Daily Archives: February 1, 2017

February 1, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

img_0108


Feb. 1, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

Donald Trump is casting his newly minted Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch into a bitterly divided Senate where frustrated Democrats vowed a vigorous review of the president’s choice, citing their concerns about his deeply conservative views and his willingness to check Trump’s aggressive use of executive power.

Federal Reserve officials convene this week amid expectations that they will take a break after their December interest-rate hike to assess whether the economy is shifting out of its low-inflation, 2 percent growth mode into a higher gear.

A top U.A.E. official defended the Trump administration against accusations that the U.S. travel ban on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries is targeting Islam. “The vast majority of Muslims and Muslim countries have not been affected by this ban.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to discuss creating jobs and building infrastructure in the U.S. during a meeting with President Donald Trump next week, in a bid to defuse his concerns over trade.

House Republicans voiced frustrations Tuesday about slow-moving efforts to unwind Obamacare, urging their leaders to pick up the pace on a top campaign promise.

Saudi Arabia will award its first tender to build 700 megawatts of solar and wind energy in September, with the cost of power forecast to be the lowest in the world

After the U.S. president said Germany and Japan are gaming foreign-exchange markets to win favorable trade terms, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday in pushing back and leading a global counter-charge to the accusations.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday night that the organization would start accepting transgender boys for its Cub and Boy Scout programs. Groups like Scouts for Equality and GLAAD celebrated the announcement as another victory in their fight for inclusivity within the long-standing U.S. institution. In 2013, the Boy Scouts had famously lifted a ban on openly gay scouts.

AP Top Stories

Fires have been raging in central and southern Chile, fanned by strong winds, hot temperatures and a prolonged drought. Emergency services have battled the flames nonstop for days with thousands of firefighters on the ground and helicopters and airplanes in the air. The forest fires have displaced thousands, killed people and destroyed entire villages. The multiple blazes have ravaged 680,000 acres in just over a week.

US Special Forces who led a rare ground assault against Al-Qaeda in Yemen over the weekend killed women fighting alongside male troops, the Defense Department said Monday.

A Florida congressman is asking fellow lawmakers to support a bill he’s working on that would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

The United States raised alarm at the United Nations over Iran’s test-firing of a medium range missile, calling it “absolutely unacceptable,” after Tehran warned the United States against fueling tensions.

British MPs debated until midnight on Tuesday over the merits of a bill giving Prime Minister Theresa May the power to start the country’s departure from the European Union. The government is hoping to rush through the legislation in time to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which opens two years of divorce negotiations, by the end of March.

Austria’s coalition government promised on Monday to ban Muslim face-covering veils and to restrict eastern European workers’ access to the labor market, in a package of policies aimed at countering the rise of the far-right Freedom Party.

The rib of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 195 million years ago has yielded what may be the oldest remains of soft tissue ever recovered, scientists said Tuesday.

BBC

A 23-year-old Afghan woman has described to the BBC how her husband tied her up and cut off both her ears in a domestic violence attack in the northern province of Balkh.

Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be made from recycled mobile phones. The Japanese public will be asked to donate old phones and small appliances to gather two tonnes of gold, silver and bronze for the 5,000 medals.

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said the Army Corps of Engineers had been directed to allow work under Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River. Native Americans, who have protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline for months, vowed legal action to stop it.

Austria’s coalition government promised on Monday to ban Muslim face-covering veils and to restrict eastern European workers’ access to the labor market, in a package of policies aimed at countering the rise of the far-right Freedom Party.

Former Brazilian oil and mining tycoon Eike Batista has been transferred to a high security prison in Rio de Janeiro after being arrested on arrival from New York.

The African Union has called for the mass withdrawal of member states from the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the resolution is non-binding, with Nigeria and Senegal opposing a withdrawal.

WND

The United Nations’ refugee agency is claiming that asylum seekers do not represent any kind of national security risk to the U.S.

Eight months after taking office, the mayor of New Hope in Collin County TX, has become the first transgender elected official to come out publicly in the state’s history.

In an essay for the James G. Martin Center titled A Letter to Conservatives: You Need College and College Definitely Needs You, Routledge argues that conservative college students and their parents need not turn away from academia due to its liberal bias, but should embrace the opportunity to grow intellectually by having their ideas challenged.


The Briefing 02-01-2017

Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch, a textualist in the mold of Antonin Scalia, to the Supreme Court

What was behind Trump’s decision to fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates?

What, then, is a boy? Boy Scouts will now accept transgender “boys” into membership

The post The Briefing 02-01-2017 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 2/1/2017

Trump’s Wall Forces Mexican Corruptos To Come Clean
Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is a puppet of the country’s deeply-embedded elites, known in Mexico as los Corruptos.  Last week they shoved him out on stage to broadcast a message to Mexican illegals in the United States.  The message was simple:  FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T COME BACK! WE DON’T WANT YOU!  Yes, Trump’s simple promise to enforce existing U.S. law has sent the Corruptos into chaos.


Chicago’s Violent Crime In January Matches Bloody Start Of 2016
It was a violent start to 2017 in Chicago, with the number of shootings nearly duplicating the tally from the start of last year, which ended up being the city’s bloodiest year in nearly two decades.

More Americans support Donald Trump’s immigration ban than oppose it, poll shows
New polling suggests that Donald Trump’s executive order to impose a temporary block on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries has the support of nearly one in two Americans.

Abbas, Jordanian king agree to fight against US embassy relocation to Jerusalem
Meeting in Amman, the heads of state agree to cooperate in an attempt to prevent a move that they believe would have ramifications on regional peace and security and cause other countries to follow suit.

Kremlin says Ukraine flare-up shows need for US-Russia talks
A recent flare-up of hostilities in eastern Ukraine shows the need for a swift resumption in dialogue between the United States and Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

The left’s ‘war on reality’ grows bizarre … and menacing
The scale of protests one week into a presidential administration is unlike anything in American history, but the rabid demonstrations also often appear unprecedented in their anger.  And in their disconnect from reality.

Nancy Pelosi Caught On Hot Mic: ‘Tell Them You’re A Muslim’

A hot microphone picked up House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi instructing a Democratic congressman to tell a crowd of anti-Trump protesters that he is a Muslim. Pelosi’s slip-up took place in front of a group of protesters demonstrating outside the Supreme Court against Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration.

Researchers Experiment Creation of Human-Pig ‘Chimera Embryos’ to Address Shortage of Donor Organs
Calif. — A team of biologists at the Salk Institute in California has reportedly created the first-ever human-pig chimeras in an effort to test the idea of growing organs in animals that can later be used in human transplants.

California Lawmakers Want ‘Third Gender Option’ for Drivers’ Licenses

Legislation introduced in California would create a third gender option on drivers’ licenses and expedite the process for individuals to change their sex on their birth certificate without undergoing a sex change.

Clashes erupt as Israeli forces begin evacuating Amona outpost; several arrested
Several hundred Israeli security forces have begun the operation to evacuate 40 Jewish families from the Amona outpost in the West Bank on Wednesday morning following hours of delay, police said. Activists hurled rocks at reportedly unarmed security forces as they inched toward the Amona.

Russia: Invite for Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Moscow still open
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that an invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet in Moscow was still in force. Lavrov said at a conference in Abu Dhabi that Russia was grateful that the two sides had in principle accepted the invitation.

African Union backs mass withdrawal from ICC
The African Union has called for the mass withdrawal of member states from the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the resolution is non-binding, with Nigeria and Senegal opposing a withdrawal. South Africa and Burundi have already decided to withdraw, accusing the ICC of undermining their sovereignty and unfairly targeting Africans.

Ukraine conflict: UN warns of dangerous deterioration
The UN Security Council has warned of a “dangerous deterioration” in eastern Ukraine and called on warring sides to halt the violence. The council said renewed fighting was having a “severe impact” on civilians. Fighting in the frontline town of Avdiivka has left thousands of residents without water or power in freezing conditions.

Israel approves 3,000 new settler homes as Amona evacuation begins
Israel says it will build 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. The aim was to fulfil demands for housing and “return to normal life”, the defence ministry said. A Palestinian official condemned the move and warned that chances for peace were being destroyed.

Trump picks Neil Gorsuch as nominee for Supreme Court
President Donald Trump has nominated Colorado federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch for the US Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, the 49-year-old would restore the court’s conservative majority, lost with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The Senate Democratic leader has said he has “very serious doubts” about Judge Gorsuch’s nomination.

New ‘super yield’ GM wheat trial gets go-ahead
The planting of a new experimental crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat will take place this spring after the UK government gave the final go ahead. The GM wheat has been engineered to use sunlight more efficiently and has boosted greenhouse yields by up to 40%. Researchers in Hertfordshire now want to see if they can replicate these gains in the field.

‘Tuberculosis-resistant’ cattle developed in China
Scientists in China say they have produced cloned cattle with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis. Twenty calves were born, of which 11 survived for more than three months. Bovine TB is a risk to cattle in many countries, including parts of the UK, Africa and Asia.

California To Consider Enacting Statewide Sanctuary
California may prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, creating a border-to-border sanctuary in the nation’s largest state as legislative Democrats ramp up their efforts to battle President Donald Trump’s migration policies. The legislation is scheduled for its first public hearing Tuesday…

UN Braces as Trump’s Detente With Russia Upsets Balance of Power
President Donald Trump’s outreach to Russia is reverberating through the United Nations, where U.S. allies worry that a partnership between Washington and Moscow could undermine a historic balance of power dating to the early days of the Cold War. For decades, the five veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council have fallen into two camps — France, the U.K. and the U.S., referred to as the P3, on one side and Russia and China on the other.

Migrants at WAR: Tensions in Paris as children attacked with knives for being ‘too rich’
The streets of Paris have erupted into inter-migrant strife as North African youths have targeted ‘rich’ Chinese migrants amid growing tensions. Police in France recorded more than 200 attacks on Chinese immigrants last year, mostly from hostile migrant gangs. This comes amid a growing perception that recent migrants from North Africa have become “too demanding” and consider themselves “victims” who deserve pity.

Slow Pace of Obamacare Repeal Leaves House Conservatives Fuming
House Republicans voiced frustrations Tuesday about slow-moving efforts to unwind Obamacare, urging their leaders to pick up the pace on a top campaign promise. “Let’s get rid of it,” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio told reporters at a forum for House conservatives. “That’s what we told the voters we’d do.”

Vile Revelations of ‘Sadistic Naked Sex Rituals’ at Elite German Military Base
German newspaper Der Spiegel has published a disturbing account of recruits and service personnel at an elite German military base in the city of Pfullendorf who have been subjected to sadistic practices, sexual abuse and violent rituals. The scandalous report was later confirmed by German military, and condemned by German officials.

New video shows Planned Parenthood staffers saying they only do ultrasounds for abortions
The pro-life group Live Action released two new investigative videos Tuesday that depict Planned Parenthood staffers saying that their clinics only offer ultrasounds to women seeking abortions — not women seeking prenatal care. The first video shows clinic workers telling undercover investigators that they don’t do any ultrasounds for prenatal care.

Prosecutors Weigh Child-Pornography Charges Against Anthony Weiner
Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, according to people familiar with the matter.

Israel and Turkey to resume diplomatic dialogue after six years
Yuval Rotem, Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, will travel to Turkey on Tuesday where he will hold a diplomatic dialogue with local officials, for the first time in over six years.

Israeli Home Front preparing for thousands of rockets
IDF believes Hezbollah can strike anywhere in country; electronic systems might also be targeted. The IDF Home Front Command is preparing for the thousands of rockets expected to strike Israel during the next war, investing hundreds of millions of shekels over the past two years on defensive measures and strengthening strategic capabilities.

Hit squad reportedly kills ISIS madman who beheaded hundreds
A notorious ISIS executioner who beheaded hundreds of innocent citizens has been stabbed to death by a hit squad in northwest Iraq. Abu Sayyaf was one of the terror group’s main executioners and appeared in many of the group’s propaganda videos showing brutal decapitations.

Leaked Executive Order Reveals Trump Crackdown On Immigrant Welfare
Seemingly following the proposals of Bill Clinton (and Ron Paul), The Washington Post reports that a leaked document shows the Trump administration is planning to crackdown on current, and would-be, immigrants who are likely to require public assistance.

This Won’t End Well – China Skyscraper Edition
China has been on a skyscraper-building boom for years, but, we suspect, 2016 may have seen the mal-investment boom jump the shark. As Goldman Sachs illustrates in the following chart, China was head, shoulders, knees, and toes above the aggregate of the rest of the world in terms of skyscraper completions in 2016…


Top Headlines – 2/1/2017

Lieberman and Netanyahu approve the construction of over 3,000 housing units in Judea and Samaria

Amona residents given 48 hours to leave outpost as evacuation looms

Amona residents stubbornly resist evacuation

Canadian school bans Israelis because of ‘settlements’

Israel allows Venezuelan Jewish converts to immigrate

Jewish Community Centers Face Third Wave of Bomb Threats Nationwide

Police: Israeli Arab went on killing spree after being called ‘Jew lover’

Hamas military capabilities said restored to pre-2014 war strength

Knesset speaker goes to Washington to push for embassy move

Replacing the UN with the Covenant of Democratic Nations

In DC, Jordan’s king discusses US embassy in Israel, ISIS, Syria

IS claims killing and wounding 20 Egyptian troops in Sinai

‘We want the same thing’ – Saudi oil minister welcomes Trump era

American oil companies face no ban by Iran

US raises alarm at UN over Iran missile test

US rips ‘irresponsible’ Iran after missile test

Iran launched another ballistic missile in secret last month, US officials say

Iran refuses to confirm conducting missile test

Iranian FM: No missiles produced in Iran will be used to attack other country

UN Braces as Trump’s Detente With Russia Upsets Balance of Power

Ukraine Civil War Heats Up as U.S. Seeks Thaw With Russia

Ukraine conflict: UN warns of dangerous deterioration

More than ten killed and dozens injured in surge of violence in east Ukraine

Ukraine Starts Moving Civilians Out of Town Where Fighting Rages

Philippines’ Duterte asks China to patrol piracy-plagued waters

Pentagon tracks China test of long-range missile with 10 warheads

Pentagon believes attack on Saudi frigate meant for US warship

Despite Attackers Yelling “Allahu Akbar”, Politicians Blame “Years Of Demonizing Muslims” For “Barbaric, Terrorist Act” In Quebec City Mosque

Texas ‘Muslim Day’ beefs up security over political climate

Spicer says travel ban shouldn’t be called ‘ban’

Some nations affected by U.S. immigration order may stay on banned list

Trump administration to allow 872 refugees into U.S. this week: document

US travel ban leaves Iranian LGBT refugees in limbo

Green Card Holder Dies a Day After Being Prevented From Returning Home by Trump’s Order, Report Says

Soros Funding Airport Protests, Ban Lawsuits Against Trump’s Order

Trump supporters call for Starbucks boycott after pledge to hire 10,000 refugees

Celebrities shower American Civil Liberties Union with money after Trump travel ban

Tech companies come out swinging against immigration ban

Trump’s extreme vetting condemned by world leaders, Muslim nations

Many Muslims support ‘extreme vetting’

Why ISIS is celebrating Trump’s immigration ban

I’m a Democrat but there’s something great about Trump’s travel ban

Franklin Graham: Trump’s Refugee Vetting Should Apply to All Immigrants

Trump Travel Ban Controversy Draws Attention to Muslim Discrimination Against Israeli Passport Holders

For Netanyahu, Trump brings friendship – and risks

Israel apologizes to Mexico for Netanyahu’s tweet on US wall

Mexican president to Rivlin: ‘Ties with Israel damaged following tweet’

Mexico tells Israeli ambassador that diplomatic crisis is behind them

PM Netanyahu: ‘Crisis’ with Mexico manufactured by media

Trump’s ‘sanctuary’ order sets up showdown between cities and states

Calif. To Consider Enacting Statewide Sanctuary

San Francisco sues Trump over sanctuary city order

Abbott declares emergency to ban sanctuary cities in Texas

Trump administration circulates more draft immigration restrictions, focusing on protecting U.S. jobs

EU chair labels Trump a ‘threat’ as Europeans debate U.S. ties

Bridgewater’s Dalio says Trump’s populist policies could hurt world economy

Betting On Trump: Buffett Bought $12 Billion In Stocks Since The Election

U.S. Senate advances nomination of Tillerson as Secretary of State

Democrats boycott confirmation hearings for Price and Mnuchin, blocking votes

Why Betsy DeVos is the most polarizing education secretary nominee ever

Donald Trump ‘refuses to send White House officials on CNN’ after calling broadcaster ‘fake news’

Radio stations in several states hacked with anti-Trump rap

Twitter Says It’s Developing New Tools For Online Censorship

Child welfare workers in Facebook Live hanging threatened with contempt

Why livestreamed suicides are becoming a disturbing new norm

Children suffering second-degree burns in ‘salt and ice challenge’

Billionaire closer to mining the moon for trillions of dollars in riches

See Venus, Mars and Moon Crescent Form Cosmic Triangle Tonight

New Indonesia tsunami network could add crucial minutes

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Propicia, Ecuador

5.3 magnitude earthqauke hits near Dili, East Timor

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Talkeetna, Alaska

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupts to 25,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

‘Firehose’ of Lava Flows From Volcano

Scientists have released footage of a giant, 3-km crack that opened up in Arizona

UK weather: Britain set to be hit by 70mph winds as forecasters warn Storm Doris may be on the way

Chile’s worst wildfires destroy town as death toll rises to 11

Flint-area residents seek $700M from EPA over water crisis

Malaria drugs fail for first time on patients in UK

Beleaguered bees hit by ‘deformed wing virus’

Ice yoga in Swedish Lapland: Does this latest wellness fad make any sense?

Slow Pace of Obamacare Repeal Leaves House Conservatives Fuming

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: Religious Freedom Defender Neil Gorsuch

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Gorsuch: Champion of Small Gov’t, Sided With Employers in Hobby Lobby Case

In Judge Neil Gorsuch, an Echo of Scalia in Philosophy and Style

Conservatives, Republicans hail Trump’s Supreme Court pick

NYT: Neil Gorsuch, the Nominee for a Stolen Seat

Schumer seeks 60-vote bar for Trump’s court pick, as Dems brace for fight

Top Dem Bucks Schumer Plan: I Won’t Filibuster Anybody

Sen. McConnell: ‘We’re going to get the judge confirmed’

GOP lawmakers OK bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Iowa

Trump vows to continue LGBT workplace rights protection

Will Mormon church embrace Scouting’s new transgender policy? It’s assessing the issue

Britain pardons thousands of gay men convicted under defunct laws

Prosecutors Weigh Child-Pornography Charges Against Anthony Weiner

Sextortion becoming major problem with minor children

LAPD officers fatally shoot man after stabbing rampage near CNN Hollywood

Christian Rapper Lecrae Endorses The Shack, Calls The Movie “Dope”

Silence: movie promotes Contemplative Spirituality and sanctions apostasy

Archibald Brown: “Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats” – An Article From 1889 About Gimmicks in Worship

J.I. Packer’s Rare Puritan Library Now Digitized, Available Online For Free

Leaving the NAR Church: Malcolm’s story

Investigation Captures Planned Parenthoods Admitting: We Only Do Ultrasounds If You’re Aborting

Russell Moore Implies Southern Baptists Disagree With Trump’s Temporary Immigration Order

Trump’s Court Pick Gorsuch Will be The Only Protestant Christian Justice

900 State Department officials sign protest memo

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 07:19 AM PST

About 900 U.S. State Department officials signed an internal dissent memo protesting a travel ban by U.S. President Donald Trump on refugees and travelers from…
Mexican Official Threatens United States With “Chaos”

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 07:13 AM PST

A former Mexican government official says that in response to President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, his nation might stop cooperating with the United States…
Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t see the difference between Trump and the Taliban

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 07:09 AM PST

Trump? Taliban? It’s all the same to Whoopi Goldberg. The 61-year-old said on “The View” Tuesday she doesn’t see the difference between the values of…
PETA Demands Toymaker to Remove Plastic ‘Fur’ From Plastic Figurines

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 07:05 AM PST

When people hear a name like “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” they may think it’s an organization of people who want animals to…
Netanyahu Warns That Iran’s aggression “Must not go Unanswered”

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 06:59 AM PST

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded on his Facebook page to the report that Iran had test-fired a ballistic missile in violation of a UN Security…

Texas Mayor Comes Out as Transgender

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 06:54 AM PST

Eight months after taking office, the mayor of a small Texas town has become the first transgender elected official to come out publicly in the…
Trump picks conservative judge Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 06:48 AM PST

President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Neil Gorsuch for a lifetime job on the U.S. Supreme Court, picking the 49-year-old federal appeals court judge to…
Florida Couple Told To Remove Cross From Front Yard

Posted: 01 Feb 2017 06:45 AM PST

Larry and Rose Kehoe never thought the roughly 12-inch, white cross would cause controversy when they put it in their front yard. But someone in…
Billy Graham: Don’t Squander Your Life Away, God Has a Plan for You

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:45 PM PST

World renowned evangelist Billy Graham says retirement is a gift from God and shouldn’t be squandered, but used according to His plan and purpose. In…
China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads…

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:39 PM PST

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic…
Texas Gov declares emergency to ban sanctuary cities…

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:34 PM PST

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday declared a ban on so-called sanctuary cities and sweeping reforms in the state’s troubled child-protection system as top priorities for…
Major Companies Speak Out Against Trump’s Exec. Order on Immigration

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:22 PM PST

A number of high-profile companies have openly expressed their opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. This past weekend, the top executives from…
Religious leaders condemn Trump’s immigration order

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:16 PM PST

Few issues unite American religious leaders across the spiritual and political spectrum. Condemning President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration is now one of…
California Democrat Demands First Lady To Show Her Papers!

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:12 PM PST

California State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is renewing a demand to see First Lady Melania Trump’s immigration papers — an issue Democrats first raised during…
San Francisco Officials Warn They “Will Not Enforce Trump’s Order”

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:08 PM PST

San Francisco’s police chief, sheriff, and mayor have announced that they will not enforce President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Police Chief William Scott, Sheriff…
Lutheran Church Votes in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 02:00 PM PST

Norway’s Lutheran Church voted on Monday in favor of new ceremonial language that will allow its pastors to conduct same-sex marriages, bringing it into line…

Churches Must Sever Ties With Boy Scouts

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 01:57 PM PST

(By Todd Starnes) The Boy Scouts of America sacrificed its last vestige of integrity on the altar of political correctness. On Monday, the BSA announced…

Microsoft working with Washington State on suit against Trump immigration order

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 11:43 AM PST

Microsoft Corp said it has been cooperating with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, which is suing in federal court to stop President Donald Trump’s…
Iran to dump the US dollar in response to Trump’s travel ban

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 11:36 AM PST

Tehran plans to ditch the use of the American currency in financial reporting after US President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on seven countries,…
States to unleash barrage of lawsuits against Trump exec orders

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 11:30 AM PST

Washington is expected to become the first state in more than a dozen to file a lawsuit attempting to block President Donald Trump’s executive orders…
Attack on Saudi frigate meant for U.S. warship

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 11:25 AM PST

The Iranian-backed suicide attack targeting a Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen on Monday may have been meant for an American warship, two defense…
Trump Administration to Keep Intact Obama Order on Homosexual, Transgender Protections

Posted: 31 Jan 2017 11:17 AM PST

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to retain Barack Obama’s 2014 order banning federal contractors from engaging in “discrimination” in employment matters…

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.


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

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

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Advertisements

Why the Bible Compares False Doctrine to Gangrene

False doctrine has the power to undermine faith and damage believers if we are not discerning and, consequently, allow man-centered, Christianized self-help theory to permeate our churches and thus redirect the eyes of believers off of Christ, and onto self. That which common man may consider good psychology may in fact be nothing more than bad theology. We must discern.

Poison in the Spiritual Bloodstream

Bad theology is like poison that invades the bloodstream and destroys spiritual health. False doctrine kills the church from the inside out, whether it is preached openly from the pulpit or shared subtly in the “counseling room.” The apostles warned of these “destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1–3) that hold undiscerning believers “captive through philosophy and empty deception” (Col. 2:8). Therefore, church leaders must instruct men “not to teach strange doctrines” (1 Tim. 1:3) because “their talk will spread like gangrene” (2 Tim. 2:15–18). Gangrene is a deadly disease. As it spreads throughout the skin tissue, it leaves portions of the body dead and in need of amputation. The disease starts when there is a lack of blood flow, and the resulting shortage of oxygen to the body parts causes tissue to die. Once dead, the tissue becomes numb and turns black, leaving only one effective treatment—removal of all dead tissue and the exposure of infected areas to oxygen under high pressure, thus killing the bacteria that can only live in oxygen-free tissue.

Sound Theology is Oxygen for Believers

Consider this analogy of theology in the body of Christ, the church. Sound biblical doctrine, like oxygen, is needed to sustain spiritual life. When there is a lack of sound doctrine, the poison of false theories begins to spread underneath the surface of the skin until the infected area of the body dies. Once dead, it becomes numb to any danger. To remove false doctrine from the church requires amputation, followed by intense doses of pure doctrine to force the error out. Os Guinness reminds us that “sound doctrine” in Greek “is literally ‘hygienic’ and health-giving.” It cleanses the mind and feeds the growth of the spirit.

Therefore, we must make the imparting of doctrine a significant part of our ministry. When believers are grounded in the Word of God and taught to think of everything in their lives from a God-centered, biblical perspective, their minds will be renewed and their faith nurtured (Rom. 12:1–2; 1 Tim. 4:6). Gary Johnson’s comments are fitting: “A healthy Christianity cannot survive without theology, and theology must matter today, especially in our mindless and irrational culture. It should especially matter among evangelicals who confess saving attachment to Jesus Christ. But current challenges to the authority of the biblical gospel often come from within our churches, from practitioners who are increasingly uninterested in serious theology.” Therefore, if we are committed to biblical ministry, we must take theology seriously, since the ongoing spiritual health and growth of our disciples depends upon it.

The Apostle Paul’s model for counseling, as explained in Colossians 1:28-29, includes the high priority of teaching doctrine so that disciples learn to think theologically. This, of course, is an echo of the indoctrinating aspect of Jesus’s command to make disciples by “teaching them to observe all [He] commanded” (Matt 28:20). “Teaching” comes from didasko, meaning “to give instruction.” The noun form simply means “doctrine.” Acts 2:42 indicates that doctrine was a high priority in the early church. These believers were “continually devoting themselves to … teaching,” that is, doctrine. They were being instructed in God’s Word to the extent that their lives began to model truth to a dying world (beautifully illustrated in the church at Thessalonica, 1 Thess. 1:6-7).

No Theology, No True Ministry

Sadly, few evangelical churches today have the same priority. Instead, there is a noticeable shift away from theology toward therapy, which is having disastrous effects on the lives of God’s people and their families. The rock-solid foundation of the Word is now actively replaced by the shifting sand of man’s philosophy, and believers are being washed out to sea. This swing away from a love for, and adherence to, absolute truth is documented by David Wells in his discerning critique of modern evangelicalism, No Place for Truthor, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? He says in his introduction,

I have watched with growing disbelief as the evangelical Church has cheerfully plunged into astounding theological illiteracy. Many taking the plunge seem to imagine that they are simply following a path to success, but the effects of this great change in the evangelical soul are evident in every incoming class in the seminaries, in most publications, in the great majority of churches, and in most of their pastors. It is a change so large and so encompassing that those who dissent from what is happening are easily dismissed as individuals who cannot get along, who want to scruple over what is inconsequential, who are not loyal, and who are, in any case, quite irrelevant.

Throughout his book, Wells offers examples of the shift away from a doctrinally based faith to one based on experience. One case in point exposes the church’s preoccupation with self and therapy. This evaluation comes at the end of a thorough study of thirty years of the periodical Christianity Today, particularly the column “A Layman and His Faith”:

In these three decades [1959–1989], the laity had apparently moved from a doctrinally framed faith, the central concern of which was truth, to a therapeutically constructed faith, the central concern of which was psychological survival. Christian truth went from being an end in itself to being merely the means to personal healing. Thus was biblical truth eclipsed by the self and holiness by wholeness.

As people’s perceived psychological needs become more important than believing right doctrine, and feeling good about oneself becomes a higher priority than knowing one’s soul is right with God, the systematic teaching of biblical doctrine becomes more important than ever. In fact, it is indispensable to the disciple-making process because of the power of doctrine to protect, build up, nourish believers, and stimulate spiritual growth (1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Peter 2:2).

[Excerpted from Counsel Your Flock]

Source: Why the Bible Compares False Doctrine to Gangrene

Andy Stanley, Billy Graham, and the Bible, on the virgin birth

Andy Stanley, megachurch pastor and son of noted pastor Charles Stanley, said of the virgin birth, this past December,

A lot of people just don’t believe it. And I understand that. Maybe the thought is, ‘Hey, maybe they had to come up with some myth about Jesus to give him street cred, you know, later on.’ Maybe that’s where that came from.

It’s interesting, because Matthew gives us a version of the birth of Christ, Luke does, but Mark and John – they don’t even mention it. A lot has been made of that….

You’ve heard me say some version of this a million times, so this will be old if you’ve been around for a while. But see, if somebody can predict their own death and then their own resurrection, I’m not all that concerned about how they got into the world.

I was not surprised that Andy Stanley said what he said about the virgin birth. Though S. Lewis Johnson reminds us that the miracle was the conception, the birth itself was bloody, messy, and like every other birth in history. After I heard him preach it, I never thought about the virgin birth the same way again!

In any case, Andy Stanley continues to deny our fundamental doctrines (I’ve kept track and there are many doctrines he denies). The way his church treats worship tells us this, too. Just last month he had go-go dancers as part of the singing.

It is not possible either to deny the virgin birth yet accept Christ as holy, sinless deity. When Stanley made his statement, there was quite rightly a hullabaloo over it. However, Stanley is not the first pastor claiming to be conservative who denies the virgin birth as necessary to the faith. Billy Graham also denies the necessity of belief in the virgin birth. Yet there is no hullabaloo over Graham’s denial but only excuses made for his ‘misstatements.’

In my thorough study of Graham, which encompassed listening to sermons from 1949 through to the 1980s, reading several of his books, reading books about him, listening to interviews, reading two dissertations looking at the evolution of his theology over 50 years, the conclusion is clear to me. In 1993 Graham stated to Time Magazine (as codified in Ken Garfield’s book Billy Graham, a Life in Pictures, of the virgin birth specifically,

Graham has said that the virgin birth of Christ is NOT an essential part of the Christian faith. In an interview with a United Church of Canada publication in 1966 (“Billy Graham Answers 26 Provocative Questions,” United Church Observer, July 1, 1966), Graham gave the following reply to a question about the virgin birth of Christ:

Q. Do you think a literal belief in the Virgin birth — not just as a symbol of the incarnation or of Christ’s divinity — as an historic event is necessary for personal salvation?
A. While I most certainly believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, I do not find anywhere in the New Testament that this particular belief is necessary for personal salvation.

Graham denied the necessity of the virgin birth not just once but several times in different decades. Graham’s response was a classic example of his penchant for doubletalk. Is there any other kind of salvation, besides the personal? Is there global salvation? Impersonal salvation?

And if we use Graham’s silly statement as the basis, “I don’t find anywhere in the New Testament” …we can also say “I don’t find anywhere in the New Testament any specific reference to the Trinity” so therefore “belief in the Trinity is not necessary to personal salvation”.

If Christ be not the virgin-born Son of God, He could not be our Savior. To reject the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is to reject the only Sinless Savior that God has provided for sinners.

Of course Graham’s denial of Jesus as the exclusive way to God, as seen in his adoption of the wider mercy approach, was articulated clearly and affirmed with questioning, at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral interview in 1997, displays Graham’s saddest denial of all.

As mentioned above, Stanley is not the first impostor to preach that believing the virgin conception is unnecessary as a part of the fundamental beliefs for the faith, Graham got there long before Stanley did.

There are five fundamentals of the faith which are essential for Christianity-

1.      The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
2.      The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3.      The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4.      The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5.      The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).

Below is a VERY general look from Thomas P. Johnston’s Examining Billy Graham’s Theology of Evangelism, (p. 379) Graham’s four phases of Graham’s life and Graham’s slow apostasy of the five fundamental doctrines.

The fact is, Jesus told us wolves will come in sheep’s clothing. This means they will appear as friendly and soft-spoken. They will seem to adhere to the Bible’s truths, but they are inside ravenous for your soul. Wolves subtly deny God, just as satan did in the Garden. An excellent example of this subtlety is Graham’s statement “I do not find anywhere in the New Testament that this particular belief is necessary for personal salvation. Be wary, friends. Even popular pastors can be wolves. As a matter of fact, especially popular pastors can be wolves.

Here are some resources outlining the importance of belief in the virgin birth as necessary for faith.

GotQuestions: Why is the Virgin Birth so Important?

Jesus was not born in sin; that is, He had no sin nature (Hebrews 7:26). It would seem that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father (Romans 5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man.

Ligonier: Must Christians believe in the Virgin Birth?

Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ

Grace To You: Why the Virgin Birth is Essential

The virgin birth is an underlying assumption in everything the Bible says about Jesus. To throw out the virgin birth is to reject Christ’s deity, the accuracy and authority of Scripture, and a host of other related doctrines central to the Christian faith. No issue is more important than the virgin birth to our understanding of who Jesus is.

Source: Andy Stanley, Billy Graham, and the Bible, on the virgin birth

Trump picks a scholarly originalist to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court

WINTERY KNIGHT

Trump picks a strict constructionist for Supreme Court vacancy Trump picks a strict constructionist (originalist) for Supreme Court vacancy

There were three main candidates: Pryor had the most conservative record, Hardiman was the “stealth” candidate, and Gorsuch was the scholarly originalist.

Tump picked the scholarly originalist.

The Federalist explains:

Tonight, President Trump rewarded social conservatives and delivered on his campaign promise by nominating Neil Gorsuch, a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, to the United States Supreme Court.

[…]Gorsuch, 49, was appointed to the 10th Circuit in 2006 by George W. Bush. His nomination generated little controversy, and he was confirmed with a voice vote by the U.S. Senate. A graduate of Columbia, Harvard Law, and Oxford, he is praised for his eloquent legal prose, intellectual gifts, and is heralded by conservatives for his textualist and orginalist interpretations of the Constitution. It is no surprise that his appointment fills the vacuum left by…

View original post 912 more words

Trump Chooses Episcopalian Neil Gorsuch as U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

Christian News reports:

President Trump has announced that he has nominated 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court as the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,” Trump stated in introducing his pick to the public Tuesday night.

“Mr. President, I am honored and I am humbled. Thank you very much,” Gorsuch, an Episcopalian, said to applause in accepting the nomination.

Gorsuch, now 49, had been nominated to the 10th Circuit in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School and has a PhD. from Oxford. He served as a clerk under current Justice Anthony Kennedy.

View article →

Silence: movie promotes Contemplative Spirituality and sanctions apostasy

C.H. Fisher over at Truthkeepers reviews “Silence” that hit theaters this past December. He points out that what many people, including professing Christians, will miss is that, although the film is presented as true Christianity, it is actually Roman Catholicism  which Fisher demonstrates in his review:

“Silence” is the latest movie by Martin Scorsese, who also produced “The Last Temptation of Christ.” I have read several reviews by professing Christians who are recommending it without reservations. Additionally, the Dove Foundation awarded the movie 4 out of 5 doves. Charisma News asks, “Is Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Prophetic?” CBN also presented a rave review. Christianity Today entitled its review, “Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Asks What It Really Costs to Follow Jesus.”

Another review in CT is entitled, “Silence Review: Hollywood’s Gift To The Church That Might Just Save Your Faith.” And what is the message of “Silence” that might save your life? The message of the movie is antithetical to true faith.

The title of Lumindeo’s review of the movie is, “Silence—A Christian’s Contemplative Guide.” [1] In the “About” section of the Lumindeo website it is described as “a network created by and for passionate followers of Jesus Christ.” If Lumindeo consists of passionate followers of Jesus Christ, why don’t they know that Christianity never grew in apostasy, but always in persecution and martyrdom?

View article →

Tongues: The Final Word … Was Not Ecstatic Gibberish

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen tackles the speaking in tongues debate. Is the gift of tongues extant today? Are the tongues being manifested today the same as the tongues in the New Testament? Must the hearer understand the utterance?  Ahlheim answers these questions and many others.  He writes:

Right now, today, there are more than 670 million people on the planet who claim adherence to charismatic theology. They outnumber non-charismatic evangelicals almost two-to-one. While the theological perspective of the charismatic movement is an interpretation of Scripture which claims to validate the continuation of the apostolic “signs and wonders” gifts of the Holy Spirit, the overwhelming practical feature of charismatic churches is the modern exhibition of “tongues.”  As Morgan Freeman said, tongue-speaking practitioners believe they are speaking “the language of heaven.”

The sheer preponderance of the practice of tongues in the modern church, considered in light of the warning from Christ about the wide, easy gate that leads to destruction, (Matthew 7:13-14) demands that the practice must be given diligent, Berean-like examination against what Scripture actually teaches. We must know if what we see in the charismatic movement is an authentic feature of the narrow, hard way, or whether it is merely an emotionally appealing trait of the wide path deceptively introduced by an enemy who seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10)  The author of Hebrews provides the weighty admonition that we “must pay closer attention” to the revelation of divine truth given “by his Son.”

View article →

February 1, 2017: Verse of the day

img_0632

But for those who have been freed from sin and enslaved to God through faith in Jesus Christ, the benefit is sanctification and the outcome is eternal life. In salvation God not only frees us from sin’s ultimate penalty but frees us from its present tyranny.
Freed from sin does not mean that a believer is no longer capable of sinning but that he is no longer enslaved to sin, no longer its helpless subject. The freedom from sin about which Paul is speaking here is not a long-range objective or an ultimate ideal but an already accomplished fact. Without exception, every person who trusts in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is freed from sin and enslaved to God. Obviously some believers are more faithful and obedient than others, but Christians are equally freed from bondage to sin and equally enslaved to God, equally granted sanctification and equally granted eternal life.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

February 1, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 1

The Key to Spiritual Growth

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:18

 

Spiritual growth is not mystical, sentimental, devotional, or psychological. It’s not the result of some clever secret or formula. It is simply matching your practice with your position.

As believers, our position in Christ is perfect: we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10); we have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3); and we have received all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). But now we need to progress in our daily lives in a way that is commensurate with our exalted position.

Today’s verse provides the most important concept in understanding and experiencing spiritual growth. Giving glory to God is directly related to spiritual growth. Therefore, it is vital that we understand what it means to glorify Him.[1]


February 1 Pursuing the Knowledge of God

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.”

Philippians 3:8

✧✧✧

God’s greatest desire for us is that we seek diligently to know Him.

To know God and all that He has revealed about Himself is the highest pursuit of life. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). Such a realization should really be the starting point for all of life’s other pursuits.

As David gave his throne to his son Solomon, his primary counsel was that Solomon know God: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9).

Knowing God not only determines the quality of one’s present life, but also the destiny of one’s life in eternity. Jesus says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life is simply knowing God in an intimate way for the rest of eternity. It begins here on earth when we believe in Christ and partake of His very nature and life.

How can we know God? The Lord says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Solomon teaches us, “For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:3–5). This pursuit of God must be our top priority in life. Otherwise, it is so easy to be distracted by the pursuit of money, career success, personal power and prestige, or any earthly endeavor that demands our time and energy.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord that you know Him personally.

For Further Study: Read 2 Peter 1:1–11. What are the benefits to those who know God? ✧ What qualities should be evident in your life?[2]


FEBRUARY 1

A LIVING PERSON IS PRESENT

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

—Hebrews 11:6

A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working and manifesting Himself whenever and wherever His people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation….

But why do the very ransomed children of God themselves know so little of that habitual, conscious communion with God which Scripture offers? The answer is because of our chronic unbelief. Faith enables our spiritual sense to function. Where faith is defective the result will be inward insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things. This is the condition of vast numbers of Christians today. No proof is necessary to support that statement. We have but to converse with the first Christian we meet or enter the first church we find open to acquire all the proof we need.

A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality. POG048-050

Lord, give me faith to believe, to see, to know Your awesome Presence and bring Your spiritual kingdom alive in my life. Amen. [3]


February 1

Obeying Jesus’ Call

He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.—Matt. 4:19–20

Peter and Andrew obeyed Jesus’ call right away—“Immediately they left their nets and followed Him”—an indication of how determined they were to go with the Lord. The word “followed” carries the meaning of being committed to imitating the one he or she follows.

Past surveys have shown that 95 percent of all professing Christians have never led someone to faith in Jesus Christ. Too often they are like the reclusive, frugal man many years ago who accumulated 246 expensive violins in the attic of his house in Italy. Because he selfishly acquired and held on to those instruments, the world never heard the beautiful music the violins were intended to play. Many believers hide their light and store away the great treasure they possess as children of God. As a result, 95 percent of the world’s spiritual violins have not been played for others.

Evangelist D. L. Moody especially admired two similar paintings. The first depicted a person in the midst of a storm clinging with both hands to a cross firmly planted in a rock. The other picture also showed a person in a storm firmly grasping a cross. But in this one the man was reaching out with his other hand to rescue someone who was about to drown. Both paintings pictured a Christian valiantly holding on to Christ. But the second one portrayed the believer reaching out for another who was about to be lost. For us, as for D. L. Moody, the second picture should be the favorite.

ASK YOURSELF

 

Would “immediately” describe the way you travel to Jesus’ side when He calls? How quickly does His Word make its way from your conscious mind into conscious action?[4]

 


FEBRUARY 1

OUR GOD: ALL SUFFICIENT

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

 

Have we modern men and women never given thought or meditation concerning the eternal nature of God? Who are we to imagine that we are “bailing out” the living God when we drop a $10 bill in the Sunday offering plate?

Let us thank God for the reality of His causeless existence. Our God only is all-sufficient, uncreated, unborn, the living and eternal and self-existent God!

I refer often to the great worshiping heart of Frederick William Faber, who in these words celebrated his vision of God’s eternal self-existence:

Father! the sweetest, dearest Name,

That men or angels know!

Fountain of life, that had no fount

From which itself could flow.

Thy vastness is not young or old,

Thy life hath never grown;

No time can measure out Thy days,

No space can make Thy throne!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, my daily problems must seem so trivial to You, the eternal God. Yet You invite Your children to bring their cares and concerns to You. Praise be to God![5]


February 1 Joy and Godliness

“I rejoice and share my joy with you all” (Phil. 2:17).

✧✧✧

True joy is directly related to godly living.

Philippians is often called the epistle of joy, and rightly so because the believer’s joy is its major theme. Paul loved the Philippian Christians, and they loved him. When they learned that he had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel, they were deeply concerned.

Paul wrote to alleviate their fears and to encourage their joy. Of his own circumstances he said, “Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me” (Phil. 2:17–18).

Often a Jewish animal sacrifice was accompanied by a libation or drink offering (see, e.g., Num. 15:1–10). The animal was the greater sacrifice, the libation the lesser. Drawing from that picture, Paul placed greater significance on the faith and spiritual well-being of his readers than on his own life. To suffer for Christ’s sake brought him joy, and he wanted the Philippians to understand that perspective and to rejoice with him.

He also wanted them to understand that joy doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It’s directly related to godly living. Christ is its source, obedience its sustenance. We see this in David’s cry of repentance: “Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Ps. 51:12). Paul knew the joy of the Lord because he trusted Christ and obeyed His will.

The scarcity of joy and godliness in the world today makes it imperative that Christians manifest those characteristics. As we do, others will see our good works and will glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

This month we will highlight various aspects of joy and godliness from Philippians 1:1–11 and Colossians 1:9–12. I pray that you will be eager to learn from God’s Word and will willingly obey what you learn, for therein is “joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Holy Spirit to use our daily studies to strengthen your joy and to increase your godliness. ✧ Seek to emulate Paul’s attitude of preferring others to yourself—a key element in joyful living.

For Further Study: Read the book of Philippians, noting each reference to joy. ✧ What brought joy to Paul? ✧ On what or whom do you rely for joy?[6]


FEBRUARY 1

GOD’S BOUNDLESS POWER IS ALL AROUND US

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ….

EPHESIANS 1:19, 20

God is spirit and His universe is basically spiritual!

Scientists change their beliefs radically from time to time and I do not want to quote them in confirmation of Christian truth, but there does appear to be a startling parallel between the atomic theory of matter and the biblical concept of the Eternal Word as the source and support of all created things.

Could it be that, as certain mystics have insisted, all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, are in reality but the goings forth of the power of God?

Whatever God is He is infinitely. In Him lies all the power there is; any power at work anywhere is His. Even the power to do evil must first have come from Him since there is no other source from which it could come.

Lucifer, son of the morning, when he lifted up himself against the Most High, had only the abilities he had received from God. These he misused to become the devil he is.

I am well aware that this kind of teaching raises certain very difficult questions, but we should never retreat before truth simply because we cannot explain it. The fact of sin introduces a confusing element into our thinking about God and the universe and requires that we suspend judgment on many things. The wise man will note that the things we cannot understand have nothing to do with our salvation.

We are saved by the truth we know, and true Christians know that the boundless power of our infinite God is all around us, preserving us and keeping us unto salvation ready to be revealed.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 44). 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. 40). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 44). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

What commandment is the foremost of all?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt…

View original post 1,889 more words

Jesus Came Not To Aid, But To Save (Warfield)

The Reformed Reader

The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, Vol. 5: Calvin and Calvinism One part of Reformed theology is sometimes referred to as “Calvinsim” or, as I prefer, “the doctrines of grace.”  Here’s how B.B. Warfield nicely described the God-centered aspect of the doctrines of grace:

What lies at the heart of his [the Calvinist’s] soteriology is the absolute exclusion of the creaturely element in the initiation of the saving process, that so the pure grace of God may be magnified. Only so could he express his sense of man’s complete dependence as sinner on the free mercy of a saving God; or extrude [force out] the evil leaven of Synergism by which, as he clearly sees, God is robbed of His glory and man is encouraged to think that he owes to some power, some act of choice, some initiative of his own, his participation in that salvation which is in reality all of grace.

There is accordingly nothing against which Calvinism sets its face with…

View original post 232 more words