August 19, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Obeying God in the Hard Places

In these troubling times when we become disheartened by those ruling over us, it is good to know “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1. Most of us here in the West have never faced serious persecution for obeying Christ, but that may change as the freedom to exercise our religious convictions are restricted.

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What Our Children Need from Us

Here’s what our children don’t need: to be worshiped. Some parents tend to control and manipulate their children, trying to micro-manage them (guilty!), while others think they do no wrong and spoil and over-indulge them. These can both be symptoms of over-valuing our children to the point of worshiping them or finding our worth and security in them and their well-being. Our children need us to worship God, not them or ourselves. They need us to be in prayer and praise, in worship both privately and publicly.

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Hate Comes Naturally, Love Is Learned

The point is, we are not born with an innate ability to love and do good. Scripture, and history, shows the exact opposite to be true. We need to reject the notion that our children are innocent, when Scripture declares it to be otherwise. So we pray to our Father in heaven that the LORD will redeem our children and save them. They need God’s grace just as much as we do.

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10 Lessons From my First Year in Pastoral Ministry

Taking risks and working hard is important, but as my professors would always remind us “you can lose your ministry and keep your marriage, but you cannot lose your marriage and keep your ministry”. You don’t realize the weight and busyness of ministry until you’re in it. It’s very easy to neglect the family, and to have a selfish mentality when coming home. As we’ve seen in many pastor’s lives, even this past year, it’s very easy to lose your family if you don’t care for it.

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John Piper’s Advice For Women in the Workforce

I am having a hard time understanding these guidelines. My influence in the civil sphere has to be non-personal and non-directive? Or I will upset the feminine masculine dynamic? Should we then get rid of women doctors and nurses? I don’t see how one could do that job without being both personal and directive. I’m sure they have many male patients whom they have to tell what to do. And we wouldn’t want women in any administrative roles then either. There would be so many jobs that “mature” women would not be able to serve in were they to follow these principles.

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Don’t Give Up

So take heart. You have a one-person extreme makeover team living in you. When you resist temptation you going against the grain of your old sinful habits – and that’s tough. But you are going with the grain of the Holy Spirit. You have his desires, his life, his power – and that makes all the difference.

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New Study Says Church Involvement is Secret to 'Sustained Happiness' and Long-Term Fulfillment

New Study Says Church Involvement is Secret to ‘Sustained Happiness’ and Long-Term Fulfillment

A new study has found that joining a church contributes more to an individual’s “sustained happiness” and fulfillment than any other form of social involvement, including volunteering at a charity or taking a class.

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Pain: A Secret Garden of Pride

Pain: A Secret Garden of Pride

Pain can be a secret garden of pride. We don’t talk about it often because it’s so sensitive, so vulnerable — so painful. As touchy as the topic of pain is, though, it’s equally dangerous to tiptoe around it. John…

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Tullian Tchividjian Deposed of Clergy Credentials by South Florida Presbytery Following Extramarital Affair

Tullian Tchividjian Deposed of Clergy Credentials by South Florida Presbytery Following Extramarital Affair

Tullian Tchividjian, former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale and a grandson of famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, has been deposed of his clergy credentials by the South Florida Presbytery.

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Franklin Graham Headlines 'Good News Festival' in Oklahoma With Artists Skillet, Lacey Sternum, Michael W. Smith

Franklin Graham Headlines ‘Good News Festival’ in Oklahoma With Artists Skillet, Lacey Sternum, Michael W. Smith

Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and son of the Rev. Bill Graham, will be speaking at the &Good News Festival,& a multi-day revival event held in Oklahoma City this weekend.

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8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven

8 Things You Won’t Find in Heaven

&The smallest child in heaven knows more about God than the greatest theologian on earth.&

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Why is Christianity growing so quickly in mainland China

Why is Christianity growing so quickly in mainland China

Christianity is spreading rapidly in China, and it could be because of how well the faith fits in with modern scientific technology, Cathol

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Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

Your Bible Is a Mine, Not a Museum

&To miners, the knowledge they acquire is not merely interesting; it’s vital.&

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Warning: The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

Warning: The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

If there has ever been a book that is designed to make you uncomfortable and challenge your way of thinking, it’s the Bible.

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What Jesus Really Meant When He Said

What Jesus Really Meant When He Said “Judge Not”

Crosswalk.com sits down with David B. Capes to chat about his new book Slow to Judge: Sometimes it’s OK to Listen, and how Christians can learn to judge biblically, listen well, and develop true wisdom.

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Tech Calls Baby's Heart Beat

Tech Calls Baby’s Heart Beat “Cool” During PP Brain Harvesting

The horrific details of baby body part harvesting at Planned Parenthood just keeps coming.

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Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose': Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose’: Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

The seventh expose’ video surrounding Planned Parenthood’s alleged harvesting and sale of aborted babies was released today, featuring testimony that suggests that some babies are alive when their organs are harvested. The footage, released by the Center for Medical Progress, features clips from the past six videos, as well as new footage from an interview…

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Is Your Church Worship More Pagan than Christian?

There is a great misunderstanding in churches of the purpose of music in Christian worship. Churches routinely advertise their “life-changing” or “dynamic” worship that will “bring you closer to God” or “change your life.” Certain worship CD’s promise that the music will “enable you to enter the presence of God.” Even a flyer for a recent conference for worship leaders boasted:

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It Is About Control

The word “devil” means deceiver. Satan is the master of deceit. He wants a world government. It is a goal of the United States. It is in the UN Charter.

Many Republicans and Democrats are cooperating with each other to establish one. If someone like Trump comes along that these Globalists can’t control, they will try to make sure that that person doesn’t win.

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Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure? – Markell

Pope Francis is revealing himself to be a blatant Marxist. He has also pulled back from issues Catholics have considered sacred. He apparently has replaced abortion with social justice and environmentalism. Most troubling, however, is his call for a “new world order” and that there be a global constitution, a global court and a one-world government. Scripture is clear that the Antichrist will be the head of a one-world government (Revelation 13).

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New Iranian Video Imagines Muslim Invasion of Jerusalem

A new video out of Iran presents the imagined scenario of Jerusalem being conquered by a military alliance of the country’s Revolutionary Guard forces and Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, a Jewish news site reported Tuesday.

Quoting the Middle East terrorism research organization the Investigative Project, the Algemeiner reported that the video was released two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced.

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What’s Wrong With Participation Trophies?


How the apostate church defends abortion

In this piece Lee Duigon, contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, addresses the left’s fabrication that abortion mill Planned Parenthood is “doing God’s work.”   Duigon isn’t buying it,  He says scornfully: “As if God’s work were to kill babies in the womb and auction their organs. Can you say “blasphemy”?” What better way to begin […]

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Let’s remember the baby boy whose brain was harvested in Planned Parenthood’s abortion mill. #DefundPP

The video above is beyond horrific. In it, Holly O’Donnell gives a first person account of a little boy who survived a Planned Parenthood abortion with heart still beating. Instead of trying to save the boy’s life, O’Donnell and another worker cut his face open, removed his brain, and sold it for research.

No matter your views on abortion, everyone agrees that it is an atrocity to kill a living human infant outside the womb. Everyone agrees that killing that live human infant outside the womb is a legally defined as murder. There is no question that what O’Donnell describes is a murder in cold blood.

God help us as a people if we are ready for this story to go away so that we can think about other things. God help us if we forget that little boy born alive, left to die, and mutilated to sell his brain. God help us if we are so infected by pro-abortion propaganda that we will not think about that little boy’s body cast aside as medical waste. God help us if our consciences are so seared by our political allegiances that we ignore this precious life brutally ended in a Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of abortions–over 300,000 every year. Planned Parenthood sells countless baby body parts to researchers every year. And the federal government subsidizes this monstrous organization to the tune of half a billion dollars annually. Obviously, the federal funding must cease. But more than that needs to happen. There needs to be investigation and prosecution of the homicides committed by Planned Parenthood personnel.

This is not a shady, gray moral issue. No, this is clear. This horror cannot stand. This horror must not stand. If we as a people cannot muster the moral courage to end this, then we will deserve whatever judgments we receive. God help us.


GENETIC RESEARCH SCIENTIST: LIKELY SOME ABORTED BABIES ARE “ALIVE UNTIL THEIR HEARTS ARE CUT OUT”

According to Breitbart:

Baby in the womb

The biomedical scientist—who assisted the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in its preparation to infiltrate Planned Parenthood and expose its practice of harvesting aborted baby parts for sale to biomedical companies—says she suspects that the “babies in some of these cases were alive until their hearts were cut out” for harvesting.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Dr. Theresa Deisher, a world-renowned scientist in the field of adult stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine, discussed what is involved in harvesting the organs of aborted babies.

“If you read scientific publications, in which they use the fetal material for some indications, particularly, cardio-vascular, or nerve cell research, they discuss the necessity of having tissue in the digesting buffer solution within five minutes for optimal yields,” she explains. “So, within five minutes of death, you would have to have the heart removed, and flushed of all blood, cleaned of any extra tissue that might be there, and the heart put into a liquid with enzymes that would digest the connective tissue and release the muscle cells.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/17/genetic-research-scientist-likely-some-aborted-babies-are-alive-until-their-hearts-are-cut-out/


Planned Parenthood Butchers Cut Through Live Baby’s Face To Extract Brain

In the latest video produced by the Center for Medical Progress, Holly O’Donnell describes a medical technician using scissors to cut through the face of a newly aborted but nearly fully developed baby boy at a Planned Parenthood facility so that his intact brain could be extracted.

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:” Matthew 5:21 (KJV)

Planned Parenthood is working hard to counter the steady drip of damning videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, but not even the highest priced Washington, D.C. flacks are likely to be able to erase the thought picture of someone cutting through a child’s face with scissors.

Holly O’Donnell and her Planned Parenthood colleague were harvesting organs that day at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, a mega-clinic in San Jose, California that has an annual budget of $100 million or 10 percent of the national organization.

O’Donnell, who turned whistleblower after leaving StemExpress, said the child was the most fully developed she had seen up to that point. She describes in great detail how the newly aborted boy was rinsed off and prepared for dissection.

Her colleague called her over and, according to O’Donnell, said, “Hey Holly, come over here, I want you to see something kind of cool, kind of neat.” O’Donnell said she was flabbergasted to see “…the most gestated fetus and closest thing to a baby I’ve seen.”

Her colleague then took an instrument and “tapped the heart and it starts beating.”

O’Donnell says, “I am sitting here looking at this fetus and it’s heart is beating and I don’t know what to think.” She said she didn’t know if the child was alive or dead but “it had a face. It wasn’t completely torn up. Its nose was very pronounced. It had eyelids and its mouth was pronounced.”

planned-parenthood-cuts-though-live-babies-face-to-extract-intact-brain-abortion-01

The medical technician said the child was so intact that they could “procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure a brain.” The tech told O’Donnell they would need to “go through the face.” The medical tech took scissors and cut through the child’s lower jaw up through the mouth. O’Donnell was directed to cut the rest of the way through “the middle of the face.”

“I can’t even describe what that feels like,” said O’Donnell. O’Donnell had to take the boy’s remains and put him in a bio-hazard container and “then I realized I was the only person ever to hold that baby.”

Obama Tells Planned Parenthood “God Bless You”

“That was the moment I realized I couldn’t work for StemExpress any more,” she said.

The latest video is both the least graphic and the most graphic video produced by David Daleiden and his team. Sometimes words alone have a more powerful effect than even the pictures of medical technicians picking through baby body parts.

The video comes at a time when Planned Parenthood is trying to fight back with high-powered PR people and a new and very expensive advertising campaign that just launched in selected markets.

A number of states have defunded Planned Parenthood and formal investigations have begun in others. Even StemExpress has severed ties with the abortion giant. Attempts to use the courts to stifle the release of new videos have largely failed.

Up to now Planned Parenthood has been successful in convincing Americans that the federal funded group performs very few abortions. Planned Parenthood has claimed that abortions make up merely 3 percent of their overall annual “services.” Even liberal outlets have debunked that claim.

Even so, polls show that most Americans don’t believe Planned Parenthood performs abortions at all, when in fact it performs more than 300,000 every year, more than any other group, generating more than $100 million in revenue from abortions alone. source


Who Are the Weak among Us Today?

Our church recently finished a series through the book of Judges. I won’t sugar-coat it: the book does not end well. The last five chapters of Judges depict the darkest moral hours of Israel’s checkered history. Priests are available for hire to the strongest clan. Women are bought, sold, kidnaped, raped, and murdered with impunity. One horror follows another, until the book merely grinds to a halt: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

It’s easy to read Judges and condemn the people for their heinous acts. But we’ve got to realize that we aren’t any different. What we see in Judges 17–21 is just the inevitable result of casting off the rule of God. It begins with re-defining morality, and it always ends with the strong oppressing the weak.

This raises the question for us: who are the weak among us today? Where has our society, in a frantic rush to dismiss the wisdom of God, left a trail of pain and brokenness in its wake?

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Easy Pickings for Satan?

By every measurable standard it is clear that Biblical Christianity in America is on the decline and in a growing state of crisis.  Youth, being heavily influenced by a public education system increasingly hostile toward God, are leaving the faith in record numbers.  And many professing Christians do not understand, or disagree with, basic tenets […]

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Read Your Bible Like A Pharisee!

In just a few short, easy steps you too can learn how to read your Bible like a bona fide Pharisee! “Why would I want such a thing?” you ask. Trust me – life is just easier when you read the Bible like a professional.  Read more of this post


The Problem With Preppers

Socrates spoke with great wisdom when he reminded us that before we can have a fruitful discussion it is always wise to define our terms.

Today I would like to talk about the problem with preppers, but before I do I want to make a distinction between “preppers” and “preppies.” The terms are not synonymous, in distinction to the terms “trekkers” and “trekkies,” but it is an important distinction and I also note that preppies don’t actually have any problems. A preppy is a person who dresses properly, like I do. Preppers, on the other hand, are folks committed to doing a great deal of work and preparation for what they perceive to be some kind of soon-coming calamity; some great upheaval culturally speaking.

But before I get to the problem, let me speak well at least of the principal. I expect that it may be a bigger problem, in terms of raw numbers, the way most of us move through our lives with a safe and happy assumption that everything is going to continue to be safe and happy. We have this head in the sand perspective about things that assures that “they” won’t let anything terrible happen to us.

Today I was in the car with my nine-year-old son, Reilly and (I am not sure what brought this thought to mind) but he asked me what would happen if a giant asteroid struck the planet. I gave him a description as best as I could, being no science expert, but I tried to describe what I thought would happen and the hardships that would happen. And you know what, hardships do happen. That is why I am not opposed to the principle which says you should be prepared for hardship.

I live in Florida and we are in the midst of hurricane season. Every so often, a hurricane pops up in the Caribbean and it sets out on its path and the experts try to guess where it is going to go and the next thing you know you can’t get a gallon of water at the grocery store; you can’t get a flashlight at the grocery store; you can’t get milk at the grocery store; you can’t even get duct tape at the grocery store. How bad is that? Everybody rushes out to make their preparations. And, sadly, too often people make their preparations too late. So I’m not opposed to the idea that we should be wise, that we should recognize that the peace and the stability that we enjoy is not a promise from God. We know we will not have the whole world flooded, but beyond that I’m not sure that we know much else about what might happen to this planet or what might happen to us culturally with respect to the stability of our government. Things can change.

My counsel has always been to make appropriate preparations for appropriate issues. Let’s go back, as embarrassing as it may be for me, to the year 1999. The Y2K scare turned millions of us into preppers and I was sometimes deemed to be a great scaremonger, though I don’t know that that is true. My counsel then was very straightforward: You should do what you can to prepare in such a way that if nothing happens your life won’t be ruined. The kinds of preparations that my wife and I made were to, for about a year, get some more of something that would last every time we went to the grocery store. It might be dried pasta, it might be canned vegetables, or it might be canned beans. But I would get a couple of extra things that, if nothing happened, we could just rotate right into our weekly menu and work our way through them–and it worked fine. We also put in a wood burning stove in our basement which we continued to delight to use into 2000, 2001, and 2002. I replaced a battered old electric stove in the canning area in the house with a gas stove so that I would be able to cook if there was some type of disruption. That is what it means to store some water in case of a potential hurricane; that is what it means to make wise decisions.

But sometimes you get the sense that preppers are almost disappointed when the calamity doesn’t come. There’s a pride, almost a gnostic pride, that suggests that “I am in the know and I know the secret.” This too is something I have been tempted to fall into as someone who understands a little bit about economics and spends a bit of time reading about economics. We had economic doomsayers even inside the reformed world for decades warning that hyperinflation is just around the corner or warning that gold is going to go to $10,000 an ounce–but none of this has happened yet, though it does not mean it won’t. But it does mean that any overconfidence that it is going to happen is inappropriate.

It is one thing to make appropriate steps for potentiality, it is another to think that you have mastered the future. It is one thing to say, “I don’t know what is going to happen and therefore I’m going to take these precautions,” and another to say “I do know what is going to happen and therefore I am going to make these preparations.” God is on His throne and certainly that does not preclude the possibility of calamity. Nations have risen and nations have fallen and I certainly would not have wanted to have been left behind in 70 A.D. in the city of Jerusalem. But Jesus told the preppers of His day that they needed to be ready to go, they needed to watch for these signs, and that when they came they were to go. You don’t fix the calamity, you don’t ride out the calamity. Sometimes God will put us in places that will challenge us. Our calling is to trust and rest in Him and to be good stewards of all that He provides.

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Insider’s View of Rob Bell’s Stop in SF for “Everything is Spiritual Tour”

LTRP Note: We post this because it is important for people to understand what the deception looks like that young Christians are being saturated with through individuals such as Rob Bell. Bell’s tour, Everything is  Spiritual, is panentheistic in nature but disguised in some Christian vernacular. Bear in mind, Rob Bell isn’t the only one […]

Guardian Angels?

Guardian Angels

“You must have a guardian Angel watching over you!” You’ve either heard it said or have said it to someone after their life took an unexpected and much needed turn for the better. It might seem like an irrelevant question in our post-modern, technological, post-enlightenment, scientific world; but, I care deeply about whether or not there are such things as guardian Angels appointed by God to watch over believers. I am one of those who fights to hold onto the unseen and supernatural world revealed in Scripture. I believe in an infinite and Almighty God who is Triune in His being; I believe that He is immortal and invisible; I believe that He created the world out of nothing and carries it along by the word of His power; I believe in a Savior who is both God and man–made possible by a virgin birth; I believe in the resurrection from the dead and I believe that all men will spent eternity in Heaven (i.e. in the New Heavens and New Earth) or in Hell. In short, I believe all of what we confess in the Apostles Creed. Oh, and I believe that there are Angels–lots and lots of Angels. I have often wondered why the phrase “I believe in Angels” didn’t make it into the Creed. At least the phrase, “We believe in One God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things…invisible,” made its way into the Nicene Creed.

While this is so, I sometimes catch myself feeling a sense of timidity wash over me when I tell unbelievers about the way in which Jesus, at the cross, conquered the one who conquered man–an unseen being called Satan (i.e. the Devil or the Evil One) who holds the entire world under his sway. I feel this timidity, not because I question its veracity–or because I am ashamed of believing these things–but because it is so incredibly countercultural in our day to believe anything remotely along these lines. I know certain ministers in large cities in the US who have made the conscious decision to abandon the use of the name “Satan” or “the Devil,” and to replace it with the more psychologically charged nomenclature, “the Evil One”–in order to take the edge off of the stigma. In the pre-technological, pre-enlightenment, pre-scientific world, it was standard fare to believe in fallen and unfallen Angels. Today, when most people speak of demons, they are referring to out-of-control sin in someone’s life. It is quite a sophisticated way to take the focus off of personal accountability for sin. “She has a demons,” they say–when, in fact, those who say such things don’t believe the biblical record of unfallen Angels.

On the other hand, I sometimes feel timidity because of the warped views about these things woven into the fabric of modern evangelicalism. Fantastical epics flow from the pen of leading voices in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. In doing so, many have promoted a view of the Angelic world that sounds more like something out of a bad sci-fi movie than something out of the Scriptures. With the unbelieving world rejecting the unseen world of Scripture and the mystical branch of Christianity misrepresenting it, we find ourselves in a sort of no-man’s land when it comes to our understanding of Angels. Nevertheless, we should labor diligently to uncover everything we can about the doctrine of Angels from the Scriptures. In the words of John Calvin, “if we desire to know God by his works, we surely cannot overlook this noble and illustrious specimen.”1

In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin has given us one of the most helpful summaries on the biblical teaching about Angels. Designating almost an entire chapter (Institutes 1.14) to this subject, Calvin writes:

In Scripture, then, we uniformly read that angels are heavenly spirits, whose obedience and ministry God employs to execute all the purposes which he has decreed, and hence their name as being a kind of intermediate messengers to manifest his will to men. The names by which several of them are distinguished have reference to the same office. They are called hosts, because they surround their Prince as his court,—adorn and display his majesty,—like soldiers, have their eyes always turned to their leader’s standard, and are so ready and prompt to execute his orders, that the moment he gives the nod, they prepare for, or rather are actually at work. In declaring the magnificence of the divine throne, similar representations are given by the prophets, and especially by Daniel, when he says, that when God stood up to Judgment, “thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him,” (Dan. 7:10). As by these means the Lord wonderfully exerts and declares the power and might of his hand, they are called virtues. Again, as his government of the world is exercised and administered by them, they are called at one time Principalities, at another Powers, at another Dominions (Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21).2

Calvin will, from there, proceed to treat the subject with the utmost care, bringing the reader to the place of understanding the prominent role that Angels play in the life of believers. For instance, in 1.14.5, Calvin explained:

The point on which the Scriptures specially insist is that which tends most to our comfort, and to the confirmation of our faith, namely, that angels are the ministers and dispensers of the divine bounty towards us. Accordingly, we are told how they watch for our safety, how they undertake our defense, direct our path, and take heed that no evil befall us. There are whole passages which relate, in the first instance, to Christ, the Head of the Church, and after him to all believers. “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Again, “The angel of the Lord encamps around them that fear him, and delivers them.” By these passages the Lord shows that the protection of those whom he has undertaken to defend he has delegated to his angels.3

This brings us back again to the question of whether or not each believer has one, single guardian angel entrusted to watch over him or her. Many have suggested so based on an appeal to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:10 and to a passing reference to Peter’s “Angel” in Acts 12:15. In the passage in Matthew 10, our Lord says, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” A cursory reading–taken together with the Acts 12 passage–makes such an interpretation seemingly viable. At first glance, it appears that our Lord Jesus is teaching that each of His “little ones” (i.e. believers) are watched over by an Angel. However, as B.B. Warfield, has helpfully noted in his article “The Angels of Christ’s Little Ones:”

“The real difficulty of explaining these passages by the aid of the notion of “guardian angels” is that this notion does not in the least fit their requirements. Where should a “guardian angel” be, except with his ward? That is the essential idea of a “guardian angel;” he is supposed to be in unbroken attendance upon the saint committed to his charge. But neither in Mat. 18:10, nor in Acts 12:15 are the angels spoken of found with their wards; but distinctly elsewhere. Our Lord says that the angels of the little ones of which he speaks, are not on earth with their charges, but “in heaven, constantly beholding the face of my Father who is in heaven.” It was because the Christians gathered in Mary’s house could not believe it was the imprisoned Peter who was at the door, that they supposed it must be his angel. It is thus characteristic of these angels mentioned in the New Testament that they are not constantly with those whose angels they are. If “guardian angels” are intended, one wonders how it gives force to the warning that we would do well not to despise a single one of these “little ones,” to be told that their “guardian angels” are not with them but are “always in heaven, beholding the face of my Father which is in heaven.” And one wonders whether if Peter had a guardian angel at all, it would not be just the time when he would be supposed to be with him, when he lay languishing in prison, expectant of the worst on the morrow. One knows that God’s angel—which seems something better than Peter’s angel—was actually with Peter, ministering to his needs at this exact time.”4

While many other objections may be raised about any sort of biblical teaching regarding individual “guardian angels” entrusted by God to watch over individual believers, of this much we can be sure–God will not spare to send the entire host of heaven to the aid of His people if He so chooses. They are, after all, called “ministering spirits” in the book of Hebrews, where we learn that they are “sent forth to minister to those who will inherit eternal life.” We may not be sure as to whether or not one specific angel is appointed to a specific believer, but our faith is stirred as we step back and have our eyes opened to see “the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” and his servant as they were being pursued by the King of Syria (2 Kings 17). We are built up in faith as we hear our Lord Jesus tell the eleven disciples, “do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”–an entire legion of Angels for each of them (Matt. 26:53). What comfort is derived from the thought that “if God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all” how will He not employ the service of the army of heaven to bring His children to glory.

1. John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.14.3

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., 1.14.6

4. B.B. Warfield, “The Angel’s of Christ’s Little Ones” in The Bible Student (Columbia, S.C.: The R.L. Bryan Co., 1902) p. 241

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There Is No Better Life

There Is No Better LifeThe old catechism says it well: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. You and I exist for God’s glory. In fact, all things exist for God’s glory. We get that. But how? How do we glorify God? I want to list 4 simple ways that you can glorify God today and every day.

Glorify God by Admiring God

You glorify God by admiring God, by simply appreciating him for who he is and for what he has done. Within the Bible we see plenty of examples of each.

Consider Paul admiring God at the end of Romans 11. Paul has spent all this time discussing man’s great need and God’s great provision in Jesus Christ, and then he just can’t help himself: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” He just has to break into this little song of worship, this little song that brings glory to God.

You can also admire God for who he is, pondering his character and attributes. We see this in the little doxology at the end of Jude: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude considers who God is and then naturally glorifies him.

You glorify God through your admiration of his character and his ways. Do you make it your habit to admire God?

Glorify God by Worshipping God

You glorify God by worshipping God. Just think of Psalm 29 which begins like this:

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Worship is one of the great privileges of the Christian life (which is why I recently asked What Would I Lose if I Lost Worship?). Worship is ascribing to God his own worth. It is “the art of losing self in the adoration of another.” When we worship him we give him honor, we magnify him in the sight of those who join with us. We declare that he is the point and purpose of our entire world and our entire existence. God is glorified in this kind of self-forgetful worship.

Do you love to worship? Do you take every opportunity to worship? Do you worship for God’s sake and God’s glory?

Glorify God by Obeying God

You glorify God by obeying God. This is true whether that obedience is expressed through character or through action. You glorify God by living a life of obedience, by doing those things he says to do and by refusing to do those things he forbids. The New Testament tells us with crystal clarity that there is an old way of living that God tells us to turn away from and a new way of living that he tells us to embrace.

It makes God look great, it brings glory to his name, when you stop sinning, when you put to death those evil deeds and evil desires. It makes God look great when you begin living righteously and, even more, when you long to behave righteously. Why? Because you prove that the power of God is active in you.

God is glorified in your holiness, not in your sin. Do you grow in holiness so that God can be glorified? God is glorified in your selfless deeds, not your selfish ones. Do you love and serve others?

Glorify God by Delighting in God

Finally, you glorify God by delighting in God. To delight in God is to have great affection for him, to find your heart moved by him, to find ultimate joy in him. It is to love and long to do things that make him look great. It is to engage all you are and all you’ve got in the full-out pursuit of God. Like Jesus said, it is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” When you delight in God you express free and willing love toward him. You see God as a great treasure who is worthy of your pursuit, worthy of your affection.

I love how Thomas Watson says it: “True saints are seraphims, burning in holy love to God.” Could it be said of you that you are burning in love to God?

No Better Life

God does all things for his glory. If you can get this in your mind and into your heart, it will transform the way you look at the world and the way you live in the world. It will change everything. It will allow you to give up pride and position as long as God is glorified. It will allow you to give up lifelong dreams and treasured sins as long as God is glorified. It will even allow you to joyfully give up your life, firmly believing that God will be glorified. There is no better life than the life lived for the sake and the glory of God.

Note: These 4 points were drawn roughly and loosely from Thomas Watson’s commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism.


10 Reasons Even Committed Church Members Are Attending Less Often

It comes up in a surprising number of conversations these days. And no one’s quite sure how to respond to it.

The issue? Even committed church attenders are attending church less often.

Sure, the trend has been happening for years (gone are the days when people attended 50 out of 52 Sundays), but the issue is reaching a tipping point in the church today.

I first wrote about this two years ago in a post called 7 Ways to Respond as People Attend Church Less Often. In the last 24 months, the conversation has come up far more often and, to many leaders, feels much more urgent.

This isn’t a post about why people have left the church (that’s a different subject). This is the first in a series of posts about church attenders who love God, appreciate the local church and are even involved in the local church, but who simply attend less often.

This post is the first part of a five-part series on why people are attending church less often:

Part 2: CNLP Episode 23: Why People Are Attending Church Less Often—an Interview With Will Mancini.

Part 3: 5 Ways to Embrace Infrequent Church Attenders

Part 4: 10 Predictions About the Future Church and Shifting Attendance Patterns

Part 5: CNLP Episode 24: Churchless: Why and How America Is Learning to Live Without the Church—an Interview With David Kinnaman

If you want to access the podcast interviews easily on your phone or other device, the best way is to subscribe to my leadership podcast for free on iTunes or Stitcher.

So why all this attention?

This trend isn’t going away … in fact (as the podcasts will show) it’s accelerating,

It impacts almost every church regardless of size, denomination or even location.

It probably marks a seismic shift in how the church will do ministry in the future.

Of course, church attendance is never the goal. But attendance a sign of something deeper that every church leader is going to have to wrestle with over the next few years.

The first key to addressing what’s happening is to understand what’s happening.

So … why are even committed attenders attending less often? There are at least 10 reasons.

1. Greater affluence

Money gives people options.

If your church is at all engaging the middle class, the upper middle class or a suburban demographic, an interesting trend is developing. The middle class is shrinking, but as this New York Times report shows, it’s shrinking (in part) because more of the middle class is becoming upper class. Both U.S. and Canadian personal disposable incomes are at all time highs.

There are simply more affluent people than there were decades ago, which may in part explain why so many ‘average’ people indulge their obsessions with granite counter tops, designer homes and decent cars, even without being mega-wealthy.

Naturally, this leaves a huge theological void about ministry to and with the poor, but it helps explain what’s actually happening in the suburbs and increasingly with the re-urbanization of many cities as the affluent move back downtown. Please … I’m not arguing things should be this way. I’m simply showing that this seems to be what’s happening.

And again … people with money have options. Technology options. Travel options. Options for their kids. And, arguably, that affluence may be one of the factors moving them further away from a committed engagement to the mission of the local church. It’s perhaps fueling some of the reasons outlined below.

The post 10 Reasons Even Committed Church Members Are Attending Less Often appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Why God Makes You Wait

There are times in the Christian’s life when we wait upon God, when we wait for relief from some kind of affliction, and when we wait for a long time for God to answer prayer. I am certain that you have experienced times like these, and know that the temptation in such times is to despair and to demand, to grow angry and impatient. But in The Mystery of Providence John Flavel warns: Though God means to give you the comfort or mercy you long for, he usually first exercises your patience by making you wait. He does that for these three reasons:

1. Because this is not the right time for you to receive that mercy. Simply stated, God does not judge time as you do. You are in a hurry, but God is not, and he knows the perfect time to dispense his mercy. “For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18). Will you wait for his timing?

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2. These difficult circumstances have not accomplished in your heart what God means for them to accomplish. Though you may be earnest and impatient in your desire for what you believe are better circumstances, God will wait until the trial has accomplished his purposes.

3. The more you pray and the more you search your heart, the sweeter the relief will be when it comes. God means to overwhelm you with his grace, and it may take fervent prayer and humble patience for you to respond to his mercy in the right way. “It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation’ (Isaiah 25:9 ESV).”

Always consider that God’s heart can be toward you even while his hand appears to be against you.

As a sinful human being, you are prone to judge your circumstances by your senses and observations. Always consider that God’s heart can be toward you even while his hand appears to be against you. If your circumstances continue unabated you may be tempted to think that your prayers have been useless and that you are without hope in the world. You may even go so far as to conclude that God is angry with you and has closed his ears to your prayers. But the God who has saved you will never turn his back on you.

The post Why God Makes You Wait appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Desperation In The Storm

In Matthew 14 we find the story of Jesus having compassion on the multitudes, healing their sick and teaching them many things.  As the day draws to a close, He miraculously feeds 5,000 men, plus the women and children, using only five loaves and two fish.  Then the account reads, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:22&23).

On one hand, we see another amazing snapshot of Christ’s model of prayer and intimacy with the Father.  The text indicates that He began praying around sundown and continued in prayer until at least 3 a.m. (the fourth watch), when He appeared to His disciples by walking on the water past their wave-tossed boat in the midst of a terrible storm.

On the other hand, we see that Jesus intentionally sent the disciples into a storm on the lake rather than inviting them to join Him on the mountain to pray.  Knowing there were other times when He invited some of them to pray and when they were observing Him as He prayed (Luke 9:28; Mark 14:33-35; Luke 11:1), I wonder why He made this choice with the disciples on this particular evening.

Ready to Pray?

Perhaps Jesus simply wanted alone time with the Father.  Perhaps there were reasons related to the disciples that prompted Jesus to send them away rather than join Him to pray.  Several ideas emerge at this point:

1. They probably would have slept rather than prayed.  Earlier in the day, they had returned from a grueling ministry assignment.  They had been so busy they did not even have time to eat and Jesus invited them to come apart to a quiet place.  Instead, they were interrupted by the crowds and the feeding of the 5,000 ensued.  Surely, Jesus knew they were tired; perhaps too tired to pray.

2. They were not in the proper frame of faith to pray.  When the writer Mark speaks of this incident, he writes of the disciples, “for they had not understood the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”  Even after the miracle feeding, they were not in the place of faith that the Lord desired.

3. They needed a greater revelation of Christ.  That night on the sea created a desperation in the hearts of the disciples.  The appearance of Jesus on the water struck holy fear in their hearts.  His declaration to them,“Take courage! It is I (literally, ‘I Am’). Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27) called them to embrace His divinity.  His power to calm the wind and the waves caused them to fall on their faces in worship and declare, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33).

Our Lessons about Prayer

There are some lessons in this story for us.  First, Jesus still invites His followers to pray.  He wants us to seek His face.  He wants His church to be a house of prayer.  Many times we join Him – often sleepy, lacking faith, and without a high, holy, and captivating view of who He is.

As He did with the disciples, He allows us to encounter storms that wake us from our faithless doldrums.  He uses the storms to stir desperation in our hearts.  Until we become desperate, we seldom pray with passion and perseverance.

In that desperation, we come to a greater biblical revelation of His character.  Christ wants us to see Him in the greatness of His power and glory.  This place of genuine worship is the foundation of life-changing prayer.

Storms to Stimulate Our Seeking

If we are struggling in our prayer lives, we know that the Lord is not content that we neglect our relationship with Him.  We also know that He will not just let us go through the motions.  Because He loves us, and purposes that we love and know Him through prayer, He will bring storms to make us desperate, that we might gain a fresh vision of His majesty, and pray in a transforming fashion for His glory.

The post Desperation In The Storm appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Free Youth Lesson Package: “Jesus Wants All, Not Some”

Free Youth Lesson Package

From this lesson, “Jesus didn’t want half-hearted fans; Jesus was after all-in faith. Jesus could tell what was holding people back from being all-in—and he directly challenged them on it..”

This lesson package includes:

  • Teaching Slide without title
  • Teaching Slide with title
  • Teaching Outline – Word Doc
  • Teaching Outline – PDF


Get Download Now

Resource provided by YouthMinistry.com


Download Instructions: 
Follow the on-screen directions at the download site.

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Why Do Students Leave Their Faith After Graduation? According to Research, This Is the Biggest Factor

Kara Powell, our recent guest on the ChurchLeaders Podcast, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith and more.

In our conversation we cover the changing trends in youth ministry, why high school graduates really leave the church, and why we should listen to our student’s doubts and hit tough topics head on.

LISTEN NOW!

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Here are the highlights from Kara’s incredible insights, research and ideas (edited for clarity), but be sure to listen to the entire podcast and subscribe in iTunes!

Kara, what has changed the most in youth ministry over the last decade?

The professionalization of youth ministry. There is much good as a result of this like better trained leaders, more called people, better pay, more resources, and specialized education programs. The downside is many churches feel like they can outsource spiritual formation of young people to their designated staff member. The result is churches have moved away from investing in the lives of students themselves.

So what’s the #1 Reason this generation walks away from their faith?

Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational worship and relationship was one of the variables most highly correlated to young people’s faith. So in other words, while it’s great that there are better trained, more called, more specialized paid and volunteer youth leaders—the downside is that the gap between the overall congregation and the youth ministry is growing, which ends up being toxic to young people’s faith.

As a result, students graduate and all they know is the youth ministry and the youth leader. They don’t know their church; they don’t know adults in their church. No wonder they drift away from the church because they feel like they’ve graduated out of it. Really good research indicates that almost half of young people drift from God and the church after they graduate.

This is why the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) does what they do. They are figuring out how to get students to have “sticky faith.”

What is needed to bridge that gap between the youth and the church?

We need a 5 to 1 ratio. Many children’s and youth ministries will have one teacher for every five kids. But to bridge the gap, there should be five adults for each student. This is a research-based reversed ratio. Ideally, there should be five people praying for one student by name and showing up at their sporting events throughout the year. It’s a paradigm shift. It’s not about finding five small group leaders per student, it’s about finding five adults who show an interest in your student or child.

The church can creatively empower parents to surround kids with their team of adults. Ask your son, daughter, niece or student, “Who’s on your team?”

(Research shows five people is best, but Kara clarifies it doesn’t have to be five people. Even just one person or two people is better than none.)

The key is to motivate and equip parents to create that team. Then the youth pastor can focus on the kids who don’t have parents at home who are able to do this.

Here are a few practical steps for youth leaders to get started:

  • Talk to senior pastor and/or supervisor. Explain the vision and get their support. It’s helpful to know your supervisor’s love language (adapted from Gary Chapman’s work). Know what is most meaningful to them whether its scripture, research, or examples. Then frame the change you think God intends for your ministry along those lines in ways most meaningful in the context of your church like evangelism, discipleship, and growth.
  • Next, get parents on board and train them. Explain why you’re doing this and how you plan to accomplish the vision, then offer resources and training.
  • Identify the students who don’t have involved or available parents. Talk to them and get an idea of who they look up to and who they might like to have on their team. You can be the catalyst to create that team with them.

How should the church approach doubt in ministering to students?

One of the greatest surprises out of the Sticky Faith research was data related to doubt. In their 3 year study of over 500 students in first three years of college, they found doubt is fairly pervasive in young people, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. What is toxic is unexpressed or unexplored doubt. When young people have the opportunity to express or explore their doubt, it is correlated with stronger and more mature faith.

Kara shares it’s often those tough questions that help God become even more real to us. However, toxic messages of doubt start young. When something bad or scary happens, it’s typical for a third or fourth grader to say, “I don’t understand why God would allow this earthquake to happen.” So often, well-intentioned Sunday school teachers quiet the young student instead of offering an answer. This tells kids the church can’t handle their questions and neither can God.

Leaders should raise tough questions on purpose. The church and youth ministry should be the first place young people feel they can go to with their questions. This starts with adults. We must raise our own tough questions and talk about tough sections in scripture. This shows students God is bigger than your toughest question.

The four most powerful words can be “I don’t know, but.” Maybe you don’t have a ready answer, that’s okay! Discover the answer together or get back to them.

The worst response is to do nothing. The best response is to partner with parents. Students do best when they feel like they’ve come to their own conclusions. We can look at scripture together and talk through “what do you think this means?” It’s messier and harder, but so worth it because young people will own the insights from those conversations.

Now what?

Kara shared the number one reason why young people are walking away from their faith—it’s a lack of intergenerational worship and relationship. But we can be part of the solution. Focus on connecting and cultivating relationships between youth and adults within the church. Make that a primary focus for your ministry and we’ll see those statistics start to shift.

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The post Why Do Students Leave Their Faith After Graduation? According to Research, This Is the Biggest Factor appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Kara Powell: #1 Reason Youth Leave the Church—And How to Reverse the Trend

kara_powellDr. Kara Powell discusses the greatest change in youth ministry today and the number one reason this generation walks away from their faith.https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3744521/height/60/width/640/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

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Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith.

Big Questions:

What has changed the most in youth ministry over the last decade?

What’s the #1 Reason this generation walks away from their faith?

What is needed to bridge that gap between the youth and the church?

How should the church approach doubt in ministering to students?

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Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational…
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Almost half of all young people drift away from God and the church after they graduate.
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It’s not doubt that is toxic, but unexpressed or unexplored doubt that is toxic.
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On purpose, raise tough questions about what’s happening in our world.
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A La Carte (August 19)

There are once again some good Kindle deals to be had: The Pastor’s Family and The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft ($3.99 each); The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity by Alex McFarland ($1.99); Compelled by Ed Stetzer & Philip Nation ($2.99); Colossians & Philemon by Murray Harris ($0.99); Enthroned on Our Praise by Timothy Pierce ($0.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George ($2.99).

Little Screens and Corporate Worship

I’m not sure I agree with everything H.B. Charles Jr says here about corporate worship and digital devices, but I do think his article is worth reading and considering.

When Is Divorce a Sin?

Christianity Today interprets a recent study on Christian views of divorce. As is so often the case, it seems to me that the questions are too broad to be very helpful. Is divorce sinful when spousal abuse has occurred. How could people answer confidently without knowing other details like the kind of abuse and the extent of the abuse? Still, it’s worth looking at.

Credo Magazine

A new issue of Credo magazine is ready for free download or online reading. This issue “brings together some outstanding contributors to teach both parents and those in ministry alike how to better approach children so that they know God in a saving way.”

This Day in 1662: Blaise Pascal died at the age of 39. A French scientist by trade, he is remembered today primarily for his Pensées, an apologetic for Christianity. *

The Divisive Person

Jared Wilson on the true nature of division: “It isn’t those who believe the Bible when it says sin is sin that are being divisive; it is those who are introducing the idea that some sins aren’t.”

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

Sinclair Feruguson offers guidance on properly exercising Christian liberty.

When You Get the Raw End of the Deal

It happens to all of us at one time or another, doesn’t it? “You’ve been mistreated. Gotten the raw end of the deal. Unjustly overlooked in a promotion. Spent many hours trying to help someone only to be rejected…”


When life begins

http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2015/08/arthur-caplans-reckless-charge-of.html

Humans and persons

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The Daily Discovery (August 19, 2015)

There Is No Better Life – “The old catechism says it well: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. You and I exist for God’s glory. In fact, all things exist for God’s glory. We get that. But how? How do we glorify God? I want to list 4 simple ways that you can glorify God today and every day.”

Ten Things to Remember as the Presidential Campaign Season Gets Into Full Swing – “I’m not telling you whom to vote for. I’m not predicting who will win their party’s nomination. I’m not giving you a primer on which issues to consider as you vote in a caucus or primary (several months from now) or as you vote (over a year from now) in the presidential election. Before you think through any of that, keep these ten things in mind.”

Trigger Warning! The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health – “Before you read this article, be warned! You may come across something you disagree with, or an idea that makes you uncomfortable, or a statement that causes offense. Please shut off your mobile device or close your browser, and back away slowly from your computer.  I’m kidding, of course. But only a little.”

8 Reasons Why We Should Want to Change – “Am I wrong to want more than justification? Am I wrong to want more than forgiveness of sins? Am I wrong to want more than deliverance from hell and the guarantee of heaven? Am I wrong to want more than adoption?  Because I do.”

5 Prerequisites for Success in College – “One of the hardest things about working with college students is growing in friendship with them over a summer only to watch them leave for school come August.  After unsuccessfully trying to convince them to stick around and attend the local college, the only thing left to do is to do my best to equip them to be able to thrive while they are away. So here are five prerequisites to have success in college.”


SERMON:

logo-contSermon

Nate Pickowicz – “Our Hope in Christ’s Return” (John 14:1-3)


VIDEOS:

Marrio Esco – Spiritually Dead

Sye, a Fool, and the God of Miracles (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED)


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (August 19, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure?

 By Jan Markell Olive Tree Ministries I am cautious about “pinning the tail” on the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  We cannot know ahead of time who these personalities are; however, Pope Francis comes close to “filling the bill” on the False Prophet. Or he may be but a “type” of that man just like […]

False Prophet Pat Robertson says he’s not psychic, God speaks directly to him.

Famous CBN televangelist and false prophet, Pat Robertson, was questioned on his show by a viewer via email asking where he gets his information during the show when he performs healings. The viewer asked:

I have started watching the 700 Club recently. At the end of the program, you call out people who are sick and need healing. How do you know about these people? I would call this a psychic ability of sorts. Are these real healings? I just want to know how you pick these people. Have they sent prayer requests, or are you going with what you’re told inside from our Lord? – EMMA

Now, perhaps this viewer is relatively new to the faith, or isn’t a believer at all. Regardless, she rightly questions Robertson’s ability to communicate directly with God.

Robertson then goes on to support his practice of divination by proclaiming that 1 Cor. 12 teaches that the Holy Spirit will “give us a word of knowledge,” in which God tells him who to perform healings on during his show. He claims that his practice has nothing to do with psychic abilities, but as with all false prophets, two way communication with God outside of Scripture is essential, and central to their practice. Since their prophecies are purposely vague and ambiguous, they become difficult to verify and or disprove in some cases, and in most cases, creates confusion and causes divisions.

God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. – 1 John 4:1-6

 


SEE IT: Iranian Animated Video Showing An Islamic Invasion of Jerusalem In Israel

The animated video, produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, depicts soldiers preparing for battle. One dons the IRGC insignia on his left arm, another the emblem of the Iran-backed Iraqi Shia Badr Organization.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Luke 21:20 (KJV)

Yet a third dons a headband bearing the Lebanese Hezbollah logo, and a fourth is seen clad in Hamas’ characteristic balaclava and the Qassam Brigades green headband. Each brandishes a weapon, a helmet and a keffiyeh. They are shown poised on a hill overlooking the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, prepared for battle.

The clip then transitions to a black screen with Persian script that says “Israel must be obliterated,” or literally, “erased from the annals of history,” a command first issued by Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini and famously repeated by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as leaders of Iran’s proxies such as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The video continues, “and the youth will definitely see that day when it comes.” The soldiers are then seen marching to battle towards Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Old City. Their depiction isn’t exactly as the Bible has foretold it, but it’s fairly close. The one big missing player is Turkey.

 

We here at NTEB have been telling you for years now about the coming invasion of Jerusalem as prophesied in the Bible. The Bible says it will happen in the days after the Rapture of the Church, during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Listen to what the Spirit has to say about it:

“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:3-7 (KJV)

In the New Testament, Jesus explains the same thing to His disciples in Matthew 24:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:15-22 (KJV)

The day is coming when Israel will indeed be surrounded by Russia, Iran, Turkey, Germany and all the others mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The powers of darkness will indeed rise and fulfill prophecy. Jews will be driven out of the Israel and they will flee to the Red Rock City of Selah, Petra.

But the victory will come when the Lord Jesus Christ returns on horseback with His Army, the Church to save His people the Jews. Revelation 19 describes it this way:

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16 (KJV)

Until then, however, things will only get worse. Much, much worse.



Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, August 19, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

John Kasich Says He Doesn’t Read the Bible to Figure out His Policy Decisions

Imprisoned Iranian-American Pastor Suffers Prison Cell Raid by Guards

Story Behind Hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ Being Told on Broadway

John Oliver Unmasks the Corruption of the Prosperity Gospel

Congress Investigates Obama Admin’s Connection to Planned Parenthood Scandal

Sudanese Christian Woman Sentenced to 20 Lashes for ‘Indecent Dress’

Church Leaders Discuss Tighter Security Measures for Churches after Charleston Shooting

Utah Governor Orders State Agencies to Stop Disbursing Federal Funds to Planned Parenthood

Atheist Group Backs Couple Who Were Forced to Marry by Texas Judge

Husband of Anne Graham Lotz Nearly Drowns in Swimming Pool

Opinion

Trigger Warning! The Bible May Disturb Your Emotional Health

Sexual Revolution Versus the Gospel

Does Ben Carson Have a Blind Spot on Fetal Tissue?

Archaeological Find: A Testament to God’s Work Throughout History

Three Reasons We Need ‘Shade Balls’ for Our Souls


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?


CanIKnowGod.com

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?

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


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

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