While there are numerous ideas of precisely what election means in regards to salvation, the fact that believers are elect is indisputable (Romans 8:29–30; Ephesians 1:4–5, 11; 1 Thessalonians 1:4). Simply put, the doctrine of election is that God chooses/determines/elects/predestines who will be saved. It is not within the scope of this article to determine how election works. Rather, the question at hand is “How can I know if I am one of the elect?” The answer is exceedingly simple: believe!
The Bible nowhere instructs us to be concerned regarding our status of elect vs. non-elect. Rather, God calls us to believe, to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9). If a person truly trusts in Jesus alone for salvation, that person is one of the elect. Whether belief secures election, or election causes belief—that is another debate. But what is sure that belief is evidence of election. No one can receive Jesus as Savior unless God draws him or her (John 6:44). God calls/draws those whom He has predestined/elected (Romans 8:29–30). Saving faith is not possible without divine election. Therefore, saving faith is evidence of election.
The idea of a person wanting to be saved but being unable to, due to not being one of the elect, is absolutely foreign to the Bible. No one seeks after God’s plan of salvation on their own accord (Romans 3:10–18). Those without Christ are blind to their need for salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4). This only changes when God begins drawing a person to Himself. It is God who opens eyes and enlightens minds to the need for Jesus Christ as Savior. A person cannot repent (change the mind about sin and the need for salvation) unless God grants repentance (Acts 11:18). Therefore, if you understand God’s plan of salvation, recognize your need for it, and feel compelled to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, then believe, and you are saved.
If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, trusting Him alone for salvation, believing that His sacrifice is the full payment for your sins—congratulations, you are one of the elect.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
The Bible is the Word of God written to His people and, as such, it contains everything we need to be “complete” (2 Timothy 3:15–17). Part of the “everything” we need is comfort. The Bible has a lot to say about comfort and has many passages and verses that comfort us in life’s tough times.
Life is fraught with many difficulties. We all experience setbacks in one way or another. Sometimes they are sudden; sometimes they are gradual. Maybe we have suffered the death of a loved one or been forsaken by a loved one. Maybe our health is poor or our finances are uncertain. Whatever the difficulties, they affect all of us at some point in our lives and the Bible states that this is inevitable (Job 5:7; Genesis 3:17; Proverbs 22:8). The Bible is the Word of God (Isaiah 55:11), written by God’s servants under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) and provided as both a guide and an aide to our daily living.
But perhaps the most important aspect of God’s Word is the promises that are contained within, promises that the Lord makes to those who are prepared to trust Him. It is these promises that bring comfort, promises that feed off the weakest spark of saving faith to provide the reward of comfort, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. There are many promises in the Bible that have to be combined with faith to be realised, for without faith it is impossible to please God, the provider of comfort in times of trouble (Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Psalm 46:1).
Clearly, the promises of God cannot be appropriated in the same way by the unbelieving, with whom God is angry continually (Psalm 7:11). Nevertheless, it is because of God’s grace, through the work of regeneration that happens at conversion, that these promises are realized and become the very fuel that spurs His people on to greater faith and greater obedience. These things go hand in hand; we trust God’s promises, and He has promised to reward us accordingly with joy, peace and comfort, intangible things that the world can never supply. One of the greatest verses that has brought comfort to many is Isaiah 26:3. Embrace it in faith, asking for the Lord’s help, and there will be no disappointment.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Gag order? Two megachurches facing scrutiny for questionable behavior—Seattle’s Mars Hill Church and Charlotte’s Elevation Church—have something besides controversy in common: They both require staff to sign non-disclosure agreements. I’ve obtained a copy of the Mars Hill agreement, it covers both the employee and the employee’s spouse, and it threatens legal action if the employee has “any intentional or unintentional violation” of the agreement. Dave Kraft, a former elder who refused to sign the document and subsequently left the church, said, “It amounts to a gag order.”
By Warren B. Smith
(author of the new release “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer)
One of the many spin-off products from Sarah Young’s best-selling book, Jesus Calling, is the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. It is a New King James Bible filled with “messages” Young claims to have “received” from Jesus Christ. In the original Introduction to her book, Jesus Calling, Young describes the nature of these messages:
LTRP Note: While most evangelical pastors and virtually all Christian leaders have ignored or stayed away from the controversy of Jesus Calling, the secular publication, The Daily Beast, dares to ask questions that take a deeper look into this book, while pointing readers to Warren B. Smith’s “Another Jesus” Calling.
“The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of”
By Daily Beast Columnist Ruth Graham
A ten-year-old devotional written in the voice of God suddenly became a commercial juggernaut. Now, its publisher is trying to reconcile its New Age origins with evangelical orthodoxy.
The seventh-best selling book in America last year was a 10-year-old Christian devotional written by a woman who claims to have written down the words of God. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence sold more copies in 2013 than the much more buzzed-about titles Lean In, the latest Stephen King book, and 50 Shades of Grey, according to Nielsen BookScan. Overall, more than 10 million copies in 26 languages have been sold since the book’s inauspicious debut in 2004.Jesus Calling is a devotional, a mainstay genre in Christian publishing and in the daily lives of many Christians. Best-selling devotionals like Our Daily Bread, My Utmost for His Highest, and The Purpose-Driven Life consist of short sections that are meant to be read each day for encouragement and contemplation. Christians who value the idea of nurturing a personal relationship with Jesus—or of the idea of spending time each day in quiet contemplation—often use devotionals as a tool to accompany prayer and Bible-reading. Click here to continue reading.
In World War II, the United States fought against rabidly anti-Semitic fascists. In 2014, the United States helps them overthrow democratically-elected governments. And the sick thing is that the mainstream media is acting an an accomplice because it is purposely ignoring or greatly playing down the rabid anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The anti-Semitism of many of the “reformers” that have seized power in Kiev does not fit with the narrative that the U.S. government is trying to push, so the mainstream media conveniently turns a blind eye to the fact that the United States is essentially helping neo-Nazis take power. In fact, leaders of the Svoboda Party have been appointed to numerous important positions throughout the new government. As you will read about below, the head of the Svoboda Party has denounced the “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry”, another top Svoboda official regularly quotes Joseph Goebbels, and the Party itself was known as “the Social-National Party” (in reference to National Socialists) until (Read More…)
So much for “isolating” Russia. The Chinese government is publicly siding with Russia on the crisis in Ukraine, and that is very bad news for the United States. Not only does it mean that the U.S. is essentially powerless to do anything about the situation in Ukraine, it also means that Russia and China are starting to understand how much economic leverage that they really have. Yes, the Obama administration can threaten to slap “sanctions” on Russia or threaten to kick Russia “out of the G8”, but those actions would not actually hurt too much. On the other hand, Russia and China hold approximately 25 percent of all foreign-owned U.S. debt, and if they started massively dumping U.S. debt it could rapidly create a nightmare scenario. In addition, it is important to remember that Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil in the world. And China now imports more oil than anyone else on the planet does, including the United States. If Russia and China got together and decided to kill the petrodollar, they could do it almost overnight. So when it comes to Ukraine, it is definitely not the United States that has the leverage. (Read More….)
When the Obama administration was plotting to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Ukraine, what in the world did they expect to happen in the aftermath? Did they just expect Russia to roll over and play dead as the U.S. and the EU installed a rabidly anti-Russian government in Kiev? Over the past few years, the U.S. government has chosen to foment violent political revolutions all over the globe. We have seen violent revolutions overthrow governments all across the Middle East and Africa, but when the U.S. government decided to do the same thing in Ukraine they went way too far. When you mess with Ukraine, and when you mess with Crimea in particular, you are crossing a huge red line as far as the Russians are concerned. By crossing that red line, the Obama administration has ensured that the relationship between the United States and Russia will never be friendly again. (Read More…..)
Christian alternative to ObamaCare growing fast as deadline nears
With just weeks left to sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov, a growing number of people are opting to enroll in a Christian alternative to traditional health insurance.
Nationwide networks of fellow believers help share each other’s major medical bills through what’s known as health care sharing ministries.
This may be the excruciatingly worst time for Prime Minister Netanyahu to be visiting President Obama who clearly and, perhaps painfully, is aware of the ridicule many in the international corridors of power are heaping upon him.
It is not beyond credulity that Obama will display brute force against Netanyahu – something he has assiduously refrained from doing with respect any other nation state, especially the world’s tyrants.
It is glaringly obvious that in five short years President Barack Hussein Obama has made U.S. foreign policy a figure of ridicule. This president’s red lines have come and gone and left America’s loyal allies, particularly Israel, deeply dismayed and apprehensive. Enemies have been immensely emboldened as the erstwhile policeman of the world has become in the eyes of many a paper tiger.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to the United States in 2008 seeking political asylum. They fled their German homeland in the face of religious persecution for homeschooling their children.
They wanted to live in a country where they could raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs.
The Romeikes were initially given asylum, but the Obama administration objected – claiming that German laws that outlaw homeschooling do not constitute persecution.
Since January 2014, nine successful bankers have died unexpectedly from either suicide or mysterious circumstances. Another 5 bankers died in 2013, again as the result of either suicide or puzzling circumstances. While the families of these men mourn, many questions surround the deaths. What, if anything do these deaths have in common? Are they related or are they just an anomaly? Let’s explore some opinions. …….. Click here for full story
This is definitely the biggest stock market bubble in modern history… Even more extraordinary than the inflated prices is that, unlike in the two previous share price booms, no one is offering a plausible narrative explaining why the evidently unsustainable levels of share prices are actually justified. …….. Click here for full story
Given that I haven’t seen it, one might think I hadn’t given it much thought. But I have. I could here take a stab at solving the immediate second commandment problem. Some argue that on its face, any movie that depicts Jesus is of necessity a violation of the second commandment which forbids making graven images. It’s a rather sticky wicket given the nuances of our understanding of the incarnation. God, for instance, is spirit. The body of Jesus, while most assuredly in union with God the Son, belongs properly to His human nature. But, an image of that human body is an image of He who is one person with two natures, one human the other divine.
I could take another tack and poke fun at how we evangelicals are less than discerning about how God works. I remember the promise of worldwide revival that we expected would follow in the wake of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. I remember the giddy expectation of that preceded the release of several movies from my friends at Sherwood Baptist Church. But such is shooting fish in a barrel. In terms of soul winning strategies this is just the next great thing in a long line of failed next great things.
Have you ever run over a dead skunk in the road? I have, during a heat wave. The smell got into my tires and permeated our garage for days! I’ll go out on a limb and say that no one takes pleasure in the highly offensive smell of skunk spray, dead or alive. My point in telling you this is that to God the stench of sin is much worse than skunk. For an example of just how much the Lord hates sin, grab a cup of coffee and read First and Second Kings. Given our penchant for getting things fast, here’s an illustration of the way in which God dealt with Baasha, one of Israel’s most ruthless kings:
Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat. (1 Kings 16:1–4)
God had already destroyed Jeroboam for his flagrant sins, yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes. God rebuked the Israelites for their sinful ways and vowed to punish them.
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