Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Questions about the Christian Life: What Does It Mean that We Are Not to Love the World?

 

First John 2:15–16 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Yet John 3:16 begins, “For God so loved the world …” So, God loves the world, but we are not supposed to? Why the apparent contradiction?

In the Bible, the term world can refer to the earth and physical universe (Hebrews 1:2; John 13:1), but it most often refers to the humanistic system that is at odds with God (Matthew 18:7; John 15:19; 1 John 4:5). When the Bible says that God loves the world, it is referring to the human beings who live here (1 John 4:9). And as His children, we are to love other people (Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:7; 1 Peter 1:22). The parable of the Good Samaritan makes it clear we cannot pick and choose whom to love (Luke 10:30–37).

When we are told not to love the world, the Bible is referring to the world’s corrupt value system. Satan is the god of this world, and he has his own value system contrary to God’s (2 Corinthians 4:4). First John 2:16 details exactly what Satan’s system promotes: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Every sin imaginable can be summed up in those three evils; envy, adultery, pride, lying, selfishness, and more spring from those three roots.

The world is what we leave when we come to Christ. Isaiah 55:7 says that coming to God involves a forsaking of our own ways and thoughts. John Bunyan, in his book The Pilgrim’s Progress, pictures the believer’s position as having “his eyes lift up to heaven,” holding “the best of books” in his hand, and standing with “the world as cast behind him” (p. 34). >br /> The world often applauds sin. Hollywood encourages us to envy sinners and to foolishly compare ourselves with the “beautiful people” (see Proverbs 23:17). Often the popularity of “stars” is due to their ability to stir in us dissatisfaction with our own lives. Advertisers prey on our natural tendency to love this world, and most marketing campaigns appeal in some way to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life.

Loving the world means being devoted to the world’s treasures, philosophies, and priorities. God tells His children to set their priorities according to His eternal value system. We are to “seek first” God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and we cannot be devoted to both God and the world at the same time.

When we enter God’s family through faith in Christ, God gives us the ability to exit the world’s rat race (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become citizens of another kingdom (Philippians 1:27, 3:20). Our desires turn heavenward, and we begin to store up eternal treasure (Luke 12:33; Matthew 19:21; 1 Timothy 6:18–19). We realize that what is truly important is eternal, not temporal, and we stop loving the world.

To continue to love the world the way unbelievers do will cripple our spiritual growth and render us fruitless for God’s kingdom (Matthew 3:8; Luke 6:43–45; John 15:1–8). In John 12:25, Jesus took this thought a step further when He said, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Not loving the world extends to our own lives as well. Jesus said if we love anything more than Him, we are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37–38).

In general, the term world in the Bible refers to the evil system controlled by Satan that leads us away from worship of God. John Calvin said, “The human heart is an idol factory.” We can make idols out of anything. Any passionate desire of our hearts that is not put there by God for His glory can become an idol (1 Corinthians 10:31). Loving the world is idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:7, 14). So, while we are commanded to love the people of the world, we are to be wary of anything that competes with God for our highest affections.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about the Holy Spirit: Is the Holy Spirit a Person?

 

Many people find the Holy Spirit confusing. Is the Holy Spirit a force, a person, or something else? What does the Bible teach?

The Bible provides many ways to help us understand that the Holy Spirit is truly a person. First, every pronoun used in reference to the Spirit is “he” not “it.” The original Greek language of the New Testament is explicit in confirming the person of the Holy Spirit. The word for “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter and would naturally take neuter pronouns to have grammatical agreement. Yet, in many cases, masculine pronouns are found (e.g., John 15:26; 16:13–14). Grammatically, there is no other way to understand the pronouns of the New Testament related to the Holy Spirit—He is referred to as a “He,” as a person.

Matthew 28:19 teaches us to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a collective reference to one Triune God. Also, we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit can be sinned against (Isaiah 63:10) and lied to (Acts 5:3). We are to obey Him (Acts 10:19–21) and honor Him (Psalm 51:11).

The personhood of the Holy Spirit is also affirmed by His many works. He was personally involved in creation (Genesis 1:2), empowers God’s people (Zechariah 4:6), guides (Romans 8:14), comforts (John 14:26), convicts (John 16:8), teaches (John 16:13), restrains sin (Isaiah 59:19), and gives commands (Acts 8:29). Each of these works requires the involvement of a person rather than a mere force, thing, or idea.

The Holy Spirit’s attributes also point to His personality. The Holy Spirit has life (Romans 8:2), has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10–11), is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), and is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7). A mere force could not possess all of these attributes, but the Holy Spirit does.

And the personhood of the Holy Spirit is affirmed by His role as the third Person of the Godhead. Only a being who is equal to God (Matthew 28:19) and possesses the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, and eternality could be defined as God.

In Acts 5:3–4, Peter referred to the Holy Spirit as God, stating, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” Paul likewise referred to the Holy Spirit as God in 2 Corinthians 3:17–18, stating, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is a person, as Scripture makes clear. As such, He is to be revered as God and serves in perfect unity with Father and Son to lead us in our spiritual lives.[1]

 

 

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

Characters in the Bible: What Can We Learn from the Life of Hezekiah?

 

Hezekiah was one of the few kings of Judah who was constantly aware of God’s acts in the past and His involvement in the events of every day. The Bible describes Hezekiah as a king who had a close relationship with God, one who did “what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God” (2 Chronicles 31:20).

Hezekiah’s story is told in 2 Kings 16:20–20:21; 2 Chronicles 28:27–32:33; and Isaiah 36:1–39:8. He is also mentioned in Proverbs 25:1; Isaiah 1:1; Jeremiah 15:4; 26:18–19; Hosea 1:1; and Micah 1:1.

Hezekiah, a son of the wicked King Ahaz, reigned over the southern kingdom of Judah for twenty-nine years, from c. 726 to 697 BC. He began his reign at age 25 (2 Kings 18:2). He was more zealous for the Lord than any of his predecessors (2 Kings 18:5). During his reign, the prophets Isaiah and Micah ministered in Judah.

After Ahaz’s wicked reign, there was much work to do, and Hezekiah boldly cleaned house. Pagan altars, idols, and temples were destroyed. The bronze serpent that Moses had made in the desert (Numbers 21:9) was also destroyed, because the people had made it an idol (2 Kings 18:4). The temple in Jerusalem, whose doors had been nailed shut by Hezekiah’s own father, was cleaned out and reopened. The Levitical priesthood was reinstated (2 Chronicles 29:5), and the Passover was reinstituted as a national holiday (2 Chronicles 30:1). Under Hezekiah’s reforms, revival came to Judah.

Because King Hezekiah put God first in everything he did, God prospered him. Hezekiah “held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook” (2 Kings 18:6–7).

In 701 BC, Hezekiah and all of Judah faced a crisis. The Assyrians, the dominant world power at the time, invaded Judah and marched against Jerusalem. The Assyrians had already conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and many other nations, and now they threatened Judah (2 Kings 18:13). In their threats against the city of Jerusalem, the Assyrians openly defied the God of Judah, likening Him to the powerless gods of the nations they had conquered (2 Kings 18:28–35; 19:10–12).

Faced with the Assyrian threat, Hezekiah sent word to the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 19:2). The Lord, through Isaiah, reassured the king that Assyria would never enter Jerusalem. Rather, the invaders would be sent home, and the city of Jerusalem would be spared (2 Kings 19:32–34). In the temple, Hezekiah prays a beautiful prayer for help, asking God to vindicate Himself: “Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God” (2 Kings 19:19).

God, faithful as always, kept His promise to protect Jerusalem. “That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!” (2 Kings 19:35). The remaining Assyrians quickly broke camp and withdrew in abject defeat. “So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem.… He took care of them on every side” (2 Chronicles 32:22).

Later, Hezekiah became very sick. Isaiah told him to set things in order and prepare to die (2 Kings 20:1). But Hezekiah prayed, beseeching God to be merciful and to remember all the good he had done. Before Isaiah had even left the king’s house, God told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that his prayer had been heard and that his life would be extended fifteen years. Isaiah applied a poultice, and Hezekiah was healed (2 Kings 20:5–7).

However, soon after his healing, Hezekiah made a serious mistake. The Babylonians sent a gift to Hezekiah, for they had heard Hezekiah had been sick. In foolish pride, Hezekiah showed the Babylonians all of his treasures, all the silver and gold, and everything in his arsenal. There was nothing Hezekiah did not parade in front of them. Isaiah rebuked Hezekiah for this act and prophesied that all the king had shown the Babylonians would one day be taken to Babylon—along with Hezekiah’s own descendants.

During the years following his illness, Hezekiah fathered the heir to Judah’s throne, Manasseh, who would turn out to be the evilest king ever to reign in Judah (2 Kings 18–20; 2 Chronicles 29–32; Isaiah 36–39). Tradition has it that Manasseh is the one who murdered Hezekiah’s friend, Isaiah.

Hezekiah’s life is, for the most part, a model of faithfulness and trust in the Lord. His faith was more than superficial, as his bold reforms show. Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord was rewarded with answered prayer, successful endeavors, and miraculous victory over his enemies. When faced with an impossible situation, surrounded by the dreadful and determined Assyrian army, Hezekiah did exactly the right thing—he prayed. And God answered.[1]

 

 

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

NTEB: Berlin To Build Very First Temple Of Chrislam For One World Religion

 

It is called the ‘House of One’

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:5,6

For many years now, NTEB has sounded the shofar to warn believers and non-believers alike of the coming One World Religion of Chrislam, the bastard hybrid of Islam and Christianity/Judaism. We have given you countless verified accounts of the efforts of early Chrislam founder and champion Rick Warren to prepare the Christians to accept this new religious paradigm.

house-of-one-world-religion-of-chrislam-berlin-germany

We have given you audio proof, video proof, and interview accounts from major news outlets around the world. We even pulled back the curtain on all the efforts of Pope Francis and the influence of the Vatican to drive through the creation of the One World Religion mentioned in the book of Revelation.

Have you paid attention? Are you listening?

Today’s bombshell is the natural next-step in the evolution of the One World Religion – a temple to call their very own. And where better to build that abomination than in the city that is most famous for introducing the world to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust but in Berlin, Germany. If the irony of that doesn’t punch your buttons, then you need to go look up the definition of the word “irony”. Seriously, could it be any plainer, any more in-your-face than that?

They are calling it the House of One, and it is just that. The world’s 3 major religions under one roof where they will, at first, worship in separate compartments within the the complex, but then all come together to find that oh-so-elusive “common ground” that Rick Warren is such a fan of. If no one ever told you the secret to boiling a live frog in a pan of water without it first jumping out, go look it up. There is much wisdom there.

The BBC reports that an architecture competition has been held and the winner chosen. The striking design is for a brick building with a tall, square central tower. Off the courtyard below will be the houses of worship for the three faiths – the synagogue, the church and the mosque. It is to occupy a prominent site – Petriplatz – in the heart of Berlin.

The location is highly significant, according to one of the three religious leaders involved, Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin. “From my Jewish point of view the city where Jewish suffering was planned is now the city where a centre is being built by the three monotheistic religions which shaped European culture,” he told the BBC.

The imam involved, Kadir Sanci, sees the House of One as “a sign, a signal to the world that the great majority of Muslims are peaceful and not violent”. It’s also, he says, a place where different cultures can learn from each other. (end BBC report)

Ah, there’s the other shoe. The House of One is a “sign”, it is a “signal to the world”, that Muslims are “peaceful and non-violent”. How funny is that? But more than funny, it is something else. It is prophecy being fulfilled in your lifetime, in your hearing and in your sight. For those who can receive it, this is the One World Religion that will be headed up by the Antichrist after the Rapture of the true Church. This is where the Beast and the False Prophet will use religion to deceive not just many. but nearly every soul living on the earth.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3

Prepare yourself, for the time is short and the evil days draw nigh. Trust Jesus Christ as the express image of the Living God sent by the Father in Heaven to save your soul. The age of Grace has just about run it’s course, and that which is “next up” is already assembled in the wings, waiting to be cued in by the Master conductor.

Don’t get “left behind“, because you just might not make it through.

 

The post Berlin To Build Very First Temple Of Chrislam For One World Religion appeared first on Now The End Begins.

 

Who Does the saving in the Salvation of Sinners?

Truth in Grace

Does Faith Save?For-By-Grace-You-have-been-Saved-through-faith

Stuart Brogden

The Foundation

Several authors have described salvation with a vivid word picture that warrants scrutiny. I’ve added a bit to it as I reflected on several things recently.

Let’s begin with a baseline on a couple of issues with scripture. These aren’t the only verses that address these issues, maybe not even the best ones – but they are His words on the topic.

  1. Galatians 3:24 tells us “…the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” The purpose of the law is not save us, but to show us that we cannot save ourselves.
  2. In John 6:65 Christ tells us “that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” In our natural, sinful condition we are unable to seek after God – He pursues us.

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I do, do you…? Weddings I will and won’t perform

 

I doSince becoming a pastor I have had the privilege of conduction countless weddings. The first few were easy decisions: I checked my schedule and if I was available, I agreed to perform the ceremony. That’s because the first weddings I was asked to do were young, chaste, Christian couples in our church whom I knew well and were delighted to part of their joyful day. But then I began to receive requests from complete strangers whose situations required some more discernment than a simple “Yup, I’m free that Saturday.”

Although we covered the theory in seminary, it wasn’t until I was in the trenches, with no professor to grade my answer, that I was faced with deciding which weddings I would consent to do and which I would not. When there were families and friendships involved, I began to realize this wasn’t theoretical, or target practice anymore; we’re playing with live ammo. And taking a stand can set off some explosive emotions.

Here’s seven scenarios I’ve encountered in ten years of doing weddings, and where I stand on saying “I do…”

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World War 3 Watch: June 23, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

WORLD WAR 3 WATCH: Syria-Middle East-Iran-Israel-Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Russia-China-USA-North Korea-South Korea-Japan-Yemen-Egypt-European Union-United NationsWORLD WAR 3 WATCH: Syria-Middle East-Iran-Israel-Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan-Russia-China-USA-North Korea-South Korea-Japan-Yemen-Egypt-European Union-United Nations

WORLD WAR 3 WATCH
June 23, 2014
End Times Prophecy Report

WORLD WAR III WATCH:

Syria – Middle East – Iran – Israel – Iraq – Afghanistan – Pakistan – Russia – China – USA – North Korea – South Korea – Japan – India- Yemen – Egypt – European Union – United Nations

NEWS about World War 3.

Are we on the road to World War 3? How much time do we have? Is there anything we can do about the events which are soon to overtake those living on the earth?

June 23 – Last week, it was Iraq and Ukraine.  This week, it’s all Iraq–and Syria.  And Jordon.  And Afghanistan.  And seemingly, the entire Middle East.

Yes, the world has resumed it’s march toward World War III.

After erupting in Iraq and Ukraine last week, violence…

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Autopsy of a Burned Out Pastor: 13 Lessons

 

Perhaps the autopsy metaphor is not the best choice. After all, the person is not deceased. But the pastor who is burned out feels like life is draining out. Unfortunately, I have spoken with too many pastors for whom burnout is a reality or a near reality.

What lessons can we learn from those pastors who burned out? Allow me to share 13 lessons I have learned from those who have met this fate. They are in no particular order.

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The Mark of a Christian – Church & Culture Blog

In the Gospel of John we have the poignant final words and prayers of Jesus regarding His present and future disciples before he went to the cross. Between John 13 and John 17, Jesus poured out His heart. It is considered by many to be among the most moving sections of the New Testament.

What occupied Jesus the moments before His atoning death for the sins of the world?

Not surprisingly, He was concerned that the world would recognize His gift. And how would that happen? Christ’s torrent of prayer and pleading begins and ends with a passionate call for unity among those who did and would claim His name. The observable love between those who called themselves His followers was seen by Jesus to be everything.

Why?

Jesus said it would be this unity, and this unity alone, that would arrest the world’s attention in such a way as to confirm that He is from the Father.

We often marvel at the growth of the early church, the explosion of faith in Christ in such numbers and speed that in only a blink of history, the Roman Empire had officially turned from paganism to Christianity. We look for formulas and programs, services and processes, strategies and techniques.

Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

End Times Prophecy Headlines: June 23, 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 23, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

SYRIA: Israeli air force strikes nine targets inside Syria

IRAQ: Islamic law spreads in Iraq – Why this would be news is a surprise as Iraq is an Islamic country.

IRAQ: “Iraq Militants” take Syria border post in drive for Caliphate – Good narrative. Ought to spook all of the Americans who depend on the Corporate Media for their news.

IRAQ: Iraqi insurgents capture fourth town

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani included Muslim states in the warning. This after the Iraq Al-Qanoun news website, citing sources in Falluja, said militants are receiving a $700 monthly salary funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “We stress and advise all Muslim states and all those who unfortunately help the terrorists with their money and petro dollars to know that it will be their turn tomorrow,” he said.

When…

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Anne Graham Lotz & new Southern Baptist Convention president call for urgent prayer for a Third Great Awakening.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

AnneGrahamLotz-calltoprayerronniefloyd-calltocolumbus“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

(Washington, D.C.) — In recent days, two prominent Christian leaders have issued calls for Christ-followers to faithfully pray and fast for the Lord to bring about a Third Great Awakening in America, to purify and mature the Church, and to reach the lost with the Gospel before the Second Coming.

I wholeheartedly concur and am grateful for their clear voices. I pray that believers will truly heed the wisdom of these two leaders and turn their hearts to the Lord in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and the Book of Joel. 

As anyone who has read my non-fiction book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?,

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THE ESSENCE OF SALVATION

Samuel at Gilgal

John Stott

John Stott:

“For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God [Gen. 3:1-7], while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man [2 Cor. 5:21]. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.” (The Cross of Christ)

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How can we discern the Lord’s will?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν· 2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. (Romans 12:1-2 NA28)

1 Therefore, I urge you brothers through the compassions of God to present your bodies as living, holy sacrifices, well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may discern the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.(Romans 12:1-2 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Both the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul used light and darkness in analogies pertaining to spiritual life and spiritual death. For instance…

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