Daily Archives: October 5, 2015

What did Jesus mean when He said, “It is finished!” in John 19:30?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well- being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NASB)

One of the teachings from the leadership of the Word-Faith movement is that Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross was insufficient to accomplish the salvation of His people. They teach that Jesus then had to go to Hell to suffer as a lost person by being tormented by Satan. If that were true then what did Jesus mean when He said, “It is finished”? (John 19:30)

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October 5, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

October 5 Quotes


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.

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The Question Is Not Whether But Why?

The question in the 16th century was never whether James is in the Bible but why it is there. As they worked out their doctrine of justification, sanctification, and salvation sola gratia, sola fide they concluded that James 2 is teaching the moral and logical necessity of love and good works not as part of the legal basis (ground) of our justification and salvation nor as part of the instrument of them but as the outcome. We are justified that we might be sanctified and we manifest this sanctification in love and good works. We are saved in order that we might walk in good works (Eph 2:10).

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6 Great New Books for Kids

In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung—a best-selling author and father of six—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth. With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message—how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden—will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think.”

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Pretending No More

When someone asks how we are doing and we smile and say, “Fine,” but inside our heart is aching, we are in fact pretending to be someone else. When we act like our life is great while our world is crumbling down around us, we are pretending. When we fear to open up to others about who we really are and instead mask our aches and pains, we are pretending. When we act as though we are not battling sin and temptation in our life, we are pretending.

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The Privilege of Being a Christian

Opinion varies, but many scholars estimate that Romans was written in AD 57-58. Within a decade, many of the Roman Christians to whom the letter was addressed were brutally slaughtered in the Roman amphitheaters. The original readers of Romans faced a terrible dilemma: they could deny Jesus or profess Him knowing that, if they did, they faced certain death. Tacitus’ account, written half a century later, and with unmeasured contempt for Nero, is often cited: “Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered in the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or doomed to the flames.”

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Did the Apostle Paul Use Profanity?

With that in mind, I did a search of two exhaustive databases of ancient Greek literature (Perseus and Thesaurus Lingua Graecae) to see if σκύβαλα functions as a swear word in Greek. I discovered that nowhere in all of ancient Greek literature is there a clear example of σκύβαλα functioning as a swear word or even as a rude word. I could not find a single place where it was used as an insult, invective curse or interjection. In fact, the normal use of σκύβαλα in ancient Greek scholarly literature makes it almost impossible that it was a swear word. Here is the evidence for my claim, a list of the known uses of σκύβαλα in ancient Greek texts.

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Brothers and Sisters

We don’t need more fences. We don’t need a stronger negative push against sinful sexual relationships.  We need to foster a different mindset altogether. The church needs to plow a counter culture. It needs a new axis on gender, orthogonal to the sexual one, that equips us to live affirmatively in male/female relationships in the Body of Christ. Our culture in Christ should be that of FAMILY.

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4 Questions to Ask a Child

Sometimes they freeze at any adult attention, twisting themselves into Mommy’s skirt faster than you can say “hello there!” Sometimes they begin eagerly to speak to you, but a friend or a spider redirects their energies and, with a whirl, they disappear. Sometimes, they’ve just woken on the wrong side of the pack n’ play or been forced to eat Brussels sprouts for snack, and you wouldn’t get a cheerful word out of them even if you offered them a Blue Razz Blow Pop in exchange. Children are shy, distractible, irritable, talkative, uncomfortable, and affectionate. In short, they are pretty much like adults.

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Does God Care if I Don't Go to Church?

Does God Care if I Don’t Go to Church?

Posted on October 4, 2015 by Crosswalk

While failing to attend church will not send a Christian to hell, it is not what God intended for His people.

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Re-Ignite Bible Reading That’s Become Boring

Re-Ignite Bible Reading That’s Become Boring

Posted on October 4, 2015 by Church Leaders

Do you know how to re-ignite your Bible reading during seasons of dryness and deadness?

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We Need to Talk About Submission

We Need to Talk About Submission

Posted on October 5, 2015 by Desiring God

If we avoid or abandon talking about submission, we throw aside the fundamentals of marriage that God ordained from the beginning. If ever there were a time to dialogue about marriage, submission, and the attendant glory of Christ, it is now.

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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 5, 2015 by Ministry Matters

(RNS) In his latest book, evangelist Billy Graham declares that non-Christians are doomed to live in a fiery hell, a message his son said he has wanted to share for several …

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When God Calls You to Something “Small”

by Erin Davis

It’s awesome when our faith propels us to make giant leaps, but sometimes the harder steps to take are the small ones. I’m a lot less willing to do little things for God.

3 Verses on Beauty Every Girl Needs to Know

by Bethany Baird

The next time the girl in the mirror forgets how beautiful she is, recite these three power-packed verses.

8 Reasons Why I Didn’t Change My Name (and 6 Reasons I Did)

by Paula Hendricks

There’s power in a name! Here are good (and not so good) reasons to take your future husband’s name.

Why You Should Risk Losing Their Friendship

by Paula Hendricks

Here’s why you should be brave enough to confront that friend.


The Billion Souls network wants churches to Bring Back The King

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research reports:

There is a major effort by the “Billion Souls Network” to “Bring Back The King” by finishing the Great Commission by AD 2100. This Dominionist movement is not only not biblical, it is downright dangerous. (see our White paper on NAR Dominionism to begin your research.) What is the Billion Souls Network?

The Billion Souls network wants churches to Bring Back The King


Clinton, Biden Speak at “Gay Gala,”Push for Federal Law to Protect Homosexuality

Christian News Network reports:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden served a speakers at a “gay gala” on Saturday sponsored by the nation’s largest homosexual activist group, co-founded by a man who has spent the past year fighting child rape charges.

“It’s great to be back with the other HRC,” Clinton quipped as she addressed the hundreds gathered for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) event in Washington. “There’s no one I’d rather share my initials with than all of you.”

“I see the injustices and the dangers that you and your families still face,” she said. “I’m running for president to stand up for the fundamental rights of LGBT Americans.”

http://christiannews.net/2015/10/05/clinton-biden-speak-at-gay-gala-push-for-federal-law-to-protect-homosexuality/


Christian gun owners are heretics

In this piece over at airō, evangelist Justin Edwards pulls no punches. He writes:

Gun and BibleYep, 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.

Christian Gun Owners Are Heretics


Thousands Line Up At Chick-Fil-A Megastore In NYC Amid LGBT Protests

Highly adored and highly controversial fast food chain Chick-Fil-A  satisfied cravings and ruffled a few feathers Saturday with the grand opening of its first official Manhattan outpost.

Chick-Fil-A, the massively popular Southern staple owned by a conservative Christian family known for their anti-gay marriage views, hatched a 5,000-square-foot store in Herald Square to mixed reviews from fervent devotees and activists.

This is the best chicken in the world, in my opinion.” said Dana Kelly, 25, after devouring an original chicken sandwich with waffle fries. “It was completely worth it. It’s like nothing else.” Thousands of hungry, and soggy, fast food fanatics braved the bad weather to get a taste of the chain’s signature sandwiches. A few hundred even camped out overnight.

chick-fil-a-opens-mega-store-new-york-city-amid-lgbt-animal-rights-activists-protests-cfa

Hours after the doors opened, a 20-minute-long line still stretched down W. 37th St. from the front doors on Sixth Ave.

But not everyone outside the new sandwich shop Saturday was there for a taste of chicken.

I was very shocked by the amount of people lining up to support this company,” said Lila Trenkova, a founder of Collectively Free, an animal and gay rights activist group. “I think that it’s ignorance rather than people actually not caring.”

Trenkova and about two dozen others staged a demonstration outside the three-story behemoth to protest Chick-Fil-A’s history as a conservative-owned chicken palace.

The fast food chain found itself at the center of the politically-charged debate over gay marriage in 2012 when then-Chief Operating Officer and current CEO Dan Cathy, the son of the company’s deeply religious founder, told a Christian news organization that Chick-fil-A supported “the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Cathy later said that marriage equality was “inviting God’s judgment” on the U.S. The Atlanta-based company has been family owned and privately held since 1964. Despite the backlash against the conservative Christian views of its owners, the company has pecked its way into the roster of successful nationwide chains.

There are more than 1,900 Chick-Fil—A’s stores in the U.S. and sales reached nearly $6 billion in 2014.

Customers at the new outpost in usually liberal New York seemed more concerned with the wait than the company’s politics.

It’s like a little piece of home,” said Chris Pickering, 25, originally from Miami but living in Brooklyn. “The chicken is better than at any other fast food places and it was incredibly fast, even faster than McDonalds.” source


The Pope’s Problem: A Reprise

popeThe pope is finally gone and I am happier for it. He has practically no redeeming qualities and has left a trail of carnage from the moment he arrived until the moment he left. Make no mistake: he is the incarnation and personification of the worst sort of evil imaginable. And he’s worse than any pope in a long time. Shame on you if you said from your pulpit, “The pope has his problems but…”

So what are the Pope’s problems? Let me enumerate them:

First and most obviously, the pope effectively claims to be God. I choose my words carefully, because he does not announce that he is God; still, he accrues to himself more than is due even a proxy or vicar of God (which he does claim): he actually assumes attributes and prerogatives that belong only to God so routinely that there can be no other conclusion that commends itself to the rational mind. I sat in traffic last week and heard the Archbishop of Detroit call the faithful to “cast their hosannas” at the feet of “his holiness,” as the pope was on his way to a “canonization” event. This was followed by a few snippets from women like to swoon with giddy delirium over the “literal” wave of peace and holiness that had overwhelmed them in Mark 5:30 fashion as he rode past. All this in the time it took me to move fifty feet on Interstate 94. Reality Check: The pope is the greatest purveyor of idolatry alive today. He is a living, breathing affront to God in the very most rudimentary, uncomplicated, and intentional of senses. There is no room for a “yes, but…” To think in such terms is to have one’s Christian sensibilities occluded. He is an unrepentant leader in leading millions into what is, at least in God’s terms, the very first and worst of all possible sins.

But second, this particular pope doesn’t even do common grace well. In past papal administrations, hopeful evangelicals have pushed for “co-belligerence” of evangelical and Catholic churches in matters of social concern. Mercifully, these appeals were more than usually muted for the duration of his visit. And that is because the current pope is not only morally ambivalent (saying almost nothing, say, about the vices of abortion and homosexuality), he’s also naïve to the fact of human depravity and rather stupid (imagining that the Communist experiment of the twentieth century actually has a promising future). But because he speaks for God, we actually have sycophants on both sides of the aisle fawning over his divine words. Reality Check: The pope is using his self-aggrandizing power both to threaten our nation and to effectively suppress biblical ethics with his deafening silence.

Put these two problems together, and we arrive at the pope’s unique problem, viz., that he simultaneously threatens both the civic and spiritual governments of God in rather a comprehensive way. The true church is regularly threatened from within by heresy and from without by civic structures that actively assault the church or fail to restrain those who do. But the pope has the unique power to threaten the church in both ways. And, oddly, the evangelical church often stands poised to accommodate him. Of course it is true that there are incidental points of practical agreement between the Roman Catholic and Christian worldviews that can from time-to-time render individual Catholics and Christians odd but legitimate bedfellows (i.e., the kind of cooperation that can occur incidentally between believers and almost any fellow human), but there can be no formal, Christian, or ecclesiastical co-belligerence between us.

The pope simply has too many problems. Ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.


Bully on the Block – Hal Lindsey

Russia claims to be in Syria to help defeat ISIS, but their real purpose is to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and further ingratiate themselves with Assad’s powerful ally in the region — Iran. Wednesday’s air strikes prove it. They attacked an area north of the city of Homs in Western Syria. ISIS is generally located in the northern and eastern part of Syria.

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Beware of False Christs

“The coming of this Master teacher 2,000 years ago was a milestone in the journey that marked a great acceleration in the process of moving back to alignment with the Light within.  This master teacher was known as Jesus Christ.  The man Jesus was a perfect child of the Goddess and God energy–just as we […]

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The Global Warming Gestapo – Terry James

While preaching to the U.N., America, and Israel-hating choir about America’s culpability in the damage to earth’s environment, the pope reflected on statements he has made as chief climate-change cop. Statements like the following:

-“God will judge you whether you cared for Earth.”
-“It is man who has slapped nature in the face.”
-“People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.”
-“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”

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Office Hours: After Obergefell (pt 2)

Recently the Supreme Court of the United States issued a very significant decision widely known as Obergefell. In that 5–4 ruling, writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy argued that same-sex marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment, which was ratified after the American Civil War to guarantee the rights of those freedom had been won […]

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Strangers And Aliens (3): The Good News Of The Salvation Has Now Been Announced (1 Peter 1:10–12)

What is the central unifying narrative thread in the history of redemption? For many American evangelicals the default answer to this question is: national Israel. For them it is a mark of faithfulness to Scripture to assume that the central, unifying thread is God’s promise of and interest in a national, earthly people (Israel). In […]

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Islam Advances While the West Sleeps

Islam has a game plan. The West just plays games. That is why, unless things change drastically, the West will lose and Islam will triumph. The 1400-year old dream of a global caliphate established by aggressive Islamic imperialism remains on the table, while the West dithers about with more important matters like Bruce Jenner and Miley Cyrus.

The first article I penned today offers a fitting look at Western priorities and realities: a budding porn star who killed her own baby in order to get some more cosmetic surgery. Yep, that about sums up where the West is at. My story about her (and the decline of the West which she so handily represents) is found here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/10/05/baby-killing-career-advancement-and-a-terminal-culture/

islam 26The decline of the West has been documented time and time again. America, once the light on the hill, and the leader of the free world, is now but a shadow of its former shelf, with Obama doing all he can to relegate it to the trash heap of history.

In the recent past when the world was threatened by godless Communism, we had Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II to help defeat this horrific enemy. Today we have a guy in the White house who prefers to spend all his spare time on the golf course.

And in the meanwhile IS is steadily advancing. As one wag quipped, if Reagan were still around, ISIS would be WASWAS. But not under the girly man and dhimmi we now have in office. So Islam advances while the West recedes.

And into the vacuum steps someone like Putin, who seems a lot more concerned lately with defending Christian values and Christian civilisation than Obama ever has. He is even doing what America should have done long ago: “bombing the crap out of” IS in Syria, as one commentator put it. He continues:

“Putin has now made it official and uncontestable that the United States is no longer in the superpower business. We have lost our place in the world order thanks to the massive incompetence (not to mention intentional malfeasance) of the Obama administration – including former Secretary of Scapegoating Hillary “reset button” Clinton.”

Two recent articles on the nefarious spread of Islam in the West just caught my eye, so let me quote from each. Islam expert Raymond Ibrahim writes about “Europe’s Migrant Crisis, Islamic History, and Western Fantasy”. The West does just not understand Islam he argues. He states:

This dichotomy of Muslim and Western thinking is evident everywhere. When the Islamic State declared that it will “conquer Rome” and “break its crosses,” few in the West realized that those are the verbatim words and goals of Islam’s founder and his companions as recorded in Muslim sources — words and goals that prompted over a thousand years of jihad on Europe.
Most recently, the Islamic State released a map of the areas it plans on expanding into over the next five years. Not only are Mideast and Asian regions included, but the map includes European lands: Portugal, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, parts of Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, and Cyprus.
The reason for this is simple. According to Islamic law, once a country has been conquered (or “opened,” as the euphemistic Arabic words it), it becomes Islamic in perpetuity….
All of the aforementioned European nations are seen as being currently “occupied” by Christian “infidels” and in need of “liberation.” This is why jihadi organizations refer to terrorist attacks on such countries as “defensive jihads.” One rarely hears about Islamic designs on European nations because they are large and blocked together, altogether distant from the Muslim world. Conversely, tiny Israel is in the heart of the Islamic world, hence it has received most of the jihadi attention: it was a more realistic conquest. But now that the “caliphate” has been reborn and is expanding before a paralytic West, dreams of reconquering portions of Europe — if not through jihad, then through migration — are becoming more plausible, perhaps more so than conquering Israel….
Meanwhile, in schools across much of the Muslim world, children are being indoctrinated into glorifying and reminiscing about the jihadi conquests of yore — conquests by the sword and in the name of Allah. While the progressive West demonizes European/Christian history (when I was in elementary school, Christopher Columbus was a hero; when I got into college, he became a villain), Mehmet the Conqueror, whose atrocities against Christian Europeans make the Islamic State look like boy scouts, is praised every year in “secular” Turkey on the anniversary of the savage sack of Constantinople.

The current Syrian refugee crisis is another thing the West just does not properly understand – nor most gullible Christians for that matter:

The result of Western fantasies and Islamic history is that today Muslims are entering the West unfettered in the guise of refugees. They refuse to assimilate with the “infidels,” and form enclaves — in Islamic terminology, ribats — that serve as frontier posts to wage jihad against the infidel one way or another.
This is not conjecture. The Islamic State is intentionally driving the refugee phenomenon and has promised to send half a million people — mostly Muslims — into Europe. It claims that 4,000 of these refugees are its own operatives:
Just wait. … It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.
It is often said that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it. What happens to those who rewrite history in a way to demonize their ancestors while whitewashing the crimes of their ancestors’ enemies? The result is before us. History is not repeating itself; sword-waving Muslims are not militarily conquering Europe. Rather, they are being allowed to walk right in.

Also, consider the role of the mosque in Islamic thought and practice. Most Westerners – including Western leaders – are utterly clueless as to what goes on in the Islamic mosque. Thus we have leaders like Turnbull and others here in Australia making excuses for Islamic jihadists who are killing our people on our streets.

They speak about “radicalised youth” when they should be speaking about the radical political ideology known as Islam. And the mosque plays a key role in all of this, as we just saw once again when the 15yo Muslim youth did his shooting spree just after leaving a Sydney mosque.

I have written before on the sinister nature of the mosque, eg: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/03/28/the-significance-of-the-mosque/

But a helpful piece on this by Harry Richardson has just appeared, entitled “So you thought mosques were just places of worship?” He begins:

In local councils across Australia, and indeed most of the Western World, applications are pending for the building of new Mosques. Until recently, these applications would have been approved with little more than a rubber stamp and a few suggestions as to local planning. Today however, things have changed. Mosque applications have become rallying points for community anger and hostility. Demonstrations and campaigns are becoming commonplace.

He goes on to ask, what is a mosque?

It is vitally important to understand what a mosque represents in Islam. A mosque is not like a church or a temple, it is much more than a place for Muslims to simply worship their God (Allah). Mosques are modelled on the first mosque established by Mohammed in Medina which was a seat of government, a command centre, a court, a military training centre and an arms depot. Mosque leaders today raise religious decrees, enforce Islamic doctrine, monitor conduct, punish transgressors and command actions including requirements to conduct Jihad. A mosque is much more than a church.

He looks at how various Islamic lands see all this, such as Turkey:

The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, understood the military nature of a mosque when he stated: “A mosque is our barracks, the domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and the faithful are our soldiers.” Islam’s founder, the Prophet Mohammed, was not just a religious leader but a political and military one too. He raised armies and fought and killed people until he was the King of the whole of Arabia. The religion of Islam is entirely based on the example and teachings of Mohammed. Unlike any other major religion therefore, Islam is also a political and military force.

He finishes by looking again at mosque building in Australia:

Question: Why are so many mosques being built?
Answer: Muslims currently have over 370 mosques in Australia which, per capita, is more than six times the number of Buddhist and Hindu temples. This could well be because the mosque is intended as a beachhead for Islam, a place to plan Jihad and to implement Sharia law.
Question: Why do mosques have capacities that cater for far greater numbers than those in local Muslim communities?
Answer: The mosque is deliberately built to dominate the neighbourhood to show the supremacy of Islam over Christianity and all other faiths.
Mosque teachings in Australia
What is taught in the mosque comes directly from the Qur’an, the Hadith and Sira, and the ‘Reliance of the Traveller’, which is the Manual of Islamic Law. The Manual of Islamic Law teaches in Law O9.0 that it is a communal obligation for Muslims to wage Jihad to establish Islam as the religion and the law. In the Hadith of Muslim, book 41 No. 6985, Muslims are told to slaughter the Jews.
There are many examples of these teachings being delivered in mosques which give cause for alarm.
1. On April 27 in the Preston mosque in Melbourne, an audio tape exists of brother Baha delivering a speech calling on Muslims to engage in Jihad against Australians (in line with Islamic Law O9.0)
2. Sheik Feiz Mohammed who teaches at a mosque in Auburn in Western Sydney, is on video calling for the mass slaughter of all Jews, while making pig noises. (This is perhaps inspired by the Hadith of Muslim book 41 No. 6985)
3. Sheik Hilaly of the Lakemba mosque, a former Grand Mufti of Australia, defended the rape of women who were not covered in acceptable Islamic dress. There is now evidence of a rape epidemic in Europe by Muslims because Islamic Sharia law does not penalise a Muslim for raping a non-Muslim woman.

We need to learn about Islam. We need to understand that it is an expansionist, imperialistic political ideology which brooks no rivals. We also need a revitalised and reenergised West. While the march of Islam will continue apace, one can rightly ask if the West will wake up, learn to discern what is happening, and stand up for its values once again.

Or will it continue to roll over and play dead.

http://www.allenbwest.com/2015/10/cartoon-brilliantly-illustrates-obamas-epic-fail-with-putin/
http://www.meforum.org/5535/europe-migrant-crisis-history-fantasy
http://pickeringpost.com/story/so-you-thought-mosques-were-just-places-of-worship-/5414


Dark Times Come To Nepal – Conversion To Christianity Banned, Christian Missionaries Told To Leave Country

Nepal seems to be the latest hotspot for intensified attacks against Christians and their faith. Nepal’s 31 million-strong population is predominantly Hindu, at about 81%. Christians make up a mere 1.4% of the entire population. A group of Hindu extremists from the Morcha Nepal, or ‘Morcha’ radical group, are now reportedly using leaflets to warn all foreign Christian missionaries to leave Nepal………… Click here for full story


Home Alone

Home Alone One of the most common conflicts in homes today is triggered by a smartphone. Someone in most homes has cultivated the habit of disconnecting from others in the room and constantly checking his phone. In fact, if you’re around long enough, it feels less like a habit and more like a right or basic need — air, food, sleep, and Facebook.

I’ve been that person in our home, and am making serious effort to change.

The message we’re really sending while sending one more quick text is: Better to be away from the family — the spouse, the children, the roommate, the guest — and at home with the phone. As Sherry Turkle has observed, our phones now present the potential to be with someone, but always somewhere else as well (Alone Together, 152). To constantly check our phone, then, is to put up an away message and declare that we’re not really there. We’re home together, yet home alone.

The same device that connects us with people all over the world alienates us from those just across the room. It’s the in-home home-wrecker. The trade-offs are pretty silly when we stop and look up long enough to weigh them. We trade the needs in front of us, the meaningful conversation with our spouse or children, the opportunity to truly know and be known, and for what?

Instagrams
Angry birds
Sports scores
Facebook comments
Fantasy football
YouTube videos
Minecraft
Podcasts
Retweets
Celebrity gossip
Breaking news
Doodle Jump
Text messages

None of them wrong, but none of them worth living or dying for, either. None worth straining a marriage, family, or friendship for.

The Lies That Bind

Satan presents a host of lies to keep us attached to our phones — a kind of twisted spiritual “upgrade” from the corded phone — and detached from those around us. Phones were once attached to walls; now we’re attached to them. There are more lies, of course, than I could identify or address here. Two lies, though, are especially compelling and sum up a lot of the others.

On the one hand, we’ve been taught that we’re each an indispensible part of the world’s engine, a hinge on which everyone else in our lives precariously hangs. What would they do without me? It would be selfish, even unloving, to close myself off completely from them. The world needs me.

On the other hand, we hang our hearts on the world, longing to be wanted, longing for the next affirmation, for that feeling of being important and included. We’ve been wired from birth to want love, and so we fall into a speed-dating world of work emails, social networks, and viral videos. We cling to our phones because we crave the world’s attention and affection. I need the world.

Gaining freedom from our phones requires being liberated from lies like these that bind the technology to us like links in a cold, steel chain.

Lie #1: The World Needs Me

For some of us, a savior complex tethers us to our phones. We’re afraid something will happen and someone will need us — and only us — immediately. What could they possibly do if we weren’t available? Well, probably whatever they did for thousands of years before the telephone existed, or for a couple hundred more while it was anchored to the wall. Or more likely, and yet strangely unthinkable to a me-centered generation, they’ll just call someone else.

If we put the phone down and went for a walk, we might be willing to admit we’re not as needed as we think or act. But that’s scary, too. We love being needed.

But the world doesn’t need me. God has governed, preserved, and prospered the world without me for most of history — thousands and thousands of years. If I suddenly died tomorrow, there would undoubtedly be significant pain, loss, and change for a few, but the world would survive, move forward, and be just fine. The omniscient and omnipotent God is still in control, and utterly committed to fulfilling his work everywhere on the planet.

He will take care of every detail with perfect love, perfect timing, and unlimited power. And he’ll be especially and graciously attentive when it comes to protecting and providing for those who love him (Matthew 6:26, 30). That truth relieves us of trying to play God’s part and enables us to serve the small (yet significant) role he’s given each of us.

Ironically, by trying to “save” the world with our incessant availability — checking and checking and checking — we’re abandoning the world that needs us most, the people under our own roof. The people who need us most — and who we need most, if we’ll admit it — typically aren’t on the other end of an email or Tweet, but on the other end of the couch.

The face time you have with the people you live and work with cannot be replaced with Facetime (or Facebook, or Instagram, and certainly not by Buzzfeed). God has placed all of you — mind, body, and soul — in only one place at any one time, so all of you is only available, face to face, to a few.

The apostles knew that in the long run even personal handwritten letters were not enough (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 John 12; 3 John 13). Paul and John wanted to see these people (Romans 1:11). Tone, body language, facial expressions, and physical touch mattered in these relationships. We’ve lost track of the immeasurable and irreplaceable value of physical presence in relationships. That value puts a premium on the love we give and receive in our homes, our neighborhoods, our church families, and our workplaces.

Lie #2: I Need the World

We have a need to be needed. We love the idea that someone might text or call or tweet to get our attention. We don’t want to miss that moment when someone else thought of us. We need the world. Alert after alert, our phones justify and praise our existence. They reassure us that we are considered talented, important, and loved by someone — even if the affection is often shallow, superficial, and short-lived.

Our smartphones make us feel needed, and they give us control, or at least the mirage of control. Turkle writes, “Today, our machine dream is to be never alone but always in control. This can’t happen when one is face-to-face with a person” (157). We decide when to click, what apps to add, and who to engage. Face-to-face relationships aren’t as convenient as Facebook friends or Twitter followers. You can’t swipe a spouse or child away for a little while. But those relationships are the frontlines of faithfulness as well as the opportunities with the greatest potential for lasting impact.

The information age has transformed us all into need-to-know, nosy people. Like a desperate, sleep-deprived reporter, we check our sources every few minutes, looking for the next headline — sports, eating, politics, and parenting. We work hard to be in the know, but end up knowing everything about nothing. Tragically, we know the latest trends on Twitter, the funniest videos on Facebook, and the Instagrammed milestones of others’ infants, but we have a harder time answering questions about our own family or roommates.

As believers in Jesus and the gospel, our identity is never in how much we’re needed in this life, or in what we control, or in how much we know. Our life is measured by the life that was given for us, by the price that was paid to secure and satisfy us forever (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:19). We were made and saved not to be loved by social media, but by the almighty God of holiness and mercy.

Do Not Disturb

One practical way forward is to set up and use a Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. You can choose to still receive calls from particular people, or from people who call multiple times in an emergency, but you eliminate the vast majority of notifications. You can schedule it every night at a certain time or turn it on for an hour or two while you eat dinner or work on a project or spend time with your family.

If work is the reason you keep your phone so close, you probably have allowed work to creep too far into your life. Very, very few jobs require (or even expect) you to be available every minute of every day. In fact, your endless availability probably says more about your own needs than theirs.

To some, it may sound unloving or anti-social, but ironically it may be the most loving and inviting decision you make today. The truth is many of us have a Do No Disturb sign up most of the time. The question is whether it faces the world around us or the people beside us.

By shutting out the world for a few moments, you welcome those next to you in and give them more attention than they’re used to receiving (perhaps from anyone). You also remind your own heart, against all of Satan’s false promises (Matthew 4:8–9), where your treasure and security truly lie.

Undivided, undistracted attention is a precious commodity and gift today, like some handcrafted artifact from the ancient world. Surprise someone you love by ignoring your phone, leaving it out of sight, turning off alerts, and listening well.


Related Articles


What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?

The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.

First, union with our Lord depends on His grace. Of course we are actively and personally united to Christ by faith (John 14:12). But faith itself is rooted in the activity of God. It is the Father who, as the divine Gardener, has grafted us into Christ. It is Christ, by His Word, who has cleansed us to fit us for union with Himself (15:3). All is sovereign, all is of grace.

Second, union with Christ means being obedient to Him. Abiding involves our response to the teaching of Jesus: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you …” (John 15:7a). Paul echoes this idea in Colossians 3:16, where he writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” a statement closely related to his parallel exhortation in Ephesians 5:18: “be filled with the Spirit.”

In a nutshell, abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles! Then, of course, as Christ’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we will begin to pray in a way consistent with the will of God and discover the truth of our Lord’s often misapplied promise: “You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7b).

Third, Christ underlines a further principle, “Abide in My love” (15:9), and states very clearly what this implies: the believer rests his or her life on the love of Christ (the love of the One who lays down His life for His friends, v. 13).

This love has been proved to us in the cross of Christ. We must never allow ourselves to drift from daily contemplation of the cross as the irrefutable demonstration of that love, or from dependence on the Spirit who sheds it abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). Furthermore, remaining in Christ’s love comes to very concrete expression: simple obedience rendered to Him is the fruit and evidence of love for Him (John 15:10–14).

Finally, we are called, as part of the abiding process, to submit to the pruning knife of God in the providences by which He cuts away all disloyalty and sometimes all that is unimportant, in order that we might remain in Christ all the more wholeheartedly.

This excerpt is taken from In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson.


Why the Sermon Is Not Enough

If you’ve spent much time in church, you may have noticed that more seats are filled on Christmas and Easter than on an average Sunday. Many of us may have grown up as church “CEO’s”—Christmas and Easter Only attendees—sharing in the mindset that by attending on these dates we had fulfilled our religious duty for the year. If you think about it, that’s a little like a college student who shows up only for midterms and finals thinking he’ll be able to pull off a passing grade.

Even faithful attendees of weekly worship can overestimate what our attendance is accomplishing.

But even faithful attendees of weekly worship can overestimate what our attendance is accomplishing, particularly if our weekly investment in learning Scripture begins and ends with listening to a sermon. In doing so, we’re a bit like a college student who comes to lecture every week but does nothing outside of class to reinforce what he learns. Neglecting the syllabus, this student just shows up each week, listens to the lecture, and goes home. No matter how good the lectures are, his grasp of the subject will only go so far.

Going Deeper Than the Sermon

It occurs to me that the children of God have been given a syllabus: love God’s law,meditate on it day and night,hide it in your heart, reap the profitability of all of it. Yet many of us are content to just show up each week for lecture. We might do a Bible reading plan or a devotional time during the week, but do we make an earnest study of the syllabus material?

What if we became more like the college student who comes to the lecture, but also takes time to dig deeper? Who broadens his understanding of the lecture by personal study time and dialogue with other students?

Because the sermon is not enough to teach us the knowledge of Scripture. It is not even necessarily intended to do so.

The sermon is not enough to teach us the knowledge of Scripture.

Before you begin to imagine this is a critique of the pulpit, understand that your pastor wants and expects you to learn elsewhere. More than likely, he constructs his sermon based on the premise that you are acquiring basic Bible knowledge in a home group, Sunday school class, or Bible study. This gives his sermon the freedom to exhort, to encourage, to apply. It allows him to preach topical sermons that move from passage to passage to integrate a broad concept, building on a foundation of basic Bible knowledge he assumes you have acquired elsewhere.

Or perhaps your pastor makes no such assumption, choosing expository preaching over topical preaching to help build that foundational knowledge. But even this excellent approach is often limited by calendar pressures. In most churches, the typical sermon series fills about ten weeks at most, depending on the ebb and flow of the church calendar. This means most pastors won’t preach through an entire book of the Bible from start to finish unless that book is fairly short. Most of them are not.

What Good Preaching Does

As someone who sits under extremely good preaching each week, I have noticed a pattern: Good preaching creates a hunger for deeper learning—it awakens our desire to know more of this God we hear proclaimed. Rather than “refilling our spiritual tanks” once a week, good preaching drives us to hunger for more truth than we had when we walked in the church doors. It whets our appetite for deeper study.

Good preaching drives us to hunger for more truth than we had when we walked in the church doors.

When will you learn Ezekiel beyond an annual read-through in a reading plan? When will you mine Genesis chapter by chapter for all its richness? Seeking out learning environments in addition to the sermon allows us to do just that. My hunger from the weekend sermon finds me halfway through a twenty-two-week study of the book of Exodus with a group of women. We could spend three times that long unearthing all the treasures this book contains, but by the time our study is done, we will remember the story of the Exodus each time redemption is preached from the pulpit.

We will be able to fill in the historical and theological context for any mention of Moses in a sermon. We will understand law and grace in a fuller way. We will remember how the ministry of Christ was shadowed clearly and repeatedly in the pages of Exodus, 1,500 years before His advent. The time we invest in learning Exodus from start to finish will enhance and amplify our ability to be nourished by the sermon.

Bible study and preaching should hold hands. Individually, they are each beneficial, but together their benefit magnifies. What about you? Will you fill yourself with sermon after sermon and call it done? Or will you allow the sermon to whet your appetite for deeper study, seeking out places for that to happen?

Were you a mediocre student in school? You can be a faithful one now. Begin by acknowledging that the sermon is not enough. Then find a class, a group, a study partner, a study guide to take you where the sermon is exhorting you to go-deeper, and deeper still.

Deeper, deeper, blessèd Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.

O deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessèd Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word

~Hymn by Charles P. Jones, 1900

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “Partially Hydrogenated Bible Study.”


Eight Reasons Many Churches Are Living in the 1980s

Nine out of ten churches in America are either declining, or they are growing so slowly they are not keeping up with the growth rate of the community in which they are located.

It’s a long sentence. Read it again carefully. Soak it in. Across America 90 percent of the churches are losing ground in their respective communities. Most of them are declining. Many of them will close.

As I have worked with thousands of churches over the past three decades, I have noticed something fascinating, yet disturbing, about many of these churches. They are still acting like it’s the 1980s. The world has passed them by. They are deemed irrelevant by members of their communities. They are frozen in a time warp.

Why has this tragedy fallen on so many churches? Though I don’t want to oversimplify the issue, I see at least eight reasons for this crisis.

  1. They are trying to shelter themselves from culture. In the 1980s, congregations were typically part of the mainstream culture. They were accepted in most places, and embraced in some. That is not the culture of today. Many church members use their churches as a getaway from the realities they don’t want to face.
  2. Programs were easy answers. The vast majority of churches in the 1980s were program-driven. If there was a perceived need, they would order a resource that best solved that need. Many churches today still think they can get quick fixes from programs.
  3. Churches largely catered to the needs of church members in the 1980s. We thus created a culture of membership that is me-driven. Many church members do not want to make the sacrifices necessary to reach our communities and culture today. They are demanding their own needs and preferences to be the priority of their churches.
  4. Change was more incremental. If your church is stuck in the 1980s, it does not have to worry about the rapid pace of change today. Members can pretend like their church does not need to change despite the massive upheavals of change in the world.
  5. Church growth was easier. In the 1980s, a number of people would visit our churches without much effort on the members’ part. One church member told me recently, “If lost people want to come to our church, they know where we are.” Sigh.
  6. Denominations provided solutions. Not all churches in the 1980s belonged to a denomination, but many did. And many members expected the denominational organizations to guide them and resource them. Denominations work best today in partnership with churches, but too many church members want to return to the paradigm of the 1980s.
  7. Others did evangelism for the members in the 1980s. Evangelism was the responsibility of the pastor or the denomination or a few people in a program. Church members paid others to do the work they were supposed to do. Some church members today are more concerned about their worship style preference than lost people who need to hear the gospel.
  8. Some churches would rather die than to get out of the comfort of their 1980’s paradigm. I feel certain they will do just that.

What do you think of these issues of time-warp churches? Let me hear from you.

P. S.—Today is the last day to register for Church Answers Monthly subscription. I am so excited to hear from leaders who are telling me this ministry is having such an incredible impact on their churches. One leader told me he wasn’t sure his church could afford the subscription. Now he tells me his church can’t afford not to have this resource. His church is moving from the 1980s to 2015!

The post Eight Reasons Many Churches Are Living in the 1980s appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The War on Loneliness

As we’ve said before on BreakPoint, America has a growing heroin epidemic. And as tragic as this is, it is an opportunity for the Church to be the Church. Listen Now | Download

Three Reasons You Can’t Make a Deal with God

Most people today, Christian or not, think they’ll go to heaven when they die. They may not be sure about God’s existence, or about whether Jesus rose from the dead, or even if there is such a place as heaven. But the average American is relatively optimistic about his odds.

Very few of us, though, would admit that we’re cut out for heaven based on sheer goodness. Most of us think we’ll make the cut based on some deal we make with God. You know what I mean. God, get me this job and I promise I’ll be generous … Let this girl go out with me and I’ll go back to church … Get me a good grade on this test and I promise I’ll stop cussing. Deep down, we know we aren’t going to ever be perfect. So we hold out hope that God is willing to cut some deals. And if we give him the right amount of obedience, then he’ll reward us with heaven.

But there is no deal we can make ever with God. And here’s why:

1. We are all dead in our ability to please God.

When the Apostle Paul talked about our inability to “make deals” with God, he used an important case study—Abraham (Rom 4). God promised Abraham that he would be the “father of many nations” when he and his wife Sarah were nearly 100 years old. Both by virtue of age and by virtue of infertility, this couple was unable to have kids. As far as their lineage was concerned, they were dead.

We have just as much capacity to please God as an octogenarian does getting pregnant—that is, none.

We tend to think of ourselves as generally good people, who—if we tried just a bit harder—could probably get a passing grade on God’s final. But take a brief look at God’s measure of goodness, the 10 Commandments:

Commandment 1: You shall have no other gods before me. Do I love and cherish God more than anything else in my life? Is he the most valuable to me?

Commandment 2: You shall make no images of me. Am I satisfied with God as he is, or am I constantly wishing that I could make him into something else?

Commandment 3: Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. Do I always treat God’s name with reverence? Have I ever said something about God that wasn’t true?

Commandment 4: Honor your parents. Am I always submissive to the authorities God has put in my life? My parents? The police? My boss?

That’s just the first 4. How are you doing so far? Be honest.

I don’t need to go through the other six to tell you how you and I would fare. Even the commandments that we might think we “pass” – like adultery – turn out to be failures when we consider that Jesus said our thoughts are as important as our actions. When I get to the end of that list, I’m 0 for 10. And when you’re 0 for 10 on the final exam, you aren’t passing the class.

Jesus said that unless our righteousness matched the righteousness of the Father, we could never enter heaven. Let’s stop deluding ourselves. We aren’t good enough. We’re dead.

2. We don’t have anything to offer to God.

The second big problem with cutting deals with God is the assumption that we have something he wants. We don’t.

Think about how foolish our negotiations must sound to God. “God, how about some extra prayers? How about some church attendance? What if I memorized some more Bible verses?” As if God is up in heaven rubbing his hands, saying, “Wait, really? You’ll go to church more? Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse! How lucky am I!”

We don’t have anything that can put God in our debt. There isn’t anything we have that he looks at longingly, just waiting for us to offer it to him because he lacks it. We’re talking about the Creator of the universe here. What could we possibly offer him that would force his hand?

Don’t get me wrong: God wants obedience from us. But obedience is never a bargaining chip that makes God “pay up.” If our obedience obligated God to give us anything, then the whole system of salvation would come undone. Which leads me to…

3. God alone will get the glory.

Perhaps the greatest verse in the entire Bible is Romans 4:5: “To the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited righteousness.” Credited. That means that our faith results in righteousness, but not because we earned it. It’s a gift that God gives us while we are still sinful. And he does that so that we’ll forever realize that salvation belongs to him alone.

If any of us were justified by our obedience, then we might have something to boast about. But God would never, ever let that happen. If he did, we’d be strutting around heaven, talking about all the great stuff we did to earn our spot there. But the book of Revelation says that everyone in heaven wears one name on their foreheads—not their own name, but the name of Jesus. It’s a reminder from here to eternity that it wasn’t our name that got us in; it was his.

So if you ask someone in heaven why they’re there, you’re going to get the same answer every time—Jesus. No one gets to heaven by amassing an awesome reputation. No one gets to God by being good enough. We get there by grace; and God gets the glory. The only kind of people who go to heaven are those who know they don’t belong there.

For more, be sure to listen to the entire message here.


Never Humble Enough

I pray sometimes that God will make me humble. But inevitably I soon find myself feeling proud for asking God such a noble thing. It’s pathetic really. Embarrassing. I believe in humility. I believe that humility is the king of all virtues. But the sheer goodness of humility makes it especially tricky to pursue and my deep depravity makes it impossible to master.

Humility does not come naturally to me. It does not come naturally to any of us. But I have gone looking for it. I have gone looking for it in God’s Word and I have gone looking for it in God’s people. I am convinced it can be learned, and that’s because humility is not a feeling or an attitude—it’s action. You learn humility by seeing humility and then doing humility. Here are four observations I have made about learning this virtue.

To learn to be humble, find godly people who display humility and spend time with them. Observe them. Learn from them. Learn to behave like them. Learn how God made them humble. God calls us to Christian community in part so we have living, breathing examples of virtue in action. Seek out the humble people in your church and in your life, and make them your teachers.

To learn to be humble, volunteer for the lowliest of tasks. Do not ask to be up-front and in the public eye; ask to be in the back where you serve out-of-mind and out-of-sight. Every pastor has people show up at his church to tell how they can transform that church if only they can have access to the pulpit and the people. But in almost every case, they could better serve and transform the church by joyfully doing the lowest jobs where they will be seen by only Jesus. Almost every one of us will make more of a mark on the world by changing diapers and taking out trash than by preaching great sermons or writing great songs. The people who serve at the front of the room ought to be those who have first proven themselves at the back.

To learn to be humble, serve until it hurts. Maybe that’s not the right phrase, because serving doesn’t hurt. Not really. But prepare yourself to serve freely, willingly, and uncomplainingly. Serve in those times when life is busy and serve in those times when life is simple. Serve in those times you feel like it and in those times you don’t. Serve in those positions in which you receive gratitude and serve in those positions in which no one thinks to say a word. Serve and then serve some more. Learn humility as a lifestyle.

To learn to be humble, get to know Jesus. Most of all, this. It was Jesus who said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). And it was Jesus who displayed that humility perfectly and completely. According to Jesus, you have the choice before you: Humble yourself, or be humbled. Lower yourself, or get lowered. If you elevate yourself, eventually you will get busted down. Why? Because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Know Jesus, and be like Jesus, the one man who perfectly exemplified the best of all virtues.

I am convinced that humility can be learned, and with God’s help I am determined to grow in it. I know that, until the day I go to be with Jesus, I will never be humble enough.


Check out

Blogs

How I Work: An Interview with Trevin Wax | TGC
See if you can pick up a tip or two from this hyper-productive creative.

Is Agape a Mystical Magical Word that Means God’s Sacrificial Gracious Love? | Pyromaniacs
“We know about God’s love, not by reading a study bible or a word-study or a lexicon, but by studying passages using and illustrating the term’s meaning, such as Romans 5:6-8 or Ephesians 2:4.”

Four Convictions for Boldness from John Knox | GCD
Part of the Family History series: “We want to connect the church’s current efforts to make, mature, and multiply disciples to its historical roots as well as encourage the church to learn from her rich past.”

How to be a Gentleman Scholar: Classroom Etiquette for the College Man
“First, classroom etiquette facilitates a positive and constructive learning environment for everyone — you, your classmates, and your professor. Second, practicing good manners in the classroom is a good way of practicing the manners and social skills necessary to thrive as an adult and as a professional in the working world. In short, good etiquette in college can help you make the most out of your education.”

The Bait and Switch of Same-Sex Marriage | Desiring God
With many magistrates refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and many country clerks and justices of the peace resigning their positions, Nancy Peacrcey asks, “Is it going to become impossible for a Christian to hold public office in America?”

The Eight Kinds of Commenters in the Christian Blogosphere | First Things
Thankful that I don’t have any of these here at HeadHeartHand.

Kindle Books

The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists by Ravi Zacarias $1.99.

Running on Empty: The Gospel for Women in Ministry by Barbara Bancroft $1.99.

Reformed Means Missional: Following Jesus into the World by Sam Logan $2.51.

New Book

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray $9.99. New edition of a theological classic with a foreword by Carl Trueman. No Christian’s library is complete without this book. One of those books that should be read every year.

Video

The Foundations Conference
sermonaudio.com are hosting a conference in Kings College, New York from 15-17 December 2015. Speakers include Steve Lawson, Conrad Mbewe, and Joel Beeke. More details here. You might want to turn down your volume before watching this video.


Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

When can a child respond to the gospel?

Richard Matz:

Few issues weigh more heavily on Christian parents than the salvation of their children. For credobaptists this issue takes on a special significance as we hold to the idea that our children must be converted in order to become Christians.[1] As a result, credobaptist parents and churches often struggle with the question of when a child is ready for the Gospel. While the Bible does not provide a fully-developed treatment of child-development, a careful study of the Old Testament (OT) reveals several presuppositions about the nature of children which can be applied to questions regarding their readiness for the Gospel.

Oregon, We Are Not Numb — Or Hopeless

Camden McAfee:

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.

What “Orwellian” means

Very interesting tidbit:

HT: Tim

The Heart of Words

Burk Parsons:

Words are powerful. They transform lives and make history. They birth nations and topple empires. They make peace and fuel wars. They make covenants in marriage and wound those we most cherish. They change hearts and give news of eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words are foundational to everything we think, do, and say in all of life. Nevertheless, words are not ends in themselves. Words exist because God spoke them into existence that He might communicate with us. He spoke the world into existence and has graciously spoken to us in His sacred Word. When He created us in His image, He gave us the gift of speech in order that we might commune with Him in prayer, fellowship with one another, hear and preach the life-giving gospel, train our children in the way they should go, and open our lips that we might proclaim His praises.

The Great Commission Versus the Church Calendar

Dan Darling:

I’ll never forget the look of one faithful church member. It was that of ministry fatigue. We had just finished a series of weeklong ministry projects—a monumental undertaking at our church—and this lady was reflecting the exhaustion that our people felt. She didn’t say anything to me, but the combination of seeing her tired face and the words I’d just preached were used by God to speak powerfully to my soul. Perhaps the reason your people aren’t making disciples is because you have kept them too busy with church activities.


A La Carte (October 5)

Today’s Kindle deals include Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey ($5.99); The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson ($2.99); and What’s Best Next by Matt Perman ($3.99). I especially recommend Pearcey’s book if you haven’t yet gotten a copy.

Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity

This year’s ACBC conference gets underway today and you can stream all of the plenary sessions. The theme of the event is Transgender Confusion and Transformational Christianity.

Lenny’s Garage

I always enjoy seeing interesting people in action. Like Lenny. “Lenny Shiller is a lifelong Brooklyn resident and classic car collector. He has amassed a staggering 58 rare classic cars, while he also owns hundreds of vintage bikes, motorcycles, and memorabilia.”

Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons

I appreciate Jared Wilson’s measured thoughts on taking notes while listening to a sermon.

Don’t Panic

This article tells why you shouldn’t panic about new technologies, and how people have been getting it wrong all the way back to Gutenberg.

Are Apple Stores the New Temples?

We used to have temples. “Nowadays, we have Apple Release Day—the Feast of St. Jobs—when faithful customers gather outside Apple stores and await the renewal of a next generation iPhone.”

MachowskiNow Available for Pre-Order. New Growth Press is about to publish another book with Marty Machowski. This book is a systematic theology for kids in the form of “a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.” You can now pre-order it.

The Bithynian Option

Paul Carter has a long and fascinating article about Christians and cultural engagement. He critiques some of the prevailing views and offers an alternative. It’s a long but worthwhile read.

When Can A Child Respond to the Gospel?

“Few issues weigh more heavily on Christian parents than the salvation of their children. For credobaptists this issue takes on a special significance as we hold to the idea that our children must be converted in order to become Christians.”


The Daily Discovery (October 5, 2015)

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

What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ? – “The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.”

Never Humble Enough – “I pray sometimes that God will make me humble. But inevitably I soon find myself feeling proud for asking God such a noble thing. It’s pathetic really. Embarrassing. I believe in humility. I believe that humility is the king of all virtues. But the sheer goodness of humility makes it especially tricky to pursue and my deep depravity makes it impossible to master.”

Frozen: keeping your life on ice – “Larry King is getting cold feet about dying. The iconic interviewer has a reputation that is larger than life, but is fixated on his own death.  In the New York Times article titled, ‘Larry King prepares for final cancellation,’ Mark Liebovich reported that King told the journalist he was avoiding death by taking four human growth hormone pills every day, but that in case of death, has arranged to have his whole body put on ice pending the discovery for a cure for whatever killed him.”

Home Alone: The Lies That Tie Us to Our Phone – “One of the most common conflicts in homes today is triggered by a smartphone. Someone in most homes has cultivated the habit of disconnecting from others in the room and constantly checking his phone. In fact, if you’re around long enough, it feels less like a habit and more like a right or basic need — air, food, sleep, and Facebook.”

Douglas Wilson Digs In – “You should see my in-box and Twitter feed. I have so many impassioned e-mails from partisans on both sides of the Doug Wilson situation, demanding that I either abandon any criticism of him, or demanding that I ramp up criticism. I even blocked one anti-Wilsonite who was haranguing me with multiple tweets calling me to account for failing to blast Wilson even harder. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t want to get dragged into an extremely bitter fight that has way, way more layers than I am capable of understanding from this far away. Some people I know and admire know and admire Wilson; others I know and admire do not. As a general rule, I will only comment on what information is publicly available and that I judge reliable, or what Pastor Wilson himself says. Because he mentioned me in a couple of recent comments, I’ll respond to what he has written.”


SERMON:

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Nate Pickowicz – Abiding in the Vine – Part 2 (John 15:6-11)


VIDEOS:

Calvinism in a Nutshell

To ALL Mormons and Jehovas Witnesses from Christians


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



Christian Headlines Daily – Monday, October 5, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Coptic Christians in Hiding from Muslims

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Stamp Goes on Sale

Divers Begin Construction on World’s First Underwater Church

Are Homeschooled Children More Religious?

Oregon College Shooter Specifically Targeted Christians

Pastor Saeed’s Parents Break Down in Tears after Seeing Trauma He Endures

Annual Day of Prayer for Jerusalem this Sunday

Benjamin Netanyahu Harshly Criticizes Iran Nuclear Deal in Speech

Christians in Syria Struggle to Survive amid Terrors

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

Opinion

It’s Time for Evangelicals to Speak up for Animals

How ABC’s ‘The Muppets’ Killed Jim Henson’s Vision of Making the World a Kinder Place

How to Talk to Your Teens about Young Adult Books Promoting the Gay Lifestyle

Shooter Kills 9 at Oregon College

Why Pastors Need to Preach More about Hell


 

10/05/15 The Need to Withdraw

READING: Matthew 4, Luke 4-5, John 1:15-51

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I wish I prayed like Jesus prayed. He simply got alone with the Father, spending time in fellowship with Him (Luke 4:42, cf. Mark 1:35). The prayer text in today’s reading that most grabs me, though, is Luke 5:15-16 — “But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”

The crowds came to Jesus. They wanted to hear Him preach. They brought their sick to Him. He had the power to heal them. He had come to earth because He loved these very people gathering by the numbers around Him — and still He pushed away from the crowds, withdrew, and spent time with the Father.

I really do wish I prayed this way.  My fear is, though, that if the crowds gathered to hear me preach and brought their sick to me (that is, if I had the ability to heal them), I would do ministry first and then pray if I had leftover time and energy. That’s backwards, of course.

And, it explains one reason why sometimes I wear out in the work of the Lord.

Maybe it explains something for you, too.

ACTION STEPS:  Find time today to get alone with God, even if it means withdrawing from the crowds, the meetings, and the work.

PRAYER: “God, I’m guilty of doing first and praying later. Forgive me. Change me.”


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 5, 2015 US and World Briefing Report

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Oct. 5, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court, with a pro-business reputation, will get ample opportunities to reinforce that image over the next nine months. Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues will hear a set of cases that could thwart some types of class-action litigation by limiting the power of federal courts to hear suits. Consumer advocates say the cases threaten centuries-old rights of access to the courts.

Even after hundreds of interest-rate cuts and trillions of dollars in quantitative easing, the bond market’s outlook for inflation worldwide is approaching lows last seen during the financial crisis. In the U.S., Europe, U.K., and Japan, those expectations are now weaker than they were before their respective central banks began their last rounds of bond buying.

A dozen Pacific-rim nations agreed to an historic trade pact that would cut trade barriers on items ranging from cars to rice, setting up a ratification vote before a skeptical U.S. Congress.

The great recovery in U.S. manufacturing jobs – a surprising five-year surge that blossomed in the aftermath of the financial crisis and added almost 900,000 people to payrolls across the country – appears to be dead. Or at the very least, on hold.

Air France’s long-running spat with workers over cost cuts erupted into violence as protesters stormed a meeting where managers were presenting plans for 2,900 jobs cuts, causing executives to flee with their clothes in tatters.

The recent flurry of diplomacy has been overshadowed by Russia sending its warplanes to the country to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s forces after battleground losses. The U.S. and its allies, who have been bombing Islamic State extremists, denounced the airstrikes after opposition groups they back said they too had been targeted by Russian missiles.

Money managers boosted net-short positions in four U.S. gas contracts by 26 percent in the week ended Sept. 29, the most in U.S. CFTC data going back to 2010.

GM will try a pilot program with residents of the Ritz Plaza apartments in Times Square, offering them a crack at renting GM cars by the hour or the day to get around New York.

AP Top Stories

Turkey said its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged “a fight to the death against Palestinian terror” as clashes spread after two deadly attacks, while Jerusalem’s Old City was closed to Palestinians for a second day Monday.

Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria.

Authorities took four unidentified students into custody after they uncovered their plan to shoot and kill faculty members and students at Summerville High School

The only gun store in San Francisco is shuttering for good, saying it can no longer operate in the city’s political climate of increased gun control regulations and vocal opposition to its business.

The Pakistani Taliban has hanged a military intelligence officer in retaliation for recent executions of militants by Pakistan, the militant Islamist group said in videos released on Sunday.

Search-and-rescue teams on Sunday located debris appearing to belong to the cargo ship El Faro, which went missing in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin with 33 mostly American crew members aboard more than three days ago, the U.S. Coast Guard and the ship’s owner said.

The father of the Oregon college gunman said he “has to have some kind of issue” with his mental health to have killed nine people execution-style and wondered how he amassed such a large cache of weapons.

Four northern California students have been arrested for plotting to shoot and kill faculty members and students at Summerville High School.

BBC

South Carolina’s governor says 13 inches of rainfalls in parts of the state have been higher than at any time “in 1,000 years”, with at least six reported deaths as a result of the floods.

Islamic State militants in northern Syria have blown up another monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, officials and local sources say. The Arch of Triumph was “pulverized” by the militants who control the city.

The number of people seeking asylum in Germany this year will be as high as 1.5 million – almost double the previous estimate.

Hopes are fading in Guatemala of finding more survivors following a landslide that has killed at least 131 people and left 300 missing.

The World Bank has said that for the first time less than 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015. The bank said it was using a new income figure of $1.90 per day to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25.

A driverless truck developed by Daimler has been tested on a public road for the first time, in Germany.

Seventy members of a Sunni Arab tribe opposed to Islamic State (IS) have been killed by the jihadist group in western Iraq, a tribal elder said.

WND

Several universities in the Philadelphia area are on high alert after authorities received a threat of violence from an unknown online source that’s supposed to go forth Monday afternoon.

Twelve Christians have been brutally executed by the Islamic State, including the 12-year-old son of a Syrian ministry team leader who had planted nine churches, because they refused to renounce the name of Jesus Christ and embrace Islam.

The Internal Revenue Service has kicked off a new program under which it shares large amounts of individuals’ financial-account information with certain foreign countries, the agency said.


 

Top News – 10/5/2015

Catastrophic Scenario: World War III may have begun on September 30, French media say
French news outlets write that World War III may have already started, noting that two events which emerged in Moscow and Gulf Area, can be seen as the trigger for a global confrontation. The history will remember perhaps 30 September 2015 as the smooth beginning of the Third World War. There are fears that Kremlin and Tehran, engulfed in pride after July nuclear agreement, will try to flex their muscles by testing their willingness and capacity to the maximum.

Preview Of World War III? Russia Is Putting On A Display Of Firepower That Is Shocking The World
The Russians have unleashed their own version of “shock and awe” in Syria, and the brutal efficiency of their airstrikes against ISIS targets has stunned many observers around the globe. For more than a year, the Obama administration has claimed that its bombing campaign in Syria has been a “success”, and yet ISIS has continued to grow stronger and gain more territory. But now just over a few days the tide of the conflict appears to have turned.

Do You Know What The Hurricane Name Of Joaquin Actually Means?
I thought it unusual for the hurricane watcher people to pick a Spanish name, and it got me curious as to the meaning of that name. When I went and looked it up, I about fell off my chair. According to the name meaning web sites I visited, the name Joaquin means “Raised By Yahweh“. Huh, are you kidding me? “raised by Yahweh”?

Putin Damages ISIS More In 3 Days Than Obama-led Strikes Did All Year
The Russian Air Force has conducted more than 60 flights and bombed over 50 ISIS targets in three days, according to Russia’s top armed forces official.

Syrian rebels call for regional alliance against Russia and Iran
Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, they said in a statement on Monday.

Assad: I Won’t Hesitate to Step Down if That’s the Solution
Assad’s comments were made in an interview which aired Sunday on Iranian Khabar TV and which were tweeted out by his official account. He also said a coalition between Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq must succeed “or else the whole region will be destroyed”, according to excerpts from the interview quoted by the BBC.

Senior Hamas Official: Time Ripe for 3rd Intifada
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official, said that the conditions are ripe for a new intifada against Israel, but, unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority prevents it and uses its security forces to block the emerging uprising.

Church can’t be ‘museum of memories’, pope tells synod
Pope Francis told a key Roman Catholic meeting on family issues on Monday that the Church should not be a hidebound “museum of memories” but have the courage to change if that was what God wanted. The three-week meeting of bishops from the around the world, known as a synod, will discuss ways to defend the traditional family and making life-long marriage more appealing to young people while seeking common ground with disaffected Catholics such as homosexuals and those divorced.

South Carolina hit by torrential rainfall, eight dead
Six weather-related deaths were reported in South Carolina, four of them from traffic accidents. Officials reported another two deaths in North Carolina.

Conservatives Ban ‘Militant left-Wing’ Israeli Boycotts
From now on only countries that have been subject to official sanctions from the UK government can be boycotted. On the eve of their annual conference in Manchester a Conservative statement warned of risks to the “economic and national security” of the country from “municipal militancy”.

Russia escalating Syria war by targeting moderate opposition: U.S.
Russia is escalating Syria’s civil war by targeting the moderate opposition, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday, comparing Moscow’s effort to bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to tethering itself to a sinking ship. “By taking military action in Syria against moderate groups targets, Russia has escalated the civil war,” Carter said in a speech during a trip to Spain.

NO CME, AURORAS ANYWAY
A CME expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field on Oct. 4th did not; it missed. Auroras appeared anyway. “The sky erupted into a multicolour flash of green and purple that will never be forgotten by anyone in our group,”

U.S. enforcement of Iran arms embargo slipped during nuclear talks: sources
Addressing concerns that a landmark nuclear deal reached this year could boost Iran’s military power, the Obama administration reassured critics that it would maintain and enforce its remaining tough sanctions against the country. Yet the U.S. government has pursued far fewer violations of a long-standing arms embargo against Iran in the past year compared to recent years…

Why credit bureau Experian has data on T-Mobile customers
In the latest high-profile breach of a U.S. organization, hackers broke into Experian’s database of information on 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers. But what is Experian, and why does the credit bureau keep data on a wireless carrier’s customers? Here’s a Q&A about what happened at Experian and what could happen next.

Russia Intensifies Syria Bombing as Cameron Joins Criticism
Russia intensified its bombardment of militant targets in Syria with warplanes flying more than 20 missions, as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron joined calls for Moscow to change course in an intervention he described as a “grave mistake.” The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that 10 Islamic State positions in Syria had been attacked in the past 24 hours, including militant training camps in Raqqa and Idlib provinces.

South Carolina rainfall ‘highest in 1,000 years’
South Carolina’s governor says rainfalls in parts of the state have been higher than at any time “in 1,000 years”, with at least six reported deaths as a result of the floods. More than 35cm (13 inches) has fallen in three days in the historic city of Charleston. Schools will shut on Monday and several inter-state highways have been closed.

Syria conflict: Turkish jets ‘intercept Russian plane’
Turkish F-16 fighter jets have been scrambled after a Russian warplane violated Turkey’s air space on Saturday, the foreign ministry says. The Russian fighter plane “exited Turkish airspace into Syria” after being intercepted, the ministry said. The Turkish foreign minister has spoken to his Russian counterpart, as well as ministers from other Nato countries.

What is behind a spike in Australian shark attacks?
The number of shark attacks in New South Wales has been particularly high this year, even though estimated shark numbers are at record lows. What is behind this mystery? The BBC’s Phil Mercer in Sydney talked to some of the experts. It has been a nasty year for shark attacks in Australia. There have been two fatalities recorded so far, 29 attacks and 18 injuries.

Palestinians clash with IDF across West Bank after multiple deadly attacks on Israelis
Palestinian rioters clashed with security forces in multiple locations across the West Bank on Monday, a day after two Israelis were murdered in a stabbing terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City and three days after two Israeli parents were killed in a shooting attack on their vehicle in Samaria. A Palestinian rioter was shot and killed during a violent clash with the IDF in Tulkarm on Sunday night.

Israeli aircraft strike Hamas terror targets in Gaza after rocket fire
After two rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel late on Sunday night, the Israeli Air Force responded by targeting terror infrastructure belonging to Hamas in the northern part of the coastal Palestinian territory… “The IDF will not tolerate such attacks from terror organizations on Israeli territory and it will continue to act firmly against any attempt to breach the quiet in the communities in the South,” an IDF statement read.

Islamic Jihad threatens to renew suicide bombings against Israelis
Amid an upsurge of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank that has raised concerns over a possible Third Intifada, Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad on Sunday threatened to renew suicide bombing attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers. A chilling video…shows a member of the group purportedly preparing for a suicide bombing – the gruesome act which claimed the lives of hundred of Israelis during the Second Intifada.

Team Obama is throwing Israel to the diplomatic wolves
President Obama’s determination to turn America into just another one of the United Nations’ 193 members sends a clear message to Israel: You’re on your own. And nowhere was that more obvious than at last week’s UN General Assembly in New York — or its follow up: this weekend’s stabbing and shooting spree that left four Israelis dead, with more violence sure to come.

Gundlach Explains Why The Market Hasn’t Crashed Yet: “People Are Holding And Hoping”
“The reason the markets aren’t going lower is people are holding and hoping.” Incidentally, there is a reason why hope is not a strategy: in the end, it always fails.

Violence intensifies in Jerusalem, West Bank, raising security concerns
Violence intensified in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Sunday after Israelis were targeted in two stabbing attacks and a Palestinian was killed in a clash with Israeli troops, officials said.

Islamic State militants blow up ancient Arch of Triumph in Palmyra
Islamic State militants have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a major monument in the 2,000-year-old Roman city of Palmyra, Syria’s antiquities chief said on Sunday, after they destroyed two ancient temples at the central Syrian site in recent months.

European ministers confront Greece on daunting bailout
Eurozone finance ministers on Monday meet for the first time since Greek voters re-elected leftist premier Alexis Tsipras, who now faces the daunting task of implementing the country’s cash-for-reforms bailout deal.

James Woods: Obama, Media Ignore Christian Hate Crime
Actor James Woods is blasting the Obama administration for ignoring what he describes as the plight of Christian hate crime in the wake of the murders at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.


Top Headlines – 10/5/2015

Netanyahu: Israel in ‘War to the Death’ Against Palestinian ‘Terrorism’

Gaza rocket strikes southern Israel

Israeli aircraft attack Hamas terror infrastructure in Gaza in response to rocket fire

IDF shoots and kills Palestinian rioter in W. Bank city of Tulkarm during violent clash

Violence intensifies in Jerusalem, West Bank, raising security concerns

The dramatic rise of ‘grassroots’ terror in Jerusalem and the West Bank

Palestinians Report More Than 100 Wounded After Violent Clashes Erupt in West Bank

Three weeks of unrest in Jerusalem, West Bank

Erekat: Recent outbreak in violence reminiscent of second intifada’s early days

Liberman calls for tough measures to punish Palestinians for terror attacks

Israel bars Palestinians from Jerusalem’s Old City

‘Wide-scale operation may be needed to control Jerusalem terror’

Netanyahu: Palestinian Temple Mount incitement responsible for terror attack that killed Israeli couple

Netanyahu: Palestinians, our so-called peace partners, must fight terrorism

Palestinians celebrate while leaders withhold comment on Henkin terror attack

Police restrict access to Jerusalem’s Old City in response to terrorist attacks

UN chief Ban condemns Jerusalem stabbings ‘in strongest possible terms’

US condemns deadly Jerusalem terror attacks

Jordan threatens to recall ambassador to Israel

Former British MP George Galloway expresses support for third intifada

Trump: Middle East would be more stable if Saddam, Gaddafi still in power

British PM Cameron says Russian military action in Syria a “terrible mistake”

Vladimir Putin sees Barack Obama’s coolness as weakness – and it is hurting America

Syrian crisis: Russia vows to intensify air strikes

Russian jets hit Syria’s Homs, Hama province

Turkish defense radar locked on Russian fighter as it bombed Syrian town

Assad says Russian-Iranian campaign in Syria will decide fate of Middle East

Assad says Syria and allies will win, failure would be devastating

Suspected ISIS recruiters arrested in Spain and Morocco

Islamic State militants blow up ancient Arch of Triumph in Palmyra

Militants loyal to ISIS claim suicide bombings in Nigerian capital of Abuja

US military promises to get facts on Afghan incident

NATO says investigation into Afghan air strike may be finished in days

Thousands Attend Funerals of Iranians Killed in Hajj Crush

Germany faces logistical nightmare as refugee inflows hit record

Senate Immigration Subcommittee Releases Chart Proving Immigration Will Outpace American Population Growth 7 To 1 Through 2065

Liberals Trash Christianity Non-Stop, Then Blame The 2nd Amendment When Someone Murders Christians

How 7 years of Obama brought the world from Kumbaya to chaos

Global economy starts to affect U.S.

Wall St Week Ahead-Investors brace for stocks to fall again ahead of earnings

Wall Street Facing Worst Year of U.S. Stocks since 2008

Greece must stick to program to exit bailout: PM

Weisman: Beware of new smart chip credit card scams

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Lluta, Peru

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Coquimbo, Chile

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits off the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 30,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

Thousands evacuated as typhoon roars into south China

Typhoon Mujigae lashes southern China, at least four dead

Hurricane Joaquin Barrels Down on Bermuda

South Carolina hit by torrential rainfall, eight dead

South Carolina governor calls rain a ‘thousand-year’ event

The Latest: 17 inches of rain falls in 17 hours in Columbia

Additional Rainfall to Add to Historic Flooding Across Carolinas Into Monday

France floods: 17 dead on Riviera after storms

Guatemala landslide deaths rise to 96, with hundreds missing

Al Gore spreads environmental gospel before climate talks

Majority of EU nations seek opt-out from growing GM crops

Biden renews call for gun control, equal rights for gays and lesbians

Hillary Clinton wants expelled LGBT vets to get ‘honorable’ discharges

As Joe Biden ponders race, past same-sex marriage ‘gaffe’ becomes political asset

What Is Phubbing? How Smartphone Behavior Can Ruin Your Romantic Relationships

Preaching a lie: Churchgoers scammed out of tens of millions of dollars

Ailing New York girl, 12, blessed by Pope Francis believes ‘the miracle has begun’


Frontrunning: October 05

  • MOAR: Euro-Area Growth Seen Slowing in Sign More Stimulus May Be Ahead (Read More)
  • MOAR: Japan’s wage growth slows in August, keeping pressure on BOJ for more stimulus (Read More)
  • MOAR: Stocks, Copper, Emerging Markets Jump as Fed Delay on Rates Seen (Read More)
  • And yet… Central Banks Lose Bond-Market Credibility as Woes Mount (Read More)
  • World Bank cuts Asia growth forecast on China and US rates (Read More)
  • Air France Plans Almost 3,000 Job Cuts After Failed Pilot Talks (Read More)
  • Policy Makers Skeptical on Preventing Financial Crisis (Read More)
  • A Tax to Curb Excessive Trading Could Be a Boon to Returns (Read More)
  • Nelson Peltz’s Trian Takes Stake in GE, Pressuring Immelt (Read More)
  • Volkswagen Chief Warns on Existential Threat of Cheating Scandal (Read More)
  • At Glencore, a Mining Emperor Tries to Save His Realm (Read More)
  • Glencore ‘will listen to’ takeover offers as it battles to cut debt mountain (Read More)
  • Glencore Oil Deals Could Bite Banks (Read More)
  • Moscow scuppers US coalition plans for no-fly zone in Syria (Read More)
  • Turkey says Russian warplane violated its airspace (Read More)
  • Conflicting Agendas, Caution Beset Pentagon’s Plans in Syria (Read More)
  • American Apparel Files for Bankruptcy (Read More)
  • America’s Beaten-Down Factory Worker Is Getting Squeezed Again (Read More)
  • Putin’s Bombs Add to Reasons Why Syria’s War Is Here to Stay (Read More)
  • U.S. enforcement of Iran arms embargo slipped during nuclear talks: sources (Read More)
  • Clinton Proposes New Gun Measures, Staking Claim Vs. Sanders (Read More)
  • Nigeria’s Former Oil Minister Alison-Madueke Arrested in U.K. (Read More)
  • Legal troubles, market realities threaten Uber’s global push (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Brokenness of world evident through tragedies, failures in Afghanistan, Syria, and beyond

Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan, New York Times (Alissa J. Rubin)

Billions From U.S. Fail to Sustain Foreign Forces, New York Times (Eric Schmitt and Tim Arango)

Questions about leadership follow Obama, Chicago Tribune (Christi Parsons)

British Teenager Sentenced in Plot to Kill Police on Anzac Day in Australia, New York Times (Steven Erlanger)

2) Oregon shooting example of disguised and irrational nature of evil

Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says, New York Times (Dirk Vanderhart, Kirk Johnson, and Julie Turkewitz)

Oregon Killer Described as Man of Few Words, Except on Topic of Guns, New York Times (Jack Healy and Ian Lovett)

Oregon shooter said to have singled out Christians for killing in ‘horrific act of cowardice’, Washington Post (Eli Saslow, Sarah Kaplan, and Joseph Hoyt)

Mass Murderers Fit Profile, as Do Many Others Who Don’t Kill, New York Times (N. R. Kleinfield, Russ Buettner, David W. Chen and Nikita Stewart)

3) 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall, a great moral scar of 21st century, passes largely unnoticed

In a United Germany, the Scars of the East-West Divide Have Faded, New York Times (Alison Smale)

In other news…


Daily Digest

October 5, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” —Patrick Henry, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Jokes of ‘Crackpot Conspiracy Theories’

2015-10-05-59a2d569_large.jpg

Barack Obama continued his “Gun Point Pivot” charade, endeavoring to divert attention from his compounding foreign and domestic policy failures to the need for “common sense gun laws” after the Oregon assault.

Ratcheting up his gun control rhetoric, Obama petulantly claimed, “The people who are troubled by this have to be as intense and organized and as adamant about this issue as folks on the other side, who are absolutists and think that any gun-safety measures are somehow an assault on freedom, or communistic, or a plot by me to take over and stay in power forever or something. I mean there are all kinds of crackpot conspiracy theories that float around, some of which, by the way, are ratified by elected officials in the other party.” Of course, the only crackpot theory floating around is Obama’s assertion that guns are the problem and that “common sense gun laws” are the solution. Obama inadvertently tipped his hand on what he meant by “gun-safety measures,” alluding to the gun confiscation models of Australia and the UK. It’s hardly a “conspiracy theory” to object to Obama’s own words.

In regard to Obama’s assertion that “we should politicize this,” it is telling that, after listing several mass shootings that met his “politicization” criterion, he did not mention the armed jihadist assaults at two other gun free installations on his watch: Fort Hood, Texas, and the recent murder of five military personnel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After the Chattanooga assault on July 16, it took Obama five days to order flags to half staff, and even then he did so reluctantly. But after the Oregon assault, he ordered flags down within 24 hours — to bolster his “politicized” gun control agenda. Of course, the “commander in chief” also did not mention the death of 10 Americans in Afghanistan who lost their lives in a plane crash three hours before his Thursday press conference. Of course, mentioning them would undermine his political pivot away from his latest Middle East failures.

Politicizing the murders in Oregon desecrates the memory of those lives. For the record, after the Chattanooga assault, we lowered our flags immediately. However, we do not lower our flags in support of Obama’s political agendas.

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House Republicans to Decide Boehner’s Replacement

Officially, House Republicans will vote on the next speaker of the chamber Thursday, Oct. 8. Unofficially, though, Politico reports outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is considering postponing the election because of “serious unrest in the House Republican Conference.” The conservative movement has always been a coalition with tension, of fiscal conservatives working with defense hawks, of libertarians working with social conservatives, the Tea Party and the establishment. Whoever ascends to pick up the gavel will, in the words of National Journal, “define the direction of the House GOP” as the politician will bring top-down change. Will it be someone like frontrunner House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who many worry will continue the failed GOP leadership? Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Sunday that he’s seeking the speakership, positioning himself between the right and center factions in the party. But there is also establishment outsider Rep. Daniel Webster, who used to be speaker of the Florida house. The political scaffolding Boehner built led to one of the most ineffective lower chambers in history, an institution that didn’t reflect the values of its constituents. It’s time for leadership that knows from whence its power came.

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Hillary Clinton to Criticize the ‘Cadillac Tax’

ObamaCare is unpopular. Just how unpopular is it? Hillary Clinton now thinks it’s politically advantageous to advocate for repealing the “Cadillac tax.” The New York Times reports that Hillary will begin to campaign against the portion of ObamaCare that will place a high tax on employer-based health care plans with high-end premiums. Clinton’s move could have come to ease the blow to unions of her position against the Keystone pipeline. That decision disappointed some unions, and this is a way to appease that constituency. As the Times wrote, “Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides informed Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, of her intentions in the last few days, according to a senior official with the labor group. The union made an early endorsement of Mrs. Clinton in July.” Bottom line: If both sides of the aisle are pointing out problems, then you can expect some major revision to Barack Obama’s signature legislation in the future. And here we thought Clinton was going to further Obama’s agenda.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Importing Terrorists

By Arnold Ahlert

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Apparently, the Obama administration’s determination to promote amnesty, maintain open borders and sanctuary cities, release thousands of criminal immigrants onto American streets, and enhance the Islamic State’s recruiting ability by letting them run wild in the Middle East were insufficient efforts to undermine national security.

In a move best described as unconscionable, the administration granted asylum in the U.S. to 1,519 previously inadmissible foreigners involved in terrorism — because their crimes were ostensibly committed “while under duress.”

Even worse, the administration had to “tweak” the law to do so. In February 2014, an “Exercise of Authority” enacted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department amended the parts of the Immigration and Nationality Act that had taken a zero-tolerance approach towards asylum seekers involved in any material support for terrorism. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry provided exemptions for “an alien who provided limited material support” to terrorist entities.

“These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure,” a DHS official explained to The Daily Caller at the time. “In addition to rigorous background vetting, including checks coordinated across several government agencies, these exemptions will only be applied on a case-by-case basis after careful review and all security checks have cleared,” the official added. “This exemption process is vital to advancing the U.S. government’s twin goal of protecting the world’s most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety.”

Who determines those criteria? Judicial Watch obtained the breakdown from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) annual report to Congress. Of the 1,519 admitted, 627 were processed despite an applicant’s provision of material support to an undesignated terrorist organization, nine despite an applicant’s receipt of military-type training from a terrorist organization, 28 despite providing voluntary medical care to members of a terrorist organization in the course of their professional responsibilities without assisting in the violent activities of an organization or individual, and 37 despite providing material support to, soliciting funds for, soliciting individuals for membership in or receiving military-type training from certain qualified Tier III terrorist organizations.

All of these applicants were determined to be “under duress” when they supported terror, along with an additional 189 processed simply for being under duress with no other criteria mentioned. And finally, another 628 were processed because their activities or affiliations with specific groups were simply “approved for consideration of an exemption” by the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the secretary of state and the attorney general.

What about the idea that all of these people would be carefully vetted? During the border surge that also occurred in 2014, during which the Obama administration admitted thousands of illegal aliens and deliberately dispersed them throughout the nation, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines preventing the admission of unvaccinated people and those with other inadmissible criteria were conspicuously ignored.

In other words, Rule of Law applies only when it aligns with Obama administration agendas.

Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) director Jessica Vaughan addressed that specific issue. “[T]here is a very legitimate question as to whether the administration actually has the authority to change the law in this way,” Vaughan wrote in an email to the Caller while the asylum modifications were being made. “It seems to me that they are announcing that they will be disregarding yet another law written by Congress that they don’t like and are replacing it with their own guidelines, which in this case appear to be extremely broad and vague, and which are sure to be exploited by those seeking to game our generous refugee admissions program.”

And no one is helping them game the system more than the Obama administration itself, with the president recently announcing America would absorb an additional 10,000 Syrian “refugees” next year, with a target of accepting 100,000 worldwide refugees per year by 2017, according to John Kerry, who declared last month, “This step … is in keeping with the best tradition of America as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope.”

A beacon of progressive stupidity is more like it, and one that stands in stark contrast to the 100,000 empty, air-conditioned tents in Saudi Arabia capable of housing as many as three million refugees — were it not for the reality the Saudis have refused to take any asylum-seekers.

Judicial Watch reaches an inexorable conclusion: “The administration seems to have a soft spot for terrorists.”

It’s worse than that. Fifteen of 27 Christian refugees from Iraq who have been held at a detention center in Otay Mesa, California, for approximately six months will be deported, despite having support that includes U.S. citizen family members vouching for them in a San Diego-based Iraqi Christian community. The same administration that plays fast and loose with the law whenever it chooses has determined that only people “persecuted by their government” qualify as refugees. By that “logic,” Christians fleeing the Islamic State killing fields in Iraq are ineligible for asylum, while Muslims from Syria and other aliens who have provided limited material support to terrorist thugs gain entry.

At a congressional hearing last Thursday, Barbara Strack, who serves as the chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service of the Department of Homeland Security — making her the top refugee official in the Obama administration — did not know Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had entered this nation as asylum-seeking refugees. “I would need to check with my colleagues, sir,” Strack deferred after the subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), asked the question.

Strack’s stunning incompetence is emblematic. Suffused with a deadly combination of ideologically inspired arrogance and ignorance, this administration has allowed the Islamic State to remain a viable entity, relinquished Iraq to a Russian/Iranian sphere with the ability to dominate the Middle East and protect Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad, and turned Libya into a jihadist playground. All of it has precipitated the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and thus the American public is expected to countenance thousands of “refugees” vetted by this same group of incompetents who have already decided a certain level of support for terror “under duress” is no big deal.

If you wrote this up as a Hollywood movie script, you couldn’t sell it because no one would believe it. Americans are getting it for free — whether we like it or not.

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MORE ORIGINAL PERSPECTIVE

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Peggy Noonan: “In cloud-talking you say words into the air and then ask: ‘Isn’t that a pretty cloud?’ Since 2011 the president has been saying, ‘For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.’ Now he uses the word transition — Syria must ‘transition’ away from Assad. Stepping down, red lines, transitions — the cloud-talk enters the air, has no force, and disappears. The world is impressed by actions. Russia may in time move on ISIS, and if it does that will scare them. To ISIS the U.S. is ambivalent, half-hearted. … ISIS would take Putin seriously — he is not timorous about the use of force, as he has shown in Ukraine. And Russia’s reputation for brutishness has, after all these years, survived. ISIS will not enjoy being attacked by Russia, if they are attacked by Russia. As for Assad, he’s famously ruthless but he’s also turned out to be tougher than Washington understood. When told four years ago that he was over, he essentially did a Moe Greene, from ‘The Goldfather’: ‘I buy you out, you don’t buy me out. … The Corleone family don’t even have that kind of muscle anymore.’ Yes, in the end Moe was done in. But he was up against Michael Corleone, not Fredo.”

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SHORT CUTS

Observations: “Customarily, Democratic politicians react to mass shootings by calling for pointless around-the-edges reforms: ‘universal’ background checks, hard limits on the size of commercially available magazines, rules that determine how certain rifles may look, etc. In fact, since 2012 Obama has tended to take this approach himself. Now, however, the president is openly praising two countries that confiscated — yes, confiscated — firearms. That matters — and a great deal.” —Charles Cooke

Dezinformatsia: “The National Rifle Association is responsible for America’s appalling culture of violence. It is the most invidious, vile, greedy, callous, selfish, brutal, uncompromising and nasty lobby group on the planet. … It has no interest in stopping gun massacres, because they are good for business. Very, very good for business. The blood of those poor students in Oregon will mean yet more gun sales, yet more money pouring into the NRA and yet more massacres. This sickening cycle will continue until enough decent Americans rise up and say: ENOUGH. What the [redacted] are you all waiting for?” —Piers Morgan

Alpha Jackass: “[W]e are a gun sick nation. All the 2nd Amendment bulls— aside, the gun lobby controls the country, and allows armed maniacal lunatics to roam free and kill.” —Geraldo Rivera

Um, what? “The idea that you can have an open carry permit with an AK-47 over your shoulder walking up and down the aisles of a supermarket is just despicable.” —Hillary Clinton (And when was the last time she was in a supermarket?)

Village Idiots: “I’d love to see the Democrats stand up and say, ‘We’re going to shut down the federal government or threaten to shut down the government if we don’t get real gun control legislation.'” —Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Demo-gogues: “[Vladimir] Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness because his client [Bashar al-] Assad was crumbling and it was insufficient for him simply to send them arms and money. Now he’s got to put in his own planes and his own pilots.” —Barack Obama, who knows a thing or two about weakness, but misrepresents this situation (“Vladimir Putin is deliberately targeting the non-ISIS rebels, and here’s why: If he’s going to wipe out all the non-ISIS elements on the ground in Syria, then they can say: ISIS or Assad, there are no other options. We killed all the non-ISIS people. And at that point, he’ll be able to force the world to support Assad.” —Marco Rubio)

Late-night humor: “A word association poll found the words most associated with Donald Trump are ‘idiot,’ ‘jerk,’ ‘stupid,’ and ‘dumb.’ In other words, he really could be our next president.” —Conan O’Brien

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


Research on the Islamic State, Syria, and Iraq :: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
various publications
August 1-August 31, 2015

http://www.meforum.org/5543/research-islamic-state-iraq-syria


IT’S WAR: Putin Sending In 150,00 Ground Troops To Syria To Battle ISIS

The Russian leader Putin is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:” Ezekiel 38:3,4 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: While America sleeps and Obama does nothing, Putin and Russia have been a beehive of frenetic military activity. In just one week, Russia has seized control of the entire nation of Syria, partnering with Iran, and is pouring in ground troops at this very moment. Using the pretext of waging war with ISIS, Vladimir Putin is committing the perfect crime. While ostensibly taking on everyone’s mutual enemy, he is in fact creating a battlefront with Israel. You didn’t really think this had anything to do with ISIS, did you?

The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members. Putin is set to mobilise 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.

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An insider revealed: “It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra. “This is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that.”

It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.

Russian jets pounded terrorist targets and blew up a command centre, potentially killing dozens of fighters. Confirming the successful raids, Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army vowed to ramp up the pressure, saying: “We will not only continue strikes… We will also increase their intensity.”

And Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations.”

“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions.”

“These and other highly exact means of attack in recent days have been used to target objects of Islamic State terrorists. “Command posts, stores of weapons and oil products, workshops where weapons of suicide bombers are made.”

Meanwhile a terrorism expert revealed to Express.co.uk that ISIS have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a co-ordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.

Dr Afzal Ashraf said ISIS has become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash.

He said: “This mythical state will disappear in a matter of hours once the international community decides to act.

“It won’t take very long at all to drive them, if not out of all of Iraq or Syria, then certainly the majority of their territories.  “They will hide in towns, but I would say do not to follow them as they would use innocent civilians as human shields.”

David Cameron initially gave the Russian air strikes a cautious welcome and said the UK would need to look “very carefully” at Putin’s operations. But yesterday he warned the intervention is making the situation worse and helping to support the “butcher” president Bashar Assad.

Seperately Mr Cameron pledged to “beef up” the SAS and double the number of British drones to combat ISIS militants in an interview ahead of today’s Conservative conference. The Prime Minister said investment in special forces and surveillance was essential to meeting the terrorist threat facing the UK.

He revealed that the UK will buy a fleet of 20 new Protector drones capable of targeting IS extremists in Iraq and Syria. source


Preview Of World War III? Russia Is Putting On A Display Of Firepower That Is Shocking The World

Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-34 - Photo from Mil.ruThe Russians have unleashed their own version of “shock and awe” in Syria, and the brutal efficiency of their airstrikes against ISIS targets has stunned many observers around the globe.  For more than a year, the Obama administration has claimed that its bombing campaign in Syria has been a “success”, and yet ISIS has continued to grow stronger and gain more territory.  But now just over a few days the tide of the conflict appears to have turned.  The whole world has gotten a chance to see what a global superpower can truly do to a bunch of radical Islamic terrorists when it is focused and determined.  The images that we have seen of hardened ISIS command centers being wiped off the face of the map by Russian bombs are truly impressive.  But why did those targets still exist in the first place?  Was the U.S. military unable to identify them previously?  Or could it be possible that the Obama administration did not want to hit them? (Read More…)


Right Now There Are 102.6 Million Working Age Americans That Do Not Have A Job

Unemployed Man - Public DomainThe federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation.  For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy.  If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth.  Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that.  The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248,000 jobs in September and the government added more than a million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category.  When I first saw that number I truly believed that it was inaccurate.  But you can find the raw figures right here.  According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are “officially unemployed” and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”.  That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now. (Read More….)


How 7 years of Obama brought the world from Kumbaya to chaos

Just three years ago, President Obama famously ridiculed GOP opponent Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia remained America’s main geopolitical foe by taunting: “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

Four years before that, Obama stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to declare that once he became president, all people would join him around a global campfire, hold hands and put an end to the world’s evils and miseries.

View Article


Obama Puts U.S. On ‘Fast Track’ To World Government

“What Obama and prominent leaders in both the Republican and Democratic Parties are currently in the process of doing is moving America away from the authority of U.S. constitutional law and placing us under the authority of international law through a series of secret trade treaties that no one can read.”……….. Click here for full story


Palestinians Celebrate Terror…Again

The world is finally taking note of the horrific response the Palestinian community responded with after the murder of four Jewish civilians this weekend. When news of the attacks reached the Palestinian populace there was celebrations by the hundreds in the streets with the waving of flags, fireworks and the traditional handing out of candy for the murder of innocent Jews. Palestinian social media networks also lit up with the “ecstatic” news about the killings………….. Click here for full story


GPS Tracking Of Children – Conditioning The Next Generation For Big Brother And 666

Do you know where your child is? Is perhaps one of the most terrifying questions a parent can be asked. It is that question that is leading more and more parents to consider GPS tracking as a safety option for their children………. Click here for full story


Oregon father of killer blames guns, not son, for Umpqua massacre

According to The Right Scoop:

“I’m not trying to say that they’re to blame for what happened. But if Chris had not been able to get hold of 13 guns it wouldn’t have happened.”

CNN just interviewed the father of the murderer of nine people at Umpqua Community College this week, and though he claims he is not blaming guns, he spent most of the interview doing that exact thing.

“That’s what guns are. The killers. It’s as simple as that. It’s black and white,” he says. Guns are the killers. Not his son.

http://therightscoop.com/father-of-oregon-killer-blames-guns-for-umpqua-massacre


Russia Is Putting On A Display Of Firepower That Is Shocking The World

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 06:32 AM PDT

The Russians have unleashed their own version of “shock and awe” in Syria, and the brutal efficiency of their airstrikes against ISIS targets has stunned many observers around the globe.  For more than a year, the Obama administration has claimed that its bombing campaign in Syria has been a “success”, and yet ISIS has continued to grow stronger and gain more territory.  But now just over a few days the tide of the conflict appears to have turned.  The whole world has gotten a chance to see what a global superpower can truly do to a bunch of radical Islamic terrorists when it is focused and determined.  The images that we have seen of hardened ISIS command centers being wiped off the face of the map by Russian bombs are truly impressive.

But why did those targets still exist in the first place?  Was the U.S. military unable to identify them previously?  Or could it be possible that the Obama administration did not want to hit them? What we do know is that a state of panic has been created among ISIS militants that we have not seen previously.  There are reports of hundreds of terrorists abandoning their positions and trying to flee the country…Russian air strikes Saturday targeting the Islamic State group in Syria have sown “panic”, forcing some 600 “militants” to abandon their positions and head to Europe, Moscow claimed. CONTINUE

The post Russia Is Putting On A Display Of Firepower That Is Shocking The World appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Lesbian Swedish Bishop Wants Christian Crosses Removed From Church to Please Muslims

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 06:29 AM PDT

With hundreds of thousands more migrants set to pour into Sweden, a Bishop in Stockholm has proposed removing crosses from a Christian church and replacing them with Islamic symbols in order to cater for Muslims. Bishop Eva Brunne wants to remove Christian symbols from the Seamen’s Church to make the building “more inviting” for Muslims, reports SVT, Sweden’s national public TV broadcaster. “Leasing a room to people of other faiths, does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people. But that does not mean that we are hostile toward people of other faiths,” wrote Brunne, attempting to justify the plan.

Brunne, who is the first openly lesbian bishop of a mainstream church in the world, wants the church to be treated more like a public airport, where prayer rooms are made available to Muslims, by removing Christian symbols and “marking the direction of Mecca.” The proposal has drawn backlash, with Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, arguing, “The church chapel can not reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospitals. The Christian church and chapels are not just any public areas.” CONTINUE 

The post Lesbian Swedish Bishop Wants Christian Crosses Removed From Church to Please Muslims appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

How God’s Blessing Can Become an Idol

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 06:06 AM PDT

There’s a pattern in the church that we need to be aware of and it’s not a new one, in fact, it happened over and over again throughout the Bible.  We have a habit of turning God’s provision into idols and loving the gift more than the giver. You see, everyone of us will enter a time of desperation and need for God, whether big or small. It may be because of our own actions or the results of life’s wicked turns. Either way, this desperation drives us closer to God as we call on His name and earnestly seek Him. Time goes by and God answers our prayers, usually in a way we didn’t expect. Our mourning is turned to dancing and we are caught up in the goodness of God.

We devote ourselves to care for our newfound treasure whether success, family, money, friends … etc. As time goes by, sometimes this care turns to obsession. We begin to worship the gift instead of the giver. What was once a blessing from God, to remind us of His faithfulness, has been turned into an idol. “While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He told them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And while they were going, they were healed. CONTINUE

The post How God’s Blessing Can Become an Idol appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Students Warned That Big biceps and Big guns advance unhealthy masculinity

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 05:57 AM PDT

The size of G.I. Joe’s biceps and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s guns in the Terminator movies is proof that the dominant form of masculinity is out of control. That message and similar ones were conveyed recently to students during Vanderbilt University’s “Healthy Masculinities Week,” organized by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center. Attendance for students was optional.

The Vanderbilt week kicked off with a lecture by the first man to minor in women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Jackson Katz. (His alma mater now offers a bachelor’s in women, gender and sexuality studies.) The self-described “anti-sexist activist” and filmmaker said that sexual violence and domestic abuse are men’s issues and that men would “benefit tremendously from having this conversation.”

Katz founded a consulting firm that “provides gender violence prevention and leadership training to institutions in the public and private sectors” and has pioneered the use of bystander training in the U.S. military, according to his website. At the event, Katz likened racism to sexism, and told students that “people interrupt other people when they make racist comments.” Therefore they should have the same mindset in response to sexist comments, Katz said. CONTINUE

The post Students Warned That Big biceps and Big guns advance unhealthy masculinity appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Guatemala mudslide death toll rises to 86 – houses buried under 50 feet of earth

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 05:42 AM PDT

Hope is all but gone Sunday that any survivors will be found from the massive landslide on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital. The death toll has risen to 86 and is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 missing people. Distraught relatives of the victims shoveled alongside diggers through the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City after Thursday night’s collapse of a hillside. Every batch of earth turned up by the diggers held more personal belongings, from mattresses and books to toys and Christmas decorations.

Clutching photos of loved ones, family members stood in line outside a makeshift morgue near the excavation site, some of them crying, to see if they recognized any corpses. “This is the worst thing that has happened to us,” said one woman who was waiting for news about 21 missing family members. Authorities said about 125 homes were destroyed or damaged Thursday night by the sudden landslide after heavy rain. “I went on an errand for my mother and when I returned there was nothing,” 17-year-old Carlos Ac told the French news agency AFP. His mother and seven siblings are still missing. The landslide struck the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, about 15 kilometers east of the capital, Guatemala City. CONTINUE

The post Guatemala mudslide death toll rises to 86 – houses buried under 50 feet of earth appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

102.6 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 05:36 AM PDT

So how bad is the economy? Afterall didn’t Obama just tell us that things were stable and moving forward? Well according to a new report, The federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation.  For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy.  If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth.  Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that.

The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248,000 jobs in September and the government added more than a million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category.  When I first saw that number I truly believed that it was inaccurate.  But you can find the raw figures right here.  According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are “officially unemployed” and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”.  That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now. That is not an economic recovery – that is an economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude. CONTINUE

The post 102.6 Million Working Age Americans Do Not Have A Job appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Turkey F-16s Intercept Russia Warplane After Airspace Violation

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Another future player of the “Prophetic War of Gog and Magog” is Turkey, And according to a report, A Russian warplane “violated” Turkish airspace near the Syrian border and was intercepted by two F-16 jets, officials said Monday amid international concern at the risks of parallel military action in the conflict. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Moscow’s ambassador to protest Saturday’s incident, according to a statement. Officials in Ankara also spoke with counterparts in Washington about the incident.

Turkey urged Russia to avoid repeating such a violation, or it would be held “responsible for any undesired incident that may occur.” Russia began airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, with President Vladimir Putin saying he is targeting ISIS, but at least some of the strikes appear to have hit Western-backed rebel factions. British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the strikes, saying it’s “absolutely clear” that Russia is not discriminating between ISIS and the groups opposing Assad. “As a result they’re actually backing the butcher Assad and helping him and really making the situation worse,” Cameron said. CONTINUE

The post Turkey F-16s Intercept Russia Warplane After Airspace Violation appeared first on End TIme Head Lines.

Israeli Jets Bomb Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire

Posted: 05 Oct 2015 05:20 AM PDT

Israel’s air force attacked Gaza early on Monday following a rocket attack on southern Israel which the Israeli military pinned on Hamas. Israeli jets hit targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, following rocket attacks on southern Israel that have been attributed to Hamas. Rockets were fired into Israel late on Sunday night, prompting an attack on the Gaza Strip several hours later by Israeli F-16 jets. Israeli-Palestinian tensions have escalated in recent days, with Palestinian knife attacks against Israeli soldiers.

The jets struck sites allegedly belonging to Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades. According to Haaretz, the facility was severely damaged but no injuries were reported. According to the Israeli military, Palestinian groups have launched 16 rockets into Israel since the last ceasefire began in August 2014. CONTINUE

The post Israeli Jets Bomb Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire 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


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.


Barna Update | Do Americans Believe Religious Freedom Is Under Threat?

The State of Religious Freedom
in the U.S.

Kim Davis’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples made headlines across the country. The debate around her actions is only the most recent in the ongoing public conversation around religious freedom and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

Have the Supreme Court decision and the related news headlines around religious liberty affected Americans’ attitude toward the state of religious freedom?

Since the Supreme Court decision, Barna Group conducted a survey to measure Americans’ current perceptions against the findings of our 2012 study. Read the study to find out which groups:

  • Believe religious freedom in the U.S. has grown worse

  • Are concerned about religious freedoms becoming more restricted in the next five years

  • Think traditional Judeo-Christian values should be given preference in the U.S.

  • And much more…

Read the report here >

October 5, 2015 Humor Collection

Surprise! Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Do Mammograms

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Parts

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Meme: A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Meme: Recognizing the Unborn

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Meme: Obama’s Foreign Policy at Work

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Shake?

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September Jobs Report Hit With Autumn Chill

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Outsider

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Meme: Half Mast

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

Oregon begins seizure of $135,000 from Christians who refused to celebrate gay marriage

WINTERY KNIGHT

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

How would gay marriage affect your marriage? Well, not at all, as long as you have $135,000 kicking around to pay the government when gay couples are offended by your disagreement with their view of marriage.

The Daily Signal explains:

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”

Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take…

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GTY – Frequently Abused Verse: On Whose Door Is Christ Knocking?

Revelation 3:20

Code: B151005

by Jeremiah Johnson

Is it really “abuse” if a verse is used inaccurately to make an important point?

The short answer is, “Yes.” We should not be so careless and cavalier with Scripture, or think so highly of ourselves, that we can impose new meaning—even if it is valid—on the inerrant, sufficient Word of God. If the point is worth making, it’s worth making from the appropriate text.

Which brings us to the verse before us today: Revelation 3:20 is certainly one of the most familiar and frequently-quoted verses in the church. It’s a particular favorite for evangelists, camp preachers, and anyone else who wants to lend some urgency to the call of God on a sinner’s life

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). In the hands of many preachers and evangelists, the verse paints an attractive, compelling picture of Christ’s pursuit of the sinner, and highlights the need for an immediate response.

But is that an accurate interpretation of the verse—is Christ truly at the doorstep of each sinner’s heart, pleading to come in? And if not, on whose door is the Lord knocking? Let’s tackle those issues one at a time.

Is Christ Knocking?

We use a lot of clichés as shorthand in the church, and not all of them are helpful or even accurate. For example, many Christians talk about “asking Jesus into your heart.” And while that phrase might have some vaguely biblical underpinnings, it doesn’t shed any light on what it truly means to repent and believe. If anything, it muddles the sinner’s responsibility in salvation; it dulls some of the sharp edges of the gospel.

In the same way, the common misapplication of Revelation 3:20 has done more harm than good. Yes, the mental image of Christ knocking on the door of a sinner’s heart is moving. But it’s not accurate—it’s a caricature at best, and it comes at a high theological cost.

Put simply, Christ isn’t pleading on every sinner’s spiritual doorstep. Jesus doesn’t need to beg or badger anyone into the kingdom of heaven (John 10:27-28). Salvation isn’t merely a matter of the Lord getting a foot inside the door of your heart—it’s a work of total transformation (Ezekiel 36:26). And most important of all, salvation is not triggered by an act of the sinner’s will—it is God’s intervening work that rescues us from the just penalty of our sin (Ephesians 2:4-9).

In fact, the abuse of Revelation 3:20 often goes hand-in-hand with talk of “asking Jesus into your heart” and other man-centered versions of the gospel message. One way to protect yourself and your evangelism from such skewed perspectives is to closely adhere to biblical language when you’re explaining the gospel.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:1-9, emphasis added)

Train yourself to think about the gospel in those terms, and you’ll insulate yourself from the influence of man-centered theology, and the temptation to reinterpret God’s Word.

Whose Door?

The door in Revelation 3:20 was not a vague spiritual metaphor—it was a specific door. And while Christ wasn’t physically knocking, His words were directed to a specific group of people, and should not be watered down or applied carelessly to just anyone.

The context of Revelation 3:20 is Christ’s letter to the church at Laodicea—also known as the lukewarm church. In Revelation 3:14-22, the Lord condemns them for their spiritual self-deception and apathy. Christ says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot” (v. 15). They did not openly reject Christ, but neither did they exhibit any spiritual zeal or authentic love for God or His Word. They professed to know Christ, but He had no place in their assembly.

And lost in their self-deception, they risked being spat out of God’s mouth altogether (v. 16). Their only hope was to truly repent (v. 19).

In the context of Revelation 3, then, Christ was standing at the door of the Laodicean church, eager to re-enter the congregation through the genuine repentance and salvation of its members. In his commentary on this passage, John MacArthur explains the imagery of verse 20:

Though this verse has been used in countless tracts and evangelistic messages to depict Christ’s knocking on the door of the sinner’s heart, it is broader than that. The door on which Christ is knocking is not the door to a single human heart, but to the Laodicean church. Christ was outside this apostate church and wanted to come in—something that could only happen if the people repented.

The invitation is, first of all, a personal one, since salvation is individual. But He is knocking on the door of the church, calling the many to saving faith, so that He may enter the church. If one person (anyone) opened the door by repentance and faith, Christ would enter that church through that individual. The picture of Christ outside the Laodicean church seeking entrance strongly implies that, unlike Sardis, there were no believers there at all.

Christ’s offer to dine with the repentant church speaks of fellowship, communion, and intimacy. Sharing a meal in ancient times symbolized the union of people in loving fellowship. Believers will dine with Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), and in the millennial kingdom (Luke 22:16, 29-30). Dine is from deipneō, which refers to the evening meal, the last meal of the day. The Lord Jesus Christ urged them to repent and have fellowship with Him before the night of judgment fell and it was too late forever. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999) 140.

What does repentance look like? Far from merely opening the door of your heart to Christ, true repentance reflects the conviction of your sin and the deep desire for righteousness. Here’s how D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones defined this important doctrine:

Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ. [2] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974) 2:248.

The Urgent Call of the Gospel

When it comes to applying and interpreting Scripture, the details matter; good intentions are not enough. We bring the authority of Scripture to bear in sinners’ lives only inasmuch as we handle it accurately. We have a responsibility to the Lord, to each other, and to the unsaved world to proclaim the excellence, inerrancy, and sufficiency of the Bible. And we can’t fulfill that responsibility if we’re assigning our own meaning to God’s immutable truth.

With that in mind, you may still want to inject some urgency into the call to repent the next time you share the gospel with friends or family. Rather than falling back on a misappropriation of Christ’s words in Revelation, why not make a biblically sound argument? Here are a couple passages that convey the sinner’s urgent spiritual needs.

Isaiah preached to the apostate nation of Israel pleading with them to return to the Lord:

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)

And in Acts 17 Paul ended his gospel appeal to a crowd of philosophers with these words:

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)

These and other passages (cf. Acts 2:37-40; Hebrews 4:6-7) can be rightly used to urge unbelievers or those lost in self-deception to respond to the gospel by repenting and turning to Christ. What good is our evangelistic zeal if we aren’t biblically sound?


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B151005
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Debate: Is the Quran the Word of God? James White vs Muhammad Musri

The Domain for Truth

James White discusses the revealed nature of the Quran and whether it is the Word of God with a Muslim Imam name Muhammad Musri.  This debate took place on March 21st 2015 at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando Florida.  Alpha Omega ministry has just loaded up the debate on Youtube recently!

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Obama borrowed $10 trillion and all we got was this horrible jobs report

WINTERY KNIGHT

They told me if I voted Republican, we'd lose jobs, and they were right! What kind of economic growth can you get from a community organizer?

Wow, you would think that there would be some organic economic growth after Obama added $10 trillion to the national debt, but the September jobs report looks more like a forecast for recession than anything else.

The Daily Signal reports:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September jobs report showed unexpected weakness in the labor market.

The payroll survey showed that employers created only 142,000 jobs in September. The economy created only 167,000 net new jobs a month in the 3rd quarter—a substantial drop from the 231,000 jobs a month pace in the 2nd quarter.

The numbers are even worse for private-sector job growth. Large expansions in government hiring boosted the August and September figures. Private-sector job growth dropped from 220,000 net new jobs a month in the 2nd quarter to 138,000 in the 3rd quarter.

[…]The Household survey reported that…

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When God Brings the Mission Field to You

Unfathomable Grace

In the early chapters of 1 Kings, Solomon faithfully and fantastically constructed the Temple of the Lord. Then with great reverence, pomp, ceremony, and excitement, he called the congregation to worship. In response, the Spirit of the Lord moved in and took over the place. It must have been a fantastic day or worship in Jerusalem’s largest mega-church.

During this inaugural worship service, Solomon offered forth an impassioned prayer which the Holy Spirit saw fit to record for posterity’s sake. Adoration and thanksgiving were presented. So too were many requests, included was this one:

Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the…

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The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:12-14 NASB)

The older I become as I journey down this narrow way the more what passes for Christianity seems more and more absurd. Why? I suppose it is that I have become very convicted that we are very guilty of taking God for granted. Instead of worshiping Him for who He is, we seem to be totally focused on His works. While we should worship Him for His works with a grateful heart, we are leaving out…

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