Jun. 28, 2016 |
By rejecting a Texas abortion law Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court has set in motion a reshaping of the legal landscape across dozens of states where similar attempts to impose debatable medical requirements on clinics and providers are now in jeopardy. The demands of those laws — that clinics meet hospital standards and doctors obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals — had been among the most potent tools of abortion opponents in recent years, shuttering providers and reducing access in the name of improved health.
Hillary Clinton should have recognized that extremists posed a risk to U.S. officials in Libya before the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi, according to a politically charged U.S. House Republican report released less than a month before the Democratic National Convention.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the U.K. to have no illusions about life outside the European Union, hardening her stance ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron’s first meeting with fellow EU leaders since triggering the political earthquake that’s shaken the bloc’s foundations.
Dow Chemical Co. plans to eliminate about 2,500 jobs and shut plants in North Carolina and Japan as it slims down after taking full control of its Dow Corning Corp. silicone venture.
The odds of a U.S. recession may be as high as 50 percent following last week’s vote in the U.K. to exit the European Union, according to Bill Gross, manager of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.
PepsiCo Inc., struggling to cope with plunging sales and unpredictable consumers, is bringing back its old Diet Pepsi formula less than a year after phasing it out. Diet Pepsi, which was reformulated in August to drop the artificial sweetener aspartame, will be sold in its old recipe as Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener blend in retro packaging, PepsiCo said Monday. As part of a broader revamp of its diet-cola lineup, the company also is renaming Pepsi Max as Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. to more clearly show that the beverage has zero calories.
Worldwide spending on pharmaceuticals is set to surge over the next few years, and IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics has estimated that it will touch $1.4 trillion by 2020, an increase of as much as 32 percent from 2015.
AP Top Stories
According to the results of the ABC News/Washington Post survey, conducted in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., two weeks ago, 56 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of his job as president, compared to 41 percent who disapprove.
The Singapore Airlines flight had just performed a successful emergency landing, after pilots saw an engine oil warning message and crew smelt fuel in the cabin, when its right wing burst into flames. None of the 222 passengers or 19 crew members on board were injured, but plenty posted about the ordeal and their stress during the few minutes they watched from within the burning plane as fire crews extinguished the flames.
The United States has complained to Russia about a mounting campaign of harassment and intimidation of American diplomats and their families in Moscow, the State Department said.
Rio de Janeiro’s acting governor warned Monday that the Olympic Games could be a “big failure,” because of budget shortfalls that threaten to compromise security and mobility during the games.
Part of the solution to California’s demand for water in the face of the state’s crippling drought may lie 10,000 feet beneath the surface of the state’s Central Valley. New research published in the journal PNAS suggests that the region’s aquifers, areas deep underground where water can collect, have three times the usable groundwater as previously estimated.
The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to kill a plan to use a proposed marine terminal to transport Utah coal to Asia, calling such shipments public health and safety hazards. Backers argued the project would bring needed jobs to an impoverished part of town.
Iraq’s army sought on Monday to eliminate Islamic State fighters holed up in farmland west of Falluja to keep them from launching a counterattack on the city, a day after the government declared victory over the militants there.
Taiwan plans to test-fire its newest anti-missile system for the first time in the United States next month as relations with rival China deteriorate, a defense source and media reports said Monday.
Scientists may have identified a second patient in the US infected with bacteria carrying the mcr-1 “superbug” gene, which makes bacteria highly resistant to a last-resort class of antibiotics.
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a steady pace in April from a year earlier, a sign demand for residential real estate remains solid enough to support both buyers and sellers
Scientists have discovered a large helium gas field in Tanzania. With world supplies running out, the find is a “game-changer”, say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities.
A religious decree declaring transgender marriage to be legal has been cautiously welcomed in Pakistan, but activists say attitudes still need to change.
Kenyan authorities are investigating if pupils who set fire to their school dormitories did so after being told they could not watch a Euro 2016 match on television.
Lebanon’s army has detained more than 100 Syrians for entering the country illegally following a series of suicide bombings in a border village.
The FBI did not alert numerous Americans that they were placed on secret Islamic State kill lists or notify their local police about the potential dangers, a lapse in the government’s efforts to combat the terrorist group’s evolving strategy to target everyday citizens.
Democratic operatives responsible for creating their party’s platform this year have unanimously adopted a provision calling for the Department of Justice to investigate companies who disagree with Democrats on global warming science.
Top Headlines – 6/28/2016
House Benghazi Report Details Military, Intelligence Failures
“We are now convinced, contrary to the administration’s public claim that the military did not have time to get to Benghazi, that the administration never launched men or machines to help directly in the fight,” wrote Reps. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) in the analysis. “That is very different from what we have been told to date. And the evidence is compelling.”
Nigel Farage jeered telling MEP’s they’ve ‘never had proper job’ in EPIC EU exit speech
“What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result. It was a seismic result, not just for British politics, but for European politics but perhaps even for global politics too, because what the little people did, what the ordinary people did, what the people who have been oppressed over the last few years and who have seen their living standards go down [did], they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected big politics.
Lebanon army detains 100 Syrians after Qaa bombings
Lebanon’s army has detained more than 100 Syrians for entering the country illegally following a series of suicide bombings in a border village. The raids took place at informal refugee camps in the Baalbek region. On Monday, at least eight bombers blew themselves up in the predominantly Christian village of Qaa, killing five people and injuring almost 30 others.
Pakistan’s transgender community cautiously welcomes marriage fatwa
A religious decree declaring transgender marriage to be legal has been cautiously welcomed in Pakistan, but activists say attitudes still need to change. The decree, or fatwa, was passed on Sunday by a group of clerics. It said that according to Islam transgender people with “visible signs” of being male or female may marry someone of the opposite sex.
Police temporarily close Temple Mount to non-Muslim visitors
Following three consecutive days of rioting by Arab youths on the Temple Mount, police announced on Tuesday morning that the contested holy site would be closed to non-Muslim visitors through Thursday. In a statement, police said the decision was made after security assessments indicated it was not safe for Jewish visitors, who have been the target of attacks there during the final 10 days of Ramadan.
In Gaza, UN chief calls on Israel to lift ‘suffocating’ blockade of Strip
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel on Tuesday to lift the “suffocating” blockade on the Gaza Strip, a day after Israel said the naval blockade of Gaza would continue under a deal with Turkey to normalize ties. …Ban told reporters: “The closure of Gaza suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impede reconstruction effort, it is a collective punishment for which there must accountability.”
European ‘superstate’ suggested as Brexit solution
the E.U. blew into a tumult on Monday when it was revealed that a new “superstate” is being considered… “Under the radical proposals E.U. countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.”
Mexico City shaken by earthquake
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake registered as a magnitude 5.7, and originated in the state of Oaxaca, 215 miles south of Mexico City.
Al-Qaida: Target White People So Obama Admin Won’t Call It A Hate Crime
A branch of the terrorist organization al-Qaida is advising prospective terrorists to target white people for their attacks, in order to prevent politicians and law enforcement from dismissing their acts of terrorism as run-of-the-mill hate crimes. The advice, which was published by al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
India will spend $750 million on artillery guns to secure its border with China
After a remarkably long wait of 30 years, the Indian Army will finally get its hands on new artillery guns. On Saturday (June 25), India’s defence ministry approved a proposal to purchase 145 ultra light howitzer guns from the British weapons manufacturer BAE Systems. The deal is worth about Rs5,000 crore ($750 million).
BET Awards: Clinton Rally, Then a Sermon Against Abusive ‘Invention Called Whiteness’
ust as you would expect, the 2016 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards were full of Black Lives Matter references and reminders to register to vote and then get out the vote for Hillary Clinton. After the opening of the award ceremony featured Beyoncé and her back-up dancers marching into the auditorium to a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, actor and producer Terence J went on to say, “Your vote is your voice,” and reminded everyone to register and “vote smart” as he introduced the show hosts, ABC’s Blackish stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross.
The First Casualty Of Brexit: Italy Prepares €40 Billion Bank Bailout
Barely has the market had time to digest last week’s Brexit vote by the UK, a vote which may never actually be implemented if the “sturm und drang” campaign unleashed by the EU and the ECB on UK capital markets succeeds in changing the mind of enough “Leavers” to the point that the entire referendum is called off and Boris Johnson never triggers the Article 50 clause, and already Europe’s most financially troubled nation, Italy, is using Brexit as a pretext to unleash a €40 billion ($44 billion) bailout of its insolvent banks.
Eight suicide bombers target Lebanese Christian village
Eight suicide bombers attacked a Lebanese Christian village on Monday, killing five people and wounding dozens more, in the latest violent spillover of the five-year-old Syrian war into Lebanon.
Turkish President Apologizes to Putin for Downing of Russian Military Jet
Turkey’s president has apologized to Moscow for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Putin has received a message from Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing his “sympathy and deep condolences” to the family of the killed pilot and apologized, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Top Headlines – 6/28/2016
Israel and Turkey end rift over Gaza flotilla killings
Diplomatic Deal With Turkey Upsets Israelis Wary of Conceding Too Much
Netanyahu: Israel’s deal normalizing ties with Turkey promotes ‘stability’
Erdogan slams Israel, but insists both Fatah and Hamas back rapprochement
Race to succeed Abbas stalled by politics, Fatah infighting
UN chief calls on Israel, Palestinians to renew talks
Palestinian Leader Admits He Lied to European Parliament
Jordan condemns Israel for disturbances on the Temple Mount
African nations at UNHRC call on Israel to ‘end the occupation’ now
US eyes Israeli short-range missile interceptor for Europe defense
US officials: ‘Dirty’ Mideast intel partly to blame for CIA weapons landing in the wrong hands
Lebanese Christians hit by double wave of suicide bombings
Lebanon’s Hezbollah vows to increase presence in Syria
FBI didn’t inform some Americans they were on ISIS kill list
Signs of Insurrection in Mosul as ISIS Executes Top Commanders
Russia: Turkish president ‘sorry’ for shoot-down of Russian military jet
Russia is harassing U.S. diplomats all over Europe
‘Go home’: Hate crimes against minorities grow after ‘Brexit’
Mexico president urges North American integration after Brexit
Political chaos unleashed by Brexit pounds markets for another day
European superstate instead of E.U.?
Secretive Alphabet division aims to fix public transit in US by shifting control to Google
Customer wins $10K judgment from Microsoft over unauthorized Windows 10 upgrade
Justice Dept. mandates ‘implicit bias’ training for agents, lawyers
5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Pinotepa de Don Luis, Mexico
5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan
5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile
5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sary-Tash, Kyrgyzstan
Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft
Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft
Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’
Dem Party Platform Calls For Prosecuting Global Warming Skeptics
Michigan woman sues doctor after unplanned pregnancy
Supreme Court Strikes Down Strict Texas Abortion Law
Texas illegally curbs abortion clinics, Supreme Court rules
Why the Supreme Court’s Texas Abortion Decision Is So Momentous
Abortion clinic sold ‘intact’ baby’s brain for high school summer camp to dissect
Church Leaders and Government Urged to Deal with Porn Epidemic
Trump aide mum on Dobson’s assertion Trump is a ‘baby Christian’
Frontrunning: June 28
- Brexit vote, UK political confusion keep world markets on edge (Read More)
- Cameron Heads to Last Supper in Brussels Amid Impasse in London (Read More)
- Banks Get Reprieve From Brexit Hammering (Read More)
- U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Stimulus Hopes Outweigh Brexit Fears (Read More)
- Brexit adds to existing troubles faced by banks (Read More)
- Merkel Tells Cameron Before EU Summit: Don’t Delude Yourself (Read More)
- Draghi Calls for Global Policy Alignment to Lift Economic Growth (Read More)
- Poll Finds Opening for Third-Party Candidates as Clinton, Trump Remain Unpopular (Read More)
- Kremlin: mending ties with Turkey ‘not a matter of a few days’ (Read More)
- LendingClub to Cut 179 Positions as Loan Volumes Fall (Read More)
- Volkswagen’s U.S. diesel emissions settlement to cost $15 billion (Read More)
- Japan Yields All Drop Below 0.1% First Time in Global Bond Surge (Read More)
- Lyft Hires M&A Banker Qatalyst Partners (Read More)
- Soros Wagered Deutsche Bank Would Drop in Brexit Turmoil (Read More)
- Brexit Steamrolls Fed Model for Stock Bulls as Bond Yields Drop (Read More)
The Long Slow Collapse is Happening Now
he global financial crisis MIA and others have been forecasting has arrived in early 2016, with imploding financial markets and commodities, collapsing world trade, upheaval in global currency markets, skyrocketing gold prices, and oil continuing its decline to $26 per barrel in mid-February – down 75% from $108 per barrel in June, 2014. Indeed, 69 US oil and gas companies went bankrupt in 2015 with dozens more on the brink in early 2016. Oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Canada are hurting badly with their economies and currencies in steep decline (even as Iran is about to start dumping large new supplies on the global market).
Deutsche Bank is in almost all respects bankrupt. China’s $30 trillion credit bubble is close to imploding. Many banks will not survive. Bank stocks are down 20-50% this year and credit default swaps are surging in price. Hedge funds and speculators are losing fortunes on a surging yen. The Fed is now worried about interest rates. More countries are lowering rates to negative. Sweden just cut another 15 basis points to minus 0.5%. Stocks are crashing around the world – down 20% (over $8 trillion) since January 1. What happened in 2007-9 was just a dress rehearsal for the current crisis.
The year 2016 has been disastrous so far for the world economy and financial system, and the dominos are now beginning to fall. The Baltic Dry Freight Index (which measures global trade) is now 98% below its 2007 high and 46% below the 2015 low. Trade is deteriorating all over the world, with trade deficits now increasing in most countries. In January, South Korea experienced an 18.5% drop in trade – in just one month.
The dilemma is that most nations (led by the US) have lived far above their means, and therefore we will see a currency race to the bottom. Of the major currencies, the dollar is likely to eventually fall the furthest – in spite of its present strength, but there will be many smaller-nation currencies that will fall even further. Take Argentina for example, where gold is up 6,000% against the Peso since 1999.
(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, March 2016)
5 Most Sickening Parts of Trump’s Meeting With Evangelical Leaders
According to Rebecca Cusey of The Federalist, Donald Trump thinks religion is about “temporal power” and it seems several highly regarded (by some) evangelical leaders are on board with him. Cusey writes:
On Tuesday, Donald Trump met with a few hundred evangelical leaders in New York City. I read through the transcript thinking maybe Trump might exhibit some charm, some thoughtfulness in a smaller setting that is lost on the large stage, something that would explain why people who profess to believe in Jesus would be so taken in by Trump.
Sadly, no. The transcript is shocking in its pandering: of Trump to evangelicals, yes—we expected that—but also in their pandering to Trump. Here are the most egregious takeaways. You can find the full transcript here.
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law as Creating “Undue Burden on Abortion Access”
Christian News Network reports:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to abortion rights advocates, striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities that its critics contended were specifically designed to shut down clinics.
The 5-3 ruling held that the Republican-backed 2013 law placed an undue burden on women exercising their constitutional right to end a pregnancy established in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The normally nine-justice court was one member short after the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who consistently opposed abortion in past rulings.
Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined liberal members of the court in ruling that both key provisions of the law violate a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion.
Damning Benghazi report slams administration response to attacks
According to Fox News the just released report reveals shocking behavior from the Obama Administration. There is no doubt that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton knowingly misled the public. We urge readers to watch the video:
A damning report authored by the Republican-led House committee probing the Benghazi terror attacks faulted the Obama administration for a range of missteps before, during and after the fatal 2012 attacks – saying top administration officials huddled to craft their public response while military assets waited hours to deploy to Libya.
The report released Tuesday pointedly blamed a “rusty bureaucratic process” for the slow-moving response the night of the attack. The report said despite orders from President Obama and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to deploy, the first military force did not do so until more than 13 hours after the attack started.
The report said one anti-terrorism security team known as the FAST unit sat waiting for three hours in Rota, Spain, as Marines changed “in and out of their uniforms four times,” and even debated whether they should carry personal weapons, according to one witness. All together, the report said, “it would take nearly 18 hours” for that team to move.
The rotten fruit of the NAR
By Marsha West To fully grasp all the reasons the New Apostolic Reformation is such a dangerous movement and why discernment bloggers incessantly warn about this cult I’m going to take an excerpt from a piece I wrote a few years ago entitled “Dominionists are on the move…and they mean business.” I began with a quote from […]
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Wink-wink, nudge-nudge: Dr. Dobson leaves questions about Trump’s regeneration
When James Dobson announced that a friend of his had led Donald Trump to “accept Christ,” some questions niggled at my mind – in spite of the fact that I hope Trump is saved – for real. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if Donald Trump really did become a Bible-believing, repentant, Christ-following Christian? I […]
The post Wink-wink, nudge-nudge: Dr. Dobson leaves questions about Trump’s regeneration appeared first on Berean Research.
Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Paradigm awakens once again
In case you thought Rick Warren was fading into the background giving the New Apostolic Reformation the spotlight, think again. While the NAR “apostles” target youth ripe for revival, Warren is back in the saddle targeting pastors around the globe for his one-world P.E.A.C.E. Plan. For the first time in almost a decade, Saddleback pastor […]
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Still Be Discerning about Discerners Discerning Discernment Ministries
Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley deals with a very contentious subject: Discernment blogs and podcasts. Some Christians choose not visit discernment blogs for all sorts of reasons. In her excellent piece, Lesley offers a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of discernment ministries. We were thrilled to learn that one of the […]
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Does Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades Produce False Converts?
In a piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Jeremy Roten tackles the “false convert” issue. Many people believe that by saying the “sinner’s prayer” or simply raising their hand during a church service to indicate they wish to have Christ in their life or going forward during a Billy Graham or Greg Laurie crusade means […]
The post Does Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades Produce False Converts? appeared first on Berean Research.
Trump announces new “Christian” Advisory Committee
Uh-oh. Donald Trump has put together a team of advisors to help him win the Evangelical er, ecumenical vote. All candidates and presidents have religious advisors (Jim Wallis for President Obama, Rick Warren for Marco Rubio; Bill Hybels for President Bill Clinton, presumably so they don’t say something to offend their voting base. (And you […]
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They’re Killing Our Culture
Lee Duigon, contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, brings to light some of the insanity that is going on around the globe that discerning Christians need to be aware of. For example, Germany now has “erotic zoos.” I’ll let Lee explain what that’s all about. He writes: [NOTE: I have to be careful what I write […]
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The Daily Discovery (June 28, 2016)
(Click title to go to full article)George Whitefield: Calvinist Evangelist – “George Whitefield, the famed 18th century evangelist known for crossing the Atlantic Ocean thirteen times, was an instrumental figure in the Great Awakening. Also known as the ‘Grand Itinerant’, Whitefield often preached outdoors to crowds upwards of 20,000 people. He was a passionate proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ, urging lost souls to be born again. Yet, throughout the entirety of his ministry, he remained fully committed to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in salvation.”
Eli and Passive Parenting – “Parenting is never easy. Nobody in this fallen world has mastered it. And when it comes to raising children in the fear of the Lord, fathers shoulder the greatest biblical responsibility—being accountable to God as the heads of their homes (Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4–5). The need to learn and grow in the role of fatherhood never ceases, and Scripture is our richest source of parental wisdom. It offers clear instruction and furnishes us with powerful role models.”
LGBT and How the Church Should Respond – “The world sure loves to talk about sex. Sex, sex, sex. Money, power, sex, money, and sex. Then the church speaks into the world’s sinful passions and says, ‘The answer is Jesus.’ And the world responds, ‘Why do Christians just want to talk about sex all the time?’ That will likely be the response to this message, re-writing a sermon that I first preached on April 28, 2013, addressing the subject of same-sex marriage and how the church should respond.”
Jerry Bridge’s Seven Standout Spiritual Lessons – “Shortly after I heard that Jerry Bridges had died, I sat down to write about the ways he had impacted me through his life and ministry. In a too-weak tribute, I outlined five big lessons I had learned from him. Recently I read his memoir God Took Me by the Hand: A Story of God’s Unusual Providence and came to a section where he outlines seven big lessons he learned over the course of his sixty-plus years of being a Christian. Not surprisingly, his lessons align nicely with mine, showing that he had, indeed, exerted significant influence on me. If you want a brief overview of Bridges’ books and speaking ministry, here it is in seven brief lessons…”
Does Doctrine Matter for Your Worship – “‘I don’t care much about doctrine or theology, I just want to press into Jesus’. I’m still not totally sure what it means to ‘press into Jesus’ but I’ve heard things like this quite a few times. Sometimes I hear it in the form of ‘Love unites, doctrine divides’. At other times you hear it from folks who don’t care much about that fancy book learnin’ they just want to follow Jesus.”
John Chester – A Worthy Walk
Al Mohler’s Q&A at SBTS 1993 President’s Forum (A hornet’s nest.)
The Truth about Ramadan
“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus. It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur
The post The Daily Discovery (June 28, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.
A La Carte (June 28)
Today’s Kindle deals include: The Forgotten Trinity by James White ($1.99); The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson ($1.99); Radically Normal by Josh Kelley ($1.99). New from GLH Publications is Counsel for Mourners by John Flavel ($0.99).
Supreme Court Rules on Texas Abortion Case
Joe Carter has a FAQ about yesterday’s troubling ruling from the Supreme Court.
On the same subject, Rod Dreher says this: “The bottom line, it seems to me, is that the Supreme Court will never let any state restriction stand meaningfully in the way of the Sexual Revolution. Ever. No federalism, no democracy, not when it comes to defending the Sexual Revolution.”
7 Lies We Tell Our Children
“We all lie to our kids. Sometimes it’s on purpose and for what we deem a good purpose. Sometimes it’s because we so want them to believe something, to feel better, to overcome a challenge, or to work through pain that we will say anything to try to help. Sometimes it’s because we’re idiots and just don’t realize what we’re doing. Here are seven of the most common lies parents tell kids.”
The Trinitarian Debate: Some Reflections and Cautions
This is a great word from Iain Hamilton. “In no sense am I denigrating passionate debate or seeking to downgrade the importance of doctrinal accuracy. I am, however, pleading for theological debate between brothers that is courteous without being anodyne, passionate without being derogatory, Catholic spirited without being partisan.”
Past the End of My Rope
Charlene Nelson shares a blog and poem that come from past the end of her rope.
I recently recorded a podcast with Calvinist Batman. Yes, Calvinist Batman. You can listen in here.
This Day in 1851. 165 years ago today, Eliza E Hewitt, American Presbyterian church worker and devotional author was born. Four of her hymns still endure. Had she never been bed-ridden, she might not have written them. Among the best known are: “Give Me Thy Heart, Says the Father Above,” “Sunshine in My Soul,” and “Will there be any Stars in My Crown?” *
Mary Willson on Domestic Violence
Here’s a brief clip from TGC.
Exhortation to Students of Theology
Danny Hyde: “Since theological seminaries have recently held graduations and a new class of students will soon enter, I thought it would be a fun exercise to write a post on ‘the learned Doctor’ William Ames’ advice to theological students.”
Flashback: Death Is No Escape
Seven years ago today I was reflecting on attrocities and assuring myself and others that death is no escape from justice.
If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up. –C.H. Spurgeon
Christian Headlines Daily –
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
Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:
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
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
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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