Daily Archives: June 5, 2014

Questions about Life Decisions: Is It Wrong to Want to Be Famous?

 

In our age of celebrity, the pull toward fame can feel overwhelming. The famous seem to have it all, and we sometimes find ourselves coveting what they have (or appear to have). When we evaluate whether a desire is right or wrong, we have to look at our motivation. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” That instruction is our gold standard for evaluating our own motives. We can look at any desire and ask ourselves, “Do I want this for God’s glory or for my own?” It’s easy to tell ourselves that we could glorify God more by being famous. Wouldn’t more people listen to our message if we had a bigger platform?

Jesus gives us a great example in John 6. He had just fed over 5,000 people, healed the sick, and performed other miracles. The people were thrilled. They believed He was the One who would finally deliver them from the oppression of Roman rule. Jesus’ fame was at its peak, and the crowds were ready to crown Him king. But verse 15 says, “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.”

Imagine the situation. Jesus had the opportunity to be catapulted to fame and fortune. A certain logic says that, if Jesus were famous, powerful, and wealthy, then people would take more notice of His message. If He were king, He could glorify God even more. That makes sense from an earthly perspective, but Jesus said “no” to the coronation. It wasn’t God’s plan, so Jesus chose the harder way. Jesus’ goal in everything He did was to seek the will of His Father and to do it (John 4:34; 8:29; Luke 22:42). He said in John 8:50, “I am not seeking glory for myself.” Since Jesus is our model, that must be our goal, too.

Some people have a worldwide platform with which to glorify God. Others serve Him in seeming obscurity. Both are equal in importance in God’s kingdom (Matthew 5:19; 25:14–15). A desire for fame is not wrong in itself, if we want it for the right reasons. Most of us wouldn’t have the proper motivation. If we are honest, our desire for fame is to glorify ourselves (James 4:3; 1 Timothy 6:9). But God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8–9). He chooses the humble to accomplish things of eternal value. He chooses simple truths to confuse those who think they are wise (1 Corinthians 1:27–28). He does it all so that “no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29). That should be our heart’s cry to Him: “Lord, let my flesh never glory in Your presence.”

When we make it our goal to keep our hearts humble before the Lord, He promises to exalt us in His way, in His time (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). If He can better use us by making us famous, then fame will come our way. But fame brings its own challenges. Many famous people warn that fame is not all it appears to be. There are headaches and heartaches that come with fame that many cannot handle. God wants the very best for each of His children. When we seek His fame over ours, we can trust that He will direct us into the path He has chosen for us (Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 3:5–6). His path, unlike the world’s, includes rewards that last for all eternity (Matthew 6:4; Luke 6:35; Ephesians 6:8; Proverbs 19:17).[1]

 

 

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

Catholic Questions: What Is the Catholic Bible?

 

Many Christians are surprised to learn that the Catholic Bible is different from the Bible used by Protestants. While all 66 books found in Protestant Bibles are also found in the Catholic Bible, the Catholic Bible also contains other books, and additions to books. The Catholic Bible contains a total of 73 books, 46 in the Old Testament (Protestant Bibles have 39) and 27 in the New Testament (the same as Protestant Bibles).

The additional books in the Catholic Bible are known as the deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. They are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom (Ecclesiasticus), Sirach, and Baruch. The Catholic Bible also includes additions to the books of Esther and Daniel. Should the Apocrypha be included in the Bible? There was significant debate in the early Christian church, with a majority of the early church fathers rejecting the idea that the Apocrypha belonged in the Bible.

However, under tremendous pressure from Rome, Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate, included the Apocrypha, despite Jerome’s insistence that the Apocrypha did not belong in the Bible. The Latin Vulgate became the dominant and officially sanctioned Catholic Bible, and remained that way for around 1200 years. Thus, the Apocrypha became a part of the Catholic Bible.

The Apocrypha was not formally/officially made a part of the Catholic Bible, though, until the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation. The early Protestant Reformers, in agreement with Judaism, determined that the Apocrypha did not belong in the Bible, and therefore removed the Apocrypha from Protestant Bibles.

The most popular English translations of the Catholic Bible today are the New American Bible, the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, and the New Jerusalem Bible. Aside from the inclusion of the Apocrypha, each of these Bible translations is reasonably good and accurate in how it renders the biblical text into English.

In summary, the Catholic Bible is the version of the Bible promoted by the Roman Catholic Church and used by the majority of the world’s Catholics. Aside from the inclusion of the Apocrypha, the Catholic Bible is identical to Protestant Bibles in terms of the canon (the books belonging in the Bible).[1]

 

 

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

Questions about God: Does God Know the Future?

 

The Bible is always 100 percent accurate, including its prophetic content. Take, for instance, the prophecy that Christ would be born in Bethlehem of Judea, as foretold in Micah 5:2. Micah gave his prophecy around 700 B.C. Where was Christ born seven centuries later? In Bethlehem of Judea (Luke 2:1–20; Matthew 2:1–12).

Peter Stoner, in Science Speaks, has shown that coincidence in prophetic Scripture is ruled out by the science of probability. Taking just eight prophecies concerning Christ, Stoner found that the chance that any one man might have fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That would be 1 chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Of course, Jesus fulfilled many more than eight prophecies! There is no doubt that Bible is totally accurate in foretelling the future.

Since God can foretell the future, He certainly knows the future. Isaiah recorded these words about God: “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ ” (Isaiah 46:9–10). God is the only One who can stand at the beginning and accurately declare the end.

God is omniscient; He knows everything actual and possible. God is also eternal (Psalm 90:2). As the eternal, omniscient God, He has lived our yesterdays, our todays, and our tomorrows, the past, present, and future. As the popular song says, “To You my future is a memory / ‘Cause You’re already there” (John Mark Hall and Bernie Herms, “Already There”). God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 21:6).

There are still prophecies in the Bible that await fulfillment. Because God knows the future, we can count on all the prophecies to eventually be fulfilled. Events are taking place in God’s calendar according to His plan. We know who holds the future—the one true, personal, eternal, and all-knowing God of the Bible.[1]

 

 

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

John MacArthur on Christians, Business, and Gay Marriage

 

The homosexual agenda has no tolerance for disagreement. You’ve likely read stories about Christian wedding vendors being protested, sued, and even run out of business for refusing to participate in homosexual marriage ceremonies. Even some churches and pastors have come under fire for simply holding fast to their biblical beliefs and refusing to host or officiate a gay marriage.

This should come as no surprise to those familiar with Scripture. We should expect the persecution of our faith to get worse as society continues to protect and promote lifestyles of overt sexual sin.

But how should believers respond to this oppressively sinful culture? Can Christians ever do business with homosexuals, or does that automatically endorse their lifestyle? We recently asked John MacArthur those and other important questions about Christians and gay marriage. You can view his helpful answers in the video below.

GTY Staff


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B140605
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

Tin-Foil Hat Theology [1]

hipandthigh

How conspiracy theories are detrimental to a Christian’s spiritual health

Do not say, “a conspiracy,” concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats or be troubled. (Isaiah 8:12)

As I have traveled over the internet super-highway, I will occasionally drive by websites dedicated to the promotion of some elaborate conspiracy theory. Just like the attractions along the side of the road promising to show anyone willing to stop such glorious curiosities as the world’s largest gum ball or genuine baby Bigfoot skeletons, those conspiracy websites promise that if you are willing to open your eyes, read all the facts, and connect all the dots, you too will be awakened to the truth of reality.

Now, before I go on, it may be helpful to define what I mean by a conspiracy theory.

A “conspiracy” is simply defined as a “planning together…

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J. Warner Wallace explains and defends the doctrine of Hell in five podcasts

WINTERY KNIGHT

Straight talk on the doctrine of Hell from cold case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace.

Number 1:

In the wake of Rob Bell’s new book, “Love Wins,” many people are beginning to question the nature and existence of Hell and how exactly God decides who must go there. For many, the idea that our temporal, finite sin on earth should deserve an eternal punishment of infinite torment in hell is ridiculously inequitable. Why would God torture infinitely those who have only sinned finitely? Jim addresses this objection and answers listener email.

The MP3 file is here.

Number 2:

A loving God would never create a place like Hell, would He? Any God that would send people to a place of punishment and torment is unloving by definition, right? In this podcast, Jim responds to these foundational objections to the existence of Hell. In addition, Jim comments on the…

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End Times Prophecy Headlines: June 5, 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
June 5, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

INTERNATIONAL

CHINA: Renminbi use fast displacing dollar in USA home markets

CHINA: What would push the USA towards war with China?

CHINA: Behind The Iconic Tiananmen Square Photo – A narrative.

“Yesterday French President Francois Hollande announced that he will be having two consecutive dinners on Thursday night in order to keep President Obama and Vladimir Putin separate. It’s an old trick he learned from having a wife and a mistress.”
–Seth Meyers

NATIONAL

AMERICAN BABYLON: List of Antichrist Religions Started in America

US Job Creation Index hits new High! – The old Soviet Union had many such stories.  No one believed those either.

LABOR DEPT: Americans face higher unemployment – Even with the “job creation index” at an all-time high?

Extreme Poverty Has Dropped In Half Since 1990 – No doubt because of all of the…

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Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The Middle Class Is Dying

If you make more than $27,520 a year at your job, you are doing better than half the country is. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can check out the latest wage statistics from the Social Security administration right here. But of course $27,520 a year will not allow you to live “the American Dream” in this day and age. After taxes, that breaks down to a good bit less than $2,000 a month. You can’t realistically pay a mortgage, make a car payment, afford health insurance and provide food, clothing and everything else your family needs for that much money. That is one of the reasons why both parents are working in most families today. In fact, sometimes both parents are working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Over the years, the cost of living has risen steadily but our paychecks have not. This has resulted in a steady erosion of the middle class. Once upon a time, most American families could afford a nice home, a couple of cars and a nice vacation every year. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was middle class. But now “the American Dream” is out of reach for more Americans than ever, and the middle class is dying right in front of our eyes. (Read More….)

The worst places on Earth for Christians

‘Going to school, attending church … it’s turning into a bloodbath’

Somewhere around the world, another Christian is martyred, on average, every three hours, according to a new report that identifies nations where radical Islamists are abundant as the worst locations on Earth for Christians to be.

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12 Ways Homosexual Adults Endanger Children

I write this article with great sadness, because every day that goes by means more vulnerable children are deceived, corrupted and enticed down roads that take them far, far from their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yet America’s attitude, even that of the Christian church, seems to be, “Oh, well– as long as they play the right sports and have lots of friends on Facebook!” But what happens to our sons and daughters when we don’t confront and expose this danger?

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Jesus Christ is the express image of God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2 ESV)

I heard a sermon a long time ago in which the preacher defined a cult as any religious group that called itself Christian but denied the orthodox doctrine of our Triune God. That means that those who deny the Doctrine of the Trinity, according to that definition, are not Christians, but heretics. The man-centered part of each of us, that is the flesh, rebels from such a strict “legalistic” view, but as our faith becomes more and more God Centered in all its aspects, that view becomes entirely justified in our hearts because as we come to know God as He reveals Himself to His children, we will not doubt His Word nor will we attempt to overlay…

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