Daily Archives: October 5, 2013

How God’s Grace Sets Us Free from Porn

Christians often define “grace” as God’s unmerited favor. But we are told in Titus 2:11-14 that God’s grace actually “trains” us to be godly. How does God’s favor do this?

More specifically, for those trapped in pornography addiction, how does grace train us to set porn aside and pursue a life of holiness instead? How does grace empower this kind of change?

I recently spoke with Dr. Heath Lambert, author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. Here’s what he said about this subject.

Read More Here: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/10/03/how-gods-grace-sets-us-free-from-porn/

In pursuit of American humility

This week, as Washington navel-gazed its way into a shutdown, its actions didn’t go unnoticed abroad. In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, took the opportunity to gloat [2] about the U.S.’s refusal to pay its federal workers, many of whom are on furlough because of the shutdown. “We are now witnessing the crisis in the U.S. We have never been a government that could not pay its personnel,” Erdogan said.

This is how America’s dysfunction at home is undermining its credibility abroad. The latest development: Obama’s desire to maintain laser focus on the Republicans for political gain has prompted him to cancel a pivotal trip to Asia to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. But it’s not just the shutdown: it is a series of issues over the past decade, chief among them the financial crisis. For decades the U.S. had been espousing the virtues of free market capitalism, urging other countries to adopt the model. America’s exceptional economic success, the thinking went, allowed it to give advice about how other countries should build their own economies.

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Obamacare subjects entire nation to ransom demands of coercive government

You’ve probably noticed I’m not covering pure politics anymore here on Natural News, but I am covering Obamacare and health issues quite intensely. And when it comes to Obamacare, you can’t separate the insane politics from the Affordable Care Act policies, so I’ll give you an advance warning that this article delves into some hard-hitting issues of what I believe is really wrong with America today.

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Muslim Questions: How Can I, as a Muslim, Be Assured of Paradise?

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).

Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Life on earth is short. No matter how prosperous, life is tragic if it ends in eternal separation from God.

Jesus warned that the way to heaven is hard: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:13–15).

The Bible tells us how we can enter the narrow gate and be assured of paradise.

Can good works earn me a place in heaven?
Many people think following God’s laws and doing good works will get them into heaven. Muslims, for example, strive to keep the Five Pillars. If good deeds outweigh bad deeds, people hope God will accept them. But God says in the Bible that no person can earn heaven.

“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:20, 23).

The more a person tries to obey God’s laws found in the Bible (ultimately fulfilled in perfectly loving God and neighbor—Matthew 22:34–40), the more a person sees he is a sinner. God is a just Judge with a holy wrath against sinners (Romans 2:5). He will punish sinners—regardless of good deeds done or laws kept (Ecclesiastes 12:14; James 2:10; Revelation 20:11–15). Since sin prevents our entrance to heaven, who can help us?

Can Jesus bear the wrath of God against sinners?
A substitute, taking the punishment for a sinner, must be perfect. Otherwise, that substitute must receive God’s punishment for his own sin. The only perfect One who walked on earth is Jesus (1 Peter 2:22–24).

Thousands of people witnessed Jesus’ miracles, teachings, and prophecies. They knew “… how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:38b–43).

All true prophets witness that believing in Jesus is the only way sinners can be forgiven. Without Jesus as your Savior from sin, you will face Jesus as Judge with your sins exposed. Either Jesus dies for your sin (bearing the wrath of God on the cross), or you die for your sin (bearing the wrath of God eternally in hell). Jesus says, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

How can I believe in Jesus?
Who is Jesus? What must you believe about Him so that you do not “die in your sins”? Read the book of John in the Bible to find out. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

You will find that Jesus is not only Man but He is also the Word who was eternally with God and was God (John 1:1). By Him, God the Father created all things (John 1:3). God the Father sent Jesus, His beloved Son, to earth in human flesh to die on behalf of believing sinners (John 3:16). Then, Jesus became alive again to show He conquered sin and death. After 40 days, He rose to the Father’s side in heaven. One day, He promises to come again to judge the world and rule forever.

Even the demons believe Jesus is God’s Son (Matthew 8:29). To be saved, you must not only believe the truths about Jesus, but you must believe in Jesus.

Jesus alone can save you from sin. You must repent of your sin—not trying to take care of sin on your own but trusting in Jesus Who died to pay for your sin and set you free from sin (John 8:31–36).

Those who believe in Jesus—not merely knowing about Him but trusting in Him as Savior from sin and Lord/Master of their lives—will be saved from sin and hell.

Jesus assures those who believe in Him of heaven! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).[1]

 


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

Questions about Humanity: Is There Anything I Can Do to Guarantee Myself a Long Life?

“’Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth’ ” (Ephesians 6:3–4). In this passage, the apostle Paul is quoting from the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:12 specifically: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” This represents the only instance of God connecting long life as a reward for something we do. Is this promise of long life for honoring your parents true? And, if so, why is honoring your parents so highly valued to God that He rewards it with long life?

First, yes, the promise is true, but not in a universal sense. There are people who honored their parents, but died young. And there are people who did not honor their parents, but lived a long life. Therefore, it is a principle that is generally true. If you honor your parents, God will, generally speaking, reward you with a long life. However, this promise does not override other decisions we make which impact how long we live. For example, if a man honors his parents, but then decides to commit suicide, the act of suicide “negates” the reward of long life. The same can be said of those who engage in reckless and dangerous activities. God’s reward of long life for honoring parents does not miraculously make you immune from serious injury or death.

Again, the reward of long life for honoring your parents is a general principle, not a universal truth. God considers the way a child treats his/her parents so important that He usually rewards those who honor their parents with long life. Solomon urged children to respect their parents (Proverbs 1:8; 13:1; 30:17). Jeremiah declared that those who honor their parents are blessed (Jeremiah 35:18–19). Disobedience to parents is a trait of those who rebel against God (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2). This brings us to the second point. Why is honoring your parents so highly valued to God that He rewards it with long life?

There are at least two reasons for the value God places on honoring your parents. (1) God entrusts parents with the responsibility to raise their children in a godly manner. The task of parenting is not easy. It is painful, stressful, expensive, and often unappreciated. For a child to not recognize, and be grateful for, the sacrifices parents make on his/her behalf is an affront to the position of authority and value God has given to parents. It is similar to how we are to respond to the government (Romans 13:1–7). If God has placed us under authority, to rebel against that authority is to rebel against God Himself.

(2) God desires us to honor our parents because our relationship with our earthly parents is an illustration of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. For example, Hebrews 12:5–11 compares the discipline a child receives from parents to the discipline believers in Christ receive from God. Just as our parents are our biological progenitors, God is our Creator. We are children of God and children of our parents. To dishonor our parents is to distort the picture of what our relationship with our Heavenly Father is to be.

Do you want to live a long life? Honor your parents. Why? Because God placed you under their authority and guidance, and because your attitude towards your parents is illustrative of your attitude towards God. While this reward is not universal—and while it does not override every other decision you make—it is still generally true. If you want to live a long life, honor those who gave you life in the first place.[1]

 


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