Daily Archives: March 28, 2018

March 28: Risk: Oversold and Underplayed

Numbers 32:1–42; 1 Corinthians 14:26–15:11; Psalm 27:1–14

The fears of the psalmist are not our fears today, and the fact that they aren’t should bother us. The psalmist remarks, “Do not give me over to the desire of my enemies, because false witnesses have arisen against me, and each breathing out violence. Surely I believe that I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living” (Psa 27:12–13). How many of us have legitimate enemies because of our faith? And how many of us experience violence because of the way we believe?

There are many problems with Christianity today, but one of the most pervasive is the lack of willingness to take major risks for Jesus. Likewise, there is unbelief in God’s incredible ability to overcome all that we face.

We may say that we affirm God’s power to beat all odds, but we don’t face the odds as if that were true. If we did, there would be far more world-changing Christians than there are. Instead, most Christians, at least in the Western world, are quite comfortable with a faith that generally allows for them to live a life of comfort rather than a life of being stretched for God’s causes. And when I use “them,” I mean that as “we.” We struggle with this, as a people and as individuals.

I think our fear of taking risks for Jesus is directly connected to our lack of knowledge about what to do when they come along. The psalmist tells us, “Wait for Yahweh. Be strong and let your heart show strength, and wait for Yahweh” (Psa 27:14). Notice that the psalmist tells us to wait for Yahweh twice. Only something of grand importance would a poet state twice. Strength is found in Yahweh, and that strength should be shown in how we live.

How can you take more risks for God? What are you waiting on, and how are you praying about that?

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 28 Forgiving as You Are Forgiven

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. … For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:12, 14–15).

✧✧✧

An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms.

It’s possible to confess your sins and still not know the joy of forgiveness. How? Failure to forgive others! Christian educator J. Oswald Sanders observed that Jesus measures us by the yardstick we use on others. Jesus didn’t say, “Forgive us because we have forgiven others,” but “Forgive us as we have forgiven others.”

An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms because we are the forgiven ones! Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” God forgave us an immeasurable debt, saving us from the horrors of eternal Hell. That should be motivation enough to forgive any offense against us, and yet some Christians still hold grudges.

Here are three practical steps by which to deal with the sin of unforgiveness. First, confess it to the Lord, and ask Him to help you mend the relationship in question. Second, go to the person, ask for forgiveness, and seek reconciliation. You might discover that he or she wasn’t even aware of the offense. Third, give the person something you highly value. This is a very practical approach based on our Lord’s teaching that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21). Whenever I’ve given a book or other gift to someone who had wronged me, I’ve felt a great sense of liberty in my spirit. In addition, my joy is compounded because I feel the joy of giving as well as the joy of forgiving.

Don’t ever let a grudge stand between you and another person. It will rob you of the full joy of God’s forgiveness.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Before praying, examine your heart. If you harbor bitterness toward another person, follow the procedure given above. Then pray, thanking the Lord for the joy of reconciliation.

For Further Study: Read the Parable of the Servant in Matthew 18:21–35. ✧ What question prompted the parable? ✧ How did the king respond to his servant’s pleading? ✧ What did the servant do later on? Why was that wrong?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 100). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

How to find the little-known ‘kill switch’ that lets you use Facebook with the maximum amount of privacy (FB)

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • There’s a Facebook setting that acts as a “kill switch” to keep apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information.
  • It’s called “Platform.” And you can turn it off.
  • With Platform “off” you can make your Facebook as private as possible without deleting the account altogether.
  • Here are the instructions.

There’s a Facebook setting that acts as a “kill switch” to keep apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information. It’s a useful trick that many people don’t know about, especially if you want as much privacy as possible while maintaining your account. And, frankly, Facebook doesn’t exactly advertise its existence.

It’s called “Platform.” It’s the way third-party games (like Candy Crush) or websites (“Would you like to sign in using Facebook?”) are integrated with your profile.

It allows not only the apps or sites you visit to access your data, but the apps and sites your Facebook friends visit as well. “Platform” is the way that apps — and bad actors — are able to grab the personal data you put on Facebook. If you turn Platform off, you will keep the maximum amount of your personal data from being harvested en masse by companies like Cambridge Analytica. With Platform “off” you can use Facebook safe in the knowledge that the only data you are sharing is the stuff you have personally shared on your timeline or profile. It’s the most private you can make your Facebook without deleting the account altogether.

This is how you turn Platform off:

First, go to the right-hand corner and click “Settings”:

Facebook / BI

Now go to settings.

Facebook / BI

Then, select “Apps” from the left-hand side.

Facebook / BI

In the next screen scroll down and you’ll see “Apps, Websites and Plugins.” Click “Edit.”

Facebook / BI

Now you can turn off “Platform.” Remember, this means you won’t be able to log into websites or apps using Facebook, and friends won’t be able to share information with you through apps. Read the explainer before making your decision.

Facebook / BI

And … you’re done!

See Also:

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ONE WORLD: Evangelicals Join Interfaith Leaders In Washington To Create A ‘Multi-Religious Body’ To Bring About ‘World Peace’

As hundreds of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith leaders from the United States and abroad descended on Washington for a conference on religious tolerance this week, attendees were quick to note an unexpectedly large delegation from one particular religious group: evangelical Christians.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Revelation 13:11 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the many spiritually deadly legacies of evangelist Billy Graham is the embracing of ecumenism, the idea that the Christian church can free mix and mingle itself with various assortments of differing world religions and ‘work together’. It cannot, and remain true to it’s calling to preach the gospel of the grace of God that Paul tells us about. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is not “a way”, or an “expression of truth”, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the absolute exclusion of all other forms of faith and practice. The ecumenical movement comes from Rome, who the Bible says will create the One World Religion during the time of Jacob’s trouble. What you’re seeing here is the dress rehearsal for that day.

Speakers at the “Alliance of Virtue for the Common Good” repeatedly highlighted their surprise and delight over the noticeable contingent of evangelicals among the more than 400 attendees at the glitzy, three-day series of discussions and speeches.

The presence of so many evangelicals, a group often associated with a negative view of Islam, provided a welcome backdrop for an event aimed at championing tolerance, many said.

Hamza Yusuf, president of Zaytuna College, America’s first accredited Muslim college, said the evangelical presence was especially notable given recent polling: According to a 2017 poll from Pew Research, nearly three-quarters of white evangelicals say there is a natural conflict between Islam and democracy, compared with roughly half or fewer of those in other major religious groups who express the same view.

The false teachings of Billy Graham paved the way to merge Christianity with the world’s religions

Our story on the false teachings of Billy Graham, published on the day he died, made some people pretty mad, but now maybe you can see why we did it. Graham virtually created the ecumenical movement single-handedly as a result of his alliance with the Vatican and the pope. Many in the world will embrace the coming One World Religion as a result of Graham’s “evangelism”. 

White evangelicals were also the major religious group most supportive of President Trump’s 2017 travel ban — sometimes called a “Muslim ban” — barring immigrants and refugees from several Muslim-majority countries, according to a 2017 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.

“The evangelicals coming took great courage, because of a lot of the attitudes within that community,” Yusuf told Religion News Service on Feb. 7, the conference’s last day.

“The evangelicals coming took great courage, because of a lot of the attitudes within that community.” — Hamza YusufAt one point, Bob Roberts, an evangelical pastor at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas, asked evangelicals in the crowd to clap if they were excited about the conference and its message.

“This is new for us — it shouldn’t be new for us,” he said over the applause. “I’m not a Muslim, but I just really care about religious freedom. … The tribal way we are doing religion today is going to destroy us.”

In a separate interview with RNS, Roberts said the “older, higher levels” of evangelicalism are unlikely to embrace the message of the conference, because they “have an old worldview.” But he argued that younger evangelicals have “realized the world has shifted” and that the conference is a model for future efforts to protect religious liberty.

“Here’s something that’s really problematic about how we think about religious freedom: We get Christians together and say, ‘Here’s how we’re going to do it.’ That day is over,” he said. “If we don’t have conversations on religious freedom with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews — they’re wasted conversations.”

Deborah Fikes, a Texas-based Southern Baptist and former permanent representative from the World Evangelical Alliance to the United Nations, also discussed the challenges of interfaith work among conservative Christian groups.

“Growing up, Catholics were criticized, Muslims were criticized … the Methodists were criticized. … It was always such a focus on our differences,” she said during a Wednesday panel. “Yes, there are definitely obstacles [to tolerance] for evangelicals because of that culture.”

Fikes said that in her U.N. work, she observed that American military actions abroad can foster negative perceptions, especially when conflated with the belief that the U.S. is a “Christian nation.” She expressed concern that the “conservative political party’s policies” in the U.S. are “really hurting the most vulnerable,” pointing to evangelical support for the Trump administration’s recent decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel — despite widespread objection among Middle Eastern Christians.

“I know that conservative Christians … are so passionate about protecting Christian minorities in the Middle East, but that one decision has greatly harmed and compromised the Christian minorities we want to protect,” she said.

The conference also touted its declaration, released Thursday, at the end of the gathering.

“Recognizing that our shared values are more important than our differences, and that we are strongest when we act together, we pledge to combine our best efforts to foster unity where there is discord, aid the impoverished, tend the vulnerable, heal the poor in spirit, and support measures that will ensure respect for the dignity of every human being,” the declaration reads in part.

It later adds: “There is no room for compulsion in religion, just as there are no legitimate grounds for excluding the followers of any religion from full and fair participation in society.”

“This is new for us — it shouldn’t be new for us.” — Bob RobertsIn addition, the statement, referred to as the “Washington Declaration,” called for concrete steps: serving a billion meals to victims of violence and conflict and proposing the creation of a “multireligious body” that would “support mediation and reconciliation that will act in accordance with our shared values to build peace in the world.”

“I recommend we create an alliance from our religious traditions … to be a mediating team for reconciliation between conflicting groups,” Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and a driving force behind the gathering, said to the crowd while speaking through a translator.

During the same panel, Rabbi David Rosen, international director for the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs, described the event as “an incredibly historic gathering that sets the stage for a new era.”

Other participants included Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance; Timo Soini, minister for foreign affairs of Finland; and Rabbi David Saperstein, director emeritus of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

The declaration did not mention Trump’s travel ban, and it was not clear how many attendees — if any — hailed from the Muslim-majority countries listed in the most recent iteration of the ban: Syria, Iran, Chad, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. source

 


 

The post ONE WORLD: Evangelicals Join Interfaith Leaders In Washington To Create A ‘Multi-Religious Body’ To Bring About ‘World Peace’ appeared first on Now The End Begins.

MARCH 28 LET FEAR BECOME TRUST

Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear.

Romans 8:15

What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe that their humanistic view of life is all sufficient? They believe that they are responsible “captains” of their own souls.

The sad fact is that even while they are joining in the age-old rejection of Jesus Christ—“We will not have this Man to rule over us”—they still are beset with fears within.

The present competitive world and its selfish society have brought many new fears to the human race. I can sympathize with those troubled beings who lie awake at night worrying about the possible destruction of the race through some evil, misguided use of the world’s store of nuclear weapons. The tragedy is that they have lost all sense of the sovereignty and omnipotence and faithfulness of the living God.

Although the material world has never understood it, our faith is well placed in the Scriptures! Those who take God’s Word seriously are convinced of an actual heavenly realm as real as this world we inhabit!

Dear Lord, thank You that You are a strong tower where we can find shelter and protection. I choose to put my trust in You.[1]


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

March 28, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

U.S. President Donald Trump called for continued pressure against Kim Jong Un, after China said the North Korean leader expressed an openness to disarmament talks during a surprise visit to Beijing.

A gay marriage controversy that turned Costa Rica’s presidential election on its head has pitted a Christian preacher against a ruling party candidate in an Easter Sunday runoff. Fabricio Alvarado, a 43-year-old evangelical songwriter, led in the first round in February after he opposed a ruling by an international court that supported gay marriage in the Central American nation. He has since tried to broaden his appeal beyond his religious base by pledging to create jobs and curb the record fiscal deficit.

The U.K. plans to hire 1,000 new customs and immigration staff to ensure the security of the country’s border after Brexit.

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

The Trump administration is considering a crackdown on Chinese investments in technologies the U.S. deems sensitive by invoking a law reserved for national emergencies, among other options, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hundreds of wealthy Russians who moved to the U.K. promising to invest millions of pounds in businesses will have their visas reviewed under plans for a crackdown following the nerve agent attack on a former spy.

Poland signed a contract with the U.S. for the first phase of a Patriot air missile-defense system to soothe the NATO member’s concerns over Russia’s assertive stance in the region. Under the $4.75 billion deal, Poland’s largest-ever weapons purchase, Patriot producer Raytheon Co. will start deliveries of rockets and communication systems in 2022.

Yang Jiechi, a member of China’s 25-member Politburo, will visit South Korea on March 29-30, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at briefing in Beijing.

With Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg now poised to address the uproar on Capitol Hill, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it’s redesigning the settings menu on mobile devices, consolidating privacy options in one place, rather than sending users to some 20 different screens.

AP Top Stories

The president is said to have suggested his idea that the military should pitch in to fund the border wall to both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Post reported.

Calling it “a relic of the 18th century,” retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called Tuesday for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, saying it would achieve “more effective and more lasting reform” than other efforts to curb the country’s scourge of gun violence.

A wave of the sometimes fatal Influenza B is spreading across the country at an unusually high rate. Although reported cases of influenza A (H3N2), which have dominated this flu season, decreased during the week of March 11, cases of Influenza B saw an unusual uptick over the same time period. Parents of young kids should be especially vigilant about the second wave.

A new series of animated films from the American Civil Liberties Union seeks to help immigrants know their rights so they can better protect themselves when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

U.N. Security Council members vented frustrations and traded blame over their unheeded demand for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, with the U.S. envoy calling it “a day of shame.”

An American self-help guru accused of presiding over a secretive society of female sex slaves branded with his initials has been arrested in Mexico after fleeing from New York state.

A 13-year-old Florida boy has been involuntarily hospitalized for a second time after telling deputies he wanted to be the next school shooter.

BBC

A Canadian teenager has struck the jackpot after buying her first lottery ticket to mark her 18th birthday. She won, and had the choice between taking a $780,000 lump sum or earning $1,000 a week for life. The young winner opted for the $1,000 annuity because it is not taxed.

NATO is expelling seven Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack in the UK. Twenty-six countries have expelled Russian envoys the past two days, in solidarity with the UK.

Children in France will start school at the age of three instead of six, under new reforms announced by President Emmanuel Macron. The change will give France one of the lowest compulsory school starting ages in Europe. But it will only affect a small number of children, as the majority of French families already choose to send their children to nursery school at three. Only 2.4% of children are not enrolled at that age, government figures show.

Syrian government forces have massed around the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta area, after rebels were reportedly given a deadline to leave. But Jaysh al-Islam has said its fighters want to disarm and stay.

WND

Rick Seaward, a Charismatic church planter who helped plant thousands of churches around the world and the founder of Singapore’s first megachurch, was killed in a car accident last Saturday while in Brazil for a missions conference.

This year’s annual “Sex Week” at Northwestern University will feature a Chicago-based dominatrix named “Lady Sophia” who will teach the students various BDSM practices.

Now Democrats have introduced new legislation requiring background checks for the purchase of ammunition. The bill – which was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and in the House by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. – would close a so-called “loophole” in federal law that bans convicts, domestic abusers and mentally ill people from buying ammunition but doesn’t mandate background checks to stop those individuals from making the purchases.


The Briefing — Wednesday, March 28, 2018

1) The scandal no one is noticing: Pornography redefined as adult entertainment

Wall Street Journal (Editorial Board) –
The Tale of Stormy Donald

2) The normalization of pornography in American culture

Washington Post (Alyssa Rosenberg) –
The most radical part of Anderson Cooper’s interview with Stormy Daniels

New York Times (Katie Van Syckle) –
What It’s Like to Report About the Porn Industry

3) Considering the consequences of technology as the world around us embraces it indiscriminately

Washington Post (Megan McArdle) –
How safe are driverless cars? Unfortunately, it’s too soon to tell.

The Atlantic (Adrienne Lafrance) –
How Self-Driving Cars Will Threaten Privacy

4) Technology invades the kitchen: How far is too far for American families

New York Times (Brian X. Chen) –
To Invade Homes, Tech Is Trying to Get in Your Kitchen


News – 3/28/2018

Chinese space station set for uncontrolled Easter reentry
China’s Tiangong-1 space station is set to make an uncontrolled reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere on or around April 1. The update from the Aerospace Corporation, which is tracking the abandoned orbital laboratory, predicts that it will make its final plunge at 00:00 GMT on April 1 with a margin of error of ±36 hours, when it will burn up somewhere between 43° North and 43° South latitudes.

Global Anti-Russia Campaign Is Taking Us Dangerously Close To Disaster
The expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the US, along with dozens of others from various other countries, should be a sobering moment for all of mankind. It’s a sign of how close to the brink of a major war the world is coming.

Orange County joins suit against California’s ‘sanctuary’ law
The Board of Supervisors of Orange County — the third-largest county in California — voted unanimously to join a federal lawsuit against the state’s ‘sanctuary’ laws aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants. Orange County will now join a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that argues California’s SB-54, which restricts local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in matters related to undocumented immigrants, is unconstitutional.

The Passover Sacrifice Reenactment: Approaching the Glory of the Temple
On Monday, the United Temple Movements held a full-dress reenactment of the Passover sacrifice, coming as close as possible to replicating one of the central ceremonies in Judaism as it appeared in the Temple. Over 1,500 people gathered to watch and even get a physical taste of what once was and what will soon be again: the glory of the Jewish Temple.

On China trade clash, Wall Street embraces Trump’s poker face
To Wall Street money managers who make bets for a living, U.S. President Donald Trump’s aggressive stance against China on trade looks like a high-stakes poker hand – but they believe they can play it for all it’s worth.

Trump tweets support of Second Amendment after Stevens’ call for repeal
“THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!” he tweeted. “As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!”

‘Violent deportee’ reportedly escapes ICE custody at JFK airport
U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents removed the unidentified man’s handcuffs while going through airport security, law enforcement sources told the New York Daily News. He eluded authorities at Gate B23 in Terminal 4 at around 8:30 p.m. local time. He was supposed to be escorted onto a plane. The man was previously arrested on a weapons charge, according to the New York Daily News.

China says North Korea pledges denuclearization during friendly visit
Kim Jong Un has pledged to denuclearize and meet US officials, China said on Wednesday after an historic meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold its friendship with its isolated neighbor. After two days of speculation, China and North Korea both confirmed that Kim had visited Beijing and met Xi during what China’s Foreign Ministry called an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday.

Palestinian Authority Touts Its Gender Equality For Letting Women Be Terrorists
Not wanting to miss out on the gender equality movement that’s all the rage in most of the Western world these days, the Palestinian Authority has been talking up the prominent role of women in its society. For instance, most Palestinian leaders have absolutely no problem with women joining men as equals in the merciless slaughter of Israeli Jews.

Whistleblower: Facebook Able to Listen to You at Home and Work
Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower told a committee of British MP’s Tuesday Facebook has the ability to spy on you in your own home or place of work.

U.S. District Judge Nominated by Barack Obama Orders Florida Governor to Restore Voting Rights to Convicted Felons
Another day, another power grab from the bench. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ordered Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet to restore voting rights to felons.

SAINSBURY’S bans the use of the word “Easter” from its Easter eggs because it is offensive to Muslims
Pro-European Union Muslim migration supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, has opted to swap the term ‘Easter eggs’ for ‘Halal-certified Chocolate eggs,’ telling customers this is a more accurate description of the product…which will not offend Muslims, whom they apparently believe would love to buy Easter eggs, if only the word “Easter” was not on them. Heh.

DRAINING THE SWAMP: WHITE HOUSE PURGE about to begin, led by John Bolton
Say goodbye to the Obama regime appointees and virtually all of the McMaster appointees. John Bolton has plans to clean house of all the globalists, leftists, and Islamofascist-friendly forces, including the highest level of bureaucracy. It’s become clear that McMaster has been one  of the main conduits for strategic leaks to the mainstream media – in an effort to undermine Trump’s foreign policy goals.

TAYLOR FORCE ACT PASSED! Will cut off $300 million in annual U.S. financial aid that the ‘Palestinian Authority’ uses to pay terrorists and their families who kill Israelis
Congress gave final approval Friday to an act that will actually save U.S. taxpayers some money in the massive $1.3 trillion spending bill. Included as a rider, the Taylor Force Act will cut $300 million in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority until they end lifetime payments for terrorist convicts and the families of slain attackers who kill Israelis and American civilians.

Israel paves way for US embassy move
Dodging potentially embarrassing delays, Israel cuts red-tape blocking US embassy move, paving way for grand opening in May.

‘Will UNESCO demand Western Wall be given to the Muslims?’
New resolution submitted to UNESCO seeks to consolidate UN resolutions denying Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

POLICE IN SWEDEN to focus on anti-Muslim hate speech rather than the Muslim rape epidemic or Islamic terrorism
Swedish police will now focus more on combating and investigating so-called “hate speech crimes” as “harassment of an ethnic/religious group.” Hate speech crimes in Sweden have existed for many years but since the height of the illegal alien Muslim migrant crisis in 2015, there have been more and more arrests and fines.

Planned Parenthood: We Need Disney Princess Who’s Had Abortion
Planned Parenthood argued in support of new Disney characters Tuesday including a princess who’s had an abortion.

Tennessee Passes Bill To Place ‘In God We Trust’ in Every Public School
The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill that would require all public schools in the state to display the words “In God We Trust” in a prominent location. The governor, Republican Bill Haslam is expected to sign the legislation into law very soon.

68 Iowa Faith Leaders Sign Letter in Support of Abortion
In reaction to legislation advancing in the Iowa legislature that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks into pregnancy, 68 faith leaders in Iowa issued a letter stating their support for abortion and their support for women “to make their own healthcare decisions.”

‘Big Victory for President Trump’: Commerce Department Puts U.S. Citizenship Question Back on Census
In a historic moment for President Trump’s administration, Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced that a question asking United States residents if they are American citizens will be placed on the 2020 Census.

As Predicted: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Wants to Give Drug Discounts to Chicago ID Card Holders
In December Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the city’s ID card program. Mayor Emanuel named the ID card program “City Keys.”

It Begins… Retired Liberal Supreme Court Judge: Repeal the Second Amendment
A New York Times op-ed published this morning calls for repealing the Second Amendment in its entirety in order to “make our schoolchildren safer”.


Judicial Watch Sues For Documents On Activities Of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch is suing for documents relating to activities undertaken by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations abroad. 

Judicial Watch reports:

The Soros Open Society Foundations of Romania lawsuit was filed after State and USAID failed to substantively respond to an October 16, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:

  • All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its personnel and/or any OSFR subsidiary or affiliate.
  • All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.

The Soros Open Society Foundations of Colombia lawsuit was filed after State failed to respond to an October 23, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:

  • All records regarding any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Colombia and/or any OSF subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or OSF personnel operating in Colombia, as well as the following entities: Fundacion Ideas para la Paz; La Silla Vacia; DeJusticia; Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris; Paz y Reconciliacion; Global Drug Policy Program; and news portal Las Dos Orillas.

  • All records of communication, whether by e-mails, text messages, or instant chats, between any officials, employees or representatives of the State Department in Colombia, including Ambassador Kevin Whitaker and any officials, employees or representatives of the Open Society Foundation, its subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or those entities identified in the first bullet.

“It is time for Americans to be allowed to see State Department documentation regarding the public funding of Soros’ Open Society Foundations,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement Wednesday.

“The billionaire George Soros needs zero assistance from taxpayers to promote his far-left agenda abroad.”

Last October, Soros transferred billions of his personal wealth into his infamous Open Society Foundations. The non-profit is one of the world’s top funders of ‘open-borders’ causes. As Soros approaches 90 years old in the Trump-era, it appears the hedge fund manager is “going all in.”

“George Soros, who built one of the world’s largest fortunes through a famous series of trades, has turned over nearly $18 billion to Open Society Foundations, according to foundation officials, a move that transforms both the philanthropy he founded and the investment firm supplying its wealth,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

The post Judicial Watch Sues For Documents On Activities Of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.


Mid-Day Snapshot

Mar. 28, 2018

Yes, Leftists Want to Repeal the Second Amendment

No less than retired Justice John Paul Stevens declared it in a New York Times op-ed.

The Foundation

“Another not unimportant consideration is, that the powers of the general government will be, and indeed must be, principally employed upon external objects, such as war, peace, negotiations with foreign powers, and foreign commerce.” —Joseph Story (1833)


Headlines – 3/28/2018

Israel speeds up U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem by eliminating bureaucracy

US denies report Trump will skip Jerusalem embassy opening: ‘Not decided’

Thousands to participate in Priestly Blessing at Western Wall

Palestinians to protest Friday after Jews sacrifice lambs near Temple Mount

PA warns of the consequences of the ongoing Israeli incursions At Al-Aqsa Mosque

PA campaign slogan “There is no substitute for return and Jerusalem”

IDF imposes closure on West Bank, Gaza Strip for the holiday of Passover

Report: Israel, PA, Jordan, Egypt join forces to prevent Gaza march violence

IDF warns Gazans against ‘March of Anarchy’

IDF chief: 100 snipers authorized to use live fire during Gaza march

Palestinian infiltration from Gaza reveals cracks in Israel’s border defenses

Terrorists who infiltrated Israel from Gaza caught 20 kilometers from border

IDF tanks shell Hamas positions after 2 Gazans start fire near border

Senior minister: US-Iran clash could prompt Hezbollah action vs. Israel

Netanyahu taken to Jerusalem hospital with high fever

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu discharged from hospital after a brief stay for an infection

Israeli ex-spymasters warn country is ‘critically ill’ under Netanyahu

Saudi Crown Prince Meets for Over an Hour in New York With Reps of Major US Jewish Groups

Saudi plan to ‘accept Israel as a brotherly state’

How Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Is Upending the Old Order

Saudi king affirms response to any attempts against kingdom’s security

Saudi Crown Prince: Houthi ‘last-ditch effort’ missiles attack shows weakness

Saudi Arabia demands Iran be held accountable for missile supply to Houthis

Saudi envoy to US: Iran supports terror in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen

Saudi crown prince and UN leader meet to talk about Yemen

National security veterans urge Trump not to scrap Iran nuclear deal

Haley Lambasts Russia, U.N. Security Council Over Siege of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta: ‘This Should Be a Day of Shame’

ISIS: Surging Again in Syria?

Islamic State haunts northern Iraq months after its defeat

Egypt election: ‘I’m not going to vote. I know the result – Sisi will win’

Jimmy Carter calls Trump’s decision to hire Bolton ‘a disaster for our country’

Kim Jong Un meets with Chinese leader on ‘unofficial visit,’ state media says

China says North Korea’s Kim pledged commitment to denuclearization

Russia, China eclipse US in hypersonic missiles, prompting fears

Russian envoy warns world risks ‘Cold War’ if anti-Moscow bias continues

Britain’s May says more to be done against Russia over spy attack

In spy wars, Israel chooses Russia over UK, but Trump could play spoiler

Fake news 2.0: personalized, optimized, and even harder to stop – Artificial intelligence will automate and optimize fake news

Facebook’s Zuckerberg rebuffs British MPs for data privacy grilling

Zuckerberg Will Testify Before Congress on Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook data misuse scandal affects “substantially” more than 50M, claims Wylie

Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: Facebook Able to Listen to You at Home and Work

Whistleblower: Cambridge Analytica used Israeli firm to hack Nigerian president

Playboy pulls page from ‘sexually repressive’ Facebook amid Cambridge Analytica scandal

Playboy deletes Facebook page, claims contradiction of values

Atlanta ransomware attack still causing chaos

Race to robot cars continues after fatal crash

Despite Uber crash, Mobileye chief says don’t give up on self-driving cars

Google Orders Fleet of 20,000 Driverless Jaguars

Tech Shares Tumble Again as Regulatory Risks Rattle Investors

The US needs to borrow almost $300 billion this week

A SpaceX rocket launch blew a temporary hole in Earth’s upper atmosphere

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Kodiak, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts 16,000ft

Aoba volcano on Vanuatu erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Samantha Bee: Trump, FEMA ‘failed miserably’ providing hurricane relief to Puerto Rico

In Venezuela, hungry child gangs use machetes to fight for ‘quality’ garbage

A measles outbreak in ailing Venezuela is threatening Colombia and Brazil

States scrambling to avert Obamacare sticker shock after Dems balk at stabilization effort

Trump administration to revoke Obama-era policy for abortion providers

Backlash after Planned Parenthood branch tweets: ‘We need a Disney princess who’s had an abortion’

Juanita Broaddrick: Media Won’t Interview Me About Clinton ‘Because I’m Not a Porn Star’

Inside the cult authorities allege was a secret society of sex slaves

Trump claims transgender soldiers put military at risk. ‘Nonsense,’ says Israel’s first openly trans officer

March For Our Lives And Gay Activism: ‘They’re Definitely Linked For Me,’ Says Emma Gonzalez

One in five Americans wants the Second Amendment to be repealed, national survey finds

UCLA law professor who supports gun control: There’s not a ‘snowflake’s chance in hell’ of repealing the Second Amendment

Hunter Pollack Wanted to Remember His Slain Sister at March for Our Lives, but Organizers Denied Him Chance to Speak

‘Violent deportee’ reportedly escapes ICE custody at JFK airport

Blue states sue Trump over census citizenship question

Apostasy Watch

The Machiavellian Church — Easter Bunny Edition

March For Our Lives Say’s Gov’t is Our Savior – It’s Not

Francis Chan Open to Strange Manifestations? “Even If I look stupid” “Try to look like I’m in control”

Fulfill Prophecy for $100 Says Benny Hinn: Plant Trees in Benny Hinn Forest in Israel

Wagner again affirms the existence of the so-called NAR

Voskamp Uses Author’s Material without Proper Attribution, Claims It Came from Her Daddy

T.D. Jakes Church Network – Potter’s House Fort Worth Volunteer Cuffed, Assaulted at Church in Dispute Over Working on Stage

Southern Baptist Leader Frank Page Resigns over ‘Morally Inappropriate Relationship’

Planned Parenthood Chapter Deletes Tweet Calling for a Disney Princess ‘Who’s Had an Abortion’

New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’

Walmart Removes Cosmopolitan Magazine from Check-Out Line Shelves

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 09:48 AM PDT

Walmart Removes Cosmopolitan Magazine from Check-Out Line ShelvesWalmart is removing Cosmopolitan magazines from the shelves of their check out lines.  The retail giant said in a statement that the decision was primarily a business one, but concerns from the public about the magazine’s sexual content were taken into consideration.  The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) who helped initiate the change, said in a Facebook live that now families won’t have to worry about seeing the material while waiting in line.

NCOSE Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson said Tuesday, “You can go through and buy your groceries with your family knowing you don’t have to be exposed to this graphic and often degrading and offensive material. Instead, all of these magazines will be moved, in isolation, to the magazine racks.”  According to NPR, the NCOSE has been behind several efforts to cover or remove Cosmo from store shelves for years, deeming it porn. READ MORE

Theology Professor Says Jesus Was ‘Drag King’ with ‘Queer Desires’…

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 09:44 AM PDT

Theology Professor Says Jesus Was ‘Drag King’ with ‘Queer Desires’…The theology program at the Jesuit-run College of the Holy Cross has taken on a new tone ever since the school appointed a gender-obsessed Chair of New Testament Studies who claims Jesus was a “drag king,” a new article contends.  Writing for The Fenwick Review, Elinor Reilly of the Holy Cross class of 2018 argues in a March 26 article that Professor Tat-Siong Benny Liew’s “unconventional readings of Scripture” have brought “a new theological perspective to Holy Cross.”  Letting the facts

speak for themselves, Ms. Reilly suggests that “the centrality of sex and gender to his way of thinking about the New Testament” significantly colors the way that Professor Liew presents Jesus Christ to students at the Catholic College. In a remarkable re-reading of the Bible, Professor Liew has argued that Jesus is not only “king of Israel” and “king of the Jews,” but “also a drag king,” as presented in  the New Testament Gospel of John. READ MORE

Church-State Separation Group Wants Prayer Plaques Removed From Ohio Veterans, Police, Fire Memorial

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 05:46 AM PDT

Church-State Separation Group Wants Prayer Plaques Removed From Ohio Veterans, Police, Fire MemorialOne of the nation’s most conspicuous church-state separation groups has requested that a village in Ohio remove several plaques from a veterans, police and fire memorial display because they contain Christian prayers.  The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the mayor of Evendale after being notified by a local resident that the plaques on the Baxter Park memorial contain a prayer for each branch of the Armed Forces, as well as a prayer for the police and for firefighters.

“O eternal Father, we commend to Thy protection and care the members of the Marine Corps,” one of the plaques reads. “Guide and direct them in the defense of our country and in the maintenance of justice among nations. Protect them in the hour of danger. Grant that wherever they serve they may be loyal to their high traditions and that at all times they may put their trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”  READ MORE

New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 05:41 AM PDT

New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’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 who makes fun of certain parts of the Torah that he finds odd and concludes that “fundamentalists may claim to

take the Bible literally, but they actually just pick and choose certain rules to follow.” Producer Patrick Walsh told Fox News earlier this month that he met with Jacobs, who advised that he wanted to create a comedy show about religion. He expressed enthusiasm about the result: a story about a man who loses his best friend and learns his wife is having a baby, sparking the desire to try to be a “better man” and live by what he reads in the Bible. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: US and Iran clash could spark war with Hezbollah and Israel.

Posted: 28 Mar 2018 05:35 AM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: US and Iran clash could spark war with Hezbollah and Israel.Jerusalem must prepare for the possibility that Iran will deploy Hezbollah against Israel in case there is a US-Iran military confrontation, Construction Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday. Gallant, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet and a former OC Southern Command, said he believed US President Donald Trump would “behave differently” than his predecessors if the Iranians acted – as they have in the past – against US interests.

“If there is some friction, some collision course, we have to be ready because the way the Iranians might react against the United States is to activate Hezbollah against Israel,” he said at a briefing organized by the Israel Project.  Gallant, who will be speaking April 29 at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, recommended to those who might doubt this scenario to remember that when the US attacked Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq responded by firing 40 Scud missiles at Israel. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Deadly Borna virus spreads to humans in Europe, Deaths confirmed

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 07:01 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Deadly Borna virus spreads to humans in Europe, Deaths confirmedThree people have been killed by a virus that had until now only infected animals, sparking fears the disease could spread to more humans.  Four cases of the Borna virus have been reported in Germany so far in what scientists believe is the first confirmed evidence the disease has spread to humans.  It comes after three of the four reported victims received organ donations from the same patient.

A report from the European Union’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said: “Borna disease virus 1 has been associated with human disease in four cases in Germany resulting in the deaths of three people. “Bona virus 1 in humans occurs rarely, however considering the severity of this disease, Member States may consider adding it to the list of pathogens included in the differential diagnosis of causes of human encephalitis.”  READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: China sends navy to South Sea; Vows ‘bloody battle’ for world domination…

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 06:55 PM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: China sends navy to South Sea; Vows ‘bloody battle’ for world domination…Dozens of Chinese ships are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a show of force off Hainan Island in the South China Sea.  Pictures, provided by Planet Labs Inc, show a Chinese carrier group has entered the trade route as part of combat drills.  The Chinese navy claims the movements are part of routine annual exercises, according to Reuters.

The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry. The photos, taken yesterday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of China’s expanding fleet. They have emerged less than a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country is prepared to fight bloody battles to retain its right as a superpower.  READ MORE

Whistleblower reveals Facebook able to listen to you at home and work

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 06:51 PM PDT

Whistleblower reveals Facebook able to listen to you at home and workCambridge Analytica whistleblower Christoper Wylie, appearing before a committee of British MPs on Tuesday, said that Facebook has the ability to spy on users in their homes and offices. The British parliament is investigating Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the Brexit election. MP Damian Collins, who chaired the committee, asked Wyle whether Facebook has the ability to listen to what people are talking about in order to better target them with ads.

“There’s been various speculation about the fact that Facebook can, through the Facebook app on your smartphone, listen in to what people are talking about and discussing and using that to prioritize the advertising as well,” Collins said. “Other people would say, no, they don’t think it’s possible. It’s just that the Facebook system is just so good at predicting what you’re interested in that it can guess.” He asked for Wylie’s thoughts on the possibility. READ MORE

Bizarre cloud’ seen over the skies of Arizona, California and Mexico

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 06:45 PM PDT

Bizarre cloud’ seen over the skies of Arizona, California and MexicoViewers have reported seeing an odd “cloud” in the sky on Monday night, as they looked to the west.  Throughout the night, FOX 10 Phoenix has received photos and video from people in Phoenix, Yuma, as well as Coachell, Menifee and San Diego in California, showing what happened. A similar sighting was also reported to FOX 10 Phoenix from the northernmost portion of Mexico’s Baja California state.

FOX 10 Phoenix has reached out to the National Weather Service for an explanation on what people saw Monday night. An official said the “cloud” looks very reminiscent of rocket and missile exhaust that is high in the atmosphere, and that they have seen things before with a similar appearance that were associated with activity at the White Sand Missile Range and/or Vandenberg Air Force Base. READ MORE

Where are the Forerunners in this Hour?

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 02:15 PM PDT

Where are the Forerunners in this Hour?(By Ricky Scaparo) In today’s broadcast, we discuss how John the Baptist was the raised up to be the forerunner in his generation to prepare the hearts of the people to be prepared for the revealing of the Messiah. Discover why we desperately need these same forerunners in this hour to prepare the people for the second coming of the Lord! For the entire message, Watch the video below:

Spirit-filled Evangelist Kicked Out of Gym for Praying for a Man in Pain

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 01:33 PM PDT

Spirit-filled Evangelist Kicked Out of Gym for Praying for a Man in PainAn evangelist says he was kicked out of his New Jersey gym when he laid hands on a man and prayed for his pain to go away in the name of Jesus.  Craig Fasler, the senior evangelist with Christian Equippers International, says he saw a man in pain in the locker room and asked if he could pray for him. The man agreed, and Fasler “spoke to his muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones and commanded that they be healed. I bound all pain, and stiffness, and loosed flexibility, strength, and elasticity. I thank You, Jesus, for healing him.

“I prayed three to four times as the healing came progressively until he was completely freed of pain,” Fasler tells Charisma News. “He was very grateful.” When an employee overheard Fasler had been praying, Fasler says she said she was an atheist and offended at the prayer. The worker reportedly told Fasler, “You are not allowed to speak about religion here. I am an atheist, and you are not allowed to talk about religion and mention the name Jesus in here.”  READ MORE

 

YouTube Flags Satirical Video About David Hogg as “Offensive” and “Inappropriate”

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 01:29 PM PDT

YouTube Flags Satirical Video About David Hogg as “Offensive” and “Inappropriate”A satirical video that overdubs fiery rhetoric of Adolf Hitler (in German) over a speech given by student activist David Hogg at Saturday’s “March for our Lives” in Washington has earned it a warning to would-be viewers on YouTube.  The video channel, owned by Google, flagged the 56-second send-up of the gun control advocate — who shot to fame following his reporting and commentary at the Parkland, Fla. school shootings — as “inappropriate” or “offensive.” Viewers attempting to watch the

video were met with the following message, and then had to click “I understand and wish to proceed” in order to play it: The parody, posted on a YouTube channel managed by “MAGA3D,” converts the footage of Hogg’s speech in DC into a black-and-white grainy imagery, with the sound of a 1930s-era film projector in the background, and the impassioned speech of the German fuhrer roughly matching up to Hogg’s lip movements. READ MORE

Microsoft To Ban ‘Offensive Language,’ and Monitor Private Accounts…

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 01:24 PM PDT

Microsoft To Ban ‘Offensive Language,’ and Monitor Private Accounts…Microsoft is cracking down on what people say while using their services online. According to a new services agreement written by the company, the tech giant is planning to ban accounts that use “offensive language” and will go through your private data to “investigate” users.  In a March 1 release, Microsoft is warning customers using Office, Xbox, Skype, and other products that the company is prohibiting offensive language and inappropriate content starting on May 1. “Don’t publicly display or

use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity),” Microsoft warns in a portion of their new codes of conduct. Microsoft also added that the company plans on “investigating” users who are accused of violating the new policy and will block content from being sent to other people. “When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue,” the new policy states. READ MORE

Scientists Discover New Organ In Human Body

Posted: 27 Mar 2018 01:19 PM PDT

Scientists Discover New Organ In Human BodyJust like finding a long-lost relative, scientists would like to introduce you to an organ you never knew you had: the interstitium.  New research published in Scientific Reports has revealed that the human body contains a network of fluid-filled channels that had previously been undiscovered. The spaces were found all around the body’s connective tissue which lines the digestive tract, lungs, urinary

systems, and surrounding muscles.  While the fluid-carrying channels have not been officially designated an organ by a majority of scientists, Neil Theise of New York University’s School of Medicine says the interstitium holds nearly a fifth of the body’s fluids. “We think they act as shock absorbers,” Theise said, via New Scientist. READ MORE


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Wretched Radio 03/27/2018

WR2018-0327

•How you can win a copy of the 20th anniversary MacArthur Study Bible
•Baptism testimonies that evidence good teaching
•Nathan Busenitz shows that Evangelicals and the Church Fathers agree
•We get to hear from Mike Fabarez soon
•Francis Chan warns against criticizing the “Lord’s anointed”. He’s half right
•12 reasons why the Christian America view is dangerous
•A 20 point test to see if you are a hereticDownload Now (right click and save)

The post 03/27/2018 appeared first on Wretched.

Progressive Church Replaces Pew Bibles With Adult Coloring Books

Brought to you by  HARTFORD, CT—St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church prides itself on staying on the cutting edge of progressive theology and practice. This steadfast commitment is apparent in many aspects of the ministry’s church life, including its recent decision to remove all “toxic” pew Bibles and replace them with “life-giving” adult coloring books. “I hadn’t […]

The post Progressive Church Replaces Pew Bibles With Adult Coloring Books appeared first on The Babylon Bee.

The Eschatology of the Thief

Luke 23:39-43

Code: B180328

Eschatology is a hotly debated subject among modern believers. It concerns the study of the “end times,” last things, or future events in God’s redemptive plan. Its scope includes Christ’s return, the rapture, the millennium, future judgment, and God’s kingdom. Those are all broad and important issues—it’s understandable why a lot of ink has been spilled by people staking out their particular positions.

But there’s also an intensely personal aspect to our eschatological views. And that concerns the only two possible eternal destinations for every person who has ever existed.

“Where will I go when I die?” That is the most crucial question any person can ask. It’s the one facet of our eschatology that we can’t afford to get wrong. And yet too many people ignore that question, and instead become preoccupied with preserving this present earthly life—in spite of its inevitable demise.

Jesus was the consummate theologian on heaven and hell—almost all of our biblical knowledge on these subjects comes directly from His lips. And although He spent His life marching relentlessly toward the cross, He kept the emphasis of His ministry squarely on eternal judgment. He warned His disciples accordingly:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Luke 12:4–5)

That’s one of the most important eschatological statements in all of Scripture. Jesus tells us what our greatest fear should be. And the thief on the cross is a forceful advocate of that view—his words speak powerfully to those whose primary fear is the end of this temporal life.

The thief suffered the most grueling and agonizing physical death possible. Crucifixion was Rome’s supreme instrument of capital punishment, and a powerful motivational threat for their enemies and subjects. For people in the first century, there was no more dreadful death than crucifixion (and you’d struggle to top it today). John MacArthur adds:

The agonizing pain those crucified endured is almost incomprehensible. The most extreme word in the English language to describe pain is the word “excruciating,” which comes from the Latin word excruciatus, meaning “out of the cross.” [1]

It is staggering to think that in the midst of such unspeakable agony, the thief was filled with dread for something else. He still had the presence of mind to warn the other thief—who was “hurling abuse” at Christ—of an even greater danger. “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?” (Luke 23:40). In the face of impending death and eternal judgment, the thief rightly understood that blasphemy was the epitome of foolishness. John MacArthur explains:

He realized that the torment he was enduring for breaking the law was insignificant compared to what he could expect for his sin from the divine Judge. He was afraid, not of those who were destroying his body, but of God, who would destroy both his body and his soul in hell. [2]

The thief had mastered the most critical essential of Christian eschatology. He knew he was deservedly headed for hell and Christ was headed for His glorious kingdom (Luke 23:42). The thief was acutely aware of his very real and imminent danger. He didn’t plead with those who wielded the earthly power at Calvary—the Jewish leaders or the Roman government. He turned to the suffering Christ and made one final desperate plea. And we’ll consider that next time.


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180328
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What Everybody Ought to Know About Getting into Heaven

I’ve used the story of the thief on the cross many times to help people see who Jesus is and what he is able to do for them. The last day of his life was extraordinary. It began in the misery of a prison cell; it ended in the joy of heaven. Someone has said that the thief had breakfast with the devil and supper with the Savior. That’s an amazing transformation, and it shows what Jesus Christ can do for a person in a single day!

The story of the thief is unusual, but it teaches something that every person needs to know.

Getting into Heaven Doesn’t Depend on You

Entrance into heaven does not depend on your performance in the Christian life. Think about what happened to the thief: He trusted Christ and went to heaven on the same day. That means he missed out entirely on the Christian life. So he had no battles with temptation and no struggles with prayer. He never had the opportunity to be baptized, to receive communion, to join a church, or to serve in a ministry.

Many people believe that their entrance into heaven depends on living a good and godly life. They may believe that Jesus forgives, but deep down they feel that their progress in the Christian life is the key that will open the door of heaven. How could that possibly be true?

How the Thief Entered Heaven

The thief went to heaven without ever living the Christian life! He didn’t have the opportunity. With his hands fixed to the cross, he was in no position to do good works. With his feet nailed to a wooden beam, he could hardly walk in paths of righteousness. And with death only a few hours away, he didn’t have time to turn over a new leaf and live a better life.

What the thief did that day was deceptively simple. He turned to Jesus and said, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he waited for Jesus to respond. After all his wasted years, it would not have been surprising if Jesus had said to him, “Don’t you think it’s a little late for you to be thinking about my kingdom?”

After the hatred the thief had spewed out on Jesus only minutes before, he could not have complained if Jesus had said, “The kingdom of heaven is not for people like you.” But that is not Jesus’ way. He didn’t put the thief on probation or send him on a long spiritual journey. And he didn’t say, “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Instead, Jesus joyfully accepted the thief’s prayer. Jesus accepted him freely and gladly, without hesitation or condition. “Amen,” he said. And then, after a short pause, “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

If Jesus could save the thief, who clearly had not lived a moral life, then there is hope in Jesus even for the person who is far away from God. There is hope for every person in Jesus Christ. This is what we learn from the thief.

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The post What Everybody Ought to Know About Getting into Heaven appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

‘Want To Freak Yourself Out?’ Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect

(Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge) As we’ve pointed out, neither Facebook nor Cambridge Analytica have been accused of doing anything explicitly illegal (though one could be forgiven for believing they had, based on the number of lawsuits and official investigations that have been announced).

Instead, the backlash to these revelations – which has been justifiably focused on Facebook – is so severe because the public has been forced to confront for the first time something that many had previously written off as an immutable certaintyThat Facebook, Google and the rest of the tech behemoths store reams of personal data, essentially logging everything we do.

In response to demands for more transparency surrounding user data, Facebook and Google are offering users the option to view all of the metadata that Google and Facebook collect.

And as Twitter user Dylan Curran pointed out in a comprehensive twitter thread examining his own data cache,the extent and bulk of the data collected and sorted by both companies is staggering.

Google, Curran said, collected 5.5 gigabytes of data on him – equivalent to some 3 million Microsoft Word documents. Facebook, meanwhile, collected only 600 megabytes – equivalent to roughly 400,000 documents.

Another shocking revelation made by Curran: Even after deleting data like search history and revoking permissions for Google and Facebook applications, Curran still found a comprehensive log of his documents and other files stored on Google drive, his search history, chat logs and other sensitive data about his movements that he had expressly deleted.

What’s worse, everything shown is the data cache of one individual. Just imagine how much data these companies hold in total. View article →

Source: ‘Want To Freak Yourself Out?’ Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect

New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’

(Heather Clark – Christian News Network) “The script for Living Biblically reads like it has been written by your typical, cynical, atheistic, internet trolls, as the story lines feed into almost every stereotypical caricature of Christianity that we find on the World Wide Web.”

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 who makes fun of certain parts of the Torah that he finds odd and concludes that “fundamentalists may claim to take the Bible literally, but they actually just pick and choose certain rules to follow.”

Producer Patrick Walsh told Fox News earlier this month that he met with Jacobs, who advised that he wanted to create a comedy show about religion. He expressed enthusiasm about the result: a story about a man who loses his best friend and learns his wife is having a baby, sparking the desire to try to be a “better man” and live by what he reads in the Bible.

He regularly meets with a Roman Catholic priest and a rabbi, referred to as the “God squad,” in a local bar to receive direction.

“That was the intent, to do a show that was not preachy and off-putting to people who do not practice religion, but also very respectful and welcoming to those that do,” Walsh explained. “A big part of my pitch was that 84 percent of the world aligns itself with religion, and yet there’s nothing on television for people of faith.”

“The only times you hear it mentioned is things like Bill Maher, which is extremely critical, and the other end of the spectrum are movies like ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘Left Behind,’ which are successful, but I think they’re so pious and solemn that they’re off-putting to a general audience,” he opined. “They’re usually just successful amongst religious people.”

However, in the broadcast, after the main character, Chip Curry, advises his wife that he wants to do a “soul cleanse” until their baby arrives, she exclaims, “I’m not throwing out my rap albums. You know how much I love my filthy, filthy sex rap.”

When he tells his wife, an atheist, that it’s important to have faith, she asks why God made super gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease. Moments later, Curry tells his wife that if his quest goes beyond the nine months, according to the Bible, he cannot touch her while she is menstruating and that if she gets “crabby,” he has to go live in the desert.

“You know, it’s just Bible stuff,” Curry says.

A laugh track follows.  View article →

Related:

Michelle Lesley: Living UNbiblically: 4 Reasons CBS’s “Living Biblically” ISN’T (And Why Christians Should Watch it Anyway)

Source: New CBS Sitcom ‘Living Biblically’ Decried as ‘Hollywood Mockery of Christians’

“The Good Part — Preparing for Old Age and Death”

“There are two things that elderly Christians, who have many long years believed and lived by faith in Christ, long for when they are nearing eternity. The first is, that all their spiritual backslidings will be healed and that they may be spiritually revived and recovered from all the spiritual declensions and decays to which they were liable in their daily walk with God. The other is that they may flourish in holiness and fruitfulness to the praise of God, the honor of the gospel, and the increase of their peace and joy. They value these things more than all the world.” 1 –John Owen

My boomer generation has a serious problem with denial when it comes to aging and death. It’s driven, in part, by our culture’s worship of youth and beauty—60 is the new 40 and all that nonsense. I think advancements in modern medicine that prolong the inevitable has also contributed. Additionally, death has become so sanitized in western society that many people may never even see a dead person in their lifetime. More than ever before, we have been anesthetized to the reality that life is but a vapor and what we do in our short stay here will have eternal consequences.

But preparing for old age and death is something that hopefully, Christians begin doing when God saves us. Our battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil will rage against us until our last breath, and so we must continually fight against it whether we are 20 or 80.

So then, how can the Christian live in such a way that we will be as prepared as possible when we’re visited by affliction, the infirmities of old age, and ultimately our own death?

Written at the end of his life, Owen’s The Glory of Christ points us to the absolute necessity of daily meditating on the person of Christ in all His glory.

Some might think of meditation as something only mystics practice, but true Christian meditation doesn’t focus on “silence,” nor does it attempt to receive new revelation from heaven. The purpose of Christian meditation is to turn our thoughts as often as we can towards Him who loved and redeemed us. And what we know of Him can only be found through His Word. We don’t need to find a special place in order to meditate on the ever present person of Christ. Our thoughts can turn to Him wherever we are. And in so doing we will find comfort in our afflictions, hope in our sufferings, and joy in our everyday life. By this we are also preparing ourselves for that day when death, the last enemy, is swallowed up in victory as we pass from this life into His glorious presence.

And yet how easily our contemporary world distracts our thoughts with so much unnecessary clutter. Social media and television has increased our tendency to be distracted to a level the saints in times past could not have imagined. Regardless, there is still nothing new under the sun and the things we fill our minds with each day will guide our course as surely as the helm guides the ship. Our ruminations will impact our emotions, behavior, and can even effect our health. “A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

While it goes without saying that we need to put the brakes on entertaining evil thoughts, we can also veer off course in more subtle ways by focusing more on the good gifts than the Giver himself.

“Others are of a more noble mind and spend their time meditating on the works of creation and providence. This is a work worthy of our nature. But in all these there is no glory to be compared to with the Glory of Christ’s person.Let us diligently study the Bible and the revelations of the glory of Christ revealed there. This is what Christ himself tells us to do and the prophets in the Old Testament show us how to do”. 2

If we are to prepare ourselves for the ravages of old age and dying, we need to be continually hitting the reset button to focus our attentions on that “good part.”

“but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part,

which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:24


1

The Glory of Christ, John Owen, Puritan Paperbacks, Abridged, Banner of Truth Trust; 1994;

pg. 141

2

Ibid, pg. 31.

 

Source: The Good Part — Preparing for Old Age and Death

Barna Update | 51% of Churchgoers Don’t Know of the Great Commission

Matthew 28 is the most well-known biblical record of what is commonly referred to as “the Great Commission.” But a new Barna report reveals that a surprising proportion of churchgoing Christians lack familiarity with Jesus’ famous command to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

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Economic Equality—Socialism’s Unattainable, Undesirable Pie in the Sky

Socialism’s greatest appeal springs from its promise of economic equality. Many people, upon their first encounter with the ideology, find this promise the very heart and soul of justice. Yet, completely apart from whether such an outcome could or would ever be attained in practice, a great and insuperable problem remains: in a world where individuals always differ enormously in personal attributes and circumstances, in personal conduct and social constraints, it is difficult to think of anything more unfair than forcefully ensuring that in spite of all these differences, everyone ends up with the same income or wealth. The whole idea is an ill-considered, falsely attractive attribute of pie-in-the-sky socialism even if it were possible to bring it about.

 

***

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of The Independent Review. His latest book is Taking A Stand: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Economy.

Four Ways to Guard Your Children Against Immorality and the Occult

By Berit Kjos (From Berit’s book How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception) When children from nine years of age upward are led to believe that [contemporary teen novels] reflect how most people live, then their conduct will certainly be influenced. . . . If more acceptable conduct is desired … [Read more…]

The post Four Ways to Guard Your Children Against Immorality and the Occult appeared first on Lighthouse Trails Inc.

March 28, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (10:22)

Sincere (alēthinos) means genuine, without superficiality, hypocrisy, or ulterior motive. Coming to God with full assurance requires commitment that is genuine.

The nation of Judah, like many individuals, often had come to God with anything but a sincere heart. “ ‘Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 3:10). But a day was to come when His people would change. “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (Jer. 24:7).

Simon the magician made a profession of faith in Christ, but his heart became corrupt. He tried to use Christ’s name and power for his own glory and benefit, and was harshly rebuked by Peter. “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:21–22). Paul counseled slaves to be obedient to their masters, “in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ” (Eph. 6:5). From the earliest days of the Old Covenant, God had demanded a sincere heart. “You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Deut. 4:29). The people who find God are those who seek Him with their whole heart, with total genuineness.

A certain type of faith is built into human nature. Even on the purely human, earthly level, we could not operate without it. We eat food taken from a can or box that we buy in the store, with perfect confidence that it will not harm us. We turn on the faucet, pour a glass of water, and drink it without question. We accept payment in printed paper because we have faith that the government will back its money. Without faith, society could not operate.

But saving faith not only requires faith in a different object, it requires faith from a different source. We can trust in food, water, and money by our own will, our own decision. Faith in Jesus Christ must include our own decision, but it must proceed from God’s decision. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Salvation is a gift of God, and part of that gift is saving faith itself. God plants in the heart the desire and the ability to believe, and the ability to receive the gift of salvation.

When we come to God in faith, our hearts should not only be sincere but also sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. This figure, as we might expect, is taken from the sacrificial ceremonies of the Old Covenant. The priests were continually washing themselves and the sacred vessels in the basins of clear water, and blood was continually being sprinkled as a sign of cleansing. But all the cleansing, whether with water or blood, was external. Only Jesus can cleanse a man’s heart. By His Spirit He cleanses the innermost thoughts and desires.

In Christ our sins are covered in the blood and our lives are transformed. There must be both; together they make up salvation. We might say the first is positional satisfaction and the second is practical sanctification. God is satisfied with the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, and sin is removed and our consciences are free. We are changed on the inside as we are washed by the Word and born again.

positional satisfaction

Having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience is a beautiful picture of deliverance, already mentioned in 9:14. Conscience condemns us and reminds us of our guilt; and the guilt cannot be removed until the sin is removed. When Jesus died, His blood removed our sins, and when we embrace Him by faith, our conscience becomes free from guilt—we are cleansed from an evil conscience. We do not condemn ourselves anymore.

Cleansing of our hearts refers to satisfaction of God’s justice, the expiation of our sins, which is required before we can be acceptable to Him.

practical sanctification

The other part of the cleansing, having our bodies washed with pure water, does not refer to baptism, but has to do with our living, with how the Holy Spirit changes our lives. It is the same cleansing mentioned by Paul in Titus 3:5 (“the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit”) and in Ephesians 5:26 (“the washing of water with the word”).

These two aspects of cleansing are inseparable. When a man comes to Christ, they both take place. Christ’s death pays the penalty of sin for us and God is satisfied; and the cleansing act of the Holy Spirit begins to change us on the inside and He is satisfied. God’s justice and righteousness are both satisfied; and because of this, a believer can come into God’s presence with confidence.

The Three Requirements of Faith

The faith that God honors, the faith that is from a sincere heart, requires three things: felt need, content, and commitment.

felt need

Faith cannot begin until a person realizes his need for salvation. If he is without Christ, he needs salvation whether he recognizes it or not. But he will not have reason to believe until his need is felt, until it is recognized. When Saul was persecuting the church, he had a great need for salvation, but he certainly felt no need of it. He was thoroughly convinced he was doing God’s will. Only when the Lord confronted him dramatically on the Damascus road did his need become known and felt—in Saul’s case, very deeply. The need may not, at first, be clearly understood. On the Damascus road, Saul could not have explained his spiritual need in the way that he was able to do some years later when he wrote the book of Romans. He simply knew that something was desperately wrong in his life and that the answer was in God. He knew he needed something from the Lord.

Often a person’s felt need is only partial. The first feeling of need may only be for a purpose in life or for someone to love us and care for us. Or it may be a sense of need for forgiveness and removal of guilt, for inner peace. The most important thing is that a person realize that the answer to his need is in God. People came to Jesus for many reasons, some of them rather superficial. But when they came, Jesus met all their needs. They may have felt only a need for physical healing, but He also offered spiritual healing. Felt need does not require theological understanding of the doctrine of salvation, only a sincere heart that knows it needs salvation. On the other hand, a person who does not feel a need for salvation, no matter how good his theology, is far from faith in God. Felt need is essential, but inadequate on its own.

content

A person does not have to comprehend the full knowledge and understanding of the doctrine of salvation before he can be saved, but he does need the gospel truth (1 Cor. 15:1–5) that he is lost in sin and needs the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He must know the gospel. The idea of “blind faith” sounds spiritual, but it is not biblical. Even great persons of faith will not know many of the things about God until they see their Lord face to face in heaven. But God does not demand faith without giving reason for faith. The writer of Hebrews, for example, piles up truth upon truth and presents Jesus as the Jews’ promised Messiah. He also shows that the New Covenant is far superior to the Old, that the old sacrifices were ineffective, and that only the new sacrifice can bring a person to God—and so on and on.

The following story is told of Channing Pollock, a well-known playwright. Mr. Pollock was collaborating with another author in writing a play. As they were working late one night in Pollock’s New York apartment, something in the work they were doing caused the friend to say to Pollock, “Have you ever read the New Testament?” Pollock said he had not, and they continued working until early morning, when they parted. Pollock went to bed, but could not sleep. He was bothered by his friend’s question, simple and casual though it seemed. He finally got out of bed and searched the apartment until he found a New Testament. After reading the gospel of Mark through, he got dressed and walked the streets until dawn. Later, telling the story to the friend, he said, “When I returned home, I found myself on my knees, passionately in love with Jesus Christ.” Beginning with a felt need, vague as it was, he then looked at the truth and its evidence—and believed.

commitment

The climax of faith is commitment. Professing Christ, without commitment to Christ, is not saving faith.

My father often told the story of a tightrope walker who liked to walk a wire across Niagara Falls—preferably with someone on his back. Many people on the bank expressed complete confidence in his ability to do it, but he always had a difficult time getting a volunteer to climb up on him.

Many people express complete confidence in Christ but never trust themselves to Him.

As a missionary translator in the New Hebrides, John Paton was frustrated in his work for a long time because the people had no word for faith. One day a man who was working for him came into the house and flopped down into a big chair. The missionary asked him what the word would be for what he had just done. The word the man gave in reply was the one Paton used for faith in his translation of the New Testament. Without hesitation or reservation, the man had totally committed his body to the chair. He had felt his need for rest, he was convinced that the chair provided a place for rest, and he committed himself to the chair for rest. A believer must, in the same way, totally commit his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Only then is faith, saving faith.[1]


22 For “drawing near” to God as the ultimate goal of our salvation, see on 7:25 (cf. 4:16; 10:1). Just as Psalm 15 spells out the qualifications of those who may live on God’s “holy hill” (cf. Ps 24:3–6), so here four phrases set out the features that should characterize those who are privileged to come to God. The first two, “a sincere heart” and “full assurance of faith,” speak of an open, transparent genuineness toward God and a robust trust in his promises. We shall hear much more of what “faith” implies in ch. 11, but linked with plērophoria, “full assurance” (GK 4443; rendered in 6:11 as the “making sure” of hope), it indicates a confident reliance on God that is a far more sturdy quality than “faith” conveys to some today. For such faith as an essential qualification for approaching God, cf. 11:6.

The second pair of phrases balances one another, both speaking of cleansing but focused respectively on the heart and the body. The author has spoken of “sprinkling” to achieve ritual purity with blood (9:19, 21) and with the “water of cleansing” containing the ashes of the red heifer (9:13), and in 12:24 he will extend the imagery to “sprinkling” with the blood of Jesus. Here he does not specify what is sprinkled, but probably the same idea is in mind. The effect of this sprinkling is to provide purification from a “guilty [lit., just “bad”] conscience,” which we were told in v. 2 could not be cleansed by the old sacrifices (cf. also 9:9, 14, all using the same term syneidēsis, “conscience,” GK 5287). It is no surprise to see such cleansing of the “heart” through the sacrifice of Christ among the qualifications for drawing near to God, but there is also a balancing phrase—“our bodies washed with pure water.” The balancing construction setting “bodies” over against “hearts” makes it unlikely this washing with water is intended in a purely metaphorical sense, as in Ezekiel 36:25, though that passage may well be in the author’s mind. In the light of 6:2 (see comments there), it is possible he is speaking of regular ritual ablution as still appropriate for those who worship God (as it was under the old covenant [Ex 29:4; Lev 16:4]), but it is more likely he is referring to Christian baptism as the outward counterpart of the inward “sprinkling” of the heart. The outward and inward aspects of baptism are explicitly contrasted in 1 Peter 3:21, but our author regards them as complementary, with no indication that the physical is of less importance. (Both John the Baptist and Jesus linked baptism in water and in spirit [Mk 1:8; Jn 1:33; 3:5].)[2]


10:22 / The author has thus summarized what has been accomplished through Christ’s work, and he now exhorts his readers to take advantage of it. The first exhortation is let us draw near (niv adds to God). This is the spiritualized language of the temple cultus, meaning now to come into God’s presence through things such as worship and prayer. This is to be done with a sincere heart and in the full assurance of faith. And we are reminded that our acceptability, as we know from the preceding chapters, depends fully upon the priestly work of Christ. We have been cleansed internally (having our hearts sprinkled; cf. Ezek. 36:25, in the context of reference to the new covenant), so that we no longer have the guilty conscience (cf. 9:9, 14) from which the old, sacrificial ritual could not free us. Again the language of the cultus is deliberately used to show how it finds its true fulfillment in the internal cleansing made possible by Christ. Bodies washed with pure water refers not to Jewish lustrations (ceremonial washings for purification [e.g., 6:2]), but almost certainly to Christian baptism, which is the outward sign of the true, internal cleansing to which reference has just been made (cf. 1 Pet. 3:21; Eph. 5:26). It is this new cleansed state enjoyed by Christians, as well as the open way to God’s presence, that results from the sacrifice of Christ.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 262–265). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 135–136). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 164–165). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

March 28 Shining the Light

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.—Matt. 5:16

Letting our “light shine before men” allows them to see our “good works,” the beauty the Lord has worked in us. To see good works by us is to see Christ in us. That’s why Jesus says, “Let your light shine.” It is not something we create or make up, but something we allow the Lord to do through us. It is God’s light; our choice is whether to hide it or let it shine.

We allow God’s light to shine through us so God will receive the praise. Our intent should be that in what we are and what we do, others may see God and “glorify [our] Father who is in heaven.”

Our good works should magnify God’s grace and power. That is the supreme calling of life: glorifying God. Everything we do is to cause others to give praise to God, the source of all that is good. The way we live ought to lead those around us to glorify our heavenly Father.

However, when what we do causes people to be attracted to us rather than to God, to see our human character rather than His divine character, we can be sure that what they see is not His light. Make sure your deeds point people to God, the author of those deeds.

ASK YOURSELF

As we’ve seen before, some will respond to your good deeds with derision and persecution, but others will shower praise on you for your acts of Christian character. How do you respond to those who give you credit for your servant’s heart and faithful obedience? How do you deflect that praise to God so it doesn’t nestle down in your own heart?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 96). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

MARCH 28 IT IS MODERN MAN HIMSELF WHO IS THE DREAMER

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness…let us watch and be sober.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:5, 6

We of the Christian faith need not go on the defensive, for it is the modern man of the world who is the dreamer, not the Christian believer!

The sinner can never be quite himself. All his life he must pretend. He must act as if he were never going to die, and yet he knows too well that he is. He must act as if he had not sinned, when in his deep heart he knows very well that he has. He must act unconcerned about God and judgment and the future life, and all the time his heart is deeply disturbed about his precarious condition. He must keep up a front of nonchalance while shrinking from facts and wincing under the lash of conscience. All his adult life he must dodge and hide and conceal. When he finally drops the act he either loses his mind or tries suicide.

If realism is the recognition of things as they actually are, the Christian is of all persons the most realistic. He of all intelligent thinkers is the one most concerned with reality. He pares things down to their stark essentials and squeezes out of his mind everything that inflates his thinking. He demands to know the whole truth about God, sin, life, death, moral accountability and the world to come. He wants to know the worst about himself in order that he may do something about it. He takes into account the undeniable fact that he has sinned. He recognizes the shortness of time and the certainty of death. These he does not try to avoid or alter to his own liking. They are facts and he faces them full on.

The believer is a realist—his expectations are valid and his faith well grounded![1]


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

March 28 The True Picture

I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2

Jesus Christ evokes many images in the minds of people. Some picture Him as a baby in a manger—the Christ of Christmas. Others picture Him as a child, perhaps living in the home of a carpenter or confounding the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Many picture Him as a compassionate and powerful healer who restored the sick and raised the dead. Still others picture a bold and fiery preacher speaking the Word of God to great crowds. And there are those who see Him as the consummate man—a model of goodness, kindness, sympathy, concern, care, tenderness, forgiveness, wisdom, and understanding.

Yet the one image of Christ that surpasses all the rest is Jesus Christ on the cross. To know Christ crucified is to know Him as the author and finisher of your faith—the truest picture of His Person and work.

Christ’s suffering on the cross is the focal point of the Christian faith. That’s where His deity, humanity, work, and suffering are most clearly seen.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 100). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.