Daily Archives: January 17, 2017

January 17, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Jan. 17, 2017 |


When Xi Jinping addresses business elites at Davos, the Chinese president will find himself an unlikely champion of the trade-based global order Donald Trump has derided. His new role could prove to be one of his biggest tests. On Tuesday, Xi will become the first Chinese head of state to address the World Economic Forum, a speech a top diplomat said would give a “blueprint for the future progress of human society.”

Prime Minister Theresa May offered her most explicit vision of Britain’s future relationship with its European Union neighbors, pledging to quit the single market and instead seek a customs agreement with the bloc to deliver “a smooth and orderly Brexit.”

Asked how they would deal with an unexpected expense from $500 to $1,000, 45 percent of millennials (defined as people aged 18 to 35) in a recent survey said they would use savings accounts, compared to 39 percent of Generation X, aged 36 to 51, and 39 percent of boomers, from 52 to 70.

If you think the new year is a time of optimism and hope for the future, then you haven’t been watching gold. Bullion has risen every day except one in 2017, evidence that investors are pricing in a rocky year ahead.

Deutsche Bank AG may withhold bonuses from as many as 90 percent of its bankers and traders.

The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was called off Tuesday after almost three years of fruitless toil. Australian investigators put the cost of the operation at $135 million. The scouring for the jet is the longest search for a missing plane in modern aviation history.

Saudi Arabia will start soliciting bids in the next few weeks for the first phase of a “massive” renewable-energy program costing $30 billion to $50 billion.

A self-imposed cash shortage in India is creating chaos for jewelry retailers in one of the world’s biggest gold-buying countries. Sales are plunging.

A single share of Chile’s main market operator costs $2.5 million, while owning a piece of Argentina’s will set you back $2.1 million. The outsize prices are because so few shares are in circulation, a legacy of when the only owners were local brokerages required to have a stake in the exchange.

AP Top Stories

Some 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway on Monday for a six-month deployment, the first time since World War Two that foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed there, in a deployment which has irked Norway’s Arctic neighbor Russia.

More high-level North Korean diplomats are waiting to defect to South Korea from their overseas posts in Europe, Pyongyang’s former deputy ambassador to London said on Tuesday, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

A municipal building was set ablaze overnight in Sunni-ruled Bahrain, the government said Monday, as fresh violence erupted over the executions of three Shiites convicted of a deadly bomb attack on police.

Representatives of some Syrian rebel groups said they will attend talks sponsored by Russia and Turkey scheduled later this month, despite mounting violations of a cease-fire across the war-ravaged country.

British research station on an ice shelf in Antarctica is being relocated and shut down over the winter because of fears it could float off on an iceberg, the British Antarctic Survey said.

More than 80 dolphins known as false killer whales have died off the southwest coast of Florida after getting stranded in shallow waters, US officials said.

Cambodia has informed the United States that it is canceling an annual joint military exercise this year, even though planning for the event had already begun, officials from both countries said.

Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations. The world’s biggest retailer said Tuesday that there will also be about 24,000 construction jobs generated by its expansion plans.


US astronaut Gene Cernan – the last man to walk on the Moon – has died aged 82. Captain Cernan was one of only three people to go to the Moon twice and the last man to leave a footprint on the lunar surface in 1972.

Venezuela has issued new larger denomination banknotes in response to the country’s soaring rate of inflation. The three notes, ranging from 500 to 20,000-bolivars, entered circulation with the aim of making paying for essentials easier. Inflation is forecast to reach 1,600% this year.

Mishi Mboko, a Kenyan MP has asked women to withhold sex from their husbands until they register as voters for the 8 August elections. “Women, this is the strategy you should adopt. It is the best. Deny them sex until they show you their voter’s card,” she said.

French Polynesia has signed an agreement that supporters hope could pave the way for autonomous floating cities around the world.


The Obama administration is considering a major last-minute policy shift that could force hundreds of school districts to cut spending at well-financed elementary and secondary schools and move nearly $1 billion dollars to schools with large numbers of low-income students.

Obama administration is about to impose new standards to protect the nation’s life-sustaining electric grid from solar storms. However, the new standards by a Democrat-dominated regulatory board, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will address only solar activities. Pointedly, it will not protect the vulnerable national grid from a man-made, high altitude, nuclear detonation that could create an electromagnetic pulse.

A recent report from the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee claims that dozens of colleges and universities have procured aborted fetal tissue.

The Briefing 01-17-17

Feminism and abortion: Under pressure, Women’s March releases statement excluding pro-life women

Theological confusion: Scottish Episcopal Church allows anti-Christian reading from the Koran

Vatican invites doomsday prophet who supports forced abortion and sterilization to speak

Theological horror and the fascination with evil: Author of ‘The Exorcist’ dies at 89

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

January 12, 2017

CLIFF KINCAID — Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s January 3 show, “Let me tell you, you take on the Intelligence Community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this.” He was referring to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s criticism of the Intelligence Community. Asked what the Intelligence Community could or would do to Trump, Schumer said, “I don’t know. From what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them.”… (more)

January 12, 2017

JOAN SWIRSKY — Nothing could have surprised the national and international public more than learning through a Boston Globe article by Jennifer Anne Perez on February 2, 2003, that U.S. Senator John Kerry – who presented himself as a born-to-the-purple “Boston Brahmin” of Irish-Catholic ancestry – was in fact the grandson of Czech Jews…. (more)

January 12, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — Left-wing Democrat Norman Solomon says fellow Democrats are “more interested in playing to the press gallery than speaking directly to the economic distress of voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who handed the presidency” to Donald J. Trump. Democrats should spend some time learning “how they’ve lost touch with working-class voters,” he says…. (more)

January 12, 2017
BRYAN FISCHER — Sen. Jeff Sessions faced the Senate Judiciary Committee this week in a confirmation hearing to become the next Attorney General of the United States. By all accounts, the left didn’t lay a glove on Sessions in the first round, despite their repeated efforts to smear him as a racist. There is little question that Sen. Sessions will be a vastly superior AG to his predecessors, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. He has a genuine commitment to the rule of law, and will refrain from politicizing the office as was done under President Obama…. (more)

January 12, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, took a tough line on Russian hacking, praised Mexican immigrants and acknowledged the problem posed by global climate change – – drawing repeated accolades from Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, but setting up some potentially awkward moments with his future boss…. (more)

January 11, 2017

BIZPAC REVIEW — Arizona Sen. John McCain cemented his RINO status when he admitted Tuesday that he handed the dossier that smeared Donald Trump to the FBI. “Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” he wrote in a statement on his website…. (more)

January 11, 2017
TOWNHALL — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) have introduced a bill to ask the Secretary of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization…. (more)

January 11, 2017

LIFENEWS — Human Coalition has launched two resources aimed at equipping men for their role in ending abortion. Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women, by Human Coalition President Brian E. Fisher, examines men’s role in subjugating women with abortion, challenging men to engage in the pro-life cause. Alongside the book, Human Coalition created an online resource center: AbortionExploitsWomen.com…. (more)

January 11, 2017

BYRON YORK — There was a lot of talk that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions would be an epic showdown, with Democrats slashing Sessions’ record and protesters turning the historic Russell Senate Office Building hearing room into a war zone…. (more)

January 11, 2017
TIMOTHY P. CARNEY — Wilbur Ross, President-elect Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary, doesn’t merely espouse government planning of the economy, he lobbies for it and profits from it…. (more)

January 11, 2017
BOB UNRUH — Barack Obama leaves the presidency with the nation more divided than at any time in decades, race relations at a new low and a surge in atheism, according to a new survey by Pew Research. The survey concludes the United States is “undeniably different” than when Obama was elected eight years ago, citing such trivia as the introduction of the Apple iPhone during his 2007 campaign and the fact that Twitter was only two years old then…. (more)

January 11, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Well before Russia’s military came to Bashar Assad’s aid in Syria, the Obama administration calculated that the Islamic State’s expansion in the region would force the Syrian president into negotiating with Washington, according to private comments Secretary of State John F. Kerry made last fall…. (more)

January 11, 2017
NEWSMAX — More than half of U.S. troops surveyed in a recent Military Times poll have an unfavorable opinion of President Obama and his two-terms leading the military as he prepares to leave the White House. Just 36 percent said they approve of his job as commander in chief…. (more)

January 11, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — The Obama administration is using the intelligence reports of Russian hacking influencing the 2016 campaign as the premise for asserting more power over the states in running elections, but a top election fraud expert says federal involvement would make elections more vulnerable to mischief and is really just a way to insert the federal government where it doesn’t belong…. (more)

January 11, 2017

BOB UNRUH — A privacy organization that has been pressing the Washington establishment for evidence supporting Democratic claims that Russia hacked their emails to influence the U.S. presidential election is ramping up the pressure with a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence…. (more)

January 11, 2017
JUDICIAL WATCH — The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online, according to public records dug up by the investigative news site of an award-winning, California journalist. This is pertinent information that the Obama administration apparently wants to keep quiet, bringing up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya…. (more)

January 11, 2017
BLOOMBERG — Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party…. (more)

January 11, 2017
NEWSMAX — Robert Kennedy Jr., a noted skeptic of vaccine safety, said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to chair a commission to investigate the issue…. (more)

January 10, 2017

THE RIGHT SCOOP — This is excellent. Ted Cruz turned his ire toward the Democrats today, exposing the blatant hypocrisy in their questioning of Sessions as opposed to their silence during the rampant lawlessness of the Obama administration…. (more)

January 10, 2017
THE BLAZE — Last week, a man named Estaban Santiago entered the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida, and opened fire on civilians, killing five. While some lawmakers like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz are looking to make having guns in airports completely illegal, two Florida lawmakers are looking to make the laws much more relaxed…. (more)

January 10, 2017
CONSERVATIVE HQ — When evaluating the importance and veracity of a Washington story or scandal, one of the best rules to apply is the old Latin phrase cui bono or “who benefits?” And evaluated from this perspective, the greatest beneficiaries of the fake news storyline that the Russians “hacked the election” are not the Russians; they are the Obama Democrats…. (more)

January 10, 2017
NEWSMAX — ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria, and Sudan while the company was under Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show, USA Today reported. According to the explosive report, the sales took place from 2003 to 2005 when the three countries were under U.S. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism…. (more)

January 10, 2017

DAVID FRENCH — Last night, Meryl Streep gave an impassioned, five-minute political speech that encapsulated most of what I hate about Hollywood liberalism. Streep had just received the Cecile B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, and she used the opportunity to launch a direct frontal attack on Donald Trump… (more)

January 10, 2017
YAHOO NEWS — Israeli police stepped up security measures in Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem on Monday, searching trucks and arresting relatives of the Palestinian truck driver who rammed his vehicle into a crowd of Israeli soldiers at a Jerusalem tourist spot the previous day, killing four soldiers and injuring 17 others…. (more)

January 10, 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)

Anarchists Plan To Target Balls, Events And Trump Supporters All Over D.C. During Inauguration Week

Trump Protest Sign - Photo by Fibonacci BlueThe radical left is promising to make this the most chaotic inauguration in U.S. history. As I have written about previously, anarchists plan to do whatever they can to disrupt the inauguration of Donald Trump, but their plans are not just limited to the main event. As far as the protesters are concerned, any event that has anything to do with the inauguration of Trump is fair game, and so if you plan to attend a lunch, a ball or even a prayer meeting you will need to take precautions. Every single officially sanctioned event is on their radar, and those that do not have heavy security will be easier for them to hit. (Read More…)

70 Nations Gathered In Paris Unanimously Call For The Creation Of A Palestinian State

Israeli Protest Flags - Public DomainOn Sunday, the 70 nations that gathered in Paris for a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unanimously agreed to call for the creation of a Palestinian state. The joint declaration that was issued at the conclusion of the conference also endorsed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which was adopted on December 23rd and the six principles that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry laid out in his 71 minute speech on December 28th. If you would like to read the final draft of the joint declaration, you can do so right here. The good news is that this conference did not immediately recognize a Palestinian state, nor does it appear that additional action will be taken at the UN Security Council before Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday. (Read More…)

Will There Be War On The Streets Of Washington D.C. During The Inauguration On Friday?

Anti-Trump Protest - Photo by Ted EytanThe stage is set for a potentially very ugly confrontation between radical leftist protesters on one side and law enforcement authorities and Trump supporters on the other side.  It is being estimated that hundreds of thousands of supporters will be arriving in D.C. to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump, but it is also being estimated that hundreds of thousands of people will be coming to D.C. to specifically protest the inauguration of Trump.  These protesters plan to set up blockades, disrupt inaugural balls and generally cause as much chaos as they possibly can.  In fact, a spokesperson for #DisruptJ20 says that the goal of his organization is for Trump to be inaugurated “amid complete chaos”(Read More…)

Welcome To One of The Most Pivotal Weeks In Modern American History

United States Flag Map - Public DomainMany are anticipating that a wonderful new era of peace and prosperity is just a few days away, but others are using terms such as “civil unrest” and “civil war” for what they believe is about to happen in America.  Without a doubt, Donald Trump is one of the most electrifying politicians in modern American history, but he is also one of the most polarizing.  So will the next four years bring us together as a nation, or will anger, frustration, strife and discord tear us much farther apart?  It is being projected that extremely large crowds of supporters will attend Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th, but the mainstream media is also reporting that “hundreds of thousands of protesters” are on their way to Washington.  Many on the far left are hoping to turn Trump’s inauguration into one of the biggest riots in U.S. history, but thousands of law enforcement personnel are going to do their very best to prevent that from happening. (Read More…)

Top News – 1/17/2017

CAIR to Trump: Drop Franklin Graham From Inauguration
The Council on American-Islamic Relation, a Muslim group that is unlikely to wield the kind of power over the Donald Trump administration as they did over the current president, is calling on Trump to dis-invite Rev. Franklin Graham from Friday’s inauguration ceremony. In a press release, CAIR said that Graham was a “notorious Islamophobe” who had no business speaking at the event.

Israel and US Jewry moving further apart
The large gap between the feelings of the Jewish majority in Israel and the feeling of most US Jews following Donald Trump’s election should serve as a warning sign to all of us. It reflects processes that both the Jewish-Israeli and the Jewish-American societies are going through.

Trump adviser tells elite: listen to the people
global elites have to get out of their comfort zones and listen to the people if they don’t understand how Trump was elected or why Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Britain will leave EU single market, May says
Britain will leave the EU’s single market when it exits the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday, putting an end to speculation that London might try to seek a “soft Brexit”. In a long-awaited speech in which she sought to define the country’s future as a global player that aims to trade freely far beyond Europe, May said the final exit deal would be put to parliament for a vote.

“Start packing,’ N. Korea tells Obama after Kim Jong-un’s sister blacklisted
“Obama would be well advised not to waste time taking issue with others’ ‘human rights issues’ but make good arrangements for packing in the White House,” North Korean news agency KCNA said in a statement late Monday night.

Winter Storm Kori Named: Ice Storm For the Northwest and More Feet of Sierra Snow
Video: Kori Will Bring Ice to Pacific Northwest. Winter Storm Kori has been named, and it will bring ice to the Pacific Northwest through Friday.

49 Years After MLK, Christian Pastors Call For Arms: Guns & Prayer Are Necessary
One genuine news story ignored by nearly all media this past Christmas was the slaughter of over 100 mostly Christian Nigerians– and– the razing of 50,000 homes, the destruction of thousands of acres of farmland, and the displacement of roughly 10,000 people in southern Kaduna, Nigeria. The pre-Christmas season atrocity was just one of many perpetrated by people the government calls, “herdsmen,” who were known to have relentlessly terrorized 25 villages where Christians…live.

Marijuana-Related Illness Increases in Legalized States
As various states move towards the legalization of marijuana, doctors are noticing the increase of a particular illness that is associated with regular use of the drug. Emergency rooms have been seeing an influx of patients with the same symptoms – severe abdominal pain and intense vomiting – and this increase is particularly high in certain states that have already legalized the use of marijuana.

New embassy a sign of pope’s love for Palestine, President Abbas says
Mahmoud Abbas thanked Pope Francis for his support of the country’s new embassy to the Holy See. “This is a sign that the pope loves the Palestinian people and loves peace,” Abbas told the pope Jan. 14 before heading to the inauguration of the Palestinian embassy to the Holy See in Rome. The pope welcomed Abbas with open arms, embracing the president and saying, “It is a pleasure to welcome you here.”

Trump Gives One Word Answer For His Priority As Commander-in-Chief
President-elect Donald Trump said the EU should shoulder more of NATO’s economic burden, dinged German immigration policy, and told reporters his singular “priority” as commander-and-chief boiled down to one word: “ISIS.”

Ex-Black Panther GRILLS ‘Illegitimate Congressman’ John Lewis — ‘A Little Girl Being Beaten By Daddy’
Mason Weaver told Tucker Carlson Monday night that Georgia Democrat John Lewis is an “illegitimate congressman.” What he has done now, he has turned himself to his enemy.” Weaver compared Lewis to “a little girl being beaten by Daddy and joins Daddy,” and “a woman beaten by her husband who joins the husband.” “He has joined the enemy.”

UK Stands Up for Israel, Slams Paris Summit, Refuses to Sign Anti-Israel Statement
The United Kingdom defied the anti-Israel sentiment coursing through Sunday’s “peace” summit in Paris by criticizing the conference as detrimental to Israel’s interests and refusing to sign a joint statement issued after the summit which called for a two-state solution.

Evidence of Biblical Capture of Edom Found in 10th Century BCE Excavation
A copper smelting site and an ancient wall dating back to the 10th century BCE have been excavated at the Timna copper mines antiquities site in southern Israel’s Arava desert region, lending credence to the biblical story of the capture of Edom in the time of King David.

Germany says NATO concerned about Trump ‘obsolete’ remark
Germany’s Foreign Minister said on Monday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s comments that NATO was obsolete had aroused concern across the 28-member alliance. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking after a meeting with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, said Trump’s remarks contradicted views expressed by designated Defense Secretary James Mattis. He spoke also of “amazement”.

Moderate earthquake strikes off Cuba, felt in Santiago
A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 has struck off the southeastern coast of Cuba, seismologists say. Shaking was felt in Santiago de Cuba, Palma Soriano, Bayamo, and Guantanamo.

Earth’s atmosphere can be turned into massive surveillance system using LASERS
BAE Systems are designing a directed energy laser system that could allow military commanders to spy on enemy activities from space. BAE believe that within 50 years, one of their aircraft could use an “atmospheric lens” to observe people from very long distances using the Earth’s atmosphere as a tool.

Drug-resistant ‘nightmare bacteria’ show worrisome ability to diversify and spread
A family of highly drug-resistant and potentially deadly bacteria may be spreading more widely—and more stealthily—than previously thought… Researchers examined carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) causing disease in four U.S. hospitals. They found a wide variety of CRE species. They also found…genetic traits enabling CRE to resist antibiotics, and…these traits are transferring easily among various CRE species.

As robots take jobs, Europeans mull free money for all
…The radical notion that governments should hand out free money to everyone…those who work and those who don’t – is slowly but surely gaining ground in Europe. Yes, you read that right: a guaranteed monthly living allowance, no strings attached. In France, two of the seven candidates vying to represent the ruling Socialist Party in this year’s presidential election are promising modest but regular stipends to all French adults.

Yemen conflict: At least 10,000 killed, says UN
At least 10,000 people have been killed in the war in Yemen between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition supporting the government, the UN says. The organisation said the death toll “underscores the need to resolve the situation” that has lasted for more than 21 months. The news came as a UN envoy met President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi on Monday in the southern city of Aden.

Venezuela’s new high value banknotes enter circulation
Venezuela has issued new larger denomination banknotes in response to the country’s soaring rate of inflation. The three notes, ranging from 500 to 20,000-bolivars, have entered circulation with the aim of making paying for essentials easier. Inflation in Venezuela is forecast to reach 1,600% this year.

Lithuania plans fence on Russian Kaliningrad border
Lithuania has announced plans to build a fence to boost security on its border with Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave. The move comes amid heightened tensions in the Baltic region, where Nato is deploying extra troops and Russia has installed nuclear-capable missiles. The fence will cover 130km (81 miles) of border, from Vistytis to the Neman River, which runs to the Baltic Sea. No barrier exists there currently.

Brexit speech: Theresa May rejects ‘partial’ EU membership
The UK will not retain “partial” membership of the EU once it leaves, Theresa May is due to say in her much-anticipated Brexit speech. The PM will tell other European countries the UK wants to trade with them “as freely as possible” but will not be “half-in, half-out” of the EU. Her speech, currently taking place, is expected to include further hints the UK could leave the EU single market.

Palestinians slam UK, Australia for not supporting Paris peace declaration
PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on Tuesday slammed the UK and Australia for their refusal to support a declaration that emerged earlier in the week from an international conference on Middle East peace in Paris. “We regret and denounce the reservations made by the United Kingdom and Australia to the final statement of the Paris Peace Conference,” he said in a statement.

‘Draconian EU anti-terror laws target Muslims’
A raft of new counter-terrorism laws across Europe discriminate against Muslims and refugees, spreading fear and alienation, Amnesty International said… The human rights group sounded the alarm over security measures adopted over the past two years…including expanded surveillance powers. During that period, militant attacks have killed some 280 people in France, Belgium and Germany.

70 Nations Paris Peace Conference Total Dud, Anti-Israel Gathering Defeated
In what should have been an all-out Israel hate-fest with possibly disastrous consequences for the Jewish state, 70 nations gathered in Paris for a “peace” conference on Sunday – but at the end of the day, the results were lackluster and failed to accomplish anything significant against Israel.

Trump: ObamaCare Replacement Is Ready to Go
Donald Trump says he’s got a plan to replace ObamaCare ready to go—and there will be “insurance for everybody.” In an interview with the Washington Post, the president-elect doesn’t say much about the specifics of TrumpCare, though he does say there will be “lower numbers, much lower deductibles.”

Hundreds of U.S. Marines land in Norway, irking Russia
Some 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway on Monday for a six-month deployment, the first time since World War Two that foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed there, in a deployment which has irked Norway’s Arctic neighbor Russia.

China claimed its troops can reach New Delhi in 48 hours and everyone cracked the same joke
Over the weekend, Indian Twitter found amusement in the not-so-amusing. After China TV reported that Chinese troops would take only 48 hours to reach New Delhi in case of a war, Indians got chatty — and catty — about it.

Muted reaction in Russia to Trump’s talk of nuclear arms cut
Suggestions by President-elect Donald Trump that sanctions against Russia could be lifted in exchange for a nuclear arms cut attracted a frosty reception in Moscow on Monday.

Istanbul Reina nightclub attack suspect captured
Turkish police have arrested the main suspect in the New Year’s Eve attack on an exclusive nightclub in Istanbul after a huge manhunt. Abdulkadir Masharipov is believed to have mounted the assault on the Reina club which left 39 people dead.

Martin Luther King’s Niece Voted For Trump
Martin Luther King Jr’s niece revealed Monday she voted for Donald Trump. Urging Democrats and Republicans to “work together as brothers and sisters” as Trump takes office, Alveda C. King acknowledged she voted for Trump in a statement provided to the American Thinker. King is a Catholic pro-life activist.

North Sumatra quake felt in Peninsular Malaysia
The tremors from the earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale which hit North Sumatra at 7.20 pm local time Monday were also felt in Peninsular Malaysia.

Top Headlines – 1/17/2017

  • Theresa May pledges clean Brexit break (Read More); May Pledges Vote on Brexit Taking U.K Out Of EU’s Single Market (BBG)
  • Donald Trump Warns on House Republican Tax Plan (Read More)
  • Trump, Fed Headed for Clash Amid Dollar Surge, Economists Say (Read More)
  • China’s Xi Warns Against Trade War in Defense of Globalization (Read More)
  • Morgan Stanley Profit Rises on Surge in Bond-Trading Revenue (Read More)
  • Germany says NATO concerned about Trump ‘obsolete’ remark (Read More)
  • Trump, Brexit uncertainty hit stocks and dollar, gold jumps (Read More)
  • BAT agrees takeover of Reynolds in $49.4bn deal (Read More)
  • Trump team defends health pick Tom Price over ethics charge (Read More)
  • Hyundai-Kia to Invest $3.1 Billion in U.S., Mull New Plant (Read More)
  • Russia expects dialogue with Trump on nuclear weapons: Lavrov (Read More)
  • Top Trump trade adviser offshored thousands of jobs (Read More)
  • Be Skeptical of the Fed’s Rate Signals (Read More)
  • Women’s apparel retailer Limited Stores files for bankruptcy (Read More)
  • Women’s apparel retailer Limited Stores files for bankruptcy (Read More)
  • China’s Oil Collapse Is Unintentionally Helping OPEC (Read More)
  • Timeless Ritual to Meet Partisan Rancor at Trump’s Inauguration (Read More)
  • In U.N. lawsuit, Ukraine demands Russia end support for separatists (Read More)
  • Samsung chief faces long day as South Korean court weighs arrest warrant (Read More)

Paris peace conference: Wrong message, wrong time, wrong place

Likud minister: Trump could edge Palestinians toward peace

Palestinian Authority official welcomes Kushner as envoy

Jared Kushner has Trump’s trust but lacks experience for Middle East role

‘Nothing Abbas can do to block US embassy move to Jerusalem’

EU opposes shift of US Embassy site in Israel

Kerry defends Obama administration’s record on Israel

Why is Obama looking for a ‘legacy’ at Israel’s expense?

Settlements must not undermine Mideast peace – Germany’s Steinmeier

Britain denounced for defending Israel in international forums

Israel arrests 13 Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria

Iraqi forces retake IS-bombed ‘Jonah’s tomb’ in Mosul

UN agency chiefs urge access for aid to civilians in Syria

Saudi Arabia says optimistic on Trump, welcomes stance on Iran, ISIS

Obama warns against ditching Iran nuclear deal on one-year anniversary

Obama: Iran deal makes the world safer

Yemen conflict: At least 10,000 killed, says UN

At least two dozen dead in ethnic clashes in southeastern Congo

Istanbul nightclub attacker who killed 39 in New Year’s Eve massacre caught in city’s Esenyurt district

Hundreds of U.S. Marines land in Norway, irking Russia

Trump’s offer to Russia: an end to sanctions for nuclear arms cut

Muted reaction in Russia to Trump’s talk of nuclear arms cut

European leaders shocked as Trump slams NATO and E.U., raising fears of transatlantic split

‘Europe’s fate is in our hands’: Angela Merkel’s defiant reply to Trump

Defiant EU nations ready themselves for Trump presidency

Trump’s Twitter: Could hackers wreak havoc from the White House?

Trump’s election adds growth, uncertainty to global forecast, IMF says

Hundreds of Prayer Warriors Descend on Washington to Provide Prayer Shield for Donald Trump

Parties, protests to take over DC for Trump’s inauguration

Celebs to descend on Washington for anti-Trump mega-rally

Inauguration boycott grows as Donald Trump meets Martin Luther King III

Black Lives Matter activists aim to ‘reclaim’ MLK as radical

Mexico Town Fears Nightclub Shooting Means Drug War Has Come

Six dismembered bodies found in southern Mexico

As robots take jobs, Europeans mull free money for all

Airbus CEO sees ‘flying car’ prototype ready by end of year

Laser Breakthrough: Earth’s Atmosphere Will Become Massive Surveillance System

‘Wolf Moon’ and Brightness of Venus Cause Apocalyptic Predictions

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Sola, Vanuatu

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Kabanjahe, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sola, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Esso, Russia

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 16,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Techno may be the missing ingredient when it comes to ‘test tube babies’, scientists claim

Porn videos secretly hidden on YouTube as pirates bypass Google’s sexual content controls

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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.


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!


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?


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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January 17, 2017 Humor Tuesday Collection

Knock Knock Joke


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A Little Help From My Friends


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It’s Not News, It’s…


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Liberal Reactions


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Biden Was Here


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Trash Talk


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The Truth About Evil

Code: B170117


by John MacArthur

How can a good and powerful God tolerate all the evil in the world?

That question—frequently posed by skeptics and liberal theologians—is a not-so-veiled attack on the God of the Bible, and an easy excuse for those looking to undercut or ignore the authority of His Word.

Last time

we considered some of the most popular answers to the problem of evil (theodicy), and considered the fatal, man-centered errors they commit. In short, they attempt to make God submit to man’s standards and preferences. Worse still, they attempt to reconcile the truth about God to the satisfaction of an unbelieving world, and accommodate its philosophies and worldviews.

That is no way to solve the problem of evil.

Instead, I want to pursue a different pattern of logic—one centered on explaining the existence of evil, not accommodating it. That means we must deal with what we know to be true.

Evil Pervades the World

First of all, we know evil exists. Most people, including those who say they believe in the inherent goodness of man, affirm the presence of evil. Evil is an incontrovertible fact. And there are different kinds of evil. First, there is natural evil. It is impersonal, external, physical, and temporal. It includes diseases, disaster, catastrophes, weeds, bad weather, tiny bacteria, and everything in between. The whole natural world is cursed and blighted, and we live at the mercy of a fallen creation. No aspect of life is untouched by physical corruption—even the process of aging is evidence that natural evil exists.

A second category of evil is moral evil. Moral evil is personal, inside of us, and spiritual. It is wickedness, sin—transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). Scripture is clear that moral evil dominates human life. “There is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). “The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14–15). Just as all of creation bears the scars of natural evil, society is overrun with internal evil and corruption. It affects every person and every relationship in every dimension. Human relationships can be very hard to maintain because they are essentially just collisions of immoral people. Moral evil alone would be enough to engulf us, but there is even more evil.

There is also supernatural evil. This is demonic evil. It was our Lord who said to the Jewish leaders, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). The apostle John says, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). This is a supernatural expression of evil against which we wrestle. The apostle Paul says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). These vile fallen angels are as old as creation. They propagate unmitigated wickedness, and they have plied their supernatural evil on every generation since the creation. They have a temporary, delegated authority in this world system, but it’s still formidable. They use their powers to seduce and deceive. And they create a kind of cosmos that exploits the corruption that is already in us so that it is fiercely exacerbated.

God Is Sovereign

In addition to acknowledging the existence of evil, we also know that the God of the Bible exists. There is no other God but the God of the Bible. He is the true and only living God. Because He created the universe, He knows how it operates. He understands reality perfectly. Scripture is His own self‑disclosure, and it reveals Him as all powerful. He is all knowing. He is good. He is loving. He is holy. He is sovereign and controls absolutely everything. There is nothing that exists or occurs or ever will that is not in His control. Over and over, Scripture testifies to this:

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. (1 Chronicles 29:11–12)

Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:3)

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35)

Thus Scripture clearly affirms the sovereignty of God. He has the right to govern the universe that He has made and He does so. He has the right of the potter over the clay. He may mold that clay into whatever form He chooses, fashioning out of the same lump whatever it is that He desires to fashion. He is under no law outside of Himself.

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. (Psalm 33:9–11)

For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched‑out hand, who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27)

God speaks for Himself in unmistakable terms. He is sovereign over everything that exists, including evil. In Revelation 4:11, those in the throne room of heaven worship God: “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

That is the God of the Bible. The God who is in absolute control of everything, and nothing—not even sin and evil—can disrupt or derail His plan. The rebellion of Satan and his followers didn’t surprise God, nor did the fall of Adam and Eve force Him to resort to Plan B. He makes it clear in Isaiah 46:9–10 that His plans will always come to pass. “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” That is the God who exists.

God Is Holy and Righteous

In addition to God’s sovereignty and the existence of evil, we also know that God is completely perfect, untouched by sin altogether. In Psalm 5:4, David writes “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You.” God is not susceptible to the temptations of sin (James 1:13). He is light “and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Taken together, those three facts—that evil does exist, that God is sovereign, and that He is utterly holy and righteous—lead us to an inevitable conclusion: that God, in His sovereign wisdom, allows evil to exist without Himself being evil. As the final authority over all creation, God permits evil to exist—not merely with an unwilling acceptance. Evil was part of His plan and eternal decree. He has a purpose in it, and it’s a good purpose.

Jumping to the Wrong Conclusions

The notion that God has a purpose in evil strikes panic in the hearts of people who have not thought carefully about God’s sovereign omnipotence. They can’t envision how God might derive glory or fulfill His good purposes by letting evil exist in His universe. They imagine (wrongly) that if God sovereignly ordained a universe that could be cursed with evil, He must be the efficient cause of the evil. They wrongly assume that if God saves some sinners but not all, He must bear the moral responsibility for the fact that some are not saved. They want to rescue God from blame for all the bad things that happen. And having not thought carefully about God’s sovereignty and what it means, they wrongly assume that the only way to vindicate God is to reinvent Him.

They don’t want to imply, of course, that He is not good, loving, holy, or omniscient. Therefore their own faulty logic forces them to conclude that there must be some limitation to His sovereignty. Some (as we have seen) go so far as to conclude that He doesn’t have the power to stop evil. Others believe that He has the power, but some self-imposed limitation keeps Him from using it. They are operating with the assumption that the only way to save God from bad press is by believing that human will reigns supreme.

But Scripture clearly teaches that while God is not the author or efficient cause of evil, He does exercise control over it. He doesn’t in any sense approve of evil, ratify it, look on it with favor, give it His blessing, or delight in it. But nothing happens outside of His sovereignty.

Consider the case of Job—God turned Satan loose for horrendous evil in the life of Job. All the suffering Job endured at the hands of Satan happened under the Lord’s authority; none of it occurred outside the plan and power of God. None of it could have occurred if God had not willingly permitted it.

We see the same thing in the New Testament, when Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31–32). If I had been Peter I would have said, “Well, you told him ‘No,’ right?” But Jesus granted Satan permission, knowing that Peter would be strengthened, not destroyed, by the ordeal—and that after enduring the trial, Peter would use his immense leadership skills to strengthen the other disciples.

The apostle Paul likewise endured Satan’s assaults. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul says, “There was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!” It is evident from the text that the “messenger” in question is a demon. Paul was not possessed by a demon—instead, the demon was leading the false teachers who were pillaging the Corinthian church. Paul prayed three times that it might be removed, and the Lord did not remove it. Paul says twice that God didn’t answer his prayer because it was His purpose “to keep me from exalting myself” (v. 7).

If God so designs, He will use a demon‑led false teacher to inflict trouble on a complacent church or to humble a pastor. In His sovereign control, He can use anything to bring about His desired ends. When we look at it from the perspective of the biblical facts, we see that the problem of evil is no problem at all for God, because He is totally sovereign over evil and neither His power nor His glory is in any way threatened by it.

We must conclude then that God does have some sovereign purpose in mind for the evil we experience daily in this world. Next time we’ll consider what that purpose is, and why the existence of evil should not be a problem for us, either.

(Adapted from None Other.)

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B170117
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

The Problem of Evil

Code: B170116


by John MacArthur

One of the most common excuses given by those who reject the God of the Bible is the issue of evil in the world. Skeptics and theological liberals ask, “How can the God portrayed in the Bible as good, holy, and loving allow massive injustices and evil in the world?” Some ask, “How can an all-powerful God be loving and tolerate all of the effects of evil which inflict so much suffering around the world?” In fact, many skeptics and theological liberals believe this dilemma backs Christians into an impossible position.

Their argument boils down a simplistic syllogism: “The biblical God is a loving, benevolent, holy, all-knowing, all-wise, and omnipotent Sovereign who created everything in the universe. If such a God exists, everything should be perfect and good.

“But it is evident that there is much evil in the world. Therefore,” they say, “the biblical God does not exist.”

But does the presence of evil truly disprove the God of the Bible? Is that really all it takes to upend biblical Christianity?

In reality, the syllogism shows no understanding of what Scripture teaches about evil. The only thing it actually proves is that the person making the argument hasn’t read much of the Bible—or simply doesn’t recognize the authority of God’s Word.

Nevertheless, many evangelical Christians are stymied by arguments like that. They think of the problem of evil as a “fourth and forty on the ten‑yard line” (to borrow an expression from gridiron football). They believe the only good option available to them is to punt—to kick the argument as far away as possible. They might quote Deuteronomy 29:29, which says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God.”

But is a cowering appeal to mystery really a sound biblical answer to the problem of evil?

It’s not a good answer at all. In fact, to give an answer like that is to forfeit a wonderful opportunity for explaining the gospel. The existence of evil is not an issue that should put Christians on their heels. The answer to why God allows evil in the world is in the Bible. We can know it, we can thoroughly embrace it, and we can enjoy it. It’s not an inadequate short answer, either. It fully accounts for God’s benevolence, His omnipotence, His holiness, and His wisdom. And it exalts His glory. In fact, the answer to the problem of evil begins and ends with God and His glory.

This branch of theology is called “theodicy.” The term is derived from two Greek words: theos, meaning “God”; and dikaio, an expression that can mean either justification or righteousness. Theodicy is a defense of God’s righteousness in light of the reality that evil exists in the universe He created.

Within this realm, there are five popular solutions to the problem of evil.

Make a New God

Theological liberalism tries to rescue God from what they believe is a bad caricature of Him in the Bible. They basically just deny what the Bible says about God and offer their own version of a more true and benign deity. This new god is assembled like a cardboard doll held together with brads, from scraps of their own personality and preferences, then colored to reflect whatever values and morals are important to them. In short, they make a god in their own image.

Make God Imperfect

Others, like Process theologians, insist that evil proves God Himself is imperfect. They argue that His knowledge and power must be limited in some way. They postulate that He is “in process”—getting better as He gets more information.

Make God Ignorant

In the same way, Open Theism limits God’s knowledge. Open theists surmise that the future must be unknown to God—“open” in the sense that it’s full of possibilities but unknowable because it hasn’t happened yet. The best their god can do is predict the possible outcomes, wait to see what occurs, and respond accordingly. They have essentially created a god without omniscience, whose excuse for evil is his own ignorance.

The common thread across all those aberrant brands of theology is their man‑centeredness—their determination that God’s nature cannot and must not offend human sensibilities. Their God must fit within their own presuppositions and preferences. They want to determine who God is and what He is like rather than believing what He has revealed about Himself. They have in effect set themselves above God.

Make Evil Necessary

Another common wrong answer to the problem of evil is metaphysical theodicy, which says good exists, therefore evil must exist, because the fact of anything necessarily posits its opposite. Evil is therefore inevitable just because good is a reality, and every yin must have its yang. This is basically a modern version of Zoroastrianism or Manichaeism—two ancient dualistic heresies which taught that two co‑eternal independent realities, good and evil, are always present. In other words, they believe good and evil are equally ultimate. But according to Scripture, evil is not an eternal reality. It did not exist at all until God’s creatures rebelled against their Creator. Furthermore, in the end, evil will be overthrown and eliminated, so the eternity to come will be evil-free. You can’t affirm that aspect of biblical theology if you embrace metaphysical theodicy.

Make Free Will Supreme

The next category of theodicy, the most popular among evangelicals today, is autonomy. Autonomous theodicy teaches that the cause of evil is the abuse of creaturely free will. This is a very sentimental approach. It begins with the assumption that God would never willingly ordain evil, decreeing a plan for His creation that unleashes so much misery into His universe. They also imagine, evidently, that human free will trumps everything else on God’s scale of values, so they often suggest that God had to allow for the possibility of evil in order to protect His creatures’ highly‑prized autonomy. The idea is sometimes articulated this way: “God wants you to love Him all on your own, not because He made you love Him.” A God who would willingly permit evil or sovereignly choose whom to save is a God that some people just can’t live with, so they reinvent Him to reflect their own priorities—in this case, that means an emphasis on the nobility and value of their own free will that frankly is found nowhere in the Bible.

Perhaps the most obvious problem with the human-autonomy argument is that it solves none of the problems theodicy supposedly addresses. Human autonomy, even if true, wouldn’t really vindicate God by the standard this view uses as its starting point. Nor does human autonomy really answer the objections people raise against the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Because if God knew in advance that His creatures would sin, He set the plan in motion anyway. All the evil, divine judgment, and determination of eternal punishment were thereby ordained by His choice, because He set these events in motion with full knowledge of the consequences.

So all those different kinds of theodicy are fatally flawed, shortsighted answers. If God has limited power or doesn’t have complete knowledge, the universe is out of control at the most crucial point. And if God is not truly omniscient, how can anyone know for certain whether He will ever accumulate the knowledge He needs to curb the effects of evil and conquer it once and for all? Why would anyone prefer a God trying to get control of evil rather than a God completely in control of it? It’s heresy to say the world is full of evil apart from a predetermined plan and purpose of God.

The same goes for most of the answers to the problem of evil—they fail because they attempt to reconcile the truth about God and the existence of evil to the satisfaction of the unbelieving world. They’re too focused on rounding off the sharp edges of biblical truth in order to accommodate philosophies and worldviews that are openly hostile to God and His Word—to conform God’s goodness and power to the boundaries and limitations of the unilluminated mind (cf., 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14).

That’s no way to answer the problem of evil. Instead, in the days ahead we’ll look to God’s Word to explain—not accommodate—the presence of evil in the world, and how it relates to God’s sovereign authority over His creation.

(Adapted from None Other.)

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B170116
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

No Middle Ground: Evangelical Leaders Reject Compromise on LGBT and Religious Rights

Christianity Today’s Kate Shellnutt reveals who the leaders are and tells us why they refuse to compromise. Albert Mohler addresses Shellnutt’s piece in The Briefing under the heading “Religious liberty in the balance: Why the Fairness for All campaign is a threat to religious liberty.” Dr. Mohler warns that the LGBT revolutionaries won’t settle for any sort of compromise. Evangelicals know this all too well.

Now to Shellnutt’s piece:

Compromises designed to safeguard both religious freedoms and LGBT rights won’t fly among many of America’s most influential conservative Christians.

Leaders from nearly 90 evangelical seminaries, publications, ministries, and churches—as well as Catholic and Orthodox clergy—signed a statement last month rejecting any legal efforts to protect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

“[We] believe that proposed SOGI laws, including those narrowly crafted, threaten fundamental freedoms,” they wrote as part of the “Preserve Freedom, Reject Coercion” campaign, hosted by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

The declaration follows months of conversations among Christian college leaders around the Fairness for All strategy, which would bring religious leaders and LGBT advocates together to try to secure satisfactory legal protections for both. Parties from each side of the conversation are convening this weekend for a conference at Yale University.

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