As the world turns its eyes toward Super Bowl 50, most of the attention is falling to two quarterbacks with evangelical backgrounds.
As the world turns its eyes toward Super Bowl 50, most of the attention is falling to two quarterbacks with evangelical backgrounds.
Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before
A global recession is on the way. This truism of economics holds at any point in which the world is not in the grips of a contraction. The real question is always when and how deep the upcoming downturn will be. “The crash will come, but it would be nice if it came two years from now”, Thomas Thygesen, head of economics at SEB told over 200 commodity investors and analysts in London last month.
NY to probe ‘radioactive’ water leak at Indian Point
ALBANY – New York will investigate the Indian Point Energy Center after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County. Cuomo…called for the probe after he said Entergy Corp., the Buchanan plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.
Migrants should be rounded up and put into detention centres, urges Government politician
MIGRANTS should be put in closed detention centres and be banned from obtaining permission to remain in the country, a politician has said. At a party conference the Oslo delegation passed several policies, including deporting youth migrants when they reach 18 and banning migrants from obtaining leave to remain in the country. The delegation also called for the Schengen agreement to be scrapped and for Norway to leave the Refugee Convention’s additional protocol of 1967 meaning migrants from Africa, Asia, and South-America would no longer have the right to apply for asylum.
China’s currency reserves plunged in January
China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported. China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas. At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings.
North Korea rocket launch: UN Security Council to meet
The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting later following North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket. The meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US to agree on a collective response to the launch. Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit, but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.
Tunisia builds anti-terror barrier along Libya border
Tunisia says it has completed the first part of a 200km (125-mile) barrier along its border with Libya, designed to deter terrorism. The barrier is made of sand banks and water trenches. It was announced last summer after 38 people were killed on a beach by a gunman said to have trained in Libya.
Senior PA official: ‘Do we have to hijack planes for you to care about our cause?’
A senior Palestinian Authority official has suggested that the West ignores the Palestinians when they maintain security, rhetorically asking if they have to resort to “hijacking planes” and “destroying airports” to garner Western support for the Palestinian cause. In an interview translated by MEMRI on the PA-backed station Awdha TV last week, Nabil Sha’ath asserted that being moderate does not turn heads.
Next time it’ll be 100,000: UK and EU cities see day of co-ordinated anti-Islamic rallies
UK PEGIDA has warned there will be “100,000 Britons marching on the streets against Islam” by the end of the year after a day of sometimes violent anti-Islamic migrant protests were staged across Europe.
Growing support for an OPEN FIRE border policy on illegal refugees in Germany
This, say observers, is proof of the greatest fear among liberal politicians – citizens pushed into the embrace of the far-right and its intolerant attitudes which brought Hitler to power in the 1930’s.
Swine flu to KILL OFF ISIS: Panicked Daesh issues urgent health warning after dozens die
The reported death toll, which rose to “around 20 people” this week, has put the panicked terrorists on edge and prompted a desperate health shut down. According to watchdog Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RIBSS), the epidemic had triggered “panic among civilians” and taken the lives of at least two children so far.
Brink of WORLD WAR 3? US threatens SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES after North Korea launches ROCKET
NORTH Korea has vowed to launch more long-range rockets after successfully firing a satellite into space. Pyongyang claimed the latest rocket launch, which was fired from a launch pad on the west coast between 9.30am and 9.35am local time, had successfully delivered a satellite into orbit and vowed to continue launching satellites in future.
‘Astonishing’: CNN rips into Ted Cruz for ‘categorically false’ characterization of Iowa controversy
“What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false,” the statement read. “CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.”
Somali officials: Suicide bomber may have blown hole in jet
A suicide bomber is suspected to have set off the explosive that blew a hole in a jetliner, sucked the man out of the plane and forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Saturday.
Turkey must cut migrant flows to Europe, top EU official says
Europe needs Turkey to dramatically cut the number of migrants reaching Greece within weeks or the pressure for more border closures and fences will grow, the EU’s top official in charge of ties with Ankara warned on Saturday.
8 dead after explosive-laden motorcycle rams Pakistani security forces vehicle
A man rammed his explosive-laden motorcycle into a Pakistani security forces’ vehicle, setting off a blast that killed at least eight people and injured about 20 others, officials said.
Taiwan Quake Kills at Least 18 as Search for Missing Continues
A strong earthquake rocked a region of Taiwan that’s a hub for chipmaking suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., killing at least 18 people and forcing rescuers to pull hundreds from the rubble of collapsed buildings.
N Korea launches long-range rocket despite warnings
North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month.
Trump’s Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won’t Have
◾Trumps call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.
The parents of a Briton who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed ‘Jihadi Jack’ were arrested by police after sending their son money
The parents of a British man who travelled to Syria and has been dubbed “Jihadi Jack” were arrested by police on suspicion of sending money overseas which could have been used for terrorism purposes, Channel 4 News revealed.
First case of Zika confirmed in Austin, disease continues to spread in U.S.
According to the department’s website, a man under the age of 50 contracted the virus while abroad in Columbia. Currently, there are 10 confirmed Zika cases in Texas including seven in Harris County, one in Bexar County and two in Dallas County.
Baghdad to build a WALL and a MOAT around city to keep ISIS out
A GIGANTIC wall and moat is being built around Baghdad in a bid to protect it from bomb attacks by Islamic State. A 100km barrier, almost four metres high is being consructed that will surround the city and help to keep out suicide car bombers and terrorists.
EUROPE’S CLOSED: 70,000 Syrians head for Turkish border as authorities shut off country
UP to 70,000 Syrians are flocking to the border with Turkey to flee the civil war which has seen Aleppo bombed to obliteration.
Bombshell: Obama cutting border surveillance in half
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to cut 50 percent of the budget for aerial surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border, agents revealed at a congressional hearing Thursday. In an effort to understand why DHS is cutting funding, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, wrote a bipartisan letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement,” the letter states.
5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Tremors Felt In Bihar
The quake’s epicenter was in the Sindhupalchowk district, 55 km north-east of Kathmandu, according to The National Seismological Centre, news agency Press Trust of India reported. People were injured as they ran from their houses in panic during the tremor, the Nepal home ministry spokesperson said.
Earthquake shakes Tokyo, no tsunami risk
An earthquake has struck close to Tokyo, shaking much of the metropolitan region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami risk. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the 7.41am Friday morning quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.6.
Iran’s army chief vows to bolster ballistic missile program
Iran will continue to develop its missile program, and it should not be considered a threat to neighboring and friendly countries, Iran’s…news agency quoted the head of the army as saying on Thursday. Under a deal reached between Iran and six major world powers in 2015, most international sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program were lifted last month. However, sanctions imposed on its missile program remain in place.
Magnitude-6.4 earthquake hits Taiwan; 5 dead
At least five people were killed Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the Taiwanese Disaster Response Center said.
Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing
Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients… prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin. The discovery added to the rising concern over Zika, which is spreading rapidly in the Americans and has been linked to thousands of severe birth defects in Brazil.
Japanese volcano erupts, nearby nuclear plant unaffected
A Japanese volcano about 50 km (30 miles) from a nuclear plant erupted on Friday, shooting ash nearly 2 km into the night sky along with fountains of lava, but there were no immediate report of damage and operations at the power station were not affected.
Highest EU Court Considers Criminalizing Website Hyperlinks
The highest court in the European Union this week heard arguments which could impact the ability to link to content on the Internet. …Meanwhile in the US…news aggregator Matt Drudge…told Infowars …copyright laws which prevent websites from linking to news stories were being debated. “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge.
Immortality Quest Aims to Preserve Brain 100 Years
…Neuroscientists are pursuing new methods for preserving brains for future revival. They’re being spurred on by visions of post-humans and a cash prize that’s now well over $100,000. Someone always seems to be hot on the trail of human immortality, but this time the competitors are… neuroscientists vying for the Brain Preservation Foundation‘s Tech Prize have impressive credentials and come to the table with published research.
North Korea advances ‘satellite’ launch
North Korea has brought forward the possible date of a controversial “satellite” launch to as early as Sunday, regional governments say. The secretive state will launch the satellite-bearing rocket between 7-14 February, the Japanese government has said, according to reports. Pyongyang previously said the launch would take place between 8-25 February.
Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe surpass 300,000 barrels post-sanctions
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday that Iran’s crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran had already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry’s news agency. …After the rubber-stamping of the nuclear deal with world powers last year, however, Tehran has ordered a 500,000 bpd increase in oil output.
Steinitz: ‘Egypt floods Hamas tunnels, in part due to Israel’s request’
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday that Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the flooding of several Hamas tunnels linking Egypt to the Gaza Strip, to a certain extent, “due to Israel’s request.” The minister affirmed that security cooperation between Israel and Egypt is “better than ever,” and asserted that “flooding is a good solution” for the challenge of tackling Hamas’ intricate tunnel system…
Defeat BDS the non-government way
Government should concentrate on international diplomacy and leave public diplomacy to non-government organizations and Zionist groups which it must help with funding. The Israeli government has 108 delegations abroad, and plans to close 6 of them. The 22 Arab League nations alone have 1799 delegations. Turkey has 233 delegations. That is more than double the number of Israeli missions abroad. With its limited manpower, the Israeli government cannot cope with the added responsibility of challenging the thousands of global non-government, anti-Israel, groups that are practicing BDS and delegitimization of Israel
Palm Bay, FL Protects Religious Freedom, Rejects GLBT Ordinance
The proposed ordinance would have directly infringed on the religious freedom of churches, religious organizations, businesses, and individuals. Palm Bay, FL – At 1:30 AM this morning, the Mayor and City Council of Palm Bay voted 4-1 to reject a proposed ordinance that would have added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its non-discrimination policy that applies to employment and public accommodations, including churches, religious organizations and businesses. Liberty Counsel provided a letter analyzing and detailing the clear danger and far-reaching consequences this ordinance posed to the Palm Bay community.
Obama’s faith: hidden in plain sight
Based upon context—the ongoing 7 year pattern of concrete deeds—one can only surmise an active and “secret” Muslim faith. No other reasonable conclusion can be drawn. As a so-called Christian Mr. Obama should easily recognize Romans 2:6 in which it is written: “God will repay each person according to what they have done.” Applying colloquial language to Scripture it means ‘evaluate every person by their behavior not their words’. With this sensible standard as a guide, Mr. Obama is so stalwart in his Christian faith that when giving a 2012 speech at Catholic-founded Georgetown University all religious signs and symbols were covered up including the small letters IHS, signifying the name of Jesus Christ.
Hear Obama! Muslims Are Not The Victims, They Are The Perpetrators
Obama’s recent visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a radical mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a slap in the face to all Americans whose lives have been altered due to Islamic warfare. While Obama continues to lecture us about the “victimized” Muslim community here in the United States, his comments fly in the face of reality. Who is really victimized here?
Rome Enters the Presidential Election
Pope Francis and his global warming slogan-chanting, singing nuns have wandered far away from God who created our “Common Home” and closer to the growing pagan religion of Gaia. God Bless” on Planned Parenthood, Catholic nuns have jumped into the fray to elect his successor, abortion advocate Hillary Clinton. With songs and slogans, 13 congregations of Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley hit the campaign trail in Iowa earlier this week.
UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists
UNITED NATIONS — Thirty-four militant groups from around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group as of mid-December — and that number will only grow in 2016, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report Friday.
Strong quake hits Taiwan, killing 3; 221 rescued from rubble
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside.
Ted Cruz’s Campaign Spread False Report in Iowa That Ben Carson Was Quitting Race
As Iowa Republicans headed to the caucuses on Monday night, Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign left recorded messages for supporters with “breaking news” that Ben Carson would drop out of the race, and told them to “inform any Carson caucus-goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead.” The false report, echoed in an email and in a text message sent to campaign volunteers, was trumpeted by at least some Cruz precinct captains when they addressed their caucuses. When Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, arrived at two precincts to speak on his behalf, she was furious to learn that speakers for Mr. Cruz had suggested moments earlier that her husband was quitting the race.
Are you living “the American Dream”? If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate, because most Americans are not. In fact, as you will see below, a new survey has found that there is nowhere on the entire planet where the average wage earner is making enough money to live “the American Dream”. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class makes up a minority of the population, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year, and poverty is growing rapidly. The American Dream is essentially dead, and even the mainstream media is starting to figure this out. (Read More…)
As bad as the month of January was for the global economy, the truth is that the rest of 2016 promises to be much worse. Layoffs are increasing at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession, major retailers are shutting down hundreds of locations, corporate profit margins are plunging, global trade is slowing down dramatically, and several major European banks are in the process of completely imploding. I am about to share some numbers with you that are truly eye-popping. Each one by itself would be reason for concern, but when you put all of the pieces together it creates a picture that is hard to deny. The global economy is in crisis, and this is going to have very serious implications for the financial markets moving forward. U.S. stocks just had their worst January in seven years, and if I am right much worse is still yet to come this year. The following are 22 signs that the global economic turmoil that we have seen so far in 2016 is just the beginning… (Read More….)
SCIENCE | Observable scientific data does not support Darwin’s theory of macroevolution
Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham who resigned as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida in June, says God has met him in his darkest moments and has helped him heal.
After enduring a difficult 2015, in which he in which he filed for divorce from his wife amid multiple adultery accusations and resigned from his position at Coral Ridge Church, Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham, has revealed that today, he is doing better “spiritually, emotionally and mentally” than he has in years.
Theology can often seem dense and unappealing, but Krish Kandiah believes it’s an essential companion to our flourishing as Christian disciples.
Internet giant Google’s automatic search suggestion function has been in the news this week, after allegations of mysterious political bias.
The Rev. Franklin Graham emphasized that the “foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam” after U.S. President Obama visited a mosque in an effort to recast what he said was “a warped image” of the Muslim faith.
DOUGLAS ERNST — Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh wants to know why President Obama became a Christian when his public comments indicate he is mesmerized by the Islamic faith…. (more)
REUTERS — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has received more than 100 tip-offs that there are Islamic State fighters among the refugees currently staying in Germany, Berliner Zeitung newspaper cited the agency’s chief as saying…. (more)
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday…. (more)
NEWSMAX — Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that he would choose Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination over Ted Cruz…. (more)
NEWSMAX — Donald Trump’s insulting tirades have become something to expect after the GOP presidential front-runner doesn’t get his way, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Newsmax TV…. (more)
BREITBART — Thursday in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, was asked to name any accomplishments of Sen. Marco Rubio, the candidate he endorsed upon departing the race…. (more)
NEWSMAX — The Rev. Franklin Graham Wednesday lashed out at President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque, saying on Facebook that “the foundations of this nation have nothing to do with Islam.”… (more)
‘Pastors’ Lay Hands on ‘President-to-Be Clinton’ to ‘Decree and Declare Favor of the Lord’ Feb 04, 2016 02:12 pm
A Headache for Evolutionists? Scientists Discover ‘Unimaginable Complexity’ in DNA Feb 01, 2016 08:56 am
Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison Feb 03, 2016 09:51 am
ISIS Video Threatens Attack on Western World Worse Than 9/11 for Crushing Muslim Rule in Spain Jan 31, 2016 11:59 am
‘I’ve Changed My Mind’: Homosexual Rights Activist Now Supports Fined Christian Bakers Feb 02, 2016 08:29 am
Oklahoma High School Wrestlers Charged With Raping Male Teammates on Bus Feb 02, 2016 11:58 am
Catholic Seminarian Arrested for Seeking Sexual Relations With Infants, Toddlers Feb 01, 2016 10:53 am
Obama Calls Upon Muslims, Christians to ‘Build Bridges’: ‘We’re All Descendants of Abraham’ Feb 04, 2016 08:38 am
Restaurateur Sentenced to Nine Years Behind Bars for Slipping Girlfriend Abortion Drug Feb 03, 2016 05:12 pm
Trump Shows Off Bible Gifted by Mother in Effort to Woo Evangelicals Jan 31, 2016 09:21 am
|Top Stories This Week|
|Quote of the Week|
by Jessie Minassian
The key to feeling beautiful is to know exactly what to do to feel ugly. Here’s how.
by Jessie Minassian
Sure, the hat was cute. Just not cute on me. Find out what a hat gone wrong taught me about my beauty.
by Jennifer Case Cortez
You asked for some deep thinking on a difficult topic, so here we go. Let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle racism.
by Paula Hendricks Marsteller
As I watched Star Wars, I realized I was already familiar with a similar plot line—not from a fictional story, but from God’s infallible Word. Vader’s story parallels Satan’s story in at least three ways.
Bible believing Christians, who take biblical doctrines seriously, may use this test, but apostate Christians and those who have caved to the immorality of the day are disqualified, not to mention disinterested, in such a test.
The Bible clearly warns that a man’s words and his deeds must line up. In politics the words are changed slightly to a candidate’s record and his or her rhetoric. In either case it is a simple matter of the synchronization of a person’s words and deeds.
This is test one.
“This is fundamental to avoiding a proper/full global recession and dangerous disorder across financial markets. The stakes are high, perhaps higher than they have ever been in the post-World War II era,” he said.
Professors George Yancey and David Williamson shared their findings in their newly released book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? The researchers say that while Christianophobia — which the sociologists define as “unreasonable hatred or fear of Christians” — isn’t common among common people, it does characterize those in the upper echelons of American society. It’s intense, too.
Jan Markell, Eric Barger and Michele Bachmann continue in part 2 of programming talking about how the strong delusion that has been poured out on the earth, is setting the final stage. Perhaps this is why evil seems to now be empowered. The three remind listeners that God remains in control and the events are fulfilling some predicted scenarios in the Bible. Bachmann also comments on the Trump phenomenon, the 2016 election, and about a coming financial implosion. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.
Media analyst Mark Dice conducted a man-on-the-street experiment in which he asked passersby to sign a petition in support of Hillary Clinton’s just-announced running mate: her and President Obama’s long-time economic adviser Karl Marx.
No one blinks an eye at the name, even when Dice describes him openly as “Communist Karl Marx.”
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley has done a stellar job of delving into the teaching of conservative evangelical Kay Arthur, who is held up as a “great Bible teacher.” Michelle begins with this clarification: I want to be clear from the outset of this article that, while I regret that I cannot […]
A few weeks ago I listed 10 Ways To Hate God. Today, 10 ways to hate people, which Paul says comes very naturally to us (Titus 3:3).
1. Grudge their success
2. Blacken their name
3. Desire their failure
4. Ignore their graces and gifts
5. Suspect their motives
6. Rejoice when they fall or fail
7. Refuse their confession
8. Highlight only their defects
9. Despise their callings and roles
10. Take vengeance upon them
But God’s love can turn the worst of haters into the best of lovers, as Paul immediately highlights:
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5)
Calvinists evoke mental images of an impersonal and analytic God who cares primarily about rescuing numbers — objects — instead of caring about and loving helpless sinners in need of His grace and mercy. We are presented with a calculated God who gives people cancer, like John Piper’s God (link), and who has decreed that people suffer, while they evoke their myriad passions during the suffering He has brought about, while He shows no passion whatsoever.
When all else fails, create a straw man.
That’s right, folks, Wisdom For Your Weekend is back! I hope you missed me. In some small way, I missed you, too.
For those of you who may be new to this (welcome!), W4YW is our weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Articles of the Week
Four Arguments Against Christianity Turned On Their Heads, Trevin Wax & Randy Huff. We share Wax’s love for the larger-than-life G. K. Chesterton. And this article shows one of the many reasons why. In the space of a few short words, Chesterton is able to undo what seem like air-tight arguments against Christianity. Whether you agree with Chesterton or not, one thing is for certain: you would not want to enter a war of wits with the man.
Six Tips in Becoming a Prolific Writer, Dan Darling. In addition to having one of the more iconic names in existence, Darling has a knack for language. But as he points out here, it’s not something that comes without effort. If you see yourself as a wordsmith in need of some fine-tuning (even better, if you see yourself as a wordsmith who doesn’t need fine-tuning), start here.
Three Questions Christians Should Ask about Donald Trump, John Stemberger, CNN. Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about Sir Donald. Perhaps not. But like him or not, the fellow won’t go quietly into that good night. As we take more and more steps into the gruelingly lengthy primary season, it’s important for us to know what questions to ask about our candidates. And Stemberger has three insightful ones about Trump. (Also, don’t miss Bruce Ashford—one of the Summit’s directional elders—and his cheeky insight concerning Trump: Evangelicals, Take Off Your Beer Goggles Before You Vote)
The Porn Phenomenon: A Comprehensive, Ground-Breaking New Survey, Dan Wooding. According to this article, this recent survey by Worldlink Media is the “most comprehensive, in-depth, and wide-ranging” study on pornography in the American church. Definitely worth a close look. Not a lot here in the way of prognosis, but as a diagnosis, it’s pretty telling. As one of many examples, take this surprising fact: young adults consider not recycling more immoral than pornography. (And, by the by, if you’re looking for more prognosis on pornography, don’t miss the invaluable resource from Brad Hambrick: False Love)
The One Question To Ask When You Are Left Out, Sharon Hodde Miller. This is a clever article taking a principle of photography—what isn’t in the picture is as important as what is—and applying it to our social media lives. The natural question to ask when you are “left out of the picture” (literal or metaphorical) is, “Why wasn’t I there?” But Sharon’s got an infinitely more important question we should all be asking: “Who else was left out?”
On The Lighter Side
The Most Cringeworthy Christian T-Shirts of All Time, Relevant Magazine. It may be my penchant for the punny, but I actually think some of these are pretty good. Well, sorta.
Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
Yesterday my wife paid $1.99 per gallon for gasoline, a price lower than almost anyone expected a few years ago. From 2010 to early 2014, oil prices were fairly steady at close to $100 per barrel. Beginning in June 2014, oil prices began falling, recently falling below $30 per barrel. It is not clear how low oil might go.
Economists and forecasters are concerned about the low price of oil because it reflects the fact that growth of the world economy is slowing and recession is likely. Low oil prices, like low economic growth rates, however, may last a few years, but eventually rise. The best response of governments to the upcoming recession and to declining oil prices is to do nothing and allow market forces to bring things back to normal.
Oil prices are important in high-income and developing countries. Problems arise when they rise or fall too rapidly. Why does the price of oil fluctuate so sharply? The price of oil, like other prices, is determined by supply and demand. The recent low prices of oil are the result of supply increasing faster than demand. The daily world oil supply has risen by about 7 percent since 2012. Demand has been growing in China and other developing countries, but not enough to keep up with supply.
One reason oil prices fell so much is that consumption and supply are not very responsive to price. When supply increases and demand falls, price must fall considerably to motivate consumers to buy the additional oil being supplied. Oil producers also do not cut their production much when price falls. Most of their costs are fixed, so that even when the price is $25 per barrel, they earn more on each barrel than it costs to pump. They would lose even more money if they stopped pumping the oil.
Falling oil prices are bad for oil producers, but good for consumers and producers of energy-intensive goods like automobiles. Low oil prices mean that consumers spend less on gasoline and heating oil, which frees up money for them to spend on other goods and services. It also means fewer jobs in oil-producing states like North Dakota.
Since the United States is still a net importer of oil, it might seem that lower oil prices should provide positive net benefits to the U.S. economy. The problem is that a large percentage of recent capital investment has been in the oil and gas sectors. Falling oil and gas prices threaten many oil-service companies with bankruptcy and may have a negative effect on some large financial institutions that lent to oil producers.
In spite of the current glut, the world has been running out of oil. Even with technology increases, the amount of oil that can be recovered from shale is limited. Thus, supply is likely to decline in the future as more oil is used. One way to deal with the current low prices would be to store the oil in hopes of selling it in the future at higher prices. Storing oil, however, is very costly. Also, some investors are afraid that alternative energy sources will become cost competitive with oil, which could keep oil prices from rising.
So what’s next? Asian and European governments are trying to stimulate their economies by quantitative easing, something the U.S. Federal Reserve stopped doing more than a year ago. This may raise or stabilize the price of oil in Japanese yen, Euros and other currencies, but it won’t keep the dollar price of oil from falling. When recession comes to the United States, which is likely in the next year or two, we can expect the Federal Reserve to resume quantitative easing here as well. When that happens, if not before, oil prices will likely begin rising again.
If you are an investor, and if you are patient, you can eventually profit from rising oil prices. Now may be too early, but in the next few years oil prices will start rising, and just as they fell rapidly, they are likely to rise quickly, too. The only thing that would prevent this would be large reductions in the price of alternative-energy sources that can be used as a substitute for oil, or discovery of new oil reserves and advancements in technology that lower the cost of making oil available to consumers.
The best way to deal with falling prices, whether oil or other goods, is for governments and central banks to leave markets alone and let them adjust. Falling prices are good for savers and would also hasten the process by which unwise investments made in the past are liquidated. This would free up resources to be invested in industries expected to be profitable in the future, which may eventually include the oil industry.
ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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4 Reasons the Bible Can’t Be “Probably” True – “I remember sitting in my seat, stunned quite a number of years ago by what I’d just heard. My mind replayed the words of the recent seminary grad just to make sure I didn’t mishear him. ‘We can’t be absolutely sure the Bible is true or that the God of the Bible exists,’ he stated again in the Sunday School class. What’s worse is that he went on with the approval of the silently nodding heads in the room as if he had just communicated what everyone had always thought. They were just not intellectually honest enough to admit it. The class went on, and the teacher went on to argue how God and the Bible are practically absolute because they are so probably absolute.”
Psalms 3-9: Glory lost, glory found – “The book of Psalms begins with the pillars of God’s authority and the reality of his glory. Psalm 1 tells us that blessing comes from wisdom and worship, while Psalm 2 describes God’s authority while it gives a warning for those who would revolt against him. Then comes Psalms 3–9. Here the book shifts focus, and begins to tell a story of glory lost and glory realized through the life experiences of David.”
5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes – “Finally, after all your training and praying and longing, you receive a call from your first church. You are elated—and determined to do a great job. They are God’s people, and he has graciously allowed you to serve them as their pastor. You have so many ideas for how to make them a stronger, more doctrinally sound, more Christ-centered church. Three years later, after a series of anonymous letters, tense deacon confrontations, and rancorous business meetings, you are summarily dismissed from the office you couldn’t wait to hold. What happened? What could you have done differently? Could you have avoided this outcome?”
The Deadly Sin of Coveting – “Many individuals are like the Rich Young Man when Jesus said to him, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 19:18-19), readily reply, ‘All these I have kept’ (Matthew 19:20). A person may rationalize they have never murdered, committed adultery, or stolen, however untrue their claim may be, but no person in their right mind would say they have never coveted. The final commandment of the Ten Commandments, ‘You shall not covet,’ stands out from the rest. In those few words, the very heart of the Law is laid open to us. God’s Law does not concern itself with our actions alone. ‘You shall not covet’ unreservedly proclaims that our thoughts, feelings, inclinations–matters of the heart–matter a great deal to the Lord.”
How Colossians 1 Combated Erroneous Teaching in the Church – “Today we are seeing the rapid decline of the church all over the Western world. While different influences have played their part in this, we cannot overlook the fact that this decline has come about largely as a result of the church’s acceptance of the day’s philosophy: evolution and millions of years. The appeal to the church to accept the philosophy of the day, however, is not new to modern times. The Apostle Paul understood the challenge that philosophy posed to the church in his day. In his Epistle to the Colossians, Paul wrote to them so that no one would ‘deceive [them] with persuasive words,’ (Colossian 2:4) and to warn them not to be taken captive by ‘philosophy’ (Colossians 2:8).”
Andy Lynch – Comparing True & Fickle Faith (John 8:31-38)
Catholicism, Robert Schuller, Billy Graham
Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets!
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
00:10:31 – Vicar Nicky Gumbel Declares 2016 The Year of Jubilee
00:20:43 – Tavner Smith Says It is Illegal for God to Operate in the Earth
00:37:30 – Perry Noble Twist Scripture to Defend Driscoll
00:56:14 – Joel Osteen Gets Grilled by Stephen Colbert
01:14:19 – Sermon Review: I’m Happy Without Jesus by Alex Farncomb
Email your questions or comments to: email@example.com
Todd Friel exposes a lot about false teachings in charismatic churches, Bethel Redding, IHOP, Jesus Culture, et al. The sad thing about this article/video is the comment section with comments by all sorts of people lacking discernment and attacking Todd for exposing this junk — often with ad hominem attacks. Many of these commenters sound like cult members.
In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace examines the classic problem of evil and offers a cumulative case response. In this second of several related broadcasts, J. Warner examines the roles that love and character development play in helping understand why an all-powerful, all-loving God would allow evil to exist in the universe. For more information about the cumulative case for the existence of God and the problem of evil, see J. Warner’s latest book, God’s Crime Scene.
LTRP Note: For 6 years, Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of homosexual-turned-Christian-believer, Lisa Miller and her young daughter, Isabella. “Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison” By Heather Clark Christian News Network BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Mennonite pastor who was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian […]
The post America Sends Mennonite Pastor to Prison For Protecting Child Against Homosexual Abuse appeared first on .
You probably know the book of Proverbs as a collection of practical advice for God’s people. Proverbs itself, though, defines its purpose in a deeper, more significant way.
One of the things I’ve done terribly over the years is address false teaching. As a new Christian—and worse, a new Christian developing doctrinal convictions—I tended to wield my lofty opinions (some of which were even right) as a mighty hammer with which to smash my perceived foes. So I would do stupid things like blurt out, “Why would you read that—don’t you know it’s heretical nonsense?”
And let me tell you, that does not win friends or influence people.
But over time, I’ve smartened up a little bit (I hope), as I’ve come to realize that sometimes my mighty theological hammer of justice doesn’t always have the effect I intend. And frankly, trying to argue people into orthodoxy doesn’t really work all that well. After all, as my wife is so fond of saying, those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.
The problem, of course, starts with the fact that far too many of us—even in churches committed to expository preaching—are woefully biblically illiterate. We either have no idea what the text says, what it means, or how it makes a difference in our lives. And because of this, we’re so easily swayed by teaching that sounds wise, helpful and spiritual, but might be complete nonsense.
We are easy prey because we don’t know that what we’re hearing is wrong.
So how do we protect ourselves? I’ve really come to appreciate the simple truth that the best way to protect ourselves against false teaching (and protect others from it as well) is not always with lofty arguments, but with the consistent study of Scripture. J.C. Ryle makes the point well:
What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.1
The most important words when dealing with any teaching is to consistently ask ourselves, “What do the Scriptures say?” When we read a book, even by a generally trustworthy source, we need to ask this. When we listen to our pastors’ sermons, we ought to do likewise. When we read blogs and tweets and other such things, we must always ask this question. When we do this, when we are committed to, with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to understand the Scriptures to the best of our ability, and when we hold all teaching—even good teaching—up to its light, there is no place for false teaching to hide.
Over-thinking: Did you know this is another name for a habitual worrier? Guest writer and biblical counselor Julie Ganschow of Reigning Grace Counseling Center shares help and hope for people prone to worry. This article appeared first on Julie’s blog and is used with permission.
I know a woman who has spent a large part of her life as an over-thinker.
What is an over-thinker you ask? An over-thinker is nothing more than a habitual worrier. This is the kind of person who wakes up at 5 in the morning and wonders what she will make for supper at 5 PM. She goes over an exhaustive mental checklist of things before she is even out of bed. She feels like she cannot take a breath or a moment to relax because she has so much to do. Understandably, this woman is overwhelmed by life.
The Lord gives us some very sound advice and wisdom when he tells us not to worry about tomorrow.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
It is the cares of this world that will choke the life out of the Word He puts into our hearts. It’s the little worries about things that always seem to get us. We do not always trust what we cannot see (God). And because we do not understand what is happening to us or why, we fret and worry as though God were not in control.
Our worrying and fretting is really us telling God that He is not big enough, smart enough, or powerful enough to handle any problem we could possibly have. We can be such faithless creatures.
In Matthew 6 Jesus reduces our responsibilities to those of today. If you are an over thinker or a habitual worrier, narrow your focus from the big picture to the little one. Today is all the Lord has asked you to manage, and He is here to help you do that.
The command not to worry must be applied in times of circumstantial difficulty. You can’t practice not worrying when times are good. We imagine that a little worry and concern will show how wise we really are when in fact, it is an indication of how foolish and sinful we really are.
Here is another important point: If we were content to let God have his own way, we would not be worried. But because we are determined to have our own way, we worry that something is going to happen that will upset our little idea of what reality should be. If all this weren’t enough, understand that when we worry we are in effect telling God that his plans are not good enough for us either.
Sometimes we act like God has a way of messing up our plans. We plan things without counting God in and then are somewhat surprised and dumbfounded when He shows up! We like to leave God out of the everyday activities of our lives unless it is a spiritual thing. With those things we think it is necessary and even desirable to invite Him to participate, but the mundane and ordinary tasks of life we think we can handle ourselves. We must keep in mind that we are the servants, He is the Master. We are to be available to do his bidding and work regardless of our personal thoughts on the matter.
Habitual worriers tend not to pray much. To overcome worry God says I must pray, and I must not be anxious and doubt that God will answer my prayers.
My responsibility is to prayerfully present my needs, and my questions, and my desires and longings to God; and to do so with humility and thanksgiving for everything I have in my life (Philippians 4:6).
You can begin praying by telling God the very things you worry about. The people in your life, the items on your list of things to do, or the money that you have or that you don’t have.
Offer Him rights to your home, your possessions, and last but not least, give God give yourself to God. You belong to Him anyway, so you might as well agree with Him in prayer that He has the right to change any part of your day or life that He chooses or needs to do so to accomplish His will in you and glorify Himself. Doing this changes your outlook on things when the unexpected comes up.
Once you have given the Lord His rightful ownership over your time, schedule, family, and all the rest you can proceed to your day. Having prepared your mind, planned your day, and then prayed over it and through it, you can proceed in faith and obedience.
You will find an amazing thing will happen! Whatever the challenge, task, crisis, or interruption, God will provide for you. He will provide wisdom (James 1:5), strength (Philippians 4:13), and whatever you need (Philippians 4:19). Since God has commanded us not to worry, He will certainly provide a way for us to obey Him in this.
One final thought; when I look back on challenging times in my life when I did not succeed with not worrying, I am well aware that God was teaching me through it. He enabled me to deal with difficult circumstances. His grace was completely sufficient, and I grew spiritually because of what I faced.
I can also tell you, I’m a much stronger Christian today because of those times in my life that were full of legitimate reasons to worry. As a result, I know more about God today. I know more about waiting, trusting, and persevering.
So, where does today find you?
What are the circumstances of your life? Are your emotions stretched to the limit? What fires are purifying your faith?
Whatever it is that burdens you today, Jesus is calling you to live one day at a time. He is commanding you not to worry about tomorrow and to be anxious about nothing. No matter what your particular challenges are, praying and trusting God by faith will help you as you manage life’s demands.
God is here to help us as we face daily life and he promises we will see beautiful fruit from our obedience and reliance upon him.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting expanded extracts of a popular-level address I gave on “The Impact of Calvinism on Culture.” Here’s an introduction to the series. (You might also want to read a few previous posts There’s More to Calvinism Than the Five Points of Calvinism, There’s More to The Doctrines of Grace than the Doctrines of Grace, and The Five Distortions of Calvinism).
If there’s one thing that Calvinism’s friends and enemies agree about, it’s that Calvinism has had a huge impact upon culture. After narrating how much hostility to Calvinism he had found in various academic locations, Australian theolgian Peter Jensen observed, ”The enemies of Calvinism are right in seeing in Calvinism an extraordinarily powerful ideology, one which they do well to be alarmed about.” 
In Engaging with Calvin, Mark Thompson wrote: “He [Calvin] can legitimately lay claim to being one of the most influential of all Western thinkers.” Thomson also asserted that Calvinism “is a movement that has not only contributed to the origin of the modern world but has played a socially and ecclesiastically significant role on all continents down to the present day.”
Despite this agreement about Calvinism’s impact on the culture, when we get down to details, there is much debate about three main words in the title of this series. First, what is “culture”? Second, what is “Calvinism”? Third, what is “impact”? So let’s briefly answer some of the questions about the question before we get to some of the answers about the question in future posts.
First, for the purposes of this series, we will limit the word “culture” to six particular areas: education, politics, economics, marriage/the family, the law, and the arts. As we shall see, Calvinism has had a significant impact on these central components of Western culture, and consequently on American culture.
But I want to finish the series with a focus on American culture in particular, noting seven historical phases in Calvinism’s impact on America, from the first immigrants all the way up to New Calvinism, which Time magazine (March 12, 2009) ranked as one of the ten most influential ideas of our generation.
Second, as the inclusion of “Calvinism” in the title suggests, we will be tracing how Calvin and his followers (not just Calvin) applied his thought to various areas of life in influential ways.
Third, when measuring “impact” we’re talking about positive impact. Professor of Apologetics, Robert Knudsen asked:
Why is it that Calvinism has had a positive attitude toward culture and has been able to make constructive cultural contributions? Why indeed is it that this positive attitude belongs to the very genius of Calvinism, so much so that Calvin had in view not only a reformation in doctrine, in individual life, and in the life of the church, but also a transformation of all of culture in the name of Christ? 
In terms of positive impact, we won’t just highlight what Calvinism introduced that was brand new, but also at how it tweaked existing ideas and influences, and how it built upon them in ways that made them better.
Next time, we’ll begin to look at Calvinism’s impact on education.
 Peter F. Jensen, Engaging with Calvin: Aspects of the Reformer’s Legacy for Today, ed. Mark D. Thompson (Nottingham: Apollos, 2009), 255.
15 Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation | Jarvis Williams, Reformed African American Network
“I applaud and praise God for the progress that has been made on race relations in the evangelical movement. However, I think every aspect of the evangelical movement can do much better on race relations. Therefore, I offer evangelicals (and anyone else with ears to hear!) 15 practical steps they can take toward reconciliation.”
Do You Keep Your Commitments – Even When It Hurts? | Jim Newheiser, Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs
“Times will come when one might regret making a commitment, but…it is necessary to keep one’s word. In other words, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes.’”
My Indebtedness to the Puritan | Joel Beeke
“While there are many ways that the Bible-saturated books of the Puritans have influenced me, I would like to highlight three special lessons I have learned from them about experiential, practical Christian living.”
Learning to Pastor from Leviticus | Derek Rishmawy, TGC
“When I was a college minister, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for pastoral theology. Actually, Leviticus wasn’t the book I typically went to for most things, with the exception of an atonement talk here or there. I suspect I’m not alone. Most of us don’t relish the idea of delighting our parishioners with details of cleansing skin diseases. But I’ve recently been learning how mistaken we are when we take this approach to Leviticus.”
5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes | Hershael York, TGC
“…often conflicts arise because well-intentioned pastors make rookie mistakes—the missteps that occur at the intersection of the ideal and reality.”
13 Helps For When a Friend Battles Depression | Mike Leake, Borrowed Light
#4: “Take seriously the way they relate their feelings and distresses. It does no good to tell them, ‘this is all imaginary’.”
Feeding on Christ Leadership Principles and Pastoral Ministry | Nicholas T. Batzig, Feeding on Christ
“The Psalmist summed up David’s leadership in the following manner: ‘David shepherded [Israel] with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them’ (Ps. 78:72). A minister needs to have both an upright heart and a skillful hand.”
Christian Freedom (Grace Essentials) by Samuel Bolton ($7.99)
Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcy ($3.99).
Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews by Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel ($3.99)
The A to Z Guide to Finding It in the Bible: A Quick-Scripture Reference Baker Books ($1.99)
When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler ($0.99)
Speaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore the day before the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama again sent an ideological message in need of fact-checking to Americans as he called for tolerance toward Muslims and unity of all faiths. Obama’s visit to the U.S. mosque was controversial because its former imam, Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, was […]
James Montgomery Boice has some excellent advice to young people in his sermon series on the Minor Prophets (volume 2, p. 510). He identifies a major problem with young people today:
As I counsel with people in our day, many of them young people, I am convinced that one of their biggest problems is that they expect shortcuts. They want a simple principle that will explain all the Bible and eliminate the need for concentrated and prolonged Bible study. They want an experience that will set them on a new spiritual plateau and eliminate the need for hard climbing up the steep mountain paths of discipleship. They want a fellowship that has all the elements of a perfect heavenly fellowship without the work of building up those elements by their own hard work and active participation. This is not the way God has ordered things. He could have given shortcuts, but he has not.
To young people out there: there are no shortcuts. And if there are, they usually lead to long delays, as Pippin would say in The Fellowship of the Ring. Things are not going to be handed to you on a platter. Life is not something you can simply let happen to you. This is not a popular message in an age of instant gratification.
Young Christians often think this way as well. After the euphoria of conversion is passed, they often come to a hard shock: the Christian life is hard work! They often think that they didn’t sign up for this. As Pliable turns back in the Slough of Despond, the very first sign of trouble, so also do many today who call themselves Christians. However, as any seasoned Christian can tell you, conversion is the peace with God that starts the war on the world, the flesh, and the devil. In many ways, life is far more difficult after conversion than before.
Do not think of the Christian life as having shortcuts. Study your Bible thoroughly and deeply. Pray over it and meditate over it. Wrestle with God in prayer. Prepare for the Sabbath Day every single week, so that the Word will dwell richly in you. The Christian life is cumulative.
This has been a bit of a slow week for Kindle deals. That is, in part, because so many of the deals cycle on a regular basis and I try not to link to them if they’ve come up recently. There should be some new ones on Monday. Until then, here’s some reading for you:
“Out of the destruction and looting [in Iraq], and partly because of it, emerge striking gains in knowledge of our oldest literary inheritance.”
This is a good one from Bob Kauflin. He focuses on what makes singing in church different from every other kind of singing.
Here’s an interview with Adam Lewis Greene who Kickstarted a beautiful redesign of the Bible. “The expected form of the Bible almost across the board for the last 200 years or so has not been conducive to appreciating biblical literature as literature. Rather, the Bible is designed to be an easily-navigated theological encyclopedia.”
If you read with Kindle, you may be interested in Clippings, a service that does a great job of extracting and formatting your notes and highlights. You can also use it to copy your notes right over to Evernote or other programs.
Here are a few things to remember in those times you stumble into the deep ditches of doubt.
This Day in 1951. Sam Storms turns 65 today! You can wish Sam a Happy Birthday on Twitter.
Have you ever checked out Psallos? It is a concept album based on the book of Romans.
If you are heading to Together for the Gospel, you might be interested in CBMW’s preconference. They’ve got quite a list of speakers for you to hear.
Also, if you are from Canada or interested in ministry in Canada, be sure to come to this breakout.
My thanks goes to Zondervan for sponsoring the blog this week with “Why the Bible Is Hard to Understand—and What You Can Do About It.”
A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it. —C.S. Lewis
Posted: 07 Feb 2016 03:10 AM PST
At least 18 people were killed and more than 500 were injured Saturday morning when a magnitude-6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan, the official Central News Agency reported. More than 350 people were rescued from damaged structures, many from a 16-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, officials told CNN. At least 16 of the dead were from the Weiguan Jinlong building, CNA said.
As of Saturday night, dozens of children were among at least 153 people still unaccounted for in Tainan, CNA reported, citing the local fire department. A cold wave moving into the area added to their sense of urgency. The video shows what appears to be a huge opening in the earth that was a direct result of the powerful earthquake that struck the region. FULL REPORT
The post Giant Crack Appears after Taiwan Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin”
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:59 PM PST
These pastors and leaders all spoke out publicly on their views about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We believe it’s important for pastors and leaders to have an answer ready on this hot-button cultural issue.
So we invite you to watch how these well-known pastors handled themselves in the public space when asked directly, “Is homosexuality a sin?” and we encourage you to share your feedback in the comment section below. CONTINUE
The post 10 Well-Known Pastors and Leaders Respond to the Question: “Is Homosexuality a Sin” appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:45 PM PST
Rick Joyner is predicting that if the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl on Sunday, it will user in the third spiritual Great Awakening in America and possibly “the greatest in-gathering of all time.” Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina explained his position on his broadcast “Prophetic Perspectives” on Tuesday, which was also posted online.
He said that the first person to make the prediction was the late Bob Jones, who he also billed as a prophet. “[Jones predicted that] when our Carolina Panthers won the Super Bowl, major revival, awakening, moves of God are going to break out in America,” Joyner said. He told the story of when the Black Panthers, a black power organization, came to Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1980’s. Joyner said that he received a call from Jones about the development, which he found to be concerning. FULL REPORT
The post Rick Joyner Claims Panthers Win in Super Bowl Will Usher in Third Spiritual ‘Great Awakening’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:38 PM PST
Colorado has been struck by a noteworthy M4.0 earthquake at the Trinidad, CO oil + gas pumping (fracking injection) operation. This is the largest earthquake to strike Colorado in a fairly long time, well over a year. This M4.0 range fracking operation movement was expected to occur this week, (read below for more information). Clearly this location is part of a much larger gas injection / extraction operation.
The earthquake forecast issued 6 days ago SPECIFICALLY called for M4.0 earthquake activity to strike the midwest Colorado + Oklahoma fracking operations this week. Today (Feb. 6), hours before this earthquake in Colorado, we saw another near M4.0 earthquake strike due East at the Oklahoma fracking operations. FULL REPORT
The post Colorado Shaken Up By Rare Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|WAR DRUMS: Japan Vows To Take Action After North Korea Rocket Launch
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:30 PM PST
North Korea has fired a long-range rocket over Japan, drawing international condemnation. The Pentagon confirmed the launch, which saw the rocket fly over Okinawa, where Patriot missiles had been stationed with orders to shoot it down if it threatened Japanese territory. The U.S. and South Korea were tracking the rocket’s trajectory but have provided no other details. South Korean Press reported that the rocket launch failed – however this has not been confirmed by any official source.
North Korean state television said the satellite successfully made it into space, and that Pyongyang was planning further launches. A rocket was seen soaring into the air shortly after the launch.
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|WAR DRUMS – Moscow claims Turkey is planning to Invade Syria after discovering ‘hidden preparations of armed forces’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:20 PM PST
The Russian military has claimed it has ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that Turkey is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of neighboring Syria. Images of a checkpoint on the border between the Turkish town of Reyhanli and the town of Sarmada in Syria taken in late October and late January show a buildup of transportation infrastructure. The Russian military claims the infrastructure could be used for moving in troops, ammunition and weapons, spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in an English-language written statement.
He said these were among growing signs of ‘hidden preparation’ of the Turkish armed forces for active actions on the territory of Syria. ‘Maybe, in peacetime, these facts would indicate the expectation of trade turnover growth between the neighboring countries,’ Konashenkov said. ‘However, during wartime, in such a way the transport infrastructure is preparing on the eve of military intervention.’ FULL REPORT
|Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 08:02 PM PST
The Obama administration is ordering Border Patrol agents to release illegal immigrants without making them appear in court or keeping track of their whereabouts, and it’s also dramatically rolling back aerial surveillance along the southern border, leading a senior congressman to suggest the public is unaware it is being “betrayed” by its commander in chief. What’s sad is the people of the United States don’t recognize that they’re being betrayed by their own president and also betrayed by those people in the Congress and the Senate who have been going along with this amnesty program,” said Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., a leading voice against amnesty and for border enforcement.
On Thursday, reports emerged that the Obama administration was effectively telling U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents to stand down and not process people entering the United States illegally. They further state that agents are told not to order illegals to appear at a deportation hearing and not make efforts to track them down inside the U.S. FULL REPORT
The post Americans are ‘being betrayed by their own president’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.
|Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 07:57 PM PST
Federal authorities are accusing a Dearborn Heights man of supporting Islamic State extremists and planning to “shoot up” a Detroit church. Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, hasn’t been charged with terrorism-related crimes but faces federal charges of illegally having a firearm while using a controlled substance. But a complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S.
District Court reveals the FBI has been investigating him since May “regarding increasingly violent threats he has made to others about committing acts of terror and martyrdom — including brutal acts against police officers, churchgoers and others — on behalf of the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.” Besides allegedly using Twitter to express support for the terror group — often referred to as ISIS or ISIL — Abu-Rayyan reportedly told an undercover FBI employee about a plot to target a church. FULL REPORT
The post Michigan Man Supported ISIS Plan to Target Mega-Church appeared first on End Time Headlines.
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:35 AM PST
Iran wants post-sanctions’ oil contracts denominated in dollars and have buyers pay in euros, Reuters reported. Tehran is also keen to receive money owed to it since the pre-sanctions days in the European currency. The country’s crude deliveries are to be restored soon, with companies such as the French giant Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco and the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil already holding contracts. Reuters source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told the agency that Tehran wants to receive payment in euros.
“In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery,” the source said. Tehran also wants to receive billions of dollars worth of assets frozen under the sanctions in euros, said another source. Iran has an estimated $100 billion in assets and around half of these would be unfrozen under the upcoming sanctions relief. FULL REPORT
|China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:25 AM PST
China’s largest and most powerful rocket the Long March 5 underwent final tests at the Wen-chang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. The rocket’s first flight will be conducted in September, according to a senior project manager. The Long March 5 is China’s latest and most technologically advanced rocket. The tests were conducted for more than 130 days of September last year.
The Chang’e 5 lunar probe, which will land on the moon and take samples before returning to Earth, also took part in the tests, said Li Dong, a senior designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and head of the Long March 5 project, newspaper China’s Daily reported. Li said the tests were the riskiest and most sophisticated that China has ever conducted on its rockets and involved about 300 engineers. FULL REPORT
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|Kenneth Copeland Declares That Ted Cruz Has Been ‘Called And Anointed’ By God To Be The Next President
Posted: 06 Feb 2016 06:15 AM PST
Earlier this year, Ted Cruz’s father and primary presidential campaign surrogate, Rafael, spoke at Pastor Kenneth Copeland’s church in Texas, where Copeland declared that Ted Cruz has been anointed by God to be the next president. Copeland introduced Cruz’s father by asserting that “I believe, with all my heart, that his son is called and anointed to be the next president of the United States.”.
After Cruz delivered his speech urging Christians to vote in order to turn the Nation back to God, Copeland asked him to recount how the Holy Spirit had descended upon a Cruz family prayer session and convinced Ted to seek the presidency, which Rafael took as a sign that “God has raised him up for such a time as this.” After his speech, several church elders gathered around Cruz and laid hands upon him and prayed while Eagle Mountain International Church senior pastor George Pearsons proclaimed that “we are in the midst right now of the new birth of this nation.” FULL REPORT
|Trump promises “forward motion” on gay issues
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 08:32 PM PST
The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination today promised “forward motion” on gay and lesbian equality if he is elected. In an interview with NECN’s Sue O’Connell just days before the crucial New Hampshire primary, Trump cast himself as a uniter on LGBT issues. O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.
O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected.
“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked him. “Well, you can,” Trump answered. ” And look, again, we’re going to bring people together, and thats your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore.” FULL REPORT
|UPDATE: Powerful Earthquake hits Taiwan; 160 pulled alive, many trapped
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 07:40 PM PST
Rescuers in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan pulled out 221 people and three dead from a residential high-rise complex that collapsed when a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck before dawn Saturday, leaving still others trapped inside. Firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the building that folded like an accordion in a pile of rubble and twisted metal and extracted dazed survivors.
The emergency response center told The Associated Press that three people were killed, including a 10-day-old infant, a 55-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. Taiwan’s official news agency said the infant and the man were pulled out of a 17-story Wei Guan residential building and that both were later declared dead. The agency said 256 people were believed to have been living in 92 households. FULL REPORT
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|When a ‘Radical’ Muslim Finds Jesus
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:59 PM PST
Growing up in the United States, there is a common belief that the very nature of prison itself is so awful that it would inspire in criminals a conviction never to return, and therefore to stay on the “straight and narrow.” This perspective, though, doesn’t account for the reality that numerous factors – education, access to jobs, a stable family life, and a sense of purpose – impact recidivism (the rate at which people return to prison). In fact, a sense of purpose – faith – may be the most important among these factors that influence change. And faith is something that can develop inside prison walls.
Walking through the gates that separate R.J. Donovan State Prison from the rest of the world, it’s difficult not to imagine what it would be like to come into this place knowing that you wouldn’t be coming back out. This is the reality for the majority of the inmates I met on my visit to the prison with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI.) TUMI facilitates a seminary class for interested inmates that teaches coursework on spiritual disciplines, and I was invited with a group of colleagues to catch up with these inmates on their work. I was not prepared for what I encountered there. FULL REPORT
|North Korea ready to launch rocket by Super Bowl kickoff
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:24 PM PST
Satellite images taken this week of North Korea’s Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past one to two weeks before a rocket launch, a US think tank said on Friday. North Korea has told UN agencies it will launch a rocket carrying what it called an earth observation satellite some time between 8 and 25 February, triggering international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.
Commercial satellite images from Wednesday and Thursday show the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, said Washington-based 38 North, a North Korea-monitoring project. It said the presence of the trucks likely indicated the filling of tanks within bunkers at the site rather than a rocket itself. “In the past, such activity has occurred one to two weeks prior to a launch event and would be consistent with North Korea’s announced launch window,” the report said. FULL REPORT
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|How One Man Was Delivered From Homosexuality and Drug Addiction
Posted: 05 Feb 2016 06:17 PM PST
Pastor and speaker Kegan Wesley lives a lifestyle of love. But years ago, he expressed those some sentiments by a different standard: As a gay man addicted to drugs. It started when he was raped and molested at a birthday party when he was 9. “I didn’t know where to go or who to go to,” Wesley says. “…
but I didn’t know if they would believe me, so I began to believe that lie in my heart.” But at 18, he encountered God. “I was borderline atheist. I didn’t believe because I didn’t know Jesus,” Wesley says. “Long story short, I went to the altar that night, didn’t know what to say, or how to pray.” FULL REPORT
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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.
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.
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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Truth Endures—February 9, 1969
This morning I want to present to you a discussion on the particular verses, Matthew 7:21–23 and talk about … well as the subject was advertised … how to play church, church … or the false church incorporated within the true church. Because I think that we have to examine ourselves to begin with to see where we really are before we know what we need. And so, this Sunday and next Sunday I’ll be presenting messages dealing with the church and the ministry.
If you have your Bibles, note please Matthew 7 beginning at verse 21, “Not everyone that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, or preached in Thy name and in Thy name have cast out demons and in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ” May we pray.
Our Father, this morning as we approach this most serious passage of Scripture, may the Spirit of God use it to penetrate our hearts like a knife, to lay bare our inmost self that we might know whether our relation to Jesus Christ is real or whether it is not. God, we pray that Christ might be exalted in this particular message this morning, that He might be lifted up for it’s in His name we pray. Amen.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 13 that the church is going to be a very strange … the Church Age is going to be a very strange age. You remember that in Matthew 12 the Pharisees and those connected with them had committed the unpardonable sin of attributing to Satan the works of Christ and He said I can forgive you for anything but not that. In other words, if you’ve seen all the things that I’ve done, if you’ve seen everything that I’ve done and all the miracles and heard everything I’ve said and all you can conclude is that I do them by the power of Satan, you’re beyond the possibility of believing. If you’ve had all this revelation and haven’t accepted, you’ve had it. There isn’t any more you can have. To follow Me, to see Me, to watch Me, to listen to Me and to conclude it’s Satanic puts you out of the category of the possibility of belief.
The Church Age then comes up in Matthew 13. Having set Israel aside because of her unbelief, Christ begins to institute a group of parables that discuss the Church Age and they present the Church Age as a very unique age. He talks about the fact that in the Church Age there is going to be the wheat and the tares, that is the true and the false. And they’re going to be so hard to tell apart that you won’t be able to tell them apart until God who is the final judge decides between them.
And then we read about the fact that there are various dimensions of the church. The mustard seed illustration gives the idea that the church is going to explode and it’s going to be a great big thing including real and unreal, true and false. And so the Church Age is going to be a very strange era and truly it is. For under the name church, quote/unquote, we have all kinds of things going on today. Christ commanded John in Revelation to write to the Sardis church, “I know thy works that thou hast the name that thou art alive and art dead.” What a commentary on most churches today. They have a title, they have a name, but they’re dead. And why are they dead? Well they’re dead initially because the people within them are dead. I would say that the great majority of church members in America today probably … probably and according to Billy Graham statistics this is pretty accurate, probably the majority of them don’t even know what it is to be a Christian and they’re dead spiritually. Paul says in Ephesians 2, “They’re dead in sin.” Consequently dead people are going to constitute a dead church and the church is not suffering today or dying today because of a tax from the outside, most churches Satan wouldn’t even waste powder and shot on them, they’re dead from the inside.
But on the other hand, a vital church, a living church, a church that in reality knows Jesus Christ and proclaims His gospel, that kind of church is always going to be under attack because that kind of a church must be the conscience of the community. A church that is alive, a church that is one proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ is going to become an issue in the community. Jesus said, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” The church in the world must always be at opposite poles because light and darkness have no fellowship. What concord hath Christ with Belial, there’s no relationship.
Very important to understand this and Paul elucidates it in 2 Corinthians 6 beginning in verse 14 where he brings up the fact that the love of Christ is a very basic issue and that what is really important is that the church is involved in making new creations out of these dead people. A church that is a real living vital church is a church that is in the business of taking dead people and communicating to them the gospel that alone can make them alive. That’s the mission of the church. There is no way biblically under the sun that the church can ever court the world. The church must be the conscience of the world. The church must be so well defined that it becomes the antagonist of the world. For those outside of Jesus Christ, this church I trust, I pray, this church will be the most uncomfortable seat in the world because we present a gospel that divides.
It’s so true that when the church courts the world it dies, as I read to you from Revelation 3:1, the Sardis church thought it was live but it was courting the world and so it wasn’t alive, it was dead. The duty of the church is not only to teach saints but the duty of the church is to warn men of God’s standards. And we’re not fair and we’re not faithful to the call of God if all we do is advertise the abundant life. Now that’s a great dimension of salvation, but somewhere along the line we’ve got to proclaim that man is a sinner, that he’s separated from a holy God and that in the eyes of God he’s an object of God’s judgment, he’s a child of wrath, as Paul says in Ephesians. To boldly proclaim Jesus Christ, to boldly proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, to boldly proclaim the truth about man in his sin is to divide. If you’ll remember correctly the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:34 you will remember that He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace but … what?… a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” So says Christ.
The true church of Jesus Christ is not a religious institution which welcomes everybody, it is the body of Jesus Christ set apart unto God, uniquely married and wedded to the self same Christ, redeemed by faith. And no one outside of that faith redemption can be a part of it for that is the requirement for the church and it is our task as a people and a preacher to warn those who have not received Christ, to warn them in love but to warn them nonetheless how they are in danger of the terror of the Lord. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” He says when I stop to think about the coming of the judgment of God, I get busy sharing the gospel. This is our task.
And our text is such a warning this morning. Our text is a warning to those who are comfortably entrenched in the church are who think they’re comfortably entrenched in the church but who in reality are not. This is not a warning to outside people. This is a warning to us who are involved in the church to be sure that it’s real. And I think it only fair to begin our ministry here that we stop and really approach this with a sense of sobriety and earnestness, to understand how we stand in view of God right now as individuals.
I’m sure that in this church right here there are people who come who do not know Jesus Christ in a personal vital way. I am convinced that because of the size of the congregation this morning there are some sitting right here in this audience who have come to church many times but who do not know Jesus Christ. And perhaps they even have religious sensations and perhaps they even have sanctimonious emotions but they do not know Jesus Christ. And it is my conviction that before we as a church can move together as a body, as a unit, we must become a unit and the only way we can ever be united and become one as Christ prayed that we might be is that when we are all are real in Christ. And so I want us to carefully examine our lives this morning.
Notice the scene in verse 21. There is a phrase “in that day.” It’s a very important phrase because it says that there is coming a particular day when Christ is going to judge. The idea of “in that day” in the Bible is connected with judgment. This picture is a picture of that day. “In that day” appears in 1 Corinthians 3 in connection with the time of the judgment of believers. It appears in various places in the Bible in connection with the judgment of unbelievers. But it is always a phrase tied in with judgment, the finality of judgment.
There is coming a day when God is going to judge. There is coming a day when the Great White Throne is going to be a reality. In Revelation 20 and I think it bears our careful reading, in Revelation 20 in verse 11 the Bible paints this great picture of final judgment. “And I saw a Great White Throne and Him that sat on it from whose faith the earth and the heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the Book of Life and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.” In other words, they had no faith to commend them, all they could go on was their works. And if you know anything about that you know that the Bible says, “By the deeds of the law shall … what?… no flesh be justified.” “And the sea gave up the dead that were in it and the death and Hades delivered up the dead that were in them and they were judged every man according to his works.” Again no faith, it had to be works. “And the result of works and death and hell, or Hades, were cast into the Lake of Fire, this is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.”
Now in Matthew 7:21–23 we are taken to the final judgment. We are at the Great White Throne. And we are seeing some of the people who are confronting Christ at that time. And they are saying unto Him, “Lord, Lord, here we are, we are the ones who were religious people.” Peter calls this day the day of the judgment and predition of ungodly men. And the phrase that he uses, “ungodly men,” may seem like a very difficult phrase in view of the fact that these are religious people. There is an awesome silence at this judgment. And then the silence is pierced by the words of Jesus Christ as He says in verse 21, “Not everyone that saith unto Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Here we have, first of all, the condition for entrance to the Kingdom, the condition for entrance to the Kingdom.
What is that condition? How is it that a man enters the Kingdom of God? How is it that a man becomes a part of the Kingdom of God? How is it that a man can be in, as it were, with God in a real vital relationship? How is it? Well, first of all, it’s not the ones who say, “Lord, Lord.” But it’s those who do the will of God. In Matthew 25:1–13 you have a very interesting story. You have a story of ten virgins. And they were invited to the feast. And five of them came and they had prepared by bringing oils and putting … bringing oil and having it in their lamps. The other five were foolish and they did not prepare. And in verse 11 of Matthew 25 the door is shut and the five are on the outside and you remember what they say, they say, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” And the Lord of the feast says, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
Interesting, isn’t it, that they were invited to the feast. They had heard the gospel, in a sense, symbolically. They had heard the proclamation, “Come to the feast.” This is an illustration of God’s call to the world. They even prepared to the extent that they had their lamps. They even had the right clothes on. They even arrived at the meeting house. But they didn’t get in and their cry was the same as it is in Matthew 7, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But He says it is not those that say, “Lord, Lord,” but those that do My will.
What a solemn warning. At the end of that parable Christ says, “Watch therefore for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.”
Hosea illustrates this in the eighth chapter in the first two verses. It’s an interesting story. Hosea’s people were just about at the bottom historically. Israel had really hit the skids and by the time you get to Hosea’s prophecy he is ranting and raving about their lack of knowledge. He says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He says that they don’t have any reality on the inside. He likens them to the early morning dew that evaporates. They don’t have any substance to them. They have neglected God. They have forsaken God. They don’t even go near the house of God.
And by the time you come to chapter 8 and verses 1 and 2 you have a most interesting thing. Hosea paints the picture of a vulture. It’s called in the Authorized Version an eagle but it’s the Hebrew word for vulture. It has the idea of a vulture swooping over the house of God. And it symbolizes the fact that with all of the religious activity in Israel, with all of the things that were going on by way of performance that the real truth was that the place was dead and it’s seen because of the vulture that’s swooping over it. There was nothing but dead carcass. Israel forsook God’s temple as a scene of a relationship to God and the scene became a tragedy, a picture of a flying vulture speaking of the fact that judgment was coming. And then Hosea goes on to prophesy that Israel because of her neglect of God will be crushed.
Israel was still religious. Israel still had religious feelings. The Israelites still went through some of the motions but they were dead. There wasn’t a reality to their religion only a formality. And then in verse 2 of Hosea 8, you know what they say? When the judgment call comes from Hosea, God puts it through Hosea, they say this, “My God, we know Thee.” Just like Matthew 7, “Lord, Lord, it’s us.” What do You mean judging us, the Jews said in Hosea 8, we know You, it’s us. My God, they cry out, it’s us. What a tragedy.
God doesn’t know them though. At that point, that particular generation of people had set aside their relationship with God by their own desire.
Well you can see that it’s not those who wish to enter the Kingdom who get in necessarily. It’s not even those who ask to enter that get in necessarily. It’s not enough to ask, it’s not enough to wish, it is enough to be obedient. God has set certain rules for entrance to the Kingdom, they must be obeyed or there is no entrance. You may want to enter. In fact, you may want to to the degree that you come to church and you get involved, but not too involved. Unless you come by the way of Jesus Christ you cannot enter, all your religious operation and all the formality that you go through is meaningless. Peter said in that great sermon in the fourth chapter of Acts, he said, “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” There is no other name than Jesus Christ, none other name.
There was a blind man on a bridge in London. He was reading his Braille Bible. And he was reading in Acts 4:12 and his fingers were running over this and he … he had lost his place. And being oblivious to anyone around him because of his blindness, he kept running his fingers over the same phrase, “None other name, none other name, none other name.” There was a group of people who gathered around as he stumbled a little bit, they had already been there collecting on the bridge for the interest’s sake of just watching the river go by. And as they watched him there they began to mock him and laugh at him as he fumbled with his Bible and kept repeating, “None other name.” There was a man standing on the edge of the crowd, not mocking but listening. That man walked away that night, went home, fell on his knees and invited Christ into his life. And he retestified in a meeting that the thing that brought him to Jesus Christ was a blind man on a bridge stumbling over the word, “None other name … none other name … none other name.”
It is only through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that you or I or anyone else will ever know the Kingdom of God. It is not through our religious emotion. It is not through our sanctified feelings. It is through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Lip profession is no good, there must be obedience. And in the statement, “Lord, Lord,” you get the idea of some kind of surprise, don’t you? Like they’re shocked. “You mean, we’re not even getting in?” But listen to Jesus Christ in Luke 6:46, you remember what He says? He says, “Why call ye Me Lord, Lord and … what?… do not the things I say?”
The following verse is on an old slab in a cathedral of Leubek(?), Germany. It goes like this, “Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us, you call Me Master and obey Me not, you call Me light and see Me not, you call Me the way and walk Me not, you call Me life and live Me not, you call Me wise and follow Me not, you call Me fair and love Me not, you call Me rich and ask Me not, you call Me eternal and seek Me not, you call Me gracious and trust Me not, you call Me noble and serve Me not, you call Me mighty and honor Me not, you call Me just and do not accept My justice. If I condemn thee, blame Me not.”
God has set in order the requirement for entrance to the Kingdom of heaven. It has nothing to do with a building, it has to do with Jesus Christ. Calling Christ Lord or anything else is not enough, it is doing the will of God that is the answer.
You say, “Well what is the will of God?” Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, he says, “God our Savior who will have all men to be … what?… saved.” That’s the will of God. That is what God’s will is. This is literally His will. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by Me,” that’s God’s will. In John 5:39 the Father comments on His Son and says, “And this is My will,” and then He points out … Christ points out that the will of God is that He sent Christ, that everyone who sees Christ, who believes on Christ may have everlasting life. Hearing and seeing and believing and receiving, this is God’s will. And that’s why in John 1:12 the Bible says very plainly, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.” It is by receiving Christ for without faith it is impossible to please God and that means faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not by sincerity, it’s not by religiosity, it’s not by reformation, it’s not by kindness, it’s not by service to the church, it’s not even simply by naming the name of Christ, it’s by personal trust and faith in that same Christ.
So Christ announces the condition for the Kingdom. Now watch the cry of those refused entrance. First of all, in verse 21 we saw the condition for entrance. In verse 22 we see the cry of those who were refused entrance. “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name and in Thy name have cast out demons and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” Here is the cry of the people, it’s an outburst. When Christ in judgment says not everyone that says “Lord, Lord,” all of a sudden there’s an outburst, there’s a plea from the hearts of these people and they cry out and they say we’ve done all these things. Many people are going to go to heaven, perhaps with nothing to show but simple faith in Jesus Christ. But many more people are going to go to hell, eternally disappointed because they thought their religiosity was enough. Millions of people depend on their morality, their good deeds, their baptism, their church membership, their religious feelings. There will be many church workers in hell, there are going to be many pastors there, sad to say, many teachers in so-called religious schools and I’m sure there are going to be many there as we see in Matthew 7, many of these are going to say to Christ, “Christ, it’s us, we prophesied in Your name.” But Jesus will tear off the sheepskin and lay bare the ravening wolf.
That’s exactly what He’s been talking about in verses 15–20. That’s why I had Paul read that because that bears the very same truth, false prophets … those who claim to have reality and have it not. What a picture it is. The false revealed.
In Luke 13 I think we ought to take the time to note what is indicated there because it bears tremendous pressure at this point. Luke 13:25, “When once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us. And He shall answer and say unto you, I know you from where you … from where you are. Then shall you begin to say we’ve eaten and have drunk in Thy presence and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you I know you not from where you are, depart from Me all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out and they shall come from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God. And behold, there are last who shall be first and there are first who shall be last.” What a picture of that same day. Those who are cast aside because all they had was the name of Christ without the reality of faith in Him. How sad to see them outside crying to gain entrance.
I’m reminded of those people who must have been doing much the same thing only in a less severe way, perhaps, because it was physical when they were banging on the doors of the ark trying to let Noah know that they finally believed that what he said was true was true. When they were banging and wanting to come in and they could not.
Do you have only a form of godliness? Do you know the Lord personally? Do you see yourself at the Great White Throne with your feeble excuses? Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
What do you mean born again? Simply to receive Jesus Christ and allow God to make of you a new creation born eternally into the family of that same God. Nicodemus came to Christ and he had a lot to commend, he was a religious man, he was THE teacher in Israel … THE teacher. You would think with all the religious steps that he had taken Christ would have said, “Well all you need to do, Nicodemus, you’re such a great guy, you’ve gone so far, you’ve had such a fantastic life, you’ve done these wonderful things, all you need to do is take one more giant step and you’re in.” But Christ looked at Nicodemus as if to say you’ve done everything there is to do religiously, Nicodemus, now forget it all, go back and be a baby, be born all over. It wasn’t good to take another step, he had to start from the beginning.
Well it’s kind of a useless defense, isn’t it? The condition of the Kingdom, doing the will of God. The will of God is to receive Christ. Those who are standing there and haven’t done that cry out in horror but it’s a useless defense and then the judge speaks again in verse 23. Listen to what the Judge says, for we find the condemnation of those without Christ. We’ve seen the condition for entrance to the Kingdom. We’ve seen the cry of those who are left out. And here is the condemnation of those without Christ.
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Profess is an interesting word, it means to openly proclaim. And here Christ openly proclaims that He does not know them. That same word, homologia(?), that same word is used in Matthew 10:32, you know what that verse says? “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father.” The same word is used. If you’re not willingly openly proclaiming Christ here, then He will not openly proclaim you there. Instead He says, “I never knew you.”
Now we come to one of the most important concepts in all of Scripture, the word “know.” This is a very very important concept. From time to time you might find me repeating this because it’s critical. What does it mean for God to know somebody and not to know somebody else? Now we know it doesn’t mean that He’s not aware of somebody. We know it doesn’t mean He’s saying I don’t know who you are. Not at all, He knows who everybody is. He’s got everybody’s hair of their head numbered. He knows when a sparrow falls. He knows everything there is to know as far as cognizant or awareness is concerned.
Well then what is He saying when He says I never knew you? Now watch this cause this is critical, it’s very important. Second Timothy 2:19 gives us the key because it says this, “The Lord knows them that are His.” Let me give you that verse again, 2 Timothy 2:19, “The Lord knows them that are His.”
Now what does that mean? What is he trying to say? The word “know” in Scripture implies a unique love relationship. In Amos 3:2 God says, “Israel only have I known.” Now is Israel the only nation God knew about? Were they? No … no, He knew about everybody. What was He saying? He was saying with Israel I have an intimate relationship.
In the Old Testament the concept of a man and a woman coming together in a relationship that produces a child is spoken of as a man knowing his wife. For example, in Genesis 4:17 the Bible says, “Cain knew his wife.” Now we’re not to assume that he knew his wife in the pure sense of just knowing her, that’s obvious or he wouldn’t have married her in the beginning if he hadn’t known her. It’s got to be more than that. It says, “Cain knew his wife and she bear a son.” In other words, to know implies the pinnacle, the most unique human love relationship possible even on a human level.
You remember the Bible says that Joseph had not known Mary. That’s what shook him up so much when Mary was pregnant. That’s why he had a choice of either stoning her or putting her away properly because she was pregnant and he had never known her. The word “know” in a human realm implies a unique love relationship between two people. And in terms of God’s relationship it’s the same thing, it’s the very same thing. For Paul says in Galatians 4, I think it’s verse 9, he says, “Believers are known of God.” Isn’t that a beautiful concept? The intimacy, it’s likened to a man knowing his wife. And is that not what happened in Scripture? Did not God say that Israel was his wife? And is the church not the bride and Christ the bridegroom?
We have an intimate love relationship with God, it’s a fantastic thing. And it’s illustrated beautifully for us in the words of John 10 where John points out the fantastic truth of this relationship by recording the words of Jesus Christ and I want to share them with you. Find the right page, John 10:14 He says, “I am the Good Shepherd,” Christ says, “and … what?… know My sheep.” Oh, that’s fantastic. Now as we go through this, in your mind substitute the word love for every time the word “know” comes up. I’m going to read it with the word love instead of the word know. “I am the Good Shepherd and love My sheep and are loved of Mine. As the Father loves Me, even so love I the Father and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Look at verse 27, “My sheep hear My voice and I love them and they follow Me and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father who gave them to Me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of My hand. I and My Father are one.”
Do you see the beauty of the love relationship we have with Jesus Christ? Do you see the intimacy of it? In Romans 11 the Apostle Paul says, “God has not set aside His people Israel whom He foreknew.” God has a predetermined love relationship with you if you’re a Christian. Did you know that? Did you know that you were in Christ before you were ever created? In the counsel of God it was foreordained by God’s sovereign act of His will that you should be a child of God. You have a predetermined love relationship with God, just like Israel did and does. And the intimacy of that love relationship is so beautiful that God speaks of it in the most magnificent of human terms, that consummating act between the love of a man and a woman. That’s the kind of love relationship you have with God. When God says I know My sheep, when Christ says I know who you are, that means you and I have an intimate love relationship. What a glorious thought.
But to these who do not have that love relationship, He says, “I never knew you.” We had no such predetermined love relationship. We had no such relationship as a sheep and a shepherd, as a bride and a bridegroom. To be outside that special love relationship is to suffer for He says, “Depart from Me.” The saddest three words in the Bible … Depart from Me. What a tragedy. Nothing ever sadder than that. The harsh words in Matthew 25:41 again reiterated, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Oh how sad it is that the final picture of judgment is a picture of sadness. The final picture of judgment in the Bible is a tragedy, as the unbelieving of all the ages are brought before God, Jesus Christ reiterates the condition for the Kingdom, to do the will of God, they cry out, those who have been held out, “But we’ve done all this,” and the Judge speaks finally and says, “But wait a minute, you’re condemned because we never had a love relationship.”
Christianity is not a formality. Christianity, if you please, in the modern term is not a religion, it is a personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you have that love relationship? Do you know that same Christ?
I close with this illustration. There was an actor at a drawing room function who was asked to recite. And he stood up and he wanted to be gracious to his audience so he said, “I’ll recite anything you would like me to recite.” And no one suggested anything so an old preacher happened to be there, he was sitting in the back. I don’t know how he got there, he probably crashed the party. Normally preachers don’t get invited to drawing room functions on a high society level, but he was there. And he stood up and he said, “I’d like to hear you recite the Twenty-Third Psalm.”
Well the actor was a little shocked at that but he had thrown himself open so he had to do what the man asked him to do. He happened to know it so he said, “All right, I’ll do that.” So he repeated the Twenty-Third Psalm with complete eloquence, masterfully interpreted it. Diction was beautiful. And when he was done there was spontaneous applause throughout the entire room. And the actor figuring he’d get back at the old gentleman said, “Now, sir, I’d like to hear you recite it.” The old gentleman hadn’t bargained for that. But because of his love for Christ he stood up and he repeated the Twenty-Third Psalm. His voice cracked, it broke, wasn’t very beautiful. The interpretation wasn’t really that good. When he got done there was no applause. But there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
And the actor sensing his own emotion stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I reached your eyes and ears and he reached your heart.” And he said, “The difference is this. I know the Psalm, he knows the Shepherd.”
Our Father, we thank You this morning for this opportunity of sharing together in Thy Word. God, what a sobering passage of Scripture we have dealt with today that causes us to shudder in our spirits to see those sad, sad people standing at the throne of God and being shut out because they did not know the Shepherd. O God, You love us and You provided salvation for us. God, I pray that if there’s one in this church this morning who does not know Jesus Christ in a personal, intimate, love relationship that right now as they sit in their seats they might invite that Christ into their lives.
This transcript, along with related media, can also be found here on the Grace to You website.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Christopher Ash’s book, Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience, is a helpful resource on what the conscience is, how it works, and what it means to have it renewed and shaped by the Word. In chapter six Ash talks about the hardened conscience and takes some time to explain how people make their guilty conscience hurt less. Here are a few of the many was which people try to soothe their guilty conscience (I’ve edited these for the sake of space):
Moral effort. Some people, troubled by a guilty conscience, respond by just trying harder to be good. They try extra hard not to sin. But, as John Owen noted in Indwelling Sin, people who do this find that sin is stronger than they had first thought, much to strong to defeat by their own moral effort. Paradoxically the renewed moral effort that was intended to…
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by Cameron Buettel
We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the trigger. Whatever the sin may be, there always seems to be a way to excuse, redefine, or minimize it.
That determination to separate who a person is and what he does has also infiltrated the church. The exhortation to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a clever Christian cliché regularly used to deflect people’s responsibility and accountability for their sin. While it’s true that we should both love sinners and hate sin, the cliché distorts those truths by unbiblically severing the two.
That sort of dualism was prevalent among the Gnostic heretics of the first century AD. The error of the Gnostics was so seductive that the apostle John wrote his first epistle as a direct response to their false teaching. John MacArthur made the following observations regarding the situation facing the church in 1 John:
Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis [“knowledge”]) was an amalgam of various pagan, Jewish, and quasi-Christian systems of thought. Influenced by Greek philosophy (especially that of Plato), Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil and spirit was good. That philosophical dualism led the false teachers whom John confronted to accept some form of Christ’s deity, but to deny His humanity. He could not, according to them, have taken on a physical body, since matter was evil.  John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1–3 John (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007) 8.
But it was the Gnostics’ personal application of their dualistic views that echoes today in the efforts to separate the sinner from his sin.
The Gnostics’ philosophical dualism also caused them to be indifferent to moral values and ethical behavior. To them, the body was merely the prison in which the spirit was incarcerated. Therefore, sin committed in the body had no connection to or effect on the spirit.  1–3 John, 8.
The cliché of loving the sinner and hating the sin follows the same dualistic reasoning as Gnostic heresies—that we ought to effectively divorce the sinner from the culpability and consequences of his sin.
Worse still, it confuses and corrupts the very concept of what it means to love a sinner. True love does not demand willful ignorance. You wouldn’t simply pretend that a cancer patient was suddenly free from his disease. Nor would you ignore his affliction in hopes that it would go away on its own.
The same holds true for sinners—the most loving thing you can do for them is not to blithely ignore their sin or excuse it away, but to confront it. In other words, you cannot possibly love a sinner if you don’t also hate his sin.
Not Dualism—Dual Responsibilities
I’ll grant that the way we confront sin can vary depending on the nature of the sin and the spiritual condition of the sinner. You might need to show more gentleness with an unbeliever blinded by his own depravity than with a fellow Christian who ought to know better. And even within the church, we need to be measured and considerate with how we confront one another, yet still bold and clear enough to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ.
In fact, church discipline is an essential part of protecting the church’s purity (Matthew 18:15–20). John MacArthur, while commenting on that passage, points out:
A Christian who is not deeply concerned about bringing a fellow Christian back from his sin needs spiritual help himself. Smug indifference, not to mention self-righteous contempt, has no part in the life of a spiritual Christian, nor do sentimentality or cowardice that hide behind false humility. The spiritual Christian neither condemns nor justifies a sinning brother. His concern is for the holiness and blessing of the offending brother, the purity and integrity of the church, and the honor and glory of God.  John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 128.
In response to those who see the confrontation of sin as inherently unloving, John adds:
In the eyes of much of the world and even in the eyes of many immature believers, such action is considered unloving. But discipline given in the right way expresses the deepest kind of love, love that refuses to do nothing to rescue a brother from unrepentant sin and its consequences. Love that winks at sin or that is more concerned for superficial calm in the church than for its spiritual purity is not God’s kind of love. Love that tolerates sin is not love at all but worldly and selfish sentimentality.
To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels.  Matthew 16–23, 128.
Some people appeal to God’s unconditional love as if that trumps or invalidates His other attributes, most notably His wrath. But as John emphatically argues, such sentiment amounts to nothing less than a popular form of idolatry.
Belief in a God who is all love and no wrath, all grace and no justice, all forgiveness and no condemnation is idolatry (worship of a false god invented by men), and it inevitably leads to universalism-which, of course, is what many liberal churches have been preaching for generations. Salvation becomes meaningless, because sin that God overlooks does not need to be forgiven. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross becomes a travesty, because He gave His life for no redemptive purpose. Not only that, but it becomes apologetically impossible to explain the common question about why a loving God allows pain, suffering, disease, and tragedy. Removing God’s holy hatred of sin emasculates the gospel and hinders rather than helps evangelism.  Matthew 16–23, 130.
We should love sinners. We should hate sin. And we shouldn’t divide those two truths into separate categories. Our hatred of sin should manifest itself in a love that warns sinners—compassionately, but no less clearly—of the dire consequences their sin demands. Short of that, how could we ever claim to truly love them?
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B160205
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You
The doctrines of grace are the best doctrines you will ever know or embrace – Jesus Christ’s Gospel is all of grace. These doctrines speak of God’s infinite Love and Mercy to His people.
There are only two views concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First, there is what the modern church calls Calvinism, or more precisely, the doctrines of grace. Then, the second, we find varying degrees of unbelief. These are your two choice for or against the Gospel.
A tulip is a flower with intertwining petals, and without which, it would not make up a complete flower. If one petal is removed from the flower, it ceases, for all intents and purposes, to be complete. It is the same with the essential doctrines of salvation. Each doctrine is essentially linked to the others. If one of them is removed, then the whole system falls into absurdity and contradiction. (Thus, there would be no such thing as a 3 point Calvinist or a 4 point Calvinist (like Amyraldianism)–it would be better to say they are confused Arminians.)
Source: TULIP and the Doctrines of Grace
We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means. A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. These relationships become troubled over time. If you want to change this kind of relationship, you must first recognize the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. There are effective ways to stand up to manipulation and bring balance back into the relationship.
Manipulation is not the same as influence. We all use influence with other people to advance our goals and this is one of the hallmarks of healthy social functioning…
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The next time you don’t “feel” like a Christian, do a gut check. Go to God and ask, “Have I sinned against you?” (See Psalm 139:23-24.) If you determine your bad feelings are a result of sin, ask God to forgive you. And ask the Holy Spirit to help you go on walking with God.
And think about those times when you’re on fire for God. What are you doing during those times that gives you joy? You’re probably reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, hanging out with Christians, going to Bible studies, telling others about your faith.
These are the kinds of things you need to do regularly and consistently. As you do, I think you’ll experience fewer and fewer roller-coaster rides and that fire will burn stronger all the time.
Most of us have heard of the false teaching called Replacement Theology. This article is for those who either have never heard of it, or have had this preached to them Sunday after Sunday and just figured that it was biblical.
I’m here to tell you – It’s a lie from the pit of hell.
Replacement Theology (RT), has been around for centuries. The term used by theologians is supersessionism. The church supersedes Israel. Theologians have cited the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD as proof that God was finished with the Jewish people.
There are two main schools of thought regarding RT:
Israel’s role as God’s Chosen was completed once Jesus came to earth (economic supersessionism).
Because of her disobedience, Israel forfeited her role as Chosen of God because of her rejection of Jesus as Messiah (punitive supersessionism).
Punitive supersessionism was clearly articulated by Martin Luther in his…
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In one section of his excellent book, Seven Truths That Changed The World, Ken Samples explains how human beings differ from animals. It might seem like a no-brainer to some, but this is important to remember when evolutionary theories are creeping into Christian circles and churches. (Note: as usual, I’ve edited this list to keep it brief, though I recommend the entire section and book.)
“Specific qualities and traits set people apart from all other creatures. According to historic Christianity, and specifically in light of the imago Dei, these acute differences are expected.”
1) Human beings have an inherent spiritual and religious nature. Nearly everyone pursues some form of spiritual truth. People generally have deep-seated religious beliefs and engage in intricate rituals. This defining characteristic of humankind is so apparent that some have designated humans as homo religiosus (religious person). Though…
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by Mike Ratliff
1 Now when Abram was ninety- nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2 NASB)
In these last days it is imperative that God’s people have a more complete knowledge of God. So, in light of this, let us look at one of the names of God that speaks much about His power and provision. God keeps His part of the covenants He makes and it is this name, El-Shaddai, that God used for Himself that gives us much comfort as we come to understand that He helps and blesses His people. El-Shaddai ( אלשׁדּי ) – We must never forget that in Hebrew we read from right to left and this name…
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Before we launch into this article, the church of Jesus Christ owes a lot to this man, Walter Martin. The work he did would have come at a high price. And it’s his voice that has exposed the Jehovah Witness & Mormon cults and warned us ahead of time the dangerous teachers of the visible church that we are seeing now.
Walter Martin is famous for his works on exposing some of the most dangerous cults that came against Christianity in the 20th century. His work to this day has left a legacy in the field of Christian Apologetics.
More info @ www.waltermartin.com
His most famous work worldwide is his book ‘Kingdom of the Cults’, a book that should belong on every Christian’s bookshelf (Walter Martin would be turning in his grave to have Ravi Zacharias give the foreword).
For decades, Dr Walter Martin has called the church to deal with the wolves…
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