May 7, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blogroll Collection

Depend on it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God. —C.H. Spurgeon

May 4 Quotes


How Carl Trueman Changed My Mind About Luther

What this helped me to see is that Luther himself was not the cause of what might be considered antinomian thought. Rather, a misapplication of his thought and an over-emphasis on his earlier writings can, but doesn’t have to, lead in that direction. As a result of reading Trueman’s book, I have a much higher respect for Luther and an interest in actually reading more of his writings myself over the summer. While I don’t find the law-gospel dialectic helpful, Luther can’t be reduced to that.

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How To Take Christ out of Christianity

Faithful churches would do well to welcome unbelievers to hear the word preached. It is our mission to make real and vital connections to seekers. But churches would lose all integrity if they did what this author is suggesting. “Creating spaces” in the membership for those who are “culturally Christian” is making a place for those who have a form of godliness but who deny its power (1 Tim. 3:5).

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TGC… Just Social, Or Social Justice?

Is there not a Gospel-believing human out there that can share wisdom on race relations? If so, why did they choose unregenerate people to speak on these issues instead? Perhaps they don’t want an “everyday” pastor up there with a “small sphere of influence” sharing his thoughts on race and social justice, because they chose social clout and fame as their mechanism for evangelism and discipleship from the very beginning.

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Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been, a Moralistic Therapeutic Deist?

Perhaps these teenagers and young adults adopted MTD because that’s what they were taught. That’s basically the philosophy of life they have received from and observed in their parents. It’s what they learned in Sunday school and youth group: Be nice to other people and you’ll have a happy life, and God will be there when you need him. All that stuff about Jesus dying for our sins never really made an impression.

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Gagnon on Arsenokoites: The Bible on Abusive vs. “Committed” Same-Sex Relationships

This is the level to which these discussions are approaching in our day. With the stakes so high, all Christians who hope to faithfully engage in this discussion and demonstrate Scripture’s and the Gospel’s sufficiency to address this highly controversial topic, need to be equipped to respond to arguments like these in ways that are accurate, informed, and full of grace and truth.

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The Heresy of Indifference

Pastors who think it is relevant and cool to be indifferent about doctrine—who play down the necessity and importance of doctrine and who fail to preach and explain doctrine in their sermons—are in fact failing to give their people that which will save their souls. For us to downplay doctrine or to be intentionally fuzzy in preaching doctrine isn’t cool or humble or relevant, it’s outright arrogant. There is nothing more relevant than doctrine.

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Why Churches and Christians Must Either Grow or Wither

So what happens if a church neglects these things? A church may be very busy with programs and activities, but it won’t really be growing. The members of the church won’t be growing in maturity and the church won’t be growing closer to Christ. The community won’t be reached and the church won’t grow numerically. Sometimes the church, too, needs to prune those things which are hindering true and vital growth.

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Heaven is Other People Too

On planet earth what corrects our subjective beliefs that time has dragged or speeded up to a point where it races (both of which are, after all, false beliefs, like the belief that the rails of the railroad join at the horizon, or the stick bends when it is pushed into water), are the objective regularities which surround us. In heaven, likewise, if they occur they will be corrected by the presence of the society of the embodied saints. Heaven is commonly thought to be a society of the innumerable company of the redeemed.

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The Danger of the Word Faith Movement

Jesus taught that a man must be willing to give up wealth, friends and even family to follow Him as His disciple. The Christian life is one of obedience and submission to Jesus Christ in every area of our life. But there are some who believe the Christian life should be marked by health, wealth […]

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Rick Warren’s weight-loss plan named Christian Book of the Year

by Marsha West

The prestigious award given to Rick Warren is an indication of how little discernment the Christian community has. To name The Daniel Plan book of the year, when the men who helped Warren write his weight-loss plan are proponents of New Age/New Thought mysticism, to include Oprah’s “favorite doctor,” Mehmet Oz, is a travesty. Obviously Christians who purchased the book are unaware that Dr. Oz is a […]

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Are Bible-Believing Christians to Blame for the World’s Problems As New Spirituality Leaders Suggest?

By Roger Oakland As the world continues to plunge into further darkness and despair, “new” spirituality leaders say it is the church’s fault, particularly that of rigid Christians who won’t bend their beliefs or convictions.


If God, Why Evil?

Dr. Andy Bannister (http://bit.ly/andybannister) of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries answers the question “If God, why is there evil?”.


The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

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9 Things You Should Know About Prayer In The Bible

Do you know how many prayer are mentioned in the Bible (and how many were answered)? Here’s the answer to that question and other things you should know about the prayer in the Bible.

1. There are 650 prayers listed in the Bible. (Here is the entire list and where they can be found.)

2. There are approximately 450 recorded answers to prayer in the Bible.

3. The first time prayer is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 4:26 (earlier dialogues where initiated directly by God, e.g., Genesis 3:8-13Genesis 4:9).

4. The Bible records Jesus praying 25 different times during his earthly ministry.

5. In the Bible, Paul mentions prayer (prayers, prayer reports, prayer requests, exhortations to pray), 41 times.

6. Although prayer can (and should) be done from any bodily position, the Bible lists five specific postures: Sitting (2 Sam 7:18), standing (Mark 11:25), kneeling (Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10Luke 22:41Acts 7:609:4020:3621:5Ephesians 3:14), with one’s face to the ground (Matthew 26:39;Mark 14:35), and with hands lifted up (1 Timothy 2:8).

7. In Jesus model for how his disciples should pray (Luke 11:1-4), he provides five areas of focus: That God’s name be honored – the focus on his everlasting glory (“Father, hallowed be your name”); that God’s kingdom come – the focus on his eternal will (“your kingdom come”); that God’s provision is given – the focus on our present (“Give us each day our daily bread.”); that God’s forgiveness is granted – the focus on our past (Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.); that God’s deliverance will be provided – the focus on our future.

8. The Bible lists at least nine main types of prayer: prayer of faith (James 5:15), prayer of agreement (also known as corporate prayer) (Acts 2:42), prayer of request (also known as petition or supplication) (Philippians 4:6), prayer of thanksgiving (Psalm 95:2-3), prayer of worship (Acts 13:2-3), prayer of consecration (also known as dedication) (Matthew 26:39), prayer of intercession (1 Timothy 2:1),  prayer of imprecation (Psalms 69), and praying in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).

9. The word “Amen” (which means “let it be, “so be it,” “verily,” “truly”) makes its first appearance in the Bible in Numbers 5:22. In that passage God commands it to be said by a person who is yielding to his examination.

Source


“The Shack Up” – Part 1

The Shack

“The Shack Up”?  Is that the sequel to “The Shack”?

Not quite.

I’m talking about the idea of cohabitation before marriage.

I’m talking about “moving in” with your boyfriend/girlfriend before you actually get married.

I’m talking about the “try before you buy” idea.

Read more


13 Signs of Leadership Fatigue

By Chuck Lawless

Leadership is sometimes wearisome – so wearisome that we come close to giving up. Over the years, I’ve watched leaders slide into defeat, and I’ve seen some of these common signs of trouble.

I list these symptoms of “leadership fatigue” here not to discourage you, but instead to help you recognize them, address them, and move forward. At the end of this post, tell us how we might pray for you if you see yourself in this list.

  1. Living by a “get me through the day” philosophy – You may begin the day with prayer, but surviving the day is your prayer theme. Thriving is not even an option because that won’t happen – even with God’s help.
  2. Losing vision – A leadership vision assumes a commitment far beyond today. Fatigued leaders, though, don’t consider beyond the end of this workday. Anything longer demands too much energy.
  3. Developing poor sleep patterns – The patterns may vary, but they still reflect fatigue: too much sleep as you seek to avoid perceived reality, or too little sleep when you can’t get perceived reality out of your mind. Either way, you’re exhausted.
  4. Declining spiritual disciplines – This change may be one of the first signs of trouble for leaders who have previously been faithful in spiritual disciplines. Bible study becomes only a necessary step in doing your job, and prayer is reduced to emergencies only. Weariness leaves little room for anything that requires “discipline.”
  5. Repeating lessons and sermons – Finding something in the file is much less draining than the hard work of praying about and developing a sermon or lesson. Leadership fatigue convinces you that “nobody will remember the previous time anyway.”
  6. Faking joy and excitement – Few actions are more exhausting than pretending to have joy you don’t have. Every sentence is hard, and every nod of the head feels like a ton of weight on your shoulders. Our weariness is only compounded by our pretense.
  7. Frustrating family members – Leaders who fight to get through the day often let their guard down when they get home – and all the stress of playing the game for eight hours gets dumped on their family. The resultant pain on our family members is hardly fake.
  8. Magnifying minors – What seemed insignificant last month is unexpectedly huge when we’re tired. That simple difference of opinion now feels like blatant disagreement – even rebellion or betrayal of your leadership.
  9. Failing to return emails and phone calls – Communicating with people takes time, energy, and focus. Weary leaders tend to delay responding to others, if they choose to respond at all.
  10. Misdirecting affections – When nothing they do brings joy, fatigued leaders sometimes turn to others for affirmation. That’s when that church member’s look seems sexier, that hug feels like a caress, and that increasingly intimate relationship seems justified.
  11. Decreasing exercise – Professional and emotional fatigue quickly leads to physical tiredness. Exercise becomes that much more difficult.
  12. Focusing on a “grass is greener” syndrome – It’s amazing how leadership fatigue affects the lenses through which we see other options. Every other role, it seems, is suddenly better than our current one.
  13. Avoiding people who speak truth – When we know we’re tired of leading, it’s just easier to avoid people who know us well enough to recognize the problem.

What other symptoms of “leadership fatigue” have you seen? What recommendations would you give a leader facing these issues? If you’re dealing with leadership fatigue, tell us how we might pray for you.


Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

The post 13 Signs of Leadership Fatigue appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The Daily Discovery (May 7, 2015)

Intolerant Pastors Unite with Secularists Against Ark Encounter – “In that national interview, I was asked about the overall ministry of AiG, and then specifically about the Creation Museum and the coming Ark Encounter. On such programs, I can’t help but get excited in letting people know about these powerful evangelistic outreaches.”

Conversation with a Christian Business Owner – “We were talking with some friends recently about the age old ‘moralistic’ mindset of the American church that has spread pollution in every area. Many people seem to think that a business owner refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual along with a light explanation about ‘I can’t do that because I’m a Christian’ is somehow taking a ‘righteous stand’ and maybe successfully show them that their lifestyle is wrong and sinful.”

$169,240 Federal Grant to Build ‘Educational Pipeline’ for LGBT Population Researchers – “The National Institutes of Health through its Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has awarded $169,240 in taxpayer funds to the Fenway Community Health Center to develop a new generation of scientists devoted to studying the LGBT population.”

I Have Cursed You – “Never mind all that stuff about “words will never hurt me.” Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…words hurt worse. Somehow a full-out beating hurts less than a tongue-lashing. After the bruises have faded, the words remain dug in like daggers. I know people who are still deeply wounded by brutal words launched at them years or even decades before.”

Alien Life a Decade Away from Discovery? – “The media has once again been buzzing with the claims of secular astronomers that alien life is just a few years away from sure discovery. Reportedly, NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan predicted that, ‘We’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.’”


SERMON:

RC Sproul – What Is Free Will?


VIDEOS:

A 3 year old explains why his mom’s abortion was a good thing.

Are People Born Gay?


“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

Source


Trusting The Word Of God

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I am talking to some atheists and scientists and they have compelling arguments against Noah’s Ark and the flood. I just believed it and have read and listened to Christians talk about the corrupted DNA of the Nephilim and animals. The atheists talk about how it would be impossible to have every land animal and take care of them and their waste for forty days. How would you respond?

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How Were Man And Woman Created?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Help!! KJV – Gen 1:27 – God created Man – male and female? Then Gen 2:7 God formed man from dust and breathed life into him? I cannot find and clear understanding of these two passages. So was the first created man both male and female? And then the man “formed” from dust? Thanks much!

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A Beating From The Lord?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Who does Luke 12:47 and 48 refer to, i. e. who gets the beating? Is it church members at the Bema Seat or is it other people? Actually I don’t think that it is at the Bema Seat. But I heard a pastor on radio claim this. Can you please shed some spiritual light on this?

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“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?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon

Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


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 Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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