pillars of fire and cloud, the people continually grumbled and rebelled against Him.
The last third of the book describes the construction of the Ark of the Covenant and the plan for the Tabernacle with its various sacrifices, altars, furniture, ceremonies, and forms of worship.
Foreshadowings: The numerous sacrifices required of the Israelites were a picture of the ultimate sacrifice, the Passover Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The night of the last plague on Egypt, an unblemished lamb was killed and its blood applied to the doorposts of the houses of God’s people, protecting them from the angel of death. This foreshadowed Jesus, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19), whose blood applied to us ensures eternal life. Among the symbolic presentations of Christ in the book of Exodus is the story of the water from the rock in Exodus 17:6. Just as Moses struck the rock to provide life-giving water for the people to drink, so did God strike the Rock of our salvation, crucifying Him for our sin, and from the Rock came the gift of living water (John 4:10). The provision of manna in the wilderness is a perfect picture of Christ, the Bread of Life (John 6:48), provided by God to give us life.
Practical Application: The Mosaic Law was given in part to show mankind that they were incapable of keeping it. We are unable to please God by law-keeping; therefore, Paul exhorts us to “put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16).
God’s provision for the Israelites, from deliverance from captivity to the manna and quail in the wilderness, are clear indications of His gracious provision for His people. God has promised to supply all our needs. “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
We are to trust in the Lord, for He can deliver us from anything. But God does not allow sin to go unpunished forever. As a result, we can trust Him in His retribution and justice. When God removes us from a bad situation, we should not seek to go back. When God makes demands of us, He expects us to comply, but at the same time He provides grace and mercy because He knows that, on our own, we will not be able to fully obey.
Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are the only true Christians, but they are neither Protestant nor Catholic. The fundamental doctrinal issue that distinguishes them from orthodox Christianity is the Trinity. They say it is a pagan teaching, but they misrepresent it, saying that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit must be three gods. They actually agree with the Trinity doctrine when it says that the Father and the Son are two Persons, but imagine they need to prove this to Trinitarians! They fail to grasp how the three Persons comprise the One Being of God, and so they come up with the idea of a Big God and a little god—two gods. They say Jesus was created (Arianism) and was Michael the archangel and that Jesus’ body was not resurrected; it simply disappeared and He rose as a spirit creature. They say the Holy Spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force or energy.
Because they say that Jesus is a demi-god, their understanding of salvation and atonement is wrong. They say Jesus, who was a perfect Man, died only to atone for the sin of Adam and that when we die, our death pays the penalty of our own sin. Only some 10,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses today can possibly claim to be born-again and have a heavenly hope. The rest say they don’t want to go to heaven to be with the Lord but they want to live forever on a paradise earth (Restorationism). They believe if they remain faithful and obedient till the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ Jesus, they will ‘earn the right to be declared righteous’ and that’s why they have to keep on striving, with no assurance of salvation. Only today’s ‘remnant’ of the 144,000 can say they are in the new covenant, and that Christ Jesus is their mediator. All must be obedient to the leaders (the Watchtower Society and its Governing Body) if they wish to survive Armageddon. To disagree with what they say is to disagree with Jehovah because He uses them as His sole channel of communication to dispense ‘the truth.’ Only they saw ‘with spiritual eyes of discernment’ that Christ Jesus started to rule from heaven in 1914, an invisible ‘second presence.’ Also, they say Christ Jesus will never return to earth, but will remain in heaven, there to rule with the 144,000 over the earth.
With all these unbiblical beliefs, where does one begin to witness to a Jehovah’s Witness? There is only one place to begin—with the person of Christ Jesus, whose deity is the foundation of Christianity. Jehovah’s Witnesses are unable to grasp the significance of Jesus’ death and why they must be born again in order to have their sins forgiven. Before they can put all their trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus, they have to understand they are not saved, which means they are presently lost in their sin. No Witness has the assurance of salvation which is the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who belong to the Father through Christ (Romans 8:16). The full deity of Jesus Christ can only be revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, who they relegate to commodity status, like electricity. To the Witnesses, the Holy Spirit is a “thing,” not a Person.
Witnessing to the Witnesses must be done in Christian love and with compassion. Remember, they have been deceived and believe a false gospel, yet many have a genuine love for God and are utterly sincere in their beliefs. Do not be afraid of them (1 John 4:17–19), but let them know how much you care about their eternal salvation. Share your Christian testimony with them. Invite them into your home, but do not allow them to conduct what they describe as a Bible study, which is actually a study of their literature. Be aware they will not read any non-Watchtower literature or attend a church service. They say they will only accept what the Bible says, but their New World Translation has been drastically altered to reflect their theology, and every reference in the New Testament to the deity of Christ Jesus has been removed. It always comes as a surprise to them to meet people who love the Lord, display the fruit of the Spirit, and use the Bible as the basis for their faith (Hebrews 4:12). Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Direct all your conversation to the person of Christ and the need to put total faith in what He has done. Do not allow them to lead you down the path they wish you to take, namely, considering how you can survive Armageddon to live on a paradise earth. This is not the gospel. Above all else, pray for them.
Not all nonbelievers—be they atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, or some mixture of all of these identities—are identical, and we are mistaken if we develop a singular, cookie-cutter approach in our interactions with them. Just as we do not want to be reduced to a simplistic stereotype, we also should not reduce our ideas about nonbelievers to some image developed through media or a few past friendships.
In a prominent new project, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga researcher Christopher Silver documented six types of nonbelievers. Here’s a very, very brief recap of each:
I get the chance now to travel all over the country sharing the case for Christianity. I recognize the difference between student and adult congregations. While the Church seems to be satisfied with undemanding Sunday experiences, young people want so much more: They want answers. They are willing and ready to roll up their sleeves and prepare themselves. They want their own doubts answered and they want to respond to the skeptics in their lives. Sadly, the Church doesn’t seem to recognize this yet, and it definitely seems ill-equipped to meet the challenge. That’s why I love Summit Ministries. They provide a much needed solution to the apathy I sometimes see in the Church. If you’re a parent who understands the simple value of answers, I highly recommend Summit. It’s time for the Church to raise up a generation of young people who are equipped with a Biblical worldview and can articulate this worldview with strength and conviction. Students love answers; it’s time to woo the Church into a similar love affair with the truth.
We have become a nation of relentless self-promoters. Every day I check my email inbox and find it full of messages like “my media availability this week is…”, “I will be on TV or radio…”, “I am available for interviews,” or “my new book is available…” The onslaught of people promoting themselves makes it extraordinarily difficult for editors, funders and media to sift through potential talent, there is simply too much. Everyone wants to be a star, and the advent of YouTube and social media has made it appear to be readily attainable. The Internet’s democratization of access to publicity makes everyone feel like they are on the level of a celebrity; able to tweet their favorite stars, put up a website about themselves, and post photos of themselves on social media.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/narcissism-nation-shameless-self-promotion-can-mask-lack-of-talent-skill-103012/
I hope this letter finds you well.
I met your pastor last week, and he was very upset. He told me you mentioned giving up faith in Christ and leaving the church because, even five years after your conversion, you continue to experience same-sex attraction. He also told me that Rita, your wife, has suffered a lot, though you’ve been honest with her and haven’t been unfaithful.
As you know, your pastor was my student in seminary. He asked me to write you since I helped you in the first days after your conversion. I hope this letter will be used by God to encourage you amid your struggle and to remind you of your unshakeable status in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“What do you make of the silence of people like Al Sharpton, and, quite frankly, the silence of the president?” Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, asked Fallin. “I don’t know what to think about that,” Fallin replied. “It would be nice if our nation were to certainly express their condolences.”
The white victim’s name is Christopher Lane. The young man was an Australian native who was attending college in the United States on a baseball scholarship But 15-year-old James Edwards Jr. and his bored “niggas” were evidently so disgusted and enraged by Lane’s skin pigment that they pulled up behind him as he jogged and shot him in the back. Three days before the shooting, the suspect tweeted: “With my niggas when it’s time to start taken life’s”
Greg’s Note: At first glance this post may seem a bit long for a blog post, and perhaps it is—but in reality, it will only take a few minutes out of your day to read and carefully consider. It is my sincere hope and prayer that you will do so, and that you will read through to my closing comments.
The beards are back for the fourth season of cable TV’s highest rated reality show. Here are nine more things you should know about the faith of the Robertson clan (see also the original 9 things post).
UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the evidence “screaming at us is real, that chemical weapons were used in Syria.” Military strikes by the U.S., Britain and France on the Assad regime and its assets now appear all but certain. The X factor on timing at this point is that the Obama administration may seek U.N. authorization.
Excerpts from Kerry’s statement: “What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.
“The meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict on Syria itself. And that conflict has already…
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In his latest Blog Essay, “‘It is the Price of Citizenship’?—An Elegy for Religious Liberty in America,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the recent decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that commercial wedding photographers must provide services to same-sex couples.
Is a photography session an expression of speech and religious belief? Does a Christian photographer have the religious liberty to refuse wedding services to a same-sex couple? What happens when same-sex marriage runs into the belief that to help celebrate it is to disobey God?
Dr. Mohler dissects the New Mexico Supreme Court’s answers and explains why they amount to “a denial of religious liberty and the constitutional guarantees of religious expression and free speech.” You can read Dr. Mohler’s full essay here.
According to recent studies, almost half of all American college students will abandon their Christian faith during their undergraduate years.
The most common reason given is that the environment of higher education is often anti-faith. A recent study by the Fuller Youth Institute found that almost a third of college students say their institute of higher learning was not helpful in keeping or growing their faith.
In fact, it was antagonistic toward it.
John Whitcomb, who is often called one of the “Fathers of the Modern Creationist Movement” with the launch of his book titled “The Genesis Flood” more than 50 years ago, has also been identified as a Presuppositionalists by other VanTillians in addition to being a former Old Testament Professor.
Here is a video by Dr. Whitcomb on Miracles and the Modern mind.
Lord willing we plan to get an interview with him concerning Presuppositional apologetics as part of our series on Calvinistic Dispensational Presuppositionalists.
I do not know that I need say more concerning believing. I have often tried to explain it, I am afraid that I have not always made it as plain as I have intended. Only let me warn you not to say, “I understand the plan of salvation very well. Dear Sir, I am sure I do; I do not need it explained to me, I understand it perfectly.” My dear friend, it is one thing to understand the plan of salvation, and quite another thing to believe in Jesus Christ to the salvation of your soul. It is a pitiless night, the rain is pouring down, and hero is a man, Sitting out in the street, exposed to the ill weather, and he has got a plan of a house down there on the wet pavement, and he says, “I am all right; I understand the plan of a…
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Under Hitler, it was the Jews who were gassed. Now under Assad it is the Muslims.
I am a Christian. My conscience cannot bear the thought of any human being, regardless of their race, or religion, or nationality, suffer such evil. I say the world must act now.
The lesson of Auschwitz: A regime that uses poison gas to murder must suffer the swift sword of justice by a unified world.
If such a regime can be stopped before it uses weapons of mass destruction, the world has a moral obligation to act boldly and decisively. If a regime uses WMD before the world can or does act, the world must move quickly to stop such evil before more can be killed.
If the evidence is conclusive that the government of Syria used chemical weapons, then I now support military action against the Assad regime. Before last week’s chemical weapons…
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