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.