Daily Archives: March 18, 2017

March 18, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Top News – 3/18/2017

‘Known radical Muslim’ dead after seizing soldier’s gun at Paris airport
Security forces shot dead a man who seized a soldier’s gun at Paris Orly airport in France on Saturday soon after the same man shot and wounded a police officer during a routine police check, the interior minister said. The man was known to police and intelligence services, Interior Minister Bruno le Roux told reporters. A police source described him as a radicalized Muslim but did not identify him by name.

Rocket explodes in open area near Gaza border, no injuries
A rocket exploded in an open area Saturday morning in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Rocket alert sirens were heard in the southern Gaza border communities. No one was injured in the incident. Additional reports indicate that a second rocket was also launched but landed within the Gaza Strip.

Russia demands explanation for Israel’s Syria strikes
Israel’s ambassador to Russia was summoned by Russia’s Foreign Minister on Friday to give an explanation for Israel’s Thursday night air strikes in Syria, Israeli media reported…An IDF source told The Jerusalem Post that Israel has no plans to escalate or intensify tension with the Syrian army; however, Israel will continue to operate according it’s red lines, working to stop transfer of weapons, mainly accurate long-range missiles being transferred from Iran, through Syria, to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu: Syria strikes were to block transfer of weapons to Hezbollah
In a rare statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday acknowledged Israeli airstrikes in Syria, saying that they were conducted to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. “Our policy is very consistent,” Netanyahu said. “When we detect attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and we have the intelligence and feasibility to carry out an operation, we will work to prevent it.”

Rex Tillerson urged to be ‘cool-headed’ over North Korea
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged the US to remain “cool-headed” over North Korean tensions. The situation was at a “crossroads”, but must not be allowed to develop into a conflict, he said after hosting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Tillerson spoke of “dangerous levels” of tension, a day after suggesting the US might launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

UK troops in Estonia to deter ‘Russian aggression’
The first of 800 UK troops being sent to bolster Nato defences in the Baltic have arrived in Estonia. The 120 soldiers from the 5th Battalion The Rifles will set up a UK headquarters in the country before the remaining troops arrive in April. The defence secretary said they would deter “Russian aggression”.

Germany to use voice recognition to identify migrant origins
Germany is to begin testing new voice recognition software that can tell which country migrants without documentation come from, officials say. The Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees said the automated new system would begin within two weeks. But it will not be ready for routine use for at least a year and there are doubts over its effectiveness.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends Globalization in China Speech
Apple Inc.’s Chief Executive Tim Cook defended globalization in a rare public speech in China, as his company faces political pressure in the U.S. to bring back factories. Mr. Cook also said data privacy was one of the company’s values, although he stopped short Saturday of criticizing decryption demands from governments as Apple has previously in the U.S. It was his first time speaking at the China Development Forum, an annual conference sponsored by China’s central government.

New Republican bill seeks to keep traveling gun owners safe from states with anti-gun laws
On Tuesday, Senate Republicans introduced a bill that would protect the rights of gun owners traveling over state lines from falling into the complicated laws that differ in each state. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced S.618 , which would amend the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 to clarify key provisions in the law…the bill will prevent anyone with a gun, ammunition, or magazines from falling outside of the law simply by passing through.

Trump Responds To Obama Wiretap Question: “At Least Merkel And I Have Something In Common”
Donald Trump: “on wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common.”

Trump’s Budget Revives Yucca Mountain After Obama Killed It
President Donald Trump’s budget revives plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The budget “provides $120 million to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste, repository and initiate a robust interim storage program,” according to a budget summary. “These investments would accelerate progress on fulfilling the Federal Government’s obligations to address nuclear waste, enhance national security, and reduce future taxpayer burden.”

Reagan intel analyst: Obama made world more dangerous
The man who successfully predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union says the world is increasingly dangerous because the U.S. takes less of a leadership role, but he is hopeful President Trump will reverse that trend.

Rush Limbaugh on Obamacare 2.0: ‘Why Do the Republicans Want to Hurt Trump’s Base?’
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh questioned why Congressional Republicans seem determined to inflict pain on Trump’s economically-struggling base with their healthcare bill on Friday: 

IRS Director Needs to Take the Perp Walk
Nearly two months into the Trump administration, the IRS commissioner remains on the job. IRS Director, John Koskinen, has harassed Tea Party members and audited the political enemies of former President Obama. He doesn’t need to just be fired, he needs to be prosecuted for abuse of power. Here is the complete story.

Obama’s Final Year: US Spent $36 Million in Records Lawsuits
The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.


Homosexual Attorney Objects to Disney’s ‘Gay’ Content, Says It Steals Innocence From Children   Mar 11, 2017 11:07 am

Photo Credit: Beauty and the Beast Facebook page RIPLEY, Miss. — An attorney in Mississippi who identifies as a homosexual is objecting to the “gay” content in recent Disney productions, opining that children should not be exposed to such topics as it steals their innocence. “Prime-time network television is geared for an adult audience; one that understands…

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California Pastor Murdered While Meeting With Member for Prayer   Mar 17, 2017 06:02 am

SALINAS, Calif. — A pastor in California who was known for working with the addicted and those involved in street life was stabbed to death on Tuesday evening after going outside to counsel with and pray for one of his members. Herbert Valero, 68, of Victory Outreach Church in Salinas thought he was just stepping out of the house to pray with Servando Silva, 37,…

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Teen Forced to Have Sex With 1,000 Men Sues Motel Where Human Trafficking Took Place   Mar 15, 2017 06:04 am

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia teenager who says she was forced to have sex with an estimated 1,000 men over a period of two years has sued the motel where the abuse took place, alleging that they knew she was being held against her will. “She is devastated by what happened to her. She’s just trying to piece her life back together,” attorney Nadeem Bezar…

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Female Minister Who Identifies as Male Asserts: ‘God Is Transgender’   Mar 12, 2017 03:37 pm

Photo Credit: Twitter AUSTIN, Texas — A female minister in Texas who identifies as male recently declared at the state capitol that “God is transgender” in expressing her opposition to a proposed bill that requires those using restrooms and locker rooms in government buildings and public schools to use the facility that corresponds with the gender on their…

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Mother, Son on Quest to ‘Transition’ to Father, Daughter   Mar 17, 2017 01:14 pm

Photo Credit: Instagram DETROIT, Mich. — A mother and son from Michigan are going public regarding their quest to “transition” into father and daughter. Erica Maison and her 15-year-old son Corey recently appeared on Australia’s “60 Minutes” to talk about the matter. The younger Maison said that he came to his parents four years ago and disclosed that he felt…

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‘Viral Response’ to Plea to Find Adoptive Family for Five Children Who Want to Stay Together   Mar 14, 2017 06:02 am

TOPEKA, Kan. — Officials with an adoption agency in Kansas state that they have received a “viral response” to their plea to find an adoptive family for five children who are currently separated in foster homes, but would like to stay together. “This is a viral response … and it’s pretty insane,” Corey Lada of the Kansas Children’s Service League told…

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‘Our Mom Died’: Woman Finds Boy Who Left Heartbreaking Apology Note After Sister Stole Wind Chime   Mar 14, 2017 12:02 pm

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — A woman in Washington has located an 11-year-old boy who left an apology note on her doorstep and $5 after his sister took her wind chime because it reminded the children of their late mother. Christina Reitz said she heard a knock on her door a little over a week ago, and when she went to answer it, all she found was a note. “I am sorry…

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Former Planned Parenthood Nurse: Abortionist Sorted Through Babies’ Remains to Ensure All Parts Removed   Mar 15, 2017 06:03 am

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A former nurse at a Planned Parenthood location in Indiana says that during her time at the facility, she observed the abortionist sifting through the body parts of unborn babies after killing them to ensure he got all the pieces out. Marianne Anderson worked at the Indianapolis facility for over two years, and once handed a note off to a…

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Students Stumped Over Whether Christian Photographers Have Right to Decline ‘Gay Weddings’   Mar 14, 2017 06:01 am

MADISON, Wisc. — Students who were recently interviewed at the University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison appeared to be stumped when faced with the question as to whether or not Christian photographers have a right to decline to shoot events that conflict with their beliefs. The religious liberties organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) recently visited UW…

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Judge Awards Tri-Custody of Child to Former Couple and Their ‘Polyamorous’ Lover   Mar 13, 2017 05:34 pm

NEW YORK — A New York judge has awarded tri-custody to a former couple and their neighbor, who they entered into a “polyamorous” relationship with over a decade ago. “Tri-custody is the logical evolution of the Court of Appeals decision in Brooke S.B., and the passage of the Marriage Equality Act and DRL §10-a which permits same-sex couples to marry in New…

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‘Beauty And The Beast’ Director Wants To ‘Rip Pages Out Of The Bible’ As He Defends Gay Character In Remake

During a 2012 interview with Passport Magazine, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon said that he wishes he could “rip pages out of the Bible” as soon as he arrives in a hotel room, though, to Condon’s disappointment, there are usually none available.

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:27 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Usually when we report on these types of things, we will receive emails from people berating us for saying that Hollywood has a very definite anti-Christian bias and agenda. But as you can see, Hollywood hates Christians, hates the Bible, and will do anything they can to promote the LGBTQP lifestyle as they are now doing in the latest Beauty And The Beast remake. The movie’s director wants to “rip the pages out of the Bible” whenever he checks into a hotel room as he travels. What does that tell you about the agenda of this movie?

“What is first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?” asked Passport Magazine, in a now-archived interview.

“I wish I could say I’m like Ian McKellen and immediately go rip pages out of the Bible, but there don’t seem to be bibles in the hotel rooms I stay in these days,” answered Condon. “So it’s figuring out how to get online.”

Condon’s latest resurfaced remarks are sure to not sit well with already disillusioned potential movie-goers, particularly of the religious strain. The openly gay director generated controversy last month when he announced that his adaptation of the 1991 classic would feature Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment.”

Beauty And The Beast Has A “Gay Moment”

As previously reported by The Daily Wire, LeFou, who is Gaston’s sidekick in the flick, will reportedly “explore his sexuality and feelings” for Gaston.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told Attitude magazine“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings,” added the director.

In the remake, LeFou is played by actor Josh Gad, who Condon says “makes something really subtle and delicious” out of the character’s sexuality. In the end, there is a “nice, exclusively gay moment,” he said.

Displeased with the gay messaging, conservative groups have already moved to boycott the film.

LifeSiteNews, for instance, has already garnered nearly 130,000 signatures on their petition calling for a boycott of the film and it’s “LGBT agenda.”

Colorado Christian University has also called for pro-traditional family Americans to abstain from the film. “We will not allow you to bully us into going against our Biblically-based beliefs in natural marriage, and we will certainly not let you circumvent us as leaders of our families to force these beliefs on the impressionable young minds of our children,” says the CCU petition, addressed to Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Allen Iger. source


Top Headlines – 3/18/2017

AJC urges Congress to back letter to Trump calling for two-states

Donald Trump stuns the Middle East by sending an honest broker

The Costa Rica case: A demilitarized Palestinian state is a win-win for all

Is Dahlan Planning a Coup Against Abbas?

UN’s Rima Khalaf quits over report accusing Israel of apartheid

Guatemala government joins with Jewish community to teach the Holocaust

3 Israelis reportedly stoned atfter accidentally entering Palestinian refugee camp, rescued by Israel security forces

Palestinian teen said killed by IDF when hurling firebombs at cars

Sirens blare in south as rockets are launched from Gaza

No offense to the ‘Arrow,’ but greater threats loom from the north

Israeli missile defense systems now protect fighter jets

Syria confirms IDF jet attack, claims to have shot down Israeli jet, which Israel denies

Netanyahu: Syria raids targeted ‘advanced’ Hezbollah arms

Syria to UN: Israel violated our territory

Russia summons Israeli envoy, demands clarifications on Syria strike

US admits Syria airstrike that killed 46 but denies targeting mosque

More than 40 Somali refugees killed in helicopter attack off Yemen coast

UN experts: 100,000 starve while South Sudan buys weapons

Former Muslim Introducing Kenyans to ‘the Real Jesus,’ Converting Many to Christianity

China, Russia block UN council concern about Myanmar violence

Philippines tells EU lawmakers to butt out after criticism of drugs war

Tehran rejects comments from US-Saudi meeting as “nonsense”

Iranian pilgrims ‘to attend Hajj again’ after Saudi rift

Iran challenges need to ship out excess material under nuclear deal

Turkish ambassador: Iran’s regional ambitions must be contained

Turkish daily depicts Merkel as ‘Frau Hitler’ on front page

Turkey threatens to send Europe ‘15,000 refugees a month’

Hungary to build new line of border fences to keep out migrants

Suicide bomber attacks Bangladesh police special forces base

Immigration judges headed to 12 U.S. cities to speed deportations

Justice Department Appeals Maryland Judge’s Decision to Block Trump Travel Ban

Radicalized Muslim man killed after trying to seize soldier’s weapon at Paris airport

‘Allahu Akbar’ Attacker Arrested After Father and Brother’s Throats Slit in Paris

Six out of 10 People in France ‘Don’t Feel Safe Anywhere’

Teacher quits after primary school students threaten to behead her

Left-Wing Activists Prepare for ‘Resistance’ with Breathing Exercises

Despite outrage over cuts, federal funds are fraction of Meals on Wheels budget

Meals on Wheels’ donations, volunteer sign-ups soar after Trump eyes cuts

Laptop with Trump Tower Floor Plans, National Security Info Stolen from Secret Service Agent

President Trump no longer safe in White House: Former Secret Service agent

Trump stands by wiretap claim, jokes he has ‘something in common’ with Merkel

UK raps White House over ‘ridiculous’ Trump spy claims

House Democrat says Trump may have leaked government secrets

Clinton private email probe hindered by State Department, Chaffetz says

Brazile admits she forwarded town hall questions to Clinton camp

Brazile: Sending Clinton town hall topics ‘mistake I will forever regret’

Obama’s Final Year: US spent $36 million in record lawsuits defending its refusal to turn over federal records

Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends Globalization in China Speech

New York Assemblyman Unveils Bill To Suppress Non-Government-Approved Free Speech

Google lets antisemitic videos stay on YouTube

UK to question Google after advertisements appear alongside extremist videos

EU authorities demand changes from Facebook, Google, Twitter

E-tattoos turn knuckles and freckles into smartphone controls

Has the tech bubble peaked? Signs that the startup boom may be fizzling

Army to get laser that can zap drones

US says ‘strategic patience’ on NK is over

Rex Tillerson: Pre-emptive military action against North Korea is an option

Sirens blare as Japan, fearing North Korea, holds first missile drill

War in space is becoming a real threat

Titanic tours to take trippers to ocean floor to see doomed liner

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Auki, Solomon Islands

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Mt Etna volcano in Italy erupts to 16,000ft

Bagana volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indoneia erupts to 10,000ft

Lake Tahoe expected to fill up with largest physical rise in recorded history

Rush Limbaugh on Obamacare 2.0: ‘Why Do the Republicans Want to Hurt Trump’s Base?’

Angola considers up to 10 years in prison for abortions

Court blocks law that threatened to close Mississippi’s only abortion clinic

Faith-Based ‘Clinics’ Want To Replace Planned Parenthood And That’s Dangerous As Hell

Military nude photo investigation expands into gay porn websites

Pope tells priests to call in exorcists when needed

Southern Baptist leaders tout unity amid rift that could cost church millions

MormonLeaks attorney threatens legal action against LDS Church

Obama Provided Special Treat For ‘After School Satan Clubs’

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 06:59 AM PDT

This next report may leave you angry or speechless but a new report is indicating that The IRS has reportedly given fast-track approval for “After…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Millions of Shellfish Wash Ashore Waihi Beach in New Zealand

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 06:49 AM PDT

Another day, Another strange occurrence. Now reports are coming in that “Millions” of dead shellfish have reportedly washed ashore at Waihi Beach in New Zealand…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is Google Profiting From “Anti Semitic Videos” on YouTube

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 06:38 AM PDT

Google is reportedly under fire for what appears to be failing to remove virulent antisemitic content from its YouTube video platform in what many are…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pakistan Urges Facebook and Twitter to Identify Blasphemous Posts

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 06:29 AM PDT

As we all know now Facebook as well as other Social Media platforms are cracking down on what is deemed as “Hate Speech” or “Offensive”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump’s First War? ‘All Options Are On The Table’ As The U.S. And North Korea Prepare For The Second Korean War

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 06:56 PM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) This may be the closest that we have been to war with North Korea since the original Korean War ended in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

4 Warning Indicators of Your Fire Going Out

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 06:37 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will show you 4 warnings that indicate your fire is beginning to go out! Watch the video below…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

War Drums: Secretary of State Warns That Military Action is an Option Against North Korea

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 03:55 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) In the continuing standoff with North Korea, the United States is not backing down. Today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

University of Arizona Distributes 20 Page Booklet On How to Respond to “Micro-Aggression”

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 01:24 PM PDT

The University of Arizona has reportedly distributed a 20-page booklet suggesting to its faculty that when a student is victimized by a “microaggression” that the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Debt Ceiling Deadline Has Passed, And Now The Biggest Test Of Donald Trump’s Presidency Begins…

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 01:17 PM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) On Wednesday, the temporary suspension of the debt ceiling ended, and so now the federal government is not going to be…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Humpback whales behaving strangely leaving scientists baffled

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 01:02 PM PDT

It’s not often that something happens in the animal Kingdom that leaves scientists and leading experts baffled, but a new report coming out regarding humpback…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Laptop with Trump Tower floor plans stolen from Secret Service agent…

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 12:53 PM PDT

A disturbing report indicates that a laptop containing the floor plans for Trump Tower, The information regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation and other national…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


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The Facts about Beauty and the Beast Disney Movie

“Le Fou starts giving Gaston a hand / shoulder / ear massage during the Gaston song that is definitely sensual from Le Fou’s perspective. This song also includes a moment where La Fou briefly sits on Gaston’s lap, leans in, puts Gaston’s arms around him and then says “Too much?” Gaston is perturbed.”

Yesterday my eighteen-year-old daughter and I were privileged to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in the new live action format for 2017.

Overall, the Disney retelling of the classic story of love between Belle and the Prince was magical. The original is one of my favorites so I was pleased to see that the new live action version stuck very closely to the original with only a few slight twists from the animated movie I know and love. Sadly one of those twists was in the addition of overtly homosexual content sprinkled throughout the movie’s subplot, as I’ve described below.

The cast choices for Belle, the Beast, and the animated characters who become human again in the end were delightful. One of my favorites was Maurice (Belle’s Father) and of course I loved the actress who played Belle. Even the choice of character for Gaston was spot on.

This movie is currently causing quite a stir in the news and online in social media because of the leaked comment from the director, Condon, who mentioned an “exclusively gay moment” in the movie. Everyone who knows I’ve seen the movie already is now asking me the question – what exactly does that mean? What is this exclusively gay moment everyone is talking about? If you don’t want to know ahead of time, stop reading here.

Here are my observations about the sexual content in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Disney’s Exclusively Gay Moment

1) Le Fou (Gaston’s sidekick) is clearly gay and clearly infatuated with Gaston much more obviously than any gay character has appeared in any other Disney movie. Unlike in Finding Dory, the homosexual content in this movie will not be missed.

2) Le Fou starts giving Gaston a hand / shoulder / ear massage during the Gaston song that is definitely sensual from Le Fou’s perspective. EDITED TO ADD: This song also includes a moment where La Fou briefly sits on Gaston’s lap, leans in, puts Gaston’s arms around him and then says “Too much?” Gaston is perturbed.

3) At one point toward the end, Gaston gets very close to Le Fou’s face; they are face to face and it looks like a romantic angle but Gaston is actually angry and yelling. It draws a direct contrast between what Le Fou wants and the fact that Gaston has really just been using his devotion all along.

Read More

95 Percent of Faith-Driven Consumers Unlikely to See Beauty and the Beast Remake Due to Gay Character

ChristianHeadlines reports:

A new report by Faith Driven Consumer (FDC) has revealed that the majority of consumers whose faith influences their decisions are less likely to see Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast due to the film’s inclusion of a gay character.

As ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported, the remake features a character who experiences same-sex attraction to the film’s villain, Gaston.

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” movie director Bill Condon said of the character, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“He’s confused about what he wants,” Condon continued. “It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

View article →

Losing my salvation

The End Time

John MacArthur has famously said on more than one occasion, “If I could lose my salvation, I would.” His comment is a succinct but devastatingly incisive statement about the fallenness of man. The fleshly part of man wants to be in control. It wants to be king of our lives. Even Christians who understand our own depravity and desire to work FOR God soon find that if they do not carefully reign in the flesh, that we are not participating in our own sanctification, but we’re bossing God around and replacing Him with the idol of works.

MacArthur wasn’t guessing when he said what he said. I’ts grounded in the bible. There is biblical precedent for his statement.

God instituted a Doctrine of Works. Don’t bristle. Stay with me. In Genesis 2, God told Adam,

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to…

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March 18, 2017: Verse of the day

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Wonderful Counselor. In contrast to Ahaz, this King will implement supernatural wisdom in discharging His office (cf. 2Sa 16:23; 1Ki 3:28). Mighty God. As a powerful warrior, the Messiah will accomplish the military exploits mentioned in 9:3–5 (cf. 10:21; Dt 10:17; Ne 9:32). Eternal Father. The Messiah will be a Father to His people eternally. As Davidic King, He will compassionately care for and discipline them (40:11; 63:16; 64:8; Pss 68:5, 6; 103:13; Pr 3:12). Prince of Peace. The government of Immanuel will procure and perpetuate peace among the nations of the world (2:4; 11:6–9; Mic 4:3).

MacArthur Study Bible

Wonderful Counselor. A “counselor” is one who is able to make wise plans (cf. 11:2). He is a ruler whose wisdom is beyond merely human capabilities, unlike intelligent but foolish Ahaz (cf. 28:29). Mighty God. A title of the Lord himself (10:20–21; Deut. 10:17; Neh. 9:32; Jer. 32:18). Everlasting Father. A “father” here is a benevolent protector (cf. Isa. 22:21; Job 29:16), which is the task of the ideal king and is also the way God himself cares for his people (cf. Isa. 63:16; 64:8; Ps. 103:13). (That is, this is not using the Trinitarian title “Father” for the Messiah; rather, it is portraying him as a king.) Prince of Peace. He is the ruler whose reign will bring about peace because the nations will rely on his just decisions in their disputes (cf. Isa. 2:4; 11:6–9; 42:4; 49:7; 52:15). This kind of king contrasts with even the best of the Davidic line that Judah has experienced so far, because these titles show that this king will be divine. Thus this cannot refer to, say, Hezekiah (whose father Ahaz was king at the time), who for all his piety was nevertheless flawed (cf. 39:5–8) and only human.

9:6 The Messiah is both human (from the line of David) and divine (see John 1:14; Col. 2:9).

ESV Study Bible

Mighty God. As a warrior, God protects His people (10:21; Deut. 10:17; Jer. 32:18).

Everlasting Father. The Father and King cares for His subjects (40:9–11; 65:17–25; Matt. 18:12–14; 23:9–12; Rom. 8:15–17).

Prince of Peace. His government brings peace (2:4; 11:6–9; Ps. 72:7; Zech. 9:10; Luke 2:14).

Reformation Study Bible

March 18, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

March 18

The Lost Sheep

There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety–nine just persons who need no repentance.

Luke 15:7

 

At the beginning of the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus asks, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety–nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4). Jesus’ point is that any shepherd would seek a lost sheep, for it is not only a matter of duty but also of affection.

After finding the one sheep, the shepherd in this parable went home and invited people over to celebrate with him. The shepherd’s joy was so great he had to share it.

Today’s verse is the conclusion to this parable and a hope for Christians today. Just as a shepherd rejoices over the lost sheep, our Great Shepherd rejoices over the repentant sinner, for He has found His lost sheep.[1]


March 18 Placing Others Above Yourself

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.”

Philippians 2:3

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One important way to prevent factionalism in the church is to regard other members as more important than yourself.

Humility of mind” is a distinctive New Testament expression. There were similar terms in secular writings, but none that exactly fit the purposes of the New Testament writers. One form of the Greek word was used to describe the mentality of a slave. It was a term of derision, signifying anyone who was considered base, common, shabby, or low. Among pagans before Christ’s time, humility was never a trait to be sought or admired. Thus the New Testament introduced a radically new concept.

In Philippians 2:3 Paul defines “humility of mind” simply as seeing others as more important than yourself. But how often do we really consider others that way? Frequently, even within the church, we think just the opposite of what Paul commands. For example, we are sometimes prone to criticize those with whom we minister. It is naturally easier for us to speak of their faults and failures than it is to refer to our own.

But Paul’s attitude was different. He knew his own heart well enough to call himself the worst of sinners: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Tim. 1:15). The apostle was also humble enough to realize that in his own strength he was not worthy of the ministry to which he had been called: “I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle” (1 Cor. 15:9).

Your knowledge of others’ sins and graces is based on their outward words and actions, not on what you can read from their hearts. But you, like Paul, do know your own heart and its sinful shortcomings (cf. Rom. 7). That ought to make it much easier to respect and honor others before yourself. And when you do that, you are helping prevent factionalism in your church and contributing to the edification of fellow believers.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Examine your life and ask God to help you turn from anything that would be keeping you from “humility of mind.”

For Further Study: Read Genesis 13, and notice what happened between Abraham and his nephew Lot. How did God reassure Abraham after his graciousness toward Lot?[2]


MARCH 18

EMOTION ON A HIGH PLANE

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

—Zephaniah 3:17

Now the Bible teaches that there is something in God which is like emotion. He experiences something which is like our love, something that is like our grief, that is like our joy. And we need not fear to go along with this conception of what God is like. Faith would easily draw the inference that since we were made in His image, He would have qualities like our own. But such an inference, while satisfying to the mind, is not the ground of our belief. God has said certain things about Himself, and these furnish all the grounds we require.

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

This is but one verse among thousands which serve to form our rational picture of what God is like, and they tell us plainly that God feels something like our love, like our joy, and what He feels makes Him act very much as we would in a similar situation; He rejoices over His loved ones with joy and singing.

Here is emotion on as high a plane as it can ever be seen, emotion flowing out of the heart of God Himself. POM110-111

Oh, Lord, do You really rejoice over me with singing? I often give You more cause for grief than for joy. Help me live in a way that is worthy of Your love. Amen. [3]


March 18

Anticipating Physical Persecution

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.—Matt. 5:10

The Greek word that is translated “persecuted” and “persecute” in Matthew 5:10–12 has the basic meaning of chasing, driving away, or pursuing. From that meaning developed the connotations of physical persecution, harassment, abuse, and other unjust treatment.

The believer who possesses the qualities described in the first seven beatitudes will be willing to face persecution “for the sake of righteousness.” He will have an attitude of self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ. He is exemplified by a lack of fear and shame and the presence of courage and boldness. The tense of the Greek verb indicates that the believer has a continuous willingness to endure persecution if it is the price of godly living.

Under the demands of this beatitude many Christians break down in their obedience to the Lord; here is where the genuineness of their response to the other beatitudes is most strongly tested. It is where we are most tempted to compromise the righteousness we have hungered and thirsted for. It is here where we find it convenient to lower God’s standards to accommodate the world and thereby avoid conflicts and problems we know obedience will bring.

But God does not want His gospel altered under pretense of its being less demanding, less righteous, or less truthful than it is. He does not want witnesses who lead the unsaved into thinking that the Christian life costs nothing.

Do a spiritual inventory and make sure you are willing to pay the cost for the sake of righteousness.

ASK YOURSELF
What causes us to wish that Christian faith weren’t so costly? When our hearts lead us to compromise in order to avoid detection and possible derision, what lies are we really telling ourselves? And why doesn’t the secretive safety provided by these actions leave us feeling satisfied?[4]

MARCH 18

THE CROWD TURNS BACK

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:66

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ called men to follow Him, but He plainly taught that “no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65).

It is not surprising that many of His early followers, upon hearing these words, went back and walked no more with Him. Such teaching cannot but be deeply disturbing to the natural mind. It takes from sinful men much of the power of self-determination. It cuts the ground out from under their self-help and throws them back upon the sovereign good pleasure of God—and that is precisely where they do not want to be!

These statements by our Lord run contrary to the current assumptions of popular Christianity. Men are willing to be saved by grace, but to preserve their self-esteem, they must hold that the desire to be saved originated with them.

Most Christians today seem afraid to talk about these plain words of Jesus concerning the sovereign operation of God—so they use the simple trick of ignoring them!

 

Dear Lord, I do not want to be counted among those who turn their backs on You. I want to follow You, Lord. Guide me today.[5]


March 18 Praying for Christ’s Rule

“Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10).

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When you pray, “Thy kingdom come,” you are praying for Christ to reign on earth as He already does in Heaven.

When we hear the word kingdom, we tend to think of medieval castles, kings, knights, and the like. But “kingdom” in Matthew 6:10 translates a Greek word that means “rule” or “reign.” We could translate the phrase, “Thy reign come.” That gives a clearer sense of what Christ meant. He prayed that God’s rule would be as apparent on earth as it is in Heaven.

God’s Kingdom was the central issue in Christ’s ministry. He proclaimed “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23) and instructed His followers to make the Kingdom a priority in their own lives (Matt. 6:33). He told parables about its character and value (Matt. 13) and indicted the scribes and Pharisees for hindering those who sought to enter it (Matt. 23:13). After His death and resurrection, He appeared for forty days and gave the disciples further instruction about the Kingdom (Acts 1:2–3).

When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are praying for Christ’s sovereign rule to be as established on earth as it is in Heaven. In one sense the Kingdom is already here—in the hearts of believers. That Kingdom consists of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). But in another sense the Kingdom is yet future. In Luke 17:21 Jesus says, “Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (cf. John 18:36). Their King was present, but they rejected Him. Someday He will return again to establish His Kingdom on earth and personally reign over it. That’s the aspect of the Kingdom we pray for in Matthew 6:10.

Sin and rebellion are now rampant, but when Christ’s Kingdom comes, they will be done away with (Rev. 20:7–9). In the meantime, the work of the Kingdom continues, and you have the privilege of promoting it through your prayers and faithful ministry. Take every opportunity to do so today, and rejoice in the assurance that Christ will someday reign in victory and will be glorified for all eternity.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for the glorious future that awaits you and all believers. ✧ Pray with anticipation for the coming of Christ’s eternal Kingdom.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 13:1–52. What parables did Jesus use to instruct His disciples about the Kingdom of Heaven?[6]


MARCH 18

A BIBLE FACT: A REGENERATED MAN KNOWS GOD

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

ACTS 27:25

The Bible assumes as a self-evident fact that men can know God with at least the same degree of immediacy as they know any other person or thing that comes within the field of their experience.

The same terms are used to express the knowledge of God as are used to express knowledge of physical things:

“O TASTE and see that the Lord is good.”

“All thy garments SMELL of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia.”

“My sheep HEAR my voice.”

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God.”

These are but four of countless such passages from the Word of God. And more important than any proof text is the fact that the whole import of the Scripture is toward this belief.

We apprehend the physical world by exercising the faculties given us for the purpose, and we possess spiritual faculties by means of which we can know God and the spiritual world if we will obey the Spirit’s urge and begin to use them.

That a saving work must first be done in the heart is taken for granted here. The spiritual faculties of the unregenerate man lie asleep in his nature; they may be quickened to active life again by the operation of the Holy Spirit in regeneration![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 90). 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. 86). 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. 90). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Two: Saturday)

Saturday

Confession: Psalm 38:1–5

O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in your anger

or chastise me in your wrath.

For your arrows have sunk into me,

and your hand has pressed down on me.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation.

There is no health in my bones because of my sin.

For my iniquities have passed over my head;

like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

My wounds start to stink; they rot

because of my foolishness.

Reading: Mark 11:27–33

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came up to him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority that you do these things?” So Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer me!” And they began to discuss this with one another, saying, “What should we say? If we say ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because they all looked upon John as truly a prophet. And they replied to Jesus saying, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Reflection

Jesus, for the sake of men, desired to have Himself revealed by a lamp to the faith of those who believed, that by means of the same lamp His enemies might be confounded.… And the Lord, because they shut the door against themselves by professing ignorance of what they know, did not open to them because they did not knock. For it is said, “Knock, and the door will be opened for you” (Matt 7:7 nrsv). Not only did these not knock that it might be opened to them, but, by denying that they knew, they barred that door against themselves. And the Lord says to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” (Matt 21:27 nrsv). And they were confounded by means of John; and in them were the words fulfilled, “I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame.”

—Augustine of Hippo

Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John

Response

The exchange between the Pharisees and Jesus in Mark 11:26–33 shows both the Pharisees’ unwillingness to believe in Jesus and their unwillingness to state their beliefs publicly (because of their fear of the crowds). Is there a time in your life when you responded to the gospel in the same way?[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.