Daily Archives: January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 23, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump will sign executive orders on Monday to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to an official familiar with the plans.

The Trump administration may stop enforcing the Obamacare requirement that most Americans carry health insurance even before Congress repeals the law, Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to the new president, said in interviews broadcast on Sunday.

The White House now has no intention of releasing President Donald Trump’s tax returns, said a top presidential adviser, stepping away from a campaign promise he will do so when an audit of them is completed.

An America First Energy Plan, posted on the White House website soon after noon on Friday, said he would focus on lowering energy costs and “freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.” “President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests.”

OPEC’s two biggest suppliers to the U.S. shrugged off a vow by President Donald Trump to end dependence on the group’s oil, saying the world’s biggest economy would continue to need crude from abroad.

The values of modern Germany — and its ability to return to a global leadership role in recent years — have been based on a blanket rejection of the country’s totalitarian past, both Nazi and Communist. That rejection is now being tested as higher tolerance for both left-wing and right-wing extremes begins to emerge.

Hong Kong retained its rank as the most expensive housing market among 406 major metropolitan regions in the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for the seventh year in a row.

The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, is projected to be far more destructive globally to jobs currently favored by women than to jobs favored by men, according to the WEF. Three of the top growth areas — management, computer and math, and architecture and engineering — have low female participation with little expectations of significant increases.

AP Top Stories

A Central Texas sheriff’s announcement her agency will be scaling back its cooperation with federal immigration agents has prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to say his office will be cutting funding for the county.

Two days after attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, Hillary Clinton thanked the millions of women who participated in the Women’s March in protest of his presidency. “Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch,” Clinton tweeted Saturday. “Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together.”

A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck deep under Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing damage and blackouts but no tsunami hours after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for nearby islands.

Protesters took control of vehicle lanes at one of the busiest crossings on the U.S. border Sunday to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes, waving through motorists into Mexico after Mexican authorities abandoned their posts.

An investigative report from a British newspaper alleges that a failed British missile test last year was kept quiet in the lead-up to an important vote to continue funding for the country’s aging nuclear missile system, Trident.

A computer problem forced United Airlines to ground all domestic flights for about an hour on Sunday evening, causing a cascade of delays and annoying customers throughout the United States. The “ground halt” follows a series of problems at United and other airlines last year.

A new study suggests that while it might not seem like many people are actually going back to over-the-air TV, the movement is actually gaining some serious traction. A full 15% of households with broadband connections have gone back to TV via antenna exclusively.

Seven suspected Al-Qaeda members have been killed in drone strikes in central Yemen that were probably carried out by US forces, security sources said on Sunday.

A dozen bodies — including seven that were headless and mutilated — were discovered over the weekend in western Mexico’s seaside resort of Manzanillo, apparent victims of the country’s epidemic of drug violence, local officials said.

BBC

Birth rates in China rose to their highest level since 2000 last year, despite a fall in the number of women of childbearing age, say officials. The increase follows the relaxation of China’s strict one-child policy a year ago.

A man has been arrested in Ecuador accused of stealing an 86lb bucket of gold flakes worth $1.6m from a truck in New York.

Rescuers say they are “fighting against time” five days after the avalanche which engulfed a mountain hotel in Abruzzo, central Italy. There is hope people may have survived in air pockets as the search for 23 missing goes on. Six died but nine survived, including four children.

WND

Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to at least four of the front-line antibiotics used to treat the bacterial disease is primarily spreading from person to person in South Africa.

The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Community College in Michigan for allegedly arresting three students for handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.


Top News – 1/23/2017

Spanish courts deal double blow to BDS movement
Madrid court rules against Rivas Vaciamadrid City Council, annuls decision to boycott Israel. ACOM, an Israel lobby group that works to combat BDS in Spain, dealt a double blow to the boycott movement this past week after garnering two legal victories in municipalities in Madrid and Barcelona.

Southern California Pounded By Intense Storm And Flooding
The tail end of a punishing winter storm system lashed California with thunderstorms and severe winds Monday after breaking rainfall records, washing out roads and whipping up enormous waves. At least four people died and several others were rescued from raging floodwaters during three storms in four days.

Is the New Star Really a Sign of a Messiah for Israel?
In 2022, approximately five years from now, a new star will appear in the night sky. Scientifically speaking, the appearance of this nova is the product of the collision of two other astral bodies. And for six months this new star will—to the naked eye—be the brightest in the heavens. Given that this is the first time that people will be able to witness a moment like this without technology, it’s a significant event in human history, but it may be much more than that. According to one rabbi, this new star is a sign of the coming of the Messiah.

Israeli leader accepts invitation from Trump to visit US
Israel’s prime minister on Sunday accepted an invitation to visit the White House next month in hopes of forging a “common vision” for the region with President Donald Trump that could include expanded settlement construction on occupied territories and a tougher policy toward Iran.

Egypt: Terrorists kill five policemen in the Sinai
At least five Egyptian policemen were killed on Sunday after terrorists opened fire on their vehicle in the central Sinai Peninsula, security officials said, according to the PTI news agency.

Missile failure off Florida? British leader won’t say
The British government is being accused of concealing the failure of an unarmed ballistic missile launch ahead of a debate in Parliament over whether to refurbish the country’s aging Trident nuclear launching system.

Powerful Quake Hits Off Papua New Guinea
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), in its final alert, rescinded the tsunami threats following a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea at 4:30 a.m. UTC Sunday (11:30 p.m. EST).

Pet rats in Illinois, Wisconsin linked to Seoul virus outbreak, CDC says
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday that pet rats are the source of an outbreak of Seoul virus infections in Illinois and Wisconsin. The virus has been confirmed in eight patients in an ongoing investigation.

Evangelical Groups Urge Congress to Codify Obama’s Dreamers Action for Undocumented Immigrants
Evangelical groups are calling upon Congress to pass a bipartisan bill inspired by President Barack Obama’s executive order that attempted to extend certain legal protections to millions of undocumented immigrants.

Turkish military says killed 65 Islamic State militants in Syria
Sixty-five Islamic State militants were killed in operations by the Turkish army in support of rebels in northern Syria on Sunday, the Turkish military said on Monday.Turkey launched an operation to drive the jihadists away from the Syrian border five months ago and have been besieging the Islamic State controlled town of al-Bab for weeks.

Netanyahu says Palestinians can have a ‘state minus’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told cabinet ministers Sunday that he was prepared to give the Palestinians a “state minus.”


The Briefing 01-23-17

President Trump’s inaugural address, the media’s reaction, and a tale of two Americas

Identity politics and the Women’s March: A closer look at Saturday’s protests

Facts vs. “alternative facts”? Why the media has such a hard time defining truth

The post The Briefing 01-23-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Foreigners Are Dumping U.S. Debt At A Record Pace And Our $20 Trillion National Debt Is Poised To Become A Major Crisis

Dollar Spiral - Public DomainWhile most of the country has been focused on the inauguration of Donald Trump, a very real crisis has been brewing behind the scenes. Foreigners are dumping U.S. debt at a faster rate than we have ever seen before, and U.S. Treasury yields have been rising. This is potentially a massive problem, because our entire debt-fueled standard of living is dependent on foreigners lending us gigantic mountains of money at ultra-low interest rates. If the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt just got back to 5 percent, which would still be below the long-term average, we would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. If foreigners keep dumping our debt and if Treasury yields keep climbing, a major financial implosion of historic proportions is absolutely guaranteed within the next four years. (Read More…)


Obama’s Peace Partner Iran Caught Attempting To Import Nuclear Missile System Components

Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that they seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, according to official statements that could put the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans on such behavior.

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, or DPSU, announced late last week that it had seized at least 17 boxes filled with missile components bound for Iran, according to IHS Jane’s.

“The DPSU said that, during an inspection of the aircraft on 19 January, its personnel had found 17 boxes with no accompanying documents, which the aircraft’s crew said contained an aircraft repair kit,” according to the report. “Three boxes contained components that were believed to be for a Fagot anti-tank guided missile system, the rest contained aircraft parts.”

Iran successfully test-fires long-range S200 surface-to-air missile:

Days after this finding, the DPSU said that it had confirmed the missile components were destined for Iran’s Fagot system.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said that Iran has been illicitly moving such weapons for quite some time.

“This isn’t the first time Iran has gotten caught red handed smuggling weapons with false manifests, for example, in 2010 in Nigeria,” Rubin said. “The question is how often does Iran get away with such smuggling and for what purpose? After all, if the weaponry is legal, there’s no reason for lying. If it’s not, Iran is violating international agreements. Either way, only fools and secretaries of state would trust Iran to uphold its agreements.” source


Top Headlines – 1/23/2017

  • Dollar slips, shares wobbly as Trump reality sets in (Read More)
  • Some Republicans Wary of Repealing ACA Without Replacement Plan (Read More)
  • First days of Trump era signal America’s deepening political divide (Read More)
  • Donald Trump Embarks on His First Week With a Heavy Slate (Read More)
  • Equatorial Guinea has applied to join OPEC: OPEC source (Read More)
  • White House Backs ‘Alternative Facts’ (Read More)
  • Samsung says batteries caused Note 7 fires, may delay new phone launch (Read More)
  • Trump Makes Revised Trade Deals an Early Priority (Read More)
  • When Their Shifts End, Uber Drivers Set Up Camp in Parking Lots Across the U.S. (Read More)
  • SEC probing Yahoo over previously disclosed cyber breach (Read More)
  • New Delay for Japan’s First Jet Raises Concerns Over Sales (Read More)
  • Most German companies expect little to no impact from Brexit: poll (Read More)
  • OPEC Shrugs Off Threat of U.S. Cutting Oil Imports (Read More)
  • Apple’s Legal Assault on Qualcomm Is Part of Phone Margin Grab (Read More)
  • Saudis Wrangle Over How to Have Fun (Read More)
  • China Slams Western Democracy as Flawed (Read More)
  • Apollo’s New Guy Is a Legend in Banking But a Novice in Buyouts (Read More)
  • German police arrest man on suspicion of planning militant attack (Read More)
  • Retail Malaise Puts Pressure on Chains to Shutter More Stores (Read More)
  • Fingerprint’s Former CEO and Board Member Taken Into Custody (Read More)

In call with Netanyahu, Trump vows to ‘closely consult’ on tackling Iran threat, help Israel make peace

Trump invites Netanyahu to come to White House in February

US in ‘beginning stages’ of talks on Jerusalem embassy move

US committed to Israel embassy move but expected to act cautiously

Jerusalem mayor, minister hail Trump over embassy move overtures

Abbas, Jordanian king agree to fight against US embassy relocation to Jerusalem

Report: Trump administration asks Israel to avoid ‘surprise’ unilateral moves

Israel pushes ahead with development of disputed territories as Trump takes office

Netanyahu promises unrestricted construction in East Jerusalem

Israel approves settlement homes following Trump inauguration

Cabinet delays vote to annex Ma’ale Adumim until Trump, PM meet

Netanyahu says Palestinians can have a ‘state minus’

Defense minister: No possibility of bilateral agreement with Palestinians

Trump advisor: ‘We look forward to new ties with Judea and Samaria’

As US Inaugurates New President, Palestinians Protest, Burn Posters of ‘Lunatic, Fascist’ Donald Trump

In the barren south, Israelis and Arabs work to green the Middle East

Egypt: Terrorists kill five policemen in the Sinai

ISIS blows up hotel to prevent landing in west Mosul, witnesses say

Suspected US drone strikes kill three al-Qaida suspects in Yemen, officials say

China party paper says no ‘provocation’ can stop its military drills

British Tanks Roll on Channel Tunnel Test Run Amid Trump, Russia Fears

Dalai Lama hopes President Trump, Putin will work for global peace

Trudeau, Trump discuss trade as White House vows NAFTA renegotiation

Biggest Dem donor thinks party needs new message

Liberal watchdog group to sue Trump, alleging he violated constitutional ban

Priebus defends Trump, top aide; says media has ‘obsession’ to ‘delegitimize’ president

Donald Trump will fight the media ‘tooth and nail’ after WH spokesman’s ‘alternative facts’ on inauguration crowds

Many Arrested Inauguration Day Protesters Will Face Felony Rioting Charges, Prosecutors Say

Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 ‘partners’ of the Women’s March on Washington

Secret Service Reportedly Will Investigate Madonna After Saying She Wants To ‘Blow Up The White House’ In Expletive-Filled Rant

Madonna clarifies ‘out of context’ remark from women’s march after it was misconstrued as a violent threat toward President Donald Trump

Swedish woman ‘gang-raped for three hours live on Facebook’

All United Airlines Domestic Flights Grounded by Computer Outage

Space weather forecasters remain vigilant in 2017 for potentially crippling solar storms

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Opotiki, New Zealand

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits Southeast of Easter Island

Bogoslof volcano on the Aleutian Islands erupts to 30,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 27,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano in Russia erupts to 23,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Deadly tornadoes strike South; ‘high risk’ for more as freak storm approaches East Coast

Deadly storms kill at least 18 in United States’ Southeast

California storm causes flooding, triggers evacuations

Big waves pounded NorCal coast Saturday: Record breakers in Monterey Bay

Prince Charles: We must act on climate change to avoid ‘potentially devastating consequences’

Pet rats in Illinois, Wisconsin linked to Seoul virus outbreak, CDC says

Trump may not enforce individual health insurance mandate: aide

Theme of this year’s Tel Aviv Pride parade will be bisexuality

The FBI ran a child porn site to catch predators, and now the accused are crying foul

Mexico identifies 56 sets of human remains in mass grave

‘Ecumenism For Trump’ Trumps Scriptural Commands For Key Evangelical Leaders

Trump, Pence Attend Prayer Service Featuring Muslim, Buddhist & Sikh Invocations

Christian books: It’s not “just fiction”

After performing 6,000 exorcisms, this priest says the devil fears him

Pagans, Buddhists Featured at U.K. Cathedral Event

Prof Mandates Students Visit Mosque on Good Friday

Queen’s chaplain resigns over cathedral Koran reading row saying he has a ‘duty’ to defend Christianity

False Prophets Exposed
Vonda Brewer – Prophesied Trump would be dumped – replaced by Jeb
Glenda Jackson – Obama to declare martial law and stay in office
“Prophets” predict Obama 3rd term, martial law, election canceled


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


Do You Know Him?


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


What Is the Gospel?

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


A Message from God

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

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

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

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

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

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

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

God

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

Mankind

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

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

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

But . . .

Jesus Christ

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

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

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

Our Response

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

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

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


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


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


This is the Gospel:

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

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

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

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

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


A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

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

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

We are Sinful

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

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

There is a Penalty for Sin

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

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

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

God Became Man

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

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

Jesus Paid the Penalty

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

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

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

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


Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

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

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

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

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

Understanding God’s Law

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

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

Understanding God’s Gospel

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

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

A Great Illustration

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

Responding to the Gospel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Our Response

And now, God promises that…

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

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

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

Don’t Waste Your Life

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

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

Receive Forgiveness

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

Source


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

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

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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The Collapse Of The Left’s Great Con

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The Left is not just in disarray- – it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left’s betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power.

The source of the angry angst rippling through the Democratic Party’s progressive camp is not President Trump–it’s the complete collapse of the Left globally. To understand this collapse, we turn (once again) to Marx’s profound understanding of the state and capitalism.

We turn not to the cultural Marxism that is passingly familiar to Americans, but to Marx’s core economic analysis, which as Sartre noted, is only taught to discredit it.

Cultural Marxism draws as much from Engels as Marx. In today’s use, cultural Marxism describes the overt erosion of traditional values–the family, community, religious faith, property rights and limited central government–in favor of rootless Cosmopolitanism and an expansive, all-powerful central state that replaces community, faith and property rights with statist control mechanisms that enforce dependence on the state and a mindset that the individual is guilty of anti-state thinking until proven innocent by the state’s own rules.

Marx’s critique of capitalism is economic: capital and labor are in eternal conflict. In Marx’s analysis, capital has the upper hand until the internal contradictions of capitalism consume capital’s control from the inside.

Capital not only dominates labor, it also dominates the state. Thus the state-cartel version of capitalism that is dominant globally is not a coincidence or an outlier–it is the the only possible outcome of a system in which capital is the dominant force.

To counter this dominance of capital, social democratic political movements arose to wrest some measure of control out of the hands of capital in favor of labor. Social democratic movements were greatly aided by the near-collapse of the first version of cartel-capitalism in The Great Depression, when writing down the bad debt would have brought down the entire banking system and crippled capitalism’s core function of growing capital via expansion of debt.

The decimated owners of capital realized that they faced a bleak choice: either resist and be toppled by anarchism or Communism, or cede some of their wealth and power to the social democratic parties in exchange for social, political and economic stability.

Broadly speaking, the Left favored labor (whose rights were protected by the state) and the Right favored capital (also protected by the state).

But over the past 25 years of globalized neoliberalism, social democratic movements have abandoned labor to embrace the self-serving wealth and power offered by capital. The essence of globalization is: labor is commoditized as mobile capital is free to roam the globe for the lowest cost labor. In contrast, labor is far less mobile, and unable to shift as fluidly and frictionlessly as capital to exploit scarcities and opportunities.

Neoliberalism–the opening of markets and borders–enables capital to effortlessly crush labor. The social democrats, in embracing open borders, have institutionalized an open immigration that shreds the scarcity value of domestic labor in favor of lower cost immigrant labor that serves capital’s desire for lower costs.

Globalization and neoliberal financial / immigration policies signify the collapse of the Left and the victory of capital. Now capital completely dominates the state and its cronyist structures–political parties, lobbying, campaign contributions, charitable foundations operating as pay-for-play cash vacuums, and all the other features of cartel-state capitalism.

To mask the collapse of the Left’s economic defense of labor, the Left’s apologists and PR machine have substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities to acquire economic security and capital. This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described “progressives” completely bought the left’s Great Con that “social justice” campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups were the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.

This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered “social justice” campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies–all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.

Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital’s largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s $200 million in “earnings” come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed “defenders” of labor.

Please examine this chart, which depicts labor’s share of GDP (economic output), and tell me the Left hasn’t abandoned labor in favor of personal wealth and power.

The Left is not just in disarray – it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left’s betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power. Anyone who denies this is still in the fatal grip of the Left’s Great Con.

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Organizer of Women’s March Against Trump Pictured Flashing ISIS Sign

A picture of one of the organizers for the DC Women’s March is making the rounds on social media.

Linda Sansour is seen flashing the ISIS sign.

Hundreds of thousands of mostly female protesters participated in a ‘Women’s March’ in D.C. on Saturday.  

As noted previously, one of the organizers, Linda Sarsour is a Pro-Palestine Muslim activist.  

 

She also advocates for Sharia Law in America and has ties to terrorist organization, Hamas.

Linda Sarsour is very vocal about her support for Palestine and her utter hatred for Israel. She has ties to the terrorist organization, Hamas as the Daily Caller reports:

Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March, being held in Washington, D.C., was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.

Sarsour, the head of the Arab American Association of New York and an Obama White House “Champion of Change,” was speaking at last month’s 15th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America.

While there, she posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour, a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group.

Linda Sarsour is very active on Twitter. She is pro Sharia law and a couple of her tweets even have a seditious tone to them where she romanticizes Sharia law and hints at it taking over America whereby we would have interest free loans.

The fact that an Islamic faction was one of the organizers of the Women’s March is laughable at best. Islam is responsible for the worst abuses of women and children not only throughout history, but at present day. Islamic supremacists who wish to impose Sharia law in America have infiltrated various leftist movements in order to appear as an oppressed minority.

The post Organizer For DC Women’s March Against Trump Pictured Flashing the ISIS Sign appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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No Surprise As Anti-Trump Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour Has Ties To Islamic Terror Group Hamas

Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March, being held in Washington, D.C., was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.

EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump is one of the most pro-Israel presidents we have had in the past 69 years, so it is no surprise that yesterday’s Women’s March On Washington was organized by Palestinian muslim activist Linda Sarsour. Sarsour wasted little blasting Trump, blasting Israel, and letting you know her true agenda. 

Sarsour, the head of the Arab American Association of New York and an Obama White House “Champion of Change,” was speaking at last month’s 15th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America.

While there, she posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour, a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group.

Salah Sarsour, who is also a board member of American Muslims for Palestine, served as a bodyguard of sorts at the convention for Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar, the daughter of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Women’s March DC: “Impeach Trump for Rape!”

While it is unclear if Salah and Linda are related (though they share the same surname, she has suggested in the past on social media that they are not and did not respond to requests for comment), she has other family ties to alleged Hamas operatives. Though she avoids discussing it now, Sarsour has acknowledged in past interviews that she has cousins serving prison time in Israel because of their work for Hamas.

Sarsour has denied having any contact with the terror group. She told The New York Times in 2012 that she would not have been appointed an Obama “Champion of Change” if she had.

The activist has risen to national attention recently. She served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and she is one of four lead organizers for the Women’s March.

Meet the woman who organized the anti-Trump Women’s March On Washington:

She hates Trump, she hates Israel, and she wants you to hate them, too. Meet Linda Sarsour.

The event is expected to attract 500,000 people and will feature several high-profile progressive speakers. But it has been heavily criticized for excluding pro-life women’s groups. Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group which opposes abortions past 20 weeks, was asked to take part in the event.

Linda Sarsour has close ties to that organization, which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terrorism case.

HLF was found to have funneled money to Hamas, which was designated a terrorist group in the 1990s. Salah Sarsour has ties to that group.

Sarsour was implicated in Hamas activity in the West Bank in the 1990s, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL cited a Nov. 2001 FBI memo detailing information provided by Sarsour’s brother, Jamil, to Israeli investigators in 1998.

“According to statements given to Israeli investigators by his brother Jamil, Sarsour was personally involved in fundraising for Hamas. According to a November 2001 FBI memorandum, Jamil Sarsour was arrested in 1998 for funding Hamas and told Israeli investigators that Salah Sarsour was involved in funding Hamas through his fundraising for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF),” ADL reported.

The FBI memo stated that the Sarsours passed money in $1,000 and $2,000 increments to a Hamas operative named Adel Awadallah through their Milwaukee furniture store.

Awadallah was a commander in the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ militant wing.

Salah Sarsour met Awadallah in 1995 while serving an eight month prison sentence in Israel for supporting Hamas.

Sarsour has not been charged with any crimes in the U.S. His brother Jamil was arrested and charged in 2003 with money laundering after returning back to the U.S. from Israel. He served a four year jail sentence for his work for Hamas. source

Source: No Surprise As Anti-Trump Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour Has Ties To Islamic Terror Group Hamas

Have Christians lost the art of biblical discernment?

Marsha West
What exactly is discernment? It means “to distinguish, to separate out by diligent search, to examine.”

Search…examine… “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11, emphasis added) The Berean Christians didn’t take Paul’s word for anything. They listened to his teaching and then they went to the scriptures to see if what he taught was true.  Because the Bereans checked Paul’s teaching against Scripture, he commended them saying that they were “more noble than those in Thessalonica.”

Christians who are spiritually discerning are able to properly distinguish between true and false teaching. Those with discernment have wisdom. Moreover, in the Bible we’re told that a true believer possesses the mind of Christ. “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)

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Pornography Is Never Harmless, Never Private, Never Safe

In a recent article, Marshall Segal addresses the problem of pornography. He lays out these bullet points that summarize pornography’s devastating consequences:

  • Pornography blinds us to God (Matthew 5:8). It blurs our eyes to his goodness, truth, and beauty.
  • Pornography trains us to treat women as objects, as less than human. It portrays them as possessions to be used and enjoyed, and then thrown away.
  • Pornography fuels sex slavery — real people held against their will and raped repeatedly — all over the world, even in the United States, even in your city or the major city near you.
  • Pornography belittles real beauty — like the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 31:30) — and replaces it with a cheap and fading imitation.
  • Pornography makes sex small and momentary, like a cigarette, instead of massive and lifelong, like it is in marriage.
  • Pornography robs us of some of the delight we might have had with our spouse. It keeps us from experiencing and enjoying them and their bodies without a fog of images from our past.
  • Pornography quickly bankrupts trust in a relationship. It encourages us to lie and hide from others, to walk in darkness and then build walls around ourselves in the darkness.
  • Pornography grossly stunts our maturity, the development of our mind and our gifts — our abilities to understand God and love others.
  • Pornography pursues an undergraduate degree in selfishness, training us over and over to focus on ourselves, prefer ourselves, and serve ourselves.
  • Pornography keeps us from all kinds of ministry, disqualifying many and demotivating even more.
  • Pornography is teaching many children an awful, evil distortion of love and sex even before their parents explain the truth to them.

I encourage you to read the rest of this helpful article.

Photo: Unsplash

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Why Paula White is a Heretic

She is either denying the deity of Jesus or elevating believers to deity. She goes on later to say in a CNN interview that she affirms the Nicene Creed. But saying you do doesn’t actually mean that you do. I wonder if she even understands the Arian heresy the Council of Nicaea was called to address?

On Thursday night, NBC Nightly News showed a tweet by Dr. Russell Moore, leader of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, calling the leading religious figure in Donald Trump’s life, Paula White, a heretic. The NBC reporter asked White, “Do you think it is because you are a woman?” “No,” I loudly replied. “It’s because she’s a heretic!” But, of course, no one could hear me in my living room.

Interestingly, the same day, I listened to a free lecture from Reformed Theological Seminary from theirHistory of Christianity I class . I’ve been working through this class on their free app, and Thursday’s lecture was on the Council of Nicaea which produced the Nicene Creed. For many of us, the word heretic is simply a pejorative term. But among the church fathers in the history of Christianity, it had a specific meaning, that someone was teaching a belief in the name of Christ that didn’t match orthodox Christian faith.

But here we have another word, orthodox. What does it mean?

Orthodoxy (from Greek ὀρθοδοξία, orthodoxia – “right opinion”) is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense the term means “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy

It’s been interesting to study the history of Christianity and the development of the creeds by the early church fathers to combat heresies. The primary ones were around the nature of the Trinity and particularly around the nature of Christ. The more you study it, the more you get how concerning the debate last year over Eternal Subordination of the Son was in terms of the orthodox Christian faith. As a result of this class and that debate, I’ve been using a more discriminating eye as I evaluate what books I do and don’t recommend. For a time, I used some books by conservative men and women whom I now recognize as being fuzzy on the Trinity in a way that would have concerned the church fathers. Because these authors were conservative on gender, I mistakenly assumed they held closely to conservative orthodox faith. But I have found that is often not the case.

I have also met more women equally burdened as I for discipling women in the faith of our fathers, understanding how Scripture led early church fathers to affirm old creeds and how those should still constrain us for today.  These women believe that an orthodox understanding of the Trinity and nature of Christ are essential doctrines for Christian women, and their writing and teaching affirm these doctrines.

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Albert Mohler Blog: “Impossible to Believe — Preaching in a Secular Culture”

In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses how secularization has transformed the intellectual conditions of Western culture. Mohler writes:

“The intellectual conditions in Europe and on American university campuses have now secularized such that it is impossible for those under such conditions to believe in God. In other words, we have arrived at the third intellectual epoch of Western society: impossible to believe. As Taylor observes, to be a candidate for tenure at a major American university is to inhabit a world in which it is virtually impossible to believe in God. Under the first set of Western intellectual conditions, not everyone was a Christian, but all were accountable to a Christian worldview because there was no alternative. Secularization in American culture has reversed the conditions: not everyone is a non-Christian, but all must operate under a secular worldview that denies the legitimacy of a Christian worldview. In three hundred years, Western intellectual conditions have moved from an impossibility of unbelief to an impossibility of belief.”

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Women’s March sponsored by Communist Party USA among others

Trevor Loudon of New Zeal reveals the names of some of the groups that sponsored the Women’s March that was held over the weekend:

One of the many radical groups who sponsored the anti-Free Market, anti-Trump temper tantrum thinly disguised as a “Women’s March” the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump was the Communist Party USA, whose organization was unapologetically featured at the Women’s March website as a “partner” of the march.

While the New York Times asks “what’s next” after the “success of the Women’s March,” but fails to mention the radical nature of the organizers, as usual.

Other associated groups include the Human Rights Campaign (co-founded by accused pedophile Terry Bean and responsible for the template used to push the ‘bathroom bills’ across America), Planned Parenthood, Americans for Democratic ActionDemocratic Socialists of AmericaDemos, NARALEMILY’s List, and many, many others.

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Truth to Build Your Life On

Matthew 7:24-27

Code: B170123

by Jeremiah Johnson

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gave His audience a vivid warning about the dangers of not heeding His message.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. (Matthew 7:24-27)

Of course we all know the story of the two builders. For some of us, the lesson was musically drilled into our heads all the way back in Sunday School.

But do we give enough thought to the “rock” on which we’re meant to build our lives? If we mistakenly detach the parable from the rest of Christ’s sermon, we’ve missed the point entirely.

To remedy that common mistake, we’re kicking off a new extended blog series today. Called Truth to Build Your Life On, this new series will help us take a closer look at the rich truth of the Sermon on the Mount, along with the best of John MacArthur’s teaching and insight on Christ’s pivotal message. For the next two weeks, we’ll be looking at the Beatitudes. Then over the course of the year, we’ll tackle other portions of Christ’s epic sermon. In the end, we hope to offer you a comprehensive look at the entire passage (Matthew 5-7), and a thorough understanding of the truth on which we’re meant to build our lives.

Examine Yourself

In his book The Only Way to Happiness, John MacArthur points to the fundamental message of the Sermon on the Mount, and the Beatitudes in particular:

The Beatitudes call for a full self-examination. Such an approach Paul calls for in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” Prove it, he’s saying. If it were easy to point to an experience in the past to prove your salvation, why would Paul ask you to examine yourself? There must be something else here.

You might be saying, “Well, I am a Christian. I believe. I made a decision for Christ.” A lot of people point to the past to verify their salvation, but did you know that the Bible never does that? It never points to the past. It always bases proof of real salvation on your life now. Examine (test in the KJV) is a present tense continuous action, “Be constantly examining yourselves.”

You say, “How do I examine myself and know if I’m really a Christian?” Look with me at Matthew 5. [1] John MacArthur, The Only Way to Happiness (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1998), 15-16.

The religion of Christ’s day looked to a legalistic system of works for proof of faith. Belief was not a matter of your heart, but of your adherence to a strict code of conduct.

And while it’s easy to spot pharisaical legalism in the pages of Scripture, do we not make the same mistake when we point back to our past decisions and actions for assurance of our own faith?

Don’t claim to be a Christian because five years ago you walked an aisle. Don’t claim to be a Christian because you once signed a card. Don’t try to tell God you’re a Christian because you went into a prayer room and talked to a counselor. And don’t even tell yourself you’re a Christian because some counselor told you that you were, because, at that moment, he didn’t know positively, either.

Assurance is the Holy Spirit’s work. He grants it by the inward testimony (Romans 8) and by the outer exhibit of works. Faith without works is dead, James says. Jesus put it this way in John 8:31, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” He is saying you will be characterized by right thinking, obedience, right talking, and right doing. [2] The Only Way to Happiness, 22-23.

Just like the first-century Jews, we did not secure God’s blessing and favor through our own actions. And we must not cling to those isolated moments fading into the past for assurance of our salvation. That’s a recipe for false assurance and the kind of spiritual disaster Christ Himself described at the end of the Sermon on the Mount.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Instead, as John MacArthur explains, the true evidence of your faith is how your life reflects the nature and character of God. In a word,

Righteousness is the issue. Righteousness sets us apart as converted. Righteousness simply means living right, living under God’s standards, by His definition. If we do not live this way, the genuineness of our salvation is open to suspicion—to others and to ourselves (usually in the form of insecurity).

Hebrews 12:14 haunts me when I meet people who claim to be Christians but whose lives do not agree: “Sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” Second Timothy 2:19 says that the Lord knows them that are His. And who are they? Those that name the name of Christ and depart from iniquity.

Titus 1:16 says, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Profession means nothing without obedience, without righteousness, without holiness, without departing from iniquity. [3] The Only Way to Happiness, 17.

Some may say that simply sounds like a different set of works—that salvation is still based on what we do, and not on what God has done. Where is the sense that we can come to Jesus just as we are—sinful, broken, desperate, and lost? Here’s John’s response to that line of reasoning.

Of course we can come to Jesus just as we are, but if we come away from conversion just as we were, how can we call it conversion? Second Corinthians 5:17 sums it up well: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Being righteous does not mean that we never sin. First John 1:9 says Christians are constantly confessing their sins. That certainly indicates that we do sin. But it is sin that we deal with sooner or later. We confess it, we turn from it, we repent of it, we despise it. We do not love it. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). James puts it this way: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

There will be a whole new approach to life. We will have sin, yes, but when sin appears we will hate it as Paul did in Romans 7. We will hunger and thirst for that which is right. We will seek to obey; we will seek to love our brother and hate the evil system of the world. That’s the way it is, if true salvation exists. [4] The Only Way to Happiness, 17-18.

What Christ is describing in the Beatitudes then is not a list of character qualities we need to manufacture on our own, but the kind of fruit we ought to look for in a life of faith. He’s describing in detail the nature of true righteousness, and in the process, tearing down any illusions about the merits of our works or our own inherent goodness.

If you do not come to Jesus on His terms, you do not come at all. His terms are brokenness, mourning, meekness, hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

Citizens of the kingdom are merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted, and reviled. [5] The Only Way to Happiness, 19.

In the days ahead, we’re going to consider the significance of those characteristics, and why they ought to be the source of assurance of God’s redeeming and transforming work in our lives.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B170123
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Why Christians Submit to the Government”

Romans 13:2-5

Code: B170120

by Cameron Buettel

Today a new American president will be sworn into office. Maybe you like him. Maybe you don’t. Whatever the case, your view of the president should not determine how you relate and respond to the government as a Christian. Romans 13:1 provides the standard: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.”

But submission never comes naturally to our seemingly autonomous existence. It’s even harder when we have to bow in subjection to wicked rulers with evil policies. That’s the bitter pill Christians have had to swallow in recent decades, as we’ve wrestled with our consciences over increasingly evil political agendas.

For many of us, our moral outrage is soothed with thoughts of sanctified rebellion. The thought of sticking it to the man and being spiritual about it appeals to our righteous indignation. We know we’re supposed to obey the law, but doesn’t God make exceptions for bad laws?

That’s the dilemma many of us have when reading Paul’s admonition to submit to the government. What should that subjection look like for a Christian living in a dark and fallen world? Is there a threshold of evil where Paul’s command no longer applies?

John MacArthur’s sermon, “Why Christians Submit to the Government” brings much needed clarity to this divisive subject. It is an exposition of Romans 13:2–5, verses that unpack the implications of Paul’s admonition.

John teaches the fundamental principles of Christian submission—regardless of who sits in authority. These are principles we all need to grasp in order to glorify God through our conduct in an evil world. And lest we think Paul couldn’t have anticipated the adversity we now face in modern times, Pastor John offers this sobering reminder:

So what does a Christian do in a society like ours? We obey, we submit and we have nothing to fear from the authorities. By the way, the man who wrote this [Paul] had been treated badly by the authorities. He had been unjustly jailed. He had been unjustly beaten. He had been unjustly whipped, he had been treated very badly. But the principle still stands. And when persecution comes, we don’t retaliate with arms, we don’t retaliate with criminal conduct. Peter says you commit your soul to a faithful creator and you accept what comes. There will be persecuting governments. Ours is not there this time, but even when it comes, we don’t take up arms against the government.

We are never called to go to war with our mission field. Like Paul, our interactions with civic leaders and rulers should be fueled by our desire to further the gospel. “Why Christians Submit to the Government” is a timely reminder of how God expects us to live our lives as we await those evangelistic opportunities. We don’t want the way we live to undermine the gospel we preach.

Click here to watch or listen to “Why Christians Submit to the Government.”

And to watch or listen to the other two sermons in this series, click here for “Government in Biblical Perspective,” and here for “The Christian and Taxes.”


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B170120
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

For His Glory and Our Good

Isaiah 9:2; Romans 3:5; 8:28; 9:22

Code: B170119

by John MacArthur

In times of disappointment and trials, believers take great comfort from the apostle Paul’s reassuring words: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The promise of that verse is often a beacon of hope for suffering Christians, giving them confidence that the Lord is not indifferent to their plight.

However, the church doesn’t always hold to that same confidence in God’s sovereign oversight when it comes to the evil that dominates the world around us. It’s as if some believers think the Lord has control over our individual circumstances, but He can’t possibly have control over everything all at once.

The dangers of such a myopic view of God’s sovereignty come to a head when skeptics and liberal theologians trot out accusing questions about how a supposedly good God can tolerate so much evil. Without a firm confidence in a truly sovereign Lord, some wind up capitulating to the whims and worldviews of the unrepentant world.

We have already looked at some flawed attempts to explain away the existence of evil; and we’ve considered what Scripture tells us about the nature of evil, God’s holiness, and His sovereign control over His creation. That leaves us with the undeniable truth that the existence of evil does not somehow disprove or damage the nature of God, but that He exercises control over evil. As we said last time, nothing happens outside of His sovereignty.

The real question then is why? Why did God permit evil in the first place? Why does He sovereignly, willingly allow it to keep infecting and distorting His creation? In His unfolding, pre‑ordained plan, what is the presence of evil accomplishing?

To Reveal His Righteousness

In his epistle to the Romans, Paul gives us the answer. He writes, “If our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say?” (Romans 3:5). Our unrighteousness demonstrates (Gk., sunistemi) the righteousness of God. In the context of Romans, Paul has been showing that God is faithful to His promises to Israel despite their sin and unbelief. Compared to the rebellious wickedness of Israel, God’s righteousness is truly and unmistakably glorious. And that’s the bottom line: We would never understand the full glory of God’s righteousness if we were not so familiar with the wretched fruits of unrighteousness. Unrighteousness therefore puts God’s righteousness on display.

To Reveal His Love

Later in Romans, Paul writes, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The presence of sin allows God to demonstrate His love. How else could He show the character of His great love that rescues enemies and sinners if there were no sinners and enemies to rescue? “What if God, although willing [i.e, determining] to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Romans 9:22).

He demonstrates His righteousness against the backdrop of sin and evil, showing, by contrast, how utterly holy He is. God demonstrates His love at a level that would have been impossible without sin. We see and appreciate the radiance of God’s love more, having endured the darkness and distress of a universe cursed by evil. “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them” (Isaiah 9:2). The presence of evil provided the perfect opportunity for God to display His wrath and justice along with His redeeming grace and infinite mercy, as He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die in their place.

To Reveal His Glory

But God’s demonstration of His righteousness and wrath against the backdrop of evil is not merely for our benefit. The word “demonstrate” in Romans 9:22 is an aorist middle. Literally, the verse’s phrasing is “God determined to demonstrate for Himself.” God demonstrates His attributes for the sake of His own glory. Without sin, God’s wrath would never be on display. Without sinners to redeem, God’s grace would never be on display. Without evil to punish, God’s justice would never be on display. And He has every right to put Himself everlastingly on display in all the glory of all His attributes.

Paul says God endures sin with patience. “Endures” is a passive verb. God keeps Himself distant from the acts of evil agents while remaining fully sovereign over them. God endures this horrible assault on His everlasting holiness. He endures the horrifying blasphemy throughout the history of fallen humanity. Why? For the sake of His glory.

Evil Is No Accident

Unrighteousness has colored our whole earthly existence, and through our deliberate sins, we have been willing participants in it. If it weren’t for the facts of our fallen existence, we wouldn’t know very much about God’s everlasting righteousness—much less be able to give Him glory for it. We wouldn’t know He is as loving as He is if it weren’t for our sin. We wouldn’t know He is as holy as He is if it weren’t for the reality of divine judgment. God’s divine attributes would be indiscernible in the sheer brilliance of God’s glory if we weren’t able to see Him in stark contrast against the backdrop of evil.

The murder of Christ is unquestionably the greatest evil ever committed. But under the pre‑ordained plan of God, that act of supreme wickedness was also a supreme display of His grace, mercy, wrath, justice, righteousness, and other attributes. It gives us a glimpse into His loving character that we otherwise never would have seen. And revealing those aspects of His nature in turn causes us to love and glorify Him more.

In short, God tolerates sin and evil because, in the end, it brings Him more glory.

(Adapted from None Other.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B170119
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

Less Religion and More Partisanship: Not Good for America

religion partisanship

Thursday was Barack Obama’s last full day in office as President of the United States. After eight years in office, a recent Pew report demonstrates that the America Obama leaves behind in 2017 is much different than the America that embraced him as president in 2009. The report discusses a number of issues that have been impacted by the social, political, and religious changes that have occurred during the course of the Obama presidency.

One of the more significant changes is how Americans identify with or distance themselves from religion.

From the report:

Profound social, demographic and technological changes have swept across the United States during Obama’s tenure, as have important shifts in government policy and public opinion.

…When it comes to the nation’s religious identity, the biggest trend during Obama’s presidency is the rise of those who claim no religion at all. Those who self-identify as atheists or agnostics, as well as those who say their religion is “nothing in particular,” now make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. adult population, up from 16% in 2007.

Christians, meanwhile, have fallen from 78% to 71% of the U.S. adult population, owing mainly to modest declines in the share of adults who identify with mainline Protestantism and Catholicism. The share of Americans identifying with evangelical Protestantism, historically black Protestant denominations and other smaller Christian groups, by contrast, have remained fairly stable.

Due largely to the growth of those who don’t identify with any religion, the shares of Americans who say they believe in God, consider religion to be very important in their lives, say they pray daily and say they attend religious services at least monthly have all ticked downward in recent years. At the same time, the large majority of Americans who do identify with a faith are, on average, as religiously observant as they were a few years ago, and by some measures even more so.

According to Pew’s data, the Democrat constituency, while making positive gains in some categories, is increasingly less religious.

religion partisanshipPew also indicates that the acrid incivility reflected during the recent presidential election is reflective of a significant increase in partisanship during the last eight years. Pew states,

[T]he partisanship so evident during Obama’s years is perhaps most notable because it extended far beyond disagreements over specific leaders, parties or proposals. Today, more issues cleave along partisan lines than at any point since surveys began to track public opinion.

I believe these two issues (the growing lack of traditional religious identification and the increasing incivility that characterizes extreme partisanship) is intimately related.

Americans in general – particularly those on the political Left – who consider themselves “nones” and increasingly reject traditional religious practices are instead finding religion, morality (various configurations of “justice”), and meaning in the political arena.

This recognizable, politically-partisan religiosity has had a disruptive and corrosive effect on both common political discourse and American culture. More and more, rather than limiting ideological disagreements to the specifics of the issues (debating political issues dispassionately or with a semblance of emotional restraint) people have instead embraced insolence as an acceptable posture for discussion. Too many people are rejecting the responsibility to maintain respect for the person or group with whom they disagree, preferring to personalize political disputes. Americans now disparage and demonize those who hold differing views rather than limiting criticism to the views in dispute.

Many Americans (religious and non-religious alike) are guilty of allowing the civil religion of politics to dictate and justify attitudes and behaviors most traditional religions reject.

However, much of the anger, vitriol, and attempted moral stigmatization (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-science, etc.) that has corrupted political conversation emanates from those who have deliberately rejected traditional religion. Instead, these people have placed their sanctimony and piety in politics — and the majority of these people are on the Left.

History has proven, time and again, that replacing God with government has bad consequences. The past eight years demonstrate that the religious practices of dogmatic Leftism (especially the petty personalization of politics), subject the country to a tenuous sectarianism. This damages the country in progressively destructive ways and validates the concern that politics isn’t a suitable replacement for traditional religion.

Contemplating the future, Pew said that going forward, “requires equal measures of caution and humility, particularly when it comes to politics and public policy.”

That caution is especially precious should more people decide to spurn traditional religion, putting their faith into politics instead. Conversely, people of faith should continually strive to have their faith influence politics rather than allowing politics to influence their faith.

Source: Less Religion and More Partisanship: Not Good for America

Pure Flix an arm of dominionist International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research has the story on Pure Flix Entertainmenta Christian film and television studio that “produces, distributes, acquires and markets Christian and family-friendly films.”  Pure Flix is a venue for watching family friendly and Christian movies online.

So, is Pure Flix “a strategic tool of the New Apostolic Reformation,” as Spreeman suggests?  Does this studio simply focus on delivering films with a pro-Christian message as it claims? In this blog post, Spreeman makes a case for the former.  One of the hallmarks of the NAR, she points out, “is taking dominion over seven spheres of life on Earth, in order to activate the reign of Jesus’ Kingdom. It’s called the ‘7 Mountain Mandate,’ in which Christians are to dominate and fix business, government, media, education, the family, religion, and arts and entertainment.”

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Before Watching The Shack Movie, Read This – The “Inspiration” Behind the Movie and Eugene Peterson’s Connection

By Warren B. Smith

I was drawn into the New Age Movement years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God’s love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they […]

The post Before Watching The Shack Movie, Read This – The “Inspiration” Behind the Movie and Eugene Peterson’s Connection appeared first on .

Behind The Wizard of Oz Curtain of The Post Inaugural Women’s Rights March

oz cc

Always good practice to check out who’s behind any “grassroots” mob movement promotion & organization before you choose to align & identify with them. Investigate their stated objectives, goals, ideologies & any hidden agendas for the instigation of any “rally” or “movement”.

Beware of being lured (manipulated) into any mob rule or mob mentality, whether Conservative or Liberal, without first checking the context of the “movement”. This would also apply to any Christian or Church “movements” or promotions.

Even though this past weekends women’s rally & movement was advertised as about “women’s rights”, it was in reality about liberalism, feminism and abortion rights. See the following:

CNN Analyst Says ‘Women’s March Isn’t About Women, It’s About Liberalism’ (Video)

CNN Accidentally Admits The Truth

The left finally admits the truth about the ‘women’s march’ that took place on Saturday in Washington D.C. and several other major U.S. cities.

Speaking on CNN, Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance got into an argument with CNN’s Bakari Sellers who openly laughed at her and showed blatant disrespect towards her.

When Nance started talking about the march and brought up how pro-life women weren’t included in this women’s event, Sellers interrupted her saying “It’s not about women, it’s about liberalism.”

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Feminism Has Had a Negative Impact on the Family

During the 1960’s and 70’s, when feminism was exploding, it had a terrible affect on men and on the family unit. Men no longer knew how to act or what was expected of them. Should they hold a door open for a woman, or would the woman become indignant? Should they automatically pay for a dinner on a date? What subjects should they avoid with women?

Women no longer were viewing the raising of their children as a top priority. They were being told to get out of the kitchen and into the corporate boardroom – let someone else care for their kids. Some women even wanted their husbands to become stay at home dads, so that the woman could work to show the world their “worth.”

Abortion is a Direct Result of Feminism

In 1973, our SCOTUS made a heinous decision which would impact millions of unborn babies and scar their mothers for life. Roe vs. Wade opened the way for women to rid themselves of inconvenient pregnancies. Since Roe Vs Wade, over 58 million unborn babies have been aborted.

The Women’s March after Inauguration is all about ABORTION

One of the promises of President Trump was to defund Planned Parenthood. That promise is being realized as President Trump is signing an executive order to defund the abortion providing giant.

Planned Parenthood is a killing machine and our government has been using our tax money to fund them with millions of dollars each year. This will stop with the new administration.

Planned Parenthood has lied about their services – claiming that women will not be able to have breast exams for cancer. The only thing that Planned Parenthood has ever done has been a check of the woman’s breasts, just as we have been taught to do at home. They do NOT provide Mammograms. The reality is this: Most revenue brought in by Planned Parenthood is from providing abortions.

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Here’s an informative article that is a great example of unbiased investigative journalism seeking the truth behind the curtain of the Wizard of Oz’s “group think”:

Ex-WSJ Reporter Finds George Soros Has Ties To More Than 50 “Partners” Of The Women’s March

Former WSJ reporter Asra Nomani asks in the NYT’s “Women In the World” section what is the link between one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors and the Women’s March? Her answer: “as it turns out, it’s quite significant.”

In the pre-dawn darkness of today’s presidential inauguration day, I faced a choice, as a lifelong liberal feminist who voted for Donald Trump for president: lace up my pink Nike sneakers to step forward and take the DC Metro into the nation’s capital for the inauguration of America’s new president, or wait and go tomorrow to the after-party, dubbed the “Women’s March on Washington”?

The Guardian has touted the “Women’s March on Washington” as a “spontaneous” action for women’s rights. Another liberal media outlet, Vox, talks about the “huge, spontaneous groundswell” behind the march. On its website, organizers of the march are promoting their work as “a grassroots effort” with “independent” organizers. Even my local yoga studio, Beloved Yoga, is renting a bus and offering seats for $35. The march’s manifesto says magnificently, “The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.”

It’s an idea that I, a liberal feminist, would embrace. But I know — and most of America knows — that the organizers of the march haven’t put into their manifesto: the march really isn’t a “women’s march.” It’s a march for women who are anti-Trump.

As someone who voted for Trump, I don’t feel welcome, nor do many other women who reject the liberal identity-politics that is the core underpinnings of the march, so far, making white women feel unwelcome, nixing women who oppose abortion and hijacking the agenda.

To understand the march better, I stayed up through the nights this week, studying the funding, politics and talking points of the some 403 groups that are “partners” of the march. Is this a non-partisan “Women’s March”?

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What You Need To Know About The Women’s March On Washington

01-23-2017 • http://wearechange.org

Over 1 million women participated in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, and it raised the question: What exactly are these women protesting?

A lot of the posters and social media posts that came out of the event painted a picture of a massive presence that was standing up for what they labeled as “women’s rights” that have been put in danger by President Trump.

Many women have voiced the concern that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and abortion will be made illegal under Trump. However, Trump has never said that he wanted to ban abortion completely. What he has said is that he plans on appointing Supreme Court Justices who are “pro-life,” and if they choose to overturn Roe v. Wade, then abortion laws will be determined by the states.

Women have also criticized the fact that Trump reportedly plans to defund Planned Parenthood, because of the fact that it currently provides a taxpayer-funded abortion service.

All of this comes back to the same question: Why are 1 million women gathering together to demand that the federal government fund their healthcare and tell them what they can and cannot do? Why aren’t they looking for other alternatives and answers to the current problems?

[RELATED: More Than 50 Soros-Funded Groups Participated in Women’s March On Washington]

Is this protest truly about women’s rights, or is it about women hopping on the bandwagon and demanding that the government take care of their needs?

Read Full Story


No Surprise As Anti-Trump Women’s March Organizer Linda Sarsour Has Ties To Islamic Terror Group Hamas

Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March, being held in Washington, D.C., was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.

EDITOR’S NOTE: President Trump is one of the most pro-Israel presidents we have had in the past 69 years, so it is no surprise that yesterday’s Women’s March On Washington was organized by Palestinian muslim activist Linda Sarsour. Sarsour wasted little blasting Trump, blasting Israel, and letting you know her true agenda. 

Sarsour, the head of the Arab American Association of New York and an Obama White House “Champion of Change,” was speaking at last month’s 15th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America.

While there, she posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour, a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group.

Salah Sarsour, who is also a board member of American Muslims for Palestine, served as a bodyguard of sorts at the convention for Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar, the daughter of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Women’s March DC: “Impeach Trump for Rape!”

While it is unclear if Salah and Linda are related (though they share the same surname, she has suggested in the past on social media that they are not and did not respond to requests for comment), she has other family ties to alleged Hamas operatives. Though she avoids discussing it now, Sarsour has acknowledged in past interviews that she has cousins serving prison time in Israel because of their work for Hamas.

Sarsour has denied having any contact with the terror group. She told The New York Times in 2012 that she would not have been appointed an Obama “Champion of Change” if she had.

The activist has risen to national attention recently. She served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and she is one of four lead organizers for the Women’s March.

Meet the woman who organized the anti-Trump Women’s March On Washington:

She hates Trump, she hates Israel, and she wants you to hate them, too. Meet Linda Sarsour.

The event is expected to attract 500,000 people and will feature several high-profile progressive speakers. But it has been heavily criticized for excluding pro-life women’s groups. Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group which opposes abortions past 20 weeks, was asked to take part in the event.

Linda Sarsour has close ties to that organization, which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terrorism case.

HLF was found to have funneled money to Hamas, which was designated a terrorist group in the 1990s. Salah Sarsour has ties to that group.

Sarsour was implicated in Hamas activity in the West Bank in the 1990s, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL cited a Nov. 2001 FBI memo detailing information provided by Sarsour’s brother, Jamil, to Israeli investigators in 1998.

“According to statements given to Israeli investigators by his brother Jamil, Sarsour was personally involved in fundraising for Hamas. According to a November 2001 FBI memorandum, Jamil Sarsour was arrested in 1998 for funding Hamas and told Israeli investigators that Salah Sarsour was involved in funding Hamas through his fundraising for the Holy Land Foundation (HLF),” ADL reported.

The FBI memo stated that the Sarsours passed money in $1,000 and $2,000 increments to a Hamas operative named Adel Awadallah through their Milwaukee furniture store.

Awadallah was a commander in the Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ militant wing.

Salah Sarsour met Awadallah in 1995 while serving an eight month prison sentence in Israel for supporting Hamas.

Sarsour has not been charged with any crimes in the U.S. His brother Jamil was arrested and charged in 2003 with money laundering after returning back to the U.S. from Israel. He served a four year jail sentence for his work for Hamas. source

January 23, 2017: Verse of the day

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Because of the presence of God, believers are to be anxious for nothing. Nothing is outside of His sovereign control or too difficult for Him to handle. A low view of God leads to a myriad of problems in the church:

The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic.
The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking. (Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 6)

Weak, struggling, unstable Christians need to build their strength on the foundation of what the Bible says about God. The result of the church’s failure to equip believers with the knowledge of God’s character and works is a lack of understanding of His nature and purposes, and a subsequent lack of confidence in Him. The shifting sands of shallow or faulty theology provide no stable footing for the believer.

Anxious, fretful, worried, harried believers are inherently unstable and vulnerable to trials and temptations. Anxiety is both a violation of Scripture and totally unnecessary. In a magnificent passage in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus pointed out the sinful folly of anxiety:

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:25–34)

Harmony in the fellowship, joy in the Lord, contentment in circumstances, and confident trust in God are the first steps on the path to spiritual stability.

Spiritually stable people react to trials with thankful prayer. Such prayer is the antidote to worry and the cure for anxiety. The theology of prayer is not in view here, but rather its priority and the attitude the believer brings to it. The three synonyms used here, prayer, supplication, and requests, all refer to specific, direct offerings of petition to God. The assumption of the text is that believers will cry out to God when they have a need or a problem, not with doubting, questioning, or even blaming God, but with thanksgiving (cf. Col. 4:2). Instead of having a spirit of rebellion against what God allows, believers are to trustingly cast “all [their] anxiety on Him, because He cares for [them]” (1 Peter 5:7).

God’s promises support the wisdom of gratitude. He has promised that no trial believers face will be too difficult for them to handle (1 Cor. 10:13). He has also promised to use everything that happens in believers’ lives for their ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). Even suffering leads to their being perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established (1 Peter 5:10). Believers should also be thankful for God’s power (Ps. 62:11; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 4:11), for His promises (Deut. 1:11; 2 Cor. 1:20), for the hope of relief from suffering (2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Peter 5:10), for the hope of glory (Rom. 5:2; Col. 1:27), for His mercy (Rom. 15:9), and for His perfecting work in them (Phil. 1:6).

People become worried, anxious, and fearful because they do not trust in God’s wisdom, power, or goodness. They fear that God is not wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to prevent disaster. It may be that this sinful doubt is because their knowledge of Him is faulty, or that sin in their lives has crippled their faith. Thankful prayer brings release from fear and worry, because it affirms God’s sovereign control over every circumstance, and that His purpose is the believer’s good (Rom. 8:28).

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

January 23, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 23

True Thanks

I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Romans 1:8

 

One thing we know about the apostle Paul: he had a thankful heart. In almost every one of his epistles, Paul expressed thanks for the people who would receive his message. Though he knew that each church needed correction, he didn’t just send instruction; he also sent a word of thanks. He was always able to see God’s purposes being accomplished. Paul expressed what is in the heart of all true servants of God—an attitude of gratitude.

Unfortunately, some people go through life dwelling on the negative. They refuse to be grateful for the good that God is doing in someone else’s life. If it isn’t happening to them, then they think it’s bad. Paul didn’t express his thanks by saying, “I’m so thankful for what God has done for me”; rather, he said, “I thank God for you.” He received as much joy from someone else’s success as he did from his own. May the same be true of you as well.[1]


January 23 The Effect of Patience

“Walk … with patience.”

Ephesians 4:1–2

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Patience is crucial to our testimony.

The virtues of Ephesians 4:2–3 enable the church of Jesus Christ to have a powerful witness. Many think the key to evangelism is following a specific course or method, but according to Jesus, the greatest way to get people to believe the gospel is through our love and unity (John 17:21). Though evangelistic methods are important, often they aren’t as effective as they could be because of the church’s poor reputation among unbelievers. If the church were full of people who had genuine humility, gentleness, and patience, others would be more inclined to listen to what we say.

Sir Henry Stanley traveled to Africa in 1872 to find Dr. David Livingstone, the famous missionary and explorer, who had lost contact with the European community. After finding him, Stanley spent several months with Livingstone, who by that time was an old man. Apparently Livingstone didn’t say much to Stanley about spiritual things—he just continued about his business with the Africans. Stanley observed that throughout the months he watched him, Livingstone’s habits, especially his patience, were beyond his comprehension. Stanley could not understand Livingstone’s sympathy for the pagan Africans, who had wronged Livingstone many times. For the sake of Christ and His gospel David Livingstone was patient, untiring, and eager. He spent himself for his Master.

In his account How I Found Livingstone, Stanley wrote, “His religion is not of the theoretical kind, but is a constant, earnest, sincere practice. It is neither demonstrative nor loud, but manifests itself in a quiet practical way, and is always at work…. In him religion exhibits its loveliest features; it governs his conduct not only towards his servants but towards the natives … and all who come in contact with him.”

I’m not suggesting that you never talk about the gospel. But realize that what you say will have far greater effect when you live in harmony with what the gospel teaches. If the world could see a clear picture of Jesus Christ through the unity of the church and its humble, gentle, and patient people, our evangelism would be sped along on wings!

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Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that you would live in a way that glorifies God and attracts others to the Savior.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 5:13–16. What did Christ mean by being salt and light in the world? ✧ Think of specific ways you can obey the command in verse 16.[2]


JANUARY 23

ACQUAINT THYSELF WITH GOD

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

—Psalm 24:9-10

When viewed from the perspective of eternity, the most critical need of this hour may well be that the Church should be brought back from her long Babylonian captivity and the name of God be glorified in her again as of old. Yet we must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is for each of us a personal one. Any forward step in the Church must begin with the individual.

What can we plain Christians do to bring back the departed glory? Is there some secret we may learn? Is there a formula for personal revival we can apply to the present situation, to our own situation? The answer to these questions is yes….

The secret is an open one which the wayfaring man may read. It is simply the old and ever-new counsel: Acquaint thyself with God. To regain her lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God. KOH179-180

Lord, give me a glimpse of Your glory and then help me to live in the light of that glory, exhibiting a transformed life and representing a renewed Church. Amen. [3]


January 23

Christ Sovereignly Masters Satan

Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ”—Matt. 4:10

The devil’s final proposal was so outlandish and beyond the boundaries of God’s will that Jesus dismissed him with the terse, firm command, “Go, Satan!” Satan can wield his present power only by God’s permission; therefore he had no choice but to leave Christ’s presence. This last interaction is a prime example of our Lord’s sovereign mastery over the enemy.

If the Savior would not compromise on a mundane matter such as turning stones to bread, He certainly would not compromise on the major issue of worshiping and serving anyone besides the Father and the Father alone.

Christ will finally inherit God’s kingdom in God’s perfect time, and we will inherit it with Him (Matt. 5:5; 25:34; Rom. 8:17). This glorious truth doesn’t mean God will not give us many good things in this life, because no one desires our happiness more than our heavenly Father. Jesus Himself later taught, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:11). Knowing this, why should any of us want to settle for any of the cheap, fleeting substitutes of instant gratification that Satan offers?

ASK YOURSELF
What inspires you the most about Jesus’ reactions to Satan’s three temptations? What are the most convicting or compelling aspects of His testimony that would look good on you as well? Thank Him for His sturdy, steady faithfulness—and ask Him to grow the same in you.[4]


January 23 Comprehending What You Have

“[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17).

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Your inheritance in Christ is so vast and profound that you cannot comprehend it apart from God’s enabling.

The late newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst invested a fortune in collecting great works of art. One day he read of an extremely valuable work that he determined to add to his collection. His agent searched the galleries of the world but to no avail. Finally, after many months of effort and at great expense, the agent found the prized artwork. It had been stored in one of Hearst’s own warehouses all along!

That story parallels Christians who are constantly searching for something more because they don’t understand what they already have in Christ. Since Paul knew that was a potential problem, he prayed for God to enable us to comprehend our spiritual riches.

“Spirit” in verse 17 refers to a disposition or attitude of humility, as in, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3). “Revelation” means knowledge that God imparts through His Word. “Wisdom” is the application of that knowledge to daily living. The combined effect is a humble attitude toward God’s Word that compels you to learn it and to integrate it into every aspect of your life.

On the human level, the fullness of your inheritance in Christ is incomprehensible. God’s Word reveals many of its benefits, and the Holy Spirit empowers you as you learn to live according to its principles, but much of it will remain a mystery in this life (1 John 3:2). Paul’s prayer is that you will understand as much as possible so that godly wisdom and revelation will govern all your attitudes and actions. Let that be your goal today.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the incomprehensible riches that are yours in Christ. ✧ Pray that you might always approach His Word with a submissive and teachable heart.

For Further Study: Reviewing God’s promises motivates praise and reminds us of His gracious provisions. Read the following passages, noting the promises they contain: Psalm 29:11; Isaiah 26:3; 41:10; Matthew 6:25–34; John 14:2–3, 13–14; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Philippians 4:6–7; 1 John 1:9; 5:11–12; Revelation 21:3–4. ✧ Study your life. Does it demonstrate confidence in God’s promises?[5]


JANUARY 23

MAJESTY—AND MEEKNESS

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

Psalm 145:5

 

When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: “He is thy Lord—worship thou Him!”

They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a mysterious being, and yet they noted His meekness.

The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that He nursed at His mother’s breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.

But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns, coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God; yet it will be in the majesty of the Man who is God!

This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He stands in meekness!

 

Dear Lord, You are both my King and my Friend. Lead me through this day, O King, and pick me up when I stumble, dear Friend.[6]


JANUARY 23

OUR LORD THE OBJECT OF FAITH FOR SALVATION

…Preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is LORD of all).

ACTS 10:36

It is altogether doubtful whether any man can be saved who comes to Christ for His help but with no intention of obeying Him, for Christ’s saviourhood is forever united to His lordship.

Look at the apostle’s instruction and admonition:

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

There the Lord is the object of faith for salvation! And when the Philippian jailer asked the way to be saved, Paul replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Paul did not tell him to believe on the Saviour with the thought that he could later take up the matter of His lordship and settle it at his own convenience. To Paul there could be no division of offices. Christ must be Lord or He will not be Saviour!

There is no intention here to teach that our first saving contact with Christ brings perfect knowledge of all He is to us. The contrary is true. Ages upon ages will hardly be long enough to allow us to experience all the riches of His grace.

As we discover new meanings in His titles and make them ours we will grow in the knowledge of our Lord and the many forms of love He wears exalted on His throne![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 34). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

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

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 31). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 35). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

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