An Abuse Survivor Speaks To The Church
We are at a critical time in the history of the church where we have been given the opportunity to rise up and to truly learn how to love. If the church can awaken in response by being aware and conscious of the suffering victim in the midst of their own congregation, then there is hope. A hope to live an existence of healthy relational bonding rather than feeling imprisoned by managing every relationship out of fear and mistrust. Once the leadership and community of a church are made aware of the victims amongst their own congregation, they can learn to love the victim by establishing boundaries.
The Failure of Status-Quo Christianity
As I wrote in 1989, like the church of Sardis in Revelation 3, “we have become the ‘perfect model of inoffensive Christianity’ (G. B. Caird), ‘having a reputation of being alive, yet being dead’ (Rev. 3:1). Like Sardis, we have so come to terms with our pagan environment that we provoke almost no opposition and make virtually no impact. And like Sardis, situated high on a mountain rock, we have felt safe and secure in this world.
For Evangelicalism, The Sky Is Not Falling But The Ground Is Shifting
As I’ve written in USAToday, I believe the future of America will likely resemble the modern Pacific Northwest. While the majority there still claims to be Christian, it is more secular and progressive than other parts of the country. However, there is a significant population of convictional Christians who are living on mission in a post-Christian culture.
Image Bearers at Planned Parenthood
The devil delights when we diminish the horror of abortion, when we turn it into a mere political issue. He delights when we embrace the socially acceptable moral outrage against Kermit Gosnell or the selling of baby parts. But even when we rightly recognize abortion for just what it is, the cold-blooded murder of our own children, he is there beside us, armed with his favorite weapon, pride. When we dehumanize these dehumanizers we not only fall on the sword of our own hypocrisy, but embrace a Pelagian pride: “I thank you Lord that I am not like other non-humans. I believe babies are humans, lobby to defund Planned Parenthood and give to my local crisis pregnancy center.”
Does God Really Expect Gays to Be Celibate?
Do not for a second think that being celibate is natural for me. It is not. But it is a decision I have made using my will, not my feelings, because I have given my life to someone who demands complete allegiance. If you don’t understand the demand of Jesus to deny self and take up your cross, then you might need to reevaluate whether you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ.
How Not To Apply Reprobation
One may be reprobate, but one is not to assume this in deciding how to live. All the more so, since “the decrees of predestination are unknown to us,” as the 1553 edition of Article 17 says. Interesting use of the plural “decrees” there.
An Open Letter To Anne Lamott
As a Christian, I know you care about justice. At minimum, that’s what this scandal is about. When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,” he didn’t mean for us to hasten the meeting so we could cash in on their organs.
When the Sexual Purity Movement Sounds the Same as LGBT Culture
This language presents sexuality as key to our identity. And it isn’t merely about how we behave, what we do, or even whom we are attracted to. It is about who we are at the core of our being. Sexual desires and decisions are now linked to other strange terms like human flourishing. And this is troubling. What happened to our identity as being made in the image of God?
Muslim Imam Converts to Christianity, Now Preaches Jesus to Islamists
A former Muslim imam in Africa is sharing his story of how he converted from Islam to Christianity and now preaches Christ to Islamists throughout his country. World Watch Monitor recently released the video testimony of a man who once was taught to persecute Christians as a Muslim and is now facing persecution himself as he…
Why Is the World Turning a Blind Eye to the ‘Eradication’ of Christians in the Middle East?
Christianity is being “wiped out” of its region of birth, said Cato Institute foreign policy expert Doug Bandow Tuesday during a Family Research Council discussion on the increase in Christian persecution in the Middle East and Africa, and he offered reasons why the international community has done little to save those ancient Christian communities.
When All the World is One – Hal Lindsey
We know from Bible prophecy that in the last days, just a few people will control the world. They, in turn, will be controlled by the Antichrist. Common sense tells us that the only way that can happen is if the world is completely interlinked. That is happening before our eyes.
We are well on our way to that day when one man will be able to determine who buys, sells, holds a job, even qualifies for health care!
Americans overwhelmingly favor religious liberty over gay rights
According to Christian Examiner:
If faced with a choice between gay rights and religious liberty, Americans overwhelmingly would choose religious liberty, according to a new poll reported in the Washington Examiner.
The newspaper reported Americans, asked to choose theoretically between the rights of a gay couple and Christian photographer who objects to photographing a gay wedding, chose 4-to-1 (82 percent) in favor of the photographer’s right to decline the business of the gay couple.
The question was part of a survey conducted by Caddell and Associates, the polling firm founded by Pat Caddell, a former Carter administration staffer and now a FOX News contributor.
One of the challenges we face as Bible-believing Christians is this: All of us at times hold firmly to the the verses we love, but want to discount the verses that make us uncomfortable. But when we profess our complete faith in Jesus Christ and His Word, we do not have the option to pick […]
We know that the Church – with Christ at the head – is a place for repentant sinners who are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, where we gather to be equipped, to break bread in fellowship, to love and serve one another and to grow in our faith. The biblical model set up by […]
Brian Houston released the following statement.
The post Brian Houston August 4, 2015 Statement on Homosexuality appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.
Today in our program we are going to spend some time asking you to consider the enormous influence of one megachurch empire on the Visible Church: That global organization is Hillsong, known not only for its music and its millions of fans and members around the world, but its slide down a Word of Faith […]
UPDATE: Hillsong issues statement 8 months after worship leader announces his upcoming homosexual marriage
When one of Hillsong New York City’s worship leaders announced he is a practicing, unrepentant homosexual, and that he is marrying his fellow church singer and boyfriend, Hillsong leadership says nothing. (UPDATE: The couple’s announcement came in January, eight months ago. Today, less than 24 hours after this story published, finally, Hillsong issues a press […]
Today we’re reporting on news that you won’t hear on most media channels, and in many cases Christians are silent about these matters. We can think of no better example than the best news of all: The Gospel. So that’s how we are starting the program. The rest of the news headlines pales in comparison, […]
Historic church which produced first Southern Baptist Convention president will allow gay ordination and transgender, same-sex marriage
Christian Examiner reports:
A new non-discrimination policy at First Baptist Church in Greenville will offer same-sex marriage ceremonies and allow membership, leadership positions, church ordinances, and ordination to openly gay and transgender individuals without telling them their lifestyles contradict biblical teaching.
“It’s going to open up a space for evangelical gay people to have a place again,” Pastor Jim Dant said of his church’s recent consensus to “not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
First Baptist Church of Greenville has a storied history dating back to its 1831 founding when William Bullein Johnson led fundraising efforts to start the church. Johnson later served as the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention upon its organization in 1845. The church was the original home of Furman University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Heaven is so heavenly that it’s often hard for earthly creatures to understand what it will really be like. That’s why the Bible often describes heaven in terms of what will not be there. For example, the last two chapters of the Bible tell us eight things that will not be there:
1. No Sea (Rev. 21:1): Does not necessarily mean that there will literally be no sea. Rather “sea” is a common biblical metaphor for the storms of life, the mysteries of life, and the barriers and distances that separate us in life.
2. No Tears (21:4): Why? Verse four tells us, there will be no more pain or death. Imagine, we will never cry or hear a cry ever again.
3. No Temple (21:22): “Yes! No churches!!” says an unbeliever. But it’s no churches because everything is church; everything and everywhere is worship. Here we often experience churches without God. There we will experience God without churches. How? Because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”
4. No Sun or Moon (21:23): Again, not necessarily literal but a biblical symbol for time. No more time pressure, no more stress of having too much to do and too little time to do it. No sun and no moon also means no shadows, no fluctuations in life, no ups and downs. How can this be? “For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
5. No Locked Gates (21:25): Because no threats and no thieves. All is at peace and all is at rest. Perfect and total security.
6. No Night (21:25): Meaning, no ignorance. The smallest child in heaven knows more about God than the greatest theologian on earth. No night also means no spiritual drowsiness and sleepiness.
7. No Sin (21:27): All the causes, acts, and effects of sin will be abolished. Impossible to even think a sinful thought.
8. No Curse (22:3): Not just no curses from men and women. Also, no evidence or experience of any curse of God on us or the environment. Because Christ became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), not one atom in us or our new world will have any trace of the divine curse.
These eight things will not be there.
The question is, will you be there?
Cecil the Lion and Planned Parenthood
“You are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
– 2 Corinthians 3:3 –
As false apostles in Corinth are challenging Paul’s credibility, they object to his authority and promote their own on the basis of letters of commendation. They’ve got doctored letters from some church in Jerusalem, and they’re calling Paul out because he has none. Paul responds by saying that Christ Himself has written him a letter of commendation. And it wasn’t written with mere ink or on stone, but by the Spirit on human hearts. The salvation of the Corinthians themselves was all the commendation Paul needed.
If we follow Paul’s imagery carefully, we wouldn’t have expected him to set up a contrast between human hearts and tablets of stone. He’s just spoken of natural letters written in ink, and you don’t use ink on stone. We would have expected Paul to say something like, “Not on papyrus, or parchments, which fade away along with the ink written on them.” But he doesn’t say that. He contrasts “tablets of human hearts”—literally, “tablets that are hearts of flesh”—with “tablets of stone.”
Why? Well, the false apostles (i.e., those whom Paul was defending himself against in 2 Corinthians) were Judaizers. They were teaching that circumcision and keeping the ceremonial law of Moses was necessary for salvation. And so by changing the contrast from “written on paper” to “written on tablets of stone,” Paul is contrasting the impotence of the law in under the Mosaic Covenant with the almighty sanctifying power of the Spirit under the New Covenant, which has now dawned with Christ.
Think about it. What else was written on tablets of stone? The Ten Commandments (Exod 31:18). But what was the New Covenant promise? Jeremiah 31:33: “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God and they shall be My people.” Philip Edgcumbe Hughes writes,
“At Sinai the law had been written by the finger of God on tablets of stone; but this was an external law-giving, whereby sinful man was confronted with his awful inability to fulfill the just requirements of his holy Creator. Jeremiah 31:33, however, promises a lawgiving that is internal, namely, the writing by God of His law in the very heart itself” (90).
And how will that come to pass? Ezekiel 36:26 says,
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
When the Corinthians experienced the reality of their conversion through his preaching of the Gospel, Paul says this hundreds-of-years-old promise was coming to fulfillment! God, through Christ, and by the Spirit, removed their heart of stone, and gave them a heart of flesh! Christ’s letter of commendation on behalf of Paul wasn’t written on tablets of stone, but on the fleshy tablets of the human heart made alive by divine grace!
All that the Judaizing false apostles could commend to the Corinthians, was the law etched on tablets of stone, which could never take away the sin so securely rooted in hearts of stone. The Mosaic administration had its purposes in the redemptive plan of God, absolutely. But all it could ever do was to inform us of our duty, and demonstrate how powerless our hearts of stone were to ever attain to the righteousness that God requires of us.
When teachers insist that you need to do something to be true beneficiaries of Christ’s work—whether it’s receiving circumcision, doing penance, or just keeping a list of man-made rules—they are simply devolving and regressing back to the ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7)—the ministry of condemnation (2 Cor 3:9). But, dear friends, the ministry of life has come! The day of the ministry of righteousness (2 Cor 3:9) has dawned with the coming of the Christ who is the fulfillment of God’s law, and with the coming of the promised Holy Spirit who is now shed abroad in your hearts (Rom 5:5).
And God has promised to His people, that by the work of that very Holy Spirit, that He would remove your spiritually dead heart of stone, would give you a heart of flesh, and would put His law within you and write it on your hearts—so that with the Spirit dwelling within you, and the law written on your heart, God’s commandments would no longer be pressure from without, only and ever informing you of what you must do but can never do, but that they would be power from within, empowering you to live a life of joyful obedience to God, with eagerness and gladness.
Moses gave instructions for worship in the tabernacle, which was a mere copy and shadow of the heavenly tabernacle. But now, Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises (Heb 8:5–6).
Paul says, “My Corinthians, the New Covenant is here. The letters of the false apostles commend to you a ministry that could never save you, could never sanctify you, and so pointed you to the ministry that was to come. This is the very Gospel I preached to you: regeneration—the new birth—effected by the Holy Spirit Himself permanently dwelling in you, all received by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone.”
Dear reader, have you received this Gospel? Have you trusted this Jesus? Have you partaken of the glorious ministry of this New Covenant that has come in Christ? Have you owned and confessed your guilt and unrighteousness before a holy God. Have you acknowledged that your sins have violated God’s law, have separated you from Him, and have earned for you the just judgment of eternal punishment? Have you confessed to Him that there is nothing you could ever do to pay the penalty your sins incurred? Not Bible reading, not prayer, not church attendance, not any kind of good work! Have you abandoned pursuing a righteousness of your own, derived from any kind of commandment-keeping (cf. Phil 3:9)?
If you haven’t, do nothing else before you do that now. Turn and put your trust in Christ alone for your righteousness. Look and see this promised Messiah, crucified and killed, and buried—and resurrected!—conquering sin and death. Look and see in Him all the righteousness you will ever need to stand in the presence of God Almighty, and count on His righteousness alone to get you there.
For my dear brothers and sisters who know Christ and the sweet saving graces of the New Covenant, does your life reflect this Gospel that you are saved by? Is your life a letter of Christ, bearing the marks of Christ’s own handwriting, penned with the ink of the Holy Spirit Himself (cf. 2 Cor 3:3)? Is your life a letter of commendation for the ministerial labors of your pastors and shepherds? And is it legible? Is it known and read by all men? Can people look at the transformation of your life—at your speech, at your actions, at your attitudes—and say, “There is a man who has partaken of the New Covenant! There is woman upon whom the promise of the ages has come! There is a heart in which the law of God has been written, so that she delights to obey His commandments! There is a heart in which the Spirit of God reigns, so that he delights to put off sin, and walk in the way of righteousness!”
I pray you can answer yes. And to whatever degree you come short of that, pursue it all the more, strengthened by the glory, loveliness, and delightfulness of that sufficient Savior Himself—that mediator of a better covenant, enacted upon better promises—who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, to cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14).
Look to Christ, and be saved. And look to Christ, and be sanctified.
Encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
His name was Joseph. But he “was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)” (Acts 4:36). Joseph. Barnabas. I guess that would make him “Joe Encouragement.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be such an encouraging person that your friends simply call you Encouragement?
Courage is the resolve to face a fearful threat. And courage is fueled by hope — a hope in something stronger than what we fear.
Discouragement sets in when our hope leaks. We begin to cower before our fear. When this happens, and it happens often, we need an infusion of hope. That’s what encouragement is. Barnabas went around giving people hope-infusions, which helped them keep fighting the fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
We need Barnabas people. We need to be a Barnabas.
A Deluge of Discouragement
We live in a deluge of discouragement. Criticism, contempt, critique, and correction. It’s the native language of our fallen world. These things roll easily off the human tongue far more than affirmation and encouragement, because the fallen human heart has an abundance of pride (Matthew 12:34).
We human beings are by sinful nature viciously critical of one another. We’ve even made “critic” a profession. The vast majority of the analyses of people, ideas, organizations, movements, and governments we hear, whether in the press, on blogs, or at the table next to us, are negative. (Brace yourself for another presidential election cycle.) There are, of course, things that legitimately need critique and correction. But the over-abundance of negativity is largely due to the fact that the prideful eye of the fallen human heart is trained to see others’ weaknesses, foibles, mistakes, and sins. It looks for them and relishes in them. It even sees ones that aren’t there. Why are we like this?
Ironically, one reason is that we are all looking for hope for ourselves. Courage comes from hope. Discouragement sets in when hope leaks. So we sinful humans are on the lookout for any reason to lighten our own discouragement and the guilt of our own failings and sins. When faith in the gospel of the grace of the God of encouragement (Romans 15:4) is absent or deficient in our hearts, we look to others’ failings and sins to make ourselves feel better.
We should not be surprised that this is the case. What else would we expect from a culture in a world under the governance of the evil one (1 John 5:19)?
And we should not even be surprised when the church falls into a disproportionate amount of discouraging negativity. Our remaining indwelling sin is bent in this way and Christians are under constant assault by spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Critical discernment is necessary for spiritual survival.
But in the chaos of the battle we can easily wound each other with critical friendly fire, and forget that encouragement is also necessary for spiritual survival.
Encouragement Is Spiritual Warfare
Encouragement is spiritual warfare. If we’re going to encourage anyone, we will have to fight Satan and our own sin to do it.
The devil is constantly trying to discourage us. He’s the “the accuser of [the] brothers . . . who accuses them day and night before our God” (Revelation 12:10). And his minions are frequently throwing “flaming darts” of condemnation and jealousy and resentment at us (Ephesians 6:16). Resist them (1 Peter 5:9)!
And our sin nature wants to discourage others. It desires self-exaltation more than anything. So it relishes focusing on others’ weaknesses and sins out of arrogance or envy. Pride is why so much of what we think or say or interpret or hear about others is negative and uncharitably critical.
But the “God of encouragement” (Romans 15:5) has given us the weapon that is designed to defeat these enemies: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Bible was “written for our instruction, that . . . through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). And when we have hope, we will have courage.
A Call for Barnabas People
Joseph was called Barnabas most likely because he had an eye trained to see the grace of God in whatever happened. No matter what theological controversy or persecution or financial crisis or criticism or failure, Barnabas had a resilient hope in God. When some threat discouraged his friends, he would consistently remind them of God’s promises in such a contagiously hopeful way that their courage would revive.
And that’s what we want to be like. We need to be Barnabas people.
Barnabas people are those who soak in and store up God’s word (Psalm 119:11), and by doing so are able to walk and talk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). And when they talk they tend to only speak what “is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
This is not a simplistic call to stop thinking critically and be nice to each other. After all, Barnabas, the paragon of encouragement, clearly had a backbone. He went toe-to-toe with Paul over Mark (Acts 15:36–39). But he was characterized by encouragement, not combativeness or critique.
So this is a call for us to cultivate a culture of encouragement wherever we are. It’s a call for us to become Barnabas people, odd people who are so characterized by being encouraging that it becomes part of our identity. Barnabas people give grace to those who hear them. They are at-large hope-infusers to the discouraged.
If you, like me, need help in becoming a Barnabas person, one of the best, most practical things I’ve ever read on encouraging others is Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree. Sam is a Barnabas, and a maker of Barnabas people.
But becoming a Barnabas person really begins by asking the God of encouragement to transform us into sons of encouragement who have Spirit-empowered discernment so that we leave whomever we interact with today more encouraged than we found them.
“Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this new initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. Below, you can find all the video from our Look at the Book weekend on 1 Peter 1–2. The clip above is from Part 7: Why Your Faith Will Not Fail.
Rejoicing in the Refiner’s Fire
Video Killed the Pulpit Star – Here’s an interesting outsider’s perspective on the multi-campus model of church. It includes some solid insights.
How to Repent Without Really Repenting – I thnk we are all pretty good at this, aren’t we?
8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven – David Murray tells about 8 things you won’t find in heaven.
3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable – Doug Wilson: “Here are three basic reasons why we should see this campaign as one that is preeminently winnable. Planned Parenthood can go down the same way that ACORN did.”
A Pastor’s Greatest Regret – I know that far too many pastors live with this same regret. Pastor, protect yourself. Church, protect your pastor.
What Does Sola Scriptura mean? – John MacArthur has a brief refresher for you.
The Smell of Babies Burning – “The brief article is a gut-wrenching, disturbing, graphic account of the emotional trauma abortion wrecks on those who perform them. For example, in 2008, Dr. Lisa Harris explained what happened while she, 18-weeks pregnant at the time, performed an abortion on an 18-week-old fetus. She felt her own baby kick at the same time she ripped off a fetal leg with her forceps. This prompted a visceral response.”
What Does Sola Scriptura Mean? – “The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not a claim that all truth of every kind is found in Scripture. The most ardent defender of sola Scriptura will concede, for example, that Scripture has little or nothing to say about DNA structures, microbiology, the rules of Chinese grammar, or rocket science. This or that “scientific truth,” for example, may or may not be actually true, whether or not it can be supported by Scripture—but Scripture is a “more sure Word,” standing above all other truth in its authority and certainty. It is “more sure,” according to the apostle Peter, than the data we gather firsthand through our senses (2 Peter 1:19). Therefore, Scripture is the highest and supreme authority on any matter on which it speaks.”
Could Crosses Ever Be Outlawed in America? – “We pray this would never happen in America—but it’s reported to be happening in China as you will read below. Meanwhile, the free exercise of Christianity is definitely under threat in the US, as I have posted about many times. A recent Associated Press news report stated…”
7 books Christians should read on abortion and adoption – “One of the most frequent charges laid against Christians who oppose abortion is that we care about a child’s life before they’re born and once they die, but don’t really give a rip about anything in between. This, of course, is absolute bunk, especially when you consider the number of Christians who are passionate adoption advocates, who are assisting those in need through organizations like Compassion International. But even though the charge is bunk, it persists. And Christians would do well to educate themselves about the realities of abortion and its alternatives. Here are a few books I’d recommend to help in this area…”
Is Gender Just A Social Construct? – “It’s a very old idea. In the 5th century B.C., the pre-Socratic sophist Protagoras declared ‘Man is the measure of all things: of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not.’ One can draw a fairly straight line from that ugly seed of an idea to the transcendental hands of Kant, tilled under the fertilizing rants of Nietzsche, and lately growing like a weed until it covered the recent issue of Vanity Fair, featuring a person we now call Caitlyn Jenner. We’ve even heard, out of the mouth of Rick Santorum, the ancient echo of Protagoras: ‘If [Bruce Jenner] says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman.’ We make what’s true, true. As sure as thunder following lightning, friends, let’s never doubt that ideas have consequences.”
Art Azurdia – A Clarion Call to Worldly Christianity [Part 1]
Fund Planned Parenthood you Anti-Feminist Woman Hater!
Jesus never said anything about homosexuality?
“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
Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, August 7, 2015
Kentucky Clerk Ordered to Issue Same-sex Marriage Licenses Sues Governor
For Some Churches, Food Trucks are a Vehicle for Serving the Poor
Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders to Speak at Liberty University
City of Philadelphia to Close 25 Miles of Highway to Welcome Pope Francis
Planned Parenthood Scandal Repercussions in NH, FL
2 Latin American Presbyterian Churches Sever Ties with PC (USA) over Gay Marriage Acceptance
Pope Francis Says Church Must Welcome Divorced, Remarried Catholics
45 Suspected Human Trafficking Victims Rescued in Indonesia
Pregnant, Unwed Assistant Professor Sues Christian University over Firing
Christian Tourist in Israel Attacked by Muslims
Cecil the Lion and Planned Parenthood: A False Dichotomy
Why Robots are Bad for Men
Serving Others: A Key to Contentment and Joy
Why Donald Trump is Leading the Polls
What Chuck Colson Would Say about the State of Our Culture
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!
But 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 should 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.
Of 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?
The Greatest Story Ever Told
What is The Gospel?
CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.
“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?
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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