Anna Duggar for First Time Publicly Addresses Husband Josh Duggar’s Infidelity, Scandals: ‘It Was Heartbreaking’
Anna Duggar, former “19 Kids and Counting” star, spoke publicly for the first time about her husband Josh Duggar’s personal scandals, which include child molestation allegations and his admission of being “unfaithful” in his marriage.
UK Prime Minister Shows Support for Persecuted Church
UK Prime Minister David Cameron visited Open Doors UK and Ireland, as it celebrates 60 years of work supporting persecuted Christians throughout the world.
Holiday Religious Expression Banned, then Reinstated, at Virginia Veterans Affair Medical Center
Salem Veterans Affair Medical Center managers in Virginia issued a statement to employees this week indicating Christmas trees and specific religious holiday decor would not be allowed in public office spaces this year, according to WSLS -TV on Friday. However, VA representatives quickly rescinded the directive yesterday, after meeting with office employees over backlash to the letter, and managers agreed to let Christmas decorations go up after all.
Same-Sex Marriage Is About More Than Just Same-Sex Marriage
When most people consider the controversy surrounding same-sex marriage, the name Kim Davis usually comes up somewhere in the conversation. Even more recently, presidential contender Mike Huckabee’s name also comes up because of his decision to stand with Kim Davis, and the lawsuit with which he’s been slapped by Rude Music for playing the song “Eye of the Tiger” when Kim Davis was released from a Kentucky jail. But the controversy connected to same-sex marria
Here’s Where America’s 338,000 Christian Refugees Come From
Evangelical, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, and other resettled believers hail from quite different countries.
Woman Wins Appeal to Wear Colander on Head in DMV Photo as Part of ‘Religion’ to Mock Christians Nov 15, 2015 09:26 am
‘Eagles of Death Metal’ Was Playing ‘Kiss the Devil’ at Moment Terrorists Stormed Theater Nov 17, 2015 08:27 am
‘The Heavens Declare:’ Discovery of ‘Baffling’ Features on Pluto’s Surface Defies Evolutionary Models Nov 16, 2015 07:59 am
Breaking: France Drops ‘Twenty Bombs’ on Key ISIS Targets Nov 15, 2015 06:45 pm
Illinois Teen Charged with Murder After Throwing Newborn Baby Out Eight-Story Window Nov 15, 2015 11:58 am
Indiana Pastor’s Wife Who Died After Home Invasion Attack Was Pregnant with Girl Nov 17, 2015 09:32 am
New ISIS Video Threatens to ‘Strike America at its Center in Washington’ Nov 17, 2015 08:26 am
California Parent Concerned After Teacher Has Students Sing Islamic-Themed ‘Fight Song’ Nov 20, 2015 11:53 am
Community Pushes Back as Atheist Activist Group Seeks Removal of Cross from Texas Park Nov 19, 2015 08:01 am
UK Mother Who Refused Abortion Following Cancer Diagnosis Gives Birth to Twins Nov 16, 2015 07:56 am
Berean Research has the story of a transgender Lutheran who is about to be ordained. Be sure to watch the video:
She says she is “worthy” and “deserving.”
She’s a he.
He’s transgendered (calls himself She).
He’s about to be ordained in the “Lutheran” “Church” (both in bunny ears)
He says he is worthy and deserving to be baptized, and worthy of the promises of God.
Unfortunately, God promises wrath to those who do not repent of their sin and believe on Jesus, who washes all sin clean by His shed blood.
The Reformation Project’s Matthew Vines is sharing this man’s testimony and speech from the RP’s recent Kansas City conference: Nicole Garcia lit up the room with a fiery, heartfelt, and theologically grounded keynote address on our opening night,” says Vines, who launched a campaign to get all churches (especially the theologically grounded ones) to stop calling homosexuality a sin and to embrace gay members and gay marriage. (See our White Paper on the Homosexual Agenda.)
Here is a snippet of the speech, which you can watch on YouTube in its entirety:
Is it any wonder that I identify with this story? A person of color. A person who is not of the dominant culture. A person who does not fit into the gender binary systems. I really see the world through the eyes of the Ethiopian eunuch. For I, too, believe that Christ Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the dead in order that I may have eternal life in his kingdom—that I am worthy of baptism, I am worthy of the promises of God. I have been recreated, justified, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Republished with permission (Source)
Tenured California professor says study labeling “homophobia” a disease is “garbage”
According to Christian Examiner:
An Italian research group of social psychologists recently published a paper in The Journal of Sexual Medicine claiming “homophobia” is a disease and homophobic attitudes are strong indicators of mental disorders.
“Garbage,” says Robert Oscar Lopez, a professor at California State University-Northridge.
Lopez, reportedly a member of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and frequent writer in conservative publications, explained the study was done mostly by homosexuals and their supporters in the social psychology field, an academic discipline notably lacking in social conservatives.
“It’s almost impossible for the research teams to critique their own methodologies or to improve or to see their own biases.”
SICK! ABC’s “Scandal” Sets Main Character’s Abortion to “Silent Night”
News Busters reports:
ABC’s Scandal just crossed a sickening line in the episode “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” The entire hour was an advertisement for Planned Parenthood, but the absolute worst scene was a montage set to the Christmas hymn “Silent Night,” a song that celebrates the birth of Christ, while main character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) has an abortion, killing her and the president’s baby. Between the execution of a man that opens the graphic clip below, the talk of “soft tissue,” saying family destroys you, watching a doctor take his instruments between Olivia’s legs, and the hint of a smile on her lips at the end, it is a truly vile scene, stomach churning scene.
By Bill Muehlenberg The Bible is full of warnings. They are there because God loves us, and wants us to turn from that which will harm us or lead us into great danger. Whether it is a warning about falling away, or a warning about judgment to come if sinners will not repent and turn […]
Wesley Seminary Students Commemorate “Transgender Day of Remembrance”
H/T to Glenn Chatfield over at The Watchman’s Bagpipes blog for this one. This piece contains unbridled blasphemy that will raise the blood pressure of Bible believing Christians. Jeffrey Walton of Juicy Ecumenism reports that “During the communion liturgy, Wesley [Theological Seminary] Professor and Episcopal Priest Sathianathan Clarke proclaimed: ‘It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, O Father and Mother, creator of all things old, new and in transition.’”
“In transition” refers to transgender people who have convinced themselves that God made a mistake when He made them male and female. Sadly, these people have the ridiculous idea that male-to-female transsexuals are actually females trapped in male bodies, and vise versa.
So, let’s begin at the beginning of what Chatfield refers to as “blasphemy of great proportions”:
Students at United Methodist-affiliated Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC gathered Thursday for a special service to commemorate the lives of persons who identify as transgender.
The noontime “Transgender Day of Remembrance” service held November 19 at Wesley’s Oxnam chapel was sponsored by Of Sacred Worth, a student organization established to promote understanding of LGBTQ people in the church.
Bombs or Bibles?
Last Sunday, I heard a sermon on Jonah’s refusal to take the message of God’s forgiveness to the godless and cruel Assyrians of Nineveh. When the preacher described the Assyrians as the ISIS of the ancient world, I realized I could no longer stand simplistically in judgment of Jonah’s seemingly selfish attitude. This clear comparison provoked a number of questions in my mind, and a few things began to fall into place.
Presidents and Thanksgiving
Finally, presidents have exhorted Americans to individually and collectively give thanks to God. Wilson counseled citizens “to render thanks to God” in their homes and places of worship on Thanksgiving Day. George W. Bush encouraged “Americans to gather in their homes, places of worship, and community centers” to pray and “reinforce ties of family and community.”
A Missionary Afraid To Die Will Never Live
It can be argued that a Christian who fears death does not understand the purpose of his life. Our temporary life is to be used to glorify God, and not to bring ourselves comfort and security. John Piper said, “Death is like my car. It takes me where I want to go.” As disciples of Christ our lives should be dedicated to his service and glory. We must never place our personal wellbeing and safety ahead of the primary purpose we have been placed on this earth.
Why Is The Charismatic Movement Thriving In Africa?
“How can one explain this phenomenon? I think that one reason why the charismatic movement in Africa has been like a wild bushfire is because it has not challenged the African religious worldview but has instead adopted it. It has simply baptised it with Bible verses and Christian words that previously meant something totally different.”
Help For Hurting Churches Dealing With Apostasy
“The whole Old Testament is a story of Israel’s apostasy. In the New Testament, we have individual apostates such as Judas and Demas. Some in Corinth denied the resurrection, and some in Galatia went back to the law as a way of salvation.”
Sin, Repentance, and Walking in the Light
We see clearly that our walking in the light isn’t perfect—not even close. We will never reach perfection on this earth. That’s why repentance is such a beautiful gift from our God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Oh, what grace.
Perhaps The Best Contemporary Worship Song Ever Written
Many of his hymns, which are now very traditional, have richly blessed the church. Perhaps none has been so beloved as his famous song written to assist men and women in preparing for the table of the Lord, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” This hymn was based on the doctrine found in Galatians 6:14, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Simple Praying for Complex Times
The Lord used Luther to help move the church away from the superstitious and mystical views of prayer that were prevalent at that time to a powerful, biblical model of praying. We can use this model in the same way to help us to become more purposeful in prayer. Luther’s approach encourages refocusing our prayers from purely personal concerns and mundane matters to the work of the church and the ministry of Christ. To use his own words, this model or way to pray is simple
Christian Community Doesn’t Require Our Blind Trust
The alternative isn’t for us to turn cynical and suspicious. Instead, it’s for us to become discerning—for the sake of our churches and families. As I referenced earlier, we can be uncomfortable with evaluating someone’s trustworthiness. It seems too close to judging. But Jesus’ words, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” do not ask us not to judge anyone ever (Matt. 7:1). Instead, his words serve as an admonition to judge rightly, acknowledging our own faults as well.
Why Does God Allow the Wicked to Commit Evil?
Why does God allow evil rulers and terrorists to afflict innocent people and persecute Christians? Why does he allow believers to languish in North Korean work camps and Iranian prisons? Why does he place Christians under bosses who mistreat them or next to neighbors who make their lives miserable? I know a Christian woman whose husband gives her absolutely no money and makes her provide for all her own needs. Why does God allow these things?
The New Totalitarians Are Here
It is not enough for these Americans to say: “I have had my day in court and prevailed.” In effect, they now add: “You do not have the right to hold a different opinion, even if you lose in the public arena. You may not hold on to your belief as a minority view, or even as a private thought. And if you persist and still disagree, I will attack you without quarter and set others on you to deprive you of your status in your profession, of your standing in your community, and even of your livelihood.”
Paris, Brussels, and 21st Century Europe
Imran’s group wants what it calls “Belgistan,” and foresees Brussels as an “Islamic capital” within mere decades. He cites numbers to back his optimism. Imran says that in some cities in Belgium, such as Antwerp, 40 percent of the children in schools are Muslim. And though Muslims comprise only 25 percent of religious believers in the country, that is enough to make them the largest religious group, given that Belgium, like most of Europe, has rapidly de-Christianized. Imran’s group expects Muslims to be the majority in Belgium within 20 years.
Elevation Church – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
The trouble is that these churches are so massive and wealthy that they can afford to send their pastors all over the world, exporting their dodgy theology and even dodgier ecclesiology. I have a suspicion that much of the health and wealth teaching which is plaguing much of the church in Africa, Asia and South America is primarily an export from the US, with perhaps a little help from Europe, (all in the name of ‘spreading the gospel’). It’s mainly a forlorn appeal but can we say to the mega churches – please stop it!
How did one of the greatest Christian societies in the world decline to the point in which Bible-believing Christians may soon be criminalized in our own country? What happened to America’s Judeo-Christian foundation? Consider the concept of “cultural hegemony” and let’s look at some history. Karl Marx believed faith in God was like a bad […]
9 Facts Every Christian Should Know
by John Mays
The Bible states to “…believe with your heart and confess with your mouth and you will be saved”, (Romans 10:9-10). It also tells us to “…preach the the gospel…”, (Matthew 28:19-20). Here is the problem though; most believe and do not care to tell you they do, and many do not know what the gospel even is; see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. One provides a fasle sense of security and the other, well, if we don’t know what the gospel is how can we possibly share it with others. Too often Christian’s tell others “all you have to do is believe and confess”. Which in turn leads them, the Christian, to also feel they are sharing the gospel. When, in fact, neither are completely true. In more cases than not, the common evangelistic approach is a personal testimony, or an invite to church. Or, even worse, a fear of saying nothing due to a question and not knowing the answer. So what does all of tis have to do with 9 facts every Christian should know? I am glad you ask!
The 9 facts I am going to give you are simple. Yet, if EVERY Christian knew these 9 simple facts maybe, just maybe, it would take away some fear of sharing at least, and actually change the perception of Christians as a whole at best! If nothing else, these 9 facts prayerfully will strengthen the follower and help reach the lost.
Many times one of the objections to Christianity is the Bible. Yes, believe it or not, not everyone believes our Book. So here are the first four facts that anyone can remember and are quite effective. The acryonym MAPS. Memorize maps and you are on your way to defending the Truth of the Bible, or at least providing 4 basic reasons to believe it is true.
M – the M stands for manuscripts. We have over 5700 manuscripts of the New Testament. Some of which are dated within the first and second centuries. In comparison, Homer’s Iliad only has 643 copies and it is the most famous book of ancient Greece. Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars…only 10 copies. And the earliest date for it is 1000 years. Think about it! We have more manuscripts of the New Testament than any other historical document written. The Old Testament you ask? The Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947 provide word for word accuracy of 95% of the Hebrew Bible.
A – Archeology. There is so much archeological evidence to list all of it here could not be possible. Just remember the A is for archeological evidence.
P – Prophecy. There are over 300 confirmed prophecies in the Bible.
S – Secular sources. Know that the Bible is not the only Book that discusses the life of Jesus and other events contained within our Book.
Four down and five to go…
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If there is one thing that I’m good at, it’s failing. And I am quite sure that I am not alone in this skill. The entire human race specializes in failing. Everything from the most minuscule detail to really important things, we continually drop the ball on. For some it seems we can never get it right. We are constantly tripping over our shoelaces every step of the way.
Some of us, exhausted from our failing, readily admit it. We’re tired of being screw-ups. Others of us aren’t as easily ready to admit that we stink at life. Whether you show it or put on some facade that you’ve got it all together, the fact remains that we people are perpetual failures. We simply don’t live up to the standards. We fall devastatingly short of society’s demand for perfection and greatness and are continually frustrated with the fact that we can never even be good enough to make ourselves satisfied with our effort, let alone our loved ones we continually let down. (Let’s not even talk about God’s standards; we can’t even hold a candle to that.)
So, basically there are two options for failures. Trying harder and doing better isn’t an option. Because if we’re honest no matter how hard we try and no matter how much we improve, we never improve enough. So option one is to fake it. Just put on a mask and act like you’ve got it all together. Of course, everyone will know you’re a liar and that you’re really a big mess inside, but at least you appear nice and tidy. Since faking never fixes the problem the next option is just to embrace our failures. However, that doesn’t really work either. Embracing your failures doesn’t keep you from failing and it doesn’t fix you. You just end up looking proud of sucking.
Since all of our options are terrible options that don’t help anything, let me suggest a third option. Repent and believe the gospel. Many of us seem to have this idea that we have to have it all together – not so. The gospel is for those who don’t have it all together. The gospel is for failures. The greatest news is that God had our backs at the cross – when He didn’t have to. At the cross God declared that the entire human race is a bunch failures, crackpots, and screw-ups; and that we would need a rescuer, a redeemer, a savior – Jesus. Jesus came to save losers. Jesus died to save failures, crackpots, and screw-ups. Jesus succeeded in every part of life that we failed, for us.
God doesn’t just embrace us when we succeed and get it right. God doesn’t love us more when we do really well at obeying. The cross pronounced that God has loved us intensely in the midst of our mess ups and He proved it by killing His Son for our failures. Christ became our failures and gave us His perfection.
God has loved us intensely in the midst of our mess, and He has loved us intentionally to get us out of our mess. God doesn’t just blindly love us in our mess. That’s not the message the cross sends. The cross says that God loves us despite of our failings and Jesus is in the process of rescuing us from them. God doesn’t leave us to fail. He’s making us better.
One day all of our failings will be done away with and we will stand perfected in the presence of the only perfect One who has perfected us. One day there will be no more failing because Christ has triumphed over our failures.
“Try harder, do better, believe in yourself, you can do it” is not the gospel. It’s a recipe for disaster. It’s a self-help, self righteous rejection of Christ and His righteousness.
You’re a failure, you can’t do it, Jesus is perfect for you; He can do it, He did it. Repent and believe upon Christ. Denounce your own shallow righteousness and cling to the coat tail of Christ’s righteousness.
If you’re a failure, the gospel is for you.
The gospel is for failures.
When we gather together to worship, something wonderful is happening in us. While opening the Scriptures, singing, praying, and giving our offerings, a formation is underway: God is performing the slow and steady work of making us a thankful people.
Is your worship of God marked with open-eyed thankfulness?
Various churches offer thanksgiving during its services in various ways. Some show thanks through songs of praise. More liturgical churches will have a time of thanksgiving (spoken or sung) following an assurance of pardon. Still others sing the Doxology together as a moment of collective thanksgiving.
Whatever the practice of your local church, thanksgiving likely serves as a significant part of our gathered worship, and we should take fresh notice, and not simply go through the motions.
Kindling for Our Hearts
Have you ever have walked into a church gathering when your heart is lethargic or your mind is foggy? We all have. In these moments, we have the opportunity to acknowledge our condition, admit the inadequacy of what we are thinking or feeling, and choose still to worship our Maker along with his people.
We are a people plagued with gospel-amnesia, and we often forget the riches we have been given in Christ. It is in the remembering of God’s great works that our hearts are stirred with fresh affection for Jesus.
We need regular time to cultivate thankfulness in our hearts. In the hurry and rush of our modern society, corporate worship serves as a time set aside to remind us of who we are as the people of God. As John Broadus said (more than a century ago!), “We are so taken up with the affairs of the present that we don’t have time to give thanks for blessings of the past.” Is it not even more true today?
One of the means of grace that God has given us as his people is the gift of one another. When we gather together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, songs and sermons remind us of the good news of the gospel. Our tired hearts are refreshed and renewed when we hear truth.
Practicing Thanks Together
The practice of thanksgiving is faithful kindling for the fire of worship. In corporate worship, we are retelling the faithfulness of God in the gospel and throughout history. Together we give thanks to him, in the words of Joachim Neander, for wondrously reigning over all things, for sheltering us under his wings, for being our help and defense.
In the practice of thanksgiving, our hearts are lifted as we recall and give thanks in corporate worship. It is when we “ponder anew what the almighty can do” that our hearts are enlarged to run in the ways of God (Psalm 119:32).
Gratitude can be practiced at various points in a worship service: * In singing, we can thank God for his ways (Ezra 3:11, Psalm 69:30). * In Scripture reading, we can thank God for revealing to us his perfect word. (Speaker: “This is the word of the Lord.” Response: “Thanks be to God!”) * In confession, we can thank God for his mercy (1 Corinthians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:15). * In observing Communion, we give thanks (Mark 14:23, 1 Corinthians 11:24). * In times of corporate prayer, we give thanks (Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Philippians 4:6). * In a benediction, we can thank God for the joy of being gathered with his people (Psalm 111:1).
Fuel for Living Worship
Thankfulness is the fuel for living worship. While our gatherings are a theater for our thankfulness, our entire lives should be marked by gratitude. As we allow the truths of the gospel to enlarge our hearts, we find ever-increasing room for thankfulness to God.
This weekend, as you gather together with your church to worship, be reminded of the role of thanksgiving in your heart. We are tired and forgetful people, who need to be once again gripped by the glory of God. And all of us have much to be thankful for. And in the midst of this collective work together in worship, stoke the flame of thankfulness in your own heart.
Resources for Thanksgiving
What if someone told your preaching was missing one critical ingredient that could undermine the effectiveness of your entire ministry?
That is unfortunately the state of much evangelical preaching today—preaching that aims to be biblical, but is dangerously close to presenting a distorted, anemic view of God—or at worst an unbiblical view that can only be described as something other than true biblical Christianity.
This missing ingredient for many evangelical preachers today is the judgment of God.
Some preachers who want to be faithful to Scripture avoid preaching judgment unconsciously because of an underlying framework; others avoid it consciously as a “service” to their listeners who don’t want to hear about judgment.
Below are five reasons that keep preachers (either consciously or unconsciously) from preaching judgment and cause them to stray from the straight path of Scripture to the peril of themselves and those in their congregation.
First, many have bought into a version of the prosperity gospel.
Even pastors who consciously reject the prosperity gospel face the temptation to subtly believe it in their hearts and proclaim it from the pulpit. The American, materialistic culture compounds this. Instead of preaching judgment, preachers blunt the sharp edge of God’s wrath because their hearts (and the hearts of those they minister to) desire more what they can get out of Christianity instead of being totally faithful to God’s call to preach the Word in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).
Second, many idolize the love of God to the neglect—or flat out denial—of other attributes.
While Scripture is clear that “God is love” (1 John 4:16), it is also clear that He is holy, righteous, jealous, and the just judge of the entire universe—the One to whom we must all give account. Our “feel good” culture of positive thinking doesn’t like to talk about negative things like death or judgment—but Scripture does.
An example of this is when some wanted to change the lyrics of “In Christ Alone” for a PCUSA hymnal in 2013. Those compiling the hymnal wanted to remove the line “The wrath of God was satisfied” in favor of “The love of God was magnified.”
Often times ignoring God’s wrath to more fully present God’s love does the opposite of what it is trying to accomplish; in diminishing (or avoiding) the bad news, they make the good news optional. That is one reason why starting gospel presentations by saying “God loves you” can be largely unhelpful. Many in our egoistic culture would quickly respond, “Well of course God loves me, I’m pretty awesome!”—and then close themselves off to hearing and responding to the gospel of God saving us from His wrath.
Third, the church has a tragically diminished view of God’s holiness.
The holiness of God is one of the tragically neglected doctrines today in much evangelical belief and practice. The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6 and the apostle John in Revelation both received a special glimpse into the heavenly throne room and witnessed the content of heavenly worship. In both instances, the cry of worshippers was, “Holy, Holy, Holy”.
Only when we see God in light of His holiness and perfection can we understand how imperfect sinners like us deserve His righteous wrath. When we lose God’s holiness, His judgment seems optional.
Fourth, a pragmatic view of ministry supersedes biblical truth in order to fill pews.
Many churches today are run like businesses, basing their definition of success in metrics. Instead of prioritizing faithfulness to Scripture and making disciples, they care more about weekly attendance, bigger and better programs, and how much was put into the offering plate. When the goal is padding numbers for a strictly human definition of success, it is not surprising if some of the more “unsavory” doctrines—like judgment—get left by the wayside.
Fifth, preachers fear man over God.
Once we begin to fear man more than God, the desires of sinful man will shape our preaching instead of God’s desires as revealed in His Word. Preachers need to pursue the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and let him define ministry success. In ministry and in everything else, Proverbs 29:25 rings true, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
May our attitudes echo that of Paul in Galatians 1:10:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
What Are Some Consequences of Neglecting Judgment in Preaching?
J.I. Packer writes in A Quest for Godliness that if we neglect to preach God’s judgment on sin,
…we cannot present Christ as a Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible. We are, in effect, bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is “another gospel”, which is not another. (164-165)
A false Christ cannot save sinners from God’s wrath. Preaching a false Christ will cause some to not be genuinely converted and can give false assurance to many who are still unconverted. Preaching the “good news” while neglecting the bad undercuts the goodness and glory of the good news by removing a reference point of the wrath that is due to us.
This also makes it impossible to truly understand the horror or the beauty of the cross— that simultaneously God could satisfy His wrath against sinful humanity and forgive us from our sins through the death and resurrection of His Son.
This falling short of God’s truth comes with stricter judgment for teachers and preachers (James 3:1). Not only do they damage their hearers by presenting a diminished view of God (or a different God altogether), they store up a special judgment for themselves, since they serve as God’s spokesmen.
Where do we go from here?
It is often easier for us to see where others ignore the obvious in Scripture than see where we do. Do you preach God’s judgment as it is clear in Scripture? Do you, like Paul, preach the kindness and severity of God (Romans 11:22), or preach Christ as Savior and the one appointed by God to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)? This isn’t to say judgment needs to fill every sermon—I’m calling for the same balance the Scriptures present.
If you have neglected presenting a biblically balanced message of God’s judgment, confess it to God. Believe in the God of judgment who is also the One who extends mercy to us in Christ. Preach and read Scripture expositionally to give weight to everything God so graciously communicates to us.
Cultural pressures and itching ears can make us forget the great privilege and joy that comes with preaching judgment—the opportunity to proclaim the excellencies of the One who took the judgment that we deserve upon Himself, making the true life we all long for available to us.
Let us faithfully proclaim His gospel and pray our listeners would look upon the Savior in faith to escape the wrath to come.
The Supreme Court, in a moment of judicial insanity, mandates that homosexuals have the protected right to marry in spite of God’s definition of marriage–a man and a woman. And yet most of our church leaders are silent. But then again we have been silent on sexuality for hundreds of years on the subject, causing […]
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
3 Tips For A More Civil Conversation About Syrian Refugees – “Muslim extremists working for Islamic State (ISIS) slaughtered 129 people and injured another 350 in the streets of Paris on Friday. The group promised to bring the carnage to Washington, D.C. and New York City, soon. In the last couple of weeks alone, ISIS took responsibility for bringing down a Russian passenger airplane over Sinai, killing 224 people, and suicide bombings in Beirut, killing 40.”
Biblical ethics, government, and refugees – “Relevant Magazine recently ran a post called ‘What the Bible says about how to treat refugees.’ To help you understand where they are coming from, remember that Relevant seems to exist primarily to tie Christian ethics to whatever cause célèbre has captured the kids these days. The list was frustrating to read not because of what it said, but what it omitted (to spare you the click, the gist is that Christians should open their borders to refugees).”
Studies in Judges – “Next week will be a light week, it being Thanksgiving and all. The family is running around in Phoenix and the AZ desert, so besides from twittering, I’m not going to have anything on the blog. A couple of years ago, I did an exposition on the books of Judges and Ruth for my volunteers. Doing a detailed study of the book caused it to become one of my favorites. There are some truly awesome stories within it’s pages.”
What the Bible Really Says About Singleness – “John Piper wrote of Barry Danylak and his work on Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life (Crossway, 2010): I don’t know of anyone else who has ever provided the extent of biblical reflection on singleness that Barry has provided for us here. . . . My guess is that virtually every single who reads this book will finish with a sense of wonder at who they are, and how little they knew about this gift and calling. Here is an hour-long talk from Dr. Danylak where he lays out the biblical teaching on singleness…”
The Fundamentals Personified – “Fundamental doctrines are fundamental because they are essential to believe and damnable to deny. They bring conviction and provoke rebellion. They affirm truth and expose error. They are preached by those who love the truth and rejected by those who hate it. Either way they demand a response from everyone who claims faith in Christ.”
Matt Chandler – Linger 2014
The Quran and the Siege of Paris
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
There is not much new on the ebook front today, but it’s probably just as well—next week will be big because of Black Friday. Already I’m putting together a list of a ton of deals on books, ebooks, and lots of other good material. So be sure to check in on Friday.
Here’s an interesting reflection on the circus in the age of mass digital entertainment. Is there still a place for it in today’s world?
While we are on the subject of this digital world, Popular Mechanics covers the American teenager as the first generation that has no memory of life before smartphones.
I enjoyed this one: “My sophomore year a student transferred in who captured the attention and imagination of much of the student body. His name was Matt Chandler.”
Jamie Brown reflects on four different types of worship teams, four approaches to how to structure, view, and lead a team.
Ever noticed that people in old movies all kind of talked with the same funny accent? Here’s why.
Here is Russell Moore’s take on how we should think about the refugee crisis. He says to stop pitting security and compassion against each other.
Tomorrow in 1963. 52 years ago tomorrow beloved British author, apologist, and scholar C.S. Lewis died—one week before his 65th birthday. *
If the earth is spinning to the east at 1000 miles per hour, why can’t we fly west more easily? This video explains.
If you’re in Toronto, or looking for an excuse to visit, you might want to look at the Thinking conference. It should be a good one!
Thanks to P&R for sponsoring the blog this week with an article entitled ‘Men, We Can’t Just ‘Do It’.”
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.
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.
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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