Daily Archives: June 8, 2020

June 8 The Danger of Procrastination

 

Luke 12:37

Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.

Jesus tells a story of two slaves who work for an absentee master. One slave is good and faithful, and the other is

evil and faithless. The good slave represents believers who will be on the earth before the Lord’s return, while the evil servant represents unbelievers. Every person in the world holds his life, his possessions, and his abilities in trust from God, and they will all be held accountable to the Lord for what they have done with that trust. In the case of this evil servant, the dominant attitude is one of calloused procrastination. He doesn’t believe the master is going to come back anytime soon, so he has no motivation to cease doing evil. Christ’s words warn him to be careful because he doesn’t know the schedule.

A man told me not long ago that he wanted to become a Christian, but it wasn’t convenient for him right now. Well, because it wasn’t convenient for that man to accept Christ, it won’t be convenient for him to get into heaven.

There is going to be a day when that decision has to be made or it will no longer be available. If you haven’t trusted Him yet, why don’t you do it today? Receive Him as your Savior and your Lord.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 167). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

June 8 Get a Checkup

 

I will take away sickness from among you.
(Exodus 23:25, NIV)

My friend, Ron Dryden, pastors one of America’s largest churches. Recently, he discovered he had cancer in its early stage. Providentially, the doctors found it in time, and he’s back in his pulpit doing what God called him to do. Thank God he was sensitive to a strong “inner leading” to go and have a check-up. Think of the lives he will be able to touch tomorrow.

Can you imagine what 50 years of today’s food and stress do to a healthy body? I know God heals, but if He miraculously flushed all the cholesterol out of your arteries tomorrow, would you change your eating habits, or would you just clog them up again? Good health is not a guarantee just because you’re a Christian—it’s a reward for being wise!

Because my dad died young, I spent much of my life fearing I would, too. I often told my family, “If I live to be 50, I’ll throw a party and invite everybody I know.” Well, I’m 54, and I’m making plans for the next 25 years; I’m also watching what I eat. God promised to take sickness away from our midst and help us live a long healthy life, but He expects us to cooperate with Him on it! (See Exodus 23:25.)

 

Don’t you think so?[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 159). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 8, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

22:24 he has not hidden his face. We are not aware of the moment when this change of direction and attitude occurred, but we have hints of it in the psalmist’s review of Israel’s past (22:3–5) and his contemplation of the Lord’s care at his birth (22:9–10).[1]


24. Sweet and blessed testimony of our God himself. It is as if Jesus had said, My Father hath not despised, nor abhorred the affliction of me his afflicted One, but hath accepted me, and my offering for you, my redeemed. What an encouragement is this, at all times, for Jesus’s afflicted ones to go to a mercy-seat, in his most precious name. Oh! how sure of success. John 16:23.[2]


Ver. 24.—For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted. The Father might seem by his passivity to disregard his Son’s affliction; but it was not really so. Every pang was marked, every suffering sympathized with. And the reward received from the Father was proportionate (see Isa. 53:12, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death;” and Phil. 2:8–11, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”). Neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. There was no real turning away, no real forsaking. Every cry was heard, and the cries were answered at the fitting moment.[3]


24. For he hath not despised. To rejoice in one another’s good, and to give thanks in common for each other’s welfare, is a branch of that communion which ought to exist among the people of God, as Paul also teaches, (2 Cor. 1:11,) “That for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf.” But this statement of David serves another important purpose—it serves to encourage every man to hope that God will exercise the same mercy towards himself. By the way, we are taught from these words that the people of God ought to endure their afflictions patiently, however long it shall please the Lord to keep them in a state of distress, that he may at length succour them, and lend them his aid when they are so severely tried.

25 My praise shall proceed from thee in the great assembly; I will pay my vows in the presence of them that fear him.

26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise Jehovah that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn to Jehovah; and all the tribes of the Gentiles shall prostrate themselves before his face.

28 For the kingdom is Jehovah’s, that he may be the governor among the nations.

29 All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: all those who are going down to the dust shall bow before him; and he who quickeneth not his own soul, [or he who is unable to keep himself alive.][4]


24. “For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted.” Here is good matter and motive for praise. The experience of our covenant Head and Representative should encourage all of us to bless the God of grace. Never was man so afflicted as our Saviour in body and soul from friends and foes, by heaven and hell, in life and death; he was the foremost in the ranks of the afflicted, but all those afflictions were sent in love, and not because his Father despised and abhorred him. ’Tis true that justice demanded that Christ should bear the burden which as a substitute he undertook to carry, but Jehovah always loved him, and in love laid that load upon him with a view to his ultimate glory and to the accomplishment of the dearest wish of his heart. Under all his woes our Lord was honourable in the Father’s sight, the matchless jewel of Jehovah’s heart. “Neither hath he hid his face from him.” That is to say, the hiding was but temporary, and was soon removed; it was not final and eternal. “But when he cried unto him, he heard.” Jesus was heard in that he feared. He cried in extremis and de profundis, and was speedily answered; he therefore bids his people join him in singing a Gloria in excelsis.

Every child of God should seek refreshment for his faith in this testimony of the Man of Sorrows. What Jesus here witnesses is as true to-day as when it was first written. It shall never be said that any man’s affliction or poverty prevented his being an accepted suppliant at Jehovah’s throne of grace. The meanest applicant is welcome at mercy’s door:—

“None that approach his throne shall find

A God unfaithful or unkind.”[5]


[1] Bullock, C. H. (2015). Psalms 1–72. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 1, p. 161). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Job–Psalms (Vol. 4, p. 232). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 1, p. 154). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 1, p. 381). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 1-26 (Vol. 1, p. 332). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

 

Video: “What God Requires” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

How can we account for the absence of harmony in our world? When sin separated us from God, our relationship with our fellow man was also broken. But there is hope! As Alistair Begg explains, God calls His people to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before Him. Attempted without the Gospel or in place of the Gospel, such a call leads to despair—but in Jesus, God has provided its perfect fulfillment on our behalf.

Listen | Download Audio (17.7 mb) | Purchase CD ($1.25) More Videos

via Video: “What God Requires” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

June—8 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.—1 Peter 1:8, 9.

My soul! mark what a blessed testimony believers of the present hour are here said to give to an unseen, but dearly beloved Redeemer; and behold what blessed effects are induced in the soul by such lively acts of faith upon his person and righteousness! And indeed, when it is considered who Christ is, what he is to us, what he hath done for us, and what he is for ever doing for us, and will do to all eternity, who but must love him? In his person all divine perfections centre; whatever tends to make any creature lovely, in heaven or on earth, is found in Jesus in the most eminent degree. For there is nothing lovely in creatures of any character, whether angels or men, but it is derived from him: it is Jesus that gives all that excellency and grace which they possess; the whole is found in him and received from him. And when to these views of what Christ is in himself, the believer considers what he is to him, what he hath wrought, and what he hath accomplished in redemption for him, such thoughts of Jesus, under the teachings of the Holy Ghost, in his glorifying him to the soul, give “a joy unspeakable and full of glory.” My soul! what saith thine own experience to these truths? Surely Christ is a portion full enough, and rich enough for every poor needy sinner to live upon to all eternity. And if thou hast been taught (as I trust thou hast long since been taught, and long proved) that all the fulness in Jesus is for his people; that his grace is magnified in giving out of his fulness to supply their need; yea, that Jesus waits to be gracious, and is as truly glorified, when a poor creature lives by faith and joy upon his bounty, as he is when that poor creature lays himself out in praises for that bounty; surely, though thou hast never seen Christ in the flesh, yet by faith thou hast seen him, and lived upon him, and hast such believing views of him, as giveth thee present peace, and immediate enjoyment of salvation. Oh! the felicity of thus realizing future things by present possession! Oh! the blessedness of substantiating things unseen by the strength of that faith which worketh by love! See to it, my soul, that thy God and Saviour is increasingly precious, and increasingly lovely, day by day. See to it that he who is lovely to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost; the praise of all his saints in glory; the joy and adoration of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; and lovely to all creation, but to devils and poor, blind, unawakened sinners: see to it, my soul, that this lovely and all-loving Jesus is the first, and best, and completely satisfying object of thy delight; that this blessed testimony, which the Holy Ghost hath here given of the faithful, may be thine; and that though not having seen Jesus, you love him, and though unseen you believe in him. This will be to rejoice with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory; receiving the end of your faith, even in the salvation of your soul.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 176–177). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Why Are Young People Less Likely to Identify As Christians? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Who is Gen Z and why do members of this generation step away from their Christian identity? What special challenges are facing this generation of believers? J. Warner Wallace and Sean McDowell are interviewed on 100 Huntley Street and answer these questions and more. View the entire episode and other great video interviews at the 100 Huntley Street episode page.

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

via Why Are Young People Less Likely to Identify As Christians? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

June 8th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Everlasting joy.—Isaiah 35:2.

I THINK there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happi-ness is caused by things which happen around me, and circumstances will mar it, but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition; it is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring which the world can’t see and don’t know anything about. The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 99). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

SURRENDER: Nancy Pelosi And Other Democratic Lawmakers Take A Knee On Capitol Hill To Show Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Movement — Now The End Begins

Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats knelt in silent tribute to George Floyd in the US Congress on Monday before unveiling a package of sweeping police reforms in response to the killing of African Americans by law enforcement.

There is a movement across the country right now that is seeking to bring America literally to her knees, a movement by the radical Left in this country, and it gains power and speed with each passing day. Even Piers Morgan in the UK has demanded that President Trump surrender on live television and ‘take a knee’ in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter radicals. This is how insane things have gotten, with no signs of abating anytime soon. Now it’s Nancy Pelosi leading the surrender.

Of course, the age-old rule is that you can never satisfy your tormentors, because as George Orwell so beautifully wrote in his dystopian novel of the future, our time, that “the object of torture is torture, and the object of power is power”. The more ground you cede, the more they take until you have nothing left. Black Lives Matter was never about ending racism in America, it has always been about making white people the slaves. Amazingly, deluded and deceived white people are only to willing to bow down to their new oppressors.

white-people-kneel-before-black-lives-matter-terrorists-apologize-for-their-whiteness-mental-insanity-end-times-delusion

Nancy Pelosi And Democrats take a knee in US Congress

FROM YAHOO NEWS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer were joined by two dozen lawmakers in Congress’ Emancipation Hall — named in honor of the slaves who helped erect the US Capitol in the 18th century.

They knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to mark the length of time a white police officer pinned his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis May 25 unleashed mass protests against racial injustice.

James Woods

@RealJamesWoods

Tired of this yet?

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29.2K people are talking about this

Pelosi and the other senior Democratic leaders, accompanied by members of the Black Congressional Caucus, said their bill aimed to create “meaningful, structural change that safeguards every Americans’ right to safety and equal justice.”

The legislation seeks to “end police brutality, hold police accountable, improve transparency in policing,” a statement said. The “Justice and Policing Act,” which introduced in both chambers of Congress, would make it easier to prosecute officers and rethink how they are recruited and trained.

Its chances of passage in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority, is highly uncertain.

President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in November, has accused his Democratic rival Joe Biden of seeking to “defund the police” while casting himself as the “law and order” president. READ MORE

Nancy Pelosi Looks Terrified As She Prepares To Surrender To Black Lives Matter

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic members of Congress kneeled in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds on the marble floor of Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, the duration that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd as he died. U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the duration was an excruciating, unbearable amount of time and the tribute was necessary to acknowledge the pain and suffering of Black Americans.

via SURRENDER: Nancy Pelosi And Other Democratic Lawmakers Take A Knee On Capitol Hill To Show Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Movement — Now The End Begins

Georgia State Trooper Responds to Black Lives Matter Protesters Asking Him to Take a Knee, ‘I Only Kneel For God’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Democrat lawmakers, white liberal protesters and police officers across the country have been ‘kneeling in solidarity’ with Black Lives Matter protesters.

The movement has turned into a cult.

But one Georgia State Trooper said no way.

Trooper O’Neal Saddler told the protesters he only kneels for God.

“I was supposed to be out of town this weekend with my wife,” Saddler told the protester.

“I took off today, this weekend, but I’m out here just to make sure y’all are safe. Don’t go there with respect, okay? I have much respect, but I only kneel for one person, and that’s God,” he added as he walked away.

WATCH:

Ryan Fournier

@RyanAFournier

This is Georgia State Trooper O’Neal Saddler.

He was asked to kneel today, and this was his response.

God Bless him! 🙏🏻

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16.9K people are talking about this

via Georgia State Trooper Responds to Black Lives Matter Protesters Asking Him to Take a Knee, ‘I Only Kneel For God’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities | Sovereign Nations

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”

Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years as president.

In an October 2017 speech in a “national forum on liberty” at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City, Bush bemoaned that “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Coming from Bush, this had as much credibility as former president Bill Clinton bewailing the decline of chastity.

Most media coverage of Bush nowadays either ignores the falsehoods he used to take America to war in Iraq or portrays him as a good man who received incorrect information. But Bush was lying from the get-go on Iraq and was determined to drag the nation into another Middle East war. From January 2003 onwards, Bush constantly portrayed the US as an innocent victim of Saddam Hussein’s imminent aggression and repeatedly claimed that war was being “forced upon us.” That was never the case. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, Bush made “232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda.” As the lies by which he sold the Iraq War unraveled, Bush resorted to vilifying critics as traitors in a 2006 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Bush’s lies led to the killing of more than four thousand American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. But since those folks are dead and gone anyhow, the media instead lauds Bush’s selection to be in a Kennedy Center art show displaying his borderline primitive oil paintings.

In February 2018, Bush was paid lavishly to give a prodemocracy speech in the United Arab Emirates, ruled by a notorious Arab dictatorship. He proclaimed: “Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.” He openly fretted about Russian “meddling” in the 2016 US election.

But when he was president, Bush acted as if the United States were entitled to intervene in any foreign election he pleased. He boasted in 2005 that his administration had budgeted almost $5 billion “for programs to support democratic change around the world,” much of which was spent on tampering with foreign vote totals. When Iraq held elections in 2005, Bush approved a massive covert aid program for pro-American Iraqi parties. The Bush administration spent over $65 million to boost their favored candidate in the 2004 Ukraine election. Yet, with boundless hypocrisy, Bush proclaimed that “any (Ukrainian) election…ought to be free from any foreign influence.” US government-financed organizations helped spur coups in Venezuela in 2002 and Haiti in 2004. Both of those nations, along with Ukraine, remain political train wrecks.

In that October 2017 New York speech, Bush proclaimed: “No democracy pretends to be a tyranny.” But ravaging the Constitution was apparently part of his job description when he was president. Shortly after 9-11, Bush turned back the clock to before 1215 (when the Magna Carta was signed), formally suspending habeas corpus and claiming a prerogative to imprison indefinitely anyone he labeled a terrorist suspect. In 2002, Justice Department lawyers informed Bush that the president was entitled to violate the law during wartime—and the war on terror was expected to continue indefinitely. In 2004, Bush White House counsel Alberto Gonzales formally asserted a “commander-in-chief override power” entitling presidents to ignore the Bill of Rights.

Under Bush, the US government embraced barbaric practices which did more to destroy America’s moral credibility than all of Trump’s tweets combined. Bush’s “enhanced interrogation” regime included endless high-volume repetition of a Meow Mix cat food commercial at Guantanamo, head slapping, waterboarding, exposure to frigid temperatures, and manacling for many hours in stress positions. After the Supreme Court rebuffed some of Bush’s power grabs in 2006, he pushed through Congress a bill that retroactively legalized torture—one of the worst legislative disgraces since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. During his years in the White House, Bush perennially denied that he had approved torture. But in 2010, during an author tour to promote his new memoir, he bragged about approving waterboarding for terrorist suspects.

Is Bush nominating himself to be the nation’s racial healer? When he was president, Bush inflicted more financial ruin on blacks than any president since Woodrow Wilson (who brought Jim Crow barbarities to the federal government). Bush trumpeted his plans to close the gap between black and white homeownership rates and promised in 2002 to “use the mighty muscle of the federal government” to solve the problem. Bush was determined to end the bias against people who wanted to buy a home but had no money. Congress passed Bush’s American Dream Downpayment Act in 2003, authorizing federal handouts to first-time homebuyers of up to $10,000 or 6 percent of the home’s purchase price. Bush also swayed Congress to permit the Federal Housing Administration to make no–down payment loans to low-income Americans. Bush proclaimed: “Core American values of individuality, thrift, responsibility, and self-reliance are embodied in homeownership.” In Bush’s eyes, self-reliance was so wonderful that the government should subsidize it. And it didn’t matter whether recipients were creditworthy, because politicians meant well. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign trumpeted his down payment giveaways, a shining example of “compassionate conservatism.”

Thanks in large part to his policies, minority households saw the fastest growth in homeownership leading up to the 2007 recession. The housing collapse ravaged the net worth of black and Hispanic households. “The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans—one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades,” the Washington Post reported in 2012. The median net worth for Hispanic households declined by 66 percent between 2005 and 2009. That devastation was aptly described in a 2017 federal appeals court dissenting opinion as “wrecking ball benevolence” (quoting a 2004 Barron’s op-ed I wrote). But almost none of the media coverage of the ex-president reminds people of the economic carnage of this Bush vote-buying binge.

It is possible to condemn police brutality and, even more importantly, the evil laws and judicial doctrines that enable police to tyrannize other Americans without any help from a demagogic ex-president who ravaged our rights, liberties, and peace. As I commented in an August 2003 USA Today op-ed, “Whether Bush and his appointees will be held personally liable for their [Iraq War] falsehoods is a grave test for American democracy.” The revival of Bush’s reputation vivifies how our political media system failed that test. As long as George Bush doesn’t turn himself in for committing war crimes, all of his talk about “achieving justice for all” is rubbish.

via Mises Institute

Source: The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

God’s Word in Godless Times, or the Appearance of Godliness in Signaling Virtue | Founders Ministries

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

—2 Timothy 3:1-7

Read those seven verses of God’s words again. Slowly. Now go check your twitter feed or simply do a social media search for #GeorgeFloyd, #GeorgeFloydProtests, and #GeorgeFloydRiots. Paul is talking about America in 2020. Just as he was talking about Ephesus in the late AD 60s as well as about other times and places between then and now. He is speaking of recurring “times of difficulty”—perilous times; what he elsewhere describes as “the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).

Godlessness in society does not stay there but seeps into the church wreaking havoc among the people of God.

Such seasons will be characterized by severe problems in society as “people” (v. 2) in general will give themselves over to the types of wickedness Paul catalogues in verses 2-4. Such wickedness is characterized by selfishness (“lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant”) and lawlessness (“abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”).

That is bad enough. What is worse, however, is that godlessness in society does not stay there but seeps into the church wreaking havoc among the people of God. The most unsettling part of what Paul says is coming is his description of how professing Christians will act. They will be “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (v. 5).

Paul further describes these people within the church in verse 7—they will be unteachable, “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” Even more to the point, he warns in chapter 4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth” and will “wander off into myths” (vv. 3-4).

I am convinced that America is living in a peculiarly “evil day,” in “times of difficulty” of which Paul writes. The asphyxiation of George Floyd as he begged for mercy from Officer Derek Chauvin who, ignoring his pleas, slowly snuffed the life from his handcuffed body is an example of this. When a civil authority mercilessly ends the life of a person he is charged to serve and protect, the evil of his abusive, heartless, and brutal action is compounded.

The outbreak of lawlessness in the wake of George Floyd’s death is also evil. Mayhem, brutal attacks, destruction of people’s livelihood, intimidation, violence, and murder have marked the protests of the last week. Attacks on police officers, breaking into private homes, looting, stealing, and blatantly breaking just laws have become almost commonplace.

True godliness unashamedly declares what God has said and it does so not just when it is safe but even when that message might cost your life.

Such lawlessness in our society is tragic. But what is worse is the failure and even complicity of so many Christians in the face of it. In their responses they have, as Paul puts it, an appearance of godliness that denies its power (v. 3:5). True godliness unashamedly declares what God has said and it does so not just when it is safe but even when that message might cost your life. It is taking God at His Word regardless of cost or consequence and speaking that Word with confidence in its power. Thus, John the Baptist didn’t merely preach repentance in the wilderness, he also applied God’s Word to Herod that by telling him that he could not lawfully have his brother’s wife (Matthew 14:1-12).

The mere “appearance of godliness,” by contrast, is willing to say what God says when it isn’t costly. If doing so actually elevates you in the eyes of the curators of the prevailing cultural narrative, then more’s the better. It is what today is commonly called, virtue signaling. That is what a person does when he would rather be perceived as virtuous and applauded by the modern arbiters of “virtue” than actually be virtuous and risk being canceled as a result.

It’s sort of like the German Landeskirchen preaching on submission to governmental authorities in Nazi Germany. No one got arrested for that. But it was a failure of nerve, or rather, a denying of the power of godliness, that kept most German Protestants from speaking against the anti-Semitic butchery in 1941. It is easy to go with religion when she walks in silver slippers.

The prevalence of an apparent but impotent godliness is being widely and prominently paraded today. That is why you have seen such bold, articulate outcries against the lawlessness of Derek Chauvin but only reluctant, comparatively muted responses to the lawlessness of the violent mobs that have terrorized cities and communities across the nation in the days since. That is why demands for justice are readily applied to the former but only hesitantly—if at all—to the latter. That is why you saw so many evangelicals following the crowd in #BlackoutTuesday on their social media feeds, some even sporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) hashtag for extra virtue points. Never mind that the BLM organization and movement intentionally promote godlessness in their stated goals and focus.

That is why you know the names of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd but not the names of David Dorn, Shay Mikalonis or Italia Kelly. From all indications each of them unjustly suffered violent deaths (although at this point Shay is being sustained on life-support) but only the first three serve the destructive agendas of those who want to rip apart the fabric of our civil society. True godliness is willing to apply the standard of God’s Word to each of these cases. Apparent godliness will stop at the first three because to speak further is to invite the vitriol of the mob and, well, who has the power to withstand that?

It is the holy Scripture that God breathed out to be our authoritative, sufficient guide for life and godliness.

So, what are Christians who fear God more than people to do in such godless, evil days? We are to do exactly what Paul tells Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 3:14-15 and 4:1-5. First, continue in the Word, and second, preach the Word.

It is the Holy Scripture that God breathed out to be our authoritative, sufficient guide for life and godliness. It alone is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (vv. 3:16-17). Such a man—especially pastors—must, like Timothy, preach that Word at all times with authority and conviction. That is what Paul means when he writes, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (v. 4:2).

This is to be done even when people don’t want to hear it; when they “will not endure sound teaching” (v. 4:3) and “turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (v. 4:4). The Word alone is able to make people “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v. 3:15). So, if we who know the Lord and have His Word fail to preach it, we are withholding the only message that God has provided to reconcile sinners to Himself. And all the virtue signaling in the world cannot change that.

So this is the choice that Christians are facing in times of difficulty. We can settle for an appearance of godliness while denying its power and win the accolades of this age. Or we can pursue real godliness and trust its power thereby inviting the venom and opposition of the champions of this age. To put it another way, we can signal false virtue and be welcomed by those operating on false principles of righteousness. Or we can practice genuine virtue and be welcomed by the God whose Word we refuse to compromise.

What we cannot do is have it both ways.

Source: God’s Word in Godless Times, or the Appearance of Godliness in Signaling Virtue

Pagan America Dressed in Christianity | Founders Ministries

The recent days in America have been tragic. Our present unrest began with the senseless killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Rather than grieve and seek true justice, many have gone to set America on fire. This article is an attempt to make sense of things from a Christian perspective. Admittedly, it is a bit more of a machete than a scalpel. But given the terrain we are currently in, the machete seems fitting.

The apostle Paul adds an unexpected phrase in one of his letters to Timothy. After speaking of the coming perilous times, and the rampant wickedness of men in those times, he says people will have “a form of godliness” but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). This “form of godliness” gutted of substance is precisely what is going on around us. And pretty much everybody is guilty. We are watching the erosion of the Christian faith while everyone masquerades as Christian.

This is not, however, the first time such a thing has occurred. You can see the draining of Christian substance while maintaining a form of it in a string of paintings from the 15th century.[1] In 1435, Van Eyck painted the Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin, in which Chancellor Rolin sits facing Mary. Mary looks about how you’d expect she should. She has both the form of Mary and the substance of Mary. But, in Filippo Lippi’s painting of Mary some years later he made a change—he painted his mistress as Mary. In Lippi’s painting you have the form of Mary, but in substance, a scandal. Things unravel further with Fouquet’s painting of Mary in c.1450 (Virgin and Child). He paints the king’s mistress, Agnes Sorel, as Mary. He paints her with one breast exposed (not feeding the Christ-child). The painting speaks for itself (I leave it to your discretion whether to look it up). It has moved far afield from Van Eyck and Lippi. Even secular analysis marks it as “impious” with a flavor of blasphemy. The form barely remains; the Christian substance is dead.

America is Fouquet’s 1450 Virgin and Child. We have reached the end of the line. The substance is gone, but a number of people are still holding on to the form of Christianity. While doing so, they are trying to convert others to their paganism dressed in Christianity. But if the substance is gone, then anyone converted will join a false religion impersonating the true religion. Many evangelicals are busy trying to reconcile this false religion with the true Christian faith. But they cannot be reconciled. Others, perhaps who do not grasp exactly what is going on, try to harmonize the two. They labor for common ground with the spirit of the age. But there is no common ground. There is no harmony.

The Rioters

The rioters presently in the streets of the United States engage in violence and anarchy. But they claim a form of godliness. There indeed are many peaceful protestors. Some have displayed a Jon Jones like courage by shutting down rioters. Good on him and them. But the rioters themselves are a different story. They justify their lawlessness by saying they have not been heard. Their actions are righteous, reasonable, and what other people need to do is sit down and listen. If you are on the side of the oppressed (like Jesus) then you must be on their side. If you desire the sanctification of our nation, then put on your mask and throw that brick through a window. Let your voice be heard. Black lives matter, don’t they? What we are observing is not merely a group of misguided adolescents. We are observing rebellion driven by a religious impulse. The rioters are crying out to their governmental gods much like the false prophets cried out to Baal to send fire. They claim to have a holy mission. But there is only a shell of godliness here, no power.

The President

The president, after giving a recent address about the riots, went to the historic St. John’s church in Washington. This church had been set on fire during the riots. He stood in front of the church with a Bible in his hand for a few minutes, then departed. This symbolic statement is open to interpretation. Even so, honest Americans know that pious is not a word that characterizes our president. Yes, Christians can genuinely give thanks to God for the judges President Trump has put in place. But we can do so while seeing what is missing from the president’s trip to that church. When recently asked if he prays and if he had grown in his faith, he responded by saying he had done so much for religion. He quickly proceeded to warn that if the radical left takes over, “you won’t have anything.” Here again we see an appearance of godliness, but no power.

Evangelical Response

The evangelical response to our troubled times has been elegantly vacuous. Christian leaders have justified lawless riots. Many have promoted organizations that advocate wickedness. A number of evangelicals and churches participated in black out Tuesday without knowing what it was. While there are some who have addressed our times with conviction (see Tom Ascol’s recent post). Many evangelical leaders appear to be posturing without getting down to the real issue. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an open letter which says, “We will refuse any and all attempts to politicize the death of George Floyd and the racial divide that plagues our nation.” Only a few sentences later he writes that a way to fight the good fight is to identify societal systems where people of color have little or no voice, and “lobby for equal representation and vote for candidates who will do the same.” A common term for what we are seeing many evangelicals do is virtue signaling. But consider what that term describes. Evangelicals signal that they are virtuous while in reality being the opposite. They claim to seek justice and equality while in truth they pursue the praise of man. Like Fouquet’s painting, evangelicals signal religion, but we are neglecting the substance and power.

How Did We Get Here?

Schaffer once said that if the lower story becomes untethered from the upper story, then the lower story devours the upper story. This is precisely what is happening. And Christians have to take responsibility for their part in letting things get here. Jesus came in the flesh. If you teach that he didn’t, then the apostle John says you are antichrist. But we have lived for some time as if Jesus is just an idea and Christianity has nothing to do with life on earth. We have lived as if Christianity were contained to the upper world, having nothing at all to do with the lower world. We have mistaken Hebrews, which says faith is the “conviction of things unseen,” to say that faith is the conviction of things unknown—as if our faith were imaginary. In other words, we have given into a radical, unbridgeable divide between the sacred and the secular. Rather than mere Christians, we have become mere pragmatists… except on Sundays, and at our Bible studies.

Black Lives Matter is a pragmatic movement. Mr. Trump is a pragmatic president. Evangelicals are the lead pragmatists of them all. We have lived in the lower world without God. He has had nothing to do with our vocation, entertainment, politics, sex, art, economics, civil law, customs, and cultural traditions. God is God of our quiet times, but there His jurisdiction stops. We enjoy freedom of worship within the four walls of our church, but have no concept of the full exercise of religion at all times and in all places. We support an educational institution that has told us plainly that God is not welcome. The Christian faith has been relegated to the upper world for a very long time now, leaving secular humanism to rule in the lower world. That lower philosophy is devouring that upper faith (which we should have never lodged up there in the first place).

Ironically, we are watching the erosion of that Christian faith while politicians, rioters, and evangelical leaders claim they are protecting and promoting that Christian faith. They can get away with this because we’ve permitted the notion that Christianity is not real, but a dream. If a dream, then Jesus can become whatever you want him to be. There is merely an outline of him in the American psyche, and people fill that outline with whatever they want like Fouquet filled Mary’s form with the king’s mistress, Agnes Sorel.

We must avoid, then, the mindset which says, “lay down your ideology, presuppositions, and just give people Jesus.” Those who recommend this are either trying to smuggle an unbiblical ideology into the Christian church, or being duped into letting others do so. Those who recommend this will end up offering the form of Jesus without the substance. Schaffer once said,

I have come to the point where, when I hear the word ‘Jesus’—which means so much to me because of the Person of the historic Jesus and his work‚ I listen carefully because I have with sorrow become more afraid of the word ‘Jesus’ than almost any other word in the modern world. The word is used as a contentless banner, and our generation is invited to follow it… we must fight this contentless banner, with its deep motivations… which is being used for the purpose of sociological form and control (Escape from Reason, 101).

The Way Forward

The first thing to do is acknowledge that much of what presently purports to be Christianity is merely Fouquet’s Virgin and Child—an empty shell. It is Jesus without the Christian faith. It is a naked adulteress posing as the mother of God. It is high time we come to grips with the vanity of such Christianity less we end up caught in it like Samson who “did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges 16:20).

The next thing we must do is deal with the God who is here. He is the Word made flesh. He speaks. He is handing America over to her sins. He is King up there and down here. He is a Savior-King who willingly laid down His life for those who cast off His law and did what was right in their own eyes. In short, we must fear God. To know Him savingly is to know Him soul and body. To know Him truly is to know Him in heaven and on earth. To come to Him, you must come away from everything else. You cannot fit a Christless ideology into Christ. You cannot fit Christless living into the Christian life. You cannot sanitize evil notions of justice, power, authority, reconciliation, mercy, and love, and make them Christian. You must come wholly away from all of that to the whole Christ.

[1] See Francis Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason, 20-22.

Source: Pagan America Dressed in Christianity

Kill Your Sin | Founders Ministries

On May 1, 2003, Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven year old backpacker, did something unthinkable in order to save his life. After being pinned for five days by an eight-hundred pound boulder in a remote Utah canyon, he took his dull pocketknife and cut off his right arm to free himself.

He had tried chipping away at the rock at first, but it would not budge. Finally, he realized that he had only two choices. Either he must cut off his arm, or he would die. On the fifth day, hungry and dehydrated, he sawed through his flesh just below the elbow in order to free himself.

He walked out of that canyon without his right arm, but with his life. This is the exact picture that Jesus gives us when telling us how to deal with sin that remains in our lives. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matt. 5:29–30).

Jesus is not speaking literally. If you steal with your right hand, then simply amputating it will not cure you of thievery. You could continue stealing with your left hand. And if you remove your right eye because it has been an instrument of lusting, you still have your left eye that can be used for the same purpose.

We must be willing to give up even good things in our effort to put sin to death.

Our Lord’s words are intended to shock us into recognition of the seriousness with which we must deal with the sin that remains in our lives as believers. We must treat it ruthlessly. We must be willing to give up even good things (analogous to eyes and arms) in our effort to put sin to death.

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you,” wrote that prince of puritan theologians, John Owen, in his classic work on the mortification of sin. He understood Jesus’ point that these are the only two options that a believer has when it comes to dealing with his remaining sin.

Either fight decisively against the sin in your life or consign yourself to spiritual death. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). There is no alternative.

Does this mean that salvation is not by grace or that a Christian can lose his salvation? No. What it means is that the grace that brings salvation trains us “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:12). The grace that provides justification for us works sanctification in us.

The words of Jesus are a sober warning of the deadly consequences of regarding sin lightly. He calls everyone who has been saved by grace to combat ruthlessly the sin that remains in our lives. We must become willing to act as drastically to preserve our spiritual lives as Aron Ralston was to save his physical life.

What would make a person do something as severe as cutting off his own arm? He must be deeply convinced of the deadly danger of his present condition. “If I continue as I am, I will die.” In other words, he must believe that if he stays on his current course — if he does not change — he will be destroyed. He must feel desperate about his condition.

This is exactly what Jesus is trying to shock us into understanding. If sin is allowed to live unopposed in your life, then it will take you to hell. To believe that is to experience the kind of spiritual desperation that Paul expressed in Romans 7:13–24.

But along with desperation a Christian must also be convinced of the real prospect of life. Death awaits me if I do not kill my sin. But life is guaranteed along the path of mortification of sin. We are saved not because we fight against sin. We fight against sin because we have been saved.

Because Jesus Christ died for every one of our sins we can be sure that God will forgive us all our sins. We can also be confident that he will one day finally deliver us from the last vestige of sin. Every Christian will one day be completely and eternally free from sin.

It is that hope, grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, that keeps believers in the fight against sin that remains in their lives. Paul erupts in thanksgiving over this hope (Rom. 7:25).

Because of all that Jesus has accomplished for us, we who trust Him are free to face our sin honestly and fight against sin tenaciously.

The Gospel sets us free to deal ruthlessly with remaining sin. Because of all that Jesus has accomplished for us, we who trust Him are free to face our sin honestly and fight against it tenaciously. We can live this way knowing that His grace empowers us to take even extreme measures to pursue the holiness that He requires of us.

No one in heaven will regret fighting ruthlessly against sin while on earth. Rather, we will all praise God for His grace that enabled us to persevere in this fight to the end.


This article originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of TableTalk Magazine.

Source: Kill Your Sin

Should the church be involved in criminal justice reform? — Denison Forum

The tragic death of George Floyd has exposed once again a festering problem that has been ingrained in American life since the first slave ship dropped anchor off Virginia in 1619.

“Racism in America is like dust in the air,” former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “It seems invisible – even if you’re choking on it – until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere.”

Racism is in our criminal justice system. Sadly, it’s also in many of our churches.

And, if you open your eyes, you can see it in the details of everyday life, like driving through a different part of town.

Revealing research

Research shows that blacks are more likely to be pulled over for traffic stops than whites, which comes as no surprise to Sen. Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina. He was pulled over by law enforcement seven times in one year, usually for “nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other reason just as trivial,” he said.

In a 2018 report to the United Nations, the Sentencing Project concluded, “African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences.” Other research shows that blacks have more negative attitudes toward the criminal justice system than whites.

The United States has the largest prison population in the world, roughly one-quarter of the world’s incarcerated, and black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to be in prison.

But the passage of a bipartisan criminal justice bill in 2018 provides a road map for enacting positive change.

The First Step Act

A diverse cast of characters, including celebrity Kim Kardashian West, liberal CNN commentator Van Jones, Jared Kushner (President Donald Trump’s son-in-law), and evangelical advisors to the president worked to get the bill passed by Congress.

Kushner, in a first-person article in Time magazine, described the process of getting Trump’s support. “Jared, this sounds like a pretty liberal issue,” the president said at first.

During a meeting to discuss the policy implications, one of Trump’s aides told him, “You promised during your campaign to fight for the forgotten men and women of this country. There is no one more forgotten or underrepresented than people in prison.”

After hearing the presentation, Trump said, “That’s really sad. These people make a mistake, do their time, get out and then have all of these challenges. In some ways, what do we expect them to do?”

Trump told Kushner to work with the attorney general to make sure the bill wasn’t “soft on crime,” a key part of his agenda, then called legislators to gain support. On December 21, 2018, he signed the First Step Act into law.

“This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community,” Trump said in his State of the Union address in 2019. “The First Step Act gives nonviolent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. Now, states across the country are following our lead. America is a nation that believes in redemption.”

The church’s role in criminal justice reform

As the name of the law implies, much remains to be done, and the church has a role to play in stemming the racism that drives unequal justice.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said that “11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hour, in Christian America.” Some cities in the South still have two First Baptist Churches, one black and one white.

The church can change hearts. But Jemar Tisby, author of The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, says that it also should encourage activism. “Evangelical promotion of racial equality must spill out beyond the church walls and conference panels and into city halls, courtrooms, and streets,” he wrote.

The late Billy Graham personally removed the ropes separating the white and black sections at one of his crusades in the South in the early 1950s. “I decided that I would never preach to another segregated audience,” he said.

Yet he told the Associated Press in 2005 that he wished he had done more for the Civil Rights Movement, including participating in one of the era’s great marches in 1965. “I think I made a mistake when I didn’t go to Selma,” he said.

Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, said that ultimately the church won’t be judged by things like the size of its offering or the beauty of its music.

We’re going to be judged by how responsive we are to the poor and the neglected and the condemned and the incarcerated, the hungry,” he told The Christian Post. “We are called in the Gospels to visit those who are in jails and in prisons and to stand with those coming out of those spaces.”

Graham, considered the greatest evangelist since the Apostle Paul, made winning souls his life’s mission.

King, the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, spent his life working for people Jesus called “the least of these.”

Can’t we, as the church, do both?

via Should the church be involved in criminal justice reform? — Denison Forum

US is in turmoil, Europe is weak and China is now on the move — without apologies — Christian Research Network

Beijing has warned European nations that if their independent media continued to condemn China, there could be commercial retaliation. A few European journalists still exposed Chinese deceit, even as shaken EU leaders backtracked and tried to contextualize Chinese misbehavior.

(Victor Davis Hanson)  George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last week when a police officer used brutally excessive force to arrest him. It was the latest in a string of high-profile cases nationwide in which citizens, most of them African Americans, died from reckless police force. Once again, protests over police brutality turned violent and rioting ensued.

The U.S. is torn apart over the national mass quarantine. Liberal blue states accused red restart states of recklessly endangering national health by allowing their populations to go back to work before the virus has left.

Red states countered that blue states were hypocritical in wanting federal money to subsidize their locked-down residents while expecting other states to generate needed federal revenue. They also contended that there was no longer scientific evidence to justify the lockdown.  View article →

via US is in turmoil, Europe is weak and China is now on the move — without apologies — Christian Research Network

Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 2:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing in the Brady room.  Anticipated start time 2:00pm ET [Livestreams Below]

White House Livestream Link – Fox News Livestream Link – PBS Livestream Link

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via Kayleigh McEnany White House Press Briefing – 2:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian? | Founders Ministries

The biblical teaching on the assurance of grace and salvation is vitally important for healthy Christian living. The provisions that believers are given in Christ are transformative. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The sorting and working out of your new life in Christ will be greatly helped to the degree that you are confident that you have a saving relationship with Jesus.

Seeking Assurance

By assurance we mean a God-given confidence that you are in saving relationship to Jesus Christ. How well you progress in your Christian life will, to a large degree, depend on how confident you are that you are saved. The strength and quality of your confidence depends on how properly grounded your confidence is.

The Bible gives much instruction on this very practical and important subject. One whole book in the New Testament was written for the expressed purpose of helping believers come to a settled assurance of their saving relationship to God through Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” “These things” refers back to the whole letter that he had written. John is saying that he has written this small letter to believers for the purpose of helping them have assurance. Since God dedicated a whole book in the Bible for this purpose, it stands to reason that every believer should seek to understand and obtain genuine assurance of salvation.

Such a quest is not without its challenges largely because of two spiritual realities. First, it is possible for an unbeliever to profess to have faith in Christ and to engage in many spiritual activities while remaining unconverted. Jesus warns of this condition in the most sobering words that he ever spoke. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

These people are gospel hypocrites. They profess Christ but do not possess him. Their faith is not real. It does not rest in Jesus alone. Even though they are zealous and industrious in their religious activities, Jesus warns that they will hear him cast them away because he “never” knew them. Despite their religious profession they continued to give themselves to “lawlessness,” indicating that they never had a saving knowledge of Christ.

Assurance is not only possible, it is vital to Christian health.

Not only is it possible for an unbeliever to look like a believer in many respects but it is also possible for a real believer to look like an unbeliever at many points. This presents a second challenge to understanding and pursuing biblical assurance. For those many months when David committed adultery with Bathsheba, had her husband, Uriah, killed and then lived in impenitence thinking he had successfully managed his sin, he did not look like a man who had a saving relationship with the Lord. Yet, as his later repentance demonstrated (2 Samuel 12:1-15; Psalm 51), he did.

The same could be said of Peter as he denied even knowing Jesus on the night Jesus was arrested. When he and Barnabas became intimidated in Antioch by men who had come from Jerusalem, they fell into hypocrisy; “their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14). By giving into ethnic prejudice, they were acting like unbelievers.

Paul’s revelation of his own internal struggle in Romans 7:13-25 also suggests how difficult it can be for a believer to come to a settled assurance of salvation. “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate…I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:15, 19). The internal struggle with the sin that remained in his life as a believer caused him to assess himself to be a “wretched man” (Romans 7:24). The reality of remaining sin, if not rightly understood, can inhibit a proper appreciation of assurance.

Despite these challenges, the Bible does teach that assurance is not only possible, it is vital to Christian health. Every believer is obligated to pursue it. After admonishing his readers to cultivate Christian virtues Peter writes, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).

Three Ways God Gives Assurance

How, then, does assurance work? The Bible teaches three ways that God provides assurance to believers. These interact with and support each other much like the strands in a threefold cord. Together, they can provide full assurance to the believer.

Promises inherent in the gospel

The first means by which God grants assurance to believers is through the promises of salvation that he makes in Scripture. As these promises accompany the very essence of the gospel, when the gospel is truly believed that which it promises is to be received, as well. For example, John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” All who believe in Christ actually possess eternal life. The gospel promises this and, while it is possible to find this promise hard to believe at times (given our sinfulness, inconsistency, and awareness that by nature we actually deserve God’s wrath), it is nevertheless true. In this sense assurance is of the essence of saving faith.

As the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith wisely notes, however, “infallible assurance is not so joined to the essence of faith that it is an automatic and inevitable experience.”[1] The key word in this sentence is “so.” In other words, it is possible for a genuine believer to struggle over the question of assurance, even though the gospel guarantees eternal life to those who believe it.

Evidence of a Spirit-changed life

As mentioned, that is why the Apostle John wrote the first of his New Testament letters. In it, he provides us the second way that God grants assurance of salvation to believers. A careful reading of this letter can help those who believe but who struggle to be certain that they have eternal life. This makes 1 John an essential book for those who are seeking assurance of salvation.

John includes within his little letter a series of tests that an individual can take in order to examine himself and see, as the Apostle Paul admonishes, if he is genuinely in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). John focuses on the character and conduct that saving faith produces in the life of a believer. Where spiritual fruit exists, spiritual roots exist.

The apostle does this by writing several “if/then” statements. For example, in 1:6 he states, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Here we learn that if one’s claim to have fellowship with Christ is aligned with a lifestyle that is given over to spiritual and moral darkness, then his profession is a lie. That is, he has no reason to hope that he is a Christian.

Similarly, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:3-6). Again, John teaches that profession of faith without an orientation of life toward obedience to God’s commandments demonstrates spiritual deception. Conversely, when we actively seek to follow Christ—to “walk in the same way in which he walked”—then “we may know that we are in him.”

Internal Witness of the Spirit

Along with the promises that are inherent in the gospel and instruction about changed character and conduct, Scripture teaches that the internal witness of the Holy Spirit provides assurance of salvation to believers. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). This indicates that, ultimately, it is the direct, personal ministry of the indwelling Spirit that assures believers of their place in the family of God.

The Spirit gives assurance. Because this is true, well-meaning pastors and other counselors must be very careful not to usurp the Spirit’s role in the appropriate effort to help struggling Christians come to full assurance. We can, and should, help them to understand the nature of the gospel promises and show how they apply to all who have faith—no matter how small or weak that faith may be—that is grounded in the person and work of Christ. We must also encourage them to understand that, as Luther taught, it is faith alone that justifies. But the faith that justifies never remains alone. It always gives rise to character and conduct that is devoted to godliness.

Along with these efforts, we should encourage every Christian to pray intimately to the Lord, asking for grace to lay hold of the promises inherent in the gospel with an unwavering faith. Such confidence is both possible and commendable. While it is not uncommon for a believer’s assurance to be stronger or weaker at different seasons of life, it should be the aspiration of every Christian to grow in assurance without falling into presumption.

All Three Ways are Vital

It is crucial that all three lines of biblical teaching on assurance be incorporated into one’s thinking and self-evaluation. To pursue only one of the three without the other two will end in spiritual disaster. To rely on the witness of the Spirit without marks of holiness and the promises of the gospel is to get mired in subjectivism that is prone to delusion. To rely on the promises without the Spirit’s witness or the marks of grace is to fall into easy-believism that leads to antinomianism. To rely only on the marks of holiness, however, is to fall into legalism.

By integrating and applying these three areas of instruction on assurance one can profitably pursue a quest for a full and growing assurance of being right with God. Such is the responsibility of every Christian and such is also our privilege.

 

[1] Chapter 18, paragraph 3. Emphasis added.

Source: Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?

God’s Word in Godless Times, or the Appearance of Godliness in Signaling Virtue | Founders Ministries

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

—2 Timothy 3:1-7

Read those seven verses of God’s words again. Slowly. Now go check your twitter feed or simply do a social media search for #GeorgeFloyd, #GeorgeFloydProtests, and #GeorgeFloydRiots. Paul is talking about America in 2020. Just as he was talking about Ephesus in the late AD 60s as well as about other times and places between then and now. He is speaking of recurring “times of difficulty”—perilous times; what he elsewhere describes as “the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).

Godlessness in society does not stay there but seeps into the church wreaking havoc among the people of God.

Such seasons will be characterized by severe problems in society as “people” (v. 2) in general will give themselves over to the types of wickedness Paul catalogues in verses 2-4. Such wickedness is characterized by selfishness (“lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant”) and lawlessness (“abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”).

That is bad enough. What is worse, however, is that godlessness in society does not stay there but seeps into the church wreaking havoc among the people of God. The most unsettling part of what Paul says is coming is his description of how professing Christians will act. They will be “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (v. 5).

Paul further describes these people within the church in verse 7—they will be unteachable, “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” Even more to the point, he warns in chapter 4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth” and will “wander off into myths” (vv. 3-4).

I am convinced that America is living in a peculiarly “evil day,” in “times of difficulty” of which Paul writes. The asphyxiation of George Floyd as he begged for mercy from Officer Derek Chauvin who, ignoring his pleas, slowly snuffed the life from his handcuffed body is an example of this. When a civil authority mercilessly ends the life of a person he is charged to serve and protect, the evil of his abusive, heartless, and brutal action is compounded.

The outbreak of lawlessness in the wake of George Floyd’s death is also evil. Mayhem, brutal attacks, destruction of people’s livelihood, intimidation, violence, and murder have marked the protests of the last week. Attacks on police officers, breaking into private homes, looting, stealing, and blatantly breaking just laws have become almost commonplace.

True godliness unashamedly declares what God has said and it does so not just when it is safe but even when that message might cost your life.

Such lawlessness in our society is tragic. But what is worse is the failure and even complicity of so many Christians in the face of it. In their responses they have, as Paul puts it, an appearance of godliness that denies its power (v. 3:5). True godliness unashamedly declares what God has said and it does so not just when it is safe but even when that message might cost your life. It is taking God at His Word regardless of cost or consequence and speaking that Word with confidence in its power. Thus, John the Baptist didn’t merely preach repentance in the wilderness, he also applied God’s Word to Herod that by telling him that he could not lawfully have his brother’s wife (Matthew 14:1-12).

The mere “appearance of godliness,” by contrast, is willing to say what God says when it isn’t costly. If doing so actually elevates you in the eyes of the curators of the prevailing cultural narrative, then more’s the better. It is what today is commonly called, virtue signaling. That is what a person does when he would rather be perceived as virtuous and applauded by the modern arbiters of “virtue” than actually be virtuous and risk being canceled as a result.

It’s sort of like the German Landeskirchen preaching on submission to governmental authorities in Nazi Germany. No one got arrested for that. But it was a failure of nerve, or rather, a denying of the power of godliness, that kept most German Protestants from speaking against the anti-Semitic butchery in 1941. It is easy to go with religion when she walks in silver slippers.

The prevalence of an apparent but impotent godliness is being widely and prominently paraded today. That is why you have seen such bold, articulate outcries against the lawlessness of Derek Chauvin but only reluctant, comparatively muted responses to the lawlessness of the violent mobs that have terrorized cities and communities across the nation in the days since. That is why demands for justice are readily applied to the former but only hesitantly—if at all—to the latter. That is why you saw so many evangelicals following the crowd in #BlackoutTuesday on their social media feeds, some even sporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) hashtag for extra virtue points. Never mind that the BLM organization and movement intentionally promote godlessness in their stated goals and focus.

That is why you know the names of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd but not the names of David Dorn, Shay Mikalonis or Italia Kelly. From all indications each of them unjustly suffered violent deaths (although at this point Shay is being sustained on life-support) but only the first three serve the destructive agendas of those who want to rip apart the fabric of our civil society. True godliness is willing to apply the standard of God’s Word to each of these cases. Apparent godliness will stop at the first three because to speak further is to invite the vitriol of the mob and, well, who has the power to withstand that?

It is the holy Scripture that God breathed out to be our authoritative, sufficient guide for life and godliness.

So, what are Christians who fear God more than people to do in such godless, evil days? We are to do exactly what Paul tells Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 3:14-15 and 4:1-5. First, continue in the Word, and second, preach the Word.

It is the Holy Scripture that God breathed out to be our authoritative, sufficient guide for life and godliness. It alone is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (vv. 3:16-17). Such a man—especially pastors—must, like Timothy, preach that Word at all times with authority and conviction. That is what Paul means when he writes, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (v. 4:2).

This is to be done even when people don’t want to hear it; when they “will not endure sound teaching” (v. 4:3) and “turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (v. 4:4). The Word alone is able to make people “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v. 3:15). So, if we who know the Lord and have His Word fail to preach it, we are withholding the only message that God has provided to reconcile sinners to Himself. And all the virtue signaling in the world cannot change that.

So this is the choice that Christians are facing in times of difficulty. We can settle for an appearance of godliness while denying its power and win the accolades of this age. Or we can pursue real godliness and trust its power thereby inviting the venom and opposition of the champions of this age. To put it another way, we can signal false virtue and be welcomed by those operating on false principles of righteousness. Or we can practice genuine virtue and be welcomed by the God whose Word we refuse to compromise.

What we cannot do is have it both ways.

Source: God’s Word in Godless Times, or the Appearance of Godliness in Signaling Virtue

Pagan America Dressed in Christianity | Founders Ministries

The recent days in America have been tragic. Our present unrest began with the senseless killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Rather than grieve and seek true justice, many have gone to set America on fire. This article is an attempt to make sense of things from a Christian perspective. Admittedly, it is a bit more of a machete than a scalpel. But given the terrain we are currently in, the machete seems fitting.

The apostle Paul adds an unexpected phrase in one of his letters to Timothy. After speaking of the coming perilous times, and the rampant wickedness of men in those times, he says people will have “a form of godliness” but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). This “form of godliness” gutted of substance is precisely what is going on around us. And pretty much everybody is guilty. We are watching the erosion of the Christian faith while everyone masquerades as Christian.

This is not, however, the first time such a thing has occurred. You can see the draining of Christian substance while maintaining a form of it in a string of paintings from the 15th century.[1] In 1435, Van Eyck painted the Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin, in which Chancellor Rolin sits facing Mary. Mary looks about how you’d expect she should. She has both the form of Mary and the substance of Mary. But, in Filippo Lippi’s painting of Mary some years later he made a change—he painted his mistress as Mary. In Lippi’s painting you have the form of Mary, but in substance, a scandal. Things unravel further with Fouquet’s painting of Mary in c.1450 (Virgin and Child). He paints the king’s mistress, Agnes Sorel, as Mary. He paints her with one breast exposed (not feeding the Christ-child). The painting speaks for itself (I leave it to your discretion whether to look it up). It has moved far afield from Van Eyck and Lippi. Even secular analysis marks it as “impious” with a flavor of blasphemy. The form barely remains; the Christian substance is dead.

America is Fouquet’s 1450 Virgin and Child. We have reached the end of the line. The substance is gone, but a number of people are still holding on to the form of Christianity. While doing so, they are trying to convert others to their paganism dressed in Christianity. But if the substance is gone, then anyone converted will join a false religion impersonating the true religion. Many evangelicals are busy trying to reconcile this false religion with the true Christian faith. But they cannot be reconciled. Others, perhaps who do not grasp exactly what is going on, try to harmonize the two. They labor for common ground with the spirit of the age. But there is no common ground. There is no harmony.

The Rioters

The rioters presently in the streets of the United States engage in violence and anarchy. But they claim a form of godliness. There indeed are many peaceful protestors. Some have displayed a Jon Jones like courage by shutting down rioters. Good on him and them. But the rioters themselves are a different story. They justify their lawlessness by saying they have not been heard. Their actions are righteous, reasonable, and what other people need to do is sit down and listen. If you are on the side of the oppressed (like Jesus) then you must be on their side. If you desire the sanctification of our nation, then put on your mask and throw that brick through a window. Let your voice be heard. Black lives matter, don’t they? What we are observing is not merely a group of misguided adolescents. We are observing rebellion driven by a religious impulse. The rioters are crying out to their governmental gods much like the false prophets cried out to Baal to send fire. They claim to have a holy mission. But there is only a shell of godliness here, no power.

The President

The president, after giving a recent address about the riots, went to the historic St. John’s church in Washington. This church had been set on fire during the riots. He stood in front of the church with a Bible in his hand for a few minutes, then departed. This symbolic statement is open to interpretation. Even so, honest Americans know that pious is not a word that characterizes our president. Yes, Christians can genuinely give thanks to God for the judges President Trump has put in place. But we can do so while seeing what is missing from the president’s trip to that church. When recently asked if he prays and if he had grown in his faith, he responded by saying he had done so much for religion. He quickly proceeded to warn that if the radical left takes over, “you won’t have anything.” Here again we see an appearance of godliness, but no power.

Evangelical Response

The evangelical response to our troubled times has been elegantly vacuous. Christian leaders have justified lawless riots. Many have promoted organizations that advocate wickedness. A number of evangelicals and churches participated in black out Tuesday without knowing what it was. While there are some who have addressed our times with conviction (see Tom Ascol’s recent post). Many evangelical leaders appear to be posturing without getting down to the real issue. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an open letter which says, “We will refuse any and all attempts to politicize the death of George Floyd and the racial divide that plagues our nation.” Only a few sentences later he writes that a way to fight the good fight is to identify societal systems where people of color have little or no voice, and “lobby for equal representation and vote for candidates who will do the same.” A common term for what we are seeing many evangelicals do is virtue signaling. But consider what that term describes. Evangelicals signal that they are virtuous while in reality being the opposite. They claim to seek justice and equality while in truth they pursue the praise of man. Like Fouquet’s painting, evangelicals signal religion, but we are neglecting the substance and power.

How Did We Get Here?

Schaffer once said that if the lower story becomes untethered from the upper story, then the lower story devours the upper story. This is precisely what is happening. And Christians have to take responsibility for their part in letting things get here. Jesus came in the flesh. If you teach that he didn’t, then the apostle John says you are antichrist. But we have lived for some time as if Jesus is just an idea and Christianity has nothing to do with life on earth. We have lived as if Christianity were contained to the upper world, having nothing at all to do with the lower world. We have mistaken Hebrews, which says faith is the “conviction of things unseen,” to say that faith is the conviction of things unknown—as if our faith were imaginary. In other words, we have given into a radical, unbridgeable divide between the sacred and the secular. Rather than mere Christians, we have become mere pragmatists… except on Sundays, and at our Bible studies.

Black Lives Matter is a pragmatic movement. Mr. Trump is a pragmatic president. Evangelicals are the lead pragmatists of them all. We have lived in the lower world without God. He has had nothing to do with our vocation, entertainment, politics, sex, art, economics, civil law, customs, and cultural traditions. God is God of our quiet times, but there His jurisdiction stops. We enjoy freedom of worship within the four walls of our church, but have no concept of the full exercise of religion at all times and in all places. We support an educational institution that has told us plainly that God is not welcome. The Christian faith has been relegated to the upper world for a very long time now, leaving secular humanism to rule in the lower world. That lower philosophy is devouring that upper faith (which we should have never lodged up there in the first place).

Ironically, we are watching the erosion of that Christian faith while politicians, rioters, and evangelical leaders claim they are protecting and promoting that Christian faith. They can get away with this because we’ve permitted the notion that Christianity is not real, but a dream. If a dream, then Jesus can become whatever you want him to be. There is merely an outline of him in the American psyche, and people fill that outline with whatever they want like Fouquet filled Mary’s form with the king’s mistress, Agnes Sorel.

We must avoid, then, the mindset which says, “lay down your ideology, presuppositions, and just give people Jesus.” Those who recommend this are either trying to smuggle an unbiblical ideology into the Christian church, or being duped into letting others do so. Those who recommend this will end up offering the form of Jesus without the substance. Schaffer once said,

I have come to the point where, when I hear the word ‘Jesus’—which means so much to me because of the Person of the historic Jesus and his work‚ I listen carefully because I have with sorrow become more afraid of the word ‘Jesus’ than almost any other word in the modern world. The word is used as a contentless banner, and our generation is invited to follow it… we must fight this contentless banner, with its deep motivations… which is being used for the purpose of sociological form and control (Escape from Reason, 101).

The Way Forward

The first thing to do is acknowledge that much of what presently purports to be Christianity is merely Fouquet’s Virgin and Child—an empty shell. It is Jesus without the Christian faith. It is a naked adulteress posing as the mother of God. It is high time we come to grips with the vanity of such Christianity less we end up caught in it like Samson who “did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges 16:20).

The next thing we must do is deal with the God who is here. He is the Word made flesh. He speaks. He is handing America over to her sins. He is King up there and down here. He is a Savior-King who willingly laid down His life for those who cast off His law and did what was right in their own eyes. In short, we must fear God. To know Him savingly is to know Him soul and body. To know Him truly is to know Him in heaven and on earth. To come to Him, you must come away from everything else. You cannot fit a Christless ideology into Christ. You cannot fit Christless living into the Christian life. You cannot sanitize evil notions of justice, power, authority, reconciliation, mercy, and love, and make them Christian. You must come wholly away from all of that to the whole Christ.

[1] See Francis Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason, 20-22.

Source: Pagan America Dressed in Christianity

June 8, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Mid-Day Snapshot · June 8, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” —Benjamin Rush (1788)

The Left’s Insane New Cry: ‘Defund the Police’

Leftists demanding this nonsense are fomenting anarchy for power and profit.


Defund the Police and Send the Feds the Bill

Leftists in Minnesota have a plan to pay for the damage done by rioters.


NFL Embraces BLM and White Guilt

Commissioner Goodell issues an apology for “not listening” to players and their “social justice” cause.


Cotton Gins Up Cancel Culture

Fallout continues — Tom Cotton’s op-ed results in firings and “reassignments.”


Leftists Want It Both Ways

They want to be both virtuous protester and villainous rioter. It’s Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.


White Guilt: Exposing a Hypocritical Approach to Racism

To all American Patriots who identify as white — do not fall for this charade. Stand up.


Video: What the Left Won’t Tell You About the Plight of Black People

The myth of systemic racism.


Video: This Looting Video Deserves an Academy Award

“You said Black Lives Matter. … I’m black. Look what you did to my store.”


Video: Man-Boy Rioter Gets Marched to Police by Mommy & Daddy

“Antifa Kid” tried to turn a peaceful protest in Pittsburgh into a riot by vandalizing a police vehicle.


Video: Kneeling Will Never Be Enough for the Mob

Why are Americans surrendering to violent mobs? Because they’ve been told they have to.



TODAY’S OPINION

JEFF JACOBY
The Week the Looters Came
KEN BLACKWELL
Race, Justice, and Religious Liberty in the World
WILLIAM FEDERER
Hitler’s Brownshirts Used Antifa Tactics to Overthrow Germany’s Republic
GARY BAUER
Biggest Jobs Gain Ever
MATTHEW CONTINETTI
American Civilization and Its Discontents
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday News Executive Summary

NYT editors penalized, Minneapolis updates, justice for David Dorn, and more.


Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Burgess Owens, James Woods, Neil Patel, and more.



TODAY’S MEME

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

June Snow Forecast for Northern UK
The UK, unlike much of the rest of the planet, has experienced a relatively mild 2020 thus far. The occasional blast of Arctic air has still managed to engulf the nation –such as the early May snowfall and record-cold— but on the whole, it’s been mild. “It’s worth mentioning too that on Friday night and into Saturday morning what we are looking at is the risk of some sleet and snow above 700 metres in the hills of northern Scotland. Can you believe that?”

Army labs say ‘some form’ of COVID-19 vaccine will be ready this year, but not for all
“In the event that the virus can mutate, our vaccine is positioned to be able to cover any new strains or species of the virus,” Modjarrad added. While Modjarrad said that the coronavirus has yet to mutate, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory recently published a study showing that various strains of the virus had reached the United States at different times, and were demonstrating varying degrees of contagiousness.

Texas Lt. Governor Says Racism Is an “Issue of Love” Healed by Turning to God
The Lt. Governor told Fox News on Wednesday evening that the issue of racism across the country is ultimately an “issue of love,” adding that it boils down to loving God, which leads to loving one’s neighbor. “It’s loving God,” Patrick asserted. “If you cannot love your fellow man, if you don’t love God — and we have a country where we’ve been working really hard, particularly on the left, to kick God out.” …the “culture of a country” cannot change until the “character of mankind” is changed first as it involves the transformation of the heart.

It begins: N.Y. mayor to suck money from NYPD amid calls to defund police
Bill de Blasio announced a plan to shift funding away from the city’s police department and toward youth programs Sunday, as activists push for defunding police departments. De Blasio’s plan is part of a suggestion from the mayor’s task force on racial inclusion, which is chaired by his wife, activist Chirlane McCray.

George Floyd was infected with COVID-19, autopsy reveals
George Floyd, whose fatal encounter with Minneapolis police stirred a global outcry over racial bias by U.S. law enforcement, tested positive for the coronavirus, his autopsy showed, but the infection was not listed as a factor in his death.

Despite Israeli strikes, Iranian forces massing on Syrian border
According to Iranian analyst Mostafa Najafi, a staggering 53,000 Iranian-backed militia members have merged into the army of dictator Bashar al-Assad and are still present along the border with Israel wearing Syrian army uniforms. “In times of crisis, Iran has shown that it is prone to change tactics, instead of strategies,” Najafi said.

Former MI6 head claims COVID-19 was made in a Chinese lab
A former head of the British intelligence agency MI6 has said that he believes the COVID-19 virus was created in a lab and spread accidentally. Speaking to The Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast, Sir Richard Dearlove cited recent research which claimed to have found key evidence that the virus had been manipulated to bind to humans. If accurate, the research would have far-reaching political effects as governments around the world re-examined their dealings with the Communist state, including raising the question of reparation payments from China to the rest of the world…

Iran prepares to confront Israel in Syria via Hezbollah – report
Iran may be preparing for conflict with Israel in Syria and no longer will accept Israeli airstrikes on its warehouses without a response, a report over the weekend suggested. Veteran journalist Elijah Magnier wrote on the website Medium about whether the “great Middle Eastern war will begin in the Levant” and cited Syria as a potential flashpoint.

‘It’s Time Gulf States Normalized ties with Israel,’ former Top Dubai Official says
Former Dubai Police Chief Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim sparked controversy over the weekend when, in a series of tweets, he called on of Persian Gulf states and the rest of the Arab world to admit they want to establish open diplomatic relations with Israel,

Secret of squid invisibility used to turn human cells transparent
Of all the superpowers in the animal kingdom, the squid’s ability to turn invisible is one of the coolest. And now scientists at the University of California, Irvine have managed to recreate that in human cells for the first time, … UC Irvine team attempted to introduce that ability into human cells. To do so, they genetically engineered human embryonic kidney cells to express reflectin, and sure enough it worked. On closer inspection, the proteins were seen to gather into particles inside the cells, altering how they scattered light.

New synthetic red blood cells are even better than the real thing
To make the synthetic cells, the researchers start with real ones. These donated human RBCs were first covered with a thin layer of silica, followed by layers of polymers with positive and negative charges. The silica is then etched away, and finally the surface is coated in natural RBC membranes.

Iran prepares to confront Israel in Syria via Hezbollah – report
Iran may be preparing for conflict with Israel in Syria and no longer will accept Israeli airstrikes on its warehouses without a response, a report over the weekend suggested. Veteran journalist Elijah Magnier wrote on the website Medium about whether the “great Middle Eastern war will begin in the Levant” and cited Syria as a potential flashpoint.

Netanyahu’s new adviser: Obama treated Israel like s**thole
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden should be concerned about colluding with Russia and former President Barack Obama treated Israel “like it was a shithole” are some of the controversial comments made by a new strategic adviser Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hired last week. Aaron Klein, a former journalist for Breitbart, was hired by Netanyahu as a strategic and communications consultant for the Likud Party.

Texas Republicans under fire for posts linking George Soros to protest
Multiple Republican officials in Texas are under fire for social media posts suggesting George Soros is behind the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd…Sue Piner, the chair of the Republican party in Comal County, shared a post on Facebook last week with an image of Soros alongside text that read: “I pay white cops to murder black people. And then I pay black people to riot because race wars keep the sheep in line.”

Syrian currency collapse throws country into uncertainty
The Syrian regime thought it was finally out of the woods in its almost decade-long civil war. It recaptured southern Syria in 2018 and has pushed up against US forces along the Euphrates. It has launched offensives into Idlib with Russian and Iranian backing. In October 2019 the Turkish attack on US-backed anti-ISIS fighters even enabled the regime to take over parts of eastern Syria.

Sweden didn’t lock down, but economy to plunge anyway
Unlike most countries, Sweden never locked down during the coronavirus pandemic, largely keeping businesses operating, but the economy appears to be taking a hard hit nonetheless. Under the Scandinavian country’s controversial approach to the virus, cafes, bars, restaurants and most businesses remained open, as did schools for under-16s, with people urged to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

North Korea: Call from South to North goes unanswered for first time
South Korea’s daily call to a jointly-run liaison office in North Korea has gone unanswered for the first time. The break came days after North Korea said it would pull out of the inter-Korean liaison office, located in the North Korean border city of Kaesong. The agency was set up to reduce tensions between the two nations – part of an agreement signed by leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in 2018.

LGBTQ community names Tel Aviv as Israel’s most gay-friendly city
LGBTQ activists on Sunday submitted their first-ever Gay-Friendly City Index to President Reuven Rivlin, as Gay Pride month got underway in Israel. The index maps 29 local municipalities according to handling of gay issues and the communities within their purview over the past year. Performance was measured using key criteria: welfare, education, infrastructure, visibility, safety and culture.

Vast locust swarms in East Africa put almost 5 million people at risk of hunger and famine: Experts
Vast locust swarms in East Africa could put almost 5 million people in the region at risk of hunger and famine, according to the International Rescue Committee.

We Are In The Overlap Between The Ending Of The Church Age And Before The Start Of The Time Of Jacob’s Trouble
Events are happening so quickly it is nearly impossible to catch them all, and even if you managed that, you would scarcely have time for that to register when new information would immediately replace it. In a previous article, we told you how everything going on now is all connected, it is all working to accomplish the same purpose, they call it the Great Reset. From a biblical perspective, what we are seeing is the closing of the nearly 2,000-year old Church Age as it is overlapping with the soon-to-be-time of Jacob’s trouble.

The Global Elites Are Calling It ‘The Great Reset’ And It Is Exactly What End Times Books And Movies Have Been Warning You About For Decades
We are living in an amazing time, a time foretold within the pages of the bible, and we have been privileged to watch them leap off the pages and into our daily lives. Prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes, and it is awesome. But there is so much happening, with myriad events coming from seemingly unconnected places yet they are all connected and all part of the same plan. The global elites who run things have been kind enough to give it a name, they call it ‘The Great Reset’, and it is the New World Order. It has arrived. Here’s what you need to know.

Democratic mayors are seriously considering DEFUNDING police departments amid persisting riots
Members of the Democratic Party, Antifa and other rioters and demonstrators have begun calling for police departments across the country to be defunded, and some Democratic mayors have responded positively to these demands. In Minneapolis, where the riots began, the city council is even considering abolishing their police department altogether.

U.S. officially demands U.K. hand over Prince Andrew to be quizzed over Epstein
THE US has officially demanded Britain hand over Prince Andrew to be quizzed over his links to billionaire pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein.

Defunding the Police Means Destabilizing America
It only took three thousand Bolsheviks to change Russia forever.  When the NAZIs emerged in Germany, they began as only a small party, and was even at one point banned for trying to stage a coup.  They committed mass terror, and worked to turn morality on its head.  The dead were just meaningless numbers.  What truly mattered to the men in charge of bringing about tyranny was the revolution.

‘White Coats for Black Lives’ Protest: Healthcare Workers Take a Knee
The protest movement White Coats for Black Lives, where healthcare workers kneel in groups to support protesters demanding racial equality and justice, gathered at locations across the country over the weekend.

Minneapolis City Council announces veto-proof push to disband police in George Floyd aftermath
Minneapolis’ left-leaning City Council members on Sunday announced a veto-proof push to disband the Minneapolis police department, ramping up a major conflict inside the city following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Is a Gathering of 19 National Armies Taking Place In Red Sqaure a Sign of Things to Come with Regard the Planned UN Military Intervention Inside the US?
A gathering of potential enemies is happening in Red Square on June 24, 2020 ofr a military celebration and military parade. Putin is sponsoring the event as it has been delayed twice because of fears about the COVID-19 virus. This is the strangest gathering of nations that I have ever witnessed.

Coronavirus is Gone – The Narrative Has Failed
Just over a week ago much of America faced jail if they dared break the “social distancing” rules put in place by tyrannical governors and other public officials. Now tens of thousands gather to protest a police killing with impunity.


Headlines – 6/8/2020

Netanyahu vows all settlements will be annexed July 1, but other lands may wait

Palestinians advancing UN resolution against annexation, Israel says

Report: April Attack on Israel’s Water Infrastructure Was Culmination of Year-Long Cyber-Warfare Campaign

Israel Government Pumps Billions Into Economy to Balance COVID-19 Damages

Netanyahu: Pandemic will not deter us from keeping nukes out of Iran’s hands

Iran prepares to confront Israel in Syria via Hezbollah – report

Libyan government defies Russian warnings with plans to take eastern sites

Russian Hiring of Syrians to Fight in Libya Accelerated in May, Sources Say

Russia can now use nukes if attacked with non-nuclear weapons

Tear gas, stone throwing as Beirut demonstration turns violent

27 killed, some burned alive in jihadi attacks on predominantly Christian villages in Mali

Australian Black Lives Matter protests: tens of thousands demand end to Indigenous deaths in custody

UK protesters topple statue of slave trader as Floyd rallies sweep Europe

Protesters tore down a statue in the former capital of the Confederacy. More may follow.

Dempsey: Trump’s ‘inflammatory’ threat to use active duty troops hurts US military

Trump orders National Guard to leave Washington as protests calm

As demonstrations subside, NY officials urge protesters to get virus tests

Experts Sound Alarm Over Coronavirus Spread as U.S. Ramps Up Reopening, Prepares for More Protests

‘Shame!’: Minneapolis mayor booed out of protest for refusing to commit to abolish police

Minneapolis City Council announces veto-proof push to disband police in George Floyd aftermath

De Blasio: NYC to cut NYPD funding, shift it to social services

George W. Bush and Mitt Romney won’t support Trump in 2020, while some GOP officials consider voting for Biden

Colin Powell to vote for Biden, says Trump has ‘drifted’ from constitution

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Barranca, Peru

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Cortes, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Gorontalo, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Sangay volcano in Peru erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Tropical Storm Cristobal Moving Across Southern Louisiana; Flooding Rain, Storm Surge and Gusty Winds Continue

Rare derecho roars from Utah to North Dakota, severe wind reports span 750 miles with gusts up to 110 mph

Rick Scott accuses China of trying to sabotage coronavirus vaccine

Abortion opponents protest COVID-19 vaccines’ use of fetal cells

DNA Tracing Leads to Arrest in Case of 2006 Murder of Woman

Supreme Court ready to spark fury on gay and transgender rights


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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther