Today is the deadline to end nuclear negotiations with Iran. Not surprisingly, the international community and Iran have not struck a deal. good, bad or otherwise. Now, another seven months has been added to the discussions. Also not surprising.
Now we face several very serious questions.
- Is there any hope of ever concluding a solid, useful deal — or is Iran just running the clock?
- Will the lack of a deal cause the U.S., Israel, or any country to take preemptive military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities?
From my vantage point, I think the evidence is clear: Iran’s current leaders have absolutely no intention of curtailing much less dismantling their illegal nuclear program. They are gaming the world community as they make significant advances towards The Bomb.
As serious, a former CIA chief now says he doesn’t believe U.S. intelligence is prepared to catch Iran in…
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We are starting a new series in the Book of James. Beginning a study of a book of the Bible is something like preparing for a trip: you like to know where you are going and what you can expect to see. Perhaps the best way to launch into this study is to answer two important questions:
Why Did James Write?
To teach the marks of maturity in the Christian life. As we read the Epistle of James, we will discover these Jewish Christians were having some problems in their personal lives and in their church fellowship. They were going through difficult testings and were facing temptations to sin. Some of the believers were catering to the rich, while others were being robbed by the rich. Church members were competing for offices in the church, particularly teaching offices.
One of the major problems in the church was a failure…
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The Daily Caller reports.
Illegal immigrants will receive huge payments from American taxpayers under rules now being imposed by President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty.
The illegals will get work-permits and Social Security cards, and will be required to pay taxes, according to Cecilia Munoz, the former immigration lobbyist who is now a top Obama aide.
That means they’re part of the tax system, she said, when she was asked if the illegals would get annual payments under the Earned Income Tax Credit program.
“They are subject to our tax law,” she said, carefully.
Most households of illegals have very low income, and pay little in taxes. For example, in 2011, roughly 22 percent of immigrant households — both legal and illegal — were classified as living in poverty. In contrast, only 13 percent of American households were in poverty.
However, once illegal immigrants are enrolled in the tax system, they…
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We are fast becoming a pornographic society. Over the course of the last decade, explicitly sexual images have crept into advertising, marketing, and virtually every niche of American life. This ambient pornography is now almost everywhere, from the local shopping mall to prime-time television.
By some estimations, the production and sale of explicit pornography now represents the seventh-largest industry in America. New videos and internet pages are produced each week, with the digital revolution bringing a host of new delivery systems. Every new digital platform becomes a marketing opportunity for the pornography industry.
To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of those who consume pornography are males. It is no trade secret that males are highly stimulated by visual images, whether still or video. That is not a new development, as ancient forms of pornography attest. What is new is all about access. Today’s men and boys are not looking at line pictures drawn on cave walls. They have almost instant access to countless forms of pornography in a myriad of formats.
But, even as technology has brought new avenues for the transmission of pornography, modern research also brings a new understanding of how pornography works in the male brain. While this research does nothing to reduce the moral culpability of males who consume pornography, it does help to explain how the habit becomes so addictive.
J. I. Packer and C. H. Spurgeon on Covenant Theology:
“What is Covenant theology? The straightforward, if provocative answer to that question is that it is what is nowadays called a hermeneutic…A successful hermeneutic is a consistent interpretation procedure yielding a consistent understanding of Scripture that in turn confirms the proprietary of the procedure itself. Covenant theology is a case in point. It is a hermeneutic that forces itself upon every thoughtful Bible reader…” (James I. Packer)
“The doctrine of the covenant lies at the root of all true theology. It has been said that he who well understands the distinction between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace, is a master of divinity…He also said If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, ‘I should reply, ‘He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.'” (Charles H. Spurgeon).
There is only one kind of leader.
I’ve often told folks at Meck that a sinner has to lead the church, so I might as well be honest about it, and to make sure they know that’s what they’ve got. To fail to do so would only add “deceit” to my list of sins.
Now, by “sinful” I don’t mean disqualifying patterns of public sin. Yet non-disqualifying sin abounds.
Don’t get me wrong.
The vast majority of pastors are good people.
Very good people.
They have deep consciences and wrestle with their sins and inadequacies more than anyone needs to point out for their benefit.
But yes, they are sinful.
Which means sinful people have to lead the church. Not formerly sinful, but currently sinful.
So what does that mean for the health and well-being of the church?
Four things come to mind:
by Bill Muehlenberg
The Bible is crystal clear about the unnatural and sinful condition of homosexuality, and it also tells us why those in this lifestyle surround themselves with lies and deception. Lifestyles of unrighteousness and rebellion always result in a rejection of truth.
This general point is expressed well in Hebrews 3:13 where we read about “the deceitfulness of sin.” And Romans 1 absolutely nails this, leaving us in no doubt why sin and deception are so intimately connected. In Romans 1:18 we find this: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”
And in verses 24-27 Paul gives his primary example of this very thing: the sin homosexuality. In v. 25 Paul states that they “exchanged the truth about God for a lie”. Again we find the clear connection between immorality and the suppression of truth.
truth 5That is why, when you deal with people flaunting their sinful lifestyles in general, and homosexuality in particular, you will find that lies and deception characterise what they say. They hate the truth, suppress the truth, and exchange the truth of God for the lies of the enemy.
But where do we begin and how do we fight? After repenting we need to figure out what the opposite of anger is. It is NOT patience. The opposite of anger is actually meekness. Meekness is not a word we use very often. Many believe that meekness means weakness. It doesn’t. It also does not mean, spinelessness or indecisiveness. It does not mean to be polite or timid or even naturally kind and soft spoken.
No matter how just your words may be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.
In one section of his book, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Thomas Brooks gives some biblical examples of what it means to be weak in faith: those weak in faith have a fair amount of worldliness in their hearts, they fret and worry excessively about troubles and trials, they often think more of their sin than God’s grace, and they often judge their spiritual condition by feelings rather than facts (among other things). Brooks followed up this section with another great section we can properly call, “Support for Those Weak in Faith.” Brooks gives twelve “supports”; I’ll list a few of them (edited for length) below:
1) The weakest Christians have as much as interest and propriety in Christ as the strongest saints in the world. Weak saints are as much united to Christ, as much justified by Christ, as much reconciled by Christ, and as much pardoned by Christ as the strongest saints. A soul weak in grace has as much interest in the Lord as the strongest saint has, even though the weak saint might not have the skill to improve upon that interest.
2) The Lord will not cast away weak saints because of the weakness that clings to their persons or services. Christ looks more upon Peter’s sorrow than his sin, more upon his tears than upon his oaths. The Lord will not cast away weak saints for their great unbelief, for there is a little faith in them. He will not throw them away for that hypocrisy that is in them because of that little sincerity that is in them. He will not cast away weak saints for that pride that is in them, because of those rays of humility that shine in them. We would not throw a little gold away because there is a great deal of dross in it, neither will God throw his people away though there is a great deal of weakness in them. The Lord Jesus has as great and as large and interest in the weakest saints as he has in the strongest.
3) The Lord will graciously preserve and strengthen those weak graces that are in his weak saints. Though your graces be as a spark of fire in the midst of an ocean of corruption, yet the Lord will preserve and blow up that spark of fire into a flame. It was the priest’s office in the time of the law to keep the fire in the sanctuary from going out; it is the office of our Lord Jesus – as he is our high priest, head, husband, and mediator – to blow up that heavenly fire that he has kindled in our souls. A bruised reed he will not break, nor quench the smoking flax (Mt. 12:27).
4) Weak Christians do not stand before God in their own righteousness, but in the perfect, spotless, and matchless righteousness of Christ. Weak hearts are prone to be troubled and discouraged when they consider the sin that is in them and when they consider the imperfections clinging to their good deeds. Then they are ready to say, ‘We will one day perish because of the strength of our lusts or the defects of our good deeds!’ Remember this, however, that weak Christians stand before God clothed in the righteousness of Christ, so God owns them and looks upon them as his people wrapped up in his royal robe (Jer. 23.6, 1 Cor. 1.30). Though weak saints have nothing of their own, yet in Christ they have all, for in him is all fullness (Col. 1.19).
5) Weak Christians have a share in Christ; they are firmly united to him. Christ shares with them in their human nature. Christ shares with them in their afflictions. Christ shares with them in their suffering and persecution. Christ shares with them in all their temptations. Weak saints share with Christ in his image, in his Spirit, his grace, his victory, his honor, and his glory (Eph. 2.6, John 14.2, 3, Rev. 3.21).
Practical theology indeed! If a Christian is weak in faith, he should not delight in this fact nor should he despair, because the gospel is still the gospel for those who have even a little faith. Or, in other words, the strength of our faith does not save us; the strength of our Savior does!
Thomas Brooks, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ in Thomas Brooks, Works III.60-75.
Rev. Shane Lems is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and services as pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Hammond, Wis. This article appeared on his bog and is used with permission.
by Samuel Inbaraja
Sura 4:156-159 states: “Allah set a seal upon them owing to their unbelief, so they shall not believe except a few. And for their unbelief and for their having uttered against Marium a grievous calumny. And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him […]
He wants us to give up on prayer. He points out unanswered prayer, reminding us that God has at times not heard us in the past. Why would we then seek God’s presence and power today? He wants us to get puffed up with ego. In fact, this strategy is the root of the rest of these strategies. When we reside on the throne of our lives, the enemy is at least temporarily winning.
Let me start this post with a clear caveat: Satan will not ultimately win as he attacks God’s church. Jesus broke the powers through His cross (Col. 2:15), and the enemy will eventually be cast into outer darkness (Rev. 20:10). In the meantime, though, the devil strategically attacks us. Consider these ways he seeks to get the “up”per hand.
He wants us to mess up in sin.
He wants us to cover up our sin.
He wants us to get hung up on difficulties and discouragement.
He wants us to clam up in evangelism.
He wants us to bow up over position and power.
He wants us to break up.
He wants us to build up our own kingdoms.
He wants us to cloud up the message.
He wants us to give up on prayer.
He wants us to get puffed up with ego.