Daily Archives: October 4, 2013

Music Video: Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies] – Chris Tomlin

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It can not hide the Light
Whom Shall I Fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my Sword and Sheild
Though troubles linger still
Whom Shall I Fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your Name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory
Whom shall I fear
Whom Shall I Fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hand
I’m holding on to Your promises
You are faithful
You are Faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in your hand
I am holding on to your promises
You are faithful
You Are Faithful
You Are Faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side (x2)

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

The God
Of Angel Armies
Is always by my side

A Charismatic Primer Part 11 – The Outreach Top 50 (#46-50)

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Time for the tenth installment in this series.  So far, we’ve looked at the New Apostolic Reformation, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5, the Outreach Top 50 #6-10, the Outreach Top 50 #11-15, the Outreach Top 50 #16-20, the Outreach Top 50 #21-25, the the Outreach Top 50 #26-30, the Outreach Top 50 #31-35, the Outreach Top 50 #36-40., and the Outreach Top 50 #41-45.  We’ll now look at the Outreach Top 50 #46-50, which includes one very interesting church.

46.  Church of the Resurrection of Leawood, Kansas – Pastored by Adam Hamilton.  This church is a Methodist church that seems to steer far away from charismatic manifestations of the Spirit.  Their current sermon series is on revival and it doesn’t exactly talk about tongues.  The church uses this spiritual gifts test and it’s pretty tame.  There’s a sermon from 2002…

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The One Thing That May Give Marriage Equality Activists Pause to Reconsider Their Position…

Zwinglius Redivivus

Joel Osteenk is on your side.  And WND as well as the HuffPo are reporting the ‘news’.  The HuffPo with its usual gleefulness and WND surprisingly non-commitally.

But here’s the thing- especially for Christians who support marriage equality.  Joel Osteen agrees with you.  Or perhaps more tellingly- you agree with Joel Osteen.  You. Agree, With. Osteen.

I hope that helps you sleep well tonight.

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9 Lessons for New Christians . . . And Old Ones

It’s been a long time since I became a Christ follower (39+ years ago), but I still think about what I wish I had known back then. You see, my first years as a believer were not easy. My family was not a Christian family. I was in my early teens, wanting to be faithful to God but also seeking to fit in with my peers. My church loved me, but discipleship was not intentional. I wish someone had helped prepare me for the journey.

If I were writing a new believer’s guide today for people like me, I would include a simple “lessons learned” section with at least these lessons:

Read More Here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/9-lessons-for-new-christians-and-old-ones-105953/

Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (04 October 2013)

  • Saddleback is going international. Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?
  • ‘Soaking prayer’ is gaining momentum but please, don’t get soaked.
  • A lot of people don’t like Obamacare. But they do like the Affordable Care Act. Yep, you read that correctly.
  • The heart of John Calvin.
  • Steve Lawson on the fundamental flaw of the charismatic movement.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I don’t know what I’d do without The Christian Post. Where else would I learn about Justin Bieber ‘bro-ing out‘ with ‘pastors’ Judah Smith and Carl Lentz?
  • All that preaching and John MacArthur can sing, too.
  • Dr. Michael Kruger compiles the top ten books on the Bible’s authority.
  • The ‘Reformation Project‘ is recruiting volunteers to help influence churches to embrace homosexuality. Hey, no one ever said that ‘reformation’ always is good.
  • The death of history’s most notorious heretic.
  • Can’t attend the Strange Fire Conference? Host a Strange Fire viewing party.
  • And speaking of Sinclair Ferguson, here he speaks on the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Word of God:

 

Read More Here: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/10/this-n-that.html

China Relentless in Persecution of House Churches

10/4/2013 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – A recent spate of attacks against Christians and house churches in China underlines the country’s relentless habit of persecuting Christians, even at the cost of its own reputation in the international community.

Read More Here: http://www.persecution.org/2013/10/04/china-relentless-in-persecution-of-house-churches-2/

Multiple sources: Joel Osteen says God “absolutely accepts homosexuals”

We know that Pastor Osteen has been duped once before by cyber hackers who have created fake websites looking exactly like Osteen’s ministry site, so when we saw the many “Joel Osteen: God ‘Absolutely’ Accepts Homosexuals,” headlines, we wanted to be sure that this was not the case before sharing this report and video of Osteen, in his own words, explaining why he thinks God approves of homosexuality:

Read More Here: http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/10/multiple-sources-joel-osteen-says-god-absolutely-accepts-homosexuals/

Video: Rosaria Butterfield testimony of Homosexuality and the Christian faith

They Need to Hear from God

Samuel at Gilgal

WorshipRon Owens:

Recently . . . a pastor shared with me that he now had less than twenty minutes to preach on Sunday morning because more time was needed for “worship.” He said the music portion of the service was expanding, and now that a drama skit was being included each week something had to be cut. They had mailed out a survey to the church membership. The question was: Which would you prefer: (1) Add fifteen minutes to the length of the service? (2) decrease the “worship” time? (3) shorten the sermon? The majority chose to have a shorter sermon.

As we analyze this, several things surface. First of all, this is not a unique situation for a pastor in America. It is, rather, a picture of church today, both from the standpoint of the leadership and of the people. The people want to be entertained, and the church…

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Questions about Marriage: What Is a Covenant Marriage?

A covenant marriage is an alternative marriage license. The laws covering covenant marriage vary from state to state. Covenant marriage differs from a standard marriage contract in that the covenant partners are required to attend pre-marital counseling and would have to wait two years before a divorce can be filed. In addition, a covenant marriage license could not be absolved with a “no fault” cause. The conditions for divorce would be abuse, adultery, long term separation, or a felony conviction. Again, the laws for covenant marriages vary because they are legislated by the states.

Covenant marriage legislation supporters believe that this type of marriage would decrease the divorce rate; thus, the family unit would once again be a strong foundation for our society. Proponents claim a marriage that discourages easy divorces would hold the individuals more accountable to their partners and lead to fewer broken homes.

Opponents of covenant marriage contend it is based on religion and therefore is a violation of separation of church and state. Furthermore, there have been reports from people in covenant marriages that it was almost impossible to get a divorce because they could not prove grounds with evidence of abuse or adultery.

While the legislation for covenant marriage was originally to decrease divorce rates, the word “covenant” is a word used to describe a contract made not only with man, but with God. From a biblical perspective, marriage is a union of man and woman before God (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). This is true of any marriage, whether or not the marriage certificate mentions it. The Bible says that divorce is sin unless there is adultery (Matthew 5:32) or an unbelieving spouse leaves the believing spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10–15).

Society’s definition of marriage and divorce is not the cause for the high divorce rate. That is caused by people rejecting the truth of Scripture and choosing to follow their own way rather than follow God. A law most likely won’t change how people value marriage. We value what God values when our hearts are changed and this only occurs when we place our trust in God so we are in agreement with Him (Hebrews 4:12).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Relationships: Why Is Virginity so Important in the Bible?

When we think of sexual purity, our culture brings to mind a maiden, sitting in the forest, with a unicorn’s head in her lap. Others think of a bride presenting herself for the first time to her groom on their wedding night. But keeping sex for marriage is both more and less sacred. Virginity is not something to be worshiped. It’s not about cultural shame. It’s about the way God designed us and the really hard battle of following Him.

There are three serious reasons to save sex for marriage. First, because as believers, we are to obey what God tells us to do. 1 Corinthians 6:18–20 states, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” If we are in Christ, we have allowed Him to purchase us with the sacrifice of His blood. In exchange for eternal life, we are to trust that He knows what is best for us, and obey Him.

The second reason is similar. Like any sin, avoiding sexual immorality is a contest of our new nature in Christ and our fleshly desires. 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Allowing your body to control your actions is an act of defiance against God. Godly sex is giving. Using someone else to fulfill a desire of the flesh is selfish and abusive. Even if the partner is willing, you are still helping them to sin and negatively altering their relationship with God and others.

The final reason is somewhat more practical. Paul talked of the “mystery” of marriage (Ephesians 5:31). When God spoke of two people being joined as one, He was referring to something we’re only beginning to understand in a real, physiological way. When two people are intimate, the hypothalamus releases chemicals that induce feelings of attachment and trust. Having sex outside of marriage means allowing your body to attach to and trust someone who you do not have a committed relationship with. The definition of trust in the mind deteriorates. To have that kind of link with someone without the security of being in the state of working together toward God is dangerous. Two individuals who are—even mildly—physiologically obsessed with each other but not committed to growing in God as a couple can be torn apart from God and His plans for them.

Conversely, if two people make a conscious, deliberate choice to commit, and then allow the intimacy that releases these chemicals, the body can reaffirm the connection the mind has made. The physiological feelings of trust and attachment are reinforced by the reality of the relationship. In this way, two people become one in a physical way that reflects what God has done spiritually.

The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship between the church and Christ and to serve God as a strong, unified partnership. Sex, along with procreation, was designed by God to strengthen that partnership. Sex outside of marriage creates bonds that tear apart people’s hearts instead of joining them together. God can redeem anyone, and He can heal someone who has indulged their flesh instead of controlling their desires. But God designed couples to be joined—spiritually, physically, and physiologically—from a state of purity.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Parables: What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15–24)?

The Parable of the Great Banquet is found in Luke 14:15–24. It is similar to the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1–14), but with some significant differences. The story in Luke’s Gospel was told at a dinner that Jesus attended. Jesus had just healed a man with dropsy and taught a brief lesson on serving others. Jesus then says that those who serve others “will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:14). At the mention of the resurrection, someone at the table with Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (verse 15). In reply, Jesus tells the Parable of the Great Banquet.

In the parable, a man planned a large banquet and sent out invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to contact each of the invited guests, telling them that all was ready and the meal was about to start (verses 16–17). One after another, the guests made excuses for not coming. One had just bought a piece of land and said he had to go see it (verse 18). Another had purchased some oxen and said he was on the way to yoke them up and try them out (verse 19). Another gave the excuse that he was newly married and therefore could not come (verse 20).

When the master of the house heard these flimsy excuses, he was angry. He told his servant to forget the guest list and go into the back streets and alleyways of the town and invite “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (verse 21). The servant had already brought in the down-and-out townspeople, and still there was room in the banquet hall. So the master sent his servant on a broader search: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full” (verses 22–23).

Jesus ends the parable by relating the master’s determination that “not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (verse 24).

The statement that prompted the parable is key. The man who, in verse 15, looks forward to dining in the Messianic kingdom probably subscribed to the popular notion that only Jews would be part of that kingdom. The parable Jesus tells is aimed at debunking that notion, as the following explanation makes clear:

The master of the house is God, and the great banquet is the kingdom, a metaphor that was suggested by the speaker at the table. The invited guests picture the Jewish nation. The kingdom was prepared for them, but when Jesus came preaching that “the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17), He was rejected. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11).

The excuses for skipping the banquet are laughably bad. No one buys land without seeing it first, and the same can be said for buying oxen. And what, exactly, would keep a newly married couple from attending a social event? All three excuses in the parable reveal insincerity on the part of those invited. The interpretation is that the Jews of Jesus’ day had no valid excuse for spurning Jesus’ message; in fact, they had every reason to accept Him as their Messiah.

The detail that the invitation is opened up to society’s maimed and downtrodden is important. These were the types of people that the Pharisees considered “unclean” and under God’s curse (cf. John 9:1–2, 34). Jesus, however, taught that the kingdom was available even to those considered “unclean” (cf. Acts 10). His involvement with tax collectors and sinners brought condemnation from the Pharisees, yet it showed the extent of God’s grace (Matthew 9:10–11). The fact that the master in the parable sends the servant far afield to persuade everyone to come indicates that the offer of salvation would be extended to the Gentiles and “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people” (Romans 15:10).

The master is not satisfied with a partially full banquet hall; he wants every place at the table to be filled. John MacArthur’s comment on this fact is that “God is more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.”

Those who ignored the invitation to the banquet chose their own punishment—they missed out. The master respects their choice by making it permanent: they would not “taste of my banquet.” So it will be with God’s judgment on those who choose to reject Christ: they will have their choice confirmed, and they will never taste the joys of heaven.

The basic message of the Parable of the Great Banquet could be stated this way: “The tragedy of the Jewish rejection of Christ has opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. The blessings of the kingdom are available to all who will come to Christ by faith.”

The inclusion of the Gentiles is a fulfillment of Hosea 2:23, “I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ ” God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about the Bible: What Is the Book of Jubilees and Should It Be in the Bible?

The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called the “Lesser Genesis,” was probably written in the 2nd century BC and records an account of the biblical history of the world from the creation to Moses. The book divides history into periods or “jubilees” of 49 years. Generally, the Book of Jubilees follows the account of creation as recorded in the Book of Genesis, but provides interesting details such as names of Adam’s daughters.

The only complete version of the Book of Jubilees is written in Ethiopian, though most scholars believe that it was originally written in Hebrew. There are some fragments existing today in Greek and Latin, but nowhere near a complete book in either language.

Perhaps the most obvious reason for the book was the author’s preoccupation with advocating a solar calendar based on days and months rather than on the Jewish lunar-based calendar. In fact, some scholars have pointed out that it appears the book was written exactly for that purpose—to push the author’s idea that the solar-based calendar more accurately represents the 49 years (jubilees) and provided for a better understanding of prophecy. If that is true, then the Book of Jubilees may well have merely been an attempt to show how the solar calendar better fits in the biblical account of time and prophecy.

As for whether the Book of Jubilees should be in the Bible, we must first recognize the fact that God is the One at work in the Scriptures and if He wanted the Book of Jubilees as a part of Scripture, no man (or Satan) could have prevented it. Hundreds and hundreds of years of Christian (and Jewish) scholars have labored to ensure that the Holy Scriptures remain true and untainted. Part of the problem with the Book of Jubilees is that so little remains of original writings that there is no way to determine if the book as it now exists is the same book that was originally written. This is one huge reason that the Book of Jubilees fails the standards of the canon of Scripture.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

30 Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30 That Will Blow Your Mind

Why are young people in America so frustrated these days? You are about to find out. Most young adults started out having faith in the system. They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college. But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow. Even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery”, the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall. And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well. At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt. As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents. (Read More….)