Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 31: Gifts and Grace

Numbers 35:1–36:13; 1 Corinthians 16:1–24; Psalm 30:1–12

“Yahweh spoke to Moses on the desert plains of Moab beyond the Jordan across Jericho, saying, ‘Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their property cities to live in; and you will give to the Levites pastureland all around the cities’ ” (Num 35:1–2).

The idea of giving is ancient. Before God’s people even enter the promised land, they’re commanded to help the Levites—who will be serving them as spiritual leaders—by giving them cities. Now that God has given to the people, He asks that they give back to His work. There is an opportunity for obedience, and this obedience will come with the blessing of continued spiritual guidance from the people to whom they are giving the land. But giving is not the only concept at play here.

Shortly after this, God asks the people to provide refuge cities for murderers (Num 35:6–8). He institutes a system of grace—a type of house arrest. The idea that synagogues and churches are places where criminals can find refuge (sanctuary) likely finds its origins in this.

This system of grace also manifests itself in types of hospitality. We see this several times in Paul’s letters. For example, Paul’s relationship with the Corinthians was on the rocks, yet he still requests hospitality for his fellow ministry worker: “But if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to fear, for he is carrying out the Lord’s work, as I also am. Therefore do not let anyone disdain him, but send him on his way in peace in order that he may come to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers” (1 Cor 16:10–11).

God is gracious, and He calls us to be the same way—even when we don’t want to, and even when our sense of justice makes being gracious frustrating.

Is God calling you to be gracious to someone? How are you going to give?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 31 Applying the Disciples’ Prayer

“For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:13).

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The Disciples’ Prayer is a pattern to follow for life.

The implications of the Disciples’ Prayer are profound and far-reaching. An unknown author put it this way:

“I cannot say ‘our’ if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment. I cannot say ‘Father’ if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child. I cannot say ‘who art in heaven’ if I am laying up no treasure there.

“I cannot say ‘hallowed be Thy name’ if I am not striving for holiness. I cannot say ‘Thy kingdom come’ if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day. I cannot say ‘Thy will be done‘ if I am disobedient to His Word. I cannot say ‘in earth as it is in heaven’ if I will not serve Him here and now.

“I cannot say ‘give us … our daily bread’ if I am dishonest or an ‘under the counter’ shopper. I cannot say ‘forgive us our debts’ if I harbor a grudge against anyone. I cannot say ‘lead us not into temptation’ if I deliberately place myself in its path. I cannot say ‘deliver us from evil’ if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

“I cannot say ‘thine is the kingdom’ if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject. I cannot attribute to Him ‘the power’ if I fear what men may do. I cannot ascribe to Him ‘the glory’ if I am seeking honor only for myself. I cannot say ‘forever’ if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by the things of time.”

As you learn to apply to your own life the principles in this marvelous prayer, I pray that God’s Kingdom will be your focus, His glory your goal, and His power your strength. Only then will our Lord’s doxology be the continual song of your heart: “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to use what you’ve learned from the Disciples’ Prayer to transform your prayers.

For Further Study: Read John 17, noting the priorities Jesus stressed in prayer.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 103). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

MARCH 31 POWER OF THE CROSS

The cross…by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Galatians 6:14

Only a person with a perfect knowledge of mankind could have dared to set forth the terms of discipleship that our Lord Jesus Christ expects of His followers.

Only the Lord of men could have risked the effect of such rigorous demands: “Let him deny himself” (Matthew 16:24).

Can the Lord lay down such severe rules at the door of His kingdom? He can—and He does!

If He is to save the man, He must save him from himself. It is the “himself” which has enslaved and corrupted the man. Deliverance comes only by denial of that self.

No man in his own strength can shed the chains with which self has bound him, but in the next breath the Lord reveals the source of the power which is to set the soul free: “Let him take up his cross.”

The cross was an instrument of death—slaying a man was its only function. “Let him take his cross,” said Jesus, and thus he will know deliverance from himself!

Dear Lord, I have much to learn about denying myself and bearing my cross daily—especially in the midst of so many mundane activities. Have Your way with me, Lord.[1]


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

There Are Worse Things Than Hiding Easter Eggs

I’m not worried about churches that hide Easter eggs for kids once a year – I’m worried about churches that hide the Gospel from people every week. – Clayton Pruett

Dr. Jack Graham’s Prestonwood Baptist Church is having their annual Easter Egg Drop – in which they dump thousands of eggs out of a helicopter for an egg hunt at their Dallas campus. Graham, a two time president of the SBC and big fan of Beth Moore and Word-Faith, Hillsong pastors Brian Houston and Christine Caine, is a proven #DOWNGRADE specialist and so a helicopter egg drop (a Stephen Furtick specialty) at Graham’s church seems hardly newsworthy. Prestonwood’s press announcements about the egg drop, devoid of Christ altogether, narrowly avoided becoming the focus of Friday’s Daily #DOWNGRADE segment.

But the words of Clayton Pruett, circulating in social media, stung me back into focus and put things into perspective.

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Clayton is dead-on the money.

As odd as it seems that a church would adopt a once-pagan ritual associated with the celebration of Spring – which Catholics adopted in the 13th century as part of a fasting from eggs during Lent – there are worse things than letting children scurry around looking for plastic eggs with trinkets and sugary treasures inside. As a Protestant that’s still protesting, with a fundamentalist Baptist streak who’s just naturally adverse to such acts of irreverent tom-foolery, I can’t find it in myself to anathematize the whole endeavor. I keep hearing the hillbilly slogan common in my Ozarkian upbringing, “There are bigger fish to fry.”

Easter egg hunts to me, therefore, are a matter of Christian liberty and so I let it go, remembering there are hills upon which Zion’s flag of Gospel is yet to wave and upon which might make a fairer hill to die.

What’s far more concerning, as Pruett points out, than hiding eggs from children is hiding the Gospel from church-goers every week. And even worse (at least in principle) is hiding the Gospel from church-goers on Resurrection Sunday.

Millions of American Christians will gather in church tomorrow to hear that “Easter is About Second Chances.” second-chance-church-a1Many will hear that Easter is about a chance at a “clean slate” or “fresh start.” Members at Saddleback will hear an allegorization of the Gospel from Rick Warren, as his Easter promopromises to explain that the death, burial and resurrection are symbolic of three days you’ll have to go through over and again in your life to overcome “depression and discouragement.”

Oh, sure. The Gospel can perhaps be found in these places, and if you listen hard enough, perhaps it will even be spoken of in the pulpit through subtle hints and passing references. It’s like an Easter egg hunt, except for believers that are desperate to hear the story of Christ’s resurrection wash over them like a treasured hope and weekly reminder that all in Christ will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).

As the fuddy-duddy that I am, I would rather buy my kids a bag of candies or marshmallow Peeps than have them scour the church grounds for an hour to find scattered in the dirt what hasn’t already been pillaged by the rest of the mob of chocolate-faced carpet-crawlers on a savage sugar-high (although the kids would have far less fun). But maybe, that’s part of the nonsensical  and hard-won fun that makes being a kid memorable and exciting. And yet, finding the Gospel in church shouldn’t be this way.

There’s enough Gospel to go around; it’s not in short supply. If I find more Gospel, it doesn’t mean someone else has to find less. There’s no expiration date on this Gospel, and the more of it that’s consumed, somehow the more room you have for greater and greater amounts. And unlike the treats you may find in plastic eggs, there’s no sugar crash in the end that leaves you feeling lethargic or feeling as though a diabetic comma might be inevitable. Furthermore, the Gospel isn’t a luxury afforded to affluent children in suburban neighborhoods dressed in pastel colors, belonging to parents in pretty dresses or pressed slacks. The Gospel is for everyone – every economic bracket, every neighborhood, every ethnicity. And Gospel-preaching can’t be an annual affair, for unlike the goodies found inside plastic eggs, the Gospel feeds and nourishes the believer as our primary source of sustenance.

In the end, searching for a plastic egg or two (or thousands dropped out of a helicopter) may not sit well with some of you, but it won’t be the end of the true and apostolic, New Testament Church. Forsaking the Gospel or hiding it away for those ambitious enough to look for it like a hidden egg, however, might just kill it (if Christ were to allow such a thing). So, hunt for those eggs if you want. But please, find a church where you don’t have to hunt for Gospel.

The post There Are Worse Things Than Hiding Easter Eggs appeared first on Pulpit & Pen.

Apologetics: 10 Quotes on the Resurrection of Jesus

The central claim of the NT is that Jesus was physically resurrected after being crucified. If this claim arose from decades of embellishment instead of historical truth, then Jesus is dead, the apostles were liars, and our faith is worthless (1 Cor. 15:14–17). But evidences from the first and second centuries reveal that eyewitness testimony about Jesus emerged rapidly and circulated reliably. The NT texts relied on testimonies from apostolic eyewitnesses, and all of these texts were completed while the eyewitnesses were still alive. That’s why we can declare with confidence: Don’t worry; I read the book. He didn’t stay dead. — Timothy Paul Jones (from, How Do You Know Jesus Really Rose from the Dead?)

At its foundation, Christianity is based on evidence. First Corinthians 15 recounts the critical core of Christianity: the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Without Jesus’ resurrection (a historical event), there is no Christianity and no hope for a future in heaven (a theological assertion). If Jesus is nothing more than an embellished legend, then the hope of heaven is little more than a wish. In order for Christianity to be true, it must include a belief in certain historical facts and a belief that the Bible preserves an accurate account of those events. This establishes the identity of Jesus as the resurrected Savior. In this sense, theology can’t be separated from history. Rather, theology depends on history. — Kenneth Samples (from, 5 Levels of Christian Faith)

After studying the historical origins of the Christian faith, I came to these conclusions: that Jesus died on the cross is as certain as anything historical can be; that he rose from the dead is by far the best explanation of the events surrounding his death; and that Jesus claimed to be God is the best explanation for the immediate Christian proclamation of Jesus’ deity. Putting it all together: Jesus claimed to be God, and he proved it by rising from the dead. The case for Christianity is powerful. Despite my ardent desire to believe in Islam, I had to admit that history was in favor of Christian claims, and even more reluctantly, that it challenged Islamic teachings. — Nabeel Qureshi (from, No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity)

The wise do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. It is really quite absurd. So everything from the Easter morning to the Ascension had to be made up by the groveling enthusiasts as part of their plan to get themselves martyred. — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (cited in, Evidence for the Resurrection by Josh & Sean McDowell)

The real cover-up [of Watergate], the lie, could only be held together for two weeks, and then everybody else jumped ship in order to save themselves. Now, the fact is that all that those around the President were facing was embarrassment, maybe prison. Nobody’s life was at stake. But what about the disciples? Twelve powerless men, peasants really, were facing not just embarrassment or political disgrace, but beatings, stonings, execution. Every single one of the disciples insisted, to their dying breaths, that they had physically seen Jesus bodily raised from the dead. Don’t you think that one of those apostles would have cracked before being beheaded or stoned? That one of them would have made a deal with the authorities? None did. Jesus is Lord: That’s the thrilling message of Easter. And it’s an historic fact, one convincingly established by the evidence—and one you can bet your life upon. Go ahead researchers—dig up all the old graves you want. You won’t change a thing. He has risen. — Chuck Colson (cited in, Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?)

When we turn to the Gospels, we find multiple, independent attestation of this burial story, and Joseph of Arimathea is specifically named in all four accounts. On top of that, the burial story in Mark is so extremely early that it’s simply not possible for it to have been subject to legendary corruption. When you read the New Testament, there’s no doubt that the disciples sincerely believed the truth of the resurrection, which they proclaimed to their deaths. The idea that the empty tomb is the result of some hoax, conspiracy, or theft is simply dismissed today. — William Lane Craig (cited in, Case-Making 101: A Resurrection Apologetic)

There is an important difference between the apostle martyrs and those who die for their beliefs today. Modern martyrs act solely out of their trust in beliefs that others have taught them. The apostles died for holding to their own testimony that they had personally seen the risen Jesus. Contemporary martyrs die for what they believe to be true. The disciples of Jesus died for what they knew to be either true or false. ― Gary Habermas, (from, The Case For The Resurrection Of Jesus)

None of [the] major figures who constituted the inner circle of Jesus would have become or remained followers of Jesus after the crucifixion if there was no resurrection and no resurrection appearances of Jesus. The church, in the persons of its earliest major leaders, was constituted by the event of the resurrection, coupled with the Pentecost event! The stories of these figures, especially their post-Easter stories, are the validation of this fact. There would be no church without the risen and appearing Jesus. ― Ben Witherington III (from, What Have They Done with Jesus? Beyond Strange Theories & Bad History)

In order for the Resurrection of Jesus to be a late legend, the story would have to be both late and a legend. It is neither. The earliest New Testament documents include the Resurrection story, and the record of the early Church fathers demonstrates that the story was not altered over time. The truth of the Gospel accounts and the Resurrection of Jesus is still the most reasonable inference from the evidence. — J Warner Wallace (from, Investigating Easter: Is The Resurrection A Late Legend?)

If the Resurrection [of Jesus] had not happened, obviously the disciples would have known it. I can find no way that these particular men could have been deceived. Therefore they not only would have died for a lie—here’s the catch—they would have known it was a lie. It would be hard to find a group of men anywhere in history who would die for a lie if they knew it was a lie. — Josh McDowell (from, More Than a Carpenter)

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2 Years Ago Franklin Graham Delivered Chilling Easter Message… It’s Still Powerful

Rev. Franklin Graham has been considered a steady, intelligent voice for the Christian faith, and his words often represent what most evangelical conservatives believe to be true. Roughly 2 years ago, Graham issued a chilling Easter message about anti-Christian attitudes in our own country and around the world.

“Untold millions of Christians around the world are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Graham said during his Easter message.

For some, however, worshiping Jesus and fellowshipping with other believers has proven to be far more costly than others.

“(M)illions in many countries risk their freedom and their very lives to worship Him and claim His name,” the reverend explained.

For some, the threats come from radical Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic State group, which has made it quite clear that its members are willing to kill any and every proponent of the Christian faith.

But, for others, the threat is not so much to their lives as it is to their religious liberty.

Graham pointed out that American citizens have become increasingly on the receiving end of anti-Christianity rhetoric despite our constitutional protections.

“Even in America there has recently grown an ugly, anti-Christian bias and intolerance that is changing our nation from the inside out,” he said.

Graham added that this is “opening doors for all kinds of discrimination and loss of religious freedom that we hear about daily in the news.”

Graham’s message remains true today, as we celebrate another Easter season.

Christians in our own country have been targeted and made to feel that we must put aside our religious beliefs in order to accommodate actions and behaviors that violate those beliefs.

With the United States that is more divided than ever before, it is critical that Christians come together to stand up for our values.

These are the same values that our country was founded on, and the same values that have contributed to the continued prosperity of this great land.

The post 2 Years Ago Franklin Graham Delivered Chilling Easter Message… It’s Still Powerful appeared first on Conservative Tribune.

March 31, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Survival

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. (3:10)

To the missionaries’ example, Paul added a pointed command. The divinely revealed, authoritative, axiomatic truth that those who are not willing to work are not to eat was not new to the saints. Ignorance was not their problem, for even when the missionaries were with them, they used to give them that order. Paul had also discussed this issue in his first epistle (4:11; 5:14). His point is simple: if people get hungry enough, they will work to get food. As Solomon put it, “A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on” (Prov. 16:26). Believers who have the opportunity and the ability to work for their own food are to do so. Those who do not are worse than unbelievers (1 Tim. 5:8).

It is important to note that Paul addresses here the issue of those not willing to work, not those unable to work. Both individual believers and the church as a whole have a responsibility to care for the poor (Matt. 6:2, 3; Gal. 2:10; 1 Tim. 5:4; Heb. 13:16; James 2:15–16; 1 John 3:17). But neither the world nor the church owes a living to those too lazy to work. We are used to “entitlements” in our society. This is the idea that those who will not work hard are entitled to be paid money taken from those who do. The results of the welfare culture are visible for all to see—family breakups, immorality, crime, hopelessness, meaninglessness, and bitterness.[1]


10 Paul reinforces his example by this command. From a very early time, denying food to the lazy was a traditional form of discipline in the church (see Ge 3:19).[2]


3:10 / Not only did the missionaries model how the Thessalonians should conduct themselves in this matter of self-support, but they instructed them to the same effect and, judging by the tense of the verb (imperfect), they did so repeatedly. The sense of the Greek is: “we also (a better translation of kai than niv’s even, meaning in addition to their example) used to command you” (parangellō, cf. 3:6 and see disc. on 1 Thess. 4:11). That command is repeated using their original words (the Greek hoti is recitative, the equivalent of quotation marks in English): “If a man (tis could be either a man or a woman, although the reference is undoubtedly to men) will not work, he shall not eat.” The present imperative, he shall not eat, expresses a general rule. Exceptions, of course, can always be made. The words have about them the ring of a proverbial saying which, if proverbial in origin, may go back to Genesis 3:19 (cf. Gen. Rab. 2.2 on Genesis 1:2). But some suppose that it was a Greek proverb. Or it may have been a maxim coined by Paul himself. At all events, the apostle sees this saying now as indicating God’s will for his people. Strikingly, however, what is condemned is not worklessness but the unwillingness to work. The verb thelō implies a deliberate choice, a conscious decision not to work (see disc. on 1 Thess. 5:14). “It is an impossible exegesis which argues (from this text) that all poverty is self-willed, a product of a welfare mentality which should be countered not with food stamps but denial of support. The implication in the letters is that these disruptive persons were perfectly capable of supporting themselves but refused to accept that responsibility, busying themselves instead by meddling in other persons’ affairs, compounding the problems they were creating” (Saunders). An implication of the rule laid down in this verse, which lay beyond Paul’s interest, is that the ability to earn one’s living is an important factor in human well-being. We should understand, then, how demoralizing unemployment is for those unable to work. For the conscious recollection of what was said when we were with you, cf. 2:5 and 1 Thessalonians 3:4.[3]


3:10. While Paul, Silas, and Timothy were in Thessalonica, they must have seen indications that this lazy attitude and lifestyle posed a problem. Even then they had instructed them, If a man will not work, he shall not eat. The apostle had given them this rule face-to-face. Now, because they had neglected following it, he repeated the command.

The command did not apply to those who could not work for some debilitating reason, but to those who “will not work.” Paul directed his disdain toward those who sponge off others, whatever their stated reasons—misguided asceticism, work beneath their ability or desire, or too busy. Paul’s point was that no one within the Christian community should presume upon the charity of others, nor should they shrink from work. Every person was responsible to provide for himself and his family. For those capable of work, any other course was wrong.[4]


10. The Thessalonian “irregulars” could not excuse their conduct by saying, “You never taught us any different.” They knew the way, because the missionaries:

  • had given them an example of unselfish devotion (verses 7, 8, 9)
  • had also (note καί at the beginning of verse 10) given them a definite precept, namely, “If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat” (verse 10).

Hence, the conjunction for in verse 10 really refers back to verse 7, the thought being, “You yourselves know … for when we were with you (in addition to teaching you by means of example) this we used to command you,” etc. In a sense this for refers all the way back to verse 6: “the tradition which you received from us.”

For also when we were with you, this we used to command you, If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat. No true parallel to this word of Paul has been found anywhere else. A maxim such as, “If they do not work, they have nothing to eat,” is no parallel. That is a mere truism, an axiom so obvious to all except the rich that its very expression seems a bit superfluous. But what Paul had been saying again and again while in Thessalonica, and what he reaffirms here, is something else. It concerns the pious (?) sluggard who does not want to work, and who proceeds from the idea: “The church owes me a living.” Substitute “world” or “government” for “church” and the passage would fit many people living today, both inside and outside the church!

The command which Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was constantly issuing was this, “Do not permit such a person to eat,” that is, “Do not supply his material needs.” If he refuses to work, let him go hungry. That may teach him a lesson.

Paul keeps perfect balance. While, on the one hand his heart goes out to those who are really in need, and he is the kind of a man who is even willing to undertake a missionary journey that will have as one of its purposes the energetic promotion of a collection for the needy saints in Judea (see II Cor., Chapters 8 and 9; cf. Rom. 15:26–29; Gal. 2:10), on the other hand he has no sympathy whatever with the attitude of people who refuse to do an honest day’s work. It is necessary to grasp the deep root of this labor-philosophy. As we see it, the apostle is not (at least not merely) “borrowing a bit of good old workshop morality, a maxim applied no doubt hundreds of times by industrious workmen as they forbade a lazy apprentice to sit down for dinner,” but is proceeding from the idea that, in imitation of Christ’s example of self-sacrificing love for his own, those who were saved by grace should become so unselfish that they will loathe the very idea of unnecessarily becoming a burden to their brothers, and, on the other hand, that they will yearn for the opportunity to share what they have with those who are really in need. While it is certainly true that every man in whom any sense of justice is left will assent to the justice and wisdom of the maxim here expressed (“If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat”), it is nevertheless also true that for the believer this maxim has added force, for selfishness and the truly Christian life are direct opposites.[5]


3:10 The Thessalonians had already been commanded not to support shirkers. If an able-bodied Christian refused to work, neither should he eat. Does this conflict with the fact that believers should always be kind? Not at all! It is not a kindness to encourage laziness. Spurgeon says, “The truest love to those who err is not to fraternize with them in their error but to be faithful to Jesus in all things.”[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2002). 1 & 2 Thessalonians (pp. 307–308). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Thomas, R. L. (2006). 2 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 482). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Williams, D. J. (2011). 1 and 2 Thessalonians (pp. 146–147). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 128). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of I-II Thessalonians (Vol. 3, pp. 201–202). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2059). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 03/31/2018

Mississippi Methodist Church Parts With United Methodists for Not ‘Accepting the Authority of Scripture’   Mar 29, 2018 02:34 pm

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (USA Today) — A Mississippi church has chosen to leave the United Methodist Church over conflicting views on homosexuality, abortion and the teaching of Islam. The First United Methodist Church of Louisville decided to leave the denomination Sunday morning during a “membership affirmation,” said Mike Childs, the pastor of the church. The vote…

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New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’   Mar 27, 2018 07:35 pm

Despite its producers stated intentions not to be offensive, but to bring religion into primetime television, a blasphemous new sitcom on CBS called “Living Biblically” is being decried as a “Hollywood mockery of Christians” and in need of prayer itself. The show is based on the book “The Year of Living Biblically,” written by A.J. Jacobs, an agnostic Jew…

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‘I Just Got Rid of It’: Colorado Woman Accused of Tossing Newborn Over Fence Onto Neighbor’s Deck   Mar 25, 2018 10:02 am

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A judge has denied bond for a Colorado woman who is accused of throwing her newborn baby over a fence, where he or she then landed on the neighbor’s deck and died there. According to reports, Camille Wasinger-Konrad, 23, claims she didn’t know she was pregnant until she woke up on Jan. 2 with painful cramps and “he baby just came…

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CNN Host Baffled Over Charisma Magazine Founder’s ‘Willful Blindness’ in Placing Trump’s Policies Over Personal Character   Mar 29, 2018 05:56 pm

CNN “New Day” co-host Alisyn Camerota grilled Charisma Magazine founder Stephen Strang on Wednesday in asking why he and other evangelicals continue to unconditionally support Donald Trump and seemingly brush aside or overlook alleged impropriety in his personal life. Strang is the author of the book “God and Donald Trump,” in which he asserts that Trump is a…

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Petitions Call Canadian Ice Cream Chain ‘Sweet Jesus’ Blasphemous, Request Name Change   Mar 25, 2018 06:32 pm

Photo Credit: Magda Knyszynski At least two online petitions are expressing concern over a Canadian ice cream chain, which some Christians consider to be blasphemous in the way it uses the Lord’s name and distorts the cross of Christ. The chain “Sweet Jesus” was founded in 2015 by Andrew Richmond and Amin Todai, and is stated to have been named after an…

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North Carolina Pastor Sentenced to 7 Years in China’s Prisons   Mar 25, 2018 02:48 pm

PU’ER, Yunnan (China Aid) — A court in China’s southern Yunnan province sentenced a North Carolina pastor to seven years in prison Friday and heavily fined him on a trumped up charge of “organizing illegal border crossing.” His colleague also received a one-year jail sentence and a fine. John Cao, a North Carolina pastor well-respected for building 16…

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‘He Has a Right to Be Here’: Woman Who Refused to Abort Son Conceived in Rape Speaks Before Iowa Legislature   Mar 30, 2018 01:02 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa — A woman whose now three-year-old son was conceived in rape recently delivered an impassioned speech before the Iowa legislature to speak out against the “genocide of the innocent.” Jennifer Christie-Brierly was attacked in a hotel room in 2014 and was raped during the assault. She refused to abort her child after learning that she was…

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Frank Page, Top Southern Baptist Leader, Resigns Due to ‘Morally Inappropriate’ Relationship   Mar 29, 2018 02:07 pm

NASHVILLE (USA Today)— Frank S. Page, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, has resigned from his top role in the largest Protestant denomination in America because of a “morally inappropriate” relationship. Page, the president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, stepped down Tuesday from the leadership role and retired from active…

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Trump Issues New Memo Disqualifying Those With Gender Dysphoria From Military With ‘Limited’ Exceptions   Mar 24, 2018 02:59 pm

WASHINGTON — President Trump has issued a new memorandum disqualifying transgenders from serving in the military in alignment with recommendations from Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis, who submitted last month that those with gender dysphoria should be considered ineligible, with “limited” exceptions. “he secretary of Defense, in consultation with the…

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Teenager Apologizes to Pastor, Turns Himself in to Police for Vandalizing Georgia Church   Mar 26, 2018 07:52 pm

MCDONOUGH, Ga. — A Georgia teenager has apologized face-to-face to a pastor for vandalizing his church after admitting the crime to his father. The 19-year-old is now also in jail after turning himself in to the police. According to WSB-TV, Nathanial Rabideau approached his father to confess to defacing Seed Planters Church in McDonough, but says he thought the…

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Weekend Snapshot — Top Stories This Week

Weekend Snapshot

Mar. 31, 2018
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“THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words … of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!” —Donald Trump

Resurrection and Justification

How is the resurrection of Christ linked to the idea of justification in the New Testament? To answer this question, we must first explore the use and meaning of the term justification in the New Testament. Confusion about this has provoked some of the fiercest controversies in the history of the church. The Protestant Reformation itself was fought over the issue of justification. In all its complications, the unreconciled and unreconcilable difference in the debate came down to the question of whether our justification before God is grounded in the infusion of Christ’s righteousness into us, by which we become inherently righteous, or in the imputation, or reckoning, of Christ’s righteousness to us while we are still sinners. The difference between these views makes all the difference in our understanding of the Gospel and of how we are saved.

One of the problems that led to confusion was the meaning of the word justification. Our English word justification is derived from the Latin justificare. The literal meaning of the Latin is “to make righteous.” The Latin fathers of church history worked with the Latin text instead of the Greek text and were clearly influenced by it. By contrast, the Greek word for justification, dikaiosune, carries the meaning of “to count, reckon, or declare righteous.”

But this variance between the Latin and the Greek is not enough to explain the debates over justification. Within the Greek text itself, there seem to be some problems. For example, Paul declares in Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Then James, in his epistle, writes, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar” (2:21) and “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (2:24).

On the surface, it appears that we have a clear contradiction between Paul and James. The problem is exacerbated when we realize that both use the same Greek word for justification and both use Abraham to prove their arguments.

This problem can be resolved when we see that the verb “to justify” and its noun form, “justification,” have shades of meaning in Greek. One of the meanings of the verb is “to vindicate” or “to demonstrate.”

Jesus once said, ” ‘Wisdom is justified by all her children’ ” (Luke 7:35). He did not mean that wisdom has its sins remitted or is counted righteous by God by having children, but that a wise decision may be vindicated by its consequences.

James and Paul were addressing different questions. James was answering the question: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (2:14). He understood that anyone can profess to have faith, but true faith is demonstrated as authentic by its consequent works. The claim of faith is vindicated (justified) by works. Paul has Abraham justified in the theological sense in Genesis 15 before he does any works. James points to the vindication or demonstration of Abraham’s faith in obedience in Genesis 22.

The Resurrection involves justification in both senses of the Greek term. First, the Resurrection justifies Christ Himself. Of course, He is not justified in the sense of having His sins remitted, because He had no sins, or in the sense of being declared righteous while still a sinner, or in the Latin sense of being “made righteous.” Rather, the Resurrection serves as the vindication or demonstration of the truth of His claims about Himself.

In his encounter with the philosophers at Athens, Paul declared: ” ‘Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead’ ” (Acts 17:30-31).

Here Paul points to the Resurrection as an act by which the Father universally vindicates the authenticity of His Son. In this sense, Christ is justified before the whole world by His resurrection.

However, the New Testament also links Christ’s resurrection to our justification. Paul writes, “It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:24-25).

It is clear that in His atoning death Christ suffered on our behalf, or for us. Likewise, His resurrection is seen not only as a vindication of or surety of Himself, but as a surety of our justification. Here justification does not refer to our vindication, but to the evidence that the atonement He made was accepted by the Father. By vindicating Christ in His resurrection, the Father declared His acceptance of Jesus’ work on our behalf. Our justification in this theological sense rests on the imputed righteousness of Christ, so the reality of that transaction is linked to Christ’s resurrection. Had Christ not been raised, we would have a mediator whose redeeming work in our behalf was not acceptable to God.

However, Christ is risen indeed!

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

Resurrection Sunday and April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day rarely coincides with Resurrection Sunday but this year it does! This unique day (April 1, 2018) affords us an opportunity to remember these two themes (the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ the ETERNAL Son of God and that of being a fool) from a biblical perspective!

Dear friends, on the very day that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, our risen Savior and Lord clearly defined to all what a fool truly is. A fool as defined by the Word of God Himself (the Lord Jesus – John 1:1-3,14), is anyone who will not properly reason with themselves with the overwhelming biblical facts of TRUTH and REALITY of who Jesus is! The fool absolutely refuses to believe ALL that the Word of God (the Lord Jesus) has to say about the written Word of God – Matt. 5:17, Luke 24:27, 44, John 1:1-3;14 5:39,46, Acts 3:18; 28:23, Heb. 10:7).

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken…and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

One particular fool is the one who refuses to consider the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most verified event in ancient history and in our present day. After the horrific crucifixion of Jesus, over 500 witnesses – including His disciples, His earthly mother and other women –  personally and publicly testified to the REALITY that they had seen the Lord Jesus ALIVE from the dead (Matt. 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, Acts 1, 1 Cor. 15:6)! The resurrection REALITY of Jesus Christ absolutely changed these individual’s lives and was the cornerstone of the apostle”s ministry and preaching (Psalm 110:1, Acts 2; 4:2; 9, Romans 7:24-25, 8:34, 1 Cor. 6:15; 15, Gal 2:20, Phil. 3:10, Rev. 19:11-21). These who witnessed Jesus’ resurrection were more than willing to give their lives completely over to Almighty God’s will and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-39, 1 Cor. 15:2-8, Gal. 2:20). These individuals were more than willing to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ even to the point of death for this undeniable TRUTH and REALITY in which they possessed! To see the resurrected Son of God ALIVE after such a horrific scourge, crucifixion and death absolutely transformed these dear men and women’s lives FOREVER; and from this witness, they turned upside the world (The Book of Acts)!

 To see the resurrected Son of God alive after such a horrific scourge, crucifixion and death absolutely transformed these dear men and women’s lives; and from this witness, they turned upside the world!

Another particular group of fools is anyone who is willing to receive and accept as “Gospel” any alternate theories designed to explain away the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This first great lie against the resurrection of the Son of God’s was established by the chief priest and elders of Israel which were the engine and vehicle for Messiah’s execution (Matt. 12:14, 21:38, 26:59, 27:20, Mark 14:1, 55, Luke 22:2, John 5:18, 7:1, 11:53, 19:7, Acts 2:22-24). The demonic spin these evil fools used to explain away the REALITY of the Lord Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrection was the narrative, “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while 50 to 100 mighty men of war slept on guard duty (Matt. 28:11-15)“. How absolutely absurd and preposterous is this lie! The very men (Chief Priests and Elders), who saw the overwhelming evidence of who Jesus was; His WONDERS, His MIRACLES and His MINISTRY, were the very ones who REJECTED Him, CRUCIFIED Him and came up with the post-resurrection lie and spin that His disciples stole His body from the sepulchre; thus there was no resurrection (Matt. 28:15, Acts 2:22-24)

 This first great lie against the resurrection of the Son of God’s was by the chief priest and elders of Israel, which were the engine and vehicle for His execution.

This lie has been passed on throughout the centuries and countless fools have received it and believed it! Such demonic spin and theories are very easily disproved by careful examination and by the basic rules of logic. For Roman soldiers of war to say, “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept,” is absolutely absurd and laughable!; but many have received this lie as truth in their unbelief and darkness (John 3:19-21, 1 Cor. 1:18-31, 2:14). If these soldiers of war fell asleep, then how did they know what had happened? How did these soldiers not hear the mighty gravestone being moved out of its place? How did they not hear the disciples of Jesus grunting and groaning as they sought to move a very huge and heavy gravestone? Soldiers sound asleep are usually NOT good witnesses and the biblical account explains quite clearly that they knew exactly what happened, as well as the chief priest and scribes did (Matt. 27:62-66; 28:11-15). These destroying fools lied firstly to themselves and helped spread that lie to others all in the name of unbelief and darkness (Psalm 14, John 3:19-21, Rom. 1:18-32,1 Cor. 1:18-31). Tragically, too many today have become fools, receiving the lie that, Jesus’ body was stolen or that HE did not rise from the grave; ever seeking to excuse themselves in the darkness from the GREAT DAY of ETERNAL JUDGMENT by the RIGHTEOUS ETERNAL Savior and Creator, Jesus Christ (Eccl. 12:13-14, John 3:16-21, 8:24, Acts 17:30-32, Rev. 20:11-15).

 The very men (Chief Priests and Elders), who saw the overwhelming evidence of who Jesus was; His wonders, miracles and ministry, are the very ones who rejected Him, crucified Him and came up with the post-resurrection lie and spin that His disciples stole His body from the sepulchre and there is no resurrection.

Some other foolish alternate theories of the resurrection never taking place have been suggested by godless and lawless fools and unbelievers throughout the centuries. Some in particular are: The women went to the wrong tomb, The people who thought they saw Christ actually had hallucinations, and Jesus did not really die on the cross and somehow managed to escape the tomb (so that when people later saw Him alive, it was because He had never died. Dear friends, all such explanations are absolutely absurd and can be very easily answered by the overwhelming facts of this case. It takes more faith to reject and dismiss the resurrection of Jesus Christ than it does to believe it for one’s self.

 It takes more faith to reject and dismiss the resurrection of Jesus Christ than it does to believe it for one’s self.

Anyone who accuses the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS Son of God, who is come in the flesh; of the very sin which they themselves are guilty of is a fool. Dear friends, remember the lawless, unbelieving and godless Chief Priests and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, who slandered and blasphemously Him and called the RIGHTEOUS ETERNAL TRUTH of Almighty God a “deceiver” (Matt. 5:17; 27:6, Luke 24:27, 44, John 1:1-3;14; 5:39,46; 14:6, Acts 3:18; 28:23, Heb. 10:7)! Yet, in the end, these tools of Satan and godless hypocrites were the very ones who were determined to deceive the masses by lying and hiding the truth of the resurrection of the RIGHTEOUS Savior of the world (Matt. 28:11-15, John 8:44). These evil fools and deceivers in their saturated darkness, hated the Light of the world and delighted in the darkness of unrighteousness, Satan and ETERNAL death (Psalm 1; 14, Isa. 5:20, Matt. 23, John 3:19-21, Rom. 1:18-32. 2 Thess. 2:10, Rev. 20:10-15, 21:8, 22:11).

 These evil fools and deceivers in their darkness hated the Light of the world and delighted in the darkness of unrighteousness, Satan and ETERNAL death.

In the end my dear friends, the height of ALL foolishness is found in anyone who refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (the RIGHTEOUSNESS of ALMIGHTY God) as personal Savior and be delivered from the wrath which is to come upon all the fallen offspring of Adam (John 3:16-17; 36, Acts 16:31; 17:30-32, Gal. 1:4, Rev. 20:11-15; 21:8). Dear friends, what more could anyone ask for and what more proof could anyone need then the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If the Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves and confirms everything that Jesus claimed to be!; The ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS Son of the living God, the PERFECT Lamb and Propitiation for sinful man, the very One who came to this earth as the prophets spoke of to provide a FULL and FREE salvation for lost lawless sinners (Isa. 53, Luke 19:10; John 3:16-17, Rom. 5:11-21; 10:2-4).

In the end my dear friends, the height of ALL foolishness is found in anyone who refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (the RIGHTEOUSNESS of ALMIGHTY God) as personal Savior and be delivered from the wrath which is to come upon all the fallen offspring of Adam.

Finally one last thought. Remember doubting Thomas, who was foolish Thomas until he repented and believed when he saw the resurrected Christ (John 20:24-29)? Thomas upon repenting and believing went from doubting Thomas to convinced Thomas and was a mighty witness of the resurrection of His Lord and God in India and was martyred because of that witness!

Remembered what Jesus stated to Thomas? “Thomas because thou has seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).”

Thomas upon repenting and believing went from doubting Thomas to convinced Thomas and was a mighty witness of the resurrection of His Lord and God in India and was martyred because of that witness!
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The greatest witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the testimony and witness of the early church (Acts). Why would the disciples of Jesus Christ go forth and preach what they knew to be a lie at a great cost of persecution, prison and even death? There was no money to be gain nor fame to be had, there was no earthly kingdom to create nor gratifications of the flesh to be received. So why would these put it all on the line for a BIG FAT LIE? My friends, they wouldn’t! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is still a POWERFUL witness to our world of today! Even in our Laodicean age of EXPONENTIAL technological advances, media of unbelief, there are multitudes of believers in Jesus Christ, who by faith preach and testify to the risen Savior of the world; many even have given their lives for Christ’s name  (Rev. 3:14-22).

What about you my dear friend? Will you choose to remain a fool of unbelief or a wise man of belief? Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ALL who place their trust in Him will NEVER die and will have the forgiveness of sin and ETERNAL LIFE (John 11:25, 14:6, Rev. 1:5, 17-18)!

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

GWZ I.F./DJP I.F.

What MUST I Do To Be Saved

What is the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS of Almighty God?

What was crucifixion like?

Israel On The Brink Of All Out War As Palestinians Vow To Continue Protests Until US Embassy Move To Jerusalem On May 14

Drones drop tear gas on thousands of Palestinians as they swarm the border, burn photos of Trump, and vow to protest for weeks until US embassy moves to Jerusalem

“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”Jeremiah 29:10 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we have been telling you for well over a year now, the month of May and specifically dates on or around the 14th of May are going to be an intense time of potential fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Now we see Palestinian protesters acknowledging that date as well by vowing to continue the riots until May 15th. Since the riots started just yesterday, 16 people are dead with thousands more injured, and things are just getting started. Jeremiah says that “after 70 years” the LORD will again visit Israel. That’s exactly 6 weeks and counting from today. Datesetting? Nope, just looking across the bow of the boat and seeing the advancing march of Bible prophecy coming right at us like a freight train. The battle for Jerusalem rages on, now the end begins…

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that Israel is responsible for the deaths of Gazan protesters who participated in the Friday riots near the border fence.

”The marches today prove that the Palestinian people will not aid any plan that wishes to close the lid on the Palestinian issue”, he said.

”Jerusalem will remain Arab,” said Abbas.

The US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital angered many in the Arab and Muslim world, leading some Palestinians to argue that the US may no longer be a suitable peace negotiator between Israelis and Palestinians.

Sixteen Palestinians died as a result of taking part in the Friday riots at the border fence near the Gaza strip, said Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Health Ministry In Gaza. He also stated that 1,416 protesters had been injured.

The Palestinians “will never recognize the Zionist entity and will never give up on Palestinian land, and on Jerusalem; the city is ours and there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the ‘right of return,’” Haniyeh said, according to a Hebrew translation by the Walla news site.

The IDF stated that over 30,000 people had taken part in the riots and that the IDF snipers used live ammunition only in cases when the fence was about to be breached or when IDF troops were about to be shot at.

Two terrorists had been spotted and neutralized by IDF forces near the border fence on Seder night during Friday evening.

Saturday had been declared a day of national mourning by the Palestinian Authority to honor the protesters who died. source

The Israeli military said Saturday that if violence drags on along the Gaza border, Israel will expand its reaction to strike the terrorists behind it.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the military has thus far restricted its response to those trying to breach its border, but if attacks continue it will go after terrorists “in other places, too.”

Thousands of Palestinians marched to Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday in the largest such demonstration in recent memory, calling for Palestinians to be allowed to return to land that their ancestors fled from in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Friday’s clashes were the deadliest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza War. Israeli troops used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas to keep thousands of Gazans from trying to approach the border fence. The military said protesters threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers, rolled burning tires at them and in one incident opened fire.

On Friday evening, Gaza’s Hamas leaders called on protesters to retreat from the border area until Saturday.

Protest organizers have said mass marches would continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation. Palestinians mark that date as their “nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation. The vast majority of Gaza’s 2 million people are descendants of Palestinians who fled or were driven from homes in what is now Israel. source

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The post Israel On The Brink Of All Out War As Palestinians Vow To Continue Protests Until US Embassy Move To Jerusalem On May 14 appeared first on Now The End Begins.

Of Course Hell Exists, Whether the Pope Thinks So Or Not

The Vatican insists that the Pope understands that Hell exists, but we don’t need any Pope to say so since we have Scripture (although the squeamish annihilationists and universalists just can’t bear the plain simple truth- bless their tiny hearts).

  • The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. (Ps. 9:17)
  • Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them. (Ps. 55:15)
  • Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death. (Prov. 7:27)
  • “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations. (Isa. 14:9)
  • “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother,`Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says,`You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt. 5:22)
  • “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28)
  • But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Lk. 12:5)
  • For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)– then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,  whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. (2 Pet. 2:4-11)

Jordan Peterson, Jung, and Hope for the Faint-Hearted

Who is Jordan Peterson? If you don’t already know, you will, as he’s the West’s “hottest intellectual.”  Dr. Peterson’s website informs us that he’s a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, a public speaker, and the and author of “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos.” He’s become a regular guest on the popular  Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight and perhaps other Fox shows as well.  Because of his popularity among people of faith, Dr. Peter Jones thought it was important to put up a warning flag about this man. What you’ll learn about him may surprise you. For one thing, he’s a big fan of famous Swiss psychologist and occultist Carl Jung.  Why does this matter? You’re about to find out.

Jordan Peterson seems to be a genuine seeker after truth, with an insatiable appetite to put the world together in a coherent worldview. Much of what he says is very “Christian friendly,” but his coherence breaks down when he finds inspiration in Carl Jung, one of the most powerful creators of today’s post-Christian, neo-pagan culture. Jung has been described as “the father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement.” Jung himself stated: “The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology.” Gnosticism, as you may know, was the great apostasy opposed by the early Church Fathers. According to Jung, you could not call yourself a Jungian without being a Gnostic. According to the Fathers, you could not be a Gnostic and a call yourself a Christian.

In our angry, divided, and polemical society, young Christians, eager for measured peace, encourage us to accept the good things our society brings. Do we always have to see culture wars? This is a laudable desire. Nevertheless, Christians enamored of modern culture run the risk of ignoring its underlying anti-Christian ideology and diluting the unique truth of the Gospel.

Some have so adopted cultural norms that they are no longer even Christian. In my recent review of Brian McLaren’s The Great Spiritual Migration I quoted his statement that God must no longer be understood as the separate “omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent” (GSM 92) Creator and cosmic Ruler, and that Christianity must lose its monotheistic notions to embrace a “grander, inclusive [non-dualistic] God who demonstrates solidarity with all” (GSM 101)Once identifying as an evangelical, McLaren has followed our contemporary all-religions-are-one culture right out the door of Christianity: “Religions…will not survive if we believe that our religion is the only one true religion” (GSM 102). His version of Christianity is just an echo of a progressive social justice gospel. It defines itself as pure from anti-Semitism, rejection of women, racism and religious bigotry. The church should work to heal climate change by installing “solar panels” (GSM 172−3) or a “community garden” (GSM 173)—for “the common good” (GSM 168). I have solar panels on my house, but I don’t quite see it as mandatory for eternal salvation. With little exaggeration, McLaren’s “migration” could be called The Great Spiritual Apostasy.

John Seel’s book, The New Copernicans has a creative strategy to save the evangelical church: the Millennials’ love of the culture’s intuitive, “right brain” thinking, and its affection for pagan religious mysticism will deliver us from dead, “left-brain” theology. But we must not forget that Millennials have lived in the newly-minted version of pagan thinking that invaded the West in the Sixties. Do they now hold the key to spiritual revival? Should they be given authority to redefine genuine Christianity, as Seel believes? Not if the pagan, mystical culture serves as their norm for understanding biblical wisdom.

Young evangelicals eager for a truce in the culture wars have a new hero: Jordan Peterson, a charming, brilliant and entertaining Canadian professor with a myriad of fascinating things to say. I have listened to a good many of his lectures myself and stand in admiration of his ability to lecture for hours without notes, keeping his audiences in rapt attention. But I wish to issue a warning. Peterson’s fresh view of “faith” involves admiration of (at least) one dangerous thinker—Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist (d. 1961).

True, everyone is made in God’s image and we can learn things from unbelievers! Nevertheless, a great ideological conflict exists between biblical truth and the anti-Christian thinking of our culture. A naïve embrace of the spiritual usefulness of Carl Jung, [1] may give you a reputation of open-mindedness and sophistication. But you may also be in danger of unwitting and deep theological compromise.

Jordan Peterson seems to be a genuine seeker after truth, with an insatiable appetite to put the world together in a coherent worldview. Much of what he says is very “Christian friendly,” but his coherence breaks down when he finds inspiration in Carl Jung, one of the most powerful creators of today’s post-Christian, neo-pagan culture. Jung has been described as “the father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement.”[2] Jung himself stated: “The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology.”[3]Gnosticism, as you may know, was the great apostasy opposed by the early Church Fathers. According to Jung, you could not call yourself a Jungian without being a Gnostic. According to the Fathers, you could not be a Gnostic and a call yourself a Christian.

Peterson attracts young Christians because he boldly and publicly states (against the politically-correct orthodoxy of the academic Left) that there is objective truth, that sex is not for hooking up, that “marriage vows are sacred,” and that children are a blessing. He holds that good and evil are real, and that the fabric of your life is woven with choices for one or the other,” as one perceptive blogger notes.

Peterson is not a theologian and appreciates the Bible for its “mythological truths” in the same way he appreciates “mythological truths” from other religions and traditions. In evaluating his understanding of mythology, he lacks the biblical criterion of the fundamental Creator/creature distinction, what we call at truthXchange Oneism or Twoism. Peterson admires the brilliant Jung because he broke with the rationalist Freud and normalized the “spiritual” for therapy in the twentieth century. Churches that immediately embraced Jung have lost whatever Christian faith they may have had. The ex-Jungian, Jeffrey Satinover, dryly comments that “in the United States, the Episcopal Church has more or less become a branch of Jungian psychology, theologically and liturgically.” View article →

Source: Jordan Peterson, Jung, and Hope for the Faint-Hearted

How do you explain the gospel to a non-Christian in two minutes?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Bible study that hits the spot Bible study that hits the spot

Here’s my attempt, then we’ll see an expert do it.

I hope that everyone who reads my blog is passionate about the gospel and understands it enough to explain it to others. It is so practical, you can see the need for it immediately when you talk to people in any detail. People are in rebellion against God. We want to seek our own happiness from rational constraints, moral constraints, judgments and feelings of shame. We want to not have to care what other people think of us (unless they agree), and this goes double for the God of the universe. This is literally infuriating to God, since he is the one who gives us so many blessings. It is proper for us to to recognize and respect him in our decision making – even if we find his greatness offensive to our pride. Instead of respecting…

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St Paul’s Basilica Roof Collapses After Pope Forced to Deny Saying ‘Hell DOESN’T Exist’

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

I originally wrote an article in January of 2016, taking quotes from Pope Francis and comparing them to God’s Holy Word.  If you would like to read that article, I am posting it here:

Quotes From Pope Francis Compared to the Word of God

This past week the pope shocked his followers by saying that hell does not exist.

On Good Friday, when asked about unrepentant souls, Francis said:

“They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” (Emphasis added)

From express.co.uk.com

St Paul’s Basilica roof COLLAPSES after Pope forced to deny saying ‘Hell DOESN’T exist’

A LARGE section of St Paul’s Basilica had to be cordoned off by the Vatican after the roof partially…

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March 31 Jesus Christ Is Superior to the Ceremonial Law

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.—Matt. 5:17

The ceremonial law governed the form of Israel’s worship. When Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled that law as well as the judicial. Sacrifice was the heart of all Old Testament worship, and as the perfect sacrifice, Jesus brought all the other sacrifices to an end. While He was on the cross, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51). Christ Himself became the new and perfect way into the Holy of Holies, into which any man could come by faith.

In this way, the Levitical, priestly, sacrificial system ended. Though the temple was not destroyed until A.D. 70, every offering made on its altar after Jesus died was needless. Symbolically, they had no more significance. Of course, the Tabernacle and Temple sacrifices that were offered even before Christ’s death never had power to cleanse from sin. They were only pictures of the Messiah-Savior’s work of cleansing, pictures that pointed to that supreme manifestation of God’s mercy and grace.

The ceremonial law ended because it was fulfilled. Since the reality had come, the pictures and symbols had no more place or purpose. From Genesis 1:1 through Malachi 4:6, the Old Testament is Jesus Christ. It was inspired by Christ, it points to Christ, and it is fulfilled by Christ.

ASK YOURSELF

What does the magnificence of God’s story stir in you as you consider it again—the signs and fulfillments created by God’s design before the foundation of the world and forged through long centuries of human history? Sit at His feet again today in awe-filled worship.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 99). Chicago: Moody Publishers.