Daily Archives: October 2, 2015

October 2, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

September 28 Quotes


Is Hell Eternal Separation From God?

I conclude that the formulation of Hell being eternal separation from God needs a bit of tweaking. Hell is eternal separation from the grace and mercy of God. It is not eternal separation from God entirely. I believe that people will fervently wish that they could escape the judging presence of God! Hell is a place where God is present only to judge and punish. Heaven is the place where God is present only to love and cherish.

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The Truth about Church Websites

The truth is that prospective visitors want to know what you believe. Now there’s a balance to be preserved here. If a church website details their beliefs with a host of positional papers, I get a slightly uneasy feeling. Sometimes the militant do that. But not always. My preference is to see a tight mission statement along with links to the creeds to which they subscribe. That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

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Mars and the Majesty of Christ

In a Christian vision of the cosmos, the vastness of the universe around us isn’t incidental. God is designing the universe this way to reveal something (Rom. 1:20), something about himself, something about his gospel. David, king of Israel, felt small when he looked into the expanse of the night sky, a reaction the Scripture considers to be reasonable (Ps. 8:3). The starry scene above made him wonder, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:4). And David didn’t even see a pinprick of what we now see is out there. Conversely, we see only a pinprick of what our descendants may know about what’s out there.

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Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?

At this point, very careful and honest thinking is required of us. At one level, we can join with anyone, regardless of worldview, to save people from a burning house. We would gladly help an atheist save a neighbor from danger, or even beautify the neighborhood. Those actions do not require a shared theological worldview.

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He Breaks the Power of Cancelled Sin

We have no hope without the fact that by grace through faith alone God has justified us entirely upon the merits of Jesus. The contemporary grace movement gets this right. But as Phillips points out, the contemporary grace movement has a troubling habit of reducing salvation to justification only. In other words instead of a full and robust doctrine of salvation whereby we are saved not only from the penalty of sin but also from the power of sin the focus seems to rest entirely on our forensic standing while neglecting our progressive sanctification. 

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Arminianism & Its Hazards

Bottom line: when it comes to our God’s glorious plan of salvation, we do well to step away from his throne by letting the clear testimony of Scripture speak, permitting him to choose, ordain, predestine, and foreknew whom he wishes from a hopelessly rebellious human race.

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The Targeting of Christians and How Christians Respond: Reflections on the Oregon Shootings

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Christianity Today

Pray for the families for whom this is not &another mass shooting,& and then act in these ways.

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 Roseburg killings: How should Christians respond? (COMMENTARY)

Roseburg killings: How should Christians respond? (COMMENTARY)

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Religion News

Are Christians being targeted? Maybe. But we can follow the beautiful example of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Charleston. When evil came knocking, forgiveness answered.

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 Hungarian Church Heavily Affected by Influx of Migrants Thanks God After Government Seals Borders

Hungarian Church Heavily Affected by Influx of Migrants Thanks God After Government Seals Borders

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Gospel Herald

The church in a southern Hungarian diocese heavily affected by an influx of migrants has thanked the right-wing government for regarding its effort to seal Hungary’s borders against further migration as “a task given by God”.

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Franklin Graham: Russian Airstrikes Will Prevent Syrian 'Bloodbath,' Obama More Invested in Promoting LGBT Agenda Than Protecting Christians

Franklin Graham: Russian Airstrikes Will Prevent Syrian ‘Bloodbath,’ Obama More Invested in Promoting LGBT Agenda Than Protecting Christians

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Gospel Herald

Evangelist Franklin Graham has said the airstrikes launched by Russia in Syria may prevent a bloodbath of Christians and accused President Obama of being more interested in promoting the LGBT agenda than protecting persecuted believers.

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Does

Does “The Martian” Hold Any Meaning for Earthlings?

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Crosswalk

Based upon Andy Weir’s best-selling novel, The Martian stars Matt Damon, along with a star-studded cast. Could this be one of those rare occurrences where the movie actually better than the book? Crosswalk’s Steve and Shawn give their take. Cl…

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Oregon Gunman Asked 'Are You a Christian?' Before Slaughtering Students at Roseburg Community College

Oregon Gunman Asked ‘Are You a Christian?’ Before Slaughtering Students at Roseburg Community College

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Gospel Herald

The Thursday late-morning shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, a former timber town of 20,000 on the western edge of the Cascade Mountains, ranked as the deadliest mass killing this year in the United States.

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Texas Sheriff Tells Atheist Organization to 'Go Fly a Kite' After Complaint About 'In God We Trust' Decals

Texas Sheriff Tells Atheist Organization to ‘Go Fly a Kite’ After Complaint About ‘In God We Trust’ Decals

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Gospel Herald

After the Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded that decals bearing the motto “In God we trust” be removed from patrol vehicles, Childress Police Chief Adrian Garcia in Texas simply told the atheist organization to “go fly a kite.”

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Billy Graham warns of fire and brimstone in ‘final’ book

Billy Graham warns of fire and brimstone in ‘final’ book

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Religion News

(RNS) Experts say his words are a significant shift from the approach he took after the first decade of his ministry.

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Fact Check: 5 Planned Parenthood Myths Debunked

Fact Check: 5 Planned Parenthood Myths Debunked

Posted on October 2, 2015 by CBN

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards own testimony before Congress this week may be the very thing that clears up a few myths about the agency believed as fact.

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Don't Despair! Choose Your Own Life's Sermon

Don’t Despair! Choose Your Own Life’s Sermon

Posted on October 2, 2015 by CBN

The non-profit Ronald McDonald House relies on the community and workers who go the extra mile. One man sees his work there as a living sermon, one that affords the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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The Church and the Tribulation

A lot of anxiety has been stirred up recently over the teaching that the Church will go through some, if not all of the time known as the Great Tribulation. Jesus referred to this special time in Matthew 24:21, and it has been the springboard for books and movies that portray some very terrifying things to come.

Some Christians, thinking that the Church will go through it, are worried and are doing their best to make plans to survive the seven years.They are stockpiling food, water, precious metals, guns and ammunition, etc., in the hope of making it alive until the time that Jesus returns for His Church.Some “scholars and experts” are going so far as to say that preachers who do not warn their churches of impending and cataclysmic events are shirking their duty as preachers.

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Video Clip: Donald Trump Run From The Copelands, Paula White, David Jeremiah, Robert Jeffress, & The TBN Broadcasters

Donald Trump Run From The Copelands, Paula White, David Jeremiah, Robert Jeffress, & The TBN Broadcasters. Click here to watch the video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ18exdhR6I
 


WVW-TV Presents: The White Magic of Evangelicalism (Part Three). Watch now before this program rolls into the Situation Room at http://www.situationroom.net for members only. Click here to watch now:http://www.worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/white-magic-evangelicalism-part… If you have a Bible or worldview question visit http://www.worldviewpedia.com for the answer!
 


What the Heck is ‘Climate Justice’ and Agenda 2030?

First, we just talked yesterday about growing persecution of Christians in America and we went on air this morning with heavy hearts as news broke about Christians being targeted and murdered yesterday in a small community in Oregon. A disturbed man went in to a community college and systematically murdered people who identified themselves […]

The post What the Heck is ‘Climate Justice’ and Agenda 2030? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Should Christians Resist Discrimination and Persecution?

Julaine Appling from Wisconsin Family Council joins us today to discuss how Christians should engage these troubles.

The post Should Christians Resist Discrimination and Persecution? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Should-Christians-Resist-Discrimination-and-Persecution_.mp3 21.6 MB


 

Exposing the Hypocrisy of “Christian” Social Justice

Forced wealth distribution, radical environmentalism and government abuse?

The post Exposing the Hypocrisy of “Christian” Social Justice appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Exposing-the-Hypocrisy-of-_Christian_-Social-Justice.mp3 48.4 MB


Deceptive Advertising in Christianity

We need to know the Bible before we can respond with ‘it is written.’

The post Deceptive Advertising in Christianity appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Deceptive-Advertising-in-Christianity.mp3 21.1 M


Strange Times: Blood Moons, Idolatry, and Papal Visits

To say we live in strange times is a tremendous understatement. Between the hype over blood moons and the Pope visiting the U.S. – apparently mesmerizing many with his charm – many Christians are wondering how close we are to the end. We are seeing more and more people worshipping men and ‘signs’ rather […]

The post Strange Times: Blood Moons, Idolatry, and Papal Visits appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Strange-Times_-Blood-Moons-Idolatry.mp3 24.3 MB


What Do You Need to Know about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam?

What do you need to know about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam? Maybe more than you think. The swelling numbers of visiting students and immigrants from India, China, and the Middle East are compelling Westerners to learn more about these ancient religions. Understanding these worldviews enables Christians to more meaningfully engage and minister to people migrating amongst us in North America. If you have not interacted substantially with adherents to these religions, you probably soon will. If you are a Christian, Jesus calls you to be ready.

To get a reasonably brief overview of these three religions, listen to Dr. Timothy Tennent’s lectures – Essentials of Hinduism, Essentials of Buddhism, and Essentials of Islam – at biblicaltraining.org. Dr. Tennent is president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and has served as a Methodist missionary in India for many decades.

Each series is comprised of four to seven lectures. They are summaries of full-length seminary classes. Eastern religions present learning challenges to Westerners who must become acclimated to a whole new vocabulary, history, and culture. While there is a sense in which it would be best to study under tutors from the East, I find it helpful to have an instructor who understands the background of Western students for these introductory lectures. I serve with one ruling elder and one seminary student intern who are each converts from Hinduism, and they found the lectures on Hinduism instructive as an external analysis. Because of the rapidly changing political climate, some portions of the lectures on Isalm and Hinduism are slightly dated; listeners who have lived through the last five years will be able to project the implications of the analysis onto recent history.

Dr. Tennent does his best to present the material fairly and as simply but thoroughly as possible. I cannot verify the accuracy of all the material (I’m told that his pronunciations are not always correct), but Dr. Tennent is well studies and has lived in these cultures. The lectures are a good starting point at least. Others in our own congregation have found them to be quite accessible and enriching as they seek to minister to friends and neighbors from these religious backgrounds.

The lectures can be found at biblicaltraining.org and the Biblical Training app is quite cconvenient as well.

Reformed Christians may also be fascinated to learn that Dr. Tennent and his wife, committed Arminians as they are, actively promote Psalm-singing. Their site to promote the singing of the Psalms is quite rich.


Youth Targeted Calvinism / Book of Romans Torn to Pieces in Service of “Gay Christianity”

Two main topics on the program today.  First I mentioned fairly briefly this wild-eyed article from SBC Today as another example of Anti-Calvinist Derangement Syndrome.  Had to chuckle at its ridiculous comments on Edwards, though I know it is serious—and sad.  But sometimes, you just have to laugh.  Then I moved on to discuss Graeme Codrington’s amazing way of removing Romans 1 from the discussion of homosexuality in the Bible.

I do not know if I will be able to sneak another program in on Monday (I leave Tuesday), but I will make a real valiant effort!

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=1011512152410

Here is the YouTube link:

The post Youth Targeted Calvinism / Book of Romans Torn to Pieces in Service of “Gay Christianity” appeared first on Alpha and Omega Ministries.


Rick Warren Joins Rome In The Name of the Family

Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren Speaks at Catholics’ World Meeting of Families Pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church gave the final keynote address of the World Meeting of Families conference, sharing the stage with Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, in Philadelphia on Friday, the day before Pope Francis arrives in the city. “Thank you for caring about the family,” warren told

Praying for a Breakthrough

Praying for a BreakthroughA breakthrough is a military concept. When one army is able to weaken its enemy’s forces to the point of collapse, a breakthrough occurs allowing that army to invade and take its enemy’s territory.

But in war a breakthrough only really matters if it occurs at a strategic location. And the evidence that a location is strategic is almost always revealed by the amount of enemy forces amassed to protect it. An enemy led by skilled generals plans to ferociously protect what it prizes highly.

This means that an invading army can expect its attempt to achieve a breakthrough to be met by a barrier of fierce enemy opposition. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily.

Our Breakthroughs Are Opposed by Powerful Forces

This is as true for spiritual warfare as it is for terrestrial warfare. In the spiritual realm, as opposed to the terrestrial, the church is an invading force. Though we can easily slip into a defensive, circle-the-wagons mindset, Jesus clearly intends for us to be aggressors, not merely defenders. The Great Commission is to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In a world that “lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), that’s militant language. Our mission: to liberate those the devil has taken captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26).

But we must keep in mind that strategic ground is not yielded easily. Whether we’re battling for breakthroughs against our own stubborn sin or the unbelief of a loved one or breakthroughs in the missional advance of our local church, reaching unreached peoples, rescuing persecuted believers, orphans, sex slaves, or the unborn, we are up against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We don’t know exactly what that means except that these forces are very strong.

Daniel’s Example

Daniel 10:12–14 gives us a brief glimpse of what’s happening. Daniel had been praying and partially fasting for 21 days to gain greater insight into the revelations he had received (Daniel 10:3) when an angelic being finally showed up with an answer to his prayers. This messenger said that he had been trying to get to Daniel for those 21 days, but had been detained by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia.” The chief angel Michael had to come and free him.

This experience of Daniel is an example to us. It’s not a formula that can simply be boiled down to pray and fast for 21 days and Michael will come help you overcome cosmic forces. But it is an example of what is taking place outside of our sight. God does not want us to know more about the angelic realm than what he has revealed in Scripture, otherwise Scripture would have revealed more. But he clearly wants us to know that there is more going on than we see so that we will pray to him and fast until he gives us an answer.

When God Moves, Satan Responds

The consistent pattern throughout the Bible is that every significant move of God is preceded by a season of increasingly difficult, discouraging opposition. And if we take Ephesians 6, Daniel 10, and other warfare texts seriously, we can understand why: God is invading what Satan considers his territory. God’s kingdom is breaking through the lines of the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13).

If we are not encountering opposition, it’s likely we are not attacking a strategic location. But if we are, we are on to something. Where the enemy is fortifying his forces is where we must focus our assault.

And where the enemy is fortified, there is going to be a fierce fight if we are going to achieve a breakthrough. We are going to receive volleys of flaming darts (Ephesians 6:16). We are going to be attacked on the rear. There will be spies in the camp. There will be jeering and intimidation and accusations. There will be efforts to destroy our morale and determination.

A Call for Breakthrough Determination

So this is a call for holy determination. Keep praying and don’t lose heart (Luke 18:1). Just like in any large-scale war, there are many battles. Some breakthroughs are achieved relatively quickly; others require long, persevering endurance. But either way, breakthroughs require a determination to keep up the assault.

Usually breakthroughs are not achieved by prayer alone — there are works to be done and courage to be exercised. But real spiritual breakthroughs are not achieved at all without prayer. Concentrated, specific, persistent, prevailing prayer, often engaged in by two or more (Matthew 18:19), is needed to weaken our spiritual opposition. And fasting is a wonderful help. “Fasting tests where the heart is. And when it reveals that the heart is with God and not the world, a mighty blow is struck against Satan” (A Hunger for God).

So if you’re praying for a breakthrough and not seeing it, and in fact experiencing more temptations to discouragement, frustration, weariness, doubt, and cynicism than before, do not give up. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily. You’re up against more than you know. But “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and he will give you justice (Luke 18:8).

Don’t lose heart. Grow determined. There’s a breakthrough ahead.


Related Resources


The Creative God Doctrine

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Program segments:

00:07:15 Pierce’s Ponderous Prophecies
00:16:20 Seth Dahl of Bethel Claims Jesus Asked Him to Forgive Him
00:23:34 Beth Moore’s Unity Doctrine Part 3
01:02:25 Kong Hee’s Creative God Doctrine
01:26:06 Sermon Review: The Seven Mountains by Kong Hee


Reasons to Worship with Excitement this Weekend

If you are a follower of Christ, you have good reasons to gather for worship with great excitement this weekend. Just listen to these multiple images of God’s forgiveness:

  1. God has separated us from our sin an immeasurable distance: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
  2. God has dropped our sin to the bottom of the sea: “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19b).
  3. God has blotted out our sin: “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake” (Isaiah 43:25b).
  4. God remembers our sin no more: “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin” (Jeremiah 31:34b).
  5. God has cleansed our sin: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
  6. God has cast our sin behind His back: “for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back” (Isaiah 38:17).
  7. God has forgiven and covered our sins: “How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered!” (Romans 4:7).
  8. God does not count our sin against us: “That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
  9. God laid all our sin upon His Son: “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
  10. God takes away our sin: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29).

So, Christian, when you worship this weekend, sing a little more loudly . . . smile a little more broadly . . . pray a little more intensely . . . repent a lot more ferociously . . .  and rejoice a lot more fervently!


Why All Churches Should Address Depression

It’s no secret that my past was ridden with mental health issues—ones that kept me from wanting to live for much of my teenage life. I’m very vocal about this truth, and I will continue to be as along as my story may have an impact on others who need to hear it. And while I do believe today’s church is doing better at addressing the issue that is mental health, I believe there can be so much more done than what is currently taking place in regards to depression and anxiety. Let me explain.

I never tried to take my own life in my younger years, but I frequently found myself googling painless ways to commit suicide, and really had no remorse once finding what I was looking for. It was a sad state to be in. The reality is that my life was infected with the burden of depression and anxiety, and the only places I could find reliable information from were not churches in my local area. Why? Because mental illness wasn’t really talked about.

I felt as if all the “Christian” resources were outdated, and really didn’t address the fact that taking medication was OK in the eyes of God. There really wasn’t much information at all. It was as if all the answers I was finding were suggesting that I just needed more faith. Seriously? The last thing someone contemplating suicide wants to here is, “Just have faith.” I understand that Jesus has the power to conquer anything that comes my way, but please don’t throw Christian clichés at me. I wanted real, authentic and practical information, and I assume there are millions in this world who would want the same. It’s what Jesus would have done.

I really wanted to find help in the church, but there were no ministries or nonprofits working within the walls of local congregations that I could reach. All the counseling and help I received came years after I actually needed it, and it was found in the secrecy of a local medical facility, not a church—where it should have been all along.

Mind you, the church has come a long ways since my teenage years in regards to helping those with mental illness, but I believe we can still do a lot more.

Some Statistics

1. It is reported that 1 in 10 Americans are affected by depression. 

2. Over 80 percent of people who are clinically depressed are not receiving treatment.

3. The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 30 percent every year. 

4. An estimated 121 million people around the world suffer from depression.

5. In 2013, 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.

6. In 2013, someone died by suicide every 12.8 minutes.

We Need the Church

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” —1 Peter 5:7

Here’s the thing … I understand that there is importance to seeing what many would call a “professional” in the field of mental health issues, but this doesn’t mean that the local church shouldn’t be prioritizing leadership roles and ministry efforts to help those who deal with these issues. I understand that not all churches lack in this area, but I bet there are more who do than don’t.

My wife and I have met with and counseled dozens of young people over the last year, all sharing with us the brutal battle that is taking place within their souls. Suicide attempts, cutting, depression and anxiety are just the beginning of what these young people were facing.

We NEED the church to step up in its efforts to be more vocal in regards to mental illness. Whether that be through a sermon series, free resources, creating nonprofits or even cultivating a designated year-long ministry. Regardless, the church should be at the front-lines of this battle. People need a safe place where they can be honest and transparent with what they are going through.

There is nothing wrong with admitting you are depressed, cutting, have attempted suicide or are even contemplating it. There is nothing wrong with seeking medical attention and being prescribed medication to help you along the journey. And there is nothing wrong with admitting you need help. 

A Few Resources

1. Heart Support.

2. My Broken Palace.

3. To Write Love on Her Arms.

4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety or has even thought of suicide, please give them the resources above and do not wait another minute.

—Jarrid Wilson  

The post Why All Churches Should Address Depression appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.


Restore to Me the Joy of Your Salvation

My husband and I recently sat in on a meeting to discuss the options, challenges, and hurdles of our child’s special needs. As we sat surrounded by several specialists, listening to them list the problems at hand, a lump began to grow in the back of my throat in an attempt to fight back the tears of our painful reality.

I felt a fresh wave of sadness for what’s been lost, a struggle within me to hold on to joy, and a resistance to accept what God has allowed. I never imagined this for my life and, although I see God working through it in so many ways, my flesh still wants relief, answers, and sometimes a way out.

Everyone faces these unexpected and often unwanted circumstances at some point in life. Nobody gets a free pass from suffering, disappointment, and grief.

But as believers, our hope is not in this world. So where do we go with these heartaches that are so real, so consuming, and often threatening to steal our joy?

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:12)

This is my prayer today, and may it be yours if you find yourself in a similar place. For this is where we must go when we feel battered by the trials of life.

Restore to Me the Joy of Your Salvation…

What most often threatens our joy? Pain, fear, shattered dreams, disastrous effects of sin, circumstances that strip us of comfort, and prayers that seem to go unanswered, just to name a few.

I admit that too often I attempt to find joy in what I think will make me happy and comfortable. It’s so easy to confuse the two when our flesh is so drawn to comfort. We are too easily satisfied with short, temporary bursts of pleasure, rather than pure, satisfying joy in our Savior.

Joy is the byproduct of the gospel, not of our circum­stance­s.

TWEET

However, joy is the byproduct of the gospel, not of our circumstances. Without salvation in Jesus Christ, there would be no joy, only temporary happiness. So when we find ourselves battling despair, we need to go to God’s Word and ask him to freshly remind us of what we truly deserve apart from his saving grace. This truth helps to shift our emotions and pain into a right perspective, freeing us to experience the joy that is ours in Christ.

For this reason, these disappointing and distressing realities of life can actually be God’s goodness to us. For when he strips away the comforts and blessings that we tend to expect and fear losing, we are suddenly forced to grapple with where we are placing our hope. We are forced to seek unwavering joy in the Giver, rather than settling for mere enjoyment in his gifts.

David’s words are life-giving, and they lift our eyes to the source of our joy. They also remind us that we are not capable of producing this joy within ourselves but, we are able ask for the Spirit to awaken us to the joy we have in Christ. As I have prayed these verses today in my own fight for joy, I have been reminded that although he has not chosen to remove this heartache and struggle from my life, he has used it to plow the hardened soil of my heart in order that the fruit of joy might be greater produced in me.

This world can bring disappointment and pain, but it cannot steal our joy when our salvation is secure and hidden in Christ. Because we are quick to forget this undeserved reality, we can pray in these moments of despair and heartache, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation!”

Uphold Me with a Willing Spirit…

David knew his need to be reminded that his joy was first found in the Lord’s promised salvation, not in his circumstances or his own goodness. However, he also knew that joy would only come through a willing and submissive spirit to God’s work in his life.

The same is true for us. Our eternal joy is secure in our salvation, but our immediate joy is also reliant on a willing spirit to serve and trust him completely and obediently, even when life takes us down a path we never expected or would have asked for. We do not obey because of force, but we trust that Christ will uphold us and faithfully bring to completion by his good and perfect will, using imperfect people and a broken world.

If I’m honest, the root of my struggle for joy has stemmed from the fact that I’m resistant to accept what God has allowed. I’m incredibly thankful for how he has sustained and protected me through so many hard years, but my flesh still rears its ugly head too often. Unfortunately, this often triggers a complaining attitude, a short temper, and a victim mentality towards life. By his grace, he often doesn’t allow me to stay there for very long before the realization hits me that I’m heading down a miserable and joyless path.

It often seems, however, that soon after I’ve accepted and chosen to trust in God’s sovereignty (by his grace), another wave of circumstances hits, taking me back to that familiar fork in the road.

Will I accept this circumstance, despite my short-term vision seeing no good purpose for it? Did I really count the cost when I surrendered my life to Christ? If I had known this would happen, would I still follow him? Do I believe his promises, even when I may never see them come to fruition? Will I allow the resistance in my flesh to take root, or will I pray as David did, “Give me a willing spirit”?

These questions of wrestling are good and right when we take them to the Lord in honesty and humility. He delights in hearing our hearts. God knows that the path of acceptance begins with trusting his character, and the path to knowing his character is through his Word. Therefore, it is critical to go directly to the source of truth (the Bible) when these circumstances, and their resulting emotions, threaten our joy.

Stand on His Promises

When we grow to trust completely in his character and the promises of his Word, we are more easily able to accept what is from his hand. This may not happen immediately when suffering strikes, since we are still fallen beings, but increasingly we learn to bring our emotions, questions, and needs to our trustworthy Savior. This opens the pathway for experiencing the joy that comes from our promised eternal salvation, as well as a secure confidence and trust in his promises to sustain and equip us for each and every moment of our day.

I am amazed and thankful that the Lord brought this verse to me through a mentor as I was wrestling again with anger and a joy-sucking discontentment in what God has allowed in my life:

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. (Psalm 121:3)

Right when I feel like I’m sinking, he pulls me up and sets my feet firmly on his promises. The Lord has given me a willing spirit. This power does not come from our own strength, but from the power of his Spirit within us. This is the God that we serve. One that sees us, one that pursues us, and one that upholds us. He knows our every need and knows exactly when we need it. Yes, he may allow the winds and the waves to come, but he promises to carry us through them.

Are you feeling as though the light has gone out from you and joy is nowhere to be found? Are you struggling to accept what God is allowing in your life? Is there someone you know who is suffering and doesn’t know where to turn?

You are not alone. As the body of believers, we can come alongside of each other and remind one another of the joy we have in Christ. We do not grieve as those without hope. So whatever circumstances you find yourself in, I encourage you to walk with this prayer as your banner today: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit”(Psalm 51:12).

What has made it difficult for you to submit to God with a willing spirit during times of suffering? Where is your hope?

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The post Restore to Me the Joy of Your Salvation appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Why You Must Leave the Roman Catholic Church

While I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response about last week’s article, “Why Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Cannot Be Together,” some seem to not quite grasp the reason for it. After all, they say that they have neighbors or family members who really love Jesus, who attend a Roman Catholic Church. While I have spoken to many Catholics and have yet to meet one who can explain the Gospel, I am sure that at least in America there has to be some believers who Sunday after Sunday are attending RCC’s. If you are one of these people, here are four reasons you need to leave today. Or if you know someone whom you believe to be born again, here are four reasons you need to encourage them to leave.

You are severed from the Church body

The weekly Church gathering is not about evangelism. It’s about worship, fellowship and equipping (Eph 4:11-15). We love for unbelievers to come to one-anotherChurch and see the radical difference between how Christians love one another and how the world loves one another. We love for unbelievers to come to our services and be exposed to the preaching of the Word. But ultimately the Church is literally made up only of the saints. It is foolish to go to a place on Sunday morning, instead of Church, for the purpose of “evangelism”. Sundays are not for evangelism. Let me clarify because many Sundays I do evangelize someone, but ultimately the gathering of the believers has been instituted by Christ for mutual encouragement and serving each other, not to evangelize each other. If you go to a “church” where the majority of the people around you are unsaved then you are disobeying Hebrews 10:24-25. If you are a believer attending a RCC, then Christ wants you to leave and join a church where HE is the head. You have gifts the Holy Spirit has given to you that you need to be using to serve your fellow Christians. The one-another’s are for believers not unbelievers.

You are missing out on expository preaching

I contend that the main avenue Christ uses to sanctify his bride as a whole is through the weekly exposition of the Scripture. God has gifted calvin-preaching_19thc-representation2certain men with the ability and time to study His Word in depth, and has blessed the Church with the Sunday morning gathering of the saints. It is crucial that we are part of a church that preaches through the Bible. It is imperative that we sit under solid teaching. I have never met a priest who preaches through the Bible verse by verse. Paul’s charge to Timothy was to preach the word (2 Tim 4:2) and to rightly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). This simply does not happen in the RCC and any believer who subjects himself to false teaching will be affected by it more than they can affect those around them.

You can’t reform an apostate religion

I sometimes hear that there are genuine believers attending RCC’s, and they are there for the purpose of being a light in a dark place. They agree that Catholicism is a dead religion without the true Gospel, but that they are so concerned for their friends and families that they choose to stay and reform from the inside. I understand this attitude and I truly appreciate the intent and the desire to reach people for Christ, but we have a misunderstanding of what the Church is meant to be when we do this. We also have a inflated view of our ability to do what the apostle Peter and James couldn’t do with Judaism, though it seemed that they tried, and what Luther and Calvin couldn’t do in the Roman Catholic Church and ultimately had to branch off and start new churches.

You are blaspheming God

I pray that this statement will come across with love and with a concerned heart attitude. But if you are attending a mass then you are blaspheming God. As we saw in last week’s post, each time you eat the bread and drink theTheEucharist wine you are saying that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross two-thousand years ago was not sufficient and that Christ must continue to die each and every week. While you may be taking it as a symbol and in thankfulness to your Savior, the RCC is saying that Jesus is still on the cross and must continue dying for last week’s sins. Jesus is not still on the cross. His death was effectual in what was intended. He died Once and for all for sin (I beg you to read carefully Hebrews 10:10-18), and shouted “It Is Finished!” He does not need to continue dying, and the blood he shed that day was sufficient to cover all our sin, past, present and future. When we partake in the RCC communion we are blaspheming Christ by telling Him that His death and resurrection was unsuccessful.

So many people are bothered with posts like these. They feel like it’s unloving and unaccepting to tell someone they are wrong or doing the wrong thing. I beg you to reconsider. I believe it’s unloving to allow your friends and neighbors to continue going to a “church” Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, that is not going to provide for them spiritually and where they will be forced to insult Jesus.

If you wish to learn more about evangelizing Catholics consider these tools.


Do You Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?

Is church attendance, if you’re physically able, a requirement to go to heaven? In a very technical sense, the answer is no. However, we need to remember a few things. Christ commands His people not to forsake the assembling together (Heb. 10:25). When God constituted the people of Israel, He organized them into a visible nation and placed upon them a sober and sacred obligation to be in corporate worship before Him. If a person is in Christ, he is called to participate in koinonia—the fellowship of other Christians and the worship of God according to the precepts of Christ. If a person knows all these things and persistently and willfully refuses to join in them, would that not raise serious questions about the reality of that person’s conversion? Perhaps a person could be a new Christian and take that position, but I would say that’s highly unlikely.

Some of us may be deceiving ourselves in terms of our own conversion. We may claim to be Christians, but if we love Christ, how can we despise His bride? How can we consistently and persistently absent ourself from that which He has called us to join—His visible church? I offer a sober warning to those who are doing this. You may, in fact, be deluding yourself about the state of your soul.

This excerpt is taken from What Is the Church? by R.C. Sproul. Download it and other free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series here.


What Do You Need to Know about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam?

What do you need to know about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam? Maybe more than you think. The swelling numbers of visiting students and immigrants from India, China, and the Middle East are compelling Westerners to learn more about these ancient religions. Understanding these worldviews enables Christians to more meaningfully engage and minister to people migrating amongst us in North America. If you have not interacted substantially with adherents to these religions, you probably soon will. If you are a Christian, Jesus calls you to be ready.

To get a reasonably brief overview of these three religions, listen to Dr. Timothy Tennent’s lectures – Essentials of Hinduism, Essentials of Buddhism, and Essentials of Islam – at biblicaltraining.org. Dr. Tennent is president of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and has served as a Methodist missionary in India for many decades.

Each series is comprised of four to seven lectures. They are summaries of full-length seminary classes. Eastern religions present learning challenges to Westerners who must become acclimated to a whole new vocabulary, history, and culture. While there is a sense in which it would be best to study under tutors from the East, I find it helpful to have an instructor who understands the background of Western students for these introductory lectures. I serve with one ruling elder and one seminary student intern who are each converts from Hinduism, and they found the lectures on Hinduism instructive as an external analysis. Because of the rapidly changing political climate, some portions of the lectures on Isalm and Hinduism are slightly dated; listeners who have lived through the last five years will be able to project the implications of the analysis onto recent history.

Dr. Tennent does his best to present the material fairly and as simply but thoroughly as possible. I cannot verify the accuracy of all the material (I’m told that his pronunciations are not always correct), but Dr. Tennent is well studies and has lived in these cultures. The lectures are a good starting point at least. Others in our own congregation have found them to be quite accessible and enriching as they seek to minister to friends and neighbors from these religious backgrounds.

The lectures can be found at biblicaltraining.org and the Biblical Training app is quite cconvenient as well.

Reformed Christians may also be fascinated to learn that Dr. Tennent and his wife, committed Arminians as they are, actively promote Psalm-singing. Their site to promote the singing of the Psalms is quite rich.


This ‘n’ That

  • If God’s goodness leads to repentance, why do we preach about judgment and sin? The Grace to You blog tackles Romans 2:4, a verse that is quite commonly ripped out of context.
  • In light of last weekend’s blood moon and all of us missing the end of the world (again), The Cripplegate revisits the rapture.
  • So, um…I’m confused about Denny Burk’s confusion. Did we expect there to be anything Christian about the Pope’s speech?
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • I don’t even know what this is supposed to mean.
  • Good grief, people, I really hope this doesn’t surprise you.
  • Yep, I totally judged this book by its cover.
  • The Word of God is true, and truth has authority:

Oregon, We Are Not Numb — Or Hopeless

Oregon, We Are Not Numb — Or HopelessYesterday, tragedy struck in the state of Oregon. A gunman killed at least ten people at a community college. Reports say the gunman intentionally targeted Christians, lining victims up, asking their religion, and shooting them in the head if they said “Christian.”

Our hearts break at such evil, and our prayers rise for the families connected to this tragedy. Their pain is too real and too raw for us to quickly offer words of meaningful comfort. We do not want to trivialize their pain by trying to reason away their deaths, as if their families aren’t forever changed.

Yet for those like me — those disconnected enough to observe only through articles and news coverage — I do want to ponder this tragedy. I don’t want this tragedy to be lost on me.

As terrible as it is to note, school shootings now seem so common we rarely stop and move beyond a surface reaction. “We’ve become numb to this,” said President Obama as he addressed the shooting yesterday. My desire is to stop, ask, open our eyes to hope, and see a bigger picture of God in the midst of such madness.

Righteous Reaction to Tragedy

I can’t think of many in the Bible who experienced more pain than Job. Truly, Job’s pain was the result of a kind of persecution: direct Satanic attack. Job understood being singled out as one who was faithful to the one true God.

In the middle of the book of Job, while his tragedy is unfolding, Job hasn’t been silenced yet or vindicated by God; he’s simply arguing his case to his three friends. He talks about his tragedy from God and describes the reaction of onlookers.

     The upright are appalled at this,
          and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless. (Job 17:8)

Job describes the innocent, the onlookers, who “stir themselves up against the godless.” When they looked at Job, they were appalled at the tragedy that he had experienced, and everyone had an opinion or call to action.

Today, we respond in similar ways. Already, activists across the nation have risen up to argue their case for gun control or increased school security.

But hold on. Before your blood boils, or you spring onto your soapbox (for either side of an argument), read the next verse.

     Yet the righteous holds to his way,
          and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger. (Job 17:9)

When tragedy strikes, the righteous grows stronger because God never intended for tragedy to become about our agendas. He always intended for tragedy to point to the reality of our hope in him, and him alone.

Satan Meant Evil, God Means Good

Christians will face tragedy or unspeakable persecution in a world like ours. But what sets Christians apart from the rest of the world is our unshakable hope in a sovereign God who means all things for good — especially life’s most painful things.

Many of us know the power of Romans 8:28, but less of us are familiar with Genesis 50:20. In Romans, we read, that for those who love God, and are called according to his purposes, “all things work together for good.” But in Genesis, it gets even more pointed. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).

It doesn’t say, “God used it for good.” It says, “God meant it for good.”

There’s a purposefulness behind everything that happens because it happens by God’s hand. God isn’t a master strategist, who knows how to quickly react and respond to human actions that catch him by surprise. He is God. “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he” (John 13:19).

A sovereign God is the only God that gives us unshakable hope.

We Are Powerless, God Is Not

Reporting on the President’s comments last night on the shooting, the New York Times reports, “With each massacre, his sense of powerless anger and frustration has built.” Left to our own devices, we will only end up distraught at our powerlessness. We were never meant to orchestrate history.

Job realized the sovereignty of God for himself when God began to question Job concerning the universe he was in. Every argument and logical explanation for Job’s suffering soon was eclipsed by the majesty of a God who knows the end from the beginning.

The sovereignty of God doesn’t make tragedy less tragic, but it does give beautiful hope to every trial we face. Even as his trial still was unfolding, Job believed in a God who would make all things right — and he placed his hope in the day he would see that God face to face.

     I know that my Redeemer lives,
          and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 
     And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
          yet in my flesh I shall see God,
     whom I shall see for myself,
          and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
          My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25–27)

Related Resources


What should you look for in a local church? (For the Church)

My series at For the Church, “Letters to a New Believer,” continues. The first post addressed the dangers of rushing into leadership roles. The second takes a step back to look at getting grounded in the Bible. The third, is my encouragement to tell the story that’s yours. The fourth looks at trying to untangle the tangly bits of getting saved while also living with your girlfriend. The latest, part five, begins a look at developing convictions about what makes a church a church:

One morning, after worshipping at Bedside Baptist (the largest mega-church in the western world), Emily and I went for a walk, our toddler in tow, enjoying the sunshine and the crispness of the air. While we waited at a crosswalk, for some reason I said, “We’re not going to be at our church forever. I’m not sure when, but we’re going to leave eventually.” Emily wasn’t shocked, or concerned. She just said, “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

Despite it having been the only church I’d attended, it wasn’t long before I felt like a square peg in a round hole there. A key issue was my emerging doctrinal convictions. Our church was Pentecostal in denomination and doctrine. I was not. While they didn’t push speaking in tongues too much on Sunday mornings, the response to any suggestion that perhaps not all are gifted in such a manner (1 Corinthians 12:30) was usually met with, “Well, why wouldn’t you want all God has for you?” They tended to be unsure how to respond when I told them I prayed and God emphatically said no. (True story.)

The church’s methodology was firmly in what many now call the “attractional” camp, with a slick praise band and “seeker” friendly messages featuring seven alliterated steps to improve your money, marriage, or motorcycle maintenance, even as the leaders proclaimed they were desperate for people to read their Bibles. More and more, I was becoming convinced that the best way to encourage this was to preach the Bible itself. They were sure that, while no one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand, you could climb out any time you please. I was convinced that if you could do anything to lose your salvation, you would.

As time went on, I was increasingly convinced that we needed to consider not simply whether or not to leave, but what we expected of church. I don’t mean whether or not we wanted to be part of a seeker church, a missional church, a vintage church, or a vertical church. Those are just descriptors (and, frankly, kind of silly ones). No, before we could go we had to understand what the church is, according to the Scriptures.

Read the whole thing at For the Church.

It’s not easy to think about the local church clearly. Because the church is tied so closely to personal relationships (as it should be), we can either blow our issues out of proportion, or minimize things that are seriously wrong because we don’t want to offend or hurt anyone. My goal with this article (and the one to follow) was not to write a definitive manifesto of what church is, but to help those who might be in similar situations to where I was several years ago—people who are trying to figure out what “church” is supposed to be, and whether or not the church they’re a part of is actually where they should be.

I truly hope that this article and the one to follow (which deals with knowing when to leave a church) accomplish that goal so that those who can stay where they are do so joyfully, and those who need to leave can do so gracefully.


Disproportionately Gay

If your teens read a lot, and I hope they do, they’re bound to come across books that promote the gay lifestyle. What to do about that, next on BreakPoint. Listen Now | Download

Bill Nye the drive-by guy

http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2015/09/responding-to-video-from-bill-nye-anti.html

http://lti-blog.blogspot.com/2015/09/responding-to-bill-nyes-abortion-video.html

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/30/the-top-10-ways-bill-nye-the-science-guy-is-wrong-about-abortion


Episode guide to Planned Parenthood videos

http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/29/a-quick-and-easy-guide-to-the-planned-parenthood-videos/

Arminianism & Its Hazards

By Eric Davis – Posted at The Cripplegate:

calvins flowerChances are you’ve discussed it lately. Who chose whom? God? Man? Both? Whose will and choice triggers salvation? Man’s? God’s? Both? It’s a common occurrence to spar over Calvinism (the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace) vs. Arminianism.

This post could not possibly address all the issues. Instead, it will take a brief look at some of Arminianism’s consequences. But first, a quick reminder of common Arminian teaching.

Arminianism typically holds that God elects individuals to salvation based on his foreknowledge of their personal worthiness. It’s claimed that God’s election means that he chose those whom he foresaw would trust in Christ for salvation prior to them doing so. God chose those whom he foreknew would choose him. Humanity, therefore, is fallen, but not incapable of seeking God. Though sinful, man is still able to arouse his will so as to choose God savingly. Some reject election, arguing that it is incompatible with human freedom and responsibility, thus rendering things like evangelism, prayer, and discipleship unnecessary. It follows, then, that many argue that one is able to lose their salvation.

Arminianism has had its propagators over the years. Jacob Arminius, of course. Pelagius before him. Later, John Wesley wrote, “I reject the blasphemy clearly contained in the horrible decree of predestination…I would sooner be a Turk, a Deist, yea an atheist, than I could believe this” (Cited in Demarest, The Cross and Salvation, 102). About 100 years later, Charles Finney held that there are essentially two types of people; the savable and the unsavable. God chose those who inherently possessed the ability by their freedom to choose God and be saved.

Wherever we might find ourselves theologically, there are a number of hazards for consideration which are consequent of Arminian teaching: …


Rise early and be alone with God: wise counsel from an old divine

What is the best time of day to pray and meditate on the Word of God? For me, the best time is the early morning. With four young children in the house, all of whom are usually still sleeping this is the only quiet time in my home. This time also has the advantage of beginning your day by lashing your heart to the mast that is Christ. This was the practice of many of the old divines from Calvin to Edwards and Spurgeon.

I see at least three advantages to practicing these fundamental spiritual disciplines early in the morning:

  1. Your first thoughts of the day are fixed on the Lord.
  2. You are admitting a deep dependence upon God. By praying first thing, you are submitting to God’s sovereign plan for your day, expressing allegiance to his kingdom, resting in his provision, celebrating his grace, and committing to his work.
  3. You begin the day practicing the command of Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God uses Scripture to renew your mind and it is important to begin each day by filling your mind with God’s Word.

In an age of iPhones and Facebook, this question has perhaps never taken on more importance and we do well to listen to an old divine who wrote about this fundamental bit of practical divinity, an old divine who apparently thought sleep was overrated.

William Law (1686-1761) was an English Puritan theologian best known for writing works in the category of practical divinity, a category to which we refer today as “Christian living” or “devotional literature.” His most famous work was a classic titled A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. In it, he argues at length that the best way for a Christian to begin his day is to rise very early and spend the first hours in prayer and Scripture meditation. Law modeled that of which he wrote: “His own day, which began at 5 a.m., was carefully planned to allow time for reading, writing, and works of charity, as well as prayer.”

Law felt that early rising prepared a Christian to face the spiritual battle that would be his lot each day. Allow Law’s words to encourage you toward this practice, and don’t miss what he says about sleep at the end of the first paragraph:

“If our blessed Lord used to pray early before day; if He spent whole nights in prayer; if the devout Anna was day and night in the temple; if St. Paul and Silas at midnight sang praises unto God; if the primitive Christians, for several hundred years, besides their hours of prayers in the daytime, met publicly in the churches at midnight to join in psalms and prayers; is it not certain that these practices showed the state of their heart? Are they not so many plain proofs of the whole turn of their minds? Sleep is . . . a dull, stupid state of existence.

“If you were to rise early every morning as an instance of self-denial, as a method of renouncing indulgence, as a means of redeeming your time and fitting your spirit for prayer, you would find mighty advantages from it. This method, though it seems such a small circumstance of life, would in all probability be a means of great piety. If would keep it constantly in your head that softness and idleness were to be avoided, that self-denial was a part of Christianity. It would teach you to exercise power over yourself, and make you able by degrees to renounce other pleasures and tempers that war against the soul . . . .

“But, above all, one certain benefit from this method you will be sure of having; it will best fit and prepare you for the reception of the Holy Spirit. When you thus begin the day in the spirit of religion, renouncing sleep, because you are to renounce softness and redeem your time; this disposition, as it puts your heart into a good state so it will procure the assistance of the Holy Spirit; what is so planted and watered will certainly have an increase from God. You will then speak from your heart, your soul will be awake, your prayers will refresh you like meat and drink, you will feel what you say, and begin to know what saints and holy men have meant by fervors of devotion.”

_____________

Jeff Robinson (M.Div. and Ph.D., SBTS) is editor of the Southern Seminary blog. He serves as senior editor for The Gospel Coalition and is also adjunct professor of church history and senior research and teaching associate for the Andrew Fuller Center at SBTS. Jeff served as a pastor for several years in Birmingham, Alabama. He is co-author with Michael A. G. Haykin of To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin’s Missional Vision and Legacy (Crossway, 2014). Jeff and his wife Lisa have four children and belong to Clifton Baptist Church.


Articles, Resources, and More . . . Oh My! (10/02/15)

5 Ways to Critique Without Crushing

As one who is more prone to find what’s wrong rather than what’s right, I need these reminders often.

Know Your Rights as a Christian in a Public School

My friend Joe Carter is the best at compiling helpful information on a variety of subjects. Here’s one that may be of use to those with kids in public school.

How to Avoid Ministry Burnout

I wouldn’t characterize every instance of ministry burnout as sin or as resulting from the sin that this author discusses, but this is helpful for those of us who are prone to relying on our flesh as we serve.

Do You Despise Him?

My friend, Kelly, gives us six ways despising God might show up in our lives. May He give us grace to recognize and repent of them.

Beautifully Mediocre

Shannon Wexelberg: “Perhaps just being willing to . . . do whatever it is we feel will expose our weak underbellies . . . maybe that’s where our meager offering and the miraculously ordinary collide and become something more than we imagined.”


 

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top five biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living.

2 New Counseling Resources

Pastor Paul Tautges shares 2 New Counseling Resources from Regular Baptist Press.

Unplanned Parenthood

At the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, they are producing the Truth in Love podcast. They have also now begun providing complete transcripts of those podcasts. Go to this link to read the transcript of Unplanned Parenting.

Ordinary People Do Heavy Lifting

CCEF’s annual conference is coming up, and Ed Welch gives a glimpse of the focus and theme in Ordinary People Do Heavy Lifting.

Perfect Church Now?

Stephen Miller writes at Desiring God about the truth that We Don’t Need Our Perfect Church Now.

God Meant It All for Good

R.C. Sproul, writing about the myriad of events in Joseph’s life, reminds us that God Meant It All for Good.


Links I like

Last night, social media was ablaze with news of another mass shooting, this time at at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. According to reports, the gun man was asking individuals specifically about their religious beliefs before shooting them (Denny Burk’s compiled many of them here). I hope you’ll take a moment to pray for the families of the victims and the survivors of this attack.


Kindle deals for Christian readers

This month’s free audiobook at ChristianAudio.com is Follow Me by David Platt.

Bill Nye the (Sort of) Science Guy

Marty Duren:

…Bill Nye uses the goodwill built over years as an entertainment personality and science educator to gain a hearing for social commentary. When necessary he becomes Bill Nye the Pseudophilosopher Guy to do it.

Case in point: last week Nye was featured on the Big Think video series to talk about abortion (watch below). Makes sense: “Bill, tell us how clouds are formed. Bill, tell tell us how a combustion engine works. Bill, tells about about women’s reproductive rights.” Yeah, no.

What does “Know Your Audience” Even Mean?

Barnabas Piper:

One of the most popular pieces of advice for communicators these days is “know your audience”. This is sage advice. It’s also nearly useless. It’s such an open ended piece of counsel that all meaning as has escaped. What does it mean, and if it has a meaning, how do you do it?

The Prosperity Gospel has Gone Viral

Erik Raymond:

In its unabashed nakedness, the prosperity gospel is a damning heresy that is not a gospel at all. It is a Ponzi scheme concocted by those at the top to prey upon the weak and vulnerable. Preachers of this false gospel use God as a genie who is dispatched to give us stuff, as a result, the gospel gets reduced to getting more stuff. This message is primarily physical rather than spiritual and is about this (best) life now rather than the one to come. And most damning of all, it is about us rather than God. The cross of Christ is reduced to a stage prop to support the large tent meetings they hold. It is like they use Jesus’ band-with to hack in and launch spiritual viruses in the world.

There Is No Crown Without a Cross for Your Kids

Cameron Cole:

The hope of the Christian parent is to raise a child who lays down his or her life in service to God and neighbor. But faithful servants have very little ability to give their life to God and others when they’ve never found themselves lying in a gutter or two along the way. With each painful circumstance my son encounters, God will help him accumulate empathy for others. And this compassion acquired through suffering will provide a foundation for his ability to minister to others.


A La Carte (October 2)

Today’s Kindle deals include: The Kind of Preaching God Blesses by Steve Lawson ($3.99); The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper ($1.99); Church Zero by Peyton Jones ($1.99); Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd ($1.99). Also, don’t forget to stock up on the New American Commentary series while they are just $2.99 each.

Scandals, Sandals & Biblical Epics

This article provides a brief biography of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who led a fascinatingly contradictory life.

The Prosperity Gospel Has Gone Viral

“Regrettably, the prosperity gospel has gone viral. Being more nuanced and subtle than you may think, it is very active in the church. Like a computer virus it is draining vitality and productivity in the covenant community. And you know what the worst part is? You may not even know that you are impacted by it.”

Tabletalk Magazine

Here are the highlights of this month’s issue of Tabletalk magazine. There are several columns you can read online (though you’ll need a subscription to read all of them).

Seeking Revival in Ontario

Here’s an article and interview about a new Gospel Coalition chapter forming right here in Ontario. Be sure to check out the conference (October 16-17).

What Does Pope Francis Believe?

Ross Douthat, himself a Roman Catholic (though not a great fan of the current pontiff), tries to piece together what pope Francis believes.

This Day in 1792. The Baptist Missionary Society was founded in London, England by 21-year-old William Carey. He later became England’s first great Protestant missionary to India. *

The NFL Commissioner Has a Gambling Problem

Very interesting: “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated repeatedly his opposition to legalized gambling, asserting that the league’s opposition will not change because of vigilance in protecting the integrity of the game on his watch.”

Scrivener

If you’ve ever tried writing a full-length book in Microsoft Word you’ve undoubtedly realized that it’s just not up to the task. Scrivener is many people’s preferred option, and it’s on sale this week at a 56% discount.


The Daily Discovery (October 2, 2015)

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

I Was Hurt By the Church. How Can I Re-Engage? – “Quite a few times, I felt betrayed and ostracized by the community I was in due to some of the drama that happened. It is hard for me to get involved into a new community given the fact that I’ve felt let down. Furthermore, it takes me a long time to get to know new people. How can I start anew and change my expectations for a better outcome?”

The Bait-and-Switch over Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ – “Kim Davis is not alone.  After she declined to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, 32 magistrates in North Carolina recused themselves from performing same-sex unions. In Alabama, about half a dozen county probate judges, who oversee the issuance of marriage licenses, are not providing them to any couples. In Oregon, Judge Vance Day has stopped performing all weddings.  All across the nation, county clerks and justices of the peace have quietly resigned from their positions.”

Caring for Your Wife in Miscarriage – “While reading Jasmine Holmes’s excellent article “How to Care for Women Who Have Miscarried,” I was inspired to consider the thousands of men who also have experienced the loss of a child in miscarriage. As a young man who has lost a child to miscarriage earlier this year, I vividly remember the difficult journey that my wife and I encountered in the loss of our first child. It is a path we still walk.”

Gaining the Kingdom – “David’s life was truly one of hardship. For forty years he ran for his life by running from Saul. Now with Saul dead, the kingdom is his and he gladly received it. Although he fled from Israel’s king, he never fled from being the king of Israel. But securing the crown did not secure his safety. In fact, the trials he experienced as king (2 Samuel) far-and-away exceeded all of those he had while hiding in caves (1 Samuel).”

Two things Christians need to know about creativity – “Christian art makes me sad sometimes. I love that there are people working to express themselves (and often their faith) through music, poetry, novels, movies, design… But when I see even good ideas fall apart due to poor execution, I have to wonder if we really understand what it means to be creative.”


SERMON:

Mack Tomlinson – Jesus in Gethsemane: The Praying Victorious Man


VIDEOS:

Voddie Baucham: God goes to war.

Why do churches dim their lights during worship?


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

The post The Daily Discovery (October 2, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.



Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, October 2, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Former Yazidi Sex Slave Says She was ‘Owned’ by American ISIS Leader

Russia to U.S.: Get out of Syria

Biblical References Removed from Sheriff’s Vehicles in Alabama

Prominent Pastors Pray over Donald Trump

Over 800,000 Catholics Demand Clarification on Family and Marriage

Trial of Man Accused in Charleston Church Shooting Postponed

Billy Graham: Disturbed by ‘the Moral Decline of This Nation’

Tim Tebow Surprises Young Cancer-fighting Football Fan in Hospital

Pope Francis Met Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis: ‘Stay Strong!’

Egyptian Christian Held in Prison for Reporting Attacks on Church

Opinion

Why Pastors Need to Preach More about Hell

Do We Know What Love Truly is?

God’s Plan: Hope for the Present, Assurance for the Future

The Paradoxes of Pope Francis

Planned Parenthood CEO Testifies before Congress


10/02/15 God is with Us

READING: Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I am reading ahead in this devotion, which I typically do not do. I cannot read Matthew 1:22-23, though, without thinking about Matthew 28:18-20. Read these verses, and see what comparisons become obvious to you:

Matt. 1:22-23  Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

Matt. 28:18-20  Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The amazing nature of this story continues. The baby in Bethlehem would have “all authority in heaven and earth.” More specifically, His name, Immanuel, meant “God with us” — and He would be the One who would be with us even to the end of the age.

The book of Matthew is thus bookended by these words. In chapter 1, God Himself is coming to be with us. In Matthew 28, God is with us even as He sends us to the nations to tell the story of the gospel. In between is the story of God’s amazing love.

He is with us. Period. Wherever we go. Whatever He calls us to do. Whenever we’re afraid. Regardless of what worries us. Even when we feel alone. And, even when death is upon us, as was the case with Simeon in Luke 2.

God is with us. That’s really all we need to know.

ACTION STEPS: Throughout this day, keep this thought in the forefront of your mind if you are a follower of Christ: “God is with me.” Trust that truth, and let your faith be evident before others regardless of what you face today.

PRAYER: “God, I praise You that You are with us. I really do.”


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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October 2, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

IMG_2709


Oct. 2, 2015

BLOOMBERG

After Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin walked out of a tense 90-minute meeting in New York, U.S. officials expected direct military-to-military consultations with the Russians to avoid a conflict over the skies of Syria. Instead, they got a one-hour notice to stay out of the way and no details on targets as Russian aircraft struck inside Syria for the first time on Wednesday, adding a new risk for the U.S. and its coalition partners battling Islamic State. The sudden raid left the Americans surprised and angry at Russia’s handling of the situation but with few options on how to respond, according to a U.S. official.

Morgan Stanley is readying an offer for a 12 billion-pound ($18 billion) mortgage portfolio being sold by the U.K. government, said three people with knowledge of the matter, increasing competition ahead of a deadline next week.

Albertsons plans to raise about $1.53 billion in an initial public offering to pay down debt after the deal that brought the U.S. supermarket chain together with Safeway.

There’s no big bank failure on the horizon. The housing market is booming, not melting. Yet for a handful of well-known hedge fund managers, 2015 is looking a lot like 2008, when their industry suffered record losses and investor withdrawals.

Once the grease of global growth, international commerce failed to rebound completely from the 2009 recession and now is slowing anew. Chinese exports tumbled 5.5 percent in August from a year earlier, while those of the U.S. fell 3.5 percent. South Korea and Singapore witnessed double digit declines.

Oil is holding near $45 while the bad news keeps coming. For investor Jim Rogers, that’s usually a sign a rebound is near.

Israel sent four army battalions to the West Bank after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli settlers in a drive-by shooting that also wounded their children.

AP Top Stories

President Obama on Thursday angrily called for stricter U.S. gun laws after the latest mass murder in Oregon and took aim at the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby for blocking reform.

The man killed by police on Thursday after he fatally shot nine people at a community college in southern Oregon was a nervy 26-year-old who lived close to the campus and described himself as shy, according to neighbors, media and online reports.

The Oregon sheriff investigating the execution-style killing of at least nine people in a college classroom refused to identify the suspect on Friday, saying he wanted to deny the shooter notoriety, the ultimate prize he sought in the bloodshed.

The new leader of the Afghan Taliban said Friday that the capture of the northern city of Kunduz this week was a “symbolic victory” that showed the strength of the insurgency – even though the Taliban pulled out of the city after three days.

Hundreds of Israeli troops were searching the West Bank Friday for the suspected Palestinian killers of a Jewish settler couple shot in their car before their young children’s eyes, the army said.

After exhausting all his appeals, convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto was put to death by lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Virginia.

Russia said on Friday it had carried out new rounds of air strikes in Syria, hitting 12 Islamic State targets.

Democrats on Thursday blocked the Senate from turning to a $78 billion spending measure for the Department of Veterans Affairs and military base construction.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has disclosed that his record property tax hike plan entails significant cuts for nearly 300,000 homeowners, leaving Chicago businesses predicting they will face hikes of up to 50 percent.

The Croatian sun has given way to rain and the temperature has dropped, but refugees and migrants continue to stream into the country, forcing officials and charities to scramble to prepare for wintry conditions.

U.S. employers slammed the brakes on hiring over the last two months and wages fell in September, raising new doubts the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of this year. Payrolls outside of farming rose by 142,000 last month and August figures were revised sharply lower to show only 136,000 jobs added that month.

BBC

Members of the US-led coalition against Islamic State have called on Russia to cease air strikes they say are hitting the Syrian opposition and civilians.

Five young girls were behind a series of deadly explosions in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Thursday evening, security sources said. Fourteen people, including the girls, died and 39 were injured in the attacks at a mosque and house of vigilante leader.

Hackers have stolen personal information on about 15 million T-Mobile US customers and applicants. The breach was at a unit of the credit agency Experian, which T-Mobile uses to process information on subscribers. Names, birth dates and social security numbers are among data stolen, but not financial details.

A 15-year-old British boy who plotted to behead police officers at an Anzac Day parade in Australia has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The Blackburn teenager will serve at least five years for inciting terrorism.

WND

An Army veteran was shot seven times while trying to save other students during the deadly Oregon community college rampage, according to his aunt.

“[He started] asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, and if you’re a Christian stand up. And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them,” Stacy Boylen, the New York Post reported.


 

Top News – 10/2/2015

Alaska storm drops 11.2 inches of snow in Fairbanks
Thousands of Alaska residents are without power after a major snowstorm socked the Fairbanks area and forced a grocery to store frozen food outside

Oregon college shooter: ‘Are you a Christian?’
Chris Harper-Mercer, a student at Umpqua college, first kills the teacher, then tells victims ‘because you are a Christian you’re going to see God in about one second’;

DARK PLASMA ERUPTION, EARTH-DIRECTED?
There is a chance the CME will deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on Oct. 3rd. If so, the impact will probably cause G1-class geomagnetic storms.

Obama’s Real Legacy: Creating a Global Haven for Terrorists
At the global level, scholars will long debate just who and what policies are fueling the “steeper-than-exponential rise of terrorist attacks.” But one thing is clear: President Barack Obama’s legacy will likely be the establishment of a global haven for terrorism.

Afraid Yet? WWIII One Giant Step Closer After B61-12 Nukes Reach Europe
Washington’s decision to station 20 next-generation advanced nuclear bombs of Type B61-12 is threatening to turn the specter of WWIII into a terrifying reality, F. William Engdahl warns.

Over 200 earthquakes gone and more to come
Since the 6.6 magnitude quake that shook Barbados in mid-July, there have been more than 200 earthquake events recorded northeast of the island – though most of them very minor – and Barbadians can expect more, some of them almost as big as the one earlier this year.

A dozen buildings damaged in Polish earth tremor
An earth tremor in southern Poland caused damage to a number of buildings in the region on Wednesday.

Putin Cutting Obama Down To Size
If the humiliation of the Obama administration continues at this rate, by this time next week you should expect to see Secretary of State John Kerry on all fours at the United Nations, getting paddled by the Russian foreign minister and shouting, “Thank you, comrade! May I have another?”

Alabama Sheriff Just Removed These Four Biblical Words From Patrol Cars — and Atheists Are Now Claiming Victory
An Alabama sheriff has reportedly decided to comply with demands…that he remove a decal featuring a Bible verse that was placed on patrol cars earlier this year. Despite only being added to Houston County Sheriff’s Office vehicles a few months ago, Sheriff Donald Valenza decided to remove the decals, which included the sheriff office’s badge along with words from Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Top EU official warns of rising anti-Semitism in Europe
A senior European Union official has warned of rising anti-Semitism in Europe as attacks and threats against Jews continue in EU member countries. European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said Thursday that “in the last couple of years you’ve seen this age-old monster come up again in Europe.”

Oregon college shooting: Gunman kills nine in Roseburg attack
Nine people have been killed and seven injured in a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon, say police. The gunman, 26, opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning and was killed in a police shootout. There were conflicting reports on casualties but Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said 10 dead, including the gunman, was “the best” figure.

Syria conflict: Russia strikes ‘will fuel extremism’
Members of the US-led coalition against Islamic State have called on Russia to cease air strikes they say are hitting the Syrian opposition and civilians. In a joint statement on Friday, the US, UK, Turkey and other coalition members said Russian strikes would “only fuel more extremism”. Russia, which according to witnesses launched fresh strikes on Friday, says it is targeting IS.

Nigerian city of Maiduguri ‘attacked by five girl bombers’
Five young girls were behind a series of deadly explosions in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Thursday evening, security sources say. Fourteen people, including the girls, died and 39 were injured in the attacks at a mosque and house of vigilante leader, the military said. More than 100 people died in similar attacks in the city two weeks ago.

We don’t understand the universe: Scientist at IdeaFestival explains how science is failing us
“What do we know about the universe?” asked astronomer Bob Berman to a crowded room at IdeaFestival 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. “Why aren’t the answers satisfying? Where do they go wrong?” There’s a lot of hard and fast data, he says, but it doesn’t always give us the right answers. “It’s important to know when science is working,” said Berman, “and when it’s not.”

Russia launches media offensive on Syria bombing
“Russian air force begins bombing terrorist positions in Syria,” screams the front of Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. Coverage of Russian air strikes in Syria has been leading news bulletins on Russian state television. Reports spoke of jets targeting the Islamist al-Nusra Front as well as so-called Islamic State (IS).

Syria conflict: US says Russian air strikes ‘indiscriminate’
The White House says Russian air strikes against militants in Syria are “indiscriminate” and threaten to draw Russia more deeply into the crisis. Spokesman Josh Earnest said Russia was carrying out random air strikes against the Syrian opposition.

Israeli intel thwarts first known ISIS plot inside Jewish state
An ISIS cell that trained in the forests near Galilee while plotting to attack Israeli police and military facilities — as well as liquor stores — was shattered by the intelligence agents in what experts say is the first known case of the black-clad terrorist army operating within the Jewish state, sources told FoxNews.com Thursday.

Iranian troops arrive in Syria ahead of major ground offensive
Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters.

Bahrain withdraws ambassador from Iran after bomb-factory find
Bahrain said on Thursday it had recalled its ambassador to Iran, a day after it said security forces had discovered a large bomb-making factory and arrested a number of suspects linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.


Top Headlines – 10/2/2015

In fiery speech, Netanyahu challenges UN on moral grounds

Abbas’ goal: A Palestinian state imposed from abroad

Palestinian official: Abbas did not cancel agreements with Israel in UN speech

Report: Senior Democrat failed to obtain Obama commitment to veto Palestinian state at UN

Netanyahu to Abbas at the U.N.: I’m Ready to Resume Peace Talks

Middle East Quartet seeks ‘concrete steps’ to revive peace talks

UN Middle East Quartet “deeply concerned” over Temple Mount violence

PA’s Hamdallah: Muslim states call on Abbas to hold emergency meeting on Al-Aksa ‘attacks’

Israeli couple killed in West Bank shooting attack, 4 children escape unhurt

Hamas praises fatal shooting of couple in West Bank as ‘heroic terror attack’

Egyptians rank Israel most hostile country

7 Israeli Arabs in ‘ISIS cell’ planned attacks on IDF, police

Jihadist couriers? Suspects nabbed at Johannesburg airport with $6M were ISIS-bound, say cops

Donald Trump: Syrian refugees might be a terrorist army in disguise

EU threatens action against Hungary as refugee crisis intensifies

White House: Russian actions risk prolonging Syrian conflict

US Sen. McCain: Russian air strikes targeted CIA-backed rebels in Syria

‘Russia can’t claim to fight ISIS terror, while supporting Assad’s terror’

Russia says its aim is to help Syrian army in its ‘weak spots’

Russia says would consider any Iraqi request for air strikes against Islamic State

Russian general tells US diplomats: ‘We launch Syria air strikes in one hour. Stay out of the way’

Russian strikes again expose US disarray

Confusion hangs over start of US, Russia military talks on Syria

Report: Russia says it will not join US-led coalition against Islamic State

‘Major Assad-Iranian-Hezbollah ground offensive in Syria planned with Russian air support’

Khamenei calls for stronger Iranian military to deter enemies

Israel’s Netanyahu launches all-out assault on Iran deal at U.N.

Stern Netanyahu silently rebukes world for failure to challenge ‘genocidal’ Iran

Netanyahu’s 44-second silence at the U.N. is being mocked with musical interludes

Netanyahu at UN: Iran deal doesn’t make peace more likely, it makes war more likely

US lawmakers push measures to influence Iran nuclear deal

US lawmakers push to designate Iranian Guards a terror group

US Supreme Court to hear Iran central bank appeal of $1.75 billion judgment

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Calls for New Sanctions Against Iran Over Human Rights Abuses

Bahrain recalls ambassador from Iran after bomb-factory find

Iranian weapons seized in Arabian Sea

Afghan officials claim government forces retake Kunduz from Taliban

Iraqi Christians denied asylum in US, facing looming expulsion

Six Churches Torched in Tanzania

4-year-old Indian boy reportedly beheaded in human sacrifice

At least 15 dead, 20 wounded in Oregon college shooting

Report: Shooter at Oregon college killed

Oregon gunman singled out Christians during rampage

Obama: Gun laws must be changed, gun owners must speak up

House to vote on defense bill that Obama threatens to veto

Global economy loses steam as Chinese, European factories falter

Ready or not, it’s credit card chip and dip time: What you need to know

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Biha, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Biha, Indonesia

4.0 earthquake shakes Northern Oklahoma

Hurricane Joaquin intensifies but U.S. landfall not certain

Major Hurricane Joaquin to Impact Over 65 Million From South Carolina to Massachusetts

Historic Rains Likely for Carolinas, Virginia; Hurricane Joaquin Gains Power

Tropical Depression Moving Through Philippines; China and Vietnam Put on Alert

The Spectacular And Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Triggers Flood Warnings In The Coast Of Britain Due To Supertides

Sinkhole opens up in UK, residents ‘trapped’

Researchers develop test to detect virtually any virus

Transgender model wants to become first person in Britain to be both the mother and father of the same baby

Times Square zoning could toss out topless ladies, costumed characters: Mayor de Blasio

Bow Down, Witches: Pagans Flock to New York City for Festival

Trump’s Meeting With Prosperity Preachers Is Outreach to Heretics, Russell Moore Says

Why Evangelicals and Catholics Cannot be “Together”

Google exec: With robots in our brains, we’ll be godlike


Frontrunning: October 02

  • U.S., Allies Demand Russia Stop Attacks on Syria Opposition (Read More)
  • Russian Airstrikes Defend Strategic Assad Regime Stronghold on Syria’s Coast (Read More)
  • Emerging Stocks Head for Weekly Advance Before U.S. Jobs Data (Read More)
  • Wage Strife Clouds Car-Sales Boom (Read More)
  • Oregon town reels from classroom carnage (Read More)
  • Oregon shooter came from California, described as shy and skittish (Read More)
  • At Glencore, a Mining Emperor Tries to Save His Realm (Read More)
  • Ackman, Einhorn Lead Hedge Funds on Track to Rival ’08 Slump (Read More)
  • Chipmaker AMD to cut 500 global jobs, take $42 million charge (Read More)
  • Sprint Expected to Cut Jobs, Up to $2.5 Billion in Costs (Read More)
  • China Billionaire With Canal Dream Confronts Biggest Loss of ’15 (Read More)
  • Gundlach’s DoubleLine Capital posts 20th month of inflows in Sept (Read More)
  • Oil Ignoring Bad News Usually Means a Rebound Is Near, Says Jim Rogers (Read More)
  • Hurricane Joaquin May Miss U.S. Coast After Pounding Bahamas (Read More)
  • EU Regulators Weigh Seeking Concessions on FedEx-TNT Deal (Read More)
  • ECB President Mario Draghi Says Eurozone Returning to Growth After Policy Moves (Read More)
  • The Only Banker Sued for the Housing Crisis Prepares Her Appeal (Read More)

October 1, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — You may have noticed the news that trust in the media remains at an all-time low. As if to drive that figure even lower, CNN was busy much of Tuesday afternoon trying to spare a killer from the death penalty on the false grounds that Catholicism forbids capital punishment…. (more)


October 1, 2015
THOMAS SOWELL — The impending departure of Speaker of the House John Boehner gives House Republicans a real opportunity to accomplish something. But an opportunity is not a guarantee. It is a little like a football team being first down and goal at the ten-yard line…. (more)


October 1, 2015
NEWSMAX — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing the wrath of his fellow Republicans after his comments Tuesday night linking the Benghazi Committee to Hillary Clinton’s sinking poll numbers, insisting that the probe is not being done for political reasons…. (more)

October 1, 2015
WEEKLY STANDARD — At the beginning of a five-hour committee hearing on Tuesday with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards as the sole witness, Chairman Jason Chaffetz made a surprising announcement. The Utah congressman and oversight committee chairman said he wouldn’t focus on the undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting and selling the organs and tissue of aborted babies to biotech companies…. (more)

October 1, 2015
GREG COROMBOS — ISIS’ brutality continues to intensify, the future of Christianity in the Middle East is at stake, and the refugee crisis could soon be exponentially worse, but President Obama refuses to do much of anything about it…. (more)

October 1, 2015
NEWSMAX — Rev. Franklin Graham, the influential son of beloved evangelist Billy Graham, tells Newsmax TV the pounding Russian air force strikes in Syria may end up saving countless numbers of persecuted Christians…. (more)


October 1, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Russia followed its launch of airstrikes in Syria with a call Wednesday for the world to unite and form a coalition in the fight against terrorist groups, raising concerns that the Obama administration was caught flatfooted and prompting calls for President Obama to “wake up” and reassert American leadership in the Middle East…. (more)


October 1, 2015
LEO HOHMANN — The United Nations 2030 Agenda endorsed by President Obama, Pope Francis and the U.N. General Assembly brings the world one giant step closer to true global governance…. (more)

October 1, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — You’ve heard endlessly about “white privilege” from the professional social justice warrior gripers. But rarely does that crusading crowd – – or their spiritual leaders in the White House – – acknowledge the brutal impact of wealthy Middle Eastern thug privilege in America…. (more)

October 1, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has repeatedly criticized the Clinton Foundation for accepting foreign donations, yet she has a larger relationship with its offshoot, the Clinton Global Initiative, than previously reported…. (more)

October 1, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Just days after a lawsuit was filed alleging a California school district was violating the law by failing to tell parents of their Common Core opt-out rights, the same claim has been leveled against a neighboring district…. (more)

October 1, 2015
CHRISTOPHER M. REILLY — Was Margaret Sanger, the founder and perpetual spirit of Planned Parenthood, a eugenicist? Does she (and did she) accurately represent TODAY’S resurgence of eugenics and progressivism? In other words, did Sanger see her banner for birth control as primarily for the purpose of perfecting the human race with control over reproduction and population?… (more)

September 30, 2015
USA TODAY — On Friday afternoon, just hours after House Speaker John Boehner’s stunning resignation announcement, Rep. Jim Jordan was huddling with fellow conservatives in the Capitol, strategizing over how they could make the most of Boehner’s decision to step down and push the House Republican conference rightward…. (more)


September 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — Florida Rep. Daniel Webster told Newsmax TV Tuesday that he was running to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House because conservative Republicans “don’t get heard” by top leadership…. (more)


September 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — Is the Republican establishment ruling the House of Representatives now humbled and ready to listen to their conservative constituents in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner’s shock resignation?… (more)


September 30, 2015
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE — House Republicans gathered for the first time since Speaker John Boehner announced that he would resign from Congress next month – – and they didn’t resolve any of the issues that led to Boehner’s resignation in the face of frequent rebellions by a group of about 40 conservative backbenchers who formed the House Freedom Caucus (HFC)…. (more)

September 30, 2015
JEROME R. CORSI — President Obama’s speech to the opening session of the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly on Monday drew considerable attention, but most Americans likely were unaware of a speech he gave the previous day to the same world body in which he affirmed America’s commitment to a controversial, utopian plan to “transform” the world…. (more)

September 30, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — British Prime Minister David Cameron challenged President Obama with some blunt talk on Islamist extremism Tuesday during a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations to develop an international strategy for defeating the Islamic State and other terrorist groups…. (more)

September 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — The government has largely failed to stop more than 250 Americans who have traveled overseas since 2011 to join or try to join terrorist groups, including the Islamic State group, a new congressional study concluded on Tuesday. It did not provide details on the several dozen who have sneaked back into the United States without being arrested or monitored…. (more)

September 30, 2015
LIBERTY COUNSEL — The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 24, which was the birthday of Kim’s father. Pope Francis spoke with Kim and Joe Davis in English…. (more)


September 30, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — A North Texas police chief has a message for angry atheists who are upset over his department’s “In God We Trust” patrol vehicles: “Go fly a kite.”… (more)

September 29, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — Nuclear annihilation across the globe. This is what a German reporter who successfully embedded with the Islamic State says the terror group is planning. Jurgen Todenhofer released his findings in a book titled “Inside IS – Ten Days in the Islamic State,” reports the UK’s Daily Express…. (more)


September 29, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — American soldiers are being punished for blowing the whistle on the systematic rape and enslavement of young boys at the hands of brutal Afghan Muslim military officials…. (more)

September 28, 2015
WES VERNON, RA ANALYST — Help! Somebody rescue Madame Hillary! She is learning big-time what it’s like to be on the wrong end of a presidential attack machine… (more)

September 28, 2015
ALAN KEYES — As my readers know, I’ve been working on a column that details a strategy for the 2016 election with which the American people can reclaim leadership initiative they are supposed to have in America’s political life. That strategy involves, first of all, taking the Constitution as it is written as the basis for understanding our duty as citizens… (more)

 Is ‘democracy’ in America really dead? (Alan Keyes)


The Briefing

1) Oregon community college shooting tragic demonstration of evil and sin

Gunman in Oregon college shooting killed; multiple fatalities reported, Washington Post (Joseph Hoyt, Mark Berman, and Jerry Markon)

Oregon shooting: Gunman dead after college rampage, CNN (Dana Ford)

2) Obama’s call to combat ISIS ideologically rejected by UN intimidated by strength of Islam

Obama’s Call at U.N. to Fight ISIS With Ideas Is Largely Seen as Futile, New York Times (Gardiner Harris and Eric Schmitt)

3) Majority of Harvard freshman class secular, foreshadowing future of American elites

There are more atheists and agnostics entering Harvard than Protestants and Catholics, Washington Post (Sarah Pulliam Bailey)

Class of 2019 by the numbers, Harvard Crimson

4) In light of secular confusion, important for evangelicals to assert biblical basis of value of all living creation

It’s time for evangelicals to speak up for animals, USA Today (Kirsten Powers)

Every Living Thing: An Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals, Every Living Thing

In other news…


Daily Digest

October 2, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1781

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Obama’s ‘Gun Violence’ Pivot Point

By Mark Alexander

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On Thursday evening, Barack Obama interrupted the East Coast primetime news hour with a 15 minute press conference.

Obama called the conference to acknowledge the death of six American military personnel, who were killed when an Air Force C-130 crashed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, three hours before his press conference. Except that’s not actually why he called the press conference — in fact, their commander in chief didn’t even mention them from the podium.

Instead, Obama did what Democrats do every time there’s an opportunity to assail the Second Amendment with an emotionally charged appeal on the blood of innocents.

That’s right. In a crass pivot away from the catastrophic crisis he created in the Middle East, which we learned Wednesday is now putting American and Russian fighter pilots on a collision course for direct confrontation, Obama preempted the primetime news to address the tragic murder of 10 adult students at a Roseburg, Oregon, community college, and the wounding of seven others.

Saying “We should politicize this,” Obama devoted only 80 of his 1,306 word diatribe to the families of those murdered. That would be 6% of his message. His other 1,226 words were about his political gun control agenda and the need for more firearm regulation.

He did not mention what law he wanted to add to the more than 10,000 currently on the federal and state books, but he did mention needing “states and legislatures” on board, which sounded a bit like he was calling for some revision of our Constitution.

According to early accounts, the Oregon assailant targeted Christians for execution, but Obama did not mention that either.

Moments after Obama’s remarks, Steve Hayes, senior editor for The Weekly Standard, boldly expressed my own sentiments: “[Obama] has had an avalanche of bad news over the past 36 hours and I think he is using this shooting to get out from under it. … He’s the one that said we should ‘politicize’ this. Well he did. He’s distracting attention from his other problems.”

Indeed, he disgracefully did just that.

Most of the media talkingheads noted variations on this theme: “Obama is passionate about this issue.” No, Obama and his Leftist NeoCom cadres are passionate about increasing the power of the state, and the biggest obstacle to subordinating the American people to this statist agenda is the Second Amendment. When they say “commonsense gun laws” they mean “gun confiscation laws.”

The inconvenient truth about guns is, as the number of legally owned guns has increased, violent crime has decreased, according to the FBI’s statistics — continuing a 12-year decline.

Of course, in those states and cities with the most restrictive gun laws, violent crime is thriving. In Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago, almost 3,000 people have been murdered since Obama took office — and almost all of those murders were related to gang violence. However, Chicago ranks high among those cities with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.

Likewise, Oregon has universal background checks, and Umpqua Community College was the latest of “gun free zones” where victims are prohibited from the most effective means of self defense.

In his parting remarks, Obama said, “[T]ally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side.” He lamented the fact that we spend so much on counterterrorism efforts.

But if Obama really wants to “tally up some numbers,” how about starting with the fact that in five states alone (Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas), more than 5,400 people have been murdered by illegal aliens. That is more than all Americans killed defending our nation against terrorism in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Or maybe Obama would like to post a comparison with the 327,000 children who are killed on abortion tables every year, 900 of whom died just yesterday.

For the record, “The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … [T]he advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any.” —James Madison (1788)

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TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Russia Creates Coalition to Back Assad Regime

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Where is America’s moral high ground now? The Obama administration justified its abandonment of Iraq by saying the young government had to solve the problem of the Islamic State on its own. And that’s exactly what it’s trying to do. Reuters reports the country has aligned itself with the coalition that has sprung up to support Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria — a coalition that includes Russia, Lebanon, Hezbollah and Iran. While the U.S. worried terrorism would fill the void Barack Obama’s weak leadership created, it was a stronger leader that ultimately took America’s place — Russian President Vladimir Putin. The not-exactly-American-friendly coalition is preparing for a ground campaign against the rebels — some armed with U.S. weapons — backed with Russian airpower. Obama won’t admit it, but Moscow’s interests are different than American interests. While the U.S. would like the Great Bear to strike the Islamic State, Russian aircraft struck rebel areas that threatened Assad strongholds. So far, the Obama administration’s response is to complain about Russia’s “indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition,” per Obama spokesman Josh Earnest. Don’t they understand this is no longer just about “degrading and ultimately destroying” the Islamic State? No, the long arc of history doesn’t naturally bend toward peace and justice. The “international community” doesn’t just iron out its differences to stop evil. Putin the Machiavel just swept over Obama’s hope-for-change foreign policy.

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September Jobs Report Hit With Autumn Chill

The U.S. needs to add more than 150,000 jobs per month just to keep pace with population growth. So September’s number — 142,000 jobs — was not only below expectations but below what we need just to tread water. It also follows August’s terrible report of 136,000 jobs added (revised down from 173,000), making for the worst back-to-back numbers in three years. But in the last two years, just seven months have cracked 250,000 jobs created. It seems the only number going up these days is the number of Americans leaving the workforce entirely — another 350,000 gave up in September, and a record 94.61 million Americans are not working. The labor participation rate fell to 62.4%, the lowest since October 1977. When you read that the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1%, remember low participation is the biggest reason why.

And Barack Obama has 16 months remaining in office.

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House Probing Group That Wants Climate Dissenters Imprisoned

Exactly one month ago, 20 scientific researchers with the Institute of Global Environment and Society penned an open letter calling on the White House to prosecute global warming skeptics under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. That letter, which appeared on the institution’s website, went strangely missing this week — likely in response to severe criticism, and not just from the Right. The authors are now probably wishing they hadn’t written anything at all. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology launched a probe into IGES after it was revealed the institution is heavily taxpayer-subsidized. And Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the committee, wants to get to the bottom of it. In his own letter to IGES President Jagadish Shukla, Smith writes, “IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama Administration on climate change. In fact, IGES has reportedly received $63 million from taxpayers since 2001, comprising over 98% of its total revenue during that time.” And since “IGES’s recent decision to remove documents from its website raises concerns that additional information vital to the Committee’s investigation may not be preserved,” Smith outlined steps Shukla should follow “so that a full and complete record of relevant communications can be produced.” Talk about a backfire.

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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

Charles Krauthammer: “Why is Putin moving so quickly and so brazenly? Because he’s got only 16 more months to push on the open door that is Obama. He knows he’ll never again see an American president such as this — one who once told the General Assembly that ‘no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation’ and told it again last Monday of ‘believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion.’ They cannot? Has he looked at the world around him — from Homs to Kunduz, from Sanaa to Donetsk — ablaze with conflict and coercion? Wouldn’t you take advantage of these last 16 months if you were Putin, facing a man living in a faculty-lounge fantasy world? Where was Obama when Putin began bombing Syria? Leading a U.N. meeting on countering violent extremism. Seminar to follow.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. … Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims.” —Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Upright: “If the reports are correct, men and women [in Oregon] declared their faith and died for it. That is the classic definition of a martyr, and may their families be comforted by the words of the Savior: ‘Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.'” —David French on the Oregon shooting

Observations: “Perhaps instead of the President politicizing the deaths of around a dozen Americans, killed for professing their religion, he should first answer a simple question: why are there more mass shootings like this under his watch than under George W. Bush’s watch? I really don’t think the man presiding over a cultural suicide should really be the man who leads on this issue, particularly when his ‘common sense gun control’ policy solutions would not have stopped this tragedy.” —Erick Erickson

Gun grabbers: “[T]he Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.” —Hillary Clinton

Village Idiots: “It is just beyond my comprehension that we are seeing these mass murders happen again and again and again. And as I have said, we have got to get the political will to do everything we can keep people safe. I know there is a way to have sensible gun control measures that help prevent violence, prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands and save live. I am committed to doing everything I can do accomplish that.” —Hillary Clinton

Non Sequitur Award: “The Second Amendment doesn’t say you can own a bazooka, it doesn’t say you can own an F-15 with hellfire missiles. There’s the ability of government to limit the type of weapon that is available.” —Joe “Double-Barrel Shotgun” Biden (And what does it say about abortion or marriage?

Dezinformatsia, part I: “[Barack Obama] was embarrassed of the United States in front of the world saying every other industrialized country, every other Western country, they don’t have these kinds of mass shootings every few weeks as we have here in the United States.” —CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (What Obama should be embarrassed of is leftist ideology and policies that foster this carnage.)

Dezinformatsia, part II: “I’m politicizing the hell out of this and I don’t care.” —liberal commentator Charles Pierce on the Oregon shooting

Late-night humor: “NSA leaker Edward Snowden joined Twitter yesterday, and immediately got more followers than the NSA. Which raises an interesting question: Who’s following the NSA on Twitter?” —Jimmy Fallon

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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.


Lying about Islam’s Doctrine of Deception :: Ibrahim at Gatestone

by Raymond Ibrahim
The Gatestone Institute
September 28, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5532/lying-about-muslim-lies


The Most Dangerous Man In the World

…is neither Russia’s Vladimir Putin nor China’s Xi Jinping, nor at this time, Ayatollah Khamenei – it’s none other than America’s Barack Hussein Obama.

View Article


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Address to the U.N.


Chinese warplanes to join Russian air strikes in Syria. Russia gains Iraqi air base

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30. Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah.

The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26 (as DEBKAfile exclusively reported at the time). This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.


Pentagon weighs protections for US-trained rebels

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:49 AM PDT

Russia’s launch of airstrikes in Syria is prompting discussions within the Pentagon about whether the U.S. should use military force to protect U.S.-trained and equipped Syrian rebels if they come under fire by the Russians. U.S. officials said Thursday that senior military leaders and defense officials are working through the thorny legal and foreign policy issues and are weighing the risks of using force in response to a Russian attack. Defense Secretary Ash Carter declined to discuss the problem when asked about it this week. But U.S. officials acknowledged that this is one of the questions being asked as they debate the broader dilemma of how the administration should respond to what White House press secretary Josh Earnest described as Russia’s “indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition.”

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing deliberations publicly. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are escalating over Russian airstrikes that apparently are serving to strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad by targeting rebels — perhaps including some aligned with the U.S. — rather than hitting Islamic State fighters it promised to attack. CONTINUE

The post Pentagon weighs protections for US-trained rebels appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Rare ‘sofa shark’ stuns scientists

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:40 AM PDT

Marine biologists landed an unusual catch off the coast of Scotland recently – a so-called ‘sofa shark’ or false catshark. Experts were stunned by the rare shark, which was discovered during a recent deep sea survey by scientists from Marine Scotland.

“This is not a species that has previously been found in Scottish waters,” explained the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme, in a statement. The elusive creatures can grow up to 10 feet long, but this one was around 6 feet, according to media reports. The strange-looking shark has drawn unfavorable comparisons to the blobfish, which was dubbed the world’s ugliest animal in 2013. CONTINUE

The post Rare ‘sofa shark’ stuns scientists appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Will Russian Military Build Up In Middle East Lead To Gog/Magog War?

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:29 AM PDT

Russia has carried out its first air strikes in Syria shortly after receiving an official request of help from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and approval from the Russian parliament authorizing Vladimir Putin to send military troops into Syria. Similar to the slow mission creep in the Ukraine, Russia’s rapid deployment to Syria for the first time in three decades is a far cry from the earlier excuse that Russia was only providing weapons and training to help the Syrian government army combat ISIS. Russia has sent more than two dozen fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, surface-to-air missile defense systems and hundreds of troops to its only naval facility outside the former Soviet Union in the Syrian port of Tartus. However, new satellite images suggest two new military bases may be in the works to host Russian troops which suggest a much-expanded presence.

Russia has defended her actions as part of its national interests (Russia claims hundreds of its citizens are in Syria helping ISIS and could return home as a threat) and that it would only use its air force to strike ISIS. This is already being contradicted by the French Defense Minister who claims that the Russian strikes were in the Western part of the country where ISIS militants are not based and new reports suggest that the air strikes hit an area primarily held by anti-Assad rebels who are backed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Russia has as much motivation to hit other rebel groups as it does ISIS in order to keep Assad in power and keep US supported groups from expanding their influence and reach. Syria’s main Western-backed opposition leader, Khaled Khoja, president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, has already called Russia’s military involvement in the region an “invasion”. CONTINUE

The post Will Russian Military Build Up In Middle East Lead To Gog/Magog War? appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

College Claims allowing Bible Verses would be a violation of the First Amendment

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:23 AM PDT

A Colorado college lost its cool over a couple of Bible verses and now faces a legal challenge to its authority to censor the speech of a graduate, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF said Thursday its lawyers filed a lawsuit after the Colorado School of Mines in Golden offered donors to an athletic facility the opportunity to put a message on a nameplate but rejected a donor’s request for a reference to a Bible verse. “Public colleges and universities should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas, especially in a forum like this.

The school initially imposed no restrictions – or even guidelines – on the type of message a donor could include, and contrary to what the school is arguing, the First Amendment protects – not restricts – a simple reference to a Bible verse,” said ADF Legal Counsel Natalie Decker. “It’s patently ridiculous to argue that a Bible reference that doesn’t include the text of the verse is somehow inappropriate simply because someone might look it up and see that ‘Lord’ is mentioned there,” she said. School officials declined to comment. CONTINUE

The post College Claims allowing Bible Verses would be a violation of the First Amendment appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

The Prophesied Exodus of Saints From Churches That Quench the Spirit’s Power

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:05 AM PDT

“My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4-5). I had a dream recently of a pastor who was worshipping the Lord in a service, but all around him there were distractions. People were not paying attention, and hardly anyone was focusing on the service. Then the Spirit of the Lord showed me that there was no expectation in the service because the pastor had built a low ceiling. This is the present hour situation in many churches today, and this is an important word for ministers and saints.

The Word alone is not enough to equip the saints. The demonstration of the Spirit and power of God is necessary too. Why else would God set them in the church? When the Spirit is released and the power of God is demonstrated, it ignites the saints to do the work of the ministry. This is when a body of believers is the strongest. The demonstration of God’s Spirit and power even ignites the service gifts and what is commonly called the ministry of helps. CONTINUE

The post The Prophesied Exodus of Saints From Churches That Quench the Spirit’s Power appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Birds migrating south found dead at west Nashville church

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 05:58 AM PDT

Dozens of dead birds were discovered all over a west Nashville church ground’s property Thursday morning. The birds scattered Highland Park Church’s parking lot, sidewalks and roof. Church members, animal lovers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services were all called to the property after the discovery was made.

“We pulled into the parking lot and all over the place there were little green things coming. The birds were on their way down from Canada. It was a sea of green on the ground and asphalt with green spots on it,” church member Greg Levenduski said. According to Tarcila Fox of the Nashville Ornithological Society, the birds were migrating south. “I’m sad. I am very sad,” Fox said. “That just shows there were a lot of birds migrating last night.” CONTINUE

The post Birds migrating south found dead at west Nashville church appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

WW3 BUILDING? Chinese warplanes to join Russian air strikes in Syria. Russia gains Iraqi air base

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 05:48 AM PDT

Are we seeing World War 3 shaping up in the Mideast? Things are getting extremely interesting as Russia’s military intervention in Syria has expanded radically in two directions. According to reports, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday. F-22A Raptors belonging to the 199th Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 154th Wing of the Hawaiian Air National Guard have been deployed to the Middle East yesterday.

Along with this Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government and Russia is calling up 150,000 Military reserves to enter the conflict in Syria as well.  According to a recent report Iraq may be in the cross-hairs in the coming days as Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah. The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26 . So we are now seeing Russia, Syria, Iran and now China all coming together in the Middle East leaving Israel and America on the sidelines watching intently.

The post WW3 BUILDING? Chinese warplanes to join Russian air strikes in Syria. Russia gains Iraqi air base appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Hawaii Air Guard F-22s Deploy To The Middle East As Tensions With Russia Build

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 05:28 AM PDT

According to reports F-22A Raptors belonging to the 199th Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 154th Wing of the Hawaiian Air National Guard have been deployed to the Middle East yesterday. This comes as tensions are hot between the U.S. and Russia over Syria and as the F-22 seems to be in demand around the globe.

Deployments of F-22s to the Middle East are nothing new. The stealth fighters, at least about a half dozen of them, have had a seemingly constant presence there for the last half decade or so. Based out of Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE,forward deployed Raptors were called into action during the opening airstrikes against ISIS and Al-Nusra targets in Syria last year. They are said to have had sporadic presence over the embattled country ever since.

It is not clear if the 199th Fighter Squadron’s deployment has been long planned as a replacement for F-22s already in the region, or if it will be to bolster the force. It would make great sense that additional Raptors would have been ordered to the theater considering Russia’s rapid buildup of air power in Syria over the last month. CONTINUE

The post Hawaii Air Guard F-22s Deploy To The Middle East As Tensions With Russia Build appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

 


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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William Lane Craig debates Alex Rosenberg: Does God Exist? Video, audio and summary

WINTERY KNIGHT

Below, please find my summary of the Craig-Rosenberg debate, which occurred on February 1st, 2013 at Purdue University.

Brian Auten has posted the MP3 audio of the debate at Apologetics 315.

The debaters

Below is the summary.

Dr. Craig’s opening speech:

The topic: What are the arguments that make belief in God reasonable or unreasonable?
First speech: arguments for reasonableness of belief in God
Second speech: respond to arguments against reasonableness of belief in God

Eight arguments:

  1. Contingency argument: God – a transcendent, personal being – is the explanation of why a contingent universe exists.
  2. Cosmological argument: God is the cause of the beginning of the universe, which is attested by physics and cosmology.
  3. Applicability of mathematics to nature: God is the best explanation for the applicability of mathematics to nature.
  4. Fine-tuning argument: God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe to…

View original post 2,389 more words

GTY – Frequently Abused Verses: Can Believers Manipulate the Power and Presence of Christ?

Matthew 18:18-20

Code: B151002

by Cameron Buettel

Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:18–20)

How often have you heard that passage (or at least part of it) quoted in a church setting?

During my time in the charismatic church, Matthew 18:18–20 was quoted in every prayer meeting and regularly from the pulpit. In fact, I cannot think of any other Scripture passage I heard quoted so frequently without ever hearing a sermon on the passage itself. And yet we would regularly bind demonic forces on earth and loose angelic armies from heaven. And we always reminded ourselves that Jesus was there because at least two or three of us were present.

Our church was far from alone in its dependence on Matthew 18:18–20. In fact, the passage is a favorite of self-appointed experts in spiritual warfare and those who put special emphasis on Christ’s presence. The passage has been chopped up and subdivided all sorts of ways in service to a number of doctrinal positions and practical applications.

For example, notorious faith healer and prosperity preacher Benny Hinn emphasizes Matthew 18:18 as a promise of supernatural power and heavenly authority:

Do you realize that movements on earth govern movements in heaven? Do you realize that a child of God in prayer affects decisions in heaven? The Lord declared: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18). So awesome is this power that it releases angels to do God’s bidding on the earth and binds demons as it destroys the purpose of the enemy! [1]Benny Hinn, https://www.bennyhinn.org/tiyd-video/prayer-that-gets-results-part-1/

Contrast that with the conclusions of Rick Warren, who offers a far less spectacular interpretation and application of the passage, while employing similar hermeneutical technique in his assessment of verses 19–20:

Many people miss out on so much because they only pray by themselves. Yet, when Jesus gave us an outline for prayer, he spoke about praying together. There is power in group prayer. If you’re not praying with other believers, then you’re not getting the support you need. You’re missing out on one of the major benefits of being a Christian. Jesus says “whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them” (Matthew 18:19-20 TEV). That’s the power of praying with other people. [2]Rick Warren, http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/a-powerful-key-to-prayer_700

Joyce Meyer comes out of the same Word Faith stream as Benny Hinn and also enjoys a huge television following. But her ministry prefers to traffic in practical advice for day-to-day life. She actually deploys Matthew 18:20 in the realm of marriage counsel:

The Bible says that there is power in agreement. . . .

If you want to have power in your marriage and in your prayer life, then you have to get along. The big question is: How can a disagreeing couple learn to agree? Agreement comes when the people involved stop being selfish. Selfishness is an immature inward focus. The key is to care about what the other person needs, be willing to humble yourself, and do what you can to meet those needs.

When this happens, you can live together in agreement before the Lord, and “wherever two or three are gathered” in His name, God is there with them. So make a choice with your spouse today to pursue agreement and unity before the Lord. [3]Joyce Meyer, https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/199-promises-for-your-everyday-life/day/360

How can one passage support such disparate meanings? Are any of those interpretations the true meaning of Matthew 18:18–20? Do they skirt around the edges of the author’s original intent, or are they missing the point of the passage altogether? Bottom line: Does this passage have anything to do with spiritual warfare, group prayer, or marital unity?

As with previous posts in this series, the first thing we should check is the context of our passage. What do the surrounding verses tell us about the meaning of our text? In this case, the preceding verses are likely just as familiar as the passage in question:

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15–17)

Just a simple reading of the text makes it clear that the focus is not spiritual warfare, unity in marriage, or empowering your prayer meetings. Instead, verses 15–17 speak exclusively about church discipline.

Therefore, all of Christ’s instructions about binding and loosing, unity, and the promise of His presence come in the context of church discipline. In other words, Matthew 18:18–20 means that when church leaders gather together to deal with unrepentant sinners, they have heavenly backing.

In his commentary on this passage, John MacArthur explains how many of the popular interpretations go wrong when they divorce the verses from their context:

Jesus’ promises in verses 18 and 19 have suffered serious misinterpretation throughout the history of the church. . . . Many charismatics use these promises—along with others, such as those of Matthew 7:7 and 21:22—to claim from God every imaginable blessing and privilege just for the asking.

But in light of the context of what Jesus had just said, in the light of common rabbinical expressions of that day, and in light of the grammatical construction of the text, it is clear that He was not teaching that God’s power can be bent to men’s will. He was not saying that men can force heaven to do things. Quite to the contrary, His promise was that when His people bend their wills to His, He will endorse and empower their act of obedience.

Jesus was here continuing His instruction about church discipline. He was not speaking about petitioning God for special blessings or privileges, and even less was He teaching that the church or any of its leaders has power to absolve the sins of its members. He was declaring that the church has a divine mandate to discipline its members when they refuse to repent. [4]John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1988) 137.

And what about the power to bind and loose in the spiritual realm? John also carefully debunks that misinterpretation:

The rabbis sometimes spoke of a principle or action as being bound in heaven or loosed in heaven to indicate, respectively, that it was forbidden or permitted in light of God’s revealed Word. . . . Believers have authority to declare that sins are either forgiven or not forgiven when that declaration is based on the teaching of God’s Word. If a person has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the church can tell him with perfect confidence that his sins are loosed, that is, forgiven, because he has met God’s condition for forgiveness, namely, trust in His Son. If, on the other hand, a person refuses to receive Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him as Lord, the church can tell him with equal confidence that his sins are bound, that is, not forgiven, because he has not met God’s condition for forgiveness. [5] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23, 137.

Matthew 18:15–17 is Christ’s explanation of how church discipline is to be practiced. Verses 18–20 expand on His instructions by informing us of the immense heavenly support provided to leaders who maintain the discipline of the church. Here’s how John MacArthur describes it:

Jesus also assures His people that He Himself acts with them when they work to purify the church: “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” Not only does the Father confirm discipline when it is administered according to His Word, but the Son adds His own divine confirmation. . . . To use this statement to claim the Lord’s presence at a small worship service or prayer meeting does not fit the context of church discipline and is superfluous. Christ is always present with His people, even with a lone believer totally separated from fellow Christians by prison walls or by hundreds of miles.

The context demands that the two or three are witnesses in the process of discipline. To ask or to do anything in God’s name is not to utter His name but to ask and to work according to His divine will and character. For the witnesses to have gathered in His name is therefore for them to have faithfully performed their work of verifying the repentance or impenitence of a sinning brother or sister on the Lord’s behalf. When the church gathers in the Lord’s name and for His cause and glory, it must be engaged in self-purifying ministry under His power and authority, and with His heavenly confirmation and partnership. [6] The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23, 138.

One could make a case that the church’s silence on the issue of biblical discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) has allowed for a cacophony of misinterpretations and misapplications of Matthew 18:18-20. Ripped from their original setting and intent, those verses have been made to serve a variety of false positions and pretexts.

Our interpretation of Scripture has serious practical repercussions. We would all do well to receive Paul’s counsel to Timothy:  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).


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Cripplegate: Why You Must Leave the Roman Catholic Church

Why You Must Leave the Roman Catholic Church

While I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response about last week’s article, “Why Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Cannot Be Together,” some seem to not quite grasp the reason for it. After all, they say that they have neighbors or family members who really love Jesus, who attend a Roman Catholic Church. While I have spoken to many Catholics and have yet to meet one who can explain the Gospel, I am sure that at least in America there has to be some believers who Sunday after Sunday are attending RCC’s. If you are one of these people, here are four reasons you need to leave today. Or if you know someone whom you believe to be born again, here are four reasons you need to encourage them to leave.

Christian Gun Owners Are Heretics

airō

Yep, gun owners are heretics according to “Formerly Fundy” Patheos blogger and Fuller Seminary doctoral candidate, Benjamin L Corey. Following the anti-Christian hate crime by the son of the devil who slaughtered nine people professing the name of Christ, Mr. Corey seized the moment on twitter to condemn Christian gun owners:

The face that U.S. Christians are so rabidly pro-gun suggests they are a people group who need to be evangelized and converted to Christ.

Capture3

I will be frank – that is one of the most asinine things I have ever read. But, I’m not surprised as it comes from an emergent progressive who denies the inerrancy of Scripture and the existence of hell, and affirms homosexual sin.

Mr. Corey is in good company with another heretic who goes by the name of Pope Francis, who suggested gun manufacturers and investors who profess Christ are hypocrites. Now, let me be…

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An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview

WINTERY KNIGHT

A conflict of worldviews A conflict of worldviews

If you love to listen to the Cold Case Christianity podcast, as I do, then you know that in a recent episode, J. Warner Wallace mentioned a blog post on an atheistic blog that clearly delineated the implications of an atheistic worldview. He promised he was going to write about it and link to the post, and he has now done so.

Here is the whole the whole thing that the atheist posted:

“[To] all my Atheist friends.

Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice” and “be civil” you actually do them a great disservice.

We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident. All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random…

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Don’t Try to Impress God

Green Baggins

One of the easiest traps into which believers fall is the trap of trying to impress God. We do this in quite a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.

One way we try to impress God is by trying to pray in a certain way. This is a little difficult to describe, but some of the elements include using flowery language because we think it will be more easily heard (important caveat: if the translation you use is the KJV, and you are rightly trying to pray God’s Word back to Him, then your language will inevitably sound archaic, and in this case that is excusable); not being honest in our prayers (because we think God can’t handle the truth); trying to maintain always a perfect facade in front of others, no matter how torn up we are inside (forgetting that God sees the heart); and using…

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He Delivers What He Desires

Unfathomable Grace

Jesus left the populace, took his ministry on the road, and travelled to the region of Samaria. While resting near a well, he met a religious woman who had come to draw water, and he struck up a conversation. He looked her in the eye and with serious tenderness said:

Give me a drink.  (John 4:4)

Jesus, the Sovereign King of all men and women, desired, deserved, and demanded water from this female servant. Had she known to whom she was talking, she should have responded with an immediate and fervent, “Yes, Lord!” Her Creator had a desire. He made a demand. Her duty was to respond with diligent obedience from her heart and with her hands.

Well, Jesus may have been physically thirsty, but he was really using this dialogue as an opportunity to share spiritual truth with one of his elect, female disciples. So, as the conversation developed, Jesus presented his glorious and gracious offer:

If you…

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GodLife: Why are these burdens weighing me down?

Scripture: “Because you belong to Him [Christ Jesus], the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” – Romans 8:2

Are you looking for freedom in the right place?

Think about the things that take away your freedom – sin, the things that separate you from God. What will unite you with Jesus? God’s forgiveness. Freedom from sin is freedom from its guilt; this freedom is brought to us by God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Ask God to forgive you today.

If you want to learn more about God’s forgiveness, read “Why Should We Forgive Others?”