Daily Archives: October 8, 2014

Sam Waldron on Civil Authorities

airō

church_and_state_montage2I expect my next article on the topic of the Law of God to address Gentile governments and natural law, but as a prelude to that post, I thought it would be helpful to share some conclusions by Dr. Sam Waldron from his helpful lecture series, Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment. Dr. Waldron’s work is available in three parts by lecture at Christian Library Australia, or in written format at The Reformed Reader.

On the “Non-Theocratic Character of Civil Authority till the Return of Christ”, Dr. Waldron states (bold emphasis mine):

The first conclusion reminds us that with the expiration of the partially restored Theocratic order all civil authority ceased to be Theocratic in the sense in which we have defined that word in this paper. God is no longer the unique king of any civil entity. No nation is now mandated to adhere to a divinely…

View original post 1,723 more words

Dangers of Henry Blackaby

Truth in Grace

Dear Friends,

Recently, there have been a few events in our lives and interactions that have brought some issues to the forefront once again. We have seen more and more Christians are being duped by what appears to be good theology, but is actually dangerous teaching.

One of the dangers that is assaulting the true church of Jesus Christ is in the area of contemplative prayer, also referred to as contemplative mysticism. In a nutshell, this teaching is based on a combination of New Age and Roman Catholic mysticism.

The danger of overrunning the evangelical church is immense. This teaching is heresy with many well known evangelicals touting this as biblical theology. There is NOT ONE Scripture that teaches the emptying of our minds.

Here is an example of what contemplative mysticism/prayer is according to one of the main teachers of this system known as “Spiritual Formation.”

“In your imagination…

View original post 312 more words

Hell

Zwinglius Redivivus

Personally, I have no issue with either the concept of hell nor the concept of punishment.  It is, after all, actually an act of grace to separate from God for eternity those who despise God.  The torments of hell aren’t so much, then, in the common images of fire and sulfur; those images simply strive to hint at the sheer hopeless misery of those separated from God by their own choosing.  The  wailing and gnashing of teeth comes from the everlasting realization that the worst decision of all decisions was made when God was despised.

Having all eternity to contemplate one’s folly and ‘enjoy’ the consequences of that folly… that will be the real torture.

hell

On the other hand, were the misguided universalists correct and everyone forced to spend an eternity with God when they despise and hate God, then those people would not be given the grace they thirst…

View original post 58 more words

With the epicenter on fire, Israel’s leader holds another Bible study in his home. Here are the details.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hosted another Bible study at his official residence on Sunday evening. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hosted another Bible study at his official residence on Sunday evening. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The epicenter is on fire. Radical Islamic jihadists are pressing their offensive in Syria and Iraq. Iran continues marching towards nuclear weapons. Hezbollah briefly attacked Israelis on her northern border yesterday. U.S.-Israeli relations are frayed. Anti-Semitism is rising.

And amidst all his national security briefings and strategy sessions, Israel’s premier is studying the Bible.

Indeed, one of the most interesting but least known aspects in the life of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he has developed quite an interest in studying the Bible in recent years. The premier was not raised in a religious home growing up. But as he has gotten older, he has developed a noticeable curiosity in the ancient Scriptures.

View original post 990 more words

Democrat Senate candidates support late-term abortion

WINTERY KNIGHT

Take a look at the views of some of these Democrat candidates for the Senate.

First, North Carolina Senate candidate Kay Hagan:

The Weekly Standard explains:

North Carolina senator Kay Hagan’s position on abortion is the target of a new $620,000 TV ad campaign that is being launched today by the Women Speak Out PAC.

In the ad, a husband and wife, Becca and Ned Ryun, tell the moving story of how doctors saved the life of their daughter Charlotte who was born prematurely at 24 weeks into pregnancy. Photos of their daughter in the neo-natal intenseive care unit flash across the screen, and it isn’t until the end of the minute-long spot that the viewer gets a political message.

“For those who are advocating late-term abortions, look at my daughter,” says Ned Ryun. The ad concludes with a narrator conveying that North Carolina’s senator thinks it should be legal…

View original post 356 more words

Blistering criticism of President’s handling of ISIS threat coming from former top aides. Here’s the latest. Plus an update on a possible major ISIS victory that is brewing.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Will ISIS forces soon score a major victory? Will ISIS forces soon score a major victory?

Blistering criticism of the President’s handling of the ISIS threat — as well as much of his approach to the Middle East — is mounting rapidly. But it is not coming merely from conservatives. The criticism is coming from the President’s own former senior advisors, as well as from journalists typically sympathetic to the White House.

Key insiders and supporters of Mr. Obama now say the President:

  • Created the vacuum in the Mideast that ISIS is now exploiting.
  • Has largely ignored Iraq and botched his much-heralded exit strategy.
  • Is not taking decisive action to defeat ISIS.
  • Has imposed severe limitations on the U.S. military hampering our commanders’ ability to prosecute the war effectively.
  • May soon hand ISIS a major victory if he allows the strategic city of Kobane — near the Syrian-Turkish border — to fall.

Consider the latest:

  • Leon Panetta, the former CIA Director and Defense Secretary — who served in both positions under President Obama — said this…

View original post 1,383 more words

Is there evidence for the Resurrection of Christ?

Running The Race

image

Yesterday I wrote about some proof that Jesus is a made up myth, a “fact” that many people unfortunately believe.

But is it true? Is Jesus a made up myth?

Or is there evidence that He might be exactly who He tells us He is through Scriptures?

Read what’s below from Josh McDowell then ask yourself what you believe.

You have free will.

The choice is yours.

You can accept Him, or reject Him.

You can trust Him, or doubt Him.

You can believe His words, or pretend He never spoke the truth in the first place.

Whatever you do with Jesus won’t change His eternal kingdom, nor will it change the objective truth about who Jesus is.

What you decide will only determine whether or not you spend eternity with Him.

Will you spend eternity with Him or eternity continuing to reject Him?

“Jesus answered, “I am the…

View original post 3,460 more words

Questions about False Doctrine: What Is Baptismal Regeneration?

 

Baptismal regeneration is the belief that baptism is necessary for salvation, or, more precisely, that regeneration does not occur until a person is water baptized. Baptismal regeneration is a tenant of numerous Christian denominations, but is most strenuously promoted by churches in the Restoration Movement, specifically the Church of Christ and the International Church of Christ.

Advocates of baptismal regeneration point to Scripture verses such as Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, and 1 Peter 3:21 for biblical support. And, granted, those verses seem to indicate that baptism is necessary for salvation. However, there are biblically and contextually sound interpretations of those verses that do not support baptismal regeneration. Please see the following articles:

Does Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Does John 3:5 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Does Acts 2:38 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Does Acts 22:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Does Galatians 3:27 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Advocates of baptismal regeneration typically have a four-part formula for how salvation is received. They believe that a person must believe, repent, confess, and be baptized in order to be saved. They believe this way because there are biblical passages that seem to indicate that each of these actions is necessary for salvation. For example, Romans 10:9–10 links salvation with confession. Acts 2:38 links salvation with repentance and baptism.

Repentance, understood biblically, is required for salvation. Repentance is a change of mind. Repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejection of Christ to acceptance of Christ. It is not a separate step from saving faith. Rather, it is an essential aspect of saving faith. One cannot receive Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, without a change of mind about who He is and what He did.

Confession, understood biblically, is a demonstration of faith. If a person has truly received Jesus Christ as Savior, proclaiming that faith to others will be a result. If a person is ashamed of Christ and/or ashamed of the message of the gospel, it is highly unlikely that the person has understood the gospel or experienced the salvation that Christ provides.

Baptism, understood biblically, is an identification with Christ. Christian baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3–4). As with confession, if a person is unwilling to be baptized—unwilling to identify his/her life as being redeemed by Jesus Christ—that person has very likely not been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) through faith in Jesus Christ.

Those who contend for baptismal regeneration and/or this four-part formula for receiving salvation do not view these actions as meritorious works that earn salvation. Repenting, confessing, etc., do not make a person worthy of salvation. Rather, the official view is that faith, repentance, confession, and baptism are “works of obedience,” things a person must do before God grants salvation. While the standard Protestant understanding is that faith is the one thing God requires before salvation is granted, those of the baptismal regeneration persuasion believe that baptism—and, for some, repentance and confession—are additional things God requires before He grants salvation.

The problem with this viewpoint is that there are biblical passages that clearly and explicitly declare faith to be the only requirement for salvation. John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In Acts 16:30, the Philippian jailer asks the apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” If there was ever an opportunity for Paul to present a four-part formula, this was it. Paul’s response was simple: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). No baptism, no confession, just faith.

There are literally dozens of verses in the New Testament that attribute salvation to faith/belief with no other requirement mentioned in the context. If baptism, or anything else, is necessary for salvation, all of these verses are wrong, and the Bible contains errors and is therefore no longer worthy of our trust.

An exhaustive study of the New Testament on various requirements for salvation is not necessary. Receiving salvation is not a process or a multi-step formula. Salvation is a finished product, not a recipe. What must we do to be saved? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will be saved.[1]

 

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

Questions about Theology: What Is the Dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom?

 

In classic dispensationalism, there are seven dispensations. It is important to remember that dispensationalism is a theology inferred from Scripture rather than an explicitly taught doctrine of God’s Word. The value of dispensationalism lies in its systematic view of history’s different eras and the various ways in which the Ancient of Days interacts with His creation.

The seventh and final dispensation brings about the culmination of life on Earth and the closest thing yet to how God really wanted to live with us on this planet. As its name suggests, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ will last for 1,000 years.

The Millennial Kingdom is the seventh dispensation (Revelation 20:1–10).

Stewards: The resurrected Old Testament saints, the glorified Church, and survivors of the Tribulation and their descendants The Period: From the Second Coming of Jesus Christ until the final rebellion, a period of one thousand years Responsibility: To be obedient, remain undefiled, and worship the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 11:3–5; Zechariah 14:9) Failure: After Satan is loosed from the Abyss, sinful man rebels one more time (Revelation 20:7–9) Judgment: Fire from God; the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:9–15) Grace: Jesus Christ restores creation and rules righteously in Israel, with all saints assisting (Isaiah 11:1–5; Matthew 25:31–46; Revelation 20)

The Millennial Kingdom will be a time characterized by peace (Isaiah 11:6–7; Micah 4:3), justice (Isaiah 11:3–4), unity (Isaiah 11:10), abundance (Isaiah 35:1–2), healing (Isaiah 35:5–6), righteousness (Isaiah 35:8), joy (Isaiah 55:12), and the physical presence of Christ (Isaiah 16:5). Satan will be bound in the Abyss during this period (Revelation 20:1–3). Messiah Jesus will be the benevolent dictator ruling over the whole world (Isaiah 9:6–7; 11). The resurrected saints of all times will participate in the management of the government (Revelation 20:4–6).

The Millennial Kingdom is measurable and comes after the Kingdom of God (embodied in Jesus Christ) came to man during the dispensation of Grace. On Jesus’ first visit to the earth, He brought grace; at His Second Coming He will execute justice and usher in the Millennium. Jesus mentioned His glorious return at His trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:62), and He was referring to the Millennial Kingdom when He taught His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10, KJV).

The rebellion at the end of the Millennial Kingdom seems almost incredible. Mankind will have been living in a perfect environment with every need cared for, overseen by a truly just government (Isaiah 11:1–5), yet they still try to do better. Man simply cannot maintain the perfection that God requires. Mankind follows Satan any chance he gets.

At the end of the Millennium, the final rebellion is crushed, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Then comes the Great White Throne Judgment where all the unrighteous of all of the dispensations will be judged according to their works and also cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15).

After the final judgment, God and His people live forever in the New Jerusalem on a new earth with a new heaven (Revelation 21). God’s plan of redemption will have been completely realized, and the redeemed will know God and enjoy Him forever.[1]

 

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

Questions about Family / Parenting: Is Giving a Child a Christian Education Important?

 

For believers in Jesus Christ, the question of whether or not a Christian education is important seems obvious. The answer would be an emphatic “Yes!” So why ask the question? It’s because the question comes from a myriad of perspectives within the Christian faith. Maybe the question should be “who is responsible for introducing my child to Christianity?” or “should my child’s education be done in a public, private or home-based system?” There is no shortage of opinions on this topic, some very strongly held and endlessly and emotionally debated.

As we begin to search for a biblical perspective, we come to the definitive Old Testament passage on educating children found in Deuteronomy 6:5–8: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” Hebrew history reveals that the father was to be diligent in instructing his children in the ways and words of the Lord for their own spiritual development and well-being. The message in this passage is repeated in the New Testament where Paul exhorts parents to raise children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Proverbs 22:6 also tells us to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Training includes not only formal education, but also the first instructions parents give to a child, i.e., his early education. This training is designed to plant the child firmly on the foundation upon which his life is based.

As we move to the subject of formal education, however, there are misunderstandings that need to be addressed. First, God is not saying that only parents are to educate children as many would assert, and, second, He is not saying that public education is bad and we are to educate our children only in Christian schools or home schools. The principle found throughout all of Scripture is that of ultimate responsibility. God never directs parents to avoid education outside of the home; in fact, it isn’t even addressed. So, to say that the only “biblical” method of formal education is home schools or Christian schools would be adding to God’s Word, and we want to avoid using the Bible to validate our own opinions. Just the opposite is true: we want to base our opinions on the Bible. We also want to avoid the argument that only “trained” teachers are capable of educating our children. Again, the issue is that of ultimate responsibility, which belongs to parents.

The issue in Scripture is not what type of general education our children receive, but through what paradigm that information is to be filtered. For example, a homeschooler can be given a “Christian” education but fail in life because he or she does not truly know the God of Scripture and does not truly understand scriptural principles. Likewise, a child educated publicly can grow to understand the fallacies of the world’s wisdom by seeing its failure through God’s Word which has been diligently taught to him at home. Information is being sifted through a biblical lens in both cases, but true spiritual understanding only exists in the latter. Similarly, a student can attend a Christian school but never grow to understand God in an intimate, personal relationship. Ultimately, it is the parents who are responsible for shaping and molding the child in a way that will succeed in accomplishing true spiritual education.

In Hebrews 10:25, God gives Christians the command, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The body of Christ is an integral part of the education of children, assisting parents in nurturing and educating children in spiritual matters. Exposure to something outside of the family structure, in this case sound biblical teaching from church and Sunday school, is good and necessary.

So, no matter what type of institution of learning we choose, parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s spiritual education. A Christian school teacher can be wrong, a pastor and Sunday school teacher can be wrong, and parents can be wrong on any particular viewpoint theologically. So, as we teach our children spiritual things, they need to understand that the only source of absolute truth is the Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, perhaps the most important lesson we can teach our children is to follow the example of the Bereans who “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11), and to test all things they are taught—from whatever source—against the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21).[1]

 

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