March 15, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Mar. 15, 2016


President Obama said sentiment in Congress is building toward lifting the decades-old trade embargo with Cuba, but it’s “not yet at a critical mass” and that the next big step in restoring relations with the island nation will be left for his successor.

The Obama administration is set to reverse course on opening Atlantic waters to a new generation of oil and gas drilling, after a revolt by environmentalists and coastal communities that said the activity threatened marine life, fishing and tourism along the U.S. East Coast.

Americans will be able to visit Cuba with fewer restrictions and buy Cuban merchandise such as tobacco products in other countries, under a further easing of sanctions announced by the Obama administration.

U.S. retail sales dropped 0.1 percent in February and the prior month’s gain was revised to a decline, calling into question the narrative that bigger gains in consumer spending would propel economic growth at the start of 2016.

Wholesale prices in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent in February, held down by lower fuel costs that have kept inflation languishing below the Federal Reserve’s goal.

AP Top Stories

The failure of immigrant students to catch up with their peers in Sweden is a key factor in the country’s overall decline in educational achievement and test scores, the Education Agency said Monday. The percentage of immigrant children in Sweden’s school population jumped from three percent in 2006 to eight percent in 2015.

The Kurdish Peshmerga captured an ISIS fighter from Alexandria, Virginia, in northern Iraq Monday, according to a senior U.S. official.

Russian warplanes and troops stationed at Russia’s air base in Syria started leaving for home on Tuesday after a partial pullout order from President Vladimir Putin the previous day, a step that raises hopes for progress at the newly reconvened U.N.-brokered peace talks in Geneva.

Iran’s state TV says the country has retrieved thousands of pages of information from devices used by 10 U.S. Navy sailors briefly detained by Iran in January.

China will release water from a dam in its southwestern province of Yunnan to help alleviate a drought in parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

As floodwaters began receding Monday in northwest Louisiana, emergency officials along Louisiana’s southeastern border with Mississippi are concerned about the Pearl River’s rising level.

Italy and Hungary, two of the Kremlin’s closest allies in Europe, said on Monday there could be no automatic extension of the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, the most public sign yet of fraying unity on how to deal with Moscow.

London mayor Boris Johnson accused Obama of “hypocrisy” following a report that the US president is heading to Britain next month to make the case for the UK to stay in the European Union.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would soon test a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the North’s KCNA news agency reported, in what would be a direct violation of U.N. resolutions which have the backing of the North’s chief ally, China.

President Obama, in an interview that aired on Monday, voiced concern about the struggling Venezuelan economy and said he did not want to see the country fail despite the tense relations between Washington and Caracas. ”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has entered the race for the US Senate, seeking to make history by becoming the first Indian-American and only the second African-American woman senator.

Bangladesh’s central bank governor resigned over the theft of $81 million from the bank’s U.S. account, as details emerged in the Philippines that $30 million of the money was delivered in cash to a casino junket operator in Manila. The rest of the money hackers stole from the Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve, one of the largest cyber heists in history, went to two casinos; officials told a Philippines Senate hearing into the scandal.


Russia will continue air strikes in Syria despite the withdrawal of most of its forces, a senior official has said.

Nigeria’s state-owned oil company has failed to pay the government $16bn (£11bn) in a suspected fraud, according to an official audit.

A senior commander of so-called Islamic State (IS) is dead, the Pentagon has confirmed. Defense officials said Omar Shishani died from injuries sustained in a recent US air strike in north-eastern Syria.

Venezuela’s Attorney General says search teams have retrieved the remains of 14 missing gold miners, after reports that 28 had been killed. Forensic experts and search teams are continuing to look for more bodies at the site. The bodies were dismembered and buried locally.

Myanmar’s parliament has elected Htin Kyaw as the country’s next president, the first civilian leader after more than 50 years of military rule.


Harvard University has decided to drop its famous law school emblem after a handful of students said it was racist because it was tied to an 18th-century family of slave holders.

It’s been decades in the making, and health experts say they are one step closer to making a ‘safe’ birth control pill for men.

Government data obtained through a congressional inquiry shows criminal aliens released by ICE since 2010 have gone on a crime spree that includes 124 new homicides.

Top News – 3/15/2016

Tennessee House Passes Measure Opposing Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Decision reports that the measure says that the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges wrongly usurped power from the states in making a federal law which some states were not in favor of.

‘Underground Iron Dome’ Locates, Collapses Hamas Tunnels — But How?
Yardena Schwartz, writing last week for Foreign Policy, used the headline “Israel Is Building a Secret Tunnel-Destroying Weapon,” and reported that “As Hamas expands its tunnel network in Gaza, Israel, and the United States are collaborating on a clandestine project to thwart the Islamist group’s subterranean advantage.”

How the ‘Obama Doctrine’ Ended US-Dominated Order in the Middle East
The major imperatives of the Obama doctrine have created a vacuum in the Middle East, which was immediately filled by Russia and Iran, Indyk states in his article for Defense One, the US defense and national security website.

Oil prices fall as clouds gather over supply picture
Oil prices fell for a second day on Tuesday, as concerns took hold that a six-week rally may have run its course after OPEC doused hopes for a speedy erosion of an overhang of unwanted crude.

‘Unprecedented’ UN global data gathering to add huge amounts of information for governments to collect
Six months after giving birth to a cluster of nebulous Sustainable Development Goals that aim to dramatically change the economic, social and environmental course of the planet, the United Nations is working on a drastic renovation of global data gathering to measure progress against its sweeping international agenda.

Climate change deal: ‘Zero carbon’ laws promised by government
Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said. Under current law, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 – but ministers have said this does not go far enough. Following the climate deal in Paris, it is clear the UK must not increase CO2 at all because the warming threat is so severe, they added.

Syria conflict: First Russian planes leave after Putin surprise move
Russian forces have started leaving Syria after Monday’s surprise withdrawal announcement by President Vladimir Putin. Russian defence ministry video showed the first group of aircraft taking off from Hmeimim air base in Syria on Tuesday morning and later in flight. But Russia will continue air strikes, and keep several hundred personnel and air defence systems, officials said.

Strong Earthquake M5.6 – 63km NNE of Al Hoceima, Morocco Today
An earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 5.6 has been recorded near Al Hoceima, Morocco on 15 March 2016 04:40:40.

N Korea will soon test nuclear warheads, Kim Jong-un says
Kim Jong-un has said North Korea will soon conduct tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles. He said the tests would “enhance the reliance” of the North’s nuclear attack capability, state media reported. The North has issued a series of increasingly bellicose threats in the wake of sanctions imposed after nuclear and missile tests earlier this year.

Analysis: Putin’s power move in Syria puts Russia on par with US
…Just as he surprised the world…when he decided to send his military to intervene in the Syrian civil war, he similarly amazed observers on Monday when he announced plans to gradually withdraw his forces from there. …Russian intervention places Moscow on an equal superpower plane with the United States, whose policies in…the Middle East…is losing all credibility and support amongst its friends.

Putin announces Russia will pull most of its military from Syria
President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that Russia would begin withdrawing the “main part” of its military from Syria, a surprise potential end to a six-month intervention that bolstered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and dealt a grave blow to Syrian rebels.

N. Korea leader orders nuclear warhead test, missile launches
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered an imminent nuclear warhead explosion test and multiple ballistic missile launches, escalating Pyongyang’s face-off with the international community just days after being slapped with tough UN sanctions.

Israel approves tough law to keep out Palestinian workers
The Israeli parliament on Monday evening approved a tough new law to keep out Palestinian workers, as part of measures to quell a five-month wave of violence.

Politics Hillary’s vow to kill coal miners’ jobs finishes a vast Democratic betrayal
Here’s a novelty: Hillary Clinton told the truth. Oops! “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Clinton said Sunday night while boasting about her clean-energy program — and with a big smile on her face.

Former apartheid state can attest that Israel is not one
With “Israeli Apartheid Week” a fixture on many Western college campuses, students can participate in an annual celebration of the lie that Israel practices apartheid. And the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — a notorious effort to single out Israel among all the world’s nations, including many who do not remotely resemble Israel’s vibrant democracy and do not accord Arab citizens the rights that Israel does — is unfortunately, too, a fixture on many campuses.

Top Headlines – 3/15/2016

Netanyahu: Peace will come through Arab world

Gazan rocket explodes in Sha’ar Hanegev

Israeli ambassador: UN Human Rights Committee needs psychiatric help

Methodists Restarting BDS War Against Israel

US and Russia sharply divided over Iran missile tests

Russia says no new UN sanctions on Iran over missile tests

US says more sanctions could follow Iran missile tests

U.S. vows to push for U.N. action on Iran despite Russian opposition

France warns it could sanction Iran over missile tests

EU Criticizes Iran Missile Tests But Takes No Action

UN Security Council meets to discuss Iran’s ‘provocative’ missile launch

US Sold Iraq Hellfire Missiles Found on Passenger Flight to Portland

161 chemical weapons reportedly used during Syrian conflict

Putin orders Russian troops to begin pulling out of Syria

Putin says Russia to intensify role in Syria peace process

ISIS ‘minister of war’ killed in US airstrike in Syria, defense official says

American Fighting With ISIS Captured in Iraq

Turkey strikes Kurds in Iraq, detains 11 after deadly bombing in Ankara

The Latest: Erdogan calls for wider definition of terrorist

Miami Muslim leader posts Holocaust denial, support for KKK

Senior U.S. general wants to start striking the Taliban again

N. Korea leader orders nuclear warhead test, missile launches

ICE: 124 illegal immigrants released from jail later charged in 138 murder cases

John Kasich Goes All In For Amnesty: Illegals ‘Made In The Image Of The Lord’

GOP prepares to fight Obama nominee, no matter whom he picks

Microsoft is using Minecraft to develop artificial intelligence tech for the real world

Google to urge U.S. Congress to help get self-driving cars on roads

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits Southwest of Africa

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Naze, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Storms replenish key reservoirs amid California drought

Pakistan rains leave 28 dead: officials

Smartphone ‘voices’ not always helpful in a health crisis

‘Secret agents of change’ say U.S. intelligence embracing LGBT spies

‘Unprecedented’ UN global data gathering to add huge amounts of information for governments to collect

Vatican priest claims emotional blackmail behind leaks

Richard Dawkins: The state needs to ‘protect’ children from religion… and their parents


We Are Being Killed On Trade – Rapidly Declining Exports Signal A Death Blow For The U.S. Economy

Abandoned Packard Automobile Factory - Photo by Albert DuceExports fell precipitously during the last two recessions, and now it is happening again.  So how in the world can anyone make the claim that the U.S. economy is in good shape?  On my website I have been repeatedly pointing out the parallels between the last two major economic downturns and the current crisis, and I am going to discuss another one today.  Since peaking in late 2014, U.S. exports have been steadily declining, and this is something that we never see outside of a major recession.  On the chart that I have shared below, the shaded gray bars represent the last two recessions, and you can see that exports of goods and services plunged dramatically in both instances… (Read More….)

The Briefing 

1) LGBTQ groups pressure NCAA to sever ties with Christian colleges requesting Title IX waivers

Gay Rights Groups Urge NCAA to End Ties to Colleges Requesting Title IX Waiver, Inside Higher Ed (Jake New)

2) Some secular observers see problems with open marriages, but fail to make moral argument

The Secrets to an Open Marriage According to Mo’Nique, New York Times (Tammy LaGorce)

3) China’s Communist Party attempts to regulate reincarnation to control its Buddhist citizens

In China, the state decides who can come back from the dead, Los Angeles Times (Jonathan Kaiman)

In other news…

American Fighting With ISIS Captured in Iraq, New York Times (Kamil Kakol)

Marquette’s Gender Regime, First Things (Mickey L. Mattox)

Contraceptive pill for men is close as experts learn to pause fertility, The Times (Katie Gibbons)

Meditation Has Become A Billion-Dollar Business, Fortune (Jen Wieczner)

Top Anglican archbishop: Fear of refugees ‘entirely reasonable’, Religion News Service (Trevor Grundy)

Germany’s Right Wing Gets a Shot at Legitimacy After Merkel’s Setback, Time (Karl Vick)

Colorado fight to end ‘gay conversion therapy’ could carry national weight, The Guardian (Sam Levin)

The LGBT Politics of Christian Colleges, The Atlantic (David R. Wheeler)

An openly gay player will make NCAA tournament history this week, Washington Post (Cindy Boren)

Baby’s Killing Tests India’s Protection of an Aboriginal Culture, NY Times (Ellen Barry)

Missouri ‘Religious Freedom Bill’ Passes as 39-hour Filibuster Ends, CNN (Greg Botelho)

Google Has Refused Government Demands to Take Down a Gay Music Video in Kenya, Quartz (Lily Kuo)

These Christian Teachers Want to Bring Jesus Into Public Schools, Washington Post (Emma Brown)

Putin Said to Order Start of Withdrawal From Syria, New York Times (Rick Gladstone)

Welcome to Parent College, Atlantic (Olga Khazan)

A squabble over religion between India and America, Economist (Erasmus)

Frontrunning: March 15

  • Bank of Japan Holds Fire on Stimulus, Negative Rate Unchanged (Read More)
  • Donald Trump Aims for a Knockout in Tuesday Primaries (Read More)
  • Global Stocks Fall on Commodities Decline, Ahead of Fed Meeting (Read More)
  • Oil prices fall as clouds gather over supply picture (Read More)
  • Many Shale Companies Are Unable to Ramp Up Oil Output (Read More)
  • Valeant Slashes Guidance, stock crashes (Read More)
  • Fed to sit tight on rates at March meet, hint at hikes to come (Read More)
  • Big Money Gets On China’s Lifeboats (Read More)
  • Republican Party gears up to fight Obama court nominee (Read More)
  • BOJ Move Backfires as 0.001% Deposits Lure Cash of Fund Managers (Read More)
  • VW Whistle-Blower’s Suit Accuses Carmaker of Deleting Data (Read More)
  • Apple fight could escalate with demand for ‘source code’ (Read More)
  • Near-Record Cash `Comfort’ for Canada Oil Firms Amid Price Rout (Read More)
  • The Koch Brothers Have Started a New Family Office to Quietly Invest Their Fortune (Read More)
  • Stanley Fischer and Lael Brainard Are Battling for Yellen’s Soul (Read More)
  • Ex-Sequoia Partner Goguen Calls Sex-Abuse Suit Extortion (Read More)
  • State TV shows Russian troops in Syria packing up (Read More)
  • Cost-Cutting Shale Drillers Limit Potential for Oil Rally (Read More)
  • U.S. Investors Have Capitulated on Europe at the Worst Possible Time (Read More)

The Appeal of Socialism – Dr. Randy White

Socialism is the ism de jour for America’s millennial generation.  Socialism is this idea that everything belongs to us, that there should be share and share alike for everyone. It requires taking from the rich and giving to the poor so that there is an equal distribution of resources. It is based on a worldview of materialism: that the material world is the fundamental element of the world-order, and must be managed societally. A Biblical worldview opposes this material worldview and believes that we are, individually, under God’s sovereignty, given dominion over the material world.

View Article

The Daily Discovery (March 15, 2016)

(Click title to go to full article)

How Mega-Macho-Pastor Mark Driscoll Helps Explain Trump’s Evangelical Support – “If pundits paid attention to evangelicals beyond their stances on moral values the popularity of Donald Trump among them might not be quite so inexplicable. Joining the chorus of voices from all over the political and religious maps, Peter Wehner, former deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush calls the evangelical embrace of Trump discordant. He repeats another common refrain when he attributes this evangelical support to a ‘narrative of injury’ that ‘is leading them to look to scapegoats to explain their growing impotence.’ In effect, Wehner blames Trump’s followers for being manipulated by a ‘compulsive and unrepentant liar.’”

7 Rules for Online Engagement – “Christians have had their share of social media successes in over the past few years, many of them related to identifying theological error and defending theological truth. This work has been carried on through blogs, of course, but also through Facebook and YouTube and other forms of digital communication. But for all of the success, there have also been a lot of failures. Many of the most egregious failures have been in discussing or debating controversial topics. As we learn to engage controversy using these new platforms, we do well to consider how to we can speak with equal parts truth and love—love that is strengthened by truth and truth that is softened by love. Robert R. Booth’s Children of the Promise, a book on the always-controversial subject of baptism, offers the kind of challenge we need. He says…”

Real Faith – “Yesterday evening, I preached from Hebrews 11:29-30 in our series through the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. The focus of the text was upon the people of Israel and the writer to the Hebrews simply highlights the faith of the people. In these two verses, the writer points out two specific events in God’s redemptive story whereby Israel exemplified real faith. The first event was the crossing of the Red Sea and the second event was the capturing of the city of Jericho.”

How Churches Solve – “It’s one thing for a church or ministry to make a decision on a new project or program and we talked about the processes for that previously. But what about fixing a previous decision that’s broken, or dealing with some sort of problem? That’s our subject this time: How Churches Solve. Now let’s start with a disclaimer, no one can build a plausible paradigm to solve every problem.”

Andy Stanley, Megachurches, and the Bullying of Christ’s Bride – “A number of years ago, my wife and I were members of a large New England church; a ‘megachurch.’ Now, it’s very important that I differentiate between a ‘large’ church and a ‘megachurch’ as it’s more than simply number of people in attendance each week. This church is what I would consider to be the latter. Some telling characteristics included…”


Michael Horton – What is the Gospel


How to Disagree – Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, Michael Horton

John MacArthur on the NIV and other Controversies

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

A La Carte (March 15)

Today’s Kindle deals include Saint Patrick by John Holmes ($0.99); 50 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn ($2.99); The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Manfield ($1.99).

Logos users may be interested in 35% off March Madness round 2 titles. There are lots of good ones to choose from. And be sure to vote in Round 3.

Finally, if you are preaching this Easter season, consider watching this helpful video from Bryan Chapell as he discusses how to make sermons connect with the listener.

5 Ways Not to Tell Your Wife about Your Porn Addiction

If you need to tell her, at least give her the dignity and grace of telling her well.

He’s Still Risen

You’ll enjoy this short video, I think.

4 Essentials for Finishing Well

Now that Jerry Bridges has finished well, these words take on added weight.

The Day After DST

Why on earth was I so tired yesterday, the day after Daylight Saving begins? This article explains.

Band of Bloggers

Band of Bloggers lives on. It will be taking place at this year’s T4G with quite an interesting panel (and, of course, lots of free books). Registration is limited, so don’t wait!

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

Check out our new Visual Theology print on the resurrection of Jesus. Bundle it with The Passion Week and you’ll get a discount on both.

7 Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About Church

Kristen Wetherell tells of a book that made “me think more deeply about common objections I’ve heard from friends, family, and others regarding local churches, along with the lies that fuel these objections. Here are seven lies that you may also have encountered, whether personally or from other people, about church…”

This Day in 1953. 63 years ago today, “the first Southern Baptist church in North Dakota was formed in Williston, with 12 charter members.” *

Muslims turning to Christ in Denmark

This was a neat report to read from Gene Veith. “The organization Inner Mission, whose conference I spoke at, does much of the evangelism work in that supposedly secularist country.  Staffers told me about how they are being overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants and refugees who come to them wanting to learn about Jesus and asking to be baptized.”

A Trapped Cougar

This is an intense video of park rangers releasing a very large trapped cougar. Note: I think there is one swear word along way.


The more clearly we see sin’s horror, the more we shall treasure the cross. —D.A. Carson

Top Headlines
 Missionary’s Conviction Highlights Need for Better Volunteer Vetting
 Nancy Reagan Remembered for Devotion to ‘Ronnie’
 Major Flooding Sweeps through Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas
 Car Bomb Explosion in Turkey Kills 37, Wounds over 100 Others
 Update: Hundreds Killed in Nigeria Attacks
 Do Evangelicals Have a Home in the GOP in the Age of Trump?
 Washington Florist Readies for Hearing at State Supreme Court
 Extreme Human Rights Abuses Confirmed in South Sudan: Rape, Torture, and Forced Cannibalism
 Al-Qaeda Kills 16 at Beach Resort in Ivory Coast
 Tennessee House Passes Measure Opposing Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Decision
 When You’re Ready to Give Up, Look Up
 3 Lies You Should Stop Believing about Church
 PRAY LOVE HEAL: a Global Community of Love
 ‘Miracles from Heaven’ and Jennifer Garner’s Faith
 Finding God’s Wonder and Purpose in Many Beautiful Things

Featured Blogs

Our Time is Short

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

What is The Gospel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.

The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl

The Gospel on 5 Fingers

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.

Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more

Resource Links is a website inspired by, 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, 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.

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About Christianity
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The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.

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