Daily Archives: November 13, 2014

GTY Blog: Developing Deep Convictions

Code: B141113

What influence do Christian trends have on you? Do you find yourself regularly following the latest popular pastor, reading the latest must-read book, and buying into the latest life-changing theology? Are you effectively “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)?

Hardly anyone would say an immediate “yes” to those questions. And yet many in the church today follow that very pattern, embracing every trend and chasing the next big thing to break through in the evangelical world.

Perhaps this is a better way to ask the question: How deep are your biblical and spiritual convictions? Are you rooted in Scripture and anchored to the truth, or do your convictions change as quickly as the wind?

No true believer wants to be rudderless in their spiritual life. We want to be clear about what we believe and why—not rigidly unteachable, but confident in our convictions. But how do we biblically develop those convictions? And how do we sustain them under the constant assaults of the fad-driven church?

John MacArthur was recently in studio, and we asked him how believers—and in particular, young church leaders—could develop and maintain deep, biblical convictions. His answer affirms the importance of faithful Bible study, and reinforces the need for every believer to put into practice the principles we’ve been discussing these last few weeks.

GTY Staff


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141113
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

HeadHeartHand Blog: John MacArthur On Helps And Hindrances To Joy

 

“It is my understanding of the character and nature of God that anchors my joy.” John Macarthur.

In a sermon on Rejoice Always (1 Thess. 5:16), John Macarthur listed eight sources of joy and then six thieves of joy. I’ve summarized them below but you can read or hear the whole sermon here.

Sources of Joy

1. The character of God. It is my understanding of the character and nature of God that anchors my joy.

2. Appreciation for the work of Jesus Christ. My favorite definition of a Christian? Somebody who worships in the Spirit of God, rejoices in Christ Jesus and puts no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3)

3. The ministry of the Holy Spirit. How can I not rejoice when I know the Spirit of God is leading me to understand the truth?

4. Spiritual blessings. Paul tells the Ephesians that God gives us everything we need out of the abundance of His riches. There’s only one reasonable response to that and that is joy, deep down joy.

5. Divine providence. Because God is a God of absolute sovereign providence, I rejoice because nothing is outside His plan.

6. Answered prayer. I rejoice that God answers prayer (John 16:24). That in itself is enough to keep the joy flowing.

7. The truth of Scripture. When the Word of Christ dwells in me richly, I end up speaking in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody and rejoicing in my heart because of the truth (Col. 3:16)

8. Christian fellowship. I don’t mind being around unconverted people, but I prefer to be with believers because there is a level of joy that I don’t experience with non-believers (1 Thess. 3:9)

Thieves of Joy

Macarthur says, “If you’re not rejoicing, there are maybe some reasons.”

1. You’re not a Christian: If there’s no joy in a Christian’s life that may be good evidence that that person is not a Christian, because this is a gift from God through Christ planted in the heart. There’s a well of joy in the believer.

2. Ignorance can steal your joy. If you have an aberrant theology, no wonder you don’t have any joy. Bad theology steals joy. If you believe you can lose your salvation, that will make you unhappy.

3. False expectations will steal your joy. If you expect Jesus to make you always healthy, wealthy, and happy, these are false expectations and a deadly set up.

4. Forgetfulness will steal your joy. It’s really good to just remember and remember and remember and remember the history of God’s goodness throughout redemptive history as well as throughout your life because it helps you draw from the well of joy.

5. Self-absorption will steal your joy. If you start worrying about all the little things in life that aren’t the way we want them that will steal your joy. Narcissistic self-centeredness and self-analysis, getting all caught up in trying to interpret every little thing in your life – that will steal it.

6. Being ruled by your feelings will steal your joy. Instead let truth control you and your feelings.

“The joyful Christian thinks more of his Lord than his personal difficulties, more of his spiritual riches in Christ than his poverty on earth, and more of his glorious fulfillment in heaven than his present pain. Therein lies our joy.” John Macarthur.

Source

Helpful Resource: Sola Sisters’ Driscoll Timeline

Steak and a Bible

Well, it seems even with the dissolution of Mars Hill and resignation of Mark Driscoll, that the story isn’t over. Driscoll still appears to be considering a return to ministry. This should be of great concern.

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The importance of having a narrative when confronting the assumption of naturalism

WINTERY KNIGHT

How do you present theism as a rational belief to a person who thinks that the progress of science has removed the need for God?

Canadian science writer Denyse O’Leary writes about the history of cosmology at Evolution News.

Excerpt:

What help has materialism been in understanding the universe’s beginnings?

Many in cosmology have never made any secret of their dislike of the Big Bang, the generally accepted start to our universe first suggested by Belgian priest Georges Lemaître (1894-1966).

On the face of it, that is odd. The theory accounts well enough for the evidence. Nothing ever completely accounts for all the evidence, of course, because evidence is always changing a bit. But the Big Bang has enabled accurate prediction.

In which case, its hostile reception might surprise you. British astronomer Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) gave the theory its name in one of his papers — as a joke…

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News: Is The UN Using Vaccines To Secretly Sterilize Women All Over The Globe?

In some areas of the world, purposely cutting off someone’s family line is considered to be one of the most wicked things that you can possibly do. But that appears to be precisely what the United Nations is doing. Two UN organizations, the WHO and UNICEF, have just been caught red-handed administering “tetanus vaccines” laced with sterilizing agents to girls and women in Kenya. And as you will see below, this is not the first time that this has happened. Apparently there is a well-coordinated international program to use vaccines to secretly sterilize women in poor countries all over the planet. The United States needs to immediately demand a full investigation of the UN vaccine program, but I wouldn’t count on that ever happening under the Obama administration. (Read More…)

News: Obama’s Secret Treaty Would Be The Most Important Step Toward A One World Economic System

Barack Obama is secretly negotiating the largest international trade agreement in history, and the mainstream media in the United States is almost completely ignoring it. If this treaty is adopted, it will be the most important step toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. The name of this treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and the text of the treaty is so closely guarded that not even members of Congress know what is in it. Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy. And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well. This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country. (Read More….)

Opinion: Roma Downey casts Victoria Osteen, Kay Warren, Joyce Meyer in TV show

by Marsha West

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:

Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who gave us the unbiblical The Bible and The Son of God films, is now making a 2-hour Lifetime Television series, “The Women of the Bible.”

Stop. (Just stop.) Back up to The Bible and The Son of God. These two programs were so error-filled, that we need to review just how far off Downey and Burnett are from biblical truth…

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Challies: 9 Steps to Putting That Sin to Death

It’s a battle we all must fight. It’s a battle we all must fight from this moment until the moment we die. It’s a battle fraught with discouragement and setbacks, yet a battle we all can and must win. It’s the battle against sin.

All throughout the New Testament we are told to put our sin to death. For example, in Colossians 3 Paul says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” How do you do that? How do you stop a sin, and how do you stop an especially stubborn and deep-rooted sin? Is there any hope? I want to track with John Owen here (via his great work Overcoming Sin and Temptation) and give a list of 9 things you need to do to overcome sin. Consider that sin that is prevalent in your life and then consider each of these 9 steps.

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News: Concerns raised over Kirk Cameron’s support of Santa Claus

Concerns Grow As Kirk Cameron Says Christians Should Support Santa Claus (VIDEO)

Was Santa Claus a Christian? A ‘defender of the faith’? Is this reason to sit on the lap of the bearded man at the mall who “knows if you’ve been naughty or nice”?

That is what Kirk Cameron is claiming as proof why Christians should celebrate Christmas in a new documentary that opens this Friday in theaters across the country—an assertion that is raising concerns over Cameron’s confusion of Roman Catholicism with Christianity.

Cameron, best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV sitcom “Growing Pains” and films such as “Fireproof” and “Left Behind,” has been promoting his new film “Saving Christmas,” in which the actor seeks to “keep Christ in Christmas,” stating that some holiday traditions aren’t so bad or pagan after all.

After recently asserting that Christians should celebrate Halloween, in a video clip released last week entitled “Do You Love Santa Claus,” Cameron stated that “maybe someone like Santa Claus is actually on our team.” He then released a second video providing the history of the figure of Santa Claus, who was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I.

kirk-cameron-saving-christmas-movie

“He was a devout Christian,” Cameron states, but not noting Nicholas’ Roman Catholic faith. “He was left with a large sum of money when his parents died, and be became famous for his kindness toward the poor and his generous giving of gifts to children.”

“He was there at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, one of the most important events in Church history,” he continues, referring to the first ecumenical conference under Constantine. “The Council of Nicaea ended up producing what is known today as the Nicene Creed, a profession of faith used by churches all around the world. The creed affirmed the deity of Christ and the three persons of the trinity.

According to the St. Nicholas Center, Roman Catholics believe that after Nicholas was put into prison for striking another man during the council, “Jesus with His mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way, Nicholas was reinstated.”

During a recent speech before hundreds of students at Liberty University, Cameron likewise made his case for St. Nicholas as being a Christian man of faith. “They even ‘sainted’ him—that’s why we call him St. Nicholas,” he said. “He became legendary in his time and beyond his time. He became larger than life and reached mythic proportions.”

Cameron said that the use of Santa Claus, who had developed from the person of St. Nicholas, was therefore not so bad after all.

So the guy that many of us think is distracting from the birth of the Christ child, is really the defender of the faith you and I want to be,” he asserted. “So now that you know who the real Santa Claus is, you want to take a picture with him at the mall this Christmas? I do.”

“Born again Christians should not be joining Roman Catholics in any spiritual enterprise or activity,” Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries told Christian News Network. “Paul called us to remain separate from unbelievers who embrace a false gospel. Light and darkness have nothing in common and there is no agreement between the temple of God and idols (2 Cor. 6:14-18).”But some do not agree with Cameron’s assertions, and believe that Christians should stay away from joining with the Roman Catholic Church or honoring its icons.

“I believe Kirk knows that Roman Catholicism is a divisive issue among evangelicals and purposefully avoids it,” he said when asked about why he thinks Cameron might have failed to mention that Nicholas was Catholic. “The fact that the RCC ‘made’ Nicholas a saint should be a red flag to anyone who knows only God can convert sinners to saints by the sovereign work of His Spirit.”

Gendron noted that Christmas in itself is a Roman Catholic holiday mixed with pagan traditions.

The word Christmas means the mass of Christ. The mass is a sacrifice where a wafer is said to become the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is ritualistic slaying of Jesus Christ on an altar for the purpose of appeasing the wrath of God,” he said. “This is official Roman Catholic doctrine, and “Christmas” is a word that they invented for Christ’s mass. When people say, ‘Merry Christmas,’ they probably don’t know the meaning behind the greeting. They are mixing the holy name of Christ with a pagan holiday and a blasphemous representation of Christ on an altar.”

He said that it is important that Christ be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and not just any way one pleases.

“The Lord says His name must not be mixed with pagan idolatry: ‘As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.’ (Ezekiel 20:39),” Gendron stated. “It is no wonder that Satan has influenced the world to blend paganism with the worship of God. Satan (which contains the same letters as Santa) has been diverting minds and hearts from a pure devotion to God and Christ since the Garden of Eden (2 Cor. 11:4).”

The former Roman Catholic turned evangelist said that while he does not condemn those who choose to celebrate the day, he believes that Christians need to use discernment about the matter.

“Anytime truth is mixed with error and biblical Christianity is blended with the teachings and traditions of apostate Christianity, there will be confusion within the Church. Tragically, we are living in a time when evangelicals are following popular personalities instead of Christ and His word,” Gendron stated. “Since the word of God is not being proclaimed faithfully from many pulpits, there is a lack of discernment in the pews. Since people are not hearing the truth, they cannot discern what is false.”

December 6th is the Roman Catholic “Feast of Saint Nicholas,” who is also dubbed “Nicholas the Wonder Worker” due to claims that his intercession had brought about miracles on earth.

 

The post Concerns Grow As Kirk Cameron Says Christians Should Support Santa Claus (VIDEO) appeared first on Now The End Begins.


by Marsha West

Christian News Network reports:

Was Santa Claus a Christian? A ‘defender of the faith’? Is this reason to sit on the lap of the bearded man at the mall who “knows if you’ve been naughty or nice”? That is what Kirk Cameron is claiming as proof why Christians should celebrate Christmas in a new documentary that opens this Friday in theaters across the country—an assertion that is raising concerns over Cameron’s confusion of Roman Catholicism with Christianity.

Read more

The primary cause of spiritual blindness

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NASB)

God’s truth, which is the truth and there is no other, is true regardless of whether people believe it or not. I pray for wisdom and discernment every morning before I go to work. God answers this is surprising ways sometimes. One way He does this is when I receive an email or comment…

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