Daily Archives: November 27, 2013

Mark Driscoll: He Just Keeps on Plagiarizing

Zwinglius Redivivus

Last week, syndicated radio host Janet Mefferd sent shockwaves throughout social media and the Internet when she accused megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll of plagiarism in a heated on-air exchange. In the last two days, however, Mefferd has turned up the heat with additional allegations. On Tuesday, she posted photocopied evidence that Driscoll borrowed material — this time, word for word — in another of his books, Trial: 8 Witnesses From 1&2 Peter. As Mefferd’s evidence demonstrates, Driscoll published an entire section from D.A. Carson’s New Bible Commentary.

On Wednesday, Mefferd struck again, providing two additional allegations of plagiarism— both taken word-for-word from Carson’s New Bible Commentary and published in Driscoll’s book on 1&2 Peter. Carson has said that preachers who plagiarize are “stealing” and “deceiving.” Requests for a comment sent to the office of D.A. Carson were not immediately returned.

Last week, Mefferd claimed Driscoll lifted at least 14 pages from…

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Thanksgiving: A Lifestyle, Not A Holiday

It is a sure sign that we are sinners that we tend to be more concerned about what we do than what we are. That is, our guilt or peace oftentimes is the fruit of our own judgment of how often we commit a known sin, less often grounded in what we think and how we feel. I may hate my brother, but if I can keep myself from killing him, well, how bad could I be?

In Romans 1 Paul is setting about the business of explaining the universal guilt of men before God. There he answers the telling question, “What about the innocent native in Africa who knows nothing of Christ?” by affirming that all men everywhere both know who God is, and reject that knowledge. Before we have done anything we stand guilty, if only because our eyes tell us there is a God and our hearts hate that truth. Paul then, however, in describing the universal sinful condition of all men outside of Christ adds this condemnation—neither were they grateful.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/thanksgiving-lifestyle-not-holiday/

Jesus or Prosperity?

Judging by some teachers, if you come to Jesus, you are entitled to prosperity, riches and the good life. But according to Jesus, if you come to him, you are entitled to a life of hardship, deprivation and suffering. So which is it? I will side with Jesus here on this one thanks.

Now it is certainly possible that a real follower of Jesus will be, or become, wealthy. But that is not the reason anyone should come to Jesus. We should come to him because he is worthy of our all, not because of any possible goodies we might get out of him.

We are to love Jesus for who he is, not for any supposed riches, comforts and benefits we might get because of our relationship with him. If we really love him for who he is, then no price is too big, no sacrifice too great, and no obedience too difficult.

I am reminded of that love in my morning reading, where Jacob loves Rachel so greatly that he gladly works for her for seven years to win her, as we read about in Genesis 29. And the beautiful epitome of this story is found in Gen 29:20: “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

Wow, what a great love. No amount of time or toil was too much because of his love for her. How much more should it be for our love for God? He is lovely for who he is, and we should seek him and love him on that basis alone. As A.W. Tozer put it, “O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.”

But far too many false teachers today will spend all their time pushing their dangerous prosperity gospel: ‘Come to Jesus and you will have riches, nice homes, fancy cars and everything you desire. You are worth it after all, because you are a King’s kid.’

I have written before about this erroneous teaching before, but let me add a few more words here. In a sense, the biblical teaching on wealth and poverty is pretty straight-forward. God doesn’t want us rich, or poor. He wants us holy. That is his main concern, that we be conformed to the image of his son (Romans 8:29). If we can become that in wealth or poverty, fine. But if God knows that our ultimate end (conformity to, and fellowship with, himself) is best achieved by the absence of wealth or health, then he is quite willing to allow that to occur.

Read More Here: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/01/04/jesus-or-prosperity/

Questions about Parables – What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats?

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats is part of the Olivet Discourse. It is found in Matthew 25:31–46. A parable is a short, simple story of comparison. Jesus used parables to teach spiritual truths by means of earthly situations.

Jesus begins the parable by saying it concerns His return in glory to set up His kingdom (verse 31). Therefore, the setting of this event is at the beginning of the millennium, after the tribulation. All those on earth at that time will be brought before the Lord, and He will separate them “as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (verses 32–33).

The sheep on Jesus’ right hand are blessed by God the Father and given an inheritance. The reason is stated: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (verses 35–36). The righteous will not understand: when did they see Jesus in such a pitiful condition and help Him? “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’ ” (verses 39–40).

The goats on Jesus’ left hand are cursed with eternal hell-fire, “prepared for the devil and his angels” (verse 41). The reason is given: they had opportunity to minister to the Lord, but they did nothing (verses 42–43). The damned ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” (verse 44). Jesus replies, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (verse 45).

Jesus then ends the discourse with a contrast: “They will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (verse 46).

In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, we are looking at man redeemed and saved, and man condemned and lost. A casual reading seems to suggest that salvation is the result of good works. The “sheep” acted charitably, giving food, drink, and clothing to the needy. The “goats” showed no charity. This seems to result in salvation for the sheep and damnation for the goats.

However, Scripture does not contradict itself, and the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that salvation is by faith through the grace of God and not by our good works (see John 1:12; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:22–24; Romans 4:4–8; Romans 7:24–25; Romans 8:12; Galatians 3:6–9; and Ephesians 2:8–10). In fact, Jesus Himself makes it clear in the parable that the salvation of the “sheep” is not based on their works—their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), long before they could ever do any good works!

The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. As Christians we become like Christ (see Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; and Colossians 2:6–7). Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits, and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd (see Ephesians 2:10).

The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose—to honor and worship God.[1]

 


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

Questions about the Bible: What Are the Different Names and Titles of the Bible?

There are over a dozen names and titles of the Bible found in both the Old and New Testaments. The following is a list of the most well known.

Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 31:26)—“Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you.” The Bible is described as a book of laws, laws which are not meant to enslave us or stifle our relationship with God and life on earth, but laws which are meant to strengthen our relationship with God and enhance our lives.

Gospel (Romans 1:16)—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes …”. The Bible reveals to us the gospel, the good news, about the Lord Jesus Christ and that through God’s Son, our sins are forgiven and we are granted salvation.

Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2)—“The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” The Bible is a collection of sacred writings which are holy as they are made authoritative by God, who is its topic and inspiration.

Law of the Lord (Psalm 19:7)—“The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Not only do the laws of the Bible strengthen our relationship with God and enhance our lives, they are not to be confused with any other; they are the Lord’s and the Lord’s alone, not the ramblings of man.

Living Words (Acts 7:38)—“He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.” The Bible is a living book, each book, chapter and verse alive with the knowledge and wisdom of God Himself.

Message of Christ (Colossians 3:16)—“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” The message of Christ is the message of salvation from sin through the only One who can accomplish it.

Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16)—“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Inspired by God, the Bible is a collection of sacred writings that is unlike any other, because it has been written by the hand of men who were moved by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21).

The Scroll (Psalm 40:7)—“Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll.” In prophesying about Jesus, the Bible refers to itself as a scroll, a roll of parchment documenting priceless knowledge to be shared from generation to generation.

Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)—“Take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Like a sword, the Bible can defend any attack brought before it, but can also strike the truth of God and His words. The writer to the Hebrews referred to it as sharper than any “double-edged sword” because it is capable of “dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12).

Truth (John 17:17)—“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” As the Bible is the Word of God, it is the truth. Every word is from the mind of God and since He is truth, so must His Word be truth.

Word of God (Luke 11:28)—“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” The Bible is like the mouthpiece of God, as through each book He speaks directly to us.

Word of Life (Philippians 2:16)—“… hold firmly to the word of life.” The Bible and its truths reveal to us the difference not only between life and death, but the eternal life that lies before those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the eternal death for those who do not.

Words of the Lord (Psalm 12:6)—“And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” The Bible is replete with the many words, perfect and without flaw, which the Lord spoke through prophets and disciples in order to reveal all His love and glory.[1]

 


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

Questions about Angels and Demons: What Are the Names of Satan?

Satan is a spiritual being who led a heavenly revolt against God and was subsequently cast down into the earth (Luke 10:18). His personal name, “Satan,” means “adversary.” This name indicates Satan’s basic nature: he is the enemy of God, of all God does, and of all God loves.

He is also called “the devil” in the New Testament. The word “devil” means “false accuser” or “slanderer.” Satan plays this role in Job 1–2 when he attacks Job’s character.

In Matthew 12:24, the Jews refer to Satan as “Beelzebul,” an epithet derived from “Baal-Zebub” (“lord of the fly”), a false god of the Philistines in Ekron (2 Kings 1:2–3, 6).

Other titles of Satan include the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5), the wicked one (Matthew 13:19, 38), the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), and—three titles that point to Satan’s authority in this world—the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Second Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan transforms himself into “an angel of light,” a description that highlights his capacity and inclination to deceive.

There are a couple of passages which refer to the judgment of earthly kings but may very well also refer to Satan. The first is Isaiah 14:12–15. This is addressed to the king of Babylon (verse 4), but the description also seems to fit that of a more powerful being. The name “Lucifer,” which means “morning star,” is used here to describe someone who sought to overthrow God’s very throne.

The second passage is Ezekiel 28:11–19, addressed to the king of Tyre. As in the “Lucifer” passage, this prophecy contains wording that seems to go beyond the description of a mere mortal. The king of Tyre is said to be “anointed as a guardian cherub,” but he was laid low by pride and “expelled” by God Himself.

In addition to providing names and titles of Satan, the Bible uses various metaphors to reveal the character of the enemy. Jesus, in the parable of the four soils, likens Satan to the birds that snatch the seed off the hardened ground (Matthew 13:4, 19). In another parable, Satan appears as the sower of weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:25, 28). Satan is analogous to a wolf in John 10:12 and a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8. In Revelation 12:9, Satan is the “great dragon … that serpent of old”—obviously, a reference to the serpent who deceived Eve (Genesis 3:1).[1]

 


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

There Already Is A Government Health Care System In America And It Is The Medical Version Of Hell

What would happen if the entire health care system in the United States was run by the federal government? Would such a system be better or worse than what we have today? To get an answer to these questions, all we have to do is take a look at what is already happening. The truth is that there already is a government health care system in America and it is the medical version of hell. You are about to read about the horrifying state of health care being provided by the federal government at VA hospitals and on Indian reservations around the country. Injured military veterans and those that live on Indian reservations are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and the government is doing an absolutely nightmarish job of taking care of them. (Read More…..)

The goal of Obama’s foreign policy

When we consider Obama’s decision to wait for a year to sign the deal that enables Iran to become a nuclear power in the context of his main activities over the past year, we understand his foreign policy.

His goal is not to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. It isn’t even to facilitate a rapprochement between America and Iran. The goal of Obama’s foreign policy is to weaken the State of Israel.

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Why so few Give Thanks

A friend doing a study on the healing of the ten lepers wondered why only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. When he posted his question on Facebook, he received a myriad of answers.

I’ve thought about the question ever since and have come to a conclusion. Each man had his own reason for not returning to Jesus to say ‘thank you.’

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The Dirty Secret of Black Friday ‘Discounts’ – How Retailers Concoct ‘Bargains’ for the Holidays and Beyond

When shoppers head out in search of Black Friday bargains this week, they won’t just be going to the mall, they’ll be witnessing retail theater.

Stores will be pulling out the stops on deep discounts aimed at drawing customers into stores. But retail-industry veterans acknowledge that, in many cases, those bargains will be a carefully engineered illusion.

The common assumption is that retailers stock up on goods and then mark down the ones that don’t sell, taking a hit to their profits. But that isn’t typically how it plays out. Instead, big retailers work backward with their suppliers to set starting prices that, after all the markdowns, will yield the profit margins they want.

Read more here

GodLife: Life in the Body of Christ

Life in the Body of Christ

Last week we learned about being part of Christ’s Body, the Church. We also talked about how important it is for every believer to be part of a local body of believers a “little c” church. These days, you can “attend” church online. You can sing songs, hear great preaching, and even give money. But you would miss your chance to make a difference in the lives of other believers. That is why Hebrews 4:25 says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” You AND your disciples need to physically show up at church or in a fellowship group.

Just for You

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible verses you’re learning about here? Click the link to read more about how to study the Bible.

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Do you need help figuring out how God has gifted you and how your church can use those gifts to bring Him honor? 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:
• To thank God that He created us to be in community with one another
• That God will give you opportunities to serve, love and live in harmony with others
• That God will use the Body of Christ to build His kingdom
• Ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to use you to build unity instead of conflict

GodLife Family

Where can you go online to get daily encouragement and inspiration, and to discuss the role of the Church in God’s Kingdom? Visit the GodLife Facebook Page where we can gather daily to share our stories, to express ourselves, and to pray for one another!