Daily Archives: October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Oct. 3, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch bid by President Obama’s administration to revive his plan to shield millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is urging state and local election officials to seek assistance from the federal government to fend off cyberattacks that could be used to manipulate the results of the November presidential elections.

The total face value of negative-yielding corporate and sovereign debt in the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index of investment-grade bonds jumped to $11.6 trillion as of Sept. 30, up 6.1 percent from a month earlier. That sum had fallen for two months in a row from June’s $11.9 trillion peak.

Deutsche Bank AG jumped the most in almost six months after a media report that the lender is nearing a $5.4 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, less than half the amount initially requested.

Minnesota will let the health insurers in its Obamacare market raise rates by at least 50 percent next year, after the individual market there came to the brink of collapse, the state’s commerce commissioner said Friday. The increases range from 50 percent to 67 percent.

Dubai International Airport expects to become the world’s busiest within this decade, overtaking Beijing and Atlanta, spurred on by the expansion of Emirates airline.

Polish women wielded their economic clout to protest a proposed law that would ban abortion in this Catholic-dominated country of 38 million.

AP Top Stories

The category 4 storm Hurricane Matthew inched its way toward several Caribbean countries on Monday, churning northwest at just 5 mph over the warm waters of the Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

China is believed to have its sights on the UN’s top peacekeeping job, a position that would place a country with an abysmal human rights record in charge of the world’s second-largest expeditionary force of more than 100,000 peacekeepers deployed in hot spots around the world.

A Tennessee Middle School Counselor is being applauded for her actions that may have saved many lives when she talked down a student who came to school with a loaded gun and extra ammunition.

Thailand is considering testing all pregnant women for Zika, the health ministry said on Monday, following confirmation last week of its first known cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size, linked to the Zika virus.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision Friday to end the US Refugee Resettlement Program in Texas did not come as much of a surprise. For the past year, the governor has voiced concerns about terrorists exploiting the US refugee programs to enter the country. Texas has been one of the most aggressive in pushing for more scrutiny of refugees.

The number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than 100 million across the world despite a sluggish global economy, the World Bank said on Sunday. The World Bank said 767 million people were living on less than $1.90 a day in 2013, its latest comprehensive data, down from 881 million people the previous year, with the strongest income rises in Asia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Saturday a US Congress vote to override Barack Obama’s veto of a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, saying he expected the move to be reversed as soon as possible.

Russian warplanes and their Syrian government allies battered rebel-held areas in and around Aleppo on Saturday, and rebels and aid workers accused them of destroying one of the city’s main hospitals and killing at least two patients.

Iran’s auditors said that around 400 public sector officials face prosecution over their exorbitant salaries — a scandal used by hardliners to tarnish the government ahead of next year’s election.

BBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree suspending an agreement with the US on the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium.

Roy Moore, 69, Alabama’s top judge has been suspended for the remainder of his term for defying federal court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage.

Fresh eruptions from the Colima volcano in Mexico have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes.

Ethiopia has begun three days of mourning after at least 52 people were killed during a protest at a religious festival in the Oromia region.

A Netherlands photojournalist has been shot dead by a sniper apparently belonging to the group known as Islamic State (IS) while reporting on the fighting in the Libyan city of Sirte.

WND

The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq in a secret propaganda campaign exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

A Chinese government investigation has revealed that more than 80 percent of the data used in clinical trials of new pharmaceutical drugs have been “fabricated”.

At 9 years old, William Maillis is like a lot of other boys his age, enjoying video games, knock-knock jokes, sports and hanging out with friends. But William is no ordinary kid when it comes to academics. In May, he graduated from high school and is now a college student already working on his own theories of how the universe was created. William, who lives in Penn Township, Pennsylvania, is among the youngest people ever to attend college.

A Michigan community being sued by the Obama Justice Department and CAIR for rejecting the construction of a large Islamic school has agreed to settle out of court for $1.7 million and allow the project to go forward.


Deutsche Bank Collapse: The Most Important Bank In Europe Is Facing A Major ‘Liquidity Event’

toilet-paper-stock-market-collapse-public-domainThe largest and most important bank in the largest and most important economy in Europe is imploding right in front of our eyes.  Deutsche Bank is the 11th biggest bank on the entire planet, and due to the enormous exposure to derivatives that it has, it has been called “the world’s most dangerous bank“.  Over the past year, I have repeatedly warned that Deutsche Bank is heading for disaster and is a likely candidate to be “the next Lehman Brothers”.  If you would like to review, you can do so here, here and here.  On September 16th, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Department of Justice wanted 14 billion dollars from Deutsche Bank to settle a case related to the mis-handling of mortgage-backed securities during the last financial crisis.  As a result of that announcement, confidence in the bank has been greatly shaken, the stock price has fallen to record lows, and analysts are warning that Deutsche Bank may be facing a “liquidity event” unlike anything that we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers back in 2008. (Read More….)


Top News – 10/3/2016

Pope Francis: Teaching gender theory is indoctrination
“It is one thing to have homosexual tendencies or a sex change,” the pope said …”But it is another thing to teach it in schools.” Trying to “change attitudes” like this is “ideological colonization,” the pope said…

DEUTSCHE HELL: Desperate German bank pleads over £10BN fine with US as it teeters on brink
TROUBLED Deutsche Bank is desperately trying to haggle down a gigantic mis-selling fine, which investors fear could sink the company and heavily damage Germany’s economy.

China Goes All Out to Become ‘Global Aviation Power’
Last year, China unveiled the Comac C919, a jet airliner intended to compete with passenger planes produced by Airbus and Boeing. The aircraft will perform its first flight next year and will then carry out test flights for additional three years, the Chinese news agency said. Comac was established by several companies, including AVIC.

New DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Elongated Paracas Skulls Changes Known History
Now a second round of DNA testing has been completed and the results are just as controversial – the skulls tested, which date back as far as 2,000 years, were shown to have European and Middle Eastern Origin. These surprising results change the known history about how the Americas were populated.

France: The Ticking Time Bomb of Islamization
Both studies, filling a huge knowledge-deficit on religious and ethnic demography, were widely reported in the media. France is a country well-equipped with demographers, scholars, professors and research institutes, but any official data or statistics based on race, origin or religion are prohibited by law.

Cash-strapped Saudi Arabia switches to Gregorian calendar to pay civil servants less
Saudi Arabian civil servants will lose 11 days of pay after the country switched to the Gregorian calendar, the predominant format for organizing time in the West. The switch is part of austerity measures meant to curb the budget deficit.

Russia’s Putin suspends plutonium cleanup accord with U.S. because of ‘unfriendly’ acts
A Kremlin spokesman said Putin had signed a decree suspending the 2010 agreement under which each side committed to destroy tonnes of weapons-grade material because Washington had not been implementing it and because of current tensions in relations.

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake jolts Pangasinan
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Bolinao, Pangasinan on Sunday night but no immediate reports of injuries or damage were reported, officials said. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake, which happened at around 9:40 p.m. on October 2, was tectonic in nature with a depth of 26 kilometers.

LA Earthquake Warning: What You Need To Know [BREAKING]
An imminent earthquake warning is in effect for LA residents through Tuesday, multiple news outlets have reported. ABC in conjunction with the Associated Press references a story released Friday in the Orange County Register. The publication explains that this warning follows a group of small temblors (earthquakes) beneath the Salton Sea…

Caribbean fears for coastal families as Hurricane Matthew gets close
Haiti and Jamaica urged residents in vulnerable coastal areas to evacuate and Cuba suspended flights on Sunday as bands of rain from Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to menace Caribbean nations since 2007, drenched the Jamaican capital. Matthew’s slow-moving center was expected to come near southwestern Haiti and Jamaica on Monday as a major storm bringing winds of 145 miles per hour…

Hungary PM claims EU migrant quota referendum victory
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has declared victory in a referendum on mandatory EU migrant quotas, despite a low turnout that appeared to render it invalid. Nearly 98% of those who took part supported the government’s call to reject the EU plan. But only 43% of the electorate voted, short of the 50% required to be valid.

Belfast rabbi says antisemitism growing in Northern Ireland
Antisemitism is on the rise in Northern Ireland as the Jewish community continues to suffer from repeated threats and acts of vandalism in Belfast, one local rabbi told the BBC Sunday. Rabbi David Singer, head of the Belfast Jewish Community congregation, said that Jewish graves, synagogues and public spaces throughout Northern Ireland have been defaced with anti-Jewish graffiti over recent months.

Germany presses US to lift Iran sanctions as it courts closer ties
Germany wants to help Iran push ahead with reforms, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday, adding he believed the Islamic Republic was a reliable credit partner as he courted closer trade ties. “Our aim is to support the current government with its path to opening up to the world,” Gabriel said in Tehran, adding he would raise topics such as Iran’s role in the war in Syria, Israel and legal state issues with the Iranian leadership.

Trump Campaign: New York Times Illegally Obtained Tax Records
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is accusing the New York Times of participating in illegal behavior after the newspaper published some of his tax records on Saturday night.

Why American Military Doctrine Is Doomed For Failure
An analysis of US generals’ growing dissatisfaction with the political leadership in Washington sheds new light on the direction in which the American military machine is heading. In particular, it is interesting to observe the military planning for the future of the sea, air, space, cyberspace, and land forces.

China Eyes Ending Western Grip on Top U.N. Jobs With Greater Control Over Blue Helmets
China is believed to have its sights on the United Nations’ top peacekeeping job, a position that would place a country with an abysmal human rights record in charge of the world’s second-largest expeditionary force of more than 100,000 peacekeepers deployed in hot spots around the world.

Oromia: Stampede at Ethiopia protest leaves 52 dead
Fifty-two people were killed and many more injured in Ethiopia’s Oromia region during a protest at a religious festival, the government says. Some died in a stampede after police employed tear gas, rubber bullets and baton charges, witnesses said.

Colombia referendum: Voters reject Farc peace deal
Voters in a referendum in Colombia have rejected a landmark peace deal with Farc rebels in a shock referendum result, with 50.24% voting against it. The deal was signed last week by President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez after nearly four years of negotiations.


Wells Fargo or the Federal Reserve: Who’s the Bigger Fraud?

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By Ron Paul

The Wells Fargo bank account scandal took center stage in the news last week and in all likelihood will continue to make headlines for many weeks to come. What Wells Fargo employees did in opening bank accounts without customers’ authorization was obviously wrong, but in true Washington fashion the scandal is being used to deflect attention away from larger, more enduring, and more important scandals.

Read More


The Most Powerful Anti-Clinton Ad Yet -This Is A Must-Watch!

If you think Hillary Clinton is trustworthy, you are among the minority in the United States. According to an NBC poll, only 11% of Americans feel Clinton is “honest and trustworthy,” and that’s damaging – as well as frightening, considering her main opponent for President of the United States is Donald Trump.

Because few are advocates for either Trump or Clinton, 57% of U.S. citizens (according to a Gallup poll) believe there should be a third-party option on the ballot this November. If Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party is able to rally enough support, he could be on the ballot in all 50 states. This will, at least, present citizens with an alternative option. And, after watching the following video, many more people might just jump on the Johnson bandwagon.

The advertisement, simply titled “Trustworthy?”, is the latest campaign against Clinton released by the America Rising PAC.

As EndingTheFed relays, the advertisement chronicles a myriad of Clinton’s contradictory statements and actions through the course of her political career. Of course, Donald Trump is not without his contradictory statements, either. But what makes this advertisement so compelling is the fact that many of Clinton’s mishaps – from Benghazi to deleting emails to failed attempts at diplomacy – have had deadly consequences.

Watch the chilling video for yourself below:


Top Headlines – 10/3/2016

Rivlin to diaspora on Rosh Hashanah: Don’t take Israel for granted

At least 20 Arab council heads pay respects to Peres family

Antisemitism and radical Islam could drive Jews from Europe, rabbi warns

Philippines president apologizes to Jewish community for Hitler remark

Public deeply unhappy with Israel’s religious policies, study shows

IS-linked East Jerusalem men ‘planned terror attacks on gov’t offices’ in capital, TLV

Putin’s Syria playbook? To recapture Soviet glory in the Middle East

Russia: US attacks on Syrian forces would trigger ‘terrible, tectonic consequences’

Syrian government presses Aleppo advance, tells rebels to leave

Syrian children return to school as airstrikes on Aleppo continue

France church reopens after priest killed in ISIS attack

US said to have paid $500m for fake al-Qaeda-style propaganda videos

Women threaten boycott of Iran chess contest over need to cover up

Colombians shockingly defeat peace deal with FARC rebels after 52 years of fighting

Colombia voted against impunity for FARC, not against peace

China Eyes Ending Western Grip on Top U.N. Jobs With Greater Control Over Blue Helmets

Hungary PM claims EU migrant quota referendum victory

‘They Keep Finding Bodies’: Gang Violence in Long Island Town Fuels Immigration Debate

Oil prices fall on high production despite planned OPEC output cut

Some Deutsche Bank Clients Unable To Access Cash Due To “IT Outage”

UK Prime Minister May says she will start ‘Brexit’ process next year

Brexit Mastermind Tells Trump to Avoid Catfight With Clinton

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Pastors to Protest IRS Restrictions on Speaking About Politics

Bombshell: Over 1,000 Illegal Voters in Eight Virginia Localities

Bush Daughter and Huma Abedin Together in Pro-Hillary Tweet

Donald Trump has some Latinos so unnerved, they’re turning to the supernatural for help

Trump’s DC hotel vandalized with ‘Black Lives Matter’ graffiti

Trump Campaign: New York Times Illegally Obtained Tax Records

Clinton Campaign Admits Hillary Used Same Tax Avoidance “Scheme” As Trump

Sanders admits being bothered by Clinton’s depiction of young voters who backed him

‘October Surprise’ Thwarted? Wikileaks Cancels Highly Anticipated Tuesday Announcement Due to ‘Security Concerns’

Virtual reality helps net last Auschwitz criminals

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Balingasay, Philippines

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 27,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 13,000ft

Hurricane Matthew Could Dump Up To 40 Inches Of Rain In Some Parts Of Haiti

Florida officials monitoring, preparing for possible threat of Hurricane Matthew

India just ratified the Paris climate deal – bringing it extremely close to taking effect

52 confirmed dead in stampede at Ethiopia religious event

Earthquake swarm strikes Tenerife, Possible Prelude to another Teide volcano eruption

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 08:23 AM PDT

The next Teide volcanic eruption is maybe just ahead! A swarm of more than 90 minor earthquakes hit the Teide volcano, Tenerife on Sunday, October…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RUMORS OF WAR: ISIS terror cell found in Jerusalem planning attacks

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 06:15 AM PDT

Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service and Jerusalem Police uncovered a terrorist cell run by the Islamic State group in East Jerusalem that planned to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

City in Michigan agrees to pay mosque $1.7M for ‘discriminatory’ zoning regs

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 06:01 AM PDT

A Michigan community being sued by the Obama Justice Department and CAIR for rejecting the construction of a large Islamic school has agreed to settle…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hurricane Matthew Less Than 24 Hours From Catastrophic Haiti Strike

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:47 AM PDT

Hurricane Matthew is less than 24 hours from delivering a potentially catastrophic strike on Haiti, and will also strike parts of Jamaica, eastern Cuba and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mystery Object Spotted on International Space Station live stream

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:43 AM PDT

EAGLE-EYED space fans caught a glimpse of a mysterious light hovering above our atmosphere – which alien hunters are convinced is NOT a solar flare….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Google claims it’s NOT possible for ethnic minorities to be racist against white people

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:28 AM PDT

Google is promoting the idea that ethnic minorities CANNOT be racist toward white people. The tech giants’ search results appear to foreground left-leaning answers to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

ON EDGE: Citywide tactical alert issued as protests erupt in South LA…

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:25 AM PDT

Protests erupted at a South Los Angeles intersection Sunday night not far from where a teenager died in an officer-involved shooting after police say he…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Feds push police to scan license plates at gun shows…

Posted: 03 Oct 2016 05:20 AM PDT

Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PLAYING WITH FIRE: Obama Admin Strikes ‘Jerusalem’ From Israel

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 04:33 PM PDT

The Obama administration stripped Jerusalem from being located in Israel in its official communication of the president’s remarks in the ancient city at a memorial…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hurricane Matthew remains a threat to Florida as it aims for Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 04:22 PM PDT

Hurricane Matthew showed some signs of weakening on Sunday, but remains a major threat to the Caribbean. It’s still a Category 4 hurricane that’s ominously…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean, Going To Get Worse

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 04:19 PM PDT

What was the most dangerous nuclear disaster in world history? Most people would say the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but they’d be wrong. In…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

American pastor faces fines, end of ministry under new Russian law

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 04:15 PM PDT

An American missionary’s bid to spread the Gospel in Russia is facing end times after authorities accused him of violating an anti-religion law that was…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

2nd Alabama judge under attack by SPLC

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 12:16 PM PDT

A federal judge in Alabama has admitted that the First Amendment has been compromised by a demand from the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

University offers course for men to ‘deconstruct toxic masculinities’…

Posted: 02 Oct 2016 12:08 PM PDT

A university in the United States has begun offering classes in “constructive male allyship,” providing a space where male students are able to “question and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


The Briefing 10-03-16

As the Supreme Court begins a new term, the contest over its direction centers on the 2016 election

Canadian United Church torn over whether or not to remove atheist minister of a Christian church?

The post The Briefing 10-03-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


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.


Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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.


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

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

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

— Augustine

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Unholy Alliances to the Apostate Bridge

Resetting the Reformation: Part 3


Part 1: TOGETHER 2016: Unbiblical Unity on the National Mall
Part 2: Betraying the Reformers – Betraying the Gospel

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God…. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
(Rev. 21:1, 27)
Ecumenical evangelical James Robison gives a “high five”
to Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 24, 2014[1]
I believe there is an important spiritual awakening beginning in the hearts of those truly committed to Christ in the Protestant and Catholic communities. Is it possible that Pope Francis may prove to be an answer not only to the prayers of Catholics, but also those known as Protestants?
~ Ecumenical Televangelist, James Robison[2]
By Gaylene Goodroad

‘THAT ALL MAY BE ONE’- THE INTERFAITH BRIDGE 
What many zealous proponents of ecumenical unity—like the Together 2016 organizers and participants—neglect to realize, is that this unholy alliance is a necessary step in completing Rome’s ungodly interreligious bridge to one world unification—under the authority of the Pope himself. Without question, the Evangelical change agents involved in this ungodly endeavor, who are leading their own enormous flocks and Internet audience into apostasy, all look to the Roman Pontiff for direction, approval, and affirmation.

Has Roman Catholic doctrine changed since the Middle Ages?[3] Do Evangelicals and Catholics really share “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3)? This post will shed important light on these questions as well as reveal the Pope’s larger construction project, the Interfaith Bridge to One World Unity.

Pope John Paul II, more than any other Pope since Francis, ignited an ecumenical flame that has not gone out, but instead has been rekindled in recent years by his unity-eager successors. In 1995, John Paul II wrote a widely distributed papal encyclical titled “Ut Unum Sint”—That All May Be One. In it he called for worldwide ecumenical unity:

The way of ecumenism: the way of the Church
The Lord of the Ages wisely and patiently follows out the plan of his grace on behalf of us sinners. In recent times he has begun to bestow more generously upon divided Christians remorse over their divisions and a longing for unity. Everywhere, large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day a movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. Taking part in this movement, which is called ecumenical, are those who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They join in not merely as individuals but also as members of the corporate groups in which they have heard the Gospel, and which each regards as his Church and, indeed, God’s. And yet almost everyone, though in different ways, longs that there may be one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and sent forth to the whole world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God.[4][bold added]

Ironically, the term catholic literally means “universal” or “all-inclusive” (one).[5] The fatal glitch to this bold ecumenical endeavor, however, is the fact that Roman Catholicism promotes a false gospel[6] and a false Jesus[7] —which will never change.[8]

Pope John Paul II in 1978; canonized into Catholic sainthood in 2014[9]

John Paul II, perhaps the most popular Pope in recent history—spent his tenure as the Roman Pontiff building bridges with Protestants, “separated brethren” (those who left Roman Catholicism), and even other religions, so that all people of all faiths would one day recognize and submit to the Papal authority of Rome[10] (Rev. 13:11-17; 17:1-18). In 1986, in a landmark feat, Pope John Paul II was successful in convening interfaith leaders from around the world to pray together for world peace in Assisi, Italy.[11] This would be the ground-breaking event for the future completion of the One World Bridge.

THE APOSTATE UNITY BRIDGE BUILDER
It is most pertinent to note that “Pontiff,”one of the Pope’s titles, is an abbreviation of Pontifex Maximus,[12] which means, “Supreme Bridge-builder.” The term is a pagan carry-over from the Roman Empire days, that signifies “one who builds a bridge from heaven to earth.”[13] This lofty papal title once donned by the ancient Roman Caesars, among many others,[14] blasphemously usurps the unique role of the Lord Jesus Christ. Observe how efficacious John Paul’s successor, Pope Francis, has been in perpetuating this unholy ecumenical—and interfaith—bridge.[15]

‘Pontifex Maximus’ Pope Francis commemorative coin[16]
‘PONT MAX’ – abbreviation for “Pontifex Maximus”
Left: Caesar Augustus – Right: Pope Leo XIII[17]

DUELING GOSPELS 
Evangelical evangelist to Catholics, Mike Gendron, explains the diametrically opposing gospels—between biblical believers and Roman Catholics—each of which explain how a person is saved from sin, the world, and eternal death. One is eternally right and one is eternally wrong. One is based upon the Word of God, the other upon tradition and the commandments of men. One is by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, the other by the merits of sinful mankind. Gendron wrote:

Our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ saves His people from the punishment, power and presence of sin. Salvation is only given by God’s grace to those who repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). Salvation is made up of three elements – justification, sanctification and glorification. For believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation is past (justification), present (sanctification) and pending (glorification). This is why the Bible reveals that Christians have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved. Justification occurs at the moment of faith. Christians were saved (past tense) from the “penalty of sin” at the very moment God justified them….

The Roman Catholic Church teaches a different plan of salvation. Justification and sanctification are interchangeable and are part of a process from baptism through purgatory. Salvation in the Catholic Church is based on faith plus works to the extent that Catholics are condemned if they believe salvation is by faith alone. Canon 9 of the Council of Trent states, “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification…let him be anathema.” The Catholic Church states that the grace of justification comes, not through faith but through the sacraments, beginning with baptism. The sacraments conform Catholics to the righteousness of God. Catholics are taught they can then merit the graces needed for the attainment of eternal life through the sacraments, good works and obeying the law. Catholics are taught they must establish and maintain their own righteousness to enter heaven rather than seek God’s righteousness….[18][bold added]

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
(Rom. 3:28)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(Eph. 2:8-9)
Worship of the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Jesus[19]

Roman Catholics also worship a different Jesus[20] in their “Sacrifice of the Mass”—the wafer Jesus. Gendron elaborates on this false dogma:

There exists a profound contrast between the teachings of Scripture and the teachings of Catholicism concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “the sacrifice of Jesus and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. The same Christ who offered Himself once in a bloody manner on the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner on church altars. It is truly propitiatory, which means it satisfies divine wrath. The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross and is actually the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ (CCC, para.1366-67; 1374). Catholics express their faith in the real presence of Christ by worshipping and adoring the wafer as if it were the almighty and glorious God (para.1378). The Vatican teaches that every time the Mass is celebrated, the work of redemption is carried on (para.1405). The Catechism violates Scripture by teaching the Eucharist is offered repeatedly “in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead” (para.1414)….

We must tell Catholics that whenever the Eucharistic sacrifice for sin is offered, it as a blasphemous insult to the perfect and complete work of the Savior on Calvary’s cross. Furthermore, we must warn Catholics they are committing the sin of idolatry when they worship the Eucharist as the Lord Jesus Christ. The sin is as grievous as when the Israelites worshipped the golden calf as the true God who delivered them out of Egypt (Exodus 32:4). Because of God’s hatred of idolatry, that grievous sin brought death to 3000 Israelites. Catholics need to come out of their false religion and not participate in her sins any longer.[21][bold added]

The blasphemous Roman Catholic doctrine and practice of worshipping “the Eucharist as the Lord Jesus Christ” has also led to numerous reports of occult manifestations,[22] such as “bleeding hosts”[23] (consecrated wafers); demonic occurrences that many Catholic authorities are eager to call “miracles” from God.[24]

Pope Francis adoring the Eucharistic Catholic ‘Jesus’
(the consecrated wafer in the center of the gold sun-rayed monstrance)[25]

Whatever else true believers might share with Roman Catholics, the unsavory realities regarding Rome’s opposing gospel and counterfeit Jesus prevents veracious Christian unity from ever occurring—according to the Scriptures (Gal. 1:6-9; Rom. 3:21-28; Heb. 9:24-28; 2 Cor. 6:14).

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God… For by one offering he [Christ] hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”
(Heb. 10:11-14)

THE PONTIFICATE & MARY: AN IDOLATROUS LEGACY 
Pope John Paul II[26] was also sacrilegiously dedicated to the Catholic Mary,[27] a devotion he shared with popes Benedict[28] and Francis[29]. All three recent popes consecrated the world to the Catholic Mary. Due to the enormity of this subject matter, we will not fully examine this and other relevant false doctrines[30] held by the Roman Catholic Church in this article.[31]

Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Catholic Mary in 2013[32]
All false religion is but a choice
of other things for men to place their trust in,
with a neglect of Christ.
~ John Owen*

COMING OUT OF ROME 
I have intimate knowledge about the veracity of these false teachings[33] because the gracious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, rescued me out of the apostate Roman Catholic system 24 years ago. My parents were steadfast Tridentine Roman Catholics[34] who truly believed what the Roman hierarchy taught them. In my unpublished testimony, “Paper Hearts,” I illustrate the utter hopelessness of Rome’s false gospel and counterfeit Jesus in reflecting upon profound personal hardship and the untimely death of my father in 1985:

My family struggles over the reality that the wrong body may have been laid to rest in the grave marked with his name (due to an unfortunate oversight at the graveyard), but I struggle over the whereabouts of his soul. Roman Catholicism offers no hope in the afterlife.

I didn’t know Christ intimately at the time of dad’s earthly departure, but He knew me and has never lifted His hand from my life, even when I chose a few detours. I saw God as a perpetually stern and angry judge who could never love me apart from my own works. I expended considerable energy trying to prove to our Heavenly Father that I could be found worthy if only He gave me time and opportunity, but my best efforts only fell short of the mark. Through years of repeated failure, I only proved to myself that I couldn’t earn a place in God’s family. I groped in the darkness like a blind person attempting to find the Lord through elaborate works, canned prayers and ritual, but always eluded Christ’s brilliant light in stark futility.

I faithfully attended church for almost 30 years, but had never read the Bible; I depended on other blind people to feed my ravenous spiritual appetite, and I always went away from the communion table hungry. I was taught that eternal salvation was accomplished by human merit and divine whim, that Jesus the distant judge heard only the prayers of His mother and that God’s truth was entrusted to a chosen few.[36] I silently suffered through my brother’s and dad’s disabilities, long Army separations, and six difficult years with my own disabled child—a child I could not accept—without ever falling into the open arms of Jesus Christ.[37]

In 2014, I wrote about my disturbing experiences stemming from the idolatry of the Catholic Mary in an article titled, “Canonizing Forbidden Texts & Visions Part 1: Secrets of Fatima & Marian Apparitions,” exposing the extra-biblical, prophecy-mongering, and occult diversions of the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) teachers:

MEMORIES OF FATIMA
As an ex-Catholic, these PPP writings have been the most burdensome to wade through—because I left Roman Catholic mysticism far behind when I became born from above in 1992. My parents adhered to the Tridentine variety of Roman Catholicism, with a twist of tribal mysticism from my Native American heritage.

Tridentine Catholics prefer liturgical tradition prior to the second Vatican Council. Their practices hearken back to the medieval days of the Dark Ages, including a Latin Mass which is performed by priests in Roman Catholic regalia who display their backs the congregation during the entire ceremony. Not knowing Latin, my parents (and most of the flock) mimicked the somber rituals and hoped that something good might rub off on them.

Into this mystical spiritual vacuum, devoid of true Scriptural moorings, came several frightening occult experiences that haunted my young mind. One of my most vivid memories was being made to kiss the feet of the Our Lady of Fatima statue during a processional Mass in the 1960s. An ambassadorial entourage, sanctioned by the Vatican, was commissioned to travel around the world with the statue and a message urging world citizens to be consecrated to the Catholic Mary.

The wooden image, bedecked with precious stones and covered in cold, was carved in the likeness of the female entity that appeared to the famed peasant children in 1917. Many close family members believe that the Marian apparition itself commissioned the statue to specification which (in their eyes) justified its ‘veneration’ (kissing its feet) even more. Family witnesses and subsequent Polaroid photos revealed the statue’s apparent ability to change the positions of the ornate crown upon its head—a so-called verification of its authenticity. This inexplicable experience (among many others) was quite unsettling and scary to me as a young girl, and still is.[39]

Family photo of the Fatima statue
“Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.
(Deuteronomy 4:15-16)

After reading about the true Gospel in God’s Word, repenting of my sin, and believing only upon Jesus Christ to save me and make me clean, the Lord God set me completely free in 1992. I have never been the same.

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time… then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”(1 Cor. 15:1-8)
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’
(Rom. 1:16-17)
ECT book, 1995[40]

EVANGELICALS AND CATHOLICS TOGETHER
Several American evangelical leaders—spear-headed by Charles Colson[41] of Prison Fellowship—first teamed up with Roman Catholic clerics in 1994 to participate in and endorse an accord of unity called, “Evangelicals & Catholics Together (ECT): The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” The signatories agreed to stop “proselytizing” each other’s flocks and instead work together for social action. Note the call for so-called Christian unity in the conclusion of this historic document:

Nearly two thousand years after it began, and nearly five hundred years after the divisions of the Reformation era, the Christian mission to the world is vibrantly alive and assertive. We do not know, we cannot know, what the Lord of history has in store for the Third Millennium. It may be the springtime of world missions and great Christian expansion. It may be the way of the cross marked by persecution and apparent marginalization. In different places and times, it will likely be both. Or it may be that Our Lord will return tomorrow. We do know that his promise is sure, that we are enlisted for the duration, and that we are in this together. We do know that we must affirm and hope and search and contend and witness together, for we belong not to ourselves but to him who has purchased us by the blood of the cross. We do know that this is a time of opportunity—and, if of opportunity, then of responsibility—for Evangelicals and Catholics to be Christians together in a way that helps prepare the world for the coming of him to whom belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.[42][bold added]

In 1994, the late Christian author and apologist Dave Hunt[43] responded to the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) agreement in a Berean Call article aptly titled, “The Gospel Betrayed.” In it, he also reflects on the betrayal of the Reformation:

The most significant event in almost 500 years of church history took place March 29, 1994. Leading evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd Millennium.” The document overturns the Reformation and does incalculable damage to the cause of Christ. The news release said:

They toiled together in the movements against abortion and pornography, and now leading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians…. They urged Catholics and evangelicals… to stop aggressive proselytization of each other’s flocks….

Having carefully read the 25-page fifth draft marked “Not for general circulation,” I appreciate the loving concern for both truth and unity expressed therein. Some key differences between Catholics and evangelicals are noted without compromise. But the most important difference—what it means to be saved — is not mentioned and, in fact, is directly denied. Amazingly, the document claims that all Catholics are Christians, hold the same faith as evangelicals, and are our “brothers and sisters in Christ.” If so, then the Reformation was a tragic mistake which we all must denounce!…

For 1,000 years before the Reformation, there were always groups of evangelical Christians outside the Catholic Church, millions of whom were slaughtered for obeying Scripture instead of Rome.… Through the example of these Vaudois, Albigenses, Waldenses and other early evangelicals, and from the Bibles they preserved, a few Roman Catholic priests and monks realized that their Church didn’t preach the truth and that they and their fellow Catholics were not saved, but lost. Men like John Wyclif (1329-84), Jan Hus (1373-1415) and Johannes Geiler von Kaysersberg (1445-1510) believed the gospel and began preaching it. They hoped their Church could be reformed. In response, Rome consigned many of these faithful gospel preachers to the flames. Later Luther and other Reformers, all Roman Catholics, also became convinced that neither they nor their fellow Catholics were saved. They began preaching salvation by grace through faith instead of Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental rituals and works. For this they were excommunicated and untold thousands more were martyred.

Such is the heritage of today’s evangelicals, which this document now rejects…. Catholicism’s false gospel hasn’t changed. It diametrically opposes the evangelical view of what Christ’s crucifixion and forgiveness of sins mean…. And now we are asked to refrain from sharing the Gospel with those who desperately need it, and to assume them already saved, when their own doctrines forbid this assurance….[44][bold added]

Dave Hunt’s fiery words were as true back in 1994, as they are today.

William Tyndale before being strangled and burned at the stake in 1563[45]
“… and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy): they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
(Heb. 11:35-38)
The Manhattan Declaration[46]

THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION
Fifteen years after ECT, another joint declaration[47] was signed by evangelicals and Catholics—with over 400,000 signatories (which began with 140 names)—some of the most prominent personalities, teachers, and authors in Christianity. The agreement was called, the “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.” Like ECT, the Manhattan Declaration presumptuously assumed an orthodox Christian brotherhood of its endorsers as it urgently stressed the necessity for Christian unity in order to combat looming societal enemies:

Declaration 
We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image… We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.[48][bold added]

Pastor Gary Gilley responded to this joint declaration in 2010. Like Dave Hunt, Gilley takes the faulty ecumenical issue back to the Gospel of Christ. He concludes:

Instead of drawing moral/political lines in the sand, courageously and even defiantly declaring that we will retreat no further, maybe this would be an excellent opportunity to evaluate whether we have already retreated concerning the Gospel. That ground may have been given because of ecumenical expediency, pluralistic pressures, biblical illiteracy or faith in statements such as The Manhattan Declaration which minimize the uniqueness and narrowness of the Gospel message in an attempt to change society. Rather than giving ground maybe this would be a good time to take a fresh look at the Gospel. Maybe we should define it more carefully, guard it more tenaciously, proclaim it more boldly, and believe in its power more profoundly. For, after all, Paul tells us it is the power of God unto salvation. And, after all, it is what Christ has commissioned us to do.[49][bold added]

Rick Warren meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2014[50]

GOING BACK TO MOTHER ROME
There have been two popes[51] since John Paul II (Benedict XVI[52] and Francis), and both have been active in promoting the ecumenism and interfaith unity that their predecessor dedicated himself to achieving, but Pope Francis is threating to surpass John Paul’s valiant efforts. Since abruptly taking Pope Benedict’s[53] place in 2013, Pope Francis has traveled the globe and played host to a variety of dispersed goats and even wolves in order to complete Rome’s unity bridge.

Ecumenical evangelical pastor Rick Warren, the instigator of the Purpose-Driven,[54] global P.E.A.C.E. Plan,[55] was one of the first American Christian celebrities to visit the Vatican in 2014. Commenting on his meeting with the Pontiff, alongside 30 other global leaders Warren said, “It’s great to be with leaders from different streams of Christianity from all over the world. Although we have some differences, we all love Jesus Christ and we all want marriages and families to be healthy and strong.”[56]

The “different streams of Christianity” Warren mentioned went well beyond differing Christian denominations and into interreligious territory. Participants included Southern Baptist evangelicals, Muslims, Jews, and Mormons, all meeting with the Pope to discuss the “changing roles of marriage and family in the world.”

A year later, Rick Warren was invited to speak at the Pope’s ecumenical and interfaith World Meeting of Families congress in Philadelphia in June of 2015. Francis’ Mass there drew over a million people.[57] The interfaith (i.e., joining together with non-Christian faiths) aspect of this conference conformed with the unbiblical and worldly objectives of Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Rome’s One World agenda, but not with the God almighty’s peace plan centered upon the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 9:6).

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Rom. 5:1)
Screenshot from Pope Francis’ prayer video calling for Interfaith Unity[58]

BUILDING ROME’S ONE WORLD BRIDGE
In Pope Francis’ first prayer video, posted to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in January, the Pontiff called not just for ecumenical unity between Evangelicals and Catholics—but for interfaith unity of all peoples—declaring that “We are all children of God.” Below are the highlights of this video from a Catholic news source:

The Pope’s first-ever video message on his monthly prayer intentions was released Tuesday, highlighting the importance of interreligious dialogue and the beliefs different faith traditions hold in common, such as the figure of God and love.

“Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God,” Pope Francis said in his message, released Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany….

The video goes on to feature representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, who proclaim their respective beliefs in God, Jesus Christ, Allah and Buddha….

Pope Francis closes the video by expressing his hope that viewers “will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice. I have confidence in your prayers….”

Referred to on the organizations’ website as the Pope’s “universal” and “evangelization” intentions, this month’s prayer requests focus on Francis’ desire for Interreligious Dialogue and Christian Unity.[59][bold added]

The Truth
But the Pope’s “universal” and “evangelization” scheme—his “desire for Interreligious Dialogue and Christian Unity” is fueled by the spirit of antichrist (1 Jn. 2:22). Putting the Lord Jesus Christ on the same level as Allah and Buddha (and other false gods) is egregiously blasphemous! Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life (1 Jn. 5:20). There are no other gods besides Him (Isa. 45:5).

Screenshot from Pope Francis interfaith video: “we are all children of God”[60]
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
(John 14:6)
“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
(1 John 5:12)
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’
(Rev. 18:4)

To be continued. . . . 

Endnotes:
1. Graphic taken from RNS story: Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service (RNS), “Pope Francis meets US televangelists, and the first-ever ‘papal high-five’ follows,” July 9, 2014; see: http://religionnews.com/2014/07/09/pope-francis-meets-u-s-televangelist-first-ever-papal-high-five-follows/.
2. James Robison, “Pope Francis on LIFE TODAY,” May 2, 2014; see: http://www.jamesrobison.net/pope-francis/.
3. For example, see the Together at One Altar Catholic website, “The Middle Ages – the Christianisation of Most of Europe”; see: http://www.togetheratonealtar.catholic.edu.au/explore/dsp-content.cfm?loadref=64.
4. IOANNES PAULUS PP. II, “’UT UNUM SINT’, On commitment to Ecumenism,” Libreria Editrice Vaticana; see: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint.html.
5. Collins Dictionary online, “Catholic”; see: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/catholic.
6. David Cloud, “How Rome Denies Salvation by Grace Alone,” Way of Life Literature, Sept. 5, 1998; republished December 8, 2005; see: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/how_rome_denies_salvation_by_grace.html.
7. David Cloud, “”Roman Catholic Heresies Documented,” Way of Life Literature, February 24, 2009; see http://www.wayoflife.org/database/roman_catholic_heresies.html.
8. David Cloud, “Vatican II Council Reaffirms Catholic Heresies,” Way of Life Literature, May 25, 2006; republished Aug. 9, 2007; see: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/reaffirmsheresies.html.
9. Graphic taken from Our Sunday Visitor website, “St. Pope John Paul II,” April 4, 2014; see: https://www.osv.com/TheChurch/Papacy/SaintPopeJohnPaulII.aspx.
10. Mike Gendron, “The Pope’s Push for a One-World Religion,” Reaching Catholics for Christ; see: http://www.reachingcatholics.org/pope.html.
11. Papal Artifacts, “October 27, 1986: Pope John Paul II Calls the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi”; see: http://www.papalartifacts.com/2015/10/october-27-1986-pope-john-paul-ii-calls-the-world-day-of-prayer-for-peace-in-assisi/.
12. New World Encyclopedia online, “Pontifex Maximus”; see: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Pontifex_Maximus.
13. Rev. Ed Broom Catholic website, “The Pope – Holy Father – Pontifex Maximus,” July 9, 2012; see: http://fatherbroom.com/blog/2012/07/the-pope-the-holy-father-pontifex-maximus/. Note this definition from The Free Dictionary by Farlex: pontifex maximus (pŏn`tĭfĕks măk`sĭməs), highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. As the chief administrator of religious affairs he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. [bold added] After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title. See: http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/pontifex+maximus.
14. Scott Ross, “New Pope Takes on 8 Official Titles, But Pope’s Not One,” NBC New York online, March 13, 2013; see: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Pope-Titles–196518461.html.
15. The Catholic Herald, “Pope: ‘We must be forthright in interfaith dialogue’”; Jan. 13, 2015; see: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/01/13/pope-francis-speech-to-inter-religious-meeting-in-sri-lanka/.
16. Graphic taken from the Fine Gifts United Kingdom website, “2013 Pope Francis Commemorative 5 Rupees Coin – Seychelles”; see: http://www.fine-gifts.co.uk/2013-Pope-Francis-Commemorative-5-Rupees-Coin—Seychelles/1771.htm.
17. Graphic taken from the Bad News About Christianity website, “Christian Authorities – Emperors.” Note about graphic: “On the left a coin of Caesar Augustus. 27 B.C. – A.D. 14: Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. On the right a coin of Pope Leo XIII. They both bear the abbreviation PONT MAX, standing for Pontifex Maximus – one of many examples of popes appropriating imperial titles.”; see: http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/ad0_emperors.htm.
18. Mike Gendron, “Another Gospel for Catholics?”, Proclaiming the Gospel blog, May 13, 2015; see: http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/blogview2.asp?sec_id=180014816&forum_id=180003854&message_id=180021765&topic_id=180013963.
19. Graphic taken from the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church website, “Eucharistic Adoration”; see: http://saintelizabethchurch.org/eucharistic-adoration/.
20. Mike Oppenheimer, “Adoring and worshipping Jesus AS the Eucharist p.1,” 2013; see: http://www.letusreason.org/RC30.htm.
21. Mike Gendron, “The Sacrifice of the Mass Is an Insult to Christ,” Proclaiming the Gospel website, Jan. 22, 2014; see: http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/blogview2.asp?sec_id=180014816&forum_id=180003854&message_id=180015090&topic_id=180010887.
22. Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association website, “Eucharistic Miracles”; see: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html.
23. Patti Armstrong, “Eucharistic Miracle? ‘Bleeding Host’ Phenomenon Reported in Dioceses Worldwide,” National Catholic Register, Dec. 11, 2015; see: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/eucharistic-miracle-bleeding-host-phenomenon-reported-in-dioceses-worldwide/.
24. For example, see the book description of Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints, November 1, 1991. “In her book, Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz documents 36 such miracles which occurred from 800 AD to the present day. This book tells of consecrated Hosts which have visibly turned to human flesh, have bled, levitated, and which have become hard as flint when received by a person in mortal sin. It details the official investigations that have been made into these miracles by scientists throughout the world, and where some can still be venerated today.” See: https://www.amazon.com/Eucharistic-Miracles-Phenomena-Lives-Saints/dp/0895553031.
25. Graphic exhibit taken from the Bristol Catholic Chaplaincy United Kingdom website, “Adoration”; see: http://www.briscathchap.org.uk/adoration.html. See also Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstrance.
26. Mother of All People’s Marian devotion website, “Pope John Paul II’s Consecration to the World to the Immaculate Heart,” June 27, 2009; ‘excerpts of the Prayer of Consecration with which Pope John Paul II consecrated the world, inclusive of Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, in fulfillment of the Fatima request’; see: http://www.motherofallpeoples.com/2009/06/pope-john-paul-iis-consecration-of-the-world-to-the-immaculate-heart/.
27. David Cloud, “John Paul II: Mary’s in Life and in Death,” Way of Life Literature, April 10, 2005; see: http://www.wayoflife.org/database/jpiimary.html.
28. Libreria Editrice Vaticana online, ACT OF ENTRUSTMENT AND CONSECRATION OF PRIESTS TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY PRAYER OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI, Church of the Most Holy Trinity – Fátima, Wednesday, 12 May 2010; see: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/prayers/documents/hf_ben-xvi_20100512_affidamento-fatima.html.
29. Edward Pentin, “Pope Francis’ Consecrating the World to Mary Culminates Fatima Celebration,” National Catholic Register, Oct. 15, 2015; see: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-consecrating-the-world-to-mary-culminates-fatima-celebration/.
30. Barbara Wilhelm, “Roman Catholicism Compared to Biblical Christianity,” Deception in the Church website, Sept. 2001; see: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/rcc.html.
31. For an in-depth examination of the stark differences between Roman Catholicism and biblical Christianity, see Mike Gendron’s excellent bible tract, “Roman Catholicism: Scripture vs. Tradition,” which is available on his website; see; http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/cpage.asp?sec_id=180014816&cpage_id=180064909#!/Roman-Catholicism-Scripture-vs-Tradition/p/2500111/category=636671. See also The Berean Call website; see: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/rc-scripture-vs-tradition-10pk.
32. Graphic exhibit taken: http://wafhi.blogspot.com/2013_08_01_archive.html.
33. Mike Gendron, articles archive of false Roman Catholic doctrines, Proclaiming the Gospel website (PTG); see: http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=180066646&sec_id=180014816.
34. The Free Dictionary online by Farlex, “Tridentine”; see: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Tridentine.
35. Mary Ann Collins (A Former Catholic Nun), “MARY WORSHIP? A Study of Catholic Practice and Doctrine,” Bible Believers website, July 1, 2001; see: https://www.biblebelievers.com/bennett/bennett_mary-worship.html.
36. See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magisterium.
37. For additional information on false Marian doctrine, see: Gaylene Goodroad, “Canonizing Forbidden Texts & Visions Part 1: Secrets of Fatima & Marian Apparitions,” Herescope, May 27, 2014; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/05/canonizing-forbidden-texts-visions.html.
38. See the United Nations International Pilgrim Statue World Apostolate of Fatima – Ambassador of Hope website; see: http://www.thefatimastatue.org/.
39. Gaylene Goodroad, “Canonizing Forbidden Texts & Visions Part 1: Secrets of Fatima & Marian Apparitions,” Herescope, May 27, 2014; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2014/05/canonizing-forbidden-texts-visions.html.
40. Graphic exhibit taken from the Thomas Nelson website; see: http://www.thomasnelson.com/evangelicals-and-catholics-together.
41. “Marketing the Global Worldview” Herescope, May 31, 2006; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/05/marketing-global-worldview.html.
42. First Things website, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together in the Third Millennium,” May 1994, see: https://www.firstthings.com/article/1994/05/evangelicals–catholics-together-the-christian-mission-in-the-third-millennium-2.
43. See Dave’s biography on The Berean Call (TBC) website: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/about-dave-hunt-0.
44. Dave Hunt, “The Gospel Betrayed,” The Berean Call (TBC), May 1, 1994; see: https://www.thebereancall.org/content/gospel-betrayed.
45. Graphic taken from Wikipedia, “William Tyndale”; see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale.
46. “The Manhattan Declaration”; see: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2009/11/manhattan-declaration-a-call-of-christian-conscience.
47. Graphic exhibit taken from the First Things website, “The Manhattan Declaration – Another Dominionist Covenant,” Herescope, December 03, 2009; see: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/12/manhattan-declaration.html.
48. “The Manhattan Declaration,” the First Things website, 2009; see: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2009/11/manhattan-declaration-a-call-of-christian-conscience.
49. Gary Gilley, “The Manhattan Declaration,” Southview Chapel website, February/March 2010, Vol. 16, Issue 1; see: http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/22-contemporary-issues/653-the-manhattan-declaration. Also, Herescope ran a series of articles about the increase in manifestos, declarations and covenants, including the Manhattan Declaration.
Part 1 “The New Global Civility”
Part 2 “Manifestos, Declarations and Covenants”
Part 3 “The Manhattan Declaration: Another Dominionist Covenant”
Part 4 “A Covenant for Civility”
50. Graphic exhibit from the OCR: Erika I Ritchie, “Pastor Rick Warren speaks at Vatican conference on family, marriage,” Orange County Register, Nov. 17, 2014; see: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/vatican-642454-warren-world.html.
51. New Advent Encyclopedia (Catholic) online, “The List of Popes”; see: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm.
52. Andrea Gagliarducci, “Benedict XVI’s effort for Unity. What will be of it?”, The Monday Visitor, April 23, 2012; see: http://www.mondayvatican.com/ecumenism-2/benedict-xvis-effort-for-unity-what-will-be-of-it.
53. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, “DECLARATIO”, (from the Vatican) BENEDICTUS PP XVI (Video), Feb. 10, 2013; see: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2013/february/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20130211_declaratio.html.
54. See Berit Kjos’ research on Rick Warren’s unbiblical Purpose Driven Church model; see: http://www.crossroad.to/News/Church/purpose-driven.html.
55. See Berit Kjos’s research on Rick Warren’s unbiblical P.E.A.C.E. Plan; see: http://www.crossroad.to/charts/millennium-goals-peace.htm.
56. Erika Ritchie, “Pastor Rick Warren speaks at Vatican conference on family, marriage,” Orange County Register, Nov. 17, 2014; see: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/vatican-642454-warren-world.html.
57. Laura Ieraci, “Papal Mass in Philadelphia expected to draw 1.5 million pilgrims,” Catholic Herald, June 26, 2015; see: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/06/26/papal-mass-in-philadelphia-expected-to-draw-1-5-million-pilgrims/.
58. See Pope Francis’ prayer video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6FfTxwTX34. Graphic is also found in CNS article: Elise Harris, “In first prayer video, Pope stresses interfaith unity: ‘We are all children of God’”, Catholic News Agency (CNS), Jan. 7, 2016; see: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/in-first-video-message-pope-francis-stresses-unity-we-are-all-children-of-god-39381/.
59. Elise Harris, “In first prayer video, Pope stresses interfaith unity: ‘We are all children of God’,” CNA/EWTN News, Vatican City, Jan. 7 2016; see: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/in-first-video-message-pope-francis-stresses-unity-we-are-all-children-of-god-39381/.
60. Ibid. Pope Francis prayer video.

* This quote added by the publisher. From John Owen, D.D. (1616-1683), Exposition of Hebrews, Vol. 5, Banner of Truth Trust, 1991, pp 526, in his exposition of Hebrews 7:25 which reads: “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

 

Source: Unholy Alliances to the Apostate Bridge

Commander-In-Chief Obama Orders Military To Pay For Gender Reassignment Surgery For Transgenders

Starting today, the U.S. military will pay  for gender reassignment surgery for transgender soldiers, a program that could cost up to $8.4 million a year.

The Defense Department’s policy states that if a soldier’s ability to serve is “adversely affected by a medical condition or medical treatment related to their gender identity,” they are eligible for reassignment surgery or hormone therapy, subject to a commander’s approval for the timing.

By the RAND Corp.’s estimate in a June 2016 study, there are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops on active duty.  Of those, between 30 and 140 would prefer hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would seek surgery.

The surgery will either be conducted at a military hospital or a private hospital if the former lacks the qualified care, USA Today reports.

Those in the military who oppose the policy argue that since gender reassignment surgery makes it impossible for soldiers to deploy for up to 135 days, the money spent on surgery could be better used elsewhere.

“I think this is a gross misuse of military medical dollars.”

— Ron Crews, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty

Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said military personnel are also getting transgender education, which takes valuable time.

However, the Palm Center, a pro-LGBT armed forces group, welcomed the move.

Aaron Belkin, director of the Center, said surgery could reduce the number of suicides among transgender troops.

“The military’s continued progress in integrating transgender service members is a tribute to core principles and values.”

— Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center

Source: Commander-In-Chief Obama Orders Military To Pay For Gender Reassignment Surgery For Transgenders

Ours is Not a ‘Nice’ Gospel

I have lost track of the number of times I have been accused by other Christians of being unloving, judgmental and ungracious – usually when I seek to share biblical truth, or even just quote from Scripture or a mighty man of God. I can get attacked for simply encouraging other believers into a deeper walk with God, or urging them to live a more circumspect Christian life.

Why is that? How can fellow believers actually get angry with you for sharing Scripture or urging them to a more devout and serious life? I can answer that one for you: they have traded in the biblical gospel for a gospel of “Nice”. They have simply stopped reading the gospel of Scripture and have instead imbibed of the world’s gospel of “tolerance,” “love,” and “acceptance”.

The world of course always gets it wrong when it comes to biblical truth. They twist and distort God’s good intentions for us, and they offer us a glamourous repackaged message which will lead people to hell, not to God. And so many believers today are woefully biblically illiterate, so they just parrot what the surrounding culture says, not what God Almighty has said.

jesus-12Thus they get upset at believers who quote from the Bible, quote from the great men and women of God, and offer stirring challenges to be all we can be in Christ. Instead they run with cotton candy humanism, urging us to have “our best life now,” telling us we can be rich and never suffer if we are Christians.

I write about all this because I am back in the gospels again, as I am every time this year. If you read through the Bible in a year, beginning on January 1, you would have just finished the prophets and are now back in Matthew. And I am amazed at how things just jump off the pages, despite the fact that I would have read Matthew’s Gospel umpteen times now.

In the opening chapters of Matthew we find what are the first recorded words of the gospel message being proclaimed in public, first by John the Baptist, and then by Jesus. And believe me, they have absolutely nothing to do with the watered-down syrupy gospel message we mostly hear today in the West.

Indeed, if I were to simply repeat what John and Jesus said, I would be roundly rebuked by most believers today for being unloving, unkind, judgmental, and un-Christlike. They would rebuke me big time for not being nice and gentle and loving and agreeable.

So just what did these two say as the first recorded words of their ministry? Let me share them here – they may shock many of you. We do not read them saying, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” We do not hear about how God accepts everyone and just wants us all to get along and be happy.

We do not read about coming to Christ will solve all our problems, keep us wealthy, solve our low self-esteem issues, and make us King’s Kids. We find no prosperity gospel here, nor a hyper grace gospel. What we find is radically, powerfully different.

We read the very first words to come out of the mouth of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:7-12:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Wow, did you get that!? The very first words out of his mouth are, “You brood of vipers!” And then he savagely chews them out, demanding repentance and a changed life, and he even warns of hellfire to boot! Man, that sure does not sound like the gospel proclamation heard today in most Christian circles!

You can just hear all the Gospel of Nice believers getting bent out of shape here: ‘How ungracious John. How unloving. That was not very Christlike of you. You are turning people off. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so unloving and so judgmental! We must love people, not judge them. It is all about relationship, not angry words and denunciations!’

Well, surely Jesus would not be so rough, so abrupt, so bigoted, and so unloving, you might say. Um, have a look at the first recorded public words of Jesus to the crowds as found in Matthew. As we read in Matt. 4:17: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’.”

And the call for repentance, along with very hard, tough words, continue throughout all four gospels. The truth is, Jesus often said some shockingly harsh and tough things, which most namby-pamby believers today would find highly offensive, unloving, and – get this – un-Christlike! See here for more on this: billmuehlenberg.com/2013/10/21/un-domesticating-jesus/

And this rough and tough public ministry is true of the disciples of Jesus as well. Things are no different with the early church. We have hard-core calls for repentance in the book of Acts, along with less than flattering, no-nonsense words of rebuke and proclamation by the disciples. This was no Gospel of Nice they were sharing, but a tough love gospel which demanded a serious response.

Indeed, the simple fact that the love of God is never once even mentioned in the book of Acts is most telling indeed. If the heart of the biblical gospel was simply an undefined and anaemic love, love, love, then you would expect to see it mentioned dozens of times by Peter, Paul and the others. But we never hear the word – not once!

Instead we hear a lot about repentance, and the radical call of true, life-changing discipleship. Nowhere in Acts do we read about having your best life now. Nothing there promises the new convert riches and a life of ease. It is the exact opposite in fact.

When Peter was asked for a monetary handout by some poor person, he did not preach a sermon about how coming to Christ guarantees a life of wealth, luxury and the good life. Instead, he said this: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

And he was even more “unloving” and “ungracious” in his reply to Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (vv. 20-23).

And consider some of the first words spoken by the Lord to Ananias concerning Saul just after his conversion experience: “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:15-16).

Hey wait a minute! You can’t say that sort of stuff to a new convert! ‘All that he must suffer?’ What are you trying to do – turn him away? Indeed, most believers today would angrily balk at this and say that is not what we should be telling a new believer. That will turn people off. We must tell them all the goodies we get when we come to Christ. You certainly don’t warn them about a life of hardship, suffering and persecution!

These are just a handful of examples of what John, Jesus and the early disciples publicly proclaimed in their days of ministry on planet earth. And it sure does not sound anything like what we usually hear today. Most church leaders would not even allow these folks into their churches, saying they are way too harsh, unloving, unkind, and judgmental.

So instead we mostly just hear a Gospel of Nice today – a gospel that will offend no one, upset no one, provoke no one, anger no one, and challenge no one. But it is a gospel message that will save no one as well. There is no power, no life, no Spirit in such a fleshly gospel. It is the anti-gospel.

Sure, you will get plenty of people flocking to your church if you proclaim a gospel-less gospel. Just look at what we see happening at Lakewood Church in Houston. The masses will always rush to hear a feel-good, humanistic, self-help message that guarantees them all their wildest desires and fantasies.

Such a “gospel” will not save anyone, but will send millions of people to a lost eternity. Give me the real gospel of John, Jesus and the disciples any day. That is what we desperately need to hear – not the accursed Gospel of Nice which flatters people while sending them to hell.

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The post Ours is Not a ‘Nice’ Gospel appeared first on CultureWatch.

Americans: Heaven and Jesus, Sure. Hell and Sin, Not So Much

As the product of Evangelical youth groups and an “inter-denominational” Christian campus ministry where the concept of sin went unspoken, I’m not shocked most Americans believe humans are naturally good and deny the idea of eternal judgment. If these messages are being churned out (or insinuated by silence) by leaders within the Church, how can we expect society to get it right?

It’s bad news for theology lovers: Americans love God, Heaven, and Jesus, but are inconsistent when it comes to doctrine, a new study shows.

Though 61 percent of Americans believe Jesus is divine, 64 percent say God accepts worship from all religions, according to LifeWay Research’s survey on theology. A bright spot was that Americans with evangelical beliefs were less likely to accept a Universalist God, but not by much (48%).

On Heaven and Hell, Americans were again murky on the doctrinal details. The concept of eternal judgement proved especially unpopular. Only 4 in 10 Americans believe Hell is where God sends all people who do not accept Christ as their savior. But 60 percent of Americans believe all people are reunited with loved ones in Heaven. Especially surprising was those with evangelical beliefs (64%) were most likely to agree all people go to Heaven when they die.

It would seem incompatible then for 54 percent of Americans to agree “only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.”

Original sin too comes up short within American belief systems. Lifeway found 65 percent of Americans believe everyone sins, but most people are inherently good.

As the product of Evangelical youth groups and an “inter-denominational” Christian campus ministry where the concept of sin went unspoken, I’m not shocked most Americans believe humans are naturally good and deny the idea of eternal judgment. If these messages are being churned out (or insinuated by silence) by leaders within the Church, how can we expect society to get it right?

Re-visioning salvation, not as coverage for sin, but rather a healing for shame is an increasingly trendy theme especially among “post-Evangelical” pastors, authors, and cultural influencers.

Back in June, I heard the pastor of Nashville-based Gracepointe Church, Stan Mitchell, re-imagine the concept of original sin at the progressive Christian Wild Goose Festival. “We were told that the reason we were born separate from God is because we are all sinners…because of something two people did thousands of years ago in a primordial world,” said Mitchell from the Mainstage. “God does not separate from us. But estrangement is my sense that God cannot be with me in my brokenness.”

A nice-sounding (albeit self-absorbed) concept, maybe.

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Diets, Exercise, Food: A Biblical Perspective

The Reformed Reader

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits When it comes to diet and exercise, there are two extremes.  One is to exercise too little at eat too much.  The other is to exercise too much and eat too little.  While it’s unhealthy and sinful to be a lazy glutton, it’s also unhealthy and sinful to be an exercise addict who is a slave to the scale, pedometer, and calorie counter.

As Christians, we want a balance here: self-control and moderation are some key words to think about.  We don’t want to end up in either extreme, where food is an idol or the ideal body or weight is an idol.  In her book Love to Eat, Hate to EatElyse Fitzpatrick gives excellent biblical counsel in this area.  I mentioned this resource last week (here).  This week I want to emphasize a different theme of this solid book: the sixth commandment (“you shall not murder”).

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Two Blue Cross plans out of Obamacare, Obama wants taxpayer bailout for insurers

WINTERY KNIGHT

Investors Business Daily reports on the latest big health insurer to drop out of Obamacare.:

Two Blue Cross plans made the stunning announcement in the past week that they were dropping out of ObamaCare markets. If even the Blues — the backbone of the individual insurance market for decades — can’t make it, ObamaCare is truly on the road to ruin.

[…]Despite getting approval on an eye-popping rate hike of nearly 60% for 2017, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee announced that it was quitting three of the largest ObamaCare markets in the state, which will leave 100,000 enrollees to scramble for an alternative coverage next year.

The state’s Blue Cross had lost half a billion dollars in ObamaCare’s first three years, and the company’s spokesman said “there are too many uncertainties to continue participating on a statewide level as we have before.”

That decision came shortly after Blue Cross Blue…

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The Gospel Promise of God’s Performance

Unfathomable Grace

Adam and Eve needed some good news.

Consider what they had done. They had disbelieved the compassion and wisdom of their Heavenly Father. They had chosen to ally themselves with Lucifer and had defied the clearly stated law of God. Consequently, they brought upon themselves and their descendents spiritual deadness, emotional instability, relational chaos, environmental curse, generational depravity, physical depreciation, volitional pain, and death. And these were only the first consequences on this side of the grave. The Lake of Fire was still to come.

However, it was to these wretches that God delivered the greatest of news — the Gospel Promise of God’s Performance. God set aside the bilateral contract of works and instituted his unilateral covenant of grace. The Holy Judge swore he would go to work on behalf these insolent rebels, and so he did. God pursued and found them. He drew the truth out of their mouths and showed them their iniquity…

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Children Are the Ultimate Victims of Identity and Gender Politics

Apologetics for the Church

kid-confused I Don’t Know

“What’s going on in a world where, when children are married off as brides, conscripted as soldiers or forced to work in sweatshops, we rise in condemnation. Yet those who beat their breasts about such violations of human dignity advocate as rights unrestricted access to abortion, physician assisted suicide and gender-reassignment surgery? What’s going on? Confusion. We are reaping the harvest of a generation’s long societal worship of the idol of personal autonomy.”

When children as young as three years old are given the choice of their gender, and subsequently undergo surgery to mutilate their genitals, we have truly descended into cultural madness. See the full article here: The Age of Consent in a New Age.

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What the Lord Thinks of Your Visions, Dreams and Prophecies

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

eschatology_false-prophets_620-581x252

I know that this article will be a controversial one with many people. I put it away for finishing at another time, but I realized that I was probably running from the Lord.  I could not stop thinking about the topic of this piece. So, today I am writing these words in love to my brethren.

When I was saved in 1983, the couple who led me to the Lord attended a charismatic church.  I knew nothing about the various churches, coming straight out of Judaism to Christianity.

But as I read the Bible, I began to have doubts about what I was witnessing each Sunday in this church.  People would invariably stand up and say “The Lord gave me a vision……”  or “I have a word of knowledge from Him” ……and sometimes they would say “God gave me a dream.”  Each would finish with “Thus saith God.”

The T

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