Daily Archives: September 24, 2015

Can you have eternal life with God by being sincere and doing good things?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Bible study that hits the spot Theology that hits the spot

Here’s an article from Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason.

He answers the question “Am I going to Hell if I don’t believe in Jesus?”.

Excerpt:

Sometimes we have to reframe a critic’s question in order to give an accurate answer. The questions, Am I going to Hell if I don’t believe in Jesus?, is an example. As it is asked, it makes it sounds as though Jesus were the problem, not the answer. As though failing a theology quiz sends us to Hell. Instead, we need to reframe the question to answer accurately and show that sin is the problem, and Jesus is the only way because He alone has solved that problem. Sinners don’t go to Hell for failing petty theology quizzes.

While giving a talk at a local Barnes & Noble, someone asked why it was necessary for him to believe in Jesus…

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September 24, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

September 21 Quotes


Sin Never Satisfies, but Jesus Does

Even good things, when they become ultimate things, satisfy not. Therefore, shouldn’t we come to the “Author of Life,” who has given his life, that we might have abundant life? He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our Good Shepherd, and in him we find ourselves led, watered, fed, guarded, and satisfied. Jesus is the only one who delivers lasting contentment, and he encourages you forsake your idols and your hate-filled lovers as you jump into his loving arms. So, say “no” to idolatry and sin by saying “yes” to Jesus today.

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Have Evangelicals Who Support Trump Lost Their Values?

We should also count the cost of following Donald Trump. To do so would mean that we’ve decided to join the other side of the culture war, that image and celebrity and money and power and social Darwinist “winning” trump the conservation of moral principles and a just society. We ought to listen, to get past the boisterous confidence and the television lights and the waving arms and hear just whose speech we’re applauding.

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The New Socialists and the Social Ownership of Money

Both Waldman and Sanders appear to be advocating a form of “social ownership” of money. They don’t want to take all of everyone’s money (after all, they aren’t communists) but they do think that a large proportion of income and wealth belongs to everyone collectively and should therefore be distributed in a more “equitable” manner (i.e., in a manner that suits their political preferences). This is the New Socialism.

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Welcome to the Brave New World of 1984 UK Style – Where Religion Must Have A Government Approved Stamp

The government are concerned about Muslim extremists and so, in order to combat this, they want to promote and protect ‘British values’. To achieve this aim they are proposing to establish a national register of ‘faith leaders’. These faith leaders will receive special training and special security checks. Any faith leaders who want to be involved in the public sphere (basically all of us) will have to be on this register. This is the British government’s great strategy for countering extremism. What’s wrong with it?

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A Review: “Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism”

Though brief, McVicar highlights Rushdoony’s “anti-humanist” political thought, the role of the Mosaic Law in society and how it would apply in case-laws such as those requiring the death penalty, the kingdom of God and postmillennial eschatology. McVicar uses well the key sources of Rushdoony’s thought, primarily his magnum opus, the Institutes of Biblical Law (1973).

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Was Margaret Sanger a Racist?

This we can say with absolute certainty: Margaret Sanger spoke to a women’s organization affiliated with the KKK and she started the Negro Project to bring birth-control information and clinics to impoverished southern African-Americans. Moreover, the Planned Parenthood founder unequivocally preached a creed of “race improvement,” which meant refining the gene pool and controlling and limiting the reproduction of human beings whom she thought weakened the human race.

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Reformation Trust Re-Prints the Reformation Study Bible (2015), ESV Less than Six Months from Release

Over 1.1 million words of in-depth verse-by-verse commentary by many faithful pastors and theologians make this study Bible one of the most trusted study Bibles available today. In addition, the significant improvements made to the reading and study experience have enhanced the usability of this edition. 20,000+ study notes, new theological notes from R.C. Sproul, 41 maps, and topical articles are included in the Reformation Study Bible, plus many historic creeds, confessions, and catechisms of the Christian faith.

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Huckabee: Muslim Can Be President; Obama ‘Pretends to Be’ Christian, Makes Living Out Faith Difficult

A Muslim can be president, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said, but he is more concerned about the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s Christian faith.

In an interview Tuesday with Newsmax TV’s Ed Berliner, Huckabee was asked what he thought of the comments made on Sunday by Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who stated that he would not support a Muslim president.

“There is no religious test to hold public office in America,” Huckabee responded. “I am less concerned about what faith a person has. I am more concerned about the authenticity of their faith, and how that plays out in their policies.”

Huckabee criticized Obama for policies that force Christians to compromise their beliefs; for example, the Obamacare Health and Human Services contraception mandate that attempts to force Christian institutions to provide abortifacients and birth control to employees through their healthcare plans.

“I am also concerned about a guy that believes he is a Christian and pretends to be, and says he is, and then does things makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith,” Huckabee added.

Huckabee continued by bringing up Obama’s guest list for Pope Francis’ first-ever White House visit on Wednesday, which included many individuals who oppose components of Catholic teachings, such as an openly gay Episcopal bishop, a pro-abortion nun, two Catholic gay activists and a transgender individual.


Where Have All the Godly Men Gone?

Where Have All the Godly Men Gone?

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Church Leaders

&Now, it seems as though the designation ‘man of God’ has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir.&

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What's the Crucial Difference between Protestant and Catholic Doctrine?

What’s the Crucial Difference between Protestant and Catholic Doctrine?

Posted on September 24, 2015 by Crosswalk

Is there anything we must do to be justified before God? http://www.spurgeon.orgwww.christianity.com

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You’re Not the Only One Waiting . . .

by Paula Hendricks

There are so many verses about waiting for God. But have you ever thought about how He waits, too? Here are five things God is waiting for.

You Were Made to Shine!

by Erin Davis

Do you see yourself as a bright city, made to shine like a sparkling diamond, or a run-down neighborhood, not worth fixing?

Broken Windows and Your Beauty

by Erin Davis

Why what you think affects how you live.

What I Learned from Visiting Corrie ten Boom’s House

by Bethany Baird

What can a girl who stood up to Nazis teach you about following Christ?

Why Are Evangelicals Hanging Out With the Pope?

Maybe because they are not really evangelicals, they are Leftists like the Pope. — OTM

Beyond familial ties, what had these evangelicals and other non-Catholics waiting in the wee hours of the morning was a chance to catch a glimpse of this historic meeting between America’s first African American president and the Roman Catholic Church’s first Latin American pope. They were also likely drawn by the way in which Pope Francis has embodied the gospel message, said Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

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The September 28 Blood Supermoon, The Ring Of Fire And The Coming Great Japan Earthquake

At some point, a major earthquake will strike Tokyo. When that happens, the damage to Japan (and to the entire global economy) will be incalculable. The following is from an article that was published a few years ago that discussed the devastation that a magnitude-7.3 earthquake would cause…

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A big, untold story: Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun searching for the Messiah, and for atonement for their sins – Joel Rosenberg

Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun a quest to find the Messiah. For reasons I cannot fully explain, Jews are suddenly searching for answers to the deepest and most important questions concerning life and death and God and atonement and eternity, in numbers unprecedented in history. Some are searching through the Hebrew Scriptures for answers. A stunning number are actually reading the New Testament, most for the first time. They are searching on Google for information about the Messiah.

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A Muslim President? – Hal Lindsey

So let’s look at Islam, and ask if that religion espouses the kind of values we want in a president. In books and on television, I have spent a great deal of time documenting the violent and tyrannical nature of Islam. I don’t have space to go into all of that here, so let’s just look briefly at one area of Muslim practice — the treatment of women in Muslim societies.

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The Agenda of Antichrist System Will Be Revealed at the U.N.

As I read the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goals, I believe that the Lord opened my eyes and allowed me to see with clarity that this meeting and its agenda is that of the coming Antichrist

I have placed excerpts from the agenda in this article. Those readers with discernment will likely see what is happening here without my commentary. For those who may be a bit confused, I will add my words to further explain. The excerpts from the UN agenda will be italicized.

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Blood Moons: An End-Times Sign?

By Dr. Hugh Ross

Four Blood Moons, a theatrical one-night event scheduled for March 23, 2015, and based on Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, has garnered attention. I’m featured briefly in the film as a skeptic of Hagee’s central claim that a sequence of four total lunar eclipses signifies that “world history is about to change,” bringing about the rapid fulfillment of a biblical end-times prophecy. I’m also included in a 20-minute panel discussion on the movie that was recorded at Hagee’s San Antonio headquarters.

Hagee knew in advance my views on his claims and I’m impressed that he would allow a “skeptic” of his view to participate. For that, he is to be commended.

The biblical basis for the four blood moons claim as an eschatological event appears in Joel 2:31, which states, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The scientific basis rests on the fact that often during a total lunar eclipse, the Moon, as seen from Earth’s surface, takes on an orange or red hue (see figures 1 and 2).

My greater concern centers on biblical, rather than scientific, misinterpretations of the blood-moon sign, and I will address those in part 2. First I will address the science and history of lunar eclipses.

Scientific Concerns

John Hagee, Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, and Larry Huch of Larry Huch Ministries note in their books1 and television broadcasts that in 1493–94, 1949–50, and 1967–68, a series of four (tetrad) total lunar eclipses occurred on the dates for the Jewish Passover and Tabernacles festivals. Each of these eclipse tetrads occurred within a year or two of significant events in Jewish history. In 1492, Columbus landed in America, which later became a haven for persecuted Jews. In 1948, the nation of Israel was founded. In 1967, the Six-Day War brought the Old City and its temple site under Israeli control. Thus, the authors claim that another eclipse tetrad on the dates of the Passover and Tabernacles festivals in 2014–15 is an unmistakable sign that an important end-times event is upon us.

All three authors insist that an occurrence of four total lunar eclipses on the Passover and Tabernacles dates is rare and unexpected. As an astronomer, I beg to differ. First, lunar eclipses are common. Two to five lunar eclipses, including partial eclipses, occur every year. The number of total lunar eclipses ranges from zero to three per year.

Second, lunar eclipses can occur only when the Moon is exactly at the full moon phase. Likewise, the dates for the Passover and Tabernacles festivals are determined by when the Moon is at a full moon phase just after the spring equinox (Passover) and just after the fall equinox (Tabernacles). Lunar eclipses are most frequently spaced about six months apart; so it isn’t surprising that eclipse tetrads occur on the Passover and Tabernacles dates…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Reasons To Believe : Blood Moons: An End-Times Sign?


40% of people doubt Jesus existed. Here’s how to change their mind

by Steve Cooper

Doubting that Jesus ever existed seems to be in vogue at the moment. Steve Cooper explains why the evidence for Jesus, including his miracles, is actually stronger than ever

According to a recent survey two out of every five people in England (39 per cent) do not know that Jesus was a real person who actually lived.

Worrying as that may be, it seems that ignorance around the historical Jesus goes deeper than just uninterested agnosticism. According to the survey, under-35s were more likely (25 per cent) than older people to think that Jesus was an altogether fictional character.

Can we deduce that the rampant skepticism of Dawkins and his online following of new atheists has penetrated deeper than we thought?

The survey, conducted by Barna Research on behalf of the EA, HOPE and the CofE, claims that in total, 22 per cent of people think Jesus was a mythical figure, while 17 per cent are unsure whether he was real or not. That’s nearly 40 percent of people who are either unsure or who actively don’t believe in the existence of Jesus.

Bizarrely enough (and perhaps encouragingly), some 43 per cent of English adults also believe in the resurrection, the survey found. If the statistics are accurate, it indicates a massive polarisation about belief in Jesus in the UK.

Whatever the survey tells us, it leaves the question of what we do with the 40 percent who have trouble believing in the historical Jesus. If the conversation comes up in the pub… what do you say?

The Case for Christ

It’s relatively simple to make the case for the historicity of Jesus. Firstly, it’s what the vast majority of scholars of the ancient world believe (i.e. the ones who actually research these things, rather than the opinion of an Oxford biologist). We not only have the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, but his death by crucifixion is one of the most widely attested events in the ancient world, written about by contemporary historians such as Josephus and Tacitus.

The apostle Paul himself is one of our earliest historical sources. His account of Jesus, passed on to him by eyewitness disciples, were the first to be written down…

The Poached Egg ApologeticsFOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

40% of people doubt Jesus existed. Here’s how to change their mind


Just What Is “Discernment”?

It seems everywhere we turn these days on the internet, another “discernment” ministry has popped up to grab our attention.  While some do high quality work and actually help Christians use the Word of God to distinguish between truth and clever deception, others are just interested in waiting to see which preacher or teacher will […]

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Climate Change, Planned Parenthood and Witch Doctors

Lee Duigon, contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, draws some apt comparisons between liberals and witch doctors. Here’s Lee’s piece: If someone has to die, in order for you to get what you want, are you okay with that? If that someone is only “fetal tissue,” well, that’s how progress is made in medicine, as […]

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Resources On Conditions In The Covenant Of Grace

Some thoughts relative to the current discussion about the nature of conditions in the covenant of grace: First, we cannot get this right unless we distinguish between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Part of the problem in this discussion is that the covenant of works is either rejected or neglected. I […]

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Half-Way Down The Slippery Lope

Building on the “born-that-way” narrative popularized by homosexuals et al, this pedophile wants his sexuality (identity) to be recognized as normal. This article does not appear in some out-of-the-way, obscure publication but in Salon.com It almost seems like a parody such as one would find on The Onion. Tragically, however, it is not. It is […]

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Thoughts on the Papacy

Dedicated the entire hour to a discussion of the Papacy in light of the visit of Francis to the United States.  Talked about biblical and historical issues relating to the Papacy, and why there are so few today offering a meaningful criticism of Rome’s claims.  Hopefully a helpful reminder!

https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=92315930561

Here is the YouTube link:

The post Thoughts on the Papacy appeared first on Alpha and Omega Ministries.


Propitiation

Although this term is likely not known by most folks – even most Christians – it lies at the heart of the biblical understanding of the work of Christ on the cross. It is such a rich term and such an important term that I can only offer here the briefest of an introduction to it.

Indeed, my library is filled with tremendous volumes devoted to this and related themes, and it may be best to just let these authors speak for the most part. Simply put, this teaching has to do with the satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin. Let me offer a few quick definitional quotes here:

propitiationR. C. Sproul puts it this way: “Propitiation means to satisfy the demands of justice. In biblical terms, it means to satisfy the demands of God’s wrath.” Or as Charles Ryrie put it, “Propitiation means the turning away of wrath by an offering. In relation to soteriology, propitiation means placating or satisfying the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ.”

Leon Morris says in his important work, The Atonement, “Propitiation means to turn away wrath.” James Montgomery Boice says that anyone reading the first three and a half chapters of Romans will clearly see “that it is precisely the wrath of God that is our problem. We are under wrath because of sin. Therefore, if the wrath of God cannot be turned aside by someone or in some way, we are lost.”

Some of the key New Testament passages that can be cited here include (all from the ESV):

-Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
-Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
-1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
-1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

To properly understand these concepts, one must look more closely at how they are developed in the Old Testament. I can only briefly do this here. As the ESV Study Bible notes, “In the OT, propitiation (or the complete satisfaction of the wrath of God) is symbolically foreshadowed in several incidents: e.g., Ex. 32:11–14; Num. 25:8, 11; Josh. 7:25–26.”

As Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “The New Testament doctrine about the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find, is always couched and put in terms of the Old Testament sacrificial language.” The major OT background for the idea of propitiation is the “mercy seat.” This, as D. A. Carson explains, is

the cover of the ark of the covenant over which Yahweh appeared on the Day of Atonement and on which sacrificial blood was poured. . . . Paul is presenting Jesus as the ultimate “mercy seat,” the ultimate place of atonement, and, derivatively, the ultimate sacrifice. What was under the old covenant bound up with the slaughter of animals, whose most crucial moment was hidden behind a veil, and whose repetition almost invited reflection on the limitations of such a system to “cover” sin, is now transcended by a human sacrifice, in public, once for all – and placarded by God himself.

In his important book, The Cross of Christ, John Stott says that when it comes to reconciling men to God, “the initiative has been taken by God himself in his sheer mercy and grace.” He continues:

This is already clear in the Old Testament, in which the sacrifices were recognised not as human works but as divine gifts. They did not make God gracious; they were provided by a gracious God in order that he might act graciously towards his sinful people. `I have given it to you’, God said of the sacrificial blood, `to make atonement for yourselves on the altar’ (Lv. 17:11). And this truth is yet more plainly recognized in the New Testament, not least in the main texts about propitiation. God himself `presented’ (NIV) or `put forward’ (RSV) Jesus Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice (Rom. 3:25). It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a propitiation for our sins (1 Jn. 4:10). It cannot be emphasized too strongly that God’s love is the source, not the consequence, of the atonement. As P. T. Forsyth expressed it, “the atonement did not procure grace, it flowed from grace.” God does not love us because Christ died for us; Christ died for us because God loved us. If it is God’s wrath which needed to be propitiated, it is God’s love which did the propitiating….
And the person God offered was not somebody else, whether a human person or an angel or even his Son considered as somebody distinct from or external to himself. No, he offered himself. In giving his Son, he was giving himself. As Karl Barth wrote repeatedly, “It was the Son of God, i.e. God himself”.

Or as Stott says elsewhere: “God himself gave himself to save us from himself.”

And the OT concept of the cup of God’s wrath certainly comes into play here. Jesus speaks about being willing to drink of this cup, and it is clear that he is referring to drinking to the full the wrath of God. See my article here for more on this: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/08/06/on-drinking-the-cup/

As John Piper puts it:

There, at Golgotha, our Savior drained God’s cup of burning anger down to the dregs. God poured out his wrath, full strength, undiluted, onto his Son. Paul summarizes the meaning of this great event, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that he could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us.

Let me explain a bit further how this concept works out. Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology says this: “God has not simply forgiven sin and forgotten about the punishment in generations past. He had forgiven sins and stored up his righteous anger against those sins. But at the cross the fury of all that stored-up wrath against sin was unleashed against God’s own Son.”

Sproul expands on how this was accomplished:

In New Testament terms, what we are saved from is God. We are saved by God from God, from the wrath that is to come. Propitiation satisfies completely the demands of God’s wrath and justice, which is what the cross was all about. Christ as our substitute took upon Himself the wrath that we deserve, to pay the penalty that was due for our guilt to satisfy the demands of God’s justice. In His work of propitiation, Jesus did something on a vertical level, something with respect to the Father, satisfying the justice of God for us.

Piper is again worth quoting here:

So to save sinners, and at the same time magnify the worth of His glory, God lays our sin on Jesus and abandons Him to shame and slaughter on the cross. The clearest and most important biblical statement of this truth is found in Romans 3:23-26. If I were asked, “What is the most important paragraph in the Bible?” I think this is the paragraph I would name. It goes to the very root of the Christian gospel and lays bare the heart of God like few other texts. If there is a moment in the symphony of biblical revelation when the contrasting themes of justice and mercy come together into a magnificent orchestral statement of unity and harmony and peace, it is here in Romans 3:23-26.

In his classic volume Knowing God J.I Packer says that the word ‘propitiation’ is central to the NT: “The love of God, the taking of human form by the Son, the meaning of the cross, Christ’s heavenly intercession, the way of salvation, all are to be explained in terms of it, as the passages quoted show and any explanation from which the thought of propitiation is missing will be incomplete, and indeed actually misleading, by New Testament standards.”

Of course the notion of the atonement is far too great to be adequately covered by any one term or concept. Other key terms and themes would also need to be looked at such as ‘redemption,’ ‘justification,’ substitution,’ ‘imputation,’ and so on.

Indeed, there are various theories of the atonement that have been presented over the past 2000 years. None alone will do justice to the richness of what occurred at Calvary, and even taken all together they still would not exhaust what took place there.

But certainly the concept of propitiation is a major aspect of all this, and seeking to minimise it or ignore it altogether is to do serious injustice to the biblical data on the death of Christ and how such a great and glorious salvation was accomplished for us.


Commentary: The Pope’s Visit to America and Yom Kippur – Call No Man Father

By Bill Randles But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. ( Matthew 23:8-10) Isn’t it interesting […]

8 Lies in Church Culture Today That Are Crippling Us

I love the church. I have given my life to the church. I believe in the church because I believe the King reigns over everything. There is a lot to be praised and celebrated when it comes to the church. There is another side though. We have bought some lies. These lies are hurting us. Crippling us. If the church is going to become the image of God in the world, there are lies we must drop. Here are eight lies in church culture today that I believe are crippling us.

1.) Some sins are worse than others.

This is plaguing our church culture. Here’s why. It creates only two types of people. Group one: those that have not committed the “bad” sins. They have avoided the worst of the worst, so they tend to judge those that have not. Group two: those that have committed the “bad” sins. They are not stupid. They know once their virginity is gone, or they rape or murder somebody, God is really mad at them. The stares from group one tend be more direct and more apparent. Eventually, most in group two come to the realization they are just not good enough. Most in group one agree.

Some sins carry with them greater consequences  … absolutely. Murder somebody … you get jail time. Gossip about your roommate … nothing. Both are sins. One has greater consequences. But this idea that avoiding a particular group of sins makes you more awesome than the group that has not is utterly ridiculous. Roman 3:23 has already settled it. We are all sinners. And in God’s eyes, there is only one group … sinners. That’s all of us.

It is time for the church to stop ranking sins. The cross is for every person. Let’s treat people this way.

2.) God does not expect that much from me.

You are right. God would only expect you to do what He has done. Wait … God sent His son to the cross to be murdered. For me? That’s crazy. So, tell me again why you think God does not expect much from you? God asks us to give our lives to Him (Romans 12:1-2). God asks us to kill our selfish desires. All of them. He asks us to live counterculturally. Risk our lives, if necessary. Is that too much to ask? You decide.

3.) If you are a good communicator, you will be a good preacher or pastor.

What a terrible lie the church has given to so many young men. I fear it has created the circus show we have in many churches today: preachers that are phenomenal communicators, but awful examples of Jesus. They are dishonest. They are in love with money. They are in love with fame. They are in love with everything except Jesus. Listen, being a great communicator does not make you a great preacher/pastor … it makes you a great communicator. A great preacher’s most important quality is his integrity.

So, when our young people step up to the pulpit or deliver a devotional thought at camp, let’s encourage them. Build them up. Give them more opportunities to lead and speak. But let’s stop anointing them as preachers because they do not stutter during a 10-minute devotional. We might just be feeding a beast that is devouring many of our churches.

The post 8 Lies in Church Culture Today That Are Crippling Us appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Kill Anger Before It Kills You or Your Marriage

In marriage, anger rivals lust as a killer. My guess is that anger is a worse enemy than lust. It also destroys other kinds of camaraderie. Some people have more anger than they think, because it has disguises. When willpower hinders rage, anger smolders beneath the surface, and the teeth of the soul grind with frustration. It can come out in tears that look more like hurt. But the heart has learned that this may be the only way to hurt back. It may come out as silence because we have resolved not to fight. It may show up in picky criticism and relentless correction. It may strike out at persons that have nothing to do with its origin. It will often feel warranted by the wrongness of the cause. After all, Jesus got angry (Mark 3:5), and Paul says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

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However, good anger among fallen people is rare. That’s why James says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). And Paul says, “Men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Timothy 2:8). “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you” (Ephesians 4:31).

Therefore, one of the greatest battles of life is the battle to “put away anger,” not just control its expressions. To help you fight this battle, here are nine biblical weapons.

1. Ponder the rights of Christ to be angry, but how he endured the cross, as an example of long-suffering.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

2. Ponder how much you have been forgiven, and how much mercy you have been shown.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

3. Ponder your own sinfulness and take the beam out of your own eye.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

4. Think about how you do not want to give place to the devil, because harbored anger is the one thing the Bible explicitly says opens a door and invites him in.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

The post Kill Anger Before It Kills You or Your Marriage appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Top Ten Roman Catholic Evangelism Books

Since there is so much confusion about Roman Catholicism, many faithful men have stood up and provided helpful tools to equip the Church in reaching Catholics. The more you understand Roman Catholicism the easier it will be to explain the Gospel with clarity. I have been helped by all these books and heartily recommend them to you.

1 – Are we Together? – R.C. Sproul

“This book is not what you might assume: a rehearsal of slogans. Rather, it is an intelligent and engaging primer for Protestants and Roman Catholics alike about what Rome actually teaches and what are the profound issues that continue to separate confessional, evangelical Protestants from the Roman communion. This is a book that Protestants should give to their Roman Catholic neighbors and that Protestant pastors (after reading it) should give to their members. It is also a book that more than a few theologians and historians should read before the next round of ecumenical discussions and documents.” ~ R. Scott Clark

2 – Evangelicalism Divided – Iain Murray

Iain Murray’s historical overview of the fortunes and misfortunes of evangelical Christianity, especially in England, between 1950 and the century’s end-time, will stir up both an approving and a dissenting readership. But no one can contend that it ignores some of the most vital theological issues of the time and the conflicts surrounding them. The narrative is well documented, and it details not only conflicts of perspective but inconsistencies and alterations of views by some of the leading participants in the events of the day. The names best known to Americans – Billy Graham, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, James Packer, John Stott among them – are evaluated, commended and critiqued as contributory to the present-day evangelical outlook and predicament. – Carl F.H. Henry

3 – Reasoning From the Scripture with Catholics – Ron Rhodes

Popular author and Bible teacher Ron Rhodes serves up the third offering in his “reasoning from the Scriptures” series with his latest work, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics. As with his previous two volumes (Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons), Rhodes again provides his readers with yet another wealth of solid information and helpful insight for sharing the Gospel. The book is advertised as “a step-by-step guide to sharing the Good News with Catholics” and Rhodes himself states in the preface that “this book contains strong biblical arguments against a variety of Roman Catholic doctrines.” The book delivers on both promises. – Personal Freedom Outreach journal

4 – 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic – Ron Rhodes

Fact-filled, easy-to-understand, and visually appealing, this series delivers the essential knowledge you need to know to effectively witness biblical truths to people led astray by false teachings. – Harvest House Publishers

5 – Preparing for Eternity – Mike Gendron

“Carefully and convincingly, this helpful book demonstrates that the “gospel” taught in Roman Catholicism is not the gospel found in the Bible. I heartily recommend Mike Gendron’s work.” – John Macarthur

6 – The Gospel according to Rome – James Mccarthy

“This book is a MUST for ALL Christians and Catholics.  Bro. Jim takes you through the life of a Catholic and shows you all that they must do from Birth to Death in order to hope that they will be good enough to enter heaven.  He compares the New Catechism and Catholic Tradition with the Sacred Scriptures and shows how the Catholic Church teaches contrary to the written word of God.  This book needs to be in every Christian’s library.” – J. D. Smith

7 – Standing Room Only – Philip De Courcy

“In Standing Room Only, Philip De Courcy takes his stand for the gospel alongside faithful men of all ages. Drawing from many sources, including the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church, the author shows how the Roman Catholic Church has departed from biblical truth. The product of De Courcy’s extensive teaching and preaching ministry, the reader will find in this book a passionate and compelling argument. in an age of ecumenism and apostasy, it will prove to be a valuable resource for any Christian who has a love for the truth.” James G. McCarthy –  author of The Gospel According to Rome

8 – The Roman Catholic Controversy – James White

“White’s level of expertise in understanding Catholic doctrine, honed through much reading and through many formal debates, combined with his expert handling of Scripture, make this a must-read for anyone concerned with the softening of biblical distinctives and the confluence of Protestant and Roman doctrine.” ~ Tim Challies.

9 – On The Edge Of Apostasy – Robert Zins

“In on the Edge of Apostasy, Robert M. Zins holds these prodigals to the fire of the Scriptures. This book is an in-depth analysis of the puzzling new wave of modern ecumenism and how it is filtering from the seminaries to the pews. On the Edge of Apostasy is a clear warning to those who have wandered dangerously close to the edge.” ~ White Horse Publications

10 – The Unquenchable Flame – Michael Reeves

“Michael Reeves’ book is a thoughtful, concise, and clear account of the major events, people, and ideas that shaped the Reformation. With theological sensitivity and historical acumen, Reeves explains why the Reformation happened. And at a time when many are declaring that the Reformation is over and that its concerns no longer apply, Reeves gives a charitable and thoughtful explanation of why it is still important for Christians today and what difference it should make.” ~ Carl Trueman


Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot be “Together”

As the evangelical world in America seems rather excited about the Pope’s visit, I can’t help but remember how I nf95i1-warrenpopefelt when I discovered the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (ECT).

In 1995 the unthinkable happened. Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. They agreed to no longer “proselytize” each other, agreeing that Catholics are indeed brothers, and sisters in Christ.

This article was successful in its endeavor. The vast majority of Christians in America do not evangelize Catholics. Someone like me who has shed many tears over the deception of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as hateful. I totally understand the desire to believe people are saved. I also desperately want Roman Catholics to go to heaven, but we can’t let our desire for people to be saved or our desire to please men, lead us to cheer them on as they run towards hell. We must love them.

When I first found out about the ECT, I was shocked. I was fresh off the boat and never in a million years did I imagine such confusion over what seemed to be such a clear issue to me and any Italian believer. Most evangelical churches in Italy, many of which we would never step foot into, recognize this truth.

I wondered why there was such confusion in America, and I concluded that it must come down to the Easy-Belivism mentality. In America people believe that all you have to say is, “Jesus come into my heart”, and you are saved, and it doesn’t matter what you actually believe. The devil loves to comes as an angel of light.  He loves to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and as Spurgeon said, he has created a masterpiece with the Roman Catholic Church. Here are some of the reasons protestants and Roman Catholics will never agree (based on the RCC’s teaching) and why ultimately a Born again Christian who attends a Roman Catholic Church must come out and join God’s true Church.

Authority

It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, authorityand the magisterum of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in their own way, under the action of the Holy Spirit, they all contribute affectively to the salvation of souls. – Catechism of the Catholic Church 95

Picture a company with three owners. They walk into a room they all have the same power. That’s what this is like in the RCC.
And although Scripture should trump any false interpretation in the RCC, the Pope and his cardinals, as well as tradition have undermined Scripture for centuries. God has not given man the right to alter His word, The Holy Spirit is in charge of illuminating the mind of His children and cause them to understand the truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us clearly that scripture is all we need to live a life that glorifies our Creator.

Baptism

The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude – C of the C C 1257baptism (1)

Baptism…makes the neophyte “a new creature” an adopted son of God – C of the C C 1265

By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin – C of the C C 1263

The only way to heaven in the Roman Catholic Church is through infant Baptism. A baby cannot have faith. A baby cannot confess Jesus as Lord, he cannot believe the resurrection. Instead each human being at some point in their life must repent of their sin and trust in Jesus as savior and Lord (Romans 10:9).

Confession

I wrote about this last week. In summary a system that is works-based will always minimize sin. Sin will be easily overcome and in Roman Catholicism it is overcome through confession.

Salvation is found in the Roman Catholic Church alone

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION, – …it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: – Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation. C of the C C 846

It is in the Church that the fullness of the means of salvation has been deposited. C of the C C 824

This language holds people captive and forces people to trust in an institution rather than a savior. It brings fear in the hearts of those who question its veracity, and ultimately it causes a barrier between attenders and the hearing of the true saving gospel.

The Mass

As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which our Pasch has been sacrificed is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out. C of the C C 1364

In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. C of the C C 1367

The Bible Says that Christ Died Once and For all (1 Peter 3:18). He does not need to continue dying like the animals in the Old Testament sacrificial system. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The only reason he would need to continue dying would be if we needed our sins re-forgiven each week, or if we were trying to earn our salvation. In the Roman Catholic Church Jesus Christ is still on the cross and every week the Father crushes Him over and over again.

Eternal Life

The first commandment is also concerned with the sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption. C of the C C 2091

Presumption… hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit C of the C C 2092

Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification C of the C C 2010

Ultimately, as we see so clearly written by their own fingers, they believe that you must merit God’s forgiveness. It is not a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9). It is something that you must earn, and anyone who says they are on their way to heaven without having earned it over the course of many years, is presumptuous and disillusioned.

The Bible says in 1 John 5:13, “I have written these things so that you may know that you have eternal life”. It’s not something we must earn but it is a free gift. And we can have confidence in this life that we will be with Him the moment we die.

Our heart goes out to people stuck in this false system. Our desire is not to condemn but to bring the truth to these people. Sometimes you have to let people know they are lost before showing them how they can be found. If you wish to learn more about how to evangelize Roman Catholics here are 10 books I have benefited from to help you do just that.


How to Pray in the Position of a Servant

Learning the art of prayer involves taking the position of a servant.

Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2)

The writer of this Psalm was not a slave, and he was not endorsing slavery. He is using a picture, and he is saying to God, “This is how I am coming to you: I am approaching you in the same way as a slave comes to a master. That means that I look to you to direct me, I look to you to provide for me, and I look to you to protect me.”

The important point here is that I am in the position of the slave, and God is in the position of the master. One reason why many people do not ascend in prayer is that we get it the wrong way round. We put ourselves in the position of the master and God in the position of the servant. We come and give direction to God. We feel that we should be telling him what to do, and when he does not carry out our requests, we feel disappointed, angry, and frustrated.

Praying in the Spirit is only possible for those who love God and who have died to self.

TWEET

Praying in the Spirit involves aligning ourselves with what the Holy Spirit is seeking to accomplish. It is not about bringing God into your world but about God bringing you into his world. There’s a big difference. One is centered on you and what you want. The other is centered on God and what he is doing.  Praying in the Spirit is only possible for those who love God and who have died to self. That is why it is only possible in the power of the Spirit.

Jesus was praying in the Spirit when he said, “Not my will but yours be done.” And Paul was praying in the Spirit when he pleaded with God to take away a problem in his life that he describes as a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:8). He started out with a deep desire to be free from the problem, but as he prayed, he discerned that God would use this problem in his life: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). This discovery changed Paul’s entire perspective.

Before his encounter with God though prayer, he had seen his problem as an obstacle to God’s work in his life. But now, he could see that God was using this as a means of advancing his kingdom.

Apart from the Holy Spirit, our prayers would never rise above a shopping list of our own desires, and our prayers would reflect only the immaturity of children who see a Father as existing to satisfy an endless stream of demands. Praying in the Spirit will deliver you from that kind of immaturity and shallowness. It will enable you to grow in likeness to Jesus, because it involves aligning yourself with what God is doing.

About what circumstance will you pray today, “Not my will but yours be done, Lord”?

RELATED POSTS:

The post How to Pray in the Position of a Servant appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


A La Carte (September 24)

Reformation Heritage Books has their excellent “Cultivating Biblical Godliness” series of minibooks on sale for Kindle at just $0.99 each: How Should Men Lead Their Families?What Is a Christian?Why Should I Fast?, Why Should You Deny Yourself?, How Do I Kill Remaining Sin?, What Is Experiential Calvinism?, What Does It Mean to Love God?, How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship?, How Should Teens Read the Bible?, How Do Preaching and Corporate Prayer Work Together? You might also consider Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell ($3.03).

‘Close Your Eyes and Pretend to Be Dead’

Here’s a long, sad, account of what really happened two years ago in the bloody attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.

Your Rights as a Christian in a Public School

If your children attend a public school, it may be helpful to review their rights.

A Glass Half Full

This is helpful: “I know, we don’t want to be accused of going soft on total depravity, the reality of remaining sin and the temptation to exchange worship of the true God for something in creation. But we have more biblical categories to work with than those, as important as they are.”

Re-ignite Bible Reading That’s Become Boring

David Murray offers some helpful ideas for when you find your Bible reading boring.

MacArthurNow Available. Tom Schreiner has just published an important book on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. This is the first in what will eventually be a 5-part series called The 5 Solas Series. You can now order it at Amazon or Westminster Books.

Print Is Far From Dead

For a while now we have been hearing that print books are doomed. But the statistics just don’t bear that out.


The Daily Discovery (September 24, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot be “Together” – “As the evangelical world in America seems rather excited about the Pope’s visit, I can’t help but remember how I felt when I discovered the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document (ECT).  In 1995 the unthinkable happened. Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. They agreed to no longer ‘proselytize’ each other, agreeing that Catholics are indeed brothers, and sisters in Christ.”

Top Ten Roman Catholic Evangelism Books – “Since there is so much confusion about Roman Catholicism, many faithful men have stood up and provided helpful tools to equip the Church in reaching Catholics. The more you understand Roman Catholicism the easier it will be to explain the Gospel with clarity. I have been helped by all these books and heartily recommend them to you.”

Perversity as Pathetic as Impoverishing – “We are easily distracted by the things that matter less, and preoccupied with the things that matter least. This is exactly the case—too often, at least—when it comes to talk of revival and when it comes to our desire to see the Spirit’s work in our lives and in the church. J.I. Packer makes the case that it is the Spirit’s regular ministry, and not his extraordinary or miraculous ministry, that should preoccupy us. Give this a read and consider it…”

9 Marks of a Generous Giver – “For 10 years I’ve been thanking generous Christians for giving to advance the gospel. The love of money is a central cultural idol in the West, and so it’s a privilege to be in relationship with so many who are sacrificial givers. TGC’s theological vision of ministry describes money’s place in the church…”

Archaic Words and Translational Precision – “King James Only apologists insist that the KJV is the most accurate and concise English translation in print. However, when confronted with the reality of archaic, out of use words that make no sense to today’s reader, the apologists will reluctantly admit archaic words do exist in the King James, but then claim there are no words so difficult or archaic that they are not easily understood.”


SERMON:

Mike Abendroth – Sola Scriptura and Mysticism


VIDEOS:

New Apostolic Nuttiness

Debate: Are Roman Catholics Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ?


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



Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, September 24, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Republicans Unveil Plan to Fund Government into December and Redirect Planned Parenthood Funds

Who is Pope Francis? Insights on the Remarkable Life of a Historic Pontiff

Call to the European Church to Stand with Refugees

Arizona City Council Abandons Effort to Institute Christian-only Prayer before Meetings

Sheriff Says ‘No’ to Atheist Group Lobbying to Ban Phrase ‘In God We Trust’ on Patrol Vehicles

Christian Woman Held as Domestic Slave of Hindus Receives Compensation

As Francis Arrives in DC, Fans of All Stripes Welcome, Watch and Wait

Christians Divided over Response to Kim Davis

California Pro-life Advocates Urge Governor to Veto Assisted Suicide Bill

Carly Fiorina Finds Support among Conservative Women

Opinion

Lethal Subjectivity: The Roots of Suicide as Autonomy

What ‘Game of Thrones’ Says about America

Religious Liberty, the Founders, and Us

Sensational Science: How Pride Corrupts Peer-Review

Pastor Helps Disarm Gunman in Church


09/24/15 God in the Reverse

By Chuck Lawless on Sep 24, 2015 12:38 am

READING: Esther 6-10

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  God delivered His people . . . again . . . In the book of Esther. He protected them from Haman’s decree, instead bringing judgment on Haman himself. Mordecai and Esther later led the people to a  time of rejoicing, feasting, sending gifts, and taking care of the poor — known as Purim, a celebration of God’s deliverance (Esther 9:20-26).

They were to celebrate during the month of Adar because:

Esther 9:22  That was the month when their sorrow was turned into rejoicing and their mourning into a holiday.

Turning sorrow into rejoicing and mourning into a holiday — that’s just what God does. It’s not that He allows us to avoid sorrows and mourning; it’s that He reverses them (a common theme in Esther).

Think about the truth of God’s reversing grace in our lives. He has a way of turning:

  • worry into peace, fear into courage, and struggle into strength
  • grief into joy, anger into forgiveness, and hatred into love
  • separation into reconciliation, brokenness into restoration, and endings into new beginnings
  • weakness into power, defeat into victory, and loneliness into comfort
  • above all, rebellion into relationship, and death into life.

He’s such a good, gracious, and powerful God that we need not live in defeat. We need not be consumed with worry or overcome with loss. God can turn our pain into celebration.

PRAYER: “Father, remind me that You’re a miracle working God who can turn whatever You wish. Whatever I may face today, help me to rejoice.”


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


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


Resource Links

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.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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September 24, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Sep. 24, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Americans are “fed up” with politics, suspect the wealthy are getting an unfair edge, and think the country is going in the wrong direction, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll that lays bare the depth and breadth of the discontents propelling outsider candidates in the Republican presidential field. The survey shows that 72 percent of Americans think their country isn’t as great as it once was.

Failed Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker may feel some vindication in this number: 41 percent of Americans say that if a wall is built along the Mexican border, one should also be erected on the Canadian one. And yes, the same percentage favors a wall erected along the nation’s southern border.

Caterpillar, the world’s biggest mining machinery producer, reduced its full-year sales forecast and said it will cut as many as 5,000 jobs in a plan to save $1.5 billion a year amid a commodities slump.

Price swings in emerging-market stocks widened to the most in four years and currencies slid to a record in a sign the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay an interest-rate increase is leaving investors more nervous instead of calming them.

Consumer confidence rebounded last week by the most in three months as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy, their finances and the buying climate.

The momentum in orders for business equipment stalled in August following gains the prior two months as U.S. investment took a breather amid volatility in financial markets and concerns that global growth is slowing.

Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that a steady labor market will bolster U.S. growth. Jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 267,000 in the week ended Sept. 19.

Pope Francis will preach to a less-than-harmonious congregation when he faces a U.S. Congress riven by disputes over issues closest to his heart: income inequality, immigration and climate change.

A new Chinese nuclear submarine designed to carry missiles that can hit the U.S. will likely deploy before year’s end, the Pentagon said, adding to Obama administration concerns over China’s muscle-flexing in Asia.

AP Top Stories

A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades.

U.S.-trained rebels who recently returned to Syria said Wednesday they have lost contact with one of their officers and that they are investigating reports that he defected and handed over his weapons to al-Qaida’s branch in the country.

A government shutdown Oct. 1 could immediately suspend or delay food stamp payments to some of the 46 million Americans who receive the food aid.

Parents of 43 Mexican students who disappeared last year began a 43-hour hunger strike, a day before meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto ahead of the case’s anniversary.

Federal agents have returned to Los Angeles County jails in search of inmates who are undocumented immigrants, but the new policy has prompted a lot of criticism.

A Portland bar owner violated Oregon’s civil rights laws by denying service to a group of transgender and gay customers whose presence he said would damage his business, a state appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services tallied 415,129 children in the foster care system as of September 30, 2014, up from about 401,000 a year earlier. The peak was 524,000 children in foster care in 2002.

BBC

Nineteen thousand suspects have been arrested in a drive against organized-crime in China, state media said. A three-month operation led to the arrests in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong province. Police said triad gangs were increasingly expanding into mainland China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that a solution to the migrant crisis is far off and how it is handled will shape Europe in the long term.

A suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Yemen’s capital Sanaa has left at least 25 people dead and wounded at least 36.

European Union leaders have pledged another $1.1bn to help UN agencies support Syrian refugees in the Middle East, as part of renewed efforts to tackle the EU’s migrant crisis.

Russia’s military build-up in Syria appears to be limited to protecting its own forces in the country, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

WND

The “Impeach Obama” banners that have appeared on overpasses across the United States could return to Dallas in the wake of a federal judge’s acceptance of a consent judgment in which the city admitted its rules violated the First Amendment. The case was brought by the Thomas More Law Center in 2014 after city officials jumped to adopt a new ordinance to stifle criticism of Obama.

“For the first time, fingerprints and biographical information sent to the FBI for a background check will be stored and searched right along with fingerprints taken for criminal purposes,” reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting rights online.

After a LifeNews expose’ about how a high school in Seattle, Washington is now implanting intrauterine devices (IUD), as well as other forms of birth control in young girls and doing so without parental knowledge or permission, the watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a request for additional public record to a better idea about the situation.


Top News – 9/24/2015

Iran Issues New Demands on the Nuclear Deal (It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over…)
The Iranian government is now demanding the finished nuclear deal be re-opened for negotiation, again. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded earlier this month that sanctions be lifted entirely, rather than simply suspended as agreed in the nuclear deal signed in July.

UN ‘Human Rights’ Chair Saudi Arabia to Crucify Protester
The sentence is a particularly harsh one; not only will he be beheaded, but his body will be displayed on a crucifix in a practice mandated by Islamic law (Sharia) as a way of publicizing his fate and deterring others from following his example.

Muslims Warn NJ School Board: ‘We’re Going to Be the Majority Soon’
Things got heated at a Board of Education meeting last week in Jersey City after officials decided not to close schools for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. Despite a number of Muslims showing up to the meeting to advocate that the school changes its schedule, officials denied their pleas, arguing that doing so on such short notice would cause “undue hardship” for the upwards of 10,000 parents who may not have a place to put their children for the day.

Invasion of giant house spiders after Britain’s wet summer
Giant house spiders have invaded a Cheshire town as millions of Britain’s largest creepy-crawlies look set to overrun homes across the country. Residents of Macclesfield have reported finding spiders as big as mice and fear they are looking for a spot to lay hundreds of eggs.

Hajj Stampede: Saudi Arabia Says 453 Dead, 700 Injured in Mina, Near Mecca
Saudi Arabia’s civil defense directorate said the crush happened at around 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) after there was a “sudden rise” in the number of pilgrims traveling along a major road leading to the site of a stone-throwing ritual. This “resulted in a stampede among the pilgrims and the collapse of a large number of them,” the directorate said in a statement.

Lebanese Radio: Chinese Military May Get Involved in Syria Alongside Russia, Iran
According to a Radio Sawt Beirut (Radio Voice of Beirut) report, anonymous senior Hezbollah sources have said that under a certain scenario China may become involved militarily in Syria, should it become convinced that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is in critical danger. According to these officials, Assad relies on Russian-Chinese support for his survival. According to the sources, this move will not be marginal, and could be expected to materialize in the near future.

Moderate earthquake hits Sumatera
A moderate earthquake, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, occurred in Sumatera, Indonesia, at 12.18 am today, according to the Meteorological Services Department.

Deep Rotorua quake felt far, wide, but not near epicentre
Early Thursday’s deep earthquake near Rotorua was felt in many places – but as often happens, no reports of shaking came from close to the epicentre. The 5.1-magnitude quake at 6.48am was centred 25km southwest of Rotorua.

Magnitude 4.5 earthquake rattles southern Taiwan
Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) A magnitude 4.5 earthquake jolted southern Taiwan at 1:58 p.m. Thursday, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The earthquake’s epicenter was located about 25.2 kilometers east of Pingtung County Hall at a depth of 21.1 km, bureau officials said.

Gay Jews celebrate ‘High Homodays’ in New York
…Jayson Littman was milling about an upscale Manhattan nightclub greeting friends…Standing alongside a “shot boy” — clad only in underwear, a kippah and Star of David necklace — he offered partygoers shots of Manischewitz in plastic cups. Littman was hosting some 400 gay Jewish men who filled the top floor of the Hudson Terrace for “High Homodays,” his annual gay Jewish party held between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Saudi Arabia: At least 310 die in deadliest haj stampede since 2006
At least 310 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual haj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia’s civil defense authority said. At least 450 others were injured in the crush, which took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the haj.

Warning! The New ‘Muppets’ is Not Family-Friendly
The new show is aimed at a mature, modern audience and addresses subjects not suitable for family viewing. “It’s sort of an adult Muppet show,” Kermit the Frog said during a promotional video for the show. One ad read, “Finally, a network TV show with full frontal nudity.” Technically, the advertisement is correct – seeing how Kermit doesn’t wear pants. The mature version of “The Muppets” will cover a range of topics from sex to drugs. Miss Piggy came out as a pro-choice feminist during an MSNBC interview. The puppet characters loved by kids in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond are now weighing in on abortion and promiscuity.

Pentagon Says Chinese Sub That Can Hit U.S. to Go on Patrol Soon
A new Chinese nuclear submarine designed to carry missiles that can hit the U.S. will likely deploy before year’s end, the Pentagon said, adding to Obama administration concerns over China’s muscle-flexing in Asia.

Putin opens Moscow’s most elaborate mosque
The most elaborate mosque ever built in Moscow, a city that is home to one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in Europe, was opened Wednesday by President Vladimir Putin. Putin, in brief remarks, called the new, modern mosque the biggest in Europe and said that it was a worthy addition to a capital and a country built on the idea of uniting different nationalities and faiths. The mosque is a central part of Russia’s efforts to develop its own system of Muslim religious education and training to counteract extremists seeking recruits, the president said.

Critics say pope’s remarks on priest sexual abuse were too tepid
A group representing victims of priest sexual abuse blasted Pope Francis Wednesday for his remarks to U.S. bishops praising their response to the scandal while failing to utter the words “sexual abuse.”

EU agrees more money for agencies helping refugees near wars
European Union leaders, faced with a staggering migration crisis and deep divisions over how to tackle it, managed to agree early Thursday to boost border controls to ease the influx and to send 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to international agencies helping refugees at camps near their home countries.

Syria deploys Russian drones for first time: security source
The Syrian military for the first time on Wednesday deployed drones supplied by Russia for its fight against jihadists, a security source in Damascus said.

Office of Personnel Mgmt: 5.6M estimated to have fingerprints stolen in breach
The Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday that 5.6 million people are now estimated to have had their fingerprint information stolen. That number was originally thought to be about 1.1 million, OPM said in a statement. About 21.5 million individuals had their Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information affected by the hack.

More than 20 killed in NE Nigeria market bombing
More than 20 people were killed in a bomb attack in the garrison town of Monguno in remote northeast Nigeria, witnesses and the country’s main relief agency said on Wednesday.


Top Headlines – 9/24/2015

Dick Morris: Trump Is Right, Fox Is ‘In the Tank for Jeb’

Jordan’s King Abdullah won’t speak with Netanyahu over Temple Mount accusations, Arab media report

Abbas to Netanyahu: Chaos at al Aksa could lead to another intifada

Senior Israeli official: World needs to see through Abbas’s ‘charade’

Netanyahu to convene cabinet in order to pass measures against stone-throwing attacks

Why Israel Doesn’t Want America’s Newest Bunker-Buster Bomb

Israel to Compensate Church Targeted by Jewish Extremists

Iran deal open for debate? Tehran presses new ayatollah demand

Iranian military chiefs deride US passivity, scoff at Republicans

Sen. Graham: Iran nuke site testing a ‘dangerous joke’

Senate is an ’embarrassment’ over Iran deal

‘Zionist regime’s insult of al-Aksa foremost problem for Muslims,’ Khamenei says

Tourists, Jews Barred From Temple Mount for Muslim Holiday

US President Obama wishes Muslims ‘Eid Mubarak’

Israel eases restrictions for Palestinians as good will gesture for Muslim holiday

Hajj Stampede: Saudi Arabia Says 450 Dead, 700 Injured in Mina, Near Mecca

Islam’s pilgrims pray for peace in Muslim countries wracked by war

Witnesses: Twin suicide bombings target Houthi-run mosque in Yemen

U.S., Russia, Mideast need to help stop refugee tide: Merkel

Germany Housing Refugees in Former Nazi Camp

EU agrees more money for agencies helping refugees near wars

Plan on Migrants Strains the Limits of Europe’s Unity

Israel military says it is coordinating with Russia on Syria

Report: Putin plans air strikes in Syria if no US deal reached

Report: Russia seen building up two more military facilities in Syria

Report: Russia may put missiles in Kaliningrad if US upgrades nuclear arms in Germany

Russia Deploys 28 Warplanes to Syria

Kerry: Russian aircraft in Syria consistent with ‘force protection’

Syrian army uses new Russian jets to strike Islamic State, group claims

Norway gets first of US’s controversial F-35 jets, citing ‘increased Russian activity’ in region

Syria deploys Russian drones for first time: security source

Putin opens Moscow’s most elaborate mosque

Senator questions releasing Gitmo detainee to questionable Saudi terror rehab program

Suicide bomber bursts into tears and is comforted by jihadis before fatal attack in Syria

More than 20 killed in NE Nigeria market bombing

Colombia’s president, leftist rebels announce breakthrough in peace talks

Pentagon Says Chinese Sub That Can Hit U.S. to Go on Patrol Soon

Cyber-War Surrender: Obama Will Bow to China’s Dictators

Feds acknowledge more than 5M fingerprints stolen in breach, far more than thought

FBI confident Clinton emails being recovered: source

School district implements iris scanners on buses after student’s death

Feds approve NFL drone flights

Scientists just smashed the distance record for quantum teleportation

Norway Cuts Rates to Record Low to Save Economy From Oil Slump

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Biha, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Rotorua, New Zealand

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

Ninth earthquake recorded in Rutland, UK

Rutland earthquake: ‘We will rebuild’, say locals as they mock 2.8-magnitude tremor

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Icelandic volcano spewed more toxic gas than all of Europe in the last year

Taiwan, Japan, China on Alert for Tropical Storm Dujuan

Tropical Storm Ida moving eastward in Atlantic

No Hurricanes in Western Atlantic Yet for First Time Since 1914

Turkey’s touristic Bodrum hotspot floods under heavy rains, 8 injured

Growing Number Believe California’s Drought Is A Government Conspiracy

Sixth body found in areas scorched by massive California wildfires

Suicide caused fire that destroyed 11 homes in Monterey County, officials say

Pope Francis urges action on climate change on visit to US

Massive bee swarm descends on Arizona neighborhood, 4 hospitalized

GSK dumps live polio virus into Belgian rivers used for swimming and fishing

Republicans Unveil Plan to Fund Government into December and Redirect Planned Parenthood Funds

White House: Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Be Bad for the Economy

Kim Davis defends actions while losing another bid to stall gay-marriage case

Gay Jews celebrate ‘High Homodays’ in New York

Oregon bar owner must pay $400G in damages to transgender patrons, court rules

Pope tells Bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated

Critics say pope’s remarks on priest sexual abuse were too tepid

Pope Francis canonizes 18th-century missionary as part of first Mass in US

Pope Francis ‘Reminds Us, People Are Only Free When They Can Practice Their Faith Freely,’ Obama Says on First-Ever White House Visit

Pope Francis At White House: “Koran And Holy Bible Are The Same”

World Leaders Demand Iran Release of Imprisoned Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini

U.N., rights groups call on Saudi Arabia to spare man from beheading, crucifixion

New York Schools to Close for Muslim Holiday for the First Time

Thriving mafia sucks hope from Italy’s struggling south

How real-life horror visited ‘rock star’ ghost hunters, dead in alleged murder-suicide

Pope Francis To Perform Unbiblical Sacrifice of the Mass Many Times During Visit

Popular author and false teacher Phyllis Tickle has died after a struggle with lung cancer

Religion of Peace Alert – At least 717 killed and hundreds injured in crush during hajj

Defectors may as well commit suicide, says leader of sect


Frontrunning: September 24

  • Stocks slip for fifth straight day, euro holds steady (Read More)
  • VW recall letters in April warned of an emissions glitch (Read More)
  • VW Cheating Scandal Threatens to Ensnare BMW as Probe Widens (Read More)
  • Pope Francis set to address fractious U.S. Congress (Read More)
  • Norway Cuts Rates to Record Low to Save Economy From Oil Slump (Read More)
  • Taiwan Cuts Rate for First Time Since 2009 as Exports Falter (Read More)
  • Janet Yellen to speak at UMass on Thursday (Read More)
  • A Big Bet That China’s Currency Will Devalue Further (Read More)
  • Debt Relief for Students Snarls Market for Their Loans (Read More)
  • Wal-Mart presses suppliers to share benefits of cheaper yuan (Read More)
  • Flash-Crash Trader Faces Fight to Stop Extradition to the U.S. (Read More)
  • More than 300 pilgrims die in stampede in worst haj disaster since 2006 (Read More)
  • China’s ‘fake’ Apple stores thrive ahead of new iPhone launch (Read More)
  • Cyber Sleuths Track Hacker to China’s Military (Read More)
  • Don’t worry, it won’t last: German business morale rises unexpectedly in September (Read More)
  • VW admits emissions manipulation in Europe (Read More)
  • China Is Sitting on an Ocean of Diesel Fuel (Read More)
  • We Still Aren’t Sure What Will Cause Janet Yellen to Pull the Trigger (Read More)
  • Towers Watson CEO Sold Stock Before Big Deal (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Pope’s visit time for evangelicals to make clear issue with pope is theological, not personal

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Vatican

In D.C., pope weighs in on climate, poverty, immigration to start U.S. tour, Washington Post (Abby Ohlheiser, Greg Jaffe, Michael E. Ruane and Steve Hendrix )

Pope Francis Visit to D.C., New York Times

2) Nancy Pelosi example of worldview conflict between pro-choice Catholics and Catholic teaching

In Pelosi, Strong Catholic Faith and Abortion Rights Coexist, New York Times (Jennifer Steinhauer)

3) Shout Your Abortion hashtag effort to normalize abortion, claim baby part of woman’s body

I set up #ShoutYourAbortion because I am not sorry, and I will not whisper, The Guardian (Lindy West)

In other news…

Pope tells Bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated, Washington Post (Abby Ohlheiser, Greg Jaffe and Michael E. Ruane)
The Real Reason Transgenders Are Du Jour, The Federalist (Nicole Russell)

Daily Digest

September 24, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” —James Madison, Federalist No. 14

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

The Most Distrusted Administration in History

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In 2006, a relatively unknown U.S. senator named Barack Obama told an audience at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, that one of the most important values a government should foster is openness and integrity. “In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists — to protect them and to promote their common welfare — all else is lost,” Obama said. In 2007, as a candidate for president, he announced a plan to restore trust in government. “The American people want to trust in our government again,” he said. “We just need a government that will trust in us.” Throughout his presidency, Obama has repeatedly made a big deal out of restoring trust in government. And in June 2014, he declared, “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

How’s all that Hope ‘n’ Change™ working out? Obama oversaw a government that lied about its care of veterans while awarding its top bureaucrats with bonuses. It targeted nonprofit conservative organizations though IRS investigations. Obama himself strong-armed wildly unpopular deals through Congress, such as ObamaCare and the treaty-that’s-not-a-treaty condoning Iran’s use of nuclear power. If these instances are not scandals, they are at least scandalous.

And then on Saturday, Gallup released a poll that found Americans’ distrust in government has grown. When Obama was first in office, 66% of Americans said there is widespread corruption in the halls of government. That number has climbed to 75% today. Nice work, Obama.

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Francis Advocates for Social Justice Before Congress

Pope Francis appeared before Congress today, the first time that the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has done so. The concern is that Pope Francis will be turned into a partisan tool. In essence, Barack Obama already has tried to place the papal seal on his homosexual and climate change agendas. In this speech before Congress, the pope exhorted the lawmakers to pursue social justice — for strengthening the family, the abolition of the death penalty and to fight against poverty through wealth redistribution. “It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society,” Francis said. “Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.” In essence, the pope’s comments advocated for big-government solutions to the world’s ills, a position that confuses corporatism with capitalism. But while the subsequent headlines will blare that the pope spoke against conservative principles, it must be noted Francis slipped away from his itinerary last night to visit with the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns that care for the elderly. A Vatican spokesman told reporters that Francis visited the nuns in order to express support for the group’s legal battle with the federal government over the contraception mandate in ObamaCare. So Francis is at least determined he won’t only be a tool for Obama’s agenda…

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Gen. David Petraeus on the ‘Geopolitical Chernobyl’

During congressional testimony Tuesday, Ret. Gen. David Petraeus didn’t mince words about Barack Obama’s strategy in the Middle East. “We are not where we should be at this point,” he said in regards to Iraq. He had particularly strong words for the situation in Syria, which he called a “geopolitical Chernobyl — spewing instability and extremism over the region and the rest of the world.” The fight, he declared, will come to us whether we like it or not: “The Middle East is not part of the world that plays by Las Vegas rules: What happens in the Middle East is not going to stay in the Middle East.” As part of his testimony, Petraeus, who masterminded the Iraq surge under George W. Bush, laid out the strategic framework he would implement today. According to The Daily Signal’s Natalie Johnson, “Petraeus advised the U.S. to form enclaves in Syria protected by coalition airpower to strengthen support for moderate Sunni rebels, train additional forces, and provide haven for displaced Syrians. He also urged the U.S. to take a hardline position against President Bashar al-Assad’s indiscriminate barrel-bomb attacks that the Syrian Air Force continues to deploy across civilian areas.”

Petraeus also addressed the elephant in the room — his affair with Paula Broadway and subsequent disclosure of secrets to her that landed him in hot water. “Four years ago, I made a serious mistake, one that brought discredit and pain to those closest to me. There is nothing I can do to undo what I did. I can only say again how sorry I am to those I let down and then strive to go forward with a greater sense of humility and purpose, and with gratitude to those who stood with me during a very difficult chapter in my life.” Petraeus — a guy we need now more than ever — was punished for his malfeasance. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is the leading Democrat candidate for president despite far more serious crimes.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Obama’s ‘Gay’ Army Affirmative Action Plan, on how, as the threat to U.S. security rapidly escalate and military capabilities deteriorate, Obama offers a “gay” solution.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

VW Evades Unconstitutional Rules

By Allyne Caan

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Herbie the Love Bug may have made Volkswagens the cuddly car next door, but the infatuation may soon be fading. In a plot fit for film, stunning news broke that since 2009 VW has been installing software in its “clean diesel” cars to dupe environmental regulators by turning on pollution control features only when the cars are undergoing emissions testing.

The craftily designed software — or “defeat device” — detects certain patterns of steering and pedal movement, and when the patterns suggest testing is in progress, the controls kick in. Once the cars hit the open road again, it’s bye-bye controls and hello pollutants hitting the air at a rate of up to 40 times the regulatory-approved limit.

Who ever said computer programming was boring?

At issue is the tradeoff between mileage efficiency and “clean” emissions. Without a doubt, diesel-powered engines deliver more mileage bang for the buck than gasoline-powered engines, traveling up to 30% farther per gallon. But diesel engines also deliver a rather significant dose of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which in turn smog up the atmosphere and make breathing a health hazard.

Ergo, while diesel-powered cars are popular in Europe, courtesy of more lax emissions regulations, stricter regulations in the U.S. mean gasoline engines rule the American road.

In recent years, however, VW began advertising “clean diesel” cars (courtesy of the secret defeat devices), which boasted diesel-performance alongside environmental friendliness. And consumers and regulators alike bought the advertising. More than 482,000 “clean diesel” cars have been sold in the U.S. since 2008. Meanwhile, the federal government doled out as much as $51 million in taxpayer-funded “green” subsidies for those vehicles.

The problem is false advertising. Regulators were deceived, consumers were lied to and taxpayers were robbed.

The ruse was uncovered only when the International Council on Clean Transportation conducted a research project in collaboration with West Virginia University, examining “real-world operating emissions” from certain diesel cars. When the “real world” didn’t mirror the lab, researchers knew something was up.

The EPA took notice, and Volkswagen has now admitted to the elaborate scam, sending its stocks tumbling. Wednesday, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned, noting in a statement, “I was shocked by the events of the past few days. … I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.”

What’s next? Well, VW will need to recall all defeat-device vehicles and make honest cars out of them. Then there will be the inevitable lawsuits over consumer fraud and “diminished value,” as resale-prices are likely to drop for cars that don’t perform as well after being “fixed.”

But it doesn’t end there. The EPA has launched an investigation in coordination with the Justice Department, and the potential fines against VW could be astronomical. Under the Clean Air Act, VW could be penalized up to $37,500 per noncompliant vehicle. Multiply that by 482,000, and the impact could soar to $18 billion.

By comparison, last week General Motors agreed to pay $900 million for faulty ignition switches linked to more than 120 deaths. And last year, Toyota paid $1.2 billion for an acceleration defect that killed five people.

Apparently, violating environmental regulations carries a much heftier penalty.

Not surprisingly, some are already saying the answer to VW’s blatant law-breaking is more government. The smoke-obscured truth, however, is that onerous regulations set the stage for this. In the early 1970s, the newly created EPA set its sights on restricting automobile emissions as a way to reduce pollution. Automakers had to re-engineer vehicles to meet stringent guidelines from federal bureaucrats, so it’s unsurprising that the late 1970s aren’t exactly remembered fondly among car enthusiasts. Indeed, people died as a result of those regulations necessitating design changes, all while costs skyrocketed.

Fast forward to today and Barack Obama’s EPA has been more zealous than any before it at enacting mileage and emissions standards — ostensibly to fight the menace of global warming, but in reality to exert Big Government control over every sector of the economy.

But where in the Constitution is the government authorized to regulate your tailpipe? Or your toilet? Or your light bulbs?

Nearly everyone wants the most efficient and best engineered cars available (and toilets and light bulbs, too), but few seem to be aware that the game is no longer a constitutional one. Instead, unelected bureaucrats set the rules for engineers. We are in no way excusing VW, but are we surprised when some engineers decide to evade those rules?

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report

OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “When [Chinese] President Xi arrives in Washington, D.C., he’s going to get some of the highest honors our nation can bestow upon a foreign leader. A state dinner will be held in his honor. As one report put it, ‘For the Chinese side, Xi’s meetings with Obama and U.S. business leaders offer the chance to bolster [Xi’s] stature at home.’ I raise this because not a day goes by when China does not threaten our interests. Chinese fighter jets came dangerously close to one of our reconnaissance planes recently. But Xi is in Seattle lobbying U.S. corporate interests to pressure our leaders on trade issues. That’s interesting. The last time a foreign leader dared to lobby Americans, he got slammed by President Obama and the U.S. media. His name, as I’m sure you’ll recall, is Bibi Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was treated like a pariah because he dared to come to America to warn the nation that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a danger to his country and ours. Only in the left’s America does an ally get ostracized while the leader of a hostile nation gets a state dinner. That just doesn’t seem kosher to me.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We have plenty of freedom in this country but not a great deal of independence.” —John W. Raper (1870-1950)

Observations: “Amid rising ethnic tensions, hordes of migrants and massive debt, Europeans can keep or junk the mess of the European Union and the inflexible euro as they please, without much worry that they will revert back to their bloody past.” —Victor Davis Hanson

Good question: “By the way, when did calling someone a Muslim, whether falsely or not, become a slur? After all, isn’t Islam a ‘great religion of peace’ that’s been ‘hijacked by a minority of extremists’? If so, how does calling someone a Muslim become the moral equivalent of hate speech?” —Larry Elder

The BIG Lie: “I have been blamed for nearly everything. [The birther/Muslim claim] was a new one to me, but you know, I’ll just keep going and talking about what I want to do to get income risings and making college affordable and making all of the positive changes that we have to be worried about.” —Hillary Clinton, denying that her campaign started rumors of Obama’s Muslim faith

Belly laugh of the week: “I would encourage you to take the president at his word.” —Josh Earnest on Obama’s comments about standing with the pope on religious liberty (That must be why Francis met with the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are suing over ObamaCare’s infringement of religious liberty.)

Alpha Jackass: “What we have learned from Scott Walker throughout all of these months is that you can do a helluva lot with an ego. The guy’s a freaking loser. I feel vindicated. I knew along that attacking workers, attacking unions, and taking things away from hard working families is not a pathway to the future.” —Ed Schultz

And last… “During a speech at an Iowa school, President Obama declared that students ‘shouldn’t silence’ guest speakers who are ‘too conservative.’ Yes. That’s what the IRS is for.” —Fred Thompson

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


Importing Our Own Destruction

What does this mean for the United States? The Obama administration is pledging to accept tens of thousands of “refugees” from Syria and Iraq. Recent reports indicate that this number may rise exponentially in coming months.

The United States has already accepted hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants from around the world, and to date, their assimilation into American society is proceeding at a snail’s pace, if at all.

View Article


Russia constructing two additional military bases in Syria

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 07:16 AM PDT

Russia is expanding its military presence in Syria and is constructing two additional bases. Satellite images were taken of the bases on the coast of the Mediterranean. The images were taken by a private intelligence provider and given to the public media on Tuesday. Russia is reportedly constructing a weapons depot and military facility north of Latakia. In early September, Russia deployed jet fighters in Syria and began constructing a base for military personnel. Reports claim as many as 1,000 Russian troops are expected to arrive in Syria in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday where the leaders held a three-hour meeting on Russian military developments and presence in Syria. Netanyahu stated following their meeting that a “red phone” would be established with Putin in order to coordinate and communicate Russian military activity with Israel. FULL REPORT

The post Russia constructing two additional military bases in Syria appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

False prophet? Why Pope Francis has disappointed many Roman Catholics

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 07:12 AM PDT

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has invited me to the House of Representatives to watch Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress. This generous Methodist congressman has invited your traditionalist Roman Catholic columnist and cable TV guy to this grand event. I am going with joy because the pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, and his presence in Congress is historically unique. But within me is fear and trembling over what he might say. The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord. Its occupants are direct descendants of St. Peter. Its role and authorities have evolved over the centuries, but the core of its responsibilities has always been the preservation of traditional teachings about faith and morals and safeguarding the sacraments. While the papacy is a monarchy, the teaching authority in the Church is “the bishops under the pope.” This means that a pope intent on change ought to consult with his fellow bishops.

Before the monumental Church changes of the 1960s and 1970s that trivialized the Mass and blurred the distinctions between the clergy and the laity, Popes John XXIII and Paul VI consulted their fellow bishops at Vatican II. The consultations were fractious and belligerent, but both popes got what they wanted: a watering down of liturgical practices and an easing of rules safeguarding the sacraments, so as to make the Church more appealing and accessible to former and to non-adherents. The result was a disaster. Fewer Catholics went to Mass, confusion about former theological norms reigned, and a general tenor pervaded the faithful that the Church never really meant what it preached. Former Catholics continued to stay away, new Catholics barely showed up, and many traditional faithful became demoralized. FULL REPORT

The post False prophet? Why Pope Francis has disappointed many Roman Catholics appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Why It’s Prudent to Prepare for the ‘Blood Moons Financial Collapse’

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 07:07 AM PDT

With the potential for a blood moons financial collapse this fall, you are probably concerned about preparing yourself for it—and preparing your finances in particular. It is quite interesting when we examine the past to see some of the potential outcomes that could occur this year. Scholars have observed a pattern of economic crashes that have occurred with regularity. Recent financial cycles have worked on a seven-year cycle:

It started in 1966 with a 20 percent stock market crash.
Seven years later, the market lost another 45 percent (1973-74).
Seven years later was the beginning of the “hard recession” (1980).
Seven years later was the Black Monday crash of 1987.
Seven years later was the bond market crash of 1994.
Seven years later was 9/11 and the 2001 tech bubble collapse.
Seven years later was the 2008 global financial collapse.
2015: What’s next?

These cycles have brought us a wide variety of unique economic events: the Arab oil embargo, the Savings & Loan crisis, Black Monday, the 1994 bond massacre, the 2001 NASDAQ crash and the 2008 financial collapse. But what is similar is that each financial crisis occurred following a seven-year pattern. FULL REPORT

The post Why It’s Prudent to Prepare for the ‘Blood Moons Financial Collapse’ appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Satanic ‘Zombified’ Religion Making Inroads in United States

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 06:26 AM PDT

While the United States makes entertainment out of the undead, missionaries south of the border know a horrific truth: Zombies walk. No, it’s not a Halloween stunt, but a tenet of voodoo: the official religion of Haiti, along with Roman Catholicism. But don’t expect for Haitians to separate the two. “In churches, there’s a lot of syncretism (or the combination of multiple religions),” says David Vanderpool, a missionary and doctor in Haiti. Vanderpool is the founder and CEO of LiveBeyond, a faith-based, humanitarian organization bringing medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, orphan care, community development and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the oppressed in Thomazeau, Haiti.

“Voodoo is the culture, the way they think. They view the world through a lens of voodoo, and it colors what they do, what they see. They bring it unwittingly into the church, and see mainstream denominations as no different from voodoo.” The satanic worship can be traced to colonization when the French demanded African slaves convert to Catholicism. Rather than fully converting, the slaves named their idols after saints, and the worship of the demons was incorporated into the church. For many who visit the churches, it’s difficult to tell the difference between the Catholic Saints and African demons. According to the Associated Press, many of Haiti’s 10 million residents consider themselves followers of both voodoo and Catholicism. FULL REPORT

The post Satanic ‘Zombified’ Religion Making Inroads in United States appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Miracles Reported as Revival Takes Root in ‘Upper Room’ State

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 06:18 AM PDT

In the commonwealth of Kentucky, the desperate cries of this generation are igniting a revival that could change the face of this country. From out of the cornfields of one of the poorest areas in the country, men and women are experiencing miracles and the fresh presence of the Lord. “People are running to the altar and there’s a groan of revival,” Ryan LeStrange says. LeStrange is an apostolic minister, co-founder of awakeningtv.com and senior leader of New Breed Revival Network. “Repentance and weeping are breaking out. … There’s a real intense kind of intercession for the state, and Kentucky is the upper room state.”

People from neighboring states are pouring into the cornfields of Kentucky to see deaf ears healed and the lame walk, LeStrange says. The key to letting the revival spread is embracing the supernatural. To describe what’s happening, LeStrange recalls a vision he had in which the borders of Kentucky were on fire: “I watched as fire moved from the borders into the heart of state,” he says. “The fire was going in and out, pulsating like the beating of the heart … (It’s) the ignition of many fires that are ultimately going to set the heart of the state on fire.” FULL REPORT

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Storm Clouds Are Gathering in Israel

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 06:13 AM PDT

Few prophetic portions of Scripture fail to mention Israel. We see in God’s Word that the existence of this relatively tiny country is essential for the furthering of God’s plan in this world for when Israel as a nation confesses Yeshua as Lord, He has promised that He will return (see Matt. 23:39). The enemy knows this and has plans to launch an all-out attack on Israel in an attempt to prevent this from happening. Yet God knows Satan’s plans, and has told us through His prophets how it will all end. God places yet unfulfilled prophecy in Scripture not to make us speculative about the future, but to assure us the future is under His control so that we would live confidently for Him now.

Allow me to share a prophetic passage from the Book of Jeremiah to illustrate: “At that time, declares the Lord, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. Thus says the Lord: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness, when I went to give Israel rest. The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:1-3). FULL REPORT

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You Can’t Buy Blessings With a ‘Day of Atonement’ Offering

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 06:10 AM PDT

Television preacher Steve Munsey says today is the most important day in the history of the world. He promises TV viewers that if you give your biggest offering on Sept. 23—on the Yom Kippur holiday—you will be healed of cancer, get out of debt and see your children return to faith. Munsey even hints that you could become unbelievably wealthy if you follow his careful instructions. He recently announced on evangelist Benny Hinn’s This Is Your Day program: “You’re not going to become a millionaire. You’re going to become a billionaire! But you must move now!”

The secret to obtaining this miracle? You must believe that God bestows special answers to prayer on Yom Kippur, the most important day on the Jewish calendar. And to unlock this blessing, you must bring a big offering in both hands. Suggested donation: $300. Most casual channel-surfers who hear Munsey’s slick sales pitch will quickly detect that something funky is going on behind the curtain. The Chicago-based pastor is selling spiritual blessings with the same hypnotic skills of a used car salesman. What’s tragic is that millions of Christians who should have the discernment to know better are being duped by this circus sideshow. FULL REPORT

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Obama Administration ‘Will Go Down as Most Anti-Christian in U.S. History’

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 06:05 AM PDT

Commenting on President Barack Obama’s decision to include prominent homosexual and pro-abortion activists at a White House reception to honor Pope Francis, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said it was a “classless decision,” a “new low” that further reveals the Obama administration “will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history.”

“President Obama’s classless decision to transform Pope Francis’ visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics,” Huckabee said on Monday, as reported in the Iowa Statesman. “Why is it that Obama goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians?” he said. “This is a new low for an administration that will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history.” Last Friday, Sept. 18, Huckabee also criticized the Obama administration for appointing an openly homosexual man, Eric Fanning, to be secretary of the Army. FULL REPORT

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Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


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


Resource Links

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.

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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Promoting Our Neighbor’s Good Name

The Reformed Reader

The Whole Works of Thomas Boston, Vol. 2: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 2 Thomas Boston (d. 1732), along with many other volumes, wrote a commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  I’ve enjoyed using it in my studies and sermons on the Ten Commandments.  Below I’ve written a section where Boston talks about one of the implications of the 9th commandment: rather than lying, we should speak well of our neighbor and promote his good name (WSC Q/A 77; cf HC Q/A 112).  The question is, what does the 9th commandment require of us towards our neighbors?

1. A charitable opinion and esteem of our neighbors (1 Cor. 13:7); being ready to hope the best of them, unless the contrary be evident.

2. A desire of, and rejoicing in, their good name and reputation (Rom. 1:8). We are to love them as ourselves, and therefore should be glad of the sweet savor of their name, though their reputation outshine ours.

3. Sorrowing and grieving…

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Pope meets with Fidel Castro, focuses on global warming

WINTERY KNIGHT

Barack Obama shakes hands with Pope Francis Barack Obama shakes hands with Pope Francis

The Pope came to America and he had a lot to say about economics and politics. In fact, he endorsed Barack Obama’s plan to slow down our economy, so that Russia and China can catch up to us.

The Daily Signal explains:

But experts at a Heritage Foundation event Monday painted a bleak picture of its adverse impact on the poor, warning that the shift away from natural energy sources would lead to skyrocketing electricity costs that will have “devastating” impacts on low-income families.

Mario Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, cited a report from the National Black Chamber of Commerce that found that by 2030, the plan will increase electricity costs for consumers by $565 billion annually.

“This makes it one of the costliest regulations in American history,” he said.

That cost, Lopez continued, will hit families directly through increased prices on nearly everything ranging from…

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Health premiums up $4,865 since Obama promised to lower them $2,500

WINTERY KNIGHT

Should we pick a candidate based on our emotional response to his confidence? Should we pick a candidate based on our emotional response to his confidence?

Barack Obama had a lot of confident words and personal charisma during his campaign speeches in 2008. Many young people want to believe that their positive emotional reaction to confident words will somehow make plans “work out”. But can you really compel the universe to give you goodies just by having positive feelings? Does your emotional response to handsome looks and confident words mean that somehow the universe will give you what you desire?

I want to use this article from Investors Business Daily to illustrate the importance of not picking a President based on confident words and personal charisma.

It says:

Employer-based health insurance premiums climbed 4.2% this year for family plans, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation report. That’s up from 3% the year before.

Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.

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MIRACLES: Pastor Saeed is suffering in an Iranian prison, but he’s also leading inmates to Christ. Here’s the latest. (My conversation with his wife, Naghmeh Abedini)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

PastorSaeed-2(Washington, D.C.) — “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)

On Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to talk by phone with Mrs. Naghmeh Abedini. She is the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been in prison in Iran for converting to Christianity, preaching the Gospel, and helping the underground house church network inside Iran.

This Saturday will mark the third year since Pastor Saeed was arrested in Iran and sentenced to death. A prayer vigil for his protection and release will be held in churches all over the world this weekend. I ask you and your family and church to commit this weekend to praying for this dear brother in Christ and his precious family. I have been invited to speak that day at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. and will address…

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GodLife: Tell Others About Jesus

Scripture: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” – Matthew 28:18-20

Who is one person you could share Jesus with today?

One of Jesus’ greatest commands is to tell others about Him. It can be scary to share about Jesus with others, whether it’s with a stranger or a close friend. But, don’t let fear keep you from telling someone about Jesus today. The reward is far greater than anything bad that might happen – that person’s salvation!.

Share about the amazing love of Jesus:

The Lie of Unlimited Atonement

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST ARMINIANISM or A TREATISE TO ENERVATE AND CONFUTE ALL FIVE POINTS OF IT” with extracts from Dr. John Gill, Dr. Isaac Watts, Augustus Toplady, John Newton, J. Hart, etc.  Recommended by Dr. John Owen, and published for the public good.
Written and edited by Christopher Ness
Fourth Edition published in London, in the Year 1700

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The Extent of the Atonement

God imposed his wrath, and Christ underwent the pains of hell either for,

1    All of the sins of all men,
2    All of the sins of some men, or
3    Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

A    That if the last is true, then all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved.
B    That if the second is true, then Christ suffered in their…

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