Daily Archives: December 7, 2019

7 DECEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Fighting for the Truth

But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? Galatians 2:14

suggested further reading: 1 Timothy 6

When a sin deepens and spreads because of silent acquiescence, we must deal with it. If we only respond after the illness has become deep-rooted, we will be too late.

When those who corrupt God’s truth by adding their own inventions are drawing others to themselves and attracting a large following, it is time to arm ourselves for the fight. If we have shown ourselves cold and indifferent to the problem and then finally decide to act, God will not bless us with his grace. Let us be warned, therefore, that when evil increases and becomes contagious, or when one person corrupts another, we must vehemently oppose them. This not only applies to errors that corrupt pure gospel truth, but to all corruption and vice.

However, when it comes to heresies and wicked perversions of the truth that distort everything, we should react as if we have been punched in the stomach, for in what does the life and well-being of the church consist if not in the pure Word of God? If someone poisoned the meat that we needed for food, would we tolerate it? No, it would make us strike out!

The same reasoning applies to the gospel. We must always raise our hands to defend the purity of its doctrine, and we must not allow it to be corrupted in any way whatever. If we tolerate corruption, or make it a laughing matter, then subsequently try to deal with it, we will be surprised to find that God has shut the door on us and that Satan has won. That is a just reward for our cowardice and coldness for failing to be prepared to heal the sicknesses which corrupt and infect the body of the church the moment we saw them arise within her.

for meditation: Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether pointing out and confronting an aberrant teaching will root it out or simply compound the problem. If the heart of the gospel is threatened, however, silence is not much different from approval. The gospel must be preserved, even if it means unpleasant confrontation.[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 360). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

December 7 Your Eternal Security

Scripture reading: 1 John 5:10–15

Key verse: Hebrews 7:25

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.

Perhaps the most miserable people on earth are those who have trusted in Christ as Savior but battle harassing doubts concerning the assurance of their eternal security.

If you find yourself swinging in and out of a sense of eternal security, you can walk on the level, unchanging ground of God’s truth. The ride of swaying doubt can end today. Here’s why: You were saved by Christ’s performance on the cross, where all your sins—past, present, and future—were forgiven. Your eternal security is grounded in the person and work of Christ, not your performance.

Feelings fluctuate, especially when we sin. But nothing can cancel the reservation that Christ has made in heaven for believers, since it was purchased once and for all by His sacrificial death.

Once you are saved, Christ takes up permanent residence in your life. He will never leave you, even if your track record as a saint is spotty. He may discipline you, and the consequences for your sin may not be pleasant. But your eternal security is not altered.

God’s love for you is unconditional, unfailing, and unchanging. He has made you His child forever, and absolutely nothing can change your identity as God’s son or daughter.

How I praise You, Lord, that nothing can change my identity as Your child. I am so grateful that Your love for me is unconditional, unfailing, and unchanging.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 358). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Saturday Sampler: December 1 — December 7 — The Outspoken TULIP

Protestant thought owes a lot to Augustine. But Augustine didn’t have perfect theology, as Leonardo De Chirico of The Vatican Files demonstrates in this month’s blog post.  170. Totus Christus (The Whole Christ) or Solus Christus (Christ Alone)?  reveals yet another error in Roman Catholicism. It’s a shame that Augustine played such a prominent part in the error this article exposes.

It gets discouraging when we witness to people without seeing anyone come to faith. So Andrew Kerr’s article, It’s all been a waste?, in Gentle Reformation offers wonderful perspective from Isaiah on dealing with a lack of response.

SlimJim writes Bible Contradiction? Should we follow our own hearts? in The Domain for Truth both to teach us proper ways of interpreting God’s Word and to remind us that following our hearts isn’t the wisest course of action. I highly recommend this piece!

Don’t miss The Christmas Ornaments (Part 2)  by Leslie A of Growing 4 Life. A little bit of Christian fiction can be fun, especially after this difficult year of internet squabbling and culture’s increasing rebellion against the Lord. Treat yourself to this gentle story that exalts Jesus Christ and gives some harmless pleasure.

If you want to read a truly excellent examination of how occult practices are seeping into even conservative churches, visit Tulips & Honey Hub to read Through The Narrow — The False & The Deceived: By Tami & Gina. Not many people have noticed this dangerous trend, so I praise God for giving these ladies the courage to write about it. This may be my pick of the week.

Eww! A fairly graphic experience of repairing his toilet gave Eric Davis insight into how we should regard ourselves. Thus Plumbing, Self-Esteem, & the Great Love of God in The Cripplegate. The conclusion reminds us of God’s beauty.

Writing for Gentle Reformation, Jared Olivetti gives some pointers on Guarding Our Words by highlighting a few pertinent Scriptures. I definitely need instruction in this matter. Perhaps everyone does.

So many people have been blogging about the vitriolic arguing on the Internet lately. It’s definitely a problem, I agree. But Tim Bates adds an interesting dimension to the conversation by writing Rebuke, Reprove, Recycle  for Things Above Us this week. He raises points that have pretty much gone unnoticed amid all the pleas for civil discourse.

I don’t share Melissa’s opinion that Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, is a “valuable tool.” It’s based largely on psychology, which almost always encourages self-focus. Interestingly, she writes How We Got the Love Languages Wrong in Your Mom Has A Blog and pretty much proves my point.

via Saturday Sampler: December 1 — December 7 — The Outspoken TULIP

December 7 The Seasons of Life

Scripture Reading: Psalm 16:1–11

Key Verse: Psalm 16:8

I have set the Lord always before me;

Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

In this wintry season, you may look outside and see brown, barren trees. Where the colorful leaves of fall used to beautify the countryside, there are now no splashes of red, green, and yellow. The bare branches afford only a reminiscence of the inspiring autumn foliage.

The same is true for seasons of life when joy and prosperity seem to be a memory. In the difficult times of emptiness and despondency, it is always important to remember that your winters will not last forever.

You can cling to the words of Lamentations 3:22–23, which show the amazing hope that lies beyond the desolation: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” C. H. Spurgeon echoes this sentiment: “Fear not, Christian, for Jesus is with you. In all your fiery trials His presence is both your comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own.”

Springtime is near to you. Just as new blooms and fragrant petals are sure to ornament the sad limbs, this time of sorrow for you will surely be followed by a time of joy in the Lord. Keep focused on His compassion and mercy, and you shall see the flowers of your faith bud into a beautiful new season.

Lord, in the chill of my spiritual winter, let me realize that spring is just ahead. Keep me focused on Your compassion and mercy. Let the flowers of my faith bud into a new season.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 358). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

7 Dec 2019 – Rapture Ready News

China’s Communist Party Censors Phone Owners Use of ‘Sensitive Words’ like ‘Almighty God’ China’s Communist Party is cracking down on phone users by blocking words “sensitive to the state”—such as “Almighty God”—and deactivating numbers,

Hallmark Channel CEO Says Company Is ‘Open’ to Making LGBTQ-Friendly Christmas Movies
The chief executive of the Hallmark Channel, known for its treasure trove of wholesome and characteristically cheesy Christmas flicks, said in a recent interview the company is “open” to filming movies with lead characters who are gay.

Severe weather warnings up as Storm Atiyah heads toward Ireland and the UK
Met Eireann issued Orange and Yellow weather warnings as Storm Atiyah is set to strike the country on Sunday, December 8, 2019. The Met Office has warned that massive waves, travel and power disruptions, flooding, and damages to properties are likely. Atiyah is the first named storm of the 2019/20 season.

Severe Tropical Storm “Belna” heading toward Mayotte and Madagascar
Tropical Cyclone “Belna” formed December 5, 2019, as the second named storm of the 2019/20 Southwest Indian Ocean tropical season. The cyclone is intensifying and is expected to reach intense tropical cyclone status before making landfall over Madagascar.

Tropical Storm “Pawan” about to make landfall over Somalia
Tropical Cyclone “Pawan” is slowly weakening on its way toward Somalia. Landfall is expected late November 6 into November 7, south of Eyl, an ancient port town in the northeastern Nugal province. Pawan is the 8 named storm of the 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.

Pope Francis Compares Trump to Murderous King Herod, Who Tried to Kill Jesus
Pope Francis has attacked Donald Trump with a vicious insult, comparing the US president to murderous King Herod, who tried to kill Baby Jesus.

Democratically-Controlled Congress Today Passed A Two-State Solution Resolution Calling For Israel To Be Divided And The Land Given To Create A Palestinian State
Now we are getting at the heart of why President Donald Trump is so despised by the Democrats in Congress, and it has nothing to do with the phony impeachment efforts currently underway. Democrats don’t want to remove Trump over Ukraine, no, they want to remove Trump over Israel because he is the first president since Harry Truman in 1948 recognized the right of regathered Israel to exist to move the needle forward regarding the Jewish state and end times Bible prophecy. The Democrats need to stop President Trump from further helping to advance Israel as a sovereign nation. The Two-State Solution will be implemented by Antichrist during the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Saudi Air Force Officer Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani Kills 3 People And Injures Several Others In Mass Shooting Terror Attack At Naval Air Station Pensacola
As far as I can recall, this is the first Muslim terror attack on American soil since Donald Trump has been president, at least it feels that was as opposed to the dozens and dozens of Muslim terror attacks when Barack Obama was president. But today’s attack is significant in many ways, and you will soon see why they chose Naval Air Station Pensacola as their target.

Reports: Iran is secretly transporting missiles into Iraq that may have nuclear capability
Iran has been taking advantage of recent political unrest in Iraq by secretly stockpiling short-range missiles inside the country, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Iran Revolution Update: Over 1,000 Protesters Dead. Iranian Resistance Publishes Names Of Those Killed.
Reports from inside the Islamic theocracy of Iran have now put the total number of protesters killed at over 1,000. Many of those killed were minor children. The regime is reported to have used machine guns, and even tanks against the protesters.

WATCH: Drag queen admits he’s ‘grooming’ children at story hour events
Drag queens are deliberately “grooming” the next generation to accept LGBT ideology when they read to children in public libraries at drag queen “story hour” events, a U.S. drag queen admitted.

France Grinds to a Halt as Massive Strike Begins
Cities across France were paralyzed by a massive public transport strike against a planned overhaul of France’s pensions system, in a test of President Emmanuel Macron’s resolve to modernize the economy.

Husband of Impeachment Democrat Took $700k from Ukrainian Oligarch
The husband of Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) – a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee who’s pushing for President Donald Trump’s impeachment – took $700,000 from a Ukrainian oligarch who is “accused of ordering contract killings,” according to reports.

FBI Arrests Top FEMA Officials Over Puerto Rico Corruption Scam, Proving Trump Right
The FBI has arrested several top officials in Puerto Rico in connection with a massive FEMA corruption scam, according to reports.

US officials release photos of ‘significant cache’ of Iranian missile parts captured
U.S. officials released photos Thursday of the missile parts intercepted by military personnel believed to be from Iran headed to Yemen.

Source: 7 Dec 2019

Why Reasonable Doubt Is A Sufficient Standard When Investigating Christianity (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

In this video, recorded as part of the Cold-Case Christianity Course at Southern Evangelical Seminary, J. Warner Wallace describes the Standard of Proof used in criminal trials and why this standard is sufficient when investigating Christianity. J. Warner also describes why we need to be able to communicate the standard to others before we begin making the case for Christianity. For more information about Southern Evangelical Seminary, please visit their website: http://www.ses.edu.

To

via Why Reasonable Doubt Is A Sufficient Standard When Investigating Christianity (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Why did Evangelicals Vote for Trump? — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Podcast: Play in new window

Frank attended two meetings with candidate Donald Trump in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. The first meeting in Trump Tower is the subject of the new article in RollingStone Magazine in which Frank is quoted twice. This podcast is Frank’s response to that article, particularly the article’s audacious assertion that Donald Trump is a standard-bearer for American Christians. Frank highlights what the article gets wrong, what the media, in general, gets wrong about evangelical Christianity, and then offers five reasons why most evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump. Regardless of what you think about Trump, Christianity or politics, this show will help you have better conversations with people as we enter an election year.

via Why did Evangelicals Vote for Trump? — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 12/07/2019

Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg: ‘There Are So Many Things in Scripture That Are Inconsistent’   Nov 30, 2019 09:37 am

Photo Credit: Gary Riggs/Wikipedia In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who identifies as Episcopalian, asserted that “there’s so many things in Scripture that are inconsistent internally, and you’ve got to decide what sense to make of it.” Buttigieg had been asked what he feels about the contention…

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Utah Substitute Teacher Escorted Out of Building After Telling Students Homosexuality Is ‘Wrong,’ ‘a Sin’   Dec 04, 2019 08:19 am

Photo Credit: Pixabay/Pexels ALPINE, Utah — A school district in Utah says that it has taken “appropriate action” against a substitute teacher after she allegedly told students that homosexuality is wrong and sinful. According to reports, the situation occurred on Nov. 22 at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, as a fifth grade substitute teacher…

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ACLU Tweets for International Men’s Day: Transgenders ‘Who Get Pregnant and Give Birth Are Men’   Dec 02, 2019 06:54 pm

Photo Credit: Marcos Santos/Free Images NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently posted a tweet supportive of women who identify as men in recognition of International Men’s Day. “There’s no one way to be a man,” it wrote. “Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men. Trans and non-binary men belong….

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Kanye West to Team Up With Joel Osteen for 2020 ‘America’s Night of Hope’ at Yankee Stadium   Dec 05, 2019 02:18 pm

NEW YORK  — Rapper-turned-gospel artist Kanye West will perform at Joel and Victoria Osteen’s “America’s Night of Hope” at Yankee Stadium in May 2020. TMZ reports that Osteen will deliver a message and West and his choir will provide the music at the 54,000-plus seat stadium. The event will be held on May 2, and details are still being ironed out. Lakewood…

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Pastor Hounded Out of Job at UK Primary School Over Tweet Stating Christians Shouldn’t Support Pride Events   Dec 03, 2019 06:24 pm

ELY — A pastor in England says that he was hounded out of his caretaker job at a primary school over a tweet in which he stated that Christians shouldn’t support or participate in pride events and that such festivities are inappropriate for children. Keith Waters, 53, a pastor at New Connexions church in Ely, posted a status on June 1 similar to that written by…

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Hindu Worshipers Sacrifice Thousands of Buffalo to ‘goddess of Power’ During Nepali Gadhimai Festival   Dec 05, 2019 05:19 pm

KATHMANDU — A Hindu festival in which animals are sacrificed to the “goddess of power” in an effort to obtain good fortune concluded this week, with thousands of buffalo beheaded on temple grounds in Nepal. Pigeons, goats, chickens and other animals were also slaughtered during the mass gathering, which is known as one of the “world’s bloodiest.” The Gadhimai…

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‘We Only Want to See Our Children’: Filipino Families Want Answers in Suspicious Disappearances of 9 Youth   Nov 30, 2019 03:45 pm

(Manila Bulletin) — The families of the teenagers who have gone missing since last week in Pasay City remain clueless on their disappearances, but various speculations have started to surface. Between Nov. 20 and 22, nine teenagers — one female and eight male, aged 15 to 23 — disappeared in the city. They were identified as John Samuel Esguerra, 19; Niña…

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Hundreds of Anglicans Sign Letter Opposing Decriminalization of Abortion   Dec 02, 2019 04:34 pm

Photo Credit: Lisa Fotios/Pexels (The Christian Institute) — Hundreds of Anglicans have called on Church of England bishops to speak out against proposals to decriminalize abortion. The open letter was signed by 384 people, including 49 members of the General Synod, concerned over the manifesto commitments by Labor and the Liberal Democrats. Many church…

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Ethiopian Evangelicals Arrested, Told to Leave Their Town   Dec 02, 2019 03:05 pm

Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon/Wikipedia Commons (Evangelical Focus) — Authorities of Ethiopia’s northern region of Amhara showed up at a gathering of the Ethiopian Fellowship of Evangelical students (IFES) in Debark and arrested an undisclosed number of participants, according to local sources. The police pressured students arrested to sign an agreement to…

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‘My Body Is Me!’: Children’s Book Counteracts ‘Gender Identity’ Ideology   Dec 06, 2019 04:32 pm

(The Christian Institute) — A children’s author and poet has written a new book helping young children to accept the body they were born with. Rachel Rooney, who is also a trained special needs teacher, wrote “My Body is Me!” to counteract the recent “explosion” of books promoting radical gender ideology. Homosexual news website Pink News publicized a…

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December 7, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

thirty days of Jesus day 10

46–47 The questions Jesus put to the teachers were probably not merely boyish inquiries but the kind of probing questions used in ancient academies and in similar discussions. He also gave answers (v. 47). Doeve, 105, suggests that Jesus engaged in a midrashic discussion of biblical texts: “Their amazement must relate to his deducing things from Scripture which they had never found before.” The amazement expressed by the Jewish authorities demonstrates the unique status of Jesus.[1]


2:46 in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers. Jesus would not have been the only person listening to teachers in the court of the Gentiles. The teachers may have been officially recognized scribes, though Jesus’s own later practice shows that others could set themselves up as teachers without being formally licensed. The subject of teaching is likely to have been the interpretation of the law and its implications for both theology and ethics.

2:47 amazed at his understanding and his answers. Jesus seems to have attracted attention, partly no doubt because of his age, but also because he knew what he was talking about. Luke’s words do not necessarily suggest supernatural knowledge, but rather an ability to contribute to debate in a way that belied his years. He is not portrayed as offering his own teaching, as he would do some twenty years later, but as asking questions and joining in discussion. Perhaps he was already trying out some of the radical ideas that later would lead to his rejection by the religious establishment.[2]


46, 47. And after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and putting questions to them. All who were listening to him were astonished at his insight and answers.

The beautiful and very spacious “porches” of the temple provided ample opportunity for teaching. See Mark 12:41–44; Luke 19:47; John 10:23; also N.T.C. on Mark, p. 448 f. It was in one of these places that Joseph and Mary now found Jesus. He was sitting “in the midst of” the teachers, listening to them, and at times directing questions to them.

Since these were the days immediately following the great feast, and since Jerusalem was the headquarters of the Jewish religion, we have a right to imagine that several famous Jewish teachers were still to be found in the temple, for teaching was not confined to the duration of the festivities. Here, then, was an opportunity for Jesus which Nazareth did not afford.

It was not at all unusual for students to ask and answer questions. In fact that was a favorite method of teaching among the Jews. The purpose was not to leave these questions unanswered but to arouse interest among the students and to arrive at definite answers. For more about this see the special section Principles and Methods of Education in Israel, N.T.C. on I and II Timothy and Titus, p. 296 f. And cf. S.BK., Vol. II, p. 150.

What was unusual in the present case was the kind of questions this boy, Jesus, asked, and the kind of answers he gave. Both questions and answers revealed such insight that all who were listening to him were astonished. Soon all eyes must have been riveted on him, so that in a very real sense whenever he spoke he became the center of attention: the boy in the midst of the teachers! Nevertheless, exaggeration must be avoided. Jesus was not yet the teacher. That would come later.[3]


[1] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 85). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] France, R. T. (2013). Luke. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 45–46). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Vol. 11, p. 184). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

December 7 The Victory Is Near

Scripture Reading: Psalm 23

Key Verse: Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The above Scripture reading is a favorite. It also is one that children can easily learn. Many who memorize Psalm 23 early in life find themselves repeating it later, especially when trouble arises. The most outstanding feature of this psalm is the sense of trust and safety it brings.

David spent much of his young life as a shepherd in his father’s field. There he encountered all kinds of dangers. His love and devotion to God stabilized his heart. When the temptation to become fearful arose, David focused on God’s sovereign ability to protect and keep him.

Are you facing a particularly difficult situation? Maybe there has been a change in your home or work environment. Perhaps someone has attacked your personal reputation, and it seems that no amount of words or explanation can change his opinion.

What do you do when things go wrong or turn out badly? How do you cope when your loved one dies or leaves home? How do you handle the teenager whose course in life seems set on destruction?

There is only one way. It may sound simple or trite, but it works each and every time. Lay down your expectations. Be still in your heart and quiet in your spirit, and listen for God’s word to you. Trust Him as David did to lead you through the valley and back out into the light of His eternal hope. The victory is near.

Precious Lord, I lay my expectations at the foot of the cross. Quiet my heart and spirit so that I can hear Your word to me. Lead me through the valley and back into the light of Your eternal hope. I rejoice because victory is near![1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 358). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Fed Adds $72.8 Billion to Markets, Balance Sheet Moves to $4.07 Trillion – WSJ

Moves are aimed at ensuring that the financial system has enough liquidity
The repo market shook the financial world in September when an unexpected rate spike choked short-term lending, spurring the Federal Reserve to intervene. WSJ explains how this critical, but murky part of the financial system works, and why some banks say the crunch could have been prevented. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds for The Wall Street Journal

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added $72.8 billion in temporary liquidity to financial markets Friday.

The intervention came via three-day repurchase agreements, or repos. The Fed took all the securities offered to it by eligible banks. Fed repo interventions take in Treasury and mortgage securities from eligible banks in what is effectively a short-term loan of central-bank cash, collateralized by the securities.

— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/fed-adds-72-8-billion-to-markets-balance-sheet-moves-to-4-07-trillion-11575642409

December 7 Things to Come

Scripture reading: Revelation 1:1–3

Key verse: Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Maybe the book of Revelation is one of those books you’ve avoided. You tried, but you felt bogged down in mysterious symbolism or frightening visions of coming devastation. Many Christians admit they do not understand its applicability to their lives.

The apostle John, who was exiled on the island of Patmos in the first century a. d. during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian, received a vision from an angel of the Lord. From the start, John was emphatic about the relevance and value of every word: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3).

Why is it so important to understand the end time and the events that will culminate in Christ’s return to earth? Why isn’t it enough to trust the Lord with the outcome and not worry about the specifics? Jesus wants you to have the whole story. When you understand the magnitude and scope of His plan for all mankind, you gain a realistic perception of your important place in the grand scheme of redemption.

God wants you to be prepared for the things to come, and He doesn’t want you to worry about the upheaval of this age. He is in perfect control. Be sure to take time to tell others of the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your plan of redemption that includes me. Prepare me for the things to come. Give me hope for the future.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 358). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

December 7 Shipwrecked Saints

scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:18–20
key verse: 1 Timothy 1:19

Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.

Not long ago, the Titanic was discovered where it sank in the North Atlantic in 1912. The encrusted remains bore little resemblance to its former acclaim as the world’s most luxurious ocean liner.

There are Christians who likewise demonstrate little of the vibrant faith they once possessed, having gone aground on the shoals of lukewarmness and compromise. Joy is passing; growth is stagnant; peace is transient.

Worst of all, they seldom express love for the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they rarely experience His love. What happened?

The apostle Paul wrote that a shipwrecked faith can occur when people reject a solid faith and a good conscience (1 Tim. 1:19). The teachings of God’s Word are slowly and subtly replaced with counterfeit philosophies, such as humanism, materialism, and/or secularism. The authority of the Scriptures is rejected regarding personal behavior. Obedience is subjective and conditional. The quiet voice of the Holy Spirit is ignored repeatedly as they allow their conduct to be guided by reason or instinct, not God.

Is your personal faith in Christ at a low ebb? Has the adventure of faith turned sour? If you are willing, restoration is but a heartbeat away.

Father, even as Your servant Paul, I don’t want to preach to others and become a castaway—a shipwrecked saint. Make me increasingly sensitive to Your Spirit, Lord.[1]

 

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

Why Is Our Society Degrading So Badly, So Fast? — American Thinker

The creation of an implied multi-tier justice system expressly violates our fundamental value of the law applying equally to citizens from all walks of life.

Our Founders created a nation in which the rule of law would prevail and be applied equally to citizens from all walks of life and also would act as a restraint on the power of our leaders.  The tradition also includes the assumed duty of all Americans, including our political leaders, to live within the established and agreed upon laws of society.

The Democratic Party’s increasingly progressive, left-leaning, radical political agenda contests this fundamental and longstanding American tradition of the law applying equally to all our citizens.  Whether I am walking on the streets of my city or viewing the news, I am witnessing on a daily basis increasingly uncivil, lawless, and visibly politically corrupt conduct being tolerated by our country.

Democratic Party policies today support the idea that adhering to the rule of law is no longer obligatory for several designated and politically favored groups selected by them.  Progressive politics is attempting to move Americans to accept and adopt a multi-tier justice system based on the unequal application of the law, whereby treatment by the system is increasingly dependent on subjective political considerations.

On a local level in many cities and communities, Democrats in power are by their actions undermining the rule of law.  For example, expected compliance with the law in several of our leading cities run by Democratic Party leaders, including most notably New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, is now often based on a person’s economic and immigration status, race, sex, sexual orientation, and increasingly an indication of a person’s political and religious affiliations.  The reason for these exemptions being granted is based on the dual ideologies of identity politics and social justice.

The creation of an implied multi-tier justice system expressly violates our fundamental value of the law applying equally to citizens from all walks of life and most importantly results in the increasingly intolerable and dangerous conditions existing on the streets of these cities and an overall perception of communities in decline.  It has led to environments where ordinary people feel increasingly unsafe due to a lack of enforcement of quality-of-life crimes such as rampart homelessness and loitering, open drug use, and the willing accommodation of numerous illegal aliens performing criminal acts.

Their policies absolve individuals belonging to their politically favored groups of their responsibilities to adhere to our agreed upon laws and act in civil ways.  They contend that challenging social and economic conditions are responsible for criminal and antisocial behavior rather than the individual person acting in a negative way.  Progressive leaders in these locations are resisting enforcing the law, especially against quality-of-life violations, because they label these actions as the criminalization of poverty and accuse the police of the ongoing use of racist tactics.

Thirty years ago, America’s urban centers faced similar issues, leading New York City to adopt under the combined leadership of Republican Mayor Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, strict law enforcement policies that became to be known as “broken windows’ policing.  These policies were based on the lifelong and collaborative work of criminologist George L. Kelling and political scientist James Q. Wilson, who became best known for publishing an essay in The Atlantic in 1982, called “Broken Windows.”

It emphasized community policing, proactive enforcement of the law, and maintaining order in public places by either arresting or dealing with people for even minor crimes such as drunkenness; vagrancy; prostitution; and, in NYC at that time, subway turnstile–jumpers and the infamous squeegee men.  All of these minor crimes were being overlooked, inviting even greater criminality.

The effect of implementing “broken windows” policies by the police in New York City and, soon afterward, across many other cities starting in the 1990s resulted in a dramatic decline in crime, including, most importantly, a significant drop in homicides committed.  This crime-fighting approach was fundamental to altering the quality of life of many of our cities and significantly contributed to many of them becoming highly desirable places to live.

The current deterioration of living conditions in many of our cities and communities led by Democratic Party leaders and their progressive policies can be directly attributed to their moving away from the proactive community policing that was previously so effective and created environments that discouraged criminality.  Many of these locales are starting to lose population.

In addition, apparently included as one of the favored groups permitted to operate outside the acceptable bounds of civility and the law are Democratic leaders themselves in their ongoing and unrelenting pursuit of power.  In Washington, the Democrats are attempting to subvert the will of the majority of the American people, as expressed by the election results in 2016, by executing and plotting orchestrated campaigns to remove President Trump from office before the next election.  These efforts range from the recently unsuccessfully perpetrated Russia collusion hoax, which is now being followed up by an illegitimate impeachment drive by the House.

These operations also revealed the mostly clandestine activities of a permanent and extensive Deep State, also labeled “the swamp,” actively working with the Democrats to subvert President Trump.  A broken environment exists in Washington that contributes to the perception that too many of our elected officials feel free to participate in and to tolerate corruption without being held accountable for their actions.  It is highly discouraging for many Americans that up to this point, there have been no legal consequences or viable restraints in place to curb these types of actions that are so fundamentally dangerous to the very foundations of our country.

As a nation, we can look back at the great success the implementation of broken windows enforcement policies and practices as a potential guide to current-day challenges of maintaining a just and civil society both in Washington and across our nation.  The crucial and pragmatic next steps in re-creating a proper environment of deterrence in our country against lawless conduct, including misconduct by government officials, will be the impending actions of Attorney General William Barr and U.S. attorney John Durham.

The key question is whether their lengthy investigations of improper activities associated with attempts to remove President Trump from office will lead to the suitable punishment of all the players responsible without exception.  If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Deep State wins, and all our freedoms are at risk.  A lack of decisive action against these participants will signal to many in government that they are free to operate outside the rule of law with impunity in their pursuit of political power.  At risk is our Founders’ design for an enduring nation, in which the rule of law would prevail and be applied equally to citizens from all walks of life — and also would act as an ongoing restraint on the power of our government.

K.S. Guardiola blogs at “Set the Record – Right!” at rightquestions.blog and can be reached at deplorableurbanite@rightquestions.blog.

via Why Is Our Society Degrading So Badly, So Fast? — American Thinker

The Essential Difference between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Views of Assurance — Ligonier Ministries Blog

In this brief clip from his teaching series A Survey of Church History, W. Robert Godfrey examines the difference between the Roman Catholic and Protestant views of assurance. Watch this entire message for free.

Transcript

Here is the embodiment and summary of what had generally been taught in the Middle Ages but it had never been officially defined that God loves the lovely. “For God to love you, you need to become a different person. You are not loved because of the external righteousness of Christ imputed to you. You are loved because Christ comes into you and changes you so you’re a different person so that you can be loved by God.”

That’s a rather brief summary of a rather long document but that’s the very heart of it. Rome defines itself now as committed to this proposition that you are only justified by being changed into a different moral person by the grace of God. And this is so important because it remains the essential difference between Protestantism and Rome. And it relates very much to this matter of assurance that we talked about. If you have to be a morally better person to be accepted by God, how much better do you have to be? How do you have any confidence that you’ve gotten there? And of course, Rome’s pastoral position is you shouldn’t be confident, you ought to be worried. You’ll try harder if you’re doubting. It is not good for you to have assurance. That’s just Protestant arrogance.

One of the great Roman Catholic theologians of the late 16th, early 17th century, Robert Bellarmine said “The essential Protestant heresy is the arrogance of assurance.” You’ll get lazy if you are assured. You won’t try hard if you’re assured. It’s good to be doubting and fearful and uncertain. So you have really two quite different religions at work here. Calvin said, “The assured heart in Christ will live for God out of gratitude.”

via The Essential Difference between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Views of Assurance — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Every Bubble Eventually Finds Its Pin | ZeroHedge

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https://www.zerohedge.com by MN Gordon

NFL football.  EBT card acceptance at Del Taco.  Adam Schiff’s impeachment extravaganza.  You name it.  Bread and circuses like these – and many others – offer the American populace countless opportunities for chasing the wild goose.

All the while, and with little fanfare, debts pile up like deadwood in Sequoia National Forest.  These debts, both public and private, stand little chance of ever being honestly repaid.  According to the IMF, global debt –  both public and private – has reached an all-time high of $188 trillion.  That comes to about 230 percent of world output.

Certainly, some of the private debt will be defaulted on during the next credit crisis and depression.  But when it comes to the public debt, governments do everything they can to prevent an outright default.  Central banks crank up the printing press and attempt to inflate it away.

After Nixon temporarily suspended the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971, the money supply could be expanded without technical limitations.  This includes issuing new debt to pay for government spending above and beyond tax receipts.  Hence, since 1971, government directed money supply inflation has been the standard operating procedure in the U.S. and much of the world.

The Fed Is Expanding Its Balance Sheet At The Fastest Pace Since The Financial Crisis | ZeroHedge

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https://www.zerohedge.com by Tyler Durden

In the two months since the repo market blow up, the Fed has been making repo open market operation purchases at a rate of $1.2 trillion per month.

Below is the monthly rate of Fed open market purchases since 2000. In the era of QE and ample reserves, the Fed has not touched open market operations for more than 10 years before 2019. Prior to that, the highest rate of open market operations we saw in history was roughly $300 billion/month briefly after the September 11 attacks, with long?term averages of around $50 billion/month. To say the current rate of $1.2 trillion/month is unprecedented would be an understatement

The Magnificat (Part 1 of 3) | Truth For Life Programs

Sometimes, a biblical figure like Mary can seem more like a mythological character than a real-life woman. On Truth For Life, Alistair Begg reminds us that, like us, Mary was an ordinary person with hopes and fears that God used in extraordinary ways.

Listen…

Source: The Magnificat (Part 1 of 3)

A whole lotta ‘Christian’ bestsellers are unfit for Christian consumption | Marsha West

By Marsha West

December 6, 2019

Sadly, “Christian” book sellers line their shelves with books that are clearly unbiblical. Books that put a positive spin on New Age spirituality, Eastern mysticism, LGBTQ+ issues, and so forth are available through online Christian outlets, as well as their brick and mortar stores. I think it’s safe to say that pseudo-Christian publishing houses have to be one of if not the largest suppliers of outright heresy that exists today. Oddly, these organizations and the outlets that distribute for them are responsible (or should I say irresponsible) for much of the apostasy we’re witnessing in the visible Church. This is principally because these money-making enterprises offer false teachers a platform for spreading really, really bad theology. As an example, folks shopping for something as important as a Bible will find one in every color, shape, and size. That in and of itself is fine. But they’ll also find Bibles offering translations that supposedly are “accurate,” “up-to-date,” and “easy to read.” I say supposedly because many Bible translations are highly unorthodox and unfit for Christian consumption. Tragically, it’s the unorthodox Bibles and other reading material that lead undiscerning souls into false teaching.

Visit just about any Christian bookstore (CB) and you’ll see display cases and shelves stocked with spiritual merchandise, to include jewelry, figurines, framed pictures, greeting cards, calendars, posters, music – you name it, CB’s carry it. I am sure they would argue that Christians who visit their establishment want these types of items and selling them helps them remain in business. That might be true, but this excuse wears thin when one examines the books on their shelves. In some stores advertised as Christian, a large number of books do not hold to the fundamentals of the faith. What people need to come to grips with is that even Christian publishing houses turn out books chock-full of heresy. If this were not true, then books that teach Word of Faith theology, more commonly known as the prosperity gospel (positive confession, health & wealth, name-it-and-claim-it) would never have seen the light of day, much less flooded the market as they have. Over the years, discerning Christians’ concerns about what’s being marketed have met deaf ears. Publishers, store owners, and even books sold inside churches have made big bucks off books that were inspired by the devil himself.

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