Daily Archives: November 30, 2016

November 30, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Nov. 30, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

OPEC clinched a deal to curtail oil supply, confounding skeptics as the need to clear a record global crude glut — and prove the group’s credibility — brought about its first cuts in eight years. OPEC will reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million a day.

Carrier agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at an Indiana factory that had been set to move to Mexico, marking a victory for President-elect Donald Trump on an issue that had become a rallying cry during his campaign.

Treasuries are having their worst month since 2009 after investors pulled money from the U.S. bond market on speculation Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election will pave the way for increased fiscal stimulus.

Northrop Grumman’s program to develop an upgraded, cyber-hardened network for major air operations has almost doubled in cost and a key deadline has slipped by more than three years, according to the U.S. Air Force. The development phase of the network is now estimated to cost $745 million, up from the original $374 million.

GoPro Inc., struggling to get traction with its action-cameras and new drone, is eliminating about 15 percent of its workforce and shutting down the entertainment division to reduce costs.

AP Top Stories

The UN has condemned the “descent into hell” being endured by civilians in Aleppo, with the Red Cross saying nearly 20,000 people have fled a Syrian government offensive on the city in three days.

Donald Trump is meeting with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke at Trump Tower on Monday afternoon as he seeks to fill out his remaining Cabinet positions. Clarke, who has called the Black Lives Matter movement “vile” and “slimy,” is reportedly in the running to lead the Department of Homeland Security and its 240,000 employees, who span immigration enforcement, the U.S. Secret Service, the TSA and other functions.

Israeli jets fired two missiles from Lebanese airspace toward the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus early Wednesday, the official Syrian news agency said, in a strike on an unknown target that caused loud explosions.

Workers from fast-food chains, airports and other service industries rallied in US cities Tuesday as part of a nationwide day of disruption to demand union rights and a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation’s leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock.

Ukraine on Tuesday unveiled the world’s largest moveable metal structure over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant’s doomed fourth reactor to ensure the safety of Europeans for future generations. The gigantic arch soars 355 feet into the sky — making it taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty — while its weight of 36,000 tons is three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The $2.2-billion) structure sponsored by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been edged into place over an existing crumbling dome that the Soviets built in haste when disaster struck three decades ago.

BBC

Many civilians have been killed in the Syrian city of Aleppo as government forces intensify their assault on besieged, rebel-held districts. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said at least 26 people died when government shell fire hit the Jubb al-Qubbeh area.

An influential Saudi prince, the billionaire investor Alwaleed bin Talal, has called on his country to lift its ban on women driving cars. He said it was a matter of economic necessity as well as women’s rights to lift restrictions. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, and women’s rights activists have been arrested for defying the ban.

A Kansas man who donated sperm to a same-sex couple is not legally the child’s father and cannot be forced to pay child support, a court has ruled.

The Islamic State group says it was behind a car and knife rampage at a US college that left 11 people injured. The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency called the 18-year-old business undergraduate a “soldier”.

Platypus venom could pave the way for new treatments for type 2 diabetes, say Australian researchers. The males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal – one of the only kind to lay eggs – have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet. The poison is used to ward off adversaries.

A new vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes Aids, is being tested in South Africa in what scientists say is the first large study of an HIV vaccine’s effectiveness since 2009. The study aims to enroll 5,400 sexually active young men and women. About seven million people in South Africa are living with the virus.

Miners in Burkina Faso have seized 94lb of gold worth about $1.7m, a firm says, and are refusing to return it until they get a pay-off. The gold was seized by a bailiff on behalf of the miners at the main airport in the capital on 7 October. But London-listed Avocet Mining, said it needs the smelted gold back to raise money for the workers’ settlement.

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem must be played in every cinema before a film is screened. Judges said the order should be enforced within 10 days and audiences must stand when the anthem is played. In the 1960s and 1970s, cinemas regularly played the anthem, but the practice declined.

WND

The Department of Health and Human Services is raiding several of its accounts, including money for Medicare, the Ryan White AIDS/HIV program and those for cancer and flu research to cover a shortfall in housing illegal youths pouring over the border at a rate of 255 a day. HHS is trying to come up with $167 million to fund the Office of Refugee Resettlement that is accepting the youths.


Top News – 11/30/2016

Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace? Less than a Snowball’s Chance in Hell
The Israeli media doesn’t go into something like 70 percent of the West Bank, and even when I do go, it’ll be to film some 10-minute dialogue with someone and then we’re out of there right away, because it’s just become too dangerous. They don’t want to see us there … Israeli journalists used to serve as a bridge between Israeli and Palestinian society, but this bridge has been gradually cracking.

German Ministry of Environment Made 4.5Mln Euro Donations to Clinton Foundation
The donation scandal around the Clinton Foundation is attracting more and more attention. Recently, it turned out that not only GIZ donated 2.4 million euro of taxpayers’ money to the American institution, but that the Federal Ministry of the Environment is also involved in the scandal and donated 4.5 million euro to the foundation.

Radical Islamist infiltrated German federal intel service, planned ‘HQ bomb attack’ – reports
An Islamist infiltrator has been exposed in the headquarters of the German Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BfV) – a domestic intelligence service particularly running antiterrorist operations, German media report, citing security sources.

Hackers take over Israeli television
Channel 2 and 10 newscasts temporarily disrupted by images of Muslim holy sites and the words “Allah is great”.

Erdogan calls on Muslims to ‘protect Jerusalem’
Speaking in Istanbul at a parliamentary symposium on Jerusalem and quoted by Al Jazeera, Erdogan said “it is the common duty of all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem”, adding that safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be left to children armed with nothing but stones.

Line of storms, possible tornado kills 3 in northern Alabama
Authorities say three people have been killed as a line of storms and possible tornadoes moved across northern Alabama overnight. Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen tells The Associated Press the three killed were all in a mobile in Rosalie in northeast Alabama. Another person in the home was critically injured.

Hundreds of structures destroyed by Sevier County inferno
GATLINBURG – As of 9:30 a.m., here was the latest update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: • Hundreds of structures lost due to Sevier county wildfire • Westgate Resorts, Black Bear Falls completely destroyed • 14,000 residents and visitors evacuated from Gatlinburg

Does Israel’s Massive Drought Mean Messiah Will Arrive on a White Donkey?
This is the eighth year in a row Israel has suffered from unusually dry winters, leading to a record low of the amount of water flowing into the Sea of Galilee. The more spiritually-inclined turn to the Bible, which mentions drought explicitly in several places as a result of sin. In Deuteronomy, God warns Israel of the dire consequences of neglecting his commandments, linking drought with fire.

Earthquake strikes Indonesia again; magnitude 5.7
Jakarta: A shallow undersea quake of magnitude of 5.7 struck eastern parts of Indonesia on Wednesday, the meteorology and geophysics agency said. No tsunami warning was issued.

Air Force: Hypersonic Missiles From China, Russia Pose Growing Danger to U.S.
“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.

UN General Assembly president wears Palestinian flag scarf
President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson attended a special meeting of the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) on Tuesday to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People while wearing a Palestinian flag scarf. …CEIRPP’s representatives often make anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments.

Man in the Netherlands euthanised due to his alcohol addiction
A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic. Mark Langedijk chose the day of his death and was telling jokes, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches with his family hours before he passed away. He was killed by lethal injection at his parents’ home on 14 July…

Three killed in Polish mine after earthquake hits
Three miners have been killed in a coal mine in southwestern Poland after an earthquake hit late on Tuesday. Thirty miners were underground when the 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck, with 24 able to escape.

Wildfires lead to evacuation of downtown Gatlinburg
The Gatlinburg Fire Department has ordered the mandatory evacuation of the city of Gatlinburg as wind conditions worsen and several fires continue to grow increasingly unpredictable and dangerous. “We were just told by the Gatlinburg Fire Department that they had told everybody in Gatlinburg to get out,”…No one’s getting through to anyone.

CIA chief warns Trump: Scrapping Iran deal ‘height of folly’
The director of the CIA has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that ending the Iran nuclear deal would be “disastrous” and “the height of folly”. In a BBC interview, John Brennan also advised the new president to be wary of Russia’s promises, blaming Moscow for much of the suffering in Syria. In his campaign, Mr Trump threatened to scrap the Iran deal and also hinted at working more closely with Russia.

Intelligence agency employee arrested over Islamist comments
An employee of the German intelligence agency (BfV) has been arrested after making Islamist statements and sharing agency material, German media report. A BfV spokesman did not confirm a report in Die Welt newspaper that the man was suspected of planning a bomb attack on the BfV’s Cologne office, Reuters news agency said. “There is no evidence to date that there is a concrete danger,” he added.

Syria: Israel struck Hezbollah target, Assad forces from Lebanese air space
The Israeli Air Force allegedly struck two targets near Damascus overnight Tuesday, according to Arab media reports. One reported target was an arms convoy belonging to the Shi’ite terrorist organization Hezbollah on a highway between Damascus and Beirut on its way to Lebanon, and the second was a military site belonging to an organization loyal to the Assad regime.

Does said threefold rise in German antisemitism signal a ‘new era’?
A top European rabbi has warned that the world has entered a new era of antisemitism… The UK Times reported that antisemitism in Germany has risen threefold in one year, citing data published by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung… German Justice Ministry revealed that there had been 2,083 cases of attacks on Jews, Jewish property and hate speech against Jews last year, in contrast with 691 in 2014.

Man in the Netherlands euthanised due to his alcohol addiction
A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic. Mark Langedijk chose the day of his death and was telling jokes, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches with his family hours before he passed away.

Jill Stein’s Recount Effort Gets 12 Times More Coverage From ABC, CBS, NBC Than Her Entire Campaign
When Jill Stein was the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. president, the networks only gave her 36 seconds of coverage. However, as NewsBusters’ Mike Ciandella details, as soon as she launched a campaign to contest the presidential election and demand a recount of ballots in several key states, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC managed to find 7 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage for her in just four days.

Britain and France seek to punish Syria over chem weapons
Britain and France say they will seek to punish members of the Syrian regime implicated in the use of chemical weapons during the country’s civil war which is now in its sixth year.

California regulates cow farts
Despite strong opposition from farmers, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure.

Jimmy Carter to Obama: Before you leave office, recognize Palestinian state
Former President Jimmy Carter is calling on the Obama administration to recognize Palestinian statehood before leaving office January 20.


The Briefing 11-30-16

Authenticity in advertising or hypocrisy in posturing? Down Syndrome and recent advertising trends

A new kind of evangelicalism? The Doctrine of Scripture and Red Letter Christianity

Is it wrong to subject gorillas to captivity? Man, the image of God, and creation

As wildfires blaze across the American South, we should pray for the first responders and rain

The post The Briefing 11-30-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Turkey Has Declared War On Syria – Does This Mean That World War 3 Is About To Erupt In The Middle East?

fighter-jet-silhouette-public-domainTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just announced that the only reason Turkish military forces have entered northern Syria is to “end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad”.  By publicly proclaiming that Turkey intends to use military force to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan has essentially declared war on the Syrian government.  Of course this puts a member of NATO in direct military conflict with Russia, since Russia is working very hard to prop up the Assad regime.  If all-out war breaks out between Turkey and Russia, could that be the spark that causes World War 3 to erupt in the Middle East?  And once Turkey and Russia start fighting, would the United States and the rest of NATO be dragged into the conflict? (Read More….)


Top Headlines – 11/30/2016

Mahmoud Abbas, Re-elected as Fatah Leader, Moves to Solidify Power

Donning Palestinian flag, UNGA president marks Palestinian solidarity day

UN Chief: Israeli-Palestinian Peace Prospects Under Threat

Turkey’s Erdogan urges all Muslims to ’embrace the Palestinian cause’

US Intifada: A fire-storm of lies is setting US campuses ablaze

The Battle Over the Balfour Declaration, 100 Years Later

PM: Israel will mount forceful response to any border threat

Report: Israel hits Assad military target, Hezbollah weapons convoy in Syria

Russia and Hezbollah ‘officially’ working together in Syria

Russia should foot Syria reconstruction bill, European leaders say

‘Unintentional’ Human Error Led to Airstrikes on Syrian Troops, Pentagon Says

US says mistaken coalition airstrikes in Syria were legal

Britain and France seek to punish Syria over chem weapons

Aleppo families fear for 500 men seized by forces loyal to Assad

UNHCR: Aleppo situation ‘beyond imagination’

Mosul Iraq battle: IS accused of shooting civilians

Water cuts and rising food prices leave Mosul facing crisis

Fighting around Mosul leaves majority in Isis-held city without water

How the Iran deal, Syrian civil war prepares Hezbollah for future of terror

Iran’s Khamenei slams Rouhani for being ‘too open’ toward West

Turkish PM says finalising constitutional change to bolster Erdogan powers

Erdogan says Turkey not yet “closed the book” on EU, but has alternatives

Dutch MPs vote to ban the burka in public places

German intelligence officer ‘arrested over Islamist plot’ raising fears the spy agency has been infilitrated

Investigators believe OSU attacker self-radicalized, inspired by ISIS propaganda

Islamic State says its ‘soldier’ behind Ohio State attack

US Islamist group arming up in anticipation of Trump, report claims

Group of Utah lawyers to work for free to defend Muslim refugees

New York City may erase ID card data to protect illegal immigrants

Man who indirectly caused death of Florida deputy had been deported twice before

Immigration violations are majority of federal cases for first time

In call to punish flag-burners, Trump hits resistance across board

‘Snoopers law creates security nightmare’

FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under Trump

UN Security Council set to tighten screws on North Korea – with China’s help

Hillary’s recount scheme exposes media double standard

Michigan presidential recount could cost taxpayers nearly $1M

Judge rejects Stein’s request for hand recount in Wis.

Trump Meets With Goldman Sachs’ Cohn as Dinner Set With Romney

In an abrupt about-face, Romney emerges from dinner with Trump full of frog legs and high praise

Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as secretary of state

U.S. Banks Report Record Profit in Third Quarter

Why Are So Many Among the Elite Building Luxury Bunkers In Preparation for an Imminent ‘Apocalypse’?

Militants Attack Indian Army Base in Nagrota, Inflaming Tensions With Pakistan

Colombia plane crash: 71 dead and six survivors on flight carrying Chapecoense football team

Chinese astronaut hears ‘mysterious knock’ in space

Giant arch slides over Chernobyl site to block radiation for a century

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Nuku’alofa, Tonga

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

2 Earthquakes Recorded Off Oregon Coast Overnight

Rescuers searching for miners trapped after quake in Poland

Sinai Peninsula earthquake tickles Eilat

Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

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

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 11,000ft

Suwanosejima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Farmers watch helplessly as drought strikes Israel

Rain could cause problems after fires in Israel

Thirsty Southern Drought Areas Finally Seeing a Widespread Soaking This Week

3 dead in eastern Tennessee fires; Gatlinburg under curfew

California targets dairy cows to combat global warming

Microbot completes merger with Stem Cell

Russian police use dogs cloned by Korean scientist trying to revive the woolly mammoth

Kansas judge rules sperm donor not on hook for child support

Infertile couples came to this ‘baby god’ for help. Now, they’re accusing him of betrayal.

Why Trump’s HHS Pick Tom Price Has Abortion Activists in a Frenzy

After months of controversy, Texas will require aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried

GOP Eyes Lightning Strike on Obamacare to Kick Off Trump Era

Stroke Rates Rising in Younger People

Ontario unanimously passes radical LGBT bill redefining parent-child relationship

Same-sex marriage and the paradox of Australia’s PM

Leah Remini: Tom Cruise Urged Me to Get Leslie Moonves to Kill ’60 Minutes’ Scientology Story

Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story

Jan Markell, Another Dangerous Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Calvary Chapel and Women in the Pulpit

Cosmopolitan Magazine Shocked to Learn Chip & Joanna Gaines Pastor Believes Homosexuality a Sin

Christian University Openly Promotes Abortion Clinic Partnership

Scientist who discovered soft tissue on dinosaur bones wins settlement over dismissal 

Man in the Netherlands euthanised due to his alcohol addiction

Jimmy Carter Urges Barack Obama to Recognize The State of Palestine

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 07:31 PM PST

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, who brokered peace between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, has called on Barack Obama to recognize the State of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: 3 dead as wildfires scorch 250 buildings in Tennessee

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:41 PM PST

Authorities in Tennesssee announced Tuesday that three people died in the massive fire that continues to bear down on the Great Smoky Mountain region of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Celebrity Preacher Loses ‘License’ After Wooed Women Come Forward Citing Sex, Booze & Morning-After Pill

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:33 PM PST

A self-described evangelist, author and poet who rose to celebrity status for his hip-hop-styled poetic messages, model-like photographs and numerous selfies has had his ministerial…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Turkey Has Declared War On Syria – Does This Mean That World War 3 Is About To Erupt In The Middle East?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:26 PM PST

(By Michael Snyder) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just announced that the only reason Turkish military forces have entered northern Syria is to “end…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers…

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:20 PM PST

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Astronauts in space spooked by mysterious knocking sound that no one can explain

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:04 PM PST

China’s first astronaut says he heard mysterious knocks during his first flight in space – but no one has been able to explain the cause…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Water cuts and rising food prices leave Mosul facing crisis

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:59 PM PST

Fighting between Iraqi troops and Islamic State militants has cut water supplies across a large part of Mosul, where poorer families are already struggling to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. Banks Report Record Profit in Third Quarter

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:42 PM PST

The nation’s commercial banks and savings institutions reported a 13% rise in net income in the third quarter, hitting a record as institutions’ profits soared…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump to Announce Carrier Plant Will Keep Jobs in U.S.

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:37 PM PST

From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dollar Heads for Biggest Monthly Gain Since 2009…

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:34 PM PST

The dollar was on pace for its best month against the yen since 2009 as signs of U.S. economic strength spurred bets that monetary tightening…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas to implement rules requiring burial or cremation of aborted babies

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 11:51 AM PST

Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials. Despite intense outcry from…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

ISIS claims responsibility for Ohio State car-and-knife attack

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 11:38 AM PST

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University in Columbus that injured 11 people and left the suspect dead. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pakistan Province Bans Forced Conversions of Christian Girls to Islam

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 11:19 AM PST

Lawmakers in Pakistan’s Sindh Province have passed a law criminalizing forced conversions, acting on complaints by religious minorities, including Christians, that some Muslims have long…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas Elector to Resign Rather Than Vote Trump: ‘I Do Not See How Donald Trump Is Biblically Qualified’

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 11:16 AM PST

An elector in Texas has announced that he has chosen to resign his position rather than vote for Donald Trump as an electorate. “I do…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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.


Do You Know Him?


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


What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.


A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.

God

The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!

Mankind

When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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


This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?


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.


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Seven Points on Spiritual Gifts (J. Bridges)

The Reformed Reader

True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia God gives all his people gifts to use for the service and enrichment of others.  Peter put it this way: God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another (1 Pet. 4:10 NLT).  Because the Bible talks about gifts this way, the Westminster Confession echoes this truth: “Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification” (ch. 26.2).  I appreciate how Jerry Bridges talks about this in his excellent book, True Community.  Here are Bridges’ seven points on spiritual gifts (I’ve summarized/edited the following for length):

The purpose of all spiritual gifts is to serve others and glorify God. Our gifts are not our property to use as we please; they are a…

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See College Students’ Responses When Asked to Compare Castro to Trump

The Daily Signal has the MUST WATCH video:

fidel-castroCollege students in the nation’s capital thought it was a “tough question” whether former Cuban President Fidel Castro or American President-elect Donald Trump is more favorable.

Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, polled several students at American University in Washington, D.C., and captured the students’ responses in the video below.

View article →

What percentage of Muslims approve of radical Islam and terrorism?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Muslim populations in Europe Muslim populations in Europe

Normally, when people ask me about this question, I go straight to the 2013 Pew Research survey which I blogged about before. But now I have something even better.

Here’s a post from Ben Shapiro at Breitbart News which looks at several polls from several different countries.

Shapiro writes: (links to polls removed)

So, here is the evidence that the enemy we face is not a “tiny minority” of Muslims, let alone a rootless philosophy unconnected to Islam entirely. It’s not just the thousands of westerners now attempting to join ISIS. It’s millions of Muslims who support their general goals, even if they don’t support the group itself.

France. A new, widely-covered poll shows that a full 16% of French people have positive attitudes toward ISIS. That includes 27% of French between the ages of 18-24. Anne-Elizabeth Moutet of Newsweek wrote, “This is the ideology of young…

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