Daily Archives: April 5, 2017

April 5, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

img_1275


Apr. 5, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

The Trump administration is so alarmed that Chinese investors may try to purchase Westinghouse Electric Co.’s nuclear business that U.S. officials are trying to find an American or allied buyer for the company instead, two people familiar with the matter said.

Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with Venezuelan security forces Tuesday as they tried to rally behind lawmakers locked in a bitter dispute with the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and the Supreme Court.

The new way foreign worker visas are doled out in the U.S. is poised to benefit some of the biggest technology companies, like Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc., while punishing outsourcing firms that developed a disproportionate dependence on the program.

Toronto’s residential housing market showed no signs of cooling last month, with the average sale price soaring a record 33 percent from a year ago, pushing the cost of a detached home in the heart of the city to almost $1.2 million.

North Korea conducted another ballistic missile test, drawing condemnation from countries in the region shortly before the first meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Deutsche Bank AG, which slashed bonuses for a second straight year, saw several senior employees leave after paying out deferred compensation for previous years.

The wage gap among specialist physicians is at 37 percent, up 4 percent from last year, with women earning an average $251,000 a year to a man’s $345,000, according to Medscape LLC’s annual Physician Compensation Report.

AP Top Stories

A Democratic senator held the Senate floor through the night and was still going Wednesday in an attention-grabbing talk-a-thon highlighting his party’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed the votes necessary to change Senate rules and thwart the Democratic filibuster in a showdown that could alter the course of the Senate and the court.

A New Jersey teenager Santos Colon Jr. pleaded guilty Monday for attempting to provide material support to terrorists and plotting the assassination of Pope Francis when he was on a trip to Philadelphia during the Papal mass in September 2015. Colon was a juvenile when he was involved in the plotting. Even as he was arrested in 2015, he was not charged then.

The US and its allies would have “no defense” against large numbers of ground-launched cruise missiles of the type recently deployed by Russia, a top US general warned Tuesday.

An alleged cocaine smuggler posed as a Delta Airlines pilot while flying into New York City with drugs in his luggage, border officials said this week.

A German court handed lengthy prison sentences Monday to four Islamic extremists over plots to bomb a train station and kill a far-right politician.

About one in 10 pregnant women with confirmed Zika infections had a fetus or baby with birth defects, offering the clearest picture yet of the risk of Zika infection during pregnancy, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Afghanistan on Tuesday sacked 12 army officers including two generals for negligence over an insurgent attack on the country’s largest military hospital, which pointed to a spectacular intelligence failure.

Pope Francis on Tuesday named a new official to oversee the Vatican office that processes clerical sex abuse cases amid mounting criticism over a yearslong backlog of cases and Francis’ handling of the problem.

In an effort to reject Saudi Arabia’s dress code for women, British Prime Minister Theresa May refused to wear a headscarf during her visit to the kingdom today to meet with the crown prince and other dignitaries. By doing so, she hopes to prove that women can hold “significant positions.”

BBC

The number of people arrested crossing the Mexico border into the US has dropped to the lowest level in 17 years, according to federal figures.

Taiwan has announced plans for eight new submarines, a senior Taiwanese navy official confirmed on Wednesday. The new vessels will be Taiwanese-made, unlike its current fleet of four, which were bought from overseas decades ago.

Iceland’s parliament is examining a bill that would require companies to prove they offer equal pay to employees. The law, which is set to become a world first, aims to close the wage gap between men and women. Companies face auditing and possible fines if they do not comply.

Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organization. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.

A Dutchman has lost his appeal against extradition for his alleged role in the cyber-bullying case of a 15-year-old Canadian girl who took her own life.

Socialist Lenin Moreno has been declared the winner of Ecuador’s closely contested presidential election.

WND

Knoxville, Tenn., could be the first city in the U.S. where Obamacare completely collapses, leaving tens of thousands of people without the option to buy a subsidized insurance policy. Humana, the city’s only remaining insurance provider on its Obamacare exchange, announced it is exiting the market in 2018.

Jewish activists seeking to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem will be conducting a ritual Passover sacrifice of a lamb in a nearby park in full view of the Temple Mount. The ceremony is expected to raise opposition and protest from the Islamic Waqf, which the Israeli government permits to administer visits and activity on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the “Noble Sanctuary.”


Top Headlines – 4/5/2017

Passover sacrifice back in Jerusalem
Jewish activists seeking to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem will be conducting a ritual Passover sacrifice of a lamb in a nearby park in full view of the Temple Mount. The sacrifice ceremony this year is scheduled to take place closer to the Temple Mount than previous rituals, which were held in the Mount of Olives, across a valley.

6.1 earthquake hits near Iran’s second-largest city at depth of 13km
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck 89 kilometers from Mashhad, Iran’s second most populous city, the US Geological Survey reported, adding that the tremor had a been registered at a shallow depth of 13 kilometers. Tasnim news agency reported several aftershocks, which are expected to continue, while adding that phone service in the affected areas has been disrupted.

Fake News Media Frenzy To Protect Susan Rice As Truth About Obama Shadow Government Implodes
CNN’s Don Lemon issued a call to all his views to “ignore the scandal” surrounding Susan Rice. The Washington Post calls it a “fake scandal ginned up by Trump”. Go to any of the other fake news outlets like the New York Times, MSNBC and others and you won’t even see the story being reported at all.

A New Title for the Blessed Mother?
Theological commission requests papal acknowledgement of Mary as ‘Co-Redemptrix.’

‘Sweden’s anti-Semitism has crossed all red lines’
“This is just a continuation of the previous plots,” Haguel said. “Sweden’s anti-Semisim has crossed all red lines. The recent events are only the latest in a long line of incitement and blood libels. People are sowing an unjust fear of Jews, and the government is closing its eyes to everything which relates to Jews and israel.

New Yorkers shocked to find that people are fleeing their city in droves
More than 1 million people moved out of the New York area to other parts of the country since 2010, a rate of 4.4 percent — the highest negative net migration rate among the nation’s large population centers, US Census records show. The number of people leaving the region — which includes parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island — in one year swelled from 187,034 in 2015 to 223,423 in 2016…

Pope Francis meets Britain’s Prince Charles at the Vatican
For his part, Pope Francis presented Prince Charles with a bronze sculpture of an olive branch in a white box and told him that it was “a symbol of peace.” “Wherever you go, may you be a man of peace,” he told the prince. “I’ll do my best,” Prince Charles replied.

Netanyahu Tells UN Security Council to Do its Job, Stop Assad’s Chemical Attacks
“When I saw pictures of babies suffocating from a chemical attack in Syria, I was shocked and outraged. There’s no, none, no excuse whatsoever for the deliberate attacks on civilians and on children, especially with cruel and outlawed chemical weapons.

North Korean ballistic missile fired into the Sea of Japan
North Korea has test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan. South Korea’s defence ministry said the missile flew about 60km (40 miles). It is the latest in a series of tests which the North has been conducting in pursuit of its goal of developing a nuclear missile.

Pakistan blast: Lahore census team hit by suspected suicide bombing
At least six people have been killed in a suspected suicide attack targeting census workers and their security escort in the Pakistani city of Lahore. Four of the dead were troops. At least 19 others were wounded, officials say. A team carrying out Pakistan’s first census in nearly 20 years was the target of the attack, police said.

Brexit: Theresa May suggests free movement extension
Free movement of people from the EU to the UK could be extended after Brexit, Theresa May has suggested. The prime minister said there would be an “implementation” phase once an exit deal had been struck, with business and governments needing a “period of time” to adjust to any new restrictions. The government insists Brexit will give the UK greater control of its borders.

Syria chemical ‘attack’: Russia rebel weapons claim rejected
Russian claims that a release of chemicals that killed and injured dozens of civilians in northern Syria came from rebel weapons on the ground have been rejected. Britain’s foreign secretary, a rebel commander and a weapons expert all said the evidence pointed to an attack by Syrian government forces. Damascus denies its forces launched a chemical weapons attack.

Dublin City Hall to raise Palestinian flag in solidarity against ‘brutal’ Israeli occupation
Israel has strongly condemned the decision by a Dublin City Council subcommittee on ceremonies to raise the Palestinian flag over city hall in solidarity with the Palestinian people “who have lived under brutal Israeli occupation.” According to the decision Tuesday, the flag will be raised on May 15th, marking 50 years since the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip came under Israeli control.

U.S. court rules 1964 civil rights law protects LGBT workers from bias
A U.S. appeals court…on Tuesday ruled that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace. The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago represents a major legal victory for the gay rights movement. In its 8-3 decision, the court bucked decades of rulings that gay people are not protected by the milestone civil rights law…

First major U.S. city braces for Obamacare collapse
President Donald Trump, along with Congressional Republicans, have repeatedly said that if Obamacare isn’t repealed soon, then the health care law will eventually collapse under its own weight. That appears to be exactly what’s in store…Knoxville, Tennessee, could soon become the first U.S. city where Obamacare collapses altogether.

Trump at CEO Business Town Hall: ‘Common Core… We Have to End It’
At his CEO Business Town Hall Tuesday, President Donald Trump returned to his campaign promise to end the highly unpopular Common Core standards and once again make education policy the domain of local governments. “Common Core, I mean, we have to bring education more local,” Trump said at the White House. “We can’t be managing education from Washington.”

European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave
France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU). The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.

News Corp chief: Orwellian algorithms of Google and Facebook put us on ‘slippery slope of censorship’
The chief executive of News Corp, parent company of The Sun and Times Newspapers, has warned that digital algorithms at Facebook and Google have “left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship”.

Companies Have Begun Implanting Microchips In Workers
The company offers to implant its workers and start-up members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.”

Susan Rice Responds To Trump Unmasking Allegations: “I Leaked Nothing To Nobody”
“The allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “That’s absolutely false…. I leaked nothing to nobody.”

Richmond Fed head resigns, admits improper discussions
Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, announced Tuesday that he was resigning effective immediately after acknowledging improper discussions with a financial analyst that later became the subject of a lengthy investigation into leaks at the Fed.

Russian metro bombing puts Putin’s Syria policy to the test
Islamist militants have targeted Russia many times before but Monday’s bombing of a metro train in St Petersburg was, for President Vladimir Putin, personal: it happened in his native city on a day he was making a visit back home.

UBS Blames Fed For “Crisis High” Subprime Defaults; Says Auto Is Just The Beginnning
While the Fed’s misguided QE and interest rate policies have done a masterful job of creating asset bubbles around the world over the past several years, they’ve done precious little to actually stimulate economic or wage growth, in real terms…which is why UBS says that subprime defaults on everything from auto loans to student loans are about to get a whole lot worse.


The Briefing 04-05-17

NCAA “reluctantly” allows N. Carolina consideration for championships after bathroom bill compromise

Trump admin cut funding for UN Population Fund over ties to forced abortion and sterilization in China

VP Mike Pence casts tie-breaking vote on Senate bill that allows states to defund Planned Parenthood

18 hours too long for culture of death: Fed Judge blocks IN law over waiting period before abortion

The post The Briefing 04-05-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Urgent Warning for Christians to Help Trump Beat Obama’s Shadow Government

“They plan to continue, without skipping a beat, their agenda of radically transforming the United States,” Bachmann told host Jan Markell on a recent episode of “Understanding the Times Radio.” “We need to recognize that they have a strategy, but we need to have a strategy, too, and our strategy is to live in the light of the gospel and to radically transform this country and the world toward the gospel with the freeing, liberating power of Jesus Christ.”

View Article


Trump Defunds The Agency Responsible For Implementing The Sick Population Control Agenda Of The United Nations

All over the world, the United Nations Population Fund has been promoting abortion and sterilization as ways to slow down the rate at which the population of the planet is growing.  In some cases, the United Nations Population Fund has actually partnered with countries that have conducted forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.  In other words, those procedures were being done to women against their will.  The United Nations Population Fund is the tip of the spear when it comes to implementing the UN’s twisted population control agenda, and so Donald Trump should be greatly congratulated for defunding them. (Read More…)


Is The United States About To Bomb North Korea? The White House Says ‘The Clock Has Now Run Out’

I got chills when I saw a CNN report that said that a White House official has just warned that “the clock has now run out” on North Korea’s nuclear program and that “all options are on the table”.  That second phrase has been repeatedly used by members of the Trump administration in recent days, and everyone knows what it means.  When I wrote that a conflict with North Korea could be “Trump’s first war” last month, I was still hoping that cooler heads would prevail and that a military conflict could be avoided.  Unfortunately, it appears that a peaceful solution is not in the cards, and that means that the United States may soon start bombing North Korea.  And of course if that happens the North Koreans will strike back with whatever they can, and that includes nuclear weapons. (Read More…)


Rand Paul: Rice should be subpoenaed and asked, “Did you talk to the president about (the unmasking). Did president Obama know about this?” (VIDEO)

Rand Paul – “ Sour grapes on the way out the door…They were going to use the intelligence apparatus to attack Trump. And I think they did.” 

Nope, no sour grapes here.

Read More


Fund Over Complicity in Chinese Forced Abortions

According to Christian News:

The Trump administration has ended government funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) over concerns about its complicity in China’s one-child/two-child policy—an accusation that the organization denies.

According to reports, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker received a letter this week from the U.S. State Department advising him of the development.

“This determination was made based on the fact that China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization, and UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies,” the letter read.

View article →


Today on ChristianHeadlines
Poison Gas Attack in Syria Leaves Dozens Dead and Injured, Including Children
Poison Gas Attack in Syria Leaves Dozens Dead and Injured, Including Children
by Veronica Neffinger
A chemical weapons airstrike attack has killed dozens in Syria, including at least 10 children.
READ FULL ARTICLE   >>
Cadbury Takes ‘Easter’ out of Annual Easter Egg Hunt Ad
Cadbury Takes ‘Easter’ out of Annual Easter Egg Hunt Ad
by Amanda Casanova
By removing the word “Easter” from its annual Easter egg hunt, the National Trust is “airbrushing faith,” the Church of England says.
READ FULL ARTICLE
France: Evangelical Church Targeted in Arson Attack
France: Evangelical Church Targeted in Arson Attack
by Veronica Neffinger
An evangelical church in France was recently the target of an arson attack–the second attack on the church in just over a week.
READ FULL ARTICLE
Secretary of State Meets with Wife of Imprisoned American Pastor
Secretary of State Meets with Wife of Imprisoned American Pastor
by Scott Slayton
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Norine Brunson on his recent visit to Turkey.
READ FULL ARTICLE
Discovery of 3,000-Year-Old Donkey Dung Validates Biblical Account of King Solomon
Discovery of 3,000-Year-Old Donkey Dung Validates Biblical Account of King Solomon
by Veronica Neffinger
A new archaeological discovery has validated the Bible’s account of King Solomon’s riches and wealth.
READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 5, 2017

Fake News Media Choose Prince Over Rice

They ignore a real scandal and play up a fake one.

Biological Jihad Puts Islam In Position Of Domination As Muslim Births Will Outpace Christian Births In 20 Years

“Christianity is literally dying in Europe,” said Conrad Hackett, the lead researcher on the study.

“And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:12 (KJV)

For years, NTEB has been telling you about something known as ‘biological jihad’ that has been waged by Muslims for the past forty years. Simply put, biological jihad is the practice of Muslim women giving birth to as many children as possible in order to change the balance of power in non-Muslim nations they have migrated to. Why would they do this? Because in free Western societies, the group that is in the majority only has to nominate their own political candidates, then vote them into office. Once in office and in power to create and rescind laws, Muslim will easily be able to begin the process of instituting Sharia Law in a variety of Western nations.

How Muslim Demographics Are Changing The Face Of Europe Forever

The Wall Street Journal reported today that “within 20 years, more babies will be born to Muslim women than to Christian women world-wide, the latest sign of the rapid growth that could make Islam the world’s largest religion by the end of the century. “Christianity is literally dying in Europe,” said Conrad Hackett, the lead researcher on the study.

People look at the brutal activity of ISIS and are rightly shocked and terrified. But biological jihad is much more frightening because it is a bloodless and legal takeover of society. Make no mistake about it, Muslims are not looking for ‘peaceful co-existence’ once they are in the majority. Terrorism may not be the aim of all Muslims, but Sharia Law is and Sharia Law is cruel and barbaric beyond the ability of mere words to do it justice.

This is what Sharia Law looks like:

Muslims believe that Sharia Law supersedes the United States Constitution:

Far Left Liberals in the United States who are so pro-Islam are the very first demographic group that Sharia Law will punish. Under Sharia, women have no rights, gays and lesbians are put to death, Christianity is not tolerated and the Jews are persecuted and cast out.

We will let the always awesome Brigitte Gabriel have the last word. Pay attention to what she says, it just may save your life one day.

The Foundation

“It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)


 ZeroHedge Frontrunning: April 05

  • No big bets ahead of Trump-Xi meeting; oil, metal prices firm (Read More)
  • Senate on the Brink of ‘Nuclear Option’ in Gorsuch Vote (Read More)
  • Le Pen Ambushed on Euro in French Debate (Read More)
  • Trump touts coal but utilities aren’t listening (Read More)
  • Trump Officials Alarmed China May Bid for Westinghouse Unit (Read More)
  • EU lawmakers adopt Brexit resolution, reject pro-Gibraltar hint (Read More)
  • EU, Greece urge deal on bailout review on Friday (Read More)
  • Russia Detains Terror Suspects in St. Petersburg After Blast (Read More)
  • Apple Pay Promised to Make Plastic Obsolete. Then Came Wary Shoppers, Confused Clerks (Read More)
  • Global Shipping Fleet Braces for Chaos of $60 Billion Fuel Shock (Read More)
  • Ultralow rate driving Japan’s public pension fund out of JGBs (Read More)
  • ETFs Are the New Bond Kings (Read More)
  • Arianna Huffington Leads Crusade to Deal With Uber’s Scandals (Read More)
  • JAB Holding to buy bakery chain Panera Bread in $7.5 billion deal (Read More)
  • Ferguson mayor re-elected in his first election after shooting (Read More)
  • South Africa’s ANC stands by Zuma, rejects calls for president to quit (Read More)
  • EU clears ChemChina takeover of Syngenta with conditions (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank Loses Senior Executives After Bonuses Slashed (Read More)
  • Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design (Read More)

Top Headlines – 4/5/2017

Syrian chemical attack kills scores, injures 200

Children killed in Syria ‘chemical attack’

US, Britain, France hold Assad regime responsible for Syria gas attack

Assad has unleashed horror on Syria. The EU must not make a deal with him

EU at odds with Trump administration over Assad’s role in Syria

Trump blames Assad regime for chemical attack; says it was consequence of Obama admin’s ‘weakness and irresolution’

After suspected gas attack, US lawmakers urge action on Syria

Deadly Syria chemical attacks look like war crime – US official

Syria civil war: UN calls emergency talks after ‘gas attack’

Hamas says Syria gas attack was ‘criminal slaughter’

Netanyahu says Syrian gas attack photos ‘should shake every human being’

Holocaust horrors compel Israel to aid gassed Syrians, says Rivlin

UN: Clearing weapons from Iraq, Syria to take 40-50 years

Syrian rebels call to ‘ignite the fronts’

‘Jihadi cool’: How ISIS switched its recruitment and social media master plan

ISIS fighters fleeing Syria hide bombs in TVs, fridges and teddy bears

St. Petersburg subway blast: Killer may have met accomplices in Moscow

US Supreme Court Considers Arab Bank’s Liability for Terror Attacks in Israel

Ambassador to the U.N. says U.S. leverage for Mideast peace not harmed by support for Israel

Bucking boycotts, Ohio to snap up record $61 million in Israel bonds

Section of 2nd Temple-era column found at Temple Mount dig

10 Indian-Jewish ‘lost tribe’ couples remarried in Israel

India to receive armed Heron drones from Israel

Israel declares multilayered air defenses fully operational

‘Iran arms manufacturing facilities in Lebanon are new kind of threat’

North Korea fires ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

Ahead of Trump-Xi summit, U.S. warns clock has ‘run out’ on N. Korea

Tillerson to chair U.N. meeting on North Korea nuclear program

Chinese wary about U.S. missile system because capabilities unknown: experts

CIA operations may be disrupted by new Wikileaks’ data release

Susan Rice, Ex-Obama Adviser, Is Back in Political Cross Hairs Over Surveillance

Susan Rice defiant amid growing calls for her to testify under oath

Susan Rice denies leaking Trump associate intel, defends unmasking requests

CNN Rages Against ‘Susan Rice Bombshell’, Urges Viewers To Ignore Story

Trump signs repeal of U.S. broadband privacy rules

National Archives to White House: Save all Trump tweets

News Corp chief: Orwellian algorithms of Google and Facebook put us on ‘slippery slope of censorship’

Cyborgs at work – the company microchipping its employees

Border wall bids include tourist attraction, solar panels

Border wall ‘critical’ for reducing crime, former agents testify

Why Foreigners Keep Buying the Debt of America’s Small Towns

Venezuela Reminds Us That Socialism Frequently Leads to Dictatorship

Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela Turn Violent

Solar eclipse mania spurs festivals, tours, sold-out hotels

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near the South Sandwich Islands

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Merizo Village, Guam

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the South Atlantic Ocean

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ilijan, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tingloy, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Zaysan, Kazakhstan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Letlhakane, Botswana

A magnitude 3 earthquake was felt in Haifa

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Severe weather: Alabama governor declares emergency, South braces for more storms

Severe storms to threaten lives and property from southeastern US to Ohio Valley Wednesday

Zika birth defects found in 1 in 10 infected US pregnant women

Trump Defunds UN Population Fund Tied to Forced Abortions; Pro-Lifers Elated

Canada is Harvesting the Organs of Euthanasia Patients

Civil Rights law prohibits discrimination of LGBT, court says

Appeals court: 1964 Civil Rights Act protects lesbian, gay employees from workplace bias

Young Americans Are Killing Marriage

Christians in China hospitalized after resisting state surveillance

500 UK Churches Closed While 423 Mosques Were Built on ‘Sad Ruins of English Christianity’: Report

Mike Ratliff – Justification and the imputation of righteousness

Turnstile Christianity

Jennifer LeClaire’s Advice for Failed Prophets

Paul Washer Released From Hospital After Heart Attack

Former Youth Pastor Convicted of Raping Two Teens in Arkansas

Evangelical church attacked near Paris

Loud booms and rumblings as Magnitude 3.4 quake strikes Mankato, Kansas

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:42 AM PDT

A Magnitude 3.4 earthquake rattled Mankato, Kansas just before 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 4, 2017. People reported loud booms and strong shaking across the State….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is killing thousands of Birds in Atlanta, Georgia?

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:33 AM PDT

Someone, or something, is killing thousands of birds in Atlanta. Since spring, the death toll began rising every week. For Atlanta office workers, the dead…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

One Hundred Tons of Fish Suddenly Die in Indonesia

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:29 AM PDT

Thousands of fish floating in a pool owned by Tegal Rejo Musirawas Regency South Sumatra, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. From the recognition of the guard…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: North Korea targeted for $81 Million Hack at Federal Reserve

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:26 AM PDT

North Korea may have been behind last year’s $81 million heist at the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Coptic Christian Refused to Deny Jesus Before Killed By ISIS

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:16 AM PDT

A Coptic Christian father of two who was on a “kill list” and tracked for days by Islamic State militants in Sinai refused to renounce…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Cockroaches Will Be Exposed: A Prophetic Warning for Church Leaders

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 08:08 AM PDT

(By Ryan Johnson) Recently I had a dream that wasn’t long in detail, but very straightforward and to the point. In the dream, I found…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

South Carolina Teen Arrested for Attempting to Join ISIS

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:42 AM PDT

A South Carolina teenager has been arrested on charges that he attempted to provide material support to the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies itself…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tennis Ball Size Hail Kills 600 chickens and cow in Myanmar

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:38 AM PDT

Trees, buildings, and animals were pounded by “hail the size of tennis balls” for about 15 minutes last night in Kyun Hla Township, Sagaing Region….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Fireball Reported Over Skies of Florida

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:33 AM PDT

There are social media reports of a fireball over Tampa around 3 a.m. early Sunday morning. A report on the American Meteor Society webpage confirms…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Israel’s Prophetic Role in Fulfilling the Passover Right Before Jesus Returns

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:28 AM PDT

(By Kelly Mcdonald Jr) “When the hour had come, He and the twelve apostles with Him sat down. And He said to them, “I have…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Iran, Casualties reported

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:23 AM PDT

According to reports, A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake has reportedly struck northern Iran. This report comes from the Iranian state television which described the temblor…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

King Abdullah Visits White House to Talk Peace in Wake of Syrian Chemical Attack

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:15 AM PDT

King Abdullah of Jordan will meet with President Trump at the White House today. The King was hoping to put solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Russia Defends Syria, Rejects White House Blame for Chemical Attack

Posted: 05 Apr 2017 06:08 AM PDT

Russia denied on Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to blame for a poison gas attack and said it would continue to back him,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

South Carolina Lawmakers Considering Bill Declaring Unborn as Protected Persons

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 07:08 PM PDT

Lawmakers in South Carolina are currently considering a bill that would declare that the unborn have protection as persons. Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant recently introduced…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nursing home employees could be penalized For using wrong pronoun for homosexual, lesbian or transgender residents.

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:59 PM PDT

The state of California has followed the progressive LGBT agenda right off the cliff on occasion. For example, it allowed a homosexual judge who stood…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RUMORS OF WAR: Military nightmare scenario brewing in the East China Sea

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:53 PM PDT

While the world watches mounting military tensions in the South China Sea, another, more ominous situation is brewing in the East China Sea that could…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Church of England Facing ‘Catastrophic’ Loss as Last Generation Centered on Family, God Is Dying Out

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:47 PM PDT

A new book warns that the Church of England, which is declining in numbers while its members are growing older in age, is facing a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

University Declares Pro-Trump Poster “Offensive”

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:32 PM PDT

Al Roker, the “Today” show’s chief weather-guesser, has been crisscrossing the fruited plain attempting to set world records at various universities. On March 27, Roker…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Alabama governor declares emergency, South braces for deadly storms

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:24 PM PDT

Another round of severe weather with damaging winds is expected to sweep across the South on Wednesday, bringing damaging winds in Alabama and Georgia, according…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First US City Set To See Complete Obamacare Collapse

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 06:20 PM PDT

Knoxville, Tenn., could be the first city in the U.S. where Obamacare completely collapses, leaving tens of thousands of people without the option to buy…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is This How the Mark of the Beast Will Sneak In?

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 05:41 PM PDT

(By Taylor Berglund) A Swedish company offers employees a small, rice-grain-sized implant that can mimic the function of swipe cards. These chips, already in effect…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

ISIS Returns And Officially Taunts Trump

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 05:38 PM PDT

Although members and supporters of the Islamic State have frequently commented on President Trump and his policies, analysts have been puzzled by the terrorist group’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

GAME OVER! North Korea fires missile as ‘clock has now run out’ on Pyongyang

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 05:33 PM PDT

North Korea fired an apparent ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s military said early Wednesday. The launch came hours after U.S. President…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: At least 100 dead in suspected chemical attack in Syria

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 01:07 PM PDT

A suspected chemical attack in a rebel-held Syrian town killed 100 people and injured 400 others, a medical relief group said, and some medics treating…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Sun releases three solar flares in Past 24hrs

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 01:00 PM PDT

The sun has been snapped emitting three powerful blasts of radiation in recent days, causing some disruptions in the Earth’s atmosphere. If strong enough, these…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: US State Department Blames Russia and Iran for Syria chemical attack

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:56 PM PDT

Condemning the chemical weapons attack in Idlib province, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused the Syrian government of “barbarism” and said Russia and Iran…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook Investing $14 Million to fight “Fake News”

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:52 PM PDT

Social media giant Facebook has teamed up with other tech corporations aiming to launch a $14 million fund to end news illiteracy and improve public…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Global Bank Bowing to Transgender Agenda

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:43 PM PDT

One of Britain’s largest banks is to offer “gender-neutral” options for filling out forms, so as not to offend those who do not identify as…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Only 7 Out Of 10 Air Force Planes Are Ready To Fly…

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:39 PM PDT

On March 22, as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un prepared to test-launch a missile and tensions rose on the volatile Korean peninsula, a lone…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Traditional Marriage Begins to Fizzle Among Millennials

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:34 PM PDT

There’s no shortage of theories as to how and why today’s young people differ from their parents. As marketing consultants never cease to point out,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Lyme disease set to explode with no vaccine to treat it

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:30 PM PDT

BY THE time he had finished his walk through the woods in New York state, Rick Ostfeld was ready to declare a public health emergency….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Proposal to have foreigners hand over phones and answer questions on ideology…

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:25 PM PDT

Foreigners who want to visit the U.S., even for a short trip, could be forced to disclose contacts on their mobile phones, social-media passwords and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Contact Lens Reveals When You’re Sick…

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 12:21 PM PDT

Imagine a biosensing contact lens that can tell when your blood sugar is getting too low, or if there’s something wrong with one of your…

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?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).


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).

“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.

CultureWatch: Christians, Public Education, and an Increasingly Anti-Christian Culture

As Western culture moves from a once Christian culture though a post-Christian culture to an anti-Christian culture, there always arises the question of just how believers are to live and act in such a culture. We are called to be salt and light in all cultures, but how exactly that pans out can depend on how much freedom we have, how bad things are, and so on.

Christian participation in ungodly cultures can vary, depending on how hostile and inimical the culture is in terms of Christian values and beliefs. Some things a Christian simply cannot be a part of, as they are far too idolatrous or immoral.

education 10For example I trust that no genuine Christian would seek employment in the pornography industry, plan to work at an abortion clinic, get involved in various areas that have basically been taken over by militant homosexual activists, and so on.

One issue that often arises, especially as the times get darker and more inimical to Christianity, is whether Christian parents should keep sending their children to public (secular) schools. I have written about this previously. One short answer I have given in the past is each family must prayerfully and carefully weigh up the options here.

Until recently most Christian parents could consider the public school system as one option, or look at others, such as a Christian school or home schooling, etc. But as state education gets increasingly hostile to all things believers care about, it may not be so clear anymore.

Indeed, many are now arguing that no Christian parent should be sending their children to the cesspits of public education. While I still think each parent must pray and think through this, I feel the case is becoming stronger by the day as to why parents should seriously look for alternatives.

More and more Christian leaders today are calling for this. But this is not just a recent point of view. Numerous Christians over the centuries have also spoken to this. Let me just cite a few of them, from five centuries ago on up to today:

-“I am very much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.” Martin Luther

-“To leave our youthful population in the hands of secular teachers, will be to sell them to the Ishmaelites.” Charles Spurgeon

-“Place the lives of children in their formative years, despite the convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist.” J. Gresham Machen

-“To control the future requires the control of education and of the child. Hence, for Christians to tolerate statist education, or to allow their children to be trained thereby, means to renounce power in society, to renounce their children, and to deny Christ’s Lordship over all of life.” R.J. Rushdoony

-“We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” Voddie Baucham Jr.

-“Just as the purpose of Christian seminaries is to produce committed Christians, the primary purpose of most Western universities is, consciously or not, to produce committed secular leftists. The major difference between them is that Christian seminaries declare their purpose, and Western universities do not.” Dennis Prager

-“Your children will go to public school … and they will be trained for somewhere around 15,000 hours in ungodly secular thought. And then they’ll go to Sunday school and they’ll color a picture of Noah’s ark. And you think that’s going to stand against the lies that they are being told?” Paul Washer

-“It’s well past time for Liberalism to be declared a religion and banned from public schools. No other religion has the right to propagandize children for 12 years, six hours a day.” Ann Coulter

-“America seems to be happily plunging itself and its children into the tyranny of Statism – primarily because professing Christians have proudly led the way. Rather than lead the culture in repentance and tearing down the enemy stronghold that is the satanic, State-controlled children’s ‘education’ system, it is professing Christians who are among the most vocal and ardent defenders of this child-eating, culture-corrupting abomination.” E. Ray Moore

One of the most recent voices calling for a mass exodus from public education is commentator Matt Walsh. His new piece is entitled “Christian parents, your kids aren’t equipped to be public school missionaries”. He refers of course to the oft-heard objection that we need our Christian kids in schools to share the gospel.

But as Walsh – and the quotes above – indicate, it far too often works the other way: Christian kids go into secular schools and perhaps more often than not end up losing their faith. That is because the modern secular left school system has become every bit as evangelistic and keen on proselytising as any evangelical Christian is – often more so.

Walsh begins by noting all the transgender crap being pushed so aggressively in our state schools, then goes on to say this:

If we have not yet reached a point where a mass exodus from the public schools is warranted, when will that point arrive? Are we waiting until they start bringing in nude hermaphrodites to teach sex ed? I suppose even that wouldn’t be enough incentive for some of us. “I can’t shield my kid from what’s going on out there!” “Be in the world, not of the world!” “Naked she-males are a part of life! I can’t keep him in a bubble forever! He’s 9 years old, for God’s sake!”
Look, I know that public school may really be the only option for some people. There are single parents of little economic means who find themselves backed into a corner where government education appears to be the only choice. And if a parent can’t or won’t homeschool, a private Christian education can be prohibitively expensive. Not only that, but some Christians schools are as bad as, or worse than, the average public school. Abandoning the public school system is not an easy thing, and it presents many hurdles that, right now, may be impossible for some people to get over. The collapse of the family unit, not to mention our recent economic woes, have contributed to creating a dependence on public education. Not everyone can break free all at once, I realize.
But we should certainly all agree, at this point, that public school is not an option for those of us who have another feasible option. We should agree that public school is a matter of last resort and necessity. We should agree that public education is inherently hostile to true Christian values, and for that reason it is not anywhere close to the ideal environment for our kids. We should agree on these points. But we still don’t, incredibly.

He deals with the “But we need Christians there” line as follows:

First of all, “the system needs our kids” is just a weird and creepy statement. It reminds me of something someone would say on Black Mirror or the Twilight Zone. Here’s the truth about “the system”: It’s not my job to give it what it needs. Even less is it my kid’s job. There’s nothing in the Bible that says we must dedicate ourselves to maintaining a government-run education system at any cost. My first responsibility is to my family, not to the community or the school system or my kid’s classmates. I will never put the interests of “the system” above that of my own children. Whether “the system” lives or dies is not my concern. My family is my concern. I have an obligation to them, not to the local superintendent.
Second, anyway, if I did put my kids in “the system” for the sake of “the system,” I’m not the one making the sacrifice. I’m forcing my kids to make it. At least face what you’re doing. When it comes down to it, the burden of public schooling is something your child will have to shoulder, not you.
Third, yes, my kids will eventually be exposed to all kinds of strange and terrible things. As much as I’d like to keep them shielded from the evils of the world forever, I know that I can do no such thing. The question is not whether our kids will be exposed to this or that depravity, but when and how and in what context? Are you prepared to trust the school’s judgment on when Junior is ready to learn about concepts like “transgenderism”? Do you trust their judgment on how he learns about it, and what he’s told about it? If you do, I suppose you aren’t even reading this post right now because you’ve been in a vegetative state for the past 30 years.
Fourth, when a kid is sent to public school, he’s expected to navigate and survive and thrive in a hostile, confusing, amoral environment, basically untethered from his parents, 6–8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, for 12 years. Is a child ready for that challenge by the time he’s 5 years old? Is he ready at 8? At 10? No. Our job as parents is to “train them up in the way they should go,” equip them with the armor of God, fortify them in the truth, and then release them into the world….
Fifth, related to the last point, your child is not ready to be a missionary. He cannot be a “witness” to others until he himself has been properly formed in the faith. It’s no surprise that most of the young “missionaries” we commission and send forth to minister to the lost souls in public schools quickly become one of the lost souls. We don’t need to sit around theorizing about whether the missionary approach to education is wise or effective. We already know that it isn’t. The vast majority of the parents who think their kids are being “salt and light” to their peers in school are simply oblivious to the fact that their little Bible warriors have long since defected and joined the heathens. You can hardly blame the kids for this. They’re just kids, after all. They aren’t warriors. Warriors are trained and disciplined. Children are neither of those things. I imagine this is why St. Paul didn’t travel to Athens and Corinth recruiting toddlers to help him carry the Gospel into pagan lands.

As I have said several times now, parents must be really cautious and in close communion with God about all this. Some parents may have no choice but to send their children to secular schools. But it is high time we realise just how dangerous that has now become.

If you feel you must send them there, and no other choice is a genuine option for you, then don’t you dare send them without around the clock prayer cover and spiritual intercession. Failure to do this will almost ensure that they fail big time, and join the ranks of the godless.

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/matt-walsh-christian-parents-your-kids-arent-equipped-to-be-public-school-missionaries/

[1905 words]

The post Christians, Public Education, and an Increasingly Anti-Christian Culture appeared first on CultureWatch.

Frequently Abused Verses: Was Jesus Poor So We Could Be Wealthy? (2 Corinthians 8:9)

2 Corinthians 8:9

Code: B170405

The prosperity gospel is neither a small nor isolated error. The fixation with money and material riches pervades the theology of its adherents, corrupting every aspect of their faith and doctrine. It is a comprehensive lie—one that skews the very nature of the gospel itself, distorting even the Person and work of Christ.

In particular, it assaults the nature of Christ’s atoning work on our behalf. Forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness are of minor importance at best. Instead, prosperity preachers teach a version of the atonement that serves their material interests. And it all hinges on one verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Here’s how TBN televangelist Joseph Prince explains it:

On the cross, Jesus bore the curse of poverty! That is what the Word of God declares: “For you know the grace [unmerited favor] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Read 2 Corinthians 8 for yourself. The entire chapter is about money and being a blessing financially to those who are in need. So don’t let anyone tell you that the verse is referring to ‘spiritual’ riches.” [1]

Prince is partly right—2 Corinthians 8 is about blessing others financially. But his fixation with money forces him to overlook the obvious flaw in his argument—that Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to give for the sake of other Christians in need. Apparently they had not been—as Prince promised his readers—delivered from “the curse of poverty.”

In verse 1 Paul commends the Macedonian Christians for the “wealth of their liberality” that flowed out of their “deep poverty.” Likewise, in verse 7 Paul reminds the Corinthians of their own spiritual riches: “Just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious [giving] work also.” The Corinthians and Macedonians were wealthy in many ways, just not in the specific way Joseph Prince is.

Phil Pringle, another prosperity preacher and founder of the gigantic C3 Church in Sydney, Australia, leaves no doubt about his interpretation of 2 Corinthians 8:9—going so far as to offer his own paraphrase: “Jesus became poor regarding the wealth of this world on the cross, that those who receive Him may become rich with the wealth of this world.” [2]

Such is the corruption and greed of men like Prince and Pringle, that no subject is off limits in their quest to sanitize and sanctify their perverse love of money. At best, they minimize the forgiveness of sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness at the expense of physical health and material wealth. At worst, they do away with the spiritual components of Christ’s atoning work altogether.

That self-absorbed theology collapses under biblical scrutiny. John MacArthur points out the true nature of Christ’s earthly poverty:

This verse is not a commentary on Jesus’ economic status or the material circumstances of His life. . . . The Lord’s true impoverishment did not consist in the lowly circumstances in which He lived but in the reality that “although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7). [3]

Christ was not a wealthy man, but He wasn’t especially poor, either. The poverty He endured was in contrast to the vast heavenly riches He willingly set aside during His incarnation:

Though as God, Jesus owns everything in heaven and on earth (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 10:14; Job 41:11; Psalm 24:1; 50:12; 1 Corinthians 10:26), His riches do not consist primarily of what is material. The riches in view here are those of Christ’s supernatural glory, His position as God the Son, and His eternal attributes. . . . As the eternal second person of the Trinity, Jesus is as rich as God the Father. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9), and “[Jesus] is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Arguments for Christ’s eternity and deity are inseparable. Since the Scriptures reveal Him to be eternal, and only God can be eternal, Jesus must be God. Therefore, He owns the universe and everything in it, possesses all power and authority (Matthew 28:18), and is to be glorified and honored (John 5:23; Philippians 2:9–11). [4]

Therefore, the riches Christ offers us surpass anything this world can offer. Material blessings don’t merely pale in comparison—they fade into oblivion when contrasted with the vast spiritual riches the Lord supplies. Justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and, eventually, glorification—the eternal benefits of salvation are beyond our comprehension. Peter described them as “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for [believers]” (1 Peter 1:4).

And as John MacArthur explains, these are the riches we most desperately require:

Sinners desperately need the riches of Christ because they are spiritually destitute. They are the “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3), beggars with nothing to commend themselves. But through salvation, believers are made “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), sharing His riches because they are made “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). The ultimate goal of their salvation is to be made like Him (1 John 3:2), to reflect His glory in heaven, “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). [5]

Paul anticipated the lies of the prosperity gospel. In his letter to the Philippians, he described its promoters as “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). He charged the church to avoid such worldly distractions. Instead, Christians must fix their hearts on the eternal riches only Christ can provide.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20–21)

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170405
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).

Barna Update | State of the Bible 2017: Top Findings

Barna’s annual State of the Bible survey, commissioned by American Bible Society, shows that Americans overwhelmingly believe the Bible is a source of hope and a force for good even as they express growing concern for our nation’s morals. These and other snapshots are included in our list of top findings from this year’s report.

Read more

An Open Door Closes – Jan Markell

An Open Door Closes - Jan Markell

“We expect the postmoderns and the religious Left to distort truth, but in the last 20 years, evangelicals have been in the forefront of discouraging believers on these topics. I will now name some names that will cause many to unsubscribe from these emails. I am not attacking these individuals. I am just reporting on what they say.”

When I began Olive Tree Ministries years ago, I ministered in hundreds of churches, home fellowships, women’s groups, and even some men’s groups. Every week I would pile my small vehicle with a 12-string guitar, sound and audio-visual equipment, books, and a map, and head toward destinations large and small. My audiences were enthusiastic as I shared messages focusing on Bible prophecy, Israel, Israel in prophecy, Christ in the Passover, Jewish evangelism, and current events.
 
I could not keep up with the demand. I could have ministered 5-6 times a week. This was more than a decade after Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.  That book opened the eyes of a lot of people and caused them to want more insight. Many thought end-time issues were irrelevant until John Darby in the 1800s. The one-third of the Bible that referenced prophecy was for real and could no longer be ignored. It was for today.
 
If church pulpits didn’t want me to talk about it, then I was invited to classes and retreats sponsored by churches from every denomination.
How Times Have Changed
Today about 90% of these doors have slammed shut. It is not just indifference, it is outright hostility towards topics that a few years ago generated great enthusiasm. Yes, there are small pockets of interest that remain but opportunities continue to shrink.

We are now in the days of 2 Peter 3:3: The mocking and scoffing generation as to end-time events. We are in a time when Israel has been so maligned that even within evangelicalism, she is seen as an “apartheid occupier” more than God’s Chosen People. Anti-Israel sentiment is global. Anti-Semitism is raging. Entire denominations are engaging in the Boycott, Divest, Sanction Movement that harms Israel economically.

If I were to still make my living by visiting churches across America tapping into these very same topics, I would be out of business.
 
How Did This Happen?
I’ve reported on Pastor Tom Hughes’ excellent article before about church indifference to eschatology. He pastors the Calvary Chapel 412 Church in San Jacinto, CA.  Tom writes that many pastors refuse to touch the topics of Bible prophecy and Israel because (1) They don’t understand it; (2) They fear offending members; (3) They are concerned about scaring people; (4) They fear losing the tithes if they talk about end-time events; (5) They are afraid of being identified with the “loony fringe” such as Harold Camping.

Consequently, 90% of our church pulpits today are totally silent on the good news that the King is coming. 

 
The Cry of the Young: Social Justice!!
 
As a young person, I loved these topics. Bible prophecy ignited my spiritual life which was slipping into complacency. My trip to Israel at age 30, plus my Jewish heritage, allowed me to have an all-new worldview that was actually Israel-centric because the Bible is Israel-centric!
The Pre-Trib Research Center has an excellent article written by Dr. James Showers on the eroding evangelical support for Israel.  He addresses one major area that is problematic: Young people are more troubled by injustice than they are inspired by Bible prophecy. They perceive some injustice and consider the “occupation” of the Palestinian territories. They have bought into the propaganda that Israel is an abuser of the Palestinians. I will list the Pied Pipers who have taught them this in a moment.
He suggests that the old adage that we support Israel “because the Bible tells me so” is over.  As a result, there is a trend among younger people to leave the evangelical nest previous young adults occupied to fit into their new postmodern worldview. Postmodern/Emergent leaders only reinforce this as across-the-board they are anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam.
 
He accurately states that young adult evangelical events such as the Justice Conference, Empowered 21 and Catalyst have become pulpits for pro-Palestinian groups to come in the name of peace and blame the lack of peace on Israel. The Justice Conference emphasizes Leftist politics and features the likes of Marxist Cornell West. The annual Catalyst event will not have one Israel-friendly or prophecy-oriented representative.
 
Evangelicals Who Influence
We expect the postmoderns and the religious Left to distort truth, but in the last 20 years, evangelicals have been in the forefront of discouraging believers on these topics. I will now name some names that will cause many to unsubscribe from these emails. I am not attacking these individuals. I am just reporting on what they say.
Popular blogger Tim Challies wrote back on January 31 that there are seven “false teachers” in the church today. One category of false teacher he labels as “the Speculator.” He says that, “Today, as in every age, the ‘Speculator’ obsesses about end-times and somehow his failed predictions dissuade neither himself nor his followers.”
 
Dr. John Piper wrote in 2002 and again in 2014, “Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping the covenant with God. Israel has no divine right to be in the land of promise when she is breaking the covenant of promise. For now, the people are at enmity with God in rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, their Messiah.”
Lynne Hybels, wife of Willow Creek’s Bill Hybels, has been an outspoken proponent of Palestinian issues and a prominent critic of Israel’s wall of partition. This was built some years ago to stop the slaughter of innocent Israelis by the Palestinians. She states, “I believe that the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and the continuing blockade of Gaza is a violation of human rights; as such, it deeply harms the security, freedom, and dignity of both peoples.”
First, she states she is both “pro-Israel and pro-Palestine,” but then she suggests there be a one-state solution. She is deceived thinking that the Palestinians want to live in a peaceful co-existence with Israel. Her one-state solution would only be for the Palestinians. Hybels softened her tone after a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.
Pastor Brian Brodersen, son-in-law of Calvary Chapel’s founder Chuck Smith, recently told Calvary Chapel pastors to avoid the “gloom and doom” of eschatology. Calvary Chapel may be the last denomination in the world that has maintained an eternal perspective with an emphasis on end-time issues. Now they are encouraged to dump the topic and cater to younger people.
Pastor Rick Warren writes in his Purpose Driven Life book, “When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. Jesus said in essence, ‘The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that.’ If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” (See pages 285-286)
Author and columnist Jim Fletcher reached out to Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He asked him about his views on eschatology and Israel. Moore declined and later blocked Fletcher on Twitter.
I have previously written that the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff, states often on his call-in radio program that God’s Chosen People are only Christians. He says God is not a land-broker and suggests Israel does not belong to the Jews. Hank says the Rapture is “nonsense” and is forced into the biblical text. His listeners have had a nearly 30-year diatribe of error in these areas. Many have been turned off on these issues for life.
Space does not permit me to quote many other leading evangelicals and evangelical organizations who take negative positions on these topics. World Vision is just one organization that has been anti-Israel for decades. They were recently caught funneling their humanitarian funds to Hamas though they denied it.
Postmoderns and The Religious Left
 
Jim Fletcher also writes about leftists like Shane Claiborne. Fletcher writes, “Typically pro-Palestinian activists like Shane Claiborne portray Israelis as Nazi-like oppressors of the downtrodden Palestinians. It’s all a toxic stew of political and religious claptrap designed to turn more Millennials against the Jewish state.”
Every other year the patriarchs of the religious Left such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, as well as ardent anti-Israel speakers and writers such as Wheaton’s Gary Burge and the U.K.’s Stephen Sizer, gather at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference for a solemn assembly of Israel-bashing. Lynne Hybels is also a frequent speaker at this pretty shameful event.
Emergent Church leaders are far more interested in yoking with Rome than considering the things to come or looking at Israel-related issues. This is preparing them to receive a counterfeit Christ.
Dispensationalism Declines
 
Eschatology and pro-Israel sentiment have always found a home within Dispensationalism. Twentieth Century teachers John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler, Mark Hitchcock, Ron Rhodes, Dave Reagan, Thomas Ice, Ed Hindson, and many more, have educated millions.
 
The rise of Amillennialism, Preterism, Dominion/Kingdom Now Theologies — and what often comes with them, Replacement Theology — are crowding out Dispensationalism. Dr. Jim Showers says, “Dispensationalism has become a dirty word in many corners of Christian higher education.”
Showers continues, “The next generation of ministry leaders, at best, sees no value in studying future prophecy and, at worst, views it with disfavor or as something to be avoided entirely.” He suggests even those who hold to Dispensationalism and a Christian Zionist view of Israel, born out of a literal interpretation of the Bible, are distancing themselves from these topics.
At a time in history when headlines are at best maddening and bleak, the very theologies that make sense of them are declining in favor of theologies that fill pews and offering plates.
This ministry encourages you to tell the inconvenient truth as it concerns our times no matter how unpopular it makes you. God will honor you some day.
But the conclusion here is that the days are gone when
to be an evangelical Christian was nearly synonymous with being pro-Israel and pro-prophecy. It’s a new day and not a happy one. Yes, the Bible states that Israel will be on her own someday (Zechariah 12:3), but watching the process unfold remains heartbreaking.
In spite of this, the King is still coming, stage-setting signs are escalating, a trumpet is about to sound, the Church will vanish, and the hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen will be heard in the distance.
Let your voice be heard!

View Article

April 5, 2017: Verse of the day

img_1273

Having begun the passage with thanksgiving, Paul now closes it with a doxology. Eternal literally means “of the ages.” It refers to the two ages in Jewish thought, the present age, and the age to come. God had no beginning and will have no end. He exists outside of time, though He acts in it. He is immortal, imperishable, and incorruptible. He will never know death, decay, or loss of strength. Because God is invisible, He can be known only by His self-revelation. That He is the only God is a fundamental truth of Scripture (cf.. Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6; 45:5–6, 21–22; 46:9; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; 1 Tim. 2:5). He alone is worthy of all honor and glory forever and ever. The doxology closes with the emphatic Amen, meaning “let it be said.”

In contrast to the false gospel of the errorists, Paul emphasizes the true gospel and his participation in it by God’s grace. That grace is available to the worst sinner who comes to the Lord Jesus Christ in humble faith and repentance.[1]


17 Paul concludes this section with a brief prayer or doxology, consisting of the following elements: (1) specification of the recipient (“to the King eternal [King of the ages] … the only God”); (2) ascription of praiseworthy attributes (“be honor and glory”); and (3) a solemn affirmation of the truth of the statement (“for ever and ever. Amen”; cf. Rev 1:6; 4:11; 5:12–13; 7:12). The doxology has a liturgical ring to it and may reflect Diaspora synagogue worship (cf. Tob 13:7, 11).

God’s eternal kingship is commonly acknowledged in the OT (esp. Jer 10:10; cf. Pss 10:16; 74:12). The term “immortal” is a Jewish import from Greek philosophy (Wis 12:1; Philo). “Invisible” casts God as incapable of being depicted in visual images (Ex 20:4–5; Col 1:15; Heb 11:27; cf. Jn 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; 1 Jn 4:20). Note that both characteristics, “immortal” and “invisible,” as well as “only,” resurface in the doxology at the end of the letter (6:15–16).

“Only God” (see Jude 25; cf. Jn 5:44) reflects the monotheism characteristic of both Judaism and Christianity (cf. Dt 6:4; Ro 3:29–30; 16:27; 1 Co 8:4–5; Gal 3:20; Eph 4:5–6). This contrasts sharply with the polytheism of the Greco-Roman world. With Paul, one may legitimately marvel that the transcendent, glorious God has in Christ Jesus come into the world to save sinners.[2]


1:17 As Paul thinks of God’s marvelous dealings with him in grace, he bursts out into this lovely doxology. It is difficult to know whether it is addressed to God the Father or to the Lord Jesus. The words the King eternal seem to refer to the Lord Jesus because He is called the “Kings of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). However, the word invisible seems to refer to the Father, since the Lord Jesus was obviously visible to mortal eyes. The fact that we are not able to distinguish which Person of the Godhead is intended might serve as an indication of Their absolute equality.

The King eternal is spoken of, first of all, as immortal. This means incorruptible or imperishable. God in His essence is also invisible. Men have seen appearances of God in the OT, and the Lord Jesus fully revealed God to us in visible form, but the fact remains that God Himself is invisible to human eyes. Next He is spoken of as God who alone is wise. In the final analysis, all wisdom comes from God (Jas. 1:5).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 32–33). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 507). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 2079–2080). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

April 5 – Dealing with Sorrow

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).

✧✧✧

Human sorrow is a natural and healthy emotion, but beware of mourning over unfulfilled sinful desires.

Most people in our society have an amusement-park mentality. They spend much of their time and money on entertainment, wanting to enjoy life and avoid problems whenever possible. To them, Matthew 5:4 is a paradox. How can someone who mourns be happy? The answer lies in the difference between godly sorrow and human sorrow. Godly sorrow is sorrow over sin; human sorrow is sorrow over some tragic or disappointing turn of events (2 Cor. 7:8–11).

In Matthew 5:4 Jesus is referring to godly sorrow, which is our topic for tomorrow. But we all face human sorrow as well, so I want to discuss it briefly today.

Human sorrow is a natural emotion. Our Lord Himself was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Many things can cause this. We might mourn out of love, disappointment, loneliness, or physical illness. There is nothing wrong with that kind of mourning. It is a God-given relief valve for the pain and sorrow in this fallen world, and it promotes the healing process.

Scripture gives many examples of human sorrow. Abraham wept when his wife, Sarah, died (Gen. 23:2). Through tears Jeremiah preached God’s message of judgment (Jer. 9:1). Paul expressed his concern for the church with his tears (Acts 20:31). Those are natural, healthy expressions of human sorrow.

However, sorrow can also be caused by evil desires or by a lack of trust in God. King Ahab mourned to the point of sulking and not eating when he couldn’t have another man’s property (1 Kings 21:4). Some Christians mourn excessively when they lose a loved one. Forsaking the comfort of the Spirit, they focus only on their own grief. Extreme or prolonged manifestations of great sorrow are sinful and must be confessed rather than comforted.

God is gracious to His children amid times of human sorrow. Ultimately He will do away with mourning and pain forever (Rev. 21:4). Rejoice in that promise, and be comforted by His wonderful grace!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the ministry of the Spirit, who is the great Comforter or Helper (John 14:16–17). When sorrow occurs, lean on the Spirit, feed your soul on God’s Word, and commune with Him in prayer.

For Further Study: Read Psalm 55. How did David express his desire to escape his difficult situation? What was his final resolve?[1]


Happy Are the Sad

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5:4)

In Psalm 55 David cries out, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest” (vv. 6–8).

Such a cry comes from the lips of almost everyone at some time or another. David echoes the cry of humanity-a cry for release, a cry for freedom, a cry for escape from things that weigh heavy on us. When we face great sorrow, disappointment, tragedy, or failure, we wish that we could escape the trouble like we escape a thunderstorm by running inside. But comfort from the troubles of life is much harder to find than shelter from rain. The deeper the sorrow, the harder the pressure, the worse the despair, the more elusive comfort seems to be.

As pointed out in the previous chapter, all of the Beatitudes are paradoxical, because what they promise for what they demand seems incongruous and upside down in the eyes of the natural man. The paradox of the second beatitude is obvious. What could be more self-contradictory than the idea that the sad are happy, that the path to happiness is sadness, that the way to rejoicing is in mourning?

In the routine of ordinary, day-by-day living, the idea seems absurd. The whole structure of most human living-whether by the primitive or sophisticated, the wealthy or the poor, the educated or the uneducated-is based on the seemingly incontrovertible principle that the way to happiness is having things go your own way. Pleasure brings happiness, money brings happiness, entertainment brings happiness, fame and praise bring happiness, self-expression brings happiness. On the negative side, avoiding pain, trouble, disappointment, frustration, hardships, and other problems brings happiness. Sidestepping those things is necessary before the other things can bring full happiness. Throughout history a basic axiom of the world has been that favorable things bring happiness, whereas unfavorable things bring unhappiness. The principle seems so self-evident that most people would not bother to debate it.

But Jesus said, “Happy are the sad.” He even went so far as to say, “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25)-the converse beatitude of Matthew 5:4. Jesus turned the world’s principles exactly upside down. He reversed the path to happiness.

To discover what Jesus meant, and did not mean, in this beatitude we will look at the meaning of mourning as it is used here, the result of mourning, the way to mourn as Jesus teaches, and the way to know if we are truly mourning.

the meaning of mourning

Certain kinds of sorrow are common to all mankind, experienced by believer and unbeliever alike. Some of these sorrows are normal and legitimate, sorrows which concern the Lord and for which He knows our need. Others are abnormal and illegitimate, brought about solely because of sinful passions and objectives.

Improper Mourning

Improper mourning is the sorrow of those who are frustrated in fulfilling evil plans and lusts, or who have misguided loyalties and affection. To those who mourn in that way the Lord offers no help or solace.

David’s son “Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her” (2 Sam. 13:2). Amnon’s grief was caused by incestuous, unfulfilled lust.

Others carry legitimate sorrow to illegitimate extremes. When a person grieves so hard and so long over the loss of a loved one that he cannot function normally, his grief becomes sinful and destructive. Such depressing sorrow is usually related to guilt, essentially selfish, and, for a Christian, is a mark of unfaithfulness and lack of trust in God.

David grieved that way, in part to try to atone for his guilt. When the rebellious Absalom, another of David’s sons, was killed, his father went into inconsolable mourning (2 Sam. 18:33—19:4). Joab finally rebuked the king, saying, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased” (19:5–6). The wickedly ambitious Absalom had raised a rebel army, driven the king-his own father-out of Jerusalem, and taken over the palace.

David’s love for his son was understandable, but his judgment had been perverted. Probably because of his great feeling of guilt for having been such a poor father, and because he knew that Absalom’s tragedy was part of the judgment God sent because of David’s adulterous and murderous affair with Bathsheba, the king’s mourning over Absalom was abnormal. The judgment that came on Absalom was entirely deserved.

Proper Mourning

There are also, of course, other kinds of sorrow, legitimate sorrows that are common to all mankind and for which reasonable mourning is appropriate. To express these sorrows and to cry over them opens an escape valve that keeps our feelings from festering and poisoning our emotions and our whole life. It provides the way for healing, just as washing out a wound helps prevent infection.

An Arab proverb says, “All sunshine makes a desert.” The trouble-free life is likely to be a shallow life. We often learn more and mature more from times of sorrow than from times when everything is going well. A familiar poem by Robert Browning Hamilton expresses the truth:

I walked a mile with Pleasure,

She chattered all the way,

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,

And ne’er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

(Cited in William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew [rev. ed.; Philadelphia: Westminster. 1975], 1:94)

Sarah’s death caused Abraham to mourn (Gen. 23:2). But the “father of the faithful” did not weep from lack of faith but for the loss his beloved wife, which he had every right to do.

Loneliness for God, from whom he felt separated for a time, caused the psalmist to declare, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?”’ (Ps. 42:1–3).

Defeat and discouragement caused Timothy to mourn, leading Paul, his spiritual father, to write, “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy” (2 Tim. 1:3–4).

Anguished concern about the sins of Israel and God’s coming judgment on His people caused Jeremiah to mourn. “Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears,” he cried, “that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1).

Concern for the spiritual welfare of the Ephesian believers had caused Paul to mourn. “Night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears,” he said (Acts 20:31). Because of their great love for him the elders from the Ephesus church later mourned for Paul as he prayed with them on the beach near Miletus, “grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more” (v. 38).

The earnest love of a father caused him to be grief-stricken over his demon-possessed son, even as he brought him to Jesus for healing. No doubt tears ran down the man’s face as He implored Jesus to help, confessing “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Repentant, worshipful devotion caused a woman to mourn over her sins as she went into the Pharisee’s house and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. To the proud host who resented her contaminating his house and interrupting his dinner party, Jesus said, “I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47).

Immeasurable divine love caused our Lord to weep at the death of Lazarus (John 11:35) and over the sinning people of Jerusalem, whom He wanted to gather into His care as a mother hen gathers her chicks (Matt. 23:37).

Godly Mourning

The mourning about which Jesus is talking in the second beatitude, however, has nothing to do with the types just discussed, proper or improper. The Lord is concerned about all of the legitimate sorrows of His children, and He promises to console, comfort, and strengthen us when we turn to Him for help. But those are not the kind of sorrow at issue here. Jesus is speaking of godly sorrow, godly mourning, mourning that only those who sincerely desire to belong to Him or who already belong to Him can experience.

Paul speaks of this sorrow in his second letter to Corinth. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you” (2 Cor. 7:10–11). The only sorrow that brings spiritual life and growth is godly sorrow, sorrow over sin that leads to repentance. Godly sorrow is linked to repentance, and repentance is linked to sin.

As the first beatitude makes clear, entrance into the kingdom of heaven begins with being “poor in spirit,” with recognition of total spiritual bankruptcy. The only way any person can come to Jesus Christ is empty-handed, totally destitute and pleading for God’s mercy and grace. Without a sense of spiritual poverty no one can enter the kingdom. And when we enter the kingdom we should never lose that sense, knowing “that nothing good dwells in [us], that is, in [our] flesh” (Rom. 7:18).

Spiritual poverty leads to godly sorrow; the poor in spirit become those who mourn. After his great sin involving Bathsheba and Uriah, David repented and expressed his godly sorrow in Psalm 51: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight” (vv. 3–4). Job was a model believer, “blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil” (Job. 1:1). Yet he still had something to learn about God’s greatness and his own unworthiness, about God’s infinite wisdom and his own very imperfect understanding. Only after God allowed everything dear to Job to be taken away and then lectured His servant on His sovereignty and His majesty, did Job finally come to the place of godly sorrow, of repenting of and mourning over his sin. He confessed, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (42:5–6). God loves and honors a morally righteous life, but it is no substitute for a humble and contrite heart, which God loves and honors even more (Isa. 66:2).

As seen in the discussion of the first beatitude, makarios (blessed) means to be happy, blissful. That happiness is a divine pronouncement, the assured benefit of those who meet the conditions God requires.

The condition of the second beatitude is mourning: blessed are those who mourn. Nine different Greek words are used in the New Testament to speak of sorrow, reflecting its commonness in man’s life. It is woven into the cloth of the human situation. The story of history is the story of tears. And before the earth’s situation gets better it will get worse. Jesus tells us that before He comes again, “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matt. 24:7–8). Until the Lord returns, history is destined to go from tragedy to greater tragedy, from sorrow to still greater sorrow.

Of the nine terms used for sorrow, the one used here (pentheō, mourn) is the strongest, the most severe. It represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief, and was generally reserved for grieving over the death of a loved one. It is used in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) for Jacob’s grief when he thought his son Joseph was killed by a wild animal (Gen. 37:34). It is used of the disciples’ mourning for Jesus before they knew He was raised from the dead (Mark 16:10). It is used of the mourning of world business leaders over the death of its commerce because of the destruction of the world system during the Tribulation (Rev. 18:11, 15).

The word carries the idea of deep inner agony, which may or may not be expressed by outward weeping, wailing, or lament. When David stopped hiding his sin and began mourning over it and confessing it (Ps. 32:3–5), he could declare, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (vv. 1–2).

Happiness, or blessedness, does not come in the mourning itself. Happiness comes with what God does in response to it, with the forgiveness that such mourning brings. Godly mourning brings God’s forgiveness, which brings God’s happiness. Mourning is not merely a psychological or emotional experience that makes people feel better. It is a communion with the living, loving God who responds to the mourner with an objective reality-the reality of divine forgiveness!

David experienced and expressed many kinds of common human sorrow, both proper and improper. He mourned over being lonely, over being rejected, over being discouraged and disappointed, and over losing an infant child. He also mourned inordinately over the death of Absalom, whom God had removed to protect Israel and the messianic throne of David. But nothing broke the heart of David like his own sin. No anguish was as deep as the anguish he felt when he finally saw the awfulness of his offenses against the Lord. That is when David became happy, when he became truly sad over his transgressions.

The world says, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile.” Hide your problems and pretend to be happy. The same philosophy is applied to sin. But Jesus says, “Confess your sins, and mourn, mourn, mourn.” When we do that, our smiles can be genuine, because our happiness will be genuine. Godly mourning brings godly happiness, which no amount of human effort or optimistic pretense, no amount of positive thinking or possibility thinking, can produce.

Only mourners over sin are happy because only mourners over sin have their sins forgiven. Sin and happiness are totally incompatible. Where one exists, the other cannot. Until sin is forgiven and removed, happiness is locked out. Mourning over sin brings forgiveness of sin, and forgiveness of sin brings a freedom and a joy that cannot be experienced in any other way.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” James tells us. “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:8–10).

There is great need in the church today to cry instead of laugh. The frivolity, silliness, and foolishness that go on in the name of Christianity should themselves make us mourn. God’s counsel to the frivolous happy, the self-satisfied happy, the indulgent happy is: “Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom.”

The faithful child of God is constantly broken over his sinfulness, and the longer he lives and the more mature he becomes in the Lord, the harder it is for him to be frivolous. He sees more of God’s love and mercy, but he also sees more of his own and the world’s sinfulness. To grow in grace is also to grow in awareness of sin. Speaking to Israel, the prophet Isaiah said, “In that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving the head, and to wearing sackcloth. Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine.” Following the world’s philosophy, which still prevails today, God’s ancient people said, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die” (Isa. 22:12–13).

We follow that philosophy vicariously, if not actually, when we laugh at the world’s crude and immoral jokes even though we do not retell them, when we are entertained by a sin even though we do not indulge in it, when we smile at ungodly talk even though we do not repeat the words. To joke about divorce, to make light of brutality, to be intrigued by sexual immorality is to rejoice when we should be mourning, to be laughing when we should be crying. To “rejoice in the perversity of evil” is placed alongside “delight in doing evil” (Prov. 2:14). To take “pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:12) is to be a part of the wickedness, whether or not we commit the specific sin.

Much of the church today has a defective sense of sin, which is reflected in this defective sense of humor. When even its own members make the church the butt of jokes, make light of its beliefs and ordinances, caricature its leaders as inept and clownish, and make its high standards of purity and righteousness the subject of humorous commentary, the church has great need to turn its laughter into mourning.

The Bible recognizes a proper sense of humor, humor that is not at the expense of God’s name, God’s Word, God’s church, or any person, except perhaps ourselves. God knows that “a joyful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22), but a heart that rejoices in sin is taking poison, not medicine. The way to happiness is not in ignoring sin, much less in making light of it, but rather in sorrow over it that cries to God.

We can react to our spiritual bankruptcy in one of several ways. Like the Pharisees we can deny our spiritual destitution and pretend we are spiritually rich. Or, like monastics and advocates of moral rearmament, we can admit our condition and try to change it in our own power and by our own efforts. Or we can admit our condition and then despair over it to such a degree that we try to drown it in drink, escape it by drugs or by activity, or give up completely and commit suicide, as Judas did. Because they can find no answer in themselves or in the world, these people conclude that there is no answer. Or, like the prodigal son, we can admit our condition, mourn over it, and turn to the heavenly Father to remedy our poverty (see Luke 15:11–32).

Mourning over sin is not being engulfed in despair. Even the person who has been severely disciplined by the church should be forgiven, comforted, and loved, “lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Cor. 2:7–8). Nor is godly mourning wallowing in self-pity and false humility, which are really badges of pride.

True mourning over sin does not focus on ourselves, not even on our sin. It focuses on God, who alone can forgive and remove our sin. It is an attitude that begins when we enter the kingdom and lasts as long as we are on earth. It is the attitude of Romans 7. Contrary to some popular interpretation, Paul is not here speaking simply about his former condition. The problems of chapter 7 were not one-time experiences that were completely replaced by the victories of chapter 8. The apostle clearly says, “For that which I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (7:15). Here he uses the present tense, as he does throughout the rest of the chapter: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; … for the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish” (vv. 18–19); “I find then the principle that evil is present in me” (v. 21); “Wretched man that I am! … So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (vv. 24–25).

Paul wrote those words at the height of his ministry. Yet righteousness and sin were still fighting a battle in his life. As he acknowledges in verse 25, the way of victory is “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” but the rest of the verse makes clear that, at that time, the victory was not yet complete. He knew where the victory was, and he had tasted the victory many times. But he knew that, in this life, it is never a permanent victory. The presence of the flesh sees to that. Permanent victory is assured to us now, but it is not given to us now.

Paul not only spoke of the creation anxiously longing for restoration, but of his own longing for complete restoration. “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the: Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:19, 22–23). Paul was tired of sin, tired of fighting it in himself, as well as in the church and in the world. He longed for relief. “For indeed in this house we groan,” he said, “longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.” He greatly preferred “rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:2, 8).

The mark of the mature life is not sinlessness, which is reserved for heaven, but growing awareness of sinfulness. “If we say that we have no sin,” John warns, “we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). The subjects of God’s kingdom-the forgiven ones, the children of God and joint heirs with the Son-are characterized by continual confession of sin.

Several years ago a college student said to me, “I’ve been liberated. Someone explained to me the true meaning of 1 John 1:9, and now I realize that I no longer have to confess my sins.” I asked him, “Well, do you still confess your sins?” “I just told you that I don’t have to anymore,” he replied. “I know you did,” I said, “but do you still confess your sins?” When he replied, “Yes, that’s what bothers me,” I stopped being bothered. I said, “I’m very glad to hear that,” and then told him that I knew that, despite the false teaching to which he had been exposed, he was a genuine Christian. His redeemed nature refused to go along with the false teaching his mind had temporarily accepted.

Penthountes (mourn) is a present participle, indicating continuous action. In other words, those who are continually mourning are those who will be continually comforted. In his ninety-five theses Martin Luther said that the Christian’s entire life is a continuous act of repentance and contrition. In his psalms David cried out, “For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me” (38:4) and, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (51:3).

There is no record in the New Testament of Jesus laughing. We are told of His weeping, His anger, His hunger and thirst, and many other human emotions and characteristics. But if He laughed, we do not know of it. We do know that, as Isaiah predicted, He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Yet today we often hear of another Jesus, who laughs and cajoles and draws people into the kingdom by His nonjudgmental spirit and His winsome way. The fun-loving, escapist world of comedians is found plying its trade even in the church-and finding ready acceptance.

The Result of Mourning

The result of godly mourning is comfort: they shall be comforted. That is why they are blessed. It is not the mourning that blesses, but the comfort God gives to those who mourn in a godly way.

The emphatic pronoun autos (they) indicates that only those who mourn over sin will be comforted. The blessing of God’s comfort is reserved exclusively for the contrite of heart. It is only those who mourn for sin who will have their tears wiped away by the loving hand of Jesus Christ.

Comforted is from parakaleō the same word that, as a noun, is rendered Comforter, or Helper, in John 14:16, where we are told that Jesus was the first Helper, and the Holy Spirit is “another Helper.”

The Old Testament also speaks of God comforting those who mourn. Isaiah tells of the Messiah’s coming, among other things, “to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isa. 61:2–3). David was comforted by the rod and staff of his divine Shepherd (Ps. 23:4).

As our mourning rises to the throne of God, His unsurpassed and matchless comfort descends from Him by Christ to us. Ours is the “God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3), who is always ready to meet our need, admonishing, sympathizing, encouraging, and strengthening. God is a God of comfort, Christ is a Christ of comfort, and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of comfort. As believers we have the comfort of the entire Trinity!

Shall be does not refer to the end of our lives or the end of the age. Like all other blessings of God, it will be completed only when we see our Lord face-to-face. In the eternal heavenly state God “shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4).

But the comfort of Matthew 5:4 is future only in the sense that the blessing comes after the obedience; the comfort comes after the mourning. As we continually mourn over our sin, we shall be continually comforted-now, in this present life. God is not only the God of future comfort but of present comfort. “God our Father” already has “given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace” (2 Thess. 2:16).

Even God’s written Word is a present comforter, given for our encouragement and hope (Rom. 15:4). And as God Himself gives us comfort and His Word gives us comfort, we are called to comfort each other with the promises of His Word (1 Thess. 4:18; cf. 2 Cor. 1:6; 7:13; 13:11; etc.).

Happiness comes to sad people because their godly sadness leads to God’s comfort. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,” Jesus says, “and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He will lift the burden from those who mourn over sin, and He will give rest to those who are weary of sin. As often as we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive, and for as long as we mourn over sin He is faithful to comfort.

How to Mourn

What does true mourning over sin involve? How can we become godly mourners?

Eliminate Hindrances

The first step requires removing the hindrances that keep us from mourning, the things that make us content with ourselves, that make us resist God’s Spirit and question His Word, and that harden our hearts. A stony heart does not mourn. It is insensitive to God, and His plow of grace cannot break it up. It only stores up wrath till the day of wrath.

Love of sin is the primary hindrance to mourning. Holding on to sin will freeze and petrify a heart. Despair hinders mourning because despair is giving up on God, refusing to believe that He can save and help. Despair is putting ourselves outside God’s grace. Of such people Jeremiah writes, “They will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart’ ” (Jer. 18:12). The one who despairs believes he is destined to sin. Because he believes God has given up on him, he gives up on God. Despair excuses sin by choosing to believe that there is no choice. Despair hides God’s mercy behind a self-made cloud of doubt.

Another hindrance is conceit, which tries to hide the sin itself, choosing to believe that there is nothing over which to mourn. It is the spiritual counterpart of a doctor treating a cancer as if it were a cold. If it was necessary for Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the cross to save us from our sin, our sin must be great indeed!

Presumption hinders mourning because it is really a form of pride. It recognizes the need for grace, but not much grace. It is satisfied with cheap grace, expecting God to forgive little because it sees little to be forgiven. Sins are bad, but not bad enough to be confessed, repented of, and forsaken. Yet the Lord declared through Isaiah, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:7). No pardon is offered to the unrepentant, presumptuous person who refuses to forsake his sin. The gospel that teaches otherwise has always been popular, as it clearly is in our own day; but it is a false gospel, “a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6), a distortion and contradiction of the gospel of Scripture.

Procrastination hinders godly mourning simply by putting it off. It says, “One of these days, when things are just right, I’ll take a hard look at my sins, confess them, and ask God’s forgiveness and cleansing.” But procrastination is foolish and dangerous, because we “do not know what [our] life will be like tomorrow. [We] are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). The sooner the disease of sin is dealt with the sooner comfort will come. If it is not dealt with, we have no assurance that comfort will ever come, because we have no assurance we will have time to confess it later.

The most important step we can take in getting rid of hindrances to mourning, whatever they are, is to look at the holiness of God and the great sacrifice of sin-bearing at the cross. If seeing Christ die for our sins does not thaw a cold heart or break up a hardened heart, it is beyond melting or breaking. In her poem “Good Friday,” Christina Rossetti gives these moving lines:

Am I a stone and not a sheep,

That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,

To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss

And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved

Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;

Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;

Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon

Which hid their faces in a starless sky.

A horror of great darkness at broad noon-

I, only I.

Yet give not oe’r

But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;

Greater than Moses, turn and look once more

And smite a rock.

Study God’s Word

The second step toward godly mourning is to study sin in Scripture, to learn what an evil and repulsive thing it is to God and what a destructive and damning thing it is to us. We should learn from David to keep our sin ever before us (Ps. 51:3) and from Isaiah to say, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). We should learn from Peter to say, “I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8) and from Paul to confess that we are the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). As we hear those great men of God talking about their sin, we are forced to face the reality and the depth of our own.

Sin tramples on God’s laws, makes light of His love, grieves His Spirit, spurns His forgiveness and blessing, and in every way resists His grace. Sin makes us weak and makes us impure. It robs us of comfort and, much more importantly, robs God of glory.

Pray

The third step toward godly mourning is to pray for contriteness of heart, which only God can give and which He never refuses to give those who ask. It must always be recognized that humility depends on the working of the Lord. The way to godly mourning lies not in pre-salvation human works, but in God’s saving grace.

How to Know if We Are Mourning as Christ Commands

Knowing whether or not we have godly mourning is not difficult. First, we need to ask ourselves if we are sensitive to sin. If we laugh at it, take it lightly, or enjoy it, we can be sure we are not mourning over it and are outside the sphere of God’s blessing.

The mock righteousness of hypocrites who make every effort to appear holy on the outside (see Matt. 6:1–18) has no sensitivity to sin, only sensitivity to personal prestige and reputation. Nor does the mock gratitude of those who thank God they are better than other people (Luke 18:11). Saul regretted that he had disobeyed God by not slaying King Agag and by sparing the best of the Amalekite animals. But he was not repentant; he did not mourn over his sin. He instead tried to excuse his actions by claiming that the animals were spared so that they could be sacrificed to God and that the people made him do what he did. He twice admitted that he had sinned, and even asked Samuel for pardon. But his real concern was not for the Lord’s honor but for his own. “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel” (1 Sam. 15:30). Saul had ungodly regret, not godly mourning.

The godly mourner will have true sorrow for his sins. His first concern is for the harm his sin does to God’s glory, not the harm its exposure might bring to his own reputation or welfare.

If our mourning is godly we will grieve for the sins of fellow believers and for the sins of the world. We will cry with the psalmist, “My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Thy law” (Ps. 119:136). We will wish with Jeremiah that our heads were fountains of water that we could have enough tears for weeping (Jer. 9:1; cf. Lam. 1:16). With Ezekiel we will search out faithful believers “who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed” around us (Ezek. 9:4; cf. Ps. 69:9). We will look out over the community where we live and weep, as Jesus looked out over Jerusalem and wept (Luke 19:41).

The second way to determine if we have genuine mourning over sin is to check our sense of God’s forgiveness. Have we experienced the release and freedom of knowing our sins are forgiven? Do we have His peace and joy in our life? Can we point to true happiness He has given in response to our mourning? Do we have the divine comfort He promises to those who have forgiven, cleansed, and purified lives?

The godly mourners “who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps. 126:5–6).[2]


4 Black (Aramaic Approach, 157) notes how the Matthean and Lukan (6:21b, 25b) forms of this beatitude could each have been part of a larger parallelism—an observation that goes nicely with the hypothesis that the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain are reports of one discourse, relying somewhat on common sources (see Overview, 5:1–7:29).

Some commentators deny that this mourning is for sin (e.g., Bonnard). Others (e.g., Schweizer) understand it to be mourning for any kind of misery. The reality is subtler. The godly remnant of Jesus’ day weeps because of the humiliation of Israel, but they understand that it comes from personal and corporate sins. The psalmist testified, “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed” (Ps 119:136; cf. Eze 9:4). When Jesus preached, “The kingdom of heaven is near,” he, like John the Baptist before him, expected not jubilation but contrite tears. It is not enough to acknowledge personal spiritual bankruptcy (Mt 5:3) with a cold heart. Weeping for sins can be deeply poignant (Ezr 10:6; Ps 51:4; Da 9:19–20) and can cover a global as well as personal view of sin and our participation in it. Paul understands these matters well (cf. Ro 7:24; 1 Co 5:2; 2 Co 12:21; Php 3:18).

“Comfort, comfort my people” (Isa 40:1) is God’s response. These first two beatitudes deliberately allude to the messianic blessing of Isaiah 61:1–3 (see Lk 4:16–19; cf. France, Jesus and the Old Testament, 134–35), confirming them as eschatological and messianic. The Messiah comes to bestow “the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isa 61:3). But these blessings, already realized partially but fully only at the consummation (Rev 7:17), depend on a Messiah who comes to save his people from their sins (1:21; cf. 11:28–30). Those who claim to experience all its joys without tears mistake the nature of the kingdom. In Charles Wesley’s words:

He speaks, and listening to his voice,

New life the dead receive;

The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,

The humble poor believe.[3]


5:4 Those who mourn are blessed; a day of comfort awaits them. This does not refer to mourning because of the vicissitudes of life. It is the sorrow which one experiences because of fellowship with the Lord Jesus. It is an active sharing of the world’s hurt and sin with Jesus. Therefore, it includes, not only sorrow for one’s own sin, but also sorrow because of the world’s appalling condition, it’s rejection of the Savior, and the doom of those who refuse His mercy. These mourners shall be comforted in the coming day when “God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4). Believers do all their mourning in this life; for unbelievers, today’s grief is only a foretaste of eternal sorrow.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 108). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (pp. 152–165). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 162–163). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1216). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.