Daily Archives: June 28, 2018

June 28: Meet and Greet

Esther 1:1–2:23; 2 John 7–13; Psalm 116:1–19

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not speak a greeting to him, because the one who speaks a greeting to him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9–11).

This passage is sometimes used as support for forming exclusive communities—ones that don’t interact with people who don’t believe in the gospel or who have a different faith. Based on this passage, some believe that we as Christians are not permitted to interact with nonbelievers. Is that what John is really teaching?

John issued this warning during a time when false teachers were spreading confusing doctrines about Christ. He exhorted believers to “test the spirits” to see if these teachers were actually from God (1 John 4:1). They would know if these teachers were from God if they confessed the true message of Jesus Christ—specifically that He had come in the flesh and was from God (1 John 2:1).

John wanted the community to be aware of false teachings so they wouldn’t become confused or weakened in their faith. We, too, need to be intentional about the teaching we adhere to. If we are weak and troubled in our faith, we should seek out mature believers who can teach and minister to us. However, if we are confident in our faith, we should be ready and willing to share the message of salvation with those who need to hear it—both inside and outside our communities.

How are you sharing the gospel with those who need to receive it?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


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

June 28 Dead Faith versus Demonic Faith

“Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” (James 2:18–20).

✧✧✧

Even demonic faith is better than dead faith!

In recent years there has been an alarming rise in the number of professing Christians who believe there’s no necessary relationship between what they believe and what they do. They say you can’t judge a person’s spiritual condition by what he or she does because salvation is a matter of faith alone—as if requiring works violates the principle of faith.

It was that kind of reasoning that prompted James to issue this challenge: “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (2:18). The Greek word translated “show” means “to exhibit,” “to demonstrate,” or “to put on display.” His point is simple: it’s impossible to verify true faith apart from holy living, because doctrine and deed are inseparable.

Can you know if someone is a Christian by watching his behavior? According to James, that’s the only way to know! In verse 19 he says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” In other words, affirming orthodox doctrine isn’t necessarily proof of saving faith. Demons believe in the oneness of God, and its implications fill them with fear, but they aren’t saved. The phrase “you do well” is intentionally sarcastic. The implication is that demonic faith is better than non-responsive faith because at least the demons shudder, which is better than no response at all.

You can’t be a Christian in creed only—you must be one in conduct as well! James makes that very clear. Don’t be confused or deceived by those who teach otherwise. Continually aim your life at bringing glory to God through the obedient application of Biblical truth.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Reaffirm to the Lord your commitment to abide by His Word.

For Further Study: Read John 8:12–47. Make a list of doctrines and deeds that characterize dead faith and a corresponding list of those that characterize true faith.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 192). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The State Department Ministerial and Christian Persecution — Juicy Ecumenism

The persecution of Christians worldwide is, unfortunately, an uncontested fact. Though this persecution very rarely occurs in the United States, citizens of other countries experience it daily. They live in constant fear for their lives, knowing that at any moment they could be harassed, arrested, raped, beaten, or murdered. Persecution is an issue many governments either refuse to address or completely ignore. But on July 24 to July 26, 2018, the State Department is hosting a ministerial, providing the perfect opportunity to address these horrendous occurrences and begin the process of enacting necessary change.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has decided to host a Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom conference in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Topics covered are extensive, but among them are the roles of government and lessons of civil society. There will also be side events that include a reception hosted by the Save the Persecuted Christians coalition (of which IRD is a founding member), an event describing the best practices in advancing international religious freedom, and discussion on the impact of war on religious freedoms. It will be the first occasion of its kind run by Pompeo, and it is promising that the first Ministerial of his tenure is on this critical issue.

It seems Pompeo, at the very least, realizes the extent of religious persecution that takes place worldwide. This is the first step in a long process. However, the Secretary of State should be sure to have a discourse surrounding the specific persecution of Christians. With “like-minded allies” in fellowship with one another and with the leadership of Sam Brownback, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, this event creates the perfect environment  to converse about the egregious crimes committed against the followers of Christ.

The fact that Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world is hardly disputable, making it a necessary topic at the ministerial. In 2013, Huffington Post reported this to be true. Washington Examiner claimed the same thing in 2017. Express made similar reports about  a week ago.

Statistics, likewise, show that thousands are harmed throughout the year based on their religious affiliations. Every year, Open Door USA creates a world watch list, geographically displaying some of the places where the persecution of Christians is most rampant. Unsurprisingly, North Korea is at the top of the list and has been for the past 16 consecutive years. Kim Jong Un consistently deports Christians to labor camps, labels them political criminals, and kills both the supposed offender and his family. An illustration of this was on April 30, 2016, when Chiangbai Han Choong Yeol was murdered by four North Korean agents.

215 million Christians face persecution just because they claim to be followers of Jesus, according to this year’s world watch list. Among these statistics were the facts that “3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 were abducted, 800 churches defaced, and 1,020 people raped.” 900,000 Christians have been killed between the years 2005 and 2015.

These numbers show that this problem is a pervasive one and it isn’t going to resolve itself. In fact, as the years go on, things have only gotten worse. A study conducted by Aid to the Church in Need examined Christians in places like Egypt, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey. The study noted that Sudan was the only place on the list where conditions for Christians did not worsen. That isn’t necessarily a glimmer of hope since people are still fearing for their lives in the region.

This persecution must end and that cannot happen if it’s never talked about. It deserves a national platform. The ministerial that will be hosted in July is the kind of arena where this issue can be faced, discussed, and hopefully begin a process of restoration for those who need it so badly.

via The State Department Ministerial and Christian Persecution — Juicy Ecumenism

Mueller Investigating ‘Billionaires with Ties to Russia’ Who Attended Trump Inauguration Party — The Gateway Pundit

Robert Mueller and his propaganda arm, the mainstream media were due for a ‘Trump-Russia’ headline this week to distract from the Congressional hearing over the IG report and Spygate.

So here we are.

Robert Mueller is investigating ‘billionaires with ties to Russia’ who attended Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities.

What does this have to do with the DNC server that was supposedly hacked by the Russians over two years ago?

ABC News reported:

Several billionaires with deep ties to Russia attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, guest lists obtained by ABC News show.

These powerful businessmen, who amassed their fortunes following the collapse of the Soviet Union — including one who has since been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department — were ushered into events typically reserved for top donors and close political allies and were given unprecedented access to Trump’s inner circle.

Their presence has attracted the interest of federal investigators probing Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Matthew Olsen, a former senior national security official who now serves as an ABC News consultant, said their presence at inaugural events is “very concerning.”

“This reflects a Russian strategy of gaining access to our political leaders at a time when they are just forming a government,” Olsen said. “They don’t need to be spies in the James Bond sense. They are powerful people with significant wealth who are in a position to exert influence on U.S. policy makers. And they’re in a position to report back to Russian intelligence services on what they’re able to learn.”

The presence of people with Kremlin ties in Washington for Trump’s inaugural celebration was first reported by The Washington Post. But the guest lists obtained by ABC News offer a new glimpse at the level of access granted to several well-connected oligarchs.

It is common for high profile business moguls to attend presidential inauguration festivities.

There is nothing unusual or illegal about billionaires attending and donating to Donald Trump’s inauguration parties.

In fact, campaign donation laws do not apply to inauguration donations; they are totally separate.

Mueller obviously has nothing; he’s roving around to justify his salary and witch hunt.

Shame on Congressional oversight [and AG Sessions] for allowing this multi-million dollar witch hunt to continue.

via Mueller Investigating ‘Billionaires with Ties to Russia’ Who Attended Trump Inauguration Party — The Gateway Pundit