He that reads his Bible to find fault with it will soon discover that the Bible finds fault with him. —C.H. Spurgeon
Did Jesus Talk about Homosexuality?
A student, Derwin Gray, asked me this summer if I thought porneia included same-sex relations. I said, “Yes, in general” but I wasn’t sure it was explicit. I spent some time this winter working on this term and I would now sharpen this point to say when the term porneia is used in a general sexual immorality sense, it refers for the Jew to Leviticus 18, which means it includes same-sex relations as one kind of sexual relation prohibited.
Same-Sex “Marriage” is Becoming the Established Religion
What compelling government interest is there to force someone to support a same-sex wedding? It’s not like there is a shortage of people willing to do so. If a 70 year-old grandmother who is a florist can’t arrange flowers at your same-sex wedding, why not just go to someone else who would be happy to do it? Why don’t we ever hear about traditionalists suing gay business owners for refusing to print up anti-gay marriage fliers? “Tolerance” is a one-way street to the religion of sex.
Can You Love Jesus and Hate Jesus’ Followers?
And so it is for us two millennia later. There’s no category in Christian discipleship that allows us to love the Lord and hate His people. Love is the distinguishing mark of a follower of Christ. This theology might not fit on a bumper sticker. But it does fit in the life of every faithful disciple.
A Good Assistant Pastor Is Hard to Find
A good assistant pastor can be one of the greatest blessings a local church enjoys, or it can be one of its greatest struggles. He possesses the ability to support or divide, build or tear down, encourage or discourage. He can be a help or a detriment, a drain on the energies of the church and the senior pastor or one of their greatest refreshments. If you are a good one, keep at it. If you are looking for one, choose carefully. And if you have one, thank him.
I find it strange that as a society we want to pick apart every ingredient and demonize every chemical (remember guys, water is a chemical…) but we are turned off by examining our own confession of faith. It is easy to be distracted by so-called toxins in the name of health and miss the true evil that is killing us all. And in effect, we miss the true Good. It’s not us and our activism against toxins. It’s the One who really is running the world, Jesus Christ.
Did Early Christians Believe in Substitutionary Atonement?
But is it really true that the substitutionary view of the atonement was not found before the Middle Ages? Not at all. Such a claim can be readily refuted merely by examining the writings of the New Testament itself—particularly the letters of Paul. However, it is also worth noting that key elements of the substitutionary view were held by some of the earliest Christian writers. One example is the author of the Epistle to Diognetus from the early second century.
9 Unbiblical Statements that Bible-Loving Christians Believe
The fact that many of us Christians believe these unbiblical statements shows our unfortunate overall biblical illiteracy. Instead of swallowing popular statements hook-line-and-sinker; may we be like the Bereans in the Book of Acts. When they heard Paul preach, they wanted to research the Scriptures themselves to authenticate what he was saying: “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:10 – 11).”
Yes, You Can Please Your Father
Some of us have taken justification to mean we no longer have a dynamic relationship with our heavenly Father, as if God is indifferent to our sin and our obedience. But Scripture says we can grieve the Holy Spirit, and in Hebrews 12 we see that a father disciplines those he loves. God is not pleased when we sin. Or, as John Calvin puts it, God can be “wondrously angry with his children.”
Are You Weak Enough for God to Use You?
by Katie Persinger
There aren’t many societies that praise weakness. Ours is no different. Whether you’re a pastor or a police officer, an on-the-go salesman or a stay-at-home mother, weakness is seen as a liability. Nobody wants to be weak. Strong is the name of the game.
Sadly, our obsession with strength blinds us to a key biblical truth: God uses the weak. It’s so pervasive that you’d be hard-pressed to find a book of the Bible that can’t be summarized this way. And yet despite being hard-wired into the very DNA of Scripture, we don’t really believe it. We still clamor after strength. But God doesn’t need our strength to deliver us. In fact, our strength is actually more of a liability than an asset.
I’ll go a step further: God is so single-minded in his preference for weakness, that when he wants to use us, he often begins by weakening us. Case in point: the Bible’s most courageous coward, Gideon.
Today we are looking at Progressive Christianity. It is an incredibly dangerous movement, and quite frankly, it is the yeast that has taken the Church away from the truth and toward a more tolerant, sin-affirming direction that is muddied with mushy theology. How can you tell if it has seeped into your church? And if […]
A Radical Change
“Who do you say I am?” Mark 8:29 (NIV)
Come into the soul of a person who has been shown his (or her) sin and a proposal from the Savior through the work of the Holy Spirit:
Conscience calls the meeting: “I can’t handle this burden anymore.”
“We’ve been living like this for a long time,” said Memory.
“What’s brought this to a head?” asked Mind.
“Jesus,” said Conscience, “and we’re proposing a radical change.”
“Tell us more,” said Imagination, whose interest was immediately aroused.
“Jesus is offering us forgiveness and peace. I propose that we accept his offer.”
“He claims to be the Son of God,” says Mind, “and there’s good evidence to back up his claim. He’s the only one who can forgive us, and his Spirit can give us the power we need to change.”
“I can’t tell you what it would mean for me to have peace,” says Heart.
“I’m trying to picture this,” says Imagination. “His Spirit in the empty chair, with the six of us operating under his direction instead of doing our own thing? Everything would be different!”
“The case is overwhelming,” says Will. “Let’s tell him that we accept his terms.”
The motion was carried unanimously.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have the Spirit of God as the chairman of the Board of your soul, with your Heart, Mind, Will, Imagination, Conscience, and Memory operating under his direction instead of doing their own thing?
That’s this week’s LifeKEY!
Colin S. Smith
This devotional is taken from the sermon series “Battles from the Boardroom of the Soul” by Pastor Colin S. Smith.
by Bill Muehlenberg
The longer I live, and the longer I live as a Christian, the more tragic cases I encounter of people I have known who were once vibrant Christians, but are now completely living as pagans, having resolutely rejected the Christian faith. I know of too many of these folks, and it breaks my heart.
They may have been very active in their churches, very much involved in Christian ministry, very keen to serve the Lord in various ways, but for one reason or another, they are now no longer walking with the Lord, and have turned their backs on all things Christian.
Of course each case is different, and these folks would likely offer all sorts of excuses and justifications for why they have rejected Christ and have gone back into the world. There may have encountered some hurt or rejection or betrayal along the way. Or they simply preferred the pleasures of sin for a season than the steadfast, resolute path of Christian discipleship.
And of course a major theological debate can arise here, but I will refrain from entering into it now. But one can of course ask if they were ever truly regenerate. Were they in fact real born-again Christians to begin with? As I say, it is not my purpose here to get into a knockdown, drag-out fight on questions of eternal security, falling away, and the like.
Those are of course very important issues, but here I simply want to point out two things: one, many people who have claimed to be followers of Christ are no longer following him, and two, there are plenty of warnings found in the New testament which we need to pay very close attention to.
Hypocrisy, Discernment and Censure
by Bill Muehlenberg
That there is a lot of silly and sloppy thinking around goes without saying. And this is by no means limited to non-believers. There can be just as much foolish, illogical and confused thinking coming from believers as well. Mushy-mindedness seems to be an equal-opportunity disease.
Now I am not just praising mere intelligence. There are plenty of people who are quite intelligent but who are also quite stupid. A great mind in and of itself is no great value. But all people – especially believers – should try to use their God-given mind and not let it go to waste.
And many of the rather unintelligent things believers may say are not always fully their fault. Many have simply sucked up the prevailing wisdom of the age, and have simply uncritically accepted everything they encounter in the surrounding culture.
Thus when they open their mouths they simply utter the inanitiehypocrisys of the world around them. But Christians of all people are called to discern to evaluate, to test all things. We are not to think and act like the world. Quite the contrary, we are to have the mind of Christ and live like our Lord.
The Subjective Essence of Atheism
It is common for atheists to proclaim that “there is no evidence for God’s existence” as if this was some objective truth about our reality. Yet when someone says, “There is no evidence for God,” all they are really saying is “I don’t see any evidence for God.” This follows from understanding that evidence is interpreted data and as such ultimately relies on subjectivity. Evidence is conceived rather than sensed. We cannot measure “evidence.” We measure data and transform data into evidence with the act of thinking. In other words, evidence comes into existence only when the mind interprets data that are sensed. Given the existence of evidence depends on the subjective act of interpretation, it cannot escape its subjective aspect. Now, this does not mean evidence is entirely subjective. For its existence also depends on the data that are sensed. Thus recognizing the subjective aspect of evidence does not commit us to some full-blown, post-modern denial of objective reality. But it does mean that evidence is not some objective criterion that can decide an issue of dispute. Disputes are only resolved when a) data exist to be interpreted as evidence AND b) all minds agree to interpret the data similarly. We deceive ourselves if we treat evidence as an objective criterion.
I just watched the video launching Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. She’s a poor communicator and comes off as disingenuous. That’s nothing new. The video’s focus on helping the middle class is vague, unconvincing, and dubious coming from the Democratic party.
Joyful in Singleness part 4 conclusion: Personal Note and Opinion
Joyful in Singleness part 2
Joyful in Singleness part 3Pastor, Christian Book reviewer, and blogger Tim Challies mentioned recently that in his search for recommendations of female conservative bloggers, he noticed that many of the blogs he found had gone cold. “Conservative female bloggers tend to publish less consistently than their male counterparts” he wrote. Subsequent to that observation, three of the women on his recommended blog list contacted Mr Challies to explain why. All were married.
The women bloggers mentioned a myriad of reasons why their essay production is slower than male counterparts, including the normal and reasonable fact that they have many demands on their time as either working mothers or stay at home moms. Challies illuminated the simple fact that many male theologian bloggers are employed or are in a career attached to theological writing, such as pastor, parachurch essayist, professor, or seminary student. A woman’s ‘day job’ often gives little time to theological writing at night.
|Contrary to rumor, a single woman’s
life of service to the Lord
doesn’t look like this. It involves
dirty dishes, car breakdowns, and slogging
through difficult verses – alone
As a female Christian conservative blogger, I am also acutely aware, as are my sisters, that as women we must study harder and more deeply before writing, to ensure that we have not been deceived, deluded, or led astray, but that we understand the scriptures correctly. As women, the bible clearly shows that we have a tendency not to. We are the weaker vessel, it was the woman who was deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14). Thus, it takes longer to produce a piece, because so much prayer, study, more prayer, and editing are involved. At least, that is the case for me.
By David Dombrowski Editor at Lighthouse Trails The church of today is very much astir. Everywhere we turn, embellishments are being added to Christianity as if to improve it.
Ravi Zacharias speaks to the problem of suffering.
The post Why Suffering? appeared first on .
A Brief History of Eternity
This is a snippet from my book A Visitor’s Guide to Hell. The book is meant to help unbelievers understand (or believers explain) why Christians believe in Hell, and what the Bible teaches about it. Here’a snippet, followed by a link to a video clip promo of the book (comments about my mongrelised accent will be deleted!!)
Theological Black Holes – “Just up the road from our house is a plaza or strip mall, a collection of 20 or 30 stores. This plaza has two large wings and right in the joint between the two wings is what must be the worst retail space in the city. At least, those of us who live here know that it is the worst retail space in the city. Aileen and I have been in this area for the past 15 years and in that time we have seen business after business try to make a go of it there, and not one of them has lasted for more than a couple of years. Several have lasted just a few months.”
The New ESV Bible App for IOS: Designed to Be the Most Intuitive and Elegantly Designed Bible App to Date – “My colleagues at Crossway have invested an enormous amount of time into receiving and listening to feedback and seeking to design the all-new ESV Bible app to be the most beautiful and intuitive Bible app currently available.”
The Battle of the Sexes Isn’t Our Battle to Fight – “In college, my friends and I used to play the game “Battle of the Sexes”. The point of the game is to see just how much you really know about the opposite sex. It’s a fairly harmless game that relies far more on stereotypes than it does on real facts about the differences between men and women (i.e. some women like sports, some men don’t), but the name of the game means something in our culture.”
Why I’m probably not live-blogging #TGC15 – “I stumbled into live-blogging almost by accident. It was my first TGC conference, back in 2011. I was attending and took copious notes and decided to post them on my site. That was literally all the foresight that went into it. After that, I did it again at T4G in 2012. And I was invited to live-blog a couple of other conferences. Then I came back to TGC in 2013 and live-blogged the pre-conference and all but one session of the main conference.”
Progressive Christianity – “Today we are looking at Progressive Christianity. It is an incredibly dangerous movement, and quite frankly, it is the yeast that has taken the Church away from the truth and toward a more tolerant, sin-affirming direction that is muddied with mushy theology. How can you tell if it has seeped into your church? And if it has, what – if anything – can you do about it.”
Paul Washer – Do you TRULY know the Lord?
10 Out of 10 People Die
Challenge Response: Same-Sex Marriage Gives Stability to Children
“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper
All Roads Lead To Heaven?
Q. I was teaching the gospel to someone who claims to be a Christian but believes that every road leads to heaven. The person who I talked to said that the Bible mentions this in the beatitudes in Matt. 5:1-12. Who was Jesus talking about in this verse and what does it really mean?
Aren’t They Saved?
Q. Re: Mt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I’ve never really understood this passage, It says these people prophesied and performed many miracles. Wouldn’t they have to be saved to be able to do this? Yet Jesus gives them the boot. I guessing they were never really saved but I was hoping you could shed some light of the subject. thanks!
Prophecy And Prediction
Q. I have a question that I hope you can answer. Why does the Bible say it is wrong to consort with those who predict the future, when in fact it was prophecy – prediction – that told us of the coming of Jesus Christ? How can it be wrong? It feels like such a contradiction to me. Why are some called prophecy and others predictions anyway?
ADORATION: Acknowledge God’s Incontestable Sovereignty and Irresistible Power
That his sovereignty is incontestable, and he is the owner and absolute Lord of all.
The heavens, even the heavens are yours, Psalm 115:16(ESV) and all their hosts. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1(ESV) In your hand are the depths of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are yours also: The sea is yours, for you made it, and your hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:4-5(ESV) Every beast of the forest is yours, and the cattle on a thousand hills. Psalm 50:10(ESV) You are therefore a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:3(ESV)
In your hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10(ESV)
Your dominion is an everlasting dominion, and your kingdom endures from generation to generation: You do according to your will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay your hand or say to you, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:34-35(ESV) or “Why have you done that?”
That his power is irresistible, and the operations of it cannot be controlled.
We know, O God, that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2(ESV) Power belongs to you; Psalm 62:11(ESV) and with you nothing is impossible. Luke 1:37(ESV)
All authority is yours, both in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18(ESV)
You kill, and you make alive; you wound, and you heal; and there is none that can deliver out of your hand. Deuteronomy 32:39(ESV)
What you have promised you are able also to perform. Romans 4:21(ESV)
Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer
Our Time is Short
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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