Daily Archives: January 18, 2019

January 18 Faith When God Says No

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 12:1–23

Key Verses: Psalm 138:7–8

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.

The prophet Nathan came to David and, under the direction of God’s Spirit, spoke words that convicted David’s heart of the guilt he bore and the sin he had committed against the Lord. The days that followed the event were filled with tension and despair as David learned that Bathsheba was carrying his child—a child that God had already revealed would die.

The heartache, the misery—none of us can truly know how deeply this man suffered. Not only had he hurt family and friends, but he had grieved Someone much nearer and dearer than his earthly companions—the Lord Himself.

But in the midst of this tragedy, don’t miss the sensitivity of David’s relationship with God. When the king received news that the child would surely die, he went straight to the Lord in prayer. That was the one place David knew he could find forgiveness and restoration. Even though the Lord allowed the child to die, David was ever hopeful God might change His mind.

When a person is broken in sin, he is not alone. God is with him, and He is quick to restore the person’s fellowship with Him when he acknowledges his sin. You can praise God for His sovereignty in your life, even in times when His answer to your prayer is no. He will always give you His best at just the right time.

Father, I rejoice that You are sovereign over every detail of my life. Even when Your answer to my prayer is no, I know You will give me Your best at the right time.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 19). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

January 18, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump has canceled his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week due to the partial U.S. government shutdown.

President Donald Trump is reviving efforts to win approval for a significant infrastructure plan lasting up to 13 years, two people briefed on the matter said, as the administration seeks to bring a long-stalled campaign promise back to life.

Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives are working out which House panels will take the lead in investigating President Donald Trump’s business ties to Deutsche Bank.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with his North Korean counterpart in Washington later on Friday, the State Department said.

The U.S. State Department said in a report released by the investigative arm of Congress on Thursday it may recommend President Donald Trump revoke an Obama-era order directing federal agencies to consider climate change in international development programs.

France’s “yellow vest” protests have exposed a deep-rooted belief that society is not working for large swathes of the French population, especially outside major cities.

A group of Honduran migrants entered southern Mexico on Friday, joining more than 1,000 people who departed Central America in recent days headed to the United States and putting to the test Mexico’s vows to guarantee the safe and orderly flow of people.

Major consumer companies including Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Nestle are chasing consumers who want food and household goods delivered automatically, even though this kind of business has not always worked. The companies are pitching new online subscription services, which promise stable revenues, lower delivery costs and valuable data about customers.

U.S. manufacturing output increased by the most in 10 months in December, boosted by a surge in the production of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, which could allay fears of a sharp slowdown in factory activity.

AP Top Stories

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday called on Russia to destroy a controversial missile system Washington says breaches a key arms control treaty.

Facebook removed more than 250 pages on Thursday for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” masquerading as special interest groups when they were actually meant to expand the reach of the Kremlin’s media agency, Rossiya Segodnya, according to the digital investigators that led a parallel investigation.

More than 130 US House Republicans joined Democrats Thursday in opposing the easing of sanctions against an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, dealing a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s administration.

After nearly eight years of trying to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Gulf States and their Arab allies are rapidly embracing Damascus anew. The bitter enemies in the civil war-turned-proxy war that has killed more than 500,000 people and displaced millions are reopening embassies, reestablishing trade ties, and paving the way for Syria’s return to regional organizations.

The Trump administration’s decision to keep issuing oil drilling permits during the government shutdown is putting those authorizations in legal jeopardy, environmentalists argued in a filing Thursday.

Less than a week into her campaign for president, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued a lengthy apology for her past comments and actions against the LGBTQ community.

Armed groups have killed more than 100 soldiers and seized a huge stock of weapons in clashes in northeast Nigeria since Dec. 26, a report by a group of aid agencies said on Friday, weeks ahead of an election in which security is a campaign issue.

The preliminary reading for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index in January declined to the lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected.


Australia has just sweltered through at least five of its 10 warmest days on record. An extreme heatwave has afflicted the nation since Saturday, causing wildlife deaths, bushfires and an increase in hospital admissions. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said preliminary readings showed daily national temperature highs of 104. Temperatures on Friday will soar above 108 in “broad areas”.

Electric carmaker Tesla has said it will cut its workforce by 7% after the “most challenging” year in its history. It was difficult to make Teslas with their new and developing technology as cheaply as conventional cars, and the firm’s cars were still “too expensive for most people”. Tesla employs more than 45,000 people, indicating it will cut about 3,000.

Buddhism and high-stakes poker may seem like odd bedfellows, but for Scott Wellenbach, they go hand-in-hand. The Canadian poker player came in third at a poker tournament in the Bahamas, taking away $671,240. As usual, he is donating all his winnings to charity, earning him the nickname “the people’s hero”.

Colombia has blamed the left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group for a car bomb attack that killed 21 people in the capital, Bogotá.

The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction. More than 100 types of coffee tree grow naturally in forests, including two used for the coffee we drink.


A legislative proposal in Connecticut would mandate instruction on climate change in public schools statewide, beginning in elementary school.

Sexual abuse of boys is “barely addressed” by the laws in many countries, according to a global study that warns of a lack of support for young male survivors.

Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“The construction applied … to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate Congress a power … ought not to be construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument.” —Thomas Jefferson (1798)

Trump Trumps Pelosi’s SOTU Power Play

The president postpones Pelosi’s planned foreign trip in an effort aimed at ending the shutdown.

Trump, Cohen, and the ‘Russian Deal’

A report claims the president directed his lawyer to lie to Congress. Bombshell or bust?

DNC Quietly Dumps Women’s March

Saturday’s march has fewer than half the 500 sponsors of last year after anti-Semitic rumblings.

The Wall by the Numbers

How long is the border? How much wall needs to be built? Will it be effective?

O’Rourke’s Coming Constitutional Crisis

His contempt for the Constitution and the People are typical of today’s Democrat Party.

Dems’ $15 Minimum Wage = Two Million Lost Jobs

Congressional Democrats roll out a legislative proposal to raise the minimum wage by more than 100%.

What Separates Violence From Nonviolence?

What keeps the violence of Juarez out of El Paso is — you guessed it — a wall.

Video: Dems Say Wall Is a ‘Waste of Taxpayer Money’

Here’s why this argument is so hilarious: The U.S. government wastes our money all the time.

Friday Short Cuts

Dezinformatsiya: “What more does the House need in order to debate [Trump’s] fitness for office?” —MSNBC’s Katy Tur

Friday Top Headlines

Pelosi trip yanked, State Dept. summons workers, Trump gains with Latinos, universal pre-K, March for Life, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Tony Perkins
Karen Pence: The Teacher and the Religious Test
Rich Lowry
Get Over It — Trump’s Probably Not Going Anywhere
Jonah Goldberg
Trump’s Border Wall Is a MacGuffin
David Limbaugh
Make Your Speech on Your Own Turf, President Trump
Erick Erickson
The Shutdown Necessarily Continues

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

News – 1/18/2019

Pastor ousted after preaching that ‘love warns’
A California pastor lost his church earlier this month when the congregation took issue with him for standing on biblical truth about homosexuality. Pastor Justin Hoke had a straightforward and blunt message for the northern California community of Yreka. The message board outside his church read: “Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.” “We’ve not been left here, beloved, to hide our light under a basket, to hide our light under a bed. Love warns. It is hatred, it is selfishness which conceals truth.”

Trump denies Pelosi aircraft for foreign trip, after call for State of the Union delay
President Trump on Thursday abruptly denied military aircraft to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a foreign trip just minutes before the congressional delegation was set to depart, in a stunning decision that followed her call to delay the State of the Union address amid the government shutdown. In a curt letter, Trump said her trip has been “postponed.” “Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed.

U.S. crude gains, slowing global economy challenge oil market in 2019: IEA
U.S. oil production growth combined with a slowing global economy will put oil prices under downward pressure in 2019, challenging OPEC’s resolve to support the market with output cuts, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

The Man Who Banned Guns in Chicago Had 23 of Them
Burke, an Obama and Blagojevich ally, and the godfather of Chicago politics (dubbed its real mayor), hated and loved guns at the same time. He had nearly as many guns as he had gun control bills. When the FBI raided the offices of the powerful Chicago Democrat, they found 23 guns. That’s a lot of guns for one man. Especially for a man who had worked hard to ban handguns in Chicago. And Burke wasn’t the only gun control politician to pull this scam. he lived in a Democrat world in which the laws don’t apply to aldermen, only to the little people.

Will Turkey Invade Northeast Syria?
The announcement by US President Donald Trump on December 19 of his intention to rapidly withdraw US forces from eastern Syria led to expectations of a rapid move by Turkish forces into all or part of the area currently controlled by the US-aligned, Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces.

Report: US won’t intervene if Israel attacks in Iraq
The United States has told Iraq that it will not intervene if Israel attacks Iranian targets in the country, Russia Today’s Arabic-language news service reported on Thursday. The network, which cited an unnamed Iraqi government official, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conveyed the message during his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad last week.

Twin Terrorist Attacks in Syria and Kenya Show Islamist Extremism Alive and Well
Twin terrorist attacks – one in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and the other in northern Syria showed that despite counter claims, Islamist terrorism is alive and well.

IDF demolishes home of terrorist who killed Ari Fuld
The IDF on Friday morning demolished the home of Khalil Jabarin, the Palestinian teenager who stabbed Ari Fuld to death four months ago in the West Bank. The apartment belonging to the family of 17-year-old Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin in the West Bank town of Yatta, was located on the top floor of a three-story building and according to Palestinian news agency Maan was demolished by explosives.

Report: U.S. will not intervene if IDF attacks Shi’ite militias in Iraq
The United States reportedly said it would not intervene if Israel were to bomb Shi’ite militias in Iraq. A source in the Iraqi government told the Arabic RT network, a Russian television network, on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had informed Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi that Washington would not intervene if Israel bombed bases belonging to Shi’ite militias in Iraq.

Australia swelters through record-breaking heatwave
Australia has just sweltered through at least five of its 10 warmest days on record, authorities estimate. An extreme heatwave has afflicted the nation since Saturday, causing wildlife deaths, bushfires and an increase in hospital admissions. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said preliminary readings showed daily national temperature highs of 40C.

Brexit: High-profile Germans plead with UK to stay in EU
Leading German figures have written to the UK asking it to stay in the EU. The letter, published in the Times, is signed by 31 people, including the leader of the Christian Democratic Union – and likely successor to Angela Merkel – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. They cited post-work pints and pantomime as beloved British habits.

The Brave New World of Surveillance Capitalism
Certain radical critiques of capitalism posit that it must necessarily monetize everything in time. The basic argument is that capitalism inherently requires infinite economic growth to function properly, but we are in a world of finite resources. As traditional resources used to feed the furnace are exhausted…human thoughts and relationships are already in the advanced stages of monetization.

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night
Here comes a total lunar eclipse and supermoon, all wrapped into one. The moon, Earth and sun will line up this weekend for the only total lunar eclipse this year and next. At the same time, the moon will be ever so closer to Earth and appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual — a supermoon. “This one is particularly good,” said Rice University astrophysicist Patrick Hartigan.

Snowstorms to be followed by Arctic outbreak in eastern half of nation
Following a pair of snowstorms into this weekend, the coldest air so far this winter season has its sights set on the eastern half of the nation. The second in this pair of snowstorms will bring heavy snow and, in some cases, blizzard conditions, to the central Plains and Midwest from Friday into Saturday before impacting the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend.

Massive blizzard impacting California mountains, Up to 100 inches of snow possible
A large storm is coming ashore on the California coast and it’s bringing flooding rains and heavy mountain snow. Above 5,000 feet, the snow is being measured in feet. Multiple feet. Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for those areas expected to receive 80-100″ of snow from the time the snow started yesterday through Thursday evening.

Japan increasingly turning to Israel for high-tech solutions
Japan is turning increasingly to Israel for technological solutions in a bid to collaborate on innovative new business projects, industry experts and officials revealed. Hoping to remain at the forefront of the competition, Japanese investors, government agencies and senior members of the private sector are shifting resources more and more outward towards international business opportunities.

New US Intelligence Study: China “Already Leads The World” In Key Weapons Technologies
China “already leads the world” in key defense tech areas, says bombshell intelligence study.

Leaked Trump Peace Plan includes ripping a large part of the country away from the Jewish people…including its Capital of Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” expected to be rolled out after the elections on April 9, will include a Palestinian state on 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem, according to a Channel 13 News report.

California Says More Babies Must be Killed in Abortions Because Giving Birth Costs Too Much
Earlier this week a California judge issued an order blocking President Trump’s new rules protecting Americans from having to pay for drugs and devices that may cause abortions. The ruling concerns the Obama mandate within Obamacare that forces Americans to pay for contraception, including drugs that can cause abortion that violate the consciences of a majority of Americans.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION deals humiliating blow to the European Union by secretly downgrading its diplomatic status in the U.S.
FOX News (h/t MC) President Trump has angered European Union officials by downgrading the E.U. delegation to Washington’s diplomatic status — and not telling them. The move by the State Department, reported by Germany’s Deutsche Welle, downgraded the E.U.’s Washington delegation from member state to international organization.

245 Million Christians Facing ‘Extreme’ Persecution Worldwide – Can You Guess By Who?
 North Korea remains at the top of a list of 50 countries where at least 245 million Christians are facing “extreme persecution” this year, up 14 percent from 215 million at the beginning of 2018, the World Wide Watch List (WWL) released on Wednesday by Open Doors, a group that monitors the mistreatment of Christ followers, revealed.

WATCH: Pro-Life Activist Left Bloody Outside Abortion Clinic After Saying ‘Jesus Loves You’
Last week, a pro-life activist was assaulted by a man outside an abortion clinic in Fort Worth, Texas after saying “Jesus loves you.”

250 Illegal Immigrants Detained in New Mexico After Border Crossing
Border patrol agents have confirmed the arrest of 247 illegal immigrants – some in need of medical care – who turned themselves in after attempting to cross the border early Wednesday.

Trump Tells Pelosi Her Trips Are Postponed Due To Shutdown Unless She Flies Commercial
“I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed.”

Headlines – 1/18/2019

USAID will end all its projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following the US administration’s decision to cut funding to the Palestinians

Arab League chief: Importance of Palestinian cause ‘reduced’

PA said to deport Palestinian-American it jailed for selling land to Jews

Hezbollah tunnel construction began before 2006 Second Lebanon War – report

Davos, Chad, DC: Despite elections, legal woes, Netanyahu plans diplomatic blitz

Israel accuses Malaysia PM of ‘rabid antisemitism’ over Paralympics ban

Upcoming Women’s March clouded by anti-Semitism allegations

Freshman lawmaker calls Israel a ‘regime,’ secures coveted committee seat

Israeli museum to remove McJesus sculpture after protests

Report: US won’t intervene if Israel attacks in Iraq

US-led coalition bombs Syrian mosque being used by IS

Doctor, child killed in Sudan anti-government protests

Two days of clashes near Libya capital leave 10 dead

House rebukes Trump for easing Russia sanctions

Pompeo to meet with North Korean envoy as possible second Kim-Trump summit looms, official says

10 dead in car bombing at police academy in Colombia capital

Crispin Odey: if Brexit is not delivered we risk ‘revolution’

Grisly Cartel Murders Spread in Mexican Border State near Arizona

Trump denies Pelosi aircraft for foreign trip, after call for State of the Union delay

All bets are off for shutdown’s impact on Super Bowl

Ex-Trump Lawyer: Rigging Polls ‘Was at the Direction Of’ Trump

Dow jumps after report that US mulling lifting China tariffs

How U.S. surveillance technology is propping up authoritarian regimes

Total lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night

Jupiter, Venus will meet in conjunction after lunar eclipse

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lorengau, Papua New Guinea

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Lorengau, Papua New Guinea

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits Southwest of Africa

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near La Libertad, Mexico

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Lorengau, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lorengau, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Carlsberg Ridge

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador eurpts to 15,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Kadovar volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Mt. Shindake erupts on Kuchinoerabujima island in southern Japan

‘Blockbuster’ storm heads east, could drop 40 inches of snow. Then an Arctic blast will freeze 200 million.

Immobilizing blizzard with feet of snow looms for interior Northeast

Climate Catch-22: If We Eradicate Particle Smog, Earth Will Get Hotter

Global tension is hampering our ability to fight climate change, Davos survey warns

Scientists accidentally engineer mice with unusually short and long tails

Egypt: The Arab country turning to ‘female Viagra’

How should Christians respond to child drag queens and sexualizing kids?

The Scary Trend in Children’s Dance – Educate yourself about hyper-sexualization in children’s dance

Mike Pence calls criticism of wife’s job at anti-LGBTQ school ‘deeply offensive’

The Pences: defenders of Christian values in the White House

Mysterious naked holy men a huge draw at India’s Kumbh Mela

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Christian good works are by the grace of God

Pastor Preaches with “Inflatable Tube Guy” During Sermon

LifeWay Closing Brick and Mortar Stores Due to “Accelerated Rate of Erosion”

Christian school founder sued for return of $150K donation after he is arrested for touching children, failing to build new school

Catholic Priest Gives Pulpit to Gay Couple to Share Journey on Raising IVF Baby

Global Persecution of Christians Up by 30 Million in 2018, According to New World Watch Report

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RenewAmerica Newsletter for January 18, 201

January 18, 2019
FOX NEWS — Former Attorney General William Barr underwent his confirmation hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee under the new chairmanship of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and emerged without a scratch, scrape or bruise. He came across as a consummate professional and a deeply knowledgeable, capable, and very experienced attorney – – someone former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has called “probably the best-qualified nominee for U.S. attorney general since Robert Jackson in 1940.”… (more)

January 18, 2019
FOX NEWS — Prosecutors on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating alleged “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia knew all along that the anti-Trump “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele that fueled their probe was biased and likely phony…. (more)

January 18, 2019

NEWSMAX — Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said The Atlantic’s reasoning for why President Donald Trump should be impeached is flawed and does not comply with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written.”… (more)

January 18, 2019

NEWSMAX — Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke should never be president after questioning “the validity of the Constitution,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said Thursday, per the Washington Examiner. O’Rourke, whose star rose following a shockingly close loss to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the 2018 midterm elections in the red state of Texas, during a recent interview with The Washington Post questioned whether the principles of the U.S. constitution were still relevant…. (more)

January 18, 2019

FRANK PAVONE — The largest annual pro-life demonstration of the year is about to take place this Friday in Washington, D.C., reminding everyone of the disastrous Roe v. Wade decision issued by the Supreme Court on Jan. 22, 1973, and legalizing abortion throughout pregnancy…. (more)

January 16, 2019

DAILY SIGNAL — William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee he wouldn’t be intimidated by anyone, including President Donald Trump, who nominated him to serve as attorney general. “I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong, and I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong. By anybody. Whether it be editorial boards, or Congress, or the president,” Barr said Tuesday in response to questions by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill…. (more)

January 16, 2019

DAILY CALLER — Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham brought the house down Tuesday when he delivered a deadpan crack about President Donald Trump having his phone number…. (more)

January 16, 2019
‘Radicalized’ 21-year-old Georgia man planned to use anti-tank rocket, explosives

WORLDNETDAILY — An Atlanta-area man has been accused of plotting to destroy the White House and other government buildings in Washington, D.C. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the suspect is Hasher Jallal Taheb of Cumming, Georgia. The report said all threats were neutralized and the suspect, who was arrested in Gwinnett County and briefly appeared in court Wednesday, apparently was working alone…. (more)

January 16, 2019
Rush: Trump ‘can turn this into a big win’
WORLDNETDAILY — In a speech from the Senate floor Wednesday morning in which he blamed President Trump for the partial government shutdown – – saying the country is “suffering self-inflicted damage” – – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer let it slip that the American people voted for a wall by voting for Trump…. (more)

January 16, 2019
Led 800 migrants heading to U.S. border

WORLDNETDAILY — An organizer of the latest migrant caravan was arrested on rape charges in Honduras. Juan Carlos Molina, the subject of an arrest warrant since August 2015, was on his way to the United States to seek asylum after raping his minor cousin, Diario La Tribuna reported, according to the Gateway Pundit…. (more)

January 16, 2019
‘Unconscionable’ people would ‘push women and children to the front’
WORLDNETDAILY — In an interview Monday with CNN, the chief Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector challenged the network’s characterization of the surge on the border by migrants Sunday as a “peaceful protest” of women and children gone awry, noting the vast majority of arrests were of adult males who did not qualify for asylum…. (more)

January 16, 2019
NEWSMAX — The White House says President Donald Trump has signed a bill that will require some 800,000 federal employees to be compensated for wages lost or work performed during the partial government shutdown. Wednesday’s bill signing was closed to the media. The House and Senate had voted to give the workers back pay whenever the federal government reopens…. (more)

January 16, 2019
NEWSMAX — The man behind a GoFundMe “Trump Wall” campaign now has permission to transfer $7 million of the money he raised to his new plan to privately pay for construction of a wall along the Mexican border, CBS News is reporting. Brian Kolfage, a wounded veteran from South Florida, started his “Trump Wall” campaign in December and was able to raise about $20 million from more than 300,000 people…. (more)

January 16, 2019
NEWSMAX — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has canceled appearances at events in Los Angeles and New York in the upcoming weeks following surgery in December to remove cancerous nodules from her lung, CNN reports. “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg regrets that she is unable to attend the talk with David Rubenstein at 92Y on Feb. 6,” the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan wrote in an email to CNN. “She is curtailing travel and focusing on her work while recuperating from recent surgery.”… (more)

January 16, 2019

ART MOORE — Republican Rep. Steve King’s remarks on race in a New York Times story were “too close for comfort,” but the paper’s charge that previous statements by the Iowa congressman were “racist” is “completely bogus,” said Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume Tuesday night…. (more)

January 16, 2019
‘Will not stop without judicial intervention’
WORLDNETDAILY — Two leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, have been sued in federal court in Washington, D.C., by the Center for Immigration Studies under the nation’s organized crime law for “falsely” designating CIS as a “hate group.”… (more)

January 15, 2019
Alan Keyes calls Trump TV speech ‘an act of impeccable statesmanship’
ALAN KEYES — President Trump’s televised address to the nation last week was an act of impeccable statesmanship. He said what was needed, in the way it needed to be said. He addressed the cost – – in human lives, seething disorder, and money – – of the dereliction of duty characteristic of his immediate predecessors (Democrats Obama and Clinton, and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush). They neglected or refused to carry out the Constitution’s mandate to see that our nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed…. (more)

January 15, 2019
CLIFF KINCAID — The slogan of The Washington Post is “Democracy dies in darkness.” So I did a search of recent articles on its website about its billionaire owner, Jeff Bezos, who does business with the CIA and NSA and finds himself in the middle of a sex scandal that makes even liberals cringe. I found a story about his announced “split” with his wife in which a lawyer is quoted as saying “the couple’s amicable joint statement indicates that the split probably won’t be messy or protracted.” The lawyer added, “Sounds like they are making an effort to do this the right way and not make it into a public spectacle.”… (more)

January 15, 2019
MARINE CORPS TIMES — The Pentagon announced late Monday that it is extending the mission of active duty troops to the Mexico border through September, marking almost a year-long domestic deployment of forces there. The approximately 4,500 active duty and National Guard forces now on the border were first sent there in late October 2018 to meet a request from President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security to secure border entry points from thousands of immigrants traveling north through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. Several units have rotated in and out during that time, and have been tasked to lay concertina wire, barriers and help assist border patrol agents at points in Texas, Arizona and California…. (more)

January 15, 2019

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump is facing an organized “coup” at the Department of Justice, his former attorney John Dowd said Monday. During an appearance on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio, Dowd said current and former officials at the DOJ and FBI were out to get Trump from the beginning…. (more)

January 14, 2019
On Trump probe, he says bureau ‘defied the law, ignored or perverted facts’
GREGG JARRETT — Pointing to a New York Times story revealing the FBI investigated in 2017 whether President Trump was a covert Russian agent, Fox News analyst Greg Jarrett concludes “dishonesty and corruption are endemic” at the bureau. Jarrett, in an opinion piece for FoxNews.com, said the “accusation itself was ludicrous on its face.”… (more)

January 14, 2019

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that the United States has begun withdrawing from Syria. “Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions,” Trump wrote. “Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone.”… (more)

January 14, 2019

NEWSMAX — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed as “ludicrous” a New York Times report that the FBI began to investigate whether President Donald Trump was a national security threat after he axed former bureau director James Comey…. (more)

January 14, 2019
NEWSMAX — ABC Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on Sunday said Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is “almost certain to be anti-climactic.” Karl, who was on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” discussing the bombshell report in The New York Times and Washington Post that said the FBI opened up a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump in the days after he fired James Comey because they were suspicious of his behavior, also said there has been no proof of collusion between Trump’s campaign team and the Russians during the 2016 presidential election…. (more)

January 14, 2019

JEN KERNS — Even though the left-wing media will never give him credit, President Trump has been far tougher on Russia than his predecessor, Barack Obama. For starters, it was President Obama who, according to Reuters, was “caught on camera” saying to a Russian leader that he’ll have more flexibility after the election – – not President Trump…. (more)


January 18 A Passion to Know Him

Scripture reading: John 4:1–42

Key verse: James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

If you have ever had a best friend, you know what it feels like not to be able to get enough time with him. When you thoroughly enjoy someone’s company, it is no trouble at all to arrange ways to spend time with that person. Going a season of time without seeing your friend can be a real emotional letdown.

The same is true of your relationship with the Lord. Jesus is your most intimate Friend, the One who loves you with agape love. If you go a period of time without fellowshipping with Him, you will experience the effects of separation from your very lifeline—an inner sadness and loneliness that can be satisfied only by drawing near to Him again (James 4:8).

The more time you spend with the Lord and in meditation on His truth, the greater your passion to know Him. The Samaritan woman at the well discovered this principle in the short amount of time she spent talking with Jesus.

When Jesus offered her living water, her curiosity was piqued. She was flooded with many emotions, including surprise and wonder. The woman was so excited about this new relationship that she left her water pot and ran to tell others in town (John 4:1–42).

That is what happens when you know the Lord; your excitement grows and, with it, your fervor for sharing His good news with others.

Give me a passion to know You better, dear Lord. Then give me a fervor for sharing the good news of the gospel with others.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 19). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Weekly Watchman for 01/18/2019

Listener’s Show: Your Questions and Comments

Here are some of the questions and comments from this past week:

The large company I am applying for proudly supports the LGBTQ agenda and contributes to related causes. I was excited about the opportunity before I learned this, but now am conflicted. What do you think?
My daughter just told me she is bisexual and I’m in shock. She grew up in church, went to a private Christian school and attends a Christian college. What angers me is the church generally accepts LGBTQ lifestyles now.
Please clarify a Scripture you shared on a recent podcast, 1 John 4:3 about spirits that deny Jesus came in the flesh and are not of God.
You said American Christianity is looking more like Babylon these days than the church Jesus shed His blood to redeem. I sense this as well but could you expound on it please?
Here in Canada, we don’t have anything like your show and the sell-out by the church to government has already happened. Please continue warning Americans!
My husband and I are heartbroken. Our 12 year-old son just announced he is really a woman. We’re completely caught off guard and don’t even know how to confront this.

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

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The Difficulty in Finding a Biblical Church

There are still some sound biblical Christian churches in America; a “remnant,” to be sure. But a growing number look more and more like the world than they do an assembly of God’s called-out people. A difficulty arises when you have been a member of a historically sound church, but it has been in the midst of a transformation where it is adopting the beliefs and values of this fallen world. This gradual shift is often so subtle that you cannot see the drift away from God and toward secular humanism.

Pastor Randy White has studied this trend and joins us to discuss how this drift of the church away from God has transpired, how we can spot it, and how to find a biblical church in a sea of growing heresy and apostasy.

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

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What Happened to My Church?

Many Christians in America are asking that question these days as we see a growing number of churches change. The Gospel of reconciliation being replaced with consumerism and our “best life now”; moves of the Holy Spirit being replaced with emotional manipulation through loud music and fog machines; and churches that look more and more like the world Jesus told us would hate us and that we should hate.

But the changes introduced into American Christianity have been so subtle that many people do not even notice them until one day we suddenly feel like a stranger and alien in the very church we attended for years.

Jan Markell of Olive Tree Views and Understanding the Times Radio joins us to talk about the growing concerns of serious Christians about what they see happening in many of our churches these days.

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

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The Dangers of Masculinity

The American Psychological Association recently released a study calling out what it perceives as the dangers of traditional masculinity warning that it leads men to hating women and LGBTQ people. As men are “marketed” to by corporate America we see confusing messages on what it means to be a man these days.

Are we to be the strong, silent, rugged, macho guy? Or the sensitive, nurturing, submissive guy who sits back quietly and just accepts things the way they are?

If we listen to the world we will be continually confused about what it means to be a man. But not surprisingly God’s Word has a lot to say about what real men are.

This morning, Mike discusses this issue with Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute. What does it mean to be a man of God in today’s world?

We also look at an interesting perspective from a Christian musician who says that youth these days are being conditioned to worship their own self-image, and since the world is sending wrong messages to our youth about what their image should look like it is leading to dire consequences for an entire generation.

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

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The Feminizing of American Christianity

God created men and women equal but uniquely different. In His master plan, men are to be strong and loving leaders and wives are to respectfully submit to their husband’s leadership. The Christian church in America needs real godly men, but at the time when they are needed most many are confused about what it means to be a true man of God. The world and its institutions that hate God have successfully minimized and redefined manhood, reducing many men to confused, quivering bowls of jelly instead of principled, strong leaders for the church and their families. And some believe that church leadership is also responsible for accommodating this feminizing of Christian men because they are not teaching us what it means to be Godly leaders of wives, families, and communities.

Pastor Carl Gallups joins us to discuss how society’s emasculation of men is infecting American Christianity, leading to dire consequences.

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

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January 18, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

6. I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness. He again repeats the name of God, in which we ought to supply what he stated in the former verse about his power. It is generally thought that this points out the end of Christ’s calling, that he was sent by the Father to establish “justice” among men, who are destitute of it so long as they have not Christ, and, being given up to all the corruptions of crimes and vices, are held captive under the tyranny of Satan. But because the word “righteousness” has a more extensive signification, I pass by that ingenious distinction; for it is not even said that he shall be called “to righteousness,” but this phraseology ought to be viewed as equivalent to the adverbial expression, “righteously,” or “in a holy manner.” I rather suppose the meaning to be, that Christ was “called in righteousness,” because his calling is lawful, and therefore shall be firm and secure. We know that what is not done in a proper and regular manner cannot be of long duration. Or perhaps it will be thought preferable to view it thus, that God, in appointing Christ to restore the Church, seeks no reason but from himself and his own righteousness; but it is certain that this word denotes stability, as if he had said, “faithfully.”

And will hold thee by thy hand. By “the holding of the hand” he means the immediate assistance of God; as if he had said, “I will direct and establish thee in the calling to which I have appointed thee. In a word, as thy calling is righteous, so I will defend and uphold thee, as if by taking hold of thy hand I were thy leader.”

I will keep thee. This word “keep” plainly shews what is the meaning of holding by the hand, namely, that Christ will be directed by the Father in such a manner that he shall have him as his protector and guardian, shall enjoy his assistance, and, in short, shall feel his presence in all things.

And will place thee for a covenant. He now states the reason why God promises that he will be a guardian to Christ. Besides, the Prophet spoke of the Jews and the Gentiles separately; not that they differ by nature, or that the one is more excellent than the other, (for all need the grace of God, (Rom. 3:23,) and Christ has brought salvation to all indiscriminately,) but because the Lord assigned the first rank to the Jews, (Matt. 10:6,) it was therefore proper that they should be distinguished from the others. Accordingly, before “the partition-wall” (Eph. 2:14) was thrown down, they excelled, not by their merit, but by the favour of God, because with them in the first instance the covenant of grace was made.

It may be objected, “Why is Christ appointed to a covenant which was ratified long before? for, more than two thousand years before, God had adopted Abraham, and thus the origin of the distinction was long previous to the coming of Christ.” I reply, the covenant which was made with Abraham and his posterity had its foundation in Christ; for the words of the covenant are these, “In thy seed shall all nations be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18.) And the covenant was ratified in no other manner than in the seed of Abraham, that is, in Christ, by whose coming, though it had been previously made, it was confirmed and actually sanctioned. Hence also Paul says, “that the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ,” (2 Cor. 1:20,) and in another passage calls Christ “the minister of circumcision, to fulfil the promises which were given to the fathers.” (Rom. 15:8.) Still more clearly does he declare that Christ is “the peace” of all, so that they who were formerly separated are united in him, and both they who were far off and they who were near are thus reconciled to God. (Eph. 2:17.) Hence also it is evident that Christ was promised, not only to the Jews, but to the whole world.

For a light of the Gentiles. We have here another clear proof of the calling of the Gentiles, since he expressly states that Christ was appointed to be “a light” to them. He calls him a light, because the Gentiles were plunged in the deepest and thickest darkness, at the time when the Lord illuminated none but the Jews. Now, then, the blame lies solely with ourselves, if we do not become partakers of this salvation; for he calls all men to himself, without a single exception, and gives Christ to all, that we may be illuminated by him. Let us only open our eyes, he alone will dispel the darkness, and illuminate our minds by the “light” of truth.[1]

Verse 6 with its reference to a “covenant for the people” makes us aware of the fact that the servant cannot be simply identified with Israel. He at least represents a group within it, perhaps the faithful remnant (see comments on 4:2), if not an individual. Thus the reader is being gradually educated as to the identity of the true Servant of God, and it should not be missed that this first Servant Song occurs immediately after a passage in which the ability of Israel’s God to predict is strongly asserted. The phrase “covenant for the people” implies a structured relationship between God and those already possessing his revelation, while “a light for the Gentiles” suggests the widening of the scope of this revelation. The covenantal reference may be to the new covenant, the special blessings of which are later spelled out in Jeremiah 31:31–34. If it is, it may be viewed as confirming the Abrahamic covenant, for that covenant too spoke of a blessing for the nations (cf. Ge 12:1–3, et al.).[2]

42:6 Called, hold, keep, and give are expressions parallel to the words of v. 1. In contrast to Cyrus, who brought political deliverance (41:2), the Servant in righteousness will deliver Israel from sin. The Servant will institute a new covenant binding Israel to the Lord (49:8). The prophets refer to this new covenant as a “covenant of peace” (54:10; Ezek. 34:25); an “everlasting covenant” (which is also associated with the Davidic covenant; 55:3); a “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31–34); and most often simply as a “covenant.” The people refers to the Gentiles (60:3). Christ is the true light of the world (9:2; 49:6; 60:3; John 8:12; 9:5; Acts 26:17, 18, 23), and Christ’s followers should reflect His light (Matt. 5:14).[3]

42:6 I am the Lord. Beginning with 41:13, the Lord’s self-identification is frequent (41:13; 42:6, 8; 43:3, 11, 15; 45:5, 6, 7, 18; 48:17; 49:23; 51:15). His personal name is the one He explained to Moses as specially symbolic of the unique relationship He bore to Israel (Ex 3:15; 6:3). Here that covenant name guarantees His ministry through the Messiah-Servant. covenant to the people. The Servant is a covenant in that He personifies and provides the blessings of salvation to God’s people Israel. He is the Mediator of a better covenant than the one with Moses, i.e., the New Covenant (Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:6, 10–12). See note on 49:8. light to the nations. Simeon saw the beginning of this fulfillment at Christ’s first coming (Lk 2:32). He came as the Messiah of Israel, yet the Savior of the world, who revealed Himself to a non-Jewish immoral woman by the well in Samaria (cf. Jn 4:25, 26) and commanded His followers to preach the gospel of salvation to everyone in the world (Mt 28:19, 20). Certainly the church, made up mostly of Gentiles grafted into the trunk of blessing (cf. Ro 9:24–30; 11:11–24), fulfills this promise, as does the future kingdom on earth when the Servant will use Israel to shine and enlighten all the nations of the earth (49:6; cf. 19:24).[4]

42:6 Christ the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5) brings light to the nations (John 12:32; Acts 26:18, 23), fulfilling the promise to Abraham of blessing to the nations (see note on Gen. 12:3).[5]

42:6 I have called you in righteousness The pronoun “you” is singular here, demonstrating that the Servant figure is the light for the nations and the covenant for the people—not the collective nation of Israel.

a covenant of the people, as a light of Compare 49:6–8, which reinforces the identification of the individual Servant as the light for the nations and the covenant for the people. The Servant represents and serves God’s chosen people. In Luke 2:32, this concept is linked to ancient Jewish messianic expectation.[6]

42:6 called … keep. These are expressions parallel to v. 1.

covenant for the people. Jesus Christ, as God’s Servant, brought the new covenant to His people (see 53:4–6; Jer. 31:31–34; Heb. 8:6–13; 9:15). The covenant is also called the “covenant of peace” (54:10), the “everlasting covenant” (55:3; 61:8), and the “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31).

light for the nations. The recipients of God’s light are a new community of light-bearers in a dark world (9:2; 49:6; 51:4; 60:1–3; Luke 2:30–32; Acts 26:17, 18, 23).[7]

42:6 The phrase “a light to the Gentiles” is a reference to the fact that the gospel of Christ extends to every man. Christ died for all (cf. Acts 4:12).[8]

42:6 God had entered into a covenant with Abraham on behalf not only of future Israel, but also of the nations (Gn 12:1–3). But history shows Israel’s miserable failure. Again, God’s purposes were fulfilled in the good news of Jesus Christ whose death and resurrection brought hope (light) to the Gentiles. He was the one who established the new covenant anticipated by Jeremiah (Jr 31:31–34; Lk 22:20).[9]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 3, pp. 293–295). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 739). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (pp. 849–850). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 42:6). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1315). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 42:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1011). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[8] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 42:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1102). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

January 18 Consider the Options

scripture reading: John 6:65–69
key verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

In his classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan told of the adventures of Christian on his spiritual journey as a believer in Christ. Christian knew that the straight and narrow path—the way of Jesus—was the only road to heaven, the Celestial City. But the path was often rough and rocky; trials and temptations surrounded him.

Discouraged, Christian looked away from the road at the soft grass of By–path Meadow and took what he thought was a shortcut, another way to God. Moments later, he was thrown into a dark dungeon as a prisoner of the Giant Despair. Christian got a hard look at the hopelessness of other options and learned where they led—away from Christ.

Understanding who Jesus is will keep you from false, tempting choices. When compared to Jesus, all other options pale. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6 nasb).

Nothing else will do. No other course brings true and lasting rewards. There are no substitutes, no bypass. His love and forgiveness are all–sufficient.

He gives direction and purpose to your life. The way may be arduous at times, but it is the best route to a meaningful life.

Jesus is the way. There are no other options for me! Keep me on the right path this day, even though it might be difficult. Thank You, Lord, for the direction and purpose You give my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

18 january (1857) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Confession of sin—a sermon with seven texts

“I have sinned.” Exodus 9:27; Numbers 22:34; 1 Samuel 15:24; Joshua 7:20; Matthew 27:4; Job 7:20; Luke 15:18.

suggested further reading: Psalm 51

Unless there be a true and hearty confession of our sins to God, we have no promise that we shall find mercy through the blood of the Redeemer. “Whoso confesseth (his sins) and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” But there is no promise in the Bible to the man who will not confess his sins. Yet, as upon every point of Scripture there is a liability of being deceived, so more especially in the matter of confession of sin. There are many who make a confession, and a confession before God, who notwithstanding receive no blessing, because their confession has not in it certain marks which are required by God to prove it genuine and sincere, and which demonstrate it to be the work of the Holy Spirit.

the hardened sinner—pharaoh. It is of no use for you to say, “I have sinned,” merely under the influence of terror, and then to forget it afterwards.

the double-minded man—balaam. It is idle and useless for you to say, “I have sinned,” unless you mean it from your heart.

the insincere man—saul. To say, “I have sinned,” in an unmeaning manner, is worse than worthless, for it is a mockery of God thus to confess with insincerity of heart.

the doubtful penitent—achan. The most we can say is, that we hope their souls are saved at last, but indeed we cannot tell.

the repentance of despair—judas. If you have such a repentance as that, it will be a warning to generations yet to come.

the repentance of the saint—job. This is the repentance of the man who is a child of God already, an acceptable repentance before God.

the blessed confession—the prodigal. Here is that which proves a man to be a regenerate character—“Father, I have sinned.”

for meditation: All have sinned. (Romans 3:23) “Thou art the man” (2 Samuel 12:7); but which one?

sermon no. 113[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 25). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Better Late than Never – Thoughts on Deathbed Conversions

In the last couple of weeks I have come across two men who professed faith just before their deaths, which has prompted me to think about the subject. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order.

1. The great and gracious good news of the Christian message is that any true conversion, no matter how late it comes, leads to eternal salvation. In fact, few things illustrate more clearly the essence of the gospel of God’s free grace to sinners in Jesus Christ. We are saved not by anything we have ever done or could ever do, but only by what Jesus has done for us. Someone who is converted on their deathbed has no time or strength to do any good works. He will probably not have time to become a member of a church, be baptised, take the Lord’s supper, attend even a single worship service or prayer meeting. He may not give a single penny to the work of the church. He certainly won’t be going on any mission teams or helping at a soup kitchen. And yet the absence of all these things, and many other good works besides, will not jeopardise his salvation in any way. Why not? Because we are saved by grace, through faith; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. The conversion of a sinner in the last hours of life highlight this truth. Everything else is stripped away.

The thief on the cross (Lk 23.39-43) is the definitive example of this for us. Here is a man who was most probably a terrorist in Barabbas’s unit. He may have also been a thief, but theft – even violent robbery – wasn’t a capital crime. The word Matthew and Mark use for him was often used of political freedom fighters.

So here is a man who has lived a life of violence and murder, consumed by anger and hatred. He has caused great hurt and grief to many people. He is a guilty criminal who is getting what he deserves. He has nothing to offer God – nothing remotely resembling a good work – not a shred of righteousness. There is no hope that the good in his life will outweigh the bad.

And yet he receives from the lips of Jesus Christ the strongest assurance anyone is ever given in all of Scripture: ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ He is completely and freely forgiven. In fact, Jesus gives him extra assurance with the words ‘Truly, I say to you…’ There is no room for doubt!

2. All of this presupposes that the conversion is true, of course. It’s not enough to simply say a certain form of words at the end. No doubt many people have been given a false assurance at the end of their lives by being told that all they need to do is say sorry to God for their sins and ask Jesus to save them. There must be the essential elements of true repentance and faith if there is to be salvation.

True repentance consists of three things: (a) recognition of sin for what it is – an offence against God which deserves eternal condemnation; (b) remorse for sin – genuine grief for sin as an offence against God; (c) resolution to change – a turning away from sin and a corresponding pursuit of righteousness.

True saving faith similarly comprises three things: (a) understanding of the necessary facts of the gospel required for salvation; (b) belief that these facts are true; (c) a personal, unreserved trust in Jesus Christ alone, about whom the facts speak, to save from sin. 

It is clear from the example of the bandit on the cross that while his understanding was very limited, he understood enough to be saved – there was true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. If these are real then salvation is guaranteed by God himself, for ‘whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 

3. There is always the danger that the Devil will use the possibility of a deathbed conversion to lull people into a false sense of security, encouraging them to put off becoming a Christian until the last possible moment. Someone has said, ‘There is only one deathbed conversion in Scripture so that none should despair; but only one, so that none should presume.’ Or as Matthew Henry put it, ‘True repentance is never too late; but late repentance is seldom true.’ More often than not, those who complacently think they will enjoy life first and then at the last minute ask for forgiveness will find, assuming they even have the time and the ability to think clearly at the end, that trulyrepenting of sin and trusting in Christ is not as easy as they imagined it would be. 

And so the warning of God’s Word comes to all of us who read this, ‘Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.’
— Read on gentlereformation.com/2019/01/18/untitled-7/