Daily Archives: May 12, 2014

GTY Blog: A Recipe for Discernment – John MacArthur

 

We cannot simply flow with the current of our age. We cannot elevate love while downplaying truth. We cannot promote unity by repressing sound doctrine. We cannot learn to be discerning by making an idol out of tolerance. By adopting those attitudes, the church has opened her gates to all of Satan’s Trojan horses.

God gives us the truth of His Word, and He commands us to guard it and pass it on to the next generation. Frankly, the current generation is failing miserably in this task. Our failure to discern has all but erased the line between biblical Christianity and reckless faith. The church is filled with doctrinal chaos, confusion, and spiritual anarchy. Few seem to notice, because Christians have been conditioned by years of shallow teaching to be broad minded, superficial, and noncritical. Unless there is a radical change in the way we view truth, the church will continue to wane in influence, become increasingly worldly, and move further and further into all sorts of error.

How can we cultivate discernment? What needs to happen if the church is going to reverse the trends and recover a biblical perspective?

Desire Wisdom

Step one is desire. Proverbs 2:3–6 says, “Cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

If we have no desire to be discerning, we won’t be discerning. If we are driven by a yearning to be happy, healthy, affluent, prosperous, comfortable, and self-satisfied, we will never be discerning people. If our feelings determine what we believe, we cannot be discerning. If we subjugate our minds to some earthly ecclesiastical authority and blindly believe what we are told, we undermine discernment. Unless we are willing to examine all things carefully, we cannot hope to have any defense against reckless faith.

The desire for discernment is a desire born out of humility. It is a humility that acknowledges our own potential for self-deception (“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” [Jeremiah 17:9]). It is a humility that distrusts personal feelings and casts scorn on self-sufficiency (“On my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses” [2 Corinthians 12:5]). It is a humility that turns to the Word of God as the final arbiter of all things (“. . . examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things [are] so” [Acts 17:11]).

No one has a monopoly on truth. I certainly do not. I don’t have reliable answers within myself. My heart is as susceptible to self-deception as anyone’s. My feelings are as undependable as everyone else’s. I am not immune to Satan’s deception. That is true for all of us. Our only defense against false doctrine is to be discerning, to distrust our own emotions, to hold our own senses suspect, to examine all things, to test every truth-claim with the yardstick of Scripture, and to handle the Word of God with great care.

The desire to be discerning therefore entails a high view of Scripture linked with an enthusiasm for understanding it correctly. God requires that very attitude (2 Timothy 2:15)—so the heart that truly loves Him will naturally burn with a passion for discernment.

Pray for Discernment

Step two is prayer. Prayer, of course, naturally follows desire; prayer is the expression of the heart’s desire to God.

When Solomon became king after the death of David, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask what you wish me to give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon could have requested anything. He could have asked for material riches, power, victory over his enemies, or whatever he liked. But Solomon asked for discernment: “Give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). Scripture says, “It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing” (1 Kings 3:10).

Moreover, the Lord told Solomon:

Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. And if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days. (1 Kings 3:11–14)

Notice that God commended Solomon because his request was completely unselfish: “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself.” Selfishness is incompatible with true discernment. People who desire to be discerning must be willing to step outside themselves.

Modern evangelicalism, enamored with psychology and self-esteem, has produced a generation of believers so self-absorbed that they cannot be discerning. People aren’t even interested in discernment. All their interest in spiritual things is focused on self. They are interested only in getting their own felt needs met.

Solomon did not do that. Although he had an opportunity to ask for long life, personal prosperity, and health and wealth, he bypassed all of that and asked for discernment instead. Therefore God also gave him riches, honor, and long life for as long as he walked in the ways of the Lord.

James 1:5 promises that God will grant the prayer for discernment generously: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Desire and prayer are the first two key ingredients in the recipe for true biblical discernment. Next time we’ll look at two more.

 

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B140512
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

State Department ignored Boko Haram for two years, under Hillary Clinton

WINTERY KNIGHT

Investors Business Daily takes a look at Hillary’s record.

Excerpt:

When the Global Terrorism Database of the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism compiled its list of terrorist organizations and ranked them by the number of their terror acts in 2012, Afghanistan’s Taliban came in first. Boko Haram was not far behind.

The world’s attention is now focused on the kidnapping of some 300 girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Lagos, Nigeria.

“I abducted your girls,” a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the group’s leader, said in a video seen by the Guardian newspaper. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off. There is a market for selling humans.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined the campaign to free the girls, expressing her concern in a…

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Do not be discouraged at the difficulties…

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

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If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Do not be discouraged at the difficulties and oppositions that will rise up before you when you begin resolvedly to walk with God. Discouragements turn multitudes from religion, and provide a great temptation for many young beginners to turn back. Israel in the wilderness was ready to retreat to Egypt. God himself will have his servants and his graces tried and exercised by difficulties, and Satan, will quickly raise up storms before us, as soon as we are set out to sea.

But God is on your side and has all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or
fury of dust or devils, against the Lord Almighty! In the day you entered into a covenant with God, and he with you, you entered into…

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End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 12, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
May 12, 2014
WEEKEND EDITION

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

UKRAINE: Eastern Ukraine holds independence vote

UKRAINE: Ukraine Guardsmen Open Fire On Crowd

UKRAINE: Ukraine won’t trigger World War III: Accept the new global disorder – “New Global Disorder:” Get it?  That’s the opposite of “New World Order”–and it means chaos and war and lots of scary scenarios.  This is the selling of the NWO.  But this is only the first part of the deception.  There are several layers to be worked through–all of which are dangerous to the true believers.  Lukewarm Christians won’t undergo many actual dangers, though fear will be used to herd them into the satanic whore Church.

The whore Church comes after the NWO one-world government is instituted and will be presented as the savior of mankind from the NWO.

MEXICO: Mexico to legalize vigilantes in…

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Sermon Double Feature: The Fruit of Righteousness/Pursue Peace and Holiness – Dr. James White

Tackled a tough, challenging section of Hebrews at PRBC on Sunday.  NOTE TO ALL ANTI-LORDSHIP, CHEAP-GRACE, NON-REPENTANCE FOLKS: Please note both sermons, but especially the evening sermon.  I really tried to give you all the evidence you could possibly need that I am firmly, unalterably OPPOSED to your position and identify it as a fundamental denial of the Gospel. I hope I’m really clear on that. 

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Those Who Do Not Lead Christians to Maturity

The Scriptural definition of maturity is to learn to discern truth from error so that the Christian will no longer be double minded, blown about by every wind of teaching and by the schemes of crafty people. But the problem today is that so few Christian teachers are feeding their flock’s solid food. They are serving up milk and, because of that, people are starving. Yet they often don’t even know they have been on a starvation diet.

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Meet the new fascists – and their victims

Remember when, a few weeks ago, Newt Gingrich called the forced resignation of Brendan Eich as Mozilla CEO an “open, blatant example of the new fascism”? Charles Krauthammer called it “totalitarian,” Pat Buchanan labeled it “the new blacklist” and RedState headlined it as “a fascist purge.” Even foulmouthed leftist comedian Bill Maher described the perpetrators as the “gay mafia,” while well-known “gay” media personalities condemned it, Andrew Sullivan saying it “disgusts me” and radio talker Tammy Bruce calling out the “gay gestapo.”

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Obama, State Fall on Sword to Protect Islamists

Trey Gowdy will be a recurring nightmare for President Obama, president-hopeful Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Press Secretary Jay Carney. Gowdy set the goal as, “What this committee is going to do is, once and for all, lay out all the facts.” The former federal prosecutor and state district attorney from South Carolina is tenacious and quick. Just ask former IRS official Lois Lerner. She owes her contempt of Congress charge to Gowdy for nailing her on an inappropriate invoking of the Fifth Amendment.

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Boko Haram and the real war on women

Who has been aiding and abetting this group in the U.S. for years?

Democrats and progressives like former Secretary of States Hillary Clinton and a group founded to support her and her husband in the 1990s called MoveOn.org.

While Boko Haram was killing thousands of Christians in a brutal war of eradication over a period of years, burning down churches full of worshippers, targeting girls for attending school and conducting other acts of terrorism to promote Islamic Shariah law, what were Hillary Clinton and MoveOn.org doing?

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Why You May Not Be Growing As a Church – Church & Culture Blog

It’s one of the most pressing questions pastors and church leaders ask themselves:

“Why aren’t we growing?”

Sure, not every mission’s soil will yield the same fruit, but we’re not talking about overall size. Just the idea that biblically, we can assume that God wants every church that honors His name and proclaims His message in Christ to grow and that He is willing to empower it to that end.

Churches are living things. Living things grow. If you’re not growing, something is wrong.

So the question seems to be one for ourselves. If our church isn’t growing and clearly God isn’t the problem, are we?

Here are five areas to consider:

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Islam Growing Faster Than Christianity?

New research claims that the global numbers of Christians has remained stagnant, while Islam has skyrocketed as a worldwide religion. Dick Slikker of Christian mission consultancy group Project Care assembled a report comparing numbers of Christians and Muslims from 1900 to 2010. According to Slikker’s report, Christianity has remained about the same, but Islam has almost doubled in members …….. Click here for full story

Rampant Rise Of Education Discrimination For Christians

When Brandon Jenkins, a bright and promising applicant for entry into the radiation therapy program at Maryland’s Community College of Baltimore County, received a notice informing him that he was not selected for the fall 2013 term after completing his exam and interview process, he inquired further. Jenkins had exceeded the minimum requirements for entry into the program and planned on reapplying for the next term. When he followed up with CCBC staff members to find out why he was not being admitted, he was told that he was not selected because, among other reasons, his chosen field is “not the place for religion.”………. Click here for full story

What are fiery darts?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Revelation 22:11 ESV)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan is a allegory of the journey of one man, Christian, who is saved and makes the journey to escape his home town, The City of Destruction. The journey takes him to the cross by him entering the narrow way by way of the narrow gate that few find. After the burden of sin is taken away at the cross he journeys until he reaches the Celestial City.

One of the most interesting places he must travel through is called The Valley of Humiliation. It is the place where all Christians must travel through in order to reach Heaven. In the Valley their pride is attacked while their humility is cultivated. They are taught to…

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