Daily Archives: January 15, 2018

January 15 Resting in God’s Sovereignty

“[God] made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in [Christ] with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth” (Eph. 1:9–10).

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God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

For centuries men of various philosophical schools have debated the cause, course, and climax of human history. Some deny God and therefore deny any divine involvement in history. Others believe that God set everything in motion, then withdrew to let it progress on its own. Still others believe that God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

In Ephesians 1:9–10 Paul settles that debate by reminding us that Jesus Himself is the goal of human history. In Him all things will be summed up; all human history will be resolved and united to the Father through the work of the Son.

As Paul said elsewhere, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness [of deity] to dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:19–20). The culmination of Christ’s reconciling work will come during His millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20). Following that, He will usher in the eternal state with a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21).

Despite the political uncertainty and military unrest in the world today, be assured that God is in control. He governs the world (Isa. 40:22–24), the nations (Isa. 40:15–17), and individuals as well (Prov. 16:9). God’s timetable is right on schedule. Nothing takes Him by surprise, and nothing thwarts His purposes. Ultimately He will vanquish evil and will make everything right in Christ.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the wisdom and insight He gives you to see beyond your temporal circumstances to His eternal purposes. ✧ Live today with that perspective in mind.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 20. ✧ What happens to Satan prior to the millennial Kingdom? ✧ How does Satan meet his final doom? ✧ What happens at the Great White Throne Judgment?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 27). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JANUARY 15 THE WORLD CHANGES—BUT NOT THE HUMAN RACE

…That ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.

EPHESIANS 4:17

To a Christian, conditioned as he is to observing life from above and judging all things in the light of eternal values, the modern feverish devotion to the newest invention and the latest happening seems more than a little ridiculous!

One thing seems to be quite forgotten: the world moves and times change but people remain the same always. Just as a pendulum remains fixed at the top while it swings back and forth from one extreme to another, so the human race remains basically unchanged while it moves through its limited arc.

No responsible person will deny that some changes made by the race over the years have been improvements and so may have represented progress and advance. However, just what we are supposed to be advancing toward has not been made very clear by our leaders!

It would seem humanly difficult, indeed, to show that we are moving toward an end when we do not know what or where that end is, or even if such an end exists at all.

The only parallel we can think of at the moment is that of a deadly-serious and fanatically determined dachshund chasing breathlessly after its tail—a tail, incidentally, which is not there because it has previously been removed. Add a large number of other dachshunds, bespectacled and solemn, writing books to prove that the frustrated puppy’s activity is progress, and you have the picture![1]


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

Why Repentant Pastors Should Be Forgiven But Not Restored to the Pulpit

It’s important to forgive repentant pastors, but not to restore them to pastoral office for years or perhaps ever (depending on the nature of the sin) because Paul’s qualifications pertain to the character. A pastor is an extraordinary ordinary Christian. A pastor is a teacher and a pattern setter. An example. Therefore, he must be above reproach and trustworthy.

Many Christians struggle with what it means to forgive a pastor who has committed a grievous act. Recently, a Memphis megachurch pastor admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student 20 years ago in Texas. I’m not in a place to render judgment over another church’s matters. Yet how should we think about forgiveness of a pastor?

Christians struggle with this question because Christianity centers on the idea of forgiveness. Step one in becoming a Christian is acknowledging that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.

When the pastor is exposed, some push the message of forgiveness. “Who of us is without sin?” they might say, drawing from Jesus in John 8. Meanwhile, others object: “But how can we trust this guy?”

I side with the second group.

A pastor occupies two offices, or roles: the “office” of pastor and the “office” of church member. The requirements for these offices are different. To be a pastor, you at least need to meet the qualifications Paul gave to his disciple Timothy: “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (1 Tim. 3:2-3).

“Above reproach” doesn’t mean a pastor is sinless. It means that if everything about his life is brought into the light, people would still trust him and follow him in the way of godliness.

Typically there are two requirements of holding the “office” of church member: that one be baptized and repentant.

Forgiveness ordinarily (not always) involves two things: forswearing resentment (subjectively) and restoring a person to their previous office or role (objectively).

To “forgive” a pastor means we don’t personally hold his sin against him and that we restore him to his office of church member. If he is repentant, he meets the qualification of membership.

That doesn’t mean we should restore him to the office of pastor. Our forgiveness does not mean he magically meets those qualifications. His life, quite simply, is not above reproach.

By analogy, new-installed President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for crimes he might have committed against the United States while president. Ford didn’t explicitly make a distinction between Nixon as president and Nixon as citizen. But the pardon effectively pardoned Nixon as citizen. It prevented him from being indicted and sent to jail. It did not restore him to the presidency.

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The post Why Repentant Pastors Should Be Forgiven But Not Restored to the Pulpitappeared first on The Aquila Report.

Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saved?

Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saved? This is a question that I have often asked myself. There is no doubt that he had the trappings of a “Christian”, but was he saved as the Word of Almighty God requires (Matt. 7:21-23, Rom. 10:2-4)? This is not a black or white issue but a sound biblical one, for in the END that is what life is ALL about.

Yes, Dr. King had a great dream, vision and was fearless about bringing civil rights to America tagically the lawless white and black Left in this country has hijacked and corrupted his vision with victim status and race baiting. His vision is the dream of millions of Americans (red, yellow, black or white) who are looking for “peace” in this fallen and turbulent world (Isa. 9:6, 48:22, 53:5, 57:21, Jer. 8:11, Eph. 2:14, Col. 1:20). The very world it’s self is seeking to achieve this “peace”, unity, harmony and oneness, but sadly they leave out one key and crucial piece to this utopian equation… ALMIGHTY GOD and His RIGHTEOUSNESS!

The very world it’s self is seeking to achieve this “peace”, unity, harmony and oneness, but sadly they leave out one key and crucial piece to this utopian equation… ALMIGHTY GOD!

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No matter how noble, no matter how heroic, no matter how virtuous, no matter how selfless, no matter how passionate, no matter how courageous, no matter one’s color etc.. etc… When anyone (red, yellow, black or white) leaves out the ETERNAL Creator from time’s hopeless dilemma and His ETERNAL absolutes of RIGHTEOUSNESS all is doomed (Eccl. 12:13-14, Rev. 20:11-15)! There are NO utopias here and there will NEVER be, yet the world in their subjective GODLESS delusion seeks to achieve this la-la land fantasy with relativism, lawlessness, decadence and Machiavellianism. This world seeks true peace through the labors of lawlessness, but in the end all they find is endless war and oppression (Isa. 48:22, 57:21). History is full of valiant men and women who sought to make this fallen world a better place and in some ways they have and we thank Almighty God for them, but in the light of ETERNITY if they knew not the Savior of the world it was ALL vanity and these noble – yet unregenerate men – must stand before their Creator in that Day to give an account (Eccl.). Good and noble deeds with all of itsworks can NEVER manufacture the PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS demand by Almighty Godfor fallen man and tragically that is how this world perceives and deceives themselves about the last Day (Rom. 6:23, 10:2-4, Eph. 2:8-9, Rev. 20:11-15).A broken egg is still a broken egg no matter what good it was used for.

There are NO utopias here and there will NEVER be, yet the world in their subjective GODLESS delusion seeks to achieve this la-la land fantasy with relativism, lawlessness, decadence and Machiavellianism.

We need as Adam’s offspring (race) to see things from Almighty God’s ETERNAL perspective. We need to fully understand – as a human race (Adam’s offspring) – that this world is NOT our home (Rom. 5:12). For in the final end, ETERNITY is the final destination of ALL mankind. Whether rich or poor, black or white, man or women, virtuous or vile, saved or unsaved (Heb. 9:27), either a child of Adam HAS the required RIGHTEOUSNESS of Almighty God provided by His Son or He does not. That is the cross road of this world. Either you will receive Almighty God’s propitiation in spirit and in truth or you will not (John 3:16-17, 1 John 2:2, 4:10). It is just that simple.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)”

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“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:12)”

Below is a link to a paper written by a black author and believer in Jesus Christ. It was very insightful and uses Almighty God’s infallible Word to discern whether Dr. King was a true believer in Jesus Christ based on the teachings and sound doctrine of the Bible. I thought this was excellent and wanted to share this with you.

Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Christian? – link to article

Source: Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saved?

Everything Begins with God—Including Evangelism

Code: B180115

In the beginning God . . . (Genesis 1:1).

God’s own story of redemption begins with Himself. And that’s where we should begin when preaching the gospel.

That’s not to say an exhaustive discourse on the character and nature of God, or a full-orbed investigation of His infinite attributes, is a prerequisite to understanding and believing the gospel. Even our Spirit-illuminated minds cannot fathom God in His fullness; how much can we expect the mind still darkened by sin to comprehend?

However, we cannot accurately present the gospel without first dispelling the false and idolatrous ideas about God that dominate the world. People today blithely fashion a god out of nothing more than their sentimentality and spiritual preferences. But that popular exercise is as futile as trying to rewrite the law of gravity, or wish it away altogether. God is eternal (Isaiah 57:15) and unchanging (Malachi 3:6), and demands our reverence on His terms, not ours.

God presents and defines Himself in Scripture as the true and living God. He says, “I am the Lord and there is no other; besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). Furthermore, God’s Word reveals that the one true God eternally exists as three distinct Persons.

Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is impossible to fathom, but John MacArthur points out that Scripture is both clear and nonnegotiable on this subject:

Though the fullness of the Trinity is far beyond human comprehension, it is unquestionably how God has revealed Himself in Scripture—as one God eternally existing in three Persons. . . .

The Scriptures are clear that these three Persons together are one and only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). John 10:30 and 33 explain that the Father and the Son are one. First Corinthians 3:16 shows that the Father and the Spirit are one. Romans 8:9 makes clear that the Son and the Spirit are one. And John 14:1618, and 23 demonstrate that the Father, Son, and Spirit are one. . . . In other words, the Bible makes it clear that God is one God (not three), but that the one God is a Trinity of Persons. [1]

God must be presented as triune if He is to be proclaimed faithfully. Additionally, the Trinity takes on great importance in the realm of evangelism because all three Persons play distinct roles in the salvation of sinners. The Father elects (Ephesians 1:3–6); the Son redeems (Ephesians 1:7–12); and the Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:8), regenerates (Titus 3:5), and indwells believers (Ephesians 1:13–14).

Creator and Judge

The Bible introduces the triune God as the Creator of all things, including mankind (Genesis 1). As such, He rightfully claims ownership of His creation (Psalm 50:10–12) and demands worship from us, His creatures (Exodus 20:2–5Matthew 4:10).

But fallen humanity rebelliously refuses to worship the Creator. The open communion that should exist between God and man is now blocked by a wall of divine hostility (Psalm 5:5). God’s just wrath toward sinners may be an unsavory subject for modern sensibilities, but it’s a necessary truth to awaken the spiritual complacency of our age.

While the character and nature of God is an inexhaustible subject, the evangelist must labor to instill some sense of God’s supremacy and sovereignty in the hearts of sinners. He must explain why they should tremble at the thought of their future day in God’s courtroom (Hebrews 9:27)! John MacArthur laments the modern evangelistic trends that do just the opposite:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Much of contemporary evangelism aims to arouse anything but fear of God in the mind of sinners. For example, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” is the opening line of the typical evangelistic appeal today. This kind of evangelism is far from the image of a God who must be feared. The remedy for such thinking is the biblical truth of God’s holiness. [2]

Holy

Scripture ascribes its strongest superlative when it refers to God as “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3Revelation 4:8).  Paul Washer points out that God’s holiness “is not merely one attribute among many but is the very context in which all other divine attributes must be defined and understood.” [3] Our evangelistic emphasis on God’s holiness is not meant to dispense with His other attributes such as love, mercy, and grace. Rather, His other attributes find their most profound meaning within the context of God’s holiness.

The word “holy” is translated from the Hebrew qadosh and refers to the otherness of God. As Creator, He transcends His creation and is utterly distinct from all that He has made. Regardless of size or splendor, nothing in creation even remotely approaches the perfections of God.

Why is it so critical to explain that the Creator of the universe is holy? Because we, in our sinful state, are the antithesis of everything He is. There is no greater dichotomy demonstrating our greatest need than the juxtaposition between a holy God and sinful men. John MacArthur points out the dire implications of that infinite gulf:

God is utterly holy, and His law therefore demands perfect holiness: “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44–45). . . . Even the gospel requires His holiness: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). “Without [holiness] no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NKJV). Because He is holy, God hates sin. [4]

Putting God in His Place

When believers think about God in terms of the gospel, we usually emphasize His love and mercy. And while those are vital attributes woven throughout the gospel, we must not make the mistake of neglecting His triune nature, His sovereignty over creation, and His holiness. Doing so frequently results in the proclamation of a man-centered gospel—one that portrays God as little more than a hero swooping in at the last minute to save the day.

The truth is that sinners stand in God’s crosshairs. Sinners are God’s creation and it is His law they have violated. God is the Savior only because He is the One from whom sinners need to be saved, for “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:7).

When we put God at the center of the gospel, we gain a clear perspective on the offense of man’s sin and the depth of his guilt. And that’s where we’ll pick it up next time.

 


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Seven Reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 Isn’t the Crazy Aunt We Hide in the Closet when Company Comes Over

Michelle Lesley

A while back I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and happened to catch part of an interaction between two women discussing a false teacher. I couldn’t come close to the exact wording if I tried, but the gist of it was…

Discerning Christian Woman: Divangelista X is a false teacher and preaches to men.

Non-Discerning Christian(?) Woman: How can you say she shouldn’t be preaching to men? So what! She’s out there helping so many people and charitable causes! People love her! I think she’s great!

Discerning Christian Woman: Well, I’m really not as concerned about the fact that she preaches to men as I am about the false doctrine she teaches.

I didn’t butt in because neither of them was talking to me, but what I wanted to say was, “Why?” Why, Discerning Christian Woman, did you back off the completely biblically valid…

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Google now censoring conservative news, while giving leftist propaganda a free pass

WINTERY KNIGHT

Google's new motto Google’s new motto: be evil

Google is a radically leftist company that fires employees (e.g. – James Damore) who step outside of progressive dogma. And now they’re promoting leftist causes in their search engine – by censoring conservative news sources.

The Daily Caller explains:

Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results.
No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.

And not only is Google’s fact-checking highly partisan — perhaps reflecting the sentiments of its leaders — it is also blatantly wrong, asserting sites made “claims” they demonstrably never made.

Here’s an example of the fact-checking that Google does:

The Robert Mueller fact check (pictured above) is a case in point for Google’s new feature.

Ostensibly trying to sum up the crux of the post, the third-party “fact-checking” organization says the “claim” in a DC article that special Counsel Robert Mueller is hiring people that…

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January 15, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

8:56 the Lord who has given rest to his people. After considerable upheaval in the period of wilderness wandering and conquest, Israel had experienced the fulfillment of the good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses (5:4 note; Ex. 33:14; Deut. 12:10). In the New Testament, Christians are exhorted to make every effort to enter God’s rest (Heb. 4:11; cf. Rev. 14:13).[1]


8:56 The prosperity of Solomon’s reign was a result of God’s promises to faithful servants like Moses and David. But each generation has its own covenant responsibility, which led Solomon to the exhortation in v. 61. The church is never more than one generation from extinction.[2]


56 The rest enjoyed by Solomon and his generation was not complete, nor was it final. Psalm 95:7b–11 gives sad expression to the fact that Israel had not entered God’s true rest because of unbelief and rebellion. Hebrews 3–4 probes this theme and admonishes the Jewish readers not to repeat the mistake of their ancestors but to trust God and his Messiah. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Heb 4:9). That true and eternal rest is found in Christ and in him alone.[3]


[1] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 486). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[2]The Open Bible: New King James Version. (1998). (electronic ed., 1 Ki 8:56). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (2009). 1, 2 Kings. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Samuel–2 Kings (Revised Edition) (Vol. 3, p. 711). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

JANUARY 15 OUR LIFE IS IN CHRIST

Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Certainly not all of the mystery of the Godhead can be known by man—but just as certainly, all that men can know of God in this life is revealed in Jesus Christ!

When the Apostle Paul said with yearning, “That I may know him” (Philippians 3:10), he was not speaking of intellectual knowledge. Paul was speaking of the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously, spirit touching spirit and heart touching heart.

We know that people spend a lot of time talking about a deeper Christian life—but few seem to want to know and love God for Himself.

The precious fact is that God is the deeper life! Jesus Christ Himself is the deeper life, and as I plunge on into the knowledge of the triune God, my heart moves on into the blessedness of His fellowship. This means that there is less of me and more of God—thus my spiritual life deepens and I am strengthened in the knowledge of His will!

Dear Lord, this morning and throughout this day, may there be more and more of You and less and less of me.[1]


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

January 15 Trusting Self Is Never Justified

He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”—Matt. 4:4

Christians are never justified in trusting solely in themselves to meet their basic needs. No matter how worried we might become, if we turn to God in faith and obedience, He will meet all our essential needs in His own way, according to His sovereign schedule. Implicit in this understanding is that God will meet every need, both physical and spiritual, as Paul promises us, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19; cf. Matt. 6:8, 33).

It is always best to follow Jesus’ example, obeying God and trusting wholeheartedly in His gracious provision, than to impulsively and selfishly attempt to meet our own needs in ways that could disobey or compromise God’s Word.

To trust first of all in ourselves to meet our needs—circumventing or modifying God’s will in the process—not only demonstrates a lack of faith but rests on the false assumption that our earthly well-being is our most crucial need. Jesus contradicts such thinking, which is so natural to fallen humanity, both to unbelievers as well as believers who slip into carnal mind-sets. Therefore our Lord quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “ ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” The all-sufficient and sustaining power of God is the only true source that meets our every need.

ASK YOURSELF

Where does your dependence lie? Are you trusting in your paycheck? Your insurance policies? Your physical strength and smarts? Or have you finally realized that everything hinges on God, His Word, and His sovereign plan for your life? Find your sense of security in Him alone.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 23). Chicago: Moody Publishers.