Daily Archives: June 9, 2018

Emerging Gen Z may deliver huge blow to religion in U.S. – Baptist News Global

It looks like Gen Z, the age group with older members just now graduating from high school, wants as little or less from religious organizations than their Millennial predecessors. That may come as little surprise to churches, nonprofits and businesses…
— Read on baptistnews.com/article/emerging-gen-z-may-deliver-huge-blow-to-religion-in-u-s/

WALSH: What Really Lies At The Root Of Our Culture’s Suicide Epidemic | Daily Wire

Anthony Bourdain killed himself today. Fashion designer Kate Spade committed suicide earlier in the week. That’s two prominent suicides in the span of just a few days. And they are far from alone, sadly.

Following the news that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide, much discussion has arisen regarding rising suicide rates across the United States. Suicide is increasing in almost every state across the US and is up by a staggering 30% in some areas. The question is: why? Of course, there is the aspect of mental health care – it needs to be better and more readily available. There is also the issue of stigma – people who are suffering from illnesses such as depression and anxiety often find themselves muzzled by a fear of what others will think or say about them.

Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain Found Dead at 61 in Apparent Suicide

These are crucial issues surrounding the suicide epidemic. But one writer has suggested that the root cause of such a startling increase in the number of people taking their own lives is something very different, and it starts with the pervasive rott that has entered our modern-day culture. “I think that problem is emptiness,” wrote Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire. “There is an emptiness at the core of our culture, and from this root the suicide epidemic grows. We have fled from God, from meaning, from purpose, and embraced a soft kind of nihilism; a nihilism that will not call itself nihilism.”

But when one’s sense of meaning suddenly fades away, what answer does our culture really have? “Well, our culture says, if you do not see it then it is not there,” Walsh noted. He continued:

“Those who seek happiness by following the well-worn paths will inevitably fall into this pit. If you do what everyone else is doing, and live how they live, and walk in their footsteps, you will end up in the same darkness. You will begin to feel that there is no hope and no point and no real beauty or joy to be found in life. And this is the state in which so many of us are living. A great, great many people in America are wallowing in this nihilistic despair and living hollow lives devoid of substance. They struggle and flail and reach out for help, but so often the hand that grabs hold of them will only drag them deeper into the pit.

Those who are suffering from a severe case of depression need more than psychological and medical treatment, Walsh argued. “They need meaning. They need hope. They need there to be a point to all of this, a reason,” he wrote. Then, he offered something of an answer to the void of meaning and the epidemic of hopelessness that continues to shroud the minds of millions across the United States.

“There is a reason, there is a point, there is a meaning. God is our foundation, our truth, our purpose, and the substance of our lives,” he declared. “We are not clumps of dust that grew randomly from the Earth and somehow developed consciousness and a moral code and the capacity for love.”

“Hope is found when we embrace who we are, as children of God, and we keep our eyes and hearts focused on eternity, on home. God wants us there with Him. But not yet. There is still more to be done, more life to be lived, and we can live it in joy, knowing that there is a meaning and a point to all of this.”

If you or someone you know struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts, please call the suicide prevent hotline at 800-273-8255.

(H/T: Daily Wire)

— Read on www.dailywire.com/news/31625/walsh-what-really-lies-root-our-cultures-suicide-matt-walsh

Guns, drugs & poverty drive US suicide epidemic – report

Suicide rates are rising in the US, with some states seeing an increase of more than 30 percent in recent years, new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. The top causes are guns, opioids and poverty.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/429188-suicide-rates-increase-report/amp/

June 9, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Psalm 6:4–5 (LEB): 4 Turn, O Yahweh; deliver my life.

Save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5 For there is no remembrance of you in death.

In Sheol, who will give thanks to you?


Psalm 6:4–5 (EBC Ps (Rev)): Prayer for God’s Love (6:4–5)

4 David boldly, not diffidently, called on the Lord: “Return!” (šûbâ, GK 8740; NIV, “Turn”). If he had sinned, he would not wait patiently for the Lord. At this moment, in the depth of his suffering, he needed his God—who had promised not to leave him—to extend his “unfailing love” (ḥesed; see 5:7) to him and thereby deliver him. Only the Lord can lift an individual out of deep depression and restore a sense of well-being in the whole person.

5 What is a human being after he or she has died? This is not to say that the OT denies life after death, but rather it puts the emphasis on the present life as the most important stage in a person’s relationship with God. The psalmist believes that there is still life to live and that there is therefore still time to praise the Creator! (See Reflections, p. 663, Sheol—Grave—Death in the Psalms.)

The combination of “remember” and “praise” suggests that “remember” is more than an intellectual act of mental representation. It is an intense spiritual act of bringing to the mind what God has done as the basis of gratitude and praise (cf. 111:4; 145:7).


Psalm 6:4–5 (UBCS Ps): 6:4–5 / The second set of petitions focus on rescue—there is a hope that God will turn, deliver, and save (v. 4) presumably from that final enemy, death (v. 5). Two motives support these petitions: because of your unfailing love and “for (Hb. kî, omitted in the niv) … in Sheol who will give you thanks?” Yahweh is called to intervene for the sake of the bond of his covenantal love. The second motive is related to this (as the Hb. connective kî makes clear), in that it refers to the “memorializing” (Hb. zkr) of that love through public praise (30:4; 135:13; 145:7). Were Yahweh not to intervene, he would lose a worshiper and the speaker would lose God.


Psalm 6:4–5 (BBC): 6:4 David asks the Lord to turn from what seems to be an attitude of indifference, and to save his life from sickness and death. His only claim to deliverance from misery is the steadfast mercy of Jehovah.

6:5 Then follows an unusual argument for healing, namely, that if David should die, it would be no advantage to God. As long as he is alive, he can remember the Lord and praise Him. But if he dies, God would be forgotten. The body without the spirit would not be able to give Him thanks.

The argument has a certain validity as far as the body is concerned, for a corpse is devoid of memory and of the power to praise. But as far as the spirit and soul are concerned, the argument reflects the limited knowledge which OT saints possessed of life beyond death. Thanks to the fuller revelation which Christ brought, we now know that when a believer dies, he leaves his earthly body and departs to be with Christ, which is far better (Phil. 1:23). He is away from the body and at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). So the believer does not go into a limbo of soul-sleep, but is consciously in the presence of the Lord, praising and worshiping Him.

It must be said in David’s favor that he made wonderful use of the light that he had, weaving it into the fabric of his prayers. If our prayers made as good use of the superior light we have, what paragons of praise and petition they would be!


Psalm 6:4–5 (NIBC): 6:4, 5 Return: This is a typical part of a petition in the psalms of lament (Ps. 13). The call for God to act is based on faith, even during a period of great stress. Your mercies’ sake: Perhaps the most significant single term in the Hebrew text regarding the character of God is the word rendered mercies here. The Hebrew word describes what some prefer to call the loyal love of God. The translations vary because the word has much depth. Aside from the personal name of God (Yahweh), it may be the single most important term describing Him as the object of praise in the Book of Psalms (36:5). In the grave: When a believer dies, his or her voice is lost from the singers of God’s praise in temple worship. The reasoning is clear: If God still desires to hear David’s voice in worship, He must keep David alive. David would be of no use to God dead; alive he could sing, shout, and testify to God’s love and His mercy (94:17).


Study Reveals 45% Of American Teens Are Online “Almost Constantly” | Zero Hedge

Fifty percent of girls said they were always online compared with 39 percent of boys… teens’ internet presence has been enabled by near-universal adoption of smartphones, with 95 percent having access to a smartphone…

Authored by B.N.Frank via ActivistPost.com,

According to a recent survey, 45% of American teens say they are online “almost constantly,” about double of what it was 3 years ago.

“The results varied by gender. Fifty percent of girls said they were always online compared with 39 percent of boys.

Teens’ internet presence has been enabled by near-universal adoption of smartphones, with 95 percent having access to a smartphone, according to the survey.”

According to tech designers, software is deliberately designed to be “sticky” to affect our brains’ neurotransmitters so users spend more time on devices.  In 2017, CBS’ 60 Minutes, aired a segment about this called, “Brain Hacking.”  It featured an interview with tech designer, Tristin Harris.  Other tech folks have also expressed remorse for their contribution to this.

 “I Wake Up In Cold Sweats Thinking, What Did We Bring To The World?”  – Tony Fadell, Nest Founder and one of the minds behind the iPod and the iPhone

Recently, Good Morning America aired a segment on a 48-hour experiment featuring 4 kids with unlimited screen time.  There’s a reason why a documentary film about Digital Addiction was namedElectronic Crack.

Of course, parents are addicted, too.  This is hurting families in the same ways as other sources of addiction.  So where are the lawsuits?  Where are the well-funded widespread marketing campaigns to fight Digital Addiction?

In 2014, Professor Ollie Johansson discussed addictive behavior caused or increased by smart phone use.  (1:49:05 of video)  He also referenced research done by Dr. Henry Lai.

Olle Johansson “Health effects of electromagnetic fields”

Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser.

Media outlets and researchers continue to report about Digital Addiction but most fail to address the effect that cell phone and WiFi radiation exposure has on the brain.  Research has proven that exposure to all sources of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation disrupts the blood-brain barrier which can cause it to leak.  Our pets are being exposed, too, when we use this around them.

In regard to kids, no “safe” level of cell phone or WiFi radiation has still been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women  Regardless, even Sesame Street markets technology to kids.

For many years already, public school systems have been required to introduce technology in the classroom at an early age while tech inventors have been limiting their own children’s use of it and sending them to private “low tech” schools.  Tax dollars are still being spent to make public schools “high tech.”

Media coverage about how we’ve been misled by telecom companies (aka Big Wireless) is nothing new.  Those who question the safety of any of this are often labeled “conspiracy theorists” and whack-jobs.

Unsafe tech use is regularly portrayed in the media as well – even in an ad for a drug prescribed for schizophrenia.  Of course, doctors used to also promote cigarettes as being “good for health.”

Many people don’t read the safety guidelines in product manuals because they assume we’d be warned 24/7 if any of this was harmful.  Remember – even Sesame Street is promoting tech for kids.

Regardless, safety guidelines are outdated and don’t apply to the way technology is used today.  Many business ownerscommunity leaderselected officials and government agencies are in no hurry to correct this either.  In fact, many are forcing more technology even though decades of research has confirmed that it is hurting us and the environment.

In 2011, cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation was classified as a Group 2B Possible Carcinogen by the World Health Organization.  Did you know?  Some think this classification is still too low.

Kids and young people probably assume all these tech devices operate via magic because otherwise they wouldn’t be using them for school work in and out of the classroom.  In the meantime, tech designers keep inventing, manufacturing, and marketing more products and infrastructure while simultaneously planning for “Doomsday.”

I often find myself thinking about that old Twilight Zone episode with the aliens and “The Cookbook.”

For more information, contact the following websites:

Center For Safer Wireless

Center For Electrosmog Prevention

Citizens for Safe Technology

Clear Light Ventures

Dr. Sam Milham

Electricsense

Environmental Health Trust

Generation Zapped

In Power Movement

National Association for Children and Safe Technology

Parents for Safe Technology

SaferEMR

Scientists for Wired Tech

StopSmartMeters.org

We Are The Evidence

Whatis5G.Info

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-06/study-reveals-45-american-teens-are-online-almost-constantly

Where’s Russia collusion? Mueller adds obstruction to Manafort indictment, charges Kiev businessman — RT US News

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his Kiev colleague with obstruction of justice, but nothing related to the 2016 election. The probe itself is under scrutiny for its costs.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/429206-manafort-mueller-indictment-russia/

June 9 Integrity Reflects Godly Wisdom

“As for [Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego], God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.”

Daniel 1:17

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Godly wisdom guards against the influences of a godless society.

From the beginning of human history Satan has tried to confuse and confound God’s purposes by corrupting man’s thinking. In the Garden of Eden he succeeded by calling God’s character into question and convincing Eve that her disobedience would have no consequences. To this day he continues to deceive entire civilizations by blinding “the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4).

Daniel and his friends were captives of a pagan king who wanted to dilute their allegiance to God by reprogramming their thinking. However, unlike Eve, they were determined not to be overcome by the evil influences around them. God honored their integrity and taught them everything they needed to know to be productive in Babylonian society and to influence it for righteousness.

Babylon was the center of learning in its day, boasting of advanced sciences, sophisticated libraries, and great scholars. God gave these young men the ability to learn and retain that level of knowledge, and the wisdom to apply it to their lives. Furthermore, He gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams and receive visions—gifts that would prove crucial later in his life as God elevated him to a position of prominence in Babylon and revealed the plan of history to him (see chapters 7–12).

Surely Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego didn’t understand all that God had in store for them or why He would allow them to be tested so severely at such a young age. But when they chose to love and trust Him despite their circumstances, they demonstrated the kind of wisdom that protects God’s children from the influences of a godless society. As we do the same, God uses us in significant ways. Also, we find that God never calls us to a challenge that He won’t equip us to handle.

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Suggestions for Prayer: King David prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Make that your prayer as well.

For Further Study: Read Colossians 1:9–12. What are the results of being filled with “spiritual wisdom and understanding”?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

06/08/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0608

•How do I work through expensive medical intervention for my pet?
•The Big Toe challenge is going into prisons
•The CMA Canada is going off the rails
•Saudi Arabia catches up with 12th century women’s rights
•Your questions answered
•Can a Christian dance with someone they aren’t married to?
•Should we use a physical Bible or an App?
•Help; I’ve fallen into sin and feel spiritually dead
•How do I comfort someone when their world falls apart?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 06/08/2018 — Wretched

Liberals May Win Control of Largest U.S. Protestant Denomination | Christian Research Service

The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest protestant denomination and a historically conservative wing of the Christian church in the United States, is on the verge of falling to organized “progressive” social-justice forces and anti-Trump activists, according to media reports and insiders involved in the battle. One leading opponent of the scheme has even blasted what he described as the “Evangelical Deep State” working to infect the church with unbiblical ideologies.

The goals of these forces, dubbed “neo-Marxist” by some critics, include softening and eventually quashing Christian opposition to homosexuality, normalizing gender confusion in the church, promoting left-wing politics at all levels of government, fueling constant obsession and angst over race and gender, facilitating mass Islamic migration into the United States, and much more.

Most rank-and-file Southern Baptists remain oblivious to what is happening, insiders said. But the implications for the church, the culture, the nation, and politics could be earth-shattering.

Still, the battle is not over. Critics of the controversial progressive effort to take over the SBC are fighting back hard ahead of the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas between June 12 and 13.

Among other tactics, conservatives within the denomination are pushing a resolution that would strongly condemn the “unbiblical” and “Marxist-based” so-called “social justice” movement. According to the text of the measure, “social justice by definition is based on anti-biblical and destructive concepts of Marxist ideology.”

The measure also says social-justice activism “should be considered evil” and represents “a vehicle to promote abortion, homosexuality, gender confusion, and a host of other ideas that are antithetical to the gospel.” The resolution also cites the Methodist and Episcopal denominations as a warning, noting that their membership numbers are collapsing following the embrace of “social justice.”

The resolution, proposed by Pastor Grady Arnold of Calvary Baptist Church in Texas, would represent a devastating blow to the “social justice” forces seeking to hijack the SBC.

The outcome of the battle remains uncertain. But Southern Baptist pastors and leaders are warning that if the progressives succeed, organized conservative Christianity in America may collapse.

Read article HERE.
— Read on www.christianresearchservice.com/liberals-may-win-control-of-largest-u-s-protestant-denomination/

Core Christianity | 10 Things We Learn from the Ten Commandments

Just when we are about to be driven to total despair by the law, Scripture assures us with the gospel that God has sent his one and only Son to keep the Ten Commandments for us. Even though we can’t keep all of these rules, Jesus has kept the law—all of it—for us by living a perfect, holy, righteous, obedient life.

Spirituality is all the rage these days. “I’m spiritual, but not religious!” is a common phrase, even if this kind of saying is impossible to achieve in practice. Even if you practice isolated spirituality, you are still following a religion of your own making. This kind of individualized religion is widely practiced in America, so it is a religion in its own right.

Instead of seeking out our own commands to follow, we should listen to what God has already set down for us. In the Ten Commandments, we learn from God what true spirituality actually is.

The first commandment is that we worship “no other gods.” We are to fear, love, and trust in God alone above all other people and things. Sin is a refusal to trust in the one true God who has revealed himself in the Bible.

The second commandment teaches us to worship the right God in the right way. That way is set down for us also in the Bible.

The third commandment shows us that God’s holy name matters. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of this when we pray, Hallowed be thy name. God’s name is sacred, and he is not only to be worshiped but also revered.

The fourth commandment reminds us that we are only human.  We need to hit the pause button on our life movie and reset it by sitting under the preaching of the Word. It’s not our story—it’s His. We are to attend the public ministry of the word often and make use of this for our sanctification. We also get to rest one day in seven.

The fifth commandment is all about respect. For our parents, yes, but also for all whom God has placed in authority over us. This includes governments, bosses, and people in our lives who deserve our respect and obedience.

The sixth commandment forbids unjust killing, and it goes even further by requiring our inner motives to seek the good and welfare of our neighbor. Jesus says that hatred is murder. If we want to please the Lord, we should regard our neighbor as sacred—cherishing other people as we would ourselves.

The seventh commandment reminds us that God wants us to be sexually pure. The good news is that this command doesn’t require us to be celibate/single. God has given the gift of marriage for those who are unable to remain sexually pure—and what a wonderful gift this is!

The eighth commandment forbids theft and jealous desire. We are to protect and preserve the possessions of others, and should recognize that every good gift has come not from our own hands—but from the Lord. It also teaches us that we should be willing to share with others who are in need. If we have an abundance of something (money, goods, time), we should give to others who stand in need.

The ninth commandment tells us not to lie. We should be more eager to cover up our neighbor’s blemishes than to publish their sins and faults to the rest of the world, as the cover of tabloid magazines often do. God does not like gossip, even if it is tolerated in some of our churches as an acceptable sin. We should try to give our neighbors the best reputation possible, even if they are not worthy of it.

The tenth commandment reminds us that God requires not only outward conformity to all of his law, but also inward righteousness and obedience. This is the command that exposes our idolatrous hearts in the clearest fashion. We can come up with a list of acceptable sins and really bad sins, but this final commandment teaches us that every sin is deadly. None of us has kept all of God’s commandments. If we thought we were doing pretty well with the first nine, the last commandment slays us in our sin. No one is righteous, no not one.

Just when we are about to be driven to total despair by the law, Scripture assures us with the gospel that God has sent his one and only Son to keep the Ten Commandments for us. Even though we can’t keep all of these rules, Jesus has kept the law—all of it—for us by living a perfect, holy, righteous, obedient life.

He never broke a commandment—not for a second—not even once.

The root of true spirituality lies not in our keeping of these commandments but rather in putting our trust, our faith, and our hope in the only one who has. God forgives you in Christ, and through his forgiveness he enables you to begin to keep not only one commandment—but all the rest too. Go in peace.
— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/10-things-we-learn-from-the-ten-commandments

The SBC is Burning Down | Polemics Report for June 7, 2018 | Bible Thumping Wingnut

The SBC is Burning Down – Polemics Report for June 7, 2018

JD is joined by Pulpit & Pen long time contributor Seth Dunn

Video of this episode:

Hear More Archived Episodes of The Polemics Report – HERE

Visit JD Hall’s Polemics Report Page – HERE

Visit JD Hall’s Pulpit and Pen Page – HERE

Check Out Other BTWN podcasts – HERE

— Read on biblethumpingwingnut.com/2018/06/08/the-sbc-is-burning-down-polemics-report-for-june-7-2018/

In But Not Of The World — The Aquila Report

Christians are called to walk in the light. Unbelievers walk in darkness. Colossians 1:13 puts it this way: “[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”

 

We are probably one of the most connected generations of all time. We can speak to people across the globe on our phones. We can e-mail them, FaceTime them, text-message them. We live in a world that seeks connection, wants community, preaches peace and tolerance, and loves diversity. One world united together in love—that’s the political dream of our day.

And many churches and professing Christians eat this up. Let’s get all religions together under one roof. Let’s forget our differences. We are all the same underneath, right? Let’s not highlight our differences. Let’s focus on what brings us together. Yet, this flies in the face of Paul’s words to the church in 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.”

That’s not very loving, is it? In the first half of verse 17, he is even more damning: “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord.” Go out from them. Separate from them. That sounds a bit intolerant, right? It doesn’t seem loving. Yet this kind of language is all over the Bible. James 4:4 is equally strong: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” So, what is going on here? Why is the Bible so harsh? How can we live as Christians and be separate from the world? Should I be thinking about buying a plot of land in the desert and starting a Christian commune?

When Paul wrote these words, the church in Corinth was a mess. So-called Christians were engaged in open sin and all sorts of moral and theological compromise. Paul was keen to remind them that a relationship with Jesus was to be exclusive. So, for example, Christians could not claim to worship Jesus and visit the temple prostitutes that were common in Corinth in the first century.

To drive his point home, Paul asks five questions in a row: “What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14–16).

The expected answer to these questions is “none” or “nothing.” Christians live to please God. Unbelievers live to please themselves.

Christians are called to walk in the light. Unbelievers walk in darkness. Colossians 1:13 puts it this way: “[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Jesus is the light of the world, and believers are drawn to Him like moths to a candle, but as for the rest of mankind, they “love[d] darkness rather than light because their deeds [are] evil” (John 3:19).

But is it really true that a believer and an unbeliever have nothing in common? Some Christians feel they have more in common with unbelievers than with fellow church members. They support the same sports team. They have the same politics. They like the same TV shows. But Paul is not talking about what we have in common as people in general. He is talking spiritually. If Jesus has nothing in common with Satan, then the sons of God have nothing in common with the sons of Satan. A non-Christian does not view the world the way we do. We place value on spiritual truths and spiritual things, and they are concerned with the material and this world. They do not live with the afterlife in mind.

Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:17–19:

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

So what does this all mean? Is the Bible saying that in order to avoid being corrupted by the world, we shouldn’t hang out with non-Christians? No. How would we carry out the Great Commission without deep relationships with unbelievers? Think about Jesus. He got into all sorts of trouble for hanging out and eating with sinners. In 1 Corinthians 5, the command is not to associate with one who calls himself a Christian yet lives like an unbeliever. We need more true Christians willing to have friendships with unbelievers, not fewer. The problem is that if we do not separate ourselves from compromised “Christians,” our witness is spoiled.

Some Christians think the answer to worldliness is to shop at Christian stores, go to Christian barbers, and go on Christian holidays. They then wonder why they find it hard to evangelize unbelievers. Others think going out drinking and clubbing with unbelievers to show them how cool we are is the way forward. I don’t know one person who has been converted through this type of “ministry,” but I know of countless Christians who’ve tainted their witness through drunkenness and immorality.

So, how do I know whether I am in a situation that means I ought to completely separate from someone who is not a believer? Here are some things to think about.

When I am with these nonbelievers, do I find myself becoming tempted and falling into sinful behavior?

When I am with non-Christians, am I standing up for the Bible and the Christian way of life or am I keeping my head down and going with the flow so as not to cause offense?

Are the friendships and relationships I have drawing me closer to Jesus or leading me further astray?

Of course we can be friends with non-Christians, but we will never share a spiritual intimacy with someone who doesn’t recognize Jesus as King and Lord. We want to live clearly Christian lives in front of the watching world.

This article previously appeared on TableTalkMagazine.com, and is used with permission.

via In But Not Of The World — The Aquila Report

06/09/18 Self-Control — ChuckLawless.com

READING: 1 Kings 9, 2 Chronicles 8, Proverbs 25-26

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

Proverbs 25:28

You probably know people who struggle with self-control. I not only know folks who do, but I’m also one of those persons at times.

Think about evidences that illustrate a lack of self-control. Eating too much food. Going too far physically in unmarried relationships. Spending too much money. Letting anger control you. Allowing worry to consume. Overreacting to problems. Clinging to addictions, etc., etc., etc. We’re a world out of control consisting of people out of control. Even the church—a people for whom self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)—deals with the same issue.

The writer of Proverbs was correct that “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Prov. 25:28). When we lack self-control, we make ourselves vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. We open the door even slightly, the enemy enters therein, and he hammers at us while we too often fall into his traps. It’s as if we were defenseless at the time. We know we believers who have the Spirit of God living in us are not defenseless, but our emotions and experiences sometimes cloud out our trust in the Word of God. We make ourselves known more by our lack of control than by the Spirit of God controlling us. To do that is a foolish step indeed.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Determine whether your life is marked by a lack of self-control. If so, confess your concerns to God.
  • Ask God to control you fully through His Spirit.

PRAYER: “Father, grant me freedom from those things that control me. I give you my life.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Review and catch-up day

via 06/09/18 Self-Control — ChuckLawless.com

JUNE 9 AUTHORITY AND POWER

And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

—Daniel 4:35

The sovereignty of God involves all authority and all power. I think you can see instantly that God could never be sovereign without the power to bring about His will or the authority to exercise His power. Kings, presidents and others who rule over men must have the authority to govern and the power to make good on that authority. A ruler cannot stand up and say, “Do this, please; if you feel like doing it, do it.” He says, “Do it,” and then has an army and a police force behind him. He has authority to command and power to carry out his commands. And God has to have both of these.

I can’t conceive of a God who has power and no authority. Samson was a man who had power but no authority, and didn’t know what to do with it. There are men who have authority but no power…. Authority without the power to carry out that authority is a joke. Power without authority puts a man where he can’t do anything. But God Almighty, to be sovereign, must have authority and power. AOGII146

Lord, though the forces of evil often seem to have control of this chaotic world, I will rest in Your authority and power. My hope is in You. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

James White on the Southern Baptist Convention, Patterson, and Egalitarianism — Pulpit & Pen

James White has an important perspective in the Paige Patterson controversy in recent days particularly because he has never been a theological or political ally of Patterson and has a troublesome history and past with the former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president. And yet, White seems “woke” (but in a good way) when it comes to what’s really happening in the SBC. His latest Dividing Line was very interesting in the last few minutes, in which he discusses these issues in the SBC from a fairy impartial perspective.

Speaking of the political motivation for the ouster of Patterson, White said…

“…There is massive politics in the SBC, massive behind-the-scenes power struggles with lots of money involved – because you’re controlling denominational structures – and it’s been documented that people who work for those denominational entities are being told ‘you shall not in the public sphere talk about these things’…that’s a fact.”

Speaking of the radical worldview shift of the SBC and SEBTS in particular, White said…

“There’s some strange stuff going on in the Southern Baptist Convention. You look at how fast and radical the shift in fundamental worldview issues; I mean, most of this stuff happened (Patterson was accused of) was while he was at Southeastern, not Southwestern. And Southeastern, you look at where they are today and you can barely see them, way off to the left out there someplace, doing this James Cone stuff and Social Justice stuff and [Critical Race Theory] stuff right down the line. How did this happen in a relatively short period of time?”

On the move toward egalitarianism in the SBC, White said…

“They’re not calling themselves egalitarians, but they are. The left knows how to do these things; you don’t identify yourself as to what you really are until you have the power to identify yourself as what you are…”

More regarding the political motivation of Patterson, White said…

“You keep your eye on what ends up happening at Southwestern. That’s going to be fascinating. You see who ends up in leadership there. If it goes the same direction as Southeastern, don’t say you didn’t know, because I told you so.”

You can listen to the pertinent clip below, or watch the full program on YouTube or the Dividing Line via SermonAudio.

via James White on the Southern Baptist Convention, Patterson, and Egalitarianism — Pulpit & Pen

Ten Second Rules — Wretched

– Episode 2303 – Ten Second Rules Segment 1 (00:00) – Sinning and lying Segment 2 (11:11) – God’s good for us is better than our good for us Segment 3 (19:24) – Kindness and contentedness Wretched Surprise! (26:06) – Sermon Sizzler, Azurdia, Holiness The post Ten Second Rules appeared first on Wretched.

via Ten Second Rules — Wretched

June 8 Daily Help

“WHEN the beams of the sun are contracted by a burning-glass, upon one spot, then they cause fire; so when our thoughts are concentrated on one object they warm the heart and at last burn the truth into it.”

There are many rays of light, but they are scattered. We get a little upon many things, while what is wanted is one great truth, and so much upon it as shall fix it on the heart, and set the soul blazing with it. This is the fault of many lives; they are squandered upon a dozen objects, whereas if they were economized for one, they would be mighty lives, known in the present and honored in the future.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 163). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

June 8, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Great Triumph

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (15:54–56)

Christ’s resurrection broke the power of death for those who believe in Him, and death is no longer master over them because “death no longer is master over Him” (Rom. 6:9). But death is still the enemy of man. Even for Christians it violates our dominion of God’s creation, it breaks love relationships, it disrupts families, and causes great grief in the loss of those dear to us. We no longer need fear death, but it still invades and torments us while we are mortal.

But one day, when Christ returns, the perishable that “must put on the imperishable” (v. 53) will have put on the imperishable, and the mortal that “must put on immortality” will have put on immortality. Then will come the great triumph that Isaiah predicted, when death is swallowed up in victory. The Isaiah text reads, “He [the Lord of Hosts] will swallow up death for all time” (Isa. 25:8; cf. v. 6). When the great transformation comes, the great victory will come.

The well-known commentator R. C. H. Lenski writes,

Death is not merely destroyed so that it cannot do further harm while all of the harm which it has wrought on God’s children remains. The tornado is not merely checked so that no additional homes are wrecked while those that were wrecked still lie in ruin.… Death and all of its apparent victories are undone for God’s children. What looks like a victory for death and like a defeat for us when our bodies die and decay shall be utterly reversed so that death dies in absolute defeat and our bodies live again in absolute victory (The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1963], pp. 744–45).

Quoting another prophet (Hos. 13:14), Paul taunts death: O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? To continue with that metaphor, Paul implies that death left its sting in Christ, as a bee leaves its stinger in its victim. Christ bore the whole of death’s sting in order that we would have to bear none of it.

To make his point, the apostle reminds his readers that the sting of death is sin. The harm in death is caused by sin; in fact, death itself is caused by sin. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Only where there is sin can death deal a fatal blow. Where sin has been removed death can only interrupt the earthly life and usher in the heavenly. That is what Christ has done for those who trust in Him. Our “sins are forgiven for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12). Death is not gone, but its sting, sin, is gone. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).

It is not, of course, that Christians no longer sin, but that the sins we commit are already covered by Christ’s atoning death, so that sin’s effect is not permanently fatal. “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). But for those who do not believe, death’s sting tragically remains forever.

Paul continues to explain the sequence leading to death by mentioning that the power of sin is the law. God’s law reveals God’s standards, and when they are broken they reveal man’s sin. If there were no law, obviously there could be no transgression. “Where there is no law neither is there violation” (Rom. 4:15). But men die because they break that law.

What about those who do not know God’s law, who have never even heard of, much less read, His Word? Paul tells us in Romans that when “Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (2:14–15). Anyone, therefore, who goes against his conscience goes against God’s law just as surely as anyone who knowingly breaks one of the Ten Commandments. That is the reason men are doomed to die (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).[1]


54 When this grand event of Christ’s return and of our putting on new, incorruptible bodies takes place, then what the prophet wrote in Isaiah 25:8 (in the Hebrew) will be fulfilled: The Lord “will swallow up death forever.” Or to use Paul’s earlier words, this will be the time when the last enemy, death, will be destroyed (15:26). At this time God will also wipe away all tears from our eyes and death shall be no more (Isa 25:8b; cf. Rev 21:3–4). Once again, as in 15:23–28 (see comments), Paul does not demonstrate here how his thoughts relate to the day of the Antichrist, the binding and loosing of Satan, the millennium, the judgment day, and so on.[2]


15:54 / Paul uses a stock formula to introduce the citation of Scripture, although nothing in the formula signals that Paul intends to blend different texts in the quotation. Here, he refers to Scripture, and he begins to quote Isaiah.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 444–446). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 404). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 355). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.