Daily Archives: January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 10, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

Lawmakers in both parties are pressing Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions not to wipe out the booming marijuana industry in states like Colorado should he win confirmation as U.S. attorney general.

In a bid to expand its influence in the era of Donald Trump, Breitbart News, the crusading populist-right website that was an early champion of the incoming president, has hired veteran financial journalist John Carney of The Wall Street Journal to lead a new finance and economics section set to launch soon after the Jan. 20th presidential inauguration.

The U.S.’s $36 billion system of ground-based interceptors can’t yet be counted on to shoot down a nuclear-armed missile aimed at the West Coast by the likes of North Korea or Iran, the Pentagon’s weapons testing office says.

President Xi Jinping will become the first Chinese head of state to address the World Economic Forum, leading an entourage of business executives to Switzerland next week as the country seeks a larger role in shaping the global economic order.

A local buyer has purchased a mansion overlooking Hong Kong’s exclusive Repulse Bay using a method allowing him to avoid property taxes. The house may have fetched about $86 million, based on the average square-foot valuation of similar properties in the Headland Road neighborhood.

About one in four career-training programs at U.S. colleges is at risk of losing federal funding, the lifeblood for most schools, the Department of Education said on Monday. In a news statement, the department disclosed for the first time the number of recent graduates saddled with potentially unmanageable debt.

For millions of Americans a tax increase will be the first thing they see. About 12 million workers will pay more this year because of an automatic adjustment in their payroll taxes. Unlike previous years, this rise in the Social Security “taxable minimum”-the amount of income subject to tax-is a whopper: 7.3 percent, the most in 34 years. That could cost each affected worker as much as $539 and much more if they’re self-employed.

AP Top Stories

The USS Mahan, a U.S. Navy destroyer nicknamed “built to fight,” fired three warning shots Sunday toward four Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, a politically strategic and often disputed strait between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The incident was spurred after the four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ships sped toward the Navy warship, seemingly out of nowhere, while failing to respond to U.S. officials repeated requests for them to slow down, Reuters reported Monday morning.

The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.

Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Nathan Law hit out Monday at “violent attacks” by pro-China protesters at the city’s airport on his return from a political forum in Taiwan.

Muslim parents in Switzerland cannot refuse to send their daughters to mixed school-run swimming lessons, Europe’s rights top court ruled Tuesday, responding to a challenge by a Turkish-Swiss couple who argued the classes violated their beliefs.

Belarus announced it was scrapping visas for short-term visits, up to five days, by citizens of 80 countries in a move that could help open up one of Europe’s most tightly-controlled states.

The bodies of two Turkish soldiers who had been missing in Syria for more than a month have been returned to Turkey, local media reported on Tuesday.

BBC

At least 22 people have been killed and 70 wounded in twin bombings near the Afghan parliament in Kabul, officials said.

A classified advertising website accused of being a “hub” for the sex trafficking of children has shut down its adult section in the US. The move followed the publication of a Senate report that claimed Backpage.com had “knowingly concealed evidence of criminality” by editing ads featuring words associated with child abuse.

Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news that World War Two had started, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105. Born in Leicester in 1911, Hollingworth broke the story of Germany’s invasion of Poland in August 1939.

Japanese scientists believe they have established the identity of a “missing element” within the Earth’s core. Now by recreating the high temperatures and pressures found in the deep interior, experiments suggest the most likely candidate is silicon.

WND

Car makers are worried right now as young people turn away from traditional car ownership. U.S. car sales had a big decline last year, and meanwhile, people in cities are finding it easier than ever to use ride hailing services like Uber and rental services like Zipcar. Cadillac is hoping it’s found the answer to reinventing car ownership, with its new luxury vehicle subscription service. The brand’s upcoming BOOK service, aimed squarely at Gen X and Y customers, will give members access to popular Cadillac vehicles without the long-term commitment of leasing, financing or buying – they just have to pay a monthly fee of $1,500.

The State Department formally apologized for what it describes as decades of discrimination against LGBT employees and job applicants, a rare statement meant to right wrongs that preceded current Secretary of State John Kerry.

Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.

Despite the Bible’s clear opposition to homosexual relations in both the Old and New Testaments, Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., has just named a “married” lesbian couple to co-pastor its flock.


Activists Are Hoping To Turn Donald Trump’s Inauguration On January 20th Into One Of The Biggest Riots In U.S. History

inauguration-white-house-photo-by-chuck-kennedyRadical leftists are planning to make January 20th the most chaotic Inauguration Day in American history.  Their stated goal is to “disrupt” the Inauguration festivities as much as possible, and they are planning a wide range of “actions” to achieve that stated goal.  Some of the more moderate groups are using terms such as “civil resistance” and “civil disobedience”, but others are openly talking about “blockades”, jumping barricades, throwing projectiles and “citywide paralysis”.  My hope is that all of their efforts will turn out to be a big flop, but it is important to understand that these groups are well funded, highly organized and extremely motivated.  The election of Donald Trump has been perhaps the single most galvanizing moment for the radical left in modern American history, and they are working very hard to turn January 20th into a major political statement. (Read More…)


Top News – 1/10/2017

Ten Failed State Department Plans for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
“As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is a fool that repeateth his folly.” Proverbs 26:11 A former State Department official’s new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace is the latest in a long series of Foggy Bottom proposals for a Mideast solution that went nowhere.

Violent Collision of Suns in 2022 Could Herald Fulfillment of Balaam’s Messiah Prediction
Five years from now, the light from the ancient collision of two stars will reveal a brand-new star in the night sky According to Jewish esoteric sources, this is precisely the celestial phenomenon which will accompany the arrival of the Messiah.Though the nova will appear in a few years, the actual event took place 1,800 years ago. It has taken nearly two millennia for the light from the collision to reach earth.

Trump Swearing-In to Be Blessed by Prominent Rabbi Read
Rabbi Marvin Hier, a prominent California rabbi and founder of the influential Simon Wiesenthal Center, will bless Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration ceremony with a Jewish prayer on January 20. Rabbi Hier will join five other faith leaders for the ceremony. He plans to give a reading, recite an original prayer, and bless both Trump and future Vice President Mike Pence with individual benedictions.

With Obama’s Approval, Russia Selling 130 Tons of Uranium to Iran
The Obama administration and the rest of the signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have approved a shipment of 130 tons of natural uranium from Russia to Iran, rewarding the Islamic Republic for shipping 44 tons of heavy water it sent to Russia after exceeding the limit it could legally produce under the deal. Experts have told US media outlets the amount of uranium to be shipped is enough to produce 10 nuclear bombs.

Assange blasts ’embarrassing’ US intel report, insists Russia not his source
Assange, speaking during an audio-only Periscope Q&A session, said the source of his information was not a member “of any government” or “state parties” and did not “come from the Russian government.” The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief blasted Friday’s declassified intelligence report on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” as being inadequate and misleading.

Jewish centers report bomb threats in several US states
Jewish community centers in several US states were evacuated on Monday after they reported receiving bomb threats, according to the organizations’ social media accounts and local media reports. No attacks or injuries were immediately reported.

Powerful storms head for U.S. West after thousands flee floods
Powerful storms packing heavy rain and snow will lash the U.S. West on Tuesday, a day after thousands of people fled their homes to escape floods, forecasters said. A band of heavy downpours will drench northern California and heavy snow will fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains into Wednesday, exacerbating the threat of flooding, the National Weather Service said.

‘Insider leaks, not Russian hacking’: CIA & MI5 veterans discuss ODNI report on RT
“The fact that WikiLeaks puts out emails, I think there is a plausible case to be made that they were in fact leaked to WikiLeaks,” Johnson pointed out, adding that “what we found out was not disinformation but actual truthful information.”

‘Very quickly, very nearby’: Jumbo asteroid has close shave with Earth
An asteroid between 11 to 34 meters across (36 to 111ft), roughly the size of 10 jumbo African elephants, made a remarkably close approach to Earth on Monday morning, passing by at a distance only half that of the Moon. According to the Slooh Observatory, the space rock, dubbed 2017 AG13, was moving at about 10 miles per second, making it hard to spot with a telescope.

Huge 7.3 earthquake strikes the Philippines
A major undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck southeast of the Philippines on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The quake was measured at a depth of 617 km (380 miles), the USGS said.

18 Years Of Energy Data Manipulation ‘Entirely Unacceptable,’ No Proof Doctoring Has Ended
Officials with the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have yet to tell Congress they’ve punished a pair of scientists behind nearly two decades of data manipulation at a federal lab or what’s been done to prevent more of it, according to a key congressman investigating the scandal.

Over 98% of mass shootings occurred on gun-free zones, research shows
On the heels of the shooting in Fort Lauderdale that took the lives of five people, a new report has surfaced with some breathtaking statistics about where mass shootings take place. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, from the 1950’s through July 10th of 2016, 98.4 percent of mass shootings have occurred on gun-free zones, with just 1.6 percent occurring where citizens are allowed to have firearms with them.

Powerful storms head for U.S. West after thousands flee floods
Powerful storms packing heavy rain and snow will lash the U.S. West on Tuesday, a day after thousands of people fled their homes to escape floods, forecasters said. A band of heavy downpours will drench northern California and heavy snow will fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains into Wednesday, exacerbating the threat of flooding, the National Weather Service said.

Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel: agency
Another 5,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel last year, figures showed Monday, continuing a trend that has seen tens of thousands quit the country after a series of attacks targeting the community. The Jewish Agency of Israel issued the update as France marked two years since attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and on a Jewish supermarket in Paris, where four shoppers were shot dead.

US move to secure election systems meets criticism
A last-minute decision by the Obama administration to designate election systems as critical infrastructure drew intense criticism from state and federal elections organizations on Monday. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the move Friday with 30 minutes’ notice to the National Association of Secretaries of State and U.S. Election Assistance Commission…

Chicago, New York in Worst Financial Shape Among Large US Cities
Chicago and New York rank at the bottom of a new analysis of fiscal strength based primarily on data from 2015 financial reports issued by the cities themselves. The analysis includes 116 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000. Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance.

Trump advisers to begin tax talks with Speaker Ryan
One of the biggest Republican projects of the year — tax reform — will begin Monday evening at the Capitol, with several top advisers to President-elect Donald Trump scheduled to hold a lengthy meeting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his team… The private discussions will convene in Ryan’s office suite shortly after 7 p.m. and will include a number of incoming White House officials…

US military tests swarm of mini-drones launched from jets
The US military has launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet during a test in California. Three F/A-18 Super Hornets were used to release the Perdix drones last October. The drones, which have a wingspan of 12in (30cm), operate autonomously and share a distributed brain.

As Venezuelans Go Hungry, The Military Is Trafficking In Food
In Venezuela, food has become so scarce it’s now being sold on the black market. One person tells the Associated Press, “it’s a better business than drugs.” And the food traffickers are the very people sworn to protect Venezuela: the nation’s military.

Georgetown Professor Calls For Whites To Have An I.R.A. – “Individual Reparations Account”
Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson is proposing the idea that white people should have an ‘Individual Reparations Account’ to make donations to black institutions and individuals.

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian attacker in West Bank: army
Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank shot dead a Palestinian who attacked them with a knife overnight during an operation to arrest suspected militants, the army said on Tuesday morning.

Thugs armed with marbles wreak havoc in NYC
Vandals loaded with a bizarre form of ammunition — marbles — drove around The Bronx on Sunday night shooting it through storefront windows, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to at least 26 businesses, authorities said.

Attack on Egypt police post in Sinai kills 8
An assault involving a car bomb against an Egyptian security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed seven policeman and a civilian on Monday, the interior ministry said.

Has Judicial Watch Uncovered Yet Another Obama Admin Email Scandal?
Many officials in the Obama administration, and not just Hillary Clinton, improperly used personal email accounts to conduct official business. And we are concerned that they will destroy these emails when they leave office this month.

Good News, America! Nobody Cares What Celebrities Think
Madonna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Sigourney Weaver, Katy Perry, Meryl Streep and Lady Gaga — among many others — all threw their support behind Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Those endorsements were supposed to rally their millions of fans to get to the voting booth and elect the first female president of the United States. Instead, Clinton lost states that went red for the first time in decades.

Breakin’ China: Cruz Meets With Taiwan’s President
Over the weekend in Houston, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz met with Taiwan’s president. He made it clear that U.S. officials would continue to have a relationship with Taiwan’s leaders, regardless of China’s opposition.


January 9, 2017
ALAN KEYES — Thanks to Abraham Lincoln’s statesmanship, those who fought under the American flag in the war that ushered in the end of law-enforced slavery for blacks in the United States did so in the name of the Union. That commitment to the Union prevailed again in the 20th century when Republican Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, who was at the time the chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, “delivered a celebrated speech…asserting that we must stop ‘partisan politics at the water’s edge….'”… (more)

January 9, 2017

JOHN FUND — The Obama Administration is leaving office much like the way it came in – – by exploiting perceived crises. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s just-named chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top CEOs in November 2008 while his boss was still president-elect…. (more)


January 9, 2017
BOSTON GLOBE — As he prepares to move out of the White House, Barack Obama is understandably focused on his legacy and reputation. The president will deliver a farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday; he told his supporters in an e-mail that the speech would “celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years,” and previewed his closing argument in a series of tweets hailing “the remarkable progress” for which he hopes to be remembered… (more)

January 9, 2017

ROBERT KNIGHT — When the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as attorney general, it will be about a lot more than Mr. Sessions, who Democrats and their media allies began knee-capping the moment his nomination was announced in November…. (more)


January 8, 2017
WESLEY PRUDEN — President Obama is on his way out, and not a minute too soon. The legacy he obsesses over continues to expand in revealing ways. It may not be exactly what he thinks he’s leaving, and it’s more legacy than he wants. The terrorists of ISIS, whom the president famously derided as “the junior varsity,” a ragtime army not to worry about, have metastasized throughout the Middle East and Europe on his watch, and may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you…. (more)

January 8, 2017
DAILY MAIL — A Palestinian has rammed a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers visiting a popular tourist spot in Jerusalem, killing four and wounding at least 15 people, in a shocking copycat of the Berlin and Nice terror massacres. Shocking video from the scene shows the driver reversing back over the soldiers, trapping ten under his wheels, during the sickening attack on Sunday…. (more)

January 8, 2017
PJ MEDIA — After an end-of-the-year video showing pre-teens hunt down and kill bound prisoners in an abandoned building, the Islamic State today released an even more gory follow-up with children as young as preschool age murdering prisoners tied to broken carnival rides…. (more)

January 8, 2017
STEVE ERTELT — The watchdog group Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) has released its analysis of the latest annual report issued by the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The report shows abortion continues to be the dominant priority of the organization:… (more)

January 8, 2017
THE COLLEGE FIX — The Student Coalition for Progress at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently pushed a petition that alleged University of Wisconsin Madison’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter is a hate group and its members and efforts “create a hostile environment on campus.”… (more)

January 8, 2017

PHILIP KLEIN — Nearly seven years ago, moments before President Obama signed the national healthcare legislation into law, he declared, “When I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform.”… (more)


January 8, 2017
LA TIMES — Republicans in Congress are beginning to grapple with how to help President-elect Donald Trump fulfill one of his biggest campaign promises: to build a wall along the Mexican border to slow illegal immigration. Trump is expected to ask Congress to provide the initial funding for the massive project, estimated to cost between $12 billion and $38 billion…. (more)

January 8, 2017
NEWSMAX — Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Saturday that he gained “a sense of disappointment” from reading the intelligence report on Russian hacking because it lacked true specifics detailing Moscow’s interference in the November election…. (more)

January 8, 2017
BYRON YORK — Julia Ioffe, a writer for The Atlantic who watches Russia carefully, tweeted this about the intelligence community’s unclassified report on Russian hacking released Friday: “It’s hard to tell if the thinness of the #hacking report is because the proof is classified, or because the proof doesn’t exist.”*… (more)

January 8, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — President elect-Donald Trump announced Saturday that he was nominating former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats as director of national intelligence. Mr. Trump touted the experience and judgement of Mr. Coats, a veteran of the Senate’s Intelligence and Armed Services committees, as his choice to head the intelligence community and serve as his top advisor on intelligence matters…. (more)


January 8, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — The case of Esteban Santiago, the 26-year-old shooter in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport massacre, gets stranger by the minute…. (more)

January 7, 2017

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — A small but expanding group of Republican senators are casting doubt on whether Republicans are moving too fast to repeal Obamacare without a replacement ready…. (more)


January 7, 2017

THE SUN — A GUNMAN who shot dead five people and injured eight others at a Florida airport “had walked into an FBI office claiming he was being forced to fight for ISIS”. Esteban Santiago, the prime suspect in the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport’s baggage reclaim, spoke to authorities about the terror group in November…. (more)


January 7, 2017

JUDICIAL WATCH — A Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border, according to intelligence obtained by Judicial Watch from confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources. As part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border…. (more)


January 7, 2017
NEWSMAX — Among the 18 Guantanamo Bay prisoners President Barack Obama is poised to release prior to leaving office, three of them have threatened to kill – – or behead – – Americans and even Obama himself, the Daily Mail reported…. (more)

January 7, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — The new chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is promising one of the most consequential starts to a presidential administration in modern history, as Republicans stand poised to run Congress and the White House…. (more)

January 7, 2017
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — There are some swamps that we have to drain because they’re our swamps. Washington is our swamp. The lesson of the 2016 election is that people across the ideological spectrum are furious at Washington. Our incoming president won because he convinced enough people that, while Hillary was a swamp creature, he – – the self-styled outsider non-politician – – would make like a big, shiny Trump colander. But Washington is not going away; once the ooze seeps out, the idea is to build something better – – like how New Jersey keeps building new stadiums on the marshy Meadowlands…. (more)

January 7, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — There already have been several formal statements designating pornography as a public health hazard: by lawmakers in Utah, Republicans in Congress and South Carolina lawmakers, who have proposed a plan to require computer sellers to install blocking software…. (more)

January 7, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama threw themselves a big A-list party Friday night – – their last White House blowout before leaving office. Among the celebrity guests were David Letterman, Nick Jonas, Paul McCartney, John Legend, Robert De Niro, Stevie Wonder, Charles Barkley, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, George Lucas, Meryl Streep, Samuel L. Jackson, Magic Johnson, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Marc Anthony, Sarah Jessica Parker and Tyler Perry…. (more)

January 7, 2017
LIFE SITE NEWS — A unanimous opinion handed down the last day of 2016 by the Alabama Supreme Court is the latest in a growing body of state law extending personhood and the equal protection of the law to pre-born children in Alabama…. (more)

January 5, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Republicans won the first skirmish in the Obamacare fight Wednesday, voting to begin debating fast-track budget procedures that, if successful, would allow the GOP to kill the 2010 health care law without having to face a Democratic filibuster in the Senate…. (more)

The Briefing 01-10-17

A tale of Protestant liberalism: Historic Baptist church in D.C. calls lesbian couple as co-pastors

In pro-life victory, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signs into law legislation that protects the unborn

“Biology matters”: LA Times column tackles the futility of gender-neutral parenting

The post The Briefing 01-10-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top Headlines – 1/10/2017

  • Immigration in focus as U.S. Senate confronts Trump nominees (Read More)
  • Jeff Sessions to Be Grilled on Race in First of Hearings (Read More)
  • Libya Ramps Up Oil Production, Threatening OPEC Plans (Read More)
  • Valeant to sell assets for $2.12 billion to ease debt load (Read More)
  • Industry Lobbyists Champ at the Bit, Awaiting Business-Friendly Policies (Read More)
  • Yahoo to be named Altaba, Mayer to leave board after Verizon deal (Read More)
  • Tillerson Must Answer for Trump, Big Oil, Even Putin in Hearing (Read More)
  • China vows to contain corporate debt levels as inflation heats up (Read More)
  • Iraq forces advance in Mosul but civilian toll mounts (Read More)
  • Jack Ma Bets $2.6 Billion He Can Revamp China’s Retail Industry (Read More)
  • Toshiba asks creditors not to call in loans: sources (Read More)
  • Gas Prices Take a Backseat for Auto Makers (Read More)
  • The World’s Best Stock Gains Are in Emerging Markets (Read More)
  • French presidential candidate Fillon says will outline EU plans to Merkel (Read More)
  • Johnson & Johnson to Report Average U.S. Price Increases (Read More)
  • Canadian apparel maker Gildan wins auction to buy American Apparel (Read More)
  • Mass killer Breivik makes Nazi salute at rights appeal case (Read More)
  • Fund That Made Money on Treasuries Says Rally Is About to End (Read More)
  • Japan’s Takeda Looks to More Acquisitions to Fuel Global Growth (Read More)

Trump names Jared Kushner as senior adviser to president, may focus on Mideast

Abbas sends letter to US President-elect Trump urging him not to move American embassy to Jerusalem

UN’s Palestinian aid agency urges Trump to revive MidEast peace bid

Obama, in Israel TV interview, dismisses idea he betrayed Israel at UN

UN chief condemns Israel attack, says it mustn’t deter talks

Deputy FM: Terror attack is Palestinian response to Paris peace conference

Unknown Palestinian group claims Jerusalem terror attack, vows more to come

Arrests extended of Jerusalem truck terrorist’s brothers

Police surprised at court decision to release Jerusalem terrorist’s sister

‘This isn’t about occupation – it’s a clash of civilizations’

Berlin Gate lit in white and blue in solidarity with Israel following Jerusalem attack

Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel

Bomb threats reported at Jewish centers across US, London schools

German Holocaust archive publishes inventory online

Tel Aviv: City that never sleeps to rest on Shabbat?

Suicide was top cause of death for IDF soldiers in 2016

Serving faithfully: US religious girls in the Israeli army

IDF: Palestinian killed trying to stab soldiers in West Bank arrest raid

Suicide bomber driving truck packed with explosives hits Egyptian security post in Sinai, killing at least 10

Ebrahim Raisi: the Iranian cleric emerging as a frontrunner for supreme leader

Navy destroyer fires warning shots at Iranian vessels in Strait of Hormuz

Iran set to receive huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia amid lawmakers’ concerns

ExxonMobil, headed by Trump pick Tillerson, made deals with Iran, Syria

US special forces carry out secret ground raid against Isil in Syria, ‘killing at least 25 jihadists’

U.S. Raid Kills Islamic State Official in Syria

Syrian war: Assad says Aleppo bombing was justified

Assad says ready to discuss everything, vows to take back all Syria

Turkey’s parliament debates greater powers for Erdogan

WikiLeaks proposes database of verified Twitter users’ info, sparks uproar

Assange blasts ’embarrassing’ US intel report, insists Russia not his source

Amid election hacking feud, US hits Russia with new sanctions

Senior Russian diplomat found dead in Athens apartment, say Greek police

Terror suspects could be forced to wear electronic tags under radical proposal from German justice minister

Large Brawl At Mall Leads To Pandemonium At Westfield Culver City

80 detained, 2 arrested after mob from Calif. party bus assaults store clerk

Judge: San Francisco Can’t Be Sued Over Death By Immigrant

Chicago, New York in Worst Financial Shape Among Large US Cities

L.A. needs to borrow millions to cover legal payouts, city report says

The rise of the cashless city: ‘There is this real danger of exclusion’

Venezuela’s 5th minimum wage hike in a year shows its economy is collapsing

Venezuela minimum wage to rise by 50% ‘to combat inflation’

As Venezuelans Go Hungry, The Military Is Trafficking In Food

Brexit could leave fields of rotting crops in Britain if migrant employees stay away

Angela Merkel threatens to restrict EU single market access unless Theresa May accepts free movement

Meryl Streep ‘overrated’? Donald Trump fires the latest salvo in the culture wars

US move to secure election systems meets criticism

Chinese humanoid robot turns on the charm in Shanghai

China bans electric shocks and beatings as therapy for its web-addicted youth

China condemns Taiwan president’s US visit and warns of ‘revenge’ against Donald Trump

Kim Jong-un can launch intercontinental missiles ‘any time and anywhere’, warns North Korea

Pakistan says it test-fired first submarine-launched missile

UFO? Chilean Navy releases video of mysterious flying object

Chilean Navy admits it ‘can’t explain’ chilling footage of bizarre craft

Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Two lunar eclipses to be visible from Qatar this year

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Pasarbaru, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikolski, Alaska

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Resolute, Canada

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Shahrtuz, Tajikistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupts to 35,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

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

173 mph wind whips Squaw Valley peak

Iconic ‘drive-through’ tree destroyed after storm batters California

Life-threatening flooding problems to mount as storm train aims for California

Storm turns Auburn dam into a mini-Niagara Falls

Winter wonderland: Snow falls in the Galilee for first time

Arctic cold snap to bring ‘thundersnow’ to parts of the UK

Bird flu confirmed at world-renowned swannery in Dorset

Health officials warn of possible measles exposure in Denver/Boulder area

Cleveland Clinic will discipline doctor who wrote antivaccination column

Gay Air Force Vet Honorably Discharged 68 Years Later

John Kerry apologizes for State Department’s past discrimination of LGBT people

Married lesbian couple to lead prominent D.C. Baptist church

Mike Ratliff – Are Christians supposed to preach the Gospel or be the Gospel?

The Risk of Loving the Jewish People More Than You Love The Jewish Messiah

Married lesbian couple to lead prominent D.C. Baptist church

North Carolina ‘Pastor’ Charged in Connection With Nine Armed Robberies

Aliso Viejo pastor gets 6 years in child sex assaults

Unhinged ‘Street Preacher’ Lambasts Georgia Police Officer: ‘You Deserve a Sniper Bullet’

Children’s Magazine Highlights to Feature Same-Sex Parents in February Issue

ACLU Files Suit as Kentucky Governor Signs Bill Requiring Ultrasound Prior to Abortion

Jezebel Curse Broken, but Leviathan Still Raging Over America

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:29 AM PST

(By Wanda Alger) The overreaching edicts and excessive executive orders being made by the current outgoing president are an indication of a spiritual strongman working…
Jumbo Asteroid has close shave with Earth

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:24 AM PST

An asteroid between 11 to 34 meters across (36 to 111ft), roughly the size of 10 jumbo African elephants, made a remarkably close approach to…
Pentagon successfully tests micro-drone swarm…

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:23 AM PST

The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm…
U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:20 AM PST

Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of…
Franklin Graham: We Must Stay on Guard

Posted: 09 Jan 2017 07:43 PM PST

In just a few weeks, Donald Trump will stand on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, put his hand on the Bible, swear to…
ALERT: Netanyahu Working to Block Obama Bid for U.N. Secretary-General

Posted: 09 Jan 2017 07:38 PM PST

Israel National News describes a Kuwaiti newspaper’s report about President Barack Obama’s post-presidential plans as “somewhat far-fetched,” but apparently plausible enough to bounce through publications…

11 Numbers That Connect The Year 2017, Israel And Donald Trump

Posted: 09 Jan 2017 07:31 PM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) Is 2017 going to be the most important year that we have seen in a very, very long time? Because of…
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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?


A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.

He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).


Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”

In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.

Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.

Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)

Understanding God’s Law

God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.

However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.

Understanding God’s Gospel

God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:

He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.

A Great Illustration

Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.

Responding to the Gospel

Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?

Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.

Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.

Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.

Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.

Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.

Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.


Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?

Source


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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A Generation of Offended Snowflakes

While most secular lefties today would want nothing to do with such (in their view) outdated notions as the Ten Commandments, they in fact still cling to a few moral absolutes which they insist must remain inviolate. One of them especially stands out like a sore thumb: “Thou shalt not offend anyone”.

This is the one commandment these folks demand above all else. They think they have some sort of universal and absolute right never to be offended, and woe to those who dare to offend. These folks insist that they must be protected from any form of offence, and want swift punishment on anyone who is deemed to be offensive.

offended-7This of course is all part of rampant political correctness and the war on truth. The only thing that matters for these delicate little petals is that their feelings are not hurt. But the trouble is, they take offence at anything and everything. It is a Brave New World of thought crimes, hate speech, and thought police.

Everyone must be super careful about what they think or say, lest the Offence Police go after them. It is getting to the point where we dare not say anything about anything, for fear of upsetting and offending someone. No wonder so many folks never open their mouths any more – they fear the consequences for merely expressing a point of view.

Free speech and free thought is now verboten in our Big Brother world of “acceptable” thought and speech. Dare to resist the official PC orthodoxy and you will be punished. Examples of this are now legion, and I have featured plenty of them on my site. Consider two more recent cases of this insanity in action – once again found on our college campuses.

The first story, from the UK, is a real shocker, with the headline alone enough to make you question the mental state of those in charge there: “Bible students are warned…you may find the crucifixion too upsetting!” Here is how this story begins:

Theology students are being warned in advance that they may see distressing images while studying the crucifixion of Jesus, giving them a chance to leave if they fear being upset. It is part of a trend at a number of universities for ‘trigger warnings’ issued by tutors to let students know about course content that might prove disturbing. Advocates say it helps to protect the mental health of vulnerable students. But critics say it is creating a generation of ‘snowflake’ students unable to cope with the harsh realities of the world.
The University of Glasgow, part of the elite Russell Group, confirmed that trigger warnings are issued to theology students studying ‘Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1)’. According to university documents, a lecture on Jesus and cinema sometimes ‘contains graphic scenes of the crucifixion, and this is flagged up to students beforehand’….
Students are told ‘you can, of course, leave a class at any time should you need to, but please check in… later that day to let us know how you are’.

The article offers other examples at the university where trigger warnings are provided. Thankfully not everyone was impressed with all this. Liz Smith, a Scottish Tory education spokesman put it this way: “Universities are meant to be a place of learning where concepts are challenged and tricky subjects debated. That will become increasingly difficult if they go too far out their way to ensure everything survives the politically correct test. Some of the examples set out here are patently ridiculous.”

They certainly are. But it seems Western universities are now specialising in such ridiculous and moronic PC foolishness. Consider another UK school where the stranglehold of political correctness is destroying higher education and turning students into perpetually offended cry-babies:

They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable. But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.
These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy ‘the majority of philosophers on our courses’ should be from Africa and Asia. The students say it is in order to ‘decolonise’ the ‘white institution’ that is their college.

Good grief. Um, isn’t that a form of racism? Oh yeah, I forgot: only whites are guilty of racism it seems. Thankfully there were a few level-headed voices to be heard in protest. British philosopher Roger Scruton for example said this:

This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can’t rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven’t investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.

And Sir Anthony Seldon, the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University said this: “There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.”

The university used to be a place of learning, of gaining knowledge, of being exposed to differing ideas and perspectives, but today it is largely about enforcing a radical secular left agenda and forcing students into a diabolical groupthink, with no deviation allowed from the accepted ideology.

As Thomas Sowell once put it, “Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” Or as Scruton put it elsewhere: “Tenured professors enjoy all the privileges of the academy in return for relentless debunking of the civilization that made this possible.”

In a 2000 essay on “The origins of political correctness” William S. Lind said this: “The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy-covered North Koreas…”

All this spells not only the death of higher education, but the death of the West. As Malcolm Muggeridge put it, “Whereas other civilisations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense.”

It is getting to the place where concerned parents who want their children to be able to think and reason, and not emote and always feel offended, had best keep them out of most Western universities. Scary times indeed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4089302/Bible-students-warned-crucifixion-upsetting-Critics-say-trigger-warnings-distressing-content-creating-generation-snowflake-students.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4098332/They-Kant-PC-students-demand-white-philosophers-including-Plato-Descartes-dropped-university-syllabus.html

[1132 words]

The post A Generation of Offended Snowflakes appeared first on CultureWatch.

10 Things I Wish Southern Baptists Knew About Southern Baptists

Originally published June 26, 2015sbc 10 things

Earlier this week, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission published a nifty little article called “10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Southern Baptists“. Althought I disagree with Dr. Moore on a number of things, I thought the article was pretty good, overall.

But it got me thinking. Yes, there is a lot of ignorance about Southern Baptists out there among those who aren’t part of our denomination. However, there’s also a lot of ignorance inside the SBC about what’s really going on in our denomination, our doctrine, practices, leadership, and so on. These are ten SBC realities I wish the average Southern Baptist church member were more aware of.

1. LifeWay sells lies and heresy, and they don’t want you to know.
Now I’m not saying everything they sell is lies and heresy. I’ve bought lots of good doctrinally sound materials from them over the years. However, the fact remains that they continue to sell books and materials from false teachers like T.D. Jakes, Sarah Young, and Andy Stanley on their shelves. They will order books by false teachers like Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen for you if you just ask at the counter.¹ They continued to sell The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven (a book recounting Alex Malarkey’s supposed trip to Heaven after a car accident) for nearly a year even after Alex, his mother, Beth, and respected SBC pastor, speaker, and author Justin Peters repeatedly told LifeWay leadership that the story was a lie. Emails and phone calls about heretical materials at LifeWay are either ignored or the caller placated (I know this from first hand experience). Questions from the floor at the Southern Baptist Convention about LifeWay carrying false doctrine are quashed.

This entity of your denomination which purports to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ is selling lies about Him to make a fast buck, and they need to stop.

2. There are plenty of apostate Southern Baptist churches, and we have no mechanism in place for kicking them out of the SBC.
This is a verbatim quote from the FAQ section (5th question from the top) of the SBC’s web site:

“According to our constitution, if a church no longer makes a bona fide contribution to the Convention’s work, or if it acts to ‘affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior,’ it no longer complies with the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention and is not permitted to send messengers to the annual meeting. These, however, are the only explicitly stated instances in which the SBC has the prerogative to take action.”

What does that mean? As long as your church doesn’t affirm homosexuality and gives to the Cooperative Program, you’re in. Never mind if your pastor twists God’s word until it’s unrecognizable. Or lets women and false teachers get behind the pulpit like Steven Furtick does. Or plays AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on Easter Sunday and says he probably wouldn’t have strippers on stage like Perry Noble does. Or any of the other ridiculous and blasphemous shenanigans so many of the seeker sensitive types in our denomination pull. Nope, as long as you give your money and stand on the right side of homosexuality, you’re good to go.

3. Beth Moore is a false teacher.
That’s right, the queen of SBC women’s Bible study, divangelista Beth Moore, does not rightly handle God’s word, partners with false teachers, and violates Scripture by preaching to men, among other things. And Priscilla Shirer is right there with her.

4. Having a small church isn’t a sin and it doesn’t necessarily mean your pastor (or your church) isn’t trying hard enough.
The average church size in America is 186 members, and 94% of church goers attend a church of 500 or fewer people, yet the constant drumbeat of SBC leadership is “bigger is better.” Countless articles harangue exhausted pastors about breaking the 200 or 250 or 300 member attendance “barrier.”

Listen, if your pastor is faithfully preaching and rightly handling God’s word and your church members are serving one another and carrying out the Great Commission in their daily lives, that’s what counts in God’s eyes, not how many butts are in a pew.

5. The Bible doesn’t require you to tithe, and neither should your church.
The tithe is part of the Old Testament law that Christians today are no longer bound by because we are under the covenant of grace, not the Mosaic covenant. Christians are to gladly give the amount we determine in our own hearts to give out of love for our Savior and a desire to serve Him- not under compulsion from someone else.

6. The “sinner’s prayer” won’t save you.
If you think you’re saved because you parroted a prayer someone led you in when you were five but your life shows no love of Christ and no evidence that you belong to Him, then your faith is in the prayer you prayed, not in Christ, and you are not saved. The evidence that you’re a Christian is that you love the Lord, and are growing in holiness, not that you once repeated a prayer (or that you were baptized, attend church regularly, are a “good person,” etc.) Examine yourself to see if you’re really in the faith.

7. Your church probably has a significant number of lost people in it.
Jesus Himself said, there are few who find eternal life and that there are many who call Him “Lord” whom He does not know and will turn away on the Day of Judgment. This is why it is absolutely imperative that pastors, Sunday School teachers, and all other church leaders know the gospel inside out and teach it incessantly, even to people who claim to know Christ.

8. Lots of Southern Baptist churches violate 1 Timothy 2:12ff.
We do fairly well at not permitting women to serve as pastors, but beyond that there are plenty of churches and pastors who sin by allowing women to serve in positions in the church that are restricted to men. Do women in your church teach co-ed Sunday School classes? Do they head up committees or ministries that put them in authority over men? Do they, as worship leaders or in some other capacity, stand before the congregation and instruct or exhort them? Then your church is in sin.

9. Politics won’t save America.
This country is imploding. You don’t have to be a prophet to see that. Voting according to biblical principles, running for office, working through the system to right wrongs, signing petitions, and other political activity is fine, but don’t put your eggs in those baskets. The Titanic has hit the ice berg, and Christians in this country will soon be facing real persecution like we see overseas. We need to rescue the perishing with the gospel. It can’t be done with the White House or the state house. When is the last time you shared the gospel with someone?

10. Jesus wins.
Things are bad and getting worse. In our world, in our country, in our denomination, in our churches. But the good news of Scripture for all people is that, in the end, Jesus is coming back for His bride. He will conquer evil and those of us who truly belong to Him will spend eternity with Him. This world is not all there is. Jesus wins.


¹It is possible LifeWay has changed this policy. I called my local LifeWay last week (Jan. 2017) and asked them to order a Joyce Meyer book and a Joel Osteen book. I was told the store could not order books by either of these authors. I applaud LifeWay for this step in the right direction.

Source: 10 Things I Wish Southern Baptists Knew About Southern Baptists

January 10, 2017: Verse of the day

img_0595

Extending the promise of God’s grace still further, Jesus said, And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.

Little ones are believers who seem insignificant and unimportant (cf. Matt. 18:3–1; 25:31–46). They might be new believers who are untaught and are stumbling in their new life; or they might be lifelong believers whose devoted years of service have attracted little attention. Jesus’ point is that any service done to any of His people in His name amounts to service to Him and will be rewarded. The simplest help given to the simplest disciple will not go unnoticed or unrewarded by God.

While a young boy in a country village in England struggled hard to study for the ministry, an old cobbler helped him in whatever ways he could. The godly man encouraged the boy spiritually and helped support him with what little money he could spare. When the young man was finally licensed to preach, the cobbler said to him, “I always had in my heart the desire to be a minister of the gospel; but circumstances never made it possible. You are doing what was always my dream but never a reality. I want you to let me make your shoes for nothing, and I want you to wear them in the pulpit when you preach. In that way I will feel you are preaching the gospel I always wanted to preach, standing in my shoes.”

Whenever we become the source of blessing for others, we are blessed; and whenever other believers become a source of blessing to us, they are blessed. In God’s magnificent economy of grace, the least believer can share the blessings of the greatest, and no one’s good work will go unrewarded.

John Calvin was banished from Geneva by ungrateful citizens who resented his giving them the full truth of God’s Word. In response to the disappointing news he said, “Most assuredly, if I had merely served man, this would have been a poor recompense. But it is my happiness that I have served Him who never fails to reward His servants to the full extent of His promise.”

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

10:42 little ones. While not excluding children, this phrase refers to all Jesus’ disciples, who are to be like little children (18:1–6, 10, 14). Jesus’ remark about reward underscores the importance of accepting and assisting even those believers who seem insignificant (25:40, 45).

Reformation Study Bible

January 10, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 10

The Historical Jesus

God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:9

Many people doubt whether Jesus ever really existed, but many historians have written about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Around A.D. 114, the Roman historian, Tacitus, wrote that the founder of the Christian religion, Jesus Christ, was put to death by Pontius Pilate in the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (Annals 15.44).

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan on the subject of Christ and Christians (Letters 10.96-97).

In A.D. 90, the Jewish historian Josephus penned a short biographical note on Jesus: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to Him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ” (Antiquities 18.63).

The Talmud refers to Jesus of Nazareth (Sanhedrin 43a, Abodah Zerah 16b–17a).

Jesus was a man in history. And His claims were true. Do you still doubt His ability to save you?[1]


January 10 Worthy Examples to the World

“Let love of the brethren continue.”

Hebrews 13:1

✧✧✧

To be a testimony to the world, Christians need to live what they profess.

The nineteenth–century preacher Alexander Maclaren once said, “The world takes its notion of God most of all from those who say they belong to God’s family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. They see us; they only hear about Jesus Christ.” Sound biblical doctrine, as important a foundation as it is, is inadequate by itself to influence the world toward Christ’s gospel.

Christians today could learn much from the early Christians, whose lives were such a rebuke to the immoral, pagan societies around them. Unbelievers in those cultures found it extremely difficult to find fault with Christians, because the more they observed them, the more they saw believers living out the high moral standards the church professed.

Christians in those days were obedient to Peter’s instruction: “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15). They also heeded Paul’s advice to Titus: “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7–8).

Jesus commanded His original disciples and us, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Of course, Jesus had in mind good works that were genuine and that came from a foundation of good teaching.

These verses ought to remind us, therefore, that doctrine and practice must go hand in hand. The author of Hebrews shifts naturally from doctrine and general exhortation to the specific admonitions of chapter 13. Love among believers is his starting point, and it should be ours as we seek to have a credible and worthy walk before the watching world.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you maintain a scriptural balance between doctrine and practice. ✧ Pray that He would correct specific areas in which you have been living out of balance.

For Further Study: Memorize James 1:25. Use a Bible with good cross references, and look up other verses that deal with “the law of liberty.”[2]


JANUARY 10

DAILY GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

—Isaiah 64:4

Every emotion has its reaction and every pleasurable experience will dim after a while. The human organism is built that way and there is nothing we can do about it. It is well known that the second year of marriage is often the most critical, for then the first excitement has worn off the relationship and the young couple has not had time to acquire a new set of common interests and to learn to accept a more stable if less emotional kind of life.

Only engrossment with God can maintain perpetual spiritual enthusiasm because only God can supply everlasting novelty. In God every moment is new and nothing ever gets old. Of things religious we may become tired; even prayer may weary us; but God never. He can show a new aspect of His glory to us each day for all the days of eternity and still we shall have but begun to explore the depths of the riches of His infinite being….

The sum of all this is that nothing can preserve the sweet savor of our first experience except to be preoccupied with God Himself. Our little rill is sure to run dry unless we keep it replenished from the fountain. GTM127-129

Lord, every day there is indeed some new glimpse of Your glory. May I enter the day today with a holy anticipation! Amen. [3]


January 10

God’s Plan for Temptation

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.—Matt. 4:1

Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness did not catch His Father by surprise. The Son was specifically “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” The word translated “tempted” is from a morally neutral term that means “to test.” But sometimes, as here, the context clearly indicates that the testing was aimed at enticing one to do evil. That the devil was going to present certain temptations to Jesus thus justifies rendering the word “tempted”—it gives us the negative connotation of Satan’s sinister intentions.

God sometimes uses Satan’s temptations toward evil as part of His larger plan to test believers for good (cf. Job). Whereas the devil wanted to lead Christ into sin and disobedience in the wilderness, God used the circumstances to reconfirm Christ’s holiness and worthiness. This is God’s plan for all His saints (cf. James 1:2–4, 12–13)—that Christ’s righteousness be revealed in us.

Joseph’s severe mistreatment at the hands of his brothers in the Old Testament and his subsequent “misfortunes” in Egypt could have driven him to despair and sinful bitterness, but by faith he recognized God’s sovereign hand in it all (Gen. 50:20). Whether God tests us directly or uses Satan to challenge us, He will always use the situation to eventually produce good fruit in us.

ASK YOURSELF
What positive benefits does temptation serve in your own life? As unwanted and unwelcome as it is, what does its mere presence keep before you, thereby thwarting the aspirations of the enemy? Pray that God would gain His desired objectives in you, even through times of testing.[4]

JANUARY 10

GRACE CAN BE COSTLY

For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace…grace be with you all. Amen.

Hebrews 13:9, 25

Christians all around us are trying every shortcut they can think of to get “something for nothing” in the kingdom of God. Talk to them and they will predictably flare up: “Isn’t grace something for nothing?”

That depends upon what kind of grace we are talking about.

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave his life as a martyr in Hitler’s Germany, but he left a book now known around the world: The Cost of Discipleship. He pointed out a sharp distinction between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” Although God’s grace has been given freely to humans who do not deserve it, Bonhoeffer believed it rightly could be called “costly grace” because it cost our Lord Jesus Christ even the suffering of death.

Some men and women have actually turned God’s grace into lasciviousness. They do not know what the word grace means—that God gives us out of His rich and full goodness although we are unworthy of it. When I preach about the grace of God and point out that Jesus commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him, those who do not know the meaning of grace respond: “Oh, Tozer is now preaching legalism.”

Father, as I go about the activities of my day today—and for each month of this year—I want to be mindful of Your “costly grace” and desire to grow more deeply in my understanding of it.[5]


January 10 Living to the Glory of God

God chose us “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in [His beloved Son]” (Eph. 1:6).

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You were created to glorify God.

Henry Martyn, an Englishman, served as a missionary in India and Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Upon his arrival in Calcutta he cried out, “Let me burn out for God.” As he watched the people prostrating themselves before their pagan idols and heard blasphemy uttered against Christ, he wrote, “This excited more horror in me than I can well express. … I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonored” (John Stott, Our Guilty Silence [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1967], pp. 21, 22).

Martyn had a passion for God’s glory—and he was in good company. Angels glorify God (Luke 2:14), as do the heavens (Ps. 19:1) and even animals (Isa. 43:20). But as a believer, you glorify God in a unique way because you are a testimony to His redeeming grace.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God—even in the most mundane activities of life, such as eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). You are to flee immorality so you can glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:18–20). You are to walk worthy of your calling, so “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified” (2 Thess. 1:12).

Glorifying God is an enormous privilege and an awesome responsibility. When others see His character on display in your life, it reminds them of His power, goodness, and grace. But when they don’t, God is dishonored, and His character is called into question.

Aim your life at God’s glory; make it the standard by which you evaluate everything you do.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for the privilege of glorifying Him. ✧ Ask Him to show you any areas of your life that do not honor Him. ✧ Find a trusted Christian friend who will pray with you and hold you accountable for the areas in which you know you need to change.

For Further Study: Read Exodus 33:12–34:9. ✧ What did Moses request? ✧ What was God’s response, and what does this teach us about His glory?[6]


JANUARY 10

EVERY ONE MUST PRAY AS IF HE ALONE COULD PRAY

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

LUKE 18:1

Thomas a’ Kempis wrote that the man of God ought to be more at home in his prayer chamber than before the public. It is not too much to say that the preacher who loves to be before the public is hardly prepared spiritually to be before them. Right praying may easily make a man hesitant to appear before an audience.

The man who is really at home in the presence of God will find himself caught in a kind of inward contradiction. He is likely to feel his responsibility so keenly that he would rather do almost anything than face an audience; and yet the pressure upon his spirit may be so great that wild horses could not drag him away from his pulpit.

No man should stand before an audience who has not first stood before God. Many hours of communion should precede one hour in the pulpit. The prayer chamber should be more familiar than the public platform.

Schools teach everything about preaching except the important part, praying. The best any school can do is to recommend prayer and exhort to its practice. Praying itself must be the work of the individual. That it is the one religious work which gets done with the least enthusiasm cannot but be one of the tragedies of our times!

In true prayer, every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else. Everyone must pray as if he alone could pray![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 21). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[2] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 18). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.