Teaching Our Children the Raw Parts of Scripture
In fact, the central message of the Bible is the most raw–namely, the murder of the Son of God, who was torturously beaten, scourged and nailed to a tree by men in order to bleed to death for the raw sins of His people. Surely, we are to teach our children that raw truth from their earliest days! As we consider this extremely difficult (and widely debated) subject, here are three reasons to teach your kids about the depravity of men as it is revealed in Scripture:
Life is Short. Don’t Have an Affair.
“On Tuesday, a list of adulterers was laid bare for all to see. We know no one expected this to happen. That’s why they used a site that promised anonymity for their adultery. They assumed, like we all do, that lies can be hidden. We all do this don’t we? We think no one will know about that little lie we told.”
Wilberforce Didn’t Quit. Neither Will We
“The whole deal with a Wilberforce moment, as my friend Josh called it, is it’s not a one-and-done event. One can only imagine how many sleepless nights Wilberforce endured during those 46 years; how each defeat led to new renewed vigor because the cause was just. Wilberforce didn’t quit, and neither will we.”
7 Signs You Were Raised as an Evangelical in the Last 25 Years
“There’s a lot to love about evangelicals — especially when you think about the many ways evangelicals demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to the oftentimes thankless world around them. But sometimes, one of the most humble things we can do is have a laugh at ourselves.”
Presbytery Finally Pays Church The Sanctions Imposed On It By Civil Court
“The church had been in the process of selling its property to its contiguous neighbor, The Stuart Hall School for Boys, when the presbytery tried to block the sale by asserting that the denomination – not the church – owned the property. The court ruled in favor of the local church, as did the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal.”
12 Reasons We Don’t Change
“We chronically underestimate the time it takes to get anything done AND we believe that time is open-ended and sufficiently spacious for us to get to all our self-improvement goals eventually.”
One Year Later
I still have many regrets. Many. Regrets over the things I have done and the people I have hurt. These regrets are not only over those things directly related to my ministry-disqualifying sin, but over a whole host of other things – things that my exposure in this area brought to light in other areas. At the same time, I am beyond grateful for God’s grace toward me, and I celebrate Jesus’ willingness, in full view of my ugliness, not to be ashamed to call me his friend.
4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty
“You do not need to exercise your liberty in order to enjoy it. Indeed, Paul elsewhere asks some very penetrating questions of those who insist on exercising their liberty whatever the circumstances: Does this really build up others? Is this really liberating you — or has it actually begun to enslave you?”
5 Myths and Truths in Loneliness
Aloneness isn’t just important to our triune God; it’s central to his design for our dealings with each other and with him. Nor is loneliness simply a result of personal choices or the world’s groaning under sin. Before the fall in Genesis 3, God proclaims, “It is not good for man to be alone” even as he evaluates his sin-free world.
So you think you can preach?
Farce or F’real? Either way, here’s five minutes you’ll never get back: Many Christians have dreams of becoming the next T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long, Joel Osteen, or Joyce Meyer. – Bishop Brian Cashma, the pastor at Holiness Church of Jesus Christ in the Apostles Doctrine in Detroit. Okay, Bishop, […]
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“I’m a Christ Follower, Not A Christian” gong still rings
The old “I’m a Christ Follower, Not A Christian” gong seems to be ringing once again. Thanks to the Spiritual Formation movement, Christian or Christ-follower is a distinction that is being made more and more today, and it claims to make a clear divide between those who truly follow Jesus and those the well-meaning Christ […]
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Africa to go Purpose Driven this year?
A year ago I reported a plan by Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren to change the world, or at least a continent: Africa. He started by inviting key pastors for what he calls an All-Africa Purpose Driven Church Leadership Conference.” It’s the next step in his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. “Let’s take the whole gospel to the […]
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Why Progressives Are Wrong to Revere Margaret Sanger
(The Daily Signal – by Paul Kengor) Margaret Sanger is a saint in the feminist church. She is a charter member of the progressive hall of fame. Liberals revere this woman who preached “race improvement” and denounced what she called “human weeds”. Hillary Clinton glows that she is “in awe of” Sanger. She said so […]
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Three Kinds of Christians
Townhall columnist Mike S. Adams is a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina Wilmington, author, speaker and conservative. In the sardonic and blunt style he is known for, Mike offers three distinct categories of Christians. Recently, an angry LGBT activist (please pardon the redundancy) told me “not all Christians are alike.” He was […]
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24 Questions for Jack Phillips, the Baker Who Gave Up Wedding Cakes for God
(The Daily Signal, by Ken McIntyre) Jack Phillips knows he can’t do anything about those who call him a hater. He says he just loves to get up each day to design and make cakes, cookies and brownies to honor God—and to make a living. This year, however, Phillips faces a loss of $100,000 or more […]
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Rev. Graham: “The God of Islam is Not the One True God of the Bible”
(CNS News) In reaction to news reports that 26-year-old Kayla Mueller was regularly raped by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before being killed, and that Islamists believe the Quran gives them permission to rape and that it pleases God, Christian evangelist Franklin Graham said “the god of Islam is not the one true God of […]
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Genetic research scientist: likely some aborted babies are “alive until their hearts are cut out”
(Breitbart News–by Dr. Susan Barry) 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 […]
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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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by David Roach
GREENVILLE, S.C. (BP) — The South Carolina Baptist Convention has asked a Greenville church to either reverse its decision to open marriage ceremonies, church membership and ordination to homosexuals or withdraw from the state convention.
First Baptist Church, whose pastor in 1845 was elected the Southern Baptist Convention’s first president, voted to cease cooperation with the SBC in 1999, according to the church’s website. But South Carolina’s Baptist Courier newsjournal reported First Baptist still cooperates with the state convention but not with the local Greenville Baptist Association. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is listed among the church’s “affiliations” on its website.
Read the entire article here.
No act is more basic to the Christian life, to Christian worship, to piety, and to growth and yet prayer is also uniquely and strangely difficult.
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by R. Albert Mohler Jr.
The historic First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina, announced in May that it would declare itself be “open and welcoming” to all people and that it would allow same-sex marriage and ordain openly homosexual ministers.
The move came after the church had undergone a “discernment” process under the leadership of a “LGBT Discernment Team.” That team brought a report to the church’s deacons, who then forwarded it to the congregation. The church then approved the statement by standing vote.
Read the entire article here.
Those of you who follow the teaching of Pastor James MacDonald should read this piece by Glenn E. Chatfield. What he has to say about MacDonald will change your mind about him. For one thing, he promotes wolves. More… I’ve never been one for listening to the radio, mostly because we often only get it […]
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On Stand Up For the Truth we cover a lot of issues and challenges facing us as Christians. But perhaps the greatest challenge we face in the world today is sharing the gospel of salvation and hope with those who are on a path to eternal destruction. In Luke 19:10 Jesus states that he came […]
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This could be the ultimate in convenience, or a privacy nightmare.
Imagine the convenience. No need to carry keys or credit cards; your car can recognize you by the special identification number carried in the chip. Terminals for chipped credit cards like they have in Canada and Europe let you tap directly from bank account to store. No more entering passwords for your computer or phone.
A new YouTube clip shows Iranian troops conquering Jerusalem.
Talk about video games.
It’s an animated piece, with combined forces from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hamas, Iraq’s Badr group, and Hezbollah combining to take the city from the Israelis. It is a scenario that is plausible to too many across the globe, including pro Israel individuals and groups, and allies.
But it isn’t biblical.
The reason we so passionately sound alarms and alert homosexuals, abortionists, pornographers, liars, thieves, murderers and others who are living outside of God’s brilliant plan for their lives is simple—we are broken over the fact that they will be tormented non-stop, forever with no relief in hell.
By David Dolan
Is any of this connected to the Jewish Shemitah year of rest that will end next month at sunset on September 13? I suspect that all of it is. If the financial, social and political eruptions that poisoned the worldwide atmosphere at the end of the two previous Shemitah years in September 2001 and 2008 are any indication, we are in for some very rough days ahead.
I mentioned in a previous posting that I was planning to sell some stocks I inherited from my late parents before the end of the current Shemitah year.
Fall is quickly approaching, and by now, if you have a child or grandchild who is going to attend Christian college this year, he or she is most likely enrolled and ready to go. As Lighthouse Trails has reported over the last several years, the majority of evangelical/Protestant colleges, seminaries, and universities are now, to varying degrees, integrating contemplative spirituality and emerging ideologies into the lives of their students. With this in mind, we believe you should consider doing the following nine things so that you and your child can know what to expect in that school and how to deal with it:
Several weeks ago, not knowing that Danny would soon step into eternity, I had a burden on my heart to once again pray for Jerusalem. I had decided to issue a Recall to Pray on September 1st, similar to the urgent call for prayer I had issued last September.
I know that this article is going to upset many people who have come to love Jesus Calling. My job as a Christian writer is to speak truth. I have no control over the readers’ reaction, but I must speak truth; and hopefully I will reach some Christians with this truth. I pray that this piece will help many to see that Jesus Calling is not a book that Jesus would have them read.
by Pastor Brian Chilton
When asked to identify the greatest commandment in all of the Law, Jesus answered the inquiry by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (Matthew 22:37-38). It seems that one aspect of this commandment has eluded the modern church. Yes, the church notes the great need to love the Lord with the heart, that is the will and emotions. The modern American church also focuses on the love that one must hold for God with one’s soul, that is, one’s conscious being (life). However, the third aspect of the great commandment seems to have escaped the modern American church. The Christian is also commanded to love the Lord with his or her mind. Extreme fideism (believing that the Christian life is only about faith without reason) has led the church into a state known as anti-intellectualism. Anti-intellectualism is defined as the state of “opposing or [being] hostile to intellectuals or to an intellectual view or approach” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). In this case, the intellectual approach is the intellectual approach to the Christian faith. Anti-intellectualism not only hinders one from keeping the great commandment, but such an attitude is also damaging to the church. This article will present eight ways that anti-intellectualism harms the church.
1. Anti-intellectualism harms the church theologically.
By theologically, I simply indicate how the church views God. Dr. Daniel Mitchell, one of my theology professors from Liberty University, once said, “The more you study God, the bigger God becomes.” His statement proved true. So often, anti-intellectuals limit their scope of God. Because anti-intellectuals fail to examine, research, and contemplate, they miss out on the vast nature of God. While the Christian may understand the basic fundamentals of God’s omniscience and omnipotence, one who allows oneself to contemplate and study these attributes of God will be left in great awe of the greatness of God Almighty. We love God with our minds when we study God. “Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11).
2. Anti-intellectualism harms the church doctrinally.
By doctrinally, I simply indicate how the church views God’s interactions with humanity. How does the church view salvation? How does the church view humanity? The modern church has allowed pop culture to dictate these issues according to social fads and the like. The anti-intellectual will relish in having loads of moving music, will jump with excitement with the latest form of entertainment, but will be left with no basis for examining whether such songs and activities fit within the parameters of orthodoxy. So often, modern Christians leave their churches feeling great excitement, yet are left without any solid foundation for knowing what the church stands for and why it stands for certain things. Issues of salvation have become universalized, issues of eternity have been compromised, and issues concerning humanity have been radicalized because many modern Christians fail to love the Lord with their minds…
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>
8 Ways that Anti-Intellectualism is Harming the Church | Pastor Brian Chilton
Shadow to Light
Steve Greene wrote a web article entitled, How to validate atheism in one easy step, and gives us the most common defense of atheism that is out there:
So this is how you validate atheism in one easy step: Ask the god-believer to produce actual, credible, real world evidence of this god. He will never do it. He will always engage in word games employed to try to conjure up his god – while never even attempting to produce actual, relevant, empirical evidence of any god. He will talk about everything else under the sun, engage in rhetorical trickery, misdirection (red herring), misrepresentation (i.e., straw man criticism of atheism), all based on denying obvious facts about reality (like the problematic nature of “eyewitness testimony,” and the subjective nature of subjective beliefs about imaginary things making you feel good), while never getting around to producing any actual evidence of any god – oh, and then, a lot of times you even get the religious apologist who specifically employs some sort of “Divine Hiddenness” argument to try to pretend that his god arranged things deliberately that we would not have any actual evidence of its existence because religious faith (i.e., believing in the god based on faith, not evidence) is a virtue, believing without evidence is a virtue, and doubt (i.e., critical thinking and being skeptical about bogus claims that don’t have good evidence to back them up) is the influence of Satan or some other evil spirit.
Once again, we see how atheism is built on the Demand For Evidence. But we also know that such a demand is more of a rhetorical trick than a sincere expression of intellectual curiosity.
First of all, Greene is working with a shallow, superficial understanding of evidence. He seems to think that if certain data were indeed evidence for X, then these data would be universally perceived and acknowledged as evidence for X. But that is not how evidence works. Evidence is not objective reality that is detected by the senses; evidence is perceived by the mind. The mind converts data from objective reality into the subjective perception of evidence. Because the perception of evidence depends on interpretation from the mind, evidence itself is something that has a distinct subjective element to it. In fact, it would not be too far from the truth to note that evidence is in the eye of the beholder. So the fact that Greene is not convinced by “evidence” from religious people (appeals to eyewitness testimony, appeals to personal experience, and variants of the fine-tuning argument) means only that Greene finds such evidence to be unconvincing. But since the world does not revolve around Greene, the failure to convince him does not mean the evidence does not exist.
What Greene is doing to “validate” atheism is simply trying to posture and set the stage so he can act as Judge and Jury…
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>
How to Defeat Modern Day Atheism With Three Easy Questions | Shadow To Light
Fellowship not with darkness (unless you’re in Alcoholics Anonymous, and then it’s okay…?)
John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire reminds us that A.A. believes that “it does not matter whom or what is your god. ‘God’ could be a rutabaga. Could be St. Jerome. An A.A. friend of mine informed me recently his higher power is love.” Lanagan writes:
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Ephesians 5:11)
“Believers should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, either by participation or by any attitude that might indicate tolerance or leniency.” — From Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, pg. 1943 (bold emphasis MacDonald’s)
Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The Lord declares that He alone is God. Alcoholics Anonymous, on the other hand, asserts it does not matter whom or what is your god. “God” could be a rutabaga. Could be St. Jerome. An A.A. friend of mine informed me recently his higher power is love.
Planned Parenthood Buyer Wants “Another 50 Livers/Week”
The following is from Berean Research. View the video there.
This is a new video just published this morning from the folks at The Center for Medical Progress. Yes, it’s awful, but please do not become numb. I share these not for those of you who already know it’s sheer evil.
I post these in the hopes that those of you Christians who lean Left, who think that abortion should be safe, rare and legal, who think that murder is okay in some circumstances, will wake up and see the folly of your thinking.
We live in increasingly scary times, but we need not be fearful of anything or anyone.
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)
In just a few days it will be September, a month where over a dozen things potentially related to Bible prophecy will take place. Currently, the stock market in on a wild, roller coaster ride and preppers are kicking into overdrive. ISIS grows ever more evil, and Obama is about to hand Iran all the ingredients needed to successfully build nuclear missiles. To say that we are living in wild times is an understatement to say the least. These are the end times, leaping off the pages of Scripture.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1 (KJV)
Nearly every day people ask me if I think it’s a good idea to stockpile food and water, or to take money out of the bank, or to move to a “safe location” (wherever that may be). People are afraid, and that fear increases every day both in strength and intensity. They want answers, they want solutions, they want to know that they will be safe. So what do I tell them? I tell them this.
We should be aware of our surroundings and the events taking place in our world. NTEB reports on stories related to the end times 3-5 times per day every day since 2009. Sometimes our stories are hard to read due to the intense nature of what we write about. But the overarching theme of everything we do here is to point people to Jesus Christ. He is our hiding place, our hope, our redeemer, our rescuer, our Saviour, and our friend. Nearly every one of the apostles died at the executioner’s hand, they endured hard persecution for their faith in the Lord. They had no easy ride just because they knew Him face to face, and neither do we.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21 (KJV)
If you are unsaved, you need to get saved, plain and simple. Nothing this world can do to you will come close to matching the tortures of eternal Hell. So get saved while the offer is still extended. If you are saved but not serving the Lord, why not? While it’s true that you can never lose your salvation, you can lose your rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What concerns you more, stockpiling food and water or witnessing to the lost to see them get saved? If God tells you to stockpile supplies then by all means do it, but can you give me a verse for it? Last time I checked this was still our doctrine:
“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (KJV)
Are you “willing to be absent from your body” so you can be with the Lord? Remember when churches used to sing “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through…”? We need to get back to that type of Biblical thinking, I fear we have forgotten that we are only supposed to be “strangers and pilgrims” in this world. Not scared, little prepping hoarders living in safe houses as the world goes to Hell all around us. If you want to prep for something, start prepping for Heaven and do the work He has called you to do.
We live in increasingly scary times, but we need not be fearful of anything or anyone. We serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and we are eternally sealed unto the day of redemption. We are called to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. So stop living in fear, and start boldly sharing your faith in Jesus Christ while an open door remains. Order a box of NTEB Gospel Tracts and go hand them out on the street.
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past. And only what’s done for Christ will last”. Can I get an amen?
By Roger Oakland Understand the Times, International Recently, I was contacted by a friend and colleague who also has a discernment ministry. He was surveying other discernment ministries in order to come up with a list of the top ten subtle ways the body of Christ is presently being led astray. As I was busy […]
A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga by Caryl Matrisciana is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or […]
The Kansas City Star reported this week that…
Franklin Graham earns $622,000 as the head of Samaritan’s Purse and $258,000 as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a recent newspaper story revealed. … Franklin Graham’s annual compensation of $880,000, revealed in a Charlotte Observer story, has some worrying that too many top Christian nonprofit leaders as well as pastors are seeing themselves as CEOs instead of as God’s servants. Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, is head of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency based in Boone, N.C.
CEOs at the top 50 U.S. charities, including Samaritan’s Purse, earn in the $350,000 to $450,000 range, which makes Graham’s $622,000 salary from his aid organization alone about 40 percent to 50 percent higher than average, according to a Forbes story. He receives the rest of his $258,000 compensation as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
By contrast, pastor salaries at the nation’s biggest Christian churches are much lower for all but a select number. Only 3 percent of churches with more than 1,600 people in attendance pay senior pastors more than $300,000, said Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network. At the other extreme, a recent study by the National Association of Church Business Administration found that the average American pastor with a congregation of 300 people earns a salary of less than $28,000 a year.
In a 2011 comparison of megachurch pastors’ salaries, two senior pastors made $1 million and $1.1 million. Others were a fourth to less than half of that. Compensation in the mid- to high six figures “is on the generous side for anyone who is asking for other people’s money,” the professor emeritus [Grant Wacker] at Duke Divinity school said a bit wryly. “It’s eyebrow-raising.”
Mainstream evangelicals generally expect money they give to be used frugally, Wacker said. Big salaries come with questions.
Go to the link to read the full story.
First, let’s look at what the Bible says about rich people:
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
Why is it so hard for a rich person to enter heaven? What is the meaning of this verse? The short answer is that fleshly man tends to make Mammon his god. Here is Gill with a more lengthy answer.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
And again I say unto you,…. After the apostles had discovered their astonishment at the above expression, about the difficulty of a rich man entering into the kingdom of heaven; when they expected that, in a short time, all the rich and great men of the nation would espouse the interest of the Messiah, and acknowledge him as a temporal king, and add to the grandeur of his state and kingdom; and after he had in a mild and gentle manner, calling them “children”, explained himself of such, that trusted in uncertain riches, served mammon, made these their gods, and placed their hope and happiness in them; in order to strengthen and confirm what he had before asserted, and to assure, in the strongest manner, the very great difficulty, and seeming impossibility, of rich men becoming followers of Christ here, or companions with him hereafter, he expresses himself in this proverbial way:
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God: thus, when the Jews would express anything that was rare and unusual, difficult and impossible, they used a like saying with this.
So, is it bad to be rich?
No, several standout people in the Bible were exceedingly wealthy, all at the grace and providential plan of God. God told Abram in Genesis 17:6 that He planned to make Abraham exceedingly fruitful and nations and kings would come from him. Solomon was the richest king that ever lived (2 Chronicles 1:11-12). Job was wealthy, twice. Joseph of Arimathea was rich. We can assume Lydia was rich, she was a seller of purple, a luxury item only the very wealthy traded in, and she had a large house and servants. So no, being rich isn’t the issue. The LOVE of wealth is. (1 Tim 6:10).
So what kind of salary should pastors receive?
Well Graham’s salary compared to other pastors is a bit of apples to oranges. He doesn’t serve one flock within 4 walls of a particular church. He is more of a CEO of two corporations, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Samaritan’s Purse. The BGEA puts on revival crusades (or Festivals, as Franklin prefers to call them) for the alleged purpose of gaining converts. Samaritan’s Purse is a missionary/aid organization. For example, when the terrible 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal and Mt Everest bounced and caused a landslide that killed many mountaineers, 9000 civilians, as well as terrible damage to Kathmandu, Samaritan’s Purse was on scene almost immediately.
However, in comparing even secular CEO salaries of Christian Graham’s, nearly a million dollars is exorbitant. As a matter of fact, he was called out for his excessive BGEA salary in 2010, so he stopped drawing one. That lasted a year. In 2011 he began drawing a salary again.
Christians are to be wise stewards of the money and resources God gives us. So when you take it all in, it doesn’t look good. If Graham’s BGEA salary was an issue and he made a public display of renouncing it, why did he quietly begin drawing it again less than a year later? Why are both salaries combined so much higher than similar secular counterparts?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
There is one more thing to keep in mind regarding pastor salaries. As I said above, being wealthy is not in itself an indictment. It’s a person’s motivation for getting all this money. Do they shepherd their God-given finances wisely? Or do they simply accumulate for the sake of personal gain?
Finally, false teachers have a simple motivation: money. They “suppose that godliness” (1 Timothy 6:5, used sarcastically of their false piety) will bring them such gain. Unlike Paul, they cannot say, “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes” (Acts 20:33). Put simply, they are not “free from the love of money” (1 Timothy 3:3). ~MacArthur “The Pathology of False Teachers“.
Franklin Graham is a false teacher. He is not Christian. Read this and see of you still think he is after you’re done. In His crusades, most recently last year’s Pittsburgh Three Rivers Festival, Graham proposed a “new evangelization” that included Catholics, located his venue deliberately next to a Catholic church so that seekers could be counseled there, and invited the city’s Catholic Bishop to perform the opening prayer on the stage. If a person has the Holy Spirit in them, they understand that Catholics need evangelizing because they are lost, not partnering with them as if they were Christians.
Here is the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh on the July 2014 Three Rivers BGEA Festival–
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association doesn’t steer converts into or out of any particular Christian tradition, but reconnects them with one to which they have a tie. Those who identify themselves as Catholic will be referred to a Catholic parish for follow-up.
Sadly, when one puts together the fruit one sees from Graham, fruit that is actually thorns in the form of making no distinction between Christian and Catholic, brambles that include exorbitant salaries, and weeds that for a show make a renunciation of a salary only to take it up again a year later…one sees that falsity is the watchword. One can only hope that some one’s prayers for Franklin Graham will be part of God’s process of converting Franklin’s hard heart of stone into one of soft love for the true Jesus Christ.
Otherwise, Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
READING: Lamentations 1:1-3:36
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: We sing the song, but I’m not so sure we understand the depth of the words. “Great is thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see . . . .” Our sanctuaries echo with the lyrics, but I’m unconvinced that our hearts resound with the truths.
These words in Lamentations form the apex of the book, the crescendo of poems in the heart of the book. These words are almost surprising, coming at the end of stanzas filled with verses lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians in 587 B.C. Jerusalem had sinned grievously against God (Lam. 1:8), and the Lord’s anger resounded against them. In fact, His anger and judgment are mentioned dozens of times in the first ten verses of Lamentations 2.
It’s then that we are almost surprised by the turn in Lamentations 3:
Lam. 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
God is faithful to His people, even when they have not been faithful to Him. His love is constant — indeed, He judges because He loves — and His mercies have no end. Every day is a new opportunity to love Him, serve Him, and to live in His grace. Like God’s giving manna to His people on a daily basis, He extends His faithful, steadfast love to us every day.
He is the gracious God of new beginnings, the loyal Creator who shows compassion to repentant rebels. Every day He grants us mercy. Surely we cannot just sing the words, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” as if they were simply a song. They are a testimony to the grace of our God — the God who calls us back to Him this morning.
PRAYER: “God, what can I say except, ‘Thank You’? Thank You for today’s mercies. Thank You for Your undying love. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank you, Lord.”
The importance of repentance is hard to overstate. After all, Jesus’s first public exhortation was “Repent!” (Mark 1:15)—and if it was that high on Jesus’s list, we probably should pay attention too.
But how do we repent well? Psalm 32 is a wonderful place to explore the nature and process of deep repentance. Here are five vital steps.
1. Be honest about your need for repentance.
How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! (v. 2)
Repentance requires honesty. No one comes to God with true repentance in their heart unless they’ve first acknowledged their need for forgiveness and reconciliation with him. Only those who have ceased trying to cover up their sin with self-righteousness and deceit can experience the deep and lasting change that comes only through repentance.
2. Acknowledge the danger of sin and damage of guilt.
When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. (vv. 3–4)
Let’s face it: you are seeking repentance because God’s Spirit has convicted you. We often blame others for our stress and general moodiness, but many times we simply feel bad because we’ve done bad things. David describes physical and emotional symptoms associated with a guilty conscience. We must honestly assess the consequences of our sin, which means assessing both personal consequences and the impact it has had—and will continue to have—on others.
3. Confess fully.
I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” (v. 5a)
Deep repentance demands full confession. Though it seems counterintuitive, the only way to be truly covered by Christ is to fully expose your sin. In the process of repentance, we must fight to be utterly transparent before God about the depth and breadth of our sin. Only ruthless honesty will suffice—and lead to freedom and joy.
4. Hide in God.
You took away the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you at a time when you may be found. When the great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. (vv. 5b–7)
Adam and Eve hid behind inadequate, self-made coverings to mask their sin and shame. We too often hide behind self-made righteousness in order to make ourselves appear more acceptable than we really are. If you want to change, to really change—which, by the way, is the mark of true repentance—then you must hide in God alone.
It’s not enough just to repent of overt sins. It’s not enough to say, “I admit to my wrong behaviors.” All kinds of people repent that way, especially religious people with an image to maintain.
A Christian doesn’t just repent of their outward sins, but also of their attempts to hide behind shoddy self-made righteousness. Stop hiding in your effort. Hide in God.
5. Seize the hope.
Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the LORD will have faithful love surrounding him. (v. 11)
How can you be sure God will forgive you? His unfailing love. Recall and find assurance in the great promises he has made throughout history, and how they have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ:
- His promise to Adam and Eve to crush the enemy
- His promise to Abraham to claim and protect a people
- His promise to Moses to provide a way for sinful humans to meaningfully relate to a holy God
- His promise to David to provide a once-and-for-all eternal King for his people
All throughout history—right on up to the moment when you’re repenting—God has been saying, and continues to say, “I love you. I will not fail you. I am enough.”
Look to the promises of God, seize the hope, and “be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11).
In their book Church Refugees, Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope sketch four reasons why some active Christians become the Dones: They wanted community.. .and got judgment. They wanted to affect the life of the church.. .and got bureaucracy. They wanted conversation.. .and got doctrine. They wanted meaningful engagement with the world… and got moral prescription. Their [Read More…]
Due to a variety of current events, the name of Margaret Sanger has repeatedly surfaced in the news the past few weeks. The focus on Planned Parenthood because of a series of investigative videos has brought renewed attention to the organization’s notorious founder. Presidential candidate Ben Carson has encouraged people to “go and read about Margaret Sanger and go and read about the beginnings of this organization so that you know what you’re dealing with.” Several journalists have been criticized for accepting the “Maggie” awards for their pro-abortion coverage. And a group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit. Who was Margaret Sanger? Here are nine things you should know about one of the 20th century’s most controversial figures:
1. In 1916, Sanger opened the world’s first birth control clinic in New York City. Nine days later Sanger was thrown in jail and the clinic shutdown for violating the Comstock obscenity laws, which included a prohibition against literature describing contraceptive methods.
2. At the First American Birth Control Conference in 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League (ABCL). In 1942 the ABCL changed its name to 1942 Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 1952 in Bombay, India at the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) was founded. Sanger served as president of the IPPF from 1952 to 1959. (She died in 1966.)
3. Sanger was leading advocate of the eugenics movement, specifically of negative eugenics, which promoted the reduction of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with undesired traits or economic conditions. Her views on eugenics were shaped at an early age by her experience in a large family. The sixth of eleven children, she noticed as a child that the wealthy families had small families while the poor had large families. In her autobiography, My Fight for Birth Control, she wrote, “I associated poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, quarreling, fighting, debts, jails with large families.”
4. Sanger believed the use of birth control was necessary, as Jyotsna Sreenivasan explains, not only for the individual woman’s well-being but also for the economy as a whole. In her 1931 pamphlet “Family Limitation” Sanger wrote, “The working woman can use direct action by refusing to supply the market with children to be exploited, by refusing to populate the earth with slaves. . . . Pass on this information to your neighbor and comrade workers.” Sanger arranged for this pamphlet to be distributed widely though a Socialist labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World.
5. In Woman and the New Race, Sanger included a chapter to answer the question, “When Should a Woman Avoid Having Children?” Included in her list are the admonition that “No more children should be born when the parents, though healthy themselves, find that their children are physically or mentally defective” and “By all means there should be no children when either mother or father suffers from such diseases as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, cancer, epilepsy, insanity, drunkenness and mental disorders.”
6. On a radio show, Sanger is reported to have said that “morons, mental defectives, epileptics, illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and dope fiends” ought to be surgically sterilized. If they wish, she said, such people should also be able to choose a lifelong segregated existence in labor camps.
7. Sanger’s motivations about racial genocide are frequently exaggerated, misunderstood, or misconstrued. There is no doubt that Sanger believed in the supremacy of the white race and the inferiority of other racial groups (for instance, she once wrote, “It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.”). But Sanger appears to have been driven more by her views on eugenics to reduce “undesirables” than by a motivation to eliminate specific racial groups. In other words, Sanger was obsessed with preventing the birth of people with physical and mental illnesses or who were economically disadvantaged, regardless of their race. Despite being a white supremacist, Sanger preferred intelligent, middle class African-Americans to illiterate, low class whites. (This is not to deny, however, that Sanger’s views were implicitly—and sometimes explicitly racist—or that the effect of her ideas and organizations did not lead to the destruction of black communities. It is merely to say that it doesn’t appear racial superiority was her primary motivation for advocating sterilization and birth control.)
8. In 1939, Sanger, through the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA), helped to initiate the Negro Project. Unlike many of her associates, she wanted the doctors involved in the project to be black in order to gain the trust of the African-American community. One infamous Sanger quote—and one frequently taken out-of-context—in regards to the project is,
The ministers work is also important and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Some people read this as implying that Sanger is trying to employ ministers in an effort to hide her true motives—racial genocide. More likely, she feared that if the belief were to spread that the goal of the Negro Project was to “exterminate the Negro population” it would hinder her true eugenic objective: the extermination of the subset of the black population that she considered “degenerate.” In this objective she was joined in the Negro project by many African-American leaders. For example, in 1939 W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in Sanger’s Birth Control Review, “the mass of ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among Whites, is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly. . . [the black race] must learn that among human races and groups, as among vegetables, quality and not mere quantity really counts.”
9. Sanger remained committed to her eugenics views until her death. In a 1957 interview, Mike Wallace asked Sanger if she believed in sin. The video below shows how she answered:
“10 Ways Satan Loves to See Marriages Fail” by guest blogger and pastor Deepak Reju prompted 150-plus comments at Biblical Counseling Coalition, where is first appeared. Reprinted here at Biblical Counseling Center with permission.
According the Bible, Satan prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), but many times, he probably doesn’t have to do that much. I wonder if sometimes Satan sits back and laughs at us.
Marriage can be extremely messy. As sinners we can do dumb things in marriage—we hurt one another; we make false assumptions and then miscommunicate; we manipulate or say mean things to our spouse; we think less about serving and more about being served. We don’t always follow God’s Word or advice from godly leaders. We put our hopes in the world or each other more than we put hope in God.
We don’t need Satan to ruin our marriages. We do plenty of unhelpful things on our own to ruin our marriages. I’m sure Satan enjoys having a front row seat, watching our folly and foolishness.
What does he see?
The Battlefield of Marriage
1. Spouses live in the flesh and not in the Spirit (Galatians 5).
Picture a fight. You and your spouse are arguing about something big or small; and at just the right moment, you are faced with a decision. It’s the moment that I’ve heard some call the watershed moment—the point at which you pick a path to follow. You can satisfy your sinful flesh or follow the lead of the Spirit. You go down the path of a nasty fight or honor your spouse by admitting your wrong. Which do you typically choose?
2. No sex in the marriage (1 Corinthians 7).
If you are fighting, the last thing you want to do is to be intimate with each other, right? Conflict is a barrier to intimacy in marriage. The two are not one, but two. One of God’s purposes for sex is to foster “oneness” or unity (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6) in your marriage. Couples who don’t have regular sex are allowing a barrier to come between them. No sex in marriage means the couples is less unified.
3. A husband is consumed by pornography (1 Thessalonians 4).
This causes him to be distracted from his wife’s beauty. Sometimes he gets drawn in by a pop-up. More often, he simply gives-in to lust (Galatians 5:13) and aggressively pursues it. She discovers it. It quickly shatters trust in the marriage. She is devastated and she asks questions like, “Am I not desirable?” “Why would he look at other women when he has me?” Worst of all, “Is there something fundamentally wrong with me?”
4. Lofty, sky-high expectations.
I’ve seen men crushed under the weight of their wives’ perfectionistic expectations. The husband says things like, “She expects me to be a holy man.” He constantly feels like a failure, and therefore has little to no incentive to actually work at the marriage. She beats him up (verbally, not physically) because (in the words of one spouse I counseled) “nothing else seems to work to get him to do anything.”
5. Nuclear war (Romans 1:28-32).
You go head-to-head every night. You have nasty, mean, tears-evoking, loud-screaming, door-slamming fights. Sometimes it gets physical. And you are weary…very, very weary…because you don’t know how to stop the fights, yet you are tired of dealing with nuclear war every night of your life?
6. Avoidance and withdrawal (Ephesians 4:26-27).
The most basic response to any difficulty is the famous fight or flight response. In marriage, the flight response often looks like avoiding your spouse. Maybe you live in the same house, but you live separate lives. After a fight, you avoid one another rather than doing the hard work of dealing with each other. Or, maybe you hide at work in order to avoid the marriage. You are really good at your job, so you often get praise and affirmation at work, but never at home. Is it any surprise that you like being at work more, especially when home is a war zone all of the time?
7. Hate speech (James 4:1).
In the heat of conflict, we say things that we all regret. I have a friend who calls this stupid talk. Things come out of my mouth, and the moment it launches from my lips, I regret having said it. I wish I could pull it back and stuff back into my mouth. Sadly, I ignore the maxim, “Not everything that comes to my mind needs to come out of my mouth.”
8. Weak boundaries.
The husband flirts with a woman at work by saying nice things to her. He finds her attractive. He finds ways to go out of his way to encourage her, and sadly, he doesn’t ever demonstrate the same kind of deliberateness with his spouse. There is no physical, immoral interactions, but his verbal affirmations and emotional flirting goes beyond what would safely be deemed as platonic. Wives are capable of doing this, too. Often times, in retaliation to the husband’s careless boundaries.
9. Work-idolatry (James 4:4-5).
You love your job and you pour yourself into it, to the detriment of your family. You rationalize, “They need me at work” or “She doesn’t understand the pressure I’m under at work.” If you were honest, you work matters more than your family. You cherish your job more than you do your wife and kids.
10. Lying (Colossians 3:9).
Lying can destroy trust in a marriage. A spouse lies because he is trapped and doesn’t want to have his sin exposed. For example, a husband who has been secretly having an extra-marital affair….of course he is embarrassed for anyone to find out. He is emotionally and spiritually immature—in a word, you married someone with poor character.
Sad, isn’t it, to see so much foolishness? This is the typical battlefield of bad marriages. This is why we put our hope not in ourselves, but in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. It is sinners such as these that Jesus came to save (Mark 10:43-45).
Join the Conversation
“What marriage maladies would you add to this list?”
photo credit: Nailed it! My picture is a perfect 10! via photopin (license)
The post 10 Ways Satan Loves to See Marriages Fail appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.
Right around this time every four years, a political circus captivates the entire country and is spotlighted by every imaginable media outlet. Presidential campaigns can become taxing to follow. Perhaps you’ve already heard a candidate’s stump speech from past elections. Perhaps you’re skeptical of any politician’s ability to do what they say they will do. Perhaps you just don’t want to get involved in political thought at all because it divides families, friends, and sometimes even churches.
However, in America we have an extremely unique opportunity. Every year we get to choose those whom Paul tells us to be subject to in Romans 13. However boring that may seem, through the lens of world history, it’s an amazing privilege. Through all the political drama and pandering to the American electorate that you’ll see over the next year, here are two reasons why you should stay engaged in the political process.
Liberty and Justice for All
First of all, stay engaged because issues of religious liberty will affect Christians. These issues will affect believers at large and the church as an institution. We’ve seen several cases surrounding the issues of religious liberty as it pertains to healthcare and homosexual union (affecting businesses like Hobby Lobby and Christian organizations like Wheaton College or the Little Sisters of the Poor). If you don’t see the importance of this issue, I’d recommend you read Eric Metaxas’ speech on religious freedom here.
Not only do American Christians face the legitimate potential for persecution on the basis of their convictions, but Christians on the other side of the world are currently losing their lives as ISIS continues to grow. Now, whatever we think can or should be done, at the very least we must acknowledge that the next president of this country will have to make decisions regarding this increasing power.
Religious liberty and ISIS are only two out of the multitude of issues that face us.
Secondly, stay engaged to pursue justice and care for the poor. I’m not making a policy recommendation here, but the simple truth is that our engagement in the political process is one way in which we love our neighbor. It is not the only way, or even the primary way. However, we are choosing laws and policy that not only affect us but those around us. This should cause us to think about how the policies that elected officials espouse will impact everyone.
In a recent post, Russell Moore explained why he was hosting two of the presidential candidates at an event. He stated,
These candidates are not coming as speakers on Christian theology or mission, but our mission as Christians includes both personal evangelism and also public justice. We seek to engage our culture, and here have the opportunity to engage some of those who seek to lead our country regardless of where they fall on a religious or political spectrum.
So thoughtful engagement in the political process includes seeking justice.
Two Final Thoughts
First of all, we are not electing elders to run this country. While a presidential candidate’s character and beliefs are certainly important, they are not our only considerations. We are not looking for a pastor to run our church; we are looking for a president who will run our country. They don’t need to share our theological beliefs in order for them to be an effective leader.
Finally, no matter the outcome of the election, we are not first and foremost citizens of this world. Whether the election goes the way we want or not, the Bible is clear about what our attitude toward the government should be. We should submit to our leaders (Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17), and we should pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Russell Moore says helpfully,
We are Americans, yes, but we are not Americans first. We are citizens too of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, and we wait not for a president but for a King.
What keeps you from becoming engaged in the political process?
The post Two Reasons to Stay Engaged in the Political Process appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.
There are lots of good Kindle deals today. Begin with this refreshed two-part Puritan work called “Building a Godly Home”: A Holy Vision for Family Life and A Holy Vision For Raising Children ($2.99 each). Then consider some of B&H’s “Perspectives” series: On the Extent of the Atonement (new and just $0.99); On Family Ministry ($2.99); On Your Child’s Education ($0.99); On Christian Worship ($2.99); On Election ($2.99); On the Sabbath ($2.99). And a few others that are worth checking out: Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland ($2.99); In My Father’s House and Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian ($2.99 each); Divine Design by John MacArthur ($2.51).
For a variety of reasons, Margaret Sanger’s name is back in the news. Joe Carter gives you 9 things you ought to know about her. (Be sure to read points 7 and 8 since we do not further our cause by passing along incomplete or incorrect information about her views on race.)
Perhaps this has been your experience: “In your 30s and 40s, plenty of new people enter your life, through work, children’s play dates and, of course, Facebook. But actual close friends — the kind you make in college, the kind you call in a crisis — those are in shorter supply.”
Nick has some counsel on teaching our children the raw parts of Scripture—the parts we may find ourselves eager to skip over.
New Book Release: Today marks the release of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, edited by D.A. Carson (and not to be confused with the venerable NIV Study Bible). You can learn more about it at NIVZondervanStudyBible.com and buy it at Amazon.
This afternoon at 3 PM EST Ligonier Ministries will be hosting a Google hangout featuring Dr. John MacArthur and Stephen Nichols. You can find information at the link.
California’s Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will start operating later this year, will process more than 104 million gallons of seawater daily, turning about half that into drinking water. Here’s how they do it.
Quite right: “While eating organic foods and using non-traditional medicine certainly can be valuable, the danger comes when we develop a sense of superiority to go along with it.”
“What could be more grievous to Christian parents than to have their adult child reject the Gospel?” This article offers encouragement to those parents.
No, You Don’t Need To Work 24/7 To Succeed | Michael Hyatt
See also A Biblical Perspective on Time by C J Williams.
How To Avoid Getting Caught in Adultery | Clint Archer
The Bible gives us practical wisdom on how to avoid committing adultery. Here are six suggestions from God’s word. And in a related article Barry York writes about the place of God’s Law in the Church’s Message.
Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision | David Schrock
A review of a new book that makes a “compelling critique of modern theological education and a case for pastoral training that’s best described as life together.”
Can I be sure I’m saved? | R C Sproul
When R C Sproul is asked this question, he responds with three questions.
Praying Psalms of Destruction Against Planned Parenthood | Stephen Altrogge
A good use of the imprecatory Psalms.
Why Same-sex Marriage Will Never Measure Up to the Real Thing | The Federalist
Some very useful statistics in this article.
To Live Is Christ to Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler (FREE!)
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) by Norman Geisler $5.99.
Heaven $3.99. I haven’t read this but the description is appealing.
An team of evangelical scholars explore the doctrine of heaven from a variety of angles. Among other contributors, Ray Ortlund examines the concept of heaven in the Old Testament, Gerald Bray explores the history of theological reflection about heaven, and Ajith Fernando looks at persecuted saints’ special relationship to heaven in the New Testament.
Links I like
Kindle deals for Christian readers
I learned a lot from my father about work ethic and offering your best, but I have not spent the last two decades in the same role or place. Few from my generation [Generation X] would quantify longevity as “the same role for your entire life,” and few from my generation will stay in the same role/place. In other words, longevity means different things to a Boomer and an Xer. And different things still to a Millennial.
This was really good:
Some people think that Americans just prefer work to leisure; a strong work ethic, according to this theory, has become a badge of honor for anyone with a college degree. If you’re busy, you seem important. There is also the pride that people can have in their work; they also find love and free food at workplaces, and go to conferences as a form of vacation. Others think the rise in work must somehow be related to inequality: as people at the top of the income ladder earn more money, each hour they work becomes more valuable. And there’s the theory that our needs and desires grow as we consume more, producing an even greater need to work.
If we look at Babel as the prototype for the pursuit of fame and power, we see a few interesting things by way of diagnosis. First, the pursuit of renown is really a pursuit of significance. Why do I want you to notice me, to tell me how great I am? Not because I fundamentally trust or value your opinion, but because I fundamentally distrust any notion that I’m anything in anywise special. The proof in that is that one ounce of praise from a few isn’t enough; I want more from many. Secondly, the pursuit of renown is the result of fear. “Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” We seek security in attention.
Like the Babelists, we build our towers, not knowing the great dangerous irony — that the stronger we get, the more vulnerable we become. The fall is prefaced by pride. The split second before the great collapse is the proudest we’ve ever been.
The books in question were all written by Jews in what is known as the “inter-testamental” period (430 BC-AD 40). Some of these books can be helpful for understanding the history during this time. Other books are entertaining stories. Some sound like typical biblical Wisdom texts like the Psalms or Proverbs.
So why don’t we accept them as Scripture? There are 5 main reasons, but first I think its important to understand a fundamental difference in the way Roman Catholics view the formation of the canon and the way we Protestants view the formation of the canon.
Nearly five years ago, I walked into Dr. Greg Mathis’ office and shared with him that I believed God was leading me to become a Senior Pastor. That seems like a long time ago. In some ways, those years seemed an eternity. In another sense, they passed rapidly. When I first shared with Pastor Greg, part of me thought I would enter into a Senior Pastor position quickly. Well, that didn’t happen. Let me offer some of the lessons I’ve learned in the waiting process.
The post Links I like appeared first on Blogging Theologically.
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
The Truth About Margaret Sanger – “Over the past couple of months, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as a ghastly business profiteering from the sale of aborted babies. Undercover videos have taken us into secret meetings where deals are struck and even into labs where aborted children are dismantled and prepared for shipping. Some of Planned Parenthood’s high-ranking employees have been exposed as profit-driven and uncaring, concerned more for the well-being of their personal finances than the health of the women who visit their clinics.”
The Human Body Did Not Evolve! – “We’re excited to announce a brand-new science curriculum from AiG’s speaker/writer Dr. Tommy Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell is a great friend (and cribbage opponent!) of mine, and his humorous and entertaining talks on creation and biblical authority are always popular for teens and adults. Well, junior high school students will love learning about how their bodies work as they get introduced to anatomy and physiology by Dr. Mitchell, a medical doctor (he specializes in internal medicine). Students ages 12 and up will learn about their bones and muscles and the building blocks that make up our bones and muscles—cells! This book, Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology, is the first volume of a six volume set to come, and it is loaded with amazing photos and illustrations.”
Christ Will Not Paint on a Proud Canvas – “The answer to that prayer came for me in the form of what I call ‘poetic effort’ — the effort to say this truth another way — forcing the river of emotion to flow between the narrow vertical cliffs of rhyme and meter, making the river run deep between the walls of form — ‘Christ will not paint on a proud canvas.’ Whatever others may feel, the poem is for me — to help me feel and live this holy, hard, and happy truth: ‘Christ will not paint on a proud canvas.’ I hope it can be useful to awaken in others what Jason so earnestly and effectively preached — to me.”
Islam’s View of Sin and Salvation – “In reaction to the many terrorist attacks worldwide, including 9/11, many Westerners consider Muslims to be their enemies. Many hate Muslims and fear any kind of contact with them. But Jesus commands us to react in a different way. The Muslim, like everyone else, is precious to God and needs to be reconciled with Him through Christ. We Christians are commanded to lovingly share the gospel with everyone, regardless of his or her religion.”
The Shrug That Scares Me to Death – “One of my favorite films is Roberto Benigni’s 1997 tragicomedy, La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful). It tells the story of a Jewish father, Guido, who invents creative ways to keep his son out of danger while they endure life in a concentration camp. There is a scene in that film that continues to haunt me. Guido is a waiter serving German officials and their wives as they gather for an evening of fine dining. While the Nazis are eating and drinking in luxury, the horror of the concentration camp lies just beyond the walls.”
Nate Pickowicz – Jesus: The Only Way to God (John 14:4-14)
Which Jesus? Not the Watchtower Society’s Jesus
Matt Chandler on Abortion
“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 25, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.
Christian Headlines Daily –
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
God’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).
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?
There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Our Time is Short
Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)
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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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