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?

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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…


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…


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 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!

Here is the YouTube link:

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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:

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.

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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).

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)

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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.


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.


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).


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.


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”?


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)

(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.”


Mike Abendroth – Sola Scriptura and Mysticism


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

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


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 is a website inspired by, 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, 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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