January 14-15, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Top News – 1/15/2017

Syria fighting threatens deal to fix damaged Damascus water source
The Syrian army and allied militia clashed with rebels in Wadi Barada near Damascus on Sunday, threatening to disrupt planned repair works to a pumping station that supplies most of the capital’s water, a war monitor said. …Heavy fighting reached the outskirts of the Ain al-Fija town, where the water springs are located, the British-based war monitor reported.

Trump Team Shunning Davos Meeting of World’s Economic Elite
Donald Trump won’t send an official representative to the annual gathering of the world’s economic elite in Davos, taking place next week…although one of the president-elect’s advisers is slated to attend. A senior member of Trump’s transition team said the president-elect thought it would betray his populist-fueled movement to have a presence at the high-powered annual gathering in the Swiss Alps.

Soros’ Son Quietly Steps Up as Major Liberal Donor
Alexander Soros, the son of liberal billionaire George Soros who acts as the managing partner for Soros Brothers Investments, has quietly emerged as a major donor to Democratic campaigns and causes. …Alexander has stepped up his political contributions even as his father continued to pour tens of millions into the coffers of Democratic campaigns and political action committees.

US woman dies of infection resistant to all 26 available antibiotics
A US woman has died from an infection that was resistant to all 26 available antibiotics, health officials said this week, raising new concerns about the rise of dangerous superbugs. The woman, who was in her 70s, died in Nevada in September, and had recently been hospitalized in India with fractured leg bones, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Syria war: Dozens dead in IS attack on Deir al-Zour
Islamic State militants have launched a fierce assault on government-held areas in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, with dozens reportedly killed. Twelve government soldiers and 20 IS fighters were killed, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least two civilians were also killed in IS rocket fire on government-controlled parts of the city, it added.

Israel-Palestinian conflict: France holds world summit
A major international conference to try to kick-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is under way in the French capital, Paris. Delegates from 70 nations are expected to reaffirm support for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict. Palestinians have welcomed the meeting but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who is not attending – says the conference is “futile”.

Philippines’ Duterte threatens martial law
Martial law could be imposed in the Philippines if the drugs problem worsens, President Rodrigo Duterte has said. The 71-year-old former state prosecutor said the aim would be “to preserve the Filipino people and the youth of this land”. About 6,000 people have been killed in six months under Mr Duterte’s anti-drugs crackdown.

IDF tanks fire at Hamas targets in response to Gaza border shooting
The IDF fired towards Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip in response to shots that were fired towards the IDF vehicle earlier Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said. According to the IDF, the rounds, fired by a tank, was in retaliation to gunfire which damaged an IDF vehicle working near the border fence earlier.

France says Trump’s Jerusalem embassy proposal a provocation
France’s foreign minister said…to move the American embassy to Jerusalem would be a provocation with serious consequences. “Of course (it’s a provocation). I think he would not be able to do it,” Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television… “It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none have let themselves make that decision.

Top Bishop: Europe Will Soon Be Muslim Because of Our Stupidity
Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of the country’s “stupidity”, a prominent Italian archbishop has said. Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe’s main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Chilean Government Releases Declassified UFO Video
This has certainly been the reaction to a video that was recently released by the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Air Phenomena (CEFAA), the Chilean government agency responsible for investigating UFOs. Originally captured by a helicopter belonging to the Chilean navy two years ago, the release of this 10-minute video coincided with the conclusion of the Committee’s investigation into the anomaly.

‘Liberal snowflake’ Hollywood stars come under fire for ‘pathetic’ video which shows them singing ‘I Will Survive’ about Trump
Donald Trump’s supporters have hit out at Hollywood once again, this time over a video of some of the biggest celebrities defiantly singing before his inauguration. A new clip by W Magazine and Conde Nast Entertainment shows the likes of Emma Stone, Natalie Portman and Amy Adams reciting the disco classic I Will Survive.

Mexico warns Trump on tariffs: We’ll respond ‘immediately’
Mexico’s economy minister sent Donald Trump a fighting message: We will retaliate right away if you hit us with a “major border tax.” “It’s very clear that we have to be prepared to immediately be able to neutralize the impact of a measure of that nature,” economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Friday on a Mexican news show.

EU Parliament Committee Votes To Give Robots Rights (And A Kill Switch)
Foreseeing a rapidly approaching age of autonomous artificial intelligence, a European Parliament committee has voted to legally bestow electronic personhood to robots. The status includes a detailed list of rights, responsibilities, regulations, and a “kill switch.”

‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ has a new plan: Tourism
It’s a flat, landlocked country most known for its chilly winters. It was famously dubbed the “last dictatorship” in Europe — a place where even the country’s leader, in place for the past 22 years, has described his politics as authoritarian. It’s a former Soviet republic where the KGB is still called the KGB, and where people still work on collective farms and at state-owned vodka companies. And perhaps most tellingly, the World Health Organization says it has the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the world.


Top Headlines – 1/15/2017

In long-shot Paris peace bid, France sees nothing to lose

Egyptian FM to present vision on Israel-PA peace

The Nations Plot In Vain – Leaked Draft Of Paris Peace Conference Revealed

Kicking off summit, Paris says now not time to halt peace effort

Israeli UN Envoy: Paris Peace Conference a Reward to Palestinians for Avoiding Negotiations While Promoting Terrorism

At Paris meeting, major powers to warn Trump over Middle East peace

Trump advisers tell French officials: We strenuously object to Paris peace conference

Fatah warns moving US embassy will ‘open gates of hell’

Palestinian imams preach against Trump’s plans to move embassy to Jerusalem

Abbas at Vatican: Peace could suffer if US embassy moves

Obamacare repeal effort sends jitters through Jewish service groups

Netanyahu, in secret talks with publisher, named ‘hostile’ journalists he wanted sidelined

Hundreds protest Netanyahu ‘corruption’ in Tel Aviv

SpaceX launches rocket for first time since blast destroyed Israeli satellite

For Israel, Energy Boom Could Make Friends Out of Enemies

PA to assist Gaza with power crisis

Hamas says Turkey to send fuel to end Gaza electricity crisis

IDF tank blasts back as forces come under fire from Gaza

Hamas, Islamic State resume close cooperation despite pressure from Cairo

Islamic State using drones to drop explosives on civilians and troops advancing on Mosul

Syria calls on UN to ‘punish’ Israel over airport attack

Iraq makes swift territorial gains against IS in Mosul

Iran moderates hope Rafsanjani’s death can soften attitudes

German plane from Oman lands in Kuwait over bomb threat

Police detain 3 in anti-terror raids in Brussels hotspot

Top Bishop: Europe Will Soon Be Muslim Because of Our Stupidity

Poland welcomes thousands of US troops in NATO show of force

New Brazilian prison riots leave at least 10 dead – reports

Cubans Say Obama Shut Migration Path in Revenge for Trump’s Win

Mexico warns Trump on tariffs: We’ll respond ‘immediately’

Mainstream Media Meltdown: ‘Journalists’ Seek ‘Safe Space’ To Discuss “How To Cover Trump”

Bikers for Trump Ready to Stand up to Protesters

Truck attacks, drones among new security threats for Trump inauguration

Soros’ Son Quietly Steps Up as Major Liberal Donor

Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Jumps $5 Billion In First Weeks Of 2017

In the shopping cart of a food stamp household: Lots of soda

NBA will consider shortening games due to millennial attention spans

Gadget mountain rising in Asia threatens health, environment

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lae, Papua New Guinea

Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupts to 18,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 16,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

‘River of moisture’ to resume rounds of flooding rain, feet of snow in California during late January

Deadly Ice Storm Cripples Roads, Threatens 44 Million From Plains to Mid-Atlantic

Four Dead in Ice Storm Wrecks; Kansas and Missouri Brace for Another Round

A severe winter storm that swept across northern France on Thursday night left more than 300,000 homes without power

Salmon prices set to soar as parasitic sea lice hit global supplies

More Americans Identify as LGBT; Millennials Driving the Increase

How Christianity in America Changed During Obama’s Presidency: Pew Report


Top News – 1/14/2017

Trump rips John Lewis: Worry about your ‘crime infested’ district
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

Ex-spy ‘terrified’ over Trump dossier backlash: report
Christopher Steele, 52, fled his home in Surrey, England, Wednesday as his identity became public, The Telegraph said Thursday. An unidentified source close to Steele said the former spy was “horrified.” “[He is] terrified for his and his family’s safety,” the source said of Steele, one of two directors at a private security and investigations firm in London.

Religious leaders celebrate abortion clinic’s ‘sacred work’
More than 20 religious leaders participated in a ceremony to “bless” a new Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, D.C., calling the abortion facility a “sacred work.”

Congressman demands support for abandoned Christian refugees in Middle East
New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith has defended Christians and religious liberty with tenacious passion… This week, Smith, along with his Democratic cosponsor, California Rep. Anna Eshoo, reintroduced the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, which is aimed at providing “emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria.”

Major ice storm bears down on central U.S.
The brunt of an ice storm was expected to roll through the Great Plains and Midwest this weekend after claiming the life of a motorist, causing scattered power outages and wreaking havoc on travel plans for airline passengers and motorists. Ice, freezing rain and winter storm warnings and advisories remained in effect for Saturday and Sunday from northern Texas, east across parts of the Midwest and into the Washington D.C. area…

U.S. House votes to begin repealing Obamacare
U.S. House Republicans on Friday won passage of a measure starting the process of dismantling Obamacare… The House of Representatives voted 227-198 to instruct committees to draft legislation by a target date of Jan. 27 that would repeal the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. The Senate approved the same measure early Thursday.

UN ambassador warns of ‘further anti-Israel measures’
Israel’s UN ambassador on Friday raised concern over what he said were moves at the Security Council to adopt a new measure to build on the Paris Middle East conference. Sweden’s Ambassador Olof Skoog, who holds this month’s presidency of the Security Council, said however that there were no immediate plans for council action.

First sign of enhanced U.S.-Russia relations under Trump: An invite to Syria talks
Russia has invited the incoming Trump administration to Syrian peace talks…with Turkey and Iran…which the Obama administration pointedly has been excluded. U.S. participation, especially if an agreement is reached, would be the first indication of the enhanced U.S.-Russia cooperation that President Vladi­mir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump have forecast under a Trump administration.

Icy weather in Europe causes more hardship and chaos
Much of Europe continues to be hit by icy weather with strong winds and powerful storms causing traffic chaos, power cuts and travel delays. Electricity supplies to nearly 350,000 homes in France were temporarily cut, while severe flood warnings were in place on England’s east coast. As Germany prepares for more heavy snow, forecasters say the worst of the weather is heading eastwards.

Cyprus talks: Erdogan dismisses full Turkish troop withdrawal
Turkey’s president says a full withdrawal of its forces from divided Cyprus is “out of the question” unless Greece also agrees to pull out troops. Hopes of reunification have been raised after talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots in Geneva this week. But a number of stumbling blocks remain, including whether any Turkish troops would stay in northern Cyprus after reunification.

Abbas seeks Putin’s help blocking US embassy move to Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has turned to Russian president Vladimir Putin for help preventing the proposed United States embassy move…to Jerusalem… “The letter asks President Putin to do what he can about the information we have that President-elect Donald Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem, which for us is a red line and dangerous,” he said after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Abbas meets Pope, warns against US embassy move to Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that if US president-elect Donald Trump goes through with plans to transfer Washington’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem it will hurt the peace process. “We are waiting to see if it happens. If it does it will not help peace and we hope it does not happen,” Abbas told reporters outside the Vatican gates…

German Court Calls Synagogue Torching An Act To ‘Criticize Israel’
A regional court in Germany has decided that a brutal attempt to set fire to a local synagogue in 2014 was an act meant to express criticism against Israel’s conduct in its ongoing conflict with Gaza

Greenwald: “Unelected, Very Powerful Faction” Of Intelligence Officials In “Open Warfare” With Trump
OX News: Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept says opponents have used the media in “open warfare” against the President-elect, and the CIA wanted Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Greenwald said people are afraid to call them out because they will be called “unpatriotic.”

Northern California drenched, but state’s drought far from over
Thanks to the powerful storms that have drenched Northern California, 42% of the state is no longer in a drought.

Iran Approved To Import Additional 130 Tons Of Uranium
– Iran’s English language Press TV is reporting that world powers have approved Iran importing as much as 130 tons of uranium.

YouTube removes influential conservative website’s channel
Legal Insurrection founder and publisher and Cornell University Law Professor William Jacobson voiced his anger and astonishment at the channel’s removal. “It’s very frustrating, it’s very scary, to have 8 years of content removed without a chance to defend yourself,” he told FoxNews.com.

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’
The US should “prepare for a military clash”, a state run Chinese tabloid newspaper has warned. Less than 24 hours after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson appeared to call for a blockade of South China Sea islands, a strongly-worded English editorial in the Global Times accused the former ExxonMobil chief executive of “rabble-rousing”.

Cavuto to CNN: ‘You’re Experiencing What We’ve Been Living for Last 8 Years’
“How does it feel to be dismissed or worse, ignored?” Neil Cavuto took on the CNN-Donald Trump feud on “Your World,” arguing that Fox News Channel has dealt with similar treatment from the Obama administration for eight years.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent: The DOJ Investigation Was ‘Political’ and ‘Predetermined
“I think the results were predetermined when they got here,” McCarthy stated on Fox News Friday morning. A few moments later, the DOJ provided a damning report about the CPD, accusing the department of a pattern of “excessive force.” McCarthy surmised that the DOJ had a “political need” that had to be fulfilled which was more important than getting it right. How else could he explain why the agency never interviewed him or other relevant people on the force?


Obama-Kerry have 1 last surprise waiting for Jewish state

‘This isn’t about land, this is about destroying Israel’

Bachmann is of the belief that it doesn’t really matter what declarations are made in France.

“Obama is about to lose his power and Israel is about to gain a powerful friend in the White House,” she said. “In Donald Trump, the Arab world will discover a man who will not undermine the Jewish state.

“And they will learn the U.N. is not a powerful global government, but remains a dysfunctional playground for anti-American dictator wannabes.”

View Article


Trump Advisers Tell French Officials: We Strenuously Object to Paris Peace Conference

Donald Trump in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, January 13, 2017. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Senior French officials met a few weeks ago in New York with President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers and presented the program for the international peace conference to be held Sunday in Paris, Haaretz has learned. Trump’s team was said to have objected strenuously to the very holding of the conference, especially at this time, five days before Trump’s inauguration.

The Paris conference is not expected to produce practical decisions, but rather to serve as declarative event of the international community’s intentions toward the Middle East peace process. According to French diplomats, the conference is being held at this time, a few days before the inauguration, to convey a message to the president-elect about the importance the international community ascribes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the extent of international consensus.

Representatives from some 70 countries and organizations are to attend the conference, including 40 foreign ministers from several Arab and Western countries. For outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, this is expected to be the last international event he will be attending before his term ends on January 20.


Soros Funded Domestic Terror Group ‘DisruptJ20’ Plans To Shutdown Donald Trump’s Inauguration

An anti-Donald Trump group is planning massive disruptions for next week’s inauguration covering everything from “blockades” at security checkpoints to a “dance party” outside VP-elect Mike Pence’s house, according to group leaders as well as newly obtained audio of their apparent plans.

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Soros, still smarting from a bought and paid for Hillary “victory” has found a new place to spend his blood-soaked billions. The domestic terror group DisruptJ20 is going to take to the streets to terrorize men, women and children on January 20th. And just like in Ferguson and Baltimore, Soros is hoping for that someone dies in melee. 

The organization #DisruptJ20 already announced at a press conference Thursday its various plans to wreak havoc at Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration and in the days leading up to it.

A conservative group also shared with FoxNews.com what it said was audio from a Jan. 8 #DisruptJ20 meeting at a Washington church, giving even greater insight into the group’s planned D.C. “shutdown.”

DisruptJ20: Call for a bold mobilization against the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States.

We call on all people of good conscience to join in disrupting the ceremonies. If Trump is to be inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the true face of the security state Trump will preside over. It must be made clear to the whole world that the vast majority of people in the United States do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.

The audio, recorded by Trevor Loudon with Capital Research Center, purports to show a female member detailing plans to “do everything we can to try and stop people from being able to access the inauguration.” source

This begins with what was described as a “pure dance party at Mike Pence’s house” on Jan. 18.

“It’s his last few days living in Chevy Chase before he moves into the vice presidential residence, and we’re going to send him off with a bang,” the woman says in the audio.

Then she says the group is turning its attention toward the pro-Trump “DeploraBall” the following day, which she describes as the “alt-right neo-Nazi … party to celebrate Trump.”

“We’re gonna crash it,” she says.

No Peaceful Transition – #DisruptJ20

That takes the group into inauguration morning, when members say they plan to block entrance points as well as roads and transportation.

“We’re going to be doing blockades,” the woman says in the audio. “We’re going to [be] blockading checkpoints into the security zones. We’re also going to be blockading roads and other modes of transit into the city.”

At 10 a.m. that day, the group is planning an “anti-Capitalist, anti-fascist bloc” that “will be an unpermitted march that will be leaving from Logan Square.”

A #DisruptJ20 spokeswoman confirmed to FoxNews.com on Friday that the group laid out these plans at the Jan. 8 meeting, which she described as public and well-attended.

Defending the group’s agenda, she said: “We’re exercising our freedom of speech and really want to set a tone for the next few years that there’s a massive body of people … who are very concerned about the dangerous direction Donald Trump is taking our country in.”

The Jan. 8 remarks also track with what members said at Thursday’s press conference.

#DisruptJ20 members openly described plans to blockade checkpoints. One organizer told Fox News he hopes to “turn the inauguration into as big of a cluster—- as possible.”

Another group, ANSWER Coalition, is also planning to protest the inauguration but with a somewhat different agenda. The group said it’s galvanizing tens of thousands of people at permitted locations — like Freedom Plaza and the Navy Memorial — to march and protest in a more traditional way.

The #DisruptJ20 audio was obtained by Dangerous Documentaries, a project of the Capital Research Center, as part of its upcoming documentary on left-wing protesters, “America Under Siege: Civil War 2017.” The film is set for release before Inauguration Day.  source


 Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 01/14/2017

Baptist ‘Church’ in Nation’s Capital Hires ‘Married’ Lesbian Women to Lead Congregation   Jan 12, 2017 08:48 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A historic Baptist “church” in the nation’s capital has hired two “married” lesbian women to lead their congregation, a move that has raised concerns among Baptists nationwide. Calvary Baptist Church, which disassociated with the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012, presented Maria Swearingen and Sally Sarratt as “co-pastors” this past Sunday,…

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‘Heretic’ Prosperity Preacher Paula White Issues Defense After Selection for Trump Inauguration Criticized   Jan 07, 2017 05:59 pm

Prosperity preacher Paula White, who was invited by President-elect Donald Trump to deliver the invocation at his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, has released a statement in defense of herself as some Christians have expressed concern over Trump’s selection of the female preacher for the event. “I have been called a heretic, an apostate, an adulterer, a…

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ISIS Releases Video Showing Toddler Executing Prisoner in Children’s Ball Pit   Jan 10, 2017 02:15 pm

A disturbing video released by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shows a number of children carrying out executions for the terrorist organization, including a toddler who guns down a man tied up in a children’s ball pit. In the footage, the black-clad male toddler, who appears to be in an abandoned…

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Appeals Court Rules in Favor of California Christian Arrested for Reading Bible Aloud Outside DMV   Jan 13, 2017 07:01 am

PASADENA, Calif. — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a Christian who was arrested six years ago for reading the Bible aloud outside of a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision on Wednesday that granted summary judgment to the police officer who arrested Mark Mackey…

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As Dylan Roof Sentenced to Death, Families of Shooting Victims Urge Killer to Turn to Christ   Jan 12, 2017 12:07 pm

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Family members of those who were shot to death while attending a 2015 Bible study at South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church called upon gunman Dylann Roof to turn to Christ on Wednesday as he was formally sentenced to death for his crimes. “If at any point before you are sentenced and you’re in prison and you want me to…

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Maybelline Becomes Next Cosmetic Company to Utilize Male Makeup-Wearing Model   Jan 09, 2017 07:03 am

The cosmetic giant Maybelline has become the next company to utilize a male makeup-wearing model to help sell its products. 25-year-old Manny Gutierrez, also known as Manny Mua, has three million followers on Instagram, as well as over two million subscribers on YouTube, where he conducts tutorials on “boy beauty.” “I believe makeup is GenderLESS and has no…

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Some Upset After Indiana Pizza Delivery Man Gives Customers Gospel Tracts   Jan 09, 2017 07:02 am

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Dozens have expressed outrage after an Indiana employee of Domino’s Pizza reportedly gave customers gospel tracts along with their pizza orders. According to WTHR, the local NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, a delivery person working for a Domino’s Pizza restaurant in east Indianapolis gave several customers tracts along with their orders….

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Woman Who Identifies as Man Sues Catholic Hospital for Denying Hysterectomy for Sex Change Purposes   Jan 08, 2017 08:44 am

PATERSON, N.J. — A woman who identifies as a man has sued a Catholic hospital for declining to perform a hysterectomy on her for sex change purposes because of the institution’s religious convictions, and is requesting that the courts force the hospital to provide such services. Jionni Conforti, 33, is suing St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, Inc. under charges…

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Defense Nominee James Mattis on Open Homosexuals in Military: ‘I’ve Never Cared’ About Their Sexuality   Jan 13, 2017 12:00 pm

WASHINGTON — While being questioned by Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday over his position on women and open homosexuals in the military, Secretary of Defense nominee James Mattis said that he has “never cared” about the sexuality of those in the Armed Forces and has no plans to overturn policies allowing them to serve. “In your book…

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Virginia Governor Signs Order Only Allowing Govt Contracts With Pro-Homosexual Entities   Jan 13, 2017 03:49 pm

Photo Credit: Steve Bott RICHMOND, Va. — The Democratic governor of Virginia has signed an executive order requiring the state to only enter into government contracts with businesses and organizations that have anti-discrimination policies in place protecting homosexual and transgenders in “its employment practices, subcontracting practices, and delivery of…

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Weekend Snapshot

Jan. 14, 2017
Top Stories This Week
Top Opinion
Cal Thomas: Russian Hacking and Glass Houses
Stephen Moore: We Need Tax Reform, Not Tariffs
Victor Davis Hanson: Hate Crime Legislation Is a Good Idea That Went Bad
More Opinion →
Quote of the Week

“Tuesday night, there stood Obama giving a farewell address that only underscored the failure of a presidency so bathed in optimism at its start. The final speech, amazingly, could have been given, nearly unedited, in 2008. Why it even ended with ‘yes we can.’ Is there more powerful evidence of the emptiness of the intervening two terms? When your final statement is a reprise of your first, you have unwittingly confessed to being nothing more than a historical parenthesis.” —Charles Krauthammer


This Week in Calvinism – January 13, 2017

  • I don’t know anything about Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, but she’s apparently a Calvinist who’s coming for our public schools. Thanks for the warning, Newsweek. I guess it’s a good thing we homeschool.
  • Shane Idleman pleads for grace on both sides of the debate over whether or not Christians can lose their salvation.
  • According to pagan Druid John Beckett, one way to help yourself “experience the gods” is to burn John Calvin in effigy. Hey, it’s Patheos. It doesn’t have to make sense.
  • Apparently, the “turmoil” created by Russell Moore’s attacks on Trump supporters is so significant that it has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and NPR.
  • Why do we give up on reading the Bible?

This ‘n’ That

Even shepherds need shepherding.

  • Some interesting thoughts on worship, particularly as it pertains to the musical portion of a Sunday service.
  • So, a woman dressed like a man is going to have a baby. How is that news?
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • No one throws a Hail Mary quite like Aaron Rodgers.
  • John Sailhamer passed away this week. Here’s Dr. William Varner’s review of Sailhamer’s final work, The Meaning of the Pentateuch.
  • Apparently Ben Franklin had a Calvinist sister.
  • A little tutorial on how to avoid interpreting verses out of context.
  • John MacArthur on enduring in ministry.
  • I’m kind of glad I don’t live in Indiana anymore.
  • More cars are now being recalled in the massive Takata airbag recall. If your car is included, I urge you to take the appropriate action. This recall has affected nearly every automaker and spans across years. If your airbag is defective, it could be fatal!
  • I find this hilarious (HT to Phil Johnson for this one).
  • Christ came into the world to save sinners:

Top Headlines – 1/14/2017

Paris summit to declare two-state solution ‘only way’ to peace

Paris draft won’t recognize changes to pre-1967 lines without mutual agreement

Israel fears fresh UN initiative two days after Paris conference

Paris meeting marks end to Obama’s failed Mideast diplomacy

PA chairman and Pope Francis to attend inauguration of embassy of “Palestine” at the Vatican

Abbas says may ‘reverse’ Israel recognition if Trump moves embassy

US embassy Jerusalem move ‘assault’ on Muslims, says mufti

Palestinians ask Putin to prevent Trump’s relocating embassy

US envoy warns against cutting funding to UN

US spies ‘warned Israel not to share intelligence with Trump’

Settler leaders invited to attend Trump inauguration

Vandals scrawl ‘kill Jews’ at Massachusetts cemetery

German court calls synagogue torching an act to ‘criticize Israel’

Indigenous Tribe Returns to Israel after 27 Centuries

Syria urges world to ‘punish terrorist Israel. It planned for war’

In first, Assad said tied to chem weapons attacks

Facebook sued by Syrian migrant over ‘fake news’ after being falsely accused of terrorism on social media

Iran repopulates Syria with Shia Muslims to help tighten regime’s control

Iran approved to import additional 130 tons of uranium

Up to 30 civilians killed in Mosul air raids

Turkey will only withdraw troops from Cyprus if Greece does the same, Turkish president Erdogan warns

Obama accused of ‘making a deal with the devil’ as he eases sanctions on Sudan

3 suicide bombers kill 2 on market day in northeast Nigeria

Droves of Middle East Muslims are converting to Christianity

900,000 Christians were ‘martyred’ over last decade, says Christian research

Has Political Correctness Gone off the Rails in America?

YouTube removes influential conservative website’s channel

US Senate intel panel plans probe into Russia spying

Trump: My team will have ‘full report on hacking’ in 90 days

Anti-Trump protesters head to Washington

Protesters planning to blockade inauguration checkpoints, ‘party’ outside Pence home

Pelosi Blames Bush For $9 Trillion In Debt Added Under Obama

Governments grapple with globalization backlash

Paul Ryan: Trump mass deportations “not happening”

Push to Protect ‘Dreamers’ From Trump Gains New GOP Supporters

Obama ‘screwed’ us, angry Cuban migrants say

Cubans stranded in Mexico after US ‘slams door shut’

Anger as Mexicans fear higher food prices to follow gasoline hike

First sign of enhanced U.S.-Russia relations under Trump: An invite to Syria talks

Trump says he may scrap Russia sanctions

Trump’s Pentagon choice says U.S. needs to be ready to confront Russia

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’

North Korea to boost Kim Jong-un’s cult status with new monument

L.A. Sheriff’s Department to begin using drones to respond to bomb threats, hostage crises

Driverless electric shuttle being tested in downtown Vegas

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nadi, Fiji

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Modayag, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

Sabancya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

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

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— Augustine

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