The habit of introspection may be abused, to divert the eyes of the soul too much from Christ. —R.L. Dabney
Why Do Christians Worship on Sunday and Not Saturday?
They had made the change because it was on the first day of the week that Jesus Christ forever set that day apart from all the others by rising from the dead. From that point onwards Sunday became a memorial to the turning point in the history of redemption. The Sabbath day from the beginning was the Seventh Day, and hearkened back to the Creation. The original Sabbath pointed to God’s creating work, but the Christian Sabbath points us to God’s redeeming work. It marks the great transition in the bible from redemption promised to redemption accomplished.
John Stonestreet on Restoration and Hope
I feel like a lot of people who want to hold these, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, but they don’t realize the implications of orthodoxy for orthopraxy. It’s like these are two independently settled categories that we can think about separately. You’ve got to think about them together. … You say, “I’m in this cultural moment, what does this truth demand of me?”
Hymns We Should Sing More Often: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, O My Soul
Psalm 146, from which this hymn, Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, O My Soul, is taken, highlights the delightful and hopeful side of spiritual experience: God is to be praised because he is utterly trustworthy, faithful, powerful, compassionate, and just. The psalm begins and ends with “Hallelu Yah!” “Praise Jehovah!” The main body of the psalm encourages us to fully trust the Lord as almighty Creator, deliverer of the oppressed, provider for the needy, and protector of the weak.
Under God: A Review of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
If you say that the particular forms of “Christian nationalism” date from the 1950s, fine – as Kruse says, the “ceremonies and slogans.” But to say, as Lehmann suggests, that the underlying ideology was novel in that era is absurd. To appreciate that, think about the inconceivably vast literature over the previous two hundred years about God’s special plans for America; about the religious destinies of the new nation; about the competing theories of divine support in the Civil War; and so many other themes of election and divine providence.
Leaving Home: The Future of the Faith in England
In the last 40 years, what has happened instead, is that the Church of England turned its back on the Spirit and the Scriptures and gave herself to the new secularism. It has preferred egalitarianism to evangelism; it has chosen the struggle for gender parity to the struggle for the Gospel purity.
On the Value of Being Older
by Bill Muehlenberg
OK, a public disclosure is required here before moving on: I am an old guy. So of course I will defend being old, you might think. And perhaps you are right. But there is more to this than just my own increase in years. The Bible speaks much about the value of those who are older.
The simple truth is, with age comes experience, wisdom, maturity, and so on. Or at least that is how it is supposed to go. The young simply lack so much of this. Scripture has much to say about the elderly and their role. Just a few verses can be offered here:
Smearing Sexual Orientation Change
The point, which she apparently missed, is that Jesus extrapolated his position about limiting the number of partners in a sexual union to two based on the twoness of the sexes, “male and female,” which in turn establishes a male-female prerequisite as foundational. Jesus regarded the Genesis creation texts as essential for defining sexual ethics, which texts also depict man and woman as the two parts comprising a sexual whole.
Remembering the Armenians
by Bill Muehlenberg
One hundred years ago a horrific massacre of non-Muslim minorities was launched by Ottoman Turks. More specifically, on April 24 1915, the Ottoman authorities began their program of mass annihilation of the largely Christian Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations.
It took place over several decades and witnessed the wholesale persecution, torture, rape and murder of at least one and a half million Armenians and others. Barnbabas Fund, which works on behalf of the persecuted church, offers this overview:
Gospel Irony: When the Gospel Prevails in Unlikely Places
“There are ardent, veins-popping-in-their-forehead, opponents to the gospel today. They do not wear the uniform of a highly trained, elite force. But they write op-ed columns, hold forth in lecture halls, and occupy seats of power. Do we sometimes think that the gospel is not powerful enough to prevail?”
Atheists Outnumber Southern Baptists in US Military
“According the latest Department of Defense statistics on religion, there were 12,360 Southern Baptists among the US military’s 1.3 million members on active duty as of December 2014. There were also 12,764 atheists—an advantage of 404 over Baptists.”
Great Ape Personhood and the Seventh Commandment of Animalism
“This case is the most recent brought about by the great ape personhood movement which seeks to extend personhood and some legal protections to the chimpanzees , gorillas, and orangutans. Prominent advocates in this movement include primatologists Jane Goodall, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, philosopher Peter Singer, and legal scholar Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project.”
A Call for Musically Gifted Pastors
“Of course, not every musician who leads congregational singing should or will be a pastor. But if you hope to join a church staff some day, I want to suggest six reasons why preparing to be a pastor who’s also a musician is better than simply aiming to be a worship leader.”
How Christianity Invented Children
“Our culture encourages us to let ourselves fall prey to our gooey feelings whenever we look at baby pictures. What could be more natural? In fact, this view of children is a historical oddity. If you disagree, just go back to the view of children that prevailed in Europe’s ancient pagan world.”
Heidelberg 62: Works No Part Of Our Justification
“It’s not enough to speak of grace. We must define grace as Scripture does. Rome makes much of grace and faith but she does not define them as Scripture does. Grace is not a medicinal substance with which we are infused in the sacraments. Faith is not a meritorious, saving virtue wrought in us by grace and cooperation with grace. Justification is not the result of sanctification.”
Why Is A Central Prayer Gathering In A Church So Important?
“People say prayer changes things but the truth is it doesn’t. God changes things. We live in dependence on a loving heavenly father ‘in him we live and move and have our being’ and that, as a congregation, humbles us. A congregation that makes a priority of praying together can never be proud.”
The Pastor As Pope
“The first warning sign has to do with authority. God does call men to lead within the church, but the problem arises when there is a fundamental misunderstanding concerning the purpose of authority. Pastors do have authority to govern within the local church, but rooted in loving service, not in domination.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 in Context
by Bill Muehlenberg
One of the most famous and most often recited passages from the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Most Christians know it well and mention it often. It says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Plenty of believers apply this passage to the situation they find themselves in today. This can be appropriate if done carefully, and done with the context in mind. And that general context is the issue of obedience. The more immediate context is the building of the temple by Solomon (see 2 Chr. 2-5), followed by his prayer of dedication (ch. 6).
New Podcast: Success, Sorcery and Prosperity Gospel Dangers
A closer look at Quantum Faith, Positivism, Mind Power, Law of Success, Positive Confession, Creative Force and Money Preachers
Cold Case Christianity: Seven Tips for Good Christian Case Making Conversations (Free Bible Insert)
As an investigator, I made a living conducting interviews. In fact, my agency repeatedly utilized me when they needed someone to confess to a crime. I love talking to people, particularly when the conversation is difficult to navigate. Spiritual conversations can also be difficult on occasion, and if you’ve ever tried to talk to your unbelieving friends or family, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Let me share seven things I’ve learned in over twenty-five years of interviewing. These tips were field tested in suspect interviews and jury presentations. They have direct application if you are trying to determine what people believe so you can share the truth of your Christian beliefs:
Articles of the Week
Reflections from the Supreme Court Sidewalk, Russell Moore. A landmark case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court, the result of which may redefine marriage (to include two people of the same sex). What happens inside the court is immensely important, and will shape American life for many years to come. But as important as all the legal issues are surrounding same-sex marriage, other issues matter more—namely, our attitude toward those with whom we strongly disagree. As Moore says, “We must enough have confidence in our gospel to stand with kindness toward those who disagree with us.”
Hyper-Headship and the Scandal of Domestic Abuse in the Church, Justin Taylor & Jason Meyer. It is a sad truth that many, many women in our churches feel trapped in abusive situations because they need to “respect their husbands.” On the flip side, far too many men twist the idea of male headship into an excuse to exercise dominance and control. We need more voices like that of Meyer, pointing out that not only is this dangerous and harmful, it’s also theologically bankrupt.
How Many Children Should I Have? Amanda Peacock. When it comes to having kids, American Christians tend to “bear more fruit” than most of our non-Christian counterparts (Most…Muslims, for instance, exceed us still). But if you’re married, how many children is really enough to be faithful? Scripture paints a “full quiver” as a blessing, but exactly how many kids makes for a full quiver? Peacock offers several helpful considerations.
Fifty Bible People Confirmed By Recent Archaeology, Lawrence Mykytiuk. Even for me (Chris), this is a bit on the nerdy side. Don’t expect to read through this entire article unless you’re an Old Testament scholar (or, I guess, an archaeologist?). But it’s pretty fascinating to see how many OT names have been verified by extra-biblical inscriptions. Tuck this one away for your church’s next Bible trivia night.
New: A Free Copy of the Gospel-Centered Counseling Discussion Guide
I designed Gospel-Centered Counseling as a practical, user-friendly book that will ground lay counselors, college and seminary students, and pastors in truth for life, in theology for counseling.
Gospel-Centered Counseling just became even more user-friendly. You can now download, for free, a 55-page GCC Discussion Guide.
The Discussion Guide is great for individual use—to help you to apply Gospel-Centered Counseling to your life and your ministry. And the Discussion Guide is also ideal for group interaction in churches and in educational settings in Bible colleges and seminary.
Download Your Free GCC Discussion Guide
For additional free resources related to Gospel-Centered Counseling, you can visit the GCC Page here.
We become like the One we behold in the Word. As we see him stretch out his hand in compassion to heal a leper, we see how we should be compassionate. When we see Jesus have mercy on the woman caught in adultery, we grow in mercy. As we observe Jesus resist the temptations of Satan to love the world, we learn to love the Lord our God as he did. As we gaze on Jesus hanging on the cross, and not revile his enemies but say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” we learn to trust our heavenly father and forgive our enemies.
The National Post interviews Michael Coren on leaving Catholicism for (liberal) Anglicanism.
During the first five years of church planting, we had one collective mid-week meeting at someone’s home. But as the church grew, the mid-week waxed and waned. One of the biggest mistakes I made was not moving to a small group structure when we were averaging 50-60 people in our worship services. Years ago, my pastoral assistant said to me, “For the church to get bigger it needs to get smaller.” Considering the fact that 75-80% of the people in a church will likely commit–to some degree or another–to a small group, we could have easily had 3 small groups 5 years. We missed the boat, so to speak.
To celebrate their 500th post, Peter Krol’s giving away a copy of the ESV Reader’s Bible, as well as eBook editions of the book, Knowable Word (which you should really read).
Whether it’s the dynamics underlying much of the racial tensions built up and released in our cities, or the heated theological discourse on sexuality, we need to come to grips with the realities of inclusion and exclusion. Which is why I decided to recently revisit Miroslav Volf’s justly famous meditation on the subject Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. It’s a fascinating theological account of the issues of forgiveness, truth, justice, and, yes, exclusions that gains a particular poignancy set in the context of his wrestling with the exclusionary violence that destroyed his own home in the Balkans.
Clickbait headlines are the bane of social media, so I greatly appreciated the chance to mock them with the #ClickbaitBooks hashtag on Twitter. I made Buzzfeed style headlines for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord of the Rings, 1984, and Where the Wild Things Are.
I knew I had to do clickbait for the books of the Bible. There’s no better way to show the absurdity of those headlines than by pairing them with something so polar opposite—Scripture.
Baltimore’s Unsung Peacemakers
Our Lord said “blessed are the peacemakers.” This week in Baltimore proved it. Here’s the other side of the story.
Listen Now | Download
This Week in Calvinism – May 1, 2015
- Peter Lumpkins asks, “[I]s there any great wonder there arose the continued objection that strict Calvinism appears to project some sort of theistic fatalism?”
- I wish Roger Olson would just come out and admit that he thinks most (if not all) Calvinists are “irrational, unteachable Christians.”
- James White finishes up his review of David Gushee’s “Reformation Project” presentation on (and endorsement of) homosexuality.
- God’s will isn’t always clear. Jon Bloom explains why.
- A very short prayer for your dullest days.
- As always on Friday, more free stuff from Tim Challies.
Letter to the Editor: Prospective Presidential Candidate Scott Walker Gives Jesus Calling Big Boost in Sales
Dear Lighthouse Trails: I have a short note on an article I saw on The Blaze. Prospective presidential candidate Scott Walker mentioned the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young during an interview pushing up sales of the book.
The gospel is better than amnesty
Good paintings tell stories.
Think of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It tells the story of Jesus and his disciples sitting down for the final meal before the crucifixion. Jesus would drink the Passover cup before being sacrificed as the Passover lamb.
The good news of Jesus is more than a story. But it’s not less. It is the most important story on the planet. And it is the truest of true stories. Many have attempted to paint pictures that rightly tell the story of the gospel. Sometimes these paintings are painted with words, instead of paint and a canvas.
These gospel paintings are often necessary because the gospel must be explained. It is a message made up of propositional truth. That means it must be understood. John Piper writes, “the gospel is not only news. It is first news, and then it is doctrine. Doctrine means teaching, explaining, clarifying. Doctrine is part of the gospel because news can’t be just declared by the mouth of a herald—it has to be understood in the mind of the hearer” (Piper, God is the Gospel, 21).
In order for hearer’s to understand the gospel, a number of different word pictures have been painted. Some compare the gospel to paying your speeding ticket, or serving your prison sentence. Like creation itself, the word-pictures available are gloriously endless.
One such picture is that of amnesty. The good news of Jesus is compared to a government, possibly a king, declaring amnesty to those who have committed a crime against the state. The question is whether or not the picture of amnesty is the best picture to paint.
Marriage Resources Available from The Summit Church
On the weekend of May 2-3, 2015 our pastor, J.D. Greear, delivered an excellent message on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Doubtless, this message raised many questions for members of our congregation. We wanted to make you aware of resources that are available to you as you seek live out the implications of this message in our own life.
For the various counseling options available from this material visit http://www.summitrdu.com/counseling.
We will divide the resources listed below into three categories:
Weekly Apologetics Links (04/24 – 05/01)
• Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?
• Scholars Agree: Luke and Acts are History
• Craig Evans Interview: Is the Bible Reliable?
• Beware of Prayer—New Apostles and Prophets on the National Day of Prayer
• Debate Video- Frank Turek vs. Michael Shermer- What Better Explains Morality: God or Science?
• Now on Audible! Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews
Words of Comfort: Lighthouses
A lighthouse keeper gained a reputation as being a very kind man. He would give free fuel to ships that miscalculated the amount of fuel needed to reach their destination port. One night during a storm, lightning struck his lighthouse and put out his light. He immediately turned on his generator, but it soon ran out of fuel, and he had given his reserves to passing ships. During the dark night, a ship struck the rocks and many lives were lost. At his trial, the judge knew of the lighthouse keeper’s reputation as a kind man and wept as he gave sentence. He accused the lighthouse keeper of neglecting his primary responsibility—to keep the light shining.
The Church can so often get caught up in legitimate acts of kindness—standing for political righteousness, feeding the hungry, etc.—but our primary task is to warn sinners of danger. We are to keep the light of the gospel shining so that sinners can avoid the jagged-edged rocks of wrath and escape being eternally damned. From, The Evidence Bible
Some Here, Some There — May 1, 2015
- Oh, you have got to see this. I was on the fence about doing an SHST today, but this pushed me over — I had to do one, if only to send you to Tom Chantry’s TGC-nuanced version of “Imagine.”
- Then, and relatedly, I think a lot of you somehow missed the Janet Mefferd interview. You shouldn’t’ve. Read, and share: Part One; Part Two.
- Kregel’s 40 Questions series has now produced 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution. Read the review by Bob Hayton.
- I love happy endings. Here’s the testimony of a professor’s conversion as a young man from Scientology (!) to faith in Jesus Christ.
- M’man Mike Riccardi taps academics to give a good word on the Greek term translated “homosexual.”
- Interesting, in prepping to preach Ephesians 1:13 about being sealed with the Holy Spirit, to find Lloyd-Jones held that sealing was equivalent to baptism, and was a post-conversion experience. Even more interesting to realize that his reasons and conclusions were very like Sandemanianism (Dallas doctrine/no-lordship/gutless grace). Listen to the sermon here.
- This week’s But We Haven’t Changed Our Mind About Jesus/Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic award winner.
- Carl Trueman discusses, reviews and recommends a new DVD about D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones titled Logic on Fire.
- Have a good weekend. Live like you’re being watched. You are.
- That’s not what I meant, but anyway…
Gagnon on Arsenokoites: The Bible on Abusive vs. “Committed” Same-Sex Relationships
As the Supreme Court has recently heard arguments regarding a federal mandate that would legalize homosexual “marriage,” it’s important for the church to be equipped to defend their position from Scripture. True Christians are not against gay “marriage” because we are mean-spirited, bigoted misanthropes who love to force our opinions on others. We are against gay “marriage” because God Himself is against it, and He has told us so in His Word, the God-breathed Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16–17). Scripture tells us that to embrace homosexuality as spiritually permissible is to commit (or help others to commit) eternal suicide. And no one who truly loves homosexuals would ever be a part of that.
Because God has spoken on this issue, it falls to the church to herald His Word on the matter. Passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 are clear:
- 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 – Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
- 1 Timothy 1:9–11 – realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
However, those who would argue that homosexuality and Christianity are not mutually exclusive argue that these clear passages have been mistranslated. The word translated “homosexuals” in each of these verses is arsenokoitēs, and, the argument goes, that original Greek word doesn’t refer to “committed same-sex relationships” but “abusive male-male” relationships. Such an argument has been widely popularized by author John Boswell, whose arguments, though refuted by Robert A. J. Gagnon, are constantly marshaled by liberals as evidence of the compatibility between homosexuality and Christianity.
This ‘n’ That
- So, what does John MacArthur say about the ‘what does this verse mean to you’ method of interpreting Scripture?
- I don’t know what makes me more sad, that this ‘drug’ was approved, or that the LA Times clearly has low standards for their reporters. Spell check, anyone? Also, I had no idea that the elimination of ‘submental fat’ was a critical medical need. Priorities, people.
- I love this hymn.
- A pastor’s perspective on the Baltimore riots.
- I’m going to try to read along with Challies on this one (emphasis on try considering what my schedule looks like for the next 3-4 months).
- “There must be conviction of sin before a sinner is ready for grace.”
- Islam is growing fast.
- Maybe this is why my cat bolts whenever I start to fiddle with dishes in the cupboard.
- This could be an interesting series of articles.
- The curse on mankind:
Notable Voices: May 2, 2015
Sam explores the importance of optimism and patience and how they apply to leadership in the local church.
Too many pastors and church staff have sacrificed their families for their ministry. But sometimes the pendulum swings the other way, and the separation of family and ministry becomes so distinct that both suffer.
I’ve written a great deal on how churches can reach and serve Millennials. But Millennials, like all church members, should have a place to serve in the local church. Chris offers 12 starting points for Millennials looking to get involved.
Carey led a breakout this week at the Orange Conference and shared his notes on why churches stop growing.
If your pastor isn’t involved in social media, or even familiar with it, you may find resistance to the church being involved in social media. In this post, Darrel shares a simple strategy for how to show the benefits of social media for your church.
When a church loses a pastor, it can feel as if there is no direction or future for the church—especially if it is unexpected or a negative departure. So what next? Sarah gives four simple suggestions.
April 29, 2015 Lighthouse Trails Newsletter
Does God Command Us to Rest?
Founders Ministries Blog Friday, May 1, 2015Last time I looked at evidences for the Sabbath rest rooted in creation. But does the fact that God rested mean that Adam, and all humanity, should keep the Sabbath?
Equation of Hope
Philip Nation Thursday, April 30, 2015Robert was a regular guy suddenly confronted with the needs of children in his city. What is someone supposed to do with that feeling? He decided to go the difficult way… change their lives.
The Unexpected Perks of Being Thrown Into the Fire
Stephen Altrogge Thursday, April 30, 2015Humanly speaking, this is crazy talk. Count it all joy whenever I meet a trial? James sounds like some sort of sadistic masochist who loves pain. But James sees things from God’s perspective.
Your Marriage Comes Second
Association of Biblical Counselors Thursday, April 30, 2015Desiring a good marriage is not wrong; it’s fine. The problem comes when we place having a great marriage above all else, including what’s truly most important.
How Do You Teach a Child about the Imputed Righteousness of Christ?
Brian Croft Thursday, April 30, 2015Here is what followed in one dinner conversation at our family meal time and my hope is that it could act as a template to teach our children other deep theological truths that make the gospel so sweet and accessible to them.
Exactly What is a “Church”?
May 01, 2015 07:38 am | Mike
As we prepare for our Watchman Conference tonight, our keynote speaker Elijah Abraham joins us to discuss what Jesus meant when He said “I will build my church.” What is a “church” in America compared to the “church” in countries where proclaiming your faith in Jesus Christ might lead to imprisonment or execution? Is the […]
Driving the truth home
Apr 28, 2015 02:02 pm | A. S.
Time is short! Dave Wager joins us in studio today as we ask the question: will Christians step up to share the truth in a darkening world? Podcast listeners, for the next few days we are asking for support in helping us maintain Stand Up For The Truth with a pledge by phone or via […]
Standing on the rock
Apr 27, 2015 11:30 am | A. S.
Today we covered many news stories, including these headlines: Pastor: “I Love Planned Parenthood.” Calls Abortion Business a “Resurrection Ministry” Judge Seeks $135,000 Fine Against Christian Bakers for Declining to Make Cake for ‘Gay Wedding’ New Apostolic Reformation using Empowered21, Assemblies of God, to further agenda? Glenn Beck receives a “mantle” from a false prophet […]
Standing-on-the-rock.mp3 23.9 MB
Audio of Mark Driscoll’s Speech at Thrive 2015 Leadership Conference – “Wenatchee the Hatchet has commented on the irony of Driscoll’s reference to the “struck shepherd.” Driscoll identifies the conflict as being an 8 year conflict that recently went public. He must be referring to the 2007 firing of Petry and Meyers. See related posts on his speech there, audience reaction, and a former Mars Hill attender reaction to it.”
The Unbreakable Mark Driscoll – “Towards the end of his ministry at Mars Hill, Driscoll was publishing books available for sale and preaching sermons series based upon the themes of these books. In effect, he was using the pulpit of his church to promote his books.”
Perry Noble Sharply Rebukes SBC for Disinviting Ben Carson – “Last week, we gave our concerns with having Seventh Day Adventist, Dr. Ben Carson, speak at the 2015 Pastor’s Conference. We echoed the rightful concerns first articulated at Baptist Twenty-One.”
Theologians and Perry Noble, a Perp Who Doesn’t Like the Police – “On April 30th, Perry Noble, pastor of SBC megachurch NewSpring Church, published a personal reflection in which he expressed his disappointment that Ben Carson will no longer be speaking at the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference. In the course of his reflection, Noble decried the existence of “theological police” who display ‘pharisaical arrogance’.”
Fire Desired – “Oh! I have heard a man preach a sermon to which an angel might have listened for its faultless truthfulness, but it lacked fire; but I have known another whose ministry was faulty in many respects, rough were his words; the Gospel which he preached was not a full-orbed gospel, but yet he spoke like a man who meant what he said, with his heart boiling over at his eyes, with his soul rolling out of his mouth in one tremendous cataract, and men were moved, and the masses flocked, and thousands listened, and souls were saved because the man was in earnest.”
John MacArthur – The Promise of the Holy Spirit [Part 1]
Is There Evidence For A Literal Adam And Eve?
Does Justice Really Exist?
“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
No Rapture In The Gospels?
Q. I pray for the pretrib rapture but prepare for the prewrath rapture. But recently, I just came across an understanding that I hadn’t seen before. The mystery of the harpazo hadn’t been given to the church until about 55 AD by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. Matthew 24 was a description of Jesus’s Second Coming written many years before Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. So Paul describing what was to happen in the twinkling of an eye as a mystery suggests this was never taught before, even by Jesus. I’m encouraged about the pretrib harpazo. What’s your take on this?
Jade Helm Rumors
Q. The Internet is abuzz with Jade Helm rumors, US military exercises all over the SW and Ca. Some claim it is to round up American resistors, others to fight ISIS at our borders. Is there anything prophetic about this other than the wars and rumors of wars scenario? Frankly, the lies in the news just makes me sick but I don’t want to have a head in the ground mentality either.
Still Undecided About The Rapture
Q. One day I believe the pretrib rapture argument is sound, the next day I don’t. So, let’s get down to the basics. What difference does it make what I believe about the timing of the rapture? I know it’s going to happen but scripture, as I read it, does not define for certain its timing. If I don’t believe in the pretrib rapture and it happens that way, does that disqualify me from being raptured with those who believe it? Does my doubt about the timing make me unworthy to escape that what is coming upon the whole world?
Must We Believe In A Literal 2nd Coming?
Q. Re: 2 John 1:7. It is apparent if you read this literally it means any one who denies either the incarnation or the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a deceiver who has the spirit of the antichrist instead of the Holy Spirit. No confusion on that. My question is where does this leave those who deny a literal physical second coming.
Are People Leaving Christianity In Droves?
Q. I read an article, in which the following was written: “People are leaving Christianity in droves. About 106 million Christians are expected to switch affiliation from 2010 to 2050 while only about 40 million people are expected to enter Christianity. The religiously unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics) are expected to see the largest net gains from switching, adding more than 61 million followers”. What do you think of reports like this?
Receive vs. Fall Upon
Q. In Acts 8:14-17, we read that the Word of God had been received in Samaria and they had been baptized in the Lord’s name but the Holy Spirit had not come upon them until John and Peter came to them and laid hands on them. Since God’s Word cannot contradict itself, what does this mean in light of passages like Ephesians 1:13-14 where we are told we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the moment we believe? I have looked at the context of this passage with regard to Simon the magician and the rest of the Samaritians, but I still feel a bit confused. It’s such an extraordinary passage and puts light on seeking the Lord for the wrong reasons and having a wrong heart. Is this the reason for the delay in the Holy Spirit?
“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime
9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.
The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?
Do You Loathe and Hate Sin?
One sure sign of salvation, and one sure sign of progression in sanctification, is a hatred of sin. This is not only a hatred of sin’s consequences, but a hatred of sin as it is—rebellion against a just and holy God. Here is Richard Sibbes on a true hatred of sin.
If we would make it evident that our conversion is sound we must loathe and hate sin from the heart; now a man shall know his hatred of evil to be true, first if it be universal. He that hates sin truly hates all sin.
Secondly, where there is true hatred it is fixed; there is no appeasing it, but by abolishing the thing it hates.
Thirdly, hatred is a more rooted affection than anger; anger may be appeased, but hatred is against the whole kind.
Fourthly, if our hatred be true, we hate all evil in ourselves first, and then in others. He that hates a toad would hate it most in his own bosom. Many like Judah are severe in censuring others but are partial to themselves (Genesis 38:24).
Fifthly, he that hates sin truly, hates the greatest sin in the greatest measure; he hates all evil in a just proportion.
Sixthly, our hatred is right if we can endure admonition and reproof for sin and not be enraged with him that tells us of it; therefore those that swell against reproof, hate not sin; only with this caution, it may be done with such indiscretion and self-love that a man may hate the reprover’s proud manner. In disclosing our hatred of sin in others, we must consider our calling; it must be done in a sweet temper, reserving due respect to those to whom reproof is offered, that it may be done out of true zeal, and not out of anger nor pride.
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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