Why the Church, and Why Now?
As our culture continues its downward trajectory, our biblical responsibility is to continue doing things that we have always done, which are: standing strong on the Bible and the gospel and involving ourselves in worship, nurture, service and outreach. I am confident that we will experience organic and sustained spiritual and numerical growth as we maintain our biblical focus. We will also find that what God has given in the church is exactly what the post-Christian culture needs.
New Faith Index Lists Top Christian-Friendly Businesses
Christian consumers spend $2 trillion annually and a new market index is making it easier for them to choose brands that align with their biblical worldview.
Patterson calls Baptists back to evangelism focus
Southern Baptists will ‘see an upturn’ in baptisms, giving, Sunday School attendance and church membership when ‘we get back into the highways and hedges and start giving the Gospel to people,’ Paige Patterson told students during a chapel service at Southwestern Seminary Nov. 4.
Presidential Candidate Ben Carson: Seventh-Day Adventists Should “Ordain” Women
There are a number of problems within Seventh-day Adventistism. In fact, many consider it a cult for the reason that some Seventh-day Adventists believe Jesus is Michael the Archangel and that Saturday is the proper day of worship. Discover more of their teaching by visiting CARM.
Now to Christian News Network’s report.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters on Friday that he believes Seventh-Day Adventists should ordain women, expressing disagreement with current prohibitions against female headship.
“I don’t see any reason why women can’t be ordained,” he said, opining that it was a “huge mistake” for Adventist leaders to vote against female ordination.
The great exorcism boom
Catholic Herald has the story of Roman Catholic priests’ attempt to rid a nation of all its demons:
Exorcism has become so popular worldwide that now it’s not only performed on tormented individuals but also on entire nations. A few months ago Mexico, the second largest Catholic country, was exorcised of its demons in an unprecedented rite of exorcismo magno performed in secret in the city of San Luis Potosí.
On May 20, the renowned Spanish exorcist Fr José Antonio Fortea, author of the book El Exorcismo Magno, joined Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, and a cadre of trained exorcists to perform the maximum type of exorcism, reserved for nations and dioceses, on the Mexican Republic itself. Fr Fortea explained that exorcismo magno is “useful in situations in which great violence has been unleashed in a country”.
We continue our look at why God may be preparing to shake America to its foundation and this morning we turn our attention to the people we have elected to govern us and give us laws that oppose the law and Word of God. America was established as a Democratic Republic where a moral people […]
Thousands of Muslims in Northern Iraq Converting to Christianity after Witnessing ISIS Horror, Ministry Reveals: ‘They’re Just Sick of Islam‘
‘Soul Surfer’ Bethany Hamilton Opens Up about Surfing, Finding Your Passion, and God’s Faithfulness at Exclusive San Francisco Bay Area Event
‘Fixer Upper’ Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines Reveal How Commitment to ‘Putting Christ First’ Has Changed Their Lives
Singapore’s City Harvest Church Has Experienced ‘Amazing Weekend of Spiritual Breakthroughs’ Despite Founding Pastor Kong Hee and Ex-Leaders’ Guilty Verdict
Christian Football Coach Suspended for Praying after Games Following Complaints from Satanists, Atheist Students
The sexual revolutionaries obviously hate our children as they seem hell-bent on doing everything they can to destroy them. Of course in the process they are also destroying our families, our marriages and our societies. But the secular left crusaders don’t give a rip how much damage they cause as they push their appalling agendas.
Consider the social revolutionary occupying the White house who is promoting gender bender lunacy in our schools. One Illinois case has been in the news of late, and it is a real shocker:
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has ordered a taxpayer-funded school district in the suburbs of Chicago to allow a male transgender student who dresses like a girl and otherwise identifies as female to use the girl’s locker room and shower on school premises. The feds delivered the edict against Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Ill. on Monday. The Department of Education has given the school district one month to let the student use the girl’s locker room. If the district does not capitulate, it risks losing federal funding.
Commentator Ben Shapiro made these remarks about this madness:
On Monday, the federal government declared itself fit for the madhouse by mandating that a Chicago high school allow a full biological male into the girls’ locker room for all purposes, including nudity. This biological male, the feds determined, was different because he thinks he is a female.
The feds have ruled that the presence of a twig-and-berries in the girls’ locker room has been mandated by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. Yes, ladies and gents and non-cisgenders: it turns out that the battle against sexism enshrined in the ill-written Title IX was actually intended to force underage young women to look at the penises and testicles of mentally ill boys.
His concluding remarks are well worth sharing:
So here, in a nutshell, is the government’s new policy with regard to sex and sexuality among youngsters:
If you’re a boy who shows a picture of your penis to a girl in your class, you have likely violated both federal child pornography laws as well as local sexual harassment laws. If this happens consistently in your school, the school has violated Title IX.
If you’re a boy who says he’s a girl, the girl must be placed in position to see your penis and testicles. If the school does not allow this, the school has violated Title IX.
If you’re an adult who sexually touches a child with the consent of the child, you have committed a crime, since children are incapable of consent.
If you’re an adult who gives a child hormone therapy or surgery to prevent normal development of the genitals, with the consent of the child, you are a hero.
If this all makes sense to you, you should be working for the federal Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education.
This is what happens when a society loses its moral moorings. In its quest to destroy God, the left unhitched its wagon from eternal truths and, instead, decided to substitute its own idea of utopia. To reach that utopia – freedom from social expectations and standards – objectivity itself had to be destroyed, so as to avoid blame. Objective truth lost all meaning; only subjectivity mattered. Science became the enemy, since it establishes provable truths; it had to be quashed and quelled. Language became the enemy, since definitions exclude people and things not covered by those definitions; it had to be perverted and hijacked.
And so we now live through the looking glass, waiting for the next philosophically incoherent ruling from our masters of time and space. Or mistresses. Or whatever.
Yes the moonbattery which reigns in our highset offices shows no signs of abating, but looks to be getting worse.
The diabolical gender benders are not getting their way everywhere thankfully. Plenty of concerned citizens are fighting back at this deplorable madness. Consider the US city of Houston which has just had a big victory on all this. The radical lesbian mayor wanted to impose the same lunacy there as Obama wants to do.
The Campaign for Houston was mobilised to oppose this radical social engineering agenda. It said this on its website:
We have come together to urge Houstonians to vote NO on Mayor Parker’s ordinance in the November 3rd city elections, because it would force our wives and daughters to share their restrooms, dressing rooms and locker-room showers with men. The ordinance gives new special privileges to two special interests, neither of which qualify as true “minorities” requiring special legal protection.
Mayor Parker’s ordinance is built on deception. It is not about protecting the rights of women, racial minorities, the disabled, elderly or military personnel. There are already important laws on the federal, state and local levels that protect such individuals from discrimination for employment, housing and access to public accommodations. The ordinance’s naming of these groups is a ruse in an attempt to hide the ordinance’s real purpose, which is to make “sexual orientation” and “gender identification” two new protected classes.
Campaign for Houston is made up of parents and family members who do not want their daughters, sisters or mothers forced to share restrooms in public facilities with gender-confused men, who – under this ordinance – can call themselves “women” on a whim and use women’s restrooms whenever they wish. This “bathroom ordinance” therefore is an attempt to re-structure society to fit a societal vision we simply do not share or can support.
The ordinance also limits free speech and religious expression in unprecedented ways so as to not “offend” these two new “protected” groups, both of which are defined by their behaviors – not by characteristics given to them at birth.
And in yesterday election the Mayor’s sinister agenda was handed a resounding slap in the face. Another site proclaimed the victory:
Mayor Anise Parker’s insane civil rights proposition designed to hide an ordinance allowing boys in girls bathrooms went down in flames at the ballot box. The liberals picked a fight they shouldn’t have, now they have a huge loss at their feet.
The writing was on the wall even before the full tally came in Tuesday night. Early voting results showed that 62.5 percent of voters backed repealing the ordinance, compared with 37.5 percent supporting it.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker was dealt a death blow to her bathroom ordinance that allowed men to use women’s restrooms by the Texas Supreme Court and the Voters!
Mayor Anise Parker had tried every trick in the book to get her ordinance allowing males to use female restrooms, locker rooms and showers, but her opposition was relentless.
Campaign for Houston, led by Dr. Steven Hotze fought the ordinance in a number of formats and this Texas Supreme Court ordered vote by the citizens of Houston has spoken volumes.
Our own Joe Wurzelbacher and #TeamJoe, along with Liberty Alliance teamed up with Dr. Hotze to make sure all Houstonians understood what was under the deception, reaching far and wide to make sure the story was told.
That was certainly a big win indeed – a vote for sanity, morality and especially for our children. But the enemies of those three things are never content – they will keep on going until their job is done: the complete destruction of the West and the imposition on hapless humanity of their coercive utopian nightmare.
I recently came across this short article (perhaps it was even a sermon outline?) by W. H. Pike, who pastored Eagle Rock Community Church in Los Angeles in the early 1900’s. It serves as the introduction for “The Summarized Bible,” by Kieth Brooks, which is a Logos resource I recently stumbled across and can’t put down (if you have Logos, look for that work). It is a list of commands the Bible has concerning itself. In other words, it tells you what to do with the Bible:
The Bible is wonderful because it gives us a knowledge of God, of men, of the Universe, and of Redemption. No other book can be compared to it in this respect, but it not only informs us about these important truths, but it also tells us what we are to do with it. We have within the Bible itself instruction as to our attitude toward it.
We are exhorted to:
1. “Read it” (Neh. 8:8). And may I suggest that it be read slowly, carefully, prayerfully, in large portions, repeatedly, reverently and with a willing spirit to follow its precepts.
2. “Believe it” (Rom. 10:8). Because it is the Word of faith. It has been given to increase our faith in God and His working in the Universe.
3. “Receive it” (Jas. 1:21). Here it is the engrafted word that is to be received as the soil received the seed, or the tree receives the graft. Taking the Word of God in our heart life, allowing it to grow and bear its own fruit in motives and actions.
4. “Taste it” (Heb. 6:5). For it is the good Word of God. Some seem to be afraid of the Bible for fear it will require them to do something they do not wish to do. Be not afraid; it is good and right in all its requirements.
5. “Eat it” (Jer. 15:16). This process suggests that we not merely taste but actually live by it, as Jesus said, “Ye shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4.
6. “Hold it fast” (Tit. 1:9). It is a faithful word. All its promises are true; all its history is true; and its statements are truth. Therefore we are to rest our faith upon it.
7. “Hold it forth” (Phil. 2:16). Because it is the Word of Life. All who come under its benificent rays feel its life giving power.
8. “Preach it” (2 Tim. 4:2). Here it is called simply the Word. It suggests that we are not to preach any one part of it or any one phase of it, but preach it in its entirety and fulness.
9. “Search it” (John 5:29). This suggests work and patience. The Greek word carries the idea of “ransack” as the housewife goes through the home at housecleaning time; or “to track” as the hunter laboriously follows the game through the brush, so we are to search for truth and run down the lines of God’s revelations to man.
10. “Study it” (2 Tim. 2:15). Here is a word that means close application to the Word of God, as the builder minutely studies the plans of the architect before erecting the structure.
11. “Meditate on it” (Ps. 1:2). This word has much the same meaning as “eat” for it means literally “to chew the cud.” Turning the Word of God over and over in the mind till the sweetness of its truths feed our souls.
12. “Compare it” (2 Cor. 2:13). This is not so much what we do with the Scriptures as what the Holy Spirit does with them in our hearts. This is a divine commentary always at hand. Or as John puts it in his first epistle 2:27: “The annointing which ye received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you, but as His annointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even so as it taught you, ye abide in Him.”
13. “Rightly divide it” (2 Tim. 2:15). This is not an arbitrary division of subjects but the following of a line of truth from the first place mentioned to the last place mentioned; noticing it in all its relation to other truths and as the word literally means “the cutting of a straight line” of truth in the Bible.
14. “Delight in it” (Ps. 119:92). Seven times in this Psalm the Psalmist speaks of delighting in God’s word. This should always be the heart ambition and attitude.
So, how are you doing? Go down this list, and ask yourself: “Am I using the word of God as it directs me? Or am I failing to follow the directions?”
If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?
Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?
Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:
1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension
Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:
1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.
2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.
3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.
4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).
5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.
That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.
In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace addresses two common objections to the existence of God. If God is the creator of everything we see in the universe, who created God? If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why does he allow people to behave badly and hurt one another? (For more information, visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com)
That Satan tempts Eve by polluting “the organs of her fancy” — or her imagination — may seem like an odd or irrelevant feature of the poet’s rendering of Genesis 3. But Milton’s portrayal of Satan in the garden helps to show the significance of an often-overlooked aspect of sin: the power of imagination.
Sin’s Imaginary World
For sin to be accepted, approved, and even celebrated in our own minds, it must first be nourished by something stronger than just our senses. The seeds of sin, though sown in the flesh, are protected and watered by our imaginations. Sin is supplemented by story, an alternative narrative — an imaginative world in which sin does not afflict the conscience as easily because in that world, wickedness credibly plays the part of virtue.
Imagination puts flesh to the bones of our base desires so that our pursuit of “vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,” as Milton wrote, appears not as sin to be fought but merely reality to be accepted — or worse, virtue to be extolled. Rarely will sin be celebrated as sin. Brazen debauchery may grab headlines, but that is precisely because it is recognized intuitively and openly as wickedness. However, those sins that we celebrate as virtues require sanitization. A large part of this sanitization process is to give the sin a home in a world with more or less of an “inner consistency of reality,” to borrow Tolkien’s language. This is imagination’s enterprise.
Sin is often at root a failure of imagination, the acceptance of an invalid alternative world or story which calls evil good and good evil.
Imagination in the Garden
So it is in the biblical account of the temptation in Eden. The serpent tempts Eve not by suggesting simple rebellion, but by offering an alternative world to her imagination in which God said, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden” (Genesis 3:1). Eve rejects this world, but promptly replaces it with other another imagined world in which they might not even touch the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:3).
Eve’s imagination continues to expand the details of the prohibited world, envisioning what it would be like to become wise by eating from the beautiful tree, until her desire for her imagined reality surpasses her desire for God’s reality. Eve grasps the fruit, losing paradise.
Your Sin and Society’s
The imagination is strong enough to delude us into validating both personal and societal sins. For example, a workaholic father believes he’s loving his children when he gives up another weekend so that their college fund can grow — and he’s offended or angry when his kids can’t understand why Dad doesn’t have time to play catch with them. In his imagined world, he has cast himself as a hero who sacrifices his time and his interests to gain prosperity for his family.
In the same way, cultural sins are not merely base lusts and fleshly desires writ large in a society. The imagination must first craft an alternative “safe world” to allow a sin to flourish widely in the hearts and minds of a society.
Take, for example, America’s institutionalized celebration of abortion. When abortion is celebrated, what story do the tributes tell? It begins as the tragedy of victimized women, abused too long by an oppressive, patriarchal society. The only light of hope appears from the opaque windows of Planned Parenthood’s clinics, where women can finally grasp the power of self-determination. In such a story, suggesting that a baby’s life is more important than a woman’s choice to end or sustain that life is equivalent to growing a mustache to twirl and putting out the “Evil Henchmen Wanted” sign.
Amazingly, the imagination is able to transform even the most despicable sins to appear as noble acts of truth, goodness, and beauty by recasting them in illusory worlds and stories.
The Christian’s Hedonistic Imagination
From all this, you might begin to think that we should suppress imaginative activity. Imagination may appear to be a distraction from the pursuit of truth, or worse, a misleading trail away from it. Fidelity to reason alone, unpolluted by creations of the imagination, may appear a much safer stewardship of our cognitive capabilities.
However, dismissing the imagination from the Christian life will neither save us from sin nor help us grow in righteousness. In fact, all hope of putting off the old man and putting on the new rests in a God-given, Christ-purchased, Spirit-empowered redemption of the imagination.
What does “the new man” look like? We are given many details, but without the imagination, application is impossible. We know that the new man puts on kindness (Colossians 3:12), but one can only live out that kindness after the imagination has painted some concrete mental picture of the virtue.
The imagination enriches the life of the mind, allowing us to understand more clearly and feel more deeply concerning ideas that would otherwise remain ambiguous abstractions. For this reason, raising children in good stories is as important as raising them on their catechism. “What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?” Let me tell you a story about Frankenstein’s creature.
By using the imagination to envision the possibilities of our faithful service to God, we also find help in fighting our sins. The problem is that we are far too easily pleased with the imaginary worlds in which our sins find shelter. The glorious stories that act out God’s purposes will always be more beautiful than the stories we throw together to explain away our sins. So, we kill sin by expending imaginative effort to envision the superior delight and beauty of God’s stories over the twisted, ugly plots we write to justify evil.
The Imagination Will Yet Work
In an essay on the imagination, author George MacDonald wrote,
The imagination will yet work; and if not for good then for evil; if not for truth then for falsehood; if not for life, then for death. . . . The power that might have gone forth in conceiving the noblest forms of action, in realizing the lives of the true-hearted, the self-forgetting, will go forth in building airy castles of vain ambition, of boundless riches, of unearned admiration.
By the imagination, we are able to call into reality things not present. It is up to us whether we employ this capacity to build high the glorious walls of the fortress of the Almighty or whether we frantically add more padlocks to the gates of hell. We will create worlds to foster sin or righteousness. The question is not whether we will use our imaginations, but how.
God has created us with the capacity to act as “under-creators” by the exercise of our imaginations. Therefore, refusing to steward the imagination means refusing to love the Lord with your whole being. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price, so glorify God in your imagination.
Today’s Kindle deals include 8 titles from Cruciform Press that have been marked down to just $1.99: The Most Encouraging Book on Hell Ever by Thor Ramsey, Cruciform by Jimmy Davis, Reclaiming Adoption by Dan Cruver, Torn to Heal by Mike Leake, Anchored in Grace by Jeremy Walker, Awaiting a Savior by Aaron Armstrong, Does God Listen to Rap? by Curtis Allen, Innocent Blood by John Ensor.
Geoff Kirkland has a helpful article for ministers. He simply reminds pastors of their essential duties.
Julian: “As we prepare for a new missions course at GFC, I wanted to learn how John Piper and the elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church laboured to create a vision and passion for missions in their local church. Here are seven discoveries and truths they have learned and taught.”
Bob Kauflin discusses the always-hot topic of contextualization.
I would have liked Ed Welch to go a bit deeper into his examination of failure, but what he shares here is at least a good start.
This Day in 1858. 157 years ago today, John and Mary Paton arrived on the island of Tanna (now called Vanautu). Mary died soon afterwards. *
These are worth thinking about.
I will have a review of this book soon. For now, check out the sale at Westminster Books. This is one to purchase in bulk and give out at your church.
For those who don’t keep up on social media, you may enjoy this revised quiz I shared yesterday. I made it 5 years ago but updated and quizzified it yesterday. It’s easy: You read the quote and tell me whether it’s from Joel Osteen or a fortune cookie. (And, to further prove the point, maybe try Paul Washer or Fortune Cookie?)
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
Joel Osteen or Fortune Cookie? – This is much more difficult than you might think!
Hope in Eternal Purity, Aim at Daily Purity – “How do you know that you are a child of God? Well, how do I know that John Piper is alive? Is it my birth certificate? Does anybody believe you are alive because you have on file a birth certificate? You don’t. It is because you breathe.”
The FAQs: What You Should Know About China’s ‘One-Child’ Policy – “In an attempt to limit population growth, China implemented a policy in the late 1970s that forbid families from having more than one child (there were, however, no penalties for multiple births, such as twins or triplets). Over the years, though, numerous exceptions have been allowed and by 2007 the policy only restricted 35.9 percent of the population to having one child.”
10 Skills Every Husband Needs – “Listen. Talk. Fight. Grow. Provide. Rest. Serve. Submit. Pursue. Worship. Being a husband is easy. Being a good one, however—one characterized by those ten actions—is not. That’s why I’m thankful for Darrin and Amie Patrick’s new book The Dude’s Guide to Marriage: Ten Skills Every Husband Must Develop to Love His Wife Well (Thomas Nelson). Cultivating such behaviors in a consistent manner, they contend, is the secret to a healthy, Christ-honoring marriage. I spoke with the Patricks—highschool sweethearts, pastor and wife, parents of four children—about the biggest issue couples face, the danger of mere compatibility, the effect of kids, and more.”
A Mighty Fortress – “It was 498 years (and three days) ago, in October of 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. That event sparked the Protestant Reformation, as people throughout Saxony and the rest of Western Europe took a stand against the corruption and error of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. As for Luther, he quickly became a wanted man.”
Matt Chandler – The Apostle’s Creed (Part 8): From Whence He Shall Come to Judge the Living and the Dead
Matt Chandler Heavy Sermon Jam
How to Witness Honestly
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
Christian Headlines Daily – Thursday, November 5, 2015
READING: Matthew 23, Luke 20-21
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I wonder if I’m ever like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. I know I’m not opposed to Jesus like they were. They wanted Him out of the way; I want Him in my life. On the other hand, I do wonder if Jesus might ever say these words about me:
Matt. 23:3 Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach.
Matt. 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
God knows my heart inside and out. He knows when I don’t live what I teach. I pray that never happens, but God knows I don’t always live up to His mandates. I trust my rebellion is not “hypocrisy and lawlessness,” but I don’t know how to avoid those words fully if I blatantly reject the Word of God I teach. Hence, I’m challenged today to ask some hard questions, like:
- Do I always faithfully read the Word I tell others to read?
- Do I always pray like I tell others to pray?
- Do I always tell the gospel story like I challenge others to do?
- Do I make disciples like I’ve taught others?
- Do I give sacrificially like I call others to do?
- Do I love my wife as Christ loves the church — the way I teach others to love their wife?
- Do I submit to God and resist the devil the same way I tell others to do?
- Do I always reflect Christ as I expect others to do?
- Do I fight against my hypocrisy as I challenge others to do against their hypocrisy?
My goal is not to be legalistic; instead, it’s just to be honest. I could, though, go on and on with the questions. As a preacher of the gospel, I would never want Jesus to say to my hearers, “Do whatever he tells you, but don’t do what he does.” I want to be the same person on the inside and the outside.
ACTION STEPS: Take some time to answer the above questions (and any other questions you might be led to ask).
PRAYER: “God, change me in such a way that if others follow what I say and do, they will be following Christ.”
Our Time is Short
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.
There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.
The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
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
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 is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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