December 29, 2015 Christian Briefing Report

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Refugees from war and persecution speak of hopes for 2016

Refugees from war and persecution speak of hopes for 2016

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Religion News

Those who fled are grateful to be alive. Yet, said one, &2016 may be different in some ways, but the truth is the trauma remains.&

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3 Diagnostic Questions to Show Who Is Really LORD of Your Money

3 Diagnostic Questions to Show Who Is Really LORD of Your Money

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Church Leaders

&The more we cling to money as ours, the more it seems to slip away from us.&

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1 Truth to Remember When Christmas is Over

1 Truth to Remember When Christmas is Over

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Crosswalk

If you’re feeling like the holidays came and went too fast, or you find yourself struggling with deep loss, one truth gives us hope…

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Top 10 Bible Reading Plans of 2015

Top 10 Bible Reading Plans of 2015

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Crosswalk

Here are the 10 most popular Bible reading plans on BibleStudyTools.com for 2015!

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What Does Your Preferred Bible Translation Say about You?

What Does Your Preferred Bible Translation Say about You?

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Crosswalk

You may own one Bible translation or you may own several (smart phones make this easy now), but chances are you have a default one that you go to more than others or prefer over others.

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3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Church Leaders

What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Jon Nielson

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What Does the Evidence in the Universe Tell Us About the Nature of God? (Video)

J. Warner Wallace, author of God’s Crime Scene, discusses the evidence in the universe and what this evidence tells us about the nature of God. Every crime scene says something about its related suspect, even before detectives ever identify the suspect specifically. What does the evidence in this “crime scene” tell us about a Divine Intruder? What characteristics must this Intruder possess? For more information about J. Warner’s “inside” or “outside the room” investigative approach to the evidence in the universe, refer to his book, God’s Crime Scene and visit http://www.ColdCaseChristianity.com.


A La Carte (December 29)

News Headlines Kindle DealsToday’s Kindle deals include the whole Vintage Puritan series which offers 38 Puritan classics at just $0.99 each. Also consider Look and Live by Matt Papa, one of my favorite books of 2014 ($2.99); Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley, a very solid church history 101 book ($4.99); Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family by Michelle Anthony ($1.99); 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists by Ken Boa ($0.99); A Life Observed by Devin Brown ($1.99); A Year with C.S. Lewis ($2.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($0.99); The People of God by Trevor Joy & Spence Shelton ($2.99).

The Dior Woman and True Freedom

This is a must-read article. “Have we really reached a point where freedom is portrayed by such petty play things like a little black dress, a helicopter ride, and a man to kiss but not commit to? Is freedom merely the absence of responsibility? If that’s the definition of freedom, I don’t want it.”

Plagiarizing and Quoting in Preaching

Here are some good, realistic, and helpful thoughts on preachers and plagiarizing. “If you find a great thought in Calvin, the best thing to do is to turn it over in your mind, polish it, reduce it to something manageable and add to it for the benefit of those to whom you preach. There is no need to feel as though you must quote and cite every thought that you glean from others.”

What A World Champion Whistler Sounds Like

Don’t pretend that you’ve never wondered before what a world champion whistler sounds like.

11 Ways to Write Better

“We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blogposts, emails, tweets, or text messages, you are a writer. No matter your preferred medium, here are a few tips to help you write more effectively…” I quite appreciate tip #1!

Using Your Memory to God’s Glory

“We don’t like to memorize stuff. We find it dull, painful, and pointless. … But the funny thing is, we will memorize that which is important to us. It’s really unavoidable.”

This Day in 1876. 139 years ago today, American hymn writer Philip P. Bliss and his wife died in a train wreck. Ironically, the night before he sang, “I’m Going Home Tomorrow.” *

2016 Reading Challenge for Kids

Redeemed Reader took my 2016 reading challenge and did up a version for kids.

Pastoring a Culturally-diverse Church

Paul, pastor at Grace Fellowship Church (where I serve as an elder), shares a few reflections on pastoring a culturally diverse church in a culturally diverse city.


End-Time Scenarios of the New Alchemists

In 2010, Tom Horn co-authored a treatise on their interpretation of Transhumanism called Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare. What exactly is Transhumanism?  CARM explains: Transhumanism is the idea that human beings, as a whole, can be drastically improved in physical […]

The post End-Time Scenarios of the New Alchemists appeared first on Berean Research.


Book Review: Priscilla Shirer’s “Fervent”

Priscilla Shirer is an actor, author, speaker, and Bible teacher.  As such she has influenced many professing Christians, mostly women. Following her appearance in the hit film War Room, much has been written about her.  Some bloggers expressed their concerns about her teaching, and rightly so as some of what she teaches is unbiblical. John Lanagan […]

The post Book Review: Priscilla Shirer’s “Fervent” appeared first on Berean Research.


Christ Hidden in Our Schools, While Muhammad Roams the Halls Freely

It should come as no surprise that Christian practices are outlawed in Muslim countries, but it is pretty shocking to see this sort of thing happening in America. Under the guise of separation of church and state, the celebration of Christmas, which is a federal holiday, is taboo in many of our tax-payer funded public schools. […]

The post Christ Hidden in Our Schools, While Muhammad Roams the Halls Freely appeared first on Berean Research.


Franklin Graham quits GOP, says America “in trouble” unless more Christians in office

Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, is unhappy with the way things are going in America. What will solve the problem?  He believes that if “godly men and women” get involved in the political process they can “change this wicked system.” How are we to determine if a person is “godly”?  The article […]

The post Franklin Graham quits GOP, says America “in trouble” unless more Christians in office appeared first on Berean Research.


Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

By Albert Mohler A statement made by a professor at a leading evangelical college has become a flashpoint in a controversy that really matters. In explaining why she intended to wear a traditional Muslim hijab over the holiday season in order to symbolize solidarity with her Muslim neighbors, the professor asserted that Christians and Muslims […]

The post Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? appeared first on Berean Research.


Democrats think Christians bigger threat than Muslims

Poll chief Fritz Wenzel said, “A surprising finding in the survey shows that one in three respondents said they believe Christians pose a greater threat to America than do Muslims. Among Democrats, 45 percent said Christians are more dangerous than are Muslims, while 36 percent of political independents said the same.

View Article


Signs and Wonders in the Last Days

Make no mistake, these ‘powers, lying signs, and wonders’ will precede the arrival of the Antichrist because he will take advantage of the political, social, and economic chaos that is already ensuing, and ride in on his white horse to ‘save the day’. Of course, he too will have many supernatural tricks up his and the False Prophet’s sleeve to woo the masses and absorb the worship this world so desperately wants to give someone, anyone, other than to who it should go too, Jesus Christ.

View Article


The Daily Discovery (December 29, 2015)

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

Lordship Is Not Legalism – “What does countercultural Christianity look like in America today? First, let’s be clear on what it doesn’t necessarily look like. Countercultural Christianity today isn’t defined by tattoos, craft beer, beards, and pour-over coffee. These are fine things, but they are in no way subversive, whether inside or outside Christianity. If they ever were countercultural, they aren’t anymore. They are mainstream, the majority, the megachurch, the Man.

When New is Old – “Everything that happens to-day, or will happen to-morrow is new to us, because we can only live in the present moment; and even though we endeavour to project ourselves a little forward, yet it is generally in a wrong fashion, so that we do not see the truth of coming events, seeing not, but only imagining that we see.”

On the Incarnation – “Dear friends in Christ, a warm welcome to all who join the Dominican friars on this Christmas morning to rejoice in the ‘marvelous exchange—O admirabile commercium—[by which] man’s Creator has become man, born of a virgin, [and] we have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.’ The mystery of the Incarnation, borne to us in the sights and sounds of the Christmas liturgy, fills our hearts with joy.”

A Plan To Read the Greek New Testament in a Year – “Several years ago, I created a plan to read through the Greek New Testament in a year. For the most part, it tracks pretty closely with Lee Irons’ excellent schedule for reading the Greek New Testament in a year. My plan, however, varies a little bit. Because John’s writing is simpler Greek, my schedule goes through John’s Gospel at a faster pace than Irons’. As a result, there are no readings scheduled at the end of the year from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. These open dates at the end can be used as catch-up days. The schedule is given in two formats below.”

What We Read in 2015 – “Maybe you love to read. Maybe you hate to read. Maybe you make time to read. Maybe you try to find every excuse possible to avoid reading. Maybe you start a book and not pick up another book until that one is finished. Maybe you start 15-20 books and only finish half…………..maybe.”


SERMON:

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Nate Pickowicz – Jesus Prays: For The Disciples (John 17:6-19)


VIDEOS:

How Do We Know If God Is Speaking to Us or If It’s Just Our Inner Conscience?

The Quran, the Bible, and the Islamic Dilemma


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


Featured Blogs


Top Headlines
 Churches Seek to Aid Illegal Immigrants after Government Announces Harsher Policies
 Christmas Tornadoes and Flooding Leave Southern States in Turmoil
 Boko Haram Kills 16, Including Children, in Christmas Day Raid
 Franklin Graham Applauds Obama’s Acknowledgment of Christian Persecution
 A Museum of the Bible forms in very secular Washington
 Palestinians Carry out Attacks against Town of Bethlehem on Christmas
 At Least 9 Killed in Philippines in Christmas Day Attack by Islamic Rebels
 Indonesian Churches Celebrate Christmas Without Building – or Even Tent
 England: Department of Education Says Britain is a Christian Country
 UK government mulls ‘crackdown’ on homeschoolers
Opinion
 Sunny Yellow Day Surprises as Faith-Based Art
 Why Christmas Gives Us Hope, Even Through Tragedy
 For the Mouth of the Lord Hath Spoken It: The Real Meaning of Handel’s “Messiah”
 You Can Rent a Friend for $23 an Hour
 How You Can Have a Full Christmas

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.


What Is the Gospel?

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.


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

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