When it comes to Theology, it’s easy to ponder and solve life’s great mysteries in the realm of the hypothetical. We pose the question: “If a believer commits suicide, will he go to heaven?” Then we embark on our theological excursion, perhaps never even giving a thought to that bruised and battered soul who is so dejected that he is actually considering the unthinkable. So, as a former hospital chaplain, I’d like to start our theological discussion in the realm of reality.
Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/thinking-about-suicide/
Is the Quran the Book of God? Debate Transcript– This is a very lengthy written debate between a Muslim and Christian on the topic: “Is the Quran the Book of God?” It is well worth a read as it shows the methodology that Muslims frequently use in debates. The cross-examinations, in particular, are highly useful. Although it is lengthy, I do really recommend that you read through this to get a better understanding of the places Christians and Muslims differ. The Christian, I think, did a fantastic job of showing that the Quran claims the Old and New Testaments are inspired, while also showing that one cannot simply claim corruption. The Quran says the Bible is the word of God, but then contradicts the Bible.
- Are we really having this conversation? Evangelical egalitarianism surely is on the rise. Never mind what the Bible says, so long as this world is happy, right?
- Why does this not surprise me?
- I can guarantee that an article like this exposing Joyce Meyer Joel Osteen would never appear in a so-called ‘Christian’ publication like The Christian Post or Christianity Today. Instead, it was published in the Huffington Post. And that’s sad.
- Speaking of ‘Christian’ publications that rarely publish anything remotely Christian, Christianity Today is looking for theology in everyone’s favorite book. No, not the Bible . . . the Hunger Games books.
- But hey, it’s not like they’re teaching theology based on Bruce Springsteen songs or anything.
- David Barton and Kenneth Copeland are “among the last people who could be relied on to intelligently interpret a text.” You’ll hear no argument from me!
- The ebook of Steve Lawson’s The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon is free through November! It’s a great read.
- Another free ebook, Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle, is available at Monergism.
- The Mormon church is Florida’s largest private landowner.
- Here’s your weekly dose of adorable. Actually, this may be several doses, so be careful.
- Some states want to bring back cursive writing. This is probably a good thing, but as someone whose handwriting is a blend of printing, cursive and chicken scratch, let’s just say I’m glad this doesn’t affect me.
- Here’s a new gospel tract that Justin Edwards of airō has developed. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.
- We hear a lot about sola Scriptura (and rightly so), but is it always understood correctly?
- Oh, well at least Kay Arthur didn’t “hear any audible voices or anything.” (Yes, I’m rolling my eyes.)
- Yes, this is good. Of course, a healed Aaron Rodgers would be better, but we’ll take what we can get.
- I have no words.
- Fred Zaspel of Credo Magazine reflects on the recent death of his daughter.
- Rick Warren says that “One of the ways you know a church is having corporate renewal is the singing gets better.” No, really, he actually said that. I know it’s probably one of the dumbest things anyone has ever said, but he really did say it.
- Um, we don’t need atheist mega churches. Worship of self is all around us.
- Vision Forum Ministries has closed.
- You really can’t make this stuff up.
- It’s no secret how I felt about The Bible miniseries. Now February will bring a full-length feature film. And Mark Driscoll is excited about it.
- A little Harvest Bible Chapel ‘hmmm‘ for your Friday.
- Phil Johnson teaches us four points about tongues from 1 Corinthians 14.
- The Puritan commitment to sola Scriptura:
Salvation is found in Christ. “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). God gave His Son so that we may have eternal life, thus destroying the need of good works, including going to church, to go to heaven. Eternal life is attained by faith alone in Christ alone. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). Those who believe in Christ, who have accepted His sacrifice in payment of their sins, and who follow Him in obedience will spend eternity in heaven. Those who reject Him will not.
No amount of church attendance will earn eternity in heaven. No lack of church attendance will result in the loss of salvation. However, church attendance is important. The universal Church, made up of all who believe in Christ to the glory of God the Father, is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:18) as well as His Bride (Revelation 21:2). So a church is a place of Christian fellowship. In addition, as members of the body of Christ, we possess certain gifts of the Spirit, and we are to exercise those gifts for the glory of God and the edification of the rest of the body. For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present (1 Corinthians 12:14–20).
Christians who have been made “new creations” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) will have a desire to attend church because they will recognize that doing so is crucial to their spiritual development and maturity. Reluctance toward church attendance may be an indication of disillusion with “organized religion.” There are indeed false churches today, but the true, universal Church is expressed through congregations whose doctrines are based entirely on the Scriptures, which are trustworthy (Psalm 111:7) and inspired by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16). Although no church is perfect, and church attendance will not guarantee eternal life, finding a good local church is crucial for Christians.
The word “gospel” means good news, and it is best defined as the message of forgiveness for sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. It is essentially God’s rescue plan of redemption for those who will trust in His divine Son in order to be reconciled to a just and holy God. The essential content of this saving message is clearly laid out for us in the Bible.
In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he lays out the content of the gospel message, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).
In this passage, we see three essential elements of the gospel message. First, the phrase “died for our sins” is very important. As Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reality of sin needs to be acknowledged by all who approach the throne of God for salvation. A sinner must acknowledge the hopelessness of his guilt before God in order for forgiveness to take place, and he must understand that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Without this foundational truth, no gospel presentation is complete.
Second, the person and work of Christ are indispensable components of the gospel. Jesus is both God (Colossians 2:9) and man (John 1:14). Jesus lived the sinless life that we could never live (1 Peter 2:22) and, as such, He is the only one who could die a substitutionary death for the sinner. Sin against an infinite God requires an infinite sacrifice. Therefore, either man, who is finite, must pay the penalty for an infinite length of time in hell, or the infinite Christ must pay for it once. Jesus went to the cross to pay the debt we owe to God for our sin and those who are covered by His sacrifice will inherit the kingdom of God as sons of the king (John 1:12).
Third, the resurrection of Christ is an essential element of the gospel. The resurrection is the proof of the power of God. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). Further, unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a Founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same. All other religions were founded by men and prophets whose end was the grave.
Finally, Christ offers His salvation as a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), that can only be received by faith, apart from any works or merit on our part (Ephesians 2:8–9). As the Apostle Paul tells us, the gospel is “… the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). The same inspired author tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
These, then, are the essential elements of the gospel: the sin of all men, the death of Christ on the cross to pay for those sins, the resurrection of Christ to provide life everlasting for those who follow Him, and the offer of the free gift of salvation to all.
There is no commandment in the Bible that says, “thou shall not be late, ever” so it’s not as simple as one Scripture reference to determine God’s view on tardiness. Everyone has been late to something at some point, often due to unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances. But if someone is habitually late and unconcerned about being on time, especially if that person professes to be a Christian, then scriptural principles do apply. As with all things God looks at the heart, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
For one thing, continual lateness does not express love for others. Forcing others to wait for us time after time is simply rude. Christians are to love one another and love our enemies as well, and “love is not rude” (1 Corinthians 13:5). When others perceive that we are unloving and unconcerned about them, our reputations as Christians suffer. “A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one’s birth” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). A good name, a good reputation is important as a Christian. This means that we should be known as people of our word, trustworthy and dependable and not be known as always late, slothful, or unconcerned about others. Our actions as Christians point back at Christ. Do they glorify Him? Do they bring Him honor? “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23).
Furthermore, as Christians we never want to cause someone else to sin. Constantly being forced to wait for someone can be very aggravating, especially to those who make an effort to be on time. Minor irritation can very easily become anger. Anger is usually sin and we are never to be the cause of someone else’s sin. “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come’ ” (Luke 17:1).
Waiting can not only be frustrating, but it causes unnecessary stress and wasted time for the person that has to wait. Christians are exhorted by Paul to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). The perpetually late person does not consider others’ time as more important than their own. Most habitual late-comers are concerned only with themselves. Continually being late does not communicate a zeal or diligence in serving Christ by loving others as He loves us. It also does not communicate faithfulness or trustworthiness.
For the person who is habitually late, there is hope. For many, it is simply a matter of bad habits built up over time. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing those habits to be more aware of time, planning far ahead, and leaving ample time for the unexpected. Recognizing the spiritual impact on others is the first step in understanding the importance of reversing the bad habit of tardiness. If we are motivated by love for others and a desire to maintain a good reputation for Christ’s sake, then prayer for wisdom and help is the next step. God has promised wisdom to all who ask for it (James 1:5) and He is never far away from those who call upon His power for godly living.
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” (Isaiah 45:7)
“[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…”(Habakkuk 1:13)
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)
In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures. On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”. Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he…
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The Federal Reserve is creating hundreds of billions of dollars out of thin air and using that money to buy U.S. government debt and mortgage-backed securities and take them out of circulation. Since the middle of 2008, these purchases have caused the Fed’s balance sheet to balloon from under a trillion dollars to nearly four trillion dollars. This represents the greatest central bank intervention in the history of the planet, and Janet Yellen says that she does not anticipate that it will end any time soon because “the recovery is still fragile”. Of course, as I showed the other day, the truth is that quantitative easing has done essentially nothing for the average person on the street. But what QE has done is that it has sent stocks soaring to record highs. Unfortunately, this stock market bubble is completely and totally divorced from economic reality, and when the easy money is taken away the bubble will collapse. Just look at what happened a few months ago when Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may begin to “taper” the amount of quantitative easing that it was doing. The mere suggestion that the flow of easy money would start to slow down a little bit was enough to send the market into deep convulsions. This is why the Federal Reserve cannot stop monetizing debt. The moment the Fed stops, it could throw our financial markets into a crisis even worse than what we saw back in 2008. (Read More….)