Daily Archives: November 16, 2018

NOVEMBER 16 THE PROGRAM INSTEAD OF THE PRESENCE

And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

—Acts 4:33

Now, I freely admit that it is impossible to hold a Christian service without an agenda. If order is to be maintained, an order of service must exist somewhere. If two songs are to be sung, someone must know which one is to be sung first, and whether this knowledge is only in someone’s head or has been reduced to paper, there is indeed a “program,” however we may dislike to call it that. The point we make here is that in our times the program has been substituted for the Presence. The program rather than the Lord of glory is the center of attraction. So the most popular gospel church in any city is likely to be the one that offers the most interesting program; that is, the church that can present the most and best features for the enjoyment of the public. These features are programmed so as to keep everything moving and everybody expectant….

We’ll do our churches a lot of good if we each one seek to cultivate the blessed Presence in our services. If we make Christ the supreme and constant object of devotion the program will take its place as a gentle aid to order in the public worship of God. If we fail to do this the program will finally obscure the Light entirely. And no church can afford that. ROR107-109

Like the apostles, Lord, I want to see the resurrected Christ in all His glory. Help us to focus not on the program of our worship but on the Lord of glory who is the object of our worship. Amen. [1]


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

The Law Says, the Gospel Says (Hamilton) — The Reformed Reader

Charles Bridges, “The Christian Ministry”

In his 19th century book, The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges takes some time to explain the necessity of preaching the law and the gospel rightly.  He talks clearly about a law/gospel distinction as well as the third use of the law (the law as a guide of gratitude).  At one point, he quotes Scottish reformer, Patrick Hamilton (d. 1528), who wrote Loci Communes Theogogici (also known as “Patrick’s Places”).  Here are a few excerpts from Hamilton on the law/gospel distinction.

The Law shows us,
Our sin.
Our condemnation,
Is the word of ire.
Is the word of despair.
Is the word of displeasure.

The Gospel shows us,
A remedy for it.
Our redemption,
Is the word of grace.
Is the word of comfort.
Is the word of peace.

The Law says,
Pay thy debt.
Thou art a sinner desperate.
And thou shalt die.

The Gospel says,
Christ hath paid it.
Thy sins are forgiven thee.
Be of good comfort, thou shalt be saved.

The Law says,
Make amends for thy sin.
The Father of Heaven is angry with thee.
Where is thy righteousness, goodness, and satisfaction?
Thou art bound and obliged unto me, to the devil, and to hell.

The Gospel says,
Christ hath made it for thee.
Christ hath pacified him with his blood.
Christ is thy righteousness, thy goodness, and satisfaction.
Christ hath delivered thee from them all.

– Patrick Hamilton –

NOTE: This is a re-post from July, 2014

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

via The Law Says, the Gospel Says (Hamilton) — The Reformed Reader

Casting Crowns – Only Jesus | 365 Days Of Inspiring Media

Reunion Records

Release Date: November 16th 2018

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Casting Crowns– Only Jesus (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. The Bridge
  2. Nobody (feat. Matthew West)
  3. Only Jesus
  4. In the Hands of the Potter
  5. Even When You’re Running
  6. One Awkward Moment
  7. Awaken Me
  8. One More Song for You
  9. Start Right Here
  10. The Change in Me
  11. Love Moved First
  12. Home

3 songs to listen to: One Awkward Moment, Starts With Me, Home

Score: 4.5/5
— Read on www.365daysofinspiringmedia.com/reviews/casting-crowns-only-jesus/

This ‘n’ That for November 16, 2018 — Do Not Be Surprised…

  • What a wonderfully and profoundly encouraging article this was, as it looked at the importance of the Scriptures in the lives of several Puritan women.
  • Apparently the whole “Muslims are seeing Jesus in their dreams and getting converted” thing is still a thing. I feel like this should not be a thing anymore.
  • This is true; however, I think that there is more to blame than just electronics for the fact that children today can’t carry on a conversation. But if I shared any further thoughts on that, I’d probably be tarred and feathered so I’ll just stay mum.
  • ETS meetings usually sound more interesting to me than the vast majority of evangelical conferences, where the same speakers deliver the same sermons they always do when traveling the conference circuit. (Oops, did I just say that out loud?)
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • No one is too old or too far beyond the reach of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
  • This is not okay.
  • Set your DVR, and don’t bother me on December 14!
  • I haven’t read this yet, but it looks like an interesting article.
  • Now that’s loyalty and faithfulness. I hope they found his owner!
  • Aw, this should give you a warm fuzzy!
  • How do you update the kilogram?
  • Creepy add, scarier mission (HT to Samantha, who posted this on Facebook).
  • Mrs. Oleson was always one of my favorite Little House characters.
  • Interesting, just ignore the “million years” mumbo jumbo.
Science, philosophy, culture, all human thought has no hope for the bereaved. But the apostle’s [Paul’s] message is a message that comforts and sustains and edifies and quickens and further has moral effect of the life of a Christian. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. May God help us to not only have a curiosity about Scripture concerning the future, but may these great passages of Scripture inform our lives in such a way that a serenity and a submission and surrender to the will of God becomes our experience. —S. Lewis Johnson

via This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

November 16 Sovereign Control

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God.

1 Peter 1:2

Through the years, Arminian and Calvinistic theologies have been at opposite poles. Traditional Reformed theology, which we call Calvinism, emphasizes God’s sovereignty, but Arminian theology in effect emphasizes man’s sovereignty. It teaches that God is helpful in providing spiritual assistance, but that one must find it in himself to come to Christ, persevere in the faith, accomplish spiritual goals, and win spiritual victories.

What results from that kind of theology? A person can profess to trust in Christ, but in reality trusts in himself. This reflects the belief that the power to choose salvation—or lose it through spiritual failure—belongs to the individual. Suppose you believed you had that kind of power. Can you imagine what it would be like to face death and wonder if you would be disqualified from heaven because you had committed too many sins? That kind of uncertainty will bring anxiety, not security.

Fully trusting God requires an understanding of His sovereign grace: that an individual is chosen, redeemed, kept, and glorified by God, who is the initiator.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 345). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

November 16, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on Thursday seeking to strike back at Saudi Arabia over the death of a Saudi journalist at a consulate in Turkey and for its role in Yemen’s devastating civil war.

Florida election officials on Thursday ordered a hand recount of ballots in the closely fought U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and his Republican challenger, Governor Rick Scott, after a machine recount showed them divided by a razor-thin margin.

American prosecutors have obtained a sealed indictment against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose website published thousands of classified U.S. government documents, a U.S. federal court document showed on Thursday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take over the defense portfolio in his government after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned this week, a spokesman for his Likud Party said on Friday, fueling speculation of an early election.

U.S. manufacturing output increased for a fifth straight month in October, shrugging off a sharp decline in motor vehicle production and suggesting underlying strength in factory activity despite signs of a slowdown in the sector.

A socialist commune has drawn the ire of its neighbors in a wealthy area of Caracas with an unusual response to the hyperinflation and food shortages afflicting Venezuela: turning its backyard into an urban cattle pasture.

The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve.

AP Top Stories

Details of alleged widespread sexual harassment conducted by tenured professors in Dartmouth College’s psychology department are beginning to emerge as plaintiffs in a class action Title IX lawsuit against the Ivy League school publicly recount their experiences.

A search for victims of a catastrophic blaze that reduced a northern California town to ashes intensified on Thursday, as authorities expanded to 630 the number of those reported missing in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history. At least 63 people have been confirmed dead in the Camp Fire.

The disruption of Finland’s global positioning system (GPS) signal during recent NATO war games came from Russian territory, the Finnish foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The bulk of the migrant caravan crossing Mexico began arriving Thursday at the U.S. border, as around 800 Central Americans reached the city of Tijuana aboard 22 buses after a month’s trek.

Dozens of LGBTQ migrants settled into a local shelter in Tijuana (located just south of San Diego) on Monday, The Washington Post reported. Various U.S. and Mexican LGBTQ organizations allegedly helped fund their trip to the border by bus, allowing them to get ahead of the rest of the group.

The U.S. military will withdraw hundreds of troops focused on counterterrorism operations in Africa over the next several years to support the Pentagon’s increased focus on countering threats from China and Russia, officials said on Thursday.

A U.N. committee on human rights approved a resolution urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing concern at its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty.

The United Nations on Thursday launched what it called a “global first” to harness private-sector funding and expertise to help tackle humanitarian crises around the world.

BBC

Scientists have changed the way the kilogram is defined. Currently, it is defined by the weight of a platinum-based ingot called “Le Grand K” which is locked away in a safe in Paris. On Friday, researchers meeting in Versailles voted to get rid of it in favor of defining a kilogram in terms of an electric current.

A judge in Washington has ordered the White House to return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass after it was revoked by the US Secret Service. The judge’s order says that the pass must be reinstated as a CNN lawsuit against Donald Trump continues.

More than 40 people are believed to have been killed in southern Zimbabwe after a bus they were travelling in burst into flames, police said. Dozens of others were injured. State media reported that a gas cylinder belonging to a passenger was thought to have exploded.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has supervised the successful test of a new “high-tech” tactical weapon, state-run media said. The KCNA news agency gave no details on the type of the weapon, saying only it had been developed over a long period. This is North Korea’s first official report of a weapons test in a year.

North Korea says it will deport a US citizen who was detained in October after entering illegally from China. State news agency KCNA said the man, whom it named as Bruce Byron Lowrance, had told officials he was “under the command” of US spy agency the CIA.

A Russian IT specialist claims that he was asked by the Russian Security Service to provide back door access to the system issuing visas for Russians to travel to Britain. The individual is currently seeking asylum in the United States.

WND

An ancient Italian super volcano that hasn’t erupted in 500 years may be starting a stage of activity that could lead to a colossal eruption, spelling potential disaster for communities lying in its path.

North Carolina State University announced a Ph.D. in social justice education on Monday.

The Trump administration’s once-lonely opposition to an ambitious U.N. pact on the treatment of migrants worldwide is picking up allies, as the Czech Republic on Wednesday became the latest European country to reverse course and say it will not join the compact.


News – 11/16/2018

Two Major Brexit Developments, as UK and EU Try to Seal the Deal
We do not know at this stage when and what details of the draft agreement will be made available, although media reports have suggested the draft agreement focuses a lot on new proposals over the Irish/Northern Irish border and an arrangement to keep the U.K. within the EU ‘s customs union after Brexit, for a certain amount of time.

‘Mini Ice Age’ Looms As NASA Scientist Warns Lack Of Sunspots Could Bring Record Cold
Our sun was not expected to head into a solar minimum until around 2020, but it appears to be heading in that direction a little early which could prove to be bad news for warm weather lovers. Data from NASA’s TIMED (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) satellite shows that the thermosphere (the uppermost layer of air around our planet) is cooling and shrinking, literally decreasing the radius of the atmosphere. This reduction of solar activity could result in a global cooling phase.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Claims ‘Tremendous Respect’ for George Soros
A report published by the New York Times on Wednesday claimed Facebook had hired Definers Public Affairs, an opposition research company led by Romney-Ryan 2012 and Jeb! Bush 2016 alumni, to discredit critics of Facebook, including conservative commentators Diamond and Silk. “I learned about this relationship when I read this New York Times piece yesterday,” Zuckerberg declared. “I have tremendous respect for George Soros.”

Giant meteor crater found under Greenland ice cap
Scientists led by the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark have found an ancient meteor crater under the Greenland ice cap that’s larger than Paris. Discovered using ground-penetrating radar data gathered by NASA, the possibly three-million-year-old impact crater is 19 mi (31 km) in diameter, about 1,000 ft (305 m) deep, and is buried under 3,200 ft (1,000 m) of glacial ice.

Fusion breakthrough as China’s “artificial sun” reaches 100 million degrees
The day of clean, limitless energy from nuclear fusion has taken another step closer thanks to China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). During a four-month experiment, the “Chinese artificial sun” reached a core plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius – that’s more than six times hotter than the interior of the Sun – and a heating power of 10 MW, enabling the study of various aspects of practical nuclear fusion in the process.

Haley: U.S. to oppose UNGA call for Israel to return Golan Heights to Syria
The United States is expected to reject a United Nations General Assembly resolution that calls on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that in past years the US has abstained…“However, given the resolution’s anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarization of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis…the United States has decided to vote no on the resolution,” Haley said.

Islamic Jihad publishes picture of new rocket allegedly fired on Ashkelon
Islamic Jihad released pictures on Thursday of the new rocket with a heavy warhead, which they announced had been fired toward Ashkelon during the escalation of violence earlier this week. The IDF has been concerned about heavy mortars which could carry 150-200 kilogram warheads, and which would inflict heavy damage on the Israeli home front.

Australia, Malaysia butt heads over possible Jerusalem embassy move
Australia’s treasurer on Friday said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had a history of anti-Jewish statements, in an escalating war of words over the possibility Australia might move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison proposed the embassy move during a local election campaign last month, sparking concern from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Saudi women in ‘inside-out abaya’ protest
Some Saudi women have launched a protest against the abaya – a long loose-fitting robe used to cover their bodies in public – by saying that they will wear it inside out. Under the hashtag “inside-out abaya” they have posted pictures of the robe, which they feel under pressure to wear. In March Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the garment was not a legal requirement.

Trump Tax Cut to Be Eroded Next Year by Inflation Switch
Last year’s big tax cut is about to start shrinking. The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday announced the tax code’s parameters for 2019, implementing a new method for making inflation adjustments that will result in higher tax payments—and government revenue—over time. The shift will cost Americans $133.5 billion over a decade, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation.

Venezuela is rolling out a new ID card manufactured in China that can track, reward, and punish citizens
In April 2008, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dispatched Justice Ministry officials to visit counterparts in the Chinese technology hub of Shenzhen. Their mission…was to learn the workings of China’s national identity card program. Chavez…wanted help to provide ID credentials to the millions of Venezuelans who still lacked basic documentation needed for tasks like voting or opening a bank account.

North Korea’s Kim inspects newly developed ‘tactical’ weapon, releases U.S. prisoner
North Korea’s leader publicly inspected a new weapon for the first time in nearly a year, state media reported on Friday, while it also decided to release a U.S. prisoner, sending conflicting signals at a time of sensitive negotiations. Kim Jong Un’s visit to the test site of a new “tactical weapon” threatened to sour the diplomatic atmosphere as negotiations between his country and the United States appear to have stalled.

‘Great Things Are Taking Place Whether The Media Tells Us Or Not’: Christian Musicians Hold Spontaneous WH Worship Session
A “faith briefing” at the White House this week saw Christian music artists hold an impromptu worship session, singing songs of praise near the Oval Office.

Snow-vember! The earliest Houston snowfall ever just happened!
An incredible sight danced over the city’s glistening skyscrapers of Houston this morning and likely caused many to rub their eyes and shake their heads. No, it wasn’t your lying eyes but rather the earliest snowfall ever observed in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.

Cold San Antonio weather ‘shatters’ 102-year-old record
San Antonio reached a low of 23 degrees at the airport this morning, which tied for the fourth-coldest November low temperature on record. The only colder temperatures were recorded in 1976 and 1886, and both were later in the month.

Republican Governor Blames Mass Shootings on Zombies, Abortions, US ‘Culture of Death’—Not Guns
R epublican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin blamed the continuing occurrence of U.S. mass shootings on America’s culture that “celebrates death” through zombie television shows and abortion.

WAR ON CHRISTIANITY: China plans to rewrite the Bible to include Buddhist teachings, which would infuse worship songs with Chinese elements
To better control the growth and influence of Christianity, the Chinese government plans to incorporate Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings into the Bible and edit worship songs to include Chinese characteristics, the head of a persecution watchdog has revealed.

SHAMEFUL: Over 500 rockets were fired into Israel by Islamic terrorists in Gaza, and not ONE word of condemnation from the United Nations
U.N.’s top body fails to agree on any action on fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza • “Security Council must condemn Hamas for its aggressive assault on civilians and finally, finally designate it a terrorist organization,” says envoy Danny Danon.

RABBI WARNS OF BIBLICAL END-TIMES WAR IN ISRAEL THAT WILL BE MORE HORRIFYING THAN ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE
Over the weekend, Palestinians in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, and Israel responded with strategic attacks on terrorist camps.

Hollywood Feminists Promote ‘Shout Your Abortion’ Book
Hollywood feminists are joining forces in the fight to take the sting out of abortion and will gather together in a “Stand Up for Shout Your Abortion” party this coming Friday.

Winter Storm Avery Leaves 5 Dead as Snow Blankets Northeast
One of the first big storms of the season moved across the eastern half of the country Thursday, leaving five people dead and closing schools as the freakish weather brought snow as far south as central Alabama.

Singer Céline Dion Launches Gender-Neutral Clothing Line In Creepy Ad Promoting The New World Order
There is so much going on in this commercial, it’s hard to know where to look first as your eyes are drawn all over the place. In a nutshell, Céline Dion has launched a new line of clothing for babies, the outstanding feature of which is that it is gender neutral. But it is much more than that. The commercial makes great fanfare of doing away with the traditional, and might I add, festive colors of pink for girls and blue for boys. But what does Dion replace that with?

Witches Now Outnumber Presbyterians In The United States As Wicca And Paganism Experience Explosive Growth
ll you need is an Instagram account in order to see how witchcraft has so throughly infiltrated American culture. Everywhere you look, people who don’t even necessarily identify as a witch are praying to the ‘spirit of the universe’, using incantations, potions, spells, charms and other things that have long been associated with witches and witchcraft. I have been in Christian churches where preachers were teaching their congregation how to ‘manifest what they want’ by tapping into the ‘universal spirit’.

Pope Francis’s Approval Ratings Hit All Time Low After Child Abuse Cover-Up
Pope Francis’s approval ratings have plummeted after a series of scandals and his cover-up of clerical child abuse have been recently exposed.

Notre Dame President: Not ‘Helpful’ to Turn Child Sex Abusers ‘Into Monsters’
Although investigators with the Archdiocese of New York found accusations of child sexual abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick both “credible and substantiated, ” the University of Notre Dame says it will not rescind an honorary degree it awarded to McCarrick in 2008. Further, Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins says it is not helpful to view child sex abusers as “monsters.”

A Glimpse Into a World Without Men
The New Gender Equality Authority has a leadership consisting of 100 percent women. Ten months after its inception, an internal report now reveals a work environment so bad that 70 percent of its employees are distressed enough to be at risk of ill health…

Florida Democrats Urged Voters To Submit Absentee Ballots After Election Day Using Altered Forms
Florida Democrats urged voters to submit absentee ballots after Election Day, using an official form that had been altered to make it look like they were doing so within the legal deadline, hoping a judge would later allow the votes.

FDA Bans Sales Of Flavored E-Cigarettes At Convenience Stores
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, concerned about the rising tide of nicotine use among teenagers, announced on Thursday that it will ban flavored tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, from being sold at convenience stores.

Klavan: Male Teacher Punished For Refusing To Watch Trans Student Change In The Locker Room
With a “gag order,” school administrators forbade teachers from talking about the change, and ordered a male P.E. teacher to supervise the potentially undressed girl in the Chasco Middle School locker room, the letter says. When he refused to “knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress,” administrators told him “he will be transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”

The Wildfire Death Toll In California Rises To 58
Wildfires burning in California have killed at least 58 people since last week and displaced thousands more through forcing evacuations and destroying homes, The Associated Press reported.

Democrats Launch Training Sessions for “1000 Volunteer” Lawyers to Manage Recount and Steal in Florida
Democrats have produced tens of thousands of ballots several days after the election–even worse, Broward County refused to disclose how many ballots they had left to tabulate which allowed them to count however many they needed to bring the Democrats within the margin of a recount.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” —John Adams (1815)

Immigration Enforcement Is Just Like KKK, Says Harris 2020

The California Democrat helped create a perception she then blames on ICE.

Demo Strategy: Delegitimize Republican Election Victories

With no path to victory in sight, Dems in FL and GA continue to fight against election results.

A Good ‘First Step’ Toward Needed Prison Reform

Trump and several Republicans are pushing real reform for criminal justice.

Battling Online Smut Is Still a Conservative Priority

Not long ago, both parties gave serious consideration to the destructiveness of porn.

Jim Acosta and the First Amendment

CNN filed suit, and a judge restored Acosta’s revoked press pass earlier today.

Video: Republican White Women Are the Problem … Apparently

Allie Beth Stuckey speaks about the problem of Democrat identity politics.

Friday Short Cuts

“Avenatti probably won’t be President. Good news is he still has an excellent chance of becoming DNC Co-Chair.” —Stephen Miller

Friday Top Headlines

Florida continued, caravan clash, wall being built, Pentagon fails audit, Assange charges, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Michael Reagan
Escaping the Politics of Anger
Tony Perkins
Recall of the Wild: U.C. Tries to Boot Student Senator
Marc A. Thiessen
Democrats Are Trying to Steal an Election in Florida
Erick Erickson
Problems Abound for Both Sides
David Harsanyi
Ilhan Omar’s Election Shows That Democrats Aren’t Interested in Confronting Anti-Semitism

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


Headlines – 11/16/2018

Pushing for global recognition, Abbas’s PA to join UN body, 10 int’l conventions

After first Western Wall visit, Czech FM signals Prague won’t move embassy

Australian finance head slams Malaysia’s PM over anti-Semitism amid embassy spat

In first, US to vote against UN resolution condemning Israeli presence in Golan

Trump Peace Plan on Course Despite Israeli Election Talk, Official Says

Netanyahu said to tell ministers he may not be able to hold coalition together

Lieberman’s sudden resignation exposes deep rift over Gaza strategy

In Rome, Rivlin tells pope Israel won’t ‘stand by’ in face of Hamas attacks

Hundreds from rocket-battered south protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

Gazans plan border protests Friday to ‘thank the resistance’ for rocket fire

Israel braces for return of violent Gaza protests

IDF general warns Gazans not to riot on border: ‘Our patience has run out’

Islamic Jihad publishes picture of new rocket allegedly fired on Ashkelon

Palestinian suspended for helping Israelis fix flat tire

Mother, brother of Barkan terrorist charged for not stopping attack

Iran Was Even Closer to Getting a Bomb Than We Thought

UN committee criticizes human rights violations in Iran

Iran executes men for hoarding gold coins amid currency crisis

U.S. envoy for Iran warns EU banks, firms against non-dollar Iran trade

U.S. Eyes Ways To Remove Erdogan Foe To Appease Turkey

Trump’s envoy to Syria: ‘We have no better partner than Saudi Arabia’

Saudis issue charges but exonerate crown prince in Khashoggi murder

Saudis shield crown prince as death penalty sought over Khashoggi murder

US sanctions 17 Saudi nationals over Jamal Khashoggi’s killing

North Korea tests new ‘ultramodern tactical weapon’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects site for testing a “newly developed cutting-edge strategic weapon”, according to local media

Trump to Meet North Korea’s Kim Next Year but Won’t Allow Him to Break Promises Again, Pence Says

U.S. Has Spent Six Trillion Dollars on Wars That Killed Half a Million People Since 9/11, Report Says

Trump seethes against Russia probe ‘disgrace’

Obama-appointed judges take charge in disputed Florida, Georgia elections

Florida orders first ever statewide hand-recounts as legal fights continue

Broward misses machine recount deadline – by 2 minutes – Scott claims miss was intentional

Laura Ingraham Slams Muslim, Black and Latino Congresswomen as ‘Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse – ‘The anti-Israel bias of some of these congresswomen elect is downright disturbing’

‘Not enough room’: migrant flows strain Mexican border shelters

GOP leaders aim to avert shutdown over wall funding, but Trump makes no promises

Neo-Nazi’s attorney calls ruling dangerous for free speech

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange charged in US, prosecutors accidentally reveal

UK and U.S. Engaging in the ‘Slow and Cruel Assassination’ of Wikileaks Julian Assange, His Mother Claims

Facebook fires Republican firm behind anti-Soros campaign

Facebook aims to quell new storm over efforts to target Soros

Facebook says it’s better at detecting hate speech

Facebook removed over 1.5 billion fake accounts in the last six months

Venezuela is rolling out a new ID card manufactured in China that can track, reward, and punish citizens

UK PM May could be replaced in weeks rather than months

Upset over fish, France leads EU criticism of draft Brexit deal

Trump Tax Cut to Be Eroded Next Year by Inflation Switch

Trump seems to be backing down in the trade war with China after electoral blowback and growing economic worries

China’s Nuclear Fusion Machine Just Smashed Temperature Records by Getting 6 Times Hotter Than The Sun

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites

NOAA’s New Pacific Satellite Has Sent Back Its First Glorious Images of Alaska and Hawaii

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Drake Passage

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Khulm, Afghanistan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 31,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Gaja cyclone wreaks damage in Tamil Nadu

Close to year’s worth of rain inundates Kuwait City with severe flooding

Destructive ice storm, major snow event to pummel northeastern US into Friday

Snowfall grinds New York City-area transit, traffic to another halt

Deadly snowstorm causes commuter chaos from South to Northeast

Camp Fire death toll rises to 63 while missing list grows to 631 names

California Air Is So Bad It’s Blotting Out the Sun

California taps war-zone DNA specialists after wildfire

Norovirus outbreak confirmed at California wildfire shelter

8 U.N. Peacekeepers Killed in Congo in Area Facing Ebola Outbreak

CDC: Suicide rates increasing among American workers

UN committee declares sovereign nations ‘must’ legalize abortion

Case Reveals Shame, Trauma of Male Sex Trafficking Victims

Denmark withholds aid to Tanzania after anti-gay comments

Pastor Under Fire for Booting Male Member Who Dressed Like a Woman for Church Service

Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in the US; Wicca, Paganism Growing ‘Astronomically’

Algorithm may one day be able to alter Bible’s style for its audience


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry – Activating The Senses & Strange Spirits

Mark Driscoll — Who Better to Teach About Being a Fool

‘Superstar’ Megachurch Founder Caught Molesting 4-Year-Old Girl

Liberty University Professor Charged With Attempted Murder of Wife

Priest lied about cancer diagnosis, used donations on HIV+ dating site: federal investigation

Clarice Fluitt’s Dead Body Dissonance

‘A Scene From Hell’: Christians Talk Being Bloodied, Pelted With Stones, Metal by Muslim Mob in Kenya


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RenewAmerica Newsletter for November 16, 2018

November 16, 2018
Jim Acosta has no constitutional claim to a chair in the briefing room
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN — Last week, the White House revoked the press pass of CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, and denied him access to the building. CNN responded by filing suit in federal court against the president. Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights had been violated, said CNN. The demand: Acosta’s press pass must be returned immediately and his White House press privileges restored…. (more)

November 15, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott’s lead over Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson increased by roughly 1,000 votes relative to the total reported on Election Night following a machine recount that concluded Thursday afternoon…. (more)


November 15, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Matthew G. Whitaker’s appointment to be acting attorney general is not only legal, but it’s also similar to moves made by the Obama and Bush administrations, the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel said Wednesday, mounting a firm defense of President Trump’s pick…. (more)

November 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — The Democrats are up to their same old tricks down in Florida regarding the midterm elections recounts, Bill O’Reilly told Newsmax TV. O’Reilly was on Wednesday’s “The Wayne Allyn Root Show” and said Democrats in Florida are trying to use the court system to overturn the results of the Senate and gubernatorial races in the Sunshine State…. (more)

November 15, 2018
Joseph Farah on how birth-certificate issue flummoxed CNN ‘reporter’
JOSEPH FARAH — Jim Acosta has made quite a name for himself covering President Trump’s White House. I had my own crazy run-in with the CNN reporter going back about nine years, when his role there in Barack Obama’s White House was a little different. It was 2009, Obama’s first year in the Oval Office…. (more)

November 15, 2018
BRIETBART — Portions of the migrant caravan consisting of nearly 900 Central Americans in 22 buses arrived in the northern border state of Sonora, escorted by state and federal police on Wednesday…. (more)


November 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — Defense Secretary James Mattis visited the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday, where more than 5,000 troops are deployed to bolster protection ahead of an expected migrant caravan from Central America. Mattis visited soldiers for about an hour at Camp Donna outside McAllen, Texas, NBC News reported…. (more)

November 15, 2018
THE HILL — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday said he would “totally” look into the FBI’s handling of its investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails if he becomes chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee…. (more)

November 15, 2018
Bill Federer recounts words of Founding Father John Witherspoon
BILL FEDERER — He lost two sons in the Revolution and was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration. His name was John Witherspoon. A delegate from New Jersey, he declared: “Gentlemen, New Jersey is ready to vote for independence. … The country is not only ripe for independence, but we are in danger of becoming rotten for the want of it!”… (more)

November 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — The remains of eight more victims were found on Wednesday in and around a northern California town overrun by flames last week, raising the death toll to 56 in a wildfire disaster that ranks as the most lethal and destructive in the state’s history…. (more)


November 15, 2018
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE — Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change…. (more)


November 15, 2018
MY SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio reached a low of 23 degrees at the airport this morning, which tied for the fourth-coldest November low temperature on record. The only colder temperatures were recorded in 1976 and 1886, and both were later in the month…. (more)


November 15, 2018
NEWSMAX — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz faces new charges including use of the officer’s electric stun device after attacking a detention officer at the county jail…. (more)

November 14, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The midterm elections didn’t deliver the shellacking Democrats suffered in 2010, but President Trump’s “big victory” is looking less impressive as the days wear on, with more House and Senate races slipping from the GOP’s grasp. Republican losses swelled to at least 35 House seats, and the total could reach 40 when the last of the too-close-to-call races are settled. Democrats also flipped a second Senate seat from red to blue Tuesday with Kyrsten Sinema named the winner in the Arizona race…. (more)

November 14, 2018
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate the country, More than 600,000 dead later, slavery was abolished, a Confederacy was in in ruins, and the South was forced back into the United States largely on the conditions and terms of the victorious North…. (more)

November 13, 2018
Lawyer represented Hillary Clinton but grilling people for special counsel
WORLDNETDAILY — Another conflict-of-interest charge was leveled against special counsel Robert Mueller’s team when a witness pointed out Tuesday the special counsel lawyer questioning her represented Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation only a short time ago. Now, the former Clinton lawyer is questioning witnesses regarding possible links to the Trump campaign that defeated Clinton in the 2016 election…. (more)

November 13, 2018
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — As the Woolsey Fire raged over the weekend, destroying homes, wildlife and roads, it also tore open a more existential wound, consuming several pieces of Hollywood history and turning a geography of cinematic lore to cinder and ash. “This is an incredible loss that we haven’t even begun to put our head around yet,” said Cari Beauchamp, a Hollywood historian and resident scholar of Mary Pickford Foundation, which promotes film archival and restoration projects…. (more)

November 13, 2018
WES VERNON — The 100th year anniversary this month of the end of World War I gave us time to reflect on the worldwide disquiet that ensued after that bloody conflict and its long-lasting destructive effect that haunt us to this day. We were thus able to review this hugely pivotal dividing point in history and to see why much of the relative calm that prevailed before then is viewed by many historians as “strange.”… (more)

November 13, 2018
LET’S TALK AMERICA — Alan Keyes offers his thoughts on the Nov. 6, midterm election, and emphasizes the need to trust in God and seek His will in the face of destructive designs by those who wish to take control of our country and limit our God-given liberties and rights…. (more)

November 12, 2018
CLIFF KINCAID — Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel claims the forecasted Democratic Party blue wave tsunami turned into a ripple. In fact, Democrats could win 40 House seats, the most since Watergate. And another Watergate is what House Democrats have promised for President Trump. Democratic Party moneybags Tom Steyer spent more than $100 million promoting impeachment. He wants a return on investment…. (more)

November 12, 2018
TIMOTHY BUCHANAN — There’s a question that is difficult to ask except among friends who are committed disciples of Christ. Most people will either be provoked to launch a vicious attack against the interrogator or else attempt to deflect the question by appealing to specious arguments and bogus alternative “values.” But at this time in America’s history, it demands an answer…. (more)


November 12, 2018
CHUCK NORRIS — I read a great 100-year old true story the other day that testifies to soldiers’ and veterans’ courageous spirits. Here’s an inspiring story to rally our cheer for Veterans Day. Worchester News reported: “Private Leslie Friston signed up to fight in the First World War at the age of 21 and served with the 3/3rd Home Counties Field Ambulance unit in France and Belgium during the war years. His service number was 3621, later changing to 88882.”… (more)

November 12, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — I voted by absentee ballot during the 2000 Presidential election. I had to. I was stationed at Fort Hood, Tex., and I sent my ballot via UPS to the office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. The reason I used UPS was that I had been away from home for three weeks of temporary duty in Washington before the election. I barely made it back in time in time to vote and send in my ballot…. (more)

November 12, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says his department has reports of 110 people still missing in a massive Northern California wildfire that has scorched 164 square miles. Honea says he’s hopeful that more of those missing people will be located. The department initially had more than 500 calls about citizens who were unable to reach loved ones. But he says they’ve been able to help locate many…. (more)


November 11, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump on Sunday honored Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by paying tribute to America’s fallen heroes and the friendship with France that was “sealed in battle.” At Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in France, Mr. Trump recalled that French and American troops “shed their blood together” to bring a victorious end to World War I…. (more)

 

Weekly Watchman for 11/16/2018

Listener Questions & Comments

Here are some of this week’s questions and comments from Stand Up for the Truth listeners:

You guys always have great discussions with people from Ratio Christi – what a solid ministry.

How do we best understand the topic of the eternal security of true believers?

I was an atheist and many people planted seeds in me through the years. I don’t think there is a ‘one size fits all’ method of evangelism. People are reached in different ways.

Regarding witnessing and the true conversion of young people such as college students, I think their faith often depends on discipleship and on what church they end up attending.

Loved your spirited discussion about praying for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she fell. It is both right to pray for her to be saved or healed as well as to pray for God to remove her from her position of influence on SCOTUS.

Your show has helped me find a new passion for the Old Testament, thank you.

Serious Christians better understand that Liberalism is not only a cancer to our country but also to Christianity.

To claim you love God more than anything but then blatantly disobey his clear teachings on life, marriage, and gender cannot be reconciled.

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

Read more


The Illusion of Radical Liberalism

One of the most sinister things a person can do is to brainwash someone into thinking they are in a crisis and that the only way to get out of it is to buy what they are selling, when in reality what they are “selling” actually brings the crisis to fruition. That is exactly the hoax being perpetuated on America and the Christian church by radicals and progressives. Create a crisis and then offer a solution that actually brings the crisis about. John Loeffler of Steel on Steel Radio really understands the liberal mindset and joins us to talk about this hoax.

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

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A Shift in Educational Priorities

The traditional purpose of education was to give children the basic skills they would need in life to grow into productive members of society, and able to earn a living. But we have seen a slow but dramatic shift in what education looks like over the past few decades. To some the focus now seems to be a sort of political indoctrination of our children, touting globalism and progressive ideals at the expense of teaching our children how to critically think and make their own decisions. This shift in priorities presents huge challenges for the future of our nation. When students only learn one side of an important argument how will they be equipped to deal with problems and opportunities that arise in a rational way? Dr. Duke Pesta and Katie Petrick of Freedom Project Media and the educational, informative Dr. Duke Show, join us to discuss these challenges.

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

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Growing Confusion, Fear and Violence

While God is a God of order, Satan is a master of deception, confusion and chaos. As our world continues to spin into confusion, it is apparent who is calling the shots: The accuser of the brethren, father of lies, and enemy of God. As Christians we should be able to see through the deception and fog, but too many believers seem to be spending less time in God’s Word and more time with things of this world. As a result, our vision becomes blurred to the point we cannot perceive and discern deception from truth. One interesting phenomenon we are witnessing is a self-proclaimed (formerly) “Christian Nation” having more people abandon biblical Christianity while in restricted and Muslim dominated nations, the gospel is being proclaimed and people are coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Elijah Abraham of Living Oasis Ministries is a former Muslim and now a passionate born-again believer who travels the world equipping Christians and church leaders to share the gospel in the Muslim world. He joins us to discuss what he is witnessing in both American churches and those in heavily Muslim nations.

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

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One World Religion and Liberal ‘Christian’ Contradictions

Today’s guest is Don Veinot of Midwest Christian Outreach. He recently attended the Parliament of World religions and gives us an update including a bit of history on this unbiblical movement. The meeting in Toronto, Canada included a United Nations workshop espousing the view that our salvation (and the salvation of the earth) depends on man – on our ability to shed exclusion and embrace our “common oneness.”

“This is an event which few Evengelicals pay attention to and will sneak up on them in the future, especially with their association to the UN.” Don Veinot

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

Read more

The Dangerous Delusion of the New Doctrine of Diversity — Pulpit & Pen

As the world turns, so turns the churches. As the culture trends, so trends the churches. And the world is turning, and the culture is trending in the direction of diversity. Diversity has been all the rage for quite some time in corporate America. It has now weaved its way into the churches so that now it has become part of the criteria for some churches to fill vacancies in the pastoral staff. This post seeks to turn the spotlight on the uncritically accepted premise that “diversity is inherently good.” Is diversity a goal or objective to be pursued by the churches? Should we purposely aim for ethnic diversity inside the walls of our churches? Should the pastoral staff be intentionally diverse? These are all good questions even though it seems to me that very few people are asking them.

We are living in increasingly dangerous times. While the church has deliberately downplayed the significance of the Reformation in its history, American culture has done its best to turn back the clock on the enlightenment. Contributing to the dismal conditions in the world more than any other single factor is the academy.

Heather MacDonald wrote on the condition of the academy regarding the loss of rational justification for our source of authority:

We are cultivating students who lack all understanding of the principles of the American Founding. The mark of any civilization is its commitment to reason and discourse. The great accomplishment of the European Enlightenment was to require all forms of authority to justify themselves through rational argument, rather than through coercion or an unadorned appeal to tradition.”[1]

In 2018, human beings who are biological males or females are now protected in their psychological delusions of self-identifying as the opposite of their undeniable scientific class. And Heaven help you if you refuse to go along with this delusion. This is just one example of the radical and massive shift we are witnessing in American society. I could go on and on about racism, microaggressions, feminism, etc. You get the idea. The point here is that science and all reason be can be ignored, dismissed, or tossed into the incinerator if at any time they contradict my narcissistic tendencies regardless of how radical they might be.

As the world turns, so turns the churches. As the culture trends, so trends the churches. Contributing to the same dismal conditions in the churches that we see in society is the seminaries and the men they are producing of late. One example of the church’s mimicking the world is how she thinks about diversity. Society is all about diversity. Diversity, in and of itself, is a virtue to be prized. And seemingly, it is to be prized above all else. But should it be? Should diversity be an intentional pursuit of the churches? Should diversity play a role in pastoral searches for example? If we do as the culture has done and remove any rational justification for an appeal to epistemic authority, then to what shall we appeal to answer these questions? It seems to me that the mob now has the authority and the mob isn’t about to give it back come hell or high water. And that mob, believe it or not, is having a dramatic impact on the churches both by way of influencing the seminaries, the pastors, and uncritical Christians which sadly, happens to be the overwhelming majority these days. Returning to the mob mentality, my point is that the mob demands that its morality be the standard and it does so without the slightest compulsion whatever to provide a rational justification for its demands. The mob snaps its fingers and a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man, and murder can become a woman’s right to healthcare. That is how the mob thinks and it is how the mob behaves. The mob is never to be challenged for any reason whatsoever. And if you challenge the mob, it stands ready to club you to death, without mercy, metaphorically speaking at least. The minority in society isn’t the only group that is intimidated by the mob mentality. The church is too. Her seminaries are intimidated. Her pastors are intimidated. Indeed, mob rule has reached a crisis point in society and unless a strong, opposing voice can rally the rational, I am afraid that civil society can see the end of its existence from where we stand today.

The doctrine of diversity is one that ought to be challenged. It ought to be challenged by any critically thinking godly men. But the price for such a challenge is high and there are few who are willing to write that check. In fact, the churches have been caving to the diversity pressure rapidly over just this past year. Beginning with the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., sponsored by the SBC, to the #MeToo intimidation that led to the firing of Page Patterson, to the outright promotion of the idea of the homosexual Christian under the ruse of Same-Sex Attraction, the churches have wilted under the pressure of this godless society with its god-hating, man-centered, narcissistic movements. All that has to happen for the churches to succumb to the wickedness around us is for the hirelings to possess the megaphones and for good men to stand by and do nothing. And that is precisely where we are today. The hireling kingdom builders and celebrity pastors are in possession of the megaphones, they have the platform, and the good men, many of them, are too weak-in-the-knees to write that check in opposition to the strong current of paganism we see sweeping society. Many good pastors are quiet on these issues and that is both unfortunate and regrettable. The pastorate is no place for men who are lacking in courage.

Many of these good men have been deluded into thinking that diversity in and of itself is a good thing. This idea, they have inherited from society. If it is the case that we are all sinners, totally depraved, God-hating at our core, then how could diversity in and of itself be a good thing? The only good thing in me is not my German or Irish heritage. Not even for a second. The only good in me is Christ. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking that it takes an Irishman to win an Irishman and an African to win an African and a Chinaman to win a Chinaman. And it takes an Irish pastor to attract Irish unbelievers or even Irish Christians, etc. But is hiring an Irish pastor to attract Irish people to the church a principle or practice that can garner biblical support? The easy and obvious answer to that question is NO. Otherwise, Christianity would have forever remained a Jewish religion. So then, this kind of diversity thinking on the part of the church, seminaries, and pastors is a departure from, and in fact a contradiction to biblical principles. For starters, it fosters division in the body by unwittingly reinforcing an “us vs them” mentality based on things like ethnicity and even melanin. This thinking is foreign to anything taught in Scripture. What should we be doing instead? We should be teaching believers NOT to judge others based on their ethnicity and not to be loyal to one’s earthly heritage to the point that it affects major decisions like where we will worship. Think about that. It’s fine to be proud of one’s heritage, such as being Irish or African as far as it goes, but it isn’t fine to break off into groups and it certainly isn’t fine to pick a church or a pastor, based on ethnicity, melanin, or any other trivial accident in man. The entire idea is absurd and fleshly. Yet, we have thousands of pastors who inadvertently (in many cases) encourage just this kind of behavior. And make no mistake about it: this behavior, this thinking, this way of looking at others is sinful.

A perfect example of this kind of thinking is found in 1 Corinthians 3,

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

To think that things like the unscientific concept of race or the ethnicity of other people matters in churches is indeed to think like the world. It is fleshly. It is worldly thinking at its core.

Let’s return to the mob for a moment. Back in 2015, A University of Missouri student reported having the N-word painted on his door. He claimed that the administration had allowed these attacks. The board of overseers convened in emergency session because the black athletes on the Missouri football team threatened a boycott. The president of the university, Timothy Wolfe resigned before the meeting with the typical mea culpa: “I take full responsibility for this frustration.” The university could have lost as much as a million dollars if it had forfeited the game which was with BYU. There is no evidence that the University of Missouri denies equal opportunity for its black students. Those black students, like every other student on campus, are surrounded by lavish educational resources, which are available to them for the asking on a color-blind basis. Nor was there any evidence of the attacks alleged by the graduate student; he reported none of them to the university or to the city law enforcement. Yet, despite all this lack of evidence, Timothy Wolfe had to forego his career and place his family in a very bad situation just to satisfy the mob.

Today, this same situation has obtained in many of the churches, mostly SBC churches. Unless you support the racial reconciliation movement, the #MeToo movement, the SSA movement, then you must be one of those racist, sexist, homophobes. Or, as some from that mob are saying, you must be an old white male. The rhetoric of the mob is indeed outrageous and fantastic, both outside and inside the churches. The tactics are the same. And those tactics are ungodly and must be called out for what they are: fleshly, worldly, departing from the principles taught by Christ himself.

To highlight how the mob tactic is working, I will provide one more illustration. Recently, I listened to a Christian woman describe an interaction she had with an Indian man. The man told her that he was definitely not a Christian in a way that made her wonder what he had against Christianity. She inquired into why he felt this way about Christianity. He told her that Christians hate everyone who is not a Christian. And he tossed out a few groups, homosexuals being at the top of his list. The lady used this as an example of what is wrong with Christianity. We are unloving in how we present ourselves and the gospel. What is wrong with this scenario?

For starters, she thought it was odd that people should hate Christianity or Christians. The reason that they do so must be because we are doing something wrong. But she couldn’t have been more mistaken. Jesus said,

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. —Matt. 5:11-12

It should come as no surprise to us that the world hates us. To quote Jesus again,

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. —John 15:19

The world is going to hate Christians because the world hates Christ because the world hates God. Why would we think that the world would love us if in fact we are being transformed into the image of the one the world hates?

The doctrine of diversity, so embraced by many well-meaning leaders and by plenty of not-so-well-meaning leaders, is dangerous because it is a threat to core Christian principles. The most basic of those principles is that it is the nature of truth to offend the ungodly. Diversity, at its core, will always seek to mitigate the offense caused by truth and it usually does so by either ignoring truth or by taking the stinger out of it altogether. For example, I hear men say that God doesn’t condemn the homosexual because he is a homosexual but because he is a sinner like everyone else. Now, on the face it, that is true but only to a degree. The real question is what are we doing when we engage in that sort of rhetoric? We are taking the stinger out of that person’s personal pet rebellious sin against God. Homosexuality to the homosexual is their idol. Above all else, it is their god. And when you attack their god directly, you attack their most prized idol above all their idols. And when you do that, they respond with the mob tactic: you are hateful, mean, homophobic. And of course, we don’t want to be any of those things and so, in order to not be attacked by the mob tactic due to our own lack of courage and willingness to suffer for Christ, we change the language. This proves we have bought into the world’s idea and the world’s tactics as legitimate and we have adjusted our thinking and even our presentation of the gospel accordingly.

Diversity is an idol of our culture. God is truly saving from all nations and tribes. The kingdom of heaven will be a diverse kingdom. But that work belongs to God alone. Only God fills his kingdom with those whom he predestined before the foundation of the world. And if you think that God’s criteria for election involve diversity, then you have truly failed to understand grace. There is nothing in man that God would choose him. So consider this: when you are deliberately targeting people in your community based on any criteria other than they are a sinner in need of a Savior, you are operating contrary to the core principles bound up in the gospel of grace. And that is no small error.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. —Gal. 3:28-29

[1]MacDonald, Heather. The Diversity Delusion, 17.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Ed Dingess, and first published at Reformed Reasons]

via The Dangerous Delusion of the New Doctrine of Diversity — Pulpit & Pen

A Justice Fiasco — Founders Ministries

God, being the gracious God that He is, sends us warnings. “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). What we have in all of our present confusion over justice is a warning.

We might expect the sons of darkness to be upside down when it comes to wisdom and righteousness. Who is surprised that a nation which has walked steadily away from God has decided to pick up the pace a bit? And who is surprised that such a people do cruelty under the guise of mercy (Proverbs 12:10)? But, when the sons of light look beffudled at the scales of justice, we have a different thing entirely. We have something that should not be going on. And the fact that it is going on is tantamount to a great exposing of the cotton candy core of more than a fair bit of reformed-ish evangelicalism.

The warning does not mean we should set hair on fire and flail about in the streets. It means we should take notice of the pink fluffy stuff. We ought not buy the bill of goods that says this is all political. “This conversation is going to blow over like all the rest, man.” Don’t think so. That thunderclap is telling you to keep an eye on that cloud. The political realities have exposed what’s been growing inside for quite a while. That growth goes by the name of theological immaturity.

We’re dealing with a justice fiasco. Not out there. But in here. Consider these 10 biblical truths about justice in light of our current situation:

  1. The LORD delights in justice.

Pr 11:1 “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.”

  1. The LORD abominates injustice.

Pr 20:10 “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.”

  1. If you listen to wisdom you will understand justice.

Pr 2:9 “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.”

  1. The righteous think just thoughts.

Pr 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

  1. Evil men do not understand justice.

Pr 28:5 “Evil men do not understand justice.”

  1. Those who seek the LORD understand justice completely.

Pr 28:5 “But those who seek the LORD understand it completely.”

  1. The land is built up or torn down according to justice.

Pr 29:4 “By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.”

  1. The poor would reap a harvest from their fields if it were not for injustice.

Pr 13:23 “The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.”

  1. It is not good to be partial to the wicked.

Pr 18:5 “It is not good to be partial to the wicked.”

  1. It is not good to deprive the righteous of justice.

Pr 18:5 “It is not good to deprive the righteous of justice.”

Whatever your thoughts on the current issues of justice, no one can deny the tension in evangelicalism. It seems to follow that at least some of us may be: [1] lacking that which the LORD delights in, [2] doing that which the LORD abominates, [3] not listening to wisdom, [4] not righteous, [5] evil, [6] not seeking the LORD, [7] tearing down our land, [8] sweeping away the poor’s crops, [9] guilty of partiality to the wicked, [10] culpable for depriving the righteous of what is due them.

I’d say the stakes are pretty high.

via A Justice Fiasco — Founders Ministries

November 16, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

rejoice with those who rejoice (12:15a)

In a much more positive vein, Paul next counsels us to rejoice with those who rejoice. At first thought, that principle would seem easy to follow. But when another person’s blessing and happiness is at our expense, or when their favored circumstances or notable accomplishments make ours seem barren and dull, the flesh does not lead us to rejoice but tempts us to resent.

The person “who rejoices at calamity” displeases God and “will not go unpunished” (Prov. 17:5). But it is distinctively Christian to rejoice in the blessings, honor, and welfare of others—especially fellow believers—no matter what may be our personal circumstances. As always, Paul followed his own counsel. Just as he had formerly told the Corinthian believers that “if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26), he later assured them, “My joy would be the joy of you all” (2 Cor. 2:3).

weep with those who weep (12:15b)

It is also distinctively Christian to be sensitive to the disappointments, hardships, and sorrows of others, to weep with those who weep. That is the duty of sympathy, empathy, entering into the suffering of others. Compassion has in the very word the idea of suffering with someone. God is called a compassionate God (Deut. 4:31; Neh. 9:17; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2). He is so compassionate, so tender toward His people, that “His compassions never fail” (Lam. 3:22). James speaks of Him as being “full of compassion” (James 5:11). We see this compassion, sympathy, and tenderheartedness of God in the tears of Jesus over the grave of Lazarus. He mingled His tears with those of Mary and Martha (John 11:35). Reminding us that we should reflect our Lord’s character, Paul said, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).

Surely one of the most touchingly profound testimonies to God’s heart of tender sympathy toward His children who weep is found in Psalm 56, where the writer implores the Lord, “Put my tears in Thy bottle” (v. 8). The Lord stores up our tears as treasures. If we are to be like our Father and His Son, we, too, must enter into the sorrow of others.

A lovely illustration of that attitude is seen in a custom practiced in ancient Jerusalem. When the great temple built by Herod stood on the temple mount, it had only one entrance, located at the base of the southern wall, the remains of which are still recognizable today. Farther east on the same wall was the exit. The people would enter through the opening that allowed them to go through the wall, ascend the stairs to the temple area, and then exit by the other passage. Huge crowds flowed in and out in steady streams. There was one exception, however, to that pattern. One group of worshipers was to go the opposite way, entering by way of the exit and leaving through the entrance. As they bumped into and squeezed by each other, the two groups came face to face. The sad faces of those who were experiencing sorrow could be seen by those going the opposite direction, and, in those brief moments, the grief could be shared.

In addition to weeping for those who do weep, we should, like Jeremiah grieving for sinful Israel (Jer. 9:1–3) and Jesus looking out over unbelieving Jerusalem (Luke 19:41–44), also weep for those who should weep but do not.[1]


15 One charge follows another without any apparent connection as Paul next calls on his readers to share one another’s joys and sorrows. This is not merely a matter of empathy with others; rather, it presupposes the unity of the members of the body of Christ. As Paul expressed the point in 1 Corinthians 12:26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored [lit., “glorified”], every part rejoices with it.”[2]


12:15. Identity with others in their joys and sorrows is evidence of love flowing from one who is a living sacrifice. These are admonitions that Paul had made in his lengthy writing on body dynamics in 1 Corinthians 12 (cf. v. 26). He also touches the subject in 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 and Galatians 6:2.[3]


15. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.

One way of proving to ourselves that our hearts are in the right place is to identify with other persons, so that we not only weep with those who weep but even rejoice with those who rejoice; and this not only with fellow-believers but with all those with whom we enter into a relationship of relative closeness, be they believers or unbelievers. If we truly love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27), this should be possible. But never will it be possible for us truly to identify with the other person, whether believer or unbeliever, unless by God’s sovereign grace the truth of Christ’s taking upon himself our guilt and misery is by the Holy Spirit deeply impressed upon our heart and mind. The result will certainly be the advancement of the glory of God (Matt. 5:16), the entrance into our heart of the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7), and perhaps even the winning of the neighbor for Christ (1 Peter 3:1).

The opposite of rejoicing is being filled with envy (Titus 3:3); and over against weeping stands gloating (over). Note sad result (Prov. 17:5).[4]


15 χαίρειν μετὰ χαιρόντων, κλαίειν μετὰ κλαιόντων, “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”—an example of the imperatival infinitive, much used by Homer; also Phil 3:16 (BDF §389). This is first of a sequence of exhortations where Paul draws on the maxims of traditional Jewish wisdom (see Form and Structure). Here the closest parallel is Sir 7:34: μὴ ὑστέρει ἀπὸ κλαιόντων, καὶ μετὰ πενθούντων πένθησον, “Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn.” See also Job 30:25 LXX; Philo, Jos. 94; T. Iss. 7.5; T. Zeb 6.5; 7.3–4; T. Jos. 17.7. For later rabbinic parallels see Str-B, 3:298. As with the echo of Jesus’ teaching in v 14, it is the sentiment which is traditional rather than a particular form of words. And as so often with wisdom material, it is not particularly distinctive of Jewish and Christian thought. Here cf. particularly Epictetus 2.5.23: “Where a man may rejoice with good reason, there others may rejoice with him” (see also Michel, n.27). The parallel with 1 Cor 12:26 and Phil 2:17–18 suggests that Paul had the internal relationships of the Christian congregations particularly in view, but there is no reason he should not have had wider associations in view as well (TDNT 9:369 n.93; Furnish, Love Command, 106; Cranfield; Wilckens). There was certainly some ambivalence within earliest Christianity on the degree to which Jesus encouraged his disciples to feel a sense of solidarity with the poor and oppressed; cf. particularly Matthew’s handling of the first beatitude (Matt 5:3//Luke 6:20) and of the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31–46). But Paul’s other counsel on social relationships suggests an openness to the nonbeliever which would encourage a broader application of his words here (cf. 1 Cor 10:27; 14:23–25). Such genuine empathy (feeling with; cf. particularly Gaugler) with those benefiting or suffering from the ups and downs of daily existence would be seen as distinct from the Stoic ideal of ἀταραξία, “impassiveness” (Käisemann). For χαίρειν, see also on 12:12. Paul uses κλαίω elsewhere only in 1 Cor 7:30 and Phil 3:18. For the contrast with eschatological overtones, cf. John 16:20 and Herm. Vis. 3.3.2; also Luke 6:21, 25.[5]


15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, &c. A general truth is in the third place laid down,—that the faithful, regarding each other with mutual affection, are to consider the condition of others as their own. He first specifies two particular things,—That they were to “rejoice with the joyful, and to weep with the weeping.” For such is the nature of true love, that one prefers to weep with his brother, rather than to look at a distance on his grief, and to live in pleasure or ease. What is meant then is,—that we, as much as possible, ought to sympathize with one another, and that, whatever our lot may be, each should transfer to himself the feeling of another, whether of grief in adversity, or of joy in prosperity. And, doubtless, not to regard with joy the happiness of a brother is envy; and not to grieve for his misfortunes is inhumanity. Let there be such a sympathy among us as may at the same time adapt us to all kinds of feelings.[6]


Ver. 15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, &c. [χαίρειν μετὰ χαιρόντων, κ.τ.λ. On the infinitive as imperative, see Winer, p. 296. Meyer fills out the sentence thus: χαίρειν ὑμᾶς δεῖ.—R.] Χαίρειν, the infinitive as an imperative, to be supplemented mentally by a corresponding verb; see Sirach 7:33, 34. Ver. 14 defines the proper conduct in relation to personal antipathy; ver. 15, the proper conduct in relation to personal sympathy.[7]


12:15 Empathy is the capacity for sharing vicariously the feelings and emotions of others. Our tendency is to be jealous when others rejoice, and to pass by when they mourn. God’s way is to enter into the joys and sorrows of those around us.[8]


12:15 rejoice … weep: Because believers are a body, when one part hurts, everyone feels the pain; when one is joyful, everyone can rejoice. Christians cannot be indifferent to the suffering or joy of their fellow believers (1 Cor. 12:25, 26).[9]


12:15 — Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Both rejoicing and weeping imply genuine, heartfelt emotion. This kind of keenly felt connection happens only when we choose to get deeply involved in the lives of other believers.[10]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 197–198). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 191). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Boa, K., & Kruidenier, W. (2000). Romans (Vol. 6, p. 376). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 417–418). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Dunn, J. D. G. (1998). Romans 9–16 (Vol. 38B, pp. 745–746). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[6] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 469–470). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Fay, F. R., Hurst, J. F., & Riddle, M. B. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Romans (p. 392). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1731). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1449). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ro 12:15). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

November 16 The Results of True Wisdom

“The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

James 3:18

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A wise life is a righteous life.

Puritan minister Richard Baxter said, “Wisdom is honorable because it is the skill of doing good.” Like Baxter, James also sees a connection between wisdom and doing good. James 3:18 is in the present tense and literally reads, “The fruit of righteousness is being sown in peace by them that make peace.” At first glance it seems strange that James would say the “fruit of righteousness is being sown” because usually seed is sown. But harvested fruit also becomes seed for the next crop. The fruit of righteousness is sown again in peace by those who make peace.

Where true wisdom exists, true righteousness follows. And that becomes seed and generates more righteousness. That’s the law of sowing and reaping. It is a continual cycle: one righteous act harvested from the field of true wisdom becomes the seed to grow another righteous act. Those who make peace receive the benefit from it, and righteousness flourishes in a climate of peace. The bottom line is that peacemakers aren’t preoccupied with themselves.

The life of a farmer illustrates what James is saying. The seeds that a farmer plants in the spring are what he eventually harvests in the fall. Similarly, by sowing righteous deeds each day of your life, you can be assured of what you’ll reap: a life that reflects true wisdom. Make it your aim to live righteously!

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Suggestions for Prayer: Worship the Lord for being righteous, and ask Him to help you obey His Word and live a righteous life.

For Further Study: James follows a clear line of thought: if one professes to be a Christian, he must prove it by living like a Christian. According to 1 John 3:7–10, what proves a person is a true believer?[1]


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

November 16 Daily Help

I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.”—Isaiah 45:19.

GOD has clearly revealed that He will hear the prayer of those who call upon him, and that declaration cannot be contravened. He has so firmly, so truthfully, so righteously spoken, that there can be no room for doubt. He does not reveal his mind in unintelligible words, but he speaks plainly and positively, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Believe, O trembler, this sure truth—that prayer must and shall be heard, and that never, even in the secrets of eternity, has the Lord said unto any living soul, “Seek ye Me in vain.”[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 324). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

Legalism: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself | Crossway Articles

Defining Legalism

Legalism has been defined in a number of ways, but here is my attempt: Legalism is the tendency to regard as divine law things that God has neither required nor forbidden in Scripture, and the corresponding inclination to look with suspicion on others for their failure or refusal to conform. One might also call this a religious spirit insofar as man-made religion and legalism go hand in hand. It all comes down to this: I create rules and expectations not found in the Bible and then feel good about myself and my relationship with God for having obeyed them, all the while I judge others for having failed to live up to this artificial standard of godliness. So, how do I know whether I’m a legalist? Here is a simple test consisting of five questions.

— Read on www.crossway.org/articles/legalism-5-questions-to-ask-yourself/

November 16 Stepping out in Faith

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).

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The life of faith begins with a willingness to forsake everything that displeases God.

Abraham is the classic example of the life of faith. As the father of the Jewish nation, he was the most strategic example of faith available to the writer of the book of Hebrews. But the people to whom Hebrews was written needed to understand that Abraham was more than the father of their race; he also was, by example, the father of everyone who lives by faith in God (Rom. 4:11).

Contrary to popular first-century Jewish thought, God didn’t choose Abraham because he was righteous in himself. When called by God, Abraham was a sinful man living in an idolatrous society. His home was in the Chaldean city of Ur, which was located in ancient Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

God’s call to Abraham is recorded in Genesis 12:1–3: “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Note Abraham’s response: “So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him” (v. 4). He listened, trusted, and obeyed. His pilgrimage of faith began when he separated himself from the pleasures of a pagan land to pursue God’s plan for his life.

So it is with you if you’re a man or woman of true faith. You’ve forsaken sinful pleasures to follow Christ. And as your love for Christ increases, there’s a corresponding decrease in worldly desires.

I pray that your focus will continually be on fulfilling God’s will for your life and that you’ll always know the joy and assurance that come from following Him.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for the grace and spiritual fortitude to walk by faith today.

For Further Study: Memorize 1 John 2:15 as a reminder to remain separate from the world.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 333). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

‘Judgement Day’ Nears: Analyst on Why Clinton May Finally End Up Behind Bars – Sputnik International

While the rumours about Hillary Clinton’s potential third presidential run continue to circulate in the media, the conservative camp is seemingly determined to “lock her up.” Speaking to Sputnik, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel explains why “judgement day” for the Clinton Foundation is near.

It appears that US conservatives are not going to let former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton go. Controversy is still simmering around the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist who has been conducting a private investigation into the Clintons’ charity, calls the Clinton Foundation the biggest charity fraud ever.
— Read on sputniknews.com/analysis/201811151069834463-hillary-clinton-foundation-emails/

Friday Briefing Nov. 16, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

Bringing together a divided America: Congress poised to pass bipartisan criminal justice reform 

Sovereignty, subsidiarity, and the future of Europe: What the state of Brexit tells us about the prospect of the EU

Cultural forces unite to condemn crony capitalism: What can Amazon’s plans for HQ2 teach us about the intersection of economics and the Christian worldview 

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— Read on albertmohler.com/2018/11/16/friday-nov-16-2018/

10 Ways to Share the Gospel During the Holidays

Michelle Lesley

Originally published November 24, 2015share-gospel-during-holidays

With all the hustle and bustle during November and December, it’s easy for the gospel to get lost in the shuffle. But the Great Commission never takes a vacation, and the holiday season provides some unique opportunities for sharing the gospel that we don’t have during the rest of the year.

1.

If your family does the “let’s go around the table and say what we’re thankful for” thing at Thanksgiving, briefly express your thanks to Christ for His death, burial, and resurrection, and for saving you.

2.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, place a slip of paper with a Bible verse on it about giving thanks at each place setting . Go around the table and let each person read his verse before the meal. Here are a few to get you started, or if you like it artsy, try these.

3.

Give…

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Four Things We Won’t Need in Heaven (But Ought to Pursue Here on Earth) — Cold Case Christianity

As a Christian, I have a reasonable expectation of Heaven, based on the clear teaching of Scripture and the logical consequence of God’s nature. I also anticipate a particular experience in Heaven based on the teaching of the Old and New Testament. I’m looking forward to what each of us will become when we are united with God. At the same time, I recognize there are some earthly pursuits I will abandon in the next life. While many of our cravings and desires will be satisfied once we are reunited with the One who has created us in His Image, some needs will simply vanish once we leave this world. As we think about the future with God, let’s remember what won’t be needed in Heaven so we can live differently while we are here on Earth:

The Need to Have Faith
Faith is the mechanism through which we are saved, and although the nature of faith (as it is described in Scripture) is not blind, it doesrequire us to trust in the most reasonable inference from the evidence Jesus provided, even though we don’t have first-hand access to Jesus or the eyewitnesses who wrote the Gospels:

Hebrews 11:1-2
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

In this life, we are asked to trust in something often unseen (God), on the basis of something that was seen (Jesus as He was described in the Gospels) and for which there is sufficient evidence (as observed in our universe and world). God’s “hiddenness” requires us to draw conclusions and inferences from evidence, but a day is coming when we will see him directly. In that day, faith (as we understand and experience it here on earth) will no longer exist. We will simply know.

The Need to Study
We won’t find ourselves cracking the books in Heaven to have knowledge about God. We won’t be in seminary classes, trying to understand the complexity of the Trinity or the nature of God. In Heaven, our direct contact with the God of the universe will open our eyes to the mysteries we’ve been struggling to understand:

1 Corinthians 13:11-12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Our desire to learn will be fully satisfied in Heaven. Much of what we spend hours trying to master here on earth will be available to us immediately once we are in God’s presence.

The Need to Comfort
We also won’t find ourselves crying on each other’s shoulder in Heaven. In fact, we won’t find ourselves crying at all. We won’t need each other’s comfort in difficult times because there won’t be any difficult times:

Revelation 21:3
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Our current struggles with sin (and the consequences we often experience as a result of our poor choices) will vanish in the next life. Better yet, our search for mercy and justice will be fully realized in God’s presence.

The Need to Reach Others
We won’t be planning missions trips in Heaven. We won’t be trying to figure out the best way to witness to the lost or reach those who don’t yet know Jesus. Truth is, there is only one chance to place your faith in Christ, and that time will have expired by the time we get to Heaven:

Hebrews 9:27-28
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

We die just once, and then we are judged. There is no second chance in Heaven, even though there are so many chances for each of us here on earth. This is the place where we are asked to trust the most reasonable inference from the evidence; to place our faith in what cannot be seen. Once it has all been revealed to us, the opportunities to do this will be gone.

The more I understand about the nature of Heaven (what I can expect and what I cannot), the more committed I am to an intentional life here on earth. Some activities and pursuits will be unnecessary or irrelevant in Heaven; they’re only important while we are living our daily, temporal lives. As I get older, I’ve learned to do the things today I won’t be able to do later. Now is the time to run a marathon; I won’t be as physically able in the years to come. All of us have a “bucket list”; a series of temporal goals we want to achieve before the opportunity is lost forever. It’s time to rethink our “bucket lists” and embrace heavenly goals before we pass from this life and the opportunity is lost forever. Now is the time to reason from the evidence and trust, to learn and defend, to comfort those in need, and to share the Gospel.

J. Warner Wallace is 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 ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

Four Things We Won’t Need in Heaven (But Ought to Pursue Here on Earth) — Cold Case Christianity