THOUGH we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are “plants of his own right hand planting,” yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? “Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud.” Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that God makes thee loth to be without fruit he will soon cover thee with clusters.
Pastors need Bereans in their congregations—members “who received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Those who would teach God’s Word must be held accountable to its exacting standards. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for those who desire to preach personal opinions and exegete experiences. Their very survival depends on their ability to suppress all theological scrutiny.
Defenders of mystical phenomena such as “holy laughter” frequently admonish critics that they are in danger of grieving, quenching, or worst of all, blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Often this is nothing more than a form of spiritual intimidation. But it usually proves quite effective, silencing the voice of reason and absolving the promoters of mystical phenomena from any responsibility to give a sound biblical basis for what they are doing.
Notice, however, that all the stern warnings against quenching the Spirit constitute a very obvious circular argument. They assume from the outset the very point they wish to establish—that these phenomena are the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the essence of the argument: if things happen we cannot explain or find a basis for in Scripture, we dare not question or challenge them. Such phenomena are de facto proof that the Holy Spirit is working. Thus sheer mysticism is equated with the moving of the Holy Spirit. Any discerning souls who attempt to “examine everything carefully” in accord with 1 Thessalonians 5:21 are warned that they are sinning against the Holy Spirit.
One of the fullest efforts to defend this perspective is a book by William DeArteaga titled Quenching the Spirit. The blurb on the book’s cover reads, “Examining Centuries of Opposition to the Moving of the Holy Spirit.”  William DeArteaga, Quenching the Spirit(Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 1992). This book is neither scholarly or accurate but must be addressed since many have used it in an effort to give historical legitimacy to charismatic mysticism. DeArteaga is convinced that all who oppose modern charismatic phenomena are simply latter-day Pharisees—and he implies that some may have already committed the unpardonable sin.  DeArteaga, Quenching the Spirit, 24–25.
Pharisaism becomes the metaphor for all that DeArteaga opposes. His appraisal of the Pharisees is revealing:
The Pharisees’ real problem came from two sources. First, they drastically overvalued the role of theology in spiritual life and made theological correctness the chief religious virtue. Somewhere in the process the primary command to love God and mankind was subordinated to correct theology. Second, they had a man-given confidence in their theological traditions as being the perfect interpretation of Scripture. They falsely placed their theology, referred to as the traditions of the elders, on the same level as Scripture.  DeArteaga, Quenching the Spirit, 18.
Notice that DeArteaga’s portrayal of pharisaism amounts to a not-so-subtle attack on theology—especially “theological correctness.” He implies that love for God is somehow in conflict with a concern for correct theology. He even pits sound theology against Scripture, suggesting that those concerned with “theological correctness” are guilty of placing their theology on the same level as Scripture.
But those are false dichotomies. Real love for God is inseparable from love of the truth. The heart that genuinely loves God will be inclined to truth (see 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 John 6). And true theological correctness is found only in an accurate understanding of Scripture (1 Timothy 6:3–4; Titus 1:9). Those determined to cast sound theology aside must also abandon Scripture (2 Timothy 4:2–3). Scripture and sound theology are not antithetical; they are indissolubly bound together. One simply cannot esteem Scripture highly yet scorn sound doctrine. One cannot love God and remain indifferent to His truth. Scripture is how He makes Himself known. So a sound understanding of Scripture is essential to a true knowledge of God.
Moreover, DeArteaga completely misunderstands the real error of pharisaism. The Pharisees were in no sense guilty of an undue emphasis on theological orthodoxy. If anything, their problem was the opposite. They weren’t careful enough in seeking to understand the Scriptures. In fact, they set Scripture aside in favor of their own rote traditions. Tradition, not theology, was their downfall. If they had stuck to Scripture and built their theology on that alone, they would not have fallen into error. Jesus confronted the Pharisees for their pride, their spiritual blindness, their legalism, their want of compassion, their love of power and recognition, and their lack of knowledge about the Word of God. At no time did He rebuke them for overemphasizing “theological correctness.”
DeArteaga’s book is a freewheeling romp through revisionist history. For example, he uses the Great Awakening as a model to show how “theological correctness” poses a threat to the working of the Holy Spirit. This argument is worth examining more closely, because the Great Awakening is becoming a favorite paradigm for modern-day mystics. But as we’ll see next time, that great eighteenth-century revival was actually derailed—not driven—by mystical phenomena.
(Adapted from Reckless Faith)
Emergent pseudo-christianity as exemplified in the exceedingly inaccurate ‘theology’ of these two and their kindred spirits won’t rescue the SBC from extinction, it will hasten it. Anthropocentric fame-questing has nothing to do with Christian faith and everything to do with hellish and demonic self-aggrandizement.
Is Christianity a science stopper or the modern science starter? Tim takes a look at what the history of science demonstrates.
— Read on www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/11/04/louis-farrakhan-chants-death-to-america-in-iran/amp/
Exclusive: Hal Lindsey on vote: ‘Time to choose on which side of this battle you will fight’
I was thinking yesterday that it seems like every general election is even more critical than the previous one.
Like the boy who cried, “Wolf!” I fear that our recurring alarm about the consequences of each election will slowly numb us into a state of despondency. We’ll begin to tire of the constant need to be vigilant and pro-active.
But the sobering truth is that each election truly IS more important than the last.
This one, especially, since our nation appears to be in a moral free-fall.
I believe this is true simply because over the last two years we have made substantial progress against the forces that are desperately trying to “transform” America into something our founders would not even recognize.
But those forces have not accepted defeat and retired to lives of peaceful co-existence. Instead, they have doubled down. Some have tripled down. Some have gone “kamikaze!”
In fact, several prominent Democrats recently have publicly and specifically threatened that civility is dead until they are returned to power.
Nonetheless, the truth is that many Americans are rejoicing at the return of a sense of sanity and balance in so many areas of our national life.
Ministries such as mine (and many others that are larger and more well-known) suffered through several years of IRS persecution at the hands of the previous administration. We are grateful that this administration has worked hard to eliminate that bias. It has even declared an end to the stifling effects of the notorious “Johnson Amendment.”
“Merry Christmas” is back. There is unabashed prayer in the Oval Office – in front of the cameras! As a nation, we have loudly proclaimed our support for and solidarity with Israel. We have smashed some of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist forces in the world. We have withdrawn from pacts and partnerships that were not only duplicitous, but dangerous. We are witnessing a restoration of the constitutional role of the judiciary. We have eased the bureaucratic burdens on industry and business that were choking our national economy. Most of us have seen the immediate benefits in our paychecks. We have unleashed the power of American creativity and productivity, and we’re seeing a rebirth in hope and optimism among American workers of all races and classes. We are finally seeing the brakes being applied to our mad rush toward a nonsensical world of unlimited and undefined genders. We are seeing a phenomenal surge in our citizens’ pride in and appreciation for our military, law enforcement and first-responders. And the list goes on.
In short, I think we are seeing a genuine resurgence of President Reagan’s inspiring ideal of America as a “shining city on a hill.”
We owe much of this progress to President Donald Trump. It’s not that he has singlehandedly made these things happen, but his genuine love for America, his optimism, fearlessness, determination, courage and willingness to suffer the blows has inspired so many people in so many areas to take a step of faith and do what is right for America.
I do not say that President Trump is a man of God, but I firmly believe he is God’s man for this time in America.
And the world, too. As we hurtle toward the end of this age, the infrastructure of the Antichrist’s government is being constructed with alarming speed. To have the leader of the free world stand tall and threaten the “globalist” forces who are preparing the way of the Antichrist cannot be a coincidence. If nothing else, President Trump is drawing into sharp focus the opposing forces and the battle formations that will soon come into play in the end-times scenario.
That means it is time to choose on which side of this battle you will fight.
Next Tuesday’s general election will not determine the fate of America per se. But it will dramatically affect it.
If we vote into office those officials who will stand for and promote Judeo-Christian values and a return to traditional American virtues and morals, then we will see America continue this resurgence. I pray we will see America restored as the most blessed nation in the history of the world.
If we vote into office those officials whose only plan is to stop and reverse the progress of the last two years, then we will see America slide back into the morass in which we have languished for the last decade.
Simply put, the choice is ours to make on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
I think something I wrote in this space last week bears repeating.
Bob Dylan once sang this immortal truth in his inimitable style: “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes, you’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Joshua put it as simply as it can be put: “… choose you this day whom you will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV)
God said through Moses in Deuteronomy 30:19, “… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
If you don’t lead your family (and your nation) toward God, and plant within them the truth and values Judeo-Christianity imparts, then chances are that no one will.
Can you live with that?
Don’t make your choice by staying home on Tuesday.
— Read on https://www.wnd.com/2018/11/donald-trump-not-a-man-of-god-but-gods-man/
Mark Levin took the time during his opening segment last night to frame the importance of the midterm election. President Trump will leave nothing on the battlefield; he is working, campaigning and fighting on our behalf. Now, with the election less than 24 hours away, it is time for us to stand and take action…
The media narrative controllers are fully engaged along with their political brethren. Do not look away. The vulgar lies and filth are extreme as ideological entities utilize their microphones in a brutal attempt to advance their position in the mid-term election…
Deliberate intent and prudence ensures we avoid failure. The course, is thoughtful vigilance; it is a strategy devoid of emotion. The media can call us anything they want, it really doesn’t matter…. we’re far beyond the place where labels matter.
As we bear witness to the mob, anyone trying to convince us this entire assembly of our union is headed in the right direction, well, they might want to revisit their proximity to the 2018 election ballpark. Because they’re not just out of the city – they’re also out of the same state the election ballpark is located in….. Then again, the media know that.
David Mamet had a famous saying, essentially: …‘in order for democrats, liberals, progressives et al to continue their illogical belief systems they have to pretend not to know a lot of things’… By pretending ‘not to know’ there is no guilt, no actual connection to conscience. Denial of truth allows easier trespass.
This hate-filled Democrat ideology relies on two things: (1) Our willingness to reconcile their presentations and grant benefit within their seeds of doubt; and (2) Their ability to bait us into action they can use to define us. Do not look away.
There is a level of anger far deeper, far more purposeful, and far more consequential than expressed rage or visible mob behavior, it’s called Cold Anger.
Cold Anger does not need to go to violence. For those who carry it, no conversation is needed when we meet. You cannot poll or measure it; specifically because most who carry it avoid discussion… And that decision has nothing whatsoever to do with any form of correctness.
We watched the passage of Obamacare at 1:38am on the day before Christmas Eve in 2009. We watched the Senate, then the House attempt passing Amnesty in 2014. We know exactly how it passed, and we know exactly why it passed. We don’t need to stand around talking about it….
We know what lies hidden behind “cloture” and the UniParty schemes.
We watch the 2009 $900+ billion Stimulus Bill being spent each year, every year, for seven consecutive years. Omnibus, Porkulous, QE1, QE2, Bailouts, Crony-Capitalism. We know exactly how this works, and we know exactly why this ruse is maintained. We don’t need to stand around talking about it…. We’re beyond talking.
We accept that the entire Senate voted to block President Trump’s ability to use recess appointments in 2017. Every.Single.Democrat.And.Republican.
Cold Anger absorbs betrayal silently, often prudently.
We’ve waited each year, every year, for ten years, to see a federal budget, only to be given another Omnibus spending bill by “CONservative” Speaker Ryan.
We’ve watched the ridiculing of cops, the riots, and the lack of support for laws, or their enforcement. We’ve been absorbing all that. We’ve been exposed to violence upon us by paid operatives of the organized DNC machine. We know; the media trying to hide it doesn’t change our level of information.
Cold Anger is not hatred, it is far more purposeful.
We watched in 2012 as the Democrat party thrice denied God during their convention. The doors to evil enterprise opened by official proclamation and request.
Cold Anger takes notice of the liars, even from a great distance – seemingly invisible to the mob. Cold Anger will still hold open the door for the riot goer. Mannerly.
We’ve watched our borders being intentionally unsecured.
We’ve watched Islamic Terrorists slaughter Americans as our politicians proclaim their uncertainty of motive. We know exactly who they are, and why they are doing it. We do not need to stand around discussing it…. we’re clear eyed.
Cold Anger evidenced is more severe because it is more strategic, and more purposeful. Eric Cantor’s defeat, Matt Bevin’s victory, Brexit, Donald Trump’s highest vote tally in the history of presidential primaries or Mark Sanford’s 2018 primary dispatch might aide your understanding.
Cold Anger does not gloat; it absorbs consistent vilification and ridicule as fuel. This sensibility does not want to exist, it is forced to exist in otherwise unwilling hosts – we also refuse to be destabilized by it.
Transgender bathrooms are more important than border security.
Illicit trade schemes, employment and the standard of living in Vietnam and Southeast Asia are more important to Wall Street and DC lobbyists, than the financial security of Youngstown Ohio.
We get it. We understand. We didn’t create that reality, we are simply responding to it.
Deliberate intent and prudence ensures we avoid failure. The course, is thoughtful vigilance; it is a strategy devoid of emotion. The media can call us anything they want, it really doesn’t matter…. we’re far beyond the place where labels matter.
Foolishness and betrayal of our nation have served to reveal dangers within our present condition. Misplaced corrective action, regardless of intent, is neither safe nor wise.
We know exactly who Donald Trump is, and we also know what he is not. He is exactly what we need at this moment. He is our necessary glorious bastard.
He is our weapon.
Cold Anger is not driven to act in spite of itself; it drives a reckoning.
When the well attired lady leaves the checkout line carrying steaks and shrimp using an EBT card, the door is still held open for her; yet notations necessarily embed.
When the U.S. flags lay gleefully undefended, they do not lay unnoticed. When the stars and stripes are controversial, yet the foreign flag is honored – we are paying attention.
When millionaire football players kneel down rather than honor our fallen soldiers and stand proud of our country, we see that. Check the NFL TV ratings – take note.
When a school community cannot openly pray, it does not mean the prayerful were absent.
When a liar seems to win, it is not without observation. Many – more than the minority would like to admit – know the difference between science, clocks and political agendas.
Cold Anger perceives deception the way a long-term battered spouse absorbs the blow in the hours prior to the pre-planned exit; with purpose.
A shield, or cry of micro-aggression will provide no benefit, nor quarter. Delicate sensibilities are dispatched like a feather in a hurricane.
We are patient, but also purposeful. Pushed far enough, decisions are reached.
[…] On the drive to and from the East Coast, I paid attention to the billboards and bumper-stickers. Folks, the people in “Fly over” country are PISSED, from the guy that guides hunters, to the mayors of towns and cities, to state senators congressmen and Governors who are voting to arrest and imprison federal law enforcement officials for enforcing federal gun laws that don’t agree with state law … The political pendulum has never, in the history of humanity, stayed on one side of a swing. The back lash from over reach has always been proportionate to how far off center it went before coming back … right now we’re staring at a whole hell of a lot of the country (about 80-90% of the land mass, as well as about 50+% of the population) that is FED UP. You really don’t want those guys to decide that the only way to fix it is to burn it down and start over… (more)
It’s too late…
MAGA Americans are as unfamiliar with our current enemy as any virtuous community who have never encountered the corrupt, conniving and Godless leftist ideology.
But we see them now. We see the mob. It is our job to stand in support of our nation and support our most effective weapon ever deployed, Donald J Trump.
To appropriately respond we must engage purposefully, as an insurgency. We must modify our disposition to think like an insurgent. Insurgencies have nothing to lose. If insurgents are not victorious the system, which controls the dynamic, wins. However, if insurgents do nothing, the same system, which controls the dynamic, also wins.
Do nothing and we lose. Go to the mattresses, and we might win. The choice is ours.
For us, November 6, 2018, is our Saint Crispins day.
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
The awakened American middle-class insurgency, led by Donald Trump, is an existential threat to the professional political class and every entity who lives in/around the professional political class. Their entire political apparatus is threatened by our insurgency. The entire political industry, all of governance, is threatened by our force, through Donald Trump.
You know why the entire apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why the corrupt Wall Street financial apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why every institutional department, every lobbyist, every K-Street dweller, every career legislative member, staffer, and the various downstream economic benefactors, including the corporate media, all of it – all the above, are united against Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is an existential threat to the existence of a corrupt DC system we have exposed to his disinfecting sunlight. Donald Trump is the existential threat to every entity who benefits from that corrupt and vile system.
Global elites now stand with jaw-agape in horror as they witness our horde. The value of multi-billion dollar contracts dispatched at our leisure. Trillion dollar multi-national trade deals full of scheme and graft, left nothing more than tenuous propositions smashed asunder from the mere sound of our approach.
The fundamental construct within decades of their united global efforts to tear at the very fabric of our U.S.A is being eliminated. They too have nothing to lose; their desperation becomes visible within their apoplexy; and they’re damn sure displaying it.
Do not look away.
Throw aside the sense of discomfort and bear witness to the evil we oppose. Do not turn your eyes from the hatred focused in our direction. Stand firm amid the solace of our number and resolve to the task at hand.
Those who oppose our efforts are merely vile parasites quivering as they stare into the Cold Anger furnace of righteousness.
Who fuels that furnace?
— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/11/05/china-rolling-massive-population-surveillance-system-world/
— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/11/05/7-top-takeaways-grassleys-report-brett-kavanaughs-accusers/
— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/11/05/9-years-common-core-test-scores-indoctrination/
“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).
God’s greatest truths are discovered by simple faith.
As a man or woman of faith, you have insights into life that unbelievers can’t know. You know how the physical universe began, where it is heading, and how it will end. You know Who governs the universe and how you fit into the total scheme of things. You know why you exist and how to invest your life in matters of eternal consequence.
Unbelievers can’t possibly appreciate those things because “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14).
Some of the most basic issues of life remain a mystery to most people because they refuse God’s counsel. For example, the most brilliant thinkers have never agreed on the origin of the universe. Theirs is a futile attempt to explain what is beyond the realm of scientific investigation.
But such things aren’t beyond the realm of knowing—if a person is willing to be taught by God’s Word. The Bible clearly states that God spoke the physical universe into existence, creating visible matter from what was non-physical or invisible (Rom. 4:17). No humans observed that event. It cannot be measured or repeated. It must be taken by faith.
Any attempt to explain the origin of the universe or the nature of man apart from God’s Word is foolhardy. The unregenerate mind, no matter how brilliant it might be, cannot fathom such things.
So never feel you have to apologize for trusting God’s Word. Let the confidence of the psalmist be yours: “I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:99–100).
Suggestions for Prayer: Read Genesis 1–2 as a reminder of the power and wisdom of God in creating the universe. From those chapters select specific things for which you can praise Him.
For Further Study: Memorize Psalm 19:1. Can you think of ways that the natural creation brings glory to God? (See also Romans 1:18–20.)
Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, is election day in the United States. How should Christians vote?
Voting is a privilege, and, for U.S. citizens, a right. I encourage you to use your vote as a godly influence by voting according to biblical principles. My answer to today’s Mailbag question is adapted from my 2008 article, How Should Christians Vote?
Tomorrow is election day. How can we steward our vote in a godly way?
First things first. Christians, especially Christian women, should vote. Not voting would not only be an insult to the sacrifice of the dedicated men and women who have given their lives in the cause of freedom and suffrage over the years that we might have the luxury of having a voice in our governance, but voting is a gift from God. Should we treat this gift lightly by failing to exercise it?
If you have never had…
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As the spectre of the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico looms larger, so too does the hysteria surrounding it.
But contrary to what mainstream media may be feeding you, that hysteria is coming much more from the left than it is from the right.
Many conservatives and Republicans are worried about the potential ramifications of flagrantly disregarding secure borders. After all, a sovereign nation simply cannot exist without defined and secure borders.
More importantly, some of those concerns seem to have some merit, with hundreds of members of the caravan having been identified as criminals or gang members.
Liberals and Democrats? It’s not nearly as clear what exactly they are worried about. Perhaps they’re worried about enforcing actual border security? Perhaps they’re concerned about America actually showing any sign of a backbone with its military?
Oh, wait. Here it is.
Democrats are apparently worried about the constitutional rights of non-Americans. Wait. What?
As incredulous as that premise may seem, from all indications, that’s exactly what Democrats seem to be most concerned about.
Fortunately for any sane-thinking person, prominent conservative voices are lambasting that ridiculous idea. One such voice, belonging to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, got particularly heated while arguing with the lawyer who spearheaded the lawsuit against President Donald Trump claiming that his administration was infringing on the rights of illegal immigrants.
The lawyer, Mike Donovan, president and CEO of Libre by Nexus, which is also funding the lawsuit, according to KCAL, claims that Trump’s efforts to derail the caravan violated the Fifth Amendment.
The Fifth Amendment states:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Specifically, Donovan seems focused on the “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” bit.
“They are claiming rights under the asylum provisions of our statutes that affords them due process rights under that law. We have due process under the law. This is a law that is specifically directed to them so of course, they have due process rights,” Donovan argued.
In fairness, due process rights are absolutely a crucial tenet of the Fifth Amendment and important to any American.
But that’s the key word: American. Carlson seized on the opportunity to tear into Donovan.
“Let me just correct you as a non-lawyer. They do not possess those rights if they are in another country and not U.S. citizens. If they possess those rights, then, I don’t know, the entire country of Nigeria — pick a country that is poorer than the United States and say ‘we want to come there,’ president says you can’t come and all of a sudden eight hundred million people sue you for violating their constitutional rights for a country they’ve never been to?” Carlson fired back incredulously.
Donovan tried to make a feeble argument that the migrant caravan was not an entire country, as if the actual number of people trying to enter the country was somehow important to the legal principle at stake. Obviously, it’s not, and Carlson let him know as much.
“If the entire nation of Nigeria were en route to the United States, perhaps it would be apples to apples. But that’s what you said. It’s not correct. These are individuals coming to this country to seek asylum,” Donovan said.
“First of all, you don’t know that. We don’t know what their intent is. Actually, you don’t. They are hundreds of miles away, and asylum claims have to be made on U.S. soil,” Carlson fired back.
“Either at an embassy, consulate, or at our border. That’s a law, as someone who purportedly defends the law, you know that, I know. You can’t actually claim that you are covered by the U.S. Constitution. You are not on U.S. soil and you are not a U.S. citizen.”
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
— Read on www.westernjournal.com/ct/tucker-unloads-constitutional-justice-caravan-lawyer-crying-illegal-aliens-rights/amp/
Much has been written about the alleged tension between faith, reason, and science. Much of this has to do with the accepted definition of “faith,” and some of the tension results from a misunderstanding about the proper role of evidence when drawing proper inferences. Melissa Cain Travis has been thinking deeply about these issues for several years as she’s been serving as an Assistant Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. Her new book takes on this important issue in an innovative way:
Melissa, can you tell my readers a little bit about your background?
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina during the 80s and early 90’s, the daughter of a Baptist pastor, and I went on to attend a small Christian university, where I did my undergraduate degree in biology.
After I finished my undergraduate degree my husband and I moved to Houston, Texas, and I went to work as a research associate in the biotech industry. For the first time ever, I got to know and interact with scientists who were from a wide diversity of backgrounds and worldviews, and we had lots of interesting conversations about the big questions while sitting belly up to the lab bench day in and day out. Because of the culture I was immersed in from birth through young adulthood, I was only vaguely aware that some people see significant tension between Christianity and the natural sciences, so it was during those few years that I was hit with the alarming realization that I was very ill prepared to answer some of the deeper philosophical and theological questions that inevitably come up in dialogue about science and faith.
Long story short, the Holy Spirit used those experiences to lead me to the works of a few eminent apologists, and I began doing some independent study with a special focus on the origins sciences. For several years, I was a self-taught lay apologist, doing a little teaching at my home church. During that time, I became a stay-at-home-mom, wondering what I was going to do with my skill set once my kids were a little older. Out of the blue, God drew my attention to the master’s program in Science and Religion at Biola University, and I instantly knew it was exactly what I was meant to do.
After completing my MASR, I took a year off from formal studies, and during that time I was recruited to be part-time faculty in the new apologetics department at Houston Baptist University. Just a couple of months into my first academic year at HBU, I entered a PhD program at Faulkner University. My degree program centers upon the Great Books of the Western World, and I’m currently writing my dissertation on the natural theology of Johannes Kepler and how we can use it as a robust approach to the contemporary science and faith conversation. I’m on track to graduate in May of 2019.
Your new book is Science and the Mind of the Maker: What the Conversation Between Faith and Science Reveals About God. What are you hoping to demonstrate to readers by exploring the relationship between science and the Christian faith?
I hope and pray that my book will be a help to Christian laypersons as well as clergy who are seeking to broaden their knowledge about the discipline of science and faith or who are struggling with doubt and need a better understanding of how science points towards God. I also hope it becomes a go-to resource for parents who are seeking to raise kids with a well-reasoned Christian worldview and Christian educators who want to incorporate the material into their classroom teaching. Another thing that motivated me to write the book was my desire to help alleviate any anxiety or confusion believers experience about questions of science and faith, to help them feel greater confidence in their evangelistic efforts. And, of course, I would love for the book to make a difference in the thinking of open-minded nonbelievers who read it.
You describe something called the “Maker Thesis.” Can you tell our readers a little about that?
The Maker Thesis is the claim that there are several branches of the natural sciences and philosophy that, taken collectively, show that we live in a world that is custom made for the existence not just of intelligent life forms, but for scientists. There’s a fundamental rationality to nature that shines through in diverse areas such as cosmology, earth science, theoretical physics, and biochemistry. What’s more, we live on a planet and in a solar system that are both amazingly conducive to investigative activity, and we have exactly the kind of advanced rationality necessary for scientific discovery. The naturalistic worldview has an incredibly difficult time accounting for all of these interlocking puzzle pieces which, actually, form a picture with strongly theistic implications.
Why do you think so many Christians fail to understand the relationship between science and faith? How do you think this misunderstanding has impacted the Church?
I think it’s a combination of things. There’s a long history of fear-mongering on the part of both non-Christians and Christians that has given many believers the impression that contemporary science and faith are at odds with one another, and therefore we should look at the pronouncements of science with a highly suspicious eye. Also, there is, unfortunately, quite a bit of misguided, abrasive, and flat-out incorrect so-called “scientific apologetics” literature out there that doesn’t approach the topic with fairness and willingness to correctly understand competing viewpoints. As a result, the question of how Scripture and science best relate to one another has become terribly divisive in the church. It’s tragic, because this is exactly what the Enemy wants.
I hope my approach in Science and the Mind of the Maker, an approach that transcends the secondary questions that tend to cause division, will help diffuse some of the in-house hostility by showing that there are powerful arguments to be made that we can unify on and thereby greatly improve our collective evangelistic efforts.
How can Christians better understand the way in which the evidence from science can help make the case for Christian Theism?
First and foremost, there is a great need for Christians to get a grasp of the preliminary issues, which are philosophical rather than scientific. For example, there are undoubtable intellectual pre-commitments at play, and the vast majority of our work as apologists (whether professional or not) is to bring these to light and examine them from a logical perspective. It is only then that we’re truly prepared to consider the scientific evidence. Also, I think we need to get away from the use of the words “prove” and “proof” when we’re talking about the scientific data. We aren’t using science to prove the existence of God. That’s actually impossible, as is trying to prove atheism using science. What we’re actually doing is using the best data from different fields of science to support philosophical arguments for God’s existence.
Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
Yes! I am a contributing author to a forthcoming book entitled The Story of the Cosmos, which promises to be an outstanding volume of essays from philosophers, astronomers, astrophysicists, literary scholars, and historians. That book is scheduled to be released next summer. Once I defend my dissertation in the spring, I’m hoping to spend the following months transforming it into a book for a general audience.
Melissa is an important voice for the Church. We don’t need to shrink from fields dominated by secular scientists. God’s existence can be properly and reasonably inferred from the evidence, including the scientific evidence. Science and the Mind of the Maker contributes to our understanding of the relationship between faith and science.
J. Warner Wallaceis a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
For the left and the right, Tuesday’s midterm elections are being hailed as the ‘most important election of our lifetime.’ Is this true?
- Mother Jones (David Corn) — The Most Important Election of Our Lives
- Decision Magazine (Franklin Graham) —Why This Is the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime
Renegotiating democratic norms: How the old game of electoral politics is being played by new rules
Four more states prepare to vote on legalization of marijuana, proving that politics doesn’t stay local for long
- USA Today (Trevor Hughes) — Legal marijuana states: Election Day brings pot debate to North Dakota, Utah, Michigan and Missouri voters
- USA Today (Editors) — On Election Day, will two more states go to pot?
- Wall Street Journal (John Boehner) —Washington Needs to Legalize Cannabis
— Read on albertmohler.com/2018/11/05/briefing-11-5-18/
Fifteen Words of Hope
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (5:21)
It began with one of history’s earliest recorded instances of biological warfare. In 1347 a Mongol army besieging the Genoese trading post of Caffa in the Crimea (modern Ukraine) catapulted the bodies of bubonic plague victims over the town’s walls. The terrified defenders fled to Italy, carrying with them the deadly plague bacteria (and the rats and fleas that spread them). Over the next three years the plague spread throughout Europe in the massive epidemic now known as the Black Death. Before the epidemic ran its course an estimated twenty million people—approximately one-third to one-half of Europe’s population—perished. The coming centuries would see recurring outbreaks of the bubonic plague, which would remain a dangerous, unchecked killer until the development of antibiotics in the twentieth century.
Though the Black Death is the most infamous epidemic in history, it was not the only one. The influenza epidemic of 1918–19 killed an estimated thirty to fifty million people, and several million more died at about that same time in an outbreak of typhus in eastern Europe. Other infectious diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, and in more recent times AIDS, have also claimed uncounted millions of victims.
But there is one plague that is more widespread and deadly than all others combined; it is, as the Puritan writer Ralph Venning called it, the “plague of plagues.” It affects every person who ever lived—and is 100 percent fatal. Unlike other plagues, which cause only physical death, this plague causes spiritual and eternal death as well. It is the plague of sin.
Because Adam’s fall plunged the entire human race into sin (Rom. 5:12–21), all people are sinners from birth. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,” lamented David, “and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). In Psalm 58:3 he added, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth” (cf. Gen. 8:21; Isa. 48:8). Not only are all people sinners by nature, they are also sinners by action. To the Romans Paul wrote, “There is none righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10; cf. Pss. 14:1–3; 53:1–3). Later in that chapter he added, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23); consequently, “there is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46), and no one can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin” (Prov. 20:9).
The inevitable outcome for all those infected by the sin plague is death. Ezekiel 18:20 states plainly, “The person who sins will die” (cf. v. 4). Adam’s tragic epitaph, “and he died” (Gen. 5:5) will be written for all his descendants (cf. vv. 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31; 9:29). Nor is the prognosis any better in the spiritual realm. Sin produces two disastrous spiritual consequences: alienation from God in this life (Eph. 2:12; 4:18; Col. 1:21), and unrelenting punishment in hell in eternity (Matt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 14:9–11; 20:11–15).
But the good news of the gospel is that there is a cure for the sinner infected by the deadly sin epidemic. God, in His mercy and love, provided a remedy for sin—the sacrifice of His Son. The Lord Jesus Christ “released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5), “for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). Those who experience “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of [their] trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7) are cured from sin’s deadly spiritual effects. As a result, they have “passed out of death into life” (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14), and “are no longer strangers and aliens, but … are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Eph. 2:19).
How God made the cure possible is the theme of verses 18–20. In those three verses, Paul described the glorious truth of reconciliation—that the sin-severed relationship between holy God and unregenerate sinners can be restored “through” and “in” Christ. But reconciliation raises some profound questions. How can an absolutely and infinitely holy God be reconciled to sinners? How can His just and holy law, which demands the condemnation and punishment of all who violate it, be satisfied? How can those who deserve no mercy receive it? How can God uphold true righteousness and give grace? How can the demands of both justice and love be met? How can God be both “just and the justifier” (Rom. 3:26) of sinners?
As hard as those questions seem, one brief verse answers them all and resolves the seeming paradox of redemption. With a conciseness and brevity reflective of the Holy Spirit, this one brief sentence, only fifteen words in the Greek text, resolves the dilemma of reconciliation. This sentence reveals the essence of the atonement, expresses the heart of the gospel message, and articulates the most glorious truth in Scripture—how fallen man’s sin-sundered relationship to God can be restored. Verse 21 is like a cache of rare jewels, each deserving of a careful, reverential examination under the magnifying glass of Scripture. It yields truths about the benefactor, the substitute, the beneficiaries, and the benefit.
He made (5:21a)
The end of verse 20 reveals the antecedent of He to be God the Father, as seen in the previous chapter of this volume. Reconciliation is His plan, and it could not occur unless He initiated and applied it. Sinners cannot devise their own religious approach to God, because they are “dead in [their] trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). The damning lie of false religion is that man can reconcile himself to God by his own efforts, but all attempts to do so are futile. Sinners’ “righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of [them] wither like a leaf, and [their] iniquities, like the wind, take [them] away” (Isa. 64:6). As a result, “There is none righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10).
Not even the “Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:4–5) could devise a way to reconcile themselves to God by their own efforts. Romans 10:1–3, expressing Paul’s deep concern for them, reflects that truth:
Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
Despite their zeal for God, they had not achieved salvation, because they sought it through their own righteousness. The religion of human achievement, whether practiced by Jews or Gentiles, can never bring reconciliation with God. The only way reconciliation can take place is if God reached out to sinners; and He did by the sacrifice of His Son.
Jesus therefore did not go to the cross because fickle people turned on Him, though they did. He did not go to the cross because demon-deceived false religious leaders plotted His death, though they did. He did not go to the cross because Judas betrayed Him, though he did. He did not die because an angry, unruly mob intimidated a Roman governor into sentencing Him to crucifixion, though they did. Jesus went to the cross as the outworking of God’s plan to reconcile sinners to Himself. In the first Christian sermon ever preached, Peter declared to the nation of Israel that Jesus was “delivered over [to death] by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23; cf. 3:18; 13:27; Matt. 26:24; Luke 22:22; John 18:11; Heb. 10:5, 7).
Only God could design an atonement for sin that would satisfy the demands of His justice, propitiate His wrath, and be consistent with His love, grace, and mercy. Only God could conceive the plan in which the second person of the Trinity would, “being found in appearance as a man, [humble] Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). Only God knew what it would take to rescue sinners “from the domain of darkness, and [transfer them] to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13), making them “qualified … to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” (Col. 1:12). Only God knew how to make sinners deserving of hell acceptable in His sight and fit to spend eternity in His presence. Therefore, only God could author and execute the plan of redemption and reconcile sinners to Himself. That plan is so utterly beyond the comprehension of the unregenerate that it seems foolishness to them (1 Cor. 1:18, 23; 2:14). No religion of human design has anything like it.
Reconciliation flows out of God’s love; it was because He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “God demonstrates His own love toward us,” wrote Paul, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8); though “we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10). Because “God [is] rich in mercy, [and] because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, [He] made us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:4–5).
It is this emphasis on a loving God reaching out to sinners that sets Christianity apart from the false religions of the world. The gods of those religions are sometimes depicted as cruel, angry, and hostile and hence to be feared and appeased—even by such appalling means as child sacrifice (cf. 2 Kings 16:3; 23:10; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 16:21; 23:37). Others are viewed as apathetic and indifferent to the worshipers who grovel before them, like Baal, whose followers Elijah mockingly challenged, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened” (1 Kings 18:27). Their devotees are often driven to desperate measures to get their attention (cf. 1 Kings 18:28).
But Christianity proclaims the glorious, liberating truth that God is neither hostile nor indifferent but a loving Savior by nature. He does not need to be appeased (and indeed cannot be by any human means). Instead, He Himself has provided His own appeasement for justice and the means for sinners to become His beloved children through the sacrifice of His Son (Rom. 8:32; 1 John 4:10, 14), which fully propitiated His wrath. As a result, those who come to Him through faith are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). Because Christ’s sacrifice perfectly satisified the demands of God’s righteousness and justice, God freely offers forgiveness and reconciliation: “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost” (Isa. 55:1; cf. Rev. 22:17).
Reconciliation required the death of God’s Son because “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23) and therefore, “The person who sins will die” (Ezek. 18:20). The slaughter of countless millions of sacrificial animals under the Old Testament economy graphically illustrated that truth. Though unable to atone for sin, since “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4), those sacrifices forcibly drove home the point that sin results in death, and death is required to satisfy the demands of God’s law when it is violated. They also made the people who incessantly offered them long for the final substitute to whom the sacrifices pointed (cf. Isa. 53). And when in accordance with the Father’s plan the final substitute came, He willingly laid down His life to bring the final satisfaction to God only pictured in the sacrificial ceremonies and ritual killings of animals (John 10:11, 18; Phil. 2:7–8).
Him who knew no sin to be sin (5:21b)
This designation points unmistakably to the only possible sacrifice for sin. It eliminates every human who ever lived, “for there is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46), since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Only one who knew no sin of his own could qualify to bear the full wrath of God against the sins of others. The perfect sacrifice for sin would have to be a human being, for only a man could die for other men. Yet he would also have to be God, for only God is sinless. That narrows the field to one, the God-man, Jesus Christ.
In the design of God, the second person of the Trinity became a man (Gal. 4:4–5). The Bible makes it clear that though He had a human mother, the Lord Jesus Christ did not have a human father. Joseph is never referred to as His father, because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35). As the God-man, He was the perfect One to be the sacrifice for sin (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19), fulfilling the Old Testament picture of the unblemished sacrificial lamb (Ex. 12:5; Ezek 46:13).
The impeccability (sinlessness) of Jesus Christ is universally affirmed in Scripture, by believers and unbelievers alike. In John 8:46 Jesus challenged His Jewish opponents, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin?” Before sentencing Him to death, Pilate repeatedly affirmed His innocence, declaring, “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4; cf. vv. 14, 22). The repentant thief on the cross said of Jesus, “This man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). Even the hardened, callous Roman centurion in charge of the execution detail admitted, “Certainly this man was innocent” (Luke 23:47).
The apostles, those who most closely observed Jesus’ life during His earthly ministry, also testified to His sinlessness. Peter publicly proclaimed Him to be the “Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3:14). In his first epistle he declared Jesus to be “unblemished and spotless” (1 Peter 1:19); one “who committed no sin” (2:22); and “just” (3:18). John also testified to His sinlessness, writing, “in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). The inspired writer of Hebrews notes that “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15), because He is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens” (7:26).
But the most powerful testimony concerning Christ’s sinlessness comes from God the Father. On two occasions He said of Christ, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). Jesus’ unbroken fellowship with the Father also testifies to His sinlessness; in John 10:30 He said simply, “I and the Father are one” (cf. 14:9).
After presenting Jesus as the absolutely holy substitute for sinners, the text makes the remarkable statement that God made Him to be sin. That important phrase requires a careful understanding. It does not mean that Christ became a sinner; the above-mentioned verses establishing His utter sinlessness unequivocally rule out that possibility. As God in human flesh, He could not possibly have committed any sin or in any way violated God’s law. It is equally unthinkable that God, whose “eyes are too pure to approve evil” (Hab. 1:13; cf. James 1:13), would make anyone a sinner, let alone His own Holy Son. He was the unblemished Lamb while on the cross, personally guilty of no evil.
Isaiah 53:4–6 describes the only sense in which Jesus could have been made sin:
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
Christ was not made a sinner, nor was He punished for any sin of His own. Instead, the Father treated him as if He were a sinner by charging to His account the sins of everyone who would ever believe. All those sins were charged against Him as if He had personally committed them, and He was punished with the penalty for them on the cross, experiencing the full fury of God’s wrath unleashed against them all. It was at that moment that “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, … ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?’ ” (Matt. 27:46). It is crucial, therefore, to understand that the only sense in which Jesus was made sin was by imputation. He was personally pure, yet officially culpable; personally holy, yet forensically guilty. But in dying on the cross Christ did not become evil like we are, nor do redeemed sinners become inherently as holy as He is. God credits believers’ sin to Christ’s account, and His righteousness to theirs.
In Galatians 3:10, 13 Paul further explained the necessity of believers’ sins being imputed to Christ. In verse 10 he wrote that “as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.’ ” There is no way for sinners to reconcile themselves to God, because no one is able to “abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them.” Violating even one precept of the Law warrants eternal punishment in hell. Thus, the entire human race is cursed and unable to do anything to lift that curse. Therefore, the only reason believers can be reconciled to God is because “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ ” (v. 13). Were it not for the fact that “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6), no one could be reconciled to God.
on our behalf, (5:21c)
The antecedent of our is the phrase “ambassadors for Christ” in verse 20; those to whom the “word of reconciliation” was committed (v. 19), who have been reconciled to God (v. 18), and are new creatures in Christ (v. 17). Christ’s substitutionary death was efficacious only for those who would believe (John 1:12; 3:16–18; Rom. 10:9–10); all those whom the Father gives Him and draws to Him (John 6:37, 65). (For further information on this point, see the discussion of verse 14 in chapter 14 of this volume.) That God raised Jesus from the dead is proof that He accepted His sacrifice on behalf of His people (Rom. 4:25).
so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (5:21d)
The phrase so that reflects a purpose clause in the Greek text. The benefit of God’s imputing believers’ sins to Christ and His righteousness to them is that they become righteous before Him. They are “found in Him, not having a righteousness of [their] own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Phil. 3:9). The very righteousness God requires before He can accept the sinner is the very righteousness He provides.
Because Jesus paid the full penalty for believers’ sin, God no longer holds it against them. In Psalm 32:1 David wrote, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” In Psalm 130:3–4 the psalmist added, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.” In metaphorical pictures of forgiveness, God is said to have removed believers’ sins as far from them as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12); cast their sins behind His back (Isa. 38:17); promised never to remember them (Isa. 43:25); hidden them from His sight behind a thick cloud (Isa. 44:22); and cast them into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19).
Believers experience the blessedness of forgiveness solely by faith in the complete redemption provided by Jesus Christ; “the righteousness of God [comes] through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe” (Rom. 3:22). They are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24); therefore, God is “the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). In Romans 3:28 Paul stated definitively, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (cf. 4:5; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:24).
When repentant sinners acknowledge their sin (Ps. 32:5), affirm Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), and trust solely in His completed work on their behalf (Acts 4:12; 16:31), God credits His righteousness to their account. On the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived our lives with all our sin, so that God could then treat us as if we lived Christ’s life of pure holiness. Our iniquitous life was legally charged to Him on the cross, as if He had lived it, so that His righteous life could be credited to us, as if we lived it. That is the doctrine of justification by imputation—the high point of the gospel. That truth, expressed so concisely and powerfully in this text, is the only cure for the sin plague.
21 Thus far, Paul has been content to give the broadest outlines of the drama of reconciliation, stating merely the relationship between the principal actors, as it were. Now he explains, so far as human language and imagery permit, the “how” of reconciliation. The fifteen Greek words, carefully balanced, almost chiastic, defy final exegetical explanation, dealing as they do with the heart of the atonement.
There are three main ways of understanding the first section of the verse, particularly the second use of hamartia, “to be sin” (GK 281; see Notes). (1) Treated as if he were a sinner, Christ became the object of God’s wrath and bore the penalty and guilt of sin. (2) When Christ in his incarnation assumed human nature “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Ro 8:3 RSV), God made him to be “sin.” (3) In becoming a sacrifice for sin, Christ was made to be sin. The background to the first view is the idea of substitution; to the second, the notion of participation; to the third, the OT concept of sacrifice.
Although the Hebrew term ḥaṭṭāʾt (cf. Ex 29:14; Lev 4:3 et al.) may mean both “sin” and “sacrifice for sin” (or “sin offering”; see Notes, esp. references to L. Sabourin’s works), it seems that Paul’s intent is to say more than that Christ was made a sin offering and yet less than that Christ became a sinner. So complete was the identification of the sinless Christ with the sin of the sinner, including its dire guilt and its dread consequence of separation from God, that Paul could say profoundly, “God caused Christ, who knew nothing of sin, to be sin for our sake.” Christ “came to stand in that relation to God which normally is the result of sin, estranged from God and the object of his wrath” (Barrett, 180).
Paul’s declaration of Christ’s sinlessness may be compared with the statements of Peter (1 Pe 2:22, quoting Isa 53:9), John (1 Jn 3:5), and the author of Hebrews (Heb 4:15; 7:26). The sin with which Christ totally identified himself was extrinsic to him. He was without any acquaintance with sin that might have come through his ever having a sinful attitude or doing a sinful act. Both inwardly and outwardly he was impeccable. The one who was devoid of sin took the place of those who were devoid of righteousness when he bore the consequences of their sin. As a result, they gain the right standing before God that they lacked. The purpose and result of God’s causing Christ “to be sin” was that in Christ believers “might become the righteousness of God,” i.e., might become justified or righteous in the sight of God (see Notes) by being in Christ, who is their righteousness (1 Co 1:30).
5:21 / Since there is no transition between verses 20 and 21, it is difficult to know exactly how verse 21 relates to the foregoing. Apparently, verse 21 continues the direct citation of Paul’s message of reconciliation from verse 20, providing, in effect, substantiation for the exhortation to be reconciled with God. As in verse 19, the acting subject is God; however, unlike verse 19, Christ is the object of the action. This is the only passage in which Paul refers directly to the sinlessness of Christ (who had [lit., “knew”] no sin), although other passages seem to presuppose it (cf. Rom. 5:19; 8:3; Phil. 2:8). Paul’s description of Christ in our text conforms to a traditional expectation about the Messiah, as well as to the statement about the Suffering Servant of the Lord (cf. Isa. 53:9: “For he did no lawlessness [anomia]”).
Can the same be said for what follows? God made Messiah sin for us. Interestingly enough, a text from Qumran (CD 14.18–19) expects that the Messiah of Aaron and Israel will appear and “atone for their iniquity.” The expression “Messiah of Aaron and Israel” may be elliptical for “Messiah of Aaron and Messiah of Israel” (so A. S. van der Woude). Even so, this text does not necessarily include the substitutionary aspect which 2 Corinthians 5:21 has. The sinless Christ was made sin “for us” (hyper hēmōn) in the sense that he took on the sinners’ curse in his atoning death on the cross. According to Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed believers from the curse of the law by becoming a curse “for us” (hyper hēmōn), for it is written in Deuteronomy 21:23, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” As we have seen above, Paul the Pharisee probably applied this ot text against the crucified Christ while he knew Christ “according to the flesh” (cf. 2 Cor. 5:16). After his encounter with the resurrected Lord on the way to Damascus, however, he saw Christ in a different light, but continued to apply Deuteronomy 21:23 to the death of Christ, this time in a positive way as a reference to the substitutionary death of Christ for sinners. Paul realized that Christ was not the accursed sinner before God, but rather the deliverer who had come to die for the remission of sins of others. As he states in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “one died for all” (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; Rom. 4:25; 5:6, 8; 6:10; 1 Thess. 5:10). Paul understood the death of Christ in light of the sinless Suffering Servant of the Lord: “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6); “he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors” (cf. Isa. 53:12). It is also possible that becoming “sin” (hamartia) refers to becoming a “sin offering,” for in the lxx hamartia is sometimes used of the sin offering (cf. Lev. 4:21, 24; 5:12; 6:18). The Suffering Servant is said to be made an “offering for sin” (Isa. 53:10).
The purpose for which God made sinless Christ a substitute for sinners is that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As Paul stated in a previous letter to the Corinthians, “It is because of him [sc. God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). It is clear that the righteousness of God comes from him and is conferred on believers who are in Christ. Godless sinners, who previously possessed no righteousness of their own, receive righteousness in sinless Christ who, by a process of substitution, became a sin offering for them. In other words, believers identify with Christ in such a way that they die with Christ to the penalty for their sin (i.e., the curse of the law) and also share with Christ in his resurrection life and vindicated status.
 Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 482). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
With the midterms upon us, cultural Marxism has emerged as a lightning rod.
With the midterms upon us, cultural Marxism has emerged as a lightning rod, re-igniting the battle over whether it is a malignant force in society – or whether it even exists.
The new Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, is
Jordan Peterson prefers the term “postmodern neo-Marxism” and condemns it as dangerous – for which he is
Senator Rand Paul
Liberals don’t bother to debate what the term means. They deny that it means anything at all. Recently, Salon
Both on and off campus, grievance groups have escalated to bullying and de-platforming speakers who hold “wrong” (usually conservative) views. Activists shout down politicians and drive their families out of restaurants. Repressive intolerance is metastasizing in the public arena.
But critics ask: How is all this related to Marx? The connection is easy enough to trace. Classic Marxism interprets history as a series of economic stages. The driving force is the struggle between the oppressors (capitalists) and the oppressed (proletariat).
Cultural Marxism extends the same form of analysis from economics to race, sex, ethnicity, sexuality – the list is virtually endless. Any group can claim to be oppressed. Just as in classic Marxism, the proposed solution is to raise your consciousness (become aware of yourself as an oppressed group), then rise up against the oppressor.
Though these trends are recent, the justification for extending Marxism to other social groups was already implicit in the
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/11/midterms_bring_out_the_marxists.html
What in the world has happened to our country? Most of us have very fond memories from when we were younger, and it is true that often our memories of “the good old days” can leave out the bad parts. None of us are perfect individually, and America has certainly never been without major problems as a nation. But have we ever witnessed the level of social decay that we are seeing around the country today? We are like a divorced, bloated, drug-addicted middle age man that has seen his life completely fall apart, and it would be nice to believe that we have hit rock bottom, but the truth is that we just keep on sinking even lower. The following are 12 examples that show that America is far more messed up than when you were a kid…
#1 When I was young, fast food was something that people would get as a treat every once in a while. Today, more than a third of the country has made it a lifestyle…
Americans’ love affair with fast food continues, with one in every three adults chowing down on the fare on any given day. That’s the finding from a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When asked by researchers, 37 percent of adults said they’d eaten fast food at least once over the past 24 hours. There was one surprise: Bucking the notion that poorer Americans favor fast food the most, the report found that intake actually rose with income.
No wonder obesity rates are at an all-time high and so many of us are developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes…
#2 Overdosing on drugs is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, and we now grappling with the worst opioid crisis in our entire history…
Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, who are now more likely to die from a drug overdose than from car accidents or firearms. The United States has the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of drug-related deaths in the world.
However, while opioid abuse is a nationwide problem, Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley notes that there are specific areas that are being hit harder by this epidemic. Using the location data above, from NORC at the University of Chicago, we can see clusters of counties that have an extremely high rate of overdose deaths. Between 2012 and 2016, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio saw a combined 18,000 deaths related to opioid abuse.
#3 We often remember the 1970s and the 1980s as the time when cocaine use was out of control in America, but the truth is that cocaine deaths in the U.S. just hit a brand new all-time record high…
Cocaine deaths have hit a record highas the drug has quietly become increasingly popular while the attention of the media and health officials has been on the ongoing opioid epidemic.
In the last 12 months, 14,205 Americans died of cocaine overdoses, marking a 22 percent increase over the previous year, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
#4 And of course meth use continues to spiral wildly out of control. Just recently, a mother was arrested for leaving her two young children alone in a hot car with a bag of meth sitting on the front seat. How out of it do you have to be to do something like this?…
A Pasco County woman was arrested after she reportedly left two small children in a hot car with a bag of methamphetamine on the front seatwhile she was shopping in a Hudson dollar store.
Deputies responded to 12125 US Highway 19 in Hudson to check the welfare of two young children in a hot car all alone. The children, a 1-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, were both seated in the back seat of the car. Deputies found a small clear bag containing a crystal-like substance sitting on the driver’s seat. A field presumptive test showed the substance tested positive for methamphetamine.
#5 Speaking of discount retailers, something very unusual recently happened at a Wal-Mart store. After spotting an 8-year-old girl that he liked, an 81-year-old man offered to “buy her” from her mother for $200,000…
A man tried to buy an 8-year-old girl from her mother at a Walmart in Port Orange for $200,000, police said.
Hellmuth Kolb, 81, is charged with false imprisonment and battery. Police said Kolb tried to grab and kiss the girl and after he offered to buy her.
#6 In this day and age, we are inventing new ways to abuse our children. Just recently, it came out that a daycare center in Missouri had hosted a “fight club” during which the toddlers were urged to beat the living daylights out of one another…
A horrified Missouri mother is suing her sons’ former daycare center after two teachers hosted a ‘fight club’ and encouraged the toddlers to beat each other up.
Video has since emerged of the disturbing December 2016 incident, which shows children pounding each other to the ground while others break down in tears.
Nicole Merseal’s 10-year-old son filmed the horrific one-day ‘fight club’, which took place at the Adventure Learning Center in St Louis, on his iPad.
#7 And of course more allegations of sexual abuse seem to come out on a constant basis these days. In Massachusetts, a youth football coach has been charged with raping numerous young boys and recording the attacks on video. In the old days this would have been a major scandal, but these days this kind of thing happens so frequently that major U.S. news outlets barely reported on it. The following comes from a British news source…
A married father and former youth football coach from Massachusetts has been arrested for allegedly raping young boys and recording the sexual assaults on video.
Derek Sheehan, 48, of Norwell, was arrested last week and later arraigned on three counts of aggravated rape of a child, three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years of age, three counts of pose/exhibit in sexual act, three counts of photograph sexual or intimate parts of child and four counts of possessing child pornography.
#8 Another thing that happens so frequently that it barely makes a blip on the news are mass brawls. Just recently, a mass brawl involving “up to 200 school students” happened in Philadelphia, but once again it was almost entirely ignored by the media…
Over a dozen juveniles were arrested and cited after police say a large brawl involving up to 200 school students erupted outside of a McDonald’s in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia.
Police say they were called for a report of a large fight on Broad Street and Hunting Park Avenue around 3:40 p.m. Police say when they arrived it “immediately deteriorated into a riotous condition” with roughly 150 to 200 students fighting and instigating.
#9 But even though there is so much pure evil going on all around us, if you really want to make a big media splash just do or say something that is really “politically incorrect”. In our current environment, just about everything offends “the thought police”. For example, Kleenex was recently forced to give their “Mansize” tissues a new name because the old name was considered to be “sexist” by some people…
Kleenex is rebranding its “Mansize” tissues amid cries of sexism from consumers. The new name? Simply, “Kleenex Extra Large.”
That’s according to a statement from Kleenex’s Texas-based parent company, Kimberly-Clark.
#10 When I was young, I don’t remember hearing about any mass shootings. Eventually they started to become more common, and now they are happening so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with them all. For example, a mass shooting at a Halloween event in southern California that happened about a week ago barely got noticed by the mainstream media…
Seven people were shot late Sunday evening at nightclub in Southern California, officials said.
The Riverside Police Department received a call around 12:04 a.m. and responded to reports of a shooting inside and outside of Sevilla Nightclub.
Online flyers show the Sevilla Nightclub had advertised a Halloween event called, “The Purge,” seemingly in reference to the name of the horror film.
If something like this had happened 40 years ago, it would have been a top news story for weeks.
#11 If you were in an accident and you had to have your foot amputated, what would you do with that foot? Well, one guy decided that he would grind it up and use it in tacos that he would feed to his friends…
You see, Shiny was in a terrible accident that forced him to think quick on his feet. A car hit his motorcycle which sent him flying into a forest, causing his foot to shatter to a point where he would never walk again. Doctors immediately saw his foot and stated they needed to amputate it. Instead of crying about it, he decided to ask doctors a question: “Can I keep it?”
On Sunday, July 10, 2016, three weeks after the accident, Shiny (who prefers to remain anonymous), invited 10 of his most “open-minded” friends to brunch. They ate puff pastries, chocolate cake, fruit tarts, and gin drank lemonade punches and mimosas. What was unusual about this brunch? The main course was fajita tacos made from Shiney’s severed human limb!
Apparently this is not illegal, but it should be. If someone fed me their severed foot without my knowledge I would be absolutely furious.
#12 Of course any list like this would be incomplete without an example of gross government incompetence…
The agency’s inspector general traced the malicious software to a single unnamed USGS employee, who reportedly used a government-issued computer to visit some 9,000 adult video sites, according to a reportpublished Oct. 17.
Many of the prohibited pages were linked to Russian websites containing malware, which was ultimately downloaded to the employee’s computer and used to infiltrate USGS networks, auditors found. The investigation found the employee saved much of the pornographic material on an unauthorized USB drive and personal Android cellphone, both of which were connected to their computer against agency protocols.
To me, the most incredible part of this story is that the guy was able to stay employed long enough to visit “9,000 adult video sites”. Didn’t this guy have a superviser, and why did it take so long to discover that he was endlessly watching adult videos while at work?
As you can see, America is a giant mess and we desperately need to get things turned around. When people say that they want to “make America great again”, what they are really admitting is that America has fallen from greatness and needs to be restored.
We are deeply, deeply troubled as a society, and creating more prosperity is not going to solve what ails us. Ultimately what we are facing is a heart issue, and until we deal with our hearts nothing is really going to get any better.
About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.
— Read on endoftheamericandream.com/archives/12-examples-that-show-that-america-is-far-more-messed-up-than-when-you-were-a-kid
And YHWH said to Abraham, get yourself up and go from your land, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation; and I will bless you; and I will make your name great. And be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you; whereas the one who belittles you, I will curse; and in you will be blessed all the kinship groups on the earth. And Abram went just as YHWH said to him.—Genesis 12:1-4, Christopher J. H. Wright in The Mission of God, 200, emphasis added
When God called Abraham, God made a promise to bless him, but he also called Abraham to obedience. As Christopher Wright shows, the call to obedience was a call to be a blessing. In many ways the story of Abraham, like the story of Israel, like the story of the church, is a story of God’s blessing and humanity’s failure to be a blessing to the surrounding people.
In our day to day work and life, God wants us to be a blessing even where it’s hard. He wants fathers to be a blessing to their wives and children. He wants mothers to be a blessing in their work place and among their friends. He wants older men to be a blessing to younger men, older women to younger women, men to women, and rich to poor. God wants us to see our entire lives defined by his call to be a blessing.
To be a blessing sums up what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 5:43–45; Matt. 15:1–9;). To be a blessing is at the essence of any morality that Christians should strive to achieve. It’s the kind of morality or holiness or ethics that matters to the people around us. God doesn’t want us to “fix” the world; he wants us to be a blessing to the world.
It’s hard to be a blessing to friends and family, people who know us too well. It’s hard to be a blessing to strangers, people who don’t know us at all. It’s even harder to take the call of God where it hurts, to be a blessing to people who hate you and seek to harm you, but in the book of Romans, Paul draws upon the language of God’s call to Abraham and applies it to every Christian in the most challenging experiences of life. He says,
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep…Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all… Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-15,19-21)
This passage is a call to be a blessing, but it’s also a passage of resistance. It’s a call to stand against violence and evil; it’s a call to bring the powerful to their knees through love. Paul calls us to resist evil with love that exposes pride and hate for what it is: foolishness in light of eternity. God calls us to be a blessing to our enemies, to reveal their oppression and to shame their actions through love.
The call to be a blessing goes both ways. It calls the powerful to humility, and it exalts the lowly through restoring human dignity. It demands that we interfere in injustice, that we get involved in people’s lives, that we seek to help and love. To be a blessing means to stand up for the powerless and to give voice to the voiceless. To be a blessing means to seek the salvation of all people, even those we don’t like—the people we want to call enemies. And this call to be a blessing is especially important for people in power: it’s a call to use power and authority for good, to be a blessing.
If you want to know what the Christian’s life looks like in your situation, ask yourself one question: how can I be a blessing to the people around me, even to the people who hate me?
The call to be a blessing connects Christian love and the Christian mission to our ordinary, everyday situation. God calls you to go and be a blessing. God doesn’t want us to fix the world but he does want us to be a blessing to the world.
— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/913
On the evening of the 5th of November 1605, Guy Fawkes and a band of conspirators were arrested for attempting to blow up the British Houses of Parliament. It was difficult for Fawkes to deny his intention, for he was found guarding 800kg of gunpowder in the cellar underneath the Parliament buildings, holding a flaming torch!
Guy Fawkes was a Catholic whose plan was to kill King James 1st in order to overthrow the Protestant monarchy. He was tortured for days without revealing any information not already known, and then sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. He cheated the executioner by jumping from the gallows and breaking his own neck, thus avoiding the gruesome execution to follow.
Many Catholics saw him as a hero, the perfect example of bravery, willing to die for the cause he believed in. Many Protestants saw him as the perfect example of what happens to villains who try to overthrow God’s king. And thus a national holiday was born, in which people all over the world light giant bonfires set off fireworks, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. And since it is unclear if the holiday is celebrating the deliverance of the King and the punishment of the traitor, or if it’s celebrating the bravery and attempted revolution of the hero, Catholics and Protestants alike celebrate the same holiday with equal gusto, but without knowing exactly why.
3 Types of Rebellion & Their Punishment That Shows How God Views False Teachers
In building his case that false teachers are to be considered a grave danger to the church, Jude introduces three examples: Exhibit A, B, and C, as it were.
His point is there are myriad shades of rebellion, from unbelievers grumbling to an angelic uprising, to sexual perversion but Jude is trying to warn us that preachers who stray from the faith once for all delivered to the saints are not harmless, juvenile delinquents, who deserve a slap on the wrist. They belong on the same shelf as unbelievers, demons, and the sexually immoral.
1. REBELLION OF UNBELIEVING DISSENT
Jude 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
The first group of perpetrators is the Israelites who grumbled and complained against God and Moses, and who, out of unbelief, rejected God’s authority. Eventually, God just destroyed thousands of the grumblers (Num 14:29-30, 21:4-6).
Jude is saying that when sneaky preachers introduce new and strange teachings, that is tantamount to, and as serious as, the rebellion of unbelief. And the consequence is dire.
2. REBELLION OF UNLAWFUL DIVAGATION
Jude 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—
The word divagation means to “wander off into someone else’s territory.”
Here, for Exhibit B, Jude dusts off a fascinating little chapter of history to make his point that God has the authority to appoint you to a particular role, and when you stray out of that role you will suffer the consequences, even if you are an angel.
The incident Jude adduces here is the story of a group of rebellious angels who divagated from their assigned realm into the territory meant exclusively for humans.
Peter says the same thing in 2 Peter 2: 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
Now, who are these angels?
We have to do some theological sleuthing. A biblical CSI, if you will.
Gen 6: 1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
If we go with the interpretation that these “sons of God” were angelic beings, and put this passage together with Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4 and one other passage…it begins to make sense.
1 Pet 3: 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, … made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
So, Peter was referring to a group of spiritual beings, like angels/demons, from the days of Noah, who disobeyed God and are locked in a prison.
When you piece these four passages together it creates a frame for the theory that some demons somehow (through possession or other means) copulated with human women and produced offspring, which prompted God to destroy every living creature on the planet, save those he drew into the Ark.
And even if you don’t go with my conclusions, Jude’s point is still clear. Rebellion has massive consequences and that false teachers are as destructive as these angels who rebelled against God.
3. REBELLION OF UNNATURAL DESIRE
Jude 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
The last example Jude uses is another incidence of the rebellion of unnatural desire, this time humans rebelling against God’s design for sexuality.
Sodom and its sister city Gomorrah were notorious for their perverse sexual immorality, homosexuality, and rape (see Gen 19:4-5 for a bitter taste of how vile these people were).
And what did God do? He nuked both cities and cauterized them off the face of the earth like a planter wart burnt off your skin.
Why? Because God invented sex, and drew boundaries in order to keep it natural, beautiful, and honoring to him. Humans rebel against that by ignoring his boundaries. They pervert and twist what is natural and normal, making it base and sordid. (Rom 1:26-38)
And Jude’s point is this is what false teachers are like… 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.
And Jude wants you to know that the rebellion of false teaching is just as bad as the rebellion of unbelief, demons, and sexual deviants.
So, beware of the many ways Satan will try get you to rebel against your Master, your Lord, and your Savior, Jesus Christ.
It’s one thing for Guy Fawkes to rebel against the King of England. It is another for humans to rebel against their Creator, their Lord, and their Judge.
But praise be to God that Jesus died to make us right with him once for all. No matter your sin, no matter the awfulness of your rebellion, if you turn to God in repentance, Jesus’ death is enough to take God’s wrath and to cleanse us from all our sin.