July 31, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Cecil the Lion

But in the grand scheme of wickedness, the death of a lion – even a lion called Cecil — barely registers on the most sensitive Richter scale.  The pathetic tears of a Kimmel and the predictable verbal violence of the hashtag wielding rent-a-mobs of the internet merely witness to the complete lack of any real moral compass and proportion in modern society.  It no doubt makes them all feel good and righteous to stand up for a lion.

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It’s Not Dixie’s Fault

These crude regional stereotypes ignore the deep roots such social ills have in our shared national history and culture. If, somehow, the South became its own country, the Northeast would still be a hub of racially segregated housing and schooling, the West would still be a bastion of prejudicial laws that put immigrants and black residents behind bars at higher rates than their white neighbors and the Midwest would still be full of urban neighborhoods devastated by unemployment, poverty and crime. How our social problems manifest regionally is a matter of degree, not kind — they infect every region of the country.

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How Reading Can Transform Your Health

Grothaus’s life was in a rut…until he read War and Peace. Its 1500 pages took him two months to conquer and immediately became his favorite book because of how it changed him. “It’s  almost impossible to explain why,” he says “but after reading it I felt more confident in myself, less uncertain about my future…As weird as it sounds, reading War and Peace put me back in control of my life—and that’s why it’s my favorite book.”

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Now is the Time For Outrage

For my more progressive fellow pastors, now is not the time for missional quietude over abortion. Now is the time for outrage. Now is the time for public disgust. Slavery would never have been abolished through missional conversations. Public outrage was necessary to bring the whole sinful enterprise crashing down. The same public outrage must be brought to bear on abortion. If it will help, perhaps you can imagine that Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, is a fan of Dukes of Hazzard and refuses to drink fair trade coffee.

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Are We Called to Preach the Gospel or Preach the Word?

We, too, live in a time when certain churches and certain movements are strongly emphasizing being Gospel-centered and emphasizing that pastors need to clearly preach the Gospel every Sunday. Now, I am fully in favor of being Gospel-centered, and I hope and pray that I do preach the Gospel every Lord’s Day morning. But that’s not the same thing as having every sermon be a “Gospel sermon” or a completely evangelistic sermon or basically the same sermon in different packaging.

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The Brave New World of Childhood Indoctrination

Although Jennings often frames her style as “helping them understand a different point of view exists,” “setting up conversations,” and “modelling non-judgmental thinking,” she authoritatively interjects into her students’ conversations establishing what is right and wrong. She does this despite her “work to help children understand that just because someone thinks something different from you, it’s not a reason to be mean or dominate the conversation, but a chance to expand on what you know.” Perhaps she should take a turn listening to the wisdom of four-year-olds.

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Wheaton College Refuses to Bow to Caesar’s Demands

It is indeed regrettable that some students will be without health insurance coverage. And some students and alumni are already blaming the school. But the loss of the health insurance is the fault of the Obama administration, not the administration at Wheaton. The college has repeatedly asked for a compromise that would not require them to violate their religious beliefs—and the federal government has repeatedly refused to concede to such a reasonable request.

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More Horror from the Planned Parenthood Death Cult

With the fourth undercover video now out on Planned Parenthood and it despicable trade in baby parts, and ten American state investigations and three federal congressional investigations underway, this whole appalling episode is certainly heating up.

All up there are supposed to be twelve such videos that will be released. Given that I have now penned four articles on the first four videos, I will likely have another eight articles at least to come. And why not? This is the story of the decade.

But you wouldn’t know it by the mainstream media coverage – or lack thereof. They are avoiding the most explosive and morally significant story in years. Because the MSM is overwhelmingly secular left and pro-abortion, all we get from them is crickets chirping.

As one alternative media site writes:

America’s anchors have spoken: the shooting of one lion vastly outweighs the trafficking of baby parts by a taxpayer-funded abortion giant. In other words, the broadcast news shows spent more time in one day on Cecil the Lion than they did on the Planned Parenthood videos in two weeks.
The three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC and CBS censored the third video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts — censored it at Planned Parenthood’s urging. But the news shows did find more than 14 minutes for a more important story: the “outrage” over the shooting of Cecil, a famed African lion, by an American dentist.

It seem that the only way we will get some coverage here is if PP kills baby lions and harvests and sells their parts for profit. If the MSM refuses to cover the far more important story, then I will keep on speaking out about this. And the fourth video is another real doozey.

One write-up puts it this way:

Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs.
And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: “It’s another boy!”
This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning.
Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs.
And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: “It’s another boy!”
This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning.
The newest video also shows a Planned Parenthood medical director negotiating a fetal body parts deal while agreeing to prices for harvested parts, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.
“For anyone with a conscience, the video’s entire fetal organ scene is wrenching — to the gut as well as the heart. It hearkens us back to the days of Joseph Mengele or Kermit Gosnell, who both coldly killed and dissected children without remorse,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, in a press release.
The video takes the viewer into Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, where Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Savita Ginde discusses with actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs.

Mollie Hemingway discusses “8 Shocking Moments From 4th Planned Parenthood Video”. Let me offer just a few of them:

1) While Planned Parenthood’s public relations campaign resorts to euphemisms about “fetal tissue,” Planned Parenthood officials such as Ginde speak more clearly about the organs they harvest from aborted children. Here Ginde talks about organs, including “the whole brain” coming out as abortive waste.
2) Right after Ginde talks about women delivering their children before abortion procedures, she adds, “um, but that’s not what we go for. We try for that not to happen.”

She offers a portion of the video with each of her points – well worth watching (see link below). As I keep saying, this is a story that keeps on giving. If the first four videos alone are not enough to forever close the doors of this death cult, then we are no better than Germany in the 30s and 40s.

A note to Christians (and lion lovers)

One of the more incredible things to emerge from all this is the fact that many people claiming to be Christians who never say anything about the mass murder of millions of human babies are now going ballistic – and very public – about the killing of one lion. I discuss the Cecil story here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/30/laws-lions-and-lunacy/

I have already had to debate some of these folks. Once again emotional kneejerk reactions seem to characterise their stances. If they had actually read my piece they would have seen that I certainly did not defend the lion-killer’s actions. My aim there was simply to point out the gross hypocrisy and double standards being employed.

The simple truth is, anyone who claims to be a Christian must recognise differing values in life. Jesus himself made this perfectly clear in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

So yes we are to be good stewards of planet earth and care for all life, but not all life is equal – human life is simply of greater value according to God. So that will of necessity be my stance as well. But let me offer a few more remarks about these two stories. One wit put it this way:

If I were advising Walter Palmer, I would encourage him to say that, as a dentist, he provides vital oral healthcare to hundreds of men, women, and children in his community, and that lion killing amounts to less than 3% of what he does. Then he could accuse all those who’re attacking him of taking oral healthcare away from people.
Hey, it’s good enough for ‪#‎PlannedParenthood‬. ‪#‎CecilTheLion‬.

R.C. Sproul Jr. had this to say: “This just in – Planned Parenthood Regains Public Favor By Refusing to Sell Parts of Cecil the Lion. ‘We have standards’.” And Matt Walsh discussed these two events in some detail. He says this:

The fact remains that many in our society are descending like a pack of frenzied hyenas upon a man who shot a lion, yet feel no anger when confronted with the murder of children. And abortion isn’t the only evil accepted or celebrated by progressivism. We are living in a culture of death where cruelty and brutality reign supreme. The reaction to this “scandal” only further reveals and illuminates that cruelty. We think nothing of trying to destroy a man, ruin his life, and wish for his painful demise, without knowing anything else about him. We are so numb, so indifferent, that we will rip a stranger to pieces, cannibalize him publicly, tear him down until there is nothing left, and then sleep like babies at night.
Yet, the lion. Kill the children if you want. Destroy the dentist just for fun. Demean and degrade anyone who acts or thinks differently, if for no other reason than there’s not much else to do. But a dead lion — now there’s a victim we should mourn….
No society can ever be explicitly nihilist. As in, no society can outwardly live by the philosophy that everything is meaningless and nothing matters. Individuals can try it, but like Nietzsche they’ll end up in a mental institution, babbling to themselves while eating their own excrement. Societies, though, have to at least pretend they believe in doing the right thing. A society must convince itself it hates evil and loves goodness. Even the Nazis rationalized that they were serving the greater good of mankind.
So when our culture decides to sit back and tolerate, or even revere and commend, perverse evils like abortion, pornography, the breakdown of the family, the persecution of Christians, etc., it begins to accumulate a kind of Outrage Reservoir. Deep down, we must feel like we oppose evil. We can’t laud the most insidious atrocities of our time, and then look in the mirror and face ourselves honestly. The righteous anger that should be poured out in response to these true horrors is bottled and contained, clogging up our souls like constipated bowels.
We search desperately for an acceptable target for our surplus of withheld scorn, and when we locate it, we unload like we just chugged a gallon of laxative. Suddenly, some guy who killed a lion in Zimbabwe receives all of the compiled disdain that should have been discharged on the abortionists and the pornographers and the persecutors. Our pent up rage and anger mixes with guilt and self-loathing, and together it creates this concentrated bile that drowns and destroys whatever tragic chump they throw before us to be devoured. It’s nothing personal against him, really. Walter Palmer is a sacrificial lamb. A punching bag, strung up and dangled in front of progressive America as a way for them to release their moral frustrations. He’s an object. A receptacle for their misdirected vengeance. It’s like self-flagellation, only minus the self. And next week they’ll be flagellating some other patsy, and nobody will even remember or care about poor old Walter Palmer.
A year from now, someone will do a follow up story about that villainous dentist from long ago, and we’ll all think, “Oh yeah, whatever happened to that guy?” Then we’ll see that he lost his business, his family, and his dignity, and now lives as a sad shell of a forgotten man. “Serves him right for doing whatever he did,” we’ll say proudly, as we get back to feasting upon the newest Scoundrel Du Jour. It’s a never ending pattern, played out over and over again by a progressive culture filled with craven wimps, always compensating for their moral failings by tearing down false Satans, too afraid to do battle with the real one.

Exactly so. When the death of a lion get us far more upset than the mass slaughter of human babies then you know we have lost our moral centre and are close to finished as a civilisation. I expect pagans to think and emote in this fashion, but when believers do…?

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/networks-covered-cecil-the-lion-more-in-1-day-than-abortion-videos-in-2-wee?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=c9d3dbb39e-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-c9d3dbb39e-326193646
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/its-another-boy-4th-video-shows-planned-parenthood-director-negotiating-fet?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=c9d3dbb39e-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-c9d3dbb39e-326193646
http://thefederalist.com/2015/07/30/8-shocking-moments-from-4th-planned-parenthood-video/
http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/sometimes-its-just-easier-to-care-about-dead-lions-than-dead-people/


Heidelberg 103: The Christian Sabbath (3)

103. What does God require in the fourth Commandment? In the first place, God wills that the ministry of the Gospel and schools be maintained, and that I, especially on the day of rest, diligently attend church, to learn the Word of God, to use the Holy Sacraments, to call publicly upon the Lord, and […]

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The Left’s War on Science: From ‘Unborn Youth’ to ‘Fetus’


Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter, You Are the Dentist!

 
In 2 Samuel 11, it seemed like everyone was sending someone somewhere. David does some sending (2 Sam 11:3, 6); Joab sends Uriah (2 Sam 11:6) and later a messenger (2 Sam 11:18); even Bathsheba sends people (2 Sam 11:5). But throughout all of this sending in chapter 11, there is someone eerily missing: God. We’re left wondering, “Will God get involved and do some sending of His own?” In chapter 12, we get our answer. God takes over this mess of a situation. He gives David enough time to feel the weight of his sin, and then sends His prophet Nathan to confront David (2 Sam 12:1). He does so by…
 


‘To The Door Of The Oven’ – Hal Lindsey

Was Huckabee out of line when he used the word “oven”? Iran wants to build the most powerful oven in the world. It’s as real as the searing furnace Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into — and a thousand times hotter. A small number of nuclear bombs could turn a country the size of Israel into an oven, and then a wasteland in a matter of minutes.

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Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?

Beware of false prophets . . .

Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.”

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Why Millennials Are Turned Off by All This End-Time Talk

If all millennials hear about the future of the church is gloom and doom that’s decaying because of society, how can we expected to join the cause? Just like a flower will not grow if you yell and stomp on it, saying, “Look at all these thorns, you won’t be able to survive these attacks,” you can’t tell this generation of believers that we won’t survive what’s to come.

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9 Reasons People Leave the Church

Once possessing a “favored place at the community table” along with other community leaders, with portfolio and reputation to boot, the church in North America is now hemorrhaging members at an alarming rate.

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Rob Bell returns: His thoughts on creation, modern “Kingdom of God”

Former Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell, who now has his own TV show on the Oprah channel, brought his “Everything is Spiritual” tour to Grand Rapids. During his one man show, Bell offered his convoluted version of the creation story, which of course has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches on creation. No […]

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Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire reports that false prophet Todd Bentley is up to his old tricks:

Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.”

Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?


Rob Bell returns: His thoughts on creation, modern “kingdom of God”

 

Former Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell, who now has his own TV show on the Oprah channel, brought his “Everything is Spiritual” tour to Grand Rapids. During his one man show, Bell offered his convoluted version of the creation story, which of course has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches on creation. No surprise there, as long ago Bell rejected the inerrancy of Scripture and embraced the view of Christianity taught by Emergent Church apostates. During the show, Bell passed on this “truth” to his audience: “You are just a pile of dust and yet you can hope and dream and feel compassion and love. You are crammed full of something called spirit. You are an exotic cocktail of dust, soul, bone and spirit.”

MLive has the report:

“In the beginning,” Rob Bell said, “was a point.” That point of energy went bang and, over some 13 billion years of “ongoing creation,” particles bonded to become more complex atoms, which bonded to become more complex molecules, which bonded to become more complex cells, which bonded to become human beings.

Now, the spiritual inertia of the universe tugs at humankind to sustain that pattern of evolution, Bell said Wednesday, July 29, at The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids.

“What, my brothers and sisters, is pulling the whole thing forward into greater complexity and depth and unity and inclusion?” Bell asked. “The thing (Jesus) kept talking about was the ‘kingdom of God.’ This is what he was talking about.”

The founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church who moved to California three years ago, Bell came back to Grand Rapids to reprise an “Everything is Spiritual” speaking tour that he first did a decade ago. Talking about atoms rather than the biblical Adam, Bell gave a fast-paced, often comical sketch of the history of the universe, with frequent interjections of pop-culture references to music, movies and dancing Super Bowl sharks.

Dismissing secular and churchy viewpoints, Bell said humanity is hard-wired over billions of years of evolution to progress toward greater equality and unity.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/07/what_rob_bell_says_jesus_meant.html/


Nazi Mengele Was An Abortionist

According to the documents released today [February 2, 1992—ed.], Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz death camp doctor known as the “Angel of Death” for his experiments on inmates, practiced medicine in Buenos Aires for several years in the 1950’s. He “had a reputation as a specialist in abortions,” which were illegal. When one young woman died […]

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College Administrators Are Not Kings

One of America’s worst problems today is that people in official positions (university presidents, police officers, and others) think they are above the law and never accountable when they act illegally. The decision in Barnes puts college officials on notice that qualified immunity is not going to shield them against lawsuits if they trample upon […]

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Planned Parenthood on Trial

Like many in the Christian community, I’ve found the recent string of undercover videos revealing the butchering and subsequent selling of aborted babies at Planned Parenthood facilities… troubling, to say the least. As if abortion itself was not enough of an atrocity, now so-called “doctors” are in the business of chopping up the just-murdered babies’ bodies and selling their parts for money. The fact that it’s done in the name of “science” is somehow supposed to excuse it all. On social media, the defenders of Planned Parenthood can only talk about how the practice is “legal,” since the pay they received was only for “reimbursements.”  That’s a highly questionable claim in itself.

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But what the videos reveal is not just disturbing to those of us that are considered “conservative.” Camille Paglia is a self-described “dissident feminist.” She said in a recent interview, “Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights.” Translation: she supports abortion on-demand. She continued, “But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials.” Now, I’d like to know exactly to what ethics she’s referring, as I have no doubt my ethics differ from hers. But still, at least there is some sense that she sees wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.

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3 Things Christians Should Consider in Light of Radical Islam


3 Things You Can Learn From New Believers


Should You Choose to Accept This “Mission”?


Are You Broken and Shook Up?


4 Tips for Dealing with Procrastination


Two Bentley Items: Todd Bentley’s School of Revival and Bentley to speak in Sacramento, CA Aug.5-8

Item #1: “Todd Bentley’s School of Revival?” By John Lanagan My Word Like Fire Ministries Welcome to the (as I call it) School of the Unholy, where once again Todd Bentley will present his bells-and-whistles strange fire. In the video he speaks of his experience that was like “a glory liquid honey cloud.” . . . […]

07/31/15 The Walls of Our Sin

READING: Isaiah 59-63

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Many believers struggle with prayer, perhaps because they’ve often prayed prayers that remained unanswered. Isaiah 59 gives us one clearly stated reason for God’s unwillingness to answer our prayers: our sin.

Isa. 59:1-2  Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.

Don’t miss what Isaiah says. The problem is not that God cannot save or hear. Instead, our sin has built a barrier in our relationship with God.

Read the verse again: “your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” Those words remind us that our sin matters.  When we live in unrepentant sin, God chooses to hide His face from us and does not listen to our prayers.

I think about so many believers and churches in the world that seek God’s answers to prayer, but they do so without first addressing sin issues in their own lives. They fail to see that the apparent “wall” in front of God that seems to keep Him from answering our prayers is actually the wall of our sin. God does not listen to our prayers because we do not listen to Him.

What sins in your life render your prayers useless right now?

If you want God to hear and respond to your prayers, tear down the wall of your sin. He stands ready to hear your prayers of confession and repentance — and He then will stand more ready to hear the rest of your prayers.

PRAYER: Ask God to reveal to you and me any sin that hinders our prayers today. Let Him weaken our love for our sin and then dislodge it from our heart. May our lips resound with words of repentance this day.


Bible, Bricks and How God Uses Symbols Throughout the Scripture

The post Bible, Bricks and How God Uses Symbols Throughout the Scripture appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Community without Judgment(alism)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 6.59.49 PMChurch refugees — those active former church folks — are sometimes called the Dones. They are done with church but not with their faith, not with Christianity, not with God, and not with Jesus. They are Done with church (as they have experienced it).

Why? The number one reason traced and mapped by Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope (Church Refugees) is that the place where they found and wanted and needed community became a place of judgment rather than affirmation and love. The Dones left because they want community without judgmentalism. (Read on.)


From Slow of Heart to Burning Hearts

Seasons of spiritual dryness can be alarming, exhausting, even downright awful and heart-wrenching. I’ve had days, months even, when coming to the Word and spending time with the Father has felt like work, and I’ve struggled to feel his presence and love for me. I’ve wondered, God, where have you gone? I feels like you’ve hidden your face.

The seeming silence of God and the lack of obvious, joy-filled, abundant fruit springing forth from reading the Word are trials that most every believer experiences in their lifetime. It feels embarrassing to admit because we as humans like “having it all together”…or, at least, we like putting on the facade that we do.

But these seasons of dryness are worth talking about because we not only glean encouragement from hearing similar stories from other people, we are pushed to remember what is true of God, his gospel, and his holy Word.

You Are Not Alone

In two very significant ways, those of us enduring dry spiritual seasons are not alone.

Firstly, many brothers and sisters of the faith have gone before us in this regard. And many are enduring the dryness alongside us right now.

Be comforted by David’s struggles in the Psalms:

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1)

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? (Psalm 13:1-2)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (Psalm 22:1-2)

Also consider Job, who felt God had deserted him and left him for dead; Joseph, who spent years in a jail cell, probably wondering when God’s purposes for him, as once revealed in his dreams, would come to pass; and the disciples, whose faces were sad and whose hopes were dashed after Jesus was crucified.

Believer, you are not alone in your discouragement! We are accompanied by a long list of Christians who yearned for the assurance that God was indeed present with them, especially during seasons of dryness and doubt. There is comfort in knowing that there is nothing new under the sun; just as God has been faithful to his Church throughout biblical history, so he will show his faithfulness to us. That is a promise.

Secondly, and more importantly, we are not alone because the very presence of Jesus is with us. How do we know that this is true? Where do we find assurance? At the cross. There, God turned his face away from his own Son, rejected him, and poured his judgment upon him — the judgment rightly deserved by you and me. Jesus experienced full and utter abandonment by God on the cross so that believers in Christ would never have to experience his wrath.

Jesus died a lonely death so that we would never have to be alone.

But Jesus did not stop there. Not only did he sacrifice his own blood for the forgiveness of our sins, transferring his perfect righteousness to our record, he then sent his promised Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, confirming to us that we are indeed beloved, accepted children of the Most High God. The good deposit of our inheritance in heaven, the Spirit is our Counselor, Comforter, and Helper, who ministers to us the gospel-reality that we are never truly alone.

Burning Hearts

Knowing that we are not alone is well and good…but what do we do when we feel alone, when our Bible reading seems stale and our prayers lackluster? How do we practically put aside what we feel for what we know to be true?

We can learn from an account in Luke 24. Two of the disciples were traveling on the Road to Emmaus three days after Jesus had been crucified and laid in the tomb. Jesus appears to them, but they do not recognize him. He asks them about their conversation, and they sorrowfully recount the events of the crucifixion, how their hopes had been dashed when Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, died on the cross. Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb, and because the men could not see him anymore, their faith had faltered.

So Jesus calls them “foolish ones” who are “slow of heart,” and he helps to open their eyes to see him clearly once again. He does the same for us in three specific ways when we are struggling to trust that he is with us in dry and lonely seasons.

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Does the Origin of the Universe Point to A Creator God? (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #39)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace talks about his new book, God’s Crime Scene, as he examines the first important piece of evidence in the universe: the origin of all space, time and matter from nothing. Does Big Bang Cosmology (the Standard Cosmological Model) point most reasonably to a Creator God? (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3706957/height/50/width/580/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/


Redefining the First Freedom

As you’ll hear on today’s classic BreakPoint commentary, when it came to religious freedom, Chuck Colson was ahead of his time. Listen Now | Download

UNITY AT ANY COST?

By Roger Oakland While Christian unity is a very important biblical principle, we must ask ourselves: “How diverse can Christian unity become before it becomes too diverse? How far should a Bible-believing Christian go in the process of forgiving others? Is it possible to go too far?” An article in the Focus on Religion section […]

Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter, You Are the Dentist!

In 2 Samuel 11, it seemed like everyone was sending someone somewhere. David does some sending (2 Sam 11:3, 6); Joab sends Uriah (2 Sam 11:6) and later a messenger (2 Sam 11:18); even Bathsheba sends people (2 Sam 11:5). But throughout all of this sending in chapter 11, there is someone eerily missing: God. We’re left wondering, “Will God get involved and do some sending of His own?”

In chapter 12, we get our answer. God takes over this mess of a situation. He gives David enough time to feel the weight of his sin, and then sends His prophet Nathan to confront David (2 Sam 12:1). He does so by telling a story of a rich man who takes a poor man’s ewe lamb pet, and cooks it for his visiting friend. And although everyone would agree that it was an absolutely evil thing to do, David’s reaction is over the top, He screams “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (2 Sam 12:5).

David recognized that it was a wicked thing for a man with plentiful herds to kill the only companion a poor man had so they could enjoy a meal. The problem, though, is that David had no business calling anyone out on their sin at the moment, since he had just murdered many innocent people! He committed adultery (2 Sam 11:4), impregnated Uriah’s wife (2 Sam 11:5), took Bathsheba as his own (2 Sam 11:27), and then killed Uriah and other soldiers (2 Sam 11:17) just to cover up his evil. After killing a human being, David is nevertheless incensed that the rich man would kill a lamb.

In the next verse, Nathan utters two words that will sink David’s heart forever: “Attah Ha-ish!” “You are the man!”

And if that doesn’t sound bizarrely similar to the events of this past week, I don’t know what does.

Cecil the Lion was killed by a dentist (apparently it’s important to keep repeating his profession; I guess dentists are evil). Cecil, a celebrity in his country, was loved to the point that scientists were tracking his every move. You could say that Cecil was loved as much as the lamb in Nathan’s story was loved by its owner. And we all should agree that killing a lion, for no apparent reason other than stroking one’s ego, is not God’s design. But the timing of the outrage over this demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of our society. When millions of Americans are calling for the dentist’s extradition, his imprisonment, and even his murder (!), one can’t help but to point to the Planned Parenthood scandal and scream, “Hypocrites!”

 

I think it’s time to shout like Nathan.

“America, you are the man!” “This dentist ain’t got nothin’ on you!”

Hypocrisy is on full display when people sit by and watch Planned parenthood abuse young women, dismember babies, sell the limbs for cash, and not feel any emotion, but get choked up over the death of a lion. The irony that people are mourning the death of Cecil the Lion, all the while ignoring or happily supporting the merciless murder of human beings carried out by Cecile Richardscecilerichards37
and her henchmen at Planned Parenthood, is just too much to handle. Some would say the similar names are a “coincidence” I say God is displaying our depravity, right before our eyes, which would be undeniable if our minds weren’t darkened in understanding (Eph 4:18; cf. Rom 1:28). The abortion industry has so seared our collective conscience that we lose our minds over the mistreatment of a large cat, but don’t bat an eye at the merciless slaughter of millions of helpless human beings. Annually. Planned Parenthood, and all those who support it, have proven that they have lost any grip on reality.

The fact of the matter is that people everywhere need to repent and give their life to Jesus. And my prayer is that this clear, undeniable hypocrisy would prick the consciences of many — that they would come to their senses, repent of their wickedness, and turn to Jesus in faith for forgiveness and righteousness. Because of the Gospel of Christ, there is still hope in the wake of Planned Parenthood.

In 2 Samuel 12, the severity of David’s sin and hypocrisy pierced him to the heart. But there was hope. He went home and penned Psalm 51, a beautiful song of confession, repentance, and pleading with God for forgiveness and restoration. And God answered David’s prayer. Pray with me that many would read Psalm 51 and find the same forgiveness and restoration that David found, through Jesus alone.


What Should We Do When They Stray?

Of all the painful experiences that I have had to face through nearly a decade in ministry–the death of a mother, couples enduring the heartbreak of miscarriage, strife, abuse, divorce, scandal, etc.–having to walk with a godly father and mother through the dark shadows of having a child rebel is among the most difficult. There are many difficult and painful experiences that ministers face, but the spiritual rebellion of a child of a believer weighs heavily on the heart of any true minister of the Gospel. Perhaps it weighs heavy on my heart because I was one such rebellious child brought up in a Christian home. Though I was nurtured in an extremely spiritually and theologically strong Christians home, I ran from it–and to the spiritual darkness and sin of this world–as far and as fast as I could.

Not long after I was converted, news of my conversion spread through the church that I began attended in Greenville, SC. People would frequently approach me to ask if I would reach out to their son or their daughter–children who were living prodigal lifestyles akin to that which I had lived. The first year of my conversion exposed me to the prevalent nature of such rebellion among children who had grown up in Christian homes. I started to realize a few things as I labored to bring the Gospel to young adults who were strung out on pharmaceuticals, cocaine, acid, crack, meth, MDMA, etc. First, I realized how true my Calvinistic beliefs really were (i.e. unless the Lord–in His sovereign mercy and grace–redeems, all is hopeless); and, second, I realized that most of the parents were at a loss to know how to pursue their rebellious covenant child. The only example that I had was that which was etched in my mind by the actions of my father and mother. Today, whenever I am counseling the parents of a rebellious child, there are five things that I always remind Christian parents with rebellious children:

Read more


The Daily Discovery (July 31, 2015)

Pray for Your Children – “As I was putting two of our sons to sleep, I was praying with our three-year-old on his little toddler bed. He hasn’t yet learned to close his eyes while we pray, and I can feel his intense gaze looking up at me when I pray over him each night.  As I bowed my head, a hollering little voice came from the crib on the other side of the room: “PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!” My other son was so impatient and worried that I would forget him. I could hardly stumble through my prayer with his older brother.”

Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution? – “During the Scopes Trial in 1925, ACLU attorney Clarence Darrow placed William Jennings Bryan (seen as the man representing Christianity) on the stand and questioned him about his faith. In his questioning, Darrow pitted Bryan’s faith in the Bible against his belief in modern scientific thinking. Darrow questioned Bryan about the meaning of the word day in Genesis. Bryan’s answer rejected the clear teaching of Scripture, which indicates that the days of Genesis 1 are six actual days of approximately 24 hours. Bryan accepted modern evolutionary thinking instead when he said, “I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in six million years or in 600 million years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.”1 This is not the first time a Christian has rejected the intended meaning of God’s Word, and it certainly will not be the last.”

The Wild Brothers—A Challenging Family “Reality Program” – “In a day and age when the culture by and large has turned away from God’s Word and openly ridicules those who choose to stand firmly on God’s Word, it’s hard to raise our children to love the Lord and honor, obey, and trust His Word. But it’s so important that we teach the next generation to stand on the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning, and to think biblically. That’s why we provide you with powerful resources that will help you as a parent to accomplish the task of training up your child in the way he or she should go (Proverbs 22:6).”

Be Clear, But Don’t Dumb Down the Bible – “Is the average person today living in a post-Christian world really capable of understanding the theology of the Bible? Should a pastor avoid doctrinal themes and terms in favor of preaching messages that are less intellectually demanding and more relevant to his listeners?”

The Nation, The Church, and the Immigrants – “No one denies that US immigration policy is a mess. One poll found that 63 percent of Republicans want to deport the estimated 11 million illegals in the United States. Sniffing a popular cause, Congress has jumped aboard with legislation focused on identifying, arresting, and punishing violent criminals among illegal aliens.”


SERMON:

Tim Conway – The Battle With Sin: Pride


VIDEOS:

Do You Desire God?

Jesus and the Journey to Joy


“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

The post The Daily Discovery (July 31, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


This Week in Calvinism – July 31, 2015

  • Calvin and (Herschel) Hobbs.
  • Ian Hamilton describes how he first learned of God’s sovereignty in salvation.
  • Tim Challies invites you to join him in reading a modern classic: Knowing God, by J. I. Packer.
  • In the most recent edition of The Dividing Line, James White responds to Dr. Michael Cox’s article (linked to last week) “Is Calvinism Spiritual Racism?”
  • Free ebook by J. C. Ryle from Monergism.

A La Carte (July 31)

New from GLH Publishing is one of my all-time favorite Puritan works: Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. It’s at just $0.99. Also consider Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99); The Essential Bible Companion by John Walton ($5.99); Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley ($0.99).

Exceptionally Ordinary – We need to be reminded of this often. “The assumption is that God will be really pleased if we do something massive (on a human scale) for him. Really? Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills?”

The Children of StrangersThe New Yorker has a long, interesting, and sad article about a couple that adopted twenty children.

10 Quick, Important Developments On The Planned Parenthood Scandal – And still the major news outlets are quiet about it.

Our Wilberforce Moment – The comparison to Wilberforce is a strong one. Josh Howerton says that this is our culture’s Wilberforce moment, and I am inclined to agree.

When Success Outgrows Character – This is a very helpful article from Eric Geiger. “When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside.” (I have previously written about this here.)

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do – “My fear is that we can fall down that slippery slope that an awesome worship experience equals the Holy Spirit.”

New York City Transit – Did you know that much of the technology driving the New York City subway system is nearly 100 years old? Here’s a look at the past, present, and future.


Check out

Blogs

Don’t Waste Death | Desiring God: Phillip Holmes

Recommended Resources on Assurance for Tenderhearted Souls | Credo: Timothy Reymond

10 Disciplines I’d Recommend Everyone Start in their Twenties | Ron Edmondson

Introducing the New Source of Free Logos Training | Logos

8 Shocking Moments from the 4th Planned Parenthood Video | The Federalist

10 Updates on Planned Parenthood and How to Contact Congress | TGC: Justin Taylor

Kindle Books

Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games. I’m halfway through this and loving it. On sale today for $1.99.

The American Home Front: 1941-1942 by Alistair Cooke $1.99. Classic insight into wartime America.

 Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World by Andreas Kostenberger $0.99.

Recommended New Book

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore.

Video

Best Advice for Dating Couples


When Our Sufferings Feel Like Too Much

At Pastor Scotty Smith’s Heavenward blog, he offers biblical counsel When Our Sufferings Feel Like Too Much: Praying through Psalm 13.

The True Saint Abhors All Sin

Tim Challies writes:

‘Sometimes I just need to be reminded about the seriousness of sin. And sometimes I just need to be reminded off the slipperiness of sin. Those reminders came this week through Charles Spurgeon and a sermon he preached on June 29, 1890.”

Read Tim’s convicting quote from Spurgeon in The True Saint Abhors All Sin.

Should We Pray for God to Punish Our Enemies?

Johnathon Bowers at Desiring God addresses the question, Should We Pray for God to Punish Our Enemies? 

When Christian Kids Reveal They Aren’t

Julie Ganschow candidly addresses the painful reality that many Christian parents face—prodigal children. Read Julie’s biblical counsel for parents in When Christian Kids Reveal They Aren’t.

Trinitarian Sanctification

Pastor Paul Tautges writes:

“All three members of the divine Godhead are involved in the work of rescuing sinners like you and me and gradually fashioning us into the image of Jesus. The Father called us in Christ; the Son redeemed and keeps us; and the Spirit transforms us into His image as we grow in submission to His written Word.”

Read the rest of Paul’s reflections in Trinitarian Sanctification.


This ‘n’ That

  • Michelle Lesley shares some reasons why discerning women might be leaving your church.
  • Rosaria Butterfield on the SCOTUS decision.
  • Have you yanked your son out of the boy scouts yet (I hope)?
  • Funny how this happens when you handle poisonous snakes.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (boop!).
  • Answering that age-old question: What do you do after you’ve been slain in the spirit?
  • Kenneth Copeland helps you figure out why your prayers aren’t getting answered. Seriously? Do people really believe his garbage?
  • Looks like this issue of Credo Magazine has some interesting articles.
  • The Washington Post wonders about hipster Christianity.
  • The theonomists didn’t like MacArthur’s ‘We Will Not Bow’ sermon…so Lyndon Unger wrote this.
  • Speaking of that sermon, I linked to the audio last week, but thought it was worth posting the video here for your convenience. I had the opportunity to hear this preached live, and I hope that if you haven’t listened to it already, you will:

W4YW: Protect Your Marriage, Internet Rage, & Proper Textiquette

Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

The Power of Morning & Evening Routines, The Art of Manliness. Yes, the audience for this video is, unsurprisingly, men. But we promise, this is relevant even if you aren’t concerned with increasing your “manliness.” And if the word “routine” inspires feelings of dread in your heart, you might need this video. The right routines can make the world—or, at least, your world—go round.

Articles of the Week

Seven Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage, Jim Newheiser. Most advice about “protecting” marriage these days tends to run in one of two directions: (1) hand-wringing about same-sex marriage in our society or (2) hard-and-fast principles about when and where you can interact with friends of the opposite sex. Newheiser gives us a bit more meat, some proactive steps to enriching your marriage – whether you’ve been marriage for 30 days or 30 years, whether your marriage is characterized by bliss or by pain.

Ten Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Southern Baptists, Russell Moore. Few religious monikers evoke the awkward uneasiness that “Southern Baptist” does. The name conjures up images of polyester suits and big tent revivals (at best) or racist prejudice and bigotry (at worst). So what should the non-Southern Baptist folks know about the real Southern Baptists? Moore offers a handy compilation.

Five Rules of Textiquette for Teenagers, Barry York. There’s nothing like a fresh portmanteau to brighten your day! (Port-man-what? Click here.) Texting etiquette, or “textiquette,” is a fuzzy subject for most folks. For parents who didn’t grow up with cell phones, it can be difficult to know what rules, if any, are appropriate. York offers five rules that reign in his household.

What’s So Bad about Internet Rage? Sharon Hodde Miller. According to a 2013 study, the emotion most likely to spread through social media is anger. That sounds about right. So why is it that we are so quick to respond to internet-rage with more sinful rage? And, more importantly, what does this say about the way sin spreads? Sharon offers a refreshing perspective and some critical ways for us to ensure that the infection of sin stops at our door (or keyboard).


Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (07/31/15)

Kids and Technology

This video by Nature Valley uses three generations to compare what kids did for fun. The message of Nature Valley is that we should get back to nature, but the message for Christians is that we need to be vigilant over how much technology we use.

How to Conquer the Grumbles

Michael Herrington: “Don’t grumble about anything? Even traffic? Even the long line at the DMV? Even the weather? Even politicians? Even that annoying church member? Yes, even those things.”

Praying the Bible

You’ll want to take this five-day challenge!

What’s Wrong with Designer Genes?

This article from Desiring God may be more scientific than we’re used to reading, but stick with it. Toward the bottom, the authors give clear implications for Christians as we stand for the dignity of life.

Slaying the Abortion Giant

This is an important article from Joe Rigney about how we can respond to the continued revelations of what goes on behind Planned Parenthood’s doors.


WEEKLY LINKS:

The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist
My Favorite Apologetics Apps
The Gospels Agree About A Lot
Six Errors Jesus Mythicists Repeatedly Make
On Bart Ehrman and the authorship of the gospels
Follow up to Part II of Ehrman-McGrew radio debate
On Biblical Ethics: An Interview with Paul Copan
How to be a Christian Ambassador in Troubled Times
Two Things Nearly Everyone Believes About the Universe
Debate: Does God Exist? John Lennox vs. Michael Shermer
Is Kepler-452b an Earth-like planet? Does it support life?
Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration
What are the historical arguments for the empty tomb story?
Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer?
Stand to Reason | The Importance of Studying Apologetics Regularly
Of course you’re smart enough to learn how to defend your faith
How do atheists try to accommodate the Big Bang in their worldview?
What historical evidence is there to support the post-mortem appearances of Jesus?
Why We Know Our Universe, And Everything In It, Had A Beginning (Free Bible Insert)
God’s Crime Scene: Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe – NEW by J Warner Wallace


Our Wilberforce moment

Josh Howerton:

In the last three weeks, videos of Planned Parenthood officials (the organization that performs over 40% of our nation’s abortions) harvesting and selling the body parts of dismembered infant corpses have surfaced to national outrage. See them HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE. Rumors are there are 8 more to come. In a nation that has been legally pro-abortion for ~40 years, why are these videos now causing such outrage? Because the reality of what abortion obviously is (the killing of a human infant) is being non-ignorably thrust into our faces. This is our William Wilberforce moment: the stories have been viscerally told and people may choose to look away, but nobody can ever say again that they did not know. A few quick, bulleted reflections from watching the events of the last three weeks…

10 Updates on Planned Parenthood; A New Video; and How to Contact Congress

American friends, please be sure to use the info at the end of this post.

Fish and Snakes and Fathers and Sons

Michael Kelley:

That freedom is sometimes frustrating as a parent, especially one who has wasted as much money on stupid things as I have over the course of my life. Periodically throughout the year, one of the kids will see something they absolutely have to have. So begins the conversation about value in which I try (unsuccessfully most of the time) to convince them that what they have their heart set on isn’t actually worth it. It’s not as good as they think it’s going to be, and in the end, they’ll wind up not just frustrated, but frustrated and broke.

How Reading Can Transform Your Health

David Murray discusses a few key things he learned reading How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health, Michael Grothaus.

Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

Jon Bloom:

The Bible is as fascinating as the best museum. There is a lot glean from it at face value. But it is enriching as a mine. Begin to dig, poke around, and examine, and it yields wonderful things that you didn’t notice at first.

Seven Signs Success Has Outgrown Your Character

Eric Geiger:

When a leader’s competence outpaces a leader’s character, implosion is imminent. When skills surpass the process of sanctification, the trajectory is downward though everything looks great on the outside. It is often easier to see the speck in someone else’s eye than the plank in our own, so here are seven signs your success is outpacing your character.



Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


“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
Source


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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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