Daily Archives: October 8, 2015

October 8, 2015 Christian Briefing Report


Eight Reasons Many Churches Are Living in the 1980s

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.

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Websites of Most Individual Protestant Churches Cannot Be Located Through Denominational Website

Most Protestant denominations have a website that includes a function to help users find a local church.  But denominations provide accurate links to the websites of only 32% of all local churches, even though three out of four churches have their own website.  Much of the information on denominational websites about member churches is simply missing or wrong, according to a new report from Grey Matter Research.

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Why Do We Not Save Christians?

Today, Christians are under special threat in the Middle East. The possibility that Christian refugees will be able to go home and reconstruct their communities and lead normal lives is far lower than are the chances for their Muslim neighbors. The level of continuing discrimination and physical threat against them is high, and in Syria and Iraq they will always constitute tiny and powerless groups.

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Thoughts on Note-Taking During Sermons

Ditching the note-taking preaching ethos both elevates sermons and properly diminishes them. It treats a sermon as proclamation aided by the Spirit, which gives the sermon a supernatural weight. On the other hand, by treating all words in a sermon as expendable to memory, it puts the preacher’s words in the right place compared to the Scripture’s words. It diminishes the impact of a well-turned phrase and magnifies real revelation.

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I Was Rebuked Without A Word

Then everything changed. As the song ended and we were about to take our seats, and incidental to him sitting down turned slightly. His eyes were full of tears and his smile was full. I was gutted. I saw the man that I wanted to be; humble, free, focused, and full of delight in God.

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Speaking The Truth In Love: Five Deceptive Myths

Obviously truth spoken in love is to be done thoughtfully, timely and with words carefully chosen, while creating an environment of love for effective communication. If a doctor knows you have a terminal condition and loves you he will not be silent. He will thoughtfully tell you the truth. Likely he will take you aside in a private room providing an appropriate environment. Then he will tell you the truth in love and he will love you with the truth. While we are not doctors, we are physicians for the soul.

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Saving Souls Takes Toll On Pastors’ Health

Some of the results may surprise even devout churchgoers: 54 percent of pastors find their jobs frequently overwhelming, and 48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle. So while about half are overwhelmed and wonder if they should quit, another part of the study showed only 13 percent of senior pastors left their posts over the past 10 years for reasons other than death or retirement.

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The End of Homiletics?

Preachers who want to be interesting want to be interesting because they were taught that interesting is the summum bonum of Christian preaching. They weren’t told that, of course. Instructors in homiletics are not crass people, and they don’t teach people to be self-aggrandizing performers. Homiletics taught that by accident because, if homiletics is true to itself as a discipline, it must teach that. So preachers who want to be interesting, will often preach sermons they can’t preach instead of the ones that they could have. And the sermons they might have preached instead would have nourished their people.

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3 Things to Do When Church is a Burden

3 Things to Do When Church is a Burden

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Crosswalk

With the added commitments that church life brings, many active, committed Christians are drowning. What can we do?

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God Among Our Brokenness—Does He Even Care?

God Among Our Brokenness—Does He Even Care?

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Church Leaders

“Over the course of my life, I’ll be honest in saying I’ve found myself furious at God on multiple occasions.”

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The Fatal Mistake of Senior Pastors Who Don’t Like Preaching About Hell

The Fatal Mistake of Senior Pastors Who Don’t Like Preaching About Hell

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Church Leaders

“I’m troubled by the lack of talk about, writing about, preaching about, and deeply held conviction regarding the reality of hell by pastors today.”

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Praying for a Breakthrough

Praying for a Breakthrough

Posted on October 7, 2015 by Church Leaders

“The consistent pattern throughout the Bible is that every significant move of God is preceded by a season of increasingly difficult, discouraging opposition.”

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Why are Christians So Ignorant about Their Faith?

Why are Christians So Ignorant about Their Faith?

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Crosswalk

We must work diligently to preserve Christian doctrine because heresy can so easily pollute our thinking, which will ultimately affect how we live out our faith and how we view God.

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Obama's Religious Freedom Actions Questioned

Obama’s Religious Freedom Actions Questioned

Posted on October 8, 2015 by CBN

The co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus wants to know why President Barack Obama’s actions don’t match his words when it comes to promoting religious freedom.

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Why Gospel for Asia Got Kicked Out of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

Why Gospel for Asia Got Kicked Out of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Christianity Today

One of the world’s largest missions agencies denies wrongdoing and vows to improve.

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Kerry questioned about religious freedom post

Kerry questioned about religious freedom post

Posted on October 8, 2015 by World Magazine

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY | State Department ignores congressional mandate, demotes religious freedom diplomats

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When God Cuts Your Idol’s Head Off

by Erin Davis

Our natural bent is to put something, anything, on the throne in our hearts other than God. When that happens, He may cut our idol’s head off.

Why Did God Give Me This Feeling?

by Paula Hendricks Marsteller

“I have feelings for a guy friend. Feelings that I’ve asked God to take away from me several times, but for whatever reason, He has not. Why did God give me feelings I didn’t ask for?”

To the Heart Searching for Comfort

by Samantha Nieves

When the enemy wants to paralyze us with our emotions, the Word reminds us of the truth. And this is the soul-watering truth we need: God is our Comforter.

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.

A Warning To The World

Time is short. The Bible has hundreds of prophecies – many of which have already been fulfilled. But the prophecies in Revelation, Daniel and other places in the Word have yet to be fulfilled.

There is a time coming called the Tribulation. The Bible says that the horrific things that will happen in the world have never happened before, and will never happen again. The Church (of which I am a part) will be taken to heaven by Jesus Himself and then the Tribulation will begin.

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Electromagnetic Pulse: One Day We Will Wake Up In An America Without Electricity And Society Will Totally Break Down

What would you do if the power grid went down and never came back up? One of these days, and it could be a lot sooner than most people think, we will all wake up in a country without electricity. And considering how utterly dependent we have become on technology, that is a very frightening scenario to consider. How would Americans react if nothing worked?

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Rush Limbaugh Is Right: Ted Cruz Is Most-Principled Candidate

It seems to me the only principled reason to be a Republican would be to stop, thwart and defeat Leftist ideas you’re opposed to. Therefore, what better standard by which to judge Republican presidential candidates than by who is the most committed to actually defeating the opposition?

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WVW-TV Presents: Mohammed, His Wives, His Visit From A Spirit, & The Rise of a False Prophet with Usama Dakdok

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Do You Know The Answers to These Questions That Impact Your Future, that of Your Family, The Church, and Coming World Events?

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WVW-TV Presents: The Hallmarks of a True Convert Versus a False Convert with Host Mike Gendron

When the Devil Points a Gun at You
By now we’ve all heard of Chris Harper Mercer, the man who killed ten people on the campus of Umpqua Community College. Can you imagine the despair in the room? Put yourself in the shoes of the students in that classroom as they watched their teacher drop. As the gunman shouted to the Christians to make themselves known! What would you do?

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Gaining The Kingdom
I’m preparing to preach 2 Samuel to my congregation, and I’m breaking it up into two sections. This year I’ll preach from 2 Samuel 1-14, and next year I’ll finish the book (dv). This is my letter to the congregation introducing 2 Samuel 1-14: David’s life was truly one of hardship. For forty years he ran for his life by running from Saul. Now with Saul dead, the kingdom is his and he gladly received it. Although he fled from Israel’s king, he never fled from being the king of Israel. But securing the crown did not secure his safety. In fact, the trials he experienced as king (2 Samuel) far-and-away exceeded all of those he had while hiding in caves (1 Samuel).

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No Compromise Radio with Mike Abendroth:
Jesus meet Mr Self Righteous (Part 2) Mike continues to examines the most popular chapter in all the Bible: John 3: Open in Logos Bible Software (if available). Listen to John’s description of Jesus preaching the truth to the teacher in Israel. A modern day way of think would go like this: what would Jesus say to the Pope of Roman. Tune in to learn some very important counter intuitive truths.

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Why Evangelicals & Catholics Cannot Be Together
In 1995 the unthinkable happened. Well known evangelical pastors signed a document in which they joined themselves with Catholic priests and Philosophers, in an ecumenical fashion in order to promote the agreements over the disagreements that have plagued Protestants and Catholics for centuries dating back to the greats: Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Knox. They agreed to no longer “proselytize” each other, agreeing that Catholics are indeed brothers, and sisters in Christ.

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Proclaiming The Gospel Radio with Mike Gendron
Mike Gendron has added one more week to his teaching on the Bread of Life Discourse from the book of John. So grab your Bible and join us as we finish this important study and use the truth found in the Word of God to refute the false teaching of the Church of Rome and transubstantiation.

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Encounter God’s Truth with Dr. John Whitcomb:
We go deeper into Biblical Apologetics today on Encounter Gods Truth with Dr. John Whitcomb. This is Part One of a message on Evolutionary Difficulties. In it we tackle challenging questions like these: Since evolution is not true, why is it so difficult to convince unbelievers regarding the Bibles account of creation? And why do so many Christians even seem unwilling to agree on the Biblical position? Also, how are we as Christians to go about seeking to bring ardent unbelievers to the Lord? Or to strengthen struggling believers? Whitcomb Ministries expresses appreciation to Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, West Virginia, for allowing us to bring you this conference audio. Wayne Shepherd, our host, sets the context for this important and timely lesson that is intended to help us effectively communicate that Gods Word is true from the beginning to the end. We encourage you to share this broadcast with others.

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Search the Scriptures with T.A. McMahon:
Is Pope Francis Really the Vicar of Christ? with Greg Durel (Part 1)

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Immanuel with Jesse Johnson:
Swords and Stones Can Break Your Bones (I Samuel 17)

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Women with the Master with Susan Heck:
June 26, 2015 will go down in history as a monumental event. The Supreme Court of the United States of America voted to allow couples of the same sex to get married. Men are now able to marry men; women are now able to marry women. The decision for our country was decided by two men and three women. The ruling is shocking and grieving and we as kingdom citizens are asking many questions, one being, How did we get here in our culture? Some of us will answer that question by acknowledging that God is Sovereign and He has a plan beyond our understanding. Even though this is a true answer, will we as reformed believers use that as a cloak for our lackadaisical Christianity? Have we failed in being salt and light in a world that is filled with darkness and becoming more evil? We as Christians are in the world even though we are not to be of the world but we are failing to make an impact on our world. Christ left us here to go and make disciples and to be His representatives, and we do that in two ways according to the text in Matthew 5:13-16, that is by being salt and light. In this lesson we will consider the Christian’s two fold impact on the world along with our failure to impact the world and its result along with our faithfulness to impact the world and its result.

The Origin of Humans: In this session Mike covers 4 topics: The Bible makes it clear that God did not make ape-man. Two misconceptions commonly found in textbooks that are used to support human evolution. Some of the famous characters that have been used in textbooks to promote evolution. Piltdown man Nebraska man Ramapithicus Lucy Neanderthals Four ways to make an ape-man.

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Steel on Steel with John Loeffler:
Susan Warner joined John to examine the fallout from the UN sustainable development conference and shows that Agenda 2030, Pope Franciss statements to difference groups, geopolitics in the Middle East, and the future of the United States are all connected. When one right or law trumps another, which one do we obey? Frank Wolf (www.21wilberforce.org), former U.S. Congressman and Senior Fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, discusses the battle between religious freedom and the politically correct narrative of the day. The church is hunkering down, hoping the storm will pass. Moral decline has resulted, and with increased persecution imminent, the Christian church needs to speak out in favor of religious freedom before its too late.

Jim Schneider interviewed Rich Christiano about his new film, “A Matter of Faith”. “A Christian girl goes off to college for her freshman year and begins to be influenced by her popular Biology professor who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life. When her father suspects something happening, he begins to examine the situation and what he discovers completely catches him off guard. Now very concerned about his daughter drifting away from the faith, he tries to do something about it.”

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Justin Peters Program:
There was a mix-up on the last two programs of God’s Decree. Some have emailed saying they missed part 1 and some have emailed saying that they missed part 2. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Given that both of these programs are important and each program in this series serves as a building block for the next, I have decided to combine both programs into one. This program contains both part 1 and part 2. Part 1 ends and part 2 begins at the 27 minute 14 second mark. Next week we will look at God’s incommunicable attribute of Spirituality.

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Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer:
When facing severe trials, we ask why? We may never know the answer, but for a suffering Job, the answer was dramatic. Gods voice spoke from out of a whirlwind. We may not receive as dramatic of an answer, but can we trust His heart even when we cant understand His actions?

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Truth About Islam with Usama Dakdok
Job (Program #2)

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Prophecy Today Radio with Dr. Jimmy DeYoung

What The Heidelberg Liturgy Teaches Us About Grace, Faith, And Sanctification

The medievals had a saying: the law of praying is the law of believing (lex orandi, lex credendi). By it they meant to say that what we do in worship affects our theology. If you want to change the theology of the future change the liturgy today. Church history bears witness to the truth of this […]

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Why Do Christians Do Good Works?

86. Since then we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why should we do good works? Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image, that with our whole life we show ourselves thankful to God for […]

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Prophecy: “For men (and women) will be lovers of self…”

  In this post Elizabeth Prada of The End Times Prophecy deals with America’s love affair with “self.” We’ve become so enamored with self that our cellphones are used to take “selfies” that we post on Instagram, Facebook, send to friends, family and perfect strangers.  Even professing Christians, who should know better, are caught up […]

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Pope’s U.S. visit was PR bonanza for Catholic Church

Christian Examiner reports:

A new survey from the Pew Research Center, conducted after the visit of Pope Francis to the United States in September, shows the Catholic leader was instrumental in giving Americans a more positive image of the Catholic Church.

According to Pew, Francis helped generate “good will” among most Americans, and even among “ideological liberals and moderates, along with Democrats.”


Vatican Considers Ordaining Female Deacons

According to Christian Headlines:

Popping eyesThe most controversial proposal floated so far at the high-level, high-stakes Vatican summit on church teachings on the family had nothing to do with gays or divorce, but instead ordaining women — not as priests, but as deacons.

Still, even that suggestion — made by a Canadian archbishop on Tuesday (Oct. 6), near the start of the closely watched, three-week synod called by Pope Francis — was considered eye-popping.


“I’m Not Ashamed” — The True Story of Rachel Joy Scott and Columbine

I’m Not Ashamed is the true story of Rachel Joy Scott and the Columbine Story.

Rachel was the first victim in the 1999 Columbine. She was killed for her faith, but her story and her impact lives on. Her dad began Rachel’s Challenge to honor her legacy of kindness and reaching out to those who are different, picked on or new at school.

Masey McLain plays Rachel Scott in the film which reveals the story behind the story. The film releases on the anniversary of Columbine on April 20, 2016.

The post “I’m Not Ashamed” — The True Story of Rachel Joy Scott and Columbine appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.

Students Nationwide are Tweeting Pictures with Their Bibles for the Coolest Reason

Bring Your Bible to School Day was launched last year by Focus on the Family. The goal is to encourage students from kindergarten to college to “express their faith freely.”

Last year on October 8, 2014, 8,000 students participated in bringing their Bibles to school to be part of the movement and to share their faith.

Today, 100,000 students are expected to participate. Here are some photos students are sharing for #BringYourBible. Let’s pray for these students and cheer them on in their faith!


The post Students Nationwide are Tweeting Pictures with Their Bibles for the Coolest Reason appeared first on ChurchLeaders.com.

5 Theology Mistakes I Made As a Pastor

All of us have major problems with our theology.

And the sooner we recognize that our theology is not perfect, the better off we’ll be.

Of course, the trick is knowing where you theology is wrong.

Though I am certain I have problems in my theology right now, I do not know what these problems might be. If I knew, I would change my views.

This is why it is important to always be talking with others, reading the ideas of others, and thinking about theology and how it relates to life.

As a result of my own theological study and research, a lot of my theology has changed over the past fifteen years. Below are five of the main mistakes I made in my theology when I was a pastor.

1. I expected everyone to study the Bible and read theology.

theology mistakesSince I love to study Scripture and read theology, I believed and taught that every Christian should do the same.

I saw how much spiritual benefit I received from reading and studying Scripture and theology, and I assumed that everyone else would get just as much benefit from these practices as I had.

I also believed that people could not really come to know God unless they diligently studied Scripture and read widely from theology.

Looking back now, I see how wrong I was.

I now see that God has made Himself known to little children and to those who may never crack open a book of theology or read a chapter from the Pentateuch. I have encountered people who know more about God and how He works than I have ever hoped to know of God, and they have never read the Bible all the way through, nor do they even know what the word “theology” means.

I have now come to see that I enjoy reading and studying theology because this is partly why God put me on planet earth. I have gifts, talents, and abilities in the realm of Bible study and theology. But not everyone has these same gifts, and therefore, not everyone has these same interests.

Therefore, not everyone needs to read the Bible or study theology. And even when they don’t many of them will have a better knowledge and understanding of God than I ever will.

2. I took theology and Bible knowledge way too seriously.

I used to think that theology was a serious subject, which required sound thinking, sober minds, and no laughter or joy. I have since found that this is a common disease among theologians.

We tend to think that since we are “talking about God,” we must do so with all seriousness.

Now, however, I sometimes think that God gets just as bored with our serious theological discussions as would anyone else (except theologians). Furthermore, God does not really care for how seriously we take the words that come out of our mouth.

I now believe that we all need to lighten up about our theology.

I sometimes imagine there is a “Comedy Hour” in heaven where God and the angels read through all the things we Christian theologians preach and teach and write about. As I wrote a while back, in talking about God, we are like an oyster on the bottom of the sea trying to philosophize about ballerina knees.

I am not saying that our theology needs to be full of hilarious jokes and creatively told insights and stories. No. Just because Jesus told stories, this does not mean we should as well.

Instead, what it means is that we need to take ourselves less seriously. I need to take myself less seriously.

I know that just as much of what I believed in the past turned out to be seriously wrong, so also, much of what I believe right now might turn out to be wrong as well.

mistakesSo I do my best. I study hard. But I hold my conclusions lightly.

And when I get a chance, I laugh. I laugh at Christianity. I laugh at church. I laugh at myself. Why? Because theology needs more laughter.

3. I thought that truth trumped love

While I always tried to be loving in what I said and did, as I read back through some of my old sermons, I find that I often erred in being so focused on truth, that I was not very loving.

I believed that the foundation for love was truth. And so while Paul instructed the Ephesians to find the balance between truth and love (Eph 4:15), I believed that the most important thing was truth. After all, I thought, it is never loving to withhold the truth.

I thought that it was preferable to speak the truth, even if it hurt, than to withhold the truth in the name of love.

I understand my logic, but I think that I often used such logic to say unloving things and treat people in unloving ways.

Today, while I do not condone falsehoods or lying, I try to err more on the side of love. I have discovered that some truth simply aren’t worth saying.

Besides, I have a view of truth which helps me see truth in almost everything.

I have noticed as well that Jesus wasn’t much of a stickler for orthodoxy. He was more than willing to contradict traditional theology to extend love. I try to follow His example and let my personal theology go out the window if doing so will help me love someone else.

4. I believed truly dedicated Christians regularly attended church

I still remember how I viewed the people in my church who only attended our Sunday morning service. I was grateful they came, but I knew, deep down in my heart, that if they were really devoted to following Jesus, they would also come to Sunday school, the Sunday evening service, the Wednesday evening Bible study, and the Saturday morning prayer meeting.

At least they came to the Sunday morning service though.

Which was more than could be said for the “so-called” Christians in town who didn’t attend any church at all!

There were several families I was aware of who said that they were following Jesus, but didn’t attend any church. I remember thinking how sad it was that they could be so deluded and deceived. After all, nobody could truly follow Jesus if they didn’t attend church!

I now realize how wrong I was.

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Some of the greatest followers of Jesus I have met over the past fifteen years have not “attended church” in decades. I have now come to see that while church attendance is helpful and beneficial for a good many Christians, it is unhelpful and damaging for a good many more.

This does not mean that those who do not “attend church” are not part of the church; they are. In fact, it may be that many of those who do not attend church might be more active in the church than those who do attend.

Church, after all, is not the event that takes place in a brick building on Sunday morning, but is the people of God who follow Jesus into the world (See my book, Skeleton Church).

Following Jesus and being the church is not about sitting in a pew on Sunday morning (though for many it might include that), but is about being Jesus in the world.

5. I believed the goal of the Christian life was to get rid of sin.

To put it another way, I believed that God was in the sin management business. I believed that God was looking down on planet earth, wringing His hands in frustration (and even anger) at how bad we had messed things up.

I believed that the reason God gave us Scripture, and the reason God sent Jesus to this earth, was to tells us how to live “right.” I believed that God’s primary goal for our lives was to get us to stop sinning.

Today, I don’t believe God is nearly as concerned about sin as we are. I believe that sin is just not that big of an issue for God. If there is something God is concerned about, it is religion, which presents an ugly portrait of God to people and tells us to worship this ugly portrait “or else.”

And while sin is destructive and hurtful, I think that God would rather have us sin a little than live smug religious lives of self-righteous arrogance.

Bonus Item: 6. I believed that God was violent.

I used to teach that everything the Bible says God did is in fact what God actually did.

While I still hold to the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, I now view things a little bit differently (I have a book coming out soon which explains more).

I no longer believe God is violent in any way, shape, or form. I do not believe God engages in violence or commands His people to do so. I believe that, if Jesus reveals God to us, then God is, by definition, non-violent.

This understanding, of course, has made me rethink a lot of other areas about theology, including how I read Scripture, but this entire topic is too huge to summarize in this post (which is already too long).

So those are some of the theological mistakes I made as a pastor. I imagine I am making more mistakes right now, but time will tell what those are.

2 Serious Misconceptions about God’s Wrath

There may be no theological topic more controversial than divine wrath. While most of humanity is eager to acknowledge the existence of God, and while most love to acknowledge his traits of grace and mercy and kindness, very few want to acknowledge his wrath. Yet wrath is a consistent theme in the Bible and a defining characteristic of the God we meet in its pages. Divine wrath suffers when we fail to understand it aright. Here are two serious, common misconceptions.

The first misconception is that God’s wrath is cruel. Too many people associate God’s wrath with human anger which, indeed, is often arbitrary and mean. The truth is that God’s wrath is always the wrath of God as Judge. Thus, God’s wrath is always a measured, just, judicial wrath.

According to J.I. Packer, “the explicit presupposition of all that we find in the Bible … on the torments of those who experience the fullness of God’s wrath is that each receives precisely what he deserves. ‘The day of God’s wrath’, Paul tells us, is also the day ‘when his righteous judgment will be revealed.’ And in that day ‘God will give to each person according to what he has done’ (Romans 2:5ff).” Just as our justice systems dole out punishments fitting for particular crimes, Jesus himself taught that God’s retribution will be proportionate to the individual and his offense (see Luke 12:47ff) .

Of course that is precisely why God’s wrath is so fearsome. No one will suffer beyond what he deserves. But what he deserves is unspeakably terrible. “If it is asked: can disobedience to our Creator really deserve great and grievous punishment? anyone who has ever been convicted of sin knows beyond any shadow of doubt that the answer is yes, and knows too that those whose consciences have not yet been awaked to consider, as Anselm put it, ‘how weighty sin is’ are not yet qualified to give an opinion.” God will serve as Judge and will judge justly.

The second misconception is that God’s wrath is something God inflicts upon ignorant, innocent people. This misconception teaches that God inflicts hell upon people who would have chosen God if only they had the option or the appropriate understanding. But

God’s wrath in the Bible is something which people choose for themselves. Before hell is an experience inflicted by God, it is a state for which a person himself opts, by retreating from the light which God shines in his heart to lead him to himself. … The decisive act of judgment upon the lost is the judgment which they pass upon themselves, by rejecting the light that comes to them in and through Jesus Christ. In the last analysis, all that God does subsequently in judicial action towards the unbeliever, whether in this life or beyond it, is to show him, and lead him into, the full implications of the choice he has made.

Packer goes on to say, “Nobody stands under the wrath of God save those who have chosen to do so. The essence of God’s action in wrath is to give people what they choose in all its implications: nothing more, and equally nothing less. God’s readiness to respect human choice to this extent may appear disconcerting and even terrifying, but it is plain that his attitude here is supremely just, and poles apart from the wanton and irresponsible inflicting of pain which is what we mean by cruelty.” And then he provides this memorable line: “What God is hereby doing is no more than to ratify and confirm judgments which those whom he ‘visits’ have already passed on themselves by the course they have chosen to follow.”

God is not cruel in his wrath. He is not arbitrary. And his wrath will never extend to the ignorant or innocent. He will apportion his wrath with perfect fairness upon those who have chosen to face it.

Give Your Weakness to God

Give Your Weakness to God“How are you doing?”

It’s a pet peeve of mine — that I’m also guilty of — when those words are used as a greeting rather than as a question. It’s easy to say, “How are you doing?” without actually wanting a substantive answer. Sometimes people will ask me that without even breaking stride as they pass me by. The only appropriate, or even physically possible, answer becomes “Oh, fine” or “Good!” — even if things may not be so. This type of shallow greeting embodies a lot of our everyday interactions. We often hum along the surface in relationships but rarely plunge beneath to the real state of our hearts.

Community: A Place for Reality

Christian community should be one of the places where people can actually be vulnerable. Gathering with fellow Christians should be one of the few times where we don’t hide the realities of life. To be vulnerable may mean to be honest about sin, or brokenness, or weakness, or just the general mess of life. Vulnerability encompasses guilt from the past, low-level anxiety, loneliness, sadness, or a general lack of joy or satisfaction. Some may be doubting God, feeling overwhelmed or inadequate as a Christian, husband, wife, parent, or employee.

There’s a danger when Christians are expected to be open and honest, but are not. If someone opens up about an issue, and others respond with flippant attitudes, Christian clichés, total silence, shock and disgust, or perhaps even indifference, this discourages and even prevents openness. It communicates to the one who shared, as well as to the others in the group, that what was shared is unimportant. Others will remember this experience and never share anything vulnerable about themselves. When Christians fail to respond well to tender moments it stunts friendships and ministry, and it leads to nice, but superficial relationships.

What Is Redemptive Vulnerability?

So what is redemptive vulnerability? To be vulnerable is to be susceptible to being wounded or hurt. In the context of community, vulnerability is opening up about one’s humanity. It’s to admit that we are not perfect people. We have not arrived. We are broken, unfinished people who live in a world that itself is broken because of the fall. We experience depression, burn out, cancer, sadness, death, grief, disability, disease, relational strife, loneliness, lust, anxiety, and the list goes on.

But our story doesn’t need to end with brokenness. Redemptive vulnerability — a vulnerability that leads to life — is where we share our brokenness in order to display the surpassing power and sufficiency of Christ and the gospel, which transforms us increasingly into the likeness of Christ. Vulnerability is not an end in itself. Rather, our vulnerability should point us, individually and together with other believers, to the sufficiency of Jesus. It looks at and hopes in the redemption we have in Christ Jesus and the work of the cross.

God Uses Weak People for His Best Work

Paul calls the Corinthians to remember that they were not the cultural elite, the politically powerful, or the materially rich, but rather the foolish, weak, low, and despised (1 Corinthians 1:26–31). The principle at work here is that God intentionally uses weak things to accomplish his glorious purposes. The reason God does it this way is so that “no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:29). God alone is to get the glory.

God doesn’t need the powerful, influential, or the cultural movers and shakers to accomplish his work. God actually goes out of his way to give disproportionate impact to the weak, humble, and foolish so that Christ receives all the glory. God intentionally uses weak people to do his best work. When we recognize that we are weak people, we can stop trying to keep up a façade and instead look to the sufficiency and goodness of our God that brings redemption, healing, and comfort to our struggles.

Bringing Redemption to Our Vulnerability

Recently, a friend shared that their small group — in one year — had walked through the death of a parent, a felony crime, drug-related charges, psychological issues, same-sex attraction, marital discord, job transition, and disability. Yet they weren’t stalled on any one of those issues. They prayed, studied God’s word, supported each other, and reminded one another of who God is and what he has done. They didn’t become a self-help group. They didn’t just listen and lament. They listened, and then they looked to God together. They let the truths and promises of Scripture fill their hearts and minds as they walked through those challenging situations and circumstances.

To bring redemption to our vulnerability means we open up not to wallow in our situation, but to lift our eyes together to God in hope. We can look together at his promises. We cry out together for comfort, wisdom, help, and faith. We listen to one another, and to labor together in prayer because sometimes we’re too feeble to pray alone. Weakness and vulnerability remind us that we are dependent and God is sufficient. God loves to meet us in our moments of need and to give us more of his grace as we seek it moment by moment, especially with others.

No Quick Fixes

How this plays out in our individual communities and relationships will require wisdom. It’s not simple or clear-cut. We walk with each other through hard things that may not have tidy conclusions or ever end this side of heaven. We don’t apply the gospel like someone putting a Band-Aid on cancer. Instead, we let the truth of the gospel and the power of the indwelling Spirit fill our bodies like chemotherapy drugs that enter into our spiritual bloodstream. There are rarely quick fixes or simple solutions for life’s problems, but we can look to a powerful, merciful, loving, and sufficient Father who has loved us thoroughly through his Son at Calvary.

Redemptive vulnerability does not put a spotlight on vulnerability, brokenness, or sin. Redemptive vulnerability highlights and magnifies how good, sufficient, kind, persistent, and gracious God is. It’s his grace that makes us aware of our need for him. It’s his grace that causes us to cry out in dependence, to turn away from sin, and to remind us of his love.

We can embrace our varied weaknesses in order that God’s power might be displayed. It’s the reminder we all need daily. God is sufficient. God is good. God loves you. And Jesus Christ will never leave you nor forsake you. No matter how weak or vulnerable we may be, we can look to Christ, whose grace is sufficient for us and made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Related Articles

“I’d Rather Go to Hell Than be With You!”

I love evangelism. It’s constantly on my mind. It is impossible to see a human and not think about where they will spend eternity. It brings joy to my heart when people tell me about their gospel conversations. I love watching evangelistic encounters on YouTube and seeing the way that others do evangelism. It is because of all these things that when I see someone misrepresent Christ that my heart is troubled. The Gospel message is already Angry Preacheroffensive enough.

And because of all these reasons I haven’t been this disgusted by something I’ve seen done by “street preachers” since I got to see Westboro Baptist face to face. In a video entitled “Street Preacher Invades Starbucks” (I don’t recommend watching it since it is filled with profanity) a group of men “invade” a Starbucks and then start following and screaming “repent” to a few pedestrians. As the scene got more intense, a lady said some words that should have stopped them in their tracks.

I would rather go to hell than be with you!

Instead of being proud of this encounter, to the point of posting it as an example of proper evangelism on YouTube, they should have been ashamed.

“I would rather go to Hell than be with you”, are not some words that I ever want someone to say to me. And although Westboro and heretical “street preachers” are extreme examples, I think we are all tempted to sin during evangelistic encounters.  So here are some marks of an evangelist who seeks to represent his Savior in a way that would please Him.


This isn’t the love we see in the post-modern world, where tolerance is the idea that anyone can believe whatever they want as long as they don’t claim absolute truth. That is like watching someone run towards a cliff and cheering them on as they die. Love is an intense desire for people’s salvation, one that deeply affects the cliffpreacher. We see this in Romans 9 when Paul says that if he could he would die and go to hell for the sake of the Israelites. When you love someone this way it changes the way you talk. It changes the way you treat those around you and it affects the rest of these qualities we will see in the evangelist. It all has to begin with love or we’ll be misrepresenting the incredibly loving God of the Bible.


Paul says several times in his writing that we should be gentle. In 2 Timothy 2:25 he says that we are to correct people with gentleness. This is a tender, calm voice. This is the same voice that can turn away wrath (proverbs 15:1).  It is fascinating to see that in action. I have seen so many people begin antagonistic and become eager to listen, in response to gentle and sincere words. Except for in rare circumstances, an evangelistic encounter should never end with the evangelized angry at the evangelist because of the way that he sounded, rather if they  are angry it should be at the message.


There is a way to be tender and calm and yet still be passionate. You can tell in someone’s voice when they are being sincere. You can also tell in someone’s voice when they care about the people they are talking to. It’s not enough to just convey truth. When we approach people with passion, people listen because they know that whatever you are saying has truly had an impact in your life.  If you lack passion in your evangelism, here are 3 Ways to Intensify Your Motivation for Evangelism.


Don’t let your sin keep you from Heaven! Death is right around the corner, you’re not guaranteed another day! I beg you to come to Christ today! Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:2 shows us yet again how persuasion should play a part in how we talk to people. He quotes God who says, “Behold now is the acceptable time, Behold today is the day of salvation.” Paul constantly uses persuasion in preaching and teaching. There is a way to be gentle and yet very persuasive. In fact, it is usually very difficult to be persuasive without being gentle and passionate.


Paul as he is teaching Timothy on how to be a faithful expositor in 2 Timothy 4:2 tells him “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” As you plead with people to repent and trust Jesus we need great patience. God can work in someone’s heart in an instant, but we have no idea when that will be.  In order to keep us from anger, sarcasm, arguing, interrupting and just being downright obnoxious, we need patience in our evangelism. Lack of patience is a form of pride that says, “I know better than God does”. It’s a lack of contentment in how God works and ultimately it is rebellion against Him.


First of all, it is foolish to even open our sinful lips without asking the author of salvation to open eyes.  Secondly, 80_jesus-heals-a-man-born-blind_1800x1200_72dpi_2it will be very difficult to keep a Christ exalting attitude if He is not on the forefront of our minds in evangelism. It is hard to be godly when God is not on our minds. One way to keep God constantly on our minds is by depending on Him in everything we do. Colossians 4:3 and Ephesians 6:19, are just two examples of prayer soaked evangelism.

It is tempting to think that if I’m doing it wrong then I should stop, or I should alter the message. We don’t have that luxury. We are called His ambassadors for a reason. We cannot alter the message, remain silent, or represent Him the wrong way. We must strive to be like Christ as we present Him to the world. May we never hear the words “I’d rather go to Hell than be with you!”

How the Mental Evidence Points to the Existence of God (Cold Case Christianity Broadcast #46)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace continues his six part mini-series summarizing material from his latest book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Investigates the Evidence For A Divinely Created Universe. J. Warner describes two pieces of “mental” evidence: consciousness and our common experience of free agency. Can these two pieces of evidence “inside the room” of the universe be explained by staying “inside the room”? This simple question helps homicide detectives determine if a death scene is a crime scene. Could the same question be applied to the evidence in the universe to determine if a cosmic “intruder” is the most reasonable inference? (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):


Historic Criminal Justice Reform

Miracle #1: Congress is on the verge of approving a major criminal justice reform bill. Miracle #2: Republicans and Democrats are both backing it. Listen Now | Download

Think Hard for the Sake of Your Heart

Think Hard for the Sake of Your HeartHope is a human emotion, and the Bible commands us to have it. So how do we pursue it if we do not feel it? In this lab, John Piper explains how God has wired the relationship between the mind and the heart. Scripture tells us that biblical thinking serves passionate hoping.

Watch Now

Check out


Student Debt Traps Parents and Kids | Alex Chediak
Some scary stats AND a solution in Alex’s upcoming book, Beating the College Debt Trap: Getting a Degree Without Going Broke.

Semester in Scotland | Gentle Reformation
I’ve heard good things about this program.

The Shepherd Leader | Ref21
An introduction to Timothy Witmer’s new website, The Shepherd Leader. Definitely one to add to your blog reader.

Take a Test on The Trinity | Tim Challies
One to send to the youth group leader.

Reformation Preaching Conference in Kentucky
I’ll be in Elizabethtown, Kentucky for the next few days for the Doctrines of Grace Conference where I hope to give two addresses, one on The Impact of Calvinism on the Culture, and the other An Overview of the Doctrines of Grace. There are quite a number of other speakers with some fascinating subjects.

Kindle Books

Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida $2.99.

I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom Rainer $2.99

Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning by Nancy Pearcey $2.99.

New Book(let)

How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship? by Joel Beeke $2.99.


Practical Advice for College Students

Links I like


Kindle deals for Christian readers

‘Whom Shall I Fear?’

Very interesting Q&A with Carly Fiorina, one of the many candidates running for the Republican nomination in next year’s election.

The Bottom Line Isn’t at Odds with Loving Employees

Carey Bustard interviews Les Slough, vice president of Shank’s Extracts, Inc:

Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?

Our “bottom line” and caring for our employees aren’t opposing values. We want to make sure they can care for their families. We actively present challenging careers, which allow them to use their gifts. In providing a safe and healthy work environment, we get a quality product in return.

Social Media and the Fruit of the Spirit

Aaron Earls:

One of the most unfortunate but telling aspects of social media is the way many Christians use it with little concern for how it reflects on them or their Savior.

Take a Test on the Trinity

Tim Challies put together a great text on the Trinity. Take it (and read carefully).

Packer on Annihilationism

Gavin Ortlund:

Saint Anselm once said we should give thanks for whatever of the Christian faith we can understand with our minds; but when we come to something we don’t understand, we should “bow our heads in reverent submission.” That seems like godly and wise advice to me. We simply don’t have the option to pick and choose from what the Bible teaches: we are called to submit to its authority over us.

The traditional doctrine of hell is currently undergoing significant challenges from both within and without the church. Many question the reality of hell outright, while many others opt toward annihiliationism—the belief that the damned won’t suffer eternally but will instead have their consciousness extinguished at some point. In 1997 J. I. Packer wrote a brief article in Reformation and Revival magazine reviewing the debate over annihilationism among evangelicals.

A La Carte (October 8)

Yesterday’s test on the Trinity was surprisingly popular, with 21,000 people completing it by the end of the day! I can’t see individual results but I can see trends. I may write an article or two to address the most common mistakes (which may also have just been badly worded questions). In the meantime, enjoy today’s links:

A Songwriting Rant

You will probably appreciate Andrew Wilson’s songwriting rant. “I’m not really ranting about songwriters, but about the pastoral carelessness, verging on negligence, shown by a fair few guardians of the church simply because someone is holding a guitar. For most modern charismatics and evangelicals, our hymnody is our liturgy – a problem which is the subject of a whole other post – and that makes thinking it through carefully extremely important.”

The Raging Waters

Derek Thomas brings an update from South Carolina. “Our beautiful city has been ravaged, more than a dozen lives have been lost and thousands have been displaced and ruined; and as I write, further threats are in view.”

Fixing India’s Railways

In world news: “[India’s] railway, often dubbed as the ‘Lifeline of the Nation,’ shuttles more than 23 million people a day via 12,000-plus trains across some 7,000 stations. But congestion, frequent train accidents, and a lack of funding and political will to improve the rail system has made it inefficient and outdated.”

Christian Album Covers

Here’s a roundup of some of the most ridiculous and hilarious Christian album covers. Personally, I think Petra’s More Power To Ya was pretty awesome.

Be Kind To Yourself

I just love this new song and video from Andrew Peterson. His new album comes out in just 2 days. About this song he says, “I wrote this for my daughter, and the day I sang it for her I realized it was for me, too.” (Also, you can read an interview with him at The Gospel Coalition.)

This Day in 451. The first meeting of the Council of Chalcedon opened, near Constantinople. Dealing primarily with the Eutychian Christological heresy, the council created a confession of faith which has been regarded as the highest word in early Christian orthodoxy. *

The Most Spoken Language

A study has found that in 2050 the world’s most spoken language may just be French. That’s largely because of the high birth-rate in African nations where French is the dominant language.

Ditching the Rhythm

As a person who loves routine and who is trying to learn some new routines, I appreciated this article.

The Daily Discovery (October 8, 2015)

(Click title to go to full article)

J. I. Packer on Why Annihilationism is Wrong – “The doctrine of hell is the most difficult aspect of the Christian faith for many people. It is for me. I feel acutely the unremitting sadness of this doctrine. But to be a Christian is—at the very least—to confess Christ the Son of God, and to confess Christ the Son of God is—at the very least—to submit to his teaching. And this includes his teaching on hell (which was quite copious and colorful).”

Death Penalty in the Bible – “If you are one of those who get furious when you read in the Bible that God commanded some wars and the death of adulterers, homosexuals, disobedient children, fornicators, sorcerers, murderers, etc. It is likely that you have overlooked the many times God gives the reason: ‘The person who sins will die.‘”

Lazy Busy – “Have you noticed how we seem to count busyness as a virtue? When you see someone these days and ask them how they’ve been, a normal response has become, ‘busy.’ Kevin DeYoung has written a book entitled, Crazy Busy. The book is helpful as it gives biblical tools for thinking about our priorities. He offers 7 diagnosis for our busyness. He brings biblical wisdom to bear on our schedules and attitudes towards work. Some people are certainly too busy. But simply being ‘busy’ may not be the problem. DeYoung summarizes in chapter 9, ‘the reason we are busy is because we are supposed to be busy.’ Work is not bad, it is good. Busyness in and of itself is not necessarily bad either. But why do we often find ourselves running around in a frenzy?”

Fattening Up the Family Soul – “The thing that I don’t like about vigorous exercise is that it’s miserable. My mind has a hard time countering the agony of strenuous athletic undertakings to the sheer delight of sitting at ease. Don’t get me wrong: I believe exercise is good for us, and I’m grateful to live in a society that so thoroughly values it. But should we consider some of the important and often forgotten forms of ‘good fat’?”

Is God’s Primary Concern My Earthly Blessing? – “Throughout this series on Scripture’s ‘Frequently Abused Verses,’ we’ve seen how God’s Word has been misunderstood and misapplied, as well as instances when it is intentionally twisted to accommodate blasphemous lies and spurious doctrines. Today we’re going to consider how the misappropriation of one verse— 3 John 2—triggered a heretical movement that has been a scourge for God’s people and blight on the testimony of the church for more than half of a century.”


Dr. James White – Should We Exclusively Use The King James Bible?


Is the New Testament reliable?

Is it a sin for a Christian to smoke pot?

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

The post The Daily Discovery (October 8, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.

Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, October 8, 2015


Top Headlines

California Governor Signs Right-to-Die Bill Sought by Brittany Maynard

PC(USA) Pastor Writes Open Letter to Trump about Refugee Comments

Christian Headmaster of School Beaten by Muslim Co-workers for His Faith

Pastor Resigns over Same-sex Marriage Beliefs

Christian Group Predicts God Will Destroy the World on Wednesday

Ben Carson Asked Controversial Questions While a Guest on ‘The View’

Christian Refugees Appeal to the West to Save them From Persecution

Roseburg, OR: Pastor Says Fellow Classmate Saved Daughter’s Life in School Shooting

Missouri Pastor Steals Thousands from Church to Fund Affair

ISIS Extremists Brutally Torture and Crucify Christian Boy and Others


Tethered to Technology—Escaping the IT Trap

Christian Victims in Oregon: Holding on to God

Why is ‘Phubbing’ a Bad Thing?

When Tragedy Strikes, Partisan Politicking Offers Cold Comfort

Do You Treat Your Faith Like a Hobby?


TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I suppose if you asked believers what “eternal life” means, they would say what many of us would first say: “eternal life means I’ll live forever after I die.” That understanding of eternal life isn’t wrong, of course, but it’s not enough. Look at Jesus’ words in John 5:

John 5:24-29  “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.”

When God saves us, He gives us eternal life. That’s a present tense condition that must change the way I live today. Because I have eternal life, I should live with eternity in mind. Temporary idols should lose their power. Worry should lessen. Broken relationships should be restored. Recurrent sin should no longer be recurrent. Grief should be fleeting, and rest should be sweet. Life today should be victory, and the resurrection to come will be a validation of eternal life we already possess.

When we view “eternal life” as only that which comes after death, though, we fail to see the importance of present tense faith. Faith that is only future-tense oriented easily loses its victory and joy in the present.

ACTION STEPS:  If you are a follower of Jesus, you have eternal life today. Live in that triumph by forsaking sin and rejoicing over grace. Whatever trials you face today will not win.

PRAYER: “God, thank You for giving us eternal life. Thank You that our eternity is not dependent on us. Help me to live differently today because of the life You’ve given 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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October 8, 2015 US and World Briefing Report


Oct. 8, 2015


To sell the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which was announced Monday in Atlanta, the Obama administration is leaning heavily on “18,000 tax cuts” that will be afforded U.S.-made goods exported to the other countries in the deal.

Filings for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level since mid-July, extending a run of applications near decade lows that shows dismissals remain in check. Jobless claims fell by 13,000 to 263,000 in the week ended Oct. 3.

German exports slumped the most since the height of the 2009 recession in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is feeling the pain of weakening global trade.

A recent study measured the retirement savings divide between 45-year-old men and women. It found that women, on average, are more than $268,000 short of what they need to retire comfortably at 65. For the average man, it’s $212,000. For every $100 a man sets aside, a woman needs to set aside $126. That’s a 26 percent gender gap.

Employers said they expected to hire 15 percent more college graduates in the 2015-2016 academic year, according to a survey published on Thursday by Michigan State University.

Almost 20 percent of the gas savings in the peak-to-trough period of pump prices were cashed in at restaurants, with purchases close behind at grocery stores (10 percent), entertainment outlets (7 percent) and department stores (6 percent), the think-tank wing of JPMorgan Chase reported.

AP Top Stories

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email server, which stored some 55,000 pages of emails from her time as secretary of state, was the subject of attempted cyberattacks originating in China, South Korea and Germany after she left office in early 2013, according to a congressional document obtained by The Associated Press.

Families of three Florida students who died after being hypnotized by their principal will receive $200,000 each in a settlement with the school district.

Syria’s army announced a “vast offensive” to wrest back territory from armed opposition groups, as NATO voiced alarm at escalating Russian military activity in the war-torn country.

Federal agents dug up about $600,000 buried in the backyard of a Los Angeles-area home once occupied by a former armored truck driver who has admitted to helping steal more than $1 million, federal law enforcement said on Wednesday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States, putting the breaks on moderates hoping to end Iran’s isolation after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers in July.

Israeli troops shot and killed an Arab who stabbed four Israelis with a screwdriver on Thursday amid new Israeli-Palestinian violence that prompted the Israeli prime minister to bar Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City that is at the heart of the latest tensions.

The United States is expected to sail warships close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea within the next two weeks to signal it does not recognize Chinese territorial claims over the area, media reports said.

As if there weren’t already enough problems to worry about in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia might be headed for trouble. From plummeting oil prices to foreign-policy missteps to growing tensions with Iran, a confluence of recent events is mounting to pose some serious challenges for the Saudi regime. If not properly managed, these events could eventually coalesce into a perfect storm that significantly increases the risk of instability within the kingdom, with untold consequences for global oil markets and security in the Middle East.

NATO’s chief today described a “troubling escalation” of fighting in Syria a week after Russia entered the four-year civil war.

A Canadian Catholic bishop has said the Church should think about allowing women to become deacons — one step below a priest — to help boost their involvement and influence.

A federal judge declined to issue an emergency order Wednesday that would allow tens of thousands of highly skilled immigrants from India and China to immediately apply to become permanent residents, as the government initially told them they could.


NATO has renewed assurances to defend allies in view of the “escalation of Russian military activities” in Syria, the alliance’s secretary-general said.

The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for the El Faro, which sank near the Bahamas with 33 people on board. Search planes have found debris including life jackets, containers and oil in the water, but only one body has been recovered.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Maldonado has announced that his government will build homes for the survivors of a landslide which buried some 125 houses last week.

MPs in Kenya have reacted furiously after the electricity supply to parliament was cut for three days apparently because of an unpaid bill of $97,000.

The three West African countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak began in March 2014. The outbreak has so far killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

At least 13 people have been killed an explosion at a wedding in a rebel-held village in Yemen.


Sweden, seen by many American progressives as the model of multiculturalism and tolerance, has been experiencing increasingly violent unrest involving immigrants in its three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of September, indicating that gun sales were at an all-time high for the month.


Top News – 10/8/2015

Chicago sees 74 heroin overdoses in 72 hours
Chicago saw 74 heroin overdoses in 72 hours and police are investigating whether the opioid drug was laced with fentanyl, a painkiller blamed for a 2006 overdose epidemic in the Windy City. Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, the number of heroin overdoses more than doubled over the same period in 2014. Some users collapsed immediately after injecting themselves. Some arrived at Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital with needles still stuck in their arms.

BREAKING: Kevin McCarthy Quits Race for Speaker
Having failed to secure the votes of the 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman Kevin McCarthy has bailed on running for Speaker of the House.Just yesterday, McCarthy picked up the endorsement of former Vice President Dick Cheney and this morning was beginning to circulate a memo with campaign promises for what he’d do as Speaker. But the promises were empty and conservatives were unconvinced.

Israel to provide Russia with intel on Syrian opposition
A delegation of senior Russian army officials led by First Deputy Chief of General Staff General Nikolai Bogdanovsky already arrived in Israel Tuesday. The visit follows the meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow three weeks ago.

Nato chief says prepared to send troops to defend Turkey
Nato says it is prepared to send troops to Turkey to defend its ally after violations of Turkish airspace by Russian jets, as Michael Fallon scolds Moscow for escalating Syria’s civil war.

HERE COMES CHINA: Beijing Sending Troops To Join Russian War In Syria
Igor Morozov, member of the Russian Federation Committee on International Affairs claimed about the beginning of the military operation by China against the IS terrorists. “It is known, that China has joined our military operation in Syria, the Chinese cruiser has already entered the Mediterranean, aircraft carrier follows it,” Morozov said. According to him, Iran may soon join the operation carried out by Russia against the IS terrorists, via Hezbollah.

Syria presents Europe with its moment of truth
The West needs to act firmly to end the Syrian civil war and curb the rise of radical Islam, otherwise it’s done for.

Will The Discovery Of Huge Amounts Of Oil In Israel Lead To War In The Middle East?
Billions of barrels of oil have been discovered in Israel, and this discovery could essentially make Israel energy independent for many decades to come. But there is just one problem. This discovery was made in the Golan Heights.

Conservative House Freedom Caucus Names Candidate It Supports for Speaker — and It Isn’t McCarthy
The conservative House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday announced that it would endorse Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for speaker, a jab at Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who is running for the post and has served as outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) second in command. The move was described by veteran ABC News political reporter Jonathan Karl as “war.”

Third Intifada or Third Reich?
Like the Polish Catholic priests in pre-World War II rural Poland, mullahs and imams have been whipping Muslims into a Jew-hating frenzy for a long, long time. And the comparison doesn’t end there.

Flu virus H2N2 is poised for a return, warns leading Russian expert
We are watching right now for the [development] of H2N2,’ he told a conference. ‘Mutations accumulate there, they appear periodically, but there should occur a recombination between avian and swine influenza. The reservoir for this new version of the virus has to be a pig, and from a pig can come H2N2.’ He forecast it could come in China, according to Russian media reports. This is the country with the largest populations of birds and pigs. His forecast is based on a 60 year cycle,

Arab and right-wing MKs outraged at PM banning politicians from Temple Mount
Jewish and Arab ministers and lawmakers are barred from visiting the Temple Mount, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed police, sparking anger among right-wing and Arab lawmakers on Thursday.

Syrian General Lauds Russian Strikes Amid Ground Offensive
In a rare televised speech, Gen. Ali Ayoub said the Russian strikes have facilitated an expanded military operation to eliminate “terrorists” — a term the Syrian government uses to refer to all armed opposition to President Bashar Assad. The Syrian ground push got a boost after Russian warships launched the cruise missiles into Syria on Wednesday, bringing a major new military might into the war on the heels of Russian airstrikes that began last week.

Hurricane Oho’s Future Remnants to Bring High Winds, Heavy Rain to Southeast Alaska, British Columbia
While this jet stream’s wind shear is spelling the ultimate demise of Oho as a tropical cyclone, the infusion of jet-stream energy aloft will strengthen the post-tropical “ghost” of Oho as it nears the western British Columbia/southeast Alaska coasts Friday. That could bring some high winds to those areas, somewhat analagous to a strong early or late-winter Pacific storm.

NOAA forecasters estimate an 80% chance of geomagnetic storms on Oct. 8th as a high speed solar wind stream buffets Earth’s magnetic field. This marks the third day in a row of geomagnetic storms and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. At their peak on Oct. 7th, the storms registered 7 (strong) on the 0-to-9 Kp scale of geomagnetic activity. A repeat performance is possible on Oct. 8th as the solar wind continues to blow.

Melted Powerline Causes Centralia Power Outages
Centralia City Light Superintendent Mike Evans said the outage started around 9 a.m. this morning when an overloaded powerline overheated and melted.

M4.7 quake strikes off Masbate
The quake’s epicenter, was located 9 kilometers east of Masbate town in Masbate Province. The quake struck at 10:37 p.m.

Syria crisis: Nato assesses Russia’s ‘troubling escalation’
Nato defence ministers will assess the “troubling escalation of Russian military activities” in Syria, the alliance’s secretary-general says, ahead of talks in Brussels. Jens Stoltenberg says he is concerned about Russia’s use of cruise missiles as well as air strikes, and that Nato is ready to defend all allies. Nato member Turkey says Russian jets have violated its airspace recently.

Indonesia’s Joko Widodo seeks forest fire help
Indonesia’s president has asked for international assistance to put out forest fires that have sent a thick haze over the region. After refusing offers of help from Singapore, Joko Widodo said he had now accepted. He said he also wanted help from Russia, Malaysia and Japan.

Zahalka defies Temple Mount ban for MKs: ‘Netanyahu has no authority here’
MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ban of all MKs visiting the Temple Mount, and police blocked him from entering the plaza Thursday. Arguing with police officers, Zahalka said “Who is Netanyahu in this context? There is no rule that says the prime minister can bar MKs from entering a holy place.”

Report: Saudi Officials to Behead 28 Muslims for Holy Mecca Stampede
While collecting bodies and providing medical care for the wounded of today’s incident in Mina have not ended yet, an Arabic media reported that 28 people who were involved in the incident to be executed tomorrow!

Merkel says still against Turkey joining the EU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Turkey’s help was needed to stem the flow of refugees to Europe but that this hadn’t changed her view that Ankara should not become a member of the European Union.

Boko Haram says leader Shekau is alive in new video
Boko Haram said in a new video on Wednesday that its elusive leader Abubakar Shekau was alive and still in charge of the Nigeria-based Islamist group whose six-year insurgency has killed thousands.

Netanyahu cancels German visit as violence spreads across Israel
Israel’s prime minister canceled a visit to Germany on Wednesday after a spate of attacks that included the stabbing of an Israeli soldier by a suspected Palestinian militant who police said was then shot dead by special forces.

Once the Biggest Buyer, China Starts Dumping U.S. Government Debt
Central banks around the world are selling U.S. government bonds at the fastest pace on record, the most dramatic shift in the $12.8 trillion Treasury market since the financial crisis. Sales by China, Russia, Brazil and Taiwan are the latest sign of an emerging-markets slowdown that is threatening to spill over into the U.S. economy. Previously, all four were large purchasers of U.S. debt.

Top Headlines – 10/8/2015

Netanyahu: ‘We’re in the midst of a wave of terror’

Netanyahu cancels German visit as violence spreads across Israel

Zionist Union: The whole country has become a target

Israel not interested in escalation, says IDF official

White House ‘deeply concerned’ by escalating tensions in Jerusalem, official says

Jerusalem terror attack: Palestinian stabs Israeli man

Fatah leaders ‘salute’ Palestinians for rising to defend al-Aksa Mosque

Netanyahu bars all MKs, ministers from visiting Temple Mount

Arab and right-wing MKs outraged at PM banning politicians from Temple Mount

Zahalka defies Temple Mount ban for MKs: ‘Netanyahu has no authority here’

Why Obama Pulled Kerry from Netanyahu’s UN ‘Silence’ Speech

‘US won’t veto UN vote on settlements if Israel builds anew’

Jew stabbed by Palestinian woman inside Jerusalem’s Old City

PA pays fat salaries to terrorists who killed hundreds of Israelis

As Egypt Floods Gaza Tunnels, Smugglers Fear an End to Their Trade

Potentially game-changing oil reserves discovered in Israel

Giant Oil Deposit Found in Southern Golan

US lawmakers probe intelligence failure to foresee Russian intervention in Syria

Pentagon: US-led coalition aircraft re-routed to avoid Russians

Russian warplanes in Syria destroy U.S.-trained rebels’ weapons depots: commander

NATO warns of troubling Russian escalation in Syria

Russia launches missiles at ‘Isil targets’ from Caspian warships as Assad forces start ground offensive

Photos show Russian military trucks on Syria-bound ship

US says hasn’t agreed to cooperate militarily with Russia in Syria

Russia accuses US of often not striking terrorist targets in Syria

‘We are seeking bigger role for Russia than Americans’ – Iraq defense committee chairman

How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow

Syria conflict: Russia violation of Turkish airspace ‘no accident’

Turkish military says Syria-based missile systems harassed its jets along border

Syrian rebel commander rejects idea of working with Damascus against ISIS

Kurds say blood tests show ISIS used mustard gas in Iraq

Child ISIS terrorist taunts Obama, Warns ‘Dog of Rome’ to submit to Caliphate’ or die

Christian Refugees Are Begging the West to Save Them From Persecution, Says Syrian Church Leader

Report: Saudi Arabia Allegedly Beheads 28 for Hajj Stampede

Khamenei bans Iran from negotiations with US

Merkel says still against Turkey joining the EU

Mideast conflicts will bring Europe to a ‘total war,’ French president Hollande says

Toyota aiding Treasury Dept. probe into Mideast terror group vehicles

FBI probe of Hillary Clinton emails expands to second tech company

Matt Drudge: Copyright Laws Could Outlaw Linking to Websites

Once the Biggest Buyer, China Starts Dumping U.S. Government Debt

How and Why Banks Will Seize Deposits During the Next Crisis

Earthquake in magnitude of 5.2 shakes Turkey’s Antalya

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikolski, Alaska

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikolski, Alaska

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 28,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 19,000ft

Hurricane Oho continues to ‘race’ away from Hawaii

Tropical Storm Joaquin to Track Into Spain, Portugal This Weekend

South Carolina governor says flooding danger remains for next 24-48 hours

Columbia officials trying to save water supply

California’s farmers left high and dry by drought, environmental regs

Watch Eerie Drone Footage of Indonesia’s Vast Forest Fires

There Might Be a Canned-Pumpkin Shortage This Fall, Crop Experts Say Due To Record Rainfall

Dozens of workers tested for HIV after receiving unsafe flu shots

Dems accuse GOP chair of hiding Planned Parenthood footage

Fort Collins considers letting women could go topless in public after summer protests

Farrakhan: Trump, ISIS Are Signs God is Sending Plagues Down on America

Franklin Graham: Christians were martyred, Obama was silent

How Christians Are Being “Set Up” By The False Church, and Unbelieving Jewish Leaders

Video – Heidi Baker Imparting a Demonic Spirit at Bethel Church – 5:38

Audio – The Strong Delusion of Christian Zionism – 46:11


Frontrunning: October 08

  • Congress probing U.S. spy agencies’ possible lapses on Russia (Read More)
  • Defense Ministers From NATO Hit Out at Russian Action in Syria (Read More)
  • U.S. Rules Out Cooperation With Russia as Moscow Launches First Naval Strikes on Syria (Read More)
  • Man Who Called China’s Boom and Bust Says Use This Rally to Sell (Read More)
  • For Volkswagen, New Questions Arise on U.S. Injury Reporting (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank May Swell $14 Billion Selloff in China Bank Stakes (Read More)
  • Emerging market slowdown hits German exports (Read More)
  • Dell Is in Talks With EMC Over Possible Merger (Read More)
  • House Republican Group Backs Longshot Webster for Speaker (Read More)
  • Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in west (Read More)
  • BOE Signals Rate Can Stay Low as Inflation Weakness Persists (Read More)
  • Iran’s supreme leader bans negotiations with the United States (Read More)
  • Blatter, Platini Suspended for 90 Days by FIFA Ethics Panel (Read More)
  • Harvard, Goldman Sachs, Venture Capital…Fugitive (Read More)
  • Qatar’s Wealth Fund Said Interested in Glencore Agriculture Sale (Read More)
  • Blackstone to Buy BioMed Realty Trust in $8 Billion Transaction (Read More)
  • Conditions Sour for California’s Dairy Farmers (Read More)

The Briefing

1) Obama apologizes to Doctors Without Borders taking moral responsibility for mistaken hospital strike

Obama Apologizes for Afghan Airstrike on Hospital, Wall Street Journal (Carol E Lee and Felicia Schwartz)

2) Congress appoints special committee to investigate abortion more broadly

Special House committee will investigate Planned Parenthood, abortion issues, Washington Post (Mike DeBonis)

3) Ohio effort to aid addicted gamblers example of biological reduction of moral accountability

State launching new campaign to combat problem gambling, Columbus Dispatch (Alan Johnson)

4) Revived Muppets show’s promiscuous characters illustrates extent of sexual revolution

How ABC’s ‘The Muppets’ killed Jim Henson’s vision of making the world a kinder place, Religion News Service (Brandon Ambrosino)

In other news…

Harvard university debate team loses to New York prison inmates, The Telegraph (Barney Henderson)

The Problem With Religious Tolerance, The Chronicle of Higher Education (Alan Levinovitz)
How abortion is regulated around the world, Pew Research Center (Angelina Theodorou and Aleksandra Sandstrom)
When Child Care Costs More Than Rent, Women Stay at Home, Slate (Christina Cauerucci)

Daily Digest

October 8, 2015


“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.” —Noah Webster, 1789


Looks Like FBI Has Clinton’s Complete Email Trail


While Hillary Clinton is doing everything in her power to portray her email server cover up as just a political hack job by the House Benghazi committee, the FBI seized four servers from the State Department. The FBI does not work for Congress; the head of the FBI is appointed by Barack Obama. Soon, the FBI will have a complete record of just what happened on Her Majesty’s Secret Servers. Sure, as soon as Clinton realized she was being investigated, her team ordered the backup servers, anything older than 30 days, to be erased. But the politician who tried to wipe her server “with a cloth or something” didn’t do a complete job. Platte River Networks, the firm that operated Clinton’s email server, subcontracted some work to Datto Inc., but Datto archived some of the server’s contents in the cloud — despite being instructed not to do that.

On Wednesday, Datto Inc. said it would turn over the emails to the FBI. According to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), when Clinton ordered Platte River Networks to start destroying email, a Platte River employee emailed Datto writing, “Starting to think this whole thing is really covering up some shaddy [sic] s— … I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the back ups, and that we can go public with our statement saying we have Head back ups sense day one, then we were told to trim 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better.” Bottom line here: Clearly Clinton has been lying all along and endeavoring to keep her communications off books in order that they would not be subject to scrutiny before her presidential campaign. At best, Clinton has been grossly negligent in maintaining these private servers. At worst she has committed treasonous felonies.

Did we mention her staff emailed classified information to the Clinton Foundation?

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Clinton’s ‘Pivot’ Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership

It’s a well-known fact that Hillary Clinton flip-flops on the issues. She was against same-sex marriage before she was for it. She supported her husband’s tough-on-crime policies before she said they damaged the nation. Sure, some of her changes can be chalked up to time and more information. But that narrative doesn’t fit Clinton’s recent stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement,” Clinton said in a statement Wednesday, implying that TPP would reduce the number of jobs in the nation. Based on what she knows? Of all the people in the nation, Clinton should know the most about TPP. After all, she was the person that negotiated the deal. When she was secretary of state, Clinton publicly lobbied for the partnership 45 times. It was part of her “pivot to the Asia Pacific.” She told Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in January 2013 the TPP “holds out great economic opportunities to all participating nations.” The Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t just empty words for Clinton or some kind of theory of what might be a future solution to a current problem. She invested herself into the partnership, presumably giving a part of herself to the diplomatic process. Yet she’s willing to throw that all away to cater to progressive voters (read: unions) ahead of next week’s first Democrat debate.

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Concerted Effort to Silence Climate Opposition Exposed

A clarion call by a group of professors demanding that climate dissenters be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act backfired spectacularly last week when the Republican-controlled House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology launched an investigation into the group’s organization, the Institute of Global Environment and Society. IGES President Jagadish Shukla is now trying to stave off possible ethics violations — namely, using taxpayer dollars to attack opposing viewpoints, a move that perplexed even some Democrats. Emphasis on some. Others, like Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the ranking Democrat on the committee, pretend to cherish freedom of speech while simultaneously ignoring the allegations against IGES. Johnson suggested the probe is unjustified and paints IGES as the victim. “[S]ince the letter [ordering Shukla to retain information for investigative purposes] contains no specific allegations, I am puzzled as to the Chairman’s intent in writing it,” she said. Still, asserted Johnson, “To be clear about my own position, I would resist any attempt to stifle the constitutionally protected right of any citizen, including the nation’s scientists, to engage in free speech without interference.” But that’s exactly what the group’s letter demands. A letter that has since been taken offline because it was “inadvertently” made public to begin with.

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Trump’s Domain

By Allyne Caan


James Madison once wrote, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. … This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

Good thing Madison never met Donald Trump.

Turns out the real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate not only has made it his practice to strip folks of their private property, but he also thinks it’s just fine for the government to do the same.

Recall the disastrous 2005 Supreme Court Kelo v. City of New London decision. In that case, SCOTUS ruled the city could take private property from its rightful owner and give it to a private developer for the “greater economic good” — not for public use. And Trump agreed with the Court.

Incidentally, a decade after Kelo, the land that was supposed to deliver such a boon to the area still sits empty. As The Blaze reports, “The only creatures making regular use of [the lots] in the intervening years have been a colony of feral cats.”

In an interview this week with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump extolled the virtues of eminent domain and even boasted of his own abuse — er, use — of it. (Warning: typical Trump run-on sentence follows.)

“I think eminent domain is wonderful. … I build a lot of buildings in Manhattan, and you’ll have 12 sites and you’ll get 11 and you’ll have the one holdout and you end up building around them and everything else, okay? So, I know it better than anybody. I think eminent domain for massive projects, for instance, you’re going to create thousands of jobs, and you have somebody that’s in the way, and you pay that person far more— Don’t forget, eminent domain, they get a lot of money, and you need a house in a certain location, because you’re going to build this massive development that’s going to employ thousands of people, or you’re going to build a factory, that without this little house, you can’t build the factory— I think eminent domain is fine.”

In other words, Trump thinks it’s just dandy to build his empire by kicking folks out of their homes. As president, would he wrack up executive orders ousting folks from hearth and home so his billionaire development pals could provide for the “greater good”?

Make America Great Again™, indeed.

In reality, eminent domain — as outlined in the pesky Fifth Amendment — is bound by strict limitations. Specifically, private property may be taken only for public use and with just compensation. Nowhere does the Constitution permit the government to take property from its rightful owner and give it to another private entity for personal or even communal gain.

And, as John Adams wrote, “The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

But to the Constitution, Madison and Adams, Trump says pish posh. After all, the Founders obviously never had a casino to build, so what could they possibly know about making America great?

The sobering reality is that Trump remains an enthusiastic supporter of government seizing private property. In fact, long before Kelo, Trump was busy targeting private property for his business gain. In the 1990s, he went after New Jersey widow Vera Coking, attempting to use eminent domain to take her Atlantic City home for, of all things, a limousine parking lot for his Trump Plaza Hotel.

Trump may be tough, but he picked the wrong fight messing with a Jersey girl. Coking retained the right to her property, but had to go through a costly, multi-year court battle to do so.

In the frightful scenario of a Trump administration, one can only imagine how many Vera Cokings would have to appeal to the courts to keep their homes — and trust to hope that the court doesn’t use Kelo against them.

Of course, assuming he holds the keys to brilliance, Trump suggested conservatives simply need eminent domain explained to them — then they’ll love it, too.

Yeah, that’s it. If only Trump had explained eminent domain to conservatives (“It’s great, it’s really great, and I’ll make it even better!”), we wouldn’t have spent all those centuries protecting private property rights against tyrannical governments — and against people like Trump.

What were we thinking?

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Victor Davis Hanson: “[Vladimir] Putin’s recall of history is as fishy as his proposed coalition. Since he has invoked the ‘anti-Hitler’ alliance of World War II, we would all do well to remember the circumstances that led to the totalitarian Soviet Union of Josef Stalin joining with democracies to defeat Hitler. Stalin, remember, was originally a de facto ally of Adolf Hitler. Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany on August 23, 1939. That devil’s agreement greenlighted the start of World War II just over a week later. Germany invaded neutral Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. It was joined soon after by Russian troops attacking from the east. With a now-friendly Russia at his rear, Hitler was then free to turn westward against the European democracies. … There is no reason to believe the Soviet Union would ever have flipped to join Great Britain against Nazi Germany had Hitler not double-crossed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. … Ironically, Stalin kept his word to the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan far better than he later did to the Allied partners, Britain and the United States, who helped save him. … Putin’s sloppy historical perspective on World War II is a window into his soul. And we should be as distrustful of him as our disillusioned forefathers finally were of Stalin’s Soviet Union.”

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Insight: “All questions of power, arising under the constitution of the United States, whether they relate to the federal or a state government, must be considered of great importance. The federal government being formed for certain purposes, is limited in its powers, and can in no case exercise authority where the power has not been delegated.” —Justice John McLean (1785-1861)

Upright: “In the wake of the recent homicidal shooting rampage at an Oregon community college, I’m forced to come to the conclusion that it is high time for common sense national background checks for journalists. It’s time we closed the political loophole and prevented biased, ignorant political operatives from getting their hands on a dangerously misleading national microphone.” —Michael Reagan

Non Compos Mentis: “People walked in like literally down because of the beating, the beating Hispanics are taking at the hands of the Republican caucus — I mean the Republican presidential race.” —Joe Biden using his favorite word, “literally,” completely wrong once again

Village Idiots: “I think [Rachel Dolezal] was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit. Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit [sic] changed people’s perspective a bit and woke people up.” —singer-songwriter Rihanna

Dezinformatsia: “I always find it amazing that, when it comes to gun control, the Second Amendment is unassailable to those who support gun ownership and gun rights, but then, when you talk about terror, the Fourth Amendment is completely open season in search and seizure, right?” —CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield

Wrong prescription: “Many [Republicans] talk about improving mental health care. One of the biggest providers of mental health care — especially in disadvantaged communities — is Medicaid. For those who say they want to work with the administration in limiting gun violence, we would welcome the support for the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid.” —Josh Earnest (The answer is not bigger government.)

Game changer: “I don’t think President Putin is playing chess. He’s playing checkers.” —Josh Earnest

And last… “It’s official: The Democratic debate will be held on a game show set, so the promise of so much free stuff will seem perfectly natural.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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Global Financial Meltdown Coming? Clear Signs That The Great Derivatives Crisis Has Now Begun

Global Financial Meltdown - Public DomainWarren Buffett once referred to derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction“, and it was inevitable that they would begin to wreak havoc on our financial system at some point.  While things may seem somewhat calm on Wall Street at the moment, the truth is that a great deal of trouble is bubbling just under the surface.  As you will see below, something happened in mid-September that required an unprecedented 405 billion dollar surge of Treasury collateral into the repo market.  I know – that sounds very complicated, so I will try to break it down more simply for you.  It appears that some very large institutions have started to get into a significant amount of trouble because of all the reckless betting that they have been doing.  This is something that I have warned would happen over and over again.  In fact, I have written about it so much that my regular readers are probably sick of hearing about it.  But this is what is going to cause the meltdown of our financial system. (Read More….)

Electromagnetic Pulse: One Day We Will Wake Up In An America Without Electricity And Society Will Totally Break Down

Electromagnetic Pulse - Public DomainWhat would you do if the power grid went down and never came back up?  One of these days, and it could be a lot sooner than most people think, we will all wake up in a country without electricity.  And considering how utterly dependent we have become on technology, that is a very frightening scenario to consider.  How would Americans react if nothing worked?  Just imagine a world where everything electronic is dead.  I am talking about lights, cell phones, computers, televisions, ATMs, heating and cooling systems, credit card readers, gas pumps, cash registers, refrigerators, hospital equipment etc.  When the power goes out for a few hours, that can be a major inconvenience, but what if it went out all over the nation and it didn’t come back on for months or even years?  This is one of the greatest potential threats that the United States is facing, and yet very few people are even talking about it. (Read More….)

Will The Discovery Of Huge Amounts Of Oil In Israel Lead To War In The Middle East?

Israeli Tank on the Golan HeightsBillions of barrels of oil have been discovered in Israel, and this discovery could essentially make Israel energy independent for many decades to come.  But there is just one problem.  This discovery was made in the Golan Heights.  If you are not familiar with the Golan Heights, it is an area that Israel took from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967.  The government of Israel considers the Golan Heights to now be part of Israeli territory, but the United Nations does not recognize Israel’s claim.  Instead, the UN still recognizes Syrian sovereignty over that area.  So now that massive amounts of oil have been discovered there, what will this do to tensions in the region?  Could this discovery of oil help set the stage for World War III? (Read More…)

As Russia Controls Syria, Obama Bombs ‘Doctors Without Borders’ Hospital

President Obama called the head of Doctors Without Borders Wednesday to apologize for the errant US airstrike on the group’s hospital facility in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which killed 22 people.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As is any further proof was needed of the horrific mismatch between Putin and Obama, this is it. As Putin is launching cruise missile strikes on ISIS and taking control of the Middle East, Obama finds himself apologizing for bombing a hospital run by the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian organization.

An airstrike hit a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in the Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, killing at least 16 people in what the U.S. military called possible “collateral damage” in the battle to oust Taliban insurgents.


In over his head would be an understatement.

Frantic MSF staff phoned military officials at NATO in Kabul and Washington after the attack, and bombs continued to rain down near the medical facility for nearly an hour, one official from the aid group said.

Among the victims were 12 of the organization’s staffers. The nonprofit has called the attack a war crime and is demanding an independent investigation.

Obama “offered his heartfelt apology,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The group’s president, Joanne Liu, said in Switzerland, “If we let this go as if it was a nonevent, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries who are at war.”

Almost 200 patients and employees were in the hospital, the only one in the region that can deal with major injuries, said Medecins Sans Frontieres, which raised the death toll to at least 16 by late on Saturday.

“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” operations director Bart Janssens said in a statement.

Pope Francis Warns Bishops Of Massive Vatican Conspiracy To Influence Synod

Pope warns of Vatican skullduggery and Machiavellian maneuvers along the way

Vatican City – Pope Francis has warned bishops at a global Church meeting on the family not to be taken in by conspiracy theories, as conservatives and liberals reportedly engage in Machiavellian attempts to manipulate the synod.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Thursday confirmed reports that the pontiff had warned Catholic bishops and cardinals behind closed doors on Tuesday not to get caught up in “the hermeneutic of conspiracy”.


Skullduggery afoot? You bet’cha…

This comes amid concerns within the conservative camp that new methodology being used in the three-week synod — approved by Francis — favors the liberal wing who want the Church to be more welcoming to homosexuals and remarried divorced people.

There were rumours in the run-up to the summit that a preliminary synod on the family last year was “rigged”, with progressives publishing without warning an early report seen as revolutionary in its opening to lesbian and gay believers.

The draft text was spiked by enraged conservatives, but reports that the agenda this year has been stitched up to make sure the most contentious issues will not be discussed until the last moment — when no-one has the time or energy left to argue — have fuelled fresh fears.

There seems to be a mounting tendency on all sides to suspect skullduggery and underhanded tactics,” Vatican expert John Allen wrote in Cruxnow ahead of the start of the synod last week.

Indeed, he warned, in the end “the synod may be defined not just by disagreements on substance, but also suspicions of Machiavellian manoeuvres along the way“.

US Intel Investigating How ISIS Has Acquired Fleet of Toyotas

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 07:05 AM PDT

Have you ever wondered where ISIS obtained all of those Toyota Trucks you always see in many of their videos they propagate? Well now, The United States intelligence community is trying to get to the bottom of how the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has been able to acquire a plethora of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs during its holy war in the Middle East. Toyota officials say that they are unable at this time to determine how ISIS obtained its vehicles, but the Japanese automaker said they would be “supporting” a U.S. Treasury Department investigation into the matter, ABC News reports. Treasury’s Terror Financing unit is now investigating the Islamic State’s truck acquisitions, hoping they can stop the supply chain that supports the Middle East terror organization.

“In line with our usual approach to understanding ISIL’s financial and economic activities, we are working closely with foreign counterparts and stakeholders worldwide,” a U.S. Treasury Department statement read. “We briefed Treasury on Toyota’s supply chains in the Middle East and the procedures that Toyota has in place to protect supply chain integrity,” commented Ed Lewis, the director of public policy and communications for Toyota’s Washington office. CONTINUE

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Russian Government Says U.S. Has Been Pretending to Strike ISIS Over the Last Year and that Obama Lying to US

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 06:57 AM PDT

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee, took to Twitter on Friday and said the United States is not bombing ISIS. “McCain accused us of striking out at US-trained insurgents… However, since they have either run away or joined al-Qaeda, hitting them is a mission impossible,” Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account. “The US-led coalition spent a whole year pretending they were striking ISIL targets but where are the results of these strikes?” Pushkov asked during and interview with France’s Europe 1 Radio.

Max Boot, a neocon ideologue at the Council on Foreign Relations, admits the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS is primarily smoke and mirrors. “Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working… (because) the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has been remarkably restrained,” Boot wrote for Newsweek in February. Figures compiled by the CFR reveal the U.S. has dropped 43 bombs on ISIS per day since the campaign began. In 1991 the Pentagon dropped 6,163 bomb per day on Iraq and 1,039 in 2003. Even Bosnia, which posed no threat to the United States, saw a total of 60 bombs per day in 1995. CONTINUE

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NASA Set to make ‘Amazing’ Pluto discovery this Thursday

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 06:48 AM PDT

Well first it was Mars and now it appears that an announcement will be made this Thursday regarding another discovery by NASA. Nasa is set to reveal an “amazing” discovery on Thursday, according to one of the space agency’s senior scientists. Dr Alan Stern, a planetary scientist and Principal Investigator on Nasa’s New Horizons Pluto mission, made the exciting announcement whilst speaking at the University of Alberta in Canada.  Whilst speaking about the latest images of Pluto captured by the New Horizons probe, Stern said:

“Nasa won’t let me tell you what we’re going to tell you on Thursday. It’s amazing.” Last week, Nasa unveiled new images of the surface of Pluto, which show a landscape of mountains, craters and gorges. As reported by The Guardian, Stern said: “This world is alive.” “It has weather, it has hazes in the atmosphere, active geology… Every week I am floored.” CONTINUE

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ISIS Warns U.S.: ‘Convert to Islam’ or ‘You Will Have to Pay the Jizya Tax’

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 06:23 AM PDT

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group released a video on Sunday that concluded with a message for “America, the defender of the cross.” “Convert to Islam, and no harm will befall you,” the narrator said, “but if you refuse, you will have to pay the jizya tax The video depicted Christians in the recently captured western Syrian town of Qaryatayn being forced to choose between converting to Islam or signing a “dhimma” contract pledging to pay a jizya tax and be subservient to ISIS. The video was translated in part by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and featured an ISIS member narrating the events taking place in the conquered Christian town.

“Praised be Allah, who bestowed His blessings upon His supporters, and granted them victory and the conquest of the town of Qaryatayn,” the ISIS member said. “Islamic law has taken over the town, and its inhabitants from among the People of the Book became submissive.” The narrator says the town’s Christians were given “four options.” CONTINUE

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US Denies Reports of it “Threatening Israel”

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 06:13 AM PDT

Looks like the Obama Administration is “Backpedaling” as the administration of US President Barack Obama has denied reports in Israeli media Tuesday, according to which Obama threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against lifting the unprecedented building freeze in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Channel 2 reported on Tuesday night that Netanyahu folded to pressure from Obama, who threatened that if Israel approved new construction following the wave of Arab terror attacks, the US would not vetoa looming UN Security Council resolution that would establish “Palestine” and declare “settlements” in Judea-Samaria illegal. During the daily press briefing of the US State Department on Tuesday night, a journalist asked spokesperson Mark Toner about the Channel 2 report. “I’m aware of reports such as these, and I can say that they are false,” claimed Toner. “Our position on the issue of settlement is known to Israel, and while we don’t reveal private conversations, I want to nip this story in the bud. No sort of ultimatum was issued.”

Toner also praised Israel’s actions in trying to calm tensions on the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism where Arab rioters have repeatedly attacked police – and said the actions match America’s desire to return the status quo to the region. Netanyahu has repeatedly called to maintain the status quo, by which the Jordanian Waqf that holds de facto rule of the site bans Jewish prayer. CONTINUE 

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New Blood test predicts if heart attack imminent

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 05:59 AM PDT

A simple blood test which predicts whether a patient with chest pain will go on to have a heart attack could save the NHS millions and prevent hundreds of thousands of people being admitted to hospital. Currently around one million people each year are taken to emergency departments suffering with stabbing pains near their heart, but the majority are not serious. Now scientists at the University of Edinburgh have discovered that the level of a protein in the blood can indicate whether a patient will suffer a life threatening heart attack.

They claim that around 400,000 people could be sent home immediately just be checking for troponin in the heart, saving millions of pounds. Troponin at low levels suggests that a heart attack is unlikely. “Over the last two decades the number of hospital admissions due to chest pain has tripled but the overwhelming majority of these patients do not have a heart attack,” said lead author Dr Anoop Shah from the University of Edinburgh. CONTINUE

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Bushfires rage in Australia as ‘Godzilla El Nino’ takes affect

Posted: 07 Oct 2015 08:39 PM PDT

Over 100 bushfires are blazing in the state of Victoria, Australia, with over 200 homes at risk. Unusually high temperatures and strong winds have fueled the fires, which are threatening areas about 80 kilometers northwest of Melbourne. Firefighters are struggling to put out the blazes, with changing wind directions making their task even more difficult. Aerial water bombers have also been called in to provide assistance, as gusts of wind have reached over 100 kilometers an hour.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) says that over 100 fires are raging north of Melbourne, while local politicians have been urging locals to take precautions. “The 15/16 fire season is here now. It is absolutely on us and we need to understand that this is going to be a long, hot, dry, and dangerous summer and people need to be very clear and get your fire plan in order,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told ABC News. CONTINUE

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South Carolina’s Catastrophic Floods, Most Prolific Rainfall Events in Modern U.S. History

Posted: 07 Oct 2015 08:35 PM PDT

The catastrophic floods striking South Carolina will go down in the history books, not only because of the lives they’ve taken or the destruction they’ve wrought, but also because of the sheer amount of rainfall. By the time the last raindrop is counted, the October 2015 storm will go down as one of the most prolific rainfall events in the modern history of the United States. Rainfall totals from the early October storm have shattered or jeopardized countless records in South Carolina.

  • The official statewide 24-hour rainfall record was exceeded in several locations; an official determination may take months to complete.
  • The unofficial state record for 5-day total rainfall, which had stood for 107 years, has been surpassed at more than a dozen reporting sites.
  • The rainfall exceeded that of any tropical cyclone in South Carolina history
  • Six sites with more than 50 years of data have had their wettest Octobers on record.
  • The October monthly precipitation record for any location in the state has likely been broken.

Data are still being assimilated into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s database, but here is how the Carolinas flood disaster stacks up in various categories. CONTINUE

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Our Time is Short

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

What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more

Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

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With Russian & Iranian forces now engaged in combat in Syria, people are asking, “What is the War of Gog & Magog?” Here’s the answer, Part One.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Standing in front of the famed Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Standing in front of the famed Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

(Istanbul, Turkey) — With Russian and Iranian military forces now cooperating together and engaging in combat in Syria, just miles north of the border of Israel, people are asking me a lot of questions. Among them:

  • Is there any significance to these developments in light of Bible prophecy?
  • Do these events have anything to do with the prophecies found in Ezekiel 38 & 39?
  • Are recent events setting the stage for the fulfillment of what Bible scholars call the “War of Gog & Magog” that is supposed to take place in the End of Days?

Last Friday night, I addressed the topic of Apocalyptic Islam at a conference in Toronto, looking at how Shia and Sunni extremists see the prophetic trend lines in the Middle East. On Saturday evening, I then taught through Ezekiel 38 & 39, addressing these specific questions…

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