Daily Archives: May 11, 2018

May 11: Being Good at What Matters

Judges 20:1–21:25; Philippians 4:21–23; Psalm 72:1–20

Though prayer is important, it’s an area of our faith lives that we often neglect. But people of great faith in the Bible relied on prayer—and not just for difficult situations. From general direction to specific details, they turned everything over to prayer. God spoke to them directly, they listened, and then they act.

Maybe you don’t believe God speaks directly to you. If that’s the case, consider why you think this way. Why wouldn’t He want to speak to you? He chose you by sending His own son to die for you. Jesus, that son, said that God would come and speak to you (John 17). You’re important to God, and He wants to talk to you—to know you.

In Judges, we find a situation where people relied on God not just for direction, but for details. The Israelites rose up against the tribe of Benjamin because they refused to address the wickedness among them (Judg 20:12–14). But before entering battle, they inquired of God. They actually asked for the details of the plan: “ ‘Who will go up first for the battle against the descendants of Benjamin?’ And Yahweh said, ‘Judah will go first.’ ”

We often forget how important it is to ask God about the details—to seek His guidance in all things. Neglecting prayer is a huge mistake. We need God’s grace, the grace of Christ, to be with us always: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Phil 4:23). Having the grace dwell upon us, and in us, in all things, requires a constant pursuit of Him. Rather than laboring over the details of your life alone, ask God.

What details in your life need to be worked out? Have you presented them to God and sought His voice?

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.

May 11 Leading Others to Christ (Andrew)

The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).

✧✧✧

Leading others to Christ should be a top priority in your life.

Andrew was Peter’s brother and a native of Bethsaida of Galilee. From the very start we see him leading people to Christ—beginning with his own brother.

The Gospel of John records his first encounter with Jesus: “John [the Baptist] was standing, and two of his disciples [Andrew and John], and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. … One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (John 1:35–37, 40–42). Later Jesus called both Andrew and Peter to become His disciples, and they immediately left their fishing nets to follow Him (Matt. 4:20).

Our next glimpse of Andrew is in John 6:8–9. It was late in the day, and thousands of people who were following Jesus were beginning to get hungry, but there wasn’t enough food to feed them. Then Andrew brought to Jesus a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. From that small lunch Jesus created enough food to feed the entire crowd!

Andrew also appears in John 12:20–22, which tells of some Greeks who were traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. They came to Philip and requested to see Jesus. Philip took them to Andrew, who apparently took them to Jesus.

Andrew didn’t always know how Jesus would deal with a particular person or situation, but he kept right on bringing them to Him anyway. That’s a characteristic every believer should have. Your spiritual gifts might differ from others, but your common goal is to make disciples (Matt. 28:19–20), and that begins with leading sinners to Christ. Make that your priority today!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  When was the last time you told an unbeliever about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity to do so soon.

For Further Study: Do you know how to present the gospel clearly and accurately? As a review read Romans 3:19–28, 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, Ephesians 2:8–10, and Titus 3:4–7.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 144). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

MAY 11 CONFESS CHRIST’S LORDSHIP

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

Colossians 2:6

I think it is a completely wrong concept in Christian circles to look upon Jesus as a kind of divine nurse to whom we can go when sin has made us sick, and after He has helped us, to say, “Good-bye, Jesus”—and go on our own way.

Suppose I go into a hospital in need of a blood transfusion. After the staff has ministered to me and given their services, do I just slip out with a cheery “good-bye”—as though I owe them nothing and it was kind of them to help me in my time of need?

That may sound far-out to you, but it draws a picture of attitudes among us today.

But the Bible never in any way gives us such a concept of salvation. Nowhere are we ever led to believe that we can use Jesus as a Savior and not own Him as our Lord. He is the Lord and as the Lord He saves us, because He has all of the offices of Savior, Christ, High Priest, and Wisdom and Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption!

He is all of these—and all of these are embodied in Him as Christ, the Lord!

Father, You are my Savior and my Lord. My debt to You is huge! I owe You my life.[1]


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

05/11/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0511 •Your questions answered
•Is the Virgin Birth a salvation issue?
•What kind of jesting is forbidden in Ephesians 5?
•When a former street evangelist lives in sin
•My associate pastor mishandles the word and I am doubting leadership
•Todd is getting a good response from good pastors
•James Cone, Black Liberation, and Social Justice in Reformed circles
•Mindfulness has completely infiltrated public schools

Download Now (right click and save)

via 05/11/2018 — Wretched

Weekly Watchman for 05/11/2018

Listener Questions & Comments – Lots of Them!

Today is Q&A Friday when we hear from so many brothers and sisters in Christ regarding many diverse topics. We love hearing from you and appreciate every question and comment, even if you do not always agree with us. Thank you so much for the opportunity to tackle so many important issues!

Here are some of the things we discuss today:

Should Christians read the book Jesus Calling?
Unconstitutional SOGI laws and “non-discrimination” policies increasing
The hostile environment Christians face in the public school system
Charismatics, and spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues
Benny Hinn and the ‘prosperity’ non-gospel; name it, claim it
What is biblical submission?
Does the parable of the wheat and the tares apply to the church or the world?
What is the proper meaning or description of ‘meditation’ for a Christian?
Good and bad about discernment ministries
The apostasy of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


The Dilemma of Islam to the Disciple of Jesus Christ

According to 1 John Chapter 4, Islam is clearly a religion of Antichrist since Islam denies that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. The holy books of Islam also call for world-wide domination through Shariah law which contradicts the U.S. Constitution and has often been imposed by extremely violent methods throughout history.

We must remember however, that Muslims are people made in the image of God, but they have been deceived by the father of lies. They need the gospel of salvation by knowing the true Jesus Christ, not the fictitious “Issa” taught in the Quran. This leaves Christians in a challenging position. Some Muslims are being radicalized to destroy our way of life and attack when called to do so and yet, we are faced with the command of Jesus to share the gospel and make disciples of all people and nations.

It’s important we have an accurate understanding of Islam. The media, government, and public education paint Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, but few ask what do you mean by “peace”? A historically factual view of world events often paints a very different picture. Our guest this morning, an expert on the topic, is Tony Gurule of Ratio Christi Ministries. Tony has studied Islam, Sharia Law, and the Muslim Brotherhood extensively, and hosts weekly shows on the Aramaic Broadcast Network, “Colliding Worldviews” and “Islam & The News,” and “Truth Matters” on the NRB network.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Our Mother Who Art In Heaven, Hallowed Be Beyonce?

Many have detailed Beyoncé’s occult influences, offensive and often graphic song lyrics, her sexually charged, R-Rated performances, and past blasphemy. She also admits to being possessed by a demonic spirit she affectionately refers to as “Sasha Fierce.”

The spirituality behind contemporary feminism often comes in the form of goddess worship, and the fact many have a desire to overthrow the patriarchal structure in society. It is rebellion against God as “Father.”

During the actual Beyoncé mass, an alternate, feminist perversion of the Lord’s Prayer was printed in the program for attendees to read out loud.

Our Mother, who is in heaven and within us, We call upon your names. Your wisdom come. Your will be done. In all the spaces in which you dwell… These are not bad people; they’re just wrong. And this is another gospel.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Women Won’t Have Sex With Me So I’ll Murder Innocent People!

We first check in with Tina Marie Griffin, Counter-Culture Mom to discuss ways to protect our children from poisonous movies, games, and social media, as well as the graphic sexualization of public school children. We also touch on Boy Scout & Girl Scout Alternatives: Trail Life USA, “a Christ-centered outdoor adventure, leadership, and character development ministry.” And a parallel organization for girls, American Heritage Girls, good to know given the ideologies (such as Planned Parenthood) driving the Girl Scouts these days.

The disturbing subject of segment 2 sounds like some twisted plot in some Hollywood movie, but there is actually a movement (on-line community) that seems to justify senseless killing of innocent people because they have been rejected in their sexual advances toward women. It is known as “INCEL Movement” which stands for “involuntarily celibate,” and there have been at least 32 deaths linked to them so far. This rotten fruit is a result of pornography and the sexual revolution.

We wrap up with some good news on the pro-life front: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds just passed the strongest pro-life bill in the country. What can we expect from the opposition regarding protests and legal challenges?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


A Freedom That Leads To Slavery

Freedom is a precious gift; a gift that must be cherished and protected against those who would seek to enslave us. While Christians around the world suffer from increased persecution, and we here in America see our freedoms being threatened, there is an even more precious freedom we must guard and protect: The freedoms given to born-again Christians by the grace and Spirit of God.

Twice in his first letter to the Corinthian Church Paul warned about the importance of tempering freedoms with responsibility. He said regarding what we consume that all things were lawful, but not necessarily beneficial and warned against the things we consume becoming our masters. Today in America there is much that vies for our attention and affection. How do we enjoy the freedoms of this life as disciples of Jesus without allowing ourselves to be led into bondage to them?

Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch has written and taught extensively on how we find the correct biblical balance between enjoying good things God has given us while not elevating them to a place of ‘worship” in our lives.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


What is Cruciform Theology?

Universal Salvation, the false teaching that a loving God would never allow a single person to suffer in Hell, is sadly alive and well and being used by the father of lies to deceive and to lull people to sleep, thinking they will live for eternity in the presence of God. This dangerous doctrine has infiltrated Christian circles as it appeals to our flesh and especially to younger people who have not been taught the biblical truth about God’s judgment including His wrath against sin and those who reject Jesus Christ.

This false teaching comes in many names, and in our final segment we look at what is called “Cruciform Theology”.

We first visit with Pastor Carl Gallups and look at how recent events in Iran, Israel and the Middle East are pointing to the imminent rapture of the Church and the return of Jesus Christ to establish His everlasting Kingdom.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

May 11, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s trip to Singapore for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump poses logistical challenges that are likely to include using Soviet-era aircraft to carry him and his limousine, as well as dozens of security and other support staff.

Immigrants from Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador and other countries who were given protected status to live in the United States should have a path to citizenship, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told National Public Radio on Friday.

The Philippine Supreme Court voted on Friday to remove its top judge, whom President Rodrigo Duterte called an “enemy” for voting against controversial government proposals, citing violations in the way she was appointed.

Iran’s foreign minister will travel to Moscow on May 14 and meet his Russian counterpart, the RIA news agency reported on Friday citing Zamir Kabulov, a Russian foreign ministry official.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the Iran nuclear deal after Washington announced its withdrawal from it, the Kremlin said on Friday.

U.S. and Chinese officials are set to meet in Washington on Friday to discuss trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies ahead of a pending visit by China’s top economic official, a U.S. Treasury official said.

A dam on a Kenyan commercial farm that burst this week, killing at least 45 people, was built illegally, the water resource regulator said on Friday as police opened an initial investigation into the disaster.

Russia is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed, the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying on Friday, in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet 10 major automakers at the White House on Friday to discuss the fate of landmark fuel efficiency standards and a looming confrontation with California and other major states.

Residents on the Big Island of Hawaii were alerted on Thursday to rising levels of toxic gas from lava-oozing fissures, and geologists warned that new areas east of the erupting Kilauea volcano may be at risk of molten rock bursting from the ground.

AP Top Stories

This month, Dartmouth College announced plans to eliminate loans from its student financial aid packages and increase the size of scholarship awards. Currently, half of all Dartmouth undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The hope is that eliminating student loans will provide more opportunities for middle- and low-income families.

Uber Technologies plans to deliver food by drone in San Diego as part of a wide-reaching commercial test program approved by the federal government on Wednesday.

The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Michael Brennan to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ― a vacancy that Republicans prevented President Barack Obama from filling for six years.

Defense attorneys for the man suspected of being the ‘Golden State Killer’ argued Wednesday that prosecutors’ search and arrest warrants should not be released publicly.

U.S. import prices rose less than expected in April as a rebound in the cost of petroleum products was tempered by a drop in food prices, the latest indication that inflation pressures were increasing moderately.

Rolls-Royce unveiled its first SUV on Thursday. The Cullinan, named for the diamond in Britain’s Crown Jewels, carries a $325,000 price tag plus an estimated $5,000 gas-guzzler tax.

BBC

Iran has backed Syria’s “right to defend itself” after Israel launched strikes on what it said was Iranian military infrastructure inside Syria.

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have taken part in fresh anti-government protests in the capital, Managua, and in Matagalpa y Chinandega.

France has condemned as “unacceptable” a US move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran. The action from Washington followed President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

A man has been fined a record-breaking $120m for making more than 90 million automated marketing telephone calls in the US. Miami salesman Adrian Abramovich was accused of trying to sell holidays and timeshare properties with the unsolicited robocalls. The fine is the largest the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ever issued.

Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice. Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine.

Scientists in New Zealand have documented what they believe is the largest wave ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. The 78ft wave was measured by a buoy on New Zealand’s Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean. Larger waves have been recorded in the northern hemisphere.

Some 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

WND

A CNN poll has revealed that 57 percent of respondents say things are going well in the United States today, stunningly more than double that figure from a similar survey in 2010.

Scientists have called for more research into the risk posed by “thirdhand smoke” after finding chemicals from cigarette fumes can account for nearly a third of the air particles in non-smoking environments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe can no longer count on the U.S. for military protection and must “take its destiny into its own hands.”


The Briefing — Friday, May 11, 2018

1) Mormons move to end relationship with Boy Scouts of America is about more than Mormons and Boy Scouts

Deseret News (Tad Walch) –
Mormons to drop Scouting as part of new global initiative

2) Why the grounding of life in human autonomy inevitably leads to a society that claims to author both birth and death

Washington Post (Lindsey Bever) –
David Goodall, 104, just took his own life, after making a powerful statement about assisted death

3) When it comes to sex education, the big battle is not over sex, it’s over morality

USA Today (Alia E. Dastagir) –
An age-old struggle of morality vs. reality enters a new era


News – 5/11/2018

The Blood Libel of the 21st Century
For the sixth Friday in a row, protestors from Gaza came to Israel’s border with intentions to penetrate it. They come with scissors to cut through the fence, with burning tires, Molotov cocktails, slingshots with rocks, and kites with firebombs attached to them to destroy Israeli farmlands and villages. This is not some peaceful demonstration akin to Selma in the 1960s when blacks were simply trying to sit together with whites at a lunch counter. The usage of the word “demonstrators” is a misnomer; these are “rioters.”

Liberman to Syria: Throw Iranians out
In an address Liberman made during a visit to Israel’s Golan Heights Friday, the Defense Minister advised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to “throw” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards out of the country. “I will take advantage of this opportunity to send a message to Assad: Throw the Iranians, Qassem Suleimani [a Revolutionary Guards chief] and the Quds Forces out of your country,” said Liberman. “They are not acting in your interest, they are only hurting you. Their whole presence only brings problems and destruction.”

Showing appreciation for blessings from Trump
Throughout the American presidential election campaign, President Donald Trump issued promise after promise to Jewish leaders. He said he would end the international delegitimization of Israel, abandon the terrible Iran deal, and move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He kept the first promise by sending Nikki Haley to the United Nations…The second promise was kept Tuesday, when Trump officially nixed the Iran deal. President Trump will keep his third promise Monday, when our embassy moves from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

Cleric says Iran should not trust EU after U.S. quits nuclear deal
A senior Iranian cleric said on Friday that Europeans could not be trusted, after President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would remain in a 2015 nuclear deal even after the United States quit the pact, Iranian state TV reported.

WSJ: The FBI Hid A Mole In The Trump Campaign
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Nunes was denied access to the information on the grounds that it “could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI.” Because it appears that the FBI may have had a mole embedded in the Trump campaign.

Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies
Russia is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed…in an apparent U-turn by Moscow. The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard not to transfer the missiles.

Security of Israeli institutions abroad boosted for fear of Iranian retaliation
The security of Israeli and Jewish institutions around the world has been greatly boosted in recent days for fear that Iran, frustrated by its failed missiles launch on Israeli bases at the Golan Heights and the following Israeli retaliation on its installations in Syria, will change its strategy and attempt to harm Israelis abroad.

Bahraini official issues rare defense of Israel’s right to defend itself
The Bahraini foreign minister said Israel had a right to defend itself from Iran. The message on Twitter Thursday, a day after Israel once again struck targets in Syria believed to house Iranian materiel and personnel, was unusual for an Arab leader in its blunt defense of Israel. Bahrain is one of a number of Gulf states that have in recent decades moderated their views on Israel and allowed Israelis to visit and do business…

Poll: 97% of east J’lem residents oppose Israeli control over entire city
When it comes to the future of Jerusalem, 97% of the Palestinians living in the city say that they strongly object to the idea that Jerusalem should maintain its current municipal boundaries and be fully annexed to and controlled by Israel, according to a comprehensive survey conducted by the Leonard Davis Institute of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Iran nuclear deal: France condemns US move to re-impose sanctions
France has condemned as “unacceptable” a US move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran. The action from Washington followed President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran’s nuclear programme. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European companies should not have to pay for the US decision.

Iran condemns wave of Israeli air strikes in Syria
Iran has backed Syria’s “right to defend itself” after Israel launched strikes on what it said was Iranian military infrastructure inside Syria. In the first comments by Iran since Thursday’s wave of strikes, the foreign ministry condemned the “blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty”. The strikes were the heaviest carried out by Israel on Syria in decades.

ISRAELI FIREPOWER: The most devastating airstrikes in recent memory had 28 planes, shoot 60 advanced missiles at Iranian targets in Syria that left 23 Iranian soldiers DEAD
According to Russian defense ministry, Israel attacked with 28 fighter jets, shot about 60 missiles. Syrian monitor says at least 23 killed.

Pro-Life Vans Saving Babies From Abortion
A couple’s decision to forego purchasing a home to instead buy a van to help pregnant women in crisis has turned into a life-saving operation that aids women across America.

Kenyan rose-farm dam bursts, ‘sea of water’ kills 47
A dam on a commercial flower farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley burst after weeks of torrential rain, unleashing a “sea of water” that careered down a hillside and smashed into two villages, killing at least 47 people.

E. coli-tainted romaine outbreak spreads to 29 states, sickens 149 people
The nationwide food poisoning outbreak from E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce has spread to 29 states and sickened 149 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. That is an increase of 28 people and four states — Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas — since the most recent CDC update May 2.

TRUE ALLIES: White House makes statement that the US supports Israel in whatever efforts it has to do in order to defend itself
“We support [Israel] in whatever efforts they have in order to defend themselves,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News.

Outrage in America as a Catholic University opens a GENDER-SEPARATED ISLAMIC PRAYER SPACE, in order to make Muslim students feel more comfortable
The prayer room comes in honor of a deceased professor who taught at the college on world religions.

Disney World Drops ‘Night of Joy’ Christian Music Festival
Fans of faith artists will need to make other plans and arrangements — while LGBTQ events are proliferating

Five Top ISIS Officials Captured in U.S.-Iraqi Sting 
Five senior Islamic State officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group’s leader, in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence, two Iraqi officials said Wednesday.


Mid-Day Snapshot

Tax Revenue Hits Record High; Dems Hardest Hit

Good employment numbers coupled with the Republican tax cut proves to grow tax revenue.

Freed Prisoners Set Stage for Trump-Kim Summit

There are high hopes for the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12.

Motherhood: More Than a Full-Time Job

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

More Leftmedia Bias, Higher Trump Approval

The president has gotten nothing but negative news coverage, and yet he’s succeeding.

Video: The Trump Economy

April 2018 was the best month in history in government income. Maybe Trump’s economics work.

Friday Short Cuts

“I honestly believe this president is doing something that is nothing short of a miracle.” —James Inhofe

Friday Opinion

Read Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Mona Charen, Erick Erickson, Lewis Waha and more.

Friday Top Headlines

Iran policy shift, top ISIS leaders caught, ending right-to-work, conservatives and poverty, and more.

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


The Foundation

“If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

Headlines – 5/11/2018

IDF Golan commander says troops will defend border ‘with any means necessary’

Netanyahu: Iran rocket fire ‘crossed a red line and we reacted accordingly’

PM Netanyahu: Iran has crossed a red line, its tentacles of evil in Syria will be severed

Iran: Israeli strikes in Syria meant to support ‘terrorists’

Iran didn’t notify Assad before attacking Israel

Russia: Israeli strikes used 28 planes, fired 70 missiles

Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria kill 23, watchdog group says

In addition to Iranian targets, Israeli strike pummels Syrian air defenses

UN chief urges immediate halt to ‘hostile acts’

White House condemns Iran’s ‘highly dangerous’ missile barrage into Israel

Iranian military official denies firing rockets at Israel

Iran does not want ‘new tensions’ in Mideast, Rouhani tells Merkel

Iran and Israel have little incentive to hurry down the path to war

Israel security cabinet meets as Iranian official warns ‘revenge will come’

Rare E.U. backing of Israeli strike against Iran in Syria: “Israel has the right to defend itself”

Bahraini official supports Israel’s right to defend itself

Pompeo warned Iran, ‘Harm Israel, and US will respond’

France tells Iran not to provoke regional states after rocket attack

Russia seeks mediator role between Israel and Iran

Iran foreign minister to meet counterpart in Moscow on May 14

Turkey’s Erdogan and Russia’s Putin say US wrong to quit Iran deal

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards: EU can’t save Iran nuclear deal

Oil minister says Iran needs foreign investment, but can survive without it

US slaps sanctions on Revolutionary Guards after Iran nuke deal pullout

Iran nuclear deal: France condemns US move to re-impose sanctions

Germany ready to help its firms keep doing business in Iran

UAE puts nine Iranian entities, individuals on terrorism list

Danon demands UN condemn Iranian attack on Golan

UN chief asks for halt to ‘all hostile acts’ in Middle East

Mass cancellations by tourists hit Israel’s north as fear of war with Iran grows

Middle East Peace Will Come Through Containment of the Iranian Threat

Iran deal exit: With Netanyahu’s backing, Trump sought to shatter Obama’s legacy

Netanyahu, Trump discuss joint legal troubles amid corruption allegations back home

Israel, Cyprus, Greece push East Med gas pipeline to Europe

Hamas leader hopes to see hundreds of thousands storm Israel-Gaza fence

Liberman says Lebanon now under ‘complete control’ of Hezbollah

Trump says five ‘most wanted’ ISIS leaders captured

Saudi tests siren after Yemen rebels fire new missiles

Trump vows US ‘will not be walked into an Iran deal’ at next month’s North Korea summit

Something’s going on at North Korea’s nuclear test site. Maybe it really is closing.

Thousands of Facebook ads bought by Russians to fool U.S. voters released by Congress

The ‘Russian Collusion’ Trial Is On, And Mueller May Be The First Casualty

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Gadung, Philippines

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Libjo, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Larsen Bay, Alaska

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Northern East Pacific Rise

Indonesia volcano: Mount Merapi erupts sending giant ash cloud into sky

Indonesia evacuates residents, shuts airport after Java volcano erupts

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Hawaii volcano’s next eruption could spew lethal gas and boulders big as fridges

Worst river flooding in decades to threaten lives, property in Montana

Kenya dam bursts, killing at least 41 and sweeping away houses in ‘sea of water’

San Francisco’s many free syringes are littering its streets

Ask Your Baby’s Permission Before Changing Diaper, Says Sexual Consent Expert

7 dead in what may be Australia’s worst mass shooting in 22 years

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – The Church’s Firm Foundation

Michelle Lesley – Discernment: A Spiritual Battle, Not a Logical One

Paula White Is ‘Taking Care of Trump’s Soul,’ Says Husband Jonathan Cain

Neighbors File Noise Complaint Against Elevation Church

NAR Alert! – Sam Rodriguez, Johnnie Moore Launch New ‘Congress of Christian Leaders’ to Unite Global Church

Catholic University in Iowa Opens Sex-Segregated Islamic Prayer Space

Church and religion take back seat as a secular Ireland votes on abortion

School District Accused of Punishing LGBT Students By Forcing Them to Read the Bible

Posted: 11 May 2018 06:13 AM PDT

School District Accused of Punishing LGBT Students By Forcing Them to Read the BibleAn Oregon school district is accused of forcing LGBTQ students to read the Bible for punishment.  The allegations are detailed in a March 6 letter from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to North Bend School District Superintendent Bill Yester. The letter claims that a building administrator demanded that LGBTQ students read the Bible as a form of punishment. The World reported Tuesday

that the North Bend School District initially denied the allegations. However, the administrator involved in the case later admitted in an interview with state officials that the claims were true. “There is substantial evidence to support the allegation that the district subjected LGBTQ students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment…,” the letter said, adding that the LGBTQ students “had little choice but to comply with the building administrator’s established form of punishment.”  READ MORE

Israeli organization reveals Trump coin in expression of ‘gratitude’ over embassy move

Posted: 11 May 2018 05:43 AM PDT

Israeli organization reveals Trump coin in expression of ‘gratitude’ over embassy moveAn Israeli nonprofit announced Wednesday that it would be releasing a celebratory coin in honor of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, and it will feature the face of President Donald Trump as an expression of “gratitude” for his decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem.  The “Temple Coin” depicts King Cyrus, who allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem 2,500 years ago, alongside Trump, KOBI reported.

The seal of the United States government are also pictured, with biblical verses written in in Hebrew on the face of the coin. On the back is a dove, holding an olive branch in its beak, above a temple. “The coin expresses our joy and gratitude that the American Embassy will be transferred to Jerusalem in honor of Israel’s Independence Day,” the Mikdash Educational Center said on its website. “It is the fulfillment of the Trump declaration recognizing the centrality of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.” READ MORE

Megachurch Pastor Calls Christians to “Unhitch” their Faith from the Old Testament

Posted: 11 May 2018 05:38 AM PDT

Megachurch Pastor Calls Christians to “Unhitch” their Faith from the Old TestamentAn evangelical Christian megachurch located in the suburbs of Atlanta is home to the latest Biblical interpretation controversy. The Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church, Andy Stanley finished up a three-part sermon series called “Aftermath” where he concluded that Christians should detach their faith from the Old Testament.  Stanley’s argument was based on Acts 15, the chapter in the Bible that tells of the early churches debate over whether they needed to follow Jewish laws. Stanley notes that

some believers today start their faith journey wanting to follow the law, but soon come to find that they can’t and must depend on the grace of God.  “[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” said Stanley.  The pastors reasoning behind this was that the early church wanted to be more inclusive of gentiles. “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.” READ MORE

29 deaths from lightning in last 24 hours – 112 in first 10 days of May 2018 in Bangladesh

Posted: 11 May 2018 05:33 AM PDT

29 deaths from lightning in last 24 hours – 112 in first 10 days of May 2018 in BangladeshScores of people die every year after being struck by lightning during Bangladesh’s wet season, which runs from April to October, but officials say the numbers are exceptionally high this year.  More than 112 people – mostly farmers who harvest rice during this time of the year – had been killed in strikes in the first 10 days of May. This means that every day, 10-12 people are dying from lightning strikes.

Experts say deaths are rising as Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest nations, witnesses the increased deforestation of rural areas. Farmers are known to chop down trees to free up space to grow more rice. Disaster management officials are trying to reduce the high death toll by planting five million palm trees to provide better shelter.  READ MORE

Volcano erupts in Indonesia, Residents forced to evacuate, Shuts down airport

Posted: 11 May 2018 05:28 AM PDT

Volcano erupts in Indonesia, Residents forced to evacuate, Shuts down airportIndonesian authorities ordered people living near a volcano to leave their homes on Friday and a major city closed its airport after the 5,500 meter (18,000 ft) peak sent a column of steam and ash into the sky.  The Mount Merapi volcano on densely populated Java island is one of the most active in Indonesia and a series of eruptions in 2010 killed more than 350 people. A disaster mitigation agency told residents

living within a 5 km (3 mile) radius of the mountain to move to shelters, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement. He said that 120 people who had been hiking up Merapi were safe.  The airport in Yogyakarta, the nearest big city to the volcano, shut because of the threat from the ash, the state-owned aviation agency AirNav said in a statement. READ MORE

Rabbi warns that war with Iran and Israel about to get “Biblical”

Posted: 11 May 2018 05:21 AM PDT

Rabbi warns that war with Iran and Israel about to get “Biblical”Iran and Israel are on the brink of war – and one doomsayer has warned things are “about to get biblical”.  Tehran and Jerusalem have exchanged fire in Syria as the Middle Eastern powers square up to one another.  Israel believes Iran is plotting to attack them through Syria, while Iran has warned it will

“destroy Israel” within 25 years. US officials have also dubbed an open war between Israel and Iran the “most likely” for “live hostility”.  And now Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-times theorist who has penned 50 books, has predicted a conflict is on the brink. He eluded to prophecy predicted by 13th century scholar which said Iran would spark an apocalyptic war.  READ MORE

Facebook Blocks 70 Million From Conservative Content

Posted: 10 May 2018 06:20 PM PDT

Facebook Blocks 70 Million From Conservative ContentAfter Facebook blocked more than 70 million people from Steven Andrew’s conservative and President Trump messages, he decided to “save the internet” by beginning a powerful conservative social media network. It has an attractive name to unite the nation, USA.Life, and people are “signing up as soon as they hear the news,” he said.  “USA.Life empowers conservatives with freedom and privacy,” Andrew said.

Conservatives love finding out they have an answer to no longer be censored by Facebook and Twitter. The new social network hopes to launch this summer. “USA.Life is safer than Facebook and Twitter, because we don’t spy on people,” he said. Andrew is a leading Silicon Valley technology and Christian leader, who has led Fortune 500 quality initiatives for Cisco, Better Homes and Gardens, Stanford, Sega and others. He is building USA.Life so people are “safe, strong and blessed.”  READ MORE

14th Human foot found on beach since 2007 in bizarre mystery

Posted: 10 May 2018 06:09 PM PDT

14th Human foot found on beach since 2007 in bizarre mysteryPolice have launched an investigation after a human foot was found washed up on the shores of a beach in British Columbia, Canada.  The grisly discovery was found on Sunday by a man walking along a beach on Gabriola Island at around noon local time (8 pm UK time).  It is the 14th foot to have washed up on

British Columbia’s coastline since 2007, leaving locals and police puzzled. Even more strangely, all of the feet have been found in either running shoes or hiking boots. Some locals believe a serial killer is behind the mystery, while others suggest plane or boat accidents at sea are to blame.  READ MORE

European Leaders Set to Abolish the EU, Signed Agreement to Create European Superstate

Posted: 10 May 2018 06:01 PM PDT

European Leaders Set to Abolish the EU, Signed Agreement to Create European SuperstateFrance and Germany plan to enact a European Superstate abolishing the European Union and formally altering the current world order to establish a European Superstate that can challenge the United States’ dominance. In addition, the EU Chief has stated his desire to replace the United States on the World Stage.  According to signed documents by France and Germany, obtained by TVP; the superpowers of the world better get ready for another contender; the European Superstate. In the West it’s America, in the

East, it’s Russia and China, but now there is a plan to create a monstrous superstate and abolish the European Union.  The countries in the proposed superstate would not be allowed to have their own army or special services. The European Superstate would bring about a unified law and taxation system and abolish the member countries central bank and currency. They would then bring about their own visa administration and enact a common foreign policy with other organizations and counties. Finally, the member countries would have their role within NATO limited.  READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: Storm exposes 70-year-old copy of independence declaration

Posted: 10 May 2018 01:11 PM PDT

PROPHECY WATCH: Storm exposes 70-year-old copy of independence declarationA copy of Israel’s Declaration of Independence dating back to the year that the State of Israel was born was discovered Monday during efforts to remove an old tree damaged during surprise storms two weeks ago . Perfectly preserved in a sealed taxidermy jar, normally used for keeping creatures that have been stuffed, the scroll was originally placed between the roots of a cypress tree on Kibbutz Degania Alef in the

Jordan Valley, east of the Sea of Galilee.  The tree fell during unseasonable storms two weeks ago.  Two kibbutz members were spraying clumps of dirt off its roots before removing the tree when they noticed something round and un-tree-like poking out.  The kibbutz will keep the new find enclosed in its special jar, as it already has a copy of the declaration in its archives.  READ MORE

‘Sexuality Expert’ Says Babies Should ‘Give Consent’ to Diaper Changes

Posted: 10 May 2018 01:04 PM PDT

‘Sexuality Expert’ Says Babies Should ‘Give Consent’ to Diaper Changes‘Sexuality expert’ and author Deanne Carson has attracted mass ridicule after suggesting babies should “give consent” to having their nappies/diapers changed by their parents.  Speaking to ABC News (Australia), Carson was asked what age clients she works with She replied: “We work with children from three years old, we work with parents from birth”.  “From birth?” the host responds, to which Carson

smugly retorts: “Yeah, just about how to set up a culture of consent in their homes. So, ‘I’m going to change your nappy now, is that ok?’ “Of course the baby isn’t going to respond, ‘Yes mum that’s awesome, I’d love to have my nappy changed’. But if you leave a space and wait for body language and wait to make eye contact then you’re letting that child know that their response matters”.  READ MORE


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Tucker Carlson: ‘Modern Liberalism Is a Religious Movement’ to Replace Christianity – Breitbart

Liberals are speaking the language of faith, albeit a faith without god. This is the main reason that right and left talk past each other. The reason our public debates are so weird and unsatisfying.

One side arrives with facts and stats and arguments. The other brags about its decency. One side is trying to convince; the other is trying to convert.

Wednesday night on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson declared “modern liberalism” a religious movement.

Partial transcript as follows:

CARLSON: In the wake of Eric Schneiderman’s resignation as attorney general of New York, some of his long-time friends on the left are professing shock.

You’ve heard them. We just can’t believe it, they say. How can a man so publicly committed to feminism beat women? It just doesn’t make sense.

But, of course, it makes perfect sense. Self-righteousness is always a marker for secret creepiness. The people yelling the loudest are usually hiding the most.

Keep that in mind the next time you hear some Democratic politician lecturing you about your moral inferiority. That’s the guy you need to watch carefully. Chances are he’s up to something awful behind closed doors.

Hypocrisy isn’t just a feature of modern liberalism. It’s the heart of modern liberalism. Ever wonder how people who advocate for abortion can say they stand for children? How a movement that demonizes an entire race can claim to oppose racism? The same way Al Gore can travel by private jet while trying to ban your SUV.

Because consistency does not matter to the left. Only virtue matters. We’re good people; therefore, we must rule. You are not; therefore, you must obey.

Al Gore doesn’t believe he’s a hypocrite. Eric Schneiderman probably doesn’t think he is either. You can’t commit sin if your intentions are pure. And liberals believe their intentions are the purest.

RenewAmerica Newsletter for May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018
A current events perspective
WES VERNON — President Trump made a logical decision in pulling the U.S. out of the never signed “Iran deal.” As Ambassador Henry Cooper notes, not only is the document not signed, it is unenforceable. His claim is best illustrated by the news that the U.S. has reportedly confirmed the authenticity of documents presented by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…. (more)

May 10, 2018
CHANNELNEWSASIA — Donald Trump on Thursday (May 10) revealed his historic summit with Kim Jong Un – the first-ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader – will take place in Singapore on Jun 12. The location and date of the landmark meeting were announced in a presidential tweet just hours after Trump welcomed to the United States three American prisoners released by Pyongyang…. (more)


May 10, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump welcomed home three Americans freed by North Korea early Thursday in a flag-waving ceremony before dawn, calling their release a hopeful sign that North Korea will denuclearize. “This is a special night for these three really great people,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland shortly after 3 a.m. with the former detainees. “The true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons.”… (more)


May 10, 2018
NEWSMAX — Defense Secretary James Mattis pledged Wednesday the United States would work with its allies to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Stars and Stripes reported. The promise came a day after President Donald Trump pulled out of a key agreement that temporarily halted the country’s nuclear program…. (more)

May 10, 2018
NEWSMAX — Reports that former Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Iranian officials in an attempt to save the nuclear deal played a role in President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it, two White House sources told The Daily Caller on Wednesday…. (more)

May 10, 2018
NEWSMAX — John Kerry has harmed the nation’s security and ability to carry out foreign policy with his recent meetings with Iran officials, Tom DeLay told Newsmax TV on Monday. “He is undermining the security of the United States and I guess that’s going to be his legacy from here on,” DeLay, a Texas Republican and former House majority leader, told hosts Miranda Khan, John Cardillo, and Gina Loudon on Monday’s “America Talks Live.”… (more)

May 10, 2018
GREG COROMBOS — President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear deal leaves Iranian leaders with the grim realization that the era of endless concessions from the West is over and that their own grip on power continues to slip…. (more)

May 10, 2018
THE DAILY BEAST — In his new book, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defends his decision to give a controversial dossier about President Trump to former FBI chief James Comey. “I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,'” McCain writes in the upcoming book, titled The Restless Wave, referencing information compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele…. (more)


May 10, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress – – which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign – – is required by DOJ policy and “the rule of law.” Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia’s election meddling…. (more)

May 10, 2018
WORLDNETDAILY — Disgraced New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman looked the other way and allowed the Clinton Foundation to flout a rule requiring the organization to list foreign donors in its charitable filings, according to reports…. (more)

May 10, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Oliver North says 100 million Americans own guns and that more of them need to join the National Rifle Association. Mr. North, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, talk show host and now the incoming president of the NRA, said his first goal will be to add 1 million people “as fast as we can” to the organization’s membership, which is already at a record, approaching 6 million…. (more)

May 9, 2018
NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement Tuesday brought widespread praise across the globe, with House Speaker Paul Ryan calling Trump’s action “a strong statement” and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dubbing it an “historic move.”… (more)


May 9, 2018
NEWSMAX — U.S. President Donald Trump took a brave and correct decision to cancel the nuclear deal with Iran, which was “a recipe for disaster,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday…. (more)

May 9, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is the greatest boost for American and global security in decades. If you think that is an exaggeration, then you evidently think the Obama administration’s injection of well over a hundred billion dollars – – some of it in the form of cash bribes – – into the coffers of the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American terrorism was either trivial or, more delusionally, a master-stroke of statecraft…. (more)

May 9, 2018
THE EDITORS OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by former President Barack Obama and reimpose sanctions was an important step toward a needed policy reset with one of America’s most malicious enemies…. (more)

May 9, 2018
PHILIP KLEIN — In 2015, when a desperate President Obama decided to implement a deal with Iran in the face of fierce Republican opposition Congress (and even some Democratic defections), he was taking a gamble. The thinking was: either a pro-Iran deal Democrat wins the presidency in 2016 and keeps it in place, or the deal becomes so entrenched that even a Republican president wouldn’t have the guts to pull out…. (more)

May 9, 2018
BOB UNRUH — Fans of President Trump long have pointed out that FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller has failed so far to produce any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign in 2016 and Russia, the apparent issue he was supposed to be investigating…. (more)

May 9, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Slightly over half of Americans see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as politically motivated, a new CBS News poll shows. Approximately 53 percent of Americans say Mueller’s investigation is politically motivated while 44 percent think it is justified, according to the survey of 1,101 adults from across the country contacted by telephone in the first week of May…. (more)

May 9, 2018
NY special prosecutor to probe charges, determine if AG office was used ‘to facilitate alleged abusive liaisons’
WASHINGTON TIMES — The #MeToo movement has ensnared a number of Democrats despite their seemingly impeccable records on women’s rights. But nothing quite compares to the freefall of former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Not only was Mr. Schneiderman a flag-flying feminist, but he had positioned himself at the forefront of the fight against sexual harassment, filing a lawsuit just three months ago against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein…. (more)

May 9, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Conservative leader Oliver North will serve as the next president of the National Rifle Association, the gun rights group said Monday, tapping its highest-profile leader since actor Charlton Heston had the helm in the late 1990s and early 2000s…. (more)

May 8, 2018
ALAN KEYES — In an article published last week, I politely critiqued a headline of an email I received, which welcomed the possibility of “a paradigm shift in America,” in which media featuring people “empowered with a Christian worldview” become “the dominant mainstream in television programming.”… (more)

May 8, 2018
Daniel Hoffman says the former intel chief is aiding a Russian plot to deepen America’s partisan divide
WASHINGTON TIMES — A behind-the-scenes U.S. intelligence community fight over the merits of publicly scorning President Trump has burst into the open recently, with the CIA’s former Moscow station chief accusing Obama-era spymaster John O. Brennan of crossing a red line through incessant Twitter and cable news excoriations of the current commander in chief…. (more)


May 7, 2018
NEW YORKER — Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long been a liberal Democratic champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes…. (more)


May 7, 2018
NEWSMAX — Israeli defense officials have warned that Iran is planning to order its proxies to fire missiles at northern Israel in retaliation for recent airstrikes in Syria attributed to Israel that killed Iranian personnel, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday…. (more)

May 7, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is pushing to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress this week for not complying with a subpoena. Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting classified information for his committee’s investigation into abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and counterintelligence inquiries, including the targeting of Americans such as former Trump campaign official Carter Page, but the letter was ignored…. (more)

 

 

May 11, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

the character of god

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (3:9)

Peter’s support for the second coming culminated in an appeal to the character of God. The thrust of his argument is this: The reason Christ’s return is not immediate is because God is patient with sinners. Any waiting is attributable only to God’s gracious longsuffering. It is not that He is indifferent, powerless, or distracted. Instead, it is just the opposite. Because He is merciful and forbearing, He delays so that elect sinners might come to repentance (1 Peter 3:20; cf. Matt. 4:17; 9:13; Mark 6:12; Luke 15:10; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; Rev. 2:5).

Despite the ridicule of the scoffers, the Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness. Slow (bradunō) means “delayed,” or “late,” implying the idea of “loitering.” None of that applies to God; His seeming slowness is not due to lack of ability, forgetfulness, or apathy. In fulfilling His promise, God is working everything precisely according to His perfect plan and schedule (cf. 2 Sam. 22:31; Ps. 111:5, 7–8; Isa. 25:1; Jer. 33:14; 2 Cor. 1:20). That same principle applied to Christ’s first coming: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law” (Gal. 4:4).

Patient translates a form of the verb makrothumeō. It is a compound word combimbining “large” with “great anger.” Peter used it here to show that God has a vast capacity for storing up anger and wrath before it spills over in judgment (cf. Ex. 34:6; Joel 2:13; Matt. 18:23–27; Rom. 2:4; 9:22). While that judgment is inescapable and deadly, God’s merciful patience beforehand gives the chosen the opportunity for reconciliation and salvation (see 3:15). His wrath toward the individual sinner is immediately appeased whenever that person repents and believes the gospel (cf. Luke 15:7, 10; Acts 13:47–48).

You refers both to Peter’s immediate readers and any who will ever come to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. John 10:16). Some have argued that you implies the salvation of all people. But the immediate context and comments about “the destruction of ungodly men” (v. 7) clearly limits the you to believers. The letter is addressed to “those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.… He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (1:1b, 4a; emphasis added). From then on, the use of you is directed at believers (2:1–3; 3:2). The you of 3:1 are “beloved.” The words of verse 8, “do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved” (emphasis added), again link the you to the beloved. The you with whom the Lord is patient are therefore the same beloved ones He waits to bring to repentance.

Those who perish—“utterly destroyed” in eternal hell—suffer damnation because they are dead in their sins and refuse God’s offer of salvation in Christ. At the same time, it is clear from Scripture that the Father takes no delight in the death of the lost: “ ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live’ ” (Ezek. 18:32; cf. Jer. 13:17; Matt. 23:37). In fact, God actually offers salvation to all (cf. Isa. 45:21–22; 55:1; Matt. 11:28; John 3:16; Acts 17:30; 1 Tim. 2:3–4; Rev. 22:17).

Scripture clearly states that God thoroughly hates sin (Deut. 25:16; 1 Kings 14:22; Pss. 5:4–6; 45:7; Prov. 6:16–19; 15:9; Hab. 1:13) and therefore its potential consequences for every person, including eternal punishment in hell. Yet, in order to display His own glory in wrath, God chose to save some and not to save others. As the apostle Paul explained:

So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (Rom. 9:16–18; cf. Josh. 11:20; John 1:13; 6:37, 44; Rom. 11:7)

The context indicates that any and all are limited to the elect—namely all those whom the Lord has chosen and will call to Himself. Put another way, Christ will not come back until every person whom God has chosen is saved. By using the term you (a reference to Peter’s believing readers), the apostle limits any and all to the realm of elect human beings.

Of course, once all of the elect are accounted for, God’s patience will run out. Having given the world as much time as He has sovereignly determined, God will pour out His wrath upon the earth. While His patience currently holds back His judgment, the time of grace that mankind now enjoys, however long it seems by human standards, will not last forever (cf. Gen. 6:3).[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2005). 2 Peter and Jude (pp. 121–123). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

May 11 What about Public Prayer?

They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.—Matt. 6:5b

In Jesus’ time, the synagogues were the likeliest and most appropriate places for sincere public praying. Devout Jews also offered many prayers on street corners, if that’s where they were at the appointed hour of prayer. But the word Jesus uses here indicates a major street, and therefore a major street corner where a bigger crowd would likely be. By inference the hypocrites were at fault for wanting to pray before the biggest possible audience. No location is intrinsically forbidden as a place of prayer. But it’s not right to consistently choose such a spot just to attract the largest audience.

As with anything tainted by human ambition and pride, the sin of praying in the wrong place begins in the heart. Like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable (cf. Luke 18:11), the hypocrites He mentions here prayed primarily to themselves and before others, not to God—and He wants no part in that.

Some Christians have thought Jesus’ warnings here rule out all forms of public prayer. But to do so was not our Lord’s intention. He prayed many times with His apostles (e.g., Luke 11:1) and in the midst of much larger crowds (e.g., Matt. 14:19). The early church rejoiced and “lifted their voices to God with one accord” (Acts 4:24) after the Jewish leaders released Peter and John. Public praying also is available to us, whether in church, Sunday school, or any smaller meeting of fellow believers.

ASK YOURSELF

What reward do those who perform their religious practices for show actually receive? And why isn’t this enough to really satisfy—even when it’s paid “in full”?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 140). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

MAY 11 HUMAN SUFFERING: LEARN WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT IT

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

HEBREWS 2:18

Anything that gets as much space as the doctrine of human suffering gets in the Scriptures should certainly receive careful, reverent attention from children of the new creation.

We cannot afford to neglect it, for whether we understand it or not we are going to experience some suffering.

From the first cold shock that brings a howl of protest from the newborn infant, down to the last anguished gasp of the aged man, pain and suffering dog our footsteps as we journey here below. It will pay us to learn what God says about it so that we may know how to act and what to expect when it comes.

Because suffering is a real part of human life, Christ Himself took part in the same and learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

It should be said that there is a kind of suffering which profits no one: it is the bitter and defiant suffering of the lost. The man out of Christ may endure any degree of affliction without being any the wiser or the better for it.

There is a common suffering which we must share with all the sons of men—loss, bereavement, heartaches, disappointments, partings, betrayals and griefs of a thousand sorts.

But there is such a thing as consecrated griefs, sorrows that may be common to everyone but which take on a special character when accepted intelligently and offered to God in loving submission.[1]


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

L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: California Demands That Christians ‘Evolve’ — The Patriot Post

California has a hallowed but questionable reputation as being the birthplace of the radical Free Speech Movement on the University of California, Berkeley campus. Today, they’re not just shutting down conservative speakers on the campus. The state’s Democrats may pass a law to shut down religious speech and create a statewide LGBT “safe space.”

There’s a new legislative proposal banning all conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice — by not just mental health providers but anyone. Since the “independent fact-checkers” are quick to swarm around conservative “misinformation,” FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and Snopes have all cried “False” at the idea that this bill is a threat to the sale of the Bible.

They declared that a threat against Bible sales is nowhere in the text of California Assembly Bill 2943, offered by gay assembly member Evan Low. That is correct … on its face. It doesn’t mention the Bible.

However, the bill would amend the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, adding the ability to sue for damages for “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” Any efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation “in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful.” That’s more than therapy. It’s any kind of an argument.

Conservative and Christian lawyers see this proposal as dangerously broad. In National Review, David French called it a “dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights.” He was alarmed at the language that defines newly unlawful “sexual orientation change efforts” as including “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
— Read on patriotpost.us/opinion/55890-california-demands-that-christians-evolve

The Hope of Forgiveness – Feeding on Christ

I recently asked a group of church members if they had ever struggled with assurance of salvation. There was an overwhelming affirmation that all had struggled in the quest for that sweet subjective assurance for which believers often long in their souls. This is not at all a strange thing in the history of the church. Many of the Reformers, Puritans and other Reformed theologians wrote volumes to address the intricacies of this important subject. For instance, John Owen’s The Forgiveness of Sin, William Guthrie’s The Christian’s Great Interest, John Colquhoun’s Spiritual Comfort, David Dickson and James Durham The Sum of Saving Knowledge, Gisbertus Voetius and Johannes Hoornbeeck’s Spiritual Desertion, and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure were all products of pastoral concern to help believers gain and maintain the assurance of salvation.

Many who have trusted in Christ struggle deeply in their consciences over their post-conversion sins. How can a true believer commit a particular sin–sometimes repeatedly–after he or she comes to Christ? How do I know whether I have really repented of my sin if I have committed it on a recurrent basis? Have I really and truly repented if I fall into it again? How do we reconcile the fact that the Apostle John says “whoever is born of God does not sin” (1 John 3:9) with the fact that the Apostle James says, “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2)? These and a myriad of other questions are bound up with the issue of the subjective assurance of salvation.

God has redeemed us so that we would walk in paths of righteousness. Jesus died to both the guilt and the power of sin so that those for whom he died can walk in newness of life. “The grace of God, which brings salvation” writes the Apostle, “teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12). Paul reminds believers, “you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The Apostle Peter explains, “If you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19). We should have the singular goal of pursuing holiness since Christ has set us free from “the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law…this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation” (Westminster Confession of Faith 20.1).

While no serious minded Christian will ever dismiss the severity of the sin in his or her life, the reality of indwelling sin is something with which he or she will have to grapple throughout the entirety of life. The greatest saints have been the first to acknowledge the greatness of their sin. David, on more than one occasion, admitted the multi-variegated dimensions of his sin. For instance, in Psalm 31:10, he wrote: “My life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away” (Ps. 31:10). When considering just how much sin he had committed, David concluded, “My iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me” (Ps. 40:12). And, when he finally came to confess his post-conversion sin of adultery and premeditated murder to the Lord, in Psalm 51, he confessed: “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Ps. 51:3). The Prince of the Puritan theologians, John Owen, wrote, “As no man had more grace than David, so none had a greater instance of the power of sin, and guilt upon the conscience.”

Owen himself battled for assurance of salvation throughout various seasons of his life. It was on account of this that he wrote his magnificent discourse on Psalm 130. Toward the end of that work, Owen wrote:

“Notwithstanding all your sins, all the evil that your own hearts know you to be guilty of, and that hidden mass or evil treasure of sin which is in you, which you are not able to look into; notwithstanding that charge that lies upon you from your own consciences, and that dreadful sentence and curse of the law which you are obnoxious unto; notwithstanding all the just grounds that you have to apprehend that God is your enemy, and will be so unto eternity;—yet there are terms of peace and reconciliation provided and proposed between Him and your souls…There is a way whereby sinners may come to be accepted with God; for ‘there is forgiveness with Him, that He may be feared.’”1

When our hearts are weighed down with a sense of the guilt of our sin, we must necessarily turn the eyes of our hearts to Christ crucified. Owen illustratively painted the grounds of forgiveness when he wrote, “pardon flows from the heart of the Father through the blood of the Son.” The Apostle John emphasized this truth when he wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…If anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous–and he himself is the propitiation for our sin.” (1 John 1:8-2:1). Believers must be confident in the fact that “there is a fountain opened…to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1). David was confident in the promise of God to forgive and cleanse through the blood of Christ, when he cried out, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:7). Jesus holds forth the cup in the Supper to assure the hearts of his people that his blood “was shed for the remission of sin.”

The more we are convinced of the truth that the Father has already provided legal forgiveness through the shedding of the blood of the Son, the more readily we will go to him for the paternal forgiveness of our particular sins. The Apostle Peter explained that when growth in grace and holiness is lacking it someone’s life it is because he has “forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9). When we return to God in brokenness and in confidence that He has already provided forgiveness in the blood of Christ, we will make it our renewed aim to be well-pleasing to Him. And, we will repeat this processes again and again, all the days of our life, until we are “saved to sin no more.”

1. John Owen, The works of John Owen. (W. H. Goold, Ed.) (Vol. 6, p. 516). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

The post The Hope of Forgiveness appeared first on Feeding on Christ.
— Read on feedingonchrist.com/hope-forgiveness/

May 11 Concentrate

I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

Philippians 3:13

An athlete running a race must fix his eyes on something ahead of himself. He can’t watch his feet or he’ll fall on his face. He can’t be distracted by the other runners. He must focus on the goal straight ahead.

Paul’s remarkable concentration was the result of two things. First, he chose to forget “those things which are behind.” That includes both good and bad things. It means we should not dwell on past virtuous deeds and achievements any more than we should think about past sins and failures. Unfortunately, many Christians are so distracted by the past that they don’t make any current progress.

Instead of looking at the past, Paul focused on the future. “Reaching forward” pictures a runner stretching every muscle to reach the goal. To do that he has to eliminate the distractions and concentrate only on the goal ahead. Do you have that kind of concentration in your desire to become like Christ?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 148). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Discernment: A Spiritual Battle, Not a Logical One

Michelle Lesley

The way people think, the way we react to environmental stimuli, the way we relate to one another, the way our backgrounds and experiences shape the way we view and interact with the world absolutely fascinates me. It’s probably what led me to pursue degrees in psychology and counseling as well as every sociology, anthropology, criminology, and every other social science -ology elective I could get my hands on when I was in college. What makes people tick? Why does the human mind perceive things the way it does? Why is it that two people can witness the exact same event and come away with two completely different interpretations of it?

Those human-centered constructs and sciences can be helpful when it comes to studying observable behavior, but that’s exactly where their helpfulness ends – at the line of observable human behavior. Statistical psychology can perform a longitudinal study on people who…

View original post 2,120 more words

Isaiah’s Sixfold Depiction of God’s Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

What kind of God does the prophet proclaim in Isaiah 42:18– 43:21? What must God be like if He promises to restore and renew despite the abject failure of His people?

What kind of God is our covenant Lord? The answer is that He is like no other!

I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa. 43:11)

In a series of statements that open chapter 43, a sixfold depiction of God’s glory emerges.

via Isaiah’s Sixfold Depiction of God’s Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

May 11, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Reacting to Problems with Thankful Prayer

but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (4:6b–7)

Spiritually stable people react to trials with thankful prayer. Such prayer is the antidote to worry and the cure for anxiety. The theology of prayer is not in view here, but rather its priority and the attitude the believer brings to it. The three synonyms used here, prayer, supplication, and requests, all refer to specific, direct offerings of petition to God. The assumption of the text is that believers will cry out to God when they have a need or a problem, not with doubting, questioning, or even blaming God, but with thanksgiving (cf. Col. 4:2). Instead of having a spirit of rebellion against what God allows, believers are to trustingly cast “all [their] anxiety on Him, because He cares for [them]” (1 Peter 5:7).

God’s promises support the wisdom of gratitude. He has promised that no trial believers face will be too difficult for them to handle (1 Cor. 10:13). He has also promised to use everything that happens in believers’ lives for their ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). Even suffering leads to their being perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established (1 Peter 5:10). Believers should also be thankful for God’s power (Ps. 62:11; 1 Peter 1:5; Rev. 4:11), for His promises (Deut. 1:11; 2 Cor. 1:20), for the hope of relief from suffering (2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Peter 5:10), for the hope of glory (Rom. 5:2; Col. 1:27), for His mercy (Rom. 15:9), and for His perfecting work in them (Phil. 1:6).

People become worried, anxious, and fearful because they do not trust in God’s wisdom, power, or goodness. They fear that God is not wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to prevent disaster. It may be that this sinful doubt is because their knowledge of Him is faulty, or that sin in their lives has crippled their faith. Thankful prayer brings release from fear and worry, because it affirms God’s sovereign control over every circumstance, and that His purpose is the believer’s good (Rom. 8:28).

Once the sinner has made “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1), that is, in salvation having ceased to be God’s enemy and become His child, he can enjoy the peace of God, the inward tranquility of soul granted by God. It is a confident trust in His flawless wisdom and infinite power that provides calm amid the storms of life. Isaiah wrote of this supernatural peace: “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3). Paul prayed for the Romans that “the God of hope [would] fill [them] with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). In his high priestly blessing on Israel Aaron said, “The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Num. 6:26). In Psalm 29:11 David wrote, “The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Shortly before His death Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). God’s peace is not for everyone, however; “ ‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord” (Isa. 48:22), neither with God, nor from God.

Paul further defines this supernatural peace as that which surpasses all comprehension. It transcends human intellectual powers, human analysis, human insights, and human understanding. It is superior to human scheming, human devices, and human solutions, since its source is the God whose judgments are unsearchable and whose ways are unfathomable (Rom. 11:33). It is experienced in a transcendent calm that lifts the believer above the most debilitating trial. Since it is a supernatural work, it resists any human comprehension. The real challenge of the Christian life is not to eliminate every unpleasant circumstance; it is to trust in the good purpose of our infinite, holy, sovereign, powerful God in every difficulty. Those who honor Him by trusting Him will experience the blessings of His perfect peace.

When realized in believers’ lives, God’s peace will guard them from anxiety, doubt, and worry. Phroureō (will guard) is a military term used of soldiers on guard duty. The picture would have been familiar to the Philippians, since the Romans stationed troops in Philippi to protect their interests in that part of the world. Just as soldiers guard and protect a city, so God’s peace guards and protects believers who confidently trust in Him. Paul’s use of the phrase hearts and minds was not intended to imply a distinction between the two; he was merely making a comprehensive reference to the believer’s inner person. Once again, Paul reminds his readers that true peace is not available through any human source, but only in Christ Jesus.[1]


The Meaning of Prayer

Philippians 4:6–7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

For most people few doctrines associated with Christianity are more generally misunderstood than that of true prayer. It is totally misunderstood by nonbelievers, and it is misunderstood by many who profess the name of Jesus. The problem may be traced to the fact that so few persons know God well enough to be closely associated with him in prayer, and since none of us is as closely associated with him as we ought to be, prayer is at least partially confusing to us all. Does prayer change things? Or does prayer change people? Does God change his mind as the result of believing prayer? Or does God move us to pray? What does it mean to pray without ceasing? Who can pray? How do you pray? And why should a person pray anyway? In any gathering of God’s people many of these questions will receive different and sometimes even contradictory answers.

In the fourth chapter of Philippians there are two verses that are an exceptionally fine statement of the Christian doctrine of prayer. Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6–7).

For Christians Only

What is prayer? Prayer is talking with God, and the place to begin in any true definition of prayer is with the fact that prayer is for believers only. Paul did not write his words about prayer to the pagan world at Philippi or to the world at large. He wrote them “to all the saints in Christ Jesus” at Philippi. This means that prayer is exclusively for Christians. It is the means by which an empty soul that has been touched by Jesus Christ can be thrust beneath the life-giving fountain of God’s grace, can bask in God’s goodness, and can be supernaturally refreshed for life’s tasks. Prayer is the Christian’s antidote for anxiety.

I know something called prayer is offered a billion times daily by millions of people who are not Christians, but this is not prayer in any real sense. Scores of non-Christian people in the East spend the better part of a day spinning prayer wheels. Savages chant prayers in many jungle clearings. New Agers finger prayer beads. Many poor souls cry out a prayer in the midst of some calamity. Many non-Christians give themselves to a life of meditation. But this is not true prayer, if the person involved is not a Christian. Prayer is talking with God, and the only prayer that God hears and answers is one that is made through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone provides access to his presence.

This truth was taught by Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus did not say that he was one of several ways to come to God, that he was a prophet who pointed out the ways to God; he said that he was the way to come to God, and he added, lest anyone misunderstand him, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” This means that no prayer offered to God apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has ever reached God his heavenly Father.

There are more passages in the Bible that tell when God will not answer prayer than there are passages in which he promises to do it, and God definitely says he will not answer the prayer of anyone who does not come through faith in his Son.

Have you ever tried to pray and found God distant and unreal? Have you gone away without any real hope that God has heard you? It may be that you have never done the first thing God requires. Your sin divides you like a wall from God’s presence. It will only be removed by Jesus Christ. You need to come to him. You need to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that I am separated from you by my sin; but I believe you died for me to remove that sin forever. Remove it now, and accept me as your child. Amen.” If you do that, God will remove your sin, and he will accept you as his child forever.

Barriers to Prayer

Now we must also add that although it is true that God does not hear the prayer of non-Christians, it is also true that he does not hear the prayers offered by many Christians. In fact, the Bible says that God will never hear a Christian’s prayer so long as the Christian is clinging to some sin in his heart. David said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps. 66:18). Isaiah wrote, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1–2).

Do these verses describe your prayer life? If so, you must confess your sin openly and frankly, knowing that God “is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We can only pray if our lives are open books before him.

In normal life we must know people well before our conversation with them flows freely. There are many people I know casually to whom I would speak about the weather, their work, their families, but to whom I would never speak about more personal things. There are others I know better; to these I would speak about some problems in my own life or about the concerns of others. Certain things I share only with my wife. How easily I can speak depends on how well I know the person. It is the same in our relationship to God. If we do not know God well, if our sin keeps us from him, if we do not recognize his characteristics and how he operates with people, then he is like a stranger to us and the prayer flows slowly, even though we have come to faith in Jesus. Instead, we must confess our sin and learn to spend time alone with our heavenly Father. When we do that our prayer will become the kind of communion that we have in conversation with a close friend.

Prayer for Others

Everything that I have noted up to this point has ourselves as the center; but if you know what prayer is, you know also that prayer necessarily involves other people. No matter how intimate the conversation may be between a husband and wife, it does not always center on their own affairs exclusively. They share news about their acquaintances and their concerns for them. So it is in prayer. The Bible calls such prayer “intercession.” First Timothy 2:1 says, “I urge you, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”

As we meet with God in prayer—at the beginning of a day, at its end, or in any moment throughout it—these concerns should also be a part of our conversation with him. We should have great boldness as we present the concerns of others.

That great Bible teacher, Harry Ironside, tells a story about intercessory prayer in one of his books. He had been preaching in the Midwest and had held meetings in a church that contained a most unusual group of believers. They had Sunday services and midweek meetings, but they did not come together for prayer. He spoke to them about this lack. They said, “We don’t need to meet for prayer. We have no spiritual needs, for the Bible says that we have all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And we have no need of material things, for we are well provided for. So we don’t pray.” Ironside said, “Well, that is unfortunate. At the very least, you should pray for me that God will give me freedom of speech as I go about preaching the gospel.”

They could not seem to understand his point, and Ironside left. Some time later he collapsed while in the pulpit. It was found that he had typhoid fever with a temperature of 106 degrees. In time he recovered, and during the next year he was back with this strange group of Christians. They said to him, “When we heard that you were sick with typhoid fever we began to pray for you. We prayed for you twice a week, but after we heard that you had recovered we stopped.” Ironside said, “Well, that is unfortunate also. As long as I was in the hospital room I was all right. All I had was typhoid fever. But now that I am out preaching the gospel, I am faced with the spiritual temptations that come to a Christian minister. Now I need your prayers more than ever.”

I know someone is going to say, “Do you mean to teach that God will only take care of another Christian if we pray?” No, I do not think intercession means that. But it does mean that God allows us to share in the blessings he gives to others and delights in using our prayers as a means through which he operates.

Let me illustrate this by another story. More than a generation ago a man named Hotchkiss went to Nigeria where he spent over forty years as a missionary. One day he was late for a service he was to have in a village located across a large plain. There was a rule in Nigeria in those days that no one ever crossed a large open space for fear of stampedes by the herds of wild game that roamed at large in the country. A safe path always passed within a short run of the trees. Hotchkiss was late, and he knew the quickest way to the village was to go directly across the plain. So he started across it. Halfway across the worst happened. He heard the thunder of rhinoceros hoofs, and as he looked up he saw a herd of the monstrous animals headed toward him. There was nowhere to go, so Hotchkiss knelt down in the middle of the plain, clasped his Bible to his chest, and prayed, “Lord, here I come.” An eternity passed as the roar grew louder and then faded away into the distance. At last all was quiet and Hotchkiss arose. He was standing in the midst of the plain marked with the hoofprints of a hundred or more rhinoceros. But he was alive, and he went on to his meeting in the village.

Years later, a couple from Ohio visited this man in Nigeria. In the course of their conversation the husband said to Hotchkiss, “I had a most unusual experience once that concerned you. One night I woke up suddenly with an irresistible urge to pray for you. And I did, committing you to God’s safekeeping.” Hotchkiss asked if he remembered when it was. The man had written it down that night in his Bible, and when they compared the times, it was on the same day and at the same hour that Hotchkiss had been spared on the Nigerian plain.

Someone may argue that God would have saved Hotchkiss anyway, even if the man had not prayed. Probably. But the point is that in God’s marvelous working he moved a man halfway around the world to pray for Hotchkiss in that hour. Thus, years later the man was able to share in the blessing of his friend’s supernatural deliverance. In the same way we have the privilege as God’s children of committing others into his hands for his blessing—our friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and family. As we do, we are permitted to share in his blessing on them. Our Christian life holds few joys greater than this one.

Supplications

There is one other point about prayer that comes directly from this passage. Prayer is not only talking with God, nor is it only intercession for others. Prayer is also an opportunity to present our requests to him. Paul calls them petitions, and he says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God invites us to place our earnest requests before him.

This is God’s cure for anxiety. Christians are troubled about many things. You may be troubled about your work, your family, the future, money, sex, or happiness. God invites you to place your request about these things before him. The promise of the verse is that the peace of God will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Have you ever noticed that the verse does not say that we shall necessarily receive the things we ask for? You would expect the verse to say, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and God will fulfill your requests.” But it does not say that. It says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Our prayers are often in error, and we pray for things that are not good for us. God does not promise to give us these things. All things work together for good to them that love God. However, God does promise to give a supernatural peace to those who share their real needs with him.

We must not think that Paul was recommending something for others that he had not found true for himself. Paul too had had this experience. Do you remember the prayer that Paul wrote in Romans 15? Paul was in Corinth and was about to go on to Jerusalem with the collection from the gentile churches. After that he had planned to travel to Rome as an ambassador of the Christian gospel. He asked prayer for three things: 1) “that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea”; 2) “that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints”; and 3) “that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed” (Rom. 15:31–32).

How were Paul’s requests answered? We do not know every aspect of God’s answers, but we know that Paul’s first request was not fulfilled literally. Paul fell into the hands of unbelievers and spent two years in prison in Caesarea as a result, although his life was spared. We have no information about his second request—that his collection might be received willingly by the saints in Judea—but there is no reason to think Paul received a warm welcome from anyone. Finally, we know that Paul’s third request—for a joyous journey to Rome—was fulfilled, if it was fulfilled, only after long delays and through much hardship. When Paul arrived in Rome at last, he arrived as a prisoner in chains.

God certainly did not answer Paul’s requests as Paul intended. But God did answer, and he answered exactly as Paul indicates in his words about prayer to the Philippians. He answered by giving Paul peace. Paul knew God’s peace even in the most difficult of earthly circumstances, and he writes out of these circumstances to tell us also to make requests of God, our heavenly Father.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2001). Philippians (pp. 283–284). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2000). Philippians: an expositional commentary (pp. 238–243). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

GTY Blog Post – Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Two Paths, One Way”

Hell has many residents who formerly professed faith in Christ. They didn’t “lose their salvation” because that’s biblically impossible (John 10:27–29). They are people who claimed to know Jesus, only to find out that Jesus didn’t know them.

It’s hard to think of any scenario in all of Scripture more horrifying than standing before Christ on Judgment Day with a false assurance of one’s salvation.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21–23)

We need to remember that this passage isn’t referring to atheists, pagans, or cult members. Those condemned by Christ in Matthew 7 are people who address Christ as Lord. People who, in all likelihood, have professed faith in the same gospel that we believe!

Christ’s warning requires distinctions that are far more subtle than the obvious differences between the church and the world. We need to be able to distinguish the dividing line between true and false Christians. Moreover, on a personal level, we need to be able to discern where we really stand with the Lord.

For that reason, John MacArthur’s sermon “Two Paths, One Way” stresses the importance of understanding Christ’s warning in Matthew 7.

There is no hope of heaven for those who do not believe the gospel. We understand that—no gospel, no salvation; no Christ, no salvation; no understanding of the cross and the resurrection, no salvation possible. But, the shocking thing is that even among those who believe and say, “Lord, Lord, we preached in your name, we cast out demons in your name, we did mighty works in your name,” there will be those who have no hope of heaven. The shock is that many who call Jesus “Lord” will be sent by God to eternal hell. This then is a riveting critical passage in a day and a time when lots of people call themselves Christians.

It’s sobering to realize that there are people seated in churches every Sunday who suffer from this deadly delusion. And Jesus didn’t hold back in warning His listeners of that imminent, eternal danger.

“Two Paths, One Way” examines Christ’s stunning, concluding remarks in the Sermon on the Mount. John’s message breaks up Matthew 7:13–27 into six dichotomies, contrasting the way to heaven and the way to hell. There are two gates, two ways, two crowds, two behaviors, two foundations, and two destinations. In each case, only one of them is right.

Woe unto us if our Christian identity turns out to be an illusion—a false faith waiting to be exposed in Christ’s presence. We need to exercise authentic saving faith, built upon the truth of Christ’s words concerning the one true way of eternal life. To that end, John’s message helps us avoid the most subtle road to eternal ruin.

Click here to watch or listen to “Two Paths, One Way.”

— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B180511